Want to Buy a 1977 R100S - Please advise.

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Souljer, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. Souljer

    Souljer Recycling Electrons

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    Hi,

    I need some help and advice from those who are experienced with and know these bikes and their variations.

    Some background:
    I have some mechanical skills and used to have a 1969 Triumph TR6. So I'm used to mechanical issues, oil, and the odd nut or bolt after you've got it all back together (!?). Eventually sold it and miss working on old machinery and having some fun on the road.

    I'm now looking for a BMW motorcycle.
    After doing some looking around and reading various forums I think I'm focusing in on a R100 or R100S.
    I still have many questions about the various models and years.

    Since I come from a mid-century machinery experience I sort of like the idea of a 1977 R100S for various reasons:
    • The '77 was an improvement over previous frames and had better brakes or at least more disks.
    • The valve covers look vintage and have a cool "streamline" look that I like.
    • There is little or no emissions crap on them as far as I know.
    • Power is good without being crazy (like a modern 1100 might be).
    • MPG is decent (certainly better than what I'm getting with my truck).
    • It's simple enough that I can do much of the basic maintenance at home. Maybe sometimes with some help or guidance.

    That said I am intrigued by the Monshock set up on the mid 1980s bikes. I've read that they handle better, etc. Oh, wait, but then there is the valve seat issue and a transmission curclip thing. Well the newer we get the more complicated the machine and the more I feel like I might not be able to do the basic work at home anymore. I don't know what to do and I retreat back to the first year: 1977 R100S.

    I also like the look of a cafe racer type - no fairings, single seat when 'She' is not on the back, etc. So I was looking at bikes that are NOT restored or museum quality time-capsules. There is no point in paying for a fantastic looking machine that I now don't have the heart to take apart or modify. However I of course want a lowish mileage bike that is mechanically sound.

    I live in Los Angeles and I'd like to spend less than $4000 after DMV fees and licensing, etc.

    Now here's were I need advice:
    For example I found a bike that fits everything I just described exactly.
    • A 1977 R100S
    • Seller has already chopped the tail and painted the tank black. He put on shorter, thinner mufflers, etc.
    • I could afford it although the price was not great at $3500.
    • The bike seemed to have a legitimate mileage reading of 27,000 miles.

    The problems?
    • Well for one the bike seemed to have a history of neglect and almost no maintenance. It seemed that each of the previous owners kind of thought, "It's got low miles and I rarely ride it, so I don't need to take it in and pay for service".
    • The rear tire is probably ten years old and I'm sure no one has been in the bearings or drive splines for at least that long.
    • As far as I know the bike has been stored inside a storage garage (so it's not dirty or rusty on the outside really) for at least the last five years and ridden very infrequently. It does run and I watched the guy drive it around the lot when I went to look at it. I did not want to drive it because I wanted to see if the lights worked and I was concerned the brakes might seize. It seemed okay.
    • There was quite a bit of corrosion inside the tank. I could see the red liner was broken and rust had formed in speckles on the center hump. The seller's advice? "That's what fuel filters are for". [​IMG]
    • The bike is Non Op status. So I'd have to trailer it home and deal with the DMV to get it registered.
    • When doing some research at home (luckily I had the brains to take a picture of the VIN) I found that there is over $700. in back fees! And add a few hundred in sales tax on top of that depending on the price.

    -So calculating a minimum of $800. of basic maintenance I offered the guy $1500. since I would have to deal with all of the above. He declined. However I'm tempted to counter saying that if he registered the bike, I would feel better about offering say, $2200.

    Since I'm local and can pick-up he would include a new front tire and the original mirrors, original front and back fenders & seat. It was a weird faded orange/yellow design. I don't think he has the fairing. Original pipes, maybe a few other things that I'm forgetting.
    Here is a picture of the above bike. Remember: Seller admits no maintenance, currently Non Op with over $700. in DMV fees just to get it on the road. I think if you click on the picture you'll go to a small folder I made which has a few more detail pix.
    -1977 R100S-
    [​IMG]

    IF he pays the DMV fees does $2200 - $2400 seem reasonable to you more experienced folk?

    Or should I just walk away and wait for a better bike (maintained rather than neglected) even though this bike has low mileage? Or should I start looking at later years? I find a lot of bikes for $3500-ish but they are newer with double or triple or 5x and 6x the mileage, etc. I'm not sure how all these varialtions equate but they all seem to be around $3500 give or take.

    I'm not sure what to do.
    I look forward to your experienced advice, opinions and amusing stories! Thank you.
    #1
  2. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Walk away.

    Buy an old UJM. They thrive on low to zero maintenance.

    You will never be happy on an Airhead.
    #2
  3. Souljer

    Souljer Recycling Electrons

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    Thank you for your reply.

    I did not say I don't like working on old cars or bikes, I said this one seemed to have a history of little maintenance.

    One reason I want an older bike like a 1977 R100S is because I feel it's still simple enough to work on at home with some basic skills and tools.

    I'm worried about the bike pictured because it may need more work than I want to start off with especially for too much money for what it is.
    #3
  4. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Well, I label that a tad harsh. Pinch your dobber in your zipper again? :lol3

    I will say that the way this bike is hacked up and also its sketchy history has not given me the warm fuzzies. Since it is not stock you are gambling on whether you'll get your money out of it from someone else who may want a non-stock bike.

    Personally, I would go for a stock bike that is at least semi-sorted, unless you are absolutely sure you are going to customize the heck out of it anyway.
    #4
  5. kaput13

    kaput13 gasoholic

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    They are correct. Walk away.

    If you are going to café - much better to buy a stock example and go from there.

    Why not check out the 81 to 84 years. Yes lowered compression but other improvements - clutch, brakes, forks etc. - makes these years worth a look. You can always up the compression and rebuild with high tech points. :D
    #5
  6. R100LT

    R100LT Chasing 11

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    I see a collection of parts ( nice Lester Rims ) . With the back taxes I wouldn't be chasing it . As stated ... Keep on looking . Don't be afraid of the Mono circlip ... I have 3 ... Two over 100 000km's ... One day I will get it done .

    Yesterday I walked away from a R90S ... Guy wanted twice what it was worth ... Shame ... It will eventually rust away to beyond restoring .
    #6
  7. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    Your offer was waaaaay to generous. I'd go $50, as in if he paid me $50 I'd haul if off so he doesn't have to pay storage rent.

    It can go on non-op as soon as the registration is due. it takes talent to rack up $700 in back fees. or smoking a lot of dope. You are dealing with a complete frickin' idiot.

    Read snowbum on the bearing stacks in Lester mag wheels. You don't want them.

    yes, the tank will rust through. needs relined, minimum.

    The hack cafe bullshit does not increase the value, despite the sellers delusions. it has to be exceptional to even maintain value. Very few are. Certainly sawing off the subframe and front fender, bolting up a seat, bars and turn sigs of some website don't count. never mind the hack work on the headlight mount, shocks and ignition. I shudder to think of the wiring.

    Given the maintenance history, the motor is unlikely to be worth anything. if it runs then the carbs work. if the instrument work, they are the most valuable part!

    On second thought, he'd have to pay me $100 to haul it off, I need to cover dump fees for most of it. I am not kidding. And he is paying to store it.

    I don't mean to sugah mouth the thing, but it really is that aweful.


    -------------------------

    The monoshock models have very superior chassis and brakes. They are also lower maintenance and never any worries about worn, or wearing, rear drive splines. Emmissions are a non-issue. Everybody takes off whatever is there. Well documented, simple. Rocker covers are all interchangeable. Repro peanut covers are not hugely expensive if you prefer that style. originals aren't even going for that much.

    I recently saw some very nice, low mileage R100RTs in th 3500 to 4000 range. original. For something you are going to modify with a hacksaw, they are ideal. Near the bottom of their value at this point in time so you can get a low mileage one for cheap. Find one with a nicely rashed up fairing and it will be real cheap.

    As far as working on them, not a lot of difference from one to the next. The later ones have more bugs worked out and can cost less to work on.

    Do your homework on the transmission and centerstand issues.

    Broken instruments can get costly.

    If the seller won't give you a BOS on a cash transaction for what ever you want, you are dealing with a prick. beware.

    The lower the miles <80,000, and the better the maintenance the less you have to spend rehabbing it and the more you will have for farkels.
    #7
  8. Souljer

    Souljer Recycling Electrons

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    Hi,

    Okay.
    I was thinking that after all the years of sitting around probably all the seals are also ready to pop, which would be another... I don't know 1K? If it's really that bad, I can't argue it's not worth buying.

    I'll keep looking.

    What you say about the later models (monolevers) I have read. Like I said, I was just feeling like it's getting more and more complicated although I like the idea of more reliable in the long run and basically newer and less collectable.

    However as an artist I totally respect and admire nice examples of original looking bikes. Remember I used to have a TR6 and when at shows and rallies you can't help but admire some of the examples. Like they just rolled out of a 1950s or '60s show room that morning! That's why I sort of feel in a pickle over getting something I want to change but not having the heart to ruin someone else's good work. A bike that has already been modified (like the one above) was something I could only make better. By your post it seems there was little I could do to make it worse! :)

    So if I now broaden my search to a 1977 R100S OR a monolever, what are the good years for the monolever again? Weren't there a few years where the valve seats needed replacing or something like that?
    I like the idea of looking for a newer bike with damaged fairings (if otherwise mechanically sound). That would an advantage to me on multiple levels.

    I know I'll end up spending money on repairs or refurbishments but I'd like to use that money for basic maintenance or something nice like paint rather than spending a thousand or so just to bring it up to "not as bad as it was".

    As a counter point, there is a 1978 R100S that is in way better (looking) condition. However this seller wants almost $4000 (and fairly firm about it. He might drop a few hundred, maybe), which is really all I want to spend even after taxes. So it's kind of over budget and leaves no room for any immediate expenses. I think it's got 57,000 miles on it and after talking to the seller he says if he was keeping it, he would replace the push rod seals, and polish/regrind the front brakes as they squeak. I think this guy is more of a collector but the bike is probably his least favorite.
    [​IMG]
    The bike is registered until next year so it's up and running, however it has a Salvage title. I'm not sure what the implications of that are regarding what happened or insuring it later. He says the numbers don't match so the engine or frame were swapped out at some point.
    [​IMG]
    Here again it looks so nice and perfect although non-matching and a salvage title maybe not. I think the VIN indicates it's a R100/7 frame. So it's a bunch of S parts on a R100. R100/S? It still looks nice and I kind of feel like I should just leave it alone. Or not pay for the shiny paint job and fairing, etc. and again keep looking.

    The only other thing I can say about searching for a 1980s bike is that the Ks start showing up. I found an '85 K100RS that needs work, brakes, etc. and an '87 K100RS that runs, but also has a salvage title, the seller admitting that it was in an accident, "but it's better now". Both for under $2000. Then there's a K75 that's fine and maintained and an '87 K100 for about $3000. What to do? I don't really want more choices, I just want a nice, reliable ride I can do basic work on when needed. Maybe I should just ignore everything but Rs. I don't know.

    Thanks for your reply. It really helps keep me on a rational course.
    #8
  9. rheritage

    rheritage Been here awhile

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    4K for a non matching numbers 100S with salvage title is dreaming, I doubt it's an "S" probably just 100/7 with faring and engine badges. But having a salvage title puts any doubt on what the bike truly is, walk away.

    Good luck on your hunt, something will turn up.

    Rich
    #9
  10. Gerg

    Gerg Gergy Bear

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    What Rich says...

    IF that had matching numbers and not a salvage title, it would be a decent price. Without it I wouldn't touch it...

    Gerg
    #10
  11. Speed King

    Speed King Long timer

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    Both sketchy to me. Keep looking nice stuff comes up.
    #11
  12. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    The monolever has the K front end and brakes. big difference. But no spoke wheels.

    I had a K100RS. Two actually---got one runner from the two of them. inexpensive and had some incredibly costly add-ons AND nice luggage. I sold it after a year. Couple of reasons but basically I needed to know some more things to keep it and wasn't motivated. Too heavy, way too hot, too fast even with a taller rear end. Reasonably comfortable---better seat than the R, much better brakes and front end. Less soul even with StainTunes.

    I always wanted an R100RS so I went after that. of course I've been making it heavier, hotter and too fast:D


    Converting an RT to an open bike is strait up. You need headlight mounts, original or aftermarket, and to relocate the ignition switch, either to one of the old stock locations or to whatever you devise. (I threw mine away altogether, it doesn't do much)

    prices go down mid-winter too.
    #12
  13. Souljer

    Souljer Recycling Electrons

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    Hi,

    Found another one. I honestly thought it was gone and only emailed to ask if it was available. The reply says it's still for sale.
    I've seen ads that have been up for months. The bike is long gone but the ads are still floating around.

    Now this one is a bit different and I'm not sure if I'm overshooting the mark here:
    [​IMG]
    1993 R100R 120,000 miles on the clock.
    All the ad really states is that the shock and rear tire are less than a year old and the starter and battery are new. Comes with cases and original seat.
    He is planning on riding it to work today so obviously it's running and registered.
    [​IMG]
    Mileage seems very high, but I hear these motorcycles are very durable and it's not uncommon to find ones with 200,000 miles and still going strong.
    I'm just worried that this might mean a big, expensive service is in the near future. A final problem is it's not near me, so I'd have to fly up or have it shipped. I'm not sure which is the lesser hassle.

    Any thoughts on this model or the mileage?
    And very important: What would be a fair price?

    Thanks again for your time.
    #13
  14. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

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    If the owner has a good maintenance history ... that bike should be $3,000 - $4,000 depending on what's been done. But In the big scheme of things a bike that has that many miles on it would have to have been maintained. Ask about replace ment drive shaft(s), head work, perhaps transmission, timing chain, and wheel barings ... and yes ... with the right maintenance, those can go well beyond 200K. My '91 GS has 100K on it, and I'm about to tear into a winter rebuild of it.

    PS - IMO that is one of the best BMW's ever made ... A Wonderful ride.


    #14
  15. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    Lots of miles means that it has been maintained 120K miles means someone has taken care of the bike might not be this owner but maybe PO - Good Price - I would float a $2500 offer on inspection and see if it flys!!!! If bike is in good running order could be worth $3000 no problem:eek1


    Winter is coming this owner does not want it sitting all winter when he could have $$$ in hand!!!

    Nice bike - a new rear schock is at least $400 so count your blessings:freaky
    #15
  16. Souljer

    Souljer Recycling Electrons

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    Hi,

    Okay the reply is:
    Two prior owners. Current owner has only put on a few thousand miles.
    So was there any major service in that first 80K? I don't know. I asked, we'll see what he says.
    He's asking less than $3000. So that's in my budget even if I have to drive there and tow it back.
    #16
  17. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    Test the compresion.... if it hasn't had the heads (perhaps rings) done it may need them done and it's aint cheap.
    #17
  18. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    i'm sure with 120k miles the top end has been done granted it may need it again.

    check the plugs see if thay are black - burning oil but this looks like a good bike for a good price!! - make it happen and let us know :freaky

    Update your profile to where you are located - thanks!!
    #18
  19. R100LT

    R100LT Chasing 11

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    Can't go wrong with a R100R .. Don't be at afraid of the mileage ... It's only at its 1/2 life .

    The best bikes I have bought have been around the 100 000 km mark ... It's the ones that have only done 30k in 30 years are have been the " challenge " .

    I was very lucky that PO of my R90S spend $3000 to get it back on road after a 12 year rest before I bought it .
    #19
  20. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Been here awhile

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    I believe he's in the L.A. area.
    #20