December 2014 Newsletter

BMW Club Newsletter

In This Issue

  • A new year & fresh choices
  • Going down to Lafayette for some Cajun vittles

by our roving reporter, Randall Eggert

President: Randall Eggert
Vice-President: John Moore
Secretary/Treasurer: Norma Jo Quapaw


Next Meeting
Back on Tuesday, December 9th we be in one of the conference rooms at Martin Regional Library at 7 p.m.  They are located on the east side of Garnett at 2601 South.  See how this year’s officers bow out to make room for next year’s personnel.  Interesting.

Subjects to bring up will start out with another location for our meetings.  Something more centrally located, perhaps a different choice of days and/or a different time of day.

I’ve asked before about what you wish to do?  Time to bring it up again and survey our membership (hasn’t this been done before?) about rides, food, events: local and weekend.

Would it benefit our club to have the officers posted on our club’s web site?  Pictures, crime sheet, email address and history?  Discuss.

I’d like to talk about the annual rally our club puts on.  We’ve had two very successful (well liked by those attending, not by great quantities of attendees) events that many said they would like to come to again.

We still have money in the kitty that we need to dispose of to the wants of the club.  We had planned a December dinner, but coming down to the wire, we hadn’t collected names to send invites to.   Knowing more, we can try again in January.  The choices will be more prevalent as the holiday rush will be over.

Last Meeting
It is dark and cold.  The members have taken the initiative to get the doors open and started without me.  Next time, I won’t check at the front desk.  Inside I find Dave and Kendall and Bob McB and Wes and Bob G follows in just a bit later.

The tables have been re-arranged like a schoolroom, so as the only officer there, I set on the other side and start the conversation.

Norma Jo called in with Myron not feeling well, hope he’s doing better, with a treasurer’s report of $3,800 in the bank.  PARTY!

My intended first statement was to the Veterans who have served for this nation.  I had informed members and guests that the meeting was taking place on Thursday instead of Tuesday due to conflict of Library room scheduling.  That wasn’t the reason.  Veterans’ Day was Tuesday.  All the libraries’ locations are closed in honor of these people.  I’m ashamed to say, I forgot.

We have a full election ballot for next year’s officers.  It is a bit one sided, and anyone who wishes to see a change or direct a different pathway for the club is welcome to ‘throw their hat’ into the ring.  The only stipulation for any officer in the Northeastern Oklahoma BMW Motorcycle Club is they are a member and must currently own a BMW motorcycle.  I’m not going to check, but I’m thinking a BMW car doesn’t count.  Oh, yea, 2015 officers.  No one has ponied up to president, so I will run again.  I received an email from Rex B. stating he will take the place of John M. for vice position, and Norma Jo Q. will continue as Treasurer.  It will be nice to resume elections.  As vice in 2013, a multi-week class I was taking precluded me attending some of President Dave’s meetings and he probably wondered where I went.

I also brought up the Christmas Party, and plugged in the thought from Rex about having more than a single dinner for members throughout the year.  The Christmas dinner was a customary thing the club did in the past, and we may have to change gears.  Free Food is usually a good  enticement for good cheer and bringing people together.

Bob McBratney spoke a bit on our trip to Lafayette Louisiana for the Swamp Scooters Cajun rally the prior weekend.  Once getting away from Oklahoma, the weather was pretty good, and only a slight sprinkle that lasted maybe 5 minutes Saturday night that barely made anything wet.  See the full report under Rally Reports.

Talking with Wes Fitzer, a new member I haven’t seen very often, but has been a member most of this year, was newly drafted into the MOA Board at the national in St. Paul, and was with the board at several presentations that I sat in on at the National.  He spoke of his wife, new K1600-GTL, children, job, and position with MOA.  Speaking at length about problems in keeping members, or getting new members in the MOA and how that trickled down to local clubs also.   How the MOA is planning to sweeten the annual membership fees by instilling a number of programs and features (not yet released to the public), so our greatest task will to be aware of these programs so we can take advantage of each.

Wes is also a member of the Oklahoma BMW Motorcycle Club based in South Tulsa when we mentioned our local dealership.  Found out they meet on Saturday mornings and have planned or unplanned rides after the meetings depending upon the season and weather.  He’s made more of their meetings than ours due to conflicts with home schedules.   From that we attempted to discuss the Oklahoma City group and how they’ve gotten further away from the classic organized club to where each member is responsible for what they like to do, and open it up to the membership to take part, nor not.   This was my take on it when I went down to one of their meetings a number of years ago with Niles.

Also mentioned was another location for our monthly meeting.  I originally picked this spot since they had openings on almost all of our club’s choice days.   It has worked well, but another location may bring in more participants.

What I thought was going to be a short meeting was stretched the full length, when library personnel dropped by to state they are closing.

Rally Report
Cajun Swamp Scooter Rally
– November 7-9th, Lafayette, LA.  Bob and I met a bit before 8 at 141st South and US-75, across from Glenpool for me to fill up and avoid the remaining inbound work traffic.  A quick right turn South, and we’re on our way.  About 45 degrees, my electric vest did its job as we had a slight head wind on this sunny day.  My GPS with the planned route was doing other duty with my wife that weekend helping her and her retired friend over in Fayetteville, AR, and I was navigationally naked.  I even had a list of routes and turns and cities to maintain my direction, but those got left behind also.  Maybe one of these days I will gain the maturity of a senior rider like Chuck Myers who doesn’t forget a thing.  Like the weather, the gas prices were below $3 all the way down there and back.  Of course, that is regular, and I do treat my Beemer to a bit better than that.  Filling up at the casino on US-191 north of Paris and the Red River just before crossing into Texas, we plunge on, still in the 60s.

I had forgotten one of my pre-planned turns and we ended up not taking a diagonal that would have cut some miles off, but instead jumped on I-20 sooner and spent more time on it.  It wasn’t as busy as I’ve seen it in the past coming home on Sunday afternoon as everyone else seemed to give us leeway.  A quick bypass around Shreveport on 3132 for about 7 miles, we got on I-49 going south to near our destination.  Both of our helmets equipped with Sena 2 way bluetooth communicators, we were in constant contact.  Bob was talking about being on the final 100 miles into the rally, and since we has just passed mile marker 198 and were heading for exit 6, I replied back that is was more like, ulp, 192 miles.  Started getting dark around Alexandria and their end of work day, so arrival depended on Bob’s GPS pre-fed with the coordinates of the event.

We found friendly people to help take our money and register, set up our tents, and still have time for the Friday evening Cajun treat (with options for seconds) before settling in for the night.  I even found time to wander over to the site’s bathroom facilities and take a shower.  Same as before, the owners work to keep their facilities clean and in good working order.  The cooler temperatures had made it down this far to Lafayette, so it got into the mid 40s overnight.  My heavier bag was supplemented with the large beach towel to go over the legs and lower torso, and my jacket over the top part of me.  Top that with a ski cap and I was toasty.

Breakfast was a stretched out affair, as I found Bob already in the dining hall chatting with others with cajun sausage, and doughnuts.  Coffee, orange juice, hot chocolate, water and sweet tea rounded out the offerings.  While shuffling around and waiting for the sun to warm things up, we took out the maps and handouts to determine where to go.  In a round about way, we eventually got to Avery Island, home of the McIlhenny family and their Tabasco empire.  After paying the $1 toll to access the island, we went to the bottling plant, which we were told was in operation on this Saturday.  After watching the 10 minute advertising video about all things Tabasco, we exited via windows overlooking the bottling area, where they can bottle up to 750,000 bottles a day.  We saw the belts stuffed with the bottles, but nothing was running.  Twas a disappointment for both Bob and I.  Apparently they had over 1,000 acres planted in peppers, which have been distributed to other locations in Central and South America, and how have only something like 32 acres.  The peppers are hand picked and processed that day.  They have a 3 year mash, used in making their product, and a 8 year mash that can be bought at their Country Store.  Interesting item, the island sits atop a salt dome, they claim is as deep as Mt. Everest is high.  The salt, no longer mined for sale, is still used in the production of Tabasco.  The mash is stored in barrels, which is topped with salt.  As the mash expands, it hits the top salt pack on top of the barrel.  The salt prevents outside air and contaminants from leaching back inside.

We wandered a bit further around the island, but usually were turned back by signs that claimed “Private”, so actually didn’t go too far.  Several miles away, found a restaurant with a packed parking lot, and parked for lunch.   Not truly a cajun restaurant, they served about everything, including some cajun, and were popular with the locals.

With Bob’s GPS, we wandered back to the rally to see the end of the field events.  Still run ’em down there.  One event is where the passenger laid on the back seat and placed golf balls on top of traffic cones as the driver attempted to ride slowly enough for the rider to not miss.  Slow ride and coordination required from both participants.   Glad it wasn’t my tent that was marked by a local dog as Bob and I watched.

Dinner consists of 6 teams making up a Cajun stew in competition with each other for the best.  There are a number of judges, and the rest of us get to wander from team to team to eat each’s product until stuffed.  My nightly trips to the port-o-john doubled that evening / next morning.  Lots of great tasting ingredients in the broth.

Sunday morning’s dew left the gear left outside to be damp or wet when packing for the trip back home.   Mental note: unpack tent and let air.  Bob plugged in Avoid Highways on his GPS and we headed a non-direct route home.  West then North.  The traffic was light, the church parking lots were full, and we finally ate breakfast just inside the Texas border under the air conditioning vents.  Brrrr.  Twas good, though.  There was a refinery sized heat exchanger in the parking lot next to the restaurant mounted on one of these transport devices with about 104 wheels to spread the load.  Remembering the big load that recently traversed through Tulsa a couple of weeks ago, I took a peek at the vessel’s nameplate.  I think I remember it weighed 675,000 lbs.  Or more.  No wonder there is a gob of wheels.  We quickly turned North and rode through the Eastern Texas Piney Woods.   A really nice ride.  Trees, lake, 2 lanes, curves and hills.  Still, not too much traffic.

Approaching Paris, I see a Schlotsky’s advertised on the highway sign advertising facilities.  Going different directions, we got separated.  Out of range on our bluetooth Senas, I wasn’t too worried, as we both had cell phones.  Eventually catching up at an understaffed McDonalds near our initial exit, we ordered and ate chicken sandwiches.  That will do for the final 180 mile stretch to Tulsa.   With this being November, and daylight saving now turned off, it was going to be dark.  I threw my electric jacket back on and we headed out.  Taking it easy, I got to follow Bob as he fiddled with his new 55 watt H.I.D. fog lamps and his airplane landing lights mounted on his bike.   The pattern on my RT seems to be a flat “U”.  Straight ahead, there seems to be that cut-off point that won’t bother people I’m following or those coming at me, but still allows me to see the shoulders and hills on both sides of the highway to my far left and right.  So those coming toward me get hit a bit when the pass through that slight zone of light off to the left.  The high beam just fills that center low spot.

Filling up again in Okmulgee to get home, I would have been running on fumes, but Bob’s adventure’s 8 gallon capacity had plenty left.  Approaching Glenpool, we had a Cadillac Esclalade pass us, then slow down and flash his brake lights a number of times before resuming on.  Sorry, I don’t read Morse Code.   As the driver continued to make distance between us and him and did this in a limited fashion, we presumed the driver was using both feet.

Interesting article copied to me about the BMW Roundel is not an image of a spinning propeller.  Read this New York Times blog on a different take of this historical item.

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

Chris Clark who renewed last month

Harold Imke – a new member finding us on the web.  A short email found he has more bikes in his stable than I do.  Well, I hope to ride with him no matter what he is astride.

Upcoming Events
Nearby motorcycle events and BMW rallies in our area.  Nothing.  Outside our area?  Yeah, go to Florida.

Jan 16-18 Annual Winter Rally – Camp Blanding / Kingsley Lake, FL

Progressive has a number of international Motorcycle shows

  • Dec. 12 – New York, New York
  • Jan. 9 – Washington D.C.
  • Jan. 16 – Miami Beach, FL
  • Jan. 23 – Dallas
  • Jan. 30 – Cleveland, OH
  • Feb. 6 – Minneapolis, MN
  • Feb. 13 – Chicago, IL

If you are somewhere on business near one of these, may be a good afternoon go look-see.  Dallas would be doable for a number of us.

1939 WWII Era BMW R71 w/Sidecar
Justin Parsons with the Folds of Honor Foundation had contacted us through the email address on our web site.  A donor was wishing to contribute this BMW to the foundation and was looking for expertise in identifying it, getting it running, and determining its value.  Since I barely know enough to keep my own machine running, I consulted with a number of other members, past members, and non-members to work directly with Justin to aid him.  We had in no particular order, Steve B., Chuck M., John M., Norma Jo Q.,  and Rex B.

DSC_0267_aQuestionable issues were brought up about it being a Chinese knock off during that period.  Being notified of its arrival at their offices, I took off for Owasso and took a peek.  Unless they copied all the name plates in German and had duplicated the gun and ammo and documents in German also, it seemed like the real thing.  For grins I pushed the kick starter down and found the engine free to turn, noting the low compression of that era.

DSC_0268_aMr Moore was not far behind me and got outside consultants involved.  Here it is Thanksgiving, and I’m being copied on emails going between John and Craig Vechorik at Bench Mark Works.  These fellows love their old BMWs!  Another query was to the bike’s value, and Chuck drops a name from Blue Moon Cycle.  It is really interesting see the depth of knowledge within our club.  I, too, would like to see it run.  Pictures courtesy of John Moore.

More old “BMWs”
From Randy Hone in Springfield via Bob to me, this ‘Condor’ from Condor-Werke AG in Switzerland in 1953.  Built for the Swiss Army, they had self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters, aluminum heads, telescopic forks, plunger style rear suspension.  Bulletproof and extremely well built.



My electric jacket from Gerbing
Readers may have previously read a bit about my Gerbing jacket getting warm at the power junction on the lower left inside.  Back in February, it was burning me while out on the road collecting way-points with John Moore for K&N Yamaha‘s Passport Oklahoma.  I fussed to the company and they said ‘send it in’, and providing UPS labels to ship free, both directions.  Used it again going to Louisiana with Bob as it was in the mid 40s and it worked great.

Upon my return from Louisiana, I rode the following Tuesday to Bentonville for my 78k service.  Temps were in the low 30s starting out at 7 a.m.  About ½ the way there, say, Siloam Springs, that junction box started really getting warm.  I was fooling with my Heat-Troller to keep the temp down, yet still maintain my body heat.  Couldn’t be done.  Upon my arrival there, I had a good red mark on my stomach below where the power cables join from outside and distributed inside the jacket.  I just bought another jacket while there, and used it on the way home.  No issues.  Plus it had warmed up 10-15 degrees.

Well, my red spot had swollen into a water blister by the time I got home, and is now healing.  Recently I hooked the jacket to a variable D.C. power supply and fed it 10 volts / 5 amps.  The jacket was getting nice and toasty, but nothing in the connections were out of the ordinary.  The short cord between the jacket and the Heat-troller was a little warm, but not near anything that could cause burns.  Taking the jacket apart, I examined the hard plastic with 3 power junctions: one to power the jacket, the other for powering the trousers and electric gloves, and an outlet for the trousers to plug into.  All these are normal molded cables with coaxial ends that are contained in the distribution port.  Looking at my cable that feeds power to the jacket seems to have the identical plug on it as is inside the jacket, so I don’t see any issues of having a mis-sized connection.  My only thought now is the plug was sliding out, giving a shorter and shorter connection for the 5 amps to jump across, thus causing the heat.   I’ll have to try this next.  Why is it everything that happens is my fault?

K&N Yamaha‘s Passport Oklahoma
If I hear it, I pass it on.  If I hear it wrong, I pass it on.  With several hours before K & N closed for the day, I collected my Way-point pictures, put them into my Passport Oklahoma book and went to turn them in.  I’ve been telling everyone that they have to be turned in by Dec. 1, which is a day they are not open.  Upon getting there, I’m reading my book, and the deadline is actually December 15, another day that they are not open, but I could have had another two weeks.  However with all the stuff I have to do in this month, I don’t regret it.  I am looking forward to the banquet they are putting on in February at the Stokely Event Center in East Tulsa.

Late Note:
In the December issue of the MOA News, I see Springfield Road Riders‘ president, Ken Foster, wrote of his incident at this year’s national and the Quapaws coming to his rescue.  He captured the complete story including the presentation of the MOA Helping Hand Award to Norma Jo and Myron at our Rally.  Read it for yourself on page 58.

I also like the article: How to write more better

Notice the article about BMW’s 160 hp S 1000 XR on pp 48. Dual purpose with scary horsepower!