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ADV NewsBMW R1300GS Climbs The World’s Highest Volcano In Less Than 24 Hrs

BMW R1300GS Climbs The World’s Highest Volcano In Less Than 24 Hrs

From 0 to over 19,600 Feet on BMW's newly released big adventurer.

Published on 12.21.2023
BMW R1300GS Climbs The World’s Highest Volcano In Less Than 24 Hours

A team of four BMW R1300GS riders have completed a challenging climb after conquering the Nevado Ojos del Salado Volcano, located between the border of Argentina and Chile. At 22,615 feet (6,893 meters), it is the highest volcano above sea level in the world. A climb that was made even tougher by adding the challenge of reaching the extreme height on their 523 pound machines in less than 24 hours and in extremely low oxygen conditions.

BMW R1300GS Climbs Ojos del Salado volcano In Less Than 24 Hours
BMW R1300GS Climbs Ojos del Salado volcano In Less Than 24 Hours

The team set off on December 6th at 3:00 pm local time from sea level on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, followed by the ascent through the Atacama Desert to the Circuito de los Seis Miles. Equipped with Metzeler Karoo 4 tires, the R1300GS bikes finally reached their destination on December 7th at 10:22 am local time culminating in the notorious “Rock Channel” on the northern flank of the Nevado Ojos del Salado, where the expedition climbed to 19,705 feet (6,006 meters) in just 19 hours and 22 minutes to reach a maximum altitude of 19,774 feet (6,027 meters). 

BMW R1300GS Climbs Ojos del Salado volcano In Less Than 24 Hours
BMW R1300GS Climbs Ojos del Salado volcano In Less Than 24 Hours

The rugged climb to Nevado Ojos del Salado is a challenging ride for both man and machine, especially when completed in less than 24 hours. Above 5,000 meters the environment starts to become inhospitable to humans due in part to the extremely low oxygen levels. Temperatures drop too, at around -10 °C during the day and -20 °C at night, lowering even more near the summit.

BMW R1300GS Climbs Ojos del Salado volcano In Less Than 24 Hours
Riders climb world's highest volcanos aboard the BMW R1300GS

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The team says their goal was not to chase a world record but to test the resilience of the new model in extreme environments. At over 5,000 meters above sea level, the cold and low air pressure place particularly high demands on the electronic control of the air-fuel mixture of the Boxer engine, but also on all other vehicle components of the new BMW R1300GS. The chassis and tires are also put to the test by the varied terrain with rocky tracks, unpaved roads, endless sandy areas and sometimes even ice and snow. 

Riders climb world's highest volcanos aboard the BMW R1300GS
Riders climb world's highest volcanos aboard the BMW R1300GS

Long-term preparation and prior acclimatization to the region were essential for this journey. In the days leading up to the expedition, several base camps were set up at different altitudes and a simulation was carried out on Mount Etna in Sicily, the highest active volcano in Europe. Specific medical tests and checks at the University of Enna, in cooperation with the health authorities of the province of Enna, were also part of the preparation of the expedition.

Riders climb world's highest volcanos aboard the BMW R1300GS

This is not the first expedition to climb the mighty Nevado Ojos del Salado volcano on a big adventure bike though. In 2017 a team of riders on Africa Twins reached 19,357 feet (5,900 meters) after starting from sea level, in just 22 hours and 30 minutes.

Riding the recently released BMW R1300GS with no modifications were Christof Lischka, BMW Motorrad Development Manager, Salvatore Pennisi, Metzeler Test and Technical Director, Michele Pradelli, Italian Extreme Enduro Champion and tester for Italian magazine InMoto, and Karsten Schwers, tester and journalist for German magazine Motorrad. 

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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Fred FlannD
Fred Flann
December 22, 2023 2:53 am

The oxygen concentration at 22.000 feet is the same as at sea level. When will people stop repeating this falsehood? What changes at elevation is the air pressure. At that elevation, the GS puts out only 95 HP peak, people far less.

Aron AD
Aron A
December 22, 2023 8:17 am
Reply to  Fred Flann

Hmmmm you certain about this? Charts have been created over the years to highlight the difference of effective oxygen, at 18,000ft it’s roughly a decrease of approximately 10% vs. at sea level. But you are correct about air pressure also playing a part.

Fred FlannD
Fred Flann
December 22, 2023 4:52 pm
Reply to  Aron A

Yes, it is well known that the oxygen concentration does not vary much with altitude. I doubt it is even 10%. The main factor is air pressure difference.

Aron AD
Aron A
December 22, 2023 9:07 pm
Reply to  Fred Flann

This tells a different story:
https://scienceline.org/2015/02/why-do-you-feel-so-awful-at-high-altitudes/

Here are the charts:
https://www.higherpeak.com/altitudechart.html

Why do the Sherpa’s carry oxygen tanks for their climbers?

Peter Hark
Peter Hark
January 3, 2024 11:38 am
Reply to  Aron A

Effective O2 level is not the same as the absolute %. The preamble to the chart states the following: air contains 20.9% oxygen at all altitudes

The “effective O2 level is what it *feels* like a to a human being based on the decreased pressure at altitude. Temperature also plays a factor, albeit a smaller contributor. Effective O2 is similar to windchill, taking into account temp and wind speed.

Carlos Muchachos
Carlos Muchachos
December 23, 2023 2:32 am
Reply to  Fred Flann

Did you see the pictures??? … Honestly this is why the Internet is f’d up … Arguing about oxygen concentration…REALLY? VS comments on the bike or terrain or tires or gear?

Fred FlannD
Fred Flann
December 23, 2023 9:20 am

Its called science, and the general ignorance of the public is what is “f’ed up”.

Peter Hark
Peter Hark
January 3, 2024 11:39 am
Reply to  Fred Flann

Agreed.

Michael
Michael
December 31, 2023 6:29 am
Reply to  Fred Flann

Yeah, because the earth is flat!

Joe John
Joe John
December 23, 2023 9:19 am

I guess that looks fun for some people but to me it just looks like trying to take a cadillac up a jeep trail. So many better options for that type of work.

Charlie Stump
Charlie Stump
January 3, 2024 10:10 am
Reply to  Joe John

They just needed an excuse to flaunt their Big Motorcycle Wiener (or BMW) energy…

Michael M
Michael M
January 12, 2024 6:46 pm

Google ‘PO2’ for some information on the role of pressure when breathing at altitude. I’d like to see some video of this effort. I’m pretty sure we’d see the riders spending a good amount of time sitting down to rest.

Darth
Darth
February 18, 2024 1:26 am

Please tell me there will be a full length film/documentary of this?

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