BMW R1100S Road Test

The BMW R1100S is a motorcycle that commands attention, not just for its performance but for the thoughtful integration of design and functionality that defines it. This bike stands as a testament to what happens when engineering meets artistry, creating a ride that’s as pleasurable to look at as it is to pilot. As we navigate through the various aspects that make the R1100S a remarkable machine, we’ll uncover how its features contribute to an unmatched riding experience.

Design & Aesthetics

The BMW R1100S distinguishes itself with its boxer engine layout, a signature look that provides a low center of gravity and a balanced feel. This engine design, where the cylinders protrude from the sides, not only attracts attention but also aids in cooling the engine efficiently. Its unique appearance sets the R1100S apart from inline-fours and V-twins, making it easily recognizable on the road.

The sophisticated bodywork seamlessly blends sportiness with aerodynamics. The sleek lines and curves contribute to its wind-cheating abilities, allowing it to slice through the air with ease. The fairing and windshield are specifically designed to direct airflow around the rider, enhancing both comfort and speed. This design approach results in a bike that looks fast even when stationary.

One of the most striking features of the R1100S is the distinctive under-seat exhausts. This setup centralizes mass for improved handling and frees up space below the engine, contributing to the bike’s sleek profile. The dual exhaust pipes emerging from beneath the seat add a touch of aggressiveness and sportiness to the bike’s rear, setting it apart from traditional single-sided exhaust systems.

The integration of these design elements – the boxer engine layout, elegant bodywork, and distinctive under-seat exhausts – does more than just make the BMW R1100S visually appealing. They work together to enhance its performance, creating a machine that truly marries form with function. The R1100S is designed to perform at its best, with every curve, line, and detail serving a purpose, combining to create a motorcycle that’s as enjoyable to ride as it is to behold.

BMW R1100S motorcycle on the road

Performance & Handling

The BMW R1100S’s engine roars with confidence on the highway. The thrust and pull you feel as soon as you touch the throttle come from the motorcycle’s robust 1085 cc Boxer engine. This powerplant promises a lively ride with around 98 horsepower and 72 ft-lb of torque.1 On the open road, the R1100S commands respect. On twisty routes, you understand the full spectrum of its adaptability. The power delivery is smooth, allowing for exhilarating acceleration out of curves without overwhelming the rider.

The R1100S showcases agility and precision when it comes to handling. Negotiating serpentine paths is where this motorcycle shines. Its ability to corner with poise is significantly enhanced by the innovative suspension setup with BMW’s Telelever at the front and Paralever at the rear. This system provides remarkable stability even when the bike is leaned over, ensuring the tires maintain solid contact with the road surface for dependable grip.

The Telelever suspension system shines on both smooth highways and bumpy back roads. Unlike traditional forks that can unsettle a bike, this system minimizes those unsettling movements. Whether hitting a patch of uneven tar at speed or tackling an unexpected bump mid-corner, the Telelever keeps things considerably more composed. It separates braking forces from suspension tasks, allowing both to be managed independently for a smoother experience.

The Paralever setup at the rear further adds to the bike’s balancing act. Handling torque reaction typically generated by shaft drives, it keeps the rear end stable under acceleration – versatile for riders keen to push the envelope without wandering beyond the edge of control. These complex systems translate to a ride that’s as dependable as it is exhilarating, serving their purpose without diluting the raw, visceral pleasure of riding a motorcycle.

The R1100S tips into curves effortlessly. The bike’s mass seems to vanish beneath you, leaving a sensation of gripping the road with something much lighter and more flickable than its substantial presence suggests. Corner after corner, the R1100S feels planted and surefooted, building confidence with each bend of the road.

Despite riding through diverse terrains and conditions, the R1100S’s adaptability and ability to make each journey feel tailored to you stand out. On highways, its poise and power are unmistakable. When carving through twisty roads, its light-footed grace makes every turn an experience to remember. Together with its engine’s grunt and the suspension’s finesse, the BMW R1100S finds a harmonious balance that many motorcycles strive for but few achieve.

BMW R1100S motorcycle on a winding road

Comfort & Ergonomics

The BMW R1100S shines as a comfortable companion for long rides, with a few quirks to be aware of. The seat is on the firmer side, providing the support necessary for extended periods on the road. The rigidity helps ward off fatigue, allowing you to stay fresher for longer.

The riding position strikes a delicate balance, not too leaned forward like a race replica, nor too upright like a pure tourer. This setup reduces strain on the back and wrists during prolonged spells of riding. However, tall riders might find the leg space a tad limiting. Aftermarket solutions such as footpeg lowering kits can tackle this without messing with the bike’s DNA.

The bike’s fairing does a decent job of wind protection, funneling most of the airstream over the rider, reducing wind buffeting and fatigue. However, riders above a certain height might feel their helmets catching more wind due to the fairing’s design, which is more suited to medium-built individuals. Taller windscreens offer an easy fix.

Heated grips come as a delight in cooler climates or during early morning and late evening rides. On the R1100S, they offer substantial warmth, keeping numbness at bay on chilly expeditions.

The ergonomics present a harmonious middle-ground for most riders, not too cramped for big riders nor too sprawling for smaller ones. Finding that ergonomic sweet spot might necessitate a few personal touches like:

  • Adjusting or replacing the seat
  • Playing with the handlebar height
  • Swapping out footpegs

The R1100S shapes up as a reputable long-haul comrade, adeptly taking on the exhaustive demands of extensive rides with features that cater to enduring comfort. It might ask for minor tweaks to tailor-fit your needs perfectly, but its foundational stones are robust: offering a blend of suitable seating, sensible ride positioning, commendable wind protection, and genuine cold-weather conveniences.

BMW R1100S motorcycle on the road

Reliability & Maintenance

The BMW R1100S consistently receives praise for its dependability over the years. Owners frequently comment on the bike’s enduring quality, noting that with regular maintenance, major mechanical issues are rare. This cycle’s trustworthiness is supported by numerous long-term test reports where the R1100S has demonstrated its prowess in standing up to extensive use without faltering.

The R1100S has a well-planned maintenance schedule that aligns with its resilient nature. Routine checks and services are designed to be hassle-free, encouraging owners to keep their bikes in peak condition. This straightforward approach to upkeep plays a significant role in the bike’s overall reliability.

Common issues with the R1100S are relatively minor and well-documented, allowing for preemptive measures. For instance, older models may experience wear on the rear shaft seals and gearbox input seal.2 Quick identification and replacement can prevent these issues from developing into significant problems.

The ease of sourcing replacement parts significantly enhances the R1100S’s appeal, contributing to its reliability. Parts availability is generally good, with both new and used options readily obtainable at reasonable prices. This accessibility encourages regular maintenance and swift repairs, ensuring the bike’s longevity.

Recalls have been infrequent for the R1100S, further testament to its robust engineering and build quality. When recalls have occurred, they’ve been efficiently handled, with BMW’s commitment to quality and owner satisfaction shining through.

Most owners find that with basic mechanical skill, tasks like oil changes, brake inspections, and tire maintenance can be done at home. This DIY-friendly aspect not only makes upkeep more convenient but also fosters a deeper connection between the rider and their machine.

Maintenance costs for the R1100S are reasonable, especially considering the bike’s premium positioning. While dealership services can be on the pricier side, the bike’s design allows for many maintenance tasks to be performed by the owner, cutting down on long-term ownership costs.

The R1100S owner community makes this motorcycle even more reliable, thanks to shared experiences and knowledge. Online forums and groups abound with helpful advice on troubleshooting and servicing the R1100S, making it easier for owners to keep their bikes running smoothly.

The BMW R1100S stands as a model of reliability within the motorcycle world. Through its robust engineering, minimal recall issues, and user-friendly maintenance procedures, it offers riders not just exhilarating performance but peace of mind on the road. Its lasting appeal is a testament to BMW’s dedication to quality and the loyal owner community’s commitment to preserving these remarkable machines.

BMW R1100S motorcycle on the road

Value & Resale

The initial purchase price of a BMW R1100S reflects the bike’s high quality, innovative design, and BMW’s premium branding. Known for their craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, BMW motorcycles like the R1100S command a higher price point in the market. However, this initial cost is often mitigated by the motorcycle’s endurance over time, maintaining much of its value if well-kept.

The R1100S showcases BMW’s commitment to efficiency and reliability when it comes to running costs. Fuel consumption is reasonable for a bike of its power and size, translating to lower running costs compared to other sports tourers with larger appetites for fuel. Insurance premiums can vary based on the rider’s experience, location, and coverage options, but the bike’s solid safety features and reliable reputation can contribute to more favorable rates.

The R1100S tends to hold its value remarkably well, especially for a motorcycle that delivers such a spirited performance. This is attributed to several factors, starting with BMW’s legacy of building enduring machines. The quality of materials used, the robustness of the boxer engine, and the bike’s timeless design play crucial roles. Motorcycles that are well-maintained and come with complete service records can fetch higher prices on the second-hand market.

Technology and design make the R1100S stand out but also help it maintain a competitive edge against more modern motorcycles. Its Telelever and Paralever suspension systems, which continue to set it apart in terms of handling and ride quality, contribute appreciably to its enduring market relevancy and demand.

When compared with other motorcycles in the same category, the R1100S manages to stay competitive regarding depreciation. While newer models from various manufacturers present riders with advanced tech and more powerful engines, the intrinsic value of a BMW motorcycle—marked by its build quality, performance reliability, and brand legacy—is undeniable. This understanding among the rider community often keeps the demand and subsequent resale values for a bike like R1100S stable, even as newer models make their way into the market.

The BMW R1100S’s blend of distinguished design, performance, and the cachet of the BMW emblem contribute significantly to its ability not only to maintain its worth over time but in many cases to appreciate as well. Its running costs are balanced by efficient fuel use and manageable insurance premiums, making it a wise long-term investment for motorcyclists who appreciate quality and performance.

BMW R1100S motorcycle on the road

In conclusion, the BMW R1100S embodies a perfect blend of design, performance, and comfort, making it more than just a motorcycle; it’s a companion for the road that’s built to last. Its ability to maintain value over time is not just a testament to its build quality but also to the enduring appeal of BMW’s approach to motorcycle design. The R1100S isn’t just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about enjoying every mile in between.

  1. BMW R1100S. Cycle World. Published March 1, 2010. Accessed August 31, 2023.
  2. Tanshanomi K. Common problems for a BMW R1100R. Published March 4, 2022. Accessed August 31, 2023.

Similar Posts