The next step.

From GS Trophy participant to female instructor.

Jenny is proving to the instructor she knows how to ride up a steep slope correctly.

Stones are flung through the air, clouds of dust are swirled up. The opposed-twin engine growls on accelerating, the rear wheel of the GS ruts through the dirt track, drifting to the side. When riding up the steep slope, the engine of the chunky 125 hp bike roars again, passing over jump hills, round steep bends through mud. For several days now more than a dozen highly-skilled offroad drivers from around the world have been practising at the 26 hectare Enduropark in Hechlingen, trying out the border track, the Ho-Chi-Minh track or the camel hump.    

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On the home straight.

Among the GS riders are Amy, Stéphanie and Jenny, who are there to become certified BMW Motorrad instructors. They first met during the "International GS Trophy 2016". Amy and Stéphanie competed together in the women's team in Thailand while Jenny took part in the national GS Trophy back in her home of the UK. Since then the three have been committed members of an incomparable and unique community.

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Jenny helps find the right setting – it's easier in a team.

TRUE JOY, TRUE FRIENDS

Dry runs on a GS are great fun...

"A GS can have a considerable effect on the life of a rider and ultimately change it", says Amy from Australia, speaking from her own experience. There's no denying that, in the cold light of day, the bike is just a means of transport. Yet there's much more to it than that – like much quoted spirit of GS. "It's the community that generates this spirit and they live it out too. The community is genuine, open-minded and friendly. Form, it's a pleasure to be part of it", explains Amy, while Jenny and Stéphanie gives a thumbs up by way of agreement.    

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When everything else becomes secondary.

... but Miles and Stéphanie find correct driving better.

When everything else becomes secondary.

Recognition and respect are another issue. When Jenny took part in national qualifying for the GS Trophy in 2015, she sensed both of these. From then on, she became part of a growing community. "No matter which country you are in, GS riders all share the same experiences, feelings and stories – and that's great. They're all good friends", says Jenny. On thinking about this, she is filled with sheer joy and satisfaction. "When I'm out on the bike, everything else in my life becomes secondary."

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One call is enough.

Amy, Jenny and Stéphanie are in contact with riders throughout the world and, when abroad, this can be very handy. It means they can count on spontaneous offers of help or some welcome company when out and about when needed. Amy knows what it can be like to have to rely on this kind of help. While she was out riding in Ireland once, she got stuck in the mud. All it took was one phone call to Jenny and to another friend to help her out of her sticky situation. "Without my links to the community, I would never have known these people. The best thing is having friends all over the world", she enthuses. "If you want, all sorts of doors will be opened to you. That's something very beautiful", says Jenny. Stéphanie too, originally from the Motocross scene in France, nods in agreement. She knows what Amy and Jenny are talking about and has experienced similar situations herself. "The GS spirit and the community are both totally exciting and yet relaxed at the same time. I really enjoy it".

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It makes sense.

Always eager to learn, Jenny works to improve her riding skills constantly.

It makes sense.

The three women live motorbikes and love riding them. Taking the next step along this road was just a logical consequence for this trio therefore - it was just a natural progression. Following the International GS Trophy and participation in the national GS Trophy in the UK, it was time to try to earn, as demanding as it was, a certificate as a BMW Motorrad instructor. Even before their training in Hechlingen, Stéphanie and Jenny had already worked as instructors. "When I'm doing the training with other candidates, I sometimes forget I'm working", says Jenny. She is right in her element. Amy, who hails from the UK, has been riding an R 80 G/S for two decades now. She knows both riding through cities and riding across continents very well. She also owns an R 1150 GS and has continually improved her motorcycling skills – thanks to her taking part in several BMW Motorrad offroad courses.

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Safari girl.

Amy Harburg from Australia is very much at home on her bike and in the world of offroad.

Safari girl.

For Amy, the next step is equally a logical progression but a somewhat greater challenge too, for she will be undergoing the same extensive experiences as an instructor as her two colleagues down under. She has long since felt at home in the world of offroad riding. Even before she took part in the International GS Trophy 2016 with the female team, she participated in numerous BMW GS safaris in Australia. She also joined in with the even more strenuous GS safari Enduro, riding over cliffs, through sand and rivers. In addition she knows how a two-week rally trip over a distance of 7,500 kilometres feels.    

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Solidarity, spirit and pride.

Solidarity, spirit and pride.

Stéphanie was particularly proud to be part of the first international female team to participate in the GS Trophy. "The spirit of the event and the solidarity of the BMW riders was fantastic. There was such a team spirit and a willingness to help one another, it was quite overwhelming", she says. What was her motivation at the time? Stéph – as she is known to her friends – wanted to prove that women taking part in this competition was justified. That she took part ought to be something entirely normal and everyday. "Women taking part in events of this kind will only be remarkable when it is no longer remarkable", finds Amy. 

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CERTIFICATE WITH STANDARD

Easy rider: Lift off for Stéphanie at the Enduropark Hechlingen.

As instructors Amy, Jenny and Stéphanie need to have skills other than just being good off-road drivers – First Aid is an important topic for example.

What makes a good certified BMW Motorrad offroad instructor? The high level at which the instructors instruct and teach, the enthusiasm, the structured approach. "A flame burns within them, they infect others with their passion and point the way towards success for the participants", explain the three bikers who will be entrusted with this honour. During their training, experienced BMW Motorrad instructors give them the feeling they will succeed at all times. "Everyone helps and supports. We learn from one another too however, observing how others understand an exercise."    

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It's the mix that makes the difference.

Real GS riders at the Enduropark Hechlingen: Byron Coetsee, Amy Harburg, Jennifer Huntley, Miles Davis and Stéphanie Bouisson (from left).

It's the mix that makes the difference.

Amy, Jenny and Stéph already have highly developed riding skills. As future instructors, they will need to learn a great deal of theory too. This includes lots of knowledge about BMW Motorrad – the company history, models, their development and research. First Aid and driving physics play important roles too. The certificate itself focuses on application of teaching methods and techniques. Designing course content and communicating this in a comprehensible manner are also important – didactics needs to be a harmonious blend of theory and practice, with the exercises backed up by theory. "And instructors should avoid explaining too much", adds Jenny, lest the learners are overwhelmed.

 

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Inspiring other female drivers.

High spirits: the three GS riders clowning about in front of the camera.

Inspiring other female drivers.

What is the next step? They've already agreed they will help other women and aim to encourage them to improve their riding skills or even take part in a GS Trophy so that they also become part of the community. Maybe Amy, Jenny and Stéph will be coaching the new women's team soon, which will be lining up in Mongolia. And maybe, just maybe, they'll see each other again at the International GS Trophy 2018.

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Int. Female Team Qualifying

Do you love challenges on two-wheels and prefer not to leave the field of the International GS Trophy to the men? Then it's time for a thrilling motorcycle adventure in Mongolia. Be part of the team and thrill GS fans around the world.

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