Now the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America is an outfit that we BMW riders sorta tolerate. Pick up their monthly mag and you’ll see why… Looks like it was produced by a travel agency in partnership with BMW and any aftermarket supplier high profile enough to afford a glossy full page ad. In fact, it’s pretty much a compendium of full page ads for their vision of the BMW lifestyle, which involves spending way more money than most of us have on a continual stream of new motorcycles, accessories, thousand buck riding suits, and the latest BMWMOA all inclusive tour. Camping, old BMWs, riding to work or somewhere cheap? Buried deep in the glossy pages, and findable only by dedicated old grouches like this writer. No surprise that most BMW riders aren’t BMWMOA members, as we let our memberships lapse when we’ve had it with the “lifestyle” promotion, then maybe come back when they add some useful DIY tech columns, especially when they help us keep our old bikes alive. I came back with a 5 year membership when I bought the F800S in 2009, but given that BMW has deemed that their nearest dealer be 150 miles away from my home, I’ll probably let my membership lapse again.

Or maybe I’ll renew… Couple months ago was an excellent test of oils, even including Rotella T diesel oil along with the pricey motorcycle oils. Then last month we get a multi rider tire comparison of dual sport tires. This months feature was on camping, and after a few pages of “product placement” there was a couple seriously good articles on camping for the newbies. But this is still BMWMOA, that holds their sole affordable even, the national rally, in the hottest spots in july… Maybe in hopes we’ll give up on camping, see the light, and go on their pricey all-in hotel based tours instead.

Then I hear the other day that after this years national rally in wet but cool western Oregon, next years rally will be in Minnesota at the state fairgrounds. What’s not to like… Square miles of space, bus service at the front gate, light rail two miles away, a bellyache gulch of eateries in multiple directions, couple a miles to REI, and ACd indoor space galore if global warming makes a comeback. And heck, don’t even need to ride… The rally is but a light rail and bus transfer away from the Amtrak station!

Dang, I may have to reup my membership! But not much chance of BMW selling me anything…

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