Greg Smith
and how BMW got into his blood

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  Southern Section diary

I began riding bikes before I was legally old enough. A schoolfriend's mother had a moped which we would ride up and down the road where he lived, and another friend had a scooter which he let me ride on the playing field. In 1962, at the age of 16, I bought my first motorcycle - a 1961 BSA Bantam D7 175cc 2-stroke.
I kept the beezer until I’d passed my test but by that time, I had “suped-up” the bike in an attempt to make it go faster, but unfortunately, the flywheel flew apart, busting the crankcase and bending the crankshaft. I then had a series of old British bikes - a couple of G3 Matchlesses, an Arial Square Four, and a Velocette Venom Clubman 500cc.

Between 1964 and 1968, I took part in grass-track sidecar racing as a passenger, racing most weekends during the summer months at events throughout the Eastern Region (Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex)
In 1969 I joined P&O as a sea-going electrical officer and on one trip home on leave, I crashed the Velo, writing it off, and ended up in hospital with a broken collar bone, broken teeth and 12 stitches in my head. My next bike was a Honda 500 Four. I had met Eve whilst at sea and in 1974, I took her on a trip around Europe on the Honda, visiting Holland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Italy and returning through Germany and Holland.
The Honda was completely knackered after that trip and within a year or two, I traded it in for a 1972 BMW R75/5. This was the most reliable bike I had ever owned and I kept it for the best part of 20 years.
In 1979, Eve and I got married in the Netherlands, and used the bike as our wedding limousine.
We moved from East Anglia to Hampshire, and in 1987/8 I joined the BMW Club and served as Regalia Salesman, Social Secretary and Chairman of the Southern Section (not all at the same time). During that time, I have owned a K75RT, a K100LT, and a R1200RTSE

Most recently, I purchased the latest R1200RT LC. This is the nicest bike I have yet ridden.
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