So what about the numerous model codes that we have also become acquainted with over the years, such as R, RS, S, CS, C, CL, GS, RT, RS, GT and LT?
The first time that ‘R’ was communicated was with the R 100 R of 1991. It means ‘Roadster’ of course. ‘S’ stands for Sport. It first appeared with the R 50 S and R 69 S and then again in 1973 with the R 90 S. More recently, the R 1100 S, R 1200 S and K 1200 S have proudly worn the ‘S’ designation.
There was a BMW car model series in the Sixties called ‘Coupé Sport’, or ‘CS’. In motorcycles, this designation was used in 1980 for the first time after the facelift of the R 100 S, but this time standing for ‘Classic Sport’. It also appeared with the launch of the rotax-powered F 650 CS in 2001, but in this case, meaning ‘City Scarver.
The RS designation appeared for the first time at a 17-round series for production racers. On the 1939 R 51 RS, it stood for ‘Rennsport’ (race sport) with the ‘SS’ designation standing for Supersport. From 1976 the ‘RS’ description became known as ‘Reisesport’ (travel sport), and has since been joined by ‘RT’ (Reise-Tourer – travel tourer); ‘LT’ (Luxus-Tourer – luxury tourer); ‘C’ (Cruiser); ‘CL’ (Cruiser und Luxus – luxury cruiser); and ‘GT’ (Grand Tourisme).
The ‘GS’ designation we know so well actually made its debut in 1980 as ‘G/S’ to mean ‘Gelände/Straße’ (off-road/on-road). There was also the ‘ST’, which was first used in 1982 for the street version of the GS. It stands for ‘Straße/strada’ (street) and can be seen on the latest R 1200 ST model.