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Thread: BMW Rally

  1. #1
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    Default BMW Rally

    I left Friday night at 7:00ish for Hakuba and the BMW Rally. I wanted to bring the smaller of my bikes so I could do some rindo/ twisty rides with JamesK and TwinRider on the way home. The way there was going good until I got nearer my Goal. The skies opened up and rained so hard I had to stop for I couldnt see. The weather combined with my limited speed on the XR400 and the fact I was Naviless and missed my exit and had to do 70k extra I didnt make camp until 12ish.. Little over my estimated 4 hours...

    Twinrider said he couldnt fit all his gear and his wife on the Bike so he took a cage... He also left early on Friday before all of us.

    JamesK left at 9ish and made it there a few minutes before me... He is a machine

    HailDamage was already there and had the Camp all setup.

    We recieved our dinners from the guys and ate in comfort in the great camp we had set up.

    After the night of food talk and drinks we went to sleep in the rain..

    The next day was rainy then sunny then ......ETC ETC

    We had our camp next to the MX bike show and man they rocked
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    We also got to see Chris make a BMW do things it shouldnt
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    It was a blast and the others should be posting soon..

    Jamek and I did do some hard core racing Saturday night, and some touring Sunday
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    Yes JamesK and I didnt have BMWs

    Fun time and great people
    The first thing men notice about a woman is her eyes. Then, when her eyes aren't looking, they notice her breasts.
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  2. #2
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    Scorpion summed up the weekend pretty well, it was fun, and not very expensive.
    A big thanks to Haildamage for providing all the comforts of home and a treating us all to a traditional Kansai breakfast. I'm still amazed at how he manages to pack all that crap onto a baby GS bike. And thanks to TR for bringing the extra chairs and tarp.

    Here are some of my pics, and an autographed Bio of Chris Pfeiffer, who is a really great and down to earth guy. FIIK why a guy like this would EVER even contemplate getting married, even in the most drunken, out of your mind state, I'm sure he would have no problems at all scoring some premium tail after every single show!







    It was a pretty decent turnout, with the camping ground being pretty densely packed.





    This pic shows that you can find a redneck anywhere...seriously though I think this guy had a pretty clever idea, it certainly did the job and cost next to nothing...



    But I was really hanging out to ride the TwistyButt route I'd put together. The route basically takes twisties right from Hakuba47 to R53 in Hachioji, and "them is" some mighty nice twisty roads Total mileage for the weekend only around 890km.



    Came across this on some skyline somewhere (R196), when I saw the Golden Buddha I remembered being there once before, many years ago, when Ide took me on one of his special routes...



    We got hit by a couple of little flash rain storms while going through Kusatsu, the rain whilst relatively brief was really strong...but it was all good as it helped to cool us down a bit. After Scorpion peeled off home, not that I blame him, he drank enough the night before to kill a horse, and yet was able to make it through 6 hours of a pretty aggressive Twistybut ride and on only about 3.5 hours of sleep.
    I of course only had about 2 beers, since I was saving myself for the TBA ride, and besides if I drank 1/4 of what Scorpion and Twinrider put away I would be dead or in a hospital - guaranteed. I'd been looking forward to doing this ride all weekend so wasn't going to let anything get in the way, not even what turned out to be some serious weather. Of course had this crap started earlier I might have reconsidered cutting the route a little short, but by the time it hit me I was already up on some goat track mountain...
    Well at least I got to preserve my tires a bit more than would have otherwise and the bike got a really thorough washing But it was a bit slow going there for a while, given the rivers of muddy water gushing down the goat trails, and with the wind and rain the road surface was covered in leaves, branches and other crap. As I finished and stopped at some place in a valley at a rest area called Ogano or something the rain was tapering off and as I looked at the sky it looked like things were clearing up over where I was going, but either I mixed up my directions or the wind blew the super storm clouds right back over me when I decided to take R361 and R11. These are real goat tracks, the road surface is ok, but when hit but flash torrential rain they get a bit nasty...





    Not too many places to stop, and not really something I was looking forward to doing too much given the conditions and the quickly approaching night time. So I just took a couple of quick shots while answering the call of nature, and flipped on the video camera for as long as the batteries lasted, since running the external power in heavy rain like that would have flooded the camera...







    All's well that ends well, as they say, I managed to complete my TBA course, which is hard enough to be fun and given the weather conditions I ended up in was certainly challenging enough to be appreciated... The course is around 600km and I completed it in 14 hours. Looking forward to doing this TBA route again before winter, this time in the dry!
    Last edited by JamesK; 09-08-11 at 10:51 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Following an unsuccessful attempt at packing the Harley with two people's worth of camping gear, clothing, rain suits, food etc and running out of space I resigned myself to taking the Bongo and decided to make up for the faux pas of taking a car to a bike rally by being the supply guy. So I loaded up a bunch of charcoal, chairs, a large grill, big lantern and a bunch of cooking equipment and food and headed for Hakuba on Friday afternoon.

    After popping by a supermarket in Hakuba to grab some booze and food for James and Trent, who would be arriving late that night, we pulled into Hakuba 47, the rally venue, where Eric was waiting to guide us to his campsite. We unloaded the Bongo and got to work setting up the tarp I brought, which together with Eric's tarp gave us a nice size area to cook and hang out in if it rained. Just in time too, because as soon as we got done the heavens opened up and and downpoured upon us. Fortunately the rain slowed just as the ground was turning to a river beneath us, and by the time James and Trent pulled in it turned to infrequent showers. A few drinks, some BSing and BBQing and then off to bed.

    The showers continued off and on all day Saturday but proved to be a boon as they took the edge off the sweltering heat. And they didn't stop the MX Freestyle guys or Chris Pfeiffer from putting on two amazing shows each that day.

    We had ringside seats for the morning MX Freestyle show as it was right next to our campsite. The riders were small guys but had seriously huge balls to pull off the jumps and tricks that they did, and in wet conditions no less. How the hell did they learn how to do this stuff??






    They were all excellent but the star of the show was Daisuke Suzuki, ranked 1st in Japan and 3rd in the world. He jumped higher, hung in the air longer and his tricks were always that much better, amazing considering he was doing them with a brace on his leg from crashing the previous week.












    After the morning MX freestyle show we headed down to see Chris Pfeiffer in action. Just before his show began it started to rain pretty hard and we were wondering if he was going to cancel. I mean, stunting is risky enough in the dry and it's pretty crazy to do it on wet tarmac. But like the honey badger, Chris didn't give a shit and pulled off the most amazing display of wet riding skills that any of us have ever seen. His F800R sounded wicked with the Akrapovic exhaust it, and took all the punishment he dished out no prob. Bet BMW will sell a few more of them following the rally, pretty smart marketing.



    Japanese love nothing better than the gaman spirit and Pfeiffer won the crowd's hearts big time by stunting in the rain.




    After watching another round of MX Freestyling and one more Pfeiffer stunt show that afternoon we headed for the BMW BBQ dinner that Eric had booked us for. It was pretty awesome because the tables were set up right in front of the hill where the hillclimbing event would take place at around 5:30. The event was open to anyone with a BMW and the hill was soaked from all the rain so it made for some pretty damn good entertainment. No one was surprised when the three HP2s blasted up the hill no problem. What surprised us was when a couple early '90s air-cooled 60hp R100GSs made it up the hill. Clearly riding skill was more important than outright horsepower.

    One guy on a fully loaded Adventure gave it a shot and made it halfway before falling. Major kudos for trying though. I ran into him at the Suwako PA on the way home and asked him why he left the bags on before he tried and he said it they added value to his attempt. He added that he made it last year when the hill was dry.










    The funniest part was when one guy tried to ride his ancient sport-tourer R100RS up the hill lol!




    And the most impressive climb was a pro rider doing it on a Husky 550. Fast as hell and wheelied up half the hill, then rode back down from the top and did it again!


    After the hillclimb was over we kept bbqing and shooting the sh*t with everyone around us and enjoyed the fireworks.











    Later one of those around us we got to shoot the sh*t with was Chris Pfeiffer. After an interesting Q&A session on stage where he gave some good advice on how to learn good balance and stunts (practice on a bicycle first) ...



    ... he came down and sat at a table near us and had dinner and then mingled with everyone. He turned out to be a super friendly, really down to earth guy and it was really cool to be able to talk with him. I asked him how he managed to get so much traction in the rain and he said he used sport-touring tires like Michelin PR2s because "they give the best traction."










    Flying the flag for Gaijinriders, I got Chris to sign my shirt.



    Trent gave Chris some advice about something! Next to Chris is the Japanese rider who competed in the IOM TT on an S1000R, can't remember his name offhand but he was also a very friendly dude.



    More partying and frivolities ensued that night in the campground. The next morning Trent and James took off early to do their ride, and me and my wife checked out the last MX freestyle show, took in a gondola ride and then saw Chris' last stunt show, part of it from the air.








    All in all it was an awesome rally, with a nice riverside campsite, stunt shows, street and rindo test rides on BMW's full lineup of bikes, gondola rides, Redbull girls running around giving out free drinks all day. And not a dime charged by BMW for anything except for the food that came with the optional hillside bbq dinner. I got to meet and talk with BMW Japan's German director, Ekrem Sak. After congratulating him on putting together such a fantastic event he told me that next year's show will be even better, with BMW Taiwan and Korea participating as well. He was a very friendly guy, even giving me his business card and telling him he'd invite me on a ride. And he's really into bikes, as evidenced when I saw an R1200GS pull up in Suwako PA on the way home as I was walking from the rest room. The rider pulls off his helmet and it turns out to be Sak, who tells me he had stop for some water because it was really hot out lol. Didn't snap a pic but here he is accepting the bike of the year award for the S1000RR from Young Machine magazine.





    Last but not least, special thanks to my wife, who took some great pics and vids. She also had a good time at the rally, so if anyone else is considering taking their SO, go for it. Lots of women attend and BMW has some nice extras for them.
    I'm really looking forward to next years rally.
    Last edited by Twinrider; 10-08-11 at 02:19 PM.

  4. #4
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    How the hell did they learn how to do this stuff??
    I've seen videos of those kinds of riders practicing by jumping their bikes into a big crash pit filled with foam rubber.

    And not a dime charged by BMW for anything except the optional hillside bbq dinner.
    Yes, as I mentioned in another thread about this event, it turns out most of the pricey charges I was quoted last year by Fukuda Motors to attend this event were from... Fukuda Motors! What BS. Glad I just went separately with a buddy instead of with the group of Fukuda suckers... er, customers.

    Anyway, sounds like next year's rally will really be something! Let's try to schedule next year's family campout so the two events don't conflict.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I've seen videos of those kinds of riders practicing by jumping their bikes into a big crash pit filled with foam rubber.


    Yes, as I mentioned in another thread about this event, it turns out most of the pricey charges I was quoted last year by Fukuda Motors to attend this event were from... Fukuda Motors! What BS. Glad I just went separately with a buddy instead of with the group of Fukuda suckers... er, customers.
    Yeah, we all know what the FU stands for in Fukuda!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Anyway, sounds like next year's rally will really be something! Let's try to schedule next year's family campout so the two events don't conflict.
    Sounds like a plan! I was going to drop by Motosuko on the way back but got caught in the traffic jam from hell instead due to about 4 different wrecks on the Chuo. Next year I'm packing light and taking the bike for sure.

  6. #6

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    Looks like a great event. Yes it was a pity the events conflicted, and with some planning we can avoid that in future.
    Apexmoto Inc - Dyno tuning, engine/chassis/suspension upgrades, repairs, shaken, tires & changing with balancing, graphics printing, stickers, media blasting, painting & powder coating.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post
    I was going to drop by Motosuko on the way back but got caught in the traffic jam from hell instead due to about 4 different wrecks on the Chuo.
    We probably were heading home earlier in the day than you did, but we had the easiest ride home ever on the Chuo. No juutai, not even in that killer spot near Dangozaka SA where the road narrows from 3 lanes to 2. ET and I were talking about how it looked like the end of the 1,000 yen flat toll rate has really thinned out the traffic on the expressways.
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  8. #8
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    Damn Jim, that's some serious reporting there - nice write up. I was so preoccupied with my TBA ride that I'd almost forgotten much of that detail, thanks for reminding me
    TBA 904, IBA 27221

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
    Damn Jim, that's some serious reporting there - nice write up. I was so preoccupied with my TBA ride that I'd almost forgotten much of that detail, thanks for reminding me
    It was all that booze you drank.... Umm maybe it was me that drank all that booze.....

    It was a blast and sad for me to say it but it made the Blue sky Harly rally look like a grandmas knitting club meeting...
    The first thing men notice about a woman is her eyes. Then, when her eyes aren't looking, they notice her breasts.
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  10. #10
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    What is that black circle thing on his bike next to the BMW roundel?

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
    It was a blast and sad for me to say it but it made the Blue sky Harly rally look like a grandmas knitting club meeting...
    Blue Sky hasn't been worth a crap in a long long time. The true spirit of these events lies within the people that are in attendance as opposed to the corporations that are sponsoring them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesK View Post
    Damn Jim, that's some serious reporting there - nice write up. I was so preoccupied with my TBA ride that I'd almost forgotten much of that detail, thanks for reminding me
    It was a lot of fun so I was inspired to record it for posterity

    Btw, if anyone's wondering, the motorcycles the MX guys used are YZ250s. We were told that they are the last 2-smoke MX bikes available and they sure sounded great.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdkng103 View Post
    Blue Sky hasn't been worth a crap in a long long time. The true spirit of these events lies within the people that are in attendance as opposed to the corporations that are sponsoring them.
    The people make a difference for sure but I think BMW also did a lot to make the event succeed, things HD would be smart to emulate. I got the feeling that BMW's corporate management was really into bikes, riding there, hanging out and even eating dinner with the rest of us, while at Blue Sky Heaven I saw high ranking brass being chauffeured away in the afternoon. Also, organizing the "camping" by Hog chapters really segregates people into mini-territories. You end up only talking to people you know instead of being able to walk around checking out all the bikes and shooting the sh"t with new folks.

    Some advice for Harley:
    1) Hold BSH in the countryside where people can actually have fun camping instead on setting their tents up on hot, hard pavement.
    2) Make the event free instead of charging 3500 a head. Avoiding FISCO's high rental fee would help there.
    3) Focus the entertainment more on fun bike activities, like stunt shows, flat-tracking exhibitions, hill climbs, decent test rides, etc.
    4) Tone the chapter segregation down a few notches.
    5) Last but not least, get some hot girls to walk around passing out free drinks!!!!
    Last edited by Twinrider; 10-08-11 at 09:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    What is that black circle thing on his bike next to the BMW roundel?

    I was wondering that myself, looks like a speaker...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twinrider View Post
    I was wondering that myself, looks like a speaker...
    I think it originally pointed forward but got biffed in the hill climb. Still have no idea what it is .
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  16. #16
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    i just got home from my 10 day tour so i can finally comment! it was a great time. i am so glad you guys werent put off by a little rain in the forecast, and it was a real blast hanging out with you guys! let's try to do it again next year!


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