Bowled Over: BMW F 800

Courtesy of BMW Motorcycle News

As one of the world's most talented freestyle riders Christian Pfeiffer is constantly on the lookout for new and even more extreme territories to conquer.

His past exploits have seen him riding up near vertical cliff faces, along the roofs of houses, and racing an HP2 Enduro up a ski slope in the inaugural Snow Speedhill challenge last March. His successes in 2006 include winning the European Stunt Championship and American Stunt Wars titles on a BMW F 800. In between this he has raced a factory BMW HP2 Enduro at various off-road events, such as the legendary Erzberg Iron Road Prologue and the Obersaxen Hillclimb.

However now the season is over and Chris has more time for his passion of freestyle riding, when he heard of a huge new concrete bowl being constructed at the Austrian ski resort of Zauchensee he knew he'd found his latest challenge.

The gigantic mega-bowl has been constructed to work as a reservoir supplying water to the local ski resorts for the production of artificial snow. The massive construction has a 300-metre diameter and is at an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level. Chris found out about the location through a personal sponsor who alerted him to the possibilities that this bowl offered.

"When I first heard about the bowl I loved the thought of trying to ride my F 800 in such a unique place." Chris explained. "There had originally been plans made for some skateboarders to ride in the bowl but it was too steep and fast for them so I got the chance."

The huge bowl presented its own series of challenges, the biggest of which was the surface. The tarmac had been treated with an oil-based substance to help make it watertight. This meant that when it was damp it became very slippery. However once it had dried out Chris was able to produce some incredible stunts.

"My favourite was doing a rolling burn-out up the hill doing 180 turns as I went," chuckled Chris. "I was also able to do some massive stoppies right down the slope."

Despite the incredible experience of riding in the bowl, the event was short-lived. The day after Chris visited the owners started to fill the huge reservoir with water, meaning that he may well be the only rider ever to use the giant Zauchensee bowl as a motorcyclist's playground.

After his Austrian adventure Chris travelled to the Intermot Motorcycle and Scooter fair in Cologne to thrill the crowds with his incredible stunt display on the F 800. While he was there he was able to take a look at the new range of BMW motorcycles for 2007.

"The HP2 Megamoto looks like the perfect road bike for me," enthused Chris. "I love it, it just looks like it would be great fun riding in the Alps on it. I've already asked BMW if I can swap my K 1200 R for a Megamoto next year!"

Chris has also already picked out a favourite in the new G Series of bikes: "All three bikes really impressed me but the Xmoto was definitely my favourite. I've always wanted to do a 360 stoppie and this could be the bike to do it on."

With the new possibilities that the 2007 BMW range presents you can be sure Chris will be expanding his repertoire even further next season although his F 800 will still be his weapon of choice for most of his stunts.

"There are few bikes out there that offer me the flexibility and performance of the F 800," Chris explained. "It's taken all the abuse I could throw at it and more. I've even jumped it like a dirt bike!"

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