I first posted this a few days ago in the Campfire section and then had second thoughts about it being in the right place or if it should be under another thread already out there. After reviewing several other threads, I decided it was unique enough to try again.
With winter rapidly approaching for some and fully ensconced for others, I thought it might be interesting to do a little reminiscing with a bit of personal biking history.
I‘«÷ll start it off; first bike was a 1964 Honda 90 purchased in 1968 to get to and from work on a near-by farm. Two years and 10K miles later moved up to 1968 Honda CB350, wow a real road bike! (total mileage on the 350, 15K) Next came a 1972 Honda CB450 purchased new just prior to graduation from high school, traded the 350 and some cash for it. Five and a half years and 26K later, I bought a 1976 R75/6. This is where the story gets good. A college buddy and I were both riding our 450s together a lot, then one day he pulls up to my apartment on a R75/6 fully dressed with Luftmeister fairing, Krauser bags, the works. I had only seen a few other beemers up close at that time. I had even ridden an R90S at the Honda dealership where I worked right after high school. I asked my buddy, Dan, ‘«£why did you buy such a butt-ugly bike?‘«ō He just grinned and proceeded to educate me on the history and finer points of BMW motorcycles. I was pretty open minded about the whole thing but still not totally convinced that he was not losing his marbles. It just so happened that he was on his way to visit his parents for the weekend, about a 100 mile drive to Anton, TX. He then offered to let me drive this odd contraption to his folks' house while he drove my Honda. To shorten this part, by the time we got to his parents‘«÷ house, I wanted to keep his bike and give him mine. Of course that did not happen, but 3 months later, I had my ‘«÷76 R75/6 fully dressed and ready for touring. And I did some touring on that beauty, at least by my standards in 1977. Five years and 50K later I had to sell the R75 to pay some medical bills since I had no insurance.
Fast forward to November 1999, I had been without a bike for almost 20 years due to financial constraints. My new job was looking pretty secure after 5 years and all of the baby-boomer types I worked with were getting on the Harley kick. I would gig them once in a while about getting a real bike, a BMW. Then one evening while on an overtime shift a co-worker tossed me a BMW brochure that someone had discarded. I began to go through it and completely fell in love with the R1100RT. But alas, the lofty RT seemed entirely too tall for my 27‘«ō inseam. So I took a very serious look at the R1200C. After the holidays that year, I picked up that brochure again and started thinking about maybe getting another bike, just sort of dreaming from time to time. Then in late January, a very close friend and sailing buddy suddenly died from an aneurysm. He was only a few years older than I and probably in as good a physical condition as any 55 year old out there. I began to think about that and decided that I would not let life go by any further saying ‘«£I wish I had ‘«™‘«ō you fill in the blanks. By March of 2000 I had made a pretty good deal on a ‘«÷99 R1200C and was off and running to make up for lost time. (almost done). A year and half later I found out about some ways one could lower an RT so I managed to make a very sweet deal on a used one and now have logged up a little over 60K on the cruiser, 28K on the RT for a lifetime total at just over 189K (138K on beemers‘«ŲThank you Dan Caddell, where-ever you are for letting me ride your R75 that day back in 1977.)
If anyone happens to know Dan, (or if he is reading this), I would be honored to ride with him again.
Here is my current favorite ride, it is tough to decide between the C and the RT though.
Edit/update: I found said Dan Caddell not long after this first posted and we are riding nearly identical RTs together as frequently as possible while living 175 miles apart. That is, when I'm not on the R1200C. In fact when I first made contact with him again through our college alumni association he was bikeless and I had the priviledge of helping him find his next ride, a '98 RT very similar to mine.
Edit/update 10/15/06: Since I first posted this, my '99 was totalled and I am now riding nearly equal amounts on the RT and the 2000 R1200C that replaced the '99.