Friday, October 21, 2011

Beemers and Biplanes Rally

October 7-9, 2011
by Jill and Tony Barcia

The Beemers and Biplanes is held in Virginia Beach and sponsored by BMW of Hampton Roads. It is about 300 miles to Virginia Beach and we were able to do a loop there and back which included visiting two Historic Sites on the Coastal Carolina BMW challenge. They were Historic Edenton and Historic Bath. Also very close to the route would be Roanoke Island Festival Park and Tryon Palace. We took Route 40 up to the Mad Boar and headed toward Kinston, Greensville, Elizabeth City and the horseshoe route to Virginia (avoiding the Currituck ferry). The way back was basically Route 17.

The rally included two dinners, coffee all weekend and camping for 3 nights. Both dinners were filling and delicious, the one on Saturday night was catered with crab cakes, chicken, shrimp, baked potatoes and lots more. The poker run on Saturday was to benefit Wounded Warriors and included admission to the air show at the Virginia Beach Aviation Museum.

The campground is located right across the North Carolina Border near Currituck. In addition to the tent camping there are economy cabins, luxury cabins and RV sites. Both cabins had air conditioning and the luxury had bathrooms. On the grounds are hot and cold showers and indoor bathrooms as well as a camp store with ice, drinks and food. The 110 attendees had no problem finding tent spaces within walking distance of the beautiful beach where there were spectacular sunsets. The permanent structure pavilion was ideal for watching the Friday night movie (Fly Boys) before going to the Air Museum the following day. It also was the central location for registration, dinners and closing ceremonies. Breakfast was provided by a church group on Saturday morning next to the pavilion and coffee and donuts for Sunday morning.

The two hour poker run crisscrossed the North Carolina/Virginia border and took us through many of the low lying coastal roads, many quaint villages and seaside estates. The ride ended at the Aviation Museum where a WWI airshow was happening. This airshow included reenactments with soldiers from Germany, Italy and America camping in tents. During the show they rode out on a 1918 Harley Davidson with a side car, set up anti-aircraft weapons and proceeded to shoot down the biplanes and triplanes flying over the field.

The museum is privately owned by one man and contains 40 to 50 restored aircraft all in flying condition. This included WWII planes which are flown at other events. Aside from the show there is a large museum with several unique historical pieces from the wars (motorcycle in a can). There was also a fully restored WWII military BMW motorcycle with sidecar and utility trailer. Upstairs there is a history of the lives of these aviators. The museum is open daily with airshows scheduled on various weekends.

Return to Shiloh BMW Rally

September 30 through October 2
by Jill and Tony Barcia

Return to Shiloh in western Tennessee is hosted by BMW RAMS based in Memphis (Rider Association of the Mid South) is held by the Tennessee River at Pickwick Dam in the TVA campground.

We trailered our R75/5 "toaster" along with our dog stopping in Murfreesboro, TN on Thursday night and arrived at the campground on Friday morning. For those who don't want to camp there are motel rooms in Savannah, TN about 12 miles away and in a Comfort Inn 5 miles away in Mississippi.

On Friday afternoon we rode the motorcycle to Shiloh National Military Park about 15 miles from the campground. Expect to spend 3 to 4 hours driving the 12 mile tour through the battlefield where 23,000 civil war soldiers died during the two day battle at Shiloh. Along the tour route are many monuments erected by the states and 20 strategic tour stops and a 35 minute movie at the visitor center.

There are many local restaurants (good food, inexpensive) in Counce a small town five miles from camp, a restaurant at Pickwick State Park and a hotel/restaurant "Botel" right on the river within walking distance of your tent. The Botel had draft beers for $2 all weekend for rally attendees. Both mornings there was a $5 pancake breakfast provided by the boy scouts.

Saturday there was a motorcycle show. The Vintage, over 40 years category winner was a 1941 R12 which had been ridden 200 miles to the rally and beat out several R26 and R27's (one in immaculate condition). The Vintage 20 to 40 year winner was a 1983 R100RT, beating out the three Toasters (one of which was ours). Other categories were classic, modern, side car, rat and "other" brands.

Saturday evening was the award ceremony, prizes, a live band and included in the registration fee, a delicious BBQ dinner. Thoughtful extras such as hot, fresh coffee all day (wonderful on crisp cool mornings and afternoons) and a long power strip for electronic devices.

It was a great rally, well organized (265 attendees) and everyone got a plastic mug and rally pin.

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!