I don’t usually do this sort of thing on this blog but I’m very excited about a recent acquisition and wanted to shout about it. If that’s not okay with you, you can just scuttle off to one of the other dozen-or-so sites the Interweb has to offer. I even hear you can find nekked ladies on there.

I’m a big fan of vintage motorcycles and have had a 1973 BMW R75/5 for about five years and love, love, love it. For some time now, I’ve wanted to get a BMW motorcycle from the 1960s, just before they redesigned the bikes in 1970. They’re not horribly expensive (in fact, for what I paid for both of these bikes you couldn’t buy the crappiest new car) but the older bikes don’t come up for sale often. But a few weeks back, a biker friend of mine saw one for sale in LA, told me about it, and I snapped it up!  Damn, it’s a sweet ride! I’m so stoked I could choke. (Sound of choking) See?

Here are a few pics from an impromptu photo shoot I did in my driveway last week. Hope you enjoy my joy at least a little bit! To see the images bigger, click on any headlight.

BMW R50 WEBBMW R50 Dan WEBBMW CrashMode TriptychWEB

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68 Responses to Passions

  1. Michael Roth says:

    Great looking bikes! — And you Americans sure have funny motorcycle helmets!

  2. Pete Migli says:

    Nice /2, sir! I should’ve known that you are a fellow vintage beemerphile. :^)

  3. Mike Witte says:

    Congrats Dan, I had a 1972 R60/5 from 1975 to 1996, though I only rode it regularly for the first 10 years. They are simply superb machines. I love the absence of plastic on both these bikes, but the classic lines of those pre-1970 bikes are beautiful. Enjoy! (I know…you already are!)

  4. Shawn Lewis says:

    Nice ride. Nice hat.

    Do you carry a handkerchief? As they say, “The handkerchief makes the man…” ;)

  5. Dan says:

    Nice bikes bro-in-law. When we come to visit you can take us on some of those great roads I’ve heard about.

  6. Crookshanks Tammy says:

    Is that a leather jacket? Say it ain’t so!

    • Piraro says:

      Yup, it’s the motorcycle jacket I got on my 22st birthday in 1980. As a vegan, I no longer buy leather products but I’ve not buried the ones I had previously.

  7. Kelli Conlow says:

    VERRRYY nice ride! Do you belong to the BMW MOA? If not, check them out; lots of practical advice about the bikes and accessories, rallies, The Anonymous Book, etc. By the way, the National rally in 2014 is in Saint Paul, MN, very near where I live.

    That is a really sweet bike.

    • Piraro says:

      Yes, I’m a member, Kelli. I would LOVE to go the the rally in MN but I’m afraid it will never fit into my schedule and budget. :^{

  8. Lou Stoole says:

    About the 1973… was that the one that was wrecked in Brooklyn just before you moved to LA?

    • Piraro says:

      Yup, that’s the one. She stayed behind in the shop in Brooklyn for a LONELY SEVEN MONTHS before she was ready to ship out to SoCal. I missed her dearly!

  9. Ming the Merciless says:

    Now you need to get a Russian Ural with reverse and powered sidecar wheel(two wheel drive)$T2eC16VHJGgFFm5IQEm9BRgCwhg4iQ~~60_12.JPG

    Me? I upgraded to an ultralight airplane…I’ll bank and look down at you little things bobbing up and down the trails!

  10. Mike Fuchs says:

    Congrats Dan! You definitely look happy! Cool bikes. Enjoy.

  11. Garthster says:

    OMG: on a BMW! The Man himself. Jeez!

  12. Eric Simpson says:

    Very cool! Now you need a vintage side-car or two (one for each bike, although…).

    • Piraro says:

      I understand the impulse but I’m not a side-car fan. They take the “lean” out of motorcycle riding, which is the best part. :^}

      • Eric Simpson says:

        Good point. I just remembered once seeing a mom drop her kid off at a local elementary school–riding a BMW with the kid in the side-car–and thinking “that’s the coolest mom in the whole world!”

  13. Joe Metzeler says:

    Hope you enjoy your Beemers as much as I have mine!

    Joe Metzeler

  14. Greg Fitze says:

    I see you re-cycle.
    Road Worrier says ‘wear a helmet’ so it’s not I C U and then you’re re-cycled.
    They look cool.

  15. Ginger says:

    Ooooh…..will you give me a ride?

  16. Michael Tumlinson says:

    I miss my bike.

  17. 1967 r50/2 says:

    You have excellent taste!

  18. john mcduff says:

    Hi Dan, congrats on acquiring one of your wish list items. I love vintage bike as well, have had several, none right now, farting with old Miata. Love your work.

  19. I love your work and I really love the /2 you just bought! It is way cool!


  20. norman giemm says:

    The new/old bike would look good in a strip. Maybe with a sidehack with an alien in it?. N orm

  21. JRB says:

    Nice! Good job Dan.

    To see the images bigger, click on any headlight.

    Hey… wait a minute. I clicked on the picture anywhere and it made it bigger!

  22. Patrick Malone says:

    Congratulations, Dan!
    She’s a beauty!

  23. Helen Without The H says:

    Whoooaa! Slow down rounding those driveway curves!

  24. Draigg says:

    Dan, I share in your joy! I once had a “vintage” bike. A 1975 Honda CB750. Of course, I had it in the late 70′s, so it wasn’t exactly vintage at the time. I’ve ridden for many years and know the thrill of two wheels all too well. Hope you enjoy both of your Beemers to the fullest!!!


    ps. have you seen the trailer for “Why We Ride”? I think this says it all, if not most of it….

  25. Razvan says:

    Nice bikes! Do you also ride them? some people grow so attached to these vintage things (be it cameras or bikes) that they tend to forget their original purpose: to be used :)

    • Piraro says:

      I know what you mean and it drives me crazy. I ride almost daily. I’d never collect something I didn’t intend to use. Not my style.

  26. Alice C. says:

    Congratulations on your vintage ride!

    But please, Poobie, wear a more substantial helmet when you cruise the streets? The Pickles don’t want to lose you (and your brilliant toonage) to an unfortunate, accelerated contact with asphalt.

    • Piraro says:

      I wear lots of protection when I ride. I’m good enough at sitting on a stationary bike to get away with just a hat, though. I rarely fall off anymore. :^}

  27. Cool bike. Enjoy the ride!

    –Scottie Sharpe
    Scottie’s Workshop
    San Jose CA

  28. Roger says:

    Really nice bikes! The R nineT is probably too new for you but should fit you image perfect. ;) Ride safe!

  29. Mary C says:

    There is no way you will get anyone to ride on that p-pad.

    • Piraro says:

      I’ve got a full-size seat on order for just that purpose. I wouldn’t perch on that wallet-sized seat, either. :^}

      • Mary C says:

        It looks like one of those suction on p-pads. Better than a cocktail napkin at least. I’ve ridden a lot of older Harleys, Indians. It’s rough enough in the main seat let alone the rear seat. I only rode on the back of an antique bike once, never again!

        • Piraro says:

          Yeah, it’s a “lick-n-stick” pad. I’ve got a real seat on order which should arrive in a few days. I wouldn’t let a living human ride on that little seat unless I was the beneficiary of their life insurance.

  30. Bill Costa says:

    The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. As someone who appreciates vintage vehicles, I fully understand and congratulate on your most recent acquisition. Watch out Jay Leno, there’s another bad ass collector in town!

    • Piraro says:

      Haha. It recently occurred to me that any one of Jay’s thousands of cars cost four times (or more) what both of my bikes cost.

  31. Rob says:

    Nice, the older bike really does have that classic style. You should trade the 70′s bike for an old british cafe racer :)

  32. Ian Schmeisser says:

    Been a follower for a very long time, and a BMW rider for even longer. Glad to see that you found the love in a /2.

  33. Cindy says:


    Please wrap yourself in bubble wrap before you venture out. People tend to not see riders. If you had a side car you could take your puppy for a spin, but it does loose the fun of tilting/turning. =)

    Be safe.

  34. David WIndhorst says:

    Interesting things get said when people talk bikes. We like what we like. “Character is what you are in the dark,” as Lord John Whorfin said (or was it Dr. Emilio Lizardo?).

    What attracts you to vintage stuff in general, and Beemers specifically? What sort of old bicycles tickle your boat?


    David, a motorcycle rider since 1968 and a former bicycle repair guy (but not like in the Python sketch)

    • Piraro says:

      I’m not sure. When I was a child in the sixties, I had a red rubber motorcycle with a rider on it. The wheels turned but nothing else moved. It was one of my favorite toys and had the look and shape of the ’68 Beemer I just bought. I think that was when I fell in love with motorcycles and imprinted on that vintage styling. I got into BMWs when a mechanic friend of mine in Brooklyn sold me the ’73. I had had a BMW car and it was the best vehicle I’d ever owned, so I trusted the brand. My mechanic sang the praises of BMW bikes and I trusted him. I’ve always loved that bike and had no problems with it, so it became a brand loyalty thing.

      Another dream bike of mine is an early ’70s Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

      My taste in bicycles is fairly wide. I love the pre-1950s bikes with the metal “gas tank” and headlight on the fender. I have a ’48 Schwinn Streamliner that belonged to my dad when he was a boy, and a modern Petersen-Cooper with I bought about seven years ago. I also love the “chopper” bikes from the sixties and used to have a Schwinn Grey Ghost. Again, that bike is something I yearned for as a child but never got. I guess I’m a victim of arrested development. :^}

  35. Mac says:

    Nice rides, sir. And you live in a climate where you can enjoy them year-round.

  36. Edwin Letcher says:

    Nice vintage cowboy boots too!! You got transportation covered in spades!

    • Piraro says:

      Yeah, I’m super happy with my cowboy boots. As an ethical vegan, I won’t buy leather when there is any chance it might profit the procurers. But I was at a vintage motorcycle rally one day and saw a booth full of used boots of all kinds. I’d been looking for EXACTLY the right color, shape, size, and style of cowboy boots for years and in this booth, I found them! I asked the lady how much, she said, “$80.” I was about to snap them up but kind of kidded with her first by saying, “Aww, that’s more than I wanted to spend,” and she instantly said, “Okay, I’ll give them to you for $40.” NOT kidding! One of my best acquisitions in a long time. :^}

  37. absolutely gorgeous…both of them. I love how happy you look in your pictures with the bikes…congratulations!!!

  38. Usman says:

    I have been reading your comics since I was a kid. Yours were always the funniest in the whole newspaper comics’ section. Needless to say I have grown up to be a very twisted man.

    On another note, being a passionate motorcycle lover and owner of an old motorcycle that I try to maintain myself, I congratulate you on your purchase and wish you lots of happy rides to come. I’ve read that you’ve mentioned your love for Moto Guzzi Eldorado, I am myself a big fan. Although I love the V7 from the 70s way more. And I dream of owning the 1976 Norton Commando one day. Ride on!

    Cheers from Pakistan

    • Piraro says:

      Great to hear from you, thanks for the compliments! What kind of bike to you have now?

      • Usman says:

        I have a 1992 Yamaha SRV250. It was a retro themed bike manufactured by Yamaha from 1992 to 1997. Discontinued to due lack of popularity and hence now is a rare collectible. I have the ‘classic’ version. V-twin engine, and customised in matt army green colour with army green canvas saddlebags. When I bought the bike, it was a battered piece of junk in some shady mechanic’s graveyard of old motorcycles. Now it’s my gorgeous lady.

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