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BMW Riders Association Announces Free Admission for First Responders and Nurses to the 2020 National Rally

By a unanimous decision, the BMW Riders Association Board of Directors has voted to give nurses and first responders free admission to the club’s 2020 National Rally as a way of thanking them for their efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Board member Al Olme came up with the idea,” says BMW RA President Sibley Poland, “and the rest of the board quickly got behind it.” For his part, Al Olme says, “BMW Riders Association members are a...

Outside the Lines

“I’m scared.” The daunting hills of the ravine lay mere feet away as mottled rocks and boulders dot the hillsides like splattered paint. To my side, cliffs cascade down and away, dried trees and shrubs dangle dangerously, held merely by remnants of once marvelous roots. The environment is eerily quiet — lifeless, even. No chirping birds, barking dogs, or cars flying by, just the low whistle of my breathing and the nearly silent “thud” of my heartbeat. I lean to...

Riding in the Time of Coronavirus

“I’m 60, have no health issues and I am a nurse. Should I take my extended motorcycle trip?” Risk Management You prepare for months, review maps, buy essential equipment and then pack. Soon, you hope to be on the road for your three to six months trip. Sadly, Coronavirus is likely to have extended influence on your trip. There will be decisions to make about the safety of travel, about whom you travel with, and whether you should travel this season...

The Art and Science of Detailing A Motorcycle

When I joined the BMW community over 25 years ago, I quickly established a reputation in the local BMW club as having the cleanest bike with the fewest miles. It seemed that monster miles and clean motorcycles were mutually exclusive and, conversely, that there definitely was a correlation between the odometer reading and the cleanliness…or lack thereof… of a bike. I eventually decided to silence the critics by earning entry into the Iron Butt Association by completing an IBA SaddleSore...

A Message About COVID-19 for Motorcyclists

We motorcyclists understand risk more than the average person. We think about risk when we choose the color of our riding gear or how we dress, when we take rider training courses, when we maintain and farkle our bikes, and every time we retract the kickstand and head down the road. The COVID-19 pandemic is here and it is having a profound effect on our health, our healthcare systems, and our economic security. It is also affecting our favorite motorcycle...

In This Moment

An hour or so out of Sedona, Arizona, the red rock ridgelines provide a natural border to the sharpest and clearest blue sky I can remember. Purple wildflowers announce spring in the high desert, and the cool morning air delivers their sweet fragrance, stimulating dormant parts of my technology-anaesthetized senses. My physical body is doing what it was designed to do, embracing the low temperature by pumping extra blood (adrenaline, perhaps?), and the high is clean and the dialogue...

Budget Beemer: R 1150 RS

I’ve had nine BMWs since 1976, eight of them were bought new. Currently, I have a 2016 R 1200 RS still under warranty and I’ve almost never been a guy to have more than one bike in my garage. But in June, I flew to Sacramento, California to buy a 2004 R 1150 RS with 57,000 miles on it—my first used BMW and exactly the same color as the one I bought new in 2004. I kept asking people...

BMW Riders Association Announces Date and Location of 2020 Rally

The BMW Riders Association is pleased to announce that they've selected the Smoky Mountain Event Center in North Carolina (formerly known as the Haywood Country Fairgrounds) as the location of the 2020 National Rally. Located about 30 minutes west of Asheville, North Carolina, the rally will be close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Tail of the Dragon, the Rattler, and so many other epic roads. The date of the rally is September 17-20, 2020. Mark your calendars!

Budget Beemer: F 650 CS

[This story first appeared in the March-April issue of "On the Level"] As a mentor to several (now avid) motorcyclists, I know that the issue of which bike to recommend to the new or re-entry rider is of paramount importance. This is the vehicle which will either cultivate a rider’s passion or crush it. There are several BMW models which would make fine choices – but nothing fits the bill like the F 650 CS, an often-overlooked oddball that was...

Annual Running of the Dogs, known as “The Big Dog Adventure Ride,” announces the “LAST, LAST, and NEVERMORE” Buttercup adventure event August 11-14, 2019.

(Denver, CO): The 30th Running of the Dogs, also known as the “Big Dog Adventure Ride,” has announced their last physical fraternal gathering. Themed the “Last, Last, and Nevermore” ‘Buttercup’ event, is slated for August 11-14, 2019. Coveted invitations for Applications for the last Running of The Dogs event are being prepared and sent. Charley Boorman, the “dashing” Englishman of LONG WAY ROUND, UP and DOWN, and his infamous adventure motorbike pal Billy Ward, have received invitations, proudly to be carrying...

Set My Soul Free national rally POIs

Woodstock is central to points of interest in just about any direction you choose, which makes it pretty easy to suggest places to go and things to see. Starting with some low-hanging fruit, the Luray Caverns and their cathedral sized rock formations are just to the south. The Shenandoah Caverns are also nearby. If history interests you, how about the Woodstock Museum with displays, documents and a film about the Civil War era and how that unfolded, or the Fort...

OTL Magazine – JULY / AUGUST 2019 Issue

Highlights in the JULY / AUGUST 2019 issue: Announcing the new BMW Riders Association club logo Split Lanes. Save the World A Technological Tour de Force: Getting the Most from Your Motorrad All in the Family: Once in a Lifetime Tour of the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Museum in Jessup Maryland Rediscovering the Original Adventure Rider BMW GS Trophy Challenge USA Qualifier From Marathons to Iron Butts KLIM Adventure Rally Suit review Quad Lock Phone Mounting System review and more! VIEW

Letter From the Board – July 2019

[Published in the July-August issue of On The Level] It’s been a busy season for the Board as we’ve worked to fill vacant board positions while at the same time getting critical projects and tasks done. Here is a brief review of our activity: Board Update Following the unexpected passing of Karen Jacobs and the departure of Matt DeWald, we had two board positions to fill. Additionally, board member Moshe Levy resigned due to increased work obligations. A subcommittee was formed to...

KATDASH Airhead Instrument Lighting at the Set My Soul Free National Rally

If you have an airhead and have replaced instrument bulbs on your dashboard, come to the Set My Soul Free national rally Sept 5-8 in Woodstock, Virginia and visit the KATDASH booth with their LED lighting product. They will have special rally pricing, and on site installation assistance will be available. https://katdash.com/   See you in September. It's gonna be righteous. https://bmwra.org/national-rally-info/

The New BMW Riders Association Club Logo

After thirty years, the BMW Riders Association has a new club logo! Discussions started well over a year ago at the Board level to update the club’s branding after a redesign of the magazine that you hold in your hands now. After updating and modernizing the layout of On The Level in the March/April 2018 issue, it became clear that the club’s logo needed revisiting as well. The old logo served the club well but was not really communicating what...