It was a beautiful, sunny July day, and I had just ridden the fun, twisty section of Monashee Pass on Highway 6 in B.C. With just a few kilometers of easy curves to go before the rest stop, I wicked up the pace a bit. Bushes crowd the road in this section, and what I remember is a split second blur of brown, streaking from right to left, with a jink as I passed it, untouched. I rolled off the throttle as my heart raced. For the rest of that trip, the image of the crossing deer kept playing over in my mind, along with images of other close calls I had had in prior years.
During my lifetime, I have had my share of them, some while riding, some while skiing or flying. But for some reason, this near collision really traumatized me. So much so that when I returned home I impulsively sold my lovely Oiler RS, and sat back to re-assess my mortality, as I approached my 60th year.
In the years that followed, I still rode occasionally, enjoying some regional trips on borrowed and rented bikes, including a Harley, a Versys, and a 650 Paris Dakar. This broadened my touring experience with other types of machines.
As time went by, the idea of bike ownership percolated from my subconscious to my conscious mind, just as Freud predicted. It felt a little strange not having a two wheeler in the garage, and I began to think about what I would get, if I got another bike. I loved the agility and light weight of the 650s, and this led me to thinking that the ideal bike would weigh about 400 pounds, but have just a bit more displacement. Ducati's ST2 fit the bill, and I began looking at ads, registered on Ducati Sport Touring, and almost bought a lovely blue one that was on consignment in our local Duc shop.
About that time, Dave Anderson of Anderwerks BMW finished building his HP2 Enduro Supermotard conversion, and suggested that I take it on a trip (I'm the unofficial Anderwerks project bike exerciser). I had a lovely fall run to Waterton Park, and, the following summer, to the Kootenays on the annual Jack S**t Invitational.
With its Remus Power Cone exhaust and un-counterbalanced engine the bike was really raw and wore me out, but it was so much fun to ride that it got me to thinking about getting a civilized 1200. You know, one with a counterbalancer and a telelever front end with little rubber bits in it, to keep those nasty engine vibrations away from delicate fingers and toes. And it would have to be an ST, because, as the late editor of the MOA News used to say: "I'm an RS kind of guy".
After about a year of searching, I found a lovely blue and silver one in Ontario, made a deal on it, and arranged to ship it to Anderwerks. Just in time for the riding season. And here she is, at the Kitchener Waterloo Regional Airport:
I never met Donald, but through his writings I felt like I knew him, and I know he would have loved the ST. I will enjoy riding what would have been his favourite BMW.
Oh, and that top case is going into storage, and I may sell it. Don wouldn't have wanted a top case on any RS or ST.