How a bike changed their lives.
Courage, curiosity and a desire for adventure unites GS riders. They are authentic, fully embody this spirit and are part of an ever-expanding community. Four men and one woman went on the tour of their lives and experienced the "One World – One R 1200 GS" campaign: Herbert Unger, Stephanie Rowe, Stéphane Gautronneau, Salvador Echevarría and Alessio Cigolini. Each of them has an absolutely unique biography and personal connection with the passion for motorcycling.
Herby's ride lingers.
Herby’s world – that is the GS and many tours on all continents.
Herby's ride lingers.
You can hear it from far away. Herbert laughs. This is how he is. Always friendly, funny and open. His motto: life's too short to mope around. The best fundamental requirements for an adventurer. "The ride of my life completely changed my life." For the better. With the "One World – One R 1200 GS" campaign, which took Herbert on a motorcycling adventure through New Zealand, he has become part of the BMW Motorrad family. Herbert's passion is contagious – for instance as a tour guide in the BMW Motorrad Almeria test camp. "This job has been another dream come true for me," he enthuses.
Obsessed with NZ, obsessed with GS.
Whenever this Bavarian talks about his "One World" ride through New Zealand, his eyes light up and moisten. "After my wedding, the tour was the best thing that happened to me in my whole life." He is a bit obsessed – the registration number of his GS ends with NZ1. Herbert's fascination for the country goes even further: "I had the New Zealand flag painted on my helmet." Herby is just as obsessed with the GS: his latest bike is an R12OO GS Rallye, for which he has three words: "A sweet ride".
What distinguishes the "Spirit of GS" for him? It's one big family all over the world. "We share the fascination, fun and passion for motorcycling. For me, it is absolute freedom." Inspired by this spirit, he has been scanning the airwaves for more adventures. He has already added the South America adventure to his list. It repeatedly takes him to visit friends in Malaysia. And it's also nice at home: "With my Bavarian roots, I can often be found on our alpine passes," Herby says, beaming. This is followed by that life-affirming and contagious laugh.
Stephanie's journey has only just begun.
The "Spirit of GS" is also changing Stephanie Rowe from the UK. In more ways than one. But to start at the beginning: the young rider rode in countless Enduro races in her homeland, started working at a motorcycle shop and sold accessories and spare parts. Then a new journey began for her. With BMW Motorrad, she set out on her first big motorcycle adventure right through Europe, on the "One World – One R 1200 GS" tour. Spain, France, Italy, Austria and Germany – Stephanie rode along beautiful routes for eleven days in wind and all kinds of weather. And she gushes: "The GS community is real. We have met so many people, and many have accompanied us. I laughed so much and had a great time."
GS brings people together.
Starting out: Stephanie likes to be on her way.
GS brings people together.
She wasn't aware at the time, but she would become much more involved with the BMW family in the future. She only narrowly missed taking part in the GS Trophy 2014 in North America, because she injured her knee in an accident. Now she works for the adventurer Eric Massiet du Biest, who is an official partner of BMW Motorrad with his Enduro parks. Stephanie has since become an official BMW Off Road Instructor.
The lively biker is setting up one of these parks in France with Vincent Blau. This is no coincidence. Today, Vincent is her partner. They met during her tour through Europe. And he is also part of the BMW community: Vincent took part in the GS Trophy 2014 for team France and finished in third. A resolute companion. The Spirit of GS brings people together. Finding one another on the road. The chemistry is right. With her attitude towards life, she inspires others and shows that "When you really want to do something, then do it. Get going!" Stephanie seizes the opportunity. And swirls up a lot of dust.
Marrying the GS.
A long time before "One World", Stéphane is firmly seated in the GS saddle. The Frenchman is on the go all over the world, rides 17,000 kilometres from Paris to Goa, and experiences one of many adventures. When he's not pursuing his career as a photographer at home in the Pyrenees, long-distance routes are his second home. He is overjoyed when he learns that he will get the opportunity to take part in the tour through the USA on the R 1200 GS and represent the BMW Motorrad brand as an ambassador. "A fantastic trip that I will never forget," Stéphane says, full of fond memories of his journey even years later. When on the move, he creates unique moments: in Las Vegas, he marries his bike in a small chapel. For real. Just one week later, he is standing in front of the same pastor again. This time, Stéphane has brought along his girlfriend – the two are wed.
A booked pro.
It's the experiences, friendships and adventures that motivate the photographers and staunch GS riders to set off time and time again. Stéphane has more than 20 years of professional experience under his belt; he is a heavily booked pro. He accompanies the International GS Trophy 2016 in Thailand as a photographer, and is once again together with the GS community. "It is incredibly fascinating and exciting when all 200 participants head towards the start line riding the same model." The upcoming destinations are already booked; it is the community that draws Stéphane to the "Wheels & Waves" festival in Biarritz and the BMW Motorrad Days in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It should be obvious which motorcycle he will be riding – "the GS is so reliable, it is the best tool there is."
Making new human and animal friends.
Spaniard Salvador Echevarria had "the tour of his life" in one of the most diverse countries on earth. In South Africa, he was confronted with vast landscapes and challenging off-road sections, solitary native tribes and unique fauna, which he could only get close up to on a motorbike. "Riding a motorcycle and travelling is the perfect combination for me. The ride is a fantastic opportunity." Since 1990, Salvador's heart has been beating for the biker life: the GS plays the decisive role on his journeys.
Team spirit and a willingness to make sacrifices – these are the most important ingredients for a real motorcycling adventure. Those who have this cannot be stopped", explains Salvador, who himself accepts every challenge he finds – regardless of whether it's his job or his hobby. Whatever he does, he is very passionate and enthusiastic, and works hard on his ideas. "It can be anything; anything is possible."
Live to ride.
"Born to live – live to ride." This is how Alessio Cigolini describes his affinity to motorcycling. The Italian from Florence literally had the tour of his life in Laos. "I love setting out for an exotic destination," Alessio says. What drives him? Sharing experiences and showing people back home what he experiences and feels on his journeys. Even before the "Ride of my life" campaign, adventures on two wheels have always attracted him: for 15 days, he rides his GS through Valtellina, Switzerland, and Austria, as far as the Dolomites. Alessio knows what is important: "Those seeking to cross boundaries must always be open to new things."