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The Glemseck drag races are in their 12th year bigger than ever, and fascinating as usual. This is hallowed ground: the old Solitude race track near Stuttgart, Germany, was comprised of mostly public roads, where the last real GP took place way back in 1965 before safety concerns shut it down for good. By now even the last big manufacturer has realized that this gasoline-drenched event is one of the better places in Germany for brand-building. The in some cases huge stalls of major brands such as BMW, Suzuki, Harley, Kawasaki, Indian, Ducati, you name ‘em, are filled with painstakingly tweaked custom builds. But no matter what it says (or used to say, before the rework) on the tank, what counts is on the track. At the Glemseck 101 they have a 1/8th mile track staked out. And any number of race classes: Sultans of Sprint, Poets of Sprint, Essenza, Starr Wars. K.O. system.

With all the merchandise stalls, food, drink,

barber shops, magazines, and all those magnificent bikes to be taken in, the spectators had their hands full to not miss the fast moving race action. There were loads of bikes, moving to the start line or coming from the finish line, crazy home brewed machinery, inspiring details, classics right out of the museum; they even have a voting on the best Essenza-class custom. This being the south of Germany, it’s no wonder that BMW was the majority of the entries. There were many cafe racer builds, and quite a few Harleys. But in the end of the day the legends are written on the track, in the few short seconds between the starter’s signal and the drop of the finish flag. In the Starr-Wars class (starr means rigid in German), for rigid framed bikes, Harleys were well represented. There was even an electric bike.

On the starting line too was a guy who

had suffered multiple broken bones last year, which didn’t keep him from proposing to his bride-to-be in front of the audience, and then going on to win his class against a Sportster (on a 4-banger) this year.

Glemseck 2017 wrap-up: the weekend was packed with tens of thousands of spectators, many girl riders, great bikes, great cameraderie, ass-kicking drag racing, bands and party until late. Don’t miss it next time around.