September 16th, 2015
Dr. Gregory Frazier | September 14, 2015
The unknowing observer may have perceived mayhem prevailing during the Annual Running of the Dogs during the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride, but entrants went away lusting for more of the organized motorcycle adventure chaos.
Billed as the “Transcendental Last Starting Big Dog Adventure Ride,” the 25th event added an extra day of high altitude ground pounding to celebrate a quarter century of the fraternity of like-minded big displacement dual-sport aficionados pushing themselves and their motorcycles to extreme limits.
The event started in Golden, Colorado where veteran Big Dog entrant and owner of Wolfman Luggage Eric Hougen sponsored a Welcome Party for the 2015 entrants. Multi-year entrants spent the evening recounting wild events of years past while newbie entrants listened in awe. For example, a large crowd listened to the tale from a Texas Kawasaki KLR650 rider who lost the track on a high speed dirt road in Wyoming, rode down into the barrow ditch running alongside and was bounced off the back of his motorcycle at speed, doing a double back flip in the air before landing in softening sage brush. After the story was told several newbies expressed doubt until a veteran Big Dog stepped forward and verified the recounting by saying he saw the whole episode because he was following the KLR rider, but managed to stay on the road while the KLR vectored off, riderless through the desert.
Day 1 – Day 3 found entrants topping some of the toughest mountain off-road passes in Colorado. Red Cone, Webster and Mosquito Passes all saw Big Dog entrants mounted on 640cc or larger motorcycles cross over them, some during severe mountain rain storms. Each night the tired and broken Dogs would return to their base camp in Silverthorne, Colorado, where Kawasaki USA had established a welcome and media center for entrants manned by volunteers from Grace Moto Adventures.
2015 Big Dog Ride
Like a good Boy Scout, this Big Dog demonstrated his tire plugging skills after finding a two-inch long nail stuck in his rear tire.
One entrant wrote after Day 2, riding with a group of advanced riders that topped a mountain only to turn around and ride back down. “I was flabbergasted. Surely I thought we were going somewhere. I did not throw a helmet or kick rocks, but I was plenty astounded. I had led the way up and target fixated on a two-and-a-half foot deep rain gully in which I promptly stuck my front wheel and crashed. That was bike pickup number one at 12,000 feet. Of course, that then necessitated starting on a steep pitch and getting cross-threaded a second time. Then, I helped a Big Dog from Wisconsin pick up his bike (twice) and found him an off piste route around the trail so he could get up. Then I walked down and picked up another downed Dog’s bike, and walked it up, using the throttle and others steadying the bike through the worst part. Well winded and beaten, I stumbled up a quarter mile to where everyone was enjoying the view. So, yeah, I was a wee bit surprised when told that everyone was now ready to go back down. It was a ‘whoa cowboy . . .’ moment.”
Another new Dog expressed surprise when he opened his Rider’s Kit and could not find routing instructions for the next days nor GPS coordinates or downloading information for his GPS. He asked a veteran Big Dog, “How will we know where we are going if we don’t have maps or a guide to lead us? I know we stick with a group, but aimless wandering seems to invite the risk of getting lost.”
The veteran Dog looked at the newbie and said, “Now where would the adventure be if we mapped everything from the get-go? If you’re looking for us to make you lunch on the side of the trail or put a foil covered chocolate on your pillow at night, you’ve signed up for the wrong adventure. Stick with your group and you’ll be fine, nobody gets left on the mountain.”
Old and new BMW models competed evenly over some of the more difficult sections of the event.
That night after a fun day of adventure the newbie Dog had to admit the apparent mayhem was really well organized and wildly fun. When a veteran Dog from New York who owns a chocolate making company gave out individual plastic wrapped Big Dog chocolates designed with a dogs paw on one side and the Big Dog logo on the other, the newbie Dog said, “OK, I get it now. These chocolates are well earned Big Dog chocolates, not wrapped in foil or put on my pillow.”
Not to be left out of the celebration, BMW of Denver hosted evening entertainment. The founding sponsor of the Big Dog Ride offered two multi-media presentations by entrants. The first, “Across Russia Dodging Babushkas On A BMW,” was by veteran Big Dog David Rankine, who shared his adventure across from South Korea to Europe via Russia. The second presentation, “Cambodia – The Long Hard Big Dog Way Around And Down,” was presented by John Harkins and recounted his self-guided ride through Cambodia with “no agenda and no fixed time.”
Another fixture in the Big Dog activities was Bob’s BMW of Jessup, Maryland. Bob’s sponsored two entrants in the 2015 event and gave away gift packages and discount certificates worth $1000 to lucky recipients needing replacement parts for their BMWs.
Several factors contributed to the possibility of the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride being the last. According to one of the organizers, Clem Cykowski from BMW of Denver, “Our core group of BMW riders are not getting any younger. What we did with a R80G/S or R100GS is beyond some of our brittle older bones now, plus the motorcycles have evolved in weight. As was once said, ‘A man’s got to know his limitations,’ and for some of us muscling 600 pounds of 100 plus horsepower is beyond our limitations. That said, these modern adventure models have abilities none of us could have dreamed of when we started the Big Dog Ride 25 years ago.”
To some traditionalists like Ed Russell, his BMW R100GS carried the BMW flag.
Another factor has been the increased traffic in the mountains favored by the Big Dog entrants. In the early 1980’s, when the Big Dog Ride was being born, there were few events designed for big dual sport motorcycles meant to be ridden to the event and then used in the event. Over the years, with the increased interest in motorcycle adventure touring and adventure riding, numerous copies of the Big Dog Ride have spawned, some organized by motorcycle tour companies as packaged training courses while others are manufacturer sponsored adventure rides.
What continues to separate the Big Dog Adventure Ride from the other adventure ride events is the camaraderie of the entrants, the big displacement motorcycle adventure seekers who comprise the fraternity of Big Dog members. It remains a select order of elite adventure seekers not bound to a single brand or model of motorcycle, but bound by the commonality of their pushing personal envelopes with like-minded motorcycle adventurists.
The spirit of the Big Dog entrants can be seen in the wide range of adventure model motorcycles entered in the event each year. While the most common model motorcycles remain the BMWs, the second most common have become the Kawasaki, and specifically the KLR650 models. Often a BMW owner will have a KLR650 as their off-road motorcycle, choosing to use the BMW for their road work and the less precious (expensive) Kawasaki for their dirt work. Other entrants profess to be “adventure motorcycle agnostics,” claiming not to know which brand, make or model is best for adventure riding, choosing to pursue their adventures on models ranging from an electric Zero to a monster Victory.
Some of the early entrants and their support crew prior to dirtying themselves and their motorcycles over wet and muddy passes like Red Cone and Webster on Day 1.
Kawasaki USA hosted the Big Dogs with a sponsored BBQ of two-inch thick T-bone steaks and served as base camp hosts for the event.
From KTM to Victory, the fraternity of Big Dogs has always been about the camaraderie of the entrants.
A first on the Big Dog Adventure Ride was an entrant with his riding companion, a little dog, on the back.
The history of the Big Dog Adventure Ride can be found on their website From there adventurists can see how the event morphed from a weekend of off-road adventure riding for strictly BMW enthusiasts to the modern group of motorcycle adventure seekers less brand specific and more tied together by their fraternal belief that any motorcycle can be used for adventure riding.
Whether the 2015 Big Dog Adventure Ride was truly the last event or the Big Dog Ride rises from the ashes like a phoenix and morphs further like several Dogs wished, entrants in the 2015 event agreed it had been their best
As the Big Dogs were cutting through their two-inch thick T-bone steaks during their traditional BBQ, a KTM rider stopped to point out to the Suzuki entrant sitting next to him, “Kawasaki sure knows the way to a Big Dogs heart by sponsoring these Big Dog steaks, but it’s the organizers who make this memorable by having a violinist wander through our midst while playing Beatles songs.”
February 12th, 2015
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* Cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Percentage discounts range from 5-13% off regular priced items.
Go Pro cameras, new and used motorcycles including trikes, sidecars, and scooters, and labor and parts
for maintenance and repair service work not included.
November 11th, 2014
There are many charities that say they support veterans, but sadly, too many charities fail to deliver the programs and assistance they promise. Of 42 veteran’s charities rated by CharityWatch in the Summer 2014 issue of their Rating Guide & Watchdog Report, 29 received D or F ratings (unsatisfactory or poor). That’s 69%!
There are several exceptions to this sad statistic. These fine organizations that serve veterans are rated A+ (excellent) by CharityWatch for their transparency and highly efficient practices, among other criteria:
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans. Click HERE to Donate
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund provides support for the families of military personnel lost in service to our nation, and for severely wounded military personnel and veterans. The Center for the Intrepid serves military personnel who have been catastrophically disabled in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and veterans severely injured in other operations and in the normal performance of their duties. The National Intrepid Center of Excellence provides the most advanced services for advanced diagnostics, initial treatment plan and family education, introduction to therapeutic modalities, referral and reintegration support for military personnel and veterans with TBI and psychological health conditions. Click HERE to Donate.
Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities. The Fund provides financial, emotional, and tiered support for our injured/ill service members and their families through the following programs: Family Support, Adaptive Housing, Adaptive Transportation, Specialized Equipment, Education and Career Transitioning, Rehabilitative Sports programs, and more. Click HERE to Donate.
For more information about veteran’s charities and informed charitable giving in general, visit www.charitywatch.org. CharityWatch is America’s most independent and assertive charity watchdog. Rather than merely repeat charities’ self-reported finances using simplistic or automated formulas, they delve deep to find the real story of how efficiently charities use your donations to fund the programs you want to support. Founded in 1992 as the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), CharityWatch continues to expose nonprofit abuses and advocate for your interests as a donor.
November 10th, 2014
This Veteran’s Day Bob’s BMW wants to say thank you to those who have served and are serving so bravely to protect our freedom. Detour to Bob’s today and enjoy tasty treats and coffee, and allow us to say thank you in person for all you have done and are doing to protect and serve.
While you’re here feel free to throw a leg over Bob’s 2003 BMW R1100S Boxer Cup Replica, custom painted by BMW North America (pictured above), and get your picture taken!
Want to give back to those who served? Take a moment to read WHICH Veteran Charities received A+ rankings in 2014.
November 5th, 2014
PLUS, Get $50 OFF any major service over $299 completed before check-out**
Included in Monthly Fee:
or Call 877-269-2627
*Prices varies by Model/Size. Call for pricing details.
**Min. 3 month storage to qualify.
August 21st, 2014
With the cooler months just around the corner, it’s prime time to plan a nice weekend road trip. Not sure where to go? Bob’s can help. Year around Bob’s updates its website with rallies and events around the nation. Take a moment to see what’s coming up in the next couple of months, get your map out (or log into Google Maps), and start planning.
You will be able to find Bob this weekend at the Finger Lakes Rally in Watkins Glen, NY! Bob will be hosting a very special Sunday Ride and Brunch after a 2 year absence (Bob was not there) limited to between 12 and 18 people (waiting for OK from restaurant) at a brand new location with open menu choices, gourmet food and live Jazz music. It is one of the highest rated places to dine in the entire FLR region. The ride route will be nicer and a little longer than in the past and will depart just a little later as well. Those interested can call or email Bob on or before August 27 or find Bob at the rally to join this intimate and elite little group of ruthless fundraisers who might consider themselves to also be foodies.
Please remember wherever your next adventure takes you, to share your pictures with your favorite local dealer so we can then share them with our other customers via our website and social media sites. Not to mention, if you don’t have a Bob’s Road Crew cap, all you have to do is stop by and let any member of our staff know you are about to embark on an adventure and they will gladly provide you a hat and maybe even another surprise or two?! View Upcoming Rallies…
August 21st, 2014
Bob’s BMW partnered with MotoDiscovery to obtain a special permit granting 20 motorcyclists into Cuba for a 12 day “People to People” motorcycle adventure. This is an exclusive opportunity to explore the country rarely visited by outsiders.
The tour will be led by Christopher Baker, a Cuba travel expert and award-winning author. This tour is more than your typical motorcycle adventure, this is an opportunity to travel back in time and experience the culture through people to people interaction with locals. You will ride through the Cuban countryside, stopping along the way to meet natives and make friends, and learn more about Cuban history.
MotoDiscovery serves in the capacity of “advertiser” of Cuba travel, legally permitted as stated in USA Office of Foreign Assets Control Guidelines. Any travel to Cuba promoted by MotoDiscovery will be authorized and legal for USA citizens under the license held by Antilles TravelLLC. No. CT-2013-299634-1.
June 10th, 2014
Now thru July 31 with the purchase of any 2014 model listed below, Bob’s is offering $250 OFF helmets and jackets! Act before June 13, and Bob is throwing in a FREE rain suit—choose from BMW, Rev’it!, or FirstGear—up to a $160 value!
So while Bob’s BMW is singing “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” our customers are outside doing the rain dance with their fingers crossed hoping the forecast calling for rain the rest of the week does not change!
Eligible 2014 Models
|Monthly Payments*||ONLY at Bob’s**|
G 650 GS
|$99/month||FREE Rain Suit plus $250 OFF Helmets & Jackets!|
F 700 GS
|$129/month||FREE Rain Suit plus $250 OFF Helmets & Jackets!|
F 800 GS
|$149/month||FREE Rain Suit plus $250 OFF Helmets & Jackets!|
|F 800 GSA||$169/month||FREE Rain Suit plus $250 OFF Helmets & Jackets!|
|C 650 GT||$129/month||FREE Rain Suit plus $250 OFF Helmets & Jackets!|
*Estimated monthly payments include current BMW sales incentives, assume $750 down and a 48 month 3asy Ride Financing Option. 3asy subject to credit approval. Freight, Set-up, Doc, Taxes, Title & Tag fees, and accessories are additional. Offer based on non-promotional rate-rates subject to change. Current BMW savings cannot be combined with other special sales programs.
**To qualify for Bob’s rainy day promotion it must be raining at Bob’s during the sales process and/or at time of delivery; payment in full or a non-refundable $1,000 deposit is due by Friday, June 13. Any brand rain suit up to a value of $160 is applicable. This offer is non-transferable and cannot be redeemed as cash. Ask your sales representative for complete details on program eligibility and guidelines. Bob’s $250 helmet/jacket credit expires July 31, 2014 and cannot be combined with any other special sales program accept Bob’s rainy day promo.
January 21st, 2014
Our team of certified sales advisors assisted over 350 riders last year, both current and new to the Bob’s family in their selection of new and used motorcycles—BMW’s, Harley-Davidsons, Hondas, Ducatis, Suzukis, Victorys, Kawasakis, Vespas, Yamahas, Triumphs, Urals, Piaggios, Moto Guzzis, Can-Ams, Big Dogs as well as several sidecar rigs and trike conversions in the mix. Some were true antiques, others classics and a smaller number were what we call Project Bikes. Many of our patrons live nearby and we see them on a regular basis but others came from miles away, as far as Canada and Hawaii, wanting a greater adventure and more memorable experience when taking delivery of their motorcycle. The record for riding home from Maryland on a bike purchased from Bob’s now stands at approximately 4,600 miles!
Our team of certified apparel advisors helped customers in person and online to select the perfect riding gear for their needs and budget from great vendors including BMW, Olympia, Rev’it, KLIM, First Gear, Gerbings, Schuberth, Arai, Scorpion, Sidi, Shoei and many others. Some of that protective riding gear got used and we are so very thankful it was there to take care of them! Our team of parts and accessory experts provided electronic and personal guidance on accessory purchases from Airhawk, GoPro, Ohlins, PIAA, Cardo, RKA, P3, Kryptonite, J-Pegs, Clearview, ZTech, Garmin, Dow, Illium, R&G and dozens of other top level suppliers so worldwide adventures or simply the commute to work would be that much more enjoyable.
Our inventory and shipping team, in addition to insuring it’s all on the shelf when needed and then making it all go out on time and arrive as ordered, also helped our certified BMW parts experts deliver thousands of individual orders of genuine BMW parts plus countless reproductions and aftermarket replacements so our friends and customers here in the US and in dozens of other countries around the world could maintain, repair, refurbish and restore their motorcycles at home in their own garage or work space while hundreds and hundreds chose to bring their machines to us so our expert technicians could provide all the care they desired so they could simply go out and enjoy the ride. From crush gaskets to complete transmissions we’ve got everything you and your bike require to remain safe, roadworthy, comfortable and fun all year long.
In 2013 Bob and Suzanne hosted two very exciting group tours taking along with several dozen friends, customers and even some fellow dealers. They went to Morocco with Edelweiss Bike Travel and then to South Africa with Ayres Adventures for once-in-a-life-time group motorcycle adventures…LUCKY! The good news is if you were unable to join-in one of these adventures Bob is already planning a 2015 group adventure to Cuba! Anyone interested is encouraged to take the survey below so he can plan the best trip possible based on customer input…please serious inquiries only are asked to complete the survey.
Just before the 2013 Open House which turned out to be one of the biggest turnout yet, Bob and the team spent days updating the Vintage Museum, rotating in many new and never before seen bikes from Bob’s personal collection. We (Bob especially as the vintage BMW’s are his true passion) especially love sharing the machines, artifacts, memorabilia and other pieces of BMW history in the Vintage Museum with guests.
Customers helped us remain involved and engaged raising significant amounts of money for very worthwhile causes like the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation via the Ride for Kids ® events as well as support several other local non-profit organizations to help insure we are giving back to our community wherever possible. Throughout 2013, we were also able and happy to send out thousands of dollars in door prizes to BMW clubs all across the country because they too are part of our family!
Without people like you none of this would be possible. We do this because we want to, it’s our chosen profession and we do this so we can deliver the Ultimate Motorcycle Experience to as many people as humanly possible each year and have fun doing it because it is our passion. We hope that shows when you visit the dealership, shop online, and every time we speak or exchange an email!
We are in the works planning an exciting year ahead! Please stay tuned for our forecast on what’s in store for 2014 and may this year be the Happiest New Year for you, your friends, and family!
Bob, Suzanne and the entire team at Bob’s BMW.
November 6th, 2013
Help Bob’s BMW bring Comfort and Joy to Howard County. Every year during the holiday season Bob’s BMW collects donations to help the less fortunate and this year’s Holiday Drive will benefit local Howard County organizations: The Howard County Food Bank, Grass Roots Crisis Intervention Center(s), and the Domestic Violence Center. In order to make this a great success, we need your help!
We are accepting monetary, toy, food (including select household items and personal hygiene items), and warm hats, scarves, and gloves donations through December 21, 2013. Because it is the holiday season, organizations prefer new, un-opened items, and ask that they NOT be gift wrapped. For your convenience, monetary donations can be made online HERE. You can select which program you want your donation to benefit or select to divide your donation equally among them all.
The number of smiles we bring to Howard County depends on you. Check out the list of most needed items below, start gathering items TODAY, and bring them to Bob’s during regular business hours. The donation bin is located by coffee. Keep in mind that five ten-dollar items go further than one fifty-dollar item. The holidays are just around the corner, don’t delay!
Items we will be collecting: