BMW Motorrad – GS Trophy 2012 Qualifier, Moab Utah

Scott G. Nelson - Adventure Rider Challenge Course in Moab, Utah

Scott G. Nelson – Adventure Rider Challenge Course in Moab, Utah

I competed in BMW’s GS Trophy Qualifier in Moab back in 2012. It was a two day skills competition. On day 1 you ride (w/200 other participants) on a 50 mile route that includes 10 checkpoints where they judge your ability and riding skills. I rode this on my 500lb R1150GS. Many riders rode the much lighter and more nimble 800GS.

Day 2 (*if you qualify and are part of the 50 they select) you rode a course designed by BMW Germany on a motocross track. They set it up the same for all the qualifiers worldwide. They also put you on an 800 GS. After the two days they will pick 3 riders from the west coast (Moab) and 3 from the east coast. From there they had another competition at a later date to narrow that to 3. Those 3 will represent the USA in South America in a worldwide competition with BMW Motorrad.

2012 GS Trophy Qualifier, Moab Utah

2012 GS Trophy Qualifier, Moab Utah

Day 1 Course Video

Day 1 Course Map


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I got a set of pirelli scorpion rally tires put on the ole GS to be ready for the dirt terrain. Then is was time to load up and head to Moab. Once I got there I found a camp spot and got a rider packet that had my scorecard, sticker and all the details for the next days ride.

Pictures from Day 1. I finished 6th. Could have done better, but not bad on my 1150 GS. Most of the top guys were on the 800 GS. Wish I was…

Scott G. Nelson - Adventure Rider Challenge Course in Moab, Utah

Scott G. Nelson – Adventure Rider Challenge Course in Moab, Utah

A video of me riding the figure 8’s. Pretty tough, but I cleared it!

Well I made it past the first round and on to the skills course designed by BMW Motorrad. It was a much harder course, but I did pretty good. I had a few issues, but cleared some stuff too. I had met Tim Bernard, who is the owner of Happy Trails Products the day before. I have had Happy Trails panniers on my BMW’s for many years and it was great to meet him. He had competed in several events like this one and was a great coach for me. He talked me through all of the obstacles, conversed with the judges in my behalf and gave me the confidence I needed to understand that I had the skills needed to win.

I ended up taking 6th overall. Not bad, but I wish I would have done a little better. It was great as a my first experience in competition.

Scott G. Nelson - 2012 GS Trophy Qualifier, Moab Utah

Scott G. Nelson – 2012 GS Trophy Qualifier, Moab Utah

Videos from the 2012 GS Trophy Qualifier