Heroes

Taking it to the limit: Martin Söderström

Top performance on any terrain, that’s the essence of the new BMW X3. Three different perspectives, three stories of adventure, burning curiosity and the sheer joy of pushing the limits. We start off with freeride mountain biker Martin Söderström, who shares his thoughts on clear thinking on the steepest slopes.

Profiles
Dirk Bruniecki

My father was always opposed to the idea of me taking up a dangerous sport. He was a motocross rider himself and felt there was absolutely no question of me doing anything of that sort. Up to the age of eight, the most I was allowed to do was play table tennis and football. So when I told my dad one day that I wanted to become a professional freeride mountain biker – something that till then had only ever been a secret fantasy for me – he was pretty upset at first. But he didn’t try to stop me from doing it anyway.

“I often don’t realise how close to the edge of a steep cliff I was riding until I watch a video of myself.”

When he’s on his bike, Martin Söderström is in his element. All that matters is overcoming the obstacles that are directly in front of him.

These days, when I’m on the bike in the thick of the action – say in a competition – it feels great, because I’m entirely focused on myself and living in the moment. All I can think of is what’s directly in front of me and what I need to do to get through it as well as I possibly can.

I’m no adrenalin junkie. In fact, I’d even describe myself as rather timid. I don’t like skydiving and I’m not a big fan of amusement parks – roller coasters scare me. I realise that’s a bit of a paradox, since my sport can obviously be dangerous at times. But when you’re on the bike, and especially when you’re competing, you can’t think about how something might go wrong and what the consequences would be – that would just unnerve you.

For an extreme athlete, precision is absolutely essential. Everything has to come together perfectly – fitness level, bike and total concentration. This is how Söderström manages to execute his often hair-raising bike runs.

New horizons: accompanying the driver on journeys of discovery far away from the day-to-day routine is a welcome challenge for the new BMW X3.

New horizons: accompanying the driver on journeys of discovery far away from the day-to-day routine is a welcome challenge for the new BMW X3.

I often don’t realise how close to the edge of a steep cliff I was riding until I watch a video of myself after the run. It’s crucial to be able to rely on my equipment. It’s the same as with your own body: if something isn’t working just right, then you can’t deliver a perfect performance either. If both body and bike are fine, then you’ll have a good day. Landing a trick I’ve been working on for a long time gives me a real kick. Then even riding down an incredibly steep slope is a buzz as well. It really all comes down to precision. Everything has to fit together – that’s the only way to win!”



Coming soon on bmwmagazine.com: Fatima Gil on climbing as a creative challenge and Freddie Meadows on surfing in icy waters.

The off-road capabilities of the BMW X3 have been further enhanced with the arrival of the new model generation, and this is clearly reflected in the design.

Model facts

BMW X3 M40i

Displacement cc
Cylinders

2998
6

Output
kW (PS)

265 (360)

Torque Nm

500

Top speed

250

Acceleration
0-100km/h

4,8

Fuel economy in l/100 km
urban
inter-urban
combined


11,1-10,8
7,0-6,7
8,4-8,2

CO2 emissions
(combined) g/km


193 - 188

09/22/2017