The Monday following Easter is a holiday in France. You might think that’s perfect for eating fine food, wine & cheese. Our friends at BMW Motorrad France & BMW France had other plans for us…BMW Passion Days.
What better way to entertain the loyal following, attract new customers and cross-sell bikes to the car crowd & vice versa? Sounds like a very tall order indeed…
Not only did BMW Motorrad France undertake the challenge, they put on a tour de force.
First, they selected the iconic Circuit Paul Ricard race track in beautiful Southern France. (FYI, Paul Ricard hosts the Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance race, sports car racing and will welcome the return of Formula Grand Prix in 2018 after being absent for too long.)
Do you think BMW chose a race track so participants could sit and watch a product parade or some kind of live informercial?
Far from it. Instead riders and drivers were completely involved in the experience. Everyone had full access to the track to see how they and their 2 or 4 wheel products perform.
That’s an awesome start, but BMW had even more to bring to the table. What else you ask? A complete motorcycle & car model lineup, available for track & street use.
As if that weren’t enough, they even provided professional drivers to give passengers a thrilling “taxi” ride around the circuit demonstrating exactly what these cars can do. (They can do far more than you’ll experience on a test drive at your local dealer, trust us.)
The demonstration was nothing short of highly impressive. Turning out lap times is one thing. Doing it while explaining the features, advantages and benefits of the car at the same time is another.
Overall the whole event ran like a finely tuned machine. No one would expect anything less.
Riders were assigned to groups according to skill level. The groups took turns of 20 minute track sessions. Participants had at least 6 sessions which was plenty. When the bikes weren’t on the track, the cars were. Paul Ricard had a courtesy loge available right above the pit lane which was perfect for watching the action and having some refreshments.
Thanks goes to the BMW dealers in Southeastern region. They rallied their customers to give up a free day to partake in some high octane, unregulated pleasure. They didn’t have to twist many arms to get the troops to show up. Over some 220 participants were on hand for the second annual event. Based on some informal polling on our part, you can bet that it will be difficult to get a ticket for next year’s event.
As if product testing, getting a high speed ride wasn’t enough, there was a catered lunch and Big Jim and his motorcycle stunt show kept the lunchers entertained right on up to dessert and coffee.
Special recognition goes to Moto Speeder of Grenoble. Their expert mechanics were on hand preparing bikes for track duty. Their experienced team had a lot of helpful advice for first-time and expert track riders. We were thoroughly impressed with their NineT Racer build.
Give Mother Nature some applause for pouring plenty of sunshine down on the venue, without making it too hot. Even in full leathers the temps were ideal.
All the feedback we received was extremely positive. From the track experience, to testing various bike or car models, as well as making new acquaintances, we can only say that we were very glad to have participated.
2 or 4 wheel fans of the brand should make it a point to attend BMW Passion Days, guaranteed to get your pulse racing. We saw many owners of other brands in attendance. Following the event, many admitted they will be visiting their local dealer to make a trade-in on their current machine.
Would you like to test BMW bikes on a mythical race track in a picture postcard setting? You can do that while touring Southern France with M2 MotoTours. We’re so stoked after the event, we can’t wait to go back. Now that the word is out, join us for a pulse racing event and unforgettable tour.
For more information, visit our Southern France Motorcycle Tour page.