Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
Bike Enduro, motorcycles, motorcycling, Motoring News, off-road

Meet Michael Martin: Extreme biking on a Beemer

  • 25 years of exploring on a BMW
  • Michael Martin, fotog extraordinaire
  • Two kinds of desert – forests in between
Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
MAN AT WORK: Michael Martin doing what he loves best with, as usual for 25 years now, a BMW GS motorcycle right there in the picture. Image: BMW Motorrad

MUNICH, Germany -. Michael Martin has been travelling to the most remote places around the globe for more than 30 years and has become the world’s most renowned desert photographer.

For 25 years or those years the geographer has used motorcycles as his preferred expedition vehicle – and it was aboard a BMW R 100 GS on which he undertook the Transafrica trip from Kenya to Cape Town.

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
NIGHT-TIME IN DAYLIGHT: Michael Martin and fellow travellers raise their own dust storm Image: BMW Motorrad

The now 53-year old said: “A motorcycle seemed to be the ideal means of transport for long-haul adventure travels to the most remote parts of our planet.

“Compared to a car, it is very light and agile and narrow enough to even narrow paths. It was thanks to the great enthusiasm of two BMW employees for Africa that my touring companions and I were able to set off on our dream motorcycle, the BMW R 100 GS.

“We were overjoyed – and then we even managed to convince Lufthansa to fly our machines free to Nairobi. From there we started out on our first big project.”

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
STOPPING FOR A CAMEL: Michael Martin holds station as a camel train passes by. Image: BMW Motorrad

Stephan Schaller, president BMW Motorrad, told The Corner in a media release: “Michael Martin and the BMW GS have been a dream couple for 25 years, a combination which could not have been more successful.

“His work is unique and the demands he places on his expedition vehicle show impressively you well-suited a BMW GS is for his work.

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
IT’S NOT ALWAYS A DESERT: Michael Martin gets down and dirty on his BMW/sidecar combination in the forests of Africa.  Image: BMW Motorrad

“We are very happy that the partnership between Martin and BMW Motorrad has been so successful for 25 years and look forward to continuing it.”

Exploring Africa was something Martin simply wasn’t able to resist. In 1995 and 1998 he explored the River Nile and to the deserts of Africa – already in the saddle of an R 1100 GS.

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
LONELY PLANET: Michael Martin far out in the other kind of desert – that of the Arctic and Antarctic. Image: BMW Motorrad

He said: “It was during this time that I decided to concentrate on deserts as a subject. Then, in 2000, I began the ‘Deserts of the Earth’ project, this time using an R 1150 GS – it had just improved on its predecessor’s qualities.”

In 2009 he went travelling and photographing for anoter new, project “Desert Planet”, now on an R 1200 GS Adventure – it could have been created for such extreme demands: this time Martin not only explored the dry deserts but also the cold ice deserts of the Arctic and Antarctic.

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
SELF-PORTRAIT: Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad

Since then he’s undertaken more than 40 voyages and expeditions but meanwhile “Desert Planet” has been presented in multivision format, as a photo album, as a TV Series and as an exhibition.

Martin will begin his “Desert Planet” presentation tour on October 22 2016 to perform his multivision show until April 2017 in more than 100 German and a dozen Austrian cities.

Might The Corner suggest he bring his show to Africa – particularly here in South Africa?

Read more about Michael Martin.
Further information and ticket bookings.

Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad
UNDOUBTEDLY AFRICA: Michael Martin Image: BMW Motorrad

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