Three decades ago a new, radical machine from BMW created one of motorcycling's
most popular classes. A big, all-terrain machine known as the R 80 G/S could
tackle anything from urban and long-distance riding to off-road enduros.
In the 30 years since then, the GS has been much copied and this segment
of the world market has grown tremendously, although BMW – as a pioneer with
each new model – continues to set the standards for others to follow. With
more than half a million customers around the world having discovered the
joy of GS ownership, BMW Motorrad had a mission in 2010 – to celebrate every
model variant of this incomparable go-anywhere boxer machine and its hundreds
of thousands of loyal owners.
To mark three decades of BMW Motorrad's most successful model series ever,
a limited-edition GS range was launched. The special edition "30 YEARS GS"
models feature the celebrated BMW Motorsports colours of the legendary 1980s
R 80 G/S Rally Raid machines that took riders such as Hubert Auriol and Gaston
Rahier to victories in gruelling Paris-Dakar races, almost three decades
As well as an eye-catching retro colour scheme, each "30 YEARS GS" version
of the BMW R 1200 GS/Adventure, F 800 GS and F 650 GS has a range of additional
features and equipment and are painted in Alpine White, with three-coloured
decals in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport livery.
BMW Motorrad also created a special online 'THANK YOU GS' Photobook and
all owners – past and present – were invited to get involved. This 'user
generated' online special was designed for GS riders to upload their photos,
stories and experiences, so that fans all over the world can flick through
this unique digital photobook and see some of the best pictures of GS riders
To date the 'THANK YOU GS' Photobook has been a tremendous success, with
more than 900 riders – including many GS 'celebrities' – having uploaded
contributions. With just a few weeks left in this anniversary year, BMW Motorrad's
mission is to hit the magic 1000 number, so a special competition has been
launched as an end-of-year incentive.
If you have some great pictures of you and your GS – and a few words to
describe what GS motorcycling means to you – then BMW Motorrad is waiting
for your contribution. Once the target of 1000 entries has been reached,
the 30 best GS photos will be chosen by a panel of judges and the winners
will receive a 2011 BMW Motorrad Calendar as well as the special edition
30 YEARS GS magazine that has been published by BMW Classic to celebrate
this iconic marquee.
To enter the competition and become part of the THANK YOU GS photobook,
all you have to do is visit www.bmw-motorrad.com/30yearsgs website,
register your details and then share your GS experiences with the world.
There were many more activities related to the 30th anniversary of the GS,
especially at the BMW Motorrad Days festival in July. GS owners arrived in
Garmisch-Partenkirchen on all sorts of models spanning the past three decades,
and enthusiasts were able to see a special 30 Years of GS exhibition where
all the important models in the history of the BMW GS range from 1980 to
2010 were on display, including some of the successful Paris Dakar factory
race bikes from the late 1990s.
There was also a special competition for outstanding GS models, where awards
went to the oldest GS, the GS with the highest mileage and the most impressive
GS creation. The three winners in each category received a cup and vouchers
for BMW Motorrad Rider Equipment.
The prize for the oldest GS in its original state went to Johann Filleboeck,
owner of the 431st serial production BMW R 80 G/S. The prize for the bike
with the highest mileage went to Heidi Lupko, who has covered a record-breaking
525,174 kilometres on her BMW R 80 GS Basic over 13 years. Choosing the most
unusual GS creation was more difficult. Celebrity jury members Hubert Auriol,
Charley Boorman, Karl H. Gerlinger, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Laszlo Peres finally
awarded first prize to Ulrich Beppler's GS, which was upgraded with exquisite
components such as carbon parts.
In addition to the award ceremony, there were also two prize draws for special
models. During the Friday evening party Georg Opalka won a BMW F 800 GS "30
Years GS", while Wolfgang Kracker was the happy recipient of a BMW R
1200 GS "30 Years GS" on the Saturday evening.
And finally, as a fitting end to the 30 Years of GS celebrations, ten teams
from 12 nations made the trip to Africa in early November to contest the
second International GS Trophy event. Each participating country had already
launched their own series of GS 'challenges' in order to find the best team
of riders to represent their nation at this prestigious event. The lucky
ones that were selected from the national trials were invited to Africa for
a week of adventure riding, special tests, teamwork challenges and problem
solving – all designed around having fun, getting back to nature and promoting
this iconic genre of adventure motorcycle.
This year's mammoth seven-day off-road adventure ran for 2,000km across
three South African nations and involved a host of challenges, tests and
trials in order to determine which team would be crowned Trophy champions.
Vying for the coveted title of 'The world's best GS riders' were teams from
the USA, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Denmark/Sweden/Norway/Finland,
the UK/Northern Ireland, Switzerland/Austria and, of course, South Africa.
The 2010 event was an unrivalled success story, as each team fought hard
and bravely to try and make the Trophy their own. In doing so, they put on
an amazing show of teamwork and solidarity that united a worldwide network
of GS riders who were following the event closely via www.facebook.com/bmwmotorrad and www.gstrophy.com.
In the end, a victorious Team GB won the 2010 International BMW GS Trophy
title after a three-way battle, which saw the hard-fought seven-day off-road
challenge won by a single point!
Now the dust has settled, the organisers hope that GS riders all over the
world will have a go in one of the national qualifying events for the 2012
GS Trophy. With enduro training available at BMW off-road schools in most
countries, why not set yourself a goal to become part of this dedicated,
loyal and increasingly international community who all share a passion for
the iconic BMW GS.