BMW Owners News for November 2022

Page 68


South of Rome & Sicily Tour

HIGHLIGHTS Rome, Palermo, Valley of Temples, Mt. Etna, ancient cities of Taormina and Syracuse, Maratea, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii TOUR DATES APR 15 - 29, 2023 OCT 8 - 22, 2023 ROUTE LENGTH 2.600 km (1.600 miles) COUNTRY Italy DURATION 15 days / 13 Riding Days






Alan Toney had pondered why and how Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid had chosen San Vicente as “their place to die bloody” so he visited the Bolivian town in search of truth. Once there, Toney eventually left the small, silver mining town with more questions than answers.



Mark Janda’s (#198513) K 1600 parked beneath the sign of an abandoned New Mexico gas station he found during a ride from Phoenix to Maine and back.

In Part Two of his story describing the adventures he and his wife Janel experienced as they brought their new-to-them G 650 GS home, Dustin details the kindness of strangers, the sting of a bee, the fun of riding across Montana along with much, much more.


If they don’t ride alone, adventure motorcycle travelers are very picky about their travel partners. They need to know the people they are riding with can be counted upon and trusted when times get tough. That is the basis for the International GS Trophy competition.


BY KATE COIT #226210

Kate Coit didn’t let the fact that she’s a relatively new rider dissuade her from trying to qualify for the GS Trophy women’s team. According to Kate, she arrived at the qualifier as a nobody, but by the end of the event, everyone knew her name.

This photo was taken at Oglala Lakota Country, South Dakota. I named the photo “No Where” because I have never felt so alone as I did on that dirt road. Photo by Robert Spetsas #218049.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 20222
4 HEADLIGHT The Spirit of the Volunteer by Bill Wiegand 8 PRESIDENT'S COLUMN Thank You Ambassadors by Reece Mullins 10 POSTCARDS FROM THE ROAD 12 RIDER TO RIDER Letters from our Members 14 NEWS 2023 MOA Board of Directors Election Call for Candidates, BMW Owners Anonymous Book: Your Action Needed, Metzeler Releases New Adventure Tires, MOA Foundation Accepts Year-End Required Minimum Distributions as Charitable Donations, Welcome our Newest MOA Members, Todd Trumbore receives Knöchlein BMW Classic Award, BMW reveals Updates for 2023 S 1000 RR. 24 CELEBRATING 50 YEARS Gandalf and Me, Together for 52 years by Frank D. Coney 30 MEMBER TESTED Dewhel Spark Plug Coil Removal Tool by Mark Barnes 32 MEMBER TESTED The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson by Mark Barnes 36 A New T-CLOCS by Jose Abiles 38 KEEP 'EM FLYING A Short Ride by Matthew Parkhouse 40 TORQUE OF THE MATTER Tire Q&A by Wes Fleming 72 FROM THE FOUNDATION Why Do I Need to increase my Riding Skills by Steve Martin 74 SHINY SIDE UP The Stupids, Part One by Ron Davis 76 DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE OF CALIFORNIA Our Cosmic Axle by Don Bartletti 78 JACK THE RIEPE The Dog Daze of Summer, Part Two by Jack Riepe 82 THE RIDE INSIDE Flywheels by Mark Barnes 86 DETOURS Traffic Stop, Part Two by Bill Shaw 88 The MOA Getaway–Sugarbush by Maurice O’Neill 92 WHEN AND WHERE Rally listings 95 ADVERTISER INDEX 96 TAILIGHT Colorado
are technical and beautiful, nothing quite compares to powering out of corners
the aircraft-like sound and torque of the
massive R18
boxer engine. Engaging and beautiful, this one has a permanent spot in my garage.
Photo by Roman Nickelsen #230498.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 3


IN THIS MONTH’S ISSUE, LOUISE POWERS WRITES ABOUT THE “SPIRIT OF GS” at BMW Motorrad’s International GS Trophy competition held in Albania earlier this year. Her story, as stories and images from other MOA brothers and sisters do each month, made me think about the “Spirit of the MOA Volunteers,” those members always willing to step up to give their time and talent to help make Owners News the great publication it is.

In my office, I’ve got a collection of every issue of BMW News and BMW Owners News published. Regardless of the year or month of any of those issues, I think readers would come away with the same impression—that the spirit of our volunteers has been the catalyst building our club and the glue holding it together since its inception 50 years ago.

It’s much more than a simple love of riding BMW motorcycles that brought us here; it’s our willingness to serve fellow members that keeps our club strong and vibrant. Ask any member rescued using the BMW Owners Anonymous book or app, and that point will be clearly and enthusiastically illustrated.

Also this month, in his thank you to Ambassadors in his President’s Column, Reece Mullins offers his take on the high level of volunteer spirit those bestowed with that honor have achieved. As BMW Owners News editor, I could add the writers and photographers who selflessly offer their work for the pages of this magazine to his description of MOA members who can be counted upon to get things done.

From Mark Janda’s beautiful image of his K 1600 displayed on this month’s cover to Rodney Sherwood’s Talelight photo of his dog begging to join him for a ride, I am continually taken aback by what our MOA member volunteers are willing to do to make our community, and BMW Owners News, better for all of us. In not mentioning this fact more often, I believe my omission could qualify for one of those “lapses in judgment” Ron Davis describes on page 74 in his Shiny Side Up column titled “The Stupids (Part One).”

Today, I’m witnessing that spirit firsthand yet again as I see dozens of our devoted volunteers who have descended upon Lebanon, Tennessee, to help set up and manage our inaugural Motorrad Fest event. From placing cones for the RT-P Competition and E-Prix event to spreading dirt on the ADV track, the volunteer spirit is clearly alive and strong here.

Listening to national and local outlets, it’s easy to become disheartened as the world around us is painted in increasingly gloomy shades. While there are certainly national and world news that must be reported, there is also good in the world that, I believe, deserves equal billing. Stories like those offered by CBS’s “On the Road with Steve Hartman.” Stories showing us that despite the evil out there, there is also much good. Sadly, stories like Hartman’s are usually relegated to the last segment of each broadcast.

As riders, many of us use our bikes as a tool to escape the turbulent world that often surrounds us. I believe riding to an MOA event will reassure even the most troubled soul that the world is not as bad as has been reported, that there is good out there and that there are good people willing to prove that to us every day.

I believe it begins with the Spirit of the Volunteer.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 20224
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 20226

Heavenly Skies

After riding in a heavy rain from Red Lodge, Montana, over Beartooth Pass and through Yellowstone National Park, once the rain stopped the sky above the Tetons was incredible.

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 7


AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING AND SINCE RETURNING HOME FROM THE FLIGHT- LINE, I have been watching the funeral procession of the late Queen of England. As a military man, I find the pomp and circumstance, the drill, ceremony and uniforms oddly comforting. As a BMW motorcycle rider, I find that the choice of the processional leaders riding what appears to be three R 1200 RSes kitted out in police livery both intriguing and strangely comforting as well.

As aficionados of the brand, it would seem our admiration for, and trust in the BMW bike is shared by royalty. One might say the bikes and their riders were serving as ambassadors for the brand and the sport. Those motorcycles and their proficient riders were probably viewed by exponentially more people than any other televised motorcycle event, quite possibly in all of human history. Beyond advertising and marketing, the role of the ambassador, takes upon itself a noble quality unique to that position, and it is this “je ne sais quoi” nature shared by our BMW MOA Ambassadors that has motivated this month’s President’s column.

Merriam-Webster defines Ambassador as “An official envoy, a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.” Our club Ambassadors are very often the diplomat our club needs to reach out to new members or potential members and make them feel welcome and valued.

Pick any club event from our national rally to one of our many MOA Getaways, or any number of charter club regional rallies, and if you look at the volunteers working the event, those individuals will often be MOA Ambassadors. If there is work to be done, you can count on seeing a small army of Ambassadors doing the labor for everyone’s benefit.

As the President of the MOA, I count it a great privilege to be able to not only facilitate the nomination process, and when able, to make the presentation of the award, but also, to work with the Ambassadors at our national rally and our many club events. As I have the opportunity to see their dedication to our club and the sport up close, I find myself profoundly moved by them and work hard to ensure that the board supports these outstanding members.

Many Ambassadors have become close personal friends, and I often reach out to them for advice and mentorship. Executive Director Ted Moyer, Digital Media Editor Wes Fleming and Board Director Michael “Roc” Shannon are three MOA Ambassadors I respect and admire on the board and on staff. Their historical knowledge of the club and sage advice are greatly appreciated by me. Our Foundation Board is also replete with a healthy dose of Ambassadors as well, affirming their dedication to our club and the Foundation mission statement, which in and of itself, is the epitome of the ambassador mission to reach out and bring new riders into the sport through effective, safe, training opportunities.

If you know someone in our club who is worthy of this recognition, please go to our club’s website (,) and under the resources tab, Ambassadors is the top link. Click on that link and download the nomination form, fill it out completely and send it to our Club’s Ambassador Liaison, Jason Olson, whose address is at the bottom of the nomination form. But more importantly, when you see a MOA Ambassador identified through their pennant badge, please, thank them for their service to our great club.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 20228
F E ATU R ES & B ENEFI T S The all-new Roadsmart IV delivers best-in-class handling, grip and mileage. • Compared to the Roadsmart III, the RSIV increases mileage by 23 percent in the front and 26 percent in the rear * • New tread patterns, construction, compounds, and profiles increase ride comfort, grip and mileage. • New technology allows the RSIV to maintain its high-performance throughout its lifespan • Front and rear compounds with Hi Silica X and Fine Carbon increase wet grip and stopping performance • New sidewall construction improves wet and dr y handling and comfort. • MT Multi-Tread™ technology in the rear tire uses a long-wearing compound in the center, and special lateral compounds on the shoulders for outstanding grip. * Testing performed by Dunlop in Japan on a 2018 Honda CB1300 SB with tire sizes 120/70ZR17 front and 180/55ZR17 rear on 40% public roads and 60% highways Mileage results may vary **Testing performed at the Dunlop proving grounds in Huntsville, AL in sizes 120/70ZR17 front, and 190/55ZR17 on a 2018 BMW K1600 GTL. Results may vary. Mileage and wet-braking tests performed at Dunlop proving grounds in Japan. More mileage and more grip—the all-new Roadsmart IV delivers more More mileage and more grip—the all-new Roadsmart IV delivers more of everything you want in a sport touring tire. With best-in-class mileage (26-percent more than the Roadsmart III), more nimble handling and more wet and dry grip than the Roadsmart III, the Roadsmart IV offers premium performance no other sport-touring tire can match.** Size Load/Speed Part Number Roadsmart IV Front 120/70ZR17 (58W) 45253301 120/70ZR18 (59W) 45253307 Roadsmart IV Rear 160/60ZR17 (69W) 45253302 170/60ZR17 (72W) 45253303 180/55ZR17 (73W) 45253304 190/50ZR17 (73W) 45253305 190/55ZR17 (75W) 45253306 RIDE DUNLOP @RIDEDUNLOP | DUNLOPMOTORCYCLETIRES.COM | © 2022 MORE PERFORMANCE, MORE MILES
Above, The steam locomotive number 2522 built in 1898 and found near Paris, Arkansas. Photo by Karl Friedrich #199844. Left, My K 1300 S in front of the "Song of the Whales" mural found along the Cleveland Shoreway. Photo by Collin Stannard #229603 Below, My K 1600 Grand America while climbing New Hampshire's Mount Washington Auto Road in the mist. Photo by Jay Shannon #219419.

Left, One of the Sinclair dinosaurs found in eastern Colorado.

Photo by Jennifer Ott #215257.

Below Left, A group of wild horses I watched while riding through Thoedore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Photo by Terry South #135579.

Below Right, Some of the beauty greeting riders near Cedar City, Utah, during the recent MOA Getaway there. Photo by Daniel Waldman #65598.

Bottom, Along the Blue Ridge Parkway last June. Photo by Matt Madison #114833.

Each month we publish the great images sent to us by BMW MOA members from their travels around the globe. Send us your best images and you could have your work published in our Postcards from the Road pages. Email your high resolution images, image description and contact information to editor@

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 11


Send your letters and comments to:

Good Vibrations

What does motorcycle riding have in common with music, airplanes, waterfalls, wind, auto racing, horseback riding and the quantum world scientific string theory? Could it be vibrations?

The string theory suggests that, in reality, we intelligent humans experience only three or four of as many as 10 levels or dimensions (vibrations) of space. Could it be possible that as intelligent humans increase their exposure to vibrations that it becomes a spiritual experience?

For me motorcycling is a spiritual happening. To be in the wind, be in nature, feeling the engine vibrations, a sense of freedom, a sense of gratitude, a sense of peace and joy.

With 30 years of riding over 275,000 miles, mostly touring all of North America, I am grateful to HOG for great maps, BMW for great equipment and the BMW MOA for a wonderful brotherhood of riders. Good vibrations.

Dallas, Texas

Kentucky State Rally a Great Success

The Derby City Beemers just successfully co-promoted with Daryl Casey and his Kentucky Crew the first BMW MOA Kentucky State Rally at Pine Mountain State Resort Park in Pineville, Kentucky. The event could not have happened without the BMW MOA as our marketing partner and Ray Tubbs as our guiding compass.

I want to thank the management and staff at Pine Mountain State Park. For several years they have hosted BMW Getaway Events at the park. The level of acceptance the management has shown the event and way the staff has

embraced the motorcycle culture is amazing. All of Eastern Kentucky is embracing the positive economic impact motorcycle tourism can offer.

I also want to thank the companies that supported the event with sponsor ships and product donations Tourmaster/ Helmet House, Dunlop Tires, Continental Tires, National Cycle Windshields, DP Brakes, Aerostich, Ogio Packs/Luggage, MOA Gear Store, Motion Pro Tools, BMW of Louisville, Kentucky, and Buffalo Trace Distillery. These companies understand an embrace the importance of support ing local grassroots riding events.

It is also important for me to thank our special guests at the event from Back roads of Appalachia. This is a non-profit group founded by Erik Hubbard. Erik and his team of volunteers are working hard to develop motorcycle tourism in the region to help provide economic help to areas impacted by the loss of coal jobs.

When you have time visit Erik’s web page (; they have thousands of miles of motorcycle routes from traditional street to Adventure trails mapped and ready to let you plan your next riding vacation on their App.

When you are thinking about a location to vacation with your family or friends, consider visiting one of Ken tucky’s many state parks. When you are considering your next motorcycle related purchase, please keep the companies that are supporting the riders and local clubs in your decisions. One of the most important things we can do as motor cycle riders is take a look at what businesses are supporting the industry. Reward the companies and organizations that are trying to make a difference; vote with Your Dollars when purchasing products.

Also, it is impossible to have an event without riders attending and spending their money supporting the event. For

each of you that made the decision to visit Eastern Kentucky and spend your vacation dollars in the area, we appreciate you coming out. We hope you enjoyed the event and the wonderful motorcycle roads.

The volunteers are the motor for all events. To Daryl Casey’s crew and the Derby City Beemers who helped organize and promote the event, thanks for donat ing your time and experience. Hope to see everyone at the second annual Kentucky Rally next year.

Packing Light (er)

“Parkinson’s Law” is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” The law can be applied to packing for a motorcycle trip as well.

One sure fire method of reducing bike weight is to reduce luggage capacity. In Mark Barnes’ article “Light Makes Right” (Owners News, September 2022), he weighs all his gear and lists it. His packed luggage weighed in at 77 pounds. Applying Parkinson’s Law as a planning principal for weight reduction, Dr. Barnes could get rid of the top box and the tank bag, saving 17.5 pounds, and their contents saves him another 19.3 pounds. That is a total weight savings of 36.8 pounds or almost half of the total. And it gets rid of high-mounted weight making the bike much more wieldable.

One additional benefit may be found in the range of motion now available in the handlebars once the tank bag is removed. The initial concern will always be that “I can’t live without all the kit I packed,” but most of us can admit that we usually get home discovering plenty of untouched gear.

Try it. You might like it. You can always add the luggage back on for the next trip.

tt BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202212

Come On, Schuberth!

I was excited to see the preliminary Schuberth helmet review in the Septem ber BMW Owners News because my existing C3 Pro is at the time limit recommended for replacing helmets. My excitement quickly turned to disappoint ment when I saw no mention of MIPS or rotational force technology.

High end motorcycle helmet manufac turers appear to be negligent in integrat ing what could possibly be the biggest current safety advancement for riders. Bicycle and ski helmets have had this technology available for years. 6D Helmets is leading the way with motor cycle helmets, but they offer mostly ADV and dirt racing styles. Bell has also embraced MIPS. Due to the separation between layers, this technology is also reported to provide better venting.

Whether or not a helmet incorporates this technology should be one of the first things listed in any helmet review, the manufacturers need to know riders are aware of their deficiency. Unfortunately, my next helmet will not be the quietest or lightest, but it will be safer than the new Schuberth.

Trouble with 2014 R 1200 RT

On September 11th, my wife and I left Austin for a trip through Moab to Cedar City, Utah, for the MOA Getaway to be held on September 16th and 17th. We arrived at Durango, Colorado, on the 12th. On the next morning as we started to ride, I noticed a battery warning light on my dash. We had just replaced the batteries in both bikes the year before so I thought that was a little strange.

When I checked the volts, they read 11.8

which is not good. My wife saw a motorcycle shop on the way out of town and we returned to Coles Chop Shop in Durango. James Cole came out and looked at the bike and by now the volts were down to 9.2 and the red battery light was on. I called a friend in Austin and determined that it was probably a big repair. The nearest BMW dealer was in Albuquerque, New Mexico. James Cole put me in touch with Val One Transport in Durango, and we arranged for transportation back to Austin for ourselves and our bikes at a very reasonable price. I had to sit in back with his two dogs, but such is life.

The bike is a 2014 R 1200 RT with 70,000 miles on it and is now at Ride Now in Austin, and it looks like a bad stator, which is a major repair. This looks like a pretty common problem on the early 2014 R 1200s.

"Usually" Leave them Alone

I read Wes Fleming’s article “Leave Functional Systems Alone!” and as a mechanic who’s watched people maintain themselves into more failures and downtime than if they simply rode their bikes, I can agree with his points.

But as a systems engineer and lifelong tinkerer always looking to make my vehicles work for me better than the factory did (or could, since production vehicles are always compromises for a target market greater than me), I’d argue that the article title should’ve been “(Usually) Leave Functional Systems Alone!”

I have an early R 1150 GS (with “ABS II”) which I affectionately refer to as “Das Panzer” due to its toughness and weight


roughly resembling a tank. I removed the ABS module on it during a crusade to put my Panzer on a diet and overall make it better for the technical off-road riding I like to do with it. In doing so, I successfully reduced its weight by close to 50 lbs. vs. in stock trim. The ABS accounted for a bit over a third of that, mostly due to removal of the big ABS module, which is also located fairly high up within the bike, and thus its removal not only lowers its weight, but also its center of gravity.

For low-speed riding, the difference is noticeable, and as part of making the bike better for how I ride it, this was a worthwhile change. Wes’s points about a failure of the iABS making the bike unsafe to ride (and potentially difficult to repair) make an argument for why anyone who likes to ride their bikes a far distance might consider it worth removing. These bikes are old, and the more complicated systems are getting older with them.

Conversely, I love the new BMW ABS and would go to great lengths to keep it if I had an R 1250 GS Adventure. But for this old system on a bike that could benefit from a diet anyway? I’ll remove it and would suggest that, if you are either looking for the weight reduction (or do not want to be stranded far from home by a setup like iABS for which you can’t safely ride once it breaks), there’s an argument to be made for its removal. It all depends on how you use your motorcycle. If you frequently ride in the rain or slippery conditions where ABS adds more of its value and ride primarily locally, there is a different argument to be made for saving yourself the time and headaches of performing unnecessary work.

Incidentally, if anyone is looking for an ABS II brake module, I have one on the shelf that I believe is still working.

Each month, the Rider to Rider pages of BMW Owners News detail the successes, failures, wishes and frustrations we all face as riders, BMW motorcycle owners, customers and individuals. As a BMW MOA member, these are your pages and we want to know what’s on your mind.

Got something to get off your chest? Tell us about it. Know a business that deserves to be recognized? Tell us about it. Got a riding or tech tip that we could all benefit from? Tell us about it. Got a suggestion for BMW Motorrad? You know the drill–Tell us about it! There’s only one rule and that’s to stick to the subject that brings us all here–motorcycling, so save political rants for Facebook! Send your thoughts to and lets all work to build a better community.

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 13

Board Election Call for Candidates

The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, a group operated almost entirely by volunteers who have given decades of their lives in support of our great club, will again call upon our members next spring to cast their vote for our next board members.

The MOA follows a “major, minor, no election” schedule; 2022 saw no board members leave or join your board, but in 2023 we will see five new board members elected. While this means those who run for a position have a higher chance of being elected, it also means more of our members may be stepping up after not been able to run in 2022.

While every vote counts, there will be a small group interested in serving on this 50th anniversary board. If you’re interested, being nominated takes a couple of steps but, as someone mid-way into their first term, I can tell you that the ability to serve your fellow MOA members at this national stage is a privilege and can be a lot of fun.

BMW MOA board members aren’t only solving problems for today’s MOA members, but setting strategy for the next five to ten years. Someone who joins the MOA in 2030 will be impacted by the decisions we’re making today. New board members are mentored and allowed autonomy to share their opinions, and it’s a healthy and collaborative environment inside of the board. You will make a difference, and we have a lot of work to do that requires individuals from all backgrounds, skills, demographics and geographies.

If you are interested running for one of the five positions available on the BMW MOA Board, contact the BMW MOA office to request a nomination packet. A Nomination Petition is used to obtain the names of at least five other members in good stand ing, including their MOA numbers, addresses and signatures supporting the nomination. Obtaining the five signatures is a requirement, but they do not have to be presented on the nomination petition example in the packet. The Candidate Search Committee must receive a biography/position statement of no more than 500 words in length. The words will be counted by the Committee, and they will cut off the election materials after the 500th word of any biography/position statement exceeding this length. A photograph is not required but is highly recommended. All required election documents must be received by the Candidate Search Committee no later than February 1, 2023, to have the member’s name appear on the ballot as a candidate.

Information on who has submitted a Nomination Petition is available from the Candidate Search Committee. However, no person shall read or listen to the biography or position statement of any other candidate without such candidate’s prior permission. Members of the Candidate Search Committee who are also

candidates may read such biographies and position statements prior to the submittal to the Secretary provided they have previously submitted their biographies and position statements and do not later alter them. The April issue of the BMW Owners News will contain the election materials, including each candidate’s biography and position statement and photograph. The last day to submit ballots is April 30 of each election year. The election committee will not count ballots received on or after May 11, 2023, even if the postmark is April 30, 2023.

Candidate Search Committee members include:

• Don Hamblin, Chair 256-479-5606

• Muriel Farrington 802-295-6511

• John Gamel 617-270-7070

Members of the Candidate Search Committee have served on boards or worked closely with the BMW MOA Board of Directors and can address candidate questions about serving on the board.

The April 2023 issue of BMW Owners News will publish candidate biographies, photographs and position statements. All current BMW MOA members will also receive information at that time regarding how to vote online or how to receive a traditional paper ballot.

Additionally, a special Election Forum in the “Clubhouse” at will be available for candidates for campaigning, discussing issues, and answering questions from the member ship. This Election Forum will go live on April 1, 2023 and will be removed on April 30. The Election Forum will not be archived, and participation by candidates in this forum is optional.

The Election Committee is nominated by the President and announced in January. Once votes are counted, the Election Committee will certify the BMW MOA 2023 election results and report the results to the President and Secretary, who will notify all candidates. The election results will be published in BMW Owners News no later than the June 2023 issue with the successful candidates seated at the Board meeting at the 2023 BMW MOA National Rally.

I hope we get to meet at our National Rally next June for your induction onto the MOA’s 50th year board of directors. If you have any questions for me about what it’s been like my first year, feel free to email me.

Please remember to vote and thank you in advance for doing so.

2023 MOA
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202214

BMW Owners Anonymous Book: Your Action Needed

Now is your chance to opt in and continue receiving the print edition of the BMW Owners Anonymous Book. While we encourage every member to download and use the BMW Owners Anonymous App, we are committed to providing a print copy for any member who would like one.

If you don’t opt in, you will no longer receive a print copy. Starting January 1, 2021, the default has been the BMW Owners Anonymous app, and we’ll be including instructions on how to download and use the app with every new member package that goes out.

All you have to do is mail in the postage-paid card included in this issue of BMW Owners News and you’ll receive your print copy of the BMW Owners Anonymous Book next year. Following that, you’ll be able to opt in or out as you like by logging in to your member profile on the MOA website.

For more information and detailed instructions on how to activate and update your BMW Owners Anonymous information, visit the MOA website at

METZELER Releases New Adventure Tires

Metzeler’s newest adventure tires, the Karoo 4 and the Tourance Next 2, are now available in the U.S.

new models have already been seeing great success with European riders, and we are excited for U.S. riders to start enjoying them and putting them through their paces,” said Scott Griffin, VP of Motorcycle Sales for METZELER USA.

Building on the success of its predecessor, METZELER designed the Karoo 4 around exceptional performance and reliability for riders of adventure and dual sport motorcycles. Off-road performance is key for this 50/50 tire, with scoop-shaped blocks in the tread offering maximum traction even in soft or muddy terrain. For those stretches of road miles, the Karoo 4 offers a stiffer carcass structure and a new multiradius profile to promote line holding and grip in lean, with dual-compound rears offering enhanced grip under heavy loads.

For adventure riders who spend a little more time on the asphalt, the METZELER Tourance Next 2 is the new tire of choice. Utilizing METZELER’s radial structure with a 0-degree steel belt and INTERACT™ technology, the Tourance Next 2 offers riders both agility and stability along with an accurate feel for the controls. As with other METZELER tire models, Tourance Next 2 was designed with wet weather in mind, and response in wet conditions is achieved with new rubber com pounds and METZELER HYPERBASE™ construction. Durability is front and center as well with new compounds and METZELER Dynamic Mold Angle Technology delivering performance throughout the entire life cycle of the tire.

To learn more about the METZELER Karoo 4 or Tourance Next 2 tires, visit or your local dealer.

MOA Foundation Accepts Year-End Required Minimum Distributions as Charitable Donations

Riders approaching age 72 can use the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from IRA or 401(k) accounts as a chari table donation source. RMD funds can be contributed directly to 501(c)3 organiza tions, like the MOA Foundation, on a nontaxable basis as a Qualified Charitable Donation. The fund custodian can typically assist donors with setting this transaction in motion, up to $100,000 annually.

As a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization, the BMW MOA Foundation supports rider safety, education and training initiatives to preserve the rich heritage of motorcycling. A generous donor community makes it possible for the Foundation to deliver that mission. Your donation supports riders to complete approved training courses.

As part of your 2022 year-end tax planning activities, please remember the Foundation can accept RMD based donations. Your monetary support will have a lasting positive impact on the MOA community.

BMW Motorcycle Owners of America2350 Hwy 101 SouthGreer, SC 29651 2022 BMW OWNERS ANONYMOUS BOOK ANONYMOUS BOOK 2022 BMW OWNERS VISIT BMWMOA.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATIONTo register, click on the EVENTS tab or call 864-438-0962 and a membership associate will be happy to assist you. Join UsBMW MOA NATIONAL RALLYSPRINGFIELD, MOJUNE 16-18, 2022
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 15

Welcome our newest MOA members

Dylan Avery Brooklyn, NY

Ethan Ames Honesdale, PA

Paul Anderson Spring Grove, IL

Richard Angle Athens, GA

Larry Arcadi Loveland, CO

Josh Arnett Loveland, OH

Collin Arnold New Orleans, LA

Thomas Asher Johnstown, OH

Bradley Baker Bremerton, WA

Michael Baruch Brooklyn, NY

Steve Bauer Oklahoma City, OK

Lance Bedwell Conway, SC

Jay Beebe Murfreesboro, TN

David Begin San Antonio, TX

Jacob Behm Hudson, WI

Simon Berridge Surprise, AZ

Roger Berry Prescott, AZ

Taylor Besemer Romoland, CA

Jost Bierbaum Cropwell, AL

Jennifer Blaz Sneads Ferry, NC

Matthew Bloom Getzville, NY

Eric Boness Kankakee, IL

Stuart Bradley Winnetka, IL

Collin Brady Boulder, CO

Duane Brennan Virginia Beach, VA

Holly Brockman Madison, AL

James Brooks Tijeras, NM

Bob Brooks Morris, IL

Jessie Brown Catawissa, MO

Adam Brown Springer, OK

"I had a BMW R 1150 RT 15 years ago but sold it when we built our house. I really wanted to ride again, so I did a lot of research, then bought my 2017 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure last month. So far I love this bike! It is very comfortable and very stable. At 6'2" tall I was concerned about getting a bike that was too small. The GSA is perfect for riders my size. The GSA also has changeable ride modes that my previous bike did not have. What a great feature! I think I've used every mode except Enduro mode so far. I am looking forward to many trips and rides in the future!"

Ronald Bump Elgin, IL John Campbell Bettendorf, IA Tony Carpenter Massillon, OH Kelly Cash Canton, MA Gregory Ceurvorst Oak Park, IL Adrian Ciocci Broomfield, CO

David Clark Tijeras, NM

Alberto Clavecillas Fairfax, VA Paul Cloak Red Wing, MN Juan Cosentino Miami, FL Brian Crooks Lansdowne, PA

Dan Curtin Stow, OH

David Dalbec Alexandria, VA Sadie Deaton Loveland, OH Estanislad Dejesus Chicago, IL

Chase Delaney Midway, TX Alex Dixon Stonewall, MB Hugh Dunklee Oceanside, CA Sacha Duross Loveland, CO Wayne Evans Anacortes, WA Stefani Farmer Tega Cay, SC

Alan Feldman Golden, CO Robert Finlay St. Cloud, FL Christopher Fleming Burgess Hill, UK

Todd Flott Carrollton, TX Corlin Franzmeier Apple Valley, MN Seth Friedman Bloomfield Hills, MI Derek Friedmann Oklahoma City, OK Derek Fry Cleburne, TX

Carey Gage Cedar Park, TX

Chris Gates Attalla, AL

Rachael Gates Attalla, AL

James Gault Lincoln, RI Kris Geller Colorado Springs, CO

John Gifford Boulder, CO

James Glascock Edgar Springs, MO

Katie Glass Las Vegas, NV Gil Glastetter Austin, TX Joshua Gollihan Bedford, IN John Gorman Fulks Run, VA Jeff Graf Sugar Grove, OH

Jeffery Graham Aurora, IL Hank Green Attica, IN David Greggs Newcastle, WA Peter Hajder Port Barrington, IL

Christopher Hampton Dothan, AL

Andrew Henault Hampton, NH Ken Henault Hampton, NH Kim Herman Millersburg, OH Butch Hill Florence, TX

James Horan Washougal, WA

David Hughes Washington, DC Ian Hughes Madison Heights, MI Artur Jaglowski Algonquin, IL

John Janish Beldenville, WI

Miguel Jauregui Casanueva Vail, CO

Jeffrey Jobin Hollywood, FL Frank Jowers Lake Helen, FL Matthew Jung Elgin, IL

Christopher Jurgens Davenport, IA

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202216

"I joined MOA because of the benefits and connections described by our local rider’s group in Central Oklahoma. I absolutely love riding, as it is the most fun and therapeutic activity I have come across!

I purchased my 2019 F 750 GS from EuroTek OKC just over two years ago, but really had no appreciation for it until riding it to various locations in beautiful Utah and Colorado. It is the near-perfect size and not intimidating, while having the capability to do everything and travel any road (pave ment, gravel or dirt). And, I have come to very much appreci ate the cruise control and those wonderful, heated grips.

Looking forward to many, many more miles on future mountain and desert trips!"

— David Seratt #230208

Blair Kaufman Weaverville, NC

Pat Kay Tampa, FL

Anthony Kelley Mesa, AZ

Cyle Keltner New Lisbon, WI

Mark Kiefner Portland, ME

Paul Kiela Ancaster, ON

Mark Klatke Lakewood, CO

Michael Kleisler North Palm Beach, FL

Andrew Kocha Wrightstown, WI Race Kohel Lincoln, NE

Nikolin Kokalari Royal Oak, MI

John Kott Crystal Lake, IL

Jonathan Lazzeroni Fredericksburg, VA

Mark Leider Lake Bluff, IL

Marvin Leigeb Midland, MI

Thomas Lenzmeier Apple Valley, MN

Mark Long Glen Campbell, PA

James Lopez Denver, NC

Stewart Lossing Spotsylvania, VA

Charles Lucous Palatine, IL

John Ludwigson Winter, WI

Howard Lynch Sharpsburg, GA

John Mancini Morrison, CO

Richard Martin New Orleans, LA

Shawn Matejovich Galena, OH

Michael Mattenson Riverwoods, IL

Daniel McCay Ila, GA

Allan McDowell West Tisbury, MA

Jeremy Miller Greendale, WI

Eric Moberg Franklin, NC

Corinne Modina Sayreville, NJ

Peter Moret Rockvale, TN Bodgan Morozovskif Littleton, CO John Morris Ramsey, MN Shelia Mott Littleton, CO

Joyce Mowad Clint, TX Alex Muirhead Charlottesville, VA Paul Murphy Scotts Valley, CA Richard Murray Lexington, SC Allyson Murrhy Newbury, NH Chris Muschek Denver, CO Adam Narcis Maiden, NC Jay Newton Tallahassee, FL Robert Novotny Severn, MD

Christopher O'Brien New York, NY Harry Oh Valencia, CA Scott O’Sullivan Denver, CO Mike Paiva Novi, MI Amit Patel Barrington, IL Adam Peltier Columbus, OH Julie Pendleton Spring Grove, IL Andrius Petraitis Chicago, IL Curtis Pett North Potomac, MD Brent Phillips Georgetown, MA Lance Plassio Chambersburg, PA Craig Plomondon Littleton, CO Doug Pohl Farmersville, OH Chuck Raichert Farmington, MN Rudy Ramjeawan Orlando, FL Mark Raza Noblesville, IN

Kevin Reardon Austin, TX

Bruce Redd Smyrna, GA

Robert Repich Columbia, IA Kevin Rife Algonquin, IL

Jeff Rimpas Sudbury, MA

Christopher Rodriguez Brainard, NY

R Bruce Rogers Charlotte, NC Russell Rohloff Fort Collins, CO Dennis Rolland Big Lake, MN

Colin Roper Herndon, VA Zac Ruch Mauldin, SC

Troy Ruprecht Fort Walton Beach, FL Jaime Saber Greenwood, AR

Michele Samuels Royal Oak, MI

Dale Santarelli Lafayette, CO

William Santiago Poplarville, MS Erin Sanzone Bristol, CT

Todd Sanzone Bristol, CT Bob Schiffbauer Westerville, OH

Steve Schneider Huntington, NY

Cadence Schroedl Livermore, CO

Vadim Sedletsky Natick, MA

Will Selden Santa Cruz, CA

Shaun Selley Mahanoy, PA

Dipen Shah Chicago, IL

Colin Shreffler Castle Rock, CO

Charles Smack Jefferson City, MO Pam Smith Castle Rock, CO

Ricky Smith Bethany, OK

Taylor Smith Somerville, TX

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 17

"I live in Springfield Missouri, where we have a lot of diverse riding which is what makes my '96 R 1100 GS the perfect bike for the Ozarks. Whether packing for an overnight adventure, enjoying the single track of the Mark Twain National Forest, or spending the evening in the twisties, this bike can do it all.

I've been riding motorcycles since childhood and enjoy most disciplines of the sport. I actively participate in a Hare Scamble racing series, enjoy the occasional track day, ride and restore vintage motorcycles and love the joy of riding. I recently attended the MOA's 50th anniversary rally in Springfield, Missouri, on my GS. I was grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the BMW Adventure Challenge Trials competition and to my surprise took first place. I'm very thankful for such a quality organization like the MOA. Here's to many years ahead!

— Dustin Langston #230024

"I just got back from riding the entire Blue Ridge Parkway, the Dragon, and the Cherohala Parkway and my BMW was simply everything I wanted in a bike.

I have ridden a lot of bikes and many scare people off, but the BMW is really welcoming. People like to chat and ask how the bike is and how my ride is going. BMW riders are different from so many out there on the road today.

My best friend, Matt Kaufman, who rides a K 1600, raved about the benefits of the club and the annual Rally every year, so that's why I joined. I will see you all in Richmond next year!

Curtis Smith Lakeland, FL

Bill Soracco Highlands Ranch, CO

Sivakumar Srinivasan Katy, TX

Brent Stafford Florissant, CO

Everett Sticken Pickering, MO

Craig Stockert Hopewell, NJ

Ron Stokes Portland, OR

David Struthers Springfield , VT

Jeffrey Sutherland Ocean City, NJ

Richard Tallman Austin, TX

Shubham Tandlekar Denver, CO

Eric Thomas New Durham, NH

Al Thomson Severn Bridge, ON

Tom Tibberino Doylestown, PA

Ljubomir Tot Plattsburgh, NY

Steve Trebing Carolina Beach NC

J Scott Tripp Lake Placid, NY

Ricardo Trzmielina Tampa, FL

Trey Tull Kerrville, TX

Jakob Turney Shelocta, PA

Paul Updike Bear Creek, PA

Edward Urbany Crofton, MD

Terry Vanlandingham Austin, TX

Robert Varto Novi, MI

Michael Vaserman Boston, MA

Raul Villarreal Laredo, TX

Treg Wansholz Littleton, CO

Bill Weckel Fort Walton Beach, FL

Patrick Whealy Lake Geneva, WI

Ryan Whitt Omaha, NE

Alfred Williamson Fredericksburg, VA Alan Williamson Firestone, CO

Evan Wills Granite Falls, WA

Hunter Wilson Dayton, OH

Peter Woehrlin Prior Lake, MN

Mitchell Wofchuck Somerset, NJ

Thomas Wolf Broomfield, CO

Ricky Woolsey Hackett, AR

Charles Wright Des Moines, WA

Walter Wysota West Vancouver, BC

Martin Zarate Colorado Springs, CO

Jovan Zdravkovic Des Plaines, IL

Karl Zuercher Santa Fe, NM

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202218

Todd Trumbore receives Knöchlein BMW Classic Award

THE BMW MOA BOARD OF DIRECTORS is proud to announce that Todd Trumbore (#32872) of Harleysville, Pennsylvania, has been awarded the Professor Dr. Gerhard Knöchlein BMW Classic Award—the highest award presented to an individual by BMW Classic and the International Council of BMW Clubs. The award honors club members who have been particularly instrumental in the promotion and perpetuation of the BMW marque. Only members of a recognized BMW club who have kept their historic BMW vehicles in perfect condition and made them acces sible to the public are eligible.

Trumbore’s original plan for the large shed he was building in his back yard was simply to get his heavy equipment and motorcycles out of the problematic

Pennsylvania weather. It didn’t take long before his ever-growing collection of vintage and beautifully-restored BMW motorcycles to push everything else out and make his Bavarian Bike Barn a reality.

Todd attributes his love of motorcycles and talent with a wrench to his father who he watched ride a postwar WLA surplus Harley-Davidson when Todd was a child. Todd’s father was also known in their neighborhood as “Mr. Fixit,” and able to repair almost anything. Constantly at his father’s side, Todd always enjoyed helping his dad and began spinning wrenches when he was only eight years old.

Once finally old enough to drive, Todd didn’t want a car and when he found a highly discounted 125 Gilera at a local shop, his life on two wheels began. That

little Italian motorcycle carried Todd through his high school years until he traded it for a Yamaha RD350 when he entered college. To support himself while in school, Todd worked as a mechanic in a local garage and the more he worked with his hands, the better his mechanical skills became. But it wasn’t until Todd graduated from college and began working as an accountant for corporate giant FMC that he was introduced to the world of BMW motorcycles.

Shortly after beginning his career at FMC, Todd met a machinist who owned a 1974 R 90 S in Silver Smoke. Upon seeing the gorgeous motorcycle, Todd’s eyes lit up, and his search to find the same model in Daytona Orange began. While searching for an R 90 S, he found and purchased an R 100

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202220

T which he converted to an R 100 S. At that time, Todd had no idea where his journey with BMW motorcycles would take him, but quickly, his collection of German motorcycles began to grow and is still growing today, more than 40 years later.

“I caught the bug, and I caught it hard,” Todd said. “There’s nothing better than jumping on a bike and riding.”

Todd says he’s always enjoyed wrenching and restoring vintage BMWs as much as he enjoys riding them. Over the years, Todd’s collection of BMW motorcycles has continued to grow far beyond what he dared to imagine. Today, Todd’s Bavarian Bike Barn has become a museum for BMW Motorrad aficionados across both the U.S. and the world and houses more than 130 motorcycles.

Todd has been a member of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America since 1984. Over the years, he has also assisted with the Vintage Display at MOA National Rallies and displayed many bikes from his collection for all rally attendees to enjoy. Todd enthusiastically speaks with everyone he meets, whether it be BMW enthusiasts interested in undertaking a restoration project or others interested in learning about BMW’s rich history.

In addition to his long-standing membership in the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Todd is a member of the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners and Airheads Beemer Club. He has also hosted

an annual Vintage Festival and a yearly picnic for his Delaware club.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the iconic R 90 S, in June of 2014, Todd organized a rally for R 90 S enthusiasts with special guests including legendary motorcycle designer Hans Muth, Superbike builder and tuner Udo Geitl, three-time AMA Superbike Champion Reg Pridmore, and Robert Lutz, BMW’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing. Needless to say, that celebration was a huge success.

Todd followed that celebration five yearslaterbyorganizingandhostingthe40thanniversary celebration of the R 65 LS and R 80 G/S, two more iconic BMW motorcycles. Guests for this celebration included Udo Geitl, George Martin, owner of Germany’s largest BMW dealership, racer and mechanic Tom Cutter, globetrotter Dr. Gregory Frazier and several others. To celebrate his “children’s birthdays,” Hans Muth was also present. The event was covered by moto journalists from across the globe and like the first celebration, was highly successful.

Todd was presented the Knöchlein award in September by Bob Aldridge, MOA delegate for the International Council of Clubs. In the 50-year history of the MOA, Todd is only the 12th MOA member to have received this award, considered the most prestigious in the industry.

Opposite page, Todd Trumbore's "Bike Barn" houses more than 130 beautifully restored motorcycles. Above, Todd with Hans Muth, designer of the original GS and other iconic BMW motorcycles.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 21

Updates for

NEWS BMW reveals
BMW MOTORRAD’S UPDATES FOR THE 2023 BMW S 1000 RR DELIVERS enhancements to the chassis, suspension, aerodynamics and electronic assist systems. “With an advanced suspension and chassis, the new Brake Slide Assist and DTC Slide Control assistance systems, as well as optimized aerodynamics with winglets and a redesigned rear end, we are able to raise the RR’s performance to a new level,” said Wolfgang Wallner, S 1000 RR Project Manager. Updates include: • Updated chassis, suspension and aerodynamics. • New electronic assist features. • MSRP of $17,895 • Expected U.S. market arrival – January 2023 • Shorter secondary gear ratio for more traction at the rear wheel. • Advanced “Flex Frame” with more flex. • Chassis geometry with new steering head angle, offset, caster and wheelbase. • M Chassis Kit with adjustable swinging arm pivot point and raised rear end. • Dynamic Traction Control DTC with new Slide Control function for drifts while accelerating using steering angle sensor. • ABS Pro with new Brake Slide Assist function using steering angle sensor for braking drifts when approaching corners. • ABS Pro Setting “Slick” • Optimized aerodynamics with new front section, winglets, high windshield and partitioning off of the lower triple clamp. • M lightweight battery as standard. • USB charging port in the rear section. • Redesigned rear section and shorter license plate holder. • Redesigned wiring harness for easier removal of the license plate frame. • Clutch and generator cover in black. • Easier rear wheel assembly removal due to loss-proof axle bushings, chamfered brake pads and brake anchor plate. • M GPS Mouse Adapter as part of the BMW Motorrad original accessory range. • New GoPro holder as part of the BMW Motorrad original accessory range. • Three paintwork finishes: Blackstorm metallic, Style Passion in Racing Red non-metallic and Lightwhite non-metallic/BMW M. For detailed information on all of the 2023 S 1000 RR updates, please visit bmw-motorrad-announces-2023-s-1000-rr/. BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202222
2023 S 1000 RR November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 23

Gandalf and Me, Together for 52 years


14. While most of my friends had either a Cushman scooter or a moped, one buddy had a “real” motorcycle–a Triumph cub. Seeing how it outperformed the other two wheelers, I had to have a motorcycle too.

At that time there was no Triumph dealership in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, in 1958, but there was a Harley-Davidson dealer a few miles away near Eglin Air Force Base. I agreed to pay for the bike if my dad helped me get a loan. A few

cosigned a promissory note at a local bank, and I was the proud owner of a Harley-Davidson 165. With my paper route delivering two editions every day except Sunday, I cleared $110 to $125 a month, pretty good earnings for a 14-year-old in 1958.

Of course, my mom was completely against me having the bike as my father was in a terrible accident when he was 25 and had to have his left leg amputated above the knee. To help pacify her and unbeknownst to me, dad told the Harley dealer to install a governor in the carburetor throat. When my friends and I figured out something wasn’t right when I could only get to 45 mph, the governor was discovered so a few days later we removed the carburetor and popped out the governor. Now I could get up to 70 if I lay down over the handlebars. I was completely hooked!

In December of 1966 graduated from Florida State University and the 165 had long since been sold and the only motorcycle riding I did while at FSU was on my roommate’s Honda Dream.

In the 1960s and most of the 1970s the draft was a fact of life for 18-year-old men, or in my case, a 22-year-old college student with a 2S deferment. About two weeks after I graduated, I was reclassified 1A and in February of 1967 I joined the Army as an Officer’s School Candidate. By 1968 I was a second lieutenant in the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany. At the time, the Army brass frowned on soldiers owning a motor cycle, but I was getting that old feeling of exhilarating freedom on the road every time I encountered a civilian on a motorcycle. Finally in November of 1969, I bought a 1969 BMW R 69US BMW. I quickly found a collection of other soldiers, Germans, and an expat American to ride with. We went to motorcycle races at Hockenheim and the Nurburgring where I was privileged to watch Giacomo Augustini work his magic on the racetrack. We did all the stupid stuff that one often does when young and full of reckless action and when Fausching and the Octoberfest season arrived, we drank copious amounts of wine or beer and charged down the German country roads, or as I did, occasionally into a farmer’s potato field!

By April of 1970 I was off to Vietnam. I left my bike with my American friend who was supposed to tenderly

Top left, The 1970 Elephant Rally at the Hockenheim racetrack. Bottom left, First Annual BMW Dixiefest Rally, May 1973 at Talladega.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202224

Getting ready to ride back to Tallahassee from a retreat in 1975.

care for the bike while I was gone. He had a garage where the bike was to be stored. I returned to Germany on R and R about 13 months later and went straight to the garage to retrieve the BMW. My friend told me that he had ridden my bike while his was in the shop, which was a lot as he was a nationally ranked amateur side car racer. It seemed he had managed to burn a hole in one of my pistons. Bob never did give me a satisfactory explanation of how this happened but did assure me that he took care of all repairs and that the bike was ready to go.

I had been planning a trip to London so off I went for two glorious weeks in London, visiting many of its pubs, shopping on Saville Row and going to museums. Driving in the London traffic on the left-hand side of the road, after several near head on collisions, I decided to park the BMW and take the Tube.

After a second tour in Vietnam, I had accumulated a lot of leave, so I went back to Friedberg to arrange the return of my bike to the States. It was during my remaining year and a half in the Army that I joined the BMW MOA and went to my first rally, the Table Rock Rendezvous in Pickens, South Carolina. The summers of 1972 and ‘73 were happy ones for me–I was a Captain in the Army, single and I had a little spare money to spend and time to travel to rallies. In August of 1973 I went to the Four

Winds Rally in Pennsylvania. Even back then that rally was a “must.” On the way back, disaster struck when, in the mountains of West Virginia, my engine suddenly seized up. I later discovered that the slinger ring had not been cleaned out after my friend, Bob, had trashed one of the pistons.

There I was stranded in the boondocks and all I could do was stick my thumb out and stand by my bike looking as pitiful as possible. After about a half hour, a family in a stopped and asked if they could help. I asked them to send a truck back for me as I did not want to leave the bike on the side of the road. About an hour later, an old guy and his son, returned in a pic up truck that resembled the wreck of the Hesperus. We grunted and groaned as we pushed the bike up a ramp then drove to their house. They were a poverty-stricken bunch, rough as cobs, but generous. They fed me, offered me some homemade beer and put me in one of their bedrooms. The next day they drove me to a U Haul dealership where I rented a van. I then drove to Bluefield, West Virginia, where there was a motorcycle dealer who said he could repair the engine. He cautioned that it would be expensive and that I might want to consider trading it in on another used or new BMW. I had owned the bike a little less than five years at this point, but I had gotten rather attached to it. After all, we had been all over Germany, traveled to London, gone to five or six state rallies and I liked the look of the bike. I decided to keep it and the repairs

Pittsburg, Kansas, with an old friend in 1977. We drove to the Flying W Ranch the next day for the National Rally
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 25

were made.

I separated from the Army in September of 1973 and returned to FSU for a second bachelor’s degree. “The Lord of the Rings” was enjoying a revival on college campuses and when I read the trilogy I was particularly impressed by the return of Gandalf after his fall into the chasm with the Balrog.

A month later, I drove to Bluefield and brought the BMW back on my trailer. Later that year I felt it was time the bike had a name and I remembered how Gandalf had returned from what seemed like certain death. I felt my bike triumphed over what could have been his “death” by parting him out and since late 1973, my R 69US has been named Gandalf.

Galdalf and I have had many memorable trips together. I attended my first rally at Table Rock State Park in 1974 then two years later, I rode from Tallahassee to Los Angeles to visit a cousin and discovered that riding across the desert southwest in July on a motorcycle is a masochistic exercise! I was do dehydrated crossing Arizona that I nearly had a heat stroke. What a trip it was! Gandalf ran well and only experienced a minor charging problem in San Antonio.

In 1978 I bought a set of Craven bags from C&D BMW in Freeport, Illinois,–what a convenience to have nice detachable luggage instead of a huge knapsack on a sissy bar! In 1980, I moved to Denver and occasionally rode bikes equipped with fairings. I liked the lack of bugs and sand in my face, and I noticed how much quieter the ride was. The right fairing, I decided, could make Gandalf look quite dashing and me more comfortable. In the spring of 1981, I bought a Hannigan fairing. That summer Gandalf was dressed out in a Hannigan Sport Touring fairing and Craven bags. I joined the BMW

of Denver club and had listened to stories of how people were increasingly putting later model power trains in their old /2 bikes. This, I was told, gave the owners the advantages of a more updated engine with a force-fed oil system, a 12-volt charging system and a five-speed transmission. Soon, I began looking for a relatively new engine and transmission to replace Gandalf’s power train. Late in the summer of 1981, BMW of Colorado Springs called and said they had a totaled R 65 with only 4,000 miles on the engine. The R 65 “heart transplant” was accomplished for about $250. and I decided to keep Gandalf for the foreseeable future. I had an elegant looking bike,

At the 1996 Morganton, North Carolina, National Rally. A shot from the 1987 National Rally in Boone, North Carolina.

and the new engine and transmission made it strong-running and dependable.

In 1982, I married Melanie and for our honeymoon we took a three-week trip on Gandalf along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We followed the Parkway to Waynesboro, Virginia, then took Skyline Drive to Luray. Along the way, one of Gandalf’s rear shocks broke while in New Jersey and we had to go to Butler and Smith to get a replacement but they only had one in stock. The nearest dealer with another was in Manhattan–that turned out to be the trip to Hell and back. From there, we continued on to Boston and on July 4th, 1982, we listened to the Boston Pops Orchestra perform the 1812 Overture on the Esplanade. On our return trip home, we spent a few days on Cape Cod before making the two-day trip back to Tallahassee.

We moved to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1984 and have since then gone to National Rallies in Madison, Ohio, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Morganton, North Carolina, Charleston West

Virginia, Knoxville, Tennessee, Sedalia, Missouri and Lebanon, Tennessee.

In 1992 Gandalf underwent a complete restoration at Blue Moon Cycle in Norcross, Georgia, then 24 years later, I trailered Gandalf to APEX Cycle shop in Ellijay, Georgia, and had the engine top end completely rebuilt. In 2018, I returned Gandalf to APEX and the final drive was overhauled, the front forks rebuilt, the /2 brake drums replaced with /5 brake drums and various parts were removed and sent to a chroming service. The fairing and bags were repainted, and the bike is now in the best shape it has been in since I bought it almost 53 years ago. Last summer, I gave the bike to my son in Utah as at 77-years-old, my motorcy cling days are fast coming to an end.

What a long fun-filled ride it has been riding the same BMW I bought in Germany 52 years ago!

Picking up Gandalf at Blue Moon Cycle in Norcross, GA, after his first restoration in June 1992.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202228

What do I love?

“I love riding motorcycles and have for the most part always treated it, first, as a mode of transportation and, second, how to have some fun. I had never really joined a community.

I recently attended an ADV rally in Haverhill N.H. where I saw the power of a community and it changed the way I approach riding. We had a great time and I met some new friends that will remain friends forever. During that trip I got introduced to some folks from the BMW riding academy and they filled me about MOA, I joined immediately. I’m looking forward to hearing about and sharing my own adventures with you all!”



Do you know someone who would like to join?
the code and give them their first year of membership free. Enter the activation code
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Dewhel Spark Plug Coil Removal Tool

SOMETHING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE complicated to be a stroke of genius or extremely useful. Think of all the things you’ve done with a plain old screwdriver! Sure, there may have been some incidental damage incurred by not using the proper tool, but you got the job done in the absence of a more elegant solution. At the other end of the spectrum, there are tools so special ized they’ll get precious little use during a home mechanic’s lifetime, but they might still be worth the expense if they make a big difference on those rare occasions. When such a tool doesn’t cost much, the acquisition decision is easy to make.

R-series motors present their spark plugs (and valve trains) to the world as few motors do; could access be any easier? Maybe not on vintage machines, but late-model boxers with the coils built into the spark plug caps can present more of a challenge. Rubber seals around the coil assembly fit extremely snugly in the spark plug tunnel, and it’s hard for fingers to find purchase on the exposed end. You wouldn’t want to grab that end with pliers, since it’s plastic and filled with potentially fragile electronics, and there’s no place to stick that all-purpose screw driver to lever the whole thing out. Dewhel makes the task as simple as it ought to be with their handsomely anodized, machined aluminum coil removal tool.

First a note on liberating the spark plug wire from the coil assembly. The little gray tab facing you must be pulled out away

from the coil to allow it to swivel at its base. You then press it while tugging the connector away from the coil. This wasn’t exactly clear in BMW’s IKEA-like instruc tions. Obviously, prior to this you’ll have to remove any cylinder guards that would obstruct access, along with the plastic strip spanning the valve cover.

socket about 5” long, but check your model’s spark plug size). It’s best to use a true spark plug socket, either magnetized or equipped with an internal rubber sleeve to grip the plug’s porcelain tower. Also, check for dirt inside the tunnel before removing the plug and blow it out with compressed air. You don’t want to take any chance of accidentally knocking debris into the cylinder through the empty spark plug hole. Also, notice the coil has a ridge that mates to a groove in the tunnel as you reassemble everything.

With the coil assembly thus discon nected, you simply slip the removal tool onto the opposite side; it will slide into a circumferential groove and lock in place. Now you can pull the coil assembly out of the head with only a bit of a struggle— worlds easier than doing so without the tool. Just make sure you already have a socket of the correct size, length, and thickness to reach the plug once you get this far (My 1250 took a thin-walled 14mm

This tool fits the coils on a wide range of R-, F-, and K-series bikes. It’s no less useful on non-boxers, but gaining access to the cylinder heads is a much more involved process without them hanging in the breeze, likely requiring consultation with a shop manual. Given the mileage between recom mended spark plug changes (12,000 on my bike), you may not need the coil removal tool very often, but when you do, it’s a game changer—and quite economically priced at $11.99 on Amazon (available in blue or red).

Note: This is one of those Amazon items carrying a dubious variety of brand names, despite identical construction. At the time of my purchase, Dewhel had the lowest price, but that could change by the time you read this.

Dewhel tool
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202230


rode to the top of Mount Evans on the highest

saw all sorts of


in North America.

not that


fortunately no

we’d had a real


ended with a

out but also

We’d made new


pulled me aside.

Everyone was

and in great

had blown

and seen some

were invited to come to

me to his

that evening,

for what you’re doing,” she told me, sounding a little serious.

it was great to have Marty along on the

I said.

Don't forget to disengage the locking tab before disconnecting the fitting. Dewhel tool on coil Expert repair of Motometer and VDO Speedometers, Tachometers, Clocks 718 Emerson Street Palo Alto, CA 94301-2410 Tel: 650-323-0243 Fax: 650-323-4632 Quartz clock repair and conversion. Custom color face conversion. PALO ALTO SPEEDOMETER Cozy Wrist Warmers keep the chill out. Safety straps for your tired Krausers once on pavement, and another
on dirt. We
paved road
wildlife, and
many people. We’d
a few spills along the way, and a few broken pieces of plastic on a couple
our bikes, but
broken bones. In short,
wrap-up celebra tion BBQ on Friday night.
incredible scenery. Spouses
the BBQ, and Marty introduced
wife, Michelle. Later
“Thank you
“No, you don’t understand,” Michelle 11 11 November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 31

The Perfect Vehicle by Melissa Holbrook Pierson

I FIRST REVIEWED THIS CLASSIC OVER two decades ago for another publication. Looking back at what I wrote then, all the accolades have certainly held up during subsequent readings; if anything, the book has gotten even better with age. Time has proven this to be one of the all-time finest books about our relationships with our adored (and sometimes cursed) machines and with the community of others who share our passion. Whether you enjoy feeling understood by an articulate soul who truly gets it, or you want someone in your life to get it who doesn’t already, I can’t urge this purchase strongly enough.

At once both deeply personal and broadly encyclopedic, The Perfect Vehicle oscillates between narratives of the writer’s own experiences upon entering our world and objective surveys of motorcycling culture, both historically and cross-section ally. Pierson writes with the keen observa tions of a journalist and the emotional sensitivity of a poet (she happens to be both, literally!), capturing subtle nuances without missing the forest for the trees. Rich in its sensuality and intricate in its philosophical meanderings, Pierson’s writing conjures fond memories, articulates elusive feelings, and propounds psychologi cal truths with artistry and precision. It is well-researched in terms of historical facts, social dynamics, and introspective reflections, serving as both educational text and intimate testimony. By recounting her individual journey from motorcycling’s outskirts to its very heart, she elucidates the commonalities in which we all participate. With the unjaded eye of a neophyte explorer, Pierson highlights elements of which we too often lose sight, familiarity tragically dimming our view. It’s worth noting that Pierson’s engagement with motorcycling had profound effects during

her life after writing this book; she is an avid rider today and credits motorcycling with altering her worldview and mental health for the better.

If eloquent prose elaborating something we hold dear isn’t enough of a selling point, here’s a smattering of the diverse topics examined and elucidated in well over 200 pages of writing (and 16 pages of nicely curated black and white photos): the thrill of spectating at one’s first race, the unpredictable and unavoidable adventures of touring—calami tous, terrifying and exhilarating, the endless cycle of frustration and triumph in dealing with interloping gremlins, and the evolution of our beloved mechanical species from the sepia-toned days of its conception. Perhaps most beautifully, she captures the paradox of motorcycling’s bad-boy image and the equally intractable generosity and camaraderie found almost universally among its faithful.

Speaking of boys, bad and otherwise, Pierson’s voice as a female writer was particularly striking when this book first appeared in 1997. The Perfect Vehicle was not only a phenomenal freshman effort

(her first book), but also an extraordinary departure from the male perspective exclusively dominating motojournalism at the time. While women have gained significant market share in the motorcy cling domain, they remain grossly underrepresented among those writing about it. Pierson will leave you hungry for more such contributions.

Occasionally, the transitions between widely varying types of content can feel a little disjointed, but I toss in this tepid criticism only to avoid sounding like an

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202232

infatuated groupie. This isn’t a novel, after all, and Pierson covers so much ground that it would be impossible to fit every thing together seamlessly. Take a brief walk out to your garage between chapters, and all will be well.

An aside of special relevance to the MOA readership: When I first immersed myself in Pierson’s intense affection for the marque featuring prominently in this work, Moto Guzzi, I was in possession of my first twin-cylinder machine. I’d only owned Japanese singles and fours up to that point, and hadn’t yet taken the full-Euro plunge, but I was quite enamored of the gutsy thrust generated by my Suzuki TL1000S (twins would dominate the road-going portion of my garage from that point forward). If that TL hadn’t already won me over, I’d have converted on the basis of Pierson’s expressions of devotion alone. Boxer owners will relate not only to the visceral throbbing of two big pistons, but also the unique sensations delivered by a longitudinal crank and shaft drive, all of which you can feel while riding along with the author. Vintage bike aficionados will likewise recognize the perils and gratifica tions accompanying partnerships with aging hardware on the open road. Pierson’s enthusiasm for Guzzis probably won’t send many BMW owners scurrying out to replace their current mounts, but her descriptions will resonate especially well.

To hear more from Melissa, check out the BMW MOA's podcast, Chasing the Horizon, at episode-136-melissa-pierson/

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 33
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AS MANY OTHER SENIOR RIDERS DO, I have established a fairly consistent routine when I go for a ride. I like to think that, over the years, I also have ingrained the use of the T-CLOCS mnemonic into my routine.

But as I progress into my senior years, I often find that my memory fails me occasionally. For example, when I go on a long ride of more than 30 minutes which may include some freeway miles, I will remember well into the ride that I forgot to put in my earplugs. Some might argue that one should wear earplugs anytime one rides, but that’s a debate for another time. Another example is when I attend or lead a group ride and forget to set my GPS or mobile phone to record. My solution to combat my memory failings has been to update the T-CLOCS mnemonic to include those areas.

What does the new and improved mnemonic look like? My recommendation is this: T-CLOCS-ME2. Let’s first discuss the two Es. One E stands for earplugs. Since I don’t typically wear them on short rides running errands, I need a reminder for those times when I go on longer rides. And even after a pit stop, I’ve found myself forgetting to take the earplugs out of my pocket and back in my ears. So, I need that reminder.

The second E is for electronics. In addition to my “Old School” route sheet with left/right turn and mileage cues, I have a TomTom for route guidance and my cell phone with Rever running as a backup. Other riders may have electronics that include a SPOT tracker, cell phone music apps or video cameras. With fall and winter weather arriving, one can also include heated gear to this E category.

The last letter M stands for “me,” which, in my opinion, is the most important check. Before every ride, you should be asking yourself, “Am I physically, mentally

and emotionally ready to hit the road?” Physically, is my body ready? Did I get enough sleep last night? Do I still hurt from the muscle I pulled gardening yesterday? Can I finish the ride, or should I find a place to lay up for the night? Mentally and emotionally, is my mind ready to ride? Is my mind cluttered with work related issues? Did I just have a heated argument with my significant other, or have I been dealing with some longstanding personal challenges?

Many of us ride because it is the best therapy for our mind and souls. It brings us

pleasure. But if our mental and emotional challenges are such that the ride does not cure what ails us, then we should seriously consider cancelling the ride so that we don’t put ourselves in any potential danger.

So that’s my new and improved mne monic, T-CLOCS-ME2. I have updated my laminated check sheet and have it mounted on my cell phone adaptor where I will always see it.

What do other riders think? If there is a growing universal acceptance, perhaps a formal update can be made.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202236


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A Short Ride

THINGS HAVE BEEN kind of quiet at “After hours BMW Repair” this last month. I came up with that title of what I was doing many years ago when I was fitting in the repairing of Airheads with my scheduled hours on the hospital nursing floor and teaching at the local college of nursing.

After replacing a clutch (a totally filthy job), I’d strip down, put the dirty clothing in a bucket of hot water and strong detergent, wash them by hand and carry the clothes into the shower with me to be rinsed out. I would emerge from the shower with nice pink hands (perfect for nursing) and a clean set of work clothes to hang up to dry. I’ve been doing a version of this ever since my time in Vietnam. I just didn’t feel right about paying Mama-san 50 cents to wash my clothes, so I would do it myself, imitating how she did it with a

plastic container and bare feet.

I did have a couple of encounters that were of the kind that that make this work so enjoyable. The internet and word of mouth bring me into contact with a random collection of very nice people in the BMW airhead world. One of those people was Randy, who had just purchased a 1983 R 80 RT that had recently been rebuilt. He’d ridden it about 500 miles and found it to be running poorly. The bike had been upgraded with a 1000cc top end just before he acquired it.

Any Airhead with recent top end work will require a few bits of attention as the parts “settle in” with each other. When I do such work, which almost always includes a new head gasket, I revisit things with a torque wrench several times. I, of course, torque everything down as I do the work. I then run the bike until it is good and hot, somewhere around 20 to 50 miles. After letting it cool, I re-torque the heads and reset the valves. I will repeat this again at

around 250 miles and a final time at 500 miles or so. I then resume the usual routine of checking valves every 1,500 to 2,500 miles. Just how far depends on the bike and its individual metallurgy.

These intervals are a routine each owner needs to figure out. Randy rode down from the Denver area, partly because he needed the work and partly because he wanted to meet me. As the R 80 cooled down, we did enjoy getting to know each other. He purchased the bike in Denver and will leave it there with his adult son as he lives on Florida.

After the bike had cooled down, I removed the valve covers and checked the valve clearance. Sure enough, the valves had tightened up to where there was NO clearance. I was able to spin the pushrods with my fingers to determine which side was on Top Dead Center (TDC). I then torqued the heads and set the valves at the proper clearance. I looked things over but found no other problems. I sent Randy off

Randy and me with his R 80 RT (converted into a 1000cc bike). I've just finished up balancing the carbs. The bike is "running in" after a recent bit of top-end work. Randy is holding the shorting tools I've adapted to fit RT and RS Airhead bikes.

The tools I made to allow carburetor balancing on airheads with RS and RT fairings. I usually add a clean, dry bit of shop rag to keep the tool from leaning against a grounding point.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202238

to test the bike’s performance and to warm up the engine so I could balance the carburetors. Since his bike is an RS style Airhead, I used my “reach around” set of shorting tools. Soon after I was introduced to the spoke method of balancing carbs, I realized that the RS and RT bikes pre sented problems due to the fairing lowers being very much in the way. My solution was to cobble up extensions from a spoke, a sparkplug and a short length of spark plug wire. They allow easy access to the bike’s plug and fin area while going around the fairing lower. I usually use a bit of clean, dry rag to position this device so that it doesn’t fall against any grounding points.

When Randy returned, I installed the shorting tools and found the carbs to be a bit out of balance. I adjusted the throttle cables to get them running equally and Randy left to bring the bike to his son’s house here in the Springs, where he will store it, waiting for his next visit to Colorado. The morning was a very pleasant couple of hours, and I helped a fellow Airhead.

A couple of days ago, I rode up to my friend John’s home in Pine, about 70 miles from here. He’s refurbishing a R 75/5 that Clem Cykowski owned before he passed away. John bought it, had the paintwork powder-coated and is reworking the various sub-assemblies. I rode up with a later model cush-drive driveshaft that will fit the swingarm of his long-wheelbase (LWB) ’73 Slash Five. After I cut a couple of flat spots to allow the shaft to slide through the narrow swingarm with a Dremel tool, it went together very nicely. You can fit any long-wheel-base cush-drive to any early LWB Airhead, but you might have to create a pair of flat spots to allow the shaft to pass through the narrow part of a pre-1981 swingarm.

I also used the Dremel to cut a grove in the lower inner race of the fork triple tree steering bearing set up. With a groove cut, I could crack the hard steel bearing and slide it off the stem. The new inner race was easily installed, using an installing tube that Paul Swensen made for me with a length of old fork tube, many years ago. I spent a few minutes explaining what goes into the fork assembly and headed home, via Denver rather than the mountains, as a

Im working on the cush drive driveshaft. If you want to install a post-1981 driveshaft into a pre-1980 swingarm, you need to grind a pair of opposing flat spots on a collar on the shaft. The older style swingarm had a rather narrow neck that required removing enough material to give you a 22mm flat spot which allows the shaft to slide in. The first two years of this style shaft was made with that flat area in place.

cold front was blowing in.

Part of this ride was to determine how I would stand up to long range riding. Other than Dick Paschen’s Spring Tech Day in Denver, I haven’t ridden any serious mileage since I had to cut short the Mexico trip this last February. After the day’s riding of around 150 miles to John’s and back, I was feeling pretty sore and beaten up. I had my annual physical check-up at the VA and

the doctor stated, “Between the A Fib and being 72, I’m not surprised you’re complaining of weakness.”

I have to say, I’m still not sure I’m done with long distance riding at this point. I’ll know for sure soon enough. I’m confident I’ll be working on the classy old Airheads for a lot longer. I enjoy the work, and it does bring me into the lives of some really fine people.

John in his garage in Pine, Colorado. Now that his R 90/6 is running nicely, he's doing a fairly major restoration with Clem's R 75/5. I went up to help out with a couple of steps in its reassembly.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 39

Tire Q&A: Bias-ply vs. Radial on a Cruiser

Q: Hi, Wes! I have what I consider to be an unusual question. My R 18 came with bias ply tires on the front and rear. However, when I look at page 120 of the manual, it notes to put a bias ply tire on the rear, a 180/65 B16, and a radial on the front, a 120/70 R19. Have you ever seen a circumstance where there was a bias ply tire on one end and a radial on the other? –Ken B.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202240

A: Yes! This is quite common with heavy cruisers, and thanks for the opportunity to get into it a bit; I don’t feel like we can ever disseminate enough information about tires and their applications for our motorcycles.

Until sometime in the 1970s, we motorcyclists only had access to bias-ply tires; they were the industry standard and everybody used them for everything. The invention of radial-ply tires (which we simply call radials) was an absolute game changer and a great example of how advancing technology can improve performance for all of us when it comes to motorcycles. According to one of my sources, the 1984 Honda VF1000R was the first production motorcycle to arrive on showroom floors porting radial tires, but of course by then racers like Freddie Spencer had been using them for several years with great success.

All tires are made with multiple layers of material called plies. The rubber on the outside is just another ply, but it’s hiding everything else, which might include nylon, Kevlar, steel, silica, polyester and other materials. In a bias-ply tire, these layers are applied at alternating angles— think a series of layers that look like Xes. In radial tires, the layers are applied perpen dicularly across the tire.

Radials offer a number of advantages over bias-ply tires; they stay cooler at higher speeds and as a result, they tend to last longer. The major downside to radials is their sidewalls are more susceptible to punctures. Most tire and tube manufactur ers also recommend not using inner tubes with radial tires for a variety of reasons— although of course, you can if you have to in a pinch.

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The advantage bias-ply tires have—espe cially when it comes to heavy cruisers and high-performance dirt bikes—is the strength of their sidewall. Because of the way they’re constructed, the sidewall benefits from the uniform thickness of the tire and gives not just additional strength, but better protection against sidewall punctures. There are typically few issues with using tubes in bias-ply tires.

What I think you’re referring to with your question is the common recommen dation not to mix bias-ply and radial tires on the same vehicle, so let’s unpack that a bit. This concept might even rise to the level of a myth in need of busting, but for the most part, it is actually true. You shouldn’t mix bias-ply and radial tires unless the manufacturer of the motorcycle specifically tells you it’s OK to do, just like BMW has done in your R 18 owner’s manual.

The reason we’re told not to mix these types of tires is because they perform differently, and what we really need on a motorcycle is tires with sidewalls which distort in a similar fashion when we’re in a hard, high-speed curve. Simply because of the differences in their sidewalls, bias-ply and radial tires will behave differently under that kind of load, which means inconsistent performance when installed on the same bike—unless the bike’s designers knew this and took it into account when they designed the bike, that is. They’re not doing this capriciously, nor are they doing it—as is one myth widely circulated on the internet—to offset design flaws inherent to any given motorcycle. A motorcycle manufacturer has to keep you alive or you won’t be back to buy another of their bikes, after all!

Harley-Davidson, Indian Motorcycle and now BMW Motorrad recognize these differences and take them into account when recommending replacement tires for their production motorcycles. Triumph specs some of their motorcycles like this as well, only reversed, with a radial on the rear and a bias-ply up front. This is often done because of the size of the front tire, as skinny 19- and 21-inch front tires with

radial construction are not overly abundant.

In the end, and I’ve said this before when it comes to oil and gas, it is best to use what the manufacturer tells you to use. Since BMW says bias rear and front radial for your R 18, I recommend going with that. If you put a radial tire on the rear of your bike, you may notice a change in handling and wear over the life of the tire,

and it may not be a change you like. Having said all of the above, when it comes to four-wheeled vehicles, mixing tire types is definitely not recommended outside of certain racing applications. In some countries, it is even illegal.

Bias ply tire.

Radial ply tire.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202242
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Crossing Paths in South America

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202246
The main highway from Huari to Uyuni.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 47

Should I choose the “Mexican” with carnitas and jalapeños, the “Palermo” with eggplant, parmesan and olives, or the “Uyunese” with goat cheese, red peppers and spicy llama?

Indecision over a pizza menu was the last thing I expected in this remote corner of the Bolivian Altiplano.

“We’re not the highest pizza parlor in the world, but we do serve pizza with an altitude, at 12,800 feet above sea level, to be precise!” quipped ex-Bostonian Chris Sarange.

With his Bolivian wife, Sussy, he owns and operates “The Minuteman” restaurant in the dusty, windswept town of Uyuni, at the junction of the incoming rail lines from Chile and Argentina.

The Lonely Planet guide cautions:

"…that no matter what time you are scheduled to arrive in Uyuni, by bus, train or air, you’ll most likely arrive after midnight. Such are the vagaries and unreliability of public transportation on the Altiplano."

“Hah!” I scoffed. “But we’re on two wheels, Beemer F 750 GSs, to boot. So, it’ll be easy peasy! We’ll be there in time for a late lunch.”

We had ridden a hard morning from palindromic Oruro, where indigenous former President Evo Morales completed his formal (Grade 12) education. Starting at sunrise on good asphalt, we had made good progress until we reached Huari, where the GPS announced, “Unverified Area Ahead.” We had reached the edge of the map, and the end of the hard surface.

One hundred miles of Terra Incognito still lay between us and Uyuni, and it would prove to be a toxic cocktail. Take one quarter each of broken pavement, deep sand, hard-packed dirt and golf ball sized loose gravel of the worst kind. Throw in a complete absence of road signs, with only bus tracks to follow, and biting sub-zero winds, dust storms and the ever-present soroche (altitude sickness). Stir gently and garnish with a bunch of over-the-axle river crossings, and serve over ice. You get the picture. We missed lunch by a country mile. And then some.

The handful of streetlights in Uyuni flickered grudgingly in the distance as darkness quickly overtook us. At Latitude 19 deg. S, the setting sun does not linger on the horizon. It drops almost vertically out of the sky, and in the thin, dry air of the Altiplano, the mercury follows within minutes.

“If that Lonely Planet guide was not so darn smart, we’d have made it easily for lunch.” I muttered, as we loaded my bike on to the chase 4X4 trailer. “Dead battery my butt! It probably conked from hyperthermia, dust inhalation or drowning, more like.”

And so it was that we stumbled, half frozen, into the welcoming warmth of The Minuteman, awash in its aromas of rising dough,

melting cheese, roasting tomatoes and spicy llama. How could we resist a spicy anything? At the tail end of a busy evening, mein host Chris took time out to share a post-pasta bottle of wine with us. He waxed lyrical about his adopted home. “This is a primordial land of active volcanoes, boiling springs, arid deserts, flamingo-filled lakes and the world’s largest salt flat, El Salar de Uyuni, all 4,085 square miles of it. Local legend has it that the salt flat was formed by the breast milk of a volcano that lost its baby. Distraught and in mourning, she squirted her breast milk, mixed with her tears, on to the Altiplano. Some breasts!”

Chris continued, “Tomorrow, don’t forget your sunglasses. Sussy’s folks are taking you on a picnic to one of the coral islands out on the salt flats. You’ll have time to hike up to the thousand-year-old cactus forest. Watch out for the viscachas, giant Andean rabbits. Then, the icing on the cake! You’ll finish the day at El Cementario de Trenes, the train cemetery.

“When Bolivia, Chile and Argentina modernized their rolling stock to diesel, the old steam engines were marshaled, parked and abandoned at the Uyuni junction, a few miles outside of town. And there they stand to this day, hundreds of iron carcasses being eaten by sun, wind and blowing sand; slowly sinking into the desert, silent testament to this incredibly harsh land. It takes no prisoners."

Just remember. If you see anything that looks remotely like a bullet hole in one of those trains, be sure to let me know. They say it was made by Butch. Yes, I don’t mind admitting it, I’m a die-hard super-fan of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Why, those two rascals drank beer and played poker in the bar next door, in October 1908, on their way to San Vicente and their date with destiny.

“Do you remember the scene in the movie, before they moved to South America? They were on the run from the Pinkertons and went to plead for amnesty with Sheriff Bledsoe, and he told them so prophetically:

‘You know, you should have got yourselves killed a long time ago, when you had a chance. See, you may be the biggest thing that ever hit this area, but you’re still two-bit outlaws. I never met a more affable soul than you, Butch, or one faster than the Kid, but you’re still nothing but two-bit outlaws on the dodge. It’s over, don’t you get that? Your times is over and you’re gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.’

“Well, they didn’t know it at the time, but fate would lead them to San Vicente, just half a day’s ride from here. We show the 1969 movie here regularly, and ten years ago, on November 8, 2008, I helped organize the 100th anniversary commemoration of their deaths.”

Pizza with "altitude" from The Minuteman restaurant.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202248

A poster on the restaurant wall attested to Chris’s involvement. I admired it. He noticed. A second print now hangs in pride of place in my garage. Chris is one of the good guys.

The salt flat defies description; a blinding white, dazzling expanse of nothing but salt. Hexagonal tiles, laced together like the world’s biggest jigsaw puzzle, stretch to the horizon like a giant snowflake fallen to earth. It’s a must for everyone’s bucket list. Likewise the train cemetery, if only to search for the bullet hole, but Chris’ proverbial needle in a haystack eluded us.

The following morning, after defrosting our ignitions, we rode out of Uyuni, south through the wide, windswept streets lined with shabby, tin-roofed houses. Internet cafes, CD emporiums and coffee shops have recently sprouted up between the cheap bars and threadbare guest houses. Leather-skinned, stout cholitas…bowlerhatted women with long, dark plaits and heavily-pleated skirts…sat watchfully on every doorstep. None waved us goodbye. We were on our way to San Vicente, to cross paths with the ghosts of Butch and Sundance.

The rough track to Tupiza bordered the salt flat until it reached the edge of the Altiplano, where it fell off precipitously through a psychedelic landscape that could have been painted by Picasso and Renoir on amphetamines. Bones-a-rattling on the washboard hard-packed dirt, I pondered why and how Butch and Sundance had chosen San Vicente as "their place to die bloody." The fourtimes Oscar winning movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” with the usual Hollywood license, had only loosely answered that question.

100th Anniversary commemorative poster found in The Minuteman restaurant. A copy also hangs in my garage. The world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 49
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202250
A visit to one of the coral islands out on the salt flats. We hiked to the thousand-year-old cactus forest.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 51

Following their four-years of lawful and peaceable farming in Argentina (not even mentioned in the Hollywood movie), Butch, Sundance and his chum, Etta Place, were wrongly accused of pulling a bank job way down south in Rio Gallegos. With their cover blown, they were forced to abandon their farm in the Chobut valley and flee across the Andes into Chile. Word had reached them that E. H. Harriman’s private posse, the Pinkerton Agency, was once again closing in on them.

Sometime later, Etta, with her sense of foreboding, returned to the States, never to be seen or heard of again, while Butch and Sundance moved on, first to Chile and then Bolivia. Again, they tried to go straight for a couple of years, working various jobs as horse wranglers, mine payroll guards and mule skinners, but then turned to crime once more…"just one more bank robbery to finance their retirement."

Late October 1908 found them in Tupiza, casing the local banks, but they found a sweeter target; the Aramayo mine payroll, being transported by mule train to Quechisla. On the morning of November 3, 1908, under the shadow of Huaca Huanusca (Dead Cow Hill), the two bandits calmly and politely relieved mine manager Carlos Pero of his remittance, a mere $90,000, and one of his mules. With no meticulously planned getaway this time, the pair back-tracked and circled in the rough terrain, eventually seeking a room in the house of Bonifacio Casasola in San Vicente on the evening of November 8th. Meanwhile, the alarm had been raised by Pero and telegraphed across Bolivia. A four-man army

patrol out of Uyuni just happened by the village earlier that same day. The mule was identified by its Aramayo brand and enquiries were made on the patio of Bonifacio’s house. Gunfire erupted. One soldier fell dead, shot through the neck. Sundance was hit several times in the arm. He and Butch retreated inside the house, and were quickly surrounded by three soldiers and a few armed locals, not half the Bolivian army as depicted on Hollywood celluloid. Perhaps fearing Bolivian-style justice, Butch apparently decided to end Sundance’s misery with a shot between the eyes, followed by a bullet to his own temple. The freeze-framecharging-out-of-the-building-with-guns-a-blazing movie ending was Hollywood at its best, but it never happened that way.

San Vicente is a silver mining town, 15,000 feet up in the Cordilleras Occidental. It is a windswept, treeless, inhospitable place that often disappoints even the most ardent of Butch and Sundance fans, and there is nothing to persuade any tourist to linger. The road from Tupiza is just one step up from a dried-up river bed, even after a recent upgrade by the Pan American Silver Corporation. Butch’s horse must have instinctively picked its way through rivers, rocks and ruts. No such luck for me. I dropped my bike twice. It was a slow, hard slog.

Since PASC resumed mining operations, the small town’s infrastructure has markedly improved. A new hospital and an expanded school, with a curriculum to Grade 12, a new auditorium, and a craft co-operative had all been added. The mini-market once again has food on the shelves, and there is now a one-roomed

El Cementario de Trenes, the train cemetery.
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museum to tell the tale of Butch and Sundance’s demise. Sadly, it leaves more questions than answers. All "evidence" displayed is circumstantial.

At the entrance to town, we were greeted by a sign announcing “Here Deaths Butch Kasidy and Sundance Kid.” An old man sat in the main square, asking a few coins for you to peer inside a wooden box that supposedly held their remains…five femurs. Five?

We visited Bonifacio’s house of adobe, now unoccupied and derelict. Four holes in the front wall indicate where a memorial plaque, stolen by souvenir hunters, used to be. On a hill outside of town, we found the General Cemetery, where Los Banditos Yanquis were buried as desconicidos (unknowns) in an unmarked grave. A second old man sat with wooden sign in hand, ‘Aqui la tumba (grave) de los Yanquis’…patiently waiting for tips. But are Butch and Sundance really in there?

In 1991, forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow excavated the bandits’ supposed grave and found only one skeleton, that of Gustav Zimmer, a German miner, who dispatched himself to a higher place by drying out sticks of wet dynamite on his woodburning stove. The neighboring grave contained another unfortu nate soul, who had accidentally shot himself dismounting from his horse. Local sensitivities prevented any further digging.

So, did Butch and Sundance manage to slip out of town and fade into the scenery, back into the States? Conspiracy theories abound. Several self-proclaimed descendants of Butch have surfaced during the 20th century, only to be debunked using DNA from the Parker families still living around Circleville, Utah, Robert LeRoy Parker’s (a.k.a. Butch) boyhood home. Etta Place disappeared as completely and as quickly as she had materialized. Was she, as portrayed by the absolutely gorgeous Katherine Ross, a pure and innocent schoolmarm? Or was she a working girl, plucked by Sundance from Fanny Porter’s sporting house in San Antonio, where Butch and Sundance spent so much of their ill-gotten gains between jobs? Etta’s trail is stone cold, as is that of Sundance.

The legend of Butch and Sundance grows with every year that

passes. There is no proven record that the pair ever robbed a bank or train during their time in Bolivia. Contrary to the "robfest" depicted in the movie, their peaceable heist of the Aramayo mine payroll was their only transgression in that country. It is doubtful that now, 113 years after their supposed deaths, whether the final chapter of one of the greatest mysteries of the Old West will ever be written. Until then, we can let our imaginations run wild with theories and conjecture, and Chris Sarange can keep on looking for that elusive bullet hole somewhere in the Cementario de Trenes

As for “the facts”? Take ‘em with a pinch of salt. The Salar has millions of tons of the stuff.

Bolivian Afterwords

In the movie, Butch and Sundance were portrayed as a lovable pair of rascals, played respectively by Paul Newman and Robert Redford. They had only sparse dialogue to work with, but it was the chemistry between them that contributed so much to the success of the movie. The role of Sundance was first offered to Steve McQueen, who was perhaps better suited to play the cold-blooded, steely-eyed killer, but McQueen was otherwise engaged. Nothing was lost, as McQueen was an incorrigible scene stealer, and Redford clicked nicely with Newman.

When asking for directions on the Altiplano, remember that most people you ask have never been outside their own village. “I don’t know” is not in their psyche. They will do their utmost to help you on your way. Best to ask at least ten people, take the most prevalent advice, and then head in the opposite direction.

In Boliivanspeak, “a half day’s ride” can be confidently translated as “whenever you get there,” and “broken pavement” is how locals describe axle-deep potholes occasionally connected by razor-thin strips of crumbling asphalt.

And finally, if you think motorcycling in Bolivia is dangerous, Google “Bus Crashes in Bolivia.” Riding a bus in Bolivia is really dangerous.

Que le vaya bien…

San Vicente is a silver mining town, 15,000 feet up in the Cordilleras Occidental.
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Part 2: The Final Push

When writing a trip journal, one has to balance the story they want to tell versus what the audience is interested in. In other words what I, as the writer want to remember, as opposed to what you actually want to read about. I could create drama by writing about the arguments Janel and I had when we were tired on the road or create feelings of glee by writing about the laughs we had at dinners, but I think you read my stories because you want to hear about the adventures. So, instead of writing a story in step-by-step fashion, I will give you the best of the best: the most interesting experiences we had during our three-week trip across the USA.

“Strange, how the best moments of our lives we scarcely notice except in looking back.”
~ Joe Abercrombie, Red Country
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The Kindness of Strangers—

Fontana, North Carolina

The morning after the MOA’s Fontana Getaway, Janel was able to repack all our stuff into two Touratech Zega Pro side cases, one Pelican case and a backpack, making our melted bag obsolete. We did have to trash a few items, but overall, we were able to salvage most of our clothes, even if they had a bit of melted plastic on them. While attaching our gear to our 2016 G 650 GS, some MOA members came over to discuss our trip across the Americas. A lot of people seemed interested to hear about what we were planning, about Janel’s newfound love of riding and the adventure that we sought.

Once I had the final bungee strap attached, an MOA member asked, “Is that all you have to strap your bags on?! You are going to kill yourself! One second…” He wandered off to his bike, returning with two RokStraps and two G3 straps and proceeded to strap all my gear to the bike. I would like to say “helped me strap,” but no, he just strapped it all down for me.

“There, that should keep you two alive for the ride.”

When I asked what I owed him for the straps he said, “No, no, you can keep them, just have a safe ride.”

The MOA is about being part of a community, and this commu nity takes care of its members. This wasn’t the first act of kindness we would experience from an MOA member, nor of course, would it be the last.

A Helping Hand—

Somewhere in Tennessee

The idea of this trip was not to get home as fast as possible; we wanted to take the time to really see the United States of America. Highways are perfect when your goal is to get from one place to the other as quickly as possible, however, investing time in visiting the rest stops littering the interstates was of little interest to us. Hitting the back roads, we were able to explore small towns, interact with new people and even rescue a small turtle.

While riding through some back road in Tennessee I noticed a large rock in the middle of the road. Swerving to dodge it, I took a closer look and realized it was a turtle.

“That was a turtle!” I communicated to Janel through our Cardos.

“We better go back and help it then!” was the prompt response.

Janel and I are big animal lovers; I think we might like animals more than people. I know some of you are shaking your heads, but how many of you like motorcycles more than people? Yeah, I thought so!

I quickly pulled a U-turn (legally…?) and gunned it back to the turtle crossing, hoping I wasn’t too late. The turtle was scared and hiding in its shell about a foot from where I saw it earlier. I quickly propped the bike on the kickstand, looked both ways (rule number one during a rescue—don’t get hurt yourself) and quickly made my way out to the turtle. I could see its little eyes in the shell as I scooped it up and ran it to the side of the road and put it down gently in the bush. I would like to think the turtle was thankful that this random Gore-Tex monster helped it out, but really, it probably

didn’t even know what had happened. My wife, on the other hand, was very proud of me.

Nature Doesn’t Keep Score— Elsewhere in Tennessee

The oppressive afternoon sun beat down on us as we got closer to Nashville. I was hot, sweaty and tired from the ride from Fontana. Our new set-up on the bike wasn’t working well; Janel was basically on top of me, and I was so close to the handlebars I might as well have been racing on the track. My goal was to get to the hotel and relax for a few days before having to plan out a new strategy for loading the bike.

Sweat was pouring off my face, so I cracked my visor half an inch to let the air evaporate some of the nastiness building up in my helmet. It was at this moment a wasp out enjoying its day made a wrong turn and ended up through my visor and up my left nostril.

I realized very quickly what had happened and started to freak out, frantically blowing my nose while trying to slow down and pull over. Janel was yelling, “What’s wrong!?” but there was no time to speak in my state of panic.

Once the bike was off the road and stopped, I yelled at her to get off. I ripped my gloves off, and shoved my finger up my nose to find the little bastard that was making an already difficult day harder. I felt the movement stop in my nose, took my helmet off, and sat down. Janel still had no idea what was happening but saw a large black bruise starting to form under my nose where the wasp had attacked me with gusto.

After some water, a break and an explanation, I went to put my helmet back on. The second I did I heard the buzzing of the same wasp. I tore my helmet off again only to find him still alive in the base of the helmet. A little flick from my fingers and he was off to what I can only assume was to harass a group of picnickers.

We rode onto Nashville, and as the day came to an end, all I could think was, “I saved a turtle today, didn’t I? Seriously, what the heck, Nature!?”

Type II Fun—Across Montana

On a trip like this you are bound to meet some amazing people and stay in some incredible places. We met one guy in Clinton, Indiana, who invited us to his restaurant and cooked up a private dinner. We stayed in The Great House of Galesburg in Galesburg, Illinois, where we enjoyed the best pizza we have ever had while examining the house’s trap doors once used as part of the under ground railroad. These are the fond memories most people tell you about to convince you to also go on a trip just like this, but what they often forget to mention are the days that aren’t much fun. Some days the wind blows so hard you have to ride to the nearest hotel out of fear for your safety. They don’t mention the aching muscles, the tiredness, the craving for a home-cooked meal or the cold. I don’t think we can blame them though; they are likely suffering from the memory loss that comes along with Type II Fun.

REI describes Type II Fun as “miserable while it’s happening,

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but fun in retrospect.” The idea is that you don’t remember the hardships you went through during the actual activity, but instead look back at the adventure and want to do it again because you remember how much fun came from the hardship. As the snow slowly coverd the roads of Montana and I was starting to lose the feeling in my fingers and toes, I kept telling myself, “This is just Type II fun, you will never remember how cold you really were. You just need to keep going and you will somehow remember this fondly—all nine hours of it.” Nine hours of bitterly cold, blowing snow in the mountains of Montana. A nine-hour day was never in the cards for this trip, but intense winds in Iowa and Nebraska— along with Janel getting a severe ear infection—set us back on our trip about three days. A specific date set with the American and Canadian border customs to import Janel’s motorcycle had left us with a hard push to the border.

Heads down, trusting in our MotoZ tires and Janel so tightly tucked behind me trying to keep out of the wind, we rode into the snowy mountains hoping the bad weather would break. With the weather choosing to continue on its course we pulled into a McDonald’s to grab a hot chocolate and a coffee. When the crew

member taking my order saw my hands shaking while getting my wallet out, he quickly turned and grabbed a hot chocolate from the counter, saying “I think you need this now.” About 10 minutes later while Janel was still warming her hands on her coffee, the same crew member came out with another hot chocolate for us saying, “The folks in the back didn’t realize I already gave you one, and I think you really need this.” We did.

Partially warmed by our hot drinks, we got back on the bike and carried on. Around 4 PM the sun did start to come out and the temperature slowly started to rise, but we had such a chill it was of little relief. The cold was in our bones and suffering to the end was our only option—that or a stranger’s hot tub. With no hot tubs in sight, we carried on until we pulled into the Double J B&B in Troy, Montana, a few hours later. This was the relief all Type II Fun adventurers relish in: The end of the adventure. Our faces finally lit up in smiles ear to ear, though Janel’s was a little on the pale side. I told her to get in the shower and I would unload the bike. Hands still shaking, I fought to open our pannier locks and get into our lovely room overlooking the Kootenay River. With showers done, we grabbed a quick meal of pizza and salad and sat

In front of The Great House in Galesburg, Illinois.
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on the back deck watching the sunset. We were tired from three weeks on the road. Starting with hot and humid weather in Alabama and Tennessee, then temperatures plunging along with wind that was literally blowing us off the road in Iowa and Nebraska, the trip had already been a difficult one before ending with snowy white roads in Montana. When we tell people about our trip, we tell them about the trials and the successes, along with the beauty and the kindness of people we met along the way. I find people often ask if we would do it again and I think they would get different answers from each of us. Janel remembers how cold she was on the back of the bike. I just can’t stop thinking about all the places we didn’t get to see. Might be time to get back to the States for round two.

Places to stay and eat along the way

Lord and Liberty: Henry House, Nashville, Tennessee

Henry House is a beautiful heritage home now renovated and made into luxury accommodations. Located a short walk from the Honky Tonk Highway, the house is the perfect place to stay if you want to enjoy the sights, but also get some rest when your body and mind have had enough. They also have safe off-street parking for your BMWs.

Lord and Liberty: Henry House in Nashville, Tennessee. The library at Great House in Galesburg, Illinois The Terra Villa Restaurant in Clinton, Indiana.
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Great House of Galesburg, Galesburg, Illinois

Galesburg might be a random stop along your route, but it is totally worth a detour for two reasons. The first is to stay at The Great House, a beautiful mansion built in 1857 and converted into a bed and breakfast. The house is expansive and has been beauti fully and tastefully appointed with comfortable beds and private washrooms. It also has Silas the cat, who is actually amazing. The second reason to visit is to go to Baked, the local pizzeria. Without a doubt this place has the best pizza Janel and I have ever eaten. No need to elaborate further—make the detour, eat the pizza.

Terra Villa Restaurant, Clinton, Indiana

We had our own private dinner here after meeting the owner in Clinton. The owner knew the area well and was able to explain the 29 MPH speed limit to us along with other Indiana intricacies. He

cooked up a feast for the three of us. With bellies so full, we slept like rocks that evening. It is worth a stop if you are in the area. Make sure to order the pinwheels, you will not be disappointed.

Double J B&B, Tory, Montana

I have to be fair, any hotel with hot water would have been good enough after that nine-hour mountain trek. However, the Double J B&B was exceptional. With beautiful views of the Kootenay River, lovely comfortable beds with a lot of space and parking for all your two-wheel needs, this is the kind of B&B riders dream of.

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Overlooking the Kootenay River at the Double J B&B in Troy, Montana.
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Powers #212117 Photographs courtesy BMW Motorrad Riding the Untouched Beauty of Albania with the International GS Trophy 2022
Cory Call, Jim Duplease and Benjamin Phaup of Men's Team USA.
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ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE TRAVELERS TEND TO BE VERY picky about their travel partners. One could arguably say this about any motorcycle traveler, but adventure riders typically take it further than most for a good reason. When a rider loads up a bike with gear and heads to a far-flung destination, it is often an unknown place that may not have connectivity, towns or even roads. If they don’t ride alone, riders who take on adventures like this need to know the people they are riding with can be counted on. Riding and camping skills may vary, but when the group encounters something difficult, they often need to work together as a team to get through.

This premise is the basis for the International GS Trophy events. Two or three riders become a team. They ride and camp together and face challenges that require excellent teamwork to overcome. There is one big difference between the GS Trophy and the groups that head out on their own for a fun trip and adventure; the Trophy teams are made up of two or three riders who have never met, and despite what they learn of each other as individuals and riders, they will have to ride together to compete.

The GS Trophy first took place in 2008, and this year’s event in Albania was the eighth of its kind. The event is held every two years in a different yet beautiful part of the world in countries such as Thailand and Mongolia. Despite being well known in a very small circle of riders–mostly BMW GS riders–most people who have been involved with the event over the years find that few in the greater motorcycling population have heard of it. Perhaps this is due to it occurring in the relatively new adventure motorcycling segment, or maybe it’s because it only involves amateur riders.

Whatever the reason for it being somewhat unknown, there is also a bit of a misunderstanding about what the event actually is. Teams from around the world are sent off to an undisclosed location in some part of the world known for its spectacular beauty and ostensibly exceptional off-road riding. The teams are given brand new GSs and ride for upwards of seven, eight or nine back-to-back days of hardcore riding and intense challenges. In the end, one team rises to the top and claims victory.

While all of that is true, there is much more to what adventure riders think of as true adventure riding and what BMW riders think of as “The Spirit of GS.” Arguably, camaraderie, community, discovery, and meeting people along the way top the list of what most want to find in an adventure, not to mention experiencing new scenery, overcoming obstacles and having a great conversa tion over good food. The GS Trophy brings all those things together, but only for the lucky few who make the cut and are able to attend.

Depending on the country sending a team, one or more qualifier events will be held to select a team. In September and early October 2021, two qualifiers were held to choose Teams USA. A three-member men’s and a two-member women’s team were selected from the top amateur riders who attended and competed at the first event at the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, and the second at RawHyde Adventures in Castaic, California. The top three men and top two women were chosen at each event, but riders would have to wait to find out who made the final teams.

In the end, Benjamin Phaup (#228162), Cory Call (#225167), and Jim Duplease (#228163) made up the men’s team and advanced to the final event in Albania. While the Men’s Team USA was automatically advanced to the final along with 14 other men’s teams, only the top six women’s teams would attend the final event. Gala Van’t Schip (#211185) and Kandi Spangler (#220021) were selected as Women’s Team USA, but would have to wait until the end of December to know if they were in the top six women’s teams worldwide. When the top six were announced, Women’s Team USA was not on the list, and there was much disappoint ment. However, that was not the first qualifier for either of the women and their inspirational attempts no doubt spurred on future would-be competitors to train even harder for future events.

And when it came time for training for the 2022 event, the men’s team knew they needed to get together but did not have a good idea of what training and prep would consist of. The three individuals could undoubtedly ride, but more was needed to turn three total strangers into a team. Luckily the trio had a small team from all across the country who worked hard to help them understand what being a successful Trophy team meant.

Two events were immediately slated to bring the team together. The first was an unofficial, casual meet-up to ride in the Mojave Desert in January alongside three former Trophy attendees and their close riding buddies. The team was sent on a GPS scavenger hunt through some tough terrain and put through a day of obstacles and team-riding challenges based on past events. Though the weekend was a learning experience as far as riding and teamwork was concerned, it was simply a weekend for the guys to meet each other and spend some time together.

April was cold and rainy in Greer, South Carolina, home to the BMW Performance Center, where the team would officially train next. Bad weather certainly did not hamper the team’s drive to win the challenges against a competing PC team. A member from a former Trophy Team USA was in attendance, and a small handful of former media-related persons captured the team at their tasks.

A last-minute final meet-up was scheduled in late July when the media-related person for the USA was announced. The team made a quick trip to St. George, Utah, to meet with Justin Dawes from Cycle World magazine. Though teams would not have embedded journalists as they had in the past, it was a great opportunity for the team to meet up one final time, ride, and record a team video.

The first of September followed quickly on the heels of the July meet-up. The team members stepped up their personal workouts even higher, received their gear bags, and made final preparations for the event. Cory and Jim left the west coast of California and made it to the Tirana airport without incident. Ben was not so lucky. Flying out of the east coast, his planned connection in Munich was canceled due to Lufthansa employees striking that day. The Trophy planning members were alerted to his situation (and the same problem of about 25 other participants) and immediately had him scheduled on new flights. Before arriving in Albania, Ben received a quick tour around Europe via airports in Switzerland and Serbia and made it to Tirana in time to catch a few hours of sleep.

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A riding challenge at the 2022 International GS Trophy.

For those at home watching the event, the Trophy starts on what is thought of as Day 1. But those attending, and those who have previously participated, know the Trophy starts on Day Zero. This is the day participants are given their bikes, and all final business is handled before the teams hit the trails. Com systems are fitted, team photos are taken, and most importantly, teams are led through the day by a marshal, getting the first glimpse of how the week will be conducted. By the end of that day, the reunited team was ready to kick back with a few beers and muse on what was to come.

The first day of the event was an exciting one. Team USA had an extra job that morning, as they were assigned to be the team to load every participant’s gear bag onto the transport truck. Each day, the task was assigned to a different team, and Team USA was lucky Number One. As would be expected of each day, the team was partnered with another team and a marshal to guide them through their day. Immediately upon leaving base camp, the riders experienced some of the beautiful and technical terrain they would face each day.

But points were not awarded based on the day’s riding. Points for the GS Trophy competitions are awarded to teams based on each day’s special stages. The team that scouts the routes, provides the marshals, and so much more also creates two to three special stages per day. Some are riding challenges, and some are based on motorcycle mechanical knowledge, the history of BMW Motorrad, and even the teams’ creative abilities and reach on social media.

Throughout the competition, points are earned not only for technical riding skills, but GPS and physical challenges, mechanical knowledge, BMW Motorrad history and creativity and social media reach.

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Throughout the seven-day competition, Team USA earned considerable points for excellent execution of technical riding skills. Still, it failed to earn big points in quizzes, GPS challenges, and creative social videos and photos. Watching the team’s progress was like riding an emotional yo-yo for everyone paying attention. This phenomenon was not unique to Team USA. During a single day, a team could accrue upwards of 50 points (sometimes more) or as few as just a couple. And any damage done to a team member’s bike would also subtract points from their total.

The very cool yet frustrating moments would come when the team would win the day with the maximum available points earned in extreme riding challenges, only to slide five places down the leaderboard the following day when they encountered tasks they had not known to prepare for.

The USA team ended Day 1 tied for seventh place. In the following days, they would slide to tenth, elevate themselves to fifth, sink back to eighth, then rise back to fourth place, where they would remain for the two days before the final. The final competi tion was a long, challenging course along the shore of the Mediter ranean Sea, sometimes even taking competitors and their bikes into the water. The course was so intense it was worth double points, which meant it was almost anyone’s game, but certainly, Team USA had the win in their sights.

Team USA's final team photograph.

In the end, a very good but not perfect run, paired with the awarding of social media challenge points (in which the team tied for last place with France), meant they took home a fifth-place finish. They were called up on stage, handed an American flag, and given their competition windscreens as souvenirs of events, then had their picture taken. As they turned to leave, they were unexpectedly called back on stage. That day was Ben’s birthday, and the entire crowd of competitors, crew, organizers, and BMW Motorrad brass sang “Happy Birthday” to him.

Amid the world’s 21 best male and female teams, they found something even better than a win. Around Day 3, they discovered that the International GS Trophy was not about competition. It was about the people. Its importance was found in the adventure and working as a team with their team members and the others riding with them. It was about making lifelong friends with Team South Korea and many others. And it was decided that it was just not that big a deal when Cory ran over Ben with his motorcycle, because despite not knowing each other previously, they came to trust one another as a team.

For in-depth daily write-ups about Team USA and the 2022 GS Trophy, check out Cycle World magazine and BMW Owners News online.

My Journey to


That was until my husband, Dustin, came home with a new-to-him, weird looking two-wheeled BMW to replace his tired Honda Shadow. There it was, sitting in our driveway–an R 1200 GS. The combination of advanced engineering and the ability to go off-road, made me aware that this was the direction our motorcycle riding would be going.

We had of course watched Long Way Round and countless other YouTube videos of people making rugged, hard journeys to the far corners of the world on big adventure bikes. Among the mix, Dustin came across videos about the GS Trophy. Ever the curious mind that he is, Dustin looked into this competition. He discovered the rules were pretty simple: you had to own a BMW GS, you had to be good at slow speed maneuvers and obstacles, you could not be a professional rider and you could not compete more than once. Dustin made up his mind, he was going to try out.

Along with the many interna tional men’s teams, we discovered there was a much smaller number of women’s teams. For us, there wasn’t much to discuss, I would be trying out, too. So, the search for a GS of my own began. It must have been destiny because we easily and quickly found an F 650 GS not too far from us. What luck!

Qualifier tryouts for the GS Trophy were in early September, and since it was early March at this point, we had only a few months to practice. Our training schedule was structured with three days of motorcycle drills alternating with two days of physical and strength exercises. Luckily for us, our Arkansas property provided the perfect training grounds for what we needed and after our getting home from work each night, we’d set up cones and get to moto-work.

Our practices began with the “GS Garage,” an exercise requir ing fully locked turns and balance inside a tight space. For me,

leaning the bike while going very slow was awkward and unnatu ral. I dropped my bike repeatedly and quickly became extremely frustrated. Next came a tantrum rivaling the most distressed toddler and between the tears I said, “I can’t do it.” But growing up in competitive sports, Dustin was able to calm me down as he explained that this is what practice looks like. Embarrassed by my behavior, I picked myself up and kept trying.

Humbled to the core, I turned to social media for female inspiration. I easily found small statured women who were managing giant bikes and were doing it incredibly well and with a smile. Attitude, it was clear, was a big part of riding, and I really needed to change mine. As the weeks went by, things began clicking. Instead of rolling far outside the cones, I was running them over and nearly inside them. In addition to our cone drills, we built a balance beam and a table top obstacle from pallets and scrap wood. We were riding single track in our woods. We did rolling starts and off-bike balance drills. My confidence was growing and through our YouTube videos, I was beginning to see our positive progression.

Before we knew it, it was time to travel to the BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina. Ready or not, here we came. The first evening of the competition was the check-in and we got to meet the rest of the riders, all there to try their best. As riders were coming, saying “Hi” and buzzing around on and off the bikes, I quickly noticed they were all on very new and very fancy R 1250 GSs. In contrast, I had the oldest, smallest and most beat-up bike of the 45 riders there.

Just when I was feeling severely out of place, Cassie Maier arrived and I was starstruck. Cassie had been a big inspiration for me in my early practice days, and now I would be riding with her! The first day wrapped up quickly, and we went to our hotel room to try to sleep.

By Kate Coit #226210
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One of the many drops during an early training session. Photo by Dustin Coit.
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The next day and a half was what we had trained and driven two days to get here for. We were split into groups of three and assigned a course leader. Then we were scattered around the grounds to begin our challenges. For the first time, I wasn’t riding with Dustin.

My first challenge included a series of concrete culverts half buried and at random angles with posts down the middle. The judges bluntly explained we were to slalom the posts. I bravely went first, made one turn and immediately dropped my bike.

As we moved on, the challenges didn’t get any easier. If I had not been with other riders and instructed to ride these obstacles, I would have told you there was no way it could be done. I did have a few successes though, like the time I rode up a stack of railroad ties set as stairs, jumped onto a culvert pipe and rode off it, into an immediate 90-degree turn. There was more to that challenge, but I had dropped my bike at this point. I dropped my bike at every one of the challenges that day.

My day three started hours before my alarm went off with me dry heaving from nerves. I really didn’t want to quit, but I also didn’t want to beat myself and my bike up anymore. Yet, we were meeting so many cool people and learning just how capable we were on these bikes. My attitude training had paid off, allowing me to laugh each time I failed. Knowing I could not make up points, I still tried to finish each challenge. I was having fun! After lunch, the judges had calculated points and the top half of the group was called to advance to the Semi-final. My name was called.

From there, the process moved quickly. Competitors lined up with women first. I was second overall and unlike the nervous feeling I had in the morning, I was now pumped up and running on pure adrenaline and elation. Also adding to the overall excitement and unlike our previous challenges, spectators were now allowed to watch. When the first rider was halfway through the course, I was signaled to go.

The first obstacle was a 10-foot stretch of jagged, cantaloupe sized rocks that I nearly cleared before being bucked off. After getting the first drop out of the way, I was on a roll. Though I did go out of bounds a few times, I jumped a large rock many other riders struggled over. I figured this was my last run and I should try to just enjoy it. And enjoy it, I did.

After all riders were through the challenges, we took a break so scores could be calculated. I was sure I was done riding for the day, and I was very much looking forward to watching the top scoring riders in the final. But my name was called again. I had advanced to the Final.

To be fair, each participating country used the same finals course setup, and all riders would ride the same R 1250 GSs provided by BMW. While that wasn’t a big deal for all the other competitors who rode the full-sized-boxer already, as an F 650 GS rider, I was shaking in my boots.

The riding order of the finalists was selected at random. I sat watching competitors including the first-place female finisher, Gala Van’t Schip, who smoothly made it through the timed course with only a few dabs here and there. Nervous, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to fail horribly in front of all these people. I didn’t

want to ride that ginormous bike. But my turn was coming up and before I knew it, it was time.

I started the bike. Ok, I did that. I got on it and started rolling. Ok, I did that, too. I made the first turn of the GS Garage. Hey, I’m doing it! The second turn was rough, but the third turn got me, and I dropped the bike. After I picked it up, I heard a chorus of cheers. I tried again and immediately dropped it again. I picked it up once more, and as I stood there, my mind went blank as I wondered how the heck I was going to get through this. Then I heard Shawn Thomas’ voice from the sidelines telling me to go to the next challenge. It made sense then, that’s all I had to do. I just had to try each challenge and finish the course.

So, I went to the next challenge, the Figure 8 Snowman, and made a couple of complete circles before dropping the bike. I picked the bike up again, but this time it was slower and much harder. I was getting worn out. From the distance, I could hear Dustin shouting my name and encouraging me on. Then, a quiet chant began and slowly grew louder, “Kate. Kate. Kate!” The whole arena was chanting my name! The cheering worked as I struggled through the rest of the course.

The last challenge required getting the bike into second gear and making a sliding stop between two cones—I finally could see the finish line. I got the GS into second gear, and I squeezed the brakes with all I had. Unfortunately, the bike lowsided under me, but I managed to gracefully jump off as it did and stood alongside the beast in a splendid cloud of dust. I threw my hands up like a gymnast who just performed a perfect 10 at the Olympics and the crowd went wild. It was a spectacular and fitting finish.

Out of five women, I finished in second place for the East Coast Qualifier. Though I arrived at the event as a nobody, everyone knew my name by the end of our two days at the Performance Center. I also learned I picked the nearly 600-pound bike up nine times in 12 minutes during that final run.

Soon after our East Coast Qualifier, there was a West Coast Qualifier that produced a first and second place female (as well as three men finishers). Based on all of our points scored in the final, the top two women and top three men became the U.S. Team. Sadly, I did not make the cut for the U.S. Women’s team.

Over our weekend at the Performance Center, Dustin and I met some incredible people all bound together by their love of these GSs. Amy Hunter, another woman competing, asked me to think about a motorcycle statistic that really hit home for me. Amy asked me to think about how many motorcyclists are on the road. Then she asked how many of those riders are on a BMW motorcycle. Finally, she asked how many women GS riders were here today, trying out for the GS Trophy Team. The answer was a very, very small percentage of all female GS riders.

I understand why that number is so small, but it really shouldn’t be. I encourage all women, even if they think they aren’t at the level to compete, to come out and try. The next GS Trophy qualifier will be in 2023 and I am planning on being there to do it again.

The “Spirit of GS” is too hard to shake once it gets a hold of you.

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Dustin and Kate share the "Spirit of GS." Photo by Marjorie M. White.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 71


As a lifelong motorcyclist, I have been well trained on how to operate and stay safer on a motorcycle. Initially I learned the hard way–by falling down! Eventually I started learning the easy way, by taking training from professionals on a regular basis. I have reinforced those training methods with years of use and practice.

One problem I have is that if I have not learned new skills and I am using improper technique. Naturally, I will reinforce that improper technique each time I use it. Then, if I ride faster, according to Nick Ienatsch of the Yamaha Champions Riding School, “Any improper training gets worse with speed.” The result is that as I continue to use improper technique, I am increasing my risk to crash.

The questions become:

1) Am I a perfect rider and will my current skills keep me safer in any situation?

2) Am I willing to receive and apply the training I need to be as safe as possible?

If your answer to question one is “yes,” do not read on. This article is not for you! However, if you answered “yes” to question two, keep reading.

Basic motorcycle skills are taught using rock-solid curriculum from professionals like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Total Control and others. Those training methods were developed for motorcycle riders, to equip them with the skills to make them much safer when riding and hopefully save lives.

As an active motorcyclist, I have progressed in my riding skills, but I have also progressed in the ways I approach motorcycling. Part of my progression is to ride corners as smooth, safe as possible.

But here is the rub: My initial training taught me not to use brakes in a corner and only to set my corner speed before getting to the corner, then smoothly accelerate through the corner. While this is arguably a good rule for the rider who may still need work on understanding the benefits of traction along with the throttle-tobrake transition, many experienced riders can (and do) ride corners more aggressively and need different skills to stay safe.

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Using brakes well into the corner will not only increase fun, but also will facilitate a smooth transition between brakes and throttle. Jon’s DelVecchio’s Street Skills* training provides training on trail braking, which is a method of using brakes to the apex of the corner to set your corner speed, then smoothly releasing the brakes as you apply throttle to increase speed while exiting the corner.

Nick Ienatsch’s Champ U* online curriculum and Champ School explain the cornering process using a common analogy called “100%.” Each tire has a maximum of 100 points of traction available. Front tire traction is made up of lean-angle points and braking points, while rear tire traction is the same at corner entry, then shifts to acceleration points and lean angle points while exiting the corner. If I try to use more than 100 points of traction, I will begin to slide off the road and in the worst-case scenario, crash. Training, practice and experience has taught me to divide my available 100 points of traction between lean angle and brakes or throttle. Simple, right? I manage traction to keep me from sliding into the ditch. Proper application of this critical skill will result in smoother, safer and faster cornering, resulting in more fun. As a side note—with all things being equal—better riding skills can compensate for slower reaction times as we get older.

Cornering skill development is one of the reasons to continue motorcycle training. Let’s build on those basic skills that were intended to keep us safe and grow those skills with new training experiences!

Skills and Champ U are training programs partially underwritten by the MOA Foundation. For more information on those initial skills and other MOA member benefits, visit page/memberbenefits.


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November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 73

The Stupids (Part One)

FIRST OFF, I WANT TO apologize for what could be a misleading headline, at least for all those moms and dads who read The Stupids books to their lucky kids. For those who are unfamiliar with that series by Harry Allard and James Marshall, the books depict the lives of a family who cheerfully do everything completely wrong. For instance, in one book, Mr. Stupid complains that his eggs are runny as the family eats breakfast while taking a shower; later, Mrs. Stupid makes a dress out of live chickens. The books delighted my children with their ridiculous take on family life, and of course played into my warped sense of humor.

This column isn’t about the Stupids, but rather about our own “stupids,” those regrettable lapses in judgment all motorcy clists have probably made at one time or another. Some brave riders even willing to talk about them.

Take me. One of my stupider moves involved a 1999 BMW F 650, a thumper BMW dubbed the “Funduro.” It had a unique setup for adding or changing the oil. The filler cap was positioned just behind the triple tree and in front of the gas tank. In my defense, the endless differing opinions about how to determine the oil level could have distracted me, but anyway I forgot to replace the filler cap when I was all done. Out for a test drive, I did my second stupid by deliberately streaming through a rain puddle which hid a foot-deep pothole. Though I did manage to hang on to the bike, the jarring to the front forks sent a geyser of hot oil all over my spanking new hi-vis jacket, my spanking new helmet, and basically most of my not so spanking new Funduro. There was more than one lesson there.

Luckily it seems I’m not alone in the

realm of the pure stupidity department. Jack Riepe wrote…

I cannot remember the combination of words or looks that persuaded the woman to ride pillion on the Kawasaki that crisp, fall day in 1976, but there we were, carving through turns lined with brilliant red and orange leaves. The weather had been delightfully dry, and the leaves were migrating from tree to lawn to road in fitful little swirls with a distinctive rustling sound, lost in the “ying, ying, yinnnnng” scream of the 750cc, two-stroke engine.

I was 19…The girl was 18…And the Kawasaki H2 750 Widowmaker was 17 months old.

The girl’s name was Angela A., a brunette as boney as a brook trout, with the kind of face that could fry a man’s good intentions at 300 yards. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t have any good intentions. My agenda was simple: get her on the back of the bike, disappear into the rural environs of Bergen County, New Jersey, and end up at my place on the cliffs overlook ing the Hudson River.

She was typical of the skinny, college-girl pin-up of the era, and the only woman I would ever meet who claimed to be Scottish. I claimed to be a lineal descendent of Robert the Bruce, though I would have said I was Mussolini’s ghost if I thought it would have left her jeans in a pile on my living room floor.

A page from The Stupids Die by Harry Allard and James Marshall, © 1981.
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Angela wasn’t listening to me that day. She was held in thrall by the dragon spirit of the Kawasaki H2, the nastiest street bike of 1976, with slingshot acceleration and the handling characteristics of a falling piano.

In those days, Bergen County was one quaint little town after another, dripping with charm that predated the Revolution. Many of these communities had no sidewalks, and the roads shot through deep woods that camouflaged curves, intersec tions and other points of interest. My rider’s mind struggled with the algebra of high speed, blind curves, falling leaves and a woman’s voice yelling “Faster… Go faster!”

One particular curve led to an ungated railroad crossing, whose red signal and bells bloomed in my face. It was rush hour and Bergen County was served by the Erie-Lack awanna Railroad. Their commuter trains went like hell, and I had no idea how long this signal had been flashing. There was no traffic stopped on either side of the road, and I twisted the throttle wide.

The bike claimed about six inches of air flying over the bump of the tracks, air filled with outraged scream of a train’s horn. Then everything was behind me, in the past tense of a really stupid decision. In the mirror, I saw passenger cars rocketing through the crossing. At our first full stop, Angela asked if we were far from my apartment.

Also slinking up to the confessional of stupidity, was another one of my fellow columnists, Mark Barnes. He wrote…

As a perennial fark-aholic, I’ve outfitted my bikes with a ridiculous number of accessories, many of which added no value beyond the momentary thrill of installation, and some of which ultimately did more harm than good. I thought I was being prudent by purchasing a disc lock for an expensive new bike, and I was undoubtedly being pretentious by making a show of placing it on my front rotor after rolling up on a group of riding buddies. (Any aspiring bike thief would have been given sufficient pause by the fact we were all sitting at outdoor tables, eating lunch a few yards

from our bikes.) When it came time to leave, I’d completely forgotten about the lock and was caught off-guard and off-balance by its sudden interference with the departing process. My new bike and I immediately tumbled earthward, impressing my friends in a very different way than I had (imag ined) upon arrival. I never used that lock again, and just added its cost to the small fortune I paid for replacement bodywork— still, better than if my bike had been stolen!

Even Wes Fleming, that paragon of two-wheeled wisdom, admitted he has had, let’s say, “less mindful” experiences…

I tried to hop a curb once (Hey, I’m on a GS, right?) only to discover the grass on the other side was growing tall in a hidden ditch. My bike went over, trapping my elbow between the ground and my side, which cracked two ribs. It was in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant (the road past the exit was jammed with traffic due to a crash at the next intersection) and in addition to the cars on the road, the parking lot of the eatery had about 25 cars in it.

Also, while riding across Oklahoma one hot, windy, miserable night, I couldn’t figure out why my shoulders kept cramping up. It happened maybe a half-dozen times before I realized what was really happening was that I was falling asleep at 80 mph, and my brain was death-gripping the handlebars, which resulted in the painful cramps that woke me. It was at that point I decided it was time to get off the highway.

Stay tuned next month for more adventures in stupidity. And if you’re willing to fess up to one of yours (nobody is smart ALL the time!) send your story to me at ron.davis@bmwmoa,org. Remember, confession is good for the soul!

Ron Davis’ new book, Rubber Side Down: The Improbable Inclination to Travel on Two Wheels, is now available from Road Dog Publication ( and most online booksellers.

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Our Cosmic Axle

IMAGINE YOU’RE ON A RED-EYE FLIGHT AND THE SKYSCAPE OUT THE WINDOW IS passing by at 1,000 miles per hour. You’ve been traveling for years, so reward miles get you an upgrade with a lay-flat berth on the upper deck. Even better, you’re in the wide-body California model of Spaceship Earth. Sounds like fantasy…but it’s what’s happening in this photograph.

I’m with my long-distance travel buddies on another overnighter on the Yosemite National Park level of this wonderful craft. Security was a breeze with our National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass. There’s no oversize luggage fee or carry-on restrictions, so I wheel my Airhead up the aisle and stow it in an exit row. At the first-class picnic table, we share a few drinks before stretching out in our individual fold-down window seats. I crack the shade for a final peek outside.

The view is mind-boggling. I can’t sleep. We don’t usually think of Earth as a transportation vehicle. I learned on YouTube that Spaceship Earth rotates at about 1,000 miles per hour on a pivot called an axis. Remember the spinnable globe next to the teacher’s desk in school? The axis is where that dirty-blue, fingernail-scratched sphere was attached to the ends of the curved thingy.

In the mid-16th Century, Polish mathematician and scholar Nicolaus Copernicus published a proposal that the real Earth spins on an axis too, once a day. His theory didn’t go over well with astronomers who ran an ancient operating system that made the sun, moon, planets and stars whiz around a stationary Earth that was “held motionless in God’s hands.” Now, more than 700 years later, Copernicus’ astronomical update remains a myth-proof operating system programmed to insure that day will auto-fade into night and vice-versa.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202276
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 77

The Dog Daze of Summer… Part Two

TO READERS WHO ARE RECEIVING THE MOA’s BMW Owners News (ON) for the first time, I have strayed from my typical columncontent—which usually focuses on mechanical issues, ride planning, and my love of the horizontally opposed boxer engine—to present this serialized non-fiction adventure.

The first part of this story was presented in the September 2022 issue, hidden in the back among the chain lube and condom ads. To get the full impact of this dramatic conclusion, I strongly suggest that first time recipients of this month’s magazine beg, borrow, or steal a September copy, and read it in a simulated jungle environment, like a steam bath accompanied by a maneating plant or a huge centipede.

This makes the September issue of the ON (Owners News) an instant collector’s item. The street value of the magazine is currently calculated at twice the cost of an R 1800.

For those who read the first installment, I suggest you mix a negroni (traditional, no variants), and delve into Part Two at midnight, when the howling of the coyotes blends in with the moaning of the wind. K bikers might want to read it in the garage, taking comfort from the massive power and sophistication of your throbbing equipment. Riders of the iconic, Teutonic two-cylinder models may want to join hands and sing “Day-O,”–the official anthem of GS riders everywhere.


• I’d been summoned to the MOA’s headquarters in Greer, South Carolina, and assigned to investigate the disappearance of hundreds of GS riders, along the malarial “Guano Trail” to the Temple of All Fears, deep in the rain forests of Brazil.

• Another operative, code name “Cold Steel,” had been named to accompany me to the Brazilian jungle and to make sure I’d go through with it.

• “Cold Steel” was a woman who wore moto leathers like a second skin, adding to her aura as a professional assassin. Lesser men would have found her a seething pool of sensuality. I am a lesser man (ask any of my former wives)…but kept my focus on this mission. Besides, she’d read all my work and already despised me.

• She was from Lapland, a college professor specializing in «Interpretive Dance as a Communications Form for Indigenous Cannibals.» Technically, she was a Lapp dancer.

• Our first meeting had been fateful…She spit on me, something most women do in their minds 1,000 times a day.

• I was to conduct my investigation in total secrecy; hence, I was

required to ride in a sidecar, wearing a dog suit.

• During the six days it took us to get to the Amazon jungle, we learned much about each other. I discovered she was a true size 4. She realized that I suffered from ELUM (Extremely Limited Use Male) syndrome, which did not improve her humor.

• Our method of travel was a K1600 tug and a James Bond sidecar.

The story continues…

We arrived in the Amazon.

The preferred Amazon jungle route for BMW GS riders starts in the village of Ascencia, Brazil, clearly marked by an endless line of bikers, sitting in traffic, moving three feet at a time. This line of stalled GS traffic is clearly visible from space. Local cottage industries have flourished supplying GS riders with bottled water, applesauce, cottage cheese and prune juice. Toilet paper is often sold for one U.S. dollar per sheet. Many GS riders will buy half sheets, for 50¢.

The massive K 1600 growled past the endless GS centipede until we came to an unmarked turnoff, 90 miles down the track.

“Stop!” I yelled. “This is our turn.”

Cold Steel locked up the wheels and fought the hack rig to a weaving halt. “There’s nothing here,” she said.

“Listen,” I whispered. There was no screaming of parrots…No howler monkeys…Above all, there was nobody selling prune juice or toilet paper. The side trail appeared abandoned, before disap pearing into a humid haze. Yet the ground seemed well traveled.

“Let’s go,” I said.

We found the first abandoned GS a mile into the brush. The riderless bike was laying on its side. There was gas in the tank, and at first glance, all of the gear was intact. This machine had been carrying a tent, a life raft, a wedding pavilion, clothing for summer and winter seasons, plus a load of waffle irons (to be traded locally)—all pretty much the usual stuff for a two-week ride.

The second abandoned GS was two hundred yards away. And then there was a third and a fourth…then dozens.

Cold Steel was thunderstruck. “What could have caused this?” she asked. “Where are the riders?”

I had no answers, but I noticed two things that she missed: all of the Ramen noodles had been stripped from these machines, and the air had been savagely sucked from the tires. Each sidewall had two, vicious punctures. This had just become a job for a K biker in a dog suit.

Our plan was to cover 32 miles that day, making camp in


Ciopinquixoa, the last recognized settlement on the trail. The trail was nearly four feet wide at this point. This was initially the route of the annual giant centipede migration, and later, the preferred “walk of destiny” for the “Maliclixa,” an indigenous matriarchy of speechless hunter women, who communicated like bees, through complicated dance steps. No one had seen the Maliclixa in a hundred years or so, and it was thought they had been pursued to extinction. An old Brazilian sheep tamer once explained to me, “Speechless women are highly sought after for marriage, as their husbands seldom become deaf through criticism.”

The constant flow of GS traffic had worn the trail down to hard-packed, black volcanic sand, approaching the density of asphalt. This appealed to many GS riders, ninety-eight percent of whom have never ridden off-road. We averaged 40 miles-per-hour with the mighty K1600 tug and the James Bond sidecar, stopping 36 times to examine abandoned GS motorcycles. Each site was virtually identical — an unmolested loaded motorcycle, with deflated tires… each devoid of Ramen noodles.

Cold Steel hadn’t picked up on the noodles yet.

The last abandoned GS we examined had fallen off the trail, into the jungle duff. Examining the Teutonic carcass, I noticed a set of extremely narrow, parallel furrows peeling away from the bike, headed toward Ciopinquixoa. The jungle grew so quickly that they’d be invisible in another day or so.

“Look at these,” I said. “The rider of this bike was dragged into the jungle on his or her stomach. These furrows were made by the toes of their boots.”

“Why are you just noticing this now?” asked Cold Steel.

“Because you can barely see them in the jungle duff, and they’d be almost invisible on the hard-packed track.”

“So, you’re saying this rider was dragged off his bike into the jungle…”

“No,” I replied. “I’m saying all of them were.”

Cold Steel burst out laughing. “This theory of yours is stupid enough,” she said, “but it is doubly so coming from a guy wearing a dog suit in this tropical heat.”

I kept forgetting about the dog suit.

Throughout this dialogue, a subtle tapping noise could be heard coming from one of the K 1600’s side bags. It was almost as if a living thing was trapped inside and wanted out.

“Do you have Ramen noodles in those sidebags?”

“Of course,” she said. “It’s the law.”

I approached the tug carefully, lightly touching each bag. The left one began to audibly buzz. “Get ready,” I said to the woman. I opened the bag and a packet of Ramen noodles flew out, hitting the ground with a light pop, before heading down the trail

like crazed living thing.

“Grab it,” I yelled.

Cold Steel was on it like a tiger jumping a gazelle. She had the Ramen noodles in a kind of choke hold, when the most amazing thing happened: the noodles dragged her down the trail, on her stomach, with the toes of her boots leaving little indentations on the hard-packed ash and sand. Within seconds, swarms of Brazilian jungle decorator ants were in the track, removing tiny flakes of leather scraped from her boots. Somewhere in the jungle, an ant hole was lined with leather.

In a second or so, it would be like Cold Steel had never existed.

I was shocked…So shocked that I pulled the head off the dog suit and mixed myself a negroni. There was no ice, but I didn’t care. I’d use the radio to call headquarters and tell Bill Wiegand the mission had come to a bad end….that Cold Steel had been carried off by rogue Ramen noodles and that she was probably centipede bait by now…that I was headed for a jungle bordello to type up my report.

And then the negroni hit. Equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth, a negroni can bring out the man in a jellyfish. The cocktail forced me to look at the facts.

Cold Steel looked pretty good in leather. Then there was that defiant jaw and those green eyes. A woman in leather…a negroni… a nuclear K 1600…and a dog suit. This is the story of my wretched writer’s life. I put down the radio and started the bike. The woman in leather already had a 20-minute head start on me

Her trail led straight into Ciopinquixoa. In the language of the ancients, Ciopinquixoa means “miniature golf course.” This jungle crossroads was a haven for GS riders, with a miniature golf course, a bamboo Tastee Freeze, and a primitive distillery, where an exotic local liquor—made from dried plums infused with local swamp water and spider spice—was bottled in genuine imitation shrunken heads. The place was home to the world smallest Ferris Wheel, a single seater that went 72 inches in the air.

But Ciopinquixoa was dark and empty now.

Jungle vines were reclaiming the Tastee Freeze, and lizards rested on the Ferris Wheel seat. The town square, once a camping spot for the aging GS crowd, looked strangely plowed as rows of furrows ran through it, headed for the jungle. Each of the missing GS riders had been dragged through here…dogged by a packet of Ramen noodles. One set of furrows were deeper, fresher, than the others. I muscled the mighty K 1600 and the sidecar into the dirt and rode, stopping only to check the trail, or to light a cigar, or to refresh the negroni–until I found a sobbing and incoherent Cold Steel, clutching an empty Ramen noodle wrapper.

She had been dragged seven miles by an Asian snack lunch.

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 79

The wrapper had burst in her hand and the bare noodles hightailed it into the woods. Cold Steel had been alone in this desolate place for an hour, battered from her ordeal, covered in jungle duff (which doesn’t smell very nice), and tormented by the improbable sound of air rushing through gill slits. That’s what she was raving about when I found her. She wasn’t fond of the ants and spiders crawling on her either.

Cold Steel didn’t seem to know where she was, nor who I was, nor why she was in a jungle. I have seen this condition before.

Medical professionals call it RNA: Ramen Noodle Amnesia. Its effects are usually temporary, unless they are severe and perma nent. Sadly, you will find this condition among elderly R bike riders, which is nearly all of them.

I picked her up in my tattered dog’s blanket and gently put her in the sidecar.

“Who are you?” she asked.

Realizing how important it was that she feel reassured, I replied, “Your husband.”

She was speechless for a few seconds, then asked, “I married a dog?”

I kept forgetting about the dog suit.

“Relax, Honey,” I cooed. “We’ve all had a Vegas weekend once in our lives.”

I had to get her to safety…It would be dark soon, and this little clearing in the jungle would become a leopard’s cafeteria.

It was then I noticed we weren’t alone. The clearing was ringed with the shadowing figures of folks brandishing spears. Girl folks, who were taking a somewhat professional interest in a giant dog, standing over a woman, in a motorcycle sidecar.

“Woof woof,” I said, pressing down hard on the K1600’s starter button. This machine utilized BMW’s latest anti-theft device, however, and I had to place my finger over the fingerprint reader, while looking into an iris reader, and providing a sperm sample. The K 1600 refused to be stolen in a desolate jungle by a dog. It wouldn’t start.

A spear tipped with a quivering yellow frog, arched out of the crowd, and lodged in the triple trees. The yellow frog was a local source of a painful neurotoxin. I raised both paws in the air, giving the universal sign of male supremacy.

Cold Steel sat up as if in a trance. She looked at me with a single finger pressed against her lips to suppress the talking dog act. “These are the Maliclixa,” she whispered.

A woman wearing a headdress of parrot feathers and a leopard skin tunic separated herself from the crowd and began a slow, complicated dance that combined ballet with the sinous moves of a hunter. She was incredible, with muscles like copper coils. Cold Steel was in her element. She exited the sidecar and began a dance of her own, almost cobra-like with subtle gyrations, moving to and fro to music only heard by the other dancer.

First one danced…then the other…then both together. I realized they were communicating through dance, actually holding a conversation. I fought the urge to make another negroni.

This was a conversation I could listen to all day. Finally, the dance ended.

“This is Leannoxa, Queen of the Maliclixa,” said Cold Steel. “She is leading a hunting party. Tonight is the great feast of her clan and they are out hunting pigs, but she says a dog will do nicely. She offered to take me to the Temple of All Fears, in exchange for my dog. I may be forced to trade you for the good of the mission.”

This was not the best news I had gotten all day. “I just saved your life,” I stammered.

“I am a woman,” said Cold Steel. “I will brush my teeth and receive absolution for this betrayal. Besides I do not need a husband.”

In an instant, I had my paw around the spear in the triple trees. “You’ll be picking this out of your butt unless you do exactly what I say. Tell these nice ladies that I am not a dog, but a god who breathes smoke and who will bring wrath to this jungle.”

Cold Steel saw a reflection of her own murderous instincts in me. She knew she’d be the recipient of that yellow frog before her newfound sorority sisters could react. For the first time, I saw sweat on her brow. The dance she performed now was more frenetic, with a passion befitting the revelation of a god.

Leannoxa’s response was a brief series of flowing arm motions and a kind of sneer.

“She says prove it,” said Cold Steel.

I moved away from the bike and chomped down on one hell of a bus muffler cigar from Nicaragua. And as I lit it, I let the dog suit fall round my ankles. I stood there in the fading daylight, a naked K biker with the head of a dog, puffing on a deadly stogie as black as an attorney’s soul.

I expected a collective gasp. What I got was quiet laughter.

Leannoxa did a kind of sidestep. “She says you are the god of garden snails,” laughed Cold Steel, “but that you can live, for now. She will lead us both to the Temple of All Fears in the morning.”

“Tell her this damn jungle is cold,” I sulked.

Next month, the shocking conclusion to the “Dog Days of Summer…”

• What is the secret of the possessed Ramen Noodles?

• Where are the GS riders of the Guano Trail?

• What horror haunts The Temple of All Fears?

Do you like this serialized approach to a longer story? Please let me know.

The exciting conclusion of Dog Daze will run in the December issue of the MOA’s Owners News. My monthly column is provided through the vision of the MOA, celebrating 50 years of commitment to membership service, and the generosity of my sponsors, BestRest Products (manufacturers of the Cycle Pump and the EZAir Tire Gauge) and the Kermit Chair Company, your source of the iconic folding camp chair for the past 40 years. Both are made in the USA by folks you’d like to have as neighbors.

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ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH MY WRITING knows I like to use motorcycle-related meta phors and analogies for psychological phenom ena. Of course, these break down when extended too far, but they can serve as starting points for approaching complexities otherwise difficult to conceptualize or articulate. Metaphors and analogies from the physical world get used all the time and across all sorts of categories in our routine communica tions; imagery and principles from our experiences with concrete objects are embedded in how we talk, think, and reason about virtually everything. Our earliest experiences of the non-verbal physical world, including bodily actions and sensations, become the building blocks of thought and language, and this process continues throughout the rest of our lives in increasingly complex ways.

When we take the time to notice how pervasive such figures of speech are, and then—just for fun—try to avoid using them, we might find it’s hard to construct an entire sentence or formulate a coherent thought. Much in life is difficult to articulate, and we wind up using indirect means to convey approximations. This is usually good enough for the other person to get our meaning, and it gives us tools for reasoning. However, not all metaphors and analogies are created equal—poor ones will lead us down paths that quickly diverge from realities relevant to the other topic about which we’re actually trying to think or talk.

Old note from your high school English class: Metaphors equate or substitute one thing for another as though the two were synonymous, as in “Laughter is the best medicine.” Obviously, laughter is not literally medicine, but this way of describing it succinctly and vividly conveys the notion laughter has a quality we normally associate with medicine: it helps us feel better. Analogies draw parallels between two things a bit more prosaically without the quasi-poetic substitution, as in “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Forrest Gump’s mama used this phrase to illustrate the point we never know what the next day will contain. The two categories remain explicitly separate; their similarities are compared instead of being equated.

Examples of oft-used motor-vehicle-related metaphors would include such classics as, “I’m out of gas” to convey fatigue, “a monkey wrench in the gears” to refer to a confounding problem, and “in high gear” to describe a person in a state of frenetic

activity. Notice even my explanations contain metaphorical usage: “convey” is borrowed from the domain of physical movement and applied to verbal communication, “in a state” takes a spatial con cept—one thing inside another—and employs it as a way to connect a person with a type of movement; that frenetically active person isn’t actually in anything. Now consider how the words “contain,” “borrowed,” “domain,” “employs” and “connect” in that last sentence all have their origins in more concrete applications. It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole with such analysis. There I go again—and again (even our understanding of “go” began as a reference to physical motion, not linguistic—er—constructions). See how many other such metaphors you can find in the rest of what I’ve written here already. I’ll cover (!) some examples of analogies in just a moment.

Aside from the countless commonplace physical metaphors and analogies with which everyone is familiar, specialty subject matter contains options that may capture an idea with greater precision or utility, but these are only intelligible to others familiar with that field of knowledge. Hence, for me to effectively use a reference from the realm of internal combustion engines, my audience would have to be sufficiently educated about this topic to grasp the concept there and transfer some abstract aspect of it to the other area wherein I was illustrating my point. If I were a chef, I would no doubt be able to draw numerous parallels between things I did and observed in the kitchen and aspects of life in general. In fact, I would probably do so automati cally, frequently, and effortlessly; it’s a basic, pervasive function of the human mind, using whatever material is handy. I’m not a chef, so I don’t think like one. I am a motorcyclist and home mechanic, so many of my metaphors and analogies come from experiences and observations from those worlds. A chef might have a better metaphor for this or that phenomenon, and they might teach me how it applies, which would enrich my perspective. I could return the favor from my own collection. Our respective horizons would be expanded. Had enough? I can’t stop, and I bet you can’t, either.

People use metaphors and analogies from the world of driving all the time, which is probably a reflection of our society’s pervasive exposure to, and infatuation with, this domain. “She’s just spinning her wheels,” “Stay in your lane!,” “That boy ain’t firin’ on all cylinders” and “It’s like he’s stuck in first gear” are all readily understandable, whether or not you know anything about piston engines or transmis sions. You don’t have to share a special interest in motorsports to appreciate the imagery involved, since it’s part of our general culture. Such usage is embedded in our geographical location and historical


era. The same concepts would have been represented differently prior to the arrival of motorized transportation. “In high gear” might have been “at full gallop.” In any case, for the expression to be meaningful, the original usage must be understood.

Sometimes when I’m trying to help a psychotherapy client better understand themselves or someone else, I can’t think of any better analogy than one from mechanical engineering. If appropriate, I may take a moment to explain the concept in its original concrete form, then apply it to the realm of human thinking, feeling, overt behavior, or interpersonal relations. One I use with some regularity is the basic characteristic/function of a flywheel—it’s management of inertia and momentum. Some people are like heavy flywheels; they require relatively more time and energy to get going on something, and then it can be difficult for them to stop. Maybe a person has to really exert tremendous will power to start working on their taxes, but once they’re into the project they don’t want any interruptions, and, if allowed, they persevere until finished—then continue thinking about taxes when they’d rather “wind down” and go to sleep. Another person acts more like a light flywheel. They “rev up” on a project quickly and easily, and have much less resistance to stopping and restarting, though they may also have trouble getting anything finished. Just as with motors, each version of the flywheel effect has its pros and cons and requires different techniques for, among other things, “changing gears” (switching activities or focus of attention). If we mistake one type for the other, our expectations and control strategies won’t be realistic, whether we’re talking about a motorcycle or a person.

A flywheel isn’t too hard for most non-moto-literate folks to comprehend, but other elements are more strained outside our fold. Countersteering is a great example, since it’s either misunderstood or flat-out rejected by a significant portion within our own community, even though they have direct experience with it whenever they ride. There are things in life that work in counterintuitive ways, just like turning the bars to the left yields a change of direction to the right. While this can be applied to many aspects of human existence (e.g., contrarian investing), it also works with lots of other motorcy cle-related activities. Remember Kenny Roberts saying you have to go slow to go fast? He was talking about corner entry speed and setting yourself up for maximum drive down the next straight. Maybe that should be called “counter-throttling.” How about going to the race track to learn skills for the street? While people like Jim Ford and Larry Grodsky have made compelling arguments against this, there are certainly good rationales in favor of it, too (no oncoming traffic, repetitive practice on the same curves, medics on hand, etc.). We can steer ourselves over to the track in order to arrive on mountain twisties.

Clutch work detaches and reattaches actively driven elements from

passive elements. Sounds like it could be a reference to disconnect ing from the compulsory tasks of work and other pressurized demands to spend time coasting into a relaxed state of mind. Can’t do that? Your “clutch is dragging,” or the cable has snapped. Some people have whirring, racing ideation that never gets transferred into initiative and productive action; their clutches are slipping, perhaps quite badly. This metaphor might also symbolize usefully detaching from the world of concrete, present-day reality con straints to allow free-wheeling creativity or speculation.

Proper valve timing maintains vitally necessary rhythm and coordination and averts disasters which would occur when there’s even a tiny irregularity. We’ve all had days when everything ran smoothly with terrific synchronization, and other days featuring one catastrophic collision after another—our timing chains jumped a tooth! Some periods of our lives are like rock gardens we must pick through at a snail’s pace, with lots of jarring that requires the ability to absorb multiple shocks in quick succession. Other periods are like long, level straights with a motionless horizon and almost intolerable tedium. Then there are times that feel like a series of gracefully arcing sweepers, sensuously and blissfully engaging for both mind and body. Of course, there’s the mandate to “look where you want to go,” which needs no explanation in the world beyond motorcycling.

I’m sure by now you “get the picture.” You can go on listing moto-metaphors and analogies as long as you like. Some you could use with nearly anyone, others you’d have to reserve for your most sophisticated gear-head friends or those who’ve done exactly the kind of riding you’d like to use as a parallel. One of my favorites that only works with other riders is a lesson from Reg Pridmore’s C.L.A.S.S. riding school at Road America. When I was there many years ago, the pavement was pretty bumpy around the carousel section of the track (a seemingly endless constant-radius turn over 180 degrees around). Our instructions were to relax our arms and upper torso, resist the urge to tighten our grip on the bars and allow the front end some wiggle-room, trusting it to track around the corner and diffuse the chop if we only let it do its job. So many life challenges require a soft touch instead of rigidly imposed micro-management. What’s a good one that comes to mind for you?

Mark Barnes is a clinical psychologist and motojournalist. To read more of his writings, check out his book Why We Ride: A Psycholo gist Explains the Motorcyclist’s Mind and the Love Affair Between Rider, Bike and Road, currently available in paperback through Amazon and other retailers.

November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 83
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Traffic Stop – Part 2

ONE PRINCIPAL TENET of the Iron Butt Associa tion is that riding at a steady pace is safer, more efficient and less fatiguing than speeding. Stated another way, maintaining an average speed is more important than riding at a high speed. While safety is at the heart of this doctrine, another benefit is that by keeping a low profile, riders are less likely to attract the attention of law enforcement officers (LEOs).

In addition to using speed-detection devices (i.e., radar and lidar), police use visual cues to identify motorists committing drivingrelated infractions. A sudden change in motion, speed, direction or unusual behavior will immediately attract their attention. So, anything making a rider stand out from the madding crowd will cause an LEO to take notice. Since it is impossible to be invisible to police while simultaneously being conspicuous to other motorists, there are still some things you can do to reduce your conspicuity to avoid being pulled over.

Stay to the right on multi-lane highways except when passing. Properly passing another vehicle will not single you out, but lingering in the left passing lane might.

Erratic movement like weaving in and out of lanes will also attract the attention of police. There’s a big difference between

defensive driving and riding like a squid.

Be extra cautious when driving by rest stops, truck stops and weigh stations. Police tend to watch closely those places where people congregate and areas that generate the highest number of calls in their patrol area.

Be alert on either side of a state line for at least 10 miles, particularly when traveling on an interstate or when there is a change in the posted speed limit.

Watch out for any vehicle that suddenly appears in your rear-view mirrors. While not a hard and fast rule, some larger departments do not allow the use of radar/ laser equipment at night or on Sundays. Officers will then rely on a technique called “pacing” where a cruiser or motor officer follows behind a driver (for at least 2/10ths of a mile) before initiating a traffic stop.

Never be the fastest vehicle on the road. Even if a cruiser is not equipped with

radar/laser or the officer is not able to pace for the required distance, a ticket can still be issued for failure to obey a highway sign, especially one posting the speed limit.

On interstates or U.S. highways where the posted speed limit is 65 mph or under, don’t exceed it by more than 9 mph–even when passing a slower vehicle. Where the speed limit is above 70 mph, don’t go more than 4 mph over.

Never, EVER, pass on a double yellow, exceed the speed limit by 20 mph or drive in a manner that endangers the life, limb or property of any person. These activities constitute reckless driving and may result in a custodial arrest and your motorcycle being impounded until the court date. This could be a pretty expensive lesson to learn–espe cially if the ticket was issued three time zones away.

Beware of guilt by association. In other words, avoid riding with people who do stupid things like engaging in aggressive driving, racing or instances of road rage.

Pay attention to what other drivers are doing, particularly 18-wheelers. If the big rigs are suddenly slowing down for no apparent reason, they might have heard about a speed trap over their CB radios.

Even when riding in familiar areas, use an app like Waze or Google Maps, which alerts users of the location of police.

BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202286

Sugarbush Getaway –A Good Time Had by All

AFTER 20 YEARS RIDING BMW MOTOR cycles and being a member of the MOA for a number of years, my wife and I booked our first MOA Getaway at Sugarbush, Vermont, this September. Over the years we have camped at many rallies, mainly along the East Coast. Before Covid, the Finger Lakes and the Gathering of the Clams were prime on our calendar, with everything else a bonus.

These past ten years, as we were creeping into retirement, we noticed a peculiarity develop. Before, only a few tools, a tooth brush, tent and two t-shirts (one as a towel on alternate days) was doable. Now, creaking joints require airbeds and a waterproof tent, and we find ourselves loath to reduce attire, toiletries and home comforts. The seasoning of time influences us, and what once functioned no longer suffices.

We ride two-up. For me, it is about the actual riding, smooth shifting, cornering and occasionally blasting out the cobwebs. For my Princess, it is landmarks to photograph and sights to see. Perched chin on my shoulder, Stella monitors the gauges counting down the miles to the next photo-op.

For us, daylight is about mileage and sights, while evenings are when the fellowship of motorcyclists beckons–socializing, reacquainting with old friends, making new ones and swapping tales. The Sugarbush Getaway didn’t just meet our requirements, it surpassed them, while offering dynamics we didn’t before consider.

First off, the roads in Vermont are a treat to behold, and Stella was overwhelmed with picturesque landscapes and icons of interest. We made many stops en route to Sugarbush.

On arrival we checked in, visited our room and dressed down into casuals. In the hotel lobby we were welcomed by the MOA representative, Jackie Hughes, and presented with name tags, brochures, suggested trails for the following day and a schedule of the events to unfold. It was all so civilized and homely. Without our bike gear, the name tags made people receptive to approach. I felt I could just say hello and chat to anybody, so I did and was well-received.

In the bar before dinner, we swelled in number to over 100 participants. People fell into small groups that spread outside onto the lawn.

We met the president of the Touring Club of Detroit and MOA Ambassador Jennifer Ott. Though we have bantered

back and forth on Facebook, we had never actually met until now. At her invitation, we joined her group of four for dinner. Seated in the dining hall, you get a sense of just how well attended and organized these events are.

Jackie had a microphone and tables set up in one corner. She welcomed us again and shared some current MOA news and a bit of trivia. It was all very pleasant, and the buffet was excellent beyond complaint.

David, Marc and Pat invited us to ride with them the following day. They had a route planned over Green Mountain which included taking a short ferry ride to reach the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse in Crown Point State Park. A guided tour, Stella was delighted and agreed without quibble. My riding group in New Jersey, with some justification, calls me Dead-End Maurice. In my youth, I must have stepped on a stray sod.

It was a fantastic ride. Pat O’ Neill took point, and his leadership was flawless, while David Allgood took rear guard and nested us nicely. The group communicated via the mesh feature of their Sena 50s headsets, while my Sena 20s did not have this feature. Someday all intercom manufactur ers will introduce a universal mesh system. It can’t come soon enough.

We lunched at the Haymaker Bun Company in Middlebury, Vermont, then took a stroll around town before making our way back to the hotel. It was a wonderful few hours in the saddle.

There was a good vibe at dinner. Jackie

Covered bridge just off Rt. 100.
BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202288

was hotly dispatching prizes, and there was a raffle after dinner for an intercom system. There was unity there–a comrade ship existed. We choose to ride on two wheels. For us, it’s more than a mode of transport. It nurtures freedom, participa tion and challenge. We are beholden to a twist of the throttle, shifting gear with the toe, and leaning the motorcycle over to carve your curve. Motorcycling is a mindset that gives me immeasurable pleasure.

The Sugarbush MOA Getaway was a tonic enjoyed. We got the best of both worlds: grade A accommodations, good feeding, relaxed company and incredible roads to ride. The ambiance was unique, we were a litter of cats cuddled.

If, like us, you have not yet attended an MOA Getaway, do yourself a favor. Pack your toothbrush, attire and toiletries and go. You are in for a blast, and depending on which Getaway Adventure you pick, Stella and I might see you there. Do say hello.

Vermont has the most cows per person–3.8–in the United States. The view from the hotel. Photo by Jennifer Ott.
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 89

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Issue During Single Issue Preceding Published 12 Months Nearest to Filing Date a. Total Number of Copies (Net Press Run) 22, 405 22,294 b. Paid and/or Requested Circulation (1) Mailed Outside-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541 (Include paid distribution above nominal rate, advertisers’ proof and exchange copies) 22,405 22,294 (2) Mailed in-County Paid Subscriptions Stated on Form 3541 (Include advertisers’ proof and exchange copies) — (3) Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Non-USPS Paid Distribtion — (4) Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS — c. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation [Sum of 15b(1), (2), (3), and (4)] 22,405 22,294 d. Free Distibution by Mail, (Samples, complimentary, and other free) (1) Outside-County as Stated on Form 214 216 (2) In-County as Stated on Form 3541 — (3) Other Classes Mailed Through the USPS — (4) Free Distribution Outside the Mail (Carriers or other means) 125 125 e. Total free distribution [Sum 15d, (1), (2), (3),(4)] 339 341 f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c and 15e) 22,744 22,635 g. Copies Not Distributed 59 67 h. Total (Sum of 15f and g) 22,803 22,702 i. Percent Paid (15c, divided by 15f, times 100) 98.5% 98.5% 16. Electronic Copy Circulation a. Paid Electronic Copies 2,214 2,214 b. Total Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) 24,619 24,508 c. Total Print Distribution (Line 15f) + Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) 25,017 24,916 d. Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies (16b divided by 16c x 100) 98.4% 98.4% 17. Publication of Statement of Ownership. PUBLICATION REQUIRED. Will be printed in the November 2022 issue of this publication. 18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner: Ted Moyer, Executive Director Date: September 22, 2022 I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleadling information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including multiple damages and civil penalties). HONDACRF450RLHITSTHEDUNES GLORYHONDACBR1000RR-RFIREBLADESPTESTED WESTBOUNDDAYS:KAWASAKIEDDIELAWSONREPLICA &DOWNONABMWK1600B Subscribe 1-year digital subscription 1-year print subscription (Includes a digital subscription) $4.99 $24.97 For the Touring, Sport and Adventure Touring Enthusiast


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84 Rocky Creek Sesigns 19 Ron Davis - Rubber Side Down 43 Russel Cycle Products

75 Sargent Cycle Products 28 Touratech IFC Vanson Leathers

31 Wilbers USA 45, 73 Ztechnik (National Cycle) 45

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 52, Number 11

2PerfectWheels LLC.............................. 73 Adaptive Technologies ....................... 44 Adriatic Moto Tours 1 Adventure New Zealand Tours ........ 44 AeroFlow .................................................. 93 Aerostich-Rider WearHouse 43 Alaska Leather ........................................ 84 Beemer Boneyard ................................. 34
The 44 Best
Products/Cycle Pump ...... 21 Black Box Embedded ........................... 93 Boxer Works Service 44 Capital Cycle............................................ 43 Cardo Systems ........................................ 93 Clearwater Lights 35 Colorado
Rentals ................ 33 Cyclenutz.................................................. 44 DMC Sidecars 34 Don’t Want a Pickle 31 Dunlop Tires ...............................................9 EPM Hyper Pro 33, 75 Euro Moto Electrics 43 Geza Gear ................................................. 21 Helmet Sun Blocker 21 HEX
45 Ilium Works .............................................. 84
Tours 33, 73 Kermit
Company 73
Tours ............................................. 43 M4Moto .................................................... 44 MachineartMoto 41 Max BMW ....................................................5 MOA Gear Store ..................................... 84 MOA Member Benefits 81 Morton’s BMW ........................................ 28 Moto Bike Jack ....................................... 33 Moto Bins 33 MotoDiscovery ....................................... 45 Motonation .............................................BC Motorcycle Relief Project 87 Mountain
Truck Equip ... 41, 75 Overseas Speedometer ...................... 41 Peter
Real Estate 34 Progressive Insurance 37 Redverz .............................................. 41, 93 Re-Psycle BMW Parts 31, 73
BMW ON (ISSN:1080-5729) (USPS: 735-590) (BMW Owners News) is published monthly by BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Inc., 2350 Hwy 101 South, Greer, SC 29651. 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. sBMW MOA does not perform independent research on submitted articles or advertising. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO BMW ON, 2350 Hwy 101 South, Greer, SC 29651 © 2020 by BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Inc. All information furnished herein is provided by and for the members of BMW
November 2022 | BMW OWNERS NEWS 95
TAILIGHT Can I come, too? Packing for the last ride of the year is tricky as this little guy keeps jumping into the saddlebags!
Photo by Rodney Sherwood
#146122. BMW OWNERS NEWS | November 202296
BMW MOA MEMBER EXCLUSIVE ENJOY UP TO 35% OFF ORIGINAL BMW PARTS FOR A LIMITED TIME, NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 31ST If you are a current BMW Motorcycle Owners of America member you can save big bucks on Original BMW Parts. Purchase in-store from any Authorized BMW Motorcycle Dealer now through December 31st and receive: Spend $150 / Get 25% Off Spend $250 / Get 30% Off Spend $500 / Get 35% Off Visit your local BMW Motorcycle dealer today and stock up for your winter projects ©2022 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW trademarks are registered trademarks. PURCHASE: BMW Motorrad Original Parts, Original Classic Parts, Original Service Parts and Replacement OEM Parts purchased in store at an authorized BMW Motorrad Dealership. Not valid in Canada. BMW Motorcycle Owners of America Members are required to meet the following threshold amounts in order to receive the specified discounts at time of purchase. Spend $150 to receive 25% OFF entire order. Spend $250 to receive 30% OFF entire order. Spend $500 to receive 35% OFF entire order. Discount is only available to BMW Motorcycle of America Members (“MOA”). MOA members will be required to show their MOA membership card at time of purchase. Receive up to a 35% discount on BMW Motorrad Original Parts, Original Classic Parts, Original Service Parts and Replacement OEM Parts purchased in store at any participating authorized BMW Motorrad Dealership (online orders are not eligible for this offer). Offer excludes all motorcycle accessories (Design, Ergonomics/Comfort, Luggage, Maintenance and Technology, Navigation and Communication, Protection and Safety, Sound and Performance) Bicycles, Riders’ Gear, Style Gear and Chemicals. Limited-time offer valid from 10/01/2022 to 12/31/2022. Offer expires on 12/31/2022 at 11:59pm (EST). Offer not valid on previously purchased merchandise and cannot be combined with any other offer, discount or promotion. Discount is based on the total invoiced retail price of eligible products at time of checkout, exclusive of taxes and shipping costs. BMW of North America reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time without notice.
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