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Pikes Peak Blog Entry VIII
Post Race – Onward

The day following Race Day, six of the crew left for Denver very early to fly home, while the rest of us were able to attend the awards ceremony for the race in the morning. Following the ceremony, we all said goodbye to the guys who flew in, for their adventure was over, but we still had a few days on the trek back to California. Initially our first night was going to be back in Grand Junction, CO, however since Las Vegas was on the schedule for the next day, I changed the itinerary so we had more time in Vegas. I switched our KOA reservations a week prior for us to end up in Richfield, Utah for the night, which was a solid 9 hour drive. Due to the ceremony and us having to clean up and pack the vehicles, we didn't get on the road until after 2 pm, it was sure to be a late night. We were driving efficiently and covered ground with good timing, much less stops than we had on the way to Pike’s Peak, since we were a bit shorter on time. We crossed into Utah at around dusk on I-70 and the road became an endless straight line with a turn every now and then. I let Sascha drive for a while to switch it up a bit, and I ended up even taking a little nap. I woke up to Sascha telling me we were on [...]

Pikes Peak Blog Entry VII
The Race

It was a short night for the most of us, but that didn't matter, it was Sunday, June 25th, race day and all the time and effort lead up to this day. Since it was race day, we had to be at the gates a bit earlier. Six of us were the first ones of our troop up there, waiting at the gates at 1.45 A.M. The rest came an hour or so later to receive a bit of extra beauty sleep. We got into our spot, unloaded what we had to, and had a few hours before it was time to get down to business. Thilo had priority getting some sleep in the warm sprinter, the rest of us knocked back coffees and talked to other teams anxiously waiting for the sun to come up. At around 6 a.m. everyone gathered together for the national anthem as well as a prayer to wish all the racers success and safety. All the Germans marveled at the concept of both of these things, claiming this would never happen back home. Soon after we rolled the bike and everything else we needed into our pit area and the tire warmers came on. Thilo was getting in the zone. Thilo, starting #10, was coincidentally the tenth rider to go up, and luckily also to see how the others started off to get tips for efficiency. With two-minute intervals between each rider, it was time to race, all [...]

Pikes Peak Blog Entry V
The Trek to Pikes Peak

We tried to get a really early start but it didn't quite end up working as well as we thought. We were on the road at around ten, heading east going towards Utah. The landscapes seemed like more of the same, but once we crossed the border to Utah, the scenery changed dramatically. There were a lot more mountains and the Germans were extremely impressed with the red rock scenery of Utah. After a few hours of driving we came across a very beautiful canyon which was ideal to take some pictures and videos. It was an extremely beautiful area with very light traffic, we took the R1200 RS out, Sven suited up and we ended with some great footage from our photographer Sascha. It was such a cool spot we ended up being there for quite a while, but we had a way to go until Grand Junction, Colorado so we kept going in hopes of getting to our campsite at a reasonable time. We continued on, snacking on peanut butter jelly sandwiches throughout the day and ended up finding very cool spots. When we were back on the road we covered some ground, Sascha and I decided to pull over and grab some more food from our companions Sven and Thilo in the RV. It just so happened that where we stopped was an interesting tree full of tied together shoes and tires, it was quite a sight and completely random. We ended up spending [...]

Pikes Peak Blog Entry IV
The Trek to Pikes Peak

Notes from the Trail Our team of four left our Wunderlich America headquarters in Watsonville this morning after being treated to an eventful evening Fiesta the prior day. We were able to fit everything we needed into both the RV and our MBZ Sprinter van, which carried the new BMW R1200 RS and of course the highly sought after RaceR. We set off with our first goal of South Lake Tahoe that evening. Of course,  I had to show the German crew some cool spots before we got there, to ease them into the American lifestyle. The first stop we did was about two hours north in Manteca, Ca - to the famous Bass Pro Shops. They truly had no idea what to expect, but were utterly amazed with what the store had to offer. To them it was really a taste of all things American, camouflage, guns, knives, boats, camping gear and everything else imaginable that is outdoorsy.  This was truly something unimaginable in Germany, and they were all very pleased they were able to see it. We also had to stock up on items for the RV, no place better then Walmart, right? The Walmart Superstore also gave them a good taste and quick transition of the things that we have here in America. After the trip, the RV looked more like a home, especially once the fridge and pantry was fully stocked, - trying to leave room for food and not just beer. Our next stop was [...]

Pikes Peak Blog Entry III
Wunderlich America Welcomes Team Wunderlich

Bienvenido á Watsonville – Fiesta Wunderlich Americana The German crew arrived and was shuttled from the airport straight to a Watsonville apple orchard estate to be welcomed by a fiesta with BBQ and Mariachi band centered around the custom bike that will be contending at Pikes Peak. Meet the Crew: Thilo Günther – pilot of the RaceR;  lucky starting number 10; multiple champion of the “Fischereihafen” races in Germany. Eats stainless steel bolts with motor oil for breakfast cereal. Sven -  marketing maven, BMW rider, his award-winning tattoos were applied by – himself while riding a motorcycle. Hans – convoy driver, BMW rider and American football star. Bench presses 350 pds. The dark is afraid of him. Sasha – pro photographer, BMW rider, only photographer to have done a portrait session with Satan, if he would shake your hand - you’d list it on your resume. Mexican style BBQ was on: Anticipation for the Pikes Peak race on June 25th is running high! Willie, the proprietor of Wunderlich America and Thilo. THE TREK TO PIKES PEAK BEGINS

Pikes Peak Blog Entry II
Wunderlich RaceR – Ankunft in Kalifornien!! The Beast has landed!!

It was after midnight at the Wunderlich America shop in NorCal and the employees and crew were anxiously awaiting the killer bike from Germany being trucked up from L.A.  Proprietor Willie stepped outside and gave an encouraging speech to keep the team awake and stoked to be a part of the upcoming race in Colorado: Finally, around 3 a.m., the awesome custom Wunderlich RaceR, “Number 10”, the German competitor for the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb on  July 25th, arrived at our NorCal Wunderlich shop. The Wunderlich crew stayed up late to take delivery of the RaceR, which had travelled Frankfurt to L.A. to NorCal on its journey to Pikes Peak. The Wunderlich team was gladly working overtime to “unpack” this beauty at 3 a.m. in the morning. Settling into Cali, RaceR will be on a tough work-out schedule and protein-oil diet in preparation for the upcoming challenge in Colorado. ? Stay tuned on this blog for a “diary” of the Wunderlich crew’s “Trek to Pikes Peak” from the California Coast to the Colorado Rockies in a convoy of motor homes, trailers filled with slumbering, gleaming, oiled beasts anxious to tear up the Hillclimb, and a savage team of riders on their bikes.  Take part in the adventure of scenic western rides, where you can almost smell the scent of oil & leather, camp fires in the desert, and tin cups of black coffee with sizzling steak & eggs. Think Quentin Tarantino [...]

William’s Tech Tips – Final Drive Seal Installation

Welcome to William’s Tech Tips! Need to replace your final drive seal?  Here’s what you do… [This applies to 1970 through 1984 dual shock BMW models.] The final drive seal output shaft is a common source of oil leak, and it’s an easy seal to replace, if you know how. Removing the cover is easy enough; all you need is a couple of M5 bolts to press the cover off by means of the threaded holes in the cover. Knock the old seal out, clean the cover thoroughly, then install the new seal into the cover. At this point, there’s a danger in possibly damaging the new seal when it passes by the many sharp edges of the final drive output splines. The following solution is as cool as it is simple… When you install the cover with the new seal, it’s imperative that the seal settles in its home undamaged. In this case, all you need is a soda can. Carefully cut the end off of the can with some sharp scissors and place it over the final drive output splines.   Place a Soda Can Over the Final Drive Output Splines   Lube the seal with some LIQUI MOLY LM48 Assembly Lube and slide it over the can and into position.  Be sure to heat the cover with a heat gun so that it fits onto the roller bearing without tension.  As soon as the cover is in place, remove the can, and the seal will [...]

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 [...]

By | June 3rd, 2015|BMW F Series, Competition, Wunderlich|0 Comments

The Enduro Guru

Dirk Thelen, multi-time German Enduro champion and winner of the Enduro Rally cup, has a proven partnership with Wunderlich's BMW specialists. Someone who most cherishes the memory of the Christmas celebration where he received his first trial motorcycle simply has motorsports run in his blood. With Dirk Thelen, you may think petrol is running in his veins instead of blood. At any rate, the Christmas gift in 1978 was a good investment because only two years later Dirk joined his first national championship, the youth trials in Ulmen. It only took another three years before he had moved up to an impressive sixth place in the youth trial championship. Hardly 18 years old and his rider’s license in his pocket, Dirk switched to Enduro sport, and now there were no more bounds. Already in the first year he moved up to vice champion in the Enduro cup of the next generation riders. His accumulated more titles over the years: German vice champion in the class up to 400 cc, third place in the Enduro world championship up to 250 cc, several times German champion in the 250 class and then overall winner in the Enduro Rally Cup several times. It was not by chance that Dirk Thelen and Erich Wunderlich met in the course of time. Shared enthusiasm about off-road riding, back then primarily on Yamaha, creates strong bonds. The first joint events followed from this. The first official SuperMoto race on the Nurburgring in Germany in 1991 is unforgettable. [...]

By | April 23rd, 2015|Wunderlich|0 Comments

The Wunderlich WR2 Concept

Less is More. Wunderlich, with its concept motorcycle and technology mule WR2, has created an impressive bike boasting with unexpected ride characteristics. Hilly landscapes, rocky terrain, stone-covered mountain slopes and washed out dry river beds alternate here. It is hot, the air glints red, the hot dusty wind plays impatiently with ragged bunches of grass. Only the cries of circling vultures and the howling of the wind gusts can be heard in the lonely country side, until a thudding sound is heard in the background. It becomes louder, a trail of dust can be seen, approaching – and then the orange-colored Enduro emerges preceding it. Fishtailing, yet self-determined and with a clear goal in mind, bike and rider dash through the rough terrain. Giving the appearance of action, fun and adventure, is actually tough work. It has been almost four years since the four time Enduro champion, Dirk Thelen, battled through the rugged terrain of the Sierra Nevada with an unusual Hard Enduro. Riding and testing were the objective, and man and material often reached their limits in this quest. All this was preceded by many innovative ideas and much engineering development. The goal was not only to significantly reduce the weight but also to eliminate the nose-heaviness of the bike, especially for off-road tours. What's more, the chassis would be tuned in a way that would simply provide more riding pleasure on any terrain. The result was the WR2 – a concept bike demonstrating what the motorcycle enthusiasts from [...]

By | February 13th, 2015|Engineering & Development, Wunderlich|0 Comments
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