From July 17th - 20th a little piece of America becomes distinctively Bavarian, when the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America holds its 36th annual rally in Gillette, Wyoming.
The BMW MOA is the world's largest independent BMW motorcycle club, with around 40,000 members. It was formed in 1972 as a volunteer organization with a mission to foster communication and a sense of family among BMW motorcycle enthusiasts. It has grown to be the largest brand specific motorcycle club in the world that is not owned and operated by the marque, and has its own quality customer magazine, website and annual International Rally, and offers member benefits through discounts with selected partners.
The BMW MOA International Rally is held annually in July and is a great place to meet like-minded riders to celebrate the world of BMW Motorrad. Previous rallies have been held in Montana, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Ontario, and this year's rally in Gillette, Wyoming, is expected to attract around 8,000 members who will travel from all over the USA to be part of the celebrations.
The location for the 36th Annual BMW MOA International Rally has been chosen because there are some great riding roads in the area, plenty of space for people to camp, and very little traffic. Taking place in the 1,000 acre 'Cam-Plex' facility, located in the rolling plains of the 'Cowboy State', the 2008 rally is packed full of events and activities for BMW riders, all designed to celebrate the lifestyle surrounding ownership of the German brand.
A numerous list of activities include test rides, courtesy of BMW Motorrad's Demo Truck; advanced riding courses - including 'ladies only; tuition; a stunt riding display by Chris 'Teach' McNeil; an exhibition celebrating a quarter of a century of the legendary BMW K Series bikes; a vintage motorcycle display; a heritage theater showing a variety of inspirational travel films, including Herbert Schwarz's Canada 2 Mexico and Helge Pedersen's Globeriders Silk Road Adventure; rider clothing displays; numerous vendors selling BMW-related products and accessories; a comprehensive program of seminars, covering all aspects of motorcycling such as traveling, advanced on and off-road riding, technical issues, GPS navigation, motorcycle photography, and much more.
Away from the wide variety of talks, expert advice and information are the more 'relaxing' elements of a rally weekend, such as a beer garden, flea market and excellent choice of scenic riding routes to discover in the area. And when the sun goes down, a great line-up of live music and evening entertainment is planned.
As well as a special competition to win a tour to New Zealand, The BMW MOA will be giving away a 2008 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure. Also, one lucky attendee at the BMW MOA International Rally will win a unique 1974 R 75/6 through a raffle of the BMW MOA Foundation. The bike has been converted to an R 90. This one-of-a-kind BMW will have a special 'Gillette Rally' paint scheme and the restoration includes many of the 'trick' customized parts that were popular in the 1970s to improve handling and performance.
More information on the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the 36th BMW MOA International Rally in Gillette can be found by visiting