The On-Going Adventures of
GalacticGS is my "nom de plume" on the Adventure Rider Forum, which is a internet forum for anyone interested in adventure motorcycle riding. The forum attracts a varied collection of motorcycling enthusiasts that share their adventures and experiences - from reports (with pictures and videos) of their recent travels to technical tips, tricks, and bike modifications. Many of the participants have literally been around the world on their motorcycles; some are into off-road racing and rallies; and others are simply your average daily commuter that takes weekend trips now and then. Known to the participants as "The Asylum", the forum's motto is "Ride the World"!
I've been riding since I was about 14 years old when dear old Santa happened to leave a 1969 Kawasaki G3TR 90cc motorcycle under the Christmas tree (well, the keys were under the tree anyways). My grandparents had a cabin in the Southern California desert, and my first experiences were riding in the desert around the Yucca Valley area. It wasn't long before the lights were off the bike, and number plates were on, and I (and my brothers) began racing District 37 desert races.
Before long, we also had a Kawasaki 238cc Greenstreak. Originally meant to be a flat track racer, we modified it for off-road racing (remember when Koni's were the shock to have), and raced desert and enduros with it. Next bike for me was a 1971 DKW 125 with leading link forks, which I loved. A lot more desert racing, and some motocross racing throughout my high school years with that bike.
One year, I think it was 1972, I had the chance to pre-run Baja with some of the top racers of the day - Steve Hurd, Mike Patrick, and Phil Bowers. That was perhaps my first real "adventure ride." It was a great week of riding, hanging with the racers, exploring potential shortcuts for the route that year, etc. While staying one night at Mike's Sky Ranch, where several more motorcycle and car racers showed up, I still remember Bobby Ferro (running a buggy that year) challenging others to midnight racing on the mountain roads with the lights off.
During this time, my parents owned and ran a couple of motorcycle shops selling Kawasaki's, Husqvarna's, and other assorted brands (remember Monark?). So I had access to riding many various models of street and dirt bikes. In 1973, I took a ride from LA to Monterey to watch the AMA National Road Race at Laguna Seca. If I remember correctly, I rode a Kawasaki 350 or 400 triple, but my friend Jim (owner of the local BMW shop) rode his BMW. We ended up camping in Monterey with quite a few other BMW riders, and I do remember really taking a liking to the new BMW R90S models that some of them rode. I kept thinking that I might want to have a BMW some day, not realizing at the time that it would be over 30 years later before I'd have one.
I gave up riding while going to college. In the summer of 1977 after graduating college, I took a two week trip through California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada on a Kawasaki KZ650 with my father, my best friend, and his dad. We put in a lot of miles on most days, and camped out most of the time. That was another great adventure!
Then it was back to grad school; but after a year my brother (who also managed a Kawasaki dealership) developed health problems and I left school to help him out. I worked in my brother's Kawasaki dealership for a few years, and soon had bikes again. For the dirt, I picked up one of the very first Kawasaki KDX 175's. Back to some serious desert racing, with the occasional motocross thrown in. I always thought it was cool to ride my KDX 175 (with the lights turned on) in the 250 MX classes - and actually won a few times. During these years, I was also riding on the streets with various models of large Kawasakis (1000 LTD, and a couple of flavors of Z1R).
When my brother recovered from his health issues, I left the motorcycle shop for a job with a large engineering and construction firm around 1980. Soon, I was too busy to continue off-road racing and gave up the dirt bikes, but continued riding on the street. Then I gave up bikes altogether for several years after being transferred to Rochester, NY in 1988. Can't be without a bike for too long though, so I ended up with a Kawasaki KDX 200 with the intention of getting into eastern hare scrambles racing. I just couldn't find the time to get enough off-road riding and practice in however; and ended up selling the KDX and getting another street bike instead, a Kawasaki KZ1100.
In 2003, I moved from Rochester to the Portland, Oregon area, eventually settling in Camas, WA. In 2006, my adventures with the BMW 1200GS begin...