Adventure bike riders love nothing better than getting together to sit around a campfire and talk about the trips they have completed or the journeys they still dream of making. Add to the equation a picturesque setting in the Welsh mountains, test rides and off-road riding opportunities, and it’s clear to see why the Touratech Travel Event is always a resounding success.
The concept was originally started at the company’s German headquarters and the successful format has since been exported to many other territories and has become an annual pilgrimage for many. This particular event took place at the UK Headquarters in the Brecon Beacons and many riders turned up to pitch their tents on the grassy surroundings of the business park immediately adjacent to the spacious Touratech showroom.
Among the guest speakers were many notable motorcycle travel writers and BMW GS riders, including well-known German journalist Andreas Hulsmann, who has been riding motorcycles all over the world for more than 25 years; and Sam Manicom, who rode his GS 322,000 kilometres through 55 countries over eight years.
Along with a host of exhibitors from the travel industry, visitors could participate in Travel Photography workshops, learn technical skills such as ‘tyre plugging’, or just enjoy presentations from seasoned travellers in the main tent. There was plenty to choose from, as ‘question and answer’ sessions took place with some of the most intrepid two-wheeled adventurers out there, including one brave soul who rode home to the UK from Australia on a 105cc Postman’s bike called ‘Dorothy’ and Tony Woodham, one of only a handful of riders who have ever traversed the infamous Darien Gap.
Those who wanted to actively participate in the event were in luck, as the Travel Event included access to a nearby 70-acre off-road paradise that is also home to BMW Motorrad UK’s Off Road Skills riding school. With everything from gravel roads to bogs, climbs, jumps and steep hills to play on, riders were entertained all day with marked routes and guided runs suitable for all levels of skill – even first timers. For some, it was their first taste of genuine off-road riding on their adventure bike.
There was also a good selection of trail and enduro demo bikes from Husqvarna Motorcycles to try on the many forest roads, where a variety of easy and hard trails had been set out by the Marshals. Groups were guided round a couple of laps and some enjoyed it so much they stayed for several turns!
Guided road rides headed out every two hours through the famous Brecon Beacons and Eppynt mountain ranges, then back over the Black Mountains on some truly spectacular roads. There was even a chance to ride the Husqvarna Nuda 900 R on the fantastic routes this scenic region enjoys.
For many, Sunday came much too early and it was time to take down the tent, pack the panniers and head back home. Next year’s event is already being planned but for those that can’t wait that long, the big Touratech Travel Event will be taking place from 15 to 17 June at the Touratech headquarters in Niedereschach in southern Germany. There, you can meet like-minded people, share your experiences in a relaxed atmosphere and be inspired by the adventurous people who make extraordinary journeys on two wheels.
For more information and a video from last year’s Touratech Travel event, please click here.