We were warmly greeted when we arrived at the Grubers on Wednesday the 18th of October after a day of cruising the autobahns and then skirting Munich by using the backroads to get to Wartenberg. We wanted to attend the motorcycle show, Intermot, on a weekday in order to minimise the crowds so we left Wartenberg to get to the Messe at a fairly early hour on Thursday. The Messe is the old Munich airport converted to a convention facility. The motorcycle show took up twelve halls, each hall about the size of the Roundup Centre, and an outdoor area which had demo rides and a race track. We went straight to the BMW area in Hall B3 and got a look at a couple of new bikes, the R1200CL and the K1200GT. The CL is as hideous in real as it is in pictures while the GT is an RS with some touring appointments such as the saddlebags and comfort seat in addition to an electric windshield. We then checked out some of the accessory manufacturers such as Touratech and Wunderlich but were disappointed to find that they did not have anything there to sell. Rather the show is more of a trade show and you could contact the vendors at their regular offices to purchase merchandise. BMW had a fashion show at the top of the hour and it was quite a lot of fun with some rap artists singing in English. Outside at the racetrack a stunt show was held with various wheelies and stoppies being performed in front of an enthralled audience. The commentator also rode the bikes and would make comments while performing some amazing stunts on a Buell, fortunately for us he was British and we could understand the commentary.

K1200GT

R1150R design study

R1200CL

Gee, I look good!

C1 scooter with sidecar

An airbag jacket

Wild stunt show

The German autoclub ,ADAC, had a Bikercup where you could borrow some gear (helmet, jacket, gloves) and then ride a BMW F650CS around a course to win a prize for the highest points of the day and an F650CS for highest points over the course of the show. Ekke thought he could do that since it looked pretty easy from the sidelines. After standing in various lines for an hour to give up the driver’s licence and then get the gear Ekke found that a written test was first required. In German. On German road rules. Hmmm, maybe this won’t be so easy! With the help of one of the ADAC personnel who could speak English, Ekke completed the written portion and headed out on the bike to weave through the cones and such. It turns out that the course is laid out in soft, deep gravel and was much more difficult than it looked. Needless to say, we did not receive a phone call to tell us to come pick up our prize. On the way home in the rain we stopped off at Karl Maier BMW and dropped Audrey’s bike off for new tires and made an appointment for the scheduled service on Ekke’s bike for Monday morning. Again we had excellent service as the shop closed at 1800 and we showed up at 1830 and they were more than happy to accommodate us.

Tuesday afternoon we went with Andrew to Oktoberfest, or as the locals call it, the Wiesn. We planned to meet Michael and Helena later to go to the beer tents. The area covered by the Wiesn was quite tremendous with large beer tents set up and every ride imaginable from giant roller coasters to haunted houses. It was raining pretty steadily by the time we got there but we were up for some fun and played some games and went on a few rides. The bumper cars were the best because they were under a roof and therefore dry. One ride had Andrew sitting in the rain for at least 10 minutes before the ride operator decided that he had waited long enough for other people to get on the ride and fired the ride up. We were all pretty much soaked so decided to call off our meeting with Michael and Helena and head home instead.

  Helge Peterson's bike at the BMW museum in Munich

We gave the Wiesn another chance on Friday afternoon when Helena had the time off and after we did some shopping in downtown Munich. This time we were better prepared with everything from rain pants to Gore-Tex socks. Sure enough it rained pretty steadily again, at times quite hard. We did a few more rides, with Audrey going on the scary ones with Andrew, including the giant roller coaster with five loops in the shape of the Olympic rings. One ride was a really lame walk through a bit of a maze when we were confronted with The Rotor. Here you stood up on the inside of a cylinder and they spun it up to speed and then dropped the floor, leaving you plastered to the outside, hanging from the wall. It seemed innocent enough but Ekke was a little green around the gills for quite a while afterwards.

Rollercoaster at the Wiesn

We planned to head south on Sunday morning but spent too much time writing Chapter 7 so that it was early afternoon before we could have headed out. So we put our departure off for another day. That evening we went to a restaurant a few kilometres down the road to celebrate Michael’s upcoming birthday. We were very fortunate in that some local musicians gather at this restaurant once a month and this was the day. What a treat to dine on some of the best cuisine we had enjoyed in Bavaria with various musicians playing their accordions and trombones in a jam session. Waking up Monday morning showed a nice clear sky and a good layer of frost on the cars that had to be scraped off. A sure sign that it was time to head south.