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Thread: BMW MOA Rally & BMW RA Rally

  1. #1
    American Mutt hexkopf's Avatar
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    Question BMW MOA Rally & BMW RA Rally

    All,

    I was unable to make it to Sedalia and most likely won't be able to go to the 2013 in Oregon for a whole host of reasons, mainly because it is too far and I have little kids...blah, blah. I have been following the rally threads and it looks awesome, so thanks to all the people who posted pics and descriptions of the rally.

    So then I saw that BMW RA has a rally in June 2013 in Asheville, NC, which is 8-9 hours ride for me and I am starting to get the itch. I have never been to a motorcycle rally to I have nothing to compare my own experiences to. I have done some organized rides, but it ain't the same I am sure.

    For those of you in the know, how do the two rallies (MOA & RA) compare?

    (I searched, nothing came up.)
    Integrity is what you do when no one is looking.

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  2. #2
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Size is the most obvious answer. The MOA tends to be many times larger.

    Both are really grand times!

    Voni
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  3. #3
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    I have been to several of both the MOA and RA rallies. The RA is smaller and less organized, some might say "less structured". They have a very different feel, vibe, aura. The RA rally this year was not very good from a "rally" point of view. There was not a lot of people to interact with, no secure rally site, and high prices. Two people in my group didn't even bother to register for the rally, because it offered them so little.

    That said, the location, (Copper mtn, CO), was great and we had a great time, but by ourselves. You really need to try both and see which one floats your boat. The Biltmore is another great rally location, but then, so is Oregon!
    MOA #107139
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  4. #4
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Both of the rallys are great but they are also very different.

    The MOA rally is like a big city. It s much larger, more organized, has many more vendors, is more crowded and the locations are limited to places that can handle a lot of people. They are also in mid July where it is hot and/or there are thousands of miles of hot roads to get there.

    The RA rally is like a town. It is smaller, less organized, has fewer vendors and the locations are freqently better than the MOA rallies because of the smaller size requirements (the Biltmore, Barber Motorsports, etc). Many of the locations were considered by the MOA but were rejected because they couldn't handle the size of the crowd. The RA also sometimes chooses early summer or early fall times that avoids the intense heat of the summer.

    My favorite MOA rallys were in Johnson City and Bloomsburg (in spite of the heat). They were in smaller cities and the local people were friendly and welcoming. My favorite RA rallys were Barber Motorsports and the Biltmore.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  5. #5
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    Rally

    I was a first time attendee at both rallies this year. I will not bother going to another RA rally. They had no seminars to speak of, and in one retired Marine's words I met there, a cluster---- as far as organization goes. The MOA rally was great, lots of vendors, seminars, prizes, and more people/bikes. I'm already making plans to go to next year's.
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  6. #6
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    I attended my first rallies in 2007. I rode to the BMWRA rally at The Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina and the BMWMOA rally in West Bend, Wisconsin. I believe the comments above are accurate. I liked both. They are just diffferent. The BMWRA rally was smaller, not as many vendors, but quite enjoyable. I met some nice folks and of course the riding in that area of the country is superb. The BMWMOA rally was much bigger with much more going on. I spent more time at the BMWMOA rally and less time riding than I did at the BMWRA event. I will have difficulty taking time off to get to Salem, Oregon for the BMWMOA rally next year, but the BMWRA rally is close enough that I think I will go again.

    The 2007 BMWRA Rally was pretty toasty, but not near the 100?? stuff that has occured at other sites recently. I remember roasting on I-40 and then as the group I was riding with began climbing the hills the temperatures and humidity dropped substantially. The picture below is from the 2007 BMWRA Rally. There were many more bikes than this parked in the lot below the where this picture was taken. I am sure some other folks have better pictures than this.


  7. #7
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    [/QUOTE]

    There's mike bike, Right side just behind the van. See it, a black RT.
    See you there next year...
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
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  8. #8
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Dang. I thought it was on the left near the fountain. I do remember an out of state Bergman parked near the area where that van was when I took the picture.

  9. #9
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I've attended and like them both, but feel there is more consistency to the MOA rally. The RA can be a hit or miss affair. The one in Eau Claire WI was great, with a real flavor of family that stayed with me! My first MOA Rally was in Johnson City TN. I enjoyed it, but felt out of place like I was the only newbie and not really feeling the love. This year I resolved to volunteer and in my three shifts met plenty of wonderful people in Sedalia.

    With a grand total of two of each under my belt, I'd characterize the RA as smaller and less formal, and the MOA as larger and more structured. But each year also has a unique flavor of its own
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
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  10. #10
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    I've been to a bunch of National Rallies in my 38 years. Here is a very simplistic analogy to explain the Nationals:

    The BMWRA National Rally is similar to a large county fair

    The BMWMOA National Rally is similar to a large state fair

    Been on the staff of both types of rallies and have enjoyed them all! The organization of the MOA makes it a bit easier to pull off a big rally, but the "looseness" of the RA rally gives you chance to try things out.

    I sure wish Amtrak would consider another Rally Train to Oregon in '13, because the '01 train was a real blast! Otherwise, making it to the MOA National is problematic.

    The '07 Biltmore National was a lot of fun and it is a great location. It should be a big party in Ashevile, and I expect to be a part of it.
    Onward, through the fog!

  11. #11
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LngRdr View Post
    I was a first time attendee at both rallies this year. I will not bother going to another RA rally. They had no seminars to speak of, and in one retired Marine's words I met there, a cluster---- as far as organization goes. The MOA rally was great, lots of vendors, seminars, prizes, and more people/bikes. I'm already making plans to go to next year's.
    I kind of felt the same way... MOA rocks, RA was a bit funky. Was mostly upset at how little the vendors were open & the high prices for beer at the dinner.
    John.

  12. #12
    Registered User 39520's Avatar
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    RA rallies seem more like impromptu picnics to me. Still, I am going to RA next year only because I like the Asheville area and it's a quick five hour ride as opposed to five days to Oregon.
    Ub
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  13. #13
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevWillie View Post

    I sure wish Amtrak would consider another Rally Train to Oregon in '13, because the '01 train was a real blast! Otherwise, making it to the MOA National is problematic.
    I'd rather deal with the State Department or Bangladesh than try to deal with a railroad. But there are a zillion trucking companies and charter bus outfits. Get a semi and a bus and away y'all can go off to Oregon.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  14. #14
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    Hex, you may want to start smaller for your first rally. What about Finger Lakes over Labor day weekend? It's about 1,000 bikes (I think) so it's one of the larger rallies, but yet small enough to feel "intimate". And it isn't far from us here in South Central PA! Just a thought...

  15. #15
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I'd rather deal with the State Department or Bangladesh than try to deal with a railroad.
    Yes, Paul, after all I dealt with on the first Rally Train in '01, I can see that the railroads do not like people and do not want to try "new ideas". We had talked about the truck shipping of bikes out west before, but the way for the riders to travel together has been the big problem. Even if you are not on the bike, it's the journey that makes the experience. Being stuck on a train rolling across the country is a lot better than a airplane or car.

    Guess I'll be riding in the Southeast in '13 Don't see a long ride in the plans....
    Onward, through the fog!

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