Jumpin' Jasper Jack Jive: BMW Bash Year One

Neither showers nor heat nor mountain roads could keep the BMW faithful from their appointed rounds over the Fourth of July weekend at "The Hub" near Jasper, Ark. Ten BMW dealers in six midwestern and southern states invited customers and those thinking about becoming customers to partake of a little laid-back low-key motorcycle-centric hospitality. "The Hub", which is not so much IN Jasper as a bit north of there and south of nowhere occupies a small bit of property at the former Dogpatch USA hillbilly theme park. Many words could be written on the topic "Who thought Dogpatch would be a money maker" but this is neither time nor place. The venue is now something out of a History Channel "Life After People" episode with 25 acres of pavement exploding with interesting weeds and buildings becoming one with nature. Truthfully, it's actually a bit eerie.

There's not much at "The Hub" other than a motel with between 44-66 rooms (depending on whom you believe), a restaurant named Scooter's that apparently survives to service the hotel and a tiny working post office that was once part of the Dogpatch behemoth.

Happy, the Hub dog. Good girl!

The REAL reason to go to north Arkansas wasn't to discuss the oddity of the location but to hang out with old friends, make new friends, talk bikes and ride. All four were accomplished. SMS had a stout contingent at the Bash: Don and Doris Roark, Jason Kilpatrick, and Matt Williams came as store reps and Liz and Steve, Jean and David Hanson, Wellborn and Catherine Jack, Ron and Debby Franks, Mark and Becky Jamroz and Jim (whose last name I am blanking on because I am lame. Sorry, Jim.) were there as loyal supporters (and to have a good time!) I can say with conviction that the SMS group was smarter, better looking, more interesting, and rode better than any other group there...especially since the other groups do not know where to find this blog.

Hmmm. What one thing is not like the others?

Friday people went north, south, east and west in search of fun: to Eureka Springs, Harrison, Little Rock, the "Grand Canyon" of Arkansas, Branson and beyond. Friday night, the troops were on their own and Saturday, more adhoc groups got together for some occasionally wet riding through the hills. Saturday night, the dealers group threw a free bar-be-que feast, gave out tons of door prizes (only the MOST unlucky went without) and struck up the band. (Ed. note: Don and Doris can cut a rug.)

Sunday morning dawned foggy and drippy and Beemers streamed away from dogpatch to all points looking for the roads home. There is no word yet whether the dealers will do a BMW Bash: Year Two event, but whether they do or don't, we appreciate the effort that went into this one.

Matt confirms that "accelerator" and "accelerated depreciation" come from the same root word.

Ow! (Matt did not do this.)

MOA and Hoecakes, Who Could Ask For Anything More?

The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) are expecting a crowd of 10,000+ at their 37th International Rally July 16-19. The location this year is Johnson City, Tenn., home of uh, people who live in Johnson City. Those Johnson City-ites will soon be joined by our very own Red River Riders Bob Critcher, David Moak, Charles Jolley and Mark Jamroz. From the looks of things, it is going to be a jam-packed few days in Johnson City with events sponsored by Johnson Wax at the Howard Johnson's. Special awards will be given to those who can recite the names of all the Johnsons who appeared in "Blazing Saddles." As if a great event wasn't enough, MOA proves that they, too, can monkey up a perfectly good bike and make it ugly enough to be raffled off for a good cause. Good Lord Almighty.

If you aren't lucky enough to be able to take in all the sights in Johnson City and environs, go get $5 out of the piggybank and join all the cool people on Saturday, July 18 at the Applebee's on Shreveport's Mansfield Road for flatjacks n' something to wash 'em down with. All the money goes to a GREAT cause, the Cara Center for abused children. It's a wonderful precursor to the third annual Run with the Nuns scheduled for October 24 at Louisiana Downs and will be an opportunity to have a good meal, see friends and ogle bikes, and it's a LOT closer than Johnson City!

For more info:

Bavaria In Winter White: R1200GS Special Edition

OK, admit it. Namibia Orange, Titan Silver Metallic, Tanzanite Blue and Slate Gray Metallic all have their place in the 2009 R 1200GS lineup, but wouldn't you really prefer something that will be yours and yours alone? In honor of the over 500,000 GS1200s sold since the model was introduced in 1980, the guys and gals in Bavaria are offering something uniquely different: white. If you are quick enough with your order at SMS you will definitely NOT see yourself coming and going...BMW is making only 500 of these special edition beauties which we are told will run about $471 more than the standard GS. The first Special Editions (SE) will be hitting showrooms any day now.

R 1200 GS SE features at a glance:
Alpine White paintwork
Black cross-spoke wheels
Tinted screen
Dual-colour seat
Aluminium cylinder head protectors
Complimentary panniers and fittings (until September 30)
Factory fitted Premium and Dynamic specification packages

BMW F 800GS Named "Best of the Best"

The legion of BMW F 800GS fans may grow with the announcement by Cycle World magazine that they have chosen the bike as "Best Dual-Sport Bike" in 2009. Competition was fierce, with a total of 547 bikes vying for a "best bike" title. Cycle World traditionally choses smaller, single-cylinder bikes for the honor, but says the 'riding fun continues when the pavement ends' with the F800 GS. "The BMW embodies a go-anywhere do-anything riding ethic," they say. The story is included in the July issue, on newsstands now.

According to BMW, the F 800's "lightweight design and eye-opening power" makes it the most off-road oriented GS ever. (Ed. note: That would be something given the offroad fun of the GS1200. Read "Westward Ho" for a taste of the desert during Liz and Steve's recent Arizona adventure.)

A vertical parallel-twin engine based on the proven F 800 ST platform offers 85 horses and 62 ft-lb of torque and gives it startling speed and acceleration. Add a dry weight of just 392 lbs, switchable ABS, wide foot rests and a below-the-seat gas tank for a low center of gravity, and you get a dual sport bike with amazing handling and all the prowess of a GS in a lighter package. The BMW F 800 GS has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $ 10, 995 (excluding taxes, license, options and handling charges).