Over the mountain race routes in Franconian Switzerland

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Over the mountain race routes in Franconian Switzerland

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Over the mountain race routes in Franconian Switzerland

Life: Over the mountain race routes in Franconian Switzerland
It’s a pleasure to meet again

Exactly 40 years ago, motorcycle editor Werner Koch rushed up the Ellerberg in a hurry. Fourth place in the 250s, a trophy and a hurray. Now he has taken all the more time for the most beautiful motorcycle routes of the “Franconian”. There wasn’t a trophy for that, but a thousand corners and fantastic views.

Werner Koch


The golden cup took part. Moved from one flat share to the next, from the basement to the showcase and back again, eventually ended up at scrap metal to be taken out of service and only put back into the showcase through a fit of nostalgic feelings. Good thing, because now, looking back, I wonder why we only raced up a dozen curves in the mountain races like the Berserker in Franconian Switzerland, but had no view of the rest of the hilly Franconian region. It is high time to catch up on what was missed in the frenzy of speed.

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It’s a pleasure to meet again

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Whereby: The mountain races back then were also worth the trip. Whole villages were involved in large-scale operations. Fire brigade, Red Cross, the mayor, the district administrator, the local inns and breweries anyway. A festival for everyone, not just for the racing drivers and tens of thousands of visitors. “Our husbands worn from Freidoch to Sondochnocht on their way to organize the Strohbollen and all the Zergus along the route, hamms gsocht – dobei sans in Werdshaus, Honig ‘gsessen and ham an gsoffen”, reports a native of Tiefenellern with a smiley smile most beautiful “slang” about the times of that time. A time in which not only the young racing drivers courageously – or better: carefree – raced past open crash barriers, telegraph poles and trees towards the summit goal.

First motorcycle race in Tiefenellern

The main thing was that you could lash around the corners without oncoming traffic and with full Lotte. Of course, this was not done without a lot of forms, applications and confirmations in order to get the B license. The doctor had to agree, the top motorsport commission, or OMK for short, and – that was still the case in 1974 – the parents, because the boys and girls did not come of age until they were 21 years old. So, what if papa refuses to say hello because he can’t see that his boy is breaking his neck in the frenzy? Exactly, friend Conny signed the license application in the most beautiful Sutterlin swings.

Transfer the entry fee, stick on the start numbers, the Benelli 250 do some more hairstyle and off to the first motorcycle race in Tiefenellern! Half a trip around the world in a VW bus to the remotest Wallachia of the republic, just before the zone border. The paddock in the swampy meadow also presented hard-core campers with major tasks in order not to sink into the mud with the racing machine. Well, and before it started, there were the masters of the technical inspection. My dear Scholli, they were able to scare half the paddock with a loud command of the Bundeswehr. Oil drain bolts had to be secured with wire, start number plates and mudguards had to be rounded with a standardized radius because of the risk of injury in the event of a fall. The gentlemen in blue coats did not care that the unprotected guardrails along the route were more dangerous than the sharpest guillotine and that the bales of straw in front of the telegraph poles were already dissolving. But at some point you will be at the start yourself. The heart in the pants, the tires cold, the person cold, the nerves bright. Five, four, three, two, one, the traffic light turns green, the race director gives you a pat on the shoulder. One hundred and twenty seconds in full focus on a route that you do not know, that is half wet and extremely dangerous. 30,000 alpine kilometers and half a liter of adrenaline should help iron the 3.62-kilometer route so high that there is always a few centimeters of space to the guardrail, the braking point is in place and the line fits. I hold my breath and the Benelli’s 30 hp go into motion, but despite energetic effort and risk, I hardly dare to read the list of results on the notice board. Old trick: you start from the bottom so you know that there are fellow athletes who are even slower.

In the end I stand next to my idol Georg Lehr from Feuchtwangen, who vehemently opposes the with his Adler RS
Yamahas put up a fight. There is a golden cup, a Rowenta toaster as a material prize from the local electronics retailer and – much more importantly: points for the international driver’s license. Because at the age of just 20, everyone who risks their necks and necks here on the mountain wants to become German champions one day. Everyone. Also Karl-Thomas “Ali” Grassel from Hof. In the 70s and 80s one of the really great talents in German motorcycle racing and on the Ellerberg he was the eternal record holder with his 350cc Yamaha TZ. Today Ali sells and repairs Yamaha motorcycles (www-motorrad-grassel.de), but still travels around his homeland with great fun. And he knows where to go in the “Frankische”. So I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Hof for the many tips and the best routes. Which are definitely in front of your wheels right at the beginning of our ornate round tour through northern Bavaria.

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Over the mountain race routes in Franconian Switzerland


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Franconian cuisine and the beer shouldn’t be missed

The roller coaster from Tiefenellern to Neudorf is the beginning and leads us past the striking rocky outcrop of the Eulenstein. So striking that photographer Dave Schal pushed Ross and Reiter onto the edge. Keep still, please don’t rush into the gorge, click, photo, and off you go north. Wurgau is the next destination, there too, motorcycles and racing cars are racing towards the summit. Today one restricts oneself to classic revivals and lets the old times come to life again in leisurely demonstration drives.

We turn right and after a loop via Kleukheim we reach Dorrnwasserlos. A couple of sleek curves down to Stubig and therefore often used as a mountain race track by the motorsport enthusiasts at MSC Schesslitz. Here, too, pointed rock needles characterize the landscape in karst meadows. A few more turns we cross the mighty walls and two pointed church towers of the Vierzehnheiligen monastery, which towers high above the Main valley. Candles, crucifixes and other souvenirs for believing Christians everywhere. Now don’t get lost in the Main Valley, because the railway tracks, rivers, expressways and busy traffic are crowded there in compact toughness. Staying on top is the motto that leads us on low-traffic bends through picturesque landscapes towards Wallersberg. Instead of following the Weismain through the valley, we stay on top of the hill and only turn east in the village of Weismain. The goal is the fourth hill climb in Franconian Switzerland, from Stadtsteinach to Presseck.

From here we literally dive into the Franconian Forest. Dense, dark green forests line the route that leads us in a loop into the Thuringian Slate Mountains and back south via Hof. The mountain ranges then reach the 1000 meter mark near Bischofsgrun. On the way back to Ellerberg, of course, a detour to Heckenhof near Aufseb should not be missing. This is the ultimate motorcycle meeting point in the “Frankische” region, even if a Kathi-Brau doesn’t work. “Drive – don’t drink.” And that in the region with the most private breweries? An overnight stay is therefore a must, because you shouldn’t skip the Franconian cuisine, and not the beer anyway. Or where else can you get a fresh half for one euro sixty? Exactly, at the “Ellerbergstubla”, the braking point at turn one. I say: It’s a pleasure to meet again.


Franconian Switzerland, the Franconian Forest and the adjacent Fichtel Mountains are made for a varied motorcycle tour.

Getting there: If you want to get to the MOTORRAD tour tip on the direct route via the autobahn, you can easily do so from all directions. However, the neighboring regions offer themselves to extend the trip. From the north the Thuringian Forest leads to the tour destination, from the west the Hassberge mountains, from the south the Veldensteiner Forst can be connected upstream.

The hill climb route: Ellerberg, from Tiefenellern to Neudorf; Scheblitz, from Stubig to Dorrnwasserlos; Wurgau, from Wurgau on the B 22 to Hohenausling; Stadtsteinach, from Stadtsteinach to Presseck. Today, the mountain race tracks are only used for classic events, if at all. Where in the past even strong formula racing cars and all motorcycle classes fought for victory and honor, today, for example, in Wurgau, to the delight of classic fans, the old racing vehicles rattle up the mountain at a moderate pace. Anyone who missed the mountain races of the 1970s can do so later with Bernd Schrufer from the first AC Bamberg with a digitized Super 8 film. Bell bottoms, Beatles hairstyles, mini skirts and racing machines without silencers included.
Price: 20 euros, contact: bernd.schruefer@t-online.de

meal & Sleep: With the world’s highest density of breweries, the beer country Franconian Switzerland is a guarantee for good
To eat and drink. You should take the time. “Brauereigasthof Honig” in 96123 Litzendorf-Tiefenellern, good ones
Franconian cuisine; “Ellerbergstubla” at the old race track, open on Saturdays / Sundays; “Gasthof Hartmann” in 96110 Wurgau, beer garden and good food; “Gasthof Spitzberg” in 95183 Bad Steben / Bobengrun, good food; “Gasthof Falter” in 95030 Hof, good food and overnight stays; “Hotel am Maxplatz” (Garni) in 95028 Hof, overnight stays; “Kathi Brew”
in 91347 Aufseb-Heckenhof, the motorcycle meeting point.

Route and region: The MOTORCYCLE tour tip leads over selected curvy roads with little traffic. On the
The first few kilometers behind Tiefenellern with a clear view of the Franconian countryside, the route from Stadtsteinach is densely wooded. Mountain ridges over 700 meters high ensure a nice break in curves through narrow valleys and over steep mountain stretches. The detailed road book (in the information box on the right) can be enlarged to A4. The maps for this should be on a scale of 1: 150,000 or smaller. Anyone who can be guided through Franconian Switzerland via a navigation system can download the data suitable for navigation at www.motorrad online.de. This service is free of charge for MOTORCYCLE heroes.

Travel time: 2 days

Distance covered: around 400 km

MOTORCYCLE road book

Tiefenellern mountain race route past the Eulenstein to – Neudorf – Kubelstein – Wurgau – Burgellern – Doschendorf – Pausdorf – Oberoberndorf – Kleukheim – Oberkups – Stubig – Weichenwasserlos – Wattendorf – Stublang – Uetzing – Vierzehnheiligen – back – Klosterlangheim – Roth – Lahm – Kottel – Rothmannsthal – Rothmannsthal Arnstein – Wallersberg – Mosenberg – Weismain – Dorflies – Mainleus – Mainroth – Gartenroth – Schimmendorf – Kirchleus – Losau – Lehental – Stadtsteinach mountain race route to – Presseck – Schnappenhammer – Wellersberg, Neuengrun – Schlegelshaid – Wolfersgrun – Langenau – Geroldsberg – Carlsgrun – Bad Steben – Lichtenberg – Carlsgrun – Bad Steben –Kemlas – Eisenbuhl – Schnarchenreuth – Gottmannsgrun – Joditz – Hof – Tauperlitz – Kautendorf – Rehau – Martinlamitz – Schiedateich – Waldfreibad – Hallerstein – Formitz – Benk – Sparneck –Vantage point Waldstein Weibenstadt – Weibenhaid Egerquelle – Bischofsgrun – Wulfersreuth – Heinersreuth – Berne –Nenntmannsreuth – Hettersreuth – Neudrossenfeld – Thurnau – Menchau – Felsengarten – Sanspereil – Wonsees – Kainach – Hollfeld – Hainbach – Plankenfels – Hochstahl – Aufseb – Wustenstein – Breitenlesau – Wa ischenfeld – Langenloh – Rabenstein Castle – Oberailsfeld – Behringersmuhle – Doos – Rabeneck – Saugendorf – Voigendorf – Gobmannsberg – Siegritz – Greifenstein Castle – Zoggendorf – Tiefenpolz – Herzogenreuth – Tiefenellern.

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