Touratech R9X | Red Bull Romaniacs
With the R9X Touratech sent a heavily modified BMW R nineT to the Red Bull Romaniacs. Learn how this boxer conversion and rider Gerhard Forster battled their way through the Carpatian Mountains.
Forster rides R9X successfully to the finish
Until the 2017 edition of the Red Bull Romaniacs nobody ever came up with the crazy and obviously unpromising idea of entering the race with a two-cylinder bike.
This year, not only one, but two Iron Class riders attempted to finish the rally on big twins: Touratech sent their R9X, a BMW boxer, with the Bavarian extreme enduro legend Gerhard Forster to the race; for KTM the American Dakar finisher and multiple Baja 1000 winner Quinn Cody entered with the new 1090 Adventure.
The chances of reaching the finish line with these big bikes were about 50 percent at the maximum. According to a Red Bull Romaniacs press release nobody ever tried that before on two-cylinder engines.
After four dramatic race days in the Carpathian mountains both riders made history. Gerhard Forster (Touratech BMW) and Quinn Cody (KTM Adventure 1090) finished the Romaniacs in 14th (Forster) and 33rd place (Cody). The picture shows Marc Holder and R9X pilot Gerhard Forster after the successful finish.
The following videos show the preparations, the prologue and, of course, what happened during the four race days. Using your Smart TV it is best to access the Youtoube Playlist.
27 July: Getting into the Groove
Jarvis sovereign king, Bolton riding the race of his life, Walker and Roman pushing hard
What was considered by the organisers as a relatively “manageable” Red Bull Romaniacs Offroad Day 1 yesterday had caught many riders of all classes by surprise and everybody was quick to proclaim “The toughest Red Bull Romaniacs ever…”. For the Gold class, this is far from true, despite no longer having two of the top contenders (Alfredo Gomez and Wade Young) in the race. A really tough day was waiting for them today, especially with “Holy Rock” in the morning and “The Impossible” after the service point. The Silver class also received a severe “Welcome to Romania” with the section “Vodka Red Bull”, while the Bronze and Iron class had an opportunity to get into their groove.
The Iron class riders were also led to believe that the track managers had mercy and presented them with a nice, enjoyable day of riding. But then, just after the Service Point, the “Bronze and Iron class challenge” was waiting for them, a three kilometers uphill massacre… The impressions they gave as they arrived in the finish were priceless. At the end of the day even for the Iron class, it is still the Red Bull Romaniacs - and no backyard enduro. This remained to be the reality for the two “Bomber class” riders. KTM Adventure 1090 rider Quinn Cody and Touratech BMW rider Gerhard Forster bravely piloted their big bikes through the Romanian forest, tipped over a few times but kept flying past struggling Iron and Bronze class riders.They placed 7th (Forster) and 11th (Cody) with only six minutes between them.
Here is how the day unfolded for the Top Guns: Like yesterday, Graham Jarvis and Paul Bolton pulled some of the best times during the morning, with Jonny Walker breathing fire down their necks. All crashing and recovering several times, they made it through hard and technical sections with lots of encouragement from the enthusiastic locals and fans. Jarvis, Walker, Bolton and Roman kept back and forthing in a game of tag all the way to finish. Jarvis came out with the top times, finishing another day in first place. Bolton had also continued his performance from day one - but without the mistakes and was awarded with a 2nd place, just seconds behind Jarvis. Roman placed third and Walker fourth. Despite their experience, most Gold class riders were in shock about the EXTREMES in some of the sections - but their riding times being only seconds apart, show that this is the level that the world's top riders are now competing at.
Graham Jarvis: “Jonny and I left the service point together, I was pushing and Jonny seemed to back off a bit. There were some hard bits, Jonny had to have a couple of attempts at a slippery hill which I nailed the first time, it was my chance to gap him a little, hopefully it's enough to win the day. It was fast today and my body is tired!”
Paul Bolton: “I really enjoyed the day. I rode my own race, there were some really gnarly downhills, you don’t want to let go of your bike because it will cartwheel down into the forest. I got past Walker and Mario and then it was a game of cat and mouse. It`s my 10th year at Red Bull Romaniacs so I use my experience and if you look at Graham you can see that too, he’s just smokin’ it.”
Mario Roman: “Afternoon was good rhythm , not so many steep sections except at the end where I passed Jonny on one the steep uphills. But some of the downhills before the SP were such a surprise, you come to them and if you crash, you die, it's Extreme Enduro…”
Jonny Walker: “I rode fast this morning but lost all my speed this afternoon, I thought I had the lead going into the service but I had such a bad crash just before the service and hurt my hand. Leaving the service, I tried to ride with Graham, but I couldn’t, he was too fast, I couldn’t grip my handlebars so the front and rear end were sliding out and I couldn’t push. I just hope I'll be able to ride tomorrow because of my hand.”
In the Silver class, the training to forge the next row of elite Extreme Enduro riders started in the morning. For them it was a tough day with only one fast section, the rest was brutally technical. The experienced Mani Gyenes, who is in his 14th Red Bull Romaniacs, crossed the silver finish line first today: “It was a good day but harder than yesterday.There were lots of hills and wet grass, I am in a good shape and hope I can keep the pace in the 3rd day, the toughest day. I don't think I can fight for the overall win but I will try to keep the podium”.
This is possibly due to one of the young guns, hot on his tail pipe, Bruno Crivilin (BRA),who finished first in yesterdays Offroad Day 1. He clearly has the Extreme Enduro bug and is adapting to the Romanian tracks. There were three Romanian riders in the top 10 of the silver class today giving a good national representation. A Romanian rider, Sergiu Grecu, also keeps pushing for a place or even the top of the podium in the Bronze class and delivered his second day win today.
Text: Air7 - Volker Jacob. Red Bull Romaniacs Communications & Press.
26 July: A Perfect Day for the Touratech R9X
What a perfect first offroad day that was for the Touratech R9X!
Team rider Gerhard Forster finished the first leg in the mountains without any issues. Not enough to reach the finish, Forster was able to improve in the ranking from starting position 64 to Top 10.
More than happy and satisfied with this result BMW offroad instructor Forster and his young padavan, Touratech production engineer Marc Holder, are looking forward to day two confidently.
But it's another three long days on inpredictable tracks to the final hill climb on saturday...
Prolog Day | 25.07.2017
25 July - Red Bull Romaniacs Prologue Day
The competitors have to ride a difficult track of manmade obstacles right in the city center of Sibiu. The prolog results will define the starting order for the first offroad day.
Gerhard Forster on the Touratech R9X and Baja winner Quinn Cody on the KTM 1090 Adventure demonstrate what is possible with big adventure bikes.
Tomorrow morning the riders will start for the first leg in the carpatian wilderness - stay tuned!
Ready for Red Bull Romaniacs: Gerhard Forster is happy with the Touratech R9X and is looking forward to the race. Follow our reports in the next days.
Touratech R9X at the Red Bull Romaniacs – Daily Report – Prestart
Touratech R9X | Ready for Romaniacs
13 July 2017
Touratech R9X project: Less than two weeks until the start of the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs: Touratech starting with an extensively modified BMW RnineT at the legendary hard enduro rally.
Starting with a two cylinder machine for the very first time.
We owe the fact that the idea about the Red Bull Romaniacs with the Touratech R9X became reality to our colleagues in the development department who developed and built the R9X: Cliff Vizer and Patrick Graf.
Our thanks go to our colleagues from TT-3D, especially Dirk Bendl, for the amazing rear, the seat, side covers and various adaptions.
To Touratech Suspension, here especially Lars Würdemann, for the sensational suspension. To our two graphic designers Volker Haller and Philipp Peil for the well-made overall design and the project logo.
To our master mechanic Wolfgang Banholzer for the final construction and the finish. Our special thanks go to the head of our development department, Hans-Joachim Meyer, for his cooperation.
We would also like to thank our three CEOs Herbert Schwarz, Jochen Schanz and Martin Wickert for giving us the scope for the realization and last but not least, many thanks to Gerhard Forster for testing the bike and helping us to improve it.
Without our two project partners, Motorex and Metzeler, this plan would never have become reality. Many thanks for that!
On June 10, 2017, the „R9X“ project by Touratech Racing had been introduced at the Travel Event. It is an extensively modified BMW RnineT prototype developed by Touratech, Touratech Suspension and TT-3D. On July 25, 2017, Touratech Racing will take part with Gerhard Foster at the Red Bull Romaniacs. It is a bold undertaking as nobody has yet taken part at the toughest enduro rally of the world with a twin-cylinder boxer. Along with us, KTM will also start in the Iron class of the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs with Chris Birch on a KTM 1090 R. It’s going to be thrilling!
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