8. BMW R1100GS, circa 1996


Before the WWW ruined the motojournalism lifestyle, they turned me loose on one of these for a week (maybe two) to ride to Colorado. Not only was the original GS a great bike for getting there (but not back), it also gave me great confidence when I got to Colorado and started blasting around its dirt backroads. Say, why are all these puddles still back here in July? (It never rains in California in the summer.) I even got the wife to fly into Durango for a little couples therapy and some trout fishing! Let’s take this dirt road that goes along the Animas River!

It was all going great even after the dirt road turned into single track, but when the dirt turned to slick goo after an unexpected afternoon deluge, things went to hell quickly: I slid the BMW’s rear tire off the trail and the rest of the beast followed amazingly quickly behind it, tumbling downward through the wet underbrush before landing with a tremendous splash in the river below, wheels up and steaming. Not only was I not getting the bike out of there, neither was anybody else except a party on horseback with a sling and a helicopter. Whoops. It was a long walk out that’s fun to laugh about now. Okay it’s not.

Moral: Know what the climate’s like, or might become like, when you take off into the unknown on an adventure.

  • Mahatma

    @8:How the hell did you manage to crash that?!Ingenius award in the mail.
    @6:You were doing it a favour.Never was there a more wretched bike in history!Both design-wise,and every other -wise;)
    @5:Bad man.Bad man!
    @2:Atleast it wasn’t turn 3;)
    @1:We’ve all been there man.

    Thanks for sharing.Homework:Scuff both footpegs in round abouts;)

  • Old MOron

    Nice retrospective.
    Maybe MO could parlay this into a regular feature for Evans!

    • Mahatma

      Maybe hope not…

      • Old MOron

        Yeah, I hope not, too. I was just making a little joke because Evans seem to crash the most out of all the MOronic editors. At least he fesses up the most 🙂

        And for the record, I’ve had my share of crashes.

        • Mahatma

          I like people fessing up:)

  • Born to Ride

    “Don’t let anybody ram your front wheel.”
    Words to live by. Thanks John.

  • JMDonald

    If your not crashing your not trying. Well done Mr. Burns.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    It’s a lot more difficult to crash with the abundance of electronics nowadays. But will one be able to do 10+ crashes at contemporary speeds and live to tell the tale?

  • SRMark

    Not much fun for you but a fun read. Thanks

  • JerryMander

    Any crash you walk away from where your dick doesn’t come out in public is a good one.

    • john burns

      sounds like that’s happened to you?

      • JerryMander

        Yeah but the motorcycle crash and the inadvertent free balling were separate incidents

        • JerryMander

          Although I’ll add that you could pretty easily accomplish this by riding in commando dress slacks.

  • Maximus Power Sherman

    Didn’t you crash the Roadog? Seems like that would have been significant, kind of like adding your own scribbles to an original Dali.

    • john burns

      one I blocked out. Actually didn’t crash it, just ran off into the grass and came to rest at about a 45-deg. angle…

  • Racing Enthusiast

    Vaguely remember the SRAD one – something about “Someone passing you on the outside, then too little gravity followed by too much gravity…?

    Then there’s this one:

  • Starmag

    I love the enthusiasm.

    Burns and Crashes or Crashes and Burns?

  • James Stewart

    John John John – you never buy bikes new – you buy your almost new 500 Interceptor used – from a Houston Cop whose wife just got pregnant. Then all his buds from the local PoPo substation flash their lights and siren at you when you’re hooniganing around the Hood – because they think it’s him. And when word get around that it’s not him – you move to Austin. Problem solved!

  • Mark Dickinson

    John… Thanks for the laughs! And words of wisdom. 🙂 I so wish could have seen some of these on youTube… oh well. Lol