Munich. The fifth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, the 2016 Southeast Asia edition came to a close, after seven hard days’ riding, with a spectacular finale on Saturday, March 5. With the competition still in the balance right up to the final special test, it was a tense finish – decided in favour of Team South Africa who kept their nerve to secure the nation’s first victory in the event after twice placing runner-up. Let´s have a look back on a week packed with high temperatures, offroad riding, friendly people and adventures in the jungle.
The fifth edition brought together 19 teams (comprising 57 riders plus 19 embedded journalists) representing 25 nations for a seven-day over-1300 kilometre trek through the forests, jungles and mountains of Northern Thailand. The riding was possibly the most technical yet, as the riders guided their
BMW R 1200 GS bikes along single-track trails more akin to enduro racing than adventure competition. Temperatures matched those of the South African edition in 2010 – running into the high 30ºC range – and with high humidity it was one of the hotter, sweatier GS Trophies!
The start came at the Rim Doi Resort, in Chiang Dao at 8.00am on the morning of February 28, and while unseasonal heavy rain had washed out the planned course for day one, the riders were still treated to some excellent off-road trails before hitting the first – and possibly physically the toughest – special test, ‘Broken Bridge’. Such themes are by now familiar, long days in the saddle with always some challenging riding, combined with special tests that challenge the riders’ teamwork, their problem solving skills, often their strength, as well as their bike riding. As ever, the riders would reach the nightly bivouacs well-exercised.
The 2016 edition again saw the event grow, with 114 motorcycles on the tour and an entourage of close to 200 people (riders, marshals, medics, caterers, organisers and more). As ever, the motorcycles – BMW R 1200 GS and GSA – were up to the task; occasional puncture repairs on the trail tested the practical skills of the riders while crash damage gave the BMW Motorrad mechanics a few hours work each evening; but the engines and chassis never gave up. The latest GS bikes were praised for their ease of use, great rider aids and sheer ruggedness. As before, the competitors were won-over by the bike’s character as much as the sheer capability of these iconic machines.
Team South Africa wins.
Team South Africa has been one of the strongest teams in every edition of the GS Trophy since their debut in 2010. They missed out on the win then, by just one point, and came close again in 2014, so the win this year was especially savoured. Thorough preparation meant the team were always in contention – they were in fact the team to beat – but John Harris, Charl Moolman and Byron Coetsee were winners on every level, winning as many friends as points.
Team UK and Team Germany were their nearest competitors and the unrelenting efforts of the two teams kept the outcome of the event in question right up to the very last test. And while the strength of Team South Africa could not be denied, it was fitting that the runner-up position should be shared by these two great teams (Team UK having won in 2010, Team Germany in 2012).
Three new teams took part in 2016. Team China made an impact right from the start, having given up their international air flights and instead choosing to ride to the event on their own GSs! Four days in the saddle saw them ride up to the Shang-ri La Hotel in Chiang Mai for the official opening – along with some 60 supporters, most also BMW-mounted. They made quite probably the most impressive entrance to the event yet. And Team China proved a competitive team, too, strong and well-practiced they took an impressive 7th place on their debut.
Team Southeast Asia might have been less successful, but nonetheless brought much colour to the event, good humour, and found they enjoyed their ‘home’ course as much as the visitors.
The third new team were the International Female Team. Easily the most popular team in the event, Stéphanie Bouisson (France), Morag Campbell (South Africa) and Amy Harburg (Australia) showed bike-handling skills equal to the men (in fact sometimes superior). They would have finished higher if they hadn’t been so punished by the strength-based tests, but as Amy reported, they were never defeated – not even in lifting the 238kg GS over a 1.5-metre tree trunk – it just took a little more time for them than for the men. The team was much welcomed by the men, and cheered-on all the way, but again as the girls explained, this was the same for all teams – every team supports everyone. It’s truly a band of brothers – and sisters.
At the finish, Team South Africa’s Byron Coetsee spoke for his teammates about their win:
“Relief is the first emotion, then happiness. With South Africa’s record in the event – we’ve come second twice, even losing by just one point – then to finish like this is like the weight of the world has been lifted from our shoulders. We share this moment with Roger, Gerber, Warren and all the previous team members from South Africa!”
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 13:23 Published in Reports, Results & Points
10-time Canadian Superbike national champion Jordan Szoke will be attending the Toronto Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo this Saturday, March 12 and Sunday, March 13 at the International Centre in Toronto, ON. You will be able to find Szoke’s 2016 Mopar Express Lane BMW Motorrad S1000RR superbike on display all weekend in the Mopar Exhibitor Booth.
Mar 11, 12 and 13 - 2016
6900 Airport Road
For more information about the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports expo and to buy tickets, visit http://www.motoramashow.com/
Friday: 10am - 9 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Monday, 07 March 2016 11:21 Published in Industry News
BMW presents new concepts: Laser headlights, heads-up helmet display, at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
@BMWMotorradCA | @CES | BMW Motorrad will be displaying two innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on 6-9 January 2016. Laser light for motorcycles and a helmet with a head-up display will be presented, setting new standards of motorcycle safety, along with a technical outlook of how they may be employed in series models of the future.
BMW K1600GTL concept vehicle with BMW Motorrad laser light.
See and be seen has always been one of the central axioms of safe motorcycling, for which reason BMW Motorrad has long since dedicated itself to the continued development and optimisation of motorcycle lighting units. Over the years, this has seen the introduction of adaptive headlights for riding in curves, LED daytime running light and dynamic brake light in BMW motorcycles. And like so often, the development was able to benefit from synergy effects with BMW automobiles.
In the case of the K1600GTL concept vehicle presented here, the BMW Motorrad laser light is derived from a design from the automobile division of the BMW Group. The innovative laser technology is already available in the new BMW 7 Series as well as in the BMW i8. BMW Motorrad has now adapted this technology – which is as established as it is forward-looking – for motorcycling applications. Not only do laser light headlamps generate a particularly bright and pure-white light, but they even achieve a high-beam range of up to 600 metres, which is double that of conventional headlights. The safety of night-time riding has now increased significantly as a result, due not only to the increased range but also to the precise illumination of the road. Moreover, the laser technology has a very long service life, thanks to its compact, robust and maintenance-free construction.
BMW Motorrad laser light has been incorporated in the K1600GTL concept vehicle as a feasibility test. BMW Motorrad is testing the use of this headlamp technology in series vehicles in the course of its preliminary development.
At the moment, the technology is still too cost-intensive for use in motorcycles. However, it is expected that the economies of scale resulting from their large-scale use in the automobile industry will result in a price structure with a clear downward trend. Its use in motorcycles could might then be imaginable in the medium term.
Head-up display helmet: road information always in your sights.
In road traffic, it only takes a fraction of a second or a brief distraction to put the rider in a dangerous situation. In 2003, BMW became the first European automobile manufacturer to introduce a head-up display as optional equipment for BMW automobiles.
The BMW head-up display projects necessary or desirable traffic or vehicle information directly into the rider's field of view, allowing him to maintain constant observation of the traffic on the road, with no distraction. This would appear even more important with motorcycles than it is with cars, because it can sometimes only take a brief visual distraction to put the rider in a critical road situation.
With a view to offering this technology in motorcycles of the future, a pre-development process was conducted in which a BMW Motorrad helmet was fitted with an innovative head-up display function. This enables the projection of data directly into the rider's field of view. This means that the rider no longer has to glance at the instrument panel and he is able to concentrate fully and without distraction on the road traffic.
All displays are freely programmable; ideally, to provide the best-possible support for rider safety, only information that is helpful and relevant to the current situation should be displayed to the rider at any given moment.
Safety and comfort information for an even more emotionally charged riding experience.
The display options comprise safety-relevant information, for instance data relating to the technical status of the motorcycle, such as tyre pressure, oil level and fuel level, travel speed and selected gear, speed limit and road sign recognition, plus warnings of impending dangers.
By means of the future V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication, it might also be possible to display information in real time, for example to give due warning of any suddenly impending hazards.
Moreover, the head-up display also allows the visualisation of content designed to increase rider comfort. An example would be the planned route along with navigation advice prior to commencing a journey.
The helmet with head-up display also offers interesting possibilities for making the highly emotional experience of motorcycle riding even more intensive and at the same time safer. For instance, an action camera pointing forwards, located inside the helmet, can record video footage of the journey directly from the helmet. A second camera oriented towards the rear could at some point in the future perform the function of a 'digital rear-view mirror'. And last but not least, this technology also enables the visualisation of other riders in a motorcycle group. This enables the rider to see where his companions are at any given moment.
The helmet, which is also fitted with an integrated mini-computer and loudspeakers, is controlled from the left-hand handlebar fittings using the BMW Motorrad multicontroller. As well as operating the camera, this allows the rider to comfortably select the information he requires.
The necessary information display technology can be integrated in existing helmets, without affecting either wearer comfort or rider safety. The operating time of the system with the two replaceable batteries is around five hours.
BMW Motorrad wants to develop this innovative technology to series-production level within the next few years, thus adding a further safety feature to its already wide range of rider equipment.
Tuesday, 05 January 2016 12:12 Published in Industry News
@jordanszoke •@BMWMotorrad •@cdnsuperbike • Munich (DE) (November 28, 2015)- The winner has been decided.
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 17:23 Published in Reports, Results & Points
@BMWMotorrad • They were ridden by action heroes on the screen and scores of hobby racers entered mountain and beach races on them: the Scramblers.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:40 Published in Products
@BMWMotorrad • Munich (November 17, 2015)- The popular BMW Motorrad models F700GS and F800GS have displayed versatile capabilities for years: carefree riding fun due to secure controllability on all surfaces, vigorous drive power and excellent suitability for both day-to-day riding and travel - even when the route consists of nothing but gravel tracks. It is a concept in two variants that has been received with great enthusiasm by many motorcycle fans over the years and has now been visually refined by BMW Motorrad for model year 2016.
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 15:34 Published in Industry News
@BMWMotorrad • Munich (November 11, 2015) - The BMW Group has set its motorcycle segment new targets for the coming years. By introducing additional models and entering new market segments, the company aims to win new customers worldwide, increasing deliveries of motorised two-wheel vehicles to 200,000 units by 2020.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 14:37 Published in News
@BMWMotorrad • (November 11, 2015)- Munich - BMW Motorrad has a long tradition in pointing out new ways and thoughts for the topic 'mobility on two wheels'.
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 14:32 Published in Products
BMW Motorrad Canada sponsors 10th Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion
Toronto ON – October 2nd, 2015 – The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame is proud to announce BMW Motorrad Canada as a sponsor for the 10th Annual Induction Banquet and Reunion which takes place November 7th, 2015 at the Sheraton Airport Conference Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
“BMW Motorrad Canada is a very proud sponsor of the CMHF. It is important to recognize our Canadian motorcycle heritage as it has a long history of milestones and successes,” said director Norm Wells of BMW Canada. “We congratulate all the 2015 inductees and look forward to many more years of partnership with the CMHF and the outstanding team that makes it happen every year.
“The board of the Hall of Fame is extremely pleased to welcome back BMW Motorrad Canada to this event,” said Mike Harwood, Chair of the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame. “We have deeply appreciated their support over the past ten years.”
Tickets for our 10th anniversary event are available, with a complete schedule of the activities taking place on November 7th at http://canmoto.ca/banquet-and-reunion/
11 legends and champions will be honoured at the Tenth Annual Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Banquet and Reunion.
Founded by Bar and Hedy Hodgson in 1999, the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame preserves and promotes Canadian motorcycle history for the benefit of the motorcycling community and public. Sponsored in part by the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC), the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame is a non-profit association with charitable status. It is governed by an independent board of volunteer directors representing every region of the country. Since the first induction banquet in Toronto in 2006, over 100 distinguished motorcyclists and organizations have been inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
For information about past inductees, historic motorcycle collections, event sponsorship, silent auction and tax-deductible donations, visit www.canmoto.ca.
Friday, 30 October 2015 09:56 Published in Industry News
The long road to recovery: endless doctor appointments, scans, tests, and readjusting life to allow for as much recovery as quickly as possible. With a head injury, the recovery time varies and it is near impossible to predict how long you will be unfit to ride. I spent days and days inside a hyperbaric chamber to increase the oxygen flow in my body and speed up recovery.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:27 Published in Dan Kruger