Sara Ellis Meets Klaus Kinski

My name is Sara Ellis and I first met Klaus Kinski in the mid 1980’s in Marin County, California. At that time, I was racing for a bike company called “Sling Shot” mountain bikes, based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. I was preparing to race in the World Cup and Sling Shot was going to support me.

Klaus was interested in my mountain bike racing career and how co-sponsoring athletes worked to gain media attention. I thought of the idea to race with Klaus as my co-sponsor. He liked this idea and so we agreed that his movie “Paganini” was going to share space on my race jersey with Sling Shot.

I contacted Sling Shot mountain bikes to let them know that Klaus Kinski was my co-sponsor. Klaus and I both thought this would bring publicity to his movie project and it did!

Sling Shot said to me, “We looked up Klaus Kinski and we need some more info…”. I had been training hard and was totally prepared for the race season. This project shed amazing light on both sponsors and movie media. I wondered why Sling Shot would question it.

So, I told this to Klaus and his exact words and demeanor were “Tell them I’m bigger than the pope”!. He said and I agreed, “There is no such thing as bad publicity here”! Publicity is publicity!!

Sara Rides For Klaus Kinski / Sling Shot Mountain Bikes

With my sponsorship by Klaus Kinski I went on to racing in Europe, in Holland, Germany and Italy where the world championships were held in 1990. I was wearing Kinski/Paganini gear and riding Sling Shot mountain bikes. I received several interviews that focused on my race results and my Klaus Kinski sponsorship.

It was a fantastic journey and story. I think it’s important to share this lesser known side of Klaus Kinski, his interest in World Cup mountain biking.

So then Klaus supplied the Paganini movie logo to me and that went onto my jersey. Klaus kept everything super close to him and he would never allow his logo to go on anything unless he completely agreed.

We had 4 Kinksi/Paganini jersey’s made and off I went to race in Berlin, Germany as well as Holland and Italy for the world championships.

Klaus wanted weekly updates from me. I’d call him and we would speak about race results and what came next! (all media articles shown on my website were part of marketing for the project.) The Media loved it! Nobody in cinema had ever put a movie logo on an athlete, so it was news in Europe.

When I returned to Northern California, Klaus and I decided to take this “artist sponsors athlete” project a bit further for local media and possibly even theater.


Sara’s Final Moments with Klaus Kinski

Klaus wanted to take some slide photos of me riding mountain bikes on different terrain near his home. At the time I was riding my Sling Shot Mountian Bike which I had raced with under Klaus Kinksi cosponsorship with Sling Shot Mountain Bikes.

Klaus took all the slide shots of me on my Sling Shot and we agreed to meet a week later (after the slides had been developed) to go over them and decide which ones we felt best for the projects we had in mind. He called me and said he had the slides. I went to see Klaus the next day, November 22, 1991.

When I arrived at Klaus’ home on November 22 he had all my slides in a projector ready to be viewed. He was in great spirits and had made some chicken soup which we ate shorty before viewing the slides. We picked out the photos we liked and agreed to talk again the next day. These photos became the last artistic works of Klaus Kinski.

After racing for Klaus Kinski / Sling Shot I landed a spot on the biggest corporate team at the time, which was Volvo Cannondale. While riding for Volvo Cannondale I was chosen as a participant in the 1996 Olympic Trials.

Sling Shot mountain bike frame used in World Cup 1990 _ 1991 Cosponsor Klaus Kinski

How Klaus Gave Sara His Red Jacket

After reviewing slides with Klaus on November 22, 1991 I geared up to ride home. Klaus gave me his red jacket because it was chilly to ride down the mountain that night.

The next day I received a call from the coroner. He said Klaus Kinski had passed away the night before. He mentioned that he saw my slides in the projector and that more than likely I was the last person with Klaus before he passed away.

In 1985 Klaus Kinski was interviewed on “Na Sowas” German Talkshow by host Thomas Gottschalk. See the Youtube video where he is wearing the velvet red jacket during this interview. This red jacket is now a well known piece of Klaus Kinski memorabilia.

The Last Artistic Works of Klaus Kinski

The photographs of Sara Ellis on a mountain bike were in fact the last thing Klaus worked on before his passing.

When I put all my media articles together for that period of my life, I realized I have a Kinski museum to show the world.

Thank you for listening to my story. I hope you enjoy my website.


My Klaus Kinksi Memorabilia Museum

It’s time for me to share my story and my Klaus Kinksi memorabilia in what amounts to a small Klaus Kinksi museum. Please see my Media Page  for newspaper articles with coverage of my World Cup sponsorship by Klaus Kinski.

Sling Shot / Klaus Kinski Race Jerseys are for sale individually or all four.

Klaus Kinksi Jacket is for sale, open to best offer. This is his popular red jacket.

The Sling Shot Bicycle Frame for sale.

37 Slide Photos of Sara Ellis, which are the last artistic works of Klaus Kinski, are for sale.

Please email your best offer to Sara Ellis. Price to be discussed with serious buyer.

Klaus Kinski Memorabilia For Sale

Contact Me