Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Wunderlich Headquarters, located in Germany between Koblenz and Cologne on the beautiful Rhine river. Driving up to the facility in the morning there was already a row of visiting bikes outside along with some riders who looked like they had come from afar, in gear mulling about. Located in a quaint village, the Wunderlich facilities are a popular destination for BMW riders due to the picturesque roads through fields and woods and along the Rhine leading to the famed motorcycle parts shop. The facilities include the retail outlet, a conversion shop, warehouse and R&D department along with all things administrative: finance, sales and marketing.
Felix Wunderlich was my gracious host and he gave me a tour of the premises. Wunderlich continues to be the premier aftermarket manufacturer and supplier of BMW motorcycle parts. The warehouse was chock-full, literally to the very high ceiling, with Wunderlich motorcycle parts. The loading docks had packages waiting to go out to England, France, Asia and I spotted a stack of crates destined for good old Watsonville, CA , home of our BMW motorcycle accessories shop, Wunderlich America.
Meanwhile, the marketing department was busy with preparing promos of a Wunderlich-sponsored racer attending the Pike’s Peak race in Colorado in June. The order processing department was cranking away on computers and headsets fulfilling orders of happy motorcycle enthusiasts ordering everything from tank bags, wind deflectors, gps sunvisors and handlebar risers to ergonomic seats and crashbars.
The R&D department, centered around a 3D printer, was very impressive, and watching the crew at work, it became evident that a lot of time, planning and care goes into development of prototypes. These are then extensively tested before the most enhanced and improved product version goes to production. Often a part requires a certification in order to be allowed as a replacement to the original by the German DMV-type registration dept.
The conversion shop brings a good portion of creativity to the bench. Some of the highlights include a café racer, a couple of Scramblers, a Hybrid GS and a Speedcruiser. The components for these custom conversions are all illustrated HERE and available here in the US at http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/
As a final stop, Felix showed me the architectural mock-up and 3D renderings of a brand-new facility starting construction by the end of 2017. This will be the new and improved headquarters with a double-sized warehouse and a sleek glass administrative building. The future looks bright for Wunderlich.
Now it was time to settle down for a lunch of Schnitzel and beer with view of the remnants of the historic Remagen bridge on the Rhine river. Prost!