1978 BMW R100RS Motorsport edition

Sport

2-cyl. 980cc/70hp 2x1bbl

#1 Concours condition#1 Concours
#2 Excellent condition#2 Excellent
#3 Good condition#3 Good

$7,800*

-2.5%
#4 Fair condition#4 Fair
Value GraphJun 2023
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Model overview

Model description

In coming up with a seven-piece, frame-mounted fairing that reduced drag and added downforce, designer Hans Muth surveyed the motorcycling world’s existing fairings and disparaged them as “strange-looking, ugly, massive and boring.” His beautifully pleated shroud wrapped from its clear brow to the headlamp (which had five horizontal, orange lines), plunged back toward the frame, and then dropped and encircled the cylinder barrels, highlighting the blacked-out, rectangular valve covers. It looked like the work of Emilio Pucci, the Florentine designer who started with tailored ski wear and swimsuits but went on to design airline crew uniforms and the Apollo 15 mission patch. “Nothing had prepared the motorcycling world for the space age R100RS,” wrote historian Darwin Holmstrom.

It was $4,595, but who cared? And initial questions about the one-and-a-half-person seat subsided. With its beautiful “snowflake” alloy wheels, and the RS became a bestseller. Aside from the unique, copious, Silver Metallic or Gold Metallic paint scheme and bodywork, the RS used the same basic setup as the R100S: an air-cooled, overhead-valve, horizontally opposed twin that displaced 980cc, with bore and stroke at 94.0 x 70.6 mm and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. Positioned at each cylinder was a 40mm Bing constant-velocity carb, which in the previous year had replaced the Dell’Orto accelerator-pump carbs, mainly for reduced emissions but with the additional advantage of easier cold starting. With 70hp at 7,250 rpm, the twin hustled the 1978 BMW R100RS smartly along, but the rider still had to be deliberate with the transmission.

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