Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BMW R100RS Motorcycle Collector Series Book by Bill Stermer

When it was first released in 1977, BMW's new R100RS caused a sensation. This elegant motorcycle sported a revolutionary wedge-shaped fairing that offered the rider near total enclosure for unparalleled comfort and protection. When fitted with optional saddlebags it sang the song of the open road that BMW riders cherished: long distances at high speeds with comfort and convenience.

The first modern motorcycle with a frame-mounted fairing, it was not only the most stunning BMW model, but with its new 980cc flat-twin motor, also the most powerful. Soon, a vast aftermarket sprang up around it with all sorts of updates for its suspension, handling and power.

The R100-RS had a charmed life of sorts. Once the K-series four-cylinder line was released in Europe in 1984, BMW discontinued the R100 series twins. Enthusiasts protested, pleaded, demanded, and BMW responded by re-releasing an updated R100 series, including the RS, in 1988.

Though the R10ORS was last manufactured in 1993, it continues to live on as one of the most recognizable and ground-breaking motorcycles of our time. Long-time motorcycle journalist Bill Stermer, who has owned both versions of the MOORS, writes an insightful insider's view of this storied machine.

The Whitehorse Press Motorcycle Collector Series covers landmark motorcycles—machines that have altered the direction of motorcycling and inspired loyalty among their owners.


When introduced for the 1977 model year, the BMW R100RS was the most exotic and expensive motorcycle sold in the United States. With its wedge-shaped fairing, driveshaft, and legendary BMW flat-twin, air-cooled engine, the bike repre­sented long distances at high speeds, elegance, class, reliability, and unruffled travel at the very pinnacle of motorcycling.

The RS was produced through 1984, then the 1,000cc air-cooled twin line was dropped as BMW turned its attention to its liquid-cooled line of 1,000cc K100 fours and 750cc K75 triples. Usually, when a model is dropped, that's the end of the story.

But incredibly, because of popular demand, BMW refined and reintroduced the R100RS (and other R100 twins) after several model years. By the time it had run its course in 1993, the RS had come to be regarded as one of the most beautiful and functional motorcycles ever made. This is the story of where it came from, what it was like to ride, and what it meant to motorcycling.

When Dan Kennedy of Whitehorse Press men­tioned that he wanted to publish a series of books about significant motorcycles that had inspired an enduring passion among their loyal followers, I knew immediately what my first contribution had to be.

I have owned an example of both a twin-shock and a Monolever RIOORS, and today own an ex­ample of its successor, the R I 100RS that debuted in 1994. You might call me an RS fanatic.

I have been a motorcyclist since high school, and in 1978 became an associate editor of Cycle, which at the time was the largest-circulation motorcycle magazine in the world. Two years after riding an RS through Europe in 1979, I bought one and put more than 100,000 miles on my red/smoke twin-shock. I rode it all over the United States, modified it, rode it on the track at several of Reg Pridmore's CLASS performance riding schools, commuted on it, and took weekend trips and vacations. When I married Margery it served as our honeymoon vehicle. In 1990 I joined the staff of Ridermagazine as editorial director, a position I held four years. Later, when I knew the R10ORS was going away for good, I bought a blue 1992 Monolever and put 26,000 miles on it.

So to riders everywhere—whatever you ride—may all bikes serve as well and reliably, and deliver as much satisfaction as the RS-series BMW twins have delivered to me.

2002 BMW R100RS Motorcycle Collector Series Book by Bill Stermer available at

1974 Ducati 750 SS - why is it so collectible?

Cover: 1974 Ducati 750 SS

Cover Story: 1974 Ducati 750 SS - In 1972, the Ducati factory came away as the big winner of a 200 mile road race held at Imola, Italy. This victory led to the introduction in 1973 of a limited edition replica called the 750 SS that was legal for street use. Our cover story tells what this machine is all about and why it is so collectible.

Contents: Cover Story: 1974 Ducati 750 SS - what this machine is all about and why it is so collectible; 9th Annual British Motorcycle Day in Olney, Md.; Dirt Tracking in the 1970's; The Return of the Racing Sidecar; 1917 Excelsior Project Bike Update; Best of Vintage Mounts Color Photography - 1938 BSA M-20, 1926 Harley-Davidson Peashooter; more

1992 August Motorcycle Collector Magazine Back-Issue - Ducati available at

Elmer Lower's 1950 Indian Chief went from a basket case to a show winner / rider.

Cover: Elmer Lower's 1950 Indian Chief went from a basket case to a show winner / rider.

Contents: Bomber bikes -a new twist to the old bike racing scene - late '70s motocrossers have a new series!; Road-Eating Indian - Elmer Lower's '50 Indian Chief went from basket to beauty. And it's ridden - a lot.; Flying Right - Cathcart gets the inside line on one of Australia's baddest bikes, Rex Wolfenden's CB750 based Honda Four; How to Heli-Coil - stripped threads? Fear not. We show you the best and easiest methods to fix them; more

1997 May Old Bike Journal Motorcycle Magazine Back-Issue - Indian available at

A Rare early photo of Tom Paradise and Brownie Betar, Indian Motorcycle Dealer

Cover: A rare early photo of Tom Paradise (on machine) and Brownie Betar. Very few have seen Brownie at this early age, or looking this young, before he became an Indian dealer at Albany, NY.

Contents: Hillclimbing Motorcycle Daredevil; Vintage Notebook; Reader Rides; Wild Men on Wheels; Upcoming events; Old Iron at Tulare; Classified Ads; more

1989 Jan./Feb. The Vintage Cycle Motorcycle Magazine Back-Issue - Indian available at

1970 Mechanix Illustrated - The New Motorbikes in full color!

Cover: Suzuki T-500 Titan.

Contents: Motorbikes in Color: Bikes Get Bigger; The Supercycles; The Mini-Bike Scene; A Hard Way to Go - Professional motorcycle racing and the movie "Little Fauss and Big Halsy"; more

1970 June Mechanix Illustrated How-To Magazine Back-Issue - Suzuki available at

Monday, June 28, 2010

1949 It's Gypsy Tour Time!

Cover: Picturesque Door County, Wisconsin, was the setting for this 1947 gypsy tour and rally. similar scenes are about to be re-enacted during this 1949 gypsy tour season. See page 8 for gypsy tour story.

Contents: It's Gypsy Tour Time!; Most popular and typical girl rider; Real fun found in Cow-Trailing; Who won and where; The Clubs; Cycle Chatter; The Girls; Lightweights; Muffler Mike; Bike-ographies; Calendar of Gypsy Tours; Editorials - Laconia will be Quiet; more

1949 May American Motorcycling Motorcycle Magazine available at

1957 U.S. National Museum Bulletin 213 - Automobiles and Motorcycles

AUTOMOBILES AND MOTORCYCLES in the U.S. National Museum, by Smith Hempstone Oliver, Smithsonian Bulletin 213, 1957. Softcover book, good (spine sun-tanned, covers have light wear; text clean). 157 pages, with index. Numerous illustrations.

1957 U.S. National Museum Bulletin 213 - Automobiles and Motorcycles available at

1958 Vintage Harley-Davidson Hummer Brochure

Hold that smile! He's riding a new Harley-Davidson Hummer. Plenty of smiles to the miles with this practical set of fun wheels. Ideal, economical transportation. Takes you anywhere - whether it's off to the beach...on a errand...or back and forth to school, shop, or office. And, anyone can learn to ride. Just sit back in the foam-rubber-filled saddle, release the hand clutch lever and you're off - it's as simple as that! Safe too! Giant front and rear brakes stop you on a dime. Large headlight, tail-light and new stoplight give you perfect night-time safety. Topping the list of Hummer highlights is the super-economy, fuel-miser engine that delivers up to 100 miles per gallon. Get yourself some new smiles...get a set of fun wheels - ride the amazing Harley-Davidson Hummer!

Original, vintage Harley-Davidson Hummer brochure. Includes descriptions of features and brief specifications.

Measures 13 1/4" x 17 1/2" when fully opened. (34cm x 44cm)

1958 Vintage Harley-Davidson Hummer Brochure available at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1960 Fort Bragg 82nd Airborne Division Motorcycle Scrambles

Cover: After a very successful scrambles event at Fort Bragg, General Harvey Jablonsky, assistant division commander, Combat Army, 82nd Airborne Division, presented the winners their trophies on the patio of the N.C.O. club. Pictured from left are: O'Dell Cable referee; Arnold Tomblin, lightweight winner; General Jablonsky; Tom Clark, heavyweight winner; and Major Gee W. Parmley, special service officer, 82nd Airborne Division.

Contents: Clark & Tomblin All American Scrambles winners; Motorcycling in the Grand Canyon State; Another motorcycle Road-E-O; Award winning club, the Rumble Bees; St. Paul Minneapolis Cycle Show; Laconia Calling; more

1960 May American Motorcycling Motorcycle Magazine Back-Issue available at

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