Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It seems we have found our Madame X, and her name is Anke-Eve. Six feet tall, slim, and striking, she felt comfortable with cameras and eyes focussed on her, as she proved her abilities on two wheels.

Our first image of her is astride BMW R67/3 in 1954. This model can be distinguished by the plunger rear suspension, tiny taillamp, and fishtail exhaust pipes. The 'Schorsch Meier' dualseat is an unusual item for a plunger-frame BMW - original equipment was a rubber Denfield saddle. It appears she competed in Endurance and Speed competition, but was barred, as a woman, from competing at a higher level of Club or GP racing.

This did not dissuade her from seeking fast motorcycles and race tracks; in many photographs she is hurtling down the tarmac, and mixing with other motorcyclists at Hockenheim and Nurburgring - such as here examining a Norton Manx at Nurburgring.

Her 'pass' at the tracks, beyond her riding ability, was a facility with writing a good story for the press, and she regularly sent racing and riding reports to Moto Revue in France, as well as publications in Spain, Sweden, Germany, the US, and Japan. Here at Hockenheim, she waits for track time with a pair of Jawa two-strokes and a Zundapp outfit - her suitcase strapped to the parcel rack of her R69.

She worked at a U.S. Air Force base, teaching German to the children of soldiers stationed there. She also spoke other languages, and her command of English was good enough to write two articles for Cycle World magazine in 1962. 'An Invitation to a Lap Around the Nurburgring' was published in the June issue of 1962, and a report on women racers in the Soviet Union (!) was printed in October of that year [and yes, I will definitely post it]. In this photo, noted motorcycle author Erwin Tragatsch, author of the definitive 'Illustrated History of Motorcycles', stands with a group visiting Anke-Eve with her late-model R69S, now with a British 'Peel' fairing (distinguishable by the clear panel in the nose - the headlamp is not mounted to the actual fairing, but is retained in the standard position. The clear section is elongated for a full sweep of light).

And don't you wish your Elementary School teacher rode a motorcycle like Anke-Eve! She cut quite a figure in those drab days of the late 1950s, and had a bit of an exhibitionist streak.

By 1956, she had a new BMW R69, which was the fastest Bavarian flat-twin roadster, topping 100mph with aplomb. And she repaid the bike's excellent qualities with loyalty and by becoming an extremely visible spokesperson for the marque, always wearing her pudding basin helmet with a large 'BMW' sticker at the front. These photos show Anka-Eve at the Nurburgring race track, usually alone! Perhaps the male riders were afraid to ride with

In 1958, in concert with 9 other women riders, including Ellen Pfeiffer, she helped found W.I.M.A. (Women's International Motorcycling Association) in Europe. W.I.M.A. U.S.A. was founded in 1950 by Louise Scherbyn, and the idea spread quickly to Britain and Europe. Ellen Pfeiffer is now considered the 'Urmütter' of the organization in Europe.

I don't think Ms. Goldmann was ever sponsored or employed by the BMW factory, but she was clearly given priority when purchasing one of the first half-dozen BMW R69S models in 1960; her new machine has the ultra-rare rearview mirror mounted above the cylinder head. The R69S had 42hp, was capable of 110mph, and made a superb and reliable sports-touring machine.

And tour she did; attending the Elephant Rally mid-winter for many years on her BMW, and riding throughout the year, regardless of the season or road conditions. These photos of Anke-Eve riding in ice and snow give an idea of her determination, and the care with which she designed her own riding gear.

It seems she worked with German leather riding gear manufacturer 'Harro' in creating her own personalized attire. In winter months, she can be seen wearing a large buckled body belt, too large to be merely a 'kidney belt', which must have been an aid to keeping warm in very cold weather.

Her riding suit for winter is significantly bulkier and larger than the svelte summer catsuit, and can clearly accomodate woolens underneath - leggings, sweaters, the lot - the suit approaches Bibendum proportions on her coldest rides.

Her summer one-piece riding suit had the distinctive feature of a diagonal zipper from the neck, crossing over to the side of the body, which may have aided the 'fit' of the leathers, especially on a woman's torso. Her leathers certainly fit well...

Harro went on to manufacture 'her' design for public consumption.

And then, she gave up her beloved BMWs. Perhaps she was bored by the R75/5 model which supplanted the R69S in 1969, or felt that it's performance lagged behind what 'the competition' was offering, especially as Japanese and Italian machines had much faster and better-handling machines at the time. Whatever the reason, Ms. Goldmann moved right on up to M.V. Agusta's 750cc DOHC 4-cylinder hotrods, perhaps the first and only woman to do so - she was a sensation.

While M.V. had been producing 4-cylinder racers since the 1950s, the 750S, introduced in 1969, was their first sporting 4, and what the public had been clamoring for. But, the public couldn't afford the M.V.! It was always an expensive and exclusive motorcycle, revered by collectors today, and out of reach for all but the lucky few in 1969.

Anke-Eve seems totally at home with her Italian rocket, and she kept this bike for several years, upgrading over time with items such as cast magnesium Campagnolo wheels, triple disc Brembo brakes, and a set of aftermarket 'Arturo Magni' 4-in-1 exhaust pipes - all items which were added to the newest M.V. models.

This machine was the total antithesis of her old BMWs! Loud, fast, and a bit fragile, it certainly wasn't the best Touring machine, especially with the clip-on handlebars and rearsets she favored. Her riding position really tells the tale; Anke-Eve had evolved into a full-blown Cafe Racer, and given the noise (however glorious) emanating from those Magni pipes, a bit of a hooligan!

After the death of her closest friend in a riding accident, Anke-Eve Goldmann seems to have given up motorcycles altogether, and began to travel with a backpack to remote Asian locations. Traveling alone, she trekked through Burma, the Sunda Islands, Vietnam, and Cambodia, not many years after the conflicts there had ended.

If you have further information about this remarkable woman, please contact me!


Mick P said...

Great post, very interesting. What a woman.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations (again) on some wonderful topics this last week!
Your blog is getting better and better by the day.
In Holland we also had a little woman in the fifties/sixties who could ride really well, her name escapes me at the moment but I could dive into her story if you like.
She was a member of the Dutch Velocette club and I have spoken her a few times - she died about five years ago - her last ride was a fitting tribute the coffin was mounted on a sidecar outfit, which by the way was ridden by Rob Cornet of Velocette Sprinter fame...


Anonymous said...

Stunning black and white photos and a great story of an incredible woman. Thanks for bringing her to light.


Anonymous said...

Anka-Eve...I never thought anyone would put Marianne Faithfull in the shade in
this regard, but one lives and learns. Wonderful story!


vintagent said...

I am seriously wondering if Anka-Eve was the inspiration for André Pieyre de Mandiargues' 'The Motorcycle', which he wrote in 1962 (in French), on which 'Girl on a Motorcycle' was based.
Yes, she rode a Harley in the book, but how many women were riding around in leather catsuits in 1962? Anka-Eve was very well-known in the day, and it's my bet that de Mandiargues saw her or press about her, and his erotic imagination took the better of him.
Can't say I blame the fellow!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff on Anka-Eve!
The BMW R-68 was the first production BMW to go 100 MPH.Its motor was identical to the R-69 motor (8:1,35 HP).
It was in the 1st brochures ,except for a misprint one year where they claimed 1,000 MPH!

Great blogs.Keep it up.
All the best,Somer

coreyl said...

What a babe! We need more like her. Great post, Paul!

Anonymous said...

Good evening,
Unbelievable! You were more efficient than myself and have identified her so quickly. How did you manage? I did not succeed during the past years - although I did not actively search for her but was just keeping eyes and ears open, and I disvcovered Internet only last year... Where did you get all the information about her? Congratulations! And what a life story! I used to know a MOTO REVUE chapo quite well, he dies of cancer as a young man, but I am now trying to open that line.
I searched Internet for Anke-Eve, and there is something, but disappointingly little. Difficult to understand if she was, as you say, she had public attention both as a rider and a writer. One thing out of your (blog) remarks touched me very much: at her time, in the conventional, boring fifties, she must have been dynamite for the public. And something else I can take for granted: I have pictures of her from at least three different sources, scattered all over Europe, amongst those two identical shots from two different people. Which means she must have had a large group of fans, or a large correspondence.

Yours, Enthusiasticus

vintagent said...

Hi Paul

I found this a couple of months ago when looking for leather breeches and thought of contacting you anyhoo check out this link, theres 250 odd photos of her in her slightly s&m riding garb

Cheers David

southsiders M.C. said...

After "Terminator",
the "Investigator"
bravo Paul for your Job

Ava said...

Fabulous biography! Gotta love a gal that has excellent taste in bikes and gear and leaves a trail of men in her dust. :) Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,
nice Story about this Female,and nice Picts of my Hometrack Nürburgring.Pic No 4 and 8/9 are 100% the Nürburgring, not Hockenheim,I´m shure that Some other Picts are also from there especialy this Norton Manx with Peel fairing is 98% located in this old Nürburgring Paddock down the Tunnel from the Old start finish Line
(look at the Floor we call this "Wasch Beton Platten" )
But 7 should be the old Hockenheim Barracks Style Paddock until mid 60s.There where also a Amateur Races with Standart Road Bikes in these years,foundet by Wilhem Herz to get find more good Racing Riders for Germay.

I know also the old Nürburgring Track very well because i was was so often there until the DUNLOP Tower falls 1982 to became a new Formula One Circuit there.

best wishes,

Falcon Motorcycles said...

Completely fantastic...

GearChic said...

Where did you find all this information about her? I'm sad to hear that she stopped riding after such a long history. Do you even know if she's still alive?

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

My friend Leslie Porterfield turned me on to your blog by passing along this inspirational article about Anke-Eve. What a nice job you do of chronically our sport. Thank you for that.

If you find yourself curious about women in the sport of Landspeed Racing, don’t be shy about reaching out. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in LSR for many years and have been trying to encourage more women to do so. I personally sponsor an award for women racers, given to Belen Wagner (2006), Erika Cobb (2007) and Lesle Porterfield (2008). I provide prize money for them and for whomever they deem as their source of encouragement for all endeavors in their life.

I also had the pleasure joining Leslie in setting a World Record in 2008. Mine was the first ever set by a female in a streamliner motorcycle (142.864mph pix attached.)

If you ever find you are interested in writing about the topic, I would love to supply materials. I’m not a writer, blogger, etc …. Just love the sport. I’ll leave the writing to you professionals. :)

All the best,


Anonymous said...

What a gem is Anke-Eve Goldman! I think this is the first material
I've read about her, altho she may have featured in the Green & Blue Uns
way back when. Mind you she might not have got away with a name like
Goldman before WWII in Germany!!!
In the 1970s, at Norton, we
used to pull dear old Bertie Goodman's leg, for the wonderful Goodman
tribe all came from the Fatherland at the turn of the century...I think they
were called Guttgemann, or similar.

camerabanger said...

Congratulations on a fine bit of research and writing.
I have been interested in Anke-Eve Goldmann (as I now know her) since I first saw photos of her on 'Enthusiasticus' site on Flickr. That she was a rare and powerful individual is evident in photographs and your biography here brings the story home with great dignity. Thank You for directing me to it.
Camerabanger (R.S.Gartman)

Anonymous said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I came across Anke-Eve while searching Flikr too and was just floored by the photos of her and her bike. Thanks for honoring a remarkable rider, her photos really have me fired up to put my /2 back on the road!

Christina Shook said...

What a role model! Anka is awesome and so are the photos you collected. Thanks for your great blog.

I have a coffee table book of women bikers just come out -

I'll bet your readers would like it. I wish Anka was in it.

David Himel said... are this woman still alive...incredible photos


Olga said...

Incredible, fascinating, thank you!

Anonymous said...


I remember reading about this woman in a Swedish bike magazine about 1962, MC-Nytt, its van is visible in some of the phographs, but in your story it is partly shielded by a Norton Manx with a Peel fairing. The racer on the left in that picture is S-O Gunnarsson who later built a one-off MV Agusta racer from a 600, but never raced it except for a parade in the Isle of Man some years before his death in 2006, I think.

Good work!
Jan Leek

Christoff said...

I was also asking myself, if Mrs. Goldmann is still alive. On the licence plates of one of her BMW's you can see the letters "WI", that is the combination for Wiesbaden in the central part of Germany. I live here and could not find any information in the local telephone- or addressbook. Because there are so many photos taken on the Nürburgring and Hockenheimring racetracks, that are about a one to two hours drive from Wiesbaden, it is likely that she has lived here.

Does anybody have any informations about the photographer of the pictures? These photos are not taken by chance, there must have been someone traveling with her being a (professional?) photographer. Mrs. Goldmann must have asked for pictures to be taken because on many pictures she just poses for the photographer.

So who is the person behind the camera and is he/she still alive?

vintagent said...

@Christoff. Yes, she is alive, as is the photographer. I am working on a book about Ms Goldmann currently in partnership with Yves J Hayat, and news about this project will be coming out in TheVintagent this summer. Stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Any updates to share? any news on the book?

The Vintagent said...

The book is in progress; we have secured the rights to the photographs, and I am doing the research on her life, including the dozens of articles she wrote for various motorcycle magazines.

We've found AEG, but she is hesitant to cooperate with her biography...I'm hopeful she will realize that hers is an important history!

Anonymous said...

Please tell Anke Eve that we modern girls admire her and thank her for leading the way. We would love to hear her tell her own story.

Balkowitsch Enterprises Inc. said...

I am presently restoring an 1971 R75 into a Cafe Racer and my builder turned me onto the story of Anke and her life. Amazing, she should be an inspiration to all BMW owners and specifically female bikers across the world. A true unique human being with a passion for motorcycles that she was able to share with everyone,
Shane Balkowitsch

dapsul said...

Dear Vintagent,

is there any news on the progress of the book?


The Vintagent said...

Hi Dapsul,
the book is on hold; Ms.Goldmann isn't interested in discussing her life at this point, but we are hoping she will change her mind! Out of respect for her, we are unwilling to write an 'unauthorized' biography...

ΣΤΕΛΙΟΣ said...

Dear Vintagent.
I am currently restoring my fathers R51/3 and as a member in a Greek forum I translated and reposted your post about Anke-Eve ( ) which made good impression.
Thank you for your work .
Hoping you will write the book after all and looking forward to it.
Stelios from Corfu Greece.

the bicycle man said...

More mystery. in 2010 a stream of around 200 photos appeared on Flickr, posted under the pseudonym "Enthusiaticus" (I was looking for a picture of Inge Stoll but had to find out who this was, when I stumbled on it) Surely these are Anke-Eve. But she appears not to be identified by name, although others in the photos are. And again the mystery of the photograher. To have accumulated so many good quality, intimate, photos, when most family albums would have contained only a few dozen pictures seems unusual:

The Vintagent said...

Hi Bicycle Man,
yes, I've met with and interviewed 'Enthusiasticus', who has a remarkable story to tell regarding Anke-Eve, as they crossed paths in AEG's heyday.
Expect a further exploration of the subject in the future...AEG is alive but isn't interested in discussing her past. I can only hope she has a change of heart, as her story deserves telling.

camerabanger said...

I don't get too worked up over stuff like this too often but EAG has peaked my interest! I hope it works out and her story makes it into a book. Keep trying.

Anonymous said...

She certainly looked truly wonderful in her beautiful, beautiful leathers!
What a marvellous woman.

the bicycle man said...

Hi Vintagent, great blog. I'm not sure this is relevant to the present thread (edit its if not) but your readers might be interested in this incredibly rare (unique?) glipmse of Inge Stoll the first female "TT" competitor, pasenger to Jaques Drion. Its' not "tagged" as Inge so would be most difficult to find...

Alex said...

Finally! I've seen photos of Anke-Eve for many years, but to know about her now is incredible. Thanks Paul, great article!

For What It's Worth said...

Awesome post. I enjoyed the info and pictures.

John Lewis said...

Did you ever post the article on Soviet m/c riders was from Cycle World of Oct 62? Would love to see it!
thanks John

The Vintagent said...

John, I've been looking for the original photos to use in print, without much success. Apparently many albums of AEGs were stolen from her country home in Switzwrland, during a difficult period.
I'll publish everything I've found about AEG soon, in a print version of TheVintagent (hardback). Keep an eye out for my announcement!

Roelof1966 said...

The AEG-story peaked my attention. What an extraordinary woman. Any news on the book?

Byleui said...

Here's a charming letter Anke-Eve Goldmann wrote to the US motorcycle journalist Gerald West. Unfortunately, the photos she sent him were not included with it. I'm hoping to find an appropriate museum to donate the letter to. Enjoy.

Xtreemgear said...

Nice post... Thanks for sharing such a useful and valuable post.

Desmo Ryder said...

The Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, AL would be an outstanding place to display the letter and possibly one of her bikes if one one can be found

Kenneth Hargens said...

I am reminded that I have an old issue of CYCLE WORLD (1964?)in which Ms Goldmann writes about lapping the Nurburgring. I have an R69S which appears identical to the one she is with in the photos. At least it has the large Hoske(?)tank and the collapsible chrome luggage rack. It is a metric machine with the metric speedometer and it has the Schorasch Meier medallion on the front fender showing it was 'tweaked' by him.