Enduro experience

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Enduro experience

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Enduro experience

Enduro experience
Rally Dresden-Breslau

Participating in a rally does not only mean driving to the limit, but also an enduro trip with extreme emotions and social experiences.

Klaus Nennewitz


Roaring, the KTM mills its way through the sand, dusts its pursuers and sinks into the water as it crosses the river to over the bench. What almost sounds like Baja 1000, the legendary rally on the Mexican peninsula Baja California, takes place on the site of a dilapidated former slaughterhouse near Dresden. I drive the prologue of the license-free Dresden-Breslau rally. Fascinated, I chase the enduro through the test and, between abandoned industrial complexes and difficult rubble passages, I get an oppressive idea of ​​what enduro sport could look like on the remnants of civilization. A gloomy vision that is soon forgotten after the start of the first stage.

Interesting guys ride with me: Henk Knuiman, for example, was eleventh in Dakar in 2007, his father was the first Dutch driver to drive an XT 500 to the finish in Dakar as early as 1982. Or Henno van Bergeijk, who was the last to finish the Dakar in 2006 on a modified XT 500. Michi Baumann from Munich, the head of my team, is also part of the party, who provides his nine drivers and six mechanics with an ancient Iveco truck prepared for Africa expeditions during the wonderful bivouacs in the forest. Michi also dares to field three beta enduros, which are only 50 cm3 in size, on this 1200-kilometer rally. You drive with little-tried tuning kits and die in heat on the first stage. In no time at all, the German importer sends spare parts to the Struppi dog salon in Cottbus, the next DHL-deliverable address in the Eastern European forests. While the betas are being worked on in the paddock, I am struggling to decode the road book. The first special stages demand everything from the drivers in the midst of fragrant coniferous forests on the trail of maneuvering tanks.

In the middle of a river I am again up to the bench in the water when a delicate hand offers me the lifebelt: Tina Meier, pilot of a Dakar Yamaha, teaches me a lesson in fair play and frees me from the hopeless situation. The KTM spits on the other bank. Does not matter. In a joyful zigzag course I drive through man-high spruce trees, with the help of the road book I find the exit from the labyrinth and to the end of the stage. The 50s are being screwed again in the paddock, but after a power reduction they run much better.

The following marathon stage is 450 kilometers long and starts in early morning fog and backlight. I manage to keep calm while the competitors who started in front of me shoot like wild billiard balls right and left into the pampa. After 30 kilometers I’m alone, just my road book in front of me, below me the KTM, which roars its four-stroke song into the woods. The motorcycle now has no more secrets, I merge with my machine and feel in perfect balance, both physically and mentally. So I fly through the Polish forests and feel: That’s exactly what it is, the ingenious harmony that makes rallying so attractive.

For the second part of the special stage, I will start as the fifth driver that day. After 30 minutes I come across the first four who are looking for their way through the reed-overgrown swamp like mad wild boars. Within a radius of a kilometer I hear the motorcycles sunk in the mud screaming like chainsaws, while I first explore a path through the swamp on foot. Then I rush through the swamp with a lump in my throat with the KTM, knowing full well that a twitch at the gas or indecision when jumping over the water channels could mean the end of the rally. With luck, I’ll make it to solid ground and feel like the first person on the moon. But my pursuers are already busy milling through my trail like a tank squad. I escape through knee-high grass without any traces, I feel my way through the mysterious landscape as if on velvet paws, my heart beats loudly right inside the helmet.

Suddenly I am surrounded by chain link fences. I cut a hole, my pursuers are there. They turn off their engines and wait until I have packed the pliers back into the tool bag, let me go first, respect. Despite tough duels, fairness dominates the rally. In the end, even one of the 50 betas believed dead sensationally wins a day’s stage. At the finish it becomes clear to me: rallying is like life in fast motion. Nervousness, hope, euphoria, disorientation, stress, fear, frustration, joy and optimism in constant change. Motorcycling couldn’t be more intense.

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