Hello, my name is John Lacko, and I'm a bike-a-holic.... Ooops, this isn't Tuesday night!
About me... I have been riding, collecting, and enjoying BMW motorcycles since 1972. Even at the tender age of 17, I was impressed by these somber black motorcycles from Germany. My first BMW was a 1960 R50, which I acquired, running, for the princely sum of $225. I got some help bringing it home, and while I stood with my friend in the garage, admiring my new possession, my father walked in, looked at the bike, angrily kicked the rear tire, and promptly walked out. And so it's gone ever since, with me pursuing my hobby to the point of obsession, while many others shake their heads and can't comprehend.
By the age of 25 my collection had grown to quite a few pre-war machines, and by sheer enthusiasm and persistence (read 'pest'), I landed the position of Secretary of the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners Ltd. This was a position I was to have and enjoy for over 10 years. During that time my circle of contacts expanded across the country and around the world, and I'm proud to say that many of them soon became good friends that are with me to this day.
In the early 1980's my focus shifted from mainly pre & post war BMWs to the WWII era machines, primarily the fabulous BMW R75 with power-driven sidecar. John Harper was the first to introduce me to these machines, and I found his enthusiasm to be infectious. It was a short time later that I started trading in many of my older BMWs to get an R75 of my own. This was the beginning of a new obsession for me, one that was to last for nearly 15 years - but not without a price . Unfortunately, my tenure as Secretary of the Vintage BMW Club came to and end around 1989, by which time I was so deep into researching and restoring the R75s that I found it difficult to devote the time that the position of Secretary required, so I retired.
By 1995 I had two world-class WWII R75s, and one Zundapp KS750, but the years of chasing parts for these bikes was beginning to take its toll. I was starting to lose it. In the end I sold all three. Gone too were the military Harley XA and Indian 841. The only military bike that remained was my trusty (or should I say rusty - see photos section!) 1940 R12. After a few months away from bikes I decided to go back and concentrate on the many postwar model BMWs that I had enjoyed since my youth.
So here it is, 1998, and Im really enjoying the post-war bikes I made the right move. Work is progressing well on my 1952 R68 ISDT machine, and after 9 years (!) of work, my 1950 BMW racer is almost complete. This will be something to see (and hear) when its done. Ill post some photos soon! Will I ever get an R75 again? Maybe Theres one that I know of that Ive had my eye on for 12 years now, and if that bike ever comes up for sale Id .
(The obsession continues )