Annual off-road event will feature 22 teams from around the world.
BMW Motorrad is returning to Africa for its next edition of the International GS Trophy contest.
Adventure enthusiasts, rejoice: BMW Motorrad has officially announced that the location for its 2024 GS Trophy competition is the scenic subtropical Namibia, sited on the Atlantic coast in southwestern Africa. After a whirlwind couple of years featuring locales as far-flung as Mongolia, Chile and New Zealand, the bi-annual GS Trophy is heading back to Africa, where the two-wheel off-road competition first debuted some 15 years ago.
Riders in the know understand that the International GS Trophy is probably the creme de la creme of enthusiast rallies —- at least as far as adventure riders go, and certainly when it concerns BMW’s in-house events — featuring spectacular scenery in exotic locales along with world class routes and extreme riding challenges. It’s all meant to showcase the capability and range of the brand’s GS machines, and no pro riders are allowed; this is strictly a contest between BMW owners/riders putting their riding talent, survival and navigation skills to the test against other enduro enthusiasts.
Namibia’s uniquely varied terrain —ranging from coastline to desert to inland highlands —- is sure to entertain and challenge even the most stalwart enduro riders.
The inaugural GS Trophy was held in Tunisia back in 2008, and the last Trophy took place in Albania, in 2022, so with the announcement of this ninth edition in Namibia, you can feel a sense of pent-up excitement percolating in the background; organizers said they were looking for an environment as different as possible from the last running.
Getting to the International GS Trophy isn’t exactly a walk in the park though; riders must first win qualifiers in their home country to be considered for the national team. There will be 15 national qualifying rounds and one international qualifying round for an International Team, with 22 teams from all over the globe vying for a chance to showcase their skills in a series of challenges. Officially, says BMW Motorrad, the “International GS Trophy is not a race: it is a team competition in which an international contingent of off-road enthusiasts compete against each other in various special tests. Not all of these involve just motorcycling: skills and teamwork are essential, too..” Of the 22 teams, 6 will be all-women, with the remaining 16 being men’s groups. A total of 60 riders are expected to participate.
A combination of riding talent, navigation skills and cohesive teamwork usually make for a winning combo in the Trophy.
Of course, not every country and region will host an International GS Trophy qualifier, but BMW has confirmed the following areas will:
Brazil, BeNeLux, China, Germany, France, Italy, India, Japan, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa
South Korea, the United Kingdom and the USA.
If you don’t see your country on this list —– sorry, Canada and Australia —- there’s another option. For the first time, BMW is offering international qualifying during BMW Motorrad Days in Berlin on July 7 – 9, 2023..
The last International GS Trophy — which we reported from — was held in Albania in 2022.
But it’s early days anyway, as BMW hasn’t even announced many of the most essential details, such as actual dates, bike selection or specific challenges required for the 2024 GS Trophy just yet. We’ve been told however, that all these elements, as well as more information on the participating countries and selected teams will be forthcoming in company press releases very soon. Meanwhile you can follow updates on the dedicated website gstrophy.com.
The US team on BMW R 1250 GS machines in action at the GS Trophy event in Albania. The team finished fifth in that contest.
Keyword: BMW’s 2024 GS Trophy To Take Place In Namibia