Since Sunday 29th September, 2019, following the final race in Hockenheim, it‘s official: Christof „Fifty“ Höfer #73 and Nate „N8!“ Kern #12 Wunderlich MOTORSPORT have brought home the trophies for first and second place the from the newly established, popular and hotly contested BMW BoxerCup championship, which was raced on Europe‘s legendary motorcycle race courses. At home means in the new Wunderlich company headquarters at the Innovationspark Rheinland in Grafschaft-Ringen.
Frank Hoffmann, managing director Wunderlich GmbH and team manager Wunderlich MOTORSPORT:
„We celebrate together with „Fifty“, who was crowned the BoxerCup Champion 2019, and „N8!, who brought home the vice championship. We would like to sincerely congratulate both of them on their outstanding team performance. Both race riders have motivated themselves in every race this season with grit and passion, but have always fought fairly and captivated the public. „Fifty“‘s championship victory wasn‘t a done deal by any means, but he found a well-matched opponent in „N8!“. „N8!“, our American warhorse, is an old hand at Boxers and is the most clued up on their special peculiarities. „Fifty“‘s advantage on the other hand lies in his extraordinary knowledge of various courses. Despite the necessary rivalry, the two of them have grown as sportsmen into a real team. We have achieved our goal, that‘s why we sent two high-quality riders to the races to start with, so we end up with two men right up front in the final accounting. And things really did go that way in the end, and I am very grateful for that. A great team performance! The riders also harmonised and worked perfectly with each other, and we‘re looking ahead to the future with a positive attitude. We‘ll let you know whether we‘ll be carrying on and how we do that in the coming months. And here‘s what I‘m most happy about: this championship and vice championship are important to us and come just at the right time for the opening of our new company headquarters in the Innovationspark Grafschaft-Ringen. Now we have TWO reasons to celebrate!“
One thing is clear: You can only have victories and successes if your team meticulously prepares the race bikes in the background, completes the stops during the race in a routine way and makes lightning-fast decisions about what to do in the event of technical challenges. The core of our pit crew consists of three calm, experienced, technically decorated and competent men: Sebastian Klettke, Peter Schwellenbach and Christian Reifert.
By Toni Börner
It's back as of 2019: the BMW BoxerCup. Unlike the first edition that formed part of the Motorcycle Grand Prix, this time with the lightning-quick, series reminiscent R nineT. Along with its BOXER-SPIRIT division, Wunderlich is among those international providers with the largest range for conversions of all variants of the R nineT family. The company was extremely successful at Pikes Peak and the Long Distance Cup at the Nurbürgring with Wunderlich MOTORSPORT. It therefore made sense to seize the chance to bring the BOXER-SPIRIT and MOTORSPORT together: Nate "N8!" Kern from the USA and former Suzuki GSX-R1000-Cup Champion Christof "Fifty" will be fighting for victories and the championship.
"I actually didn't want to compete in racing any more", grinned Frank Hoffmann, managing director of Wunderlich, at the start of the year. But racing is a virus they haven't found a cure for yet.” When it became clear that the Cup was coming, there were some discussions, some directly with BMW, about Nate Kern. Naturally, I knew who he was. He's been riding BMWs for years – and also comes from America, a market that is both relevant and important to us."
Kern himself is the Boxer dinosaur, everyone on the team says: when Nate Kern came into the world, he asked about the Boxer concept. A play on the fact that Kern was there during the original Boxer Cup in Daytona and at the start of the 2000s.
"Haha", laughs Kern, when you talk to him about it." Riding a BMW race machine with a Boxer engine to the limit challenges and fascinates me. I won't to go overboard with the philosophising, but I believe that just like you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, you also shouldn't judge a race bike by its cylinder alignment.” Kern's fascination with the engine concept has remained unbroken for almost 20 years.” The Boxer that really irritates people – and it still irritates me today too.” He emphasises the special feel in particular – which hasn't changed significantly over the years. It's an old school feel, as the Americans say, that sets in when you ride a Boxer; the R nineTs are top of the range in terms of technology, state of the art, so to speak – but the feel and the technique required to ride the Boxer to the limit skilfully and quickly has remained. A balancing act that is a whole lot of fun."
But Kern wasn't going to have it that easy. Wunderlich also sent their lightning-fast team colleague Christof Höfer to the race. Höfer is a former Suzuki GSX R1000 Cup Champion and was motivated to take a shot at Germany's top class in the IDM Superbike in 2018 – but a complicated shoulder injury knocked the Hessen native out of the race. "This year I was set on seizing the chance at the IDM Superbike that I missed last time", says Höfer.
"That's what I wanted by hook or by crook - but unfortunately the budget was not enough." Höfer was devastated, but he's a thoroughly positive individual who has already had to overcome several setbacks in his life and has still been able to get over his low points every time. "Sometimes when one door closes, two or three new doors open", he says. "And then came the call from Frank Hoffmann, managing director of Wunderlich: Fifty, fancy riding in the BoxerCup for Wunderlich Motorsport?” Of course he did. Höfer and Hoffmann have known each other for years and have even faced each other on the race track. And besides: he doesn't have to skip out the races on 1000 four-cylinders either because Wunderlich MOTORSPORT also competes successfully at the Reinoldus Endurance Cup at the Nurbürgring with the RR. With Höfer in the saddle as of 2019.
Kern himself is also experienced with the Munich superbike from Berlin-Spandau. The public favourite is the BMW brand ambassador in the USA for the S 1000 RR, but it hasn't destroyed his love of the Boxer concept. So the team came up with an idea: Höfer knows the courses and the core of the Boxer. In the initial training sessions on the weekends, the team colleagues - who are also each other's toughest competition - do things together. Most of the time anyway.
Nate Kern was given a lesson at the season launch at the Lausitzring. Yes, the "old hand", the Boxer dinosaur. But not necessarily in terms of sporting performance. "Man, I wasn't expecting that - I have to get back on the weights, my fitness isn't good enough to beat Fifty", the American went on record as saying after the first two rounds. "I think he imagined it would all be a lot easier than it actually was. That makes me happy, of course", counters Fifty, grinning. Both speak of mutual respect.” Nevertheless, I'm absolutely committed to winning and I want to show that in every race", says Höfer. "But so does Nate.” The courses from Höfer and the secrets of Boxer riding from Kern. That's the deal between the two team colleagues. Nate gives a few insights: "It really comes down to the bends. In slow bends, you really don't need to hang off the bike so much, and in the fast bends you should. But you shouldn't use that much of your body because it tires you out over the distance because these Boxers close to the series are really heavy. But also really dynamic. Once you've raced a Boxer over a season, you become a better rider", Kern is convinced. In his opinion, three generations come together in Team Wunderlich. "There's the riding style, which Frank embodies, and the younger generation's style from Fifty", says Kern.” I'm somewhere in between. You have to find the right mix between the classic and the new."
Frank Hoffmann is not even interested in denying Kern's defiant swipe.” Riding this kind of motorbike requires a lot of physical effort", says the Wunderlich managing director and team manager, who participated and tested himself as a development pilot for the current BoxerCup. "The younger guys have the advantage with their style of hanging off the bike. The old warhorses ride my old school style and they don't get a look in anymore. You need to coax speed from this bike by removing the centre of gravity from the motorbike. That's not my style anymore, that's more suitable for younger people. But it's very impressive and spectacular to see from the outside how fast they can ride these motorbikes."
"There are riders who have won national superbike championships, even MotoGP races – who have never ridden hang-off style or sideways Kern continues.” But on the Boxer you have to use your body so the cylinder heads remain free, because you can't ride with as much of a tilt. If your posture is only 80 percent correct out of 100 percent, then you fire up the cylinder because that would only lead to a fall. How you take off is decided by which cylinder you grind with. If you fire up the left cylinder, which sits further forward than the one on the right due to the asymmetric offset, the rear wheel sets off first. However, if you fire up the right one, it sets off from the back. I only fire up the cylinders towards the end of a race – when the power dwindles and my body struggles against hanging off."
Hoffmann knows: “When the cylinder meets the floor, the motorbike doesn't travel through the radius that you actually want to ride, and it was no different with the 'old' BoxerCup machines. The motorbike travels through a wide radius and then you just have to keep it calm to get it out of the tilt again and then travel through the radius that you want to travel. It sounds ridiculous, but it works somehow. So falls are relatively rare – and if it does happen, it's usually no big hit to the bike because they're built in such a Spartan way. Those things are really sturdy. Anybody who wants to take a look at motorsports is in the right place here."
When you talk to Kern about this subject, it's clear to see passion it brings out in him. But then he himself slams on the brakes. "I don't want to give away too many secrets", he squints mischievously at his team colleague Höfer. "Fifty is young, hungry and simply from a different generation. They question everything these days and want to know everything in precise detail. I learned everything I know about the Boxer from Stephane Mertens – but he didn't tell me anything, I learned by watching him on the track in the original BoxerCup. I haven't ridden anything else except BMW since 2004."
Höfer knows that there's still a lot he can learn – even though he evolved into the dominator of the BoxerCup 2019 and has won the most races. "I don't even know where I should start or stop", he says about the differences between the 1000 ccm bikes he has ridden so far and the R nineT. The cylinders are the first thing, of course. "They stick pretty far out", he laughs.” Then there's the kickback when you open up the throttle. That lets you ride right bends with a different radius than left bends.” Overall, it's a man's motorbike – or a connoisseur's motorbike, because there's no anti-hopping clutch.” The motorbike is a whole lot of fun, but its really tricky. It has nothing in common with a superbike except the fact that the throttle grip sits further to the right. So American Boxer star Nate is exactly the right guy, one I can learn a lot from."
Another successful weekend for the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team at the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup promoted by Wilbers at the Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM): Christof “Fifty” Höfer #73 took the sole race win on Sunday, starting from pole position. Team mate Nate “N8!” Kern #12 (USA) got second. With these results it is clear: The BoxerCup Champion 2019 will be one of the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT riders!
Assen always is a big gamble in regard of the weather conditions and there was no difference in this year’s fifth round of the BoxerCup season as Friday and Saturday the TT Cicuit Assen was haunted by showers.
It came on hard for the BoxerCup riders on Saturday: A rain shower mixed by an oil spill lead to the decision to declare the first race off. The R nineT racers got the offer to have another go on Sunday, but teams and riders agreed on a single race format for this weekend. It was a similar scenario like at Zolder earlier in the year.
It was another hard fought race between the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team mates Christof Höfer and Nate Kern, especially in the first third both of them swapped positions for the lead in almost every corner. Mid-race Kern got the arm pump syndrome in his right hand and had to let Höfer go.
Höfer took his sixth win of the season, seventh podium, out of the first eight races of the year. There is just one round left with the finals at Hockenheim and Höfer leads the Cup with 181 points, with Kern second 31 points adrift. 50 points are up for grab at the Hockenheimring.
“The Assen weekend was a quite nail biting event for me as I am not a big fan of rain as everyone knows and it was the scenario we found: changing conditions and a change of wet and dry asphalt. I took the chance to get to know the Assen track in wet conditions a bit on Friday but I really struggled and have to get better in those surroundings. We were lucky to get a dry qualifying in and I took the pole position. For the race on Sunday, I immediately felt well on the bike, got a proper flow very fast and was focused like hell. The first laps it was a hard but fair fight with Nate again. When I finally took the lead I tried to pull a gap and mid race I saw I was shipping away so I did another push. I want to be Champion so badly and I’ve got an advantage of 31 points before Hockenheim now. There the fight will be on!”
“Today I have to say apologies to Frank Hoffmann and the Team as we had the pace to at least put on a good race as in the past, but for the second time this season my right arm pumped up by lap six and it is what it is and I could not do much more than bring home second. Fifty ran a flawless race and he was the best I have seen him ride all season. Our heads now turn to Hockenheim and I’ll be ready for a final show and fight there.”
Frank Hoffmann (Managing Director of Wunderlich GmbH, Team Manager of Wunderlich MOTORSPORT):
“After the annulation of Zolder everyone thought: That won’t happen any near time soon again, but it only took three weekends. In the end it was the right decision here at Assen as well and the organizers even offered us to have a replacement race on Sunday. At the offered time frame it would have rained anyways so we are quite happy about the decision not to ride. Fifty and Nate dominated the weekend once more and rode in their own world. On the one hand it is a shame Nate got the arm pump and couldn’t take the challenge to Fifty over the full distance, but on the other hand it was a good thing to happen in respect to our nerves at the pit wall as the first laps were fraught once more, that was enough. At Hockenheim both will push once more for that title, but already it is clear, the 2019 BoxerCup Champion will be a Wunderlich MOTORSPORT rider. Nate could lose second in the Championship as well, so we have to have an eye on that part as well, as we for sure now want the 1-2.”
The Wunderlich MOTORSPORT Team and its riders Nate N8! Kern #12 and Christof “Fifty” Höfer #73 took part in the third round of the 2019 BMW Motorrad BoxerCup promoted by Wilbers at the Schleizer Dreieck last weekend, with both earning a race win each.
The race track of “Schleizer Dreieck” is the highlight of the season in the “Internationale Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft” (IDM) with ten thousands of fans attending the specatular races at Germany’s oldest street racing circuit. The 3.805 kilometre long triangular course is a combination of public roads with gravel traps plus a motodrom section. It is the race of the year in the IDM with most fans coming to here.
So Nate Kern from USA and Christof “Fifty” Höfer from Hessen presented themselves highly motivated to hold the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT flags as high as possible to the Schleizer sky. Already in qualifying both proved to be quick with Kern earning the pole position by only 0.107 seconds in front of his team mate Höfer. Both were unreachable for the opponents.
And again both should be battling it out in race one for the victory with team boss Frank Hoffmann watching the on goings nervously. Höfer did take a bad start and had to fight his way back to Kern. After that, both were changing the leading position in a permanent way with the final decision only to be made on the last lap. Kern took his first BMW BoxerCup race win of the season.
In the second race both, Kern and Höfer, did not take a good start and it was only in lap two when both were again touching the leading positions. Höfer studied his team mate until mid race and then took over at the front and rode through to his fourth win of the season. But it was not a easy cruising for Kern who got a new opponent in Marvin Jürgens – whom he had to take under control during the last laps.
Three out of six BMW BoxerCup rounds are in the books, meaning Höfer leads with 120 points by half time of the season. Team mate Kern (85 pts.) trails him by 35 points, with Jürgen being one behind Kern.
The next race of the BMW Motorrad BoxerCup promoted by Wilbers is to be held from 09. to 11. of August at the Automotodrom Most (Czech republic).
“It has been an unbelievably great weekend at Schleiz – as always! Around 30.000 people attended the event and the atmosphere simply was mega. Fans at Schleiz are celebrating motor racing and it is always a honour to be riding there. Nate and myself were battling to the fullest. Especially in race 1 we were changing positions almost in every corner and nothing separated us. I went to the last lap leading but then he took me coming into the ‘Seng’ corner in sixth gear flat out – I did not expect that move and he took the win and deserved it. So I wanted to win the second race so badly to give my fan club, friends and family something to cheer about. It was another brilliant fight and at the end I could pull a gap. It was also good to see Marvin Jürgens taking us on a fight so we will expect some harder fights and competition in the future.”
“What a weekend, what a race track! It was my first time at Schleiz and the fans are outstanding. The track itself was not a problem, we got some more dangerous tracks in the US. It was fun, a proper men’s track. Of course I am happy with my first win and another second. It’s also nice to see some more people mixing is up at the front with us and it will not only be Fifty and me fighting anymore. That’s how it is supposed to be. I am looking forward to our next race in Most already!”
“Of course it is a perfect weekend when your riders take home a 1-2 twice – but as team manager you are also happy when everything is over and all are back to the pits safe and sound. Nate and Fifty did not make any presents to each other at all, so you can only bite your nails and hope. But both are experienced racers and know what they are doing. It is also nice to see they got some further competition out there, it is always good to have competition. Both underlined their position in the championship and exceeded their lead. We are very happy.”
It was up’s and downs for the Wunderlich MOTORSPORT BMW Motorrad BoxerCup Racing team – but also a weekend full of oddities fpr the RnineT riders Christof Höfer (GER) and Nate Kern (USA). Höfer took the full 25 points in the Saturday race but Sunday’s outing had to be cancelled with best riding weather conditions due to safety reasons after the previous races that day had covered the Belgian track at Zolder in oil.
Zolder was a further new track for US boy Kern so him and Höfer joined forces in tackling the track – one to learn his way round and the other the gain some more experiences in the secrets of riding Boxer bikes fast so both roteted in going front and following each other.
But Kern and Höfer became serious competition after they qualified in second and third respectively “only”: It was Arie Vos who took the pole position in his wildcard ride at Belgium – and he is a former six times Dutch champion and won races in the IDM Superbike. Kern took the better over Höfer by 0.018 seconds but both were highly motivated to reduce that half a second gap over Vos in front.
The first race did not go to plan at all for Kern, who became troubles with his clutch and had to pull off the grid at the start. He tried to follow the field by starting from pit lane but did oversee a sign by race direction so was ultimately disqualified. A mistake the American immediately apologized for after.
Höfer not only rode his race to the end but also switched on his brain – he did let Arie Vos from the Netherlands and Bram Lambrechts from Belgium fight their race in front and followed them closely – as this third place meant the full 25 point for the championship.
With three races in the books now Höfer extended his lead in the championship to 23 points. He has got 75 points to his name with Marvin Jürgens (52) and team mate Kern (40) following.
„I was looking forward to Zolder for quite some time as I like this track very much. Friday was a good day in the office as I was able to place myself in front of Arie Vos and my hardest opponent in the championship fight, my team mate Nate Kern. Naturally on Saturday everybody got quicker and Vos made the most out of his abilities and talent and experience to snatch the pole with half a second over us. Nate and me where directly behind him – separated by 0.01 again. That meant we were looking at some fighting in the races but unfortunately Nate had a DNF due to a technical issue. I took my race safely to the line behind the two wildcard riders as I knew they would not get any points and I would get the 25 for the win. The second race unfortunately did not go ahead due to track conditions. Overall I am happy on how the weekend went as I could extend my championship lead and I am mega happy with my team because Basti and Peter are doing a brilliant job. Now I am looking forward to Schleiz as this always is a very special race and I am more than ready for the rest of the season.”
„Tough weekend. Professionally, but personally, one of the greatest ever. The professional aspect: We came in early enough, to defeat a lot of my jet-lag, that I had at the first round – even though a lot of people think the results at Lausitzring were really, really good, I personally think they were just good, because I left a lot on the table. Since Lausitzring I got a better physical training. I am very thankful, team Wunderlich MOTORSPORTS gave me an opportunity, to come early, get relaxed and start the weekend. That payed of in the free practices already. And it showed naturally, with having this additional talent this weekend in Vos and Lambrechts, I enjoyed seeing another perspective of how to get around Zolder fast – instead of just my team mate’s perspective. I like how close the competition is and I would wish it to further grow. My ultimate goal is to see this BoxerCup being successful, but also to enjoy this closing chapter of a long career. I knew Qualifying 1 would be the best times because of the asphalt temperatures, being the lowest, it was only about to climb. I was happy with P2 and with no jet-lag I was ready for Saturday. But then I got a problem with the clutch and the bike was even going forward, when I had parked it on my grid position. Very, very poor timing. So when the lights went on, I had to make a decision on everybody’s safety, even before mine, and I raised both hands. We pushed the bike off the grid – and then I chased the safety car and I tried everything – but the problems were really big. My emotions got the best of me and I didn’t follow the procedure for ride-through-penalties and I got the black flag. After coming such a long way, I just wanted to put in a good ride and go faster and show the Belgian and European fans what they had come for – and that would have been a good fight. But ultimately I got the black flag and it was completely my fault, nobody else’s, so I apologize to IDM. Sunday we had some bad fortune with some other classes and technical issues. We had some warm-up laps to see how bad it was and I was really keen to go to make up for the lost points and I was going in fifth gear flat out over the hill where the oil spill was and had my pace from qualifying. It was not bad at all. When we got back to the pit lane – we had a big meeting and we had some guys saying the did not want to race and it was 7 to 8. One person could have changed it – but, hey, everybody needs to do what is right to them. I am still competitive – even though I am more than fat and the real winners are the Happy Smile kids this weekend. Next is Schleiz and I’ll be ready.”
Frank Hoffmann, Teammanager Wunderlich MOTORSPORT
„Nate had some misfortune with his clutch in the first race. Fifty exactly did, what I had expected from him. And that Arie Vos from the Netherlands, with half a home round for him and as a former Superbike professional, would be strong we all had expected too. And also Bram Lambrechts, whom we not considered at the beginning of the meeting, was strong. Those three, Vos, Lambrechts and Fifty, were lapping at a similar pace in the race and Fifty did everything right: He safely took third position and the full points for the championship. I would have done the same in his position and that is absolutely right. I also think to cancel the second race was more than right! If somebody had crashed and got – at best – badly injured, everyone would have pointed their fingers on those who would have decided to go and that the race before already got cancelled due to the engine failures etc. This all would have been teared up, so I am completely with the Promoter’s and the Race Direction’s decision to call the race off.”
Our Wunderlich MOTORSPORT team got off to a perfect season start of the International Deutsche Motorradmeisterschaft (IDM) at Germany’s Lausitzring. Riders Christof “Fifty” Höfer and his team mate Nate Kern from the USA powered their BMW R nineT Racer in a double 1-2. Kern already had taken pole position in front of Höfer, who turned the fortunes around for himself in both races.
It has not only been the season opening for the IDM and the BoxerCup but also the very first race of this new class in which only BMW R nineT machinery is lined up. Our targets were easily found and clearly communicated: Both riders shall fight for race wins and the championship.
For that Nate Kern from USA was brought into the team – an experienced guy not only on Superbike machinery, but a Boxer rider for more than ten years. Team mate Höfer won the German edition of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Cup two years ago and moved up to the IDM Superbike last season. But the year was injury plagued, so Höfer is now aiming for a fresh start in the BoxerCup.
Rivalry only starts come race time
Kern and Höfer might be team mates but won’t make any gifts to each other during the races, but in Lausitzring’s practice and qualifying sessions, both worked together as Kern was new to the track and Höfer almost has no experience on Boxer motorbikes at all. So, the duo worked together and did not make the opponents having a faith at all.
In Saturday’s first race it was Kern who took the holeshot and the US rider was able to pull a gap to his opponents. But at the end of the race it was Höfer that put in the best pace, fighting back on his team mate. Kern also missed a gear one or another time, so Höfer could not only catch him but also took the win.
The second race was a mirror of the first one: Best start and leading the first laps it was Kern but Höfer fought back and took the win in the end.
The next of in total six BMW BoxerCup meetings will be held 21st to 23 of June in Zolder, Belgium.
“I am more than delighted after last year’s misfortunes to be back on front. All winter I worked a lot on my fitness but also mentally wise. Wunderlich gave me the chance to go for it in the BoxerCup and I am taking this very seriously. My hardest opponent is Nate Kern from the USA, a real tough guy and a weapon on those Boxer bikes. He did ride such motorbikes for more than ten years, won races and championship and he knows how to rides such things. When I was able to beat him on Saturday evening I was simply delighted and could head into the second race calmer. I was able to study him a while then and got faster again. I am more than happy now as this takes a lot of weight from my shoulders.”
“Great! I really, really enjoyed the track, I instantly geled with the track. P2 on free practice one, P1 on free practice two, qualifying was great too. But I also feel I was helping the young bug, the local kid, that is going really good and got a lot of talent. I just wanted to be always a little bit on top but come race time – I just need to get my cardio better for Zolder.”
Team manager Frank Hoffmann to the race weekend in the Lausitz of the BoxerCup 2019: “We are overjoyed that both riders are on an equal footing and have helped us with their routine and experience to bring the motorcycles to a very high level. We are looking forward to the next races.”
Wunderlich competes in this year‘s BMW BoxerCup 2019 as a racing team and as an exclusive sponsor for the series. Now, Frank Hoffmann, Team Manager of Wunderlich MOTORSPORT, announced that Nate “N8!” Kern will be competing all the races in the 2019 BMW BoxerCup 2019 for Wunderlich MOTORSPORT.
At least since 2016, Nate Kern has been known to the German public when he became a crowd pleaser at the Glemseck 101 - also on the R nineT. His appearance on the 1/8-mile was passionate and convincing and corresponded to his credo: „You do not have to decide whether you have fun or success. It‘s both!“ A racer to touch!
But Nate Kern is not set to just the 1/8th mile. He is an audience hero especially in the USA. Those who know his story, know what kind of enthusiastic motorcycle racer he is: he had his breakthrough in the original BMW BoxerCup Daytona in 2003. Since then he has successfully raced 9 different BMW Models with wins or podiums on each! Nate has also helped launch the class leading S 1000 Double-R and is the current Official S 1000 RR Ambassador to the USA. With a very busy schedule introducing The All New BMW S 1000 Double R all over the U.S., he loves the challenge of extensive travel and new circuits!
His career and heritage with the brand however, is very closely linked with the Boxer. Among other things, he has won multiple Regional and National Championships with CCS, ASRA, WERA, and AHRMA. The ultra-competitive ASRA Pro Thunderbike National class Nate won on a Boxer, which was until then firmly in the hands of Buell. And recently you could admire him on a race-ready BMW R nineT, which he has proprietarily developed over the past 3 seasons successfully, inspiring the return of the highly exciting spec racing series BMW BoxerCup! He has shown that the R nineT is not only good for the track, but that, in the right hands, it is fast enough to beat other two-cylinder racing bikes. The man obviously seems to have a strong weakness for BMW motorcycles and especially for the Boxer engine.
Now he comes back to Europe and rides on the Wunderlich BoxerCup R nineT circuit race instead of just the ever popular 1/8-mile at Glemseck 101.
Frank Hoffmann: „We are looking forward to Nate, who is amazingly fast on the R nineT! In addition to Nate Kern, in January we signed the winner of the 2017 Suzuki GSX 1000 Cup, Christof „Fifty“ Höfer, so our team is complete for 2019. The preparations are in full progress, which promises to be an exciting season!“
„We‘ve been hoping every year that the BMW BoxerCup will happen, so now we‘re even happier that this 2019 race series is finally ready to go again!“ The whole thing is capped off by Christof „Fifty“ Höfer‘s answer to my question of whether he wanted to see this through together, which was a clear „yes“! I really value Fifty, especially after we delivered a race together where he also „pulled through“ when he finished the race despite severe elbow injuries. I value that attitude. We won‘t just be taking part in the BMW BoxerCup as a team with Wunderlich Motorsport, we‘ll also be supporting the race series as sponsor and exclusive supplier with some of our BOXER-SPIRT products!“ said Wunderlich CEO, Frank Hoffmann.
The technically completely identical Cup motorcycles, constructed based on an optimised and modified BMW R nineT racer will be outfitted, among other things with Wunderlich‘s:
- „TT“ windshield,
- R nineT number plate set,
- Oil cooler guard,
- Paralever crash pad and
- Tail and front lifter.
Wunderlich enjoys international recognition as no. 1 worldwide for high-quality BMW motorcycle accessories. The Cup components stem from the product portfolio that encompasses over 1,400 components, which only Wunderlich offers for the R nineT in their very own BOXER-SPIRIT catalog.
Completing the triple
But Hoffman has another bit of news up his sleeve: „After the recent championship wins in 2017 and 2018 in the Endurance class of the RLC long distance series at the Nürburgring, I am withdrawing from active racing, which is not to say I‘m excluding the possibility of being a guest rider every now and then. Wunderlich Motorsport will be represented again in 2019 and just like in the BMW BoxerCup, we have our sights on one goal: Ending the season successfully, completing the triple in the RLC as much as we can.“ The racing team is launching with riders Sebastian Klettke, developer and race mechanic at Wunderlich; Sven Cremer, who organises trade fairs and events at Wunderlich; and - little wonder - with Christof „Fifty“ Höfer. Once again, the Wunderlich Motorsport Team will be appearing on a BMW S 1000 RR brilliantly prepared in their own workshops.
Due to their commitment in both series, Wunderlich Motorsport will not be appearing at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in 2019.