Journey to the GS Trophy – taking everyday South Africans on an extraordinary journey

Back Row: Mercia Jansen Head of Motul SA, Edward Mello, Amy Murphey, Chanell Grobler, Carmen Bell, Bongi Didiza, Dumisani Mtshali, Nkasinathi Faku, Wezi Phiri, Andre Visser Captain of the Team and man behind the concept, Jacky van der Merwe Business Development Manager at Motul SA Front Row: Penny Sterley Head of BMW Motorrad SA, Altus Theart, Ayanda Masina, Werner Coetser

Motul has always been a passionate supporter of motorcycle endeavours, be it racing across deserts in the Paris Dakar, or tearing up race tracks around the world. So no surprise then to learn that Motul SA are sponsoring the Journey to the GS Trophy.

On Sat 15 May we attended the “Journey to the GS Trophy team Launch” in Rosebank, where we got to meet some of the folks who will be undergoing a stringent training programme to prepare themselves for the upcoming GS Trophy regional qualifying event later this year.

This is what it is all about…

The International GS Trophy is a biennial adventure motorcycle event that takes place in a different country each time it is held. It’s an opportunity for a team of three South African BMW GS adventure motorcycle riders to represent their country and build on a legacy that has seen Team South Africa emerge victorious in the last three events.

Photo credit: BMW Motorrad South Africa

The International GS Trophy 2022 will be held in Albania, and the build-up and selection process will be the most inclusive ever, with ordinary South Africans embarking on the Journey to the GS Trophy.

This concept – the Journey to the GS Trophy – has been launched by certified BMW motorcycle instructor Andre Visser, in partnership with BMW Fourways and Motul. Andre has over 15 years experience as an adventure motorcycle trainer including with the GS Trophy: he was the Event Director of the 2010 SA National GS Trophy Qualifier and helped prepare the team for that year’s event, when, riding on home soil, they came second overall.

Photo credit: www.zcmc.co.za

“The Journey to the GS Trophy team features 13 men and women, all with different skill levels – and none of whom have any previous experience with the GS Trophy. This unique training experience will help them prepare for the regional qualifiers, and, if they make the cut, for the final national selection event,” explained Andre. “In partnership with Motul, we’ve developed a challenging but rewarding syllabus that will give them the best possible chance of making it onto the SA team,” he added.

“Helping a group of everyday South Africans who share a passion for adventure riding and further growing the motorcycle industry is an opportunity that Motul simply couldn’t pass up!” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “Even if the riders on this Journey don’t make it all the way to Albania, they’ll have gained new skills that will help them enjoy their riding even more – and that’s something we’ll always get behind here at Motul,” added Jansen.

Photo credit: ZA Bikers

The riders on the Journey to the GS Trophy team will participate in four dedicated training sessions as they prepare for the Gauteng regional qualifier on 19 June 2021. This will take place at the purpose-built BMW X-Drive facility in Midrand.

Andre outlined the content of the four training sessions that make up the Journey to the GS Trophy and explained how each session will help the riders gain in confidence. The first session will see them master the basics of off-road riding including getting to grips with the U-turn manoeuvre; the second will focus on overcoming obstacles; the third will introduce elements of strategy, planning and navigation; and the fourth training session will help the riders to combine all these elements to achieve a smooth, fluid adventure riding style.

Photo credit: BMW Motorrad South Africa

Qualifying competitors from each of the regional qualifiers will progress to the national qualifier, which is projected to take place in September or October 2021 and will see the selection of the three riders who will go to Albania next year.

There will also be an unofficial in-house competition for the Journey riders that will culminate in a final event to determine which riders have improved the most during the training.

For more info about the GS Trophy visit – www.bmw-motorrad.co.za