For years the BMW marquee has been synonymous with reliability and predictability. Although BMW is not known for cutting edge styling, don't ignore the R1100R in the fashion department. Unlike its more conservative siblings, the R1100R doesn't hide gadgets. Rather, they are exposed proudly. Oil coolers, the telelever front end and fuel injectors are all on display as part of its post-industrial design esthetic.
The major difference between the revised R1100R and the 1995 model we tested previously is an improved instrument panel. The new edition dash, crafted from machined aluminum and chrome, is much easier to read and makes for a very attractive layout.
On the road it's typical BMW: sure footed and torquey. Although the ergonomics are spread out and comfy, they are aggressive enough to tear up the back roads. The wide seat offers great support, and our test passenger loved the rear seat accommodations, but long distance saddle endurance is hampered somewhat by the lack of wind protection and its high bars. It's not surprising then that one of BMW's best selling accessories for the R1100R is the windshield.
On twisty canyon roads, the R1100R rides exactly as designed. It is brilliant at a 7/10ths pace, but push faster and the ABS is overwhelmed. Below this, the no-dive telelever front end, excellent brakes, and quick steering geometry make the naked Roadster a confidence inspiring blast to ride.
Manufacturer: BMW Model: 1998 R 1100 R Price: $ 9,990 ($11,490 w/ABS) Engine: Air/oil cooled twin Bore and Stroke: 99 x 70.5mm Displacement: 1085cc Carburetion: Fuel injection Transmission: Five-speed Wheelbase: 57.99 in. Seat Height: 29.9 to 31.5 in. Fuel Capacity: 5.5 gal. Claimed Dry Weight: 506 lbs.