View Full Version : Tell us how you came to own your first BMW:

Pages : 1 [2]

07-09-2009, 12:00 AM
..[B]I moved to Caracas ,Venezuela back in 1975..oil was 10c a liter,40c a gallon.
bought a new Honda 750cb,,,put 25.000k from May till Oct..of the same year..
learnned how to lean my knees on turns, how not use the brakes and one lucky day there was street racing ,,,.....,this Dubay Arab rich kid let me use a Hk 750cc kawazaky 2 cycles agains R90s....
well I won the race 4 miles up hill,cornerring,flat down hill etc ,,so i won the BIKE and Leather Jacket.........since them i had a R100s(Pinifarina)SOLD THAT BEST BIKE,,still have the R60/5,R65,R100,R1100..........but the best ride ever was R70 from Sttutgart to Athen s Greec 37 hous in 5 days ,,,yes ye s yes yes back in 1980..........
ps my fisrt phot on a bike was a bmw R69..the telgraph man used to come tomy parents house......... :dance

07-09-2009, 01:05 AM
After my beloved '98 Honda CBR1100XX was totaled in Dec '08 I found myself unexpectedly in the market for a replacement.


After looking at everything out there I found the only bike that could match my Honda was another Super Blackbird... and, well, if I was ever going to try something different that was the time to do so. Of all the motorcycles I'd owned or ridden, the CBR1100XX was simply the best all-arounder so it was not an easy task finding a replacement.

Given that 95% of my saddle time was spent riding to and from work year-round in the Northwest suburbs of Atlanta -- rain or shine, hot or cold -- a true sport-touring bike seemed like the right way to go. My short list of bikes included the Honda ST1300, a Yamaha FJR1300, a Ducati ST3/4 and the BMW R1150RT.

I eliminated the ST1300 because, well, let's just say it didn't trip my trigger on many fronts. The Ducati was also scratched because it seemed like it didn't know what it wanted to be and that left the Yammi and the Bimmer.

I called a good friend of the family in Pennsylvania who owns a motorcycle repair shop and who does a lot of work on BMWs as well as just about any other bike to find out what he thought of the R1150RT vs. the Yammi. Although he and his wife tour on an R1150GS both he and his wife immediately suggested I look at the R1100S... a bike I'd never considered.

I took their advise and found a very low-mileage '03 R1100S BCR in Alabama and paid the owner a visit. I bought it on the spot without even riding it, partially because the weather was abysmal and partially because I knew it was going to be a really tough transition coming off of nearly a decade on the CBR1100XX... with it's silky smooth, 150hp motor, excellent ergos and rocket-on-rails like handling.

My wife and I made the return trip to Birmingham the following weekend with a friend's trailer to collect the new bike and we stopped off at the Barber Vintage Museum to spend the better part of the rainy day admiring the 1,200 or so motorcycles on display as part of our journey.


The bike was off-loaded later that evening and the first ride didn't come for about another week... although I forget why I had to wait. Regardless, it was a very tough transition moving over to the boxer from the I4 but I've come to really appreciate the R1100S and all of its qwerkiness (if that's a word) such that with some 5 months of ownership under my belt I'm pretty sure I'll always have at least one BMW in the stable.


Photoset: Love at first site, bringing it home and getting comfortable with the machine

07-09-2009, 03:11 AM
In 1975 I walked into a BMW / Suzuki shop in Orange Texas looking for a windshield for my 650 Yamaha. Getting ready for my first motorcycle trip. Saw the black R75/6 and just had to have it.

Put about 60k on that bike but made the mistake of selling after I bought a Honda Aspencade in 1983 then a 1986 Harley Police Electra Glide. 2nd BMW was a K75-hated it. 3rd was a 2000 1100 RT bought from a friend after 2 years with no motorcycle following a wreck on an Electra Glide that cruched my wifes leg.

My 4rd BMW was a 2000 LT. It was a nice ride but just didn't feel like a BMW to me so: I sold it for an 1150RT. RT was fantastic one up but never quite what I needed for 2 up. Unfortunately we are now big enough for 3. So I sold the RT and bought a GoldWing for 2 up touring. Of course I couldn't stand not owning a Boxer so last year bought this one.

notice the resemblance? I always regretted selling my 75 R75 and a Gold and White 1994 Ultra classic. So I have tried to correct one of the mistakes.

07-09-2009, 11:10 AM
I had been riding cruisers for 7 years or so and had a few "friends" that we met on some cruiiser forums. Got tired of all the wannabe posers and all the "attitude" that they had (they felt like women belonged on the back of a bike instead of riding their own! UGH!, they loved loud pipes...no helmets etc) that I decided that I wanted to get as far away from that mindset as possible. I've always been interested in getting a GS and when the F650GS came out there was finally one I could flat foot. Sold my cruiser within a week and bought my GS. Best move I've ever made!

07-09-2009, 12:40 PM
This would be my first bike. Her name is Greta (I know, real imaginative for a German bike, right;))


The story goes like this... During college, I lived in a house with a bunch of friends. We were on the corner of two VERY busy streets and although there was a stop sign, most people would just slow down to make the right in front of our house. As college types often do, we would sit in the the yard enjoying cold beverages as the traffic went by. I noticed there was a good amount of the usual loud pipe bikes roaring by. Somewhat annoying but being of the age where noise wasn't really an issue, they were easily ignored.

Some time went by and I began to notice that one of the bikes was quite a bit different than the others. The rider was always wearing blue mechanics overalls (Blaumans I think they are called) and a pudding bowl helmet. His bike made very little noise and sounded like a well tuned sewing machine. I fell in love with the bike and always tried to slow the rider down to talk to him but never could. The bike was a 60's era /2.

In 2007, after a lot of searching I found my /2 on Craigslist. It was in a warehouse with over 100 classic, fully restored muscle cars. Almost every desirable model was there and the owner was very nonchalant about them. He never started them and they were all cover with dust. He drove a Hummer:scratch. Anywho, in the corner was Greta. She sat with a 1980 plate on her in pretty much the condition she was left. She had a bench seat, Wixom top box and windshield (all of which have been removed) and looked beautiful. I bought her on the spot. We got her home, changed the oil and tweaked a few other things and she fired right up. :dance

The final part of the story is the best (I think). After about a year of riding, I knew I needed some work that was beyond my skill set. There is an old up BMW moto dealer in my area that although closed, still showed signs of activity in the building. After a few days of peering in the windows, I finally found the occupant. I talked to him for a bit and he agreed to take on my work. It turns out that he was the guy in the Blauman's from all those years ago!!! I couldn't believe it. He does not take on outside work, does not advertise and really just wants to be left to do his own thing but he took me in because of Greta. His work was impeccable (as was the shop!) and Greta runs like a top to this day.

I guess that is my story. I added a 2001 F650GS for my wife and a F800GS for me earlier this year but Greta is still my second love (after Nicole). Some day I will probably give her a full restoration when I have the money. She doesn't really need one as I love her original patina but I think she deserves it.

Thanks for reading... Scott:thumb

07-09-2009, 03:55 PM
My father had the classic 1976 R90S with the daytona orange paint scheme. So when I was told about this one for sale (1998), the opportunity seemed right. Picture from Rhienbeck rally '99.


Na Cl K9
07-13-2009, 02:57 AM
The first BMW motorcycle I ever saw pulled in to the gas island at the "Lie and Brag" caf?® and truck stop in Santa Fe New Mexico in 1971 as I was having breakfast with a couple riding buddies. We decided the guy had coasted up to the pumps out of gas because no one had heard the motor running...He was wearing one of those little white European "pudding bowl" helmets, goggles and a nice leather riding suit. Later when he finished paying for his gas, he walked over to the bike, patted the headlight, stood by the side and stepped down on something we couldn't see (it was the kick starter but what did we know). Again there was no engine noise so we figured it hadn't started. Then to our surprise he took it off the center stand, got on and drove silently away.

I sold my Harley to pay for the last few semesters at the university in Albuquerque and year or so after graduation I found myself in the market for another bike. I answered an ad in the local paper for a BMW motorcycle mostly just curious to look at one up close. The owner wanted 300.00 cash and since it ran very well and had a few extras, I figured this would be my chance to try one out so I gave him the money and rode it home. My first impression was that it didn't have enough power to get out of its own way!

Later that afternoon, I was looking over my 'new' 1968 BMW R50/2 and opened up one of the tear-drop shaped bags. Inside was the owners manual, a tool kit...some extra spark plugs and a towel. Wrapped up in the towel was a white ÔÇ£pudding-bowlÔÇØ helmet and a pair of pilots goggles. The 68 R50/2 has been converted with an R90 engine and transmission. It pulls a sidecar now and is waiting for me out in my garage. The photo was taken in 74.

07-13-2009, 12:46 PM
great pic, paul, and a good story, too.


de Razendebol
07-14-2009, 09:16 PM
I did drive on a Laverda SF 2 back in 79, the coupling a real crime, my nephew came over he was driving a R50 like a sewing machine at that moment I wanted one, while still living in Amsterdam went to the local motor shop and saw a R75 with a Glaser fairing, asked the guy how much 5500 Dutch guilders I negotiated cash payment no warranty 5000, I took the bike the same day home.
still have the bike, all too much history.
then finally in 2009 my R1200GSA love it


07-14-2009, 10:35 PM
If there is a common theme here, it's that when you are young and starting out, you don't own a BMW. But as you get older and wiser, a BMW is what you end up with.

Rod Sheridan
07-16-2009, 08:44 PM
If there is a common theme here, it's that when you are young and starting out, you don't own a BMW. But as you get older and wiser, a BMW is what you end up with.

You're wrong.

I'm only older:laugh

Regards, Rod.

07-18-2009, 02:00 AM
This was about 4 years ago when I lived in San Antonio. My neighbor rode an R1100R and I always had bike envy. It was much nicer than my Honda Nighthawk. One day when I was working in the yard he came by and said he was thinking about selling the bike....his knees were getting too sore. We talked a bit about it and he said he was looking for $3500. It was a 1997 R1100R with 12K miles. Well, I didn't have $3500 sitting around and didnt think too much about it.

A couple of days later, I looked up online what the bike was worth. At this time they were going for anywhere between $6500-$9500 depending upon how they were outfitted. "Wow," I thought...what a great deal. Then I remembered that I didnt have the money sitting around.

The next day at work, a buddy of mine called from a local university. He said that they had an engineering class that they needed an instructor for, did I want to do it. I asked him what the class was, and I had recently taught a similar class. When I asked what the stipend was, he told me $3600 for the semester. I thought to myself, is this a sign from god or what?

Needless to say...I taught the course...and bought the bike. Best motorcycle I've ever owned. Awesome!

Postscript.....when I first approached my wife (who was on vacation on the east coast with her parents), her reaction was "You've got a perfectly good bike in the garage..." Next day I listed and sold the Honda. When I told her, she then launched into me for "robbing" my neighbor, our good friend. My conscience started working and I approached him, telling him that he was undervaluing the machine. He handled it with incredible grace asking whether I was happy with the price. Of course I said yes. He said that he was getting what he wanted. So be it!

08-19-2009, 06:26 PM
I was living in Newport, RI and had recently gotten divorced. My ex forced me to sell all my realestate holdings as part of the settlement (she wanted half of everything of course). I was sitting on a bunch of cash and nothing holding me down so I found a Tartan Sloop rig for ocean cruising. I called a good friend that was a certified navigator and proposed that I'd buy the boat and outfit it. He would contribute to operational costs and we'd set sail for Europe and points East. The short story is those plans fell through so I found myself once again unburdened with a bunch of cash.

I went to the local BMW dealer one day and saw an R80/7 in a partially opened crate. I handed the guy about $4,000 and told him I wanted to pick the bike up tomorrow. The next day I had my first BMW and 3 months later I left on a cross country trip. That trip took me to California where I road the coast highway all the way to Washington state. I put 32,000 miles on that bike in the first 2 years. I still consider the R80/7 one of, if not the best, Beemer made. Since then I've owned 2 more and currently ride an R1100RT.


08-20-2009, 12:06 AM
I had not owned a MC since 1978 and bought a 2001 HD 883 Sportster in the summer of 2007 becuase I just wanted to do some local riding. After converting the bike to 1200cc I realized that a cruiser capable of longer rides was really what was needed. My first choice was a HD Road King but the prices were high for a bike equipped the way I wanted. After searching the Internet I came across Cycle Trader and expanded my search criteria. I had ridden a friends R50 in the early 70's and started to look at BMW's. I found a 2004 CLC with less than 1,000 miles on it in Orlando, FL just 150 miles from my home and decided to take a look at the bike. It was "lust" at first sight. All the bells and whistles and more than I would have liked. I bought the CLC on the spot and have put over 20,000 miles on it since. The brakes on this MC were astounding to me, the cruise control lets you eat up super slab miles, the bags are sufficient for long distance travel, and the ride is very comfortable (especially after an Airhawk seat pad was purchased). I sold my 2001 HD after purchasing the BMW and a year later purchased a 1996 Sportster just for putting around town. I ride both bikes for different reasons as they are a world apart in character, but I've come to enjoy the differences and really just enjoy my time spent on two wheels. The Rally in TN was my first and the next one in OR will be my next long trip across the US.
Ride Safe :bikes :usa :usa

08-21-2009, 01:18 AM
My story goes back to one night in the summer of 1969.

I’m lounging on the ‘viewing deck’ my friend Dave built over the roof of the old chicken coop he’d converted to a studio. Jimmy suggested we ride our bikes to Mongo, 45 miles away via one of those rare northern Indiana roads which actually twists and turns a bit.

Jimmy is on his Suzuki 125, Dave is riding his older brother’s R27 and I’m bringing up the rear on my little Honda 90S.

Maybe it was the way that Bavarian machine shimmered in the moonlight. Maybe it was Dave’s smooth riding style. Maybe it had something to do with my mildly altered state of consciousness (hey, I was young and I was stupid – weren’t you once?). Whatever the reason, the bug bit. I remember thinking to myself, “BMW; that’s what I want”.

Thirty years and three bikes later I bought a K100RT. It was a long time coming, but I can draw a clear line from that RT all the way back to the Summer of Love and a black R2 gliding under the full moon.

08-21-2009, 01:48 AM
I dont have as long of a history with BMW's as many here do but after years of riding Japanese sport bikes I was looking for a bike that was sporty and could tour, one where the wife could come along and be comfortable. I looked at the old style Connie, ST1100, ST 1300, FJR's and Goldwings. I wasnt even going to consider a BMW but when I saw the RT at the bike show at the Javits center I immediately loved the looks of it. After looking weighing all my options I kept coming back to the BMW, in my opinion none of the other bikes came close to it in the looks dept, When I test rode one I knew that was the bike I had to have. So I bought my first RT - an 04 in 04 and promptly put almost 5k miles on it. I did a bunch of 500 mile days to get used to it and set off on my first long trip - day 2 into the trip we were involved in a accident, totalling the bike and leaving the wife and I with broken bones and an extended hospital stay. So after healing up I went back to my sportbike but always wanted another RT so a great deal came up, I jumped on it and had another RT and couldnt be happier.

08-21-2009, 02:34 AM
Check my story out in the new members section...
Basically i went to a BMW rally on a Honda, won the "poker run", and used the $300 as down payment on a 1983 K100RT (and sold the Honda).

08-22-2009, 11:21 PM
In 1962, at age 18, I decided I had to have a motorcycle. Knew nothing about them. Didn't know one make from another. Walked into the nearest MC shop, Eastland Honda in Detroit (Honda franchise #60-something, as I recall). The owner, Gil Engells, had also sold BMWs for a few years prior to taking on Honda.

They showed me a 1959 R26 with a whole bunch of miles on it. It was in my price range so I bought it. Riding instructions consisted of: "Here's the throttle, clutch, shifter and brakes. Be careful." I left the parking lot, clipped a parked car's mirror going around my 1st corner and just kept going. Totally self-taught. I rode that thumper everywhere for a couple of years - winter, summer, spring and fall.

I later went to work for Gil, selling bikes at his other Detroit store, Northwest Honda (and BMW). That job got me through night school at Wayne State U.

Fast forward 43 years - I'm still riding. Took a 7,000 mile trip to the United Sidecar Association rally on my '07 Goldwing with Hannigan sidecar. Left on that trip after being home for one week from a 2,500 mile trip down to the "Dragon" on my '06 R12RT. I also have an '07 Vstrom 1000 with a custom dual-sport sidecar built by Claude Stanley.

I've about got my bride convinced I need a winter bike to keep at our Florida home. An R12R seems about right for that.

08-22-2009, 11:39 PM
I moved to Iowa from Colorado where I worked in the ski sports industry. Skied a LOT and generally enjoyed the outdoors, winter and summer. Hiked, biked, and backpacked all over, bagged some 14,000' peaks with friends and did a lot of technical rock climbing. I love the west and loved the life I lived. But family called; my ex-wife moved to Iowa taking my then 12 year old daughter, and away from me. So, I moved to Iowa as well, to be near my youngster. Yes, I could have stopped the move but did not wish to, nor did I wish to lose my kid, which would have happened I am pretty sure. My daughter is now in college and I am still here for a little while. So, you ask, what does that have to do with the purchase of my first BMW? Well, I motorcycled a great deal in my younger days, beginning at the age of thirteen in Canon, City Colorado, continued through the years but quit somewhere along the way. Iowa does not offer a lot of outdoor opportunities, at least, compared to the West. Motorcycling offered an alternative. In 2003 I bought a K75T almost immediately upon arriving here, sold it the next summer and purchased a K75S, sold that bike and bought a R1100RSL in August 2005. Still have it as well as a '78 R100RS I acquired in 2006. Been all over and camped in many locales. I loved the K's but am drawn to the boxer engines! My love of riding has been rekindled; BMW motorcycle ownership helped rekindle that love!

Oh yeah, a BMW motorcycle was what I had in mind as a purchase, never even looked at another brand after moving here to Iowa.

08-23-2009, 12:26 AM
First bike was at 14, the old Honda Trail 70. You know the one with the tall loopy handlebars, long seat and that tube going down the center. Bot it used for $100. I thought I died and went to heaven. At 17 my dad bot a used Honda CB350 that he and I had to carry down into the basement to hide it from my mom. It was his but I quickly learned how to fire it up in basement and get it up the steps - alone. I rode that thing everywhere. My love was kindled. After that there was various riding of friends bikes but not until 7 years ago did I get back into the game and then have my own. So that was probably 25 years later. (Why oh why did I wait so long???)

I wanted a bike, but wasn't sure what to get. Liked the HD's cuz that's what everyone had. My friends had them but I just wasn't sure. So, I bot a 98 Honda 1100 Shadow, Aero. Cruizer style. Filled the bill for a while but that was not a bike to ride for long and it had no soul for me. The HD was drawing me and I could feel it sucking me in. I rented a few HDs but there was just something deep inside not filling my soul.

BMW intrigured me. I liked the technology, I like the quiet. I liked the wind. So while i was back and forth in my decision, I saw a local add for my current 99 1100RT. Saw it, rode it, bot it. Never looked back. Now I don't know if I'll ever sell it, but I do have my eye out of the "next" BMW!

08-25-2009, 07:32 PM
It was summer of 1973. My Dad was a sales manager for a Ford dealer, said come on down here kid I got something you may want to see. I rode my 1968 Suxuki 350 to the store and saw a black BMW twin (airhead). Now I don't remember what year or model, maybe an R60. I was hooked, there was just something about it. I felt smarter and more worldly, I liked the clunk of the transmission you really had something tangible between your legs, something of value with a history to back it up. I have had many Japanese bikes, in 2008 I purchased my first brand new RT. I have almost 10,000 miles and never looked back. I may look into the k1300gt next year, life is short.

08-25-2009, 09:41 PM

love this thread!

08-31-2009, 06:40 PM
Persig tipped me off on the reliability of BMWs in his book - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I owned a series of Hondas - utiltarian machines - think appliances.

Got married - had kids etc, when it came time to get back into biking a few years back I scoured eBay until I found a barn queen - an 85K100Rs. I did a full restoration, including body work and a new OE paint job.


Owned a wonderful GS for a few months recently - did a trip to the Arctic Ocean - but sold her and kept the K Bike.

BMWs rock.

09-01-2009, 02:28 AM
My Dad bought a 67 R60/2, I had 63 Honda CB77 whitch I still have, I thought BMW's were for old guys but I rode his R60 on a couple of long rides. In 1970 I bought a R75/5, Now 6 BMW's later. And I still have the /2.

There have been other brands along the way, some of whitch I still have, BMW's are still my favorite.

Ken G.

09-07-2009, 09:37 PM
Got married - had kids etc, when it came time to get back into biking a few years back.

Please explain, "got married, had kids, got back into motorcycling", I also got married, then got my bike, then had kids, but I was never without my bike. you only have kids for 18 years or so, you have motorcycles for ever.

09-07-2009, 10:18 PM
Apparently, once you are bitten by the beemer-bug it only get's worse....

I must amend my earlier posting on this thread (http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showpost.php?p=477383&postcount=258) by noting my enjoyment of my new-to-me R11S inspired my wife to ask if we could explore riding two-up on a big bike (noting we log 3k-4k miles a year on our tandem bicycles) which begat a garage mate for the R11S....


09-09-2009, 01:31 AM
I've been lusting after a Beemer since I was 14 or 15. I remember going to a local motorcycle dealer (they sold lots of different brands) and sitting on a R90/6. I told myself then that someday I would own one.

Thirty-three years later, I found that same model on eBay. It was local, and there had been no activity on the auction. I watched the auction, and placed a last-minute bid. As it turned out, I was the only bidder, and I did not meet the reserve price. I called the owner, and arranged to see the bike. After looking over the bike and accessories (trailer included), we came to an agreement on price and I became the custodian of a fine old airhead.

I'm looking forward to many years and miles with the old girl :thumb

09-09-2009, 03:00 AM
Raised in a Central PA village of 600 people with several dirt road/lanes and nearly legal access to the abandoned coal strippings in the mountains, I had a Suzuki 120cc trail bike at the age of 11. Dad paid the exhorbitant price of $199 for that left-over bike in 1971. That was a long time ago and in a much different world.

The trail bike begat a used Honda CB360 when I turned 16 ($250 and trade, as I recall), which lost a cam chain tensioner and bent a valve when I was a freshmen in college. As such, the Honda was traded (plus $150) for a Suzuki 380 triple at a local snowmobile shop. That bike carried me thru college, until I had a firm job offer in-hand during the spring of my senior year.

With my new found future wealth, I took my $100 of savings (you could work thru college, in those days) and bought a left-over 1980 Suzuki GS750. All the looks and weight of the really hot, GS 1100 but with a lot less power and really lean carbs (i.e., really jerky throttle response). Nearly as booring and overweight as my future 1988 Buick Regal (GM's alternative to the then popular Ford Taurus), I rode the GS750 for 4-years until the spring of 1985 when I was considering giving up on bikes. I was living north of Baltimore, MD and the suburban sprawl was limiting my riding to beltway trips.

In any event, the BMW shop in Harrisburg, PA had this unique candy aple red BMW left-over, an R80ST, that was light, nimble and chugged like Dad's John Deere tractor. The salesman offered me a good trade on the obese Suzuki and the following week I took a job offer which relocated me to central PA. With the prospect of better roads to ride, I traded Suzuki porker for the nimble little R80ST and I've never looked back. That summer, I rode 9000 miles and started thinking about another motorcycle vacation which would require saddle bags. However, the high exhaust pipe on the R80ST, precluded using a regular set of BMW boxer saddle bags, but necessitated a special order set at nearly twice the cost. In addition, for all it's great features, the R80ST had a woefully inadequate single disk front brake. So, the winter of 1986 was spent saving for the installation of the second disc and purchase of the special saddle bags.

But, BMW had something new to offer that spring, a triple, which appealed to my old suzuki contrarian self, and it came equiped with double front disks and didn't feel too porky. Sadly, the sexy "s" model wasn't imported until later that fall, but number 30 of the US production run for the k75c found a home in my garage. True to form, the speedometer died within 3 miles of the shop (Centerville, PA). The shop swapped speedometers from a different K-bike and I rode home to start a 10,000+ summer (a lot of miles for me). A shop in Williamsport, PA did the 600 mile service and soon there after dropped the BMW line. Similarly, the shops in Harrisburg and Centerville closed that summer. Accordingly, I headed west to Johnstown, PA for the next several years for service.

The k75c was a long term association, lasting 13-years and 80,000+ miles. We nearly made it to the west coast, after attending the Missoula Rally in 1998, but my riding buddy had a tight schedule which nixed that plan. In any event, the k75c did numerous trips to New England and around the Great Lakes. It was a wonderful bike, but the heat off of the radiator could really cook your privates and, eventually, the liitle cafe fairing became just too darn small. Of course, the during those 13-yrs, the average interstate speed kept increasing from 60 mph to near 80, which, probably, contributed greatly to my opinions of inadequacy towards the stock fairing.

Therefore, by 1999 I was ready for an upgrade and I always like the RS models. Those were the heyday years for the stock market and the US dollar was truly strong. The BMW dealership in Mechanicsburg, PA offered me a good trade on the k75c and BMW financial had a 0.9% 5-yr balloon loan on the R11RS that was nearly free money. The k75c was traded and started my relationship with an oilhead. First of all, the additional power is definitely a plus. However, the handlebar vibration and the constant fiddling with the injector balance is annoying. For my first month of ownership, the financial deal was the best part of the bikes performance. The k75c wasn't as fast, but it didn't vibrate or surge. Over time, I've either adapted or become numb, but I'm happier with the bike now. My high mileage summers have been replaced with house remodelling and family commitments. At 10-yrs old, the bike is still pretty sharp and will probably be run for another 10+ yrs. I didn't mention the mileage, due to its embarrassingly low value.

In short, that it is the story of my first thru current rides.

09-10-2009, 12:25 AM
I didn't know much about them when I first got into motorcycling while in the Air Force stationed in Japan. I instead was into sportbikes and at that time 2 stroke 250cc JDM sportbikes. It wasn't till much later when I moved back to NY and was living in the Hudson Valley region of NY near the city of Poughkeepsie.

I was owning at the time a Honda NSR 250 and a Yamaha FZR 1000 and was looking for a shop that was not a dealer to do some work on my FZR. I saw an ad for a shop called On The Road Motorcycle Service which specialized in only European and classic Japanese motorcycles. I went to check them out and found the owner and his partner were Beemer guys. After spending enough time there just hanging out and learning about Beemers my thought of them went from nothing, they're really quirky to way cool. And years later I desired one but what?

After demoing a couple of used ones that were at On The Road and some new ones at Max BMW over the years and convincing my Father and best friend to buy one (which both of them love theirs so much they could not and will not part with them) and finally felt it was my turn. But I always had a financial dilemma when I was ready to buy one. Until one day..........

I work for a major telecommunications company in the area as a field tech. I'm always in some subscriber's home and somehow always seem to end up in the garage or basement (a benefit or curse of the job, depends how you look at it). So one day in October I had a service call for this house. I get to the house and I'm following out the wiring and shown what rooms are wired. At one point I have to go through a garage/basement combo to get to small workshop. As I'm being led I see this 1992 R100GS PD gathering dust in the basement portion.

I inquire about it to which the subscriber tells me that it's her brothers and it doesn't run and then asks me if I'm interested in it. I say I am. She says she will email him since he is living in Japan and plans to buy a sailboat in Thailand and sail around the world and probably needs the money. She goes emails him with my email address. A short time later I get his email and says he would be happy to sell it to me as is for a princely sum of $2,000. That's a deal I can't refuse. But again as usual not enough in the wallet. I need an investment partner......

I call up my Father and tell him all about the PD and how if I had the money I know I could get running. He tells me he will research online about the PD and get back to me. I of course help by already having the necessary research material ready and waiting and email it to him. A day later I get a call from dear old Dad and says " If you think it's a good investment and you can put up the money to get it running I'll give you the cash." Deal.

So here I am, at almost a year later, I'm now a proud partial owner of a 1992 R100GS PD. And lucky for me, Dad lives in FL. so there will be no fighting about who gets to ride it........ Thanks Dad!

09-10-2009, 09:33 PM
BMW's for sale and found a K1100LT an hour north of me, made a call went and looked at it. I already had the cash lined up from the failed deal. So I bought it .

hope you still have the K. That's the best BMW they have made so far. I sold mine at about 94K and bought the new K1200GT. I love the bike, but the K1100LT still has more character and is actually a better wind bike. Ride on:thumb

09-10-2009, 10:18 PM
Having had bikes for the last 35 years or so, in 2006 I had finally started looking at BMW's. My research pretty much led me in the direction of a new R1200RT. My other option was going to be a new Electra Glide. Being surrounded by HD riders, and not knowing anyone with a BMW, I eventually caved into what a buddy of mine called "indirect peer pressure", or settling for the crowd. I bought the Glide, and truly thought it would be the last bike I would ever have, or so I thought. Last year I started longing for the RT again, and the more I thought about it the more I realized it was the most sensible choice. I absolutely enjoy long solo rides! I ended up buying a new 08 RT last spring, and have been loving every mile of it. I just finished an 1800 mile ride to and around the Smoky Mountains, and I did not miss the Glide at all, even though I still own it. It is for sale though, as I just cannot ride it and enjoy it as much as the RT. I have since decided I do not care about what my buddy's ride, in fact I think some of them are envious, but will never admit it. And just recently I was given an R90/6 by a gentleman whom I have done much work for on his two vintage Bonnevilles. So it looks like the Kool Aid will be around my place for quite a while, as I really dig both rides.:dance

09-11-2009, 12:01 AM
About 14 years ago I rode my 1981 Suzuki 550 to the motorcycle campground in Cruso, NC. Around the camp I talked with three BMW riders who had ridden from New York. They spoke glowingly of their bikes ability to cover long distances. That impressed me and I decided I had to have one of the reliable bikes. Within two weeks I purchased a used 1994 K75. I presently own my third BMW, a R1200GS. Be sure to let fellow campers how much you enjoy riding your BMW's.
Just returned from a four day trip with two friends; our group included an airhead, an oilhead, and a hexhead. The riders represented three generations as well.

09-11-2009, 05:15 AM
I have ridden bikes since 1968. Of the bikes I have ridden over the years, only one did I keep: a 1977 Honda CB750A. Had it in the family since it was new. And even now it only has 44K on it. I still ride it at least once a week. Anyway, I started looking for a new bike to take on trips. Was going to get a new Wing. Then a friend mentioned BMW's. But there are no dealers in my area, and I've never ridden one before.

As I began looking at BMW's, on the road passing by or on the internet, I found a re-occuring theme: long distance traveling. So I began trying to find the nearest dealer. HE is about 70 miles away so I took a trip over to his shop. Small shop, not much selection, and did not seem to be a very exciting place to shop. And did not offer test rides.

Went to another dealer over in Iowa. About 150 miles away. Rode the LT and an RT. I fell in love with the boxer motor. LT might be a nice bike, and please don't shoot me, but the K bikes to me are nothing more than Japanese wannabe's. I was not impressed at all.

Next I went south to St Louis. Now here was my idea of a bike shop. Told them I was looking at bikes, planning to buy NEXT year. Salesman ask me which bikes I want to ride. I could ride any or all of them on the showroom floor. So I rode an LT again, and RT again, then the GT, and finally the GSA.

I went back down to that dealership several times, twice with my wife. Gave her rides on the RT and the GSA. WE decided on the GSA. I told the sales manager that I would be back in May of '09 and buy a new GSA from him. On May 11th, of this year, i rode off on my new GSA.

I have taken only one short trip on it. 4K miles in 8 days out to the southwest. I love my GSA. I made the right choice. I cannot wait til I head to Alaska with it. Actually, I'm approaching 11K on the speedo as of tonight and can't wait until tomorrow to get back on it to ride it again.

That's my story. Sorry it is a long one.

09-12-2009, 12:34 AM
I sold my 1st real bike a 78 3cyl Yamaha in 81 to help buy our 1st house. A year later I bought my brothers 78kz 1000. Had the Vetter fairing and rear box I added
the stereo. Me and the so made a few nice trips on the kz. Then the kids came, milked that old kz for 25yrs. Kids were gone and we had always planned to see the good old USA. So I started my search for a touring bike. HD's were not our style Goldwings were for gramps, looked at st1300 an fj and connies but could not pull the trigger. Then driving home 1 day in good old Indiana I saw my 1st K1200LT as it passed us on the interstate. I said thats it. Ck'd cycle trader and found very nice canyon red y2k model with 20K. 3yrs and 30k later. We're seeing the good old USA just as we had planned. I still think its the best 2up pavement eater on the road and thats what matters.

09-25-2009, 09:31 PM
I bought my first BMW, a R 100GS a year ago. I really enjoy it! A buddy in the Navy always rode one and I really envied him! I rode various Japanese and English bikes. We have five kids so BMWs were fiscally out of the question for a very long time. Kids are all out on their own now, so I am able to indulge my desires. I settled on the GS and have never regretted it!

I had my first experience with a BMW back when I was a youngster of about 13. I'm 62 now. Several of us kids would spend part of our summers and winter vacations on a ranch near Comfort, Texas (North of San Antonio). One summer, we were digging around the back of the barn and found an old, black BMW under a tarp. It was up on cinder blocks. We got it out, and after putting oil and gasoline in it, were able to kick start it. We spent the rest of our vacation riding it around the ranch. We weren't smart enough to realize it was a street machine, so we rode it all over the ranch, until SGT Middleton found out about it. Seems he had brought it back from Germany in the early 50's where he was stationed in the Air Force. The next time we went out to the ranch, we looked for it but it was gone. He later told us he sold it before one of us killed ourselves on it! Sure was a cool machine! Wish I had it now!

09-28-2009, 04:15 AM
This bike is my third bike over the years...

There is a story to this.... over the years since being married and starting a family I was with out motorcycle... for years i dreamed of a vintage BMW, but also had my eye on a RT or ST... not sure... just would look at them at the intersection and think they were so cool... I would look at them and think, " when i get rich I'm gonna get a BMW" ... Flash forward.... My mother has cancer and my wife and I are the primary care givers, mom dies,... wife looks at me one day and says if you want a motorcycle get one life is to short. (Mom died too young)... Started looking around... thought about getting several different bikes until i went to BMW's website and saw the F650 GS... and thought 'holy crap' that is the perfect bike for me... and I can afford it!!!!!!!

That was a little over a year ago... and can't be happier.... love the bike...

Never would have guessed my mom passing would let my wife let me have a motorcycle.!

Just joined this forum a few days ago...

Take care


09-29-2009, 03:27 AM
I got my motorcycle license when I was 19 years old. I grew up on a ranch in Northern B.C. and had a 50 cc Honda which I pushed more than I rode. At 21 (or so) a friend gave me a 1974 650 Yamaha which I fixed up and rode for a few years. Always yearned for the BMW and thought I could never ever afford one. Wanted the R1100. Had kids and got rid of the Yamaha. 23 years fast forward, youngest is in last year University and I'm thinking, I'm healthy and in good shape, but some acquaintances are dropping and life is so resilient yet so fragile. So now or never, went to the local BMW shop and and they had a new 2008 R1200RT for sale - so I struck the deal and bought the bike. I've now had it for 13 months and love every minute I'm on it. Oh yeah, I took a refresher 3 hour private lesson before I hopped on it. That was worth the money after not riding for 23 years. AND this summer I took "advanced rider training" from two cops that teach other cops how to ride. That was totally awesome! I will take another course from those folks next spring. Great to be able to do figure 8's lock to lock, start off from a stop at full lock and do full circles locked in either direction. Love this bike. Love this ride.


09-30-2009, 10:43 AM
Bit by the BMW bug in 1987 when the National Rally was in Escanaba. I was working as a paramedic and was able to go through the fair grounds and experience the BMW effect. I decided then that one day I would have my own bike and attend a Rally. Well, life goes on and children need shoes and have to eat, and then tuition. But, the stars have finally aligned, 22 years later, and after searching for the right bike all over the country I found my bike (04 1150RT) a mile from home. Riding every chance I get to make up for lost time, and making plans for next years rally!!

10-03-2009, 06:59 AM
Found my '04 Ferro R1150RA with a mere 1424 miles in the Cycle Trader a couple of months ago. It was owned by a doctor in Edmond, OK but he bought it in Canton, MI (SE MI/Metro Detroit) when he lived there. He road it very little, as evidenced by the low mileage. He also had a Harley and a dirt bike to keep him busy. Paid him $7K and it was mine, my first bike, and in near showroom floor condition.

I'd been looking for something special on the used market for a few years after taking the (required in Oklahoma) safety course and getting the motorcycle endorsement on my license. This was after the big D and the kiddos finishing college. Wasn't finding much of real interest and then I went and bought a house which interfered with cycle buying plans.
Then replaced the truck further delaying things.

So I guess that you could say I looked for my bike for about 3 years before I found the right one for me.

But now I'm riding, got the odometer up over 3600 with many more to come.

10-03-2009, 03:34 PM
Sometime in the late 1990's, don't recall exactly when now, I was washing one of the Nortons in the driveway when a guy from the neighborhood stopped by and asked me if I was interested in a Suzuki GS 1000 (G model, shaft drive, although I didn't know that at the time). Not needing another motorcycle I replied I wasn't really interested in buying another at the moment, he replied that he wanted to GIVE it away to get it out of his driveway. OK, now I'm interested. End result, a few hundred dollars of repairs later I was riding my first shaftie, the rides I was taking were getting longer as I realized how much I liked a shaft drive motorcycle.

Fast forward to fall of 2001. On the way to work one late September morning the GS, now with a few tens of thousands more miles on the clock, blew a crank seal spewing a fine mist of oil all over my foot and the side of the bike. The old horse had served me well, but I just couldn't justify the ever increasing parts and repair costs, so it was decided that a new ride was in order. By now I was firmly sold on shaft drive and I knew that this would be the primary requirement on any new sport touring machine I would buy, but what was out there that I could afford?

At that point in time there wasn't much in the way of sport or touring shaft drive machines available in the ranks of Japanese motorcycles, the choices being pretty much limited to either a Wing or Concours, Suzuki having given up on the shaft drive GS series. Already having some European hardware in the garage I also looked at Guzzi's, impractical due to limited dealer network and poor parts availability, and BMW. I had been looking at BMW's for a number of years, but the older airhead design just didn't light my fire. The newer K series I found attractive but no matter which model I looked at I just couldn't get past the entry price for a new machine on the salary I was making back then. Within a couple days the decision was made and I rode home on a new 2001 Concours in early October.

For the next six years I rode the Conc everywhere, racking up 18,000 miles before the first year of ownership was up. After 5 years and 50K plus miles, I figured I was due for a new ride once again and I eagerly awaited the arrival of the much hyped new Concours. Once the new machine was released and I was able to see it in the flesh, I was greatly disappointed. It seemed Kawasaki had bought into the horsepower war trend in sport touring machines. Had I wanted a cruise missle with saddle bags, I would have bought a big bore sport bike and mounted a set of Givis on the sides, this machine was so not what I was looking for.

Then came the warm fall day in October 2007 when I was returning from a business meeting in southern Maine and I made the decision to stop by Max BMW in New Hampshire to look around. I had just sold a house and had an excess of pocket money looking for a new home, it felt like the timing was right to make the leap. The friendly salesman offered up the keys to any machine I might like to test ride, but I already knew what I was after. Soon I was heading down the road for a test ride on a R 1200 RT, the first time I had ever been on a "modern" BMW. About five miles was all it took, before I got back in the car to finish the journey home I was the owner of a new 2007 R 1200 RT, my first, but certainly not my last BMW :)

BTW, I still have the Norton 750 I bought way back in 1980 and a few select machines from the years in between, including the Concours, so the RT is probably going to be here for a long time as well ;)

10-06-2009, 06:14 PM
I had been looking at BMW's for a number of years, but the older airhead design just didn't light my fire.

Blasphemer! :nono

10-07-2009, 01:00 AM
Blasphemer! :nono

Luddite! ;)

10-07-2009, 04:07 PM
Airhead = Luddite!

There. Fixed.

10-11-2009, 11:24 AM
i have been riding since i was in my teens but never owned a BMW. while researching new bikes i read about the little F650GS and thought how that was just what i was looking for. i also thought since it was a BMW it was out of my price range, an assumption many make about the BMW marque. i then happened on someone selling an F650 and took it for a ride and that was it, i had to have one. i searched all the classifieds without any luck. a few weeks latter my wife had to go out of town for the weekend and she asked what i had planned for myself since i was a bachlor for a few days. i told her i saw that Hermy's had a preowned F650 and i was going to look at. i drove the 3 1/2 hrs to Hermy's and took a look at the bike and while trying to decide if i should buy it i got a call from my wife. she told me there is no way i am buying a used bike and if i come home with a used bike after driving 3 1/2 hrs she gonna be pissed. "come home with a new bike or nothing" were her exact words. the rest as they say is history.........2007 F650GS i've put 30,000 + miles through 20 states and 2 BMW rallies, Gillette and Johnson City. see ya on the road to Redmond next year.

first day home with the new ride:

how it looks now:


10-12-2009, 06:31 PM
i drove the 3 1/2 hrs to Hermy's and took a look at the bike and while trying to decide if i should buy it i got a call from my wife. she told me there is no way i am buying a used bike and if i come home with a used bike after driving 3 1/2 hrs she gonna be pissed. "come home with a new bike or nothing" were her exact words.

Wow. Quite a remarkable (if only marginally believable) story.

I was just noticing your username and thought maybe you'd snagged BubbaZanetti's bike from the curb ...

10-12-2009, 06:53 PM
Quite a remarkable (if only marginally believable) story.

thats my story and i'm sticking to it !!!!!

10-12-2009, 10:38 PM
Interesting stories. First rode in April 1968, a black Honda 50 & sure there are others who started this way. Father was in the Canadian army and he was posted to Germany in 1969 just as I was turning sixteen. At that age the three B's, beer, bikes, and blondes had become extremely important. When we were on the autobahn the majority of the bikes were BayEmVays and all black. (In France even the gendarmes rode them, if the French would ride German iron...)Rode my first beemer in summer of '72, it was an old sidecar bike and still faster than any speeding bullet. Rode off and on for next six years, bought a new GS750,touring on it for several years but still hankered for a real touring bike. Bought a new R80RT in May of 1983 which I still own; the original and much loved Blue Max. Bought a new R1200RT in June '07 which inherited the title of Blue Max with a personalized plate proclaiming it so. Told my nephews when I've gone to the great tour in the sky, they must carry on the tradition.:nod

10-13-2009, 01:16 PM
this is an incredible thread!!! Fell in love with the R100RT in 1978 when they first came out ... I was 18 and going to college.

Bought my first bike in 1982 in Pensacola while in flight school ... a little Yamaha 250. Loved it, and sold it before moving up to Va Beach, Va where I bought a 1984 Yamaha VISION 550. My first shaft drive bike and I really liked it.

Then got married in 1985, and the wife-unit didn't like me flying airplanes and riding motorcycles, so the VISION went bye-bye .....

Fast forward 16 years and two kids to when my military flying career ended and the bug was back!!!! After a 3-month battle convincing the same wife-unit I really needed this (her final words after caving: "just don't kill yourself ... or I'll KILL YOU!!!"), I began my BMW adventure.

Wanted the RT right off the bat, but figured I wanted to ensure the bike bug was real, so I found a '97 R850RA (wasn't going to ride without ABS) in Texas on Traderonline.com, and had it shipped to our dealership in Va Beach. A year and 10K miles later, the bug was absolutely KILLIN' me for the RT. Traded it in on a new '02 RT.

60K miles and 7 years later, bought a new '09 RT with everything last year when I retired from the military. Hope to ride it over 100K ...

10-13-2009, 04:04 PM
Roughly just a year ago. Found the naked 88 RS on the side of the road with a for sale sign in Parkersburg, WV for $3600 and got the guy down to $2800. Started with 34000 miles on it last September and just rolled over 63000 this past weekend. Since then I've stripped the bike down, gave it another paint job and made it mine. I couldn't ask for a better bike that's taken me all over the place. I give the tank a pat like a good dog.

10-14-2009, 03:38 AM
I rode friends Honda 50's, 90's, 125?'s & Triumph Bonneville's a few times in the late 1960's. In August of this year I was driving my son from San Diego to San Antonio on interstate 8. At one of our desert stops there were 3 guys my age (50's) on Ducati's and they looked like they were having a great time. When I got back to San Diego, I went to look at Ducati's once. I talked to a guy my age at the office who told me to buy a bike that was comfortable and that Ducati's were not comfortable. I have ten years of road bicycling and understand the importance of bike fit. I went to the BMW dealership and sat on bikes. The next day I got a motorcycle license at the DMV. The next day I was back at the BMW dealership and rode 3 bikes, the 650 single, the 800 ST and a used K bike. I bought the 800 that day and drove it home. I rode it around the neighborhood a few times then parked it. I took the 24 hour MCSC bike course the next week. I rode it around the neighborhood every other day or so until I felt I had it sorted out. Now I ride it once a week on saturday morning in rural east county on the twisty state roads at comfortable speeds, practicing what I learned in the safety course and what I read in Proficient Motorcycling I & 11 by Hough. I am concentrating on being smooth, not fast. I am having a great time.

10-14-2009, 04:19 AM
MSF course

10-15-2009, 11:47 AM
Was on my 3rd or 4th mid-life crisis, decided to buy a Harley back in 2000. Bought the local newspaper, there was a BMW 96 R1100RT, glacier green. Dont know why I even looked at it, but I was hooked. It was beautiful. Bought the bike on the spot without riding it. Took the wife, God bless her, quite a while to get over my acting like a 5 year old (again).

The best part is the BMW community, of which I had no clue even existed. Went to my first rally in Boone, NC, and boy was I hooked!

That bike was destroyed in a rear-ender, since then have gone through a 99 R11 GS, 99 R12RS, K12LT, 06 R12RT, 95 R100RT, wound up with the 99 R11RT that I have now. Dont know what it is about the R11RT series that I like so much, what with the surging challenges and all that. But she's a honkin' beauty of a ride, purrs like a kitten, all is well.

10-16-2009, 12:14 AM
My story is classic. Back in 1989, I worked for a major custom fire truck builder as a chassis engineer working on developing ABS systems with Bosch. I drove one of the eight man cab models, mid engine design, to lower Michigan to Eatons test track. The German engineer I worked with from Bosch was a Brit sport car nut (go figure) and he saw a MG for sale at a used car dealer in Marshall, MI while we were on lunch one day, so he asked if we could stop and look for a minute. Sure, why not.

I walked into the showroom, and there sat a classic silver/blue R100RS. Sales guy sees me drooling over it, says "make an offer." I said a 77 right? He said nope, 76. Now, I knew back then that BMW did not make a R100RS for the US market until 77. So this was a European spec bike, all original, 14,000 miles. "Make and offer" hits me again. Oh crap, high or low, where do I go? I offer $2500, he says $3000. DEAL! I'm writing a check for $100 to hold it until I, uh, "review" the "propsed" purchase with my then 1st wife.

Later that night I call her on the phone to talk about the day and relate the story of my great adventure that day. Of course, I didn't mention I had already set a deal in motion (forgiveness, not permission). Then she says those magic words that still ring in my ears, "isn't that the bike you always wanted?" YES, YES, YES, success! God I loved her for it, still do. She arranged to wire the money to the dealer. Two days later, I'm there to pick up the bike. But, I'm in Michigan and home is Appleton, Wisconsin. What to do? Ha, I had already figured this out before I even wrote the check.

The bike, if carelfully manuevered, would fit into the cab of the fire truck, with the rear seats taken out. No problem. I parked the truck down a loading ramp across from the dealer, used a heavy board laying there to roll the bike across and into the cab. I deflated the tires and the cab doors just shut. Some ingenius ratchet strapping and the bike was suspended from any contact. 600 miles later I was unloading my 1st ever BMW at home! I still have that bike to this day, along with my 94 R1100RS. Don't have the wife anymore, but she is one of my dearest friends, especially for what she did to help me get my 1st BMW!

10-27-2009, 08:08 AM
These are good reads. Thanks.

My first bike was a Triumph Daytona, 500 cc., twin carbs. Next came a Yamaha 360RT dirt bike, fun to ride off road, taught me a lot about handling a motorcycle.

Then I got serious and bought a new 76 R90/6, Luftmeister fairing, Krauser bags, the works, from Perry Bushong at BMW of Fort Worth. Perry had a great dealership with BMW, Laverda, MV Agusta, lots of goodies. Sold it and bought a 76 R90S around 1990. Found it under a camp on Sebago Lake in Maine. Had some good rides on that bike too. Just bought a 1985 K100RS last month (my plate is NO JUGS) and took my first ride last weekend after fixing it up a little. Looking forward to restoring it this winter and having it for many years to come.

Mike (NO JUGS) in Maine

10-28-2009, 02:21 AM
I had always wanted a K75S. I'd see one around town and just drool. They just looked cool and classy! I was in my 20's and had a few bikes here and there but a BMW was way out of my price range and just a young boys dream at that time. I ended up getting out of biking for a few years and than one day I got the itch real bad and was able to talk my wife into letting me get another ride.

I made a promise to myself that only a BMW would do and it had to be one of those K bikes. I ended up finding one locally and bought it without even taking it for a ride. It was bright red and had a matching corbin basket weave seat....a little red piping to set it off. It came with side bags, a tank bag and a few other little options. I still remember how cool I felt driving it around. Problem was, I had no one to ride with. My kids were young, I was around 30 yrs old at the time and my wife didn't have any interest. I'm embarassed to say I only put about 250 miles on the bike and ended up selling it after 6 months.

Fast forward 12 years. I got the itch again to get back on two wheels.

It had been a longtime since I'd been in the saddle and my wife even expressed an interest. I did some research and it came down to buying a RT1150 or a Honda ST1300. I was ready to pull the plug and I called a local guy to take this sweet blue 04 RT off his hands. The guy was a fanatic about his bike and it was flawless. The phone call only last a few moments...he had sold the bike 15 minutes ago :cry. I was heart broken and ended up jumping on the first bike that came along; a second hand ST1300. It was a good bike but I soon realized it was too heavy, too hot and to be honest I hadn't been on a bike for 12 years and I just could ride it very well. I ended up getting rid of it after 3000 miles and 5 months. Once again I jumped too soon and traded in the Honda on a new Vstrom DL1000. I had a blast on the bike logging in 7500 miles in 10 months but all I could think of was getting back on another BMW.

During that time I had learned about the MOA and found a new friend that was an avid BMW guy. My new found friend and mentor rode a GS1200 and was kind enough to let me ride it anytime I got the urge. I learned alot over those 10 months on my Vstrom and once again felt comfortable and confident in the saddle. I even rode it to the BMW Rally in Tenn! While at the rally I joined the MOA, drooled over all the Beemers and got hooked.....real bad.

I came home from the rally all smiles! I did a few more trips on the Vstrom, trying my best to get the BMW's out of my head. Then one day I got the wild idea of listing the Vstrom on the internet, just for giggles. It last one day! A local guy showed up and took it home :clap! Now I was bikeless.

Fast Forward ONE WEEK:D....I bought a 2009 R1200GS!:heart

It's what I had really wanted all along and I couldn't be happier. She's loaded to the gills and pretty as all get out! I'm back in the family and proud to where the BMW badge once again. BMW riders are a special breed and a wonderful group of people with an incredible love for their bikes and those who share their same affliction.

Here's a photo in upstate PA a few months back.....I pulled the bags, did a little off roading and smiled all night long!


12-23-2009, 05:34 AM
In the fall of 1967 I hitchhiked from Salzburg to Munich to meet with a GI selling this 1952 600. I paid too much for it, being 18 and in love.... I think he had a buddy shilling to drive the price up, but I was happy as I rode it back to Salzburg and throughout Austria and Bavaria for the next several months. I rode it to the ski area with my skis strapped on somehow. I dropped it on the ice in a hairpin turn and slid down the road toboggan style with my pillion rider wondering what happened. I rode it up and down the Patcherkofel on ski trails an logging roads while living in Innsbruck - The bike met an ignominious end on I-90 the day the astronauts landed on the moon in 1969. A BMW dealer changed the oil, and 300 miles later when it blew up at speed I had to sell it to the tow truck driver for $50 to get it and myself off the road.... The drain plug was missing at that point. I've changed my own oil ever since, with rare exceptions - but I always check the plug.

12-25-2009, 02:09 PM
..The drain plug was missing at that point....

this has happened to me, and now i do the same thing you do.

great photo, btw. :thumb


12-26-2009, 02:42 AM
Well, back in the late 50's and early 60's there were basically only H-Ds that were sitting in a puddle of oil and were impossible to start from watching the crowds along the side of the roads in Indiana.

My local dealer happened to carry some other brands. I had first learned on a Zundapp Bella scooter and had graduated to a 250cc Zundapp Sabre [2-stroke] road bike that I purchased through the local dealer.

As my proficiency and horizons broadened I realized an R60 sitting on the show room floor was quite different from the rest of the bikes. It was incredibly quiet, it didn't leak oil, it started quite easy and it had a nice fairing on it. WHAT?!! Yes, I would love to take it for a test ride...

65mph on the local 2-lane highway, a semi in front of me, snick it down a gear, and gas it for the pass - wobble, wobble, and one more. I see another semi coming at me in the other lane but what to my wondering eyes did appear but a beautiful grassey, wide, berm off to the right side - and I flew through the air and into it so nicely. Utilizing my tumbling talents I had learned and perfected in grade school, I rolled into a ball and through the grass so smoothly. In a surreal way I could see the BMW also tumbling down the highway, shedding much of its fiberglass. And, both semis were in full lock with smoke a billowing out their tires!

Basically, no harm no fowl - just a nasty speed wobble induced by the combo of the semi's air off his front and a side wind. Should I have known better?
Fast forward, a few months later I purchased a beautiful 1959 R-60 that was wonderful from that dealer. In the 60's I rode that puppy a hundred thou miles. It was sweet. I got into the dirt, tore the R-60 apart, took it to Brown Motor Works in Pomona, CA in a basket and Mr Brown himself put it back together and gave me $400 for it... Today, I am sure it is one of the bikes on the mezzanine. I would love to have it back!

01-10-2010, 02:08 PM
My first Beemer.

A guy called my up one night some time in 1990 and said that he'd heard I was into old bikes; he had a basket case BMW in his garage he wanted to get rid of.
He'd bought the thing so he could use the engine in an ultralight airplane he was building, but discovered that a 1965 R69S engine wasn't suitable, for that purpose, so he'd acquired an R90/6 engine instead.
I've got several good friends who owned /2's and earlier BMW's, had a few opportunities to ride on them, and hadn't been impressed with the feel of them, and absolutely hated the way they looked.
I preferred my Royal Enfields (a genuine, English made 750 Interceptor, and a 500 Twin US-Market Indian) and BSA's, both for the way they rode, and the appearance. I wasn't concerned about reliability, a properly built and maintained British bike, which isn't subject to abuse can be reasonably reliable, although the defenition of "abuse" is pretty wide.

So, seeing an opportunity to make some money, I bought the collection of parts. Cost me $1200, plus an old "Ducks Unlimited" commemorative 12 ga shotgun, so approximately $1600.

The parts pile included two complete frames, one with a badly smashed front fork and wheel, one engine (number matching the smashed frame) 3 beat up gas tanks, one /2 front fender, and one /5 front fender, 3 rear /2 fenders, a a headlamp, a spare alternator, and many other miscellaneous parts. One signed over Oregon motorcycle title.
The original plan was to haul the entire lot off to one of the west coast vintage swap meets and unload as much of it as possible.
My BMW owner friends convinced me to hang on to it, and see if I could build a working bike out of it.
I sat on it for several years, not really all that interested, but having to fend off harrassment from my friends about "when are you going to get to work on that bike?".
Around 1995 or so a guy named Steve Prokop moved into town from California. Had an impressive resume as a vintage BMW wrench (he was one of the judges at the vintage show in the 2001 Redmond Rally), and so I took the engine to him for a rebuild, and got started sorting the rest of the parts to get ready for a rebuild.
This started in February, 1996. My goal was to get it ready for the Oregon Vintage Motorcyclist's show in May of that year. I spent virtually all my free time on it, and actually had it finished about 4 days before the big show!
Now that I had my own vintage BMW, I began to realise just how good these things were compared to any of the British motorcycles. Early on, I still felt that they were rather ponderous in corners, and that the accelleration was kind of "sedate" compared to my Interceptor, but these qualities gradually became less and less significant over time.
I even began to appreciate the styling of them.
Eventually, the Britbikes were pushed to the back of the garage, and only ridden occassionally.
Here's a picture of it that I took in 2008. I've put quite a few miles on it since I finished the restoration, and it's proven to be remarkably reliable. It's in semi-retirement, as I've bought other BMW's in the ensuing years, but it gets out for a good run several times a year.

01-10-2010, 02:25 PM
65mph on the local 2-lane highway, a semi in front of me, snick it down a gear, and gas it for the pass - wobble, wobble, and one more. I see another semi coming at me in the other lane but what to my wondering eyes did appear but a beautiful grassey, wide, berm off to the right side - and I flew through the air and into it so nicely. Utilizing my tumbling talents I had learned and perfected in grade school, I rolled into a ball and through the grass so smoothly. In a surreal way I could see the BMW also tumbling down the highway, shedding much of its fiberglass. And, both semis were in full lock with smoke a billowing out their tires!

Basically, no harm no fowl - just a nasty speed wobble induced by the combo of the semi's air off his front and a side wind. Should I have known better?

whoa. You crashed a bike on a road test? What happened to "you break it, you buy it?"

Another example of the school of hard knocks. You probably should have known better, but you certainly did after that lesson! And like some of my riding "lessons" in the early days, lucky to have survived the class.

01-10-2010, 06:09 PM
I bought a new FJR in the Spring of 07. In June of the same year I rode it to NC to play in the mountains. I stopped at Deal's Gap resort and saw a new K1200GT in the flesh for the first time. At that instant, I knew that purchasing the FJR had been a mistake. In March of last year, I traded the FJR for a new, left-over 08 K1200GT and promptly went on a 3,000 mile jaunt. Never looked back.

01-10-2010, 09:11 PM
I was probably one of the very few small kids who thought BMWs were cool although nobody in my life had anything to do with bikes. I bought a new Honda CB200T in 1975 as soon as I could afford a bike. Then a 1977 Suzuki GS400, then a 1981 GS650G.

In 1984 when the K bikes came out, word was it would be the end of the R bikes. Figuring it would be my last chance to own a new BMW twin, (they had the '84 "last edition" models, right?) I found the nearest BMW dealer and bought the only silver R100 to come to Canada that year.

01-11-2010, 12:22 AM
The R90S came out and I was in love.

I was riding Hondas at the time, newlywed and broke, so it was many years later before I could afford a BMW. I did come close to a BMW in the early 70's. I test rode a used 650 Toaster Tank that cost the same as a new Honda 550, I went with the Honda.

In the mid 90ÔÇÖs I was in the market for a new bike. It was down to a VFR or R1100RS. The BMW cost more but BMW had a 1.9 % financing plus a $1200 accessory allowance, together! Daymn; the BMW cost me lass than the VFR with that package.

Here is what I got

01-11-2010, 09:02 PM
In 1962 I had owned my 50cc Zuendapp moped for 2 years and I needed to get a "real" bike. A local gentleman had a BMW for sale. It was a 1951 R25/2 with oodles of k's on it. Needed some work. I was going on a tour and had to replace the piston the day before. Went on a testdrive and the damn thing seized up. Pushed it home about 3 kms!!. Took it apart and the wrist pin had seized. Reemed the bushing a bit more, re-installed the blueish looking pin and back together she went. Ran ok and the next morning we went on a tour of Denmark and the R25 never missed a beat. I owned it for about three years until I left the country. It had a top speed of about 110km/h (65m/h) and that seemed fast in those days. Anyway, I owned many more bikes after that, but the R25 has a special spot in my heart.

Dietrich H. Look

01-12-2010, 01:22 AM
My dad had a 67 R60/2, I had a 62 Parilla 250 Gran Sport that I bought when I graduated from high school. One day a buddy came buy to go riding but my bike needed tires, so I asked my dad if I could ride his BMW, he said ok, well it was not the light weight canyon scratcher that the Parrilla was, but I was amazed how quiet and smooth it was. I borrowed it one other time to take a girl for a afternoon ride, she allmost refused to get to get back on the Parilla after that. So in 1970 I bought a R75/5 I rode that machine 30,000 miles. In 1975 I bought a R75/6 that I still have with 168,000 mlies on it, and I still have my dads R60/2.

Several machines have come and gone, including two K100's, I now ride a R1200R.

Ken G.

01-12-2010, 04:03 AM
It was 1990. I had been riding my KZ440 into the ground for several years. My buddy had a Softail for about 2-3yrs. I was going to the Harley dealer to prove to myself that I could not afford a Hog. First bike I saw...a full decker around $20k...I could not afford that, just what I wanted to see! I looked down to row of brand new Harleys and Beemers, and saw something cool at the end of the line. I checked it out. A 1986 R65, black, cafe racer bars + barends, small S fairing. Very clean. I could afford this!!! I bought it that afternoon. I put 100k km on it.

01-12-2010, 08:44 AM
Wow, I have to go back in time ...... guess I am getting old ..... :D

It was in 1967, 15 yrs. old, riding just a little Zundapp 50 cc 2-stroke Kleinkraftrad, when I saw my best friend riding around in his backyard on a old 250 cc '50's Triumph 2-piston motorcycle with cut off fenders and off-road tires - I had to have one too and bought from my father's retired friend for 50 DM (German Mark) a 250 BMW R 25 and cut off the fenders, put GS-tires on it and was a proud owner of my first BMW ........ misused as a Dirtbike and tormenting our neighborhood and woods ........ :blush

That was the beginning of a lifelong lasting love for motorcycles and the start of my OFF Road Racing (Enduro/ISDE, Motocross) career.

01-12-2010, 02:34 PM
In 1975 I walked into a BMW / Suzuki shop in Orange Texas looking for a windshield for my 650 Yamaha. Getting ready for my first motorcycle trip. Saw the black R75/6 and just had to have it.

Put about 60k on that bike but made the mistake of selling after I bought a Honda Aspencade in 1983 then a 1986 Harley Police Electra Glide. 2nd BMW was a K75-hated it. 3rd was a 2000 1100 RT bought from a friend after 2 years with no motorcycle following a wreck on an Electra Glide that cruched my wifes leg.

My 4rd BMW was a 2000 LT. It was a nice ride but just didn't feel like a BMW to me so: I sold it for an 1150RT. RT was fantastic one up but never quite what I needed for 2 up. Unfortunately we are now big enough for 3. So I sold the RT and bought a GoldWing for 2 up touring. Of course I couldn't stand not owning a Boxer so last year bought this one.

notice the resemblance? I always regretted selling my 75 R75 and a Gold and White 1994 Ultra classic. So I have tried to correct one of the mistakes.

I was browsing this thread, looking for user names I know. This picture of you in 1975, married with a kid! (I was a freshman in college at the time.)

No wonder I didn't recognize you at the Honor Ride last summer :bolt

01-14-2010, 11:14 PM
Years ago a friend bought a 1971 R 50 and I fell in love. It took until 2004, but I found a sweet 83 100RS. I put 20,000 fun miles on it, then lost my mind and sold it.
I went 5 months without a Boxer, but then found a one owner 1980 R100RT, which I now have and will not sell. I luvs it....

01-16-2010, 09:55 PM
During High School and after I had a 82 Yamaha XJ65J Maxium with a Vetter faring, then later I got a 94 Concours. So I have always had a standards/sport touring bike. At college the Concours was knocked over and insurance wrote it off. Best thing to ever happen, as it was used as a down payment on a condo years later.

So about the time this thread was started, I was graduating from college in 2005. I got a boring job with a Midwest mortgage company moving mortgage files between buildings. Great college education put to good use. In January 06 I walked into my home town bank with my first check and asked for a motorcycle loan. Did not have a bike to purchase yet, but got a "No problem" for the bank. Few weeks went by and I was looking at Sport Touring bikes again. I passed on all Concours as my 94 drove like a truck. I wanted an Honda ST 1100 really bad in High School. For a few years during college I worked at a Honda dealer. However I only saw one ST on the floor each year. So I was not really wild about it any more. I then started looking a the BMW RT. That is what i want!

The winter went on and in March I found a 04 R1150 RT on Ebay in Dubuque IA. Called the guy. Buy it now. DONE! Next week dad and I drove out with trailer to get my new toy. I first saw my machine in the back of a billiards/lighting shop in down town Dubuque. She was placed on old elevator the size of an F-150 that would move furniture up and down 4 stories in the building. Very Weird! The bike was super clear! Titan silver in the color, and only 35K miles. My girl friend and I named the bike Titan. One for the color, but we also went to UWO where the mascot was a Titan. So it fit.

Over the years we have double the mileage. During the ridding season, I commute daily on the bike. I put more miles on the bike then I do a car now. I plan to shoot for 100K on the bike. Here is a photo of Titan and I in Inverhuron Provincial park Ontario in 2008.



03-04-2010, 05:51 PM
What a cool topic for discussion!!!

A crusty old construction hand named Jack sold me his American cruiser as my first bike. He immediately took his proceeds and bought an old fix-er-upper K bike which he rode every evening after work with me and my new bike. He was the experienced rider of the two so I was always the tail. I looked at that old, beat up, clunker for about 2 months until it made me want to throw rocks at my chromed out sexy cruiser. I found a 97 k1100 lt about 20 miles from our temporary work assignment and gladly took the abuse from my pregnant wife about how stupid it was to buy it without selling my old one first.
I haven't been riding long but since that day I've never ridden anything else but a BMW. Currently enjoying my 07 RT.

So, thanks to Jack's son intitially who rides a GS that inspired his dad to find an old beemer as a project. And, thanks to Jack for getting me hooked on this incredible rush of a hobby!
And yes Jack, I read the manual!!

03-04-2010, 09:15 PM
I'd been riding an HD Fat Boy for about two years, but that scene just wasn't "me." I saw a used 93 K1100RS on Santa Cruz BMW's website for a reasonable price, and decided to have a look. I thought the windscreen was the most butt-ugly thing I'd ever set eyes on, but Holy Moly...when I rolled on and hit that first sweeper, it was a love fest. I bought the K, sold the Hog, and have never looked back. I still have the bike, along with an 08 GS Adventure. Life's been very, very good.

03-05-2010, 01:49 AM
I have ridden on various motorcycles since 1967 my father always said a BMW was the best, Finally in Oct of 2008 I had enough of polishing chrome on a HD all week to ride one day ,so I sold and bought a R1200GS and loved it ,Now have a R1200GSA . Best bike I ever rode ,Dad was right

03-05-2010, 05:40 AM
After years of bicycles, ten years ago I started looking for a motorcycle with the encouragement of some friends (but not the now ex). One had a BMW and that was what I was looking for, but I didn't have the funds. Ended up with an excellent deal on a low mileage KZ1100. A heavier bike than I wanted for the first time out but it fit reasonably well and was a good long distance bike.

With a new SO who can no longer ride because of occasional vertigo, I started looking for a bike that both fit me and would easily handle two up riding. The RT fit the bill. Found a 2002 I could afford. What a world of difference. SWMBO really likes it as well.

03-05-2010, 07:02 AM
I swore at my 1975 Honda 550-4 when I ran out of gas at just over 100 miles, about 20 miles out town on the Canadian Plains and had to be rescued by a Yamaha TX650. "You are going bye,bye!"

I traded the sucker in at Pokes Cycle in central Seattle for a 1976 R90S, with Luftmeiser fairing and Krausers bags and now I knew I had the right bike.

Two years later I move to and island on the SE Coast of Alaska with end to end and about 30 miles of road, a long distance ferry and 6 daily Alaska Airline flights in and out daily..

sadly I sold my R90S 32 years ago. It was the best. Now I have it's little brother, and Grand Father.

I put motorcycling on the back shelf for 31 years..but have for the last 13 yrs have had a garage find in the form of an 1960 R50 that was in process, really slow process until last year..it is up and running now.. then I aquired a 75/7 last August and am planning to ride the p...s out of it in the next 5 years.

It will be a runner in April. Am taking it to the National Rally in Redmond.

Look for it, Totally white, with Krauser VK1 white/graphite frame, Alaska Plate BMW777.

I like bikes.

03-05-2010, 09:20 AM
So, I have had bikes on and off the better part of 45 years. Had a Vespa (125 I think) back in the stone age in the REAL deep south, i.e; Ecuador, South America!
Hondas, Suzukis, Yamahas passed through my life, then I discovered British bikes and I was truly in love with a Norton Commando.....some more fast forwarding, a Triumph of the new kind, then I get sent to live in Paris and, it had been like five years, so...... "Hey Honey, I bought a bike, you know, traffic in Paris is really awful, so....."
I e- shopped as I had not a word in french to my name. Saw THE one on the BMW Etoile web site (that is the Bimmer store right on the Champs Elysees ) Went there, sat on it, called the sales guy over and I conveyed the thought to him that I would like to buy ze bike. Voila.....my first beemer, which, by the way, may it rest in peace as I wrote it off at a track day at a very cool circuit, also near Paris called Circuit Carole. Open every day, only bikes allowed, like 20 bucks, for a whole afternoon ride. Of course if you step on your dong like I did, it tends to get more expensive. At any rate, with the insurance and parting out proceeds I bought me a twin to it, and it proudly sits in my garage here in the land of Cleves. Instant 'drive shaft snob' I became though, telling all my french biker friends that, really, two wheel contraptions with rubber bands or chains for drives were not really motorcycles but more like mopeds, until one of them pointed out to me that TRACTORS have driveshafts.....that shut me up. For a while.....
The other thing, we joined the community, in France. Best move we ever made. The tours we went on.....unbelievable, and ze food we ate, and ze friends we made.....
Anyways, now it is K1200RS, K1 and a K100LT (as I wrote one off, this one I rescued from the grave's edge) that lives in Europe.

03-06-2010, 06:17 PM
On a sunny Saturday looking around for a pair of riding gloves i took the Beemer for a test drive...and that was it! 30 minutes later i left my Honda VF750F as a trade in and rode off with my first K100.
This happened 2 years ago.
Yesterday i swapped my old 1988 K100 for a 1998K1200RS.
What a difference!

03-06-2010, 07:49 PM
On a sunny Saturday looking around for a pair of riding gloves i took the Beemer for a test drive...and that was it! 30 minutes later i left my Honda VF750F as a trade in and rode off with my first K100.
This happened 2 years ago.
Yesterday i swapped my old 1988 K100 for a 1998K1200RS.
What a difference!

You got the correct model AND color.....ain't nuthin like them yellow jobs.....I am on my second one.....:thumb

03-06-2010, 08:02 PM
The movie Bucket List and seeing a new 1200 GS in a parking lot was all it took. At age 56 I thought if not now, when? 4200 miles later and I've never regretted it.

03-06-2010, 08:29 PM
The movie Bucket List and seeing a new 1200 GS in a parking lot was all it took.

You read one of my posts...copycat!

03-06-2010, 11:50 PM
I drove by BMW of Atlanta several times a week for years. Always wanted a BMW but never thought I could swing it. Then one day there was this Barritz blue R1150RT sitting out front ....

03-07-2010, 12:50 AM
age 22 . . . just out of the service.
Had been in love with a neighbors R60/2 while in high school. Found one in a neighborhood sale. Bought it and traveled "around" for 5 months circled the US, through Canada, down into baja . Left with $600 to my name . . . worked odd jobs along the way . . . ended the journey with $300 in my pocket. cost effective and FUN.

almost 30 years ago . . .

Good tale. Wish I could do this today! Let's see, an old dude on a '78 Beemer ridin' and workin' his way around the country....Sounds good! "Then Came JD"! Sounds like there may be a TV series in there somewhere?

03-07-2010, 12:59 PM
Bought a Suzi 650GS, or a GS650, depending what side of the bike you were standing on for a 1,000 dollars from my bro in law.
Trained on that for 1 month.
Always liked BMW cars, and thought their bikes might be as cool as the cars. My dad had a 320i and a 528i the late 70's. Never warmed up to the cruizer style, or the sport bike style. After talking to a friend that had both R bikes and K bikes, I decided the K bikes were for me.
Found an '87 K75s for a fair price.
Had that for 2 months, and then found a great deal on a 04 GT demo. That was in late 2004, and 60K later, I still haven't found a bike I like better!

On a side note, that little Suzi was responsable for the purchace of 5 BMW's. My two. My bro inlaw was impressed with the little K75, so he bought a K100RT, then a K1200LT.
I sold the Suzi to a guy at work, and 2 months later he bought a K1200LT after selling the Suzi to his brother.
His brother still has it.

03-07-2010, 04:49 PM
Used to ride a Harley Ultra, on way back home from Finger Lakes, NY was passed by an RT - did not hear it coming, hardly even felt it go by.....Said to myself, WOW...:thumb

Went to Toronto Bike Show 4 years ago, looked at the bike, sat on it, bought it...

03-10-2010, 06:30 PM
When I was a teenager, I would go into the Yamaha Dealership, who also sold BMWs and drool over them. Fast forward 30+ years and in 2008 I bought my first beemer, a 2000 R1100RT. Now, I was looking for a part and I searched the internet and found BMW MOA. I joined the membership club, but let it lapse after selling my R1100RT in late summer of 2009. I have regretted selling that bike ever since, but recently remedied it by buying a 2002 R1150RS. I also owned a BMW convertible, a long time ago. I love dem beemers. :buds

03-10-2010, 06:57 PM
When I was at Emerson Electric in about 1982 there were 3 all round riders, one GW, one BMW and myself on a Kawasaki KZ550A1. I talked to the BMW guy, his miles, his attitude, and the reliability of the old air heads, impressed me.

When I reentered riding after raising my kid, I had 3 choices, R11XXR(T,S), FJR or Honda ST, I wanted ABS as a priority. I found a reasonable R1150RS and bought it.

I had a learning curve on the wizzy brakes, we have bonded now. Love the Ohlins and the Seargent seat. Too bad the relative reliability of the BMW to other brands has declined.

Joined the MOA, like the magazine.

someday a R1200RT, but I have a few more years on the RS first.


03-10-2010, 10:31 PM
My entire motorcycling life history... :)

Rode a dirt bike when I was 6 or 7. Rode it until the engine experienced a critical failure by way of a broken piston. That was pretty much it for that bike.

Wanted a street bike all through my teens, 20s, & into my 30s but could never "afford" one (always a competing priority). At 20, took the MSF course at a Honda factory in Troy, Ohio. The factory was the final assembly point for Goldwings, if I'm not mistaken. They had a huge rider education course in the back of the building. Tested for my license there.

From 2003 to 2006 there was a blue Honda ST1300 at a dealership at the in-laws (Wilmington, NC). Nearly every trip there I would stop in to "visit" it & see if it was still there. (Ok, "nerd.")

2004-2007 I rented Harleys once or twice a year and took short 1.5 day rides alone and with family and friends.

In 2007 I finally paid off my debts & my car loan and decided it was time. Decided on a BMW over the Honda after painstaking research. I was concerned about the "Pacific Coast Weave" & heat on the ST and was intrigued by BMW's long touring history. Picked a bike on-line at Bob's, went to visit it & do a test ride, really liked it, and bought it a few days later. That was it! I think I rode 12K miles per year the first 2 years. Great fun!

I've since moved from the air-cooled twin to a liquid-cooled in-line 4 (KGT).

03-11-2010, 01:51 AM
I was riding a vulcan 1500 classic and a honda 750 shadow on a lark I tried a 1200gs demo now its my only ride i love it

03-12-2010, 05:35 AM
When I was a teenager, I would go into the Yamaha Dealership, who also sold BMWs and drool over them. Fast forward 30+ years and in 2008 I bought my first beemer, a 2000 R1100RT. Now, I was looking for a part and I searched the internet and found BMW MOA. I joined the membership club, but let it lapse after selling my R1100RT in late summer of 2009. I have regretted selling that bike ever since, but recently remedied it by buying a 2002 R1150RS. I also owned a BMW convertible, a long time ago. I love dem beemers. :buds

I had the 2002 R1150RS.. and added the Techlusion.. made it a totatlly different bike...

Never hit the rev limiter on the bike until I installed it, first acceleration from a stop sign.. yeah, thought I screwed up my bike. It's a fun bike to begin with, the Techlusion makes it even MORE fun, and a lot harder to stay out of the throttle.

03-13-2010, 03:49 AM
Got the bug for a BMW in summer of 79. just out of HS worked in a machine shop and a customer used to come out on a r/90s. I rode a 75 honda 360. ye ha. the BMW had no chain looked real cool and was like nothng I ever seen.

Move forward 15 years or so bike less for at least 12 or 13 by then. Meet a new customer and in his cubicle he has a poster of a BMW r90s a Fokker triplane, and porsche boxter with a real attractive girl laying on it. So I ask him if he has the Porsche or the r90s, figuring no one has a fokker tri plane and well the super model we could all hope for. he had aearly or mid 70's r90 with krauser faring and bags very slik ride.

He then faxes over 20 pages of adverts for used r100rt's and such. Well I find a nice 82 r100rt and bought it. I had left the bike at the dealers for about 3 months till spring after paying for it. Then I told the wife about what I was thinking of buying. Initially not a well recieived idea. Then I brough it home. Moment of truth after 4 hours she came out and looked at it. still a little annoyed well actualy very annoyed. After some time to absorb the fine black RT sitting in the garage she say wheres the back rest for me so I don't fall off. Then mutters well it does look sharp... Then says we will be going to the jewelrey store for our anniversary this weekend. yikes was that a pricey trip at the jewlrey store.

She now rides her own F650gs

03-13-2010, 07:22 AM
When I started riding nearly 40 years ago, I thought that BMWs were about the ugliest bikes ever built, not to mention some of the slowest and I told myself I'd never buy any. I started on Triumphs and moved on to four-cylinder Hondas and Suzukis. Anything that moved fast and looked "beautiful". (Don't crucify me on this - beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder!)

It wasn't until my knees started to hurt from being tucked up and back on my GSX-R1100 that I realized that I really couldn't ride as long as I wanted on that type of bike. Looking around for a bike that I could sit in a more straight-up position with my legs bent back as little as possible, I found the 100GS. And I found a great '94 on The Internet BMW Riders website, which I have ridden nearly every day for the last four and a half years.

Now that I have a '04 1150GSA (also found on BMWIR), I'm very happy that I do have what will probably be "the last bike..." that I will buy. However, I've learned one thing in my bike life - never say never! ;-)

03-13-2010, 10:50 AM
I took the Harley Davidson Rider's Edge MSF class in 2002. Shortly after that, I bought a used Honda Rebel to perfect my riding skills, since I knew I was not yet ready for a larger bike.

After I got comfortable on the Honda Rebel, I went to the Harley dealer to purchase a Softail Deuce. I had done my research on prices (MSRP) on the Harley website. Much to my surprise, the salesman scoffed at the MSRP price and said the selling price was MSRP PLUS $3,000.

When I asked him why, he said,"The law of supply and demand." I replied that at those prices, I would take my demand elsewhere. I had never paid list prices on automobiles and I was not going to pay list PLUS $3,000.

I looked on the local BMW dealer's website and noticed the dealer had a three year old R1200C with only 5,900 miles for $10,990. I went to the dealership and offered them an even $10,000, which they agreed to.

I enjoyed the C very much and became a member of the Chromeheads website. After two years on the C, I thought I needed a touring bike, so I purchased a new 2005 R1200RT. I have since become disillusioned with the seat height and bulk of the RT and just bought a R1200R. So I have come full circle from a cruiser to a touring bike to a basic standard bike.

03-13-2010, 03:36 PM
I have been riding since 1972. Just out of college, my first bike was a new Yamaha R5C 350cc purchased at the Slegers-Forbes super dealership in Whippany NJ (which also sold those funny  and expensive!!  BMWs with the cylinders sticking out the sides.) Not yet having my motorcycle endorsement, I practiced riding in a school lot across the street from my home, then went out on illegal road excursions. My brother & I pushed the Yamaha two miles for me to take and pass my road test, then pushed it back home because I forgot to bring a passenger helmet for him. After that, I cut my riding teeth in the then-undeveloped hills of northwestern New Jersey.

I later dabbled with a host of Yamis & Hondas, including a brief foray into club racing with AAMRR and WERA. Reluctantly, I gave up riding once our children were born.

About 10 years ago, when I turned 50 and with the kids in college, I treated myself to a used Suzuki Katana 1100. Nice bike, with gobs of torque. Once I equipped the 'Big Kat' with aftermarket Givi luggage, I rediscovered my love for riding. But my wife Jackie wasnÔÇÖt enamored with its sporty nature. Two years later, JackieÔÇÖs girlfriend mentioned to her that her husband was selling his BMW, and Jackie suggested that I take a look at it.

Prior to this, my only experience with Beemers was riding my motorcycle mentor-buddyÔÇÖs R60/6 back in 1974, and my brother-in-lawÔÇÖs ratty R90/6 back in the 90s. I also toyed with the notion of buying a used K100RS, but I just didnÔÇÖt have the personal time to devote to riding-ownership.

Anyway, the BMW was a 1992 K75RTA sans luggage, with only 3800 miles. $4000 later, I became her owner  and still am, now with 28000 miles on the clock. I estimate that since Ive owned her, Ive added the equivalent purchase price in farkles to her. Right now, shes close to being just right. (By the way, owning her led me to the NJ Shore Riders club, with K-Brick guru Don Eilenberger and knowledgeable independent mechanic Mike Kowal as members. Great group!)

Occasionally, I fantasize about replacing her with some young thing, like the R1200R, R1200RT, or Honda NT700V. But despite her few flaws, there isnÔÇÖt a bike out there that quite compares with her.

03-13-2010, 06:53 PM
I was recuperating from a ruptured Achilles tendon and had sold my Ducati Monster. I was feeling better and just off of crutches and was hobbling around on a cane when a friend dragged me to Miller BMW in Tallahassee, FL. There she was was a 1997 R1100RT. Yes, she was a used single owner with 60,000 miles. But, she was meticulously taken care of with maintenance records going back to her delivery. So I bought her on the spot. Rented a trailer and brought it back to Panama City. It is such a wonderful ride. I brought her with me to Germany when the Air Force moved us to Kaiserslaturn. We have many great trips planned!:wave

03-21-2010, 11:27 AM
I have owned bikes since I was 15. At first it was the Yamahas and the Hondas. They worked well, did not cost much, and were easy to maintain. Then in the 90s I got on that HD bandwagon like all of my friends. They worked most of the time, cost a lot, and had a list of maintenance items as long as my arm. Then a few years ago I picked up a 1985 K100 off Ebay. Wow! This thing was about 20 years old, rode great, had fuel injection, and I did not scrape the pipes on the curves. I figured that if the brand was that good in '85 that a later model must be worth looking at so I bought a used '04 RT 17 months ago with 25k miles on the clock. I now have over 61k miles and I just can't seem to get off of it. I still ride the K100 every now and then to keep the battery charged but the love of my life is that RT. I only wish I could have discovered BMW years ago. Oh well. I am only 54 so perhaps I can make up for lost time by riding BMWs for the next 30 years or so.:dance

03-27-2010, 02:28 PM
I finally got dragged in by my buddy last year :stick , although I Didn't purchase one until two Fridays ago- an 08 K1200GT. Last year my friend got me to go to a track day sponsored by Engle Motors here in Kansas City, and the 100,000 foot ride in Denver, Colorado. I have owned 6 Jap bikes since 93. When I never passed a single BMW built past 1985 on my 03 Z1000 during the track day, and saw the community of riders at the 100,000 foot ride, and finally took a ride on my friends R1200S, thats all it took. I now have a big BMW flag hanging in the garage! I have to say the K1200GT is far and away the nicest bike I've ever owned!

:beer Cheers!

03-27-2010, 09:45 PM
My dad was in the Canadian Forces & we were posted to Germany when I was 16.
One of his German friends had a white BMW and dad took me out (R50?).
I bought a 1962 250 Honda Dream that year & rode in Europe for the next 3 years.
The BMW certainly left an indellible impression, but due to financial restrictions I bought my 1st BMW a new 1985 K100RT after test riding it at the Americade Rally.
I knew my Suzuki 1000E with the Hannigan fairing had to go.
I sold that BMW last year after 24 years of great riding & no issues as I had purchased a 07 K1200GT the year before (the wife advised that I couldn't ride 2 bikes at the same time, or words to that effect!).
I really enjoy the new GT, but still LOL when I think about the K100RT.
If you get a chance take the BMW Advanced Rider Training (I've taken it 14 times since 85 and signed up again today).
Great bikes, great community and good times.

03-28-2010, 03:49 AM
I bought my first bike, a BMW 1000R, while living in Europe. The traffic was bumper to bumper, but bikes are allowed in the bus lanes. It took by trip to work from 1 hour to ten minutes. A no brainer.

I also found it to be the best time of my day. Dressed properly it was no colder than sking and no more wet than sailing, and just as fun.

Riding a bike is the ultimate convertible, and I have found Beemers to be safe, dependable and just plain fun to ride.

Ride safe and often

03-29-2010, 12:47 AM
Several factors entered into my purchase of my 85 K100. First, a good friend had a 76 R75 that he had since new. Second, I wanted a motorcycle that would hold it's value better than the Japanese bikes I had been riding. Finally, I had lost interest in chasing the latest and greatest pure performance bikes. The K100 had excellent real world performance rather than the high RPM bias of the Japanese performance bikes. I guess it worked out OK since I kept the bike for 22 years.

03-31-2010, 04:33 AM
Read up on the"new" BMW image started with the K1200S; rode one, had the fuel-injection glitch at 25mph, but otherwise thoroughly enjoyed it. Test rode a 450X and wheelied and stoppied all over the place. Thank gawd I' didn't buy it as I wouldn't have a license anymore.

Test rode a GS, liked it. No, loved it.

Then broke the collar bone(racing, T3 at Spokane raceway park), bought the bike, had a 600 mile service at 400 miles, rode it 3500 miles from WA to OK via San Diego. Along the way "we" humiliated squids on Mullholland Hwy, paced H-D riders on Rte 66, and shocked dirt boys in the sand and gravel by the Grand Canyon.

It is the perfect sight when the garage door opens; lording over the Daytona 675, Honda Hawk(s), and Z1000.

03-31-2010, 05:56 AM
While I starting riding on a Gold Wing and added an ST1100 to my stable, a riding friend suggested we buy dual sport bikes and take them to Alaska. So I began looking for a competent dual sport bike and after looking at the entire dual sport spectrum I came across the F650 and learned that it was available in a factory lowered version. That did it for me. I found one locally and have never looked back. I've heavily farkled it to my liking and it can be found on forest service and other unpaved roads throughout the summer. My buddy never bought a bike for the trip and we ended up riding to Alaska on our Wings and had a fabulous time.

03-31-2010, 12:50 PM
Just joined the club at the bike show up here a few months ago and finally got my membership card so I could log in. First post.....

So I've been riding for a while. But got working, career, moving around and ended up in an part of Canada that had government insurance, which was crazy expensive for a bike at the time so I ended up selling my bike. So hung up my helmet for a while

I'd always liked the Beemers....looked good etc etc.....always commented when I saw one... "nice"..... "sweet" etc etc never dreamed of owning one...

Well been together with my wife now for about for about 27 years. Seems at some point she took notice.....

So at our wedding anniversary before last there it was....a new R1200RT in the driveway with my name on it.

Awesome surprise..... so I think I'll try to keep her.

The wife is pretty good too.....


04-01-2010, 07:26 PM
After some years of a 350 then 750 Honda's in the 70's, marriage and kids put an end to the riding. I joined the org about 2002, knowing that when I retired, I would want an RT of some sorts. I figured that the best way to learn was to join.

Fast forward to seven years ago with kids on their own, I came across a 750 Honda then an 83 Gold Wing. The 750 became Gails. We rode for about a year, and she decided she still likes horses better.

Fast forward to late last fall, keeping my used price spreadsheet up to date. I was returning back to normal after eight weeks of treatment for throat cancer. Well, about as normal (anyone who tells you that you will be back to physically and mentally normal has not gone through it...) as you can get.

Feeling real good, back to running. Everything else running hot, straight and normal.

Then a very close friend of the family died, after a three week fight in the hospital.


Checked in Craigs List for the first time (normally I'd been an EBay troll) and found the right color, mileage, accessories, and model. And just 70 miles from my home.


It's been a revelation, going from early 80's technology and handling to a 2002 RT. 'Bout planted my face on the tank the first time a grabbed the brakes. It's been the first bike that has almost said, after going through a turn, "Ok Mac, where's the next curve?".

04-04-2010, 06:57 PM
I was working my way through Syracuse and selling Mercedes Benz cars to support myself. I sold a cherry 1969 280SL that I had to partially fund my first year. I had a Jeep but wanted something German and well respected. I looked at a R60/5 and decided this would work. The dealer was terrible and didn't give a s**t about customer care. I eventually bought parts from Capital Cycle when they were in the worst area of DC. I visited them once.
I drove it for the rainiest summer in central NY history and decided I needed more HP.
I traded the R60/5 for an R75/5 and added used saddlebags and a fork mounted fairing. I drove that bike to school year around and in the summer of '73 I drove to Mexico City and Acapulco. I almost made it to Guatemala.
It was one of the "events" of my life. Carried extra cables and tires. Changed the rear tire on the side of the road in Alabama.
I drove that R75/5 for about 50,000 and then in August of '75 traded for a R90/6 with Krauser bags and Windjammer or Vetter frame mounted fairing. I traveled to the Canadian Maritimes and Florida. Great bike. One time I covered 190 miles in two hours coming from New Brunswick to Vermont along the St. Lawrence Seaway. I drove the R90/6 45,000 miles until 1981.
Divorce. Sold bike to pay lawyer and raise $$$.
August 2008 Tim Russert's death told me to not wait any longer. Found a nice classic R100RT on Craig's List. Seller was a great guy. I am enjoying my last BMW.
I am 62 and poor but I love my airhead. I can wrench myself and if I couldn't drive an airhead I couldn't afford to ride.
I really enjoy the BMW MOA and I am thankful for my health and all the support and experience out there.
Campbell Tellman II
'93 R100RT

04-09-2010, 07:16 PM
I was working at a truck stop during college summer breaks, talking to the BMW owners that pass through for gas always stated that BMW was the best long distance touring bikes. The HD riders would come through all warn-out and needing a break! My parents wouldn't allow me to get a bike unless I paid for everything including burial plot. Now that my kids are all in high school and college, insurance in place, college pre-paid.....my said I can have one bike and only one....I bought my first bike 2009 BMW K1200LT. :dance

04-11-2010, 04:56 PM
I hadn't ridden in over 35 years and found I needed a hobby so I started collecting Honda CT90's. They were something I could work on and ride on the dirt roads behind my property. One day I got the idea to ride one to work. It was not fun or safe. I had to ride in the bike lane where there was one. I immediately decided to sell both of my little CT90's and use the money towards a BMW. I didn't have a lot of money from the sale but I put a wanted add on Craigslist and soon got a response from a young fellow who had just settled with his insurance company on a claim on his bike. The bike had been written off as "totaled" but there was really nothing wrong with it except for a crack in the fearing. I got a great deal on it but didn't feel comfortable riding such a big powerful bike home on the freeway. The owner was kind enough to deliver it for me. Since then there has been no looking back. I am on my fourth BMW.

05-07-2010, 01:55 PM
Ah, I'd wanted a BMW m/c since my army buddy traded his Harley ("What do I want '50s technology for? I got a beemer; runs sewing-machine smooth."), but living the urban life, never had a place to park one. Then moved to upstate NY, took the advice of a MAX BMW salesman, and started small with a Honda and took the MSF course. A year later, a used 2004 R1150R -- red, of course -- came up for sale, and boom! Bought it. Love it. :type

05-11-2010, 04:59 PM
My first bike was a KZ650 - a beater, but perfect to learn on. When it died, I bought an '86 Concours - my first 'big' bike, with saddlebags, a windshield and more. Thought I'd hate the big sport-tour aspect, but I loved it, and got hooked on the big bike with storage. I traded in Connie - with 125,000 miles - for a '96 Triumph Trophy. The Trumpet took me all over the country in style (and at speed). At 95k, when the "repair costs" curve exceeded the "what it's worth" curve, I started looking for my next bike (I'll always love British Racing Green).

I've always liked Beemers. The woman who taught me to ride had a K75 - comfy, fun, and reliable. When I rode a GS1200 for a week in the Dolomites, I fell in love with the bike (and the roads), and knew that next bike would be a boxer.

My wife and I discussed the RT, but the bike new was north of our budget. Internet, to the rescue! She found an '07 RT with 4300 miles, less than an hour from our house - on eBay. The seller couldn't ride anymore, and mostly just liked adding farkle to it, so he sold it for $24 and some trinkets. The only thing I've ever bought on eBay.

Just like that - Beemer guy. Love the RT, wouldn't trade it for anything. We've done some great traveling on it, with more planned. I do catch some flak for all the bike gadgets...fax machine, cappuccino maker, shiatsu massage...but I know it's jealousy.

05-19-2010, 10:27 AM
For my 60th birthday I announced I was either going to start flying again or buy a motorcycle. After forty years of not riding, I took a safety course from the local Harley dealer and then (ha-ha) bought an '03 1100 V-Star. After riding the Yamaha from MI to FL and back, taking in the "Dragon's Tail," I decided I was a "Sport Touring" rider. I wanted the best bike I could get and, that for me is an '04 r1150rt. As they say on NPR's Klick and Klack, "Oh Yeah!"

05-20-2010, 05:52 AM
My first beemer was a 1976 R90S Orange.. coming off a CB 550-4.. moved to and island with 30 miles of paved road... I just could not hold on to a runner.
kids, job, marriage... etc.

Now, I have three.:bikes

05-20-2010, 01:39 PM
In March of 1969 I was in the United States Army, stationed at Reiss Kaserne at Augsburg, Germany. I had just made Buck Sergeant E-5 and my promotion money was burning a hole in my pocket. So, I started looking at bikes to buy. Zundapp was very popular in Bavaria, actually as popular as BMW, I was looking at the big Zundapp.

There was also a large Italian Bike Distributor in downtown Augsburg, between the Ratskeller and the Bahnhof; carrying all the new bikes that were available at the time from Italy. I was either going to buy a Ducati Diana 450 or a Moto-Guzzi Falcone 500.

I lived off base above a Gasthaus with my wife Judy, I received a housing allowance with the new Sergeant's upgrade. On a beautiful Sunday morning, with the Alps shining in the distance, my German Landlord opened the door to his service garage that adjoined the Gasthaus. I always saw him rolling out full beer barrels into the Gasthaus and the empties back in, never suspecting what else may be in there. On this gorgeous Central European morning, Judy and I were on our bicycles getting ready to ride off to Church. He was just about to put a "Zum Verkauf" sign on his 1966 BMW R60/2 when I said I would buy it. With the American Dollar to Deustche Mark conversion running 4 to 1 at that time, I only paid $500 USD for her and the Army shipped it back home to California for free in '70. Put over 100,000 kilometers on her!

That started a lifetime affair with BMW Motorraden, resulting in my putting over 500K miles on Boxer Twins. Interestingly enough though, I just put down a $500 deposit on a white Ducati Multistrada S Touring model that will arrive in December. Full circle!

05-20-2010, 03:44 PM
I married an MSF instructor with a SWB toaster :D

06-06-2010, 03:47 PM
Riding for 30 years, I'd pretty much ridden and owned them all. Rice rockets, big v twin cruisers, rolling couches...

In the spring of 2000 I tired of the rolling couch and had just sold off my '95 Gold Wing and bought an '00 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic. About a month later I was reading a Motorcycle Cruiser magazine and they had an article that was a head-to-head shoot out between a Harley Davidson something (they all look the same to me!) and a BMW R1200C Phoenix. I had never seen the James Bond movie so I had never seen this bike. I think my heart literally stood still! I had never seen anything so unique, so BEAUTIFUL!

But I had just bought my Vulcan brand new. To sell it off or attempt a trade would have been a big financial blow. Also, the Phoenix would obviously be a hell of a lot more money and I prefer to pay cash for my toys. So sadly, I let go the dream of owning this wonder. But it never left my mind. From time to time I would see one riding through the area and it always caused that same reaction. It was my 'dream bike', my 'someday bike', as I always called it when I saw it in print or in person.

In 2007 a buddy of mine came in to my office at work and announced he wanted to by a new bike, a BMW. I told him about my 'dream bike' and pulled up a picture online. For grins I went onto craigslist and looked to see if any were out there close by. There were two! One of them, an '01 Phoenix, was available with only 3k original miles and some extras. I made contact, went and saw it, and made the deal! I kept the Kaw for a few weeks just to make sure and then sold it off.

And that is how I finally got my first BMW, my dream bike, my someday bike.

06-06-2010, 04:34 PM
My 2008 F800ST was my first bike. I learned to ride at 52--as midlife crises go, I decided that a motorcycle was cheaper than a Porsche and safer than a 22 year old blond. I wanted something un-Harley, and was attracted to the BMW marque because I loved a 3 series sedan I had in the '90s. The F800 looked good to me and fit my price range.

As it turns out, the F800 was a bad choice for a starter bike. The first month was pure terror. But once I figured it out, it was the perfect bike for me--flickable enough to be a hoot on my weekend fun rides over the mountains and through state forests, agile enough to commute to work and make frequent overnight trips to Washington, DC, and comfortable enough for occasional touring (I put 920 miles on it riding from Pennsylvania to Vermont this past Friday, giving a talk, then riding back).

This Tuesday will mark my second year of riding. I'll have about 33.5K miles. I would have had more had the bike not spent 7 weeks in the shop during that time, and had I not had to cancel a 1,000 mile Blue Ridge Parkway ride I was going to take in April.

06-07-2010, 01:39 AM
About 7 years ago I had the urge to get a Gold Wing with the 1800 engine. A coworker who had owned BMWs told me I should check out the K1200LT. I looked at them at the Chicago Moorcycle show and noticed the used ones were selling for way less than the Gold Wings. At that time, the Wings were around 14,500 on up and the LT's were under 10 grand.
I found one listed on Cycle Trader in a Denver suburb, so I took the California Zephyr (Amtrak) and rode home a 1999 LT with about 16,000 miles on it for under 10 grand. It was about a 1000 mile trip back to Illinois.
Two years later, I sold the LT with about 60,000 miles on it and bought a 2002 RT off of Cycle Trader. Put a bunch of miles on it, sold it, and found another 2002 RT on E Bay with 2600 miles. Now I'm putting a bunch of miles on it.
Don't want to jinks myself, but all three were first year models and I had minimal issues, other than a blown final drive on the LT at 36,000 miles while crossing the Slat Flats on Intersate 80. That may not seem like a small issue to you, but it did add some adventure to the trip and ended well. It wasn't enough to steer me back to Hondas and Harleys. I think the handling is worth the few challenges involved with riding a BMW, like dealers being few and far between. (We recently lost our closest one, Savoy)

06-11-2010, 02:46 AM
Four friends and I did a 1200 mile ride in 21 hours. I drove a 2005 Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe while my friends had Harleys and 1 Beemer. About every 120 miles, I would have to start looking for a gas station or run out of fuel. Everyone else had a half tank left. It had a similar size tank too. I was on the fence deciding between a Hog or a Beemer. I liked the fact that BMW riders wanted to ride more than detail. So basically I did it for the environment. :jose

09-15-2010, 02:32 PM
After perusing these threads, I found myself similar to others. My mid-life crisis at 51 - I decided to learn to ride. And believe it or not my wife supported me 100%. Prior to that I was into sailing but we live at least 2 hours from salt water and thought that motorcycling would be doable anytime/anywhere. Besides, my co-workers all started to ride and buy bikes. My first short-lived bike was a 1980 Honda CX500 with shaft drive but a major oil leak. Within several months I bought a used 1998 Honda Shadow ACE. She was very pretty and well loved. I started to look at riding positions and wanted to be more comfortable on longer rides. Have a friend that is into Beemers (K-bikes) and I took out a bike of his for a test ride. I believe it was a '90 or so K-100. I am 6'3" tall and that faring hit my knees so that wasn't the bike either. I started to look and loved the style of the RT's. To make a long story short, in 2006 test rode a 1200GS and then an RT. Fell in love and never looked back. Purchased a 2005 after working a ton of overtime and saving up. The bike fits me like a glove. Wouldn't think of buying another one unless something drastically happens to my ride. Ride on and ride safe!

09-17-2010, 02:09 AM
I've wanted a bike for years. In 2004, at the ripe old age of 31, I took the MSF course (with the blessing of my wife, who took nearly a decade to come around to the idea of me owning a motorcycle).

Like the guy in the last post, my first bike was a Honda Shadow ACE (a 2002 I bought on E-Bay with about 3000 miles on it). A few years, and many thousands of miles later, I sold it and bought a 2007 Yamaha FZ6. I started taking much longer trips and did a few Iron Butt rides and an endurance rally on it. During that time I began to drop by the BMW dealerships 1-2 times per year and gradually rode just about everything the sell. I loved the GS most at the time.

Thinking I'd own the FZ6 for many more years, I sunk more and more $$ into it (Russell seat, fuel cell, cases, etc. etc.). Then this summer my wife decides that I can spring for something more "substantial" that maybe she can ride on too (a huge surprise since she's never had any interest in this before). One week later I pulled in the driveway with a new RT. We absolutely love it.

09-17-2010, 01:18 PM
I have ridden many kinds of bike in the past, but currently own a Harley Ultra Classic that goes around the country with the wife on the back.
Someone that I knew, bought a 2009 RT and made me look at the BMW brand. Not long after, I traded a Yamaha FJR for a used 2005 GS.
I really love the GS, and I am planning on riding it to Prudhoe Bay, AK in 2010. (for my 50 birthday)

And that is how I came to my first BMW...

Would really like to own a 2004 RT.. maybe someday

10-07-2010, 08:59 PM
After riding an HD cruiser from the east coast to the southwest and then on several 2,000 mile trips, I decided I wanted:

1. more power, speed, and better brakes
2. better handling in curves
3. cruise control
4. heated hand grips

I read crap-loads of bike magazine articles (Rider, Roadrunner, Cycle, etc) and looked for a bike w/ those capabilities. Answer = BMW R1200RT.

So, I rented one in CA in June 09, took it for a 3,000 mile spin to see if I liked it. Then for the next five months, I test rode the Honda ST1300, the BMW K1300GT, and the Moto Guzzi Norge (couldn't find a Kawa Connie or FJR to ride). Anyway, the Honda ST was singularly unremarkable, the K bike not as flickable, the Norge interesting, but didn't seem to be as powerful, and I'd have to add a lot of my wanted goodies to those bikes. So in November, I bought a brandy new R1200RT. That's how I came to own my little piece of German engineering.


10-13-2010, 09:12 PM
I bought my first motorcycle in the Fall of 2002. I paid $400 for a Yamaha Virago. What a piece of crap, but it served it's purpose. Yes, motorcycling was something I wanted to get into.

The following summer I found myself on a brand new Yamaha V-Star. My cousin (also a V-Star owner) and I were tooling around on some local back roads before heading out on our annual Boondoggle. While stopped at a little general store to get something cold to drink, a couple of other guys pulled up on bikes. One was on some big full-dresser Harley and the other on an R1100RT.

It was love at first sight. I'd never seen a BMW bike and didn't know anything about them, but I KNEW I had to have one.:heart

For the next 5 years I was obsessed with the idea of owning an RT. But every time I looked at the price it was a cardiac event. Then one morning I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep, so I stumbled downstairs and fired up the computer to see what was on eBay. And there she was. A 1998 R1100RT with 24 hours left on the auction and a price too good to be true. :deal

After an e-mail exchange with the owner, I decided it was the real deal and bought it at the buy-it-now price. I didn't want to let this one get away.

The bike was about 4 hours away. When my folks came up for a visit a couple of days later, Dad drove me up so I could ride the bike home. Yep, my first time EVER riding a BMW motorcycle was to ride mine 240 miles home.:clap

10-15-2010, 02:41 PM
In 1984 I was visiting in-laws in Blaine Washington on my Harley-Davidson, my wife and I went to town for some beers and ran into a couple of Canadian riders on K100's. They came out in Canada a year before here and I was gob-smacked by how cool they looked, my dad was a longtime rider and he put quite a few miles on airheads so I was familiar with BMW's anyway but the K bike just grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

A year later when they came out here I sold my GPZ 750 tariff bike and my '80 FLH and went a bought my first BMW, an '85 K100RS in Alaskan Blue. It's been followed by an R100RT, an R1150RT, a number of Harley's, Triumph's and a few Japanese bikes but the K100RS was the first one :thumb.

10-26-2010, 09:12 PM
In March of 1969 I was in the United States Army, stationed at Reiss Kaserne at Augsburg, Germany.
Zundapp was very popular in Bavaria, actually as popular as BMW, I was looking at the big Zundapp.


I am pretty sure, you would not have been very happy with that Z??ndapp! In 1969, there was no big ( above 250cc) Z??ndapp anymore that wasn't older than 10 years. The KS601, the last 'big" Z??ndapp was introduced in 1951 and when the company moved to Munich in the late 50s, they discontinued four strokes completely. They continued to make scooters and smaller 2-stroke motorcycles, which we called "Kleinkraftr?ñder". Your 1966 BMW was a wise choice!:thumb

02-02-2011, 07:46 AM
In 1978 decided I wanted to ride to Alaska in 1983. Had a 1976 Honda 550F, fully setup for touring. Had 32,000 miles on it. Figured I needed a bigger bike for the trip. So in the spring of 1982 I went to the local Honda/BMW dealer to look for something bigger. They had a used, low mileage Goldwing. Took it for a test ride and was ready to buy when one of the parts guys said I might like the lighter weight of a BMW. Took one for a test ride and was sold on BMW. Ordered a 1981 Amazon Green R100RT, which I still own. Made the trip to Alaska in 1983, 30 days and almost 9000 miles.

02-02-2011, 10:08 AM
I had a Suzuki 650, went thru a divorce, gave her everything to get her out of my life, moved to Maine and bought my K-bike at Steet Cycles in Falmouth Maine. My older brother had been a BMW owner for years and he influenced the lean towards BMW. He told me to wait and he would find something probably an R-bike but I was itching to ride.

02-02-2011, 12:30 PM
I had to wait until I was old, ugly and mostly bald..then I bought two the same year...only kept the 2010 R1200RT....man I sure love riding these bikes...never never never ever gonna go back to anything else...hooked for life....I wanted one when I was 18 living in London England..the London Police road r100's..or was it 100r's???..well, something like that...

02-02-2011, 04:30 PM
Always wanted to get a bike and always like BMW Use to drool over the R90's then the K lunch box bike.
Owned my C50 and a '07 400 cc bergman ( bought new that year) at the time. I was at my suzuki dealer when I saw it.
My sales guy who saw me staring at it said it was traded for an 'Busa.
Told me he could make a deal on it.
Something about a trade for my scooter ( They needed bergmans to sell bad) only half listened.
Came back about a week later on an errand and it was still there.
I was thinking about during this time.
Sales guy talked to me again and this time I listened.
price was $6799 for it w/ 14.7K on the clock.
Deal: direct swap plus $500 for the paper work for the scooter. I caved.

02-02-2011, 07:48 PM
When I was in high school I rode my Honda trail 90 to work. My boss was a BMW owner and went through 2 airheads while I worked there, don't know the models. I moved up to a Honda CL 450 "scrambler" and rode that just after getting married. Next bike was a Yamaha XS 750 E triple. That one broke down on me on the way home from the dealer with a burr on the alternator binding it up. I put a cheap plastic windshield on that bike and rode it all over. My wife wanted to come along so I bought a Yamaha XS 1100, added Vetter fairing, saddlebags and trunk. Went camping, rode to LA and back had a good time. At least I did. After the divorce I thought my riding days were over. Blink. 20 years go by. Wife number 2 (my favorite wife) is looking at the $470 monthly fuel bill for my F250 and says "why don't you get a bike"? What a woman!! With no other prompting I dutifully obey. Old habits come into play and instead of looking at basic transport I am looking at Wings and Ventures and big Kaw's. In April 2010 I see a 94 R1100RS pop up. Reasonable priced and 40000 miles I looked and bought it. Since I didn't have my motorcycle endorsement I had the owner ride it to my place. It was an eternity before I got to take the MSF course. In the meantime I rode that streetbike on the dirt of my 15 acres. Finally got my license and rode and rode. Had a great time. Saved some fuel money too. By December I had put 13000 miles on it. Then two things happened. My wife wanted to come with me on my rides and I had a little windfall. That is a great combination. So I bought an 04 R1150RT. Wow. Like riding an easy chair but faster. Between December 26th and today I've ridden this bike 2659 miles and eager to go do more. In fact I have to go make a deposit today. There's a branch of my bank in town, but that's no fun. Maybe there's one in Lagrange! Or Llano! Or Elgin! Better get going so I can find out!

02-04-2011, 08:04 PM
Having sworn to not "own" a bike until our youngest graduated from college (meaning I was around to pay for it, since wife had horror stories from working in a hospital...) I was looking at the bikes my BMW cage mechanic had just added to his business. It dawned on me that my youngest would graduate that spring. I always wanted a larger bike, since I'm 6'3" and have always dwarfed the ones I had owned before getting married. Bought this 1999 K1200LT on the spot with the condition that he had to hold onto it until spring. Wife let me go get it as riding season started and before graduation. Guess she felt I was good on my word for ~22.5 years. A few years later I found the bike I have really always wanted since a friends older brother had this really cool BMW in the early 70's. I found a 1985 R80RT with the wife's blessings. I really liked the Airhead look and now I know about the ride.

02-04-2011, 08:06 PM
Here's the RT:

02-08-2011, 02:50 AM
My first BMW was a 10 year old R60/5. Basic, but functional. Many more since, but the earlier bikes are still a sweet spot.

02-11-2011, 06:25 AM
Hmm ... well, I never thought about BMWs most of my life. I was a crotch rocket racing fool. Those old boxer twins were for old men. The K75 came out and a couple of friends got them. We used to go on EPIC rides, me on a Yamaha usually and them on their K bikes. I also made that stale old joke, sounds like a sewing machine. I grew up, BMW kept refining. I tried a few different "styles" of bikes to try and slow myself down, but I needed sporty. I always liked the early 2000 series of K bikes ... reminded me of a Buck Rogers style bike. So I was looking at sport tourers - K1200GT, FJR and Concours. Rode them all and was sold immediately on teh smoothness and handling of the GT. Couple that with the just smokin' deal I got on the BMW and it there was no looking back. So about 2 years ago, after 36+ years of riding, I got my first BMW.

Now I feel maybe I should have been a little less critical and harsh on those older bikes. Hell, I am considering a URAL as an additional steed, if I can deal with that speed, I am sure the old boxers would have been fine, right?

02-11-2011, 03:28 PM
For starters, I've drooled over RS models for years; mostly the K1200RS. Then again, I've had a soft spot for opposed twins. Ignoring that, I've had a few older Japanese street bikes, but spent most of my time / miles off road, bleeding orange. Last summer, I was commuting on a KTM dual sport with access to trails so I could get muddy on the way home. Then it happened; the knuckleheads on loud quads ruined my good thing and I lost my trail access. That left me feeling a need to enjoy the tarmac more. I had also been wanting to get the laptop off my back. It seemed that fate was pushing me toward a sport touring bike. Off to ebay I went and immedialtely found something interesting, a 1995 R1100RSL with no title and some crash damage to the front end.
Also available from the same seller, was a 1996 R1100RSL with low milage and more substantial crash damage.
A few messages back and forth and I could have both bikes for $2500. A plan began to emerge which started with selling off my KTM and a RD350 project to pay for the bikes, selling a tractor to pay for a trip to Rhode Island to pick them up and required convincing my wife that this really was a good idea. The seller went above and beyond in making it an easy sell with my wife. He offered up his pass to a private beach and it turned into a family vacation. After a day at the beach with the kids looking for crabs in the rocks and a day checking out Newport, it was time to load up the new project and head back to Ohio. Again, the seller went above and beyond, loaning me two sets of canyon dancers to make the trip as easy on the bikes as possible. When we got home it was time for some part swapping.
I originally wanted to build up the 1996, but the damage was more that I expected and it quickly became the donor.
I wanted the vin to match the parts in the bike, but I didn't have a 1995 title. Back to ebay I went and came up with a 1995 R1100RS frame from the same build month with a clean title. A few weeks later, I had a 1995 frame and title from ebay with most of the 1995 bike with the locks, ignition, head light and luggage from the 1996. The plastics were a mix from the 1995 & 1996 with the fairing literally being spliced from the best sections of the two.
The first day out was a good test; a back roads run, at a brisk pace, to the Ohio River and back; a bit over 400 miles. She has performed flawlessly and is a definite keeper... unless I win the superstakes II, then she might be tax money.

Kent Niederhofer
02-12-2011, 02:11 AM
What an exceptional thread -- and with some fascinating stories. I can't honestly remember my first bike but I do recall around age 9 or 10 riding around on our neighbors home-made mini-bike -- that gave me my first taste of two-wheel motorized fun. Not much to the the bike... basic tube frame, cement mixer gasoline Kohler engine with a centrifugal clutch (like on a chain saw) and knobbie wheelbarrow-style tires. My brother and i really enjoyed flying up and down the road on that thing.

After that came a little green metal-flake Kawasaki 80 that we used to tear around on through the corn fields of our farm. That was a fun bike because it weighed nothing and you could toss it around with ease. Around the same time, my dad's friend from work would show up on one of his rides through the Finger Lakes (we lived near Canandaigua, NY) on his big, black BMW with those big finned jugs hanging out to either side -- really cool. I can't remember exactly what model he had but it was the early 1970's and I would have guessed it was either an R60 or R90. The Kaw disappeared at some point but I can't tell you why or how.

By the time I was 20, I had accumulated a sufficient number of speeding tickets in my 1980 VW Rabbit that I had to go to a training class for the irresponsible. My annual insurance cost ran as much as my car cost ($2,400) so I decided I need more affordable transportation. Introduce a used 1976 Honda CB360T in red. I can't remember how many miles it had on it but I know I used it for several years traveling back and forth between my parents' farm and Geneseo (and then later Buffalo) while attending college -- all season. I can remember parking it in the living room of my apartment next to my two room mates bikes. In my final two years of college, I rode it between my apartment in Amherst, NY and the North campus at U of B sitting in class for three hours soaked to my coconuts because I didn't have rain gear -- not fun.

By age 23, I had a fairly decent job and could now afford a car again. I parked the bike in my parents barn and there it sat for I don't know how long until my brother sold it or something like that. I was now without a bike but on occasion I would get the opportunity to ride one of his -- I remember a Kawasaki 600 Ninja that I took out for an afternoon including a 90 mph blast through town (30 mph speed limit and yes I know how stupid that was). Got married at 28 and there was no more time for bikes as I had other priorities.

Fast forward to 48 and I'm working for a UK-based technical consulting company and doing an audit at their division outside of Stuttgart, Germany. The Managing Director is an avid biker and knows that I used to ride. He offers me the keys to the soon-to-be released K1300S prototype that their doing power-train development work on (yes, our company developed the K1300x family of engines; see http://www.ricardo.com/News--Media/rq/?rq=8934). I take the bike out, driving it very slowly as its been over 20 years since I've ridden and I haven't ridden anything with this kind of power. Despite never taking it over 130 kph, I can tell this thing as unreal get up and go -- and on the flight back I convince myself that I must get that bike.

The negotiations with the wife start almost immediately. It takes two years and the onset of my 50th birthday to convince my wife that I could get a bike. Went to the local BMW dealership and, along with the K1300S, took an R1200GS and GSA out to make sure I didn't want something more versatile and sensible -- but nothing could come close to the adrenaline rush the K-bike gave me so now I am the proud owner of a 2009 K1300S in light grey metallic. Two weeks after picking it up I took a solo ride from Detroit, MI to Rochester, NY. Saddle sores aside, it was a great trip and I hope to do many more!

02-12-2011, 11:57 PM
Lets see, I was probably the youngest guy in our Lions Club- small town, probably 30 or so active members. Back home in 82 with a pretty good job after college and trying to be respectable - truth is I always got along with old guys. I had been riding Japanese bikes since my first year of college and was on my second, a Suzuki GS550. Nice enough, no complaints. One of the guys rode and when I found out he had a BMW, well I had to see it. Never seen one up close. Well, he didn't just have a BMW, he and his wife had matching /2's all set up for touring. The prettiest bikes I had ever seen in my life. Magical. He told me of the trips and the rally's and the fellowship. Then he told me that a co-worker of his- also in the club, had a /5 for sale, just two doors down.

Well it was a big change- my riding partner, a girl I had gone to school with, had a matching Suzuki but I was smitten. Sold the modern Suzy for a ten year old, odd looking throwback to another era of motorcycling. The Suzuki was just a tool, a vehicle but the BMW was more, it was a connection. I wasn't sold on a brand, it was a life style that went beyond the bike. I trusted it and she never let me down.


Post script: After a twenty year break from two wheels to raise kiddos, I am back, this time with a K but I'm still looking for an airhead to squeeze in beside her.

02-13-2011, 01:07 PM
Marriage counseling had just ended and so had my marriage. While staying together for the sake of the kids I planned on a few things to keep my hands busy and my idle time productive.

Plan 1. Enroll in grad school
Plan 2. Learn to ride a motor bike (at age 43)

I took the HD motorbike safety course and began reading/researching about motor bikes. I found ADVrider and some other forums and decided that I would ride a BMW. I searched Craigslist and found a man south of New Orleans with a 1998 R1150R. His name was Guiseppe.

I went to see the bike and he offered me a test ride. I confessed that I had never ridden one so I better not. This robust little Italian man offered to put me on the back of the bike which must have looked odd. I'm 6'3 and he is a foot shorter but full of piss and Italian vinegar. He took me for a spin that nearly killed me! I needed some instructions on how to hang on.

The bike was in great shape and I bought it on the spot. It was my first motor bike and I wish I had kept it.

I'm on motor bike # 7 now and love them all! I have a K1300S that breaths fire upon command and two airheads in various states of undress. One of them was sunk during hurricane Katrina. I enjoy riding and have crossed the nation a few times on different bikes. I look for opportunities for work/pleasure rides whenever I can.

The marriage made it through motor bike #3 but we're both happier single and the bikes have helped me stay sane through the most difficult chapters of my life.

That's my motorbike story,


02-15-2011, 12:53 AM
My first motorcycle...well scooter...was a Rockfort Silver pigeon...80cc of speed ...when I was 14 a long time a go.

After owning and riding quite a few bike over the years, I finially got in the touring sprit. I had a 78 Honda CX500 that I took for my first loop around Nova Scotia and Newfound Land. Had a great time and was hooked on touring and camping. When I got back a co worker had just bought a R100RT...I was smitten at first sight.

By late fall I had wrangled myself in to new 82 R100RT, always had a BMW in the garage since ( well maybe not for a year or two while some other bike caught my fancy).

Took my 3rd loop around the Gaspe, Nova Scotia and Newfound Land last fall.

02-22-2011, 06:25 PM
My first ever motorcycle (not counting my illegally tuned moped ;) ) was a Yamaha Diversion 600 (Secca II in the US) and after 3-4 years on that, I was ready for a 'real' bike.
The 600 was a bit too underpowered and not very stable in the faster corners. So I went to the dealer, with the idea to trade it for a Diversion 900 (just a bigge 600 with shaft drive). But when I entered the showroom, a very nice (second hand) Marakech Red K1100RS looked at me and winked... ;) As it happens, when it came out in '93, I had a poster of the K1100RS in the same color in my hobby room at home. That was the bike that I wanted, but BMW seemed too expensive for me. But this one was reasonably priced at about the same price as a new Diversion 900.

The ride on the K was brilliant. Two worlds of difference to the Yamaha. I took it around Europe and sold it a couple of years later. For some reason I didn't go out on the bike as often as I used to do, so I decided to sell it. Two years ago, a collegue of mine got his license and asked me for help in looking for a bike and then I saw the R850RT. Within a week it was mine! A great bike. Not so much power as the K1100RS, but a very nice bike.

I guess I'm a Beemer addict for life now... ;)

02-22-2011, 08:01 PM
Lapse of judgement

02-22-2011, 09:11 PM
In 1999, I was assigned to a submarine at the US Navy Submarine Base in Connecticut and was facing a 6-month deployment to the middle East. I'd been dreaming of motorcycle ownership for years and had always wanted a cruiser but I wasn't keen on the H-D or the Japanese clones. Early in the year, I happened upon one of those 'rip-outs' BMW was using to advertise the then new BMW Cruiser and was completely enamored with it. Well, the time came for me to head out to sea so I took one of the rip-outs, laminated it, and carried it around in my back pocket for the next 6 months.

When we pulled back into home port in August, a buddy of mine met me on the pier and I coerced him into joining me for dinner...in Rhode Island. On the way there, we stopped at the BMW motorcycle dealership and I chatted up the salesperson about the Night Black R1200C on the sales floor. When we were about to leave for dinner, I took the salesperson's business card which had the last 5 digits of the Cruiser's VIN on it. Low and behold, the last 4 digits of the VIN were exact same digits that describes one of my classifications in the Navy. I flashed the card to my buddy who held the same classifications and shared a grin.

Needless to say, I was back in a few weeks to pick up the very same BMW Cruiser as my first motorcycle. I'm on my third motorcycle, all of them BMW's, and I still own that R1200C. I think I'll drive it to work tomorrow instead of the F800GS.

Well, that's my story. Ride safe everyone.

JJ Cerilli
02-24-2011, 10:19 PM
After riding Yamaha's and Kawasaki's for 14 years, my first BMW was a 1975 R75/6 750cc.

I remember it was "UPS brown" with a matching Windjammer fairing / hard bags. I purchased it used with about 25,000 miles on it. It was very clean and needed nothing.

I was 28 years old and living in AZ and along with two friends, we were about to embark on a 6 month "sabbatical" across the USA / Canada.

I thought the BMW would be a good choice - - and it was! I put >22,000 trouble free miles on the at bike and other than tires and a new battery, I had no issues, other than picking up some "bad gas" back east, as I recall.

JJ Cerilli
Pleasanton, CA

NOTE: Since then, I have always had a "soft spot" in my heart for vintage airheads. Today, I have a 1978 R100RS "Motorsport Edition" in my garage to prove it! ;)

03-10-2011, 03:17 PM
I never thought I would be a motorcyclist.

My dad had a Honda Silverwing when I was a kid, and I used to occasionally ride on the back. One of my memories is him stopping the bike while riding and giving me firm instructions to PLEASE stop leaning the opposite way of him when cornering. So I guess you wouldn't call me a natural.

Almost twenty years went by (20 years I could have been riding!), and for some reason taking the MSF class was in the back of my mind. I don't know why. I wasn't interested in motorcycles, I didn't read magazines, I thought loud bikes with loud riders were annoying, I didn't have friends with bikes... Anyway, almost on a whim I took the class. What a great experience! I would recommend it to anyone. I passed the class on Saturday, and on Sunday I drove my car out to my dad's house and borrowed his newer Honda Magna to ride back home. I haven't been off a bike since. (except for my second day on the bike when forcibly unseated by a stubborn telephone pole. sorry, dad.)

I had a couple weeks off work, and every morning would scour the advertisements for bikes for sale. My budget and inexperience were leading me in the direction of an older Japanese bike, and I think I rode every make made. I do recall a test ride on an early '80s BMW R65 and maybe an R100, but for some reason they didn't do it for me. Having my dad's late 90's Magna was a great comparison while shopping for my first bike, as it's smooth power, comfort and reliability was in sharp contrast to most of my test rides.

One morning I saw an ad for a red 1985 BMW K100. It was the first K Bike I had seen. Where are the cylinder heads, I wondered? It was a crisp, sunny fall day, and the seller had it on the centerstand outside his garage, which he then opened to reveal three more vintage airheads! You might say I was sold right then, but when he suggested riding together through the surrounding backroads, stopping for breakfast on the way, and I experienced the incredible nature of the K Bikes, I was a goner. Sure it was more than twice my previous budget, it's a BMW. This was the first bike that made me not want to get back on the Magna. Two days later I had my first BMW!

A week later I had tent and sleeping bag and 400 mile days. Doesn't sound like much now, but you might say that bike changed my life, or at least opened up a whole new chapter I didn't even know was written. I love it. Thanks for reading!

05-23-2011, 09:03 PM
Well, in the summer of '76, I rode my '72 Honda 750, replete with Windjammer and some goofy mods, from NJ to CO to do some work for a month for the National Park Service. It was on that trip that I decided to get a bike that had a shaft drive.

Although the problems I had with a flats on this trip had all to do with rusty rims and nothing to do with a bad bike design, previously continuously breaking the chain and throwing it into the case, creating a split to let all the oil out, WAS something I was getting really tired of, hence the shaft drive requirement.

So in Oct. of that year, I sold my car, cleaned out my bank account, and took out a loan and bought a new R100RS. Sweet! That's when I joined MOA (#09135).

It's taken a long time to recapture the feeling of owning that very special machine, after many BMWs and 35 years, and it is just a wee bit ironic that since I've owned this '94R1100RS for the last two years, I'm just about back there. I guess it's true: what goes around, comes around.

Happy trails,

05-23-2011, 09:39 PM
I've had a few bikes over the years. The first was a Yamaha 125 Enduro, sometime around 1972. That bike took a beating, and that was just me learning how to ride! I went without a bike for many years until I got the bug again in 1983. Many of my friends had bikes and I decided to join them. I bought a 1982 Suzuki GS850GL Low Rider cruiser brand new in 83 off the showroom floor. I rode that for 2 years, then sold it in 1985 as all my friends were selling theirs and I had nobody to ride with. Plus it was time to buy property aand start building a home. So the bike had to go.

I didn't buy another bike until 2000, when I bought a nice used 85' Honda Magna 700. Guess I had to pick up where I left off. Anyway, I customized the bike with an airbrushed 'Tiger' paint scheme and other stuff, and ShereKahn was born. I had that bike until this spring, when I finally let it go. I also bought a 2000 Honda VFR Interceptor, and had two bikes for a few years. The Viffer was supposed to be the bike to take the Tiger's place, but I had to sell it to catch up on some bills. Plus the VFR wasn't comfortable enough for me for longer trips, which is what I wanted to do with it. Ride it to a nice twisty area, then let er' rip! But everything I did to it to fix the comfort issues didn't make enough of a difference to have it be my only bike, so I let it go. I still regret that, as I should have sold the Magna and kept the VFR. It was the most fun bike I've ever had, including my current ride.

As for my current ride, an 04' R1150RT in Titan Silver, I was already looking for a nice travel bike that I could ride comfortably for distance, plus commute with it. I had a dirt bike accident about 3 years ago, flipped it doing a wheelie, and my tailbone is toast, so finding a bike with great ergos and a upright riding stance was imperative if I was going to keep riding. The Magna wasn't going to cut it anymore, as 200 miles was painful now. I looked at the ST1300, since I like the V4 engines for their smooth linear powerband, but the ST was kind of boring, no pizzazz, ya know? At least not for me. I checked out every other bike line, including Harley, but another cruiser would kill my tailbone. I needed a flatter seat with very little back to it, as that's where my injury is. The deep saddle with the high back won't work for me anymore. The RT fit the bill, although I still am planning for a Russell Day-Long Saddle. Something custom fit for me so I can avoid the pain. The RT is a great bike, not nearly as fast as the VFR, but I didn't buy it for that. I found two RT's, and bought the one that had only 10,400 miles on it. I had to drive 250 miles over to Naperville, Illinois to get it, but it has been worth the trip. :)

05-24-2011, 05:14 PM
In 2001 I went on a cross-country trip with a good friend; we both rode Suzuki Bandits at the time - he a 600, me a 1200.

While we were in San Francisco, a friend of a friend insisted I ride his R1100GS, which I had obviously been gawking at. I'd been a fan of BMWs for a while, but had never ridden one. I loved it - the big GS fit me perfectly.

About a week later, my buddy was run off the road by a wide-turning RV in the mountains of Oregon. I target fixated on him & we both ended up in a wide gravel ditch, one bike on top of the other - both bikes totalled.

We took a train home & I started trolling IBMWR for my 1st BMW, which ended up being a black '95 R1100GS just like the one I rode in SF. I met the guy in Raleigh, NC (he lived in SC, I in VA) & the deal was done.

I've now got my 5th & 6th Beemers, having gone through an '85 K100, '97 R850R & another '95 R1100GS since then. I love my BMWs so much I even got rid of all my Honda CB750s!


05-25-2011, 02:13 PM
I started riding late in life. Worked for a nascar team so first bike was a Harley. About 2 years later in 2000 I was at a friends house and saw a bike in the far corner of his garage. I asked what it was and he said it was a BMW 1100 RT. I truly had no idea that BMW made motorcycles. I rode it around the block and ordered one the next day.

I've enjoyed 250k miles since then on various BMW's. Have been riding 12 GS's since late '04.

05-25-2011, 02:23 PM
I rode Hondas most of time from the beginning of the 90s when I learned on a 85' Honda Nighthawk 650. A some years ago, I was looking for a new ride and was focused on the then new to US Yamaha FJR1300. My best friend had bought a K1200 LT and not long afterward a R1200GSA. I came down to visit him in Missouri fro spring break and we planned a three state ride (MO, AR, and TX). I rode his GSA and fell in love. I went looking around for a used one but they go fast. The BMW dealership in MD had a used R1150RTP on their web site and so was somewhat curious about them. After doing some research and a test ride, I took the chance and bought the 2002 R1150RTP. 13,000 miles and 13 states later, it has been a very good choice and a pleasure to ride. For the record, you can take a RT off-road just like the GS! :thumb

05-26-2011, 10:57 PM
I started with a neighbor's Honda SL70, the best thing that could ever happen to a 12-year old male. Hooked on riding, I went through two more Honda's, and a Kawasaki KZ650 Custom, my first REAL bike. Fast little sap-sucker that one was.

The DARK AGES of Responsibility, Career Pursuit, Parenting, Husbanding, took away the joy of two-wheeled travels for 10 years. :banghead

The Rennaissance came when a friend let me ride his Shadow 750. Bitten by the bug, I then found a Kaw Concours for cheap, and broke the wife in on the concept. She had a friend who then had his first Harley, and started pushing me that way. Right religion, wrong church you might say. Had a Road King Classic, and found that "Classic" also applied to function as well as form... Swapped bikes one day with a colleague and rode his R1150rt. Game, set, and match... Handling, Brakes that actually do stop forward movement, 40 degrees cooler at red lights, + 40 or so horsepower and 200 or so fewer pounds = big giant smile!

Today finds me on a 2009 R1200rt ready to go to the Rally in PA! :dance

Life R Good! Ride safe, and often!

07-11-2011, 05:34 AM
I had been riding a red Kawasaki ZR750 for like 14 or 15 years. Paid less than $6,000 cash for it and rode away from the dealership across the Verrazano bridge on the brink of a truly great adventure: learning to ride on the streets of New York. We crosssed the country a couple times and even got through the Northridge earthquake together, unscathed, in Silverlake (L.A.). By then, true love had blinded me to her faults on long trips. Durn thing wouldn't die and kept looking pretty every time I opened the barn door. Until a family of Virginia mice wintered over in her electrical system. We went to the doctor but there was nothing for it.

My spouse was riding a BMW Strato F650, which she still has, and time came for her spring service. I came out of mourning for Big Red and followed in my car to Bob's in Jessup MD. There I got a jolt of sticker shock when I looked at the new Beemers. My brother advised me to buy an R1150RT, but I couldn't believe (let alone justify) the price. I was totally depressed. I'd never be able to afford a new Beemer, and if I bought a used one, how could I be sure it was clean?

I must have mumbled something that struck pity in Bob's heart before driving away, because the next day the phone rang. It was Spouse's mechanic. One of his best customers had just come in to buy a new K1200 to race, and he had traded in his "old" bike on the spot. It had been ridden six months or something, had been broken in by an expert rider, an incredible machine that ran beautifully, and it was spotless. I could have it with a couple of city cases for $10,000. "Sold," I said over the phone. I had forgotten to ask the color.

And that's how I bought my first Beemer, sight unseen, and found true love a second time.

07-11-2011, 02:31 PM
My first motorcycle was a Harley - a 50 cc trail bike with the 3 speed shift on the left side of the handlebar. I learned how to ride, fall and run into things gently. It eventually died in a night-time collision with a log hidden in a field of talll grass.

In 1966 or '67, a cousin and her husband flew to Germany and bought an R60/something with the European carbs and nearly straight handle bar. They rode it from Norway to Africa over the next year and brought it back to Pittsburgh. I got one ride on the back and said, "I have to learn to ride something like this". Her husband got off the bike and said, "Anytime, come get it". After a few Saturdays of borrowing the scoot and passing the motorcycle license test, I made a goal to have one someday. I was 16 or 17 at the time.

A few years later I had joined the Navy and was assigned back in Pittsburgh to await a school and help the recruiting station where I signed up convince other kids that the Navy was a great time. They were paying my base pay plus a $25 per diem, plus my travel back to California for the next school. After the previous 7 months of saving paychecks, and with the bounty of per diem, I bought a brand new, BMW blue R60/6 with the 6.4 gallon tank. The first day I rode it to the recruiting office, the Chief said, "Get into dress whites and ride around town. If that doesn't tell the town how much fun the Navy is, nothing will".

Two weeks later I left for the next school near San Francisco and saddled up for the first of 6 cross countries - 3 in the summer, 2 in the dead of winter and the most recent in late October. Can't wait to do it again.

07-11-2011, 05:16 PM
I first rode a Honda 90 that my Uncle owned and kept on his ranch. It was fun to blast around the dirt road there and I was hooked at the tender age of 14 or so. My first bike was a Honda 350 rat bike (before there was a thing called rat bikes) back in 1972. I needed cheap transportation and it was either a VW beetle or the bike. My Mother told me I would get a bike over her dead body so the decision was made and I saved $50 buying the Honda. I rode it for almost 2 years then got a hankering for more power, go figure.

I saw the Honda 500 Four and since the insurance on a 499cc bike was less, not to mention price of bike, than a Honda 750 so I got it. I rode that one for 3 years and loved it after I put a 4 to 1 exhaust on it. It sounded like a little Maserati.

I finished college and was being commissioned commissioned in the Army in December of 75. I knew I would need to drive across the country and wanted more power than my old Honda 500. I asked around and everyone I talked to said that BMW was the long distance road bike and it could be dressed up to carry lots of "stuff". I found an R750/6 in the show room and made the deal. I had a wind jammer fairing, saddle bags and a trunk box mounted. A HUGE fricking trunk box that was actually wider than the cylinders on the bike. I used a partial sheet of 3/4 inch plywood to make sure the fiberglass was supported since the mounting frame was so small. I loaded it up and went to Alabama from Tucson AZ on my first solo long trip to get to my basic Officers course. I rode the hell out of that bike for almost 9 years, cross country a couple times then for the first few years of working.

Later I sold that bike to a buddy when I found a cosmetically beat up R100/6 that was traded in at the local shop. I dressed it up and rode that one until 93 when I decided I wanted a smoother bike. The same local shop was getting in a nice 91 K75RT. I was there when the owner brought it in to take delivery of the new K bike and I bought it right then. I rode that one until 2007 when I bought a 2004 R1150RT from an other brand dealer. I rode it until December of 2010 when I got my current bike a 2010 Gold Wing. I've gone back full circle to Honda for comfort and a significant decrease in cost of ownership.

In addition to my personal bikes, I rode a motorcycle full time for work for more than 12 years. I rode Moto Guzzi, Harley (a couple extended test rides to determine suitability for the job) and mostly Kawasaki's. I have to say, until the Wing, the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden for day in and day out hours in the saddle was the Kawasaki KZ1000P. Even my old R100/6 with a custom saddle wasn't as comfortable, close but not quite. The KZ was also far more nimble in slow and tight maneuvering than my own BMW's inspite of the weight difference. The BMW's we tried out for work also didn't make the grade either and only became competitive when Kawasaki dropped the enforcement bikes from their products. They were better than a Harley until the cost of maintenance of the BMW's got too high for the city.

07-13-2011, 02:12 AM
Pshyched to see this thread still rolling, 6 years on. This covers all but about 1 year of my riding "career"

4 (well, 5 if you count that honda) bikes later and I can still say the only bike I've ever owned is BMW. Maybe I should amend that to say the only rideable bikes I've ever owned...........

07-13-2011, 10:18 PM
I got back into motorcycling in the Spring of 2006 with the purchase of a 2006 Suzuki C50T Boulevard. My wife wasn't sure if she wanted to ride or not. But as luck would have it she loves it. It wasn't long before we were wanting to go further and take trips. Even though Suzuki billed the C50T and C90T as "Touring" bikes they weren't. After a trip to Daytona Beach from Atlanta for Bike Week in 2007 we started looking in earnest. We intentionally made that trip in two days taking as little of the interstate as possible.

We test rode a R1200CLC at the local dealer and I rode a K1200LT. But financially we weren't able to pull the trigger.

Fast forward to late summer of 2008. We were really looking now. The Suzuki was paid off and I had some cash in pocket. Our 2 finalists were an HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic and the BMW K1200LT. Actually it was because the HD and BMW dealers not only allowed test rides but encouraged them. HD told me to be back with the bike by closing and BMW said "an hour to hour and a half should do it." We went to the local BMW dealer to look at a used 2002 K1200LT in Toscana Green. My wife asked to see it outside in the sunshine. We took our test ride. It was a Saturday afternoon and they were closed on Sunday and Monday. She loved it and so did I. She said "Everybody, has a Harley but the BMW just looks...sexy!"

We went back and bought the K1200LT and haven't looked back. Having thought the price would be high, I never looked at BMW when we bought the Suzuki. Looking back, if I had, we would've originally bought a BMW.

07-18-2011, 04:14 AM
There are some pretty cool stories in here.

My first BMW is my first bike. It's a green 1999 R1100RT. In August of 2007, my father died in a motorcycle accident in Alabama on his way back to Texas. He died immediately. He was riding a 2003 Harley Electra Glide Classic that he had recently purchased, and his other bike was the RT. My mother and father would go to the ROT Rally in Austin, TX every year, and I thought they were crazy. So after my father's death, I decided to learn to ride so I could take my mother to the bike rally. She has a 1999 R1100R, and is a regular rider as well. So since the RT was a taller bike, and she's a shorter rider, she didn't feel comfortable on the RT, so I bought it off of her in May of 2008.

Since then I don't understand why I didn't take to motorcycles sooner. I've blown a rear tire in the middle of nowhere in Texas, had my final drive bearing go out, had a hall sensor go out in Kentucky (in the rain of course), crashed off roard in West Texas 1.5 hours from the nearest town, snapped a throttle cable in Utah. And I still absolutely love riding.

One of the last conversations I had with my father went like this, and I'm sure many of you will like it. He was packing up the Harley to push out from NC and go North into Virginia while I was going to head back to Texas:

Me: "So how are you liking the Harley? How does it compare to the BMW?"
Him: *sigh* "... I miss the beemer."

Well Dad, she's a good one.


07-18-2011, 11:59 AM
Back in 05, living in Portland, Maine, once the divorce was final and I was settled in my new job and apartment (she got the house, my choice), I decide to get back in the saddle. I had a Kawasaki 650GS but gave it back to my friend in
Connecticut (I bought from him for $200).

My brother was a BMW fanatic having owned a R100RT and I told him I wanted to get a bike and he said hold on a couple weeks and he would see what is around. I think he was going to sell me his and upgrade. The only BMW dealer local to me was StreetCycles in Falmouth Maine and thats where my search began. In retrospect I should have waited for my brother but I can be an impatient cuss.

They had a used K-bike on the floor and that is what caught my eyes right off the bat. Now this is going to be embarrassing for me to admit, but back then I didn't know a K-bike from an R-bike from my butt hole. It was a BMW. The price was right, BMWs are indestructable, how can I lose? Everything else was out of my price range so the K-bike it was. It had 82K on the the ticker, in good shape and being a licensed aircraft technician I could perform all my own maintenance so I bought it (well, me and the bank bought it:)

And now 30K later it is still doing well (rear main seal is leaking a little) and I have farkled the hell out of it. Cruise control, Motolights, running lights, GPS, etc. My only regret has been, damn it is a hot bike to ride! I live in Georgia now and damn it's hot down here too! I don't ride much in the summer. Every now and then we get a cool day or go out early for a breakfast run.

Been debating on a an R-bike to help with the riding position. Broke my leg in 07 and the K-bike riding position is too tight for my leg and I haven't figured out how to put highway pegs on the K-bike so maybe the R-bike will do the trick.

And that is my story and I am sticking to it....

07-18-2011, 07:32 PM
My dad bought a new R60/2 in 1968, I was riding a 67 Honda Super Hawk at the time, I sold the Honda and bought a 70 R75/5 and then traded it for a 75 R75/6 that I still have. My dad pased in 1980 and I aquired the R60 whitch I still have.

There have been 2 more R's and 2 K's that have come and gone. I ride a R1200R now, it will probbably be my last BMW motorcycle.

The three BMW's live in the shop with 10 other mostly vintage motorcycles.

The D
07-19-2011, 11:50 PM
I bought mine, a 2005 R1200Rt, in Weslaco, Texas from a State Trooper. I flew down from Dallas to Harlingen bought it and rode it back. 600 MILES.

07-20-2011, 01:21 AM
I am new to the BMW riding community, having purchased my '96 R1100RT back at the end of June. Like the subject line says, it came about as the culmination of some very fortunate events.

1. 1996 R1100RT for sale: nothing missing, 8000 miles (yes you read that correctly), $5700 (approx.)

2. Trade-in value of old bike: $3400 (2008 Suzuki M-50, good condition, just under 11,000 miles)

3. Available cash: $3500 (a foturnate byproduct of an unfortunate event)

4. For good measure, a $3500 signature loan, since the bank wouldn't finance the bike due to its age.

Now, I do not claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but would you pass someting like this up? :newtoy

The D
07-20-2011, 02:04 AM
i am new to the bmw riding community, having purchased my '96 r1100rt back at the end of june. Like the subject line says, it came about as the culmination of some very fortunate events.

1. 1996 r1100rt for sale: Nothing missing, 8000 miles (yes you read that correctly), $5700 (approx.)

2. Trade-in value of old bike: $3400 (2008 suzuki m-50, good condition, just under 11,000 miles)

3. Available cash: $3500 (a foturnate byproduct of an unfortunate event)

4. For good measure, a $3500 signature loan, since the bank wouldn't finance the bike due to its age.

Now, i do not claim to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but would you pass someting like this up? :newtoy


07-26-2011, 06:32 PM
I had always admired BMW bikes in much the same way a guy who drives sports cars might respect a muscle car: nice ride, but not my ride.

Growing up I rode dual sports and Brit bikes. I have a couple of antique bikes and the Houston Triumph dealer was less than spectacular when it came to providing parts and service or even returning phone calls. (They sell BMWs too, avoid them. ) So I called the dealer in Austin. They didn't have parts for the Meriden bikes, but they did have a giant dual sport in stock... a G650X Challenge. A half a block into my test ride I was a BMW convert.

07-26-2011, 08:14 PM
Recently, like this past Feb, I got my yearly spring itch to look at bikes. My wife suggested I get a bike to commute on instead of buying the diesel Touareg I wanted to order. I went OCD looking at GS Adventures. I've had a love of the GS series since I was a youngin' riding a XT600. I haven't ridden since '89. Then when I was in Germany while in the Army, they were everywhere and I absolutely love the look of the Paris Dakar bikes. I looked at Trans-Alps, Teneres, but they're hard to come by in this country, so I looked at Beemers. All these years, I've had the spring itch for a bike, each year getting stronger.
March 26th I flew on a one-way ticket to go get my new-to-me 90 R1200 GS Adventure. It was a bit of a weird deal, but I wanted that bike. I flew into San Antonio at 1030pm, taxi'd to the guys house, signed the papers on his kitchen table with his too-cool pooch as witness and rode off to my hotel.
At 05 a.m. I was so damn anxious, I geared up in my new Rev'it Defender gear, Schuberth helmet with SRC pumping BT music - the Beatles to be exact - Abbey Road and I set out for my 1850 mile ride home!
9000 miles later in just 3 mos, my first rally in my pocket, a new Sargent seat, plenty of farkles, a couple of spills screwing around in the sand - and the piggy is still going "whhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii"!!!!:thumb:wave

07-28-2011, 04:27 PM
To tell you the truth, I would have never even considered BMWs five years ago. I had owned two Ducatis, a 748 and a M900, and thought that was the pinnacle of motorcycles. My neighbor sold his Harley and bought a 2005 R1200GS from a guy in upstate NY, rode it back to Michigan. So for that summer, he was goosing it a bit when he came past my house.

One morning we were having coffee on his front porch and he throws me the keys. "Take it for a spin." "What?" "You know how to ride, right? Take it for a spin. Let me know what you think." Now, let me say that taking another guys bike for a 'spin' is the equivalent of taking their wife out to dinner. It just feels weird to me. But after he threw me the keys for the third time, I did. It was of course a little taller than I was used to, more roomy but there was a good amount of torque even if I had to get used to the shift feel.

But it didn't 'connect' just yet. Weeks later my neighbor told me to take my wife for a ride on it and for a second opinion. I did, found some mild twisties and at times forgot I had a passenger since the GS torqued its way through the corners without a fuss. The lightswitch in my head clicked on and I got it.

That was 2007, and in December of that year I picked up a Granite Grey GS for my wife and I to ride two-up. It's without question the smoothest riding, relaxing bike I've ever owned (and still own it). I nicknamed it 'der Heilerin', German for 'the Healer.

Owning a BMW has other 'advantages' compared to the Italians. Namely that you can choose what to accessorize your bike, though it will operate fine as it rolled off the showroom floor. With a Ducati, you almost have to buy the exhaust, regear the final drive, find a more compliant clutch slave cylinder and of course get the ECU. That's just so it will run under normal conditions in the city as well as 'the real world'. Yes, BMW has their fair share of farkles but the initial bike as a whole is engineered far and away better than the Italian counterparts.

There's another interesting parallel between Italian products and German ones. Italian products (shoes, suits, cars) are made, but the owner has to adapt to them. The look fantastic, but their shoes can be painful, or their cars are cramped. German products, on the other hand accommodate YOU. They operate as a servant, an extension of your abilities and you feel better for interacting with them.

Can't say enough about the GS bikes really. Every time I go for a ride, I some back impressed, relaxed and happy. I guess that's why I got into bikes in the first place. I'm sure to have a few more BMWs if garage space allows.

07-28-2011, 05:01 PM
I'm only 35, but I've been riding bikes for nearly 30 years. My very first bike was a 1982 or 1983 Yamaha DT-80 followed by more focused off road bikes like YZ's or CR's. I rode a succession of sportbikes in the 90's starting with a Yamaha (of course) FZR600. I was in the big leagues in 2000 when I bought a brand new GSXR750 and thought it was the dog's dick. A group of us took a trip to the north Georgia mountains and one of the riders, Bill, was on a GS. Bill was (is) older than the rest of us, probably in his late 40's at the time. We all wondered why Bill, an accomplished rider and nice guy to the extreme would bring the big beamer. We we all on our gixxers or R6's and there was a Duke in there somewhere. We got to the mountain and as soon as we left the cafe after lunch, Bill took off. I chased him up the mountain thinking "what the F???" as he slowly, but surely, pulled away. I realized that this funny looking bike he rode, the same maker of my E30 car, was more than it appeared. I wanted one from that point on but a divorce and a move 3 states away put the BMW dream on hiatus and ended my biking for several years.

I was home visiting in May here in Georgia with my wife and was on craigslist. I saw this K-75 for sale in Braselton for $1800. I showed it to my wife who said "It's time you got back on a bike" (see, the second time around is better in marriage) so we drove to Braselton that night, looked at it, left a deposit and drove through there the next day on our way to Richmond and picked it up. :thumb

I've had it since May and have put a little over 2k miles on it. I've verified the miles through old tag receipts and it's a legitimate 26k mile bike. I'm hoping to double that in the next year.

07-30-2011, 06:52 PM
In 1985 I was an aspiring road racer,
wife and I were in a shop picking up a few parts for my race bike, it was a mostly dirt oriented store but helped out racers.
They also sold BMW's, she says to me , hey isn't that one of those touring bikes we had been talking about sitting over there.
I looked , said yes it's a BMW R80RT, but they are too much money. A few minutes later we are in the owners office and she has bought us that RT !!

We rode it everywhere together for about 6 years, it traveled to FL. in a change of house, then up to NC.
I accepted a consulting position in 1991 over to Poland and I foolishly sold the BMW. The deal was the buyer , who I knew slightly was to sell it back to me when we returned. We came back and he would not sell it so I moved on to other brands for a while. Tried an Oil Head but did not care much for it, kept riding other stuff.

Then this year I decided it was time to hang up my helmet, sold off all my bikes, the trailer, and gave away some gear.
Looked at sports cars , but they all just sort of depressed me. The thought of no longer riding was keeping me up nights.

I trolled around on the internet and found a sweet looking R80 1985 model, she took one look at the pictures of the bike and said , go buy it !
Made the deal , borrowed a trailer and took off to get it.
Never been happier !!!

08-16-2011, 03:53 PM
When I got back into motorcycling I bought a Harley...did the whole Harley thing for a while. Riding in a long line down some great roads. Soon I left the group riding behind and just rode by myself which was a lot better. Then I started riding with a couple guys who rode BMWs and Ducatis. I learned pretty fast the Harley couldn't keep pace with them...so I started looking for a bike that could. The RT was a perfect fit for me. A great touring bike and sport bike wrapped up into one.

08-25-2011, 11:55 AM
New BMW just purchase two weeks ago. OK well new to me. I rode bikes in the 70's and sold my last one of that era in '81. I had yamaha, suziki, triumph and and HD. 3 years ago I was finally able to get another bike and picked up a Honda VTX1800. WOW speed!

Then a few weeks ago I was browsing CL and there it was. a '76 R90/6. Once I saw it I knew I had to get it. Its such different ride than the Honda. Of course I need to replace most every piece of rubber on it, but I love it. Its so nice to own a bike that I can work on it myself.

I would not have considered a BMW of it weren't for the fact the a work buddy is an airhead nut. But it was my choice and good too.

Ride Safe

08-25-2011, 02:52 PM
found a sweet looking R80 1985 model, she took one look at the pictures of the bike and said , go buy it !
Made the deal , borrowed a trailer and took off to get it.
Never been happier !!!
OK, have you brought this bike to Biker's Breakfast yet?:brow

Bunch of Beemers and other bikes--Pittsboro,NC every Sunday 9-12
Carolina Brewery+Grill, next to Lowe's Home Improvement,at the intersection of US 15-501 and US 64 Bypass (exit 383 on US.64)
Airheads are welcome, along with Bricks,Blocks,Oilheads, and Light Tanks.:D

09-03-2011, 09:46 PM
It was a motorcycle I saw plenty of times. Very quiet and smooth over any other bike that I saw as a kid. .......................It was a BMW.

When I was still in my early twenties I finally could afford one of those BMW bikes. I bought a R90/6 1976.............. Wow what a bike!!!

Now many many many years later I have owed many many many BMW's

I presently own a 2009 R1200RT and I am still in love!!!

09-04-2011, 04:39 AM
I walked into Capital BMW to fit some summer gear for an upcoming MSF class which was done to get my endorsement on my license.
Went back after the class to "re-look" at a used F800 GS they had there and noticed this little 2003 BMW F650 GS parked right behind the F800. Hopped on to check fit and rode it out the door that afternoon. Put 1200 miles on it the first week dodging an earthquake and a hurricane. Ever ride a motorcycle during an earthquake? Guess what? I didn't notice it so it couldn't have been too bad.
Took it off-road at our 500-acre farm in NC, 3 acres of which is a sunken clayhole with 12 foot high dirt walls completely enclosing it and beat it like a stubborn mule. Mud! Vroom vroom - SMACK! THUNK! Went down not too hard. Zero damage to the bike other than a little "character" scratches that will "Buff Right Out"(tm).

Since I was only home for two weeks on R&R from the desert I had to garage it up on blocks at my sister's house after changing the oil/filter, filling the tank and tossing in a little sta-bil, and disconnecting the battery.
Same day I bought the bike I ordered the Haynes manual since this bike came with everything BUT the actual owner's manual. Capital BMW said they would get me one but they never followed through - of course I never followed up either so...meh.

One more year here in my shack in the middle of the desert and I'm going home for good to ride the bike (or a possible "upgrade" to an F800 GS) and live off it for an entire year doing the TAT, then the CDT, then heading through the Yukon to Alaska to tag Deadhorse. Need to get either a Russell Day Long or a Corbin seat first...man, that stock seat is hard on my tailbone.

Of course, I'm taking the BMW off-road classes in Greer, SC first. Being somewhat military-oriented I'm all about training, training, training because the more you bleed in training the less you bleed in combat.

And for some odd reason riding a motorcycle seems to come naturally to me. Somehow my mind seems to understand that I'm riding a big gyroscope. Came in first in the MSF class.

Why BMW? Well, I quite literally did an entire year's worth of research in my down time and discovered the following about BMW's dual sport line of motorcycles:

1) Most accessories, period. Which is good because I'll need at least a good pannier system and a top case. (looking at you Happy Trails and Caribou)

2) Most BMW Motorrad dealers go out of their way to support long-distance riders that pass through their respective shops.

3) Sales experience second-to-none. Capital BMW's sales guy and parts guy were VERY patient with all my questions and letting me check out their entire inventory. Other shops I went to at least check out various KLRs, DR650s, and Wee Stroms were pushing too hard. Capital BMW just said "hey, look around, climb on the bikes you want, try on some jackets and pants to find your size, and let us know if you have any questions" and left me alone - which is exactly what I wanted.

4) The largest, most renowned (infamous?) "unofficial" anonymous support network via the BMWMOA. Which could come in handy when I start my trip next year.

5) Online assistance/FAQs/forums a little bit above-par when compared to other makes. Makes it a lot easier to track down the info I need about a particular issue if it ever arises.

6) I lived in Germany for 12 years in the Frankfurt area. Where is the perfect place to see motorcycles in action? Germany's autobahns. I saw BMW dual-sport motorcycles doing 100mph for DAYS over there. 100mph on the autobahn is the equivalent of 65-70 mph on the interstates here. I wouldn't do that on American roadways because they aren't built for it, but that's another story.

7) The only real stand-out complaints about BMW motorcycles I've been able to find on the internet have been about the PRICE. When folks "complain" about BMW motorcycles they first whine about how expensive they are and then go one to try to make other excuses to try to justify their own individual KLR/DR650/Vstrom decision. I'm a hard-core capitalist pig and understand completely about buying "quality" - even used quality. I went with BMW motorcycles for the same reason I use Apple computers at home: It Just Works.

8) The highway ride is smoother. I test rode other single-cylinder makes on the interstate and the F650 GS beat them all hands-down. I was kind of expecting that from my research but the actual real-word findings were still shocking.

9) I'm not paying a lot for that muff...err...first motorcycle. Which also loosely translates to "no way in hell am I taking an expensive Ducati off-road." Used BMW motorcycles are a great way to get in to the BMW Motorrad world. Can I afford a brand-new, fully-farkled R1200 GS Adventure? I sure can. But never as a first-time rider. I'm not 18 and/or bulletproof anymore.

10) Manufacturer-backed training. I'm not seeing any other motorcycle manufacturer offering dual-sport off-road riding courses of the type that BMW offers. Heck, I'm not seeing any manufacturer-supported off-road training from anyone other than BMW, period. Yes, it's expensive but you do get what you pay for.

So that's me and my initial experiences and findings based upon my own opinions formed from research and testing. Others' mileage may vary. Batteries not included. Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Go [insert sports team here]!

09-04-2011, 11:16 AM
My first BMW, a /2, was given to me by a gorgeous German woman who had wrecked it in Morocco and broke her leg in the process. I took her and her bike with me in the back of the Navy ambulance to my clinic and set her leg before driving her to Gibralter for her trip back to Germany. [I was returning from Casablanca after transporting a CPO who had to have more sophisticated medical care than our small outpost was capable of.]

My Moroccan mechanic/house boy repaired the bike with a forge, a hammer and a few basic tools. I rode that /2 all over North Africa for a year with zero problems before selling it to my buddy Satch.


09-06-2011, 11:11 PM
Sometime back in the mid-1990s I was working for a group at MIT's Sloan School of Management, and one of the companies we worked with was Harley Davidson. I was nearly 40 at the time, and totally convinced that motorcycles were an unnecessary and dangerous indulgence. I went out to Milwaukee for my first day of consulting and, as I usually did, asked to view the place where "the real work happened" - in this case, the factory floor. I saw gleaming V-Twin engines stacked four pallets high floor to ceiling and my heart started racing.

I had to learn how to ride, but I didn't know anyone who rode. I took the MSF course, and bought a Honda 450 Nighthawk to scratch up while I learned (I'm still learning), and went to my local dealer to put in my order for a Big Twin, which, I was told, would take months to fill. The salesmen looked me over and said, "You know, you should be on a BMW."

A month later I found a red K75 with full luggage, and it became "my bike".

09-09-2011, 11:33 AM
My wife complained that the recently acquired Goldwing felt more like a couch than a motorcycle. So a new 2009 KT1200LT was the answer. Now I can't get her to take trips on any of my other bikes.

09-10-2011, 01:19 AM
Response to RevWillie;

No I have not made it over to the bikers breakfast yet, maybe soon.

It's a pretty long haul from Lewisville , really boring if i take the interstate, and not much interesting scenery if i take back roads in that part of the state IMHO.

I did eat there one year after the old Raleigh Rumble where i had spent the night before. I think the place was called Michael's then.
The ride home was not all that great

09-12-2011, 04:33 AM
I was riding Honda's up to 1984 when a high school kid came by my house to sell magazines for a school project. He showed me the various selections to choose from and I found one I thought I could take an interest in: "Motorcyclist"
I received a few issues and upon examining the latest issue I was greeted with photos and a tech article about the NEW Beemers in the stables of the BMW mark, the K bikes. I knew, at that moment this was going to be the bike for me.
The spring of 1986 I rode home, from the shop, a slightly used 1985 K100LT.
I have owned three since that encounter.
I am presently looking for an inexpensive replacement.


09-27-2011, 01:29 AM
After almost three years of once-in-a-while stopping by the dealership to drool over BMW's, Ducati's and Triumph's but never feeling enough passion to pull the trigger, I stopped by one Saturday and saw this:


And my knees got weak.

After riding it for six days and coming to understand the essence of BMWness first-hand, I went back and traded my V-Strom for a new RT.


Two bikes in one week. Yes I'm still married. Of course the '04 has the old style turn signals and the RT doesn't, so I end up beeping the horn every time I want to take a left, on either bike (or is it the other way around?). Oh well...

09-28-2011, 02:29 PM
My first BMW was a 1973 R 90/6. I remembered having seen pictures of the R90S in that same cool Daytona colour. Not knowing anything about the BMW clan at the time I thought I was buying the S. Not a problem though, it turned out to be a great starting point for a collection that is now consumming alot of restoration time. That R90/6 is gone as well as my 1979 R65 but have been replaced with a 1973 R75/5, 2 x 1978 R100/7, 1984 R80RT with Velorex/Jawa 560 Boat tail sidecar, 1978 R80/7 with Velorex 563 sidecar, 1985 R65, 1973 R60/5 converted with a 1982 R100RT drivetrain, 1982 R100RS with an Authority "Traffic" sidecar and finally a 1998 R1100RT-P with a Tripteq "Heeler" sidecar.

I guess I better get out to the garage and get some work done.


09-28-2011, 02:54 PM
Joe - I just started reading through your courrier adventures - good stories and writing - no pictures needed :thumb

ok - back to the regularly scheduled programming

10-01-2011, 05:30 PM
My mother bought me my first BMW - an R69S - when I was almost 30 and headed for Vietnam. She wanted me to have a good reason to come back. When I did return I used it to commute to school at Berkeley where it proved to be very unreliable. I remember stuffing it somehow in my VW bus to get it to a dealership in Oakland. Mercifully it was stolen one day from the MC parking at school. At the time I had no time to be messing with it. Now, of course, I'd love to have it as a restoration project.

10-09-2011, 07:18 PM
My first Beemer was my '99 R1100RT Boston Green. I was so happy to get it, I wrote up my account and posted it on the web. That was in 2003. My ISP has changed about 24 times since then, however, I still come across the page when I do obscure google searches. There is a HowTo for seat risers linked to the page that still exists on the web and I still get emails from people each year thanking me for it (for some reason, I got about 6 replies alone on that one little mod).

Anywhoo, this is the link to the page (http://home.comcast.net/~gsansoucie/wsb/R1100RT/R1100RT.htm), but just in case it should disappear, I am attempting to paste it into this thread for you to read, skip, complain, etc. . .

[Note: This was written in the Spring of 2003]
OK, I am a ÔÇ£Beemer ConvertÔÇØ having wanted a BMW Two-Wheeled-Variety-Vehicle for some time now. This past winter I started the search for an R1100RT. My hopes were to find one that had semi-low mileage, was in excellent condition, had a trunk, looked cool, and didnÔÇÖt cost a fortune. I think I found what I was looking for. I live in Southern Maine, which is not necessarily the center of the universe for BMWÔÇÖs, Motorcycles, or Good Weather for that matter. We are conveniently located within mere minutes (well, 40 of them in a row) of a pretty good BMW Motorcycle Dealer, Max BMW, check them out.

I hit all the traditional sites while searching for my bike (eBay, BMWSportTouring, and many others) and some ÔÇ£not-so-normalÔÇØ BMW Touring Club of Detroit, Bikez Motorcycle Classifieds). I basically searched every combo I could think of out at Google pouring through the literally tons of hits some of my queries pulled up, skipping the gratuitous porn hits that come up when searching. When I started my search, there was about 3ÔÇÖ of snow covering all things green in this region, and (more importantly) 2 ÔÇô 3ÔÇØ of ice covering the important things black on my driveway. Needless to say, there were not too many people listing their bikes (BMW or otherwise) in the local papers, etc.

My wish was to find one close by, I could have my wife drop me off so I could ride it home. Another issue at stake here, we have three kids which would seriously affect the Drop Off Radius allowed by said wife. As luck would have it, I settled on a bike near Utica, NY, a mere 5 hours and 45 minutes away according to Mapquest. I have been married for a little while now (wife keeps reminding me that it will be ten years this summer) and I knew better than to ask for a ride. That is when the Engineer in me hit

How would I pick up this bike?

I figured there were a few ways of getting the bike back:

1) Ride it back
2) Trailer it back
3) Ship it back via a trucking company
4) Have the seller disassemble the bike and mail each piece back in a small envelop, each requiring a 37 cent postage stamp.
5) Quickly invent the Star Trek ÔÇ£TransporterÔÇØ and have Scotty Beam the bike over to me.
6) Have the seller attach the bike to an email and send it to me.

A few of the above choices were obviously nixed immediately. I noticed right off the bat that #6 simply would not due as there has not been a ÔÇ£Meeting of the mindsÔÇØ in the SMTP community to agree upon a standard for sending non-digital attachments. It would simply be too hard to get all the dissimilar systems to pass the info onto me. I think #5 was nixed because of some kind of flux in the space-time continuum and #4 was going to be hell as each piece would need to be send certified mail to help preclude the ÔÇ£Missing puzzle pieceÔÇØ syndrome (imagine the USPS missing just ÔÇÿoneÔÇÖ important piece of the bike, more like one per system).

That left options #1 ÔÇô 3 open for further discussion. I really couldnÔÇÖt fathom paying some trucking company to spend more time prepping the bike for shipping than it would take to transit it so we were left with two valid options. Both of these options had a lot of interesting caveats.

ÔÇ£Ride it backÔÇØ
Well, this sounds easy, but how do I get there? I searched for local airports (in Utica), Greyhound stops, and Amtrak stops. A rather interesting fact is that Utica has an Amtrak station, a Greyhound station, a Hertz rental car branch, and an airport. It looked like, save for skydiving or barge access (and I think there might even be a canal near Utica) I would have a lot of choices. Greyhound had the best prices, but arrived at a rather odd time (2am) besides there was this little clause (which I cannot find at this moment) that said something to the affect that even though I took the time to purchase the ticket way ahead of time AND made a bunch of plans around this, that some other joe can, on a whim, take the last available seat on the bus before I get there and I will have to wait for the next one. DidnÔÇÖt like that idea (even though the chances are rather slim). I didnÔÇÖt have a lot of free time to be put on stand by at the bus station.

The Amtrak approach was a little overboard so I nixed that one as well. There is no scheduled commercial service into Utica and it has been about 11 years since I flew a plane (Private Pilot, one of my ÔÇÿdormantÔÇÖ hobbies) leaving the one-way rental car approach. I booked my one-way rental via the website.

ÔÇ£Trailer it backÔÇØ
You guessed it, Utica even has itÔÇÖs own U-Haul branch. I had a few choices here, rent a trailer locally and transport it both ways or rent it one way from Utica to somewhere near where I live (we have lots of U-Hauls around here, woo hoo). I had some kind of vision of a ÔÇ£Motorcycle OnlyÔÇØ trailer, though I am not sure where that idea came from. My first attempt at rental was to call the local dealer to see what I would need and where I could get it. They suggested a 6ÔÇÖ x 12ÔÇÖ trailer and that I call the central reservation center to book the one-way rental. It turns out you can call U-HaulÔÇÖs central reservation center where they can help you select the wrong size trailer for your application. The person I spoke with told me that a 4ÔÇÖ x 8ÔÇÖ utility trailer would be plenty big enough to haul a motorcycle in. I booked it immediately based on that tidbit.

ÔÇ£Be PreparedÔÇØ
Someone once told me to ÔÇ£Be PreparedÔÇØ. I would like to think it was some ancient warrior who had taken an oath to prepare me for some enchanted battle in a past life. It was either that or it was the Boy Scouts. I prefer the former, but have a sneaking suspicion that it was the latter. I really, really, really, really wanted to ride the bike back (yeah really). It being a Sport Tourer and all, riding it back the 300+ miles made really good sense to me. It also would serve to A) prove the bikeÔÇÖs worthiness and B) to help open the riding season for me. Reality has to enter into most every equation when dealing with things like plans so, based on the winter of hell that we had (actually hell has no winter, so it would have to be something like an eternal winter of someplace cold, like Pluto) I decided that I needed to book both options. Both options had a money-back cancellation policy with pretty good terms (cancel at least 24 ÔÇô 48 hours in advance and though shalt incur no loss).

As the pickup date approached (Saturday, April 12th, 2003) I kept tabs on the weather via Weather.Com trying to figure out which option would win out. I forgot, of course, that the same weather-prediction mechanism had pretty much failed all winter to provide us with anything remotely resembling riding weather. I also had a serious problem with the ÔÇ£My shopping cartÔÇØ feature at Weather.Com, I kept trying to add the ÔÇ£70ÔÇÖs and SunnyÔÇØ item to my shopping cart for the pickup date, but I kept getting an ÔÇ£Access DeniedÔÇØ error. As it turned out, there was light snow and rain predicted for Saturday morning on my drop dead day (Wednesday). I played it safe and canceled the Hertz one-way car rental.

Since I knew I would be driving my own vehicle (1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, original owner, 120K miles) I decided to invite my oldest daughter, Miranda, to go along. She is very mature for her age (8) and took a long time to ponder the pros and cons and decided to go with me after a long pause of about 5 seconds. The six hour drive out Friday evening, followed by another one back the next day didnÔÇÖt seem to worry her at all. She thought it would be cool to be able to bring her (well, my) portable CD player and listen to her ÔÇ£CDÔÇØ. I convinced her to find a few other CDÔÇÖs as one can only listen to Britney Spears so many times in a row before requiring serious therapy.

The trip went very well, one important note, however, when trailering a motorcycle on a long ride, make sure it is perfectly centered before cinching it down. The bike would shift, ever so slightly to the right until I recentered it. No damage, just annoying to have to stop every once in a while to retighten here and there.

ÔÇ£Bike comes homeÔÇØ

A neighbor helped me unload the bike after I returned around 8pm on Saturday. I was very thankful, as I wasnÔÇÖt too interested in leaving the bike in the trailer over night (more for the reason that I wanted to sit on the bike, open everything, and just play around with it). The next day was spent cleaning the embedded NY bugs from the fairing. I tried two special ÔÇ£Bug removing cleanersÔÇØ trying to get the bugs cleaned off. I had more success with one of the two (Blue: Bluemagic Road Tar & Bug Gel) and less with the other (Green: Turtlewax Bug ÔÇÿN Tar). The bugs, however, still won and have a little memorial to their fallen heroes strewn throughout the front of the bike. You have to look real close to find them, but I know they are there. I will prevail in the end, however, with lots of elbow grease and determination. Spring, however, is on the way and there appears to be the beginnings of an aerial assault up front again.

I had been informed that the bike would need new tires so I had prepared myself for the costs. I had figured that I could eek out a few hundred miles before dropping the cash though. What I didnÔÇÖt expect was to find a pair of highway-worn tires. They were actually worn flat from miles upon miles of highway riding with little or no twisties to help wear them evenly. The tires were so bad that I thought there was a problem with the wheels or suspension when I first putted around the neighborhood at slow speeds. I would try to countersteer into a turn, but the front tire would actual force itself into the turn, scaring the hell out of me. I had witnessed similar flakiness last year when the tires on my PC800 had worn themselves beyond any use. I called Max BMW on Monday and had an appointment to replace the tires and perform the 12,000 mile service the next morning. Not bad service! I even had a 2002 (or 2003) F650GS as a loaner! That was a fun little bike, but I prefer the wind protection from a fairing. It had been a number of years since I had ridden a bike without a fairing.

The service went well, the mechanics changed the oil, mopped the floor, replaced the tires, drank some coffee, and basically gave the bike a nice clean bill of help. I wish I took a picture of the license plate holder that I went into the shop with. The one thing I forgot to ask for when picking up the bike was the license plate bolts. I was left with a set of four holes, a license plate (that I got on Monday), and a strong wish to ride. Being a Yankee by birth, I kicked in the ÔÇÿole ÔÇ£Yankee IngenuityÔÇØ and fixed that plate on with 4 color-coordinated tire wraps (black). I didnÔÇÖt take the time to trim them, had to ride the bike you know. So I never actually looked at the plate when I picked up the bike (I knew there was a point in here somewhere). I did notice something odd when I got home, gone were the tie-wraps, replaced by a good-looking ÔÇ£Max BMWÔÇØ plate holder with four shiny new license plate bolts holding it all in place. Now I was stylin!

While I was at the shop, I picked up a few goodies for the bike, a key blank and a roundel (more on that one in a second or so). IÔÇÖve read and heard about horror stories with getting spare keys made for the bike, mainly because the blanks you buy from your local beemer shop are steel and much harder than the metal (unknown what it actually is) used for ÔÇÿnormalÔÇÖ key blanks. I called around and found a local locksmith that thought they might be able to give it a try. Once they saw the key blank they decided to not give it a try. They did a little research and found that the motorcycle key is the same as the BMW car key (which they had in stock). They were able to cut me a key that works fine, it just doesnÔÇÖt have any ÔÇ£BMW-nessÔÇØ to it. In a pinch, however, it works fine and can save you a few bucks as I think the total cost was something like $2.80 for the key and the cutting where the BMW blank along costs about $6. If I get a chance, I will post the blank part number on this page (note this is a reminder to me).

The Roundel (1 ?¢ÔÇØ I believe) has a self-adhesive backing and was the absolute perfect size to put on the cap just below the ignition. I couldnÔÇÖt stand looking into all that blackness. This one little mod is probably going to give me about a 3 ÔÇô 8 hp boost, +5mpg economy, cure the common cold, and create peace on earth. I donÔÇÖt consider myself one of those ÔÇ£Custom jocksÔÇØ who can buy a piece of machinery and customize it so much that it ceases to look anything like what it once originally was. The biggest custom job I did on my previous bike (ÔÇÖ98 Honda PC800) was to install a set of trunk lights, let me tell you the chicks dig trunk lights! I might find myself getting a little carried away on the Beemer though. Thoughts of GPS, radar detector, intercom (Autocom)[1], accessory ports, and other various incendiary devices come to mind.

I have added an RKA tankbag. Going on my original hope of riding it back, I ordered the 16 liter a tankbag from RKA. I really wanted a small tankbag that wouldnÔÇÖt scratch up the tank, would hold a map, and could store some basic things like maps, keys, toll, and sunglasses. I didnÔÇÖt want to shell out the $300 for the official BMW tank bag (besides, I really didnÔÇÖt like the color or the height of the bag) and the $120 for the RKA seemed just right. RKA can even make up a bag in different colors. Boston Green is very hard to match or coordinate so I played it safe and went with the traditional black. I am very happy with the bag, my only wish/want would be some kind of small end pocket to store some change for toll. It is a bit of a chore to open the whole bag and fish out toll with a bunch of traffic behind you.