What I can remember after decades of working with BMW motorcycles
Vetter Design Works PM
Vetter Design Works, project manager
by Duane Ausherman
So who is Craig Vetter? Only the most important single individual in motorcycling in the last half of the 20th century. The photos are of a sales brochure for his property.
This is where I lived and worked, life is rough but someone has to do it.
Craig and Carol lived here
The dining room
Some details of the shop.
The shot above shows the workshop area where the design work fabrication occurred. The lower shot is the living space that I occupied. One could sit in the hot tub and watch the rockets take off from Vandenburg Air Force Base and enjoy the overlook of the San Luis Obispo valley below.
Somehow I was able to manage:-)
My role After I sold BMW of Marin in 1975, I sort of retired. I was comfortable enough to live a life of luxury without any income, because I was now able to do whatever I wanted, without respect to a reliable income. I bought a place in Modoc County and lived there for a few years to “unwind” from my hectic life as a BMW dealer. Those few years brought in offers of employment, but it wasn’t until Craig’s offer that I was “sucked” back into the work force. What did I do? My first task was the project manager of the Mystery Ship project. It was the forerunner of today’s fully faired crotch rocket.
The original idea was to start with a BMW, but Butler and Smith, the importer in those days, was unwilling to make a favorable deal with Craig Vetter. The Kawasaki KZ 1000 ended up being used as the base bike. My job was to manage the implementation of the project. Craig did the design work and left much of the rest of the project to me. Only 10 of the units were actually made and sold due to poor response from the buying public. The design concept was too far ahead of its time. Today we see many models of motorcycles on the streets that follow the Mystery Ship concept. Part way though the project I was pulled off to manage the first ever, Vetter Rally, in Colorado Springs, CO.
My old position was assigned to my very good friend, Dick Arnold, who was also my flight instructor. We are good friends to this day, but he “escaped” to Texas where he and Judy, his wife, taught English in high schools until they retired. I just got word that he died this past January, 2017. RIP my good friend.