Sunday, September 21, 2008

Indy Moto GP wrap-up

From PBTF's website (http://www.pbtfus.org/):
[History was made in September 2008 as the world's premier motorcycle racing series, Moto GP, made its inaugural visit to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Another kind of history was made on Saturday, Sept. 13, when the first Lap of Champions took place on the new Moto GP circuit. This special Ride for Kids® fundraising event, which raised more than $49,000 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, offered an enthusiastic group of riders the opportunity to take their motorcycles for a parade lap around the new track.

A sold-out crowd gathered at the famous Brickyard Crossing to sign in. After a rider's meeting everyone climbed aboard their bikes and rode on a cart path of the adjoining golf course to access the track. The group was led by custom bike builder Roland Sands, a former AMA National Road Racing Champion, National Ride for Kids® Director Kyle Clack, and brain tumor survivor Bayleigh Jones, who rode with her father, Chris. Along with RFK founder Mike Traynor, the group made a full circuit of the track to the applause and waving flags of the corner workers.
Afterward the riders gathered in the pavilion and learned about the Ride for Kids® program and the work of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Bayleigh told the group about her battle with a brain tumor and her love of motorcycling. "As a brain tumor survivor and PBTF scholarship recipient, I really appreciate the help you give to all of us," she said.
A drawing for several prizes followed, and lucky donors won an AGV GP Tech helmet, AGV Sport leathers, boots and gloves, a new set of Dunlop tires and an Aerostich suite courtesy of our generous sponsors. Brian Kissinger of O'Fallon, Ill., was the Champion Fundraiser with nearly $3,000 turned in to help the kids.

Special thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway team, especially Mel Harder, senior vice president of operations, for making the event possible. Thanks also go to Brickyard Crossing, Honda of Noblesville, Dreyer Honda and many local volunteers for all their help during the weekend, and to the event's sponsors, AGV, AGV Sport, Dunlop Tires, and Aerostich. ]

Thank you everyone for helping to make this event wonderful and for donating to help kids fighting brain tumors and in memory of Julian.

What's next? Well I have a little over $900,000 more to go in my lifetime goal to raise more than $1 million for cancer and brain tumor research. I have a few ideas......

Please follow this blog and http://www.brainsflight.com/ for what I am doing next to help get there. And as always, thank you for your support, thoughts, prayers, and donations for research.

Cheers,
Brian "Brain" Kissinger

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wonderful opportunity -- Great cause -- A success


Yesterday culminated my work with PBTF this year in honor of Julian Avery. I rode more than 5,000 miles this summer on my BMW motorcycles and raised more than $3,000 for their efforts.
One of the most exciting things I have done on a motorcycle took place yesterday. Along with many others we had the opportunity to ride a lap on the Indy Motorspeedway's new Moto GP course just after the last racers left the track. It was unique opportunity and one I should not forget. I will post some pictures and video at a later date.
Thank you to everyone who donated money to PBTF via my "Ride Brain Ride" campaign....you made a difference!
Please follow my other fundraising efforts at www.brainsflight.com My life's goal is to raise more than $1 million for cancer and brain tumor research.
All the best,
Brian "Brain" Kissinger

Friday, July 4, 2008

Plan C -- Ride my "new" R100 Mono

As we used to say in the Air Force when doing our flight/mission planning, it's not a plan until we run out of time to change it. Well, seeing how I have not run out of time to change my plan, I have come up with "Plan C."

Preferring to stay with the older BMW R-bike airhead technology for my ride versus the more modern K-bike, I was half-heartedly looking for another motorcycle while my R90/6 is still down with bad cylinders (they have not come back yet from the shop). Surprisingly I came across what seems to be a good bike for my purpose. It's a nice 1991 R-100 Classic or Monolever for sale by the original owner. I put a deposit down on it and plan to pick it up in Washington D.C. on the 12th of July. My plan is to then ride it all the way back to my home near St Louis and continue on my trip to the International BMW motorcycle rally in Gillette, Wyoming. It will be a lot of riding but I believe a lot of fun too. Plus I am riding with a cause...to help raise awareness and money for kids with brain tumors.
In the end I know I will easily surpass my goal of 5,000 miles riding this season (I already have more than 1,500) and hopefully people will keep on donating money to help fund research for kids with brain tumors.
Stay tune for more on my adventure this summer which will end with a lap on the Indianapolis Speedway's Moto GP course in September.
Cheers,
Brian "Brain" Kissinger
To make a donation for brain tumor/cancer research

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Logo & Plan B is on


My good friend, Ken Chornopyski, donated his time and created a new logo for my "Ride Brain Ride" fund-raising adventure.
Ken is the Canadian gentleman who purchased an aircraft from me several years ago and really helped with my "Brain's Flight" project providing much needed website support. He also created the "Brain's Flight" logo. What a talented guy!
As far as my plans go, I still don't have my R90/6 cylinders back from the shop so I will continue with "plan B" and ride a different motorcycle than my R90/6 to Wyoming for the BMW motorcycle rally. When I get back I will continue on the restoration of the R90/6 and get it ready as soon as I can. It will be tough to have it ready for the September charity event at the Indianapolis Speedway but I will do my best. Otherwise I will continue riding a different motorcycle as needed.
More later....
Cheers,
Brian "Brain" Kissinger
to make a donation for kids with brain tumors
http://www.brainsflight.com/ for more information

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Plan B?

This past weekend we were working on my 1976 BMW R90/6 and the unexpected happen. When pulling the left cylinder in order to replace the leaking push rod tube seals, we discovered that the previous owner (or a mechanic) had severely stripped the threads on the head where the exhaust pipes are secured. They then had secured the pipe on with some sort of liquid metal compound. It took more than an hour to get the stuck exhaust nut off the head. Initially I thought it would be no big deal. I will just have the threads re-done at a machine shop and we will be back in business in a week or two. Well, the first place I checked (Bob's BMW) does not do that type of machine work during the summer. The others take a little while to do that type of work so it could be a month or so before I can get everything back together. While I have not given up, it does not look good to have the R90 ready for my 1,000+ one way trip to Wyoming next month.

I would like to thank Ray Zimmerman, Executive Director of the BMW Motorcycle Owner's Association, who has mentored me during my project and whose garage my bike is in right now. I could not ask for a more knowledgeable or generous man (and friend) to assist me during this project. We did a LOT of work on Saturday on my bike including changing all the fluids and replacing the front brake pads before we ran into this obstacle. Bill Knott, the accountant for MOA, was also there working on his motorcycle replacing his push road tube seals and some other things. Click on this video to see a little of Saturday's workshop action:
video

So here's "Plan B" in case I need it. Instead I can simply ride another motorcycle for the long trip to Wyoming. Fortunately I also own a 1985 K100RS (First Year K-Bike). It will not be nearly as comfortable since it is more a sport touring bike than a touring motorcycle like the R90/6. But I figure if it was easy anyone could do it and everyone would. I will get through this challenge too.

All the best and thank you for your support to help kids with brain tumors!

Cheers,
Brian "Brain" Kissinger

To make a donation for research go to:
www.firstgiving.com/ridebrainride

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Freedom


To me, motorcycles and airplanes are very similar. Just ask an airplane pilot or a motorcycle rider/pilot why they fly or ride. You will get one common answer.

Freedom

To be free on the road or free in the air, there is nothing like it. As Americans I believe we have an innate yearning to be free from whatever we feel holds us down. Be it just another stressful day at work, life not going exactly how we planned, or just to get away and disengage for an hour or more.

Airplane flying takes more training and is a bit more expensive (sometimes) than motorcycles. The beauty of motorcycles is that you can start with a $100 fixer-upper from the junkyard and feel the same basic freedom as you can riding a $100,000 custom made bike from Orange County Choppers. You may get less “cool points” from the casual observer or snobbish biker. However, in the big picture of life it really doesn’t matter what other people think of your bike, it only matters what you think about your bike. I hope you never get brain cancer, or any cancer for that matter, but I can tell you from experience that life takes on a new view after you are diagnosed and you care less about what people think and more about what is really important.

So what am I saying? I am saying enjoy life, love your family and friends (and tell them often that you love them), and don’t miss out on life because you are too busy. Take time to smell the roses my friends.

In addition, as Martin Luther King Jr said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” Ask yourself what else you could be doing to help others. Make a difference.

Lastly, dance like no one is looking (and have a couple beers to lighten up your feet…at least that's what my wife suggests to me).

Cheers, Brian “Brain” Kissinger
www.firstgiving.com/ridebrainride
http://www.brainsflight.com/

Quick Update...need a clutch and new Airhawk seat!

Hey Everyone,

Well it looks like my old 1976 BMW motorcycle's clutch is finally giving up the ghost. It has been slipping for a little while, especially when the bike is cold, and now slips even more in every gear. So before I go on longer rides this summer I will have to tear into it, further diagnose the problem, and replace everything it seems. Oh well, as my fellow cancer survivor Todd Drenkhan likes to say...if it was easy anyone could do it. Part of the fun is overcoming obstacles. Anybody who knows me well realizes that I am not a gifted mechanic, but I am persistent. With a Clymer's repair manual and the help of a friend of 2 I will make the repairs and safely move forward.

On the good news side, Bridget at the Roho Group (makers of the AirHawk seat cushion), contacted me today and said they are sending me an "AirHawk" motorcycle cushion. What a nice thing to do, eh?
If you have not heard of the AirHawk cushion, it is one of the many fine products made by this company out of Belleville, Illinois. Last year they donated the Aviation version of the AirHawk cushion for my charity flight (http://www.brainsflight.com/). I was initially a skeptic but now I am a believer. After many hours of sitting on one of these cushions I can tell you that there is simply nothing like them. Truck stop gel seats or expensive after-market seats don't even come close to the comfort of air. Whether you are flying a plane, piloting a motorcycle or just riding in your car or truck for long distances...they are simply the best! I sometimes plop the AirHawk in my deskchair and it helps eliminate some of the lower back pain I used to get after a long day in the office. Plus I can pretend I am flying or riding a motorcycle instead or working :>)

Go to: http://www.therohostore.com/ for more information. Tell 'em your buddy "Brain" sent you.









So, anyway....I wasn't paid for that endorsement. They are just great cushions.
Back to the cause and the ride. You might be wondering what does the motorcycle I will be riding and rebuilding look like? The primary bike I am riding this summer, and have already put more than 1,000 mile on, is my 1976 R90/6 that I bought from a gentleman in South Bend, Indiana in March. Below is a picture of me riding her back home. Since then I have taken off the trunk case and done some routine maintenance with the help of Ray Zimmerman (BMW MOA Executive Director).
My next plans are to tear into the clutch and do some major maintenance before my long trip out to Wyoming. I will also clean the bike up some more, remove the Windjammer fairing, and if I get real ambitious I might paint it before I depart on my trip. The main issues are finding the time, doing things right, and still trying to ride as much as I can. In the end I will ensure the bike is safe and sound and probably put off a lot of the cosmetic things until winter.
So you might ask, "Why not buy a bike that is ready to go or maybe even get a new one?"
Well, the only way I can honestly answer that is to say I have a problem. Please go to http://www.brainsflight.com/ and it may help explain my addiction for doing things the hard way. Last year I finished the restoration of a '42 L-4 Army Air Corps airplane and flew it across the country to help raise awareness and money for brain tumor and cancer research. I named my airplane "Miss P" after my wife (Priscilla) and Perseverance. The 2 things that helped me get through so much in life. So as you may see, it wouldn't be as fun and rewarding to just go buy a new motorcycle and ride it for my cause (to raise awareness and money for brain tumor and cancer research). If you can't see that then sorry, I can't explain it to you.

So there you have it....my update and plan for the summer. 5,000 miles or bust along with a rolling rebuild of a 1976 BMW R90/6 all while raising money for brain tumor and cancer research. All of it ending with a lap on the Indianapolis Speedway on September 13th.
Please stay tuned for the adventure...and donate a dollar or $2 if you can.
Cheers, Brian "Brain" Kissinger