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Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Thursday, 31 July 2008

Your Letters

Thread begun by  Paul Siebert

‘Hello Richard,

I’ve enjoyed the Jan. Newsletter. It took me back to the late ‘60s and the Four Winds Rally days when I first started riding BMWs.

You may remember a special lady, named Jean Rihl who was very involved in the Four Winds Rallies, and became the first Secretary of the BMWMOA. Jean and I have remained friends over the years and I would like to ask you to send her a copy of the January issue. Could you do that?

Thanks Richard,


Hello Jean,

I received the following e-mail message from Paul Seibert this morning. Paul is a good friend. Complying with his wish, please find copies of our club newsletters enclosed.

With Kind Regards,


Dear Richard,

No BMW for several years, but fond memories of my ‘66 R60 and years of involvement in the BMW world. It was a delight to visit with some old friends in the pages of your newsletter. I am enclosing a couple $$ for postage, and request, if possible, a copy of the January newsletter to Frank Diederich (address deleted), another vintage person. Frank was among the founders of BMWMOA, and a writer, and from both standpoints sure to enjoy your fine publication. Also enclosing a note to Bobsie Betjemann in the hope that she might put me once again in touch with Grace Butcher.

Thank you so very much.

Jean Rihl Dowds.

Dear Frank,

Recently, Paul Seibert requested that I send a copy of our newsletter to Jean Rihl Dowds. Jean then requested that I send you a copy  as well.

Please find enclosed. I do hope you enjoy the read.


Richard Sheckler

Letters,  April Meet at Sturgis:


WOW!    I had a great time this weekend at Bench Mark  Works. So many vintage bikes and a great bunch of people.Too much food, especially Saturday at Pap's CatfishShack. Bought a bunch of parts I needed from Craig and Elaine and then some deals from the vendors too. Went for a couple of nice rides and just plain relaxed. I got a chuckle out of the beer and liquor laws.You can buy booze in Sturgis but beer was 13 miles away in Starkville and was only sold warm! Great excuse to take our new friend Dutch for a road trip in the truck on a beer run after that wonderful pork supper. Load up the shopping cart at Wally World and head back to camp to deliver the beer orders and then some time under that bright southern moon making more friends and relaxing. Field events and laughter! An awesome ride to Ackermanon Saturday for dinner and then a fast ride back with the rebuilt carbs on the R69S. So much to list; very nice personal museum at the shop, the sedate old graveyard we camped in, the amount of knowledge just flowing from people, the pride folks took in displaying and explaining their machines, the band, the food, the people, putting faces to names. A great big Thanks! to Craig and Elaine and their staff and friends for hosting the whole thing!

Big Rapids, MI 

I came and returned with Duck.

I will also ad my BIG thanks to Vech and Elaine.Vech, you looked run over by Friday nite late when you ran us out of your museum and  the early hour of midnight. (Some host) Just kidding. I also learned much re: the R68 I brought and purchased parts to help get it back to operating condition. I left for the rally knowing it popped out of 1st, but at the rally I discovered no 4th either. I had my old "dependable" Ratier.

I will come next year if I have more time. Did a 950 mile trip from Sat 10PM ‘til Sun. 6PM. Dead tired, but it was worth it for all the nice people I met.

Dale Monson.
Big rapids, MI

Amen, Brother.

Carol & I just got back home here in Tucson. The dogs are dragging their tails. I'm wondering where I can find catfish cooked like that here in the Southwest.

Thanks to Vech, Elaine and everyone else who worked so hard to make the event such a success.We met lots of new folks, learned a lot and had the best time.

Now if we could only lobby the townsfolk of Sturgis to reconsider the "no beer" thing  ....Larry in Tucson, AZ

I couldn't be any more in line with Duck's experience at the rally. I stayed
until Monday to leave, so Sunday PM I went into town for dinner and a few beers only to find out "NO BOOZE ON SUNDAY'S ". Did manage to find some vodka with a new friend. This was the best Vintage rally I have ever been to.

Doug Long
Wilmot, NH 

Three of us from Ohio made the 14 hour drive and returned home to snow for the last three hours of driving. We all felt that it was a small price to pay to attend, if you missed it, we had all the fun.

Bruce Williams, Cortland, OH

Thank you Duck, for the kind words.

I believe everyone who attended had a great time. By Sunday morning I was one burned out guy... I got my first good nights sleep in 4 days, Sunday night.

Our associates from Bench Mark Works Canada filmed the whole thing. (I have not seen the edited, finished tape yet). We had 145 in attendance on this 1st  annual rally. Next year, the rest of you people need to come down South for fun.

Sturgis, MS

Henry Dirrigl Engine Update


Hope all is well with you and yours. My friend, Dave Carmean, told me that he met you at Vech's get-together. Sorry I missed it but traveling is not one of my favorite pastimes and flying there was out of the question.

The Dirrigl project is coming together slowly but surely. John Lacko's original Zabrocky Conversion has been tabled and while it will be a swing arm conversion it is going to more resemble the frame of the BMW race bike that is in the Barber Museum.

The fabricator and I have agreed that attaching true rear-set mounts to the frame is a far better solution than using existing foot-peg mounts. We've also decided on tube diameter and placement as well for the uprights off of the swing arm pivot casting.

The front of the frame will also have additional tubing from the down tubes to the back bone in an attempt to stiffen it and limit the possibility of "racking" which the /5, /6 and /7 frames are noted for unless they have the "box" braced. I believe CC products or San Jose used to or still sell a tube that bolts from the front to the back to aid in this situation.

The front end will either be my Cerriani GP fork or an R27 Earles setup which I have.

The tank will be fabricated here from aluminum and will somewhat resemble a RS 54 model although I want it a little different so it does not look like a "copy-cat".

I'm going to fabricate my own seat pan and have it covered either in an alcantara leather or suede. The fenders are going to be fabricated as well from scratch as the offerings available are too limited. I'm going to use 19" wheels and the fabricator will use the tire/wheel assembly to get his radius for a tire hugger fender!

The front brake is a toss-up at this juncture although I am seriously considering utilizing the TD2 GP Brake from my R50-S as returning that bike to "bone-stock" is a possibility. I also have the Munch brake that I bought from John had but still think it is entirely too heavy. Michael Morse
(Vintage Brake) is sourcing a few of his suppliers to see if something suitable might be out there in case I don't strip the R50-S.    

Otherwise, all is going as planned and I'm looking forward to a couple of other projects including the completion of what I call the "e-bay bastard that nobody wanted". This is an R69 that was the most complete and original bike I've ever bought and was actually sitting in barn!Believe it or not the seller actually delivered it to my door before being paid! Country folk are my kind of people and this guy didn't disappoint. He said it was all there and it was "all there".

If you follow the /2 list you might check the archives for a few quotes on this one. Our fellow listees lambasted the poor bike as if it were carrying the plague. Good for me that they didn't recognize a diamond in the rough. Perfect crank, original miles and 2 owners. Totally complete down to the advance mechanism and crossover resonator! Even had the original head pipes.
Finally; If you get near Virginia please let me know. Our farm is in the Shenandoah Valley and has some of the best motorcycling roads around these parts including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.    

Take care and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,
Tom Bridgers,
Richmond, VA

Hi Richard!  I can write something up about my trip to RRC-Tuning when I get back.  No photos, alas.    

I do plan to try to get to Dreher's shop tomorrow.  This is my second attempt.  Couldn't even find the little village he's in the first time.

I've had my fingers crossed about the VBMWMO bulletin being there.

Since I have had no more complaints about its lateness, I was hoping
that it was arriving.  As I know nothing more than the press release, I too am eager to see what the changes are all about.    

I spent the day riding (through) 7 passes in the Dolomites on my more modern R1100RS.  Today I'll probably ride in the hills around Lake Garda.  It's hot and humid here in Trento, and has been raining each afternoon, which has been quite a relief.  I'm not used to this kind of weather in Calif.

Darryl Richman,
Santa Cruz, CA

Hello Richard,    

Yes, I did find Dreher's shop. He did indeed buy out Kast, who wanted to retire at 75. Philip has a small, but nice, collection of prewar bikes, currently including 3 R12s, an R11, an R57, and, oh yeah, a CB-1100XX.

Perhaps what was most interesting is that the building doesn't mention anything about bikes. Dreher's *real* business is selling and servicing farm machinery. The last two rows of shelving in his warehouse have bike parts. Anyway, he's definitely an enthusiast.

--Darryl Richman


Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 July 2008 )
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