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Thread: This is going to be unpopular

  1. #31
    CoolDaddy
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    Thumbs up!

    All of Tom's points are valid - both good and bad. I appreciate the perspective.

    I spent two days at the rally. Am new to MOA and BMWs. I ride solo 99% of the time. Love my RT and I am very happy with ON and think it is worth the MOA membership fee alone. That said, quite frankly, I think this forum site is worth a membership fee. Great info/discussions/archives.

    Rally cost was not a big deal to me. Being not much of a camper, I stayed at hotel (cost 3X Rally fee for one night) in West Bend where the Rally atmosphere extended. Other guests offered beers to anyone interested in exchanging stories, well into the evening. Couldn't have planned it better! Enjoyed the great Wisconsin roads (particularly that they are not that far from home!) Bottom line, I rode in alone and left having made some new friends and having an Autocom installed and hooked up to helmets. Friends and farkles made this a succesful and enjoyable experience.

    Would I do it again? Well, next year's Rally is in some beautiful riding country and I'm already thinking about it.... So yup! I guess I would do it again.

    Tom, thanks for starting a good discussion. Maybe we'll see you in Wyoming; never say never!


    Mike
    Wheaton, IL
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Gray 2006 R1200RT

  2. #32
    Registered User lazygoodan's Avatar
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    Bar-goon

    To me, this rally was a bargain. It was my third rally, and the best so far. I was there less than 48 hours, but I got to do the following:

    -Camp w/ friends and strangers (OK, not for everyone, but I like camping)
    -Demo ride on GS Adventure -- COOL!
    -Buy a Kermit chair. Actually, they were sold out, but I got free shipping!
    -Attend a seminar by Jim Ford on the Art of Riding Smooth -- and greatly improved my riding on the 470 mile ride home!
    -See a real German band play German music
    -Drink untold number of Spaten Oktoberfest beers (OK, I had to pay, but I can't get that beer on draft at home).
    -Watch the hilarious Live Glockenspiel act
    -Browse the vendor area and discuss the pros and cons of various types of straps to secure gear to your bike
    -Meet and chat with great people standing in line (for food, demo rides, showers, etc.)
    -Ride one of the suggested routes in the rally book (Holy Hill, ARts and Curves. What a great ride.
    -See a Bluegrass Band
    -Attend a Paul Glaves tech seminar.

    There was so much to do. To me, that's what makes the rally a bargain. Sorry you didn't like it, but I'll be back.
    -
    Jim
    2008 K1200GT

  3. #33
    In need of a nap. paper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    We all enjoy BMW motorcycles in different ways.
    I'm a KLR rider, so I'm cheap.. $30 pre-reg..

    Anyway, Dave hit it on the head.. I didn't go to this rally to shop, for seminars, or to see BMW motorcycles.

    I ponied up $30 ( ) to BS with friends and make new ones. Sadly, BMW rallies have become captive shopping malls for BMW riders. Not a problem, since it's not why I go.. I did hit the vendor row and stopped at TwinHeadlightErnie's shop to BS and say hi.

    Other than that, the camping was fine, the food vendors were pretty good, the people I was around were great!!, and I left with everything that I arrived with (minus my camping chair, since the other chairs in the area were looking bad, I wanted everyone to have something to sit on).

    The rally to me was a complete success.. And it'll be the only BMW event I'll attend this year. The reason for the success is based purely on the people I spent time with while there..

    ahpd1992,
    If this rally wasn't for you, it's not really the rally's fault you didn't have a good time. The event is what it is. It's up to you to make it special.
    2005 R1200GS 1985 R80 1981 R65
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    BMWMOA Life Member

  4. #34
    Spiritually Polluted rayofsunshine's Avatar
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    The only thing wrong with this rally

    Was that I couldn't go. Otherwise, $35.00 or $70.00 is cheap for meeting and greeting a bunch of like minded people and the entertainment of actually getting to meet D. Swider.

    The man is a legend, and should remain so.

  5. #35
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    Smile

    This was my first rally and I live less than an hour from the site. My wife only rides with me for short rides and didn't seem interested in attending so I went alone on Friday and met up with a couple of friends. The fee didn't bother me, but when my wife said she wanted to go on Saturday I didn't even tell her about the fee, I felt lucky that she "wanted" to go. We took our time going down, taking the north Kettle Moraine route. When we stopped in Dundee, we met a very nice couple from Maryland and we had some great conversations about everything from motorcycling to our families. We then headed to the rally, a little late (3 pm), registration had closed but the vendors were still open and there was still plenty to do. It worked out great!
    I would prefer that the entrance fee had a 2 tier price, maybe just a little upcharge for the campers, a little lower for the regular registration, but I would still have paid the fee for the both of us. I also agree with the earlier post that the fee helps keep the event for the group and not just a bunch of others that want to use it as an excuse to party with us. It is a balancing act and I give my hats off to the organizers and volunteers, great job!

  6. #36
    What, me worry? GILLY's Avatar
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    I was in the same position as the original poster. I had about a 90 minute drive from S central WI and paid the $35. AND didn't even get to turn my tickets in, get the patch or pin or any of that. Had a ball looking at the bikes and didn't even get around to doing it. I could only get Thursday off work, but I was really glad I went just to take it all in. But I do sort of "get it" and wish I could have stayed around at least a few days. For me it's better when it's farther away, so it's to the point that its dumb to just go for a day, like this time.

    Gilly

  7. #37
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahpd1992 View Post
    Came in from NW Illinois a whole 120miles from the rally. This is the 1st BMW rally I attended. I attempted in the mid 90's to attend the Chicago Area BMWOA rally in Galena, Il and was so turned off by the attitude of the staff runnning the show I swore Id had it w/ rally's. Well its over 10 yrs later, Id so I figure Im back w/ BMW, Il go to the National seeing as its so close.

    Well I gues I just dont get it, I have to pay for a camp site Im not going to use, full weekend passes only, no daily passes (what if I lived in West Bend, WI?) but I say to myself where else am I going to find all of these BMW oriented vendors right? I pay $70 for the wife and I, so I can buy lunch and walk around for 3 hours looking at stuff to buy. Im sure the vendors paid to be there, now why exactly did I have to pay all that money to come in? I just got back an hour ago, I loved to see so many BMW's in one place, but I wasted $70 and it wont happen again.

    As I said this is not going to be popular, but let me point out some of the bigger turn offs for me.

    - No daily passes for the locals. Being close to or near the host sight should have some advantage, but I guess not.

    - Camping sucks, just my opinion, but Im not making you pay for my hotel room, why am I paying for a campsite Im not using

    -Liability waivers! Let me tell you the next time I see a Harley bashing thread I will point out that I have never signed a waiver at a poker run. I dont see a half million waivers being passed out at the Sturgis Rally

    Now I know everyone is all high about the rally, and I dont know where its going to be next year, but you probably arent goin to see me, as I see in ten years nothing has changed

    Tom
    You are correct Tom. I have gone to 16 of them and nothing has changed. I ride during the day or vend, and people drink beverages and dance at night. I am going to keep going until they get it right!
    Or until I win a bike. Then I will keep going to win another one.

    We are a diverse group and day passes have been talked about for years. I like the fact that I can leave all my stuff out an nobody messes with it. (because they are honest) Day passes means that anybody can get in, especially people of questionable character.
    Sometimes their main reason to be there is to steal things. I wouldn't like that.
    As a cop, surely you understand that.

    Also, a rally, while a party, is also a fund raising (usually) type event.

    I know a person I ride with who says rallies are boring. He started camping with us and I was bored. Now that he doesn't go any more, I have found out rallies are what you make them. You obviously didn't expect to have a good time, and you were not surprised.
    I go expecting to have a good time, and I always do.
    If you are a non social person, I can see a Nat'l not being for you.
    Thanks for your opinion, I won't dump on you for having a contrary view (it's happened to me enough here)

    Ride safe and please come back in a few more years,(or sooner) the younger riders will be taking over things. Change is inevitable.

    Here is a cool Link of the Nat'ls, when and where.
    Last edited by Rapid_Roy; 07-15-2007 at 09:55 PM. Reason: linkee
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  8. #38
    tdomek
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    I was the registration volunteer that accepted Tom and his wife's rally fee. If anyone is interested in more details, contact me off list.
    Last edited by tdomek; 07-16-2007 at 09:39 PM.

  9. #39
    Registered User Fritzc's Avatar
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    Angry I could write a book!

    Hear it comes! Complaints complaints complaints. Believe me Sue, Brian and her crew know how to organize and run a rally. My first rally was at Lake Placid and I had plenty of complaints but have since learned to keep my mouth shut. (Well, not really). I worked at registration at Charleston and met a nice young Police officer from Richmond VA who coughed up the fee and was tickled to death to be there and for only FRIDAY NIGHT as he had the weekend shift back in Richmond. Well that is just one story. Tom should wonder about the HUNDREDS of rally goers that stayed in Motel rooms. I didn't hear any of them complaining or asking for their camping fee back.
    I worked at security in front of the main pavilion. 99% of the people were very gracious and obliging in showing their wrist bands. One percent complainers can make the job disagreeable. You would be amazed at the stories some would come up with to get in free and others that would try to skitter in while you were distracted. Oh Yes! "Why don't you have day passes?" Several people told me they were just driving by and wanted to take a look. I said fine and directed them to the registration tent where they could pay their $35 like everyone else did.

    I have belonged to a Black Powder Gun club for 32 years and we have two invitational shoots per year plus monthly shoots. For years $15 ( I was told it costs $100 each to go to an NBA game including parking, food and souvenirs. How many take their kids to an NBA game?) got a family in for a weekend of camping, shooting, door prizes, night time campfires and music. Now one family had seven shooters, five kids and the parents that would shoot nearly all the matches plus camping there for the weekend. Another participant may have been a lone male who came to shoot only one match and then go home. He paid the same as the family. Many whined that was not fair. I am very proud of my work in that gun club because it was a family thing and none of those kids grew up to be criminals but learned safe and responsible gun ownership and how to be a family and learn how to camp. If we had started to prorate every event it would have been a bookkeeping nightmare as well as discouraging to the families.
    Not only that, those families with lots of kids would have not been able to afford the weekend. My youngest son never started using drugs and I thank our gun club for that because we went together and worked, played, camped, and developed a common respect for each other.
    There are many who come to cycle rallies with their children and even grandchildren who learn how to get along with adults, ride a motorcycle safely, and maybe even learn how to drink a beer now and then without becoming a criminal or abusive spouse. Looking around the rally grounds last weekend I saw many old timers, including myself that had trouble getting on and off their bikes or in and out of their tents. This organization is aging and if the Kids cannot be attracted to the world of motorcycling, who is going to keep the ball (or wheels) rolling? I keep wondering why I come back again and again then marvel at the nice couple I met this year that camped next to me, Walt and Nila, each riding their own 1995 RT-Classics. Another young fellow, I regret I never got his name but he drives a city bus in Urbana Ill. He camped by me because he had a police RT just like mine. We spent much time comparing notes on maintenance, mileage and accessories. He is 34 years old and we should do everything we can to make these youngsters welcome and want to come back. I think he had a good time.
    End of rant.
    There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. -Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist (1865-1946)

  10. #40
    larrydk
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    Thumbs up 120 miles

    If it's any consulation (sp?), my wife and I took our 1st cycle trip to together from Chicago to the rally and had a great time. $35 to get in each did not seem excessive in this day and age and I did not feel like the food vendors were outrageous. The entertainment was good, the people attending, and working were all really freindly.

    Maybe the original "poster" was at the wrong rally...I know the "Blue Knight" rally was in town too.

    Thanks for the rally to all that set it up and helped

  11. #41
    Monches rider
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    I agree with the original post here.
    Let me explain my situation first. I'm now 35 years old and have been riding road and off road bikes since I was 10 years old. I went through my rice rocket days and now and ready to "settle" down a bit and perhaps purchase a sport/touring type of bike. I've been reading about many of the models BMW has and have stopped in at Nick's near DePere and had a fantastic experience talking with everyone there. I've been reading several posts in this forum and many have helped me answer several questions I had. When I read that the rally was going to be in West Bend, I thought "what better way to look into the beemers than going to a rally".
    So with that being said, take yourself out of your riding boots, and put yourself in mine. Unfortunately I was a bit pressed for time on Saturday (tis the season for weddings). So my Dad and I and my little one packed up the car and headed out to the site. After looking over several of the bikes in the parking lot. We headed to the tent for our admission. I realize these are all volunteers running the rally and commend them with all of their time and effort to get the rally off the ground! When I approached the registration tent, I was greeted by and volunteer which was directing people for the pre-registered line. With a very smug tone he explained that I need to goto the other line. This being my first impression of the rally. I walk into the tent only to find out as previously stated in the thread that for someone just wanting to learn a bit, look at the vendors booths, talk with riders and maybe the factory, $35 is awfully steep. At that price for the entire weekend is a bargin! But for 2 or 3 hours its certainly not worth it. I would believe the vendors would be happy to see a "1 day pass" for maybe $15 and an increase in traffic and possibly revenue as well. When I explained to the registration desk that I only wanted to go in for a couple of hours, I again got a very unpleasant reaction with no explanation behind the all or nothing pass.
    After reading some of the replies to the original post, it seems as though that the rally has been run in this fashion for some years now and the thought of change is maybe never considered. Someone stating that this isn't a "show" in my opinion is wrong. Why are all the vendors there then? Maybe think about the rally outside of how it has been run in the past....consider locals to the rally and give them some incentive to come and see the rally, even if you don't own a BMW.
    Within the next month or two, I will be buying a BMW for my wife and I but unless things change with future rallys, I will be staying home. It will be easy to reply to this quickly by saying something to the effect of "good and stay home" but this will even further explain the reasons why I posted in the first place.
    I'm certainly glad that all the attendees that had a good time did! I live along the rustic ride route and talked with a few riders during the course of the weekend at gas stations etc.. and I was genuinely happy for you guys.

    Future R1150RT owner
    Joe

  12. #42
    belquar
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    IS the cost of living so cheap in Wisconsin that people actually can gripe about spending 35 bucks. You drop that on a tank of gas. Going to a movie. Blah blah blah. Think about the logistics of bringing the entire mass of vendors and people together. It is a wonder it is so cheap. Granted the vendors come there to sell and don't have to be paid, but the grounds cost money, the insurance, shower trailers, porta johns, coffee, water, tents, tables, chairs, etc.

    You want to get an idea of cost....go rent a table and chairs for a dozen people and then think about 100 times that.

    I am all for being frugal. I understand the desire for a folks who want a day pass, but how is that policed. What is to stop people from just paying day pass fare and staying the entire weekend. How would that be fair. Since 35 bucks gets you in a drawing where the odds of winning a motorcycle are as good as they are, plus tons of other prizes, that alone is reason to pay.

    If you are unable to attend for your "$35 worth" then consider saving that 35 bucks for next years rally and plan to take more time.

    Jeepers.

  13. #43
    Billings in 2015 Sue's Avatar
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    Visitor at the Indy 500 ....

    "Hi - I am only here to look at the cars. I can't stay for the race. Can I get in for a lower fee?"

    What do you suppose the reply would be?




    Seriously ... we understand why someone would ask for day passes, but I cannot see it happening. If it makes everyone feel better, EVERYONE pays that registratration fee, including the Rally Chairs. I doubt you will hear complaints from a single volunteer.

    Glad [almost] everyone enjoyed themselves. Brian and I are spending the day reading this forum to see what we missed at the rally.
    Sue Rihn #43753
    BMW MOA Ambassador
    It's Billings in 2015! #BeTheAdventure
    Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.

  14. #44
    Monches rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belquar View Post
    IS the cost of living so cheap in Wisconsin that people actually can gripe about spending 35 bucks. You drop that on a tank of gas. Going to a movie. Blah blah blah. Think about the logistics of bringing the entire mass of vendors and people together. It is a wonder it is so cheap. Granted the vendors come there to sell and don't have to be paid, but the grounds cost money, the insurance, shower trailers, porta johns, coffee, water, tents, tables, chairs, etc.

    You want to get an idea of cost....go rent a table and chairs for a dozen people and then think about 100 times that.

    I am all for being frugal. I understand the desire for a folks who want a day pass, but how is that policed. What is to stop people from just paying day pass fare and staying the entire weekend. How would that be fair. Since 35 bucks gets you in a drawing where the odds of winning a motorcycle are as good as they are, plus tons of other prizes, that alone is reason to pay.

    If you are unable to attend for your "$35 worth" then consider saving that 35 bucks for next years rally and plan to take more time.

    Jeepers.
    The cost of living for this area has nothing to do with this topic. Using the cost of tank of gas is a poor comparison because nobody complains about the cost of gas these days right? This even further explains the point I was making.
    As far as policing the "one day" versus the all weekend pass, give the one day folks tickets that are torn at the door and the all weekend passes the wristbands.

    Wouldn't those rented chairs and tables be easier to pay for with some additional admission $$ from the one day passes in addition to the all day passes?

  15. #45
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    The first post used Sturgis as an example. I am not sure that is a good comparison. I think Sue has a valid point.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

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