EVOLUTION OF THE RIDE:
(Dirt Bikes to Dual-Sports & ADV)
In the early days of motorcycling all bikes were pretty much “Dual-Sports” in that very few roads were paved and the big advantage of a motorbike was that it could make it through all kinds of terrain, much easier than the clunky four-wheelers coming into mass production in the first part of the 1900’s.
Then as markets became more sophisticated, different categories emerged such as street bikes, dirt bikes, sport bikes, enduros, cruisers, scramblers, etc. Motorcycle categories got more specialized and were created to excel in different areas. For the most part, “Street Bikes” stayed on the tarmac and “Dirt Bikes” were the ones that would venture onto roads less paved.
But then, in the early 1980’s BMW brought out the model GS that (at first) met with a whole lot of industry skepticism. In German, the G stood for “Gelande” meaning dirt/off-road and the S for “Strasse” meaning paved/on-road.
It differed from the other Dual-Sports at the time in that the GS was intended to be really comfortable and fast on the asphalt, but also very tough, effective and reliable in the dirt. Not much trade-off, and (almost) the best of both worlds.
This meant making the engines bigger and the bikes much heavier, but with superior engineering they managed to add enough power in a way that still kept the bike balanced and comfortable to ride and maneuver.
Thus BMW refined the original Dual-Sport category of mainly single-cylinder bikes, under 650cc and weighing less than 400 pounds, by creating the higher displacement, multi-cylinder and heavier weight ADV/Adventure Motorcycle that can comfortably haul everything one might need on a multi-year, around-the-world journey plus a passenger, if needed.
Crossing rivers, traversing deserts, overcoming snowy mountain passes or cruising along trans-continental asphalt highways… all done with ease, comfort and speed.
Eventually, this refinement led to a redefinition of Dual-Sport and the age of the ADV or Adventure Motorcycle began in earnest, which is now the fastest growing market segment, in terms of worldwide motorcycle sales.
Today most of the other manufacturers are making different ADV/Adventure Motorcycle models available to suit all budgets and riding preferences. But even so, the BMW GS is still acknowledged as the all-round leader of the pack, continuing to set new standards for the other brands to keep up with.
A key concept to bring up here is the contrast between the type/model of motorcycle that someone may own, versus the style of motorcycle riding that they actually do.
Unfortunately, many thousands of those impressively beefed up bikes that you see, with the luggage panniers, knobbly tires and hand-protectors, will never see the likes of an unpaved or uneven surface any more thrilling than perhaps jumping a curb while leaving the parking lot at a Starbucks.
The Ojai Motorcycle Club came into existence mainly for the purpose of remedying the above situation. Whether it’s for a single-day ride, a weekend, a week, or a multi-week international adventure, we can guarantee our guests the experience of a lifetime, every time, again and again.
Keep browsing through this website and find out how together, we’ll discover and explore the
SPIRIT OF GS.