Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:31 -- darryl

Although I grew up in the 70s in Southern California, I was never into cars or motorcycles.  Sure, I got my license the day I turned 16, but that was necessary just to get around The Valley and LA.  When I started learning and working in computers, I met and befriended Rick, an older guy (like, about 5 years older!) who introduced me to motorcycles, and not just motorcycles, but BMW motorcycles, and eventually I owned one.  I have been in love with motorcycling ever since. 

Rick also gave me my first vintage BMW.  It was a pile of parts, and I didn't do anything with it for about 10 years, but when I did, I found a whole new fascination.  Now I am heavily involved with the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners club and am getting ready to participate in the Motorcycle Cannonball run from Daytona Beach, FL to Tacoma, WA on pre 1937 bikes in September of 2014. 



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I got my start in motorcycling around 1978. At the time I was out on my own and single, working at a good job and going to school at nights. Rick, an older friend, owned a Suzuki GS650 and I would occasionally get a ride. Then he bought a Yamaha 175 Enduro, and it seemed expedient to get a motorcycle learner's permit. Eventually I used the 175 to get my endorsement, and I was on my way.

The changeover to the /5 series of motorcycles in 1970 was a watershed for BMW. Not since the introduction of the R5 in 1936 had they so completely redesigned nearly every aspect of the bikes in their lineup. The entirely new motor for 1970 had plain bearings oiled by a high pressure system that also pushed that oil through a modern pleated paper filter. All previous motors had used roller bearings for the crank- and camshafts, low pressure oiling systems, and some form of filtering that is generally refered to as a slinger.
So. You're headed off to the Trinity Alps in northern California for 4 days of blissfull corner strafing on the tight, technical curves up there. You look at your tires and think, "yeah, I've got a couple thou left in them."