Would You be an Airhead to Pay $6,700 For This 1991 BMW R100G/S?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Beemer pays homage to the company’s dominant Paris to Dakar rally entrants. Let’s see if it’s rare enough to get you to rally behind its price.

“That’s how I roll” is a euphemism certain individuals toss out in lieu of excuses to describe how they go through life. Doing that rolling in a Rolls Royce is an especially lavish way to live, and at $89,975, yesterday’s 2011 Rolls Royce Ghost opened that opportunity to a broader market. That was less than a third of its original out-the-door asking and that, as well as the car’s presentation, was enough to earn it a solid 54 percent Nice Price win.


Back when I was a kid, I read a review of the Honda XL250 in an old issue of Cycle magazine. In an era of fussy two-stoke enduros, the reviewers fawned over the four-stroke Honda. They praised its capable off-roadability the bike offered despite added weight from its four-stroke valvetrain and on-road equipment. The XL250 exemplified the enduro bike ethos of the time—small size, one-pot mill, and suspension travel that balances on-road stability with off-road prowess. All was right in the world.

But what if you wanted something bigger, and maybe a little bit more Germanic? Enter this 1991 BMW R100G/S, the enlarged enduro.

In BMW-speak, the G/S designation stood for “gelande/strasse” or terrain/street. That nomenclature debuted on the 800cc R80/7 in 1981, a bike that offered the street engine in a modified R65 frame and extended-travel suspension from its front forks and rear monolever swing arm. Versions of this bike would be BMW’s weapon of choice for the rally circuit starting that year.


The R100G/S exemplified here took that idea and bumped everything up in size. These full-size “adventure bikes” carved out a new niche in the market and at the end of the road would be the last of BMW’s air-cooled—or “airhead”—bikes sold here.

The R100G/S is a big bike. The seat height is nearly three-feet off the ground and fully loaded with fluids—that’s an 8-gallon tank—the whole thing weighs in at over 500lbs. That doesn’t mean it’s ungainly, however. Contemporary tests noted that the bike did require familiarity but once mastered, it wasn’t difficult to like.


This one comes with a little over 41,000 miles on the clock and under its original tubeless spoked wheels. Those are 21-inch up front and 17 in the back. 40mm Marzocchi forks keep the front end in line, while out back BMW’s panalever rear suspension does the same. The panalever adds a torque rod to the monolever driveshaft tube, the intent of which is to quell the big twin’s predilection for trying to tuck the rear wheel under the bike during significant wrist snaps.


That big engine here is a 980cc horizontal twin, and that pumped out 60 horsepower from the factory. It features electric start, a pair of slide valve carburetors, and a two-into-one exhaust that’s tucked out of harm’s way and spills high enough up to forge rivers.

The bike is described as being “nearly all original” with notable updates being a nearly new rear tire and a new Lithium Ion battery. The bike comes with heated grips and body color-matching panniers. It’s presently titled as an antique in Pennsylvania and that title is clean. Come to think of it, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a salvage title motorcycle.


The asking for the bike is $6,700 although the title in the ad still asks a hundred more. The seller wants cash and is not interested in shipping the bike anywhere, or in entertaining any of your weird-ass trade suggestions.


BMW’s G/S represents the last of an era, as well as a bike that tackled the grueling and dangerous Paris to Dakar rally, which it won on its first go. This R100 edition is a big bike that requires a big investment in time and experience to master. At that $6,700 asking, do you think it also demands a too-big investment in cash?

You decide!


Allentown, PA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.