Million-mile rider Lyle Grimes dead at 79
August 11, 10:29 AMDC Motorcycle Examiner
Lyle Grimes, 79, died Sunday, 9 August.
Born in Westwego, Louisiana, Grimes died in a single-vehicle crash near Natchitoches LA after apparently losing control of his 2009 BMW F650GS as he traveled south on I-49; however, no definitive cause has been announced by authorities yet. He was wearing a helmet.
Grimes was heavily involved with BMW organizations in the US, including being the mileage coordinator for the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, or BMWMOA. He recently attended the annual rallies of both the BMWMOA in Johnson City, Tennessee and BMW RA annual rally in Canaan, West Virginia. Friends speculate Grimes was headed to yet another rally at the time of his death.
After buying his first BMW, a K100RT, in 1985, he continued to ride BMWs - along with other brands - for the rest of his life, eventually racking up over a million miles on his various motorcycles. He continued to ride K100RTs, eventually shifting to the K1100RS model, and later the smaller, lighter parallel twin motorcycles (F800ST and F650GS) released by BMW in the 21st century.
Grimes faced retirement from riding due to back problems in 2003, but successful surgery enabled him to return to the saddle, where he continued to rack up mile after mile and remained active in local clubs such as the Gulf South BMW Owners Club and the BMW Riders of Mississippi.
In a thread on the BMWMOA member forums, riders that knew Grimes called him "a good friend", "a great guy", "fun to be around", and "kind, interesting and humble." It is apparent that he will be greatly missed in the motorcycling community.