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This event is very much a large marketing ploy from BMW and as the event organisers I am sure they have the derogative to only allow BMW motorcycles only.
Marketing stunt aside this event is superbly well organised and has picked up serious momentum in the three years since the first GS Challenge. The superb location selected every year(different location every time)and the skills challenge that allow riders to test their riding skill against other riders using similar machines have given this event the edge other rallies do not have.
The rules are that you have to arrive on your bike with tent and camping gear needed for the three days of the event. The remote locations does not offer any other accommodation besides the patch of ground you must pitch your tent, this and the tough routes selected for the rides is about as rough as it will get tough as the organisers offer brilliant facilities for three meals a day as well as clean ablutions etc.
The GS Challenge cater for the average rider and is not a race as such. Even the skills challenge that is held at the end of every days rides is not timed but points is deducted for making mistakes on the course.
Thanks for pointing out the spell mistake Stephano. Spell checkers can only do so much.
And apologies for the my next message as I have done the same here. Maybe someone can explain what happened to the very useful edit message function that used to be on this forum.
"Fortunately there are a number of other rallies throughout the year in SA where you can arrive on any kind of bike or even moped"
Sure, but what is wrong with a BMW only rally? There are all kind of one brand rallies. HOG events with Harleys (also factory sponsored) "Wing Ding" for Gold Wing riders etc etc.
I think it is nice as a bike factory organises such events for its customers. I would love to do the GS Challenge in South Africa someday. (I have a F650GS that I am very happy with).
There's nothing wrong with it; it's just a pity; that's all.
I'm am sure that BMW would put on one hell of a show which would be enjoyed by all and you could even have a serious debate about the merrits of the BMW being a half decent bike.
I just battle to understand why BMW continue to exclude themselves from the motorcycle fraternity. They would have a lot more fun if they just accepted that all bikes are the same really and that all our motivations to be on bikes are the same. During my recent trip to SA I was really surpised by the significant increase in numbers of GS's on the road and the few I spoke to had the same opinion that in SA there is the BMW biker and then the rest and sadly this is the case in many parts of the world. Sure support you brand of bike but to basically cut yourselves off from the motorcycle society is self defeating. Why have the BMW marketing guru's decided on this approach? And what if Ewan and Charlie had taken KTM's...
I couldn't be bothered to go to such an event for the sake of trying to pump up my testosterone levels and ego and show off my skills; or lack thereof.
Now the concept of how the HU Meets are organised I think would go down really well in SA...now just to get it going....SEE YOU NEXT YEAR SA!!!!
ps: I think we all agree that HD's are not motorcydles but purely phallic symbols; and GS's are slowly moving to that status.
Funny thing is that I agree wholeheartedly on the BMW status and all. Even though I ride BMW's they in fact have very little in common with the BMW models and are often scoffed at by the BMW event organisers especially when they find out that I spend on these bikes twice the amount of what you will pay for their latest models.
The guys at BMW came up with a good concept but it was left to HPN to perfect it.
My apologies for my stereotypical quip about HD's...quite unnecesary and by making that comment I was dumping myself right in there with the stereotypical "mines better than yours" bunch.
I hope you can see I'm not attacking anyone in particular but the idea of people trying to willingly excluding themselves; and yes they are more than welcome to do so; but they are missing out on the opportunity to be part of a larger community of like-minded individuals. This again is not the entire BMW, HD etc fraternity but individuals within it with this holier than thou attitude which result in the stereotypical response from the general community.
But this is nothing new; where would polititions be if it were not for exclusive clubs...hurrah for the EU, socialism and the big grey blob!!!!
I've now talked myself into a corner because I'm all for individuality and can't stand the idea of us all being exactly the same; how boring would that be...hey ho...
Personally I’m not a big fan of rallies but usually I go to a few each year. I select rallies with focus on driving and one of them is a GS-meeting (gsmeeting.com ) normally there are a few other bikes there too.
To be honest I don’t see any problems. There are about ten (???) types of GSes (F650GS, R65G/S, R80G/S, R80GS, R100GS, R100GS, R1150GS, R1200GS, HP2) and if you deivide them into subgroups (like adventure, PD, classic, Basic, Kalahari…..) you will probably have 30-40 different types, and then comes all the heavily modified ones.. It’s not a uniformed group at all.
For me it’s a nice opportunity to see what modifications people have done with their
bikes and to see how they perform. It’s much better then reading stuff on internet:-)
So what’s wrong with spending one weekend every year with the GS guys? I’m not sad because the KTM guys have their meetings and they don’t invite me.
Originally Posted by gsworkshop
The guys at BMW came up with a good concept but it was left to HPN to perfect it.
Hehe, I agree but a bike is never perfect, it will always be new ideas…
We're working on a meeting in SA! Currently set for somewhere near Johannesburg. If you're interested in helping please let us know.
Mmmmmm, may be a good reson to borrow my uncle his Low Rider again...... I have not been in South Africa since 2004 so it may be a good time to visit my family in Clarens again :-)
BTW, the area around Clarens in South Africa is very very beautifull. It may be a good (better?) alternative for Johannesburg. Also the crime is much lower there then near Johannesburg.
From that area it is very easy to make a trip into Lesotho !!!
The Golden Gate park is very nice too.
Clarens is a "biker meeting place" in that area and the roads there are a bikers dream.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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