RIDERTORIDER Send your letters and comments to:

Thank you all I wanted to take a few moments to say "Thank You" to all of the staff at BMW MOA for your continued efforts to make our club the best it can be! While the Board of Directors deter- mines policies and sets the direction of the club, you're the folks that are respon- sible for the day-to-day operations of the organization. Whether it's membership services, publications, club benefits, or MOA events, you're the face of the organi- zation when members call. Your profes- sional and caring attitudes mean a lot to our members when they need assistance. I also wanted to thank each of you for

your support during my term as MOA president. It's been my pleasure working with you the past three years, and I want you to know I'm proud of your efforts. My best to all of you.

Chuck Manley #12106 Bloomington, Illinois

Excellent Publication Under Bill Wiegand’s tutelage, Owners News has morphed into a photographic treasure chest and a literary giant of infor- mative travel stories and broad-based, thought-provoking articles. The July issue stands proud and tall.

Matt Parkhouse, a fellow Viet Nam era vet, excels with his road tales to Mexico and informative how-to wrenching skills. Although I bailed on airheads several decades ago, each of his articles reminds me of how I should have done it! With bliss, my oilhead RT and K 1600 GT Sport serve me extremely well today. The jury was out on Deb Gasque

months ago; not so now. This issue trans- formed her from me-me status into an eloquent scribe. “Wanderlust in my own backyard” beckons me to ride South Caro- lina. Sweet prose, cuisine and an expres- sive, flowing travel story.

16 BMW OWNERS NEWS September 2016 Wiegand’s life story and recap of Carl

Reese’s epoch transcontinental ride was captivating and brilliant. From Reese’s training regimen to his wife’s angst and then ride fruition, I felt transformed, as if I was in the saddle. And, while the larger windshield surely contributed to the 28 mpg average, I spit out my caffeinated stimulants when I read the 74 mph aver- age over the 38 hour and 49 minute mile- stone! Really? What a feat, rider and man! Of note to Carl and any other performance rider: the excessively wide bags on the Wasserboxer RT and K 1600 GT (they’re the same) contribute to reduced mileage at elevated speeds, solo or two-up. Witness the bug splatter on the outside edges? For style and function I purchased the some- what expensive but high quality, manu- factured in France “Suitcase Flat Lids” from Hornig Accessories in Germany (www. At 3¾” narrower per side, they contribute to about a 2 mpg increase through better aerodynamics. And what to say about Riepe? We have a long-shuttered asylum not too distant from here that would gladly reopen their gates for this renowned bloviated hulk. I love his insanity and wit!

Dennis M. Brown #112633 Oakland, California

The GS: I get it The June edition of Owners News expressed some puzzlement with the extent of coverage devoted to the BMW GS. I’m going to give that thought a ring- ing endorsement even though I’ve never owned one and never will—unless it is the only bike BMW makes. They say that imita- tion is the highest form of flattery. That’s borne out by the fact that every major manufacturer has tried hard to offer and tried to imitate the “adventure” genre first introduced by BMW in the eighties with

the “Bumblebee.” While BMW has not enjoyed much success in offering a cruiser—no one else has come close to the success of the GS series. Can you imagine what would be left if

every advertiser quit offering GS related items and all GS product vendors vacated the BMW MOA international rally? There would be almost nothing left. It’s not my kind of bike, but my wife thinks they’re “cute.” One of my oldest riding buddies, now deceased, ran a BMW dealership in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a racer, flat track and motocross, and was clearly a better, faster rider than me. Long before the GS reached over 50 percent of BMW sales, he said, “I hate to admit it, but it is the best handling (including cornering) BMW in the whole fleet.” That was, of course, also before the new, liter class S 1000 RR and high tech suspension and engine man- agement bikes. But most people cannot ride either one to the edge of their perfor- mance envelope anyway. You don’t have to yearn for the most

technical off-road path to ride it on. I don’t think a 600 pound bike is the right one to plow through sand either—but that seemingly matters little to some people. The fact is, the GS has about the highest weight payload of any bike you can name. My early days of BMW ownership found me in the company of rally-goers and real tent campers, and there are a lot of people who still enjoy that. If you want to just go a bit off the beaten path and carry all the gear you want—the GS is the bike. And if you’ve got a big person with a big six foot frame—unlike me—this is the bike you can stretch out on. If you want to ride all day on the open highway and then pitch a tent, dump your gear and enjoy some scenery everyone else misses—this may be the bike for you. The GS: I get it—but I won’t be getting it. Just call me crazy.

Steve Cantrill #38304 Payson, Arizona



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