The Richardson Family

  Our Motorcycles  


When we were in our twenties, we drove sports cars. When I hit forty, I began to envy people cruisin down the road on motorcycles. But the wife wouldn't even let me utter the "M" word at the dinner table. Too dangerous, she said. Well, after 5 years of beggin, pleadin, and accusing her of " gettin old" , I finally got approval to purchase my dream.

Before I spent the money, I wanted to make sure she wouldn't want one of her own some day - " F COURSE NOT ! " . So I bought a big expensive softail cruiser for the two of us to ride together. After 6 months of riding behind me (and having a LOT more fun than she expected), the un-surprising statement " , like many people who ride bikes, we have spent entirely too much money on TWO motorcycles, and dont have enough room in the garage for everything.

I originally bought a custom 2002 Big Dog Wolf with a Clemson orange paint job. She drives the BMW R1200C at the top left of this page; the one with a green paint job to match her eyes :-)

I have always believed in buying quality automobiles, and then keeping them for years.  I've got a BMW 325 convertible that I've had for 23 years, and a LandRover that's over 15 years old.  We bought an Infiniti FX45 about 7 years ago.  So I bought the Big Dog under the same premise, and with all the bells & whistles, paid close to $29,000. But I  had to replace the oil pump 3 times, had to replace the tires twice after only 6000 miles, had electrical problems, carburetor problems, 2 batteries, and the local dealership went out of business, so finding a good mechanic was troublesome.  I decided to sell it on eBay, and get a second BMW with the proceeds.

The stock R1200C is a completely different style of bike. The engine has opposed twin cylinders rather than the V-twin design. It has a higher center of gravity than most cruisers, BUT has that unbeatable BMW engineering. There is no comparison taking a curve on the BMW versus the Big Dog: the BMW just plain glides. Its also about half the price. Some of the other characteristics include :

  • BMW 1170cc engine, 61 horsepower

  • 550 lbs wet, 29" seat, 6.75 clearance, wheelbase 65"

  • single fuel tank (4.6 gal)

  • ABS II braking system

  • shaft drive, 5-speed transmission

  • Police handlebars, sport windshield

  • Engine guards (added later after a few spills)

The BMW was probably a little big for 5'4" 125 lb female to begin riding on. Consequently, it got laid over 3 times at very slow speeds in the early days. But now, she handles it well and hardly ever gets jittery (uneven ground mostly). Other than that, the bike's handling and power are perfect for her.

The BMW that I got for myself after the Big Dog was the champagne colored R1200C Montauk at the top right of this page.  It's a more sleek but macho design.  It's been quite dependable and much more my style than the V-twin turned out to be. 

For better understanding of our perspective on riding the bikes :

  • we only buy new vehicles ... then treat them right and keep them almost forever

  • we both took theMSF course before riding the bikes on the road

  • we wear HJC full-face helmets and she has a safety vest for at night

  • we tried the HJC Chatterbox communication system (but it was a disappointment.)

We're in our 50's now, and usually ride 50-100 miles on a nice weekend, and only ride in-line. I'll ride to work every now and again, and we'll take a cold weather trip once a year or so.  If you have any questions or comments, drop us an email.



(Page updated on 5/10/2014)