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Thread: ON Magazine

  1. #46
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    I, for one, hope that the ON doesn't go away. I like reading stuff printed on paper rather than using my forefinger on a screen to flip pages....
    That being said, I have to agree, it is getting harder and harder to "love" the ON.
    The portion of stuff geared towards GS riders in general and GS riders riding around the world or in exotic locales, seems to grow with every issue. And this is not me.
    Another trend that I observe with concern is that of an increasing level of self-centeredness (is this a word???) which moves the BMW OA and the staff that writes ON awefully close to those who are responsible for HOG and its "Enthusiast". Point in case: ON October 2012, Interview with Hans Blesse. Page 114:
    "Who can answer this? Who sells the most motorcycles larger than 500cc in the United States?"
    Surprisingly, the answer was BMW, a tidbit most of us did not know.
    (There was probably a lot of applause in the audience)

    Duuh... I guess the vast majority of motorcycle people in the U.S. did not know that either.
    BMW sold 10,203 units in the U.S. in 2011. Harley Davidson sold 151,683 units in 2011. Last time I checked, they don't make a bike under 500cc....

  2. #47
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Point in case: ON October 2012, Interview with Hans Blesse. Page 114:
    "Who can answer this? Who sells the most motorcycles larger than 500cc in the United States?"
    Surprisingly, the answer was BMW, a tidbit most of us did not know.
    (There was probably a lot of applause in the audience)

    Duuh... I guess the vast majority of motorcycle people in the U.S. did not know that either.
    BMW sold 10,203 units in the U.S. in 2011. Harley Davidson sold 151,683 units in 2011. Last time I checked, they don't make a bike under 500cc....
    I saw that in ON and it raised my eyebrow as well. I just checked their annual report for 2011 and you're absolutely right. Heck, HD sold more than twice as many bikes in Q4 than BMW did all year! Something about his remark must have been lost in the translation.

    One thing I wanted to circle back and make clear - I know putting out a monthly publication is a tough job especially when it depends so heavily on voluntary contributions of so many in addition to the hard work of the professional staff. I didn't mean my remarks to, in any way, be a criticism of the great people that are involved in ON. I'd just like to see less gratuitous grinning photos and more motorcycle stuff!
    Wes Jones
    Annapolis, MD
    2012 K1600GT, Vermillion Red
    2013 S1000RR, Granite Gray

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    I, for one, hope that the ON doesn't go away. I like reading stuff printed on paper rather than using my forefinger on a screen to flip pages....
    That being said, I have to agree, it is getting harder and harder to "love" the ON.
    The portion of stuff geared towards GS riders in general and GS riders riding around the world or in exotic locales, seems to grow with every issue. And this is not me.
    Another trend that I observe with concern is that of an increasing level of self-centeredness (is this a word???) which moves the BMW OA and the staff that writes ON awefully close to those who are responsible for HOG and its "Enthusiast". Point in case: ON October 2012, Interview with Hans Blesse. Page 114:
    "Who can answer this? Who sells the most motorcycles larger than 500cc in the United States?"
    Surprisingly, the answer was BMW, a tidbit most of us did not know.
    (There was probably a lot of applause in the audience)

    Duuh... I guess the vast majority of motorcycle people in the U.S. did not know that either.
    BMW sold 10,203 units in the U.S. in 2011. Harley Davidson sold 151,683 units in 2011. Last time I checked, they don't make a bike under 500cc....

    I wonder? if maybe the article [meant] to indicate foreign motorcycles, and just did not word it as such.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    I, for one, hope that the ON doesn't go away. I like reading stuff printed on paper rather than using my forefinger on a screen to flip pages....

    IIRC during the heated discussions when the Association moved from a print editor to a Media Editor the long term goals were to retain the print version of ON while expanding it along with developing the digital footprint of the organization. This has been a slow incremental process for a variety of reasons. A digital version of ON was an immediate desire expressed by many members. A tip of the helmet to Vince and everyone else involved in bring that to the membership.

    A secondary hope, expressed by many, for the digital version of ON was that it contain expanded content. The expanded content would go beyond the norm allowing other member interests to be explored and developed. One would hope that is still on the incremental agenda.

    While this holds great promise in so many ways it also expands the conundrum of who produces content and what that is. The platform foundation may have been built but who will fill it with content and what will it be?
    Pass the mustard and UP THE REVOLUTION!

    St. Paul Pioneer Press , Minneapolis Star Tribune

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
    It was not my intention to be at all sarcastic. Curmudgeonly, definitely. And "or what" would be the main point - helpful. If I was in charge I'd want critical feedback before the numbers started shrinking on membership and circulation. It's my honest, and apparently initially unpopular feedback.
    I think your comment is fair, especially when you add the idea of critical feedback.

    The "it's all touring stories" comment has been made many times, and the only thing I have to add is that our magazine is a reflection of what our members volunteer to contribute. It would be really interesting to gain an *unbiased* measure of everyone's opinion about this... both members and non-members, since we position our magazine as a major benefit to joining our club.

    The best thing you can do is contribute something that interested *you* and be a part of the solution. You're not a customer, you're a member.

    Now, if they were doing something fun together like bashing through a forest on a GSA ...
    Here... watch this nice video!



    Ian
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  6. #51
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    quit

    Quote Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
    I'm probably posting this in the wrong place but it was the closest to my topic so here goes my hopefully respectful rant:

    I'm getting pretty disappointed with the ON magazine after now receiving it for most of this year. I've just read through the most recent copy and can't help but come away from the experience feeling like I was invited to watch someone's slide show of their vacation ad nauseum. I'm sure it's a wonderful thing to see your photo with friends at a rally in the magazine but for me it's a useless waste of space in the publication that could otherwise be used for technical reviews of products and gear, ride reports of places I might want to go, and coverage of what was presented or displayed at these major events. Why would anyone care to see photos of people they don't know enjoying their time with people they don't know? Again, I'm sure these people are avid fans and great people and I'm sure Sedalia was an awesome event but with all due respect and humility, I don't care to pay to subscribe to a publication full of this month after month. I'm sad to say that if it continues I will probably not renew when my membership comes due.

    [/rant off]
    you should quit. if you don't care to pay for it, quit. EZ game. you're welcome.
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    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

  7. #52
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26667 View Post
    you should quit. if you don't care to pay for it, quit. EZ game. you're welcome.
    Well, that's one solution. But, not a very productive one in terms of making the world a better place if every time we were bothered by something we dismissed it. I don't think I'm complaining to just be a problem and neither am I looking for any attaboys for putting my opinion out there. It was just what I said it was - my opinion because I care enough to want a better publication. I could offer you the same advice - if you don't like the open discourse going on in this thread, move on.
    Wes Jones
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    2012 K1600GT, Vermillion Red
    2013 S1000RR, Granite Gray

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    I think your comment is fair, especially when you add the idea of critical feedback.

    The "it's all touring stories" comment has been made many times, and the only thing I have to add is that our magazine is a reflection of what our members volunteer to contribute. It would be really interesting to gain an *unbiased* measure of everyone's opinion about this... both members and non-members, since we position our magazine as a major benefit to joining our club.

    The best thing you can do is contribute something that interested *you* and be a part of the solution. You're not a customer, you're a member.



    Here... watch this nice video!



    Ian
    I have to say that it looks like the GS Giants have more fun than any other group at the Rally.

    Do you have to own a GS to be a Giant????

    I know that I would like to have fun like that at, or on the way to, any Rally.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  9. #54
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PittsDriver View Post
    I'm probably posting this in the wrong place but it was the closest to my topic so here goes my hopefully respectful rant:

    I'm getting pretty disappointed with the ON magazine after now receiving it for most of this year. I've just read through the most recent copy and can't help but come away from the experience feeling like I was invited to watch someone's slide show of their vacation ad nauseum. I'm sure it's a wonderful thing to see your photo with friends at a rally in the magazine but for me it's a useless waste of space in the publication that could otherwise be used for technical reviews of products and gear, ride reports of places I might want to go, and coverage of what was presented or displayed at these major events. Why would anyone care to see photos of people they don't know enjoying their time with people they don't know? Again, I'm sure these people are avid fans and great people and I'm sure Sedalia was an awesome event but with all due respect and humility, I don't care to pay to subscribe to a publication full of this month after month. I'm sad to say that if it continues I will probably not renew when my membership comes due.

    [/rant off]
    I've been thinking a lot about your post. Why? Because I think the MOA is a great club and I am an unabashed supporter of the ON.

    Since the ON is composed of member submitted content, how about submitting an article that you would like to see in the ON. I'm sure your have some products or gear that you consider useful. I would like to hear about it. I always read the reviews, and have contributed a few of my own.

    Have you taken a ride somewhere that I haven't been and might want to hear about it and see pics? I would love to read it.

    The ON and the MOA are only as good as we are willing to make it. I look forward to your contribution.

    One other point. You don't pay to subscribe to a publication, you pay to be a member and one of your member benefits is the club publication, the ON. I know a lot of members who only want the ON and don't participate otherwise. There are others that consider the ON a bonus and would be members even if the ON didn't exist.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    I have to say that it looks like the GS Giants have more fun than any other group at the Rally.
    You betcha, Bud. It's almost scary how much fun the Giants have. And almost embarrassing how wrong they are in the beer tent!

    Do you have to own a GS to be a Giant????
    Absolutely not, it's all about the adventure, and the adventure is what *you* make it.

    Our events welcome riders on all brands of bikes, at all riding skill levels. We've got fun stuff for everyone from beginners to the big dogs.

    Watch for some big doings on both sides of the country next year. I will be sure to give you a heads up.

    Ian

    HoustonMac rides an old R bike and does just fine...


    Crazy Joe Cuda took on the GS Giant's Adventure Track... he did have a bit of a problem in the mud...

  11. #56
    Registered User PittsDriver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    The best thing you can do is contribute something that interested *you* and be a part of the solution. You're not a customer, you're a member.
    Loved the video and your point and challenge to contribute are well made. I'd like to spend a week in the mountains on an HP4 please? I promise to write glorious prose about the adventures of a 54 year kid and his return to race bikes: "How to channel your inner hooligan and not go to jail." I'm also good with video and had one published in our aerobatic flying e-newsletter. I'm set up with a bag full of POV cameras and an editing system - I'm all over this HP4 thing when y'all are ready. Just let me know where I can snag the bike for a week?

    j/k....no actually I'm serious....j/k...unless it's possible?
    Wes Jones
    Annapolis, MD
    2012 K1600GT, Vermillion Red
    2013 S1000RR, Granite Gray

  12. #57
    vincewinkel
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    Vince Winkel here. I've just finished reading this thread. All of your comments are greatly appreciated, in particular those that are most critical of my efforts. A few points I'd like to make:
    - We were started and continue as a CLUB NEWSLETTER. The BMW ON will never be a Cycleworld, or Rider, or Motorcyclist. I am charged with managing a club newsletter.
    - As a club newsletter, all the content is written by volunteers. So I am dependent on what the volunteers are willing and/or want to write about. Believe me, I am trying to get more technical articles, I am trying to get a lot more than travel stories. But that is what people send in the most of.
    - I have almost no time to read the forums. I don't have enough time to get through my e-mails each day. So while these threads are beneficial don't assume I am seeing all your ideas for the magazine because you've posted them on a forum. The best way for me to get your ideas, is by e-mail or a phone call. vince@bmwmoa.org, 636-394-7277. You can say whatever you want about the magazine in the forum, that is what is great about it. But if you want to make sure I hear what you are saying your best bet is to reach out to me directly.
    - I can think of no better way to start the weekend, then reading a thread like this! It's always good to be humbled. In my years as media director here, rest assured I have been humbled by the membership many times. I hear what you are saying and we are always trying to improve the magazine and give you all what you want.
    Onward,
    Vince

  13. #58
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    I would like to approach Wes's post a different way. Understanding the MOA's past might help you understand where they are today, and what it takes to change it.

    I bought my first BMW in 1975 when I was 18 years old. I rode the bike for almost 5 years before joining the MOA. Not because I didn't want to join. I just didn't know about the club or how to join. When I ran into another BMW rider, he gave me a copy of his the MOA's newsletter along with an application. I have been a MOA member since then.

    During the first 5 years of BMW ownership, I was completely on my own for information. It really sucked. Joining the MOA opened many doors for me. Back then the newsletter was just a small little newsletter, but it still provided a lot of information when compared to the past. A better source of information could be found at the annual MOA rally. At the rally you learned that there were many other people with the same passion.

    Over the past 3+ decades the MOA has grown dramatically. It no longer has the homey feel that it had in the past. Back then everyone had airheads, so we all had similar interest. Today, there are many different kinds of BMW's. So, we now have factions that are diversely different from each other. Boxers are completely different ride then the K-bikes. And, then you have the GS riders. You also have different kinds of people. Some are rally people. Others like to see how many miles they can ride in a year. Others like to see how many states they can ride to. Then you have the dirt riders who like to visit difficult locations. Lastly, you have a small group that like to ride to great places. I fall into the last group. And, I think you fall into the last group too. The MOA has to appease all of these riders. An impossible task. Back in the old days, I would read the entire newsletter. Easy to do because there were not that many pages. Today, the newsletter is really a magazine with about 200 pages. There is always something that interest me, but I don't read that much of it. Realistically, I still get the same value out of my membership.

    When I first joined the MOA, I didn't like the direction it was going. So, I wrote a few articles and sent in a few pictures. They published everything. One picture I sent in was put on the cover. It was of my girl friend in Lake Placid. It was just before the Lake Placid Rally in 83' (?). The little bit that I contributed changed the direction.

    My suggestion is to contribute to the MOA. Write an article or two. You would be amazed how little it takes to change the direction of the club. If members like your contribution, other people will start to contribute similar articles. The direction of the club is dependent upon the people who contribute.

    For the $40/year I pay for membership, I get a lot out of the club. I have only used the Anonymous book once. But, the one time I needed it, I needed it in the worst way. Sometimes I can go for months and never read the magazine. Other times I read it every month. I don't use the flea market that much, but sometimes it is invaluable. The forum is now another useful tool. Forty bucks is a drop-in-the-bucket compared to the world without the MOA.

    Most non-profits are all about paying the Executive Director a large salary. Most are poorly run. Most are very inflexible. Some provide little value to the community. But, the MOA was very well setup from the beginning, and it has served the members very well. The MOA is very flexible and they are always listening to it's members.

    Maybe your only contribution to the club will be this post. But, you have already made the MOA sit back and think about how they need to change in the future. Hopefully, you can make a contribution that will show us a new direction.

  14. #59
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    Excellent posting. I think as the BMW brand has grown in the past 30 or so years from their only airhead past to include different types of motorcycles, the ON has also grown. GS people want more GS-centered content, airhead people feel they are being abandoned, etc. IMO, it does a great job of including all aspects of BMW ownership. It can't be all things to every rider or owner, and it can only be as good as the people who write and send in the articles.

    Look at the commercial motorcycle magazines and their letters to the editor. Lots of similar complaints there- "I want more ride tales... I want more tech articles...I want you to review THIS motorcycle..."

    I would say, don't lose the fact that we are a club newsletter, and even if every article or photo spread in every issue isn't in YOUR area of interest, it is in other MEMBER'S area of interest. And also the fact that your $40 membership gives you other benefits and even if you never use those benefits, that $40 benefits some very worthwhile non-profit causes and undertakings.

  15. #60
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    Here... watch this nice video!

    MAN-O-MAN that was cool!

    And yes, I'm imagining Bud taking his RT onto the obstacle course...
    2012 R1200GS

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