Speed intoxication.

Amelie Mooseder and Rolf Reick put their foot down in the Factory Class.

The Sultans of Sprint call speed a religion. It may well be that they believe in speed. Nevertheless, this is anything but a serious affair. Because the 1/8 mile race is a great deal of fun and creativity. Amelie Mooseder and Rolf Reick took to the start line at four sprint races for BMW Motorrad in the Factory Class that was newly founded in 2018.

Party, scary, freaky.

Party, scary, freaky.

The smell of burning rubber lies thick in the air, the rider is momentarily enveloped in a huge cloud of smoke. Sprint time is burnout time. And now it's the turn of the Sultans of Sprint at the 1/8 mile race track. It's perfectly normal to bump into zombies, yetis, Frankenstein and Hercules: Sultans wear crazy outfits. Because not only speed but also performance and power in the form of style, creativity and craziness are very much part of it. So there are points for the race and points for creative design and party-hungry behaviour – "scary factor" and "Party Monster Bonus". Freaky is the name of the game.

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Hardly recognizable: This Sprint Racer from the company Kraftstoffschmiede was once a BMW R 850 R and listens to the name Hercules.

Crazy people everywhere.

Rolf Reick is entitled to say: "The Sultans of Sprint are one big family of crazy people with similar genetic make-ups from all over the world." Because Rolf is one of them. One of these motorcycle freaks and customisers that come together from all over Europe in order to test themselves and their sprint racers in five races. For the first time ever, the Sultans of Sprint have brought a Factory Class to the racing series, where four-stroke or water-cooled engines are permitted to enter. The engines can be supercharged either using a turbocharger, compressor, quick shifter or NOS systems – with a determined ratio between performance and weight, in order to be able to offer similar sprint prerequisites to all participants.

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The lucky cat.

Without him, the Sultans of Sprints won't be here: Sébastien Lorentz (right) is the initiator o the racing series of a different kind.

The lucky cat.

The leader of the Sultans is Frenchman Sébastien Lorentz from the Lucky Cat Garage. With a sprint beamer, he rode the 1/8 mile at Glemseck in 2014. After this, together with his partner Laurence, he initiated his own class – the Sultans of Sprint lined up on the starting line for the first time in 2016 with turbocharger, compressor and nitrous oxide. 18 teams from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom attracted a great deal of attention at four large events. And just one year later, 23 teams also took part in four races in Europe. Each time, the followers of the Sultans come with them. "We are an international travelling circus and travel from 1/8 mile to 1/8 mile", says Sébastien with a happy face.

 

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Team building.

For Amelie Mooseder and Rolf Reick, it was immediately clear that a team must be formed for BMW Motorrad and the battle for the 1/8 mile announced. Their modifications based on an R 1200 R (VTR Customs) and an R nineT Pure (Krautmotors) are unrecognisable. The great unveiling of their Speed Racer was linked to the first race date in Monza at "The Reunion" at the booth of BMW Motorrad Italy. More racing dates followed in Spa (Bikers’ Classics), Leonberg (Glemseck 101), St. Raphael (Dandy Riders Festival). The individual results and the rankings are displayed at https://sultansofsprint.com.

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THE RIDER AND HER BIKE

Out of the hangar, onto the asphalt: Showtime with the Spitfire for Amelie Mooseder and Dani Weidmann.

All fired up.

When Amelie Mooseder sets out to do something, she sees it through. When she visited the Customizing Festival at the Glemseck for the first time, she immediately fell in love with the 1/8 mile. She could no longer stop thinking about it: she wanted to compete in the sprint race herself – fully unleash the throttle and leave rubber behind on the asphalt. The BMW Motorrad employee has been a factory-backed driver for the Swiss luxury manufacturer VTR Customs since 2016. After the "Sultans of Sprint" introduced the Factory Class, it was clear to both VTR Customs and Amelie Mooseder that she would be participating in the new sprint series. The Swiss worked diligently on a new racing bike based on a BMW R 1200 R. Inspired by Dani's past as an aircraft mechanic and hobby pilot of an old combat aircraft, the topic was quickly found. It was to be a torpedo-like monster completely wrapped in aluminum, reminiscent of old airplanes.

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All good things come in threes.

After the "Sultans of Sprint" introduced the Factory Class category, it immediately became clear for VTR Customs and Amelie Mooseder that the success story had to be continued. The Swiss have been working feverishly on a new racing motorcycle that bears Eddie's DNA: the new bike will have the engine of the BMW R 1200 R and the chassis of Eddie 21. Inspired by Dani's past as an airplane mechanic and hobby pilot of an old war plane, the theme was quickly established. It was to become a monster adorned entirely in aluminium and resembling a torpedo, which is reminiscent of old planes.

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Spitfire – the bike.

The circular instruments come from the cockpit of a real military machine. Suitable to this, Dani Weidmann wears a watch from the special series "Son of Time" by TW Steel.

Spitfire – the bike.

One thing is clear: this bike must be breathtaking. And generate a great deal of attention on the 1/8 mile. It is not built for anything else. To this extent, the name must also be the full story. "We wanted the bike to spit real flames out of the exhaust pipe, like the old radial engines would back then when we kicked them into life. What is closer than calling this monster Spitfire?" For VTR Customs, one thing was clear: the bike would have to become a great deal more radical and Amelie must ride "the thing" one more time. "We already call her the factory driver affectionately. And out of this spiritual kinship, a real friendship resulted. Thanks to its natural charisma, it has a significant portion of the popularity of our bikes – and above all the fun we have as the VTR Customs Race Crew", Dani Weidmann explains.

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From the cockpit of a military machine.

The Swiss customiser is aware of his role: "Spitfire will be the most complex and intricate bike that we have ever built." Challenges include the difficult styling in order to prevent the line at the end from looking plump, the extremely low line (height around 90 cm) and all the technical challenges. "Authenticity and details are enormously important to us." In this spirit, cockpit instruments from a Spitfire in the Second World War were procured from England, aircraft starter switches organised and other details considered in advance. Speaking of round instruments: watchmaker TW Steel sponsors the bike and makes its own watch as part of the series "Son of Time". One more word about the engine – it remains true to the standard production due to the "Factory Class" regulations. However: apart from the basic engine and gear support, the makers of VTR Customs modified and adapted pretty much everything else – the front frame can be both extended by 20 centimetres and also shortened. The head tube now appears shorter, and all the electronics have been repositioned. During the first race in Monza, Amelie took third place, in the overall standings she is in fourth place.  www.vtr-customs.com

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THE RIDER AND THEIR BIKE

Mr. Krautmotors looking for the perfect shape in his garage.

Dreaming of artistic freedom.

Skid and break out: Rolf Reick is known on the customising scene as the proverbial colourful dog. For many years now, he has been making a big splash on the scene, always managing to draw attention to himself and his modifications. This is unambiguous for Rolf: "Every designer wants to be a revolutionary." And he always longs for artistic freedom. It wasn't until 2017 until Rolf really got going. He was the first customiser ever to modify an E-scooter: he gave the C evolution from BMW Motorrad a completely new look. For his modification, he places great emphasis on the charming contrast of bringing something new to an old design: "It's a case of taking away people's trepidation about electric vehicles. This is why I am showing them what they already know: a trim panel in the old-school look – with new technology behind it.“ When it came to coming up with a name, Rolf was equally creative and named the electric Maxi scooter after his grandmother "E-LisaBad".

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Rough, raw and coarse.

Rock'n'Roll: With "E-LisaBad" the customizer left clear marks in 2017.

Rough, raw and coarse.

Rolf is a trained industrial designer by trade, or more precisely: a qualified product designer. The jack of all trades, born in 1963, builds motorcycles and cars already since 1996. He runs the Krautmotors workshop in Heidelberg. "For me it's about vitality, not about fear of life", Rolf explains, who takes the topic of design particularly seriously. Incidentally, he is also known for his minimalistic art – less is more. For the C evolution, he first removed the original fairing. There is still a great deal of this to be seen, which holds the scooter together from the inside. "This is a real Reick-Roller – rough, raw and coarse."

 

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In Rolf's life, there is no room for boredom – even shoes must differ in order to leave well-trodden paths.

This is not normal.

Rolf and Krautmotors are always in the limelight: in 1996, he took home the prize for the most beautiful Café Racer, and in 2003, Rolf's BMW Bobber was crowned by the specialist motorcycling magazine "Mo" as the German custom bike of the year. The secret to his success most certainly lies in the fact that Rolf is leaving well-trodden paths with childish curiosity. He knows: "I am not normal. And this is a good thing." In his life, there is no room for boredom, because the motorcycle enthusiast has also been pulling the strings since 2003 as head of a private school for graphic design, multimedia and fashion design. From there, it was barely one step forward to found the T-shirt label Krautmotors, which he has owned since 2005.

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Surprise!

Surprise!

Rolf ventures forward, breaks new ground: no wonder he places such great value on the surprise factor for the racing series of the Sultans of Sprint. During every sprint, he changes the look of the bike – nothing is permanent. Rolf removed the tank and seat bench from his BMW R nineT Pure. He makes his own parts; a monocoque. He will change it for each race, the face of the Sprint Racer is different every time. "I can change the monocoque any time in a matter of seconds like my own trousers."

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Names are just names.

Ready to go with the third monocoque: Rolf and Little Go Beep give their all at the Dandy Rides Festival in St. Raphael.

Names are just names.

The idea for the modification is primarily thanks to Rolf Reick himself. "I quickly become somewhat bored, so it would be nice to change the motorcycle's look more often. And we do this often too." This is where the idea with the easily interchangeable monocoques came from. In order to achieve this idea, it is necessary for Rolf to create a suitable surface. The original seat bench and the tank of the R nineT would have been too much. The frame end is shortened and the bike lowered slightly on the whole. "The resulting shape is partly owed to the objective of using original components such as the electric fuel pump and air filter", Rolf says. It is important to him here that even the less technically advanced riders are able to perform the R nineT conversion. And he ended up christening his project: "Little Go Beep" – based on the eponymous Looney Tunes cartoon with the cartoon character Road Runner.

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Spark plug, please! Attract attention but don't take everything so seriously – this is right up Rolf's street.

The secret Reick.

For the first race, Rolf went for the style of a Dirt Tracker for the monocoque – this version gets a new steel tank and a seat hump. "During the design phase, a great deal of models preceded it", says Rolf, who has spared neither time nor effort when it comes to creativity. Jochen Lehmann implements Rolf's drafts "Blechffee". The master of car restoration from Malsch in Baden-Württemberg specialised on handmade special productions. Also when it comes to the paint job, it leaves no expense spared: Michael Schönen from Lackmuss takes care of the right custom painting. In addition, Rolf had engine tuning carried out with cubic capacity expansion. Head machining, modified exhaust system and coordinations on the test stand are handled by Edelweiß Motorsport in Essen.

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The main thing is keep going straight on.

Always at the front – and in the end in third place in the overall standings.

The main thing is keep going straight on.

How else does Rolf prepare for the sprints? "Well I make sure that my motorcycles are fast and that I have enough tools with me", says Rolf with a wink. He has discovered the appeal for short sprints himself. "As I am a bit older, the race circuit is out of the question for me. I simply cannot remember the bend combinations. So riding straight ahead is perfect for me." In the midst of all that fun, Ralf not only attracts a lot of attention. He fights it out on the 1/8 mile and is pumped up full of adrenaline. "Whoever battles alongside me also wants to be right at the front. Of course, that also applies to me." And in the end it pays off: Rolf steps onto the podium at the end of all four race dates, finishing third in the overall standings. In all of the races, it's the shared feeling of fun and the mutual understanding and help that he especially enjoys. www.krautmotors.de

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Fotocredits: BMW Motorrad, Gannet Design, Andri Margadant/Photocab, Frank Schulte

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