More than 75 people from across India rode to Goa to take part in the GS Trophy qualifiers. Armed with an F 850 GS, courtesy of BMW Motorrad, we threw our hat in the ring as well…
Every two years, BMW holds one of the most exciting competitions for its GS customers – the GS Trophy. It’s regarded as one of the best customer experience programmes for adventure bike owners.
BMW Motorrad sells its products in more than 100 countries, but only 30 countries take part in the GS Trophy. And, this year, it was India’s second opportunity to participate in this exciting adventure event. This also shows how important the Indian market has become for international manufacturers in recent years.
Now, the GS Trophy is not a race, it’s a team competition that pits GS-riding international contingents against each other in a series of challenges. We were invited to participate as guests in the Indian qualifiers this year to experience the thrill of the event. The top 15 bike journalists from across the country were present, including me, and it’s safe to say that we were all slightly overwhelmed and very anxious about the challenges and courses laid out for us.
Test of Skill (& Nerve)
It’s by no means an easy competition, and every bit of your skill and nerves are put to test. Some of the challenges involved balancing the bike at very slow speeds, controlling throttle modulation, clutch control, performing J-turns and U-turns, and, of course, attempting to ride through some very difficult terrain courses without dabbing the ground.
More than 75 people from across India rode to Goa to take part in the qualifiers. Some of them had been practising for months and had even gone abroad to places like South Africa, Germany, and Thailand to prepare for the qualifiers. This just shows how serious the competition is for some.
On day one, riders battled each other through various intensive stages, including hard-core adventure riding and teamwork challenges. They were tested on their riding capability, technique, navigation, fitness, mental alertness, and mechanical skills. Only 21 riders managed to qualify for the second and final day of the qualifiers.
Soon, it was time for the announcement of the top three riders who are to represent India. HK Naik from Bangalore, Shakeel Basha from Coimbatore, and V Sathyananth from Tirupur will proudly represent India at the international level.
The seventh-edition of International GS Trophy will take place from 9 to 16 February 2020 in New Zealand, which offers the ideal terrain to have a wonderful experience while riding the F 850 GS. We would like to wish team India all the very best for this exciting competition. Stay tuned to see how Team India fares early next year.
Also read - BMW F 850 GS Adventure Review