BASIC SPECS: BMW’s signature flat-twin “boxer” engine configuration is on full display displacing 1,085cc and featuring air-cooled cylinders with oil-cooled, four-valve heads fed by electronic fuel injection. The powertrain has a hydraulic-actuated dry clutch, smooth-shifting six-speed transmission, and shaft final drive. The engine serves as a stressed member of the three-piece composite frame with BMW’s unique Telelever fork and Paralever rear suspension minimizing chassis pitch motion. Dual front rotors with Brembo four-piston calipers and a single disc rear handle the stopping with or without the optional ABS.
WHY IT’S DESIRABLE: Striking a fine balance between a supersport and sport-touring platform, the R1100S signaled BMW’s entry into the modern sportbike segment. Engine and chassis performance exceeded that of all previous BMW models, and a wide array of available options and accessories made it readily possible to convert the base R1100S into more of a canyon carver or a long hauler to better suit an individual’s riding aspirations. There were also a Special Edition R1100SA and Boxer Cup Replika models with greater sporting potential featuring suspension tweaks, steering damper, a wider rear wheel, and special paint schemes available in the latter years of production.
THE COMPETITION: At the time of its introduction the Ducati ST2, Buell Thunderbolt S3, and Triumph Trophy 1200 composed the closest price/performance peers to the R1100S.