Amy’s amazing adventures.

With 310 ccm to Mongolia, Munich and beyond!

Amy Harburg will be one of this year's Int. GS Trophy marshals.    

Ain’t no stopping Amy.

The BMW G 310 GS is a small bike with big aspirations.    

Ain’t no stopping Amy.

They sure breed them tough in Australia and 42-year-old Amy Harburg is a great example of a rider with true grit and determination, not to mention a real sense of adventure. Spending the best part of a month in Mongolia as an Int. GS Trophy marshal is tough enough, but Amy has taken the decision to ship her BMW G 310 GS from Australia to far-eastern Russia, and then ride it from Vladivostok all the way to Ulan Batar where the international finals will begin.

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And if that isn’t enough, she’ll hand back the R 1200 GS Rallye ‘marshal’ bike after nearly a month of GS Trophy duty, hop back on her little G 310 GS and continue her journey all the way across Asia to western Europe. “It’s true there’s no rest for the wicked,” jokes Amy. “But when the G 310 was first released I loved the look of it and was convinced it could open up a lot of doors to adventure riding for women and smaller riders, especially as it was so competitively priced, which made it a great entry-level choice.”       

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"
Going to the GS Trophy for a month will be hard enough, let alone all the other bits!
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AMY HARBURG

Small bike, big idea.

Amy Harburg gets to grips with the stock BMW G 310 GS out on the trail.    

Small bike, big idea.

Amy couldn’t get the idea out of her head of riding the little GS all the way to the Trophy and then continuing onwards to Europe. After securing one of the first models to land on Australian soil, she was able to test it for Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV and soon discovered that even in completely stock form, the little GS went pretty well.  

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“I was making a video with a guy called Dave Darcy from MAD TV and we took the bikes into the bush to do some filming. We rode in the kinds of places a lot of people wouldn’t dream of taking a G 310 GS but you know what — those little bikes performed so well and it made me think that a 310 in its standard form could even do an Australian GS Safari event without any problems at all.”   

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Scaling new heights on the modified G 310 GS bikes.    

Could it, should it?

Could it, should it?

And that’s when things got even more interesting, because when the idea of doing the gruelling APC Rally on a pair of 310s was floated, Amy was determined to be part of the action. Now let’s get this straight, the APC Rally is a self-supported, eight-day, 4,000km adventure rally across a variety of terrain, attracting a mix of dual-sport and adventure bikes, from 250cc all the way up to 1190cc! It’s not the kind of thing a BMW G 310 GS was ever built for, but with a few modifications, who knows what might be possible?   

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Even more amazing.

Despite an incredibly tight time schedule — and with the help of Rally Raid Products — the stock bike was modified with the company’s pre-development kit parts such as uprated suspension, wire wheels, bash plate, extended screen, different ‘bars, soft luggage racks and a few other accessories, such as USB and 12v sockets for charging phones and powering navigation equipment. A shakedown test two days prior to the rally start consisted of a 200-kilometre loop through a mix of single-track, twin-trail, rocks and loose dirt, leaving Amy and Rally Raid’s Adam Mitchinson just enough time afterwards to make final adjustments, pack their luggage and head to the start-line. Eight days and nearly 4000kms later, both riders had successfully completed the APC Rally with no problems at all encountered on the modified pair of G 310 GS.   

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A BMW G 310 GS will get you to some faraway places.    

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Those little GSs performed so brilliantly, particularly in the technical stuff.
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Amy Harburg

Done and dusted.

Amy with team mate Adam Mitchinson.    

Done and dusted.

“That was pretty gruelling but incredible too,” said an exhausted but elated Amy at the finish. “There were 250s, 650s, 690s, and lot of people on big bikes, like 990s, but we held our own over the eight days, especially in the forest sections, or where there were lots of rocks. Adam and I were riding for 12-14 hours every day, but had no problems apart from him destroying a rear tyre on the third day due to his enduro background! However, we were really lucky, as we ran into the BMW Safari ‘family’ that same day in a place called Bright and they gave us another tyre.”   

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It’s all about momentum.

Taking a rest from riding.    

It’s all about momentum.

No sooner had the rally finished and Amy was loading the 310 on to the back of her ‘Ute’ (Australian-speak for pick-up truck) and driving the 1,000 kilometres from Sydney to Melbourne to load the little GS onto a freight ship bound for Vladivostok.   

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“Some days I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew,” admits Amy. “Going to the GS Trophy for a month will be hard enough, let alone all the other bits! I guess the pressure will be on me for those 4,000 kilometres from Vladivostok until I get to Ulan Bator for the finals, but after that I’ll slow things down and really enjoy the rest of my journey, which I’m calling ‘the 310 to Munich’ in homage to that old western movie, the ‘3:10 to Yuma’.”   

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Old meets new in Australia's back country.    

Unlike the 1950s movie’s plot-line, there will be no train for Amy to catch, just a long overland two-wheeled voyage of discovery that will take her across Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, then over the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and finally onwards across Europe to Munich. You might think that the journey would end there, but you’d be wrong of course, because this is no ordinary adventure — it’s more like a series of extraordinary personal challenges, as Amy explains.   

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The journey never ends.

Pointing the way to the 2018 Int. GS Trophy finals.    

The journey never ends.

“Well, I received an invitation to participate in the ‘Hard Alpi Tour’ 24-hour endurance race in September in Italy on the G 310 GS. Tomm Wolf has done it a couple of times and there will be quite a few BMW riders there, so I could hardly say no, could I? And then after I’ve arrived in Munich — the spiritual home for this Indian-built little GS — I’ll continue on to the UK to visit the sponsors who helped with the development of the bike’s rally kit. And then there’s talk of getting it quickly shipped back to Australia for mid-October to compete in the BMW Safari Enduro event, which would be a real blast!”   

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We all look forward to welcoming Amy at the Int. GS Trophy in Central Asia. By then, she’ll know if the new G 310 GS truly can be a continent-crossing adventure bike. Either way, it’s going to be one heck of a journey.   

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