20% OFF + Gift with purchase* Coupon Code BFDEAL
Get 10% OFF microfiche orders. Use code PARTS10 Shop Now »
25% OFF BMW EnduroGuard Suit. Promo Code DEAL25 Shop Now »
15% OFF Bike Protection. Promo Code SAFE15 Shop Now »
10% OFF REMUS Exhausts. Promo Code REMUS10 Shop Now »
FREE Ground Shipping everyday on orders over $99. Learn More »
CALL TOLL FREE: 1-800-BMW-BOB'S (1-800-269-2627)


Select Page

FAST TRACK Licensing

If you are riding a motorcycle on the street and you do not have a Class M motorcycle license here is your opportunity to get one FAST. Some riders say they are not properly licensed because they perceive the licensing process to be inconvenient and time consuming. With FAST TRACK Licensing we have removed some of the administrative barriers to the licensing process. FAST TRACK Licensing is available for both two and three-wheeled motorcycles.

FAST TRACK Licensing is conducted from April through September at selected Motor Vehicle Administration branch offices. See the list of locations at the bottom of this page. It is facilitated by certified Motorcycle Safety Program Instructors who are also certified to administer the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) knowledge and rider skill tests.

A learner’s permit is not required and there is no 14-day waiting period. An applicant is not required to have an accompanying rider but is still expected to transport his or her motorcycle to the MVA branch legally. The MVA is not responsible for any violation obtained by an individual who fails to operate their vehicle in accordance with Maryland law.

Applicants are expected to have already read and be familiar with the Motor Vehicle Administration Motorcycle Operators Manual, publication DL-001. This manual is also available at any MVA branch office. Applicants will first participate in a Study Hall where we will review the Test Yourself questions located throughout the manual and the sample knowledge test on page 38. Applicants will also be able to ask questions about the information in the manual. After the review the knowledge test will be administered.

Applicants must answer 21 out of 25 questions correctly, or score 84%, to pass. Another feature of FAST TRACK Licensing is that if a rider fails the knowledge test he or she does not have to return the next day to retake the test. The applicant will be coached as to the correct answers for the questions missed and then a second, but different test, will be administered.

After passing the knowledge test applicants will then be administered the on-cycle Rider Skill Test. An applicant’s motorcycle must be street legal. That means it is insured, registered and tagged. The applicant must present the vehicles current registration card and if the motorcycle is not registered in the applicant’s name will have to show proof that they have permission from the registered owner to use the motorcycle. The Examiner will inspect an applicant’s motorcycle to be sure that all the lights work and that there are no obvious equipment violations. An applicant is required to use a DOT compliant helmet and approved eye protection. If the applicant fails the riding test they will receive coaching on what they were assessed points for from the Examiner and then will be permitted to take the test again.

After passing both tests an applicant will be given a FAST TRACK Completion Certificate. This Certificate is valid only at the branch where it is issued and for that day only. The applicant will present this certificate to an MVA licensing agent to get the Class M license added to his or her current license. The applicant will have to pay the appropriate fee. Applicants with a valid learner’s permit do not have to take the knowledge test and will not have to pay a fee to get the Class M license. If an applicant fails the riding test he or she will be issued a Class M learner’s permit.

Applicants who fail the knowledge or skill test twice will be encouraged to participate in a formal rider training course and will not be allowed to participate in another FAST TRACK event in 2012.

FAST TRACK Licensing is conducted by appointment only at the following MVA branch offices during regular business hours and is available only to Maryland licensed drivers over the age of 18. For 2012 we will be accepting requests for appointments online only. To view the flyer for the event and to make an appointment online click on the link of the location you want to attend. There is a link on the flyer to make an appointment.

When you click on the link in the flyer an email will open. Enter the required customer information below and click “Send”. If you completed the process properly you will receive an auto-response from the Program confirming your appointment.

The schedule will be posted by the beginning of March 2013.

Walk-ins will be accepted as space permits. However, although every effort will be made to accommodate walk-ins, individuals without an appointment will not be guaranteed participation.

If you cannot make your scheduled appointment please contact the Program by email at motorcyclesafety@mva.maryland.gov and put FAST TRACK Cancel In the Subject line, or by calling us at 443.572.8236 to cancel. Individuals who do not show up for their scheduled appointment may not be allowed to participate in another FAST TRACK Licensing event this year.

By requesting an appointment you acknowledge that you have read and understand the information on this page concerning the FAST TRACK Licensing process.

FAST TRACK Licensing is NOT a substitute for rider training and all participants are encouraged to enroll in a Basic Rider Course 2 after getting their license to update and refresh their riding skills. Applicants who cannot pass either the knowledge or the riding skills tests on the second attempt will be counseled to consider enrolling in a Basic Rider Course or an Alternate Basic Rider Course and will not be permitted to participate in another event during the current calendar year. Both courses will allow a rider to practice street riding skills and if they pass they will be issued a Motorcycle Safety Program Completion Certificate for the Class M license.

* The riding test is designed to accommodate the traditional two-wheeled motorcycle trike conversion with two wheels in the rear and some of the newer factory trikes with two wheels in the rear, or front. However, it may not accommodate some three-wheeled motorcycles that are considered automotive conversions, or automotive hybrids. If you are not sure whether your 3-wheeler can be used in the riding skill test, please contact the Motorcycle Safety Program office before scheduling an appointment.

2013 Vintage Motorcycle Festival at America’s Car Museum Selects BMW Motorrad as Featured Marque

Iconic German motorcycle manufacturer marks 90th anniversary in 2013

TACOMA, Wash. (March 4, 2013) – The Vintage Motorcycle Festival at LeMay – America’s Car Museum (ACM) has named BMW Motorrad as featured marque for the August 24-25, 2013 motorcycle event in Tacoma, Wash. The decision to feature the Munich-based motorcycle manufacturer coincides with the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad.

“BMW is a motorcycle company that also builds cars. In fact, they were building motorcycles well before the cars came along,” said Bob Henig, president of Bob’s BMW in Jessup, Md. and a BMW collector who is serving as a judge at this year’s Vintage Motorcycle Festival. “BMWs have always had classic, clean styling which made for low-cost, easy maintenance, so people could really enjoy their motorcycles. The idea was that people should ride them more than they should have to shine them.”

BMW Motorrad’s first motorcycle was the R32, which debuted in September 1923. The R32 was designed by Max Friz, the first chief engineer and design director for BMW AG, and includes many features that are still used on today’s BMW motorcycles.

“That basic design – the horizontally-opposed, air-cooled engine, with a transmission coupled directly to the back of the engine, offset to the right, with a driveshaft to a beveled rear drive, is exactly the layout that you can buy today on a modern BMW,” said Peter Nettesheim, a private collector from Huntington, N.Y., who owns eight R32 bikes, including the oldest surviving one – the 22nd BMW motorcycle ever built, which still runs today.

“When I have the R32 parked on the street, the first thing people want to look at is how the different mechanical systems work: the braking system, the throttle system, and anyone who knows BMW immediately recognizes the same basic layout as today’s bikes,” said Nettesheim, who will also be a judge at the Vintage Motorcycle Festival. “The quality of the fit and finish is something people are always impressed with for a 90-year old piece of equipment. BMW paid a lot of attention 90 years ago to quality, fit and finish, just as they continue to do today.”

Like Nettesheim, Henig’s collection includes an R32. Henig’s is an unrestored 1925 R32, and he also owns a 1929 R57 and a 1943 R75 with a sidecar, among others.

“BMW’s technology has always been at the forefront of the motorcycle industry, and their quality of build is remarkable,” said Henig. “I’m looking forward to coming to the Festival and sharing the knowledge and passion that I have for BMW motorcycles.”

The Vintage Motorcycle Festival is one of the annual signature events at the 165,000 square-foot Tacoma museum. Along with the many BMWs, other motorcycles from famous makers will include Ducati, Triumph, Norton, Harley-Davidson, Indian and European marques from bygone eras.

The festival’s main event on Saturday, Aug. 24 will include judged classes and awards, a swap meet, trials motorcycle demonstrations, panel discussions and music. A scenic motorcycle ride launching from ACM’s plaza and traveling along Pacific Northwest roads is slated for Sunday.

The inaugural event in 2012 attracted more than 200 motorcycles and 2,000 enthusiasts to ACM’s Haub Family Field. Best of Show was a 1963 Norton Atlas owned by Ron Rumbolz of Fife, Wash., which is now on display at the museum.

About America’s Car Museum
State Farm Presents LeMay – America’s Car Museum, which opened June 2, 2012 in downtown Tacoma, Wash., explores how the automobile has fulfilled a distinctive role at the core of the American experience and shaped our society. The spacious Museum with rotating exhibits is designed to be the centerpiece for automotive history as well as an educational center and library. The campus, located adjacent to the Tacoma Dome, contains a 3.5-acre show field, theatre, café, banquet hall and meeting facilities. For more information on museum hours, becoming an ACM member, volunteer opportunities or to make a donation, visit .

Welcome Invasion: British Motorcycles in America, 1940-1980

Hershey, PA (February 27, 2013) The Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum is proud to announce the exhibit, “Welcome Invasion: British Motorcycles in America, 1940-1980.” The exhibit will open Friday, March 15th and run through Thursday, October 17th, 2013.

North American motorcyclists, many having learned to ride on Harley-Davidsons and Indians, eagerly took to and purchased the comparatively light-weight, fine handling and powerful English brands. Racers in particular valued the compact size, technical innovations, and excellent power output of now-classic competition motorcycles by AJS, Triumph, BSA, Matchless, Norton, and Royal Enfield. The British marques were accepted as “real” motorcycles by American riders, and even today are respected by even the most ardent proponents of American motorcycles.

The exhibit, informally called “British Invasion,” will present the British motorcycle as both aesthetic object (art) and as material culture (possessing meaning and a story). British Invasion will also interpret British motorcycles through an investigation of: 1) Technical innovations (such as Edward Turner’s parallel twin design); 2) The positive response by American buyers (why they were popular); and, 3) The eventual implosion of the British motorcycle industry in the 1970s. To assist in placing the British motorcycle within its context, period dealer signs, movie and popular music posters, and quotes by motorcycle commentators will be displayed. Additionally, visitors can examine “The Literature” table, holding examples of some of the primary literary texts addressing motorcycle studies.

A selection of the show-winning motorcycles on display in the British Invasion are: 1948 Triumph Speed Twin with sidecar; 1956 Ariel Square Four; a hand-built 1970 Cheyney-BSA off-road racer; a very rare 1955 T100R factory racer; a bevy of pristine 1960s Triumph twins; and the signature British performance bikes of the 1970s, to include a 1971 BSA B50MX, 1974 Norton Commando, 1974 Triumph Trident, and a custom 1974 Triumph/BSA Hurricane street-drag creation. Supporting the exhibit will be period motorcycle gear and collectables.

Please join the AACA Museum in enjoying an exhibit of some of the most beautiful motorcycles in America, in one of America’s premier motor museums! Museum patrons can also enjoy the museum’s newest display Porsche Style & Design which showcases more than 20 air and water cooled models as well as prototypes. There are also other household and personal items also designed Porsche that are in display as part of this Porsche Style & Design exhibit.

The Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, a member of the Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program, displays beautifully restored automobiles, buses and motorcycles in unique life-like scenes representing the 1900’s – 1980’s in a cross-country journey from New York to San Francisco. The AACA Museum, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, is celebrating 10 years as one of the nation’s largest automotive museums. Special exhibits change several times a year and focus on a variety of eras and types of vehicles. The AACA Museum is located just off Route 39, one mile west of Hersheypark Drive in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Regular admission $10, seniors age 61 and older $9, juniors age 4-12 $7, children age 3 and under are FREE. To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, Admission will be just $10 for two guests every Tuesday through 2013. The Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and select evening hours during the summer months. For further information, please call 717-566-7100 or visit www.AACAMuseum.org.

Timonium Motorcycle Show

The show just opened and we already have a crowd at Bob’s booth! Stop by this weekend and join us.

Timonium Fairgrounds
2200 York Road
Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

10am – 9pm Friday & Saturday
11am – 6pm Sunday

Main Show Facility: Lower building filled with most 2013 motorcycle brands and models available from Europe, Asia and America plus hundreds of exhibitors displaying and selling everything the aftermarket industry has to offer for the two-wheel enthusiast. The show also hosts the largest custom, antique and vintage motorcycle competition show on the east coast. Show attendees can meet master bike builders and TV celebrities like Vinnie and Cody regulars on Discovery Channel’s popular 10 year run of “American Chopper”; Jim Wubben unveiling his latest tribute bike to the world on Saturday, Emilio Rivera from FX’s hot “Sons of Anarchy” series and David Uhl, the ‘Norman Rockwell’ of Harley-Davidson artists, who will bring his Colorado studio and paint live at the Timonium Bike Show feature area, and Heather Ziehl Mrs. Maryland. Check out the International Bikini Team finals, tattoo contests, live radio broadcasts, ‘Hot Cougar Hunt’, The original 1966 Batmobile and many other cool activities and events all three days. Visit cycleshow.net.

Exhibition Hall: Upper building addition to the Timonium Motorcycle Show houses the ‘Super SWAPMEET’ and the lowside Magazine Garage-Built Vintage Motorcycle Expo. Activities include workshops, seminars and hands-on machine tool technique demonstrations geared to the garage-built Café Racer, Bobber, Chopper and Drag Bike crowd. Tons of used parts and bikes on display for sale, swap or trade.

Admission for Adults: $15.00
Children 10 – 15 Years: $5.00
Under 10 are FREE with paying adult

Go to www.cycleshow.net to print out $5.00 off admission discount coupons good on adult admission. $10.00 discount tickets can be purchased in advance at any Pete’s Cycle location in Baltimore, Severna Park or Bel Air, Bob’s BMW in Columbia or Harley Davidson of Baltimore in White Marsh. Free admission Friday to anyone wearing a U.S. Military Uniform! For more information call 410-561-7323, visit www.cycleshow.net or email info@cycleshow.net.

Win a Bike and Cure the Kids!

Honda donated a CBR1000RR which Gregg DesJardins transformed into a unique machine. The finished bike was unveiled at the San Mateo IMS show, and you can purchase chances to win this cool bike at Bob’s BMW through April 30.

Tickets will be available at the Ride for Kids booth directly next to the Bob’s BMW space in the main building at the Timonium Show. Raffle tickets are just one for $5 or five for $20. No purchase is required to win. See the Official Rules for complete details.

The drawing will be held at the headquarters of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) and the Ride for Kids® in Asheville, North Carolina on Monday May 6, 2013.

Stop by Bob’s BMW or get tickets online: www.rideforkids.org

Thank You!

We are pleased to announce that Bob’s Food Drive brought in 215 lbs of food and $60 in cash donations for the Maryland Food Bank. Those of you that brought in 10+ items were entered into a drawing for a gift card.

Congratulations Jerry Larner of Ellicott City, MD! And thanks to everyone who donated to the Maryland Food Bank.

Bob’s BMW Customer Takes 1st Place in the BMW GS Trophy East Coast Qualifier

Vote for Dan!

Congratulations to customer and friend, Dan Farson of McLean, VA who took first place in the East Coast qualifying round of the 2012 BMW GS Trophy event held in Spartenburg, South Carolina September 21-23. Six finalists were chosen from the East Coast (another 6 from the West Coast) based on a series of competitions held over 3 days. The next round is scheduled for November in South America where 19 countries will compete for the 2012 GS Trophy.

In order to secure one of the spots on the USA Team finalists have been entered into an online competition through BMW Motorrad USA.

This is where Bob’s BMW and Mr. Dan Farson need our e-club members help! With 2 very simple and quick clicks of a button, you can help Dan become one of the elite GS riders representing not only the USA but Bob’s BMW! How cool is that?! Simply click HERE and vote for DAN FARSON.

Before you vote for Dan, you may be asking yourself, well who is Dan Farson? Well what makes this story even cooler is when you close your eyes and think of a GS rider, you probably envision a 30 something year old, not a man that just retired from the US Navy after 35 years of active duty!

Dan began riding off-road and enduro back in the 70’s in Southern Ohio, A.M.A District 11. He continued riding over the years, always having both a street and dirt bike or one dual sport at his disposal. His first BMW was a 1971 R75/5 that he rode from 1980-1984; he then moved onto a 1984 BMW R100RT from 1984- 2010; which he then bought a 2010 BMW F800GS from Bob’s.

Between May and September of 2010 Dan was able to get about 2,000 miles on the F800 before being sent to Tripoli, Libya to serve as the US Defense Attache. He made arrangements to ship the bike and finally it arrived to Tripoli in January 2011. Unfortunately by the time, the Libyan government was able to issue a plate, the revolution had kicked off and before he had a chance to ride it there, he and his family were evacuated, and he were forced to leave the motorcycle in Tripoli. Finally in May 2012 the bike was returned to Dan and he was able to get back on it with just enough time to reacquaint himself with the bike for the GS Trophy event!

To get more details of what Dan went through over the 3 day competition, you can visit BMW Motorrad

But most importantly we want to be sure that the #1 East Coast Finalist makes it onto the USA Team and represents in South America in November…he clearly earned his spot placing #1 among 40 something other participants! To ensure Dan proceeds to the next round please visit the below link and…


Making Dreams Come True

Kurt Motta of Falmouth, Massachusetts is a long time Bob’s customer of about 10-12 years who became familiar with Bob’s BMW through seeing our monthly ads in BMWMOA. After attending a few rallies and speaking to several MOA members who knew Bob personally and spoke highly of him, he began ordering parts from Bob’s such as clutch cables, brake switches, replacement horns, and other “parts to keep a 30 year old bike up and running.”

A view of the sidecar

In 1999 Kurt and his wife journeyed to the BMWMOA national rally in Rhinebeck and “between all the heat before and during the rally, sleeping on the ground for 4 days and a 5 hour ride led my wife to announce she could not do it anymore.” It was at this point Kurt began researching sidecars. New to the sidecar world, Kurt decided to start with a Velorex 700s and attached it to his R75/6.

Some years later, retirement began to approach. Kurt was not going to be able to retire as planned, but he and his wife both agreed he deserved his retirement present. And what better gift than a motorcycle?! Originally Kurt always saw himself on an R1200RT but decided after 36
years of riding nothing but twins “if you are going to make a change it might as well be a big one,” so he decided the K1600 was in the running. The K1600 quickly fell out of the running when Kurt discovered the reverse had been removed. So the answer was a K1200LT combined with either a Hannigan Astro 2+2 or the GTL sidecar.

Kurt set up his first R75/6 sidecar rig himself, working closely with the shop he purchased the rig from. For his current project, Kurt reached back out to the shop that guided him through the R75/6 sidecar set up as well as Bob’s BMW. Based on Bob’s BMW reputation and the fact that we had access to all the resources needed to put his rig together such as a tug to attach the sidecar, Kurt chose to move forward with Bob’s.

Salesman, Carter Melbourne promptly responded in assisting Kurt in the purchase of a low mileage 2009 K1200LT. As soon as the paperwork on the 2009 K1200LT was complete, Carter turned Kurt over to Bob’s Service Manager, Chris Buell, to begin the next phase of the project: converting this luxury touring motorcycle to an even more luxurious motorcycle…a sidecar rig!

Kurt chose the GTL sidecar and after patiently waiting close to 2 months for Hannigan to build and deliver the sidecar (these units are built to order so average time is around 2months; which is a prime reason why these projects are best initiated during the winter months!), it arrived and Master Technician Brett Ricketts immediately dove into the project and had it ready for transport to Kurt in TWO days! On average complete installs take Bob’s Service Department one-two weeks but with it being riding season, we pushed hard to get the bike in the customer’s hands as soon as possible. Projects like these do not happen over-night folks, in fact average time on a sidecar conversion is approximately 3 months between the build of the rig and installation. Kurt states, “a long process to be sure but a very rewarding one.”

2009 K1200LT & Sidecar

Upon completion of the bike, delivery arrangements were immediately made and the sidecar rig safely arrived in Massachusetts, was unloaded, and within 20 short minutes Kurt and his wife had mounted the bike for a short ride just before having to get to work. Since delivery earlier this month, Kurt has put 1,300 great miles on it! Kurt sums up the experience of purchasing a bike hundreds of miles from home best, stating, “Anyone who thinks a project like this can be pulled off without a hiccup or two is delusional. It is the reaction to those hiccups that counts and Bob’s employees reacted well!”

Living hundreds of miles away, Kurt had never ridden the 2009 K1200LT, let alone sat on it. After putting some miles on the bike, Kurt contacted Bob’s with a couple concerns. The highway peg and passenger peg could not be deployed because of the sidecar. The highway peg is not a stock part on the K1200LT, it is an added accessory by the original owner, plus Kurt acknowledged the fact that “your feet belong on the pegs by the controls” so really this was a non-issue. As for the passenger peg, Bob suggested either removing it altogether, replacing it with a smaller peg, or to keep it as is in the closed position. Kurt decided “if there is ever a passenger sitting behind me it is going to be an emergency situation that will over rule the safety issues involved in a pillion passenger on a sidecar rig,” so again really a non-issue and keep it as is. The real issues were two: having not sat on the bike prior to purchase, he soon realized the seat was not best suited for his 34 inch inseam. Bob’s always recommends test rides to our customers to ensure the bike suits your build. Unfortunately being hundreds of miles away, Kurt was unable to test ride the bike. Luckily now that the bike is in his possession, he can take it to a local business to have a seat custom fabricated to meet his specific needs. Finally the chin spoiler in the front of the sidecar measures about 4-3/4 inches from the ground making some driveways a bit of a challenge. This is how Hannigan builds this particular rig so although we cannot adjust it we certainly passed the feedback along to Hannigan to consider in future builds. We are happy Kurt identified this early on so he is conscientious of the low end when entering and exiting driveways. And thanks to Kurt, we can mention this to our future customers to take into consideration when looking at the GTL sidecar.

We look forward to the day Kurt and his wife decide to put more miles on the sidecar rig and ride it down to Bob’s BMW to meet the team that helped make their dreams come true!

Fun in the Sidecar!

Installations, conversions, restorations, and other similar projects take time. Kurt’s story is a prime example that whether you are near or far from Jessup, MD, does not matter. In fact Kurt has never even been to Bob’s! What matters is that the team you work with is responsive and stays in close communication with you along the way like Bob’s team did.

It is also important to recognize the time these projects take. Although Bob’s part of the process may be able to be knocked out in a couple weeks, there is build time, delivery/transport, and just those good old fashion surprises that always seem to show their ugly heads, that need to be taken in consideration. This is why Bob’s encourages projects to be scheduled over the winter months, so that you don’t find your bike on a lift on a sunny 70 degree day!

Kurt’s sidecar conversion turned out beautifully and Bob’s thanks Kurt for the opportunity to take part in the build of such a head-turning piece of machinery!

See more images of the K1200LT sidecar rig

Jeremy Wins the 2012 Atlantic Region Unlimited Supersport Championship!

The CCS racing season is coming to an end and points are being tallied. Bob’s BMW could not be any more proud to report that our sponsored racer, Jeremy Cook not only won the 2012 Atlantic Region Unlimited Supersport Championship, he also got third place podium finishes in the other three classes he races: Unlimited Superbike, Unlimited Grand Prix (GP), and Unlimited GTO (25 min. races)! Overall in the Atlantic Region among all 264 racers (all classes, any bike size), he finished in the Top 10…#7!

Jeremy Cook

Jeremy Cook

This is Jeremy’s first year racing expert and only his second year of competitive road-racing! He races a 2009 BMW S1000RR body with a 2012 engine supersport/superstock built by Larry Pegram. The Atlantic region covers all of the tracks from Loudon, New Hampshire to Roebling Road, Georgia. He was unable to attend the New Hampshire event due to a conflict in schedule and still managed to finish on the podium in all four classes he races!

Results for the Mid-Atlantic Region are not yet in but are being tallied in full now that this past weekend’s race at Virginia International Raceway is complete.

Summit Point Race Track in West Virginia is Jeremy’s home turf and they personally track results. At Summit Point Track, Jeremy won the Overall Supersport, and placed 2nd in Overall Unlimited Superbike Summit Point Track Championship, 3rd place in Overall Unlimited GTO, and 4th in Overall Unlimited Grand Prix!

Jeremy was a radio guest on sidestandup.com on September 11 where he reported the highlights of his season and plans for next year. You can download this 5 minute interview HERE (to hear Jeremy, fast forward to 52 minutes, 20 seconds).

Pictures from the 2012 season are available on Bob’s facebook fan page. There are no more “home” races this year, but next year Bob’s encourages you to join us at a Summit Point Race Track for fun-filled days at the track to help us cheer on our sponsored racer who is well on his way to the big league!

Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run

In 2010, a tradition as old as most of the motorcycles involved was revived. Riders traveling on motorcycles built before 1916 traveled from coast to coast of the United States of America, starting in New York and ending in San Francisco. Two years later, in 2012, another run was organized, only this time for motorcycles pre-1930 which allowed BMW’s to enter the race!. These “Cannonball Endurance Runs” were inspired by E.G. Baker, also known as “Cannonball.”

Cannonball Route

Baker worked as the Superintendent of a motorcycling tire testing department in the early 1900’s. At this job, Baker completed fast, long distance rides and was able to do so without experiencing fatigue like most others who were unable to keep up with his pace.

In 1912, he completed his first endurance ride on a 2-speed Indian traveling 14,000 miles in three months from Florida to Cuba, to Jamaica, and then to Panama. After finishing this ride, Baker decided it was time to attempt to break the transcontinental record. In 1913 he rode a 7 hp, 2-speed electric model twin Indian. He covered 3,378 miles in 11 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes earning him the nickname “Cannonball.” According to reports, “Cannonball” Baker completed 140 timed long distance rides; 126 which were coast to coast.

Which brings us back to 2010 when a group of motorcycle enthusiasts decided it was time to invite all makes and models of motorcycles built before 1916 to gather and partake in an “epic adventure of man and machine.” Riders averaged 300 miles a day and traveled with crews on routes through national parks, along great lakes, rivers, mountain ranges, and more. This was an endurance run where one rider and one machine would claim victory. Unfortunately for BMW enthusiasts, the race was not open to BMW’s as the first BMW was not built until 1923.

However two years later in 2012 the Cannonball Endurance Run returned, only this time for makes and models pre 1930! And you know what that means? This year BMW joined the race! Collector Jack Wells entered a 1929 BMW R11 that is being ridden by Norm Nelson, #23. Joseph Gimpel, #62 is riding a 1928 R62, and Darryl Richman, #52 is riding a 1928 R52.

Team 23 is made up of 9 individuals: Norm Nelson, Rider and Wrench; Jack Wells, Entry Owner and Support Vehicle Pilot; Bill Robinson, Team Manager; Larry Meeker, Road manager; Alan Singer, Web master; Chris Alley, Chief Tech; Bill Botkin, tech; Ed Miller, technical Advisor; and John Duss, Legal Advisor. You can read ride reports from the road by visiting http://cannonball23.home.comcast.net/~cannonball23/

Team 62 is made up of 3 individuals: Rider, Joe Gimpel, and his long time friend and another handy person that Joe has known and worked with. More details on this team are available at http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/index.php?option=com_sobipro&pid=55&sid=130:62-Joseph-Gimpel&Itemid=109

Team 52, also known as Team Boxer Rebellion has dozens of sponsors and support. A full list is available at http://darryl.crafty-fox.com/ and/or you can get ride reports and details on this team.

On September 7, 2012 70 total riders on Harley Davidson’s, BSA’s, Triumphs, Henderson’s, Indians, BMW’s, Rudge’s, and a Velocette, Invinvcible JAP, and Sunbeam started a 2-week journey coast to coast across the United States riding motorcycles built before 1930. The ride started in New York and will end in San Francisco. Most days are 300 miles or less, with shorter distances on the start and finish days. It is a scenic route, avoiding interstate highways, with stopping points at museums and hosted lunch stops.

As of September 18, Team 23 was in 5th place, Team 62 is in 32nd, and Team 52 is in 41st, among 70 total riders. The race ended September 23 and final results are now posted http://www.motorcyclecannonball.com/

Bob’s BMW salutes the BMW teams for their determination and enthusiasm. Traveling coast to coast on vintage and classic bikes is sure to be a challenge but we know if any brand can do it, it’s BMW! Perhaps next year, a Bob’s BMW ambassador can represent on one of Bob’s personal machines in his museum, or even better, maybe Bob himself will join the next Cannonball Endurance Race!