‘ I USED TO BUY CRASHED BIKES AND RE­BUILD THEM TO LIKE NEW’

Project leader for all four and six-cylin­der BMWS talks about his su­per­bike ad­dic­tion, rid­ing at the Nür­bur­gring and tun­ing mopeds when he was a kid

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

How did you get started with bikes?

All of my friends rode bikes so it made sense that I did too. When I was about 12 my first bike was a 50cc Her­cules moped. I had a 50cc Zun­dapp moped too. We used to tune them a lot. It wasn’t le­gal for us to ride them on the road at all as we were all too young but we would ride them off-road and in fields near where I grew up in Erd­ing. The le­gal max­i­mum speed for th­ese mopeds was 25kph but we could get them to go 50kph be­cause there was so much tun­ing work done by us on the en­gines. I wish I could have those mopeds back now. When I sold them they were worth noth­ing more than about €100 – now they are worth more than €1000!

When did you make it onto the roads?

It was le­gal to be on the road when you were 15 at that time in Ger­many so I had the mopeds to ride. When I was 16 I got a Her­cules 80cc trail bike, but at 18 I got my first big bike which was a Kawasaki GPZ500. Amaz­ingly I never crashed this first big bike. I re­placed that with a Kawasaki GPZ600 after one year and then a lit­tle after that I bought a Kawasaki ZXR750; the one with the vac­uum cleaner hosepipe fake air in­takes. I did a lot of track rid­ing at the Nür­bur­gring on that bike. I also had a Kawasaki ZX-7R.

And you had a Du­cati ob­ses­sion?

Ha! Yes. I had a 1994 Du­cati 916, a 996, 998S, 999 and a 1098S all at dif­fer­ent times. I used to buy bikes that had been crashed and then I would re­build them back to like new. I liked to be able to do this. To res­cue a mo­tor­cy­cle like this was very sat­is­fy­ing.

What else have you owned?

I had an orig­i­nal BMW HP2 Sport in the world en­durance colours but that was more of a col­lec­tor’s item than some­thing I rode a lot. I also com­pletely re­stored a BMW R65/2 from 1952. I re­built that about 15 years ago. I also still have a 1967 Vespa 50N which I also com­pletely re­built and that looks like new.

Did all of this su­per­bike ex­pe­ri­ence mean you knew what di­rec­tion to take when you first be­gan devel­op­ment of the first gen­er­a­tion S1000RR?

It cer­tainly helped. We set out to build a new su­per­bike. We didn’t set out to be the first in the class, but we tested ev­ery­thing that was out there at the time for a long time to see what we had to do to be com­pet­i­tive. When we started work on the RR it was the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 that was at the top of the class and I rode one of those a lot to get a feel for the bike. I have a 2011 BMW S1000RR in the garage, which is my bike.

So you get to ride all of the new BMW pro­to­types?

Yes, I ride all of them but I can­not talk about that any fur­ther! I ride a lot of bikes from our ri­vals too. I think it takes more than a few hours to un­der­stand a bike. I like to ride them for two or three weeks to get a com­plete idea of what they are like and to get a real feel for it. Un­less the tem­per­a­ture is much be­low about 5°C then I ride all year round.

We have Rudi Sch­nei­derõs life­long pas­sion for bikes to thank for amaz­ing BMWS like the HP4

RING MAS­TER Kawasaki ZX-7R ‘I used to ride a lot at the Nür­bur­gring’

TEST RID­ING BMW S1000RR ‘I ride all of the BMW pro­to­types’

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