July 2014 Newsletter

BMW Club Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Ride Aware
  • Historical Significance of the R90S

by our roving reporter, Randall Eggert

President: Randall Eggert reggatss@gmail.com
Vice-President: John Moore john@jmooreou.com
Secretary/Treasurer: Norma Jo Quapaw myvtx1300c@gmail.com


Next Meeting
Tuesday, July 8th at 7:00 pm at the Martin Regional Library on 2601 S. Garnett Road.  That be in East Tulsa.

It is July, the peak of motorcycling places to go, despite my bike, or none I’ve heard of, having air conditioning.  That’s why we ride fast.  The two biggies this month is Top Of the Rockies near the middle of Colorado, and the MOA National the following weekend at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds between I-35E and I-35W in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Preliminary queries has come up with a number of club members that will be attending one or the other.   I may wish to change my mind if someone spouts off “…this is better because…”.

Our club’s second year of the rebirth of our rally is looking to be well attended, as recalled by the favorable talk at last year’s event.  What hasn’t been decided yet is food.  We don’t have our kitchen with commercial equipment ready for use, nor the commercial professional food preparation guy attending that equipment, so we’ll have to talk about that.  As a preliminary test of our cooking skills and just because it would be nice to get away, I would like to have a club overnighter.  The Quapaws have done a bang-up job in the past of doing a day event with Myron on the grill, but a lot more conversation occurs after dark around a campfire.Preliminary

Last Meeting
Our meeting room was missing a few chairs so wandered next door to borrow some of theirs.  As long as we returned them.

With aid from retired Veep John Moore and does about everything; Rex Brown, I had no trouble presenting some of the technology available to riders, and virtually anyone else who wish to put their escapades on video.  Entry level is the GoPro system of cameras.  They’ve come on board and done a hell of a job with promotion as you can see their videos everywhere.  I brought my Gen II model.  I think they are currently producing the III & IV models, with more features.  I brought in my laptop and connected it to the Library’s video projector to allow others to see some of the things recorded.  A number of years ago, Jim Loggin had a shelf behind the windshield on his R1100RT, and stuck his home video camera to shoot forward.  Not a recommended technique, as the old cameras were mechanical, recording onto a tape.  Also not weatherproof, and most the sound from the device is the wind streaming past the microphone.  It was easy for Jim to operate, as he could start, stop, change the zoom, and with the monitor that folds out, could see what the camera was shooting.  I went with him a number of years ago to a Sports Touring association riding meeting in Torrey, Utah.  The video did jump around a bit, but you could see anything worth seeing.

white-edition-f65e379b65f5df99fed794741e4d82bfBoth Rex and John jumped into the moving video long before I bought my little $200 camera, but I’ll tell you about mine first.  The GoPro is about the size of a couple C sized batteries (the newer ones, smaller), and is all programmed via the 2 buttons on the device.  The unit slips inside the plastic case that give it limited underwater capabilities, along with filming in the rain.  The buttons are extended through the case, thus is still programmable.   I’ve said that word twice, what do I mean?  On, Off, film in HD, or Standard view, shoot pictures upside down if you have the camera mounted upside down.  Turn the red flashing recording light on or off.  Shoot a single picture when the shutter is pressed, or shoot 3 pictures, both in ‘still’ mode.  Another function, time lapse, take a picture (of varying sizes, again programmable), every second, every 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds …. all the way to a picture taken every minute.  The media (film) is a SD card, common on cameras, audio players, and home CamCorders.  The amount of video you can shoot is dependent upon the size of the SD card.  I bought the max 32G card.  Gives me about 5 hours of STANDARD video, 2 hours of HD video, or 2 days of time lapse photos.  That’s a lot of photos!  The unit shuts off when the card is filled, or the battery runs out of juice.  It runs on a Lithium Ion battery that is recharged inside the camera by plugging its USB port into your computer, or a USB 5V charger.  When these things were sold, you could buy a battery pack that would piggyback onto the camera (and came with a larger plastic case) to extend your recording time, or a LCD viewer that allowed you to see what you recorded onto the GoPro.  Due to its small size, it has no display capabilities.

The newer versions are much more capable.  With Blue Tooth build in, they interface with your smart phone to allow you to view and program it.   The image quality has gone up, and the programming via the two buttons is done in English, not with abbreviations as is mine.

The company has about as many accessories to attach it to virtually anything.  I think only R.A.M. has more adapters.  And even R.A.M., makes holders for it.  It can be attached to your safety (crash) bars, handlebars, there is a chest mount, and using the sticky mounts, attached to the top, or side, of your helmet.   I saw a Gold Wing where the owner had attached the mount to the wind screen.

Cables are provided to link directly to a T.V. for viewing (and sound), but most editing for final viewing can be done with a number of software packages (free to $$$s) on your computer, Windows or Mac.

John Moore brought in his unit that mounted to his crash bar.  It was linked to a pad that he could keep in his tank bag, and activate it from there. It also allowed him to view a lower resolution image of what the camera was taking.   It, too, is waterproof.  He used it while we rode in the rain to the Texas Hamburger Cookout outside Sulphur, OK.  I think I heard him mention that it can be set up to continuously record, and if he sees something of interest, a button is pressed, and the camera will keep 6 minutes of video, from 3 minutes before the button was pressed to  3 minutes after, and save it as a short video, individually marked so it can be identified and removed from the storage card onto a computer.  Some of the craziest driving seems to be in Russia, and the only way people can identify someone who hit them in their car, is to have cameras like this running on their dash.  YouTube is filled with short videos like this.

John’s latest hobby involves video from the air.  He bought and assembled from Chinese instructions a 6 bladed hexacopter that carries aloft a camera used in shooting video.  From our last discussion, more finances have gone into this than what I spent to replace the rear drive on my RT!  We talked about shooting video of our rally, but that would constrict him not to ride his motorcycle to the rally.   From the included video on YouTube, filmed in Texas, you can see the instant expense of operating one of these.  But I really like the video, showing the capabilities of the unit and John’s editing software.

Rex’s camera probably had been in use during the production of Two Wheel Oklahoma during short bits where the shot was down low, showing the engine and the road sweeping by.   One of the interesting aspects of this particular camera were the two laser diodes built into the head.   By activating them, you could see where the camera was pointed and if the red dots were level, indicating the camera was level too.  Nice feature!

Last year, Rex involved his partner, John Moore and me  in making a promo for the city of Muskogee.  Take a peek at the T.V. stars on the video posted on YouTube.

You can easily go nuts by searching for MOTORCYCLE CAMERA, or OUTDOORS VIDEO, or ACTION VIDEO on your favorite search engine.

RA Rally at the Barber Museum & Motorsports Complex
Last month we showed you a few snapshots from the National Rally- now here’s an aerial view. The three-minute video shows the museum, impressive track complex and camping area.

And if that isn’t enough you watch a slideshow of a few photos Rex Brown snapped during the event. Enjoy!

Situational Awareness: Ride Aware
While looking through my Facebook, noticed another Beemer rider (not in the club) had posted a story about a young (25) Canadian lady who had parked on a highway to help a group of ducklings on the side of the road.  The 50-year-old man behind her on his motorcycle, with his 16 year old daughter, were caught unaware and died hitting the back in of her car.  This morning’s Tulsa World (6/21) had a small blurb about the incident, stating the jury hearing the case had unanimously convicted her in the two deaths by criminal negligence and dangerous driving.  Other than these facts mostly copied from the paper, I know very little about this particular incident.

Motorcyclists should be be extremely cautious about what they hear about motorcycle safety. Some of it may be dangerously wrong.

Couple of years ago, as I was traveling east on I-244 between Sheridan and Memorial, I was witness to the Admiral Twin Drive-In being consumed by fire.  I could feel the heat, and ashes were falling on me and the vehicles surrounding me.  I pondered stopping on the inside shoulder to snap a photo, but fortunately, thought better of that.  I, instead, decided that I needed to get out of this area of congestion and people gawking as quickly and safely as possible.  By watching ahead, to the left, the right, behind and other driver’s head movements and gestures, I kept my clear space around me and cleared the zone of confusion to continue my trip.  I had a big advantage over the fellow in Canada, as yellow flames 80 feet high had alerted me to the incident, and potential erratic driving.

In the 70’s, we lost a club member near the same stretch of the Crosstown, I think going westbound.  Something was happening along the shoulder, and most everyone was gawking, even our young club member.  Unfortunately for him, the pickup driver in his lane in front had come to a complete stop, due to the incident happening on the road’s shoulder.

As I get older and I hear more and more about “incidents” upon the road, I strive to make sure it is not me.  In my car, just looking at the radio to position my finger to change the channel, I can find myself easily ⅓ the way into the next lane.   How do I adapt?  Have the passenger change the channel, or, by myself, I insure there are no other vehicles are in my immediate vicinity, then fiddle with the air conditioner, radio, whatever.

Can something happen even while attempting to be aware of your surroundings?  Sure.  Couple years ago while heading to the Land of Oz rally in Kansas, a deer came onto the highway and ran into me.  The first I was aware of it was the brown fur that suddenly appeared at my right leg and the punch I felt.   In the dark, I never saw her.  I still count my blessings that she hit me from the side, and I didn’t run over her.  The outcome could have been an entirely different story.

My point?  You cannot afford to give up a moment’s attention.  I cannot speak of the Canadian’s death, but it seems so sad to have directly affected 3 lives; the young woman being sentenced to lifetime + 14 year sentences.

Historical Significance of the R90S
R90S at the Barber Museumby Todd Trumbore

If not for the introduction of the R90S model in 1974, you would most likely not be riding a BMW motorbike today, unless of course it was of the vintage variety.

Top management was ready to toss in the towel, yes pull the plug on the motorrad division as sales were steadily declining and losses were mounting in the early seventies. As Robert A. Lutz explains in my correspondence with him:

” The (finance) vultures were circling over the motorcycle division. Sales were low, mostly to police fleets (low margins); low retail sales (mostly older, conservative riders). There was no hope, at that point, of matching Japanese multi-cam, multi-cylinder technology. We were in a gradual downward spiral.

Butler and Smith did not help at that point. They wanted to see the bikes “Harley-ized”, with more chrome (hence those horrible battery covers) and way smaller gas tanks, again covered in chrome (the dreadful “toaster tank” series, a joke in their day, now, for some reason, a coveted collector bike!).  At any rate, the R90S turned everything around.”

John Moore's R90S during the Indian Nations RallyLutz goes into more detail in the 19 minute video he produced for our upcoming R90S 40th Anniversary Celebration (Held last month in Pennsylvania — Ed.) about how dire the situation was for BMW Motorrad when he arrived around 1971. Although he was hired to increase sales in automotive, he had great passion for motorbikes and desperately wanted the division to excel and be profitable. In his spare time he quickly reorganized the division and assessed the situation, and knew what had to be done to turn things around.

The stunning R90S was born, sales skyrocketed, it put BMW back on the map and the rest is history. A very successful racing campaign of course only added to it’s popularity. Whatever BMW you are riding today…..you can thank Bob Lutz for his vision and foresight. Bob is 82 years old, is still riding and has a nice collection of BMW motorbikes in his stable.The video production is very informative and well worth viewing.

New & Renewed Members
Welcome to our most recent new members and those who have renewed their membership.

  • Pete Silva; Tulsa, OK

A couple of web sites for BMW R1200 Maintenance

Upcoming Events
Nearby motorcycle events and BMW rallies in our area.

  • July 17-20, 2014 Top o’ the Rockies, Paonia, CO
    This event is held in a city park in Central Colorado and has long been considered a favorite event for many of our club members.
  • July 24-27, 2014 Rollin’ by the River, St. Paul, MN
    The BMW MOA International rally will attract thousands of attendees from all over the US, and the world!