Jump to content

Richard Elarde - "mrzoom"


Recommended Posts

I am very sorry to inform all of Richard Elarde (Mr. Zoom)'s BMWST friends that he passed away.  Rich collapsed while working out at his gym this morning and could not be revived.


Rich and I joined the BMWST board within 6 months of each other in 2002.  He and his wife Ady lived near Chicago at that time where he was an independent Snap-on tool salesman.  Rich retired, and they moved a couple of years ago to Tulsa, OK.


Rich was an extremely friendly guy that enjoyed riding and sharing a meal and conversation with everyone!  He and I first met at one of the El Paseo BMWST events and often rode together at many BMWST events over the past 16 years.  I, like many others, will truly miss him!

  • Like 3
Link to comment

Like Bob, I was saddened to learn of Rich's death today.  While I didn't know him well, I had ridden with him several times, most recently at last summer's UnRally in South Dakota.  Rich was a quiet, modest guy.  He certainly enjoyed participating in the Board's riding events, and I understand that his wife said today that he was very much looking forward to going to this year's START.  Rest In Peace, Rich.  I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet you.  We will certainly have a toast to your memory in Sparta two weeks from now.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I will miss Rich's smile and joyful attitude when he came to our gatherings and he was humble and always a pleasure to have a conversation with.

When we last saw each other I told him I almost didn't recognize him because he looked so good. He said he had been working out and felt great.

He will be missed.

If anyone has a photo please post it.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I first met Rich at an ART - Bernie introduced me to 'Mr. Zoom' and we shared a meal together in a larger group. While I didn't know Rich well, we did have several interactions through the board. I think our off board communication began with audio systems and at the time, I was painting my garage. That peaked Rich's interest and he sent photos of his very nice garage he'd recently finished! Rich was always warm, conversational and quite friendly. Rich had varied interests, and that let to many off-line interactions that were always marked by his trademark enthusiasm, helpful and encouraging words.

At the UN last year, I was up early on my first day, tweaking my bike. It was dawn and I didn't expect to see anyone out and about. Rich was up as well and spotted me in the parking lot and came over. We had a nice 30 minute chat before the rest of the world came alive. We communicated again once we got home and we both confessed that we had a hard time putting some names with faces at the UN, only to remember later who someone was.

Shortly after I bought my camhead, Rich reached out and spent quite a lot of time giving me tips and pointers on the bike. That was his way and I know I'm just one of many who benefited from Rich's active participation on our community.


My last correspondence with Rich was a little more than a week ago. He'd downloaded the routes for START and was very excited to hit the road for Sparta. He'd just completed some work on his bike and was going to take it on a quick shakedown ride. Rich shared that he and Marcopolo had ridden at the UN and that Mark had gone over some GPS pointers and he was excited to put those pointers to work on his way to Sparta.


Apart from Rich's warmth, when I think of Rich, I think of how he lived up to his board name 'mrzoom'. Now that he lived in Tulsa, Rich had some serious distance to travel to get the the ART's. And true to his name, I was always amazed at how quickly he would make the trip back home! Rich was going to make the 1000 mile trip to Sparta without a second thought, and no doubt he would have done it in record time.


Godspeed, my friend.

  • Like 4
Link to comment

An email Richard sent me after one of my many posts regarding my fascination with cafe faired bikes. I think he may have shared some of the pics here but don't recall reading the back story. Wish I got to know him better.


Hi Pat,
I was able to find some old slides of the old Kaws.
Wow brings back great memories. I guess I've never left any of my rides alone.
Always modifying and trying something new. How I did all of this and worked is beyond me.
Wish I had that energy now!!
Before internet it was a lot harder to build stuff. Magazines, a friend of  a friend that knew a guy that might have done such and such to a bike and so on.
You will see the progression of my 73 900 from mild to race bike.
First picture.
After a weekend of work my friend, who owned the Kaw shop, and I built our
900's to look like this.
Notice the dual disc brakes, stock was a single one. Relocated calipers
to the rear by swapping lower slides and building custom lines.
Kaw offered a kit which included a bigger master to accommodate the 2d caliper.
Fairing was from England as were the clip ons. British cafe racers were the thing
over there then. Rear sets were modified from somewhere. Notice we still have the
rear drum brake and lost the chrome fenders. Koni rear shocks.
Progression to WOW show bike. Big 7 gal tank and worlds most uncomfortable seat.
Probly a BMW prototype!!! Wheels are Morris mags with Plasma aluminum rotors.Gussed
frame to try to improve the handling.
Rear disc brake now. Warmed up the motor with a Yosh 1015 cc kit with slipper 
pistons, 10.5 to 1. Yosh 4 into one and a set of 29mm smooth bore carbs. Andrews stage
2 degreed cams .I took the head to a shop in Detroit for a 4 angle valve job with a little clean up of the ports.
Later mods included electronic ignition, exell coils and total later total loss ignition  with shaved and cut alternator cover.
This thing was fast. Too bad I didn't really know to ride it fast. A fun 4 years of racing
until the big get off at Indianapolis raceway park turn one. Really messed my shoulder
up on that one.
During that time I always had 5 to 10 Kaw 900's/ 1000's in my garage for spares and fix ups to sell to support the habit. I also was a tuner for a good friend that was a great rider. We ran a warmed over "stock" 900 in endurance races too.
Too bad I ran 1 to 3 seconds slower that the rest of the team so I didn't get much seat time.
Did I mention I had a lot of energy then???
Sold all race stuff in 77 and rode  1000Z shaft for touring. With a  Vetter fairing of course.
Then the Big Boy KZ1300's. Had 3 of them. Picture is of a 1979 or 80 ?? A 1982 black with this fairing and Samsonite bags was 800 lbs of touring pleasure that I rode till 2001 wen I bought a R1100 RT.
The 73 Dodge was the track truck. Tricked out with all the right stuff of the day. Note CB...
So that's it ,a little trip down memory lane.
Oh the 67 Sport Satellite?? The car after all the drag race cars I had.
Another story for another time.
So that's it.







  • Like 5
Link to comment

Godspeed Rich! I will miss your smiling face and great conversation. Like Bob I first met Rich at an El Paseo many years ago. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I guess I've known Rich for at least 10 years meeting at various events over the years.  He rode with Endo and I at the 2016 Un from Salida almost to Wyoming before heading off to visit friends/family.  He rode his ride, never getting pulled into riding over his head.  I was always amazed at how well he handled an RT being even more inseam challenged than I am.  He was a fun guy, always in a pleasant mood and never had anything bad to say about anyone.  Gonna miss you, Rich.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Calvin  (no socks)

I met him at one of the early  El Paseo gatherings in Cherokee.  He had a Snap-On franchise in Chi town. On one ride I was ahead of him for  a short while on Happy Valley Rd. I was slowing the group. At the bottom he kindly commented, "nice lines".  I will miss him. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Agreed with all ... he was a super nice guy ... a very good representative of this community, often driving long distances to meet up and ride with new and old friends alike. I will miss him for certain. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
On 1/8/2019 at 10:41 AM, mrzoom said:

Back in the day there were 2 Tops "Big Boys Drive Inn's in two towns about 15 miles apart. Every weekend the gang I hung with would cruse our street race cars back and forth between them. Eat, hey we were kids, check out the other town's girls do a little racing and so forth.

Ah the cars. 55-57 Chevy's, 427 Fords, 421 Pontiac's, 409's and me in my built to the hilt Mopar , home built rods and more. :thumbsup:

How we all survived doing stupid street racing stuff amazes me.

Sure liked the Big Boy burgers :clap: You had to order food or the cop would tell you to move along.


Pat - thanks for sharing the email. Rich also posted this form the Sparta START thread in a brief discussion of Big Boys. Rich certainly had a skill and passion for modifying machines - he was very talented!

  • Like 2
Link to comment

I spoke again with Ady, Rich's wife, who is doing amazingly well under the circumstances.  She told me that Rich viewed the BMWST community as his "family" and that he was looking forward to attending both START and UnRally this year.  


Ady told me that Rich and she had arranged to have their bodies donated for medical purposes and she will not likely get Rich's ashes back for about 6 months.  No funeral services are planned.  However, Ady and her son have requested that once they have his ashes they would like to come to one of our BMWST events to meet with some of his friends and distribute the ashes.

I told Ady to contact me once she has Riches ashes and I would take the lead on finding the best event or venue where a gathering of Rich's friends might meet Aby and their son and participate in the distribution of his ashes.



  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment

I met him when he came out to San Diego in 2007.  A very nice guy.  This is me, Rich, and Russell in Borrego Springs, while Russell was trying to solve an electrical problem on his Tuono:



He contacted me when he was out here in 2017, but I wasn't able to get together.  I'm very sorry to hear he's gone.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Damn, cant say I knew Rich very well but we did shoot the bull at a few events.  Dyanne and I ate lunch with Rich at Telico Plains at last year's FART, really a nice guy.  Hate to hear of his passing.

Link to comment

Met Rich many years ago at Chicago BMW.  He would ride south with me for a few miles and have lunch, then ride back to chitown as I continued south.

Was looking fwd to seeing him in NC next week.


Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

I have Ady's home address if anyone would like to send a card - I know how much she would appreciate hearing from many of us. Please PM me for the addy.

Link to comment

Dang!  He rode with us on the Pied Piper to the New Hampshire UnRally and attended several Torrey meets.  He will be missed!  

Link to comment

"Mr Zoom"

Met, I think, at first El Paseo.

A gentleman, always had something good to say, always ready to ride.

We only saw each other at events. He would welcome you like his best friend.

One of the good guys.

Ride in peace.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

What sad news. He had a way of connecting with everyone and it was an honor to spend time with him.


Was looking forward to seeing him again at the UN.



Link to comment
Glenn Reed

I read a lot of his posts and knew he was coming to Helen the first time I was.  I came in off a road that "T"d into a gas station.  I saw an RT in there with a rider trying to figure his way, so I pulled in.  It was Rich.  I said I knew where we needed to go (that's a first) and he said lead on.  We went to the hotel and that was the last I saw of home that weekend.  There were two hotels and we were split up.  He was perfectly willing to take the help offered by someone he had never met, and that says something about this community.

I met him at another event, the RCR where we stayed down at the bottom.  He got along great with my wife, as did Bob Quinn Celko who was sitting across from us at dinner.

Now I have to tell her that another person she knew from the board has passed. :(

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...
Joe Frickin' Friday

Somehow I missed scrolling down to the The Ride Home forum for all this time; I didn't notice this post until today.


I can't remember exactly when I met Rich - it was many years ago, perhaps at the same El Paseo event where Bob met him - but since then he and I crossed paths at more BMWST events than I can count, and rode together at several of them.  Mostly BRRs and ARTs, but a few Uns and at least a couple of Torreys.  Always enjoyed his company, and was sad today to learn of his passing.  


Ride well, mrzoom; you will be missed.  

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Damn.....thats is what I get for being MIA.  Hate to hear about this stuff, especially so late.  Rich was always one of the first faces I ran into rolling into an event.  We have had some great conversations over the years.  The most vividly being one of the BRR events in Maggie Valley.  We were 2 of the early arrivals and had both battled non stop torrential downpours on our rides in.  After hot showers and dry clothes we ended up chatting at the bar for hours as more rain soaked riders slowly made their way in.......most memorably being Mr and Mrs. Knifemaker on the Harley w/ sidecar.  There must have been 2-3" of water sloshing around in the bottom.  Good times and always good conversations.  Since we both work(ed) in the power/hand tool industry, we always had lots of interesting notes to compare.  RIP

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
  • 10 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

On Friday, September 18 we held a Last Ride for Mr. Zoom, ending at the Foothills Parkway near Newport, TN.


Here are some words and photos from that morning.





Richard Elarde (Mr. Zoom)



  • Rich joined BMWST in 2002, same year as Endobob.
  • Highly modified van/hauler to transport his racing bike to the track
  • Racing background, gave up racing after a crash at IRP and nearly lost his arm.
  • Done racing, but not riding. Bought an RT.
  • Was a regular fixture at early board events ElPaseo, BBR’s, Torrey and Un Rallies. Bernie introduced me to Rich at the Un Rally in 2017.
  • Among others - Endobob and Dave Cantin rode many a route together.
  • EndoBob paid tribute to Mr. Zoom in Sparta.


Dave Cantin had these observations last night about Rich:

  • While his name was Mr. Zoom – Rich was a very careful rider who always rode his own ride. Rich was always very cheerful and never had a cross word to say about anyone. Dave thought it was also remarkable and commendable that Mr. Zoom rode an RT to begin with – Rich was not a tall man and he never had good footing.


Rich and I had many electronic conversations – he was an interesting man and we shared many of the same passions. Rich had many interests and hobbies - and when he took an interest in something, he always dove deep. We had many conversations about garages, detailing products, home audio, bikes, tools and old cars.


I last saw Rich at the UN Rally in South Dakota. I was up very early my first day there to make some changes to my bike and Rich was up and noticed me working. We had a long conversation as I fiddled with my bike. Rich was calling me by name and we were talking about these different subjects that were hobbies of mine. Rich had lost a lot of weight – and I didn’t recognize him - and I could not figure out who this was who knew so much about me! Rich had called me by name throughout our conversation, and so I was too embarrassed to ask him is name! Later that morning, I asked someone who he was – and then the light went on! When I saw Rich that evening, I apologized for not recognizing him that morning, and he was as gracious as ever.


Rich was really looking forward to making it to START in Sparta 2019. He had just finished installing a lowered Tractive suspension on his Camhead RT, and he had spent the Winter tweaking his bike and it was all set to go. We had been communicating regularly as I had just bought a Camhead myself, so Rich was bringing me up to speed on the bike – sending me photos and ideas. Sadly, a few weeks before START in Sparta, Rich passed away while working out at the gym early one morning.


Today, Rich went on his last ride with us here, and his Wife Ady and son Jonathan are here and will be spreading some of Rich's Ashes here. If anyone cares to scatter some as well, you are free to join us.

         Indy Dave




Ady, Mr. Zoom's wife, shared her heart felt goodbye to Rich with us:


My Darling Richard, You were my best friend, my guiding star, my strength, my inspiration, the love of my life, and my world.You were kind, brave, dedicated and loving with a smile and heart to match.You inspired me with your calm, stoic disposition and unwavering prioritization of that which matters most in life. You were a relentless optimist who never confused a hard problem with one that is unsolvable.You were a humble man, full of love, strength and encouragement as well as a quick wit and always able to get me to smile and laugh.You loved me for exactly who I am.I am grateful that we spent close to 5 decades together, and just shy of 37 years as man and wife. Everyone always remarked that we were joined at the hip. I remember the countless adventures, the ups, downs, laughter, tears, spontaneous surprises, and the love and respect and of course, the pastrami sandwiches together.I spend as much time as I can in the garden, which reminds me of the cycle of life. The flowers that we planted have blossomed without end.We were just starting to check off our bucket list items, one of which was your passion for motorcycle riding, enjoying nature with the sun, wind, rain and the beautiful landscape of the various places within the US. I take comfort in knowing that you are forever riding and smiling down at me.You are forever in my heart, always in my mind, until we meet again


Ady Elarde








































  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...