Thursday, March 19, 2015

Big BMW motorcycle recall is coming.

BMW is recalling 367,000 motorcycles, including 43,425 units in the U.S. alone, because of a problem with their rear wheel carrier flanges. The recall affects K and R models produced from November 2003 to April 2011.
According to BMW, the rear wheel brake disc bolts or wheel nuts may have received excessive torque during incorrectly-executed maintenance. Tightening the bolts too much could result in cracks to the wheel flange. BMW will replace the aluminum wheel flanges on affected motorcycles with a stronger steel component.  As of this writing, the recall has not yet been announced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but we expect to see one in the next week which will provide more information about the problem.031315-2006-bmw-r1200r-rear-wheel

Insight to Preloading, RoadRunner Magazine, by Charles Neeley

As those of us who ride know, motorcycles and cars are completely different animals. Each can be tamed, but the bikes tend to bite harder. We, the operators, have the final say on the safety of our machines prior to a ride. Without all the steel, belts, and bags of a car, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to the dangers the modern roadway throws at us. One way to even things out is to make sure our machines are able to perform to their engineered capabilities, especially in the handling and braking departments. One of the most basic ways to ensure a motorcycle handles properly is to adjust the preload to a setting appropriate to the weight that will be added to the bike.
The concept of preload is simple. Motorcycles, unlike cars, don’t tend to weigh too much more than their operators. A 200-pound man in a 3800-pound car is one-twentieth of their combined weight of 4000 pounds. A 200-pound man on a 600-pound motorcycle is one-fourth of the total weight (800 pounds) of both rolling down the street. Manufacturers take this into consideration and the bike should still handle well. Now, put that guy’s 250-pound girlfriend and gear combo on the back (Sturgis anyone?) and the total weight is 1,050 pounds. The suspension is now under a load that is over two-thirds the weight of the bike alone. Someone might want to let the suspension know this prior to pulling into traffic. Preload adjusts the suspension to compensate for the larger load. (Motorcycle engineers are awesome!) Typically, an adjustable mechanism compresses the spring that surrounds the shock slightly, making it “stiffer.” The result is that the suspension is better able to handle the forces applied by the added weight. A further benefit is the geometry of the motorcycle is kept nearer to its ideal position.
The motorcycle’s geometry is important to operational safety. In a situation where a bike is loaded heavily to the rear, one will likely end up with a front-high, tail-low posture. Shining your headlight off the road and into the trees, or into the eyes of some 16-year-old coming at you on his first night out with his shiny new license may be a concern. If not, there are other factors to ponder.
Maneuvering and braking performance in this circumstance will suffer, especially in an emergency. Relatively little braking power comes from the rear wheel, yet much of the overall mass would be situated nearer that point. The forks would have to load up (compress) prior to the front tire traction being sufficient to accommodate the braking forces necessary during an emergency stop. That takes valuable time and distance. In an evasive turning maneuver, the front tire could be more susceptible to “washing out” due to the aforementioned lessened handling characteristics when trying to change the direction of all that rearward mass. Braking and swerving involve the dynamic changing of speed and direction, otherwise known as a vector. This can spell double-barrel havoc in those moments when you need every ounce of help you can get. In an emergency you don’t need your bike working against you. Having the bike sitting properly really helps level the playing field (pun intended).
Leveling the bike means looking up front sometimes as well. Some motorcycles, such as BMW’s, have preload adjustment in the front suspension. The ability to adjust the front suspension translates into improved handling. But, not every bike is designed for preload to be adjusted easily up front. Sometimes the only way to adjust the forks for load is to change-out the fork springs or even the entire forks, usually, this is done as an upgrade by those who know they’ll be riding heavy a lot of the time. However, more and more manufacturers are allowing for the adjustment of rebound and compression both up front and in back. These adjustments address how the suspension responds moving into and out of a loaded condition.
Remember, be it riding solo, two-up, laden with gear, or whatever combination thereof, adjusting the preload on a motorcycle can help it handle better and more safely. Folks who are unfamiliar should consult their owner’s manual on adjusting the suspension settings for their specific machines. Dealerships, mechanics, and even online tutorials can provide valuable insight and instruction for proper suspension setup. Don’t be afraid to adjust and readjust to your liking. Make adjusting the preload part of your pre-ride check. Make it a habit.
Text and Photography: Charles Neeley

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BMW patents strange 3 cylinder motorcycle engine

For decades BMW's motorcycles were easily identified by the two opposed cylinders sticking out of each side of the bike. While you can still find this layout on some of its products, these days the company also uses a variety of other layouts, depending on the model line. Based on European patents, there might even be a Bimmer in the ranks eventually with an absolutely bizarre-looking W3 configuration.

BMW actually has two separate patents on these W3 designs, and both of them have the goal of cramming three cylinders into the space of a traditional V-twin. The first splays the cylinder out into a fan shape with pushrods operating the valves. The description submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization describes the solution as, "The embodiment according to the invention represents an as of yet unknown type of W-3 reciprocating piston internal combustion engine having cylinder angles which can be largely freely sized."

The other solution is more of a modification to the traditional V-twin. Two of the cylinders share a crankpin, but the third has its own and is positioned inside the angle of the V. It's a very odd-looking engine.

With BMW's assertion that these designs are meant to fit in place of a traditional V-twin, Jalopnik speculates that they could be for a future cruiser from the company, and that would make sense. While brand offers a line of sport tourers with the K1600 line, it doesn't have something more classic to take on the likes of the Ducati Diavel. Creating such a weird engine would probably grab early interest from riders.

BAK BMW Spring Open House March 27th & 28th, Fri & Sat

I just wanted to take a minute and remind you of the festivities coming up at my store so take a look and put it on your calendar now so you don't miss out.

Friday and Saturday March 27th and 28th we will have discounts on all parts, accessories and apparel both in stock and special order.  You will receive 10% off on all your purchases up to $500 and if you spend more than that you will get 15% off.  So make sure you get your list ready.  Look at the catalogs at to check out all sorts of cool new stuff.

There will also be some great sale prices on all of the bikes we have in stock.  With the current programs that could mean a discount of up to $2500 if you qualify for all of them.  That is some serious savings.

We will also be demo riding bikes.  We will have the following bikes available for test rides:

Cross Country Tour
Cross Country

R1200GS Adventure

1190R Adventure
690 Duke

We will also be serving lunch on Saturday starting at about 11:00 am.

Get ready for a great time and a great riding season.  It's gonna be a fantastic year!

Dave Bak
Bak BMW Victory KTM
1900 Hwy 75 N Business
Sioux City, IA  51105

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Guy Martin and William Dunlop to race Tyco BMW's in 2015 Isle of Man TT.

Tyco-BMW-Guy-Martin-William-Dunlop-2015.jpgThe 17th Century National Trust plantation house at Springhill, just a stone's throw from TAS Racing's headquarters in Moneymore, was the perfect venue to launch this year's Tyco BMW International Road Racing team of Guy Martin and William Dunlop for the 2015 Isle of Man TT Races fuelled by Monster Energy.

Both men will open their account on the all-new Tyco BMW Motorrad machinery during a scheduled test in Spain next month, riding alongside their British championship team-mates Michael Laverty, Tommy Bridewell and Alastair Seeley.

Martin said of the new venture by TAS Racing and his stable of Tyco BMW Motorrad machinery for this season: "I always give one hundred percent effort, no matter what I'm doing but I'm not going to make any stupid predictions for the year ahead. I'm confident that the Tyco BMW Motorrad bikes will make all the difference this year. It really does look mint.

"People have been asking questions about the retirement story that was in the press, but all I'm interested in is going to the TT and trying to win on this new bike. I'll only start to think about what I'm doing after that when I'm on the boat home."

 On his pre-season preparations Martin added: "I wouldn't even consider turning up if I wasn't fully prepared. It's not about money for me, or waving at the crowd and picking up cheques. Stuff that. I go to the TT to try and win and I believe with the same effort as before, and with these guys behind me, the Tyco BMW will be good enough for the job. I will be well prepared and after that what-will-be will-be."

His team-mate for a second consecutive season will be William Dunlop, an international Superbike winner with TAS Racing and Tyco last year at the North West 200. The Ballymoney man does his talking on track, but did say of the new BMW Motorrad machinery.

"Yeah I just love the look of the new bike, and if it goes as well as it looks then we are in for a good year. I enjoy working with Guy; he's great craic and we had fun working together last year. To win a TT is the main goal for us both and on these new S1000RR bikes both in Superbike and Superstock trim - we shouldn't be too far away."

Team Manager Philip Neill concluded: "It was worth the extra effort getting two bikes prepared and what a setting we have in Springhill House, right here on our doorstep. It was great to get Guy and William together for the shoot, and the next step is to get them out on track in Spain in the next couple of weeks. Both are looking fit and well and like the BSB boys, they can't wait to get their first run on the Tyco BMW S1000RR. There's a lot of hard work still to do, but there's also a lot of excitement in our camp for the year ahead."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Sugru + LED pen lights + LEGO's = Removeable Sidecase Lights

I've come up with a solution for trying to find something in your black BMW side cases, or any motorcycle saddlebag for that matter, in low light conditions.  Usually when I'm digging for something in my bags in a low light situation I'm either holding a light in my teeth or holding my phone with the flash illuminated in one hand.  This has frustrated me far too long and I've taken action.

First LED lights have come a long way.  They are now bright, cheap, and really light.  These two pen lights were purchased at ACE hardware for less than $5 each.

Next I bought Sugru at Radio Shack for about $12.  What is Sugru?  Sugru is the world's first mouldable glue that turns into rubber.  You can learn many ways to use it at or  You can order it online or buy it at Radio Shack, Micheals, or Lowe's. You mold it into a shape you want, and then let it cure for 24 hours.

Last LEGO's.  I could've just attached the lights to the inside of the bags.  But that would make them not useable for other situations in which I need light.  Like, dare I say it, but a breakdown on the side of the road, or maybe just setting up camp a little too late in the day.
 So here are my side cases and a 3 pack of Sugru next to it.
 This is where I want my lights.  Seems to be ideal for a light to shine down and won't interfere with anything else.  I then mocked up everything with magic tape first to make sure.
 This is where I set my first 2x8 LEGO stick.
 Close up of other side case with LEGO 2x8 stick in place with Sugru.

 Next the pen lights with LEGO 2x8 sticks.

I let everything cure for 24 hours before setting everything together.  And here is the final product with the LED light snapped in place and on.  You can see how much this light helps see what is inside the case.  The 2x8 LEGO sticks keep it in place while the bike is in motion, but allows me to remove the light when needed to illuminate other things.  I used 2 packs of the 3 pack of Sugru.  One piece of advice is to buy more Sugru packs than you think you need.  There really isn't a lot in one pack, and you find other things in your life you'll want to fix or hack with this stuff once you start using it.  The last pack of the 3 pack, I used to replace a broken zipper pull on a messenger bag that I use all the time.  Lastly, if I want to remove any of this you just use an Exacto knife to separate carefully, and then the remaining residue you can rub off with your fingers. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A BMW R1200GS that Talks to you?!

The next version I hear will be called Hal 9000!

"Just what do you think you are doing, Dave."

2014 BMW F800GS Adventure Test, by Ultimatemotorcycling

 Image result for 2014 bmw f800gs adventureImage result for 2014 bmw f800gs adventure

2014 BMW F 800 GS Adventure Test
Based on the existing BMW F 800 GS platform, the new 2014 Adventure edition turns the pavement-oriented base model into a true Gelände/Stra├če.
Key changes include a larger under-seat gas tank (now over six gallons), a strengthened sub-frame to accommodate the weight of additional fuel, a wider bench-style seat, engine guards, robust hand protectors, larger footpegs, a tall windscreen, and aluminum pannier frames that double as fuel tank guards.
Options include Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) and Automatic Stability Control (ASC), and Enduro mode for the motor—all of which I availed myself.
Staging out of the Sorrell River Ranch, a luxury resort and spa in Utah on the Colorado River outside of Moab, I have quick access to adventure motorcycle riding and other off-road demands. The area hosts a mix of dirt and paved roads in different maintenance conditions, giving me plenty of opportunities to challenge the new 800.
As I had some tougher off-roading and adventure in mind, I also had the F 800 GS Adventure equipped with an aluminum skid plate (highly recommended for off-road) and BMW’s Navigator GPS system, which conveniently mounts just below eye level on the windscreen.
In the morning, the fuel-injected engine easily fires up, and the various status symbols indicate that ABS and ASC are active, as well as alerting me to the suspension setting. Utah State High- way 128 is at the end of the Sorrel River Ranch driveway, so I have the suspension set in the Comfort mode.
Heading north on well-maintained pavement, the F 800 quickly and effortlessly accelerates to highway speeds, and the tall windscreen protects well. My first turn, Onion Creek Road — a wide hard-pack dirt road that rolls through the valley floor with numerous creek  crossings — comes up in just three miles. This prompts me to toggle the ride setting from Road to Enduro mode, which calibrates the ASC and ABS to work in the dirt.
Due to the 800 Adventure’s seemingly light weight – it actually hits the scales at a hair over 500 pound with a full tank of fuel — I feel like I am riding my 200-plus pound dirt bike, happily cruising through the shallow stream crossings without any concern about the bike’s suspension ability to handle the challenges. After the stretch of hard-packed surface and creek crossings, I encounter rather deep, powdered soil that was more difficult than I anticipated. In this condition, the 800’s weight distribution helped but the lack of low-end torque from the parallel twin had me working the clutch like I was riding a two-stroke.
Once free of the powder, my route takes me on a mix of hard pack dirt and pavement roads that will lead me across the Utah-Colorado border via Gateway Road. There, I find the bike’s cornering ability to be severely limited on the non-paved surfaces; the front-end wants to push through a corner when I attempt to carry a moderate amount of speed into a turn.
This reluctance to turn causes further problems on the hard pack road that winds down into Gateway Canyon, a treacherous route due to the near-concrete surface having a thin overlay of sand. Fortunately, my cautious riding helps me negotiate the downhill road. Happily, I make it to Colorado State Highway 141 without incident.
After lunch at Gateway Canyons, a luxurious resort and spa, I continue my ride in a southerly direction on a fun, curve-filled section of Highway 141. In this stretch, even with Continental tires that are oriented towards off-pavement use, the F 800 GS Adventure feels more like a sport-tourer than the large dual-sport motorcycle it is.
A fast 35 miles fly by and I turn off the highway again, this time onto a dirt road paralleling Dolores Creek. It’s a fairly straight, maintained hard pack road used primarily by Jeeps and pickup trucks. In this stretch the bike’s suspension, tuned to Comfort level, easily absorbs expanses of washboard surfaces.
The road takes me to Colorado State Highway 90, where I head west, and rapidly open the throttle up and shift up to sixth gear. Even though there is a bit of a crosswind, the well-designed windshield never buffets or induces excessive movement. Highway 90 throws some fairly intense uphill switchback curves at me, yet the F 800 GS Adventure’s handling never feels compromised in the corners.
After about 25 miles, I turn off Highway 90 and back onto dirt for a ride to Geyser Pass (elevation: 10,528 feet). As the elevation increases, I notice the engine’s power flagging a bit, as the EFI adapts to the thinning oxygen. Still, the DOHC 798cc motor maintains adequate pull all the way to the top.
On the descent, I find myself on a broad, gravel road with sweeping turns. Again, I have to deal with the bike’s lack of non-pavement cornering ability that limits my efforts to quickly traverse unpaved roads. As before, I am able to keep it on two-wheels, though it requires more skill and attention than it should.
Back on the pavement — a mix of shredded and newly paved sections — I am impressed by the 800’s ability to manage these variations at speed. I continue northwest to connect with La Sal Mountain Loop, and then turn north on to Utah State Highway 128 back to Sorrell River Ranch for a well-deserved shower, dinner, and sleep. My first introduction to BMW’s latest Adventure is a success.
The 2014 BMW F 800 GS Adventure has the capability to go anywhere an adventure motorcyclist wants to go. Although optional, features such as ESA and ASC feel mandatory. BMW has taken the standard 800 GS and turned it into a bike that, with its range extended 100 miles, is a bit more of a competitor for its 1200cc brother. One-up adventurers will especially take note, I anticipate.

A BMW R69S with a bit on the side, by Wesley Reyneke

A BMW R69S with a bit on the side

South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.
Few things in the world of motorcycling are as cool as sidecars. And the allure is magnified when the rig in question is both vintage and ultra-rare.
This very classy setup was put together by South African BMW experts Cytech, and pairs a 1964 BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar. “The client had been in touch with us for two years looking for this particular sidecar combination,” says Cytech owner Donovan Muller. “Eventually we made the match.”
South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.
And what a match it is. Steib was the sidecar of choice for BMW Motorrad in the 50s; replicas are still available, but finding an original is a tad more difficult. This one was bought from a deceased estate, as part of a bigger lot—but it was completely dismantled, and riddled with rust and amateur repair work.
Cytech’s restoration on the sidecar would rival many complete motorcycle rebuilds. The main shell was stripped, sandblasted and repaired, and the wheel fender was rebuilt with sheet metal before being painted and rubberised inside.
South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.
The sidecar’s wheel received new spokes and nipples, the hub was powdercoated, and every nut and bolt was cadmium plated. Cytech has also fitted a new aluminum bead to the fender and body, and refurbished the original tail light and Steib badge. The seat was recovered in black leather with gold pin studs.
The BMW itself was also in need of a serious restoration, and was even missing a few parts—such as the seat and exhausts. So Donovan and his team tore into it with vigour, completely overhauling the engine, gearbox and original 26mm Bing carbs.
South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.
The electrical system received a serious refresh, with a new wiring harness and ignition system, and the suspension was rebuilt. Every little detail was attended to—such as fitting tapered steering head bearings and replacing the air filter housing.
A rare long range Hoske tank was fitted, with a Karcoma fuel tap and a set of US-spec R50 handlebars to accommodate its width. Other top-shelf parts include a Denfeld bench seat and Bumm bar-end mirrors.
Then a full stainless steel exhaust system was installed, and a set of wide-lipped aluminum rims built up with stainless spokes and nipples. Metzeler rubber was fitted to the bike and sidecar’s wheels.
South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.
By default, the sidecar mounts were all placed on the right from the factory. “But for the road rules in South Africa, the sidecar must be mounted on the left,” explains Donovan. Cytech moved the mountings to to the opposite side of the bike, and finished everything in a timeless BMW livery: black with white pinstriping.
Both the R69S and the Steib are immaculate in their own right. But combined, they’re unbeatable.
It’s the perfect rig for ambling around on a Sunday afternoon, in style.
South African BMW experts Cytech have paired a BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.