Back in 2006, when Clymer’s ace powersports mechanic Ron Wright was tearing down a new BMW and writing the BMW K1200 manual, he got a shop visit from Gary Smith of the BMW Owners News Magazine. Gary and then managing editor of all of Clymer publications, James Grooms bonded over their love of riding BMWs at Gary’s “Motorcycle Church”. Together with machinist Al Vangura, they launched an ambitious plan to create a knockout K1200 based display for the annual Indianapolis Dealer Show.
The Gary’s story for the magazine begins below:
Brad Newsham’s book, “Take Me With You: A Round-The-World Adventure To Invite a Stranger Home“, about traveling the globe meeting strangers, one of whom offered an all-expenses paid trip to visit America struck a chord with me. For years, my wife and I have enjoyed inviting people home.
Quite a few visitors come to Pittsburg, not because we invite them home, but because we invite them to my garage. For almost two decades I’ve been inviting motorcyclists to my garage to tinker on BMW motorcycles. This experience became so rewarding that 10 years ago I bought a small building, previously used as an automatic transmission shop, where hobbyists come to learn about working on BMW motorcycles. Some call it the “motorcycle church”, perhaps because of our devotion. Our amazing collection of cut-away BMW components, made by my friend Al Vangura, which we often use for teaching, has certainly added to the garage’s appeal.
James Grooms, now the managing editor of Clymer, publishers of numerous BMW maintenance manuals, emailed me two years ago about one of my Tech Sessions articles. When I learned that he rides a BMW and is a member of MOA, I quickly invited him to Pittsburgh. He seemed interested in my garage, but being an avid Nebraska football fan he was perhaps even more interested in the game between Nebraska and Pitt. He was pleased with the Nebraska victory (ouch), spent time in the motorcycle church, and enjoyed Al’s company…”
Read the rest of the story in the scanned article below.