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Luftmeister Turbo BMW R1100RS

By Paul Peczon

Look closely at this bike and you will see an odd little round thing just in front of and below the cylinder head. It's a turbocharger. Can you say 135 brake horsepower at the rear wheel? The R100RS already offers a tremendous increase in horsepower over the old two valve boxers of yore, but for a mere four grand more Luftmeister can set you up with more torque than a V-Max and more horsepower than a ZX-11. $3995 buys a complete kit which includes the turbocharger and everything. This includes the four injector kit, special computer chips, a complete exhaust system, the air to air intercooler, boost gauges, aircraft quality pressure lines, a high pressure fuel pump, and a bunch of other goodies. This complete turn key kit can be installed in just 6hours. That translates into $300 installed, and if you make an appointment at Luftmeister, you can get same day service and ride home with almost twice as much power as you came with. The system even allows the use of the BMW bags. Throw in your stuff and haul.

Matt Capri, owner of Luftmeister, rides the prototype of this model every day to work. He hasn't had any reliability problems, despite the fact that it has been thoroughly thrashed by dynos and journalists. Matt's bike has a special boost control knob which allows boost to be cranked up to 15lbs of boost. The package he sells only delivers 9 pounds of boost because he doesn't want to have to worry about warrantee problems. Every pound of additional boost roughly translates into approximately 10 additional horsepower on this bike. Turn the boost all the way up, and it delivers approximately 175 horsepower.

Out of pure journalistic dedication to you, our faithful readers, I rode this bike one day when Matt was running his turbo K100 on land speed record runs at the El Mirage dry lakebed. Matt broke the record for his class with a run of 204+ mph. Matt likes fast Bimmers. Meanwhile, I was sneaking around in the back areas of the dry lakebed with the RS having a religious experience. You see, I had turned the knob all the way up.

The bike pulls to the rev limiter like a wild beast making a survival sprint. Despite the comfortable riding position, it made my arms feel like they were going to get pulled out of my shoulder sockets. When the boost really started pounding in, the rear tire kicked up huge, and I mean huge roostertails. Lakebeds are hard, but later examination showed that the rear tire had ripped long divots into the hard clay about eight inches wide and about four inches deep. The only problem is that I kept running out of lake to run on in the back stretches. Fifteen seconds of horsepower glory and then I'd have to slow down to turn around.

When I reluctantly returned the bike, Matt knew I had been cranking up the boost because I had burned through half a tank in maybe half an hour. It happens. The bike was unscathed. It still started up easily enough, and idled amiably. The turbo kit doesn't make the bike any louder. I feel confident enough about it to say that it would make a fine daily driver. I want one.

Meanwhile, Matt has continued to break records with his K100. The R100RS, due to technicalities in the SCTA rules, is in the same class as the K bike, so it doesn't get the glory of record breaking runs. The K100 broke the unfaired bike record of 180 mph by a whopping 17 mph June 12th. That's 186 mph after the course had been pounded by 106 cars, in the mid-afternoon when the air was Mojave Desert hot. Matt lent the bike to a Japanese visitor who had never even ridden a BMW, and the guy did 187 on a B lcense qualifying run. That's what 300 horsepower will do to a bike. Wish I had been there. On the K Bike, that is.

Luftmeister seems to have disappeared since I wrote this article in like 1994. However, RB Racing, who actually built this bike is still very much in business and have a kick ass website At first glance you'll note they are pushing their hottest selling products, Harley exhausts But dig deeper and you'll find the turbo kits on the products page. check it out at RBRacing-rsr.com Don't be shy about letting them know Uncle Paul sent ya! Also, they will be pissed tht you learned it here, but they are developing a tuning system and alternate (for off-road only use, since they don't have catalytic converters and the inherent weight, etc)

Oh, and if you're into turbo bikes, check out this turbo GSXR1100 back to the main page
Write to me! mildly updated Dec 09.

Created by Paul Peczon