BMW R100RS cafe racer
In 1977, BMW’s erstwhile R90S became the R100S. The boxer twin motor gained a useful 100 cc or so, 40 mm Bing carburetors were bolted on for smoother starting and running, and the cosmetics and paintwork were upgraded. The flagship was the radical-looking RS variant, which gained a full fairing and went gunning for the Japanese heavyweights of the time, such as Honda’s Gold Wing. With 70 hp, a 24-liter fuel tank and a 200 kph (124 mph) top speed, the R100RS became the ultimative Motorrad for the long-distance motorcyclists of the day. Cycle magazine somewhat enigmatically said, “The RS is its own bike, and expression, emblematic of course of BMW’s willingness to thrash with the Japanese but not necessarily a signpost pointing into the future. It is BMW’s Corvette; whether it succeeds or fails, there will always be Biscaynes enough for all.” Nowadays, the BMW R-series bikes are increasingly becoming candidates for customization, and more than a few café racer conversions are appearing. This lovely 1982 machine was modified by Australian Paul Cail, who has a background in television and advertising. Cail’s aesthetic tweaks have worked wonders for BMW’s tourer—that stubby bikini fairing and elegant seat unit make this RS as desirable today as the original must have been thirty years ago. [For an extensive list of R100RS links and information, check out webBikeWorld.]

BMW R100RS cafe racer
BMW R100RS cafe racer
BMW R100RS cafe racer

  • Gabe Ets-Hokin

    Click on my blog link to read about my favorite bike: my old BMW R100/7/S! I have great memories, although my ankle still hurts when it rains…

  • YJH


  • Jeff T

    Nice bike, I like it. But associating it with the BMW rs even if that’s what it started as is silly. The rs designation meant one thing, the first full factory fairing and still one of the best. Without that fairing it’s just not about being an rs.

  • Nick

    No one should ever put checkerboard decals on a bike. Ever.

  • Big Dave

    That just looks…

  • sushinav

    Agreed with Big Dave. Tail sits way to high and at an angle in relation to the tank, and chrome cupboard hinges?!?!

  • LOBO

    Sorry Paul,

    Would have to agree with the other comments. Also that tailight is just tacked on to the back of the seat, spoiling the line. Would have been better tucked underneath. But at least Paul is having a crack………

  • Rex Havoc

    This is yet more proof that old Beemers are probably the hardest bikes to customize and get the lines right.

  • Lurch

    I *really* like it.
    Tho I notice its now on bikesales

  • Mike Cecchini

    Er…….ah……it’s a R100S….. not RS.

    This is a RS

  • boxertwin

    I agree with JeffT…The fairing MUST stay! Add a different seat, pipes, paint….etc….BUT keep the fairing or it ISN’T an RS!