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Table of Contents features

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a tasty ride along the old spanish trail Story by Curt Stetter #205881 and Photography by Chuck Feil #203990 Ore-laden wagons and stagecoaches of the late 19th century scribed the rutted trails connecting the mining towns of Benson, Tombstone, Bisbee and Douglas with each about 20 miles and a day's horseback ride apart. By motorcycle, it's a 30-minute pleasure cruise on smooth roads through beautiful scenery full of southwestern charm.

chuck's way By Ken Frick #199204 Ken Frick's younger brother Chuck lived life in big gulps until he could no longer outrun the dark cloud following him. Slowly,muscular dystrophy caught up to him robbing him of his mobility.

feather comes home By Tom Stewart #14651 The G 650 GS isn't BMW's most popular motorcycle and lacks the snob appeal of other models in the BMW lineup. Despite it's shorcomings, Tom Stewart bought the exact same bike twice to bring Feather back home to stay.

big bike adventure By Dan Russell #200313 His friends told Dan Russell he had to ride a BMW to know what they admired so much. After a couple hundred miles riding his 2015 R 1200 GS Adventure along the Oregon coast, he understood. ON THE COVER: Early season riding through the curvaceous roads of north central Alabama. Photo by Steve Armstrong #79571.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

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

the club 4 Owners News Contributors 8 Headlight February blues, by Bill Wiegand 10 President's Column The Future is Bright, by Chuck Manley 12  Shiny Side Up A long, strange trip, by Ron Davis 14 Picture This Weather 16 Rider to Rider Letters from the membership Member tested/ product news 22  Arai Corsair-X helmet, Sidi All Road Gore-Tex boots, Interphone F5MC Intercom, Green Chile gear straps, Hyperlight Mountain Gear.

32  Moto-Skiveez

made for woman, Adriatic Moto Tours goes to Sicily, Motorcycle Industry Council Guide to Buying and Selling Motorcycles, RawHyde Adventures ladies-only training, Wolfman Overland Duffle, AmeriDeck hydraulic loading system, Twisted Throttle preps an XR for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Three GS Giants prepare for GS Trophy competition in Thailand, Motorcycle Safety Foundation responds.

discovery 54  Adventure Log Leading a tour while chasing Dakar, by Shawn Thomas

58  Long Distance Style Arriving the worse for wear, by Deb Gasque

skills 88  Ask a Pro Riding downhill made easy, by Lee Parks lifestyle 92 Painting a Picture, by George Park 94 Flashback A look back at our MOA history 96 First Bike Riding to honor a son, by Margorie White events 100  MOA Rally Get to know 2016 BMW MOA Rally Chairs Dutch and Kate Lammers,

102 Hamburg area Bed and Breakfasts around the 2016 BMW MOA Rally site

tech 42  Keep ‘em Flying What I carry when touring, by Matthew Parkhouse

46 Air and fuel system blues, by Ken Tuvman 50  Terry Logan and the creation of his Dual Tool,

106 When and Where Places to go, Things to see 111  Advertiser Index 112  Talelight

by Wes Fleming

February 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. Ken Frick is new to BMWs and his '05 RT only the third motorcycle he’s owned since his college years back in the '70s. A retired freelance photographer, Ken now spends much of his free time writing stories to accompany the photographs he takes on his motorcycle travels, about his family, longdistance running and the 1953 MG TD both he and his wife claim as their own. 3.  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


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

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. 4. 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. 5. D  eb Gasque, also known as “The Fashionista,” has been a licensed motorcyclist for 6 years and has embraced every aspect of the long distance motorcycling lifestyle, including earning a membership into the Iron Butt Association. Deb recently joined the ranks of motojournalism and enjoys sharing her passion for two-wheeled adventures through published articles and her blog page at www.TheFashionistaHasAn 6.  Lee Parks has been riding motorcycles since the age of 12 and finds his greatest joy in sharing the motorcycling experience with family and friends. This passion eventually led him to work in the motorcycle industry. Parks has an extensive racing background, has worked as the editorial director of Motorcycle Consumers News and founded Lee Parks Design in 2001 to create innovative products and services to help riders achieve “better living through motorcycling” and help companies better serve their customers.

A little shade

Finding relief beneath the only spot of shade available within 40 miles. Photo by Mark Janda #13870


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


headlight Magazine of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America MANAGING EDITOR

Bill Wiegand

February blues 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  February 2016


Like a kid painfully enduring the last few days before Christmas and waiting for Santa Claus to deliver the goods, February stands in the way of a new riding season like the honey-do list handed to you just as you’re pulling on your boots. February is an afterthought. Nothing more than an inconsequential month placed into the calendar to fill out the year. According to that respected online depository of information,, the original 10-month Roman calendar never worked because it didn’t align with the seasons. Then, around 700 B.C., January and February were added, and a couple of hundred years later, Julius Caesar introduced the current 365-day calendar. Joseph Wood Krutch was an American writer born in Tennessee. After college and his service in World War I, he received a master’s degree and Ph.D. at New York’s Columbia University, taught at Brooklyn Polytechnic and was on the editorial staff of The Nation for 28 years beginning in 1924. Krutch knew a thing or two about northeastern winters when he wrote, "The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February." Upon leaving The Nation, Krutch moved to Arizona, where he gained notoriety as a naturalist and conservationist. I’d be willing to wager a new set of Michelins that once he got to Tucson, he mused on why he didn’t move there sooner. I share Krutch’s feelings about February regardless of what Punxsutawney Phil sees on the second. The month does contain some redeeming dates, including the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas A. Edison and Babe Ruth. And who doesn’t look forward each year to the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras and celebrating National Canned Food Month as they gleefully open a can of Spam? In February 1956, Elvis Presley debuted on the music charts with “Heartbreak Hotel” and February 3, 1959, will forever be known as “The Day the Music Died” when the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Richie Valens crashed in an Iowa cornfield. In February 1964, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles topped the Billboard music charts, and later that month, the quartet made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. In February 1979, “This Old House” premiered on PBS, making Bob Vila and Norm Abram heroes to men everywhere. In February 1991, Pete Rose was banned from Major League Baseball for life, while on February 11, 2006, then-Vice President Dick Cheney accidently shot his good friend Harry Whittington while the two were hunting together. Though KISS reuniting at the Grammys in full makeup and costume on February 28, 1996, remains a February low mark, it was in 1929 when four men busted into Bugs Moran’s Chicago headquarters dressed as cops and gunned down seven men that etched Valentine’s Day and February in the minds of men everywhere as the worst month of the year. While some may argue the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre was the result of a bitter turf war between gangsters Moran and Al Capone, others believe the frustration of finding the perfect Valentine’s Day card for a significant other to be the true cause. Like most men, I struggled for months coming up with the right Christmas gift. Then, less than two months later the struggle returns. Should I go with something red and lacy, play it safe, or go with fast and racy? I’ve decided to do both by buying a card and roses for Judy and a sweet and sexy Akropovič exhaust for the XR. Come on spring!


The future is bright 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 Coordinator 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


may be enjoying the first ride of 2016 any day now. All required maintenance on the bike was completed last fall, so it should be good to go. I’ve checked all of my riding and camping gear, and everything looks good there as well. The only thing left to do now is to start planning some spring and summer rides. Already the Owners News “When and Where” column is showing a number of events you may be interested in attending. Detailed information on all events is available online at Look at the “Rally and Events” link, directly below the right corner of the home page photos, and check back often, as it is regularly updated. Many of our members use the MOA forum and Facebook page to discuss specific events and to see who else might be attending. Have you been to an MOA Getaway Event? These events are primarily motel/resortbased mini-rallies located in areas with good riding and interesting things to see and do. Attendance is usually limited to about 100-150 people per event. Last year, events were held in North Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Utah and Ontario, Canada. We’ll be returning to these locations in 2016 as most of those Getaways were sellout events. We’re also adding new locations, which will about double the size of the Getaway program. Look to the Owners News and for details as the new Getaways are announced. Speaking of, when was the last time you visited the MOA Forums? On any given day you’ll find a variety of topics being discussed by other members. Have questions regarding specific bikes, accessories or riding gear? Ask the folks on the forum. Having issues completing a maintenance task? Post your questions on the forum. Looking for information on a destination you plan to visit? Look no further than the forum. Have you enjoyed a ride you would like to share with other members? Tell us about it in a forum thread. Our forum is an endless source of information, and it’s another great benefit of being a member! Accessing the forum is easy. Log in to using your user name and password and check “remember me.” Click the Forum link and again log in using user name and password and check “remember me”. Then, the next time you visit, simply click the Forum link on the home page followed by clicking the “New Posts” link on the forum page. Only threads that are new or have been active since your last visit will show up on the page. Now is also the time to begin planning for the BMW MOA International Rally in Hamburg, New York. Event dates are July 14 - 17, 2016. The volunteer Rally Chairs and Committee Chairs are busy planning what will surely be one of our best rallies. Read all about “Das Rally” in this issue and coming issues of the Owners News. Your MOA Board of Directors and Executive Staff have been extremely busy the past 12 months. As a result of these combined efforts, our annual General and Administrative operating expenses are decreasing and membership numbers are increasing. The future of the MOA is bright, and as 2016 unfolds you’ll learn of many more member benefits and activities that are currently being planned. Thank You for Being a Member.

Lesa Howard, Membership Services Amanda Faraj, Membership Services Ray Tubbs, Digital Marketing Manager


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

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

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


the club 12


A long, strange trip By Ron Davis #111820 AS



all probably attach special meaning to the phrase, “The journey is the destination,” but sometimes our destinations can change the way we feel about our journeys. This was true in my case on a little jaunt I took last July. The day started out pleasantly enough with my loading up and jumping on my bike for what I thought would be a pleasant, relaxed cruise up to north central Wisconsin for a radio program recording session and then on to the U.P. for a story I was working on. The weatherman (and my wife) had warned of high winds, but as I swung onto the interstate for the dead straight run north, there was only a light breeze, and the robin’s egg sky was punctuated by puffy white clouds—no problem. However, by the time I hit a towering bridge over the Wisconsin River outside Wausau, I was being slammed by powerful crosswinds cannonading out of the southwest, broken only by buffeting blasts from passing semis. I was never so thankful to see my exit, which would lead me into the city and the recording studio. My work there took longer than expected, and rather than ramping back onto the superslab, I decided to continue through the city and try tracing a sparsely traffic-ed two lane northwest which, if I was lucky, would keep much of the wind quartering at my back. Once I navigated my way through the city, I found myself meandering through farm fields and forests, but the wind grew even fiercer—not a constant blow, but rather sudden BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

blasts that I judged were hitting at least 40 or 50 miles per hour. Given the direction of the wind, turning around would have been even worse than continuing, so I settled in for a wrestling match with the handlebars. There’s not a lot a motorcyclist can do in a situation like this; certainly you have to slow down for every blast of wind, lean into it, keep your grip loose, and flare out your knee on the windward side to stabilize the bike, but at times my only option was to close the throttle and pull over, then cautiously ease back up to speed. There was practically no traffic as far as a little town called Gleason, but soon after that, cars started piling up behind me, annoyed I’m sure by my erratic maneuvering and my seesawing speeds. Running on empty (in more ways than one), I stopped in after another 40 miles for a sandwich and gas, then resolutely set out again. Oh yeah, it then started to rain. It occurred to me that there’s a lot to be said for traveling by automobile. Doubling back on a county trunk when I reached Michigan, I finally made it to a rutted gravel road snaking up to a home situated on a high ridge overlooking Lac Vieux Desert, a huge saucer-shaped lake which is the source of the Wisconsin River. I was greeted by Val Immel, the subject of my interview, and his dachshund Fruede at the door. I have known Val for years and in that time had heard intriguing snippets of stories about his family’s immigration to America, which had led this interview. Val’s a big guy who speaks with a booming German/Russian accent, and coupled with his ruddy, well-worn complexion and a thick Stalin-esque mustache, it’s no wonder he’s known to the locals as “The Mad Russian.” Stressed from the ride, I was Jonesing for a beer or one of Val’s legendary vodka martinis (chilled Stoly), but as we had discussed on the phone, my main purpose for the visit was to hear the whole

story of his family’s history, and Val immediately said, “First we talk, then we have a drink.” His story started with the Russian Revolution, when both his parents’ families were arrested and sent to Siberia since they had been landowners in Immelsdorf, Ukraine. With some string-pulling by a Communist relative, they were eventually allowed to return to their homes to become farm workers, but only a few years later, with the onset of WWII, Val’s father, Eduard, was drafted into the Russian army. Captured by the Germans, Eduard chose joining the Wehrmacht’s ranks over prison (or worse), but then, in the final year of the war, his unit surrendered to the English and he was interred in a POW camp for the duration. Meanwhile, soon after her husband had been drafted, Val’s mother Anastasia, five year old Val, and his baby sister were rounded up by the Germans under the suspicion they were Jewish (they weren’t), herded into a boxcar and shipped off to a work camp. “One of my first memories is of bodies being taken out of the boxcar every morning,” Val said. In 1945, Val’s father was freed, and his mother and their children had been liberated from the work camp by the Americans. With a tip on where Val and his mother had been relocated, his father wandered the streets at night, crying out “Anastasia! Anastasia!” Miraculously, they were reunited; Val remembers his mother was in tears, overwhelmed with joy—she had not heard from Eduard in five years. Val’s tale continued with story of the family’s long journey to America. After winding their way through endless paperwork and interviews in an effort to immigrate to practically any country that would accept them, they were off on a 10 day sea voyage to New York City, where they were told they had a sponsor in Goodman, Wisconsin. Val said, “We had no idea where Wisconsin was, let alone Goodman, but they put us on

a train and shipped us out.” After reaching Minneapolis, the family boarded another train headed east into Wisconsin. Val remembers that on the snowy ride through the bleak pine barrens of northern Wisconsin, Anastasia exclaimed, “Oh Mein Gott, Mein Gott, we are back in Siberia!” The family had been sponsored by the Goodman Lumber Company, and though the Immel family faced prejudice for being the community’s only “DP’s” (Displaced Persons), Val and his siblings thrived and have all been amazingly successful. Val himself went to college, got a teaching degree and taught German for many years. Always a restless spirit, upon retirement he took over a bait shop called The Minnow Bucket near Phelps, Wisconsin, which, largely due to Val’s colorful personality, has since become a local gathering spot. Rest assured, once the recorder was turned off, the martinis were poured, and Val set about bustling around his kitchen, preparing dinner. Over lobster tail, steak and home-grown vegetables we talked politics, philosophy, and motorcycles, and the memory of my day’s struggles on the road faded. Later that night, I crawled out of the sack about 3 a.m. for my usual bout with insomnia and walked outside onto Val’s deck overlooking the lake. Already worrying about my ride home, I wanted to see if the weather was improving. The wind was still howling, and in the moonlight I could make out luminous skeins of wind-blown whitecaps surfing across the lake. The sky, though, was brilliantly blanketed in stars with ragged, dark ghosts of clouds stealthily racing across to the east. I resolved to not worry about what the next day and my journey back home would bring. To borrow a phrase from The Grateful Dead, life is a “long, strange trip” for all of us, and after hearing Val’s stories of struggle, hope, ambition and perseverance, I was left more determined than ever to enjoy the ride. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Picturethis We asked our online readers to submit their photos showing


1 1. Riding home along Route 24 near Limon, Colorado. George Thut #167558 Palatine, Illinois


2. T aking shelter from rain and hail under the only “roof” available near Gulkana, Alaska. Bob Metzger #175518 Eugene, Oregon 3. W  e found fog and hail in the while on our way home from an MOA Getaway at Fontana Dam, North Carolina. Nancy Van Voorhis #178600 Kodak, Tennessee 4. The morning fog burns off near Newville, Pennsylvania. Steve Metz #142544 Carlisle, Pennsylvania 5. The danger of parking under trees during a rainstorm. Bill Wiegand #180584 Champaign, Illinois 6. Moments before a windstorm hit our Oregon camp. Sergio Luna #154898 Redmond, Washington 7. Caught  in a painful hailstorm while leading a club ride to breakfast. Kirk Johnson #170608 Crystal Lake, Illinois


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016





For April, our Picture This theme is “My Bike.� 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




RIDERTORIDER Send your letters and comments to:

In support of Lee

At the risk of fanning the flames, I must respond. Mr. Richard misquotes Lee Parks, who correctly states, “the normal force...always pushes straight down” by confusing the matter of gravitational acceleration with other forces at play. Mr. Richard is correct about the vector sum of the acceleration of gravity and centripetal acceleration (no such thing as centrifugal force) but that is not what Lee Parks was discussing. I suggest that Mr. Richard should read the article again. So, damning Parks for “lack of knowledge” only shines a spotlight on Mr. Richard’s lack of reading skills, and suggesting that Parks’ column be dropped is utter nonsense and should not be given a moment’s consideration. The tone of Park’s article was not disrespectful to my reading and pointed out a risky riding behavior and how to correct it. It’s the reason why Lee Parks’ articles must continue. Rob Chapple #173620 Victoria, British Columbia

Steering explained

This letter is in response to “Teach” McNeil’s answers to Henry Tyszka’s questions about turning and leaning a motorcycle in the December issue of ON. It is not surprising that riders get confused about how a motorcycle leans and turns. It is not intuitive at all, and our learned expert journalists, racers, and specialists continue to refer to, but misunderstand the applicable laws of physics. I will attempt to add some light on this subject, and offer a simple exercise so the rider can demonstrate it for him/herself. The bike will turn to the direction it is leaned to. Anytime, anywhere, as long as the tires are rotating and have traction. It does not matter how the motorcycle


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

became leaned over. Either weight shifting or countersteering will accomplish the same thing. The more it is leaned, the faster it will turn. Where things get difficult to understand is when we introduce different speeds and different things happen. For example, when starting up from being stopped at corner and wanting to turn right, we turn the bike’s front wheel to the right (left hand grip forward) to go around the corner to the right. This is just like a car: turn right to go right. I call this “forward steer” or “track steer.” However, after we get going at a higher speed, to make a right turn we turn the bike’s front wheel to the left (right hand grip forward). In other words, when the bike speeds up, we do just the opposite of what we do at low speeds. We all do it. It’s a requirement to steer a motorcycle, and we have come to call it “countersteer.” We have become so familiar with it, it has become an unconscious action, and some riders even deny that they do it. Henry, you are right to ask whether racers get their own laws of physics. No, they do not. Also you ask at what speed things change. The steering characteristics do change very suddenly, at a surprisingly low specific speed. Very close to 20 mph the bike “transitions” from “track steer” to “countersteer.” All standard bikes do it very close to 20 mph. Don’t believe this? Try this little test for yourself: Find a clear, safe parking lot or section of a road with a little open space. Stop. Look to see that you have clear space around you. Keep the bike straight up. Accelerate to ~10 mph and lightly push, or “bump” the left hand grip forward. The bike will want to turn slightly to the right. If you are still going straight, you will need to bump a little harder. Keep increasing the severity of your “bump” until the bike starts to turn right. This is what you do all the time when you turn right, so there is nothing new here. Keep

going straight and increase you speed to ~15 mph, and bump the left hand grip again. The bike will turn right again. Now increase your speed to ~20 mph and bump the left handgrip again. Now pay close attention to what is happening. The bike may turn to the right, or left, or wallow back and forth, not knowing which way to turn! If the bike becomes unstable, simply accelerate a little. This is your bike’s transition speed. It may not be exactly 20 mph for your bike, but it will be close. I have never found a bike’s transition speed to less that 18 or greater than 22 mph. This little test demonstrates where motorcycles transition from low speed track steer to higher speed countersteer. And this is very important to us riders. For example, what do you do when you have to make a turn at 20 mph? Turn to the right or left— you don’t know what’s going to happen unless you apply Rule Number One—lean in the direction you want to go. Many riders that continually sit upright on their bikes get into trouble going around 20 mph corners because of this. Back to Henry’s question about whether the controlling physics are relative? Again no, but at different speeds, different laws dominate. Low Speed means Counter Weighting. When the bike is leaned over going around a corner, there always is a balance between the force of gravity pulling you down and centrifugal force pulling you to the outside of the curve. You will fall over one way or the other if this balance is not maintained. As Teach stated, at low speeds there is little centrifugal force pulling the bike to the outside, so gravity dominates and you tend to fall inward. Leaning your body to the outside of the curve (counter weight) reduces the tendency to fall inward. Centrifugal force is still there, but’s weak. That’s why if you stop or stall the engine while leaned over in a low speed turn, you will likely fall over. Why does speed effect direction of

steering? As shown above, and you have hopefully now proven to yourself that 20 mph is the transition speed that reverses your direction of steering. How does this happen? Consider your car for a moment. You turn the front wheel in direction you want to turn at all speeds. The rear wheels and car itself obediently “tracks” behind the front wheel and follows it around the corner. This works at any speed. There is no “transition” speed for a car. At low speeds, less than 20 mph, the motorcycle track steers just like a car. So what causes it to steer in the opposite direction at higher speeds? It is called “precession.” It is a natural phenomenon that can occur when a spinning body can rotate on two axes. So this is why when you turn the front wheel to the right, for example, a force is generated to the left which leans the bike over to the left! Now you are back to back to Rule Number One. The bike is now leaned to the left, so it turns to the left. This is what “countersteer” actually is. So why does this only work above 20 mph? Precession actually occurs at all rotational speeds. And track steer also works at all speeds. But at low speeds “track steer” dominates, when the slowly rotating front wheel is only generating a small force. As speeds increase, in our case above 20 mph, precession can now generate enough force to dominate “track steering” forces. This force leans the bike over, and it’s back to Rule Number One again! Al Butcher #134597 Greenville, South Carolina

Entertaining information

The December issue of Owners News is, in turn, informative, entertaining, and worrisome. This month’s set of product reviews was particularly useful to me, especially the news of a “smart” battery tester/charger that could help avoid a nasty surprise some morning on my next long ride, and the news of a warm-weather jacket that is lighter than the still-heavy mesh I wore on the ride across South Dakota last July. From Natalie Barros I learned, evidently, that attracting younger members to the MOA will mean accepting an ever greater presence of alcohol in our club’s culture. Alternatively, from Deb Gasque I learned

just how clever and classy a rider can be, female or not. Even as I laughed with Ron Davis’ and Jack Riepe’s descriptions of the perils and promises of bike storage, I nodded in recognition. Which of us has never battled vermin or felt soul pangs every time we look at the snow and then at our parked rides? Then, as I neared the final pages, Dave Cwi gave me a kick out the door. His “Time to Get Cold” started out well enough, as he described errors in judgment in riding back to Indiana from Florida at the start of the cold season. As he pushed further into the cold and dark, he missed chances to stop and gear up, and he made elementary errors in traffic. His crucial error, of course, was in allowing only one day for this tremendously long ride—a fundamental rule is that when we are tired we stop. I was nodding my head in recognition; which of us has not been in similar situations? But then Dave’s article turns into a rant against every fellow rider who has ever done something he doesn’t like. I’m with him about riders who fail to keep a “cushion zone” between themselves and surrounding vehicles. But I’m supposed to spend a thousand dollars equipping my 2003 R 1150 RT with an electronic cruise control simply because my need to adjust speed in group rides bothers the likes of Dave? Sorry, brother, but it isn’t going to happen. And before you ask, I’m not going to buy a new ride with one, either—I like being out of debt. Take a clue from your own title, Dave, and chill out. Cleveland Eugene Bryant #181849 Newton, Iowa

A statement on reliability

I wonder if David Barnes has been reading BMW Owners News closely, as he has ignored all the articles and info concerning the ongoing problems with BMW bikes, especially the rear drive issue, not to mention the cost of buying and maintaining these bikes. Admittedly, BMWs are at the forefront of technology, but BMW engineers seem to have a problem with metallurgy. He claims that BMWs have been the most reliable bikes ever, and he went to BMW because of all the problems he had

with other brands. The Honda ST1100 was my bike of choice for nine years without any problems on long cross countries, as has been my current ride – Yamaha FJR1300 – which I have been riding for the past 12 years – and it has never prevented me from finishing or delaying any cross country. I did 1,000and 2,000-mile IBR runs on the FJR with ease. I attended the Billings rally and extended the trip to Washington, Oregon and California ending up in Trinidad, California, before heading back home to the Midwest. I was gone 19 days and rode 6,000 miles in daily temperatures ranging from 80 to 105 degrees F. Both the Honda and Yamaha have been totally reliable and I have spent very little at the dealer, doing some of the maintenance myself with special tools. I might add that both the shaft and the rear drive gears are in excellent condition with sharp lands. There is a reason for the Anonymous Book that Mr. Barnes has not perceived. No other brand has a need for such a treatise. I'm about a 17-year member and have read many letters in the BMW Owners News about the problems owners have had on the road and how thankful they were to get some help when a BMW dealer would be so distant. By the way Mr. Barnes, did you read the article in September BMW Owners News by Wes Fleming? Twenty-five FJRs entered and 26 finished, the 26th was a replacement for a rider's BMW that broke down irretrievably. So much for the “reliable” BMW. I've had three BMWs over the years, but did not keep any long enough to test reliability, and none could outperform the FJR. Frank Yuhas, #68216 South Bend, Indiana

Young with a motorcycle

Enjoyed reading about Natalie Barros’ adventure in “From Overland with a Hangover.” It’s good to be young and have a motorcycle! Now I wish to speak for the “creepy men” and say most of us know who we are, and we know there isn’t a snowballs chance in South Texas of ever getting within pawing distance. Sadly, there are exceptions, and for those I apologize. Enjoy the ride. Arlie Long #201210 Kilgore, Texas

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



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To join, visit BMWMOA.ORG 18

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

2016 MOA S

everal years ago, the MOA Getaway idea was introduced to provide a smaller event where members and friends could gather at great locations all over North America. The events are designed to be smaller than

a traditional rally setting and are typically hotel based with no need to pack your ThermaRest and tent. Because MOA Getaway events are typically designed for approximately 100 attendees, they are sure to sell out. We have a fantastic line up for 2016 already and are working to add more. Visit and click on the Events tab for details and registration information. See you soon at an MOA Getaway!

Carolina h t r o N , FontanaApril 22-23 ern s of west

ntain tiful mou in the area is u a e b e in th riding your   Based lina, the e without filling ro a C h av ill be Nort t. If you le n’t ride! We w n e ic if n id a Vilmag a, you d e historic Fontan t o u q e curv at th nce again based o ort. lage Res

Muskoka, On tario May

27-29   This year we are excited to return for our second North -of-the-Border Getaway. Our base will be be autiful Camp Tamarac, situated on over 12 00 rugged acre s of pines and granite surrou nding its own very large private lake. You w ill have the chan ce to explore the area on road or get dirty on the network of AT V trails av ailable.

Muskoka, Ontario May 27-29

  This year we are excite d to return for our second North-of-the-Bord er Getaway. Our base will be beautiful Ca mp Tamarac, situated on over 1200 rug ged acres of pines and granite surrounding its own very large private lake. You will ha ve the chance to explore the area on road or get dirty on the network of AT V trails ava ilable.

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BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

nd m embers a a and the m w o ll ur fe y the are of sights   Join yo you enjo s a s d n y plenty frie sort. Enjo explore the beau re l fu ti u d n bea a ff o or take close by area! ounding tiful surr

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Black Ri ver


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lls, but ju event in Black Riv vious ev dging from the er success ents in nearby at prewill be a Tomah, hit too! Wis., this The and off road rid re will be both st ing opp weather ortunitie reet w s. The event is ill be cool and crisp, an du d this cranberr ring the harve st time ies! for the

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Cedar City , Utah Septe

mber 23-24 R  eturn to w here the MO A Getaway all started. concept Visit the ne arby nation or take off al parks in any dire ction, and find adventu you will re awaits yo u!

member tested 22


Arai Corsair-X helmet– a perfect 10 By Ron Davis #111820 own anti-fogging Pinlock insert for the face shield (Why don’t all brands include these?) and I pulled the trigger on a new which provides another dimension to the vehicle. I’m not going to mention helmet’s versatility. what we bought, but it was exactly the The Corsair-X also sets new standards same make and model as the SUV we for comfort. It of course has an upgrade to drove off the same lot five years ago. Arai’s usual plush, antibacterial lining, but Boring, I know, but we liked the looks the ventilation has also been of the 2015’s, not to mention improved by almost 20% accordthe incentives the dealer was ing to Arai. Three big ducts on the offering. So, from the test crown are now regulated by three drive on, this hasn’t been position sliders instead of the what might be called an rockers on former models which astonishing experience, but I had seemed a bit flimsy and must say I have felt pleasantly weren’t as aerodynamic. Fresh air gratified, in that everything I entering through Arai’s customcan think of that I didn’t like ary face shield brow vents and a about the old model—front three position chin vent is drum brakes, so-so gas mileextracted through new air chanage, a design flaw here and nels located on both sides of the there, etc.—has been coreye port. Exhaust vents on the top rected. I think fans of Arai’s and sides of the Corsair-X direct Corsair helmets will feel the air more to the back of the helmet same way about the new Corthan similar vents did on the Corsair-X. Arai’s flagship model sair-V, which, along with an has gone through ten iteraadjustable spoiler at the rear, tions since 1977 (hence the seems to make the helmet more “X”), each featuring improveresistant to buffeting and uplift at ments on the last, but looking Like most of the helmets in the Arai line, much of the Arai Corsair-X’s weight at the adjustability, comfort, is suspended by a panel that rests on the crown of the head. With this new speed. A chin curtain and vented design, and safety quotient of helmet, however, this “cradle” is adjustable with three step adjustment tabs neck roll can also be removed for more relief. I have not yet had a this newest version, I’d bet at two of its corners. chance to wear the helmet in many may consider it “a perreally hot weather, but the flow-through of millimeter tear-away layers in the cheek fect 10.” air across the top of my head was very and temple pads can be removed and reThe Corsair-X replaces the Arai noticeable. Other comfort features of the installed as comfort and riding style dictate. Corsair-V, a full face helmet popular Corsair-X are channels for eyeglasses bows I’ve always liked the way Arai helmets are with racers, but also favored by tourand a deeper recess for more chin space. suspended on my head by a padded panel ing and sport riders, especially those I used an Arai RX-Q helmet all last sumabout the size of a yarmulke which elimiwho take in a track day now and then. mer, and though I like it a lot, one annoying nates any pressure points around the ears— The new design of the hand-formed feature it has, which I assume was also true very comfortable. New with the Corsair-X, Corsair-X is even more aerodynamic with the Corsair-V, is its shield mounting each of the two anchor points for this cradle than its predecessor, with side pods system. Dutifully following the directions has three-way adjusters for increased cusfor its face shield pivots that are lower and re-learning the process each time, the tomization. This helmet also comes with its and more slippery. Coupled with its A FEW MONTHS AGO MY WIFE

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

traditional “intermediate oval” R75 shape, Arai claims this model is also both quieter and more likely to glance off rather than absorb the impacts from stationary objects in a crash. One quality of the new Corsair-X any rider can appreciate is its adjustability. Five

RX-Qs system works, but it’s not intuitive, and it’s not something I’d want to attempt standing on the side of the road as the sun sets. On the other hand, I was amazed at how easy it is to switch or remove shields for cleaning with the Corsair-X. It seems like a lot research and development went into the new system, evidenced by the fact that the side pod covers are even tethered to the helmet, so no danger of them flying into the great beyond. In fact, almost all the components of the helmet can be removed for cleaning or adjustment easily, including the neck roll. The Arai Corsair-X also includes a retractable chin spoiler that is revealed when the chin curtain is removed Another mechanical innovation I liked was the new face shield latch. At first glance I thought it would be a bother, but the longer I wore the helmet, the more natural it felt—lifting the latch and face shield became one smooth movement, and when snapped shut the shield seals tightly to a rubber gasket. The face shield can also be opened to a “de-mist” position by just lifting the latch. All of these upgrades make this helmet a few ounces heavier than the Corsair-V at 3 lbs. 11 oz., but it remains one of the lightest full face helmets in its price and quality range and is as quiet as any full-face I’ve ever tried, if not quieter. Safety is always a strong selling point with Arai helmets, and the Corsair-X is no exception. Arai has upgraded the “Peripheral Belt” SNC shell for increased strength, and by lowering the side pods for the face shield mechanics, more protection is provided for the temple area. Once the chin curtain is removed, red emergency pull tabs for the chin pads are more conspicuous than before, and the standard D-ring strap also has a red, quick-release tab. The optical quality of the face shield, with or without the Pinlock insert, is excellent. The Corsair-X is Snell 2015 and DOT approved. To economize on weight, Arai uses five shell forms to create six helmet sizes (XS2XL). I found prices for solid colors (white, black, frost black, aluminum silver) hovered around $800, while special racer replica graphics added about another $100. Considering its long list of innovative features and upgrades, the Corsair-X may not be the perfect helmet, but it’s hard for me to imagine how it could be improved. For more information, visit

Left, The new design for the three forehead ducts on the Arai Corsair-X uses sliders instead of rocker switches. The three position sliders are more aerodynamic, quieter, yet easy to operate with gloves on.

Right, A newly designed latch for the face shield on Corsair-X is easy to use and pulls the shield tight against rubber gaskets when closed. The helmet felt “slippery” even during head checks. Below, Arai’s new Corsair-X can be ordered in one of four solid colors or with special “Race Replica” graphics like this one emulating Nicky Hayden’s design.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


member teste 24


Sidi All Road Gore-Tex boots By Reid Dalland #69187 I RECEIVED A PAIR OF SIDI ALL

Road Gore-Tex Boots hours before leaving for a long weekend trip to the annual MOV Rally in Vermont, and I was a little apprehensive over wearing them on a multi-day, multi-surface ride without a “break in” period. Initially I would be traveling for a few hundred miles on the interstate to get to the rally, and throughout the weekend I would be riding a combination of twisty Vermont back roads and a variety of dirt and Class Four dirt roads. There would also be a considerable amount of walking around the rally site. If the boots didn’t fit well, I

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

was going to be uncomfortable and would surely regret my decision. Fortunately, I was comfortable the entire weekend. The Sidi All Road Boot was described to me by a Sidi representative in this way: “The All Road Gore-Tex Boot is designed for, as it says, all roads. Street, gravel, dirt, etc. I would wear them myself for light offroad journeys.” Out of the box, I found them to be very comfortable. The upper Velcro “flap” closures and two Velcro strap adjusters make them easy to get into and to adjust for comfort. There is a set of heavy duty, red plastic “over locking” teeth that engage when you set the Velcro straps, which really lock the straps in place. The

boots have a stiff lug sole, and the toe and heel of the boot are well reinforced. There is a gaiter that goes to the top of the boot across the boot opening, and small, protective disks on either side of the boot protect the ankle bone. The front of the boot has light padding. I am surprised by the minimal amount of protection this padding would provide for the shin. Other boots that I own have significantly more protection there. These are the first pair of boots I have owned that are made entirely of manmade materials, Technomicro (synthetic leather) and Cordura, which makes them lighter than leather boots, and they seem to dry

BMW R1200R Motorcycles San Diego, California (858) 456-9577

The rugged Sidi All Road Gore-Tex boots work equally well on asphalt, gravel and dirt. more quickly as well. I really like the traction of the lug soles when stopped on dirt and gravel roads. The boots are Gore-Tex® lined, so they are guaranteed waterproof. While the inner gaiter goes to the top of the boot, which is 13” tall, the Gore-Tex® liner does not; it stops at about 10”, so the boots are only waterproof to about three quarters of their height. I found this out while crossing a stream, when even though I was careful to keep the water from coming over the top of the boot, my feet still got wet because the water was higher than the Gore-Tex® liner. I never had any issues with my feet getting wet while riding in the rain, as my riding gear overlaps where the Gore-Tex® of the boot ends. I’ve been wearing the Sidi All Road boots for a few months under a variety of riding conditions, and I find myself reaching for these boots first when I am suiting up for a ride, even though I have two other very good choices in boots. They are the easiest to put on, I can wear them all day comfortably, they keep my feet dry in the rain, and they provide adequate protection for most situations. Occasionally I find myself unexpectedly off-road during a ride and wish I had a bit more protection, but that is my fault, not the boots’. Sidi All Road Boots are available online at and at motorcycle stores just about everywhere. Retail prices range from $325.00 to $345.00. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


member teste


Interphone F5MC Bluetooth Intercom By Moshe K. Levy #108259 INTERCOM SYSTEMS HAVE COME

a long way in recent years as the technological pace of integration heats up, and single devices offer ever more functionality. Interphone’s new F5MC Intercom is one such high end system, boasting several worthwhile features (intercom, phone control, FM radio, streaming music, and aux wired input) with a comprehensive text-tospeech multilingual voice prompt guiding the rider through each individual menu on the fly. I set out for a few months on the road to verify if the FM5C’s performance lives up to Interphone’s advertising claims.

Key Features

The FM5C is packed with features to enhance its functionality, including… • Full duplex intercom with up to 4 way pairing, using digital signal processing for enhanced sound clarity • A2DP / AVRCP compatible wireless streaming stereo from MP3 player or mobile phone • Built-in FM radio receiver with RDS functionality, 8 memory presets, and automatic muting for incoming calls • Compatible with most motorcycle GPS systems such as BMW Navigator V • Bluetooth Version 3.0

clamp’s Philips head screws. Likewise, the speakers are wafer-thin, and should fit nearly any helmet with no interference. Microphones for both full face and open face helmets are included.

On The Road - Hits

I tested the FM5C over a wide range of riding conditions during the 2015 riding season and came away mostly impressed. Sound quality from the helmet speakers was excellent. The full duplex feature means no “push to talk” is necessary. Background noise is absolutely minimal, so you can keep your channel open and just speak when you feel like it. In fact, it’s very similar to speaking landline phone to landline phone, in that you can “talk over” over one another simultaneously. The functionality of the Interphone in this regard is as good as it currently gets. Pairing with Apple Iphone, Samsung Galaxy phone, BMW Navigator V, and other bluetooth devices went smoothly. If paired direct with Iphone, we were able to achieve voice activation of Siri, enabling remote control of the phone’s various


As shown in Figure 1, the FM5C is quite compact, measuring approximately 3.5" long by 1.75" high by 0.8"deep and weighing a scant 1.94 ounces. The housing itself is rated to IP67 (fully immersible in water up to 1 meter) for weather protection. Everything required for installation in either a full face or open face helmet is included, right down to the screwdrivers for the sturdy mounting


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Figure 1.

related functions. The instructional videos on Interphone’s YouTube channel (www. helped with this process. For rider-to-rider communication, the two FM5Cs I tested arrived already paired to each other, which was a time saving bonus. The unit’s “Anycom” feature allows pain-free pairing to other major intercom brands as well. The FM radio function features stellar reception and RDS capability, so the comm searches for a station and not just the frequency. The voice prompt handily announces the frequency and station name information to the rider, so it’s very easy to search around for your favorite stations while moving. There are 8 FM memory presets available, and the radio function is auto-muted if a call comes in. The battery life is phenomenal. The advertised claim of 12 hour talk time was verified, and incredibly, the batteries still had charge left over! Interphone claims 700 hours standby time, so no worries if you leave the FM5C on for a few days by accident. Charge time from flat is three hours, and the comm’s onboard charge port also

doubles as an auxiliary wired input.

On The Road - Misses

There are four areas in which the FM5C could use improvement, chief among them the unit’s lack of a jack for in-ear headphones. Experienced riders know the value of wearing earplugs, which dramatically reduce the chances of permanent hearing loss and incurable afflictions (such as tinnitus) resulting from prolonged exposure to excessively high levels of sound (wind noise, engine noise, etc.) For this reason, over the course of my entire riding career, I have always used ear plugs, and for communicators or music, a set of noise-blocking speaker earphones such as Etymotic. Frankly speaking, as great as the FM5C’s helmet speakers are, comparing the sound clarity of any helmet speakers to a good set of noise-blocking speaker earphones is like comparing an outhouse to the Taj Mahal. So in this case, with no speaker jack to allow earphones o the FM5C, the rider has three choices: Ride without hearing protection,

use standard ear plugs which will seriously degrade sound quality from the helmet speakers, or wear the NoNoise Motorsport ceramic filter earplugs (tested in BMW Owners News September 2014, page 118.) Obviously, the NoNoise plugs are the best balance between hearing protection and sound clarity given the choices. Nonetheless, the inability to use in-ear speakers on an intercom is a non-starter for many riders, myself included. My second complaint is ergonomics. The buttons on the comm unit itself are simply too small. With fall or winter gloves on, it is almost impossible to press the “-“ button (closest to the rear of the unit) by tactile feel alone, which is frustrating while in motion. More pronounced buttons would easily solve this issue. A third disappointment was in the realistic range, which in my experience never exceeded 0.4 miles in full duplex mode. This is less than half of the advertised range of 1.3km, and this despite my testing on fully charged batteries in an unrestricted

rural area. The range only drops from there when the rider transitions to more urban settings. As the useful range is exceeded in duplex intercom mode, the rider hears a rapid clicking sound before the comm cuts off entirely. On the plus side, once the comms are within range again, they automatically reconnect. Finally, I found the automatic volume control quite finicky. It always seemed to be either too loud or too quiet for any given situation. Luckily, this feature can be disabled with help from a YouTube video ( _69OE) which affords the rider full manual control of the volume. Overall, the Interphone FM5C is a fine intercom with many worthwhile features, as well as a few niggling faults which will hopefully be rectified on the next generation. For more information, visit www. MSRP: $399 (for 2x FM5C comms – single comms are available for $239)

member tested


Green Chile adventure gear straps By Bill Hooykaas #12547 THIS PAST SUMMER THREE MOA

members and I tackled Asia on our own, riding from London to Vladivostok and back to London again as we hugged the Hindu Kush Mountains along the Afghan and China frontiers. A couple of companies supplied us new products to field test and offer feedback for further product development. One of these was Green Chile Adventure Gear, made in New Mexico. Green Chile is a small American company run by a couple of off-road riders frustrated at the lack of mounting options for their dirt bikes. They set out to come up with a solution for bikes without carriers. In the process,

they came up with a superior mounting system for all types of motorcycles, including those with racks and panniers and those with minimal racks or none at all. Think of ROK straps – but improved. We were each supplied with two sets of Bag Snake kits, and a Mondo kit. In addition, the metal buckles were protected with optional rubber NRS (National River Supply) protection bumpers. We chose Hi-Viz green straps for maximum visibility, but many colors are available. We were also provided with one Uprising Soft


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Rack kit which was not used on the trip, though it certainly adds additional versatility. The straps take a bit of trial and error to figure out how to best suit one’s needs, but once we understood the mounting/connecting system, it was a breeze to use. There are lots of videos posted online for every type of mounting option... and there are many. Like our BMWs, Green Chile gear is frankly, overbuilt. Their straps are strong, extra long, and really, really hold tight. We all mounted drybags to the tops of our panniers and tied down our spare tires to the rear rack using a combination of Bag Snake kits and Mondo kits, Snakes on the pannier lids, longer Mondos to mount the spare tires. Throughout around 24,000 km of some of the most challenging roads and trails in the world and numerous bike drops, the straps held tight and never lost their positive grip.

However, when we wanted to change out our Tourance road tires for Heidenau Scouts, the Mondos quickly released their iron grip with just a press on the cam buckle release. The build of the straps is second to none. All the tensioning rubber connectors are encased in heavy nylon sheathing, the D-rings are chrome plated, and the straps are a heavy weight grade of 1” nylon webbing to interface with the steel cam buckles which are covered in NRS buckle bumpers. Green Chile Adventure Gear is competitively priced for a hand-crafted, Americanmade product. The Bag Snake kit sells for $35, the Mondo kit is $36, and accessory NRS protection bumpers are well worth the $8 a pair. The Uprising Soft Rack kit comes in a $99. They are available online at www., at outdoor stores across the USA, or in Canada through, and they will ship globally. And as a bonus, Green Chile Adventure Gear is offering MOA members a $10 discount on purchases over $99. Use the discount code “BMWMOA”.

member teste 30


Hyperlight Mountain Gear Extreme shelters weighing less than beer! By Mark Carrera #188605 HYPERLITE MOUNTAIN GEAR IS A

made-in-America company creating some of the lightest shelters on the planet, but until March of 2015 it was an unknown in the ADV-Moto community. Their company mission is simple: “We’re about stripped down high-performance gear” and at only four years old, the Hyperlite is a relatively new manufacturer in the world of mountaineering and even newer to the motorrad community. Over the summer of 2015, I had the pleasure of testing two excellent products from the HMG line as emergency bivouac shelters. I tested the 8’x10’ Cuben Fiber Flat Tarp and the UltaMid-2 Insert (the U2-I is one-half of an outstanding shelter system). I chose these products specifically for ADV bivvy sessions. To their credit, the Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s “gurus of lightweight” allowed the separation of their UltaMid 2 Insert from its fly system as an experiment for the ADV bivvy kit buildout; I appreciated their acceptance of my unconventional application. Keep in mind as you read this review that the shelters and systems are targeted at minimalist mountaineers. These unique adventurers have a laser focus on weight-saving initiatives such as sawed off toothbrushes and split up, worn copies of War and Peace. However, I was looking beyond the gorpstuffed trail-rats skittering on scree at the base of Yosemite’s Half Dome; I was looking at shaving critical weight

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

off of my BMW F 800’s ADV emergency kit. Consequently, the “Cuben Fiber” ADVMoto bivvy-kit I created more than met my expectations for weight reduction without compromising performance. So, what the heck is Cuben Fiber? Cuben Fiber, as Hyperlite Mountain Gear puts it, is “…high-performance, non-woven, ripstop, composite laminate developed in the 1990s by a nuclear weapons physicist and an aerospace composite engineer…50-70%

lighter than Kevlar, four times stronger than Kevlar, and allows flex without losing strength.” As an example, the 8’x10’ Flat Tarp tested for this review weighs a feathery 11.4 oz., with the custom Spectra™ guylines included. In contrast, my old bivvy kit was an MSR single person tent weighing about 3.5 lbs. The extremely light weight and strength qualities of the Cuben Fiber products helps to trim excess weight from my ADV bivvy kit; an F 800 GS with hard-panniers, extra fuel, and support gear for overland adventuring can exceed 600 lbs.!

The 8’x10’ Flat Tarp is excellent for hunkering down in during an emergency bivvy, awaiting the cavalry to rescue downed GS pilots (or pilots in need a dry place to rest up, chew some Skittles and catch up on withered sections of War and Peace). With five anchor points across each long edge and four on the short edge that are triple stitched and thematically welded, nothing short of a hurricane force wind will pull this tarp apart. In fact, sailboat racers incorporate Cuben fiber into their sailarsenal specifically for its durability. One of the unique aspects of pitching the tarp as a shelter is the pole system because it does not have any unless you want them! Hyperlite Mountain Gear shelters use nearly any type of support: a few straight sticks collected around camp, a guideline strung between bike and tree, or featherweight hiking poles. As a general Flat Tarp set up, the standard-two-pole A-frame setup provides the most usable space but takes a bit longer to set up. My favorite configuration was a long-edge lean-to configuration using the left handguard of my parked F 800 GS. Using the F 800’s left handguard as the center point allows the bike to act as a partial weather barrier to the entrance of the shelter, but make sure the side-stand is on a very firm ground or a parking-plate; having a GS bike fall on you whilst asleep is an unhappy and dangerous event. On an extremely windy day, this setup also creates a critical wind-weather barrier, but some rain will get past the bike of course. The living space is roomy enough to get a good night’s sleep in moderate weather and a refuge in extreme weather. Remember, this is a bivvy kit and not a camping solution.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear offers extremely lightweight and compact shelters.

However, with careful preparation and weather prediction, sleeping under the tarp on an exquisite summer night is highly recommended and waking up to an unobstructed stellar view from your favorite hilltop perch is priceless, especially lying next to your BMW or significant other! Cooking inside any fabric shelter or tent, even Cuben Fiber shelters, is never recommended—but necessary sometimes. So, placing a small stove at the bivvy door, emergency cooking can be accomplished using extreme caution; using a closed-flame system such as a JetBoil mitigates some of the risk. Hyperlite Mountain Gear has (for 2015) launched its Dyneema product line, and here the fabric is tougher and according to HMG’s technical section, “…fire resistant and self-extinguishing…” Dyneema might be a safer choice when using motos as part of the shelter system. Please make a mental note that parked motorcycles/vehicles can create a fuel vapor danger, especially so in very calm and dry climates as fuel vapors can settle in and around the shelter and ignite from static electricity! Always use

stoves outside of your shelter and in a wellventilated area whenever possible—it is common sense. Due to the extreme lightweight aspect of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, I was able to haul two individual shelters for the space and weight of one! Meaning, instead of a single purpose tent, I used two of HMG’s signature products, the Flat Tarp and the UltaMid-2 Insert (half of the UltaMid-2 Shelter System: See their website for more on this product) interchangeably, depending on the situation. For my purposes, the separate pieces offered the most flexibility for ADV Bivvies. As a standalone piece, the UltaMid-2 Insert is an excellent haven in extremely bug infested environments, fending off the famous blackflies in Maine’s North Woods or sand fleas in Costa Rica. The UltaMid-2 Insert is extremely easy to pitch with its single central pole system, and it can also be hung from nearly any overhead structure such as a branch or barn rafter. In moderately wet conditions the Flat Tarp can be strung over the top to provide some relief from light rain or heavy dew.

However, for the best foul weather setup, buy the UltaMid-2 Shelter System. With consideration to needs of a quick bivvy while faced with unpassable weather or fatigue issues, the Flat Tarp sets up fast and provides the best results as a stand alone piece of ADV kit. To put the “weight” into perspective, both shelters’ combined weight is less than a single 16 oz. bottle of Shocktop IPA! While the need or want for carrying a bivvy kit varies greatly from rider to rider, the bottom line is weight and performance; no one likes to carry more weight, and some suffer greatly from leaving valuable emergency gear behind to shave a few ounces. Some riders are content with an 8x10 sheet of clear plastic, a few stakes and some twine while others employ 4x4 Kamaz support vehicle for their overland adventures. However, for those of us willing to mitigate an extreme and unexpected overnight with some comfort, Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s Cuben Fiber products are excellent for ADV bivvy sessions and beyond. At nearly a pocket size, the Flat Tarp can be set up in less time than it takes to remove your riding gear, and you will never feel its weight on the bike; adding the UltaMid-2 Insert increases the comfort level in buggy areas such as Maine’s North Woods, where I tested both products over the summer of 2015. If you order products from Hyperlite Mountain Gear, please let them know how you heard about their company, so they can track their newest (potential) market in the ADV community. Suggested Retail prices for 2016 ride season (products tested): Flat Tarp in white, 8’x10’ $340 UltraMid-2 with Cuben “Bathtub” Floor $375 PROS: Extremely lightweight, durable, waterproof, bug-proof, and versatile, wins the “lightest bivvy” argument, hands down! CONS: Not for the budget-minded rider, need more colors, no pole system.

For more information call 1-800-4649208 or visit info@hyperlitemountaingear. com.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



PRoductnews Make loading easy with AmeriDeck

Loading one or two big bikes on any pickup, toy hauler or trailer usually means dealing with a ramp, and pushing a 500 lb. bike up any ramp is a challenge with many significant opportunities for error. The AmeriDeck/SuperDeck III hydraulic loading system makes it simple for a single person to push or ride a bike onto to the deck, put down the kickstand and strap the bike down. After that, press the up button to load the deck into the pickup bed with available storage under the deck for gear, tools or coolers. The SuperDeck III offers convenience and utility at a fraction of the cost of a toy hauler and still allows hitch access to tow a trailer. Visit for more information.

Moto-Skiveez made for a woman

Moto-Skiveez, the maker of undergarments built to increase riding comfort, now offers a product specifically for women using the latest in bicycle pad technology. Developed in Italy, the Lady Moto-Skiveez uses a multi-density pad of proprietary foam attached to a breathable, lightweight undergarment specifically designed for the female anatomy. The Lady Moto-Skiveez is made with two different fabrics, the first chosen to provide moisture wicking and the second being a mesh fabric selected for breath-ability. The Lady Moto-Skiveez design has been engineered to improve a woman’s riding comfort in most riding positions, and the undergarments are available in sizes to fit any woman. Lady Moto-Skiveez undergarments are available for $64.95 at

Adriatic Moto Tours to Sicily

Adriatic Moto Tours has expanded their list of motorcycle destinations in 2016, adding Sicily to their tour schedule. Sicily has been on the Adriatic Moto Tour wish list since owners Matej and Martina Malovrh were vacationed there and were fascinated by the beauty, culture, cuisine and rich history of the island. Cities visited on the tour include Palermo, Agrigento, Taormina and more. Two 9-day tours of Sicily are scheduled in 2016, and for more information, visit


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Buy and sell that motorcycle with confidence

RawHyde Adventures ladies-only training

With BMW Off-Road Riding Academies in California and Colorado, RawHyde Adventures recently announced a ladies-only Introduction to Adventure training class set for November 4-6, 2016. The Introduction to Adventure class is designed for those new to riding off-road or for riders who may have some off-road experience but wish to further their skills and gain confidence in off-road situations on larger bikes such as the BMW R 1200 GS. “Most RawHyde classes are co-ed and male-dominated”, said Jenny Smith, RawHyde’s Marketing Director. “But with more women becoming involved in motorcycling and adventure riding specifically, we’ve been getting a lot of requests from ladies who would enjoy the training experience or who maybe just want a fun weekend for ‘just the girls’!” For more information, visit

While there’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding away from a dealership on a brand new motorcycle, yet there are times when a second-hand bike fits the bill just fine. Maybe you’ve found a fantastic deal on a used bike on a dealer’s lot or one for sale by a private seller. While buying from a dealership typically comes with some assurances, buying from individuals typically does not. Do you know what to look for when buying a used bike? What about selling your motorcycle. Do you know how best to prepare your bike for sale? The Guide to Buying or Selling a Used Motorcycle, published and available at no cost from the Motorcycle Industry, offers practical tips on how to assess the condition of a used motorcycles and give you the confidence you need to buy a used motorcycle. To download a free copy, visit

The Overland Duffle from Wolfman

The Overland Duffle, the first in a new collection of versatile gear from Wolfman Travel Luggage, works equally well as a carry on, tail bag, back pack or suitcase. The luggage is built using a heavy duty 1680 Denier Wolfman ballistic vinyl fabric, YKK zippers and 35 ounce vinyl side panels. All seams are bound for strength, and a flap covering the large, zippered opening offers protection from weather and conveyor belts. The bag also offers a clear mesh interior pocket, internal compression straps, four D-rings on each end serving as attachment points and removable shoulder and backpack straps. The flat oval shape of the Overland Duffle also keeps the bag from moving around. The Overland Duffle’s capacity is 45 liters and carries an MSRP of $159.99. For more information, visit wolfmanluggage. com.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




Twisted Throttle preps an XR for a Pikes Peak run By Jessica Prokup #100198 TWISTED THROTTLE IS PARTNER-

ing with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America to turn an S 1000 XR into the ultimate touring race bike. Or should we call it a “racing tour bike?” Our plan is to set up the mighty XR for a comfortable crosscountry ride from Rhode Island to Colorado, then strip it down and race it at the 100th anniversary of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Originally a carriage road, the now-paved Pikes Peak Highway runs to the summit of America’s Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

one of the most grueling courses known to the racing world. The 12.4-mile route begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,115-foot summit, with a whopping 156 turns in between (that’s about 12 turns per mile). As the road climbs, the increasingly thin air siphons power from engines while sapping muscle strength and reflexes from drivers. While you’re spinning around corners with weariness seeping into your bones, the mountainside looms at the edge of every turn, offering a steep drop over a cliff should you exit the pavement. Let’s go racing! In honor of the 100th running of this historic event, we here at Twisted decided to do it the old-fashioned way: riding the race bike to the race. Back in the day, people would often ride a motorcycle to an event, strip it down, race it, and then even ride it

home afterwards. As one Twisted staffer put it, “Anytime you go exploring, you run the risk of putting yourself in a situation you can’t get out of. It’s all part of the experience.” We’re combining an old-school philosophy with modern machinery. One of the most intriguing parts of this project is that it’s uncharted territory for us at Twisted, but it also gives us the opportunity to test and tweak existing products. The build may even spark ideas for new kinds of accessories to develop for the XR and other sport/adventure bikes. It’s the kind of challenge we can sink our teeth into: how to transform a touring bike into a race bike, one that can perform on a race course and haul your stuff across the continent. Preparing for the cross-country part of this adventure is what we at Twisted do best. We’ll focus primarily on luggage and wind protection, likely adding a set of SWMotech TraX Adventure panniers, an SWMotech tank bag, and an MRA X-Creen

windshield extender. We may even add a few easily removable farkles, like a Garmin GPS with a handlebar mount and perhaps a Kaoko throttle stabilizer, to ease the long freeway miles. We’ve got a catalog full of accessories for touring—that’s the easy part. It’s the racing part that’s a challenge, and Pikes Peak is formidable. Expert engine tuning, crash protection, and weight savings will be key to setting up the bike. Fortunately, we’re starting with a champ—999cc of tenacious power in a nimble chassis, a sportbike in ADV clothing. We’ll start by removing parts to reduce weight wherever possible. That may mean chucking the passenger pegs and stock fender, switching to a lighter chain setup, and possibly fabricating a few carbon-fiber pieces. In addition, the rule book has a list of technical requirements we must adhere to, including removing nearly all lighting equipment. Our design team is contemplating the creation of superbike-style headlight blanks, a concept that appeals to the rest of us. Crash protection will come in the form of R&G Racing engine case covers and frame and axle sliders. R&G radiator and oil cooler guards will protect those precious parts over the entire journey. As for the motor, we plan to work with an experienced shop to fine tune power delivery. An aftermarket exhaust is on our list of mods, providing both weight savings and power enhancement. Last, but certainly not least, there’s the rider. In fact, it’s one of the first things we need to sort out, since the deadline to “request an invitation” is looming as this article goes to press. This year, the field is limited to 100 vehicles, including just 33 motorcycles. Expert racing experience backed by an official race resume and references is required for applicants. So, we need to find a professional racer with terrific physical stamina who’s willing to flirt with the possibility of sliding over a cliff. It’s asking a lot, but the chance to race at Pikes Peak could be one motorcyclist’s dream come true. We’ll keep you updated on this wild venture at February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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All bikes less than 2 years old. Rentals, self guided and guided tours.

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GS Trophy riders go big (again) GET READY TO FOLLOW A GREAT

adventure in Southeast Asia, February 28 to March 5. The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy is on for the fifth time, and three MOA members are on their way to Thailand to compete. Even better, these three riders are also GS Giants, making the second time this MOA-chartered adventure riding club has filled Team USA’s ranks. Tom Asher of Ohio, Dennis Godwin of California, and Charles Lucht of Virginia were the big dogs through the fall of 2015, each winning one of BMW’s three USA qualifiers held in South Carolina, Missouri and California. Each has been riding offpavement a long time, Dennis and Charles for 40 years and youngster Tom for 20. Dennis and Tom are riding the oilhead GS and Charles’ weapon of choice is a well

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

turned-out F800. Each topped their respective qualifier event by riding extra tight, slow-speed maneuvers, steep and low-traction slopes, deep woods, acres of sand, huge logs, rocks and other challenging obstacles. Topping it off were tough physical challenges to further test their endurance. That’s because the GS Trophy is no casual adventure, it’s a serious challenge of rider and machine. With the event’s location in Thailand, there is certain to be much in the way of mud, dense forest, mountainous tracks, and numerous skill and mental challenges. Charles said he thinks he will do best in the mud, hills and the more technical terrain. For Tom, the worse the conditions are, the better…seriously, this guy does things with the big GS that you wouldn’t think possible. And Dennis was the winner on the GS Giant’s Adventure Track last summer in Montana. He clearly has mastered the big bike

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BMW MOA and GS Giant members Charles Lucht, (left) Tom Asher (lower left) and Dennis Godwin (above) make up the three member Team USA and will compete in the fifth BMW Motorrad GS Trophy set for February 28 through March 5 in Thailand.

technique and sees himself best prepared for the technical riding, teamwork and mental endurance aspects of the event. To prepare, Dennis is riding his road bicycle for “serious” weight loss and riding his GS on most days. Charles is riding, doing cardio kickboxing workouts and more riding. Tom is working hard at physical conditioning of many kinds. All lifelong riders, Charles got going at age 10 on a tootall Honda 70 and graduated to a Yamaha XT600. Dennis has 40 years of a checkered moto-past, his R 12 GSA is his first beast. Tom has been a KLR guy for 10 years and became a BMW rider just a year ago. Another key to preparation is training, and our guys have done everything from Tom’s intensive personal training for over 20 years to Dennis’ experiences with multiple courses and competitions at Rawhyde Adventures. Charles values his previous dirt bike experience and says he learns a lot from others that he rides with. As a result, Dennis was surprised to learn how much could be done with a big bike in the dirt, Tom emphasized the great importance of repeatedly practicing the knowledge gained in training, and Charles is sure he will never stop learning. The GS Trophy is also known for its food and parties, and all three riders are looking forward to comparing American Thai food to the real thing. Watch out, boys, did you

know that insects are a popular snack food in Thailand? And that points up the last aspect of the Trophy event: crazy skills competitions, not all of which are on motorcycles. Charles is most worried about tight turns around barrels, Tom and Dennis are losing sleep over non-moto challenges that BMW could throw their way, like swinging through trees or snake charming. The GS Giants are extremely proud of these riders. Dennis found out about the GS Trophy as he won in Montana. “A few GS Giants said I should tryout for the GS Trophy. I said ‘The GS what?’ Well, here we are six months later, going to Thailand to ride with the finest group of ADV folks from around the world, go figure!” Charles rode in his first GS Giants event in 2015, Ribfest in Tennessee: “It really was what a rally should be! Great people, great food and some friendly competition. If you want to experience dual sporting at its finest, you can’t go wrong with the Giants!” And Tom met the Giants during the Missouri Qualifier: “GS Giants are great people!” Tune in to the GS Trophy online at these sites:,, GS-Trophy-2 016-Te am-USA-801017 909949174/,, and

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




In defense of MSF training programs By Ray Ochs, MSF Vice President of Training Systems In the April 2015 issue of BMW Owners News, David L. Hough authored a MotoSafe column detailing changes taking place in California and the decision by the California Highway Patrol to award the contract to administer the California Motorcyclist Safety Program to Total Control Training, Inc. Hough stated that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) had worked hard to become the primary provider of motorcycle safety programs in the United States and losing California meant a loss of nearly one-third of the nation’s rider training. The following comments by Ray Ochs, MSF Vice President of Training Systems, represent the MSF reaction to Hough’s article. THE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUN-

dation (MSF) has always welcomed constructive criticism. We see it as a valuable tool to help us fulfill our mission to provide quality, safetyrelated programs and services to the motorcycling community. We prefer to take a positive approach to inform interested parties about the true, current MSF story, rather than directly counter specious arguments and fictitious claims. Unconstructive opinions, unsubstantiated claims and misguided legislation could actually harm motorcyclist safety initiatives and reduce the motivation or opportunity for riders to take advantage of lifelong training opportunities. There has been significant MSF activity in recent years. Highlights include international conferences, fully funding the MSF 100 Motorcyclist Naturalist Study, expansion of MSF’s Rider Education and Training System, improvement in licensing practices, release of MSF’s newest learn-to-ride curriculum, and


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

changes to program administration by some jurisdictions. The training “industry” does not hide the real hazards of riding a motorcycle; after all, that’s why training exists, and that’s why the MSF was founded in 1973. Back then, sales were increasing, crashes and injuries were increasing, and the manufacturers decided to do something about it. They didn’t need training to help them sell motorcycles; they needed education and training because they were selling motorcycles. There likely would be no organized rider education and training networks in all 50 states today if MSF hadn’t provided the impetus in the early 1970s. While MSF believes that motorcycling can add value to one’s quality of life, we also believe that motorcycle riding isn’t for everyone. This point is made abundantly clear in MSF novice training as well as in MSF’s iBook, “Rider Choices.” A notable reference to our work can be seen in a 2009 study of novice training in the Pennsylvania program, at that time administered by MSF. With 17 years of crash data including driving records, formally trained riders who completed the Basic RiderCourse had much cleaner driving records and were significantly less likely to be cited for speeding, DUI, and improper riding than untrained riders. Trained riders were more likely to wear protective gear, and those who had the misfortune of a crash had less severe injuries. It is clear that formal education and training help riders make better choices. One real issue we all face is how to convince the 51% of riders who haven’t taken any safety-oriented training course to do so and to continually refresh their skills and attitudes. The “one-course-and-done” approach often receives heavy criticism, but state governments and riders generally demand a one-course-and-done approach to training. MSF, however, promotes its CORE approach to training, which is far from oneand-done: a BRC, followed quickly by

additional formal courses under the guidance of a safety-minded, MSF-certified RiderCoach. Our full CORE, with eight recommended courses, takes riders to levels similar to what our friends in Germany have the political will to mandate. Anecdotally, the types of riders in the U.S. most likely to avail themselves of beyond-thebasics training are enthusiasts affiliated with the likes of the BMW MOA, the GWRRA, and the H.O.G.® organizations. Regarding the California Motorcyclist Safety Program and MSF’s recent choice to not submit a bid to administer the program: MSF is proud of its success in working under the California Highway Patrol’s oversight in managing the motorcyclist-funded CMSP for the past 11 years. During that time, MSF more than doubled the number of training sites, reduced the wait time for students to get into class by 60%, and increased the training volume from 40,000 to 60,000 students per year, all with a sharp focus on improving student outcomes in skill and judgment. However, in late 2014, CHP announced a new contract strategy which would allow them to make changes that would bypass the rigorous evaluation, field-testing, and refinement measures required to maintain our novice rider curriculum’s integrity and our organization’s credibility. Our curriculum’s success is based on a significant amount of direct, objective participant and RiderCoach feedback, input from safety-minded individuals and organizations, and application of the findings from primary and secondary research. For this reason and others, including that we would be required to assume all liability for CHP’s curriculum modifications, we declined to bid on the contract, thereby handing the program over to the current contractor. We wish California novice riders success under the new program and are hopeful the efforts will produce positive rider

outcomes. The member companies of MSF are grateful for the nearly one million customers who reside in the state of California and they are relying on the CMSP to train these riders properly so they will be safe on the road. On the research front, MSF has invested over $5 million in recent years for research and development to provide and improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of safety programs for public benefit, and this includes the use of both invested and divested experts. (“Invested” refers to those with motorcycling-specific interests; “divested” refers to others who have a track record of proven success in program development, administration and instructional systems design.) One result is MSF’s 5th generation learn-to-ride curriculum for novice riders, the BRC (updated), released in 2014, which takes them from being able to ride a bicycle to entering the complex world of traffic on a motorcycle. It’s not something we take lightly. With “Safety” as our middle name, we are passionate about our greater purpose to provide leadership in development of high-quality training and administrative practices. The BRC (updated) embodies a building-block approach that is informed by contemporary, proven methods and learning concepts designed to provide positive rider outcomes. This most recent BRC iteration includes expanded content allowed by the technology of online learning. With fundamental motorcycle safety information readily available online via MSF’s Basic eCourse, the BRC can now address higher-order behavioral content – concepts such as visual perception, self-assessment, risk-management, and executive-level thinking – by adding to, not replacing, formal classroom interactions with a RiderCoach. The riding portion of the course has undergone a transformation as well by including 20 percent more time on basic motor skills, 30

percent more time on cornering maneuvers and emergency responses, and 30 percent more time on traffic-type interactions. MSF’s member companies invest in MSF so that we may do what we do as a service to their customers. We never charge fees to states, and an MSF-recognized training site is only responsible for Rider Handbooks ($1.80 per student), eCourse fees (under $5.00 per student) and a site kit (a one-time cost of $275); RiderCoaches pay for their RiderCoach Guide ($75, with free updates). States may charge a modest fee to train candidates to become RiderCoaches; however, no fees are paid to MSF. It is not about money or sales – it’s about rider safety. Some people shouldn’t ride motorcycles, and some of them come to that self-realization during MSF RiderCourses. Students are encouraged to withdraw at any time if they feel they are not ready to become a motorcyclist, and RiderCoaches are trained to proactively “counsel out” students who are not achieving course objectives or who become a risk to themselves or others. When successful course graduates take their newly learned skills to the street, they will have the basics they need to continue to develop into smart-thinking, safety-conscious riders who maintain plenty of “risk offset,” something we stress throughout our courses. Riders can continue to reinforce and improve their skills by availing themselves of MSF’s CORE, which could include taking the Street RiderCourse the day after graduating from the BRC, so they can progress to actual on-street experience with specially trained and certified RiderCoaches. The BRC and SRC are just two of the 24 different MSF RiderCourses, all of which provide great self-renewal opportunities. BMW MOA makes many of these available at their Rider Performance University activities, and we greatly appreciate that. As you can surmise, MSF is proud to be a “servant leader” for motorcyclist safety.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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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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Visit www.bmwmoa.orgtoday to see all of the exclusive member benefits available to the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

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4/3/15 10:51 AM February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




What I carry when touring By Matthew Parkhouse #13272 AS



tioned previously, last September I attended the Land of Enchantment Rally that the New Mexico BMW club hosts at the Sipapu Ski facility, outside of Taos, New Mexico. This has been one of my favorite rallies; it is fairly close at hand (250 miles for me), large enough to be interesting, and small enough so that I have time with everyone I know or meet there. I usually get to re-acquaint with folks from a state or two away. For the last ten years or so, I’ve been doing a seminar for the Airheads at the Rally. Paul Glaves usually does a maintenance and repair oriented one as well.

After a couple years of cracking open newly acquired airhead transmissions before an audience, for a change I presented on “what I carry with me on long tours.” When I ride into Mexico (11 trips so far) or to the East Coast, as I did two autumns ago to take a look at the new grand-triplets, I fill the better part of a saddlebag and tuck a few heavy items elsewhere on the bike—all tools and parts. It’s sort of a good feeling, as one wobbles to the side of the road, to know you have EVERYTHING you need to carry on after dealing with a flat tire. On my very first Mexico trip, back in 1986, I had ELEVEN flat tires! Several were due to scrubbing patches of previous punctures off the repaired inner tube due to hot and rough roads. As this is a common occurrence down there, I was able to purchase additional patches and rubber cement

The “flat tire kit”. Across the top: tire plugging tools, patching kits and my three tire irons. The two long irons were ordered from BMW; they are a part of the “Super Tool Kit” and can be purchased separately, at a cost of $30(!) each ( Part # 71 11 1 237 871) Across the lower row: a spare 4.00 X 18 inner tube,right-angle valve stem adapter (part# 71 11 1 239 258: $15), a pressure gauge, a small bottle of soapy water and two different ways of inflating a repaired tire. It looks like a lot but does not take up a lot of space and it is VERY nice to have when a flat strikes!


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

very easily. What do I carry for that? Well, the early airheads all have spoked wheels, which require an inner tube to hold the air. So, a spare tube (or two) is in order. Since the vast majority of flats are on the rear wheel, I carry a 4.00 X 18 sized tube. I have found I can stuff it into the tire on the 3.25 X 19 front wheel and have it hold air for a weekend of riding. In addition to the bike’s tool kit, which supplies all the wrenches needed to dismount the rear wheel, I have everything needed to dismount the tire, replace the tube, remount the tire and inflate the new tube. If I suffer additional flats—those 11 flats on one trip WERE an exception—I need a patch kit and a set of patches. If Susanna and I are riding together, there is a spare tube packed on both of the bikes. People do change around their cast snowflake wheels to run them as tubeless. I do not recommend this. I agree with most tech folks that the wheel rims are not made to retain a tubeless tire in the event of a loss of air. If there is a sudden loss of air, the tire can dismount and jam up the wheel, causing a loss of control. “Riding down” a sudden flat is scary enough when the tire remains mounted on the wheel. Other than very rare problems caused by big hunks of sharp metal, blow-outs should mostly be avoided by replacing tires in a timely manner. There is NO reason to use up a tire to the point that the cords are showing. Along with the patches and rubber cement, the tire repair kit contains three (two long, one short) tire levers, a 50cc bottle of soapy water (for lubrication of the tire, off and on the wheel) and a 12 volt pump. I usually strip off the plastic casing of the air pump to reduce the volume they take up. I sometimes carry a backup pump in the form of a “chuffer pump” that uses engine compression to pump up a tire. Before the 12 volt pumps became common, I used a cylinder pump a number of times. Along with the pump(s), I have one of those right-angle valve extenders for those

Above, This is the “electrical section” of my tools and parts. The top starts with a spare rotor and diode board, along with a pair of brushes in a bag. Next is a set of motorcycle jumper cables. There’s a bag of crimp on and other connectors and a bag of fuses. The two pill containers hold a spare headlamp bulb and other lamps for my bike. Starting again from the left: A circuit breaker with test leads, my soldering iron and a bit of solder.Then a 95 watt inverter, a BMW to cigarette lighter adapter. There’s lighter plug in with a volt meter plugged into it. My volt-ohm meter with a set of jumper wires is at the right end. Above that is my BMW test lamp along with another one that I made up.

Pictured Bottom, This is the final pile of additional parts and tools. Everything on the left side fits into the green M-16 rifle cleaning kit pouch. The 1/2” breaker bar works with the turned down 1&1/16” socket to fit the swing arm pivot lock nuts. I NEEDED this when I removed Susanna’s gearbox on our honeymoon trip in 1996, after she broke off one of the throw out “ears” on the back. Because I had it, it was no big deal during our week at the Pyrotechnic Guide Convention for me to affect the repair. The other piece fits the exhaust nuts on airhead engines. When we had the diesel mishap a number of years ago, I tore the top end of a Slash Five down twice, in the in-laws’ driveway, before I figured out what had happened. A handy little addition to the tools. descending in the row, an acid brush, good for dressing up drive and clutch splines. Next to it is a Snap-On “magnet on a stick” with a spring loaded holder for starting screws. A VERY handy tool - I like it enough that it is a duplicate of what is in the toolbox at home. Next are the appropriate feeler gauges for the various gaps and clearances on an airhead BMW. Two different versions of tools to remove the alternator rotor. The odd piece next to them is the cam lobe part of an advance unit. I use this item to set the points gap accurately. Next to it is a small set of feeler gauges. The last thing is that row is a “Pac-Lite”, a tiny but useful flashlight. A lot of stuff to jam into the green cloth pouch. In the back is a length of spare fuel line and a locking bike cable. The three containers in the middle hold parts for the CV carbs. Rubber diaphragms, floats, cork gaskets and o-rings all can go bad on the road. The last time this stuff came out was in front of the Castillo display in the Mexican town of Tultepec as I arrived for the Fiesta that evening. I was able to stop a serious drip on the right-hand carb easily because I had this stuff. The right corner has a cut up additive bottle, perfect for adding oil to the engine. Next to it is a small pill container. In that is a collection of small odds and ends; cable end barrels, tire stem caps, the device used to repair my broken front brake cable in Turkey in 1993. the coils include some bailing wire, a spare clutch and throttle cable. Both are for high bars even though I’m running low bars - that way I can help out another ride who has the higher USA bars. The last coil is of insulated wire for electrical fixes. Many of these items will be wrapped in plastic bags as they are packed into saddlebags or other gear. Missing is a small roll of duct-tape; the list of what it can be used for is endless! Also missing; a set of cut down spokes for balancing the carbs as the final part of a tune up. I carry four of them because the bike is dual-plugged.



hard-to-get-at valve stems on snowflake wheels. The irons and right angle thing can be ordered from any BMW dealer; look in the “71” section of any BMW micro-fiche online. I also add a tire plugging kit. While it has no use for my tube-equipped Slash Five, I have used it to help out riders of bikes with tubeless tires. You can usually plug a puncture without having to remove the wheel from the affected bike. Susanna used to ride a R 1100 RS, and I rescued her on the way to the Bend, Oregon, National Rally a few years ago. On my trips, the most common problem, following flat tires, seems to be electrical issues. My 1972 Slash Five was one that arrived new lacking any fuses. I had done the usual modification of cutting the power supply wire at the positive side of the battery and soldering in a fuse holder with a 20 amp fuse. About ten years later, I replaced that with a pair of ten amp aircraft circuit breakers that I found at the local flea market. One circuit covered the headlamp and the other everything else. I do carry a few spare fuses in case I need to help other riders out. I also carry a spare circuit breaker with a pair of jumper wires attached. If I’m trying to chase down a problem on a bike that involves blowing fuses, I can clip this in as I chase down the short. Far and away, the most useful electrical trouble shooting tool I use is a test lamp. These can easily be made from any 12 volt lamp, but the ready-made tool with a sharp probe is really handy. When something quits working, this tool very quickly tells you if it is the item that failed or that the problem lies “upstream” somewhere in the wiring. There have been times when I was caught short without this tool and I fashioned one out of one of my turn-signals and a couple lengths of wire. BMW sells an elegant, compact one for about $10 (part # 71 11 1 237 863). It is also part

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

of the “Super Tool Kit.” soon be using the BMW style plug. I guess The second most useful tool to me seems that design hasn’t reached THAT far, other to be a small volt ohm meter. These tools than with Triumph, Ducati and John Deere! are a bit fragile so I try to check mine before The remaining bits and pieces fall into a setting out. Recently, eBay has been selling a “miscellaneous” category. Tools to undo the lot of cigarette lighter plug-in voltage exhaust nuts and the swingarm lock nuts are meters; these are great if you are lashing up in there. I also carry things like feeler gauges, some sort of temporary voltage readout as tools to pull off the alternator rotor, spare you run down the road. You can find these cables, bailing wire and duct tape, along with for under $10. The ohm meter function is a few tools that I have found to be VERY useful too. You may find yourself wanting handy in my day-to-day work on airheads to know the resistance of a spark plug cap or here at home. I’ve been stuck a few times the alternator rotor, so that little meter because I did not have all this stuff with me. really IS useful! I usually carry a small solEven then, there’s usually a work-around dering iron and an inverter to run it off the with the stout bike that we ride. Years ago, bike battery. The inverter is available to when I forgot a spare rotor and Susanna’s power any other 110 volt device, such as cell R100/7 lost its alternator rotor at the Guatephone chargers or the like. A small hunk of mala-Mexico border, we made it back to the rosin core wire solder goes with the iron. I U.S. by strapping on a car battery and runhave small motorcycle jumper cables in ning “dead loss” for the rest of the trip. It case I get caught with a stone dead battery. would have been a fifteen minute repair if we Spare parts in the electrical area include a had brought all of this equipment instead of a used but good alternator rotor. Along with big bother every morning and evening. There the rotor, you HAVE to have the extracting usually is a work around; when I was lecturtool, which is nothing more than a ing about this topic at the Sipapu Rally, Larry machined long 8mm bolt. If you chose to Stonestreet pointed out that if your alternator make one of these yourself, the bolt MUST rotor is dead and you don’t have the extracbe hardened steel. A common bolt made tor, you can carefully pound the rotor off the into this tool will only get you into SERIend of the crankshaft with a hammer. After OUS trouble as it bends and gets stuck in all, it is not going to be used again. That’s the the front of the crankshaft. A spare diode spirit of these airheads! board is less often called for, but it takes up little space, so it comes along too. Taking up even less space, I have a pair of rotor brushes, even if this is something that should be attended to at home with routine maintenance. A set of light bulbs in small pill containers goes in there. I have selected a handful of crimp-on connectors and a few short lengths of heat shrink tubing. A small selection of fuses is in another small bag. A Powerlet BMW-to-cigarette lighter adapter allows me to plug into the special-to-BMW electrical socket. You know, when the Powerlet folks set me up as a vender 15 or so years ago, they were real It is surprisingly compact when everything is put away until next sure that ALL motorcycles would time! Nice to have it all ready to go.

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Air and fuel system blues – Part 1 and finding help on the MOA forum By Ken Tuvman #133210 I HAD THE BLUES BECAUSE MY K 75 WASN’T RUNNING RIGHT.

My starter won’t start this mornin’
and I’m about to lose my mind.
 I wanna go and see my little baby
but my machine is all outta time. I got water in my gas tank
and my battery’s all run down.
 If I don’t see my little baby
I’m gonna leave this lonesome town. Returning from the MOA rally in Billings, Montana, a bog in the power band developed at low rpms and she wasn’t idling right. She ran good at higher revs and brought me home to Minnesota. After checking the MOA Flying Brick K bikes Forum and describing her symptoms, I deduced the problem could either be a clogged fuel filter or an air leak. A fuel filter change was overdue, so I installed an OEM Mahle KL145. Wanting to confirm the filter had been clogged, I let it dry, blew into one end, and confirmed it was constricted – problem solved! After a few more rides, I was back to square one. Thinking maybe the fuel injectors were clogged, I added a half-bottle of Chevron Techron injector cleaner, went for a ride and my bike ran better. The Wisconsin Airheads rally was on my calendar for late September. I own an airhead, but wanted to ride my K 75 S. She delivered me safely to Wildcat Mountain State Park and the next morning, I joined a small group on a scenic ride. We stopped in Gay Mills, a quaint Wisconsin town to sample apple pie and ice cream during their annual Apple Days festival and the town was buzzing with people taking in the fall colors. As I was heading out, my K bike motor suddenly quit right on Main Street. Fortunately, my MOA friend Curt Henry was there to help. I tried restarting, but she just cranked away. My head flooded with discouraging thoughts of being stuck and having to rent a truck to get home. I began diagnosing the problem. There was gas in the tank. Perhaps it was a bad Hall sensor, but when we pulled a plug and cranked the motor, we had spark. The next thing we checked was the fuel pump. We pulled the power plug and used a voltmeter to confirm we had power. I read on the MOA forum that gently pushing the starter button primes the fuel pump. There is an audible whirring sound when the starter button is gently pushed, but the noise around me made it impossible to hear it. A thought came to hold the fuel flap down and put my ear to the top of the tank so I gently pushed the starter button and heard the fuel pump. I pushed it several times and when I cranked her she came to life! I held my breath as we continued our ride back to the campsite. The rally ended Sunday morning and the guys I’d ridden out with were off to the RA Rally in Arkansas and my solo ride home was uneventful other than the bogging and inconsistent idling when stopped. I now suspected the fuel injectors might be clogged. At a fuel stop in Southeast Minnesota, I added the second half of the fuel injector cleaner. No improvement, but I made it home. Grateful to be home with my bike, I realized there was a greater problem that needed to be solved. Older machines are great as long as they’re well maintained. Sure, I carry the MOA Anonymous book for insurance, but proper maintenance helps minimize


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

the chance of being stuck alone or holding up a riding partner. I posted on the MOA Flying Brick K-Bike forum again, describing the problems I’d been having. K bike authority Paul Glaves responded and suggested I might be having fuel flow problems due to a clogged fuel tank vent. Chasing the clogged vent theory, I examined the two hoses that connect to the rear of the fuel tank – one hose catches water/ condensation and carries it outside and the second hose connects to the crankcase via a small brass tube. Paul later posted that some dealers and owners disconnect the latter hose and cap it off because venting raw fuel into the crankcase and mixing it with oil in the engine is not kind to the internal parts of the engine. I made a note to check this out. Moving forward, I searched online on the subject of clogged K 75 fuel injectors and read some posts about the removal and replacement procedure. I read about some BMW owners having a good experience with Mr. Injector, a company in Idaho that specializes in testing and reconditioning injectors. For $17 each, I could ship my injectors for testing, cleaning and reconditioning. I followed instructions on removing the injector clips that attach to the fuel rail and the clips that secure the electrical connectors to the fuel injectors. It is important to cover the holes where the injectors enter the engine, as you’ll find a large accumulation of sand and road debris in this area of the engine. The injector from cylinder #1 was covered in black soot and the 28-year-old rubber O-rings on all three injectors were hard and brittle. A few days later, I received an email from Mr. Injector: “Your injectors arrived and have been serviced. They had some minor flow reductions but no detectable leaks when tested on the flow bench. These

American Made Deerskin Gloves Soft as silk, tough as nails. Bosch injectors are not prone to leaks. One of the upper O-rings had a minor chip out of it, but should not have leaked. Sometimes if an injector leaks around the base it’s cause is a loose pintle seat. That can also cause an intermittent misfire because the pintle shaft will bind. The seats were fine. I ran some extended flow tests to see if there were any case leaks between the body and molding. That looked good also. If one of the injectors has slow leakage it can be hard to detect on the bench, so if you have any problems let me know and I’ll send you a replacement set. As for the hesitation and idle you can rule out injectors as a cause, the flow rates and patterns cleaned up perfectly. There will be a full flow report in the package.” (To understand how the pintles work, Mr. Injector has a good video on You Tube entitled “Leaking Fuel Injectors Caused by Loose Pintle Seats.) With my injectors reconditioned, I could eliminate faulty injectors for causing the hesitation and idle issues. I removed a lot of black engine gunk around the throttle tubes and thought about replacing them. Then, when I removed the air filter and air box I found a mouse nest and realized I’d been riding my K bike around the country with extra cargo for the past two to three years! It must have been an itty-bitty mouse to squeeze its way inside my air box.

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Debris left by a mouse on my air filter.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



Lee Fulton, #129837, is the moderator on the Flying Bricks K bike forum. Lee owns six K bikes and is a retired maintenance machinist who enjoys riding and wrenching. Possessing extensive knowledge of early K bikes, Lee shared advice that helped me successfully complete my project. After sharing the mouse nest discovery on the forum, Lee responded, “The air filter should have kept any debris caused by the mouse from affecting the air flow meter itself, but if enough debris was present under the filter, it could affect running. I would expect it to affect high rpm first just by virtue of reduced airflow capacity. The fact that the motor runs poorly at low rpm, but fine at high rpm suggests good fuel and airflow and good spark (If your spark plug gap is correct. Too large a gap will have trouble firing at low rpms). Another possibility is exhaust valves that are too tight. If the plugs are good and gapped correctly, the exhaust valves are correctly adjusted, and the fuel pressure is correct, it suggests a

vacuum leak, or more accurately, unmetered (unseen by the computer) air entering the intake tract. If more air is entering the cylinders than the computer knows about, the computer does not inject the appropriate fuel and the bike runs very lean. Since the excess air remains relatively constant throughout the rpm range, the proportion of excess air at low rpm is high and the proportion of excess air at high rpm is low. The bike will run poorly at low rpm and okay at high rpms. The possible sources of this vacuum leak are (roughly in order of probability or ease/ cost of correcting): 1. Crankcase breather hose and be sure to use an OEM hose from BMW (originals can go bad in 1-2 years). They will crack just below the upper and just above the lower hose clamps. 2. Throttle body vacuum caps on #1 and #2 cylinders (+#3 on K 100s). 3. An unplugged or cracked hose or plug to the nipple at the front top of the engine just below the fan. This is where the fuel tank was originally vented. In re-venting, many previous owners either did this wrong or poorly so that a leak develops.

4. The oil filler O-ring. This O-ring never gets any thought, but it hardens and then instead of O-ring to crank cover you get plastic cap to cover with some air leakage. Cheap insurance - if you feel the cap hit the crank cover when you tighten your oil filler cap, replace the O-ring. Now we get to the things that take more time and money to replace. 1. The vacuum line between the #3 (or #4 on a K 100) cylinder and the fuel pressure regulator. This is just bulk vacuum hose, nothing special. 2. The 2-1/2” rubber elbow between the air flow meter and the intake plenum. If this hose has any cracks, it will cause a major running problem. 3. The throttle body upper and lower boots (manifolds). If any one of the six (or eight on a K 100) is bad, replace them all because of the labor involved to get at them. 4. A bad fuel pressure regulator. This can either cause a vacuum leak because of a bad diaphragm, or it can cause too high a fuel pressure which COULD cause the exact problems that you are experiencing

Left, Dirty throttle bodies before work began. Above, New and existing parts await instalation.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016


January 22 - March 18th, 2016

because of too much fuel for the air at low rpms, but livable at higher rpms. This is not as likely as a vacuum leak, but IS possible. You can test with a gauge Teed into the return hose between the rear of the fuel rail and the fuel pressure regulator with the bike running. Should be about 38psi +/-. 5. Fuel Hose return hose between the Fuel Pressure Regulator and the tank must be the factory pre-molded hose, otherwise it will kink when the tank is moved forward into position. Hose from rear of fuel rail to fuel pressure regulator can be bulk injection rated hose. 6.  Oetiker clamps: You can purchase Oetiker pliers online to crimp the BMW Oetiker clamps used on your throttle bodies. The old clamps need to be cut off. You need to use new clamps. They are a one-time use.” I asked on the forum why the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator to the #3 throttle body is protected by a long spring and Lee responded: “The reason the vacuum line from the #3 throttle body to the fuel pressure regulator is in a spring is

so it won’t kink or collapse. This is just bulk vacuum hose.” Lee added, “Replace all three hoses to the fuel pressure regulator at this time due to the fact that you’re already there and they’re such a pain to get to (remember, factory moulded hose from regulator to tank!) I would suggest that you do the full European style of venting your fuel tank: Purchase “the cup,” or as BMW calls it: 16 13 2 307 467 Air Accumulator. This is a plastic cup that clips to the frame rail just below the two nipples on the right rear of your tank. Nothing attaches to the nipples, thereby making removal and replacement of the tank easier (Hoses attached to these nipples can kink during the last move of pushing the tank forward).” With a list of things to do to hopefully solve my problem, I called Hopkins Hitching Post, my nearest BMW dealer to order the parts. The manifolds were the most expensive parts at $55 each, but I was given a generous discount beyond the normal 10% MOA member discount they give. The parts would take about a week to arrive. To read Part Two of Ken Tuvman's story documenting the completion of his work, please visit the Flying Brick K-bike forum at



Left, Wiss clips used to cut Oetiker clamps. Below, Work completed and ready to ride.

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February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




and the creation of his Dual Tool By Wes Fleming #87301

“See a need, fill a need!” – Bigweld (Robots, 2005) THERE ARE AS MANY DIFFERENT

kinds of BMW riders as there are BMWs in the world. Some are satisfied to sit there and twist that. Others are always thinking, always tinkering, always coming up with ideas to make things faster, easier or more efficient. This latter group of riders includes Terry Logan. Being a machinist in Somers, Montana – which is snuggled into the northern shore of Flathead Lake about 400 miles northwest of Billings, (site of the 2015 MOA Rally) and 100 miles from anywhere – has its advantages and disadvantages. “We have five seasons here in our beautiful valley – the one right after spring is tourist season, and it blends spring and summer together. In the spring and fall, the riding season is the best. Fall is my favorite, but it’s usually when I have the least amount of riding time,” Terry says. “I’ll suit


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

up in the winter if it gets into the high 30s or 40s, as long as the roads are dry.” “Montana is a big state,” Terry continues, “with very few people for its size. Since I’m a western history nut – I can’t get enough of the 1800s – Montana’s history makes my rides more than ‘just a ride’. The downside is living 50 miles from Glacier National Park – it’s incredible, but it draws two to three million tourists a year, and the traffic chaos can be a bit overwhelming.” Motorcycling came to Terry in 1972, when he got a Honda CB350 with extended forks, short pipes, Z bars and a rectangular headlight. “I was 19 and couldn’t have been cooler if I was sitting on ice,” Terry explains. “My brother-in-law showed up one day with a 2004 K 1200 GT, and I had to get a BMW. I got my first BMW, a brand-new F 650 GS, in 2007. In 2009, I went to Alaska with two friends. They’d been there before and rode R 1200 GSes; they had all the bells and whistles. Terry replaced his 650 with a 2005 R 1200 GS after one of his friends hit a deer with it. That deer-striking GS – what Terry calls “the pickup truck of motorcycles” – carried him to Alaska and back in 2011, a

trip he took with his brother-in-law. “Nothing is better than the big GS for long distance travel, on or off road. It pulls like a tractor and handles like a sport bike!” The 2005 GS wouldn’t be Terry’s last GS. He explains, “After that ’11 Alaska trip, my friend Wayne Hagdahl – who went with me on the first trip – decided to sell his ’08 GS. I sold the ’05 and got it.” In Ketchikan, Alaska, Terry learned an important lesson. “I found out that if you go downtown, eat a nice meal, buy your wife a present, and stop at a bookstore and a really cool museum, it will cost you $650 for a plane ticket to catch up to your bike, because you missed the ferry. It wouldn’t have been a problem, except I’d already loaded my bike, gear, clothes and a Jack London book I was looking forward to finishing onto the ferry.” As much as we would love it to be so, life isn’t all about riding. Terry is a machinist, a profession he says he stumbled into after a stint in the U.S. Navy. As a young man in 1977, he discovered that few were willing to give a young man with no experience a good paying job. “I went into the personnel department at Gardner Denver in Quincy,

Terry (right) and his brother-in-law on one of their trips to Alaska.

Maybe you could sell them,” she said. It Ill.,” he says. “When I got done filling out to unseat the pencil coils from the spark turned out to be sage advice. “Sometimes the application the guy looked at me and plugs. “I saw this other tool for doing that, business slows down a little,” he continues, asked, ‘Would you rather run a machine or the thing was huge,” Terry explained. “It “and the Dual Tool has bailed us out several push a broom?’ I already had experience worked fine, but when I tried to store my times.” pushing a broom, so I took the machine. I axle tool in it, it would just rattle around. Terry had a couple of days before he left couldn’t even spell ‘machinist’, and I didn’t That’s when I got the idea for the other half for the rally, so he made up a few dozen of have a clue what one did.” of the Dual Tool.” Terry machined a chanthem and packed them on his bike. “Those After 15 years of machining for other nel around the axle tool for a rubber O-ring people, Terry and his wife, Janelle, that keeps the axle tool secured started their own machining busi- BEING FORCE-FED FRESH AIR ON A BMW inside the pencil coil puller, and ness in 1992 – Promach Manufacselling the Dual Tool on MOTORCYCLE IS A VERY FINE OUTLET started turing. “Our main source of income his website, www.promachdualis in manufacturing research AFTER MANY HOURS OF MACHINING. equipment used in medical fields “About a year later, I was thinkthings paid for my whole trip,” Terry said. and for studying water and aquatic plant ing about that 19mm end on the tool and “And one of the guys I sold one to – he’s life,” he says. “The best thing about being a how else I could use it on an R 1200. That’s now my friend – he kind of gave me the machinist is that I don’t need a smartphone when I came up with my tamper-resistant idea for the Dual Tool. While riding home, or games to play on a computer. I can write oil filler cap. BMW’s stock cap uses some I was designing it in my head, and a week programs for my CNC machines and make plastic tool, and I’d seen some other caps later I had 100 of them made up and ready really cool stuff – the machines are my toys. like that. With mine, you’ve already got it for sale!” It doesn’t get much better than that.” in your tool kit to take off your front wheel, The Dual Tool is a small, lightweight tool In early 2010, with both he and his so it’s harder to lose, and using it makes the that does two things. First is the original brother-in-law both on R 1200 GSes, Terry Dual Tool even more useful. You can get tool Terry designed that is a 19mm hex on discovered it was kind of a pain to get the rid of one more cheap item from the facone side and a 22mm hex on the other side, front wheel off for tire changes. Being a tory tool kit,” Terry said. with a channel through the middle that fits handy guy with access to materials and “This has all been a very cool experience any 3/8” drive ratchet. The 22mm side machines, he made a double-ended tool for me,” Terry said. “I have met many peoworks perfectly on R 1200 front axles and K out of some scrap metal to aid in quick ple through the sale of these and have never 1200 R/S/GT front axles as well. The 19mm removal of the front axle. Being a nice guy, had any negative feedback. And if it wasn’t side works for F 800 axles. If you don’t have he made one for his brother-in-law as well. for Janelle, the Dual Tool never would have a 3/8” drive ratchet handy, you can use a After deciding to make the 600-mile trip to happened. She retired from being an RN 19 wrench that fits the other side to provide that year’s MOA rally in Redmond, Ore., years ago to take care of her parents, and the rotational force needed to extract or his wife had an idea. watching her be a caregiver has shown me install the axle. It’s simple and elegant. “Why don’t you make some more of what a great person she is.” The second function of the Dual Tool is those tools and take them to the rally.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS





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BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

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Leading a tour and chasing the Dakar By Shawn Thomas #91122 NO DOUBT ABOUT

it, leading motorcycle tours comes with its own special sort of stress. Mostly, this is because people that are being “led” on a tour sometimes forgo certain elements of what a normal person might call due diligence, or common sense. I have a theory as to why this is so. In my line of work, folks are on tour to be challenged. Adventure riding is usually new to them, and learning new things means making an occasional mistake. But mostly they are on vacation. And we encourage the “vacation” mindset in just about every briefing. “Relax, enjoy the view! We’ll take care of the rest!” And that’s precisely what they


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

do. So it’s no wonder a rider will blow past a designated turn, even though the guide is standing there waving a burning flare in the intended direction of travel. Knowing this as an inevitability, a good tour guide will take exceptional measures to keep the group together. We count riders almost constantly (not an easy thing to do from a moving machine, tallying other moving machines, all of which seem intent on bobbing and weaving or hiding behind one another). We over-describe each leg of the trip, and we overemphasize eye contact and head nods. But this is a trap within itself, because the more you micro-manage a person, the more they rely on you to handle said details. As such, I have learned to ratchet back my mother-hen attitude, seeking instead a balance between disseminating important information and reinforcing personal

accountability. Works pretty well…in most cases, anyway. I was on tour in Chile, chasing the 2014 Dakar Race. For my eight customers, it was an exciting endeavor. For me, it was a dream come true. I had followed the Dakar for years but was experiencing it in person for the first time. It was also my first trip to South America, which brought with it a whole additional level of awesomeness. Every mile we rode was laced with childlike excitement. About a week into the tour, we were scheduled to watch festivities from the sand dunes just outside Iquique, Chile. But these weren’t just any sand dunes. Competition vehicles would crest a dune nearly 5,000 feet high, dropping three quarters of a mile at breakneck speeds toward the valley floor. It was one of the most intense and popular elements of the race, and we were excited to


see it. But there were challenges. In order to get to our viewpoint, we needed to ride the sand dunes ourselves. Not the huge “vertical drop” dunes, mind you. Still, riding even the most benign sand can be tough on an Adventure Bike. Our support truck—containing food and fuel for our group, among other things—was already parked somewhere in the dunes, about a mile into the thick of it. Our job was to find the support team, traverse safely to them, and enjoy the food and festivities. We arrived at the edge of the dunes, waiting on a gravel road as I sorted out the game plan. I had a GPS waypoint, which our driver promised would represent the exact location of the support vehicle. And I had a radio, which worked pretty well within a couple miles of the truck. I clicked on and confirmed. “Shawn here. We’re at the edge of the dunes, you guys at the waypoint?” “Yup, we’re here. Come on in. Careful, there’s a lot of sand.” No kidding. I turned to the group. “Okay guys, this is the tricky part. By my reckoning, the truck is about a mile into the dunes. I want to do a scouting run before I take everyone in, so stick around and take a break. I will run in and find them, then come right back for you. Okay?” They agreed and I headed out. Immediately I began to see the difficulties that Dakar competitors face. The dunes were huge and contained no trees, rocks, or other reference points in sight. Even with my GPS—a technology not afforded to the racers—I felt a sense of fear and disorientation as I crested and descended dune after dune. But an end was in sight. Soon the support truck revealed itself, complete with a easyup for shade and cooler full of refreshments. I waved, rounding the truck and heading back toward the waiting tour group. The ride back was easier; my motorcycle tracks were plainly visible against the otherwise smooth and windblown sand. I even had a little fun along the way, throttling up as I crested the dunes and sending rooster-tails into the air. Soon I was back at the tour group, enjoying the adrenaline rush. I pulled my helmet and addressed the group.

“All right guys, I found the truck. It’s several dunes back, and it’s easy to get lost out there. So let’s ride together, okay? Keep plenty of space between you, but keep each other in sight. Don’t stop if you can help it, it’s hard to get going again in the sand.” I pointed to my tracks, now two sets running in parallel. “If anything goes wrong, just follow the tracks I made on my scouting run; they’ll take you straight to the truck. They agreed, and I could see their excitement at riding the dunes. We had been talking about them since the tour began; tackling sand dunes was considered a quintessential element of riding in South America. Everyone wanted to give it a go. I slipped on my helmet. “Stay with me now!” I yelled, and started out. The group followed, and soon the nine of us were taking on the dunes. The ride was smooth, laced with a few lateral drifts of the tires. But everyone was moving well and having fun. We crested the first dune, then the second. Then… “Clunk!” With a jolt my BMW F 800 GS shut off, the bike coming to an abrupt halt. Damn! I went for the starter. The motor turned but wouldn’t start. I cycled the key and tried again. Still no good. Soon the other bikes were upon me. I waved them by, pointing at the tracks. If they stopped to help, it would be really hard to get them going again. Best to keep them moving. Realizing my problem, I grabbed for the radio. “Support truck, come in! I’m out of GAS!” Tour guides tend to use a lot more fuel than other riders. For one, it is common to ride ahead and check routes while everyone else takes a break. I had done this several times on my current tank of gas, most recently on the dunes. And my “hammer down, rooster-tail” return didn’t help matters. Normally I would mitigate this issue by riding a motorcycle with a larger fuel tank, such as the F 800 GS Adventure. But this was South America, and motorcycle rental availability was limited. No big fuel tanks to be had. So I had relied on frequent gas stops and spare fuel on the support truck. But the truck was a half mile away, over several sand dunes.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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But a bigger problem was presenting itself. My riders—all of whom had received copious instructions on how to handle this leg of the tour—managed to forget most of what they had been told. Helplessly, I watched eight riders crest the dunes, heading in 8 different directions. “Guys, we have a new problem,” I spit into the radio. “The riders are a half mile from you and are off course! I can’t guide them from here. Fan out and make yourselves visible. Get them to come your way!” I listened over the radio as Nacho, my lead support guide, translated my instructions to Dario, our Spanishspeaking mechanic and driver. “Okay, no problemo,” Nacho replied with his usual South American nonchalance. I waited, the radio echoing soft footfalls as the support team made their way to the top of a dune. “We see them. … Well, most of them. I count 4, no 5 riders. Make that 6. No, 5. Yes. 6 riders.”

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

I stared at the radio, exasperated. “Well, how many is it?? …Nevermind. I need fuel. Round up everybody you can and bring me some gas, okay??” “Yeah, no problemo,” Nacho replied idly. “Just bring your bike to us and we’ll refuel you.” “No you don’t understand. I’M OUT OF GAS. I need YOU to come to ME.” “Okay, no Problemo. Standby.” I sat alone in the dunes, my head spinning. I was irritated with myself for letting fuel go unchecked, but self-recrimination would have to wait. At least two of my riders were lost in the dunes, and I needed to find them. First fuel, then rescue and recovery. My radio chimed. “We have six riders here. We strapped a fuel can to one of their bikes, he’s on his way to you.” Soon I could hear an approaching machine. I looked to the dune ahead, searching for a cresting motorcycle. But the sound grew quieter, and still no bike in sight. I searched the other dunes, and there he was, 600 yards away and heading in the wrong direction. I laid on the horn, waving

my free hand and yelling, “HEY! HERE OVER HEEEERE!!!” He didn’t hear me. But he was a diligent operator, and caught sight of me while scanning the dunes. He rounded about and headed my way, stopping with ease and transferring the fuel to me. “If you’re good here, I’m gonna go back and watch the race. It’s just getting started!” he said with excitement. I nodded and he headed back to the truck. I followed him, and soon I was back with the group, save for two. I spent the next 2 ½ hours scanning the dunes for my missing riders. As it turns out, they weren’t lost at all. Just as they had caught sight of the support truck, they had taken notice of a crowd of locals gathering to watch the races. They decided to take a look, and ended up parking and joining the natives. I found them lounging with other spectators under an umbrella, sipping Chilean Tea and cheering the competitors. “Where’ve you been??” they asked as I approached, covered in sweat and stress. “You’re missing the Race!”

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Arriving the worse for wear By Deb Gasque #182082 through an industrial area in Richmond, I spotted their bright yellow, three-story pened, and boy, was building from blocks away. Laura met me it a doozy. Last in the parking lot with a huge smile, and I September as I was immediately felt a sense of kindred sisterriding out of Richhood. It doesn’t hurt that we ride the same mond, Virginia, I ’94 R 1100 RS, hers red, mine pearl white. was caught in a delLaura has been riding since 1997, and like uge of rain…for me, prefers vintage motorcycles that are hours. I had been warned before by full of character. After I shed my gear, other seasoned motorcyclists—“Just threw my hair up into a pony tail, and wait until the day you have to ride in grabbed my iPhone off of the bike, we some REAL rain…” I scoffed at the entered into their factory thought. I had ridden in which was definitely in its rain before. In fact, I embryonic stage. once rode through a It was apparent after just a huge thunderstorm few minutes that Laura and coming out of JacksonScott had not only done ville, Florida, complete extensive research and were with lightning bolts hithighly educated on all aspects ting so close that the hair of garment manufacturing, on my arms stood up. I but they also had enormous had ridden in drizzles at passion for the task they were night, on the interstate, getting ready to undertake. on country roads, and When I asked Laura why they even on the Million Doldecided to design and manular Highway in Colofacture women’s motorcycle rado. So what? Big deal. apparel, she answered, “It’s a Well, that September chronic frustration among day, I was completely many women who ride. humbled. When I pulled Where are our options for fit, into the hotel for the function, and fashion? In night after hours of riding in heavy rain, I called The home of Worse for Wear Motorcycle Apparel for Women in Richmond, Virginia. 2013, Scott and I decided to investigate the possibility of “uncle.” It was miserable. solving that problem by starting our own Saunders, and what they were up to. After a All of my waterproof and water-resisline of apparel. “Worse for Wear” would couple of chats via email and phone, I tant gear had been breached. I was certainly not be the first company to make decided I needed to plan a visit to officially a drowned rat and feeling motorcycle apparel for women, but having Richmond. the worse for wear. For that fleeting more options means more women can find So that September after departing the moment, it truly made me question gear to fit their bodies and lifestyles. We BMW Finger Lakes Rally in Watkins Glen, the reason I had detoured to Richknew we wanted to manufacture in the N.Y., I figured why not drop down to Richmond to begin with. But isn’t it true U.S., and we knew we would be digging mond and visit Laura and Scott at their that oftentimes in life, the detours into an industry with a steep learning newly-purchased building where their bring us to new discoveries? curve. I’d been sewing since I was 13, and company, Worse for Wear, was beginning Back in July while at the MOA Scott was no stranger to it either, but buildto take shape? I wanted to see for myself International Rally, I met a super nice ing a U.S. based apparel manufacturing what they were planning and how they guy and fellow BMW ON contributor, facility from scratch was a bit intimidating, were going to move forward. As I rolled Damun Gracenin, who put me in IT FINALLY HAP-

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

touch with his friend, Laura Smith (MOA #190823). Laura had begun the process of starting a women’s riding apparel company, which of course immediately got my attention. It’s no secret that we lady motorcyclists suffer greatly from the limited selection and sizes of women’s riding gear, and with my passion for fashion, I’m constantly on the prowl for something safe AND swanky. I was immediately curious and needed to know more about Laura Smith and her partner/husband, Scott

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historical space which they will make their products that we home through the labor of their own plan to have availhands. They have hired an architect to able for sale on our draft the design of the interior of the buildwebsite and our ing, but Scott and Laura are doing all of the brick and mortar remodeling themselves. We are talking retail space in about a seriously grassroots company here. Spring 2016.” I was highly impressed and so thrilled that Upon hearing I made the detour on my motorcycle jourthat information I ney to view the bare beginnings of this just had to ask for a sure-to-be masterpiece which will be the tour of their buildhome of Worse for Wear and its founders. ing that was full of So, what should we expect out of Worse historic character. for Wear in the spring? Laura explained, The factory por“Our initial product offering this spring tion of the building includes well-fitting, abrasion resistant held all sorts of apparel that looks good both on and off the high-tech looking bike. We’re concentrating our efforts on equipment that I Laura Smith hard at work creating Worse for Wear gear. abrasion resistant jeans that fit both when had never seen you’re standing up and sitting down. The before, but upon cut is slightly higher in the waist to elimiinquiry, Laura and Scott were quick to give to say the least.” nate gapping at the back when you’re me a demo with pieces of sample fabric. I When I inquired as to what kind of crouched over your bike. They include was fascinated by the process and immedipreparations they had to undergo to removable CE Approved armor in the ately had faith that the dynamic duo will get to where they were, she explained, knees and hips. We’re targeting sizes from create great riding apparel for us lady rid“We spent months learning about Petite to Tall in length, along with a wide ers. After the factory tour, we padded our types of fabrics and styles best suited range of sizes through the waist and hips. way up a cool circular staircase to the secfor high-speed, high-risk activities Sizing will be realistic—based on your ond floor. Their plans for this floor include like motorcycling. We poured over actual measurements—so you won’t have office space for Worse for Wear, as well as dozens of different types of sewing leasing out office machines, learning which ones space to help suppleworked best to create seam types that ment their bottom were least likely to burst on impact if line. It was currently you’re in an accident. We measured being used as their impact and abrasion resistance of diftemporary living ferent fabrics and threads by building quarters and storage our own version of the testing space. While touring machine specified in the European this area, I really Standard for testing protective clothstarted to get a sense ing for professional motorcycle riders of Laura and Scott’s (SRPS EN 13595-1:2008). After more personalities and than a year of testing and research, we could feel that they decided to move forward with our were overflowing with dream of making motorcycle apparel character. for women in a U.S. based manufacUpon completion, turing facility of our own design. We the third level of the sold our home in Austin, Texas and building will be a posh moved east to Richmond, Virginia, yet cozy apartment buying a mixed-use commercial flat where the couple building to double as our factory and and their furry fourour home. We’re currently working legged children will through the final stages of the develreside. It’s a stunning Laura's husband Scott is an integral part of the operation. opment process on a few different

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

to guess which ‘vanity’ size is supposed to fit you. We’re doing all of the things we wish the rest of the women’s apparel companies had been doing for years: being truthful and transparent about fit and sizing. Right now, it’s just Scott and me doing all of the design, sourcing, cutting, sewing, quality control, order fulfillment, customer service, and machine maintenance, which means we can control every aspect of production. Soon we’ll be hiring additional staff to help make the products so that the business can grow. We’ve been studying lean manufacturing methods to increase efficiency and happiness of our employees and to cut down on operating costs. You can never be prepared for every possible contingency, but with the love and support of our fellow riders in the motorcycling community, I feel like we’ll be able to handle it.” I, for one, am ecstatic about the launch of Worse for Wear and plan to try out a pair of their sassy, stylish riding jeans in the near future. You can be sure I’ll tell you all about it, too. Not long after saying my “goodbyes” to Laura and Scott and saddling up on my pearly white steed, I was out of Richmond and right into the torrential downpour that lasted for hours. Upon arrival in my hotel room for the night (after I left a noticeable trail of water right to the bathroom where I exited my soggy gear and entered a hot shower), I felt pleased and fortunate that I detoured to Richmond. Taking that alternate route not only brought me to another level of respect for the elements while motorcycling, but it also allowed me to experience two people’s vision and dream coming to life…a dream that will surely be celebrated by many of my female compadres on the hunt for really great women’s riding gear. Welcome, Worse for Wear! Contact info for Worse for Wear: http://; Twitter, Instagram, Facebook: @worsewear; Phone: 804-433-3855; Email:

I am the


CEO, lawyer, musician, back roads rider, patriot.

Pat Cleary… is the MOA Pat Cleary, BMW MOA member #191468

BMW Motorcycle Owners of America

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Be the MOA


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016



Story By Curt Stetter #205881 Photography by Chuck Feil #203990 Highway 80 through the Lavender Pit Mine near Bisbee, Arizona. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


An Old Spanish Trail map.

Ore-laden wagons and stagecoaches of the late 19th century first scribed the rutted trails linking the mining towns of Benson, Tombstone, Bisbee and Douglas. It’s no coincidence each of these towns is approximately 20 miles apart, equal to a rough day’s ride by horseback. Now mounted on our motorcycles, the six-hour equine journey is now reduced to a 30-minute pleasure ride on a smooth road between towns. WE'VE BEEN RIDING MOTORCYCLES

for a combined 50 years, shooting photographs and documenting stories along the way. Our paths intersected in Bisbee seven years ago, with a love for motorcycling and adventure. The two of us decided to hook up as a “band of brothers” riding the back roads in the Southwest, Mexico, Thailand, and Canada, seeking out small communities with big hearts and souls. Curt was the wordsmith, and Chuck the primary photographer. When you get on a motorcycle and rev that engine, you connect with the machine and the road in a different way. You’re more vulnerable, subject to the elements and the unknown. Your awareness peaks. You want to go somewhere just to see where the sun sets. And with adventure, comes hunger. Hunger for food and for stories. Officially finished in 1929, the 2743 mile Spanish Trail was the first national coast to coast highway system, though only 70 percent of the roadway was a patchwork pavement consisting of concrete, brick, stone and asphalt. The remaining was a combination of graded dirt, gravel, and wooden plank. One stretch near Mobile, Ala., required a ferry crossing. This route played an important role for Americans to explore and mobilize from San Augustine, Fla., to San Diego, Calif.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

The onset of World War II required a domestic defense route to move materials and equipment from the eastern seaboard to the west coast, propagating a plan to link most of the Old Spanish Trail and finish paving roadways across the U.S. from Savannah, Ga., to San Diego, Calif., thus forming the transcontinental route US 80, also known as “The Broadway of America.” The section of Highway 80 cutting through southeast Arizona served mining towns brimming with extreme wealth until the rich mineral deposits played out. The powerful copper and silver companies pulled up stakes, leaving small town residents forlorn and melancholy to fend for themselves. Then US 80 was demoted to State Route 80, a mere exit ramp from the new Interstate 10, squeezing these abandoned communities once again by rerouting traffic away from their main streets. Reinventing a townsfolk way of life wasn’t a trendy topic back then, but a crucial need to survive existed if you didn’t relocate to another mining town such as Morenci to the north. The reinvention evolved into many forms, depending on the town. Benson turned to ranching and farming, while Tombstone looked to tourism, cashing in on its colorful, poetic past. In the mid-seventies, Bisbee’s

transformation began with a crazy new breed of residents, “the hippies,” creating an artistic community. Douglas invited international commerce as a gateway to Mexico. All these reinventions were slow to mature, calling on strong individuals with pioneer spirits to create a living in the small economically challenged towns. All the people we interviewed shared a thread of commonality as to why they chose to start up a business in rural southeast Arizona: A better life for their children or themselves with an opportunity to make a difference in their community. We motorcycled back roads off one of the longest remaining pieces of old US 80, seeking out the brave entrepreneurs who prepare beautiful food or farm using sustainable methods, plus a few other characters thrown in for fun. Midday on Interstate 10, exiting at Benson signals a powerful urge for travelers to eat something before entering the next large metroplex. In the past, billboard advertising caught the hungry eye. Now you can surf the internet on your smartphone for guidance. As Mi Casa Restaurant owner Andy Sutton explains, the restaurant website draws travelers one mile from the freeway by making certain great reviews from patrons whet the appetites of passengers approaching the Benson exits.

The Mi Casa Restaurant, (right), uses their website to draw highway travelers in with great online reviews of their delicious food and unique experience.

Below, Bisbee, Arizona.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Santa, Andy’s wife, creates beautifully presented dishes teaming with the flavors of La Paz, Mexico, where she cooked alongside of her mother and met Andy 20 years ago. Andy proudly takes your orders and delivers Santa’s magical creations to your table. Open Monday through Friday, the owners decided long ago the weekends are for their family. A half mile further into town, you first see a wonderful western mural and the classic neon signage of the Horseshoe Café. Patty Columbo recently took over the tired restaurant and revitalized it by improving the quality of food, restoring the building’s irresistible charm and serving up her heralded pies and cakes. During our interview, Patty quietly displayed a sense of accomplishment she’s earned by saving this classic small town café. Above, Patty Columbo of the Horseshoe Cafe. Below, Outside Wyatt's Coffee House.

Heading south before reaching Tombstone, you cross the north flowing San Pedro River and enter the quiet Mormon settlement of St. David. The San Pedro River provided a trail for Spanish explorers searching for cities of gold and more recently throngs of immigrants trying to find work in the U.S.

Like many other European tourists visiting Tombstone, he wanted to experience the west as it was 130 years ago, but he got more than just a gunfight on Allen Street. Mark Duke of Oxford England became a bit of a hero by saving a building from demolition and starting Wyatt’s Café (Tombstone’s first real coffee shop), opening the boutique Wyatt’s Hotel and saving the popular Doc Holiday “Gunfight” Theater, which features a historic saloon. Strolling down Allen St. on the wood planked walks will bring you back to the mid-1800’s, when the town was bustling with gamblers, wranglers, horse thieves, miners, and shady ladies. The characters still exist but in actor form only. Again we fired up our mounts and headed south toward Mexico on our way to Bisbee, the sky island with the history of staking the richest copper mining claim at the turn of the twentieth century. The winding mountain pass from Tombstone rises 1800 feet before reaching the famous Mule Pass Tunnel, one of two in the state. Once on the other side, you drop into a village type setting very similar you’d expect to see in Europe. The quaint downtown is surrounded by miner’s shacks and restored houses perched high on the canyon walls. Main Street is lined with unique shops and restaurants. The other main boulevard is Brewery Gulch where in the past bars and brothels were open 24/7, accommodating

Brew Master Buster Garvin.

A good stout at the Brew Pub.

three shifts of miners extracting the copper ore from the Queen Mine. Today Victor Winquist, creator of the Old Bisbee Brewing Company, brews six different beers on site along with one wine

beer and a darn good rootin’ tootin’ root beer. To take the weary edge off a long day in the saddle, have a brat, a beer and a cup of chili. Guaranteed to put a snap back in your step or put you down for a nap.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Something is always going on in this crazy town, so always check out the Discover Bisbee website ( to see what’s happening. Saturday market in Bisbee (actually in Warren), spawned heavenly greens lovingly grown within the 40 acre Sacred Garden Sanctuary, a sustainable organic farm located about 10 miles north of Douglas. Edwin, the owner, invited us to visit their farm but warned us of the rough road once leaving State Route 80. Both of us ride 1200 GS bikes, but once we began to wind our way back to the Garden, we paid close

Sacred Garden Sanctuary.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

attention to the ruts, sand, boulders, and loose rocks challenging us to stay upright. A hearty welcome was earned, and I immediately took notice of everyone’s Cheshire cat smiles. These long grins continued throughout the interview, making me realize these resourceful guys love what they do, and soon after touring their operation, there was no doubt they know how to grow. An explanation for their Spartan lifestyle was summed up by Chris, Edwin’s partner: “We eat and live well here because we do it ourselves and want people to come and look at Sacred Gardens as a model.” We left

the gardens as carefully as we rode in, but this time I left with a great thought offered up by Chris: “Most people think we’re farming plants. We’re not, we’re farming dirt. The dirt we have makes everything possible.” The boys at the Sacred Sanctuary suggested we stop for a coffee at a new coffee house in downtown Douglas. This city laid out by John Slaughter then built by Phelps Dodge Mining Company for the purpose of processing copper ore mined from Bisbee has a trove of great architecture on G Street (main street) and scattered throughout the residential neighborhoods. This main avenue sports the attractive Galliano’s Coffee House and Restaurant, owned by Robert Uribe and his wife Jenna Sanchez and named after their young son. Robert wished to bring something different and creative to Douglas that would be beneficial to everyone…a place to “hang out” and have fun. The shop is very comfortably furnished and offers wonderful, healthy salads, sandwiches and smoothies. The rich coffee is imported from Chiapas, Mexico. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City, Robert never dreamed of living on the border but now is looking forward to expanding by offering beer, wine, and jazz in a separate space to be named after their daughter “Madison.” But while they put together their additional venture Robert has decided to throw his hat into the political arena and run for mayor of Douglas. Another highly recommended point of culinary interest in Douglas is Janella’s Mexican Hot Dogs food truck set up alongside a lovely green park on the corners of 8th Street and Florida Ave. Living in Arizona most of my life, I never ventured chomping down on a Mexican Hot Dog, but truck owner Andres Munoz handed me my first MHD along side a freshly squeezed lemonade. Now I am a true believer that bacon and dogs should sleep together. For 24 years Andre’s 11 days on and 3 days off schedule has proudly served the Douglas dog lovers. Continuing on SR 80 east out of Douglas, the road takes you north. As you drift out of Rodeo, turn left onto RT 533, aka Portal Road. Due west takes you to the town, cafe, country store and lodge all sharing the same name, Portal. Comfortably nestled at the base of the Chiricahua

Galianos Cafe.

Mountains, Loni and Mitch Webster’s Portal Peak Lodge is a logical base to begin your day hikes, bird watching or mountain biking. Return to the café for a wholesome meal and a choice selection of libations. These unique mountains have the highest bio-diversity of invertebrates in the world and are home to the Southwest Research Center, affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. As we work our way home toward Bisbee we realize this almost forgotten road is a treasure trove of hearty people, richly beautiful countryside, edible delights, and new exciting futures for those who reach out. So mount your steed, twist your throttle and spend a couple days exploring historic AZ 80.

Janelle's Mexican Hot Dogs.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Chuck's Way

BY KEN FRICK #1992 04


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016


before. The youngest of four boys, he was the one who wore his emotions on his sleeve—and that day he was pumped up. “Ken,” he told me, “you gotta see what I'm doin' downstairs.” I knew immediately that whatever he was up to was something special. There, spread out over every square inch of the ping-pong table where our mother sorted laundry was the engine to his Honda 750. Nearby was the rest of his motorcycle, also in pieces, laid out on the floor or hung from the basement joists. It was impressive. It was 1975 and my world would never be the same. This was so long ago that Chuck was still living with our parents. I was in my senior year of college, ready to spread my wings. When I asked what in the world he was up to, he told me that he wanted to repaint the frame. With logic that made sense to only him, he explained that the motor was in pieces so that he could paint the cylinders black. He wanted to make his bike truly one of a kind. All I could do was to shake my head. This on a bike that was barely three years old! That was Chuck in a nutshell: impulsive, self-assured and full of life. In many ways he hasn't changed—at least in spirit. The worlds we grew up in were dramatically different. I'm a Virgo, the eldest brother with a bit of reserve. Chuck, six years my junior, was the family firecracker. My life was filled with routine, Chuck's with excitement. It would be fair to say that other than our motorcycles we had little in common. Somewhere near the end of our conversation he told me that when he got the bike back together, he was going to sell it. He'd found another, something newer (that meant faster), and it was time to move on. Quite innocently I asked what he would want for his old bike, and in minutes (and much to my surprise) it was mine, on the condition that it ran when he got it back together. For 25 glorious years it was my ride, followed by the Kawasaki Concours I rode for another 15. Only a little over a year ago I shifted gears again, upgrading to a 2005 R 1200 RT. In the four decades I rode my three bikes, Chuck's owned nearly two dozen— that he can remember. When I find something worthy, I keep it. We became a team, a long distance duo of sorts. That

magic-filled 750 and I would touch all of the lower 48. It was the only bike I've owned that I truly believe had a heart and a soul. It now calls the AMA Hall of Fame Museum home; a safe place where it will be warm and dry for the remainder of its years. Chuck chose a different path. If there was a good time to be had, he knew where to find it. His carefree manner would on occasion rise to near reckless levels. He took chances. Where I might apply the brakes, Chuck would hit the throttle. Horsepower was his escape. He lived life in big gulps, but over him was a cloud of sorts, one he could not outrun. It was dim at first, but slowly, relentlessly, it ate away at him, robbing him of his mobility. It was muscular dystrophy. Two decades ago the disease was only a nuisance, but today, walking has become a chore, mounting his cycle a process. Chuck's future was spelled out in front of him, and it was unattractive. His solution was to evolve, to push back at what MD was doing to him. To stay in the saddle, he moved on to three wheels. A trike would give him additional years, and more importantly, the one thing we've all come to embrace: more miles. In my circle of friends who don't follow motorcycling, I'm the exception. My rides over the past two summers have taken me from my central Ohio home to the west coast, and Alaska is scheduled for this summer. I love to ride, and it’s a major part of who I am, but between we two brothers there is no comparison. Chuck wins, hands down. Motorcycling defines him. It's who he is. Since he was a small boy there's been something special about riding in the open air, watching the world go by, his view completely unobstructed. Chuck absorbs it. While I love to feel the wind on my face, Chuck needs it. To tell you that he rode 35,000 miles last year doesn't begin to tell you what Chuck did. For some people, riding that amount of miles is an achievement. Not to my brother. The sensation of all that is around him when he rides is akin to the blood that flows through his veins. It gives him life. It gives him purpose. He needs it today because he doesn't know if there will be a tomorrow.

Ken Frick on his '72 Honda 750 near Siegfred Hall on the Ohio University campus in 1975. Photo by Dave Levingston

Over the miles he's had his special bikes that rose above the others. A little Honda 350G was his first escape machine. At 16 it was the first bike he rode out of state. His eyes had been opened. My 750 was the next big thing, followed by a 1979 Gold Wing. As the years went by there was a special CB1000 Custom, and for a while he rode both an '02 Moto Guzzi and a Suzuki GSX1100G, picking the one that called to him the loudest on any given day. Then came his favorite. If you ask about this bike his face will change, his smile will become more of a glow. Chuck's number one was a Pacific Blue 2004 R 1150 RT. They were inseparable. With that bike his life seemed to change. The restlessness I'd witnessed for decades was gone. He seemed to settle down. This bike became it. He stopped looking for better, faster or newer. He'd found a match. It seemed his life long search had ended, and on that bike he was content.. What had once been rides turned into adventures. From the way he tells his stories, there never has been a real destination of sorts on any of his travels, simply a general direction to point toward. He rarely talks about national parks, or about anything beautiful he's found on his rides. Rarely does he go in their direction.

Left, Brothers Ken, Chuck and Bill Frick. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


His favorite stories are about a special campground near I-80 he found in Iowa, where the owner lets him set up camp next to towering corn stalks. He laughs when he tells the tall tale (believe me, hearing him tell the story once isn't enough) about a filthy pond, surrounded by cattails near Denison, Iowa, where he and a buddy jumped in wearing only their skivvies on one of his unbelievably hot summer rides. Finished with their swim, the boys soon learned that some sludge and filth doesn't easily wash away. What a sight they must have been. Some years back he wrote me about a place near Ross, North Dakota, where he was totally mesmerized by the sound of hundreds of train cars moving in and out, lulling him to sleep as he lay in his tent. “There would be one train, then a few minutes later, here would come another from the other direction,” he wrote me. Over the years he's mentioned Ross in a number of our letters. Another of Chuck's favorite camping places is on US Route 250 near Durbin, West Virginia, just a short ride from the

Virginia border. “It's a very quiet and secluded camp, with a wide stream right next to my tent. You hear water babbling over the rocks all night, but in the day the rocks are spaced so that you can walk across and never get wet. Crawdads and minnies scatter when you get close,” he wrote. How cool is that! When the BMW came into Chuck's life, living seemed to get simpler, his needs more defined. The clutter disappeared. A favorite ride was the ride to a roadside shanty near Naubinway in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, simply to fill his saddlebags with smoked trout and maybe a brew or two to enjoy before the ride home. There was a new peace that surrounded Chuck. Some of this maturity may have come from simply catching up with his older brother, some from the natural process of aging and some no doubt from his MD, learning to live with the limitations of his disability. Years and miles raced by, and there was one goal that Chuck wanted to accomplish.

Chuck poses with his pair of BMWs, a 2007 K 1200 LT and a 2004 R 1150 RT.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Over the many miles, he'd changed bikes so often this milestone was one that had somehow eluded him. It was something I achieved three times on the 750 that had once been his, watching the odometer turn over. On this RT he had the right bike. On his beloved Beemer the miles eased by, the numbers climbing higher and higher – but it was not to be. A faulty odometer required a fix, and with it came a new set of zeroes. The day did come when his bike hit a combined six figures, but from it there were no pictures, no visual proof, not that Chuck needed it. What he wanted was the thrill of watching the long row of 9s become 100000.0. Ken's 99,999.

From what Chuck and Bill, another brother who also has the illness, tell me, muscular dystrophy is a bastard of a disease. You can be going along the same for quite some time before it strikes and knocks you down a notch. Neither Chuck, nor any adult with MD, knows how many more notches they have left. Eight years ago Bill's doctor told him that he had between two and 20 years before he would be confined to a wheelchair. Today he's still active, at least to some degree. Both he and Chuck have told me that they feel they're the lucky ones even though they know there is no recovery. They can still get around, but they know there's little or nothing they or the medical field can do. It's insidious. Both have modified their homes for when wheelchairs become a necessity. Five years ago Chuck felt that change in the cruelest form. He wrote me a painful letter where he described having his RT fall away from under him. He had just pulled into his driveway and was parking the bike. It started to slip and he didn't have the strength to stop it or to pick it up. He wrote

about looking at it on its side from his kitchen window. Looking at it for hours, laying there, needing help, and for the longest time there was none. In that instant Chuck knew his riding days were numbered. I had tears in my eyes while I read it. Chuck still had miles to ride. There was at least an alternative, one that he would be able to live with. He found another BMW, by chance of the same color. It was a 2007 K 1200 LT Hannigan trike conversion, a perfect fit for Chuck. He was in BMW heaven again. On and on he rode. This was to be his ride for three more years. The bike served him well, but it wasn't the old RT. One of my major regrets in life was not purchasing that great bike. I should have kept it in the family. That would have thrilled Chuck, much like when I'd rescued his old 750. He offered it to me, but the time wasn't right. Those who suffer with MD worry about one thing more than any other—falling. With their limited muscle tone, after falling they need assistance getting back to their feet. For my brothers it's a rather common occurrence. Around their homes they have help, but beyond what is familiar there is

reason for caution and concern, the constant realization that being some distance from home might create more problems. Last year all of Chuck's 35,000 miles were in Ohio. Gone was his dream of riding to the west coast, or again to Ross, or even up north for that special smoked trout. The radius of his rides is now tightly tethered to his home. I often wonder how many more— or how few—his will body give him. In time Chuck needed to move on. Today he rides a 2014 Can-Am Spyder RTS. He rides almost every day, in good weather or poor, allowing for cold streaks in winter. He needs his daily fix. He struggles, but for him there's always tomorrow's ride and hopefully another the following day. He does what he needs to do, what he has to do. I think that maybe my buying my RT helped a little. He sees in me the joy that being on my BMW makes possible. The same he had on his. To this day, he still talks about his old RT with a sense of reverence.

Ken on his Concours and Chuck on his Can-Am Spyder RTS. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




An ode to the lonely, lowly single 76

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016


By Tom Stewart #14651

beginning of this season, I traded my baby kay, it’s not BMW’s No relationship is all sweetness and light, in on an F 700 GS. Despite apparent simimost popular motorof course, and Feather has even more shortlarity, the 700 rides totally differently from cycle, and you likely comings than those mentioned above. The the 650 single; it feels smoother, more won’t even find one on littlest GS is burdened by an antiquated but planted on the highway, and happier at your dealer’s showefficient chain final drive that cries out for higher speeds. My 700 is lowered, so it fits room floor. And no, I regular lubrication and messy cleaning to me well, and I really enjoy it on longer trips. can’t dispute that it is the most gutless avoid premature chain and sprocket wear. All season though, as I enjoyed the F 700, motorcycle offered by BMW Motorrad, Word on the street suggests that dealers the thought of the 650 sat in the back of my being the only single cylinder bike in must take one or two of these little beasts mind, cajoling me like a slobbering puppy BMW’s current line. Yes, I’ll confess that each year, which they then have to figure that drops a stick at your feet and seems to most of its DNA dates back to the introducout how to sell. This means you can probasay, “let’s play.” When I called my dealer to tion of its predecessor in 1993. Oh, and this bly buy one at an attractive price, but it also arrange the end of season service for the little bike offers you no prestige or snob holds the trade-in and resale value down. 700, I asked him what became of my old appeal whatsoever to feed the angst borne And, although the thumper makes lots of 650 as I hadn’t seen it pop up on of your nascent mid-life crisis. the used bike section of their So why would anyone want to website. When I heard that they buy a G 650 GS? And, more hadn’t had time to service it for incredulously, why would a resale and that it was still there, person of reasonably sound my brain went into overdrive. mind buy one twice? My mind was flooded with Feather is the name that I smile-inducing memories of gave to the 2012 G 650 GS that that wonderful, big-single I purchased three years ago. It torque accelerating out of corearned its nickname from the ners, the blast I had at the track effortless nature of its control day at the Calabogie Motorsinputs. It accepts throttle, ports Park with the Ottawa steering, clutch and shift BMW Club, and the confidence motions as effortlessly as it imparted on unpaved roads. though it is directly connected My path was clear: I needed to to my brain. I fell in love with buy my 650 back. the bike on the way home First though, I had a signififrom the dealer and shortly The BMW G 650 GS is the sophisticated execution of a minimalist concept. cant obstacle to overcome. My thereafter vowed never to part long-suffering wife may have thought I was with it. That infatuation was a surprise even useful torque right off idle, the rider is confoolish buying the G 650 GS the first time to me. Although I had test ridden most stantly aware of the presence of the big without having even tried it; my wanting to other BMW models, I had never tried the explosions that keep that oversized piston buy it a second time struck her as lunacy. 650 single before buying it. My wife’s eyes pushing the crankshaft around. This gives But she didn’t say no. rolled skyward as she learned this fact just the 650 a compelling texture and character Last week, Feather came home. We spent prior to my picking the bike up. I purchased but it can become tiring while trying to a late fall day dancing over the sun-dappled the bike because it’s light, attractively priced, keep up with my 1200 GS companions on and twisty roads in the lake country near fits me perfectly and has ABS. I’m a small four-lane freeways. But I didn’t buy my 650 my home, and I was reminded of a philosoguy, and the G 650 GS, with its factory-lowGS to ride on freeways. My plan was to use phy espoused by my friend and fellow ered suspension, it lets me plant my feet on it as a one-up backroads tourer and, in that BMW rider, Jim Cooper: “It’s a lot more fun the ground more securely than with any role, for me, it’s perfect. It’s all I need 99 perto ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike I have owned since the 1960’s. Most cent of the time. Still, I often find myself on bike slow.” Amen. importantly, it’s just plain fun to ride, and as longer trips in small groups, and that somea bonus, its fuel economy is extraordinary. times means lots of freeway miles. So at the

Left, Tom Stewart and his BMW G 650 GS, Feather, after purchasing it for the second time. Stewart says Feather is fun to ride and just wants to play.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


By Dan Russell #200313


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



when you get back,” my six-year-old daughter calls to me as I put on my helmet. “Daddy, I love you!” “We’ll dance when I get back, honey . I love you, too,” I said. A bit of trepidation jumps into my head as I squeeze it into my Shoei helmet. The brand-new white 2015 BMW GS Adventure looks husky, able and seductive before me. She weighs a little less than 600 pounds, and I a little less than 160. She competes vertically with my 5-foot-5-inch height. My feet reach desperately for enough contact to balance on level ground. I’ve been on only one ride with this big bike, two days ago. I dropped the motorcycle that day on a slight incline, fortunately nearly at a standstill. I’m scheduled to go to RawHyde’s BMW Academy in three weeks. It’s a round trip of over 2,000 miles from home, so I have to get 600 miles quickly to get that initial break-in service behind me.I stand alongside, lean the GSA into me and back her out of the garage and down the driveway to the street. I’m careful to stop where the camber is toward the kickstand, but is not too steep. I wanted to buy a GSA in 2014, but there was no way that I could reach the ground well enough. Instead, I bought a Harley Davidson Fat Boy, which I could flat-foot easily. Shortly afterwards, BMW answered the pleas of vertically challenged riders and for 2015 offered a lowered suspension along with a low seat that put the ground near enough to reach the wallet for this intermediate rider. I sold the Harley. What a dream it is to ride the GSA! People always told me that I had to ride a BMW to know what they admired so much. I took it a couple hundred miles on the Alsea Highway to the Oregon coast and looped down to Florence and back to Eugene via Highway 36 by Triangle Lake. I couldn’t believe how good this bike felt. There wasn’t a hint of heaviness when rolling. She wound through the corners like I was a better rider than I am. I felt some confidence build – until I fell at a stop sign. I think I hit the front brake too hard when nearly stopped, and the incline that I had not perceived eluded my left foot when I looked for traffic to the right. Splat! I picked myself up and hit the kill switch.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Two attempts to lift her with my back to the bike and doing leg thrusts accompanied by imagined (perhaps vocalized) karate yells righted the bike. Barely a scratch on the engine guard. It was good to know that I could raise her if I had to, but I didn’t want to learn this way or this soon. Now it’s the day before Easter, and I’m headed for a 300-mile, mostly curvy breakin ride. I put my daughter’s desire to dance to the side of my mind and feel the GSA come alive. I adjust the temperature setting on my heated jacket liner to thwart the morning chill and aim toward the 15-minute freeway ride to Creswell. I exit and join the back roads toward another small town, Drain. A sign guides me onto the Upper Smith River Highway. I’ve never been on it, having only ridden a section of its sister,

the Lower Smith River Highway. Wellmaintained highway leads into an uphill climb, into curves with vistas of cloudshrouded evergreens carpeting the mountains. No hint of houses or people. I stop for a picture and feel isolated enough to relieve myself along the road. Climb back aboard, reattach the heated liner, push the ignition, carefully lean just enough to raise the side stand, check for traffic and accelerate toward the hairpin turn that reverses and continues the climb. Perfect break-in road. Burned stumps clothe a nearby mountainside. I wonder if a black bear might be camouflaged among them. I’m beginning to sense adventure. I reach the summit and stop to check in with my wife and daughter while there’s still cell signal. My daughter is excited to hear my voice, as I keep my promise to not call her as often as she wants, but “enough.” The temperature drops to 39 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit, but I’m toasty in

my First Gear electric liner. I go and go and go. I put the city of Reedsport into my GPS for my destination. It tells me to go back the way I’ve come. I press on, sure that this road will come back to the main highway before I reach the coast. I glance at the scroll of bars indicating my ample fuel level. I’m comfortable knowing that the GSA carries 7.9 gallons of fuel. No problem reaching a point of no return – at least, not due to a lack of fuel. I could perhaps find trouble if I goof up again and don’t keep the bike upright or if I hit a deer. There doesn’t appear to be any traffic at all to assist if necessary. I choose the fork in the road that says “Smith River.” The road narrows, and winds, and seems to get more and more remote. I fight off the thoughts that maybe I’m wrong about where this all leads. I even worry that I might get myself where I can’t get the heavy bike turned around without dropping it. I note my newly-purchased SPOT tracker and take some relief that despite no cell service being available, I at least have a way to let people know where I’ve been and, if necessary, that I’m in trouble. Potholes occasionally occur, but are readily identifiable. Road workers have cut clear the trees that fell and obstructed the route. Moss grows on either side of the singlelane road and down its center. A waterfall gently cascades near the road’s edge. The road further narrows and there are tempting Creek Road signs to the south, back toward the main highway. They are likely gravel roads, and I’m not ready for that yet – not yet. I keep an active scan for deer and finally I’m on the Lower Smith River Road. Eventually, the GPS shows a connection to a paved road I recognize that aims south toward the Smith River Falls area. On my way, I find a little café in the middle of nowhere. It’s much preferable to waiting until Reedsport to eat amidst civilization again. I pull in, relieved that I’m getting where I’m going, slowly gathering miles for my 600-mile service. I want to get to the southwest coast of Bandon with enough time and energy to get back to Eugene. Right now a hamburger sounds good. A bar sits to the right of the café. I glance in, only a lone man waiting for business.

Not me; not while riding. Straight ahead, a menu. “Hi. How ya doing?” I greet the lady, probably the bartender’s wife. “Good. How are you?” “Doing well. Got any hamburgers?” “No, no hamburgers.” “Oh, I see,” as I look up at the menu hung from above. “Looks like you got some fish and chips. That’ll be good.” “Well, it’ll take a while to heat up the deep fryer,” she informs me. “Hmmm. Well, what do you have that wouldn’t take long to fix,” I ask, knowing that I have miles to get. “There are some hot dogs and some burritos.” I look down at two hot pots. One with a couple of Polish sausages, another with premade burritos wrapped in foil. “What kind of burritos? Any chicken ones?” “Well, I’m not sure. They’re probably beef, maybe,” she says as she begins to open one. “That’s okay. I’ll have a hot dog. Sounds good.” She tells me to have a seat and fix a bun from a sack on the picnic table. I start to go to the bench that will give me a view back toward the windows, but I can’t. There’s an extension cord going to the heated pots blocking the bench seat. I resign myself to sitting on the other side of the table, looking at the small working end of the room and note the signs on a half-open door behind the counter:

PALO ALTO SPEEDOMETER Expert repair of Motometer and VDO Speedometers, Tachometers, Clocks

Quartz clock repair and conversion. Custom color face conversion. 718 Emerson Street Palo Alto, CA 94301-2410

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TRESSPASSERS WILL BE SHOT SURVIVORS WILL BE VIOLATED NEVER MIND THE DOG – BEWARE OF THE OWNER I look at my glove-blackened hands and ask if there is a bathroom. “There’s a Porta-Potty out front there.” “Oh, okay. Does it have a sink?” I naively ask. “It should have some sanitizer. If not let me know and I can let you in the back.” “I’d just like to wash some of this stuff off my hands,” I say. She stays silent. “Do you have any water to drink?” I ask. She tells me that there’s bottled water, then offers me a choice of just some tap water,

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


which I select. “We’re kind of in the boonies out here,” she clarifies, as if I had some doubt. “That’s why I’m here,” I tell her, feeling the happiness of the experience, if not the satisfaction of choice. Two Polish sausages nourish me enough to let my compulsion to ride take over. I ready myself by the bike when a pickup pulls up, and a large man says: “Nice bike. 2014?” I tell him that it’s brand-new, a 2015. He tells me that he’s had a lot of motorcycles and that BMW was his best. He proceeds to tell me what the worst bike out there is and that he and his young buddy have been out hunting bear and cougars. No luck though. I knew I was in the right area. Remote. No cell service yet, so I continue on until Reedsport to check back in at home. Highway 101 continues south to North Bend, and then I follow the curvy route selected by the GPS with a destination of Bandon. It routes me toward Charleston, where I find familiar grounds from my high school surfing days. A sedan passes me where I stop to rest by a marina. It U-turns and pulls up; an older chap with his wife asks where I’m from, and I tell them Eugene. He chuckles and says that they figured I was from a long way away. It must have been the look of the bike, even without the panniers, or perhaps I looked worn out. His face is full of scars from skin cancer removals. Just back from six months in Yuma. I’m thinking this motor-biking and helmet stuff isn’t all that bad after all. I check the time and trip meter and figure I need a few more miles headed away from home. The GPS turns me south


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

toward Sunset Beach. I don’t remember ever going to Bandon that way, but think maybe the GPS’s Curvy Roads Routing has an idea. When the GPS tells me to turn off to the Bastendorf Beach parking area, I oblige but know something is awry. Sure enough I’m routed up the hill and it wants me to enter into a maze of parking spots

through a park gate. Definitely curvy, but not how I want to add miles. I venture down along the beach drive, then back out and turn to Sunset Beach. I came here as a kid, and it’s still as beautiful as ever. It’s time to head home. US 101 to Florence and Highway 126 back to Eugene. I

stop at the Gingerbread House. The staff is busy and friendly, and they tell me the gingerbread is homemade again under the new management. I order up three to go, knowing that my six-year-old daughter will be delighted after adding whipped cream at home. During the ride back, I reflect on the day. The bike is nimble, winding through curves like a porpoise through kelp, rolling left, rolling right and back again. Going exactly where I tell her to go. Smooth in every respect, no vibration anywhere. Smooth throttle, positive and anti-lock braking, absolute jet propulsion when called upon for passing. Quiet, no sense of the speed, with lots of fuel, visual tire pressure indicators, plenty of electricity for heated liner and all the electronics. After this day, I’m feeling progress on learning to manage the hefty size of this bike with my limited leg length and weight. I stop at the service station, 290 miles after leaving home and 307 miles since I topped off the tank with clear (no ethanol) 92 octane. She takes 6.4 gallons, costing $23.34 at $3.69/ gal. It’s the best gas I can buy. Not sold everywhere, but I was able to make it all the way back to my home station, where it’s always available. At the door is my daughter, waiting for her dance. We dance, and the next day, Easter Sunday, is all hers. My 600 miles are nearly complete. In a couple of weeks, I will ride 1,100 miles on beautiful highways along the Oregon and California coasts to RawHyde’s BMW Academy for Off-Road Riding. Then back along the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This big bike will get smaller with good training and experience.

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February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




Riding downhill made easy By Lee Parks #162125

Q: While reading

your Riding Downhill skill lesson in the recent BMW ON magazine, I was surprised to see that you are “generally not a fan of using engine braking to slow the bike down.” I am by no means a professional rider, but I was surprised, because I use engine braking all the time while riding the bike and while in the car. Is this a bad habit? I do keep a close watch on my six o’clock and make sure to use the brakes somewhat for letting those behind know what I’m up to. Can you explain your rationale? Tom Albrecht


Good question, Tom, so I’ll elaborate on my answer. There is nothing wrong with using some engine braking to help the front brakes keep the bike settled, but the primary mechanism to slow the bike will always be the brakes. If you’re using the engine to do the lion’s share of the slowing down duties and the bike accidentally pops into neutral (as some Beemers are prone to do from time to time), you could be in big trouble. Think of engine braking as a little helper (in the Santa Claus sense), but never as the primary means of slowing the bike down in a quick stop situation. Keep in mind that when the engine is under a large load during hard engine braking, it is wearing out the pistons, rings, cylinders, rod/crankshaft bearings, etc., faster than normal, which will require more frequent major engine overhauls. If you’re a high-mileage guy, that might be a big deal.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Q: I’ve noticed a huge price differential

between (and even within) hand tool brands. What advantages are there, if anything, with the more expensive tools? Tim Cannard


You’re right Tim, there is a huge price differential between/within tool brands. Let’s talk about why there is a difference and the tradeoffs. To begin with there are a few primary categories of hand tool brands used on motorcycles: 1) Mass merchandiser retail brands such as Craftsman (Sears), Husky (Home Depot), Cobalt (Lowe’s) 2) U.S. tool truck brands such as Snap-On, Mac, Matco, Cornwell 3) U.S. specialty brands such as Armstrong, Proto, SK 4)  European specialty brands such as Facom, Beta, Hazet 5) Motorcycle Specific brands such as Bike Master, Stockton (Cycle Gear), Motion Pro, Cruz Tools 6)  Specialty tool brands such as Wiha (screwdrivers) Knipex (pliers) I personally have (or have used) tools from every company listed above. The first thing you’ll discover when tool shopping is that the mass merchandiser and motorcycle-specific tools are much less expensive than the others. Many even come with a lifetime warranty where you can bring them in to the store (or send them in to the seller/manufacturer) for a free replacement if they break. Every tool will eventually break depending on how much/how hard you use it, but the better ones will not break during their typical, useful lifetimes. The most expensive tools are the tool truck brands used by many professional mechanics. Part of what you are paying for is the service of the owner/operators coming to your place of work to tell you what’s new, sell you product, and exchange broken

tools for new ones. Most of these trucks only stop at professional shops, so this particular service is not meaningful for most consumers. The quality of the tools, however, is meaningful to everyone. In a lot of ways, tools are a lot like bikes in that you will prefer or “fit” one better than another. For instance, my favorite screwdrivers are French-made Facom units because of their ergonomic shape, whereas full-polished Snap-On box wrenches are my favorite based on how they feel in hand. Unfortunately, many brands have various quality/price levels within themselves. For instance USA-made Snap-On and Matco brands have versions made in Taiwan (Blue-Point and Silver Eagle, respectively). Even more confusing, Craftsman has multiple price/quality versions within the same brand. As an example, I went to buy a standard ¼-inch ratchet at Sears the other day, and they had a $20 medium quality Chinesemade version, a $21 medium-quality American-made version, a $23 high-quality Chinese-made version, a $25 high-quality Taiwanese-made version and a $50 highquality American-made version. They also had several cheaper Sears (but not Craftsman) branded ratchets all made in China for sale. For fun I decided to try them all out to see the differences. The high-quality versions from China, Taiwan and America all felt great in my hand with smooth action and lots of tiny “teeth” in their mechanisms for precise movement in small spaces. The $50 version, however, had the thinnest head profile for fitting into the tightest spaces, and the fat part of the handle was angled toward my palm to make it the most comfortable when applying a lot of force. As someone with 10 bikes who spends a lot of time wrenching on the fleet, my choice was clear, but I understand why a lot of folks would do fine with many of the lesser priced models.

It should be noted that some of the specialty manufacturers like Motion Pro and Knipex make certain tools that are unique and currently have no real peers available at any price. I own several tools from each and always look forward to new tools that come out from all the manufacturers to help make my wrenching life easier. Another great thing to consider about high quality tools is that because they last so long, you can get a great deal on used ones that still have decades of use left in them. For instance, I was at a local flea market and came across a lightly used, 20" long, 3/4" drive Proto ratchet for those few times when I need a serious amount of torque. After haggling with the seller, I got it for $35. A quick search on Google saw that it normally retails for $100–$150. Given that I might use this tool a couple times a year at most, it will most likely be passed on to my heirs for several generations before its useful lifespan has expired. Philosophically on a personal level I try to buy, sell and manufacture Americanmade products—including tools—whenever I can to help keep jobs here and get the best value for my dollar in the big picture. I’m not willing to sacrifice features or quality (hence my not owning any American made motorcycles), but I will spend extra with all else being equal. That is a personal choice I make, but generally speaking with tools, like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Lee Parks #162125 has been riding and racing motorcycles for well over 33 years. He has been the editor of both consumer and trade motorcycle magazines, manufacturers his own line of motorcycle gloves and is a WERA national endurance champion. His riding skills book Total Control has sold over 100,000 copies in five languages around the world. Lee’s Total Control Training company manages—and is the curriculum vendor for—the California Motorcyclist Safety Program as well as several large military contracts. If you have a question you’d like to him to answer in this column, send him an email at

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




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BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

Painting a Picture By George Park #30326 AS RIDERS WE ARE ROUTINELY ASKED

by our cager friends and family why we ride. The standard replies include freedom, open air, focusing on the moment, etc. Maybe if we could paint a picture of our experiences while riding we would offer them a better understanding of our passion. Many naysayers would contend that they have the same feelings in the safety of their car (especially a convertible) without the limitations of a bike. This is when we explain that part of the experience is the risk one accepts on two wheels, the enhanced focus needed to be safe, being at the mercy of the elements and your preparation or lack of it, and a sense of adventure. This explanation to a friend still seemed trite, and he suggested that with my 50 years of riding I should be able to share a story that would be unique to motorcycle touring. I can do that; let me paint you a beautiful picture. The setting for this painting will be the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

to explain the experience of riding a motorcycle perspective of this Illinois flatlander this is the ultimate scenic road. You are in the perfect setting: no commercial vehicles allowed, a reasonable speed of 45 mph, constant curves to keep you engaged without the razor edge, and scenery with abundant lookouts to fill your mind with natural beauty. If this is your everyday ride, OMG, I envy you! One experience I had that’s unique to motorcycling happened on the aforementioned road. I was traveling alone on a sunny 80 degree weekday with the road to myself, smoothly sailing near the speed limit, flowing up and down rises, and leaning through the delightfully gentle curves. I was at peace with the surrounding natural beauty when unbeknownst to me, my journey served up a bonus. As I was drifting down from a rise, I realized my near new steed had quit running. I knew it had quit because I couldn’t hear the purring of my 1200cc’s. Something was wrong with my diagnosis. If the motor had quit and I was in gear, why didn’t the bike slow down?

Obviously the drive train must have disconnected! Easy to test: twist the throttle and hear the engine rev. I twisted the grip, and the pony surged forward! Great, nothing wrong with the machine. The only thing wrong was my hearing. There I was, floating in motorcycle heaven without the sounds of wind, motor or nature, with heightened senses of sight and touch. Totally amazing, magic carpet motorcycle nirvana! This magical portion of the ride lasted about 20 minutes and could probably be explained by some change in elevation and the air pressure on my ears. The science behind this doesn’t matter. The rush was an irreplaceable example of many stories unique to motorcycling that I will always remember. When you have time to reflect on some of your nirvana moments (I know you have them), paint a picture for some of your skeptics. Rather than not having good sense, I like to believe we have heightened sensibility. February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


lifestyle 94


25 years ago


February 1991 issue of BMW Owners News from a member in Florida offered a word of warning to all owners of K 75 RTs: Don’t let your bike fall. The writer said that after 40 years of riding and 200,000 miles on BMWs, he knew that it was inevitable that bikes will fall over and usually in front of a group of people. What he learned when his bike fell on a soft grass yard was that the mirrors on the K 75 RT were supposed to be designed to give or snap off in the event of a fall at a cost of $159. “If I had known such damage and cost would be involved just by the bike falling over, I would not have bought it. If this happens to any of your K 75 RT owners, you will be wasting a 25 cent stamp to report it to BMW of North America Consumer Service, even though it is obviously a fault that needs correcting,” he wrote.

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

When a BMW rep contacted the member explaining that the broken mirror assembly actually had done its job by protecting the fairing when the bike fell, the writer believed $159 was too much to pay for protection. He closed by saying, “BMW’s reputation for quality and customer satisfaction is fading fast!” Another letter to the editor under the headline, “Who was that Man?” described an encounter on a hot Friday afternoon on an interstate about a half hour west of Topeka, Kansas. The writer described receiving the “wave of the century” as he passed another BMW rider heading the opposite way. After more than 6,000 miles through 16 states the writer had come to the following conclusions regarding motorcycle riders: 1. BMW riders are the friendliest. 2. Honda Goldwing riders always return your wave. 3. Bullet bike riders don’t wave. 4.  Harley riders aren’t friendly–except for the older riders on full dress Harleys. 5. Riders in the Midwest seem to enjoy their motorcycles more that westerners. The writer concluded by saying that the Hondas he traveled with had to do maintenance on the road and that California rest stops stink, with only Nevada’s worse. New MOA member and well-known moto journalist Peter Egan also wrote a letter to the editor in February 1991 to say how much he enjoyed Jeff Dean’s article in the December issue regarding Egan’s recent move from California to Wisconsin. “It was nicely written, and I appreciated the opportunity to meet Jeff, who is a true hard-core BMW enthusiast with a great collection of bikes,” Egan wrote. Elsewhere in the issue, Owners News Editor Cecil King ran an interview he had done with Hans Koudella, Vice President of BMW of North America. While most of the questions he had dealt with the new model lineup, sales of new and used BMWs and how to get more riders on BMWs, he also asked Koudella about BMW’s strong concern regarding safety. Perhaps current BMW NA leadership would be well-served to recall the answer:

“To encourage riders to improve their skills and get the most out of riding, BMW offers the choice of taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Beginners or Experienced Riders Course, or having a day at Reg Pridmore’s CLASS (California’s Leading Advanced Safety School), which is sponsored by BMW of North America to purchasers of new 1991 BMW motorcycles,” Koudella said.

10 years ago


Midwest, a Rider to Rider submission in the February 2006 issue of BMW Owners News struck close to home. The writer described how in 1972 he had a BSA Rocket III which, at the time, was truly a monster bike, but, “like all British bikes, it was a nightmare to maintain.” So, in 1976, he bought a Silver Smoke R 90 S. When he wasn’t riding the bike it was kept in a garage and under a cover. It was never ridden in the rain and was waxed and pampered continuously, and anything that looked worn was immediately replaced. This practice went on for 29 years until August 29, 1990, when everything changed for Jerome Mouton. On that date, his house and everything he owned, including his R 90 S, spent three weeks underwater when Hurricane Katrina ravaged his Louisiana home. “Katrina had no mercy on this very special motorcycle, and I cried for three weeks for something I could not replace, my 1976 R 90 S,” he wrote. In the true spirit we all share as MOA members, a Rider to Rider letter by Clint Adcock of Lafayette, Louisiana, described

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how his club, Swamp Scooters #253 of LaFayette, had recently received a check from the BMW Owners Club of San Diego #4. Adcock said the cover letter accompanying the check asked them to give the money to someone they knew who really needed help to recover from the recent hurricane devastation. The Swamp Scooters club chose to give the money to an elderly couple with very limited resources whose home was ruined by Hurricane Rita. “I just want to share this story with the MOA as a reminder of what a wonderful bunch of folks we have in this organization. Thank you, San Diego!” Adcock said. When Paul Glaves asked his wife Voni what she wanted for her December 1990 birthday, her simple wish was “a ride!” But with five inches of new snow and single digit temperatures in Kansas that day, Paul complied by not only charging the battery in Voni’s F 650, but moving the bike inside their home to warm up. Happily, Voni reported, “I got my ride! Paul did, too.”

I am the


Engineer, cyclist, outdoor enthusiast, kayaker, hockey player (Canadian, Eh!) and “the boys can’t catch me in the twisties on my F650GS!” Janice Keating... is the MOA Janice Keating, MOA #148213

BMW Motorcycle Owners of America

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


Be the MOA

lifestyl 96


Riding to honor a son By Marjorie White #195629 I BOUGHT MY FIRST BMW MOTOR-

cycle on December 30, 2013, exactly six months and eighteen days after my 25-year-old son died in a collision while riding his Ducati Monster two blocks from home. The driver of the other vehicle did not see my son. Sometime during those six months and eighteen days I decided that I was going to ride a motorcycle from our

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

farm in Maryland to Calabasas, California, where Tommy lived and died. I was going to make drivers aware of motorcyclists. What better way to honor my son? I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, as I had not done a lot of road riding other than a couple of miles on back roads on my Yamaha 100 Enduro back when I was 16. I walked into Battley Cycles in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that December day

knowing only that I wanted a used, enduro style BMW. As I wandered around the showroom, a young man asked if he could help me. Relieved that someone actually talked to me, I said, “Yes,” and continued saying, “I may start crying, but I want a motorcycle that I can ride across the country and take on the back roads of National Parks.” If Kyle McGill thought I was out of my

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mind, he hid it well. Here was a crying 57-year-old-woman telling him she was going to ride across the country to raise money for motorcycle awareness, National Parks, and mental health to honor her son. After he listened to my story, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I think we have just what you need—it’s in the back.” Kyle led me to a 2011 Alpine White F 800 GS ridden only for 115 miles and equipped with with crash bars, BMW metal side and top boxes, and a GPS. I fell in love immediately but had some questions Kyle couldn’t answer. I loved that he was honest about not being sure. We sought out Todd Dibell, and soon my questions were answered. What cinched the deal was that the last three numbers of my license were the same as the last three numbers of this bike’s VIN. I bought it on the spot. My husband thought I was out of my mind because when I left the house that morning, I only said I wanted to go test ride some bikes. I believe it was just meant to be. I didn’t ride her home that day as I had my car. My husband, also a Todd, gave me a ride the next day. After I had financing and insurance squared away, I was good to go, yet I was nervous. I don’t even remember what gear I wore, except for Tommy’s old motocross gloves. I know I had a black, full face HJC helmet from when I rode a Ural in 2007. Quinne, the Ural, was an awesome bike. Todd bought him for me on eBay from a seller in a little town just west of Chicago. I remember riding that bike on the trails in upstate New York. While it could go almost everywhere a four-wheeler could, its happy top speed was only 52 mph, it wasn’t reliable and it didn’t have two wheels. I had always wanted something quicker, not necessarily faster, but something reliable, something—let’s face it—sexy. A BMW fit the bill, so Todd took Quinne over in 2009. I rode in the sidecar, when the dog couldn’t go. I always knew I would buy my dream bike someday. That day was December 30, 2013, and it was the bittersweet beginning of making a dream come true, my dream to ride across our country to honor my son.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



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BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 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.

event 100


Dutch and Kate Lammers: 2016 BMW MOA Rally Chairs MOA PRESIDENT CHUCK MANLEY

knew who he wanted to chair the 2016 rally in Hamburg, N.Y., but when he approached Dutch (sometimes known as John) and Kate Lammers, they laughed at Chuck’s suggestion. When they realized he wasn’t joking, though, they agreed to take on organizing the rally, and they’re planning a fantastic rally experience for all who attend. While Kate wasn’t introduced to motorcycles until she started dating Dutch in 2003, Dutch started riding when all BMWs were Airheads, mom and pop dealerships were the norm, and the primo accessories were Windjammer fairings, EZ Berg seats

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

and CB radios. He picked up his first bike in 1975, freshly 21 and not quite yet feeling as if he’d earned a BMW yet. That changed when a friend tipped him off to an R 75/5 with only 7,000 miles on it. Dutch’s introductory ride on that Slash 5 was a mere 70 miles, but the weekend trip he started the following day made him a BMW rider for life. Kate’s first ride was as a passenger, 960 miles in one day from southern Ontario to the Chicken Rally in Huntsville, Ala. Her next trip was to the International Rally in Lima, Ohio – with a side trip to Alaska thrown in. Dutch’s first rally was in Colorado Springs in 1977; he continued going to the big summer MOA rally until life got busy and slowly sidelined his Slash 5 in 1984.

“It wasn’t just that the rallies afforded a great ride destination, but they became a place to connect with the wonderful people who became part of my life through the shared joy of motorcycling,” Dutch said. For her part, Kate wasn’t satisfied to stay on the back seat for long, passing the MSF BRC (Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course) on what she called a “toy bike” and getting her own motorcycle, a 1977 R 100 RS. Her first journey on her airhead was to – you guessed it – the Chicken Rally, a 2,500-mile, multi-day ride. She was catching up to her two younger brothers, who both started riding motorcycles when they were young. “I picked up my rally visits again in 2004,” Dutch said, “and when I went to

Spokane, Washington, that year it was the first time my Slash 5 had run in 20 years. Lima in 2005 was my first rally with Kate, and we’ve made every one since.” Native-born Canadians, both Kate and Dutch come from athletic backgrounds, with Kate taking inspiration from her parents, who were avid baseball and softball players. Kate pitched into her mid-20s, then switched to slow-pitch after her kids came along, continuing to play until about 10 years ago. Dutch (who gets his nickname from his heritage and the first language he spoke) was a carpenter until he broke his leg playing hockey, at which time he got involved in exporting flowers. Today, Dutch and Kate are immersed in BMW motorcycles. In addition to the time they spend with the seven children and seven (almost eight) grandchildren they have between them and the time they’re devoting to planning Das Rally, they love to find neglected old BMWs and breathe new life into them – sometimes even passing them on to new homes. Dutch hopes to ride his ’71 Slash 5 to Hamburg in July. As for Kate, she says, “Now it’s time to give back a little – I’m very excited to be a part of the team of rally volunteers in 2016.” We will see what she decides to ride to Hamburg when she gets there!

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS


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event 102


Hamburg area Bed & Breakfast listings for the 2016 BMW MOA Rally Name


Distance to Hamburg Fairgrounds

Oma’s Guest Haus 3691 Sixth Street, Woodlawn, NY


5 miles

Sharon’s Lakehouse 4862 Lakeshore Rd, Hamburg, NY


7.1 miles

Richmond Place Inn 45 Richmond Avenue, Buffalo, NY


Marienthal Country Inn 5107 Langford Rd, Eden, NY

716-337-0160 or toll-free 1-888-9-ArtsInn

13.2 miles 13.4 miles

Green Glen Bed and Breakfast 898 Main Street, East Aurora, NY


13.6 miles

Pipe Creek Farms Bed & Breakfast 9303 Falls Road, West Falls, NY

716-652-4868 or 716-560-5848

13.7 miles

Oscar’s Bed & Breakfast 288 Linwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY


14 miles

Heath Hill Bed & Breakfast 8669 Heath Rd, Colden, NY


Elmwood Village Inn 893 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY


14.1 miles 14.8 miles

MacBaxters Bed and Breakfast 311 N Main Street, Angola, NY


15.8 miles

Sassafrass Bed & Breakfast 5454 Broadway, Lancaster, NY

716-683-3753 or 716-683-1298

17 miles

The Parkside House 462 Woodward Ave., Buffalo, NY


17.1 miles

Whispering Woods Bed & Breakfast 11411 Stolle Road, East Aurora, NY


19.4 miles

Oasis Bed & Breakfast 619 East Main Street, Springville, NY

716-592-0333 or 716-592-7001

21.1 miles

Pinewoods Cottage 11634 York Road, Silver Creek, NY


Asa Ransom House Inn & Restaurant 10529 Main Street, Clarence, NY

716-759-2315 or 1-800-841-2340

25.6 miles 25.9 miles

BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016



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Email your event information to


23 33

25 1 35 18


21 34



29 2 27



Map courtesy of


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016


February 1

Progressive International Motorcycle Shows 10-city Tour

Location: Various Website: • February 5-7, 2016 | Minneapolis, MN • February 12-14, 2016 | Chicago, IL • February 20-21, 2016 | Glendale, AZ Discount show tickets available to BMW MOA members!







26 10









4/22/2016 – 4/24/2016

MOA Getaway Fontana Village Resort


Location: Fontana, North Carolina Contact: Vance Harrelson, alabeemer@ The MOA will host another great MOA Getaway at the Fontana Village Resort. The beautiful Fontana Village Resort will be the base of operations for all there is to see and do in the area.

12 30 8

Death Valley Rendezvous

Location: Death Valley, California Contact: Gary Jackson, 619-559-0108 Celebrate the 24th anniversary of the “Oldest and Lowest of all Airhead Rendezvous,” at the Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley National Park.



2/12/2016 – 2/15/2016




Horizons Unlimited Virginia Travellers Meeting

Detailed information for all events is available online at:

Location: Appomattox, Virginia Website : 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.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS

4/28/2016 – 5/1/2016





4/29/2016 – 5/1/2016

26th Annual Georgia Mountain Rally Location: Hiawassee, Georgia Contact: Marc Mergen, The BMW Motorcycle Club of Georgia returns to the picturesque fairgrounds in Hiawassee for its 26th Georgia Mountain Rally!


4/30/2016 – 5/1/2016

31st Annual BMW MotoExpo & Flea Market Location: Pecatonica, Illinois Website: We welcome buyers, vendors, and enthusiast-sellers. Vendors, register early and get a free listing on our Website.

May 7

5/6/2016 – 5/8/2016

The Original Mini Rally

Location: Sturgis, Michigan Contact: Mike Hart, bathartx46x@ or call 269-317-9951 Website: Celebrate spring at the Green Valley Campground in Sturgis, Michigan for the 44th Original Mini-Rally hosted by the BMW Club of Battle Creek.


5/13/2016 – 5/14/2016

Blue Ridge Hi Pass Boogie

Location: Ashville, North Carolina Contact: Linda Cox, abmwrevents@ Enjoy dual sport, pleasure and endurance routes over the majestic Appalachian high country and hidden mountain valleys.


5/14/2016 – 5/15/2016

New Sweden 450

Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey Contact: Ron Cesaretti, ns450@ or call 856-425-4040.


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

The New Sweden 450 is simply 450 miles of amazing roads through the Delaware Valley area, a night of camping and more with 100 of your fellow riders.


5/20/2016 – 5/22/2016

2nd Annual Battlefield Memorial Workers Rally Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Contact: Sam Booth, A BMW rally devoted to a day helping the National Park Service doing battlefield restoration along with great riding, food and fellowship.


5/20/2016 – 5/22/2016

Morton’s BMW Spring Fling Rally

Location: Natural Bridge, Virginia Website: You’re invited to the sixth annual Spring Fling Rally, sponsored by Morton’s BMW Motorcycles, for a weekend of good fun, great food, fantastic roads, and terrific camaraderie.


5/20/2016 – 5/22/2016

European Riders Rally

Location: Burkesville, Kentucky Contact: Join us for some of the best riding in Kentucky and Tennessee from curvy asphalt roads to rocky creek crossings. Camping is free in the city park.



4th Annual Texas National Picnic

Location: Jacksonville, Texas Contact: Rich Barnhart, detbmw@gmail. com or call 836-645-4549. Join us for the Fourth Annual Texas National Picnic at Love’s Lookout Visitor Center for this one-day event with no fee.



27th Charter Oak Rally

Location: Eastford, Connecticut Contact: Brian Fisk, or Joan Dahlstrom, davidjoandahlstrom@ The 27th Charter Oak Rally will be held at our new location at Camp Nahaco in Eastford, CT, on Crystal Pond just off of Weeks Rd.


5/27/2016 – 5/29/2016

MOA Getaway Muskoka, Ontario

Location: Muskoka, Ontario Contact: Bill Hooykaas, hooykaas@ More information coming soon. Get the latest buzz in the forum.


5/27/2016 – 5/30/2016

Cass Rally

Location: Arbovale, West Virginia Contact: Michael Harper, motoman1150rt@ Thank you for joint us at the 2015 Rally. We are looking for forward to seeing everyone over Memorial Day weekend! Ride Safe!


5/27/2016 – 5/29/2016

27th Annual “Great Chicken Rally”

Location: Dunlap, Tennessee Website: Join us in the beautiful Sequatchie Valley in Dunlap, Tennessee, for two nights camping, great riding and lots of food. Registration forms online at under the Rally tab.

June 18

6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016

40th Annual Hiawatha Rally

Location: Houston, Minnesota Contact: or Join the BMW Motorcycle Owners Club of Minnesota for the 40th Annual Hiawatha Rally for camping, food and great riding.


6/3/2016 – 6/5/2016

2016 Land of Oz Rally

Location: Atchinson, Kansas Contact: Don Hamblin, bmwscooter@ or call 256-479-5606 or 816-600-2475 Join us for 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!


6/9/2016 – 6/12/2016

40th Annual Iowa Rally

Location: Middle Amana, Iowa Website: or email psta. or call 319-930-0051. Join the Pure Stodge Touring Association for our special 40th Annual Iowa Rall, located in the heart of the historical Amana Colonies, for the best food, music and camping ever!


6/16/2016 – 6/19/2016

Touring AeroScreens:  Wider

than stock. Improved helmet & upper torso protection. Clean, over-helmet, while looking over the screen airflow. 3-Heights. Clear Only.

16th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous Rally

HandFlare-Xtensions (HFX's):

Location: Panguitch, Utah Contact: Beehive Beemers Motorcycle Club of Utah – invites all to Utah’s color country featuring day rides to Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon National Parks and more.

Required for attaching AeroGards. Available in Clear or Smoke.

Block air around underside of

July 22

screen as screen is raised.

GSW & GSW/A AeroGards:

Drastic improvement of torso and

overall driver protection.

GSW AeroGards attach to bike

with Dual-Lok. GSW/A AeroGards attach at stock side-deflector's mounting holes. Available in Clear or Smoke.

7/14/2016 – 7/17/2016

2016 BMW MOA International Rally

Location: Hamburg, New York Contact: Kate and Dutch Lammers, Information in this issue of BMW Owners News and online at


LegGards: GSW Only

7/21/2016 – 7/24/2016

44th Annual Cascade Country Rendezvous Location: Republic, Washington Contact: Held at the Ferry County Fairgrounds in Republic Washington, we have fabulous paved and off-pavement riding, great camping, good food and camaraderie.

A Must-Have when riding in cold

and wet weather.

Provide leg protection down to

top of cylinder heads. Blocks air that the GSW/A tank does. Available in Clear or Smoke.

HeadLight Covers (HLC):

For L.E.D. and Std. HeadLights

3/16" Impact Modified Acrylic.

Protect the expensive headlight

from damage or breakage.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS




August 24

8/18/2016 – 8/21/2016

Nakusp Hotsprings Rally

Location: Nakusp, British Columbia Contact: Michael McPeak, or call 604-438-3954. Reconnect with old friends and ride some of the most scenic twisties in the northwest at our 15th visit to Nakusp, British Columbia. Enjoy the hospitality of the nicest small town in BC.


8/18/2016 – 8/21/2016

17th Beartooth Rendezvous

Location: Red Lodge, Montana Contact: Gary Smith, registrar@ or call 406-259-4927. Join us at the Lions Camp, ten miles south of Red Lodge, Montana. Ample camping and cabins available with a mountain stream nearby. 8/19/2016 – 8/21/2016

26 Four Winds 50th Anniversary

Rally, Pennsylvania

Location: Fairmount City, Pennsylvania Contact: Join us as we celebrate our 50th Annual Rally, the longest consecutive BMW rally in North America, in Scenic Western, Pennsylvania.


8/19/2016 – 8/21/2016

MOA Getaway Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas Contact: Chuck Manley More information coming soon. Get the latest buzz in the forum. 8/19/2016 – 8/21/2016

28 14th Annual Return to Trenton


Location: Trenton, Ontario Contact: Cheryl Gzik, Come to Centennial Park on the


BMW OWNERS NEWS  February 2016

shores of Lake Ontario in Trenton, Ontario, for the 14th Annual Return to Trenton Rally!

latest buzz in the forum. 9/23/2016 – 9/25/2016

8/30/2016 – 9/3/2016

29 Curve Cowboy Reunion Location: Monterey, California Contact: Want an opportunity to check off some boxes: The Pacific Coast Highway? Big Sur? Carmel? Hearst Castle? Cannery Row? The Monterey Bay Aquarium? CCR 2016 is Monterey’s Hyatt Regency, a full service hotel.

September 9/9/2016 – 9/11/2016

30 MOA Getaway

Pineville, Kentucky

Location: Pineville, Kentucky Contact: Vance Harrelson More information coming soon. Get the latest buzz in the forum.


9/23/2016 – 9/25/2016

30th Annual Hoosier Beemer Rally

Location: North Vernon, Indiana Contact: Jeff Kernen Come ride southeastern Indiana and experience some of the best roads in the Midwest!


9/23/2016 – 9/25/2016

13th Annual Thunder Mountain Rendezvous Location: Hotchkiss, Colorado Contact: Gary Campbell gcampbell44@ or call 970-210-2604 Come join us at the Delta County Fairgrounds in downtown Hotchkiss on Color weekend on the Western Slope of Colorado.


9/23/2016 – 9/25/2016

MOA Getaway Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Contact: Jackie Hughes, jhughes@ More information coming soon. Get the

34 MOA Getaway

Cedar City, Utah

Location: Cedar City, Utah Contact: Jackie Hughes, jhughes@ The MOA returns to our most popular Getaway destination for the eighth time to ride on the lightly traveled and twisty twolane roads around Cedar City, Utah.


9/30/2016 – 10/2/2016

MOA Getaway Black River Falls, Wisconsin

Location: Black River Ralls, Wisconsin Contact: Sue Rihn More information coming soon. Get the latest buzz in the forum. 9/30/2016 – 10/2/2016

36 2016 Rams Rally

Location: Parker’s Crossroads, Tennessee Contact: the-rams-rally The Rider’s Association of The Mid-South (The RAMS) invites you to join us for the RAMS Rally in Parker’s Crossroads, Tennessee.

November 37

11/18/2016 – 11/20/2016

MOA Getaway Marble Falls, Texas

Location: Marble Falls, Texas Contact: More information coming soon. Get the latest buzz in the forum.

advertiserindex Action Stations/Bohn Armor................. 61 Adaptive Technologies............................ 37 Adriatic Moto Tours................................... 61 ADV Depot.................................................... 62 Adventure Designs.................................... 52 Adventure New Zealand Tours............. 97 AeroFlow.....................................................109 Aerostich-RiderWearHouse.................... 41 African Motorcycle Adventures............ 52 Alaska Leather............................................. 62 Alaska Motorcycle Adventures............. 97 ALTRider......................................................... 41 Autumn Riders............................................ 97 Ayres Adventures....................................... 89 Beach’s Motorcycle Adventures.........104 Beemer Boneyard....................................101 Beemer Shop, The............................... 13, 81 Bike Log......................................................... 97 Bing Agency................................................. 35 BMW Motorcycle Magazine.........................104 BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.18, 40 BMW Motorrad.......................................9, 63 BMW of Pensacola..................................... 49 BMW of Southeast Michigan................. 13 BMW Performance Center....................105 Bob’s BMW.................................................... 53 Bombar’s Beemers..................................... 95 Boxer Works Service.................................. 90 British Motorcycle Gear........................... 41 BullRack......................................................... 39 California Motorcycle Rental................. 25 Cee Baileys Aircraft Plastic.............83, 103 Central Italy Motorcycle Tours.............. 62 Colorado Motorcycle Adventures....... 95 Colorado Tourbike Rentals..................... 37 Compass Expeditions............................... 47 Corbin Pacific.............................................105 Crampbuster/Throttle Rocker............... 89

Cyclenutz....................................................... 89 DMC Sidecars............................................... 41 Dubbelju Motorcycle Rentals................ 55 Eaglerider Pittsburgh............................... 97 Edelweiss Bike Travel.......................45, 103 EPM Hyper Pro............................................ 85 Euro Moto Electrics................................... 25 Farkle Bar....................................................... 45 First Gear......................................................IBC Geza Gear...................................................... 45 Giant Loop.................................................... 87 GSM Motorent............................................. 49 Guard Dog Moly......................................... 87 Happy Trails.................................................. 81 Helite (Max Moto)...................................... 27 Ilium Works................................................... 53 IMTBIKE TOURS................................... 13, 25 International Motorcycle Shows.......... 90 Jesse Luggage Systems........................... 87 Kermit Chair Company............................. 47 Kinekt Gear Ring......................................... 81 LD Comfort................................................... 39 Legal Speeding Enterprises................... 37 M4Moto-psa.......................................52, 104 MachineartMoto........................................ 25 Max BMW Motorcycles...............................5 MC Wheel Repair......................................103 Michelin Tire................................................. 29 MOA Gear Shop.......................................... 86 MOA Hotline................................................ 84 MOA Platinum Roadside Assistance... 99 Morton’s BMW Motorcycles................... 98 Moto-Bins...................................................... 49 MotoDiscovery............................................ 98 Motohansa Tools (The Beemer Shop)... 13 Motonation..................................................BC Motorcycle Travel Network.................... 45 Motorrad Elektrik....................................... 52

Motoworks UK............................................. 98 Motoskiveez................................................. 41 MotoStays..................................................... 52 Mountain Master Truck Equipment.... 52 Olympia Moto Sports..............................IFC Overseas Speedometer........................... 25 Palo Alto Speedometer............................ 81 Pandora’s European Motorsports......... 62 Parabellum................................................... 41 Paradise Motorcycle Tours...................... 35 Peru Motors.................................................. 39 Premier Euro Brands (Biker World)....104 Progressive Insurance.............................. 11 Ray Atwood Cycles.................................... 90 Redverz.......................................................... 90 Remus USA................................................... 19 Re-Psycle BMW Parts..............................103 Rider Magazine............................................ 90 RoadRUNNER Magazine.......................... 87 Russel Cycle Products.............................104 Sargent Cycle Products............................ 45 Side Kicker (AKS Engineering)............... 90 Spiegler.......................................................... 55 Stop ‘n Go...................................................... 87 Street Eagle Motorcycle Rentals............. 41 StrongBilt (StrongRak)............................. 90 Suburban Machinery................................ 47 Throttlemeister.........................................103 Total Control/Lee Parks Designs...... 47, 97 Touratech.........................................................1 Twisted Throttle................................... 92, 93 Venture Heat................................................ 89 Wilbers USA.................................................. 85 Wolfman Luggage..................................... 95 Wunderlich................................................... 57 Ztechnik......................................................... 59

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 2.

February 2016  BMW OWNERS NEWS



Loved to Ride At the end of a long and narrow road and hidden in a forest not far from Birmingham, Alabama, lies the final resting place of Jerald and Sandra Graves. Photo by Steve Armstrong #79571


BMW OWNERS NEWS  December 2015




BMW Owners News February 2016  
BMW Owners News February 2016  

Features A tasty ride along the Old Spanish Trail, by Curt Stetter; photos by Chuck Fell Chuck's way, by Ken Frick Feather comes home, by To...