Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

With the mild winter weather, thus far, I hope everyone has been able to enjoy some riding.  I have encountered a number of interesting items to share with everyone this month, so I apologize in advance for the longer than usual newsletter this month.  Here we go!

February Meeting

Our next club meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2012, 12 Noon, at the Boundary House Restaurant in Calabash, NC.  Many of you will remember that we have enjoyed some great seafood at The Boundary House.  If you plan to join us, please send an RSVP by February 2nd to help us ensure we have sufficient seating for everyone.

View Ride-to-Eat Locations in a larger map

Be sure to check weather reports and monitor your email for a rescheduling notice if rain is forecast for our meeting date.  The "rain date" is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, February 5th, 12 Noon.

January Club Meeting Photos

A few photos from our January club meeting at the Front Porch Restaurant in Elizabethtown, NC are available in our Picasa web albums.

Club Charter Renewals

For those of you who are BMW MOA and/or BMW RA members, I need your help.

This is the time of the year when our club charters with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA) and BMW Riders Association (BMW RA) must be renewed.  By being a chartered club, our club is listed on the BMW MOA's and BMW RA's web sites, thus helping new potential members find us.  This really works – several of you have contacted us after finding our club listed on one of these two web sites.  I am taking care of the fees for renewing these club charters.

For our BMW MOA renewal application, we are required to list at least five individuals who are current BMW MOA members (i.e., names and MOA membership numbers).  For our BMW RA renewal application, we are only required to list one individual who is a current BMW RA member.

I have already sent an email to those of you that have previously indicated you are BMW MOA and/or BMW RA members and asking you to confirm your membership number(s) and membership status.  If you have not yet responded to the email, please take the time to do so.  If you did not receive the email and are a member of either the BMW MOA and/or the BMW RA, please send me an email at and provide your name and membership number(s).

Thanks for your help!

2012 International Motorcycle Show

Here is another reminder that the International Motorcycle Show, sponsored by Progressive Insurance, is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center on February 24-26, 2012.  These shows are a great way to see all sorts of motorcycle from all the major manufacturers, and all in one place.  The shows also host a number of major accessory exhibitors.  Need a new helmet?  Their will be helmet vendors (like for example my favorite Arai dealer, The Service Pavilion).  Need a new jacket?  There will be vendors selling those too.    Be sure to attend this show and get equipped for the next riding season.

Club-Related Maps

Last year, for our club members who use Google Earth, I provided a link for displaying the locations and information about many of the year's BMW-related rallies and events.  This was done by creating a network link in your computer's Google Earth program.

For 2012, I am trying something that will be easier for everyone to use.  (I still plan to update the Google Earth link soon.)

I have created several Google Maps that anyone can access.

One map shows you the locations of the Wilmington-area restaurants where we usually meet.  If you know someone who wants to attend one of our meetings, but is new to the area and does not know some of the restaurant locations, this map will be one you can refer them to.

A second map shows you the locations of some of the restaurants that we have visited as part of our ride-to-eat events.  This map will help you find these restaurants, if you want to try them during one of your own rides.  Our usual rendezvous locations for these rides are also available on a different map.

The third map shows you the locations of a number of events and rallies of interest to BMW motorcyclists.  Many of these events are also listed in our club Google calendar.  If anyone has information about an upcoming rally or event that is not shown on our map, please send a short summary and location information to

If you find these maps useful, or have ideas for additional maps, please let me know (at

The Water Cooled Boxer

There has been much recent discussion on BMW motorcycling forums and mail lists about the water-cooled BMW boxer engine rumored to be slated for release in 2013.  Some good "spy photos" have also been posted online.  If you have not seen the development bike (which BMW will neither confirm nor deny exists), this article may be of interest.

Motion Induced Blindness (Safety Tip)

The title of a  forum post on the web site recently caught my attention.  It was called "Motion Induced Blindness."  The discussion was very interesting and included a link to a demonstration of motion-induced blindness on the Motorcycle Safety Foundation web site.

Most motorcycling safety books and classes teach you  to scan the road ahead and to keep your eyes constantly looking for new hazards.  This MSF demonstration shows what happens when you fix your attention on something and do not keep your eyes scanning,  This is an amazing effect to see.  Once you try the test as directed, try it again while keeping your eyes and/or head in motion.  You will immediately understand motion-induced blindness.

I urge you to take the time to view this demonstration.  It will clearly show you the value of keeping your eyes constantly in motion, scanning the road in front of you, while you are riding.  Practicing this technique  may help you avoid a future accident!

Racing News

Former Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager Andrea Dosoli has been named the head of race operations for BMW Motorrad Motorsport.

Leon Haslam will be back with the BMW Motorrad racing team for the 2012 WSBK season, while Marco Melandri has replaced Troy Corser, who retired after the 2011 season.

2012 BMW MOA International Rally

It's not too early to begin making your plans to attend this year's BMW MOA International Rally in Sedalia, Missouri.  The rally will be held July 19-22, 2012.  The BMW MOA Rally web page ( has some initial information about the rally.  Be sure to also monitor the BMW MOA Forums ( as additional information about the rally is announced.

Another Bites the Dust

Eurotech Motorsports ( has closed as of December 28, 2011.  They are still selling closeouts of their inventory.  If you are in need of any of their specialty parts and accessories, act quickly.

GPS Tip-of-the-Month

This month, we have a really handy utility program for anyone who uses maps.  How many times have you been given GPS coordinates and they are not in the right format for what you are trying to do?  Here is an example.  If you look at Capitol BMW's home page, their masthead includes their GPS coordinates in the format N35 50.437 W078 36.116.  Those coordinates will work in Google Maps or Bing Maps (and Bing Maps will even show you the coordinates converted to a pure decimal values), but what if you need them in HH MM SS (Hours-Minutes-Seconds) format?

This is where GPS Sway comes in handy.  GPS Sway is a free utility for Windows PCs that can be downloaded from  You can place the executable file wherever you like (no installation program to run!).  This program keeps it simple -- it only does GPS coordinate conversions.

Check out GPS Sway -- I think you will find this to be a handy utility.

Club Dropbox Account

If you are not familiar with Dropbox, it is a really good way to share files on your computer with others.  Any files you save to Dropbox are also instantly save to your other computers, mobile phone, and the Dropbox website.  Accounts for up to 2 Gb of storage are free.  Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iPad, iPhone, and Blackberry.

A club account has now been set up with Dropbox.  This will provide a way to publicly post and share files like GPS routes, etc.  The idea of setting up a club Dropbox account came to me after seeing this being used by some folks on the website.

The club can obtain more free storage for the club's Dropbox, if anyone wants to setup a Dropbox through a referral from the club.  The club will receive an additional 250 Mb of storage for each peroson who signs up through the referral!  If anyone is interested in setting up a free Dropbox account, send an email to and put "Dropbox Request" in the subject line of your email.  Be sure to specify your email address that you want to use for your Dropbox account.

I think that you will find Dropbox to be a great way to share photos, files, and such with your family and friends.  Give it a try.

Myrtle Beach Marathon

Club member Jeff Mense has reminded me that the Myrtle Beach Marathon will be held the weekend of February 17, 18, and 19, and we have been asked to again provide escort and support on our motorcycles.  As usual, the Fun Run and 5K will be Friday evening with the full and half marathon on Saturday. The bicycle ride will be Sunday morning in Conway.

The marathon route and the bicycle routes have changed. The marathon route is posted on line at; Jeff Mense is working on getting us the bicycle route.

Please respond to Jeff Mense by email if you are interested in participating this year.

Road Rage - The Rest of the Story

Back in the August 2011 newsletter, you may remember an article about Road Rage which included this YouTube video link showing how pickup truck tried to run a motorcyclist off the road in rural Kentucky.  The truck driver was arrested and has now been convicted of  two counts of wanton endangerment, one count of menacing, and reckless driving, according to a story published in The Ledger Independent of Maysville, KY.

Video of the Month

You REALLY need to watch this month's Video-of-the-Month.  This video features a demonstration of a very helpful, hidden K1600GT feature for dealing with problematic drivers. And you were wondering why you you should upgrade from your K1200LT to the K1600.

The next time you are the recipient of another driver's road rage, you will wish your motorcycle was equipped with this K1600GT accessory.  Thanks to club member Ron Manley for passing along this video.

That's the news for February.  Ride safe and ride far!

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