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Thread: '99 R1100R - "scrambler" conversion?

  1. #1
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    '99 R1100R - "scrambler" conversion?

    Hi there,

    First off I'm new here so forgive me if this topic has been covered and feel free to point me in that direction - I tried a couple searches and didn't come up with anything. I have a really nice 1999 R1100R that I've owned for about a year now, I've put about 5k on it in that time (total now about 46k) and other than maintenance (fluids, filters, brakes) I haven't done anything to it - it's pretty much bone stock.

    So I've seen a couple photos online where folks have done some mods to the early 1100R's for more of a scrambler look in some cases using parts from a similar vintage GS as I understand many parts are interchangeable. I would like to get into a little bit of light off road riding - kind of just mainly thinking tires and suspension (& crash bars?), so I'm just wondering if anyone has gone down that path with this bike? And yes, I know I could probably sell mine and go out and buy a GS or another ADV but that's not really what I'm looking for. I like the idea of having something unique and have grown pretty attached to mine too.

    Mine has the spoked wheels, I think 18" in front and 17" in the rear. From my research it seems like I would want to find a set of shocks for the taller suspension, the rear torque arm and front fork setup but I'm not clear on what I should look for, whether 1100GS, 1150GS, GSA? Sounds like along with that I might run into issues with the footpeg brackets, shift and brake levers, side/center stands, etc.

    Anyway if you've read this far thanks and look forward to your reply if you have any insight..

    Matt

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by mzeitz View Post
    Hi there,

    First off I'm new here so forgive me if this topic has been covered and feel free to point me in that direction - I tried a couple searches and didn't come up with anything. I have a really nice 1999 R1100R that I've owned for about a year now, I've put about 5k on it in that time (total now about 46k) and other than maintenance (fluids, filters, brakes) I haven't done anything to it - it's pretty much bone stock.

    So I've seen a couple photos online where folks have done some mods to the early 1100R's for more of a scrambler look in some cases using parts from a similar vintage GS as I understand many parts are interchangeable. I would like to get into a little bit of light off road riding - kind of just mainly thinking tires and suspension (& crash bars?), so I'm just wondering if anyone has gone down that path with this bike? And yes, I know I could probably sell mine and go out and buy a GS or another ADV but that's not really what I'm looking for. I like the idea of having something unique and have grown pretty attached to mine too.

    Mine has the spoked wheels, I think 18" in front and 17" in the rear. From my research it seems like I would want to find a set of shocks for the taller suspension, the rear torque arm and front fork setup but I'm not clear on what I should look for, whether 1100GS, 1150GS, GSA? Sounds like along with that I might run into issues with the footpeg brackets, shift and brake levers, side/center stands, etc.

    Anyway if you've read this far thanks and look forward to your reply if you have any insight..

    Matt
    I think you are on the right track. I had an R1150R. I installed Jesse Luggage bags and top box and sometimes ran mild dual sport tires. With the 1100 I think you can use R1100GS suspension parts to gain longer travel but you probably don't need to unless you really are into the rough stuff. The footpeg stuff from the R and the GS was interchangeable on the 1150 models so I suspect the same for the 1100s.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I think you are on the right track. I had an R1150R. I installed Jesse Luggage bags and top box and sometimes ran mild dual sport tires. With the 1100 I think you can use R1100GS suspension parts to gain longer travel but you probably don't need to unless you really are into the rough stuff. The footpeg stuff from the R and the GS was interchangeable on the 1150 models so I suspect the same for the 1100s.
    Thanks for the reply, which brings up another point I am unsure about - I think in 99 was when the 1150 came out, so I was wondering about the difference in the two models (1100 & 1150), other than the engine. In other words should I be looking for an 1100 or an 1150 for a parts donor?

  4. #4
    A few parts interchange - oil filters come to mind - but most won't. Unless you can identify a specific part to use for a specific purpose you are better off sticking with R1100 stuff.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  5. #5

    I scrambled my R 850R

    I have pictures somewhere and some are even posted here in the forum but I can't find them and work time is rapidly approaching. I used a lot of GS parts to do mine, wheels, suspension, all front end parts, center & side stand, pegs & mounts, rear fender and a few other bits and pieces. I had to fashion my own headlight mounts and other minor things but it came out pretty good. I have a lot more $ in used parts than I paid for the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 69zeff65 View Post
    I have pictures somewhere and some are even posted here in the forum but I can't find them and work time is rapidly approaching. I used a lot of GS parts to do mine, wheels, suspension, all front end parts, center & side stand, pegs & mounts, rear fender and a few other bits and pieces. I had to fashion my own headlight mounts and other minor things but it came out pretty good. I have a lot more $ in used parts than I paid for the bike.
    Roger that, thanks - I think I'll just start looking for parts and see where I end up. For starters I think I found a complete front setup from an 1100GS for a couple hundred bucks, so if I can find a set of GS struts and the shorter 365mm torque bar that should get me the suspension setup.

  7. #7
    skibum69 skibum69's Avatar
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    Not being a big fan of the R's I think your idea is a good one. Check out this thread for some Airhead inspiration. There are a bunch more scrambler threads on ADV too if you go search for them.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/lets-...#post-31746070
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    Quote Originally Posted by skibum69 View Post
    Not being a big fan of the R's I think your idea is a good one. Check out this thread for some Airhead inspiration. There are a bunch more scrambler threads on ADV too if you go search for them.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/lets-...#post-31746070
    I like the tail end in the second photo - would like to do something similar, solo seat with a luggage rack behind. I can get a GS rear subframe but don't know that I need it, haven't torn mine apart yet and probably won't as I plan to keep riding it until I have all the parts.

    So far what I have coming are the front forks, triple tree, bars and lower bracket, paralever torque arm and footpeg brackets with shift and brake levers. Still on the lookout for a 19" front spoked wheel, center and side stands and GS shock assemblies. I've been trying to source everything from the 1100 as was suggested, but there's a plethora of 1150 OE shocks available so I'm wondering if those would work (they are different part numbers). Once I have all that on hand I'll start swapping over parts and see what else I run into.

    I looked at some of the ADV rider threads and did some more looking online and found a bunch of cool examples

  9. #9
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzeitz View Post
    I like the tail end in the second photo - would like to do something similar, solo seat with a luggage rack behind. I can get a GS rear subframe but don't know that I need it, haven't torn mine apart yet and probably won't as I plan to keep riding it until I have all the parts.

    So far what I have coming are the front forks, triple tree, bars and lower bracket, paralever torque arm and footpeg brackets with shift and brake levers. Still on the lookout for a 19" front spoked wheel, center and side stands and GS shock assemblies. I've been trying to source everything from the 1100 as was suggested, but there's a plethora of 1150 OE shocks available so I'm wondering if those would work (they are different part numbers). Once I have all that on hand I'll start swapping over parts and see what else I run into.

    I looked at some of the ADV rider threads and did some more looking online and found a bunch of cool examples
    The front shock will work but the 1150 rear has different bottom mounting
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    I think I have just about all the parts I need coming - even used parts add up fast ($!) but all in I think I will still come in under $5k including what I originally paid for the bike. The only thing I have yet to find is the 365mm torque bar for the rear but I ordered a spare stock part - I may try to weld and re-drill the rear mounting hole 20mm forward and see how that works out. Also ordered a new SS brake line kit for the 1100GS. As I'm stripping the bike down one thing I will have to figure out is how to re-mount the original gauge cluster - originally the lower section where the 3 switches are fit between the two cast bars and I can see it's not going to fit over the new tree and bar risers I will have.

    Separate topic - can anyone tell me what that ABS switch does? Just a momentary switch, I notice when I press it after keying the ignition on it stops the ABS lights from flashing, but whether or not I do that I can hear the ABS engage when I pull away and I know the ABS works from practicing emergency stops. Reason I ask is I'm wondering if I can just do away with the switches - I don't really use the heated grips anyway, in the winter I wear thick gloves and the heat doesn't really come through that well in the cold air. Some hand guards to deflect the air would probably serve just as well. The third one is the hazard flashers and I could probably put that somewhere else.

  11. #11
    All that switch does is prevent the light flashing in the event of a fault. It kills the flashing for few minutes - ten minutes I think - and then the flashing resumes. It is intended so that the flashing does not distract the rider, or so they say.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    All that switch does is prevent the light flashing in the event of a fault. It kills the flashing for few minutes - ten minutes I think - and then the flashing resumes. It is intended so that the flashing does not distract the rider, or so they say.
    Aha, so just a fault acknowledge...good to know, thanks

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    Registered User paed's Avatar
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    I've put about 25K on my 96 R1100RT since purchase. I've been too embarrassed to ask what that dang ABS switch was for. Hang out here long enough.....and you will eventually be enlightened.
    I never had an OEM riders manual, and I never saw mention of that switch in my Clymer or Motorad manuals. It never broke, thus no concern on my part

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    Example custom 1100GS

    I don't know how to attach files or links but I'll give it a shot. This is an example I found of a cool looking 1100 scrambler build. I think this started out as a GS though and has a tank from an R nine-T. I'm going to keep my stock R tank and I thought about chopping up the rear subframe but I sketched out a plate I'm going to fab up that will mount to the existing frame where the rear seat used to be - will add some tie-downs and it will also serve as a splash guard and mount for the rear lights. That way I can still use the factory side cases.

    Custom-BMW-R1100-GS-5-740x493.jpg

    https://silodrome.com/custom-bmw-r1100-gs/

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