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If you own a BMW or have an interest in the brand, then you really do need to head over to Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany for the annual BMW Motorrad Days. BMW describe the event as follows; 'The BMW Motorrad Days is one of the largest motorcycle meetups in Europe with test rides, exciting stunt shows, live music, parties, and presentations of the newest models and products from BMW Motorrad. The event takes place every year in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and attracts around 40,000 visitors from over 40 countries'. Having attended the event for the first time this year, I have no reason to disagree with that description.
So how did I manage to make the trip? Well, I was very lucky to be able to attend in my capacity as a Tour Leader for Motorrad Tours, a company I have worked for since 2016. My bike for the tour was an S1000XR. A bike I have ridden before but not for a full tour.
Motorrad Days is always a popular tour, this year being no exception, with over 40 customers attending, along with five Tour Leaders to spread the work load, including the company boss, Richard.
Customers travel from all over the UK, so whilst the majority travelled via the Euro Tunnel, I met up with 4 customers to make the return journey via the ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge.
I met Nigel (K1600), Dave, Mike and Graham (all on R1200GS's) on the afternoon of 2nd July and we made our way to the ferry. The ferry gave us a great opportunity to get to know one another before the first full days riding.
At our first nights hotel we met up with the rest of the customers and then spent the next 3 days making our way to Garmisch, via some great meandering routes through the French and German countryside.
Some customers rode with a Tour Leader, some within their own group of friends and others swapped between groups and Tour Leaders depending on that days route, time of leaving etc.
We arrived in Garmisch late Friday afternoon and then on the Saturday, customers had a choice of three different ride outs, or they could kick back and have a day off the bike. Tour Leader Phill took a group of customers to The Eagles Nest, Alf took some on a '5 passes' route and I took 5 customers to the BMW Museum and World in Munich. If you've never been to the Museum or World, they're massively impressive buildings which display all the current range of cars and bikes that BMW sell, including BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce plus all the iconic and historical cars and bikes from years gone by.
Once back at the hotel, all the customers got changed, as Saturday night is party night! The marquee at the event is unbelievably big, it has tables set for 8 with large bench seats, there was literally hundreds and hundreds of people there to enjoy the party. Along with other BMW partner guests, we were in the VIP section. As part of the itinerary, the customers enjoyed a three course dinner and several beers, and of course, the beers were all served in traditional one litre stein glasses.....amazing to see the women serving us carrying so many of these all at once!!
The live band played into the early hours and everyone seemed to be having a fantastic time. Unfortunately for me, I was working on the Motorrad Tours stand the following morning at 9am, so at 130am, it was time for me to head for my bed.....
Surprisingly, Sunday was a day of rest and recuperation for many! haha. Most had a lie in before taking the short walk from the hotel to the event to have a look around the show, spend some money and enjoy the sunshine.
Monday to Wednesday saw us all enjoying more great roads and two more hotel stays, one in Baden Baden the other in Boullion as we headed back through Germany, France and Belgium. Me and rest of the 'Northern Massive' caught the ferry Wednesday evening, returning to Hull Thursday morning.
It was a great tour, great routes and great hotels and the Motorrad Days itself being a great event. But let's not forget the great group of customers who shared it all. The customers come from all walks of life and 'social status' yet at the end of every day when we're all enjoying a beer and a meal, everyone is just a biker who wants to talk about that days riding, the scenery, the roads and all things motorcycling.
Total mileage for me for the tour was 1,975 miles. The XR is a fantastic bike, it's incredibly quick, handles brilliantly and sounds awesome. The seat looks and feels hard, but it was a lot more comfortable than I expected over a long period and despite the repeated days riding, I don't think I suffered any more with 'numb bum' than anyone else. All in all a cracking bike, and one that went extremely well, despite being loaded down with panniers, a top box, a tank bag and me on it!
Here's a selection of photos from the WhatsApp group we set up pre tour so people could share their photos, don't worry, I haven't posted them all and they're not necessarily in the right order of events!
As I said at the beginning, if you own a BMW or have an interest in the brand, then you really should mark future events on the calender, I doubt you'll be disappointed. www.motorrad-tours.com
I hope you've enjoyed this round up of the event, thanks for reading,