The most memorable encounters are mostly with lighter bikes usually singles in the 350 to 400 pound range. Of the heavier bikes, the GS Beemers come to mind. Ron Jensen was a terror on his early GS1000. He could keep up a pace on challenging mountain roads usually reserved for lighter more agile bikes. Ron and I once took a trip that covered most of the mountains and the coast of California. Ron made me pay for choosing my Honda PC800 overweight, under- powered giant scooter for the trip. Shortly after returning to San Diego County I sold the PC (I hope to own another Honda someday). They stand by their products better than any other company with which I’ve done business.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I encountered another really well ridden GS on the twisty lower part of Hwy 94. This time I was on the correct bike for the conditions; a lowered street shod, special DR650SE. We had a good time and then parted. A short time later Rod Morris and I met at Edith’s “Café 94” on Potrero Valley Road (near Tecate Mexico).
While Rod and I were talking, up walked a big guy wearing motorcycle gear. The friendly 55 year old (two years younger than my son) introduced himself as Ed Seeber. Ed turns out to be the guy I had diced with earlier on lower Hwy 94. Out front was parked Ed’s 120,000 mile, beautifully set up 2007 R1200GS complete with Ohlins suspension. Ed did express concern that his extended warranty had just expired. Having gone through 2 front U-joints and a “few” tranny seals, Ed knows the next driveline or tranny failure would be on him.
Our skipper Todd Vosper at topgunmotorcycles.com and his fellow retired Marine AV-8 fighter pilot buddy “Jimbo” both suffered driveline and tranny failure on their GS Beemers just a couple of weeks apart. Several thousand dollars in repairs were involved. There’s something to be said for chain, sprockets and light overall unsprung weight (maybe that’s why Ron Jensen went to a Suzuki DL650). Seeber who has ridden his “Big Bird” GS off road, at track days, and on a few 1000 mile Iron Butt rides has been riding motorcycles for 40 years with no plans to ever go back to his sport bike days. Considering how well he gets around on “Big bird” who needs a sport bike. Keep up the good work Big Ed.
Editor Rod Morris after proof reading this article remarked, “Didn’t you forget a top GS Beemer Pilot named Bruce Redding?” I replied, “Hell, Bruce could run down most GS riders from behind with his Harley Dresser.” I just haven’t had the experience of being around him much when he’s on his GS.
Editor Morris recently wanted to show me a picture of a “supertrick” late model KLR650 loaded down with everything the market could furnish. I declined. Any motorcycle that starts out weighing 425+ pounds and ends up tipping the scales at 460lbs is of no interest to me what so ever.
Pistolero Bruce Redding
Bruce Redding has been called various things including triple threat master vehiculist for his many championships on land (two and four wheels) and in the air at the Reno Air Races. Recently Bruce fired a tight 50 round group into the 3 inch X-ring of a target at a range of 21 feet. I guess we’ll have to add “Bullseye Bruce” to his titles.
One could say Bruce likes projectiles whether he is on board guiding them or launching them. Good show Mr. Redding.