Born to ride and repair

For Jeff Speech, half the fun of owning motorcycles is the maintenance.

Speech, partner and vice president, creative services, at Milwaukee-based Core Creative Inc., has been riding motorcycles since age 16 and has grown to love working on them just about as much as he loves riding them.

His first bike was a multi-colored Honda CB360 that he constantly had to repair in order to ride.

“That bike was so bad that just to keep it running, you had to learn to work on it,” Speech said.

Speech cruising on his 1979 BMW R100RS motorcycle across western Wisconsin

Today, Speech owns two vintage bikes. He prefers older European motorcycles because they’re much easier to work on than newer models.

One of his motorcycles, a black 1974 Moto Guzzi with a white racing stripe, spends more time in Speech’s office at Core Creative than it does on the road. Speech brought the bike into his office last fall to keep it out of the cold. While his office makes a nice storage unit, the motorcycle, which Speech said is “the prettier bike of the two,” adds a unique touch to his workspace and has become a conversation piece.

His other bike, a blue and silver 1979 BMW R100RS, handles longer distances better and is a good vehicle for his road trips and weekend and evening rides. In addition to being an active member of Milwaukee’s vintage motorcycle community, he belongs to the Airheads Beemer Club, with which he takes at least three annual motorcycle trips across the state.

The 1974 BMW 2002

Both his rides and repair work give him an opportunity to concentrate on a hobby he loves.

“It’s just a way to get away and clear your head,” Speech said.

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