• 07 Mar 2016 8:36 AM | Anonymous member
    49'er Rally 2016 tickets are now on sale!  The 49'er runs over Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-30, 2016, at Mariposa County Fairgrounds, just south of Mariposa, California, off Hwy 49, gateway to Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada Foothills!  The '49er is the BMW Club of Northern California's annual rally with 40 plus years of tradition and predates BMW Motorcycle Owners of America's (MOA) National Rally. Register EARLY and save $10!!!

  • 02 Mar 2016 3:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Sign ups are open for the next Adopt A Highway clean up date on 4/2/16 at 9:00 AM.  Space is limited, click here to register!

  • 21 Feb 2016 10:35 AM | Anonymous member
    The BMW Motorcycle Club of Northern California held it's third Tech Session (wheels, tires and brakes) at Steve K's place in Fremont, CA.  Great, weather, coffee, potato salad, thanks Steve for hosting us! Rick, thanks for the excellent video of the event, click here to check it out!

  • 09 Jan 2016 5:49 PM | Anonymous member

    2015 has come to a close and 2016 is now upon us. I want to apologize for getting Tom’s name wrong.  Tom Connelly is our ‘49er Chair for 2016.  My mistake.   

    John Ellis has worked to freshen the newsletter to an all color format.  For our members, the newsletter will be available online.  A few copies will go out to high visibility locations throughout the greater Bay Area.  Our intent to to create a visually appealing newsletter that draws new members, gives value to our advertising partners, and continues on as a communications tool for current members.

    Over the next few months, the focus of the Board of Directors and Rally Chair will of course be the ‘49er Rally.  Tom, John, and I have spent more than a few hours working on the initial plan of the Rally.  We have several goals for the rally:  continue the traditions of the annual Rally, grow attendance (another 100 people), and provide a top notch experiences for all attendees.  Mariposa is the destination for 2016.

    The 2016 ‘49er Rally focuses on three items: Experiences, Education, and Prizes.  We want to create experiences that attendees will continue to talk about after the rally, Education in the form of Seminars and Skills trainings, and prizes.  

     A budget is in the works, and will be presented to the Board at our next meeting.  Our goal is to pay for three keynote speakers and two educational seminars from well known personalities within the motorcycling community.  Additionally, a larger portion of funds will be allocated to marketing the ‘49er.

    We hope adding premium experiences and using a more aggressive marketing plan will draw more people to the Rally.  This does come at a risk though.  In order to make the budget work, we need another 100 people at the Rally.  

    I’m calling on all club members to help with the Rally this year.  Tom, John, and I have kicked around a number of ideas around the Experiences and Education part of the Rally.  We need more ideas and the people that are passionate about bringing those ideas to life for the ‘49er.   If there is something you want at the Rally and can make it happen, we want your help.  Our list is certainly not exhaustive, so don’t think the list is all that can be done.

    We also need help in one of our key areas:  Marketing.  The need for marketing assistance cannot be understated.  The demographic we must reach is beyond that which comes from MOA and RA.  

    Below is a short of list of experiences and education.  Again, the list is not exhaustive.  We are looking for people to help make these and more a reality for the 2016 ‘49er Rally.

    • Asphalt Skills
    • Asphalt Trials
    • Bike Wash
    • Charging Stations
    • Dirt Skills
    • Dirt Trials
    • GS Ride (Men)
    • GS Ride (Women)
    • Lead "Sunrise Ride"
    • Lead "To Mariposa" (Fri)
    • Lead Ride (Sat)
    • Lead Ride (Sun)
    • Oil Change
    • Old Bikes
    • Poker Run
    • Real Coffee
    • Seminar, Deal/Mfg, New Bikes
    • Slow Race
    • Trolley to Mariposa
    • Wifi
    • Wine Tasting (local)\
    • Photo Booth
    • Asphalt Seminar
    • Dinner Speaker
    • Dirt Seminar
    • Seminar, Healthy Riding
    • Seminar, Horizons Unlimited
    • Seminar, Overseas Travel
    • Seminar, TBD
    • Seminar, TBD
    • Seminar, TBD
    • Concourse of Elegance (Vintage)
    • Dirt Trials
    • Poker Run
    • 50/50
    • Slow Race
    • Giveaways
    • Grand Prize
  • 08 Jan 2016 6:17 PM | Anonymous member

    Happy New Year!  Longer days for longer rides.

    Thanks again to Joyce for leading the November (Dec 5) ride to Plaskett Creek while I steamed across the Atlantic. And thanks to Fred Montano for writing the trip report. Word is that it was a nice spot, and we’ll keep it in mind.

    The January 30 meeting will be at Arroyo Seco Park group camp in Los Padres National Forest. We haven’t used that convenient winter-spring site since the 2013 freeze out because of fire restrictions. This (wetter) year, fires are allowed in designated campfire areas. I will lead the ride, starting at Flames Coffee Shop, 7170 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose; Breakfast at 8:00, engines at 9:00. Dress warm and watch the web site and Meetup for late weather-related news.

    The Feb 27 meeting will be at Fremont Peak SP. March will take us to Furnace Creek, where we have 2 group sites and 2 individual sites for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights; the meeting is on Saturday, Mar 26.

    The April 23 meeting will be at Black Butte Lake, near Orland (not Lassen); I’m hoping to see some water in the lake. May brings the 49er in Mariposa.

    The June election meeting will be at Calaveras Big Trees, near Arnold. I won’t be seeking a third term, but I will provide the new captain with camping reservations at least through the Oktoberfest.

    Enjoy the ride!

    Ted Crum, Tour Captain

  • 07 Jan 2016 1:13 PM | Anonymous member
    Three tribes of Native Americans—the Ohlone, Esselen, and Salinan—are speculated to have been the first people to inhabit the area now known as Big Sur.

    The first Europeansto see Big Sur were Spanishmariners led by Juan Cabrillo in 1542, who sailed up the coast without landing. Two centuries passed before the Spaniards attempted to colonize the area. In 1769, an expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá were the first Europeans known to set foot in Big Sur, in the far south near San Carpoforo Canyon. Daunted by the sheer cliffs, his party avoided the area and pressed far inland.

    Portolá landed in Monterey Bay in 1770, and with Father Junípero Serra, who helped found most of the missionsin California, established the town Monterey, which became the capital of the Spanish colony Alta California. The Spaniards gave Big Sur its name during this period.  Along with the rest of California, Big Sur became part of Mexico when it gained independence from Spain in 1821.  In 1848, as a result of the Mexican-American War, Mexico ceded California to the United States

    From the 1860s through the start of the 20th century, loggers cut down most of the coast redwoods.  After a brief industrial boom faded, the early decades of the 20th century passed with few changes, and Big Sur remained a nearly inaccessible wilderness. As late as the 1920s, only two homes in the entire region had electricity, locally generated by water wheels and windmills. Most of the population lived without power until connections to the California electric grid were established in the early 1950s. The California coast south of Carmeland north of San Simeonwas one of the most remote regions in the state, rivaling nearly any other region in the United States for its difficult access.

    The state first approved building Route 56, or the Carmel-San Simeon Highway,to connect Big Sur to the rest of California in 1919. Federal funds were appropriated and in 1921 voters approved additional state funds. San Quentin Prisonset up three temporary prison camps to provide unskilled convict laborto help with road construction. One was set up by Little Sur River, one at Kirk Creek and a third was later established in the south at Anderson Creek. Inmates were paid 35 cents per day and had their prison sentences reduced in return. Locals, including writer John Steinbeck, also worked on the road. The road necessitated 33 bridges constructed, the largest of which was the Bixby Creek Bridge. Six more concrete arch bridges were built between Point Sur and Carmel, and all were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. After 18 years of construction, aided by New Deal funds during the Great Depression, the paved two-lane road was completed and opened on June 17, 1937. The road was initially called the Carmel-San Simeon Highway, but was better known as the Roosevelt Highway, honoring the current President (Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Actual cost of the construction was around $10 million. The road was frequently closed for extended periods during the winter, making it a seasonal route. During World War II, nighttime blackouts were ordered as a precaution against Japanese attack.

    The route was incorporated into the state highway system and designated as Highway 1in 1939. In 1940, the state contracted for "the largest installation of guard rail ever placed on a California state highway", calling for 12 miles of steel guardrail and 3,649 guideposts along 46.6 miles of the road. After World War II ended, tourism and travel boomed along the coast. When Hearst Castleopened in 1958, a huge number of tourists also flowed through Big Sur. The road was declared the first State Scenic Highway in 1965, and in 1966 the first lady, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, led the official designation ceremony at Bixby Creek Bridge. The US Government designated the route as an All American Road.

    Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Bridge, is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California. The bridge is located 120 miles south of San Francisco and 13 miles south of Carmelin Monterey County along State Route 1. Prior to the opening of the bridge in 1932, residents of the Big Sur area were virtually cut off during winter due to the often-impassable Old Coast Road that led 11 miles inland. At its completion, the bridge was built under budget for $199,861 and was the longest concrete arch span at 320 feet (98 m) on the California State Highway System. It is one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world and one of the most photographed bridges along the Pacific Coast due to its aesthetic design and location.

    Edward Perry, Historian

  • 07 Jan 2016 12:48 PM | Anonymous member

    I think all of us can read the tire sizes on the side walls, but do you know what all those other numbers and letters mean?  There is a lot of information there, but it’s all in code. Let’s start with the size. Do you have an older bike and your tire just has a dash (-) between the width and aspect ratio? That means something! It’s the construction code and here’s the brake down:

    Now how old it is? Find the DOT number, then look at the last four digits. They represent the week and year of production.  For example, a date code of “4510” means the tire was produced in the 45th week of 2010.

    One of the more critical marks on a motorcycle tire is the rotation arrow(s). Always insure the tire is turning the proper direction for best traction and water dispersal.

    Next is the max inflation allowable by the tire manufacture. This is for a cold tire carrying its max load, and may not be the recommended pressure by the motorcycle manufacture for your load. Check your owner’s manual for that.

    Now let’s check the tire’s load rating and speed. Find a two digit number and letter not part of the DOT number. The number is the max load rating at max pressure, and the letter is its max speed rating. Note that tires with a “W” or “(W)” speed index are identified by a “Z” before the construction code in the tire size designation. Also if one intends to run at or near the max rated speed, then max load must be reduced.

    Speed Index Chart:


    Speed: miles per hour

    Speed: kilometers per hour


    99 mph

    160 km/h


    112 mph

    180 km/h


    118 mph

    190 km/h


    124 mph

    200 km/h


    130 mph

    210 km/h


    149 mph

    240 km/h


    168 mph

    270 km/h


    Over 168 mph

    Over 240 km/h


    186 mph

    300 km/h


    Over 149 mph

    Over 240 km/h

    Just two more things; don’t forget to check for those ware bars as you use up the tread. But the most important thing you can do for your tires is, inflation, inflation, inflation! Get a good gage and use it often for best traction, and tread life. 

    Happy New Year – Ride Safe!

    Steve Kesinger, your Safety Guy!

  • 09 Dec 2015 12:58 PM | Anonymous member
    This past weekend I attended another enjoyable end of the month Ride & Campout Meeting at Plasket Creek, located six miles from Gorda, California.  As usual this was a very well thought out, coordinated, and managed event. I am always amazed how the BMW NorCal motorcycle club organizes interesting rides month after month, and year after year; for 50 years. This is certainly a testament to the quality of members, leadership, & support. And our main goal to self actualize by enjoying our lives by riding motorcycles and appreciating the outdoors with like minded people.

    Over the past year and a half that I have been a member there have been some events that stick out in my mind.  The 49er Rally’s in Mariposa, the Range of Light / Gypsy Tour, the election campout at Finnon Lake, Death Valley Ride, Song Dog, Bodega Bay; all the End of Month Campouts and second Sunday rides. In short, every ride that the NorCal Club has organized that I have attended.  It seems that I invariably experience a new road or area that I have not known before. I did not think that would happen since I have been riding a motorcycle since 1966 and grew up in Northern California. The rides are rich in quality, scenery, and challenge my riding ability. 

    The only thing I have enjoyed more then the ride is the people I have met. I have found that the members have a variety of life experience, riding ability, mechanical expertise, and they are willing to share all that information. This makes our gatherings and evening bonfires very interesting. The stories and tall tales are always a source of information and interest. As one story finishes another member has a similar one but only bigger and better. I also learn more about riding techniques. Some of our members have been to riding courses and are willing to share that information. If you are having a problem a member can and will help solve the problem. Or at least give free advise, (and sometimes it works…).

    This past Saturday morning I woke up at 6AM to join the December ride to Plasket Creek Campground. As the alarm clock sounded its wake up ring I rolled around and turned it off. I laid there for a while thinking of the ride to Morgan Hill and seeing familiar faces. I still had a few things to pack, (food, camping gear, and maybe motor oil just in case). After washing up and eating scrambled eggs, I was ready to venture to the garage to finish packing and tying everything on the bike. Oh good, ready to go – finally. The R100 airhead started right up. It was rare’n to go. After stopping for gas I was on the freeway heading to meet my riding buddies in Morgan Hill at the Dunnes Restaurant. I arrived in plenty of time since there was no traffic on 880. There to greet me was Ed Perry and John Ellis, my old riding partners. Of course it was good to see Cliff Dunn, Russ Drake, Joyce Sampson, Alex Rodas, and the rest of the ten members that went on the ride. The food was pretty good and all went well – there was no food fights or loud belching.

    Joyce Sampson was our tour captain for the ride to Plasket Creek. After the riders meeting we were off to Heckler Pass and down to Watsonville. Down Hwy 1 and off to Molera Road past all the meticulous rows of planted strawberry’s and beautiful soil that was tilled and ready for planting. The valley is so lush and picturesque.  We continued on toward Salinas and had a rest stop by Fort Ord. We continued on our journey toward King City. The road paralleled the mountains (Sierra de Salinas). We met a few tractors and workers that waved to us on our way. We gassed up at King City and Joyce went shopping at Safeway for food and beer.  Now we took off toward Jolon on road J14 and turned into Fort Hunter-Liggett and onto Nacimiento Road, (or Nasty Tomato as Russ Drake calls it).  This road wound through a beautiful valley in the Fort and twisted and turned toward the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. As we crossed a narrow bridge we began to climb into the mountain. The terrain was heavily wooded and the road had tight and twisty turns. It was challenging and very interesting to ride. As we climbed up and up the mountain we traveled at a quick pace. Oh no! As we made a turn there was a car that had stopped and was backing up in front of Joyce. It appeared the driver did not see Joyce or our group that had quickly stopped close to the car.  After honking horns and yelling a bit, the driver stopped backing up.  Whew – tragedy over…  We continued up the hill and enjoying the ride. When we reached the top the view of the Pacific Ocean and the coastline was spectacular. Oh my god what a beautiful sight. This is the reason I ride and am a member of the NorCal Club.  As we continued down the mountain it was difficult to keep my eyes on the twisty road because the view was so fantastic. We turned onto Hwy 1 and shortly reached Plasket Creek Campground.

    The campground was on the side of the hill so there was a slope, but not to bad for sleeping. We had a good informative meeting that was chaired by Bill Lopez. The evening bonfire was roaring thanks to John Ellis and company. There were plenty of stories to go around. I had the privilege of talking with a new guest and his wife who had just moved here from Washington State. After a good night sleep I made breakfast, ate, packed up, and headed home on Hwy 1. What a great ride with virtually no traffic, go figure…

    Fred Montano
  • 16 Nov 2015 1:19 PM | Anonymous member

    Still glowing from Oktoberfest?   Great location, food and volunteer teamwork made the Oktoberfest 2015 one to remember!  No significant events on the financial side.  The BOD is working with Tom Connolly, our 2016 49'er Rally Chair, to develop the budget and the underlying list of activities for the event.  Our state and federal taxes need to be filed prior to November 15th (ugh...)  Russ Drake graciously volunteered to publish the club directory for 2016 and we download all the member data from the new club website.  Speaking of which, we cut over to the new site on November 1st.  The initial release looks familiar but with added features: member logon, access to confidential club documents (meeting minutes and financial records), member directory, view purchase and payment history and more!   Buddy Scauzzo (Advertising Chair) has offered to update the banner photos more frequently.  Ed Perry (Historian) and Rick Klain are collaborating to bring to life the club history with lots of photos, videos and old documents.  If you are interested in helping with the website this is a great time to get your hand up!  If you have questions about the club finances shoot me an email at treasurer@norcal.org and wherever you ride, think safe!


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