The motorbike riders who will take part in the BMW Motorrad “Ride of Your Life” tour have now been confirmed. For five people, the dream of a lifetime is about to come true. The lucky winners were selected by our celebrity judging panel, made up of Adrien Brody, Rick Yune, Charley Boorman and Jutta Kleinschmidt, who evaluated entries from around 12,000 applicants worldwide. Petite and feminine, Stephanie Rowe is perhaps the biggest surprise in their chosen line-up. She’ll be the only woman to set off on the tour alongside four well-built men.
In addition to riding ability, the judging panel was particularly interested in the applicants’ sense of adventure, their ability to work as part of a team, and their physical fitness. “For me, it wasn’t just about having the right riding skills,” explains Oscar-winner Adrien Brody, “it was also about having the right spirit. After all, this is what drives each of us, and what creates the enthusiasm that is so important to all motorbike riders.”
The “Ride of Your Life” gives five winners the chance to set out on one very special tour: five motorcyclists who think they’ve got what it takes will go on the adventure of a lifetime – a road trip spanning five continents. The only female in the line-up is 25-year-old Stephanie Rowe from England. Stephanie is a motorbike professional through and through – she not only works in the motorbike accessories industry, but is also a highly successful enduro racer.
Herbert Unger comes from Germany and has been riding a motorbike since he was 18 years old – in 2013, he will both take part in the tour and celebrate his 50th birthday. Originally from Schrobenhausen in Bavaria, the metal worker cherishes his free time and loves to be on the move. Next up is Alessio Cigolini from Florence – the Italian works for one of the world’s largest conglomerates and in his spare time, he loves to spend days riding through Tuscany. The fourth rider is 41-year-old Salvador EchevarrÃa from Barcelona – he is a business man who is always looking for a challenge – whether at work or on the road. And last but not least is Stephane Gautronneau from Paris – the 39-year-old Frenchman is a fashion photographer who feels at home anywhere in the world. Among other achievements, he has already covered the 16,000 kilometres from Paris to Goa on a motorbike in 46 days.
“The perfect candidate is able to find the right balance between courage and caution on the road,” says Hollywood action-film star, Rick Yune. “If they can do this, they will have time to appreciate the tour’s different destinations and find their inner strength.” Actor and adventurer Charley Boorman, and the successful rally rider, Jutta Kleinschmidt also think that having an open, friendly attitude is very important: “We’re looking for riders who also want to stop once in a while, and get to know the locals. Wherever you find yourself, there should always be time to talk to people and make new friends.”
While the winners all have different personalities and bring a range of motorcycling experience to the table, they all have the same expectations of the tour: they are all looking for one big adventure that combines incredible natural beauty with the opportunity to ride the new BMW R 1200 GS as part of an extraordinary world tour. And not only that – they will also be the very first to ride this bike, before it even becomes available on market!
The R 1200 GS will really be able to shine throughout the journey, as the “Ride of Your Life” tour passes through widely different climates and landscapes, from the misty jungle of Asia to Africa’s arid lands, New Zealand’s national parks, the endless prairies of North America and the steep mountain passes of the Pyrenees. The final destination will be BMW World in Munich, Germany.