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BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Walz

1967  Marcus Walz is born in Heidelberg, Germany, on 17 July. During his childhood, he spends almost all of his free time at the nearby Hockenheimring..

1981  His 'motorcycling career' starts at the age of 14 when he gets his first moped. He takes part in his first 'illegal' races in the same year.

1982 - 1985  Marcus completes an apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. He practices this profession until 1992.

.1985  He gets his first car and his first 'proper' motorcycle, a Yamaha RD350LC with a strong 2-stroke engine.

1987  He gets his first Harley, a 1987 Softail. He converts the bike and then sells it at a profit. Marcus invests his money in his new hobby which becomes his new passion over the subsequent years: Moto Cross. .

1988  First complete Moto Cross season. Marcus drives a Kawasaki KX250 right from the start. To start with he finances his hobby out of his own pocket. In 1990, he then gains direct financial support from Kawasaki, as a result of which he gains the opportunity to race in some of the German MX championship races.

.1990  Competing in a minor race, Marcus suffers a serious accident. He loses nearly all of his teeth and breaks his jaw several times and suffers serious cuts to his face and throat. He competes in a few more races in 1991 before deciding to turn his back on the sport.
 
1992  Marcus invests the proceeds from his motocross bike in a set of good tools .and a bike-lift and in a converted barn, begins work on transforming a Pan/Shovel Harley Davidson that has been sent for scrap. The final result can then be seen a short time later on the cover of BIKERS LIVE magazine (now CUSTOMBIKE). Today, this is seen to be the 'birth' of WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES. (The phrase Walz-Werk is also used on the magazine cover for the first time, a phrase that Marcus then uses 15 years later - although without a hyphen - for his new company 'WalzWerk').

Marcus registers his workshop as a manufacturing business and in January 1993, he formally establishes WALZ-HARDCORE CYCLES.

1994  For capacity reasons, the firm then moves into a 600 sq. m. new building in the Hockenheim industrial estate adjacent to the celebrated 'Hockenheimring' grand prix circuit.

1998  Marcus invents and develops the now world-famous 'Drag Style' frame and in so doing presents a completely new kind of custom bike. During a legal battle, he subsequently receives legal certification of having created a completely new generic concept with the term 'Drag Style', such as the terms 'Enduro' and 'Chopper', for instance.

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1999  With his unique Drag-Style bikes, Marcus is invited to events in the USA and Japan for the first time, where he celebrates some big successes. In the same year, Marcus' mother dies just a few days after having been diagnosed with a brain tumour. Marcus then takes a break from work for almost a whole year. At one point he even thinks of selling his company.

2000  Michael Winkler joins the company as an equal partner, assuming responsibility for the management and the day-to-day business.

2003  Marcus launches a 'Comeback' in Moto-Cross racing, which he subsequently ends in the same year, deciding to hang up his helmet for good.

2004  Marcus decides to enter a new field - road and circuit racing. He takes part in several BoxerCup training sessions on a BMW BoxerCup and competes in some amateur races on a Ducati 999R.

2004, 2005 und 2006  As the only Bike builder not to be located in America, Marcus is invited to the highly acclaimed 'Artistry in Iron' show in Las Vegas which takes place every year as part of the Las Vegas Bikefest. (This is where his legendary meeting with Brad Pitt also takes place).

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2005 WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES opens a branch in Miami and establishes licensee companies in almost all .European countries.

.2006  Marcus tries his luck on the racing circuits on 4 wheels. Driving a Porsche 911 RS, he takes part in the Porsche Clubsport, as well as participating in a wide range of track days and amateur races in a Ferrari 360 Modena.

Formula 1 racing driver Kimi Räikkönen of Mercedes McLaren orders his first bike from Marcus. A year later, he becomes Formula 1 world champion with Ferrari, and in testament to his Formula 1 car, he orders his second bike in Ferrari red.

 

As the only Bike Builder not to be living in America, Marcus goes on camera for the Discovery Channel’s cult TV show 'Biker Build-Off', becoming even the first non-American to win the show. With over 40 million viewers, the show is at that time the most successful TV format in the USA.

.2007  The 'Biker Build-Off' is broadcast in Europe for the first time by the TV channel DSF. Marcus wins this new event once again against Swiss Bike-Builder and FIA Dragracer Urs Erbacher and in so doing becomes 'Biker Build-Off Champion' for the second time. In 2008, Marcus turns down taking part in Biker Build-Off and officially withdraws from competitions of this kind. . 

 

"Bilker Build Off Winner 2007 in USA
and in Europe

 

 

.Marcus teamed up with Ferrari Specialist Novitec Rosso to build a car to match his bikes. The car which is based on a brandnew Ferrari F430 Scuderia is called "TuNero" . Both, the bike and the car become a worldwide mega success which is launched on the IAA in Frankfurt.

 

 

 

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SPIEGEL TV films a two-part documentary about Marcus and WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES. Despite the somewhat unfortunate choice of title ('Hockenheim Choppers'), the first broadcast on DMAX is a huge success. The TV documentary also gets big viewing figures on VOX.

2008  With a big party and a huge & unique Bike Show, WALZ-HARDCORE CYCLES celebrates its 15-year company anniversary. The same year, Marcus establishes his new label, WalzWerk, and in so doing returns to his racing roots.

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Marcus goes on camera once again together with his old friend Klaus Hülsmann. On two custom bikes, they drive from the German city of Essen to the North Cap. During the 4,500 km journey through ice, rain and snow, they are accompanied by TV. channel DMAX. The three-part documentary 'To the North Cap by Custom Bike' is a huge hit, securing the TV channel record viewing figures. It is repeated regularly on TV to this day.

After the North Cap documentary, Marcus decides to turn down further TV programmes that are offered and declares that he will no longer be available for TV productions in the future. (In 2010, the active animal conservationist makes an exception to this rule once again!)

.2009   In a frenzy of media reports, his book is published "Marcus Walz - Hardcore for Life". Shortly before the book is published, Marcus' dog 'Tonka' dies at the old age of 15 years. Marcus decides to dedicate the book to his late dog.

After almost 10 years, Marcus parts company with his business partner, Michael Winkler. Marcus now manages the firm's business on his own.

2010  Marcus takes part in a wide-ranging advertising campaign in the print, online. and TV media for the animal welfare organization PeTA. The campaign is a huge success for everyone involved.

 

 

2010/2011  Marcus sold WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES and all associated trademarks and naming rights to a investor-group and a private investor.

.Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel orders a bike from WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES, and at just 23 years old isn't just the youngest Formula 1 world champion of all time - he is also the youngest customer of WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES.

 

 

 

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.Marcus returns to the world of motor racing and competes in the popular Triumph Cup, which is held on Triumph Street-Triples. At the same time, he also competes in some national and international races and endurance races on KTM and Ducati.

Together with Roland Sands (USA) and Ludovic Lazareth (F) Marcus is officially .commissioned from Yamaha Europe to build a Custombike based on a brandnew Yamaha V-Max. Each of the three bike builder receive a new V-Max in order to turn them in something extra ordinary. Followed by a huge media interest the V-Max project will be presented at the world's largest motorcycle show EICMA in Milan and becomes for all parties a great success.

.2012After the overwhelming success of the VMax-project, Yamaha Europe has invited again the 3-bike builder Marcus Walz, Ludovic Lazareth and Roland Sands to modify a bike. But this time, the choice fell on the Power Scooter "TMax". Although the project polarized, it provides worldwide headlines.

In collaboration with Detlev Louis, Marcus builds the "Louis anniversary bike" for . the
75th company anniversary of the industry leader. With an unprecedented campaign for the Louis online customers have a say in the basic construction of the bike, this project is topic number one in the European motorcycle scene right after its announcement.

2013  WALZ HARDCORE CYCLES celebrates its 20 year anniversary and WalzWerk its 5 year anniversary at the same time.

In the 3rd year in a row he again participate in the TRIUMPH CUP and take part in a few lEndurance races with Triumph and KTM.

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As a commissioned work for TRIUMPH Germany Marcus builds a high-end Cafe Racer, based on a new 2013er Speed Triple, which has its world premiere on the TRIDAYS in Austria in front of a large audience.

 

 

 

 

In Summer 2013 Marcus opened with a partner the WALZWERK-CAFE on the famous castle place in Schwetzingen.

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With features, articles and reports in over 600 magazines and trade publications, over 60 cover pages and cover stories worldwide, and in collaboration in several TV shows in Europe and the USA, Marcus Walz is currently one of the most well-known and influential Bike Builders and motorcycle designers in the world.

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