The History of SEAT

One of the things the SEAT Newsletter does is document the history of the club. As BMW MOA clubs go, we are a relatively new club. Our history started in 1992 when Tom Kersey and friends out of Bisbee paid for MOA club membership.

At that time the club met at Johann Bayer's old gas station just east of the circle in Bisbee on the way to Douglas. There was a standing breakfast ride every second Sunday of the month. Most members were from the Bisbee area.

When I first became aware of the club there were 5 to 10 riders at the Sunday breakfasts. Lunch sites were within an easy ride from Bisbee and were generally small cafes. One year Tom organized a campout at the lower campsite up Mount Graham. Fourteen folks made the ride and I believe 9 camped out. When the Phoenix International Touring Society (PITS) was still doing their rally in Flagstaff, one year the original SEAT Club was the largest club present.

During that peak time, membership to my knowledge was around 20. Unfortunately, the peak didn't last very long. By 1995 only one or two riders would show up at the old gas station for a Sunday ride. Then Tom moved to Virginia and took with him all the club records. That was pretty much it for SEAT. For two years the club languished.

In the last year or so that Tom was in Bisbee, he published a one-page newsletter with the help of his girlfriend Laura. I submitted a couple of "articles" for the newsletter. I liked the idea of a monthly newsletter that would give club members a way to communicate with each other. It was a shame when the club dissolved and the newsletters stopped.

By 1996 Wanda and I were getting more and more into touring on our Beemer. The experiences we had on our '88 K100RS ABS SE were awesome. We road some of the best motorcycle roads in the Southwest and met some really great folks on BMW's.

So one bright and sunny Sunday morning we got several other former SEAT members together for breakfast at what was then called the Coffee Cup on Fry Boulevard. Little did they know that this was to be the resurrection of the SEAT club. Wanda and I volunteered to do the newsletter and keep track of any finances associated with the club, and Bob Muller accepted the nomination to Presidency. The club was off and running. For the first six months the newsletter and club membership was free. The idea was to get as many BMW riders as possible aware that there was a club in Southern Arizona. Wasn't long before membership hit one hundred. The rest is history.

It has been very gratifying for Wanda and I to be a part of the SEAT resurrection. We truly enjoy being a part of the BMW motorcycling community in Southern Arizona. We plan on being a part of the club for as many years as we can. Deryle and Wanda, looking forward to many more years with the members of SEAT.

Deryle Mehrten


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