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Snowbum's Encyclopedic BMW Motorcycle
Repair & Information Website

Click in a box similar to this one, for the LIST of most (but not all) Technical Articles. That box is located near the end of the page, way below. Be sure to scan the homepage (you are on that page now) on the way to the bottom box.  This homepage contains links for other articles!

All technical information on this site is:   


"Initial original Copyright 1999, R. Fleischer"
Copyrighted each and every year since.

Robert (Bob) Fleischer is also known as Snowbum; "The Expatiating Scribe of the Sierra"

The BMW R32, BMW's first motorcycle.
Information is in photogallery2                                                                     The BMW R12.  1935 to 1938

All technical information on this site is:    

Would you like to donate to help keep this website on the Internet?    DONATING
(Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website's operations)


The above 1995 R100RT replaced my 1984 R100RT.
The above 1995 R100RT:

My sidecar rig:
See the SC-x (sidecar section) of the Technical-Articles-List

Snowbum and Penny.  Amor Vincit Omnia!!

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool ...shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is willing ...teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep ...awaken him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise ...follow him."
--Chinese proverb--

The internet, E-mail LISTs, Facebook, etc,....are all places we can easily witness certain effects:
(2)  Dunning-Kruger Effect on E-mail Lists and Forums.
(3)  From Darwin's "Descent of Man":  Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
(4)  A word, Fremdscham, describes the embarrassment that we feel for those who are too ignorant to recognize it.

There is a theory which states that if anyone ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for, and why it is here, it will instantly disappear & be replaced by something even more bizarre & inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Douglas Adams, "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

In my seventies, here I am, 4100 feet above the Lake, at the 10,400 foot top of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, 5 miles from my house (plus a lot of vertical!).  I am about to ski down Ellie's Run, my favorite run on the California side. It is mostly hidden, begins just to the left in this photo.  See the second photo.

The K1100LT-EML Sidecar rig...when it still had the BMW Police box on rear & solo seat.
The rig was sold and picked-up on May 26, 2019.
Go to the Technical Articles List page, and scan down to the section entitled Sidecar Specific Section.

.....the difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle is the difference between watching TV & actually living your life.  We spend all our time sealed in boxes, & cars are just the rolling boxes that shuffle us from home-box to work-box to store-box and back...the whole time, entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, & smelling of carpets.  On a motorcycle I know I'm alive.

When I ride, even the familiar seems strange & glorious.  The air has weight and substance as I push through it and its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer.

I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and warm spokes sunshine.
I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around, wider than Pana-vision & IMAX &unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard. Sometimes I even hear music.  It's like hearing phantom telephones in the shower, or false doorbells when vacuuming; the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise, raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind's roar. But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock 'n roll, dark orchestras, women's voices, all hidden in the air and released by speed. ...
Dave Karlotski


1983 R100RT-Ural.  First road rig I constructed.  We DO get that much snow some years.  Guess where I am going??

1984 R100RT I used to own & ride. Top-box is a Luftmeister. 

There is cold......and there is cold on a motorcycle.  Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers, while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold. The wind's big hands squeeze the heat out of my body & whisk it away; caught in a cold October rain, the drops don't even feel like water. I expect to arrive with my cheeks & forehead streaked with blood, but that's just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for highway speeds. Despite this, it's hard to give up my motorcycle in the fall, and I rush to get it on the road again in the spring; lapses of sanity like this are common among motorcyclists.  When you let a motorcycle into your life you're changed forever.  The letters "MC" are stamped on your driver's license right next to your sex and height as if "motorcycle" was just another of your physical characteristics, or maybe a mental condition.

But when warm weather finally does come around, all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full because a motorcycle summer is worth any price.

At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid. All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells and grass-smells flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony.  Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly that it's as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me, wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it. A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous.

The sheer volume & variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system, an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul. It tears smiles out of me: a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb...but now, on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face, billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane. Transportation is only a secondary function.

A motorcycle is a joy machine.  It's a machine of wonders, a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It's light and dark and shiny and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other; it's a conduit of grace, it's a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.

Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control.  The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, "Sleep, sleep."  Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed, and probably moving too fast for our own good, but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.
Dave Karlotski

Winters can vary considerably at Lake Tahoe.  The below photo was taken in January 2008.  Notice the snow height at Penny's feet & at right lower corner & area under the mailbox.  Nearly to Penny's hips OVERNIGHT!   This was NOT terribly unusual here.  BUT, some Winters we have very little snow ....see the next in-line photo below this one.

This photo was taken at same place as above photo, on January 17th, 2015:

To read all the statistics about Lake Tahoe:

My FIRST trip to Tahoe, as an early teenager, mid-January 1952, when a huge January snowstorm shut down travel to & from Lake Tahoe.  This photograph was taken in late January, 1952.   There is a road here someplace?  This was a 'hundred year' storm.   For another viewpoint, lengthy and lots of photos:

The below photo is from JULY of that same year (1952), AFTER plowing!  This is the Mt. Rose highway, which is at the Northeast corner of the Lake Tahoe Basin.  It had snowed a fair amount after the January snowstorm, which is why, even after a number of feet of settling, the snow here is taller than the prior photo.  This photo is part of the Historical Society collection.

A wee Winter's Tale:   CLICK!

There are two roads in life, the twisty one is vastly more fun!

Reputation is what you are perceived to be, character is what you are.
REAL character means doing what is right (when nobody is looking)

Common sense isn't

Most folks look intelligent .....then they say something

Be careful when arguing with an idiot.
Folks watching may get confused as to who that is.

Good judgment comes from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.


The Purpose Of An Open Mind---Is To Close It On Something

I was always taught to respect my elders,
but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Remember, half the people you know are below average.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof...
is to under-estimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Question:  How are politicians similar to diapers?
They should be changed often --- and for the same reason.

The Goal Of Every Engineer ....
Is to retire without being blamed for a major catastrophe.

Logic is an organized procedure,
for going wrong with confidence and certainty.

It is a fact that light travels faster than the speed of sound,
this explains why some appear bright,
until you hear them speak.

Copyright information!

The information (caveat lector!) on 99% of this website is copyrighted; usually, but not always, indicated by a copyright symbol . You are granted 'reasonable use'. If you use an article or parts of an article, please quote me as the source, please do not edit to change my information, as I wish to be responsible for MY input, not yours.  This website is provided free to you for personal use.  The Technical Articles List page (clickable near the bottom of this article) has a lot more information on using my material. ...PLEASE read it!  Chances are you are headed there anyway to find a technical advice article.

Penny & I took the K1100LT-EML sidecar rig from Lake Tahoe across the USA via Nevada, lower Utah & Colorado, into Kansas & then northerly to the Great Lakes region, then to Duluth, Minnesota.   We returned mostly via Hy 2 across the top of the USA ...over 5500 miles total. A text & photo blog on the trip is on this website.

What's with this lamp?
What was and is the SuperTech Weekend?

Join the Airheads Club!

Photo Galleries
#1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6  #7

Purchasing an Airhead?  Getting started on doing YOUR motorcycle maintenance? COMBINED ARTICLE!


Who the HELL is Snowbum?

A Winter Tale

Snowbum lives at So. Lake Tahoe, CA.  Click for information about Lake Tahoe.


Proficient at editing E-mails?
Want to Do it better?
Special keyboard characters?

Whitebeard; A happening. My '57 R60. Originally published by me in 1987, BMW MOA Owners News

Motorcycles in movies & TV:

Deer Whistles

UNIQUE Year of Dragon Jewelry Item for Sale

The Paradox of our age, by the Dalai Lama

Essay on loud pipes

You live WHERE?

Buying or Selling a Motorcycle


Temporary'll never know what is HERE!

Maintenance schedules for all BMW motorcycles:
Schedules are not as complete as my personal one for Airheads:
 Maintenance Schedule

Proverbs & sayings; biker wit & wisdom, etc.

Sidestand complaints/problems. Picking up a downed motorcycle. Two short articles in one.

Motorcycling to Alaska via B.C., etc.

For Sale & wanted and things that are FREEEEE!

One Scary Moment in an Airplane; the R60/2 is Stolen, ...more BIO

Who/what is Fleischer's Service?

Three Santa's

Throttle screws.  Friction & anti-friction devices.  Snowbum gets OFF & RUNNING!

Across the USA & back, by sidecar

Motorcycles, sidecars, & cars/trucks I've owned

Prostate Cancer:  REAL Facts!

A free download: Even if you never ride off- road, great hints here.  Gravel roads? Soft stuff, etc?  I deleted my off-road riding article after reading this one!  Long, detailed, good.


Temporary stuff

Nerdy stuff

Airheads LIST Archives:

Internet Communities; Posting/Editing to Mailing Lists, etc. BMW Motorcycle People.  COMBINED 2 PART ARTICLE.



All technical information on this site is:   

Please help keep this website on the Internet!   DONATING
Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website's operations

"Copyright 2019, R. Fleischer"

Webmaster: Robert Fleischer (Snowbum) himself!
(who is entirely responsible for this messy & verbose website!)

E-mail: CLICK!

Last check/edit: Monday, July 22, 2019