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Thread: Why are you/ why am I a member?

  1. #1
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ash Grove, MO

    Why are you/ why am I a member?

    Some pretty crazy stuff being talked about here in campfire, and membership 'perks' and recruitment seems to be one of the topics that has morphed from the Vince Winkel thread. So i asked myself, 'why are you a member?'

    Here's the plain unvarnished truth..I am a member for two reasons only;

    1- So I have access to this forum for questions and entertainment.

    2-So I can have a copy of the Anonymous book.

    That's is, no other reason, no other need. I don't like rallies, I 'might' read a little bit of the ON magazine, I don't like hanging out with other BMW riders and discuss the importance of air pressure, oil changes, and the candle power of my turn signals. I don't belong to a local club, nor do I want to. If I had free access to this forum, I would never have joined the MOA. The info that is available from the other members is worth 40 bucks to me. I think the $40.00 charge keeps the riff raff off of the forum, and goes a long way towards filtering out the 'experts' which I appreciate.

    I ride a BMW for two reasons:

    1-The R1100RT is the best looking bike ever built.

    2-Its a status thing to say I own a BMW bike, and I like when people look at my bike when it's parked at a business or such.

    This is brutal honesty. Am a shallow person?, perhaps, but I am honest. I'm curious to here if others share my same or similar sentiment.
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Eastern KY
    I just renewed on 12/31/13.
    My reasons:
    I read part of the magazine
    I like Anonymous book
    I like this Forum
    In spite of being a life long camper & outdoor type I've been to one rally since joining in 2000 or 2001.

    As for keeping out the riff-raff as mentioned above there are lots of truly great people that don't belong here to MOA and do participate with high level tech help & good camaraderie on other forums-They have voiced that they don't have to pay for this MC community contact over here. $40 a year doesn't guarantee much or the world would be a better place?
    ADVrider is the obvious largest website like that. Sure it has its hooligans but personal attacks are not allowed there & I've met some great folks there! actually more than here. This club people are better thing shows up in comments like you are less likely to get cheated here & so on-not true IMO. Humans are humans to me, memberships aside. I feel the same way about college frats & that way to choose to become part of a group.
    Will we get a new logo now that the push is on for more members?
    Exactly why does the club have to be huge? A matter of "it lives large or it dies small" ?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  3. #3
    Fixin' ta ride tinboatcapt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Lakeville MN
    I acquired a used K100 and needed some advice to safety check it before riding it. The local dealer offered to do it for more than I paid for the bike. I can turn a wrench so I dove in the deep end. The MOA sticker on the wind screen led me here.

    I lurked for a few months while I gleaned pearls of wisdom from the incredible help available here. I thought it well worth the small price to support the resource. When I last checked, it has now been ten years of membership. After a second K100 came and went, I moved on to Honda's. But that is another topic. I have attended a couple of rally's the last couple of years and enjoyed the event and people very much. They even let me in with the Honda the last time.

    So, Thank you MOA for the help and the friendship. I intend to stay, and will probably attend a few more rally's ... perhaps even get another BMW when the Honda needs to be replaced.

    ps: I still haven't joined any Honda clubs ... Interesting, no?
    ST1100 "renamed " Large Marge" Better now with Race Tech, Penske, Michelin PR III's.

    74 Honda XL350 "Ltl Scoot" Just for fun

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    We own 6 BMWs. Her member number is a tiny fraction of mine. She has been to 1 national in over 30 years, me zero. She won't camp and I won't go long distance in mid summer heat nor will I pay $150 or higher for an ordinary room in a small city- though not adverse to such costs or higher for luxury places or where they are the norm. We do 4-5 smaller rallies per year, mostly within 400-500 miles but aren't adverse to long runs at other times- we're both retired.

    Re why.
    1) Forum info that helps keep the fleet ready for use. Populated by folks who can think, have useful info, and write clear English. (too much "me too, dude" stuff at ADVRider though also a fair amount of solid tech stuff- I read it maybe once a month). Civil tone matters a lot to me but am not disturbed by forceful, coherent argument- mods do a good job.
    2) We participate in a local chartered club (social reasons, not tech reasons) and enough of us need to be MOA members to maintain that.
    3) The mag has improved a bunch lately. But was a dismal repeat of tour guides a few years ago- to the extent I was considering dropping out. Still, I prefer OTL and not just for its outstanding photography of machinery- though their costs per issue must be high to RA given how its printed. More "motorcycle" info.

    Get no useful other benefits I can think of though we carry the Anon. Book just in case my PM efforts fall short and are listed to provide help to others if called.

    From my perspective, the group fails to adequately represent concerns of members in its publications, especially when it comes to some of the persistent design/build/customer response issues re the brand compared to the expectations of US riders. At the very least, running reliability info columns should be std- while at present we're restricted to what Paul Glaves and Matt Parkhurst contribute from their experiences.

  5. #5
    Motorcycle Rider selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    West Lafayette, IN

    Why am I a member of MOA?

    I ride motorcycles. I've been riding motorcycles on my own since I was about 5 years old. I started out on borrowed mini-bikes, and then hand me down bikes my dad rode or bought and then gave to me. I like to tell people I have been riding since bell bottoms were in fashion the first time, and all the gear all the time was suede oxfords. It is a hard thing to admit that your sense of fashion was so horribly corrupt.

    I come from deep red neck we don't more our lawn roots in the grand north wet. Where sunshine makes vampires sparkle and spotted owl soup is on the menu. Riding in the rain most of the time takes a certain amount of crazy, but when I moved up to touring motorcycles it opened me to adventure and seeing places I'd thought I'd never see.

    My first forays in touring motorcycles were not BMWs because I couldn't afford them. When I first got out of the Marine Corps I had a hard time getting my feet under me and I admit I wasn't the nicest person on the block. I lived on a boat with my wish she was my ex-wife and rode my motorcycle everywhere. I rode all over Washington State but the border was like a fence and the bike wasn't made for touring.

    When I finally started getting out of the state I transitioned to a Goldwing and joined that marquis very best membership group. It was racked with horrible in fighting and a splinter group had broken off. It was really a terrible mess for a young guy in his early 20s. I was riding a touring bike so I added a few states to my repertoire. First I headed for Oregon, then California. Come to think about it if I had hit California before Oregon from Washington that would be like something to really see.

    I upgraded my motorcycle and got in 1990 one of the newer Goldwings at the time. It was large, ponderous, and often was referred to as the Hondapotoamus. I added almost every state to my "I've been everywhere wall". I took leadership roles in various bike organizations and I sold my car. I moved to Florida. I rode my bike and rode my bike and kept on riding. I'd make trips to Costco on my bike. I'd freak out the clerks as I loaded the bike up with an entire cart.

    I slid my wineberry Goldwing down a sugar sand covered road impaling it in the rear bumper of a car. I slid under the car and tattooed "MIDAS" on my chest in cherry red flesh colored letters. I missed the skin the most, but I'll always miss the first bike I put over a 100K miles on. Divorce, and other things would follow. I kept my membership in the GWRRA group but I quit going to any events. After a few years of playing around I just couldn't get interested. I needed a new bike. I needed a new idea. But, first I needed a new wife.

    Motorcycles have been a big part of my life and I've had dozens of them. When I told my new wife in early 2000 that I wanted to go test ride new bikes and trade in the Goldwing I had bought before we got married she asked me what I wanted to buy. I said I wanted a BMW R bike. I wanted something with a little more soul. I was living in Colorado and commuting year round wasn't likely, but oh my gosh there are mountains.

    We test rode a few bikes and really enjoyed the sea foam green R bike with all the nice little doo-dads. It was cute, perky, and sporty. Kind of like the replacement wife. I ended up buying a K1200LTC and the dealer enrolled me on the spot into the BMW MOA. I had no idea what the MOA was at the time. He handed me my bike manuals, registration, and the last three copies of the Owners News. I had my new BMW and was a member of MOA.

    I bought a bike that supported my hobby I have this funny hobby. I chase sunsets. It is pretty easy. Keep riding until you see a sunset. Then ride as fast as you can to the sunrise and repeat. I'm not a rally monster showing up to camp and drink. I do a few long distance rallies but they are so limiting and time is so finite that they have to be really challenging to get my attention. That isn't to say I don't socialize. I ended up the centerfold of the Owners News one year when I led a parade at the Cowboy Curve Reunion.

    But, I'm a bit of a bike slut. I bought another BMW too. I got a sweet deal on a chrome head which blew up on the first ride home. A guy named Matt Parkhouse was a neighbor and he ended fixing it when the battery died. He have me some great advice over coffee one day on what made the R bikes so interesting. I doubt he remembers me as I am literally the least memorable person you will ever meet. I hadn't done anything with MOA other than get the magazine but he was like you have to be part of the Pikes Peak riders. I did join, but I like seeing the lines in the road zip by hour after hour. Ticking away time into the future. An interstate metronome of distance and time. Matt and Susanna were really nice to me. When I got ready to sell the R1200C some guy named Vince Winkel took an interest in it. He was some kind of big shot in the MOA but I don't pay attention to those kind of things. He was nice though.

    Another guy that was kind of interesting was this guy Tony Black. My wife and I decided to go visit some friends in Nevada. On a freezing morning in Colorado this guy shows up to sign witness paperwork for two people he'd never met. I guess he is some kind of ambassador or something. I had never done anything to reason that kind of nice. He just was a great guy. It was kind of fun. My wife hadn't ridden on the K1200LTC more than about 50 miles, and no more than 100 miles on any day on any motorcycle. So her first multi-state trip was a SS1K from Colorado to Gerlach Nevada. Of course we did another 1000 miles in under 24 hours coming home. Where can you find people who have never met you and are willing to show up in the middle of the darkthirty? We talked for a few minutes to Tony and he mentioned he was an MOA member, but were for the hills. Sunsets and curves needed chasing.

    Do you think she is having fun?

    I like bikes of all kinds I just prefer to ride BMWs. I love looking and playing with old bikes and have visited several museums. I travel quite a bit and hidden gems are all over the place. I am down to two bikes now. Both are BMWs and though not new, they are fun to ride. My switchblade for removing the veneer of society is a K1600GTL. It is much sportier than the previous K1200LT, and it is closer in feel to the old K1100LT in my opinion. The best part is that it puts a smile on my wife's face. We've ridden all over the Midwest, and South East on the bike. She's asked but I always tell her that this bike doesn't make her butt look fat.

    My other bike is a multi-tool. A change of tires and I get that sweet feeling that only a BMW R bike can give you. It is somewhat funny but this bike has made it into the Owners News a few times. No, do not bother going to look for it. I ride motorcycles and it is a solitary journey through the miles and dust. The MOA provided an umbrella organization for many of the activities I have enjoyed as a BMW rider. Could it do better? I am not sure, and I am not worried about it. I get what I get out of the organization. I ride two of the best bikes ever built and I am a wealthy man in motorcycles if not money. I have an awesome choice every time I go out in my garage.

    If I was going to ask a question about what MOA means to me I would ask what it has to do with me? I live in fly over country and work for a tiny university you likely never heard of, and ride motorcycles turning dinosaurs into fun. I don't apologize for my world. I don't apologize for the not so politically correct way I ride. There isn't really an entry motorcycle from BMW so worrying about kids coming into the fold isn't a big deal. However, I do have kids.

    I took a break for a short time from motorcycling due to my day job. When I came back to it after 17 months it was with a vengeance. I missed it a lot, but I was left with the question of how to share my sport and hobby with my kids. That is where I am now. How do I get these two kids to smile like that with me and ride safe enough I am not terrified they try and be like dad? I am watching the MOA and trying to decide on a couple of things.

    If the MOA was serious about getting young people to join and create a value proposition for young families they could do more things like:

    1) Do and MSF dirt bike school a few times at the big rallies. I'd say at the regional level rallies too. Kids love this stuff.
    2) Family friendly camping. I have seen a few rallies do this, but I have also been to places that I do not want my kids at until they are 50.

    Just some ideas. Nothing to ground breaking for sure. Why did I join MOA. Somebody signed me up. Why did I renew? Chats with Voni and Paul Glaves when they gave me the time of day. Tony Black showing up in the middle of the night to help somebody out. Chatting with Matt Parkhouse over coffee about old bikes. A big tent for me to find people that do what I do and might want to do in the future. We all get to the place we meet by different paths. They are not the wrong paths. They are our paths. We get to travel until the road forks. Then we have a choice.
    Sam Liles
    Candidate for BMWMOA BOD

  6. #6
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Flyover Country = Southern Illinois
    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post

    Just some ideas. Nothing to ground breaking for sure. Why did I join MOA. Somebody signed me up. Why did I renew? Chats with Voni and Paul Glaves when they gave me the time of day. Tony Black showing up in the middle of the night to help somebody out. Chatting with Matt Parkhouse over coffee about old bikes. A big tent for me to find people that do what I do and might want to do in the future. We all get to the place we meet by different paths. They are not the wrong paths. They are our paths. We get to travel until the road forks. Then we have a choice.
    I find this paragraph quite telling. It was the one to one relationships that mattered. Food for thought.
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  7. #7
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Washington, Illinois
    I've been a member of the MOA for 31 years. The first nearly 20 years was on BSA's and Kawasakis. I joined because I bought a 1978 R100/7, and needed how to figure out how to keep it running...and Oak and Paul and Matt and many others since then have helped do that just fine, thank you. But--I bought a BMW because of the folks I met at my first BMW rally in 1976. The Illinois Valley Rally at the Henry, Illinois Fairgrounds. Susan and Bob Sancken, the members of the Dinks, including Sarge, Chuck and Bob and many, many others made me feel welcome. And, they rode! I was riding a 1976 Kawasaki KZ650SR at the time. No problem from them, but I liked the idea of a bike you could just get on and ride....and started chasing rallies around the midwest, and then to New York and California and points in between. I have great memories of silly conversations around campfires, and serious beer-fueled talks about life and jobs and parenthood at others. The bottom line is that I chose the bike because of the people, and because of the bike, chose the MOA.
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

  8. #8
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    SW, MO
    I was speaking to a member of our local club last summer who due to vision problems was going to have to give up riding. Upon asking if he planned to continue coming to meetings he replied:

    Are you kidding? I've got too many good friends there to quit coming!

    That about says it in a nutshell methinks.

    IBA #44567
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  9. #9
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Just some ideas. Nothing to ground breaking for sure. Why did I join MOA. Somebody signed me up. Why did I renew? Chats with Voni and Paul Glaves when they gave me the time of day. Tony Black showing up in the middle of the night to help somebody out. Chatting with Matt Parkhouse over coffee about old bikes. A big tent for me to find people that do what I do and might want to do in the future. We all get to the place we meet by different paths. They are not the wrong paths. They are our paths. We get to travel until the road forks. Then we have a choice.
    I think this whole post should be lifted and included in a future ON! Very nicely put!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Suches, Ga
    I joined because I do like to ride to small rallies of like minded individuals. I also enjoy some of the articles in the MOAN magazine, don't particularly care to read travelogues from everybody that takes a catered tour of Europe or wherever. I ride alone or with my wife, don't care for politics of any kind.
    Cal Garcia
    Suches, GA

  11. #11
    "Jack" jacko's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Arvada, Colorado
    Why did I join?
    A few years ago when I was getting ready to retire a fellow worker suggested that the Anonymous book might come in handy if I needed help in my retirement travels. Forty dollars seemed like a reasonable price to pay for a possible helping hand if needed. It has been. I can think of several other reasons to be a member and not be as member but the one thing that keeps my subscription current is when I needed help it was there in the Anonymous book and forum.
    Jack Watson
    BMWMOA #125089
    2014 K1600GTL
    2013 C650GT

  12. #12
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Why Am I A MOA Member?

    ..because I had to join in order to become a member of our local BMW club Back then you had to have MOA membership to become a member of the local, sanctioned club.
    I had owned BMW K1 for years and when we migrated from an HD to a BMW RT as our main ride/trip bike, we were looking for a new group to socialize with.
    Since, I added a R100S, which always has been one of my favorite bikes (and I had a chance to rescue it from collecting dust) and a K1600GT - because I have a weakness for 6-cylinder inline engines in bikes (I own 4 others)
    Other than the fact that both the RT and K16 suit me very well for longer, two-up rides, I have no particular preference for BMWs. And while I take the ON and this forum here as perks from my MOA membership, I don't think I would miss it terribly.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Lansing, Kansas
    Why am I a member? Here is MY answer:
    1. I have a good friend and riding buddy who, after years of trying, finally got me to buy a BMW bike. It is an OK bike, but no better than the others I have owned over the years. But I do enjoy riding it and, since I now have the bike, figured I should join the MOA. Simple enough. BTW, I do enjoy the MOA ON magazine and this forum.
    2. For me, riding is a SOLITARY activity and pleasure. My only interaction is with my riding buddy (maybe 2 or 3) when we stop for a break. The social aspect of belonging to a club is not much attraction to me. I do not camp (had enough of that in the Army). I have enough friends and do not need to join a club to make more friends. I do not use any social media and this forum is about as techie as my world gets.
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Leavenworth, KS

    Why I am a member of MOA

    I bought my first BMW, a used R90S, in 1996, and haven't looked seriously at another brand since. I was 48 years old then, and had known about BMWs since I was a teenager. I bought a BMW because I had had enough of British motorcycles (mainly Triumph), and I often looked at and sat on BMWs when I was buying Triumph parts and service at Engle Motors in Kansas City. I joined the BMW MOA to learn more about my motorcycle and about BMWs in general. I also joined the Airheads for the same reason. I let go of the Airheads when I moved on to a used K75S in 2004, and by then also quit attending local rallies due to the Saturday night noise issue (why do rallies need bands?). I agree with Royce (Roy to me) that motorcycle riding is largely a solitary, individual activity, except when stopped for gas, food, or lodging. Then it becomes very social.

    Roy has taught me to enjoy the stops almost as much as the time between the stops, and I'm getting better at stopping longer. To paraphrase Big Red's vaunted advertising line, "You meet the nicest people at the stops." I'm not referring to other motorcyclists, but rather to all those people whom we talk to at stops, who convey with their body language if not their words, that they would rather be doing what I'm doing than what they are doing, that is, they'd rather be riding a motorcycle.

    I've managed to convince my son (Triumph Sprint ST) and son-in-law (BMW F650GS) to take up motorcycling, and now I'm working on my oldest grandson (he's 11). We are taking him to the St. Paul rally in a sidecar rig that I will have acquired by mid-April, a distance of about 500 miles one way from the "east coast of Kansas." Building on that experience, I'm planning, with his parents' cooperation, to take him all over the state of Kansas and beyond in the coming years, to the point where he will become very interested in motorcycling as a hobby. Do I care what brand he eventually aspires to own--not at all. I rode many brands before I landed on a Beemer. Gaining his interest and having a sidecar to make it safer for both of us will keep me in this hobby for many more years.

    I have received endless enjoyment from riding motorcycles since about 1964, and only the last 15 years on BMWs. The MOA enables me to share my love of motorcycling with other like-minded folks in an uplifting environment, both virtual and live.

    Jim Gebhardt
    Leavenworth, KS

  15. #15
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Is this a Kawasaki Trail Boss?

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