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Thread: motorcycle moments

  1. #1

    Motorcycle Moments

    In 1983?, on April 1, I rode a 400cc Yamaha Maxim from Boulder, Colorado to the foothills west of Fort Collins. I have great memories of being chased along by a big storm hugging to foothills, the clouds developing black and blue colors and streaks of lightning all around me as I raced along on the back route between Boulder and Lyons.

    I wore my ATGATT of the time, my Dad's lineman gloves, a white open face helmet with a big gold peace sign on the back side, an old paratrooper padded green jacket, levis and huge 3/4 shank hiking boots with vibram soles as thick as a book; I don’t remember how I shifted.

    I can remember I had just purchased a little red transistor radio the week before, and had ear buds tucked into my ears, listening to KBCO radio out of Boulder, who were doing their April Fools day spoof, which for about half the trip I thought was legit, until it dawned on me it was April 1st.

    What a magnificent trip. Forever in my memories. My now wife (then girl friend)and I had bought 35 acres, and lived in a little silver trailer on our property hauling water and using an ancient old septic left behind from the original house, by then gone. (before much zoning in Larimer county). It was over four years until we finally paid off the land and built a proper house.

    My Girl was in grad school, and I was a counselor at a jail. Our little trailer was our love shack; we ate tons of venison and brown rice that night, home canned tomatoes and baklava for dessert.

    Good memories of an April 1st ride... I hope I never forget the wonderful storm, the smells that spring day injecting into my nose, and obviously into my memories.

    How about you?

    And I don't think it has to be April 1st, just any great ride tucked in your memories...


  2. #2
    FUKENGRUVEN SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    A Friend Makes the Ride

    I have fond memories of many past rides, especially those I made when I lived in Germany, but my best memory is of my most recent long trip. Last summer I rode with my wife from Alaska to Montana, Idaho and Washington. The most significant and memorable aspect of the ride was that Annie rode her own bike. The admiration I felt for her as she overcame tough weather and road conditions was immeasurable (she had less than 2 months riding experience when we started the trip). She displayed great courage as she encountered many firsts, such as, her first muddy 20 mile construction zone, first grated bridge and her first 6 lane traffic packed metropolitan freeway. She overcame each and every one and never waivered in her desire to continue. Our friendship grew greatly as we shared the experience as only riding buddies can. But the best part is all the rides we are planning in the future; this year we are going to try to tackle every major dirt road in Alaska.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  3. #3
    Registered User PHMARVIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    El Paso, TX
    First (BMW) Ride
    In 1975 I crashed my '72 Dunstall-Norton 810 MkII. I had another Norton, but someone made me an offer for it which I couldn't refuse. For the next few months I bitched to a friend (BMW rider) who finally got tired of it and told me his dealer had one only left-over '76 R90/6 and I should go buy it. I did, and 32 years ago today (1 April 1977), I rode out of R.B. Johnson BMW/Norton/Ducati/Moto Guzzi of Chalybeate Springs, NC on my brand new R90/6. Thence began my 32 yr (and counting) affair with BMW motorcycles.
    Ride Safe,
    Phil Marvin - El Paso, TX
    '94 K75A/3
    '95 K75RTP

  4. #4
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    Sometimes, even a short day ride encompasses so many facets of why we ride, it lodges itself deep in our memory and soul, and is revived everytime we sample just a portion of that ride.

    Back in 1990, I was married, owned my 1st home, my 1st BMW, working full time, also going to night school for my engineering degree, even in the summer. It was a weekday during the week of July 4th, and I just spent three days studying hard for a test that week. So I had been home for days, diligent at my desk.

    Then I get a call, that class was cancelled. I was TICKED after all that work, so I went to the garage to fiddle with my 76 R100RS. My wife sensed my frustration. She came out a short time later, said "pack up the bike, we're riding up to Door County to take in a play at Penninsula Players." That's 120 miles one way, and its now 2pm. So off we went on a beautiful summer mid-week afternoon.

    The ride up was relaxing, listening to the ol' airhead humming along. The play was great fun. The setting in the cedar trees on the east shore of Green Bay was very romantic, with a glorious setting sun amongst the soft waxy smell of the cedars. The warm night ride home included a rare show of the Northern lights. And arriving back home to Appleton, we weren't too tired to not share a special evening in each other's arms. All in the space of eight hours and 240 miles. If anyone says motorcycle riding is not for the romantic at heart, I say you don't have a heart. What a night that was!

    That ride, that night, those memories, still hold very stong as a very special ride, and VERY special event! I'd love to relive it in a heartbeat.
    Last edited by Andy VH; 04-03-2009 at 02:27 PM.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  5. #5
    In the 80's when I was in my 20's riding at night on my R75/5 in western Virginia. I noticed the moonlight seemed bright enough to ride by. It was. I don't think I would do it now, but it's a great memory

  6. #6
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Tremont, IL
    It was 1982. I was on my 1977 CB750a heading out west on a vacation. IT was one of those where I said to myself, just get on Interstate 74 (i live in Central Illinois) and ride west 'til I hit the ocean. So I did. The first day I rode 20 hours straight, yes I said 20 hours!. Speed limit was 55, so I did 55. Night time came, I might have been into Colorado, and I started to get tired (gee I wonder why?) I went from town to town looking for a place to stay. Seems vacationers filled up all the hotels.

    I rode on. It got later and later, finally around 1 am I found a best Western. I got off the bike and headed for the door. The sign said "vacancy." Just then a car came flying in and drove right past me and straight up to the door. A guy jumped out and ran inside. You guessed it, he took the last room.

    I ask the fellow running the place if he could find me room. OR could I just sleep in the lobby. He found me one, 75 miles on west of wherever I was. So I handed him a credit card, reserved the room, and hopped back out on the bike.

    AS I got back up to speed on the interstate, I remember seeing a sign that we bike riders love to see, especially at night: "deer crossing next three miles." I said to myself, " I hope the deer are already asleep."

    I ran it up to 75 mph, set the VandaCruise, and held on. Next morning, well, really about noon, I got up to go to the bathroom and shower and looked out the window and saw mountains. I said to myself, "wow, I wonder how long I had been riding in the mountains?"

    After that, I told myself I would never do two things again.

    1) ride the bike across country at 55 mph.
    2) ride a bike that many hours.

    I still have that bike. I still ride it. I'm never going to sell it. That was my first cross-country trip on a bike. And this is but one of many stories of that trip. There are others that are really a much better read. I chose to tell this one because I learned a few valuable lessons on that trip. And it is these first two lessons that I learned back then, that still stick in my memory the most even today.

    You should take your time and enjoy the trip. But don't try to make up for the slow rate of travel by riding a longer period of time.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your stories with us all.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

  7. #7
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Waukesha, WI
    My brothers' 1977 R100 RS. He picked me up at the In-laws, we were staying there while we built our house. We left New Berlin, Wisconsin, 2 up around 5 pm and rode down through Chicago and across Indiana. There was a full moon bright as day, and when I took the helm, we blasted quite above the speed limit. We made it to Shreve Ohio, Saturday morning around 5AM. Set up tents and got up at 11:30 am and rallied. We drove home the next day and I don't remember much of that part.
    The moonlight blast across Indiana on a balmy night remains in my mind forever.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  8. #8

    No particular ride but...

    I have been on the road you mention from Boulder to Lyons many times but not under such "special" conditions nor on a motorcycle. I lived in Boulder and owned an MGB at the time; close to a bike in spirit,. Nice road;great drive or ride.

  9. #9
    Boxer n Cruiser jfmoore430's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Cary, NC

    Talking First BMW and love for life!

    The good thing about age is you have a lot more memories to talk about....hopefully! Following the Army in 1971 I bought a Yamaha RD350...Wow what a zippy bike. Well after two years I realized that a 2 cycle was not the bike for someone that wanted to travel. A friend and I noticed that a car dealer was closing in Durham, NC and for whatever reason they had two BMW motorcycles to get rid of, cheaply. As a college student cheap was important! So Bob K and I went over and bought them, a 1972 toaster and a 1973 long shaft toaster, R75/5's. It was love for both of us. The first challenge, was with the dealer closed, who would maintain this beautiful thing. I found R.B. Johnson's BMW in Chalybeate Springs, NC as the only dealer near Chapel Hill, NC. That is just south of Fuquay Varina and a nice ride from Chapel Hill. On my first visit I found a very small dealer with a display of 3 - 4 BMW's and a large shed with heavy farm equipment next to it. It looked more like a welding shop than a motorcycle garage. Mr. Johnson welcomed me and invited me to his shed with the BMW and asked me to sit next to him on a shop stool, short with casters and tools underneath. I dropped my jaw when he then proceeded to put his ear on the carbs and tune the motor! My job was to hand him tools when he asked for them. He was a true gentleman and I always looked forward to my stops at his shop. He told me that he had been tuning BMW's since WWII this way. It was quite something because people on BMW's came from SC, TN, VA, MD and GA to have him put his ear to the carbs and tune them. I met many very nice people and I knew that this was the bike for me. That bike took me to Ohio for a wedding and the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia fly fishing and camping and many other camping trips. My worst decision was in 1977 I was moving to NYC for a job and decided to sell the bike! I hated that decision for many years until in 1996 I expressed regret that I had sold it and my wife, God Bless Her, said....Why don't you get another one? That door doesn't open frequently and my new 1996 BMW R1100 RT was in the garage the next day!!!!!
    Well, I am now on a 2011 R1200 GSA and planning a redo of the Cabot Trail trip with my wife and a number of friends this summer. I will be camping and fishing with my trusty GSA on into retirement and enjoy everyday! What a great world this machine opened up for me. Safe rides!!!!

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by jfmoore430 View Post
    The good thing about age is you have a lot more memories to talk about....hopefully!
    And some of them are simply hilarious, like dial telephones, typewriters and bell-bottom pants.

    Anyway, in 1969-1970 I was a VISTA working with Oklahomans for Indian Opportunity and I was based out of Norman. The slightly older guys could keep draft-deferred by going to Law School and I had three of them for roomates. As soon as we all got there, however, they started the draft lottery and one got a high number and immediately went home. The other two were still fairly safe and about to pass the age limit. (I was younger, but 1Y anyway due to pinned ankle from Little League baseball injury--good thing because my birthday was #1.)

    So, one buddy got a CB450 Honda and we rode that two-up from the middle of OK (called Okla in those days IIRC) to Arkansas and back one day. We were two-up of all things and good thing he was about 5'4" because I'm 6'3." Our ATGATT was short-sleeve shirts but we did have helmets.

    Another time on one of my "business trips" I met one of our representatives that lived in Talihina and I got to take a spin on his HD XLCH. My main memories of that are that I didn't have a helmet or sunglasses (this before prescription lenses for me) and mostly my eyes watered over and it wasn't much of a test ride. This bike had manual ignition advance controlled by the left handgrip (and probably right-foot shifting) and this was my first and last ever ride on an HD.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    Registered User dave39's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    South of Sacramento, CA on 6.5 acres

    Riding Back Country on a Dream

    Back in the '60s when I was a graduate student in Boulder, CO, I would need a break from the work, throw a backpack on the back of my little Honda Dream 150 and head for the mountains. I'd find an old mining road or trail and head up it into the boonies. I'd ride the Honda in until it could no longer handle the rough terrain. I'd park it back in the trees and take off backpacking into the wilderness for a few days. It was a great way to unwind, but now think back about what if something happened, an injury or getting lost, as I seldom told anyone where or when I was going. Youth can sometimes be stupid and lucky.

  12. #12
    RK Ryder
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    London, Ontario
    The ride that I will always remember was our 1971 honeymoon in Europe, a three month ride, on two Honda 49cc mopeds. We bought the bikes in Edinburgh and rode the back roads throughout Scotland, England, crossed the French Alps and the French/Spanish Pyrenees and then back to England. To this day, when riding in foothills or mountains in the rain, I a have handlebar grin under my helmet as it brings back memories of that trip.

    It was on that trip that we came across the French gendarmes riding very quiet but ugly bikes. We learned that there were war bikes riding still being ridden in Europe. That was when I decided that one day I get one of those "ugly" bikes. It took a few years but when I retired, my wife told me to get a couple of beemers and now I'm trying very hard to make up for lost time.
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Niagara Riders #298 & Knights of the Roundel #333

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