Abt BMW: Gone, but not Forgotten



Twenty two years ago I discovered the virtues of BMW motorcycles. I had just missed the era of Abt BMW on Ashland and Addison. The first BMW dealer in Chicago and first employer of the legendary Ted Strobl back in 1957. Abt senior passed and left the shop to his son Mickie. The Abt BMW brand and Mickie were quickly snatched up by Chicago Cycle Center in 1992 owned the Brown brothers of car body work fame (or is that infamy). The Abt name was gone and BMWs were now sold next to Japanese brands as well as Ducati. Mickie survived as the sole BMW salesman and the Abt namesake. I was loyal to Mickie having purchased three bikes from him at CCC.

Then in 2000, BMW NA insisted that the BMW brand needed to have it’s own stand alone building as done in Germany. Chicago BMW was born and located at Western Ave. and Pratt in a small 1950’s building similar to the old Abt shop on Ashland. Mickie and the BMW staff at CCC all jumped to the new location. On occasional Thursday evenings I would stop by and chat with Mickie about all things BMW and it’s Chicago rider community. Then it was across the street to historic Flukies for a hotdog and tamale. I enjoyed these evenings as it recharged the soul.



In the spring of 2011, I received a call from Mickie that Chicago BMW was closing, and that he was going on to BMW of Countryside. The very next week, Flukies closed. A one, two punch to Chicago tradition. The oldest name in Chicago BMW motorcycles and the oldest and best hot dog stand, both gone.

I still proudly display the Abt license plate surround on my fathers’ Abt-purchased 1968 R69S, and not so proudly, a few extra Flukies hot dogs around my waist.





2 Responses to “Abt BMW: Gone, but not Forgotten”

  1. Peter Tanner Says:

    I purchased two BMW’s from Abt. A1978R100RS and a 1985 K100RS. I remember Mickie and hope he is doing well. I always wondered what happened to him.

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