Woah, this is cool! The Wall Street Journal wrote a story about how I got into BMWs, and why I love my R 1200 C (both of them!), especially for camping trips in the mountains.
She Rides the BMW Motorcycle That James Bond Made Famous
For this Atlanta resident, German engineering and a cruiser look—plus 007 magic—were worth buying twice
Atlanta-based Brooke Wilson, 43, an independent marketing consultant and author of the Biker Brooke Blog, on her 1998 BMW R 1200 C, as told to A.J. Baime.
I love city living. But one of the great things about Atlanta is how fast you can be in the wilderness on a motorcycle. The Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway, amazing roads in northern Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee—all of it is reachable on a weekend trip, and there are campgrounds all over, some specifically geared for motorcycle riders.
When I started riding in 2000, all I knew was Harley-Davidson, and I bought a Sportster. But when my Harley was stolen in 2006, a friend recommended the BMW R 1200 C. It was known for being the bike James Bond rode in “Tomorrow Never Dies.” I liked the idea of reliable German engineering, but the bike also had that cruiser look and feel I love. The bike was built for the kind of riding I wanted to do, and it didn’t hurt that it had a little 007 magic. I bought my first in 2006, a 1998 R 1200 C, and started taking it on camping trips in the mountains. I figured out how to carry everything I needed to sustain myself, on this bike.
In 2012, I was riding when a woman pulled out in front of me. I T-boned her vehicle, and while I was fine, the bike was totaled. I was heartbroken. I got an insurance check and while I could have gotten just about any bike, I immediately started hunting for another R 1200 C. It was not going to be easy; BMW only made the bike for about six years starting in model year 1998. You don’t see a lot of them.
Through Cycletrader.com, I found one in Asheville, North Carolina, and I convinced my mother to drive me 3 ½-hours there. I remember sitting in the car with my gear on, helmet in my lap, cash in hand. We got to Asheville and the bike was a dud. I was so dejected. As we drove home, all the sudden I got a text from a friend with a Craigslist link for a 1998 BMW R 1200 C in Lawrenceville, Georgia. This was in 2012, and I still have that text. I wrote back, “This has to be a joke. The ad says the bike only has 749 miles on it.”
My mother drove me straight to Lawrenceville. The owner lived on a dirt road, and he had this garage full of car parts. He led us to the back and there was this pristine bike—the same model year, even the same color as my first BMW. I asked, “How is it that this 14-year old bike has only 749 miles on it?” He explained that he threw out his back shortly after he bought it and his wife now convinced him to sell the thing. We agreed on $6,500 and he was so excited that the bike was going to a good home, he gave me all these bags and accessories. It was a once-in-a-lifetime find.
With all the sad news about the pandemic, the bike has been a saving grace. We have had glorious weather and my friends and I have been riding more than ever. Even in campgrounds you can be social distancing. The camaraderie is a great part of it. There’s nothing like a cold beer around a campfire with friends who share your interests, after a long ride.
Every now and then a stranger will approach me and say, “Hey, is that that James Bond bike?” Yep, it is.
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