Dick Bregstein's New 2000 BMW R1100R -- Naked, Classic, Perfect...
Sunday's Inaugural Ride was Bregstein's first day in the saddle, after his
horrific accident five months ago.
(Photo courtesy of Patty Jacobs -- Click to Enlarge)
The BMW R1100 is a radical departure in style for Bregstein, who has shown a preference for sportier “F” bikes, with final drives drive by chains or belts. Yet it would be hard to define this R1100 as “unsporty.” Virtually naked except for a narrow clear windscreen, this bike is a tasteful confluence of classic Beemer lines and new technology -- especially for a bike that is 8 years old! The style of the seat, the placement of the pegs and a pillion that abruptly ends in a tail light lend this machine a definite stallion attitude.
The rake of the seat, the jaunty oil coolers, and the lines of the tank
all say "Stallion" on this bike.
(Photo courtesy of Patty Jacobs -- Click to enlarge)
The dated brushed alloy dash, crowned with an analogue clock, chrome riimmed speedo and tach, plus enough lights to decorate the triple tree for Christmas is all classic motorcycle. Yet the eye of the beholder is inevitably drawn below this arrangement to the telelever front end, which looks like art on this bike. The panniers on the back hinted at lengthy trips ahead.
The classic Beemer "R" dash on this bike is all motorcycle. I have admired this
dash arrangement on other bikes of this type many times before.
Note the extremely low mileage on this rig, something Bregstein intends to remedy soon.
(Photo by Patty Jacobs -- Click to enlarge)
The paint scheme is tasteful white and pearlescent gray, with yellow trim. The bike looks great and has a sense of mass heightened by the two huge jugs of the classic boxer engine. The generally impression was that this machine is ready to travel.
But was Dick?
Not only was the R1100R Bregstein’s newest acquisition, but it’s inaugural ride home would be Dick’s first real experience on a motorcycle since his incredible accident. Let me remind the gentle reader that Bregstein swerved to avoid an old woman carrying a baby last spring, careened into a huge boulder, and was ejected into the side of a house. His final words on being carried into the ambulance were, “Somebody get some milk for that child.” For his selfless sacrifice, Dick has been the subject of ceaseless emails and conversation, as his peers struggle to understand what happened.
Rumor had it that Dick was going to buy a Suzuki V-Strom, though close friends refused to comment on a possible marque defection to another theater of the Axis. And others saw him looking at an F650GS at Hermy’s, but his color of choice, plaid, was unavailable. It was Clyde Jacob who brokered the sale of the R1100R to Bregstein for a third party, after first showing him the bike and plying him with cheap Scotch. Bregstein regained consciousness in a Chinatown back alley, thousands of dollars poorer, and said, “I’m an Oilhead now.” (For those who do not know BMW's and who are sick of reading about them in this blog, the "R" bikes are oil and air-cooled; hence the name "Oihead." When Dick had his old F650 with the chaindrive, he was a member of the "Chain Gang.")
Last minute adjustments were executed with quiet precision, and Clyde went through each of the bike’s features as the final epic moment drew near. At the stroke of 1:45pm, Dick Bregstein emerged from the garage encased in black leather from head to toe. He has held a number of endearing nicknames over the past couple of years, ranging from “Bundt Cake” Bregstein to “Bermuda Triangle” Bregstein. At present, he is known as “Stone Mason” Bregstein, and I couldn't help but think the time had come to lay that moniker to rest.
"Leather" Dick Bregstein about to take his inaugural ride on the R1100R
The bike is a classic and so is Dick in many regards.
I was honored to be asked to participate in this event. I have covered more
miles with Dick Bregstein in the past three years than with anyone else.
(Great photo courtesy of Patty Jacobs, at the direction of his wife Patty -- Click to enlarge)
He was now “Leather” Dick Bregstein. A name that will endure for the ages, or until I find a better one.
Dick threw his leg over the seat, made himself comfortable, and pressed the starter. The bike caught in a second or two with that reassuring sound so distinctive to boxer engines whether they are brand new or 50 years old. It is an understatement of class and reliability.
"Leather" Dick is all smiles as he is about to recapture the last two months of
the 2008 Riding Season.
(Photo courtesy of Patty Jacobs -- Click to enlarge)
We were on US-1 five minutes later. Bregstein put the bike through its paces conservatively at first, playing with the throttle and checking out the handling at 55mph. I watched him try a little dancing to see how well the machine could swerve, then laughed as he changed lanes a few times, opening the throttle to pass slower moving cages. I knew he was about to scratch the "itch." We followed Route 10 up to Gap (or thereabouts), where Bregstein shouted, “This is great,” when stopped at a light.
Traffic was light on the Rt. 30 by-pass and Dick picked up the pace, eventually passing through 80mph. The R100R growled in compliance, and sounded like a classic flying machine -- a zeppelin, perhaps -- in a power climb.
More than 70 tons of wet leaves covered Dick’s street like the aftermath of a natural ticker-tape parade. Bregstein deftly maneuvered his new bike through the tree scum and detritus, shot up the driveway, and blew into his garage. He jumped off the bike and gave me a high-five that I will long remember.
I was honored that Dick asked me to accompany him on this historic personal milestone of a ride, and look forward to many more in the future. As many of you are aware, a staggering percentage of my adventures have been with Dick over the past three years. I have discovered that Dick adds a special dimension to any ride. Dick's response to just about any suggestion is, "Okay. That sounds good."
"Leather" Dick Bregstein rides again!
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2008
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)