BMW GS Trophy 2020 USA Qualifier - Shame on BMW

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by AdamChandler, May 1, 2019.

  1. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    The 2018 GS Trophy, held qualifiers in 2017 at RawHyde on the west coast, midwest was hosted by Gateway BMW in Missouri and the east coast was held at BMW's training center in South Carolina.

    Canada I believe only had the option of traveling to Montreal for their qualification which isn't fair to those in BC. Well, BMW has taken a similar approach for us this year in USA by only offering the qualifier in California.

    This is a 4-day trip for those of us on the east coast who aren't iron butt riders each way with the only alternative being that you might be able to rent a bike from Rawhyde to qualify but that's not entirely clear. I don't know why they'd rent bikes to people to qualify as the bikes are guaranteed to suffer some form of damage during the competition.

    If you want to qualify for Team USA, you have to go to California. It raises the barrier of entry for some really talented riders. I know guys in the Northeast who with a dirt background competitively, ride their GS enduro style and they're really skilled riders but they have families and day jobs and need an event closer to home. I myself was going to try out and while I wouldn't qualify, I wanted to lay the groundwork for a future attempt next round and hone my skills a bit.

    but BMW announced the qualifier will take place in 28 days (just announced today) and I need to plan in 4 days of riding there and back so this is now a 12 day total trip with the qualification that I need to work into my schedule with barely any notice. I imagine Canada will suffer the same consequence. Not to mention, our trails in Vermont are still 100% ice and 8" deep mud. When am I supposed to train for this? I felt frost-bite coming on riding to work today and that's with heated grips.

    It's an example of BMW being out of touch of seasonal limitations of the riders who are not competitive (i.e., I can't go south for the winter and train) and ignorance toward where their riders are based. A centrally based qualifier in August / September would allow riders to train up, prepare and plan their time off from our day jobs to make this work.

    South Carolina is still a 2 day trip for me but at least it's on my time-zone but the short notice and the fact that our riding season hasn't started yet (it's still below freezing some nights) makes me feel that this event excludes anyone in the northern part of the country and everyone who is east of the Mississippi.

    I recognize that BMW's core ADV market is California, Oregon and Washington. Look at where all of the Farkle-Companies are based and look at where BDRs started and you have a gigantic market out there but there are thousands of very skilled riders on the east coast and central USA who are being excluded.

    I'm very disappointed and don't you dare call this a first world problem. We're BMW owners in the United States / Canada. You bet your ass this is a first world problem.

    -----

    To riders who live on the West coast and can take 3-5 days off from work with a 28 day notice, here's the link to register - https://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/en/discover/events/int-gs-trophy-2020-qualifier.html

    Good luck to you. I'll be at the Horizons unlimited Ontario event riding around in the dirt & mud with all of the excluded east coast riders who wish to qualify.
    #1
  2. krussell

    krussell Gravel Warrior Supporter

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    Rawhyde rents bikes to anyone who wants to take their classes. Seems like there's a lot more risk in 'anyone' than in a rider attempting to qualify. I'd pursue that. Heck, just call up and say 'Hi, this is Adam Chandler.' They probably already have a bike for you.
    #2
  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Per the rules:

    Participants must be the registered owner of the motorcycle they compete on.

    You think very highly of me and I am flattered but no one knows who I am nor should they.

    I also want clarification on this rule:

    Generating content on social media may be included as part of the event scoring.

    So now I have to get 5,000 re-tweets in order to qualify? Someone needs to be a great rider, sure but they also have to be an influencer? GTFO. The overlap of expert riders and social media influencer is so damn slim. Again, it excludes talented people without an online Internet presence. You shouldn't be scored by your ability to get likes on Facebook.
    #3
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  4. MarkM

    MarkM Been here awhile Supporter

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    To make it worse, BMW actually scheduled the midwest qualifier in Bixby, Missouri (same location as 2017). The date they needed conflicted with the annual AMA Show Me 200 Dual Sport Ride and Show Me 500 Adventure Ride, so a lot of work was done to reschedule the AMA events for September, coordinating with many parties (MTRA, AMA, US Forest Service, other organizations with similar events the same weekend, etc.). After all that work was done, BMW canceled the midwest Trophy Qualifier! No consideration whatsoever for all the effort already done to accommodate them. Shame on BMW is right!

    The only good thing that came out of it is I'm much more likely to do the event in September than in June. I hope they keep the Show Me events in September going forward.
    #4
  5. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Thank you Mark for additional context. Sorry to hear about the ordeal.
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  6. RJAMT

    RJAMT Who remembered the winch? Supporter

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    Yeah, it was hosted by the Midwest Trail Riders Assn at their facilities in the Mark Twain NF. Wonderful riding area and right in the middle of the country.
    #6
  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    I've been involved in motorcycle competition since 1968. Traveling great distance to attend qualifiers is pretty common. Look at the young kids that want to qualify for Loretta Lynn's Amateur National Motocross Championships.

    https://mxsports.com/pages/how-to-qualify
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  8. r60man

    r60man Long timer

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    So the realization is dawning on you that BMW couldn't give a crap about their riders? To participate you have to own a GS, and it should be fairly new. That means it cost a lot of money. If you have a lot of money then work schedules and other inconveniences mean nothing to you because you are independently wealthy. Oh, but you have a job and work hard to earn the money to buy a BMW? Have you ever thought of a different brand? How much do THEY care about you?

    The GS trophy is a BMW advertising event. Shouldn't even be considered by really serious off road riders. There are a ton of AMA and other organizations events local and closer where you can hone your skills. Screw BMW an their attitude. IF enough people don't show up they might realize their mistake. If a bunch of people bitch, moan, whine and complain but STILL show up? Guess what? Nothing changes.
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  9. Wildmtn

    Wildmtn Adventurer

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    I reckon you could ship your bike and fly out to save some travel time...

    If this is a promotional/advertising event, then there is always a cost/benefit consideration. I suspect that the riders participating in the events are less than .01% of the GS market and that BMW benefits from having a qualifier but probably doesn't sell more GS's in the US from having multiple qualifiers.

    Do any other brands have a similar event with big bikes and such?
    #9
  10. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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  11. Wildmtn

    Wildmtn Adventurer

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    It looks like they only have one qualifier in the US too. At least its closer to the middle by being here in Colorado. Guess they care more about their riders...
    #11
  12. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    Yep, I once drove all night from Oklahoma to Minnesota to compete the next day in the Loretta's qualifier.
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  13. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    First World Problems. :lol3

    I think it comes down to money. It costs them money to put on this event, to put on the qualifiers. If 50% of GS's sold are sold in the west coast (best coast!) it makes sense ..., you can follow the thought process yourself.

    If 400 people applied to qualify at Rawhyde last year, but only 60 applied between the other 2 places, ... you can follow that thought process down the long road.

    Marketing is not cheap. And advertising ain't cheap. Marketing an event like this can be very difficult in an age when "content providers" provide the "authentic experience" for their followers.

    I get where BMW is coming from. It sucks. But, you can fly your bike out and fly out there yourself. That eliminates the time demands. Got a buddy with a trailer and a pickup? You could drive, 2 days each way; but between hotels and gas it might be cheaper to fly.

    If this GS Trophy garnered a lot of views/ clicks/ attention, like the Camel Trophy used to, I could see where BMW would be obligated to democratise the application locations and pay for all the marketing themselves. But too many other arenas fighting for viewers eyes.

    Sucky situation.
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  14. SoCalCub

    SoCalCub Been here awhile

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    #14
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Yes you're right. It was working last night. Perhaps just call RawHyde's number to register since that's what they mention on the site as the best way to pay and allocate your spot.
    #15
  16. Dr. Beat

    Dr. Beat Rock steady

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    They've fixed the website. I actually called BMW customer support today and reported that site is not working.

    Back to the topic:
    I agree with Adam pretty much on everything he said regarding this year's GS Trophy USA qualifier. It really makes it very hard for us on the east coast to participate.

    When the dates were first announced, I've contacted my dealer about shipping my bike to CA for the qualifier, and he said it would take 4-6 weeks to get there from when I hand the bike over. And he ships bikes to CA every week. So if I want to be sure that the bike will be there on time, I would have to give my bike away at least 6 weeks before the event, meaning no riding and no training for that amount of time. On top of that, at the time of the announcement, our trails were still under snow and ice, so no availability for training to begin with.
    Also if you ship the bike, expenses rise to thousands of dollars - just to be able to earn the spot. It may as well be more worth it to book "Follow the GS Trophy" tour, that follows the Trophy route, provides Trophy bikes and Trophy mentors, and all you have to do is pay the fee.

    As for the "50%of the bikes are sold on the west coast" argument, I get that, but that also means that thy are not selling enough on the east coast, and that they should up their marketing effort on that market. This kind of event would definitely help increasing their customer base on the east coast.
    #16
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  17. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    BMW Owners problem....so, sorry for you guys
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  18. yobuddy

    yobuddy Been here awhile

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    I'm a BMW owner and I have no problem with it. We do appreciate your sympathy VX Rider:rofl
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  19. BetterLateThanNever

    BetterLateThanNever Long timer

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    Sidebar: Maybe ask around some more. I got my Ducati to California from Toronto this past winter in roughly a week, by truck, including the customs inspection.
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  20. jachard

    jachard Been here awhile

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    As others have said, it’s not really a riders event. I did it in 2013 in South Carolina and the first day of riding tests were for the most part pretty silly and contrived. The second day riding was much better.

    I definitely met a bunch of nice folks which made it fun.
    #20