Through the mud
The All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or Quad bike as it is commonly known, is designed to handle a much wider variety of terrain than most other vehicles.
Quad bikes travel on low-pressure tyres and operate very much like a motorcycle, with the extra wheels giving it more stability at slower speeds. By design Quad Bikes are most at home in the dirt and mud and excel in rough and rugged terrain.
Despite being a street-legal vehicle in Germany, spotting one is unlikely as they are still relatively rare and not often seen on German roads.
Allow us to introduce Mr Franz-Josef Schneider, Branch Manager at Detlev Louis Regensburg, a known dealer for Motorcycles and sporting goods. After 12 years of Army service, he started anew as a salesman at Louis in 2008 and worked his way up, with the aim of eventually running the company. Four years later, his goal became a reality and is now the proud Branch Manager for the Detlev Louis outlet in Regensburg.
However, this alone does not make him a Tool Rebel…
Franz-Josef is an avid motorcyclist, and found it incredibly difficult to “hang up his motorcycle gloves” despite being injured in a serious incident in 2000. A few years after the accident, an opportunity arose, which he could not resist – to test drive a Trike and Quad through a local motorcycle dealership. He immediately re-discovered his passion for all things bike related, more specifically an obsession for Quadbikes. Accordingly, it did not take him long to become the proud owner of his first ATV, a 200 Yamaha Blaster – A two stroke, air cooled 200cc monster!
“Somehow it was like I was born to ride on 4 wheels from the beginning.”
As they say, this was just the beginning for Franz-Josef…..
ATV Sport models are built with performance, rather than utility in mind. To be successful at fast trail riding, an ATV must have light weight, high power, good suspension and a low centre of gravity. So, investing in a faster vehicle, Franz-Josef starting competing.
During our interview with Mr. Schneider, it became apparent that the ATV Racing scene in Germany is very much a family affair, before, during and after the race. There is a deep camaraderie between fellow racers, not only between the teammates, but also between opponents, but like every profession, funding and money plays a major role.
The ATV Racing scene in Germany, unlike in the US, is not particularly well known and sadly does not attract many sponsors.
“The drivers are usually on their own.”
Quads, replacement parts and entry fees are usually financed by the racers themselves. Young drivers find this especially hard, having to juggle making a living and racing at the same time. Only those with a real passion for the sport find the determination to go on. Even still it is difficult and in most cases simply not possible.
In 2004 Franz-Josef founded the first Quad Club in Regensburg, helping ATV racers, particularly promoting talented young drivers with the goal of promoting the sport in Germany. MADHEAD Racing Team currently has 5 active drivers under contract who compete in a variety of racing series; German Off-road Masters, Endurance Master, Quad Off-road Challenge and German Cross Country to name but a few.
In 2013 and the following year Franz-Josef Schneider became a German ATV Racing Champion!
Sadly, he was unable to defend his title in 2015. However, he remains un-phased and certainly still full of vigor and passion! Franz-Josef has his mind and heart set on this year’s competition and is determined to win the title back!
“I am a person who tackles and cares.”
For us Franz Josef is a real Tool Rebel. Not just because of the fact that he is a Wera and Tool Rebels fan through and through (he has been quoted saying that if he cut his finger he would bleed green!)
“If I cut myself now, it would bleed Wera green! .
“It is his determination and passion which stands him above the rest and the fact that he challenges the status quo!
We at Wera wish him all the best for the coming season!!
For more information on the Madhead Racing Team click here .