2016 BMW GS Trophy Results
After seven days and nearly 900 miles of riding and special tests, the 2016 BMW GS Trophy has concluded in Chiang Dao, Thailand.
The fifth-annual edition of the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, which consisted of 19 teams aboard R1200GS motorcycles representing 25 countries, proved to be the most intense event yet. Team South Africa earned the win by 31 points ahead of Germany and Team UK, the latter two tied for second.
The South Africa GS Trophy trio of John Harris, Byron Coetsee and Charl Moolman took the lead after day two, and though heavily challenged, the team eventually earned the win with 299 points.
As for Team America of Charles Lucht, Dennis Godwin and Thomas Asher, it finished eighth with 229 points.
Following is from the official BMW Motorrad report:
When day seven started, there was still everything to play for, with only 19 points separating the top three. And with double points on offer for the final Special, there was hope for all teams as the opening Special began. It came just 12 miles out from the starting point in Chae Son and was entitled “Twisted Turn.”
In essence it was a team exercise to clear a series of ever tightening turns on a two-tiered course, with the usual penalty points for feet touching the ground or dropping the bike. It was inspiring to watch the slow-speed control and balance of certain riders, especially the female trio who showed fantastic skills and technique in this exercise. Team Brazil were, however, the winners of this Special.
There were many more highlights to follow, with a wonderfully flowing section through a pine forest high in the mountains followed by an extended and sinuous mountain-descent on tarmac to clearly demonstrate the versatility of the BMW R 1200 GS.
Then followed a rendezvous at km 126 with around 100 riders from Thailand, Malaysia and China, who had traveled in on their BMW bikes to support the GS Trophy. For the final 30 miles ride-in to the Rim Doi Resort in Chiang Dao, these enthusiastic, friendly riders joined the Trophy teams and marshals, and helped form a huge convoy that snaked its way to the location for the final Special test of 2016.
It took place at a neighboring motocross training track, much to the delight of the teams, who made it their business to show exactly how a big adventure bike like the BMW GS can be hustled around a tight, twisty track with a skilled rider at the controls. With crowds of enthusiasts lining the circuit and cheering the teams all the way from their Le Mans-style starts through bumps, turns and whoops to a challenging steep uphill finish, it was a super way to end the riding part of the Trophy. This final Special was won by a dominant Team South Africa.
As for the GS bikes, they have held up remarkably well considering the extreme hard use they have been subjected to over the past seven days and more than 800 miles of competition. Despite being dropped off ‘broken bridges’, dragged through boulder-strewn river crossings, hauled over huge logs, and ridden hard across every type of terrain and obstacle imaginable, there has been hardly any damage at all to the fleet of over 100 BMW R 1200 GS and GS Adventures.
A few tires have been changed due to punctures, a couple of clutches and coolers have been replaced, as have a few mirrors and levers, but there have been no technical failures at all. All in all, it’s a welcome confirmation of the indestructible nature of a BMW GS, as well as the great job done by Original BMW Motorrad Accessories in protecting the bikes.
All good things must come to an end of course, and although the riding was over, there was still time for the final evening celebration and points announcement, and the Trophy circus was joined by many invited guests from across Asia, who were welcomed for the festivities.
Having come close to Trophy honors several times before (second place in 2010 and 2014), Team South Africa were delighted winners: “Relief is the first emotion, then happiness,” expressed an overjoyed Byron Coetsee. “South Africa’s track record in the event has been seconds and thirds, we even missed out on the win in 2010 by as little as one point, so to finish like this, it’s like the weight of the world is lifted off our shoulders. We share this achievement with our previous GS Trophy team riders.”
Heiner Faust, Vice President Sales and Marketing, BMW Motorrad, says “I’m so pleased we staged this latest International GS Trophy in Southeast Asia and welcomed riders from across the globe to this wonderful region, including our first ever female team who were truly inspiring. Once again the competition has been tough and exciting from start to finish.
“As all of the teams have discovered, Thailand is an amazing place for adventure motorcycling, especially when you are riding with new friends who share exactly the same passion as you. This passion has been reflected by the thousands of enthusiasts worldwide who have been following the Trophy online via our various social media channels.
The BMW Motorrad community has truly engaged with the spirit of the GS Trophy and we’re sure that this success story will continue for a long time.”
2016 BMW GS Trophy Final Results – Thailand
1. South Africa, 299
2. Germany, 268
2. UK, 268
4. CEEU, 254
5. Latin America, 244
6. Brazil, 242
7. China, 234
8. USA, 229
9. France, 208
10. Italy, 200
11. Argentina, 188
12. Mexico, 181
13. Russia, 180
14. Canada, 176
15. South Korea, 146
16. Japan, 138
16. South East Asia, 138
18. Alps, 117
19. International Female Team, 116