North American BMW Riders Set World Record

On Saturday, September 26, BMW riders from 17 states and Canada showed up in Missouri to smash a European-held motorcycle record. In 2004, BMW riders in Switzerland assembled 128 strong to win the bragging right as holder of the Guinness World Book record for longest BMW parade. The folks at Grass Roots BMW in Cape Girardeau knew that 128 was child's play...a mere attempt at a serious German invasion. They determined to show our Swiss friends that EVERYTHING is bigger in the U.S. of A. and they succeeded.

Despite threatening skies the day of the attempt, 241 riders took their positions in line and traveled the 4.2 mile parade route mostly uneventfully. Afterwards, they went back to the dealership where they enjoyed some good grub and had the chance to hang out with BMW racer Nate Kern and ogle the new BMW S1000RR Good-Gosh-Almighty-It's-Fast sport bike. Participants and event planners report that all in all, it was not only a history-making day but a fun one as well. Will a rematch be in the offing? Will the Swiss' neutrality hold? Will a counter attempt be made? Did the Swiss make everyone wipe off their tires before entering the country? So many questions, so few answers.

For more on the event including lots of great pictures and a video, go to:

Drew Goes Twistin' Through the Ozarks

By Drew T. Newcomer

I had not ridden in southern Missouri in quite sometime so when the opportunity arose to attend the Motorcycle Sport Touring Association’s Bull Shoals Rally, I knew I wanted to attend. On a clear Friday morning I was headed up LA 15 to Farmerville and eventually to El Dorado, AR before the sun came up.

The road to Arkansas is pretty uneventful and is one I have traveled a number of times. Heading up 167 into Sheridan, I turned northwest on AR 35 heading toward Benton. I like this road that eventually takes me to AR 9 while circumventing Little Rock. I had a milestone on this trip as this was the first time I successfully found AR 5 in Benton without getting all turned around and having to backtrack to find where I was supposed to be. I headed west on AR 5 (though the signs will tell you that you are heading south to Hot Springs) until I intersected AR 9 where I turned north. 9 is a pretty ride through some rolling hills and it is a road I have enjoyed several times before. 9 intersects US 65 at Choctaw and I turned north on this major thoroughfare to Marshall where a very motorcycle highway 27 takes one to Harriet, AR where an even more motorcycle highway 14 awaits. I headed up 14 to Yellville, and continued north until I turned toward Missouri and Bull Shoals Reservoir on US 125. While this may not have been the shortest route to my final destination of Isabella, MO it was the route where one crosses the reservoir via a free ferry. I was the only passenger going north but there were several cars and a couple of motorcycles waiting to come south as the ferry approached the northern landing.

The rolling hills of the Ozarks do not stop as you cross into Missouri. 125 continues north but on this day I turned east on US 160 to find the rally site at the Theodosia Marina Resort and my cabin which was a mile further down the road.

Bull Shoals Reservoir was completed in 1952, the same year as the cabin I stayed in and I think the mattress in my cabin was the original as well. While not the fanciest of accommodations it certainly wasn’t the worst I had ever stayed in and after Friday night’s weenie roast, sleep was not a long time coming after a very enjoyable 400 mile trip.

The Bull Shoals Rally organizers, Ed and Linda Young of the MSTA provided very nice packets to the 100 attendees. Routes were highlighted with suggestions for various rides. Not wanting to spend the entire Saturday in the saddle (I figured I was due a nap at some point!) I chose a route that would provide me with about 200 miles worth of Missouri countryside. I started west on 160 until I met MO 76 at Kissee Mills. I turned north to Ava, MO where I turned west on MO 14 to Sparta. At Sparta, I turned south on 125 (yes, the same 125 that I crossed the ferry on) and let me tell you this is a ride any motorcyclist would enjoy. It has plenty of ups and downs lefts and rights and very little traffic. There are no problems with road conditions except where some new asphalting is being done. 125 crosses 76 on the way back to 160 where I turned east heading back to my home base of Isabella.

On Sunday morning, there were still plenty of good roads to be ridden, so I headed east on 160 until I turned south on US 5 heading toward Mountain Home. In Mountain Home, I had a very enjoyable large breakfast (this would benefit me later) then headed south out of town on 201 to AR 341 – known to many local riders as the “Arkansas Gap.” 341 is 25 miles of twisties and many motorcyclists have been bitten here by either the road (on the day before a rider was air lifted out via helicopter) or the local authorities that lay in wait for unsuspecting sport bike fanatics. I didn’t have to worry about either. Two miles into 341 I had to stop and put the rain gear on. As I headed south I dealt with the curves and the rain but couldn’t complain. I had the road to myself at 7:30 on Sunday morning. 341 comes to an end intersecting our old friend 14 where I turned west until intersecting AR 263 near Big Flat. Now, as soon as you turn on 263 you are met by a “Steep and Dangerous Curves” sign. I had never been on 263 before and road the 30 or so miles in the rain until I turned south on 9 which took me to highway 16 at Shirley, AR. From Shirley to Clinton was nine miles where I hooked back up with US 65 on into Conway and eventually I-40 and Little Rock.

I had originally planned to ride a different route home but because of the weather I thought it best to ride the route I was most familiar with. I eventually pulled into my drive about 2:15 that afternoon after riding in rain for all but about 45 miles of the 390 mile ride. Still, there were no complaints about the trip (well, maybe – I seem to have some flea bites on my ankles that I can’t help but wonder if I picked up in my 57 year old cabin!) I rode some roads I had been on before and some that were new, and all that I hope I will ride again in the not-too-distant future. Arkansas/Missouri are not that far away and lend themselves easily to a great three-day weekend trip.

David & Jean Explore Torrey, Utah--- Dirt and All!

By Jean and David Hanson

The story really starts about 2 weeks before the trip. Friends we have met over the last 3 years over the internet and have ridden with to unrallies and Bib (g) Bend events keep impressing upon us to come to Torrey, Utah.  A group of friends gather together twice a year in Torrey to ride the streets and the dirt and to just fellowship. We had decided that it was too far and we just didn’t have enough time and David had just gotten a new Yamaha WR250R that he wanted to spend some time on, so we pushed the trip off until next year.

On September 18th our friends from San Antonio called and asked what it would take to get us to Torrey?For every reason we had not to go they had a better one convincing us to come.  On September 19th we started a search for a trailer of our own knowing full well this may not be our only trip to Torrey, we found a good deal on an enclosed trailer and Saturday was spent rigging it  for the upcoming trip. On September 22nd, we, our bikes and our trailer headed off to Gallup, New Mexico, finally arriving at about 10 p.m. Before we shut it down for the night I made note of what the GPS was doing. This is important for the next morning departure.

September 23rd started the morning at a decent hour, don’t have much further to go to get to Torrey. Hop in the truck after a continental breakfast and head out. GPS is angry we didn’t start out the way she wanted. I mentioned to David that we actually went past our turn to get to the reasonable priced motel. But going back to the east was out of the question so David and Mrs GPS person finally came to an agreement. Got to see part of Arizona yippee!! Made it to Torrey about 2:00 in the afternoon. Our friends from San Antonio had been running up and down watching for us because apparently the dirt riding had already started. One of the board members at lives in Torrey with a nice sized garage. A lot of the regulars to this Torrey event leave their dirt bikes in his garage for this occasion. So our San Antonio friend Larry rides up to the truck as we pull in and says can you get that bike out of the back of the truck pretty quick so we can go ride. David says well there is that Trailer back there I really need to unhook first. So within I would say 10 minutes tops the trailer is unhooked and the bike was off the truck and all I saw was dust in the wind.

David Interjects:
I had been driving since 6am and got on the dirt bike around 3pm for nearly 2 hours of hard but FUN riding. Just getting to know the WR, I was very conservative at first but soon warmed up to it and we bonded. I could squeeze the sweat out of my helmet every time we stopped for a breather and lookout from the edge of a cliff! Suspension and power was perfect for me, and I quickly found that standing with bent knees let the bike work as intended.

Back to Jean:
September 24th woke up to cold and windy, but just gorgeous weather. By 9:00 the wind had died down and the group was gathering for sweeper madness. David and I had geared up got the GS and Tiger ready. The roads are very well kept and with the low population not very many other vehicles on the road. The ride was just excellent saw lots of red rock and mountains and then the Aspens started and they were just changing colors, that was a beautiful sight words can not describe it! Elk and mule deer hunters were camped all over the mountain, but the roads were us alone, and a few cows!

September 25th was also cold, windy and beautiful. By 9:00 the wind had died down and the group is gathering again. Today we do scenic hwy 12 and down to Burr Trail and then over Devil’s backbone. Burr Trail is what I would describe as a mountain with a road hanging off the side for those adventurous souls who are just too lazy to hike! It used to be a dirt road that they paved to try to attract more vacationers.

When you go at a decent pace on it then it is kind of serene and majestic. But since it was technical and we had another 28 miles to go in the opposite direction of the hotel I chose to park my bike and double up with David. I found during that last 28 miles that I really like riding my own bike. Anyway, on to Devil’s Backbone, not sure I can describe this. Let's see, picture being on top of the Empire State Building for about 1 mile with only a path big enough for 2 people to pass with no guardrails and a really treacherous rocky drop off. No sides to the path just the path and drop off. You bobble, you die.

David here, I will inject that this ride was, shall we say spirited with me trying to keep my friend Whip in sight on the front, he was riding a R1150GS with tourance tires, very quick rider to say the least!

September 26th woke up to cold and windy, etc etc. Today is the dirt bike and jeep ride day. Started out really well, got to visit and meet some of the crew I had not met before. Very nice group! I am in one of the support vehicles David is on his new to him Yamaha bike, which kicked butt that day! We headed up hwy 24 and into Capital Reef National Park. About 7 miles into the trip one of the group fell and broke his leg. We had a combat nurse and fireman handy to prep the leg and then the fun began looking for a hospital. He wound up in Provo, Utah, he had a plate and pins installed and will be selling a bike (DRZ400). He is okay and will be back up and going soon. Since I was in a support vehicle I didn’t get the whole tour of Capital Reef National Park. Guess we will have to go back. Oh well, that will be another ride report someday I’m sure!

David here, I really enjoyed the DS ride, total of 135 miles, of which about 65 on dirt. Lots of technical stuff, dry wash talcum powder deep, rock exposed drains every ¼ mile or so, hilly parts had lots of rock to miss. I ran all day right behind the tour guide which was on a XR650 honda I believe. My quads were quite sore the next day from all the standing and horseing the bike, MUCH FUN! I carried extra water in my dirt bagz panniers, 3 others had bladders and back packs. Whip’s WR450F ran out of gas despite having a safari tank. I pulled out my 1 qt MSR bottle and got him to the next station about 10 miles. TORREY lived up to the hype, we will be back. Oh, on pull home, I vowed to find another way than 69, 380, 287 (TOO much traffic). I took 82 off 287, came in from Vivian, no interstate till 220 loop, yeehaaa!

David and Jean:
Great place to visit!

BMW Offers Halloween Treats

If you've been thinking of purchasing a new Beemer for your Halloween treat to yourself, BMW might be willing to sweeten the deal. In October, BMW is offering $2,000 discounts on the 2009 R1200GS, the
R1200GS Adventure, the  K1300GT and K1300S. Check out the 0.9% to 4.9% financing or free accessories/apparel on the G450X ,  G650Xcountry, G650 GS, F800ST, R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, K1300S, and K1300GT. Truly, something for everyone.

To get more details on the goodies being used to entice buyers to make the move, go to: