BMW GS history

BMW introduced R100GS (for Gelände Sport, Gelände meaning something between "country" and "field" in German) in 1988, and the Paris-Dakar version in 1990. Starting in 1992, the Paris-Dakar was re-designated the PD due to some legal conflict with the organizers of the Paris-Dakar rally, for which it was named.

Early GS
1988: The original R100GS had the fork-mounted instrument pod like the R80G/S with a small tombstone fairing around the headlight.
1990: The Paris-Dakar model was instroduced as a modification of the base model, available from the factory or as an upgrade kit.
Late GS
1991: The bike was substantially updated, and the regular GS got a PD-style fairing.


The GS is introduced, replacing the G/S. The US got only the R100GS, but an R80GS was sold in other markets. The major differences between the R80GS and R100GS are:

The differences from the previous generation are:

Model year differences

In 1988

In 1989

In 1990

1990 Paris-Dakar

At first the components were only available as a kit, but for the 1990 model year the Paris-Dakar was introduced.

When the solo rack is retrofitted, the seat latch plate (with passenger grab handle) is removed from the subframe and installed on the front of the solo rack. PDs which shipped with the solo seat (not all did) had latch plates without a grab handle.

1991-on GS and PD

In 1991 the GS got the PD-style fairing, shaped differently to match the steel tank. The dashboard is altered for both models, now having a large speedometer and tachometer. The clock is available as an accessory that bolts onto the handlebar clamps (and looks terrible). The other major change is the switchgear; these bikes now have the pushbutton switches that were introduced on the K series. Other changes:

GS Sources:

Replacement Valeo starters: (also read the rebuilding article)
Bob Spencer
Ace Houston Warehouse
Their part# 432586, was D6RA15

Replacement fork parts:
Forking by Frank:
Frank's Maintenance and Engineering, Inc.
945 Pitner Avenue Evanston, IL, 60202
Phone: (847) 475-1003

GS links:

Jean Moxhet's GS website on Micapeak

Scot's R100GS page

Joerg Hau's GS pages