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tallman

Ken Insley

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tallman

Nikki contacted me with the very sad news.

He was riding, doing what he loved to do.

Ken was the best of what the board represented.

When we needed someone to step up and plan events, Ken did.

For years, he provided all the great Ride Routes for many events.

For years he planned and put on events that brought many people into the board "family".

His skill as a rider was the result of hard work. He demonstrated this in all his endeavors.

Photography, music, helping others.

Ken was a Model, in more than one way.

Ride In Peace my friend.

 

 

 

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John Ranalletta

So sad.  Rest in peace, friend.  Ruth and I send condolences to Nikki and Ken's family.  

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Id's_OK

I am stunned and deeply saddened at this news. Tallman said it best above all the things that Ken brought to our group, I would just add that he was always smiling, cheering people up and bringing them into the fold. You will be sorely missed, brother.

 

Christopher

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lawnchairboy

 A big heart and a great rider, a tremendous loss to our community.   Condolences to Nikki, Brenda and family and his many friends here.  I hope he is on some goat road dragging a knee.  

 

Ill try try and post a picture later.  

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MikeB60

Loss for words... Condolences to Nikki and the family.

 

What a punch in the gut..  Godspeed Ken, see you on the high ground.  

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Endobobdds

I was shocked to hear the loss of a truly remarkable person and friend.  This was the last thing I would think could happen to Ken.  He was one of the safest and best riders I had the pleasure to know and ride with.   A huge loss to our BMWST community.  

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greiffster

Nicol and I are very saddened to hear the news.  Our hearts go out to Nikki and their families and friends. I’m going to miss you, Ken. 

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hANNAbONE

Oh my gosh...no.!!

 

What on earth happened..?

 

I will pray for the repose of his soul and for the family & friends.

 

Man, I am just numb.

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Indy Dave

I'm working on a tribute video, please email me photos of Ken - especially  of any you may have of him riding. Post them here is fine as well, but please also email me - because the resolution is lost when downloading photos from the board.

 

Please PM me for my email address.

 

There are so many things to say, that I just can't right now. Ken was a remarkable man and in reflection, I've lost count of all the ways this was so.

 

I would like to share this for now.  2018 in Blowing Rock, I had a chance encounter with Ken, who was taking a break on the side of the road. We were on different routes, but hooked and rode together after this.  He had been coaching and encouraging me, and I had worked hard since our last ride together in Maggie Valley. Ken had given me some more pointers the night before this encounter, and I had been working on those - with great results. So I had actually been thinking of Ken appreciatively as we met on the side of the road. We had a bit of an adventure - with a closed road, and my leading us up a step driveway, mistaking it for the road.

 

I have been on a lot of great rides, with a lot of great riders and friends. This day, and the ride we did, is at the top of the list. Student and teacher, grasshopper and Master. I had the best ride of my life up to then with Ken on that day.

 

 

 

 

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StretchMark

I'm really struggling with this one. He was one of the early ones I met on the BMWRT board:

A chance encounter when we were the only 2 motorcyclist on the roads in North Georgia after a light snow the previous day.

Like many, I've enjoyed countless miles following the routes he so painstakingly scouted and shared.

I'm so sad for Nikki. RIP Ken, I rasie a glass of Eagle Rare this evening. :(

 

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big-t

Very sad news.Gonna miss that smiling face.
Condolences to the family

 

 

Rest in peace Ken.

                You will be remembered !

 

 

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RoadWolf

Got the news last night. Sad day indeed. I personally met Ken my one and only time in 2015 during a photo shoot for Olympia Moto Sports in Sapphire Valley, NC. I spent the day with him and Nikki (she was one of the photographers for the shoot). We talked a bit and I already knew him before the day's work. We had corresponded just a little when I was more active on this board almost 20 years ago. He was a pro, you could tell from the way he handled himself during the day's session. It was not his first rodeo. He mentioned to me during a break in the shoot about the Unrally that year and invited me to come. Last pictures I saw of him riding with some on this board was from February with Shaun Golding. So, he kept at it.

 

I have a photo from his site that was from the Olympia shoot that day. Behind him is my RT.

He left a legacy, that's for sure. He will be sorely missed. Condolences to his friends here and especially to Nikki.

 

Chris 

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TyTass

What a loss in friendship, camaraderie, and dedication to this community.  Nothin I can say will describe the impact of this loss, especially to Nikki. 

 

I enjoyed cohosting events with you for those 4 years, hanging out in numerous event parking lots, every time riding with you, all I learned from you, and diners with you and Nikki. I miss you already, Ken.  

 

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Mike

A terribly sad day for our community. Rest In Peace, Ken. 

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Richard_D

I'm glad to have spent some quality time with Ken in Cedar Key almost every year for twenty years. My prayers go out to his loved ones. I will truly miss his kindness.

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Chris K

As Nikki and Ken's family must be, Nancy and I are heartbroken upon hearing this news. Our love and prayers go out to them.

 

 

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Kenny Haynes

Such sad news.  Condolences to all who knew Ken.  He was always so kind and generous.

 

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Slumgullion

I am crushed and deeply saddened at the loss of our dear friend and riding brother! so many stories and wonderful memories are flooding me now. I can't believe the King of the Roads has left the house. RIP my friend!

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TN_R11_Girl

No pics to share right now ... but so very saddened to hear this news.   Thinking of Nikki and my BMWST family and sending love to you all.  Hope there's nothing but smooth, beautiful roads for you Ken.  

 

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gamecock

I have known Ken for many years but did not know him well. He was always a friendly and pleasant person at all the get-togethers. I always appreciated his unrivaled route skills and superior technical riding. 
 

I know I have and can get messed up riding motorcycles but haven’t feared losing my life. This tragedy is a reminder of the danger of the hobby we love. 
 

Ken was one of the first people I met when I joined this board. I thought of all of us as the Atlanta crew: Ken, Joel, Chris, Randy, Mark, Christine, and myself. Thank you, Ken for making me feel welcome 20 years ago. 
 

When I found out last night I was shocked. My condolences to Nikki and Ken’s family. 

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DaveCinNO

I’m in shock and at a loss for words. Ken was quick but also smart and cautious so this is the last thing I expected. The riding community lost an ambassador and friend.  My condolences to Nikki and family. Rest in peace, Ken. You will be remembered fondly. 

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Foot

I feel like someone has kicked me in the gut, this really hurts. Ken lightened the day up for all of us, we will miss him badly.

 

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Whip

One of our very best.

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PhilB

I didn’t know Ken well, but I’m glad to have met him and shared the love of riding with him. Huge loss to our community, my heartfelt condolences to his family and to all of you in our riding community.  Hope to be able to see you all soon.  Stay Safe and  healthy.

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RightSpin

I'm at a loss for words.  It still hasn't sunk in that Ken's gone.  We'll all miss him.

 

Nikki, I am so sorry this happened.  Words fail me now.  Please know we're all thinking about you.

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Les is more

This breaks my heart. It is a great loss to this community and to life as a whole. All my love to those who were close to Ken and will sorely miss his daily presence.

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EvilTwin

I only met Ken at the last FART and didn't have the chance to converse with him much, but he impressed me as a warm hearted and energetic human soul who lived his life as he wanted.   God rest his soul and peace to his family and all those who are grieving for him now.

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David

When I started El Paseo, with the help of a bunch of friends, he was instrumental in the ride planning. A very gracious guy and an avid rider. He was also a big enthusiast of the Riding Well program, and helped me organize a few of the earlier "instruct the instructor" classes. Ken represented what motorcycling was about: loved people, loved riding, and selfless.

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randy

Nikki, I am so sorry for your loss.  Please know we are  all thinking about you.

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RichEdwards

Got the call from Tallman yesterday and still I'm having trouble believing Ken is gone. I enjoyed his company at a number of BMWST events, some that he organized. And I saw him every January at Tallman's Cedar Key FL gathering. An excellent rider, a talented photographer. He will be sorely missed.

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wbw6cos

I am absolutely shocked and very saddened by his passing.  Our condolences to his family.  Thoughts and prayers from Laura and I.  

 

Although I did not know him that long, I felt that it was an honor to have associated with a person of such high caliber.  I was blessed to have known such a cool guy.

 

PEACE

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BamaJohn

I too, and in shock!  Ken was the first person to come greet me at my first FART in Ellijay last fall, and I'd grown to know him better at Cedar Key....My heart goes out to Nikki and I hope to see Ken again on the high road.  jb

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TEWKS

Wow, no words. :cry:

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KDeline

We are heart broken. Such a huge loss to this community and in general. A hole left that cannot be refilled. Ride In Peace Ken, you are missed.

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RandyShields

Tim, thank you for getting the horrible news out last night and starting this thread.  I know how heavy your heart must be with that responsibility.  Chris K and RightSpin, thank you for the difficult calls to make sure I had heard the sad news.  Through your choked up voices, I know mine and all the other calls you made were difficult and emotionally challenging.  Those of us who knew and rode with Ken are all grieving with the surprise and suddenness of our tragic loss only a week before the original date for this year's START, an event that Ken and Dave put their efforts into because it has been a labor of love.  I know Ken took a quiet satisfaction from seeing how their work was so appreciated and how the gatherings continued to grow.  Ken would routinely shorten his rides, change into his shorts, and welcome the returning riders each day with his cigar and camera.  I am tearing up as I write this because Ken was such a good soul -- friendly, an ever-present smile, never arrogant and always welcoming.  We loved to check out some of the nicer restaurants that we discovered at the START and FART events -- although Ken always had more and better places to go than I did.  I felt lucky to have him at our table when we broke bread together.  OK, now I am in full crying mode.  Miss you Ken.  Rest in peace.

 

Randy Shields

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fisherman

My name is Gil Horsley. A few years back, before I stopped riding, Ken was my riding buddy. We were averaging about 15K a year together. He taught me how to ride safe and was my friend outside of motorcycling. 
 

I went to see him last Wednesday and reminisced about all the great trips we had together. They were some of the best days of my life. God speed dear friend, there  will never be another as fine as you.

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roadscholar

What a complete and absolute bummer, just too sad. Hard to believe really. I met Ken at the first El Paseo I attended, there was a connection, an affinity, we were both roadaholics. At subsequent events we'd seek each other out and spend time chatting about all kinds of stuff but mostly this road or that. He'd chide me about not using a GPS and try to convince me how much easier and faster it was and I'd go c'mon man you can't teach an old dog new tricks : )  

 

Years ago when I'd be in the mountains at my Mom's he'd come up and we'd ride all over, I'd show him my local backroad stuff and he'd show me some of his favorites. One time he showed up on an 1150R w/street tires and I was on a GS, there was a connector off Buck Cr Rd to another set of roads to the North. We stopped and I told him it was gravel, steep w/washboard, and might be too challenging. Without hesitation he said let's go. He rode it like a pro. Bottom line is Ken really was The Man, and from what I could tell, in every facet of his life. He was always on a mission no matter what it was. Not to mention an unselfish leader, promoter of camaraderie, and architect of routes. We were fortunate to know him, rest in peace buddy.      

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twistyguy
Posted (edited)

Hey brothers and sisters.

 

I just want to share some memories.  Please excuse me if this post is too long.

 

Ken was one of the most special people I've ever spent time with.  I didn't know him long like many of you--I've only been a member of BMW Sport Touring since 2016.  But I was drawn to Ken when one night I was lucky enough to be invited to dinner in Blowing Rock by Indy Dave and Ken was there.  We, of course, were talking motorcycles at dinner.  I was blown away with his knowledge.  He was NOT a show off.  The guy was plain smart--he didn't bullshit.  I was impressed and started to pick his brain so that I could get better.  Ken took riding SERIOUSLY.  He was humble--he didn't think he knew it all.  He took courses--a LOT of courses like Keith Code's California Superbike School.  He read all the books on riding--I remember him speaking so knowledgeably about Lee Parks Total Control riding philosophy.   I really respected that.  He understood the physics behind the technique.  You get a lot of opinions from a lot of people about motorcycling.  You just know when you meet someone who really knows what they are talking about.

 

When BMW Sport Touring printed business cards for us to give prospective riders who might be interested in the group, I was stunned by the picture on the card--it was a perfect picture in my mind--really--perfect.  It was taken in the peak of Fall looking up a beautiful twisty road next to a fantastic rustic barn.  Please excuse me, because, like all of us, I'm very emotional right now.  But that photo spoke to my soul.  It was perfect.  As a motorcyclist, the road was perfect.  The composition was perfect.  The colors were perfect.  I've never seen a shot that affected me like that.  I didn't even know who took it.  When I found out Ken was the photographer, I asked him if I could purchase it.  He gave me the link to his website where I bought it for....$1.00.  I couldn't believe it.  $1.00 for the greatest photo I had ever seen!

 

I asked Ken where the photo was taken--it was somewhere near Sparta I think.  He was gracious enough to offer to ride with me there during a START.  I was excited because I wanted to see his process--how he combined two of his greatest loves--motorcycling and photography.

 

We met in the parking lot that morning.  I distinctly remember him saying that he had to be careful because he hadn't ridden in a while.  I was impressed with that--he wasn't cocky.  Despite all his experience, he respected the danger of motorcycling.  So our kickstands were up at 0700 sharp and off we went on a wet, foggy  morning.  I thought I was an okay rider at the time.  I had taken Lee Parks course and had ridden at a FART and START and did okay.  Well, I was humbled.  Ken could ride.  On his camhead GS he just blew me away.  His lines were precise and confident.  He was such an efficient rider--from behind it just seemed it was effortless for him.  The conditions were very tough for me--visibility was terrible, the roads were slick with wet  debris and I remember being very tense.  Ken just flowed in front of me.  I was awed.

 

We came to the spot where the "perfect" picture was taken.  I was stunned--it was so disappointing--the barn was a dump, the road was ordinary.  I couldn't believe it was the same place that picture was shot.  It was then I realized how talented he was--he created a masterpiece from the ordinary.

 

We parked our bikes and then we discussed how to shoot the scene.  We decided it would be cool for me to ride up the hill and he could use an open exposure so the bike would be a blur of tail light whizzing by the barn.  It was fun.  The shot eventually became the background of a FART announcement on the website.

 

We continued to ride through DENSE fog.  I was hesitant and tense.  Ken left me in the mist.  We finally stopped for breakfast at the Pisgah Inn.  We discussed riding--it was there I learned how much Ken studied riding.  He would take courses whenever he could.  He never rested on his laurels.  He always strove to get better.  So impressive.  And he was so encouraging with me.  It helped me a lot.

 

After breakfast we continued to ride along great roads until Ken suddenly pulled over.  There was a farm with a great old house.  He parked his bike and opened up his custom camera box attached to his GS.  Out came the camera.  He took his time walking around to find the right angle, making adjustments to his camera after each shot.  It was fascinating watching him work. Below are some pics I took of him at work.  I was embarrassed using my lousy cell phone for a camera--sorry for the awful quality.  But for some reason I knew I wanted to shoot pics of him photographing by his motorcycle.  I'm so glad I did.

 

Thank you Ken for everything you did for us.  Your routes were other-worldly good--so precise and well thought out with different length options and excellent lunch stops.  Thank you for all the effort organizing START and FART.  Thank you for your amazing photography--I especially love the shots you took of members of the group next to their motorcycles in the parking lot--so great.  Thank you for sharing your amazing expertise in riding and route planning.  I am a better rider because of it.

 

To Indy Dave--I know how close you were with Ken.  You guys were a perfect team.  I can't even imagine what you must be experiencing.  We are here if you need us, Dave.

 

And to Nikki and Ken's family, thank you for sharing Ken with us--he must have put so much time into START and FART.  Our hearts go out to you for your tremendous loss.

We will dearly miss him.  He was a great man.

 

Peter

 

 

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Edited by twistyguy
grammar error
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Endobobdds
7 minutes ago, twistyguy said:

Sorry for the duplicated post.  I'm not sure how to delete the duplicate.  Administrator--please delete the duplicate.  Thanks.

 

Peter - you are forgiven.  Your post is worth reading twice.

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scout6

Always welcoming, always interested in what you had to say, always a great man.

 

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ltljohn

What can I say that has not already been said.  Every time I met up with Ken,  a firm handshake, a warm smile and a genuine welcome it's good to see you.  Godspeed my friend.  I am sure some day in the mountains out of the corner of my eye I will see a rider waving with a big smile then he will be gone, there will be a faint smell of fine cigars and good whiskey in the air.

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Francois_Dumas

Just read the shocking news on Facebook, of all places. So sorry to hear it. Didn't know Ken personally, but after having read the thread I understand he was somebody that will be immensely missed. Condolences to Nikki. RIP my American riding brother. 

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Adventure9

Hi All - I just joined this page to see if I could learn more about what happened to Ken.  My wife and I first met Ken through Nikki a few years ago.  He was always a  very positive and uplifting guy to be around.   After getting to know him, I was enthused to find out he had a passion for moto's.  We rode together a few times and he joined my buddies and me for an annual dirt-bike event we do in our group.  It's heartwarming to hear what an influence he was in your community.

 

I'm so sad to hear the news.  Nikki - if you read this, you are in our thoughts and prayers!

 

Mike Moss

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Endobobdds

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BMW_Ken

Very, very sad news and hard to process.  A great guy who always had a smile. And a cigar buddy.

 

He will be missed. 

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KMG_365

Wow.  I'm shocked and saddened by this tragic news.  I'd only met Ken a few times in all these years and never got to ride with him.
I add my prayers to the rest here for his family and friends, and I share your grief in Ken's untimely passing.  <3
Fair winds and flowing twisties, brother.  Perhaps we'll get to ride together at that big UnRally in the sky some day.  :-(

 

“Grief is not a feeling, it is a capacity.  It is not something that disables you.  We are not on the receiving end of grief we are on the practising end of grief.”
― Stephen Jenkinson, Die Wise: A Manifesto for Sanity and Soul

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Jake

This one hurts a bunch.  Ken was there very early in the El Paseos and was there at the last BMWST event I attended at Cedar Key.  We will treasure our memories sitting around the virtual campfire and enjoying his easy laugh and welcoming demeanor.  And man, he sure made that GS look cool.

 

Heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.  We were graced with his presence and are thankful.

 

Godspeed.

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Marty Hill

Horrible news!  Ken was a great guy who was always ready to help.  Glad to have known him!  

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Joel

I barely knew Ken, mainly through this site, and I met him briefly in Red Lodge. The news is still a shocking gut punch, regardless. My condolences to all who knew him as family or a friend. May he ride forever more in peace.

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RTinNC

Oh my what a terrible loss to all who knew him.  I only met Ken once,. last year at START,  but was immediately drawn to his friendly and welcoming personality.   He made myself and Don Miller, both new comers to START,  very welcome.  He just had that magnetic personality and was such a valuable member of not only BMWST but to the BMW riding community.   Just another reminder to make every minute of every day count.   God Speed Ken! 

 

 

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