2016 BWM GS Trophy Team USA Ready for Thailand
Ahead of the fifth-annual BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy in Thailand, which begins February 28, the three-rider Team USA team completed some grueling prep at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, S.C.
The three riders – Charles Lucht, Dennis Godwin and Thomas Asher – spent two days of training aboard R1200GS motorcycles in torrential downpours, high winds and knee-deep mud puddles as they prepare for the BMW GS Trophy.
During this year’s GS Trophy, 18 other teams representing 25 nations will join Team USA; all together, 57 riders, along with 21 journalists, will spend a week of adventure riding with special tests and team challenges.
BMW Motorrad reports that in Spartanburg, Charles, Dennis and Thomas were joined by Motorcyclist Magazine’s Senior Editor Zack Courts – Team USA’s embedded journalist – and Bobby Wooldridge, of Atlanta, Ga. – a member of Team USA in the 2014 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy. Zacks’s technical skills, Bobby’s firsthand competition knowledge and professional guidance by BMW Performance Center instructors Ross McKinney and Ray Helms helped prepare Team USA members for the terrain and challenges they are likely to encounter in Southeast Asia.
As the storm raged across South Carolina, all of the riders mastered control of their BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles in the challenging conditions, and quickly started functioning as an effective team on the very first day. To reinforce team building on the second day, the group went rock climbing outside of Asheville. Learning to depend upon each other for rope work and guidance, they had to climb blindfolded in a tandem team and rely on instructions from the others.
After two intense, productive days of training, Team USA was prepared to travel to Thailand as a tight cohesive unit, confident in knowing that they can function together under challenging conditions.
Charles Lucht, 49, of Richmond, Va., is self-employed in the cleaning service business. He was the winner of the East Coast Qualifier at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg in September 2015.
Dennis Godwin, 56, of Buena Park, Calif., is a general contractor who won the West Coast GS Trophy Qualifier at RawHyde, an official BMW training partner.
Thomas Asher, 47, is a mechanic from Johnstown, Ohio. He emerged victorious at the GS Trophy Central Qualifier in Bixby, MO.
BMW GS Trophy – the Bikes
Competitors in the 5th BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy will ride a fleet of identical specially-prepared 2016 BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles – 114 in total – 100 of which will be R 1200 GS versions for the competitors, journalists, organizers and special guests, with 14 R 1200 GS Adventure models for the marshals.
Preparing the machines for the GS competition required only a small number of modifications. All the GS bikes are equipped with an aluminum enduro engine guard, steel crash bars, valve cover guards, headlight guard, wider enduro footrests, adjustable footbrake lever and a safety screw for the oil filler neck. All bikes will run on Metzeler Karoo 2 tires.
For additional information, visit BMW GS Trophy.