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

  1. #46
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    The start

    Well, I was there in San Diego and a member of that club. Bill Harmer was a member as well as John Herrman and a bunch of folks that were responsible for pushing for a National Club.
    If you read the articles by Jeff Dean and Frank Diederich in the book "BMWMOA The first 35 years" you can get a good understanding of what was happening back then. When the separating of OA and RA took place those of us in the San Diego club were in the thick of it.
    The decision of the leaders of the OA were correct as to being prudent and non-political as the club was still small and no one had the vision of becoming what we have today. As well, there shouldn't have been a reason to affiliate with an up and coming Honda-4 club and chartering with the AMA.
    Boxerbruce

  2. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by 1074 View Post
    Well, I was there in San Diego and a member of that club. Bill Harmer was a member as well as John Herrman and a bunch of folks that were responsible for pushing for a National Club.
    If you read the articles by Jeff Dean and Frank Diederich in the book "BMWMOA The first 35 years" you can get a good understanding of what was happening back then. When the separating of OA and RA took place those of us in the San Diego club were in the thick of it.
    The decision of the leaders of the OA were correct as to being prudent and non-political as the club was still small and no one had the vision of becoming what we have today. As well, there shouldn't have been a reason to affiliate with an up and coming Honda-4 club and chartering with the AMA.
    Thanks you for this!

    As I posted earlier, I have Frank Diederich's article and figure that is a very accurate account. Reading this 15 years ago is what got me interested in the history of motorrad clubs in the US. But until now, I had not thought about it much.

    I think you also put your finger on a question that all clubs ultimately face: are we centered around motorcyclists' rights (which involves things like banning motorcycles from highways), consumer rights (e.g. the "wobble" in /5s), services (e.g. charitable fundraising) or community (social, fun, benefits, etc.).

    I sure know that we went through this in the Georgia Club, several times.

    Please tell us about the San Diego club, as that is more to the point of this thread. I heard from the Alabama outrider that when he arrived at Bill Harmer's house in 1971, he found the SoCal riders to be way out in front with their bikes, accessories, riding and touring. What was going on back then? When were you founded? Who were your first leaders?

    Also, this is from the San Diego club's Facebook page, John Hermann (see the OP in this thread) is still out there and at em. I understand he's not riding any more, but so cool that he stays connected to the community.



    With this post on FB it is written:

    BMWOCSD HOLIDAY PARTY Dec 5th

    A big debt of gratitude to the King of the Alps, John Herman, for rescuing the Holiday Party from the ashes of covid emotions. Within hours of announcing the cancellation of the party as we wouldn’t make the minimum attendance at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, John offered to cover any additional costs to the Club concerning a low turnout. John wants to celebrate with his BMW family at Tom Ham’s and gosh darnit we’re going!
    So please press the reset button and join the King, our patron saint, for a traditional BMWOCSD holiday celebration. See the Club website, bmwocsd.org and right in the middle is the invite link, $45 per person.
    After a libation and a darn decent buffet President Gene Calbow will give out some Good Guy awards, we’ll raffle some door prizes, and present the 2022 Club officers. From noon to 1pm Dennis Way will be taking and instantly printing free professional Holiday Photos so look your best. Text or call me with any questions, concerns – or to donate a raffle prize. Mike Lynch XXX-XXX-XXXX [didn't want to post phone # publicly)

    BMWOCSD Holiday Party
    Sunday Dec 5th – Noon to 4pm
    Tom Ham’s Lighthouse 619-291-9110
    2150 Harbor Island Dr, SD CA 92101
    See the website bmwocsd.org for tickets

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    As I research this subject, I am coming up short on info/contacts with The BMW Touring Club of Detroit. It would be so cool to hear some stories about the club's founding and early days. I would love to know if Vern Hanson is still around and if he can be contacted.

    Reading about the club, I see they're pretty active in advriding, too. Good for them!

    Tried contacting them via their web site but no answer yet. afaik, it could be in a spam bucket.

    If anyone reading this has any contacts, please PM me.

    Ian

    ps -> and THANK YOUT HSVPhil!
    I will put the word on our forum, as I am a member and we have some club members that are in their 80's and 90's

  4. #49
    Very cool thread!

  5. #50
    LB
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    Touring Club Detroit History

    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    As I research this subject, I am coming up short on info/contacts with The BMW Touring Club of Detroit. It would be so cool to hear some stories about the club's founding and early days. I would love to know if Vern Hanson is still around and if he can be contacted.

    Reading about the club, I see they're pretty active in advriding, too. Good for them!

    Tried contacting them via their web site but no answer yet. afaik, it could be in a spam bucket.

    If anyone reading this has any contacts, please PM me.

    Ian

    ps -> and THANK YOUT HSVPhil!
    I have reached out to our longest serving members to see if we can get you in contact with them. Sadly, many are no longer with us.
    Larry
    West Bloomfield, MI
    '16 R1200RT
    '20 R1250GS Adventure

  6. #51
    On the Road rhautau's Avatar
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    Dick Hautau's BMW TCD Original MOA Club #01 Member Response

    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    As I research this subject, I am coming up short on info/contacts with The BMW Touring Club of Detroit. It would be so cool to hear some stories about the club's founding and early days. I would love to know if Vern Hanson is still around and if he can be contacted.
    Reading about the club, I see they're pretty active in adv riding, too. Good for them! Tried contacting them via their web site but no answer yet. afaik, it could be in a spam bucket.
    If anyone reading this has any contacts, please PM me.

    Ian
    ps -> and THANK YOUT HSVPhil!
    HELLO IAN:

    This is BMW TCD Club #01 member Dick Hautau MOA # 70 and MOA Ambassador NO 1 responding to your request for early day information.
    If you would like my reflections on the BMW MOA's early days you can reach me at my Email address of: Richardhautau@AOL.com and I will be happy to give you an accounting of the MOA's early days along in Info about our MOA 1st club President Vern Hanson. I would also point you to several articles written that have been published in the BMW MOA magazine over the years. Give me a message at the above Email address should you wish to do so.
    Regards,
    Dick Hautau
    MOA # 70

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by rhautau View Post
    HELLO IAN:

    This is BMW TCD Club #01 member Dick Hautau MOA # 70 and MOA Ambassador NO 1 responding to your request for early day information.
    Hey Dick - great to hear from you. Sue R. suggested I contact you, and I was in the process of digging through an Anonymous Book for your contact info.

    We’re down in Florida with family for the holiday, you will hear from me early next week,.

    Thanks in advance for helping me out… it’s been a long time since we’ve talked!

    Ian

  8. #53

    The Four Winds Rally

    This article from the BMW Owners News is five years old, but details the history of of the legendary Four Winds Rally, hosted by the BMW Owners Association of Pittsburgh and the Tri-State Region, founded in the early 1960s, which also shows roots of the first national clubs' names. I believe this club is now called the 4 Winds BMW Riders

    The red outline tells us that club member Tom Sheridan was actively involved in the rally and in early correspondence with the discussions that led to a national club effort. There is another name that is blocked by the red line, Jean Rihl, who was named the "spirit" of the Four Winds Rally for the hospitality she showed all the riders.

    In the April 1973 issue of the BMW News, Jean's name shows up as the Secretary of the BMW MOA and then Editor of the BMW Owners Anonymous.





    Look how young everyone was!!!

















    These images are from the History section of the 4 Winds SmugMug site.

  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    the schlimmerverbesserun
    What? No one recognizes this?

    Technical information on BMW motorrad was a little hard to come by in those days, and one main reason for a national club was to share it as much as possible.

    This is a great read, the writer and his content are a good potential source for any future MOA technical wiki, but schlimmerverbesserun was a somewhat taboo subject for dealers back then.

    Tom Cutter knows a lot about this.

  10. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    What? No one recognizes this?

    Technical information on BMW motorrad was a little hard to come by in those days, and one main reason for a national club was to share it as much as possible.

    This is a great read, the writer and his content are a good potential source for any future MOA technical wiki, but schlimmerverbesserun was a somewhat taboo subject for dealers back then.

    Tom Cutter knows a lot about this.

    schlimmerverbesserunG

    Stainless valve seats and a lighter flywheel = dropped exhaust valves and stripped input splines.

    Lots of riders were left along the side of the road but BMW never acknowledged either problem.
    They did cash the checks for replacement parts, though.

    Oak Okelshen’s (sp?) articles were about the only source of factual information on the problems many of us R100 riders faced in the early-mid 80’s.
    Last edited by OldCamper; 12-03-2021 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Added ref to Oak.
    -Live as fully as you can as long as you can-

  11. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by OldCamper View Post
    Oak Okelshen’s (sp?) articles were about the only source of factual information on the problems many of us R100 riders faced in the early-mid 80’s.
    In my research for this thread I found an absolutely amazing article from the 80s that he wrote on the subject of valve recession. Even though he has passed away, his answers to common questions are published each month in Airmail. I so admire that guy.

  12. #57
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    In my research for this thread I found an absolutely amazing article from the 80s that he wrote on the subject of valve recession. Even though he has passed away, his answers to common questions are published each month in Airmail. I so admire that guy.
    When BMW first had the issue of deformed valves in the 1980s they didn't know the cause, and many dealers replaced exhaust valves thinking they were the culprit. It was Oak who figured out the problem was that the seats were very poor at transferring heat from the valve heads. He told BMW.
    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/

  13. #58
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    When BMW first had the issue of deformed valves in the 1980s they didn't know the cause, and many dealers replaced exhaust valves thinking they were the culprit. It was Oak who figured out the problem was that the seats were very poor at transferring heat from the valve heads. He told BMW.
    My 84 R100 is apart for this right now.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  14. #59
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbasa View Post
    My 84 R100 is apart for this right now.
    Make sure they replace the seats too and not just the deformed exhaust valves.
    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/

  15. #60
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Make sure they replace the seats too and not just the deformed exhaust valves.
    No kidding.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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