Saturday, March 24, 2012

April Fool's Day Ride

This is not an April Fool's joke! Really!

Weather permitting, we will hold an April Fool's Day Ride to Southern Exposure Restaurant in Faison, NC on -- you guessed it --- April 1st.  April Fool's Day falls on a Sunday this year, so this will be a great opportunity to enjoy a morning ride and a delicious brunch at Southern Exposure.

View Larger Map

The ride will depart from the Buy & Go Exxon, 808 North College Road in Wilmington, at 10:15 a.m. This should allow us to arrive between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., just before the after-church crowd.

View Group Ride Rendezvous Locations in a larger map

The route for the ride, which is one some of you have enjoyed before, can be viewed on this Google Map.

A GPS file for the routes to-and-from and the waypoints for Buy & Go Exxon and Southern Exposure will be loaded on the club's Dropbox account a few days prior to the ride.  (Availability of the club's Dropbox account was announced in the February newsletter -- contact us at if you would like access.)

If you are planning to join us (either riding with us, or riding separately and meeting us at Southern Exposure), please let us know by sending an email to, so we know to expect you.

We'll see you on April 1st for our first-ever April Fool's Day Ride.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 2012 Newsletter

March Club Meeting

The weather looks uncertain for the previously announced March meeting, so our plans are changing!

Our next meeting will now be held on Saturday, March 10th, 12 Noon, at The Front Porch Restuarant in Elizabethtown.  Please note this is a change to both the meeting date and the location.  The Front Porch Restaurant is located at 1100 West Broad Street in Elizabethtown, NC.  The GPS coordinates are N34.63212 W78.61679.

View Ride-to-Eat Locations in a larger map

RSVPs are not required, but would be helpful.  Please respond to ccbmwridersclub@gmail, if you believe that you may attend.

Rain Date:  The rain date for the March 10th meeting will be Sunday, March 11th at 12:30 p.m.  An email postponement will be sent to club members, if needed.

This March meeting will be the last of our "winter meeting schedule."  We will resume our second Monday evening of the month meeting schedule in April.  Mark your calendars now for the April 9th meeting date.

Anyone who is interested in joining a back road ride to the March 10th meeting is invited to meet us at the Buy & Go Exxon located at 808 North College Road, Wilmington [N34.26022 W77.87006].  A ride back to Wilmington, via roads other than I-40 is also planned, for anyone who wants to join in.  Check the Announcements page on the club web site for further details on the ride.

Chartered Club Status

Thank you to everyone who responded by providing your BMW Motorcycle Owners Association and/or BMW Riders Association membership numbers.  We are now officially re-chartered with the BMW-MOA as Chartered Club #306 and with the BMW-RA as Chartered Club #346.  You can view our chartered club certificates online in our club's Picasa web albums.


I recently discovered a really interesting smartphone app for those of you who are Android phone users (sorry, iPhone users).  The app is called CRADAR, for CRash Detection And Response).  You can find CRADAR in the Android Marketplace.

CRADAR is a man-down app that senses when you fall (using the phone's built-in accelerometer), waits between 30 and 120 seconds (whatever you set it for), and if it does not see you move at least 8 feet, the app sends a text message to one of your contacts telling them you might be hurt.  This gives your contact a chance to call you to see whether you are okay.  The text message includes a link to Google Maps with your GPS coordinates, so if your contact cannot reach you, they have your GPS coordinates so other people can find you.

A more detailed description of the CRADAR app, which includes a couple of screenshots of the app in use, can be found at the developer's web site (ActionXL).  This app may not be a perfect replacement for having a SPOT personal tracker unit, but the CRADAR app is free!

GPS Workshop

Our first of (hopefully) a series of GPS workshops was held on Sunday, February 11th. The four  participants (Jerry Dockery, Jody Hudson,  Bob Thomson, and me) each came with a different GPS units (Jerry with a Garmin 276c, Jody with a Zumo 550,  Bob with a Garmin 60csx, and me with a Montana 650) and unique sets of questions. During the approximately two-hour workshop, we spent time discussing how to load map sets when the GPS no longer has sufficient space to hold the entire map set, how to download new map updates to your PC and transferring them at a later time to your GPS, the new Garmin BaseCamp software (see below) and how it differs from Garmin's venerable Mapsource software, and briefly talking about Point of Interest (POI) files.

We will be holding another GPS workshop sometime in the Spring, probably after mid-April.  If you have a question you want to cover in a future workshop, we can still add your question(s) to our GPS Workshop Questions document, hosted on Google Docs.  (Note:  A free Google account is required to access the document, and editing access is currently limited to those who have expressed interest in the workshops).

BMW Final Drive Investigation by NHTSA

For those of you who do not closely follow the BMW motorcycling email lists or web forums, here is some important news.  Apparently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally opened an investigation into reports of BMW final drive failures.  It is currently limited to K1200LT drive failures. However, it will be interesting to see where this leads.  Here is the post that is appearing in various web forums:

After over 145 individual complaints filed between April 2001 and August 2011, the NHSTA has finally opened its first official investigation into the failure of crown gear bearings on BMW models equipped with the Paralever style final drive. NHSTA investigation DP12001 opened 1/20/12 is centered on 1999-2005 K1200LTs for now. But, if the findings are what we all believe they will be, the scope of the investigation should be expanded. I found the only way to get NHSTA to listen and focus was to pepper its director, David Strickland, with repeat letters as well as inquiries from WA Senator Patty Murray who chairs the subcommittee over funding for the NHSTA. If you have had a final drive failure on your Paralever equipped BMW, and have NOT already reported it to the NHSTA, I urge you do it now.

You will need your VIN, (est.) date of failure and mileage. State your model as well. While they should be able to identify from VIN, their data was wrong 50% of the time. Specify if gear oil leaked.
or call (888) 327-4236.

or mail to:
Office of Defects Investigation (NVS-210)
West Building
1200 New Jersey Ave SE
Washington DC 20590

In your complaint, select "Power Train" as the component and reference that you have had the same failure as described in ODI No. 10439549, and currently being investigated under Campaign DP12001.

If you have experienced a final drive failure, you want to consider filing a report with NHTSA.

Send an email to your Congressman and US Senator to follow up on your behalf as well.

No Ethanol Gas

Club members Bob Thomson and Bill Traina has provided a really useful tip for everyone. Are you are one of those riders who prefers to use no-ethanol gas, if it is available?  If so, you may want to visit the Scotchman Store located at 7111 Wrightsville Avenue, Wilmington.

View Larger Map

According to Bob and Bill, this location carries both regular and premium grades no-ethanol gas!  If you want to see this no-ethanol source remain available, try to support this vendor by purchasing some of your motorcycle fuel from them.

Do you know of another gas station in our area that sells non-ethanol fuel?  If so, pass along information on that business (GPS coordinates would especially be appreciated) and we will share this will the rest of the club.  A Google Map has also been set up to show these non-ethanol gas stations in our area.

Thanks, Bob Thomson and Bill Traina!

GPS Tip of the Month

This month, we have two related tips.

First, if you are a Garmin GPS user with a Lifetime nuMaps subscription, Garmin has another update for the City Navigator North America (CNNA) map set. The latest edition CNNA map set is now 2012.40.

Second, Garmin has finally released the latest the BaseCamp v3.3.1 mapping software update. Garmin has made a number of significant improvements in this version of BaseCamp. Among these are:
  • Added collapsible list folders and sub-lists for improved organization.
  • Added shaping point support for Zumo devices like done in MapSource.
  • Added explicit support for shaping points. These will be transferred to supporting devices.
  • Added support for transfer of waypoint categories on supporting devices. These are displayed in BaseCamp as lists.
  • Added more activity profiles, with improved activity routing on supported maps.
  • Added custom activity profiles.
  • Changed to make GPX files on a memory card directly editable.
  • Changed to read all GPX files on a memory card, similar to how devices behave.
  • Added display of lists that contain this data item to properties.
  • Added support for importing waypoints and tracks from KML/KMZ files.
  • Added more map details for higher detail setting.
  • Added data filters to map view.

The complete list of the improvements in the latest version of BaseCamp can be seen on Garmin's web site.  The BaseCamp v3.3.1 update is available from the Garmin web site as a free download. If you were using their beta version of this software update (i.e., Version, you will need to uninstall the beta software from your computer.  The new update will not remover the beta version.

IMS Trip Report

The International Motorcycle Show was held February 24-26, 2012 at the Charlotte Convention Center.  A couple of club members (Tony and Jill Barcia, Ed O'Neil, Bob Thomson, Bill Traina, Dick Williams) rode together to Charlotte to enjoy the IMS.  While there, we also saw fellow club member Jerry Dockery.    A few photos from the show are now available online for anyone who did not have an opportunity to attend.

The 2013 show will supposedly be held again in Charlotte, so start making your plans to attend next year.

Events and Rallies Updates

Spring is coming. On some days, Spring feels like it is already here. With the weather improving soon, it's time to start planning some of your weekend rides and rally trips. A number of Spring upcoming rallies are listed on the club's Google Calendar and you can also see when and where these events are scheduled to be held on our 2012 Rallies and Event Google Map.

And if you attend any of these events, send us a brief report summarizing your trip (including any photos you would like to share) so your fellow club members can vicariously enjoy the experience and hopefully be inspired to attend some of the other scheduled events. Send your trip reports to us at

As always, if you know about an event that is not on our calendar, send us whatever information you have and we will add to the club calendar.

2012 SBK, MotoGP, and AMA Sportbike Events

The 2012 MotoGP season starts this month, with the first GP in Qatar on March 9th. The 2012 World Superbike season began on February 26 with the first race in Philip Island, Australia, and AMA Superbike racing events are scheduled to begin with the upcoming Daytona 200.

Here are the major WSBK, MotoGP, Moto2, and AMA Superbike race events scheduled for March and April 2012:

Mach 15-17 -- AMA Superbike Daytona 200
April 1 -- World Superbike and Supersport Round 2 at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari
April 8 -- Qater MotoGP and Motot2 Grand Prix
April 20-22 -- AMA Superbike at Road Atlanta
April 22 -- World Superbike and Supersport Round 3 at TT Circuit Assen
April 29 -- Spanish MotoGP and Moto2 Grand Prix

The latest race schedules are available online.  Many of these races will be shown on SpeedTV, so check the web site for the latest programming schedule updates.

Be sure to watch the World Superbike events and cheer for the BMW racing teams that are participating this year.

To get your enthusiasm started for the upcoming season of MotoGP racing, check out this sequence of photos showing Valentino Rossi (aka "The Doctor") sliding his MotoGP bike during recent testing at the Sepang Circuit.  Don't try this yourselves!

Video of the Month

As BMW riders, I hope many of you will enjoy this month's Video-of-the-Month – Hitler Wants a Harley for Sturgis.  Be forewarned -- there is some vulgar language in the video.  I hope you will laugh at this one as much as I did.  And thanks to fellow club member Ed O'Neil for passing along this video suggestion.

Hitler Wants a Harley for Sturgis Video

That's all for this month.  Ride safe and Ride far!