The Road to Albania

Date:2 July 2021 Tags:, , , , , , ,

Having won the last three International GS Trophies – New Zealand 2020, Mongolia 2018 and Thailand 2016 – as well as placing second at Canada 2014 and here at home in 2010, there’s no disputing that South Africa has the best GS riders in the world.

Now, having built a reputation as the team to beat, BMW Motorrad South Africa is looking to make history and add to their legacy at International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania.

But the road to Albania is long and winding, and riders first have to compete in a series of one day events taking place between May and July around the country. The GS Trophy Regional Qualifiers are open to all licensed riders of GS bikes, who are tested on riding skill and technique at intermediate off road riding level.


Based on the International GS Trophy qualifying rules and regulations – which include the display of riding skill and technique, fitness, mental capability, mechanical skill and teamwork – these challenges include, but aren’t limited to:


Typically, the first qualifying event allows riders to find their rhythm and is all about steering and understanding weight displacement and body position. Set out in uneven terrain, it tests the riders’ abilities, starting out fairly wide at 6m and bringing it in to about 3m apart on the final stretch.

Tennis Ball

Three tennis balls are placed on top of 1.2m high cones, which have empty cones between them and are set 2m apart. Riders must use their throttle hand to remove a ball from a cone and then place it on top of the empty cone 2m ahead. Repeating the process until the end of the course they must then turn around and do it all over again. This exercise requires maximum concentration as there’s no input of throttle and riders need to have precise clutch control.

Ride a Log

This test of skill asks a rider to ride across a 10m sleeper. The step up to the sleeper is left bare and so riders must approach with enough speed so that they can climb the sleeper instead of being bounced back. Once on top, a rider must balance along the 10m section and then successfully ride off the other end.

Balance of the Motorcycle

Riders stand in front of their bike, getting it to balance with the engine running and the side stand up. They must then make two circles around their bike, without dropping it and using only one hand to keep it upright, before putting the bike back on the side stand and switching it off.

The top riders from each regional event will be invited to compete at the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa in September. This gathering of all BMW Motorrad riders, competitors and supporters aims to be the biggest GS event in the world and combines a weekend of spectacular riding, camaraderie and joy.

The clincher? You have an opportunity to experience the #SpiritOfGS, watching the regional winners competing over two days in the hopes that they’re one of three men and two women who will represent Team South Africa at International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania.

For more information about this awesome opportunity, visit BMW Motorrad’s website at


Picture: Supplied

Latest Issue :

Nov-December 2021