Christopher Betjemann

Former Trustee and Tech Editor (1950-1969)

Christopher and Barbara donated their time and energy to the club for several years, providing a stream of articles with excellent photos, and guiding the club as a Trustee. Below is a short bio we used for Chris' trustee page:

Fifty-one years ago my wife, Barbara, and I courted on several Norton motorcycles belonging a college friend. In 1962, while in Medical School, we came to be owners of our first motorcycle, a Yamaha 250 Big Bear Scrambler, given to us by John Riff, the owner of Riff’s Cycle Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania with a handshake agreement that we would pay for the machine “when we could”. And, when we could, we did.

John launched us on a lifetime involvement with motorcycles, although not with BMW motorcycles (yet). The Big Bear lead us to the Atco Dragway as well as to the Castor Avenue branch of A & S Cycles in Philadelphia. I brought my slim prior mechanical experience learned from the restoration of my first car, a 1941 Ford coupe convertible, and the Yamaha to A & S where I worked part time for several years as a mechanic to assist with the cost of my education. While in Philadelphia, we came into contact with BMWs for the first time. After moving to New Hampshire, where I practiced Emergency Medicine and a took a side trip riding Japanese sport bikes and flying airplanes, eventually I “settled down” and we began the restoration of the first in a long line of our own BMW motorcycles.

In 1999 I retired from medicine and, with my wife of fifty years, established Barrington Motor Works, LLC where we continue to enjoy our love affair with each other and BMW motorcycles. During our decades of involvement with vintage BMW motorcycles, we have acquired a great deal of information which we continue to pass on through our restoration and service manuals.

Debbi Harbour

Past Trustee, Club Office Administrator

Photo courtesy of Jeff Yost

Herb Langston

Past VBMWMO Webmaster

Herb Langston built "The Vintage BMW Page", the first ever in-depth web site devoted to vintage BMW motorcycles. Soon after, he designed and built the original web site for the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners club. Eventually the two sites merged, and he continued to maintain the club site until it was passed along to the current webmaster.

Peter Nettesheim

Past Trustee

Peter is a long time restorer and passionate enthusiast for the marque. The Nettesheim Museum — his private collection at his home on Long Island, NY — is packed not only with gorgeous bikes, but an amazing array of Beemeralia, too. Peter served on the board of trustees from 2004 to 2009.
Peter (r) demonstrates starting his R69S. Photo courtesy of Jeff Yost

Craig "Vech" Vechorik

Past Club Secretary and Bulletin Technical Editor

Proprietor of Bench Mark Works in Sturgis, MS and a true vintage enthusiast himself, Vech was long the technical editor for the Vintage BMW Bulletin.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Yost

Fred Jakobs

Chief Archivist, BMW Group Classic

Fred has long helped both the club and we fanatic vintage BMW owners. His team provides information to owners about the origins of their bikes and has provided the club with access to information, photos and articles from Group Classic (neé Mobile Tradition). He recently finished a book detailing BMW's aero engine development through the end of WWII, which was simultaneously published in English and German. In spite of such serious researches, Fred is fun and personable, and he and his girl friend Sybille are often seen at BMW motorcycle events in Europe and, far too occasionally, here in the US.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Yost

Jeffrey Carpenter

Past Trustee, Bulletin Editor and Treasurer

In 2004, Jeff was instrumental in getting the Vintage BMW Bulletin back on track, when he and Jeff Yost created a new organization for the club. The result was a return to regular newsletters and improved internal tracking of orders and funds.
(l to r) Aaron, Jeff and Lisa. Photo courtesy of Jeff Yost

Jeffery Yost

Founder, Past President, Editor and Trustee

Jeff’s baptism into two-wheeled fantasy began during the adolescent age of five while riding pillion, helping deliver the South Bend Tribune to homes in SW Michigan, from the back of his big brother’s 1956 Sears Allstate (Puch) moped. It did not take long for his brother to trade up to a 1957 Triumph Cub. Jeff was barely six when his fantasy turned into an obsession after soloing the Triumph. Obsession turned into life long passion when his father purchased a dealer’s 1960 BMW R50 demo. Today, Jeff is the proud custodian of his late father’s unrestored R50.

His involvement in the Vintage club began in 1998. Recently, in 2010 Jeff led the VBMWMO’s reorganization in the State of Ohio and recruited a passionate cast of professionals to help manage the new organization. Jeff is also the past Vice President, and BMW RA/USA Liaison, for the BMW Rider Association. Throughout his travels Jeff has established strong relationships within BMW NA, BMW Group Classic, and BMW USA.

Jeff and his wife, Donna, are recent Michigan transplants to the Atlanta area. Jeff is employed as a global commercial manager for a multibillion-dollar Atlanta based company. Both Jeff and Donna enjoy their new Southern home along with two rescue cats Myia and Izzy; two dogs, Gracie (Boarder Collie mix) and Higgins (Yorkshire Terrier); and two gelded horses, Kashmere (Polish Arabian) and Ishmael (Arabian). Today Donna has accumulated more animals than Jeff has BMWs. He’s working hard on changing this.

Jeff Dean

Founder and Member #2

In 1967 I bought my first real motorcycle, a 1966 BMW R60/2. To assuage my BMW loneliness (BMWs were not common motorcycles then), I began my “founderitis.” I became involved in founding BMW motorcycle clubs. In 1968, I started the Madison (Wisconsin) BMW Club (BMW MOA #7). In 1972 it was 13° below zero in Chicago in February when my wife, Jill, and I drove there and met with Vern Hansen (Detroit), John Moore (California), Charlie Smith (New York), and Frank Diederich (Chicago), to found the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, which now has 40,000 members and several full-time staffers.

Also in 1972, John Harper, of Alabama, and I joined together to found Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners, Ltd., or VBMWMO, as it is known. It has now thrived for nearly 40 years and publishes the Vintage BMW Bulletin to help inform and support vintage enthusiasts. Today I own a variety of postwar BMWs from a 1952 R51/3 through a 1973½ R75/5 and a number in between. Because of my early history with R60/2s, I own several now and they remain my favorite BMWs to ride.

My last “founding” occurred in 1979 when Jill and I started the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, which is dedicated to preserving and restoring another kind of historic “vehicle.”

John Harper

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)

Syndicate content