2011 BMW Motorrad Days | Review
Although there were some ups and downs with the weather, it certainly did not put off visitors attending the 11th BMW Motorrad Days. Over 30,000 of them flocked to the international meeting organised by BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles from July 1st to 3rd, with Garmisch as the venue for the 10th time.
The event was once again a resounding success for both the organisers and the municipality of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, as well as the large numbers of fans both with and without a motorcycle.
The program of events, compered by hosts Viola Weiß and Stefan Galler on the Radio Gong stage, offered guests from all over the world a wide range of activities relating to BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles. And in addition to this there was a veritable potpourri of action, entertainment and party atmosphere.
New products from BMW Motorrad
Among the very latest BMW Motorrad models, the new 6-cylinder models BMW K 1600 GT/GTL were under permanent siege by visitors. And on-site experts had lots of questions to answer on the BMW maxi scooter "Concept C", too.
The test ride activities were especially popular: over 1,200 visitors took the opportunity to try out the whole range of BMW Motorrad models on the road.
The occasional rain shower ensured that the Enduro Park track provided even more fun than usual. This explains why more bikers than ever put their skills to the test in the 10,000 square metre enduro area – a total of 700 off-road enduro enthusiasts in all.
Powerful performance by Husqvarna Motorcycles
On the Husqvarna Track over 300 enduro riders made the most of the opportunity to race round a fairly demanding circuit on serial production machines from the current model range.
Skilled enduro riders and those interested to find out more were thus able to gain an impression of what the Husqvarna sports models are capable of as well as getting a taste of the touch challenges faced by the Husqvarna racing team.
Italian enduro world championship winner Simone Albergoni battled it out with fellow countryman Giacomo Redondi and the two extreme enduro riders Andreas "Letti" Lettenbichler and Gerhard Forster, providing the audience with some exciting action over jumps and through mud and sand. As Andi Lettenbichler said: "I really had great fun speeding through the dirt here. We had some great duels in the show races. Here at the BMW Motorrad Days we present enduro racing close up and it’s great to feel the enthusiastic spectators so near."
In front of the Husqvarna Race Truck by the Husqvarna Track, the Italian brand also presented its new models for 2012.
Guests from all over the world
The motorcycling visitors were as diverse as the event program. They came from such countries as Norway, Russia, Portugal, the UK, Ireland and even the USA. There were especially large numbers from Italy and France. It is safe to assume that the 19 bikers from Malaysia had undertaken the longest journey to get there. They had their bikes shipped to Istanbul and then travelled on to Garmisch by land.
The 37-year-old Czech Igor Brezovar attracted particular attention: he has been travelling on his R 1100 GS for three years. During this period he has been through 123 countries in six continents, covered over 230,000 kilometres and experienced a number of adventures. Igor Brezovar says of his motorcycle: "Apart from a few routine repairs I have always been able to rely on my GS. Even though it weighs in at up to 500 kilos when fully loaded!"
A very different attraction was Wenzel Ellenrieder, a Bavarian original from the Allgäu. He and his blue and white BMW with the "Lederhose" look complete with integrated "Weißwurst" cooker on the boxer engine were a popular snapshot motif.
Motorcycle tours against a magnificent Alpine backdrop
A brief shower provided refreshment right on time for the start of the grand motorcycle convoy at 2 pm on the Saturday. But this in no way deterred the numerous weatherproof bikers from undertaking a 94 kilometre round trip from Garmisch via Ehrwald, Reutte, Lake Plansee and Linderhof. When the convoy arrived back in Garmisch two hours later, participants said how impressed they were by the mountain landscape along the route.
The many tour riders from Germany and abroad were likewise impressed with the half-day tours and panorama tour, led by experienced guides, which gave them the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Alpine region as they rode through the Werdenfelser Land.
The Classic Convoy, originally planned for Friday, was shifted to Sunday due to the weather. Nonetheless, this event still boasted exquisite treasures from almost nine decades of BMW Motorrad history.
In addition to the BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles attractions, 80 exhibitors were represented on site, providing information on tuning, accessories, lifestyle products and clothing.
There were information stands featuring numerous organisers of motorcycle trips all over the world, as well as some excellent talks in the US Lodge for those who needed yet more travel inspiration. It was here that Michael Martin swept his audience away to the deserts of the earth, for example. With over 80 trips to the most remote regions of the earth, his GS has always been a faithful companion.
Stars and celebrities in the flesh
Fans of road racing could not have been happier. In addition to the racing version of the BMW S 1000 RR, top World Superbike Championship riders Troy Corser, James Toseland and Ayrton Badovini appeared in person, along with superstock riders Sylvain Barrier and Lorenzo Zanetti. On their race-free weekend they gave autographs and signed helmets, T-shirts and caps.
And other motorcycle-loving celebrities made their way to Garmisch, too: actor Hannes Jaenneke, and ski jumper Sven Hannawald with his partner, presenter and ex-playmate Alena Gerber – who herself arrived on a BMW S 1000 RR. Other guest stars were choreographer and dancer Alexandra Martens as well as top model Marcus Schenkenberg.
Pure action and wild stunts
Acrobatics on two wheels but without engine power were performed by Igor Obu and his two partners Dominik Raab and Andreas Schuster in the Freestyle Area. They displayed incredible jumps and balancing acts on BMW mountain bikes. It was the third time that 37-year-old Obu appeared in Garmisch. His tricks left the audience in awe and were the perfect introduction for world stunt-riding champion Chris Pfeiffer.
On his BMW F 800 R, Chris is not just a regular program feature at the BMW Motorrad Days but also one of the great crowd-pullers. Free-hand wheelies, pirouettes and front-wheel balancing acts went together to provide a truly fascinating show, rounded off with a somersault over the handlebars.
Nightlife at the foot of Hausberg.
The BMW Motorrad Days has long become legendary for its parties. The same was true this year, in spite of the cool weather. While "Gerry & Gary", "Moorat" and top DJs got things moving on Friday, "Blechblosn" and "The BossHoss" rocked the tent and its approximately 300 guests on the Saturday evening.
For those who preferred gentler tones there was guitar music from Byron at the camp fire. And finally "Tommy and the Moondogs" played live in the US Lodge into the wee small hours.
Masterful logistical achievement
Thanks to the perfect organisation, the entire event went off without a hitch. The catering provided was excellent. In addition to Bavarian specialities, over 12,000 litres of alcohol-free drinks and over 27,000 litres of beer were consumed this year.
It was a peaceful motorcycle festival without any significant incidents. Visitors, organisers, exhibitors and the police gave a positive final verdict. All that remained were many happy faces, great memories – and lots of people looking forward to the next edition of the biggest BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles meeting in the world.