F I N E   H Y D R O C A L   C A S T I N G S   B Y   C.   C.   C R O W    
  P.   O.   B O X   1 4 2 7         M U K I L T E O,     W A     9 8 2 7 5     U S A    

HOW MUCH IS THAT MOTORCYCLE
IN THE WINDOW ?

Before the helmit law I cruse by on my new motorcycle.

MY BRAND NEW 1979 R100S



   A Brand New Motorcycle Story


   In 1981 I had bike fever bad. My old Honda 450 was spread out in pieces again. More gear box problems. The dogs were worn. I was a rich man. I had lots of money in the bank and I began to look around at the options. Yeah, I could try and rebuild the Honda again but how soon would it be apart again? I wonder what new bikes are in?

Brian Condo, my old high school buddy, had run around on a 750 BMW. He swore by the thing. We had laughed at the loud clunk sounds the machine made while shifting gears, "Beee, click, Mmmm, click, double'U', but it had never left him down. He was still riding around on it pushing for 100,000 before over hauling it. And my friend Rooti had bought a 650 BMW.

Gregg's Green Lake, in North Seattle sold BMWs. I would stop by from time to time to check out the new motorcycles. There were some sure nice ones. I was becoming very interested in the R100 boxer twins. They had come down in price, to a whopping $4995.00. About one thousand dollars above anything else. Well, these were BMW motorcycles, German engineering and all that. I kept working on talking myself into their high value. I looked around at the other makes but I kept coming back to Gregg's Green Lake. Boy, they were sure pretty. I particularly liked a metalic blue one. Yeah, I'm sure that would do just fine for me.

You've always got to dance around a little bit with bike fever. You've got to at least act like you are fighting it off a little bit. Finally the with the weather starting to get very nice I was semi-serious on a Saturday. So after lunch I drove downtown and entered the shop. After walking up and down and failing to get the attention of a salesman I fianally approached one of the guys but he was too busy bother with me. The other salesman was busy with another customer so I waited patiently, examining the other motorcycles. This one looked nice. Or how about this one. No, I like the color of the other one. I was pretty much settled on the blue one. After waiting and waiting finally the first salesman returned from doing whatever he was doing, eating luch I think. By that time I had talked myself out of it. Well, maybe if he would swing me a deal. This guy was a total jerk. We didn't even get that far. After a few questions I was ready to go and never come back.

A couple of weeks later I had heard that there was a modest disaster at Gregg's Green Lake. Some sales guy was climbing on top a motorcycle or moving them around or something like that, and all of a sidden, boom-boom-boom, a whole row of them went down. I knew exactly who had done this, my rotten salesman for sure. Humm, a golden opertunity to go bargan with these guys. I think it was a Thursday afternoon and I was able to make it down before closing. Once again I inspected the bikes. Ooh, there was a big scrape on this one. It hadn't been there the week before. The story must have been true. That was about all the damage I could find. How about the blue one? Oh, there's a small dent in the side of the tank. Not too bad but enough of a blemish. About this time the salesman walks over, the one who was busy last time with a customer. So we started talking about the bike. Yeah, I was real intersted but sort of concerned about this dent. Oh, the boys in the back can fix that just like new. No, I said, that's not new, that's a fix. In a few years who's to say it doesn't start to show through? Oh, it would never do that. I pointed out this very blemish on one of the used bikes. Oh, that must have been a do it yourself paint job. So, what would a brand new tank cost with a paint job to match. I was really giving this guy a rough time. He wouldn't tell me the answer to that. Finally we got down to the price. He was absolutely set on getting the full price. Yeah, I said, but there is a dent in the tank. No, our guys will fix it like new. Well, okay then, how about tossing in a helmit. That had always been a traditional throw-in at the bike shops in Connecticut. We had all gotten free helmits with our new bikes. Nope, not even that. Not even with cash? Nope. Well, what's even the point of talking. These guys weren't thirsty enough. So I walked out the door.

It bugged me all day at work on Friday. How could the guy not even throw in a helmit? Didn't he know I would loose face with my friends back in Connecticut if I told them I had to pay full price and not even get a helmit? I knew they would ask. What could I say, yeah, I'm a stupid pussy. At least I could tell them this tale and say I walked out. But boy, I really wanted that bike. I suppose I could lie but eventually the story would get out. So what could I do?

Well, let's look in the phone book. Humm, what's this Poke's Cycle? Over on 15th Ave, a little north of I-90. They service and sell BMWs. So on Saturday I went down to check them out. Poke's was not exactly on the high side of town. A dumpy little place, perhaps and old service station. I parked and walked around to the front. The door creeked as I opened it. Inside the small show room were about a dozen bikes. Most were other European makes, and there were two identical candy apple red BMWs. They were R100Ss, the same make as the blue one at Gregg's Green Lake, however they were a little different. One of the mechanic's came in from the back room and asked if I needed any help. I asked if it was alright if I looked at the bikes. Sure he said, if you have any questions I'll be in the back. The only question I had was tell me about this bike, the nice red one. Oh, that's a 1979. It's still brandnew, that is, no one has ever bought it. The price is $6495.00. He explained that yes, it is higher than the current models but there are some major differences. It has a rear disc brake, the motor castings are fancier, higher compression, the two-tone paint job and pin-striping, and some other minor consmetic differences. A lot of these had not sold because of the high price so BMW realized this and down graded the machines.

This was a really cool motorcycle! I had never seen anything so perfect before in my life. Yeah, but sixty-five hundred bucks! Wow, that's a lot of money to pay for a motorcycle. Yeah, but this isn't just any motorcycle. Somehow I managed to get myself out of the shop without buying it. I was miserable the rest of the week just thinking about. Bike fever had reached a critical stage.

There was no way I could get away from work the following week. Boy, I wanted to. Didn't they understand I had bike fever? Didn't they understand what that can do to you? Oh man, it was awful. Finally Saturday arrived and though I sort of resisted there I was driving down I-5 towards Seattle. I was just going to look I kept telling myself. Let's go back to Gregg's Green Lake and look at the blue one. We'll compare and contrast. I blew right by the exit. Okay, we'll go look at the red one again and then come back to Green Lake. I parked off to the side of the shop, got out of my car and walked in.

Another guy was behind the counter this time. Later I learned that he was the son of old man Poke, the owner, who was out getting licsence plates for his new pick-up truck. The kid asked me what I needed, expecting me to ask for some parts. It's not often that you can walk into a motorcycle shop and say this, but I said well, you can sell me that red R100S. That sort of got his attention. I wasn't even going to fight him over the price.

You mean right now? You want to buy that motorcycle? You mean I don't even have to answer a zillion questions about it and work you over, and sell it to you? I could see the wheels in his head turning these thoughts over. Don't you even want to know about it? I told him I had been in last week and learned all the things I needed to know about it. It was my bike.

I put five hundred dollars down and we negotiated that I would pick it up Thursday, July 27th, a day I'll always remember.

I had tried negotiating a loan at my credit union but it was way too much trouble. I didn't really need the loan, I had cash in the bank. They wanted a copy of this and that, and the title. And finally I got fed up. I was thinking I'd establish a credit record through the loan but forget it. I had them pull the cash out instead and give me a cashiers check for the needed amount.

When Thursday rolled around, my friend Mike took me downtown to Pokes Cycle on the back of his gray ghost Harley. The bike, my brand sparkling new 1979 BMW R100S was sitting there ready for me. After filling out papers and giving them the check I was handed the key.

So off we went. They warned me that they had only put a gallon of gas in it so the first stop was a gas station. How do you get this thing open? In all the things that they had shown me, they had failed to mention that they had locked the gas cap. I remember spinning the thing around. Pulling on it. Looking for a hidden release. Finally realizing that it must be locked... I could see the people next to me thinking this guys riding a motorcycle and he doesn't even know where the gas cap is. Hey, I'm a rookie, give me a break!

The rest of the ride home was uneventful. Just a simple cruise up I-5. Back in those days you could actually do that on a Thursday afternoon. Not any more. By three o'clock I-5 northbound is a creeping parking lot.

My friend Mike had things to do headed home. With a wave so did I. The new bike was so smooth and tight. I kept thinking I was riding on a sewing machine. This was just too cool.




    A MONTH, A WEEK
    and A FEW DAYS

    Motorcycle Stories


    ODD TALES
    and STRANGE STORIES

    Truth blended with Fiction


    T O U R   L O G S    



    P H O T O   G A L L E R Y    



    I N   T H E   G A R A G E    

    Miscellany







    TOP    

  C. C. CROW     P. O. BOX 1427      MUKILTEO, WA   98275   USA