My name is Arn Lager. I am an American, with several direct connections to Northern Europe. My Father is Swedish, and I was borne in Kaiserslautern, Germany, in 1964.
When I bought my 1988 BMW R100RS, I knew something about BMW flat twins, but I was relatively innocent of this motorcycle’s history. I was focused my service in the American Navy at that time, and I did not think far beyond noticing this beautiful pearl white motorcycle that looked perfect. Within a few years, I began to understand that the R100RS was much more powerful from 1977 to 1984, and that what I really had bought was an mildly tuned R80 bored out to 1000cc for torque. I promised myself that when the time came, I would rebuild the bike to proper power.
After 30 years and 84k miles ( 135k km ), it was time. I began with finding a 1979 R100 engine. It mounted to the 1988 gearbox without issue. I even stayed with the lighter 1988 flywheel. That engine required an aftermarket exhaust system, as the 1985 to 1996 monoshock frame does not accept the factory stock exhaust systems of the earlier dual shock R100 engines. The Keihans exhaust system modified by Jim Cray Engineering has proven to be an excellent choice. I had also grown disinterested in the Metallic White paint scheme. Paint is expensive, and I wasn’t wasting money on keeping the appearance of this bike in 1988. My sense of reason directed Me to find the factory scheme that I found most attractive, as I had already done that with the engine. During my research, I discovered the Classic Serie 500 of 1984. The EU Market knew the CS500 as the last edition of the R100RS. In fact, 1984 turned out to be the last year of the dual shock rear suspension bikes. Regardless, I found the Blue and Silver paint scheme to be the most attractive paint that the factory ever applied to the RS. There is a legend that BMW Marketing developed the scheme to sell the last R100RS bikes, which were considered obsolete by 1984. Apparently that was brilliant, as the bikes are rumored to have all sold before production completed.
The BMW Motorrad ‘smoke’ paint schemes began with the 1974 R90S project, which is widely credited for saving BMW Motorrad. I eventually learned that these paint schemes are actually three colors faded together, and every bike was a one-off art project of local artists commissioned by the Factory in Berlin. No two bikes from the 1974 production of R90S through the R100RS and RT, to the 1984 R100RS CS 500 were painted exactly the same. I also realized that I needed to find a paint shop that had specific experience restoring these fade paint scheme bikes.
I found one in Pennsylvania that had won several awards for restoring Daytona Orange R90S paint schemes. They clearly understood the Classic Serie 500 when I provided picture examples.
That is the story of Classic Serie #501, and here is the current result. The second life of this bike has been wonderful, and the story is not over. I am rebuilding thet 1988 engine with the complete Siebenrock 1070cc kit, and Classic Serie #501 will eventually be a very powerful R100RS.
|KM stand||100.000+ KM|