What is the first thing you do when you get a spanking new off-road bike? You hit the trails! The all-new BMW R 1250 GS was recently launched here in Singapore and the team at BMW Motorrad Singapore immediately arranged for test rides of their full GS range. GS stands for ‘Gelande/Strassen’ (off-road/road) and these iconic dual-purpose bikes have a huge following around the world for avid touring groups and trail riders alike.
Following up from last year’s inaugural Grand Slam held at Sarimbun Scout Camp, we took a little skip and hopped over the causeway from Singapore into Malaysia, where we met up at the Ulu Choh Dirt Park at Gelah Patah. We were greeted by the park with mud, lots and lots of mud. If that wasn't a way to test your skills and show what the new R 1250 GS was capable of handling then I have no idea what else would. To add on to the festivities, Round 1 of the Ulu Choh MotoCross (UCMX) was woven into the schedule. Seeing seasoned veterans to kids as young as 4 years old ripping through the course was intense.
Like all test rides, safety was a top priority. After a quick briefing and having our safety gear secured, eager participants got to jump onto the bikes of their choice with the star of the event being the R 1250 GS, alongside its previous incarnation the R 1200 GS, the middle child F 850 GS and the G 310 GS baby brother.
With an escort in the lead, participants started onto a ‘simple enough’ course. The riders kept pace but due to the rain from the previous night and morning showers, the track took in a lot of water and the course proved to be challenging even for experienced riders. A few slips, slides and spills later everyone got the hang of the bikes but the terrain remained unforgiving and certain parts of the course had to be diverted.
For those who wanted to pit their skills against other riders, there was a signup for BMW Motorrad GS Trophy. BMW’s answer to the off-road Olympics, pitting riders from all over the world against each other.
Food and drink were abundant with stalls serving up delicious local dishes. There was even a cart that served mocha frappe! For those without a bike license, there were all-terrain vehicles (ATV) for an added off-roading experience.
With all said and done, the event came to a close with a Dusk Trail ride through Ulu Choh’s enduro trails. With layers of mud latched onto the vehicles and lower extremities, the mood was fun, light and cheery all around. Without a doubt a successful second edition of the Grand Slam under their belts, we can only now wait eagerly in anticipation to see what the BMW Motorrad Team has planned next.