changemode:satire

I should have taken the hint when I visited the BMW car dealer last fall…

‘Twas out shopping for a new car, and the specs of BMW’s new 3 series diesel looked tempting, especially the wagon with the 4 by 4 option. So I pulled into the Sioux Falls dealer in my faithful decade old VW Golf TDI and saunter in in my usual gearhead fashion ensemble… well worn jeans, t-shirt, and jacket to suit the day’s weather. Spot the diesel right on the showroom floor, and there’s the hood release just like in an H2O VW by the driver’s left knee, so I give it a pull and go round front to find the safety catch… Where’d it go? After a minute the receptionist comes over and inquires, and I ask how to complete the hood opening process. All this time, a couple salesmen have been unmoved in their adjoining glass offices, but for the usual continual updating of their social media, no doubt. Receptionist comes back a minute later, tells me to give the hood latch by the left knee a second pull, and that does the trick. 

I spend a good five minutes looking over filter and drain locations and such, and all the while the salesmen remained unmoved. Sauntered out in my best blue collar arrogance, noting the inflated to $50k window sticker on the 4 by 4 diesel wagon out on the lot. Couple weeks later bought a new Golf TDI Wagen that does 99% of what the BMW does at half the price. But little did I realize that BMW, a socially responsible company to a fault, had blown me off for a reason. If I’d bought that Bimmer and after the too short warranty ran out had it die in the Black Hills, it’d be the better part of a thousand dollar tow home to the nearest BMW car dealers 350 miles away in Billings or Sioux Falls, then a few thousand more to fix it. And after getting soaked $500+ for a paralever driveshaft that didn’t even last 60k miles, I don’t want to even think of the damage a BMW car with a half dozen or so driveshafts could do the my wealth and mental health!

So, though I didn’t understand it at the time, those BMW salesman weren’t being lazy snobs, they we’re assuring that the financially unworthy like myself don’t get impoverished by a BMW vehicle and end up holding a “Will work for food” sign on the nearest major intersection to where their BMW dies. Now the growing legions of former BMWMOA members such as myself have no doubt noted how BMWMOA is increasingly taking it’s cues from Bavarian mothership BMW itself. And like many, I became more than a little angry when I heard that BMWMOA would be charging $80 admission at the gate for the pleasure of shopping the purveyors of overpriced farkles, test riding new $30k Beemers, and trying to sleep on asphalt next to a busy railroad yard. 

Yeah, I’m kinda slow on the uptake, but now I get it… BMWMOA could have just copied the Back to the 50s Car Show at the same venue last month and let the great unwashed motorcycling masses in the gate for $10 and filled their dwindling treasury. But BMWMOA is sacrificing crass profit and protecting us financially unworthy gearheads from ourselves, lest we max out our credit cards on thousand dollar GPSs, hard bags, riding suits, and even high fashion helmets. 

So thank you BMWMOA, I’ve already got GPS on my phone and tablet and mapping software on the netbook. New riding suit?  Aerostitch is just up the road with the world’s best and everything else a rider will ever need, and admission and even beverages are free. Hard bags… The $200 soft bags are holding up fine after 100,000+ miles, and unlike BMW’s they fit just about anything. So thank you again, BMWMOA… The $80 you’ve saved me will pay for an oil change for all three of my airheads!

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_2714There’s more to Guzzi than V-Twins…

DSC_2729And old, new, and lotsa in between V-Twins…

DSC_2732Tech session… A guru shares his knowledge ’bout airheads of a different angle.

DSC_2717Twin singles and a V65TT… happiness starts at under 750 ccs.?

DSC_2724Ready for takeoff…

DSC_2731More tech seminar… Don’t Guzzi’s ever break?

DSC_2728Neverending Guzzi Goodness…

Got rained out saturday evening, but plenty of space under cover to enjoy those legendary 25 mm. thick Iowa pork chops and all the trimmin’s. That was on top of delicious suppers thursday and friday night as well as scrambled eggs and ‘cakes saturday morn, even had pastries for us on sunday morn. As always, was hard to leave the Guzzi heaven that is the Iowa rally, even when the sun shines… But no matter the weather, the Iowa Guzzi Rally always shines!

Looking less likely that I’ll make the MOA rally next week, MOA has now totally priced themselves out of the market with an $80 admission fee, even if you’re just popping in for a few hours to look around. I’ve got business to attend to wensday so I can’t get there early and a parade saturday so I’d have to leave early, and to top off that curtailing of my rally experience, sounds like the sole airhead tech session has been cancelled. BMWMOA, I’m starting to get the hint… And no, I’m not about to buy a new BMW and renew my membership!

Time for a stoic Iowa small town and passionite Guzzista’s annual affair…

DSC_2697DSC_2700DSC_2691DSC_2694Campground’s filling up nicely but still plenty of room with friendly Guzzista everywhere, dead quiet at night, they filled us up with beef dinner last night and again for $5 donation to the local service club this morning, what’s not to like? MOA, eat your heart out…

Got US 14 closed for construction from my tiny town to the next one west, and the official detour sucks… 5 extra miles, on a narrow two lane. MN DOT didn’t have any better options, the only slightly shorter paved route turning to rubble despite a 5 ton limit, and shorter gravel and dirt road option becoming as slippery as ice when wet, and it’s been wet a lot. So naturally, we’ve seen more than a few motorists wander through our town looking for better routes. In the case of the 2 and 4 wheelers this has been a mere source of amusement as they wander our town, eventually happy just to find a way out and back to the marked detour. 

The big trucks are another matter, but fortunately most of the CDL holders know better than to try to beat the system. But a few are beyond hope… ‘Twas taking a look at the skies before headin’ to the showers and bed when I see some rear clearance and marker lights at an odd angle from the horizontal. Noted also the sound of an engine revving with no accompanying progress in any direction but some shaking of the lights. Hopped on the hack’d Guzzi to investigate, by which time the lost collection of tailights had freed itself from that too tight to attempt corner and moved up a couple blocks. I jump over to our lone parallel street, the one barely wide enough for two trucks to barely pass, and circle round him to get in position. Followed his path checking for damage, then inquired of his destination when he stopped.

Pointed out that he was off the marked detour, and pointed the direction he needed to take to get back on said detour. Asked where he was going, no answer. Asked what road he wanted to be on, and he nodded affirmatively when I said “US 14 west”. Reminded him again that he was off the marked detour, and he pointed to his small GPS. I informed him that was for cars, and then he points to his big GPS. Asked him if he had a map, and he points to the GPS. No, I meant a real paper map… He replied that he didn’t have a single one in the truck!

I repeated the directions back to the marked detour- left onto the highway, another left in about 5 miles where the sign says “US 14 West Detour”, and sent him on his way. I suggested he might want to get the reeking clutch that he just fragged dragging the trailer wheels out of the ditch looked at, and he had no comprehension. He made the first turn OK, then turned right not 500 feet later and headed down US 14… East!

 

Campaign Sign #1

Sorry ’bout the crooked county lines… I draw worse than a drunken 19th century surveyor!

Campaign Sign #1

My apologies for the crooked county lines, i draw like a drunken 19th century surveyor!

First off, a couple Costco unadvertised sale heads ups- The nice $150 floor jack that normally sells for $100 is marked down to $85, and the $100 Craftsman tool set is marked down to $70. Well, at least they were at the Sioux Falls Costco last week, YMMV.

That same $70 will get you into the BMWMOA national rally at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds next month, and it’ll be $10 more if you pay at the gate. For that you get to fight over too little grass to set 5000 or so tents on, try to sleep with a busy 4 lane street on one side and a busy railyard on the other, never mind the ever present glare of the streetlights. This is an urban fairground, surrounded by roads and industry and residential neighborhoods, and the nearest good riding is near an hours ride away. On the positive side, there’s regular bus service to the fairground should you wish to imbibe too much. I like hanging with the airheads but I’ll have to leave early on saturday morn, and for my $70 the Craftsman tool kit sounds like a better bet, even though I already have one and a bigger one… Gotta stock up on american made tools while I still can!

On the other hand, the Guzzi national rally in Iowa a couple weeks earlier is a no brainer. Plenty of quiet, shaded, and dark at night camping, good riding within a stones throw, and four meals and continuous coffee to boot… You’ll be lucky to get free coffee out of the BMWMOA. And all this Guzzi goodness for $15 less than the BMWMOA rally! How do they do it? While the BMWMOA has become a travel agency for two wheelers, the Moto Guzzi rallies are simply fun events put on by Guzzi riders for the enjoyment of their fellow riders.

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