Jeff Thurmond, President

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The summer after my second year in college I had a job as a gas station attendant, back when someone would actually come out to your car and pump the gas and clean the windshield. The assistant manager had a re-painted 650cc Triumph Trophy; said it was a 1961. He gave me a ride one day and I was instantly in love. Having survived the Lucas electrics of a TR-3 and MGA, I bought the Triumph from him a few weeks later and passed my motorcycle license on a borrowed Cushman shooter since the Triumph scared me the first few weeks I had it. I learned later the bike Steve McQueen rode in the Great Escape was also a 1961 Triumph TR6 Trophy decked out to emulate a BMW R75. I should have known from that, that I should have gotten a BMW. The next year I sold the Triumph and got a used Bultaco. I recall it was about 200cc and being in Salt Lake City with lots of hills and mountains, I wanted to learn to ride off-road. I spent more time on the ground than on the bike and learned that I had zero off-road ability. Sold it the end of that summer and got a used Triumph the next year. Over the years I moved a few times and had mostly Hondas to ride, but when I moved from Chicago in 1975 to Washington DC I realized in two days my CB750 was too big for dodging traffic and I traded it for a new 1975 CB400F that I still own. During those years of riding I always looked with envy and longing whenever I saw a BMW ride past. Now there was a real motorcycle made to go on long rides. Up until my first BMW, a used 95 R1100R purchased a few years after I relocated back in SLC, my motorcycles had only been good for short trips due to lack of comfort and small fuel tanks, plus I was afraid to ride more than a hundred miles from my garage for fear of not getting back. The BMW opened new vistas for me with its handling and reliability. Today I think nothing of going on trips for thousands of miles with no fear of breakdowns or lack of comfort. My wife Marcia is also a long-rider with over 100,000 showing on the odo of her K1200LT. We have just 4 BMW’s including Marcia’s LT, and my R1100R, R1150RT and R65LS. The RT is great for the long rides, the Roadster is fun for canyons, but the most smiles per mile go to my CB400F and R65LS. I clearly have a passion for riding and know that sanity and mental freedom is achieved on two wheels.