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Eric Hall

Why Isn't the GS Trophy Competition More Popular?

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A question raised by RawHyde, the West Coast host of this year's contest:

 

"Ok- with the GS trophy coming soon I'm puzzled as to why there is such a lack of interest in the event? Less than a hundred riders have signed up nationally for what is without a doubt the opportunity of a lifetime... 10 days in Mongolia riding with fellow GSers from all over the world ... please watch this video and share your thoughts with me? Why isn't the GS trophy more popular??"

 

My response:

 

"A few things come to mind. One is there are many new and capable bikes out there like the Africa Twin and KTM's 1090 and 1290 that probably have former GS riders on them. I think BMW's also taken a huge hit over this stanchion issue; I see many more negative comments than I used to on GS posts on Instagram. Lastly I think the economy is playing a part as not as many bikes are being sold as in years past."

 

I will post some other responses I find interesting but I'd like your take.

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Well its interesting that on my computer, the BMW website doesnt seem to work past clicking on Qualifier.  

I picked up my phone and the mobile site worked pretty good.  

If you look at the pictures and videos, I had the impression you needed the R1200 because that all i see.  

I feel I am pretty active on social media, but never seen an advertisement saying "Hey!  If you got any enduro type BMW, you can enter the GS Trophy"  Actually, I don't recall any advertisements other than Rawhyde asking for help to do setup.  I usually hear about it after the fact.  

Honestly before this year, I thought you had to be invited to it.  

 

Just my 2 pennies. 

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A friend of mine shared with me a story about this rider Marisa (@she_braaps) who applied for the east coast GS Trophy but was turned down.  They said she had to own a BMW.  So she got an 1150 GS and re-applied but they said no "because you have too much of a KTM presence on your Facebook page."  You can bet KTM's not going to pass on her when they roll out their own rider competition series (did I say that out loud?).

That didn't stop BMW from picking Stephanie Rowe from the UK to win their "One World One GS" contest in 2013.  Stephanie was an enduro competitor and is featured on BMW's own page riding a non-BMW bike (AJP).

I haven't let anyone forget was a fiasco that "contest" was.  I call it "One Continent One GS" because they solicited applications from all over the world (yours truly included) yet oddly picked the five winners from.... Italy, Spain, Germany, France and UK (their primary and largest dealer markets).

On the one hand, this shows the US just isn't their core market so they're unlikely to spend a dime promoting it but on the other, the GS Trophy is followed pretty closely by its fanboys like @DimitriT and they're usually attentive to when it's announced and appears on various BMW pages on FB.

The last womens' GS Trophy had them picking a winner from the US who some say was not the best rider (by a long shot) but had sexy photos and a large FB following.  It was a PR debacle for them as some disgruntled contestants got together and made a post on FB where people came out of the woodwork to trash this contestant just a week before she left for the contest.  She placed 8th of 9 but the 9th was out due to an injury.

I know one of the contestants who was passed over even though she's probably one of the best female riders in the world.  Her husband wasn't really thrilled about her doing it, not because he doesn't think she's capable but because he knows BMW's contests are a lot of social media games he'd rather not see his wife have to go through.  He feels it should be about just ability.

That's not to say it still isn't a whole lot of fun for those who do compete (I did in 2012) but BMW's had their share of missteps over the years.  Perhaps that's finally catching up with them.

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Nah, it is!  I have enjoyed your commentary on FB of this current round.  I've never seen anyone as determined as you have been to participate and win this thing.  You've taken many training classes and practiced on your own.  You've entered other events (LAB2V), etc... for experience.  And now this year you scored third or something?  That's very admirable.  Haven't seen anyone else as dedicated to something like this.

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