The new President, Marc Waegeman, really wants to make the club more open to other riders than BMW owners, and gave me room to publish this op ed piece in their newsletter. It was all in good fun, though, Harris is a nice guy.
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
Ben Franklin, 1776
In Will Harris’s article last month in Boxer Shorts, I was dismayed to read the following:
“The sports bike riders and the Harley guys are obviously of the belief that riding and rain do not mix..... The only other rider in my complex who arrives ATGATT is a V-Strom rider – but this guy never rides in the rain..
Aside from the obvious irony – the same article makes mention that at the next, rainy YB breakfast, about one third of those present arrived by car
– I have to question what benefit there is for a BMW club publication to deride other motorcyclists.
I joined YB a few years back after a solicitation by Roy Bertolotto (a serial V-Strom purchaser) on Stromtrooper.com, noting the club had a lot of events in New England and those riding other than BMW branded motorcycles were welcome. Dues are the same whether one owns a BMW or not.
Dating from my first riding days more than 30 years ago, BMW riders were always seen as “serious enthusiasts.” A recent discussion on a Harley Davidson forum about “lifestyle” bikers even asked “Have you ever seen a BMW poser?” I can remember sitting in front of a drawbridge on my old R65 with sport bike riders on my left and Harley riders on my right. They wouldn’t even look at each other: but they’d both talk to the “BMW guy.”
There are also many serious sport bike riders who log astonishing miles a year in all sorts of conditions. Many of them are track day or racing riders for whom only leather suits are real “gear.” Many Harley touring riders log huge mileage and are real enthusiasts. And V-Strom riders (about half of whom are former BMW owners) are so ATGATT and so enthusiastic that we’re compared to the Borg: “You will be assimilated.” I ride mine (my second) about 10,000 miles a season and my V-Strom riding friends refer to me as “Newb.”
There are many challenges facing all motorcyclists today. Rider education. Driver distraction. Traffic congestion. Road maintenance. Insurance. I submit that Yankee Beemers should continue to be a leading regional voice in those matters. Yankee Beemers should adopt the same motto as the United States Army Infantry. “Follow Me.”
However, Mr. Harris, if you want to issue a rain challenge – Bring It. How about riding an OCC chopper, ATGATT, in the rain?