About breams

Baby Boomer generation. Integrator of the disconnected. Engineer, BMW motorcycle addict and Iron Butt enthusiast.

OTRA Day-4: Return From the R80GS 40th Anniversary Rally

This is the last OTRA blog I plan to post. Tomorrow I should be back home again.

This morning it looked like I would get to test out how well the waterproofing of my nearly 15 year old Aerostitch riding suit is holding up. The parking lot at the hotel in Jefferson, MO, was wet as it had rained and the sky was full of low grey clouds. But the upside was cleaning bug goo off Gonzo was quickly done. I added a 1/4 Qt of oil to the motor and let a bit of air out of the front tire to compensate for the higher elevation.

After I finished breakfast and headed out to load the last pannier, the sun came out and the low clouds had moved off to the west, but they were still in front of me. Thankfully the clouds kept dissipating as I rode west so I didn’t get to test how well the stitch did in the rain after all.

US-50’s personality was very much the lumbering superslab all morning. After about a half hour I was feeling sore and not really enjoying the ride. I was getting into a “hurry up and let’s get this day over with” frame of mind. And then I looked at the Garmin GPS, and my wish was fulfilled. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wow-I'm Really Making Time :-)

Wow-I’m Really Making Time ๐Ÿ™‚

The Garmin projected I would cover 385 miles in a bit less than four hours for an average speed of about 96 MPH. ๐Ÿ™‚ Gonzo could go that fast, that long, but we were being legal, so this was not realistic.

This kind of mistake happens when the Garmin misses some of the satellite signals when it computes the average speed. It thinks it covered a number of miles in zero time. On another Garmin I owned, this same issue would shown my maximum speed of 135 MPH.ย I reloaded today’s route and it recomputed my arrival time to a more realistic 3:35 pm.

And, yes, the Garmin is working again. It turns out if I just briefly touch the ON/OFF button on the back, it goes into sleep mode, but it’s not turned off. I assumed it was off since the screen was blank. If I leave it in this state over night, it drains the battery. Then when I plug it into the cradle on the bike in the morning, or to the USB port on my laptop, it doesn’t run until the battery gets some power stored in it. The sleep state with a drained battery looks exactly like it took a permanent dirt nap.

And the annoying messages about not being in the cradle or it going to turn off in 15 seconds are no more. I finally traced that to the power plug in the cradle. I pushed down on the rubber socket as hard as I could and the terminals of the socket now stay seated on the two tiny copper terminals on the back of the GPS. Ain’t modern technology neat? ๐Ÿ™‚

I chuckled when I saw this whimsical decoration applied to a town water tower in Missouri.

Whimsical Water Tower in Missouri

Whimsical Water Tower in Missouri

When I was about 20 miles east of Kansas City, I pulled off the US-50 superslab and picked some state highways 291, 2, 68ย  to the south and west of the city that intersected US-58 to get to my gas stop in Lawrence, KS. I ended up adding about 60 miles to the route by taking this loop around the metropolitan area, but it was a good trade-off as the roads were mostly two-lane, lightly trafficked and conformed to the texture of the land instead of forcing the land to conform to a flat, straight road. Making that 60 mile change reversed the degradation of my body and mind and after about 15 minutes riding the new route, my butt and shoulder stopped complaining and I was flowing with the road as it moved gracefully over the contour of the Kansas countryside. Sometimes, extending your mileage with the right kind of miles shortens the day.

I crossed into Kansas on state road 2. It rated one of the smaller “Welcome to [insert state name here]” signs I have seen.

Back Roads Get Smaller Welcome Signs

Back Roads Get Smaller Welcome Signs

After I got gas in Lawrence, KS, I picked up US-24 and took it almost all the way to Ft. Riley before getting on I-70. On the west side of Ft. Riley, I saw a sign for a Buffalo Soldier monument and got of I-70 to see if I could find it. Along the way, I came across this house with “we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto” decorations. Those are alligators on the roof and a palm tree metal sculpture in front with various nautical paraphernalia scattered around the front yard.

Ah ... I Think He Wishes He Was in Louisiana

Ah … I Think He Wishes He Was in Louisiana

I found the monument which was made into a city park.

Buffalo Solider Memorial Park

Buffalo Solider Memorial Park

Gonzo Resting Near The Buffalo Soldier Statue

Gonzo Resting Near The Buffalo Soldier Statue

Buffalo Solider with Horse

Buffalo Solider with Horse

Buffalo Solider with Horse

Buffalo Solider with Horse

Brief History of Fort Riley

Brief History of Fort Riley

9th Cavalry Had Buffalo Soldiers

9th Cavalry Had Buffalo Soldiers

10th Cavalry Had Buffalo Soldiers

10th Cavalry Had Buffalo Soldiers

On the second day of the ride to the rally, I came across General John “Black Jack” Pershing’s home town inย Laclede, MO. Now I learned where the nickname “Black Jack” came from. He was a First Lieutenant with the 10th Cavalry regiment and because of his stated respect for the black officers and troops when he taught at West Point, cadets derogatorily called him “Nigger Jack”.ย  This got changed to “Black Jack” by the press when reporting on his exploits in the Spanish-American war when he fought with the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry at San Juan Hill.

The rest of the day was spent on I-70 heading west to Hays, KS. Fortunately the traffic was light, only a handful of trucks were on the road and the posted speed limit was 75 MPH; or, 80-85 MPH if you didn’t want to get run over from behind. Gonzo gets his second wind at about 4500-5000 RPM.ย  That translates to 85-90 MPH. In this speed range, the engine gets turbine smooth, the frame settles down on the suspension, and he just wants to go faster. At this RPM in 5th gear, a slight twist of the wrist adds 5 MPH in a second.ย  I found it hard to keep him reined in to “more or less” legal speeds.

The stock 1977 RS peak torque is at 5,500 RPM. Since Gonzo has a CFO engine, his torque peak is about 500-700 RPM lower. That means a slight twist of the wrist in this RPM range accelerates the bike quickly. This couple of hours of I-70 riding demonstrates what Hans Muth had in mind when he designed the R100RS, an Autobahn burner. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I return home and the trip will be over. There is clothes washing, grocery shopping and bill sorting awaiting me. But I don’t have to think about that until the day after tomorrow. ๐Ÿ™‚

OTRA Day-3: Return From the R80GS 40th Anniversary Rally

Well, once again, I woke to cool air and dew on everything. It made short work of cleaning the bugs off Gonzo this morning. Since I cross into Illinois today, I gain an hour so I slept in to catch up on the sleep I lost last week when I was going the other way. ๐Ÿ™‚

US-50 has a personality disorder. It goes between being a lumbering four-lane limited access super-slab clone and then suddenly, changes into a svelte, dancing nymph tripping gaily around sweeping curves up the hills and then plunging back down to the valleys.

This morning I got the lumbering four-lane personality as I started out, but about 10 miles later, I got the dancing nymph that burrowed through the middle of hard wood forests with trees so tall they formed the arch of a cathedral roof over my head. The sun was poking though the branches pasting dazzling patches of golden light on road as if I was walking down the aisle of a medieval church with the kaleidoscope of colors from the stained glass embroidered on the pews and the floor.

US-50 Just East of Bedford, Was Showing It's "Dancing Nymph" Personality

US-50 Just East of Bedford, IN, Was Showing It’s “Dancing Nymph”Personality

Yes, I enjoyed the delights the dancing nymph had to offer this morning.ย  And once again, about 80 miles from Jefferson City, she came back out to play with me.

As I crossed into Illinois I came upon my first surprise of the day, the Red Skelton bridge.

Entering Illinois-Land of Lincoln, Although He Was Born in Indiana

Entering Illinois-Land of Lincoln, Although He Was Born in Indiana

He Must Have Lived Nearby

He Must Have Lived Nearby

I wondered what the connection to the famous vaudeville, radio, movie and television comedian, Red Skelton, could be. Just a few miles further, in Lawrence, IL, US-50 was closed and I detoured through the town where I saw this.

He Was Born in Vincennes, IN

He Was Born in Vincennes, IN

It turns out Red Skelton was born in Vincennes, IN, just on the other side of the Wabash river. And ironically, this radio station was next door to the trailer advertising his museum.

Radio Station Next to Red Skelton Museum-Coincidence?

Radio Station Next to Red Skelton Museum-Coincidence?

A coincidence? I think not. ๐Ÿ™‚

And, in keeping with the theme of Red Skelton comedy, I crossed this river a few miles later.

I Wonder What The River Did To be Embarassed?

I Wonder What The River Did To be Embarassed?

It was an neat bit of serendipity.

For today’s “speedometer palindrome” I got a double, or triple, depending on how you parse the numbers.

Today's Double (or Triple) Speedometer Palindrome

Today’s Double (or Triple) Speedometer Palindrome

I promise, that’s the last speedometer palindrome I’ll burden you with.

At a stop light, I noticed this cogent, succinct and concise political commentary on our President.

A Succinct Political Sentiment

A Succinct Political Sentiment in Illinois

And then, it’s time to cross over the Mississippi river south of St. Louis and enter Missouri.

Crossing the Mississippi River Into Missouri

Crossing the Mississippi River Into Missouri

As I rode around the outer perimeter of St. Louis following US-50, I stumbled across “Grant’s Farm“, as in President Ulysses S. Grant who lead the North to victory in the Civil War. Echoes of Gettysburg were in my mind as I detoured to find the farm. I got turned around, but eventually found a sign that shows the Busch’s (as in Beer, not Bush’s, as in Presidents) now own the farm and maintain it.

Busch Owns the Grant Farm Property Now

The Busch Family Owns the Grant Farm Property Now

Original Entrance To Grant's Farm

Original Entrance To Grant’s Farm

They keep various wildlife and the Clydesdales here. I met one of the residents and we chatted about this and that for a few minutes. When I told him about the Trump sticker I saw he almost feel down laughing.

Deer at Grant's Farm

Deer at Grant’s Farm

Deer at Grant's Farm

Deer at Grant’s Farm

Deer at Grant's Farm

Deer at Grant’s Farm

As I was heading back toward US-50 I saw this house on a side street. It looks like Christmas is year round, but upcoming holiday motifs are added when called for.

Interesting House Near Grant's Farm-Christmas All Year with Pumpkins :-)

Interesting House Near Grant’s Farm-Christmas All Year with Pumpkins ๐Ÿ™‚

I ended the day in Jefferson City about 4:15 pm. Tomorrow I go to Hays, Kansas and I’m hoping cooler weather is the order of the day as it was today.

OTRA Day-2: Return From the R80GS 40th Anniversary Rally

It seems I bodged up the last post address, so you many not have found yesterdays blog entry.ย  If so, this link works:

OTRA Day-1: Return From the R80GS 40th Anniversary Rally

It was much cooler this morning with clouds to the west when I got up. It made for a pleasant ride in the morning on my way to Bedford, IN, where I planned to stop for the day. I had to let a little air out of Gonzo’s sneakers since we have come up in altitude so the pressure in the tires increased a couple pounds. The oil was fine, so not much maintenance required this morning and I left the hotel in Bridgeport, WV about 8:10 am.

We got a few light sprinkles here and there along the way. After a few miles, I got my first speedometer palindrome while cruising down I-50 which had become a divided four-lane highway with cross road traffic crossing the median. And later in the day, I got a second speedometer palindrome. ๐Ÿ™‚

First Speedometer Palindrome of the Day

First Speedometer Palindrome of the Day

Speedometer Palindrome #2

Speedometer Palindrome #2

It wasn’t too long until I crossed into Ohio not far from Athens. Along US-50 to Athens, I passed the sign for Coolville, OH. It’s Steve McQueen’s birth place. Well, not really, but it should have been. ๐Ÿ™‚ Steve was born outside Indianapolis in the town of Beech Grove, which is pretty close to Noblesville where I stayed on the third night of the trip out to Pennsylvania.

This is Where Steve McQueen Was Born, Or at Least He Should Have Been

This is Where Steve McQueen Was Born, Or at Least He Should Have Been

Kent Holt, who until recently owned Holt BMW, is now concentrating on painting and is still a US distributor for Glasurit paint used by BMW on all it’s cars and motorcycles. I decided to stop in and see if he was home, and sure enough, he was in his shop doing some welding.

The Back Of Kent's Place

The Back Of Kent’s Place

Kent Holt, Painter Extraordinaire, And All Around Nice Guy

Kent Holt, Painter Extraordinaire, And All Around Nice Guy

I visited him on my return from the 2017 R100RS 40th Anniversary rally and I was looking forward to chatting with him again. We talked for about an hour and he showed me three projects that were stunning. The first is an oil-head “R” bike he painted. It’s a knockout in my book. The cast wheels are painted in a pearlescent copper color and they really compliment the paint job.

Gorgeous Oil Head "R" Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head “R” Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head "R" Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head “R” Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head "R" Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head “R” Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head "R" Bike Paint Job

Gorgeous Oil Head “R” Bike Paint Job

Another project he is working on is a /2 with Steib sidecar done in red. It’s stunning.

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecare

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecare

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

Paint Work For A /2 Project with Steib Sidecar

And the last project is an eye catching sculpture made by a long time friend of his. Kent is going to paint the white sections. It is a striking sculpture.

Helping a Friend Who Sculpts By Adding Paint To It in His Paint Booth

Helping a Friend Who Sculpts By Adding Paint To It in His Paint Booth

Helping a Friend Who Sculpts By Adding Paint To It in His Paint Booth

Helping a Friend Who Sculpts By Adding Paint To It in His Paint Booth

Fascinating Sculpture in Kent's Paint Booth

Fascinating Sculpture in Kent’s Paint Booth

After we parted company, I got back on US-50 which eventually returned to a much more enjoyable two-lane country road as it wound up the hill sides over the countryside of Ohio.

I shot a couple pictures along the way. The Dental Museum was intriguing. I wonder if the owner is related to the folks that owned the S&M Lodge I got a picture of yesterday? ๐Ÿ™‚

It Must Get Cold In The Winter

It Must Get Cold In The Winter

I Wonder If He is Related to The S&M Lodge Owner? :-)

I Wonder If He is Related to The S&M Lodge Owner? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmm ... An Interesting Place To Stay

Hmm … An Interesting Place To Stay

Iconic Midwestern Farm Scene Somewhere in Southern Ohio

Iconic Midwestern Farm Scene Somewhere in Southern Ohio

Then I crossed briefly into Kentucky after going around Cincinnati on the I-275 loop, and then into Indiana.

Entering Indiana

Entering Indiana

Right after I crossed into Indiana, US-50 becomes a four-lane road that’s very congested. The temperature was pushing into the upper 80’s. In heavy, slow moving traffic, as I slowed down for a stop light, Gonzo lost his footing in a good sized puddle of spilled diesel fuel and he and I fell down in the middle of the road. We were going about 5 miles an hour, but I couldn’t stop the front tire from sliding out. I hit the road and rolled once and jumped right back up and hit the kill switch to stop the motor. As I tried to help Gonzo get back on his feet, mine kept slipping out from under me in the spilled diesel fuel. But “the third time was the charm” and I got him back on his feet.

I pulled into a parking lot after the light and checked him out. He got a scrape and a boo boo on the new left side fairing panel I had installed two months ago, but he wasn’t crying. He’s a trooper. I wasn’t affected due to my Aerostitch jacket and pants with the TF2 armor. So, after taking a couple deep breaths, and putting what happened “into the past” where it no longer has any hold on my emotions, I continued on my way to the hotel.

Gonzo Got Scrapped Up

Gonzo Got Scrapped Up

Along the way, dark clouds were gathering in front of and to the right side of US-50 toward the Northwest, but US-50 was going to jog to the Southeast in a mile or so, so I figured we would miss the rain. But, just before the jog in the road, we got held up by 20 school buses exiting the regional high school. In the 10 mins it took for them to leave, it started pouring. The good part is it washed all the bug goo off Gonzo and me and the temperature went back down into the 70’s. Sometimes, rain is just what you need.

After we got to the hotel and checked in, I put a band-aid on Gonzo’s Boo Boo to make him feel better and to keep it from getting infected. I hope it will be all healed up by the time we get back to Colorado. ๐Ÿ™‚

A Bandage for the Boo Boo, It Should Heal Up Nicely :-)

A Bandage for Gonzo’s Boo Boo So It Won’t Get Infected ๐Ÿ™‚

 

OTRA Day-1: Return From the R80GS 40th Anniversary Rally

Before I left on Saturday, I purchased a copy of Greg Frazier’s first book, “Motorcycle Sex”, which spoofs Freudian psychology while explaining why he rides motorcycles. I look forward to reading it.

Greg Frazier's First Book :-)

Greg Frazier’s First Book ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday morning when I went down to load up Gonzo, I found a note stuck between the gas tank and the seat. It was from a gentleman I met in the hotel parking lot Friday night as I was parking Gonzo and he was walking his dog. He stopped walking about 15 feet away and looked at Gonzo as I was backing him in to the parking space. I said hello and he asked about the bike. He used to ride and we had nice chat. I told him about the rally and he told me about another museum nearby as well as the fact the first Iron Butt rally in 1984 started at Montgomery Cycle which is nearby.

Gonzo Seems To Make Friends Easily

Gonzo Seems To Make Friends Easily

Gonzo seems to make people want to connect and talk about him, much the way dogs seem to start conversations between strangers. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got everything buttoned up by 8:15 am and recorded the starting mileage of the ride back home to Arvada, CO.

Return Trip Starting Mileage

Return Trip Starting Mileage in Kulpsville, PA

The start mileage was 45,722 when I started out eight days ago.

Pennsylvania R80 G/S Rally Staring Mileage in Arvada, CO

Pennsylvania R80 G/S Rally Staring Mileage in Arvada, CO

So I’ve ridden one mile short of 1,900 miles so far.

Today’s route avoids the Pennsylvania Turnpike and wanders to the south and west through the back roads of Montgomery County, PA, until I connect with US-30, US-220 and ultimately US-50 in West Virginia. I plan to take US-50 most of the way back home. It was a leisurely ride through the Montgomery County back roads on Sunday morning with the temperature in the low to mid 70’s by 8:30 am, so it’s going to be a hot day today.

I didn’t think I would take many pictures today, but I was wrong. (Maybe I have an addiction to taking photos?ย  Nah, that can’t be. ๐Ÿ™‚ ).ย  Here are some of the sights along the road that caught my interest. I put my comment about each picture in the caption.

Gonzo Thinks This Would Make A Nice 2nd Home :-)

Gonzo Thinks This House in New Oxford PA Would Make A Nice 2nd Home on The East Coast ๐Ÿ™‚

Hmm ... This Might Be An Interesting Place To Stay

Hmm … This Might Be An Interesting Place To Stay

Underground Railroad Station

Underground Railroad Station

Awesome Elephant Sculpture, I Love The Whimsy

Awesome Elephant Sculpture, I Love The Whimsy

Merry Halloween

And, Their “Merry Halloween” Tree Decorations

My The World Has Changed

At a Sheetz Gas Station in Pennsylvania – My The World Has Changed

A Speedometer Palindrome, I Watch For These To Show Up

A Speedometer Palindrome, I Try To Catch These, But Often Forget to Look at the Speedometer at the Right Time

As I continued along US-30, I realized it goes through Gettysburg, PA, and I’ve never visited the Civil War battlefield. So, I took a short detour and rode into the national park.

Gettysburg Battlefield Park

Gettysburg Battlefield Park

I parked Gonzo in a field near Cemetery Ridge and walked around for about an hour. It was 90 degrees, so conditions today were a bit hotter than the first day of the battle according toย the weather during the days of the battle. The small part of the battlefield I saw is memorable and it’s a haunting experience to walk by the many memorials erected to honor the dead and the living who served in the variety of military units that where in that historic battle from the Union states.

Gonzo Resting All Alone in Gettysburg Parking Lot

Gonzo Alone in Gettysburg Parking Lot with New York Infantry HQ Guard Monument In the Foreground

New York Infantry HQ Guard

New York Infantry HQ Guard Monument

Here is a slide show of my pictures.

After walking around the Cemetery Ridge section of the Gettysburg battlefield, I continued west on US-30. I crossed into Maryland and later, on US-220, into West Virginia.

Entering Maryland

Entering Maryland

Entering West Virginia whose Governor's Last Name is Justice

Entering West Virginia whose Governor’s Last Name is Justice

Eventually, US-220 merges into US-50 in West Virginia. And then US-50 goes up up into the West Virginia mountains like a snake slithering up a meandering path to the top of the hills and then back down into the hollows with miles of forested canopy over your head like you riding through a cathedral while you rock back and forth through all the corners.

A Marvelous 2 Hour Ride Up Hill & Through Dale in WV Mountains on US-50 :-)

A Marvelous 2 Hour Ride Up Hill & Through Dale in WV Mountains on US-50 ๐Ÿ™‚

Many times I saw “55 MPH” followed in 500 yards by “15 MPH” as I scrambled up the 9% grade leaned into the hairpin turns. The Alps have nothing on US-50 from the junction of US-220 for 70 miles until it starts to come down to Bridgeport WV where I’m spending the night. ๐Ÿ™‚

Along the ride I crossed the “Cheat” river. I wonder how it got that name?

Wonder Why the River Got Named "Cheat"

Wonder Why the River Got Named “Cheat”

Around 4:45 pm I got to my hotel in Bridgeport, WV. I had become tired and sweaty from the heat when it got up to 90 degrees across Maryland, but then I got refreshed on US-50 in West Virginia from the fabulous curvy road and the low 80 degree temperatures in the mountains.

Today I am riding the route I had planned for my first day returning from the 2017 R100RS 40th anniversary rally, but I wasn’t able to do that since I left at 2:00 pm on Monday afternoon due to Gonzo’s transmission problem, so I had to use the super-slap most of the way to Bridgeport. I’m very happy I decided to take the original first day route today. ๐Ÿ™‚

R65LS & R80G/S 40th Anniversary Rally

The BWM R80G/S and R65LS rally is in … wait for it … HARLEYSVILLE, PA. Yes, that’s a bit ironic.

Welcome to Harleysville

Welcome to Harleysville

The rally logos are similar in design to the ones used for the RS rally in 2017.ย  I think they are well done.

Rally Central

Rally Central

Rally Logo

Rally Logo

Rally Logo's

Rally Logo’s

After I parked Gonzo, a row of RS bikes gathered around.

Gonzo Resting With RS Friends

Gonzo Resting With RS Friends

RS Row Formed Beside Gonzo

RS Row Formed Beside Gonzo

Gonzo Has a Front Row Seat for the Rally

Gonzo Has a Front Row Seat for the Rally

And, there was a KTM 390 attending, in of all things, the Harley colors of orange and black. ๐Ÿ™‚

Renegade KTM 390 in Harley Colors :-)

Renegade KTM 390 in Harley Colors ๐Ÿ™‚

There were some very interesting machines there, including a Krauser MKM 1000 with the trellis frame, Dr. Greg Fraiser’s around the world GS “Ugly Helga”, and a nice R75/5.

Krauser MKM1000

Krauser MKM1000

Krauser MKM1000 Frame Detail

Krauser MKM1000 Frame Detail

Krauser MKM1000 Frame Detail

Krauser MKM1000 Frame Detail

Dr. Fraiser's GS Around the World Bike

Dr. Frazier’s GS Around the World Bike

Dr. Frazier's GS Around the World Bike

Dr. Frazier’s GS Around the World Bike

Dr. Frazier's GS Around the World Bike

Dr. Frazier’s GS Around the World Bike

A Cool R75/5

A Cool R75/5

And, a nice collection of GS and R65 bikes ended up parking in front of Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn. I’ll have more to say about the contents of Todd’s barn later.

Todd's Bavarian Bike Barn

Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn

Attendee Bikes

Attendee Bikes

Attendee Bikes

Attendee Bikes

Here is a slide show of general rally site pictures I took. There are later slide shows of Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn, Han’s original design concept for the R80 G/S which was built by George Schorsch Martin, the owner of the largest BMW motorcycle dealership in Germany, some of the very cool bikes attendees brought to the rally and from Han’s R65LS presentation.

And, this slide show has pictures of bikes attendees brought to the rally.

Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn

When Han’s arrived, Todd held a ceremonial dedication of the barn with Hans cutting the ribbon.

Hans Muth

Hans Muth

Hans Muth

Hans Muth

Todd had a ribbon cutting ceremony to dedicate his new barn and the collection of bikes inside. Hans cut the ribbon with a pair of scissors made in Germany, and I’m sure Todd will treasure that moment for year’s to come.

George Schorsch Martin, Hans Muth and Todd Trumbor Getting Ready To Dedicate Todd's Bavarian Bike Barn

Schorsch “George” Martin, Hans Muth and Todd Trumbor Getting Ready To Dedicate Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn

Todd Shows Hans The Scissors Were Made in Germany

Todd Shows Hans The Scissors Were Made in Germany

Hans Ready to Cut The Ribbon

Hans Ready to Cut The Ribbon

Todd's Bike Barn Ribbon Cutting By Hans

Todd’s Bike Barn Ribbon Cutting By Hans

And then we all went inside to drool over the marvelous collection of motorcycles Todd has assembled over the years.

Todd's Bavarian Bike Barn Collection Shines In The Sun

Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn Collection Shines In The Sun

View Inside Todd's Bavarian Bike Barn [SOURCE; Andy Mueller]

View Inside Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn [SOURCE; Andy Mueller]

Here’s a slide show of some of what’s inside.

Presentations

Hans was first and on day 1 talked about how he came to design the R80 G/S bike. The motorcycle division had been spun out on it’s own and then pulled back into the BMW mother ship. The resulting confusion paralyzed the engineering and design teams. Hardy Kruger and Hans decided to come up with a project to get momentum going again.

Hans owned a Land Rover car and felt what BMW should do was design the motorcycle equivalent of a “go anywhere, anytime” vehicle. Due to constraints on BMW, the new design had to make maximum use of an existing bike. So Hans chose the R65 as the basis of the design with the goal of removing what was not needed for a rugged, go anywhere motorcycle. The G and S are forย Gelรคnde/StraรŸe meaning off road/on road. Or, as Hans referred to it, a “Gentlemen’s Scambler”. As it turned out, he had to leave BWM after developing the design concept and was not in control of the final production.

Recently he and George Schorsch Martin, who owns the largest BMW dealership network in Germany, decided to work from Han’s original design concept and build the bike Hans conceived. And, then Schorsch brought it the rally to show us.

IMHO, I always felt the R80G/S was not a crisp design with a clear “vocabulary” as is the case with theย  R90S and R100RS. Now I know why I felt that way. Hans wasn’t there to shepherd it to completion.

BUT … the bike we saw today is what BMW should have built, again, IMHO.

Hans Muth's R80 G/S Deign Concept Finally Realized

Hans Muth’s R80 G/S Deign Concept Finally Realized

Red Engine Block Stands For the Heart of the R80

Red Engine Block Stands For the Heart of the R80

Trick Shift Lever Linkage

Trick Shift Lever Linkage

Note "GS800" not "R80" on the Seat

Note “GS800” not “R80” on the Seat

The Choke Lever Got Moved

The Choke Lever Got Moved

Here is a slide show of the finally realized running R80 G/S built from Han’s original design concept.

On day 2, Hans talked about the development of the R65LS bike. The goal was to appeal to the younger rider, a demographic that was a small section of BMW motorcycle riders. The overall visual sense is one of freedom and flight. The front wedge of the headlight housing suggests a wing while the red is signifies power, aggressiveness which had been identified with many Italian cars such as Alpha Romeo and Ferrari. The headlight shell flows upward in a black cylinder for the instruments. The rear tail cowlย  had red grap rails integreted into it so the female passenger would feel secure and comfortable.

The white wheels are a different casting pattern. The casting looks less massive compared to the “snowflake” wheels and the white visually minimizes the mass of the wheel accentuating the overall sense of the bike being nimble, light and quick.

The black chrome exhaust visually pulls it into the mass of the frame and tires making the lower parts of the bike appear more cohesive.

Although the R65LS was not a big seller, Hans felt BMW marketing failed to create a strong story about the feeling of riding this bike that would connect with the younger riders.

R65LS Fairing and Headlight-Instrument Cluster Cylinder

R65LS Fairing and Headlight-Instrument Cluster Cylinder

R65LS Black Exhaust and White Wheels Completes the Story-Light, Nimble, Fast, Powerful

R65LS Black Exhaust and White Wheels Completes the Story-Light, Nimble, Fast, Powerful

Here is a slide show of the R65LS on stage and some of the R65LS bikes at the rally.

Tom Cutter did a question and answer session on day 1 and day 2 where anyone with a technical question could ask him for advice. There was a wide range of questions and Tom’s capacity to keep the details straight was in strong evidence.

Tom Cutter, Proprietor of Rubber Chicken Racing Garage

Tom Cutter, Proprietor of Rubber Chicken Racing Garage

Dr. Gregory Frazier talked about long distance motorcycle rides, both his six trips around the world on various motorcycles, including “Ugly Helga” his BMW GS bike and other brands. Dr. Frazier’s desire to roam the world was inspired by reading the Jules Verne novel, “Around the World in 80 Days” at the age of 15. As the saying goes, “Out of little acorns, mighty Oaks grow.”

Dr. Gregory Frazier Who Has Ridden Around The World Six Times On Motorcycles

Dr. Gregory Frazier Who Has Ridden Around The World Six Times On Motorcycles

Dr. Frazier's GS Around the World Bike, Ugly Helga

Dr. Frazier’s GS Around the World Bike, Ugly Helga

Dr. Frazier's GS Around the World Bike, Ugly Helga

Dr. Frazier’s GS Around the World Bike, Ugly Helga

He also talked about the early ones who road around the world, and across the United States in teens of the 20th century. His observation is those riders (and in at least one case, their new bride) were the true risk taking adventure riders. Today, with cell phones and modern roads almost everywhere, the risk is significantly smaller.

Here is a slide show of the BMW GS bike he rode around the world, Ugly Helga

Bob Hening, owner of Bob’s BMW, talked on day 1 about how to care for old bikes.

Bob Henig, Owner of Bob's BMW

Bob Henig, Owner of Bob’s BMW

The key decision to make is whether to preserve, refurbish or restore the bike. The path chosen depends on you, and the provenance of the bike. He advocates preserving the story told by the patina of the bike. For example, Dr. Frazier’s Ugly Helga is a bike that should show all it’s scars and bruises as a testament to where it’s been. Further, what do you want and how you plan to use it can influence which option to choose. If you plan to ride the bike, then preservation maybe a dangerous option as failing rubber and unsound brakes make no sense is that’s you goal.

He pointed out being clear about your goal, or the end state, for the project is what will guide your efforts, so take the time to think that through and write down the goals you have before you spend money or start the work.

On day 2, Armond Ensanian who wrote the book, “Discovering the Motorcycle” spoke about beginnings of the motorcycle in the mid-1800’s moving from steam power eventually to the internal combustion engine powered bikes. He wove this into the beginnings of BMW and how the company evolved into a builder of motorcycles and cars. He traced the influence on BMW design by various early motorcycles including the 1919 ABC Sopwith and the British Douglas company.

[As an aside, Todd has a Douglas Dragonfly, which has an opposed cylinder engine in his collection. It seems they borrowed from the design ideas of the first BMW motorcycle, the R32, and the later post war models that used the Earls fork.]

Todd's Douglas Dragonfly-Strong BMW DNA

Todd’s Douglas Dragonfly-Strong BMW DNA

The final speaker on Day 2 was Karl Meyers who grew up in a family of BMW mechanics. He talked about the lessons learned from fixing airheads over 40 years. The lessons he passed on about proper care, feeding and hygiene of an airhead will help all of us who have these keep them running longer with fewer costly repairs.

After an excellent dinner on Saturday night, I rode back to my hotel to prepare for the ride back to Denver on Sunday morning. I thoroughly enjoyed the rally, the background on the design of the R80G/S and R65LS from Hans. The other presenters made for a well rounded, and information rich two days. And of course, none of the magic at this marvelous gathering could have happened without the generous support of Todd Trumbore and the countless hours of planning over two years that went into this rally.