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BMW GS Trophy Challenge USA Report

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BMW GS Trophy

In a display of tremendous balance, precision handling, and total control of the BMW R1200GS, Iain Glynn of Touratech-USA put on a show for spectators by out maneuvering the field of competitors at the 2010 BMW GS Trophy Challenge to earn top spot on Team USA at the international GS Trophy in South Africa.

To qualify for the GS Trophy event, over 50 riders competed in the Rawhyde Adventure Rider Challenge (ARC) on Saturday, covering rough terrain and obstacles including a large ravine, mud pit, downhill slalom course, giant teeter-totter, and rocky hill climbs.

The 20 best riders from the ARC advanced to the GS Trophy on Sunday. Glynn negotiated the obstacles satisfactorily and qualified for the GS Trophy competition with a 17th place finish.

The GS Trophy Challenge is a scored event consisting of 11 defined tasks such as completing several back to back lock-out turns within a limited space, riding the length of a 6×6 timber and climbing a steep hill without touching feet to the ground.

The riding events aren’t speed oriented and instead focus on maneuvers which require good balance, slow-speed control of your bike, and the ability to analyze terrain and make good decisions. All riders are watched intensively by the scoring judges who deduct points for going off course, failing maneuvers or touching feet to the ground.

It’s like a trials event, only the bikes are full-sized GS machines. The competition is carried out under strict guidelines from BMW Motorrad in Germany to ensure consistent standards in every country around the world.

For Sunday’s competition, Glynn kept a cool head through both rounds of competition producing two nearly perfect runs. When asked how he managed to keep his composure in the high-pressure final rounds, Glynn responded.

Iain Glynn says: “I’m always calm and happy once my helmet goes on. I was really just out there having fun and managed to keep my feet on the pegs for both runs. I definitely wasn’t expecting to win.”

Along with the second and third place finishers, Bill Dragoo and Shannon Merkel, Glynn will be heading to South Africa this November to compete in the International BMW Motorrad GS Trophy, an event designed to test riders of BMW GS motorcycles in all kinds of conditions and terrain.

The 2010 international event requires teams to cross rivers, traverse massive sand dunes, and test their mechanical and navigational skills, all while camping and travelling through beautiful South Africa with the best riders from around the world.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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