Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My first BMW motorcycle


I bought my first BMW motorcycle – a 1971 R50/5 – from a guy in Brownsburg, Ind. in the spring of 1981. I think I paid $1,100.

It was originally sold by the now-defunct Roman Cycle Shop in Youngstown, Ohio.

I added the Plexiglas fairing and trunk. Here are a couple of photos from the summer of 1981 when Sean and I rode it up to my parents’ house in Delphi, Ind. from our Indianapolis home. (My mom shot the photo with, of course, was off-center. I cropped out all of the extraneous stuff on the right side of the frame.)

I think the longest trips I ever took on it were two rides from Indianapolis to Beulah, Mich.


My dad seemed to enjoy sitting on the bike, but I never got him to go for a ride with me. (I shot this photo which, of course, is properly framed.)

I sold it in the late 1980s to Steve Burford.

My next bike was a 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 that I bought from a friend of a guy I did motorcycle skills tests with for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

It came with a clunky primitive fairing that I replaced with a Rifle fairing.

stevejohnkaw02Here’s Steve and me with my dad on a subsequent ride to Delphi, probably around 1984. (Yikes, that’s 30 years ago!)

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