13th BMW Motorrad Days Recap
The 13th BMW Motorrad Days from July 5-7, 2013, was a success across the board.
Last year's record attendance was outdone once again with a total of over 40,000 visitors from all over the world. Perfect biker weather, a record crowd, the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad and the richly diverse program of events and activities provided the perfect setting for the world's biggest BMW motorcycle get-together.
A promising start
On Thursday evening more than 700 bikers came to the Warm-Up Party at the BMW Museum in Munich to get into the mood for a superb weekend at the foot of the Zugspitz massif.
Already on Friday there was a huge turn-out with attendance figures eventually exceeding all expectations. This was hardly surprising: in addition to all the attractions, new products, breathtaking stunts, motor racing stars and test rides, guests were also attracted by the event's now legendary party atmosphere.
Visitors from 40 nations
Three days were spent at the Hausberg in Garmisch with everything focused on two-wheel riding pleasure. Whether in the party tent, round the camp fire, on test rides or in the exhibition area - the spirit that bonds the friends of BMW Motorrad into one big community could be felt everywhere, regardless of age, origins or gender.
Fans both with and without a motorcycle came not just from Germany and neighboring countries but from 40 countries around the world. The longest journey was probably undertaken by a visitor who took the land route from China on this BMW.
Word has clearly got around that boredom is simply not an option at this event - and the program certainly offered lots of new, interesting and breathtaking activities.
As a result, the 1.5-hectare camping area was full up throughout the entire weekend, and even though all beds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the surrounding district were booked up, all guests still managed to find suitable accommodation in the area.
A journey through time: nine decades of BMW Motorrad
At the BMW Classic tent there was a special exhibition entitled "90 Years of BMW Motorrad" which took visitors off on a journey through time: milestones of the brand's history were displayed over an area of 500 square metres.
These included the R32 dating back to 1923 and the K1, not to mention motor racing legends such as Gaston Rahier's winning bike at the Dakar Rally and various prototypes. And the new book "90 Years of BMW Motorrad" was presented in public for the first time.
On Friday evening, guests joined up for the Classic Convoy with their vintage BMW motorcycles - including some genuine rarities.
New models and exciting studies
BMW Motorrad presented the current model range such as the new F 800 GS Adventure at the big exhibition tent, not to mention an extensive range of rider equipment.
Visitors were especially keen to see the BMW Concept Ninety, a concept study based closely on the BMW Motorrad design icon BMW R 90 S that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Roland Sands had been closely involved in creating the study with his customer bike design team and was in Garmisch in person to present this modern interpretation of a sporty boxer motorcycle.
The fact that this machine not only looks good but also moves fast was demonstrated by BMW Motorrad head designer Edgar Heinrich and American racing biker Valerie Thompson, who rode it for the first ever BMD Classic Boxer Sprint. Valerie Thompson is the fastest woman in the world on a BMW S 1000 RR and holds five speed records.
Top German model, TV host and actress Alena Gerber presented the electrically-powered pre-series scooter prototype C evolution in the event area.
Successful premiere for the BMD Classic Boxer Sprint
The 1st BMD Classic Boxer Sprint was, organised by BMW Motorrad in collaboration with Team Glemseck 101. Enthusiastic fans lined Sankt-Martin-Strasse on Saturday afternoon to see a total of 32 entrants compete with each other in pair-based knock-out contest over a distance of one furlong.
The event was only open to BMW motorcycles with a boxer engine. Winner Fabio Macaccini from Rimini/Italy rode to victory on his converted R 1200 R against a magnificent scenic backdrop, thereby qualifying for one of Glemseck 101 sprints.
Stunt shows - a real crowd-puller
The Original Motodrom put in its first appearance in Garmisch and proved to be a real crowd-puller. The oldest traveling wall-of-death in the world, it features professional riders - including one from Malaysia - performing the most amazing motorcycle acrobatics.
They rattled over the wooden planks on their BMWs and Indians, apparently defying the laws of gravity. The show was so popular that twice as many sessions were run than originally planned to cope with demand, especially on the Saturday.
And there was another premiere in Garmisch, too: British stuntman Russ Swift displayed breathtaking tricks in his MINI, demonstrating that two-wheel travel is also possible in a car.
One of the world's leading streetbike freestyle riders and four-times world stunt champion, Chris Pfeiffer is a long-established highlight at the BMW Motorrad Days.
On his BMW F 800 R he once again performed a breathtaking show on the asphalt of the event arena, as well as giving an impressive display of what is possible on a new R 1200 GS.
The event arena was also the stage for the "One World Tour" film: five enduro adventurers set off on five unique tours all over the world on their R 1200 GS and report on what they experienced. Meanwhile, speakers such as Michael Martin were at the US Lodge to talk about their motorcycle adventures around the globe.
Trade fair atmosphere at the foot of the Hausberg
Over 80 exhibitors from Germany and abroad came to Garmisch-Partenkirchen to present products and services relating to all aspects of motorcycling (including tuning, parts, tires, accessories, publications, travel and training). There was also a Custom Bike Area for customer-specific conversions which even included a stand representing the legendary Ace Cafe London.
There was a lot for motor racing fans to enjoy, too: rather than being parked in the paddock of the World Superbike Championship, the truck of the BMW Motorrad racing team was to be seen at the BMW Motorrad Days for the entire weekend. World class riders Marco Melandri and Chaz Davies as well as superbike legend Troy Corser were happy to sign autographs and answer fans' questions.
Celebrity motorcycling enthusiasts were not in short supply in Garmisch either: actor and motorcyclist Hannes Jaenicke has long been a regular, for example.
BMW Motorrad at first hand - on or off the road
Test ride activities featuring the BMW Motorrad model range were once again highly popular, and try-outs on the BMW C evolution prototypes featuring the innovative electric drive were a special attraction.
There were a total of more than 2,400 visitor test rides on new products in the course of the weekend including try-outs, on-road test rides and trials in the Hausberg enduro area measuring over 10,000 square metres. Over 800 off-road fans also took training courses at the BMW Enduro Park, where the entire GS model range was available.
Party mood at the Hausberg
The BMW Motorrad Days without those legendary parties? Unthinkable! While Gerry & Gary rocked the big Party Tent and its 3,500 guests on Friday night, the Root Bootleg Band provided top-class rock 'n roll at the Original Motodrom. Meanwhile, Juicy and DJ Robert got things started at the US Lodge. The "One World Tour" was shown here at midnight on Friday and Saturday.
The Booze Boms took care of the rock 'n roll in the Motodrom on Saturday evening while Blechblosn and the Radio Gong DJ team got guests into the groove at the Party Tent. Los Gringos and Dreirad played until 3 in the morning on Saturday, with DJ Robert at the turntable.
For those who preferred a romantic camp fire under a starlit sky, Byron offered excellent entertainment on his guitar, while the Metropolitan Jazz Band from Prague played for the Days' first ever jazz breakfast held at the beer garden on Sunday.
Positive final assessment after an exceptional weekend
Thanks to perfect organization, the entire event went off without a hitch once again. The catering was excellent. This year total consumption included 25,000 liters of beer, 10,000 pretzels, 1,500 burgers and 4,800 grilled chicken halves.
In spite of the record attendance, the 13th edition of the world's biggest
BMW Motorrad party once again went off peacefully and without any significant incidents. Visitors, exhibitors and the police were more than satisfied.
Alexander Baraka (Head of Events, Trade Fairs and Motorsport Marketing) says: "Attendance figures exceeded all expectations. The BMW Motorrad Days are a great opportunity for the BMW Motorrad Community to get together every year to ride their bikes, party, talk shop and keep up with the latest products.
"As the organizers we are of course especially pleased to see how well guests responded to attractions such as the Sprint and the Motodrom wall-of-death riders. And I can promise all fans and guests that we will come up with a very special program once again for the 14th Motorrad Days next year (July 4 - 6 2014)."