Mission accomplished: Gerhard Forster rides radical Boxer bike conversion to 14th place in the Iron Class. Only a few believed that Gerhard Forster on his Touratech R9X would actually make it to the finish line of the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs. And yet he did it. With his 14th place on a heavy two-cylinder engine, he has – along with Quinn Cody (rank 33) on the KTM 1090 Adventure R, who replaced Chris Birch after his injury– written history.
The Red Bull Romaniacs are said to be the toughest enduro rally of the world. Hazardous ascents and descents, narrow single trails, rocks, rivers and riders on the edge of exhaustion – these are the images associated with this event. Riding it with a Big Twin is something that never crossed anyone’s mind before!
For this mission in the Carpathian Mountains the Touratech R & D department created an entirely new motorcycle on the basis of the R nineT with 18/21 inch wheels and highly solid rims. Only the tank, base frame and engine remained unchanged. The suspension by Touratech Suspension, triple clamp, rear frame and frame girder, seat and cockpit have been specially developed for this motorbike, with all plastic parts being made by Touratech’s affiliated company TT-3D. Also the final drive has been entirely modified.
The friendly two cylinder competition in the Iron Class between enduro veteran Gerhard Forster and Dakar finisher and 4-time Baja-1000 winner Quinn Cody has been one of the highlights of the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs. Since both of them refrained from starting at the prologue to avoid unnecessary risks, they had to roll up the field from behind. And so Forster made it from starting position 64 to the seventh rank during the first off-road day, despite of the demanding track.
Even though the challenges increased with each passing day, the Touratech R9X, a bike twice the size of a hard endure, ploughed steadily through the Romanian wilderness. Only at the fourth and last off-road day, a broken cardan shaft brought some unwanted excitement. But despite of the time loss due to repairs, Touratech’s pilot finished the day within the time limit.
With his 14th place in the Iron Class, Gerhard Foster completed his mission to bring the Touratech R9X to the finish line of the 2017 Red Bull Romaniacs more than successfully and he has spectacularly proven what a Boxer engine is capable to do on rough terrain.