July 11th, 2014
My New Book FORKS and How Bob’s BMW Kept Me Going Around The World
By: Allan Karl
Those of you who know me remember, and for those of you I’ve yet to meet, I spent three years traveling around the world alone on my 2005 F650GS Dakar. While I’ve delivered a few presentations at Bob’s BMW, there are lot of stories, adventures and lessons that never made it into those presentations.I share many of these stories and lessons—plus hundreds of more photos and delicious recipes from each of the 35 countries I traveled in my new book FORKS—A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection. It’s a big book—coffee-table size and packed with info—including my packing list, maintenance and parts used over three years.
What many people don’t remember — and what I will never forget—is how instrumental Bob’s BMW was in getting me some of those parts which are difficult to find in the vast plains of Patagonia or the wild savannah of the Serengeti in Tanzania. Where other part vendors refused or were unable to ship parts to the remote ends of the earth, Bob’s always came through.
One particular challenge came when my battery would no longer hold a charge. I was in the Andes Mountains in Bolivia. After making phone calls, taking taxis and busses to nearly every battery and motorcycle parts supplier in Bolivia, I called on Bob’s BMW. Unlike a clutch cable, fork seals or steering head bearings (all parts I needed during my trip) batteries are considered hazardous materials. Bob’s didn’t hesitate and quickly processed the special paperwork and customs documentation required. That battery made it to Bolivia and I was able to get on with my journey.
When I finally returned to the United States, I retrieved my bike from the Port of Baltimore. For the first time in three years, my trusty Dakar was back on U.S. soil. Yet before I made my journey across these United States to my home in California, I again relied on Bob’s to do a complete maintenance and check—preparing me once again for the long journey—where I rode only backroads, never a freeway, highway, interstate or turnpike. As I did all over the world, I wanted to take a slower and closer look at my own country.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of FORKS, you can order a copy on my website (I’ll sign it) or you can save a few bucks and order from Amazon. No matter where you buy your copy, be sure to give me a shout out and let me know what you think.
Hope to see you on the road, or at Bob’s BMW, soon!
July 11th, 2014
Mods and Rockers began in the early-mid 1960’s among British youths. Rockers developed a “macho biker gang image, wearing clothes such as black leather jackets” and Mods “adopted a pose of scooter-driving sophistication, wearing suits and other clean-cut outfits.” These two British sub-cultures were complete polar opposites; everything from the clothes they wore, to the music they listened to, to their overall personalities and viewpoints. There was an urban split among the two groups that often resulted in brawls and even riots. It was thanks to the spotlighted media coverage surrounding the battling groups, the term “moral panic” was coined by sociologist Stanley Cohen.
Fast forwarding to today, credit is given to the Rockers for giving birth to the legendary term, “Café Racer,” one of motorcycling’s most recent and biggest crazes where youths race from pub to pub, sometimes “pulling the ton” (going 100mph) to see who has the fastest café racer.
It’s an interesting point in motorcycling history which groups of motorcyclists around the country are bringing back as a unique way to rally vintage and retro motorcycles and scooters. So again, please help Bob’s BMW support this fun and local motorcycling event on August 23!
May 23rd, 2014
May 15th, 2014
After 30 plus years of participating as a vendor at the MOA International Rally, Bob’s BMW knows it is necessary to annually change up its display to keep it new and fresh so the rally continues to be fun and exciting for all those attending. So for Bob’s 2014 MOA rally display we have two BIG announcements. First, Bob’s is excited to announce the first and ONLY GG Taurus in the U.S. will be on display at Bob’s BMW booth, Main Vendor Building, Spaces 179-184! Rally-goers will have the opportunity to be one of the first to see this 3-wheeled, BMW powered machine. But wait there is more…
Your bike could be on display alongside this limited edition, incredible machine! If you are planning to attend this year’s rally July 24-27, “Rolling By The River” in St. Paul, Minnesota, and your bike was modified, customized, refurbished, or restored (partly or completely) at Bob’s or it was ‘thanks’ to Bob’s great inventory of parts and accessories that your bike is what it is today please contact us as soon as possible to join in on the fun we are planning.
The plan is to rotate the display of bikes at Bob’s booth multiple times each day so that we are not holding any one bike hostage too long—we want you to enjoy the rally to its fullest and we know that includes having your bike available to go out and enjoy some great riding! Our goal is to share with the new rally-goers the endless possibilities there are with BMW’s and the ability to bring any model back to life.
If you would like to feel like a celebrity at the rally, simply provide email@example.com with 2 good pictures of your bike (right and left), details of the work Bob’s has helped you with, your contact information including full name, phone number, email, and address, along with a short blurb on why your bike should be showcased in our display at this year’s MOA rally!
May 14th, 2014
On April 14, 2014 NHTSA announced BMW North America is recalling model variants of 2005-2011 R1200 models; 2005-2012 K1200, K1300, and K1600 models; 2010-2011S1000RR models; and 2006-2010 HP2 models. Affected models could develop cracks in the flange resulting in a fuel leak and will either need the fuel pump flange reinforced, or the entire pump replaced. The service will take up to 2 hours to complete (at Bob’s BMW) and will of course be covered under warranty.
BMW North America will be notifying owners directly and/or you can call Bob’s Service Department for a VIN check. Personally, Bob’s BMW has sold over 900 affected units so you are encouraged to contact us immediately if your bike fits the above mentioned years and models for a VIN check. Please note where you purchased your bike does not matter. If you are on the road reading this and near Bob’s BMW, Bob’s Service Department is able and willing to help. To date we have serviced and corrected approximately 100 (give or take) affected bikes and we are continuing to schedule appointments.
Finally, if by chance you own one of the affected bikes and had work done to your fuel pump previous to this recall being announced, you are encouraged to contact us to review your work order as some parts may be eligible for reimbursement.
Read the official NHTSA recall notice>> http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=13V617000
May 9th, 2014
I had to check the date on when we last talked about BMW and TVS partnering up to build small-displacement motorcycles together, and it looks like it was almost exactly a year ago. In that timeframe, the two companies have been quietly working, but rumors have started to heat-up as to when we could see a sub-500cc BMW motorcycle.
A cynic’s response might be that BMW doesn’t want to be perceived as late to the small-displacement party, especially since its sub-500cc machines won’t be ready until Q3/Q4 of 2015.
With Honda, Kawasaki, and KTM already debuting their 250cc & 300cc models, and Yamaha & Triumph set to debut 250cc machines shortly, it seems the only manufacturer without a small-displacement offering either available or in the works is Ducati.
Focusing our attention back on BMW though, it seems the first BMW machine could be a rebadged TVS, with the Indian company recently showing its Draken concept (shown above), which features a 250cc single-cylinder engine that makes just under 40hp.
“I know we have been silent on the TVS (Motor Company) and BMW since we had the tie-up. (the first product) It is going to be ready by the second half of next calendar year. All the work is under progress,” said TVS Motor Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan.
BMW and TVS are expected to brand their co-built machines separately, and for different markets. The BMW-branded machines will come to Europe and North America, while the TVS machines will go to India, Asia, and other emerging markets.
With KTM’s partnership with Bajaj helping the Austrian company surpass BMW Motorrad as the largest European motorcycle manufacturer, the German company’s new line with TVS should reverse that trend.
Increasingly the future of the motorcycle industry is happening in India and Southeast Asia, and it seems like just about every manufacturer has some sort of strategy in place for that reality.
April 16th, 2014
Exclusively at their 2014 Open House, Bob’s BMW will introduce the incredible GG Taurus, a BMW powered, 175 HP, three wheeled, street legal creation from Switzerland that will be available for your personal inspection.
The GG Taurus is sure to create immediate lust and outright drooling by every two, three or four wheeled enthusiast that sees it in person. Tell your friends, even those who do not ride motorcycles, to join you on April 26 at Bob’s. And yes, you will be able to touch it, sit on it and even have your photo taken while in the saddle to share with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other Social Media sites.
Built by Swiss company Grueter and Gut Technik, or GG for short, the Taurus is a high performance hammerhead trike, a fascinating vehicle with a bold design and even more impressive build quality that conceals a heart thumping 1,293cc German inline powerplant. If you’ve ever seen the Ferrari Yellow Duetto sidecar rig that Bob owns, rides and shares frequently this was designed and is built by the same company.
Until now it has never before seen on US streets. The Taurus is now available for the first time through a small number of select dealers of which Bob’s is the first. The big-bore engine is capable of developing 175 bhp at 9,250 rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 8,250 rpm, while being coupled with a 6-gear transmission along with suspension, brakes and tires worthy of a formula track car.
The Taurus weighs in at a very nimble 875lbs (without fuel or rider) and has a massive 9 gallon fuel tank to provide a vast cruising range. With a top speed of almost 140 mph, this is one fast trike that all of your friends, neighbors and co-workers will be seriously envious of.
The GG Taurus is the most exclusive 3 wheeler on the planet. This is the Ferrari of bikes and will only be owned by a select few. It is customizable so each owner’s GG Taurus will be exclusive to him or her. This 3-wheeled bike is truly a revolution that will turn heads anywhere and everywhere for the next few decades.
White Glove, Red Carpet delivery is offered with every purchase.
We know you want some technical details before you see it:
March 19th, 2014
✓ 20-POINT COURTESY INSPECTION.
✓ 20% OFF ORIGINAL BMW BATTERIES.
✓ 20% OFF ORIGINAL BMW BRAKE PADS.
Make sure your motorcycle is as ready to ride as you are. Visit Bob’s BMW now through April 30, 2014 for your courtesy 20-point bike inspection – and get 20% SAVINGS on original BMW batteries and brake pads.
Enjoy added peace of mind that comes with expert care and a 2-year unlimited mileage warranty on every original BMW part.
Offer exp. April 30, 2014.
No Appointment Necessary on Saturdays or schedule an appointment TODAY!
March 10th, 2014
BMW’s UNSTOPPABLE Accessory and Riding Gear Savings Offer Ends March 31, 2014!
You saw what’s coming from BMW in 2014 at the International Motorcycle Shows across the country; locally motorcyclists attended the Washington, DC International Motorcycle Show and Timonium Motorcycle Show. Did you attend either show? Maybe both? If so, you should have received one of these amazing, limited time ONLY coupons (pictured above).
So NOW it’s time to take advantage of the valuable (serial numbered) coupon you received at the show! This exclusive offer ends this month and will NOT be extended. Purchases must be made IN-STORE ONLY… these are BMW’s rules and we can’t change them; we simply want to remind everyone out there this offer is ending SOON and you don’t’ want to miss out!
BMW Accessory Purchases
BMW Apparel Purchases
10% OFF purchases up to $500 pre-sales tax
10% OFF purchases up to $250 pre-sales tax
15% OFF purchases over $500 pre-sales tax
15% OFF purchases over $250 pre-sales tax
20% OFF purchases over $1,000 pre-sales tax
20% OFF purchases over $500 pre-sales tax
If you got the coupon at a show and lost it, then start looking; photo copies or a print out of this email may not be used under any circumstances. If you’ve honestly misplaced it please let us know and we’ll at least see if we can help in some manner but there is no guarantee as we can’t print these out. We had one customer whose dog really mangled his badly, it was almost unreadable but we made it all work in the end and followed the rules.
Our biggest disappointment came last year when a good number of these were never redeemed at Bob’s or any other BMW dealership for that matter. Seems a shame to let an opportunity like this slip away so easily.
With saving up to 20% off genuine BMW accessories you don’t want to hesitate. This is all the cool stuff that fits older BMW’s you may already own or the very latest machine from BMW like the R9T or a water cooled R1200GS, R1200RT or maybe even a new S1000R that in some cases may still be on the water for customers awaiting their newest BMW – it’s good for all of them even if it’s paid for and awaiting delivery of your bike so we can install it next month or even in May or June! Tank bags, saddlebags, GPS units, cylinder guards, different seats or windscreens, bag liners, top trunks… the list goes on and on as long as it’s genuine BMW stuff.
And don’t forget that this offer is actually two parts because you can also save up to 20% on any genuine BMW riding gear and apparel. Think about that – the newest gloves, boots, under layers and of course jackets and pants or even a new BMW rain suit can all be had for up to 20% less at Bob’s, with your show coupon.
But remember, you’ve got to bring that valuable coupon to Bob’s because BMW will not allow any mail order or e-commerce orders to be fulfilled. If you just can’t make it in, send your best friend with your coupon to buy the stuff you want and be a sport and tell them to buy something he or she needs too. So jump on our website or BMW’s website and do some pre-shopping and then get back on your bike or even in your car and make it to Bob’s to use your show coupon and save some money between now and Monday March 31, 2014 when this offer ends!
February 25th, 2014
When the newest addition to Bob’s team, Mark Singer was asked “How many motorcycles do you have?” He responded, “Thirty One.”
To which he received a reply of, “Thirty One?!” And he confirmed, “Yes thirty one.”
Mark came on board as the new Finance and Insurance Manager back in December and smoothly transitioned into the Bob’s family. With 31 bikes, you can imagine all of the interesting stories he has to share with co-workers and customers!
Many of the bikes in his collection he has just stumbled upon; your definition barn find. To be told, “If you can get it out of here today, you can have it,” is music to any do-it-yourselfer’s ears!
In his collection are Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis, Suzukis, Harley Davidsons, a Jawa, and a Velorex Sidecar but no BMW!
Mark explained, “I simply have never come across a BMW. By no means am I not interested. I would love to get my hands on a late 70’s, early 80’s airhead. Perhaps a R100RS.” He adds, “If anyone would like to donate a BMW to my collection, I would gladly take it, love it, and care for it forever and ever (LOL)!”
At which point I laughed and said, “Im not sure how many are going to bite on donating a bike to you but I do know there is a 1979 gold metallic R100RS listed in Bob’s project bike inventory. ” Ten minutes later he was emailing Bob for more information!
With 31 motorcycles (and possibly 32 on the way), one might wonder how he chooses which to ride one day to the next? Mark said, “The simple answer is whichever is closest to the garage door! (LOL) But in all seriousness I keep them all in rotation to be sure no season goes by that I don’t enjoy each and everyone.”
He is currently turning wrenches on a 1982 Honda CBX, a 1974 Velorex sidecar, and a 1953 Harley Davidson Head Bobber. Next time you stop by the shop, be sure to say hello and see how his project bikes are coming along!
Welcome to the team Mark. It’s great to have you here!