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

  1. #91

    Sorry for the delay...

    ... this thread hasn't been updated lately... and honestly, I am running into a brick wall when it comes to getting info. Slowly but surely, it will come.

    Below is a photo from an earlier post, with some added detail. Circled in red is Bob Beach, who was a major contributor to the motorrad community in the early days, as a member of the BMW Riders of Western New York and to the BMW MOA and BMW RA.

    It turns out that Charlie Smith (in a previous post) worked together with Bob on the Beach's dinner table to produce the earliest issues of the BMW Owners News. I learned this from Bob's son Rob (actually from his wife Gretchen) who run the oldest European Touring company, Beach's Motorcycle Adventures. Unfortunately, I've not been able to get any more info from Rob, who is no doubt hard at work planning their 2022 touring season.


  2. #92
    Registered User susan-nc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post


    On the right is Turkey Tom and on the left is Ed Culberson.

    They're at Tom's High Country Motorcycle Camp in western NC and the event is a meeting of the first dual-sport BMW motorrad club in the USA: The GS International. (I was the newsletter editor )

    "From the end of the highway to the international byways, the GS experience is a way of life" - GS International's slogan. Tom was the club's founder and totally understood the then-new "G/S thing."

    Ed Culberson rode his G/SPD, named "Amigo", the entire length of the Pan American Highway and wrote a book about the experience: Obsessions Die Hard. I have an autographed copy, Ed was selling them off the back of his motorcycle (they were in the orange box in the pic below) at my first MOA rally in Duquoin, IL. Ed was a Space Coaster (early BMW motorrad local club) and iirc, so was Tom.



    Recognized Ed and also have an autographed copy of his book from one of the Bulow Bike Week rallies. Also have one of the John Holmes pancakes t-shirts.

  3. #93
    Registered User susan-nc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    A brief story heard from someone who was there. He was a 26 year-old "outrider"... which is somewhat the equivalent to an Ironbutt rider today.

    In 1971 the outrider crossed the country on his /5, showing up at daybreak on the porch of Bill Harmer's house in San Diego. Bill was a leader in the San Diego club and one of the Californians calling for the formation of a national BMW motorrad club.

    The outrider was responding to an article describing that very idea, written by Harmer and published by Roger Hull in Road Rider magazine.

    But first, a big to Vince Winkel, who led a large number of volunteers in publishing this book 15 years ago.



    At the front of this book we see....



    ... The BMW Owners of America's first logo.

    Interestingly, the outrider played a key role in this logo's design. You see, it turns out that the logo that Harmer had been working on looked exactly like Japan Airlines' logo (of all things)... so it could not be used.

    The outrider had seen the logo for the newly-formed BMW Owners of the UK... and suggested to Harmer that the American club could follow suit. And he sketched with a pencil the map of the USA over the BMW's Roundel / Tank Badge.

    Back then, there was no such thing as Corporate Identity... or, um, the willingness of a BMW club to actually pay a real graphic designer!

    Ian

    ps -> another part of the story is that Harmer's advice to the young outrider was to go back home to Alabama and start a state-wide BMW motorrad club. The outrider was so enthusiastic... he became one of the founders of both the Alabama club and the Vintage BMW Owners Club.
    Also have this book. On page 16, between the words What A Ride, is a pic that I took at the Germany Road sign. L-R is Tim, Jim B. and Tim's brother Paul on their K75s coming back from a Georgia Mtn. rally.

  4. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by susan-nc View Post
    Also have this book. On page 16, between the words What A Ride, is a pic that I took at the Germany Road sign. L-R is Tim, Jim B. and Tim's brother Paul on their K75s coming back from a Georgia Mtn. rally.
    Germany Road is an awesome road!

    On the lower right corner of the same spread in the book is one of my pics... from the 2007 rally in West Bend, Wisconsin.

    Want a laugh...?


  5. #95
    Registered User 41107's Avatar
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    Before MOA

    In 1969 I joint the Chicago Region Club.It was all about helping each other out and many hours were spend at Ted Strobl's garage repairing bikes.We used to meet back then on Diversey Ave. on the second floor above a tavern right next to the L-tracks.We invited our local dealer Mike Abt Sr. to complain about his high parts prices.(He didn't do a thing for us as I remember) Interesting reading,seems all sort of like yesterday.lol
    Karlheinz
    1998 r1100 rt/p
    1985 k 100 rs
    2001 k 1200 rs
    99 740 il

  6. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by 41107 View Post
    In 1969 I joint the Chicago Region Club.It was all about helping each other out and many hours were spend at Ted Strobl's garage repairing bikes.We used to meet back then on Diversey Ave. on the second floor above a tavern right next to the L-tracks.We invited our local dealer Mike Abt Sr. to complain about his high parts prices.(He didn't do a thing for us as I remember) Interesting reading,seems all sort of like yesterday.lol
    Some things never change!

    Do you have any pictures? If you need, I will be glad to scan them.

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