The 2019 BMW MOA rally is in Tennessee
I've been a member for a couple of years now and my 3 week trip that ended in 2 days last year prevented me from getting to last year's in Des Moines. Now I'm determined and I'm scheduled to give a couple of presentations about Newfoundland at the rally. The vendor list is insane and there are seminars on all topics as well. I'm looking forward to doing a little volunteering including pouring beers in the beer tent. Should be fun. My ferry is booked and the bike is packed a little on the heavy side to set up in comfort down there. I did remember to crank up the preload a little. Liftoff.
Anyway...the fun is over and I’m on my way home, sitting in the Montreal airport so I guess I should continue the story. Day one was Thursday, I was ready to go on my vintage bike dressed in vintage leather with vintage me. I was just about to roll out when I noticed one of my auxiliary lights was a hair loose so I went to the basement to grab a wrench. My helmet was on and flipped up so of course I hit my head on the stairs. I was an hour down the road before I realized the beak on my brand new Schuberth E1 wasn’t on the helmet. Damn! So it goes, at least it wasn’t too cold. I pinged townieglen to see if he remembered the range as it was his first bike, nope. First gas stop I filled my Giant Loop one gallon gas bag and was glad I had it when I ran out about 10 km’s shy of Deer Lake. Now I know reserve comes on around 270. Nothing else of note on the drone across the island, my leather was comfy and I felt fine on a bike I’d never ridden more than 3 hours before. Running gear was good so I felt good to go further and get on the boat.
Who ever takes pics of that 900 km run we all hate so much? Not me, until now.
So I hop back on to go to the boat, turn on the key and no power! Fuck! I start wiggling wires and looking for the relay all to no avail, I’m thinking my starter gremlin has finally killed it. This goes on for about 10 minutes when I realize the kill switch hidden behind the GPS was on. Idiot! All’s well that ends well, time to get a beer and on the boat.
Day two starts as usual on the ferry, I was near the front with a full tank of gas as was glad to get off before the crowds, with a long day ahead of me I opted to take the main highway. My little bike was cruising along nicely at 120 on the GPS. The weather was good getting off the boat but I hit fog in Port Hawksbury and it didn’t let up until Antigonish. I came very close to pulling off to put on warmer gloves.
My hot idle was revving very high at 4500 and was really loud. I was having starter issues and as the day went on the gremlin would come out where when you hit the button there would be nothing. At the border the agent asked me to turn off the bike so I warned him it wouldn’t start again, he said he’d give me a push. Business concluded he certainly did give me a push for an easy bump start. Thanks dude.
I got to my friend Jerry’s in Pittsfield Maine in good time and had some good beer waiting for me. We shot the shit, had a cigar and pulled the starter switch to make sure that wasn’t the problem. Sadly no.
He and his wife kindly took me out for dinner, yummy burger topped with prime rib
This was a big day, I had a few aches and pains to show for it.
Of course I forgot to get a pic of Jerry before I left but he was kind enough to lead the way to Max BMW in Portsmouth where they said they’d fit me in but didn’t know when as they were very busy. Through a bunch of discussion we concluded the problem must be the starter relay. Not wanting to wait around at Max I bought the relay and hit the road to ADV inmate joshuaz223. I found him on tent thread on what I figured was a decent route and with only a day’s notice he said to come on by. On my way to his place just north of Syracuse routes different from my map led my 40 miles in the wrong direction so I got there later than expected for another long day.
Roy was an interesting guy with a lifetime on bikes and at least 6 or 8 floating around his yard. He used to work for Ducati at the GP races and had lots of good stories. When I told him about our B&B plans he offered me a little token for it. This wee banner was given to him by Pierre Terblanche from his office so a cool bit of swag.
Up early for another day on the road.
I left Roy’s early to get on the road looking forward to a bit shorter of a day. Somewhere in New York State very near Watkins Glen I was pulled over, mr policeman said he got me doing 75 in a 55. I told you my little bike was running well. He tells me that’s a $1000 fine so knocks it down to 65. When I got home I had a good look at the long printed ticket thing and in one place it says 65 but in another it says 75, maybe printed right from the radar? I mailed it in, we’ll see what they come back with to decide if I’ll pay it or not.
Further down the road I missed a split on the freeway and ended up going 40 miles out of my way again! Damn! Oh well. I rolled into MCCOYBOY’s later than expected and Chris set me up in his shed in case it rained. It hadn’t occurred to me to stop for food so I had nothing until I remembered the missus had sent me away with a bag of homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, not too bad a supper. I was up early again and the starter was being pesky so I swapped in the new starter relay, it felt like my problem was solved. At least it did until a little later that day when it was back to bump starting it.
We were up fairly early the next morning and I was packing the bike to go when Rick asked if it would cramp my style if he rode with me? I said it was more likely I’d be cramping his style. He said he was going to go down to the restaurant at the bottom for breakfast. Sounded like a great idea to me as it was going to be a short day to get to Lebanon for the rally. Off we went with him leading and soon we were into the tight technical twisties. At only 08:00 I was happy to see one Killboy tent and one 129 tent of them taking photos as I wanted one of me on my own bike hopefully looking like I had a clue of what I was at.
We had a good run and it was quickly obvious how well Rick knew the road as he never used his brakes! He was nice enough to go slow enough to keep me in sight and my only real goal was not to cross the Center line which is harder that you might think. I did hit a patch of broken pavement in the bottom of a right hander that totally unglued the front end and bounced me about a foot across but luckily there was a long sight line to the next corner to see anything oncoming so no issue.
Going early morning on a Tuesday was nice as there was no traffic. We got down to the cafe where I happily bought Rick breakfast and we chatted with a couple of his friends who rolled it. Certainly all the staff knew him well. Keith rolled in with his yellow sidecar rig and I instantly recognized Glenlivet’s ride as I’ve been reading his sidecar dog stories on and off for years. Cool to meet him in person, he too was headed to the rally.
From there Rick sent me off to the Cherahola Skyway which is 43 miles of beautiful twisty sweepers as opposed to the technical turns of the Dragon. I came up on about 40 cruisers which took awhile to pass in those turns. When I got closer to the front they were pulling over to let me by. Thank fuck I wasn’t riding with them, I’d be off my head! Great run through there then back on the interstate to the rally.
Not far from Lebanon I had the idea to see what my bike would do, I wound it up on a long downgrade that went into a left hand bend and around 90 mph I was getting the wobbles pretty bad so I backed off until a bit later when I had a good straight where I wound it up again. I buried the redline and got 162 on my GPS for a true ton. Original spec rated my little LS at 50 hp with a top speed of 108. If I’d know than then I would have kept it wound a little longer. Still I was impressed by my little machine’s willingness to giv ‘er.
I rolled into Lebanon and quickly found the fairground where I was directed to the non club affiliated camping field. I rolled up to the only flat ground I could see and shut off my bike to start pitching camp.
We’re having some fun now testing the chicken strips!
Look at that textbook head angle!
A couple of posterity shots on the way out showing off my RTR sticker
Upon inspection I was stoked to see I’d gotten all the way over on the chicken strips on the front and about 1/4 inch from the edge on the back. Another run or two and they would have been scrubbed off for sure.
After running the beautiful and fun Cherohala Skyway I got on the Interstat to boot it to Lebanon getting to the rally a bit early. Finally a short day in the saddle.
When I rolled into the fairgrounds I saw tents and taped off sections, a guy told me the solo camping was in a different field and pointed the way. When I rolled over there the first thing I looked for was flat ground to put up my tent. I got one of the last little pockets and got to work setting up camp.
Pretty quiet start
The guys camped next to me were from Kelowna and Seattle, good people who I hung around with on and off the whole time. We cruised around and found he BBQ joint.
This was a good feed.
Wednesday the beer tent opened and I volunteered to pour. It was a lot quieter then than in this pic.
I just realized I totally missed putting up a post after day 1 so here goes
So to answer the question here is the first of my string of the same pic. I try to keep track of how the days go, here are the details of day 1. I made it there in good time seeing as there's no reason to slow down anywhere except gas.
One of the first places I was hanging out was Airhead Central where all the chapters of Airheads from around the continent were hanging out. They were super helpful identifying and dealing with little odds and ends on my bike. They taught me how to adjust my valves and a bunch of other little things. Tommy had a booth in vendors and had plenty of spare parts for sale. I should have bought a neutral switch from him too as Matt PArkhouse thinks that might be my starter problem. Now I'm looking into setting up an Airheads NL chapter. I snapped a pic of the sunset to put up on the ADV sunset thread
Thursday morning I was signed up for the Streetmasters clinic figuring there was something to learn and try to improve my riding a bit. This guy's border collie was hanging out with dad, funny as shit watching them doing laps around the little course.
There were a lot of bikes for sale of all different ages and price points. This one was cheap, if I had cash I would have seriously considered it even though I hate that shade of yellow.
The solo field was filling up
Good crowds lined up for the entertainment, I didn't really hang out to watch, I could hear it from the beer tent.
I don't know why people put covers on when it's not raining, maybe to keep the dew off?
The bodies kept pouring in, most of them were sleeping on a slant. Personally I hate it when I'm off kilter and winding up in the bottom of my tent.
Friday and Saturday I had slots to give a presentation about NL, the first one was a full house, with people standing, there are an awful lot of people who want to come to NL! Good omen for our B&B.:) The only seminar I made it to was a guy running a tour company in Russia, looked good but I'm planning to go there anyway. There were many many seminars up for grabs.
There were a few of us in KTM hats and Chris was a fellow beer pourer with me on Wednesday, I ended up drinking plenty of beers with him over the weekend. Good guy, too bad he has to live in Florida. Can't remember who the other guy is.
Eric and what's his name were the two guys camped next to me and were nice enough to give the ADV salute.
Mosko Moto were set up in the Vendors area and I was stoked to meet Pete, Ash and Sarah in person. I've been following their thread on ADV from the beginning and have talked to them plenty on email. Their Nomad tank bag has worked very well for me on my 640 and my R65. I have their cinch straps which have done great work as tie downs, ferry tie downs and tow straps. I blew the stitching one one when it got chewed up in the 640 sprocket, Pete was super kind and gave me a replacement from their demo gear. Thank you very much! Great folks making what are arguably the best soft bags you can buy! I plan to get a set of the R80 v'3's fr my trip to Siberia next year.
Good humour was never far away.
Plenty of good shopping outside and inside was about 10 x's more. All I bought were bits and pieces for the bike. I looked at new gloves but over $300 CDN turned me off. I'll see what they cost at the Toy Box.
This was supposed to be a pic of the vendors area but I had too many links
Here's the little guy who likes riding with his dad
And then before you knew it it was time to hit the road again. Good times for my first MOA rally.
Ok, now I’m not impressed with this forum telling me I have too many links in my post. That is ridiculous!
This one was cheap, if I had cash I would have seriously considered it even though I hate that shade of yellow.
Friends don't let Friends ride K bikes !
[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
Thanks for taking the time to post about your trip, very enjoyable reading it.
I typically don’t like K bikes with the exception of the 1300 S and the 1600 GT. I very much want another airhead of some ilk.
Here are the 2 pics I couldn’t put up in my last post, you’ll have to back and rad the last post again.