Bimaterial systems in which two dissimilar materials are adhesively joined by a thin adhesive interlayer have been widely used in a variety of modern industries and engineering structures. It is well known that interfacial fracture is the most common failure mode for these bimaterial systems. Particularly, the interface fracture is a mixed mode in nature mode-I (pure peel) and mode-II (pure shear) due to the disrupted symmetry by the bimaterial configuration. Obviously, characterizing individual fracture modes, especially mode-I fracture, is essential in understanding and modeling the complex mixed mode fracture problems. Meanwhile, the $J$-integral is a highly preferred means to characterize the interfacial fracture behaviors of a bimaterial system because it cannot only capture more accurate toughness value, but also facilitate an experimental characterization of interfacial traction-separation laws (cohesive laws). Motivated by these important issues, a novel idea is proposed in the present work to realize and characterize the pure mode-I nonlinear interface fracture between bonded dissimilar materials. First, a nearly pure mode-I fracture test can be simply realized for a wide range of bimaterial systems by almost eliminating the mode-II component based on a special and simple configuration obtained in this work. Then, the concise forms of the $J$-integral are derived and used to characterize the interfacial fracture behaviors associated with classical and shear deformation beam theories. The proposed approach may be considered as a promising candidate for the future standard mode-I test method of bimaterial systems due to its obvious accuracy, simplicity, and applicability, as demonstrated by the numerical and experimental results.