The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'
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3 years 9 months ago #1435 by 11108
Has Airheads ever done any ad's in MOA magazine?
would MOA run a free ad for us ? If the cost were not to bad if we ran some ads it might be possible to gain some membership .

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2 weeks 13 hours ago #6885 by arni
Replied by arni on topic suggestions for membership increase
I'm sort of a newish member. No one knows my name or history. I "joined' recently. I did not get a current copy of the AirMail, I got the next one to come out. I did not get the Dairdirectory I signed up for. I did not get a sticker. No one even said hello. When I review the tech forum for a huge number of pages back I see 1.3 guys answering all the questions. Few people asking, fewer answering. prudish over moderation. I am not a child and do not expect to be in the company of them, or of puritans. A lot of the tech material isn't the highest caliber. Even snowbum has his site up still and refers to it constantly in the tech material he has here. Why would I encourage a friend to spend $30 when more can be gotten for free elsewhere?

I bought a bike recently and it has an ABC sticker on the rear bumper. Aside from the fact I loathe the logo, I am ashamed of it. Not good. Doesn't bode well for me spending $30 next year.

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2 weeks 12 hours ago #6887 by 11108
Replied by 11108 on topic suggestions for membership increase
I agree but funding is low and it is the only airhead magazine/group. It seems the low number of members mean low numbers of responses . I have to admit I am not much of a responder

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2 weeks 5 hours ago #6894 by 8166
Replied by 8166 on topic suggestions for membership increase

arni wrote: I'm sort of a newish member. No one knows my name or history. I "joined' recently. I did not get a current copy of the AirMail, I got the next one to come out. I did not get the Dairdirectory I signed up for. I did not get a sticker. No one even said hello. When I review the tech forum for a huge number of pages back I see 1.3 guys answering all the questions. Few people asking, fewer answering. prudish over moderation. I am not a child and do not expect to be in the company of them, or of puritans. A lot of the tech material isn't the highest caliber. Even snowbum has his site up still and refers to it constantly in the tech material he has here. Why would I encourage a friend to spend $30 when more can be gotten for free elsewhere?

I bought a bike recently and it has an ABC sticker on the rear bumper. Aside from the fact I loathe the logo, I am ashamed of it. Not good. Doesn't bode well for me spending $30 next year.


Wow, lots of criticism, but pretty thin in the way of helpful suggestions.

But to address your concerns:

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy of the dAIRectory. In the mean time, feel free to use the online version linked under the AirLore tab at the top of every page here.

They can probably fix you up with that back issue you "missed", if you ask nicely.

I don't think a sticker is part of the deal, but maybe they're available from the AirStore. You'll find a link under the AirBazaar tab in the menu at the top of the page.

We suffered a huge blow when Oak passed. His technical expertise ensured that only the best info of the time made it into print. But as the years pass, his old articles in Airmail are becoming dated and don't necessarily reflect today's best practices. Some are now just down right wrong, so we agree there. The biggest impact, at least in my opinion, is that the ABC now has no widely recognized technical expert actively participating in either Airmail or here on the web site. Without vetting, the technical info posted here or in Airmail is no better than what is available on the internet for free. FWIW, I tried to put together a "technical committee" several years ago that would review member contributions and generate authoritative technical "how to" articles, but not one single "expert" I asked was willing to join. Most said they just didn't have time, some were afraid of giving away trade secrets.

Now, as far as the moderation here in the forums. There have been a few threads that went sideways, but in comparison to any other forum out there, I think we're doing a good job of keeping the conversations on target, polite, and constructive. If you disagree, feel free to contact either or both of us offline with examples of how things could have been handled differently. We're just volunteers here, trying to do the best we can with what we've got. If you have something to offer, maybe along the lines of the "technical committee" mentioned above, or even a desire to participate as moderator in one or more Topics, we're all ears and could use the help.

Scot

8166 Scot Marburger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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1 week 6 days ago #6897 by arni
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I agree Scot, I am very critical. it is my worst faults (aside from being grouchy on Wednesdays and a weakness for fine scotch). But critical thinking is also one of my greatest strengths. Good ideas do not spring full fledged from the brow of a swan. But criticism does not have to yield negative results, it can reveal the positive too.

To increase membership the club has to be willing to change things. Change is tough. Toes can get stepped on, feelings can get hurt, egos bruised. But if the same ol' same ol' things are done then the same ol' same ol' results will be obtained. Increasing membership is a big change so big things must be changed. Incremental changes will be appreciated, but they won't draw flies like honey.

The most obvious way to draw members is take what the club has that is strong and make it stronger. Tech days are strong and I have made one suggestion back channel to make them stronger. I have another but I'll see where the first one goes first. I have heard a bunch of people say they like the magazine. I have not studied the copy I have to see how it could be made stronger.

I found the club sticker in the store. They are club advertising. Give one to every first time member. The store was unfriendly. Suggest going to the Aerostitch site and looking at their store. They use the same catalog w/ classes format, but you can find stuff, fast. They also repeat entries across classes, hey, it's free to do and you get more exposure for that hoodie.

Change the club slogan. Simple by choice? Sure about that "choice" part? "simple' is short for "simpleton", that is, an idiot. I stuffed the two words in Google and they turn up in the bible. Very old usage and not a complimentary one. Maybe the club would attract more members if it was "Distinguished Gentleman by Choice"? Anyway, that's the idea.

change the logo. The engine and wrenches is working but putting Willys portrait of a grinning idiot on top does not. It reinforces the "we stupid" theme" Lose the guy with the sunglasses and keep the motor.

I am not a member of the cult of Oak. Oak was a bully. (there, I said it in church). He drove me away from the list and I think he alienated many others too. But he taught me something important: there is nothing one guru type knows that others do not. This has stood the test of time. The last time I was fiddling with a CV and found something I thought nobody knew about I wrote Bob Fleischer to tell him about it. Turns out he knew, but had never bothered to write it up. All that said, I do not think Oak is becoming irrelevant. The airheads are dead. They are No Longer Made. What there is to know about them is known. It is just a matter of who has the knowledge. More and more people are coming online with web pages and videos with what they know. Snowbum, Boxer2Valve, Duane Ausherman, Anton Lagaudier, et. al. have a lot out there. So ABC has to bring something new, either in content or better, organization, to the table. I think a technical committee is an iffy idea. Snowbum has done a massive compendium. I hear a lot of complaints that it is too much to read and waaaay too much to sift through to get an answer to a problem. And it is not written in a troubleshooting format for the most part. I have my own website with some documentation and after Britt Runyon ripped it off, hacked it up, converted it to an image that couldn't be searched and then presented it in the MOA forums as his own work (and got his head handed to him a couple of ways) I haven't invested work in my site. I know that stuff and don't need anyone else to know if I know or not.

I strongly advise anyone to Go to the ADVrider.com airheads subforum (Olds cool>airheads) and look around. 173,323 threads and 446,766 posts as of now. Forum started sept. 2003. Forum software a touch buggy but good features: PMs, easy to upload pictures and GPS tracks to the site, the ability to add a poll and tag to a thread persistent logon rather than the ABC CJ.. 2 practicing mechanics in Airheads that don't post too much but are a fountain of wisdom and a few specialty mechanics (like an instruments guy).There is the usual bad info, questionable judgement, myths, superstitions. But there are so many people contributing and so much knowledge spread around that any one with a question or issue will get a wealth of decent info to work with.

Then there is the rest of the site. The camping subforums stuffed with what-is-the-best-tent threads and lookee my big-survival-knife threads.. Long discussions on luggage and lights and tires and on and on and on. There are regional forums where people organize their own get togethers and discuss if the passes are open yet. It just doesn't stop. And it is run on donations and volunteers and some ads I have yet to see for some reason.. Ask not what software beats what ya got, go look at what they use.

ABC cannot compete with this. No thundering guru can compete with the distributed knowledge found elsewhere.

So that leaves psychology and culture. I have noticed on ADV and elsewhere that the ABC crowd is rather attached to their membership numbers. As in the way a teenage girl is rather attached to her cell phone. I see them in signature lines on ADV and IBMWR. So what is with this? I don't know my number but I feel I should have it tattooed on my Johnson when I figure it out. The cannons try to outline culture, as do the forum mods. I am pleased to see some of the BS has been taken out of the canons. The hypocrisy in them was a turn off. But if people join an organization for identity, consider what identity is being offered. A recent-ish ADV poll thread revealed the airhead crowd is quite old, 60+ years. Having someone who is in their 40's show up is unusual. And signature lines reveal stables of bikes. the 1200GS is popular. This bunch is old enough to be set in their ways and is well heeled. None of the poverty riders of old. they have expensive modern machines to ride and know who they are.

Barley therapies offer nothing to me. I don't drink and ride. Alcohol and socializing is not therapy, the sound of my motor is therapy. The DAIRectory reveals 4 people within 15 miles of me. Including myself that is a good group to go for a ride. But there are no day rides on the calendar. Some "campouts" (camping for me does not involve a campground) is all. So how about some designated ride captains that host a day ride or two a month in their area? A calendar stuffed with rides might be attractive.

J.

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1 week 6 days ago #6901 by 8166
Replied by 8166 on topic suggestions for membership increase
A lot of us like things the way they are, J., and don't necessarily agree that the club needs more members. The Canons pretty well convey the spirit and meaning of what it is to be an Airhead, and we've already had a few rows with folks that wanted to go in some other direction. As far as I can tell from looking at the membership numbers, we're still hovering around the 3000 mark, and the treasury is healthy enough to continue publishing Airmail and hosting AirCentrals at the big rallies. There is no cost to the club associated with hosting tech days or Rendezvous; those are individually funded. And the twenty or thirty bux a month fee for hosting the ABC website isn't gonna break the bank, either.

But you did hit on the elephant in the room, in that the members are getting up there in years and won't be able to ride forever. If younger folks aren't attracted to the current configuration of the club as outlined in the Canons, then we'll see a drop off in the numbers. As far as I can tell, though, that isn't happening. I'm not seeing a flood of thirty and forty somethings at the events I attend, but there are more than a few. So it's not all doom and gloom when it comes to maintaining the numbers.

FWIW, membership numbers are assigned sequentially when you join the club. So theoretically, the lower your number, the longer you've been a member. However, if you let your membership expire for any length of time, then come back and sign up again, you'll get the next higher unused membership number. That's why new guy's numbers are in the tens of thousands now. You can in most cases drop a line to the membership team and reclaim your old numbers, and as long as our records can link you back to that number, they're happy to do it. I suppose there's some prestige in having a low membership number, but to me it's just a number. And because your member 10345 sure as heck doesn't mean there are that many Airheads, either.

i agree that Barley Therapies as a stand alone event are not for me. I love a good adult beverage, but only after the stands are down for the day. That wasn't always the case. In the '80s the Norton Owner's Club in the SF Bay Area was quite active, and they held their monthly meetings at local bars. Lots of pints were consumed at those meetings, and the ride home was something a more prudent person would have forgone.

I also agree that there is much more content available at ADV and the plethora of FB groups that have ties to the airhead bikes, but for me it's too much like looking for a needle in a haystack to find it. Some of the denizens of such places tend not to be the same folks I'd care to share a campfire with, being argumentative, officious, and down right rude at times. The camaraderie at real world ABC events is what keeps me coming back, long after I've abandoned going to the big rallies, and even rides with more than a friend or two. In this age of online anonymity and the accompanying "screw your buddy" mentality, the prevailing atmosphere at real world ABC events is invigorating and refreshing. It's hard to find that kind of experience anywhere else.

FWIW,, the SoCal members were hosting Sunday Breakfast Rides for a few years, but like most things, the few guys that were organizing them got tired of doing it and the practice was abandoned. I don't think it ever caught on in the rest of the country, though, just like Barley Therapies aren't that wide spread, either.

It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. We almost lost the ABC as we now know it a few years ago when trouble took over the Board of Directors. Once the dust settled, I worked with several other members to suggest some bylaw changes that would have made that kind of skullduggery much more difficult to implement. The BoD had no interest in our suggestions, and has yet to tackle the fundamental weaknesses that were leveraged the last time.

At the end of the day, the ABC is basically a ride'n'camp club that worked together to keep our bikes and our heads healthy. But folks these days don't seem to value the ride'n'camp thing as much, and the big rallies are also having attendance problems. I don't want to see the ABC turn into a club that is solely focused on a monthly newsletter and a website, but a great number of younger types these days are cyberspace based and are not looking for real world experiences. If that's the future, I'm content to let them have it to themselves, but I hope there are still Rendezvous for as long as I can keep my bikes on the road and have enough health to ride to them.

$.02, and probably not worth even that...

8166 Scot Marburger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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