The BMW Motorrad Days, held for the twelfth time from 6 to 8 July 2012 was a complete success. The weather at the weekend was excellent, the programme had something for everyone and the atmosphere was electric. 35,000 visitors from every corner of the world made their way to the world’s biggest meet for BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna Motorcycles. Already by the Thursday evening, many bikers had gathered at the BMW Museum in Munich for the warm-up party, looking forward to a fabulous weekend. On Saturday, visitor numbers to Garmisch-Partenkirchen exceeded all expectations.
Visitors from every corner of the world.
Travelling with and without motorcycle, fans came not just from Germany and neighbouring countries, but from every part of the globe. A couple from the US enthused that this visit to the Motorrad Days in the home country of BMW motorcycle was the fulfilment of a long-cherished dream. It was the same story for Igor, a Slovenian biker who had taken three years to complete a round-the-world trip, taking in 123 countries and six continents before ending up in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
While visitor numbers from Italy and France were strong as usual, this time there were also two BMW riders from Australia and two from Taiwan, all of whom had made the long and arduous road trip to the BMW Motorrad Days. Representatives of a BMW Club in Malaysia also arrived on their own bikes. A police escort accompanied them into the event arena, where they were received with generous applause.
Wherever you were, in the party tent, on test rides or at the exhibition site, there was a tangible feeling that the friends of BMW are a great community — irrespective of age, origin or gender. On the Saturday, the event organisers encountered the largest number of visitors in the twelve-year history of the BMW Motorrad Days. For a large proportion of the guests this was not their first visit to Garmisch. After all, where better to engage in shop-talk with like-minded individuals, take communal tours of the foothills of the Alps, plan future trips, and celebrate with friends old and new until the small hours of the morning?
The large camping area was well-filled for the entire weekend and, despite the fact that all beds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its environs were booked out well in advance, nonetheless everyone found accommodation in the wider surrounds.
The programme of events offered lots of new features, plenty of interest and some breath-taking happenings, all centered around the riding pleasure to be enjoyed on two wheels. There is little doubt that one of the high points was the world premiere of the two two-cylinder enduro models BMW F 700 GS and BMW F 800 GS. There were also further innovations from BMW Motorrad, such as the newly revised BMW S 1000 RR, the BMW G 650 GS SertÃ£o or the maxi-scooters BMW C 600 Sport and BMW C 650 GT.
On the Radio Gong stage, the well-known team of presenter Viola WeiÃŸ and Stefan Galler acted as guides to the programme of events. They introduced the FMX team Upforce, which was making its debut. Lukas Weis, Frantisek Maca and Samuele Dottori gave a demonstration of breath-taking motorcycle acrobatics that seemed to defy the laws of gravity. Performing flintstones, heelclickers and backflips, Weis and his friends carved high-altitude arcs through the air, thrilling the spectators.
Stunt legend Chris Pfeiffer, one of the world’s finest street-bike freestyle riders and four-time world champion, has become a permanent fixture at Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Astride his BMW F 800 R, he once again provided a show that pleased his fans. He also offered proof of his unique bike control during the show, when he switched to a BMW K 1600 GT, performing some of his stunts to astounding effect on the touring model.
Exhibition atmosphere, motorcycle parades, wanderlust.
More than 80 exhibitors from home and abroad presented products and services covering all aspects of motorcycles (tuning, parts, tyres, accessories, fan articles, travel and training). In addition there were also several exhibitors offering made-to-measure customising services (custom bikes).
As well as the popular Classic Parade on Friday, BMW Classic also showed unusual treasures from boxer history at BMW Motorrad in the redesigned exhibition tent. The traditional big motorcycle parade took place on Saturday, when a long line of bikes threaded its way through the beautiful countryside around Garmisch in wonderful weather conditions.
An extra portion of wanderlust was served up in the US Lodge in top-class presentations by Ramona and Herbert Schwarz as well as Michael Martin, who has travelled the deserts of the world on his GS in the last 30 years.
Test rides on the street or off-road.
The test ride campaigns involving BMW motorcycles and the new BMW Maxiâ€‘Scooters proved very popular. As well as the latest off-road machines, Husqvarna Motorcycles also offered the NUDA 900 for test rides.
From taster tests to test rides on the street and off-road tests on the 10,000 square metre Enduro area at Hausberg — more than 2,200 opportunities were taken to experience new products.
Stars and celebrities up close and personal.
As well as the racing version of BMW S 1000 RR fans of street racing had plenty else to admire at BMW Motorrad Motorsport. World-class champions such as three-time Superbike season winner Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam were on hand to sign autographs on a race-free weekend. Melandri said: “It is great to see so many people from all over the world sharing their love of motorcycles and BMW.”
Other well-known guests with a taste for motorcycles at Motorrad Days were top model Marcus Schenkenberg, long-serving personal assistant to Nelson Mandela Zelda La Grange, and actor Thorsten Nindel. Referring to the Motorrad Days, his acting colleague and motorcycle enthusiast Hannes Jaenicke said: “It is such a pleasure to meet so many people who all share the same passion as you do.”
Legendary party venue at Hausberg.
The BMW Motorrad Days have gained a reputation for legendary parties. While “Gerry & Gary” ensured a relaxed party atmosphere at the extended part tent (over 4,000 seats) on Friday evening, “Blechblosn” raised the temperature among the capacity crowd on Saturday evening.
There was live music in the US Lodge, with “ZÃ¼ndstoff” performing on Friday, and “Los Gringos” and “Dreirad” on Saturday. In BMW Motorrad Motorsport Hospitality, “DJ RRudi” entertained the large crowd with an all-out rock party.
Duo “Stringray” provided the musical entertainment around the camp fire on both evenings.
A masterclass in logistics management.
Thanks to the perfect organisation of the event, things ran very smoothly once again this year. As in the past, catering left nothing to be desired. This year saw around 1.2 tonnes of pork joints, 2.2 tonnes of potato salad and 4,800 half chickens bring consumed.
The twelfth edition of this great motorcycle festival once again passed off peacefully and without significant incident. Visitors, exhibitors and police were very positive with the outcome.
This opinion was also shared by Alexander Baraka, Head of Events and Exhibitions at BMW Motorrad: “This was a really great event with fantastic weather, a marvellous atmosphere and a whole host of attractions. This weekend has gone so incredibly well that it will be hard to top it next year. However, given that next year will mark our 90th anniversary, the fans can rest assured that we will have something very special up our sleeves for the 13th BMW Motorrad Days from 5 to 7 July 2013.”