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Thread: The history of BMW Motorrad clubs in the USA...

  1. #1

    The history of BMW Motorrad clubs in the USA...

    ... is a very interesting story. While this thread is not intended to be comprehensive or linear, I hope it provides some perspective on clubs in our early years, and some entertainment. Feel free to chime in with any info or pictures you may have. I am also looking for contacts at clubs that can help me in telling this story.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Below is a page from a magazine that sheds a little light upon how and why BMW clubs started here in the USA. This magazine, For the Joy of Riding Motorcycle Journal, was published by the second company to import and distribute BMW Motorrad in the USA: Butler & Smith.

    There is (at least) one well-recognized named mentioned, it being associated with the winner of the first American Superbike race...





    (I was in the stands at this race...)

    Last edited by Visian; 12-13-2021 at 02:21 PM.
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '07 G650 Xchallenge || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom || '19 CB500X

  2. #2

    This guy played an interesting role...

    ... but I am getting ahead of the story.

    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '07 G650 Xchallenge || '13 CB500X || '14 Grom || '19 CB500X

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Bear Mt bridge over the Hudson river.

  4. #4

    One pressing issue of the day, back then...

    ... was governmental actions being taken against motorcyclists. From grooves in pavement to helmet laws, motorcycle bans on the New Jersey Turnpike, pollution/emission regulations and no-fault insurance, this article called for a united front.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by fmdualexhaust View Post
    Bear Mt bridge over the Hudson river.
    do tell....

  6. #6

    Another example of the struggle...

    ... a call to action in a motorrad club newsletter.


  7. #7
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    And then came more loud pipes, but then "You meet the nicest people on a Honda."
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    And then came more loud pipes, but then "You meet the nicest people on a Honda."
    That predated these things by 10+ years!

  9. #9

    A word that many things turned on...

    the schlimmerverbesserun

    (a different thread in the same fabric)

  10. #10

    Beemer peeps...

    ... ya gotta love 'em


  11. #11

    10 million points...

    ... to anyone who can identify these two beemer peeps. Hint: the G/S International Club and the Darien Gap. Additional hint: western NC.

    Last edited by Visian; 10-31-2021 at 05:55 PM. Reason: added a hint... and an additional hint.

  12. #12
    From the meeting people who ride BMW article:
    “2/3 are under 35 years old”?

    What?

    Thanks for posting those old photos and articles.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    From the meeting people who ride BMW article:
    “2/3 are under 35 years old”?

    What?

    Thanks for posting those old photos and articles.
    You're welcome... more to come over time. You caught the point of why I posted that story.

    I started riding BMWs at 23 years old... saw the factory BMW dirt bikes at the ISDT in 1973 and had to have one. I bought this one in 1977... the Windjammer was great at pushing tree branches out of the way!


  14. #14
    YouTube Mechanic adamchandler's Avatar
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    That was a fun read. Thanks for sharing. I started riding at 29…am 35 now. There’s a lot of reasons why I started riding but I had never ridden a bike until I took my MSF. I am seeing more younger people in our clubs though…slowly.
    Social Media, Newsletter, YouTube | BMWMOA Lifetime Member | MOA Board Secretary | MOA Regional Coordinator | Vermont BMW Club Vice President

  15. #15
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Thanx for sharing some of the Butler & Smith history.

    I was an early adaptor to the technological advances that arrived in 1975 {when I was able to afford an R90S on an Airman's salary}.
    Still riding it to the weekly North Alabama Vintage M/C Club's breakfasts here in Huntsville.

    Here's a copy of the Jan 2001 Owner's News cover. My Aerostich orange jacket matched the m/c along the right side.
    Cover-01-2001.jpeg


    Additionally, I crossed John Hermann's path at the Red River NM RA Rally after his seminar about "Riding in the Alps." He autographed the new 'color-edition' of his book "The Alps and Corsica" on page 205, Trip 50, titled "I Dare You; 17 Passes in One Day." It did inspire me and my future bride to Ride His Challenging Dare across northern Italy back in May of 2007. Certainly a very memorable trip as it was during that Adventure around Southern Europe that I proposed and Mrs-HSV accepted my Proposal!

    Fourteen years later, the AlaBeemers promoted me to 'el Presidente' and Mrs Karen to 'la Secretary' of MOA Club #5. We just held a 50 year Anniversary Bash at our scheduled October meeting at the Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge. The founders regaled us with some of their stories regarding the organization of various clubs into what became the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association [BMOA back then]. I'm sure Mr John Harper was introduced to John Hermann when he rode his R750 /5 to San Diego for a club coordination meeting. Here are the AlaBeemer founders just last Saturday with John Harper second from left. Sure hope that John Hermann's still kicking around the SoCal breakfast meetings [although it was mentioned he no longer is riding BMWs].

    MOAL_Founders.jpeg

    Be safe & Be seen!
    Ciao!
    HSV-Phil & HSV-Karen

    USAF-Ret'd -&- USN-Ret'd

    '14 K-GT -- '09 650GS-twin
    '75 R90S -- '82 R100CS
    - - - - - - - -'16 R1200RS

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