Chris Birch & Gerhard Forster To Race Red Bull Romaniacs 2017 On Adventure Bikes

It’s about to get wild... Touratech and KTM to send adventure bikes to the Red Bull Romaniacs 2017.

Sibiu, Romania, April 18th, 2017 – The Red Bull Romaniacs has a reputation of being slightly "nuts" and a history of constantly raising the bar for Extreme Enduro. Riders and bikes have either been chewed up and spit out by the rally or lived up to the challenge and evolved year after year. Two Red Bull Romaniacs veterans who have been part of this evolution are Gerhard Forster and Chris Birch. And it is these two are about to open a new chapter in the history of CRAZY: Chris and Gerhard are going to race the Red Bull Romaniacs on big-twin travel-Enduros ("Fat Ladies")!

Chris Birch
Chris BirchCourtesy of Red Bull Romaniacs

To the surprise of the organizers, both had registered themselves independently to the Iron class. Eyebrows were raised, and the Red Bull Romaniacs team started wondering why two Gold Class veterans would show up in the Iron class. A few calls later it became clear that history was about to be written – both will attempt to finish the rally on big twins, Gerhard on a BMW and Chris on a KTM.

Chris Birch, supported by KTM, is going to ride a modified KTM 1190 Adventure from Mattighofen (Austria) to Sibiu (Romania) on the road. He will then use the same 1200 V-twin bike and race the Red Bull Romaniacs Iron class. Gerhard Forster, supported by Touratech, will bring a BMW R nineT-based Touratech prototype (R9X 7) to Sibiu by truck. He will race the Red Bull Romaniacs Iron class on the BMW air-cooled twin cylinder boxer.

Both riders are professional Enduro trainers and frequent racers at Extreme Enduro events. They are both used to piloting “fat ladies”. Both bikes are heavily modified, the KTM Adventure by KTM and the BMW by Touratech.

About Chris: Chris Birch is a nine times competitor in Red Bull Romaniacs and has finished on the Gold Class podium five times including a win in 2010. He is a three time winner of the Roof of Africa Rally, eight times New Zealand Enduro champion and has competed successfully at the Dakar Rally.

Gerhard Forster
Gerhard ForsterCourtesy of Red Bull Romaniacs

About Gerhard: As former BMW factory rider and Red Bull Romaniacs veteran, Gerhard Forster was Touratech`s first choice and crazy enough to agree to pilot the twin cylinder boxer. Forster has ridden BMW HP2 enduros in a variety of races and has also finished in the Gold Class Top10 five 5mes at the Red Bull Romaniacs. Other achievements of Gerhard Forster are: six time finisher at the Erzberg Rodeo, a 4th place at the Roof of Africa and a 2nd place at the Getzenrodeo.

The remaining questions are: Will both riders volunteer to participate in the prologue...? Will they start with top-case and sidebags...? Who, if any, will see the finish?
We will find out in July, stay tuned! 25-29 July 2017, Sibiu, Romania

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Red Bull Romaniacs, the toughest Hard-Enduro rallye on earth.
The Red Bull Romaniacs Extreme Enduro Rally was created in 2004 by founder Mar5n Freinademetz. Over the past years it has evolved to the world's toughest Hard Enduro Rally. The Red Bull Romaniacs takes place every year and attracts riders from about 50 countries. The race is spread over five days, the first being the inner-city prologue in front of thousands of enthusiastic fans. The four "Offroad race days" lead the competitors on some of the world`s most beautiful Enduro trails in the region around Sibiu, Romania (Southern Carpathian Mountains). The breathtaking wilderness, the Romanian hospitality and the unbelievable challenges make the 600km race an unforgettable, lifelong memory for all participants.

The Red Bull Romaniacs are organized under the patronage of the Romanian National Tourism Authority.