BMW GS history

BMW introduced R100GS (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.

Early GS
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.
Late GS
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 differences from the previous generation are:

Model year differences

In 1988

In 1989

In 1990

1990 Paris-Dakar

At first the components were only available as a kit, but for the 1990 model year the Paris-Dakar was introduced.

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:

GS Sources:

Replacement Valeo starters: (also read the rebuilding article)
Bob Spencer
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
Phone: (847) 475-1003

GS links:

Jean Moxhet's GS website on Micapeak

Scot's R100GS page

Joerg Hau's GS pages