What do have in common a frozen forest on the top of a mountain and a bunch of motorcyclists? If you ask me, none. Absolutely none. But some people say that to be considered a real motorcyclist you have to attend the Elefanten Treffen once in your lifetime.
Ok, but why?
Because the Elefanten Treffen will make you grow hair on your chest. It is an event that brings together thousands of motorcyclist during the coldest days on the top of a mountain in the Black Forest. The attendees have to reach the meeting point without any support carrying just whatever they can carry on their bikes. It’s a rule.
The roots of this crazy tradition are dated back in the 50s. In 1956 to be precise, when Ernst Leverkus and his Zündapp KS 601 sidecar organized the first event. Ernst was a legendary German motor journalist and it was his Zündapp, “The Green Elephant”, to give the name to the event.
The 7 rules of the Elefanten
What rules? Isn’t it hard enough?
I know, but the rules are there to keep the romantic of this incredible event. Without them, technology would take over and change the soul of it. Remember, they change the location over the years to a harder one to reach. That’s the feeling they have about it. But they still have between 5,000 and 10,000 riders who attend the Elefanten Treffen every year.
- Only motorcycles on two or three wheels are allowed, like trikes and sidecars. Cars, vans trucks, trailers aren’t allowed even in the towns around. (You have to go there on your bike!)
- All motorcycles have to be street legal.
- On the road from Solla to the event the speed limit is 30 kph and wearing a helmet is mandatory. At the event, you have to keep a walking pace.
- The area will be closed a week before the opening. Every parking lot of each city or town in the neighborhood is explicitly for the inhabitants. (So you really can’t go there by van or truck and make the last miles on the bike. You have to go there on your bike!)
- No big industrial tent is allowed even during the week before the opening. (You can bring whatever you can bring on your bike, that’s it, nothing more)
- You can’t reserve or block an area for your tent before the opening.
- Any sort of fireworks is not allowed. (Life in a tent at -20 is hard enough. You don’t need an idiot who burns your tent)