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Thread: New owner of 95 1100RS with lots of questions (long)

  1. #1

    New owner of 95 1100RS with lots of questions (long)

    I purchased a 1995 R1100RSL a couple of months ago. What a fantastic bike! I love so many things about it, but there are a few questions that I either can't find the answer to, or would like a few more opinions on.

    The bike has 90,000 K on it, and the previous owner said the BMW dealership where he had it services told him he needed new fork seals and shocks. I did the fork seals no problem, but now I need to find some shocks. I got the bike for 2000 dollars which I thought was a great deal, so Ohlins seem to be a bit out of range. Hagon shocks seem to be well liked and a good price. The other main option I see in the forums is Wilburs, but I don't know the pricing of them, and it seems like they need to come from Germany. Has anyone had experience otherwise?

    I have a hard time leaving anything mechanical in one piece for long, so I've also been looking for some modifications to play around a bit. First, I ordered a pink cat plug and GS intake tubes from Max BMW. The tubes were easy and seem to smooth out the torque a bit and I like the sound. But in looking at the cat plug, there isn't one currently installed on the bike. From reading, I think 95 was the first year that they were used, so I'm looking at the possibility of the plug being removed by a previous owner, or that there was never one there. The wiring is in the fuse box for it, so I'm guessing it was just removed. Is this what you guys would think? I tried installing the pink one, but I soon realized what everyone meant by surging so I took it out again. Is there any harm in continuing to run without one? Most information suggests that the plugs tend to lean out the bike, so if I can handle a but less fuel economy, running a bit rich shouldn't pose a problem right?

    Also, I notice that under full throttle around 4 or 5000 rpm, I get some pinging. Could this be related to the cat plug in any way? I run only premium fuel so I would doubt it's an octane problem. I haven't done plugs or valve lash yet since the bike was recently serviced to do at least the lash shortly before I bought it. (I was handed a stack of BMW service invoices going back 7 years - love that) Is this normal (which I would doubt) or is there something else I should look at?

    My biggest concern right now is the clutch. It seems fine in normal driving, but a few nights ago on the highway, I was accelerating from about 100KM/H in 4th gear with a passenger on the back and I think I noticed a little bit of slip. It would seem to me that with the extra weight and the engine being in an rpm range with lots of power that this would make sense as to where a clutch would start to slip. I'll obviously find out eventually, but do these tend to go quick once they start? Is the clutch a big job or can I do it myself? Or both? I usually do everything I can in my garage unless it requires some ultra-expensive special tool. I live in Canada, so if I can get through the riding season and do it in the winter, that would be my ideal scenario.

    I've also heard of some foot peg extensions being used (I'm 6'3"), but the only ones I can find online are over $400. How is this possible? Does it do something else? Surely there's an option. Can you guys point me in a good direction?

    And finally, there's the whole exhaust question. I haven't had a vehicle with the stock exhaust for over a decade and I'm hoping to keep that stretch intact. I can find some information on exhausts, but a lot of it seems old. Do you guys have any recommendations?

    I know that I've asked a lot of questions, so let me finish by just saying that I very much appreciate anyone who spends the time to a) read this and b) offer an opinion. Thanks very much everyone.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Scranton, Pa.

    R1100RS questions

    You are now riding one of my favorites; (I had 2 94s). Some of the early 95s had no cat code plugs when they were transitioning from the model years. As per the clutch, it sounds like you could be getting ready for one. I have not done a clutch but will defer to those more technically gifted than I. Paul Glaves wife Voni runs a 94 RS and he is well versed in the bike; you might wish to call or send him an email as he is both knowledgeable and approachable. As for exhaust systems, I ran a Remus for a while but returned to the stock system as the Remus was simply louder and showed no performance gain I could detect. If you got the bike for $2000, you got a good deal and you will most probably need to put some money into the machine. IMHO I would address the clutch first, brake fluid, transmission and differential oils next followed by a tune-up with throttle body sync and valve adjustment as well as plugs and air filter. Go to the IBMWR website and read up on all the technical enhancements possible with the machine-I would recommend relocating the fuel filter in the near future as you may be due for one anyway and once relocated, it turns a job which is a major pain in the ass into a 10-15 minute process.

    Best of luck with the bike and if I can be of help, get in touch.



  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Trinity, NC
    Clutch adjustment on the oilheads are simple and easy. Seems early to need a clutch. You should have 12mm of gap at the adjuster and 7mm of freeplay at the lever. Set the 12mm of gap and then set the freeplay by adjusting at the clutch release lever at the back of the gearbox. Make sure that is set properly before you assume clutch is slipping.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Left Coast Rider
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by gregs View Post
    And finally, there's the whole exhaust question. I haven't had a vehicle with the stock exhaust for over a decade and I'm hoping to keep that stretch intact. I can find some information on exhausts, but a lot of it seems old. Do you guys have any recommendations?
    Staintune makes beautiful systems but claim no performance increase.

    If they haven't been changed already, you might consider installing Spiegler brake lines.

    Oh, and welcome to the club!

  5. #5

    Thanks guys

    Great advice. I've done the freeplay on the clutch so I'll see what happen next. I did all the fluids when I got the bike so it sounds like a tune up with plugs etc is my next logical step. I might sadly need to move the exhaust down the list. I also noticed that on the service invoices it lists the manufacture date of the bike which is nov 1/94, so the didn't come with a cat plug theory makes the most sense I think.

    Thanks again!


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