The 2019 International Diesel Motorcycle Rally, Hamm, Deutschland.
Hubert Teller's Modite 2
I make no apologies when I say that the story of the 2019 Treffen was, for me anyway, pretty much centred on whether I'd be able to get my new diesel motorcycle to Hamm on time. You see, I'd not long purchased a very rare example of the Military prototype M1030M1 KLR based motorcycle and had been enthusiastically putting it through its paces ready for the trip overseas. As you can imagine, I was fairly reluctant to embark on a round trip of approximately 1300 miles without ensuring the machine was reliable. Well, having now returned from this gathering, I can tell you that the Kawasaki based motorcycle performed flawlessly and started at every push of the button. The Organisers at Hamm had also been actively plugging the bikes appearance at the show and so I was determined that I should arrive and not disappoint! I shall include a little of our ride out as I have done in early rally reports as it describes the route the M1030M1 took to get to Hamm.
The Military M1030M1 attends the Hamm rally for the first time.
We'd left it late to book the ferry this year and, as a consequence, had to go the Dover - Calais route to the continent instead of our normal Newhaven - Dieppe way. After arriving in France, accompanied by my brother Jeff on the Ruggerfield, we headed North for our first stop in Ypres, an old town closely associated with World War one. Completely unintentionally as it turned out, the trip to and from Hamm took in several places with history concerning old conflicts which kind of fitted in somewhat with the military bike I was riding. Our second night was camping on the river at Dinant where we met some interesting travellers including a Dutchman with a pink cargo bicycle, a German guy with a bike he'd bought at the Beaulieu show in the U.K. and an Englishman who extolled the virtues of Bikeseal, a solution squirted into tyres to prevent punctures. The third night saw us riding deep into the woods on the German border in search of a campsite hidden amongst the trees.
The M1030M1 at the runout destination point.
The M1030M1 came with very low final drive gearing for off-road use and having played with the ratios somewhat, I was attempting this journey on a setup that whilst not perfect, was as near as I could get it in the given timescale available. You see, I decided to import a rear sprocket from the original company that made them for the bike back in the day and they are situated in Utah, U.S.A. Riding to Hamm as we do, on the more scenic roads, speed isn't something we care about so I wasn't worried about hurtling down the N roads at top speeds.
I have learned to keep my eye on the fuel level using the translucent tank, as said tank narrows drastically above the fuel tap and the level can drop quickly if you're not careful, leaving you sucking air into the system and bleeding the bike out at the kerbside. Fortunately this didn't happen as I knew to stay on top of this. I was very impressed with the torque delivered by the 'KLR' as rode through the Ardennes's with the bike loaded up. Accelerating out from the valley towns and villages I was able to easily go up through the gears and effortlessly ride the Kawasaki. But that's what all us diesel bikers know isn't it? These bikes give us an easy ride and that's a good antidote to high revving, fast paced machines that feel more at home on a race track than touring.
A somewhat naked Track T800.
We arrived at Brauhof Wilshaus, Hamm around midday on Thursday as I recall and, of course, a few familiar faces were there already to greet us. Immediately the organiser was putting out posts on Facebook and suchlike to say the M1030M1 had arrived along with saying so had the communal toilet facility. I was rather bemused at that one!
It wasn't long before Diesel Dave, Alex, Matt and Dan arrived and pleasantries exchanged. It was time for a new bike to Hamm because Matt was riding a machine originally constructed in the U.K. by Whiskers. The Harley Dieselson has undergone a few engine changes down the years mainly due to the Chinese V twin not really performing as expected. It now sports a reliable Kubota Z482 unit which transported it's rider to and from Hamm without any trouble. As always, it's great to catch up with old friends who we've been seeing now on a yearly basis for almost 20 years. How time flies! Incidentally, I had a shock when Alex told me to keep a few euro's change after beers were bought as the fuel I'd donated to him saved his skin in the summer. Fresh from our Summer ride to the Sommer Treff and subsequent lightning tour of Italy and Switzerland, we'd found ourselves hold up at the Gaschney event and it was here that I'd given hime the petrol that had helped him go so far, passing many a closed filling station on the way home.
Matt and the Harley Dieselson on the runout.
Hubert Teller was true to his word this year by unveiling the Modite 2, an immaculately presented machine which from afar, had some thinking it was indeed the Modite 1. But no! A closer look revealed that although this new machine was in the same livery, it was a totally new motorcycle which this time round, used the 3 cylinder Lombardini engine instead of the two cylinder variety. Based on a BMW frame it used the Lombardini LDW 1003 engine. As always, Hubert's workmanship was outstanding and the bike looked a million dollars.
A close up shot of Hubert's bike.
Given the age of the rally it's not surprising that most of the nearby places of interest have been visited once or twice down the years. And so it was that we rode to a landmark tower that offered spectacular views of the surrounding country. I helped Bodo set up the destination on his satnav before I joined the other riders on M1030M1 and rode along with the others to the ancient stone tower. The weather was excellent for the main days and the view over that part of Germany was perfect. We actually had a bit of light, misty rain on Friday morning but it was gone by lunchtime.
The T shirts were something of a talking point this year as the printer had made an error and the shirts had arrived with a Swiss website emblazoned across the shoulder blades. Luckily, a replacement shipment had arrived just in time for Rafael to collect them and get them to the Brahof Wilshaus in time for the start of proceedings.
T shirts anyone? Yes please!
As you would expect, there were the usual complement of modified Royal Enfields, mostly from Mr Sommer . In amongst these were a few originals, some of which I have very few details on apart from what I can make out in the shots. Andre, he of Gaschney fame, arrived on his Centaurus.
Andre's Centaurus Enfield machine.
As in previous years, our mate Mike had driven over from the U.K. to attend proceedings and as before he was more than willing to help us out with the shopping trips to the nearby town. Polish lager was high on the list and given the amount we bought, I was glad we had four wheels to transport it back to the site. Mike stuck with Jeff and I as we left at rally end and we ended up travelling down to Luxembourg and eating pizza all the way.
I didn't get any details on this BMW machine but we may have seen it before?
Here's another shot to make up for no info!
We were blessed this year with not one but two VW Golf based machines, one coming from the Netherlands and the other from France. We've seen them both before so you'll have to scroll back to previous rally reports for the full spec but they are both classic builds in many respects. The Dutch bike is rolling art, it's steampunk themed look improving with every passing year that it's on the road. And hats off to Abel for journeying on his build as it's not easy to do an engine swap in France and register it as such.
Abel's Custom dieselbike in from France.
The Dutch Steampunk style diesel bike.
Many a night in Hamm was spent sitting round the fire, consuming cans of beer and talking bikes. I gotta thank Nazife and Bodo for cooking some great meals. Her endless supply of whatsit crisps and mini-brotchips passed around the fire pit complimented the beers just great.
A Royal Enfield conversion sporting an Italian Lombardini engine.
Taking a typical stroll down the access road to Willy's establishment during the rally is always an interesting undertaking, especially for those motorcyclists of a more, shall we say, conservative nature. With the exception of a few petrol powered machines parked up near the entrance, the majority of machines are truly from a parallel universe and of much interest to those with a fascination for the unusual. From the slickly constructed, electronically controlled modern motorcycles to the seemingly lashed together contraptions of wonder that literally shine with oil, grease and diesel, there is something for everyone.
Some pretty rare petrol bikes attended the show too.
For the second year running we again see the Peugeot/BMW motorcycle with the 1.4L engine. As I said last year, this machine has the altered gearbox ratios which allowed it to go so much faster.
The Peugeot/BMW diesel motorcycle.
Last year Andreas, the creator of I think the first Smart Bike, was attempting to sell his unique machine and it looks as if he finally succeeded in this as I saw it ridden in by another biker. Andreas himself arrived not on two wheels but four - in a Tesla Car to be precise. I have to thank him for letting me loose in this as I'd always wondered what they were like to drive. Sitting on the wrong side for me and with no gear stick to worry about, we moved silently off site (something none of the bikes could manage!) and took to the back lanes. The guidance system was top notch and when the opportunity arrived I put my foot to the floor and we took off like a bat out of hell. Eventually, we made our way back to the site driving a somewhat circular route and I exited the car with a big smile on my face. Very cool I thought!
Andreas original Smart diesel - now in new hands.
It happened that the steering head nut had come loose on my ride out to Germany and I have to thank Hubert and the Diesel Wiesel guy ( who's name escapes me ) for finding the tools to tighten it up. This was after I'd let him, Reinhard and a few other take this KLR out for a spin. As mentioned, the coming of the M1030M1 had been much heralded by the Dieselkrad website and this publicity had indeed paid off. Several people had approached me during the even to tell me they had specially come to see this particular motorcycle. That didn't surprise me in the least and I was a little bemused when one German couple told me that the 'knew this bike'. I know some made it to Germany through military channels so did wonder if they had a connection there? Who knows!
There's always a diesel Wiesel at the show!
Kurts machine. Details in previous reports.
I thought the turnout was pretty good this year and of course, we are all hoping for even more bikers next year as it is the 20th Anniversary. So here's a shout out to everyone who's attended in the past to make an effort to ride over in 2020 and make it the best ever Diesel Treffen. I'd mentioned in last years report that camping fees were to be introduced this year and I did fear that it might hit attendance numbers but I couldn't have been more wrong. Rafael did a sterling job of collecting the money and keeping tabs on who'd arrived on what day etc. That's never an easy job and you really must do what he did and issue some kind of ticket to keep track of the comings and goings.
Some additional shots:
A regular attendee, the Kipor bike.
The Track T800CDi and Bernt Diahatsu BMW on the runout.
A Hatz 1000cc outfit.
The M1030M1 loaded up at Bastogne on the return leg to England.
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