More than 4,000 motorcycling enthusiasts helped celebrate the 10th anniversary of BMW Motorrad Days in Japan, with a fantastic event held in the middle of the country at Hakuba, in the Nagano district. Despite heavy rain throughout most of Japan that weekend, visitors to this special biking celebration were miraculously met with sunny skies and warm temperatures, helping make this a memorable occasion for all involved.
Riders eagerly signed up for the motorcycle, maxi-scooter and off-road test rides on the picturesque country roads of the region. On offer was the chance to experience more than 20 different motorcycles, including the 2013 R1200GS, K1600GTL and S1000RR models. The test rides proved extremely popular with riders of other brands of motorcycle, who had come along to this event to discover more about the world of BMW Motorrad and experience the range of models in the current line-up.
Participants also had a chance to see all the latest motorcycles on display, including the liquid-cooled R1200GS and the new F800GS Adventure – several of which featured special ‘animal print’ paintwork on the tanks, panels, forks, rear swingarm and seat, attracting adventure bike fans.
Naturally, as the brand celebrates its 90th anniversary throughout 2013, there was as much focus on the past as well as the present, so the latest models were accompanied by a special motorcycle that started the BMW Motorrad success story rolling all the way back in 1923 – the original R32 boxer.
Making the journey to Japan all the way from the Republic of Ireland was stunt rider Mattie Griffin, who wowed the crowds throughout the weekend with his quick footwork and precise balance evident in his well rehearsed shows. It was his first time performing in Japan, so although his name was unknown to the audience, when the show started the crowds soon appreciated his antics on his modified F800R stunt bike.
One of the new attractions this year featured possible racing stars of the future, with an ‘S100RR kids bike sprint race’ taking place on a 80-foot (25-meter) course. The young participants were racing genuine wooden S1000RR push-along bikes and all of the young riders enjoyed the thrill of competing in front of a passionate crowd of parents and onlookers.
Saturday saw the return of one of the event’s most popular attractions – the hill-climb contest – which was back by popular demand and attracted interest from many participants, male and female and from beginner to expert. The rules were simple: get to the top of the hill on your motorcycle as quickly as possible. It sounds simple, but with a steep incline of 28 degrees, it meant that many challengers were just unable to reach the summit. In the end, the winner was a skilful 55-year-old F800GS owner, who showed the younger generation a thing or two about precision riding.
Among the many other attractions at BMW Motorrad Days Japan 2013 was a custom paint contest, a display of Endurance racing machines, a photo exhibition, a special 90th Anniversary fireworks display and the legendary evening party. And all those who were unable to attend this year’s event in person were still able to keep up with all the happenings, as the BMW Motorrad Japan carried out live reports via Facebook for the first time – just like the organization team does every year at the international BMW Motorrad Days event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.