57th Mid-Rhine Off-road Challenge

Racing in the mud In spite of his Enduro road tires, Dirk Thelen turned in an impressive performance on his Wunderlich F 800 GS in the 57th Mid-Rhine Off- road Challenge. This is the granddaddy of all motorcycle events and took place for the 57th time in 2009. With 175 participants there was a pretty big starting line-up with large numbers of spectators. We're talking about the “Mittelrheinische Geländefahrt” (Mid-Rhine Off- road Challenge). The dynamic MSC Kempenich Motors MSC invited all comers to the Brohl Valley on the edge of the Eifel, including the four-times Enduro champion Dirk Thelen. Wunderlich had prepared a special BMW F 800 GS just for this exciting event. Coming up to the race, the mood in Sinzig was one of quiet confidence. Rider and bike had been optimally prepared; everything seemed in A1 order. All that was missing was the right rear tire; that shouldn't be a problem – or so we thought! The nearer it came to the start of the competition, the more hectic became the search in commercial outlets for a reliable and race-fit original 17-inch rear tire. The team wanted to start the race with kit as close to stock as possible. The FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme), the race's highest arbiter, finally forced the issue by accepting none of the proposed tires for the 17-inch rear wheel. So the people from Sinzig opted for a Metzeler Karoo, which is an Enduro tire exclusively for road use – a courageous decision [...]