Oh no, not this s*** again!

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    So I get my Jul/Aug issue of OTL and I look at the cover. Down at the bottom there’s a slogan:

    [QUOTE=OTL]OTL – not just BMW Owners. BMW [I]Riders[/I][/quote]

    Then at the end of the editorial on Page 3 I read this paragraph:

    [QUOTE=OTL]In the year-old June ’09 OTL, you can see a magazine in decline. In the June ’10 OTL, the changes are staggering. Take a look for yourself. OTL was the first BMW club magazine, first printed in 1972. And from it split away the other club, which has grown in size far greater than the RA. This is something we’re working to fix and will achieve by pure passion and love of the marque. On the over, the logo at the bottom says it all: “OTL, not just BMW Owners. BMW [I]Riders[/I].” Stick around, we’ve got plans for this club and if you’d like to help, come on in.[/quote]

    BMW motorcycles came into my life in 1973 at the age of 19. BMW Clubs came into my life in 1989 when an employee gave me two “magazine subscriptions” for Christmas. After reading the BMW Owners News for a year, I chose to renew. After a year of On the Level, I chose not to renew because it seemed most of the discussion centered on how much the BMW MOA sucked.

    I rejoined the RA a few years later after that kinda crap stopped.

    Since then, I helped rebuild the RA’s web site, and have written an article for the magazine. Of course, volunteered at any of the rallies I attended. The BMW MOA gets some of my time, too.

    My question is this:

    Is it [I]really[/I] necessary to promote the RA in this way? I can think of so many other ways to communicate what’s different and better about this club than “we’re not the other guys.”



    Adam Arcane

    I don’t see where anyone said that the “MOA sucked”. Must have been way before my time. I don’t know anyone who thinks that way, either. I certainly don’t. Something happened in the early 70’s that split the club in two, and enmity obviously followed. MOA have 40,000 and RA have 4,000. The club was purposely kept smaller and “exclusive” to its detriment, IMO. Things are different now. This is a new era with new leadership. It’s all about the ride and the bikes, we’re in competition with nobody.
    We wish MOA well and hope they feel the same way about the RA.

    I was the first one to approach the MOA booth at WSB Miller, hand out to say hello. Email me and I’ll discuss it with you if you’re interested in the facts.

    We have lots of catching up to do at the RA in this new era, and we mean to do just that, without ever bad mouthing anybody, except maybe Harley’s treatment of Eric Buell. We’re all BMW enthusiasts. OTL has no problem whatever with ON. We even share contributors, happily. Your article part 2 will be featured in the September OTL.



    [QUOTE=Adam Arcane »]It’s all about the ride and the bikes, we’re in competition with nobody.[/QUOTE]

    i am inclined to call bs here…. :skep

    when a key word in the name of one club (owners) is taken and used in a near derogatory fashion (not [B]just[/B] owners) and juxtaposed to a key word from the second club’s name ([I]riders[/I]) and emphasized with italics… it’s a pretty clear attempt to differentiate the second club from the first club.

    it reads like the second club is trying to take the high ground on “riding.” this is not only innaccurate, it’s unproductive to club life in general and to the RA in particular.

    the paragraph from the editorial substantiates this even further, claiming first-to-market. whatever.

    there are (and have been, btw) SO MANY good reasons why the RA is a great club that we should not have to position ourselves against other clubs in the community.

    we just need to find the right words. :biggrin





    I think this is called marketing and after all one club is named the Owners association and the other Riders association.

    Perhaps the MO(owners)A should change its name. In regard to first to publish, if the OTL was first I guess that’s that. I don’t have any problem with these issues. Didn’t the MOA used to maket itself as the largest club, was that a slur directed at the RA? I may be wrong but I seem to remember that slogan being used. I don’t have a problem with them marketing themselves as largest.

    The RA has changed course to garner more members, the younger set from what I read. The OTL has gone sportbike and I believe this Rider/Owner thing is marketing driven also. Think “AVIS we try harder” or something like that anyway. As to whether or not these changes will accomplish the stated goals in my view remains to be seen. I too have been an on again off again member of the RA and also the MOA. Presently I am a member of this one but think probably not for too long. I understand the former editor of the Owners News has launched a new non club affiliated BMW publication, I would like to give that a look.



    I am a member of both clubs. I want both clubs to be strong and prosperous. We all love these bikes and share the desire to ride and learn. The MOA seems to focus on touring where the RA now is focused on racing. To problem if they seem similar to me. I read about 6 motorcycle mags each month and enjoy each one…




    “Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy.”
    Benjamin Franklin



    [QUOTE=Raceydog »]”Constant complaint is the poorest sort of pay for all the comforts we enjoy.”
    Benjamin Franklin[/QUOTE]

    And your point is?



    I am a member of both clubs, and honestly enjoy both mags. If I had to choose just one I’d be inclined to go with OTL because of how much it has grown and improved in the year I’ve been getting it, but happily I don’t have to choose just one!

    I’ve never met any other members, and have no interest in club events, I just like riding with my mates, and knowing whats up with the brand I most enjoy. Club in fighting just seems silly to me if it is for real, but I’m too far away to know whether it is or not. I say everyone should just get on with doing what they enjoy, riding, racing, touring, tinkering, and celebrate this amazing voyage of life in harmony.

    Two clubs, two mags, more BMW stuff to read each month or two – great by me!


    Marty Cover

    [QUOTE=Visian »]i am inclined to call bs here…. :skep

    when a key word in the name of one club (owners) is taken and used in a near derogatory fashion (not [B]just[/B] owners) and juxtaposed to a key word from the second club’s name ([I]riders[/I]) and emphasized with italics… it’s a pretty clear attempt to differentiate the second club from the first club.

    you cannot look at the cover of the magazine and not see it as a shot at the MOA. It reads exactly the same as the negative hHarley posts found all over the web.



    I like the OTL – Not Just BMW Owners. BMW Riders. Me thinks the MOA protest too much. IMHO



    [QUOTE=Beemer-me-up »]Me thinks the MOA protest too much. IMHO[/QUOTE]

    um, i was speaking as an RA member.

    why make the RA’s marketing pitch beholden to another organization? Why spend effort telling people what we’re not? Why ignore what makes the RA unique?

    these are rather elementary marketing mistakes, and with our limited resources, we can’t afford mistakes like this.




    Visian this is issue really has your undies in a bunch huh.

    So what do you think makes the RA unique? What presently makes the RA different from the MOA? What would make make someone join the RA instead of the MOA or in addition to the MOA? With the new direction is the RA losing some of it’s uniqueness or enhancing it? Perhaps the new slogan will turn off some MOA members from joining but is that or should that be our primary source for new members? What are your thoughts or anyones thoughts for that matter?

    I too have issues with some of the new direction but the slogan is not among them. The new slogan appears to me to be innocuous, it may not be the best one but for me it is not a problem. IIRC the MOA in the past used the phrase “worlds largest BMW motorcycle club” or something to that effect. Was that a slur directed at the RA?


    Cal Garcia

    I belong to both and when I saw the new slogan I cracked up laughing knowing that somebody was going to get upset. It’s only a word game. Lighten up!

    Cal Garcia



    If you don’t understand why Visian is worked up, you probably aren’t thinking about the future of the RA. The RA [I]must[/I] grow, and while growth for its own sake is not useful, only growth will allow the club to focus higher and achieve more for the membership. The MOA has almost 10X the membership, and that size allows them to pursue new goals. Regional rallies of different types. Safety training foundation and the use of the MSF safety trainer simulator. A local club leadership seminar. The ability to stand up to BMW AG when they do unreasonable things to the clubs (yes, the RA is doing that too, but the RA wouldn’t stand a chance without the MOA and the CCA doing it, too — because the RA is too small by itself).

    The RA can’t do things like that right now. It hasn’t got the volunteer base to do it, and it hasn’t got the fiscal resources to do it. It must grow into them.

    So, the question is, what will help the RA grow? Differentiating itself from the MOA is good, we have to have a reason for people to join. But choosing to cut off what might be a significant number of potential members by dissing an organization that they already belong to, and probably like, doesn’t seem like the best move (even if the actual wording is cute). Just as negative campaigning serves to turn away middle of the road voters, so do negative messages in other arenas. Those are people we need to attract.



    Ownership of things dominates most hobby venues. Peruse just about any forum on the web or magazine, and the message will be clear–own this or own that and YOU will be cool.

    Motorcycle hobbyists should be different. Why? Because their life may depend on how well they ride. So OTL has taken a different approach with a focus on the rider. Of course, the equipment is part of that; but equipment is not the key part. Hence the new slogan. Could it be said better to avoid some past squabble? Perhaps, but it would look like something written by a governmental committee and take up the first 10 pages of each issue. This slogan is a challenge to all who think owning something makes a difference in them. It does not. They must seek out their improvements with more than a signature. Personal improvement demands much, much more. That is why achieving true improvement in one’s skill is so rewarding.

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