1978 BMW R100S (photos)

This was my father's favorite bike, but it had a lot of quality issues, compared to my R90. The paint was poor, and the bolts holding on the trans were loose from the factory. The front end wasn't assemble properly and I had to go through it completely.

This was the first of the "modern" BMW motorcycles. This is the one I rode to Alaska, although I bypassed the Alcan highway by taking the ferry both up and back. The only problem I had with the bike is that the points got dirty on the way back around Mt. Saint Helens.

These bikes were pretty reliable for their time, but they did suffer from final drives that wore out around 60,000 miles. At the time, they were way ahead of the competition.

The transmissions were notoriously clunky, but seemed to be able to take it. You also got used to riding with one foot ahead of the other. The sidestand was notoriously treacherous, since it was spring loaded to automatically retract.

A typical hop up trick was to replace the stock coils with big American coils. One problem with these bike was that they often outlived their accessories.

This bike was the victim of numerous accessories, including electronic ignition, side stands, custom seats, fork braces, etc. It did make it to about 120,000 miles before it became too expensive to keep running. My last pushrod bike.

Last Update: 27 December, 2007
Web Author: Doug Ikemi