1999 BMW R1100GS
Dual-Purpose Motorcycle


This is the motorcycle I'm riding to Alaska: a 1998 BMW R1100GS.  The bike is known as a dual-purpose motorcycle, meaning it runs comfortably on the highway but also has off-road ability as well.

As standard equipment the R1100GS includes: an 80-horsepower air and oil cooled horizontally opposed twin cylinder engine; Bosch Motoronic electronic fuel injection; 4 values per cylinder; ABS II anti-lock brakes; a stainless steel exhaust system with catalytic converter; the BMW revolutionary Telelever front suspension system; the patented BMW Paralever rear suspension with enclosed shaft drive; five speed transmission; patented cross spoke wheels, rider information display with fuel and oil temp gauge; a 5.5 gallon fuel tank. Before adding luggage the bike weighs 536 pounds with a full tank.

I bought this motorcycle used in June of 2000 from Lindner Cycle Shop in New Canaan, Connecticut for $12,000.  The bike had a scant 4,600 miles and was very well loaded.  The previous owner had originally purchased it for a trip to Alaska but never took the journey.  He installed match painted luggage, a tank bag, hand protectors, heated grips, a Corbin seat, a large Aeroflow windscreen, and Ohlins shock absorbers.  The shocks alone are a $1500 dollar upgrade, but they are well worth it.  If you've never ridden a bike with Ohlins shocks, you won't believe the difference they make.  I installed a BMW top case, a Throttlemeister throttle lock, BMW crash bars, a mount for my GPS, and switched the seat back to stock.  I don't want to ruin that nice leather Corbin on the dirt roads of Alaska.

Although it is similar to my R1100RS in many ways, this GS is another beast entirely.  The bike can go virtually anywhere, and it gives you the feeling that it will take you anywhere you want to go no matter what stands in your way.  Due to the high ground clearance, the bash plate, and virtually indestructible wheels, this motorcycle is ideal for riding on gravel and dirt roads.  Although it is substantially heavier than the average dirt bike, it handles very well in the loose stuff.  The fact the the bike is extremely comfortable on the highway and very agile in the twisties makes this motorcycle the ultimate ride.

The first GS was introduced by BMW some 20 years ago.  A factory prepared GS was entered in the daunting Paris-Dakkar rally through the Sahara Desert, and BMW won the race on their first try.  Numerous repeat victories would follow.  Like all BMW products, the GS has been refined over the years.  The R1100GS was introduced in 1994 and was the first GS to incorporate the type 259 oilhead engine, with fuel injection and the telever front end.  The telelever separates steering and suspension components for a ride which handles like no other motorcycle.  For the 2000 model year, BMW bettered the GS again, adding a revised 6-speed transmission, a hydraulic clutch, and a slightly bigger engine at 1150cc which generates 85 horsepower.  Chuck Frederick, who is traveling with me to Alaska, is riding a brand new mandarin colored BMW R1150GS.

RELATED LINKS:

BMW MOTORCYCLES USA
BMW MOTORCYCLES WORLDWIDE
LINDNER CYCLE SHOP
The BMW R G/S and GS Information Pages

 


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