UK BMW GS Riders look forward to the challenge of a lifetime
The first ever GS Trophy UK Qualifying event is taking place next weekend (June 5-6) and will offer ambitious, competitive and thrill-seeking off-road riders a challenging two-day adventure motorcycling experience in the glorious surroundings of South Wales, close to the Brecon Beacons.
The Qualifier is a unique sporting challenge with the three top amateur riders earning their place to represent the UK in the 2010 International GS Trophy Event taking place from November 13-21 in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. Once there, they will compete on new F 800 GS bikes against BMW riders from all over the world in a series of off-road competitions and challenges, much like the famed Camel Trophy competition that defined the spirit of adventure in the 1980s and 1990s.
Registration for this qualifying round has attracted many GS owners, as well as riders who have already participated in BMW Motorrad UK’s successful Off Road Skills courses. With 90 places allocated for this competitive, yet friendly qualifying challenge, BMW Motorrad UK is supplying a fleet of current model GS machines for competitors to ride in the event. All entrants will be divided into groups, with each group competing in separate heats taking place throughout the day of Saturday June 5, at the Walters Arena, Glyn-Neath, the home of BMW Off Road Skills.
The qualifying trials will start with a briefing where instructors will offer riding hints and tips. Then each competitor will negotiate a series of specially designed off-road courses under the watchful eye of seven-times Dakar competitor, Simon Pavey, BMW Off Road Skills Chief Instructor, and his team of judges.
“We wanted to have a unique and fun challenge that would appeal to a broad range of riders and involve all models in the Enduro range,” says Dakar veteran Pavey. “Some of the bikes are great at jumping logs and tyres, whereas others are good at tight turns and close control. Therefore, we have set out five different challenges and participants will ride the F650GS, F800GS, R1200GS, G650Xcountry and G650Xchallenge on special courses designed around these particular machines.
“Our instructors will be helping out with familiarization sessions on these bikes prior to the actual tests, as well as scoring the event, which will take place all through the Saturday. With three sessions each comprising 30 riders, it’s going to be extremely busy, but will be great fun too – not only for the competitors but also for the many spectators we’re expecting. The five courses are all fairly close together so there will be lots for people to see. We’ve built some artificial obstacles to add to the challenge, but generally we’re going to use the natural terrain because it is perfect for GS bikes.”
At the end of the Saturday, the top 20 scorers from the original 90 starters will then qualify for a final, tougher, riding test on Sunday June 6, all riding F800GS bikes. Here, the course sections will change and be linked together for a big ‘shakedown’, from which the final three competitors – judged to be the best to represent their country at the GS Trophy Final in November – will then be chosen.
Tony Jakeman, BMW Motorrad UK Marketing Manager, said: “By supplying a fleet of BMW bikes for entrants to use we have been able to make the UK GS Trophy Qualifying event much more accessible to a wider range of GS owners, while also delivering better value to the competitors. The GS Qualifier will coincide with Touratech’s Travel Event taking place nearby – offering spectators and entrants a full weekend of adventure motorcycling entertainment, including both on and off-road demo rides, chat shows, displays and special offers.”
Also on display will be the latest “30 YEARS GS” limited-edition GS range that has been launched to celebrate 30 years of this iconic go-anywhere motorcycle. There will also be road rides available on the picturesque routes around the Brecon Beacons as well as enduro rides at the Walters Arena, where the GS Trophy Qualifiers are taking place.
Watch this space over the next few weeks for more information about the 2010 GS Trophy, as well as updates from all of the national qualifying trials. If you are a BMW rider that lives in one of the participating countries that is holding a national GS challenge event, please contact your importer directly for more details about how you can take part in the selection procedures.