Archive for the ‘BMW motorcycles’ Category

Vintage Motorcycle Show Will Be June 7

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

by Matt Wessels

The Vintage movement is in full force and old motorcycles are finding their way back to daylight and backroads in record numbers. This year will mark the 5th annual Vintage Motorcycle Show in Golden, Colorado.

Heritage Square will host the event one last time before they close their doors at the end of 2015, and all of their facilities will be operational for the show. Those facilities include bathrooms, restaurants, and a bar.

Erico Motorsports, GrandPrix Motorsports Indian and Foothills Triumph/BMW will be there showcasing some of the factory retro motos.┬áLast year they had a half-million dollar Vincent show up, by the name of the Black Prince. It might make a re-appearance at this year’s show.

The show (Sunday, June 7) is open to anybody with a vintage motorcycle following the structure of a controlled open floor. To enter, respond to the evite and drop a comment so that Bob can get an idea of how many bikes there will be. Being a part of the show is just as free as attending it. They are taking donations for Hospice care, so bring some stray bills to support a good cause!

Much like the show being a celebration of all that was good and right in the motorcycle world, the Hospice donations are a celebration of good people who make it their life’s work to increase the quality of life for those who can not completely provide it for themselves. The idea was started when a friend was immensely impressed with the Hospice workers who take care of his mom, and wanted to give back.

The VJMC is also giving back by footing the bill for the event and wants all motorcycles from all backgrounds, manufacturers, and styles to attend. This isn’t a profitable endeavor, this is simply two enthusiasts who want to bring like-minded people together and celebrate good bikes, good food, good talk, and good experiences.

If you missed the link up above, go HERE to register for attendance. IT’S FREE!

For any other questions or comments, please reach out to Bob @ superhawk65@gmail.com

Many of the same folks meet at the GB Fish and Chips on the first Thursday of every month for Old Bike Night. There are a few other Old Bike Night meetups around the front range area, but not all necessarily connected with this one.

Listing Motorcycle Rentals in Colorado

Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Kevin Smith of Colorado Mountain Moto

Kevin Smith of Colorado Mountain Moto was one of the first rental folks I ever went riding with.

I’ve been in touch recently with Ron Coleman, who runs Western Dual Sport Motorcycle Adventures, and I asked how business is doing in the motorcycle rental field here in Colorado considering that so many more companies have gotten started in the last few years. I said I hoped there was enough business that people don’t start folding left and right.

Ron’s reply was that business is good and he just figures that the market is growing and there’s room for everyone, at least everyone who is out there now.

That is so great. Before I ever bought my first bike my roommate and I decided one day to rent a bike just to see how much we might get into riding. We naively went to a nearby shop and found that there was nothing. No one rented bikes back then. What were we thinking?

Times have changed a little, haven’t they?

So I thought I’d do a run-down here of the rental places I know of here in Colorado. I’ll make note that I’m not going to go into the list of Harley dealerships because I think pretty nearly all of them do rentals. Just add them to the list of the others.

Of course there’s Ron with WDSMA. He used to run strictly Suzuki V-Stroms but now also has Suzuki DR 650s and a Yamaha Super Tenere. He used to have a BMW GS800 but I don’t see that mentioned on his site so maybe he got rid of that one.

Kevin Smith, with Colorado Mountain Moto, runs V-Stroms out of Gunnison and he also now has at least one Honda XR650L.

One of the newcomers is Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Adventures, owned by Paul and Marsha Minock. Unlike many of these folks, I don’t know them. Their website says they offer BMW F800GS and F700GS.

Colorado Motorcycle Adventures (do you start to see a theme in the names and the types of bikes rented?) is run by Scott Lee. I rode with him earlier this summer and had every intention of doing so again sometime soon but boy the summer is flying by in a hurry. Scott has a whole herd of bikes, from KTMs to BMWs to Triumphs and Kawasakis.

Ben Kriederman has been operating House of Motorrad for a few years now. He specializes in BMWs, as the name suggests, and recently opened a store in Boulder. I haven’t ridden with Ben but he did fix me up with some good gear for my V-Strom.

Colorado Sports Rent is run by Brad Pester. Brad rents a lot of recreation gear and dirt bikes are just a small part of his offering but they’re the only bikes he has. I spoke with one of his employees recently who told me they were considering getting a couple street bikes as well.

Another outfit that has a whole stable of different bikes is Colorado Tour Bike Rentals and Sales. They have a lot more road bikes than the others I’ve mentioned so far. I don’t know much else about these folks; I’ve never met or talked with them.

Of course along with all the Harley dealerships there is also EagleRider. EagleRider rents mostly Harleys but they do have other bikes as well. I’ve met the manager of the Denver location several times but can’t remember his name just now. I’ve also rented from EagleRider and was on a media tour with them once. Recently another EagleRider location opened Grand Junction.

Another one I really don’t know anything about is Extreme Rentals. They appear to have a number of Honda dirt bikes.

MountainADV.com is out in Durango and they rent KTM and BMW dual sport bikes.

The folks at San Juan Backcountry rent some dirt bikes plus ATVs and Jeeps.

And finally, there is ScooTours, a scooter rental outfit in Denver. This is run by David Howard. David and I went out scooting one day. I keep intending to touch in with him to see how business is going. Scooters are fun, you know. One of these days I’m going to buy one.

So those are the ones I know of. If you are aware of any rental outfits I haven’t listed please send me a note. It’s just amazing to me that all these companies have gotten going and they’re all staying in business. That’s just great.

Biker Quote for Today

A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous. The sheer volume and variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul.

Adventure Motorcycling Business Growing in Colorado

Monday, July 7th, 2014

That sales floor was pretty empty on Saturday but by the grand opening on Friday it should be full.

The growth in the number of outfits in Colorado renting off-road capable motorcycles–dual-sport and adventure bikes–has been startling in recent years. We have definitely been discovered.

Now for a twist: One of these outfits–House of Motorrad–is adding a retail store to its rental business. Although the store is already open, as of Saturday there was not much stock in the store, but owner Ben Kriederman says things have started arriving and by the grand opening on Friday he expects the sales floor to be full. In the meantime, he got his stock of bags from Wolf Man and has already had to reorder a few items.

The store is located at 5446 Conestoga Court, in Boulder, which is just off Arapahoe at 55th.

(For full disclosure, Ben has done some advertising with me previously on the Passes and Canyons website, and has an ad up now promoting his grand opening.)

The shop is still a work in progress, too, or at least it was when I was there. That particle board you see on the right in the photograph will be replaced with a glass garage door that will allow bikes to be rolled in and out. Not shown, but directly opposite that is the work area where bikes will be serviced. Ben has no intention of doing major work, such as engine replacements, but if you want to have tires put on or your oil changed he’ll do that.

The shop will be focused strictly on adventure bikes and gear for them. That said, if you want to order parts for other bikes through House of Motorrad that can definitely be done. The sort of gear that will be stocked includes helmets, jackets, gloves, boots, Butler maps, Garmin GPS units, bluetooth communicators, GoPro cameras and the like. Also with a focus on adventure riding, Ben will stock tents but not a lot else in the way of camping gear. I spoke to him about a JetBoil one-burner camp stove, which we see as filling our two-up motorcycle camping needs, and he suggested I go to REI. Ditto for more-compact sleeping bags.

While the store gets off the ground, the rental business is doing quite well. As of Saturday Ben had 20 bikes in his stable, though he said that changes constantly–the day before he only had 19. They are all BMWs, Triumphs, and KTMs. How well are rentals doing? So far this year he has had four riders who took bikes out for more than 25 days. These were all folks from other countries coming to the U.S. to do some serious riding. Most of the rentals are for shorter periods but he only had five in the shop when I was there.

He’ll be renting pretty much the entire fleet as chase vehicles for the USA Pro Challenge Professional Cycling Race in August, and Edelweiss Tours will be hosting its first Colorado adventure tour and using his bikes for that. As I said, adventure riding is becoming a booming business in Colorado.

And Ben is nothing if not a dreamer. He’s just getting the shop opened and is already planning expansion. The adjoining space is coming available and he hopes to put in a motorcycle-themed cafe there. And then as other space also opens up he expects to take it and add extra bays for the mechanical stuff. The shop is open for retail business Thursday through Monday but only by special appointment on Tuesday or Wednesday. Bike rentals go in and out every day.

Biker Quote for Today

Ride a GS, it makes your butt look smaller.

Flying in the Air and on the Ground

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Here’s an amusing coincidence. I was going to do a post about an event coming up on Saturday in a couple weeks and I wanted to see where this place was. I used Google Earth to get a ground-level view and it turns out it is a place I have history with. Let’s start at the beginning.

Adventuring South

Adventuring South poster.

I got an email awhile ago from Ben Kriederman, who rents BMW motorcycles through House of Motorrad, about an event they are putting on or sponsoring or whatever. It’s two Saturdays from now, April 27, and it is a slideshow presentation titled “Adventuring South.” It’s the story of a father and son who decided to ride their BMWs from Colorado to Argentina. No charge and as a promotional event for House of Motorrad they are giving away some goodies–plus free food and beer.

Sounds good to me. Maybe I’ll go, although I’m leaving town the next morning so it may not work out.

Oh yeah: where? This is where it gets interesting.

The location is 15801 W. Colfax, at a place called Uhl Studios. Zooming in on Google Earth to see the place I was surprised to see it is the same–although greatly remodeled–place that used to be home to Golden Skysails. Golden Skysails was a hang-glider dealer and trainer, and it was through Golden Skysails that I bought and learned to fly a hang-glider many years ago.

Of course, that whole business tied directly into motorcycling for me as well. I learned to fly, though not very well, and eventually I had a pretty bad crash. The only time I’ve ever flown in a helicopter was when I was air-lifted to the hospital.

After I was recovered I still wanted to fly so I repaired my glider and went out again a few times to fly but ran into a common issue: no air time. You see, the issue with hang-gliding is that you can get up early and load all your gear, then drive for a couple hours to a suitable place to fly, only to sit there all day and never get wind in the right direction. So you then break everything back down, load it up, drive a couple hours home, and you never got to do what you were planning to do. And the whole day is gone.

So after this happened a couple times I got fed up and decided to sell the glider. I promised myself that I would then take the money I sold the glider for and buy a motorcycle, because at least with a motorcycle, as soon as I threw my leg over and fired it up I would be doing what I came to do. And that’s what I did and I’ve never looked back.

Now we come full circle. I don’t know what Uhl Studios is but they’re in that space I was familiar with long ago. I’d sure like to be there on Saturday night but I suspect I just won’t have time. Oh well.

Thanks and an Update

I want to give a thank-you to Barry Jones and Jeff McDonald who responded to my request to help me figure out why no one was ever leaving comments on this blog. Turns out, I had things set to where anyone wanting to comment would have to sign up and have a WordPress log-in, and then they would need to be logged in. That’s way too much for most people. So I changed that. Now all you have to do to leave a comment is do a little spam-blocking routine, something along the lines of + 1 = 4, where you enter the 3. So please . . . offer your comments. And yes, I have already gotten a couple spam comments but I also have it set up so that no comment appears until I approve it. So you’ll never see some junk, spammy comment, although your own comment will not appear until I approve it. And I won’t be a censor; all I want to do is make sure it’s a real, bonafide comment, even if you’re telling me I’m the biggest jerk in the world, although I will not permit foul language. Just keep it clean. Thanks.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Tilting Motor Works offers a fun trike conversion

Biker Quote for Today

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coming On Ride To Work Season

Monday, April 1st, 2013
motorcycle and "motorcycle parking only" sign

It's going to be time to start riding to work soon.

Hot diggity, the days are getting warmer–and longer–and riding to work is once again going to be an option. Actually, where I work now, out west of Union on Alameda, there are a couple hard-core BMW guys who already are riding most days.

Of course, I haven’t met them yet, so who knows if maybe they just live 2 miles away. For me it is a 22-mile ride if I take the direct route, or about 26 miles if I take the route with less traffic. You can ignore a lot if you’re only going a few miles.

I don’t like taking the more direct route because that puts me in the thick of commuter traffic, with a lot of stop and go. That’s murder on your clutch wrist. Plus it’s dangerous. I went this same route several years ago when I was working out in the same general area and there was more than one occasion when I was on a bike and someone decided to pull into the next lane without looking to see if anyone–me–might be there who they could not see in their mirror.

The fact is, though, I’m going to be a bit torn in another month or so. The W line for the RTD’s light rail system is set to open April 26 and that will enable me to get on the train very close to home and ride all they way out to 2nd and Union. I’ll need to get on a bus from there but the bus stops right outside our office building. Why battle traffic at all when you don’t need to?

But I will want to ride at least some days. So I guess I won’t be getting a monthly pass. Those things cost enough that if you don’t use them every day you don’t save any money. I guess I’ll just get the book of passes that save you some money and ride the bike some days, ride the light rail some days, and maybe even drive my car some days–maybe not.

Of course that’s the other thing. Right now there is a bottleneck on I-25 where Santa Fe feeds into it, but that project looks like it should be finished in two or three months. Once they get all those north and south lanes open I’m hoping the jam-ups that are there pretty much every day will go away, and then even taking that route by car may be a lot better. Might even go that way on the bike, if it improves a lot.

Till then, though, I’m just looking for it to be nice enough that I won’t have to dress as if it was winter just because I’m leaving home at 7:45 a.m. Then maybe I’ll finally meet those beemer guys.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Tilting Motor Works offers a fun trike conversion

Biker Quote for Today

Don’t just look at it – Ride the bloody thing!

Making Contact Was Meant To Be

Friday, May 25th, 2012

I was passing through Mancos on Sunday, on my way home from the Overland Expo, and I noticed a motorcycle shop that I was not sure I had any familiarity with. It was Basin Motorcycle Works, a name that I’m certain was selected because the initials are BMW, and the shop is a BMW shop.

Basin Motorcycle Works

Basin Motorcycle Works in Mancos

As I hope you’re aware, I have a page on this website, Dealers and Repair Shops, where I try to list all the shops in Colorado. I know there must be some I don’t have listed, and I’ll bet there are some that are listed that have closed. This name sounded familiar but I had the idea that may have been because I had seen it mentioned in relation to one of the numerous BMW rider events going on in the state this summer. I figured I’d check when I got home to see if it was on the site already or not.

And then I forgot about it. I got home on Monday, flew to Philadelphia on Tuesday, flew home on Thursday, and this morning–Friday–I was at the computer playing catch-up and an email arrived. It was a guy named Mac Musick who is, get this, in charge of marketing and sales for Basin Motorcycle Works.

Mac greeted me saying, “I like your website very much in spite of the fact that we are not included among your listing of dealers and service shops.”

OK, that answered my question. They’re on the page now.

Mac continued that, “We would love for you to highlight hwy 145 south to Dolores (along the beautiful Dolores River) and Cortez, and also hwy 184 that goes south east from 145 just south of Dolores to Mancos and comes to the intersection of hwy 160 about a block from our shop.”

Here at least I was able to respond that I do already have most of that route on the site, as the Lizard Head Pass page.

And he gave me a bit of a pitch for the shop: “Our business is owned by Harry Hill who has been wrenching on BMWs and most other motorcycles since 1969. We moved the shop from Durango to Mancos about this time of year in 2009. Our location close to the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park and alongside the busy highway 160 makes us a valuable service and repair center for folks who are riding in the Four Corners.”

So there you go, now you know there’s a motorcycle shop in Mancos and you know something about it. Now I know these things, too.

By the way, if you peruse the Dealers and Repair Shops page and see that a shop you know is not included, please let me know so I can add it. Also, if you see a shop listed that you know has closed or moved, please let me know that as well. Thanks. I appreciate it.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Bullet points sum up sessions at Overland Expo

Biker Quote for Today

You’re a biker wannabe, if you set at least one mirror, if not both, to reflect yourself.

Big Summer in Colorado for BMW Riders

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

BMW S1000RR

If you ride a BMW and want to spend some time with like-minded folks in Colorado, you’re truly in luck this summer.

I was looking through the March 2012 issue of BMW Owners News, which a friend passed along to me, and in the back they have a U.S. map with numbers corresponding to the info, separately, for various events going on around the country. Well, Colorado had four numbers, indicating four BMW events. To put this in perspective, in all of Colorado’s surrounding states there are two events, one in Arizona and one in Kansas.

It would appear that this is perhaps entirely due to the efforts of the very active BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado, as well as one event put on by the BMW Riders of Western Colorado group. Here’s what’s cookin’.

2nd Annual Canyon Mixer Ride, July 7
Starting out from Northern Colorado Euro Motorcycles in Fort Collins.

41st Top O’ The Rockies Rally, July 12-15
Headquartered in Paonia.

13th Annual Colorado 100,000 Foot Ride, August 4
Route and starting point disclosed in the registration packet. This event routinely sells out, so don’t put it off if you’re interested.

10th Annual Thunder Mountain Rendevouz, September 21-23
Headquartered in Hotchkiss, timed to coincide with the peak of fall color.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
AMA ‘Flash Tours’ inject fun themes into riding

Biker Quote for Today

I’m never lost, I just don’t know where I’m at!


Riding a Bunch of BMWs

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

I rode up to Loveland the other day with my friend Randy and his neighbor, Donny, to Northern Colorado Euro Motorcycles, where BMW had come in with a truckload of bikes to offer demo rides. I’ve never had much opportunity to ride any BMW bikes, other than a K1300GT I test rode last fall in Keystone, so I was pleased at this opportunity.

me on an F800STThe four bikes I rode were very different and my thoughts on them are comparably different. The one I really loved was the R1200RT, a touring bike that was just about as sweet as you could ask for. In fact, it was such a nice bike it’s hard to think of anything to say about it other than it was just a great bike. I will mention, though, that it was just a little odd, at least in my experience, because the mirrors were below the handlebar, so you look down to see them and in the top of the mirror you see your hands. Very odd, but I’m sure you’d get used to it.

I also rode the dual sport F800GS. I haven’t done much dual sport riding and this was by far the tallest bike I’ve ever gotten on. There was no way I could push up off the sidestand other than to throw my weight that direction and count on catching myself on the other side before going over. At stops I either slid off on one side or barely touched ground on both sides on my tiptoes. But that’s nothing uncommon for a bike that needs deep suspension.

The thing about this test ride, however, was that it was on the pavement. If a dual sport bike is in the middle between street and dirt, this one is biased toward the dirt, and we didn’t get to go there with them. As it was, I felt very much that that was where it belonged, and that I didn’t much care for riding it on the pavement.

The next bike was also a half-and-half bike, the F800ST, with the ST referring to sport touring. (That’s me on the F800ST in the picture, which Randy shot.) This bike puts the “sport” into “sport touring.” As nearly perfect as it might have been for me and my preferred style of riding, the pegs were so high that there was no way I could ride this thing all day without my knees being in agony. It has great power and is fun to ride and if you’re less than 5’6″ it could be your dream bike. If you’re taller, however, forget it.

My final ride of the day was the all-out sport bike, the S1000RR. A bit of a disclaimer here: I’ve never ridden a sport bike before, and now I know why. With the high pegs and the low grips, I was perfectly set up to play leap-frog, and there’s no way I am going to ride in that position for long. For those who like those kinds of bikes, I suspect you would love this one. I know I didn’t ride it anywhere close to its capabilities. I just wanted to see what it was like to ride a sport bike, plus I wanted to compare it to the F800ST, which itself seems so biased to the sport side of its own equation.

So that’s just a quick run-through. I’ll go into more detail sometime soon on Examiner.

Recent from National Motorcycle Examiner
Motorcycle-specific maps offered by Butler Motorcycle Maps

Biker Quote for Today

Just because I am a BMW apologist, doesn’t mean I have to be snarky.