The iconic Finke Desert Race is the ultimate endurance test.
BMW Motorrad’s Marketing Manager, Miles Davis has signed up to compete in the legendary Finke Desert Race in June. The Finke Desert Race is one of the most challenging off-road events, in one of the most remote locations in the world.
Miles will be riding the Finke on the soon to be released R 1200 GS Rallye X, the most off-road focused R 1200 GS ever.
To be 100% sure on running the new R 1200 GS Rallye X in the brutal Finke Desert Race it was necessary to test the bike on the track. Last weekend he spent a couple of days pre running the demanding 226km course (each way) to understand the sandy “whooped” (large sandy bumps) track and how the R 1200 GS would perform. He was riding a locally prepared R 1200 GS with updated “Sports Suspension” that will be standard on the Rallye X model.
After the pre run, Miles was pleased with how it all went – “I have never competed at Finke, it’s always been in the back of my mind but I have never really taken it any further until now. After riding a pre-production version of the Rallye X in the two GS Safari events last year I knew it was a much more off road focused bike.”
“I came up with the idea of showcasing this by riding it in Finke and started to get excited about the idea. Having never ridden the track, the pre run was going to be the decider. I ride MX and enduro bikes regularly but to do this right I needed to be fitter, so during my Christmas break I increased my training program and started planning the pre run.”
“There are around 500 motorcycles entered in the 2017 event, it sold out in less than a day. Entrants generally ride lightweight 250cc to 500cc motocross machines, so riding a 200kg+ R 1200 GS is definitely a bit different. The pre run went about as well as I could have hoped for, it was tough physically and mentally, especially because I did both legs in one day. In these conditions it takes 100% concentration to pick the right speed for the different sections of whoops. I won’t really be treating it as a race, it’s an endurance test, so I just need to look after the bike and be as smooth as possible. The way I describe it is, it will be a spirited trail ride. I found a rhythm, didn’t have any spills and really enjoyed it, even in the 42 degree conditions. It is amazing country out there”.
The Finke race is only part of the program, as on the Tuesday after the race he will lead a small group of BMW GS customers on a ride across the Simpson Desert from Alice Springs, past Mt Dare, to Birdsville, crossing the Simpson’s 1100 red sand dunes.
“The plan is ambitious – I want to ride from Melbourne to Alice Springs, compete in the Finke, then ride with the customers across the Simpson Desert, and to top it off, ride back home from Birdsville. Something this epic will really showcase how capable and versatile the R 1200 GS really is. I have crossed the Simpson before on a 1200 GSA unsupported, but on this trip we will have two support vehicles, allowing riders ride the sandy route without the weight of luggage and extra fuel, so it will be much easier and more enjoyable.”
“Obviously riders thinking about coming along on the BMW GS Tours Simpson Crossing, by BMW Safari, need to be experienced in riding off road, with a bit of sand experience also. We know that many GS Safari customers are very good riders, so this is a chance for a small group to be part of something very special” said Davis.
BMW GS riders looking to register interest in the BMW GS Tours – Simpson Crossing can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on BMW Safari events: www.bmwsafari.com.