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First Rider to Complete one of the Toughest Enduro Races on a BMW R1200GS Adventure

Aug 18, 2017 // The AltRider Story //

Tom Asher was the first to compete in the Tennessee Knockout, widely accepted as one of the hardest enduro races, riding a BMW R1200GS Adventure. Without a lot of time to plan, Tom threw some AltRider crash bars and a skid plate on his 1200 and gave it his best. The qualifying race took place on Saturday, August 12, 2017 and although he didn’t qualify he felt he got a lot of support from the fans and even the riders.

Tom Asher on the starting line.

Riding a bike twice the size of his competitors Tom had some unique challenges. The most obvious is simply the weight of the bike. The area had a lot of rain before the race so the conditions were super muddy. Asher saw numerous riders pushing their bike up a muddy hill. But with his bike weighing well over 500 lbs. pushing it just wasn't an option, his only option was skill and finesse. Tom told us he ran Golden 273’s with 7psi in the rear with 14 in the front and maybe he could have run with less air. Additionally, the GSA is a much wider than every other bike at the TKO – the solution, lift up the front end through the narrow spots, Tom said the AltRider crash bars tuck in tight against the bike in a smart way and didn’t hang him up. Even though extra the weight can sometimes provide more traction in slick conditions, it was also a double edged sword in that his bike was more likely to list to one side on uneven paths. There was an instance where all his extra weight gave Tom the edge – ascending a muddy rutted out hill. With all the weight in the front the bike he was unlikely to want to flip when climbing.

 Tom Asher working his way up.

Compared to other races that Tom is more accustomed to — such as the GS Trophy, the TKO is shorter but doesn’t give the rider any breaks or chances to catch your breath that straitway's offer. The qualifying race is a single twenty-three-mile lap with 6 people starting in a row, with forty-two rows and a 1 minute stagger with a dead engine start. Tom’s start was in the 14th row.

Tom Asher working his way up.

Competing in an Endruo race with a GSA brought a number of spectators to the race. Tom’s excited to compete in more events like this in the future. Since the decision to compete with a GSA was made kind of last minute Tom didn’t have much time to train and says he can do much better given proper time to condition. At AltRider we love to hear stories like this, what do you guys think about Tom Asher's Adventure?

Learn more about Tom Asher at

Tom Asher's R1200GS Adventure

Photos courtesy of Jim Bean and Drew Corl.


2 and counting...

guest // Aug 21, 2017
Wow, just plain wow. I take my helmet off to Mr. Asher. What a stud. I ride an F800 GS. It's a both hands full of bike in the deep and steep as well as the tight twisties. Have Picked it up on more than one occasion. 1200 is way heavier, again, wow
35642.garage_profile // Jan 14, 2018
Its amazing how capable these "heavy" bikes in the Adventure class. They shouldn't be taken for granted. I love riding my Africa Twin through stuff people struggle with on middle weight dual sports. Its the challenge that makes it great. The bikes are very capable. Tom is clearly a very skilled rider.

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