A Question for you 'Old-timers'

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by rgb2cmyk, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    So did Underwood's die a slow and lingering death? That is pitiful.

    My tale? 1974, I'd graduated college and gotten my first Real Job in Wedowee, AL. Decided that since I got through school and landed a job I owed myself a motorbike. Worsham's, the BMW dealer in Anniston, had a lone 1973 R60/5 Toaster that was last year's model with the New and Improved /6's on the floor. They wanted to deal. I wanted to wheel. The rest is history-- I'm still driving that bike today. I've toyed with the idea of trading up to a bigger/faster/better-chick-magnet bike, but never did the deed.

    [​IMG]


    --Bill
    #21
  2. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse Adventurer

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    As I remember it (and I don't remember very well anymore, so correct me if I'm wrong), back in the 60's, the bigger bikes were mostly just the Harleys and Triumphs. I don't remember any bigger BMWs back then. I remember my dad had a single-cylinder 250CC BMW back then among his Harleys, but BMW in general didn't become popular in the USA until the 70's. The Japanese didn't start to compete in the big bike market until 1969 with the CB750.

    All through the 60's and into the 70's, the U.S. Dollar was worth about 4 German Marks. Now, a Dollar is worth about 1.5 German Marks. Based entirely on the currency exchange rate, that makes German goods about 2.6 times more expensive than they used to be.
    #22
  3. oldtrout

    oldtrout Been here awhile

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    Hi Bill.

    Hannigan ??
    #23
  4. Schnickelfritz

    Schnickelfritz pick, grin, repeat

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    My first BMW was a loaner R75/5, given to me by the owner of my local Motorrad for use while my consignment Guzzi LeMans was getting prepped. It had a big aftermarket fairing which I hated. I loved the bike, though, and the next time I bought a bike, it was an R75.
    #24
  5. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

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    Harleys and Indians were always big, but the BMWs were as big as the British bikes of the day -- 500cc and 600cc twins, when Nortons were 500 singles and Triumphs 650 twins at most. They all went to 750s in the '70's, and up from there.

    PhilB
    #25
  6. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Yep, Hannigan ST, an early 1980's Canadian vintage. Replaced the aging Vetter Windjammer last Fall.

    --Bill
    #26
  7. DC2wheels

    DC2wheels Castle Anthrax troll

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    Right around 1980 I had already done a couple years of AAMRR in mod-prod with a 500cc twin and was looking for something a bit bigger for 2-up "sport-touring" (before it was even called that)

    BMW never came into the picture- 25 y.o. married guy, I wanted something sporty looking.

    NOT THIS: (old man bike)

    [​IMG]

    BUT THIS:

    [​IMG]

    Took us all over the northeast U.S. and eastern Canada.

    Shoulda' kept that bike........
    #27
  8. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    yep always liked the bm's

    but too expensive

    jap bikes and ducati's much better value

    now bmw's much cheaper in comparison

    in 2006 went to buy new bike

    wife said I could

    luck comes very rarely in my life

    went to buy a ducati

    when I compared them with the new k12s

    no comparison

    when it came to value for money

    bike with up to date tech,

    or an updated pantah 70's design

    the top of the line duc was a lot more money

    went for long test rides

    I like twins

    but the bmw was much better on my broken back, esa

    2c

    cheers
    #28
  9. jnclem

    jnclem True Airhead

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    I'm 55. My older brother has been riding BMWs since sometime in the early or mid 60's. He has made a career of them, and is an absolute artist with all of the older beemers. I think he works on everything 1996 and older.

    Anyway, because of that, my earliest motorcycle memories all involve the sound and feel of immaculate, black, purring German machinery. He still has his 69S that he purchased new shortly after high school, as well as an 83 R80 G/S, a 58 /2, an R100S, a couple of K's, you get the picture. When I finally got around to getting my own bike later in life, there was no other sound or feel that even interested me.

    I don't see the ugly that most on this forum seem to. My R100 GS take me everywhere I want to go, and I think it's a beautiful machine. I love the look, the sound, the reliability. What's not to like?
    #29
  10. Offcamber

    Offcamber Long timer

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    I'm in my mid 40s and growing up BMW bikes weren't even on the radar. If you saw one it was a rich old mans bike. As kids many had Japanese dirt bikes. Transitioning to street it was logical to go Japanese, cheaper, reliable sporty and fast. Everything an 18 year old rider could want....Nobody I knew rode HD back then....again they were for old hippys. Now although I can appreciate different makes, I still only buy Japanese....why....reliable, cheaper, sporty more bang for the buck.....
    #30
  11. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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    Took my rider test in 1976 on a R90S!!!!!!
    Than I proceeded to see if I could get myself some tickets that very day.
    Didn't get any tickets, but, I did find out that an R90S didn't quite handle like a 750 GT Ducati, which is the bike I was used to riding. Quite frankly, I was amazed at just how bad the thing handled. In the interest of full disclosure I must now admit that Dad owned a Euro-only bike shop called The Sport Spot. Yes, I was a spoiled little punk, at least when it came to bikes. Anyway, when I got back to the shop I told my father that something MUST be wrong with the BM for it to handle sooooooooooo bad. He said, "so find out what the fuck is wrong with it". 3 days later, after much turning of wrenches, Dad grabs the keys for the bike and takes it out for a ride. Comes back in the workshop giving me pretty major stink-eye and asks..........."how fucking fast were you going on this thing?", I say.........."I don't know, I was only going about as fast as I go on the Duc." He's says............."you little jerk, there isn't anything wrong with this bike. It's the BEST handling BM ever made.", I was like, "Dad, how do you sleep at night selling these things? They handle like shit."
    Well, he then made me other stuff to find out that the BM was in fact, not to bad. Just ain't a Ducati, and neither was ANYTHING else.
    Anyway, a couple of years later when they came out with the R100RS, we had a couple of used ones that Pop let me, um, "ride" for a while. I was very happy with just how far BMW had come with the handling. Dad was less then pleased at the proof of how happy I was, the footpegs were much shorter then before I got the bikes, the valve covers were worn paper thin and had to be re-placed before selling it, and the bottom of the fairing was "clearanced" nicely so the next person wouldn't drag anything. :lol3 He told me anything else I wore out, I would have to pay for. That calmed me down! I bought the very first K100RS that we got in the shop, and I think the first one on the road in the Northeast, for myself, tricked it out a lot........USD White Power forks, Ohlins, 16" Guzzi front wheel, motor work ( it would eat an FJ1200 for breakfast), 55,000 miles and it met an untimely demise when I hit a loverly patch of anti-freeze and got high-sided.
    No more Beemers since that one. Always said that there would be a R1150GS under my ass, and just when I started looking for one, I heard rumors of this strange and wonderful thing called a KTM 950 Adevnture. The GS was, and is, a great bike, but the KTM is everything the BM wish's it could have been.
    That's my long-winded BMW story, and I'm sticking with it.

    Chris
    #31
  12. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

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    I ride bikes. I have never owned a car. Every day. I am 52. I will always have an airhead in the garage. I like distance riding and touring. At 24 years old I traded a LC350 in on a Datona Orange R90S. I intially thought what a pos. But if you like touring on the cheap they are it (I had a girlfriend who lived interstate). It is a simple bike with all issues known. Easy to work on, easy to own. They handle poorly but have many redeeming features, they carry gear, they are OK two up they go the distance. I sold the S 12 years and almost 400,000 km later. Had a year or two without a two valve. Then I bought a mates R80G/S and put a kit in it to make it a bit more interesting. I do not find modern BMW's appealing at all. That said, I just bought a Husky Terra which is kinda like a BMW!

    What was the question again?
    #32
  13. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked

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    I hadn't ridden too many motorcycles before I bought my first BMW; a Honda 50, my friends Honda 350 and my cousins Triumph. My parents were too thrifty to let me buy a motorcycle for myself. Later, at age 20 I was just a mostly broke hippy going to college in Tucson, Az. and living in my VW Bus. One day, I was walking down the street in Tucson and saw a guy trying to kick start a sidecar BMW with a VW engine! I thought, "Coolest bike ever, if you can put a VW engine in it!" That bit of misinformation started my quest for an old BMW and, when my Grandma died and left me a few thousand bucks, ended in me going to Germany in 1973 and buying a R75/5. I toured Europe for 4 months and brought it back, I sold the VW and lived on that bike for 2 1/2 years. Note: at the time I was looking for a bike, everyone was saying,"Buy a Harley. BMWs are for old men who want to ride around the world..." I thought," Hmmm, I may want to ride around the world, so BMW it is!" Since then I've owned 8 BMWs, and wouldn't want anything else. I like it when people walk up to me and ask,"Why do the cylinders stick out the sides?" I tell them,"It's like a Volkswagen engine; simple, smooth and cool..."
    #33
  14. smj

    smj Been here awhile

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    When I was young, I didn't ride on the road - just dirt bikes. Bought my first, and only, BMW at age 54. Almost bought one when I was 21, while working in Guatemala. I was going to buy it and then ride it home, but at that time there were so many bandits along the road north that my friends wouldn't let me ride the bike home solo, they feared the bandits would get me. Why BMW back then? Everyone wanted jap bikes, they were supposed to be much faster. The dealer couldn't sell it, was almost giving it away, about a third the price of any of the jap bikes. I wish I'd bought the bike and then shipped it home. Oh, well.

    And, to be honest, I don't have a BMW anymore. Now it's a KTM 990R.
    #34
  15. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

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    O ring chains came out in the 70's and x ring later. So for touring riders shaft drive was a big advantage.

    My first bike was a 79 Suzuki GS750 and second an R65. Don't remember it being a lot more expensive. BMW didn't aim at the "luxury" market until later.
    #35