The 2015 Touratech Travel Event, including the GS Trophy Germany qualifier, lived up to its reputation as the biggest gathering of adventure riders and motorcycle travellers. Around 15,000 visitors from all over the world, and a diversified programme under the banner of Touratech’s 25th anniversary, made for a great birthday party with an international atmosphere.About 70 exhibitors turned the Travel Event site into one huge festival area. The impressive show trucks by BMW, Nolan, Metzeler and many other manufacturers were real eye-catchers. The brand new BMW truck brought three riding simulators to experience virtual racetracks, cruising and off-road riding.The various test ride opportunities were also a big hit, but those who preferred sitting on their own bikes also had the chance to explore the beauty of the area on different tours and ride-outs, and to discover the favourite tracks of the tour guides. In a jiffy, the guided off-road tours were booked out, especially because participants were able to legally ride their adventure bikes cross-country.The event site had been expanded by a new area where the show rides presented by the Enduro-Park Hechlingen ensured plenty of action. The crowd could also fully enjoy the spectacular final of the 2015 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Germany, taking place on the Saturday night. There was also a stage where visitors were entertained with videos, trailers and travel movies, whereas workshops on tyres, GPS, photography and travelling offered tips and ideas for future journeys.In the world of adventure travel, it’s the people and the stories they tell that really bring inspiration to all those attending, helping infect many with the travel bug. This year’s guests included Sjaak Lucassen from the Netherlands who rode 250,000 kilometres around the world on a supersports bike! Making the trip all the way from Argentina was Germán Guntern, a participant in the 2014 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy in Canada. He had picked up his former trophy bike from BMW in Munich, and chose Touratech's Travel Event as a starting point to go on a world trip with his wife Claudia.On the main stage, exhibitor information, bike presentations and interviews were taking place. 84-year-old Ted Simon, pioneer of all motorcycle adventurers, was another star guest. His book "Jupiter Travels" on his circumnavigation of the world from 1973 to 1977 has gained cult status by now and was Ewan McGregor's and Charley Boorman's inspiration for their Long Way Round project. In 2001, at the tender age of 70, Ted Simon repeated his original journey, this time on a BMW R 80 GS. Even in old age, Ted impressed the audience with his insights and reflections on being on the road and on life in general.A tour through the Travel Event site resembled a round-the-world-trip en miniature. Partners, distributors and delegations from – among others – Australia, USA, Brazil, Russia and China, a group of 20 visitors from Thailand and 24 two-wheels fans from Costa Rica brought an international flair to this event. The distributors who were not able to attend in person sent video messages with their jubilee greetings.The evening events were well-attended like never before, including presentations by Austrian adventurer Joe Pichler, and rally rider Dirk Schäfer, as well as Touratech CEOs Herbert Schwarz and Jochen Schanz, who showed some footage with the title ‘15 minutes of embarrassing moments out of 25 years of Touratech’. Another highlight was the premiere of the new Touratech movie ‘#whereverwego’ by Herbert and Ramona Schwarz, a retrospective embedded in their New Zealand trip of 2014 on BMW GS bikes, one with attached sidecar to carry their two boys with them.After the award ceremony of the 2015 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Germany, about 6,000 visitors gathered under the polygon tent and joined Ramona and Herbert Schwarz to experience the fascination of travelling on two wheels. "The Travel Event has reached an entirely new level", said Touratech CEO Herbert Schwarz, who was overwhelmed by the rush of visitors, the fantastic atmosphere and the perfect organisation.
June 2015 | © BMW Motorrad
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