I read Arthur Eberle's comments in the Dec. 2008 issue of OTL. Is that really the "right attitude" and the image that the RA wants to portray to non-BMW riders? I hope not.
Mr. Eberle come across as an arrogant, ignorant, grumpy, old man. His opinions could have certainly been expressed regarding the quality of BMW motorcycles and his enjoymnet of riding them without the childish criticsm of other riders and other brands.
The dress code: I disagree that American bikers are trying to look sloppy. I am an American biker, I ride a BMW, and (OMG!) sometimes I wear jeans and a leather jacket. It looks cool, it is comfortable, and the jacket has protectice armor. Its just a look, its not sloppy. I have tattoos too. I'm not sure what Mr. Eberle means by "truckers wallets", but if he is referring to a wallet in the pocket with a chain hooked on a belt loop, I've got one of those too. Why is that a truckers wallet and not a bikers wallet? It secures the wallet better. So, RA and Mr. Eberle, can I still be in your club? By the way Mr. Eberle, I am the WI Regional Representative of the RA.
The riders: The glances were of fear...really? I think maybe Mr. Eberle was projecting his own fear and insecurity to the other patrons. I've ridden for years with my father, an old Harley biker, and some of his friends. I've never seen fear. In fact, its just the opposite. People talk to us all the time, BMWs, Harleys, Ducatis, Hondas, it doesn't seem to matter what brand of bikes I'm riding with. Or where; gas stations, restaurants, pubs, people are interested in other people who are traveling by motorcycle. I would dare say many are even jealous.
The sound: I know this issue is discussed and debated often. But I disagree that v-twin engines produce an unpleasant racket. That obviously is a subjective and personal opinion. Noise in mechanical systems? I'm not an engineer. I would guess that a Harley engineer would respectfully disagree with Mr. Eberle's comments. I certainly appreciate various noises coming from my BMWs engines and tranmissions. My BMW has an aftermarket exhaust system (ZTech) which is louder than stock and sounds great. Not only have I seen and heard many BMW motorcycles with aftermarket (louder) exhaust pipes, the makers of the pipes advertise in our magazines and sell/install pipes at the rallys.
Finally, riding: It isn't just the machine. I routinely see articles and comments about riders taking their BMWs to a track day and being able to keep up with and surpass many superbike riders because of the handling of the bike and smooth cornering. That shows the quality of the machine but also of the rider. My father has been riding Harleys, and many other brands including BMW, for, I would guess, 40 years. I will put him on his SuperGlide up against Mr. Eberle any day. I'll bring my Buell too, which makes all kind of fun noise, and we can see if all that noise from a non-BMW and I can keep up with Mr. Eberle.
Anyway, I guess what I'm more upset about is that Mr. Eberle's opinions were published in the RA's magazine for all to read. I strongly disagree with his opinions and hope that no one I know reads the article. Its embarrassing to me and it should be embarrassing to the RA. I wish the editors would have exercised some of their discretion and clipped the comments regarding other riders and other brands.