Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dispatches From The Front...

Twisted Roads will routinely publish readers' comments or respond to questions seeking advice about technical riding, maintenance, relationships, sexual dysfunction, or motorcycle accessories. While advice is given freely, you get what you pay for. You might be better off with the services of a professional bartender or a truck stop sexual surrogate.

Dear Jack: 

I've been reading your blog and articles in BMW's ON for a while now. Thanks for the many chuckles.  You and I are similar in many ways: born in '57 here, and my bike of choice in my late teens/early 20's was also an "uncool" steed — a 1977 BMW R75/7 with the huge barn door Luftmesiter fairing and the black briefcase styled saddlebags.  Sexy quotient: 0 percent.   But I loved it anyway.  I rode it like is was a crotch rocket of course. And being that age,  I was indestructible with no sense or fear.

Above: Jim Surgent with his classically beautiful BMW K75RT. More riders have gotten laid on BMW K75's than any other motorcycle in history. In fact, the K75 was known as the "Condom Sales King" of Motorcycles.

 Back then the "R" bike foot pegs did not have the spring hinge to fold up like your K75. They were solid, so as not to allow the cylinder heads to touch on hard leans.  I wore them down far enough to do just that.  Sliding around corners on the cylinder head became my favorite game.  I finally gave it up when I met a VW Rabbit head on in a corner on a one way road in a city park in Pittsburgh.  I was going the right way.  He wasn't, not that it would have mattered.  We missed each other by a fraction of an inch, and my riding has been much tamer ever since.  But I digress...

Above: Jim Surgent with his flawless BMW R1200RT. Contrary to public opinion, "R" bike riders are not required to carry a commercial zeppelin pilot's license in on Federal roadways. The "R" bike is the iconic BMW machine.
The first new bike I ever owned was a 2011 BMW R1200RT.  I had a K75RT for 7 years. I bought it used with 21K miles on it and parted it out after getting rear ended in a low speed wreck in rush hour, with 125K miles on it.  I first rode the R1200RT in 2006.  I was torn between the "R" and the K1200GT, and the local BMW dealer had an open house where I was able to ride both.  I rode the "K" first.  It was fast as hell, stopped on a dime and gave you 9 cents change. It was even smoother than the K75, and was as comfy as a stock BMW seat gets.  But it had no soul.  

"Then I rode the "R."

It was slower, vibrated more, seemed heavier, but it spoke to me.  My old R75 bit the dust in the early 80's and while the new "R" was much different, it still had the same soul.  The analogy that will resonate with you is this:  Remember that one girl you had the crush on in high school?  Well imagine that you ran into her 30 years later, and she was even hotter and more attractive now that she was in school.  Even better, now she liked YOU!  That's how I felt about the new RT.  Life got in the way though, so it took a few years until I got it.  In any case, the reason I tell this last tale is to prime you for what's to come.  Imagine if you will, that YOU got to meet YOUR high school crush (the Kaw H2) 30 years later, and she's hotter than hell, and finally...SEXY.  I'm not involved with the project in any way, just ran across it and knew it would catch your eye.  I'll expect a blog about it soon :)

This photo was forwarded to me by Jim Surgent from, where it was reportedly built by a rider named "Cabbie." It clearly demonstrates a hot new application for a screaming two-stroke engine. Please go to the above site to read this fascinating story, and to leave a comment.
Jim Surgent
Cumming, GA. 30041

Dear Jim:

You are the fourth rider who has advised me that my life is incomplete if I just go out and get another “K” bike without first test-riding an “R.” I am impressed by the passion and devotion of “R” bike riders when they describe their motorcycles. To be sure, they qualify what it is they like about these machines, and never cite overwhelming mechanical prowess — like in an unfavorable comparison with a “K” bike — as if such a thing could happen. But while the “K” bikes are acknowledged to combine speed, brute force, and raw sensuality, the “R” machines are said to have pure soul  and untainted character.

Mark Frump ran me through the fine points (and options) of an R1200RT on the showroom floor of Hermy’s — the legendary BMW and Triumph dealer on Route 61 in Port Clinton, PA — and I was astounded with the fervor in which this accomplished rider described this machine. Like yourself, he mentioned the lower center of gravity, the lower weight factor, the less frenetic output of the engine, and the ease with which one of these bikes can be flown at 100 mph+, all day. And the options list included just about everything you’d find on a “K” bike.

"R1200RT" devotee Mark Frunp at Hermy's BMW and Triumph, Port Clinton, PA
I tend to listen when riders like you and Mark give a machine high marks. I have heard similar stories from others, but just assumed they were trying to suck me in to their part of the tar pit. I do intend to get another bike for next spring, but it has to be that ca be lowered. I don’t know if the “R” machines will fit that bill.

Your letter was of interest to me for three other reasons.

Reason One:
You used an analogy of finding the hot girl I might have had a crush on in high school, somany years ago, and discovering that she is even hotter now. Below you will find a picture of the hot girl I had a crush on in high school. She was a sizzler then and she is just as hot now. In your scenario, you mentioned things would be perfect if I could imagine that she liked me even more now. 

The girl I had a crush on in high school. She is still hot...  Pouty lips and all... And still thinks I'm a douche.

She thought I was a douche in high school and she thinks I must be an even bigger douche now. I recently asked her of three things that came to mind whenever my name is mentioned. She replied: The Johnstown Flood; syphilis; and legalized euthanasia. My chances of impressing her have not improved. 

Reason Two:
That is one hot motorcycle built around that Kawasaki engine. I loved the Kawasaki H2, despite its faults, which were legion. It is gratifying to see it has become a cult bike. 

The 1975 Kawasaki H2... The bike that spoke to me. It thought I was a douche too.

Reason Three:
You wrote: “Then I rode the ‘R.’ It was slower, vibrated more, seemed heavier, but it spoke to me.” I understand that. I have just written my first book about motorcycles, titled “Conversations With A Motorcycle.” Not only did my Kawasaki H2 speak to me, but I quoted it a lot. I have a great respect for riders who can hear the philosophy of their motorcycles. And by the way, thanks for ordering two copies of this book. 

The book for those who believe their motorcycle speaks to them.

Jack Riepe

Dear Twisted Roads:

It is about time that someone exposed the BMW “R” bike for what it really is — a cursed time machine that only moves in one direction, savagely aging the rider by three or four years for every mile traveled. Here at the Wilmington Institute of Holistic Dry Cleaning And Higher Awareness (WIHDCHA), we surreptitiously followed a BMW “R” bike rider over a run of 400 miles and watched him age before our very eyes. The rider initially appeared to be about 60-years-old at the start of the ride, and could have passed for one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence when he dismounted at the end of the day.

In the interest of maintaining scientific integrity, the subject was unnamed, but given the fictitious moniker of Breg Dickstein. Our researchers indicated the subject’s profile most likely would reveal he is a liberal, in favor of restricting unwarranted criticism of federal leaders, and an enthusiastic supporter of art films favoring woman-on-woman romance. In picture #1, he rode a 2001 BMW R1150R a distance of 125 miles. He dismounted relatively happy, consumed a laxative, and oozed enthusiasm for the rest of the ride.

Photo #1 — Breg Dickstein relatively unchanged after 125 miles on a BMW "R1150R"
Yet in picture #2, taken after only traveling 250 miles, the subject has aged 20 years, grown a beard, and now has the kind of look in his eyes usually found in turnpike toll collectors after 60 years of constant service. He was noticeably less social and communicated through a series of grunts and whistles.

Photo #2 — After a total of 250 miles on a BMW "R1150R", "Breg" Dickstein has gown a beard and his eyes have gone "Asian."
Photo 3 — Rider Dickstein showing the aging effect of the "R1150R, after 400 miles.
 Picture #3 clearly indicates a major transition has taken place. The rider dismounted and discharged a CO2 fire extinguisher onto the seat of his riding pants. His only comment was, “I’m tired of waiting for that fat fuck to catch up.” The rider seemed to be talking to himself, and answering back in a different voice.

Please feel free to publish this information in your blog as it may serve to prevent  injury or inconvenience to BMW “R” bike riders.

Doctor Albert Hissingaz, PhD, NJ, and FU
Wilimington Institute

Dear Dr. Hissingaz, PhD, NJ and FU

Once again, the biker community has only to thank the Wilmington Institute For Holistic Dry Cleaning and Higher Awareness for its impeccable research and irrefutable conclusions. The transformation of “Breg Dickstein” has probably gone unnoticed for so long as most BMW riders with factory seats seem to dismount looking like the individual in photo #3.

Fondest regards,
The Twisted Roads Team

Want To Win A Numbered Edition Of 
Jack Riepe's New Book...
Compliments Of Dan Allen — Shango Rider!

Three lucky winners will receive hand-numbered, autographed, and personally inscribed copies of 
Conversations With A Motorcycle

 Plus find themselves published in 
Twisted Roads...
How to Win: Submit your funniest, or most tragic, or best story regarding a motorcycle intercom or bike-to-bike communications system to, by September 15, 2012. Please limit stories to 300 words or less. Please mark the subject line: Bike-To-Bike Communications Contest. All decisions of the judges are final. Void where prohibited. Three numbers on the list have been reserved for the contest.

And remember...

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©Copyright Jack Riepe 2012


BeemerGirl said...

PICTURES!!! Who wrote this? We need more information!! Suspense. Oh the suspense...

Cantwell said...

Dear Jack,

I had beers with Hissingaz the other night at Steinhoffs. He had a small box on the seat next to him. After a couple of Guinness an a few snorts of Jameson I asked him what was in the box. Hissingaz told me he had invited a friend from Tennessee up for a week of Adirondack hospitality and that this was what was left of his friend. Come to find out, his friend rode an 'R' bike and had arrived only a few hours before we met at the bar, dismounted and disintegrated into a pile of ash. Hissingaz was laughing the whole time he told me this and then told me about his research. Amazing things they research over there at WIHDCHA.

Hissingaz, the prick, still won't give me a tour of his lab.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Beemer Girl (Lori):

Thank you for your kind note of wonder. Whenever possible, this blog will now ooze pictures. On the other hand, sometimes the fabric of adventure is the plain canvas of editorial.

It was great seeing you. My side of that story will appear soon.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Michael:

I thank God you ride a "K" bike. Peter Frechi just got a "K" bike too. He's given up on the MV Agusta. Not only did I beat him on my K75 (in a run to Lancaster), but more Amish women offered to butter my spatezal than his.

Stay out of Hissingaz's lab.

Thanks for ordering a copy of my new book. It will change your life, if you let it.

Fondest regards,

redlegsrides said...

Again, Mr. Riepe, I find you vainly trying to fend off the lustful desire for the Teutonic Superlative that is a Beemer R Motorcycle by spreading disinformation on these trusty steeds. For shame, but worry will "probably" not affect my review of your forthcoming book.


Anonymous said...

It was by accident that I bought a K bike after riding R bikes for 40 years. There was no such thing as a K bike back then. I wanted a new bike and it was a BMW so I bought it. Come to find out, my K 75 RT was rumored to be one of the finest motorcycles ever built. I still ride my R bikes (three of them), and my two K bikes, but none of them merge with my soul like my first bike did. That '58 R 60 with a sidecar took me to Newport Folk Festivals and to Woodstock in the '60's. I may have to accept that the experience of my soul being intertwined with that bike may have been more a function of me being young and it being my first bike than that it was an R bike. But I am still glad to hear that someone else experienced the same thing years later. Roddy.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Chrlie6 (Dom):

I don't make any of this stuff up... I just endeavor to present the facts.
In fact, I may not even agree with the data. And if I end up on a an "R" bike the next time around, won't that be poetic justice.

I had a dream last night in which I was seduced by a screaming hot, super-sexy, utterly steaming 2004 K1200 in Orient Blue. Remember those lawsuit stories about a rider claiming a BMW seat gave him a boner? Well... The K1200 could model perfume and panties, as far as I am concerned.

Fondest regards,

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Roddy:

Thank you for reading Twisted Roads and for leaving a comment. Anyone doubting the intrinsic beauty of the iconic BMW "R" bike need only show up for the start of one of Todd Trombore's vintage rides. The austere lines of the early "R" bikes, coupled with a fierce dedication to performance, continues to emphasize the statement these machines clearly made.

Yet you need not apologize for having purchased a K75. I know a guy who just set aside a MV Augusta Tamborini in favor of a K75. He's tired of having his ass hurt... Both on the road and at the dealer's.

Fondest regards,

Anonymous said...


As a serious connoisseur of BMW airheads, I must give you my background/observations.

I rode my first BMW Airhead when I was 15. It belonged to a friend's Father and we found it hidden in a barn on a Texas ranch where we spent one summer. We rode the
thing all over the ranch on and off trails and it didn't seem to mind.

I joined the Navy at 18 and progressed through: a Lambretta scooter (don't normally admit to that one), a Yamaha 175, Yamaha RD350, Triumph Daytona 500, BSA 441, BSA 500 B50SS, BSA Goldstar Clubman, BSA 650 Lightning, Kawasaki KZ400 (with fairing, bags,
etc.), Honda GL500 but finally returned to my first love - a BMW Airhead!

Like the hot gal in high school, I found my way back to airheads some 45 years later.

The machines were still amazing and I could finally afford one! (All five kids had left the nest!) Contrary to early predictions or observations, my '91 R100GS and '93 R100RT seem to be reversing the aging process!

However, my indulgent wife who sometimes follows me on her V-Star keeps saying I need to "slow down a bit and don't lean so much in the turns!"

Maybe my airheads are my mid-life crisis? Anyhow, I suggested to Linda that the two airheads were probably better for me than an 18 year old redhead!

She agreed saying they're certainly better for my health than a young redhead would be! (BTW, She's also a very good pistol shot)!

Bill (Carter)

Unknown said...


BMW makes "R" type bikes. All the "K" models are mistakes and should never have left the factory.

I only have to ask you one question, would you prefer JUGS or NO JUGS.

Riding the Wet Coast
My Flickr // My YouTube

Jim in GA said...


You don't know it yet, but you've heard the siren song of the R bikes, and the currents are already carrying you towards the rocks. Fortunately for you, those rocks are quite safe, with low centers of gravity and two beautiful jugs. And just like being caught in a rip tide, your only viable course of action at this point is to go with the flow, and get your ass astride one of those R bikes and discover just how wonderful it feels. I will caution you however, to control the rage you will most certainly feel inside upon realizing you've waited overly long to discover the joys of the R bike. Don't let it impact your riding style, lest you sully the purity of the moment.

If you find yourself dining on freshly prepared crow in the near future, console yourself in the knowledge that the dish is very low in calories.



RayW said...

Damn you for putting that link to that custom bike in the blog!! I hung around work for another 2 hours reading the forum detailing the construction of that thing! Amazing!!

hmmm....I've always wondered what a V-Max motor would be like in an FJR.......


RichardM said...

Since my "R" bike is the only motorcycle I've ever owned, I can't comment or compare it to anything else. But this (test and comments) is entertaining reading...

RichardM said...

"text and comments" is what I meant to say...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack, I am sending a link to a Dr. Fox, he is my boss and a professor at my school. You better be nice to him! Good luck with the book!