Other motorcyclists may say “I’d ride a BMW if they had a dealer network like (insert your brand choice here) did in case I ran into trouble on the road.” True, BMW doesn’t have the dealer network that other motorcycles do but read on about the network that exists between owners and dealers.
Mike & Wendy, who we’re meeting on Monday while they’re travelling, had a mechanical problem in Memphis, TN earlier today. His shock had failed and was leaking on his 1985 K100RT. He said it was like riding a pogo stick when they’d hit a bump. He called to ask me if I could post a message for him on the message forum of the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMW MOA) asking members to contact him if they could help out with ideas or suggestions on a repair or locating a replacement shock. I posted the message. I then checked the BMW Motorcycles web site for dealers near where he was. I found one in Memphis and after that the closest ones were in Nashville and Chattanooga. I called Mike back with the information and he had already called the dealer in Memphis with no luck. I then called my local dealer, BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta to see if maybe they had a shock in stock for a 27-year-old motorcycle. Our plan was I would pick up the shock, they would detour on their trip and take smooth interstates to us, getting here tonight. Mike and I would then spend tomorrow putting the shock on. Here is where the impressive part starts. BMW of Atlanta checked and did not have the shock. But they didn’t stop there and checked the dealer network for inventory for it. Again they could not find the BMW OEM part in stock at a dealer in the U.S.. They asked if he’d be interested in a used part and gave some suggestions and phone numbers of shops that may have them. Wait, it gets better. When you join the BMW MOA you get something called the “Anonymous Book” which is a book that members can have themselves placed in to offer assistance to members. The book is listed by state, city and phone number only and then codes of the assistance you can offer. The assistance can range from meeting for coffee and conversation to major repairs. I called Mike with the news I had about the part. He had used his Anonymous Book and gotten in touch with a BMW MOA member who then contacted another member. The first member was coming with a trailer to take the bike to another member who was going to take the shock off his own motorcycle and put it on Mike’s! Yes that’s right, taking the shock off his own motorcycle to put it on someone’s he’d never met so that they could get back on the road! I’m not saying that owning a BMW Motorcycle is better than owning any other motorcycle. I’m not saying that being a member of the BMW MOA is better than being a member of another motorcycle organization. In fact, I’d hope that other organizations would help in any way they could too.
Mike called later and said that in about 45 minutes they’d be back on the road. From the time of his first phone call to me to getting the shock and getting on the road was only about 2 1/2 hours!
I will never consider NOT renewing membership in the BMW MOA.