Motorcycles are the first choice for serious long-distance riders. Whether
the riders blaze their own paths traversing the globe on GS bikes or riding
paved scenic roads across the USA, Europe, Asia or Africa on boxer-twin, four-cylinder
or six-cylinder touring machines, the blue and white BMW roundel is the only
marque they trust.
To celebrate, support and acknowledge these riders who put hundreds of thousands
of miles on BMW bikes, BMW Motorrad USA has been offering a special high mileage
recognition award programme for over 30 years. Any rider, through a dealership,
that can prove they have been riding BMW bikes for 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometres)
or more, will receive a medallion and a certificate.
This High Mileage Award draws its inspiration from a similar programme first
initiated by BMW in Germany back in 1929. Inspired by the original German award
scheme, the US initiative first began with Butler and Smith, who imported BMW
bikes to the USA from the early 1950s to 1980. When BMW North America took
over the US motorcycles division in October 1980, a dedicated High Mileage
Programme was launched soon after and has been in operation ever since.
In the beginning 100,000 miles was quite an achievement, but BMW riders are
an ambitious lot and before long, there were some famous ‘Million-Mile’ recipients.
In 1998 Joseph A. Bensusen became the first BMW enthusiast to achieve the 1,000,000-mile
award with 1,381,660 miles (2,223,566 kilometres) ridden on BMW Motorcycles.
In 1999 David Swisher also reached the 1,000,000-mile (1,600,000 kilometres)
award. Since then there have been seven others in the million-mile club in
the USA: Ray Randolph and Dave McQueeney in 2001; Richard Schwatlow in 2003;
Raymond Gilbert in 2005; John Hermann and Lyle Grimes in 2006; Paul Mihalka
and Ken McHugh in 2007; and Robert E Higdon in 2008.
Dave Swisher has now covered over 1.5 million miles (2,400,000 kilometres)
in less than 30 years on a variety of machines from BMW Motorrad
In 2006 David Swisher received the first ever 1,300,000 miles award, but then
went on to beat his new record within just one year and in 2007 grabbed another
first – the 1,400,000 miles (2,253,081 kilometres) award. A year later, Dave
McQueeney succeeded in doing 1,400,000 miles as well.
USA High Mileage Award is a dealer-based programme, as the distance travelled
needs to be verified by dealers in line with machine history and service schedules.
The re-launched award package itself includes a medallion in die cast metal
showing the mileage achieved, plus a high quality certificate in a premium
frame, a metal bike emblem to place on the motorcycle and a covering letter.
Currently BMW Motorrad USA receives about 200 High Mileage Award requests
a year, but with the launch of the new six-cylinder K 1600 GT and GTL touring
machines, it is expecting this number to greatly increase in the next years
as more and more riders discover just how easy and how much fun it is to go
further and faster on BMW bikes.
BMW Motorrad has always been committed to touring and long-distance riders,
so if you know of any rider that deserves recognition for the sheer distance
travelled on their BMW bike, then let us know and we will tell the world. Also,
if any other countries are running similar programmes, then please let us have