This years Falling Leaf Rally in Potosi Missouri was my first time there and what a great time it was. At first I didn't think I was going to make it as I walked into the garage to load my bike and found a puddle of oil under my right cylinder. My heart sank... what the hell was this? I was suppose to leave in fifteen minutes to meet up with the guys to head down, and here my bike is peeing on the ground. A week before I had put on a new valve cover, so my first thought was that there was a leak in the seal. Nope, it was bone dry. I pulled out the flashlight and found there was oil on top of the jug, all in the fins, and also sprayed on the tuperware just behind it. The night before we had our club meeting which put me on the bike for about 1.5 hours, and just from that there was an oil spray. Now I am looking at 16 hours of freeway time along with 10 hours of country road blasting... yikes.
Well I made it! This was a fantastic trip, filled with everything from great weather to crappy weather, awesome roads to crashes, and everything in between.
The trip started out from Peter's house at 5am on Wednesday. Most everyone was even on time, and we left by 5:30, only 30 minutes off schedule... not too bad. We left with a couple of LT's, a GS, an RT, and an R, along with a car "for the ladies". Getting out of Chicago is always a pain in the ass as traffic sucks eggs. Our first stop was to pick up a few more travelers on another RT and a GTL at a oasis close to the border. It was there that Nick had to readjust the weight of his trailer as the back end was being squirley at anything above 60mph. Unfortuantely he adjusted the wrong way and only
The Madison BMW club held its Great River Road Rally May 18th-20th in Soldiers Grove, Wi and it was a terrific event. Weather was a major concern, and for several days before I kept wondering if I was going to have to put up my tent in a thunderstorm. That's all they kept forecasting, rain, rain and more rain. Actually the way they put it was isolated thunderstorms on Friday with scattered thunderstorms on Saturday... what's the difference? As it turned out, the area got 2" of rain that morning, and then stayed dry the entire weekend! I was thrilled. My tent has a mesh top, and the rain fly doesn't go on until the tent is up, which means setting it up in the rain means a wet inside.
Held in September at the Wisconsin Dells, this is a great rally to attend. It is hosted by the Wisconsin BMW Club, running from Friday through Sunday, and is always a great time. They do a lot to keep you occupied if you are not out riding with music, several vendors, some informal seminars/ discussions, and even some family events for those with kids. Now some may have an issue with kids at a rally, but for a brand (BMW) that has a avergae owner age of 53, we need to do all we can to bring a younger generation into our world, and what better way than to start when they are young.
One of the clubs that I belong to is the BMW Motorrad Club Northern Illinois, and our big event each year is the Galena Campout. Now I know that most clubs have "rallies", but ours is a campout. Situated in beautiful Galena Illinois, we take over part of a very nice campground close to the downtown area. There are plenty of shade trees, slight rolling hills, and most imprrtantly showers and toilets. They even have a pool. And for those who are not into camping, they have small (very small) cabins that can be rented. Me, I prefer to camp.
BMWMOA International Rally 2012
This year the BMWMOA International Rally was held in Sedalia, Missouri at the state fair grounds at the end of July. The attendance I believe was around the 6,000 mark which was pretty good considering the heat. Last year it was held in Bloomsberg Pa and the heat was the big killer. The temps were in the hundreds and they did not have any facilities with A/C. So because of that, a ton of people decided to skip this years rally as the temps were right back up to triple digits. My 7 hour ride down was averaged at 108 degrees... and yes, I ride ATGAT. (All The Gear All The Time) More on that later.
A bunch of Airheads wrenching together on a nice winters day!
This year, at the end of February, Mike G. hosted a terrific tech day at his home in Eagle Wisconsin. There was beer on tap of course, and Mike was nice enough to fire up the grill for the dozen or so of us that showed up. I brought along my brother Rich as he had never been to such an event. He was certainly impressed! I certainly don't know of another brand out there that will spawn such a gathering of people, brought together just to work on bikes, but not necessarily their own. I brought my /6 up there with hopes of getting some help with the carbs... boy did I get the help!
In 2000, this was my dream bike... and today it still is. I simply love this bike! Although some may think it is big at 640 lbs, it is actually very nimble and balanced. It is fantastic on both long hauls and carving through the twisties. No, it is not a sport bike, and yes, there are certainly many others that can make this look like its standing still. But that is not what I am talking about here... I'm talking about "well rounded". This bike has everything: touring, sport, comfort, looks, and even a relatively easy engine to work on. So lets break things down a bit:
What started out as a perfectly good 1976 R90/6 has now become my cafe racer.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed riding the bike as is, I wanted something more. I also wanted to challenge myself with doing the work myself. I don't have any mechanical background other than what I have learned from books needed to fix my RT. But I love a challenge so the day after Christmas I tore that sucker apart. Amazing how quickly that can happen... I think it took about 3 hours! Great, now what have I done? No stopping now, onward and upward.
Sedici Heated Gloves
I was definitely skeptical about buying Sedici stuff as Cycle Gear is the only one that carries it. I couldn’t find much background or history on it, and didn’t know if it was just some cheap private branded Chinese crap. But when I looked at Gerbings heated gloves at $185 (because you also have to buy the controller), I felt it was worth taking the $85 dollar gamble (on sale from $149) on the Sedici.
I bought a new riding suit this year from Olympia to replace my BMW (British Motorcycle Gear) Mercury Jacket and Ezeon pants. The main reason my making the switch is that the BMG gear is just so damn hot… there simply is no ventilation. This makes for a good riding suit about 3 months of the year. If that were not enough, the pants were freezing in the cold because they had not insulated lining. So then I was forced to wear long johns or fleece lined jeans underneath. In the summer it was impossible to ride in that jacket so I had to use my First Gear mesh which I just didn’t feal safe in. Plenty of air, no protection.