Nonetheless, most of what is here is true at least some of the time. Some is true darn near always. And the rest you really don't want to know about. In fact, you might be better off just clicking the link above and getting out of here early. WARNING: WARNING: There might be a serious question somewhere among the following.
If Hampton Raods is not a place, why is it in your name? Yeegads man, Virginia is a place, Hampton Roads is a virtual journey, a zen like place that exists and yet it does not. How better to capture the essence of motorcycle zen than to have it in a name for a people who seek adventure riding the pavement going to a from a place that isn’t . Here puff on this a minute and you will understand.
Yes, except for the women, punks, squids, campers, dual-sport riders, high-mileage tourers, commuters, rally trash, cops, racers, thirty-somethings, collectors, trials riders, wrenches, gen-Xers, canyon carvers and dudes. (Did we leave anybody out?)
Yes, but any vehicle with two or three wheels and an engine over 90ccs is considered an honorary BMW for purposes of fulfilling this requirement.
No, club officers have nothing against Harleys. Some of them have even owned Harleys. Many members in good standing own, or have owned, Harleys. Some have even ridden them. Some cool folks ride Harleys, but owning a Harley won't make you cool, nor will it necessarily make you a rider.
All the difference in the world.
Yes, we're not picky; if they will admit to sharing the same interest, we're cool with them. Beyond that we are a chartered Chapter Club of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA) and RA
Yes; in no particular order, Airheads, RA, MOA, AMA, AARP, Mickey Mouse Club, Price Club, Kiwanis
No, you must have mistaken us for a Yahmaha riding group.
The only requirement for attendance at club events is that members should attend events if they hope to have a good time and not otherwise.
[we'll get back to you on that when we stop laughing]
Yes, sorta: We invite all our friends that we know and some we don’t to meet in the Virginia woods one weekend in October. Highlights are the donuts, crabcakes, door prizes and riding.
Health Plan, Dental, Vision, 12 paid holidays, three weeks annual vacation, oodles of sick leave, free parking and day care; some restrictions apply. (Restriction #1: none of the above are offered to club members or officers.) Members are entitled to discounts - very cool - at certain local businesses but we don’t know who they are.
club's position is we're a riding club, not an advocacy group; check out AMA if you are looking for representation in
the corridors of power. My position is your choice of helmet is a pretty good
indicator of how highly you value your mental acuity; under current Virginia
law, every rider has the right to proclaim to the world by deed, "My brain
is worth all the protection a yarmulke with a strap can offer." (Technical
note: this word processor, unlike me, actually knew how to spell yarmulke.)
the rules for group riding?
speed limits are observed at all times (as in, "By golly, there's another
speed limit signpost; I'd better be sure not to run into it - some of those
suckers are anchored pretty well in the ground"). There is no pressure to
ride like anybody else. So it is possible some people might be wicking it up a
little more than others, particularly in the twisty parts. As a group we
all respect the rider who knows his/her skill level and rides
accordingly. "Riding your own ride" is
the whole variety pack: from /5s to K1200RSs, and everything in between:
airheads, oilheads, flying bricks, Funduros - tourers, sport tourers,
dual-sports, bare-ass boxers, and even (gasp) cruisers. Actually, there might
be some /2s hidden away somewhere, but we don't see them often anymore. (If the
reader is not sure what all these terms mean, come to breakfast some Sunday,
ask some questions and maybe, just maybe, you'll be lucky enough for somebody
to bore you to tears with techno-babble. But you'll have to bring it on
yourself by asking for it.) We also see members on KTMs, Hondas,
Harleys, BSAs, Triumphs, Buells, Kawasakis, Yamahas and Suzukis (I just
don't remember seeing any of these lately). It is always interesting to see
what people show up riding to get to a Sunday breakfast.
fearing folks, we gather together to give thanks for the blessings that BMW
provides to our lives and have no reason to have Sunday any different than any
other day…you do ride your BMW before breakfast every day don’t you?
not riding our Beemers, quite a few of us moonlight as business owners, nurses,
programmer/developers, bureaucrats, technicians, active-duty military,
architects, middle-management scum, doctors, salesmen, peace officers or even
lawyers. We proudly count many hard-core unemployed among our members, but some
of them masquerade as "retirees" or "consultants." Nobody
has admitted to being a politician in my hearing lately, but we'd take 'em if
they wanted to ride with us (right, gang?).
of us are old enough or busted up enough to understand the appeal of sleeping
in beds. On the other hand, some of us can't resist jerking the chains of those
who think sleeping in a state park or KOA is an extreme sport. (Actually, now
that I think of it, there are vague recollections of some pretty extreme
in-tent sports when I was much younger, a-loaf-of-bread-a-jug-of-wine-and-thou
kind of things. We'll just quietly leave it at that.)
How do you decide what is the right kind of jacket or riding suit to wear? Are leathers really better?
Better than what? Better for what? Lots of club members own leather riding gear; most of them also have jackets and/or pants made of various trademarks (Cordura, Nylon, GoreTex, Kevlar -- you get the idea). I would bet that 9 out of 10 of our active members, forced to select only one set of riding togs, would select the synthetic outfits over leather. Why? 'Cause most of us are more or less four-season, more or less touring riders. That means we ride when it's cold, when it's hot, when it's wet (or when all of these happen in succession on the same trip). Leather tends to lose on at least two of those fronts. Leather is wonderful stuff; it's perfect for track racing (when comfort doesn't mean anything) and for rides on dry days in the spring and fall, to say nothing of impressing [insert slang term for whatever you want to impress].
So how do you decide what is the right kind of stuff to wear? Your best bet is to talk to riders who do the kind of riding you want to do mostly. Come to the monthly breakfast some time or a club ride and see what people are wearing. If anybody is going to try to sell you on a type of clothing, I guarantee he/she will be pushing something in the synthetic family.
I thought I was ready to buy a BMW and then one guy said I really should get an airhead, then another said I was crazy to buy an antique design and should go for the modern K bike 4 cylinder. Just about when I was ready to plop my money down, another friend piped up that if I didn't go for an R1100 I was missing out. What should I do? How do you decide? I can only afford one bike.
Ride them all; visualize what you are really going to do with the machine; follow your heart; don't be swayed by people who feel some kind of need to make you do what they did, and thus to justify themselves. If you are a good wrench, you might get a lot of satisfaction from doing all your own work on an Airhead. If you like the power, feel and road-handling engineering of an Oilhead (=R1100 etc.), go for that. If you like the K-bike performance and feel over the twins, particularly if you are leaning toward luxo-touring, there you go. If anybody says you are crazy to buy a particular type of machine, he/she is an ass, and your most intelligent course of action is simply to walk away. (There is one exception to this world-class rule of thumb: if somebody says you'd be crazy to buy what he/she has, find out exactly why; the advice might be useful.) In the G/S crowd, I see some guys getting off on R1100 GS's and then there is the R100GS crowd that apparently could well afford an upgrade, but don't seem to do that. Why?
If you like what you have, why jack around? Alternately, you might genuinely prefer the simpler technology of the R100GS. You might feel that the R11 GS is too goddamned heavy to be taken seriously offroad. Maybe half your innumerable accessories wouldn't be compatible with the newer machine. You might be able to afford an upgrade mainly by knowing better than to covet all the latest gadgets. Some people actually believe in using it up before throwing it away (or even before trading it in).
Why don't you guys sponsor more than one Rally a year or have more group events? You have to be the only club in the universe with a single event a year. Are your members "Event-challenged"?
Why don't ***you*** sponsor an Event? It's a lot of work. The mission, charter and purpose of BMWMCHR is to enjoy riding, not to prove organizational skills or flog its members' time and energy. And if we are the only club in the universe with just one event, as you suggest, that is sufficient reason by itself: it would be a pathetic little universe with so little variety as to be limited to cookie-cutter club calendars.
I am really interested in international travel, adventures by motorcycle...long trips etc. Are there any others in the club that have that interest? Any trips planned?
There are folks in the club who've ridden in Mexico, Central America, New Zealand, and Europe; but there is no upcoming gig actively in discussion at the moment. Some members have gobs of experience riding abroad, thanks to military duty. Occasionally we've had members who have left the country rather abruptly and haven't returned as of yet -- we've never known exactly why. No trips planned but everyone dreams.
Is the club affiliated with any national organizations (MOA, RA, etc?)
The club is affiliated with the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the RA. Makes us special.
How do I know when it is time to replace a tire?
OK, kids, it's time for a quiz. Which do you think is the best time to replace a tire?
get home from this trip
The correct answer is: F. When I am preparing for the inspection at Track Day.
BEEP! No, really, what are the visible signs a tire has had it?
Oh, you really want to know when you should replace the tire? There is a range of opinion as to the critical signs a tire needs to be replaced. Let's look at some popular trigger events:
A-Little whiskers are getting stumpy - Considering that some wannabe hotshots actually use a nail clipper to remove the little whiskers - hoping to be mistaken for hard riders - it is safe to say the whispers are not an important tire safety feature. Keep riding.
B-Flat center tread - If the middle section of your rear tire is clearly worn flat, you may not need a new tire right away, but you probably need to change the way you ride or the type of roads you ride on. Take a look at the tires on a new bike sometime. Notice, both tires have a rounded profile, more like Captain Piccard's head than Fred Munster's? That's what yours should look like. The way to keep them looking like that is that leaning thing you've read about.
C-Worn down to wear bars - Strangely enough, the wear bars really are intended to inform you when your tire's life is about used up. This is not a greedy plot by the manufacturer to conn you into buying new rubber prematurely.
D-What the hey are wear bars? See C above. Have you ever considered taking the MSF basic safety course?
E-No visible tread pattern over half of the tread profile - Listen, a street tire worn down slick does not magically become a racing tire. And no, just because it isn't raining, you can't assume the tire is just as good as ever.
F-Cords showing - Has anybody ever told you you're one cheap SOB?
cell phone talkers trying to get
you? Or, why do so many drivers (and absolutely every female
driver under 30) find it necessary to talk on the mobile phone while pulling
away from the curb? Why can't they finish the bleeping call before getting in
Q. How far over the posted speed
limit can I “safely” go?
Q. Do radar detectors really work?
it OK to use the “motorcycle passing lane”?
Q. How far over the suggested speed (shown on
yellow signs) can I go through turns?
should I be doing about the terrorist threat?
Do you have a question that isn't answered above? Then fire it off to the Webmaster and you may well be answered.