Anybody who is familiar with Dr. Henning Butzow knows that this is a man who can all look up to. Dr. Butzow is a motorcycle aficionado and he’s literally traveled all over the world via motorcycle, all in the spirit of enjoying the world on two wheels. But Dr. Butzow isn’t just a bike nut; he’s also a philanthropist at heart, having done numerous motorcycle events for charitable purposes, including the upcoming Ride of Smiles, a 50,000-mile motorcycle journey around the world that begins in New York City on May 1, 2015.

During the course of his global joy ride, Dr. Butzow will be asking for donations from all of his stops with the hope of collecting €50,000 ($56,020), which he plans to give to four-reputable aid projects, specifically the Doctors Without Frontiers, Christian Blind Mission, United For Africa and the Bayerischer Rundfunk’s ‘Sternstunden’.

It’s a nice gesture from Dr. Butzow, but it’s also not surprising. Remember, he’s the same man who participated in a similar long-distance charity run back in 2008. It’s been seven years since the Ride of Change event, but from the looks of things Dr. Butzow’s heart and intentions are still in the right place.

For it’s part, BMW is once again throwing its support to Dr. Butzow by donating an R1200GS Adventure that the doctor will use as he travels across North, Central and South America, into Australia and New Zealand.

Continue reading to read more about Dr. Henning Butzow’s Ride of Smiles charity ride.

Why it matters

At the risk of sounding like a fan boy, I’ll just come out and say it. What Dr. Henning Butzow is doing is really admirable, and the way he was able to combine two of his passions - motorcycles and charity - and turn it into an event of this scope is nothing short of extraordinary.

Rest assured, his Ride for Smiles charity ride isn’t going to get a lot of media attention, even though this is the kind of news that deserves its own space. I’m more than happy to give Dr. Butzow his well-deserved space here on TopSpeed. I really hope that more people become aware of what he’s doing and what he plans to accomplish with the Ride for Smiles event.

Speaking of giving credit, a special hat tip also goes to BMW Motorrad for recognizing Dr. Butzow’s mission early on and stepping up to give him motorcycles he could use during this long-distance charity runs.

Should you wish to make a donation for the event, you can go to the Ride of Smiles homepage or just hop directly to the donation pages of the aforementioned charities. It’s nice to know that more than 11, euros have already been donated even before the event has begun. Hopefully, more donations arrive once Dr. Butzow begins his epic ride. Who knows, donations might even exceed 50,000 euros when all is said and done.
That’d be really cool.


Press Release

Munich/New York. The Ride of Smiles, a 50,000-mile motorcycle journey around the world, will commence in New York on 1 May 2015. The object of the enterprise is to collect donations for children in need throughout the world. The goal is to collect at least 50,000 euros in financial aid over the course of the tour, which will then be passed on to four reputable aid projects. The initiator and sole participant in the Ride of Smiles is Dr. Henning Bützow. The doctor is an experienced and enthusiastic motorcycle tourist, and he has been travelling the world on two wheels since 1989. Impressed and inspired by the enormous hospitality and joy of life shown by the people he meets on his travels, he now wishes to give at least something of this back, in his Ride of Smiles.

To help him meet his ambitious goals on this occasion too, BMW Motorrad is providing him with a BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, complete with rider equipment and other technical items he needs for the project. Henning Bützow and BMW Motorrad can look back on many joint projects. In 2008, he set off on his Ride of Change, and covered 35,000 km on a BMW F 650 GS Dakar, also for charity.

50,000 miles = 50,000 euros.

The 50,000 miles of the Ride of Smiles represent the 50,000 or more euros that Henning Bützow hopes to collect for people in need. For this reason, the planned route, which will take him across North, Central and South America as well as Australia and New Zealand will draw a symbolic 50 on the world map. Anyone who wishes to can follow his progress by way of the GPS LIVE tracking facility in the Ride of Smiles travel blog (

If you would like to make a donation, please visit the Ride-of-Smiles homepage or go directly to the donation pages of the charities Doctors Without Frontiers, Christian Blind Mission, United For Africa or the Bayerischer Rundfunk’s ’Sternstunden’. All donations will be passed on to the charities with no deductions and donation receipts will be appended to ensure they are tax-deductible. No donation money is used for the project itself, which is financed entirely from Henning Bützow’s own funding. More than 11,000 euros in donations have already been received, even before the event has got started. The current level of donations can be seen on the homepage or in the Ride of Smiles app.

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