Cannonball Sam's picture


Let me first introduce myself. I am Samantha Lucas and have known Darryl since 1997. I am an avid motorcyclist and have ridden all over the world, America, Europe, and India. Unfortunately I don't own a vintage bike so I am blessed to live vicariously through Darryl, his vintage exploits and Team #52. I plan to follow the team in spirit this year as I couldn't go along physically, so I will help to update and maintain this blog for Darryl and the team. I will do my best to keep everyone up to date on what developments are happening as each leg is completed.

Here we go...

Welcome to the Motorcycle Cannonball 2014, Team boxer Rebellion returns! It has been a long and full 2 years preparing for this year's Cannonball. We within Team Boxer Rebellion are extremely excited to be participating again in this amazing event. We start the race in Datona Beach, FL this coming Friday, September 5th. Whew! It has been a whirlwind. We are now all in Daytona completing the final preparations for the race. The race ends in Tacoma, Washington on September 21st. A whopping 3928 miles across our great USA.

The race this year has 107 participants and 7 BMW's. here is the list of BMW bikes participating;

#8 ......Joe Gimpel from Daytona Beach riding a 1928 BMW R52 again this
#20 ....Denis Sharon on a 1936 R12.
#23 ...Team HMS (Historic Motorcycle Society) based in Jax, FL, again ridden
by Norm Nelson. Bike owned by collector Jack Wells.
#52 ...Darryl Richman from Santa Cruz returns on his 1928 R52.
#53 ...John Landstrom from Atlanta and owner of Blue Moon BMW will be riding
a 1928 R62 .
#62 ...Scott Blaylock will be riding another 1928 R62.
#63 ...Alabama's Eric Bahl will be riding a 1929 R63.
Exciting that the field has more then doubled for BMW's from 2012.

After healing up after the last race Darryl set to healing the 1928 BMW R52. It was completely apart, in pieces, on the garage floor a few short months ago. After a few trips to Germany over the last 2 years in search of parts and getting some of the damaged parts repaired, rebuilt or replaced Darryl has reassembled the whole bike with only a month to spare for the necessary break in rides. Whew, again! Task master Darryl is at work again for this year's race.

The team: Darryl Richman from Santa Cruz, CA, our fearless leader. Steve Woodward from Oregon returns for his 2nd Cannonball as crew for Team Boxer Rebellion. So does Don Cameron from New Mexico who serves as a much valued crew member. We also welcome our new team member Brent Hanson to the team this year who will travel and consult as the head mechanic.

Darryl and Brent set out from Santa Cruz last week with the bike, headed to New Mexico where they picked up Don and the trailer that Don has outfitted so nicely for the race. See some of the photos below. They then drove the on together to Daytona, FL for the last few days of prep and the start of the race on Friday. Steve arrives today in Florida to get to work.


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Darryl.Richman's picture

Riding the R52

As I mentioned in the comments in my previous post, I love to get people interested in what it's like to ride the R52. Most are quite intimidated, because the controls are so foreign to what a modern rider is used to. Even the clutch and front brake levers, which are in their normal places, pivot the wrong way.

Here's a picture of the most important rider controls:

As mentioned, you have the clutch and front brake in the usual places, but the levers pivot from the outside. This means you have to get used to reaching for them with your index fingers, and I do mean reach.

There are three thumblevers on the handlebars: the spark timing on the left and the choke and throttle ganged together on the right. There's no twist grip, and I find that I must ride with the palms of my hands against the grips so I can manipulate these levers with my thumbs.

This is a hand shift bike with a three speed transmission, and the shift lever is on the right; the same side as the throttle lever. This can complicate downshifting somewhat.

Finally, we have the rear brake, which must be modulated with your right heel. Just to use it, you have to learn to lift your foot and put it down in the right spot to hit the lever with your heel.

Besides these, there's the swing-out kickstarter on the left side, the engine kill button on the left handlebar by the spark lever, and the combination horn button and mechanical high/low beam lever on the right handlebar. There is no key of any sort, the bike is always ready to ride. The headlight and taillight are operated by a big knob on the back of the headlight shell.

Here's a demonstration of how to start the bike:

Actually, that misses a couple things right at the start. First, the petcock must be opened, then the tickler on the carb must be held down until some gas overflows; this is usually about a 15 count. The spark must be fully retarded, the choke opened about 1/3 and the gas opened about 1/2. When the engine fires, the spark needs to be advanced some, the choke opened fully and the gas closed to the stop for idling. Of course, this only applies when the engine is cold.

To first get going, you have to pull the clutch lever and pull the shift lever up into first; if it won't go in, the bike needs to be rolled forward or backward slightly until it does go in. Then some gas is given with the throttle lever and the spark is advanced gradually as the clutch is released and the engine speeds up.

When it's time to shift into 2nd, it really gets busy. You have to understand that, while 1st and 3rd gears on the transmission output shaft are, like any modern motorcycle, always in mesh with their counterparts, the two gears that mesh for 2nd gear are not. This leaves the rider in the position of trying to get them spinning at the same speed so they won't grind badly when they are meshed. The gear on the output shaftwill be turning at a speed relative to the rear wheel, but its counterpart will be spinning at the engine speed, or not at all if the clutch is pulled. This is where double clutching comes in.

First, the clutch has to be pulled and the transmission shifted into neutral, and the throttle lever pushed closed to let the engine begin to fall to idle. At this moment, there are three independent moving parts that need to be synchronized: the engine and clutch, the input shaft, and the output shaft, final drive and rear tire. The way to do that is to let the clutch out, which connects the first two items together to match their speed and then finish the shift by clutching and shifting up (pushing down on the shift lever) into second. Now it is time to open the throttle a bit while releasing the clutch lever.

The upshift into 3rd isn't as bad, because 3rd (and 1st) are always in mesh. So clutch, close the throttle, push the shift lever all the way down, give it some gas and release the clutch.

Downshifting to 2nd is the most work. There's a false neutral position on the shift lever between 2nd and 3rd that needs to be found (no detent for it that you can feel). Once shifted into this neutral and releasing the clutch, the rider must move his right hand from the shifter up to the throttle, "blip" the throttle to bring up the engine and input shaft speed, before returning to the shifter, declutching and making the shift into 2nd. Watch as I do it here:


Complicated Controls

Jim Hansen's picture

Sheesh...I'll never complain about the confusing turn signal switches on my '78 R100RS again.

Well, that's a point where

Darryl.Richman's picture

Well, that's a point where the R52 is right up to date! It has automatic turn signal cancelation. I mean, you can't keep your left hand out there all day, you'll need it to clutch after you turn...

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Alternative Shift Technique

Drew Grant's picture

Another way to change down is to make use of the kill button.

Start with the gas set a little high, now hit the kill button, declutch and go into the false neutral.

Now release clutch and kill button, let your revs rise, declutch again and shift to second.

Doing it this way means you do not need to take your hand away from the shift lever, it is a little quicker and saves you from the grab for the throttle lever and back to the shift.

Takes a bit of practice and you can also use it to change up by not releasing the kill button till you have shifted into the higher gear.

I use this on my '29 Triumoh which has a similar crash second gear transmission and lever throttle set up, it's also useful on the R12 and sidecar (it's better than reaching across the tank and changing clutchless on the kill button which was the old hand-shift racing technique).


Interesting ideas, Drew! The

Darryl.Richman's picture

Interesting ideas, Drew! The engine fires again when the kill button is released because the heavy flywheel is still spinning the motor, I presume?

The downshift into 2nd is a very busy time. I should have included the maneuver at real time to show that in the little video.

The kill button can be used to slow before and during a turn instead of the long process of downshifting, when it is appropriate. You can scare following riders with the backfire when you release the kill button, too. Smile

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Whew! Not for me, I am afraid!

jeff dean's picture

I enjoyed reading about how you operate and ride an R52, but I could not grasp it all.

I am too old to learn all that.

Tickling the carbs and kicking my R60/2s, R69S, R51/3, R68, and R25/3 are enough for me, thank you Smile

I had a prewar bike once. That was enough. The BMWs from the 1950s and 1960s I ride almost daily are wonderful to ride and I can actually operate their controls!


miller6997's picture

When I was in college I had a job driving a manure truck for a gigantic chicken ranch. The truck was a mid-fifties cab-over GMC with a four-speed main transmission, a three-speed "Brownie" auxiliary gearbox, and a two-speed rear axle--twenty-four combinations. I thought that was complicated but your routine makes it look simple.

'67 R69S
'05 R1200RT

I did 2600 miles of it across

Darryl.Richman's picture

I did 2600 miles of it across most of the US. It's work in traffic, that's for sure, because you must anticipate what everyone around you is doing and take preventative actions as well as just driving the bike. And there are speeds the bike likes and those it can't do, based on where the torque is in each gear. You sometimes have to direct traffic to get people to stop following you and pass where it's safe, or just pull off the road to get the idea across.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

A cast back to a better time in motoring

Liam Borand's picture

Am I the only person who thinks that driving these days is just too easy?! All this new technology and new advances in automotive design and performance are just taking away the fun and enjoyment that driving is all about. To me, bikes like this represent a lost era in driving. They are a cast back to a better time, when driving took skill and knowledge. These days, virtually anyone can jump in a car or on a bike and they're away. They are even working on self drive cars for god sake! Come on guys, this just isn't what driving is about! Motoring is fun and should always remain fun! No one really wants to be driven about all over the they?!

Controls - thanks

Al Kuenn's picture

Darryl, that is a great article and I am really enjoying the whole series. I forgot how involved the whole process is with these old bikes. Its easy to take for granted how much is 'done for us' on our newer bikes. Thanks again for all these articles.

Very Cool!

spo123's picture

Thanks for the instruction....Well "spoken"......COMPLICATED!
Heal up and get WELL!

Best wishes always,

Sneaking onto your list to say "Hello"

Jeff Alperin's picture

So -- hello. And, Happy New Year. How's your leg? Can you please give us the full description of how you clutch it?

Hi Jeff! Hope things are

Darryl.Richman's picture

Hi Jeff! Hope things are going well for you and "The Beast"! I have an appointment this morning with my orthopedist and I hope that this is the last one! I'm getting around fine, and although I'm not at 100% yet, I can see it from here.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

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Darryl.Richman's picture

"Hopalong" Back Home

Sorry about the long delay in posting. I find it difficult to touch type from a reclining position, which has really been the only comfortable one I can stay in for a reasonable length of time right now. Getting around on crutches is difficult, especially as my house's bedroom and kitchen are on the second floor.

As to my foot, things are good and getting better. I scrunched the #2, 3 and 4 metatarsals, the bones behind the actual toe bones in the front of the foot. I pushed them over against #5, the pinkie. The emergency room doctor in Ukiah said I had to have emergency surgery, and he put them back in place and held them there with two temporary pins. (Temporary is about 4 weeks, but from here that seems like forever.)

On Thursday I went to a local orthopedist, and he agreed that the procedure was exactly the right thing I needed, and the job was well done. Underneath the cast there are about five stitches and two little pinholes, where the pins don't quite stick out anymore. I got a new cast and a return date in three weeks. The pins are slightly problematic; because they are under the skin, they could create an infection source, so I'm also on antibiotics for the next two weeks.

So long as I don't put weight on the foot or twist it, and I let the blood pressure gradually build up before I rise, my foot has no pain. Other than taking a couple Advil at the accident scene, I haven't needed any pain killers for it.

Because my garage is a bit of a hike, I haven't actually seen the bike yet. Everyone tells me that it's in better shape than could be expected, but I know that this can mean very little. The frame or forks could be significantly bent and it wouldn't be obvious from a casual glance, for example.

The van, which had yet more problems in the last couple days of the Cannonball, is at the local shop. They tell me that the Sprinter, which popped its "turbo resonator" (a plastic muffler on the turbo intake) on the way to NY, now has actually openned up the turbo itself. This got oil both into the exhaust header, coating the oxygen sensor, and into the intake tract, covering the temperature sensor. A replacement turbo will take several days to source, and in that time the shop will try to see if these sensors can be saved. I'm looking at about two grand in repairs...

I'm contemplating where to go with the cylinders and pistons on the R52. If you've managed to read through the blog, you might recall that I started with a second set of cylinders/pistons/rings/valves. I didn't realize that the valves in this second cylinder had a different stem diameter and valve keeper configuration than the cylinders I was running at the start.

When I broke the right piston, I wanted to just swap cylinder sets; that had been my plan all along. But I had expected to be able to move the valve spring seats, springs, keepers and collets over from one set to the other. When we discovered the difference with the valve stems, we spent a couple days during the Cannonball trying to figure out what change to make. We thought that a machine shop would be able to change the ends of the valves or the collets to adapt them to each other, but we couldn't find one that would do that. In the end, the original cylinders were bored to match the pistons from the new set, which had a larger diameter than the originals (which were themselves a 3rd overbore).

The new pistons turned out to be poorly made and are not a long term option. I will probably have 2 sets of pistons made for the cylinders at their current diameter. I will also be looking for the seats, springs, keeepers and collets to make the second set of cylinders useful on their own.

I also suspect that the continuing head gasket problems we had probably led to the one piston breaking. It was probably thermally shocked on more than one occasion, and this probably led to its demise. We believe that the head gasket problem itself may have been a result of not torquing down the head nuts several times, each after a thermal cycle. At least, that approach seemed to prevent a gasket failure for the last 2+ days of the Cannonball. As we had failures both with the heads I had on the bike and with the heads that Vech so very kindly overnighted to us from his own R52, I cannot attribute the problem to the heads being warped.

Speaking of Vech, I cannot overemphasize the help and encouragement that I received, and that Team Boxer Rebellion received. Vech was a standout among many people who made the whole thing possible. My teammates, Jeff Wu and Samantha Lucas, who did photography and videoing, were great. I absolutely couldn't have done this without the help of Steve Woodward and Don Cameron, who both spent long hours working on the bike, sourcing parts, fixing the van and dealing with the hotels along the way. They were probably more tired than I was at the end of each night.

I want to again thank my sponsors, who either through parts or cash, helped to defray some of the cost of this adventure.

I also want to heartily thank all of the supporters who bought Team Boxer Rebellion stuff from my website. (You can still buy stuff, btw, if you want to.) Because of a glitch in the webserver, Steve wasn't able to send out any orders after about Sturgis, and now that that is fixed, I find it difficult to put together the mailer boxes. Regardless, those who have orders pending, I will send them out somehow this week. Your generosity is wonderful, and you are all a part of Team Boxer Rebellion.

Last, but certainly not least, I must thank all of you who followed along here, at the Motorcycle Cannonball site, on Facebook, at the Antique Motorcycle Club site or, especially, were able to come out and cheer us on along the route. Believe me, it was great, and I hope we never seemed too busy to chat.



Bruce Williams's picture

When I restored my R-17, after trying several manufacturers, I was able to get pistons from Aries, they matched the gram weight, pin diameter, and valve clearance cutaways. You will have to find a source that has a blank to fit your requirements. For valve guides, I sourced a bar of Meenanite ( a type of self lubricating cast iron) suitable for our motors. Made the valves from SS truck valves and shortened them, cut keeper grooves and flame hardened the stem ends. I was able to use chevy springs and keepers. Sorry to hear of the broken foot, I talked with Jack Wells almost every day and tracked the progress, what a fine adventure to have.

Take care, Bruce

Daryl, Sorry to hear of your

Jay Whyte's picture

Sorry to hear of your mishap. You are a lucky man. Get well soon.
Regards, Jay Whyte
Santa Cruz


Peter Schildhause's picture

Offer a free ride on the back for everyone who donates $200 for the repair. Or perhaps for $500 one could be pilot in command for a 5 mile stretch of quiet road.

A ride on the back would be

Darryl.Richman's picture

A ride on the back would be very uncomfortable. The parcel rack is quite unforgiving and lacks ... support ... in ... important places.

Actually, I'm quite enthusiastic about getting people interested in these very old bikes. But the controls are quite intimidating; little other than the clutch and front brake levers -- which even then pivot from the outside -- are what we modern riders are used to. And now that Peter Nettesheim has taught me how to double clutch and preserve my 2nd gear, it's even more work to ride one of these beasts.

--Darryl Richman
"Bling is not made in Germany" --OTL, 12/05

Hope you and the R52 are both

mookie58's picture

Hope you and the R52 are both better quickly and back on the road soon.

Curious About Repairs

Jim Hansen's picture


Please keep us informed about the repairs. I'm especially curious about any repairs/mods re. the blown headgaskets and piston seizures, and maybe also about those crazy, solid, non-pivoting, too-low, death-trap floorboards.


P.S. I'll take a short ride on the back on that parcel rack if you pay me $200.

R 17's and riding on luggage racks

R66RODENT's picture

I had an R17 which I bought for $300 in 1966. The kid who sold it to me thought it was very advanced for 1936, because it had a "rigid frame, just like a flat-track racer".We used to ride it around Cambridge with my wife sitting on a sofa pillow on the rack. One afternoon we hit a particularly nasty pot-hole on Mass. Ave, and the second thing that came down after she returned to her perch on the rack, was her fist on the back of my helmet. "Sell this fucking pig", she yelled. Which I did several weeks later, encouraged somewhat by the recent demise of the crankpin. I sold it to Amol Precision for what I had in it. The bike was very original-at least to my untutored eyes. I had no idea when I bought it, that BMW only made 400 R17's. Anyway Darryl, whatever you decide to do about putative passengers on your luggage rack, I hope you heal up fast and well, and that you get the R52 sorted out soon.

So sorry to hear about the

macfly's picture

So sorry to hear about the mishap, I'd been away from the site for a while, and just came back to discover this. Hope that the healing is going well, and you'll be back in the saddle in no time.

All the best, Andrew


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Darryl.Richman's picture

Disappointment and an Apology

As I write this, I am lying comfortably in my hospital bed at Ukiah Valley Medical Center. I haven't yet seen the doctor this morning, but I assume that the surgery on my foot to insert a couple pins to stabilize the number 2, 3 and 4 metatarsals yesterday evening went well. I have not seen, but am told, that the R52 is in surprisingly good shape.

I am disappointed, not so much for myself, but for my teammates and everyone who has supported Team Boxer Rebellion and has been following our trials and tribulations. After finally working through a number of problems and getting help from other teams and even wonderful help from Brent Lamb (Lamb Cylinder) and Fred Wiley at Big Twin BMW in Boise, and from Vech (Bench Mark Works) and Brent (Brent's Motor Works), things were looking up.

I want to apologize deeply for letting everyone down. Steve and Don put in countless tireless hours and were helpful at every point. So to have ended our run by having an accident is a bitter pill for me. I am extremely sorry.

There's not much to relate: we were back in California and the route was going down CA-1 from Leggett to Westport, which I wrote about previously. This is a favorite road of mine. The bike was running well and, about 10 miles down, I was having a great time. But I went through a corner and tried to lean the bike beyond its cornering clearance, which is limited by the floorboards. I scraped the bottom of the left floorboard and levered the rear tire free, then the bike and I, probably travelling about 25mph, took a tangent out of the curve and over the edge. This area is very steep with loose dirt and lots of trees. I was extremely lucky that the bike was hooked by a young tree, which hung onto both the bike and me.

I managed to climb back up to the road. I could feel that my left foot was sore, and I got my boots off, with Jeff Wu's help. The top of my foot was swollen, but so long as I didn't try to put weight on the foot, not painful. Jeff had some Advil and I kept the foot elevated by lying on the ground and propping my left leg on Jeff's bike's footpegs. Lonny Isam, the organizer, was among the first people to come by, and he was very helpful. Eventually a tow truck arrived, and with the help of a number of riders, they retrieved the bike. Jeff had called Steve, who returned from Willits with our support van, and the bike was loaded into it.

Photo by, I believe, Somer Hooker, used without permission

Because I could move my toes and ankle, and had no pain other than when I tried to put weight on my foot, I elected to have Steve drive me to an urgent care facility. This was probably not the wisest course of action, but I think it turned out ok anyway. It happened that the nearest one was in a hospital facility in Ukiah. As soon as the nurse practitioner had a look at the swelling on my foot, she told me I had to go to the emergency room. A series of X-rays showed broken bones and an unstable injury, and I was scheduled for surgery to pin them. I slept well overnight, but don't know exactly what my prognosis is at this point.

I do know that I won't be riding to the finish today, but I do wish the best for the other riders. The event has had a lot of ups and downs, and I hope that there are no further downs for any of the other riders.


Hope for a fast recovery

Uffe and Eva-Britt's picture

Hi Darryl,
We are so sorry for your accident, unfortunately they happens all the time.
We been following your struggle and are truly impressed of all the work and problems solving you have done down the road.

Glad to know you!

Hope a fast recovery.

Speedy recovery to you and the R52

lubbeth's picture

Hi Darryl,
I feel your disappointment but no apolgies are necessary. I wish you a speedy recovery, and do not add mental anguish to the physical. These things happen, though we look back retrospectively and think what we did wrong, that is not productive right now. And sometimes not productive, period. We all know not to scrape hardware, we all have done it, and sometimes it happens when we least expect it. Just get better. That's the important thing.



Steve Aikens's picture

Crashing is a bummer, no matter how you look at it. However, it's unfortunate that you got busted up some but fortunate that it's no worse than it is.

Let me offer a perspective you're missing when you feel you've let anyone down. Consider that a number of us have been following every miles your ridden with envy, hope for the best and significant interest. We can't all be there to join you, but you allowed us to be part of the ride from behind computer screens. Sure, we'd all prefer you rode on in - but sometimes life happens.

Heal quickly Darryl. Keep me/us updated on prognosis and progress. Tell Don and Steve I said Hi.


sorry for you

guest's picture

Dear Darryl,
I'm so sorry that this has happened, but I'm glad that you are able to tell about it yourself!
Get well as soon as possible, no one will blame you for this. (But you... ) ;o)

Big hug,

Get Well Soon!

Armand's picture

Sorry to read that!

Hope you and the bike will be okay soon!

Armand, Caroline + Felix

Heal Well

Brandall Wong's picture

Glad to hear things are not worse.
It's been a strong and determined effort by all involved and you and your team should be proud.

See you soon at Joa's,

Darryl, it has been nice to

guest's picture

Darryl, it has been nice to follow you on your tour.
My wishes for a speedy recovery.
Next year in Friuli!

fingers crossed for a speedy recovery

Ingrid's picture

Hi Darryl,

I am sooooo sorry for you and your R 52! So I am wishing you a very speedy recovery! It seems that you have had tons of luck and wonderful helper!

Gute Besserung Smile

Can't keep a good man down for long

Monte Miller's picture

Darryl, Please, no apologies are necessary nor expected. You have shown your mettle and fortitude many days ago. I and many others are proud of you and Team 52's magnificent efforts during the 2012 Cannonball. In our hearts, you cats are winners.

Rest easy, big guy. Be nice in hospital or Nurse Ratched will be all over you... and not in a good way.

Darryl Take your time and

Stefan K's picture


Take your time and heal, you gave it your best shot... Now you're that much more prepared for your next assault on the Cannonball 2013!

See you soon...

Glad to know you will recover

Bengt Phorqs's picture

Daryl, no apologies necessary so don't beat yourself up. You'll heal and be ready to go again. Hopefully the bike will be OK as well. Just build on what you have learned. You have a great story hear and I'm looking forward to the full story, complete with photos.
All the best amigo, Mike


David Brick's picture

Tom said it perfectly. I agree. We've all BT and DT. You heal right up; the rest is just stuff.

Get well soon

Georg S.'s picture

glad that you are able to write this report yourself!
I do hate to read of accidents - especially from people I know.
Bad luck that it happened and I know that it will bother you
big time that you will not make it to the finish line. Anyhow
there will be another Cannonball and as long as you are getting
well again I'm positive that we'll see you there again.

So all the best for a fast recovery!

Georg S.

Hoping you feel better soon

Melena's picture

I was in Cotat at Michaell's H-D yesterday afternoon to see the bikes that had arrived, and when I didn't see you or your bike I was hoping you were okay. I was talking with one of the other Cannonball riders (unfortunately I don't remember who it was) and mentioned that I was looking for you. He told me what happened and I was so surprised at the news I had a hard time hearing all he said. But I got the gist of it and realized you were okay except for your ankle. Sigh of relief but also sad to hear.

I know you are disappointed, but I know Team 52 is with you whatever the outcome of the ride. You overcame much diversity and still continued on. I commend you. Now it's time to spend your energy healing your foot.

All the best to you from me and the folks on the R65 Forum.


There's a bright side

Jim Shaw's picture

You've had an adventure that few of us can but dream about, Darryl. You and your team have experienced the thrill of challenge, and overcoming adversity, and working together to live that dream. Broken foot aside, you've mastered that adventure, come out on top of it, if not on top of the heap of competitors. Your foot will heal, and the R52 will heal also.

We were not just betting on you to win; we were following your adventure, win, lose, or draw. I will say no more, but know that I am filled with respect. Job well done, if not perfectly completed.

Perfection is elusive. Adventures are lifetime memories. Heal quickly. That bike needs some wrenching....

Down, but not out

2dogs1cat's picture

Hi Darryl,

Sorry to hear about the crash, glad it didn't turn out worse.......heal up thoroughly; we will be waiting for Team 52's entry next year.

Take care,

Hi Darryl,

Thomas FLH75's picture

sorry to read this. First info on CB page was saying you are more or less ok and can make it over the Bridge. Not with your bike, but in a car. Wishing you all the best. Anyway, after a while you will remember the good things of Cannonball only. Take care. Thomas

All is not lost

Tai Day's picture

I am so sorry to here about your crash but glad o know you were not injured too badly. Your ankle will and you will fix your beloved bike back for another run. Let me know if I can be of any service to you.

Cheers and get well soon!

Tai Day

Very sorry to hear about your

Ian R11's picture

Very sorry to hear about your crash, and wish you a speedy recovery. I would also like to thank you for your regular updates on the cannonball. I am sure it must have been a chore at times after long tiring and sometimes difficult days.

Heal Well!

John Pierce's picture

I'm amazed they did the surgery same-day. I busted my #5 metatarsal into a bunch of little pieces back in July, and the Orthopedist waited 2 weeks to operate so the swelling would go down. so that was 2 weeks in a splint, 4 weeks in a cast, and I'm on week 3 in a 'boot' now, hoping to go back to regular shoes next week after my next doctor visit.

do NOT overdo it, those pinned bones are very fragile for the first month (I've got 3 screws and 2 pins in the rear end of my #5 metatarsal). Only this past few days have I been able to hobble around in this 'boot' without a crutch. the entire time in the cast was ZERO weight, cast in air.

btw, Dr Abidi here in Santa Cruz is *the* local foot bone doc. somewhat offputting bedside manner (mostly he tells weird jokes), but he's the best guy in town for orthopedic surgery etc on feet...

Damn !

caratz's picture

I was sorry to hear about your crash so close to home, particularly on a road I have travelled with you, and which I know you love.
Gabi and I wish you a speedy and complete recovery.


Good you're well

Guy's picture

Thanks to Sam who informed me earlier today about what happened. But also even better to hear you are in a, relatively speaking, good shape. It's been quite a few 2 weeks from what I could read and hear. I truly hope the recovery will go well and the memories long term will be worth to remember.
But right now....I hear you....and I sure friends an relatives are there to support you. Easy to say from a couple of thousands miles away for sure.

Took good care!


Magwa's picture

Bro, you've given a lot of people a lot of pleasure and adventure on this quest. Too bad it cost you a foot. Glad you have two. Get well and stand tall. No reason not to

Also, someone told me you might have some extra bikes. You'll be good. We all owe you thanks.


Magwa's picture

Bro, you've given a lot of people a lot of pleasure and adventure on this quest. Too bad it cost you a foot. Glad you have two. Get well and stand tall. No reason not to

Also, someone told me you might have some extra bikes. You'll be good. We all owe you thanks.

Cannonball and BMWR52

Ronald J. Perconti BSAOCNC's picture

We had a BSA ride out of Geyerserville CA. Sat Sept 22nd. I had been following your trek and troubles and solutions.
I too rode into Cotati and ask about you. There are not one good reason that you let anybody down. Your reports are excellent
to read and it was like they say "Shit Happens!" I found myself rooting for you each time I read what was going on. Thank goodness
you and machine are OK. It could have been a deer bounding out in front of you and much worse than what happened.
Take Care

Darryl, I am so glad to read

A. Zorat's picture

I am so glad to read the the BIKE is all-right! Smile

Seriously: good to read that your injury is being taken care of and that things are getting sorted out.
Thank you so much for taking us along this great adventure!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

What a tragedy

jeff dean's picture

Hi Darryl,

I was very sorry to read about your crash and the end of your ride. With all the work you and your fabulous friends provided, this was a sad tragedy.

The good news, of course, it that you will recover and so will the R52.

I have had my share of entering curves too fast on my various BMWs and feeling some fear as a result. I have never suffered as you have. Of course, none of my bikes have floorboards!

A friend of mine was riding with his wife back in Ohio a few years ago on an R1200RT with the optional wide saddlebags. It sounds like he had a similar crash. Going a little too fast into a curve, a saddlebag grounded, the rear wheel lifted, and they went down. Happily, they only suffered bruises and scrapes. Since then I have focused on pressing forward on the inside handlebar and leaning way in when I find myself going too fast on a curve.

I hope you and the R52 both recover fully and fast!

P.S. I am waiting for the day when motorcycles up through 1969 can ride this run!


Charlie 101's picture

Anyone can have misfortune and it's not the miles you missed that people will remember but the miles you covered and the fantastic acheavement you made, the camraderie and fellowship that was there. That is what matters, not a few miles missed.
Many many thanks for taking me, a .com jockey, along on a fantastic trip with your writing and pictures and I hope you have a speedy recovery!

Missed you at the finish!

Jerry Hale's picture

Sorry to hear about the accident Darryl. I wish both you and the R52 a speedy recovery! At the finish line party it was amazing to see all of those bikes come in after a trip across the country. It must have been even more fun to participate and I hope you get a chance next time to complete the run.


guest's picture

Sorry to learn of your misfortune. I am sure it is very dissapointing after all of the effort of you and your support people. Minna and i wish you a speedy recovery. We were in Lakeview on an old car tour when you came through and I was hoping to see but somehow missed you.

Cheers . . .

~Edson & Minna

Heal well

Fulton's picture

I don't feel let down in any way; it was great seeing you and the bike, and the crew, and the whole experience was wonderful. Thanks for sharing it with us.

You're A Winner!

Barbara R.'s picture

Hey Darryl, thank goodness you're in one piece! We've thoroughly enjoyed your blogs from the road & are only sorry we couldn't greet you in person today. Surviving not only the mechanical challenges, but the physical ones was quite a feat. We've got a cool banner for you to remember the incredible journey. Hope you & your R52 are fit as fiddles very soon. Your San Jose Cheering Squad Banner Makers, Barbara R. & Alan H.

No apology required!!

scottiesharpe's picture

It's a race. S$%* happens! Smile

Thanks for giving it your ALL !!

I hope that you and the R52 get healed soon!

Scottie Sharpe
San Jose CA

An amazing quest!

Samantha L's picture

The last thing you should be is sorry. I am truly impressed at your fortitude, ingenuity and constant great attitude. It was such an unbelievable pleasure to be a small part of Team Boxer Rebellion #52. It will go down as some of my fondest memories. You are an inspiration to us all! Hang in there and get that foot better soon!


guest's picture


This has indeed been a most frustrating event for you.

I doubt very much that anyone thinks/feels you owe them an apology; surly not those of us who have been following along, vicariously.

I do hope the prognosis is positive and we will look forward to seeing you fully mobile in the immediate future.

All the best,

Jim & Verna

Get well, both you and the R52!

John Gallagher's picture

Hi Darryl,
So sorry to hear. I was looking forward to seeing the crew through Dublin today. Your accident just took the wind out of my sails. Best wishes to both you and the bike!


Get well soon

guest's picture


Heal quickly and re-join the Saturday morning breakfast group to give us the first person account of your adventure. Sorry it ended in tragedy after so many trials on your trip. We are all cheering for your quick recovery and "don't sweat the small stuff." Being above ground is what counts.


I am so sorry!

Jim von Stein's picture

Oh, man! I can only imagine your disappointment. After all that work, to have things finally looking sorted out, and the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate Flicks you off the road. Life is not fair.


Get well! You and the bike!

Stelios Chatzopoulos's picture

Darryll, just get well soon! Now that you won't be riding for a couple of weeks, it's time to think seriously on how to fix that darn seizure matter!!! It's not wasted time, I guess... Smile

Get well soon!

Claes Lestén's picture

Such an entertaining blog, through all the mishaps. Get well real soon, we will ride together next summer I hope.
Fantastic performance with that bike!


Get Well soon

Christoph's picture

QHi Darryl, sitting on an exhibition I am reading about your accident recently.
I am so sorry about you and I hope you get well soon. So bad you and your team put so many effort in that event and it ended to inglorious at a tree. Good thing that the damage on your foot and your bike is´t too severe.
So I send you my best wishes for a fast recovery from Wittlich


Stuff Happens

Marc St-Pierre's picture

... but we all wished it didn't happen to YOU! We're glad you had immediate help, and you WILL heal, and the R52 will 'fly' again (not off the road, hopefully!)

It was an honour to follow the adventure from the 'ringside seats' from Newburgh to Wellsboro; and your blog updates were the best in the rally. For that we are eternally grateful as we all felt we 'rode with Darryl' from the cozy comfort of our computers.

At the very least, you'll always have the adventure. You took the chances but you accepted the risks. We couldn't have done so much, but you gave everyone who read your blog a taste of what you were going through, good and bad. Thanks for everything.

Marc & Susan

Heal quickly!

Tracy - NEWSTAR's picture

Oh no! I've been gone for a few days and popped in to see how you were doing. I didn't expect this! I'm so sorry to read about your accident. And I'm sure your team mates would all agree that you have no need to apologize. I understand your disappointment in not finishing but look at all you have accomplished!

Heal quickly, Darryl!

Get well

LT's picture

I am sorry to read about your get off.
I do hope your foot and your beautiful R52 recover quickly and completely. Please do not push give your foot time to heal up .
Keep positive thoughts. Then get out to the garage and start putting your bike back together.
You had quite a ride up to that point. I enjoyed following along.

Rest and Get Well

Jeff Moore's picture


Very sorry to hear that you had a spill and were hurt. That you are in 1 peice and in good shape is the most important thing. Everything else can be fixed easily.

Take care and don't be so hard on yourself.



Get Well Soon!

guest's picture


Your apology to us is crazy. We're the ones who have benefitted and have been inspired by your courageous efforts. Just look at how many people have already written to you, expressing their gratitude and support.

Things are tough right now, but I hope that instead of remembering problems and disappointments, you'll remember the successes, keeping that old BMW moving forward for so many miles against all odds, and most importantly, the many friends you have made in this adventure.

Take Care!

Heal Fast!

Tim Foreman's picture

Sorry your run was cut short, but glad the damage to you is not major.

Heal Fast Darryl!

Glad you're doing OK!!!

Team Kbasa's picture


I was in Point Reyes Station and heard from the other riders that you'd had some issues. I'm really glad you're primarily OK! As far as apologies go, motorcycling isn't like watching TV and things can happen. But mostly, we're really glad you're going to be well.

I hope you get home soon and back where Heather can keep an eye on you.

Ride well!

Dave & Tina Swider

No Apology Needed!!!!!

Bob Alexander's picture

I'll second your other supporters!..."No Apology Needed!" Shit happens and your doing well, that is important!
I got to experience a few days of the "ups & downs", challenges, but I believe a good time by all. Hope you can think about and plan for the next one!

Get well soon

Koen's picture


What a misfortune you had.
I loved reading your daily travells. But the most important thing for you is now to get well soon.
Machines can be replaced, people not.
Hope you have a quick and painless recovery, so we can see you again at the next EP.

Greetings Koen.

Darryl.Richman's picture

A good day

Today Team Boxer Rebellion was back on track. And the route, from Klamath Falls to Fortuna, made it especially sweet. We travelled through some beautiful country from Klamath Falls to Medford, zigged and zagged around I-5 and the Rogue River, and then took US-199, a particularly scenic and curvy road from Grants Pass, OR to Crescent City, CA. It travels through the Smith River wilderness and under a canopy of redwoods before breaking out to the Pacific.

The weather was cold in the morning and cool most of the day, only warming into the 70s when I got south of Crescent City. This was good for the R52's engine, which ran strong and only had a few seizure episodes, which I fortunately caught before they actually did seize. I never had to completely stop, being able to coast and downshift, and waiting as long as possible before popping the clutch to get the engine going again. The bore job now has about 500 miles on it, and it doesn't seem to use any more oil than it did beforehand. I've used up the 2 stroke oil I was putting into the tank as a top end lubricant, so tomorrow we'll see how it goes on just premium pump gas.

The bike was a real joy on the twisting roads. It tracks straight and, with its long handlebars giving a lot of leverage, is light to steer. Some of the downhill turns marked at 25 and 30 I was taking at 35 or 40, with no drama at all.

Tomorrow is an early and long day. We will leave Fortuna at 7am, ride through the Avenue of the Giants, then take Highway 1 down to the coast. This section of road, from Leggett to Westport, is IMHO far better than The Dragon, and not only because it isn't overrun with traffic. It's longer, more scenic and has more elevation changes, as well as being as curve dense as The Dragon. We will then ride the coast down past Fort Bragg and then take CA-128 across to Geyserville.


Bodes well for today and

Guy's picture

Bodes well for today and tomorrow, Darryl! The fact that your message mainly talks about the fun things (the route, bike's behaviour) says it all.
I don't know if you noticed but all 3 category I bikes are within 4 places of each other, including you. Not that it really matters. I guess the 3 of you must nevertheless be excited to have gotten this far.
Hoping the focus of the next 2 days will continue to be on the driving!


Jim Hansen's picture

An idea re. the pistons, once you're home, is to heat them up in the oven and measure them while still hot. What would the hot piston/cylinder clearance be? I wonder if some sort of modern piston could be modifed to fit, or custom pistons manufactured by an outfit like Egge Machine Co. (I rebuilt a '38 Plymouth flathead and used Egge pistons).

You're still moving forward! Things are looking up! Bravo!

Crash ?

Joel Rapose's picture

I just looked at the picture of the crashed bike....but no word of Darryl

Were here my friend, just ask and we will come to your aid, where ever what ever .... Bikes can be rebuilt that was one almost terrible accident is good...hope you are alright.

Your Friend

Joel Rapose

Get well!

rosenstein6900's picture

Darryl, so, so sorry to have just read about your misfortune. Get well soon and just consider this a practice run for the next Cannonball.


1967 R69S

Fast recovery and best regards from Portugal

Pedro Costa 's picture

Hello Darryl,

After we´ve been on the phone today i saw the pictures of the falling and you were lucky.

I had a small crash this summer too with my Indian .

Best Regards and nice recovery.

All the best


same ol-same ol

hardchew's picture

anything new or fresh on this site? Videos?-blogs? I sign in a couple of times each week and except for the forums there is "nothing new under the sun" and even the forums only have a few new comments/questions! Some of the posts are 8 years old!! Still waiting for the mag also!

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