Tag Archives: germany

Biking Euro Style Coming to IRON TRADER NEWS

By Marilyn Stemp

Above: New contributor from France, Herve’ Rebollo, and ITN editor Marilyn Stemp

“Your magazine was better known here than you may know,” said my longtime friend, Motographer Horst Rossler from Germany.

It was 2014, and Horst and I were at the Custom bike Show in Bad Salzuflun, Germany looking at the rows of stunning bikes displayed. Horst was commiserating with me on the recent news that IronWorks, the title founded by my late husband Dennis Stemp and I, would cease publication.

A similar message came to me at that time from French rider and writer Herve’ Rebollo, who postd to a European riding forum about IRON WORK’s legacy. I was as surprised to read this as I’d been by Horst’s comments – but gratified to learn that IronWorks had enjoyed such reach internationally.

Ironically, the demise of IronWorks was the catalyst for Herve’ and I to connect, after he reached out by email and we met for coffee when I came through Paris in November, 2015. That’s when I learned what an avid rider he is and how often he rides for transportation as much as recreation. In fact, he arrived for our meeting on his motorcycle, removing his riding suit to reveal a businessman’s coat and tie, necessary in his professional life.

It has become clear that Herve’ rides – a lot! And he enjoys recording his rides in words and photos. So we’re delighted to welcome Herve’ as the newest contributor to Iron Trader News, offering our readers a look at the European V-Twin culture first hand. We expect you’ll enjoy his charming stories as much as we do.

As writers, we send out words to the world but we seldom know where they land. Apparently, sometimes they have an impact. Please enjoy Herve’s words on Iron Trader News.

Good Ride Salutes Honors Military Overseas in Stuttgart, Germany with Indian Motorcycle Ride

Military holidays are synonymous with sunshine, barbeques, friends and family. We give thanks those who served on Veteran’s Day and honor the fallen soldiers on Memorial Day. But all too frequently those currently serving, specifically those overseas on active duty, are forgotten. Armed Forces Day pays tribute to men and women who currently serve in the U.S. military.  image002
For this year’s Armed Forces Day, Indian Motorcycle and freestyle motocross icon Carey Hart partnered to honor and celebrate with our active soldiers. In a first-of-its-kind Armed Forces Day celebration, Hart’s military charity ride, the “Good Ride,” traveled overseas to U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart. Dubbed “Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart powered by Indian Motorcycle,” the celebration hosted nearly 50 active troops on a wet and raining poker run throughout the beautiful Germany country side. Over 100 joined the BBQ celebration following the ride.image003
                                                                                                                                                         Not only is this Hart’s first time taking the Good Ride overseas, but this is the first time anyone has celebrated with active troops through one of the greatest American past times, motorcycling. For Hart, coordinating this ride with those active soldiers gave a special piece of “home” to those overseas. And after all, there’s no greater representation of freedom than riding motorcycles.
While Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart included a ceremonial ride through Germany’s picturesque countryside and a family-friendly barbeque with live music, Indian Motorcycle ran a dealer-driven test ride promotion to raise money for the Infinite Hero Foundation, which is the primary beneficiary of Hart’s Good Ride Rally. During the month of May, which is National Military Appreciation Month, Indian Motorcycle donated $20 per test ride, up to $30,000. Infinite Hero Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries.

Ricky’s Showstopper

The Mama Tried Show is not a competition but that doesn’t mean builders and visitors alike don’t make comparisons. It was apparent at the 2018 show that one bike stopped people in their tracks: the hand built motorcycle by Enrico de Haas of Hüttenberg, Germany.

In addition to its alloy, jewelry-like finish, what drew in most people was the super sanitary look and evident lack of connection between motor and drivetrain – unnecessary elements because the bike is electric! That factor also figures into the bike’s light weight: 80 kilos or 176.37 pounds. Super slight for a rideable running motorcycle by either measure.

You might notice words and letters carved into many of the bike’s metal elements, such as Soli Deo Gloria. What’s this about? It’s Enrico’s nod to artists of Baroque and Medieval times who often added them—or just the three initials “s.d.g”—to their work. It stands for Soli Deo Gloria, Glory to God Alone.

Learn more about Ricky’s Wannabe Choppers at:

IMG_8567 IMG_8568 IMG_8570 IMG_9118 IMG_9127

New look for LIQUI MOLY

1If oil for you bike is something you take seriously, you might also take notice of this: German producer Liqui Moly has just released a new online presence, specific to U.S. markets: liqui-moly.us. “It not only looks more attractive, it also offers improved functions,” says Peter Baumann, LIQUI MOLY Marketing Director.
There’s an oil guide that tells users which is the right oil for a particular vehicle – and it’s now been expanded. And it’s easier to use the supply search function listing retailers and garages that sell LIQUI MOLY. The product database has been revised, too, to provide product details quickly and in a clearly structured format. Have questions? The website now offers numerous application tips (“Is it OK to mix motor oils?”) and also background knowledge (“What is motor oil actually made of?”).

liqui-moly.us is our digital showcase,” says Peter Baumann. “It’s our communication hub.” The new website is entirely responsive and allows unlimited use on smartphones and tablets.

With around 4,000 items, LIQUI MOLY offers a global, uniquely broad range of automotive chemicals: Motor oils and additives, greases and pastes, sprays and car care, glues and sealants. Founded in 1957, LIQUI MOLY develops and produces exclusively in Germany. There it is the undisputed market leader for additives and is repeatedly voted the best oil brand.

Pro builders to regular wrenches

Custom trends on display at Germany’s premier bike show

by Marilyn Stemp

Posted with permission of Thunder Press, from the February 2016 issue. http://www.thunderpress.net/

BAD SALZUFLEN, GERMANY, DEC. 5–6—It used to be you could place a custom bike’s origins by its styling cues.

The distinctive looks of a British café racer, Bay Area bobber or Swedish chopper were recognized the world over. But like rock ’n’ roll and political campaigns, custom biking, too, is derivative and that’s never been more apparent than it is today. Proof positive was found at the 2015 Custom bike Show in Germany where creativity on two wheels was evident in full force.

As in the prior 10 years, the 11th annual Custom bike Show, promoted by a German magazine of the same name, happens in the not very centrally-located town of Bad Salzuflen at a less-than biker-friendly time of year, the first weekend of December. But these potential detriments have only enhanced the show’s popularity over time by keeping exhibitor and attendee costs low and providing a pre-season stage for companies and builders alike to reveal their latest work. Record attendance this time topped 32,000 over the weekend. That’s a lot of people at €14 each.

The magazine Custom bike, originally titled Biker’s Life in 1990, was relaunched by publisher Huber Verlag in 2005 and the show started that same year. Huber Verlag currently has nine titles and celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2015. It seems biker print magazines—and bike shows—are living large in Europe these days.

Framing Custom bike’s mission, Editor-in-Chief Katharina Weber says the magazine covers all brands, every style, garage and pro builders alike. “It’s the whole scene,” she said, except “no girls in swimsuits, no club colors, no politics.” Instead, Custom bike focuses on feature bikes and tech articles. A current series called “Show Us Your Garage” is especially popular.

The magazine also monitors
the technical controls that can affect street-legal status; most custom
bikes in Germany are likely not
legal. European builders regard their American counterparts as fortunate not only in having access to a wealth of parts, but also in being able to build with fewer governmental restrictions. That said, Katharina explained, “Under the hard conditions of these technical controls, they build very good bikes here.”

No question about that. Here at Europe’s largest custom bike event, every one of the 250 bikes in the show was worthy of its place, having been prescreened for acceptance by the editors from among twice that many candidates. Those ultimately selected came from large custom firms such as AMD 2012 World Champion Thunderbike, and No Limit Customs, a company specializing in V-Rod baggers. But plenty of smaller build- ers and even individuals also made the cut to compete in one of 16 show classes. Builders representing dozens of countries brought machines built specifically for this show. “There’s a very high level of craftsmanship,” said Katharina.

This intense sparring for top hon- ors is an indication that custom trends worldwide have shifted in recent times. Where U.S. builders such as Jesse James, OCC and Billy Lane once ruled trends, the new conventional wisdom indicates a flip-flop that’s putting European builders in the driver’s seat now. That’s especially true when you consider that the current showstopper in the U.S.—the big-wheel bagger—is barely a blip on the European scene except with a few specific builders
like Fred Kodlin. And that’s true not only at the Custom bike Show, but in Europe generally. Choppers are sparse, as well. “Most Euro riders want a pure motorcycle,” Katharina said. “And that is not a bagger.”

Meanwhile, steampunk cues are abundant and bobber styling holds strong, while matte finishes, faux patina and metal-flake paint remain popular. More than one exhibitor at the show specialized in performance and custom mods on V-Rods and Buells. That’d be an unlikely plan for success in the U.S.

According to Katharina, the European custom scene is healthy and growing, with builders emphasizing sportier styling and motocross cues resulting in scramblers, street trackers and other purpose-built machinery. It’s more common to see Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki platforms now, too, as these OEMs eagerly join the custom scene. And as you’d expect, BMWs are perennially pop- ular in Germany. Katharina points to BMW’s well-timed release of the R nineT as a model that hits the mark with its stripped-down roadster looks and forthright nod to the R90s of the 1970s. Naked bikes, showcasing hidden wiring and unadorned puddle welds that illustrate a builder’s skills, are prevalent as well.

Though the show bikes are the heart of Custom bike, there’s plenty more going on. The once-compact show now fills three halls with exhibitors including OEMs, gear companies, parts manufacturers and retailers, painters, and all the major European parts distributors: Custom Chrome Europe, Drag Specialties/Parts Europe, W&W, Zodiac and Motorcycle Storehouse. “What was interesting to see especially this year was the involvement of the big motorcycle companies,” said Katharina. “We had Yamaha, Kawasaki, Ducati, BMW, Horex, Victory/Indian and Harley- Davidson as exhibitors. Nice to see here in Europe how interested these companies are in our scene.”

What else? Since 2007 Custom bike has hosted an on-site build-off where two teams work back to back all weekend long on frame-
up customs. By Sunday at noon the bikes must start up and be ridden to the stage; a people’s choice vote deter- mines the winner. This year, a slick board tracker by Yuri Shif of Belarus beat out German builder Fabien Muller’s super-technical alloy beast by a mere seven-vote margin.

Live music, body painting, the Miss Custom bike contest, and bike giveaways kept things buzzing, too. And it’s Germany, right? So beer flows at bars inside and out, no matter the weather, perhaps contributing to the grassroots collaborative feel at Custom bike. It’s clearly a community, a meeting of hearts and minds equally zealous in the pursuit of biking nirvana. Friends gather, compare notes on current projects and look for what’s new. And there remains an appreciation for biking American style; several exhibitors promoted tours on Route 66 and other iconic destinations in the States, trips on many riders’ bucket lists.

If it’s on your list to take the pulse of biking across the pond, get to the Custom bike show. Not only will it enhance your worldview of motorcycling but it can also offer an eye-opening perspective on how people outside the U.S. live, work and play. 4