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Local motorcycling figure Kari Prager dies

Original post made on Nov 16, 2010

Kari Prager, longtime owner of the California BMW and Triumph motorcycle dealership in Mountain View, passed away at his home unexpectedly on Sunday after suffering from respiratory problems, leaving behind a number of shocked family members, friends and employees.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 2:21 PM

Comments (32)

Posted by Dale Whyte
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I am so saddened and shocked to hear of Kari's passing. Such a great person. When my husband and I got back into motorcycling we bought our first BMW at the Mountain View store.

Kari will be missed and remembered with great fondness.

My sincere sympathy to Kari's family.

Dale Whyte
Santa Cruz, CA

Posted by BD
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 16, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Kari! I am sad to hear of your passing. You will be sorely missed by many! Rest In Peace and Ride for eternity my friend!
Brian David

Posted by Gabe Ets-Hokin
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Thank you for writing such a detailed and interesting account of Kari's life.

Gabe Ets-Hokin
CityBike Magazine

Posted by Lisa Malachowsky
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

I have know Kari for years from working in the motorcycle dealers in the SF Bay Area and then working for him. I know he will be greatly missed. The motorcycle community was a much more fun place with Kari in it. I will personally miss his influence and wonderful personality.

Posted by Mike Patton
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I met Kari years ago, and we shared a love for R80G/S's. I rode with him multiple times and chased him over the Sierra's both on-road and off, on our R80's. He was a great rider, and ambassador for both the brand and motorcycling in general. You could talk to him about anything from motorcycles to poetry to history. I will think of him often.

Posted by jason
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Kari was extremely influencial to many people including myself!!
Kari you will be sorely missed, i love you man!!

Posted by Andrea Gemmet
Mountain View Voice Editor
on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Andrea Gemmet is a registered user.

The following comment has been moved from a duplicate thread:

Posted by Hawke, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, 2 hours ago

God Speed Kari, You will be missed.

Posted by Lance
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Kari was a great man.

Posted by Greg David
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I first met Kari in the early eighties when he was a regular customer of Eddy's Sport Shop, our family business. He mixed his love of firearms with his love of motorcycles and initiated several cross promotions by displaying new BMW's in our shop. This is what sparked my teenage lust for bikes and initiated what would be become a near thirty year acquaintance to Kari. I've never owned a new car, but I've owned three new BMW's, all from Kari. He was a true master of his game and was an authority in all his hobbies. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and I am honored to have been his friend. My deepest condolences go out to his family, colleagues, and countless friends. Kari, you will be truly missed.

Posted by Jeff Dean
a resident of another community
on Nov 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Kari Prager and I served together on the BMW MOA board of directors. He only served one term and refused to run for re-election in spite of my urging him to do so. In my opinion, he and Rob Lentini (also deceased too young) were the finest board members with whom I ever served.

Clearly, this talented man died way too young. What a sad tragedy. Though I only knew him for the two years were served together on the board, I have always remembered his intellect and talent. He was a unique man.

Jeff Dean
Tucson, Arizona

Posted by Robin Barber
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2010 at 7:12 am

I've known Kari since we were 14 years old: respected and admired him, been amazed by his unfailing kindness and generousity, learned all manner of good and useful things from him -- such as how to ski alpine and cross-country -- shared hopes and dreams with him. And now I'm trying to understand that he is gone. My sympathies to Gail, Maya, Kristin and all his family and many friends.

Robin Barber, Northampton, Massachusetts

Posted by Chuck Brown
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

I will very much miss Kari. He was a great friend and a great person. His passing makes me very sad.
So long, buddy.

Posted by Linda
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I don't know Kari, don't ride bikes, and don't like guns/rifles. But it looks like I missed out on knowing a very interesting, inspiring person. May we all have legacies so rich. My condolences to his family.

Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 17, 2010 at 3:48 pm

RIP. You are missed by many.

Posted by Mehran Teymourtash
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Kari, thanks for the four BMWs I bought from you, dozens of shop rides and countless miles of fun. I will remember you.


Mehran Teymourtash

Posted by Dennis Morton
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Kari was a kind and gentle man who would always stop and give you more than a moment of his time during his busy schedule. My daughter Denise went to college with Kari and Gail's daughter Kristin and they all were such a wonderful loving family. I remember Christmas time was very special to the family and they would always have friends over and equip them with squirt guns as everyone sat around the Christmas tree that had real candles burning instead of lights. Kari will be missed by so many that crossed his path in life but the memories and love that he left behind will insure that he left this earth a better place by his being here. He was a great man.

Posted by Dan Miller
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:32 am

My condolences to Kari's family and friends. I only knew him online from the GB community, but always appreciated his posts and helpful information to others. In peace Kari.

Posted by Mark
a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2010 at 10:55 am

I know Kari has touched many people, I wish I could have known him in person but I feel blessed to know him as I did on a GB Forum. My best to Mrs. Prager and family

Posted by Erika James
a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I started riding motorcycles late in life (late forties) and found that both Gail and Kari were a great inspiration for me to continue - their shared love of riding inspired me to continue riding, and eventually to marry my "riding buddy." I will always remember Kari's enthusiastic embrace of life!

Posted by Matt Smith
a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Kari helped spur on my life long love of motorcycles and BMWs in particular. As a friend of over 30 years, I am deeply saddened by his passing. The riches of his life are measured in terms of the friends he leaves behind.

Posted by Michel
a resident of another community
on Nov 24, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Kari was a true inspiration. A very brillant mind and any conversation with him about any topic was always a treat. His enthusiam, generosity, kindness have always been a reference on how to live a great life. He definitely made the world a better place.
I have been very lucky to have been able to cross path with him.

Borrowing from Winston Churchill: "To meet Kari is like uncorking your first bottle of champage, knowing him is like drinking from it"

Posted by Russ Miller
a resident of another community
on Nov 25, 2010 at 7:37 am

I met Kari on the GB forum - We had many of the same interests. We ended-up meeting for the first time at Kari's house and talked for hours - It was like we had know each other for 50 years. He made me feel welcome, at home and accepted. I cherish the short time that I've had to know him - He was simply a great guy!

We liked to talk about old rifles and history. We were both marksmen and proud of it. He was also a very gentle and humble man.

Kari was intelligent, generous, present and tuned-in. He was a character and was a very funny guy. He was precise - Much more so than I. He was very helpful. He was curious about life.

I will really(already)miss him.

Russ Miller

Posted by Carl
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 10, 2010 at 10:12 am

A fine man; a true gentleman. He left a mark. He left us missing him.

Posted by Alfred Munkenbeck
a resident of another community
on Dec 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

I was Kari's college roomate and a better more intrguing guy you never want to meet. Being Vermont cross country high school champ did not stop him from winning the intermural downhill when he bothered to enter. His room beside mine had a BMW in pieces all winter which he somehow managed to re-assemble for the spring.

Gail, I felt very sad to hear this from Mary Murtagh... a real tragedy as both Mary and I had been trying to locate Kari for years.


(Dartmouth '69 and member of River Tire Co.)


Posted by Tom Myers
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

Very sorry, and surprised to hear this. Kari will be missed.

Posted by Nell
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:58 am

Hey Kari!! I didn't know you had gone!!! I'll never forget your kindness when I was a scared prickly girl on an airplane to Europe for the first time. Thanks for inviting me along to the joy of the day you shared, walking around Brussels.

Posted by David Crabtree
a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

Kari, Gail, myself and others taught at the Big House School in the early seventies in Vermont. He hiked me up Mt. Washington to climb Tuckermans ravine and ski down through a several thousand foot vertical bowl, I had no skis so he taught me to glissade. At the end of the grueling climb, perched on a tiny rock together looking straight down he produced a couple of german beers. I still have the R80 G/S he sold me in 1982.
Goodbye with love- Crabo

Posted by Chris Wormuth
a resident of another community
on Aug 31, 2013 at 5:25 am

This was very sad to hear ... I only knew Kari when he worked at BMW Marin and raced AFM, a long long time ago. He was as nice and funny then as he must have been later in life. You don't remember too many people for forty years but Kari was one you did. He was always an exceptional person.

Posted by Bruce Balmer
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I met Kari and Gail for one day at the Big House School in the early 70s. So sorry to hear of his passing. I remember him being proud of his coffee cup, which could hold nearly a quart of coffee. Seems to be how he lived and rolled.


Posted by Mark Andreasen
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2014 at 3:15 pm

I have just heard of Kari's passing. He was a good friend. We used to drive around the Bay Area in his antique Saab. I should have called earlier, we are all disappearing. The last time I saw Kari his daughter Mara was 3. Gail, I am sorry I haven't kept up. God bless you all.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Stierlin Estates

on Aug 12, 2017 at 7:50 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of North Whisman

on Aug 12, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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