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.