The scenic backroads and flowing two-track that you find on the AMA BMW National Adventure Riding Series are reward enough, but AMA member Chris Brady from Delta, Pa., got a big bonus for his participation in the series last year. Brady won the drawing for the BMW F800GS, courtesy of series title sponsor BMW.
"I'm the kind of guy who never has any luck at all, so I'm in complete disbelief," Brady said. "I'm not even the guy who will look down and find a dollar in the street. It's pretty wild -- as soon as I won, I looked into the details of the bike and, man, I tell you, that's one heck of a bike!"
The BMW F800GS is, according to BMW, "the most off-road oriented GS ever." The bike features a parallel twin engine with 85 horsepower and 62 pounds feet of torque. With a 392-pound dry weight, it's comfortable on two-track trails, while the six-speed gearbox makes it versatile enough for backroads or freeway. Switchable ABS, a 4.2-gallon tank and sharp handling round out the package.
Designed for big-bore adventure touring riders, the AMA BMW National Adventure Riding Series features weekend events, with one-day rides optional, where adventure riders come together for fun, camaraderie and, of course, miles and miles of primo gravel roads and two-track that's ideally suited to the growing crowd of motorcyclists looking for more than they can find on asphalt.
"I just started riding these events last year, and everybody needs to check these rides out. They're really a great deal," Brady said. "They're organized with well-marked trails. It's all usually new stuff, not like trail you've already run down 50 times. I like turning the corner and not knowing what I'm going to come across. We get our buddies together and go out and camp out, and it's all legal and legit riding. It's great stuff."
The 2009 AMA BMW National Adventure Riding Series, which will award another BMW F800GS to one lucky rider, kicks off April 18-19 in Bybee, Tenn. There are additional events scheduled in California, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Alabama and Arizona. The full schedule is in the Riding section of www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com