Riding my FXDWG

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

15th Magic Bike Rally - Ruedesheim Germany

Magic 15

May 26th -29th 2016, Ruedesheim/Rhine/Germany: 
Magic 15 year of Harley-thunder along the Rhine river!

Motorcycle madness has a destination in Germany: Magic Bike Ruedesheim! The German tourist destination 60 k's out of Frankfurt has been a popular destination for decades, but nothing prepared the town for what was rolling into town for the 15th anniversary of the event that started as a local meet of Harley-Davidson enthusiasts living in the Rheingau and Wiesbaden. 

Text and photo's Horst 'Motographer' Rosler - HRF

A bank holiday in most former West-German states, the thursday of "Magic Bike" is a popular "riding day" for motorcyclists anyway, but such a massive amount of visitors was beyond all expectations! When the 9th edition of the "World Heritage Rhine Valley Tour" left neighbouring Assmannhausen river down to the Lorelei rock, Rüdesheim itself was locked solid with bikes – and the the access to the acting "Mainstreet" had to be closed even for motorcycles!

For the 15th edition, the weather also combined all options from 15 previous years: Sunshine to thunderstorm, rain and back to sunshine. But nowhere near the predictions in websites and news. The 15th edition has become one of the biggest "Magic Bike" events ever – and still has
retained the family athmosphere it was intended to create from the start in 2002! 

No space for cars, no centimeter for tourist busses, at some times not even space for motorcycles to park in downtown Rüdesheim at the first day of Magic Bike. Parking took space where ever there was room left: From the 1870/71 memorial Niederwalddenkmal towering the wineyards or on the Rhine's other shore Bingen – then entering the town by cable car or ferry. Never before have so many motorcycles visited the town in one day! 

What started as a small and smooth running event at the still very same area between Broemserburg castle and the Railway-Station and former Asbach Liquor Factory has spread all over Ruedesheim – a long-time tourist destination where the Rhine valley becomes narrow and romatic – and is boosting the local economy like no other event of the last decades. 

Hotels: booked, restaurants and cafés: crowded. Beer tents and concert locations: Partytime from dusk till dawn! 3 stages live-music and the established program which usually runs like clockwork create a lot of work for the small "Magic Bike" Team, which somewhat expected and feared the masses: The last two events, 2015 in particular were extremely sucessful, but the thursday attention just stunned everybody! 

Bright sunshine all day was program enough to fill Rheinstraße and all available parking space to maximum "Sturgis style". Rock lady  Kim Wilde was thursdays "Top-Act" on stage, but the other concert venues were also crowded. Up to the point that friday morning – a normal working day all over Germany – a lot of bikes were still left on "Mainstreet" – and available parkig space filled up quickly before noon...

Second day, second tour, organized traditionally by the local HOG Chapter of Wiesbaden and the new  Harley-Club Rüdesheim. Starting again out of Assmanshausen, the ride seemed to combine the best routes out of all previous events and blasted about 100 km through twisting small roads of the Rhine heights and Taunus mountains! One and a half hours left, right, left and u-turns as on the best alpine roads ended in front of the Geisenheim cathedral, most riders still dizzy from the fast paced trip that included some of the finest motorcycle roads of Germany.

 You can't get more out of the Rhine sideroads on the Hessian side! But the return to Ruedesheim offered a surprising picture: Motorcycles parked side by side where the 6 pm sheduled Stunt- & Action-show was planned to be staged – what had happened? For years, Harley- and Buell-powered Stunt-pro Rainer Schwarz has been one of the highlights of the event, even for the locals of Ruedesheim and especially the kids, for whom he spent almost an hour of aftershow time, until the last got away with signed poster and postcards. Renewing the "rubber markings" of burnouts and drifts is a "tradition" of the event but was cancelled short term as Rainer suffered from a death in the family. Subsequently and out of tribute to Schwarz, organising "Buddies & Bikes" did not substitute the show and also cancelled other activities that were planned. Only the "Police Vehicles Owner Group" (PVOG) made a short pass with photo stop as an imaginary bow to Rainer Schwarz and his family. Underlining the dark mood, heavy dark grey clouds passed behind the Niederwald memorial, dropping tons of hail into neighbouring towns and Hessian capital Wiesbaden, creating weather chaos and blocked flooded roads. The usual "Magic Bike luck" routed the heavy rain around the event – this time. Second top-act of the anniversary was North Germany's cult rock band "Torfrock", internationally probably as unknown as the "Werner" comics and subsequent animated movies, for which they delivered several soundtrack songs. The international visitors were later blown away by one of Germany's top AC-DC cover bands: "The Jack". Not the faces, but outstanding in sound authenticity – and take this from somebody who HAS seen Bon Scott performing in 1979!

Saturday is the traditional day of Custombikes, Bikeshow and Parade. While Bikeshow and concerts at the eventsite needs a ticket, the parade an bikes parked up and down the Rheinstraße promenade are free for everybody. Sunday is completely free of charge for all visitors. Early in the morning the bikeshow starts in the main tent, followed by the staging of the parading bikes at Assmannshausen. This year with a rather odd "record" of running probably the shortest parade ever. As the launch time of 2 pm Saturday afternoon approached, the dark clouds known from friday evening returned – and this time did not stop short: A short rainfall delayed the parade for about 20 minutes and cleared the Rheinstraße from spectators – only a company of perfectly all-weather equipped Japanese tourists sneaked into town and marched on to the Drosselgasse for their "Germany-in-2-days" tour stop. When the rain calmed, the visitors came back and the parade spearhead entered the town. Less than 15 minutes later, another shower dropped water en masse and combined with closing the barrier of the train track effectively split the parade. No wonder, as the rain had become almost permanent, visitors and bikers crowded the concert tents and water holes of Ruedesheim. Only after 10 pm, the rain stopped and allowed the music firework to be staged as panned and in style!

Sunday's weather forecast predicted even more rain, but the sky's failed to deliver any. As a matter of fact, all of sunday remained warm and sunny, but the power of forecasts and weather apps became appearant as most riders scrambled to get home and the Rhine valley seemed almost deserted from visitors. Three days "full throttle" party at Ruedesheim was enough anyway for most bikers – you gotta have some sleep, And next year? We'll see! Ruedesheim is "cult" already – and it can only get bigger and even more international!

Text & Fotos: HRF


Top-Bikes can be seen at every corner at Ruedesheim: me of Germany's Top customizers and their clients come to visit the event, but rarely display here. It's their clients that show their creations – and some very high-class private builders that enter garage-built top-bikes at the Magc Bike Show which is held on Saturday, while the parade is going on. "Motographer" Horst Roesler had been responsible for the show in the early years, marking the top 3 winners of every class for a ride up and down Rheinstraße  Ruedesheim's Mainstreet and then for a final "General Public Display" in the rose garden of the upper castle. When in later years that Location was rented first to the Harley-Davidson demo rides, then to other vendors, other experienced Bike Show enthusiast took on the burden of organisation for several years. With changing locations and outdoors, the Magic Bike Show always attracted cool motorcycles, but never massive numbers. When the weather is fine, the owners want to ride, when the weather is bad, they don't want to display outdoors. 

So the idea was born to move the Magic Bike Show into the main show tent, which has been empty of action before 7 pm, when the trophy ceremony and concerts start the evening. "Motographer" Horst Roesler was approached to take over the organisation again – and with a few phone calls he got the established team of the CCE "European Championship" at Mainz to Ruedesheim, setting up a one-day fotostudio. In 2016, TY-Bikeshow founder and Internet specialist Oerny B. Lunke got together an experienced team to judge the bikes – and the results were as clear and level as never before! 21 bikes seem not to be a huge number, but quality was world class nevertheless – and all competitors received fotoshoots of their creations. The most radical bike of the 2016 show was the 1000+ hour creation of Mainhattan's Rainer Metzger which is extreme in all details and design. Although working as much as to be ridden, the unique creation is more a piece of art than a "ridable" motorcycle, let alone one that would be used to create heart attacks to the local TÜV authorities...
Julian von Oheim premiered his outstanding "Singapore Sun" at Ruedesheim, soon to be delivered to its owner in the Far East – and scored also in the "Modified Harley" class with his 100th Anniversary tribute bike. He will start building a new project for the upcoming World Championship at Cologne soon. Another entry that walked away with two trophies was Christian Denstedt of Gensingen's "Maniac MechaniX", winning "Best Radical" with his unique "Skin Hunter" and "Best Sportster Engine" with CCE's 2016 "Bolt On and Ride" Sportster "Lily". In the Bagger class, top-end Baggers by Fred Kodlin competed with Gifty Z's "homebrewn" Bagger, which repeated his last years success. Stock Harley specialist Jorg Teichman brought along some friends with a unique line-up of close to stock 1985 Harley-models that are still in almost stock configuration. The odd entry of a Simson "Schwalbe" may only seem strange, but the builder has a unbelivable selection of modified "Schwalbe" mopeds and this bike has a unique history, coming from the DDR's Reichsbahn Steam center at Meinigen, which is still operating and repairing the DB's Steam lokomotives. A great show with unique entries that deserves greater participation too...

Special Thanks! to Horst 'Motographer' Rosler - HRF for text & photography!


Best Antique/Classic/Youngtimer

1. FLH 1972 Electra Glide, Uwe Dallwitzer
2. Indian-Country Schwalbe (Simson) KR/1, Edwin Eichhorst
3. The 1985 Gang: FXSB, FXWG, FXE & FXST, Jorg Teichmann & Dad's Garage

Best "Old School"

1. "Singapore Sun", One Way Machine
2. "Ledsled", Eric Weidema/Netherlands

Sportster Engine

1. "Lily", Christian Denstedt, Maniac MechaniX
2. "Dirt Tracker", Dirk Thiele
3. "Martini Café Racer", Thomas Dahlem


1. "Armageddon" by Gifty Z.
2. "Unikat", Martina Grommelt, built by Fred Kodlin
3. "Punisher", Fred Jansen, built by Fred Kodlin

Modified Harley

1. 100 Years, One Way Machine
2. Breakout Air, Hermann Scheuer & Mike Römer
3. Heritage Softail, Markus Liedgens/Uhl Customs


1. "Skin Hunter", Christian Denstedt, Maniac MechaniX
2. "Spiderman", Mainhattan Choppers

Best of Show

1. "Lestat", Rainer Metzger, Mainhattan Choppers

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