Team USA for the GS Trophy is all Giants!

For the second time in a row, Team USA in the GS Trophy are all GS Giants! Congratulations to Tom Asher, Dennis Godwin and Charles Lucht!

GS Trophy riders go big (again)
Video by Todd Zacker

Get ready to follow a great adventure in southeast Asia, February 28 to March 5th. The BMW Motorrad GS Trophy is on for the fifth time and three MOA members are on their way to Thailand to compete. Even better, these three riders are also GS Giants, making the second time this MOA-chartered adventure riding club has filled Team USA's ranks.

Tom Asher of Ohio, Dennis Godwin of California, and Charles Lucht of Virginia were the big dogs through the fall of 2015, each winning one of BMW's three USA qualifiers held in South Carolina, Missouri and California. Each has been riding off-pavement a long time, Dennis and Charles for 40 years and youngster Tom for 20. Dennis and Tom are riding the oilhead GS and Charles’ weapon of choice is a well turned-out F800. Each topped their respective qualifier event by riding extra-tight slow-speed maneuvers, steep and low-traction slopes, deep woods, acres of sand, huge logs, rocks and other challenging obstacles. Topping it off were tough physical challenges to further test their endurance.

That’s because the GS Trophy is no casual adventure, it’s a serious challenge of rider and machine. With the event's location in Thailand there is certain to be much in the way of mud, dense forest, mountainous tracks and the numerous skills and mental challenges. Charles said he thinks he’ll do best in the mud, hills and the more technical terrain. For Tom, the worse the conditions are, the better… seriously, this guy does things with the big GS that you wouldn’t think possible. And Dennis was the winner on the GS Giant’s Adventure Track last summer in Montana. He clearly has mastered the big bike technique and sees himself best prepared for the technical riding, teamwork and mental endurance aspects of the event.

To prepare, Dennis is riding his road bicycle for “serious” weight loss, and riding his GS on most days. Charles is riding, doing cardio kickboxing workouts and more riding. Tom is hard at physical conditioning of many kinds. All are lifelong riders, Charles got going at age 10 on a too-tall Honda 70 and graduated to a Yamaha XT600. Dennis has 40 years of a checkered moto-past, his R12 GSA is his first beast. Tom has been a KLR guy for 10 years and became a BMW rider just a year ago.

Another key to preparation is training, and our guys have done everything from Tom’s intensive personal training for over 20 years to Dennis’ experiences with multiple courses and competitions at Rawhyde Adventures. Charles values his previous dirt bike experience and says he learns a lot from others that he rides with. As a result, Dennis was surprised to learn how much could be done with a big bike in the dirt, Tom emphasized the great importance of repeatedly practicing the knowledge gained in training and Charles is sure he will never stop learning.

The GS Trophy is also known for its food and parties, and all three riders are looking forward to comparing American Thai food to the real thing. Watch out, boys, did you know that insects are a popular snack food in Thailand? And that points up the last aspect of the Trophy event, crazy skills competitions, not all of which are on motorcycles. Charles is most worried about tight turns around barrels, Tom and Dennis are losing sleep over non-moto challenges that BMW could throw their way, like swinging through trees or snake charming.

The GS Giants are extremely proud of these riders. Dennis found out about the GS Trophy as he won in Montana. “A few GS Giants said I should tryout for the GS Trophy. I said 'the GS what?' Well, here we are six months later, going to Thailand to ride with the finest group of ADV folks from around the world, go figure!” Charles rode in his first GS Giants event in 2015, Ribfest in Tennessee: "It really was what a rally should be! Great people, great food and some friendly competition. If you want to experience dual sporting at its finest, you can't go wrong with the Giants!” And Tom met the Giants during the Missouri Qualifier: "GS Giants are great people!”

Published: 01/12/16