Founder, Past Secretary and Member #1

In August 1971, at the Four Winds Rally in Pennsylvania, I got my first sidecar ride — in a white slash-2 with a Steib sidecar. I also rode a WWII military BMW R75. I was utterly fascinated. At that rally, I also heard about a new national BMW club being formed. Upon returning home I called Bill Harmer in San Diego, one of the organizers. Bill was very friendly and informative. I asked if I could ride out and visit him in person. “Certainly,” he replied. Off I went from Alabama to California, with an 800 mile excursion into Mexico, on my 1971 BMW R 75/5.

Bill signed me up as member #5 and suggested I start a local BMW chapter. I founded the BMW Motorcycle Owners of Alabama and it became BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA) chartered club #5. The club is very active today with over 400 members.

I was asked to be an officer the BMW MOA, and thus I met Jeff Dean, one of the founders. Jeff had written an article for Road Rider magazine in May 1970 about riding an R67; I had liked it so well that I purchased a 1952 R67 of my own. Jeff and I quickly bonded and started the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners to be a clearing house for information on vintage BMW motorcycles. Jeff was the editor and I was the club secretary.

After several issues Jeff gave up the editor job. Through a good friend I had met at the Four Winds Rally, Craig Trottier, I was referred to Roland Slabon. Roland quickly accepted the editor position and served over 35 years in the job. Without Roland the club would have never been the success it is today. May the coming years be as productive as the past 39 years. . .
(Photo courtesy of Jeffery Yost)