A relatively firm jab is required to engage first gear without some clatter.
He who hesitates may well find himself embarrassed.
The sound, ah, the sound. There's nothing like a big twin for the sweetest
music this side of heaven. The R100/7 has our vote for Song Of The Year. A purr,
a rumble, a growl when charging up a freeway ramp. Quiet, but distinctive. Like
many qualities the BMW possesses, the sound is understated. Rich and elegant.
A few miles up the freeway, maybe ten miles at the BMW's 60-70 mph touring
pace, and a relationship begins to develop between bike and rider. An
interaction. The Dance.
The sight of the two bucket-sized cylinders riding down there in the wind,
under the tall and narrow 6.3-gallon tank, serves to remind one that the BMW is
unique. You find yourself frequently glancing down and smiling. You talk to the
bike like you have with no other. Conversation is in muted tones.
Under intense acceleration, the R100 lifts its tail, a result of the drive
shaft forcing the rear wheel down, a trait common to all shafties. No chain
noise, no snap. A smooth and quiet power delivery. Nice.
TURNING Back to the material world. Aside from being possibly the world's ace
pick-up bike, to be ranked with the Turbo-Carrera, the XKE and the Corvette for
recognizability among females, the R100/7 turns out to be quite a charmer in the
Despite the massive masculinity which a new BMW inflicts upon the senses of
passersby, there is something almost ladylike in the manner in which it attacks
a curve. A feminine determination to win through manipulation, to bend the curve
to its will.
Twisty mountain roads taken at speed on the BMW can provide a most sensual
experience. The rising and falling, front and rear, the torque action of the
crankshaft in tight corners and the at-first-alarming tendency to chirp the rear
Metzeler if downshifted a hair too soon do take a little getting used to.
We never found the limits of traction during our many outings with the bike.
The sidestand, rear brake pedal and the ends of both pegs have been shaved
considerably since we picked up the bike, and never once did the R100 do
anything remotely alarming in a corner.
Suspension is longer and more progressive on the '77 models, but the
ultra-soft BMW feel is still there. A most pleasing combination. No slouch in
the tight stuff, the R100/7 still loves to soar across the roadways of the world
like a high wind over the sea. Still the ne-plus-ultra of touring
Brakes on the BMW are, frankly, not the best. Not bad, just not quite all
there. We never got into trouble because of them, but after riding some of the
Japanese superbikes, the progressive feel of the R100 units gave us a little
concern. Could be just those on our test unit.
The traditional BMW curtsy under heavy braking, due to more progressive
damping in the long travel forks, has been replaced this year by a distinguished
bow from the waist, much better.
The Magura dogleg-style black levers neady fit the fingers of even small
hands and provide quite an advantage in leverage. Clutch action is as smooth as
silk. In fact, the feel and function of all the controls could only be described
as elegant. BMW lights, instruments and controls are approaching
state-of-the-art. The horn sounds like it came from a Rolls-Royce.
At $3685, the BMW R100/7 is quite possibly the most desirable all-around
motorcycle readily available to the discerning buyer.
The addition of a fairing, tank bag, grips and perhaps a custom seat will
make the lady a Queen.
The street racer of approximately average abilities can get his jollies
buzzing the canyons with his pals on their Z-ls and CB750s.
Most of all, the owner of a BMW can take pride in the knowledge that he has
shown impeccable taste in choosing a suitable conveyance for a gentleman of
upwardly mobile inclinations.
The R100/7 was a surefire attention-getter. Many times during the course of
our test strangers approached us either to ask about our companion, compliment
her, or just gaze in admiration.
Source Big Bike October 1977