Photos/Story: Tom and Kim Van Allen
Let me start by saying I’m glad we didn’t plan our vacation around this year’s event. It may look like I have nothing good to say about it, but it was OK.
They moved the venue to a location about 2.5 miles from where it was on our last visit in 2008 http://goo.gl/maps/DsoZ. They split it into two areas separated by a huge building that houses the fruit, veggie & flower market, and a narrow access road lined with bikes and vendors. This made it much less convenient to visit the vendors, and we had to take the train to get to the Reeperbahn, where more bikes were on display.
Due to the weather, economics, other things happening, etc., blah, blah, blah… I didn’t see ANY bikes with a license plate from outside of Germany. In 2008 we saw bikes and patches from around the world. This year, many patches were banned from display. The only ones I saw were from HOGs. I wore my Old Guard Riders patch and nobody made a fuss about it.
The first day, Friday, turned out to be the best day weather-wise. It only rained for about an hour, 8-9pm. Saturday and Sunday it rained most the day and night, making it less than ideal for taking pictures of the limited number of bikes that showed up.
A large percentage of the bikes we saw were stockers, with maybe aftermarket pipes and paint; or big-name, mega$$$, off-the-shelf customs. I was looking more for the rider-built, blood, sweat, and tear models that Blacktop readers appreciate… I hope you enjoy the pix we have.
Tom & Kim Van Allen,
with our host, Benny Coordes
[Look for more from Tom and Kim's Summer Sojourn as they ride through Northern Europe this Summer - Ed]