Return to Africa | BMW announce details of R1300GS special builds to be used in 2024 GS Trophy

Ahead of their biennial GS Trophy competition, BMW have released details of the bikes to be used in this year’s event – and they’re remarkably similar to what you can buy straight from the showroom. 

For 2024, the GS Trophy will be heading to Africa, the continent on which the event began. Between September 15-20, competitors will test their skills in Namibia, located in the southwest of the continent and one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. 

Famous for its imposing Namib desert and incredible wildlife, Namibia will welcome a total of 60 competitors all vying for the coveted trophy.  

BMW rider jumping a GS Trophy spec R1300GS

Since 2008, the competition has grown incrementally in scale, with just five teams competing in the first edition in Tunisia, now growing to 22 for 2024, including six women’s and 16 men’s teams with contenders battling through qualifying events in their home countries to win a place. 

Throughout the previous seven editions of the international competition, the recipe has always been very similar – taking groups from around the world and testing their skill, teamwork and resolve in navigating BMW’s flagship adventure models through often difficult off-road terrain, as well as other ‘special’ stages in-between. 

Two types of GS model will feature in the contest, all of which are supplied for the event by the factory itself. Those are the ‘R1300GS Trophy Competition Bike’ to be ridden by all event entrants, and the ‘BMW F900GS Trophy Marshal Bike’, which will be used to support throughout. 

Right hand shot of GS Trophy BMW R1300GS

BMW say the machines used have been “developed exclusively for this competition” and they are “equipped for all eventualities thanks to special accessories.” 

To create this, standard R1300GSs have been fitted with handlebar risers, Akrapovič ‘Double Silencer’ exhausts, engine guards, sump and lower frame guards, single seat units, adjustable gear and brake levers, GS Vario footrests, enduro hand levers, headlight protection and handguard extenders.  

To offer extra bite in Namibia’s arid sandy terrain, the bikes have been fitted with Metzeler Karoo 4 semi-knobbly tyres.  

Close up showing new graphics for the Namibia GS Trophy

If that all sounds strikingly similar to what BMW offer regular customers, it’s because, bar a few minor details, the motorcycles used are almost identical to the standard R1300GS ‘Trophy’ model that BMW will sell you for £18,928 when configured with a like-for-like specification list. 

All that sets these official ‘Competition Bikes’ aside from stockers, are some fairly basic details such as graphics, the oversize sump and lower frame guards and gearshift levers. 

Marshals will make use of BMW’s top-shelf middleweight adventure offering to guide participants through the country, using the new F900GS as their mount of choice.