1993 was quite a while ago. Bill Clinton became the new U.S President. Czechoslovakia was replaced by the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And the European single market was created as the European Union was founded. In motorcycling, 1993 saw the launch of the BMW R1100GS, along with the Ducati Monster, Triumph Tiger 900 and Yamaha YZF750. And BMW Mottorrad Enduro Park Hechlingen was created. Now in 2018, the BMW Enduro Park celebrates 25 years of hosting off-road enthusiasts.
The Enduro Park Hechlingen took an abandoned quarry and turned it into a 26 hectare area for enduro motorcyclists of all abilities. And it covers a range of challenges including steep slopes, gravel tracks, single trails, forest tracks, ruts, climbs and descents, as you ride under the watchful eye of the professional instructors.
It’s also notable as the inspiration for numerous BMW enduro parcks and official partners around the world. Not only was it created to provide a place for motorcyclists to enjoy improving their riding, but a lot of work has been put into preserving numerous species of animals and plants. The conservation work even won an award from the German Federal Ministry of the Environment.
As the BMW Enduro Park celebrates 25 years, there are more than 40,000 people who have visited to improve their riding. That’s across around 250 training courses each year, run by more than 50 employees instructing and in the workshops. And maintaining the bikes includes around 420 tyre changes on an annual basis. As well as around 400 clutch and brake levers broken off each season.
The photos reveal how much has changed since the park opened. Aside from the early 1990s riding kit, there was the transition from the BMW R100GS and R80GS to the modern dual sport BMWs we see today. The BMW R1100GS was a slight stepping stone, but it shares a clear lineage right down to the current R1200GS.
BMW opened the park with the idea of offering motorcycling as an ‘integral, all-round experience’. And obviously this and other parks have to cover their costs. But you can imagine how much feedback and usable data is generated by having 3,650 riders using and abusing your bikes in a controlled environment in 2017 alone.
The Enduro Park Hechlingen was originally owned and operated by BMW Motorrad, but in 2008 it was passed over to Enduro Park Hechlingen GmbH under the direction of Manfred Spitz, one of the first instructors. And both companies are currently looking at various expansion and extension plans to create an even bigger and better experience.
Having experienced the BMW training available in the UK, we’re sure that the Enduro Park Hechlingen must be a pretty incredible experience for any enduro enthusiast. As the BMW Enduro Park celebrates 25 years, here’s to hopefully writing a story explaining how it has grown over the next 25.
The ‘19 Corvette ZR1 set a production-car lap record on the 4.1-mile Grand Course West at Virginia International Raceway with a time of 2:37.25.
Along with a harness bar and track seats with five-point harnesses, the record-setting stock ZR1 coupe was equipped with the available paddle-shift eight-speed automatic and ZTK Performance Package. The ZTK package includes an adjustable carbon-fiber High Wing, a front splitter with carbon-fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires, and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning.
“The Corvette ZR1’s lap record at VIR, arguably America’s most challenging road course, is a testament to its supercar status,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “On the racetrack, the ZR1 can compete with any supercar – at any price.”
On sale this spring, the ZR1 coupe will carry a suggested retail price of $119,995 (price includes destination charge, but excludes tax, title and other dealer fees). The ZTK Performance Package will cost $2,995.
The ZR1’s record lap at VIR was set during routine validation testing earlier this month; with vehicle dynamics engineer Jim Mero at the wheel. The car was set up per the owner’s manual’s recommended track alignment and aerodynamic settings. As part of the validation, the ZR1 was finalizing its total of 24 hours of at-limit track testing, with multiple GM Performance engineers logging laps.
“The track had been empty since mid-December, so it was a bit slow when we started, but the conditions turned pretty quick at the end,” said Alex MacDonald, manager, Vehicle Performance. “On the heels of announcing our Z06 time of 2:39.77, the ZR1 lap time is the icing on the cake. It’s not too often you set a lap record during validation testing.”
The ZR1’s exclusive LT5 6.2L supercharged engine is rated at an SAE-certified 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. It features a new, more-efficient intercooled supercharger system, along with GM’s first dual fuel-injection system, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. Compared to the supercharger system on the Corvette Z06 LT4 engine, the LT5 employs a larger, 2.65-liter supercharger that generates more boost while spinning at a slightly slower speed. That reduces heat to help maintain a lower air intake temperature for optimal performance. Four new radiators also help manage cooling in the ZR1, which features 13 radiators in all, including circuits for engine oil, transmission and differential cooling.
Purchasing a new Ford S-Max should be regarded as a textbook example of refusing to stand out from the crowd. While being one of the herd is traditionally frowned upon, actually in the case of the new S-Max it’s highly beneficial. Unless that is, you’re ‘Sports Dad’.
‘Sports Dad’ wants to be the best. He wants to the best so much, that he’ll pick the biggest engine with the highest bhp output on his new car just so everybody knows he is the man. Basically, ‘Sports Dad’ is the guy you avoid like the plague when you go and watch your own kids football team playing because he abuses the referee and generally makes a monumental tit of himself. Fear not reader, I’m here to show you how to get the best S-Max for you, all while getting a better S-Max than ‘Sports Dad’ and saving a bit of money in the process.
The guy we all love to hate has already chosen his S-Max, and naturally it’s the one that sits at the very top of the S-Max pyramid – the 2.3 236bhp litre petrol powerhouse. Ford expects only 1% of all S-Max buyers to take this one up, but that’s ok because ‘Sports Dad’ has always thought of himself as being in the top 1% anyway. For us though, let’s think of that 1% as those people who are so keen to distance themselves from the herd, so keen to look special, that they’d go as far as to shoot themselves in the foot in a bid to impress others around them.
Yes, as tempting as it may sound on paper, the ‘sporty’ variant of the new S-Max is certainly not the high point of the range. It’s an engine that just doesn’t feel at home in this car, lacking the torque needed to launch the heavy S-Max, and despite that high-ish power output, in reality it doesn’t feel anywhere near as quick as the spec sheet might have you believe. The 6-speed automatic Ford has attached to it doesn’t help either, a pure cruiser unit that’s clearly not been designed to deliver on the excitement front, and to be fair why would it? ‘Sports Dad’ will tell you all about the flappy paddles, but I’ll tell you that it’s so lacking in shift feel you wonder why they even attached them to the steering wheel in the first place. Ford hasn’t offered a manual option with this engine, but even with that option box open I still think it would be a poor choice. Despite the disappointment with this particular powertrain, this is where the problems with the new S-Max end.
Some drivers will naturally prefer some of the more conceptual design flair seen in some of France’s latest offerings, but it can’t be said that the S-Max isn’t a handsome looking beast. The strong, angular buy nolvadex no prescription lines make this one of the best efforts at putting together an attractive people carrier that I can remember, it looks like a car with real class and that continues inside. From the moment you step in you can see and feel the improvements in the interior, with plenty of quality materials applied to make the cabin a genuinely pleasurable place to spend time. The seating is particularly excellent, providing a hugely comfortable and supportive place to park the posteriors of you and your family. The S-Max now feels more premium than ever before and – through these eyes at least – is a nose ahead of the interior environments found in some of its rivals.
As it’s the modern age, the class and comfort of the interior would be nothing without decent technology to back it up, and there is some very tasty tech to examine. The SYNC2 system is a must have, and while the interface and arrangement of the software is good, the touchscreen it’s wrapped in can occasionally be unresponsive. Other useful features include split view cameras to assist in pulling out of parking spaces and junctions (not something obnoxious yet genetically superior ‘Sports Dads’ will ever feel the need to use), a variable ratio steering setup that Ford has even managed to squeeze the mechanism of inside the steering wheel, and a system to monitor road signs and adapt the speed limiter to match them, theoretically preventing you exceeding the speed limits. For those show offs who always have something new to stick in the garden, boot space starts at 700 litres in 5 seater mode, but the 2 seated van-like layout will bump that up to a cavernous 2000 litres, perfect for that gazebo hauling, faux-brick BBQ buying dad who always calls you ‘mate’.
So, how do you stick it to ‘Sports Dad’? By knowing the following important information; those who love to drive will ultimately gain more pleasure from one of the more powerful diesel manual options than the petrol powered brute discussed earlier. The new S-Max is a brilliant cruiser, being both remarkably quiet and hugely comfortable and when driven as such it’s a joy, even if as the driver you do feel a little detached from what’s happening outside. With one of the more grunty diesel engines, the excellent manual gearbox, and ‘Titanium’ spec, you’ll have a truly excellent car on your hands. This might be about as good as a people carrier gets. Refined, comfortable, practical, and perhaps most crucially it’s actually quite desirable. It’s also cheaper to buy and will depreciate less than the flash git’s top spec model. That means when you lift lazy waves from the steering wheel of your S-Max outside the school gates, you get the satisfaction of knowing you’re in the better car.
So, who’s winning now ‘mate’?
2015 Ford Galaxy
Performance & Economy
2.0 TDCi Titanium X
2.0 EcoBoost Titanium X
1,997cc tubocharged diesel
1,999cc turbocharged petrol
6-speed manual, front engine, front-wheel drive
6-speed automatic, front engine, front-wheel drive