BMW introduced R 100 GS (for Gelände Sport, Gelände meaning something between "country" and "field" in German) in 1988, and the Paris-Dakar version in 1990. Starting in 1992, the Paris-Dakar was re-designated the PD due to some legal conflict with the organizers of the Paris-Dakar rally, for which it was named.
1988: The original R100GS had the fork-mounted instrument pod like the R80G/S with a small tombstone fairing around the headlight.
1990: The Paris-Dakar model got heated grips, the solo seat and extended rack, 9.5 gallon tank, bash plates, chin spoiler, and the frame-mounted instrument pod (speedo, tach, and clock) and fairing. Starting in '92 this was known as the PD.
1991: the GS received the fairing from the PD, although the sides were reshaped to match the smaller tank. The low fender became standard while the high one was optional. K-type controls and a floating front brake rotor were added and the clock was removed from the instrument pod (the tach became full-size and the clock was a separate unit).
The GS is introduced, replacing the G/S. The US got only the R100GS, but an R80GS was sold in other markets. The major differences between the R80GS and R100GS are:
- the oil-cooler on the R 100 GS
- a small 'tombstone' windshield on the R 100 GS
- 798cc vs. 980cc. The R100GS got 40mm carbs in non-US markets while the rest got 34mm carbs.
The differences from the previous generation are:
- Paralever rear suspension (185mm travel) and 40mm Marzocchi fork (225mm travel), resulting in...
- More weight and a longer wheelbase, allowing...
- Larger battery tray to accomodate large or small battery (large was provided).
- Rear subframe with small rack
- Painted headlight/instrument nacelle
- 40mm Brembo dual-piston front brake
- New centerstand design (pedals curved out)
- 17" rear rim, cross-spoked wheels allowing tubeless tires. Heavy, though.
- 6.4 gallon tank with two petcocks. US got a flush cap, EUR got a protruding cap with horizontal tube vent.
- Stainless steel exhaust with a black cover plate
- No kickstarter (but available as an add-on). I think all Swiss bikes have the kickstart.
- Cable-operated rear brake.
Model year differences
- All models were equipped with the high fender only. In the US, a rectangular fender brace was produced to allow the high fender to be mounted low.
- Introduction of the Valeo starter instead of Bosch.
- The optional low fender appeared. This mounted with special bolts onto the existing fork brace and fork leg tabs.
- The attachment of the rear fender to the battery tray was modified
- A Gore-Tex insert was used on the instrument cluster to help prevent fogging
- Softer spring for rear suspension
- Change to lower left mounting of side cover
- New clutch throwout bearings (all BMW models)
- Stainless muffler (with separate brackets) replaces the original chromed steel one.
At first the components were only available as a kit, but for the 1990 model year the Paris-Dakar was introduced.
- Nylon tank (9+ gallons) with a locking compartment
- Bigger oilpan bash plate and centerstand bash plate
- Plastic front fairing for the lower engine (the 'bra') mounted to the crash bars
- Dash board with the speedometer and control lights of the previous version and small tachometer and clock
- Solo seat with rack that stayed on the subframe when the seat was removed
- Frame-mounted 1/2 fairing with rectangular headlight, windshield and turn signals
1991-on GS and PD
In 1991 the GS got the PD-style fairing, shaped differently to match the steel tank. The dashboard is altered for both models, now having a large speedometer and tachometer. The clock is available as an accessory that bolts onto the handlebar clamps (and looks terrible). The other major change is the switchgear; these bikes now have the pushbutton switches that were introduced on the K series. Other changes:
- Revised bash plate with a redesigned oil pan having the drain in the rear wall.
- Adjustable windshield
- Standard accessory socket
- Revised steering head bearing system (also from the K series) and fork caps (no more turn signal stalks)
- Revised fender brace with additional holes for mounting the low fender. The low fender itself also changed.
Replacement Valeo starters: (also read the rebuilding article)
Ace Houston Warehouse
Their part# 432586, was D6RA15
Replacement fork parts:
Forking by Frank:
Frank's Maintenance and Engineering, Inc.
945 Pitner Avenue Evanston, IL, 60202
Jean Moxhet's GS website on Micapeak
Scot's R100GS page
Joerg Hau's GS pages