Formed in 1972 to build a sense of family among Beemer enthusiasts, the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America currently counts approximately 40,000 members in its fold. An estimated 8,000 members are expected to attend the Gillette rally from across the United States.
Previous rallies have been held in Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Ontario. Gillette was selected for this year’s rally because of the selection of riding roads, camping space and relatively low levels of traffic. Most of the rally’s activities will be held in the 1,000 acre ‘Cam-Plex’ facility.
Attendees will be able to take part in test rides, advanced riding courses, a vintage motorcycle display and a stunt riding performance by Chris ‘Teach’ McNeil. There will also be screenings of motorcycle travel films, including Herbert Schwarz’s Canada 2 Mexico and Helge Pedersen’s Globeriders Silke Road Adventure. Seminars will provide tips on subjects such as on- and off-road riding, GPS navigation and motorcycle photography. Vendors will offer BMW-related gear.
There will also be a special competition with the prizes, including a tour to New Zealand and a 2008 R1200GS Adventure. The BMW MOA Foundation will also hold a raffle for the grand prize of a unique 1974 R75/6 that had been converted to an R90 with a special ‘Gillette Rally’ paint scheme and vintage customized parts from the ’70s.
The 2008 BMW MOA rally coincides with 25th anniversary of the German manufacturer’s K series of motorcycles. BMW MOA and BMW Motorrad will celebrate the milestone with a K Koncours on July 19 followed by a seminar chronicling the history of the K bikes
Introduced in 1983, the K series is BMW’s flagship range, often featuring the latest in new technology. The 1988 K100RS, for example, was the first BMW bike to have an Antilock Braking System. The 1989 K1 was BMW’s first full-fairing sportbike with a power output of 100hp. The BMW K1200LT was the first motorcycle to be equipped with electronic cruise control and heated seats.
In 2004, BMW redesigned the K series, giving the K1200S a new in-line four-cylinder engine and in 2005, Electronic Suspension Adjustment.
For more information about the 2008 BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally, visit http://www.bmwmoa.org/rally/rally08/.
Thousands celebrate at BMW bash