2012-08-09 13:50:10+0000
  • Make:
  • BMW
  • Model:
  • K 100 RS
  • Year:
  • 1986

A German made bike, the BMW K100RS was in production from 1982 to 1992, 4 different models were made, the K100RS has an inline four cylinder and liquid cooled 987cc engine and a top speed of 144 mph (232 km/h).

As the 1970s came to an end, BMW faced a few challenges: stricter European Union emissions regulations, the market-led development of bikes belonged to the Japanese factories developing smoother and quicker machines based around a four-cylinder format. Bike comparison in the media in the 70s was based around top speed. The need for a quick development time scale of a clean burning four-cylinder engine and the fact that Honda was dominating the motorcycle with its Goldwing the GL1000, BMW needed to come back big in the market.

Guided by a design team led by Josef Fritzenwenger and Stefan Pachernegg, they adapted an existing liquid-cooled Peugeot car engine. The team made two key choices. Firstly, as a car engine, it was relatively large compared to a motorcycle engine. As BMW needed something different from every other manufacturer, they laid the engine flat on the frame to keep the centre of gravity low, improving the bike's handling. This is known as a longitudinal four because the crankshaft is in line with the direction of travel of the motorcycle. This configuration, an inline four cylinder engine with a longitudinal crankshaft. The second development took place around engine management, with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, and later, Motronic fuel injection replacing the carburettors.

These engineering choices meant that from start they had a solid-performing and marketable product, and the K100 was designed and tested, then was on the market and being sold within four years. Four models were produced including, the K100, with no fairings, the K100RS, with sports fixed fairings and lower bars, the K100RT, with full fairings and the Luxury model the K100LT, with a higher screen and additional equipment. Sales of the bike were modest and although the engine suffered secondary vibration, riders eventually got used to the engine. With the R100 RS sports tourer launching in 1976, it boasted an even larger engine. More significant, was the fact it had full fairings on a large capacity production machine, developed as an integral part of the motorcycle and tested in a wind tunnel. Not surprisingly, the machine set new standards for long distance riding comfort and realistic road performance. In the end, over a 10 year production run,  62,000 K100's were produced.

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