Saturday, January 8, 2011

The MV Agusta Tamburini Versus The BMW K75

Every now and again I can be counted on to do something really short-sighted... Like drinking clear, highly flammable liquid from a bottle containing a coiled cobra (brought back from Vietnam)... Or getting married to a leggy blond with the kind of Eastern European accent one only finds in early James Bond movies... Or saying, “What the fuck are you gonna do, lock me up,” to a judge in divorce court. Most writers are passionate individuals, driven by emotions that are generally unfettered by common sense. (This does not apply to writers of federal legislation, who are usually brain-dead, flesh-eating zombies.) So dedicated Twisted Roads readers should not be surprised that I responded to a challenge — thrown in my face by the rider of a somewhat flashy but obscure motorcycle — by extending my middle finger and revving the hell out of my BMW K75’s finely tuned, vintage engine.

To make matters worse, the challenge was delivered before the select company of other BMW riders (all astride wheezing “R” bikes), who had assembled at my invitation for a nice, little breakfast run up to Amish country.

The "breakfast ride" combines a number of unique sensations. It generates the excitement of an early morning run (i.e. the growl of the engine; the crisp bite of the air still heavy with the evening’s chill; the subdued sound of the road as traffic has not yet begun to build; and the recognition of friends who also ride BMWs) with the incomparable aroma of hot coffee, fresh eggs, and corned beef hash. There is nothing quite like it. Rides of this nature generally bring out the best in people, though not always.

Above: I got this cobra in a bottle of alcoholic spirits from Vietnam. BMW rider Kimi Bush of the Mac-Pac fame was the first to sip out of it. After she did it, would else could I do? Photo by the author.

In New Jersey, where diners have evolved into the highest art form, breakfast is on a par with the ancient Japanese Cha ceremony. Yet appreciation for the most significant meal of the day quickly deteriorates the farther one get from the Garden State. The majority of diners around here must think Pennsylvania is 12,000 miles away from New Jersey because most of them suck at serving breakfast. Some of them suck so badly at this simple task that they could stick to the surface of a waterfall. (And I mean a really serious waterfall — like Niagara Falls.)

In New Jersey, a good-looking hostess will direct you to a table or booth, and a waitress will pour you a cup of hot coffee before your ass can find the seat. (That’s the law in the “Garden State,” punishable by death for the first violation. Because if you keep somebody waiting for a cup of coffee in New Jersey, they are likely to rip your throat out anyway.) The waitress will expect you to order some egg and meat combination, which she must then present in 2.5 minutes with a nice smile at one end and a hot little ass at the other. She will call you “Hon,” and lean all around you while pouring coffee refills, demonstrating why there are no sharp corners on New Jersey diner waitresses.

Above: Jim Ellenberg's plate of slops (note the spent Band-Aid on the apples) at a recent Mac-Pac monthly breakfast. Photo by Leslie Marsh

For the exception of a place near Allentown, Pa, most of the diners around here blow like a summer’s breeze. There is one place that is so horrible, that Leslie (my hot squeeze) swears they serve shit right out of the dumpster. (Riding buddy Jim Ellenberg once found an old band-aid in an omelet served at this joint. The look on his face was worth the price of admission.) So I was delighted to learn that two of my riding partners had located a greasy spoon up in Paradise, Pa, allegedly capable of serving breakfast. It became the destination for a late fall run and drew 8 riders:

“Leather” Dick Bregstein — An “R” bike rider who has been insinuating himself into my adventures for the past five years. Dick achieved local fame by following a GPS (actually a little Etch-A-Sketch) into a huge boulder, that subsequently launched him into the side of a house.

Above: "Leather" Dick Bregstein set the pace for the ride. He did what he could to keep "Mussolini's Curse" at bay. Photo by Leslie Marsh

Gerry “Be Prepared” Cavanaugh — A GS rider (the ugliest “R” bike ever designed) who has taken his machine over some of the most challenging 30-foot-long gravel driveways in the country. (And once, he had to get off the bike and open the garage door by hand.)

Above: Gerry Cavanaugh seen ready to mount his BMW GS... His question: "Is my bike the red or the silver one?" Photo by Jack Riepe.

Dave Case — An “R” bike rider who once observed, “A bad day of riding is better than a good day in the office, unless you end up strapped to a gurney and being air-lifted to the nearest hospital that has a neurosurgeon and a proctologist on call.”

Above: Dave Case relaxed and perfectly at ease with his R80ST. Photo compliments of Dave Case.

Bobby LeBoutlier — An “R” bike rider who was recently quoted as saying, “Most of these roads around here were intended to handle traffic moving at 35 miles per hour and I don’t feel comfortable pushing the design envelope.”

Jay Scales — An “R” bike rider whose rain suit matches the color of his bike, while the piping on the sleeves compliments the illuminated tint of his instruments. And none of this is by coincidence.

Above: Jay Scales, the most precise, color-coordinated "R" bike rider in BMW history. Photo by the author.

Ron Yee — An “R” bike rider who recently experimented with a new method of heating his seat by jamming rodent nests in the boxer engine cavities. (The experiment was successful in raising the temperature of the fairing, the wiring, and the fuel lines to 451º Fahrenheit.)

Above: Ron Yee is bustin' with pride at his perfectly restored "R" bike, which required a dab of paint here and there after his machine, a designated rolling hamster habitat, burst into flames. The cause was a network of mouse nests hidden around the engine. Photo from Ron Yee.

Myself: the sole rough-cut representative of the BMW “K” bike category, on a machine with a proper cooling system that allows for an engine width of less than 16 feet.

Above: The author's favorite picture — Jack Riepe tearing out of the garage on a 1986 BMW K75 — the late "Blueballs." Photo by Leslie Marsh.

And then there was “The Outsider.” There is one in every group.... The one guy who has to be different... The person who finds a subtle way to say, “Look at me... I’m not one of you old farts riding around on dated douche-bag Deutschlander bikes.” While Peter Frechie has owned, and still owns his share of flawless BMWs, he arrived on a savage M.V. Agusta “Tamburini.” (It means “tarantula” in Italian, I think.) The sinister black and red machine, with solid gold wheels, was alleged to be hand-built by the College of Cardinals, at a reputed cost of $186,532. It is very fast, and some reports claim it is “zero to fuck you” in under three seconds.

The Agusta’s impact on the crowd was instantaneous: the “R” bike boys huddled in a circle and started to quack like petting zoo ducks threatened by an unleashed dog.

Having been married several times, I register surprise and wonder with a sneer, an expression that Frechie interpreted as “raw defiance.” And maybe there was a hint of the defiant nature that is so characteristic of the BMW “K” bike rider. Then again, I have tremendous confidence in the machine that has earned this segment of the Bavarian marque the title of “Flying Brick.” (In truth, my tendency to place the K75 “uber alles” is so strong that several of my riding buddies have suggested I wear a baseball cap with a logo that depicts a brick with wings, but under a legend that changes the letter “B” to a “P.”)

Looking at the gleaming “Italian Death Bike,” I subconsciously ground my heels into the parking lot pavement — and ran the engine up to four grand. The whine of 71 Lipizzaner Stallions poured from the K75’s distinctive triangular exhaust, and drew a line of sound in the air that would not be crossed.

“So that’s how it’s gonna be,” said Frechie. “You and me, eh, Fatass.”

He then hocked a loogie that sizzled on the left pontoon-like cylinder head of Bregstein’s near naked R1100R.

“You lead,” he said to Bregstein.

“Thank you, sir,” whimpered “Leather” Dick.

Bregstein is a very reliable rider of stable judgement. He led us onto a local expressway headed to Strasburg, Pa, where I expected the speedo needle to hold somewhere south of 60 mph. Yet the single-handed clock showed a more frenetic pace as Dick worked hard, flogging gears and setting his top gallants, to avoid being run over by “Mussolini’s Curse.”

“Enough of this shit,” I thought.

Twisting the throttle all the way around, I let the horses go and watched the needles on the tach and speedo simultaneously point to the true north. The K75 surged forward, easily subjugating the gaggle of “R” bikes. Seconds later I was abreast of the Agusta, which was on my right. Traffic prevented Frechie from moving forward, and like a true sportsman, I wouldn’t let him out. Bregstein graciously waved me into the lead. Raising my arm and extending the middle finger on my left hand, I signaled I was now in the #1 spot. The expressway came to an end a mile later, and the first round passed to the K75.

Above: Peter Frechie and his low profile, blend-in-with-the-crowd MV Agusta "Tamburini." A top speed of 191 miles per hour made possible by 173 horsepower. Photo courtesy of the Highway Patrol in 37 states.

Dedicated Twisted Roads readers will realize that at no time did any of us engage in the kind of roadway horseplay that gives motorcycles a bad name. Traffic was at a minimum and the cops were as thick as congressmen on a wounded federal program. I regret I had to be the one to remind the “Spirit of Lucretia Borgia” that riding strategy is every bit as important as brute speed, but it wouldn’t be the only lesson I’d get to teach that day.

Turning into the town of Strasburg proper, we found ourselves crawling behind long lines of Amish wagons, loaded with whiskey, cigars, and homespun nylons to be traded in town for DVDs, auto parts, and condoms. Frechie and I were side-by-side at one intersection (where the color “red” appeared to painted on the traffic light), when we both noticed an unbelievably beautiful Amish woman, licking an ice cream cone. We watched in mute fascination as her tongue sculpted the scoop of vanilla into a more compact cylindrical shape, before massaging the excess cream across her lips. She had the classic hour-glass shape of a pilates instructor, flawlessly tanned athletic arms, and the kind of face that could instigate a bidding war between DNA donors.

She finished the cone and then did the most unexpected and sexually provocative thing I have ever seen in these parts... She loosened her bonnet, releasing a torrent of dark, blonde hair.

I revved the K75 to the red line. The resulting whine was the mating call of the Valkyrie. She glanced in my direction, before rewarding me with the half-shy, half-bait smile common to beautiful women everywhere. My soul was hers for the asking.

Frechie looked at her spellbound, then turned to me and hissed:

“You son of a bitch.”

He began revving the M.V. Agusta, which has the same resonance as a tyrannosaurus rex that has been kicked in the balls. But it was too late. The spell was broken. She laughed, stepped off the curb, and touched my arm, asking:

“Vas ist das matter mit der udder motorrad mit dem goldenen dädern?

Her Pennsylvania Dutch accent was utterly charming. (Regardless of what she actually asked, her eyes sought my reassurance that her horseshit shoveling days were over.)

“Das udder motorrad ist Italienisch und der fahrer hat einen kleinen penis,” I replied, in my best Pennsylvania Dutch. (Basically, I told her the Augusta was poorly maintained and needed oil.)

“Und dis motorrad?” she asked, laughing.

“Das motorrad ist der Deutscher K75 und ich habe einen großen schwanstüker.” (Translation: “My German motorcycle is red and reliable.)

She was within an ace of climbing on the back when some goon the size of a Clydesdale, (on the way to an Abe Lincoln look-alike contest) yelled, “Gretchen, Stop blödsinn mit dem Engländer und backen mir ein Shoo-Fly Pie.” Thus reminded of matrimonial joy, this stunning beauty went back to knotting pretzels and yodeling at the chickens.

The second round went to the K75 as well.

We eventually got to the diner which was a bone fide 1930’s streamlined aluminum greasy spoon. While I normally regard this as a good sign, the seating inside was equally authentic. Judging from the booths and the toy stools at the counter, the size of the average American in the ’30’s was about that of the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz. The situation was not improved by the fact that 1,300 people were crammed inside for the early morning pancake and chicken-fruit ritual. Mahatma Ghandi would have had a tough time squeezing into this joint. The coffee was hot and the service was quick. It had to be as no one could breath again until they got outside.

Above: The Bendix Diner in Hasbrouk Heights, New Jersey... A classic in looks and service, I have eaten at the Bendix hundreds of times when I went to school in Rutherford. Photo from Wikipedia.

Above: The Tick Tock Diner on Route 3, in Clifton, New Jersey, represents the pinacle of diner evolution. The menu has a hundred items (some rather complex) that can be conjured up in minutes. Every diner in the world should send their staff and management to this place to train. This is a great place. I have eaten here sober and half-in-the-bag 3,000 times. The average wait for coffee is 18.5 seconds, when every table is filled. But the first challenge will be learning how to speak "New Jersey." Coffee with cream and sugar = "Coffee reg'lar." Good morning = "Fuck you." The downside is Route 3, known as S3. It is a primary artery to the Lincoln Tunnel and a super dangerous road. Most bikers would cut their own throats rather than ride this at 5pm, or when a game lets out at Giants Stadium. Photo from the Tick Tock Diner site.

Many diners
have cute regional names for their breakfasts, like “the trencherman,” or the “happy farmer,” or the “smiling crack whore (Philly).” I was compelled to order a low-calorie, highly-reduced fat dish for the first meal of the day. So I chose “The Battan Death March Special.” This is one poached egg, a crust of bread, and a smear of oatmeal. (If you eat the soiled paper napkin from the previous guest the whole meal totals 86 calories.) The waitress goofed and added three strips of crispy, fat-laden, local bacon, carved from pigs that had no original sin. These were snatched from my plate before I could sample the aroma in the air.

In addition to being a slick motorcycle rider with a flair for the exotic, Dr. Peter Frechie is also my cardiologist.

“Not so fast, Fat Boy,” he said. “You’ve been lucky so far. Why push the odds?”

Frechie then proceed to explain how bacon is the number one killer of obese K75 riders in the 56- to 57-year-old category of frustrated writers looking to break into the moto-journalism industry. He emphasized each point by waving a strip of bacon in the air, prior to eating it himself. (I almost ordered waffles and ice cream to see how this would affect his oratory.)

And so the third round went to the MV Agusta rider.

The diner is “Jennie’s” and it is on the north side of the Lincoln Highway (US-30) in the vicinity of Paradise, Pa. The waffles and pancakes get 9 out of ten stars, and the coffee is excellent. Everything is enhanced by waitresses who know their trade. The parking lot is easy to get in and out of and the joint has a lot of character. On the downside, the crowds it attracts are tough to take. It’s on the fucked-up stretch of US-30 that backs up like an old septic system and which is the leading cause of suicide among drivers in Lancaster County. Heading west, take the US-30 bypass to Rt. 41 (in the town of Gap). Then take Rt. 41 to Rt. 741 in Strasburg. Then cut back to US-30 via Rt. 896 and turn right. “Jennie’s will be on your left in a mile or so.”

Above: Jennie's Diner on US-30 (The Lincoln Highway), in Ronks, Pa. In my opinion, the best diner in the whole Lancaster area. Photo by Gingersnap G., off the YELP site.

The conversation during breakfast turned to motorcycles, and I was able to do a fairly accurate comparison of the K75 and the M.V. Augusta “Tamburini.” This Italian powerhouse shamelessly borrows a number of design concepts from the K75. For example, both have two wheels and a mono-mount for the rear drive. Each is powered by a single engine, placed under a seat (more or less), and steered through curves by handlebars. What else is left after you acknowledge these startling similarities? The few differences are the MV Agusta has 173 horsepower and a top speed of 193 miles per hour. (Like that stuff ever got anybody laid.)

The ride back was fairly uneventful. I let Frechie lead. After all, I’d made my point. There is no purpose to rubbing it in. We rolled onto the expressway in a group and the MV Agusta must have hit a cosmic worm hole or something, as it just evaporated into thin air. There was a sound like a gunshot, but that’s nothing in the Philly area. I got a call from Bregstein later that night:

“I’m glad you kicked that guy’s ass today,” said Dick. “I was going to do it myself, but you know me when I get started. Who knows how this would have ended?’

“True enough, Dick,” I said. “True enough.”

Author’s Note — Three weeks before Christmas, the BMW riding elite of southeastern Pennsylvania gathered at a local restaurant to celebrate the upcoming holiday. About 70 riders attended. In a fit of joyous frenzy, I ordered a Fred Flintstone-sized cut of prime rib, done rare. This would have been the first really large cut of beef I’d had since the summer. The waitress was a cupcake of exquisite beauty, who served the dish with verve and panache (a shimmy and a squeal). Yet before I could place the napkin in my lap, Dr. Peter Frechie breezed into the room, grabbed my plate, and ran with it. The waitress returned ten minutes later with a tasteless vegetable gruel, popular among prisoners in the South Pacific.

“That man over there said you really wanted this tonight... With a tall glass of cold water. Is that right,” she asked.

Just out of range, the good doctor fell on my prime rib like a condemned man. The place exploded in laughter. He would present me with a customized gift from his office later that night: a calendar with one month in it.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011


Anonymous said...

Dear Jack:

Every single time I read one of these posts, I think to myself, "really, what the fuck am I going to leave as a comment," and then I say nothing.

What can I say?

Thanks for sharing?

Don't forget to pick up your socks in the living room.

And your shoes in the kitchen.

And the loose change in your pockets before you put your laundry in the machine.

Oh, and please wipe the counter after you make whatever mess you make in the kitchen.

Hugs and kisses.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Leslie/Stiffie:

I am touched every time you write something to me, and read it over and over again, wondering: "What is the message she wants me to find?" You are so mystical.

Somebody broke into the house around 2:45am and made a cheeseburger as big as my ass in the kitchen. It looks like they cooked it right on the glass stove-top. Actually, it looks like they clubbed it to death first. To make matters worse, they drank that beer I like too. I would have tidied up a bit but you can't possibly expect me to get tangled up in a crime scene.

Hugs and kisses right back to you, Princess.

CraigInSTL said...

Thank you Jack for another pearl. I hope that some day we'll ride together - please keep eating that veggie-gruel so you can live long enough to enjoy that ride.

Your ever-lovin' cigar smoking pal,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Craig:

WTF! Happy New Year, you old Harley-riding SOB. How have you been? Ran across your trail on FaceBook a couple of times and I am please to see steppin' out with a real beauty.

You and I are going to ride together this year. I'll meet you half way.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

David Denesowicz said...

Once again I had to dig into my thorn bushes to retrive my (neighbors) copy of Twisted Roads.

Jack, Jersey City called, they want their Poet Laureate back!

Never has a more unlikely and unbelievable set of characters been assembled and gathered into a prose-like format. If there were actually a MV Agusta riding cardiologist like the one described here, he would surely chose better riding companions, or maybe there's not enough MV riders to form a group.
I would more likely believe you rigged a M1895 7.62x38R Nagant Revolver to win at Russian Roulette over Boris Badenuv,thus capturing the affections of Natasha Fatale!

MattPie said...


You, sir (and I use that term loosely), are confused about the R and K. The K whines, not the R. Please correct your story.

After analyzing your riding, I've determined that if you rode faster in the twisties, an R-bike cooling system would be perfectly sufficient.

Hugs and bunnies (for Leslie, not you),

Unknown said...

My wife laughed out loud when I read her Leslie's comment. Must be she and Leslie are kindred spirits.

Peter said...


The remainder of the calender will be issued upon payment of your office bill.

FYI, the Amish girl and her sister met me later and we frolicked in their buggy under the Lancaster county skylight. Therefore, me= winner round 4 & 5.

Will look forward to breakfast at the monthly Mac-Pac breakfast next week. Bacon and eggs- a cardiologists answer to health care reform.


Anonymous said...

Another fine tale. Love your translations.

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Jack:
A splendid, highly enjoyable piece, not at all as I remember the actual events, but close enough to pass for creative, gently-massaged truth. It's especially poinent as I sit here watching the fucking snow pile up in the driveway that I spent three hours shoveling yesterday. I can't wait until we get to ride on two wheels on dry roads again. This Winter is growing more depressing with each new snowflake.

Cantwell said...

Dear Jack,

The Amish are beginning to move into the North Country of NYS in droves. I'm now have a line to describe my beloved K75...
“Das motorrad ist der Deutschen K75 und ich habe einen großen schwanstüker.”
I can't wait until this summer!!

Also, do you think anyone who lives in a glass house has ever owned a K bike?

Thanks for taking me on the ride,

Unknown said...

That diner used to be one of the late night stops coming back from the bar. I haven't been there in years.

Unknown said...

Jack, I went out for breakfast after reading this. The New Jersey waitress of whom you wrote now works at the Eagle Diner, on the west end of Newark, DE. I gave her the name of this blog, mentioning that you had written about her.
She commented to a colleague that she was a bit chilly, and I remarked that I was comfortable;of course I had more clothes on.
Next time you're in town, we can eat there, if you promise not to drool.

John said...


You needed awe inspired power of the K1100 on your trip. The Pac has two K1100RS riders who would have been happy to put the Italian poseur in his place. As you know the K1100 is the 4 cylinder "little brother" to your piddly little K75. While younger, it has more horsepower and in the sexy RS configuration I have literally needed to beat the Amish and Mennonites off with large sticks.

RichardM said...

Another great story. I ended up reading it several times just to make sure I was reading it correctly. I must agree with MattPie that the K-bike has the high pitched whine. Maybe its the fuel pump getting ready to fail. The R-bikes just make pleasant mechanical sounds (until you shift).

I must admit that I've never seen an MV Agusta before. It looks good standing still but it would be painful to ride or pay for.


Allen Madding said...


Another masterpiece to read on a cold dreary day when I wish I was out riding.

I am glad that you have chosen to pay for your cardiologist such a fine piece of Italian engineering. Around Atlanta, we usually identify cardiologists by the Ferrari or Masserati passing us during our commute. So, it just stands to reason that they would own either a Ducati or a MV Augsta.

My Dad spent a small fortune years ago keeping a surgeon's payments on a couple of Jaguars. I could understand his sympathies as those things cost a fortune to keep running, but I don't think I could go thru that much surgery for anyones sake.



Steve Williams said...

Sehr geehrter Herr Riepe,

I try and imagine riding with my physician. He has expressed an interest in scooters though he fears the reaction of his wife. I cannot imagine him on the Tamburini. So he probably is not one to look towards for riding support or challenges to both the natural order of riding which squarely places a Vespa above and 20 yards ahead of the flying brick on the spiritual plane.

I do know two local surgeons who ride shamelessly on Ducatis. I don't think I could lower my standards.

I must admit the social interactions of you and your friends has me wishing now and again that I could participate in something resembling that human interaction. At least until the engines start.

I hope you at least left the poor Amish girl a note explaining how shoveling horseshit isn't as bad a way to spend a lifetime as playing second fiddle to a man's mechanical passion. Give her a bit of hope damn it.

Another fine story and evidence why you have a chance at the moto-journalism life. I fully expect you to become the John Steinbeck of moto-journalists.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Unknown said...


another literary masterpiece. I didn't realize you were also fluent in German.

and make sure to clean after yourself & stop making that mess

and you didn't need that steak anyway

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

cpa3485 said...

Your German ist gut aber nicht wundrbar. Also your translation is suspect, but obviously on purpose.
This post made me recall memories of Kelly McGillis in the movie "Witness" with Harrison Ford. I Googled it and realized the movie came out in 1985. I can't believe it was that long ago. Kelly McGillis was 'hot' then and I bet she still is today.
There is a town called Yoder about 40 minutes from here. It's a Mennonite community and similar to what you speak of in Lancaster county although the people are maybe just a bit less traditional.
There are 2 relatively notorious businesses there, one being a butcher shop with some of the finest meats imaginable. The other is a restaurant that is famous for its pies. I don't believe they serve up chocolate key lime pie, but the rest are to die for.
Thoroughly enjoyed the read Jack. You make a breakfast run sound very enchanting.


Unknown said...

Jack, sometime I’ll take you on a tour of Southern diners. Breakfasts of bacon grease and butter served up by angels with a sweet drawl that’ll give you wood - If the blouse buttons don’t pop and put your eye out.

And what’s with some of that spelling? One would almost think it was German or something. Really, another classic. Keep ‘em coming.

redlegsrides said...

Jack, a highly enjoyable and only slight biased against R bikes tale of joyous riding and friendly competition.

I knew the 18 months I spent in Der Vaterland with the US Army would come in handy. I learned enough German to not only understand your "interestingly translated" conversation with that Amish Tart but also "can I park my armored vehicle next to your barn". The last is a handy phrase to know during field exercises.

Dr Frenchie's Italian ride notwithstanding, I'm glad he's watching out for your dietary choices during these outings.


Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

Redleg's Rides

Chris said...

Another good story Jack. Well done. I have to agree with some of the others, your translations are a bit off ;) LOL

-Chris - - year round riding in Minnesota

Baron's Life said...

Dear Jack,
Your 25 years old German beemer looks good for an old machine and the way you seem to have strode out of that garage indicates it still got lots of gutso and you obviously proved it does by leading the pack on your way up...However, being the gentleman that you are, you let the challenger have his fun on the way back...very commendable indeed.
Was that snake oil or was it vinegar in your first photo...I think that's an appetizing shot to say the least...In Korea as in Japan, you can fecth mucho $$$ for this shot as snakes or rather serpants are very sought after.
As for your flirting with the Amish Maiden on the side of the road...well... I am not surprised as you are the man who every now and again can be counted upon to do something really crazy...I am surprised you didn't propose to her...she would have made an excellent addition to your collection of ex-wives, as I am told.
I am surprised Dr. Peter Frechie didn't punch you out when you refered to him as "FAT BOY" don't you know anything about Harley models? after all he's not an HD fan or is he?
You have certainly assembled an impressive bunch of riders, an expensive line of motorcycles (Except for yours of course) and you have entertained us with a masterful piece of literary reporting...I can actually visualize every details of the trip and that's a sign of good writing abilities...a movie, strolling down the recesses of my mind is what you have created here.
Thanks for the fun and have a great year.
I will be in Allen Town PA, around May this year.

Best Wishes
Baron's Life

BeemerGirl said...

Dear Jack,

I think you forgot to mention the blatant theft of the headlight in that list of design concepts that MV stole from the K75. I mean, they don't need it as they aren't ridden after dark.

Great write up of events as I am sure you are 100% accurate in your representation and all others are just jealous.


Conchscooter said...

I told my wife I absolutley must have an MV Agusta before next summer and she spat in my face and gave me a 1/15th model. I think I can still beat you out the garage with it.Luckily no one has actually ever seen you ride further than that so it should be okay.
ps my first motorcycle was an MV 350b and it pulled no babes at all- just cows. I think your story is suspect.

Diner informed Ihor said...

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but you know that everytime you pick up a menu, it's the opposite of the Bataan Death March!!, with a side of pie-a-la-mode. Dr. Frechie has a tough road ahead. Stealing food from you can get monotonous. Snow again this week, no road to glory or breakfast of champions.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear David Denesowicz:

Which of the BMW varieties do you subscribe to? I forgot to take note, thereby, allowing you to escape mention. Trust me... The appeal of the Russian accent wears off after a time. It was great seeing you at the WEGE dinner...It will be fun to implicate you on a ride. Bregstein says he can kick your ass.

Thank you for reading my blog and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Matt Piechota:

I got it right, pal. I know that the "K" bike has a distinctive whine. But the "R" bike coughs, like an usher in church. Your machine sounds like a librarian trying to catch the attention of another librarian, at a librarian's convention.

Very good shot about the "R" bike cooling system... It was a fresh shot too. You're due for mention in one of my stories soon. To bad the weather has the riding season on hold for me.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rogers:

I'm delighted I could bring some joy into Valerie's life. There is nothing like the support opf a loving, appreciative woman. Once I learned what Leslie/Stiffie liked to write about, I started leaving even more of my shit in the living room. In addition to my shoes and socks, I changed the "K75's" oil on the carpet and let the dogs run through it.

That got her excited.

Fondest regards,
Jack • Reep Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Peter:

I recently returned to the scene of the crime and found the same Amish girl licking another ice cream cone in the same place. She told me her grandmother "Hilda" and great aunt "Bismark" are still chatting about your physical prowess. Apparently her great aunt "Bismark" was so thrilled, she said, "Er ist der einzige Mann, ich würde gerne meine Zähne sich wieder."

I believe this means, "He is the only man I would ever take my teeth out for — again."

I look forward to our next ride. Are you going to wear your "Catwoman" leathers again?

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Comment Guy (Mark):

I am ruled by my obsession to the truth. Thanks for reading my stuff and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dick:

Once again, our cold weather riding time is being sapped by snow, ice, salt, and sand. Yet just before this last round, Leslie saw the sweeper trucks getting the grit off the road. Maybe this global warming shit will come true and we'll have rain in February.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Erik R said...

Jack, I think you have a great blog, Thanks. Erik.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michael (Cantwell):

You have no idea how it irks me that we have more snow down here than you have up in the Adirondacks. Plus the weather has been cold, damp and miserable. I hate this shit.

"Fireballs" is on a charger in the garage, where it is so fucking cold that the outside refrigerator has switched itself off. We ran out to lunch in Lancaster yesterday, and it was so cold in the Subaru that want to plug in my Gerbings gloves — and this was in the SUV.

I'm delighted my German lessons are helping you out at the Amish penny socials. Whenever they ask, "Who wants to dance next," just raise your Schwanstücker."

We need to go on a ride as soon as possible.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Corey:

I don't know if they are still open late, but I haven't closed a bar and had a sunrise breakfast in a long time. Pick a gin mill and a date.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rogers:

To qualify for the Twisted Roads Hottest Diner Waitress, the one at the Eagle Diner in Newark, must be wearing one of those black diner uniforms that define every curve, and she most pose pouring a cup of coffee (ideally for you, while you are sitting on your bike).

But I will be headed to Newark, De to check this out, for my second ride of the new season.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John (Claus):

No offense, but if there is any BMW model that is uglier than the K75, it is the K1100. And while the this machine has a fourth cylinder, the engine cannot hope to match the smoothness of the 3-cylinder K75.

But "K" bike riders should never disagree. In truth, the BMW 2003 K1200GT is the best-looking K-bike to ever roll off the line at Munich. Some day, I'll have one.

Thank you for reading my blog and for trying to get your oar in my boat. But the K75 reigns supreme.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard M.:

The iconic "R" bike will always be the image people have in their mind when they think of BMW. The "R" bike's engine, with its dual, horizontal jugs (each sticking out eight feet on a side) provide excellent "drop" protection, global warming in the summer, and a place to dry a load of laundry if you are in a hurry.

One "R" rider I know, used to pull his size 68 jeans over the heads to heat them up to dispel the winter chill before putting them on.

And while the "K" bike does whine, this sound is preferable to "click of knitting needles" so closely associated with the "R" machine. Still, I am thrilled that you read and responded to this blog, so I am sending you a free "R" bike duck call, to blow when you feel intimidated.

By the way, the MV Agusta rider looks like a monkey fucking a water melon when he gets going on that thing.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Allen Madding:

Peter Frechie is one of the most interesting, and entertaining guys to ride with. I never hear him talk about maintenance on that MV Agusta, which is a sure sign it's a real bitch.

Did you ever notice that fleeting look of panic on a Ducati rider's face when it takes an extra second for the engine to catch? You never see that with Peter. That means he's got a mechanic named Gieseppi chain to the garage wall.

Thanks for reading and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Steve (Williams):

No real rider worth his salt ever has to ask his wife if he can get a motorcycle. This indignity increases by a factor of 10 if we are talking about a scooter.

And I regret to inform you that the road to hell is paved with Vespas, over which legions of K75 routinely ride, destined for story-telling history.

This spring, you are cordially invited to ride over here as my house-guest (scooter or BMW test ride), and to then meet the riders of the Mac-Pac on the third Sunday breakfast. Do you remember the food-fight scene from Animal House? It's a cross between that and a prison riot.

The waitresses pour coffee with one and, and fire tear gas with the other. I could even lend you Bregstein for a test ride, but I want him back. If you come on the scooter, we could take three days off and ride halfway back with you.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

I saw your comment on the last post, but put it on hold. Leslie had left her comment at the end of the piece's run, thinking no one would see it. But I then cut and paste it to the first slot on this episode, just to give her the limelight.

Yes, Bob, I am a slob. My office looks like a 900-pound hamster lives in it. I have 4 coffee cups on my desk at any given time. Leslie claims I leave a debris trail four feet wide and a block long behind me. That's because I do. It's part of my charm.

This last breakfast run was a pisser... The story was easy to write. German is like "pig Latin," I can make it go in any direction.

Thanks for reading and for writing a comment.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear CPA3485 (Jimbo):

Believe it or not, most of the movie "Witness" was filmed less than 45 minutes from here. I ride past the store in front of which Harrison Ford punched out the town guys all the time.

I buy my produce (in season) from Amos Fischer, whose eggs do not carry the expiration date on the carton, but the date on which they were laid. (I used to go on dates and get laid myself.)

I love non-carbonated, but ice cold, locally brewed root beer, also sold by the Amish in the summer. I do an Amish run on my bike once every two weeks... Usually with Bregstein. I have sworn off pie, Amish or otherwise for the rest of my life.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jonesy:

Your comment reminded me that I am going to do a piece soon on southern breakfasts. I have had breakfast in diners in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. And I do have something to say about it.

But I'd love to have you take me around Tennessee and get me into trouble. You'll regret making that offer.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

If you have studied your history, you will recall how Arthur, King of the Britains, drew his sword from an "R" bike and rode forth to glory on a "K" machine, better suited to slaying dragons (including the tail) as the machine had a proper cooling system.

This isn't to say that the iconic Boxer engine is not its own pinacle of mechanical perfection... It's just that there are pinacles and there are pinacles, if you catch my drift.

I look forward to having breakfast with Peter Frechie this Sunday... I'm going to order "shit on a shingle," and see if he runs with that.

Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chris (Luhman):

In any translation, it's important to catch the emotion and the feeling behind what is said, as well as the text. This enables the reader to understand that I want to be helpful, without surrendering my position of strength.

Women are very sensitive to my openness and my desire to advance their interests whenever possible. It has become my trademark as a serious motorcycle writer.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Baron:

I ran the picture of "Blueballs," my 1986 BMW K75 (with the rare Sprint Fairing) because I like it. It is my favorite picture of myself. But Blueballs is gone... Vaporized in a head-on collision with a van in 2007.

The "Snake In The Bottle" stuff was a gift from a Vietnamese woman who was impressed with my efforts but thought the stuff in the bottle would turn my schwanstücker into a rattler.

You are correct in that it is impossible to put a price on a K75, now that they are rare and in hot demand. But you are doubly so in that these are the most unique and affablr riding companions to be found anyplace.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Beemer Girl:

I am shocked at how some of the most expensive and extravagant motorcycles blatantly steal design concepts from the K75. But speaking of headlights, a buddy of mine is restorung a Vincent Black Shadow. The headlamp assembly has a street value of nearly $4,000. How's that for precious?

Thanks for reading my blog and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

The nature of your comment sticks out like a blot on a clean hand towel in an exclusive bed and breakfast. Layne is quite right in her response to your ridiculous demand. The last time you absolutely had to have something, it was a tach for your Triumph. How did that turn out?

And if the only time you rode an MV Agusta "anything" and attracted cows, I'd say your personality overpowered the effects of the bike. How are you coping with the horrors of a 68º winter in Key West? Burning the furniture for warmth yet?

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ihor:

I seem to recall one trip to the Adirondacks when we stopped at the International Hiouse of Pancakes, where you had the Presidential Suite. You ordered the "Moon over My Hammy" three times,

The extent of my problem is well known. But as any health authority, including the infamous Dr. Frechie, will tell you, identifying the problem is 50% of the solution. Well I'm halfway there. Hah! (And I meant it to sting.)

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Erik:

Thank you very much for reading Twisated Roads, and for writing in. Our motto here is, "No blame is too complex to delegate."

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

irondad said...

The K bikes may whine, but the R bikes sound and feel like an old tractor until you get them wound up.

As to the Italian bike: Profiling is one thing. If you can't move after getting off the bike then dreams are all you have.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear IronDad:

Not so fast there, Buckerooooo... It's okay for me to make fun of a BMW "R" bike 'cos I have a "K" bike. Well, I guess it's okay for you too, because you did the next best thing and bought a copy of a "K" bike.

Remember, loud whines save lives!

I got a nice note frm a rider named Erik out in Wisconsin. He's got a rig like yours too.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

BeemerGirl said...

Hi Jack!

I have a feeling that anything on that Vincent Black Shadow is going to have a street value of $4,000. With only 1700 made, parts may be difficult to come by.

About that 2003 K1200GT...what makes that the best looking "K" bike? What would you say if I had a friend that has one and doesn't put too many miles on it per year??

I can see that your weather sucks as much as ours. Hope it clears up soon.


CommanderKewl said...

Well Commander Jack, I have snuck under your radar for several months now reading your blog, and since then I have reminisced the area you write about. Love the area , but alas I live in Texas. I have the k12LT which yes is a smaller brother, but allows me to smoke cigars with abandon and enjoy the ride as well. You will have several orders for your book as well as the T shirts on it's way.. Can you say check is in the mail?
I sit here with 7 screws a couple of plates and a few cupholders added from the new years ride .. Damn GS decided she didn't like me ignoring's going to be a while before I get back out there...

We have women that cross the rio grande with talented tongues like you mesmerized us with ,in the story. Seeing them sculpt unique corkscrew precise maneuvers like that
.... But I digress.. Thanks for the words...

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Beemer Girl:

The 2003 and 2004 K1200GT's are without a doubt the sexiest, and hottest looking BMW's ever made. Why? They have curves where the newer machines have straight lines and flat surfaces. They have a built-in lean to them, where the newer bikes have a more souless, razor edge. The finned grill work in the side of the bike is understated elegance, either in a contrasting color or the same color. And the sculpted bodywork in the knee area absorbs the rider into the machine.

These motorcycles combine sex appeal with great performance in a package that will go at 110-115 miles per hour all day, without getting hot. The 120 hp engines represent the peak of the K bike evolution, before the motors got into the science-fiction league.

And the 2004 bikes have the ABS/power assisted brakes, which were years ahead of their time, and require a little getting used to.

That's what I love about them. I want one really badly, but this is not my year to think about it.

Note: I got separated from my friends on a ride back from the deep south. I ended up ahead of them, but didn't know it. I was going well over 100 mph to catch up, but they were behind me. One of them, rode for 18 miles, hitting 127mph to pass me. And he looked like hot shit in the process.

I really want one of these machines. But this is not the year.

The new K1600GT is an absolute marvel and an incredible machine -- but it looks like a prop for that stupid Transformers movie. Also, no Jap bikes look like the K1200GT from 2003 and 2004. One day, these machines will be as highly desirable as the K75. Have you noticed, K75 riders are holding onto them?

Your friend's bike is gorgeous.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Commander Kewl:

Welcome to the twisted community of Twisted Roads. I'm flattered that you hve been reading my blog for the past few months, but there was no need to remain under the radar. In fact, I prefer moving targets.

I was reading your note with an Irish whiskey in my hand and got to the part about "plates and screws." My first thougt was that you were taking the GS apart. And then I realized it had taken you apart.

How bad was the crash?

The KLT is to the K75 what the Hindenburg is to a Cessna 180. A buddy of mine's got one. He has a heated cup holder on the handlebars and luggage with electric locks that secure by remote control. He rides it as effortlessly as if it was a scooter.

I understand that "LT" stands for light truck.

Thjere is no reason for you, or anyone to fly under the radar here. You write in whenever the mood takes you.

I'll get those books out to you pronto.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Cynthia said...

It's a long story but it sure is fun reading it. I am really surprised about that cobra in the bottle and where you actually also sipped from it. That is just amazing! You are the man!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Cynthia:

I'm delighted you liked my piece. I hope you'll mention my blog to your friends. When I clicked on your name, I got a zap return to a mototrcycle leather supply house. I was very impressed. I guess a lot of guys click on the woman rider's name, huh?

Can you send me a picture of yourself next time?

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Mr. Motorcycle said...


I notice that you have a picture of "an ideal BMW rider," could you show a few pictures of less than ideal BMW riders, poor examples of BMW riders and "poser BMW rider." I would like to use these for identification at my next rally.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Motorcycle:

Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for writing in. I'm delighted to comply with your request. If you go back and read this blog episode again, you will find one picture of each category in the text. You just have to guess who's who.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

Nikos said...

Apologies for the delay in responding, but I had to send the computer keyboard away for deep cleaning further to my vomiting all over it on seeing the image of Jim's plate of slops - it brought back feersome memories of when I found a pubic hair in my yoghourt sauce in a Turkish restaurant in Stoke on Trent (or was it in Baden Baden?).

I do like that fairing on Blueballs.

Happy New Year from England

Nikos * Eats * Meatballs
Nikos World Inc.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Nikos:

Your comment was conspicuous by its absence. I held off posting a new blog until I could read your response to this one. TRhank God you chom,ed in when you did.

I grew to love the Sprint fairing on the late "Blueballs," but it was a bitch to service. It took two hours to remove the fairing for simple things like headlamp replacement. At $75 per hour that meant $150 to get the damn thing off... And $150 to get the damn thing back on.

But I did love it so much, that if I ever start to collect these things, another K75 with a Sprint fairing will be my first acquisition.

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad

Classic Velocity said...


Despite your misguided comments regarding obviously superior R bikes, I share your love of Diners. I have been to the Tick Tock a few times, and now I will need a pilgrimage to a few others. However, in PA, I can recommend the Reading Terminal market for diner fare on par with NJ. Best,

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