Brave New Beemer: BMW R1100RS

BMW R1100RS Custom

Custom Oilhead from Moto Adonis… 

In 1993, the BMW R1100RS sport-tourer was the first BMW to use the new “Oilhead” boxer engine, which combined BMW’s traditional air-cooled cylinders with oil-cooled four-valve heads — a concept that lives on today in bikes like the R NineT. Kevin Cameron of Cycle World called it a “Brave New Beemer,” touching on the controversial nature of the machine within the company, given its continued adherence to an engine layout that dated all the way back to the company’s WWI aircraft engines.

The updated boxer twin engine was balanced with innovations such as the Telelever front end, which bolted directly to the engine — a design intended to minimize fork dive under braking — and a frameless chassis design that used the engine as a stressed member.

BMW motorcycles are known for their longevity, and BMW boldly gave the R1100RS a million-mile odometer. The RS was a bike you could ride to the grocery, on the Sunday backroads, or straight across the country — and that was the main selling point.

“It offers turnkey reliability and stone reliable starting and running, and servicing that for the most part can be performed by a mechanically inclined owner. It’s a sport-styled machine for the long haul.” –

BMW R1100RS Custom

Unfortunately, the R1100RS wasn’t the handsomest mount, clad as it was in bulky, slightly awkward fairings. That’s where our friends at Moto Adonis come in, whose customer wanted a full transformation of the big boxer.

“The client’s vision was clear: a classic-looking motorcycle infused with modern comforts such as ABS and fuel injection.”

BMW R1100RS Custom

While the R1100RS may not seem the most ideal candidate for such a build, the Moto Adonis crew was happily surprised when they stripped down the big sport-tourer.

“Embarking on the transformation of the BMW R1100RS, a bike that might not boast initial aesthetic charm, we discovered a gem beneath its plastic exterior: a formidable engine and a solid frame.”

BMW R1100RS Custom

The team adapted an aluminum BMW R model tank and fabricated a custom rear subframe. They sourced a set of spoked wheels from a GS adventure bike, matched with a set of more classic-looking mudguards and headlight.

The exhaust is a bespoke stainless steel system, and a set of side panels streamline the profile of the bike.

BMW R1100RS Custom

A custom gauge cluster houses a Koso speedometer, while DNA pod filters, Biltwell handgrips, rear Tarozzi foot controls, and a one-of-a-kind leather seat courtesy of Miller Kustom Upholstery rounds out the build.

BMW R1100RS Custom

The result is a long-legged boxer roadster that combines modern amenities like fuel injection and ABS with a minimalist, engine-forward design.

BMW R1100RS Custom

It might be capable of riding flat across the country, but it will also look good parked up at the local bike night. The Moto Adonis boys are duly proud of the build.

“This classic scrambler is a testament to our dedication to crafting bikes that not only look impressive, but also deliver a blend of classic aesthetics and modern functionality.”

BMW R1100RS Custom

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Instagram: @moto_adonis
Upholstery: Miller Kustom Upholstery (@millerseats)

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One Comment

  1. Ugly. Really ugly.

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