The Road To New Zealand.

International GS Trophy 2020 UK Qualifier.

With your GS, you can discover the world, explore the unknown, tackle any challenge and embrace the spirit of this iconic model.

The International GS Trophy is a motorcycle adventure like no other. Teams from around the world battle it out as they go head-to-head in competitive and intensive daily stages and challenges.

This year’s International GS Trophy 2020 UK Qualifier, based at the Discovery Centre at Margam Country Park, is a fun-filled bank holiday weekend of riding, navigation, camping and competition. The winning team will travel to New Zealand to represent the UK at the International GS Trophy.

Meet the Searles family.

Meet the Searles family.

After being crowned winners of the 2018 GS Challenge – a non-qualifying biennial event – BMW Motorrad UK met the Searles family: father Andrew and two sons, Craig and Carl, who are looking to repeat their performance of last year and be in with a chance of representing Team UK in New Zealand, for a once in a lifetime riding experience.

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This year's UK Qualifier.

This year's UK Qualifier.

Following your strong performance at the GS Challenge in 2018, how confident are you for this year’s UK Qualifier – and the opportunity to represent Team UK in New Zealand?

Andrew: “Last year was our first experience of the Challenge, I’ve been riding for 35 years but we were a little green with this kind of event. Now we know how the challenges operate, we feel confident that we will improve on our previous scores.”

Carl: “We lost a few points through silly mistakes last year as it was our first time competing. I think we’ll hopefully have a little more understanding of each obstacle this year. Also, with the further training we’ve done with BMW Off Road Skills, I think we’ll put in a good performance. The opportunity to represent the UK in New Zealand would be an unbelievable experience!”

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The impact of Off Road Skills.

The impact of Off Road Skills.

How has your previous training at Off Road Skills helped to develop your riding for challenges such as the GS Trophy?

Craig: “I’ve been riding motorbikes for 15 years, and big bikes since I was 21. The training at BMW Off Road Skills has brought my riding on by a huge margin, not only making me a more confident rider off-road, but the skills taught have been transferrable to make me a better road rider too.”

Carl: “The techniques taught by the BMW Off Road Skills team are invaluable. Particularly skills like being able to ride the R 1250 GS around Walter’s Arena in the wet, looking for grip and learning to use all the bike’s torque in the right areas. You learn how to handle the bike confidently too, simple things such as balancing the bike and turning it round in tough terrain, it all helps.”

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How is competing as a family?

How is competing as a family?

Competing as a family, is there a healthy competition between each of you to be ‘the best Searles member’ in the competition?

Craig: “The competition is very healthy between us, we quite often point and laugh at each other when we fall off, but we are there for each other when it’s needed! I’ve recently had a baby boy to add to ‘Team Searles’, and I hope one day we can compete in the GS Trophy as son, dad, uncle and grandad!”

Andrew: “We are very competitive, but we will always help, advise and guide each other when we need to."

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Exploring with World of BMW.

Exploring with World of BMW.

You are frequent riders with the World of BMW, from tours to off-road adventures, what is it about the offer of experiences that keeps enticing you back?

Carl: “The destinations that the BMW tours go to are on another level, incredible! They’re so well run and organised, and the staff couldn’t be more helpful to ensure you make the most of the experience. I went to Portugal with BMW Off Road Skills in February this year. Riding the mountain ridge lines in the Mediterranean warmth, then back to our hotel on the coast, was an unbelievable trip!”

Andrew: “The professional attitude, support and care given to everyone that attends a World of BMW experience is second to none. Whether it’s touring or off-road, being able to experience remote parts of the world but with such great support and safety is invaluable.”

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International GS Trophy 2020

International GS Trophy 2020.

Pure Offroad Adventure in New Zealand.

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