Every ADV rider is unique and each has a story to tell. Don’t believe me? Hang around the local gas station or trailhead and say hello to the next rider, more chances than not you’ll hear a story of where they’ve been, what obstacles they’ve overcome and where they’re headed next.
In the same exact way, all ADV motorcycle enthusiasts are so similar. Each has a passion for two wheels and sense of adventure, not to mention the will to endure long hours in the saddle over the toughest terrain.
It’s for the same reason we all get along, riding in packs with friends and sharing the enthusiasm and adventure with one another.
Now, don’t get us started about BMW GS riders. The passion amongst the GS following has been running deep since the launch of the original R80 G/S in 1980, and only growing stronger with every year, every mile turned, and every new model unveiled.
The GS ridership is different from the rest of the ADV crowd in a multitude of ways, some of them in a positive way.
We’re here to tell you how and why.
BMW Blood Runs Deep – A Following That Began in 1980
Ever since the inception of the original GS—the 1980 R80 G/S—a brotherhood of BMW owners has been conquering miles and sharing a love for the platform together.
Each year, some step into BMW ownership for the first time, while others have been it since the manufacturer began in the segment nearly 40 years ago.
The best part? There are numerous GS riders out there that have ridden (or owned!) every model of the family, acquiring vast knowledge and experience to share with the newer and coming generation of riders. Got a model-specific question about a component? Good chance BMW even knows the part number.
Seriously, what other manufacturer has an ADV lineup that stems back that far?
GS Riders Add Diversity to the ADV Segment
BMW GS models aren’t built to conquer just one type of terrain, they’re made to handle it all and everything in between. This means that you’ll find all sorts of GS riders with his or her own take on what ADV riding really means. Some will set out for on-road, cross-country backroad and highway miles, preferring to depart from the asphalt as little as possible.
And hardcore off-road riders? Yeah, the GS ridership has got those too. Some BMW owners challenge their equipment and themselves with the toughest sections of trail they can find.
It doesn’t matter the route or the obstacle in front of you, there’s a group of GS riders that will (at least try to) tackle it!
That said, the diversity of the GS owners helps create a competitive aftermarket. Hundreds of companies offer products to enhance your preferred riding experience.
The point is, GS riders are minimally biased towards their idea of adventure motorcycle riding. The platform is built to handle every type of ground imaginable and its ridership takes advantage of it.
BMW GS Ridership: An International Community
Sure, adventure motorcycles are built to be ridden worldwide, but no platform is utilized like the BMW Motorrad GS lineup. And for good reason.
The BMW GS is recognized across the world as the go-to ADV motorcycle. It’s logged millions, if not billions of miles, carving roads and trails across the United States, conquering the mountains of Europe, taking victory in iconic races like the Paris Dakar Rally, and reaching remote areas that no other motorcycle has made it to.
Out for an international riding trip? There’s something not only refreshing but welcoming about seeing a familiar GS in a foreign land. Language barrier or not, there are so many BMW’s around that one of the locals will almost certainly have knowledge of or parts for the GS, or be able to point you in the direction of someone that does—should you run into issue.
Seriously, how many guided tours or adventure motorcycle rental outlets offer some model of the BMW?
The passion runs much deeper than the United States borders.
You Meet the Nicest People on a… GS!
OK, OK, maybe that’s not how the original saying goes, but it’s how it should be said nowadays.
You’d be hard-pressed to run into a GS owner on the road that didn’t have a smile on his or her face—hold for the ones that just crossed through inclement weather! They have an excuse.
Like the rest of the ADV segment, the GS ridership is a friendly group of individuals. Often enthused by their latest adventure, running into one of them over a fuel stop or coffee break or camping could mean listening to their stories for the next hour! Be warned.
- December 23, 2019
- Frederic SCHEFFER