Saturday, October 1, 2011

October 2011 Newsletter

October Club Meeting

Our next monthly club meeting will be held on Monday, October 10th, 6:30 p.m., at Provisions Yacht Basin in Southport.  Provisions is located at 130 Yacht Basin Drive.

As reminder to everyone, the currently planned dates and locations for our club meetings the remainder of 2011 are posted on our club calendar.  With each month's meeting announcement on the calendar, you will find information on location and meeting time.

  • November 12 – PT's Grille, Military Cutoff Rd (Note the change of this meeting date)
  • December 17 – The Harp (Note the change of this meeting date)

September Meeting Photos

The threatening weather kept attendance down to only a dozen at our September club meeting at The Harp Restaurant.  Those of you who could not attend missed some great food.  Fortunately, you are not completely out of luck – we will also be holding our annual Holiday club meeting at The Harp on December 12th Saturday, December 17th, so mark your calendars now.

Here are a few photos from the meeting, which are also posted on our Google Picasa page.

Video-of-the Month

For this month's video-of-the-month feature, we have the BMW stunt bike team performing at Miller Motorsports Park during the World Superbike round.  Amazing stunt work  -- on BMWs -- you need to see these guys!

Motorcycling Podcasts

I know that a few club members are frequent readers of some motorcycling forums such as,,, and, to mention a few.  For those of you who use ipods or other MP3 music players, another great way to get some motorcycling-related news is through podcasts.  Here is a brief summary of several podcasts that are available.

Rear Wheel Flange Cracks

If you own an R1200GS or R1200GS-Adventure motorcycle, I urge you read this discussion on the forums and then go and inspect your rear wheel hub.  A number of R12GS owners are discovering cracks in their rear wheel flanges at the bolt holes where their brake rotors mount to the hub.  

And in case you still do not see the problem.

So far, BMW has not issued a safety recall for this problem.  Regardless of whether you remove your wheels yourself for tire replacements, this is a good reason to do so as a safety check.  This problem also illustrates why it is important to properly torque your wheel lugs.  Check your bike soon so you do not get a nasty surprise!

BMW Bulb List

Some time ago, I stumbled upon a handy listing of the bulb types used by the various BMW motorcycle models.  I have turned that bulb chart into a Google spreadsheet and published it for anyone who may want the information.  The BMW Motorcycle Bulb Chart is now available as part of our club's Google Documents collections.  If you identify any corrections or additions, please send them to me at

GPS Tip of the Month

This month's GPS tip is about Points-of-Interest, which are often referred to as "POIs."  POIs are a very feature of most modern GPS units.  Some GPS receivers come preloaded with sets of certain POIs, and many GPS receivers are capable of being loaded with POIs by the user.

While similar to Waypoints (in terms of representing a location), POIs do not count against the maximum number of Waypoints that can be stored in the unit.  In addition, POIs can include other useful information that cannot be included in a Waypoint, such as an audible alarm when you approach within a specified distance of the POI, a photo of the location, and additional information such as a description (like business hours, telephone numbers, etc.)

POIs represent a collection of related locations.  Examples of POIs would be the locations of the red-light cameras around town, the ATMs for your bank, etc.  There are several excellent web sites that provide downloadable POI files for a wide variety of places.  You may want to visit POI Factory (my personal favorite) or GPS POI US to see what is available.

POI files are easy to load on your GPS unit.  Usually, all that is involved is to copy a POI file (A specifically formatted file that has the file extension .GPI) to a specific folder on your GPS unit or to a folder on a memory card which can be inserted into your unit.  For example, on the Garmin Zumo 550 series units, the POI folder is located on the unit in the \Garmin\POI folder.  If an SD memory card is used in the GPS, the POI files can be loaded in the \Garmin\POI folder on the card.

If you are a Garmin GPS user and want to create your own POI files, you must use a free Garmin software program called POILoader to do this.  POILoader can be found on under the Support | Mapping Programs section.

One useful set of POIs that come preloaded on the BMW-branded version of the Garmin Zumo 550 are the locations of the BMW dealerships throughout North America.  While several web sites offer downloadable POI files of the BMW motorcycle dealer locations, most seem to be out of date, include dealerships that have moved or closed, and are missing dealerships that have recently opened.

As an aid to our club members, I have assembled a new POI file for the U.S. BMW motorcycle dealerships.  The locations have been generated using the BMW-published listing of U.S. motorcycle dealerships and cross-checked with available dealership advertisements published in the BMW MOA Owners News magazine.  This POI file is available for download via the link below:

I plan to continue updating and refining this listing, and will eventually post an expanded list that also includes the Canadian dealerships.  Meanwhile, if you discover any errors or omissions in this POI information, please send me your updates (and comments) care of

Riding Technique

Generally, BMW motorcycle riders take their craft pretty seriously.  Most of us are constantly looking for ways to become better and safer riders.

I have recently been reading an ongoing discussion about riding technique on which prompted to suggest a couple of good motorcycle riding technique books for you to add to your motorcycle reading list.  Usually the first two books I suggest are Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist 2 and David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling (now available in a Kindle edition).

David Hough's book is full of real world examples of hazardous riding situations and suggestions on how these can be handled.  This book is a great way to quickly acquire year's worth of riding experience without having to actually subject yourself to those "lessons learned" situations.  The book is drawn from his  columns which were published in Motorcycle Consumer News  and later in BMW Owners News.

Keith Code's book is incredibly valuable in describing how you should and should not ride a motorcycle.  While his discussions on technique are focused on race track situations, the principles he describes are just applicable everyday street riding.  If you can learn to overcome the survival reactions that he discusses in the book, you will be a much better and much safer rider on the street.

I keep both of these books in my personal motorcycling library and try to refer to them regularly to refresh myself about the good habits I should try to maintain and dispel the bad habits that inevitably creep in.  If you do not already own copies, I encourage you to purchase your own copy and read both.  It is time well spent and provide a great excuse to go riding and practice what you have learned.

2011 BMW MOA Mileage Contest

The 2011 BMW MOA Mileage Contest will be ending on October 9th at midnight.  No matter how many (or how few) miles you managed to ride this season, be sure to submit tour Ending Mileage Form.  The Mileage Ending Form can be found in the October issue of the BMW Owners News, and it can now be downloaded from the BMW MOA web site. [Update]

Be sure to list our club on your Ending Mileage Form (we are Club #309, Coastal Carolina BMW Riders Club).

2012 MotoGP Schedule

The provisional calendar for the 2012 FIM MotoGP World Championship has been released.  The schedule is as follows:

Date, Grand Prix - Circuit
15 April, Qatar* - Doha/Losail
29 April, Spain (STC) - Jerez de la Frontera
6 May, Portugal (STC) - Estoril
20 May, France - Le Mans
3 June, Catalunya - Catalunya
17 June, Great Britain - Silverstone
30 June, Netherlands** - Assen
8 July, Germany (STC) - TBC
15 July, Italy - Mugello
29 July, United States*** - Laguna Seca
19 August, Indianapolis - Indianapolis
26 August, Czech Rep. - Brno
16 September, San Marino & Riviera di Rimini - Misano
30 September, Aragon - Motorland
14 October, Japan - Motegi
21 October, Malaysia - Sepang
28 October, Australia - Phillip Island
11 November, Valencia - Ricardo Tormo – Valencia
* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
*** Only MotoGP class
STC (Subject to the contract)
TBC (To be confirmed)


We use Google's services to run our club's online presence (i.e., our email, documents database, web site, and this newsletter), and all currently remain free to use.  Google has recently opened their social networking service, Google+ (sometimes referred to as G+), for anyone to join -- an invitation from another Google+ user is no longer required!

Currently, about one half dozen club members are Google+ users.  There are many purposes that our club can use Google+ for (keeping you posted with real-time updates, setting up club get-togethers for rides or meals, technical support, and much more), but we need you to join Google+.

I encourage you to give Google+ a try -- it's a lot of fun (and free).  You can join by visiting  If you decide to join, send me you Google+ ID and I will add you to my personal G+ circle for our club members.  And once Google allows organizations to officially join Google+, I plan for our club be there too.    Until then , I  hope you will join Google+.  See you there!

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