BMW GS Trophy heads to New Zealand

It’s official: The 2020 BMW GS Trophy is headed to New Zealand. But, alas! There will be no Canadian team this time around.

The GS Trophy is an international skills competition for Beemerphiles. The contest starts off with the GS Challenge—regional showdowns where motorcyclists compete aboard adventure bikes to show their riding skills. Often, mechanical skills, survival skills, or other aspects of adventure riding are also tested.

Sometimes, other brands are welcome in the regional competitions, but to win and head to the national competition, riders must be aboard a BMW GS adventure bike. At the nationals, riders are again tested on a wide variety of skills, and the winners of this round form the team that attends the international GS Trophy competition.

The GS Trophy is a very tough rally-style event, and you’ve got to be great at technical riding and fixing tricky mechanical issues if you want to prevail. Costa was a participant back in 2010, and you can read about his experiences here.

New Zealand ought to make an excellent choice for the rally, thanks to the incredible scenery and tough riding conditions. BMW Motorrad’s head marketeers said the country “offers perfect ‘GS terrain,’ ” and he’s probably right.

However, Canadians may be disappointed to know we won’t have a national team at the 2020 event, like we usually do (there are 18 international teams this time around, as well as a woman’s team or teams). It’s not that BMW Motorrad Canada has lost interest—company insiders say they’re working on a new GS Challenge program. But for now, two essential partners who helped with the regional and national GS Challenge competitions in the past are now out of the game, which means BMW’s got to rebuild its national program before we can send a team. Here’s hoping for 2022?

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