Knights on motorcycles.

Taking to the battlefield with XR rider Robert Nacke.

The perfect distraction.

They battle, sword-fight and yell: Knights in full suits of armour trade heavy blows to the helmet in medieval combat, a full-contact historical sport. Despite all the body armour, almost no one comes away from combat unscathed. A tough sport for a tough guy: Robert Nacke, IT project manager and avid S 1000 XR rider. For 37-year-old Nacke, both of his chosen sports are the perfect distraction from his work. "Whether I'm riding my motorcycle or doing medieval combat, the goal is the same. It's about having fun with friends and enjoying life to the fullest," says Nacke, talking about his hobbies.
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King Arthur style.

King Arthur style.

Medieval combat is growing in popularity, and not just among men. More and more fearless maidens are also joining the action and fighting for glory and honour on the battlefield. Two equal teams of 5, 10, 16 or 21 fighters are pitted against each other in the arena. In true King Arthur style, the knights wear modern suits of protective armour. Just like the pieces of a leather motorcycle suit, all the armour parts have to fit together perfectly to ensure agility in battle despite their bulky weight. A full outfit costs 6,000 euros.

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Combat with clear rules.

Combat with clear rules.

Weapons are not included in that price. And there are many weapons: Modern knights can use swords, axes, daggers and clubs. Rules specified by a medieval association dictate how the weapons may be used. Seriously injuring another combatant with a knife or dagger is not permitted. Also, all weapons are dull. "You're not supposed to die during the games," says Nacke with a grin. "Weapons like a war hammer, which has a spike on the end and was invented to pierce armour, are not permitted either," he says. Laughing, Nacke adds: "But we're allowed to use it as a can opener."

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Riding motorcycles. Working out. Doing battle.

Riding motorcycles. Working out. Doing battle.

It's nothing unusual for motorcyclists with powerful bikes like the S 1000 XR to enjoy a dose of adrenaline and the feeling of absolute freedom. But medieval combat takes things to a whole new level. It's a sport that requires a lot of physical strength. To win, you need to wipe out your adversaries by delivering heavy blows and kicks, taking hold of opponents and tackling them. That means medieval combat fighters have to have stamina, strength and endurance. Besides riding his XR regularly, Nacke also does CrossFit workouts to gain the necessary strength for punching, kicking and wielding heavy weapons.

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Whether I'm riding my motorcycle or doing medieval combat, the goal is the same. It's about having fun with friends and enjoying life to the fullest.

Robert Nacke

Friendly enemies.

Anyone who's ever been to a medieval combat competition knows just how physical this sport gets. Punches, kicks and strangleholds are a constant sight – and sound – during these brute battles. The heavy breathing and groans of struggling combatants fills the air, and the sound of metal on metal is loud. "Adrenaline is just rushing through your veins because you're always giving it your all," says Nacke. "But there are no enemies here. We always make up after battle and go for a drink together." Medieval combat is a thrilling spectacle for onlookers. And if you want to participate, you can join a clan. Who knows, maybe a member of your motorcycle club or an unsuspecting colleague at work might be regularly slipping into the role of 15th century knight. In any case, Robert Nacke is definitely the nice colleague from IT – and the knight on a motorcycle.
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