Like many of us my Mother forbade motorcycles in our house, something about the vision of her brother low-siding his BSA and sliding under and out the other side of a Doubledecker bus in England long ago. My uncle wasn’t seriously hurt, thankfully, but that image stuck with her. On the flip side I had my Dad and his adventures on his DKW in post war Germany to encourage me. In any event, Kari started giving me lessons in 1987 and in 1988 I got permission from Anya to buy a K57S. My first street bike!
My story is like so many of our customers, I rode when I was younger, took some time off the sport for family and became a “Re-Entry” rider in 2000 when I joined Kari at California BMW Triumph. I can relate to the different phases our customers go through with our sport. Sportbikes evolve into Touring bikes, into Adventure bikes. Track days into Dirt Clinics.
It has been a great experience bringing my love and joy of the sport to our patrons and I hope to continue enjoying this for a long time!
I joined the CalMoto team as an office assistant in 2002 on a part time basis. My full time job was raising our four kids, whose ages at the time were 12, 10, 6 and 2. With a degree in Financial Accounting, it was a natural fit to help in the office when I was able. My involvement in the business grew as Mike and I took over the ownership of the two dealerships in 2010. While not a solo-rider, I join Mike on many of the shop rides and have enjoyed the many places we’ve visited. Until I hopped on the back of a motorcycle, the only other thing I had ridden was a horse. I grew up in Evergreen on a small ranch with my 6 siblings and a lot of animals. One of my first “dates” with Mike was a horseback ride through the east foothills. He passed the test and was able to stay on so I married him in 1985. We share a family, a business and more importantly a love for adventure.
My first experience with motorcycling was at age 16 in Vermont on the back seat of Kari Prager’s white BMW R60/2. Little did I know that he would become my husband years later, much less that we would both be involved in the motorcycle industry for over 40 years! That first ride was enough to tell me I wanted to learn how to ride. I got my chance one summer in Ohio when a housemate left an abandoned beat up Honda 305, which I taught myself to ride, sometimes right into a corn field, which wasn’t the plan. Later, when Kari and I got together, he found me a wonderful BMW R25/3, which came with me when we moved to California. I moved up from that to a BMW R69S, which Kari lovingly restored as a wedding present. We drove cross country from California to Massachusetts to get married, and that bike never failed me. Our honeymoon was a two week return trip to California. Kari and I had many motorcycling adventures, including riding in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Ireland, as well as many parts of the U.S.A. Those are memories I will always cherish!
Carolyn wandered into Cal BMW one day for a pair of gloves. Former owner Kari Prager helped her choose just the right pair. More than she wanted to spend, but kangaroo leather! She bought the gloves, then a week later a new bike to go with them. After such an exceptional sales experience, she thought “wouldn’t this be a great place to work?”
Her riding career began in the midst of San Francisco’s hills and avenues, parking on the sidewalk and saving a bundle on parking tickets. San Francisco just may be the best place of all to learn the sport, trial by fire, there were plenty of tip overs and missteps.
A thrill a minute, urban commuting by GS or Vespa is still her usual mode. Most every vacation includes a ride somewhere new, the US, Canada, Mexico, Italy, France, Germany, Norway.
Down time is spent studying foreign languages, wine regions, and Michelin maps.
Arlie Ray learned to ride in the mid-1970s on a Yamaha 80 dirt bike and have ridden motorcycles ever since. He arrived at CalMoto in November 2006 and actually purchased his 2006 Triumph Bonneville Black back in 2007.
He has attended the BMW’s Off Road Riding School in April 2009 with Kari Prager. Arlie Ray is also known as the GS Advocate. After riding his Triumph Bonneville Black off-road several times to wide-spread doubts of his sanity, he purchased his first BMW R1200 GS that November.
He obviously loves to ride and currently rides to the National Parks in California. In them, where possible, on his 2011 BMW R1200GS Triple Black. Recently he has ridden in Death Valley, Lassen, Yosemite and parts of the Eastern Sierra Nevada. He also enjoys riding to Cambria, CA every August on his Triumph Bonneville Black. He is also the Triumph Bonneville Advocate as well.
Whether on or off road, there’s nothing like two wheels.
Ian is an East Coast native who grew up around vintage race cars and airplanes. This passion for all things motorized was unsurprisingly passed along. His first off-road bike came at the age of 13 and things snowballed from there. Eventually team sports were abandoned for motocross, supermoto, and sport bikes later on. After college he spent a few years living, working, and motorcycling around Europe, getting in touch with people and motorcyclists from all different backgrounds. Upon returning to the US he settled in the bay area to enjoy year-round riding season, atmosphere, and close proximity to the motorcycle industry.
While riding dirt bikes and ATV’s on family’s farm in Ohio, Mason’s love for all two wheeled things began at a young age of 5. Shortly after high school, he attended the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix AZ. After working as a mechanic and in sales, his career in Finance started at CalMoto last summer after relocating to the bay area from Southern California.
In his free time Mason can be found restoring vintage motorcycles, customizing modern classics, traveling, and exploring the great outdoors. If it has two wheels or a motor there is a good chance it has a special spot in his heart and garage.
Bill Mentz started riding motorcycles and mini-bikes in the late 60’s. Like most kids growing up in rural southern Ohio, Bill road the many miles of open trails and woods. His first dirt bike was a 1967 Moto Guzzi 125. However, it was a 70’s Yamaha Elsinore that got him hooked. At the ripe old age of 16, Bill got his first street bike; a 1969 Triumph Bonneville, and for a few moments was the coolest kid in school. Since then, Bill has logged hundreds of thousands of miles all over the country on just about every make and model he could get his leg over. If it has two wheels, Bill can find something he likes about it.
When Bill isn’t talking motorbikes, you’ll find him involved with his other passion. Music! A (semi-retired) vocalist, Bill has performed the National Anthem for the San Francisco Giants, the San Jose Sharks, the Cincinnati Reds, the UNLV Runnin Rebels in Las Vegas, and still plays local venues with his most excellent jazz trio.
From the age of 3 years old, Cameron has been on two wheels. His mom never liked motorcycles so it was always bicycles, but that didn’t stop him from loving them for as long he can remember. At the age of nine he started racing cars. First it was Quarter midgets, then when he turned thirteen, he moved to Micro Midgets, and at the age of sixteen moved up to Ford Focus Midgets. Racing is an expensive hobby and the prize money doesn’t come close to covering expenses when you are traveling all over the country, so at the age of eighteen he had to bow out and move on. He tried to find his next hobby in stand up jet skis but at the age of 21, he bought a dirt bike and it was love at first ride. During California’s riding season you can find Cameron in the hills with his friends.
If it’s not dirt riding season in the state parks, he tries to go ride in the Sierras or you can find him fishing for Bass at the Local Lakes and the Delta. He just loves to be outdoors and enjoys everything that California has to offer.
Colton has had motorcycles in his life since birth. He spent endless nights at the Lodi cycle bowl where he thrived on watching the racers slide their rear tires around the turns. After years of nagging, his father finally caved in and got him a xr100 at the age of 10. Through his teen years Colton raced hair scrambles on a cr125. He got his motorcycle license at 16 and started riding street. Colton was introduced to CalMoto in 2009 when his father bought a R1200GS. It wasn’t long before Colton came looking for his first new motorcycle, a 2012 Triumph Daytona 675. Colton’s bike history includes a xr100, crf150, cr125, Yamaha Zuma, and a Ducati st3. Currently in his garage his father and him have ’12 Triumph Daytona 675, ’10 BMW R1200GS, ’11 Triumph Tiger 800, ’07 KTM 450exc, ’03 cr125, and ’14 Triumph Bonneville (heavily modded).
In 2013 Colton graduated from CSU EastBay with a B.S. in Business Administration with a double option in Marketing and Corporate Management. On his off time, Colton likes to work on his bikes and playing with his puppy Duke (of course names after the KTM super duke). Colton has a passion for upgrading parts on bikes to get maximum performance and lives to slide knees in the corners.
Ken Rea’s story begins with the chance encounter of the two wheeled kind involving the new Allstate moped belonging to his best friends older brother. Since both Chris and Ken had never ridden anything “motorized”, they were pretty fascinated with the moped. So, one day they snuck it out of the garage and pushed it over to the school yard behind Chris’s house and had their way with it! Needless to say it came back with a few new scratches on it….as did they! Thus began Ken’s lifelong love affair with motorcycles. Now 51 years and counting his love of riding and restoring BMW motorcycles has not diminished one bit. He never dreamed that one day he would end up working at a BMW motorcycle dealership, but here he is! And the rest as they say is history….
Pat started riding at age 15 by begging his way into riding a friends Honda Trail 55 through the orchards and fields that surrounded where he lived. From there it was the task of convincing his parents to let him have his own motorcycle. He didn't get the usual "they're too dangerous", but "we don't want you to become a Hells Angel!" Well, he got a bike and their attitude changed 100% when he brought home a giant 2nd place trophy from his first race, a motocross. Although his roots are deep in dirt bikes, street bikes have allowed him to travel through 47 states and the entire Trans Canada Highway.
Needing a rear tire in early 1987, had him at the local dealership, he left not only with a new tire but a job offer to work the parts counter…He has been in this industry ever since.
Although currently, most of his free time is spent on his bicycle, the one thing that makes him feel like he is still in his 20's, is roosting through some tasty trails on a dirt bike. :-)