Martin has been travelling across deserts on a GS for 25 years. In an interview with BMW Motorrad, he talks about the dangers of the desert, his experiences with his motorcycle and his plans for the future.
Michael, what would you like to achieve with your current project?
The first message is that the deserts are part of our planet and should be better protected. Weapons testing is carried out in deserts and oil sources are exploited there. The second message - my project should inspire young people and couch potatoes to see the world. The motorcycle is a wonderful tool for doing so.
You travelled through extreme zones for six years for "Planet Desert". What was the most difficult challenge on your travels?
On the one hand, the safety problems obviously - terrorism, rebels and kidnappings. It is very dangerous in the Middle East and in many parts of South Africa. But thankfully the world is big enough and there are safe countries like Namibia, Australia or the USA.
What is riding through the desert on a motorcycle like? Did you have to learn how to do it first?
You do have to learn how to drive a motorcycle in the desert first and it can be dangerous. There is a greater risk of falling in the desert. I can only recommend wearing back protection, good shoes and a decent helmet. Because there are no helicopters to rescue you in the desert. I did have my falls, but didn't seriously injure myself. It took a while to learn how to drive on sand or dirt tracks.
How did you manage to drive the motorcycle in sandy deserts?
By now I can drive well on sand with the GS. At the beginning sand was a particular challenge for me. Manoeuvring a 400-kilo motorcycle through the sand requires a lot of courage and very good driving skills.
Are you planning a new project yet? If so, what is it?
I will spend the next few years concentrating on my shows. But in 2018 I will be able to think about a new project – and would very happily go on another adventure with my motorcycle.