• Pink

Ian Schmeisser

I started riding in Florida in the 60s at the age of 12, riding my mom’s Honda Cub 50 to deliver the early morning newspaper. Several Hondas and a Yamaha DT250 later, I discovered European motorcycles and rode Bultacos and a Husqvarna in amateur motocross and enduros. I was self-funded and back-of-the-pack. In 1973 I was a spectator at the International Six-Day Trial in Dalton, MA. There I saw three factory-built BMW dirt bikes and I was hooked. My first BMW came in 1978, an R90/6, which saw as much dirt as it did pavement. Motorcycling took a minor hiatus in the early 80s as I built my advertising agency business, and my young family. In the mid-80s I opened a west coast office and rode my 1986 BMW R80 G/SPD there, and all over the region. This bike is still in my garage, being refurbished. Sport-touring bikes rounded out the equation, and a collection began to form. After a very healthy speeding ticket received in the North Georgia mountains, I decided to only ride dual-sport bikes going forward. Well, the HP2 Enduro I owned still opened the door to a lot of “performance” riding. I’ve never been good at keeping track of the mileage I’ve ridden on my various bikes, but I have been recognized for my contributions to the motorcycling community. The founder of the Ride for Kids was a personal friend and many hours have been spent volunteering in their interest. I’ve been an amateur moto-journalist, writing extensively about motorcycle camping, adventure riding and a number of product reviews in the BMW Owners News and several mainstream moto publications. In 2002 I was named an Ambassador by the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and in 2012, BMW AG recognized me as a Friend of the Marque. I also provided guidance to a motivated group of young people as they formed a group called The GS Giants. These days, I’ve slowed down a bunch and spend most of my time riding in Europe or around my house in Western North Carolina, home of some of the best roads in the world. Retirement is a wonderful thing.