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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 and the conditions were very muddy. Asher saw numerous riders pushing their bike up a muddy hill. But with a bike weighing well over 500 lbs. pushing it was not an option, his only option was skill and finesse. Tom told us he ran Golden 273’s with 7psi in rear with 14 in the front and maybe 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 smartly 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 instance that all this extra weight gave Tom the edge – ascending a hill. With all the weight in the front the bike 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 such as a straightaway. The qualifying race is a single twenty-three-mile lap with 6 people starting in a row and, 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.