In the early 90s, the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association (AHRMA) looked to rejuvenate American roadracing, and mixed it up with the introduction of “Sound of Singles” and Battle of Twins” classes. In their attempt to bring in more sponsorship money, they also partnered with BMW to create what would end up being one of their best-known races – the Battle of Legends. This series pit motorcycling legends against each other on identical BMW bikes, for races all over the country over 5 years. Today we feature a bike from the 1993 series, the “BMW R100R Battle of the Legends”. BMW also used the R1100RS for the series in future years, and we’re trying to track down if they used any others.
For this year of the Battle of the Legends series, 17 bikes were built. 15 were used in the race, and 2 were backups. The R100R was the last of the airheads, before BMW moved to the oilhead engine. The BotL bikes were cosmetically ‘enhanced’ and received a custom exhaust, but otherwise they were the same as production bikes, featuring 60 horsepower, a 5-speed transmission with shaft drive, and a 6.3 gallon fuel tank – all of which totaled up to a bike that weighed 435 pounds. In short, it wasn’t the kind of bike you’d expect for a race, but it worked: many AHRMA fans will tell you that the best thing the association did in the 90s was this BMW-based series.
This specific BMW R100R Battle of the Legends was #15, a backup signed by Walter Zeller. Zeller was an German Grand Prix motorcycle racer, and was the lead rider for BMW’s factory effort in 1954. He won the ISDT and several German national championships. He was 65 when he raced this bike! Unfortunately, Walter passed away two years later. It’s in excellent shape, having served as a backup for the Daytona race and then raced in a follow-up. This bike is in excellent mechanical and cosmetic shape, and has just under 30,000 miles. You’ll get the factory tool kit, and a few “Battle of the Legends” extras with the bike, including a book, videos, and…a sweat stained cap.
Find this BMW R100R Battle of the Legends for sale here on Re-Psycle for $11,500 in Lithopolis, Ohio.