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Old 01-10-2013, 12:21 PM   #1
ShawnWorks OP
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Location: Prunedale, and to a lesser extent, Santa Cruz CA
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Thumb The New BMW R1200GS Press Launch - My "EPIC" Journey to South Africa

Adventure Log 1

Word of the day: Shellshock


So, recently I received a call from one of the executives at BMW Motorrad USA. I’ve known this individual for several years, though it is not often that we talk on the phone. Seeing his name on the caller ID certainly raised an eyebrow.

In general, this is the meat and potatoes of our conversation:
Him: “So… What are you doing the weekend of January 18th?”

Me: “I can’t say there’s anything special happening, I am scheduled to be in the office. What’s up?”

Him: “I want you to attend the Press Release of the new BMW R 1200 GS Motorcycle.”

Me: “…Err—Ok… Where is it?”

Him: “South Africa.”

Me: …

Him: “…From the US we’re sending 5 professional journalists, and you. Just ride the bike and write about the experience. What do you think?”

Me: …

Him: “…Hello?”

Me: “No. Friggin. Way.”
Suffice to say, the subsequent conversation included a lot of drooling and squealing. Then there was the running around and fist-pounding, yelling, and explaining of said gesticulations to a befuddled wife.

The goal—or so I have come to understand it—is for me to join the fray and offer a differed perspective to the usual BMW “Press Launch” experience. In other words, tell the tale of the new R 1200 GS from the viewpoint of an unworthy slob who gets to take the trip of a lifetime…!!!!

So there you have it. In about a week I will be heading off to George, South Africa, to experience first-hand the epic awesomeness that is the newest BMW GS machine. And since the role I will play is a bit unusual in the first place, I figure it's appropriate to share more of the tale than simply ‘riding the GS.’ I see this as a story with telling, hence the words in front of you… After all, it’s not every day you get invited for an event like this!

Perhaps a quick Bio is in order. For the record, my name is Shawn Thomas, and I perform training and Tours for RawHyde Adventures (www.rawhyde-offroad.com). RawHyde is a cornerstone of the Adventure riding lifestyle, and where I first learned to ride a GS beyond the asphalt. I am also a part of the “BMW Community” team; I have spent the last 2 years traveling around the country with my brother, Lance, putting together groups of riding communities. We offer free clinics teaching the art of managing “big” Adventure bikes on the dirt (perhaps we’ve met?). Together, Lance and I have taught upwards of 2,000 Adventure riders around the country how to handle these machines off-pavement. In addition, I have spent a good 10 years in the world of motorcycles, beginning with a job in sales at a BMW Motorcycle dealer on the California Coast. Good times!

Suffice to say--like you, riding is a passion for me. And for me, nothing compares to riding a GS. I love the power, and handling, the sheer diversity of the machine. In my humble opinion, it’s the best bike ever conceived.

I also very much enjoy storytelling and photography, two helpful assets in this upcoming experience…!

So, it seemed a good idea to start a thread about this experience. I do not know how it will evolve; but, I figure that some good can come from putting pen to paper (fingers to laptop) and telling my fellow Adventurers how this whole experience unfolds. Thanks for reading, I appreciate your feedback!

To be continued…
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
bbenn75820
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lucky bastard ( in a good way )
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #3
Fasnacht
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Wow, dude...Nothing but the most hardy congratulations...Enjoy it for everything its worth!
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:35 PM   #4
marty hill
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Wonderful! Enjoy to the fullest.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
mint julep
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Envious no doubt, but look forward to read about your epic ride.

Have a great time.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
BordenBmw
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I'm in!

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
SharkMan77
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Lucky just doesn't cut it...!
Have a great trip and keep us posted.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
Scubalong
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Congratulation.....

You lucky Bastard
Me
Have a safe trip and keep us posted of your report.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
GB
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You hit the jackpot in 2013 already!!

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:19 PM   #10
yellowknife
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Quick

buy a lottery ticket. U R 1 lucky person.

Lookin forward to reading your comments.

YK
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #11
twinrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnWorks View Post
And for me, nothing compares to riding a GS. I love the power, and handling, the sheer diversity of the machine. In my humble opinion, it’s the best bike ever conceived.
Good to see you going with no preconceptions, looking forward to your impartial review.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:29 PM   #12
BTL
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So Jealous...
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #13
ParaMud
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I am pretty sure I met you at the Rawhyde Open House thing last year. I am a tall skinny guy on a red KLR and my girlfriend was on a pink KLR. We did the beginner dirt class.

Sounds like a fun trip!
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:28 PM   #14
mtncrawler
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
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Just in case you come down with a cold or last minute international travel jitters - and need a sub - I'll PM you my phone number...

Have fun!
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #15
ShawnWorks OP
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Adventure Log 2 - Passport: Check!

With the trip to South America only a week away, I finally got my passport situation all sorted out. It’s been almost 10 years since I've needed one, and was due for a replacement. This involved a trip to San Francisco, home of the nearest Passport office that handles last-minute applications. Including drive time it was a 12 hour endeavor, most of which was spent finding parking (a little tip: never, EVER drive a pickup truck in SF. Bad scene.).


Given the lagging Bureaucracy I had expected from a government agency, the process was surprisingly smooth. I had to stand in a lot of lines and answer several awkward questions (“yes sir, I suppose I do look older and fatter than my passport photo implies”), but it was most certainly worth it. Soon I was on my way home with a shiny new passport. Like the photo??

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