Monday, July 7, 2008

Introducing the Beemer

Thoreau would have approved.

When he wrote Walden, he almost certainly wasn't thinking about motorcycles. He died nearly 25 years before the first one was invented. Even so, Thoreau obviously knew a thing or two about self sufficiency and that's what owning an older Beemer is all about. Sure, I'm not living alone in the woods, but my recent attempts at motorcycle maintenance might as well have been inspired by his writing.

Last Spring I bought a 1992 K75s with about 51,000 miles on the clock. Called Flying Bricks for the shape of their engines, BMW originally designed them to replace the boxer powered R series. When BMW broke the news, boxer fanatics freaked. So BMW tried introducing a last edition of the R series, to give the obsessive types an opportunity to own the last of the lineage. But the fanatics wouldn't relent. Several last editions later, BMW caved. The R-bikes continue to be manufactured today, as do the K-bikes. And both have a following.

I'd driven by this particular K75s a least a thousand times. Parked up the street from my house, it was a naughty temptress. Always calling me as I passed by, whispering my name. I finally couldn't take it any more and in a moment of weakness, I stomped up the street to talk the owner. Fate was with me.

She said was getting out of motorcycling, getting married and wanted a more respectable lifestyle. Ah yes, respectable. That's something I don't know anything about so I pressed on.

Although the bike looked a little rough, she claimed it had been well maintained by a local shop. But she didn't have any records. She also admitted to dropping the bike, causing the very visible scratches along the right side. Hmm...

Despite my propensity to overanalyze every decision costing greater than $5, we somehow agreed to a price on the spot. Shaking hands, I handed her a check... and then sheepishly asked her to ride it up the street and park it outside my house. I didn't have a license. Or even a helmet yet.

Stay tuned for part II...

No comments: