published at 17.04.2012, 09:59

The Making of a Motorcyclist

Motorcycles can play a big part in your life and affect you more than you would ever realise. That’s the view of American author and BMW owner Gordon Bunker, who has just published a book all about how riding motorcycles has shaped his past, present and probably his future too.

Starting with a childhood fascination with engines and his first tantalizing ride on two wheels, Bunker’s The Making of a Motorcyclist is a spirited account of his adventures riding motorcycles around the block and then around the USA. On the road, he meets some fascinating people, experiences many interesting places off the beaten track and discovers the joys, the trials and even a romance or two along the way.

The author, who describes himself as “an insatiably curious adventurer” was inspired to write the book after years working in various jobs (including boat building, fine art conservation, furniture design and building, motorcycle service, architecture and construction) that left him unfulfilled.

“There's an expression among writers to ‘write what you know’, says the 55 year old, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and currently rides an R 1200 R BMW. “One day it dawned on me there were a lot of stories from my experiences riding motorcycles that were too rich not to tell. BMW ownership has opened a door to friendships with many wonderful people who I probably never would have come into contact with otherwise. Riding has opened a door to my country and the adventure of exploring it.”

As to why Bunker chooses BMW bikes above all else, a telling extract in the book explains everything: ‘There are a thousand reasons. I had some time in BMW cars and while I never owned one, it was enough to know that they are well engineered, solid, fast enough and dynamically better than any other vehicle I had experienced. The motorcycles have the same stuff built in. The design, both technically and aesthetically, is elegant, beautiful and inherently German. There’s just no way a BMW could come from Japan. Take one apart and you’ll see how beautifully they’re made. Looking at the machine work inside the engine and transmission of a BMW is like looking at jewellery.’

As for Bunker’s dream BMW bike, it is the one he currently owns and rides. “My gut response is my 2007 R 1200 R. It's that right. More often than not, when I get home from a ride I take a step back, admire the bike and think, ‘I'm going to send BMW an email to say thanks’. And more than once I've done just that. But to wander in dream land, there are half a dozen boxers I’d love, from the R51/3 to the HP2 Sport.”

The 146-page Making of a Motorcyclist is available in paperback (ISBN-10: 1468115731 ISBN-13: 978-1468115734) or as a Kindle edition that can work on your PC and Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry. Published by CreateSpace, it can be purchased at or