1996 BMW R1100GS | The Bike That Changed My Life

Photography by Michael Mosbach

RIDER: Neil Peart
THEN: Grieving widower contemplating life without music
NOW: Remarried husband and new father, still rocking with Rush

“The first motorcycle I bought for myself carried me into the wonderful world of adventure touring. (Though my first bike, a 1994 R1100RS sport-tourer, had suffered manfully—if unsuitably—through trips above the Arctic Circle and around Mexico.) Those two bikes came out on the first concert tour on which I traveled by motorcycle, Test for Echo, in 1996-’97.

“In ’98, this bike also carried me out of the utter darkness left by double family losses, on a 55,000-mile ride to the farthest points of North America, from Alaska to Belize. Thus it was the ‘star’ of the book Ghost Rider, about my journey through grief and sorrow to gradual healing.

“Retired after 100,000 miles, it was displayed for a time at the AMA Museum in Ohio, and now stands on display in the hallway of my home in Quebec. It was also the first of seven GSs (I call them “Geezers,” and number them to keep them apart), most of which have been sold to friends. My present ride is a 2010 R1200GS: 'Geezer 7.'"

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