People buy a GS motorcycle for lots of different reasons, but riders of BMW Motorrad’s legendary enduro all share a common desire to travel further ’off the beaten track’ and to experience more unusual and interesting places than ’ordinary’ riders. And when it comes to long-distance, rough terrain and serious adventure travel, then no other motorcycle comes close to matching the ability of the all-conquering boxer twin.
All these facts have been recognized by BMW France, which is currently organizing a fantastic expedition that will appeal to all French-speaking GS riders who are interested in discovering South America, Australia and Africa. In fact, so exciting is the proposed format for the three-stage trip - which will involve about 30 R 1200 GS and R 1200 GS Adventure riders - that non-Francophones are advised to invest in a language course now, so they can be part of the action, which begins at the end of 2008 and continues into 2009 and 2010.
The first event - known as the ’Rally Gringo 2008’ - takes place in November and December 2008. This rally adventure is reserved for BMW GS teams and is designed to take riders to the ends of their dreams in South America. The GS Rally will journey through some spectacular places, including the Argentine pampas; through the Amazon region of Santa Cruz and its missions; the Bolivian altiplano and its sandy deserts 4,000 metres above sea level; Uyuni salt lake and its spectacular geysers; the Atacama desert and the coast of Chile. Simply put, this is a month of adventure and discovery in South America.
In 2009, the Dundee Rally will let GS riders realize their great dream of a trans-Australian rally between Perth, Brisbane and Uluru. Participants will cross the Great Victoria Desert, pass through legendary Australian farms, visit the sacred Uluru - or Ayres Rock - in the Northern Territory, go along the ’French line’ (unpaved track) across the Simpson Desert, before finishing with a long ride along the Pacific coast in Queensland.
In 2010, participants on the Zulu 2010 rally will discover the beauty of South Africa and Namibia, as well make a ’small’ detour past the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The lucky GS riders that will make this trip across magical landscapes will hopefully see (although not too close!) some of Africa’s amazing wild animals and visit places far beyond the pages of any travel brochure.
The organiser for these GS rallies is BMW riding enthusiast Eric Massiet du Biest, who has accumulated more than 1,500,000 kilometres in 57 countries in 22 years of organizing expeditions. A team of two R 1200 GS riders has just returned from a reconnaissance mission to Argentina, Chile and Bolivia to research routes for this year’s Gringo Rally.
BMW Motorrad Marketing Manager for France, Baptiste Vallin believes that the three rallies will generate lots of awareness of BMW’s current enduro range, as well as offer participants a trip of a lifetime that they will never forget.
"With the GS range, BMW Motorrad is really giving riders a chance to realize their dreams and we hope that with this series of GS rallies, we can make this dream a reality for riders of the most legendary motorcycle in history. Our rallies are not a competition, as we do not believe it is necessary to partake in a difficult rally to experience satisfaction and the immense pride of a journey well accomplished. We will devise the routes to ensure riders have the best experiences, meet the local people, enjoy the spirit of solidarity, respect and friendliness, and appreciate the phenomenal capabilities of the GS, whether it be in South America, Australia or South Africa."
Pictures from this latest research expedition as well as further details about all three rallies are available by visiting the www.GS-rallye.fr website.