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BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Southeast Asia 2016 MediaGuide.

Welcome to the BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy 2016 - a very special motorcycle adventure event that brings together BMW GS riders from around the world for an experience of a lifetime.

BMW Motorrad
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The GS has been close to our heart at BMW for 35 years, ever since we debuted the first R 80 G/S in 1980. That G/S and subsequent GS models have proven their rugged go-anywhere capability by carrying their owners reliably across every continent, on road and track, collectively for millions of miles. Of course todays´ GS motorcycles feature state-of-the-art technology, but it’s the connection that the GS allows between the rider and his environment that makes them so special. This gift for connection and discovery has made the GS more than just a motorcycle. It’s a bike that’s created a worldwide community, and it’s brought the many cultures of this world into the lives of so many owners.

The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy is intended to celebrate this capability and extraordinary relationship. Bigger than ever, with 19 teams competing – comprising 57 riders and 19 embedded journalists – the GS Trophy will offer seven very intense days of competition that will challenge the riders’ riding skills and their wider qualities – their practical skills, their problem solving and importantly their teamwork. Even competing teams will find they have to come together, to form working relationships and friendships, to succeed.


This edition set in Northern Thailand is a new chapter as for the first time we venture onto the Asian continent and into the Tropics. I am sure that every one of the riders – man and woman – will thoroughly enjoy their experiences, and no doubt will immediately be sharing those experiences with the world through social networking while looking forward to returning home with fantastic stories to tell in the old fashioned way.

‘Make life a ride’ is our maxim at BMW Motorrad, but on this occasion we’re hoping the riders will experience the ride of a lifetime.

Heiner Faust Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing BMW Motorrad


BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy Southeast Asia 2016.


What is the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy?

The GS Trophy is a celebration of the spirit of the BMW GS motorcycle, bringing together those elements of leisure, adventure and challenge that this bike engenders. The Southeast Asia 2016 event is the fifth edition of the GS Trophy, the previous editions took place in Canada in 2014, South America in 2012, Southern Africa in 2010 and Tunisia in 2008. This edition will see 19 teams, comprising 57 riders from 25 nations, competing.

The GS Trophy riders will on this occasion be challenged to riding the tight snaking trails through the densely forested regions of the hill district of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The event is not a race but a team competition, pitching the international contingent against each other in a series of special tests – not all are riding tests. With the competitors camped nightly in a bivouac the event also fosters a sense of brotherhood – and for the first time sisterhood – and camaraderie.

GS Trophy sportive director Tomm Wolf:

"This will be a very different GS Trophy: no mountain pistes, no vast plateaux, no veldt, no dunes, and – after Canada – no snow! We can expect temperatures in the high 30s (degrees Celsius), high humidity and we’ll be riding tight single-track trails through the forests. It’ll be slower, but hotter and more technical.

"Culturally this will be an exciting experience. This is a Buddhist region with wonderful gentle people – not to mention an incredible reputation for cuisine. Temples and Tom Kha Gai (spicy chicken soup)! I’ve fallen in love with the region, with the people – I expect the GS Trophy riders will too!"

When does it take place?

The event begins on February 26, 2016 when the competitors will arrive at the event HQ in Chiang Mai for a programme of rider briefings, bike allocations and media meetings. The competition itself will start at 08:00 am on February 28 and ends on March 5.


The location.

The riders of the GS Trophy will be riding through the hilly, sometimes mountainous and often forested regions that surround Chiang Mai in the very northernmost region of Thailand, about 500 miles north of Bangkok. Chiang Mai is known as the cultural capital of Northern Thailand, made famous for the many Buddhist temples to be found in the city and surrounding region – this is a region with a history of spiritualism thousands of years old. But the region is also known for its beautiful highland scenery and the GS Trophy riders will – when not being dealing with the challenges of the course and special tests – enjoy such splendid vistas such as those found in the glorious Doi Inthanon National Park as well as natural attractions such as the waterfalls and thermal hot springs as found near the small town of Pai – closer to the border with Myanmar. Bathing may well on the minds of many riders as they can expect daytime temperatures to averaging around 35ºC and as this is a period before the annual rains it’s most like to be dry and dusty too.

Tomm Wolf: "As for the tracks we will ride on, yes they should be dry and probably quite dusty, but much smaller than those we encountered in Canada and South America. There will be more single track, up-and-down, enduro-type trails, rather than the huge forest roads of the previous GS Trophy. The speeds will definitely be lower and the trails will be more challenging to ride, but extremely nice."


The Challenge.

The GS Trophy is not a race. But it is a competition and so the teams will be tested, not only in their riding skills, but in broader challenges that will fully engage their intellectual as well as physical capacities.

With overnight bivouacs followed by early starts and long days in the saddles –start times are between 07:00 and 08:00 with schedule finishes at 17:00, and with so much of the riding on single-track, endurance will be a significant factor in the event. Along the route the competitors will also face up to three special tests per day (details of which will be revealed as the competitors meet them for themselves).

The successful team will be respectful of their environment, sympathetic to their machinery and understanding of team-mates.

The interactive photo competition was debuted in the 2010 event and proved so popular, with over 20,000 community members voting, that it has become a permanent fixture of the event.

So, on days two and four of the GS Trophy 2016 the teams themselves will be photographing all aspects of their adventure. The subject matter for the competition is entirely open, it might be an action shot of team-mates, or a spectacular landscape, maybe a unique aspect of local life.

Each team will then submit their best photo at the end of both days, to be posted on the GS Trophy website while voting will be accessed through


As before, the photos are posted without credit, so the fans will vote for the best photo, not their favourite team. But as in previous years we can expect the teams to reveal their identities one way or another...!

Note that the time for voting will be limited to just 18 hours on each occasion as the results will need to be fed back into the competition and to accord with the time difference between Munich and Chiang Mai:

Photo competition 1

Voting opens Feb 29, 16:00 (CEST), closes March 1, 10:00 (CEST)

Photo competition 2

Voting opens March 2, 16:00 (CEST), closes March 3, 10:00 (CEST)

The teams will be awarded points toward their overall competition score in accordance with their performance in the votes.

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