M feeling at international racetracks: exclusive garage seats for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

BMW:M feeling at international racetracks: exclusive garage seats for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team.

Munich. The two riders in the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, Tom
Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL), naturally spend a lot of time
in the saddle of their BMW S 1000 RR. However, during tests and at
race weekends in the FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK),
they also spend a lot of time sitting with their team in the garage
between and during sessions. These meetings play an important role
in development and set-up work. Sykes and Laverty must no longer
forego the kind of comfort of their BMW M cars they have become
accustomed to. Instead of standard chairs, they now have original
BMW M sport seats in their pit areas – 100% made in Munich (GER) for
use at racetracks in WorldSBK.


The two seats used by Sykes and Laverty are optional equipment for
the BMW M4 Competition, with high-class Merino leather covers. They
weigh roughly 30 kilograms each. They were converted into chairs in
the BMW Research Centre in Munich, by Alois Widbiller, Head of System
Integration Seats, and his team.  


“We regularly make specials like this, so we suggested that we could
also build special seats for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team. We had
great fun with the project,” explained Widbiller. It took him and his
team roughly 60 working hours to convert the special model for the BMW
M4 Competition into a garage seat.

The task was to make a chair on rollers from a seat usually installed
in a car. “That is really complex, as you cannot simply mount the seat
on castors,” Widbiller explained. “For example, we had to design and
produce special connecting pieces. They included an adapter, which we
screw into the seat to form the connection with the rolling base. In
the case of the rolling base, it was important to us that it sat nice
and low to give both riders the most comfortable seating position
possible. And the two chairs have obviously also been given a plaque
with the words ‘BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team’. It is located where the
inside of the seat would be in a car. We had space there, and designed
a special cover, on which we could mount the plaque.”

Sykes and Laverty were presented with their new chairs by Dr. Markus
Schramm. The Head of BMW Motorrad took the opportunity to wish them
and the team a successful restart to the 2020 WorldSBK season. The two
riders also used a trip to Munich to visit the BMW research centre,
where they gained an impression of the prototype seats workshop and
met Widbiller and his team. “It was very interesting for them to come
to the place where parts are made for the cars. They don’t usually get
to see areas like that,” said Widbiller. “It was excellent to welcome
the two guys, and we obviously have our fingers crossed for a
successful remainder of the season.”

“People often underestimate how much time our riders actually spend
sitting in the garage,” confirmed BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director
Marc Bongers. “This is particularly true during practice sessions.
Before they take to the track, they prepare for their outings. Between
runs they return to the garage and, while the crew works on the bike,
the riders chat to their crew chiefs and engineers and give feedback
on the bike. After all the sessions, including qualifying and the
race, they head straight to the debrief with the team, in which all
the details of how the bike responded in individual sections of the
track are discussed and sector times are analysed. All that forms the
basis for our set-up work during a race weekend. And the riders
obviously also spend the final few minutes before they take to the
grid in their garage, where they enter their final phase of
concentration.” Thanks to their new BMW M chairs, they can now do this
in ultimate comfort.

Original Press Release