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Thread: Tell us how you came to own your first BMW:

  1. #31
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Indianola, IA

    Thumbs up Got smart

    Started out on rice burners in 1964 as that is all I could afford. Graduated to a Milwaukee vibrator in 02 and realized I wanted to ride instead of cleaning all the chrome. Bought a 04 1150RT from Gina's in Iowa City. My better half thought it was cool so she bought a 1150R as she likes the naked look, so do I. What I liked about Ginas was that she let us ride everything they had in stock. We have put over 20M on each bike and liked them so much I bought a 1974 R750/6. The 750 has been a hoot to ride and I love the simplicity. I do all of my own maintenance and enjoy that so much that I am thinking about buying a NoMar Tire changer to complete the process.

  2. #32
    I grew up riding dirt bikes and such. Bought an 82 Yamaha Virago 750 around 93, my first street bike, and rode it alot to NC and the Mountains 2 up with my wife and realized I needed something bigger.

    My brother in law had an R65 which was my first experience riding a BMW. I went with him to pick up an R100GS Bumblebee he had bought. I rode it home as he rode his 78? Goldwing and I was hooked.

    It took some time and a career change and the time came to find the new bike, by now my bro-in-law had a 95 GS so I knew what I wanted but just couldn't find the one for me. I had almost decided on a Concours when I saw an add on the IBMWR site and inquired. The guy sent me a photo ...

    I made a bee line to Indy in Feb 03 and brought her home.

    Now we have been to Montana, Colorado, NC, Ohio, Fla, LA the list goes on.

    Its the start to a beautiful relationship!

  3. #33
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    I learrned to ride on a Honda SL90 (produced for exactly one year, 1969). My dad and my brothers and I all rode that thing around.

    In 1978, my dad bought a slightly used R75/7, equipped with a Windjammer SS and white Krauser bags. I was 20 then and had always been fascinated by little cars, particularly little German cars. VW, BMW, Audi, even some of the Mercedes stuff was to my liking. The BMW bike had those same traits and I took a liking to it.

    I rode it all over the place and even first saw my wife Tina when I was riding that thing. We dated on it, rode it all over New England doing the riding and camping thing and just generally fell in love while we were out riding. BMWs were the perfect bike for two folks to get out and ride around on.

    Later, I moved out of dad's place and went bikeless for a year or so. We bought a 1982 Honda CB750F and tried doing the things we did with the BMW. Camping? Not happening. Back seat room? Not quite /7 accomodations there.

    We rode to Niagara Falls and when we got back, MrsK said, "We need to buy a BMW". So we bought an R100RS, a bike I'd always lusted after.

    About the same time, my brother bought an R75/6 and restored it to perfection.

    Since then, I've always had a BMW in the house, as has my brother. My dad, sadly, stopped riding a while ago, but managed to take up scuba diving, wind surfing and bicycling in his 60s.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #34
    My first bike was a '74 Honda CB350 (olive green). It was too small for me in the first place - I have really long legs and my butt was pretty much on the passenger seat. After riding it for a summer after taking the MSF course I knew that I needed a bigger bike.

    I had been scoping out bikes at the local superbike races, where you see a little of everything (I remember seeing my first GS there), but it was the airhead street bikes (preferably naked) that really made my heart go flippetty-floop. When I finally had the cashola to buy something, I asked a girlfriend's husband what I should buy, and he gave me a list of BMWs to look for used. When I looked them up on the internet - they were all the old airheads that I was so enamored with!

    I found a 1975 R90/6 in Green Bay, WI on the IBMWR list, went up, rode it, fell in love, end of story. Or beginning of story I guess.

  5. #35
    Rally Rat MarkF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh
    Bought a 04 1150RT from Gina's in Iowa City. My better half thought it was cool so she bought a 1150R as she likes the naked look, so do I.
    You're a lucky man X 2

  6. #36
    I bought my first airhead BMW, a 1971 R50/5, in the summer of 1986. In a fit of desperation I had sold my BSA Thunderbolt a few years earlier to get rent money for the 2 room cabin I was living in at the time. I had landed a job at a concrete plant by then and had a few extra bucks in the sock drawer. I bought the bike out of a barn for $500 and rode it home. I didn't want, and couldn't afford a Harley, and certainly had no desire to own another limey bike. Some other friends in town had Beemers and I followed their advice.

  7. #37
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Portland Oregon

    Back in 1982

    Driving around with a girlfriend (now long gone) through the endless commercial neighborhoods that comprise Los Angeles I spied a white BMW motorcycle with the orange "For Sale" sign hanging on it. The shop was a BMW car repair shop, and the bike belonged to one of the mechanics. At the time I had a Yamaha SR500, and I wanted a grown up motorcycle. This one was a very clean 1971 R75/5 and it had the large tank. At the time I thought it looked lumpy and graceless (I now find that design excellent) I knew that it was a superior machine. For $800 it was mine. Not soon after the entire wire bundle had to be replaced after a lengthly and foul smelling short. I later found some Buco tear drop hard bags (metal flake purple for $10 at a garage sale) After it was all sorted out it was a marvel of reliability. I know the photo is crappy and stained. It was a great bike. I saw it several months ago and it had not been loved.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #38
    In 1961, Opa (German for grandfather) sat me on his lap when I was about 7 years old and read me a German motorcycle magazine. He pointed to an ad for an R69S and said "now *there* is a motorcycle."

    I grew up on dirt bikes. motocross and enduros and went to the Six Day Trials in Massachusetts in 1973. There were two factory BMWs there. I was driving between spectator points in my VW when one of those bikes passed me going well over 100 mph on full knobbies, slid through a turn and flew back into the woods spewing gravel and mud. That's when I knew I had to have a BMW.

    My first was a 1976 R90/6 when I was in grad school at the University of Florida and I rode that thing all over creation, paved and unpaved. Got really good at riding that big heavy thing in the sugar sand... and never looked back.

    Man, I long for an R12 HP-2... that's the closest thing to that factory Six-Day Trials bike yet. But it ain't in the cards for me (long story...). Hey, at least I now have an R69S!

    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '97 F650ST || '00 1150 GS || '07 Xchallenge || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom

  9. #39
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    State of Confusion
    I wanted one for the look. So I saved and saved and saved and purchased a Yamaha VStar 650. The deal with SWMBO was that I could only get a bike if I could pay cash for it. Since I would probably drop it a few times, only once, it was small enough and low enough I would feel safe...

    Well I hated it. So after a year of that one, off to my dream of the RT, which I was allowed to finance cause I was hooked.

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  10. #40
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Astatula, FL
    In November 1977, I was on my way to the Harley shop in Clarion, PA with $1200 in my pocket. Intention was to put a leftover Superglide on lay-a-way for the winter. Along the way I spied a shiney black cycle with a sale sign on it in someone's front yard. Turned around and looked at it. Neat , a BMW, had only read/heard about them, never rode one or even looked at one up close. Coincidentally, he was asking $1200 for it. Took it for a ride and fell in love with it. Figured if it didn't work out I could sell it in the spring and go buy my Harley. Never did get that Harley..... Oh, it was a 1968 R69S....Wish I still had that one....
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  11. #41
    Well now....

    My first bike was a Cushman Eagle I received as a present on Thanksgiving Day in 1954. Rode that thing for two years and just about wore it out. Sold it to my cousin for $100 and didn't ride again for 36 years.

    My neice had bought her boyfriend a new Honda Shadow 700. (Nice to have a few oilwells in the backyard) When they broke up she said, "My bike, right here, now". It sat there on the side of the carport for three years in the rain. One day she asked me if I wanted it and sold to me for $500. Over $1K later, I had a great bike. I rode that thing from LA to Indiana, North Carolina, Conn and all over Texas, putting many K miles on it. I had been told a few times that that bike, 700 cc, was too small to tour on. Hell, I was comfortable on it, running 70 mph all day long. Problem was that any mileage over 300 miles depended on how much pain in the butt I could stand.

    A couple years later, a friend of mine had a stroke that killed the left side of his body with no chance of recovery and asked me to buy his bike....he needed the money so I wrote him a check and went to see the bike. It was a BMW '79 R100 tricked out with Mikunis, Cafe fairing and a big buck suspension system. I rode it home. Compared to the Shadow, I was on tip toes just sitting there so when I got home, I parked it under the port cache and there it sat for 6 months.

    I decided to go up to Indiana from LA to visit my daughter living in Fort Wayne. I decided to take the BMW and if I couldn't live with it, I would stop along the way and trade it for something I could ride. I left south LA late in the afternoon and RON in Jackson, MS. Easy ride. Next morning, I left Jackson at 0430 and by 10pm I was in Fort Wayne. Tired, yes, but no pains other than hyperthermia that I couldn't dial a phone.

    Stayed two days in Fort Wayne and went along my way to South Haven, Conn to visit my son and on to Fayetteville, NC to visit another daughter. When I got back home, I ordered a set of BMW shocks that lowered the bike by 2".

    I stuck two BMW shocks on it lowering it by 2" and it became my #1 bike and sold the Shadow to a friend.

    Since then there has been a '82 R100RT, a '95 R1100RS which I still have and it's stable mate, a '74 R90/6 with a Ural sidecar which has become #1 in the stable.

    Lyle Grimes finally convinced me to get my 100K BMW badge and I am working on the 200K now. Won't be long.....had a bunch of miles already for the 200K. This year, I have taken the hack rig to San Carlos, MX and last month up to Creed, CO. No sore butts yet and 700 mile days on the R1100RS are normal for a long trip and 550-600 mile days on the hack on long trips.

    So I found BMWs because of a favor to a friend and in the end, he was the one that did the greates favor.

    Oh well........


  12. #42

    Cool An education... (for me)

    Ages 15-17, revisit 23-26 all Honda, good learning machines.
    Age 27-32 all H-D, could not believe the lack of reliability (ergo the motive for the "custom").
    At 32: traded an XLCR1000 for an R90/6 (young & stupid was I !!, not for acquire, but acquiescse(?)) Never looked back from there, sold other 2 H-Ds & enflamed the BMW passion.
    Only poignancy(?): BMW owners don't seem to embrace the uniquely custom. I (obviously) revell in it. Oh well, season to taste; or pine for such seasonings that elude you... <<<)))

  13. #43
    I have ridden bikes since 8 yrs old...always Japanese, Italian and Brit bikes though. I did not think highly of beemers growing up since the sound of them did not fit the profile of what "real bikes" are supposed to sound like. when you heard the starter motor it sounded like a car cranking (euro trash cars I mean since this was in the UK) and the look of the jugs sticking out each side just blew it. Beemers had the rep for reliability and also for being the "Buick of motorcycle"...sure they are great vehicles but who 'fesses to owning one right?

    Anyway about a year ago I saw my first (well paid attention to it anyway) GS with yellow trim...I was awestruck! This was the tallest and ugliest looking bike that I had seen and I wanted one. Out of any bikes that I have owned they have always been a little on the small side for my "big boned" frame. Finally something that was made for riding comfort...the SUV of two wheeled transport. I began researching the GS and just became even more impressed at the achievements of this bike.

    I made up my mind and sold my V-Max and my ZRX1200R and began bidding on GS Adventures...I found the deal last July 17th and rode it home...and continued riding throughout the winter and found myself looking purposefully for the nastiest roads and trails...this was more fun than anything legal should be. This has to be the least powerful machine that I have owned since the late eighties in terms of horsepower, however, it is definitely the MOST fun bike ever.

    When you get exposed to the beemer community it is impressive with regard to the support and cameraderie...well that is how I became a beemer owner...

  14. #44
    Ok my turn

    First bike was a 1970 175 Honda bought when I was 15 ? and it went directly into dads basement to await my 16th Bday and license. I have had a motorcycle of one sort or another from then on. The last non-BMW I had was a Yamaha Virago 900 that during my divorce the EX decided she wanted and got, the day after the divorce was final she took it to her new (my old) back yard, set it ablaze and reduced it to a mass of twisted smoking metal and plastic. When it came time to buy another I wanted something different, but after looking around and seeing that everything that was offered and most of what was going down the road was trying to be a Harley I broadened my search to include BMWs and BSAs. I found my 1986 K in Grand rapid Michigan on the internet in January of this year, took a test ride and never looked back.


  15. #45

    My Turn

    I was working on a construction job in '82 and was riding my '79 Yamaha 650 Special daily on an 80 mile round trip. The guy that ran the construction company and I shared the inspector trailer and we talked bikes a lot.

    He had an R100, /6 I think. He brought his ON's to the office and told me about the Anonymous Book and I really liked the community. Then he let me take the bike one lunch hour and I was hooked. But I was breeding then and the kids had to be fed and clothed and all that so I rode the old Yam for a couple more years but then put it away to do the Dad thing. I was going to sell it but a wise co-worker (Goldwinger) told me to keep it, because someday I will want to ride again and I will still have a bike (how right he was!).

    Fast forward to 2001....finishing up a divorce, back on my own, but I am riding again. Joined the MOA to read the ads and look for a present to myself to cheer myself up.

    Well, money took a while to accumulate, I was getting married again, and just kept looking. When we sold our extra home in late 2004, my wife said she didn't like the Yam pillion and now that we were not poor, maybe I should look for that BMW.

    Checked the ON...watched the IBMWR, and kept looking at E-Bay. But alas...I longed for an airhead (kinda what BG was saying).....spent a long time talking to a guy with an R80, but I was too late. Finally saw this 1990 K75RT on E-Bay....e-mailed the owner, felt comfortable with his maintenance....and waited for the last day to bid. I kept getting beat y an auto-bid and was coming up to my limit....I even left work early to be home at the end of the auction.....long and short, I won, and took the trip to Tennessee to get it. Did have to trailer it home (I know what you mean, Gail). The worst part was waiting for spring (Hey, I used the Yam as the Rounder bike, didn't want to trash the K75 before I could really enjoy it!).

    So that's how I entered the coven....

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