2015 Touratech Travel Event
Inspiration and information: the Touratech Travel Event reached a new dimension with an international flair and a great atmosphere.
15,000 Visitors, 25 Years and a Glittering Birthday Party
The 2015 Touratech Travel Event lived up to its reputation as the biggest gathering of adventure riders and motorcycle travellers: About 15,000 visitors in total, from all over the world, and a diversified programme under the banner of Touratechs 25th anniversary made for a great birthday party with an international atmosphere. "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 organization.
According to the occasion, about 70 exhibitors turned the Travel Event site into one huge festival area. The impressive show trucks by Nolan, Metzeler, BMW, Ducati, KTM, Suzuki, and - for the first time - Yamaha were real eye-catchers. As an extra treat, Yamaha brought two rally motorcycles: David Fretigné's XT 1200 Z Rally and Bacou Charbonnier's 1986 Paris-Dakar bike, a Sonauto XT 600 Ténéré. The brand new BMW truck brought three riding simulators to experience virtual race tracks, cruising and off-road riding.
The various test ride opportunities were, as usual, a big hit. Where else would it be possible to test all these bikes without any commitment? If you preferred sitting on your own bike, you 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 as they invited the participants 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. A tribune has been set up so the crowd could fully enjoy the spectacular final of the 2015 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Germany, taking place on Saturday night in the same place. Not only in the presentation hall, but also on an additional LED stage the audience was entertained with videos, trailers and travel movies whereas workshops on tyres, GPS, photography and travelling offered tips and tricks for the next journey.
But the Travel Event not only provided tons of information, but a lot of inspiration, too: It's the people and the stories they tell, the friendships old and new, the "fuel talk" ... all this adds a special atmosphere to this event and gets you infected with the travel bug. Many interesting guests showed up, like Sjaak Lucassen from the Netherlands who rode 250,000 kilometres around the world on his Yamaha YZF-R1. Or Germán Guntern from Argentina who participated in the 2014 BMW Motorrad GS Trophy in Canada. He had picked up his former trophy bike with BMW in Munich, Germany, 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 alternately taking place. 84-year-old Ted Simon, pioneer of all motorcycle adventurers, also had a speech there. His book "Jupiter Travels" on his circumnavigation of the world from 1973 to 1977 on a Triumph Tiger 100 has gained cult status by now and was Ewan McGregor's and Charley Boorman's inspiration for the Long Way Round project. 2001, at the age of 70, Ted Simon repeated his journey on a BMW R 80 GS. Even in old age, he's a fascinating personality who 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: On Friday night, between the Madagascar multivision show by the Austrian adventurer Joe Pichler and the humorously presented rally experiences of Dirk Schäfer, the Touratech CEOs Herbert Schwarz and Jochen Schanz showed some footage with the title "15 Minutes Embarrassing Moments out of 25 Years Touratech".
A highlight was the premiere of the new Touratech movie #whereverwego by Herbert and Ramona Schwarz on Saturday night, a retrospective embedded in their New Zealand trip. Interweaving different threads of time, this atmospheric collage of photographs and video footage shows an authentic portrait of the lives of these two motorcycle travellers. The name says it all: The film title #whereverwego is supposed to encourage people to post their own, personal travel stories online under this hashtag.
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.
Comments on the Touratech Travel Event
It is very interesting to be in the heart of the empire. I am amazed how the fascination of adventure riding brings together so many people. Ted Simon (84), pioneer of adventure riding, Kalifornien.
For their 25th anniversary, Touratech have, once again, excelled themselves. Many interesting people are here, young folks also. It's a great event, not only a cross-border event, but cross-generational as well, with a unique atmosphere. Total strangers brought cake to my stand - this doesnt happen anywhere else. Dirk Schäfer, photographer and motorcycle journalist.
It's amazing. In terms of pure travel events there's nothing of this scale. All the main manufacturers are here. Food and beer at a good price, great people, great atmosphere. Graham Hoskins, Adventure Bike TV, UK.
Astonishing how well-organized everything is; the same goes for the affordable food. But what I especially love is the atmosphere. I've attended many Horizons Unlimited meetings. It's different, but there's a similar feel to it. People here have the same heart, it's one big community. Really fantastic. Sjaak Lucassen, Motorbike-Globetrotter, Netherlands.
I already attended the first Travel Event and even then, I was thrilled. It's fascinating to see how the entire thing has grown. But despite all the professionalism, the personal atmosphere is still the same Joe Pichler, Austrian Motorcycle Adventurer.
You see many familiar faces here, but get to know new people as well. Infrastructure and catering are perfect, the lectures are interesting, sometimes funny. And despite of the rush of visitors, the atmosphere is still nice and relaxed, the staff is attentive and friendly. Just brilliant." Peter Zander, Road Concept.
This is my second Travel Event and I love the variety of motorcycle models you see here. The ride-outs are narrowed down to small groups, the guides are very well versed and the tracks they showed us were fantastic. I'm really enjoying that. Gert Edelmann, visitor from Kirchheim / Neckar, Germany.
The additional LED stage is a fantastic asset to the Travel Event. The atmosphere is great as usual, and the low prices show that it's not just all about profit. It's remarkable how the staff members who mastered this event are always downright cheerful and friendly. Oliver Zehner, Villa du Parc, Prades / France.