Goodwood's annual Festival of Speed is as fundamental to an English summer as the Wimbledon championships and Henley regatta. In fact, for avid motorsport enthusiasts, summer just wouldn't be the same without it.
Although the Festival has always been thought of principally as a car event, the growing popularity of motorcycling has gradually seen bikes assume a more prominent role. This is becoming even more evident now that the BMW Group is a principle sponsor of the event.
From 24-26 July, aficionados of all motorsport disciplines will flock to the picturesque Sussex estate to celebrate the sport's golden era and see glimpses of its high-technology future.
One of Goodwood's focal points will be a special BMW pavilion where enthusiasts can cast expert eyes over a celebratory display of 25 years of BMW GS motorcycles. This significant genre of large capacity off-road machines was created by BMW in 1980 when it boldly launched the first-ever 800cc boxer-engine enduro bike. The R80 G/S will stand alongside the latest model R1200 GS, an F650 GS Dakar single-cylinder, and a Dakar Rally competition boxer-twin.
Actor Charley Boorman - who starred in the gripping Long Way Round TV series with close friend Ewan McGregor - will be present at the Festival to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for photographs. Charley is scheduled to ride the very same BMW R1150 GS Adventure bike on which he circumnavigated the globe - in fact for the first time since completing the hazardous but entertaining journey almost one year ago.
There will also be static displays of current 'new generation' BMW machines including the innovative and powerful new super bikes, the K1200 S and K1200 R - with 163 bhp, the most powerful production 'naked' bike. BMW bikes of the 50's will also be featured in a display, courtesy of Mobile Tradition.