South Carolina BMW Museum/Performance Center
We toured the museum in Greer,SC this week which sits adjacent to the factory. A few nice bikes/cars there, including Culberson's GS that he took(not always riding of course) across the Darien Gap on his world tour . It shows ~234,000miles on the ODO.
His bike prompted me to consider a BMW GS bike that's missing: a HS classmate/friends bike should be there too. Jim Oliver, & a ride partner rode from Valdivostok, Russia across the whole of Siberia to Europe, including the road less part!!! They had no support crew/entourage or big pocketbooks such as did Ewan McGregor,etc., & even did it before the more famous guys with the movie credits. His bike is currently residing in a museum in western KS(where Jim lives & still works) & certainly deserves to be seen by more people.FWIW, Jim rides an ex police, Boulder,CO Harley on leisure trips now.
On a related note, we did the "BMW Performance Center Delivery Program" in picking up our new car there. Got to do on/off road car stuff such as wet track,slaloms,emergency stops,hills-up/down,in 22" water,over humps-BIG HUMPS! that none of us knew the X cars can do that was fun & a hot lap in a monster M5 car with a pro driver.
The center does BMW tech training and has complete shop facilities for mechanical & body shop training & repairs. "Out back" there is a "BMW cornucopia" (I drooled over these wrecks big time having enjoyed many years working on theses cars) of wrecks. They belong to BMW employee's,were in accidents,etc., & are in waiting for repairs as a part of the tech training programs-perhaps 150+? cars there from Minis to 7 series & bikes too. In seeing many piles of tires I was told they have a $2 million dollar annual budget for tires just at the Performance Center! The M5 tires are changed out daily as they are gone. The car you drive on track is always the model you are buying-an X3 in our case.
BTW, the cafeteria is not to be missed!!! When you do the delivery program there you get lodging @ the Marriott,evening & brfst meals & the next day do the center as "free" part of regular delivery charge.
The man that did our actual car delivery( how all the buttons work,etc.) was one of the professional MC trainers on staff on days they were doing MC training.They have an off road area there for bikes. He had been a motor officer for 18 years(in his other job) & also is a hobby rider too. Just the one to meet when your there & one very nice guy! Just ask for "Ray".
Vince : the Performance Center is an great article (or two or more?) just waiting for you!!!:wave Don't miss their cafeteria-(lunch is part of the program) where the employees/Tech trainees eat-it is superb!
All in all a fun day with an impressive staff. The driver trainers have life size picture/body cutouts on the hallway wall & are the cream of the crop in car/bike training with several still actively involved in professional & amateur racing.
Munich museum is great, SC experience is less so
I've been to the Munich museum twice and felt it was a great experience. Especially, that nice little sign that apologizes for not guaranteeing plant tours without advance notice, but asks you to inquire in case of an opening. I've been to the SC facility once, ridiculed for even asking about tours and had an attendant slam the visitor center door in my face with an announcement that they were closing to the general public for a private function. A "I'm sorry, but please come again" would have been nice, but quite a bit more than what I got.
Apparently, if you drop some change at the SC facility, they elevate the level of charm.
But, that is just my experience and opinion.