#316 From Quiet Guest to Life of the Party

We nearly forgot to mention BMW Motorrad Days, an event that’s now on a mission.

We almost allowed the summer of 2015 to slip away without making mention of BMW Motorrad Days—and that would have been a shame because for the last nine years of its existence here in Canada, it’s been a steadily growing affair. Being that 2015 was year nine of the event, the immutable laws of math and calendar dates decree that 2016 will be the 10th anniversary—so plan ahead. This year’s version took place in mid-August, as it usually does, to coincide with the traditional season-ending doubleheader of Canadian Superbike series action at Mosport, now named Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, located just northeast of Toronto.
During the first years of the event, Motorrad Days was a pleasant enough activity though peripheral in a sense because BMW was not as committed to a race program then—and likely the whole thing puzzled some fans. But fun is fun, and most folks took it at face value without looking too deep.
That was then of course. These days BMW wins roadraces all over the planet thanks to their S1000RR, which has claimed the Canadian title three of the past four years, and the model is, according to BMW, the top selling superbike on the planet. Thanks to these successes, BMW Motorrad Days has evolved from sideline attraction to defacto host and life of the party.
Activities and attractions this year included the always popular Mattie Griffin Stunt Show, Extreme Trials Shows, on-road and off-road BMW Test Rides, BMW Apparel Tent, Friday Night Movies, Saturday Concert Series and the Parade Lap on Sunday.
The parade lap of the CTMP racetrack is generally reserved for BMW riders during the lunch break on Sunday. The one-lap tour of the track this year was led by Griffin who executed a stand-up wheelie around the entire track. Some might say that’s verging on hot dog behaviour, but let’s try to remember that the man is paid to perform.
The weather was remarkably hot for the entire weekend but the unrelenting sun failed to stop action at the BMW Test Ride area. Enthusiastic riders lined up early in the morning for their chance to ride BMW’s 2015 new models including the S1000XR, S1000RR, R1200R and RS, and the new F800R. The test rides wound through the scenic countryside surrounding the event site, but for those more inclined toward the dirt, the off-road test rides showcased the GS models on trails in the area. Equipped with knobby tires and crash bars, BMW’s enduro and adventure bikes were available to ride in conditions many riders rarely get to experience. While waiting to try the latest two-wheel offerings, Motorrad Days guests could also sign up to test-drive the new 235i or 435i automobiles on a small pylon course and braking zone.
Of course there was a Kids Zone because BMW knows it’s wise to hook ‘em while they’re young. For the apprentice fan/future buyer there were kid’s versions of the GS and RR push bikes. Adding to the fun was an Oktoberfest band that played in the refreshment tent for early arrivals and campers. The Saturday Concert Series was again a hit with three bands on stage from the end of the racing activities and well into the night.
As noted, next year BMW will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of BMW Motorrad Days, to be held again at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The 2016 event dates will be announced in December and planning is already underway.