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Re: R1100S questions

Hello Dave,

> I just purchased a lovely 99 R1100S, but  without a
> Riders Manual.  So I've a couple of questions.

Contact your BMW dealer and get one. It's called "Rider's Manual R1100S".
   Order No. 01 41 7 651 487
The manual includes a safety checklist, and full user usage info. Highly 
recommended for any vehicle.

> On the centerstand, should the oil level be in the middle
> of the sight glass?

You have just missed a lengthy thread on the Big List about this. According 
to the book:

[ Make sure the oil and your bike are thoroughly warmed up first. ]

 o Check engine oil level after the engine has been stopped
   for 10 minutes.

 o Make sure that the motorcycle is upright

 o Check the oil level in the sight glass:
    MAX - Top edge of ring
    MIN - Bottom edge of ring

The space between the marks represents approx 0.5 liters (0.88 imperial 
pints). [ When you add oil, add a bit at a time and give it time to settle 
in the oil pan (and sight glass). Be careful not to overfill.]

Here is the stuff that the user manual does not tell you.

 o The sight glass gives you an acceptable relative reading, but
   it is not exact.

 o Inaccuracies develop due to lots of places where the oil can
   pool and collect in the engine, such as the oil filter.

 o Some folks swear that if you let your bike rest on the side-
   stand for a few minutes first, that will drain the oil from the
   oil cooler to the oil pan. Put it on the center stand and let it
   rest for 10 minutes, and then take a reading.

 o My rule of thumb is to not fill above "1/4 low", and top up
   no later than "3/4 low". This easily compensates for
   inaccuracies due to oil pooling and collecting in places other
   than the oil pan.

 o Over-filling will dump the excess into the air filter box. This
   is something you want to avoid.

> Am I correct the engine wants 93 octane gas?

According to The Writ Of Holy Wisdom (AKA "The Book"), use only unleaded 
super (premium) grade fuel with a minimum octane number of 95 (RON) or 85 
(MON). The bike is quipped with a knock sensor that will compensate for 
lower quality fuel, but why tempt fate, eh?

> What is the proper tire pressures for a 200 lb rider?  What is the proper 
> pressure for two-up riding?

I spent most of my life on my R1100S at around 200 to 215 lbs. According to 
The Book, cold tire pressure:

  Solo:  31.9 psi front / 36.3 PSI rear (2.2 bar / 2.5 bar)

  Pillion:  36.3 / 36.2 (2.5 / 2.7)

  Pillion + Luggage: 36.3 / 42.1 (2.5 / 2.9)

Your tires, and the degree of your individual anal-retentiveness will 
determine how much you'll want stray from these numbers. I've put a knee 
down on Michelin Sports at the above pressures, and the bike was fine. Mind 
you, I am not a leader of the pack at the track.

> Yesterday morning on the way bringing it down I had my battery die
> in a motel parking lot  [weak original battery + operator error -
> see: lack of riders manual] 350 miles from home and 100+ plus
> miles from the nearest dealership.  Thank the Lord that it did come
> with the Technical Manual, and the tool kit had the proper allen
> wrenches to get the fairings, air duct etc, off.  Ugly way to start
> getting to know the bike, tho.  I've been following rhe charger
> thread closely.   I'm getting the best possible battery as a
> replacement *and* a trickle charger.  I do *not* want to have
> do that again.

Sorry to hear about your battery adventure, and that you were forced to 
learn about the S's battery location, the hard way. Its location is 
consistent with never needing to access it :-)

Preventive maintenance will go a long way for battery longevity. I can't say 
enough about getting a genuine Battery Tender, and *always* putting your 
bike on it when you're not riding. Four years of strong cranking with no 
signs of weakness on an original BMW battery says something to me. My own 
stupidity and the resulting crash put an end to my long-term battery test.

- -Steve