The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

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DaveBoy
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The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby DaveBoy » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:07 am

The BMW R100 was introduced in 1976 (as a R100/7) and continued in various guises until production stopped in 1984. In 1992 BMW released the paralever equipped R100R (R meaning Roaster) followed shortly after by the R100R Classic and R100R Mystic.

Between 1990-1992 there we several versions of the R100 (monolever) produced that are not formally recognized by BMW, at least not from here: https://www.bmw-motorrad.com.au/en/expe ... chive.html

There are numerous reports on the Internet (many emanating from this excellent site: http://bmbikes.co.uk/specpages/r100mono.htm) that discuss the R100 Mono Classic from around 1991-92. The Vin number range for the USA marketed version of this bike was 6419001-6419181, and according to BMW of North America (service info # 2608), 180 units were sold in North America between 1991-92

However, there are also several reports of the R100 Mono Classic also being sighted in Japan. After trawling through many non-English language Websites, I stumbled upon this very interesting Russian site: http://motobay.su/brands/13/models/2541 ... us_all=all (Note: this website is not always up)

This Website shows historical sales during 1990-92 from several motorcycle Auction sites across Japan that reference a R80CJ and a R100CJ (C for Classic, J for Japan). This website is incredibly useful because it’s the only publicly accessible resource (that I know of) that shows actual photos and Vin/chassis numbers of so many R100CJ bikes all in one place.

The question therefore becomes, is the R100CJ the Japanese version of the R100 Mono Classic? Indeed, could BMW have released an even rarer R100 Monolever Classic in Japan prior to the 180 units being released into North America?

I actually own an BMW Image that was manufacturing in September of 1990, and initially sold to a customer in Japan during August of 1992. The Vin/Chassis number that is factory stamped onto the bike reads 0121***R100CJ (*** used to hide the actual numbers). I have made contact with Andreas Harz from BMW Classic Group in Germany, and he confirmed the following from the official BMW factory records.

“I checked your chassis no. in our IT-system, it’s a R 80 type with a special equipment package. Your bike is a R 80 “Special Edition Japan R 100” which means it was based on a Type R80, but they created a special edition for Japan with 980 cc engine……...”

Further analysis of the 1990-92 R100CJ Bikes on the Motobay.su website shows three sets of non-sequential Vin/Chassis numbers which appear to all come from the R80 Mono number range shown here http://bmbikes.co.uk/chassispages/engin ... s800P2.htm

• 6449459R80CJ – 6449636R80CJ, (Rego year 1990), these bikes had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ – Classic/Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/321110. Note: 13 unique bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 1st half of 1990


• 0121109R80CJ – 0121636R80CJ, (Rego year 1990), these bikes also had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ – Classic Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/417500. Two bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 2nd half of 1990


• 0121381R100CJ – 0121935R100CJ, (Rego year 1991-92) these bikes also had a 980cc engine, were marketed as an R100CJ – Classic Japan, and were based on the “Type R80” – here is one example: http://motobay.su/lots/398221. Note: 10 bikes with this serial number range appear to have passed through Japanese auction sales, and would have been manufactured during 2nd half of 1990 and early 1991.

If I were to hazard a guess, I suspect that around 1989/90 BMW identified a market for a Retro/Classic version of the R100 for the Japanese and USA markets. Given that manufacture of the (naked) R100 had officially ended in 1984, BMW probably did not want to record a new production run, so they just made a “special version” of the R80 with an 980cc engine, and marketed in Japan as a R100CJ for a 1-2 years using the standard Vin/Chassis numbers from the R80 Mono number range.

That “experiment” must have gone reasonable well, and given the R100R Paralever was not being released until 1992, and the new R1100R would not be released until 1994, BMW may then have decided to produce another 180 units of the R100 Monolever Classic, but this time for the North America with unique sequential Vin/Chassis numbers, i.e. 6419001-6419181.

What I find curious is that a Google search finds zero results for “R100CJ” and yet there must have been something like 20-40 units of this bike sold in Japan with either R80CJ or R100CJ included within the Vin/Chassis numbers, and therefore included on owner (and auction) documents.

Of course all this is pure speculation, but I hope this post will trigger some debate, comments and maybe alternative theories, specifically for how a handful of BMW R100CJ Monolever 980cc bikes made their way to Japan between 1990-91!

I’m interested in hearing from other owners of either a USA R100 Mono Classic (not the R100R Paralever), or owners of the R100CJ…and yes, I know R100CJ is not an officially recognised model, but it’s stamped on my bike, so would be good to heard from other owners.

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keiththeoutfitter1
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby keiththeoutfitter1 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:20 am

There seems to be someone breaking one in Japan. There is a photo of one and a Google translate of the orange panel at the bottom of the page mentions a cj vin number

https://junkyard-parts.com/foreign/bmw- ... 06741.html
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CharlieVictor
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby CharlieVictor » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:41 am

Fascinating stuff indeed.
I quickly browsed Ian Falloon's Boxer Bible and haven't seen any notion of a Japan market export special. The serial numbers you list are included in wider MY VIN listings.

I would venture two possibilities:

- A special model "à la MotorSport", not really different from generic versions, but specific to a local market (such as the R100TC we got in France only).

- A special model designed by/requested by the Japanese importer at the time, who could guarantee somewhat that he would shift the bikes, so no risk for Spandau.

I have left an email with Ritmo Sereno, they might have some "insider" information

Will keep you posted.
Jack
Last edited by CharlieVictor on Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:29 am

Now for a real low baller...

When I put those VIN numbers into the contemporary BMW parts catalogue it says 'Special Vehicles Authorities Egypt' with 1000cc cylinders...

Could it be a case of a frustrated order pushed out to Japan?

Rob
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CharlieVictor
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby CharlieVictor » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Now for a real low baller...

When I put those VIN numbers into the contemporary BMW parts catalogue it says 'Special Vehicles Authorities Egypt' with 1000cc cylinders...

Could it be a case of a frustrated order pushed out to Japan?

Rob
BMW A&S (Authority & Security) Vehicles is a department of its own at BMW, handling both 4 wheel and 2 wheel vehicles, and dealing with emergency services (ie "police package") and armored, VIP transport units (I was closed to that environment in another life :neutral: ).

It is a possibility yes... At least that one would be supported by some evidence... :???:
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby DaveBoy » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:11 am

Interesting alternative theories guys.....thanks.

Hey Rob...I will try and send you a direct message with my exact Vin/Chassis and Engine number, and I'd be curious as to what comes back from your Parts Catalog. Also, if you're interested, there is a collection of R100CJs on this Website (you'll have to use your Browsers to translate from Russian to English) but your can pick up the exact Vin/Chassis numbers from here: http://motobay.su/brands/13/models/2541 ... us_all=all

I'd be very interested to know if all these R100CJs share some form of common genealogy.

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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby Rob Frankhamr » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:17 am

Hey Dave,

Just replied to your PM. I wanted to include a screenshot of the relevant parts catalogue page but it seems that attachments don't work in PM's so here it is...
1000cc cylinder (s).jpg
Not very legible on the page but, if you click on the image, it should be readable...

Rob
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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby andys » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:02 pm

This is me riding a friends RS mono in Japan.
The heat was intense to the point of being unbearable and I remember wondering how an air cooled engine could operate efficiently at all in these temperatures

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Re: The Elusive R100CJ (R100 Classic for Japan)

Postby DaveBoy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:52 am

Thanks all for your replies, some really interesting theories there as the origin of the R100CJ. I've uncovered a little more information as follows, and thank you "CharlieVictor" for giving me a clue around the Japanese dealer, Ritmo Serono:

Here is a R100 that was sold by Ritmo Serono: http://www.ritmo-sereno.com/usedbike/ar ... 01162.html
Interestingly, this bike is being called a R100 Trad. Now, I don't know if that is a Japanese/English Google Translate nuance, but the bike in the picture, looks 99% the same as my "R100CJ Mono Classic".

So...one clue leads to another, so I now start hunting around for "R100 Trad" and come across this interesting Japanese website https://www.bikebros.co.jp/catalog/7/7_19/ which again, shows an R100 that looks very close to mine.....but the website text is also intriguing, quote.."R100 that appeared in July 1990 and was imported and sold for only two years (named R100 Trad in Japan) is a model in which 100 units were imported in the first year and 100 + abd units were imported in the following year"

If someone can verify with Ritmo Serono that the "R100 Trad" is the correct term, and in fact 200+ of these bikes were imported into Japan between 1990-92, then perhaps the R100 Trad is the real "cousin" of the R100 Mono Classic that made it's way to the USA during 1991/92.


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