The 2016 BMW GS Trophy continued Tuesday in Thailand, the countryside revealing itself to the 19 teams representing 25 countries that rode from Pai to Mae Hong Son – all riders piloting R1200GS motorcycles.Though the overall distance was short at just over 100 miles, the special states were intense. By day’s end Team South Africa took the lead with 85 points – nine ahead of Team UK and 11 ahead of Team Latin America.
As for the Americans, who are represented by Charles Lucht, Dennis Godwin and Thomas Asher, they are now ninth with 59 points.Following is from the official BMW GS Trophy press release:The team riders experienced the full GS Trophy effect today; if day one had been a gentle introduction, this was a taste of the tough, demanding reality that will be the week ahead. The overall distance might have been short, too, at 105 miles, but the intensity meant every mile was measured if not in blood, then certainly sweat and tears.Named the “Helicopter Trail”, today’s course started gentle, again seeing the competitors ride through quiet rural villages, passing along centuries-old paths between paddy fields, before ascending into the mountains. The high point came at 1,686m, marked by the wreckage of a crashed “Huey” military helicopter that gave today’s course its name, close to the border with Myanmar.The descent from there proved to be the day’s riding highlight, as the trail grew increasingly steep and technical, narrowing to a single track, then down to a single Metzeler-tire’s width through the most critical sections. Not all competitors made it through unscathed, but none were injured either. It was intense and increasingly hot work as the temperatures rose, from 20º at the summit to 32º in the valleys.The first special test of the day, “Mai Daeng”, required the competitors to beat the clock as they rode down a bridge embankment, then under the bridge along a rocky riverbed before chasing a zig-zag path up the far side of the valley. Like a special stage in a rally, this was about speed and aggression – and a modicum of calculation, for the teams needed to get all three bikes to the finish without a crash, as a dropped bike would incur a 30-second penalty. Team South Africa were victorious in this one.Special Test Two, called “Do You Know?, was sprung on the riders randomly during the day as they were challenged on their knowledge of the BMW R 1200 GS motorcycle, including the capacity, horsepower and weight.A stunning ride through the valleys, with staggering cliff formations and jungle-vistas brought the competitors to the overnight bivouac at Mae Hong Son where the third and final test of the day awaited in mid-30s heat and high humidity.Simply titled ‘Dead End, the teams were shown two parallel single trails about 50 meters long and marked with barrier tape. Starting from one end, two teams at a time faced off against each other with the goal to be the fastest to push all their bikes to the ‘dead end’, touch tires and then reverse them back again – all against the clock. With time penalties awarded for touching the barrier tape or going into the other lane, it was certainly harder than it looked, especially in the intense afternoon heat. After all 19 teams had run the gauntlet, it emerged that Team Latin America pushed harder and faster than all the other challengers.As all the results were compiled after a fantastic evening meal at the bivouac at The Dai resort, it is Team South Africa who lead the Trophy after day two, with Team UK and Team Latin America rounding out the top three.John Harris, Team South Africa: ”As a team we came together. We had one or two snags along the way but we didn’t get upset about it. We stayed motivated, enjoyed it as a team and thoroughly enjoyed the day – that made the difference.”
2016 BMW GS Trophy 2016 Day 2 Results:
1. South Africa 85 pts.2. UK 76 pts.3. Latin America 74 pts.4. China 69 pts.5. CEEU 66 pts.6. France 62 pts.7. Argentina 61 pts.8. Germany 60 pts.9. USA 59 pts.10. Brazil 57 pts.11. Italy 55 pts.12. Canada 52 pts.13. Mexico 49 pts.14. Russia 48 pts.15. International Female Team 29 pts.15. Alps 29 pts.15. South Korea 29 pts.15. South East Asia 29 pts.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!