Scraping the corner.

Singer Wincent Weiss experiences the thrill of racing on the Anneau du Rhin.

He is passionate about more than just singing. The sound of his BMW S 1000 RR engine is also music to his ears. On the "Anneau du Rhin" racing circuit in Alsace, Wincent Weiss had the opportunity to experience the thrill of racing for the first time. We met him after his training session.

The engines roar and the bikes tear around the Anneau du Rhin. The air is filled with the sound of racing. Until now this would have been an unusual place to find Wincent, for normally the singer can be found on stage with his band, looking into the gaze of his admiring fans. But he is trading in the sound of his band for that of a motorbike, swapping the stage for tarmac.

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Intoxicated with speed.

Intoxicated with speed.

The pulse of the young motorcyclist is still racing when his first day of training on the racing circuit comes to an end. Adrenalin is flows through his veins. "I'm still feeling drunk with speed and can barely contain my enthusiasm. The acceleration on the double-R is amazing". Under tried-and-tested conditions and supervised by certified instructors, he familiarized himself with the four-kilometre long circuit during the course of the day.    

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With burning ambition.

After getting acquainted with the tarmac, the track and the bike, an adrenaline kick followed: his first individual ride. "I was able to speed up. This is quite exhausting, because I had to drive very concentrated". Concentration also requires right techniques of riding: looking ahead, looking far into the curve and looking for the apex to drive a clean line. With burning ambition, the youngster went from lap to lap more and more into the turn and increased the tempo.

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MUCH IS POSSIBLE, BUT THERE ARE LIMITS

For the singer, the highlight was when, under instruction, he tried the hanging off position for the first time. The rapid changeover from right to left and vice versa on corners was a challenge – but ultimately the sporty, young rider dealt with it well. "I'm surprised at what is possible when you're hanging off the bike – riding corners is smoother and more comfortable. It's amazing the bike doesn't slip away from under you". With the rider assistance system, Wincent feels completely safe. Nevertheless, when it came to hanging off, he knew when he had reached his limit: "The footrest was touching the ground".    

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Hairy situations are part of life on the racing circuit where learning from your errors is the motto. "Sometimes I approached the corner at too high a speed and the force took me much too far out". Braking didn't help – it actually made things worse. Another crucial time was when he once accelerated and shifted down gears at the same time by mistake. Looking back now though, he can laugh about it. "The front wheel jolted upwards and, without my wanting to, I did a wheelie".

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Ride correctly and safely.

Just like in road traffic – on the racing circuit there are rules to obey. Pre-emptive riding with respect for other riders is called for. Anybody who rides the circuit on a bike needs to pay attention to other road users – particularly the person in front. There's more to it than just giving gas and testing out the limits of the bike's power while letting your knee scrape over the ground. Wincent needs to approach the corners optimally so that he can accelerate out of them at the right time and find the best racing line each time. It's about developing an orderly riding style so you can ride safely on a day-to-day basis, gaining confidence in your tyres and the bike. "Actually the most difficult thing for me was following a racing line".    

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Wincent knows he has much to learn on the racing circuit – and, time-permitting, it could become his new hobby. He's already notched up long distances in road traffic, riding his double-R to his shows. For this he sometimes covers distance of 300, 400 and even 700 kilometres. The band travels in the tour bus while Wincent rides in front or behind it. But mostly he's ahead of them.    

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MORE ON THE BIKE, MORE ON THE STAGE

Wincent comes from a motorcycling family – his mother, grandfather and uncle are all bikers. He often accompanied his grandfather on trips while riding pillion and, with his uncle and cousins, he travelled across rough terrain on motocross machines. The way things are going however, he will soon be showing his uncle the ropes on the racing circuit. Whatever happens, his goal is to bring fresh impetus into the family's love of riding and embark on the odd tour or two with them. One destination will definitely be the forthcoming BMW Motorrad Days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen for instance. 

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Smell, taste, see, hear.

Smell, taste, see, hear.

Among his circle of friends, Wincent is the only biker, though he is planning to persuade some of this friends to get a motorcycle licence too. "It's a bit lonely riding alone sometimes", he finds. Many of them are interested in motorcycling but are still learning their trades and cannot afford their own bike. Wincent knows very well that it's not just older persons and adults who go for a ride to clear their heads; many young persons enjoy this too. "For me, motorcycling is like a short holiday: a chance to get away from the rigour of everyday life and have fun. Biking is part smelling, it's about tasting, seeing and hearing". He cannot stress enough how important it is for young riders to take part in safety training, not to rush things and to practice safe riding – taking other road users into account at all times. "Lots of accidents happen because young riders are overzealous".    

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The best place.

The best place.

He can't get enough of the sound as the revs build, of the noise when he lets go of the accelerator and the burbling of the engine. "It's like music to my ears". He enjoys the time on the stage and his time out biking equally. Both experiences fill him with adrenalin. However, he has to admit: "I feel most at home on the stage. As a singer, I can't imagine being anywhere better. I'd never have thought I would feel so at home on two wheels and on the tarmac though".    

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A racing song.

A racing song.

His chosen career path of singer, he follows unerringly. But as with motorcycling, he knows there is plenty of scope for development with his music too – such as recording his second album, continuing to tour and playing live. "Many things in life happen more quickly than we imagine". That is the case with his career too. Born and raised in Schleswig-Holstein in 1993, he took an A-level in business studies before moving to Munich where he started writing songs. To keep his head above water, he started helping out in a restaurant, proving his leadership qualities when, at the age of 22, he was put in charge of the branch. Plan A however was and still is singing. It was when he got a recording deal that things really started to move fast. "At the moment I take life as it comes and just as it suits me". Certainly he is well on course for success. And will he be writing a biker's song soon too? "Well, it would have to a pretty fast number". But surely there's no place better to come up with an idea for it than when out biking. Only time will tell.

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