ST 2: The Saint's 1977 BMW R100RS Motorcycle

Ian Ogilvy and The Return of The Saint

Ian Ogilvy and his BMW Motorcycle The Saint's motorcycle had a license plate of "ST 2" which complements the Jaguar XJ-S' "ST 1". Ian Ogilvy, who played Simon Templar in The Return of The Saint, was responsible for this addition to The Saint's collection of vehicles. Ogilvy owned his first motorcycle at the age of sixteen, and has been a avid enthusiast ever since. Ogilvy was quoted in 1978 as saying, "It was my idea that Simon Templar should have a motorcycle as well as a car. After all, there are times when it can be more useful for him than a car. And with with all the appeals for people to cut down on petrol consumption, it's now completely acceptable."

Well, Ogilvy was quite pleased when Executive Producer Robert S. Baker agreed and delivered the newest and fastest 1,000cc BMW motorbike available.

The bike was only used in a few episodes of The Return of The Saint:

Ian Ogilvy and the motorcycle girls The Armageddon Alternative: In episode 2, The Saint's BMW R100RS is seen parked next to the Jaguar XJ-S in The Saint's underground parking garage.

Ian Ogilvy and the motorcycle girls The Roman Touch: In the 13th episode, the bike is actually gold in this one, which is a further disguise as the Saint is pretending to be a simple bike messenger. This is obviously not the same bike as "ST 2", but it is certainly a very nice BMW R100RS in gold! As this episode was filmed in Italy, the producers probably borrowed a local BMW for the shot. In one shot, the license plate of Roma 41 6244 is plainly seen (at least it looks like "Roma"... it could be "Boma" or some other variation).

Ian Ogilvy and the motorcycle girls The Diplomat's Daughter: Near the end of the 24th and final story of this 70s series, Simon Templar (Ian Ogilvy) follows his stolen Jaguar on his motorbike, ST2, using a homing device. The bike is well featured in the climatic and final scenes, and in the final shot of the episode there is a clear shot of the licence plate ‘ST 2’ as The Saint rides off into the sunset.

Ian Ogilvy and the motorcycle girls So, what happened to the BMW? It was a model year 1977 BMW R100RS painted in Silver Blue Code 530. Perhaps Ogilvy ended up with it, as the word is that one of the reasons he suggested a motorcycle is that he had just recently sold his own and needed a new one!

In a May 2008 discussion with Ian Ogilvy, he told us that he didn't end up with bike, and actually has no idea what happened to it after the end of shooting. Ian went on to mention that it was only used in two episodes of The Return of The Saint, and that the producers never really approved and just went along with the idea for a bit to make him happy. If you go to Ian Ogilvy's Measle website, you'll see what he's riding these days: a big black bike!

Specifications of the BMW R100RS Motorcycle

BMW Motorcycle Design TeamHans Muth (seen kneeling in the photo) and his design team at BMW worked on the new RS touring and tail cowling. Hans Muth's mission, giving to him by BMW management, was to create a beautiful touring motorcycle that was aesthetically pleasing as well as emotional and functional. He did a fantastic job, and the R100RS was an innovative success.

Start of Production: 1976
End of Production: 1984
Numbers Produced: 33,648
Top Speed: 124 mph
Displacement: 980 cc

The available colors for the R100RS models were:

  • 1977 = code# 530 Silver blue w/blue pin-striping (also on some 78-bikes)
  • 1978 = code# 546 Gold metallic and the 77-color above on some bikes.
  • 979 = code# 554 Blue/silver metallic two tone w/ orange pinstripe


In 1977 the BMW product line moved on to the "/7" models. The R 80/7 was added to the line. The R 90 (898 cc) models, "/6" and R 90 S models had their displacement increased to 1,000 cc; replaced by the R 100/7 and the R 100 S, respectively. These were the first liter size (1,000 cc) machines produced by BMW. 1977 was a banner year with the introduction of the first BMW production motorcycle featuring a full fairing, the R 100 RS. This sleek model, designed through wind-tunnel testing, produced 70 hp (51 kW) and had a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph).[3] In 1978, the R 100 RT was introduced into the lineup for the 1979 model year, as the first "full-dress" tourer, designed to compete in this market with the forthcoming Honda Goldwing.

A factory full fairing was introduced by BMW motorcycles in the R100RS of 1977, the first factory fairing produced in quantity.

Photos of BMW R100RS Motorcycles

Ian Ogilvy on his BMW Motorcycle Ian Ogilvy surrounded by beautiful women on his BMW motorcycle, starring as Simon Templar (alias The Saint) in The Return of The Saint.
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1977 BMW Motorcycle Advertising This is a magazine advertisement from 1977 announcing the complete BMW motorcycle lineup. You will notice that the beautiful BMW R100RS (aka the BMW R 100 RS) is right up-front in the spotlight position. It was the top of the line in 1977.
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1977 BMW Motorcycle Poster From a poster of BMW motorcycles.
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Motorcycle in Motion A nicely kept early model riding along.
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1977 BMW R100RS Serial Number 2 On display at BMW of Daytona is what is claimed to be R100RS #2. This bike was the centerpiece at the 1976 Cologne Moto Expo. At the time, it was a dramatic step for BMW and the first fully faired production motorcycle.
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1977 BMW R100RS Serial Number 2 The final shot of the last episode of Return of The Saint, The Diplomat's Daughter. You can clearly see the ST 2 license plate on the Saint's BMW motorbike as Simon Templar rides off into the sunset!
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