BMW 1100S Impressions

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by rotten, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. JNRobert

    JNRobert Breaking Wind

    Nov 7, 2003
    Whidbey, WA
    Been looking for one for years (and I'm willing to travel to get it). But, the few that pop-up are silly money.
  2. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

    Jul 11, 2008
    Might as well give my 2 cents here.

    I have had my '04 BCR for nearly a year. I am still on the fence as to whether I really like it or want to replace it.

    I do like the feel of twin cylinder engines- son has a Ducati Supersport and my very first MC (LONG time ago) was a 500 twin- I enjoy(ed) riding both.

    My R1100S has some of the same qualities but obviously more power.


    Nice torque- get it near 3000rpm and give the throttle a healthy twist- it GOES. Not in a 4 cylinder litre bike manner but with palpable thrust from the two pistons.

    Sound- I got the bike without a cat and I am sure that the Laser mufflers probably have little packing left in them. :D:D:D LOVE the sound. I had ridden behind a friends R-S a few years ago and that was one of my reasons for buying mine .

    Handling- I've read about odd road feel from the telelever front. I don't notice much of a difference- other than less dive under braking.

    Ergos- I have really long arms and have the clip-ons mounted under the top triple clamp. The bike fits me well.

    Heat- very little! I also have a K100RS which is like riding a furnace, so it is like night and day.

    Not so good:

    Weight- this bike is heavy! Stated dry weight is 230kg/ 505#. I feel it most on quick corner transitions.

    Range- if I really stay on the gas in lower gears on twisty roads, I will get a low fuel light at around 100-110 miles.

    Seat- an hour or two- OK. Beyond that the OEM poc seat should be banned by the Geneva Convention.

    Maintenance/ access- I do all my own work and getting under all the bodywork is a real PITA.


    So like I said, I am on the fence. I like the bike's looks and most of its characteristics.

    Might be in the for sale section soon. Dunno'
  3. rheritage

    rheritage Been here awhile

    Dec 7, 2010
    Savannah, GA
    Just my 2 cents:

    I have an 04 BCR, added the Laser exhuast, power chip and SJBMW Power Filter kit, those mods were enough of an engine upgrade for me. The handling was another story, bike tends to be harder to push into the corners, especially the short technical stuff on the other hand it handles high speed sweepers great. In doing research on the bikes racing about 10 years ago they liked to modify the tele-lever to shorten the rake and quicken the steering. I had mine shortened by 11mm and it has made the bike into a awesome canyon carver.

    If you keep in mind the bike is not a GSXR1000 and will never have that kind of power delivery the 1100S is a damn nice bike for riding in the mountains and riding the 700 mile round trip it takes me to get to and from the mountains.

    Good Luck on your hunt.

  4. chazbird

    chazbird Long timer

    Jul 31, 2009
    pcampagna: I've been intrigued by the R1100S for some time (my last BMW was a K75S - way different!). From my research what I'd want and what I'd need is exactly what you did to yours. (including the color). It's perfect, or perfect for me. I even wrote down all your mods for possible future procurement. Setting it up like yours would be a huge leap in capability and modernity, especially over the K75.
  5. PFFOG

    PFFOG Richard Alps-aholic

    Aug 19, 2005
    Western NY, further from NYC than 6 entire states
    Great bike, throw the bags on and tour, pop them off and do track day. And it is the BEST looking bike BMW has made.

    I am, with a heavy heart, parting with my '04 Boxer Cup after 50K+ miles. Went F800GS, as I find myself exploring smaller and smaller roads that frequently turn dirt or into tractor paths, the "S" obliged my indiscretions, but cow paths are the only thing i found the bike NOT suited for.

    Hope I don't regret it, many people I know that have spent time with an S, and moved on, find themselves looking for another.
  6. X1Glider

    X1Glider Been here awhile

    Apr 27, 2004
    Tomball, TX
    There are owners who think the seat is uncomfortable and only worthy of 4 hours at a time? I though it was pretty good. I put on a tick over 160,000 miles on my '04 when I sold it about 15 months ago. It was probably my all time favorite bike and we went all over the US and Canada on it. I did do a few critical mods. Ohlins front and rear, shorter GS torque arm, larger intake tube and filter cover, z-technik chip and Laser exhaust. It'll never be a RR liter bike but it'll lift the front when winding it up. I had 88 RWHP after the mods. I would've loved the SJ BWM 1150 kit. Lots of money.

    I replaced it with the Ninja 1000 because I was wanting something smaller and more agile. To be honest, I prefer the R1100S over my Ninja 1000. There was less chassis jacking and nose dive. Lack of feel from the paralever and telelver? Bah! I like it much better than a traditional telescoping fork. I was much more confident in the mountain twisties than on the Ninja because I could better sense the tire connected to the road. On the Ninja, I have to translate dive into road feel. Not the same thing. Plus, I get the sense that the dive sometimes overloads the front tire and it slides. With Qualifiers and Q2s on both bikes, the R1100S outhandled the Ninja easily. Plus the tires wore more equally on the BMW across the whole profile. It's like the Dunlops were made for the R1100S. However the wheels were very heavy and steering input required a lot of effort. Once input, it leaned over ver well and stayed there. I've ground through a couple sets of valve covers.

    Travel: all day comfort. Done lots of 1000+ mile days including Houston to San Diego twice in one sitting. MPGs were tpically 40 local and up to 45 on the interstate. 90 mph all day netted anout 38 mpg. The physical size of the bike provided good ergos, stability at speed, comfort and good wind protection in the cold. The system cases were water tight and spacious and easy to take on and off.

    I also find the BMW easy to work on. Only problem I ever had was a fuel pump burn out and a leaky clutch slave cylinder that soaked my clutch. All within the first 20,000 miles so it was handled under warranty.

    New and loaded up.