Before the magic of cyberspace, there was the low-tech satisfaction of the duplicating machine, and the first editor of the BMW Owners News (Charlie Smith) certainly breathed his share of fluid and licked more than his share of stamps to deliver the BMW News (the original title) to a developing network of owners and enthusiasts, now 37,000-plus strong today.
Do you have an idea for an article or review for the Owners News? Do you want to write about a repair you made on your bike, or a 2,000 mile trip you took? Check out our contributors guidelines and our style guidelines then get in touch with us!
This network of owners and enthusiasts includes more than 1,200 Canadian members, more than 1,000 women solo-riders, as well as a host of more than 500 members from all over the world: Japan, Costa Rica, South Africa, and of course Germany.
From the very beginning in 1972, the purpose of the BMW Owners News has always been to let each member know how much alike, and yet completely different from each other we really are. To maintain and record the growth of this network of enthusiasts, while acting as the best calling card ever in the enticement of potential members, remains its primary function today.
At any given moment, roughly one-fifth of our membership is "new" to motorcycling or motorcycle touring (possibly both). It is the goal of the BMW Owners News, through the continued use of the collective knowledge of its seasoned or veteran riders, to educate those novice tourists. Our members write for each other, educating each other about the assets of motorcycle touring.
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In any group of enthusiasts there will be professionals, learned tinkerers, and those wishing to make their first oil change (including the full range of skill levels in-between). "Tech" in the BMW Owners News is certainly not meant to replace a good Haynes, Clymer or factory shop manual (or the knowledge and where-with-all of good BMW dealer for that matter), but simply to encourage the touring rider to familiarize him or herself with the machine in use and to entertain the mindset of seeing the motorcycle as a series of systems requiring continual maintenance to continue to function properly. The extended capacity for innovative roadside repair or trouble shooting, is in direct relationship to controlling one's fear of the unknown when dealing with problems by the wayside. The function of any and all tech pages in the BMW Owners News is to teach the owner to fully acknowledge the connection between surface beauty and ongoing preventative maintenance.
Each member is also encouraged to see him or herself as part of the system of the motorcycle, and in order for the machine to continue to function properly in a variety of increasingly complex settings, the pilot's range of skills must increase as well--through courses, schools, and other available educational encounters.
Each letter, each product review, each feature article is the gift of a member of BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Inc. The BMW Owners News is committed to publishing the very best of this writing and research by members, while also covering the domestic BMW motorcycle scene as thoroughly as possible.
The bottom line is while it will always be true that no one "needs" a motorcycle (you simply want one and will find a way to get it), there is an undeniable romance and allure emanating from the process of travel by two wheels--whether it be to the middle of Indiana, or to the far reaches of Patagonia--the job of the BMW Owners News is to add to the touring BMW rider's store of knowledge necessary to meet the demands of each and every trip.