From Niedereschach to the whole world
Since “Made in Germany” stands for expertise and specialist knowledge as well as excellent quality, Touratech AG has been developing, designing and producing in southern Germany since it was established. At the Touratech headquarters on the edge of the Black Forest, the whole team works together to meet our customers’ requirements – from development and production to the sales and marketing departments. Products go directly from Niedereschach to private customers and our distributors all over the world.
When Touratech's founder developed his first tripmaster for his own use, he didn't imagine that only 13 years later he would be managing his own innovative company. The passing years now allow us to take an exciting look back at the successful company.
The very first Touratech products were the first self-produced aluminium pannier and the first illuminated bicycle speedometer. These were made by the motorbike and travel enthusiast, Herbert Schwarz, for his trips to the Near East, to Africa, the US and Northern Europe. For interested travellers information and suitability in practice are most important and so Herbert Schwarz developed these products further.
In 1990 the time had come: the first IMO was developed and produced with a run of 100 units. This electronic tripmaster gave information on route lengths, averages, stored the daily mileage for a whole trip, showed engine temperature and outside temperature. All this information in one unit. This was a stunning development. Thus the newly founded GBR Touratech did its first business.
From the experience of travelling many miles through impassable terrain in Africa came the second development, the aluminium panniers called "Zega" after a small village in Zaire that Herbert Schwarz and Jochen Schanz got to know on their journeys in the south of Africa. Today we can't imagine the motorbike journey scene without it. Then it was the best seller's design and new functionality.
Herbert Schwarz has travelled throughout the world with all current GS models since the invention of the BMW Enduros. Their reliability and suitability for travelling fired him with enthusiasm and so it was no wonder that the experiences on these trips were incorporated into products for motorbikes. Touratech developed necessary or beautiful accessories for all new BMW Enduros as soon as they came out.
Herbert Schwarz and Jochen Schanz, motorbike partners and accomplices since the word go, ran Touratech GBR in their spare time alongside their "normal" jobs until the workload increased alarmingly. In 1995/96 they both took it up as their main occupation. They both tackled everything from development through procurement and manufacturing the products up to selling and giving advice. It wasn't until 1997 that the first employee was taken on. In 1998 Touratech moved to a large building in Niedereschach on the edge of the Black Forest. In 1999 TOURATECH AG was founded from the existing business.
Today the product range includes much more than tripmasters and pannier systems.
In the navigation area Touratech is represented by products by Garmin and Magellan. The brackets for the sensitive equipment suitable for motorbike tracks and uneven terrain are unique. Here Touratech always has its ear to the ground: for each new product Touratech produces accessories. Navigation software and electronic navigation aids are developed here by themselves.
There are not only accessories for the current BMW Enduros but in the meantime Touratech has developed total conversions. Based on the F650 there is the "Oryx", the lightweight model for riding pleasure, the "TT-39" guarantees stress free journeys and the "Rallye" inspires people because of its suspension frame, tank capacity and cockpit on the rally. In the meantime the "Desierto" travel conversion has got some competition: The "ReVamp" is the current new development for the BMW GS. The design retains the strengths of the GS and concentrates on design and weight optimisation. Detailed improvements will be developed and produced for travel Enduros made by other companies.
Riding motorbikes and travelling also means always living outside. The "Outdoor" department deals with all accessories for living in and with nature.
Now Touratech sells 50% of its products on the Internet. Here customers can find out about the company, the staff and the products. As a result Touratech has customers all over the world. In order to serve customers abroad better the importers' network is continuously being expanded.
Production has been increased to an amazing degree in the last few years. Within a very short time a state of the art production facility arose from the manufacture of the IMO tripmaster which sometimes took place on the table at home.
Today Touratech AG employs about 250 permanent staff and countless part time workers for special tasks. In Niedereschach there is machinery with laser cutting machines, bending machines and welding robots. There is an electronics production facility and final fitting and packaging. Touratech is organised in small, autonomous teams that control production.
Logistics has a cleverly designed, partially self-improved sales and production planning system to control and check the processes. Sales focuses on speed. Thus each incoming e-mail should be answered on the same day but no later than 48 hours. Rapid, timely deliveries to customers goes without saying. The sales staff take a great deal of time giving accurate advice.
But one thing must not be forgotten above all these organisation structures: nearly all the staff are enthusiastic motor cyclists. They are with the products from development to production and then on their motorbikes. All this experience is incorporated into the products.
Even Herbert Schwarz and Jochen Schanz can't live without motor cycling. They will never give up travelling throughout the world and contact with other motor cycle travellers.
Therefore you will always run into them in their dusty motor cycle boots and with mud encrusted motorbikes. On the short trip through the Black Forest or on a journey to far off lands. That is Touratech's secret.