For the first time since its 2008 debut, the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy competition will be held in Europe. Located above the northeast border of Greece, Albania is home to just under three million people and covers more than 11,000 square miles (a bit more than Maryland).
Albania is emerging as a tourist destination thanks to a long Adriatic Sea coastline—just east of the heel of Italy’s boot—and many heritage sites within its borders. Albania’s interior is largely undeveloped outside of the capital of Tirana, making it perfect for the 2022 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy event.
“After Tunisia (2008), South Africa (2010), Patagonia (2012), Canada (2014), Thailand (2016), Mongolia (2018), and most recently New Zealand (2020), BMW Motorrad was once again on the lookout for a location that offered the perfect GS terrain,” Dr. Ralf Rodepeter, Head of Brand and Product BMW Motorrad explains. “Lots of legal off-road kilometers are required, with demanding route profiles and plenty of unknowns. Albania offers the ideal conditions. Varied landscapes with high mountains, plateaus, deep forests, beaches along the Adriatic coast, fantastic riverbeds to cross, and deep mountain lakes provide the ideal backdrop for what we believe to be one of the most exciting GS Trophies ever staged.”
Rather than a rally raid, the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy is an event made up of 28 international teams—including six women’s teams. The teams compete on BMW GS motorcycles (naturally) in special stages that are more about teamwork than riding skills. To enhance the team experience, the participants sleep in bivouacs.
Qualifiers for the GS Trophy 2022 Southeast Europe will be held in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, South East Asia, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States. Right now, South Africa has a three-Trophy win streak. Information can be had at GStrophy.com.
After the event’s conclusion, BMW Motorrad is offering Follow The Trails tours to replicate the ride without the competitive aspect.
“Explore the unexpected” is the motto for the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2022 Southeast Europe.
We have tested the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure.