Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®: A 1938 German motorcycle, lost in the depths of a Minnesota lake for fifty-six years, gets caught by Minnesota fisherman.
Rusted, rotting and wet: Not the type of terms we normally like to use to describe a motorcycle, but, in what is truly an intriguing story, that’s the condition of a 1938 German motorcycle recovered from the depths of Big Swan Lake, Minnesota. The bike belonged to local resident Dean Allie. Allie, who had just received the motorcycle as a gift from his father when he turned 15, took the bike for a ride across the lake 56 years ago, not realizing the ice was too thin to support him. The ice gave way, thankfully Allie survived but the bike was lost for over half a century.
Cue fisherman Jeff Riedemann, who trawled the motorcycle from the icy depths of the lake on November 29th of this year. Riedemann later acknowledged that he has hauled up some bizarre items while fishing, but this was the first time he’d ever come across an entire vehicle. Riedemann decided to keep the motorcycle. He then went home and did some research to see if there was any sort of record of the bike’s story. When he found out that the bike had belonged to Allie, he immediately gave him a call and returned the bike to its original owner.
Allie had planned to keep the bike simply for posterity measures, but news travels fast and eventually the story reached the ears of local vintage motorcycle buff Ron Miller. Miller and Allie came to the agreement that Miller could take the motorcycle, clean it up, and show the bike at museums and shows, detailing its unique history. Miller is excited about the prospects of this motorcycle and its tale, “I have a feeling the bike is talking to me, and it’s telling me to go out and tell the story”. Miller is well aware of the work he will have to put into properly cleaning the motorcycle, but he does not want to fully restore it. In fact, Miller would rather show the bike in its current non-running condition because he believes that it will further demonstrate exactly what this bike has been through in the last half century. All he has to do now is clean it…and he got started on that by spending 2 hours in the local car-wash, pressure washing the bike to remove the grime.
For now, the rest of us will have to wait for him to finish his work before seeing the motorcycle on display to the public. I don’t know about you, but I think it will a popular stop at shows around the country due to the really unique story behind its loss and rediscovery after almost six decades on the icy bottom of that lake in Minnesota.