Dirk Thelen - The Enduro Guru
Dirk Thelen, multi-time German Enduro champion and winner of the Enduro Rally cup, has a proven partnership with Wunderlich's BMW specialists.
Someone who most cherishes the memory of the Christmas celebration where he received his first trial motorcycle simply has motorsports run in his blood. With Dirk Thelen, you may think petrol is running in his veins instead of blood. At any rate, the Christmas gift in 1978 was a good investment because only two years later Dirk joined his first national championship, the youth trials in Ulmen. It only took another three years before he had moved up to an impressive sixth place in the youth trial championship.
Hardly 18 years old and his rider’s license in his pocket, Dirk switched to Enduro sport, and now there were no more bounds. Already in the first year he moved up to vice champion in the Enduro cup of the next generation riders. His accumulated more titles over the years: German vice champion in the class up to 400 cc, third place in the Enduro world championship up to 250 cc, several times German champion in the 250 class and then overall winner in the Enduro Rally Cup several times.
It was not by chance that Dirk Thelen and Erich Wunderlich met in the course of time. Shared enthusiasm about off-road riding, back then primarily on Yamaha, creates strong bonds. The first joint events followed from this.
The first official SuperMoto race on the Nurburgring in Germany in 1991 is unforgettable. Dirk told Erich Wunderlich about it and he caught fire immediately; before you knew it, Thelen joined the race on a tuned XT500. In midst of the professional competition with light crossers, Dirk Thelen managed to complete all runs on his somewhat out of place XT and even made it to the finals, unbelievably.Thus the casual acquaintance turned into a productive partnership.
It becomes quite clear that Thelen’s off-road tours for the Wunderlich enterprise are more than just fun when you meet the Enduro rider in Sinzig. He is usually picking up a specially tuned and equipped Wunderlich BMW, which he will take to a competition or some tough test runs. Sometimes you find the rider from Bad Münstereifel spending a week in Andalusia to maltreat the equipment in the desert dust and gravel, or he tackles African terrain with the massive bar tires, where the durability of the Wunderlich components must stand up to the harsh test.
Who would be better suited than the professional expert, Thelen, to subsequently provide the developers and technicians in Sinzig with valuable insights and experiences of the Wunderlich parts. This information then contributes to the ongoing engineering development and finally to production, adding a major element to the reliability and functionality of the Wunderlich products.
You can see a (German) video of Wunderlich's Dirk Thelen riding a Wunderlich prepared F800 GS in Agadir on YouTube by clicking here