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Thread: BMWMOA Not Very Attractive to Some

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    BMWMOA Not Very Attractive to Some

    Well, I just noticed that I'm the author of the last post in this part of the Forum and its dated June 22. Today is July 13.

    Doesn't look like MOA is of much interest to the generally younger riders of sportbike which is the most successful launch by the brand in a long time.

    RA is at least trying- don't know if they're doing any better, yet, though.

    Anybody ever ask themselves why this group has a headquarters in the middle of nowhere re motorcycle culture and an approach that is apparently without any results in reaching a large group of BMW owners? I'm too old (nearly 65) to want one of the sportbikes but I sure like those kids- I've taught their car culture equivalent for a long time and they are just plain fun to be with...

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    Route 66 Missouri gstom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    ..Anybody ever ask themselves why this group has a headquarters in the middle of nowhere re motorcycle culture
    Whoa, Hoss. St. Louis is near the geographic center of the lower 48 and BMWMOA caters to a motorcycle culture that is not locally oriented, but has a long range, nation wide, long distance travel emphasis. Perhaps you need to get off the sidewalk sometime and see what the rest of the world offers......

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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    There may be other things to consider.

    A sub forum takes a certain critical mass of participants to keep up the chatter. It's riding season / vacation season for many and that has always taken the volume out of all forums.

    There is a good deal of chatter in general about the RR spread around other sub forums. I bang on with stories in my thread which by nature seems to be a monologue rather than dialog. I see the bike and topics in Motorrad and Campfire.

    For all the success of the RR launch it is a niche bike (observation not value judgement). One of the issues with chopping up the forum into multiple subforums is maintaining a viewership to keep them active. The total percentage of RR owners in the association is probably growing but the voice volume is spread out over a lot of ground.
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    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSTom View Post
    Whoa, Hoss. St. Louis is near the geographic center of the lower 48 and BMWMOA caters to a motorcycle culture that is not locally oriented, but has a long range, nation wide, long distance travel emphasis. Perhaps you need to get off the sidewalk sometime and see what the rest of the world offers......
    I stopped there last year on my way back from the Rally in Oregon and on my way to the RA Rally in Vermont. I don't know why I wrote this.
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    Raspberry waffles Bob!!! kewlmoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r11rs94 View Post
    I stopped there last year on my way back from the Rally in Oregon and on my way to the RA Rally in Vermont. I don't know why I wrote this.
    I don't know why you wrote that either!

    The RR is relatively new and is targeted towards the shall we say 'non-traditional' BMW crowd. I expect volume will pick up in a few years.
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    I'm not sure I'd call the sport bike a niche model except in the BMW brand context. Its sport touring, stds, and nakeds that are less common niches in most places- cruisers and sport bikes dominate the market and road in most places these days. Mika, your thread adds interesting variety to the site for me and I understand your point re critical mass- but there is very little of even the usual "I'm the new owner of a XXX model with some questions" from sport bike owners. And a look through the new member thread doesn't show much either.

    Re the MO location - geographic center is an irrelevant point. By that logic there should be a lot more people and economic activity there than there is. Nothing wrong with the place but the hub of motorcycle culture it certainly isn't. No publications of note based there, no famous races, no well known street scene, etc etc. I suppose you could use the existence of modern technology to have MOA at the pole with a satellite link if you wanted to but most organizations of some size pick a location for at least a plausible reason (like where members are centered or the most significant functions happen). I don't know the history but this looks like an accident or random event rather than a reasoned choice.

    This is a bike forum and I see no substantive discussion of the working or farkling of the model so from that I infer there are few actual owners of the model participating in MOA discussion and probably only a few more belong to BMWMOA. Comments about the model's race performance etc in other parts of the forum probably do not represent owners of the model.

    I have belonged to other groups that failed to plan for younger members. When the organization average member age passed the age where such activity had diminishing interest to participants, membership declined significantly. I do not know if the average age of BMWMOA members is going up, holding steady or declining but the target should be to get it to decrease or at least hold steady. Today I happened to notice the membership recruiting efforts and pricing policies of NESBA, a group that provides track time to bikers. They surprised me because they provide free track opportunities, extremely liberal pay and cancellation policies ,etc and many other practices that are different than those of traditional car track groups with which I am very familiar. Their out of the box approach is clearly aimed at catering to the mostly younger track users (who I suspect in many cases have less $ to play than folks who bring cars to the track). It is certainly going to take some out of the box thinking if BMWMOA is going to attract more of the younger riders.

    Given that BMW can market successfully to younger riders (not something many would have guessed a few years ago and look where BMW marketing efforts are run from), maybe BMWMOA could have better results with more deliberate piggyback efforts, if they can be identified. The PA rally site for this year is well located to have attracted sport bike owners from the Philly and NY areas if they were interested. Don't expect there will be many but it would be nice if I was wrong.

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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    snips

    Re the MO location - ...I don't know the history but this looks like an accident or random event rather than a reasoned choice.
    a reasoned choice believe it or not. Agreed not my first choice but a reasoned choice none the less.

    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    I have belonged to other groups that failed to plan for younger members. When the organization average member age passed the age where such activity had diminishing interest to participants, membership declined significantly. I do not know if the average age of BMWMOA members is going up, holding steady or declining but the target should be to get it to decrease or at least hold steady. Today I happened to notice the membership recruiting efforts and pricing policies of NESBA, a group that provides track time to bikers. They surprised me because they provide free track opportunities, extremely liberal pay and cancellation policies ,etc and many other practices that are different than those of traditional car track groups with which I am very familiar. Their out of the box approach is clearly aimed at catering to the mostly younger track users (who I suspect in many cases have less $ to play than folks who bring cars to the track). It is certainly going to take some out of the box thinking if BMWMOA is going to attract more of the younger riders.
    The MOA average age has been increasing at roughly the same rate as the market in general. Like BMW it about 7 years older than the market average.

    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Given that BMW can market successfully to younger riders (not something many would have guessed a few years ago and look where BMW marketing efforts are run from), maybe BMWMOA could have better results with more deliberate piggyback efforts, if they can be identified. The PA rally site for this year is well located to have attracted sport bike owners from the Philly and NY areas if they were interested. Don't expect there will be many but it would be nice if I was wrong.
    I am not as certain as you seem to be about BMW's ability to market to a successfully to younger riders. A long debate for another thread.

    For as long as I have been around the MOA it has seen itself as a touring and camping association. In the past it tolerated at best those of us that were sport rider minded. The climate is changing. I think the association would love to support efforts in more directions but for all the talk the membership is not forth coming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Well, I just noticed that I'm the author of the last post in this part of the Forum and its dated June 22. Today is July 13.

    Doesn't look like MOA is of much interest to the generally younger riders of sportbike which is the most successful launch by the brand in a long time.
    ...
    This is probably part of it. Another factor is while the S1000RR has been a smash hit this past year, its total volume, or ownership count, is still waaaaaay below that of GS, RT, F, K bike, etc. owners built up over many, many years... reflected in the activity here. I see the same thing at sportbike forums. Peanut activity in the S1000RR subforum, while years of CBR, GSXR, ZX, YZF, etc. owners dominate the threads/content/posts, etc.

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    What Heritage?

    As a 63 year old rider I am not your average S1000RR driver. I am an average airhead driver. I have been on BMWs off and on for 40 years. I was drawn to the marque because of reliability, simplicity and a strong heritage. I continue to own an old airhead for that reason.
    The S1000RR, while it is exciting and safe and blindingly fast is attractive to a new group of afficianados because it is the fastest and not too expensive. I have never seen another in my area but sportbikes are all over and ridden by young men in muscle shirts and 1/2 helmets. They are unaware of the history or that BMW motorcycles are considered great bikes because of their performance, longevity and unusual approach to motorcycling throughout the world.
    The S1000RR is a fantastic bike in almost every way but it is so different from the past models that made BMW important to this group.
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    Last edited by CTellman; 07-15-2011 at 12:57 PM.

  10. #10
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
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    Whatever group the RR is targeted towards, today I heard a very interesting comment.

    Our daughter is a very fit 23 y.o. rider, track day participant (and FAST bicycle roadracer). She rides the '02 ZX6R in my signature and really likes it.

    This weekend we met her and her S.O. at my nephew's wedding.

    We were talking motorcycles and she actually admitted that she would ride an S1000RR. Understand that while she is a good rider, looks are VERY important to her and there is no other BMW that she would ever throw a leg over. She has always called BMWs "old people's bikes", even the K1300S.

    The RR is that different to a 23 y.o. Pretty powerful- even more so if you (sort-of) know how form equals function to that age range.
    John & Cathy
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  11. #11
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Anybody ever ask themselves why this group has a headquarters in the middle of nowhere re motorcycle culture and an approach that is apparently without any results in reaching a large group of BMW owners? I'm too old (nearly 65) to want one of the sportbikes but I sure like those kids- I've taught their car culture equivalent for a long time and they are just plain fun to be with...
    i've got a few ideas in this respect....

    the location of our headquarters has nothing to do with whether we have something to offer the sportbike crowd.

    the overarching question is, does the sportbike crowd have any interest in joining a club? if yes, what is it? if not, what else would they be interested in doing and is it anything we can provide?

    ian

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    The sportbike crowd is no different then any other sub-culture of a larger community. If they do not want to join, they will not.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JavaD View Post
    The sportbike crowd is no different then any other sub-culture of a larger community. If they do not want to join, they will not.
    unless you've done the research, this is an opinion. i've had some conversations with others that are knowledgeable about this segment and their opinions are different than yours. in candor, some of these people are black, and the S1000RR is very appealing to this community. i've hung out with these folks a bit and they are very very different in how they interact with each other and with their bike.

    for sure, when you strip away everything but the person, there are joiners and there are loners.

    the questions i have are:

    - if a joiner, what type of club are you interested in joining (e.g. only sportbikes but of all types, all types of bikes in a marque, only sportbikes of the marque... etc.)

    - what are the dimensions of the discussion (riding, tuning, racing, other tech... or social, or stunting, or gang banging... ha, those last two would be us, eh?)

    - how could a club expand your enjoyment of ownership and riding

    .... and others. we should be doing research into this segment.

    ian

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    Registered User naddy100's Avatar
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    Vision's thoughts here seem pretty sound.

    Noel

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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Doesn't look like MOA is of much interest to the generally younger riders of sportbike which is the most successful launch by the brand in a long time.
    I have no numbers to back up my opinion, but I'd be willing to bet the average age of a S1000RR rider is still far greater than the average age of a GSXR/ZX/whatever rider. As such, why would you expect a sudden wave of "young" RR riders to take the step to join the MOA and the bigger step to devote time to the admittedly-dead MOA forums?

    Additionally, I know of NO S1000RR riders who are remotely near my age. Of the people who are near my age and on a BMW, it's 9 times out of 10 an airhead. Of the people who are near my age on a motorcycle, 99 times out of 100, it's not on a BMW.

    BMW's are rich old guy bikes. That's what the numbers say. That's the way it's been for BMW for ~88 years, and the MOA ~39 years. Sounds like it's working out for both organizations thus far.

    Anybody ever ask themselves why this group has a headquarters in the middle of nowhere re motorcycle culture and an approach that is apparently without any results in reaching a large group of BMW owners?
    Wow.

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