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You Are What You Ride

Deryle Mehrten


This Blathering goes back to our first BMW, a 1988 K100RS ABS Special Edition.  We’ve owned a string of K bikes after that K100: three K1200RSs, an ’08 K1200GT and a K1600GT Sport. Wanda and I both like the smooth power the four (and six) cylinder bikes that BMW makes.  In December of 2023 we bought a very sexy BMW Racing Blue R1250RT.  This is probably the most competent motorcycle we’ve ever owned.  But…the image in the Bisbee store fronts just doesn’t quite look right.  Going to fix that with a new to us ’08 K1200GT.  Should get that go-fast-sporty look back.


You are What You Ride: I remember a few years ago (well maybe a decade or two or three…) the hot saying was. “You are what you eat.”  I can also remember my mom telling me, “You are known by the company you keep.”  So, I guess it stands to reason that, “You are what you ride.”

     I have a mental picture of myself that I believe is realized when I am on a sport or sport-touring bike.  I like to think of myself as a go-fast kind of guy with a bit of sanity sprinkled in.   Fast but cool.  So, when I can, I check the widows on the storefronts as I go by to see if the reflection is “me.”  The K100RS does it.  I can honestly say that when on my K100RS I look fast and cool (or is that kewl?).  What about the rest of you?  What do you see or want to see reflected in storefront windows?

     There are lots of choices out there for the rider who wants the cruiser image.  The cruiser market is really booming.  Every marque has several to choose from.  Enter the BMW R1200C.  The RC is a laid-back kind of bike that will reflect the cruiser image in the storefront windows.  It says, “I am in no hurry and I’m obviously the Boss.” With a shorty helmet and a black leather jacket with lots of zippers you will be the cruiser that you see in your mind’s eye.  Cruising and kewl.

     Adventure riders have had the BMW GS for many years.  If you imagine yourself on a Safari or doing the Paris to Dakar, then a GS or the new F series bike is for you.  Here the clothing and the accessorizing must be very rugged and reflect the nature of less is more.  Hard bags are not enough; they must be metal hard bags.  When looking into the storefront window the picture you see is the adventurer on his/her way to parts unknown on roads that have never seen two wheels.  Very rugged and very kewl.

     The Goldwing crowd has been treated to pure luxury for many years.  These bikes are for riders who want cup holders and true cruise control.  The only noise you want to hear is the stereo or pillion rider talking to you through your helmet speakers.  The image is pure luxury.  Welcome to the BMW K1200LT. The Light Truck.  Luxury riders are in seventh heaven on board this baby.  When you look into the storefront window you see a rider that appreciates luxury and comfort.  Your designer clothes provide comfort and protection while portraying the image of one with good taste above all else. Very vogue and very kewl.

     Ricky Road Racers haven’t had much to ride in the BMW lineup until the R1100S was recently introduced.  This is the bike that will give you knee draggers the storefront reflection you are seeking. No extras unless they make the bike go faster.  Crouched and ready to pounce.  Fast, very fast and very kewl.

     There are very few hack riders out there.  Why is that?  I am not sure what a hack rider sees in the storefront window.  Easy to park comes to mind.  Carries a lot of stuff and a passenger.  I cannot see myself in a storefront window on a sidecar rig.  Just doesn’t fit.  What do sidecar riders see in their mind's eye that makes them kewl?

      And what do airhead riders see?  A classic image of days gone by?  The older, experienced rider that doesn’t need all those creature comforts?  Someone who can remember to turn off his or her turn signals without relying on auto shutoff circuits?  Simple by design?  Can’t afford a new one?  You will see vintage riding at its best in the storefront window when riding a classic R100 or R90.  The “/” riders are very vintage and very kewl.

     My favorite spot for checking out how kewl I look is in Bisbee.  Riding through Bisbee’s narrow Main Street with the storefront windows in a bit of shade gives me major insight as to just who I am.  Remember, you are what you ride.  Deryle Mehrten, kewl on a KRS.

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