BMW Motorrad has launched a new online network which will revolutionise the way people plan tours, meet friends, and share their experiences. The BMW Motorrad Community, which is now live, is a social networking tool with a difference, as it is more about the real world than the virtual one. Members have access to a range of tools, including TourFinder – a simple way to plan an expedition of any length and level of riding experience. The aim of the community is to provide a platform for people who share a love of riding to find each other, arrange trips, and spend more time than ever out on the road.
The BMW Motorrad Community is split into four main areas: TourFinder, Profile, Photos, and Meet and Ride. TourFinder is one of the most exciting features, offering huge scope for planning and discovering tours lasting anything from a day, to more than a month, and from a single kilometre, to more than 10,000km. The level can be set at easy, medium or hard, with options for Enduro, Roadster, Tour and Sport bikes. The simple search tool lets members enter a destination country, then adjust duration, difficulty and distance with user-friendly sliders. TourFinder will then suggest routes based on those criteria.
Alternatively, the tool can be used to design a new tour – riders simply click on the interactive map to mark out their route, then give it a name and description. Riders can rate each others tours, using a star-rating or thumbs-up/thumbs-down icon, as well as leaving a comment about a tour, and uploading photos and videos of themselves riding it. Many users have already contributed their favourite rides – entries have been made across Europe, including France, Germany and Ireland.
Meet and Ride is another key area within the community – it allows users to find each other and organise a ride. Members can either plan a trip and invite others to join them, or browse requests for riding partners and find a trip they would like to join. They can then arrange when and where to meet using a message system. Meet and Ride is an ideal way to get to know new companions or to arrange to meet up with friends.
BMW Motorrad Community has also taken care of the only potential problem caused by such a packed social calendar. The Route Diary, which automatically updates when members plan or join a route, makes keeping track of plans simple, providing instant access to details of any plans made through the site.
The My Profile section is an opportunity to share photos, videos, riding tips and more with either friends, or the whole community. A choice of privacy settings mean details are only shared with those the user chooses. Accounts have the option of adding or finding friends. These can be people who become acquainted through the Motorrad Community, or existing friends, whose details can be imported from other social networking accounts like Facebook. Individuals can also join or create groups, manage a news feed, and, most importantly, add details of motorcycles! Weather reports for the user’s area are a useful extra, particularly as they include a suggestion for what piece of BMW Riding Apparel will suit the conditions outdoors.
The Photos function provides the opportunity to browse others’ images of their machines, or sights and scenery from tours they’ve taken. Users can contribute their own shots if desired.
The BMW Motorrad Community is easy to use, and while it provides members with an excellent online experience, the aim is not to create a virtual world with virtual bikers and rides. The network is intended to get people out on the road, find them riding companions and to help people share their passion and knowledge. Visit www.bmw-motorrad.com/community to explore and join in.