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May 2018 • FREE

January 2018 • FREE

In this issue: The Complete Guide to Motorcycling in the Midwest

Return To New Zealand: A Tour of the South Island, Part Two The Preacher Speaks About... Rolling Thunder Tested: 2018 BMW Grand America

2018 Gilmore Vintage Motorcycle Show & Swap Meet Saturday, June 9 & Sunday, June 10, 2018



Dealer Events

For a complete list of Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Members, see panel >>>> April 28 Spring Open House Live music, Food trucks, Michigan Misfits, Live entertainment, Demo rides, Silent auction ABC Harley-Davidson 4405 Highland Road (M-59) Waterford, MI 248.674.3175

April 28-29 Open House Ray C’s Harley-Davidson 1491 S. Lapeer Rd. (M-24 & I-69) Lapeer, MI (810) 664-9261

May 5 Cinco De Mayo We’re having a FIESTA! Tacos, Nachos, Cervezas, & MORE! Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

May 5 Cinco de Mayo Customer Appreciation Day Come join us for a Cinco de Mayo party like no other! Workshops every hour along with Powerhour! More details coming soon! Capitol Harley-Davidson 9550 Woodlane Dr. Dimondale, MI 517.646.2345

May 11-12 Mother’s Day Event Gildner’s Harley-Davidson 2723 South M 76, West Branch, MI (989) 345-1330

May 12 Game Day Hamilton Harley-Davidson 68951 White School Road US-12 Sturgis, MI (269) 651-3424

May 12 Celebrate Mom! Our annual pre-Mother’s Day celebration! Free gift for all moms, brunch buffet, 20% OFF licensed jewelry, & more Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

May 12 Customer Appreciation Day Perry Harley-Davidson 5331 S. Sprinkle Road Kalamazoo, MI (269) 329-3450

May 19 Spring Open House Sandy’s Harley-Davidson 11940 N Maple Island Road Fremont, MI 231-924-3020

May 19 Baldwin Blessing Kick-Off Party Stop by and see us on your way to Baldwin for lunch, giveaways, & more! Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

May 12 Bronson Children’s Hospital Charity Ride Perry Harley-Davidson 5331 S. Sprinkle Road Kalamazoo, MI (269) 329-3450

May 26 Memorial Day Cookout Our annual Patriotic BBQ! Come see us! Battle Creek Harley-Davidson 5738 Beckley Road Battle Creek, MI (269) 979-2233

May 26 12th Annual Blessing of the Bikes Hamilton Harley-Davidson 68951 White School Road US-12 Sturgis, MI (269) 651-3424

May 31- June 2 Harley-Davidson Demo Truck Perry Harley-Davidson 5331 S. Sprinkle Road Kalamazoo, MI (269) 329-3450

June 2 Open House Live music, food, great times Capitol Harley-Davidson 9550 Woodlane Dr. Dimondale, MI 517.646.2345

Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Association Members 1. Battle Creek

12. Muskegon



2. Bay City

13. Sturgis



3. Birch Run

14. Tecumseh



4. Cement City

15. Traverse City



5. Fremont

16. Waterford



6. Gaylord

17. West Branch





8. Kalamazoo





10. Lapeer RAY C’S HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 1491 S. LAPEER ROAD, LAPEER (810) 664-9261,


5 12







1 4

11. Mt. Pleasant HOLESHOT HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 4741 E PICKARD, MT PLEASANT (989) 772-5513




The 2018 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are rolling in. From a fully transformed Softail® lineup, boldly styled custom touring models and deluxe CVO offerings, these bikes are unlike anything we ever built before. Stop in to take a test ride and see where it takes you.



Midwest Motorcyclist


Columns 8 13 18


Riders, On Your Mark! Helping Bikers in the Midwest Prepare for the 2018 Riding Season by Jason Waechter Motorcycling & Law: House Bill 4480 re: Handlebar Heights; House Bills 5650 & 5651 re: Motorcycle Procession Par by Dondi Vesprini The Preacher Speaks About... Rolling Thunder by Franz ”The Preacher” Hoffer

Features, News & Reviews cc media publications

This Month’s Contributors: Contributing Editors Franz Hoffer Plus, Blane Kamp, Gene Southard, Dondi Vesprini, Jason Waechter

Publisher/Managing Editor Ray Peabody

Advertising Sales/ Web Master / Distribution Ray Peabody

Cover Design Julie Kirkendoll

How to contact us: 709 Fall Street Spring Lake, Michigan 49456 (810) 923-8738 Copyright 1998-2018 cc media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, photocopied, or electronically transmitted without the expressed written permission of the publisher. Advertisers, their agents, contributors of event information, free-lance contributors and/or editorial contributors will defend, indemnify and hold cc media and RTP Enterprises, Inc. harmless in any claims of libel, copyright or trademark infringement, plagiarism, violation of local, national, or international privacy laws and any other claim or suit that may arise subsequent to publication of said advertisement, stories, event information, and/or editorial. Submission of material for consideration for publication in Michigan Motorcyclist, Midwest Motorcyclist, American CycleRider either solicited or unsolicited, constitutes agreement to these terms. Except for the Publisher and Managing Editor, all writers are free-lance contributors. Any and all opinions expressed are those of the authors, and don’t necessarily reflect those of the publisher.


5 6 7 9 15 16

Return to New Zealand: A Tour of the South Island, Part Two by Gene Southard Motorcycles Take Over the Gilmore Car Museum For Entire Weekend Life Cycle Launches Buyers Club Calling all Dual Sport and Adventure Riders; Bill Conger and Elizabeth Allen of BC Moto Adventures Off-Road Training Coming to MIchigan by Blane Kamp BMW Introduces New Models to Dealers in Sardinia by Blane Kamp Tested: 2018 BMW K1600 B Grand America by Ray Peabody

Resources 2 Michigan Harley-Davidson Dealer Event Schedule

4 Advertiser Index

14 Event Schedule

Large cover photo: Photo of the Gilmore Car Museum grounds during their Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet. Photo courtesy of the Gilmore Car Museum. Small cover photo: The 2018 BMW K 1600 B Grand America parked at the loading ramp ar Half Moon Lake. Photo by Ray Peabody.

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Harley-Davidson ..........................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Battle Creek Harley-Davidson............2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 BMW Motorcycles of Detroit....................11, 12 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 BMW-Motus of Grand Rapids..................5, 13, 15 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 BMW, SE Michigan. .........................6, 7, 9 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Bubbas’s Mother’s Day Swap Meet...........16 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Capitol Harley-Davidson ................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Classic MotorSports.........................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Cycle Conservation Club .......................14 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Gildner’s Harley-Davidson ...........2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Gilmore Museum Vintage Motorcycle Show .......10 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Grand Rapids H-D............................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Great Lakes Dual Sporters ..................7 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Great Lakes Harley-Davidson.........2, 3, 18 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Great Lakes Ride Like a Pro...............15 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Hamilton Harley-Davidson ................2, 3, 17 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Holeshot Harley-Davidson ................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Hot Rod Harley-Davidson ..................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Jason Waechter, The Motorcycle Lawyer..20 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Jerry B’s Cycle Works.....................4 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 MI Harley-Davidson dealers ..........2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Michigan Sport Touring Riders.....................12 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 MotorCity Motorcycles............................18, 19 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Motor City Underwriters ......................12 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Motorcycle Solutions, LLC......................12 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Perry’s Harley-Davidson ..............2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Ray C’s Harley-Davidson...............2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Retail Warehouse .........................8, 14 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Sandy’s H-D ....................................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Shiawassee H-D ............................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Sport Bike Track Gear ................................6 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Tecumseh Harley-Davidson ..........2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Town & Country H-D........................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 Zip’s 45th Parallel H-D...................2, 3 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456 1234567890123456789012345678901212345678901234567890123456

Advertiser Index

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Parts, Accessories, & Service For Your HarleyDavidson Large Selection of Angel Bells in Stock!

May 2018

Return To New Zealand: A Tour of the South Island, Part Two By Gene Southard On the first half of my return trip to NZ, I traveled from Auckland to Wellington along the west coast of the North Island renewing friendships I made last year. After my ferry ride across the Cook Straight, I headed to Westport on the west coast. From Westport, I planned to take a leisurely month to return to Picton, stopping along the way at small towns I find interesting and riding all the back roads. Murchison is a small town located in the mountains of the Tasman District. The town offered the most dual-sport riding opportunities. On the first day’s ride out of Murchison, I headed south along the Matakitaki road then onto the hard-packed dirt of the Maruia Saddle (pass) over the Dreadnought mountain range. This very tight and twisty trail has several water crossings that the Beemer handled with ease. Because the South Island is so mountainous, most of the back

roads follow the rivers offering twisty curves and pcituresque views along the way. Matiri East and Matiri West Valley roads were good examples of this. The lush

was spent riding the Braeburn track which ended up on the Cowan Valley Road and a visit with Louise who had lent me her house in Westport. I tried to stay off the main roads as much as possible. My ride to Motueka took me through the Motueka Valley and by the many grape vineyards and apple orchards. This area, although rich in agriculture, is also a popular tourist destination with beautiful beaches and warm weather. The mud slides, called slips in NZ, had the road closed north to Collingwood but one of the road workers allowed me onto the closed back road to Marahau. I had 20km of twisty tarmac to myself but a little offroading was required to get around the logging and slips along the way. Greg at the Happy Apple Hostel suggested I ride the Motueka River Road which took me past large fields of hops hanging from vines. My route to Picton involved riding over the Dovedale Summit into Wakefield. Just outside Wakefield, I discovered the Higgins Steam Museum. Not only do they have several large steam tractors but an extensive antique chain-saw collection.

Mandy, who owns Thundercross Valley MC Park with her husband James, ready to ride.

pastures provided green grass for the many dairy cows along the way. One farmer told me he milked 3,000 cows a day. The last day in Murchison

Continued on page 12

BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 S Division Grand Rapids, MI 49548-5730 616-530-6900 TM

Midwest Motorcyclist


MOTORCYCLES TAKE OVER GILMORE CAR MUSEUM FOR ENTIRE WEEKEND Hickory Corners, MI - The Gilmore Car Museum, well known for its world-class collection of nearly 400 historic automobiles and as North America’s largest auto museum, will again shift its focus entirely to motorcycles on Saturday, June 9 th and Sunday, June 10 th. What makes this year stand out is that it marks the very first time the popular annual event has grown to encompass two days by extending the Swap Meet into Saturday. The Vintage Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet held at the Museum has been considered one of the largest events of its kind in the Midwest for several years. “Over the last several years this event has just been busting at the seams,” stated Chris Shires, Museum Executive Director.

Hobbyists have indicated they wished they had more time to search out that elusive restoration part in the swap meet and take in the evergrowing show field of vintage cycles. The Saturday Vintage Motorcycle ride originated a few years previous with just a handful of owners wanting to explore the backcountry roads near the Museum on their vintage bikes. Last year, however, they saw nearly 150 cycles join in. “We knew it was simply time to expand the swap meet to both Saturday and Sunday, and invite more to take part in Thursday, April 27, 2018 the ride on Saturday,” Shires continued. Thousands of motorcycles, to Benefit the Thin Blue Line of Michigan from rare and iconic rides of the past 100 years to the newest models driven by Newest rider styles from BMW, KLIM, spectators, will rumble into Rev’It, Schuberth and more. the Gilmore Car Museum Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. campus in Hickory Corners,


Annual Charity Fashion Show

Good time for a great cause.

MI on Sunday for the show. Those driven by spectators of the event—including new, old, and custom rides—receive the VIP treatment and take up a large portion of the Museum grounds in what Shires described as “a wonderful bike show itself.” “You’ll see some of the best examples of original and restored vintage motorcycles at this event,” explained Museum spokesperson Jay Follis. “And a few extras this year.” The Vintage Show will take place on Sunday and features antique and vintage

Continued on next page

Visit our Facebook page for details.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Annual Spring Open House This is the BIG one! The best food and refreshments you’ll find at any Open House. Demo rides and entertainment. Join us in celebrating the 2018 riding season! Monday, May 21, 2018

Spring Track Day at Grattan The Grattan Raceway track day costs $165, which includes track time, class room instruction and lunch. All makes and models of bikes are welcome to attend our track events! To register, please call Raina or Audrey at (734) 453-0500

BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan 14855 N. Sheldon Rd., Plymouth, MI 734.453.0500


May 2018

Continued from previousa page - Gilmore Vintage Show motorcycles, scooters, customs and more, all 25 years and older, arranged in two areas. A special Master Class will be made up of historically accurate motorcycles that are 35 years old or older. Peer judging will also take place, where several classes of cycles will be displayed under their country’s flag of origin. Those that take part by displaying their motorcycles during the show will also have a chance to win a brand new Klinger cycle trailer. Seminars and demos by some of the top experts in the motorcycle field will be offered throughout Sunday. The event also includes a large “Bike Corral” full of vintage motorcycles for sale, the huge two-day motorcycle parts and memorabilia swap meet, and a special exhibit area to showcase new motorcycles and offer demo rides. Included with admission to the show is the entire Gilmore Car Museum campus and exhibits of nearly 400 vehicles, including a permanent exhibit hall dedicated to vintage motorcycles. That newly updated display presents a custom 9-11 tribute bike, , a rare unrestored barn-find 1914 Harley-Davidson, one of the Triumphs actually used by “The Fonz” on the Happy Days TV series, and many examples of iconic brand names such as Vincent, Indian, BMW, Honda and more. Other special Museum exhibits include the limited engagement “A.J. Foyt – A Legendary Exhibition” which covers the racing career of the first fourtime winner of the famed Indy 500 and features each of those four winning cars. Guests will also find “Born to Perform – The Era of the Muscle” showcasing some of the rarest and most sought-after high-performance cars of the 1960s and ’70s. The FREE Vintage Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, June 9th is open to all bikes 25 years old or older and follows the mantra of “Ride ‘em, Don’t Hide ‘em!” The Gilmore Car Museum, along with the weekend’s co-hosts—the Antique Motor Cycle Club of America – Wolverine Chapter, the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, and the BMW Club of Battle Creek—encourages more classic iron to come out for this very special Vintage Motorcycle Weekend. Those who wish to enter one or more vintage motorcycles in the show field only pay for the first bike, with all additional bikes they show are free. “The Museum hosts more than a dozen car shows each year,” Spokesperson Follis continues, “and for this one, we completely shift gears to all motorcycles.” Whether you’re exhibiting, riding, or admiring one of the thousands of motorcycles in attendance, the Vintage Motorcycle Weekend on Saturday and Sunday June 9 - 10 at the Gilmore Car Museum will certainly be the “don’t miss” cycle event of the year. Daily spectator admission to the Motorcycle Weekend is only $14.00 per person, those 11 and under FREE! A discounted two-day pass is $23.00, and either ticket includes all museum exhibits at no extra charge and FREE Parking. The Museum is located just 20 minutes northeast of Kalamazoo on M-43 and Hickory Road. Visit to learn more about the museum and this very special weekend.

Life Cycle Launches Wholesale Buyers Club Kalamazoo, MI – Life Cycles announced the launch of their Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Buyers Club. Members can purchase aftermarket parts, accessories, and apparel at 15% over dealer cost.

“The industry needs to adapt and reinvent itself for the rapidly changing world,” said Dave Reynolds, owner of Life Cycle. “We are looking for ways to engage younger enthusiasts while, at the same time, supporting and strengthening our community motorcycle shop that provides valuable services. The DIY Club is a solution to that challenge. Members can effectively buy direct from the world’s largest motorsports distributors and save significant money on their purchases.” Annual membership in the DIY Club is $100. In addition to offering members the opportunity to buy products at 15% over dealer cost, Life Cycle will provide a range of benefits to enhance the experience of ownership. If you are interested in becoming a member of Life Cycle’s DIY Wholesale Buyers Club to save money on aftermarket parts, accessories and apparel, or if you simply want more information, call Dave Reynolds at 269.388.5590. The Great Lakes Dual Sporters is a like-minded group of offroad motorcyclists who enjoy riding Michigan’s vast two-track trails and back roads. All done using a street legal dirtbike also known as Dual Sport. If you’re looking for fantastic dualsport riding and the company of great friends, join us. Check out our website at to learn about our group, our events and much more. Only $10 to join!

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BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan 14855 N. Sheldon Rd. Plymouth, MI 734.453.0500 • We take motorcycles of all brands and models as trade-ins. Bring us your bike when you’re ready to buy! TM

Midwest Motorcyclist


Riders, Take Your Mark! Helping bikers in the Midwest prepare for the 2018 riding season by Jason Waechter, Esq. All around us, signs of spring are finally surfacing. The weather is finally starting to warm up and motorcycle riders everywhere are experiencing that familiar ‘itch’ to get out on the open road. With the 2018 riding season very nearly upon us, here is some useful information in getting you and your bike ready to ride.

The Machine Did you change your oil and filter in the fall? If not, you should do that before taking your bike out. Is your battery in good condition, and was it properly stored and charged throughout the winter? Check for corrosion, cracks, or damage, and make sure it’s fully charged. If you don’t have one already, start looking for a smart charger before you put your bike away in the fall… you’ll be glad you did. Look for engine leaks before and after the bike is running, and listen for anything out of the ordinary. Test your brakes to make sure they’re working properly and not worn (do this in your driveway, rather than at the nearest stop sign). Don’t ignore your tires, especially after a long, cold winter like we just experienced. Extreme cold can cause cracks, flat spots, and other damage, especially if you did not put any insulation between the ground and your tires. Keep a small, portable air tank on hand at home so you can fill

up your tires without moving your bike. Use an accurate tire gauge and check your tires when they’re cold. It’s best to check your tire pressure before each ride, especially during the wild temperature swings we tend to see in the spring. The ideal pressure for your tires can vary depending on the temperature, the load on your bike, and other factors. Read your owner’s manual to make sure you’re getting the best possible performance out of your tires and your motorcycle. Depending on how well you maintain your bike and prepared it for its winter sleep, it might even be a good idea to get your bike into a licensed mechanic for a tune-up. Who knows, you could avoid downtime during the really good weather by doing a preventative tune-up today.

The Rider

It’s probably a good idea to get yourself ready to ride, too. One way to do that is to take a certified rider training course as a refresher or get in a parking lot and practice before the season gets underway. This allows you to practice your skills (maybe even learn something new). Check your safety gear and replace anything that is worn or damaged. If you wear a helmet, by law or by choice, make sure it is not damaged. If you don’t already have one, create an emergency kit to carry on your motorcycle, including first aid supplies and the Demin or basics for repairing your Leather bike. Men’s & Ladies’ As The Motorcycle Lawyer, Vests Closeout, I always tell people that as low as One-of-a-Kind insurance is protection, and $35 Leather & you can never be overinsured. I can’t emphasize Textile Chaps enough how important it is Jackets to have proper insurance on as low as Pet Carriers your bike. It’s difficult to $85 to $150 00 $75 provide definitive insurance for Your Valued at $22500 information here, because Motorcycle insurance requirements vary Now Available! from state to state, and our Annual Over Thinsulate- readers are from all over H.I.M. 30 Styles the Midwest. I do provide lined BIKE insurance of Saddle Chaps state-by-state Blessing information on my website, Bags & $100, here at Children’s and I recommend to readers noon on 35 Styles Biker to from every state that you Saturday, with a licensed of Sissy Boots $120 meet insurance agent to make May 12th! Bar Bags $6000 sure you have what you need to be legal and cover The LARGEST, MOST COMPLETE LEATHER SHOP all possibilities.

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Orange Barrels, Potholes & Gravel (Oh My!) W ith the changing temperatures and all the

damage that gets done during the winter months, it’s important to watch the road for cracks, potholes, gravel, salt or sand that might still be on the roads. Even seemingly ‘good’ roads can still present hazardous surfaces that motorcyclists should be mindful of. For example, did you know that street marking tape (used for marking a crosswalk or writing on the road) can be very slippery, especially for a motorcycle? Any of these things could be a problem. Of course, the current weather can be responsible for bad road conditions, too, as heavy rains, flash freezes, and black ice are all possible in the spring. Check the weather before you go, always pack a rain suit, dress accordingly… and don’t forget the sunglasses!

Speak Up! Ultimately, Motorcycle Awareness starts with you, the rider. You are not only responsible for making sure you and your machine are road-ready, you are also responsible for spreading the word. A large part of rider safety includes helping to keep other motorists aware of motorcycles, and understanding how to share the road. W ithout driver awareness, it ’s almost impossible for motorcyclists to ride safely. These types of campaigns don’t work if nobody hears about them. So, talk to the non-riders in your life about what it means for you to ride, and the precautions you take to ensure a safe ride for yourself. Help them understand they need to do the same. Here are some easy talking points for friends and family members: • Motorcyclists are everywhere, but harder to see than larger vehicles. Please keep your eyes on the road at all times; the text message can wait. • Most motorcycle-car crashes happen at intersections, when a car turns left directly in front of a biker. • Motorcycles are not exactly quiet machines. Turn the music down so you will be more likely to hear them (and emergency vehicles). Bumper stickers and lawn signs are a great, easy way to help get the message out to motor vehicle drivers. Find us on Facebook (https:// to get motorcycle safety images and information to share with all your social media friends. Ride safe and enjoy these first days of the riding season.

Attorney Jason A. Waechter is a national attorney specializing in the areas of motorcycle and motor vehicle injury litigation. Mr. Waechter has collected millions of dollars in settlements, awards and verdicts for his motorcycle clients over the past 20 years. Jason feels a duty to give back to his community. A portion of each case settled goes to educational resources for bikers, funds to help bikers while their cases are being litigated and our motorcycle accident prevention campaign. Call Attorney Jason Waechter toll free at 1-877-BIKER LAW. Or visit Legal disclaimer: The law is very fact dependent and there are many nuances and exceptions depending on your particular circumstances. Therefore, given the limited space, it is impossible to cover everything. Do not rely on the short article to protect your rights.

May 2018

0.9% APR Interest* • $0 Down** 90 Days until the 1st Payment is Due** on all new 2017 model BMW motorcycles. If you’re buying a new 2017 R 1200 GS or R 1200 GS Adventure, existing incentives still apply in addition to these new incentives.

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Midwest Motorcyclist



23th Annual


Saturday - Swap Only Sunday - Show & Swap


June 9—10, 2018 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

G®½ÃÊٛ CƒÙ Mçݛçà 6865 Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI Midway between Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Lansing and Grand Rapids

Registration info at: BMW Motorcycles of Detroit



Friday, June 22, 2018 - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, June 23, 2018 -10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Bill Conger and Elizabeth Allen of BC Moto Adventures Off-Road Training Coming to Michigan by Blane Kamp Dakar racer Bill Conger will bring his off-road school to West Michigan! Mark your calendars for June 9 and 10. I did an article late last year about Bill and his run at the 2018 Dakar Rally in South America. He ended up placing 66th after crashing hard on the second day out. Just finishing this grueling 14-day race is quite an accomplishment. He is founder and head trainer of BC Moto Adventures. One of his trainers, Elizabeth Allen, will be in Allendale, Michigan with Bill. I first met Elizabeth in 2013 at BMW North America’s two-day off-road school. Right off, I could tell she was some kind of rider. She is small in stature but was working a 560-pound R1200GS Adventure like it was a 250. We had 12 of us down there for training that year with three different instructors. The two male instructors had nothing on Elizabeth. She is one of two BMW Certified OnRoad/Off-Road female trainers in the world. She is also a six-time AMA National Champion in Women’s Vintage Motocross/Post Vintage Hare Scrambles. Elizabeth worked at the BMW Performance Center from 2011 to 2014 and now works with Bill at BC Moto Adventures. Some years ago, I met Elizabeth’s dad, Mike Allen, owner of a multi-line bike shop in Columbus, Ohio called Motohio European Motorbikes. I think I talked to him three times over the years about getting the Husqvarna brand. Each and every time he talked me out of it. Husqvarna never really made him any money but brought his family lots of fun. Their weekends were filled with Hare Scrambles on their Huskys and that was the best! Today, Motohio no longer carries Husqvarna, but Mike has built a great family-run business with other brands. Elizabeth has taken over as GM of his Columbus store (BMW, Ducati, Motus and Triumph Motorcycles and Vespa Scooters) and his son Kirk will run his exclusive BMW motorcycle store in Cincinnati that’s due to open in the second quarter of this year. Mike told me that Elizabeth and Kirk compete with AND support each other. To become a BMW Certified Off-Road Trainer, both Bill and Elizabeth had to go through a week of grueling training and a day of testing for certification. The off-road section was in a rock quarry Hechlingen, Germany, called Enduro Park Hechlingen. One of her biggest challenges was cresting a steep hill that was almost vertical at the right speed so she could turn once she made it to the top and not just roll down the other side. We’ve been able to get Elizabeth and Bill to come into town and do their twoday training camp on June 9 and 10, 2018 in Allendale. It’s $650 per person and we’re limited to 12 participants. Off-road experience is not a necessary requirement for the school. This class is designed for riders with a skill level of novice and higher. All you have to do is bring an enduro bike in good running condition with fresh tires. All brands are welcome and if we get enough demand we may organize another school in September.

Demo rides from BMW’s Factory Demo Truck both days! (Weather Permitting) Discounts on BMW Rider’s Apparel Food Truck Refreshments Hope To See You There!

BMW Motorcycles of Detroit 1301 S Rochester Rd, Suite B, Rochester Hills, MI

(248) 402-4013 • 10

May 2018

BMW Motorcycles of Detroit 1301 S. Rochester Rd, Suite B Rochester Hills, MI, 48307 (248) 402-4013 TM

Midwest Motorcyclist


Continued from page 5 - New Zealand

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Logging is popular in NZ. Just west of Picton is the scenic Queen Charlotte Drive. As I neared Picton, I could view the Charlotte Sound and the ferry waiting to take me to Wellington. In Picton, I reunited with Dan. The ferry ride back to the North Island was not as smooth as the ride to the South Island. The Bluebridge Ferry Company had several broken dishes by the time we reached our destination. Dan and I sat out the rain and did some sightseeing in Wellington. This city is situated on several hills so walking around Wellington left my legs sore. I had never ridden in the Tararua District between Wellington and Napier. One day as Dan and I headed to the coast, a lady stopped us and asked if we would take a boogie board to her granddaughter in one of the small coastal towns. We agreed and were hitting apexes with a boogie board bungied to Dan’s bike. You should have seen that little girl’s smile when we rode up with her board. Although not as mountainous as other parts of NZ, the sweeping curves and majestic views on the way to the coastal town of Akitio started me thinking about returning to this area next year. Many of the small towns in NZ have local museums and their volunteer workers are a wealth of information about the history of the area. At the end of a long gravel road, I met a dairy farmer who had just caught a bushtail possum. Although they are a pest in NZ, their fur is highly prized. When blended with Merion wool, it can be woven into very warm clothing. The farmer was nice enough to fire up his fur plucking machine with large rubber paddles to harvest the fur. When he was done the possum was completely bald. My friend Shane let me use his spare bedroom during my stay on the sunny coast of Hawks Bay, while Dan

headed north toward the Coromandel Peninsula. A visit to the Napier Prison Museum uncovered stories of the many hardened criminals of NZ. From Napier, my tour returned me to Nigel and Helen’s Beez Neez Hostel just in time for the Southern Social Motorcycle Club’s charity poker run for a young man suffering from colon cancer. Motorcycle groups around the world are incredibly charitable. James at Thundercross Valley MC Park offered to store my BMW until I return. So the last few days of my trip were spent getting the bike ready for storage and helping James and Mandy run the park. As my plane took off from the Auckland airport and climbed over the green fields of New Zealand, I could only think of the many places in NZ that I have not ridden yet. NZ is addictive with its motorcycle-friendly roads, stunning scenery, and friendly people. My NZ addiction must show because, as I would say goodbye to a friend, they would say “See you next year”.

Sport Touring is Our Middle Name!


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May 2018

Motorcycling & Law

House Bill 4480 re: Handlebar Heights; House Bills 5650 and 5651 re: Motorcycle Procession Parking by Dondi Vesprini As we move into the heart of springtime and gear up for summer, I wanted to point out a few bills currently pending in Lansing that would relax handlebar height restrictions and exempt motorcycle processions from parking tickets during the period of their event. Currently under Michigan law, a motorcycle or moped may not have handlebars that are higher than 15 inches from the lowest point of the saddle to the highest point of the handle grip. House Bill 4480 introduced by Rep. Abdullah Hammoud would double the height to 30 inches, to provide a little more room for riders who prefer handlebars of the higher variety. According to statistics from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the bill would put Michigan in line with 2 other states (Washington and W isconsin) that have 30-inch standards. Also according to the statistics, there are currently 20 states with no restrictions on handlebar heights. The bill was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where it is currently pending. Regarding parking, under current Michigan law, a vehicle is not allowed to park (among other places) in violation of an official sign that restricts the period of time for or manner of parking. House Bill 5650 introduced by Rep John Chirkun would amend the parking statute to exempt motorcycles that are part of a motorcycle procession and parked in violation of an official sign restricting the period of time for parking. House

Bill 5651 introduced by Rep. Patrick Green would define a “motorcycle procession” as a group of at least 12 motorcycles wherein the procession is being conducted between the hours of 8:00 am and sunset; is sponsored by a corporation or nonprofit organization; and is conducted for a memorial or charitable purpose. These bills were referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where they are currently pending. For those riders who are part of a club or organization who puts on memorial rides or charity rides, I would suggest making sure that your club or organization is a registered corporation or non-profit organization if you want to take advantage of this

bill if it passes into law. While these bills may not cure the pothole epidemic which has swept the roadways of our State, they at least offer some leniency on handlebar height restrictions and would provide one less hassle to worry about regarding parking during a memorial or charity ride. As always, if anyone has any questions or if I can be of legal assistance to you or anyone you know dealing with this issue or who has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please don’t hesitate to contact me as I deal with these types of claims on behalf of injured motorcyclists statewide on a daily basis. Further, for those readers who are members of any motorcycle organizations, clubs, or groups, if you would like to have me come out to your group to speak or give a presentation on the legal rights of an injured motorcyclist or on any specific topic that your group may be curious about, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at (248-5694646) or shoot me an e-mail at I give presentations state-wide and there is never a charge associated with having me out. I enjoy having the opportunity to come out and meet motorcycle enthusiasts from all parts of our State!

Pre-Owned Motorcycles 2017 H-D Tri Glide Ultra, Red, 4,021 miles, 2016 H-D Street Glide Special, Blue, 11,000, 2015 BMW F 800 GT, Light White, 2,052 miles, 2015 BMW S 1000 RR, Racing Red, 1,300 miles, 2014 BMW R 1200 RTP, Black, 37,255 miles, 2014 Ducati Monster 1200, Red, 10,000 miles, 2013 BMW F 800 GS, Blue, 19,754 miles, 2013 BMW F 800 GS, Alpine White, 14,000 miles,

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Midwest Motorcyclist

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(616) 530-6900 13

Events Events do change. Please call ahead


Midland County Fairgrounds 6905 Eastman Ave., Midland, MI (989) 893-5187 May 18-20 45th Annual Para-Dice Motorcycle Club’s Baldwin Blessing of the Bikes Baldwin Municipal Airport on M-37 May 19 Spring Open House BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan 14855 Sheldon, Plymouth, MI (734) 453-0500

April 27 Charity Fashion Show to benefit the Thin Blue Line of Michigan BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan 14855 Sheldon, Plymouth, MI (734) 453-0500 April 28 Season Starter Open House Start the season off right! We will have lots of specials for one day only! Get all the right gear to make your riding season great! Don’t miss out on the motorcycles! Check out the latest and greatest BMW has to offer and you might even consider upgrading this season! BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 S. Division Ave. Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 April 29 Lakeshore Blessing of the Bikes Ottawa County Fairgrounds May 4-6 BMW Battle Creek Club’s Mini Rally NEW LOCATION Circle Pines Center, 8650 Mullen Rd. Delton, MI May 12 H.I.M. Blessing & Bob Wiles Memorial The ride starts at Retail Warehouse 1640 South Centreville Road in Sturgis. Registration and other activities start at 9:45 am. Motorcycles go out at 12:45 pm. There is no charge for the ride. The 50 mile ride will go on the local country roads. At the end donations will be accepted for hot dogs and chips. For more information call (269) 689-9351 May 13 38th Annual Mother’s Day Swap Meet & Bike Show Sponsored by Bubba’s Tri-City Cycle 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5 admission; Children under 12 free

May 20 Walneck’s Motorcycle Swap Meet 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission $6 Monroe County Fairgrounds 3775 S. Custer Rd, Monroe, MI (630) 985-2097 May 21 BMW Track Day with Sportbike Track Time Grattan Racweway, Belding, MI Call for details: BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids (616) 530-6900 BMW Motorcycles of SE Michigan (734) 453-0500 June 2 Blessing of the Bikes to benefit Hospice of Michigan Music, food, Message, Blessing, Scenic Ride, Prizes Registration opens at 10 a.m.; Blessing at noon; Lunch followed by scenic ride. $5 per person (810) 441-0942 June 9-10 2018 Harley-Fest 24800 Haggerty Rd Farmington Hills, MI (248) 473-7433 June 13 Sirens Motorcycle Club 10th Annual Wheels & Heels Lady Rider Motorcycle Show (rain date: June 20, 2018) Reg 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Trophies at 7 p.m.$10/donation with gift bags for the first 25 ladies to enter Scooters Bar & Grill 6004 Torrey Road, Flint, Mi (810) 655-6884

Indiana April 29 ABATE Region 3 Support the Troops Ride Show your support for those currently serving our country and our veterans. Go on a 75-mile ride for those who can’t be here. Free for ABATE members & nonmembers Sign in starts at 11 a.m.; Ride leaves at 1:30 p.m. Darrough Chapel Park 600 S. Goyer Road Kokomo, IN (260) 403-2379 April 29 Annual Blessing of the Bikes Meet at Kersting’s and ride to the church for a bike blessing Kersting’s Cycle Center & Museum 8774 West 700 N Winamac, IN 574-896-2974

May 5 15th Annual Run for the Son $20/single; $25/couple Reg. 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Kickstands up at 11 a.m. D&D Custom Leather / Happy Jack’s 700 East Jefferson Blvd Mishawaka, IN (574) 320-6206 May 19 Freedom Riders of Indiana, Chapter 5 4th Annual Honor Flight of NE IN Reg. 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; Kickstands up at 11 a.m. $15 / rider; $5 / passenger Family fun activities, Motorcycle games, JB’s Cuisine, Bake Sale, Vendors, Craft Show, Silent Auction Memorial Park 1200 W. Park Drive, Huntington, IN

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We accept all major credit cards Call (269) 651-2464 now or visit our on-line store at


May 25 Super Saturday / Demo Ride Event The H-D Demo Truck is coming! Join us for one of the best Super Saturday’s of the Year! All free spirits welcome to take a test ride! Hoosier Harley-Davidson® 720 W Bristol St, Elkhart, IN (574) 262-2735

May 5 Bike Olympics (Formerly Trick out Your Bike) Elkhart Indian Motorcycle 3016 Brittany Court Elkhart, IN (877) 856-4326

Heated Riding Gear by Mobile Warming

May 20 American Legion Riders Fallen Heroes Family Ride Reg 8 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. in the Walmart parking lot on Portage Avenue in South Bend Kickstands up at 11 a.m. for a 60-miles ride ending at American Legion post 308 in Oceola $15/rider; $10/passenger: Nonriders $5/person (574) 339-1575 May 20 Breast Cancer Ride Meet at 10:30 a.m.; Kickstands up at 11:30 a.m. All donations are welcome Indianapolis Southside HarleyDavidson 4930 Southport Crossing Place Indianapolis, IN (317) 748-3309

May 2 Wild West Wednesday Elkhart Indian Motorcycle 3016 Brittany Court Elkhart, IN (877) 856-4326


May 19 Mike Swadener Memorial Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Event Walmart 700 W. Ireland Road, South Bend, IN Reg 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Ride leaves at 11 a.m. Free $10 / person (574) 300-5410

June 1-3 ABATE Region 1 Spring Break Crumstown Conservation Club 59440 Crumstown Highway, North Liberty, IN ABATE members $15;Nonmembers $20 Active military free with I.D. Minimum age 21 Free tent camping, Live music, Bike show, Field events (574) 300-5410

Ohio June 3 Walneck’s Motorcycle Swap Meet8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission $8 Clark County Fairgrounds 44012 S. Charleston Pike (Exit 59 off I-70) Springfield, OH (630) 985-2097

Wisconsin June 9-10 Winsconsin Dual Sport Riders present 2018 Ride for Research to benefit the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, WI in Wabeno 1 Fairview, Wabeno, WI For info, (920) 634-8834 To register or for additional details:

May 2018

BMW Introduces New Models to Dealers in Sardinia by Blane Kamp Occasionally dealers get to go to exotic places to test prototypes. For the 2018 trip, we stayed at the Forte Village Resort in Pula, Sardinia. We went in late March, and I had the opportunity to ride the C400X scooter as well as the F750GS and F850GS prototypes on the great roads on the island. These bikes won’t be available until the last quarter of this year as 2019 models. We rode the BMW, Kymco and Yamaha 400cc scooters for comparison. It was pouring down rain and about 45 degrees, but riding a new unit makes it more than bearable. The BMW was by far the smoothest with the best handling. It has the latest technology which makes it an easy pick (ABS, TFT display, heated grips and seat). With its 34 HP engine, it cruised along at 75 mph with no problem. According to BMWs specs, it should be the best in its class in fuel economy. W ith any luck, it will come in at a price around $7,000. The 750/850GS are completely new motorcycles with a new engine that has a sweet sound and less vibration than the previous model. We really had a good time with the 750 on the way back from the coffee shop. It was raining off and on, but the roads were super sticky with a rougher asphalt than we have here in the US. The

last 20 kilometers were actually tighter turns than Deals Gap with only two thirds the road width. The F750/850GS will have some major upgrades. The engine for both will be an 853cc inline twin with different mapping for each model. The 750 will be 77HP and the 850 is 95HP. Shift assist pro will be available on both models allowing shifting without the clutch. Dynamic ESA will also be an option. This adjusts the damping automatically and allows you to adjust the preload with a button on the handlebar. ABS pro is also an option. This is much more precise in corners and helps when the brakes are applied when the motorcycle is leaning. Other options include a TFT display, LED lighting, Tire Pressure Monitor, Keyless Ignition, and Cruise Control. The F850GS will also have tubeless spoked rims. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to ride the 850, but I talked to some dealers that did and the motorcycle got really good reviews. The 850 was run mostly off road and across some mud patches and a stream bed. It performed well according to the feed back I got. Please forgive me for any bias I may have due to my being a BMW dealer, but I was really impressed by all three of these motorcycles. It’s hard not to be enthused when you’re riding in Europe in March when we usually have snow on the ground in Michigan.

Upcoming Events April 28, 2018 - Season Starter Open House Start the season off right! We will have lots of specials for one day only! Get all the right gear to make your riding season great! Don't miss out on the motorcycles! Check out the latest and greatest BMW has to offer and you might even consider upgrading this season!

0.9% APR or up to $2,000 accessory credit on all new 2017 and select 2018 BMW motorcycles.* Plus, no payments are required for the first 3 months.

May 19-20, 2018 - Traverse City Demo Days Demo rides will be for 45 minutes and start on the hour. Advanced scheduling is required. Don't forget your driver's license and car(auto) insurance and appropriate riding gear! We will announce demo bikes that will be available soon! Call 616-530-6900 for more information!

May 21, 2018 - Track Day at Grattan Raceway You do NOT need to ride or own a BMW to attend this track day! Designed for everyone from first time riders on the track to advanced riders just looking to improve their lap time. Three different speed groups help make sure everyone has a great time. $165 for the entire day and INCLUDES lunch!

May 26-27, 2018 - CA Superbike School @ VIR BMW of Grand Rapids goes to California Superbike School! We are planning two trips to the CSS for 2018! The first event is at Barber Motorsports Park on May 26th and 27th. Sign up is standard with California Superbike School. When signing up online, include BMWMCGR on your friend's list. If you prefer to call, tell Ginny that you are in our group.

BMW-Motus Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 • TM

Midwest Motorcyclist

Financing rates this low are rare and won’t be available for long. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a BMW motorcycle. Stop by our dealership today!

BMW-Motus Motorcycles of Grand Rapids 5995 South Division, Grand Rapids, MI (616) 530-6900 • *Subject to credit approval through BMW Financial Services. Accessory Credit cannot be combined with the promotional rate (as low as 0.9%). Offer expires on 5/31/2018. Visit BMW Motorcycles of Grand Rapids for details.


Tested: 2018 BMW Grand America

by Ray Peabody

Sponsored by Michigan Motorcyclist®


Our first motorcycle test of 2018 revisits a model we first tested for a feature story in our October 2017 issue. In that review, we nicked the BMW K 1600 B Bagger, a luxury touring motorcycle, for the lack of a top box or the mounts that would allow the owner to add one later. It seemed like a glaring mistake at the time, despite the fact that it did reflect the styling of a typical “bagger” - long and low with a fairing, saddlebags and no top box. Other motojournalists, including those who contribute to national and international publications, also noted this deficit. BMW listened and introduced the Grand America (GA), the Bagger with a top case and few other minor changes, earlier this year. Arguing that I NEEDED to test the GA because of the changes would be pointless and probably laughable. I WANTED to do this test. While a bagger wasn’t my personally preferred style prior to riding the BMW K 1600 B, the test persuaded me that my biases were unwarranted. Style and substance in a single package are worthy of consideration. Two times, at least... Rain had fallen earlier on the day of the test and the roads were still

wet when I left the BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan parking lot. Not wanting to crash a new $23,000+ motorcycle, I started out in Rain mode. Rain mode reduces wheel spin and increases stability on slippery surfaces through a combination of complex electronic changes to ride-by-wire throttle response, Automatic Stability Control, ABS, and Electronic Suspension Adjustment. Underway, the throttle doesn’t react as quickly to rolling on the throttle. I didn’t crash so it seemed to have worked. Once the roads dried, a switch to Road mode had the throttle responding crisply to each input. As mentioned in the previous review, the counter-balanced, 1649cc, fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, in-line sixcylinder engine that produces 160horsepower at 7,750 rpms and 129 foot pounds of torque at 5,250 rpms is fast, flexible, and fun. Due to changes in the aerodynamics from the Bagger to the GA resulting from the addition of the top case, the top speed of the GA is governed to 101 mph. 101 isn’t fast enough for some riders but it’s plenty fast enough to lose your license; which is possible when considering how fast

Continued on page 18

Pre-Owned Motorcycles Dirt Bikes 2007 Kawasaki KX85_____________________$1,500 Street Bikes 2011 Suzuki TU250X_____________________ $2,400 1997 Kawasaki EX250 Ninja_______________ $999 1969 Triumph Trophy 250_________________ $2,500 2010 Yamaha Stratoliner Deluxe___________ Call 2002 BMW K1200 LT_____________________ Call 2005 Suzuki VStrom 1000_________________ Call 3519 Jackman Rd, Toledo, OH (419) 720-4313


May 2018

The Preacher Speaks About...

Rolling Thunder by Franz “The Peacher” Hoffer What do you know about Rolling Thunder? I suspect some of you know more than others and some of you don’t know anything. My son and I are headed to Rolling Thunder, held the weekend of Friday, May 25th through Monday, May 28 th (Memorial day). This will be our third foray to the event. Our first trip was in 2007, then again in 2013 and now this year. So what about Rolling Thunder? How and why did it start and why does it continue to this day? Those of us who lived through the 60’s and 70’s remember not only seeing the war in vivid color every night on the news, but also remember the numerous demonstrations on college campuses and in major cities across the country. Don’t let someone tell you it was an undeclared war and want to call it the “Vietnam Conflict” or the veterans from that war “Vietnam-Era Veterans”. It was a war, plain and simple, and it cost more than 58,000 American lives. The story of Rolling Thunder starts in 1987. Two Vietnam War veterans met to discuss how they could bring awareness to prisoners of war (POW) and those missing in action (MIA) from the Vietnam War. Those veterans were named Artie Muller and Ray Manzo. Manzo had visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., talked with fellow veterans, and first learned that American servicemen had been abandoned in Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam war. This was counter to his Marine Corps training to leave no man behind and was to him ethically, morally, and patriotically wrong. He became consumed with the idea that they had do something to bring attention to this


Midwest Motorcyclist

what we do. We bring various snacks, water, and a issue. Manzo attended a POW/MIA vigil sponsored by couple of big blankets as there are shady areas the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club when the idea where it’s just nice to spread out that blanket, sit in came to him to host a motorcycle rally in the nation’s the shade and watch the motors roll in. The run capital to show the country and the world that U.S. officially starts at noon. At the first one we prisoners of war and those missing in action (POW/ attended, they kicked the ride off with a fly over by MIA) still mattered to their fellow servicemen and the a B-52 at about 2,500 feet. And you think the country for which they sacrificed their freedom. headers on your motor are loud! During the meeting between Manzo and It takes from noon till around 4:30pm to get Muller, the framework for Rolling Thunder was everyone out of the parking lot. Participants ride in organized. Manzo drafted a letter for a call to action formation past many of the monuments on peopleand began mailing it to motorcycling publications. He lined streets; some areas as deep as four or five enlisted fellow veterans from the Washington D.C. people, all cheering the riders on. The ride ends at area to help him cut through the red tape of event The Wall. I did not serve in Vietnam, but I lost requirements. Sgt. Major John Holland was some friends who did. Finding their names on The experienced in government legislation. 1st Sgt. Walt Wall is among one of the most moving and Sides and Washington activist, Sgt. Ted Sampley, also emotionally charged events in my life. You can be joined them. These were the founders of Rolling part of Rolling Thunder....go to http:// Thunder. Ted Sampley’s colleague, Bob Schmitt, coined and the phrase “Rolling Thunder”. While staring at the register. Memorial Bridge and envisioning Manzo’s dream, he A great additional stop if you are heading said, “It will be like the sound of rolling thunder to the Rally from the Midwest is Shanksville, PA at coming across the bridge.” On Memorial Day 1988, Cpl. the site of the September 11, 2001 crash of Flight 93. Manzo recruited 2,500 men and women to attend The Memorial is a compelling reminder of and Rolling Thunder 1 (some historical and biographical tribute to the courage demonstrated by people who information for this article came from http/wiki/ weren’t going down without a fight. For more info Rolling_Thunder_organization). on the Flight 93 Memorial, go to https:// From that point on, veterans took to the cause. Every year on Memorial Day, thousands of My fellow riders, this is a wonderful way to bikers ride into Washington D.C. in unison, flying the celebrate riding, our love of motorcycles, and that Stars and Stripes beside stark black POW/MIA flags. To special camaraderie we share, while at the same kind of summarize it, the Rolling Thunder Run to the time honoring some real American heroes. Wall is a motorcycle rally sponsored by the Rolling Consider attending this rally. If not this year, then Thunder organization. It officially begins when next year. It’s held every year and will be until all motorcycles and riders silently wait in the Pentagon POW’s and MIA’s are accounted for. To give you an north parking lot, lining up starting at 7:00am in the update: morning. That parking lot is huge! Total Vietnam Laos Cambodia China In May 2001, the estimated number of motorcycles involved in this rally was 200,000. 2,646 1,973 573 90 10 Original Missing The event drew an estimated 350,000 1,040 717 278 42 3 Repatriated & Identified motorcyclists in May 2008. It’s pretty cool once you get there, if you get there early, which is Remaining Missing 1,606 1,256 295 48 7


Continued from page 16- BMW Grand America the GA accelerates and how much wind the fairing and windscreen blocks. The feeling of speed is diminished to the point that you could be running 20-30 mph over the speed limit before you notice how fast you’re actually traveling. The 804-pound (wet) GA is surprisingly nimble out on the road. The Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) automatically adjusts suspension damping to riding conditions and operator maneuvers while spring preload is adjusted to the load being carried – one up, two up, or two up with luggage. The Dynamic ESA is not autonomous. Instead, communication with the ABS and Automatic Stability Control is nearly continuous. The net affect is that the GA’s suspension is soft while cruising or when the road surface is damaged but stiffens when the road is smoother and the riding gets sportier. You have to like a motorcycle that automatically adjusts to the road conditions and to the way you ride. The GA’s handling is precise and stable despite it being such a big machine. Typically, when you’re riding fast through curves, how you brake can determine whether you come to a controlled stop or crash. Try braking hard while leaned over in a curve and you’ll understand. (Don’t actually try that.) Riders need to stand the bike up to get effective braking and avoid a lowside crash. The GA comes equipped with integral ABS Pro, a system that takes consideration of how far over the motorcycle is leaned when the rider brakes. As the angle of incline increases, braking pressure is progressively limited and therefore builds up more slowly. The system is impressive;

especially when the rider enters a curve too hot and needs to slow quickly while staying in his or her lane. If you enjoy spirited riding in the curves, ABS Pro is a nice feature to have. We previously noted the performance characteristics of the Bagger and continuing to revisit that other review doesn’t add much to the story. The only true difference in performance between the Bagger and the GA is the top speed limitation of 101 mph for the GA. Otherwise, both offer attractive styling, wicked performance, and decadent luxury. The true reason for the GA is to add the top case. The top case provides additional storage

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space necessary for longdistance touring while also providing a backrest for passengers who want both comfort and security. Those of us who have ridden two-up know the value of both. When you’re both comfortable and stress free even after long hours in the saddle, the trip is a whole lot more enjoyable. The one real complaint I had with the Bagger has been fixed. It was an exhilarating ride the first time I saddled up and that hasn’t changed. If you would like to learn more about the Grand America or the Bagger, including all of the technology in the motorcycle that wasn’t covered here, or maybe even take one of the two out for a test ride, visit BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan at 14855 N. Sheldon Road in Plymouth, Michigan, give them a call at (734) 453-0500, or visit their website at The K 1600 B Bagger and the Grand America are available at all BMW motorcycle dealers. Base MSRP for the 2018 Grand America is $23,195.

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1765 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI One mile north of Square Lake Rd. on the east side of Telegraph Rd.

248.920.2000 • 18

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Donation Drive for Veterans in Need

ARMED FORCES DAY OPEN HOUSE Saturday, May 20, 2018 We’re celebrating Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 20. Join us as we honor the women and men who sacrificed so much on our behalf.


on Remaining 2017 models

2017 Indian® Roadmaster (DEMO), Black & Cream 2017 Indian® Classic, Black 2017 Indian® Scout 60, Red 2017 Indian® Scout, Burgundy 2017 Zero DSR

1765 S. Telegraph Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI One mile north of Square Lake Rd. on the east side of Telegraph Rd.


The Armed Forces Day help support the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces on our behalf. The local Veterans Administration office tells us that there are a significant number of local area veterans who need a variety of basic items, including: coats, sweatshirts, hats, gloves, underwear, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, t-shirts, etc. Our dealership, MotorCity Motorcycles, is accepting these items year round on behalf of the local VA from now through the end of the year. They are requesting only NEW items. Please be generous. Our veterans deserve our support.

MotorCity Motorcycles Indian Riders Group Ride to Frankenmuth. Kickstands up at 10 a.m.

Sunday, May 20,2018


Stop by our dealership to learn about a new kind of adventure. Three wheels have many advantages!

The ZERO Electric Advantage Pennies per mile Up to 200 mile range Very low maintenance No emissions Fast & Fun

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* Indian® and Indian Motorcycle® are registered trademarks of Indian Motorcycle International LLC. Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing and obey the speed limit. Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol. TM

Midwest Motorcyclist



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He wrote the book


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Midwest Motorcyclist(tm), May 2018 issue  

Return to New Zealand: A Tour of the South Island, Part Two by Gene Southard; Tested: 2018 BMW K1600 B Grand America by Ray Peabody; Call...

Midwest Motorcyclist(tm), May 2018 issue  

Return to New Zealand: A Tour of the South Island, Part Two by Gene Southard; Tested: 2018 BMW K1600 B Grand America by Ray Peabody; Call...