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Clubs

  • BMWMOA - The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America is the largest US organization representing BMW-riding motorcyclists. Full-featured website, glossy monthly magazine, useful forums, big annual rally.
  • BMWRA - The BMW Riders Association is the other big national-scale organization, and has everything the MOA has, but with a different style. It places more emphasis on motorcycles and racing than the MOA, and less emphasis on touring and farkling; and being smaller, is a bit more idiosyncratic.
  • IBMWR - The Internet BMW Riders is really a mailing list/website with lots of great technical info on BMW motorcycles and their maintenance/repair.
  • Airheads - This mailing list/website is devoted to air-cooled BMW boxers (build dates 1922 to 1995). Mandatory viewing for airhead owners. See also 5United, a club similar to the Airheads, but focused on /5 series bikes (1970-1973).
  • VBMWMO - The Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners has a thin but gorgeous magazine that features photos of classic BMWs and articles about the history and following of the marque. They also have a pretty nice website.
  • BMWRO - The BMW Riders of Oregon is our sister club to the south. They have a splendid rally in John Day every May.
  • BMW Freeriders - Based in the Tri-Cities, this is our sister club to the east.
  • Bee Cee Beemers - Our sister club to the north. They have a great rally at Nakusp Hot Springs every August.
  • BMWMCJ - The BMW Motorrad Club of Japan is our sister club to the west. They have a really nice website.
  • Moto Guzzi Northwest - Not to go into details, but there are certain commonalities between BMW and Guzzi, and between their riders. This is the local Guzzi club. Nice website, lots of links and some good local rides.
  • Horizons Unlimited - Not exactly a club, but they have a good website, a lot of fans, some forums, a strong international community, and rallies. If you're thinking of riding to Ushuaia or Magadan, or maybe to go get a nice Sichuan dinner in Chengdu, you need to know these folks.

Forums

  • i-BMW - Forum devoted to sport-touring on K1200 and newer K-bikes.
  • BMW Sport Touring - Forum devoted to BMW sport-touring in general.
  • ADVrider - Forum devoted to pretty much everything, but has areas focused on BMWs. Great source for technical advice.
  • Most of the clubs listed above also have forums on their websites.

Rider Training

  • Motorcycle Training Schools - Washington Department of Licensing page listing all the regional schools approved to provide motorcycle training and testing in Washington (includes a link to approved sidecar/trike schools).
  • Puget Sound Safety - Of the training schools listed above, the most noteworthy is Puget Sound Safety, which offers a broad range of course options ranging from beginner street skills through advanced track and off-road techniques.
  • Northwest Motorcycle School - This 5-day training offered at sites near Portland and Seattle is said to be the only school in the US where a rider can receive the training typically provided only for motor officers. This is probably the most sophisticated street riding training available.
  • Total Control - Highly-regarded national track school. Courses are periodically offered at Washington tracks
  • MSF Library - Don't underestimate the value of DIY training through reading and practice exercises. This site offers a great compendium of materials.

Shopping

  • Max BMW - Maybe the all-around best source for online orders of new stock parts for any BMW (of course, if you're near a BMW motorcycle dealer, they should be your first choice for parts). Good prices and excellent customer service.
  • Beemer Boneyard - Good source for used BMW parts fitting K-bikes and post-airhead R-bikes; also for selected new parts and tools. After this, your best all-around bet for used parts is Ebay (caveat emptor).
  • Hucky's and Motobins - After Max, probably the best  large sources of new and NOS parts for airheads. Note that there are scores of sites devoted to airhead parts and tools; many are one-man shops producing great stuff with a very narrow focus. This is really just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Best Rest - Top quality products, many of them made in the U.S.A., with an especially good set of motorcycle tire repair tools. Based in Mountlake Terrace and run by club member Dave Petersen, so check the site out.
  • Revzilla - One of the best overall sources for rider gear and aftermarket accessories; the Amazon of motorcycling. Thanks to high sales volumes, they have good prices and are an excellent source of reviews by both Revzilla staff and by riders. Great return policy.
  • Touratech - Complete accessorization for most makes and models of adventure touring bikes, at prices befitting a BMW. The U.S. importer is based right in Seattle and has a store there.
  • Wunderlich - Touratech for the sport and sport-touring rider.
  • Happy Trail - Accessories for adventure and sport touring for the rest of us. You see their hardcase luggage all over the place. Solid gear at reasonable prices, most of it made in the U.S.A.
  • American Moto Tire - Generally the best source for motorcycle tires. Huge selection, easy to use search-and-sort process makes shopping easy; usually the best prices; free shipping.
  • Rich's Custom Seats - Local (Kingston) maker of superb custom-fitted motorcycle seats.

BMW Motorcycle Dealers in Washington

  • BMW Motorcycles of Seattle - The Seattle BMW dealership.
  • South Sound Motorcycles - The Tacoma BMW dealership (actually in Fife, and they carry Ducati as well).
  • Pacific Northwest Motorcycles - BMW dealership in Bellingham (Ferndale, really, and they also carry Indian, Ural, and the Grupo Piaggio marques).
  • Lynnwood Motoplex - The Lynnwood BMW dealership (and they carry oodles of other marques as well).
  • Westside Motorsports - The Spokane BMW dealership (and they carry Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki as well).
  • Desert Valley Powersports - The Tri-Cities BMW dealership (and they carry Suzuki and Yamaha as well).
  • Craigslist - Generally your best bet for used bikes, if you want to confine your search to the local area. At any given time they have about 250 BMWs listed in the greater Seattle area. If you want to cast a wider net, Cycle Trader and Ebay are the standard sources.
  • Moto International - OK, they don't even sell BMWs, but this Seattle dealer does sell Moto Guzzi and Aprilia and otherwise has a deep appreciation for European bikes. May be the most highy regarded Guzzi dealer on this side of the Atlantic. Worth a visit.

Rides

  • Wunderlich Rallies Calendar provides a long list of upcoming rallies. Similar services are provided by the calendar pages at the BMWMOA and the RA.
  • Motorcycle Roads Northwest is a whole website devoted to this subject. Search by region, type, or from a map interface.
  • Several options listed above have useful info on rides. Probably the most useful is the GPS forum on ADVrider, where there are zillions of tracks available for download. Most of the clubs also provide ride info, on their website and/or in their magazines.
  • This very website has a GPS File Sharing page, full of great Washington rides.
  • Destination Highways publishes several books and maps that provide detail on the best pavement rides. So far they have guides covering BC, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. Their website provides a good intro, but the hard copy is worth getting, too. These guides are far better than anything else yet published on pavement rides in the area.

Miscellany

  • Sound Rider - Probably the most useful general motorcycle page with a local (PNW) focus. Get on their mailing list; the monthly updates will alert you to upcoming moto-events. Has a pretty popular classified ads section, too.
  • America's Car Museum and the LeMay Marymount collection - Although the Tacoma museum doesn't offer much in the way of motorcycle culture, the Marymount annex has a lot of great bikes and memorabilia. The museum hosts The Meet, an annual summer concours focused on vintage motorcycling; Marymount hosts the Vintage Motorcycle Week, typically in June. See the website calendars for details.
  • BMW Motorcycle Restoration - Duane Ausherman's site. Every Airhead knows this site.
  • Dakar - The world's toughest, longest, and most exciting motorsport race, held annually in January. BMW riders have won a lot of Dakar stages in the past (most recently in 2011) and maybe someday, again.
  • Isle of Man TT - The world's most dangerous motorcycle road race, held annually in June. BMW riders frequently win it, on various flavors of the S1000RR.
  • SCTA - The Southern California Timing Association runs the annual (September) Speed Week at Bonneville Salt Flats, where BMWs now hold 20 different world speed records (not counting cars - BMW now makes cars, too). Several of those records are held by Kevin Brooks, based in Lacey, who restores pre-1970 BMWs.