First it was Asia, then Oceania, followed by Africa. And now the “One World, One GS” Tour has arrived in the USA. Frenchman Stéphane Gautronneau took the controls of the racing red BMW R1200GS that has already experienced several thousand miles of road and off-road riding from rainforests to deserts.
This world tour organized by BMW Motorrad to celebrate and market the arrival of the new water-cooled GS has seen three adventurers so far experience the ride and share their journeys with thousands following the dust trails online. Italian rider Alessio Cigolini kicked off the world tour in Laos, before handing over to German GS enthusiast Herbert Ungerm to discover the wonders of New Zealand. Then it was the turn of Spaniard Salvador Echevarría to experience Africa in all its glory before the GS that has already been seen on three continents made its way across the ocean to the west coast of the USA, where the next stage has just begun.
Now it’s the turn of French adventure riding enthusiast Stéphane Gautronneau to take over the controls of the new go-anywhere travel enduro that is soon arriving at BMW Motorrad dealerships worldwide. Ahead of Stéphane are eight days of great riding. The fun started at the Long Beach BMW dealership in California, with a ‘kick-off’ party, where Stéphane received the keys to the GS. The actual ride itself then departed from Hollywood up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco then on to Death Valley, Las Vegas and back to Los Angeles.
The tour will end up at the RawHyde Adventures ranch in Castaic, California, where a group of GS enthusiasts is expected to greet Stéphane and the team as they roll into this famous destination for GS riders in the States.
For Stéphane, it has been quite a long wait since he was picked from more than 12,000 hopefuls to be one of the five ‘chosen ones’ to experience this once-in-a-lifetime tour on the new GS. Since being told the good news in December, he has been following the exploits of Alessio, Herbert and Salvador with interest. However, now the focus is on him, the R1200GS owner who has previously completed a 10,500 mile (17,000 km) solo run from Paris to Goa, is delighted that his trip has finally begun.
“It’s been an amazing experience so far,” he said. “Tour leader Eric picked me up at LAX airport and on the way back to the hotel, he gave me a short briefing about what we will do in the next 10 days, in which spirit and in which way. ‘Everything is possible’ is the theme of this trip and it certainly sounds good to me!
“Then I met the One World team for breakfast and they made me feel comfortable instantly. The photographer Ulla, the filmmaker Romain and the logistics guy Basti are top crew and cool professionals. For this USA tour we will have three more GS riders coming along with us: Jim from BMW Motorrad USA; Tim from BMW Motorrad in Munich; and Shawn, who is a GS instructor at the Californian enduro park Rawhide. He’ll be our local guide as he knows all remote tracks of this State.
“That same afternoon, I was taken to Los Angeles main BMW dealer in Long Beach, where dozens of local GS riders welcomed me and where I was handed the key to the new R1200GS. It felt so good just to be there and so lucky to get this winner’s seat. Then Eric and his friend took me to Hollywood to test the bike. Can you believe it? I’m testing the new R1200GS for the first time in Hollywood!
“I will never forget that first night! The synergy in the group between professional mission and cool attitude made me feel extremely confident. I am really positively surprised by this group where guys with a major brand responsibilities on their shoulders manage to make me feel relaxed and so happy – and all wanted to share the fun with me. This first ‘ride of my life’ in Hollywood is already a winner and I can’t wait for the rest of the tour to begin!”
You can follow Stéphane’s USA tour online at www.bmw-motorrad.com/gs.