On the cover is a photo of Shane Jackson #924 (Chattanooga TN) and his dog Ringo. Shane sent the accompanying letter;
"You may have seen Ringo and me hang gliding on CNN's 'Headline News' last May. Ringo started GS'ing when she was two months old, and now has 40,000 miles of barking at every car, truck and Harley we pass behind her. She won't let me go anywhere without taking her along. TN Airmarshal Sam Tabor decreed honorary 'Airhead status' upon her at the Pickwick Landing rally.
Last November, the infamous Red Gardner #67 and I were headed down to the Poverty Riders 'Coon Bottom Campout' in the Florida panhandle. We inadvertently passed through Columbus GA. In congested, slow moving traffic, we observed a motorcycle cop on a Harley pass by in the oncoming lane of our thoroughfare. You guessed it! Moments later, we were pulled over. The cop was short, young and had acne. Dressed like a CHiPs wanna be.
Naturally, I assumed that Red was the 'moving violator' and felt no concern for my drivers license. He dismounted and I did not. He swaggered over to me and asked 'How long have you been riding?' I paused for a moment and responded 'Oh, bout 7 or 8 years.' Realizing his mistake, he blushed and demanded 'No, I mean today?' I told him that we'd been riding about two hours. 'You can't do that!' he exclaimed, pointing at Ringo. I explained that Ringo and I had been through 20 or 30 states over the past three years without incident. I told him that though we have helmet laws, we don't yet have dog laws.
He was dying to write a ticket, but seemed unsure of what to write us up for. Then two incidents occurred to bail us out. First Redman, in as polite a tone as his lack of character permits quipped 'Hey man, do you know where there's a cafe around here. We gotta have something to eat.' At the same time, a huge, round, polyester-clad man shuffled out from between some parked cars in a used car lot with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
Though I'd heard it a million times before, never did it sound so good. 'Oh, he's so preshuuuuuuuus' the fat man crooned. 'Is it a he or a she? Can I pet her? Oh look, she's even got a safety harness and goggles. She's so cuuuuuute!' The cops momentum was completely gone, and he was at a loss for words. Seizing the moment, the Redman darts in quick and fast with 'How bout the cafe officer, where's it at?'
We were soon on our way; no ticket, no shakedown, no drivers license check. A dog on a Boxer beats a cop on a Hog any day."
Live and Let's Ride
James Bond #007 awoke early, even though he had nothing in particular to do on this morning. He'd been roused by the sputtering of a Harley-Davidson coming to life, and remembered that he was on one of the more ridiculous missions of his carrier. Worse still, Bond had a hangover. Bad drinking often accompanies bad gambling, and Bond had been doing both the night before. Out of boredom, he had gone to the Sioux casino in Deadwood, South Dakota and played poker with a diverse collection of bikers. It had been one of those occasions where Bond would have preferred to have lost to a good player, than won from a poor one. The other players expended enormous efforts trying to get such unlikely card combinations as outside straights, or a royal flushes, and naturally failed to do so. Bond preferred odds that were as nearly even as possible. He knew the possibility of getting a royal flush in any hand is only 32,000 to 1. After his reminiscing, Bond stumbled out of bed, and had a long, hot shower followed by a cold one.
This assignment had begun two weeks previously, when a phone call had interrupted the sticky July London heat. Bond had been summoned to M's office. M sheepishly explained that some twit in the Foreign Office had hatched a theory that the Russians were seeking ties within the American Motorcycle movement. Such connections might be exploited in the event of war, or implemented as a useful source of industrial, or national espionage. M had sent a memo back to the F.O. stating that the American F.B.I. was quite capable of protecting their country, and M had thought the matter concluded. Instead, a courier had delivered instructions from an even higher source directing that the report be investigated. "I wish they would get this worked up over a real threat!" M had exclaimed.
Bond could have refused the assignment, but by coincidence, he very much wanted to get out of London at the moment. You see, Bond had been having an affair with a young and strikingly beautiful wife of an executive at Vickers while the latter was jetting around the world selling armaments to various third world dictators. Quite old fashionedly, his paramour had confessed when her husband returned from one of his trips. Even more primatively, the husband had gone into a rage and swore revenge. Bond thought it no coincidence when a report crossed his desk relating that a small rocket propelled grenade launcher had disappeared from a Vickers test facility. Shortly thereafter, he'd noticed his enemy's Jaguar following him around on divers occasions.
Several days later, Bond found himself at the office of the British Consul in Calgary, Alberta. There he picked up his "cover," a 1976 black and silver smoke R90/6 with the S fairing. The bike had been equipped by Q branch with such refinements as a global positioning device. He was also given an Aerostich suit with a special concealment pocket for Bond's Walther PPK and clips. There was also identification and business cards showing him to be a Canadian oil executive, and a black T Shirt with a mysterious white circular logo. The Consul had pointed to the logo, and cackled, "if anyone asks, tell them you're Airhead #007."
Bond first headed northwest into Banff and Jasper Parks and attempted unsuccessfully to touch the cylinder heads to the road in corners. When he decided that he was comfortable with the bike, he veered south. He had been transiting the Canadian great plains at speed when an R.C.M.P. pulled him over in Saskatchewan. The mountie gave him a lecture, but after calling in his drivers permit number, returned to apologize and say; "I don't know who you are sir, but please do not speed so blatantly on my patrol." Bond pocketed his identification, and motored off at 100 mph.
Bond knew when he was approaching his destination as the motorcycles on the road multiplied like thundering buffalo. Everywhere there was the animal magnetism of the sound of the big twins. It was a favorable first impression for him to see hundreds of motorcycle headlights forming a string of pearls along I-90; the riders and their ladies - with neatly braided hair - all without helmets. The scene reminded him of market day in the south of France a generation earlier, when the local farmers and wives would ride into market on their Vespas or Lambrettas. Somehow, Bond did not expect to see many people drinking red wine and munching baguettes of French bread in Sturgis.
The next day, Bond began investigating the Black Hills Classic to see if it had been penetrated by the communists. At breakfast, his order of 'slurred' eggs was met with a blank stare from the waitress. Bond remembered to correct himself to say scrambled. While perusing the restaurant, his eyes came to rest on an American flag on the T-shirt of an overweight, bearded biker, "Try to burn this one asshole" read the lettering underneath. Bond decided to quote the line prominently in his report to M as proof of the political views of those in attendance.
After breakfast Bond strolled into downtown Sturgis. He meandered through all the merchant's stalls to see if there was anything remotely left wing. For want of something more substantial, he surreptitiously photographed everyone working at the Ural Sidecar display. Finally, he rode off to the north on a two lane road vaguely thinking he might find Mount Rushmore.
At the end of a straightway he heard an exhaust note of a different tenor than the Harley pipes he had been hearing all day. A red BMW R100GS cut cheekily ahead of him, and then braked for the turn. Bond had a second to note the pony tail emerging from below the helmet of the girl who was riding the bike. Revealing the blue and yellow flag of British Columbia on the license plate, the bike straightened up and with a wag of its tail that Bond interpreted as a challenge, accelerated into the next straight. Few things excited Bond more than a challenge by an attractive woman. He immediately turned the throttle of his R90 to the stops and the chase was on. Try as much as he could, Bond could not pass her. He would pull up in the turns to the BC emblem, or even to the GS sidecover, only to have the bike accelerate away from him in the straights. Both bikes blasted past dozens of plodding Harleys.
After several miles of this the two came upon Deadwood and Bond shot by the GS, which turned into a gas station and stopped. He circled back into the station and raised his face shield. "You know if I had 100 more cc's I could have passed you" he postulated. "Oh no, I'm double plugged" was the response. Without knowing what the hell she was talking about, Bond rejoined "Well, perhaps you'd care to join me for a prune juice cocktail". She smiled wryly and suggested lunch instead. "Since you beat me so soundly, I suppose I should buy?" he offered as they rode off to Spearfish.
It occurred to him that he might enjoy this motorcycling assignment after all.
by charter member Oak Okleshen #35
22637 S. Ridgeway, Richton Pk., IL 60471
I plan to comb my letters file for "short-takes" articles for Airmail. The questions riders pose are generally good ones, and what could be better than responding to actual problems plaguing owners. Periodically, I'll toss in a freshly composed tech piece as necessary.
While the subject of octane values is very old hat, there are still some neophytes out there who apparently do not know about the differences in notations. The following letter arrived last month.
"Dear Oak, I need a little advice regarding the fuel to use in my BMW motorcycle. I am new to motorcycling, and my 1976 R90/6 is my first bike. The owners manual calls for 98 octane fuel and does not recommend the use of any fuel additives. The highest octane fuel I can find here in California is 92, a full six points below what the factory calls for.
What do you recommend? Should I run with 92 octane. Can the engine be detuned? Are there any octane boosters that you would recommend?" RG
No problem with the fuel question RG. The German rating listed in your manual is NOT the same octane value printed on American pumps.
It is a question of how the octane is measured. The Germans use the RESEARCH method called ROZ, and the older BMW manuals list the specifications in "Research Octane".
In America, we use the "Dept. of Energy" notation, more often called "pump" octane. This is a combination of two octane values; the "Research" octane and the "Motor" octane. These two values are determined using entirely different methods. One is deduced in a lab, and the other is derived from an actual running engine.
The formula for American "pump" octane is Research octane + Motor octane 2
A typical Motor octane is 87, and a common Research octane is 96. To get "pump" octane, add the two together, divide by two and you get a "pump" octane of 91 1/2.
The rule of thumb is; American pump octane is 4 points lower than the Research or ROZ octane listed in your owners manual.
So in your case, the solution is quite simple. Subtract 4 from 98 and you get 94 octane. That's what your owners manual calls for. Though you can find only 92 octane, in fact most BMW motorcycles will run OK on fuels with less octane than specified in the manual. The only possible problem that may arise is occasional engine knock, or detonation. If you don't hear it, there is nothing to worry about.
Just use the highest octane available at the pumps RG. Oil Filters
On another subject, I'd like to comment on the oil filter article printed in the February 95 issue of Airmail.
Don't underestimate the Bavarian elves. Stay with the stock filtering system. It is simply not possible to manufacture a mechanical, cleanable filter medium as effective as paper ones. The best paper filters will trap particles under 20 microns in size (a micron is one millionth of a meter). No mechanical type element can be made with that fine a porous structure, especially if it is to be confined to a 4x4x2 inch housing. Those type of filters were abandoned decades ago by the industry because dust and grit can easily pass through causing long term damage to fine bearing surfaces and close tolerances like those found on airhead Boxers. All laboratory filtering implemented for critical applications is done with paper filters.
While the servicing of the stock oil filter system might be a pain in the butt, it works better than the alternatives.
Those #@$%(*& spring-mounted sidestands
by NV Airmarshal David Rankine #354
One of the byproducts of lawyers multiplying like rabbits was the decision of Shuberth to discontinue importing the BMW helmets. Another is that annoying spring mounted sidestand with which BMW has plagued us for too long. No matter how dumb the rider, the spring will never allow him to ride off with the stand deployed. On the other hand, it also makes deploying the stand almost impossible. I began a detailed search for a better arrangement one day after dumping my GS as a result of this lousy design. I came up with these alternatives:
1. Remove the sidestand and throw it away. This is the option employed by Airhead #1. The disadvantage is you always have to get off the bike and use the center stand. The advantage is the sheer pleasure to be derived from tossing this contraption into the nearest river.
2. Replace the sidestand with an after-market unit. This has the advantage of #1 above but also involves the expenditure of about $100. Not only that, as a lawyer myself, I can tell you that insurance adjusters and juries are usually merciless to people who defeat safety devices. Replace the stand only with the understanding that you are on your own if something goes wrong.
3. Modify the existing stand. After considerable thought, and with the phrase "simple by choice" ringing in my ears, I rode down to a local welder and had him weld a three inch long rod to the sidestand (see photo). Now both I and my shorter female co-owner can deploy the sidestand without being a contortionist or getting off the bike. Yet the stand still springs back when the bikes weight is not on it. The trick is to weld the rod with the stand in the up position, then angle it down till it leaves enough room to actuate the shifter. Don't worry about the rod touching down. On the GS, it's just not long enough. Total cost was $20.
The Story of Hans & Franz
by Wayne Marsula # 165
"Whee! this is fun", exclaimed Hans, "this car really handles". Hans had been partying with his friends and was asking more from the old car than it and he could handle. Crash! went the car as Hans - who'd forgotten to secure his seat belt - hit another vehicle.
Oh! laments Hans from his hospital bed, I won't be able to work for awhile, but the doctor said my face would look better than before once they are done with it.
Hans' friends at work felt sorry for him, but they
didn't worry once he was out of harms way. They knew their group health insurance would take care of the bills.
Franz' wife asked him to get some milk. It was a nice evening so Franz decided to take his bike. The wind felt good in his hair. No traffic, beautiful weather, life was good. He got the milk and headed home.
Crash! went Franz' bike as he was centerpunched by Hans' car. Hans hadn't even seen the red light he'd just ran. Hurts! said Franz when his friends asked him how he felt. Lucky too! because although he'd suffered several broken bones, he hadn't hit his head.
Franz' friends at work felt sorry for him. They were worried because Hans didn't have liability insurance on his car. They knew that the group insurance policy they all shared wouldn't cover Franz' medical expenses. That's because they worked for the Sturm, Ruger Company, makers of Ruger handguns. The head of their company had decided that even though their state doesn't require helmet usage, he would. As a result, Franz' medical bills weren't covered by the group policy.
Whaaa! cried his wife, who saw their dream vacation vaporize. Aaargh! screamed his daughter, who had planned to start college that fall. Damn! cussed his son, who'd been promised a car for his birthday.
This story is obviously fictional, but the policy of the Storm, Ruger Company isn't. It's incredible that a manufacturer of firearms would censure a sport because of the risk factor.
The Airheads Beemer Club is about to become an AMA chartered club. The American Motorcyclist Association is the most effective organization fighting discrimination against motorcyclists. Why not join the AMA yourself, and see what you can do to help out.
Call 1 800 AMA JOIN.
From Swedish members Ingvar Kenne #909 and Anders Birgersson #910 on a card sent from Chile "Made it all the way down to the southern tip of South America. The bikes took a beating on the dirt roads. The subframes have been welded up a number of times. Anders clutchplate went in Ecuador. My bike got sandwiched between a car and a bus on a ferry, but a Beemer is a Beemer and it keeps on ticking. We can't send an article till we make it back to Sweden, so have patience or 'Manana', as they say down here. Say hello to everyone."
From Bob Davidson #298 (Houston TX) "My whole weekend was dampened upon receipt of our esteemed newsletter! The only thing remaining of my copy was the outside page. I suppose the postal boys had gone wild and destroyed the inside pages. Now I feel like a kid at Christmas who didn't get a gift. Is there any way you can send me another copy?"
Seems like not so long ago that the US Postal Service took great pride in guaranteeing delivery no matter what. How things have changed. Maybe we shouldn't be too hard on it. Over the last couple of decades, the service has been forced to supplant it's policy of hiring on the basis of merit with policies dictated by Congress. The public at large always ends up paying the penalty. I'll send you another copy. ed
From MI Airmarshal Nick Woloszyk #81 "The rank and file is indeed fortunate to have the likes of Oak contributing to the rag. I just got through typing a short "thanks for sharing your expertise" letter to the mighty Oak myself.
Regarding the Midwest Air Affair, this is one of the few times in my life I am at a loss for words. I really don't know what to expect. For sure the four Airheads I ride with (and met through the club) will be there, as will about three others that called to chat about it after receiving the mailing. I plan a group ride to the Kalamazoo Air Zoo and to Lake Michigan on Saturday. There will be a community chili pot Saturday night. That's it for organized activity. I have talked and written to Airmarshals Charlie Smith and Sam Tabor asking for advice. In typical southern laid-back fashion, they said in effect "Relax, it'll all fall into place." So I am.
One more thing. I knew the 8th Canon revision was coming. As a Casualty (liability) claims adjuster, I have seen these slimy trial lawyers hang their hat on much less."
From #1 Oilhead Steve Coburn "Stefan Knopf [German rental article, Feb. 95 Airmail -ed] and his BMW rental business in Heidleburg are 100% legit. I know him, and I have friends who've rented from him ...... By the way, Airheads made quite an impression at the Bulow [Daytona] campout."
From Don Bellew #1185 (W. Des Moines IA) "Sometimes things go awry no matter how much planning and preparation is involved. At other times, they go better than you have any right to expect.
As the newest Iowa Airhead, I want to express my appreciation for the hospitality extended by Terry and Karen during my recent visit to Southern California.
Following a business conference in Indian Wells, I secured the use of a 92 PD for five days of aimless wandering. The key factor was to be cold and snow avoidance. On the morning of day one, while on a caffeine break at the Santa Ysabel Megamall, a lone rider on a cherry - maybe pumpkin is more appropriate - 76 R90 approached.
We introduced ourselves and exchanged small talk followed by an invitation for a guided tour of the immediate vicinity. After a little carb loading at Dudley's bakery, we began what was to be a 200 mile loop. Besides local knowledge of which roads go where, following someone as skilled as Terry helps with the troublesome little decisions like speed and lean angle on blind turns.
During a mid-afternoon break, Terry extended an invitation to overnight at his place. This stretched to three nights, 400 more miles of touring in the next two days, one club dinner, the Friday Ocean Beach breakfast with the regulars, two mornings at Mr. G's, and the opportunity to meet a number of really friendly people. John Hermann even gave me a free copy of his Alps touring book (but charged me $20 for the autograph). Karen is a charmer and both of the Mays are certainly great ambassadors for the Airheads and motorcycling in general.
This was one trip that couldn't have gone better with planning."
By B. Jan Hofman
"Why don't we skip Barley Therapy tonight and just go somewhere with the two of us to have coffee and chat" Di #4 suggested on our way to O'Briens. Though it was my birthday that Wednesday, we'd agreed to celebrate it at a sushi house on Saturday. "I'd like to do that dear, but can't we go for a quick brew with the lads for an hour or so first." Once underway, I was looking forward to saying hello to all the regulars. It never occured to me that O'Briens would be decorated with balloons and a record turnout. As soon as we arrived, the place lit up with voices singing Happy Birthday, and - I was told - I lit up as well, beet red. It was a great moment. Lots of handshakes, backslaps and complimentary brews later, Di had Dave Jones divert my attention while she brought out a huge cake. More tunes. Lots of cards, gifts and friends. It was terrific. Many thanks Di and everyone there.
A discussion at a recent OB breakfast encounter centered around diamond (high occupancy vehicle) lanes. Apparently, most of the "motorcycles OK" signs in CA have been removed, and several members wondered whether these lanes are still legal for motorcycles to use (not that it makes a lot of difference to some of us). Charter member John Hermann #38 enlightened us with the info that because of a recent state law, all HOV lanes in CA are currently available to motorcycles across the entire state, and the signs are therefore redundant.
Although he's the author of a well reviewed new book, John expressed surprise that several mucky mucks in BMW land recognized him on sight at Daytona recently. "You're surprised!", some wag retorted, "Hasn't your picture's been in Airmail several times".
Super 8 for Posterity
Heard from our cartoonist Barb Graham #96 (303 Market St. #13, San Diego CA 92101) as she was working to the rousing sounds of classical music "Isn't it sad when every melody you hear reminds you of a Warner brothers cartoon".
She wondered aloud at a Harley Owners Group meeting taking place at her favorite watering hole last month if the scantily clad co-riders should be known collectively as "Harlettes".
Barb is requesting Super 8 footage of classic Airhead action at past rendezvous' in order to compile an Air- head video. She's got the equipment and expertise to make a superb production, and promises a free copy to all contributors.
In a nice letter sent to us by MOA Director Tim Moffitt in response to some of our queries, he wrote, "[the Airmail ] newsletter is one of the best I've had the pleasure to receive. Keep up the great work and keep including the technical information. This /6 owner needs all the help he can get."
Many Airheads seem to prefer doing business with other Airheads. This can't be a function of the search for excellence, and must be due to a desire to work with like-minded souls. Ya gotta go where ya feel comfortable. For this reason, we'd like to institute a commercial page promoting the commerce of Airheads in business card sized ads. For example
If you'd like to reach a bunch of Luddite progress haters, and support our reactionary, non-profit club, send the editor your business card and a $15 check (made out to the ABC).
95 Big Dog Ride
Greg Frazier #777 wrote to advise us of the Big Dog Ride, a "by invitation only" GS ride in Colorado sponsored by Great American Motorcycle Adventures. It is touted as "the world's highest, toughest BMW motorcycle event". If you'd like to be invited, write GAMA at POB 1598, Englewood CO 80150.
Oak sent me a copy of a New York Times crossword puzzle in which the terms "numbskull" and "airhead" were equated. "The nerve of them!" he wrote.
Not to worry Oak, I'm proud to be associated with the distinguished group of people denigrated by The Times.
Jim and Marjorie Carey, the congenial folks from Custom Engraving, have asked if they can make name tags and license plate frames using the Airhead logo available at the many rallies they attend. The steering committee agreed on the condition that the products using our logo be made available only to Airheads, and that they will have Airhead application forms prominently displayed on their table at all times. For those who need name tags right away, they can be reached at POB 5676, Corning CA 96021.
has relocated from Black Mountain Road to 8268 Miramar Rd. in San Diego. Call John Moran #68 for all your Boxer service requirements at 619 578-7510.
Long Sleeve T-shirts
In response to demands for a lightweight Airhead garment to keep the sun from burning the arms, Walt has agreed to place an order for long sleeved T-shirts. They are ash (almost white) in color. The logo on the front is two color (white & black) and - also in response to requests - the Canons are printed on the back. Walt should have them in stock at about the time you get this newsletter. Medium, large and XL will sell for $17.00, XXL will cost $19.00. Don't forget to include $3.00 for shipping.
No more Aqua Blue
The mills have discontinues the color, so our aqua blue T-shirts will be no more. Here's your chance to own a collector's item . We currently have all sizes in stock, but not for long. First come, first served.
Those who don't like to read political commentary in a motorcycle publication should skip the next article. Those who don't believe that politics will affect the future of our sport should skip on back to the shelter.
EPA could ban Boxers
Cars produce 97% fewer hydrocarbons, 98% less carbon monoxide and 90% less nitrogen oxide than they did in 1968. The newest 50% of the automobiles on the road today produce only 2% of the atmosphere's pollutants. As the 50% of cars that are older disappear, so will most of the current automotive pollution. Any further reduction is subject to the law of diminishing returns and may not be worthwhile.
No, I'm not opposed to having the cleanest air possible. Let me explain.
Besides motorcycling, another hobby of mine is hi-fi equipment. There is no limit to the amount of money one can spend on equipment. It is possible, for instance, to spend $100,000 on speakers alone. Do they sound 100 times better than $1000 speakers? No, they don't. Do $2000 speakers sound twice as good as $1000 speakers? Do they produce half as much distortion? No, they don't. $2000 speakers might have 5% less distortion than $1000 speakers. $10,000 speakers might produce 2% less distortion yet. $100,000 speakers might be only slightly more accurate than that, and despite the exponential difference in cost, most people wouldn't be able to distinguish a qualitative difference between the two. So who buys $100,000 speakers? Only people who don't have to be concerned with budgets and the law of diminishing returns.
So it is with the Environmental Protection Agency. The cost-effective measures that can be taken to reduce automotive pollution have been taken. As with $10,000 speakers, any further gains would be so small, and so prohibitively expensive, that anyone concerned with a budget could not justify their cost. But the EPA can, and does. No matter what gains they've made, no matter how clean the new vehicles are, the EPA can make a case for more regulations and a larger bureaucracy. They are not concerned with budgets because they are spending your money. No loudspeaker will ever be good enough for them because the minute they stop shopping, they lose their entitlement to feed at the public trough.
So look for the EPA to invent evermore venturesome intrusions into our lives to justify not only its continued existence, but demands for larger budgets. For example, have you heard about the $300,000 EPA funded study to discover whether the gas emissions of cattle contributes to global warming? The results were so alarming that another half million dollars has been allocated to expand this important scientific scheme. The future of course is inevitable. We can't argue with government experts. We must legislate the installation of catalytic converters on all bovine polluters. Those of you who don't agree are obviously Luddite Progress Haters who don't care about mother earth or the future of your children.
So it is with objections to mandating the installation of pollution equipment on motorcycles. The gas emissions of motorcycles pale to insignificance in comparison to our bovine polluters, and their relative effect on the environment is immeasurable in comparison to automobiles. But that doesn't faze the EPA. New bikes are being choked with pollution equipment? Their prices are skyrocketing along with the modish regulations. Because of those regulations, many models available elsewhere are not available in America. There is talk of motorcycle smog checks and some models - like our beloved Boxers - may be banned from public roads altogether. Several members of the European Parliament - the model to which the EPA seems to aspire - are pressing for a total ban on road use of all vehicles over 12 years old.
One by one, our freedoms are being eroded and for what; so that an ever enlarging bloc of bureaucrats can justify their privileged lifestyles at public expense. Where's the motorcycle press in all of this? Why isn't it editorializing on these issues? All I've seen is promotion of catalytic converters and the "Greens", and derision of our only lobbying organization, the American Motorcyclist Association. What's the motivation here? Are some of these writers feeding at the same trough as the EPA?
As we've documented in earlier issues of Airmail, oxygenated gasoline deteriorates the performance, mileage, and longevity of internal combustion engines. Many persistent tune-up problems are directly attributable to this sub-standard fuel. It costs 3 to 12 cents more per gallon, and gets about 10% less mileage than standard unleaded fuel. Any proof that it will actually make the air cleaner? None at all. Only conjecture based on laboratory testing and computer models. That's good enough for the EPA. It is not concerned with how well your vehicle runs, and doesn't pay for your fuel or engine rebuilds, so those considerations don't factor into their decisions. They've dragooned the exclusive use of oxygenated fuel during the winter months in almost 100 cities, and have recently dictated it's year round use in most of those places. As of June 1996, fuel that is almost twice as bad will be legislated into California fuel tanks.
Widespread complaints from places as diverse as Milwaukee and Fairbanks that oxygenated fuel produces illness have been ignored by the EPA. The agency has been receiving complaints of headaches and nausea due to oxygenated fuel since December 1993. It has hidden those complaints from public scrutiny even though it sues commercial companies who do likewise. Such is the moral caliber of the people empowered to enforce America's social responsibility.
Two months after the introduction of oxygenated gasoline to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson complained that the resulting "clean" air was making the people of his state sick. He wanted to ban further sales of this wonder fuel. He was overruled by EPA fuhrer Carol Browner.
A few years ago, Mt. Penitubo in the Phillipines spewed more pollutants into the air than all of American industrial activity since George Washington lopped the cherry tree. The eruption of Mt. Krakatoa in the last century was 100 times worse. Global volcanic activity has been going on for almost as many years as there are dollars owing on the national debt. That debt will have far more impact on the future of our children than any global warming scenario hatched by the EPA.
Like the Civil Rights Movement or the "War on Poverty", the Environmental Movement has transmuted from an ideology to an industry. Under the pretense of advancing the common good, thousands of vested interests suckle at the federal teats depleting ever more of our country's resources. In the process, they desiccate our freedom.
We've got a problem with bovine emissions all right, but it's not the gasses arising from the pasture that threaten our future. It's the solids spilling from the beltway.
PS - I've just received a copy of an internal memo circulating throughout an international oil company that RFG (reformulated gasoline - oxygenated fuel) may cause fuel system leaks and vehicle fires in older vehicles. As oxygenated fuel is hydroscopic, my guess is that it promotes corrosion.
Stefan Kreuder #606 of Gottingen Germany sent us some extra funds with his membership renewal last month and asked that it be used to buy the San Diego chapter a round of camaraderie at our weekly Barley Therapy session. We were happy to comply, and offered a toast to Stefan's gracious hospitality.