GS TROPHY: General manager of BMW Motorrad SA, Alexander Baraka, encourages riders to enter the GS trophy and to make 'life a ride'. Image: AP / Mark Baker
Cape Town - The South African provincial finals for the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy were held at the AKTV Drakensville resort in KwaZulu Natal from 10 to 13 September.
In addition to the event being part of the build up to the highly anticipated 2016 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy in Southeast Asia from February 28 to March 5 2016, it also gave non-competing local GS riders the opportunity to spend some quality time with their machines on (and off) the back roads.
Alexander Baraka, general manager of BMW Motorrad South Africa, said: “It is exciting to kick off one of the most important events on the BMW Motorrad calendar in South Africa, as the GS is the top selling motorcycle in our local model line-up.
Image gallery: 2015 BMW GS Trophy highlights
”South Africa beat 14 teams to finish second in the International GS Trophy 2014, held in Canada, which shows the level of interest and commitment that local entrants have.
We decided to introduce regional qualifying events to give more GS customers the opportunity to try and qualify for the International GS Trophy.”
‘Make life a ride’
Baraka added that the International GS Trophy is truly a unique opportunity for GS owners to represent South Africa and compete against other international teams. There are 19 teams scheduled to compete in the International GS Trophy 2016, which will be held in South East Asia.
Baraka said: ”I encourage GS owners to enter and in BMW Motorrad spirit – make life a ride.”
Regional qualifying events were held during June in the form of one-day intermediate level off-road riding courses, where entrants were not only assessed on their riding skills and technique but also on their mental and physical tenacity as well as teamwork The selection criterion for the winners is based on the International GS Trophy qualifying rules and regulations.
The qualifier events were not open to instructors or any rider with a professional racing license.
From 13 to 15 September, ten female GS riders from England, France, Spain, Iceland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Thailand, Australia and South Africa have been battling it out for the ultimate prize – a place on the first ever women’s team to contest the 2016 International GS Trophy .
After an intense series of 13 separate challenges held over three competition days, France’s Stephanie Bouis-son emerged as the overall winner, followed by Australia’s Amy Harburg in second place, with South Africa’s Morag Campbell close behind in third. All three women will go on to make BMW Motorrad history by forming the first ever women’s team to enter the International GS Trophy.
To coincide with the upcoming International GS Trophy, BMW Motorrad South Africa has released the GS Trophy edition of the R 1200 GS, which features a unique decal set as well as heated grips, chrome plate silencer, hand protectors and cross-spoke wheels.
Lacking the more expensive options such as dynmamic suspension and cruise control, but retaining traction control and ABS, the special edition model is available at BMW Motorrad dealerships at R164 000 including vat.