July 2014 — Bike Review — Chasing Sunsets With the K 1600 GTL Exclusive

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By David Soderholm

I know what you’ve been thinking. “Man I love that new K 1600 GTL, and I’d buy one, but it doesn’t have enough standard features.”

Well, BMW has answered your calls. For a paltry sum of $29,950 ($30,445 as tested), the finest, most luxurious, best performing, most feature-laden touring motorcycle offered to the public could be yours. Meet the new K 1600 GTL Exclusive, an amazing sunset chasing motorcycle that appeared ready to warp me through time and over road more comfortably and dynamically than anything I’ve ever ridden.  

To create the “Exclusive” for 2014 BMW started with a standard GTL and added just about every option previously available for it and then some.  Standard GTL-E features included over and above the regular GTL options list include: special “Mineral white metallic three layer” paint treatment (stunning btw), chrome and brushed aluminum accents, upgraded instruments, hill start assist, keyless ride control for the steering lock, ignition, fuel tank lid and alarm system, radio foil antenna, enlarged touring seat, heating element for the passenger backrest with integrated armrests, LED additional headlight, a second brake light and ground effects lighting. The only additional options are: low / high seat, high windscreen, Akropovic sport silencers, BMW Motorrad Navigator V and a third power socket.

July 2014 — Reader’s Story — Touring the Balkans on a Bandit

Photo by Tim Walker

By Tim Walker

Sometimes, manna really does fall from the sky, at least figuratively. It happed to me last June, when a business trip to Zagreb, Croatia, fell into my lap. So of course I immediately began charting out how far I could roam on a rented motorcycle in the five vacation days I tacked on to my trip.

Croatia is in the heart of the Balkans, the handful of small countries in southeast Europe hugging the Adriatic Sea on the west and stretching from Greece in the south to Austria in the north. The region is overflowing with natural beauty and geographical features that make it especially appealing to motorcyclists.

The Balkans are home to the southern portion of the Alps, so there are plenty of challenging twisties to get the adrenaline pumping. And when those mountains collide with the Adriatic Sea, the result is fantastic coastal roads with cliffs on one side and wide open blue skies and water on the other. And just offshore, there are scores of barren, rocky islands that positively shimmer silver as they reflect the rays of the sun.

July 2014 — BMW Owners Unite in Minnesota in July

Photo courtesy of BMW By Guido Ebert
guido@mnmotorcycle.com

BMW motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are streaming into Minnesota this month as the state plays host to the 42nd BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) International Rally.

Expect an estimated 5,000-7,000 BMW brand enthusiasts on bikes, as well as multitude of RVs towing trailers loaded with bikes, to fill a seven-block portion of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds July 24-27, with the main festivities occurring on the five blocks between Hoyt Ave. and Dan Patch Ave. 

July 2014 — Geezer With A Grudge — When Memories Lie

By Thomas Day
thomas@mnmotorcycle.com

Some friends were showing or selling stuff at the Viking Chapter AMCA National Vintage Bike Show and I had a few hours to kill before my kids stuffed me for Fathers Day, so I blew $5 and hung out with old timers looking at old bikes in better shape than when they (either the guys or the bikes) were new. There was a lot of stuff to see. The state fairground’s Progress Center building was stuffed with motorcycles from my youth and beyond, and the campground to the north was manned by swap meeters plying their wares.

I’ve said this before, but there is still not a lot about owning and restoring old bikes that I get. I took a lot of pictures and talked to a bunch of people. In all, I had fun, but wasn’t much tempted . . . until I spotted a cheap, fairly sun-thrashed, 1984 Yamaha IT200 for “make offer.”

July 2014 — Road Rash

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July 2014 — From The Hip

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There is a motorcycle rally coming to town and it’s a big one. The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally will be at our State Fairgrounds July 24-27, 2014. I’ve been to enough rallies to discover I’m not a rally kind of guy. That being said, I’m kind of looking forward to this one.

I came to the conclusion that I’m not a rally kind of guy based on my rally experiences. It’s similar to how I’m not a beach, resort, theme park or large group ride kind of guy. When I’m involved in any of these things, I seem to always want to be doing something else. This is more of a reflection on me than anything else.

July 2014 — Tales From The Road — Discovering Your Lack of Skills

Photo by MMMBy Paul Berglund

I never got any training on how to ride on or off road.  Most of us old timers never did.  Nor did I get any instructions on how to deal with the women I came across in life. You can get hurt out there.

I worked several jobs before going to college in my mid twenties. It was the fall of 1984.  By then I had a shiny red 1983 Kawasaki GPZ 1100 and a beautiful girlfriend. We all moved in together and started attending Saint Cloud State University. At first it was bliss. I was very happy. So much joy was in my life I wanted to spread it around. Why not get my wonderful girlfriend a motorcycle too? I wanted to find a 305 GPZ so we could have matching bikes. This was long before the Internet or even Cycle Trader, so the best I could find was a Suzuki GS 250.  

July 2014 — Feature — Motorcycle Gear And Safety

158_SafetyFashion and safety finally working together with motorcyclist gear.

By Scott Grayson

Guys like James Dean and Steve McQueen made the rebellious style of motorcycles cool. But dying on a chopper because you lacked the necessary safety gear is something not even Dean or McQueen could make hip.

More than 4,600 motorcyclists died in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was a 2 percent increase from the year before, and one can expect those statistics to rise, especially when more states like Michigan are easing standards on wearing helmets. But state governments and worried mothers can breathe a sigh of relief as motorcycle gear is becoming more mainstream and technologically advanced than it has ever been. Motorcycle accessories like helmets, jackets, boots and gloves are as cool as they are safe.

July 2014 — Book Review — “Keep Going! – The Pleasure and Pain of Perseverance”

158_BookReviewAuthor: Piet Boonstra
Publisher: Adventure Touring (March 21, 2012)
Paperback: 288 pages
Language: English

By Stuart Shakespeare

This book is essentially a travel journal by the author, covering several long distance rides that he took from the age of 79, riding from the east coast to Alaska, California and Daytona. Mr. Boonstra is an Octogenarian, and an avid motorcyclist. He has ridden over 1.25 million miles in his motorcycling career, and is winner of three AMA awards, including Rider of the Year in 2002.

In the trips he booked one or two motels in advance, and those were at Thanksgiving. Other than that, he chose to work his way around in a casual manner, with a basic set of turn directions for each trip, choosing en route whether he needed to change course or alter the plan – and finding motels and accommodations as required; his attitude very much one of “be thankful for what you have, and keep going”.

July 2014 — Movie Review — Motorcycle Gang

158_MovieReviewMotorcycle Gang
Directed by John Milius
Showtime Network (1994)
84 minutes, rated R

By Tammy Wanchena

“Made for television” worried me. Jake Busey worried me more.  But desperate times cause for desperate measures and a long, cold winter and my incessant need for white noise had me seeking out new venues for entertainment and caused us to stumble upon “Motorcycle Gang” on Netflix. If only I had not chosen to watch it with a dangerously low supply in the liquor cabinet.

Gerald McRaney is Cal, a former military man who is moving his adulterous wife and his sexually curious 16-year-old daughter to California. On their journey, through no fault of their own, they cross paths with a “Motorcycle Gang”, hence the clever film title. The gang is led by arguably one of the ugliest men alive, Jake Busey. By the time they run across Cal they’ve already killed two locals and ripped off a Mexican heroin dealer. So of course they kidnap Cal’s daughter and head for Mexico. It’s up to him to seek revenge and get his daughter back, using whatever means necessary, of course.

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