Back in May, I featured a lovely Daytona Orange example of BMW’s R90S from a passionate motorcyclist in Canada. I was intrigued by his reason for selling – he had another R90S in Smoke Silver and didn’t need both colors. That should have given me an idea of the kind of stable he had, but I was still pleasantly surprised when I heard from the seller a few months later. Turns out his father and he have built a collection of motorcycles…and they want to share it with you. Meet “Ride the Classics“, a membership program where you’ll have access to a growing variety of hardware from the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
The collection will be based out of sunny Los Angeles and it currently consists of multiple BMW R75/5s, several R90S’, a R60/2, R69SUS, and a R100GS. But there’s more than the Germans – they’ve also got a Laverda RGS1000, a Ducati 900SS replica that’s currently being restored, and they’re scheduled to have a Moto Guzzi Le Mans join the fleet next year.
The father/son duo of Daniel and Inigo Donaldson understands the perspective of younger and older riders. In their estimation, older riders often put bikes on the back burner as they take on the responsibilities of a family but there are some iconic models that they grew up with and haven’t had a chance to ride yet. On the flip side, they believe there are younger riders who adore the classics but might not have a chance to acquire them.
Their goal is to make it practical to enjoy a classic by taking the emphasis off of maintenance and just giving you the opportunity to do the fun part – riding.
Members will be given 600 points a year, and you can choose to spend your points as you wish. Approximately 20 points would get you a day on something like a R75/5, whereas you’ll need to spend about 4 times that to get something like the Moto Guzzi Le Mans.
They’re going with a membership-based platform so that they just have to answer to riders, but there is a financial component that still has to be addressed. While the inventory of bikes has already been secured, the Donaldsons still need to ship the collection from Canada to California, get a short term space in Los Angeles, cover insurance, and get the word out there – unfortunately I can’t reach everyone! Their solution is to get seed funding from the initial members, and they want to incentivize you for being part of that first round.
If you get involved with their crowd-sourced fundraising campaign, Ride the Classics will offer you a discount on your membership. For example, if you make a $100 donation, it get you $350 worth of credit towards your membership in the first year. A $1,000 donation gets you a $1,750 credit towards your first year membership.
This isn’t going to be easy. It’s an ambitious project and the Donaldsons will need skill, a little bit of luck, and some support from you to make this work. In a world where it seems like most of the news in the motorcycle industry is sad (as I write this, I’ve just found out that a couple of my friends were included in a group of 15 people let go from the Bonnier motorcycle magazine group – think Cycle World, Motorcyclist, etc), it’s refreshing to hear about individuals that want to try something new and add to the community. The least I can do is let you know about it, and Ride the Classics is offering a bonus perk for Bike-urious readers. If you use the Discount Code “Bike-urious” when you sign up, you’ll get an additional 80 points added to your membership the first year. As described above, that’s 4 days on a base bike or a full day on something like the Ducati 900SS replica.
Interested in what you’ve read? Head on over to their website for more information and to support Ride the Classics! Got questions? Fire away in the comments!