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Wisconsin man wins customized BMW

Markel American Insurance Company awards bike in raffle

By Staff, Aug. 15, 2008
Markel American Insurance Company has awarded a restored and customized 1974 BMW R75/6 motorcycle to Eugene Vandenberg of Appleton, Wis.

The motorcycle was awarded through a raffle at the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) International Rally in Gillette, Wyo. to raise money for the BMW MOA Foundation. The BMW MOA Foundation provides rider training and support for motorcycle safety and awareness programs.

Markel American associate Mark Hoedel did much of the restoring and customizing of the bike, which was commonly customized by cafe racers in the 1970s.

Christmas came early for Eugene Vandenberg this year.

“They used to call this bike a ‘blue rubber cow’ because of how it would wobble in the corners,” says Hoedel. “The first thing we did was gusset the frame to make it a much smoother and more stable ride.”

Other customizations include enhanced power and performance and a custom paint scheme.

“This is better than Christmas,” Vandenberg said after winning the bike.

“Obviously, as a motorcycle insurance company we hold rider safety in the highest regard,” says Timberlee Tamraz Grove, president and COO of Markel American. “It is a perfect fit for Markel American to partner with an organization as focused on rider safety as is the BMW MOA Foundation.”

Markel American also sponsors rider safety courses through the MOA Foundation throughout the year and sponsors local BMW MOA chapter rallies around the United States.