Harley & Snow 2017
Harley & Snow: Not your average motorcycle event
Imagine: roaring Harleys, high revving four cylinder superbikes, two stroke dirt bikes and even a brand new BMW R-nine T Scrambler all with one thing in common: race a snow filled mountain. This is not your average motorcycle event…
Creativity is key
Led by our German sales manager Matthias Holzer the idea was born to compete at Harley & Snow, organized by one of our Italian dealers Harley-Davidson® Bozen. The goal was to start a fun project outside of the work-related projects, and quickly our team connected with likeminded professionals at BMW Motorrad, Nagel Motors, and SW-Motech. The best part: they all joined in for fun, not for profit…
Lighted by enthusiasm “Project Snowsucker” came to life. A brand new BMW R nine-T Scrambler was transported from BMW Motorrad into the Nagel Motors workshop, where numerous modifications such as an extended swing arm, modified subframe including K2 Sports parts, SW-Motech crash protectors, and of course a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system found their way onto the bike. Topped off by a special paintjob by the man himself, Nic Nagel, the bike aptly named Husky came to life.
World Champion & the Underdog
Taking on the challenge of getting the bike uphill was no one less than multiple stunt riding World Champion and longtime BMW Motorrad ambassador Chris Pfeiffer. Add four Erzberg Rodeo victories to his track record and you understand why this was the man for the job to get the Husky through the snow.
While working on “project Snowsucker” our sales representative Matthias “Matze” Rüdling was taken by the racing vibe. He decided to modify his Harley-Davidson® Sportster to take on the snowy slope himself. A G&R tuned engine, suspension upgrades and studded tires formed the basis of Matze’s bike, which paintjob done by Nic Nagel reveals its name: The Hydster.
The moment of truth: part one
All preparations served the purpose of racing, and Matze was granted the second starting spot on Saturday. With all eyes on Matze and The Hydster it was a pity that the latter suffered from faulty sparkplugs on the starting line. A determined Matze steered his bike up the hill, but the lack of power proved too big of a factor for him to reach the top.
Later in the afternoon Chris was up to point the Husky’s nose towards the top of the hill. Being in another class than Matze, Chris had the advantage of using a longer swing arm as well as a scooped rear tire to provide extra traction. Once the lights turned green Chris fought to get the power down in the slippery snow, but once he found traction the Husky flew to the top in a respectable time. With mixed experiences Matze and Chris set to improve on Sunday.
Fresh sparkplugs where all The Hydster needed to get revived, and Matze combined a good night sleep with sheer determination to take his bike uphill. Unfortunately tricky conditions made it hard to find traction on The Hydster, who’s class brought limitations to how heavily the bike and its tires were allowed to be modified. Still, Sunday proved valuable for Matze with much experience gained in terms of riding on ice.
"I did not have time to practice racing on snow before the event, so when I started as the second rider on Saturday I just thought I would go for it. Unfortunately we ran into some technical issues, which meant The Hydster was not running properly. A pity, because I was aiming at the top and I felt confident I could set a good time. Sunday should have provided revenge, but a lack of grip meant we did not make it to the top. We’ll start modifying the bike for next year, because we will get up that hill. And fast too!"
Chris and the Husky experienced similar faith after a gamble in tire choice proved costly. When Chris was up, the snowy surface had hardened which does not require a scooped tire. The team switched to a studded tire instead, but treacherous conditions made the rear tire could not make the most of its grip. Like in the first run Chris and the Husky made it to the top, but the second run was not as fast due to the conditions.
“I really enjoyed the entire project, and the two races where a big bonus. The first race we used the scoop-tire which created a bit too much resistance in race one because of the hard underground. For that reason we changed the rear tire on Sunday, but this proved a wrong bet due to the underground being much more soft than on Saturday. Anyway, we did good for a first attempt and it has given us some experience for the future. We will be back!”
Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde for the win!
There was one Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde winner during the event however, as Harley-Davidson® Bozen raffled off a brand new 2017 Breakout equipped with our Shorty Euro 4 exhaust system, including our V-strike Even header set. Furthermore the bike was customized using parts from our friends at Orange County Choppers. Needless to say that its new owner was over the moon when OCC’s Mikey Teutul handed over the keys to the new owner, as was seen from a smile that barely fits the face.
Bring on 2018
We’ve had a taste of Harley & Snow and it tasted sweet. We are already looking out for next year’s edition, so keep an eye out for our projects and meet us in Ridnaun in 2018!