My bikes

This page contains a sketch of my bike history, my rider mileage, and what I think about owning a car.

Of course it seems to me that my bike history is incredibly obvious, but people do have better things to do than to follow my motorcycle life. But just in case they don't:

indicates a motorcycle acquisition.
indicates a motorcycle loss of one sort or another.
indicates an event unclassifiable as a gain or a loss!
I should end up with a total of three, except this page is out of date.


Year 1
Oct. 1991 - 1992

October 20, 1991

Bought 1982 Kawasaki CSR 305 (30K JPG) with 3300 miles for $550 in Northridge, CA.
November 12, 1992
Kawasaki CSR dies with 16,800 miles on the clock.

Year 2
Oct. 1992 - 1993

November 21, 1992

Bought 1983 BMW R65LS (NM) (53K JPG) south of Tucson, Arizona with 28,000 miles for $2500.
April 10, 1993
Outside of Coalinga, CA, I crash and total NM (31K JPG) with 38,000 miles on it. Though I was uninjured, I was heartbroken at the loss of my bike.
April 17, 1993
In a fit of grief, I bought a 1982 BMW R65LS (NM 2) (29K JPG) in San Francisco with 40,000 miles for $2100, a mere week after wrecking NM.
May 5, 1993
Bought a 1982 BMW R65LS (NM 3) from Eurotech with 170,000 miles for $700. I'm told it will run if I put a battery in it, but I'm after the chassis parts. I gain the permanent reputation as the person who owns 3 R65LSs (33K JPG).

I start rebuilding NM from NM 3's parts. NM gets a spline lube (17K JPG) in the process.

GS lust starts in earnest watching the English Trials at the May 1993 49er rally. Meantime, NM 2 keeps me on the road.

July 10, 1993

The project to merge NM and NM 3 is a success! Rebuilt NM is on the road and I am down to two bikes, NM (now silver/gray/light gold) and NM 2 (red) (60K JPG).
October, 1993
After NM proves itself for 10,000 miles, I sell NM 2 for $2300. I am down to ONE bike!

Year 3
Oct. 1993 - 1994

GS fever rises again at the May 1994 49er rally. Charles Petrie and I goof around on one of the English Trials sections after the event. Short be damned -- I must have a GS!

July 30, 1994

Bought 1981 BMW R80G/S (Tweety Bike) (59K JPG) in Portland, Oregon with 17,000 miles for $2300. Finally!

It had a lot more than 17K miles, and cost me a lot more than $2300, and I spent a lot of time working on it, but it finally came together. I bought another colorset for it, so sometimes Tweety Bike is blue.

This year, instead of watching the Trials, I entered them. So did Charles Petrie, on something of a double-dare! Read about our adventures here at the page for the 1995 49er Rally English Trials.

Year 4
Oct. 1994 - 1995

I still have and actively ride NM (the R65LS) (59K JPG) (taken by Joe Senner at the 1994 Joust). Tweety Bike (the R80G/S) (66K JPG) (taken at Laguna San Ignacio, Baja Mexico) is called upon for dirt and south-of-the-border duty, so spends a fair amount of time in my garage waiting for me to get around to rehabilitating it after a rough trip.

Year 5
Oct. 1995 - 1996

In September, 1996, I leave my bikes behind in my garage and drive my trusty old Honda car, with over 150,000 miles, across the country in 4 days to take a temporary contract with AT&T in Northern Virginia.

In October, 1996, I borrow a white 1981 R80G/S from the charming curmudgeon Bob Higdon, and have a mysterious accident on it that leaves me unharmed, but much expensive damage to the bike. I'm not sure of the state of the frame or front end, but don't have much time to work on it, and it languishes in a storage area while I work and Bob recovers from an accident.

I basically take this year off from riding, not so much because of the crash (other than it left me without a bike to borrow), but because I'm in a Virginia winter, and mostly, am working constantly. I didn't take off two consecutive weekend days in 1997 until the end of May.

Year 6
Oct. 1996 - 1997

April 1997

Ed Hackett of Reno, NV, tells me that his friend Mark has a 1985 R80G/S for sale, in great shape. Still concerned that Higdon's bike is totalled, I send Mark a check and buy the bike, sight unseen. It's in Reno, I'm in Virginia.

A week of TLC by Bob's BMW in Jessup, Maryland, restores Higdon's bike to its former shape. It wasn't totalled, but it did need a lot of expensive parts replaced (instruments, gas tank, etc).

So now, I have this G/S in Reno that I've never seen, which Ed kindly trailered it down for me in December, 1997. It's in great shape, with lots of extras like a windscreen, tach, clock, saddlebags painted white, and obviously had good care. I keep calling it The White One, and realize that TWO must then be its name.

My intent is to make Two my main G/S, when I have time to transfer the countless goodies Tweety Bike has had added to it over the years. Two feels a lot different than Tweety right now, and it's an awful lot of fun to tool around on, even though it's not set up for trips like Tweety is.

Year 7
Oct. 1997 - 1998

So much for good intentions. I am barraged with requests to buy Two, but have no time to even give it a basic service, happily spending my weekends instead making up for last summer's time off from motorcycling.

Meantime, Tweety and NM are in constant service on weekends, though a short commute and the need to carry lots of things and make it to classes in a hurry after work have shifted most of my commuting to the car. (Yes, the car is faster, even in the Bay Area traffic, because of the short trips and high overhead of motorcyling gear. Anyone who questions this is welcome to follow me to 6:00 ballet classes 3 times a week!)


This is more for me than anyone else....let's see if I can keep track of my mileage. This is rough of course, and doesn't take into account bikes I've borrowed or times people have borrowed my bikes, but overall it should work out.

Starting November, 1991; as of January 1996:

     Bike                   Odometer       Mileage     When
     Kawasaki CSR305      3300 to 16800     13500     10/91 - 11/92
     Honda FT500                             1500      8/92 - 9/92
     BMW R65LS (NM)      28000 to 76000*    48000     11/92 - present
     BMW R65LS (NM2)     40000 to 46000      6000      4/93 - 10/93
     BMW R80G/S          17000 to 45000     28000      7/94 - present
     Total                                  96000     ....and counting!

     * adjusted -- NM's odometer actually reads 16K high, since it was
       replaced after the '93 crash

I don't dare add up the hours spent wrenching....or the dollars that those miles represents in tires!

Though I ride the G/S more now, the lack of commute miles, and the hard, slow miles it undertakes on dirt rides, means that it hasn't contributed as much to the bottom line as the R65s have, and it will take quite a while to catch up. And I still love riding my R65.


I am always flattered when people ask if I have a car. Indeed I do! It's the only car I've ever owned, and I've had it for over 10 years. My 1983 Honda Accord has given nothing but faithful service for 178,000 miles and shows no signs of quitting. Best of all, I still like it.

Owning a car doesn't in any way detract from my motorcycling life, but it adds a lot to my non-motorcycling life. The local miles I drive it for commuting (I carry a lot of things), grocery shopping, airport duty and parts-running for bikes, save me time and hassle better spent on riding motorcycles. If only my Beemers were as rock-solid reliable, low on maintenance and inexpensive to own as my Honda car!

Back to Noemi's motorcycles.