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Table of Contents features

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2015 The Year in Review Looking back at some of the best of BMW Owners News.

A RawHyde introduction to adventure By Bill Wiegand #180584 When Shawn Thomas asked Bill if he’d like to come to California for some training at RawHyde Adventures and then spent a couple days using those new skills riding in the Mojave Desert, Bill couldn’t say yes fast enough.

ON THE COVER: The new 2016 BMW R nineT Scrambler.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

The BMW MOA and MOATM are trademarks of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.

the club 4 Owners News Contributors 8 Headlight Make 2016 Great, by Bill Wiegand 10 From the Executive Director Clearing the Air, by Bob Aldridge 14  Shiny Side Up The Trouble with Trailers, by Ron Davis 16 Picture This National Parks 18 Rider to Rider Letters from the membership Member tested/ product news 22  AltRider Hemisphere Waterproof Soft

Panniers, Helite Hi-Viz Arnest Vest, Olympia Expedition jacket and Motoquest pants, Continental TKC 70 tires, Motohansa Tool Kit.

34  Kanetsu heated gear available at Aerostich, Liqui Moly fuel stabilizer, Wunderlich oil cooler guard, BrakeTech brake rotors for BMW S 1000 RR, Schuberth updates the SRC-System Pro communications system, Metzeler adds Sportec Klassik to Heritage range of tires, BMW Motorrad announces R nineT Scrambler and G 310 R, 2016 brings updates to BMW F 700 GS, F 800 GS and S 1000 XR, 2016 BMW MOA Board election notice, Plan your 2016 MOA Getaway today.

tech 48  Keep ‘em Flying Airhead Tech, by Matthew Parkhouse 50  Nicht Uber Max Winter Storage Tips, by George Mangicaro

discovery 54  Adventure Log The Cultural Kerfuffle, by Shawn Thomas skills 86 2-Up Most Important 2-Up Gear, by Keith Fitz-Gerald 88  Ride Well Aging and Motorcycling, by Marven Ewen lifestyle 92 Flashback Looking Back at our MOA History 94  Final Journeys Remembering Don “The Kiltmeister” Faichney

events 96  MOA Rally An Invitation to the 2016 BMW MOA Rally, by Dutch and Kate Lammers

98  2016 Rally Hotel Listing 108 When and Where Places to go, Things to see 111  Advertiser Index 112  Talelight

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


the club






CONTRIBUTORS 1 . Ron Davis has been a rider, off and on, for about 40 years. Over that period, he’s also squeezed in a full time career teaching high school and university classes in writing, photography and publishing while also working as a social media writer for the tourism industry in northwest Ontario and Associate Editor for BMW Owners News. His writing has been featured by BMW Owners News, BMW Motorcycle Magazine and The National Writing Project, and his essays, sometimes on motorcycling, can be heard regularly on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Wisconsin Life.” His recently completed novel for young adults, Sachem Summer, is about love, trout fishing and a BMW R50/2. 2.  Matthew Parkhouse acquired his first BMW in 1972, upon his return from Vietnam. He hired on at Doc’s BMW of Colorado Springs in 1977. Since then, his life has been a mixture of travel (U.S., Mexico, Europe and North Africa), owning/working in various shops, working as a nurse, and being very involved in his local community. He has owned around fifteen airhead BMWs over the years, but his first bike, a 1972 R75/5, is parked by the front door with 423,000 miles on the odometer. 


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

3. Shawn Thomas has worked for many years in the motorcycle industry and is currently a rider coach and guide for RawHyde Adventures as well as a trainer for BMW Motorrad. While Thomas lives in California with his wife, daughter and son, his work takes him across the globe and the stories he brings back with him are priceless. 4. T here’s no place Keith would rather be than headed for the horizon on two wheels with his wife, their boys and friends who are along for the ride. Which way doesn’t matter he says... smiles and miles last a lifetime. 5.  Marven Ewen has been riding motorcycles since 1986 and has been an MOA member since 2007. He currently rides an R 1200 RT and a Triumph Street Triple. He is a Family Physician in Minnesota with more than 20 years of experience, including emergency medicine, and is also medical director of Allied Medical Training, an EMT training school.

New Zealand on Two Wheels For Brad Ringstmeier, the scenery of New Zealand is second only to the genuine spirit of the Kiwis he met along his trip. Photo by Brad Ringstmeier #138701


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

headlight Magazine of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America MANAGING EDITOR

Bill Wiegand

Make this new year great By Bill Wiegand #180584


Ron Davis • Wes Fleming • Joe Tatulli ART DIRECTOR


Alisa Clickenger • David Cwi Marven Ewen • Deb Gasque Chris “Teach” McNeil • Lee Parks Matthew Parkhouse • Jack Riepe Shirley and Brian Rix • Shawn Thomas ADVERTISING

Advertising materials, including chartered club rally display advertising, should be sent to our Advertising Office. Please contact Chris Hughes for display rates, sizes and terms. Chris Hughes 11030 North Forker Road, Spokane, WA 99217 509-921-2713 (p) 509-921-2713 (f ) BMW MOTORCYCLE OWNERS OF AMERICA

640 S. Main Street, Ste. 201 Greenville, SC 29601 864-438-0962 (p) 864-250-0038 (f )

Submissions should be sent to the BMW MOA office or Submissions accepted only from current members of the BMW MOA and assume granting of first serial publication rights within and on the BMW MOA website and use in any future compendium of articles. No payments will be made and submissions will not be returned. The BMW MOA reserves the right to refuse, edit or modify submissions. Opinions and positions stated in materials/articles herein are those of the authors and not by the fact of publication necessarily those of BMW MOA; publication of advertising material is not an endorsement by BMW MOA of the advertised product or service. The material is presented as information for the reader. BMW MOA does not perform independent research on submitted articles or advertising. Change of address notification and membership inquiries should be made to the BMW MOA office or BMW MOA membership is $40/yr. and includes the BMW Owners News, which is not available separately. Each additional family member is $10 without a subscription. Canadian members add $12 for postal surcharge. The BMW MOA and MOA™ are trademarks of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


Those words leap from our lips around this time every year. With the turn of a calendar page we say goodbye to 2015 and, with fingers crossed, enter the unknown of a new year and greet friends, family, coworkers and strangers with a handshake and smile as we look them in the eye wishing them a Happy New Year. Being a literal sort, seeing and hearing words at their most basic sense and without metaphor or implied meaning, Happy New Year is a serious

wish to extend. As we reflect on our lives, it’s the year we typically remember more than the month or day or even our age. The year of our graduation, marriage or the births of our children. The year we bought our first motorcycle, made our first cross-country trip or attended our first rally. Are you ready to make 2016 a Happy and memorable New Year? As we get older, too often it’s too late when we finally realize what we’ve missed. We get so caught up in working to achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves that along the way we forget to enjoy life. Perhaps it’s to take the ride we’ve spent years planning in our heads, waiting for that “someday.” Sadly, someday usually never comes. I witnessed it firsthand as it happened to my depression-era parents who worked tirelessly to support a growing family of eight until only their poor health forced their retirement. Then, when they were finally rid of the responsibilities of raising a family and maintaining a business, they were gone and never able to enjoy life on their terms. While I’ll never find fault in the decisions they made and how they lived their lives, I know their path wasn’t one I wanted to follow. Though I’ll admit to carrying some of the best and worst of my parents, with each passing year I realize more and more that to live life to the fullest, we must make every day matter. Resolve to make 2016 not just a Happy New Year, but a memorable one as well. Before you finally leave for that long-awaited trip, hug those you love for a few extra moments and then take the long and scenic route to a destination you’ve never visited via roads you’ve never traveled to see towns you never knew existed. Then while you’re there, stop and get off your bike to live and experience, if only for a few moments, a world outside of your own. The beginning of each new year offers all of us the opportunity to wipe the muddied slate of the previous year clean. To regroup, refocus and begin anew. The time to make your plans for how you will make 2016 memorable is now. Resolve to live a fuller life. Though I make no claim to even a wee bit of Irish ancestry or knowledge of their culture except for the enjoyment of Guinness beer, I do enjoy the way those from the Emerald Isle can turn a phrase with the Irish blessing a favorite and my preferred way of saying Happy New Year. May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Clearing the air OUR MISSION

To foster communication and a sense of family among BMW motorcycle enthusiasts BMW MOA OFFICERS

Chuck Manley, President 309-825-8445; Jackie Hughes, Vice President 509-928-3261; Wes Fitzer, Treasurer 918-441-2114; Muriel Farrington, Secretary 802-295-6511; BMW MOA DIRECTORS

Greg Feeler 208-376-5137; Vance Harrelson 205-621-1682; Stan Herman 719-250-4358; Bill Hooykaas 705-329-2683; Jean Excell 719-650-6215; E-mail the Full Board - BMW MOA VOLUNTEER STAFF

Steve Brunner, Mileage Contest Coordinator 910-822-4368, Tom Pemberton, Rider Education Coordinator 425-226-3575, Jim Heberling, High Mileage Award 309-530-1951, Karol Patzer, Consumer Liaison Deb Lower, Ambassador Liaison 719-510-9452, Dutch and Kate Lammers 2016 BMW MOA Rally Chairs BMW MOTORCYCLE OWNERS OF AMERICA

640 640 S. Main Street, Ste. 201 Greenville, SC 29601

Robert C. Aldridge, Executive Director Ted Moyer, Director of Membership & Marketing Ken Engelman, Director of Business Development Bill Wiegand, Managing Editor Karin Halker, Art Director Lesa Howard, Membership Services Amanda Faraj, Membership Services Ray Tubbs, Digital Marketing Manager


Director’s announced that the office operations of the BMW MOA had moved to Greer, South Carolina. With this announcement came a lively discussion among our members on social media and the forum concerning the status of our club and what lies ahead in the future. In response to the various questions and concerns, let me first address the organizational structure of the new office operation. During the next year the BMW MOA and the BMW CCA will work together to develop a new office building on the site of the current BMW CCA Foundation facility. This location is adjacent to the BMW Performance Center and the BMW manufacturing facility in Greer, S.C. Once this project is completed, the BMW MOA will be a tenant in the new office facility located at the center of a new BMW Owners campus that will include independent office operations for both the BMW CCA and BMW MOA. In addition, this site will be home to a future BMW museum to be developed by the BMW CCA Foundation that will feature both BMW car and motorcycle historical archives under one roof. While the new office space is being planned and constructed, the BMW MOA will be leasing space from the BMW CCA in their downtown Greenville office location. Part of the lease agreement also includes two employees dedicated full time to the BMW MOA office operations. This arrangement allows the BMW MOA to save a significant amount of labor and overhead costs and allows a variety of cost-sharing between the BMW MOA and the BMW CCA. Printers, copiers, computer equipment, phone systems, postal machines, rent, heat and light; all items that we now share, and to that end, we will reduce our overhead significantly next year. This arrangement has caused some speculation and concerns that need to be addressed. First and foremost, the BMW MOA will remain an independent umbrella club recognized by the BMW International Council of Clubs. There has been no discussion of the BMW MOA and the BMW CCA merging now or at any time at in the future. The Board of Directors of the BMW MOA is committed to providing the best possible independent motorcycle club experience. There has also been some wild speculation that BMW Motorrad and/or BMW AG had some hand in the motivation behind the move. Please let me assure you that this was not the case at all. The relationship with BMW Motorrad and BMW AG remains unchanged with this move and any speculation about a BMW corporate takeover of the BMW MOA is simply unfounded. Within the member comments there has also been a significant amount of discussion related to the timing of the move. The BMW MOA is concluding a five-year lease at our current location expires in 2016. This lease included an office facility of nearly 5,000 square feet with an executive suite, seven private offices, a full kitchen, an entry office foyer, a large conference room, a large work storage area and a workroom. With this lease came a hefty monthly rental of $4,900 (nearly $60,000 a year). Add in the heat, water, sewer, lights, dumpster, cleaning and taxes and we were looking at an office overhead of $125,000 a year. Over the past several years, the need for the amount and type of space to service the membership has greatly changed. The value to the membership of maintaining this type and amount of space was also of great concern and just did not make good business sense going forward. The decision not to renew the lease and the need to relocate the office


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

the club


played a large role in making the decision to move. Once that decision was made, the choice to work with the BMW CCA became a clear opportunity to provide the best value to provide services to the membership at a more economical rate. Online discussions also made it obvious that much of our membership frankly isn’t concerned where the physical office is located and have no intention to visit regardless of the address. This was the case in the past and will certainly be the case in the future. There has also been speculation as to the need of any physical office in this day of online communication and the ability to work remotely from almost anywhere in the world. While the Board certainly recognized both of these conditions, they still felt that is was important to continue to maintain the history and heritage of the BMW MOA in a physical office. The move to Greer will provide the best possible future for fulfilling this long-term obliga-

tion to the membership. Please let me affirm to you that going forward, there will be no reduction in membership services and benefits. BMW Owners News will continue to be a premier motorcycle publication and there will be no changes in the production or schedule of the magazine. Unlike some of our competitors, your yearly membership will still include 12 great issues a year. The publication of a paper version of the Anonymous Book will continue, and 2016 will see the introduction of a comprehensive BMW MOA app that will include Anonymous Book information The 2016 Rally in Hamburg, New York, is also in full swing. Your rally chairs, Dutch and Kate Lammers, and nearly 100 Committee Chairs and Cochairs are hard at work to make your visit to Hamburg next July a special one. In addition, we are increasing the number of Getaways to 12 next year. These smaller, more intimate, hotel-based gatherings are becoming more popular with our members and our goal is to have one Getaway located no more than a 500-mile ride for any of our members across the entire country.

I am

I also want to bring you the news that contrary to what you might hear around the campfire or read in our forum, our membership numbers have actually increased month-over-month in the past 15 months. We began 2015 with a total membership of 30,757 and as of the end of November, our membership stood at 33,549. We are on track to surpass 34,000 members in early 2016. This is exciting news, as not only are we retaining more members at a higher rate, but in 2015, we also added over 4,000 new members. From my perspective, the BMW MOA is moving in a positive direction and while the entire membership may not always embrace significant changes, the opportunities for our club and our members will continue. We hope to hear from you soon. Please don’t hesitate to call the office with any of your membership needs. Either Lesa Howard or Amanda Faraj will be pleased to help you in any way possible. Until then, ride safe….and thanks for being a member!

the MOA High School Teacher, Trail Runner, Breast Cancer Survivor...

Maureen “Moto Mo” Wright... is the MOA

Maureen L. Wright, MOA #164852

BMW Motorcycle Owners of America


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

Be the MOA

the club 14


The trouble with trailers By Ron Davis #111820 I SAW A STICKER

the other day that read, “IF THIS BIKE IS ON A TRAILER IT IS STOLEN.” I had to wonder how popular that sticker is, since there are perfectly good reasons for trailering a bike. For instance, maybe the hypothetical owner did some hypothetical work on his final drive, only to discover a day later an unidentifiable but pretty important-looking part lying on his garage floor. Maybe the hypothetical owner finally found someone to buy that hypothetical 1975 Honda CB200 he’d tried to nurse back to health, and delivering it was the only way to insure the bike would still be running when it got there (again, hypothetically speaking.) Or just maybe the hypothetical rider, out of his eternal, loving consideration for his wife, chose to trailer his bike to a hotel where she could get a spa treatment and watch HGTV. (While he fondles carbon fiber key fobs in a vendor booth at a certain national rally twenty miles away.) So, there are good reasons to trailer a bike; however, I avoid trailering like I would a natural disaster because, well, that’s often what it’s been for me. My first inkling that trailers and I don’t mix emerged when I took delivery of my first BMW, a 1980 R65. The bike had been tuned and immaculately repainted down to the pinstriping. The dealer ran it expertly up onto my 4 x 8 stake trailer using his skinny aluminum I-beam for a ramp, and we

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

tied it down. When I got home, I was too anxious to ride the bike to wait for a buddy to come over to help and decided I could handle the off-loading myself. I had a ramp I had fashioned from a 2 x 12, but for some reason that escapes me now, I had swung down the jack on the trailer tongue and unhooked the trailer from my truck. The reader may be well ahead of me at this point.

I put up the sidestand and, both hands on the bars, started to back the bike toward the rear of the trailer’s bed. It’s possible I was paying more attention in sixth grade science to Debby Wolinsky’s new ponytail the day Mr. Krohn patiently explained the wonder of fulcrums. Or possibly I was just too excited to consider the elementary physics of the situation. Or possibly I’m an idiot. But when the bike’s rear wheel approached the end of the trailer, the whole trailer of course tilted up, the tongue pointing into the sky like a 105mm howitzer. So there I was, desperately squeezing the front brake with the bike poised at a 45 degree angle, praying that my nosy, knowit-all neighbor Ralph wouldn’t drive by and see this unfolding fiasco, while at the same time praying my nosy, know-it-all neighbor Ralph would drive by and rescue me. If I released the brake and continued backing the bike, I knew as soon as the rear wheel was off, the trailer would seesaw back down and there’d be no way to avoid dropping the bike. The immaculate bike. After panic

finally subsided, it dawned on me I could put the bike into gear, get the sidestand down, and step away. I grabbed a step ladder to hold trailer’s tongue up, and then was able to get bike off, but somehow the burning desire to immediately go for a ride had vanished. Years later, I had sold a Funduro to a young lady from the Twin Cities. The plan was to meet her halfway across Wisconsin where we would off-load the bike so her boyfriend could ride it home. Again, in my anxiousness to get the deal done (and turn the cash around on a beckoning R 1150 R), I decided to load the bike myself. Using my trusty 2 x 12 and a plastic step stool, I figured I could use the bike’s motor to power it up. Again, the reader may be miles ahead of me here. As I began to walk the bike up the ramp, carefully feathering the clutch, the stool I was stepping up on toppled over, causing me to twist the throttle grip, hard. The bike wheelied onto the trailer (dragging me along with it) and climbed over the side rails but luckily hung up on the frame, as I went over the side. The sounds of the whine of the engine and the crash must have been terrible, since my wife came running out of the house to find me lying on the ground. Gas was dripping, my pants were ripped crotch to cuff, and yes, there was some blood. My wife did her best to look sympathetic, but anyone could see her delight over the new my-husband-themoron story she’d be able to share for, apparently, the rest of our lives. There are even more, just as humiliating disasters—forgetting to lock the coupler latch, flat tires, melted bearings, a little mishap involving a parking garage barrier lowered between my truck and trailer—but you get the idea. If you see my bike on a trailer, it’s probably not stolen, it’s probably terrified.

On the road to help you save. Now that’s Progressive.

Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. & affiliates. Do not attempt.




We asked our online readers to submit their photos showing

NATIONAL PARKS 1. The  desolation and beauty of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Francois Saint Laurent #179617 Friendsville, Tennessee

4. Our  Wyoming campsite with Grand Teton National Park in the distance. Clark Branum #200254 Marysville, Washington

2. G  lacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road. Oree Boschma #194001 Renton, Washington

5. I rode the Cherohala Skyway and the ‘Tail of the Dragon’ to take this picture in the Smokey Mountain National last October. What a beautiful country we have and what a great place to ride a BMW! James Nowell #184561 North Little Rock, Arkansas

3. I took this picture in Zion National Park after a brief shower. This is why I ride. It doesn’t get much better. Jeff Vandenberg #129950 Little Chute, Wisconsin

6. Sand Mountain National Monument provides the backdrop for this photograph taken during a 7,491 cross country trip last summer Craig Smith #194972 Rochester, New York 7. A  nother view from the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. Steve Barnhill #103656 Little Rock, Arkansas

For March, our Picture This theme is “Favorite Ride.” One photo may be submitted per member and the best selected for publication in the BMW Owners News. Send your high resolution image, image description and member number to







January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




RIDERTORIDER Send your letters and comments to:

Define failure

The recent Rider to Rider letter quoting a Consumer Reports story showing a 40 percent failure rate on BMW brand bikes may be accurate. I have an R 1150 here in the U.S. and an F 800 ST in Sweden and ya sure you betcha, 100 percent electrical failure on these bikes. The darn headlights burned out. What is failure? Check the mileage on bikes in a parking lot. Ya think the threeyear-old BMW with 80,000 miles is more likely to have a failure than the ten-yearold Harley with 8,000 miles? I get the California Highway Patrol Auction list and the RTP’s are being re/red by CHP at 160,000 miles (minimum bid is $1,200). The clutches have been replaced so many times it is hard to keep the engines bolted together. I have had about 20 BMW’s and have been stranded once, the alternator on my 1974 /6 let me down in 1977. My favorite bike of all was the 1962 R 60/2 S—bar end signals, Earles forks, and for brakes I would just drag my feet. I got married and sold it in 1988 for $1,200. We divorced eight years later and I should have kept the bike. I’ve got a Swedish model now; she raced Huskies as a kid and lost her license when she was 18 riding an R 75/5 police model (EU is serious about speeding). She loves Harleys, so do I, but the maintenance? We own two BMW’s and rent Harleys. AJ Bredberg #14202 Gig Harbor, Washington

MaxBMW has my back

Regarding Andy Schelz’s letter in the November issue, I believe Andy totally missed the point of my letter complimenting Max BMW for providing quality service to a BMW traveler on the road. Unfortunately, customer service and going out of one’s way is not as common today as we might expect, and that is


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

exactly what occurred at Max BMW. Maybe a “low bar” for some, but not all dealers strive to meet the bar no matter how low. Max BMW treated a total stranger who would not become a “regular” like a valued client. They made every effort to get me in and out as quickly as possible, knowing I was on vacation. Could I have swapped out the low beam bulb myself, you bet. But being 1,500 miles from home, I preferred to not perform a parking lot repair, risking something breaking and leaving me without the parts I might need to complete the repair. Knowing a qualified BMW dealer was close by, I opted to reduce my risk and have them do the repair, avoiding what I saw firsthand in Billings a month later when three seasoned BMW riders worked three hours attempting to replace the headlight bulb on a late model RT. While I do most of my own service at home, there are times when the comfort of having a BMW shop get me in and out in less than an hour is priceless. In a world filled with folks complaining about poor service, I guess complimenting a dealer is enough to generate a rant. Ed Apelian #94930 Charlotte, North Carolina

Change is inevitable

‘I enjoyed reading the Headlight Page in Owners News recently, and I agreed with what Bill wrote, asking the big question, “Where are we going?” Some people do wonder what is around the corner, and others just enjoy today and realize they have little control of what will happen tomorrow or the next week. We all put forth a plan for tomorrow and hope things work out or are flexible enough to bend if things need tweaking a bit. The Owners News will go through changes and adapt to changing times.

There will always be people who would like to keep today the same as times in the past; it gives them a sense of stability. Then there are others who enjoy change and say “bring it on!” So include both items and most people will be happy. In our world, we have to adapt to the changing cost of materials, design issues, companies buying other companies, and engineers being watched by management to keep the cost of the product down even if the part is not the best design, or as riders, we have to change to a different product or brand name. As motorcyclists, we need to understand that companies like BMW are very complex. The motorcycle side of the BMW organization is very small, and even if all the BMW motorcycles stopped being made, the BMW corporation would certainly survive. When MOA spokespersons talk to BMW management about the problems the riders are having, the BMW motorcycle division does try to improve on some of the faults. This is why you see new models such as the twin engine becoming liquid cooled in the cylinder head and the total weight of the GS models coming down to make it easier to blast through the dirt and off-road trails. I believe it is healthy for a company to hear from their customers. It helps the company decide what will sell, and it also gives them direction on where to go. Same with any club group. Having a little bit of input helps the organization get through the winding, curvy roads that lay ahead. Howard Rymes #58961 Lethbridge, Alberta

Motohio run

Imagine my surprise, my RT on the ON October cover and with me standing next to it! That was something I could never have imagined before my trip to Billings. Knowing that our Columbus dealership, Motohio European Motorbikes, had extra ON copies, I stopped by to pick up a few. What I learned is that Motohio is on a streak of sorts. ON’s September issue featured Chad Warner, another long time Motohio customer, on the cover. He’s on the “Tail Light” page as well. And now I hear Tom Asher made the November cover, yet another rider who frequents Motohio. What are the chances of that? When I mentioned that it must be something in the water, they told me one of their employees, Curtis R. Smith, was on the April cover of American Motorcyclist as well. If you belong to the AMA you would have seen him. There’s a rather serious group of BMW riders in our area, many who would fit on future covers. Maybe it’s something more than what’s in the water. I’ll be watching for your December issue. Ken Frick #199204 Columbus, Ohio

Touring tips

I was on my way home from the Billing’s Rally, by way of Route 2 East along the northern part of the United States. I figured I’d take the more relaxed way home, as opposed to using all the major freeways. After waking up in Rugby, North Dakota, Tuesday morning, I decided to go straight home. I didn’t want my little girl to spend any more time in the kennel than necessary. I punched up “HOME” in the GPS, scrolled to “fastest,” “freeways preferred,” and started following Betty’s directions to get home the short way. The new route took me South on Rte. 29 at Grand Forks N.D., to Fargo where I picked up Rte. 94 to Minnesota. This was my first bit of luck. More services on those roads. Anyone who has ridden long distances can hear and feel the surface of the road as they ride. I normally don’t have any music playing on a ride, nor do I listen to the radio or anything else. Second bit of luck. From my morning stop, I had been

listening to the road noises, sometimes on a rippled surface, sometimes on a rougher surface. I started noticing that sometimes the vibrations I felt and the road noises did not seem to match the road surface. Sometimes I would have vibrations on smooth sections of road, and sometimes I would not. I ride a K 1200 LT, with 90K on the clock, so the final drive problem was always in the back of my mind. At the first two gas stops of the day, I got the LT on the center stand and checked for rear wheel side to side play. Nothing there, and no signs of an oil leak. So far so good. On I-94 in Wisconsin, the noise and vibrations were definitely not normal. I stopped on the shoulder and found oil all over the rear tire. I knew what that meant. I was only a few hundred yards from an exit ramp to a truck stop open 24 hours. Third bit of luck. At least I wouldn’t have to sleep by the bike on the shoulder of the road. A very slow ride up the shoulder to the truck stop, and I backed the bike into a parking space, making sure to leave room for the flatbed truck to get to me. First phone call was to AAA. I don’t have any roadside plan with them. Nuts. Second call to Allstate. Guess what? I had never gotten a plan with them either. I only had a $50 reimbursement clause. Well, I had to get some help, so I had Allstate find a flatbed and send it my way to Menomonie, Wisconsin. Then I checked the Anonymous Book. To the one person in The Anonymous Book from Menomonie, Wisconsin, I wish I would have called you first. The tow cost me $480. Luckily I had loaded all the BMW Dealer waypoints into the GPS before the trip. Fourth bit of luck. Leo’s South was only 80 miles away in Lakeville, Minnesota. I gave them a call and found out they closed in about an hour and a half. The tow was an hour away, and Leo’s was an hour and a half away. UhaOh. When the tow got to me, I called Leo’s, and they said to bang on the service garage door when I got there, as there would be someone still there. Thank goodness When I arrived, I was met by Nathan Wood, the service manager. He helped the tow guy get the bike off the flatbed and into the service department. Safe, the time was already around 8 p.m. He

checked me in and had already had his parts guy check inventory for the rear wheel bearings and the seal I would need. Everything was in stock. What a fantastic stroke of luck. Nathan drove me to a few motels in the area ‘til we found one with a vacancy. In the morning, Nathan had someone pick me up at the motel and bring me back to the shop. Even though they were very busy, they were able to get my bike on the lift around 2 p.m. In a couple of hours, the bike was buttoned up, and I was on my way. When I called Leo’s, I was only hoping to get my bike safely to their shop. I knew they were busy, so I didn’t have any idea when they could get to it. They went beyond my expectations and got to it the next day. They have a beautiful shop, and all the personnel were very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Nathan was great to deal with. Thanks again to Leo’s South. Here are a few things I learned: • Have a list of the dealers, with phone #’s handy • Have a good roadside assistance plan, I could have saved $480 – The MOA has a good one • Check the Anonymous Book first, you might get lucky and find someone nearby Michael May #60717 Hiram, Ohio

Another rental option

I enjoyed Margie Goldsmith’s article, “Two-Up in Northern California,” in November’s Owner’s News. As a business owner who certainly appreciates her pointing out how easy it is to fly into the San Francisco Bay Area and rent a motorcycle, I would like to remind Owners News readers that there are choices when it comes to rental companies. Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals has been renting BMW’s (and many other brands) in San Francisco since 1991 and has been advertising in your Owners News for almost the same time, and we offer a 5 percent discount for BMW MOA members. Wolfgang Taft #54038 San Francisco, California

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



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Rally Calendar

Looking for a place to ride? Our When & Where contains hundreds of BMW specific rallies and events.

BMW Owners Anonymous

This annual book lists thousands of members around the world who are willing to assist in cases of emergency or just converse socially. And best of all, it’s the perfect size to fit in your tank bag.

Mileage Award Program

The BMW MOA recognizes members who accumulate 100,000 miles or more on BMW motorcycles.

Consumer Support

If a member has a problem with a company

providing a product or service they can resolve the conflict with the help of BMW MOA’s Consumer Liaison.

Mileage Contest

Each year the Mileage Contest provides a fun and noncompetitive way to enjoy long distance touring. Just sign up at the beginning of the season, watch your miles accumulate and then fill in the end of the contest form.

MOA Getaways

The BMW MOA hosts several Getaway locations each year. Enjoy a weekend of riding, dining, socializing, and making new friends at one of these unique events!

Platinum Roadside Assistance & Tire Protection

Our Platinum Roadside Assistance plan offers MOA members more than just motorcycle towing. Now, tire hazard and protection are included for only $39 per year. Services include 24-hour motorcycle towing with certified carriers, free battery, fuel, oil or water service, rental car discounts, RV rental discounts, $500 emergency travel expense, 24 hour lost key and lock out services, trip routing and more. Need basic coverage? Get 100 miles of free towing for only $19!

MOA Hotline

Over 1,100 items from t-shirts to tire gauges are available to show your club pride. New products and designs are added frequently and members receive quick service.

With a single call to the MOA Hotline, stranded riders can book a hotel room, get a tow truck, be given directions to the nearest BMW dealer and even have service arrangements made for them. Best of all, this new member concierge service is powered by Global Rescue and another member benefit free to all BMW MOA members.

Progressive IMS Show Discount

The Gear Shop

For up-to-date information and a convenient way to join, renew, change your address or just communicate, login at

BMW MOA members receive a $3 discount on show tickets when ordered online by using the discount code BMWMOA16. Offer good for all shows.

To join, visit BMWMOA.ORG 20

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

member tested


AltRider Hemisphere Waterproof Soft Panniers By Dawn S. Hein #169208 and Michael E. Hein #172440 WHEN WE HEARD ABOUT THE

AltRider Hemisphere Waterproof Soft Panniers, we were intrigued by things like a “holster” system, lower compartments with dry bags for heavier items, and the claims for ease of use and durability. Would these panniers work well for our on and off-road motel and camping GS adventures? After a recent trip around Utah, California and Nevada, the answer was a resounding “yes.”

A Quick Look:

• 125 liters of capacity (Yes, you read that right!) • Designed and made in USA • Intended for larger adventure bikes • Fit on most existing luggage racks • Heavy duty fabrics, stitching, straps, and buckles Our first impressions of this luggage were that they were big enough to let us pack too much, they were easy to mount on the bike, and they looked extremely durable. All of these notions were proven correct over the next few weeks. The luggage system base is one unit with a holster on each side attached to a top flat surface with multiple loops stitched onto it. It comes in left, right or center configurations to accommodate different exhaust systems. Five straps attach the base to the bike, and it took us less than a minute to determine what went where and in what order. The rear strap secures


around the back of the bike or top rack. Next, the side holster straps pass around the bottom of the luggage racks, and the metal hook goes through a webbing loop on the back of the bag to secure it. There is a choice

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

of loop heights to fit different racks. Finally, the front straps we put around the passenger foot peg mounts. All the straps have features designed to securely hold the extra length of webbing out of the way. First, we fit-tested the panniers on a few of our different GS’s in the garage with different mounting and top racks. The luggage fit well on the 1200 with BMW luggage racks, on the 800 with Wolfman side and AltRider top racks, and on the 2007 Dakar with Touratech racks. On the 2001 650

single with Givi racks, they did not fit as well, encroaching on the fuel fill cap which opens towards the front and hiding turn signals from side view. It seems that different year single cylinder GS’s and different racks work better than others, but the perceived issues didn’t deter us from using the bags. Next, we loaded up the inner dry bags and top bag with all the gear, clothes, tools, food and camping gear that we would normally carry for a trip, and it all fit with room to spare. The dry bags are of such high quality that they were stiff at first, but broke in after about a week of use, then sliding into the designated holster or compartment with ease. The top bag has two straps that attach to the sewn loops on the top of the base and through sewn loops on the dry bag. You can shift the bag forward or back by choosing different loops. The main side dry bags clip into the holster “buckets” and stick out above them. The lower dry bags slide into their specific compartments, and a clip through the closed bag keeps it in place. Finally, the center strap that is looped around the luggage rack at the back is brought across the top of the entire load, passes through a buckle at the top, and gets cinched up. This is one of the key features of the panniers, as you can secure the bags to the rack no matter how much or how little you are carrying. The luggage transitioned quickly from full load down to tools and snacks for day rides once we dumped our gear at a campsite. Early in the trip we rode some trails through Mojave National Preserve where in a few hours we exposed the Hemisphere Panniers to cactus spines, drops on gravel, dust and finally some rain. Aside from

pulling the cactus debris off the outer fabric, nothing penetrated the dry bags or even left a mark on the outer holsters. Later in the trip, our different riding abilities allowed us to expose the luggage to more abuse. On a rocky trail near Las Vegas, Michael picked a line that skirted some large boulders closely and where hard cases would have been removed, the AltRiders just squashed around the rocks. Dawn chose a different line and several tip-overs later, the bags, contents, and her legs were all fine despite the harsh contact with large rocks, proving to us again the value of soft bags for off-road riding. All the plastic buckles on the Hemispheres are on the front and back of the bags, which protected them from damage in these situations of harsh contact from the sides. The tough fabric of the outer holsters really protected the dry bags from abrasion and damage. The quality of the straps and design of attachment points kept the loads equally stable on the rough trails and on the freeways. The lack of hardware to break was also a “pro” in Dawn’s column. The separate lower compartments are another great feature. We carried heavier items like tools in these sections, and the easy access proved time-saving as we changed three of our four tires during the trip and didn’t have to unpack the panniers to do so. We also did a few trailside adjustments en route as Dawn’s new chain broke in and Michael’s old chain wore out. No digging through our kit to get to the few items we needed! The nights that we stayed in motels, the panniers were quickly unloaded with the dry bag buckles clipping to each other to make carrying handles. The black bags do get hot in the sun, and we will add some reflective material to the fronts and rear sides of the bags for added visibility, but those are our only additional considerations. While “value” is defined differently by everyone, we feel that these bags are worth their cost, given their great features and durability. To summarize, the AltRider Hemisphere Waterproof Soft Panniers are functional, well made, and should last many miles and many years. Many of the features are well thought out and perfect for adventure travel in all conditions on big bikes like the BMW GS.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS







member teste


Helite Hi-Viz Airnest Vest By Wes Fleming, #87301 ONE OF THE MANY REASONS I

ride a BMW motorcycle is because the community unapologetically promotes a culture of safety. A constant refrain heard around rally campfires is the importance of wearing All The Gear All The Time. It’s so ubiquitous that ATGATT is part of our everyday vernacular. Motorcycle equipment and clothing manufacturers are taking note by designing new and interesting protective riding gear. Perhaps one of the most unique to hit the market in recent years is the Airnest Vest from Helite. The best way to describe the Airnest Vest is to call it a portable airbag. One end of a lanyard connects the vest (via a CO2 trigger mechanism) to the motorcycle. On most bikes, the

most convenient attachment point is probably the subframe by the saddle. In the event of a crash, a spring-loaded piston pierces a carbon dioxide (CO2) canister and inflates air bladders in the vest. When activated, Helite claims the vest’s bladders fill in less than 100 milliseconds and protect and stabilize (read: cradle) the neck, spine and torso. All I know is that it seems to inflate instantaneously! The CO2 then slowly dissipates over a couple of minutes, and the system can be reloaded with a new CO2 cartridge and the trigger mechanism reset. Unlike other similar systems, the vest doesn’t have to be sent back to the manufacturer to be reset, and a new CO2 cartridge is just $25. Helite’s Gérard Thevenot is the driving force behind this innovative and novel product. He has been designing airbags for

(From left), Helite Airnest Vest front view deflated, front view inflated and back view inflated.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

15 years for pilots, equestrians and skiers. Using the same technology he employed to create personal airbag systems for those activities, as well as studying motorcycle crash data collected by University of Florence (Italy), it took Thevenot several years to perfect the Airnest Vest for motorcyclists. This is clearly proven technology. The Airnest Vest is designed to be worn snugly over a motorcycle jacket and is shorter in front so it doesn’t ride up when seated. It is longer in the back to protect the lower spinal cord. I found it to be unobtrusive, as it didn’t interfere or restrict my movement on or off the bike. Helite sells the vest in Hi-Viz colors (yellow and orange) and all black. I opted for the former since it has a generous amount of reflective striping to supplement the fluorescent yellow fabric. It also comes with a Knox back protector,

Got Gadgets? Mount Em Charge Em Secure Em which essentially doubles the protection to my spine since my jacket already has a back protector. I also ordered an extra lanyard for my other bike, in addition to a couple extra CO2 canisters in the event that I accidentally inflate the vest when dismounting the bike. To my amazement, that never happened. A small section of the tether is elastic, so when you step off the bike, you’ll feel a tug well before the cartridge is activated. According to Helite, it takes about 60 pounds of force to set it off. We spend a considerable amount of time and money preparing for an event that we hope will never come – a crash. In this respect, think of the Helite Airnest Vest as additional insurance, since it provides an extra layer of security above and beyond wearing a riding suit. This is a very well thought-out and designed piece of safety equipment. The Airnest Hi-Viz retails for $629 (black is $599) and is available in six sizes (SmallXL+). Replacement canisters sell for $25, and an extra tether for a second bike costs $23. While this might appear to be expensive, let me put it into context: many of us have two (or more) helmets costing over $500 each and have put hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars into auxiliary lights and other safety/conspicuity-related addons for our bike(s). For something that can potentially save our lives, I think the Helite Airnest Vest is not only a good investment, but a good value as well. For more information, check your local dealer or visit

Find it at


START PLANNING. With adventure-proof tools for two wheeled exploration.

GO LIGHT. GO FAST. GO FAR. Designed and tested by adventure riders in Bend, Oregon USA. Ride with us at

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


member teste 26


Olympia Expedition jacket and Motoquest pants By Vance Harrelson #100402 LIKE MANY ADVENTURE/TOUR-

ing riders, my wife and I have an entire closet full of used gear. The stuff is expensive and really hard to part with even though it shows its age from time and miles of exposure to the elements. With a quick look through our closet one realizes just how many attempts we have made at finding the perfect setup. We have worn Olympia in the past, and in fact, several of those pieces in the gear closet are well worn older Olympia models we don’t yet want to part with. The ultimate goal of course is to find the best looking, best engineered, toughest protective gear one can own…and all at a bargain price. Is that a reasonable expectation? Probably not, but I believe this newest edition of adventure gear from Olympia gets us way down the road toward that goal. The Motoquest and Expedition gear are parts of the latest lineup from

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

Olympia. Designed and engineered to be used in all four seasons, they are ideal for the year-round adventure or touring rider. We selected both men and women’s sizes and found them to be cut true to size for both of us. We ordered our normal sizes and each fit very well. There are a number of colors available, including options from dark to light and high visibility. We selected the darker colors to show less wear, as they become more “experienced” from being subjected to the elements. The Expedition All Season Jacket is loaded with features that enhance its multifunction capability. This is cleverly achieved through the use of multiple layers designed to zip as independent layers into the jacket. There are zippers positioned along the sleeves as well as the front and back panels for

almost endless venting options. Zipped completely open the front and rear panels tuck into a pocket toward the waist line exposing a large area of the front and back area lined with flow-through mesh. The venting is adequate; however, in temps above the 80’s the jacket is a bit warm due to its bulk and all-season design. But that bulk is certainly welcomed for cooler temps. The jacket easily converts from vented to fully closed up by simply pulling a few zipper tabs. Zip in the thermal and/or the rain liner and you are ready for the wet and cold! I would like to see these zippers and tabs enlarged to allow them to be easier to find and grab while moving as they can be hard to find with gloved hands. One improvement we noticed is that the Velcro tab at the bottom of the sleeve has now been extended to allow for better closure around the cuff of the glove. Earlier versions lacked this allowing the tab to sometimes release while riding and flap in the wind. The Motoquest Guide pants have also been upgraded from previous Olympia

offerings. They feature a neat venting design that allows you to open and fully tuck away the flap exposing a large vented area of the thigh, again handy in warmer temps. Pockets are well positioned and the pants are cut more like jeans than typical over pants making them a good choice to wear all day. Another great feature I appreciate is there are belt loops around the waist, giving me the opportunity to keep them up with my belt. I have really missed this feature with previous gear…enough said. A leather strip has been added along the inside thigh and down the lower leg portion for greater durability and long life. The pants are a bit long for me when standing but fit quite well while in the riding position, where, after all, that is the most important. Significant improvements have been made to the rain liner system for both the jacket and pants. They are now designed to be worn inside or outside the main gear. The rain liner / jacket is truly multi-functional, in that it can be worn as a separate piece for wind, rain protection or even as a light jacket around the campfire or around town…and we have done just that on a recent cruise trip. And finally, the rain liner includes a neat hood that is designed with materials comfortable enough to be worn inside your helmet. The top of the hood is made of soft flexible fabric with a water resistant section extending up several inches from the neck to keep migrant water from running off your helmet and down your back. As I mentioned, the rain liner pants can be worn under the outer layer if you know you are going to be in inclement weather. Although I have not tried it, I suspect that would be a lot of material to bunch and wear inside. My preference is to wear the liner on the exterior and only when it is needed. The problem with that is that until now, putting those liners on after encountering the rain has always required me to perform the risky and dangerous one leg dance routine while trying to get some rubbery suit pulled over my boots and wet pants all the while huddled beneath some service station canopy with no place to sit

down! Admit it, you know you have done the same. Well, I am excited to report that our friends at Olympia have found the solution that has allowed me to now be the master of the one leg dance. The rain pants are made with extra wide leg bottoms that slip easily over your main gear, and yes, even your boots, while standing up. Once the pants are on, the clever placement of angled Velcro strips make it easy to wrap the leg bottom securely around your boots. It is that easy, works that well and is a great design. In review, both of us are pleased with this new gear from Olympia. We find it to be well made and priced competitively. Both the pants and jacket offer multi-functional use in all riding seasons, and when coupled with the right undergarments for the given season, you should be covered for all conditions. You can check out the full line of products available from Olympia by visiting their website: I am confident we will be in the Olympia Motoquest gear for a long time, and when the time comes to replace it…we will make room for it in the gear closet and go buy more! PROS:

• All-season functionality. • Versatile rain liner system. • Moderate pricing. CONS:

• Zippers and tabs should be larger. •  Can be bulky and warm in higher temperatures.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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Continental TKC 70 dual sport tires– a long term review By William Botkin #152460 I RIDE A 2014 BMW R 1200 GS AND

have ridden through two sets of the OEM tires with no difficulties or problems. Still, I wanted tires better suited to dual sport riding, and the Continental TKC 70’s were recommended by my dealer. Once installed, the first thing I noticed was the increase in the amount of countersteer input required to get the bike to respond. Less than a mile from the dealership I needed to make a quick lane adjustment, and when I countersteered as I had with the OEM tires, the bike was hesitant. When I pushed harder, she came about as planned. I reasoned this to be the increased mass of the tires and their more aggressive tread design. Not necessarily bad, just different. After riding and getting used to the characteristics of the tires, I’ve grown accustomed to their handling characteristics. Another peculiarity I initially noticed was when riding on grooved, rutted asphalt or concrete pavement running parallel to the direction of travel, the tires seem to “wander” or track more than my stock tires. Now, with 5,000 miles on the TKCs, it all seems normal now. Again different, but not bad. It has been many years since I’ve ridden on dual sport tires, and I immediately noticed the feel of the lugs at very slow speeds. At interstate speed there are no problems and no excessive noise.

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

The dual sport rides at the Georgia Mountain Rally were the TKC’s first real test. On Friday afternoon I set out for a short two-hour, 90-mile dual sport ride. The off-road portion was on National For-

est Service roads with most of these roads 10-12 feet wide, traversing the faces of steep ravines. The roads were partially covered with railroad size ballast rock. The tracks were packed and rutted, while the crowns were loose and unstable. The TKC’s took a beating from the sharp edged rocks but came through fine. Saturday, with MOA member Larry Meeker as my riding partner, we took off

for a 190-mile, dual sport ride. By the end of the day I was whipped, but the TKC’s were none the worse for wear after enduring five water crossings, slippery clay, sharp rocks and tree branches. The real torture test for the TKC’s came at the Jennings GP motorcycle track where our club, BMWNEF (BMW owners of northeast Florida), conducted our Sport Touring School (STS). After a day at the track, the tires held firm in all types of corners and lean angles, and you’ll not find any “chicken strips” on these tires! I’m not easy on my tires, and my first set of TKC’s have run their course, lasting 12,434 miles of tortured riding. On the highway, the TKC’s are fine, though they are slightly noisier than stock 90/10 tires, but they’re not annoying. This past summer I headed for the BMWMOA National Rally on a southern route. After a night in Austin, Texas, bar-hopping with my son, I rode 300 miles through the Hill Country. I rode through the intense heat of Big Bend National Park on paved and washed out, boulder filled trails and found the TKC’s well suited for both environments. I liked them so much I opted for a second set and currently have approximately 5,000 miles on them and life is good. I’m pleased with the Continental TKC performance both on and off-road. For the big GS, a set of TKC’s will set you back about $350, and for more information, visit your local dealer or

member teste 30


Motohansa BMW Pro Series tool set By Wes Fleming #87301 IN THE MODERN AGE OF TIPPED-

forward inline-six engines, liquidcooled boxers, ABS systems that can activate when you’re leaned over hard in a curve, and motorcycle-based computers that do everything but cook your breakfast and tie your boots, it’s not entirely unreasonable to think that the only tools you need when you venture away from home on your motorcycle are your cell phone, the MOA’s Platinum Membership, and a credit card. If you ask me, though, that kind of takes the fun out of motorcycle ownership. There’s something viscerally— perhaps even emotionally—satisfying about owning a good set of tools, especially if you’re an early R 1200 GS owner like me. For a while, it seemed like my bike broke all the time. Final drive. Drive shaft. Fuel pump assemblies. Rear wheel flange. The list kind of goes on, unfortunately, but at least the last known issue I may face as the miles gather under my tires is the ABS unit going bad. (Spoiler alert: I already know how to bypass it, so bring that on!) All kidding aside, it can be great fun to work on your own motorcycle, even if the only thing you ever do is an oil change. Using the right tools and letting the tools do the work they’re designed to do makes the work as easy as it can be, and you can hop on your bike today knowing just a little more about it than you did yesterday. Bad tools, however, can ruin the experience and, at worst, damage your motorcycle and even your body. An old mechanic will smile ruefully as you round off the corners on a nut with a crescent wrench and scrape your knuckles on something sharp— and possibly hot to boot. Lucky for me, then, and tens of

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

The biggest advantage the Motohansa kit has over my kit is organization and accessibility. Everything is laid out cleanly and logically, and although those little bits are fiddly to work with, they’re clearly labeled and easy to keep track of, thanks to the bit holders.

thousands of other riders with an R 1200 GS, Motohansa makes a tool kit that enables the performance of a number of routine maintenance tasks, including fluid and filter changes, wheel removal, spark plug removal and more. The only things missing from this kit are wire cutters and an oil filter wrench—add those and you’re set. The BMW Pro Series Tool Set MTT000116.000 is for 2004-2010 (hexhead) models; MTT0001-14.001 is for 2010-12 (camhead) models. Each kit retails for $195 direct from Motohansa and includes 61 pieces, though 10 of those pieces are standard black zipties. These kits also cover other bikes in the R 1200 series, but they’re geared towards the GS. The heart of the Motohansa tool kit is the 3/8” socket driver with its extendable handle and its ability to lock the head in place for high-torque fastener removals. If this tool alone cost $100, it would be worth it— it is simply that handy. It not only functions smoothly, it is also beautiful to look at, and its hand feel is utterly satisfying. Naturally, it works with all the sockets and the 10”

extension (which features a locking head), but you can also affix the bit adapter socket and use the ratchet driver with all the bits included in the kit for fasteners that are inconvenient to reach or need more torque than the bit driver can provide. The Motohansa kit contains 49 tools: • 3/8” drive high-torque ratchet with adjustable length handle • 10” locking extension for ratchet • 1/4” drive ratcheting bit driver • 11 Torx bits – T8, T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40, T45, T50, T55 • 11 Hex bits (mm) – 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3-5, 5.5, 6-10 • Screwdriver bits – Phillips #2, Standard 5.5 • 5 3/8” drive sockets (mm) – 10, 12, 13, 15, 17 • 16mm deep socket for spark plugs • 3 External Torx sockets – E8, E10, E12 • 2 3/8” drive Torx sockets – T45, T50 • Combination coil remover/front axle tool • 7 combination wrenches (mm) – 8, 10-14, 17 • 8” vice grip wrench • Tire pressure gauge • 10 zip ties

My personal kit contains 62 tools: • 3/8” drive stubby ratchet with a flex head • 3” and 6” extensions for ratchet • 1/4” drive ratchet w/2” extension and 1/4” to 3/8” adapter • 7 Torx L-wrenches – T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40 • 9 Torx sockets – T15, T20, T25, T27, T30, T40, T45, T50, T55 • 6 hex L-wrenches (mm) – 2-6, 8 • 1 1/4” drive socket, 8mm • 9 3/8” drive sockets (mm) – 10-18 • 5 hex sockets (mm) – 5-8, 10 • 7 box-end wrenches (mm) – 7, 8, 2x10, 11, 12, 15

• 1 17mm wrench from old BMW tool kit • 3 mm ball-end hex driver (Wiha) •B  MW spark plug tool •A  ir hose chuck • 6 ” vice grip wrench • S mall wire cutter •T  ire pressure gauge • Toothbrush • Feeler gauges for checking valves • Screwdriver, reversible Philips/standard bit from old BMW tool kit • 8 ” adjustable wrench There is clear redundancy in my kit—I probably don’t need to be carrying around the full set of L-shaped Torx wrenches just for the T10 I need to swap out the windshield on my GS. I could easily tuck the T10 in my tool kit and leave the rest in my tool box at home, relying on the sockets to cover everything else Torx-headed. I don’t need the hex sockets or L-shaped wrenches for my R 1200 GS, but I do need them for my K 1200 RS. I probably don’t need L-shaped hex wrenches and hex sockets at the same time, but I know from experience that it’s sometimes faster and easier to break a fastener free with a socket, than to spin it out with a L-handled tool. I carry around the air chuck for the simple reason that I needed one once to fill a tire and nobody could find one, but that was in 2010 and I haven’t used it since I put it in the kit. There are some things I don’t need in the Motohansa kit, such as the T8 bit and the 1.5, 2.5 and 5.5 mm hex bits. I replaced all the external Torx fasteners on my GS with hex-headed fasteners, so I could chuck the E-Torx sockets.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


member tested


The biggest advantage the Motohansa kit has over my kit is organization and accessibility. Everything is laid out cleanly and logically, and although those little bits are fiddly to work with, they’re clearly labeled and easy to keep track of, thanks to the bit holders. The socket rail is way more efficient than my bag-of-sockets solution—much less digging around and guessing at which socket is the right size with the rail than with the zipper pocket. The Motohansa tool roll does include a small pocket (above the vice grip wrench) for miscellaneous tools (like feeler gauges) and small parts. Based on the quality and completeness of the Motohansa kit, what I decided to do was to keep the Motohansa kit on the R 1200 GS and move the kit I already put together over to the K 1200 RS sidecar rig. This enables me to remove some of the tools from my kit, such as the Promach Dual Tool and feeler gauges. I’ll have to add some other tools to it, such as larger combination wrenches, to enable me to make adjustments to the sidecar connection hardware. I’ll swap over my long 3 mm hex wrench to the Motohansa kit—it’s a special tool from Wiha with a long handle that is just perfect for adjusting the valve clearances—and one of my 10 mm wrenches as well, simply because somebody always seems to need to borrow one. A small pair of wire cutters will go into the Motohansa kit, and at that point it’ll be ready for the routine maintenance tasks of a tech day or a parking lot repair anywhere in middle America.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


PRoductnews Extend your riding season

When you were a kid, your mom yelled at you to wear your hat and boots, and when you asked why, she just said, “Because I told you to.” Mom had the right idea, but here’s a better explanation. When you get cold, your body automatically decreases the amount of blood circulating to your limbs, and heated clothing will keep your trunk warm, allowing plenty of warm blood circulating to your fingers and toes so you can ride in greater comfort and control. The Kanetsu electric gear collection available at Aerostich includes vests, jacket liners and chest warmers along with a full array of connectors to work with any bike, allowing you to extend your riding season or get out earlier in the spring. For more information regarding the Kanetsu line, visit

LIQUI MOLY Fuel Stabilizer

To protect the fuel systems for motorcycles enduring winter hibernation, Liqui Moly Fuel Stabilizer can help ensure that your bike is ready to go next spring when you are. Liqui Moly Fuel Stabilizer preserves and protects fuel against aging and oxidation as well as preventing corrosion throughout the entire fuel system. Developed for use with any two or four-stroke motor placed in storage or not run on a regular basis, Liqui Moly has been successfully tested on engines with catalytic converters and turbochargers. Simply pour a half bottle into your motorcycle’s fuel tank and rest assured your baby’s fuel system is protected. Liqui Moly fuel stabilizer is also suitable for all gas engines, including lawn mowers, garden equipment and more. The product retails for $8.49 and is available at


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

Wunderlich Oil Cooler Guard

Available for the BMW S 1000 R, RR, and XR, as well as the R nineT, a new oil cooler guard from Wunderlich offers protection for the delicate fins of the oil cooler from stones, insects and road grime. The oil cooler guard uses a finely meshed grill to ensure the cooling properties remain unaffected. The openings between the wires are 5mm (3/16”) square, and the grill is precision welded to the steel frame. The frame assembly is powder coated to resist chips and will continue to look good for thousands of miles. The guard mounts easily with no modifications needed and uses an anti-vibration mounting system. It ships complete with all needed hardware and detailed installation instructions. MSRP for the Wunderlich oil cooler guard is $109.95, and for more information visit wunderlichamerica. com.

BrakeTech front rotors for BMW S 1000 RR

BrakeTech USA, Inc., the North American distributor of Ferodo Racing Products now offers front brake rotors for the BMW S 1000 RR. Available in both AXIS stainless steel and ductile iron and using the same five-point mounting system of the original equipment wheel assembly, the new BTB-10 rotors feature design elements that set them apart. They include a newly-developed InterPhase Link System to increase thrust-face area for improved overall assembly strength and thermal transfer to seamlessly match the mounting system of the OEM wheels. Compared to the stock BMW rotors, the BrakeTech BTB-10 rotors are said to offer an improved initial bite, more progressive feel, increased heat transfer and greater resistance to warping at prices lower than those for stock rotors. For more information, visit

Schuberth updates SRC-System PRO communication system

Schuberth recently updated their SRC-System PRO rider communication system for C3 Pro helmets to include compatibility with Apple products and better integration with personal speakers and ear buds. The Cardo powered SRC-System PRO enables riders to have wireless intercom, phone and GPS capabilities and is compatible with most MP3 players. It also features integrated VHF radio, allowing riders to listen to favorite stations. Additionally, the new version of the SRC-System PRO features reconfigured controls providing easy communication among up to four riders with a range of up to 1,000 meters, and the Cardo SmartSet app for IOS and android simplifies system set up. Every SRC-System PRO includes a flexible boom microphone and two HD loudspeakers, while the new 3.5mm jack means that riders can choose to use any standard speakers or ear buds of their choice. Schuberth products are available throughout North America at authorized Schuberth dealers. For more information visit www.schuberthnorthamerica. com.

Metzeler adds Klassik

Launched in late 2015, the Sportec Klassik is the newest addition to the Metzeler Heritage range of tires. Created for riders who enjoy motorcycles from the 1980s, the new tire offers better cornering ability with straight line stability and feedback. With a tread pattern loosely based on the Metzeler ME22, the new tire uses modern compounds and materials and is especially suited for classic motorcycles such as the BMW R 100. Other tires in the Metzeler Heritage Line include the Lasertec, a bias-ply tire for sport bikes from the 1970s through the ‘90s and the Perfect ME11 Front, which features a classic rib tread like tires did in the 1960s and ‘70s and is available for tube or tubeless wheels. The Perfect ME11 pairs well with a Perfect ME77 or Block C rear tire. The Perfect ME77 is available for tubed or tubeless applications in rear wheel sizes only, and the Block K is for classic motorcycles equipped with a sidecar. For more information on all Metzeler motorcycle tires, visit metzeler. com.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




BMW Motorrad announces R nineT Scrambler THE R NINET SURPRISED MANY IN

the motorcycling world—industry pros and riders alike—with its popularity. A bike that rumors said would only last two years as a low-selling limited edition has become a dominant force in the retro throwback genre of motorcycles—not just in performance or looks, but in sales numbers as well. Its classic air/oil cooled camhead boxer engine snarls where the late-model wethead motor purrs. Where the most recent R 1200 motorcycles ooze refinement and


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

sophistication, the nineT bares its metal and encourages its owner to change its looks and configuration to suit his or her tastes. Fans of the platform have been wondering if and when BMW Motorrad might release a variation on the nineT Roadster. The one-off concept Surf nineT fueled rumors of a Scrambler in the works, and indeed it was possibly the motorcycle that drew the most people to the BMW Motorrad booth at the AIMExpo in October 2015. The wondering ended on 17 November 2015 when, just ahead of its debut at EICMA

in Milan, Italy, BMW Motorrad released tech information and photos of the R nineT Scrambler. The engine remains unchanged from the Roadster—a classic boxer configuration boasting 1170 cubic centimeters of displacement and generating 110 horsepower at 7,750 rpm, as well as 85.5 foot-pounds of torque at 6,000 rpm. Other specifications— brakes, suspension, etc.—remain unchanged from the Roadster as well, making the Scrambler primarily a cosmetically different motorcycle, rather than one that enjoys a shift in performance.

One clear difference between the Roadster and the Scrambler is the 19-inch front wheel on the new model, which requires a 120/70-19 tire. The wide, 17 inch rear wheel on the Roadster is gone, replaced with a narrower 17 inch wheel on the Scrambler, one that takes a 170/60-17 tire. Both wheels are constructed of light cast alloys, but cross-spoked wheels (requiring tubes) are available as an option. Also available as an option are aggressive, deep-treaded on/offroad tires. This opens the Scrambler up to a decent variety of dual sport tires, including the Avon Trailrider AV54, the Metzeler Tourance Next and the Karoo 3, the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II, the Michelin Anakee 3, and the Continental TKC 70 and Trail Attack 2 tires. The only color available for the 2016 R nineT Scrambler is Monolith metallic matte, a silver/gray finish set off by blackcoated components such as the frame, swing arm, wheels, fork slider tubes and engine case. While much of the Scrambler invokes classic 1960s and ‘70s scrambler motorcycles with touches like rubber gaiters protecting the fork tubes, one thing missing is the positioning of high pipes running the length of the body. BMW ends the exhaust system with twin upswept mufflers, but other than their higher position (compared to the Roadster), this exhaust configuration is similar to that of the Roadster. Instead of terminating in line with the hub of the rear wheel—as on the Roadster—the Scrambler’s twin mufflers are several inches higher. Besides the cross-spoke wheels, other options and accessories available for the Scrambler include Automatic Stability Control, heated grips, LED turn signals, a hand-brushed aluminum fuel tank, a chrome-plated manifold, a taller seat, a rider-only seat, lowered suspension, RPM gauge, headlight protector grille, crash bars, number panels, a windshield, tank/ tail bags, knee pads, an Akropovič sports muffler (can be mounted high or low), frame covers, aluminum handlebar tips, and chrome/silver/black cylinder head covers.

The long list of options available for the new BMW R nineT Scrambler include headlight guards, number plates, various seats and instrumentation.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS





sation, the topic of motorcycles will inevitably come up. With a population of 1.2 billion spreading across 1.2 million square miles, it’s no surprise that says about a million two-wheelers get sold in India every month, around 10 times the number of cars sold in the same time period. While hard numbers are difficult to track down, it is a safe assumption that the vast majority of those motorcycles are under 500cc, with 125 and 250cc bikes dominating not just the market in India, but manufacturing as well. With the new G 310 R, BMW Motorrad is positioning itself to go after the large-displacement (for India), single-cylinder market. The G 310 R is BMW’s first sub-500cc motorcycle since the R 45, which saw low production numbers between 1978 and 1981. That air-cooled 453cc boxer put out 27 horsepower and 27 pound-feet of torque, respectable stats for the era but hardly road-burning power. The G 310 R’s liquid-cooled 313cc single puts out 34 hp at 9,500 rpm and has just under 21 lb-ft of torque at 7,500 rpm. The power may not be innovative, but the technology is: the completely new thumper has a backward-tilted cylinder


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

with the cylinder head turned 180 degrees so the intake tract is at the front of the bike rather than facing the rear. The open-deck design offers improved cooling and lower weight than other types of cylinder designs. While most of the other specs are relatively standard for a motorcycle with this displacement—short wheelbase, light weight wet or dry, low seat height and so on--BMW puts its twist on things by fitting two-channel ABS as standard. The real news for the G 310 R isn’t any of these things; rather the big news is that BMW’s newest groundup design will be built in Bangalore, India, by the TVS Motor Company. According to BMW Motorrad’s press release, manufacturing standards have been set by BMW, and they fully expect TVS to build to BMW’s exacting specifications. TVS Motor Company is India’s third largest motorcycle manufacturer (first and second are Hero and Bajaj), and they make about 2.5 million vehicles every year. TVS Motor Company will no doubt be leveraging the 90-odd companies under the TVS Group umbrella for parts and manufacturing needs. BMW Motorrad stated in its press release, “A dedicated production area has been set aside in the factory for production of the G 310 R. Mechanical production of the engine components is carried out

on new, high-quality machine tools made by leading German manufacturers. BMW Motorrad was closely involved in an advisory capacity here, and production is set up based on the model of the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau. The engine assembly line is completely new and fitted with cutting-edge automation and testing technology for every stage of the process. All the relevant work stages are monitored and automatically recorded with regard to size accuracy, tolerances and bolt-fitting values. “Assembly is carried out in a completely sealed, glazed area which can only be accessed via air locks so as to prevent any dirt from entering. At the end of the engine assembly line, each engine is put through a test bench run where all relevant parameters are measured, including output. “Vehicle assembly is also carried out in a dedicated section of the factory reserved exclusively for BMW Motorrad. Here again, state-of-the-art assembly technology is deployed. The final inspection is performed according to BMW Motorrad standards and includes electronic functional testing as well as a final run on the roller test bench for every motorcycle. The roller test bench is also completely new and set up according to Berlin standards.

“Furthermore, staff were specially selected and trained by TVS for production and assembly. Additional training programs were held for assembly workers together with colleagues from the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau over a period of more than a year prior to the start of serial production. From the very first motorcycle to come off the production line in India, they have also contributed to the high assembly standards and heightened quality awareness. All in all, production of the new BMW G 310 R is subject to the same quality criteria that apply to production at the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau.” Optional accessories include low and comfort seats, two different top cases, LED turn signals, a center stand, a 12-volt accessory socket and heated grips. Available colors are Cosmic black/ Polar white non-metallic, Strato blue metallic—both with silver accents—and Pearl white metallic, which costs more but features red and blue graphics as well as black and silver accents along with gold-anodized fork tubes and brake calipers. Pricing has not yet been set, nor has availability; rumors are saying the G 310 R may be available in the USA by the third quarter of 2016.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




BMW Motorrad announces updates to F 700 GS, F 800 GS and S 1000 XR

Color options for the 2016 F 800 GS include:

• Basic model: Racing blue metallic matte body with Agate gray metallic matte frame • Style 1: Light white non-metallic body with Racing red non-metallic frame • Style 2: Black storm metallic body with Agate gray metallic matte frame


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

F 800 GS Triple Black

• Basic model: Mineral gray metallic body with Agate gray metallic matte frame • Style 1: Light white non-metallic body with Racing red non-metallic frame • Style 2: Sakhir orange metallic body with Agate gray metallic matte frame

S 1000 XR White

Color options for the 2016 F 700 GS include:

F 700 GS Red


new R nineT Scrambler, BMW Motorrad has released information about facelifts for the F-GS and a new color scheme for the S 1000 XR for 2016. No performance, equipment or other major changes took place, though the F bikes did get some ergonomic changes. For the F 700 and 800 GS motorcycles, first up is a newly designed tank cover, along with a newly designed ignition lock cover. Riders will also notice elaborately electroplated elements on the bikes— knee panels on the 700 and the radiator cover on the 800. Both models have redesigned logos as well, with partial engraving that BMW says, “conveys high-end quality and a fascinating contrast with the painted surfaces.” Two-tone (black and gray) seats round off the appearance updates, but it’s the new seat heights that will impress most riders. Combining four different seat thicknesses with the option of having the bike supplied with a lowered suspension, F 700 GS riders can now enjoy seat heights ranging from 765 to 860 millimeters (30.1 to 33.9 inches). F 800 GS riders can choose seat height options from 820 to 920 mm (32.2 to 36.2 in.).

F 800 GS White Engine, transmission and suspension remain consistent from the 2015 models. BMW Motorrad’s ABS system is standard and performance options include Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA). The 2016 S 1000 XR similarly gets no performance updates, and this brand-new model isn’t ready for a facelift yet. A new color scheme— Light white/Granite gray metallic/ Racing red—joins the current color choices of Racing red and Light white.

Available options for the F 800 GS include (clockwise from above) an Akropovic exhaust, tinted windscreen, skid plate and crash bars.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




2016 MOA Board call for candidates By Muriel Farrington, Secretary THE CANDIDATE SEARCH COM-

mittee has been formed, they are ready to respond to your requests for nomination packets, and we are anxious to receive those completed packets. If you or someone you know has the time (four in-person meetings per year and monthly conference calls), has an interest in the BMW MOA and would like to influence its future direction by serving fellow members, then please consider running for office. We have four open director slots in the upcoming election, and your name or the name of someone you know can be on the ballot. Just request the nomination packet, return it completed by February 1, 2016, and you are good to go. To get a nomination packet, please

contact a member of the Candidate Search Committee or the MOA office.

Candidate Search Committee Tom Buttars - Chairman Nebraska 605-670-0614,

Greenville, SC 29601 864-438-0962 (v) 864-250-0038 (f) President Chuck Manley has also announced the Election Committee, which is responsible for certifying the election results. They are:

Don Hamblin Missouri 256-479-5606,

James Faucher Woodstock, CT

Dave Swider California 415-717-9932,

Phil Keppelman Jonesville, VT

MOA Office BMW Motorcycle Owners of America 640 S. Main Street, Suite 201

So let’s get started and make the 2016 election an exciting one!

The best invention of our technicians and engineers was our WESA technology for all BMW motorcycles with ESA. No matter whether R 1200 GS, K 1600 or F 700 GS – all models can be equipped with an individually, custom built suspension and, depending on the model, with lowering solutions of up to 80 mm (3”)!

t reinvented “We have no e only made the wheel, w t better!“ it a little bi

Here the rider has the option to change the damping in three steps: soft, medium or sport at the push of a button at the handlebars! For us this was a good reason to develop the new Mini-WESA (Mini-Wilbers-Electronic-Suspension-Adjustment)!

„WESA, WESA-Dynamic and WESA-X from the specialists who know how to deal with ESA since it was first invented. New shocks with 5 year warranty and ESA adjustability. Your bike does not have ESA? WESA-X can be installed on your bike. Email or call the WESA specialist.“

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We developed lowering solutions for lowering 35 mm (1 ½”) or 70 mm (2 ¾”) while keeping the original riding geometry.

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January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




Plan your 2016 MOA Getaway now By Vance Harrelson #100402 Chairman, Events Committee AS YOU READ THIS FOR MOST OF

you the 2015 riding season has come to an end or at least slowed dramatically. Most of the continent will soon be hiding from the cold, the wind, and the rain or blowing snow. Maybe the riding season has ended but thankfully you have the Owner’s News to keep you up to date on all the things riding and MOA. And I suspect more than a few of you are already planning next year’s great adventures and destinations. That is a good plan because in a few short months spring will arrive and we will be more than ready to get back out there. Several years ago, the MOA Getaway idea was introduced to provide a smaller event where members along with their wives, kids and riding friends could gather at interesting locations around North America. These events are designed to be much smaller than a traditional rally setting and are typically hotel based with no need to pack your ThermaRest and tent. MOA Getaway events are typically designed for approximately 100 attendees so don’t wait too long, they will sell out.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

Well, the concept was a good one, just ask someone who has attended an MOA Getaway! In fact the Events Committee of your Board of Directors conducted a recent survey of the membership to learn just what you the membership wanted in the way of events in the future. The response to that survey was incredible and many suggested that the MOA Getaways should be expanded. Well, we hear you and we absolutely agree! We have a fantastic line up for 2016 already and are working on several more events around the country….so stay tuned, we aren’t finished yet! What we can tell you are the following events on the schedule so far; Fontana, NC – April 22-23 Based in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, the riding in the area is magnificent. If you leave without filling your curve quota, you didn’t ride! We will be based once again at the historic Fontana Village Resort. Muskoka, Ontario – May 27-29 This year we are excited to return for our second North-of-the-Border Getaway. Based at the beautiful Camp Tamarac that is situated on over 1200 rugged acres of pines and granite surrounding its own very large private lake. You will have the chance

to explore the area on road or get dirty on the network of ATV trails available. Eureka Springs, AR – August 19-20 We will return for the second time to historic village of Eureka Springs located in the northwest corner of Arkansas. This too is a beautiful area to ride or spend the day in town leisurely searching through the quaint shops of downtown. Pineville, KY – September 9-10 We will return for the second time to this great part of southeastern Kentucky. Based at the Pine Mountain State Park Resort there are a variety of accommodations available including lodge rooms and cabins. We been given the whole lodge this year so you will want to book this one early…it will sell quickly! Coeur d’Alene, ID – September 16-17 Join your fellow members and make new friends as you enjoy this scenic area in north Idaho. Located on the banks of the Spokane River and just minutes away from Lake Coeur d’Alene, the Red Lion will play host to our event again. Riding is abundant, both on and off-road with routes around the lakes, peaks and plains surrounding the area. There is no lack of offroad riding with the Coeur d’Alene National Forest as the local playground. After you are done riding, spend some time

exploring the local attractions that include art galleries and shopping in the quaint downtown Coeur d’Alene. Visit the lake and try your hand at paddle boarding. Stroll one of the world’s longest floating boardwalks at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Marina. Visit nearby Silverwood Theme park for a thrill ride on one of their many roller coasters. Cedar City, UT – September 23-24 Return to where the MOA Getaway concept all started. Visit the nearby national parks or take off any direction and you will find adventure awaits you! Black River Falls, WI – September 30-October 1 This will be our first event in Black River Falls but judging from the success at previous events in nearby Tomah, WI this will be a hit too! There will be both street and off road riding opportunities. The weather will be cool and crisp and this event is during the harvest time for the cranberries! As you can see 2016 MOA Getaway opportunities abound! Pick one or pick several and join your fellow members for some riding fun in great locations. Stay tuned for more information in the very near future on more locations as we get them confirmed. Online registration will be available early next year to reserve your special MOA Getaway!

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Fully Farkled


Member since 1972

Expires 11/16

Member since 1972

Expires 11/16



Here’s two reasons you should be a member of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America 1. Help is always close with the new MOA Hotline. Powered by Global Rescue, the new MOA Hotline has your back and is ready to get you the help you need. Most of all, the new MOA Hotline it’s free and included with your BMW MOA membership. Stranded? Call the MOA Hotline at 617-426-6621.

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BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016



Airhead tech and working on the S By Matthew Parkhouse #13272 WINTER IS HERE,

with increased back pain (scheduled for an MRI that COULD lead to another back surgery!), fires in the woodstove and not much riding. The R100S sits under a tarp, as do the other bikes. One of these days I’ll do the “surgery” on the Mexico Bike to render it a LWB (long wheel base) machine. If we ever do more two-up riding in foreign lands, Susanna will appreciate the extra two inches of seat space. My plan is to buy a new seat for Strider, my “main bike,” and take that slightly worn seat I am replacing and use it on the Mexico bike. Strider was my first go-around with the “stretching exercise” back in my Doc’s BMW of Colorado Springs days. I grafted the back end parts off a wrecked /6 and was pleasantly surprised at the change in handling. Since then, I’ve probably done this

work around ten times I did get to an Airhead Tech Day this last weekend. A fellow in Longmont, Colo., offered his garage and driveway to host about 18 airheads, most of whom braved the freezing temperatures on their bikes. We had several riders who were new to the scene. Those of us who had accumulated some knowledge were gracious and supportive to the newbies. Lots of suggestions for acquiring parts and online sources of information were shared. Several folks learned to set their valves properly. Teaching included demonstrating that when the gas tap handle is “up,” you are on reserve, NOT on the main setting for gas flow (yup, a couple of folks were VERY green). I drove the 120 miles in a car, which kept me from suffering the cold too much and allowed me to bring up a few boxes of parts. I handed out a few items like carb o-rings and speedo cable boots as we tore into various mounts. One Slash Five had some carb issues, and we ended up finding that the needle clip in the slide had come loose. I was pleased that I was able to come up with

I am using the front of the crankshaft to rotate the engine to the TDC mark. It turns much easier with the two sparkplugs removed.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

a good, used slide with a good clip so we could get the carbs balanced evenly. The theme of the five or so hours seemed to be “trouble shooting.” Several attendees learned quite a bit, as the older hands hunted down tight valves, wiring issues and water in the carbs problems. As we all began to take off for home, we were in a good mood, having either been genuinely helpful or having learned a lot about these classy old bikes. A further example of this mutual support: recently, I’ve been talking with a fellow named Gordon in Missouri. He’s in his 80s and wants to keep riding. He just purchased a really nice 1982 R100 (I’ve seen the pictures). He has a few “medical issues” and has trouble holding his bike upright at a stop. We both remember seeing “retracting outriggers” used on Gold Wings and Harleys a number of years ago. These devices would work, when activated, to support the bike in a straight, upright position and retract when dis-engaged. I think these were called “Safety Features” and were made in Stacy, Minnesota. Their website

The “OT” mark is visible through the timing hole on the left side of the engine. This means you are on TDC on ONE side or the other.

does not open anymore and the phone number gets you to a medic-alert company. If anyone knows more, I (and Gordon) would appreciate hearing about it. Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking. I can empathize with the “growing old” problem. Last week I was at the local dealer, picking up a trailer full of bike crates to use for firewood. BMW motorcycle crate bottoms are essentially unchanged since the first day I uncrated bikes in 1977. I used to be able to flip them over my head on occasion, as I moved them around. Now, it’s one end at a time, and I can only get them about waist-high as I shift them into the trailer. There is around 100 pounds of nice Bavarian pine in each one of those things! Before putting up the R100S for the winter, I did want to see how the valve settings were after that fast 500 mile, three-day trip last month. In the spirit of the recent Tech Day, I’ll explain what goes into a basic setting of the valves. First, I pulled the front engine cover (after isolating the battery) to allow me to rotate the engine to get it on Top Dead Center (TDC). The sparkplugs were removed, so I would not be fighting the engine compression. I usually use a flashlight to light up the “OT” mark on the flywheel. Once I had that marking centered in the timing port on the left side of the engine block, I

removed the three fasteners securing the valve cover on the right side of the bike. As things were, that was the TDC side. Had the valves been completely tight to the point where I could not spin the pushrods, I would have rotated the engine one full turn (360 degrees) to bring TDC around to that side. To torque the head on that side, I loosened the two rocker nuts on the exhaust rocker, held everything straight with my big water-pump pliers, tightened things up with a 15mm wrench, and then applied 24-25 ft- lbs of torque to the two nuts. This is more important with the earlier, 1970 to 1975 bikes, as those rockers are mounted on flat surfaces. It is less critical on the later heads because the rockers are mounted with a self-centering system. You do this step to align the rocker arms and to take up any up-and-down looseness that can add to the engine noise. I also put the torque wrench on the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock head nuts—break loose and retighten. I then repeated the process with the two nuts on the intake rocker arm. With everything torqued down, I checked the two valves for clearance. Toward the end of the airhead production run, BMW came out with a service bulletin stating that ALL 1970 to 1995 twins were to use 0.15mm clearance for the intake valve and 0.20mm for the exhaust. I always check things before I start

Torquing the heads. I do one rocker (intake or exhaust) at a time. If the engine has had this done a few times, it is not necessary to perform this part of the job every time you set the valves. Once it has been done four or five times, the head gasket and the rest of the assembly is pretty stable.

undoing the adjusters because I just might have a good day and find one or both valves right where they should be. That was not the case with the R100S. As often happens, the torqueing process tightened things up a bit. Both the adjuster and the locking nut are 12mm. With a pair of wrenches, I made the small bit of adjusting that was needed. Once I was satisfied that the right side was where it should be, the cleaned up valve cover went back in place and I spun the engine 360 degrees. Upon removal of the left engine cover, I found the valves to have a bit of slack, so I knew the TDC was on the proper side. I repeated the torqueing and valve adjusting on the left side and closed up the left valve cover and the front engine cover. The sparkplugs went back in and the bike, despite the near-freezing cold, lit right up when I hit the button. Now that I have run those few hundred miles on the S, I’ll probably sell it come next spring. As much as I enjoy having it, it really should not be spending its days under cover in the back yard. Working on the S is probably the closing work for me for this year. I’m sure I’ll have some local owners come by or a gearbox box or two come my way, but at the moment, it is the “off season.” Happy New Year to all my readers!

Setting the valve clearance. The blue feeler is 0.20mm, the white one is 0.15mm. The long wrench is on the locking nut and the shorter one is one the adjuster. I always try the feelers first, just in case the clearance is right where it should be. It happens occasionally!



Winter storage tips By George Mangicaro FOR SOME, THIS RIDING SEASON

is nearing an end. That fact brings rise to the usual question of how to store a bike for the winter to ensure a trouble-free start next year. There are too many variables to give a definitive answer. How long you plan on storing and the bike itself are big factors in determining what you should do. One way to help in the spring is to make a list of what you do now to store the bike.


If possible store the bike indoors at constant temperature and humidity. Anything above freezing will do. A cool, dry and even dark place is best.


Change all the fluids. Brake fluid is the most important and often neglected fluid to change. Old brake fluid is very corrosive and is the cause of many high-cost repairs.

Tire Pressure

Pump up tire pressures to sidewall maximum. Tires will usually lose pressure over time, so in the spring make sure you check the pressure and set them to correct riding pressures. If you have a center stand, use it. Additionally, if you can balance the bike so both tires are off the ground, do so. It is best to use a wideplatform scissor jack; hydraulic jacks can drop over time. If you do not have a center stand, move the bike around periodically to change which part of the tire is in contact with the ground.


If you’re storing your motorcycle where it will be exposed to freezing temperatures, it’s best to remove the


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

battery from the bike. To get the most life from your lead-acid battery, keep it charged. The best way to do this is with a “smart” charger that maintains a charge without overcharging.


A lot of people take the term “mothballing” literally and will stuff mothballs into every corner of their bike, hoping it will keep mice from nesting inside the air box or chewing on wires. A hungry cat in the garage will probably do that job better, you’ll just have to keep the cat off the bike. Mothballs will probably keep the cat away. On a more modern front, several companies sell cone-shaped silicone plugs for intakes and exhaust pipes. Chemical pest repellants are also available.


If you want to cover the bike, it is best to buy a cover designed for long-term storage. A blue plastic roof tarp is not a viable option. May people use old bed sheets; if you do this, 100% cotton is best. If you’re forced to store your bike outdoors, buy a good quality cover designed for long-term outdoor storage; a bike bubble is ideal for this option. Do not cover the bike with any non-breathable material. If you park the bike on grass and cover it with a roof tarp, you will be trapping all the moisture that rises out of the ground.


In theory it is best to remove any contaminates from the surface, so washing your bike before long-term storage is a good idea. Be careful what you use to clean the bike with. If you use a cleaner that leaves a residue, you could cause more trouble for yourself. Unless you run the bike after cleaning you will have pools of water and possibly cleaning agent in places that are difficult to get to. Covering a wet bike just freshly washed with a strong detergent may

cause corrosion or discoloration of clear plastics.


Conventional wisdom says never to start a motor unless it will reach full operating temperature. If you do not reach full operating temperature, you run the risk of increasing acid levels in the engine oil. Some say that starting a bike for short periods, less than one minute for example, has rewards that outweigh the risks of engine damage. They argue that starting the engine will keep a film of oil on the engine internals and prevent direct metal-onmetal contact. Additionally, they argue that having the fuel pump run and pass fuel through the injectors is better than any chemical fuel additive for long-term storage.

Fuel Tank

This is the big one, and it also has the most answers. For bikes with carburetors, fill the tank and add the same additive you used in 1960 (Sta-Bil has been around a long time), drain the float bowls and enjoy the winter. Fuel-injected bikes are where the trouble starts. Due to the ethanol (alcohol) levels in modern fuels, the old tricks do not always work. Some use the old-school approach and let bike sit for months with no problems, others have had fuel pumps fail or injectors stick in just a few weeks. I am not a chemist nor do I play one on the Internet, therefore I am not qualified to say for certain what causes this discrepancy in results. The best advice I can give is this: If what you did last year worked, do that again this year. If this is your first year storing your bike, keep notes of what you do and hope for the best. At least then you’ll know what to do — or not to do — next year.



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January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



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BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

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The cultural kerfuffle By Shawn Thomas #91122 6 A.M. DAMN, IT’S

hot. From the moment we left the sweet, air conditioned confines of our humble hotel room, we were bombarded with ridiculous Southern heat. “Well, you folks came at the hottest time of the year,” or so everyone with an eye for our misery seemed excited to announce. “You think it’s bad now, just wait until afternoon!” Ugh. A whole day standing in the blazing sun. Yay. It was summer of 2012. My brother Lance and I were a week into one of our Adventure Off-Road Clinic Tours. We had spent the past year zigzagging around the country on behalf of BMW, offering free riding courses to folks interested in learning the sport. Over the course of a day we would teach balance, braking, throttle and turning technique, all with the goal of helping people understand the nuances of Adventure Riding. When training was done, we would load up and hightail it to the next event site, where we would host a new clinic the following day. Already we had taught thousands of people, and the program was wildly successful. But the job was not without its fair share of stress. We worked with local BMW dealers to arrange many of the event details. As such, each event came with some critical—and unavoidable—unknowns. For example, we had little idea how many people would show up for the free training events. Sometimes there would be 10,

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

other times, 60. Additionally, we had minimal foreknowledge of the grounds we would be using for training, as the dealership was charged with finding these, based on our criteria. This meant that there was a lot of running around the morning of an event, surveying the area to ensure it was best utilized for our instruction. Then there was finding food, drinks, and bathrooms nearby, to name a few key logistics. Lance and I invented various methods for satisfying these needs and found it a fun chal-

lenge, if not a bit exhausting. Of course, weather was always a big factor. Being from California, Lance and I were accustomed to mild temperatures with predictable fluctuations. But this was a national tour, and it was a foregone conclusion that weather patterns of the Golden State would not always replicate themselves elsewhere. As such, we tried like hell to ensure we had sufficiently researched weather trends in other regions, so as not to schedule events during inclement weather. But sometimes, we missed the mark. And our trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, was a prime example. It was mid-July, and at 6 a.m. the southern heat was a sweltering 90 degrees. By the time we reached our clinic site, it was a nearly unbearable 103 degrees

and humid. But Lance and I had a job to do, and the 35 customers who had battled the heat to be there were expecting a training. So we erected some easy-ups, grabbed a mountain of Gatorade, and went to work. For hours we trained, alternating students between lessons and shaded hydration breaks. Everyone handled the extreme conditions well, save for Lance and I. We were stuck out in the sun, training with little opportunity for respite. Soon we had emptied our personal cooler of chilled liquids, and even with a growing pile of empty refreshment containers beside us, we were parched. But our work was well rewarded, and by midafternoon we were celebrating with another successful group of newly trained Adventure Riders. We cleaned up, packed our gear and headed to the hotel. We arrived exhausted and sweaty, arguing over who would get the first shower. Lance won (as the older brother, he usually does) and went to clean off while I slogged out of my riding gear. After a day in the sun, the hotel air conditioning was a godsend. I collapsed on my bed and took it in, fighting the urge to ruminate over the logistics of tomorrow’s clinic. “Just a few moments of thoughtless rest, then I’ll figure out a plan for tomorrow,” I thought. But my brain had its way, and despite protests, began hammering out a to-do list for our next assignment. Between the firing of neurons, an exhausting day in extreme heat, and the cold Air Conditioner whirring at maximum, a new problem arose: a headache. It was small at first, just a tiny pain in the frontal lobe. By the time Lance waltzed out of his exceedingly long shower, the ache was pounding in my head like a sledgehammer. “Dude. My head is killing me.” “Headache, eh? It’s all this heat and sun exposure,” Lance explained. “A whole day of

this has been brutal. Coming into an air-conditioned room probably shocked your noggin. Want some aspirin?” I thought about it. Thinking hurt. “Maybe. But what sounds really, really good is a Starbucks.” Lance nodded in agreement, reaching for his phone to find the nearest location. During out National Tour, the coffee chain had been a staple for frequent visits. Sure, it was fun to try new food and drink with their own regional flair, but when we yearned for the familiar, Starbucks never failed us. We found one a few miles away, and immediately set to getting there. We went outside, paying a visit to the decidedly massive truck and trailer we hauled around the country. Normally we could simply hop in the rig and drive to our favorite coffee house. But experience had taught us that, when you finally found a place to park a 40’ behemoth, it was best to leave it in place lest there be no place to park upon our return. So the simple solution was to open the trailer, pull out a couple training motorcycles, and ride to Starbucks. Except… The heat outside remained intense. And when we opened the trailer door, a waft of even hotter air blasted us. We stepped inside to remove the bikes, and after pulling one out we were covered in sweat. “I don’t want to go back in there, do you?” Lance shook his head. “You know, we’ve pulled one bike already,” I said. “It has 2 seats…We COULD ride double to Starbucks…” Lance looked at me, disdainful. It was a solid unwritten rule that we never EVER rode 2-up on a bike. Totally against the bro-code. But these were desperate times, and we needed our coffee fix pronto. With a few winces and indignant snorts, we agreed to ride together. Given it was my bike that had been extricated, I was awarded the role of pilot. Lance saddled up on back, handling navigation. He also took it upon himself to smack my shoulder and point out every flaw in my riding technique, prefacing each suggestion for improvement with “DUDE, you’re gonna KILL us!” After a few tense miles, we pulled into the Starbucks parking lot. We hurried inside, my headache throbbing in protest to the temperature change. The line was minimal, and

in moments we were standing in front of the Fred the Barista. We exchanged pleasantries, and I got down to placing my order. “Listen man,” I said with some urgency. “I need a Frappuccino with two shots of espresso. A BIG one, like the biggest Frap you’ve ever made. I’m talking a huge, record-breaking Frap. Can you do that?” Fred the Barista nodded knowingly. “No problem, coming right up.” He set to work grinding, steaming and whirring my concoction with trademark dexterity. Soon he was pouring the delicious chilled liquid into a clear plastic cup. “Here you go sir,” he said, handing me the drink. Then he threw me a curve ball. After delivering the concoction, he reached under the counter and produced—not one, but a PAIR—of straws. He handed them to me. I stared at the straws. My head was killing me, perhaps I was missing something obvious? I looked back at Fred the Barista, confused. He saw the unasked question and offered an explanation. “I saw you two ride in together…on a motorcycle…” Lance snorted a laugh. I still didn’t get it. “We have two motorcycles, but it was so hot...” I fumbled an explanation. But Fred the Barista needed no explanation. “It’s cool man, I’ve got an open mind. It’s really beautiful actually.” As Lance fought back another snort of laughter, the inference finally hit me. I suppose being mistaken for a gay couple was no big deal. We were from California after all and had long since asserted our indifference to the lifestyle choices of others. Still, somehow I felt that Fred the Barista deserved the truth. He had made me an exceptional Frappuccino after all. “Oh… No no no we’re not--” “Where are you from?” Fred asked before I could finish my sentence. “…California.” I answered. “Oh, of COURSE you’re from California! Welcome to Tennessee!” Another laugh from my brother. I gave up and accepted the drink, inserting the two straws and drinking from both. An efficient delivery system, actually! A pretty interesting place, Tennessee.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS

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A look at some of the best of BMW Owners News. A month-by-month compilation of outstanding member contributions.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS









S NEWS 5 BMW OWNER .org www.bmwmoa







to the Catskills






MW Owners News kicked off 2015 in a big way with the first of two features by John Flores' telling us of his escape from New York City aboard a BMW R nineT (above). Jack Riepe proved he can be serious with his story of Horst Oberst and his 82 years in sidecars (top image). Excitement for the BMW MOA Rally in Billings, Montana, was growing quickly as Be The Adventure decals were appearing everywhere and Priscilla Brosnahan thrilled us all with a story of dodging the bullets of banditos in her work titled "Of Villains and Victims."


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016











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he redesigned BMW Owners News was unveiled with our February issue. Featuring better use of photography, a better presentation of sections and a greater emphasis on the member contributions were but a few of the new design elements unveiled. One of the most popular covers ever featured Burt Shavitz aboard his 1962 BMW R 50/2. Inside, Don Argento's feature on Shavitz, the widely know icon of Burt's Bees personal care products, told us of a kind, eccentric man with little time or care for modern amenities. A man who, despite having millions squirreled away from the sale of the company, lived like a bona fide hippie who heated his home and water with a wood-burning stove and had no alarm clock or TV. However, the one possesion he was quite fond of was his R 50/2.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS








MARCH 2015




S NEWS BMW OWNER www.bmwmo


MARCH 2015


n March, Shawn Davie's image of Jim Bean getting down and dirty made us all look forward to spring and March Moto Madness while Barrett Jones' colorful image of his 1972 R 50/5 showed us all the photographic talent of our members and the impact of big, beautiful images. Highlighting just how alike, yet completely different from each other we really are has been the mantra of BMW Owners News since it's beginning more than 40 years ago. Celebrating members like Jerry Smith (below) of tiny Rinebeck, Iowa, is what we strive to do in every issue.


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April 2015 BM


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APRIL 2015

Vintage Beauty


ong-time MOA member, William Plam has lived and breathed BMW motorcycles since his first ride aboard a 1981 R 80 G/S many years ago. The subject of a member profile in our April issue, over the years Plam (left) has owned three BMW motorcycle dealerships and is now the owner of Wunderlich America and Jim Bean proves he's equally adept behind the camera as he is in front of it when he sent us the image below taken while riding amid the sandstone formations of the Valley of the Gods near Bluff, Utah. Other member contributions published in April included Dawn Hein's story of riding offroad, Walter Eisenbeis' work on riding close to home and John Flores' final piece with the R nineT.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


S W OWNERS NEW MAY 2015 BM www.bmwmo


MAY 2015


he May issue of Owners News included Neale Bayly's BMW S 1000 RR review as well as a feature by Lee Foote titled "In Praise of Moderation," where he goes on a journey of selfrealization as he adopts a new riding style full of new priorities and rewards. Foote's Captain Featherhead image shown at right, opened the feature. Light and Dark was the Picture This theme in May. Richard Griffith submitted the image below shot in Arizona.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


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JUNE 2015


he cover of the June issue of Owners News featured an image of the custom BMW R nineT some lucky MOA member would win in October. The bike was built by long-time MOA member Chris Canterbury of Boxer Metal in Chico, California. Inside the issue, a feature by Sam Fleming followed the Army of Darkness and their quest for the WERA National Endurance series title aboard a BMW S 1000 RR. Also we met members Jack and Viki Hawley who have ridden their BMWs in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


S W OWNERS NEW JULY 2015 BM .org www.bmwmoa


JULY 2015


rag racer Elyse McKinnon graced the cover of our July issue and was the subject of a member profile along with her husband Chris. The couple began riding together while students at the University of Florida and moved to Kansas in 2008. Sadly, Elyse was seriously injured at a race later that month and her racing has been put on hold. Also in July, contributor Shawn Thomas wrote about his joy in teaching his daughter Hailey to ride.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016



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on Davis' profile of builder Spencer Feikel of Green Bay, Wisconsin, was one of six features in the August issue. Other members contributing work were Pieter Waker, Keith Thye, Trev Richter, Doug Menchhofer and Darrell Hoemann. The issue also mentioned the release of the new BMW S 1000 XR and R 1200 RS and published an image by Bill Wiegand (below) of Paul Guillien captured while the two rode across Europe.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


S NEWS 5 BMW OWNER www.bmwmo







he photography of Jim Bean was featured on our September cover when he captured Chad Warner as the two rode the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. A multi-page spread of images from the BMW MOA Rally in Billings, Montana, included the image of the well-traveled pannier (above) and an image Mark Janda shot on his way home from Billings of his BMW K 1600 GTL parked outside of an auto body shop in Craig, Colorado, was our feature photograph. Inside, Roger Wiles profiled Jack and Judie Wells, Pieter Waker wrapped up his ride through middle America and Bill Wiegand reviewed the new BMW S 1000 XR.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016





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im Bean's image of a decal-heavy mailbox standing at 13,114 feet near Imogene Pass in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado was our featured image and an incredible image Chris Goodfellow captured of the Double Arch in Moab's Arches National Park beautifully captured the October Picture This theme of Nature's Paintbrush. Inside, Ron Davis reminisced about an old family tradition with his Sunday Paper Run piece and Muriel Farrington profiled Christopher and Barbara Betjemann and Barrington Motor Works. January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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om Asher of Columbus, Ohio, (above) and Dimitrios Tournas (below right) were photographed while competing in the GS Trophy competition held in Bixby, Missouri. New Yorkers Margie Goldsmith and her Iron-Butt husband Jamie Anthony took us along for a ride on their rented R 1200 RT that began with their crossing of the Golden Gate Bridge and took us all the way to the giant redwoods in Northern California. Also that month, Steve Green witnessed his new BMW S 1000 XR emerge from it's shipping container and Kurtis Minder detailed his trip encompassing "22 States and States of Mind."


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016









he end of the year brought with it everyone's favorite section, the Holiday Gift Guide as well as Adventure Brothers Shawn and Lance Thomas' take on the new BMW R 1200 R, and Brian Rathjen's piece "Time Rider," cleared misconceptions many of us have regarding the beauty of the Garden State when he took us on a tour of his favorite New Jersey sites on his new BMW S 1000 XR (below). Natalie Ellis Barros (left) had planned a simple adventure ride to Overland Expo West but foul weather and a nasty hangover made the ride memorable in an unexpected sort of way. Mark Janda's (upper left) offered more evidence of California's beauty when he offered us his shot captured near Big Sur.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


idwest winters can drag on longer than a calendar suggests and when Shawn Thomas offered an opportunity to escape the icy grasp of Old Man Winter and ride in the California desert, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough. RawHyde’s location about an hour north of Castaic, Calif., is a working ranch set in rolling hills; riders must remain vigilant when rounding corners to avoid meeting a stray steer face to face. Nevertheless, it’s rugged terrain, rocks, sand and sage create the perfect location to hone off-road skills. One of nine BMW-endorsed, off-road academies in the world, RawHyde Adventures has been training riders since 2002 offering three levels of training based on a rider’s experience and skillset as well as several off-site advance adventure tours. Shawn Thomas, now a former lead instructor at RawHyde, promised two days of training at the 42 Bar Ranch, followed by two days of using those newfound skills

riding in and around the Mojave desert. I was happy to oblige. It had been years since I had seriously ridden off-road and though my ego placed me at a higher level, Shawn suggested I begin with their Introduction to Adventure class. The sun was shining, it was warm and I was going to ride. With his personable nature and smile, the ever-jovial Shawn has an innate knack for putting riders at ease no matter the situation, and I was no exception. After a tour of the grounds, it was time to gather for our “get to know everybody” orientation meeting and dinner. Here, students and instructors introduced themselves and organizers presented the outline for the weekend’s events. Then we had the first of many fantastic meals prepared by the Cordon Bleu trained chefs. Sleep was difficult as excitement levels ran high. As the morning sun warmed the chilly California countryside, riders eager to begin their day began rustling about the bunkhouse.

There’s no doubt the adventure touring segment is the fastest-growing group within the riding community, so it’s no surprise that the R 1200 GS and GS Adventure are BMW’s top-selling motorcycles. Despite the growth of this segment, the vast majority of these "adventure" riders never venture off pavement and experience the true capabilities of the big GS. Since 2002, Hyde has been teaching adventure-curious riders the techniques necessary for off-road success. The BMWprescribed RawHyde curriculum focuses on the fundamentals of riding off-road. Instructors stressed correct body position, balance and the proper use of the throttle, clutch and brakes with each exercise and promised that we would fall down. We did, and often, as we had to learn to crawl before we could walk. The format for the introductory class was simple and straightforward, with instructors Travis and Chris demonstrating a skill and then allowing students to

Left, BMW F 800 GSs and R 1200 GSs wait their riders. Above, Instructor Travis Kuehn scrutinizes a student's form. Photos by Chad Keffer.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


repeatedly run through the drill under their watchful eyes until the rider attained mastery – or at least some semblance of competence – of the skill. As with any new skill, regardless of whether it’s mental or physical, repetition is key. The goal of each exercise was to make the riding skill a reflexive action instead of a conscious movement. We began with simple exercises involving balance. With a partner only offering help if needed, we stood the bikes up and using only slight input, circled the motorcycles using only light fingertip pressure to keep the bike upright and learned just how light an R 1200 GS Adventure can be when balanced. From there we began riding and practicing standing on the pegs, riding side-saddle and riding with one foot on the peg with our bodies on that side of the bike. Body position, balance and proper use of the throttle, clutch and brakes became our mantras. The rest of our first day of training had us practicing riding a tight figure eight course, working to control front and rear wheel skids all while always looking where we wanted to go and not where we were going. Needless to say, many orange cones became casualties that day and as promised, all of us took our turns on the ground. Once a rider can free his mind of the damage a spill can inflict on his motorcycle, muscles relax and technique improves. Crash bars do their jobs and the big GS proves to be a tough bike. I was still happy that I was riding RawHyde’s bike and not mine. The first day ended with our Intro to Adventure group sitting Left, RawHyde lead instructor Shawn Thomas encourages a rider through a gravel obstacle. Below, RawHyde students practice their technique in the Next Step Challenge Course. Photos by Chad Keffer.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

together at dinner, marveling at our growth and laughing at our failures. We came a long way in a short time and as each of us took turns after dinner saying what we learned that day, we found how alike we all were. After beers in the RawHyde Dakar Bar, it was time to turn in while all we had done that day still spun in our heads. Day Two of our training picked up where Day One left off by working to engrain the skills through repetition. Soon our horizons expanded and we rode on new sections of the ranch using the skills we worked so hard to develop. Our trails grew from simple figure eights to sand, gravel and hills, with instructors constantly reminding us to look where we wanted to go and not at where the front wheel was going. Target fixation is a phrase coined in World War II to describe what happened to fighter pilots who collided with enemy planes they were shooting at, or crashed into the targets they were strafing on the ground. On a motorcycle, it happens when you approach something on the road or trail like a rock, debris or road kill and instead of going around it, you find yourself riding straight at it as if someone else is steering your bike. Look where you want to go and you’ll go there, but if you’re staring at a bike-swallowing pothole, your brain thinks that’s where you want to go and it takes you there. While riding up a steep, winding gravel road, fear kept me from staring at the mountain view. Instead, a washed out gulley on the inside of the trail caught my eye. You can probably guess where I

went – right into the bike-swallowing gulley. The two riders coming up behind me fixated on me instead of where they should have gone and suffered the same fate. For me, that moment alone was worth the price of admission and probably my most vivid memory from the first two days of training. Sadly, our Intro to Adventure training came to an end and following dinner and our “graduation” ceremony, the road for some of us ended. For the lucky rest of us, two days of testing our new skillset riding in the Mojave Desert awaited us the next morning. About 20 riders left RawHyde and motored north on I-5 before heading east on Highway 138 and toward the Mojave. Ironically, our path to the desert took us along a portion of the California Aqueduct; Shawn Thomas warned us not to be alarmed if we encountered black Chevy Suburbans on our route, as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is ever vigilant. Before long we left the asphalt and motored down dirt roads, trying to maintain enough distance from the rider ahead to allow the blinding dust to settle without slowing the rider behind. Our sandy path slowly became rockier and as I felt and heard softball-sized rocks crashing into the frame of the bike, I was continually impressed at the torture the big GS took. Just then, through the dust I saw Shawn along the side of the trail and the reason he pulled over. Too late, I realized I was just off the trail and saw a rocky ledge directly in my path. Instinctively, I twisted the throttle and brought my weight back to lighten the front wheel just as it met the rock. I

Below, Riders stop at Red Rock Canyon State Park for lunch while heading toward Base Camp Alpha near Trona, California. Photo by Bill Wiegand.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


RawHyde Adventures Instructor Trev Richter leads a group of riders through the Trona Pinnacles, an unusual geological feature of the California Desert National Conservation Area south of Trona, California. Photo by Bill Wiegand

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


heard the skid plate crash against the ledge and the rear suspension bottom hard, but I rode on. Whether it was instinct or luck, I didn’t care, I was up on two wheels and having the time of my life. A few miles down the trail, we stopped to catch our breath and hydrate. Looking at the awe-inspiring landscape surrounding us, I couldn’t imagine a better place to ride. A few miles down the trail, we met the RawHyde Chuck Wagon for lunch then continued our way through the desert, stopping along the way to visit some desert landmarks like Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel. The tunnel, located in the El Paso Mountains, was dug by miner “Burro” Schmidt, who refused to have his two burros haul his ore to the Mojave smelter down the dangerous back trail. Instead, he spent 38 years chiseling through solid granite until he broke through on the other side of the mountain in 1938. As the sun began to set we arrived at Base Camp Alpha, our destination for the night, located north of Trona, California. We set up tents as RawHyde staffers prepared dinner. As night fell, a roaring campfire lit the area as instructors Owen Balduff, Evan Firstman and Shawn Thomas performed. Tired from the day’s ride, it wasn’t long before the campsite was quiet but for the distant sounds of snoring. It gets cold in the desert at night and before the sun rises enough to take away the morning chill, movement is slow and calculated. After another hearty RawHyde

breakfast, we were back on the trail heading toward the Trona Pinnacles. One of the most unusual geologic wonders of the California desert, the area consists of more than 500 tufa (calcium carbonate) pinnacles, some as high as high as 140 feet, rising from the bed of the Searles Dry Lake basin. From there and after a lunch stop at Jawbone Canyon, we made our way back to RawHyde. Temperatures dropped as we ascended Piute Mountain and we soon found our route blocked by snow at the summit. We backtracked and rode asphalt to the ranch, arriving as the sun settled on the horizon. Four days of off-road training and desert adventure neared an end. After what seemed like hours of handshakes and exchanges of email addresses, what struck me most of all was the spirit of camaraderie

Weary riders gather around the fire at RawHyde Adventure's Base Camp Alpha. Photo by Chad Keffer.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

and friendship that developed during my time at RawHyde. While the training was top notch and the riding fantastic, it is the people and what we shared that I remember most. It’s an experience I need to repeat.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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The most important 2-Up gear is something a pillion will never wear By Keith Fitz-Gerald #181002 Several actually. My wife, Noriko, calls ‘em the “love hanlook around your dles.” They’re a double stitched, Velcro favorite motorcycle reinforced belt with dual handles I wear shop these days, when we head for the horizon. and you’ll find gear The thinking is pretty simple: Create a that would make a more effective handhold for pillion riders NASA astronaut that makes riding more secure, more comproud and your fortable and safer. average credit card processor drool. Several manufacturers make versions of It’s expensive and, yet, there’s no these things, but my favorites are the excuse for going without it. Essential Pillion Rider Grips from Oxford The answer to “Why?” is pretty Products and the Grip-nstraight forward: the Ride from Left Coast right gear helps us COME OFF AT 60 MPH AND Mobility Systems. survive. The Oxford Pillion Rider According to IndefYOU’RE TALKING ABOUT AN INCH OF FLESH. Grips have two handles and initely Wild author NOBODY I KNOW CAN AFFORD TO LOSE THAT. come in a flat black/grey. Wes Siler, every 1 mph The Grip-n-Ride has four over 30 mph will cost CLEARLY, IT’S BETTER NOT TO COME OFF handles and you can cusyou 1mm of flesh IN THE FIRST PLACE. tomize each belt when you based on the coeffiorder. cient of friction for Both belts are constructed of durable the average road surface. Come off at Weather conditions dramatically affect webbing, Velcro and heavy duty stitching 60 mph and you’re talking about an the relationship between you and your pilwith buckle closures. I particularly like that inch of flesh. Nobody I know can lion. Rain, fog and temperature, for exambecause, together, these design elements afford to lose that. ple, can change how your pillion holds on make for a safer, more enjoyable ride. I’m Clearly, it’s better not to come off or whether they are able to at all. never worried, for example, that my pillion in the first place. And, finally, girth matters. Like it or cannot hang on because the grips are easy For riders, that’s a relatively simple not, we all get a little thicker around the to reach, easy to grip and very secure. undertaking under normal circummid-section when we reach a certain age, I’ve seen versions of straps that clip you stances. We have control over the and that can work against us when it comes and your pillion together, particularly in bike. By implication, that means time to ride. All the strength in the world Asia where there are lots of children riding. we’re in control of what happens won’t matter if your pillion cannot reach Unfortunately, these straps leave a lot to be next. Our hands translate into around you to hold on securely. desired when it comes to safety. The vast motion on the bars, throttle input The rear grip rail on many motorcycles majority, for example, are flimsy and have and braking. Our feet and our knees offers some measure of stability as do foot neither redundant buckles nor Velcro. not only serve as stabilizers, but can pegs, especially during braking. That What’s more, there doesn’t seem to be a provide grip around the tank, help changes during acceleration, as simple disconnect mechanism in the event of an shift our weight as needed, and operphysics overwhelm any leverage that would accident or high speed dismount. That ate still more controls. otherwise be applied to the rear of the bike. means, to be very blunt, you and your pilFor those riding 2-Up, there are Old fashion seat grab straps help, but most lion come off together, impact together and entirely different dynamics at work. bikes no longer come with them like they potentially tumble together. It’s not a good Newtonian physics dictate that a did years ago. recipe. body in motion will stay in motion. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution. TAKE


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016



That means pillion riders are literally and figuratively along for the ride. More specifically, the same control inputs we take for granted can result in an unplanned dismount. Aerodynamic drag can create a vacuum that sucks your pillion towards you. On the other hand, too much space allows air pressure to build up, and your pillion risks being knocked off. Modern sport bikes with their tiny perch-like rear seating areas are particular susceptible.

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800.943.5638 • That having been said, there is a U.S. based version of a harness called MotoGrip. Like both the Pillion Rider Grips and the Grip-n-Ride, the Moto-Grip is made of very high quality webbing. The Moto-Grip, however, has 7075 aluminum and brass quick release buckles rather than plastic. Unlike the cheaper Asian variants that involve a pillion clipping on to a rider, the Moto-Grip is still a standalone product that the driver wears and the pillion grabs. And finally, there’s a special polyamide tank handle that mounts over your gas tank. It attaches easily using the screws on your factory inlet and mounts in the same factory holes. The advantage here is that your pillion is grabbing on to the bike and not you. This creates a natural aerodynamic position and one that allows your pillion to lean in without risking slipping on the tank or being forced forward during rapid braking maneuvers. Here are a few links to explore: • products/Rider-Grips • • •

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In closing, there are all sorts of pros and cons to each of these set ups depending on what kind of riding you do, how your bike is setup and individual preference. My advice is to experiment until you and your pillion settle on something that makes sense. Keep the shiny side up!

All bikes less than 2 years old. Rentals, self guided and guided tours. January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




Aging and motorcycling– doing the best with what we have By Marven Ewen #150506 MOTORCYCLE

riding brings us pleasure, but as we get older it can present challenges. It demands a reasonable amount of strength and flexibility. You have to be able to push your bike around, be able to throw a leg over it, and then have the strength to straighten up the bike off the side stand. If touring, you need enough stamina and bladder control to get to the next stop. Your grip needs to be strong enough to squeeze the clutch and brake levers. Your neck needs to be flexible and strong. Good balance is a must. Vision needs to be excellent to spot hazards, and your reflexes fast enough to avoid them. You need the cognitive ability to process all the sensory information that is coming to you at speed. At around age 30 our bodies begin to very slowly break down. We begin to lose roughly one percent of organ function per year. Some of this is

genetic and some environmental. You may have noticed chronological age doesn’t always match biological appearance. We are also more vulnerable to injury as we age. Bones get thinner; muscles are weaker and more easily strained. Our joints get stiff. Skin is thinner and more easily bruised or torn. And all this is happening at the same time that we are experiencing deterioration in balance and reflexes. Well, there is no magic cure for aging, and we didn’t get to choose our genes, but we can do a few things that will slow aging down a little and keep us as robust as possible for our age: 1. Stay active. The human body breaks down quickly if you don’t use it. Do some exercise every day. Try to find something you actually like to do. Walking is great, and you don’t need expensive equipment or a health club membership to do it. Get a pedometer or a cell phone app to track your activity. Aim for 10,000 steps/day. Yoga is also great in addition if done gently, as it develops strength, flexibility, balance and reduces stress. Do some strength training a couple of times per week. Especially focus on the muscles needed for riding.

Exercise your forearms, thighs and core muscles. 2. Always keep learning new things. The more you use your brain the longer you will have the ability to do so. 3. Don’t use tobacco at all. Drink alcohol in moderation. 4. Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and plenty of water. You will get micronutrients your body needs, and your colon will thank you for the fiber. 5. Get enough quality sleep. 6. Keep up to date on routine preventative health maintenance. That means seeing your family doctor and dentist yearly. Get a baseline visual assessment by an optometrist and periodically thereafter. 7. Stress is a killer. Although you can’t change how you feel directly, you can change how you think. Look for the positive. There have been studies done on happiness that show external circumstances have less to do with happiness than everyone believes. Whether you win the lottery or suffer a major problem, a year or two later you will be back to your baseline level of happiness. So why worry? Ride and be happy.

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January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


lifestyle 92


25 years ago


in the January 1991 issue of BMW Owners News was a story detailing BMW’s 1991 model lineup. BMW’s innovative technology continued to spread throughout the new line with the K 75 models coming with an ABS option and the Paralever suspension available on the K 100 RS. Additionally, BMW announced it will equip the K1 and K 100 RS models with a three-way catalytic converter as an option later that May. Ever environmentally conscious, by the end of 1991 BMW will offer three innovations to help accomplish that goal; a three-way catalytic converter for the K1 and K 100 RS, the ability to retrofit standard catalytic converters on all other K bikes and the SAS emissions control system already in place on all R bikes worldwide as of September 1990. “The environment has been getting more and more attention from the

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

media as indicated by such programs as the PBS series ‘Race to Save the Planet’ and the almost daily reporting on environmental concerns from all the major network nightly news shows. Concern for the environment is becoming pervasive in our society’ it’s good for business. Manufacturers everywhere are slapping ‘environmentally safe’ claims on all types of products as an added edge over their competitors, even though their products many not necessarily be that much better for the environment”, the article explained. Unfortunately, BMW’s concern for the environment will come with a cost to riders of the marque as it was estimated that riders would need to fork out an additional $300 to ride an environmentally safe, late 1991 K bike and $500 or more to retrofit an older K model. At the other end of the spectrum, was the revised ’91 K 100 RS, an ABS fitted, 16-valve motorcycle being billed as BMW’s premier sport touring bike combining the touring components of the 1990 K 100 RS with the frame, engine and running gear of the supersport K1; the bike chosen as “Motorcycle of the Year” in five countries when it was introduced the previous year. The K 100 RS sold for $12,590 while the K1 stickered at $13,290. Other models in the 1991 lineup included the K 100 LT built for the “dedicated touring enthusiast” providing full fairing weather protection, a BMW-by-Corbin contoured stepped saddle and a fully adjustable windshield designed specifically for the U.S. rider and the K 75 RT, the only 750cc motorcycle sold with a full touring fairing. The K model lineup was filled out with the sporty K 75 S ABS and the entry level K 75. On the R side of the room stood the R 100 GS at $6,990 which celebrated ten years of GS with a new frame-mounted fairing with an adjustable windscreen and new, more powerful headlight and the R 100 GS Paris Dakar at $7,990 featuring a new BMW by Bilstein stock with four sping preload settings and ten diferent dampening positions, a new floating frond disc to eliminate brake spueal and a 9.75 gallon fuel tank making the bike capable of traveling 400 miles or more between fuel stops.

Rounding out BMW’s model line was the “reintroduced” the unfaired R 100 standard at $7,290, and the $8,690 R 100 RT tourer delivered with saddle bags and luggage rack.

10 years ago MATT




shared their story of realizing their dream of riding Airheads in Italy when they shipped a pair of restored R 60/5s to Europe the previous summer. In his Keep’em Flying column, Matt wrote, “We crossed over the 3,000-mile mark on our restored airheads a couple of days ago as we left Venice, Italy. We have enjoyed good operation with the pair of Slash Fives. The tool bag seems to come out just to repair tent lighting, eyeglasses, coffee water-heaters and other non-motorcycle items; that’s just fine with me.” Member Don Mills #105901 wrote about his experience with seven of his BMWDFW club to ride 5,000 miles from Dallas, Texas, to Laguna Seca, California, and back again. With daytime temperatures routinely exceeding 100 degrees, the group rode on stopping frequently and for extended periods to explore the national parks they passed along the way. In his story, Mills described an enigmatic driver of an 18-wheeler they met in Post, Texas. “He sported a sullied Mad Hatter’s top hat, tank top, short shorts, purple wristlets that fluttered in the wind and flip-flops. Driving to a different drummer, he apparently avoided traditional truck stops, subsequently shown up at the same places we did. We last saw him at the Pie Town Café in Pie Town, New Mexico–a place not to miss, if you like pies,” Mills said. Set to debut in 2006 and aimed primarily at the sports end of the market was the new R

1200 S, then the most powerful production Boxer ever. The new sports Boxer filled the gap between BMW’s four-cylinder K 1200 S and parallel twin F 800 S sports bikes. Developing 122hp engine power was up considerably from the 98hp R 1100 S it replaced. New product news continued to fill the pages of Owners News with BMW’s introduction of the new R 1200 GS Adventure. Compared to the R 1150 GS Adventure, the new 1200cc models improvements included an 8.7-gallon fuel tank for a potential range of 450 miles, a larger windscreen, adjustable seat, engine protection bars and extra-wide rider footrests with adjustable gearshift and brake levers. Additionally, the GS Adventure is equipped with a stainless steel luggage rack, cross-spoke wheels and a 720W alternator as well as a new six-speed gearbox, the most recent Paralever and Telelever technology, new digital instrumentation and an on-board network with CAN bus technology. Additional new model releases included the BMW F 800 S, the first parallel, twincylinder engine in the history of BMW Motorrad and it’s sports touring cousin, the F 800 ST. Finally, the updated K 1200 GT, a replacement for the existing model, was created to combine touring comfort, sportbike handling and a high performance engine with a power output exceeding 150hp. Designed using the same technology first seen on the K 1200 S, the bike utilizes a Duolever front wheel suspension and Paralever shaft drive to the rear wheel.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


lifestyl 94


Remembering Don Faichney “The Kiltmeister” By Terry Church #3153 KNOWN TO MANY WITHIN THE

MOA as “The Kiltmeister,” Don Faichney, 82, passed away peacefully at his home in Port Hope, Ontario, last March. He will not only be missed by Vera, his wife of 39 years, but also by a large extended family and friends. Don enjoyed a successful career teaching electronics at Toronto’s George Brown College and became an icon in the BMW community with his passion for BMW motorcycles and his unique personal style. He became known in the 1990’s as “the Kiltmeister,” often dressed in full Scottish regalia which included a kilt, knee socks, jacket, shirt, tie and Tam O’Shanter. Always a central figure with good things to say and ready to give advice to all, his smile, strong eye contact and good humor were always present.

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

Don was a Honda rider until he heard the stories of BMW rallies from a friend and co-worker in the early 1980s. Her influence moved him to a BMW K75 and after his retirement he became an enthusiastic long-distance rider and rode to many MOA national and other BMW rallies. Through the years, Don progressed through a number of bikes including a K 1100, then an airhead RT, and he eventually settled on a Burgman scooter when stepping through became the right thing to do. Don joined the BMW MOA in 1992 and was named an Ambassador in 1999. He served the organization as Ambassador Liaison from 2005 to 2007. In this role he produced dozens of new ambassador profiles published in the pages of BMW Owners News. He later served as a member of the MOA Rally Site Selection Team and was instrumental in bringing the MOA International rally to Canada for the first time. He was the Rally Chair for the 2002 Land O’Loon International Rally in Trenton, Ontario. Following the rally, he pulled together local enthusiasts and formed a new club, the LoonieTic BMW Riders of Quinte West. Starting in 2003, with Don as the Chair of the Rally Committee for the first few years, this club has been hosting the “Return to Trenton’” rally in mid-August. The rally location is a beautiful downtown park on the shore on Lake Ontario. Don was also a member of other clubs, including the BMW Motorcycle Club of

Ontario, Finger Lakes BMW Club, International Order of Broccoli Riders and (reportedly) Pirates of the Conch Republic. Among his awards, Don was recognized as a “Friend of the Marque” from BMW and received his award at the Bloomsburg MOA Rally in 2010. Accomplishments and happenings were all a part of Don’s busy BMW MOA life. But the real heart of Don was his interaction with people. Anita Miehe remembers meeting Don at a Trenton Rally. Her recent discussion with Vera disclosed the story that Don originally wore a kilt to an event on a lark. There not being a Faichney tartan, he borrowed a kilt for the event, and it soon became a regular thing. BMW MOA Ambassador Jim Boles also remembers Don, fondly recalling a favorite story: “Years ago, shortly after my wife and I arrived at a Return to Trenton Rally, Don greeted me with a scowl and said, ‘So you’re the one! Bob Beach could have nominated his dog, and it would now be an ambassador.’ Don and I talked for a while as he was registering us for rally volunteer positions, and we shared a good laugh over the whole thing. After that, I only saw him a few times at rallies, but he always remembered my name,” Boles recalled. BMW MOA Ambassador Darryl Cainey tells the story of visiting Don and Vera while working near their home: “My

interactions with Don and his lovely wife Vera were over dinner at their home in Port Hope. Don and I discussed the directions of the MOA, and I always wanted to pattern my actions after his, being the Great Ambassador that he was. Vera’s home cooking was wonderful, and she never failed to send me home with delicious leftovers when I was working away in Oshawa.” Cheryl Gzik, President of the Loonie-Tic Riders of Quinte West, said, “Don was certainly dedicated to BMW clubs and riders. He and Vera hosted a club meeting each year at their home in Port Hope, and it was always well attended. Don will certainly not be forgotten. We miss seeing him in his kilt at the rally.” Ted Moyer, BMW MOA Director of Membership and Marketing, recalls, “I first met Don at an MOA Board meeting in 2002. He was Ambassador Liaison, and I was new to the organization. We were the most unlikely of friends, a 70-year-old, 30-year MOA member from Canada and a 30-year-old newbie from the deep south. Don was so gracious and had such heartfelt love for the MOA that it was easy to talk to him and learn my way around the organization. We worked several of the Canadian motorcycle shows together after the Trenton Rally. It was a treat for me to travel to Toronto to work the shows, and Don always watched out for me, stopping by a local bakery to buy butter tarts (Canada’s version of a mini-pecan pie). Following a show at the Montreal Expo one year, after dinner and several pints of Guinness Don told me, ‘I bleed MOA,’ and I believed him,” Moyer said. I never actually rode motorcycles with Don, but it didn’t matter. Some of my favorite memories of the MOA involve the Kiltmeister. Today, when people ask me about the benefits of joining the MOA, I tell them about the BMW Owners News, the Owners Anonymous Book, the travel discounts, etc., but I never fail to mention that the best part is the unlikely friends that you make because of the organization. Don Faichney was one of those friends I would have never met if it weren’t for the MOA and Don’s love of the organization. My life is richer for knowing him. Godspeed, Kilty.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


event 96


Happy New Year! By Dutch and Kate Lammers 2016 Rally Chairs THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR WHEN

many of us are looking at maps, dreaming of destinations near and far and planning our routes and rides for the year. We want to personally invite you to include “DAS RALLY” in Hamburg in your plans. We were thrilled when we first learned that the BMW MOA 44th International Rally was coming to Hamburg, New York, as there is so much to see and do in the Western New York and the Great Lakes Regions. A short ride in any direction will net a wonderful destination. To the west, beautiful Woodlawn beach on the shores of Lake Erie beckons. To the north is Niagara Falls (need we say more?) and the revitalized city of Buffalo with its beautiful new waterfront, theatre district, renowned dining and fabulous architecture. Venture east and visit the charming village of East Aurora on your way to the scenic Finger Lakes region and Letchworth State Park. Just to the south are roads that will take you through the picturesque ski areas of Ellicottville and Springville. Then there is the Rally site itself. Situated in a mostly residential area, it offers rally goers a quiet, tranquil setting with close proximity to shops, restaurants, and services. Easily accessed from both interstate and major secondary roads, the first thing to greet attendees as they enter the Fairgrounds is a large water feature with a fountain. There is plenty of asphalt to support the center stand as you register in the Event Center. Campers will be pleased with the tree-lined, spacious, grass-covered tenting areas. For the adventure enthusiast, be it rider or spectator, this site also offers an incredible off-road competition area with great exposure to the camp

BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

grounds. If you like a little variety in your entertainment, the Fairgrounds also has a casino and a horse racing track on site. When we had a chance to visit the Rally site at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, we could immediately see how the layout would lend itself to a beautiful ‘Rally Central’ area. There are several impressive, parklike gardens sporting gazebos,

picnic tables, and Adirondack chairs, a pedestrian thoroughfare for the food vendors, beer and wine gardens, an entertainment area, and so much more. We are convinced that all of this will make the 2016 Rally in Hamburg absolutely “fantastisch”! DAS RALLY in Hamburg….something truly special in the works. July 14 – 16, 2016.

You rode through a construction site on a brand new set of tires! This could definitely ruin your ride. But not if you have the MOA’s new Platinum Roadside Assistance and Tire Protection membership. With 24/7 Roadside Assistance, you could be towed to a repair facility and have your tire replaced for free! All for only $79 a year, including your MOA membership. Join online at or convert your current BMW MOA membership by calling 636-394-7277. BMW MOA Platinum Roadside and Tire Protection. Another great benefit of your BMW MOA membership.



Hamburg area hotels for the 2016 BMW MOA International Rally Name


Distance to Hamburg Fairgrounds

Super 8


2.2 miles

Quality Inn


2.3 miles

Comfort Inn


2.6 miles

Holiday Inn Express


2.7 miles

Motel 6


2.7 miles

Red Carpet Inn


3.6 miles

Econo Lodge


3.9 miles

Red Roof Inn


4.3 miles

Best Western Plus


6.6 miles

Country Inn & Suites


7.7 miles

The Staybridge


7.7 miles

The Hampton


9.5 miles

Courtyard Buffalo Downtown/Canalside


9.6 miles

Comfort Inn


11.4 miles

5442 Camp Road, Hamburg, NY 5440 Camp Road, Hamburg, NY 3615 Commerce, Hamburg, NY 3565 Commerce Pl, Hamburg, NY 5245 Camp Road, Hamburg, NY 3940 Southwestern Blvd, Orchard Park, NY 4344 Milestrip Road, Blasdell, NY 5370 Camp Road, Hamburg, NY 2500 Hamburg Turnpike, Lackawanna, NY 164B Slade Ave, West Seneca, NY 164 Slade Ave, West Seneca 1750 Ridge Road, West Seneca, NY 125 Main St, Buffalo, NY

475 Dingens St, Cheektowaga, NY 601 Dingens St, Cheektowaga, NY

Best Western Inn Plus Galleria Inn & Suites 716-896-2900

11.6 miles

Adam’s Mark


11.9 miles

120 Church St, Buffalo, NY


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016



Hyatt Regency Buffalo


12 miles

Hotel @ The Lafayette


12.0 miles

Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo Downtown


12.2 miles

Comfort Suites Downtown (Buffalo)


12.5 miles

Holiday Inn Buffalo


12.8 miles

Millennium Hotel Buffalo


14 miles

Oak Tree Inn


14.2 miles

Comfort Suites Buffalo Airport


16.4 miles

Quality Inn Buffalo-Niagara Airport


17.0 miles

Days Hotel Buffalo Airport


17.2 miles

Angola Motel


17.2 miles

Best Western, The Inn at Buffalo Airport


17.8 miles

Microtel Inn and Suites


19.3 miles

La Quinta Inn Buffalo Airport


19.4 miles

Candlewood Suites Buffalo Amherst


19.9 miles

Comfort Inn University (Buffalo)


19.9 miles

Microtel Inn & Suites Buffalo Airport


20.1 miles

Super 8 Williamsville


20.7 miles

Chateau Motor Lodge 716-773-2868 1810 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island, NY

22.3 miles

Staybridge Suites Buffalo Airport

23.0 miles

2 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY 391 Washington St, Buffalo, NY 10 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 601 Main St, Buffalo, NY

620 Delaware Ave, Buffalo 2040 Walden Ave, Buffalo, NY 3475 Union Rd, Buffalo, NY 901 Dick Rd, Buffalo, NY

4217 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY

4345 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY

9159 Erie Road (Rte 5), Angola, NY 4630 Genesee St, Cheektowaga, NY

270 S. Cascade Drive, Springville, NY 6619 Transit Rd, Williamsville, NY 20 Flint Rd, Amherst, NY 1 Flint Rd, Buffalo, NY

50 Freeman Rd, Williamsville, NY

7200 Transit Rd, Williamsville, NY

8005 Sheridan Dr, Buffalo, NY


Distance to Hamburg Fairgrounds

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



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BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016



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from the boar


BMW MOA Board of Directors open session minutes Hamburg, New York • October 3, 2015 PRESENT: President Chuck Manley, Vice President Jackie Hughes, Secretary Muriel Farrington, Treasurer Wes Fitzer, Directors Greg Feeler, Vance Harrelson, Stan Herman (Stan left after introductions), and Bill Hooykaas. ABSENT: Director Marsha Hall. STAFF PRESENT: Executive Director Bob Aldridge, Director of Membership and Marketing Ted Moyer, Managing Editor Bill Wiegand, Business Development Manager Ken Engelman and Operations Manager Tammy Leuthauser. MEMBERS PRESENT: Julie Manley, Holly Ralph, John Murphy, Deb Lower, Eric M. Simon, Peter Perrin, Karl Hutchinson, Bob Falgiano, Marc Souliere, Thomas Van Horn, Sue Rihn, Vince Barkhoff, Jason Olson, Kate Lammers, John Lammers, Cliff McEwen, Tracy Novacich, and Lance LeFort.

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck Manley at 1:04 p.m. Chuck introduced himself, welcomed those in attendance and explained the afternoon’s proceedings. He said, “We don’t often have many members in attendance, and we are glad to see you.” The Board, staff and each member in attendance introduced themselves and described their position within the MOA.

Treasurer’s Report – Wes Fitzer

We currently have $774,450.62 in our investment account, and the market is coming up a little bit. We had


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

$755,655.11 at our August full Board Conference Call and $822,143.40 in Billings – all due to market fluctuations. We are still in excess of long-term liabilities.

We are looking forward to being profitable in the near future.

Executive Director’s Report – Bob Aldridge

• Media – BMW ON. We are maintaining the correct percentage pages to ads. • Delivery – While August and October were delivered on time, we had a delay for September; we are learning about comailings and expect to be on time consistently in the future. • Media Highlights – We initiated a redesign in February, are making better use of photography, improved the When and Where map, have clean covers, improved section headings and organization, added new writers and photographers, and have contracted a new printer for Owners News. • Media Hurdles – We are finding content to meet the diverse interests of our readers, weaving BMW Owners News more closely with Social Media and finding information published in the ON prior to 2009. • Media Coming Attractions – We are including more BMW copy to fill content gaps, including more technical, bike builders, and humorous articles; developing our relationship with Butler Maps to illustrate our ride stories; bridging the gap between BMW ON and Social Media; involving more of our membership; and working toward putting every issue of BMW ON online.

Business Results: • Membership - We have gone from a low point in membership of under 30,000 in October 2014 to a high of over 33,000 as of today. • Revenue - Revenue exceeded budget yearto-date. Advertising is in excess of budget at $53,198, membership is excess of budget at $12,509, Events is in excess of budget at $90,887, all for a total of $156,594 better than budget. • Cost of Goods Sold, Print/Retail - ON is under budget by $15,538, the Anonymous Book is under by $217, while the Gear Store/other is over budget by $37,195, for a total Cost of Goods Sold of $21,540 over budget. This difference was mainly due to increased product purchased for the International Rally Gear Store, which is an asset. • Operating Expense – Membership Expense was over projected budget by $20,569; Operations expense was over projected budget by $39,111; Events expense was over projected budget by $74,318 for total expense overage of $133,908. These figures do not represent a loss, but an investment into membership. Also, some expenses increase with added income. • Net Results – Revenue was $1,904,300 budgeted vs. $2,060,894 actual (+$156,594 to budget), Cost of Goods Sold was $642,500 budgeted vs. $664,040 actual (-$21,540 to budget), and Operations was $1,265,843 budgeted vs. $1,399,751 actual (-$133,908 to budget) for a total of $1,146 to budget.

Managing Editor – Bill Wiegand

Business Development – Ken Engelman

• 3rd Quarter Advertising: $17,142, Year-todate $112,426. • Membership Partners – Two this quarter, for a total of six. • Brand Partners – Five this quarter, for a total of nineteen.

• Member benefits – One new benefit, for a total of 46 (complete list on website). Additionally, we have… • Growing support from BMW Motorrad • Year End Member Incentive • Opportunity for 2017 Isle of Man TT Cobranded partnership • Opened Rawhyde Adventures Relationship that leads to advertising • AIMExpo Booth Proximity to BMW Motorrad Recent Activity • Brad Barker, “Ride of my Life” videographer producing rally content • Online blogger Laura Craft recruited as a brand advocate • Three new partners ready to send BMW MOA trial offers with every order • Motorcycle film festival Coming attractions • Current member benefits in the works: – Duluth Trading Post – KOA Campgrounds – McAdam Financial Planning • Current Supplier Partner Discussions with: – Klim – Nettesheim Museum, –R  ukka/Kriega/Akropovic US Distributer – 10+ more in the works. Long Range Vision Every BMW motorcycle owner should want to become a BMW MOA member. Our partners can help us find the target audience and prove the value of membership. Our goals include… • Continuing our success with BMW Motorrad. They are the heartbeat of ownership. • Growing the number and value of product discounts to drive membership value. • Uncovering partner relationships that expose us to new BMW Motorcycle Owners. • Finding unique engagement opportunities that cast a positive light!

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


from the boar


Ken was awarded the Helping Hand Award for helping Jim Shaw during his time of need at Couchiching.

Advertising – Ted Moyer for Chris Hughes

• Owners News, up 4.6% to $991,457 • Rally Book up 9% to $22,171 • Anonymous Book – no change • .org down 23.6% to $16,363 • Total Advertising is up 4.0% to $1,045,337, with three months left in this calendar year. Membership Scorecard – Ted Moyer Budget Actual % to Goal Members 34,000 33,311 98.0% New Members 8,400 6,883 81.9% Lapsed Members 4,800 3,969 82.9% Net Gain 3,600 2,914 80.9% (And this is with three more months yet to go.) Member Development • Membership Cards (printed every two weeks) and welcome letter (sent out weekly with the BMW ON and the Anonymous Book). • MOA Hotline introduced Oct. 1 – A new concierge service run by Global Rescue. This is a great offering which still needs perfection, and it will be growing over time. • Can print temporary card with phone number on it online. Lifetime members still need cards; this is on Ted’s list – he needs one, too. • Roadside Assistance • Platinum Plan (tire service included) currently has 3,444 signed up, the basic plan has 616, for a total 4,060, up considerably from last year. • Member Marketplace is run by Panjo; this has many new features that we need to learn to use. We have doubled the listings from a year ago. Coming attractions


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

• Digital Resource Expansion – Structure changes to .org – Content improvement – relevant, timely, useful, unique – S ocial strategy engagement, recruitment, support • Member Benefits Guide • There’s an App for That • Truly mobile Anonymous Book Recovery / Retention / Recruiting: The end of a great ride begins – Here!

COMMITTEE REPORTS Operations – Jackie Hughes

Jackie explained our responsibilities. She said our current task is to update the policies and procedures manual, and we will begin working on the 2016 budget. We also have an upcoming election cycle with four open director positions in the 2016 election and five in the 2017 election. Jackie explained the election timetable: • October 2015 – Candidate Search Committee to be selected. • December 2015 – Election announcement to appear in Owner’s News. • January 2016 – Election Committee selected/announced. Separate insert to draw notice to upcoming election in January ON. • Feb 1, 2016 – Deadline to submit candidate nomination packets to Search Committee or withdraw from election. • Feb 6, 2016 – Secretary approves election materials and submits to Owner’s News for publication in April issue. • April 1, 2016 – Voting opens, election forum opens. • April 30, 2016 – Voting closes; all ballots must be postmarked by this date. • May 10, 2016 – Last day to receive ballots. • May 15, 2016 – Election committee certifies the election, reports results to the President and Secretary. Candidates to be notified. • July 2016 – Election results to be published in the Owner’s news. • July 2016 – New Board Members installed

at Rally Board Meeting. She said we had previously received a question about the possibility of on-line voting, but after investigating the possibility, we found it was not economically feasible and didn’t increase participation in those organizations that we contacted.

Volunteers - Chuck Manley for Stan Herman

• Consumer Liaison –Jim Wright, our Consumer Liaison, has resigned, but he is still working with us until a replacement has been chosen. We are about to interview a candidate next week, and expect an upcoming change. • Regional Coordinators – This is a new program that is just getting off the ground. The program came out of our Chartered Club Liaison position that was way too much for one person to coordinate. The Volunteer committee looked at where membership, dealerships, and charter clubs are located to determine regions. We need 12-15 regional coordinators. We received 50 responses from interested members following our advertising in the ON; they filled out resumé sheets, we interviewed those still interested, and ten were chosen. We’ve had two orientation meetings for those new people. They are ready and raring to go. These will be about two-year positions. Regional Coordinators are charged with visiting the dealers once a month, chartered clubs quarterly and holding a monthly event. Our goal is to reach out to non-MOA members and members alike.

Events – Vance Harrelson

The Events Committee works on the National Rally as well as weekend events. We held six weekend events this year, and we are planning on 12 or more in 2016. This year the events were held in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; Fontana, North Carolina; Pineville, Kentucky; Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Cedar City, Utah; Couchiching, Ontario; and Black River Falls, Wisconsin. The Events Committee is also sifting through the results of our recent survey,

Th e K E R M I T C h a i r

and these results will be reported when completed.

2015 Rally Update – Sue Rihn, Vince Barkhoff, Jason Olson

Jason and Vince helped Sue put on the rally working jointly. Sue expressed her appreciation for these two new volunteers and all their hard work. • We had 5,872 attendees, including 135 day passes and 400 in the vendor bracket. • “Be the Adventure” was this year’s logo, and Jason came up with line art to go with it. Sue gave special thanks to Bill Wiegand for putting this together. Members sent pictures from around the world, branding the event. This encouraged member involvement and built enthusiasm. The GS Giants adopted the theme as well. • Social Media – We made more use of social media and posted there often. We had money in the budget for social media, and opened a Twitter account. • We had a challenging budget, but we persevered, and we made money. • Brewery tour – Jason reported that ninety people participated in the tour (this was a sellout), and we visited four microbreweries and a distillery. • Vince said the people of Billings went all out for us; they were a really good bunch of people to work with, especially the Visit Billings Group. • Rally Central worked out great. • The facilities were well cared for and in good condition. The employees were good to work with. • Camping was tight, and there were not enough food vendors; we were promised 13 food vendors, but only four showed up. • The facility had a rock concert scheduled for Sunday evening, so we had to clean up and get out of there fast. • The Gear Shop was a success, with a big thanks to Jackie Hughes. • The Rally Charity, partly thanks to Bob’s BMW matching funds, was a success. • The Beer Garden worked well. Local Breakfast Club volunteers ran it instead of our members. The beer sold for $2/ each. This is the first time we didn’t run the beer garden.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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from the boar


• In the future, we need to sell water in addition to beer as there was little water available on site. • Sue thanked the committee chairs and the Board of Directors for their support. • Visit Billings offered to help with the logo. Sue’s team sent them their ideas, and Visit Billings came back with a very nice logo – which also saved us some money. Chuck announced that by tradition each of the three rally chairs would get a jacket and custom rally chair delivered to their homes. Chuck presented them with a plaque.

2016 Rally Co-chairs – Dutch and Kate Lammers

The 2016 rally will be held July 14-16 in Hamburg, New York. They thanked the site selection committee for choosing the site. We’re very excited about this location. • We will get some support from the Buffalo/Niagara group, but we

won’t get much from Hamburg, as they have just two people in their Chamber of Commerce. • We are currently putting together a list of things to do in the Hamburg area. Wine tours have been suggested. July 16, 2016, is a Burger Fest (Hamburg – the originator of the Hamburger). There is harness racing at the adjoining track on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and a casino is located adjacent to the rally grounds for those who are interested. • Of our forty-nine total Committees, thirty-nine are staffed. Six potential committee chairs are undecided or have not responded, and four are currently vacant. • There will be special events, including Roundabout Niagara, which is a tour of Niagara Falls from both the New York and Ontario sides. If you want to go to Canada, you’ll need an enhanced driver’s license or passport. For $89 you will be able to take a Maid of Mist cruise, with a driver/guide. This lasts six hours, and we will need a minimum of forty people. • Brewery Tours along with other event planning are in process.

On The Level

BMW Magazine Think outside the Boxer

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BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


• See and Do – beaches, ski hill areas, helicopter rides over the falls, night views, fireworks and lights. • We will have a German theme with the rally to be known as Das Rally 2016. FUTURE MEETINGS:

January 16, 2016 –January Quarterly Board Meeting. The Board will come in Thursday evening prior to Friday committee meetings. April 16, 2016 –April Quarterly Board Meeting. Additionally, the Volunteers Committee meets the 2nd Monday of the month, Operations meets the 3rd Monday, Events meets the 3rd Wednesday, and the Full Board meets the last Wednesday of the month – all by conference call. There being no further business, Greg moved the meeting be adjourned, Jackie seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned at 3:49 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Muriel Farrington, Secretary

American Made Deerskin Gloves Soft as silk, tough as nails. The incomparable Lee Parks Design DeerSports gloves provide iconic good looks, legendary durability, and world-class performance and comfort. See for yourself how the same gloves are just as at home leading the International Iron Butt Rally as they are winning the WERA National Endurance Championship. It’s no wonder so many pairs are still on the road with 5–10 years of adventures behind them. Feel the difference American hand-craftsmanship makes on your next ride. !"

800.943.5638 •

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




Email your event information to






1 Map courtesy of


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016

January 1

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows 10-city Tour

Location: Various • January 8-10, 2016 | Miami Beach, FL • January 22-24, 2016 | Dallas, TX • January 29-31, 2016 | Cleveland, OH • February 5-7, 2016 | Minneapolis, MN • February 12-14, 2016 | Chicago, IL • February 20-21, 2016 | Glendale, AZ






8 7

BMW NEF Winter Rally

Location: Green Cove Springs, Florida Chill out at Camp Blanding on beautiful Kingsley Lake in Northeast Florida for the 33rd annual BMWNEF Winter Rally; Florida’s Coolest Rally! Space is limited so register early to avoid being left out in the cold. Pre-registration commences on on/about October 1 and closes December 15th unless capacity is met earlier. Contact bmwnefrally@ or call 904-278-9262

11 1

1/15/2016 – 1/17/2016


Death Valley Rendezvous

Location: Death Valley, California This year marks the 24th anniversary of the “Oldest and Lowest of all Airhead Rendezvous,” and, as in the previous 23 years, we will brave the unpredictable weather of February to gather at the Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley National Park on President’s Day weekend. The Furnace Creek Ranch is nearby with a general store, restaurants, saloon, olympic sized spring fed pool, showers, & museum. The Death Valley Nat Park visitor’s center is also a short walk from the campground. Whether you decide to explore the park or leave your ride parked for the day - we know you’ll have a good time. The event is steeped in tradition, and last year we counted over 100 motorcycles with attendees from as far away as Pennsylvania! We all enjoyed the perfect 80 degree weather in the shady trees with friends old and new. We hope to see YOU there! For more information, please contact Gary Jackson 619-559-0108


Detailed information for all events is available online at: 2


January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS

2/12/2016 – 2/15/2016




April 4

4/28/2016 – 5/1/2016

Horizons Unlimited Virginia Travellers Meeting Location: Appomattox, Virginia It’s all about adventure travel: Whether you’re a seasoned veteran with wisdom to share or a novice hungry for ideas, Horizons Unlimited meetings are for everyone who dreams of taking the road less travelled. Join us near historic Appomattox, Virginia, over the last weekend in April for great camaraderie, good food, and terrific presentations amid a community of people who won’t think you’re crazy for wanting to ride to the middle of nowhere. Vendors very welcome! For more information visit


4/29/2016 – 5/1/2016

26th Annual Georgia Mountain Rally Location: Hiawassee, Georgia The BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia returns to the picturesque fairgrounds in Hiawassee for its 26th Georgia Mountain Rally over April 29th to May 1st 2016. The area offers rewarding twisties, inspiring vistas and renowned mountain hospitality. Plus, this is dual-sport heaven for all skill levels. The perfect start to anyone’s riding season! For futher information contact Marc Mergen - Rally Meister BMWMCOGA.

May 6

5/20/2016 – 5/22/2016

2nd Annual Battlefield Memorial Workers Rally Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania A BMW rally devoted to a volunteer day (Saturday) for the National Park Service in battlefield restoration/preservation. Great Pennsylvania riding, great food and fellowship, and of course, American History at its finest. No rally fee except for $16 for two nights camping, RV spots and cabins are available but you must call ahead to reserve those separately. We gather on Friday, work Saturday, and party ‘till its 1863 until Sunday. Food is on your own, but on Saturday we all scraped together a great rally meal at the camp. Contact Sam Booth


BMW OWNERS NEWS  January 2016


5/20/2016 – 5/22/2016

Morton’s BMW Spring Fling Rally

Location: Natural Bridge, Virginia You’re invited to the sixth annual Spring Fling Rally, sponsored by Morton’s BMW Motorcycles. We’ll gather at the Natural Bridge Hotel for a weekend of good fun, great food, fantastic roads, and terrific camaraderie. Enjoy a brats & brews buffet (including local microbrews) Friday night, a banquet dinner buffet Saturday night, route sheets, door prizes, scavenger hunt, Saturday guest speaker, and more for just $79. Vendors especially welcome! For more information, visit


5/27/2016 – 5/30/2016

Cass Rally

Location: Arbovale, West Virginia All of us from the Mountaineer BMW Riders Club want to take a moment and thank all of YOU for joining us at the 2015 Rally, it was a fantastic weekend. We think its great that you all are posting pics and chatting back and forth on facebook, this is exactly what we had in mind when Rich set up this sight. As far as next years rally....Yes we plan on being there for 2016! There were some rumors flying around and we will try to answer what we can. As of right now the only thing that will change is that the restaurant wont be open. They are still planning on catering for us, so rest easy you wont have to eat hot dogs and chili all weekend.... We will look at other option such as trying to get a discount and early opening time at a few other eaterys such as The Station Two for breakfast. We want to thank John Doe for giving his 50/50 winnings back to the kids Christmas fund and everyone else who made a donation to the 50/50 tickets, soda and popcorn. I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable ride home. We are looking for forward to seeing everyones pics and seeing everyone next year. Please keep an eye for Rates etc as the time draws near for the 2016 Rally over Memorial Day weekend, we look forward to seeing old and new friends! Ride Safe!. For further information, contact Michael Harper at

June 9

6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016

2016 Land of Oz Rally

Location: Atchinson, Kansas Please join us again at the 2016 Land of Oz Rally at our new location at Warnock Lake Park in Atchinson Kansas for an even better weekend of History, Mystery and Entertainment! Shaded camping, two delicious meals, 24-hour gourmet coffee by The Roasterie, bike show, field events, ADV/GS rides, entertainment (including live

music and a bonfire), and many area hotels, B&Bs, haunted houses and more fun at the same affordable prices.. For more information, contact Don Hamblin Phone: (256) 479-5606 or (816) 600-2475


6/16/2016 – 6/19/2016

16th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous Rally Location: Panguitch, Utah Beehive Beemers Motorcycle Club of Utah – MOA# 169 Held in Panguitch, Utah, gateway to Utah’s Color Country. Day rides to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Grand Canyon Na.onal Parks, plus Grand Staircase-Escalante and Cedar Breaks Na.onal Monuments. There are anadditional 10 State Parks within one-half to two hours riding. Rally offers camping on new landscaped area with new grass under shade trees, and there are many motels in walking distance from fairgrounds rally site. Meet old friends and make new ones at the rally Triple R Beer Garden and enjoy grilled bratwurst for lunch. Guided GS ride (all abilities), poker run, bike-n-hike, tech sessions and many door prizes. Register on-line or download registration form at, pre-registra.on un.l May 31st : single $45, couples $80, under 16 is $20 (at gate $50/$90/$25). Registration includes three nights camping, dinner Saturday night, coffee each morning, and free participation in all events. Lions Club fund raising breakfast is offered Saturday. More information contact 801-243-0660.

July 11

7/14/2016 – 7/17/2016

2016 BMW MOA International Rally Location: Hamburg, New York Stay tuned for upcoming information. Contact Kate and Dutch Lammers

advertiserindex Action Stations/Bohn Armor................. 93 Adriatic Moto Tours................................... 25 ADV Depot..................................................100 Adventure Designs.................................... 90 Adventure New Zealand Tours...........107 AeroFlow....................................................... 32 Aerostich-RiderWearHouse.................... 52 African Motorcycle Adventures..........100 Alaska Leather............................................. 90 Alaska Motorcycle Adventures............. 91 ALTRider......................................................... 51 Ayres Adventures....................................... 58 Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures........... 56 Beemer Boneyard...................................... 58 Beemer Shop, The....................................103 Bing Agency...............................................100 BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.... 12 BMW Motorrad................................9, 72, 83 BMW of Pensacola..................................... 90 BMW of Southeast Michigan................. 56 Bob’s BMW.................................................... 42 Bombar’s Beemers..................................... 89 Boxer Works Service................................100 British Motorcycle Gear........................... 51 BullRack.......................................................100 California Motorcycle Rental................. 90 Cee Baileys Aircraft Plastic.............53, 101 Central Italy Motorcycle Tours............101 Colorado Tourbike Rentals...................105 Corbin Pacific.............................................107 Crampbuster/Throttle Rocker.............100 Cyclenutz....................................................... 52 DMC Sidecars............................................... 85 Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals..............100 Eaglerider Pittsburgh............................... 93 Edelweiss Bike Travel................................ 95 EPM Hyper Pro............................................ 43 Euro Moto Electrics................................... 93

Farkle Bar....................................................... 25 First Gear......................................................IBC Geza Gear...................................................... 89 Giant Loop.................................................... 25 GSM Motorent............................................. 85 GS-911 Diagnostic Tool............................ 52 Happy Trails.................................................. 87 Helite (Max Moto)...................................... 89 Ilium Works................................................... 23 IMTBIKE TOURS................................... 23, 45 International Motorcycle Shows.......... 29 Jesse Luggage Systems........................... 31 Kermit Chair Company...........................105 Kinekt Gear Ring......................................... 85 LadyRidersWear.......................................... 90 LD Comfort................................................... 51 Legal Speeding Enterprises................... 90 M4Moto-psa.......................................58, 107 MachineartMoto......................................103 Max BMW Motorcycles...............................5 MC Wheel Repair........................................ 90 Michelin Tire................................................. 11 MOA Gear Shop.......................................... 84 MOA Hotline................................................ 13 MOA Platinum Roadside Assistance... 97 Morton’s BMW Motorcycles................... 33 Moto Aventura............................................ 85 Moto-Bins...................................................... 51 MotoDiscovery..........................................107 Motohansa Tools (The Beemer Shop)... 51 Motonation..................................................BC Motorcycle Travel Network.................... 45 Motorex USA..............................................101 Motorrad Elektrik....................................... 31 Motorrad Tours.........................................103 Motoworks UK............................................. 52 Motoskiveez................................................. 85 MotoStays..................................................... 52

Mountain Master Truck Equipment.... 51 No-Mar Enterprises................................... 91 90 Olympia Moto Sports..............................IFC On The Level Magazine...........................106 Overseas Speedometer........................... 91 Palo Alto Speedometer............................ 52 Pandora’s European Motorsports......... 91 Parabellum................................................... 89 Paradise Motorcycle Tours...................... 87 Peru Motors.................................................. 91 Premier Euro Brands (Biker World)...... 56 Progressive Insurance.............................. 15 Rawhyde Adventures............................... 57 Ray Atwood Cycles.................................... 55 Redverz.......................................................... 45 Remus USA................................................... 21 Re-Psycle BMW Parts................................ 89 Rider Magazine..........................................105 RoadRUNNER Magazine........................101 Russel Cycle Products............................... 31 Sargent Cycle Products............................ 33 Side Kicker (AKS Engineering)............... 55 Spiegler.......................................................... 51 Stop ‘n Go...................................................... 91 Street Eagle Motorcycle Rentals............. 52 StrongBilt (StrongRak)............................. 52 Suburban Machinery................................ 91 Throttlemeister........................................... 45 Total Control/Lee Parks Designs....87, 107 Touratech.........................................................1 Twisted Throttle.......................................... 88 Venture Heat................................................ 56 Wilbers USA.................................................. 43 Wolfman Luggage..................................... 25 Wunderlich................................................... 47

BMW ON (ISSN:1080-5729) (USPS: 735-590) (BMW Owners News) is published monthly by BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Inc., 640 S. Main Street, Suite 201, Greenville, SC 29601. Periodicals postage paid at Pewaukee, Wisconsin and additional mailing offices. Opinions and positions stated in materials/articles herein are those of the authors and not by the fact of publication necessarily those of BMW MOA; publication of advertising material is not an endorsement by BMW MOA of the advertised product or service. The material is presented as information for the reader. BMW MOA does not perform independent research on submitted articles or advertising. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO BMW ON, 640 S. Main Street, Suite 201, Greenville, SC 29601 © 2016 by BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Inc. All information furnished herein is provided by and for the members of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Inc. Unless otherwise stated, none of the information (including technical material) printed herein necessarily bears endorsement or approval by BMW MOA, BMW NA, the factory or the editors. The editors and publisher cannot be held liable for its accuracy. Printed in the USA. Volume 46, Number 1.

January 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



Don’t look up! A sunny day brings out all the critters near the Badlands in South Dakota Photo by Ken Frick #199204


BMW OWNERS NEWS  December 2015




BMW Owners News January 2016  
BMW Owners News January 2016  

Features A RawHyde introduction to adventure, by Bill Wiegand Featured Columns Matthew Parkhouse, Keep 'Em Flying: Airhead tech George Mang...