Cover Bike Owners

Ben Schmitt & His 1979 Yamaha SR500

April 30, 2016
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Our May 2016 cover bike is owned by Ben Schmitt, and we enjoyed shooting his 1979 Yamaha SR500 for this month’s cover. Ben is from Kearney, Missouri, and we had the opportunity to gather additional information about him and his bike. We also had fun shooting cover model Kathleen on Ben’s bike for this month’s cover. I’m sure you’ll also enjoy this month’s behind the scenes photos and video!

CC: What is your occupation?
Ben: I’m an attorney with Schmitt Mulhern, LLC.

CC: Why do you ride?
Ben: I like it!

CC: How long have you been riding? 
Ben: I’ve been riding about 48 years.

CC: What was your first bike?
Ben: My first bike was a 1969 Honda 250.

CC: How many bikes have you owned? 
Ben: Probably close to 100.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own? 
Ben: More than fifteen. Along with this 1979 Yamaha SR 500, I also have a 1972 Harley-Davidson FLH 1982 BMW R65, 1977 Yamaha RD400, 1987 Yamaha YZ490, 1983 Yamaha YZ490, 1984 Honda XR500R, 1984 Honda YR500R, 1975 Bultco Alpina, 1976 Husqvarna 360 Cross Country, 1973 CZ 400, 1974 Husqvarna 250 CR MAG, 1973 Husqvarna 250CR, two 1974 Husqvarna 250 WR, plus an assortment of Honda CR90s CR70s, and a 250.

CC: What do you like most about your Yamaha SR 500 cover bike? 
Ben: The bike works very well as a road racer. A single cylinder 4-stroke bike is really fun to ride flat-out.

CC: What is your dream bike?
Ben: A Harley-Davidson XR750. I love the racing Heritage.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience? 
Ben: Riding a friend’s Sportster when I was 16-years-old. No turning back after that!

CC: What is your least memorable riding experience? 
Ben: My least favorite is a crash in turn 13 at Road America. It hurt and left a mark!

CC: To what clubs or organizations do you belong? 
Ben: AHRMA. I also sponsor the Missouri Vintage Motocross Series.

CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended?
Ben: I’ve been to many racing events and the National Biker Roundup. I always look forward to the October Vintage Race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself? 
Ben: No preference, but I don’t like riding with a slow-paced group.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Ben: Swifty “Champagne” Hernandez, Mike Gilkey, Craig Breckon, and Jon Gallagher.

CC: Thanks for the interview Ben, and thank you for letting us shoot your bike for this month’s cover.

Interview by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photos by Dick Carlson with Carlson Digital Photography

Published in Cover Bike Owners

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