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Don Kuellmer


GWRRA#:  326634
Date of Birth: December 10, some year in the 20th century
Place of Birth: Harvey, IL
Reared In: Elmhurst, IL
Now Living in: Livermore, CA

My first powered two wheel vehicle was a homemade mini-bike, converted from a bicycle with a salvaged lawnmower engine.  I still have vivid memories of that short lived vehicle (it had a lifespan of three rides the length of the sidewalk from my house to the corner – note three and not four as I crashed it on the test ride due to one technical item – I had not put any brakes on the machine) and carry scars from the hot muffler on my arm to this day.  Flash forward to my first real motorcycle – a Jawa 250.  What an interesting starter bike – my first one with reverse (once when the engine started backwards).  My next one was just a little quicker off the line – a Kawasaki H2 – a 750 cc 2 stroke triple that could (and did) pull the front wheel off the ground at 70 MPH with a twist of the wrist.  I rode that one cross country and it lasted until the garage it was parked in burned to the ground.  When I went back to college I bought a new Yamaha XS750 triple for commuting on.  That one lasted until the crankshaft seized on top of Pacheco Pass with my ex on the back.  I pulled it over to the side of the road and never rode it again.  I later picked up a GS850 with a full Vetter package – fairing, trunk and saddlebags and rode that as my only transportation for 2 years, until I received orders to Iceland and had to leave it behind.  Upon return I either had the time or the money (but never both at the same time) to get it back on the road, so went without for many years.  Fast forward to my last mobilization to Kuwait with a follow on tour to Afghanistan (duration of almost 2 years) and return home to a distinct lack of available transportation and parking space at the house, so I went out and purchased a 1983 GL1100 off EBay.  With it having been basically stored for many years, it needed work.  Beth found CA2Q on line and we went to see what we could find out about servicing and parts sources for the old bike.  But we found everyone riding much newer (and more comfortable) 1500’s and 1800’s.  So, after a few months we found a good deal on a 2003 1800 and have been riding it around the block a few times since, adding up about 125K in 3 ½ years.  I wish that I did not have to work and could go out and ride the bike a little!

We enjoy day rides (so far up to 1100 miles) and overnight (so far up to a week together), and much shorter ones between the long ones.