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Thread: New Member from Chicago and his New Roommate BOB

  1. #1
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    New Member from Chicago and his New Roommate BOB

    My name is John and Iím returning to motorcycle ownership after a break of some 35+ years. While I started riding in high school, I bought my first bike, a Honda 250 dirt bike when I was in college in Colorado, after which I swore I wouldnít buy a road bike until I got a lot more sense than I had back then.

    I bought my road bike, a Yamaha XS750E triple in late 1978. It was the best touring bike I could afford. At almost 40% less than the comparable BMW of the time, it allowed me to get a bike with a shaft drive, a Vetter Windjammer and Samsonite bags for the price of a naked R80/7.

    I had it for about six years, commuting whenever I could to clients as a CPA (back in the day when a suit and tie was required), as well as riding with my wife to concerts at a local venue and day trips to southern Wisconsin which often included a bite to eat at the Brat Stop.

    Although I sold the bike a bit before our daughter was born, I started riding again in the late 1990ís, typically renting Harleyís when vacationing in California, Colorado, New Mexico and the like. Although my wife would still enjoy riding with me, at least until I made the mistake of trying to cross the valley between Palm Springs and Joshua Tree in a windstorm . . ., nevertheless, these were some very good times.

    During this time I also continued to play racket sports two or three days a week, but after 50+ years, my body was wearing down, so I told my friends that if I couldnít play tennis anymore, Iíd simply buy another bike, and start riding again.

    My wife Carey, passed away unexpectedly from cancer recently just months before what would have been our 40th wedding anniversary.

    I knew I wanted to get a bike of some sort, but didnít want to spend too much, my previous two bikes were great values, for their time, and they served me very well. I wanted something with character, however, I was intrigued with the idea of getting a big thumper, either a KTM or Husky Svartpilen 701.

    Then I remember there was a great BMW shop in Chicago, where I had seen an old yellow Airhead a few years back for a great price, but it was sold before I pulled the trigger. I went to their site again, and I found a 2000 R1100R with factory bags and a windscreen, and only 40,000 miles. Iím not uncomfortable with owning an older bike or car, we just sold our 2002 Audi Allroad, so I ran down, and after looking at it put down a deposit. A week or so later, weather is kind of variable in Chicago in March and April, but after a 90 minute test ride, I was sold. After negotiating the price to include a full 12,000 service by their oilhead specialist I had a new roommate.

    I thought it had been about six years since I last rode a big bike in Colorado, but it turns out it was actually thirteen. After crashing a lot on my dirt bike I was proud of the fact that I had never dropped a road bike . . . until three yards out of my garage in the alley!

    I should have realized that every physical and mental aspect of mine has deteriorated over the last 35-13 years, but I knew I could do better. So I subscribed to MC Rider, did a lot of practicing in parking lots over by the lakefront, and started working with a personal trainer (the pandemic has taken its toll on my fitness), so Iím getting my confidence back.

    My first two longer trips were on the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, which runs right by my house near the lakefront in Chicago. On a Sunday I rode south to Whiting Indiana, I may go back for the recently announced return of Pierogi Fest this July! A few days later, I went north retracing a favorite ride along Sheridan Road up to Ravina and then continuing on to the Brat Stop in Wisconsin. The attached pictures are about forty years apart, but some things donít change, the enjoyment that I get out of riding, and the fond memories it brings back.

    Iím not exactly sure how Iíll be riding, beyond simply riding versus driving every chance I get. Anything from short day trips to longer rides are possibilities. In preparation for any eventuality, Iíve joined the BMW MOA, and subscribed to the Platinum Roadside Assistance package, as given the capabilities of a well maintained R1100R, the opportunities for adventure are pretty much unlimited.

    So whatís with Bob? When friends ask me what kind of bike I got, most would recognize ďa HarleyĒ, but fewer a ď2000 R1100RĒ. Then it dawned on me. Bob or to the more refined, Bobío -

    Big Old BMW or Big old BMW oilhead.


    This post is written in part as a means of personal catharsis, but as a recruiter/headhunter, knowing a bit about the people you are interacting with makes starting a conversation easier, hence this longer introduction.

    Iím looking forward to contributing to the online community where I can and maybe even seeing some of you on the road.
    Take care,
    John


    1981 BS.JPGBrat Stop 2021.jpg

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Great intro!
    Welcome to the forum!
    Gary
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
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    Really enjoyed reading your intro, and sorry about your wife.

    SPP

  4. #4
    slave to gravity skibum69's Avatar
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    Hey John, welcome from Newfoundland!
    http://beerthief.ca
    ITSteve: ride in peace my friend
    save $5 on a new SmugMug account, use this coupon 7frrnSRiTt9Fk

  5. #5
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    Welcome and sorry for your loss. May this new chapter of life allow a bit of healing for your soul. Enjoy your new roomie Bob.

  6. #6
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    John, so many of us here have been down a similar path. Ride in our youth. Give up riding and focus on family. Return to riding (and try to figure out all the new technology that has gone into motorcycles in the last 20 years). Nice looking R.
    1972 R75/5
    1993 R100R

  7. #7
    Life seems really unfair at times. Sorry about your loss.

    There are a lot of used BMWs that are good values; of course value is in the eye of the beholder. I have come to like the K75s bikes and have twice ridden one across most of the US two up; these frequently show up for sale. I also like the airheads and the R1100RS. Airheads seem to be keeping a higher value than the 90s oilheads. I don't intend to sell mine so the low sale valuation is ok by me.

    If you work on your bike yourself you might find it worthwhile to peruse and download oilhead technical info on the IBMWR website. With a bit of googling one can find a pdf of the BMW oilhead service manual as well.

    https://ibmwr.org/index.php/oilhead-...tech-articles/

    https://www.carlsalter.com/download.asp?p=833
    Last edited by robsryder; 05-06-2021 at 03:44 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered User rogerc60's Avatar
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    Welcome from another rider who returned to riding a few years ago after a long absence and chose to do it on a BoB. Mine is an '03 RT. I've not regretted the decision for even one moment.

    BoB... I like that.

  9. #9
    Registered User langoptc's Avatar
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    Welcome John! Sorry for your loss. The bike is a beauty!
    Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun...but Mama, that's where the fun is!

    2009 R1200RT Sand Beige Metallic (aka Champipple), 2007 Honda VFR RWB

  10. #10
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Welcome to the BMW community & the forum, John!

    Hope U & BoB have many Miles & Smiles together up in your Windy City neighborhood. Be sure to connect with a chartered club eventually...
    https://www.bmwmoa.org/page/charteredclubs

    We resettled to N.AL ~three years ago, having found a welcoming m/c community. We eat out with the North Alabama Vintage M/C Club usually three times a week. MOA club #5, the AlaBeemers, saw fit to elect us to the BoD. We're leading a ride tomorrow to the Rattlesnake Saloon {for instance; it's the Second Saturday Ride-2-Eat}. Motorcycles are a big part of our lives; just invite the MOA&NAVMC members in the vicinity to join us at an interesting restaurant...
    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...-May-8th-11-30 < < < > > > https://www.rattlesnakesaloon.net/s

    I frequently mention that you should consider adding extra LEDs for Conspicuity's sake. Most of our bikes have been Farkled with Skene LEDs that are eye-catchers for Distracted Drivers... I learned this fact the hard way in 2009; See what you think... >> https://www.skenelights.com <<

    Happy Travels; wave as U go by. We'll be CoddiWompling our way to the MOA Rally in June - we'll wave back!
    Ciao!
    HSV-Phil & HSV-Karen

    '14 K-GT -- '09 650GS-twin
    '75 R90S -- '82 R100CS
    - - - - - - + '16 R1200RS

  11. #11
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    Welcome

    I live south of you 180 miles or so we have campouts scheduled, June 11th weekend, July 23rd weekend and August 20th weekend. For all three events I will be hauling stuff to the campsite so I could bring an extra tent and other gear that you could use
    Send a PM if interested

  12. #12
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    LEDs for Conspicuity's sake

    Quote Originally Posted by HSVPhil View Post
    Welcome to the BMW community & the forum, John!

    I frequently mention that you should consider adding extra LEDs for Conspicuity's sake. Most of our bikes have been Farkled with Skene LEDs that are eye-catchers for Distracted Drivers... I learned this fact the hard way in 2009; See what you think... >> https://www.skenelights.com <<
    Thanks for the kind words Phil, especially the recommendation about the Skene Lights. I remember adding a device to my bike forty years ago which would slightly strobe the low beam headlight, the objective of which was to increase visibility. I think it helped and never seemed to encounter any complaints.

    The Skene systems seem to accomplish the some thing, with more modern electronics, and LEDís and apparently with none of the downsides of the the older system.

    Bob as a a used bike didnít come with an owners manual so while I ordered one, it is only arriving this week. Once I get through that , then together with the Clymer manual and some additional tools, I can start making additional enhancements. The only major change I made to the previous bike was cutting down the windshield an inch or so.

    Thanks again and stay safe.

  13. #13

    Hello from Mission, TX

    Welcome, John. Sorry for your loss. I grew up in Chicago, Skokie mainly before I got a job transfer to South Texas. I started riding again after 30 years. The kids are all grown up and finished college. I remember riding up to Wisconsin around Lake Geneva and the Alpine Valley area. Always stopped at the Brat Stop on the way home. I rode Japanese bikes when I started, couldn't afford Airheads yet. Today, I have a couple of classics. I think I'm the only one riding 40-year-old airheads in this part of South Texas.

  14. #14
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    Midwest is not all that bad

    Quote Originally Posted by llewellync View Post
    Welcome, John. Sorry for your loss. I grew up in Chicago, Skokie mainly before I got a job transfer to South Texas. I started riding again after 30 years. The kids are all grown up and finished college. I remember riding up to Wisconsin around Lake Geneva and the Alpine Valley area. Always stopped at the Brat Stop on the way home. I rode Japanese bikes when I started, couldn't afford Airheads yet. Today, I have a couple of classics. I think I'm the only one riding 40-year-old airheads in this part of South Texas.
    It's interesting, old BMW's may be the MC equivalent of '60 muscle car, now that folks have more money, they are finally getting the toys they could never afford before.

    Wisconsin has some nice riding, at least seasonally. Afterall it is the home of Harley Davidson and Peter Egan among others. it also has a natural edginess to it. I particularly like the TWAT - Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail!
    Take care

  15. #15
    Registered User bicyclenut's Avatar
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    John,

    Welcome to the MOA and thanks for the introduction. Sorry to hear about your wife, cancer sucks, no doubts about that and it takes away too many special people too soon.

    Besides the MOA, you might want to look at joining a local BMW Club. I belong to the Chicago Region BMW Owners Association and we are one of the oldest chartered MOA clubs with members from all over the Chicago area. We currently hold weekly Hot Dog rides on Monday nights as well as weekend rides and other club events and activities. We have riders of all types and ages, riding all types and ages of BMW bikes as well as other brands. Non-members are welcome to come out to one of our rides and meet members and see if you might want to join us.

    If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or take a look at our website for more information and events. We are having our monthly meeting this Thursday, May 13, in person or via Zoom. Our special guest speaker this month is Elspeth Beard, the first British woman to circumnavigate the world by motorcycle.

    https://www.crbmw.com/

    Mark
    2010 BMW R1200RT
    2014 BMW C650GT (sold)
    MOA # 208387

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