Part 3 - Who would do this - and what for?
Before we unload the machines and kick them over let’s take a short trip back in time: why are we here anyway? Tuktoyaktuk is far from being the first W&W CYCLES destination of the challenging kind. 1995 there was the idea to close the Panamericana Gap between Panama and Colombia on Harleys. The ride got stuck in knee deep mud. But we made it out there and got back home with some breathtaking pics and some broken bits of machinery. 2006 there was the ride to the southernmost beer.
From Buenos Aires over bone shaking gravel roads fighting gale crosswinds down the infamous Ruta 40 to Ushuaia, Patagonia. And exactly right down there, under the influence of some of the southernmost beers of the world the question arose how the world may look like on the other end of the road. Because nobody knew it, we struck on a plan: we‘d have to go there one day.
Born in 1959, married, 2 kids, rides the Shovelhead. After 2 years of military service and 3 years at the university he joined W&W in 1989 and is now in charge of the W&W catalog‘s text work. His main passion are old Harleys so he knows every nut and bolt on Knuckleheads and Panheads. Participates successfully in road races of the Antique American Handshifters with his 1929 JD and 1948 WR. To adjust to less comfortable temperatures, Paul Jung took some test rides in Lappland, early in 2007 at 25 c below 0.
One of W&W‘s stalwarts. Only a select few specialists on this planet know the Milwaukee twins as thoroughly as he does.
Active rider in european V2 Top Gas dragster racing in the nineties.
There‘s nothing better for Paul than to build and restore vintage racing stuff from the 20ies.
The older the boys, the older the toys. Paul is a known quantity in european vintage bike racing.
Born in 1965, no kids, he´s into motorcycling since his feet could touch the ground from the saddle of a 50cc Sachs moped. A retail salesman by profession he Joined W&W in 1993 after he had run a bar for years, played keyboards in a band and oher things a young lad simply has to do. Privately prefers Panheads and Shovelheads.
Peter has covered thousands of kilometers on road and gravel in Europe, Canada, Thailand and Japan.
Well seasoned wrencher and fanatic rider for 30 years now.
This guy was born with a wrench in his hand, and a smile on his face. He‘s never been seen without this smile ever since.
The Mobile Support
Wolfgang Schmidt: The Spin Doctor
One of the founding fathers of W&W Cycles way back when. Never stops finding new ways of pushing men and machines to new levels of excellence.
Matthias "Zilch" Grübel: The Videographer
From high class TV shows to ultra low budget videos – he has seen it all - and produced it. What lured him to this ride? “I hate the cold, lack of comfort and not having a film crew.”
Klaus Hagmeier: The Photographer
This dude was one of the Pantastic Four, narrowly escaping the mud hell of Panama and the chance to live quietly on a balmy beach with two wives and a dozen children in the Caribbean. With his camera he‘ll picture the other end of the road as no-one has seen it before - ever.
Mercedes Benz Vario 4×4
Ready for the moment when Cop Hal says: „We’re doomed!“ The Wrecking Crew Mobile Support Unit. Built in 2007 and furnished by renowned maker of fire trucks, Hensel in Wurzburg, Germany. This sturdy vehicle will carry gear, stuff, things, utensils, odds and ends, beer, beer, beer and beer. Can be used as shelter in case of nosy beers. Erm, bears.
Built in Milwaukee when they still knew how to do it, this milestone of agricultural machinery design has got what it takes. Largely left as God and the Company intended it to be: Rigid frame, Panhead engine, hand shifter, foot clutch, kick starter and useless drum brakes. In the W&W CYCLES inventory for ages this lump of steel has seen touring Europe, being used as a liaison vehicle on race days, acting as a mega shaker for Mai-Tai barrels and performing reverse burn outs. This bike can do everything. Even roll on spiked snow tires.
2006 Shovelhead W&W Custom
This thumping beauty was planned and assembled using the best out of our W&W CYCLES warehouse, plus some ingenious stuff from the W&W skunkworks. This baby sports W&W CYCLES Indian style leaf sprung forks and an 80 cu. In. S&S Shovel engine, that will shove her smoothly across the polar circle. The Wrecking Crew has a soft spot for older bikes, so we chose the traditional Bobber style. Less sentimental ist the choice of wheels and stopping power, these parts are courtesy of Performance Machine. For the ride on the Mackenzie ice road the bike is equipped with special ice tires.
"Special thanks to:
- Rudi Full and Volker Wybranietz, the righteous guys, who drove the truck with bikes and equipment all the way up there to Inuvik.
- Uwe Kiesel and Team Hensel for professional advice during customizing of our Vario Truck.
- Team DHL for getting our stuff over the pond.
- Andy Goldfine, Cheryl Weitala and Pete Buenting of Aerostich for providing the wonderful rider suits for our trip.
- all the girls and boys of the W&W Cycles Crew involved in planning and supporting the trip. Without you this could not happen!"