Mexico by Motorcycle ... in 1981

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Falang, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. horseiron1

    horseiron1 Adventurer

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    Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    #41
  2. IKIGAI

    IKIGAI Been here awhile

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    Fantastic report!

    And how we obsess nowadays! -- Blue jeans, a pair Fryes, and a leather jacket from Sears; and that was pretty much the extent of a guy's riding 'wardrobe' back in the seventies!


    http://motorcyclehalloffame.ca/phil_funnell.htm
    #42
  3. Falang

    Falang Singapore

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    That’s a great link to Phil Funnel’s story. Here’s Phil in his traditional shop at 541 East Hastings in 1973, the place where I bought the bike I rode to Mexico.
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    There is a new 1972 R75/5 next to Phil, and the sidecar and “On Any Sunday” (1971, with Steve McQueen) poster behind him. Of course the pre-politically correct tool company calendars in the workshop out back were even better! Phil located his shop near decades-old Pacific Cycle, which employed Phil for awhile before he quit over their poor customer service practices. Soon afterward they lost their BMW distributorship but continued to sell other brands, including Honda and Vespa until they closed in the mid-1980s. These low-quality photos were taken with a Kodak Instamatic with Flashcubes. The first one appeared in the BMWMOA “The First 35 Years” Anniversary Book. Here is Phil today: http://www.motocampers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4049
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    Here is another photo in front of the shop in 1976 with Pokie, the master mechanic now in Colorado, and Shail, another great mechanic who became a Vancouver BMW dealer himself.
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    BMW prices were a lot lower back then!
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    Back to 1981. Here is Phil Funnell in his live-aboard sailboat just after I returned from Mexico—and just as interest rates in Canada went over 22% in the final battle to control inflation.
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    The new owners of Funnell BMW were hurt by the 1980s financial crisis like many other business owners who had to finance their inventory. The Funnell BMW going-out-of-business sale in 1983 was like a wake. There would be no more dropping-in for coffee and a rag-chew with other touring enthusiasts on Saturday mornings—and Phil did indeed develop enthusiasts, also as a BMWMOA Ambassador.
    #43
  4. keiPHadventure

    keiPHadventure Adventurer

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    What a brilliant ride! It took me back in time to show me how good and how fun you guys had it back then... That was a motorcycle adventure in the purest sense! Thanks for sharing! EPIC!
    #44
  5. snooter

    snooter Adventurer

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    that is history and what a great story on that dealer within this RR..granted we could go off on a tangent and discuss what things were like in dealers back then (saw dust and machine clippings, grease on the floor and those glorious honda ct70's/xl70's in colors you wanted to eat like topaz orange)..but i digress..cept for these sterile dealers we have today is just pathetic...excellent..just excellent historical perspective...sorry for the off topic but bringing back a lot of memories-god speed
    #45
  6. booger1

    booger1 Long timer

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    Thanks for sharing, you have some amazing photos.
    #46
  7. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    Thanks. Great report. Great pix.

    :thumb
    #47
  8. Flyingavanti

    Flyingavanti With the Redhead on Back!

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    Thanks so much for sharing...... The photos reminded me of my first ride down there in 1973,,,,,,, thanks!!!!!!
    #48
  9. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

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    Thanks for sharing :clap
    #49
  10. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    Thanks. Awesome pics. Love the old Vancouver m/c shop pic.
    As an old air-head guy, did you ever cross paths with Lawrence Bird, from Brandon Manitoba?
    #50
  11. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

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    Thanks a million for taking the time to share. I'm blown away by the quality of the pics.
    #51
  12. hwunger

    hwunger Been here awhile

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    simply outstanding ! .... thank you for posting this :D

    some streets and buildings in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta are still the same, or close to it .... I rode a CJ360T back then - but only in BC !

    really enjoyed this :1drink
    #52
  13. Falang

    Falang Singapore

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    I didn’t really know Lawrence Bird but I met him briefly in his Brandon, Manitoba Yamaha-BMW shop at Phil Funnell’s suggestion (and no doubt with Phil’s hand-drawn directions, pre-GPS); that was during my first coast-to-coast ride in 1974. When Phil was Canada’s #1 BMW retailer in the mid-1970s, Phil would jokingly address letters, pre-email, to his friend Lawrence as “Dear #2 Dealer”.
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    More info on Lawrence here:
    http://anderwerks2.blogspot.sg/2008/06/lawrence-bird-3rd-annual-memorial-ride.html
    http://bp0.blogger.com/_04fnHSrfrWs/SDYuo6W1zgI/AAAAAAAAAEU/fjJR-2uIpJU/s1600-h/L.Bird2008.bmp
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    Of course Lawrence had the last laugh, continuing as a BMW dealer long after Phil left the business.
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    Since we are off-topic anyway, another shop that I passed by on that trip at Phil’s suggestion was David Hannigan’s shop Center Cycle on Circle Drive in Saskatoon. David was also kind and helpful to me, a kid just turned twenty, even giving me a bed for the night and taking some parts off his own bike to get me on my way. In the late 1970s David became a Toronto BMW dealer for many years. Then he moved to the USA where he manufactures fairings, sidecars, and trikes at: http://www.hannigantrikes.com/
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    All their stickers are still on my toolbox:
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    Off topic but fun.
    #53
  14. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

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    Simply wonderful. Thank you.
    #54
  15. whizzerwheel

    whizzerwheel Using Occam's Razor

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    Thanks for taking the time to create such a great historical document.

    Just plain excellent....
    #55
  16. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    Cool :clap

    I was up in the Alps on a T140 with a tent and throw overs, back then:evil
    #56
  17. spacebro

    spacebro Adventurer

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    This is awesome. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos and your story. It's like a time capsule.
    #57
  18. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    thanks for the Lawrence Bird memories.
    i still have a Yamaha brochure from his Brandon store.
    1967. Priced via Lawrence's handwriting.
    #58
  19. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Great report with some great history brought back with your photos. Recognized a few places in your pics . . . not the least of which was the Hotel Hacienda de Cobos in Guanajuato. I stayed in the room at the bottom left corner of your pic below - hasn't changed much.

    [​IMG]
    #59
  20. Mcfaite

    Mcfaite les/nyc

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    This is a fantastically engaging photo set - I really enjoyed it. Thanks for writing it up!
    #60