Tuesday, November 15, 2022

MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE 2022 DNFs - BMWs and KAWASAKI

A 1995 BMW GSPD Classic (one of 150 manufactured) suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure on the way to the Start of The Last Broke Bike Mountain Ride leg of the 2022 ‘round the world rally, September 6.  At 70 mph on Interstate 90, 30 miles west from the Start point in Boise, Idaho the drive shaft grenaded at the lower end where it connected to the rear drive unit.  The rider escaped serious injury by miraculously staying upright as the rear wheel clunked and attempted to lock up at speed. The BMW was a DNF (Did Not Finish), more of a Did Not Start. A few days later, after a truck ride to its home near Seattle, the Broke Bike was sold. Potential buyer(s) beware! This Classic has had all of the classic BMW failures: drive shaft, two engine bolts stripped, electric rotors (3) replaced, rear shock blown. On the plus side, it should have a solid transmission with the C clip installed at the factory, and has new Avon tires with less than 1,000 miles on them...and it has the superior Tea Pot side stand.


The 1992 highly modified BMW R100 GS of entrant # 69 (photos above) was also a DNF, in the Canadian leg of the Alcan 5000. Zigging when it should have been zagging over a serious risk avoidance section of high speed gravel caused the entrant to throw in the towel and limp back to California. The rider was unscathed but the meticulously prepared BMW was bent, scratched and then parked for extensive cosmetic repairs.

The 2009 Kawasaki KLR 650 of # 9 suffered a chain loss at 65 mph on pavement, eight miles from Anamosa, Iowa. An Indian Motorcycle owner came to the rescue and with the help of J & P Cycles, the KLR was back on the road a day later. In Wyoming, off-pavement, the heavily loaded KLR 650 proved its true dual-sport nature, navigating some serious gravel and dirt sections.

The KLR of # 9 did suffer a small fall down into the front of a stationary SUV when the owner was checking the oil level and the motorcycle rolled forward, down a slight incline. Alone and unable to lift upright the KLR, because the front wheel was pointed the wrong direction, the owner used a Hi-Lift car jack to lift it to a vertical position. No damage was suffered in the "bike fall down."

Earlier DNFer Richard Livermore (# 7, aka Dick C. Nevermore) had a similar “bike fall down” in Chile in January, 2016 when he lost control of his parked Honda GL 650 in front of his motel room and broke his windscreen and a front turn signal. He was able to repair the windscreen damage with cable ties and the turn signal with duck tape and a spare turn signal he carried. 

One entrant in late September, 2022 opined, “Maybe Livermore’s crashing in North America once and South America twice, his motel bike fall down, and then self-DNFing himself in Africa, put the jinks or bad mojo on our 2022 adventures?”

In the spirit and style of Livermore’s Indiana-farm-boy-English, and after researching the mystical world of Toto's Kansas and the etymology of certain phrases and words Livermore often used, # 9, ever the existential motorcyclist, looked skyward for a circling Edgar Allen Poe described raven for some seconds, and then said, “Okey dokey, you betcha,  and the crashing and DNFs this year will be cosmically blamed on the psychologically dark world of nevermore.”

[Saul Bishop posted November, 2022]