For actor Hannes Jaenicke nothing beats the winding Alpine routes which are found across southern Bavaria. The 51-year-old German native divides his time between his homeland and California, but was delighted to be back in Bavaria and on two wheels for BMW Motorrad Days – the annual celebration of the world of BMW Motorrad that took place earlier this month.
Hannes has enjoyed a 30-year film career, starring in both German and English films. He has appeared on the silver screen alongside big Hollywood names like Catherine Zeta-Jones, and his portfolio includes Catherine the Great and Venomous. He has also appeared in big German series such as Post Mortem and Sardsch. More recently he has revealed his passion for environmental issues, presenting a documentary on the planet’s endangered species and writing a book about his experiences entitled ‘Anger alone is not enough’.
The star has made it to the BMW Motorrad Days event many times in the past, but this year he had a number of new talking points – including his own brand-new BMW K 1300 R and the BMW Concept C scooter. The event offered him a chance to get a first-look at the Concept C and Hannes said he was excited by what he saw.
“The scooter looks great,” he says. “It will be ideal for the city. It’s something I would like to ride in really big cities like London, Berlin, or LA. It’s efficient, it saves time, money and fuel – I think it will be very popular.”
He also said Husqvarna’s new machine, the 900cc NUDA R, also appealed to him: “I’d like the opportunity to take it out on the mountain roads, where I think it could be sensational!”
Hannes rode to BMW Motorrad days on his brand-new black K 1300 R. He explained that getting a chance to explore the mountain roads on his motorcycle was one of the best things about the event. “Riding through the beauty of the mountains and the lakes is one of the best things about going to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for me,” he says. “The scenery really is breath-taking and it’s so great to get a chance to just enjoy it. For any biker the Alps are just the perfect place to ride.”
His latest motorcycle is the same model as his last one and Hannes says it’s the ideal model for him. He says: “I also rode a K 1300 R to BMW Motorrad Days last year, so this year I’ve got the same model, but with a different look! For me, it’s the most exciting bike on the market. It has an absolutely perfect balance between being a cruiser and a really brutal sport bike. I wouldn’t change it for the world!”
While Hannes may have no plans to trade in BMW Motorrad’s most powerful naked roadster, he is equally interested by the brand’s other models. He is a well-known fan of GS bikes and the S 1000 RR race bike, and also turned up to the annual Berlin International Film Festival on a six-cylinder K 1600 GT. Most recently, he has expressed his interest in the BMW K 1600 GT, saying: “It’s a great bike. If you want to travel long distances, this is a perfect bike. It’s amazing to ride – it’s not like a fat, lazy cruiser – it would be the perfect touring bike, although I never have time to take tours!”
While Hannes always has a busy schedule between his acting work and environmental campaigning, he still took time out during his visit to BMW Motorrad Days to answer fans’ questions in a live Facebook chat session. Questions were posed on his book, his love of motorcycles and the event itself, and he was happy to answer them all. The actor explained that with little free time available, motorcycling had to be part of his daily life rather than just a hobby.
“I don’t really ride for leisure, but I use my bike all the time because I ride it instead of driving a car. They need less gas, less space to park and you never get caught in traffic – plus, they’re more fun.”
Next up for Hannes is another documentary, about Bruno the Bear. Bruno was shot by hunters in the Bavarian Alps in 2006, sparking international outrage. He was the first animal of his kind to have been spotted in the wild in Germany since 1835 and had been part of an Italian programme to reintroduce bears to the Alps. He fell foul of Bavarian authorities after he began wandering into populated areas and hunting small animals, and permission was granted to kill him. He eluded everyone for seven weeks, but was eventually tracked down and shot. “We are making the documentary about Bruno next year – it’s a great story, really more of a thriller,” says Hannes.