Interview with Chris Pfeiffer - the expert in the bike acrobatics
|Chris already as small child was showing interests in bikes|
fot. with permission of Chris Pfeiffer
Chris told us that he had started to ride bikes when he was 10 years old. As he perceives himself - he is lucky man, who can fulfill his dreams. As of 1996 constantly pushing forward own limits he is professional stunt and shows his skills all over the world. Every year he brings new acrobatics and what's more carries different kinds of projects and participates in off-road Extreme Riding competition. Since 2000 he has been intensively training on the serial bikes. During his performances he rides motorcycles which can be used by everyone. Four times, surrounded by applauding crowds, he reached for Stunt Riding World Champion and European Stunt Riding Champion titles. He is also accounted for the longest jump over 33 laying next to each other people, without the approaching ramp. He is the only man who has got with his BMW G 450X on the rising over 20 m over the water narrow arch of the bridge Via Tina in Italy, glancing off the Hummer roof.
What was the beginning of your road to glory, your first kilometers on the bike? For sure you were already into motorsports - what kind?
- I started riding when my dad restarted riding after a "baby brake" when I was 5 years old. First in my parents' garden and later in an age of 10 I started riding over obstacles, classical Trial. When I was 22 I went on the freestyle way of riding, first on trial bikes later on street bikes.
fot. Red Bull Photofiles
How many years have you needed to bring your skills to such perfection? Had your parents helped and supported you? Maybe there was a trainer or idol?
- My advantage for stunt riding was that I already had very good control over the bikes because of many years of trials riding. Trials are the best school for any kind of motorcycle motorsports in my opinion.
My dad supported me but never trained me or pushed me. I always practiced more than my parents actually wanted me to ride. But I was good at school and so
I was allowed to ride a lot. Actually, every afternoon around their house and company. There were idols like Jean Pierre Goy and later AC Farias who inspired me to change from trials to stunt riding.
The sport you are in is very niche. Is this something what you like about it, do you think about racing, enduro, trial? Are you fan of one of these disciplines?
- I still would like to ride extreme enduro races. Tough races like Erzberg or Hellgate. But I had to decide: Enduro or Stunting and I did the right decision. It's not possible to be successful in two disciplines anymore. I still also love trials and ride a few times a month.
|Chris Pfeiffer during Red Bull Trial to be Wild, Cpe town|
fot. Kolesky, Red Bull Photofiles
You are experienced stunt. Do you share the knowledge with younger colleagues? Are there special places in Germany where you or your colleagues can practice?
- I have two proper areas where I can practice: a karting hall in the winter and a motorsport and driving school area in the summer. Sometimes other riders visit me to practice together but most of the time I practice alone.
The highways in Germany does not necessary have speed limits. Do you ride the bike or drive car usually? Do you have the tendency to speed up or you drive gently and safely?
- In my day to day life I prefer the car. Motorcycle means extreme sports for me and I prefer to ride bikes in closed areas. I like speed but that doesn't mean that I am always over the speed limits with my car. Most of the time I drive gently and always safely.
Was there any exceptional failure and on the other hand definitely expected success which you will always have on your mind?
fot. Bernhard Spöttel, Red Bull Photofiles
- Well, I was injured seriously in 1999 because of a technical problem with the front brake. After that we prepared and checked my bikes even better than before. I still hate the fact that I didn't win the Worldchampionship in 2004. My riding level was really good but I found no rhythm in this competition and made lots of small mistakes. Also I had no innovative tricks so I was second in this year.
There are many successful days which I will never forget but outstanding and surprising was that I won the Worldchampionship in 2003. First time that I competed and I couldn't believe it to be high upon the podium in front of my hero AC Farias.
We have seen you during the Motorrad Days in GaPa on BMW G450X - as usual you were unbelievable! What brings you more joy - enduro or freestyle? What do you think about the motorcycles which you currently use? Is there anything glam or even bewitching about them?
- My main passion is stunting but I still love trials and enduro but more for fun and also it's a good practice for bike skills and the physical shape. I am totally fallen in love with my F800R. She is my favourite bike.
You have achieved a lot, it would be difficult to want more. Of course we want to congratulate you for retaining the leader position in the Indoor World Champs. We wonder how much you are able to enjoy every award you win. Or maybe this has been routine since some time?
|Indoor World Champ, Zurich 2008|
fot. Bernhard Spöttel, Red Bull Photofiles
- No, definitely not routine. The third victory in a row at the Indoor WC made me more proud than the two before. It's easier to win than to stay the winner and therefore it still feels good to win a competition. But competition are maybe not the most important thing for me in my sport. Creating new tricks and combinations is the real motivation.
How long had you been training before the jump over 33 people ? What was the training based on? Hopefully, nobody was hurt during the practice sessions?
- Nobody was injured of course! I jumped over parcels when I practiced. Over and over again. Faster and faster. Further and further. I practiced half a year for that jump on the trial bike.
What bikes have you been riding before the BMW F800 R? Do you have special feeling, sentiment towards any of them?
- Before I rode BMW, I stunted on Ducati and Suzuki. I still love the look and the sound of the Ducatis but stunting was not easy on them. I made a big step up when I changed on the BMW F800.
I know your current BMW does not differ much from the serial version. But how much have you tampered into the mechanics of your bike? Do you do it by yourself or you give your machine to mechanics?
- I have my own mechanic. He is my employee and he prepares my bikes like I want them. Also BMW gives us technical support of course but most is done in my garage at home where Hans, my mechanic works.
fot. Simon Pukl, Red Bull Photofiles
Your calendar is very tight. You practice between the events. Can you allow yourself for a couple of weeks off? What do you like to do besides the motorcycle riding?
- I hate the fact that I have so many travel days flying or on the highway to the events where I can't practice. When I am at home I ride almost every day about two hours. My technical level would not go down if I would not practice a couple of weeks but it's not about keeping the level it's always about getting better.
My fitness training contains mountainbiking, jogging, Nordic skiing, gymnastics and stretching. But no weight lifting at all and no fitness studio. For fun I love skiing, trials and enduro.
Do you know any Polish freestylers/stunts? Maybe you have met a woman who is in this kind of sport and she made the certain impression?
- I met Raptowny.com (please help me with his first name) when I was in Warsaw recently and his level is pretty good. And there is also this young guy from Poland who participated at the Indoor WC. He is a very good and talented rider! There are a few women stunting but not on a high level so far.
Have you noticed any predispositions that your own son Hannes or your daughters would have for bikes? Would you like your children to share and continue your passion?
- Hannes is only 2 and he is crazy for bikes. First word in the morning: moto, moto. He imitated my tricks on his 3-wheel and bobby car and he loves to get a ride with me on the enduro in the garden. My daughters have a 50 motorbike and a quad and they love to ride with me when I go jogging. But otherwise they prefer skiing, dancing and music. It's very important for me and my wife to see that they have a passion for something, whatever.
Chris, thank you very much for this conversation and we wish you all the best.