Training Session At BMW Performance Center Sharpens Skills, Builds Teamwork
Woodcliff Lake, NJ February 22, 2016…Charles Lucht, Dennis Godwin and Thomas Asher had never met each other before arriving at BMW’s U.S. Rider Academy at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Yet, after two grueling days of riding and training on challenging courses in torrential rain, high wind and knee-deep mud puddles, they were a team…Team USA.
In ten days, the three men – who won East Coast, West Coast and Central qualifiers in the Fall – will compete against 18 other teams representing 25 nations in the fifth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy in Northern Thailand. Fifty-seven riders, along with 21 embedded journalists, will demonstrate their skills in a week of adventure riding, special tests and teamwork challenges, beginning February 28.
In Spartanburg, Charles, Dennis and Thomas were joined by Motorcyclist Magazine’s Senior Editor Zack Courts – Team USA’s embedded journalist – and Bobby Wooldridge, of Atlanta, GA – a member of Team USA in the 2014 BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy. Zacks’s technical skills, Bobby’s firsthand competition knowledge and professional guidance by BMW Performance Center instructors Ross McKinney and Ray Helms helped prepare Team USA members for the terrain and challenges they are likely to encounter in Southeast Asia.
As the storm raged across South Carolina, all of the riders mastered control of their BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles in the challenging conditions, and quickly started functioning as an effective team on the very first day.
To reinforce teambuilding on the second day, the group went rock climbing outside of Asheville. Learning to depend upon each other for rope work and guidance, they had to climb blindfolded in a tandem team and rely on instructions from the others.
After two intense, productive days of training, Team USA was prepared to travel to Thailand as a tight cohesive unit, confident in knowing that they can function together under challenging conditions.
Charles Lucht, 49, of Richmond, Virginia is self-employed in the cleaning service business. He was the winner of the East Coast Qualifier at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg in September 2015.
Dennis Godwin, 56, of Buena Park, CA, is a general contractor who won the West Coast GS Trophy Qualifier at RawHyde, an official BMW training partner.
Thomas Asher, 47, is a mechanic from Johnstown, Ohio. He emerged victorious at the GS Trophy Central Qualifier in Bixby, MO.
Read more about BMW Motorrad’s GS Trophy Team USA.
Competitors in the 5th BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy will ride a fleet of identical specially-prepared 2016 BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles — 114 in total – 100 of which will be R 1200 GS versions for the competitors, journalists, organizers and special guests, with 14 R 1200 GS Adventure models for the marshals.
Preparing the machines for the GS competition required only a small number of modifications. All the GS bikes are equipped with an aluminum enduro engine guard, steel crash bars, valve cover guards, headlight guard, wider enduro footrests, adjustable footbrake lever and a safety screw for the oil filler neck. All bikes will run on Metzeler Karoo 2 tires.
Follow The Event
The GS Trophy begins and ends near Thailand’s Chiang Mai province, February 28 to March 5.
The public will be able to follow the GS Trophy through continuous updates on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram (#gstrophy) as well as on the website www.gstrophy.com
For more information about the BMW Performance Center Motorcycle Rider Training, visit: http://www.bmwusa.com/performancecenter#motorcycle
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 and X4 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 340 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 153 BMW motorcycle retailers, 125 MINI passenger car dealers, and 36 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at: www.bmwusa.com