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Thread: The elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

  1. #1

    The elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

    Genealogy of the BMW R100 Mono Classic

    The BMW R100 was introduced in 1976 (as a R100/7) and continued in various guises until production stopped in 1984. In 1992 BMW released the paralever equipped R100R (R meaning Roaster) followed shortly after by the R100R Classic and R100R Mystic.

    Between 1990-1992 there we several versions of the R100 (monolever) produced that are not formally recognized by BMW, at least not from here: https://www.bmw-motorrad.com.au/en/expe ... chive.html

    There are numerous reports on the Internet (many emanating from this excellent site: http://bmbikes.co.uk/specpages/r100mono.htm) that discuss the R100 Mono Classic from around 1991-92. The Vin number range for the USA marketed version of this bike was 6419001-6419181, and according to BMW of North America (service info # 2608), 180 units were sold in North America between 1991-92

    However, there are also several reports of the R100 Mono Classic also being sighted in Japan. After trawling through many non-English language Websites, I stumbled upon this very interesting Russian site: http://motobay.su/brands/13/models/2541 ... us_all=all (Note: this website is not always up)

    This Website shows historical sales during 1990-92 from several motorcycle Auction sites across Japan that reference a R80CJ and a R100CJ (C for Classic, J for Japan). This website is incredibly useful because it’s the only publicly accessible resource (that I know of) that shows actual photos and Vin/chassis numbers of so many R100CJ bikes all in one place.

    The question therefore becomes, is the R100CJ the Japanese version of the R100 Mono Classic? Indeed, could BMW have released an even rarer R100 Monolever Classic in Japan prior to the 180 units being released into North America?

    I actually own an BMW Image that was manufacturing in September of 1990, and initially sold to a customer in Japan during August of 1992. The Vin/Chassis number that is factory stamped onto the bike reads 0121***R100CJ (*** used to hide the actual numbers). I have made contact with Andreas Harz from BMW Classic Group in Germany, and he confirmed the following from the official BMW factory records.

    “I checked your chassis no. in our IT-system, it’s a R 80 type with a special equipment package. Your bike is a R 80 “Special Edition Japan R 100” which means it was based on a Type R80, but they created a special edition for Japan with 980 cc engine……...”

    Further analysis of the 1990-92 R100CJ Bikes on the Motobay.su website shows three sets of non-sequential Vin/Chassis numbers which appear to all come from the R80 Mono number range shown here http://bmbikes.co.uk/chassispages/engin ... s800P2.htm

    • 6449459R80CJ – 6449636R80CJ, (Rego year 1990), these bikes had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ* – Classic/Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/321110. Note: 13 unique bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 1st half of 1990


    • 0121109R80CJ – 0121636R80CJ, (Rego year 1990), these bikes also had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ* – Classic Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/417500. Two bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 2nd half of 1990


    • 0121381R100CJ – 0121935R100CJ, (Rego year 1991-92) these bikes also had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ* – Classic Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/398221. Note: 10 bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 2nd half of 1990 and early 1991.

    If I were to hazard a guess, I suspect that around 1989/90 BMW identified a market for a Retro/Classic version of the R100 for the Japanese and USA markets. Given that manufacture of the (naked) R100 had officially ended in 1984, BMW probably did not want to record a new production run, so they just made a “special version” of the R80 with an 980cc engine, and marketed in Japan as a R100CJ* for a 1-2 years using the standard Vin/Chassis numbers from the R80 Mono number range.

    That “experiment” must have gone reasonable well, and given the R100R Paralever was not being released until 1992, and the new R1100R would not be released until 1994, BMW may then have decided to produce another 180 units of the R100 Monolever Classic, but this time for the North America with unique sequential Vin/Chassis numbers, i.e. 6419001-6419181.

    What I find curious is that a Google search finds zero results for “R100CJ” and yet there must have been something like 20-40 units of this bike sold in Japan with either R80CJ or R100CJ included within the Vin/Chassis numbers, and therefore included on owner (and auction) documents.

    Of course all this is pure speculation, but I hope this post will trigger some debate, comments and maybe alternative theories, specifically for how a handful of BMW R100CJ Monolever 980cc bikes made their way to Japan between 1990-91!

    I’m interested in hearing from other owners of either a USA R100 Mono Classic (not the R100R Paralever), or owners of the R100CJ…and yes, I know R100CJ is not an officially recognised model, but it’s stamped on my bike, so would be good to heard from other owners.

    ======
    *Since I wrote this post I’ve discovered that the R100CJ was actually marketed officially in Japan as a R100 Trad (Trad = Traditional). I’ll create a seperate post about the details of this later.
    Last edited by ozziex7; 11-18-2019 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
    I have a mono-shock ‘91 R100 "Classic", #6419092 (“classic metallic black”, paint code 656, with an OEM S-fairing—not a reconfigured RS or RT). I don't know anything about how many, or which VINs, went to Japan. Tom Cutter, the proprietor of the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, has told me that, during his dealer days, he sold a number of these bikes when they were brought into the U.S. He would undoubtedly be able to tell you more, and he might know about the Japanese market bikes.
    Last edited by khittner; 11-09-2019 at 08:12 PM.

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I couldn't find any info in Ian Falloon's book "Original BMW Air Cooled Boxer Twins 1950-1996". Nothing in the "Illustrated BMW Motorcycle Buyer's Guide" by Knittel and Slabon. Also seems to be silent in Mick Walker's book "BMW Twins The Complete Story". I tried a few searches on the Airheads email list and came up with nothing.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by khittner View Post
    I have a mono-shock ‘91 R100 "Classic", #6419092 (“classic metallic black”, paint code 656, with an OEM S-fairing—not a reconfigured RS or RT). I don't know anything about how many, or which VINs, went to Japan. Tom Cutter, the proprietor of the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, has told me that, during his dealer days, he sold a number of these bikes when they were brought into the U.S. He would undoubtedly be able to tell you more, and he might know about the Japanese market bikes.
    Thanks for the reply "khitter", would love to see some photos of your R100 Mono Classic from 1991, curious to see if there are any differences between your bike and mine.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I couldn't find any info in Ian Falloon's book "Original BMW Air Cooled Boxer Twins 1950-1996". Nothing in the "Illustrated BMW Motorcycle Buyer's Guide" by Knittel and Slabon. Also seems to be silent in Mick Walker's book "BMW Twins The Complete Story". I tried a few searches on the Airheads email list and came up with nothing.
    Thanks for the reply, and I see from your profile you have an R69S. My dad had a R26, an R50 and the love of his life an R69S which we rode every day, rain, hail, snow, sun for 44 years. Off topic I know, but here are my own kids (20 years ago) on the back of the R69S.

    Anyway.....I hope most post unearths some R100 Mono Classic owners, and even someone with an R100CJ.

    Copy of 2013-11-19 16.08.28.jpg

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Nice old BMW! Looks like an early one, early to mid 1960s would be my guess.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    I've gotta a couple of packets from BMWNA on BMW motorcycles from the 1991 era. Basically glossy color pics of all the models from that year. Pretty big pics, I think 8 1/2" by 11"The ones that caught my eye then were all the models, K and R, but not really the classic. They had a picture of the R100 Classic. The only feature that stood out was the chrome headlight bucket, other than that it was pretty much standard R80 with 1000cc pistons and cylinders. I also saw a couple on the show room floors. I think most dealers got just one of those models.

  8. #8
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    I'll try to find the packet and post a pic. Back when I saw those , I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. I was checking out the loaded KLT, KRS, GSPD, GS. I didn't give the 'Classic' so much as a second looked. I do remember that it was pretty reasonably priced. Thing was when you paid extra to get a windshield, heated grips, crash bars, bags and racks and all those other extra's, the bike was as or more expensive than those top of the line models.

  9. #9
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I received some input from Tom Cutter. He says they were essentially the same as the R100 Classic sold in the US. They were the same as the early '85/86 R80s with the 1000cc engine and no fairing. He's not sure, but it's possible there was an over production situation and they were marketed in Japan.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Interesting what caught my eye back in '90/'91, the flashier bikes. Bikes like the K1, PD, LT got my attention. The standard bikes, not so much. Still like those bikes, but the plainer more simple bikes get my attention now. I guess time and age has done that to me.

  11. #11
    My '91 R100 has a black headlight shell under its S-fairing, and lacks the crash bars that I've seen in most photos of the model. I bought it from the original owner, who lives in western MA, about a year ago, and he had records going back to his purchase of it new from a Marlboro, NH, dealer. The dealer's buyer envelope included a photo, taken sometime in 4/93, of the bike posed in the door of the PO's garage on a snowy day. The fairing, black headlight shell, the absence of crash bars, and the integral bag mounts are evident. The new sales price was $6000, and the sales agreement form does not show any dealer accessories, add-ons, or deletions/exchanges as part of the transaction, so I assume the bike was sold to PO with the factory equipment I found it with. I think these bikes were mostly "parts bin specials" that varied a bit in their configurations. The bike had (perhaps original?) USA bars on it, along with a higher Parabellum S-windshield, bar-backs, and a leather Corbin saddle on it that suited the PO. I've put a regular, clear S-windshield back onto the fairing, I've replaced the USA bars with S-bars, and I've replaced its semi-crusty exhaust collector box with a stainless Keihan H-pipe. It's also had a baseline set of services done, and a carb and fork rebuild, new tires, battery, etc. I have only one photo of it, and it's substantially obscured in it by its stablemate, my '84 R100RT. I'd take a few more pics, but the tank is off to a professional reliner for their treatment. When I get the tank back, I'll get some more pics and post. It's a pretty nice 15-footer now; I'm debating (with myself---I'll leave my CFO out of these ruminations!) about whether to send the body bits off to Kent Holt for an OEM-quality repaint. That's a big price gulp for me, but the '93 photo tells me that I'd be pleased with the long-term result.

  12. #12
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    Nice rabbit hole.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by barryg View Post
    I'll try to find the packet and post a pic. Back when I saw those , I didn't pay a lot of attention to it. I was checking out the loaded KLT, KRS, GSPD, GS. I didn't give the 'Classic' so much as a second looked. I do remember that it was pretty reasonably priced. Thing was when you paid extra to get a windshield, heated grips, crash bars, bags and racks and all those other extra's, the bike was as or more expensive than those top of the line models.
    That would be fantastic "barryg".....I would love to see those pictures.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by khittner View Post
    My '91 R100 has a black headlight shell under its S-fairing, and lacks the crash bars that I've seen in most photos of the model. I bought it from the original owner, who lives in western MA, about a year ago, and he had records going back to his purchase of it new from a Marlboro, NH, dealer. The dealer's buyer envelope included a photo, taken sometime in 4/93, of the bike posed in the door of the PO's garage on a snowy day. The fairing, black headlight shell, the absence of crash bars, and the integral bag mounts are evident. The new sales price was $6000, and the sales agreement form does not show any dealer accessories, add-ons, or deletions/exchanges as part of the transaction, so I assume the bike was sold to PO with the factory equipment I found it with. I think these bikes were mostly "parts bin specials" that varied a bit in their configurations. The bike had (perhaps original?) USA bars on it, along with a higher Parabellum S-windshield, bar-backs, and a leather Corbin saddle on it that suited the PO. I've put a regular, clear S-windshield back onto the fairing, I've replaced the USA bars with S-bars, and I've replaced its semi-crusty exhaust collector box with a stainless Keihan H-pipe. It's also had a baseline set of services done, and a carb and fork rebuild, new tires, battery, etc. I have only one photo of it, and it's substantially obscured in it by its stablemate, my '84 R100RT. I'd take a few more pics, but the tank is off to a professional reliner for their treatment. When I get the tank back, I'll get some more pics and post. It's a pretty nice 15-footer now; I'm debating (with myself---I'll leave my CFO out of these ruminations!) about whether to send the body bits off to Kent Holt for an OEM-quality repaint. That's a big price gulp for me, but the '93 photo tells me that I'd be pleased with the long-term result.
    Would love to see some pics when it's back from the painters.

  15. #15
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    A few years back, I was in Omaha, Nebraska. Went to the BMW for a visit. Wondering around that little dealer, back in the back and hidden around the corner I ran into the elusive beast, the R100 'Classic'. Dumb me, I took only one
    pick. It's on my Ride, Eat, and Meet thread in the South. Post #351. Check it out. I guess if I could copy and paste I could move it over here. But I've forgotten the procedure.

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