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This file contains information on using the IBMWR mailing lists. Because we’re gluttons for punishment, the admin team maintains three different email lists:

  • BMWMc, the Big List, for general discussions
  • BMW-tech, for technical questions and discussions
  • IBMWR-Ads, an email “receive only” list of ads that have been posted recently on the Marketplace

FAQ Topics

What do you want to subscribe to?

Each mailing list gets anywhere from 1 to 20 messages per day. This can be a lot of email.

If that sounds like too much of a good thing for you, think about subscribing to the digest instead of the regular list. A digest of a mailing list is one large message that contains several “regular” mail messages. When you subscribe to the digest mode of the list, instead of getting each individual message one by one, you’ll get one large message every now and then, typically a few each day. The list server stores up the individual messages until they reach a certain file size and then sends the bundle out to you. This, naturally, delays some email.

You can also choose from two types of digests — all the messages strung together in a long text file, or with the individual messages included as attachments (MIME).

Some people prefer digests, some don’t. If you like to post to the list, it may be easier to get individual mail messages; if you mostly just like to read what others say, then the digest may be more convenient for you. If you use the digest, there’s some special writing stuff you need to know.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

To subscribe to any BMW mailing list or digest (and become a President of the IBMWR), go to and from there, open the information page of the list you’re interested in joining.

You can also subscribe with an email message to the mailing list management “subscribe” address (or click these links):

After it receives your subscription request, the server responds with a confirmation email. SAVE THE EMAIL and BOOKMARK THE URL it points you to. The email contains your password and the URL is your personal account management page.

To unsubscribe to any BMW mailing list, visit your account management page and unsubscribe. If you’ve lost your password or the URL of your page, go to and from there, open the information page of the list by logging in with your email address. All the way at the bottom, near the button that’s labeled “Unsubscribe and change options”, type your email address and click the button.

Details on Subscribing

The main page at looks like this:

Log In Screen

Click on the list you want to subscribe to. The next page you’ll see lets you select one of three actions:

  • The top field takes you to a page where you set options about how you receive list email. You need to know your password for this. Select this option to do anything EXCEPT to Unsubscribe.
  • The middle button is “Unsubscribe.” Again, you need to know your password.
  • The bottom button emails you a password reminder, so that you can use the other two buttons.

Unsubscribe page

To Set Digest Mode, NoMail, or Other Options

Turning digest mode on and off, setting NoMail, and a number of other options are available to you on your account management page. If you’ve lost your password or the URL of your page, go to and from there, open the information page of the list. All the way at the bottom, near the button that’s labeled “Unsubscribe and change options”, type your email address and click the button.

On the next page, type your password in the top field and click “Login.”  Your options page is displayed.

Just go down the list of options, checking or unchecking the ones you want. NoMail is what you’d use if you’re going on vacation. Any option that says “global” allows you to set that option for all IBMWR mailing lists to which you subscribe. Be sure to click “Submit My Changes” when you’re done — you must do this to complete the edits you make.

Set Member Options

More info

We’ve set up a “Help!” email account if you have a problem that can’t be resolved. Messages sent to will reach a mailing list administrator.

If you’d like more information on Mailman, the package that’s used to manage the list, the URL for the user’s manual is:

Problems and troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble subscribing or unsubscribing, the cause is likely to be an incorrect address being generated somewhere in the chain of computers between you and the list server. There are two things you should do yourself to fix the problem before you contact the list administrator for a manual fix: find out who your computer thinks you are and find out who the mailing list server thinks you are.

Make sure you’re using the correct address! Due to the vagaries of computer communication and weird software, not all mailing addresses are used correctly by the software people use to send and receive email. In particular, some members’ mail software doesn’t treat the list’s mailing address correctly. The correct address for the mailing list is always “” If you see that you’re sending mail to some other location than, find the part of your software that’s generating the bogus address.

When you need a person instead of a computer . . .

On occasion, like if you suddenly stop receiving mail and you cannot resubscribe, you may need to contact the list administrator, instead of the mail server.

Messages sent to will reach a mailing list administrator. And if you need something other than help, the email address for the list administrator(s) is:

Note that this is the address of a real person, not a computer managing the list. Normal list admin questions should be sent here, but may take a day or so to be handled. Please do not send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe unless you’ve tried the standard method and tried to fix the problem yourself, and nothing has worked.

Using the list

To send a message to all subscribers of the mailing list and the digest, send a regular mail message to Please do not send the list a “test” message “Just to see if it works.” If you’ve been able to subscribe and you’re getting mail, it works. Trust us. Also, the software is set to automatically unsubscribe people who post test messages. 🙂 It works most of the time.

Anything sent to the list address goes to everyone on the list, so please read this next section carefully:

If you are reading email as a digest…

The digest is a feature of the mailing list that many people use, but you do have to remember that you’re in digest mode when replying to messages. When you reply to a message within a digest:

  • Edit your reply’s Subject field so that it contains the subject of the single message you are replying to. For example, do not send a reply that says Subject: RE Digest XXXX. Instead, cut-and-paste the subject of the message you’re replying to into your reply.
  • Edit your reply so that only the specific message you’re replying to is included. Otherwise, we will all get an email from you that contains the entire digest!

TIP: Many people who receive the digest swear by “digest reader” software, which breaks a digest into its component messages. Once you’re receiving the digest, you can use special digest-reading software to make live easier : dreader, Digest Reader, or LetterRip. Other untested-by-this-author software resides at,, and For Macs, Digest Viewer at

The BMW mailing list is sometimes moderated, which means that people’s messages that drift too far off topic (BMW motorcycles) will be gently reminded what the purpose of the list is and to please take the topic to private email, and then vaporized.

Ohmigod, I’m not getting any mail!

Every once in a while, you’ll wake up and log on or go into work, get a cup of coffee and settle down for your daily fix of BMW trivia. Only your mailbox will be empty.

Try not to take this personally. Everyone else isn’t really off somewhere talking about you.

What probably happened is that one of the many computers and network links between your computer and the IBMWR server went down. When this happens, mail addressed to you is returned (bounces back) to the server. After the server receives several bounces from your address, it reaches the conlusion that something is wrong with the route to your address. So you’re unsubscribed. This prevents stacks of messages from being sent back and forth over the net until the problem resolves itself.

To fix the problem, you need to subscribe again. You cannot subscribe to the list twice, so don’t worry about it. The worst thing that will happen is that you’ll receive an error message from the IBMWR server, telling you that you’re already a member of the list. If this happens, it means your mail is disappearing into the great bit bucket in the sky. Which means that it’s a problem for you and your system administrator to resolve.

If this trouble shooting technique doesn’t work, send an email message with your tale of woe to:

Other Lists

Q. I really like to commune with other people like me who like what I like, always agree with me, and tell me what a great rider I am. And don’t want to wade through all the posts on the list to find just those specialized messages. What can I do?

A. Try the other, more specialized BMW mailing lists?

There’s an entire WWW site that lists nothing but motorcycle mailing lists, including many BMW brand-specific ones. And if your topic is of more marginal interest, check the list of all known mailing lists.

There’s a BMW Motorcycle technical list that may be just what you’re looking for. It’s maintained by us, the same folks who do the IBMWR mailing list. To subscribe, send an email to, with the words “subscribe bmwtech (or bmwtech-digest)” as the body of the message.

Or, for “discussions of long distance riding and the where, whys and hows,” send a message to with “subscribe ldriders” as the entire the body of the message.

For riders in (or interested in Europe), there’s ibmwr-euro.

Play in the dirt? Try the GS list. Or email to with “subscribe BMW-GS Your Name” as the message body.

You may also want to consider subscribing to the BMW-oriented mailing list / electronic motorcycle club that’s dedicated to off-topic chat, jokes, and garter belts as to cycles: The Village Idiots. Subscribe by sending an email message to ; the entire text of the message body should be the word: subscribe.

If you happen to be a MOA member who is more, or as, interested in club politics as riding, take it to the MOA list. Email, with the two words: subscribe bmwmoa as the entire message body.