BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2014
Big events take a lot of planning such as the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2014, which is being held in western Canada in early September. Touratech is in charge of modifications for all of the motorcycles as well as global reporting. Preparations are already well underway.
Text: Ramona Schwarz
Photos: Herbert and Ramona Schwarz
Adventure, challenge, and great riding are what the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy is all about. This biennial competition goes into its fourth round from 6 to 14 September 2014, in western Canada. Riders will traverse well over a thousand spectacular miles through British Columbia and Alberta, taking in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, crystal-clear lakes and waterfalls, snowy peaks, and deep impenetrable forests, home to moose and bears.
"This is not a race" the saying is a recurring theme throughout the history of the Trophy. It's not maximum speed that counts. Instead, it takes team spirit, fair play, navigation skills, endurance and technical expertise. Competitors not only have to be accomplished enduro riders, they also need to be in top physical condition and maintain a cheery disposition (in extreme situations).
Who is taking part? One four-person team consists of three enthusiastic amateur riders without a racing licence who qualified in the national preliminary round in 2013, plus a journalist. There are sixteen teams in all. Five countries lined up for the initial event in the Tunisian Sahara in 2008. By 2010, in southern Africa, this figure had doubled to ten. At the third Trophy in South America (Chile, Argentina) in 2012, fifteen teams battled for victory. So there is one more in 2014, with sixteen teams on the start line. Newcomers Mexico and Korea meet the usual contenders: Germany, United States, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, France, Russia, Brazil, CEEU, Austria/Switzerland, South Africa, Latin America and Argentina.
But it's not just the number of competitors that's growing. The motorbikes have got a size bigger too since South America 1200-series water-cooled boxers instead of the F 800 GS. The race marshals, who will guide two daily alternating teams from one special challenge to the next and bring them safely back to camp at night, are riding the Adventure version.
The special modifications to the bikes is where Touratech comes into play. Ninety-two factory-standard BMW motorcycles have to be equipped ready for the extreme conditions in Canada. Seventy percent of the route BMW have revealed this much at least will be off-road. The action will play out on gravel, sand and in mud, with the odd trial thrown in for good measure!
Eighty BMW R 1200 GS and twelve BMW R 1200 GS Adventure are being optimised in line with these requirements using Touratech Hard Parts to protect the engine, cylinders, radiator, drive shaft, frame and brake fluid reservoir. Waterproofs and energy bars can be stowed in the tail bag (replacing the pillion seat). Hand protectors, the brake caliper cover set and adjustable foot brake lever also come from Touratech's accessory range.
Sturdy crash bars a combination of BMW and Touratech components protect plastic parts and the 125 PS boxer engine. BMW are supplying headlight protectors, the BMW Motorrad Navigator V and wide foot pegs to ensure riders have a secure footing. Metzeler MCE Karoo (T) dual-sport tyres are fitted for optimal traction. After many hundreds of hours of modification work, the finishing touch is a set of Trophy decals to give the motorcycles the ultimate adventure look.
And that marks the end of stage 1 "modifications". After being transported from Germany to North America, the work continues in Calgary. Unload, connect up the batteries, attach the competition numbers. Two Touratech mechanics will be on hand during the entire off-road event to keep the BMWs running.
Another important aspect is the worldwide live reporting a tried-and-tested partnership between BMW and Touratech. Four Touratech teams are involved: one for the photos (Herbert Schwarz, Ramona Schwarz, Jon Beck), one for filming (Wolfgang Danner, Jan-Peter Sölter, Marcel Manske, Matthias Fey), one technical team, and another in Niedereschach editing the content for the media.
Scouting is currently proceeding apace in Canada. Competition manager Tomm Wolf and his marshals are in the process of exploring the best trails through the Rockies. The exact route will be kept a closely guarded secret until shortly before the Trophy begins on 6 September. Excitement awaits!
Live reporting at www.touratech.de, www.gstrophy.com and via Touratech and BMW on Facebook.
Touratech accessories for the 2014 GS Trophy bikes:
- Cardan crash bung 01-045-5505-0
- Touratech hand protectors GD black 01-045-5650-0
- Spoiler for TT-Hand Protectors GD *black*01-040-7301-0
- Rear pannier "Ambato Exp" instead of pillion seat 01-045-5805-0
- Fork decal set 01-100-0508-0
- Side stand switch protector 01-045-5105-0
- Stainless steel radiator guard 01-045-5018-0
- Heat protection shield front manifolds 01-045-5065-0
- Rear brake fluid reservoir guard 01-045-5030-0
- Cardan guard 01-045-5500-0
- Engine guard "Expedition XL" 01-045-5140-0
- Stainless steel crash bar extension 01-045-5161-0
- Large frame guard, legft 01-045-5035-0
- Large frame guard, right01-045-5036-0
- ABS sensor protection, front 01- 045-5005-0
- Stainless steel reinforcing strut for original BMW engine crash bar 01-045-5164-0
- Brake calliper cover (set) front 01-045-5173-0
- Stainless steel cylinder guard 01-045-5134-0
- Folding and adjustable brake lever 01-045-5395-0