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OffRoadExplorer.com

The reality of old adventure bike ownership

June 23rd, 2020

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There’s nothing better than owning a piece of Dakar heritage but is it all it’s cracked up to be?


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June 17th, 2020

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June 17th, 2020

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2016 Yamaha Tenere Project Bike

June 17th, 2020

While the rest of the world is scrambling for the Tenere 700 we snatched a bargain 2016 and spec’d it out for less than a new T7

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  • Akrapovic Slip-On Mufflers
  • Lowering Link
  • Heated Grips
  • Seat Concepts Seat
  • SW Motech Centre Stand
  • Pivot Pegz
  • Smoto Tail Tidy
  • Plastic High Front Fender
  • Barkbusters VPS Handguards
  • SW Motech Crash Bars

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  • Touratech Headlight Guard
  • Touratech GPS Mount and Cradle
  • Touratech Heat Shield
  • Touratech Rear Brake Reservoir Guard
  • Touratech Side Stand Foot
  • Yamaha Heated Grips
  • Denali Power Module
  • B&B Engine Guard
  • Zumo 595 GPS

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2016 Yamaha Tenere Part 2

June 11th, 2020


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2016 Tenere
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The Classic Lives On

We started with a pretty scrappy 2016 Tenere but with a view cosmetic fixes it cleaned up nicely. Now with the new T7 on the market old series Tenere accessories are are getting cleared out and there are some bling bargains to be had.

Photos by Lance Turnley

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Rest Here When Crashing

It’s not a question of if but when you will throw your bike down the road and it’s not because you can’t ride but you never know when that greasy clay will appear around the next corner. And those plastic guards on the side of the tank might save your fuel cell in a light fall but I’ve seen the tarmac grind right through and spread fuel all over the road. I think SW Motech design some of the best crashbars on the market. I think that Hepco Becker and Touratech are just as good but SW Motech are spot on with strength and the way their crashers blend with the lines of the bike. Motorrad Garage in Sydney and Perth are the importers and they are well worth the investment at $345

Goodbye Chook Choof

The over muffled note of of the standard exhaust, like any 650 single coming straight off the assembly line is uninspiring at best.It’s a no brainer to go straight to an after market exhaust. There are much cheaper makes on the market but I had the budget to go for the Akrapovic system. You can’t beat the quality and it’s all you would expect for $1,195.00. Available online from Shop Yamaha.

Taking a Stand

I was lucky to score a centre stand secondhand. Yes, they add weight but are invaluable when you get a puncture and perform a roadside repair. SW Motech still have centre Stans available for $364.00

Engine Protection

This is by far one of the most important investments you’ll make. B&B Off Road Engineering make the toughest bash plates available. Not only are they the toughest but also well designed. And I’m not talking about for looks but their mount points are designed for the frame to take the impact so the engine is isolated from any damage. I’ve actually seen poorly design engine protection punch holes in engine cases. Available from B&B Off Road Engineering.

Barkbuster VPS

We bought our Tenere already fitted with Barkbuster Storm which are great for the winter months but for the warmer weather we s\wapped out the Storm plastics for some floor green VPS. They don’t just offer impact protection but also gives you a little more visibility out on the road.

Lowering Links

I love Teneres but I’ll be the first to concede the XT660Z is heavy to start with and as the list of bling grows so does the weight. So being on the short legged size you need to be able to plant your feet solidly on the ground when you stop. I couldn’t get anything locally so I found these lowering links on eBay from Lust Racing. Can’t complain. Good quality and arrived pretty quickly from the UK and cost about AUD$150 landed.

Seat Concepts

The two level design of the Tenere seat allows enough height to accommodate twin high mounted mufflers but the standard design locks you in to one position and is particularly uncomfortable for bigger riders that want to move back in the seat. Australian distributors AdventureMoto had Seat Concepts based in the USA to design a new frame mould to allow bigger riders to sit back from the tank. Seat Concepts also use a proprietary foam formula that is firmer and more supportive over time. The kits are supplied with foam and cover and you can fit them yourself, use your local upolsterer or for a small fee AdventureMoto will do it for you.

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Control That Power

When you run an increasing number of powered accessories the old school way the positive and negative terminals can start to get a little crowded. Not only that accessories will slowly drain your battery just for being connected. The solution is a Denali Power Hub. The PowerHub2 Power Distribution Module, allows you to connect up to 6 electronic devices to your motorcycle in a clean, professional manner. It is CAN-Bus compatible and includes six 15-amp rated and fused outputs, six ground posts, and a plug-and-play wiring harness for direct battery hookup. Each of the six outputs can be individually set as “always on” or “switched” on/off with the ignition of the motorcycle. There is just enough room under the seat to fit the module on a home made bracket. Available from AdventureMoto for $279.00

Warm Hands

Some say I should harden up but when it comes to being relaxed on the bike heated grips are the best thing ever on cold mornings. There are lots on the market but I splashed out on some genuine Yamaha heated grips. I have to admit they are excellent quality and basically you just plug and play. The controls are on the inside of the left grip and can easily be operated with your index finger. Keep pressing the little green button to chose one of three settings. The compact controls also mean you don’t have to find a place to mount a seperate controller. Reasonably comfortable but a bit expensive at $321.48. Available from Shop Yamaha.

Garmin Zumo 595 GPS

It was a no brainer to fit the Garmin Zumo 595 GPS. Years ago we had the Garmin Zumo 550 and I was always a big fan. With OZTopo maps out in the desert it helped us find trails we couldn’t see and got us out of the bush when the Trail Boss got lost. However one of the biggest advantages was when me would roll into town late at night and it would lead us straight to our accommodation. Trying to read street maps in the dark sucks the big one. Garmin has just release the new Zumo XT so there may be a few Garmin Zumo 595 on the market at discount prices. Seek and you shall find.

Touratech Lockable GPS Cradle

You can’t always rely on the standard Garmin mount . I’ve experienced losing a GPS mid-ride once before and having the purchase another one so the security of a lockable and durable mount makes more sense than you could possibly know. Compatible with the standard Garmin mount the Touratech unit clamps around the GPS unit and can be locked with a key to guard against thief Combine with a GPS mounting bracket to fit the GPS above the instruments. Available from Touratech Australia while stocks last.

Touratech Oil Reservoir Guard

I’ve always loved to quality of Touratech products and they have certainly led the way in alloy protection design for the last decade. Touratech oil reservoir guard is an essential item for oil reservoirs on any adventure bike that will see some off road action.

Touratech Headlight Protector

I’ve broken headlight lenses before from rocks thrown up from the back wheel of whoever you’re racing. Unfortunately it was my ‘99 model 3YF XTZ660 which became a huge pain when I found out that 3YF headlight are no longer available (NLA). I do like the look of the alloy Touratech alloy headlight guards but they do reduce the brightness just a little. I decided to go for the clear plastic version. If you avoid wiping the mud and dust of with a rag it will last the life of the bike.

Touratech Side Stand Foot

It’s a simple pice of kit but there is nothing worse than turning your back on your fully laden adventure mount and hearing a thud on the ground only to find a 250kg motorcycle horizontal on the ground after the side stand has sunk into soft ground.The Touratech side stand foot is a simple essential. Light weight but tough surviving some rock smashes on the first couple of rides.

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2016 Yamaha Tenere Part 1

May 27th, 2020

This is our first project bike starting with a second hand bike. So what’s the bad news

You’re not going to find a bigger Tenere fan than me… (well at five foot six you probably will) but when you take into consideration two 34Ls, one pristine 3AJ, two ‘89 Super Teneres, and a ‘99 XTZ660 3YF then it’s no surprise I have recently purchased a 2016 XT660Z.


It was a clean example to start with but a closer look revealed plenty of rough edges and the worst were yet to reveal themselves.

Some of you are might be thinking why I haven’t bought a brand new XT700Z. Well given my past purchase history I figure I have another 20-30 years to make a commitment to a 2020 model so there’s no rush. After all historical rego is so much cheaper.

Not all of us can afford to buy a brand spanking new bike and with the release of the new 700 twin there’s plenty of 2010 to 2018 XT660Z bargains to be found of the last model series of the famous Tenere.

Instead of looking for a blinged up unit I decided to go for an average shitta with the sound mechanicals but a bit rough about the edges that I could set up to suit my simple needs. Sure there were some great examples out there but I focused on ugly dogs with a rough head that nobody wanted.

The perfect example finally turned up. A slighting battered unit that had been poorly touched up and needed some love. Bits of miss matched touch up paint around the exhaust with signs of overspray did have me worried. A bit like the other guys girlfriend who’s makeup looks like a diorama of a crash scene. Nevertheless I recognised as a rough diamond that needed a a little cosmetics.

Getting down to basics

The basics were good. Earlier model Teneres tend to be very spongy and this one had suspension upgrade courtesy of Technik, a Guard-IT Technology rear rack, Barkbuster handlebars, hand guards and Pivot Pegz. I just had to get it at the right price.



Getting a good bargain is mostly about being in the right place at the right time and I had to haggle hard and was prepared to lose the sale. That didn’t worry me because I still hadn’t thought of an excuse to tell my wife. I figure any excuse that had the word ‘investment’ in it would do the trick. However, being the intelligent woman that she is a fleet of six old Teneres would surely spell bullshit to her.

Sold!

The final price was a bargain at half the market value 2017 Teneres are pulling at the time so it gave me lots a budget to spec this Tenere up to something that would tide me over till I would finally get to throw my leg over a T7… one day.

To be honest I prefer the ergonomics on the 2017 Tenere than the 2019 XT690Z (T7). I find the seating/handlebar position suits me a little better but there’s no comparison between the single cylinder 660cc thumper and the MT07 based twin. I’d take the new generation engine any day.

There are many reasons why we buy a particular bike. Size, style, power, brand loyalty, it can be hard to understand. For example, VStrom owners? Regardless of your reasoning you don’t necessarily have to get the latest and greatest to enjoy an epic adventure ride. Reliability helps and the XT660Z will dish it up in spades. In part two we’ll show you the mods we made to our latest edition to the ORE fleet.

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Ride To The Snowy Ride T&C

October 24th, 2015

2015 Ride To The Snowy Ride - November 6 2015 

Terms and Conditions

REGISTRATION IS FREE. Please be advised this is a non-commercial, no-cost, not-for-profit ride and as such does not offer any insurance coverage of participants, therefore participation is entirely at your own risk.

• To participate, you must be paid and registered as an entrant to the Steve Walter Foundation ‘The Snowy Ride’ and display the event sticker on your bike. You must also complete this registration form and bring it with you to the start of the ride and hand it in to the organisers. You will receive the route instruction trip notes at the start of the ride at  Mittagoong, 9am Friday October 30.

• You will ride at your own pace via our trip notes. Any deviation from the route will have no sweep support.

• Fuel, food, accommodation and all costs are your own responsibility.

You can only participate if you hold a current motorcycle licence and are riding registered a motorcycle.

Proof of motorcycle registration and motorcycle licence must be presented if requested.

ACKNOWLEDEGEMENT OF RISKS, DANGERS AND OBLIGATIONS

I ACKNOWLEDGE that motorcycling is a dangerous sport and by engaging in the sport and participating in this event I am exposed to certain risks and dangers and I am under certain obligations:

1. That I have an obligation to myself and others to participate safely and within the rules of this event whether implied or stated.

2. That other participants may ride dangerously or with lack of skill.

3. That I may be injured/killed or suffer mentally or physically.

4. That there may be no or inadequate facilities for treatment or transportation if I am injured.

5. That any policy of insurance I may have may be void.

6. That my motorcycle or equipment may be lost destroyed or damaged.

7. That the event conditions may be hazardous and may vary without warning.

8. That the organisers, officials, land owners, and any agent or representatives of those in charge of this event are frequently obliged to decisions under pressure of time and/or events.

9. That it is my responsibility to ensure my motorcycle is in a roadworthy condition and scrutineering my motorcycle does not imply it is road/trail worthy and is not the responsibility of the organizers to ensure road/trail worthiness.

INDEMNITY GIVEN TO ORGANISERS:

In consideration of acceptance of me as an participant in this event I AGREE TO INDEMNIFY and hold harmless the organisers, officials, land owners, any agent or representative of those in charge of this event, any participant, bike owner, riders, rescue personnel, sponsors, advertisers, member of the general public, against any actions or claims which may be made by me or on my behalf or by other parties for or on respect of or arising out of my death or any injury, loss or damage caused by me or my machinery or equipment whether caused by negligence, breach of contract or in any other manner whatsoever. I Hereby release and agree to waive my rights in regards to the use of any still or video footage taken of me by Trail Rider/offroadexplorer.com and/or its affiliates. I agree to the use of footage of myself for any purpose for private or commercial use and seek no financial compensation.

I Hereby release and agree to waive my confidentiality rights where medical services are required, To give to any official details of my injury(s).

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Ride to the Snowy Ride

October 13th, 2015

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Our Ride To The Snowy Ride

Clubby and The Professor from Trail Rider Magazine are inviting riders to join them for the 2015 Ride To The Snowy Ride. While the ride with us is free, the condition of entry is that you must be an official entrant in the 2015 Snowy Ride. Register Here. This years route will run over one day only. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Snowy Ride 2015

October 13th, 2015

THE SNOWY RIDE IS ON 7 NOVEMBER 2015

The Snowy Ride is a motorcycle event run annually in the Alpine Region of NSW and the ride is now in its eleventh year and has raised in excess of 3 million dollars for the Steven Walter Foundation.

The Steven Walter Foundation which is the organiser and main benefactor of the Snowy Ride. is a non-profit organisation which was started following the passing of nineteen year old Steven Walter after an eight year battle with cancer The Foundation is involved in raising money for research into childhood cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment in children.

All monies raised by the Foundation goes to childhood cancer research programs and support of children with cancer.The aim of the Snowy Ride was to involve the motorcycle riders of Australia into raising money for research into childhood cancer and its side effects and to give the local volunteer organisations of the Snowy mountains area the chance to raise money for their own communities.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Your payment is an entry into the Honda Trade Promotion lottery. Providing you are registered you are automatically in the draw even if you don’t make it to Thredbo – pillions who are registered will also receive an entry! To be eligible for one of the minor prizes all you have to do is get your card stamped at any three of the nine Snowy Ride checkpoints and have it to the final checkpoint in Thredbo by 4pm Saturday 7th November 2015. It will then go into the minor prize draw. All prizes will be drawn in Thredbo on the afternoon of the 7th November 2015.

The Snowy Ride has both tarmac and off road sections designed for adventure riders. These routes were developed with offroadexplorer.com and takes in checkpoints to qualify you for the prize draw.

You can leave from anywhere. whenever you like. and take whatever route you like as long as you’re at the final checkpoint in Thredbo by 4.00pm on the afternoon of Saturday 7th November 2015. The Snowy Ride checkpoints are located at:

Adaminaby
Dalgety
Berridale
Jindabyne
Cooma
Bombala
Charlotte Pass
Thredbo

HOW DO I ENTER

Registration is $60 per rider and $60 per pillion. Registering gets you an information pack, 3 day NSW Parks sticker for your bike and an entry into the Honda Trade Promotion to possibly win one of two fantastic Honda Motorcycles!

You will also be able to register on the day with more detail available at the Registering on the day information page.

2015 Snow Ride Registration
Note: To ensure Snowy Ride Packs get to you in time pre-registrations will close on Monday 26 October 2015. Snowy Ride registration packs will start being sent out from late September to early October.
It is a requirement that all participants in the Snowy Ride register. You can pre-register below via secure transaction, or register on Saturday 7 November 2015 at various Snowy Ride checkpoints in; Cooma, Jindabyne and Thredbo.

By pre-registering you receive your Snowy Ride Pack including NSW National Park pass prior to the Snowy Ride. It also helps organisers immensely so please consider pre-registering here.

Registering for The Snowy Ride also puts you in the draw for the Honda Trade Promotion.

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How to Justify Buying a Motorcycle

July 8th, 2015

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There are many pressures in life including your nine to five job, mortgage payments, paying tax, mowing the lawn and remembering what night to put the garbage out. Hell knows how many times I got smacked across the forehead at 5am in the morning when I forgot that one.

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New Zega EGA Pro2 Pannier System

June 28th, 2015

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A rugged aluminium pannier system that joins form and function in a harmonious unit, combining the advantages of Touratech’s popular special systems with the innovative characteristics of ZEGA Pro2 panniers – this is the new ZEGA Pro2 special system for the BMW R 1200 GS LC.

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The Perils Of International Adventure

June 24th, 2015

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The difficult decisions you have to make as an international adventure rider are numerous. For a start, the selection of fine wines and numerous other beverages in the airline first class cabin is a decision making process that I wouldn’t want to impose on anybody.

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Adventure Wingman Checklist

June 10th, 2015

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We all have that romantic notion of taking off from the safe confines of domestic life and hitting the road solo in search of new trails and unknown destinations. No plan, no schedule and no responsibility with no limitations to the road we take within our fuel range.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Adventure Bike Reality TV

May 27th, 2015

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Reality TV programs. Love them or hate them, they are the new wave of media entertainment. Production companies love them because they are cheap to produce and usually feature the average punter that, when a camera is pointed at them do something they wouldn’t normally do or simply crash and burn. Much like Trail Zone DVDs. Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 BMW GS Safari-Enduro

May 26th, 2015

The BMW Safari Enduro is becoming one of the premier adventure bike rides in the world and has again been a roaring success.  Born out of the regular BMW GS Safari, which catered more for riders of all skills, the BMW Safari Enduro dishes up challenging trails, tough conditions and outback camping.

Check out this awesome preview clip by Adam Riemann of the 2015 BMW GS Safari-Enduro held in May 2015. 110 riders departed Bourke and followed the Darling River towards Mildura camping at amazing stations along the way.

The route included the challenging Murray Sunset Desert National Park, the iconic Border Track (Vic/SA border) and followed the Murray River to its mouth, close to Victor Harbour in South Australia.

The youngest rider was 17 y/o, the oldest 73 y/o and the mass of participants included four father and son combo’s.

Go to www.bmwsafari.com and register for the newsletter to be updated on future events.

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Touratech ‘iBracket’ for iPhone 6

May 26th, 2015

Touratech’s iBracket for the iPhone 6 sees form and function unite. In order to do justice to the design, feel and shape of the iPhone 6, the components of Touratech’s iBracket have been reduced to the bare essentials.

The shape and technical components are designed for maximum stability, despite their delicate execution. UV-resistant silicone rings provide the intelligent 3D closure with the required tension.

The iPhone is positioned in very stable, protective plastic corners. This precision closure form, developed to fit the iPhone exactly, integrates the device into the iBracket with no play at all. All functions of the iPhone remain readily accessible.

  • The most important features in summary:
  • 3D closure with one-handed operation
  • CNC laser cut and CNC shaped stainless steel components.
  • Precision closure form, specially developed for the iPhone 6.
  • Touratech iBracket plastic corners with UV-resistant silicone rings.
  • Touratech vibration decoupling
  • iBracket handlebarbraket 90° turnable.
  • iBracket handlebar bracket for bicycle riders.
  • iBracket handlebar bracket suitable for use with motorbikes

Handlebar ‘iBracket’ for Apple iPhone 6 is also compatible with:

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
  • Huawei Ascend Y530
  • And other popular mobile phones

Using our mounting adapters, this handlebar bracket can be fitted to almost any motorbike.

The mounting bracket can also be used with common silicone protective cases for the iPhone.

For more information, and to order the Touratech iBracket, visit the Touaratech Australia webshop for the iBracket for the iPhone 6 and the iBracket for the iPhone6 Plus.

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BMW Safari Enduro Near Miss

May 19th, 2015

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The wide open expanse of the Australian Outback invites wide open throttle riding. Like any country though, there is always the wildlife to be wary of that, when startled, will run right out in front of you.

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2016 Tenere Project Bike

May 13th, 2015

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Post-Apocalyptic Ténérés

May 13th, 2015

Vehicles from the new Mad Max Fury Road were on display today ranging from trucks, sedans, pick-ups and motorbikes. In particular were two almost unrecognisable Yamaha XT660Z Ténérés.

It’s no surprise really, with the XT660Z’s indestructible reputation (except if your initials are TB) but these Ténérés are nothing like the farkled examples you’d see today. It’s obvious that in a war torn future the Ténéré nylon plastic tank will be replaced with something more robust and have more chance withstanding gun fire, harpoons and flamethrowers.

Other than two Ténérés the bike fleet featured two heavily modified Yamaha R1’s and a YZ450F with dual fork front suspension.

The promotion also featured some extraordinary cars including the Razor Cola, an XB Ford Falcon Coupe; The Giga-Horse, a twin 1959 Cadillac Devilles; The Doof Wagon, an 8×8 M.A.N Missile Carrier and The Nuxcar, a Chevrolet five-door coupe.

However, the centrepiece was the impressive War Rig, a bastardized Czechoslovakian Tatra and Chev Fleetmaster. A six-wheel drive 18-wheeler powered by twin V8 engines end-to-end, this fortified war machine with the soul of a hot rod has an elephantine scoop on the front and a massive double-payload of fuel tanks.

Four time Mr Motocross, multi-Australian motocross champion and now keen adventure bike rider Stephen Gall was the motorcycle stunt rider Motorcycle Specialist Team co-ordinator bringing on board motocrosser Cody Mackey, Robbie Marshall, Michael Addison and Trials Champion Rob Jones. At this promotion Yamaha Stunt Rider Dave McKenna made an appearance and could possibly feature in another sequel. According to Gally it was the most incredible experience he’d ever had. ‘To spend nine months in Namibia in South Africa with such a professional crew was the experience of a lifetime.’

If you haven’t already check out one on the many film trailers.

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD will be released in Australian and New Zealand cinemas on May 14, 2015 and is rated MA15+.

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The Africa Twin is Back

May 13th, 2015

CRF1000L Africa Twin Confirmed for 2015

After months of rumours and a mouth watering teaser at the 2014 EICMA Show in November, Honda have finally announced the return of one of motorcycling’s most celebrated and legendary adventure bike the Africa Twin. Honda has confirmed that the all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin will be in dealers across Europe in late 2015.

The Africa Twin will feature the option of a new evolution of Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) technology, which remains unique to Honda in motorcycling. This latest evolution of DCT has been specifically developed and programmed to provide the off-road ability with which the Africa Twin is synonymous.

The all-new CRF1000L Africa Twin is set to redefine expectations of just what a large-capacity adventure motorcycle can and should be capable of, both on and off-road, and opens an entirely new chapter in Honda’s illustrious history of dual-purpose motorcycles made for true adventure.

Much like the Yamaha Ténéré and the BMW GS the Africa Twin has it’s origins in the Paris to Dakar Rally where the NXR750V, a full HRC race machine, faced stiff competition in the gruelling Paris-Dakar through the late 1980s. Honda eventually won out in 1986 and 1987 in the hands of Cyril Neveu, in ’88 with Edi Orioli and finally in ’89 piloted by Gilles Lalay. The road-going XRV650 Africa Twin was produced between 1988-9 by HRC in tribute to their efforts, and laid the foundation of what would become a legendary machine.

In late 1989 the XRV750 Africa Twin was launched and quickly became an adventure touring benchmark. It featured a 742cc, 6-valve liquid-cooled V-twin engine (producing 45kW power and 62.7Nm torque), long travel suspension and large fuel tank, chain final drive, 21-inch front wheel (widening off-road tyre choice) and dual front disc brakes. Revised twice and in production until 2003 it remains a sought-after machine today, with good examples commanding premium prices like the Yamaha XTZ750 Super Ténéré.

There’s no news yet as to when the Africa Twin will be available in Australia but with the strong adventure riding market in this country we’re sure that Honda Australia will be getting there hands on them as soon as possible.

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Tragic Life of a Ténéré Tragic

May 11th, 2015

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Back in January 2013 I had to admit I’ve have a problem. Sure it started with just one eBay purchase but I know now things have gotten out of hand. Read the rest of this entry »

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2014 Triumph Explorer 1200

May 8th, 2015

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Mad Max: Fury Road In Sydney

May 6th, 2015

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History will be recorded on Wednesday, May 13 as the sounds of suped up vehicles from MAD MAX: FURY ROAD roar through the City of Sydney for a once in a lifetime experience, culminating in a public showcase in front of one of Australia’s most iconic buildings, the Sydney Opera House.

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Touratech’s Waterproof Gloves

May 1st, 2015

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Touratech’s outer waterproof gloves, with abrasion resistant material on the palm, are designed to be worn over motorcycle gloves.

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Mad Max Ténéré Adventure

April 30th, 2015

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You wouldn’t think the new post apocalyptic movie Mad Max Fury Road has much to do with adventure riding. But my good mate Stephen Gall and Greg Robinson (Trail Zone ‘In The Zone DVD 1′) were both stunt performers in the movie spending almost a year filming in Namibia on the African continent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scaggs Moto Designs Rear Luggage Racks

April 30th, 2015

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AdventureMoto’s latest new product are the Scaggs Moto Designs rear luggage racks from the USA. Scaggs is a relatively new player in the market and its creator, who is a pure enthusiast, has designed a very cool rack with a professional black anodised finish.

Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Horizons Unlimited Events

April 29th, 2015

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While most people think that motorcycle adventure travel is a new thing and Ewan and Charlie were the first, then nothing could be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Horizons Unlimited Perth

April 26th, 2015

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The event is taking place from Friday 9th October to Sunday 11th October 2015 at Fairbridge Village. The Village is a nationally heritage-listed town site operated by a major youth charity, and has convenient proximity to Perth.  Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Horizons Unlimited Queensland

April 26th, 2015

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The event is taking place from Thursday, Sep 24 to Sunday, Sep 27, 2015.

The Registration Tent will open for check-ins at 1 pm on Thursday. HU Film Festival from 2 pm. Meet and greet from 4 to 6 pm. Dinner from 6 pm, and the first presentations beginning at 7 pm. Last presentations will be Saturday night.  Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Horizons Unlimited Victoria

April 26th, 2015

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The event is taking place from Friday, Oct 23 to Sunday,  Oct 25, 2015.  As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventure from around the world, you’ll get the low-down on preparing for your journey. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there’s something for everyone.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Leaf Blowers and the KTM 800 Adventure

April 26th, 2015

I like to think of myself as a bit of a greenie. But then again I like tearing through the forests on a motorcycle as small furry marsupials run for cover. However, when I’m not riding I like to potter in the garden and empty the mind of all things that have deadlines. More to the point, I prefer to use a broom as opposed to a two stroke blower. The damn things are offensively noisey and the weapon of choice of a lazy gardener.  I inherited one of the fore mentioned apparatus about a year ago but I refused to use it as they’re noisy and just blow rubbish from one spot to the other and back.

However, last winter I went over to the darkside. Having moved house six months ago I now have two large deciduous trees in the back yard. This year I found myself wading waist deep through autumn leaves which played havoc with my bike washing duties. It’s at those times that mysterious lights shine down on the solution and the McCulloch leaf blower seemed strangely illuminated and I felt strangely compelled to bring it down from the top of the tool cupboard.

Giving up my prejudices I first got familiar with the controls. An on/off switch and what appeared to be a throttle control with a turtle icon at one end and a rabbit at the other. I think they have the same thing on ag bikes. Fresh fuel in, bit of choke, a few pulls on the starter and she fired into life. Not bad considering it hadn’t been started for five years.

The torque of the engine twisted the thing in my hand which was probably aided by the thrust from the nozzle. Like an unfamiliar motorcycle its wise to do a couple of laps at half pace to get a feel for its handling and power. It turned out to be quite a weapon and after flipping over a couple of pot plants I knew I had to treat it with respect.

Once I felt confident I worked out my strategy working my down the yard the corner where I could gather the leaves and dispose of them into the green bin in a minimum of time. With gardening gloves, appropriate eye protection and fluffy ear muffs I assumed an attack stance, fired her up and for the first time, pushed the throttle to full.

Unexpectedly all hell broke loose. I’d totally underestimated the thrust and immediately started blowing objects about the backyard. The majority of leaves blew straight into the pool which now looked like a big bowl potpurri. As I steered the blower around Chloe, our long haired Golden Retriever, came out to see what was going on. Leaning into the blast you could here her nails scrapping along the paving bricks and her top lip flapped at her eyeballs. Unfortunately, I didn’t spot the dog droppings, which was flung at the back screen door and peppered the china cabinet across the room. Just before I had a chance to pull back the throttle I saw the cat clear the back fence totally inverted on its way into the neighbours yard. As the dust settled I realised that there’s no substitute for power. Sure it can get out of hand occasionally but when you want the job done properly and applied correctly there’s nothing better.

So it was pretty disappointing when the organisers of the Dakar Rally in South America announced the restriction of the engine capacity to 450cc. Totally out of the blue, it was announced with only six months before the event when teams are well and truly into their preparation. Even worse the impact of that is that KTM (back then) withdrew their teams from the event. So what impact might that have on the sport, and worse, on the development of the KTM 690 Adventure.

The Dakar fostered the origins of the adventure bike movement today and is the development test bed of the bikes we ride today. So what did that mean to the future of the KTM 690 Adventure? Since the last production run of the 640 Adventure loyalists have been screaming out for an update ever since. We always thought a 690 Enduro would eventually turn up but in the meantime KTM fans have had to rely on expensive rally kits from Rally Raid, Perfect Fairings and our home grown KTM 700RR.

But will it be the 690 V-Twin everybody has been expecting? Back in February 2014 KTM CEO Stefan Pierer said the Austrian firm has 500cc and 800cc parallel-twin engines in development. Recently we spoke to a KTM representative in Australia and his informed opinion is that the new adventure model will, in fact, be a 800cc parallel twin.

Given the monsters KTM have been dishing up to the adventure market a mid weight 800 will be warmly received, not only by KTM fans but also by the dual sport fraternity in general.

[caption id=”attachment_4396″ align=”alignleft” width=”683″]KTM 700 RR - photo courtesy of Danny Wilkinson. KTM 700 RR - photo courtesy of Danny Wilkinson.[/caption]

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KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Cuts Loose

April 24th, 2015

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Red Bull athlete Chris Birch cuts loose on his KTM1190 Adventure R in the stunning South Island of New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »

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25 years of Touratech

April 22nd, 2015

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This year’s Touratech International Travel Event is taking place from 12 - 14 June at the Touratech Headquarters in Niedereschach, South Germany. The company is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and would like to invite everybody to a very special birthday party in conjunction with the BMW Motorrad GS Trophy Germany 2015.

Read the rest of this entry »

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BMW S 1000 XR Pricing Announced

April 17th, 2015

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BMW Australia have announced that the new BMW S 1000 XR that was unveiled at EICMA 2014 last November will arrive in dealer showrooms in July 2015 and prices start from $22,190 plus on-road costs. Read the rest of this entry »

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2012 Truimph Tiger 800 XC

April 17th, 2015

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2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC

April 17th, 2015

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Like A Tiger

We all thought Triumph had well and truly lost its way with the 1050 Tiger. But then Triumph came back with a left field package that works and has really set the cat amongst the pigeons.

Photos by Andrew Clubb and Lance Turnley

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Triumph Bash Plate

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The standard sump guard on the Tiger is pretty minimal and doesn’t provide any front protection. The Tiger goes surprising hard through the bush so the chance of rocks piercing the cases is highly likely. Triumph have a bash plate for the Tiger made form 3mm alloy that mounts directly to the engine but in such a way that any impact won’t punch the mounts through the cases. Priced at $235.00 it’s available from your Triumph dealer.

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[span6]Arrow Pipe

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In this day and age performance pipes do a better job of keeping the noise at an acceptable level. The Tiger 800XC has a great exhaust note and the Arrow pipe just makes it a little knarlier without being offensive. From what we know it provides 2 to 3 horsepower more across the board and like any other quality exhaust system will give you significant weight savings over the standard unit. Available from your Triumph dealer for $1095.00

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Triumph Crash Bars

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Triumph have been clever by designing and fitting economical and easy to replace unpainted plastics on vunerable areas around the tank and radiator shrouds. Nevertheless that doesn’t help the engine when it comes to heavy impacts to the side of the engine.

Triumph have their own crashbars constructed of 20mm steel tube protecting the lower engine cases from big impacts like large rocks and tree stumps. Recommended retail price is $306.00 from your Triumph dealer.

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Strike Genius GPS

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As you’ll read in our Old Bulls Trail Ride story the Strike GPS proved its worth. The unit itself comes with it’s own Bluetooth in helmet speaker so you can hear clear navigational instructions from the unit. However we combined it with an Interphone Stereo F4 headset so we can connect to a Bluetooth phone a take advantage of the Strike MP3 player feature. While on the subject you won’t get headphone clarity but with a good quality well fitting helmet navigation is clear and the music is audible enough to hear some tunes.

As for navigation the HEMA 4×4 Maps worked very well on gazetted tracks and gave adequate warning to intersections just as effectively as city maps. The Strike Genius is available for $499 which is pretty good value for what you get so go to www.strike.com.au.

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Heated Grips

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One of the best features of the Triumph Tiger is it’s 645W Alternator, one of the most powerful for this class and designed to power everything from lights to GPS and communication systems while recharging onboard devices. Nevertheless if you’re planning on riding all year round you have to fit Triumphs Heated Grips. With two heat settings these grips will keep the palm of your hands as warm as toast. Available from your Triumph dealer for $270.05.

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AltRider Rack

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The AltRider Luggage Rack for the Triumph Tiger 800 is manufactured from 4.75mm thick anodized aluminum, it incorporates side flanges for extra strength and rigidity. The strategic cut-outs provide places to lash down your load with anything from straps to bungee cords to tie downs. All cut-outs feature a premium CNC routered edge to provide a smooth and a clean finish. We’ve never had a problem securing any luggage to the AltRider luggage plate and for us they are the preferred option. Not just because they work well but they also fit the lines of the bike and doesn’t look like an oversize table top when you’re not carrying a load.

The AltRider Luggage Rack interfaces with the Givi Monokey system mount kit and the rack also provides an interface with the Rotopax Fuel Pack system, so you can easily bring extra fuel, water or tools. Available from www.adventuremoto.com.au for $179.95

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Wolfman Racks

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These Wolfman Gen 2 Racks have to be the most versatile on the market. Firstly the new Gen 2 design has laser cut tabs allowing easy fitting of either Expedition Dry Saddle Bags or Teton Saddle Bags and includes a cross brace to carry heavier loads. With Wolfmans mount kit you can also carry Rotopax containers and they now have a mounting kit for Pelican hard cases.

So the advantage of such a strong versatile system is a variety of carrying capacity with either soft or hard luggage options for tarmac or off-road touring. Available from www.adventuremoto.com.au for $395.00

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Wolfman Expedition Saddle Bags

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The Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebags are designed to be durable and 100% waterproof using 22 ounce and 34 ounce vinyl and use cutting edge Radio Frequency technology for completely sealed seams. The Saddle Bags have two straps over the seat and each bag attaches to the Wolfman Side Rack with four points for maximum hold. The mounting straps double as compression straps to keep the load attached and tight. The bags have an internal Butterfly stiffener, stiff back, bottom and front, which helps the bag retain shape and allows the load to be compressed tightly. A replaceable non-skid rubber pad on the bike-side of the bag prevents excessive bag movement and protects the bag from vibration abrasion. We use them again and again because they are the best soft bags on the market. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au for $269.95.

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Headlight Protector

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The Tiger 800XC has an excellent twin headlight system but like any other off-road motorcycle headlight is vulnerable to rock impact especially when your mates are roosting you. Triumph have there own plastic headlight protector and should be the first thing you fit to your Tiger if you’re planning to hit the dirt.
It’s only $72.00 for your Triumph motorcycle dealer.

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VPS Handguards

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The Triumph Tiger comes with plastic handguards that do a good job of protecting from the elements but lack a backbone in the event of a heavy impact. Australian made Barkbusters have a model specific kit for the Tiger 800XC. The basic kit (BHG43-NP) is the backbone and mounting hardware giving you the choice of either VPS plastics that come in a range of colours or Storm plastics that give you greater protection from the elements.

The VPS plastics include Variable Height Wind Deflector for extra protection from the elements. Storm plastics are larger than the VPS and wrap around the hand further to offer greater protection from the elements. The aerodynamic design directs wind and rain away from the hands to help keep them warm in cold conditions. The basic kit retails for $121.95 with plastics extra. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

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SW-Motech Foot Pegs

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These quality stainless-steel foot pegs by SW-Motech are 60 mm wide, feature CNC machined alloy brackets for fitment to just about any adventure tourer. They have two different mount heights, with a difference of 15 mm which aids ground clearance issues. The top plate features a aggressive looking treat pattern with a couple of different outlines that are sure to keep your boots on the pegs in greasy conditions. There’s a sturdy rubber insert for the top of the peg that help absorb some of the vibration. Check out www. motorradgarage.com.au where you’ll find it for $159.00
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Motion Pro Tools

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The standard Triumph Tiger tool kit is pretty basic. It lacks a hex tool to remove the front wheel and some accessories require Torx tools for some fasteners. It’s a good idea to go over the whole bike and check that you have the minimum tools for dealing with any possible needs out on the road. A lightweight kit like the six piece Star-Pro Pivot Head Torx Wrench Set. For the workshop there are plenty of sets available from your local tool store. For Motion Pro and Cruztool star tools then go to AdventureMoto.com.au have a wide range available online.

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Storm Handguards

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During the winter months you need maximum protection from the elements. While the VPS handguards we fitted to our Tiger 800XC look fantastic during winter I prefer the Storm plastics. They cover a much larger area and give better protection from wind and rain. The great thing is that if you have the VPS handguard kit the Storm plastics will screw straight on. Alternately you can buy the Barkbuster Kit (BHG43-NP) and choose the Storm plastics costing for $46.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

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AltRider Radiator Guard

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The AltRider Radiator Guard is made from 1.5 mm thick anodized aluminum designed with louvers to deflect kicked up debris, while simultaneously directing airflow to the radiator to keep it cool. It attaches to the bike using upper and lower mounts, and incorporates tabs to index into the fairing. High-temp silicone pads in each corner of the guard ensure that when taking a hit, the guard won’t crush the vulnerable radiator fins. It’s not hard mounted to the radiator that reduces the risk of damaging the radiator. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au and retails for $159.95
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Touratech Mudguard Riser

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The original mudguard on the Triumph Tiger 800XC is positioned very close to the front wheel with the standard road rubber. If you fit an off-road tyre like a TKC 80 the gap gets even smaller.

Touratechs riser for the original mudguard on the Triumph Tiger 800XC is easy to fit. It uses a stainless steel adapter and increases the clearance between the tyre and mudguard by 15 mm. The original mudguard doesn’t require any modifications. Available from www.touratech.com.au for $54.10.

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Touratech Side Stand Extension

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Touratech’s side stand base extension for the Triumph Tiger 800 more than doubles the area of the supporting surface. It makes the Tiger much more stable on soft ground.

Stainless steel components and an anodised aluminium sandwich plate combine to give the base extension a cool look. While it does provide a larger foot area it’s not too big to get caught up on logs or rocks. Available from www.touratech.com.au for $50.70.

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Touratech Headlight Protector

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Not only does it protect your headlight from rocks being thrown up in front of you the Touratech headlight protector gives your Tiger a real adventure bike look. The latticework creates a rugged off-road look and considerably modifies the bike’s appearance. As well as being a practical product made from laser-cut black stainless steel. It also features a quick release fastener that lets you easily clip on the headlight protector and detach it again as needed. These are the best on the market and are available from www.touratech.com.au for $181.70

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USB Charger Adaptor

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We love the 3BR Powersports Tapp Lite handlebar mount USB Power Port. It’s perfect for powering and charging your USB accessories including phones, most GPS units, MP3 players and some digital cameras. This model Tapp Lite uses a DIN 4165 plugs that fits straight into the Tigers standard power accessory plug that is the same as the BMW. It has a 6-inch lead and can be mounted easily to the handlebars using the Universal Mounting System. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au for $53.95.

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Unifilter Precleaner

Unifilter

Trying to get to the Triumph paper airfilter element is like a scene out of the Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Unifilter Australia has designed a simple solution creating a pre-cleaner for the Triumph Tiger 800XC. The pre-cleaner replaces the intake snorkel that exits up behind the tank. It simply pushes into the hole in the air box where the intake snorkel attaches. This pre-cleaner is only $24.75 (NU3703) is easy to fit, service and will remove 95% of the dust before it reaches the main filter. Call Unifilter for your nearest dealer.

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Kako Cruise Control

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On long transport sections there’s nothing better than having a cruise control. It holds the throttle at a set level allowing you to relax your throttle hand and help prevent numbness. It uses a friction nut that puts pressure against the grip holding it in position. It reduces rider fatigue and strain on hand and wrist and is very simple to operate, even with heavy winter gloves. Available from www.motorradgarage.com.au for $129.

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Barrett Pipe

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Barrett manufacture affordable precision made exhaust systems that are hand TIG welded and feature a removable tea strainer baffle as well as a unique ribbed billet end cap which is easily removed to simplify repacking. Their slip on cannisters are aluminium, and contain a stainless core surrounded by muffler packing and steel wool. The pipes are fully repairable and replacement parts are available. The slip on unit costs $595 and is available from www.barrettexhausts.com.au.
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Safari Tank

Triumph_Tiger_80_Safari

The Triumph Tiger hums along nicely and it’s born to pull long kays but when you’re on the gas the triple cylinder powerplant tends to get a little thirsty. While the 19 litre tank is enough to cross most fuel intervals it may not be enough for those outback treks especially when the going gets heavy.

Safari Tanks are the world leader in designing and manufacturing large capacity tanks for a range of off-road dirt bikes and adventure bikes that now include the Tiger 800XC. The additional capacity comes from extending the tank lower giving the bike a lower centre of gravity and not increasing bulk.

The tanks are available through Triumph dealers around the country or Safari Tank resellers. For more information call Safari Tanks (03) 5729 5556.

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Triumph Centre Stand

HPS-&-MSS-Tiger

When it comes to big adventure bikes getting up around the 800cc mark it’s no fun when you get a flat and Popgun is no where to be found. Furthermore straddling the Tiger over a log is not that easy especially if you’re faced with changing the tyre yourself.

The best solution is to fit your bike with a centre stand balancing the bike and making it easier to change the front or rear wheel. Make it one of the first factory accessories you fit to the Tiger. Available from Triumph dealers for only $270.00

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Adventure Fog Light Kit

FogLights

Triumphs twin high power halogen 55W fog lamps are just the thing to spread more light on the road. They feature rugged, laser cut alloy shrouds to protect the lamps from most damage and are mounted on a powder coated steel light bar. The kit comes with illuminated push button switching similar to their heated grips switch. Available from your Triumph dealer for $414.

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AltRider Side Stand Foot

altrider-side-stand-enlarger-footThe Triumph Tiger has a very small side stand foot and needs a larger footprint to support the weight of your bike on soft ground. Made from hefty 3.175 mm thick stainless steel, the bottom plate will not bend, loosen, or begin rattling over time. It features a 3D tread that provides traction for your allowing easy deployment of the side stand while still on the bike. It’s also compatible with OEM centerstand, Available for $69.95 from AdventureMoto.com.au

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Handle Bar Risers

Handlebar-Risers

On a long ride it’s important to have a comfortable riding position. The Triumph is better than most at tackling technical sections but for a taller rider the bars can be a bit low.

These handlebar risers are used with original top clamp. It provides 20mm of rise to the bar height without changing of control cables, wiring, or hoses. They blend in with the design of the OEM handlebar clamps and are finished in silver powdercoat. Available for $59 from www.motorradgarage .com.au.

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Triumph Tall Screen

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Like other bikes in its class the Triumph Tiger has a small screen by most standards. There are a few 3rd party screens available but we have to admit the Triumph Tall Screen is a pretty good option. What makes it better than other screens is not just its height but is adjustability of its angle. You can slope it back for a more aerodynamic profile or more upright for greater wind protection and off-road conditions.
Available from your Triumph dealer for $216.00

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Adjustable Screen

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The MadStad Engineering adjustable windshield system for the Triumph Tiger 800 is a patented design that allows some air to flow from up under the screen. This eliminates the vacuum behind the shield, which is what causes most of your turbulence affecting the rider.

It is a must especially for taller riders and you can adjust it to an infinite number of positions whether your tall or short or riding on the highway our off-road. The system doesn’t require any modification to the bike and the screen comes with removable side deflectors for extra protection in colder climates. Available online for $309.00 from www.motorradgarage.com.au.

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Touratech Tank Bag

Tankbag A tank bag is a pretty essential piece of motorcycle luggage and for adventure riders it’s the off-road riders man bag. Touratech produces some of the worlds best quality adventure equipment and have been in the game longer than most.

Their tank bag is made from Teflon-coated Cordura and fits the shape of the Triumph tank matching the design of the Tiger 800. It has waterproof zips on the top cover and both side pockets and an all-round zip lets you increase the bag’s volume from 14 litres to about 20 litres.

The fastening system has two clip-buckles at the front and a Velcro attachment at the back ensures you can quickly take the bag off your bike. For heavy loads or off-road riding, you can also use the supplied straps to secure the bag via its sides. The map pocket, which measures 26 x 28 cm, is included and securely attaches to the tank bag with Velcro. Shoulder straps are included so you can wear the tank bag as a comfortable rucksack. It also has a document compartment inside the top cover with holders for pens or other small objects, and a credit card pouch secured with Velcro. It’s a good investment at $408.30 and is available from Touratech Australia. Go to www.touratech.com.au.

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[span12]Prices, links and availability of parts and accessories may change without notice.[/span12]

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2012 Tiger 800XC

April 17th, 2015

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The 40th Anniversary Finke Desert Expedition Nav Ride

April 6th, 2015

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This year is a special year for the Fink Desert Race as it hits 40 years. It is also Yamaha Motor Company’s 60th anniversary so in the spirit of generosity Yamaha has once again offered to support our grand vision of providing our growing tribe of ADV Riders a classic outback adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Great Dividing Range 2 day Nav Ride

April 6th, 2015

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The RideADV 2 Day Dividing Ride, Mid Coast NSW. This ride starts and finishes in Gloucester NSW with two routes planned for each day Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Touratech Travel Event

April 6th, 2015

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2015 Touratech Travel Event

April 6th, 2015

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Whether you’re an experienced adventure rider or an absolute novice to annual Touratech Travel Event is for you. Based in the Victorian alpine country town of Bright it’s the perfect base for day rides into the mountains. Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Ténéré Tragics

April 4th, 2015

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2015 Ténéré Tragics

April 4th, 2015

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The fifth annual Ténéré Tragics ‘Dividing Range Run’ has been run and done across the Great Dividing Range starting from the New South Wales north coast at Nambucca Heads.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Enduristan TOKI Tool Kit

March 31st, 2015

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With a variety of bikes in the Off Road Explorer fleet we’ve found ourselves with the wrong tools for the wrong bike when you’re stuck out on the trail. Carrying a universal kit that contains enough tools for every single nut and bolt for every bike you may throw a leg over means a lot of weight you don’t need to carry.

Read the rest of this entry »

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New Mid-Size Ténéré

March 9th, 2015

Industry sources have given us a pretty firm hint that a new Ténéré is on the way based on the MT07. Other sources have told us that aftermarket manufacturers have been working on protective hardware for a new Yamaha off-road model for the last twelve months. Word is now that it’s not a matter of if, but when.

[caption id=”attachment_4197″ align=”aligncenter” width=”633″]010_yamaha-xtz-700-1 Motorrad magazines concept pic.[/caption]

 

It’s no secret that we’re a big fan of the Ténéré. The single cylinder big bore adventurer has classic Dakar lines that hark back to the days of the early XTZ660s. With it’s aggressive design lines it looks like a true off-road adventure motorcycle but has suffered from being overweight and under powered compared to other bikes in it’s class. Early Ténérés from the ’83 through to the ’96 featured a number of design and engine upgrades despite keeping the basic XT600 power plant.

However since re-releasing the XT660Z back in 2008 the only changes to the Ténéré has been cosmetic. That’s never been a good sign.

Perhaps that’s because the USA market, who prefer riding water pumps with wheels, have ignored the XT660Z and only chose to import the Super Ténéré despite the moans across many online forums. It looks like change is on the way.YAMAHA-MT-09-TRIPLE-WORLDCROSSER-CONCEPT

For the last 12 months artist impressions have appeared based on the premise that the new MT07 or MT09 will be the foundation of Yamahas new mid-size adventure bike. Looking at the current competition from the Triumph Tiger 800XC and BMW F800GS the MT07 or MT09 seem like a logical choice.

[caption id=”attachment_4196″ align=”aligncenter” width=”955″]2014_MT-07_BWC1_AU_1 The road version of the new Yamaha MT07[/caption]

The new MT07 twin cylinder 655cc with its uneven firing interval and 270-degree crank would certainly be a better performer than the tried old 660cc single in the current Ténéré. Overall it’s a slightly smaller bike in dimensions but the biggest bonus that the MT07 has a dry weight of only 164kg compared to the XT660Z hulking 190kg. We expect that an MT07 version of the Ténéré will be a little heavier with a larger fuel tank and some protective hardware.

It’s expected that the MT07 will be the platform of choice and built to a price point. It’s more likely that it will have a 19 inch front wheel as opposed to a 21 inch rolling stock. I can see a few WR450 frontends getting snapped up on eBay.

It’s a mystery as to when the release will happen. While it may not be a dirt bike riders ideal mount let’s wait before we pass judgement.

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‘83 Ténéré Project

February 21st, 2015

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With Tenere Tragics just around the corner ORE has been preoccupied with our 1983 Tenere XTZ600. While it’s not a full concourse restoration it’s not too far off. Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 GS Safari-Enduro

February 11th, 2015

BMW have announced the 2015 GS Safari-Enduro “The Darling-Murray River Run” to be run on the 10-16 May 2015 starting from Bourke in New South Wales to Victor Harbour in South Australia.

The BMW GS Safari Enduro has been born out of the BMW GS Safaris as a result of demands for more demanding rides from more experienced riders. While the rides still have a high level of backup support the locations are more remote and an overnight stay may be swags instead of hotel rooms,

Bookings for the ride open on Tuesday 17 February. For more information go to www.bmwsafari.com/index/upcoming-events~2015-gs-safari-enduro

Get in early because these rides book out quickly.

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2015 GS Safari-Enduro Booking Opening Soon

February 11th, 2015

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BMW have announced the 2015 GS Safari-Enduro “The Darling-Murray River Run” to be run on the 10-16 May 2015 starting from Bourke in New South Wales to Victor Harbour in South Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Touratech BMW R1200GS Adventure Toolbox

February 6th, 2015

Touratech have just introduced a toolbox for the popular BMW R1200GS/R1200GS Adventure. The Touratech tool box is the ideal solution for the safe storage of small items on your GS.

The optimal utilisation of space on the vehicle allows tools, first-aid kit, breakdown kit and many other useful items to remain on the motorcycle permanently and without interfering.

They are always readily accessible, even when the cases are not mounted.

The 4.2 litre (approx) large storage space is protected against water spray and a large opening makes loading and unloading easy, even when the cases are mounted.

The lid can be removed completely for easier loading, while a safety mechanism prevents the loss of items.

The toolbox was developed specifically for the original BMW case carriers and matches the GS in materials and design. The perfect combination of stainless steel and plastic provides optimal stability and a look that is difficult to beat.

Even if the cases are not mounted, the Touratech toolbox is an absolute eye-catcher!

Details:

Using special clamps, the box can be mounted to the case carrier easily and very quickly. A protection cap on the lock against spray water provides permanent ease of use.

Quality “Made in Germany”

  • lockable and resistant
  • important small items are always readily accessible
  • optimal utilisation of space on the vehicle
  • protected against spray water

Dimensions: 33 x 9.5 x 19.5 cm
Volume: 4.2 litres
Material: plastic, stainless steel

Note: Toolbox for original stainless steel pannier rack BMW
BMW R1200GS from 2004 to 2012
BMW R1200GS Adventure from 2006 to 2012
BMW R1200GS from 2013
BMW R1200GS Adventure from 2014

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2014 WR250R Tenere

February 5th, 2015

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2014 WR250R Tenere

February 5th, 2015

The world is screaming for a lightweight adventure bike. We built a Super Light.

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  • Unifilter Air Cleaner
  • Devol Lowering Link
  • Heated Grips
  • Seat Concepts Low Seat
  • LED Lights
  • GYTR Muffler
  • Rear Disk Guard
  • Carbon Fibre Guard
  • Master Cylinder Guard
  • Rego Plate Holder

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[custom_list]

  • VPS Handguards
  • DIY Power Cable
  • Rear Rack
  • Rally Fairing
  • Tall Screen
  • Giant Loop Saddle Bag
  • Dunlop 606 Tyres
  • B&B Bash Plate
  • Headlight Protector
  • GPS Mount

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Photos courtesy of Wilkinson Photography

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Yamaha WR250R Tenere Project Bike

February 5th, 2015

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Lightweight Adventurer

At a time when manufacturers are going bigger and better we’ve gone for lighter and leaner. If you are serious about exploring every corner of your adventure riding world then the Yamaha WR250R Tenere will have you explore the far reaches of where you ride.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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Suck It In

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It’s just logistic that if you’re going to improve exhaust flow from the engine then it makes sense to improve airflow into the engine. On our last WR250R project bike we drilled several 20mm holes. We’ve then fitted an Australian Made Unifilter. This Unifilter element is a dual-stage filter that’s easy to maintain for long and dusty rides, with Unifilter recommending Filter Fix foam air filter treatment when servicing the polyurethane foam element. For more information go to the www.uniflow.com.au web site or contact Unifilter on (02) 4322 2007.
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Lowering Link

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The WR250R is a tall puppy when it comes to a seat height of 930mm… yikes! When you start loading it up for adventure rides that’s a high centre of gravity that nobody wants. To get the seat height down we fitted a Seat Concepts low seat but to lower the mass of the bike and its load we’ve gone for a DeVol anodised aluminium lowering link which will lower the bike another 38mm. The DeVol link is lightweight and stronger than stock and our experience in the past has been that the lower centre of gravity improves handling, especially when things get a bit technical. The DeVol link is priced at $199 and available from Ballards Off-Road – call (02) 4731 1210 or check out www.ballards.cc
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Heated Grips

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Adventure riding is fundamentally different from enduro riding with long blacktop transport sections from your driveway to your first off-road section that may be up to two hundred kilometres away. It will always start in the early hours and single digit temperatures will always take its toll on your extremities. Your first option is heated grips, as the hands will suffer first. While there are a couple of heated grips on the market we’ve gone with Heat Demon Heated Grips that are a very economical $49.95. Available from adventuremoto.com.au. They’ll be very handy as we approach the cooler months.
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Glenda LED Motorcycle Light Kit

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These 12 watt, 800 lumen per light on high (each), LED Glendas make your motorcycle more visible to traffic during the day and at night providing a wide pattern of light adding to side illumination. These 2 inch diameter lights come with a digital dimmer to adjust the amount of light produced. I know from my own experience that lights like the Glenda are a good choice to help keep you safe and more visible.
During the day or night they provide a wide pattern of light, which adds to side illumination. They are a combination of a fog and visibility light meant to make you more conspicuous. Made in the USA the Glenda makes you safer and more visible and at seven onces in weight each a good choice for the lightweight WR250R. For more information and your nearest dealer go to XenonOz at www.xenonoz.com.au[/span6]

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Muffle It

IMG_6704
We know muffler systems on larger bikes can weigh as much as 11 kilos. On today’s bikes aftermarket exhausts systems are becoming more about weight saving than performance enhancing. The stock WR250R muffler is a weighs in at 4.3kg and it contains the EXUP (Exhaust Ultimate Power Valve) butterfly valve, used for noise suppression, in unison with the ICS (Intake Control System).
This GYTR muffler excludes the EXUP, but still has the O2 sensor fitting port. The GYTR muffler weighs just 2kg and being a GYT-R genuine accessory fits perfectly. You can remove the EXUP operation cables but the EXUP servo motor needs to stay in place with the power plug connected, otherwise you’ll have an engine warning light on the dash. Needless to say power improvement with the GYTR muffler is impressive across the range. The other bonus is that the WR250R is now blessed with a sweet exhaust note. Available from the Yamaha Y-Shop. yshop.yamaha-motor.com.au.[/span6]

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Rear Disc Guard

SharkTooth
With a bike as nimble as the WR250R, you will always be tempted to take on the most challenging of trails. On trails like this, littered with rocks, logs and obstacles, the chance of damage is high, especially to low-slung components, such as the rear brake disc. To avoid a dinged disc, we fitted a GYTR rear disc guard. Anodised blue, it’s a nice piece of bling that performs a serious function. The disc guard is priced at $187.50 and is available from Yamaha dealers or the yshop.yamaha-motor.com.au web site.[/span6]

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Carbon Fibre Guard

CF-Guard_0011
Call it bling factor if you must but this carbon fibre rear brake caliper guard is the bees knees. The durable, lightweight Carbon Fibre design helps protect your rear brake caliper and protect it from the risk of hits. Whilst it’s only a small part it helps increase protection without adding weight. Available from yshop.yamaha-motor.com.au for $78.56.
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USB Charger

DSC_0061
We’ve grown to become big fans of the 3BR Powersports Tapp Lite handlebar mount USB Power Port, which we’ve run on a number of bikes now. It’s perfect for powering and charging USB accessories including phones, most GPS units, MP3 players and some digital cameras. This Tapp Lite can be mounted easily to the handlebars using the Universal Mounting System. A tethered seal cap protects the power port from dust and water.
Priced at $55.95 it’s available from www.adventuremoto.com.au.
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Master Cylinder Guard and Rego Plate Holder

bboffroad_0020
If you prefer aussie made products then check out the B&B Off-Road rear rego plate hanger. The backing for the number plate is the full width of the plate, which helps reduce the chance of accidental bending. It also hangs a little lower and at a steeper angle, making it easier to read and less likely to attract attention from the boys in blue.
We’ve also fitted a Master Cylinder Guard is made from 2mm 5052 marine grade alloy and CNC machined in one piece for strength. The guard is supplied with all necessary mountings and stainless bolts. The cover protects the rear brake master cylinder and is easy to install. The Rear Plate Hanger is priced at $65 and the rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard is only $38 and is available from B&B Off-Road on (03) 5335 8099.
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Rear axle socket

IMG_2836
On the WR250R as with the XT660Z Tenere to rear axle nut is a big bugger and requires you to carry an additional large spanner outside of most standard tool kit pieces. Being slightly recessed also makes access with a ring or open ended spanner a little limited which results in damaging the surface surrounding the nut. While it does add a little bit of weight it makes sense to carry a 27mm size socket. From there you just need to find a simple solution within your existing kit as opposed to carrying a long heavy wrench to turn it.
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GPS Mount

DSC_0235
When we gave the brief to Safari Tanks on the WR’s rally fairing underlined and in bold caps was the word ‘Rigidity’ and the guys at Safari Tanks delivered. Like or previous WR450FB APC Rally Special the fairing is mounted off the Safari Tank. However without a fairing mount supported from the frame early versions tended to flex at bit. Robin and his design team added more angles and ridges to this design giving it great structural strength. The result means that we can confidently fit a GPS mount to the dash panel of the fairing. We adapted a Touratech Handlebar GPS Mount and fitted our old faithful Garmin Zumo 550 in a Touratech GPS Mount. For added strength we fabricated a bit of 2mm aluminium plate behind the fiberglass panel to spread the stress on the panel. Touratech have a few GPS mount options so check them out on www.touratech.com.au.
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Headlight protector

DSC_0261
One of the most vulnerable and most expensive (for what it is) is your headlight. After cracking my XTZ660 headlight lense I’ve realised what an expensive nightmare replacement can be. One of the simplest and most cost effective way is to fit a 3mm polycarbonate headlight shield. This is pretty much an easy DIY job. You can buy a small sheet from your local Perspex signage store, cut it out with a jig saw, clean up the edges and use some adhesive Velcro dots to attach it to your headlight. Simple, cheap and easy to install. In our case we fabricated a couple of aluminium brackets for a neater finish making it easy to remove and keep clean.
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DIY Cable

IMG_2852
For providing power to the Garmin Zumo 550 I use a 3BR cable kit (42.86) includes two mounting screws for attaching the cable to the ZUMO mounting cradle. That combined with a Baryl™ Panel Mount Socket and cable ($ 40.45) both from AdventureMoto.com.au you can remove the GPS cradle and all at your overnight stops. However swapping the whole kit over to another bike is painful especially with wires routed under the tank. Close to the head of the Baryl cable is an SAE connection and to save purchasing a complete cable assembly we made our own cable from battery terminal to SAE connection using components from our local electronics store. It’s a great solution when you have more than one bike in your fleet.
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[span6]

Barrett Racks

WR-BarrettRacks
If you really want to expand your luggage options then go for a set of Barrett Products Universal Racks. These racks are made from steel and are powdercoated black. The Universal racks priced at $325 are designed to suit fitting with a standard exhaust and suit some hard luggage and soft luggage such as Wolman pannier bags. They also feature a brace for a Rotopax mount which means you can increase your fuel capacity or carry water. Contact Barrett Products on 02 4567 2072 or go to www.barrettexhausts.com.au.[/span6]

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ProMoto Billet Rack

WR250R-Rack
There are not many options when it comes to rear luggage racks for the WRR. The neatest rear rack on the market is the Pro Moto Billet Cargo Rack which are very strong and functional. The rack is CNC machined from 1/2 inch thick plate made of 6061 aluminum and are then hard anodized for durability and are fitted with stainless steel. The racks come with instructions and all necessary hardware is included. Promoto Billet is now available from AdventureMoto.com.au. Only $130 and you can order online or phone 1300 46 66 86[/span6]

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Rally Fairing and Tall Screen

DSC_0264
We’ve been talking about the idea of a rally fairing since our last WR250R project bike in issue 34. Our concept image of the WR250R Rally fairing really got everybody’s attention and all of a sudden the pressure was on to make our concept a reality. We made the call to the team at Safari Tanks that created the WR450F ralle fairing and their design team swung into action. The guys at Safari are a big fan of the WRR and have one in their fleet so they were straight onto it. The end result is very neat and they are also producing WR250R tanks with inserts so fitment is a breeze. The fibreglass fairing is available for $295. Call Safari Tanks on 03 5729 5556
While the Safari fairing provides excellent weather protection for it’s size a taller rider will still feel a little exposed. That’s why we fitted a Screens For Bikes unit designed for the Yamaha WR250F. The original fairing uses a WR450F number plate so the screen bolts straight on. Using cast acryllic (perspex) for manufacturing, offer a range of screens in a variety of thicknesses, heights and tints. The Yamaha WR250F screen is available in Clear, a variety of tints and Solid White or black. The screen will set you back only $132 plus $16 for shipping anywhere in Australia. Available online from www.screensforbikes.com.au.
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Giant Loop Coyote Saddle Bag

Coyote
The last thing you want to do is weigh down the WRR with extra metal bling when our ultra light, small bore fighter will benefit from any weight saving. The rackless 2014 Giant Loop Saddle Bags is manufactured in the USA it straps on to small dirt bikes and dual sport motorcycles like the WRR and can strap onto the sub frame or passenger pegs. The bag uses fender hooks or included webbing loop for easier, more flexible adjustment. The Coyote includes set of 3 roll-top 100% waterproof fitted Dry Pod liners with a total of 39 litres capacity. The bag also includes a Hot Springs Heat Shield made of a new laser-cut aluminium. The Coyote has a number of other features and comes with a limited lifetime warranty. The Coyote Saddle Bag is the original and the best when it comes to rackless saddle bag systems. Beware of imitations. Available online from Adventuremoto.com.au for $465.00
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VPS Barkbusters

IMG_6709Once we’ve got this baby finished we’ll be putting it to the test starting with Clubby hitting the Victorian High Country and I just know Clubby’s going to crash. That’s why we’ve gone straight to Barkbuster VPS handguards to protect the WR250R controls. As a part of the styling exercise we’ve gone for white plastics with white adjustable wind deflectors, which has given it the illusion of a larger single plastic guard. Needless to say the plastics are available in a wide range of colours to match most popular bikes, the VPS Barkbusters cost $97.95 while the mounting hardware is $39.95. You can get Barkbusters at bike shops everywhere or check out the www.barkbusters.net web site for more information.
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Dunlop 606 Knobbies

The standard dual sport tyres are very road orientated but for aggressive off road riding you can’t go past a long-wearing Dunlop 606. Ask anyone on a dual sports online forum and the majority will recommend this tyre when you’re up for a full blown knobby tyre. They are a great alrounder but be warned that if you plan to do a lot lot of road miles the 606’s tend to get very noisy on the blacktop. We’re running a Dunlop D606 120/90-17 on the rear and a 90/90-21 on the front. Available from most motorcycle tyre dealers.
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B&B Bash Plate

We tend to armour up our project bikes a little more than most. There’s plenty of protection products available that look the business. However, poor choice of mounting points have been known to increase the chance of engine case damage. We like the B&B Off Road bash plate is made from 4mm aluminium 5083 plate and is highly polished and comes with all the components needed for fitting. The plate also comes with rubber strips, which help eliminate vibration against the frame. The B&B Off-Road bashplate is priced at $177 and available direct from B&B Off-Road by calling (03) 5335 8000 or get online and check out the www.bboffroad.com.au web site.
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Dualsport Australia Navigation DVD Vol. 2

February 4th, 2015

Dual sport Australia has released their second adventure riding routes DVD. It joins up with the routes from Dualsports Australia DVD Volume 1 at Moonan Flat the route heads north across to the west to Narrabri and has several routes that go as far south as Bathurst.

It’s a total of 2,500 kilometres of scenic back roads perfect for adventure riding. The DVD GPS track log data (GPX and KML) for the GPS tech heads but if you’re old school then the DVD also has 60mm route sheets you can slide into your tank bag or mount in your nav box.

It also contain food, fuel and accommodation info so planning your ride is quicker and easier. All the hard work has been done for you.

The disk is PC compatible but a reasonable tech savvy individual with a Mac will be able to find the data they need. The disk author also provides contact details for technical support. For only $29.95 you have to add this to the collection.

Web: dualsportaustralia.com.au
Contact: dualsportaustralia@gmail.com

DSA-Vol2-Back
DSA-Vol2-1

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Touratech Dakar™ Backpack

December 1st, 2014

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Following the tremendous success of their Companero and the Touratech rucksack hydration pack, Touratech have introduced their latest backpack.
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MAD TV Bridle Track Ride

November 19th, 2014

Back in 2007 the Bridle Track was our very first adventure ride for Trail Zone Magazine that appear on Trail Zone ‘In The Zone 1′ DVD. Our good friend Dave Darcy from MAD TV has revisited this classic ride and as expected it doesn’t disappoint.

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RideADV Christmas 2 Day Navigation Ride 2014

November 7th, 2014

Rideadv.com.au are hosting two awesome days of central west riding at it’s very best. This ride starts and finishes in Blackheath NSW with two routes planned for each day being a “standard” (suitable for larger bikes and those riders wanting spectacular but with a less technical feel) and a “special” (suitable for riders on smaller bore bikes or competent riders on larger bore bikes and those wanting a little more spice on the ride… you can change each night if you wish, just to make it interesting). Both routes will have sweep crew and vehicle support. Note, a minimum 250km fuel range is required on this ride.

Accommodation on the ride is Pub, Motel Style or camping. Hey! It’s your ride… your adventure

Day 1 Saturday

7.30am leave, Blackheath to Neville. Sign out is under the Yamaha quick shade in the car park of the Gardners Inn. (Please do not depart before this time). Sign in is at the Neville Siding. You must sign out and back in after each days riding. Please sign in before you head to your accommodation. There are two routes being a Standard and a Special. Details to be released after the prerun.

Overnight accommodation is at the Neville Siding, www.nevillesiding.com.au/index.html

You need to tell them you are part of the RideADV group when you book. Neville Pub will be putting on dinner, BBQ and bistro food. The pub is about 200m down the road (The pub doesn’t have accommodation) If you wish to camp, camping is at the Neville Siding as well. GPS loading* will start at 5pm and riders briefing will be at the Neville Siding at 6.30pm. All riders are required to attend the Riders Briefing.

Day 2 Sunday

7.30am leave, Neville to Blackheath. Sign out is under the Yamaha quick shade alongside on site at the Neville Siding (Please do not depart before this time). Sign in is the car park Gardners Inn Blackheath. There are two routes being a Standard and a Special. Details to be released after the prerun.

For any further details or to let us know you are attending please contact Greg Yager on 0499 089715 or email at info@rideadv.com.au as numbers for this ride will be limited and you will need to get your name on the list. Entry forms will be emailed to those that email their interest and on the web site soon.

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KTM reveals all-new 1050 Adventure

November 5th, 2014

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The 1050 Adventure is the new less powerful, lighter and smaller capacity brother to the big bore 1190 and 1290 adventure tourers with the view to replacing the popular 990. Hardcore KTM 990 fans were pretty unhappy when KTM discontinued the 990.

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Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS

November 5th, 2014

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Well the good news is the Kawasaki Versys is not nearly as ugly as it used to be. The Versys has revised styling on the bike’s front end. It certainly had a face that only a mother would love and looks as though it’s taken it’s styling queues from the Ducati Multstrada.

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Hondas True Adventure

November 4th, 2014

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We had two very reliable sources tell us the reincarnation of the Africa Twin was going to be a reality. Our sources tell us they were due to unveil at Intermot but test riders weren’t quite happy with the prototype saying it was too heavy.

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BMW S 1000 XR at EICMA 2014

November 4th, 2014

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The new BMW S 1000 XR has finally been unveiled at the EICMA 2014 in Milan for the first time.

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Triumph Tiger 800 at EICMA 2014

November 4th, 2014

Triumph has showcased their newly updated Triumph Tiger 800 at EICMA.

It will be available in 2015 in four versions to dealers. A more road-oriented XR and an off-road XC. From what we understand there will be adventure-equipped versions the XRX and XCX.

More to details come.

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R.I.P. Trail Zone Magazine. Long Live trailzone.com.au

November 4th, 2014

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When I was just about to publish the new revamped offroadexplorer.com Enews about a month ago the phone rang and it was Trail Zone Magazine Editor Andrew Clubb ringing to tell me that TZ Issue 56, which he had just sent to press, was to be the last. Read the rest of this entry »

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2015 Ducati Multistrada at EICMA

November 4th, 2014

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We tested the Ducati Multistrada back in Trail Zone Magazine Issue 33 January 2011 and found that while brutal in the power department the electronics package made it manageable in good conditions. In other words it will get you down a dirt road and back providing it doesn’t get too sloppy.

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KTM 1290 Super Adventure 2015

November 4th, 2014

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KTM reckons its 1290 KTM Super Adventure has set a new benchmark in the adventure travel market. The Super Adventure’s powerful KTM engine with 160hp from its 1,301cc, liquid cooled, V twin is armed with a heap of safety and electronics packages that behind all the marketing speak is designed to reduce the chance of seriously injuring yourself.

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2014 Ride To The Snowy Ride

November 3rd, 2014

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Our annual TZ and ORE supported Ride to the Snowy Ride got underway and Day One was an absolute cracker. Our group of 17 riders were blessed with absolutely perfect conditions as we headed west from Mittagong to Taralga via Wombeyan Caves. The ride is in support of the annual Steven Walter charity ride that raises funds for research into childhood cancer.

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2014 Breakfast Torque

October 27th, 2014

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Breakfast Torque exists primarily to provide effective information and education, sharing of resources, and build a sense of motorcycle safety into the motorcycling community.

Breakfast Torque is based in the Sutherland Shire which just happens to be where the ORE head office is located. This year the event expanded to Waratah Oval to cater for the growing numbers of motorcyclist in Sydneys south. Read the rest of this entry »

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The BMW Motorrad Adventure Begins Here

October 2nd, 2014

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BMW Motorrad is heading toward the end of the year with fantastic ride away offers on selected class leading GS models.

This is the perfect opportunity to begin epic summer adventures on the G 650 GS, F 700 GS and F 800 GS.

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Shark Explorer R

October 2nd, 2014

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Shark has come up with a whole new approach to the ultimate dual sports helmet called the Shark Explorer R. I often seen many adventure riders commuting on their bikes wearing regular full-face helmets. To me that just looks weird but it makes sense. At highway speeds on city roads, who needs a peak?

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Enduristan Adventure Luggage

October 2nd, 2014

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Enduristan’s ADVenture Soft Luggage system is designed with serious riding in mind.  What stands out with Enduristan over others is their design strengths, including frameless mounting system for their panniers, the integration of ROK Straps to minimize movement and all weather construction.

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Bags-Connection Rear Dry Bag 620

October 2nd, 2014

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There’s nothing more important to an adventure bike riders kit than a 100% water proof dry bag. The new SW Motech Dry Bag  has a capacity of 62 to 72 litres capacity and can be easily strapped onto most bikes with its stable 4-point attachment system. The bag comes with 4 mounting straps so you can mount the bag without having to use any additional luggage straps.

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Klim Induction Jacket

October 1st, 2014

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With the hot Austtralian climate the new Klim Induction  jacket will be the choice of many aussie adventure riders.

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Faggotter Back To Back Safari Wins

October 1st, 2014

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Active8 Yamaha’s Rodney Faggotter has won the 2014 Australian Safari after the final days competition was wrapped up earlier this afternoon in, Kalbarri, Western Australia.

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New Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

October 1st, 2014

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Following on from the introduction of V-Strom 1000 ABS, Suzuki proudly presents the newest line of motorcycle in its V-Strom adventure-touring range. 12 years after the birth of the V-Strom series, the V-Strom 650XT cross-touring stretches the riding horizons.

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Ride to the Snowy Ride

September 24th, 2014

Our Ride To The Snowy Ride

Clubby and I are inviting riders to join us for the 2014 Ride To The Snowy Ride. While the ride with us is free, the condition of entry is that you must be an official entrant in the 2014 Snowy Ride. We have a new route this year that will run over two days.

What is The Snowy Ride?

The Snowy Ride raises money for the Steve Walter Foundation for research into childhood cancer. This years event takes place on 1st November 2014. The ride attracts up to 3000 bikes each year and the route includes off road sections for adventure riders. When you enter the event as an adventure rider you are supplied with a different map that include the dirt road maps.

The route takes in existing checkpoints and there’s plenty of time to take in the sights.

The Ride To The Snowy Ride Route

This year will be a two day ride with an overnight stay in Tumut. The ride will start from McDonalds Mittagong, Bowral Road, Mittagong. For those travelling from further a field than Sydney there is plenty of accommodation to choose from in the Southern Highlands. All riders must attend the pre-ride briefing in the carpark at 8.30am. A route sheet will be handed out at the riders meeting.

Riders will ride at their own pace, via the optional route instruction trip notes to the end of the first day at Tumut. From there you’ll be free to ride to your own accommodation in Tumut. Day two will be a shorter ride giving you plenty of time to get to your accommodation in the Snowy and then join us for post ride drinks in Thredbo.

A safe fuel range of 250km is required and all riders must be fully self-sufficient with tools, tubes, spares etc. You must ensure your bike is prepared for an overnight ride through remote terrain.

 Tumut Accomodation

You are responsible for your own accommodation and should have your Friday night accomodation already organised and for your participation in The Snowy Ride on Saturday 1st November. In Tumut on the 30th October the crew will be staying at the Best Western Motel Farrington, 71/73 Capper St, Tumut NSW 2720, (02) 6947 1088. Twin rooms are available for $120 and single rooms for $115 per night. Please let them know you are on the Trail Zone Magazine Ride to the Snowy Ride. Accommodation is also available at the Amaroo Motel (02) 6947 7200

The Riding

The ride via the optional route instruction trip notes will include a wide range of highways, tar roads, gravel roads, back roads and fire-trails. This route will be adventure bike-friendly and is an especially good one for riders getting into adventure riding but given the variables of weather, you must be prepared for a range of surface conditions and it is appropriate you select your tyres and tyre pressures accordingly. There will be no support vehicle on this ride so please ensure that you carry adequate puncture repair tools and tubes and spares.

We strong advise that you have a Spot Tracker or similar on you for this ride. If possible please ensure that you have a contingency plan in case of a breakdown to get picked up. We will have our two sweep riders, Clive and Heath, on the ride to help you with any difficulties.

Trip Notes

Trip notes will be supplied in hard copy paper format, thus it is suggested you use a tank bag with clear top map reader pocket so as to easily view the trip notes.

A word from the ride co-ordinators: We love mapping out great riding and turning on good times for our fellow riders, but we don’t want to lose our shirts doing it. So please digest the legal ramifications of participating in this ride as detailed on the Registration Form, discuss these with your loved ones and your legal team, and then make your own informed decision over your participation.

The Snowy Ride

The Snowy Ride is a motorcycle event run annually in the Alpine Region of NSW with the aim of involving motorcycle riders from all over Australia to raise money for Childhood Cancer Research.

It is also an opportunity for riders to enjoy a weekend away with their friends and family and to ride some of Australia’s best and most picturesque roads.

Event Background

The first Snowy Ride was launched in 2001 as a request from Steven Walter, a young man who lost his fight against cancer. Steve loved motorcycle riding and asked that a charity motorcycle ride be organised to raise funds for cancer research and cancer care, “So that one day no other kid will have to go through what I’ve been through”.

Supporting The Snowy Ride

The ORE ‘Ride To The Snowy’ is our way of supporting the Steve Walter Foundation by encouraging adventure riders to participate in the event by conducting an off-road ride to the Snowy Mountains. In 2009 offroadexplorer.com surveyed the Snowy Mountains and set out the official Snowy Ride off-road course that includes check points in the event. These routes are marked in your Snowy Ride map if you registered as an adventure bike rider.

We’ll be rapt to see a full ride and plenty of adventure riders out there enjoying their machines. So gear up, get ready and we look forward to seeing you there!

– Russ and Clubby

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September 22nd, 2014

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Garmin Zumo 590

September 20th, 2014

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The new Zumo 590 is Garmins new premium GPS Motorcycle Navigator. It features a 5 inch dual-orientation, sunlight-readable, glove-friendly touchscreen display. The GPS handles hands-free phone control and spoken directions from your in-helmet microphone via its Bluetooth® technology. If you’re into your tunes it has an MP3 player, iPod control and Pandora on the display.

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2015 BMW S1000XR Spy Shots

September 4th, 2014

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Cycle World published what they say are spy photos of what they think is a new BMW Adventure Touring machine.

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Cool Tube for QUICK-LOCK EVO Side Racks by SW-Motech

September 3rd, 2014

This great tool and spare parts tube offers safe storage space while you are on the road. It’s made from robust plastic and is fitted with a rubber sealing inside the cap and mounts to the inner side of the side carriers. Side Cases do not need to be taken off frames when removing tool tube. It’s dimensions are 30 cm wide x 8.5 cm high and includes a tube with screw-on lid, all mounting parts and mounting instructions for only $69.Molt5H_LkXDDeXu7nmBIWjiCn4bAF29MvfwNjQTe4CA,eNm7oJ77wWlHKaKCVhCDaFwDhMA5v0SRBfh_cQ9eXmY

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Barrett Yamaha WR250R Luggage Racks

September 2nd, 2014

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You might not think so but there are plenty of luggage options out there for lightweight adventure bikes.

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August 27th, 2014

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Scorpion Rally Tyres Chosen for V-Strom Press Test

August 27th, 2014

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The Pirelli Scorpion Rally in sizes of 110/80-19 for the front and 150/70-17 at the rear are the tyres of choice for the latest Press Test of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 in Australia.

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Horizons Unlimited Events

August 20th, 2014

Horizons Unlimited Events are probably the most down to earth and informative events around the world.

Their annual events around the globe are a great way to get together and learn the first thing about motorcycle adventure travel especially if you’re planning an epic overseas trip. Horizons Unlimited events always feature guest speakers that have been there and done that.

Check out your closest Horizons Unlimited dates here.

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BMW Safari Registrations Now Open

August 19th, 2014

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BMW Motorrad is excited to announce that bookings have now opened for the BMW TS and GS Safaris to be held in November this year.

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Horizons Unlimited New South Wales

August 17th, 2014

The event is taking place from Friday 31st October to Sunday 2nd November 2014 at Riverwood Downs Resort, in the foothills of Barrington Tops World Heritage Wilderness Area, NSW.

We are organising an exciting range of inspirational speakers and educational workshops.

Arrive early on the Friday (after 12 pm) and make it a great weekend! There will be presentations and workshops starting Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.

As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventures from around the world, you’ll get the low-down on preparing for your journey, navigation, first-aid, photography, filming and a host of other essential topics. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there’s something for everyone.

More detailed schedule will be posted here 1 week before the event, and will be posted at the event, but is subject to change.

For more information go to the Horizons Unlimited web site.

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Horizons Unlimited Victoria

August 17th, 2014

The event is taking place from Friday, Oct 24 to Sunday, Oct 26, 2014.

As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventure from around the world, you’ll get the low-down on preparing for your journey. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there’s something for everyone.

Friday - Meet and greet. Registration opens 2:00 pm. Presentations starting at 6:30 pm. Lunch and Dinner will be available at the Football Club or self-cater.

Saturday - Presentations, demos, tech sessions, forums/discussions starting at 9:00 am until 9:00 pm. At the Football Club. Breakfast by Lions Club or self-cater. Lunch by Primary School or self-cater.

Saturday night - Social meal (at the Bunyip Hotel, short walk from the camping area). We are planning on booking the hotel out, so please indicate when checking in whether you want to have a meal (it is a good quality pub meal).

Sunday - Ride-outs - 2 to pick from if weather permits.

More detailed schedule will be available online a week before the event, and will be posted at the event. Note: Schedule is always subject to change!

For more information go to the Horizons Unlimited web site.

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Horizons Unlimited Perth

August 17th, 2014

The event is taking place from Friday 10th October to Sunday 12th October 2014 at Fairbridge Village. The Village is a nationally heritage-listed town site operated by a major youth charity, and has convenient proximity to Perth.

We are organising an exciting range of inspirational speakers and educational workshops.

Arrive early on the Friday (after 12 pm) and make it a great weekend! There will be presentations and workshops starting Friday afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday morning.

As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventures from around the world, you’ll get the low-down on preparing for your journey, navigation, first-aid, photography, filming and a host of other essential topics. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there’s something for everyone.

More detailed go to the Horizons Unlimited web site.

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Horizons Unlimited Queensland

August 17th, 2014

The event is taking place from Friday, Oct 3 to Monday Oct 6, 2014.

The Registration Tent will open for check-ins at 1 pm on Friday, Oct 3. HU Film Festival from 2 pm. Meet and greet from 4 to 6 pm. Dinner from 6 pm, and the first presentations beginning at 7 pm. Last presentations will be Sunday night.

There will be slide shows and tech clinics on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Come early and make it a great weekend! We recommend riding on Friday and Monday, and participating in the presentations and clinics in the evenings and Saturday and Sunday.

As well as hearing inspiring stories of overlanding adventure from around the world, you’ll get the low-down on preparing for your journey, navigation, first-aid, photography, filming and a host of other essential topics. Whatever your past experience or future plans may be, there’s something for everyone.

Monday morning - after breakfast, repeat presentations may be scheduled depending on presenter availability, demand and numbers of presentations.

More detailed schedule will be posted online 1 week before the event.

More detailed go to the Horizons Unlimited web site.

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Ride Events Update

August 17th, 2014

We’ve been scanning the calendar and added some new events to our Adv Events section. They Include:

 Check them out.

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Tony Kirby Memorial Ride

August 17th, 2014

Tony Kirby was a larrikin, a bush poet and an adventurer. He was a one-time editor of Australasian Dirt Bike and the founder of SideTrack Magazine, Tony Kirby, passed away on December 17 2010 after a tough battle with motor neuron disease. He was as far as ADV riders concerned, a national Treasure. Most of all he was a great bloke and called it as he saw it.

‘TK’, as he was affectionately known, had a great following within all spheres of the motorcycle industry, and his knowledge of the Australian bush was just about unparalleled. As one magazine was quoted on his passing away on December 17. 2010; there was not a fire trail, back road or track in Australia that he hadn’t traversed, this was why SideTrack became such a popular publication from the moment it was launched in 1995.

TK was instrumental in the formation of the Dual Sport Motorcycle Riding Association (DSMRA), which aims are to keep riding areas open and to bring like-minded riders together. His original Bridge to Bridge (The Yamaha Bridge to Bridge Imperative) was put together with YAMAHA Australia’s support in 1997. It was a five-day ride adventure ride and covered 1700 kms. There were 49 starters, two 4WD and a truck to support the ride. The ride then cost $450.00 plus fuel and camping fees.

RIDE ADV was asked to put together and run a memorial ride to honor TK. We felt the best way to honor TK was to produce a ride he would have been proud to be part of. In respect to TK we have consulted with some of his mates who were on his original Bridge to Bridge.

The Tony Kirby Memorial ride will also start under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It will be a six-day ride kicking off on Sunday the 7th of September and cover closer to 2500kms ending in Brisbane on the 13th of September. It will be a GPS Navigation ride and still only cost you $450.00 if you ride the whole event or $250.00 for three days (Sydney to Nambucca or Nambucca to Brisbane). You will also need to allow for fuel and camping/accommodation fees. We hope to get over 50 riders. We will also have 2-3 4WD and a Truck plus sweeps and lead riders to run the track each day.

Once again with the support of YAMAHA Australia and the industry in general and specifically the RIDE ADV team, the Bridge to Bridge is a reality.

For more information on the TONY KIRBY MEMORIAL – BRIDGE TO BRIDGE RIDE contact Greg Yager at rideadvau@gmail.com or on 0499 089 715. Or head to the www.rideADV.com.au website.

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2014 Australian Grand Prix

August 17th, 2014

This year’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island will again showcase the world’s best Moto GP riders and many manufacturers will be there displaying products including Touratech Australia.

Adventure rider Charlie Boorman will be there to share his experiences from on and off the beaten track, including incredible behind-the-scenes stories from his award winning TV series, ‘Long Way Round’ and ‘Long Way Down’ alongside Ewan McGregor and ‘Race To Dakar’, ‘By Any Means’ and ‘Extreme Frontiers’. Ewan who?!

Be a the look out for off road adventure rides to the island. If any pop up chances are you’ll see them here.

 

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Troy Bayliss Melbourne MOTO EXPO

August 17th, 2014

OffRoadExplorer.com and Trail Zone Magazine will be at the all-new MOTO EXPO, to be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds from November 28-30.

Presented by Troy Bayliss Events, the expo will showcase the latest in bikes and industry products, and include three days of live demonstrations.

Once again Trail Zone Magazine will be offering show special magazine subscriptions which instantly qualifies you for their ‘Choose Your Ride’ subscriber competition.

See you there.

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2015 Touratech Travel Event

August 17th, 2014

Touratech Australia’s third annual Travel Event will be conducted again in 2015, with the three-day event held from March 20-22.

Based in the north east Victorian alpine town of Bright, the event has proved to be a big hit in the past. For 2015 there’s a new program, new ride locations and exciting new information sessions. Places are limited.

The cost is $645, and includes three-nights accommodation, all meals (breakfast, lunch and diner), and all events over the three days.

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Classic Motorcycle Annual Show Day

August 16th, 2014

The Classic Enthusiasts Motorcycle Club of NSW is having its Annual Show Day on Sunday 21 September.

It’s at Cooper Street Reserve Engadine and it is free to the public.

For more information go to www.cemcc.org.au or contact Bernie Eather on 0421 865 447

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KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Low Flying

August 12th, 2014

Chris Birch makes a KTM 1190 R look as light as a feather.

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Touratechs New Adventure Dry Bag Line

August 12th, 2014

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Touratech’s new Adventure Dry Bags are extreme-duty, waterproof travel bags designed specifically to withstand the rigors of hard-core adventure motorcycle riding -not repurposed whitewater rafting, canoeing or camping gear.

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BMW Safari Enduro Video Trailer

August 12th, 2014

BMW GS Safari-Enduro 2014 hailed as the ultimate adventure across the top end. Check out this awesome video trailer.

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BMW GS Safari Enduro DVD Trailer

August 8th, 2014

Check out the preview trailer of the BMW GS Safari Enduro DVD Trailer.

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Trail Zone Magazine #55

August 7th, 2014

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Trail Zone Issue #55: On The Shelves Next Week

The latest issue of Trail Zone #55 has just gone out in the mail to subscribers, soAustralia Post will start delivering it to mail boxes all around the country (and overseas!) from tomorrow. Check out the latest adventure Bike accessories and news in the Off Road Explorer column.

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Off Road Explorer Upgrade is Complete

August 7th, 2014

Well it’s taken a few months but stage one of our upgrade is complete. Stage one you say? Well yeah, there will be upgrades and new features added in over time. Not bells and whistles just to make things look cool but functions that are actually practical and get you enjoying the thing you love most and that’s riding. If you got that answer wrong then you’re on the wrong web site.

One of the things I’m most excited about is that the new design is compatible with mobile devices like iPhones and iPads so you can catch up anytime, anywhere with mobile reception. There’s also our Facebook page which we update from time to time. We also have a Twitter account but who the hell knows how to use that?

While we are mostly an adventure bike touring site we’re pretty much into any bike that likes being off road. So you can expect to see other members of the dirt bike family including vinduro. It’s no secret we like our old adventure bikes so why shouldn’t that include some vintage enduro classics.

So let’s take a look around. First there’s the usual suspects - the Blog. This contains all the news we author and new products we use so you’ll get a more down to earth point of view. It will also contain posts for each of our departments but you’ll also find a few old unedited yarns from past issues of Trail Zone Magazine.

Next is the News. This is all the unsolicited news release waffle that is shovelled out to the media on a regular basis. In most cases we’ll just cut and past but the main idea is that we get this info to you as soon as it’s released.

New Product information is always good value especially for those of you lucky enough to have a new bike and looking out for the latest accessory.

For old ORE fans you’ll be happy to find we have our Travel page. You’ll find some of our old favourites and there are plenty more to come. We’re experimenting with some software  that will produce the routes in a form that will suit most people. Stay tuned.

Under Bikes we have a mixture of bikes we test and project bikes we build and we are still building those pages. Bike Specs are simply new and old bikes with a few pics and specifications especially of bikes we don’t get to throw our leg over. I’m always looking for this type of information when researching bikes so I guess that we should be building a bike spec database ourselves.

Our Video section is a collection of old and new videos from past Trail Zone Magazine DVDs and new clips from our good mate Dave Darcy of MADtv who spits out classic footage on a regular basis. Where does he get the time?

And of course there’s the ORE Forum. I’m sure somethings going on there… if I could just remember my password.

In addition to all that there’s Ride Events and the ORE Garage with Tech Tips and Tools.

There’s a lot more to come so keep checking and we’ll you out on road.

Lance ‘Russ’ Turnley

 

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Husqvarna TE630

August 5th, 2014

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Husqvarna TE610

August 3rd, 2014

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2010 Suzuki DR650SE

August 3rd, 2014

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The Ugly Sister

She’s the plain jane of dual sports bikes but once you ride her there are signs of potential to make this the ultimate adventure bike

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Without trying to sound too sexist the Suzuki DR650SE is like the nerdy young girl in an American teen movie. It looks daggy, uninspiring and you really wouldn’t give it a second glance. But if you look a little closer you notice that it has all the right lines from the rear end to the front and with a little work and a bit of bling you know she’ll look hot.
We all ready know the potential of the humble doctor. Firstly it’s the largest selling dual sports bike in Australia. Sure it’s listed as a trail bike along with the big selling DRZ400 but really it’s best suited to the long haul, open miles of adventure riding. As far as its potential, Suzuki Motul MX Team boss Jay Foreman gave everybody a mouth-watering glimpse at the potential of this big seller.

What is It?

The Suzuki DR650SE is the king of the kids of the domestic trail bike market. It’s the no frills big bore dual sport bike that will get you to work or across the desert. The technology is comparable to the Yamaha DT1 with its air cooled, carburetted engine to the sparse cockpit with its analogue speedo, key ignition and basic indicator lights. To some enthusiasts it’s uninspiring to look at. To others it’s a rough diamond with boundless potential to deliver a custom made dream.

What Do You Get For The Money?

Since 1996 the Suzuki DR650SE has changed very little and Suzuki have obviously adopted the attitude of ‘if it’s not broken don’t fix it’. In the 650cc dual sport class, whether you’re talking about trail or adventure bikes no other bike comes as sharply priced as the DR. It’s cheaper than its closet price point rival the Kawasaki KLR650 and I’ll admit that we’ve argued the point that out of the crate the KLR is better value with its 22 litre tank, adequate rear rack and front fairing. But it’s the quality of the DR’s basics that make the difference. So what does the DR have to offer?

The core reason most dual sport off roaders go for the DR is it’s bullet proof, air cooled, OHC, 644 cc engine with an electric start with a automatic decompression system. With a bore and stroke of 100 x 82mm and compression ratio of 9.5 : 1 it breathes through a single 40mm Mikuni carby with electronic ignition, shifting through a constant mesh five speed gearbox. It may not sound exciting but it pulls like a train.

In the suspension department the DR has respectable coil spring, oil damped, telescopic forks upfront and a link type, coil spring with a lightweight aluminum swingarm at the back. The front and rear disk brakes are impressive enough for basic units and do the stopping tasks quite effectively but without any wow factor. With a load of luggage it would be interesting to see the results but admittently I’ve never heard one complaint from the 1000’s of dedicated DR disciples.

In standard form the DR comes with Bridgestone Trail Wings front and rear with 90/90-21 front and 120/90-17 at the rear. Perfect for commuting from the suburbs to the city and front brake burnouts on your neighbours Amber tile driveway whilst he’s away on a bible study holiday. Actually forget that last comment because if you’re the kind of guy who’d buy a DR then you’re not the kind to do that… even though you may occasionally entertain the idea because his tone deaf son plays techno doof doof noise till all hours of the morning… but I digress.

Wheelbase is 1490 mm, curb weight is only 166 kg which is not surprising as it carries a small 13.0 litre tank giving it very limited range by adventure bike standards.

Who’s Buying It?

Is this a trick question? Well now that you mention it most of us are buying them. The DR650SE has to be one of the most reliable, bulletproof dual sports bikes on the market and whether you’re a weekend warrior/suburban hacker commuting everyday then it doesn’t get better than this.

But it’s in more recent times that the DR650SE has come into it’s own as the perfect affordable adventure tourer that’s turning the heads of riders looking for a low budget, rock solid platform to build their own tailor made adventure tourer.

Where Did We Ride It?

We first rode the Suzuki DR650SE on our first ORE adventure tourer back in issue 14. That was in August 2007 and the DR hasn’t changed a bit except for graphics. We spent two days riding open trails to open highways and on either surface the DR never flinched. With this test bike we’ve been commuting to the coffee shop, post office and our secret test track location. Not a true test but we’ve only just begun.

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What’s To Like?

Um… can I get back to you. No seriously. It’s nothing to look at but when you study the bikes simple lines a little more closely you can start to recognise it’s true potential and there is a lot of potential.

So let’s start with the engine. It’s low-tech, carburetted and aircooled but that’s the beauty of it. It has excellent low to mid range power and owners will brag about buzzing along at 160kph plus the a single counterbalancer system makes it reasonably smooth. The gearbox is crisp and I like the position of the gearshift with room to get MX boots under it. The steel pegs are OK but could be a little wider but you can still get a good grip on the bike.

I like the lightweight aluminium swingarm and the lightweight frame that uses thin-wall/large O.D. tubing to reduce weight and maintain frame rigidity. The brakes do a great job especially with a big, lightweight 290mm diameter front disc brake with 2-piston calliper. The standard gearing is pretty tall but makes it easier to economically chew up the miles. The seat height at 885 mm is not too bad for the average rider, the handles at the rear of the seat suffice as a racking system and the bright 55/60 watt halogen headlight does a good job even though it looks agricultural by today’s design standards.

What I like most about the DR, other than it’s simplicity, is it’s huge potential. With it’s sharp pricing it leaves a bit of cash in the kitty for plenty of accessories to make this a very capable adventure tourer. And there are raft of aftermarket suppliers with lots of goodies for the good doctor.

What’s Not To Like?

Gee. How much time have you got? The weird thing is it’s all the things that you don’t like that make it such a popular bike. The analogue speedo, the low bars, high pegs, average seat, brush guards, as opposed to handguards, road/trail tyres and the way it choofs along like a 1950’s iron lung gives it plenty of yawn factor. But isn’t that all the things we upgrade when we build our custom adventure tourer. So basically all the things not too like are exactly what ends up in the parts bin when the bling roles in. So when you think about it what’s not to like is what most punters like about the DR. It’s not a bike you’ll leave standard.

The Final Word?

I checked out pics of the 1986 Suzuki DR600 Dakar when the Yamaha Tenere was first making its presence felt. Don’t know what happened at Suzuki but it seems there DR650 program took one step back and was then frozen in time. Nevertheless, we were backing the DR into corners on our Bridle Track ride and had an absolute ball with the doctor.
The good news is as a project bike the Suzuki DR650SE is a blank canvas with huge potential. With its time proven, rock solid foundation we’ll be spending the next six months turning the DR into the ultimate adventure tourer. After seeing Jay Foremans effort in TZ issue 26 the pressure is on.

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Top End Adventure

July 28th, 2014

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BMW GS Safari-Enduro 2014 hailed as the ultimate adventure across the top end wraps up.

The celebrations for the 20th Anniversary of BMW Safari got off to an amazing start with 85 BMW GS riders heading across the top of Australia in the BMW GS Safari-Enduro.

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2015 Suzuki DR650SE

July 18th, 2014

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Same Bike, Different Paint Job

The 2015 version of Suzuki’s best-selling DR650SE enduro is set to touch down in Australia during August.

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V-Strom 1000 Accessories

July 16th, 2014

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Choose Your Adventure With V-Strom 1000 Luggage & Accessory Packs

The Suzuki Genuine Parts and Accessories team has launched a range of customer-focussed luggage packs for the exciting new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 adventure tourer.

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July 7th, 2014

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ADV-X 2015 Point To Point

June 25th, 2014

ADV-X-RouteADV-X 2015 is simply the biggest adventure ride Australia has ever seen. With a total of 7,000 kms it will take participants 14 days to cross the continents. Very few will get the chance to start  this epic ride and it will be a challenge just to finish it.

The ride includes spectating the 40th anniversary of the Finke desert race which will be a huge event.

You can check out photos of the pre-ride here

The organisers stress that entrants should not use hard panniers and all riders must wear thick motocross boots to avoid ankle injury as parts of the ride will be very remote.

[button text=”Pre-Event Guide” link=”http://rally.australianpropertycentre.net.au/wp-content/uploads/ADV-X-Pre-Event-Guide-2015.pdf” style=”default” size=”normal” target=”_blank” display=”inline” icon=”no”]

[button text=”Entry Form” link=”http://rally.australianpropertycentre.net.au/wp-content/uploads/ADV-X-Entry-Form-2015.pdf” style=”default” size=”normal” target=”_blank” display=”inline” icon=”no”]

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APC Rally Bathurst 1000 Ride

June 25th, 2014

Participants will watch the best car race in Australia and are hooked up with the SP TOOLS /Holden team. CEO of SP Tools, Tom Tucker is an avid adventure rider. Once the race is finished we ride from the track to the Gold coast.

[caption id=”attachment_3235″ align=”alignleft” width=”319″]Tom Tucker CEO of SP Tools Tom Tucker CEO of SP Tools[/caption]

We are camping and staying in pubs. Unlike the APC rally, John Hudson and his team are riding the course so most tracks and obstacles are taken on. 500 km days are the norm so don’t bring your tea set get ready for an adventure.

There are easy diversions for anyone who is out of their comfort zone. We will camp every second night and camp at Bathurst while the race is on. It will actually be a very good shake down ride for those who are getting ready for the ADV-X next year.

There are only six spaces available so click here for an Entry Form.

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The Snowy Ride

June 24th, 2014

The Snowy Ride is on 1 November 2014

The Snowy Ride is a motorcycle event run annually in the Alpine Region of NSW and the ride is now in its eleventh year and has raised in excess of 3 million dollars for the Steven Walter Foundation.

The Steven Walter Foundation which is the organiser and main benefactor of the Snowy Ride. is a non-profit organisation which was started following the passing of nineteen year old Steven Walter after an eight year battle with cancer The Foundation is involved in raising money for research into childhood cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment in children.

All monies raised by the Foundation goes to childhood cancer research programs and support of children with cancer.The aim of the Snowy Ride was to involve the motorcycle riders of Australia into raising money for research into childhood cancer and its side effects and to give the local volunteer organisations of the Snowy mountains area the chance to raise money for their own communities.

How does it work?

Your payment is an entry into the Honda Trade Promotion lottery. Providing you are registered you are automatically in the draw even if you don’t make it to Thredbo – pillions who are registered will also receive an entry! To be eligible for one of the minor prizes all you have to do is get your card stamped at any three of the nine Snowy Ride checkpoints and have it to the final checkpoint in Thredbo by 4pm Saturday 1st November 2014. It will then go into the minor prize draw. All prizes will be drawn in Thredbo on the afternoon of the 1st November 2014.

The Snowy Ride has both tarmac and off road sections designed for adventure riders. These routes were developed with offroadexplorer.com and takes in checkpoints to qualify you for the prize draw.

You can leave from anywhere. whenever you like. and take whatever route you like as long as you’re at the final checkpoint in Thredbo by 4.00pm on the afternoon of Saturday 1st November 2014. The Snowy Ride checkpoints are located at:

  • Adaminaby
  • Dalgety
  • Berridale
  • Jindabyne
  • Cooma
  • Bombala
  • Charlotte Pass
  • Thredbo

What can I win?

The 2014 prizes are yet to be announced, but in 2013 the following was won by two very lucky people!

  • First Prize a Honda VFR800F valued at $15,000
  • and a Second Prize of a Honda CRF 250X valued at $10,000
  • both prizes include on road costs.

Donated by Honda Motorcycles Australia.

How do I enter

Registrations for the 2014 Snowy Ride will open in early July 2014.  You will be able to register online, by post/fax or on the day

CHECKPOINTS ?NOTE: The checkpoints are open on Saturday the 1st November ONLY

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Academy Adventure Bike Course

June 24th, 2014

Academy of Off Road RidingThe Yamaha Academy of off road riding in conjunction with Ride Adv is proud to offer a one day Adventure Bike Specific Course and a one day Ride Adv ride with “on trail” tips.

You will learn all the skills required to handle your bike on dirt and gravel roads.

Course Cost: $395.00

Course Schedule: July 26-27 2014. 8.00am - 4:00pm

Location: Dargle Farm River Rd Lower Portland

The entry fee includes tuition from accredited experienced Adventure bike coaches, morning tea and lunch on Saturday.

GPS routes and lead and sweep rider and back up vehicle are provided for Sunday ride.

Note: You must bring own bike, riding gear, and organise your own accommodation.

Accommodation at a discount rate is offered at Sydney Hills Holiday Park call 029 651 2555 or go to www.sydneyhillsholidaypark.com.au for information.

For any course inquiries call the Academy of Off Road Riding office.

P: (02) 4232 4580 Business hours 9.00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday or Email: academy@offroadriding.com.au

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Triumph Dirty Rats - Flinders Ranges

June 24th, 2014

Triumph Motorcycles have announced the inaugural National Off Road RAT Rally to be hosted in the first week of August 2014.  The five day event will lead Triumph Tiger riders and friends on an off road circuit through some of Australia’s most scenic and iconic locations.

“The Triumph Tiger brand is stronger than ever and we now have the perfect platform to launch this great national and annual event.” commented Triumph’s Mark Berger.  “We wanted to ensure that we offered our customers the best experience possible, so we went to the best in the business and have teamed up with international tour company ‘Compass Expeditions’ to assist us in hosting the Flinders Ranges Dirty RATs Adventure.” Berger added.

Event Details:

  • Start Date & Location: Monday 4th August 2014, Broken Hill
  • End Date & Location: Friday 8th August, 2014, Rawnsley Station Flinders Ranges.
  • Registration:  $650 per person
  • ?Registration Includes: Welcome and Farewell Dinners, Event T-Shirt, Photo Disc, Support Vehicle, Lead Rider, Waypoint and route maps.

Optional Accommodation and Meal Packages:

  • Camping Option: $350 (BYO camping gear)
  • Hotel Twin Share: $710
  • Hotel Single Room: $980

*Above pricing includes 5 breakfasts and 4 Dinners

For more information or to register you can visit: www.facebook.com/triumphratevents/
or www.compassexpeditions.com/adventures-detail/flinders-run/

Compass Expeditions are an experienced tour operator, celebrating almost ten years in business. With tours operating all year round Compass Expeditions offer a range of Australian and South American tours from 2 to 125 days!

For an international experience, don’t forget Triumph Motorcycles and corporate partner Edelweiss tours offer an extended range of Triumph experiences across the globe. For more information visit www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au

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Triumphs 2014 Rat Rally

June 24th, 2014

Triumph’s annual RAT RALLY is on again, the 2014 rally will take place this year at popular coastal destination of ‘Coff’s Harbour’ on August 22nd – 24th. “Coff’s Harbour has always been a popular location amongst motorcyclists and we’ve hosted a few events in the area over the years.” Commented event organiser Darren Kersey.

Last year’s event welcomed over 400 participants and this year Triumph are taking it up a peg. Hosted at the grounds of the Novotel Pacific Bay Resort, Rat Rally attendees are in for a treat. Kicking off the event is a Friday registration where all riders will receive a commemorative RAT patch, event pin, T-shirt and Stubby holder. “Last year we thought we would warm into the event with a bit of Karaoke, it was such a hit that we’re bringing it back again this year.” Kersey added. “Saturday is going to be all about the bikes kicking off with a Show and Shine, some Demo Rides on our fleet of Triumph’s, and a Mystery ride in the afternoon to name a few. But Saturday night is the big one, so our Trumpy owners better pack their best footy shorts, their oldest bluey, their favourite flanney and grow the best mullet because its a night of nights with BOGAN BINGO!”.

The event is jam packed full of entertainment of things to do with your bike, Saturday of course includes a dinner and surely a chance to get up and dance. Sunday the group are going to a short ride for a BBQ lunch send off.

Triumph owners and friends can purchase tickets for the event at www.triumphmotorcycles.com.au. Tickets are just $150 a head. The team at Triumph looking forward to a great event. See you there!

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ADV Events

June 24th, 2014

Our calendar isn’t just Adventure Bike Events but it also includes professional and amateur group ridesmotorcycle rallies, motorcycle trade shows, ride schools and organized tours

Please scroll through our calendar below.

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2014 Breakfast Torque

June 24th, 2014

New Location - New Time

This year’s Breakfast Torque will be held at Waratah Oval on Rawson Avenue at Sutherland.  Due to the increasing popularity of this event over the last few years, more space was needed and the nearby Waratah Oval fits the bill perfectly.

Located just down the highway (to the north of Loftus Oval), Waratah Oval is situated opposite Loftus TAFE on Rawson Avenue.  There is extensive off-street parking for motorcycles on the western side, and the oval itself is surrounded by a cycle track which will be used for the riding demos.  The large AFL field allows for even more stalls, displays and activities.

Displays, Stalls and Prize Draws

As usual, there will be live entertainment, free breakfast, crash demos, riding displays, information sessions, safety gear show, as well as the usual great variety of motorcycles, accessories, apparel and all the various club’s stalls.

This year there will be a series of prize draws throughout the morning - free entry to all riders.

Mission Statement for Breakfast Torque

Breakfast Torque exists primarily to provide effective information and education, sharing of resources, and build a sense of motorcycle safety into the motorcycling community.

This is achieved through the involvement of volunteer, charitable, private and government organisations related to motorcycling, with the main purpose being to foster a culture of safety for motorcyclists, by motorcyclists.

This event is presented by Sutherland Shire Council, Kogarah Council, Rockdale City Council, Motorcycle Council of NSW Inc. With special thanks to Ambulance Service of NSW, SkillMaster Motorcycle Services and the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation.

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KTM 1190 Touratech Headlight Guard

June 16th, 2014

When riding off road one thrown rock from another motorcycle or a passing vehicle and you’re up for an expensive replacement.  Touratech are famous for their hardcore riding protection products and the KTM 1190 headlight assembly has a strong laser-cut stainless steel grid. The design blends with the styling of the 1190 Adventure or Adventure R and looks great with a black powder coated finish.  The mounting brackets are available in black or KTM orange. This quick-release headlight guard for the KTM 1190 Adventure or ADV R removes instantly for easy access to clean dust or dirt off the headlight assembly to maximize light output.

Contact: 03 5729 5529

Web: www.touratech.com.au

KTM 1190 Quick Release Headlight Guard

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Honda XLV700 Transalp

June 13th, 2014

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2009 Honda XLV700 Transalp

June 13th, 2014

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Softcore Africa Twin

The Transalps Africa Twin heritage promises so much for the hardcore adventurer but can a minimal soft option do the job just as well. The problem with some new models is that accessories are sometimes thin on the ground and Honda have released the new Transalp with a hole swag of goodies straight off the showroom floor.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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Windchill Blocker

T_ScreenGiven our previous experience with our previous project bike we went straight for a taller screen. Heading into an icy headwind west of Broken Hill had this high on the ‘Thank god we got it ‘ list. It’s an impressive 170mm taller and has a protective rubber strip around the edge for those rare occasions when the screen may smack you across the nose Retail price of $264.53.

Pivot Pegz

PivotPegzThe first of two non Honda accessories are a new set of Pivot Pegz. We fitted the new Mark 2 Pivot Pegz which are wider, lighter and stronger than before. The Pegz rotate 20° forward and backward improving grip of the bike and when you’re wrestling a Transalp you need all the grip you can get. Retail Price of $220.00

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Keeping a Grip – Grip Heater Kit

T_GripsHigh on our list was the heated grip option. In fact I don’t know why these things don’t come standard on all adventure bikes. The 180° kit that came on our Transalp has three settings, low, medium and high. The grips are activated by pressing a button repeatedly to  cycle through the settings and the control unit has small LED light indicate the current setting. The heated grips, along with other accessories, requires an additional Quartet Harness. Grips retail price is $308.75. Quartet Harness $58.56

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Premium Tail Luggage

T_LuggageThe Transalp Tail Bag is a spacious 45 litre top box that mounts on a sturdy bolt-on carrier and features a locking quick detach mounting system. Our top box lid came in a matching colour but also comes in brushed alloy. Pillion backrest and top box mat included. Top box bracket is included along with the Honda Locking system. Retail price of $749.12.

The Transalp also has matching Panniers. Specifically designed for the Transalp they are aerodynamic and fully integrated 29-litre panniers. They have internal elastic straps and are key lockable. Also available in brushed alloy. Retail price of $313.15.

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Low Seat Option

TZ#18_Transalp028When I got my first job out of school the six foot tall company accountant looked down on me and said, ‘Son. There must be a law against having your arse that close to the ground.’ Well as it turned out there isn’t and Honda are one of the many motorcycle manufacturers  catering for us pint sized pilots. 20mm lower than standard the Transalp low seat option is an absolute must and helps give you the leverage the avoid those embarassing tip overs at traffic lights in the instant of that unseen pothole. Retail price of $184.83

Light It Up

T_LightsA couple of punctures on the Transalp put us way behind schedule on our outback ride and when dusk falls the Skippies and other big rodents appear from nowhere. After that experience we realized that you need to have the option to light up the road as much as possible. The driving light kit from Motorradgarage.com includes two 55 Watt headlamps, pre-assembled wiring harness for easy direct-to-battery hookup and a high-current handlebar-mounted on/off switch. Total power consumption is 110 watts. Fits directly to SW-MOTECH crash bars. Mounting kits are available for other crashbars if needed. These light housings produce a wide, diffused light beam perfect for foggy, rainy, or snowy driving conditions. The lights retail for $239.00 plus $44,00 for mounting bracket and is available from  www.motorradgarage.com.au.

Touratech Chain Guard

TransalpChainGuardThis gives the chain guard the necessary stability and makes it as light as possible it stead of flapping around like the standard plastics. Laser-cut protection made of riveted stainless steel and aluminium parts. It uses existing mounting points to attach the chain guard making it an easy job.

Wolfman Summit Saddle Bags

T_WolfmanThe Transalp aftermarket panniers are great but they are vunerable to damage for adventure riders doing more off road than most. Our research has shown that soft luggage is the preferred option of the off road rider. Wolfman Summit Saddle Bags have streamlined styling and are easy to fit. They have a spacious 40 liter cargo capacity and the innovative side opening make access to the contents simple. The Summit Saddle Bags feature a universal 5 point mounting system (2 straps across the seat, 2 straps to the passenger pegs, and a strap around rear of the bags) They also have fleece backing to protect body panels. stiffeners throughout, zippered and mesh outside pockets. reflective trim plus D-Rings on the side of the bags that are compatible with the Wolf Tail and Odyssey Duffel. Dimensions: 38cm Long 20cmWide Height 30cm Front 25cm Rear. The Summit Saddle Bags retail for $245.00. Check out www.wolfman luggage.com.au for there full range.

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Centre Stand

When looking at the Transalp I decided to go with a centre stand on the rare chance that I might get a puncture. The Transalp is no lightweight and I pondered finding a tree stump to balanec the bike on should I get a flat. Even The centre stand bottoms out occasionally on rough ground but after four puncture repairs the centre stand is here to stay. It is difficult for one person to get the bike up on the stand but once you do a tyre change is a one man job. Retail Price of $561.33

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12 Volt Accessory Socket

This DC electrical socket provides power to operate additional electronic equipment like a GPS or LED camping lights which is handy when stranded with a flat on the side of the trail at night. Can be mounted in the upper right fairing compartment or under the seat. It also has to be combined with the Quartet Harness. Retail price of $174.99

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Continental Tyres

T_RearWe’re not a fan of the black stuff but when joining this countries treasure of unsealed back roads you got to do the odd mile on the tar. With a 19inch front wheel Continental TKC 80?s are the best option. BMW owners swear by them and from my own experience they are the best black top road holding tyres around as well as the dirt. We fitted a 130/80/17 to the rear and a 110/80/19 on the front. Retail price of $235.00, Rear and $239.00 front.

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SW Motech Crash Bars

T_BarsWe’ve been afraid to really push the Transalp to test the limits of its handling. The reason being that there is a lot of vunerable plastic all over the bike from the tank covers to the panniers. The SW-MOTECH Transalp Crash Bars are constructed of heavy-duty mild steel, and are designed to provide maximum protection with high-quality fit and finish. The bars are powdercoated with a black finish and attach to the frame with high-strength frame mounting points and constructed of 27 mm outer-diameter mild steel tubing. Time to get some sideways actions on the trail. Retail price of $299.00. For more information go to www.motorradgarage.com.au.

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SW Motech Skid Plate

T_BashPlateThe Transalp cases arw extremely vunerable to damage as the standard engine fairing offers little to no protection. The SW Motech Bashplate is and absolute must have for somebody riding off road. The bashplate is constructed of 3mm-thick aluminum for medium-duty, light-weight protection. Baseplate includes side protectors that wrap around the engine block to provide both bottom and side protection. It intergrates easily with the SW Motech Crash Bars.
It is one of the first accessories you should consider for your Transalp and retail price of $375.00 for www.motorradgarage.com.au.

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Storm Handguards

T_HandguardsStandard Transalp handguards offer good wind protect but little else. If you’re serious about getting off road the new Barkbusters Storm hand guard is a must. The new Storm hand guard is designed specifically for adventure riding providing more protection from the elements and impact than any other handguard. The Storm handguard fits to Barkbusters the VPS aluminium backbone and is also be available with a new mounting system for a wide range of other bikes.
Contact: Rideworx – 02 4271 8244
Retail price of 159.95 (includes bar end weights and all mounting hardware).

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Manifold Shield

T_PipeCoverWith the Staintune pipe we couldn’t simply bolt on the standard heat guard which looks a bit like it’s come from a Harley. Looking the part it’s very light and strong manifold made of 2 mm aluminium. Safe protection against the hot header pipe. The shield is easily fastened to the original attachment points.

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Throttle Cover

T_Throttle-CoverWe’re not one to throw this bike down the road but even a small fall can cause a major problem. (See issue #14 where our BMWF650GS fell over.) A simple accident can often cause damage to the throttle tube on the Transalp. Theres no hope then of continuing the journey and these things are not easy to push. Touratech have developed a throttle cover to minimise this risk of damage. Made of anodised aluminium it’s easy to fit and offers more protection against the risk of damage.

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Steel Headlight Protector

T_HeadlightGuardThe 2008 Transalp must have one of the most vulnerable headlights in its class. Everytime Clubby got on the gas infront of me on the DRZ400 with those Motoz knobbies I would back off immediately in fear of blinding the mighty red Cyclops. As much as I wanted to make a headlight guard like Tenere Ray I couldn’t find a wire soap dish big enough. Touratech have created the perfect solution for the Transalp. The headlight protector was purely developed for off-road use.

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Suspension Adjustment

T_SuspensionThe Transalp has a pretty plush ride but when the optional luggage is fully loaded up the Transalp scrapes its belly on some of the larger dips. For the larger rider a heavier spring needs to be considered. However the standard rear spring damping adjustment offers a short term solution.

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Counter Shaft Spocket Guard

T_SpocketGuardWhen when pulled off the plastic countershaft socket it was full of greasy mud which was basically thousands of k’s of dust mixed with chain lube. The Touratech guard is made of stainless steel and the appearance is enhanced by an additional aluminium shield. The design of the countershaft spocket guard makes it quick and easy to remove extreme dirt after another offroadexplorer.com trip.

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Kick Stand Support Extension

T_StandIn the sandy outback we always had to look for hard ground as even on a level surface the Transalp has quiet a lean on it. Made of high quality stainless steel this kick stand support extension allows the Transalp side stand a much more secure footing on a soft surface. It’s super quick and easy to fit.

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Staintune Pipe

IMG_0378Nothing sounds better than a V-Twin with a performance pipe. The guys at Staintune were keen to get a hold of our Transalp to develop a new pipe after their success with the XLV650 Transalp. The new unit is lighter and is expected to increase engine output by about 5hp. At the time of print the new retail price wasn’t available however the XLV650 pipe retails at $700 including GST. The pipe is expected to be in production by the time this issue is on the shelves. For more details call Staintune on 02 4871 3188 or go to www.staintune.com.au.

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Emergency Worklight

T_Light#3028With the Transalp luggage space and its 12volt cigarette lighter style power outlet there is no reason not to pack a 12 volt work light. I have an old fluro model but an LED light would be just the ticket. This would have been perfect for our late night tyre changes out the back of Broken Hill. Most Models have a long lead and a hook for hanging the light off various parts of the bike. An absolute must have and available from most automotive stores.

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Unifilter Air Filter Rebuild

T_AirFilterI tried to look up the Transalp airfilter servicing the the XLV700 manual and all it tells you is to change it after 18,000 kilometeres but notes ‘Service more frequently when riding in unusually wet or dusty conditions’. Are there any other conditions? Anybody in their right mind should service an airfilter after most rides and recycling as opposed to replacing has to be a better option. Unifilter have a rebuild solution replacing the standard paper elements with Unifilter’s reusable, oiled-foam element. The filter gets two layers of foam. One is permanently moulded into the casing and the second attaches with Velcro so it can be easily removed and cleaned. Extra outer layers can be ordered. They cost $18.75 for the pair. The rebuild will cost you $58.50 and is about a three working days turnaround. (Freight and handling not included).

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Yamaha WR250R

June 13th, 2014

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2010 Yamaha WR250R

June 13th, 2014

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Lightweight Contender

We’ve been trying to figure out whether the Yamaha WR250R could be turned into an adventure bike you could take seriously. For the long hauls you need tougher tyres, more carrying capacity plus a few changes to make it more compatible with the open road and the hazards that may lay ahead. We reckon the Yamaha WR250R could make a great a mini adventurer. Is there Tenere DNA in the WR’s veins?

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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WRWolfmanRacks Pack For The Long Haul

A real adventure bike needs to have the capacity to carry everything you need for at least a three to five day haul. We found the Wolfman rack system so good on our DR650SE project bike we got pretty excited when we found out the same racks are available for the Yamaha WR250R we couldn’t go past them. However this time we fitted Wolfman Tetons Saddle Bags that clip straight on. The racks can double as utility racks where you can attach a fuel or water container and are constructed with chromoly steel. The set includes racks, bags and instructions for easy installation. Available for $550 from www.adventuremoto.com.au.

Double Take Mirrors

While the WR makes a great enduro bike we needed to find a legal solution for long road sections when it comes to proper rear view mirrors. Double Take mirrors provide a perfect solution for both enduro/trail and adventure bikes when riding those pesky transport sections. The design allows the mirror to be fitted to almost any bike using a RAM mount system and can be easily folded away when the risk of damage is high. The mirror is only $35.00 plus mounting assembly. You can build your own mirror and is available from Adventuremoto.com.au.

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Back to Taller Gearing

GearingWhile the GYT-R lightweight 44 tooth rear sprocket is the go for enduro riding with a healthy sprinkling of single trail it will hurt your top speed. We’re going back to the to the standard 43 tooth rear sprocket for a better all round dual sports riding which the WR250R is designed for. For the dual sports rider this is one less cost to worry about.

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Pivot Pegz

Standard WR250R footpegs will not cut the mustard for comfort on a long ride. We fitted the new Pivot Pegz® Mark 3 on the WR. At 60mm wide they are the widest footpeg on the market and the pivot action enables more of the peg to be in contact with the sole of your foot meaning more control and more comfort. The Mark 3 Pivot Pegz® incorporates new heavy duty, long life springs and they come with a lifetime warranty. Made in Australia. Available to suit a huge range of motorcycles. The retail price is $239.00 incl GST. For more information go to www.pivotpegz.net.

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Mitas Tyres

A bike as nimble as the WR250R is right at home in all condition with full knobby tyres. However, if you’re going to be pulling long k’s they’ll flatten out across the middle of tyre from the long straights.  We fitted the Mitas Enduro E-09 after the Mitas Dakars wore so well on the tyre spinning Husky TE610 project bike. We fitted a 90/90-21 up front and a 110/80-18 on the rear. For your nearest Mitas dealer call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559.

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Radiator Guard

RadGuardEven though the Safari tank offers protection for the WR’s radiator it’s still vulnerable from rocks especially if your mate on a 650 is trying to roost you. B&B Off Road make a radiator guard that protects the radiator from sticks and rocks. It also helps resist crushing from side impact when running the standard tank and radiator cowls. We also fitted a Brake Master Cylinder Guard to protect from side impacts. The B&B Off Road Radiator guard is only $135.00 and the Master Cylinder Guard is $38.00 when you buy it from B&B Off Road online store. For more information go to www.bboffroad.com.au or phone 03 5335 8099.

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Barkbusters VPS Handguards

WRBarkbustersAs an adventure tourer the Ego handguards don’t offer enough protection from the elements. We swapped them out for another great Barkbuster product the VPS handguard its adjustable wind deflector. We mount the wind deflectors in the highest position for maximum wind protection on the open road. The VPS is available in a wide range of colours to suit most popular bikes. The VPS handguards retail at $105.00 and the mounting hardware is $65.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

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Rear Plate Hanger

WRRearHangerWhen covering longer miles, chances are you’ll have more chance of coming under the scrutiny of officials in some shape or form. For that reason we fitted a B&B Off Road Rear Number Plate Hanger. The backing for the number plate is the full width of the plate insuring against accidental bending. It also hangs a little lower and at a steeper angle making it easier to read and less likely to attract attention. It also gives a bit of space to fit a number plate light. Available from B&B Off Road for only $78.00.

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Adventure Screen

WRscreenThe WR250R is designed for trail and enduro action, which means the rider is exposed when it comes to racking up big miles on adventure rides. So we had another go at making a custom screen to make transport miles more pleasurable. Made from 3mm poly cut to shape, we used pieces of wood held in place by G clamps and then grabbed a heat gun to
create the folds required to match the headlight shroud. Then we took a few screws and a bit of aluminium we had laying around the ORE Garage and mounted it to the headlight. The end result was almost as good as a bought one!

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Garmin Zumo 220 GPS

WRGPS220The Garmin Zumo 220 GPS is the little brother of the popular Zumo 550 and 660 GPSs and shares many of their great features. It has Bluetooth wireless technology, which offers spoken directions via your headset, which is great for finding your accommodation at the end of the day. It features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with ‘HotFix’ that delivers faster satellite acquisition times. There’s a high-resolution, glovefriendly 3.5-inch touch-screen display and the unit features a rugged, waterproof design that is resistant to fuel sprays and UV rays. The 220 also offers turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names. We like the motorcycle console for trip information, including a digital fuel gauge to warn you when it’s time to fill up, plus there’s an accurate speedo and a trip computer that records mileage, max speed and total time travelled. There’s also advanced route preview and trip logs, with up to ten saved routes. The 220 also has a removable lithium-ion battery that offers up to eight hours depending on usage. The Garmin Lock antitheft feature is included, plus you get simplified PC connectivity using USB mass storage. Priced at $649, the Garmin Zumo 220 is available from GPSOZ – call (02) 9999 2313 or go to www.gpsoz.com.au.

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Wolfman Rolie Bags

Wolfman_0040 RolieTankWe were impressed with the Wolfman Expedition bags we used our Suzuki DR650SE Project Bike, but with the lightweight WR250R we suspected the same system might be a bit too much for a small-bore machine. Wolfman have now come up with the perfect luggage solution for smallbore bikes like the WR-R: their new Rolie bags offer superior protection against the elements and allow you to personalise your kit. This means you can carry the gear you need, the way you like to carry it. On top of that, you can meet your changing needs by using different mounting options. You can use any size Rolie bag as a rear rack bag today, then mount it on your tank tomorrow, or use two as a pair of saddle bags. For the WR-R, we went for a small Rolie bag as a tank bag with a map pocket, a medium Rolie bag as a tail bag and two large Rolie bags as saddle bags. You should also check out the rear soft tail and saddle bag mounting option for enduro bikes. The Rolie bags are available in black, yellow/ black and orange/black colourways, come with basic mounting straps and you can add capacity by strapping a small Rolie bag atop a large Rolie bag. Wolfman Rolie bags are available securely online from the crew at AdventureMoto.com.au or phone them on 1300 46 66 86.

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Rear Disk Guard

SharkToothWith a bike as nimble as the WR250R, you will always be tempted to take on the most challenging of trails. On trails like this, littered with rocks, logs and obstacles, the chance of damage is high, especially to lowslung components, such as the rear disc. To avoid a dinged disc, we fitted a GYTR rear disc guard. Anodised blue, it’s a nice piece of
bling that performs a serious function. The disc guard is priced at $187.50 and is available from Yamaha dealers or the http://yshop. yamaha-motor.com.au web site.

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DeVol Lowering Link

Link_0056The WR250R does sit tall in the tail, and when you start loading it up adventure trail rides, a high centre of gravity is nobody’s friend. To get the seat height down, this anodised aluminium lowering link from DeVol will drop the WR-R’s saddle by 38mm. The DeVol link lightweight, stronger than stock and our experience in the past has been that the lower centre of gravity greatly improves handling, especially in tight, technical singletrack
sections. Best of all, it means you can get your feet planted flat on the ground! The DeVol link is priced at $199 and available from Ballards Off-Road – call (02) 4731 1210.

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TAG Grips & Ballards Grip Heaters

Tag_Grips HeatedGrips

We’ve become big fans of TAG Rebound grips for bikes that will be doing big miles. The grips are priced at $24.95 and feature strategically placed cushioning material that offers more comfort for your hands and fingers. Try a set: they’re available from bike shops everywhere. While fitting the grips, we also installed a set of Ballard’s grip heaters for ultimate mid-winter comfort. They cost just $57.95 and come with high/ low settings. Call Ballard’s on (02) 4731 1210 to order.

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Kawasaki KLR650

June 13th, 2014

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2008 Kawasaki KLR650

June 13th, 2014

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Big Green Monster

The Kawasaki KLR650 is one of the best value for money, ready to roll, out of the crate Adventure Bikes on the market. With just a few bolt on goodies to big green monster can be totally kitted out for the long haul.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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[span6]

Taller Screen

KLRScreenEven though you don’t feel like you’re doing much, long stints on the open road getting continuously buffeted at 80-100 kilometres per hour can be pretty exhausting. Even though the KLR has a reasonably effect fairing it can be improved. Kawasaki have their own aftermarket windscreen that fits within minutes. The new screen is 10cm taller than the standard item and is an absolute must for the taller rider. Retail price of $145.45.

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[span6]

KLR Tank Bag

For any adventure rider a tank bag is mandatory. They’re great for storage of essential items that you need to access instead of dragging them out of the back pack. There’s a heap of options available and Kawasaki have created their own that fits in seconds. The lid of the bag is fitted with a map holder with a waterproof zip. Inside the lid is storage for smaller items and a mobile phone. A zip around the base when released increases capacity by giving the bag an extra the depth of 50cm. The bag is attached to a tank cover that clips on to the standard 22litre steel tank and allows access to the fuel filler cap without removal. Retail price of $116.40.

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Kawasaki Rear Bag

KLR_TailBagThe KLR has one of the biggest and strongest carry racks available on the market. Kawasaki has taken advantage of it by designing a purpose built rear bag to suit. The bag easily fits to the rack with a couple of Velcro straps and two straps with clips for extra security. The unit has a moulded zip top lid giving easy access and a zip around the base when released, increases carrying capacity. Retail price of $212.70.

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KLR Saddle Bags

KLR_PanniersTo compliment the rear bag Kawasaki has also introduced tailor made KLR pannier bags. The stylish moulded units are lightweight and contoured for Adventure riders that want to take a passenger along. Like most universal panniers the two bags are linked by a large Velcro strap and hang across the rear of the seat. This allows you to adjust the height of the bags quickly and easily. They are secured to the rack and the loops on the passenger pegs for easy fitting. Retail price of $313.15.

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TAG Bars

Tag_BarsOne of the areas the Kawasaki saves money is by fitting stock steel bars and on the long haul they are far from impressive. Fortunately we’ve easily resolved the situation and increased the comfort by fitting a pair of TAG metals X5 bars with cross bar and pads.

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TAG Grips

Tag_GripsYou can’t have TAG bars with TAG custom grips. TAG grips use a synthetic rubber designed to give optimum tackiness and improved vibration dampening and is available in two compounds, soft/medium and medium/hard.

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VPS Barkbusters

BarkbustersOne thing we plan not to do on our project bike is to spear off into any solid objects at speed. Unlike enduro riders we don’t spend our time blasting along narrow trails. When it comes to hand guards, adventure riders are more interested in protection from the elements than impacting objects. The standard KLR hand guards do a very good job of protecting your hands from wind and rain but we did find that these big buggers are hard top stop when they start to topple over and that’s when you realise that something more substantial to protect the levers is important. The Aussie made Barkbuster VPS Handguards provide a solution with an alloy reinforced plastic guard with an adjustable wind deflector. Check out www.barkbusters.net for more details.

Standard Hand Guards

While riding through the rain on our Barrington odessey I was dreaming about KLR’s stock handguards that are the size of half 10 litre buckets and kept your hands dry. Underneath my DriRider RallyCross and my Fox condom I was dry as a bone but my hands were soaked. Crashing on the causway between Singleton and Scone proved that the Barkbusters are worth their weight in gold. Well actually, they’re worth more because they’re very light. However, they don’t offer the weather protection of the standard plastic guards. We spoke to Barkbusters about it and they gave us a sneak preview of there new road/adventure bike handguard that is spot on the money but won’t be available till September 2008. So we decided to try and combine the standard handguard with the VPS backbone. Untidy as it may look it provides protection for your levers and a much needed barrier from the cold weather.

Gear lever

One of the most important changes we’d like to make is the gear shift lever. One of the best improvements on the bike has been the IMS pegs. Comfortable and an absolute god send in the wet. However a combination of motocross boots and wider pegs makes it difficult to get your foot under the lever when seated and when changing adds new meaning to a box full of neutrals. We’ve been unable to source an existing lever that’s the right angle and length. We’ve lifted the lever two teeth on the spine. You can get the boot underneath it but it reduces leverage. Our last resort will be to weld an extra inch into the length but we still have our eye out for a bolt on replacement.

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IMS Foot Pegs

IMS_PegsOne of the first things on the KLR that had to go were the rubber foot pegs. I can’t even mention the words I had to describe them when they got wet and muddy out on the trail. IMS has come to the rescue with foot pegs and springs specifically designed for the KLR. This addition alone gives you a better, sure footed feel on the pegs especially when you’re in a standing position negotiating tricky sections or rocky creek crossings. Put these puppies high on your must have list.

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[span6]

Uni Filter

UnifilterIn our test of the KLR we made no secret that the air box is too small and after a dusty four day ride it was trying to suck air like an asthma sufferer. Short of drilling holes through the airbox, we went for a new Unifilter Pro Comp2 to improve the air flow. Naturally we treated to foam element with Unifilter Filter Fix oil solution.

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[span6]

Dirt Aggressive Tyre Option

KLR650-Rear-TyreThe KLR has great manners on the road but on the dirt the standard road/trail rubber was looking to step out at the slightest hint of changing direction on the gravel. Fitted with a tank bag its now a little more difficult to get the weight up front to get traction so we decided to go with the maximum off-road grip option. With a 30% road and 70% dirt biase we went for a Cheng Shin C-755 front and rear. The knob pattern is more closed than a typical enduro tyre and should provide a lot more confidence on the dirt.

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[span6]

Heated Grips

HeatedGripsYou never think of it until it gets cold especially after a summer of riding and as I climbed the mountain into Barrington Tops I thought to myself ‘Why the hell haven’t I fitted heated grips’. So while the pain of frostbitten fingertips (and a torn hamstring for that matter) was still fresh in my mind, I called Brad from Ballards Off Road and he quickly came to the party with Ballards own brand of heated grips. The kit comes complete with a hi and low switch and is easy to install. At only $54.95 they are an absolute must have. Phone Ballards 02 4731 1210.

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Carby Mods and Mixtures

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[span6]We said right from the word go that the KLR felt very restricted at both ends. Bit like a constipated elephant with a stuffy nose but you still rode it anyway. With the Unifilter it started to breath easy and the Staintune pipe really cleared the throat. That’s all well and good but how does that effect fuel mixtures and fuel economy from the factory specs. One thing that I like about the KLR is that it’s still old technology. Not that that’s a bad thing but compared to the latest fuel injected, sensor filled bikes now emerging on the market, the technology is pretty straight forward. We replaced the carby slide with one without holes and noticed an improvement straight away but when we backed off, the KLR farted and backfired louder than a Harley. Obviously it was lean but instead of fiddling with the mixture screws, jets and needle settings we took a more scientific approach. I contacted Clive Ward from MotorcycleBiz, and he offered to test the KLR at Kawasaki Newcastle with the help of dealer Chris Hirst who’s been fiddling with green bikes for years. The diagnostic unit basically analyses the Lambda value of the gases coming out the exhaust. Lambda value is the measure used for correct air/fuel mixture ratio, which indicates whether the combustion process is working effectively. The ideal Lambda value is 1.00.

[/span6][span6]

The sensor equipment is attached through a long rubber hose and then the engine is taken up through the revs it continually analyses the exhaust gas. On our first analysis, as expected, the mixture was very lean but above 3500 rpm it was basically spot on. The good news was needle position and jets were exactly where they needed to be which was great because access to the KLR carby is less than ideal. Even to get access to the low speed screw with a special tool the tank had to be removed and the carby turned on an angle. 1 5/8 turns is the recommended low speed setting in the KLR manual and we eventually went to 2 3/4 turns to get it right.

The result was immediate with a smooth idle and easy starting. Even though we haven’t dyno tested the engine that’s not our priority. As much as we’d like to know the horsepower, the important thing is engine efficiency and economy. For more information you can contact Clive Ward MotorcycleBiz 02 4988 6530  or  0408 943 585 or email clive@motorcyclebiz.com.au.

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Suzuki DR650SE

June 11th, 2014

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June 4th, 2014

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June 4th, 2014

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2014 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere Specs

June 4th, 2014
The new Yamaha Tenere is more of the same but needless to say it’s still one of the true mid-weight adventure bikes.

[tabs direction=”top” tab1=”Features” tab2=”Engine” tab3=”Dimensions” tab4=”Chassis”] [tab1]

[double_angle_list]

  • High-torque 660cc liquid-cooled engine
  • Rugged dual-purpose frame
  • Long travel suspension with aluminium swinging arm
  • Long-range fuel tank
  • Wind-cheating screen
  • Dual 298mm front discs
  • Bodywork and engine protectors
  • Wide range of high quality accessories

[/double_angle_list]

[/tab1]

[tab2]

[table td1=” ” td2=” “]

[td1]Engine Type[/td1] [td2]Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single cylinder, 4-valve, SOHC[/td2]

[td1]Displacement[/td1] [td2]660 cc[/td2]

[td1]Bore x Stroke[/td1] [td2]100.0 x 84.0 mm[/td2]

[td1]Compression Ratio[/td1] [td2]10.0 : 1[/td2]

[td1]Lubrication System[/td1] [td2]Dry sump[/td2]

[td1]Fuel Management[/td1] [td2]Fuel injection[/td2]

[td1]Ignition[/td1] [td2]TCI[/td2]

[td1]Starter System[/td1] [td2]Electric[/td2]

[td1]Fuel Tank Capacity[/td1] [td2]23 L[/td2]

[td1]Oil Capacity[/td1] [td2]2.9 L[/td2]

[td1]Final Transmission[/td1] [td2]Chain drive[/td2]

[td1]Transmission[/td1] [td2]Constant mesh, 5-speed[/td2]

[/table]

[/tab2]

[tab3]

[table td1=” ” td2=” “]

[td1]Length[/td1] [td2]2246 mm[/td2]

[td1]Width[/td1] [td2]900 mm[/td2]

[td1]Height[/td1] [td2]1477 mm[/td2]

[td1]Seat Height[/td1] [td2]865 mm[/td2]

[td1]Wheelbase[/td1] [td2]1500 mm[/td2]

[td1]Ground Clearance[/td1] [td2]260 mm[/td2]

[td1]Dry Weight[/td1] [td2]190 kg[/td2]

[td1]Wet Weight[/td1] [td2]209 kg with 23 litres of fuel[/td2]

[/table]

[/tab3]

[tab4]

[table td1=” ” td2=” “]

[td1]Frame Type[/td1] [td2]Steel tube diamond shaped[/td2]

[td1]Suspension Front[/td1] [td2]Telescopic forks[/td2]

[td1]Suspension Rear[/td1] [td2]Swingarm (monocross)[/td2]

[td1]Brakes Front[/td1] [td2]Dual discs, 298[/td2]

[td1]Brakes Rear[/td1] [td2]Single disc, 245[/td2]

[td1]Tyres Front[/td1] [td2]90/90-21 M/C[/td2]

[td1]Tyres Rear[/td1] [td2]130/80-17 M/C[/td2]

[td1]Wet Weight[/td1] [td2]209 kg with 23 litres of fuel[/td2]

[/table]

[/tab4] [/tabs]

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June 4th, 2014

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Bike Specs

June 4th, 2014

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June 4th, 2014

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Bike Tests

June 4th, 2014

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Bikes

June 4th, 2014

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New News

June 2nd, 2014

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vitae neque turpis, in luctus risus. Donec et placerat orci. Praesent pulvinar lectus massa,…

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BMW R1200GSW Side Stand Foot

June 2nd, 2014

If there’s one thing a big BMW R1200 GSW needs is a side stand foot. When kicking down the side stand soft ground will be your biggest enemy and perhaps your biggest embarrassment.

The AltRider Side Stand Foot for the BMW R 1200 GS Water Cooled provides your bike with a larger footprint, so it can easily keep it from sinking into hot pavement or losing its balance on soft, uneven terrain such as dirt or gravel roads.

Made from hefty 2.5mm stainless steel is the most ergonomic design on the market allowing easy deployment of the side stand. It clamps down on the actual foot of the side stand with Torx fasteners so it remains tight even after months of use. Available from AdventureMoto for only $69.95.

Web: www.adventuremoto.com.au

Contact: AdventureMoto.com.au

Phone: 1300 46 66 86

altrider-side-stand-enlarger-foot

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June 2nd, 2014

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June 2nd, 2014

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Barrett KTM 1190 Luggage Racks

June 1st, 2014

Barrett Products have designed racks and pannier boxes for the KTM 1190. Their panniers are made from 2mm alloyand each box measures 400 x 400 x 200 mm with a capacity of approximately 32 litres each. They are key lockable at each end and the lids are rubber sealed to help keep out dust and water. They come in two finishes  either alloy or powdercoated black.

The mounting racks are made from steel and are also powdercoated black. These racks can also be used with soft luggage bags and Rotopax systems. Prices for a set of Panniers plus Mounting Racks are available for a number of makes and models and start at $895, which include GST and postage Australia wide.

Web: www.barrettexhausts.com.au

Contact: Barrett Products 02 45672072

1190

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Enduristan Sandstorm 2 Tank Bag

May 31st, 2014

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New from Endurastan, the makers of Sandstorm weatherproof tank bag from Switzerland, comes the Sandstorm 2 Enduro Tank Bag. It expands upward from 13-20 litres and features a removeable large (A4) map holder. The bag features Read the rest of this entry »

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Touratech BMW Frame Guards

May 30th, 2014

These large frame guards for BMW R1200GS are designed to provide paint protection for the area of the frame vulnerable to wear and tear. This precisely fitting plastic  cover fits the three main frame pipes around the swingarm bearing and the front bolted fixtures of the paralever strut. The guard is made of impact resistant plastic that is lightweight and thermally stable. It comes in black and is easily fitted providing perfect protection from mud and dirt and retails for only $96.10 for each side.

Web: www.touratech.com.au

Contact: Touratech Australia 03 5729 5529

Frame Guards

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May 30th, 2014

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May 30th, 2014

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May 30th, 2014

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May 30th, 2014

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MAD TV Simpson Desert Ride

May 29th, 2014

Check out the preview of their Motorcycle Adventure Dirt Bike TV unsupported Simpson Desert crossing.

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Project Bikes

May 28th, 2014

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About

May 28th, 2014

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Contact

May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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Video

May 28th, 2014

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News

May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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May 28th, 2014

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Ride Events

May 28th, 2014

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New Models

May 28th, 2014

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New Product

May 28th, 2014

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Ride Events

May 26th, 2014

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Latest Project Bike

May 26th, 2014

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SW Motech Dry Bag

May 14th, 2014

This medium size dry bag is made from welded Tarpaulin and is  tear, puncture and UV resistant.

It’s suitable for most makes and models with an adequate rear rack and is 35 litres in capacity, measures 30 cm x  55 and comes in Anthracite/Black with a stable 4-point attachment system. It also comes with an ergonomic shoulder strap and business card pocket plus D-rings for optional attachment with ROK straps. Available for only $99.00 and also available in High Vision Neon.

Web: www.motorradgarage.com.au

Contact: Motorrad Garage  08 9472 9768

Mavi_2014

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Black Dog Spot Light Mounts

May 10th, 2014

Black Dog Cycle Works had these light mounts work for a wide range of lights.  It’s precision design allows you to adjust the angle of the light mounts every 15 degrees, for a total of 24 options. Furthermore, this design locks into position using numerous roll-pins ensuring a stable mount.

Other similar mounts only provide for four adjustments with a much wider variance, limiting your chances of actually having your light level. Treated with a hard anodized black finish and uses stainless steel bolts ensuring years of durability.  The mounting hole for the light is 1/4 inch, but can be easily enlarged to mount lights with a larger mounting bolt and is available online for $79.95.

Web: www.motorcycleadventure.com.au

Contact: Motorcycle Adventure Products

BlackDog-Light-Mount

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May 9th, 2014

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Project Bikes

May 9th, 2014

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BMW Adjustable Gear Lever

May 7th, 2014

SW Motech have designed an adjustable gear lever for the 2013 BMW R 1200 GS which they say is an absolute pleasure to use. Made from CNC milled aluminium and hardcoat finished these two piece levers have infinite adjustability. The result is improved ergonomics with easier operation. The spring loaded toe also reduces the chance of disabling damage in the vent of a fall.

Available online from Motorradgarrage .com.au for $199.00.

Web: www.motorradgarage.com.au

Contact: Motorrad Garage  08 9472 9768

SWMotech-Gear-Lever

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Have you ridden a GS yet?

May 2nd, 2014

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The BMW Motorrad GS Experience test ride program is back in 2014.

Over the last two years the innovative GS Experience has given hundreds of riders the opportunity to experience the unique qualities of BMW Motorrad’s class leading adventure motorcycles. Read the rest of this entry »

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ProMoto Billet Adventure Footpegs

May 1st, 2014

These footpegs are designed for Adventure Motorcycles and offer a level of comfort and control way above that of standard footpegs. These pegs fit a number of popular models and come in various colours to suit the make and model of bike. The footpeg measures 6cm front to back by 12cm wide and make a perfect alternative for the adventure rider.

Web: www.adventuremoto.com.au

Contact: AdventureMoto.com.au

Phone: 1300 46 66 86

PMB-ADVFootpegs

 

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Barkbuster Blizzard

May 1st, 2014

Barkbusters have created the Blizzard which is a new weather protection handguard that is compatible with most makes and models. While the guard is basically designed for fully-faired sportsbikes, tourers and scooters the Blizzard is is a great option for those who do plenty of transport sections in poor weather conditions.

Manufactured with a windproof and waterproof material that is strong enough to be self-supporting under wind pressure, yet soft enough to flex against fairings and screens without leaving a mark, the BBZ handguard envelopes the hands while remaining open at the rear and can be fitted to most motorcycle makes and models. The nature of the construction also means that clutch and brake levers remain free from any interference.
While they don’t provide the same controls protection of regular full backbone handguards they provide excellent protection from the elements. Available from all good motorcycle accessory dealers for $119.95

Web: www.barkbusters.net

Phone Rideworx: 02 4271 8244

BBZ-01

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Touratech Travel Event 2014

April 22nd, 2014

The Touratech Family

The Touratech brand is the most recognised among adventure riders around the planet and the Australian event was like a family get together.

With the adventure riding market still growing there are always new punters looking for information on all aspects of our favourite pastime. Online forums are a dime a dozen and provide a wealth advice which can be unqualified to say the least. The annual Touratech Australia event is an excellent starting point when you have the bike but you’re wondering what’s next.

The Touratech event is just about all things to all riders. The format of the weekend starts with registrations on the Friday afternoon featuring test rides with Triumph and BMW motorcycles that are both huge supporters of the event. Touratech boss Robin Box knows that there’s more to a successful event than just riding around the Victorian high country. When it comes to a high country base it doesn’t get any better than Bright in the Victorian High Country. Part of the Touratech formula is that entry is limited to ensure that all riders stay at the same venue at the Bright Chalet. So at the end of each day every rider returns to plenty of food, drink and a warm comfortable bed.

After dinner each night the event has a guest speaker in different areas of adventure travel. Friday night was Mick McDonald from Compass Tours who had lots of great advice from his travels around the world. Miles Davis and Craig Bennett from BMW followed this with some great tips on tubeless tyre repair.

Saturday morning covered rider training on a local property, a ride to the top of Mt Porepunkah with lunch back at the chalet with a ride to the top of Mount Buffalo which featured a coffee stop with a Touratech biscuit. Very cool.

The Sunday was a full day ride and riders had the choice of a GPS route loaded the night before or a simple route sheet for old school adventurers. The route headed into the mountains from Bright to Omeo where the entire group met for a group photo. Riders then had the option of a tarmac route or off road route and ultimate end up in Dargo for lunch. After that it was a quick hop back across the mountains back to Bright. For the off road riders the day wasn’t without its challenges. The roads had been freshly graded which would have been ok except for the overnight heavy rain which turned some sections into slippery slushy clay which was quite a challenge on some of the bigger adventure bikes. Skills learned on the Saturday came in handy.

Nevertheless problems were minimal and Sunday finished with dinner followed by a presentation from Sherri Jo Wilkins who travelled around the world on a KTM 690 just because she wanted to.

While there were plenty of Touratech products on display at the seminars it was far from a hard sell even though they had a captured audience. It was more about providing the best advice that you would expect from your best mates. At the Tourtech event it’s just like being with family.

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Arrows Of Fire DVD

April 16th, 2014

Arrows of Fire is a story about four blokes who head off for two weeks into the Australian outback. A father, his adult son, and two mates discover the grittiest, most beautiful bush the country has to offer. Yet what they find is something they were not prepared for, confronting their own mortality.

It’s not your typical motorcycle video with any riding action overshadowed by riders reflections of the ride. It’s beautifully shot and a very professional production and like all adventure travel motorcycle film will motivate you to get up off your backside and plan an adventure of your own. If this film offers you anything it’s ride something other than a postie bike.

Contact: Josh Evans - josh@eyeoftherider.com

Web: www.eyeoftherider.com

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/eyeoftherider

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Triumph’s 2014 RAT RALLY Ramps Up

April 14th, 2014

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Triumph’s annual RAT RALLY is on again, the 2014 rally will take place this year at popular coastal destination of ‘Coff’s Harbour’ on August 22nd – 24th. “Coff’s Harbour has always been a popular location amongst motorcyclists and we’ve hosted a few events in the area over the years.” Commented event organiser Darren Kersey. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dual Sport Australia DVD

April 1st, 2014

Let’s face it. The currency of dual sports riding is routes. There are a few individuals out there that have done the work but sharing routes takes even more work.

Well now some of the best routes are available and Martyn Blake has published his first DVD on his New South Wales Great Divide routes. From Moonan Flats north of the Hunter district all the way to Woodenbong just south of the Queensland border Martyn has mapped out 2000 kilometres of roads.

The DVD includes maps and GPS data plus nav box compatible, turn-by-turn route sheets for those who aren’t that technically inclined. Google map links, food, fuel and accommodation information plus some of the data is smartphone compatible. In addition to that Martyn gives you an idea of what to expect by including stories and images to get you motivated to take on the ride.

Vince Strang Motorcycles has been a big supporter of compiling these routes so you know that these routes will be pretty good. The disk is PC compatible but a reasonable tech savvy individual with a Mac will be able to find the data they need. Needless to say Martyn provides contact details for technical support. For only $29.95 it’s an absolute bargain.

Web: dualsportaustralia.com.au

Contact: dualsportaustralia@gmail.com

Dual Sports Australia DVD

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500,000th BMW GS motorcycle

March 20th, 2014

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Munich/Berlin. Today the 500,000th BMW motorcycle of the flat-twin-engined GS model series came off the production line - a R 1200 GS. Since 1969 motorcycles have been manufactured for the world market in Berlin-Spandau and since 1980 the BMW Motorrad GS models with boxer engine, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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WR250R Supertrail adds value

March 18th, 2014

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WR250R Supertrail adds value - Latest model only $7999 RRP inc GST

Dual purpose often means compromising performance either on the road or off it. Not so with Yamaha’s WR250R - this quarter litre supertrail machine is as good on the tar as it is in the dirt.

Read the rest of this entry »

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We build it, you make it your own

March 18th, 2014

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Yamaha Brisbane Expo Theme. We build it, you make it your own

Yamaha’s stand theme for the 2014 Brisbane Expo is ‘We build it, you make it your own’ with the emphasis on accessories and customisation. The theme is designed to inspire customers Read the rest of this entry »

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New Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS

February 28th, 2014

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New Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Redefines Value For Money

When Suzuki launched the first generation V-Strom in 2002 the financial statistics for Australia represented a very different set of numbers. The average wage was $46,000 per year, Read the rest of this entry »

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Home

February 17th, 2014

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February 17th, 2014

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Reviews

February 17th, 2014

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February 17th, 2014

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Garage

February 17th, 2014

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Products

February 17th, 2014

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Travel

February 17th, 2014

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KTM 1190 Adventure R Test

January 17th, 2014

Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV test the KTM 1190 Adventure R featuring Trail Zone Magazine test rider Reeksy.

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Dualsport Australia Navigation DVD Vol. 1

January 4th, 2014

Let’s face it. The most valuable currency in dual sports riding is routes. There are a few individuals out there that have done the work but sharing routes takes even more work.
Well now some of the best routes are available and Martyn Blake has published his first DVD on his New South Wales Great Divide routes. From Moonan Flats north of the Hunter district all the way to Woodenbong just south of the Queensland border Martyn has mapped out 2000 kilometres of roads.

The DVD includes maps and GPS data plus nav box compatible, turn-by-turn route sheets for those who aren’t that technically inclined. Google map links, food, fuel and accommodation information plus some of the data is smartphone compatible. In addition to that Martyn gives you an idea of what to expect by including stories and images to get you motivated to take on the ride.

Vince Strang Motorcycles has been a big supporter of compiling these routes so you know that these routes will be pretty good. The disk is PC compatible but a reasonable tech savvy individual with a Mac will be able to find the data they need. Needless to say Martyn provides contact details for technical support. For only $29.95 it’s an absolute bargain.

Web: dualsportaustralia.com.au
Contact: dualsportaustralia@gmail.com
DSA-Cover-Vol1

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2013 Triumph Explorer 1200

January 2nd, 2014

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Heavy Artillery

We test Triumphs second-generation big bore Explorer and chewing up big miles has never been so easy.

Photos by Clubby & Russ

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Back in 2012 we got to experience the new Triumph Explorer 1200 in the best possible conditions. The long haul from Ayers Rock to Adelaide along the Oodnadatta Track is a ride that often fills a line on many a bucket list, and to experience it on the Explore? Well, it doesn’t get better than that.

As for Triumphs adventure heritage, if you dig deep enough images can be found online of old Triumph Scramblers in the 60’s conquering tough European conditions. While Triumph waived from the adventure bike market after the twin headlight, fat tanked Tiger from the late ‘90’s it returned with a vengeance with the Tiger 800XC. Little did we know is that Triumph was planning the design of a class leading adventure motorcycle that would take the fight to BMW and unsettle the iconic 1200 GS from it’s long held stronghold.

What is It?

Triumphs original brief was to build a class leading adventure bike and they delivered. Triumph designed a new signature three cylinder 1200 that is the centre to a fully equipped dual sport tourer that is as comfortable in an urban environment as it is in unforgiving landscapes like the Australian outback. The inline triple-cylinder 1215cc capacity engine of has a minimum 130PS, single-sided shaft drive, ride-by-wire technology, cruise control as standard, and a high output generator to power plenty of adventure bike accessories. Starting in 2006 Triumph invested heavily in developing the Explorer and tested the market to make sure they had the right styling and electronic features. Production finally began in July 2011 and just two years later the Explorer is edging closer to the class crown.

What Do You Get For The Money?

Let’s start with the impressive 1215cc triple-cylinder engine that has a bore and stroke of 85 x 71.4mm powers the Explorer. It has a claimed maximum power is 137PS at 9,000rpm with a maximum torque is 121Nm at 6,400rpm. Engine management is via a ride-by-wire system with dual Hall-effect sensors in the twist grip and a ECU with twin processors that deliver a light throttle action, optimal emissions and fuel efficiency and is a part of the sophisticated cruise control and traction control functions. The six-speed gearbox drives through a hydraulically operated wet clutch and engine service intervals are a generous 16,000km. Air induction channels through a large capacity air box above the motor, under the fuel tank which runs a paper filter element as standard, while the exhaust exits through triple header pipes that wrap down below the engine and exit in a single muffler on the right side of the bike. Behind the cylinder head resides a massive 950w alternator that offers enough power to run any number of adventure accessories.

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With so much power Triumph has designed a new shaft drive system to handle the Explorer’s copious power and torque output and get it to he ground efficiently. Long-term durability has been a priority and it shows with supplying maximum ride quality by reducing transmission vibration and minimising the squat and lift effects typical of many shaft-drive rear ends.

If there was one thing that was lacking from the 1200 Explorer it was spoke wheels and on the new model Triumph wasted no time in delivering an upgrade. The cast 19/17 inch aluminium wheels have been replaced with 32-spoke wheels. They feature anodized-aluminium rims with twin spoke flanges where the fixed ends hook through and the threaded nipple rides on the hub side, which is a similar setup to the Yamaha Super Ténéré.

Quality Kayab suspension is fitted at both ends, with 46mm USD forks up front providing adjustable preload and the single shock rear end has adjustable preload and rebound damping. The end result is that the suspension on the Explorer is very firm especially with my 74kg frame so the bike will carry a sizeable load straight out of the box with little complaint with a healthy 190/194mm wheel travel is front/rear.

Complete instrumentation displaying speed, revs, gear selection, time, odometer, trip meters, fuel range, fuel economy and indicates the ABS and traction control settings, amongst a myriad of other features is easy to read and other fittings include an adjustable screen, quick adjust headlight, adjustable bars and an auxiliary (DIN4165) power socket.
Other features are a high capacity 18aH battery, 20 litre fuel tank with four litre reserve which gave us about forty clicks and coded key immobiliser. The adjustable seat can be set to a height of 840 or 860mm with allows a smaller frame rider to plant his feet on the ground and a taller rider to feel not so cramped.

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The under-seat storage pocket has plenty of space for the standard tool kit and some more while the centrestand makes tyre repair easier. Other features include a forged aluminium sidestand, removable cast aluminium pillion pegs, rear carry rack and pillion grab handles making it a perfect choice for two up adventures.

The Explorer has a wheelbase of 1530mm, weighs in at 259kg full of fuel which isn’t that noticeable once you’re underway and best of all it has a 24 month, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Who’s Buying It?

The great thing about this end of the market is there are a great variety of bikes starting with the boxer engine BMW R1200GS, the high performance Ducati Multistrada, the off-road bred KTM 1190 Adventure or the legendary Yamaha Super Ténéré twin. While all are more off-road orientated than the Ducati, the Explorer falls right in the middle with all round appeal. While it suits a larger frame rider, like my mate Big Pete who loves his Explorer, it feels very manageable in lose conditions. Regardless, if you’re taking on the big miles on open roads and want to cover extensive distances comfortably then the Explorer is high on anybodies list.

Where Did We Ride It?

We headed north-west to the vineyards of Mudgee in New South Wales. I don’t remember much after that. Just kidding.

We hit the highway and headed west over the mountains to Lithgow and then speared off to Mudgee where we got to make good use of the Triumphs electronic cruise control. On the way back we detoured through the forests of Sunny Corner before joining back onto the highway back into Sydney.

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What’s To Like?

Like other bikes in its class it has a formidable stance when it’s growling at you in the showroom. But once you throw your leg over it’s well behaved and will obey every tweak of the controls. It hides its weight well and it’s profile has you at ease either standing or seated. The screen gives plenty of protection from the elements and I feel less stretched than I do on the Tiger 800.

Twisting the throttle let’s you know quickly that there is an abundance of power that, quickly reminded me of my ‘sphincter says no’ moment in the Flinders Ranges. There’s no time for brain fade on this bike and that makes it a whole lot more appealing.

The electronic aids like Traction Control and ABS is, I have to say reluctantly, a good idea as this is a monster that can catch you out with its power and mass. Fortunately you can choose to turn it off once you’re feeling confident and there is a lack of cattle fences to plough through.

Overall the bike has gobs of power, very comfortable, sounds awesome and has a great range of accessories that you make your Explorer adventure ready straight out of the showroom. I can’t overstate the difference the spoke wheels make to the look of the bike and for adventure riders this will make the deal much sweeter. At $21,790 plus ORC* the price includes switchable ABS (on or off) and traction control (mode 1, mode 2 or off), plus cruise control. Not bad.

What’s Not To Like?

Our biggest beef with the original Explorer were the cast alloy rims which didn’t react well to outback potholes at high speed but that problem no longer exists. The only gripe that I have is that the ABS and Traction controls aren’t intuitive enough without a review of the owners manual.

The Final Word?

This is basically the XC version of the Explorer we’ve been waiting for and in the short term there is almost nothing you can fault on this bike. What about the long term? Well the good news is that this Triumph Explorer 1200 became an ORE project bike so if you’re thinking that a 1200 adventure bike may be on your radar then check out our upgrades.

*Price is AUD when story was originally published.

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2014 Triumph Explorer 1200

January 2nd, 2014

We test Triumphs second-generation big bore Explorer and chewing up big miles has never been so easy.

Back in 2012 we got to experience the new Triumph Explorer 1200 in the best possible conditions. The long haul from Ayers Rock to Adelaide along the Oodnadatta Track is a ride that often fills a line on many a bucket list, and to experience it on the Explore? Well, it doesn’t get better than that.

Smooth effortless power, ABS, electronic cruise control.

Heavy in tight conditions, doesn’t like getting airborne.

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2013 Triumph Explorer 1200

November 1st, 2013

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Heavy Hitter

Big bore multicylinder monsters isn’t everybodys mug of joe but if your like chewing up the miles most of the time you may as well armour up for those unexpected hardcore challenges.

Photos by Andrew Clubb and Lance Turnley

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Headlight Protector

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Replacing a headlight lenses on any bike is an expensive exercise. If you’re going to do any off-road riding chances are you’ll end up with a buddy in front of you and it takes just one rock. The Explorer headlight guard is constructed of injection moulded polycarbonate and is specificied for off road use only. It features convenient quick release mounts offering easy removal for the road. Available from your Triumph dealer for $72.00 and is a necessary investment.

Hand Guards

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The Triumph aftermarket handguards are designed to provide protection for the rider’s hands from wind chill and debris but almost no impact protection for the bike controls. Manufactured from durable moulded nylon, Triumph Hand Guards are a popular option if you’re looking for protection just from the elements. At $135 it’s a little less expensive than more robust handguards. Available from your Triumph dealer.

Engine Sump Guard

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Triumph say that the ‘heavy gauge brushed aluminium Belly Pan designed to compliment the styling of the Tiger Explorer’. It is manufactured from marine grade 5083 alloy and is effective against rocks and debris that could be thrown up from the front wheel. The belly pan has drilled sections giving it a lightweight competition look with etched branding and it is supplied with all mounting hardware. For lightweight off road excursions it sells for $295.00 direct from your Triumph deale

Engine Protection Bars

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I didn’t really believe in crashbars until I speared of a sandy desert track into some desert scrub. While the bush was parted like the Red Sea the engine bars were bend enough to make me think a hole in the engine case could have been possible. The engine bars are manufactured from 22mm steel tube for optimum strength and finished in durable textured powder coat finish. Supplied complete with all mounting hardware they are a wise investment for $310.00.

Arrow Pipe

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A big brute like the Explorer needs to take advantage of any trimming of fat it can. A good place to start is the standard exhaust system, which can amount to huge weight saving especially since buckets of bling will ultimately you’re your mount chubbier. The Arrow performance pipe will save you 2.3 kg and up to 3PS power gain. The high performance Slip-On silencer developed in conjunction with Arrow special parts is constructed of bespoke Titanium Wrap and features genuine carbon fibre end cap and mounting strap. Needless to say it sounds great and is available for $1295.00 from your Triumph dealer.

Triumph Panniers, Mounting Kit and Top Box

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For the lightweight adventurer the all new bespoke Triumph luggage system is a viable option for cost effective hard luggage system. The panniers feature high security “one key” locking mechanism, branded brushed aluminium lid covers and fully weatherproof construction. A full floating mounting assembly ensures performance levels are not compromised even when fully loaded. They offer 62 litres of luggage carrying capacity and can accommodate one full-face helmet, which leaves a hand free when you’re off to get a latte. The matching Top Box features a 35 litre capacity and 10kg weight limit and must be installed with A9508162 sliding carriage and together cost $798. At $995.00 for pannier boxes and mounting system from your Triumph dealer it’s at the more affordable end of the hard case market.

SW Motech Side Stand Foot

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The small foot of the standard side stand provides little support for the mighty Explorer with its small footprint. The SW Motech Side Stand Extension is made of high strength CNC machined aluminum alloy. The larger contact surface prevents sinking in soft ground for the rider that is going to use this bike for true adventure. The Side Stand Extension is silver anodized with the upper mounting plate is powder coated black. Available online from Motorradgarage.com.au for only $69.00.

Touratech Rear Luggage Rack

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If soft luggage is your preference and a simple tail bag is your preference then you’ll need a larger rear luggage area than standard to mount a soft bag. Touratech offer a larger rear luggage plate that fixes to the smaller standard Explorer rear rack. It provides a much needed extension to the stock luggage rack. The larger platform, and many handy tie-down slots, make this rack the perfect place to strap down all kinds of tail bags, dry bags, and luggage. Made of laser cut aluminum and stainless steel, and then hard anodized satin black, this rack looks great on the tail of the Tiger Explorer 1200. It is very easy and quick to install using the provided mounting hardware and existing mounting points. Made in Germany by Touratech and available in Australia for $162.56 from www.touratech.com.au.

Glenda LED Lights

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These were cool on our WR250R project bike but they are the ducks guts on our Triumph Explorer. The best part is that XenonOz supplied us with gunmetal grey shrouds that perfectly matched the colour scheme of the Explorer. The 12 watt, LED Glendas (800 lumen per light on high) make your motorcycle more visible to traffic during the day and at night providing a wide pattern of light adding to side illumination. One of the great feature is that they come with a digital dimmer to adjust the amount of light produced. Excellent for keeping you visible when riding during daylight hours.

For more information and your nearest dealer go to XenonOz at www.xenonoz.com.au

Motorradgarage Light Mounts

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We were looking around for a solid mount for our Clearwater LED lights. We decided to mount them off the crashbars so the logical choice was to use SW Motech Universal Light Clamps.

Made of fiber reinforced nylon they include rubber insert adapters for diameter so you can use them on 22 mm, 26 mm, 27 mm and 28 mm diameter bars. When you invest big money in LED lights a mount kit like this makes great sense when moving your LEDs and light mounts to your next bike or other bikes.
Available from Motorradgarage.com.au for a very reasonable $39.00

Madstad Tall Screen

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If you’re horizontally challenged then screen height on a Triumph Explorer is not such an issue when it comes to staying out of the weather. However when you’re getting up around six foot plus, which the Explorer is perfect for the bigger bloke, then a taller screen will be on the shopping list.

The MadStad adjustable windshield system for the Triumph Tiger 1200 Explorer gives you total control over the shield position and airflow. The fairing is designed to allow air to scoop up underneath. This eliminates the vacuum behind the shield, which is what causes most the turbulence around the rider. It is fully adjustable so you can set it up to your own height and riding position. The screen mount system is $149.00 and the screen is $180 from wwwmotorradgarage.com.au.

Touratech Zumo 590 Cradle

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We’ve been using a Touratech GPS mount for our old Zumo for a number of years and it has never let us down. With Garmin just releasing their new Zumo 590 Touratech have announced their new lockable handlebar GPS mount.

The Zumo 590 LM cradle with power supply is integrated into the Touratech motorbike mount. Inserting the Garmin Zumo into the bracket connects it to the built-in Garmin power supply. The cradle grips the GPS like a hand and clicks securely into place. It comes with a key lock, which can be ordered keyed alike with your existing Touratech accessories. The cradle retails at $268 and is available online from www.touratech.com.au

Motopressor Pocket Pump

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With a big bike with big tyres nobody wants to have to inflate them using a hand pump as it’ll only result in arm pump. When it comes to tyre repair and keeping your kit to a minimum then the MotoPressor Pocket Pump is ULTRA compact, and only weighs in at only 570g.

It’s built around a custom modified 12 volt inflator and is stripped down to the bare minimum requirement so what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in performance and functionality. The MotoPressor™ has a 63cm long inflator hose, with a hands free, lock down delivery valve that fits all bikes and a long 2.65 metre SAE fused power cord that comes with two adaptors.

All this packs small into a heavy duty neoprene pouch which is included in the kit and fits into the palm of your hand. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au for only $49.95

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Touratech Headlight Protector

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I have to admit, I love Touratech black stainless steel headlight protector. They really look the business and are very effective specially on gravel roads, headlights are always at risk of being damaged by stones thrown up by the bike in front. Trust me I know.

The laser cut lattice work design creates a rugged off-road look and considerably modifies the bike’s appearance matches the style of a touring enduro. It also features a quick release fastener that allows the guard to easily unclip for cleaning. Available from Touratech.com.au for $182.37.

Barkbuster Blizzard

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In the last month things have got bitterly cold especially for our mates in the south of the continent. After fitting our VPS Handguards we went straight to the Barkbusters Blizzard which, is the ultimate weather protection handguard and is compatible with your existing VPS backbone. Originally designed for fully-faired sportsbikes, tourers and scooters the we’ve found the Blizzard to be a great option for our big bore adventure tourer.

The Blizzard features a windproof and waterproof material that is strong enough to be self-supporting so you can quickly unscrew your VPS plastics and mount the Blizzard over the backbone. We like the way the BBZ handguard envelops the hands while remaining open at the rear.

Available from all good motorcycle accessory dealers for $119.95

SW Motech Crashbars

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These Crashbars have a high quality fit and finish and are designed to provide maximum protection around the upper tank area. For the weighty Explorer heavy duty 27mm diameter mild steel is used with high-strength frame mounting points linked cross bar to help distribute the force of an impact. The bars are protected against corrosion by sand blasting and powder coating offering exceptional side impact protection for the radiator.
The SW-Motech Crash bars will fit with our OEM crash bars so for another $299.00 it’s a great investment.

SW Motech Skid plate

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When you want to take the Explorer sump protection up a notch then it makes sense to upgrade to the SW Motech Skid Plate. Made of 4 mm aluminium plate it provides an effective protection from stone-chipping and collision.
The skid plate has a silver brushed finish and is easily fit with all mounting material and instructions and is only $309.00.

SW Motech Engine Guard Extension

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Engine header protection is probably one of the most neglected parts of your engine and one of the most vulnerable. As the name suggests this part acts as an extension of the underbody protection. The extension protects the exhaust manifold with 3 mm brush silver aluminium plate. The installation of the extension is only possible in combination with the SW-MOTECH Crashbar and Engine Guard. The guard comes with all mounting material and installation instructions. Available online for $69.00 from www.motorradgarage.com.au.

Triumph Heated Grips

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One of the best features of the Triumph Explorer is it’s 950W Alternator which one of the most powerful for this class. It’s designed to power everything from lights to GPS and communication systems while recharging onboard devices. If you’re up for riding in all conditions then you have to have Triumphs factory heated grips. With two heat settings these grips will keep the palm of your hands as warm as toast. Available from your Triumph dealer for $270.05.

Barkbuster VPS Handguards

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The Triumph Explorer comes with plastic handguards off the showroom floor that protect you from the elements but with a big bike like this you need a backbone to protect your levers. Australian made Barkbusters have a model specific kit for the 1200. The basic kit (BHG47-NP) is the backbone and mounting hardware giving you the choice of either VPS plastics that come in a range of colours or Storm plastics that give you greater protection from the elements.

The VPS plastics include Variable Height Wind Deflector for extra protection from the elements. Storm plastics are larger than the VPS and wrap around the hand further to offer greater protection from the elements. The aerodynamic design directs wind and rain away from the hands to help keep them warm in cold conditions. The basic kit retails for $121.95 with plastics extra. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

SW-Motech Foot Pegs.

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These quality stainless-steel foot pegs by SW-Motech are 60 mm wide, feature CNC machined alloy brackets for fitment to just about any adventure tourer. They have two different mount heights, which give you a difference of 15 mm, making the transition from seating to standing a breeze and can also aid in ground clearance issues. The top plate features a aggressive looking treat pattern with a couple of different outlines that are sure to keep your boots on the pegs in greasy conditions. There’s a sturdy rubber insert for the top of the peg that help absorb some of the vibration and are a little softer to stand on for longer periods.

Check out www. motorradgarage.com.au where you’ll find it for $159.00

Giant Loop Great Basin Saddle Bag

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The new 2014 Giant Loop Great Basin Saddlebag is an excellent luggage solution for a large bike like the Explorer. It is now 100% waterproof with a set of 3 internal seam-sealed, roll top waterproof Dry Pods which are included with the bag. The 60 litre bag is positioned where the passenger would sit on your bike and the Adventure Proof Great Basin Saddlebag fits virtually any motorcycle designed to carry a passenger. The bag straps securely to the passenger footrest mounts and rides on pillion seat. Priced at $590.00 it’s backed by a limited lifetime warranty!

The bag comes with a Hot Springs Heat Shield to protect the exhaust from abrasion and protect paint work you’d be advised to buy Giant Loops Protective film kits for $32.00. Available online from AdventureMoto.com.au.

Enduristan Sandstorm 2 Enduro Tank Bag

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For a big bike like the Explorer we’ve fitted a Endurastan Sandstorm 2 Enduro Tank Bag. It expands from 13-20 litres and features a removeable A4 size map holder big enough for a days trip notes or a copy of Trailzone Magazine. The bag features external Side and internal organizers and its red interior - makes looking inside and finding items much easier. It also features an internal removeable stash pouch that can clip to your belt for security.

It has weatherproof welded construction using 420D Nylon fabric with TPU-coating & YKK weatherproof zips. The bag also comes with quick detachable carry handles and shoulder straps and ROK Strap tensioned side straps for a firm secure fit.
The Sandstorm 2 Enduro fits many bikes and spare optional harness kits are available. The Sandstorm 2 Enduro is competitively priced at $240.00. www.motorcycleadventure.com.au

Torxing Tools

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Like any OEM tool kit the Explorer comes with the absolute minimum yet there is adequate space under the seat to carry so much more. Like the BMW the Explorer uses Torx head fasteners so a Cruztools Roadtech B1 is a great foundation for a comprehensive tool kit. With the space available under the pillion passenger seat you can afford to load up with tubeless repair kits and air compressor. The Cruztools Roadtech B1 tool kit sells online for $192.45.

Check out a wide range of tools at www.motorcycletools.com.au

3BR DIN 4165 Plug USB Charger

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The Triumph Explorer comes standard with a DIN 4165 socket just infront of the fuel tank so it provides an easy power source for various devices. The DIN to USB cable can plug straight into the Triumph socket with the USB outlet mounted on the handlebars using the Universal Mounting System. A tethered seal cap protects the power port from dust and water.

This compact, easy to mount USB Power Port will charge USB accessories including mobile phones, most GPS units, MP3 players and some digital cameras. Some of these devices can be keep in your tank bag and run your USB cable to your USB plug.
Available online from Adventuremoto.com.au for only $53.96

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2014 Triumph Explorer 1200

November 1st, 2013

Big bore multicylinder monsters isn’t everybody’s cup of joe but if your like chewing up the miles most of the time you may as well armour up for those unexpected hardcore challenges.

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  • Headlight Protector
  • Triumph Handguards
  • Engine Sump Guard
  • Engine Protection Bars
  • Tank Protector
  • Arrow Pipe
  • Triumph Panniers, Mounting Kit and Top Box
  • SW Motech Side Stand Foot
  • Touratech Rear Luggage Rack
  • Glenda LED Lights
  • Motorradgarage Light Mounts
  • VPS Handguards

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  • Madstad Tall Screen
  • Touratech Zumo 590 Cradle
  • Motopressor Pocket Pump
  • Touratech Headlight Protector
  • Barkbuster Blizzard Handguards
  • SW Motech Crashbars
  • SW Motech Engine Guard Extension
  • Triumph Heated Grips
  • SW-Motech Foot Pegs
  • Giant Loop Great Basin Saddle Bag
  • Enduristan Sandstorm 2 Enduro Tank Bag
  • Torxing Tools
  • 3BR DIN 4165 Plug USB Charger

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Lance Turnley

September 2nd, 2013

Founder of offroadexplorer.com Lance ‘Russ’ Turnley has been on two wheels since he got his first scooter. After buying a Kawasaki MT1 at the age of 12 after slogging it out selling newspapers Lance has been hammering it out on the dirt in motocross, enduro and mountain bikes.

After a chance meeting with Australasian Dirt Bike publisher Geoff Eldridge Lance went on to publish Australasian Jet Sports writing about anything and everything to do with PWC’s in Australia and overseas.

As a passionate mountain biker Lance returned to off road motorcycles in 2000 when he remembered the advantage of an engine. Since then he has written for Australasian Dirt Bike, Dirt Action, Australian Motorcycle News and Australian Mountain Bike. He also worked as 4WD Monthly magazine (now 4WD Monthly) as the No. 1 publication Art Director.

Lance joined Trail Zone Magazine at the end of 2007 as TZ’s adventure bike editor after taking to adventure bike travel. During that time he also filmed and produced all of Trail Zone ‘In The Zone’ DVDs. After a stint of collecting old Yamaha Teneres he has volunteered to seek professional counseling.

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2013 BMW F800 GS Adventure

August 30th, 2013

Not too big, not too small but just right.

The new BMW F800 GSA is everything that the previous BMW F800 GS wasn’t. Not that there was anything wrong with the regular F800 GS but the added features make this bike a definite long term keeper. It will take you almost anywhere.

Excellent electronics, improved comfortable seat, greater fuel range.

Not much.

Price: $18,500

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2013 BMW F800 GS Adventure

July 30th, 2013

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Long Term Keeper

Have BMW created the ultimate mid weight adventure bike? We think they have.

Photos by iKapture

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When you hang out with a bunch of adventure bike riders you will always end up in a ‘why don’t they?’ conversation. Why don’t KTM build a 700cc Adventure? Why don’t Suzuki make a fuel injected DR650? Why don’t Yamaha make an 800cc Tenere? Why doesn’t Honda make an Africa Twin? Why don’t BMW make an F800GS with more fuel capacity? After that it usually moves to ‘why do they bother making…?’ conversation. I won’t go there as Clubby reckons I’ve received my quota of hate mail for the year so I’ll move on. Seriously. Since my I got my Mum a computer the correspondence hasn’t stopped.

Well, somebody has been listening, certainly not to the American market for a change, and BMW have delighted us and taken the logical step and created the BMW F800GS Adventure. It’s a no brainer really. Take what is basically a proven formula, give it greater fuel capacity and upgrade the suspension appropriately. BMW have done just that but have included some extras that make this model very appealing.

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What is It?

BMW have created, what maybe, the best all round adventure tourer. This bike has been made for Australia with increased comfort and greater fuel range. It’s certainly the right combination for chewing up big miles across the Aussie outback. And it didn’t take much to transform this GS to a GSA.

The basic platform is the proven F 800 GS’s liquid cooled, 798cc, four valve parallel twin with a six speed transmission, long travel suspension, 21” front wheel and 17” rear shod with Continental TKC 80s and a O-ring chain drive that operates in and around a tubular steel frame. The main difference is the larger fuel tank for which the rear subframe has been strengthened, and weather protection has been increased in the form of a larger body cowl and a larger screen. The suspension has also been upgraded to handle the extra weight. The engine has BMW’s basic crash protection, LED auxiliary lights and BMW’s advanced ABS is standard. Optional extras include an Enduro Package ESA and ASC which are factory fitted. Then there are the BMW accessories including hard luggage, tank bag, high seats, sports exhausts and GPS.

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What Do You Get For The Money?

The BMW F 800 GSA has the Rotax built, fuel injected, water-cooled, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts with dry sump lubrication engine. Its bore and stroke of 82 mm x 75.6 mm gives it a capacity of 798 cc which turns out 63 kW (85hp) at 7,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 83 Nm at 5,750 rpm. Nothing new there. The 800cc engine has the same mass balance shaft located below the crankshaft giving it a torquey, smooth power delivery makes it easier to manage a bike of this size in technical conditions. The engine is afforded crash protection bars and a skid plate, which needless to say, should be standard on all serious adventure bikes.

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The main feature of the bike is the new 24 Litre tank giving the bike an extra eight litres capacity increasing the range to around 120km more depending on who is twisting the throttle. The tank is, as before, located under the seat and is camouflaged by the BMW luggage rack system, which wraps tightly around the tank and in turn provides crash protection for the large fuel cell. The airbox, as before, is located above the engine but is now surrounded by new bodywork that provides the riders legs with improved weather protection. Aesthetically the larger cowling balances out the look of the bike and helps disguise the F 800 GSA’s big booty.

Finally, 800 breathes out through a closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3 exhaust system and the engine drives through a Multiple-disc clutch in oil bath, constant mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase and a O-ring chain with shock damping in rear wheel hub.

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The tubular steel frame with its strengthened subframe features the upgraded suspension package with 45mm USD front forks up front with 230mm wheel travel with a single rear shock supporting a cast aluminium swingarm with up to 215mm of travel with a 21” wheel on the front and a 17” on the rear. The twin, floating 300mm brake discs are matched with Brembo double-piston floating calipers and a single 265mm disc on the rear with a single-piston floating calliper which have no trouble handling the extra carrying capacity. The F800 GSA comes standard with ABS which not only works well but can be switched off for those who like to brake slide to point the bike in the right direction when need be.

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With the larger tank the seat height has been increased from the standard 880 mm high to 890mm with a low seat option up from 850mm to 860mm. The standard seat design was was never well received but the new two tone adventure seat has been redesigned to a more stepped design. It’s a one-piece design as opposed to a two piece set up. The seat options include the one colour low seat, standard two-tone seat and a tall two-tone seat. There’s no charge if you opt for a low seat when you purchase the bike.

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Other than switchable ABS the new F800 GSA comes standard with white LED Indicators, heated grips, on board computer, hand guards, centre stand and the previously mentioned full hoop luggage racks. The final touch which sets the adventure model apart from the standard GS are the LED auxiliary lights with the switch residing in the handlebar control cluster. The new GSA comes in two new colours, Racing Red and Sand Rover Uni matt. While the matt finish gave it a desert camo finish it reminded me of my parents beige lounge room walls. Personally I prefer the red as it reminds me of the classic red R1200 GSA.

Who’s Buying It?

The BMW F800GSA is a time proven package and like any BMW GSA model it will be a classic. So anybody who sees themselves as a long haul adventurer in the long term and can afford the investment will see this bike as a keeper. At $18,500 the F800 GSA is within reach of the masses. Well, upper middle class masses. If you think $18,500 is still a little out of your league then take the time to check out some BMW Finance options.

On the other hand if you were thinking about a basic R1200 GS then a fully optioned F800 GSA could be to good to resist.

Where Did We Ride It?

When it comes to BMW media launches it’s more about where did we eat? Nevertheless we did eventually ride the bike. We started from Kingscliff Beach just south of the New South Wales/Queensland border on the Tweed Coast. We headed west out through the hinterland south of the border through Kyogle country to our overnight stop at Urberville Pub and headed back the following day. The route was roughly 50/50 road/dirt from country tarmac to tight forest twin track. Special guest on our ride was Chris Vermeulen who, since retiring from racing, has invested in two BMW dealerships in Queensland.

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What’s To Like?

At first glance you have to do a double take to check that it’s not a R1200 GSA. The cowling in front of the rider has been widened providing the riders legs with additional protection from the elements. Combined with the taller screen shielding from the elements is head and shoulders above the standard F800 GS. Ergo’s work well with a comfortable riding position either seated or standing. New wider footpegs are a welcome addition that, when supplied standard, include rubber inserts which can be removed for off road riding. The rear brake pedal is adjustable and reinforced and the extension can be folded down providing better reach when standing on the pegs. The new standard seats are very comfortable and feature two-tone colour scheme to match the colour of the bike.

Simple standard extras like heated grips, on board computer, centre stand, engine crash protection and skid plate make this model more adventure ready from the showroom. While the rear of the bike is physically wider than other bikes in its class it’s nicely disguised with the rear luggage racks that wrap tightly around the rear tank. Above all the increased range of the F800 GSA is its main selling point.

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If you can afford to option up then this is the bike to do it with. The ABS is standard but our test bikes were fully optioned and for good reason. It’s friggin’ great.

On previous models were ABS and traction control (ACS) is either on or off. The F800 GSA features Enduro Mode which, includes ASC. This increases the slip threshold of both the ACS and ABS. So I found that under acceleration the rear wheel would still spin a little and under heavy braking allow the rear to lock up a little to allow the bike to slide into and out of corners. The harder I rode the better it seem to work. Under acceleration out of corners I found the trick is to be as smooth as possible. Once you master that the bike slides nicely without cracking lose and pointing you in the oppose direction.

The Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) has comfy, normal and sport settings. The sport setting works well, when transiting between off-road and tarmac and while off-road we were always in comfy mode. Both ABS and ASC (traction control) can be switched on and off on the fly. Another optional extra is the factory fitted anti-theft alarm and as with other BMW models a Low Suspension option is available.2013_BMW_F800GS-Adventure__-2023
Five years ago I cursed BMW ABS on the 650 Dakar. I went through more pairs of underwear than ever before when I forgot to turn off the ABS as I plummeted down steep tracks to the point where I considered buying a box of Huggies. However, in Enduro Mode I left ABS on for the whole ride and only turned off the traction control after I felt confident on the bike. How much of a difference does the Enduro mode work? While chasing after Chris Vermeulen behind Miles and Big Trev we came to a sharp left hand corner. Chris was riding a new F800 GS with standard ABS, which he forgot to turn off. While the rest of us made the corner without much fuss, Chris went straight on and over the edge. Fortunately it was a grassy slope and Chris was found halfway down the embankment pointing back up the hill surround by cow paddies instead of a gravel trap.

At $18,500 the F800 GSA with ABS standard plus a whole heap of essential add on accessories like heated grips centre stand taller screen, larger tank, LED auxiliary lights along with BMW Quality build and service makes it an investment worth considering.

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What’s Not To Like?

Everything that was missing and disappointed me about the standard F800 GS has been included on the F800 GSA. So I’m kind of scratching my head here. Our test bikes were fitted with Touratech headlight guards but that’s because Australian motorcycle media enjoy having a bit of a dig and roosting each other. Unintentionally, of course. One thing I did notice is that the luggage racks are shaped to fit around the tank and not flat like other racks.  So it appears that only BMW luggage boxes will fit limiting customers choices. Oh yeah and I’m not crazy about Beige.

The Final Word?

This bike has set the benchmark for the mid size market. It combines the basic essentials of an off-road tourer with increased fuel range and comfort while electronic aids can be set to the individual riders skill level allowing a little or maximum input from the rider. Basically with a luggage system and GPS you can ride this model straight out of the showroom and into the outback. While there’s plenty of room for a box of Huggies, you won’t need them.

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2013 Husqvarna TR650

May 12th, 2013

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Terra Attack

While the TE630 was the angry opponent in the small bore dual sport market a logical heart transplant is just what the doctor ordered to take on an aging opposition.

Photos by Clubby

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Dirt bike legend Malcolm Smith must kick back each morning and gasp with horror when he reads that his beloved Husqvarna has another owner. It must make running for President of the United States look a little more predictable in the outcome department but perhaps in this case BMW’s injection maybe the secret to this 650 cc’s success.

As I travel through city traffic in the ORE transporter I’ve spotted more dual sport bikes making the daily commute than any other class of bike. And it’s easy to spot the bling and adventure apparel that indicates that most are serious weekend warriors.

Now we’ve had both the Husqvarna TE610 and the TE630 as long-term project bikes and from an off road perspective these bikes were awesome. Needless to say they were weapons and required a firm hand to perform at their best. However as a commuter the gnarly throttle response had them jumping off from the lights like an angry rodeo bull and the saddle didn’t make things at all comfortable.

When the BMW owned Husqvarna brand unveiled the new TR650 Terra it looked like a match made in heaven. The TE630’s replacement now has BMW’s reliable 650 Rotax engine and a much more comfortable seat while retaining Husqvarnas suspension package and aggressive looks. It looks like it’s about to wipe the floor with the dinosaurs that currently dominate the 650cc dual sport market.

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What is It?

The Husqvarna TR650 is a successful crossbreed of German engineering and Italian styling. While sporting a similar frame to the BMW Sertao to accommodate the BMW powerplant, the Terra sports an all Husqvarna Sachs suspension package. I liken it to a lean mean Sertao or a Husqvarna TE630 on just enough Prozac to take the edge off. No matter how you look at it, it’s a huge step in the right direction.

What Do You Get For The Money?

The new Husqvarna TR650 now utilises the proven liquid cooled, high-torque single cylinder engine of the BMW 650 GS model with two overhead camshafts, four valves, fuel injection, and double ignition and a smooth delivery thanks to the balancer shaft. Originally developed by BMW and Rotax its 652 cc displacement delivers 43 kW (58 hp) at 6500 rpm, which is 10hp more than it’s German counterparts. That’s thanks to the TR650’s newly designed cylinder had with an optimised duct layout and with 10kg lighter over the GS models it is very responsive.

The gearbox is a five-speed constant mesh gearbox transferring power to the rear wheel via a chain drive. The engine sits within a steel bridge frame with a bolt on rear subframe and with Sachs USD forks and steel swingarm with a Sachs shock absorber, spring preload mechanically adjustable and rebound adjustable suspension on the rear. At this price bracket this is as good as it gets

The wheelbase of the of the TR650 is 1501mm with wire spoke wheels at either end with a 21 inch up front (2.50 x 21) and an 18 inch on the rear (140/80 x 18) on the rear. That will make plenty of serious adventure riders happy.

The TR650, while a little more docile than the TE630, is still a rocket ship and to bring that momentum to a stop the TR650 has Brembo hydraulically actuated single disc brake, fully floating, 300 mm diameter with a double piston floating calliper up front. On the rear is another Brembo hydraulically actuated single disc brake, 240 mm diameter with a single piston, floating calliper. Disengagable ABS is an option that some riders may prefer for those greasy wet commuting mornings.

The cockpit features digital speedo and an analogue tacho basically the same as the new Nuda but over all the cockpit is very basic and begs improvement. The seat height is 875mm and is a similar design to the BMW seat making it much more comfortable than the old TE630 seat. The tank profile is long a low, which allows the seat to extend further up the tank. While the fuel tank fills front and centre like a traditional bike it extends down and under the rider helping lower the centre of gravity. The 14-litre capacity gives the TR650 an estimate fuel range of more than 350 kilometres. The fuel light gives you plenty of warning when you’re down to your last 2.5 litres.

The headlight and front guard styling has been adopted from the TE/SM 630 models, which sets it apart from the Nuda and retains its TE roots. After all, this bike still allows its enduro DNA to shine through.

Who’s Buying It?

Now this will be interesting. Up until now the small-bore dual sport market has been dominated by the Suzuki DR650 and the Kawasaki KLR650. For only one thousand dollars more the Husqvarna TR650 offers a proven, fuel injected BMW powerplant, Sachs suspension and brakes and Italian styling. To upgrade either of the forementioned japanese bikes to the same spec will cost you a lot more dollars than that. LAMS approved, robust performance, cool styling, sharply priced along with 24 months unlimited kilometres warranty makes it hard to beat. With a raft of accessories from Husqvarna and other aftermarket manufacturers there will be some serious setup options. Furthermore Safaris tanks have even announced they will be manufacturing a large capacity fuel tank. For all dual sports adventure riders this is a serious contender in the market. City commute one day, Simpson Desert the next.

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Where Did We Ride It?

Like any serious adventure rider I geared up into my Husqvarna enduro gear and headed to my local beachside café for my regular café homo enduro Italian bean roast skim latte with honey. Once the taunts of ‘who’s the tosser wearing the beanie’ got too much I headed down the cost along back-road tarmac and fire trails and twin track.

What’s To Like?

When I first heard that BMW had taken over Husqvarna I wondered what a 650 Rotax would be like in a Husqvarna frame. I then got distracted from that idea when the Nuda was release and my head was filled with thoughts of a Husqvarna 900 twin adventure bike.

As it turned out we’ve been gifted with the TR650 and looking at the big picture the market has been screaming out for a high performing fuel injected 650 at an economical price.

The BMW 650 Rotax powerplant has been around for quite sometime and Husqvarna has extracted 10 more horsepower by enlarging the intake and outlet valves and increasing the valve stroke. Heavy-handed use of the throttle will raise the front wheel from the road without any clutch trickery.

While our test bike didn’t have ABS the stoppers certainly did the job although you do need time to get the feel to avoid lock up especially in the wet. The good thing is that ABS is an option, which is not available on its cheaper competition.

The 18 inch rear wheel will give you more options for tyres especially when trying to source rubber in remote locations and when making your way to those far off lands you will definitely appreciate the broader saddle. Behind the saddle is a functional rear rack, which will suffice for a medium size gear bag.

The bike overall looked a bit awkward for some reason and we suspect that the lack of a bash plate was the problem. However the more we looked at it, the more we saw the potential and coming down the road it’s a very sharp looking ride.

Overall, with its extra horsepower and lighter weight, the Terra is quite a nimble weapon and managing that is made easier with the tractable power of the Rotax powerplant.

Husqvarna have a wide range of accessories available from bash plate, hand guards and heated grips to hard luggage systems. With an industry standard 24 month, unlimited kilometres warranty the Husqvarna is very competitively price at $8995 RRP.

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What’s Not To Like?

To get the TR650 in a price leading position the German owners struck some essentials off the basic equipment list and cut a few corners. The lack of a bash plate and handguards will come to your immediate attention and leaves the bike looking very vulnerable to damage. The handlebars are standard looking thin steel bars and except for the instrument panel it looks very low spec. The digital speedo display has a polarising cover to reduce sun reflection. Unfortunately if you’re wearing polarise sunglasses it creates a rainbow film over the display and you can’t read it.

Other than that the Rotax wiring looks a bit untidy around the voltage regulator and the radiator hoses look a little too exposed along with the agricultural looking rear brake lever and gear shift lever that seem to hang out in the wind. Nevertheless nearly all that can be fixed, tidied up and protected.

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The Final Word?

The Husqvarna TR650 Terra is the wake up call that the economical end of the dual sport/adventure market needed. It is by far much better value for money than its cheaper counterparts. It has huge potential and even in its standard form it’s just a fun bike to ride. It’s a great all-rounder.

With the surprise announcement of a new owner for Husqvarna we can just hope that there’s a steady hand on the rudder. Should the powerplant change for something similar then the Husqvarna TR650 Terra should out sell the competition hands down.

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2013 Husqvarna TR650

May 5th, 2013

Is the new Husqvarna TR650 the best of the low budget single cylinder 650cc adventure bikes? We think it’s better than that!

We’ve been screaming out for a fuel injected entry level adventure bike for some time. Sure, the DR650 and KLR650 are solid bikes and super reliable but compared the technology of todays bikes they are agricultural to say the least. The Terra 650 is just what we’ve been waiting for and at an affordable price.

Excellent power from the BMW power plant, great suspension and brakes.

Lack of hard parts for protection.

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ADV Video Trailers

October 23rd, 2012

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Bike Test Video

October 23rd, 2012

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ADV Travel Video

October 23rd, 2012

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Archives

May 23rd, 2012

Feel free to browse through our archives. We like to update once a fortnight on original stories and industry news is published immediately. If you can’t find what your looking for here then why don’t you contact us?

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Andrew Clubb

May 18th, 2012

One of the stalwarts of the off-road motorcycle publishing industry Clubby has been tapping out stories for over 30 years with his first published piece was in REVS with Stephen Gall winning the 1982 NSW MX 500 at Failford Park. His publishing milestones include editor of Australasian Dirt Bike then Dirt Action Magazine and whilst he was at Universal Publications he launched Trail Rider Magazine.

In September 2005 he took on the big publishers and launched his own publication Trail Zone Magazine. Since then he hasn’t looked back and while others have failed the Trail Zone formula has stayed solid and the magazine now enjoys a loyal following that hasn’t waivered.

Many of the images seen on offroadexplorer.com have been captured by Clubby.

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2012 Triumph Tiger 800 XC

March 1st, 2012

The Triumph Tiger was a pleasant surprise and when the time finally came we didn’t want to part with it. It has to be on everybodies bucket list to have in the garage one day.

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  • Triumph Bash Plate
  • Arrow Pipe
  • Triumph Crash Bars
  • Pivot Pegz MarkIII with Toppers
  • Strike Genius GPS
  • Heated Grips
  • AltRider Rack
  • Universal Side Racks
  • Wolfman Expedition Saddle Bags
  • Triumph Tall Screen
  • MadStad Adjustable Screen
  • VPS Handguards
  • SW-Motech Foot Pegs
  • Specialty Tools
  • AltRider Radiator Guard

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  • Touratech Side Stand Extension
  • Touratech Mudguard Riser
  • Touratech Headlight Protector
  • USB Charger Adaptor
  • Unifilter Precleaner
  • Touratech Tank Bag
  • Kako Cruise Control
  • Storm Handguards
  • Barrett Performance Exhaust
  • Safari Tank
  • Triumph Centre Stand
  • Adventure Fog Light Kit
  • Handle Bar Risers
  • AltRider Side Stand Foot

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Testimonials

January 18th, 2012

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BMW Safari Flinders Ranges

December 4th, 2011

The 2011 BMW Safari travelled from Broken Hill with the first night in Blinman in the Flinders Ranges. Day two would be a tour of the Flinders Ranges returning to Blinman. Day three was a long haul from Blinman to Roxby Downs with a lunch stop at Maree with the option of scenic flights over Lake Eyre. The ride would then head from Maree via the Oodnadatta Track then down to Roxby Downs. Day four was another long haul down to Streaky Bay on the Great Australian Bite with day five travelling from Streaky Bay to Port Lincoln.

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2011 BMW F800GS

October 24th, 2011

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Bavarian Blaster

When it comes to adventure bikes BMW has a legend status. With mid weight 800cc class dual sport bikes on the market we get the opportunity to see the F800 GS true potential as we prepare for the BMW GS Safari.

Photos by Lance Turnley

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There are a whole range of trick bits available for the F800GS but the surprising thing is the hunger you develop for all things BMW and being corporate. It started with the GS cap and you can’t ride a GS in anything but a BMW Rally Pro suit. This has been accompanied by a strange urge to wear a collared shirt and tie just in case I have to drop in on a board meeting. Next thing you know I’m buying a new tow vehicle. I opted for the six series coupé as it will be easier to spot amongst the X-5’s that frequent my local café to pick up my double decaf homo mocha soy latté before my next corporate engagement.

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Nevertheless we’ve fitted a ton of goodies for the F800GS and we started with what your BMW dealer can fit you out with straight from the showroom floor and into the Australian Outback.

BMW Tank bag

The BMW Tank has a expandable capacity from approximately 12 to 17 litres and has zip open side pockets. It is waterproof and is large enough for a A4 sized map pocket on top and has a patented cradle for mobile phone or other electronic devices.

It has a variable insert with an adjustable outer rim with a Velcro fastener to set the width. Within that is adjust Velcro dividers and an adjust cover with a drawstring top to help keep out moisture. Available from your BMW dealer for $340.

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BMW Engine Protection Crash Bars

Made from sturdy stainless-steel tube construction the BMW Engine Protection Bars not only protect the engine from impact but also support the whole bike in the event of a fall on uneven ground protecting other parts of the bike.

Available from all BMW dealers for $575.

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BMW Alloy Bash Guard

The BMW Engine Guard Hard prevents stones from penetrating the oil reservoir (I’ve seen it happen) and damaging the engine cases in the event of bottoming out and impacts. For the F800GS it’s probably the most important aftermarket accessory you should have. If you are planning to ride anywhere off road then a bash plate is highly recommended. Available from your BMW dealer for $383 and it’s well worth the investment.

BMW Hand Guards

The F800 GS like most adventure bikes isn’t lightweight so in the unlikely event of a fall the first to get damaged are the controls. The BMW Hand Guards are closed loops made of high-strength electro polished steel. They have wind deflectors made of robust, shatterproof polyamide plastic protecting both your hands and bike controls.

Available from your BMW dealer for $241.

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BMW Headlight Protector

The BMW Headlight Guard protects your F800GS headlights against flying stones. The clear shield is made of shatterproof Plexiglas. The snap lock system enables easy attachment and removal for cleaning and maintenance. Available from your BMW dealer for $130.

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BMW Low Seat

It’s an option I always request for an adventure bike. When you’re loaded up it helps to be able to plant your feet firmly on the ground when you pull up or trying to negotiate a technical section. It’s the sort of situation when you come across a fallen tree and you have to detour over difficult ground to circumnavigate the obstacle. I also find the lower seat is a lot more comfortable than standard. The great thing about buying a BMW low seat is that it is a factory option and when ordered from the factory it won’t cost you any extra. However if you do need to buy the lower seat as an optional extra the price is $460.

Wolfman Soft Luggage System

The 2010 Wolfman Side Racks are designed as a system with Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddle Bags or Teton Saddle Bags.

The system offers easy mounting, durable construction; appropriate for the most aggressive conditions and works well with the Wolfman proprietary oval-shape with 4 attachment points, for the most secure soft luggage mounting available. This kit also includes a rear cross brace for extra strength and increased load capacity.

These racks can double as utility racks to fit on a fuel or water containers. They are made of welded steel and chromoly steel with slotted bolt holes for simple, painless installation.

High grade nuts and bolts for mounting are supplied with the kit.  The complete system of racks and Expedition Dry Pannier Bags shown here are $ $579.95 and available from AdventureMoto.com.au online or call 1300 46 66 86.

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Rear Shock Bracket and High Tensile Bolt Kit

Made from high grade billet aluminium the F800GS Rear Shock Bracket is designed to help brace and strengthen of the rear shock top bolt. This kit also comes with a high tensile replacement for the standard BMW bolt. It distributes the load and will reduce the chance of a bent or broken shock bolt. It is the best value kit of it’s kind at only $95. Highly recommended for long trips especially when carrying a fully laden luggage system. Available online from AdventureMoto.com.au or call 1300 46 66 86.

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AltRider Side Stand Foot

Since we are heading out to the desert for five days I’m expecting to see a bit of sand. Not like the massive dunes of the Dakar but enough to allow the side stand to sink into the ground and up end like a beached whale. The AltRider Side Stand Foot for the BMW F 800 GS provides a larger footprint to support the weight of your bike on soft ground. $69.95 is a small price to pay to avoid back injury.

Made from hefty 1/8 inch stainless steel, this foot features a 3D tread that provides traction for your boots. The AltRider foot also clamps down on the actual foot of the side stand with Torx fasteners, which means it will remain tight even after months of use. No more rattling or stripped fasteners. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au

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Touratech Aluminium Guard for Brake Fluid Container Handlebars

Ever had a brake fluid cap go missing? It’s not much fun especially with BMW dealers few and far between. The Brake Oil Reservoir is very vulnerable and the guard will prevent tampering, and offers protection to the container from flying stones. Available from Tourtech Australia online for $54.91.

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Trail Tech Equinox LED Lights

These black anodized case LED lights have a 35mm round post mount. Helmet, handlebar and flat surface mounts are also available. They have a three position dimmer on/off switch at the back of the light casing. The great thing about that is that you can set the lights to 12W, 6W or 3W. Excellent for increasing your visibility in traffic at 3W then ramping it up to 12W when you really need to light up the road. Each unit weighs 167g, the front lens is hardened glass with the beam colour at 6300K. For your nearest distributor call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559.

3BR USB Power Outlet

This compact, easy to mount USB Power Port is the answer for powering and charging your USB accessories including cell phones, most GPS units, MP3 players and some digital cameras. It mounts easily to any surface using the Universal Mounting System. A tethered seal cap protects the power port from dust and water when not in use. AdventureMoto has a range of powered device options for most mobile phones and electronic devices. The Tapp Lite is only $44.45 and is available online from www.adventuremoto.com.au

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Barrett Performance Pipe

The slip style muffler has two adventages other than increased performance. The Barrett pipe is much lighter than the stock unit and is less expense to repair or replace than the stock BMW unit. All of their exhaust systems are hand TIG welded and feature a removable tea strainer baffle as well as a unique ribbed billet end cap which is easily removed to simplify repacking. The slip on cannister is fabricated out of aluminium, and contains a stainless core surrounded by muffler packing and steel wool. The end cap begins as a solid block of alloy and is individually carved out in their onsite CNC machine.

The Barrett Slip On pipe for the BMW F800GS is $595 and includes delivery within Australia. Go to www.barrettexhausts.com.au.

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Motion Pro Torx Kit

Unlike other manufacturers BMW don’t supply a basic tool kit with their bikes. That normally wouldn’t be too big a problem but BMWs use Torx head fasteners throughout their bikes rendering most basic bike tools useless. If your looking to cover yourself with your regular bike tools then a Motion Pro Torz kit will go a long way to help that. The kit includes T-25, T-27, T-30, T-40, T-45, T-50 wrenches  and features 180 degree swivel heads with extra long handle for accessing hard to reach places, heat treated alloy tool steel and chrome plated finish.

It comes in a heavy duty folding canvas storage pouch and takes up less storage space than a typical hex key set. It costs $145 and is available from www.adventuremoto.com.au or call 1300 86 66 46.

Touratech Fairing

If it’s one thing the F800GS Lacks is an effective fairing. Touratech have naturally come to the rescue with the Desierto Fs screen The screen can be fitted easily and has an infinite variety of adjustment options.  This enables air flow and annoying wind noise can be practically eliminated for any individual with the height and inclination of the screen adjusted as well as the distance from the fairing . Adjustments can be done easily in a few seconds with a standard size 6 open ended spanner.

The whole assembly retails for $1 072.82 and is available from online from www.touratech.com.au.

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Touratech Steel Headlight Protector

When you own a Beemer you tend to ride with other Beemers and if you’ve ever followed a fellow F800GS  or R1200GS they can chuck rocks the size of house bricks. Touratechs Steel Headlight protector is the ultimate rock guard for your expensive BMW headlight assembly. It consists of a strong corrugated grid that is welded directly to the frame, and is completely powder-coated. It gives your F800GS that ‘conquering Africa’ look and is attached directly to the headlight bracket of your BMW. The Steel headlight is a great investment and available online from Touratech Australia for $140.38.

Altrider Luggage Rack

AltRider make some beautiful engineered parts for most adventure bikes. Their F800 GS Rear Luggage Rack is made from strong 4.75 mm black powder coated aluminum and features side flanges for extra strength, it’s and can carry a wide range of luggage options. The rack is uniquely designed with a variety of cut-outs, so you can easily attach your bags with anything from straps to bungee cords to tie downs. An interface for the Givi Monokey systems is also available, allowing attachment with a mount kit that is sold separately.  Available from AdventureMoto.com.au for $169.95

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Altrider Radiator Guard

The AltRider Radiator Guard for the BMW F 800 GS offers serious protection of your vulnerable radiator. Made with 1.5 mm anodized aluminum, it replaces the OEM guard for a stronger solution. Louvers deflect kicked up debris, and the fins are designed to direct air toward the radiator to keep it cool.

The AltRider Radiator Guard attaches with OEM mount points and hardware, and is the only guard currently available that utilizes the lower middle mount to provide increased strength and protection.  The AltRider Radiator Guard is only $90.95 and is available from AdventureMoto.com.au

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Touratech Seat

This seat significantly increases seating comfort, especially on long stretches over the standard height seat. The reason is the ultra-elastic yet strong outer material, which makes the padding even more efficient. The integrated recess relieves the pressure on the coccyx and distributes the drivers weight over the whole seat. Thanks to the offset seams on the side and slim shape of the seat, there is no pressure against the thighs. It’s available from Touratech Australia for $777.08 and if you’re planning on riding endless days in the saddle it’s worth the investment.

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Storm Handguards

The standard BMW handguards offered great impact protection but the small plastic blades offered minimal protection from the elements. We went straight to the Australian made Sotm Handsgaurds by Barkbusters.

It’s a favourite of ours the plastic guard is much larger and is great value compared to the BMW accessory handguard. The F800GS Barkbuster kit is available for $129.95 including the backbone and mounting hardware with the Storm plastics costing $46.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

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Pivot Pegz MarkIII with Toppers

We’ve used the Pivot Pegz MarkII and Mark III on previous project bikes and they have never failed to out perform the standard foot peg. Pivot Pegz have gone one better with creating the new Pivot Pegz Toppers.

For the adventure rider the foot peg provides a wider flat platform with reduced vibration and extra comfort whilst still having openings large enough to allow mud/dirt to pass through.

The Pivot Pegz MarkIII retail for $239.00 and the  Pivot Pegz Toppers are $29.95. For your nearest retailer go to www.pivotpegz.net.

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Unifilter Air Filter System

The Unifilter dual pod foam filter has internal support springs and polyurethane flange.  The kit comes with two precleaners and reuseable cable ties for fixing to airbox snorkel inlet.  The precleaners provide added filtration and protection in off road conditions which is far superior than the standard paper filter especially in Australian conditions. The design of the prefilters make it easy to remove and clean. The Unifilter unit can be purchased and fitted by your BMW dealer. (Part No. NU-7305KIT) The complete kit is $82.50 and is available from your BMW Dealer or Unifilter Australia. For more information go to www.uniflow.com.au.

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BMW Tools

When we took delivery of our F800GS we spent most of the day looking for a secret compartment that contained the tool kit. Even in the well-equipped ORE Garage we had no Torx tools so fitting our new parts was a problem. A quick phone call to BMW revealed that the F800GS doesn’t come with a kit and that you can purchase one from your dealer.

Our own BMW Tool Kit finally did arrive and it’s typical of what you would expect from BMW. It’s super lightweight and from what I can tell has every fitting you need to make any adjustment all the way through to removing the rear wheel. (PN 71 60 7 720 256). The BMW Tool Kit retails $287.00 and is available from your local BMW Dealer.

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Touratech Oil Reservoir Guard

The brake fluid reservoir on the F800GS is almost unprotected. In the event of a fall on rocky ground an obstacle can protrude into the frame and break off the fragile plastic oil reservoir. The guard also prevents tampering with the reservoir cover. Fits also to the 2001-2007 single-cylinder BMW F 650 GS and is available online from Touratech Australis for $59.94. Go to www.touratech.com.au

AltRider Regulator Guard

It’s important to protect your voltage regulator with the AltRider Voltage Regulator Guard. The guard is made with 3 mm anodized aluminum, and it’s designed with louevers that direct air toward the heat sink, cooling it off so it can perform more efficiently. It mounts using OEM mounting points, and comes with stainless steel fasteners that mount flush to prevent snagging on your pants or boot. It’s available from Adventuremoto.com.au for only $90.95 and is also available in black.

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2011 BMW F800 GS

October 24th, 2011

Our BMW F800GS proved it’s worth as a conqueror of outback obstacles. Here’s the bling we fitted to make our F800GS unstoppable on the BMW Safari.

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  • BMW Tank Bag
  • Engine Protection Bars
  • BMW Handguards
  • BMW Lexan Headlight Protector
  • BMW Low Seat
  • Soft Luggage System
  • Rear Shock Bracket
  • AltRider Side Stand Foot
  • Touratech Brake Fluid Guard
  • Equinox LED Lights
  • 3BR USB Power Outlet
  • Barrett Performance Pipe

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  • Storm Handguards
  • MotionPro Torx Kit
  • Touratech Fairing
  • TouratechHeadlight Protector
  • AltRider Luggage Rack
  • AltRider Radiator Guard
  • Touratech Seat
  • Pivot Pegz
  • Unifilter Air Filter
  • BMW Factory Tool Kit
  • Touratech Oil Res. Guard
  • AltRider Regulator Guard

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2010 Husqvarna TE630

October 5th, 2011

Husqvarna raises the bar when it comes to making the meanest single cylinder dual sports/adventure bike on the market.

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  • Side Stand Modification
  • Husqvarna Bash Plate
  • Husqvarna Lower Seat
  • Husqvarna Rear Rack
  • B&B Off Road Bash Plate
  • Performance Exhaust
  • Touratech Pipe Guards
  • VPS Handguards
  • Safari Tank
  • Unifilter Air Filter
  • Lambda Probe Guard

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  • Wolfman Rolie Bag
  • Plastic Side Cover
  • Brake Reservoir Guard
  • Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard
  • Carbon Fibre Sprocket Cover
  • GPS Holder
  • Coyote Saddle Bag
  • Wolfman Racks an Bags
  • Trail Tech GPS
  • Grip Heaters

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2011 Husqvarna TE630

October 5th, 2011

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Desert Assassin

The Husqvarna TE630 is the most most powerful single cylinder dual sports adventure bike at the economical end of the market. The DR and KLR doesn’t stand a chance.

Photos by Lance Turnley

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With many adventure/dual-sport bikes going soft (or as Popgun would say, getting bigger, heavier and wider!) and thus becoming more at home on the black-top than the dirt, what a breath of fresh air it is to have recently taken delivery of this Husqvarna TE630. When it comes to dual-sport bikes that are more dirt than road, the TE630 is right there at the sharp end of the offroad pack, alongside KTM’s 690 Enduro R.

Sidestand Set Up

Like so many ADR compliant machines, the Husqvarna TE630 features a sidestand that’s designed to automatically retract when weight is taken off it. This is mostly a safety feature, so that you can’t ride off with the sidestand down. However, when you’re trying to move the bike around with a load on, it’s handy to be able to leave the stand down, just in case the bike gets away from you. To remedy the auto flick-up function, simply grind off the sidestand bolt extension, and this will allow the sidestand to stay in position.

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Husqvarna Bash Plate

The TE630 tends to throw rocks in all directions and we know from painful experience how easy it is to hole the unprotected engine cases. This genuine Husqvarna bash plate for the TE is made of 3mm aluminium sheet and reinforced with a 3mm stainless-steel sheet. The bash plate features neat polished rivets and not only looks good, but offers serious protection of the cases and fits to sturdy stainless-steel mounting brackets. Priced at $340, the bash plate is available from Husqvarna dealers everywhere.

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Husqvarna Lower Seat

Unless you’ve got the legs of a basketball player, the previous TE610 model was a tall bike with a 940mm seat height. We fitted a lowering link to the TE610, which made a world of difference. This year the new 630’s seat height has been reduced by 10mm, but it’s still a stretch for the average guy to throw a leg over. Following the lead of other brands, Husqvarna now offers an accessory lower seat for the 630 that reduces the seat height by 30mm to 900mm. Priced at $203 and available from Husqvarna dealers, the lower seat height is a god send for vertically challenged riders (like me!) when you need to paddle.

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Husqvarna Rear Luggage Rack

Husqvarna’s accessory rear luggage rack is extremely strong and once fitted, makes it easy to mount small tail bags. The rack features a stainless-steel frame that is fitted with a 4mm aluminium plate rack. It has grooves for straps and handles, making it easy to secure a pack or motorcycle travel bag to the back of the bike and is rated for loads up to five kilos. Easy to fit, the rack is priced at $342 and is available from Husqvarna dealers around the country.

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Husqvarna Rear Bag

This Husqvarna Factory rear bag is a perfect match for the rear rack, and features side
pockets with waterproof zips and the top-loading zip-top has a small clear zip pocket, which is handy for your E-Tag when you’re getting out of town. The inner liner
has padded Velcrofastened compartment dividers and a drawstring rain-proof liner. Perfect for a weekend run, the bag is priced at $230 and available from Husqvarna dealers.

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B&B Off Road Bash Plate

When it comes to a proven track record for engine protection you can’t go past B&B Off Road products. For our Husqvarna TE 630, knowing the sort of riding we’ll be doing, we had to take engine protection to the next level. B&B’s alloy bash plate is highly polished and comes with all the components needed for fitting. The plate also comes with rubber strips, which help eliminate vibration against the frame. The B & B Off Road Engineering Bash Plate retails for $191.00. You can buy online by going to www.bboffroad.com.au or call 03 5335 8000.

Husqvarna Performance Exhaust

The TE630 has plenty of bite but fitted with these Husqvarna TE630 Titanium/Carbon Fibre cans it completely transforms the bike. The pipes do come with ECU, which increases peak power but we retained our standard ECU to give us more mid-range, which will be better suited to the TE’s use. The best part is they only weigh 1.84kg each compared to the standard units at 3.3kgs each. There is an obvious power increase while still retaining its rideability. The Husqvarna performance pipes are available through your Husqvarna Dealer and retail for $1888.00. Go to www.husqvarnamotorcycles.com.au

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Touratech Pipe Guards

With some luggage options and simply the heat from the exhaust system heat guards are an essential item on the TE630. Even though the 630 come with heat guards the Touratech units are sportier, lighter and leaner than the original part and fits straight onto the original exhaust system and our Husqvarna high performance pipes. The kit includes the right and left hand sides and retails for $102.54. Buy online at www.touratech.com.au or phone 03 5729 5529.

Barkbusters VSB Handlebars

Barkbusters Variable Section Handlebars have bends designed for Honda, KTM and Yamaha. We chose the Yamaha bend to give us maximum rise to counter the low bar position of the TE630. The bars are fatter for longer making them stronger with less vibration and more flex.
They’re manufactured in Italy from premium grade Ergal 7075 Aluminium with a shot peen & hard anodized finish and retail for $99.95.  Available in Charcoal, Gold & Silver from Rideworx in Australia. Go to www.barkbusters.net or phone 02 4271 8244 for your nearest dealer.

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Safari Tank

This has to be one of the most awaited tanks in the Safari Tank range and it’s finally arrived. The 25-litre Safari Tank for Husqvarna’s 610-630 range now unleashes the true potential of this bike. The tank has been designed to keep the weight as low as possible and at the same time Safari have retained the original ergonomics of the bike. When riding the bike particularly the tank looks and feels no larger than the stock tank. This has to be one of the best Safari tanks to date and should be one of the first mods you bolt on when you take delivery of your new TE630. The tank fits both fuel injected TE610 and TE630 models. The fuel pump assembly mounts in different areas for the 630 and 610 so when ordering make sure you specify the correct model. The kit includes everything you need to fit the tank and you won’t need Popgun to help you. The TE630/610 tank retails for $730 and is available from www.safaritanks.com.au.

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Unifilter Air Filter

Now that the TE630 can cover longer miles without a fuel stop it doesn’t it’s important to fit a quality air filter and one of the best products on the market are Unifilter Air Filters. It’s a dual stage filter that’s easy to maintain for the long dusty rides.
Unifilter recommend Filter Fix foam air filter treatment when servicing their polyurethane foam air filter elements. The foam element retails for $65.00 and a 500ml bottle of oil is $12.95. For more information go to www.uniflow.com.au or contact Unifilter on 02 4322 2007.

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Lambda Probe Guard

With fuel injection technology there are various sensors on the bike to allow the onboard computer to keep the engine running at peak efficiency. The lambda probe is a sensitive measuring device and is not exemption to needing protection.  This guard protects the lambda probe from stones being thrown up and heavy soiling and helps to ensure that this important piece of equipment will always work perfectly.  The lambda probe guard is made from laser cut, anodised aluminium and is an essential piece of kit for $ $36.22. Available for purchase online from www.touratech.com.au.

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Wolfman Rolie Bag

The TE630 just begs for a quick day long blast and with it’s extra fuel capacity can quickly get a long way from home. The TE630 doesn’t fit under the seat like the 610. We transferred the standard TE630 tools to a Wolfman Tool Roll but when you include puncture repair, pumps, tape, tyre levers, additional tools and spare tubes it gets a little heavy in a pack. Especially when you’re using most of your energy just trying to hang on to this big bore thumper. We used the medium size Rolie Bag with a deluxe mounting kit and we’ve found the Rolie Bag is just about 100% water and dust proof. It’s easy adapted to the different bikes we test and is available with range of mounting accessories.

The best part is that the kit fitted securely to the Husqvarna rear rack without any extra straps. The Rolie Bag comes in three sizes and three colour combinations. The medium Rolie Bag we used retails for $69.95 and the Deluxe Strap Kit is only $18.95. Available from AdventureMoto.com.au. Buy securely online or phone 1300 46 66 86.

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Plastic Side Cover Pin

The Husqvarna TE630 is a very robust bike but as we have in the past it’s the little things that let it down. The pins on the side cover have a sharp edge and are difficult to pull out. So much so the pin actually snapped straight off the inside the cover. Carefully remove the cover and use a file to round off the inner edge of the pin to make it easier to pull out. Be careful not to remove too much material so the cover pops off mid way through a ride.

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Touratech Brake Reservoir Guard

Anything to keep vital components protected from impact is a good idea and one component is the rear brake reservoir. It not only protects the rear brake cylinder and also the brake wire is well covered and protected.
Made of laser-cut aluminium it’s very easy to install with the guard screwed onto the existing fitting points. Recommended retail price is $49.12 and available from www.touratech.com.au.

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TAG Grips

With the Husqvarna TE630’s raw feel you need all the help you can get as far as comfort is concerned. The TAG Rebound technology offers the softest, tackiest compound available. The grip is designed to enable you to ride 40% long before hand fatigue occurs. The grip has strategically placed areas with 40% more cushioning material along the entire shaft of the grip. The grips retail for just $24.95. For more information contact C&R Imports on (03) 9587 5077 or go to www.candr.com.au.

Touratech Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard & Oil Plug

The brake fluid reservoir on the Husqvarna TE630 sort of sit out there on its own and looks vulnerable to stray sticks and rocks that may spear in there on the freak occasion. Anodised in red it also has a tab that prevents the reservoir lid from becoming loose and is a good investment for $44.50.

Touratech also have a high quality aluminium replacement plug for the original oil filler plastic plug. The hexagon socket reliably prevents the oil filler screw from being opened without tools and retails for only $44.07. Available for purchase online from www.touratech .com.au

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Touratech Carbon Fibre Sprocket Cover

Carbon-fibre is bling at it’s best especially for strength and saving weight. The Carbon-fibre laminate sprocket cover helps prevents mud build up, is lightweight, robust and above all looks cool. It may cost $263.42 but this is one bit of bling you have to put on your wish list. Check it out at www.touratech.com.au.

Husqvarna GPS Holder

The Husqvarna GPS Mount Adapter mounts directly onto the TE630 handlebar clamps. The kit includes two longer handlebar clamp bolts that the laser cut aluminium mount screws onto. This makes it possible to remove the adapter without loosening handlebar clamps. The mount mates perfectly with our Garmin Zumo 550 with its Touratech Lockable Mount (065-0141 – not included in this kit)
The Husqvarna GPS Mount adapter retails for $125 and is available from Husqvarna dealers.

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Giant Loop Coyote Saddle Bag

We’ve used the Giant Loop Coyote Bag before and it’s a perfect match for the TE630 with enough capacity perfect for a long weekend expedition. This new model has a larger flap covering the bags zip to improve waterproofing. It’s designed and sewn in the U.S.A, has a volume of 30 litres and straps on/off bike in seconds. It’s made of tough trucker tarp material and is easily fitted without any drilling or modification to the bike. It has separate draw string bags inside to make it easy to pack. You can buy online from www.adventuremoto.com.au and retails for just $375.

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Pivot Pegz

To get a real grip on this feisty Italian stallion we’ve fitted Australian made Pivot Pegz. They are beautifully engineered and their spring loaded pivot action increases grip and improves rider comfort on a long haul. The Pivot Pegz Mark 2 retail for $199. Check out www.pivotpegz.net for there full range fitment chart.

Wolfman Racks and Bags

If your looking for even more luggage capacity you can’t go past Wolfman Expedition Panniers. These bags have repeatedly proved themselves to be waterproof, dust proof and tough as nails. The system offers easy mounting, durable construction and is perfect setup for an aggressive bike like the TE630.

The welded chromoly steel racks are made in Australia with the slotted bolt holes for simple, painless installation. You can also attached Rotopax fuel or water containers to give the TE630 mega fuel range. High grade nuts and bolts for mounting are included and the bags come in yellow/black or all Black. The racks cost $295 and the Expedition Panniers are $269.95. There are rack and pannier kits, the TE630 kit is $544.95) for a wide range of models at AdventureMoto.com.au.

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Trail Tech GPS

The Trail Tech GPS is geared more towards a enduro style bike making it perfect for the TE630. It features all GPS functions including Speed, Distance, Compass, Altitude and Temperature. You can view, Organize, Edit and Share Entire Trail Systems in 3D
It has a 240×400 WQVGA LCD which is readable in Intense Sunlight and engine Performance is linked to the GPS Data. It has some impressive mounting options and is crash Resistant. You can Upload Routes from any GPS using the .gpx format.
With Customizable User Screens it is available for a range of Models and is designed to be accurate even in the tightest trails. The unit has an internal battery but can be connect to your bike battery and is back lit for use at night. The kit includes Mounting Hardware, Wheel Sensor, Magnet Kit, and Temperature Sensor.  Available $450 and for your nearest distributor call HoleShot Sports on 03 5433 2559.

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Heated Grips

I copped a fair bit of flack because I fitted heated grips to our last TE610 project bike. In an effort to man up I purposely didn’t fit hand warmers for our shakedown ride. All I can say is big mistake. Grip Heaters from Ballards Off Road are probably the best all round heated grip kit available. Taunt me as much as you like but heated grips are going on every adventure bike we build. There are a few on the market but these allow you to fit whatever grips you prefer. Grip heaters make a huge difference on cold open stretches and it will be the best $57.95 you’ll ever spend. Available for Ballards Offroad. To order just call direct on 02 4731 1210.

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Home

September 14th, 2011

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Project Bikes

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Privacy Policy

August 30th, 2011

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This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for the OffRoadExplorer.com website,  www.offroadexplorer.com.

OffRoadExplorer.com is committed to providing you with the best possible customer service experience. OffRoadExplorer.com is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals.

Collection of your personal information

There are many aspects of the site which can be viewed without providing personal information, however, for access to future OffRoadExplorer.com customer support features you are required to submit personally identifiable information. This may include but not limited to a unique username and password, or provide sensitive information in the recovery of your lost password.

Sharing of your personal information

We may occasionally hire other companies to provide services on our behalf, including but not limited to handling customer support enquiries, processing transactions or customer freight shipping. Those companies will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. OffRoadExplorer.com takes reasonable steps to ensure that these organisations are bound by confidentiality and privacy obligations in relation to the protection of your personal information.

Use of your personal information

For each visitor to reach the site, we expressively collect the following non-personally identifiable information, including but not limited to browser type, version and language, operating system, pages viewed while browsing the Site, page access times and referring website address. This collected information is used solely internally for the purpose of gauging visitor traffic, trends and delivering personalised content to you while you are at this Site.

From time to time, we may use customer information for new, unanticipated uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at some time in the future we will use for these new purposes only, data collected from the time of the policy change forward will adhere to our updated practices.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

OffRoadExplorer.com reserves the right to make amendments to this Privacy Policy at any time. If you have objections to the Privacy Policy, you should not access or use the Site.

Accessing Your Personal Information

You have a right to access your personal information, subject to exceptions allowed by law. If you would like to do so, please let us know. You may be required to put your request in writing for security reasons. OffRoadExplorer.com reserves the right to charge a fee for searching for, and providing access to, your information on a per request basis.

Contacting us

OffRoadExplorer.com welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy and would like further information, please contact us by any of the following means during business hours Monday to Friday.

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News 1

July 15th, 2011

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Sed suscipit euismod eleifend. Donec non ligula nunc. Pellentesque molestie posuere metus nec faucibus. Nam velit nulla, malesuada quis commodo eu, interdum non libero. Etiam ligula nulla, imperdiet nec pulvinar sit amet, sodales sed diam. Maecenas imperdiet tellus at enim interdum et semper ante pharetra. Cras elit orci, rhoncus gravida convallis sit amet, molestie vitae leo. Etiam at egestas orci. Fusce auctor pretium diam sed iaculis. Nullam ut sapien ac lacus tempor convallis. Nulla neque velit, gravida sit amet fermentum et, commodo ut lectus. Fusce sed hendrerit quam. Aliquam iaculis nibh nec dui malesuada sit amet tristique diam sollicitudin. Morbi urna tellus, sollicitudin non consequat quis, cursus in velit. Maecenas mauris metus, varius eu hendrerit ut, mattis nec quam. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse pretium arcu ac lectus porttitor tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst.

In vel vulputate leo. Nulla purus urna, dapibus a tincidunt nec, fringilla sit amet velit. Pellentesque ante nunc, posuere sit amet malesuada in, porttitor sed lorem. Vestibulum ullamcorper sagittis lorem non rhoncus. In interdum urna dui, quis ultricies sem. Vestibulum at neque augue. Nam sagittis nisl vel dolor tempus id commodo sapien scelerisque. Suspendisse pulvinar faucibus rutrum. Nulla facilisi. Quisque mollis neque sed justo auctor a imperdiet nibh ornare. Donec rutrum sodales quam, ut tincidunt sapien venenatis vitae. Aliquam sed eros lectus, dictum tempus neque. Sed pretium nisl nec enim viverra bibendum. Nulla ipsum mi, consectetur eget facilisis in, adipiscing ut risus. Curabitur sagittis egestas lacus, eu tincidunt turpis sodales vestibulum. Donec pretium lacinia dignissim. Vivamus blandit eleifend pellentesque. Nulla eros urna, hendrerit ut suscipit in, hendrerit at enim. Phasellus eget nulla massa.

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News 2

July 15th, 2011

Arenean nonummy hendrerit mau phaselntes nascetur ridic ulusm dui fusce feu. Cras vitae neque turpis, in luctus risus. Donec et placerat orci. Praesent pulvinar lectus massa, at dignissim magna. Morbi pharetra ante elit, in tempor ipsum. Proin nec nibh diam. Mauris sed mauris lacus. Phasellus id nulla elit, vitae feugiat est. Donec at lorem ac dolor venenatis ultricies et auctor nisl. Ut in congue felis. Mauris venenatis turpis eget eros semper feugiat. Donec suscipit aliquam tellus non vestibulum. Mauris ut justo in erat porttitor vehicula eget sed mi. Suspendisse potenti. Phasellus adipiscing vulputate pharetra. Proin iaculis neque lacus, vel lacinia dui.

Sed suscipit euismod eleifend. Donec non ligula nunc. Pellentesque molestie posuere metus nec faucibus. Nam velit nulla, malesuada quis commodo eu, interdum non libero. Etiam ligula nulla, imperdiet nec pulvinar sit amet, sodales sed diam. Maecenas imperdiet tellus at enim interdum et semper ante pharetra. Cras elit orci, rhoncus gravida convallis sit amet, molestie vitae leo. Etiam at egestas orci. Fusce auctor pretium diam sed iaculis. Nullam ut sapien ac lacus tempor convallis. Nulla neque velit, gravida sit amet fermentum et, commodo ut lectus. Fusce sed hendrerit quam. Aliquam iaculis nibh nec dui malesuada sit amet tristique diam sollicitudin. Morbi urna tellus, sollicitudin non consequat quis, cursus in velit. Maecenas mauris metus, varius eu hendrerit ut, mattis nec quam. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse pretium arcu ac lectus porttitor tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst.

In vel vulputate leo. Nulla purus urna, dapibus a tincidunt nec, fringilla sit amet velit. Pellentesque ante nunc, posuere sit amet malesuada in, porttitor sed lorem. Vestibulum ullamcorper sagittis lorem non rhoncus. In interdum urna dui, quis ultricies sem. Vestibulum at neque augue. Nam sagittis nisl vel dolor tempus id commodo sapien scelerisque. Suspendisse pulvinar faucibus rutrum. Nulla facilisi. Quisque mollis neque sed justo auctor a imperdiet nibh ornare. Donec rutrum sodales quam, ut tincidunt sapien venenatis vitae. Aliquam sed eros lectus, dictum tempus neque. Sed pretium nisl nec enim viverra bibendum. Nulla ipsum mi, consectetur eget facilisis in, adipiscing ut risus. Curabitur sagittis egestas lacus, eu tincidunt turpis sodales vestibulum. Donec pretium lacinia dignissim. Vivamus blandit eleifend pellentesque. Nulla eros urna, hendrerit ut suscipit in, hendrerit at enim. Phasellus eget nulla massa.

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News 3

July 15th, 2011

Arenean nonummy hendrerit mau phaselntes nascetur ridic ulusm dui fusce feu. Cras vitae neque turpis, in luctus risus. Donec et placerat orci. Praesent pulvinar lectus massa, at dignissim magna. Morbi pharetra ante elit, in tempor ipsum. Proin nec nibh diam. Mauris sed mauris lacus. Phasellus id nulla elit, vitae feugiat est. Donec at lorem ac dolor venenatis ultricies et auctor nisl. Ut in congue felis. Mauris venenatis turpis eget eros semper feugiat. Donec suscipit aliquam tellus non vestibulum. Mauris ut justo in erat porttitor vehicula eget sed mi. Suspendisse potenti. Phasellus adipiscing vulputate pharetra. Proin iaculis neque lacus, vel lacinia dui.

Sed suscipit euismod eleifend. Donec non ligula nunc. Pellentesque molestie posuere metus nec faucibus. Nam velit nulla, malesuada quis commodo eu, interdum non libero. Etiam ligula nulla, imperdiet nec pulvinar sit amet, sodales sed diam. Maecenas imperdiet tellus at enim interdum et semper ante pharetra. Cras elit orci, rhoncus gravida convallis sit amet, molestie vitae leo. Etiam at egestas orci. Fusce auctor pretium diam sed iaculis. Nullam ut sapien ac lacus tempor convallis. Nulla neque velit, gravida sit amet fermentum et, commodo ut lectus. Fusce sed hendrerit quam. Aliquam iaculis nibh nec dui malesuada sit amet tristique diam sollicitudin. Morbi urna tellus, sollicitudin non consequat quis, cursus in velit. Maecenas mauris metus, varius eu hendrerit ut, mattis nec quam. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse pretium arcu ac lectus porttitor tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst.

In vel vulputate leo. Nulla purus urna, dapibus a tincidunt nec, fringilla sit amet velit. Pellentesque ante nunc, posuere sit amet malesuada in, porttitor sed lorem. Vestibulum ullamcorper sagittis lorem non rhoncus. In interdum urna dui, quis ultricies sem. Vestibulum at neque augue. Nam sagittis nisl vel dolor tempus id commodo sapien scelerisque. Suspendisse pulvinar faucibus rutrum. Nulla facilisi. Quisque mollis neque sed justo auctor a imperdiet nibh ornare. Donec rutrum sodales quam, ut tincidunt sapien venenatis vitae. Aliquam sed eros lectus, dictum tempus neque. Sed pretium nisl nec enim viverra bibendum. Nulla ipsum mi, consectetur eget facilisis in, adipiscing ut risus. Curabitur sagittis egestas lacus, eu tincidunt turpis sodales vestibulum. Donec pretium lacinia dignissim. Vivamus blandit eleifend pellentesque. Nulla eros urna, hendrerit ut suscipit in, hendrerit at enim. Phasellus eget nulla massa.

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News 4

July 15th, 2011

Arenean nonummy hendrerit mau phaselntes nascetur ridic ulusm dui fusce feu. Cras vitae neque turpis, in luctus risus. Donec et placerat orci. Praesent pulvinar lectus massa, at dignissim magna. Morbi pharetra ante elit, in tempor ipsum. Proin nec nibh diam. Mauris sed mauris lacus. Phasellus id nulla elit, vitae feugiat est. Donec at lorem ac dolor venenatis ultricies et auctor nisl. Ut in congue felis. Mauris venenatis turpis eget eros semper feugiat. Donec suscipit aliquam tellus non vestibulum. Mauris ut justo in erat porttitor vehicula eget sed mi. Suspendisse potenti. Phasellus adipiscing vulputate pharetra. Proin iaculis neque lacus, vel lacinia dui.

Sed suscipit euismod eleifend. Donec non ligula nunc. Pellentesque molestie posuere metus nec faucibus. Nam velit nulla, malesuada quis commodo eu, interdum non libero. Etiam ligula nulla, imperdiet nec pulvinar sit amet, sodales sed diam. Maecenas imperdiet tellus at enim interdum et semper ante pharetra. Cras elit orci, rhoncus gravida convallis sit amet, molestie vitae leo. Etiam at egestas orci. Fusce auctor pretium diam sed iaculis. Nullam ut sapien ac lacus tempor convallis. Nulla neque velit, gravida sit amet fermentum et, commodo ut lectus. Fusce sed hendrerit quam. Aliquam iaculis nibh nec dui malesuada sit amet tristique diam sollicitudin. Morbi urna tellus, sollicitudin non consequat quis, cursus in velit. Maecenas mauris metus, varius eu hendrerit ut, mattis nec quam. Suspendisse potenti. Suspendisse pretium arcu ac lectus porttitor tincidunt. In hac habitasse platea dictumst.

In vel vulputate leo. Nulla purus urna, dapibus a tincidunt nec, fringilla sit amet velit. Pellentesque ante nunc, posuere sit amet malesuada in, porttitor sed lorem. Vestibulum ullamcorper sagittis lorem non rhoncus. In interdum urna dui, quis ultricies sem. Vestibulum at neque augue. Nam sagittis nisl vel dolor tempus id commodo sapien scelerisque. Suspendisse pulvinar faucibus rutrum. Nulla facilisi. Quisque mollis neque sed justo auctor a imperdiet nibh ornare. Donec rutrum sodales quam, ut tincidunt sapien venenatis vitae. Aliquam sed eros lectus, dictum tempus neque. Sed pretium nisl nec enim viverra bibendum. Nulla ipsum mi, consectetur eget facilisis in, adipiscing ut risus. Curabitur sagittis egestas lacus, eu tincidunt turpis sodales vestibulum. Donec pretium lacinia dignissim. Vivamus blandit eleifend pellentesque. Nulla eros urna, hendrerit ut suscipit in, hendrerit at enim. Phasellus eget nulla massa.

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Clive Ward

July 14th, 2011

Before Clive became Trail Zones new Tech Editor is Clive has been helping out offroadexplorer.com with technical guides such as our Super Tenere brake rebuild. His business MotorcycleBiz based in the NSW Hunter Valley handles everything from tuning, to fixing, prepping and repairing trail, enduro and adventure bikes.

Clubby calls him ‘The Professor’, because he’s smart and analytical when it comes to all things technical on two wheels. For years Clive has volunteered as our sweep rider and there hasn’t been anything he can’t fix… within reason. You’ll meet him on our ride to the Snowy rides and he’s repeatedly proved his worth on the Tenere Tragics ride.

Hailing originally from Brisbane, having 40 years of riding experience and with a 12 model Yamaha WR450fb, 07 Suzuki VStrom 650, 08 Honda CRF250x and a restored 1993 KLX650 in his shed, Clive Ward is ready and experienced to work all Japanese motorcycles. Clive has extensive knowledge of Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki Motorcycles and more recently worked for a KTM dealership. His experience also extends to late model fuel injected Husqvarna and Triumph motorcycles and is a Teknik authorised suspension dealer and installer

His skills extend beyond repairs to writing technical articles on repairing and servicing Motorcycles with techo talk in recent issues of Bike Business Magazine and as we mentioned he is now the Technical Editor for Trail Zone Magazine.

He started his apprenticeship in Canberra in 1985 and qualified in three years with no less than twenty-one TAFE distinctions and was a finalist for Apprentice of the Year.
Still eager to learn he returned to TAFE at night to complete fuel injection, Advanced Tuning and LPG courses in the following two years. Fuel injection became his focus and he concentrated on developing skills and understanding of the various systems and now includes all electronic systems appearing on modern motorcycles.

In August 2012 Clive completed his Cert IV in Training and Assessment and now contracts as a trainer and assessor for the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers.

Clive also services and upgrades suspension systems, using quality Teknik products, provides advice on motorcycle preparation and can provide pre-purchase and mechnical inspection services along with all service, repair and tuning needs for your Motorcycle.

On a big ride he’s the guy you want watching your back.

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Dave Darcy

July 14th, 2011

When not serving a important member of the northern beaches community Dave loves getting out on one of his KTM’s either enduro riding or adventure touring. When it comes to adventure riding Dave doesn’t do things in half measures.

Dave took on a huge challenge by riding from London to Sydney on a KTM 690 and created Continental Drift. Not only is he an epic adventure traveller he is one of the best independent motorcycle video producers getting millions of hits on his YouTube video channel MAD TV - Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV

We’ll be featuring Daves videos of offroadexplorer.com/Trail Zone test bikes plus a heap of his epic travels.

Check out Behind the Scenes at MAD TV.

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Testimonial #3

July 14th, 2011

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Ut viverra mauris justo, quis auctor nisi. Suspendisse sit amet diam diam, eget volutpat lacus. Vestibulum faucibus scelerisque nisl vitae scelerisque. Sed tristique metus eu quam viverra malesuada. Cras porta eros nec libero bibendum sed faucibus felis fringilla. Quisque sed odio neque. Mauris at nisl ac eros pretium hendrerit vitae et velit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin sit amet erat vel nisl consectetur auctor et at quam.

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Testimonial #2

July 14th, 2011

Aenean nonummy hendrerit mau phasellu porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi sed. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio morbi.

Ut viverra mauris justo, quis auctor nisi. Suspendisse sit amet diam diam, eget volutpat lacus. Vestibulum faucibus scelerisque nisl vitae scelerisque. Sed tristique metus eu quam viverra malesuada. Cras porta eros nec libero bibendum sed faucibus felis fringilla. Quisque sed odio neque. Mauris at nisl ac eros pretium hendrerit vitae et velit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin sit amet erat vel nisl consectetur auctor et at quam.

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Testimonial #1

July 14th, 2011

Aenean nonummy hendrerit mau phasellu porta. Fusce suscipit varius mi sed. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio morbi.

Ut viverra mauris justo, quis auctor nisi. Suspendisse sit amet diam diam, eget volutpat lacus. Vestibulum faucibus scelerisque nisl vitae scelerisque. Sed tristique metus eu quam viverra malesuada. Cras porta eros nec libero bibendum sed faucibus felis fringilla. Quisque sed odio neque. Mauris at nisl ac eros pretium hendrerit vitae et velit. Aliquam erat volutpat. Proin sit amet erat vel nisl consectetur auctor et at quam.

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Blog

July 14th, 2011

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Odio gravida atcursus neluctus a lorem. Maecenas tristiqu sters port rsen mate haslelu milsie quqn smetsre?

July 14th, 2011

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et trices posuere cubilia Suspendisse sollicitudin velit sed leo. Ut pharetra augue nec augue. Nam elit magnandrerit sit amet tincidunt ac viverra sed nulla. Donec porta diam eu massa. Quisque diam lorem interdum vapibus ac scelerisque vitae pede. Donec eget tellus non erat lacinia fermentum. Donec in velit vel ipsum auctorulvinar. Proin ullamcorper urna et tibulum iaculis lacinia est. Proin dictum elementum velit. Fusce euismod consequat ante. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentese sed dolor. Aliquam congue fermentum nisl. Mauris accumsan nullael diam. Sed in lacus ut enim adipiscing aliquet.

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Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio gravida atcursus neluctus a lorem. Maecenas tristiqu?

July 14th, 2011

Aenean auctor wisi et urna. Aliquarat volutpat. Duis ac turpis. Integer rutrum ante eu lacusVestibulum libero nisl porta vel scelerisque eget malesuada at neque. Vivamus eget nibh. Etiamcursus leo vel metus. Nulla facilisi. Aenean nec eros.

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Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricihre tra magnauae ab illo inventoa ster port rsen maet jhaslelu misleui portau?

July 14th, 2011

Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio gravida atcursus nec luctus a lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer adipiscing elit. Mauris fermentum dictum magna. Sed laoreet aliquam leo. Ut tellus dolor dapibus eget elementum vel cursus eleifend elit.

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July 14th, 2011

Donec eget tellus non erat lacinia fermentum. Donec in velit vel ipsum auctorulvinar. Proin ullamcorper urna et tibulum iaculis lacinia est. Proin dictum elementum velit. Fusce euismod consequat ante. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentese sed dolor. Aliquam congue fermentum nisl. Mauris accumsan nullael diam. Sed in lacus ut enim adipiscing aliquet. Donec eget tellus non erat lacinia fermentum. Donec in velit vel ipsum auctorulvinar. Proin ullamcorper urna et tibulum iaculis lacinia est.

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Odio gravida atcursus neluctus a lorem. Maecenas tristiqu sters port rsen mate haslelu milsie quqn smetsre?

July 14th, 2011

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et trices posuere cubilia Suspendisse sollicitudin velit sed leo. Ut pharetra augue nec augue. Nam elit magnandrerit sit amet tincidunt ac viverra sed nulla. Donec porta diam eu massa. Quisque diam lorem interdum vapibus ac scelerisque vitae pede. Donec eget tellus non erat lacinia fermentum. Donec in velit vel ipsum auctorulvinar. Proin ullamcorper urna et tibulum iaculis lacinia est. Proin dictum elementum velit. Fusce euismod consequat ante. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer adipiscing elit. Pellentese sed dolor. Aliquam congue fermentum nisl. Mauris accumsan nullael diam. Sed in lacus ut enim adipiscing aliquet.

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Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio gravida atcursus neluctus a lorem. Maecenas tristiqu?

July 14th, 2011

Aenean auctor wisi et urna. Aliquarat volutpat. Duis ac turpis. Integer rutrum ante eu lacusVestibulum libero nisl porta vel scelerisque eget malesuada at neque. Vivamus eget nibh. Etiamcursus leo vel metus. Nulla facilisi. Aenean nec eros.

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Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricihre tra magnauae ab illo inventoa ster port rsen maet jhaslelu misleui portau?

July 14th, 2011

Nulla dui. Fusce feugiat malesuada odio. Morbi nunc odio gravida atcursus nec luctus a lorem. Maecenas tristique orci ac sem. Duis ultricies pharetra magna. Donec accumsan malesuada orci. Donec sit amet eros. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetuer adipiscing elit. Mauris fermentum dictum magna. Sed laoreet aliquam leo. Ut tellus dolor dapibus eget elementum vel cursus eleifend elit.

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Contacts

July 14th, 2011

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Contact info

OffRoadExplorer is simply a source of information for the Adventure Bike Riders since 2007.

We want you to get the most out of your adventure bike travels so hopefully there is something here for everybody. Feel free to email us anytime.
[address]
OffRoadExplorer.com
PO Box 934,
Cronulla NSW 2230

Telephone: +61 411 691 698

E-mail: lance@offroadexplorer.com
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Contact form

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FAQs

July 14th, 2011

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Video Reviews

July 14th, 2011

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Recent News

July 14th, 2011

[posts_grid columns=”4″ order_by=”date” order=”DESC” thumb_width=”360″ thumb_height=”260″ meta=”yes” excerpt_count=”40″ link=”yes” link_text=”Read More” category=”adv-news”]

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About

July 14th, 2011

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our history

What’s the idea behind offroadexplorer.com

Back in 2005 Clubby had already recognised the attraction of adventure riding. While in a publishing office on the other side of town Russ was laying out pages of amazing 4WD destinations thinking that long haul multi-day off-road riding had to be the way to go. That was the germ of the idea that created offroadexplorer.com. Let’s face it with a growing population you have to travel further afield to find great places to ride. Instead of the of towing a trailer a couple of hundred K’s out of the city why can’t the ride start and finish at your front door. After stepping on board with Trail Zone Magazine as Adventure Bike Editor the roll of ORE was clear. Page space is limited so offroadexplorer.com has all the extra info you need. We want you to be able to experience the rides we write about so in our travel section you’ll find Google map routes and pictures of nearly all our rides. Get out there and experience it for yourself.

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Foreward

Stephen Gall
Four time Mr Motocross, Multi Australian dirt bike champion.

Since before we were in high school Lance has had the same passion for dirt bikes as I have. After my professional racing career Lance created all the advertising and promotion of my very successful Academy of Off Road Riding and then went on to help build the CTi knee brace brand in Australia.

Recently through my work with Yamaha Motors Australia I’ve begun to enjoy adventure riding and Lance has provided expert advice and tips that has made it all the more enjoyable. When it comes to set up for any conditions Lance and the ORE team have covered all bases.

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Our Team

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Yamaha XT1200Z First Impressions

June 17th, 2011

Our friends at Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV get their first impression of the Yamaha Super Tenere XT1200Z

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Triumph Tiger 800XC Test

May 25th, 2011

We test the Triumph Tiger over three days from the southern highlands to the NSW south coast.

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2010 Suzuki DR650SE

December 1st, 2010

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[caption id=”attachment_2455″ align=”alignnone” width=”770″]Heading for Birdsville Our fully laiden Suzuki DR650SE heading for Birdsville[/caption]

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Budget Outback Basher

Out of the crate the Suzuki DR650SE isn’t ready for much more than a daily commute or a casual explorer off-road as long as the gaps are small between fuel stops. Needless to say this budget ride is a great foundation for a reliable continent conquering adventure bike.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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[caption id=”attachment_2604″ align=”alignnone” width=”540″] The TAG Bars open up the cockpit.[/caption]

TAG Bars and Clamps

When tackling the long haul comfort is paramount and one of the secrets is obtaining a more relaxed riding position. Starting with the flight deck we fitted a pair of TAG T2 oversize 1-1/8” handlebars. The lack of a crossbar tidies up the look and feel of the bike. The bars have a tapered outer wall 1-1/8” to 7/8” for use with standard size grips and controls. They have a great finish and are shot peened and anodised for better durability. With these bars you’ll need to replace the standard handlebar clamps with TAG oversize clamps which slip straight into the standard triple clamp mounts. They’re reversible to allow two different riding positions and use the stock rubber cones. TAG METALS T2 OVERSIZE Handlebars (in a 7221 bend) are $148.50 and the TAG METALS OEM Rubber Mount Kit is $89.95. For more information check out the www.candr.com.au web site or call C&R Imports on (03) 9587 5077.

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TAG Grips

The TAG Rebound technology offers the softest, tackiest compound available. The grip is designed to enable you to ride 40% long before hand fatigue occurs. The grip has strategically placed areas with 40% more cushioning material along the entire shaft of the grip. The shock absorbing material has material is placed in the sensitive thumb area and throughout the entire 360* of the shaft which acts as suspension for your hands which offers more cushioning and damping against vibration and musculoskeletal stress. The grips retail for just $24.95. Check out the www.candr.com.au web site or call C&R Imports on (03) 9587 5077.

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Barkbusters VPS Handguards

The VPS plastic handguard is probably the most popular handguard on the market with its aluminium backbone and adjustable wind deflector. You get the best protection mounting the wind deflectors in the highest position for maximum wind protection on the open road. The VPS is available in a wide range of colours to suit most popular bikes. The VPS handguards retail at $105.00 and the mounting hardware is $65.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244

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HeatedGripsVSM Heated Grips

We are a big fan of heated grips and they are a must on all dual sport motorcycles. We’ve fitted Grip Heaters from Vince Strang Motorcycles. These complete kits are easy to install and they make a huge difference on cold open stretches and it will be the best $59.00 you’ll ever spend.

Available for Vince Strang Motorcycles by calling direct on (02) 6721 0610 and tell them Off Road Explorer sent you. You can also order direct online at  www.vincestrangmotorcycles.com.au

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Pro-Fast Number Plate Hanger

When you’re bolting on a bunch of bling any weight saving ideas are a good. The bulky rear plate hanger that collects mud should be the first to go. Pro-Fast make a simple aluminium alloy rear plate hanger that bolts straight onto existing rear guard support. Looks great and goes on in a couple of minutes and is only $40. Big knobbies on Adventure Bikes can throw up a fair bit of earth especially when you’re trying to get past a big beemer. Your headlight is the most vulnerable part of the bike to flying rocks and any sort of protection helps. Pro-Fast Lexan Headlight Shield (Right) is designed to help protect the glass incase of impact. Available from Profast on (02) 9971 5033Contact Profast on (02) 9971 5033 or email profast@optusnet.com.au

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Eagle Screen

A front screen on an adventure bike reduces wind buffeting reducing rider fatigue. Eagle screens have been manufacturing motorcycle screens for 28 years in Australia and exports all over the world! One of there most popular dual sports screens is for the DR650SE which they supply three different sizes and supply a complete mounting kit. They come in small (300mm), medium (360mm) and large (400mm) and mounts directly onto the standard headlight surround. The screen retails for $180 plus shipping and you can simply order by emailing eaglescreens@eftel.com.au or check out www.eaglescreens.com.au.

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[caption id=”attachment_2608″ align=”alignleft” width=”200″]PegsandFoot The footpeg lowering kit and the wider IMS foot pegs improve comfort.[/caption]

IMS SUPERSTOCK Foot Pegs

IMS Super Stock footpegs are made from 17-4 stainless steel with grey powder coating finish. It’s a great all round footpeg giving good grip and improved control of the bike. The IMS foot pegs retail for only $148.50. For your nearest dealer call C & R Imports on (03) 9587 5077 or go to www.candr.com.au

VSM Foot Peg Lowering Kit

The original DR650SE footpeg lowering kit was created by our own DR Guru Ron Grant. We emailed a heap of his template drawings for the kit to Trail Zone readers with DR’s. Not everybody has the tools to manufacture their own lowering kit and Vince Strang has come to the rescue. He now supplies ready made kits for just $49.00. They are dead easy to fit and it improves the riding position.

VSM Side Stand Foot

On a big desert ride as soon as the ground drys out in outback Australia. There’s nothing worst when your fully laden bike falls over every time you park it on the side stand and it sinks into the sand. Vince Strang makes this neat little inexpensive alloy foot that bolts onto the standard side stand. All you need to do is drill a hole into the foot of the standard sidestand to fit the larger foot. Only $15.00 from Vince Strang Motorcycles.

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[caption id=”attachment_2492″ align=”alignnone” width=”800″]DR650#30_008 This is a new caption[/caption]

30 Litre Safari Tank

Safari Tanks has been supplying quality, long range fuel tanks since 2001. Their Suzuki DR650SE Tank is 30 litres in capacity and it’s rare to see a tricked up DR650 without one of these tanks. The tanks come in White, Translucent White, Blue, Yellow and Black and fits models from 1996-onwards. It fits with the standard DR seat and turns the DR into a true long hauler. The fitting kit includes an alloy cross-brace, fuel lines, two fuel taps & fuel cap with breather hose. It retails for $650 and is available from Safari Tanks. Go to   www.safaritanks.com or phone 03 5729 5556 for your nearest dealer.

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B&B Off Road Products

B & B Off Road makes a range of quality alloy products for all motorcycles including the DR650SE. Starting with the essentials is a B&B Bash Plate. On a harsh desert ride the 650 cases are vulnerable and the bash plate protects the main cases and the BBRearRackleading edges of the side engine cases. At $177 it’s worth the money.

The B & B Rear rack is one of the biggest and most sturdy on the market and is made from the best commercially available alloys. The rack replaces the standard rear handles proving a strong support over the rear guard and the tail light maximizing carrying capacity. The rack retails for $180.

To protect the frame you can also fit B&B Frame guards for $115. For more information go to www.bboffroad.com.au or phone 03 5335 8000

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Dunlop 606 Knobbies

The standard tyres are very road orientated and for desert sandy riding you can’t go past a long wearing Dunlop 606. Ask anyone on a dual sports online forum and the majority will recommend this tyre when you need a full knobby tyre. We’re running a Dunlop D606 130/90-17 on the rear and a Dunlop Sports D592F 80/100-21 on the front.

Available from most Dunlop Tyre dealers.

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Great Basin Saddle Bag

The Great Basin Saddlebag from Giant Loop motorcycle luggage solutions. It’s designed for larger adventure bikes from 650 to bikes like the BMW, KTM 990 and V Stroms. It has a large 50 litre capacity and is designed as the soft luggage problem solver for adventure touring bikes. It reatils at $545.00 and is available from AdventureMoto. Phone 1300 135 286 or go to www.adventuremoto.com.au

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Unifilter Foam Air Filter

To get the DR650 engine breathing correctly we’ve fitted a Unifilter ProComp2, 2-stage air filter. It provides improved protection for extreme dusty conditions over the standard filter with improved air flow and  improved power and retails for $58.50. Call Unifilter on (02) 9482 1792.

Mini Blinkers

With the 35 litre Safari Tank Things start to get a bit crowded around the front end. At full lock the standard indicators require brackets to turn them inwards to clear the tank. In an attempt to alleviate the problem we fitted Mini Blinkers which are smaller and lighter and give you more options on where you can mount them. They are an inexpensive mod at only $36.95 for a set of four. Available from Ballards Off Road 02 4731 1210. Go to www.ballards.cc.

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X-2 Trail Tech Headlight

The Suzuki has a reasonable highlight standard but there is always room for improvement. We avoid riding in the dark but as the Kroombit Tops ride proved you have to be prepared for night riding when things don’t quite go to plan. We used the Trail Tech Torch X-2 on the Husky and decided to try the unit on the DR to not only improve lighting but also look of the bike. The Trailtech halagon lights illuminate both near and distant terrain and the lamps are specifically designed for high vibration off-road use. It comes in a range of colours and naturally we chose white. The Torch X-2 halogen lighting system, which retails for $170 is available from selected dealers.

 

VAPOR Speedo/Tacho

VapourThis mod is a no-brainer. The stock Suzuki speedo and three indicator lights are part of the reason the DR650 is one of the cheapest dual-sport bikes on the market. This Vapor Speedometer/Tachometer (#75-300) retails for $239 and the functions it offers include various temperature, distance and clock modes. We have added also added a Trailtech Dashboard (#022-PDA not shown) to utilise the bike’s stock indicator lights. We designed our own headlight/dashboard mount for our Project Bike to fit with the original DR headlight mount. For your nearest dealer call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559. For product information go to www.trailtech.net.

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Soltistic LED Lights

The need for improved lighting has reared its ugly head on every project bike we’ve built and the DR has been no exception. The best laid plans don’t always go to plan and we inevitably end up riding through the dark. When it comes to lights there’s no such thing as overkill and these Solstice S1100 LED lights are pretty impressive. They have a rugged die cast aluminium shell and are water proof and dust proof. It includes a full wiring harness and has a number of mounting options. They retail for $239 and are available from Motorradgarge.com.au

SwitchHandlebar Light Switch

The Solstice Light system comes complete with everything you need including a manual switch. They can be wired up to come on with your hi-beam or switched on independently. We opted for a neater aftermarket handlebar mounted on/off light switch from Ballards. It’s a much neater setup and saves you from having to make a mount for the switch supplied with the Solstice kit. At only $19.95 it’s a much better option. Call 02 4731 1210 or go to www.ballards.cc

 

WolfmanRacksWolfman Racks

Wolfman Luggage is quickly becoming the top off-road soft luggage manufacturer offering plenty of options to suit a wide range of touring needs. Their pannier bags are first rate but mounting them can create problems with the bags moving around and on rare occasions get sucked into the rear wheel. Wolfman have solved that problem by designing an excellent rear rack system to suit there new pannier system. They have a unique tab/loop system that not only secures the bag to the rack but also makes it easy to mount and dismount the bag quickly and easily. Sold separately from the bags they retail for $315 and are available from AdventureMoto.com.au or phone 1300 46 66 86.

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Wolfman Expedition Luggage

With so many luggage options available these days from hard to soft bags there are lots of things to consider from what will you carry, for how long and how will your luggage handle a get off. No luggage system will suit all needs but it doesn’t take long that soft luggage is the popular option. One of the things I’ve learned is that the first priority is to keep your gear dry. With that in mind we opted for Wolfman Expedition Dry Pannier Bags and Dry Duffel Bag (small). With two 20litre pannier and 30litre Dry Duffle that gave us 70 litres capacity. Upgrade to a Large Dry Duffle and that’s a total of 87 litres capacity. The panniers only retail for $315 but you can buy them with Wolfman racks for $600. The small Expedition Dry Duffel is $145 and comes with a shoulder strap. Made from tough 22 and 34 oz vinyl they are built to last and worth the investment. Available from Adventuremoto.com.au or call 1300 46 66 86.

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Touratech GPS Mount

We know from experience that it is possible to loose a GPS on a ride. The situation was the same with the DR front end where the front brake cable catches under the GPS mount release and disengages the lock. We featured the Touratech Zumo 550 lockable mount in issue 29. We tested the unit on our Kroombit Tops ride and we completed the ride without the Zumo ejecting itself. With the unique shock absorbing mounting system the GPS does move around a little over rough ground but its at times where you should be looking where you’re going. The key locking latch not only stops the latch from opening accidentally but guards against theft. Available from touratech.com.au.

 

WolfmanTankBagWolfman Tank Bag

With so much rear carrying capacity you only need to a same tank bag which is great for carrying wallet, keys, camera or lense cleaning kits. It features a stable three point mounting, laminated foam sides, bottom and rear, a tough tek bottom, reflective webbing on sides, inside and outside mesh pocket, removable map pocket and key clip, Comes in black only and has an optional rain cover and is only $125.35. Available from Adventuremoto.com.au or call 1300 46 66 86.

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B&B Rear Luggage rack plate

With more luggage options coming on to the market you need a rack system that will adopt the various needs. Our B&B Rear Rack for the DR is the strongest on the market but matched with our Wolfman rear bag didn’t provide a wide enough base for the Wolfman Dry Duffle bag, which is the same problem that many standard rear luggage racks share. B&B have quickly come to the party and designed a wider rear plate to attached larger bags. They also have other plates for various other makes and models. The plate attaches straight to the existing B&B Rear Rack. Available from B&B Off Road on 03 5335 8000.

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Fuel Breather Mount

We had an weird fuel starvation problem where the engine would suddenly stall intermittently. Popgun later notice how we had zip tied the breather hose to the RalleMoto Steering Dampener which looped the hose 360°. PG explained that if fuel splashes back into the hose it can block momentarily and the change in air pressure can interrupt fuel flow. To resolved the problem we’ve fabricated a simple tab to mount on the front of the Steering dampener to hold the hose.

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Custom Screen

With the improved lighting of our new Trailtech headlight we quickly missed out Eagle Screen. Our quick fix was to utilise our own designed screen. We found that the screen worked effectively keeping the wind off our chest area. While it’s not as effective as some commercially available screens it’s a very cost effective option.

 

GripSwitchGrip ‘on’ Light

I love my heated grips. However when you run out of fuel and your trying to start the bike and getting the fuel through you use precious battery power. If those heated grips are still switched on then the battery is headed for a quick but temporary death. We mounted an indicator light above the grip on off switch to let us know the grips are on an drawing lots of power.

 

DoubleTakeDouble Take Mirrors

There are plenty of small trail and enduro mirrors on the market but when it comes to larger dual sports bike safety on the transport sections where rear vision is critical the market is sadly lacking until now. Ned Suesses of the popular Dual Sport Riding Technique DVDs has created the new Double Take Mirror. The ingenious design allows the mirror to be fitted to almost any bike using a RAM mount system and can be easily folded away when the risk of damage is high. The mirror is only $35.00 plus mounting assembly. You can build your own mirror and is available from Adventuremoto.com.au.

MetalGear Sintered Brake Pads

BrakePadsMetalGear Sintered brake pads are high performance brake pads that perform exceptionally at higher temperatures, and produce a high level of friction between the disc rotor and pads. The increased friction creates higher levels of stopping power for any motorcycle, allowing for harder riding or more extreme braking conditions. MetalGear sintered brake pads are a rotor friendly sintered material, resulting in less rotor wear, when compared to similar products.
The pads perform very well in muddy or sandy conditions perform at the highest levels. Sintered brake pads are recommended for heavy dual sports bike especially when riding in sandy or muddy off-road conditions. Priced at $33.50 per set and is available online from   www.metalgear.com.au.

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Fuel Tap Paint

Its hard to tell which way the fuel taps go on the Safari Tank especially in the dark or you haven’t got your glasses. One trick is dabs of paint on the fuel tap, Green is on, red is off and reserve is yellow. Good work Buzz44.

 

CustomMountB&B Headlight Mount

When we featured our custom headlight/Vapour Digital Display mount it was still in mockup prototype stage. Since then B&B Off Road laser cut 3mm aluminium and raced it back to us for installation for our outback trip. The bracket system we designed allowed the Trailtech headlight forward enough to clear the ignition barrel, provide mounting points for the Solstice lights plus a dash big enough for the Vapour Digital Display and heated grip switch. It uses the standard DR headlight bracket mounts off the forks. B&B did such a good job a little tweaking from the original design it worked beautifully. Very solid and absolutely no problems with vibration. Available from B&B Off Road for $40.

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IB Emergency Mini Lift

We’ve had our IB Emergency bike lift since our Transalp project bike. However it hasn’t been until now that we’ve needed. With two front wheel punctures on the last two rides it reminded us that something as simple as this is an essential part of your kit. Simply put the bike on its sidestand and then on the opposite side place the Mini Lift under the frame at the required height then rotate the handle till the either wheel is off the ground depending on where you position it. Small, compact and comes in its own carry pouch. It retails for $55.00 (includes delivery anywhere in Australia).
Contact IB Bike Lifts on 02 4955 9269 or go to www.ibbikelifts.biz

Heavy Duty Tubes

The DR been a real performer in difficult conditions and when the going gets rough the DR gets going. Unfortunately with extra cargo and fuel onboard the stress on tyres and suspension is very high. So it’s not surprise we’ve started getting pinch flats. Just like enduro riders heavy duty tubes should be compulsory reducing the chances of flats in rocky or ritty conditions. Maxxis have just the solution with their heavy duty tubes. Call McLeod Accessories on 07 3621 9000 for your nearest dealer.

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Trail Zone ‘In The Zone 4′

October 5th, 2010

Trail Zone Magazine and offroadexplorer.com fourth DVD will be released in Australia December 2010. Join Clubby, Popgun and Russ on their latest adventures.

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2009 Husqvarna TE610

October 3rd, 2010

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Dual Sports With Bite

The Husqvarna TE610 is the latest big bore dual sport bike from the Italian brand. When you’re looking for an adventure bike that will go hard then Husky TE610 is close to the top of the list.

Photos by Lance Turnley

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R & D Axle Nut

In our first Husky Project Bike instalment we mentioned the fiddly hex tool that you need to use to remove the front wheel. It is a total pain. R & D Husqvarna have available a billet alloy nut that enables the use of a 15mm spanner. It suits all model Husky’s and a simple solution to the problem. Available from R & D Husqvarna, phone 02 4735 4410 or go to www.husky.com.au
Retail Price: $29.95

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Giant Loop Coyote Saddle Bag

After the success of the Giant Loop Saddle Bag they designed a slightly smaller rear bag specifically for enduro bikes and that suited the Husky TE610 perfectly. We got the limited edition white bag, which is no longer available. It’s designed and sewn in the U.S.A, has a volume of 30 liters and straps on/off bike in seconds. It uses the same tough materials and zips as the Fandango Tank bag and is easily fitted without any drilling or modification to the bike. You don’t notice it on the bike and I had to keep checking it was still there. It also has separate draw string bags inside to make it easy to pack. You can buy online from www.adventuremoto.com.au

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Giant Loop Fandango Tank Bag

Featured in our new products last issue, the Fandango Tank Bag is designed specifically to fit on large-capacity dual sport fuel tanks so on the Husky tank it was a no brainer. It has a 10 litre capacity and a clear vinyl map top pocket. The bag unzips from base layer meaning you don’t have to unstrap the bag from the bike It’s made from tough, waterproof material and waterproof YKK zipper. It is only available in orange and black.
Retail Price: $235
Phone: 1300 135 286
Web: www.adventuremoto.com

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Husqvarna Factory Performance Pipe

You sometimes just can’t help yourself and you have to get an aftermarket pipe. Husqvarna already have a factory titanium silencer to suit both the TE and SM 610. Available from all Husqvarna Motorcycle dealers with a recommended retail price of $1765.50 including GST

Kouba Lowering Link

The seat high of the TE610 is not as high as most enduro bikes but the 940mm seat height is still a stretch for a fully laden dual sports/adventure tourer. Pulling up on uneven ground can have you on your side before you know it. So in such situations a lower seat height helps give you the leverage to stay upright. The H2 Kouba Link lowers the bike 40mm to makes life easier for the vertically challenged riders like me. The links are available for the TE 250, 450 & 510 from 2004 to 2007 and does include the TE610. It comes with bearings and grease nipple and costs $285.00 for the complete kit. Available from R & D Husqvarna, phone 02 4735 4410 or go to www.husky.com.au

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ORE Custom Screen

It’s surprising how much more you are exposed to the elements without a windscreen on an adventure bike. You wouldn’t think so but after a couple of hours on a long section taking the full force of the wind will fatigue you quickly. We’ve been really impressed with the Trailtech X2 headlight. Not just for the improved lighting but also how it mounts solidly to the forks. Our search for a screen that would suit the Trailtech headlight was fruitless so we designed a custom screen specifically for the Trailtech. It worked a treat. Even at highway speeds the screen didn’t budge an inch and it reduced wind noise.

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Garmin Zumo 550 GPS

We’ve been using the Garmin Zumo 550 GPS for the last 12 months and it’s never let us down. The great thing is, updates are often available from new maps or screen savers for your favourite brand of bike. The guys at GPS OZ offer their OZ Topo maps which have more often than not pointed the way out of the woods. Mated with a bluetooth headset the GPS voice commands guide you through new towns to your final destination or to the nearest fuel. Now only $849. OZ Topo maps are extra. Available from GPS OZ, Mona Vale Sydney. Phone: 02 9999 2313. Check out the new Garmin Zumo 660 available soon.

 

Storm Handguards

In our first project bike installment we fitted Barkbuster VPS handguards, which are a big favourite with enduro and adventure riders. However, for wind deflection it’s not as effective as the larger standard handguards supplied on some adventure bikes. Barkbusters have answered the call with the Storm handguard. It is a much larger plastic guard but the great value is that they use the same aluminium backbone of the VPS. If you have VPS handguards you can fitted the Storm plastics for just $45. The Storm handguards are also available as a complete kit for $105.00 and the mounting hardware is $65.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244.

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X-2 Trail Tech Headlight

On of the things that the Husky lacks is a decent headlight for adventure riding. It took a bit of searching but we found the Trail Tech Torch X-2, which we first spotted on a bike in the SA 24hour. Trail Tech make a variety of lighting systems used by race teams around the world. The halegon lights illuminate both near and distant terrain and the lamps are specifically designed for high vibration off-road use. Its lightweight design is easy to install and comes in a range of colours for the most popular range of bikes. The Torch X-2 halogen lighting system, which retails for $170 is available from selected dealers. For your nearest dealer call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559. For product information go to www.trailtech.net

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Vector Instrument Panel

With our TE610 leaning towards a safari desert racer we’ve fitted a Vector Powersports Computer. The Vector features all the multifunctions you would need including Speedometer with current, average and maximum speed, distance, temperature including ambient, engine temp, dual programmable temp lights and exact model fit temperature sensors. The clock also has hour meter, stop watch, ride time and accumulated ride time. Bonus features include a lap timer, lap counter, individual lap time memory and oil and mechanical maintenance reminders. We also fitted a remote switch to cycle through the functions on the go and also a dashboard ($90) which includes a variety of indicator lights including indicators, high beam and other warning lights. The Vector All Purpose Speedometer retails for $239 including remote switch and is available from selected dealers. For your nearest dealer call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559. For product information go to www.trailtech.net

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Mitas Dakar E-09 Tyres

When you’re on a bike like the Husqvarna TE610 it just doesn’t seem right having anything less than chunky knobbies to give the 610 something to bite with. However the long road kilometres certainly take their toll and if you’re not easy on the gas a rear hoop will only last you a thousand k’s. With that in mind we’ve chosen to try a set of Mitas Dakar E-09’s. They are specifically designed for tough rally conditions and have been tested and proven in the Dakar Rally. We fitted a 90/90-21 and a 130/80-18 on the rear. The Dakar E-09 retails for $140 for the front and $185 for the rear and is available from selected dealers. For your nearest dealer call Holeshot Sports on 03 5433 2559.

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Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag

Our Husqvarna isn’t yet setup for the long haul but for a bike like this small luggage options are the go that lightens the back pack load. We fitted the smaller Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag which is designed so the bag does not get in your way when you’re standing on the pegs. It has a map viewing pocket on the top with a zippered compartment with the lid and straps easily to the bikes frame. The Wolfman Enduro Bag from Wolfman Luggage Australia is available in Black and retails for $134.95. You can purchase online from www.adventuremoto.com.au.com.au.

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Wolfman Tail Bag

For our other small luggage option we matched the Enduro Tank Bag with a Wolfman Peak Tail Bag. This gives you the capacity for overnight clothes, food or for our Husky, a spare fuel bladder. The bag is expandable with inside mesh pockets, compression straps and outside bungy cords. It has reinfornced sides and can mount on the seat or rack with straps or clip onto the edges of the rear guard, rack or seat. The Wolfman Peak Tail Bag is available from Wolfman Luggage Australia is available in Black . You can purchase online from www.adventuremoto.com.au.com.au.

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Heated Grips

I know I’ve said this before but heated grips should be standard on all dual sport motorcycles. Once again we’ve gone for Grip Heaters from Ballards Off Road. We found that these things work a treat with high and low settings and we found on our first project bike the KLR650 that they never let us down. Grip heaters make a huge difference on cold open stretches and it will be the best $57.95 you’ll ever spend. Available for Ballards Offroad. To order just call direct on 02 4731 1210 and tell them Off Road Explorer sent you.

Trail Mirrors

The first thing I used to turf on my enduro bike were the standard mirrors and replace with a small mirror that mounted on the handlebar. Not particularly functional or legal for that matter. When your on the transport sections it’s always handy for a clear rear view for when trucks or the establishment is trying to sneak up on you. Standard mirrors are pretty vulnerable on the occasional lay down. So we fitted two fold out mirrors that will give you clear rear vision on the road and will fold in when you attack the dirt. The folding mirrors retail for $15.95 each and are available from Ballards Offroad on 02 4731 1210.

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LED Tail Light

When you’re adding kilo’s on with accessories you also have to explore ways of loosing them and every gram counts. On most bikes the rear tail hanger is large and cumbersome to comply with ADR requirements. We’ve swapped over the standard unit for a LED Taillight Extension. It gives the bike a more race bike type look and the LED lights are more reliable than the standard globes. The LED Tailight Extension retails for $54.95 and is available from Ballards Offroad on 02 4731 1210.

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B&B Bash Plate

B & B Engineering Bash Plate?We were shocked to find that the Husqvarna TE610 doesn’t come with any engine case protection whatsoever. Sure many manufacturers are fitting high impact plastic plates and you end up replacing them anyway. We went for a B&B Off-Road Engineering Bash Plate. The alloy bash plate is highly polished and came with all the components needed for fitting. A great touch is the plate also comes with rubber strips that elimate vibration against the frame. The plate also has a great polished finish. It’s going to be a shame to scratch it.?The B & B Off Road Engineering Bash Plate retail for $191.00. You can buy online by going to www.bboffroad.com.au or call 03 5335 8000.

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Barkbusters VPS Handguards

The VPS plastic handguard has an aluminium backbone and an adjustable wind deflector. We always mount the wind deflectors in the highest position for maximum wind protection on those long open road miles. The white plastic guards set off the bike well but they have a wide range of colours. We checked out the Barkbusters install video on their web site and installation was a breeze. The VPS handguards retail at $105.00 and the mounting hardware is $65.00. Check out www.barkbusters.net or contact Rideworx direct on 02 4271 8244

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Motul Performance Oils and Bike Care

Husqvarna recommend a range of Motul oils for your Husqvarna including 5100 10W50 engine oil, Air Filter Oil for the stock foam element, their factory line Chain Lube, EZ Lube Multi Protection Spray and Motul Shine and Go Silicon Clean. Nothing worst than turning up for a ride when the love of your life looks a bit shabby.
Motul Oils are available from Husqvarna dealers Australia wide.

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Unifilter Air Filter

At Trail Zone and Off Road Explorer we love to support local made quality products and one of the best products on the market are Unifilter Air Filters. It’s a dual stage filter that’s easy to maintain for the long dusty rides. Unifilter recommend Filter Fix foam air filter treatment when servicing their polyurethane foam air filter elements. The foam element retails for $65.00 and a 500ml bottle of oil is $12.95. For more information go to www.uniflow.com.au or contact Unifilter on 02 4322 2007.

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Pivot Pegz

To get a real grip on the our new Italian rocket we’ve fitted Australian made Pivot Pegz. They are beautifully engineered and their spring loaded pivot action increases grip and improves rider comfort on a long haul. The Pivot Pegz retail for $220.00. Check out www.pivotpegz.net for there full range fitment chart.

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Zip Ties

On the Husky handbars the electrical wiring is held on to the handlebars with rubber ties. Even though they make for a neat finish I found when installing the handguards they were easily flicked off and vunerable to breaking. We replaced them with good old zip ties that are easy to install and are extremely tough. You can buy them by the container load at most hardware and automotive stores.

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Axle Hex

When we assembled our new Husky fresh out of the crate it proved that the best wat to get to know the ins and outs is to put a spanner to it. Punctures are something that we are all familiar with and when your out on the trail and you have to do a repair, it’s hot and wet, you just want to get the job done then a piece disappears. The Husky tool kit uses a hex bolt that inserts into the axle end to hold the axle while tightening it. When fitting the front wheel the hex bolt disappeared inside the axle. Made me think that out on the trail without a long screwdriver, tipping the bike over on it’s side or removing the bolt again after just putting it in is just a time waster. We fitted a small screw to stop the hex bolt from sliding all the way in a saving some potential pain in the backside inconvenience.

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Rego Label Hiding Place

How many times have you lost a rego label off your bike. Those plastic rego plate holders just don’t like the rough outback roads and trails. There’s a couple of remedies. One is you can stick the label on the fork leg which is illegal. The next option is to zip tie it to your backpack which is also illegal. So we’ve got another illegal solution. Under the Husky is the standard tool kit held in with a rubber band. When we get far enough away from the city when there’s more chance of running into a kangaroo than a police officer we tie the rego label under the seat. With the Husky’s quick release seat latch it’s pretty convenient but illegal.

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Trail Zone ‘In The Zone 5′

October 2nd, 2010

Trail Zone Magazine ‘In The Zone 5′ DVD featuring Edog200 New Zealand trail ride adventure.

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Husqvarna TE630 Ride Review

September 5th, 2010

We test the Husqvarna TE 630 along the open trails of the SE Queensland hinterland.

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2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere Test

July 28th, 2010

Russ and Clubby are the first to test the new Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere in Australia.

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2010 GAS GAS 250 Review

July 23rd, 2010

Popgun from Trail Zone Magazine reviews the new 2010 Gas Gas 250. He rides open trail to tight single track through the pine forests of the southern highlands of NSW. The Gas Gas Test appears in Trail Zone issue 30.

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Klim Adventure Suit Review

July 5th, 2010

Clubby from Trail Zone Magazine review the hitech Klim Adventure Suit

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2010 Yamaha WR250R

July 4th, 2010

Is there Tenere DNA in the WR’s veins? We got the idea of the Yamaha WR250R transforming into a mini adventurer in the last issue. Could this be dual sports best all rounder?

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  • Wolfman Racks
  • GYTR Gearing
  • Pivot Pegz
  • Mitas Tyres
  • B&B Off Road Radiator Guard
  • B&B Rear Plate Hanger
  • Custom Adventure Screen
  • Garmin Zumo 220 GPS
  • GYTR Rear Disk Guard
  • DeVol Lowering Link
  • TAG Grips
  • Ballards Grip Heaters

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2010 Suzuki DR650SE

July 1st, 2010

With a bike as popular as the Suzuki DR650 there are too many options. So where to start? Click the link below to see details of our modifications.

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  • TAG Bars and Clamps
  • TAG Grips
  • VSM Heated Grips
  • Barkbusters VPS Handguards
  • Pro-Fast Number Plate Hanger
  • Pro-Fast Headlight Guard
  • Eagle Screen
  • IMS SUPERSTOCK Foot Pegs
  • VSM Foot Peg Lowering Kit
  • VSM Side Stand Foot
  • Safari Tank
  • B & B Off Road Products
  • Dunlop 606 Knobbies
  • Unifilter Air Filter
  • Great Basin Saddle Bag
  • Custom Screen
  • MetalGear Brake Pads

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  • X-2 Trail Tech Headlight
  • VAPOR Speedo/Tacho
  • Soltistic LED Lights
  • Mini Blinkers
  • Handlebar Light Switch
  • Pro-Fast Headlight Guard
  • LED Rear Number Plate Light
  • Wolfman Racks
  • Wolfman Expedition Luggage
  • Touratech GPS Mount
  • Maxima Oils
  • Wolfman Tank Bag
  • B&B Rear Luggage Rack
  • Unifilter Air Filter
  • Custom Headlight Mount
  • IB Emergency Mini Lift.
  • Double Take Mirrors
  • Heavy Duty Tubes

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BMW R1200 GS Enduro Chase

July 1st, 2010

Russ & Clubby from offroadexplorer.com & Trail Zone Magazine chase Miles Davis on a BMW R1200 GS. If you didn’t think an R1200 GS could be ridden like an enduro bike then check this out!

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Epic HD Helmet Camera Test

June 10th, 2010

While Popgun test rides the new 2010 Gas Gas 250 with the Yamaha motor for Trail Zone Magazine, we also test the new Epic HD camera from Steve Cramer Products in Australia and found that for a small helmet camera the result is quite impressive both in vision and audio. As we follow Popgun into the single track we find that even ISDE veterans have trouble staying upright.

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2010 Suzuki DR650SE

May 3rd, 2010

The Suzuki DR650SE is the plain Jane of dual sports bike. While classed as a trail bike the humble DR650SE is the largest selling dual sports bike at this time. At it’s super cheap price most riders have plenty of budget left over to bolt on plenty of fruit.

Good power, simple technology, very reliable, very cheap.

Old technology and in desperate need of an update, small tank, inadequate rear rack.

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2010 Husqvarna TE610

February 3rd, 2010

The Husqvarna TE610 is the latest big bore dual sport bike from the Italian brand. When you’re looking for an adventure bike that will go hard then Husky TE610 is close to the top of the list. It’s smoother than you expect and will take on tricky conditions where other bikes will simply beach themselves.

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  • R & D Axle Nut
  • Coyote Saddle Bag
  • Fandango Tank Bag
  • Factory Performance Pipe
  • Kouba Lowering Link
  • ORE Custom Screen
  • Garmin Zumo 550 GPS
  • Storm Handguards
  • X-2 Trail Tech Headlight
  • Vector Instrument Panel
  • Mitas Dakar E-09 Tyres
  • Enduro Tank Bag

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  • Wolfman Tail Bag
  • Heated Grips
  • Trail Mirrors
  • LED Tail Light
  • B & B Engineering Bash Plate
  • Barkbusters VPS Handguards
  • Motul Performance Oils
  • Unifilter Air Filter
  • Pivot Pegz
  • Zip Ties
  • Axle Hex
  • Rego Label Hiding Place

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Trail Zone ‘In The Zone 3′

October 12th, 2009

Trail Zone Magazines In The Zone 3 bonus DVD available with Issue 27 of Trail Zone Magazine. Featuring the Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere Test, SA 24hr Reliability Trail, Kowen Forest Ride, Condo 750, Woodenbong Trail Ride, BMW Safari Tasmania, Popguns Tech Tips and WR250F Project Bike.

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2009 Yamaha TDM900

October 3rd, 2009

The Yamaha TDM900 is a tried and true formula with an engine with it’s root stretching back to the Super Teneres of the late ’80’s and early ’90’s. This new version is set to take on the Suzuki V-Strom.

Smooth power, great ergonomics, well equipped.

Too road orientated.

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2009 Yamaha TDM900

October 3rd, 2009

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Best Kept Secret

At the pointy end of the Dual Sports sales figures the V-Strom has had a clear run but now Yamaha have realised they have a weapon that will go head to head with the best in the adventure bike battleground.

Photos by Lance Turnley

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When Clubby and I rolled into Hillston a few months ago we bumped into Steve, Greg and Dave. Steve was on a TDM 850 which he had bought secondhand and had made a number of mods to it. Handlebars and risers, Continental tyres and a custom made bash plate just to name a few. He absolutely loved his bike and couldn’t stop raving about it.  Unfamiliar with the TDM I just stood their scratching my head. Then Cheryl Muldoon from Club Y suggested I check out the latest TDM on the Yamaha web site. In the back of my mind I was wondering if the TDM is such a great dual purpose bike why are they so rare on the NSW country roads. You don’t have to go any further than the Yamaha web site to find out why. The TDM 900 is listed under Sports/Touring along side their FJR1300 models. Go to the Suzuki web site and you’ll find the V-Strom under Off-Road > Dual Purpose category along side the mighty DR650SE and the DR-Z400S.

TDM_Wolfman_009Well, since then somebody in the Yamaha marketing department has recognised the rough diamond in their midst, convinced the powers that be to give it a bit of a polish and pointed it straight at the dual sports market. After all TDM stands for Trail Desert Master.

What is it?

Yamaha have taken their TDM 900 Sports Touring bike and made a few simple mods that has the potential to put it ahead of the pack of the road orientated end of the dual purpose market. Like the V-Strom the TDM 900 has the styling and feel of a road bike but from its standard configuration Yamaha has made some critical modifications to ready this bike for immediate off-road touring.

TDM_Wolfman_107What Do You Get For The Money?

Lets start with the standard base bike. From the R1 inspired frame hangs  its fuel injected parallel-twin engine with a proven DOHC 5-valve head on alloy cylinders delivering a broad spread of power with bottom-end grunt right through to an impressive top-end. You’d expect the yamaha powerplant to be smooth and as expected it really delivers and careful throttle application on the dirt is advised. The six-speed gearbox was a real surprise with its low first gear for technical off road riding to its tall top gear or effortless cruising on the motorway.

Pulling up the TDMs 223 kgs (fully fuelled) is it’s dual 298mm disc brakes up front and 245mm single disc at the rear with Yamaha’s potent opposed-piston one-piece callipers which provides reasonable feel on the dirt and confidence to jump on them on the pavement.

TDM_Wolfman_122One thing I like about the TDM is its 20 litre fuel tank which makes it one of the better candidates for a long remote haul. Not as big as the V-Strom 22 litre capacity but more than other manufacturers only offering 18 litres.

Our test route only offered smooth dirt roads and the tarmac in between so we really didn’t get to give the fully adjustable suspension a total workout but it was pretty much the sort of back road country touring you’d look for with this bike. So in the handling department we had no complaints.

But it’s the simple modifications that Yamaha have added to this special edition bike that makes it worth a closer look. To get more grip on the bike Tenere foot pegs are fitted. I think a quote we heard was ‘we can’t get the bike but we can get its foot pegs’. Next Yamaha have targeted rider comfort for the long haul. They’ve started by modifying the seat by changing the foam and fitted highlift Pro Taper bars from SERCO (Pastrana bend) for a little more upright riding position along with GTYR bar adaptors. Thankfully they’ve fitted a taller screen to reduce the fatigue associated with wind buffeting.

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TDM_Wolfman_110When you ride off road protection should always be compulsory and Yamaha haven’t forgotten this much neglected area. On the bars they’ve fitted GYTR handguards and down below small engine crash bars,

For the expected dusty conditions Yamaha have wisely fitted a Unifilter foam airfilter and a luggage rack at the back for tying the odd duffel bag to. To provide some extra grip and hopefully generate some off-road confidence over the standard units Avon Distanzia  tubeless dual purpose tyres are fitted. They have a chunky closed thread pattern and look and feel more comfortable on the hard stuff.

TDM_Wolfman_104Who’s Buying It?

The Yamaha TDM900 is going to snatch customers away from the Suzuki V-Strom. If you are a road rider looking to do the occasional off-road touring on country back roads then this is a great option. What makes it an even better option over the competition is the special edition accessories.

Where Did We Ride It?

Our ride varied from freeway cruising and winding tarmac country roads and smooth dirt detours. We even had a tame creek crossings. Pretty much what you’d be looking to do if you’re considering this type of dual purpose ride.

TDM_Wolfman_111What’s To Like?

Starting with the base bike, its typical Yamaha quality finish and styling. Some people might think it has the face only a mother would love but you could say that for a lot of bikes. The engine is beautifully smooth and the low first gear makes maneuvering over rough ground much easier for a road orientated bike.

The big bonus is the factory fitted accessories including the Tenere  foot pegs, highlift Pro Taper bars and GTYR handguards, a taller screen, Unifilter foam airfilter , luggage rack and Avon Distanzia  tubeless dual purpose tyres.

What’s Not To Like?

If you are looking at this style of dual purpose bike then Yamaha has done most of the work for you. It’s not what’s not to like but what’s missing. Engine protection has to be a priority and a bashplate is a necessary touch. Also the engine protection bars that Yamaha have fitted look bit inadequate. The luggage rack is minimal but its better than nothing. Looking at the bikes design the rear exhausts are extremely vulnerable and need to be tucked in and under the rear.

The Final Word?

If your not a hardcore adventure rider or your graduating from the road bike ranks looking to explore further a field then the TDM900 Special is definitely worth a look. It’s very comfortable to ride and you can’t go past the smooth 900cc inline twin powerplant. Yamaha has fitted most of the accessories already that you’d normally fit yourself saving you time and money.

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2009 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere Test

October 3rd, 2009

Off Road Explorer.com test the new Yamaha Tenere in Australia

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2009 Husqvarna TE610 Test

September 3rd, 2009

Enduro meets brutal.

The Husqvarna TE610 is ptobably the most powerful and agressive dual sports bikes to hit the market this year. While it can be a handful it will be the best fun you’ll have on an adventure bike. You just have to make sure you’re up for the challenge.

Heaps of power, Lightweight, enduro like handling

Uncomfortable on a long trip, a very basic, no frills package.

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2009 Husqvarna TE610 Test

September 3rd, 2009

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Hyper Adventure

When it comes to the heavyweight division of dual sports bikes the Husqvarna TE610 floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee and has the bite of an angry dog.

Photos by Trail Zone

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When does an enduro bike become a dual sports bike and when is a dual sports bike not an adventure bike? Confused? When you try to pigeon hole the Husqvarna TE610 no matter which way you look at it, it’s a square peg in a round hole.

I’d ridden the 2007 TE610 briefly at a Husky launch a couple of years ago. One thing I noticed is that the powerplant was a lot smoother than the now discontinued KTM 640 Adventure so retaining all your fillings over a long haul seemed possible on the Italian stallion. What’s more is the suspension package is far superior for extreme off road riding compared to more road oriented adventure bike set ups.

Normally our test bikes have been run in, checked over and serviced before they reach us. In this case the Australian Husqvarna importers, the Paul Feeney Group were confident enough to just pre-deliver the bike, pack it back in the crate and ship it down to the Off Road Explorer headquarters with about one kilometre on the clock. We were going to experience the bike as anyone would if they bought it off the showroom floor.

What is it?

TE610-StaticAt a glance the Husqvarna TE610 looks unashamably like an enduro bike and is the big brother of the TE family. You know, the big brother that has left home and doesn’t visit the family as much as he should and as result has been a little bit neglected. Why would I say that? Well the TE610 has a history of being 12 months behind the rest of Husqvarna enduro range in overall upgrades both cosmetic and mechanically. But I digress.
Once you get to know the TE610 it’s very much a no frills dual sports bike. It will cruise comfortably at highway speeds in transport sections and then can be ridden aggressively once you’re off the tarmac.  That’s where the big bore Husky really shines.

What Do You Get For The Money?

With it’s sharp enduro bike looks the Husqvarna TE610 is a true all round dual sports bike. The heart of the bike is its single cylinder, 4 stroke, fuel injected, liquid cooled powerplant which turns out 39 kW at 7000rpm at the crankshaft. A balancing counter-shaft is fitted to the 610 attributing to its smooth running that we mentioned earlier that big bore single cylinder donks have commonly suffered from. The internals are kept slippery with a lobe double oil pump and the twin exhaust ports exit to the rear through a single rear muffler. The engine has an electric start with no kick start option but no matter what the conditions or time of day the bike always fired - no problem.

TE610_037The six speed gearbox provides a nice spread of ratios that you’d expect for a well rounded dual sports bike and had a more precise shift compared to some other bikes we’ve ridden. The suspension package is all off road. Where other manufacturers are reducing travel to help with road manners the TE 610 sports Marzzochis, upside down enduro style, front forks with 300mm of travel. At the rear the 610 shares the same rear swingarm as the TE 450/510 and has a new Sachs shock absorber with compression and rebound adjustment using a redesigned link. The Husky is designed to carry a pillion and has passenger foot pegs fitted. The reason I mention it is that it should comfortably carry luggage but if you tend to carry a heavy load you may want to look at suspension mods depending on your own weight and gear. The Brembo brakes feature a floating 4-caliper 260 mm front disc while rear braking is a 220 mm disc and both do their job very well.

TE610_023The digital instrumentation displays speed, time, mileage, rpm and has a trip-meter as well as the normal warning lights (indicators, full beam, dipped beam, service due etc.). The handlebars and controls are very much the same as the other TE models. Other road bike fittings are the steering lock and lockable fuel cap on the 12.5 litre tank. I did find the cap leaked when full (to within two to three cm from dead full). Even though the fuel ecomony was good it really needs a 18 to 22 litre tank for the long hauls.

The job of getting this all to the ground are the Metzler Karoo 140/80 – 18” rear and 90/90 – 21” up front. Don’t expect them to last too long if you’re a chronic throttle jockey. The good news is that the whole package weighs in at 140.5 kg dry. That’s pretty lean for a heavyweight.

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TE610_033Who’s Buying It?

The Husqvarna TE610 is for hardcore adventure riders who enjoy taking on tricky sections that would normally beach the majority of adventure bikes leaving them flapping belly up. Having said that in enduro bike applications it’s a monster and if you’re built like a six foot front rower then you are probably more suited to its tall seat in technical sections. Regardless of that it’ll suit any rider on the open trail who likes standing on the pegs and ridng it enduro style.

Where Did We Ride It?

We rode the TE610 probably the most kilometres we’ve had the opportunity to do on a fresh test bike. 700 kms over 2 days from highway miles to deep boggy creek crossings, open forest trails to some very steep slippery clay sections. Just to get a good idea of its flexibility we rode it at the Watagans Trail Bike Rally that turned up lots of snotty, rutty single track.

TE610_029What’s To Like?

For the enduro bike rider there’s a lot to like as the TE 610 shares many parts from the TE enduro family. There’s not many dual sports bikes that have the aggressive looks of the Husky other than KTM. But compared to the latest orange range I think the TE 610 looks lighter and more nimble. The engine is surprisingly smooth with it’s balancing counter-shaft. Once we ran the bike in it easily broke loose the back wheel but on the other hand it wasn’t scary ‘what the hell happened’ power. It cruised all day at low to mid revs without complaint and got a surprising good 22.75 k/L. Mind you if you decide to get angry I imagine it would suck the 12,5 litre tank dry in no time.

The suspension and frame geometry is every inch an enduro bike and it’s the first time on an adventure bike that I’ve haven’t soiled my DriRiders when rounding a bend to be suddenly faced with big ruts and rocks. There’s plenty of ground clearance for the nasty sections. The riding position suits an enduro rider that likes standing on the pegz all day. However, taller riders would probably want to fit handlebar risers. I originally baulked at the chunky Metzler Karoos and had visions of me skating of the road on the first greasy tarmac bend. I found them reasonably well behaved on the blacktop but when we reached the dirt the big knobs powered through the slippery clay and mud and I had a ball.
We found the bike didn’t miss a beat and like the rest of the TE range Husqvarna  offer a 2 year warranty.

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What’s Not To Like?

As a basic package the Husqvarna TE 610 is just that. A basic package. Engine, gearbox, frame and suspension all do an outstanding job but the bike misses out on those little things that would make a great package. I cannot believe that anybody would build a bike like this without a factory fitted bashplate. With the way this bike performs its screaming for a rock through the engine cases. Handguards! The TE610 doesn’t even get the Cemoto plastics. The last big thing that really freaked me out is the inadequate headlight. All too often you’ll find yourself pulling in to destination after dark after a long day on the road as we’ve done so many times before (especially when Whiteys navigating). I’ve had bicycle lights stronger than this and further more the light shines off the back of the headlight shroud and into the riders face. It the pitch black of the Bells Line of Roads in pouring rain it was downright dangerous.

TE610_029

The Final Word?

The Husqvarna TE 610 is a solid package from its strong motor, crisp gearbox and great suspension. Admittedly, out of the box, it’s the basics that let the TE610 down but when you think about it, the bashplate and handguards that are always the first components to be upgraded first and the Husky isn’t the only bike that could do with a headlight upgrade.

I think the TE610 is at the Safari end of the adventure bike class and as our next project it is a great blank canvas. Stay tuned.

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2009 BMW GS Safari Tasmania DVD

September 1st, 2009

The 2009 BMW GS Safari tours around Tasmania covering 1700 kilometers over five days. You can order the DVD with all 5 days of riding plus extras from www.offroadexplorer.com.

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2009 Honda Transalp

September 1st, 2009

The Transalps Africa Twin heritage promises so much for the hardcore adventurer but can a minimal soft option do the job just as well?

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  • Honda Tall Windshield
  • Honda Grip Heater Kit
  • Premium Tail Luggage
  • Low Seat Option
  • Centre Stand
  • 12 Volt Accessory Socket
  • Pivot Pegz
  • Continental Tyres
  • SW Motech Crash Bars
  • Driving Lights
  • SW Motech Skid Plate
  • Wolfman Summit Saddle Bags

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  • Storm Handguards
  • Touratech Chain Guard
  • Touratech Manifold Shield
  • Touratech Throttle Cover
  • Touratech Steel Headlight Protector
  • Touratech Counter Shaft Spocket Guard
  • Kick Stand Support Extension
  • Staintune Pipe
  • Emergency Worklight
  • Unifilter Air Filter Rebuild
  • Suspension Adjustment

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2009 Honda Transalp XLV700

July 13th, 2009

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Transcontinental

Is the new Transalp the complete package for the backroad tourer or is it still the city slicker in a friendly dogs clothing.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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Some where along the line Clubby got this idea in his head that I like riding lots of km’s at a time so when Honda offered Trail Zone the first test ride of the 2008 Transalp Clubby put up my hand straight away. Why my hand? Well to get the scoop I would have to fly to Melbourne to Hondas headquarters and ride the Transalp back to Sydney.

Before I had a chance to think about it, I was standing in the queue at Qantas check in at 6.30am dressed ready to throw my leg over a bike from my motocross boots my new Rivet Monaro jacket I’d test on the trip. With people staring at me like I was the Stig I soon found out that you can’t take your helmet on the plane and you’ve got buckley’s getting through security’s metal detector without attracting attention. I’m sure Clubby was curled up in bed chuckling to himself while hitting the snooze button.

What Do You Get For The Money?

It seems that American tastes have a lot to do with what the rest of us get in other markets around the world and at first glance you’d think that the Honda designer worked at Harley Davidson at some time and still yearns for the sound of water pumps with two wheels. This can’t be true as a clue to it’s European focus is on the graphics. On the tank are GPS co-ordinates for the Merchantour National Park in the French Alps. At 2,802M it must be quite a climb and is the sort of mountain roads you see in the Tour de France mountain stages. Regardless of its styling, Honda’s precise Japanese engineering lies underneath, the core of which is a very smooth, new, 680cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve SOHC 52° V twin   engine and combined with improved ergonomics is a comfortable bike to ride over the long haul.

Before I get bogged down in specifications Honda Australia had taken the liberty to configure our test bike as a tourer using many of the standard Honda accessories made specifically for the Transalp. These included, taller windscreen, centre stand, 45L top box and panniers and an accessory plug for GPS power or charging other devices such as mobile phones. Plus my favourites heated grips and a low seat. At first glance I through I’d look like a Ulysses Club member on a wanna be Goldwing but being from Cronulla I need to be more accepting.

So if you want to by a soft adventure bike off the showroom floor Honda has pretty much got you covered. As mentioned the motor is smooth and lacks the hand numbing vibration of its single cylinder counterparts. It pulls nicely from low revs and has a nice note from an updated exhaust system even through it sometimes had a whistle like a diesel locomotive when you opened it up from low revs. It lacks any punch anywhere through the rev range but it cruises effortlessly on the open road and will do it all day. The engine is complimented with a five speed gear box however it could do with a sixth gear. I found myself repeatly looking for another cog.

In a move that will upset off-road riders Honda has gone to a 19 inch front wheel from a 21 inch steering it more to roadier set up. Both the 19″ front and 17″ rear rims are fitted with Metzler Tourance rubber which does an OK job on the gravel and kills it on the road. I was pleased to see that Honda have stayed with spoke rims and not solid units like BMW are pushing with there R1200 GS. Up front are your garden variety 41 mm leading-axle telescopic forks with 177 mm of travel. As for the rear it’s a Pro-Link setup with 173 mm travel and adjustable compression damping which is accessible through a small hole in the left side cover below the seat. The dry weight of the bike is 218kg and as a result the Transalp is fitted with dual 256 x 4 mm hydraulic disc with dual-piston, with three-piston calipers and 240 x 6 mm hydraulic disc with single-piston calipers and resin mould pads. Finally the fuel capacity has been reduced from 19 to 17.5 litres. I mean, even though the rationale is that with improved fuel economy it still has the same range but a little extra range makes sense to me. The tank has a 3 litre reserve and when you reach it the digital fuel gauge flashes up and down like the skies about to fall. Very distracting but it gets your attention and within the cluster is the digital speedo which I liked along with the clock (don’t forget school zones) and trip metres. Fuel economy on my ride averaged around 5L/100kms giving the Transalp approximately a 350km range including 60 kms of reserve. The seat height is 841mm but the low seat option takes another 20mm off that. The seat is also designed to share the love and is much wider for the pillion passenger. The Top Box also has a backrest and arm rests are optional.

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What’s It Cost?

The new Transalp comes in at $12,990 plus on road costs. That compare that with the BMW F 650 GS at $13,650, Suzuki  DL650 V-Strom at $9,990 and the Kawasaki KLR650 ($7,990)

Who’s Buying It?

Like the V Strom it’s perfect for road riders dipping their toe into the adventure bike pond. The good thing about the Transalp is that in general ride impression it falls between the KLR650 and the V-Strom. In other words the ergos smack bang between a dirt bike feel of a KLR and the road bike riding position of a V Strom.

Where Did We Ride It?

We rode the Transalp straight out of the crate from Melbourne to Sydney starting with only 15 kms on the clock over a variety of roads (mostly road unfortunately). I did the trip in one hit so it was a good chance to see how comfortable the Transalp is on the long haul and it passed with flying colours. Gotta love the heated grips.

Transalp_0012

What’s To Like?

Did I mention the heated grips? Honda fitted our Transalp with some touring essentials. Taller windscreen, accessory plug (hidden under the seat), top box and panniers plus the low seat for those like me with shorter legs and Hondas own brand of heated grips, (did I mention them?). Without those the Transalp is still an adequate package. Starting at the front a small fairing still deflects a bit of wind but what I particularly liked on my 11 hour highway adventure riding into the dark was the impressive front headlight. Unfortunately the Cyclops styling is a big target for a rock when riding off-road with others.
The engine is smooth as Popguns latex one piece and the gearbox shifts nicely. The exhaust has a nice note but looks like it’s fat that can be lost and replaced with an alloy unit. Handling presented no surprises but I like to do a bit more off-road riding before I pass final judgement. The bike comes with a substantial carryrack which you could bolt an expresso machine to. (Had to get that one in before Popgun did). Overall, a great tourer.

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What’s Not To Like?

The Transalp is definitely at the softer end of the adventure bike market and there are many Africa Twin devotees sobbing quietly into their beers with each new model. There’s way too much plastic moulding for a start plus all the mud and dirt hoarding, bolt on, polished metal styling covers like the ones on the exhaust system. Buckets of dirt could reside under there for years. The most useless piece of plastic is what you would think is supposed to be the engine bash plate. Putting style before common sense the bottom of the engine is completely exposed to rocks thrown up from the front wheel. The cockpit is not as cramped as the 2007 model but in the standing position, even for me, the bars felt a tad low. The side stand foot is way too small and the rubber pegs have to go.

Transalp

The Final Word?

Perhaps I’ve been little harsh but the Transalp is basically a great bike with solid engineering that will go the distance. Despite the fact that it looks like it’s been designed by the work experience kid who’s got a fetish for plastic moulding, I believe there’s some great potential. That’s why we are taking on the Transalp as our next Off Road Explorer/Trail Zone Project Bike and if there’s an Africa Twin under there, we’ll find it.

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2009 BMW G650GS

June 20th, 2009

With its new powerplant the BMW Funduro takes on a whole new personality.

As for entry level adventure bikes the BMW G650GS is at the top of the scale. It’s a great all-round dual sport bike commuting during the week and capable of taking on a great adventure ride. Five days straight on the G659GS had us thinking that it will handle wjatever you throw at it.

New responsive powerplant, comfortable tourer

Clunky suspension, lack of ground clearance.

Price: $11,990

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How To Install BarkBuster Handguards

March 29th, 2009

Step by step guide on how to install your Barkbusters handguards

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Barkbuster Handguard Installation

March 27th, 2009

Step by step guide on how to install your Barkbusters handguards

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Trailzone ‘In The Zone 2′

February 1st, 2009

Trail Zone magazines much anticipated second DVD. Produced by Lance Turnley of Design Media Communications.

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2009 Honda Transalp

July 13th, 2008

It may not be hard core but it will cross a desert and get you there in good shape.

It’s easy to say that the Transalp is very softcore but we rode it from straight from Hondas warehouse in Melbourne back to Sydney, gave it an oil change then headed to the Flinders Ranges. It just ate up the wide open dirt miles and only multiple punctures slowed it down.

Very Comfortable, smooth V-Twin engine

Softcore, way too much plastic.

Price: $12,990

[button text=”See The Full Test Here” link=”http://www.offroadexplorer.com/Blog/bikes-2/2009-honda-transalp-xlv700/” style=”default” size=”normal” target=”_self” display=”inline” icon=”no”]

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Popguns Tech Tip - Solo Chain Lube

July 7th, 2008

Popgun demonstrates how to lube your enduro bike chain solo.

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BMW Xchallenge Bike Review

July 7th, 2008

Clubby of Trail Zone magazine reviews the BMW Xchallenge.

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Zac Speed Product Review

July 7th, 2008

Popgun reviews the 2008 model Zac Speed hydration vest for enduro riders

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2008 BMW GS Safari

June 30th, 2008

In 2008 the BMW Safari criss-crossed the Victorian High Country from Jindabyne in NSW to the Gippsland district in Victoria and back.

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Long Time No Hear

June 26th, 2008

Apologies for being quiet on the blog front but we’ve been hard at work. You may have noticed we’ve added a few more trips over the last month. Well, since then we’ve done a few more. For all you banana benders we’ve been to Gympie and Rainbow Beach. The next issue will feature the Gympie Queensland ride where my host was Mick Dudley. No slouch on the bike and kept the pace up. We’ve also been to Coffs Harbour and in August we’ll be heading for the Flinders Ranges and Minindee Lakes south east of Broken Hill.
Clubby, Popgun and I have also been filming the final segments for the next Trail Zone ‘In The Zone #2′ DVD. The whole DVD was shot in widescreen and is so far looking good. Our KLR650 project bike has exceeded our expectations and unfortunately it’s time to bid farewell to the big green pack horse. If you’d like to buy the KLR650 it is for sale in full trim so if you’re interested first in best dressed. Just email me lance@offroadexplorer.com
We already know what our next project bike will be but we’ll keep that a secret till the next blog.

Cheers

Lance

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2008 Kawasaki KLR650

June 13th, 2008

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KLR is King

You get what you pay for but Kawasaki’s KLR650 provides one of the best entry-level adventure bikes.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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A few months ago I was out four wheel driving with some mates checking out some trails Morton National Park just south of Nowra NSW doing a reccy on potential adventure bike loops. You see I’d just got the nod from Clubby to join the Trailzone team as dual sports editor and all things adventure bike. We had pulled up at Tianjara Falls just off the road that runs south to Nerriga and beyond to Braidwood. We were just having a snack out the back of the Jeep when four guys pulled in on adventure bikes. Keen to promote Trailzone and it’s additional content I immediately struck up a conversation with them.

The first guy was on a big arse BMW GS1200 Adventurer totally accessorized and definitely looked the money. The next a BMW Funduro complete with 19 inch front wheel, then a guy on a Suzuki V-Strom who was clearly loved his bike despite the fact it looks like a road bike (I shouldn’t talk ill of the V-Strom as I haven’t ridden one yet) and a Kawasaki KLR 650 that was probably a couple of years old. They each sang the praises of there own bike but the guy on the Kawasaki KLR650 was the only one to say it’s a perfect entry-level bike. He said he’d had a big get off his enduro bike and as a result adventure bike cruise had taken his fancy. To me the KLR looked too much like a trail bike to be taken seriously as an adventure bike so I decided to do a little research. What I found is a bunch of web sites dedicated to the KLR and like DR riders there no limit to the modifications punters out there are making to build an economical adventure bike.

It was about the same time Kawasaki released their completely restyled 2008 KLR650, which appeared to be a big, step up from the previous model. I wasn’t that fussed on the road bike styled fairing but it was starting to grow on me.

What Is It?

Like I said previously you get what you pay for. Underneath the fairing, silver radiator shrouds and the large carry rack it appears to be just a big 650cc trail bike with a 23 litre tank. Its only when you look at the upgrades from the previous model can you see that Kawasaki has improved it marginally by making a heap of small improvements that when combined make a big difference while keeping it within its current price bracket.

What Does It Cost?

The Kawasaki KLR650 retails for $7,990, which is only $300 more than the Suzuki DR650SE at $7.690. For that extra $300 you get a larger capacity tank, an effective fairing and a proper carry rack. The DL650 V-Strom comes in next at $9,990 then everything after that is over ten grand and out of your budget if you’re looking at a KLR. Mind you the Kawasaki KLE500 is also $7,990. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

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What Do You Get For Your Money?

As I mentioned before on the surface it’s pretty much straightforward steel framed 650cc trail bike. It’s only when you look at the improvements over the previous KLR you start to see real value as a dual sport bike. To do this Kawasaki has given the KLR a little bit more road bias by focusing on new suspension and brakes. The new 41mm forks now have less static sage resulting in better pavement handling with the front suspension travel reduced by approximately 3.5 cm. The redesigned Unitrak linkage is designed to compliment the front suspension with less sage and also has had its travel reduced by a bit over 2 cm.
One thing for sure is that the KLR pulls up well courtesy of the new 280mm petal style front brake rotor similar to the ones on Kawasaki Ninja sports bikes. The rear brake has also been upgraded and where traction was available pulled up really nicely.

One area that the KLR has it all over the Suzuki DR is its rear carry rack, which really proves its value with each piece of luggage you load up. We strapped on a Wolfman Alpha carry bag plus a camera tripod. The rack is wide and flat so once everything was secured nothing rolled over the side and the bike felt perfectly balanced throughout our testing trip.

Up front the KLR now has larger shrouds and a taller windscreen offering better wind protection. My first thoughts were that the front fairing looked like a rejected sports bike design and not very ‘adventure bike like’. However I have to admit that it works effectively and for the taller rider you just need to fit a slightly taller aftermarket screen, which Kawasaki is currently sourcing. The hand guards also offer excellent wind protection but offer little protection for the lever in the event of a fall unlike Barkbusters.

Another big plus over the DR is the standard 23 litre fuel tank giving it a greater range to qualify it as a serious adventure bike. With that long fuel range Kawasaki has improved the seat design with new urethane foam and after four straight days of riding it proved its worth. Kawasaki has fitted a high capacity 36W alternator that powers higher output headlights with the extra capacity to power a GPS or any other electronic device that somebody convinces us we can’t do without.

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Who’s Buying It?

The KLR650 is a very serious contender as an entry level option for the adventure bike enthusiast if you can’t afford BMW anything or a KTM 640 Adventurer. Seriously though, with its improved pavement ability it doubles well as a suburban commuter. Really no kidding, it came in really handy when we had to shoot down the road to pick up the off road explorer flyers.

Where Did We Ride It?

Over four days we covered 1,600 kilometres on the KLR over what we estimated to be about 30% pavement and 70% dirt. Most of it was open dirt road through the Victorian High Country. The first and last part of the trip was straightforward highway cruising, until we reach the speed humps of McDonalds car park in Nowra. The tar lasted a little longer than expected with the State government spending money on roads of little use instead of hospitals but this is no place to get political.

From there it was back roads all the way and the KLR’s high cruising speed almost caught us out a couple of times but its off road heritage shone through when its counts.

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What’s There To Like?

Out of the box the KLR650 is the most adventure ready bike at this price level. It has a 23 litre tank, an effective fairing and an excellent carry rack. The seat is very comfortable and I liked the overall ergonomics both standing and seated. We proved that you could take a dead standard KLR and get straight into long distance touring with greater refuelling intervals than the Suzuki DR650SE and the Yamaha XT660R.

What’s Not To Like?

The KLR650 motor is renown for its reliability. Kawasaki claim that there’s improved throttle response from a new throttle position sensor and revised ignition mapping, revised cam timing to improve high rpm performance. The redesigned cylinder head has new intake porting for greater low-end torque and quicker throttle response and improved top end power.

To me the engine felt terribly restricted as result of a small air box and an over baffled exhaust system. I can’t help but think opening up the air box and an aftermarket bike will completely transform this bike. Mind you I’d like the suspension to be a little more dirt bias but that’s just my preference. One thing for certain the rubber pegs have to go if your serious about adventure riding and replace them with some aftermarket enduro pegs.

Snowy_Ride

The Final Word

Regardless of the KLR’s lack of punch in the engine department, it can be fixed, and straight off the showroom floor it is the best value for money for anyone getting into adventure bike touring in that price range. It isn’t as responsive as the DR650 but there’s no need to spend money on a larger tank or luggage rack not to mention it comes with an effective fairing and that’s why Kawasaki dealers cannot get enough of them.

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Barrington Tops NSW

May 2nd, 2008

Getting There

The Barrington Tops adventure ride starts at Wisemans Ferry north west of Sydney. The route travels up through St Albans to Wollombi and on to Singleton. The ride then goes directly north out of Singleton cross country to Scone for fuel. From Scone directly west across Barrington Tops to Gloucester for a second fuel stop. From Gloucester south then west into the Avon River State Forest. The trail eventually emerges just north of Dungog. Can be done in 2 days but three days are reccommended to take time to explore the Barrington Tops and Chicester State Forest.

Contact

State Forests Hunter Region (02) 4927 2900

NPWS Gloucester (02) 6558 1478

Singleton Accomodation

Country Acres Caravan Park

Singleton, NSW 2330
(02) 6572 2328

Dungog Accomodation

www.visitdungog.com


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2009 BMW G650 GS Test

April 28th, 2008

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Entry Level to Adventure

With its new powerplant the BMW Funduro takes on a whole new personality.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine and Lance Turnley

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I feel a bit like Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear at times. Mind you I’m only half his height but I’m talking in terms of test vehicles. Most of the time you’re testing Ferraris, Porches and the like, then you have the occasional excursion to the other end of the scale with something like a Hyundai Getz. You wonder if its mentally possible to extend a fair comment when your use to experiencing far more superior machinery.

So there I was at the beginning of the 2009 BMW Safari setting up a new BMW G650GS for a five day tour around Tasmania. It was fitted with a BMW Tank Bag and a BMW Large Sport rear bag. To give it improved off road manners it came with Continental TKC 80’s knobbies front and rear. On the 2008 Safari I rode a 2007 R1200GS and this time around I was gagging for a new F800GS. Mind you this wasn’t a holiday as I was charged with the job of capturing the Safari on video and the G650GS was my workhorse. When you’ve got a job to do, picking up a R1200GS loaded with camera gear up off the ground is no fun. Nevertheless I was still gagging for the 800. However that would change 500 metres up the road from BMW headquarters when I found out G650GS is better at staying upright on the blacktop than an F800GS. But that’s another story.

What is it?

At first glance the G650GS looks like an earlier model BMW F650GS Funduro. Low ground clearance, a 19” front wheel and no cosmetic changes. It’s a clear case of ‘why bother’ until you notice the black powerplant has been slotted straight into the old F650GS frame which powered the G 650 Xcountry, Xchallenge and Xmoto trio which the G650GS now supersedes.

Ultimately the BMW G 650 GS is LAMS-approved and provides BMW with an entry level adventure bike suited to novice riders restricted under the LAMS system. Its best suited for commuting but when push comes to shove it will happily take on any adventure ride you could dish up for an F800GS or R1200GS and sometimes do it easier as we found later.

122_0905_08_z+2009_bmw_g650gs+trip_computer What Do You Get For The Money?

You can’t help but think that the G650GS is aimed at riders who just want the BMW experience and find the F800GS or R1200GS just too big or out of their price range. For some people, that’s enough to steer them towards the german marque.

The main feature is the heart and lungs of the G650GS which is the same 652 cc engine as previously fitted to the later G 650 Xchallenge models. The water-cooled single-cylinder power plant is a four-valve four-stroke unit with twin overhead camshafts, and dry sump lubrication. It confidently pumps out 37 kW (50 hp) at 6,500 rpm and delivers 60 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. The BMW G 650 GS top speed is rated at around 170 km/h and the highway performance left us little doubt that it was possible on the open road.

This engine is the Rotax unit previously supplied in the Xcountry and is built in China like everything else on the planet. Of course the engine is quote ‘built to BMW quality standards solely for BMW and is not supplied to any third parties’ unquote. I can’t help but think in ten years an identical bike will export from China called a Chin Cheng Double U. The bike is finally assembled in Berlin to the highest specifications as are all BMW motorcycles.

The G650GS is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox, which drives through a wet clutch to a chain drive. The frame is a bridge steel section type which contributes to it’s 175kg dry weight which puts it on par with other mid range 650’s but nevertheless it feels heavy.
The tank capacity is 17.3 litres and has a 4.5-litre reserve and resides under the seat filling towards the rear. When you have a tank bag that’s a cool feature but it does increasing fuel capacity a non option.

The good news is that it’s equipped with wire sokes as opposed to the F650GS that has solid spoke wheels.  The standard seat height is 780 mm and the bike if offered with low suspension option reduces it to 750 mm.

Colour options are limited with the only choice is red or black bodywork. The engine is finished in black and I’ve got to admit it looks a lot better than the silver of the previous F 650 GS and Dakar models.

Braking uses a single, 300 mm front disc with a double piston floating calliper and the rear has a single piston floating calliper acting on a 240 mm disc. The BMW ABS system may be switched off for off road use but more about that later.

Compared to other bikes in its class the ride is more steered towards dual sports use as opposed to hardcore adventure riding. The front suspension are telescopic forks and at the rear by a box-section steel dual swing arm with a central spring. Very basic to say the least. The spring is  pre-load is hydraulically adjustable via a hand-wheel, and rebound damping is also adjustable. Front suspension travel is 170 mm, with 165 mm at the rear. The front wheel is 19-inches by 2.50, while the rear is a 17-inch x 3.00 item.

Despite its limited off-road prowess, the single-cylinder powered BMW G 650 GS is a lot more off-road oriented than the parallel twin-cylinder F 650 GS that we tested in Trail Zone issue 18, which has a greater on-road bias, and runs alloy rims. So at around $3,000 less (when fitted with ABS) the G650GS is a much better option.

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What’s It Cost?

The BMW F650GS is reasonably priced from $11,990 and that’s with ABS standard compared the twin cylinder BMW F650GS ($13,800). The Honda XL700V ($11,700), Kawasaki KLR650 ($8.499), Suzukis DL650 V-Strom ($10,290) or the ABS equipped DL650 V-Strom ($10,790), DR650SE ($7,990) or the Yamaha XT660R ($11,499)

2009_BMW_G650GSWho’s Buying It?

In many ways the G650GS is in a class of its own and most people considering buying one just want a BMW. The G650GS strength is in its versatility as a very well behaved commuter bike that can transform into an adventure machine that can be equipped for any trip that you might want to throw at it. Having said that it’s very popular with the wives and girlfriends of R1200GS owners.

Where Did We Ride It?

Can’t say that we didn’t give the G650GS a thorough adventure test. Our test was nothing less than the 2009 BMW GS Safari around Tasmania. It ranged from the Hobart city streets to the advanced alternate route where the nimble G650GS turned heads in the most difficult sections.

What’s To Like?

The best thing about the G65GS is it’s powerplant. It’s definitely strong and will pull from almost nothing and it’s not shy of breaking rear traction on open off-road sections. It’s a big improvement over the previous Rotax engine that powered the previous F650GS Dakar. Like every BMW the build and finish are second to none and over 5 days and 1690 kilometres it didn’t miss a beat.

The G650GS really showed its worth in the difficult section on Day 4 of the Safari. Compared to the F800GS and R1200GS and GSA’s on the route it powered up the tight rocky sections that took all of the participants by surprise.

On the open road its smooth and comfortable and at the end of the day didn’t leave me feeling trashed. Out of all the bikes I’ve ridden with ABS the BMW systems work the best and the front works very well but the rear will freak you out on a steep slippery downhill section.

What’s Not To Like?

As I mentioned the ABS is very good and saved me a couple times pulling up in some open sections when something unexpected turned up. However the rear ABS on loose ground offers nothing when you need to lock up the back wheel. Unlike more current BMW models you need to hold down the ABS switch when turning on the bike to turn the ABS off. I guess that’s one of the lack of features that kept the price down.
For the more experienced off-road rider the suspension is way too soft and ground clearance is not adequate enough. Having said that though on the open trails it performs as well as any other in its class.

The Final Word?

When we tested the BMW F650GS Dakar back in issue 14 almost 2 years ago the F650SE (Funduro) was listed at $13,500 and the Dakar was listed at $14,000 with its 21” front wheel and greater suspension travel. Not surprisingly the new G650GS felt very similar to the Dakar but the updated powerplant makes it a much better bike to ride. Now at only $11,990 RRP its more in reach for those that want to throw their leg over a german motorcycle.

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Two Months Already!

April 1st, 2008

How embarassment. After planning to get things back on schedule before we know it, two months have disappeared. Well, they didn’t exactly disappear. It was actually filled with a lot of stuff. Currently at the printers is Trail zone Issue #17. Clubby’s biggest issue ever and we still need extra room to fit more offroadexplorer.com content in.
For this issues adventure ride Clubby had me ride the mighty Kawasaki KLR650 across the state in one day to the Murray Sunset National Park on the border of Victoria and South Australia. That was just to get to the start of our ride and would leave most mortals completely shattered. Then he had the hide to taunt me when I collapsed with exhaustion one the afternoon of the next day. That’s OK, because everything evened itself out. After all, Clubby had to ride the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom through about one hundred kilometres of deep sand. You can read all about the Mad Hattahs Desert Ride in issue 17 due out mid April. The Murray Sunset Ride will be posted on the ORE Travel section soon, along with my Bindabella detour.
Amongst the products we are currently testing is the Zeus 2100B adventure helmet. We spotted some good reviews online so we’re looking forwarded to our first helmet test. We’ll also be testing a Scala Rider Teamset Bluetooth Intercom with the helmet with a new Garmin Zumo GPS for the next three months. The GPS test fits with our original goal to provide our readers with GPS data from our future rides.
A scoop for our Blog subscribers is the announcement of our first offroadexplorer.com /Trail Zone magazine competition. You can win a new Australian made Mr Swagman biker swag. Details will be published in Trail Zone issue 17 and the ORE website mid April.
Our biggest ride in the last month has been the 2008 BMW GS Safari. Five days through the Victorian High Country on a R1200 GS is something to be experienced. I had the pleasure of filming the event and the DVD will be available from BMW. Whilst I covered the filming, Clubby tested the new R1200 GS and GS Adventure. You can read his report on the two bikes in Trail Zone issue 17.
If you haven’t received our Enews or subscribed you can now view back issues from a link on the ORE home page. While we’re on the subject of updates, you can also view our modifications to the ORE Kawasaki KLR650 Project Bike.
Lots more updates to come so please keep an eye on the ORE web site and especially the ORE Forum.
See you on the road and ride safe.
Cheers
Lance

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2008 Kawasaki KLR650

March 1st, 2008

The Kawasaki KLR650 is one of the best value for money, ready to roll, out of the crate Adventure Bikes on the market. With just a few bolt on goodies to big green monster can be totally kitted out for the long haul.

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  • Taller Screen
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  • VPS Barkbusters

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  • Foot Pegs
  • Uni Filter
  • Dirt Aggressive Tyre Option
  • Heated Grips
  • Carby mods and Mixtures
  • Gear lever

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Murray Sunset Desert Ride

February 17th, 2008

Getting There

Starting from Ouyen south of Mildura you enter the Murray Sunset National Park at Hattah.

Contact

Murray-Sunset National Park Information - www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

Track Conditions and camping - Parks Victoria Information Centre 13 19 63

Accomodation

Ouyen Motel

Calder Highway, Ouyen Vic 3490 Phone: (03) 5092 1397

ouyenmtl@ruralnet.net.au

Riverbend Caravan Park

101 Sturt Highway, Renmark SA 5341 Freecall: 1800 552 451


View Larger Map

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Out of the Blocks and Sprinting into 2008

February 1st, 2008

The holiday break was barely over and before I knew it Trail Zone Issue #16 copy deadline was upon me. Trail Zone magazine is a small publisher but one thing for sure is that they run a tight ship. Now you might be picturing a publishing office with the deafening sound of clattering keyboards and phones ring off the hook with incoming scoops from the dirt bike world. Well no. Picture the sweaty bowels of an ancient wooden boat with Clubby, Popgun and I rowing like our life depends on it because if we stop rowing, out comes the whip.
So now that the wounds have healed we can look forward to Trail Zone Issue #16 due out February 20. So what’s there to look forward to? Well for Sydney riders our travel feature is the missing link Sydney to the Vic high country. Travelling from Nowra, we follow a route well known by experienced adventure riders down to Braidwood and on to Nimmitabel the gateway to the Monaro Plains. However, on the return trip I hook up with Neil, Steve and Dave, all on BMW’s and venture down the Wadbilliga Track for a bit of a detour. There’s a ton of trails through the mountains west of the south coast so hopefully it won’t be too long before we go back to map out something that has more dirt than tar.
The best part for Issue 16 is our new Kawasaki KLR650 Project Bike. I mentioned in my last Blog Santa had delivered all the bits including larger screen, new KLR luggage, TAG handlebars and grips, Barkbusters, IMS footpegs and Cheng Shin C-755 front and rear knobbies. In the engine department we’ve started with clearing the airways by fitting a Unifilter air cleaner and a Staintune pipe. Got to admit that Staintune pipe is a beautiful piece of work. Such a shame to get it dirty.
Tenere Ray and I headed for Yerranderie west of Sydney for a quick test. Mind you I only had fitted the screen, IMS pegs and the Cheng Shin C-755 knobbies. Excellent forsight on my part I must admit because when we pulled out of Oberon on the second day, the heavens opened and it rained solid all day. The knobbies were a bit nervous on the black top but in the dirt and mud the combination of the IMS pegs and knobbies completely transformed the big green KLR into something a lot more aggressive on the trail.
Last weekend I hooked up with Drussdog and a few other guys on the ORE Forum at Mt Keira near Wollongong. By then the KLR had the pipe and Unifilter fitted and it was loving the tighter roads. It was a great morning ride so if you’d like to join them on future ride keep an eye out for posts in the New South Wales section. Everybody is welcome especially those venturing onto the dirt for the first time.
That’s it for now. Planing a couple of promotions, competitions and perhaps a new video. All will be revealed in the next Blog. Stay tuned.
Cheers
Lance

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Look What Santa Brought Me!

December 27th, 2007

It’s amazing how Santa knows exactly what to bring you at Christmas time. I was determined to get my list delivered to the big guy but after getting thrown out of three department stores I was starting to get desperate.

I needn’t have worried as Santa must network like an insurance salesman and word got through to him. Our first project bike will be very cool indeed. The first things I found under the christmas tree was a complete set of KLR branded luggage from Kawasaki including tank bag, rear tail bag and saddle bags. Along with that kit was a taller Kawasaki aftermarket windscreen.
But it didn’t stop there. Santa also got me a pair of TAG handlebars and grips plus a pair of IMS footpegs. Can’t wait to get rid of those standard rubber pegs and get a decent grip on the bike. Speaking of grip Santa must know I prefer the loose stuff and now the KLR will be shod with a pair of Cheng Shin tyres that are 30% road and 70% dirt.

The KLR always seemed to be gasping for breath and Santa came through with a Unifilter and with some air box mods we’ll have that thing sucking air like… (insert your own analogy here). There was one last thing missing but Santa left me a note. His elves got a little behind this year as the demand for Nintendo Wii was greater than expected. So this years production of the new KLR650 Staintune pipes will begin in January 2008 so hopefully it will turn up for our next big ride.
That’s just the KLR. Santa also bought me 10 pairs of underwear. Not that you really wanted to hear that but my stock of comfy undies had suffered with all the miles we’ve done so far. Need to stand up more.

Finally my girlfriend bought me an Australia Road and 4WD Atlas. I’m still trying to figure out whether that means she wants me to go away or to make sure I find my way back. Think I might have to clear that one up this week. But more importantly better get started on kitting up the KLR. All the gear will be in Issue 16 of Trail Zone and the new Project Bike section of the ORE web site next month.
Have a happy New Year and ride safe.

Cheers
Lance

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Roasts, Forums and In The Zone

December 17th, 2007

Christmas is always a rush and this week has been particularly hectic but I thought I’d fit in on more Blog before Christmas. Last night I had the honour of being master of ceremonies at Stephen Gall’s 50th Birthday Roast last weekend. The night was attended by just about everybody who shaped the professional Australian off road riding scene for the last thirty years.
Amongst family and friends were former motocross champions Craig Dack, Vaughn Style, Pelle Granquist and Anthony Gunter plus international supercross rider Michael Byrne. Also in attendance was Vince Tesoriero who created the Mr Motocross series and Len Williamson who was the key man behind numerous Motocross de Nations campaigns.
The old saying ‘what goes on tour, stays on tour’ went completely out the window and hopefully Gall’s secrets are safe with about 80 family and friends. The night featured a presentation slide show of about 300 images of Gall’s professional and private life followed by some footage from the Liverpool Supercross in 1984. I’ll have some incriminating pictures in my ORE column in the next issue of Trail Zone.
As most of you would already know, our first Off Road Explorer Enews went out last week but as technology would have it, with firewalls and spam filters, some of you who subscribed may not have received it. So if you had any problems you can see the Enews at http://www.offroadexplorer.com/Enews/ORE_Enews_1.html
If you’re not a subscriber to Trail Zone then issue 15 is now available at your local newsagent with a bonus DVD produced by offroadexplorer.com. It features enduro rides at Sunny Corner and Mt Buller, our Bridle Track adventure ride that appeared in issue 14 plus bike reviews of the BMW Xchallenge, Gas Gas FSR450 and the Suzuki DRZ250. Popgun gives a couple of tech tips and there’s Clubby’s Favourite Word. The response so far from subscribers has been incredible with some readers saying it’s the best trail bike riding DVD they’ve seen. If you want to see what all the fuss is about then check out the DVD trailer at http://au.youtube.com/offroadexplorer. The DVD alone makes a great christmas present and is available at your newsagent.
You’ll see a couple more updates to ORE web site appear over the next couple of days. I’m just putting the final touches to the ORE Forum, the ORE Shop (as soon as I find something to sell) and finally the ORE Photo Gallery. I’m really looking forward to that because Clubby has captured some great images on our rides and we’re keen to share them.
All that’s left now is to pack the KLR650 and head off for some festive adventure riding and hope that Santa brings me a new GPS. To everybody who has subscribed to the ORE web site, checked out the ORE stories in Trail Zone and sent us emails have a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.
Cheers
Lance Turnley

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In The Zone DVD is Finally Released!

December 12th, 2007

First I have to apologise for missing my scheduled Blog last week but it’s not like we’ve been asleep. If you’ve registered on the blog or for the Enews you would have received just that. The first Off Road Explorer Enews. The first edition was kept pretty simple to make sure the system worked. Future editions will have more links to info for al things dual sport. Feel free to forward it to all your mates.
For the Trail Zone team it’s a pretty exciting time with the release of Trail Zone issue 15 and the ‘In The Zone’ bonus DVD due out December 19. We really wanted to produce a worthwhile product for our readers and its important to us that we get your honest feedback. Sure, you’ll more than likely hurt my feelings but Clubby and Popgun taunt me all the time about the fact that my feet never touch the ground so I live. Give it to us straight. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
In issue 15 is my Snowy Mountain High ride through the Vic High Country. Clubby snapped some excellent pics and I hope you get motivated to do the ride yourself. Check out the Travel pages in offroadexplorer.com were you’ll find the route on Google Maps. Following that is my story on the BMW Rider Training course. That BMW Xchallenge is a tall bike but after two days it felt like a 250 after combining a whole bunch of techniques from Miles Davis, Wayne Clark and Matt Cooley. I highly recommend their training regardless of your skill level.
Finally, is a more comprehensive report on the Kawasaki KLR650. It’s more road orientated than previous models but nonetheless perfectly suited to long distance dual sports touring.
Just last week Clubby sent me off for my first major motorcycle media event. Along with other members of the off-road motorcycle press I was treated to two days of riding the latest models from Husqvarna. The Australian importers, the Paul Feeney Group had the entire off-road range including the new fuel injected TE250, TE450 and TE510. Unfortunately the TE610 hadn’t arrived so the guys organised a 2007 610 for me for a bit of a spin. Having ridden it I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the new model. There’ll be a full report of my first media release experience in Trail Zone issue 16. So far, outside of the riding, I can remember about a paragraph worth of text so expect a lot of pictures with faces blurred to lower the chance of being identified. The other guys kept saying ‘What goes on tour, stays… something. Oh well. Never mind.
I’m hooking up for a ride with Tenere Ray over the break so I’ll have a new route on the site during January. So have a great Christmas, a happy New Year and ride safe.
Cheers
Lance Turnley

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Travel Updates and You Tube Releases

November 26th, 2007

With the dust finally settling from Trailzone Issue #15 which is now finally at the printers focus has reverted back to the offroadexplorer.com web site and the promotion of the release of ‘In The Zone’ DVD with TZ Issue #15. Some of you may have seen the ‘In The Zone’ Trailer on You Tube. I’ve since uploaded four more clips including the uncut Gas Gas FSR 450 clip that ended up on the cutting room floor as we simply just ran out of room on the DVD. So click on the You Tube link on the offroadexplorer home page and check them out. Feel free to make a comment and let us know what you really think.
Other big updates to the site are in the Travel and Review pages. We now have the complete Bridle Track route from issue 14, Vic High Country ride which will be featured in TZ Issue 15 and the SE NSW ride which will more than likely be in Issue 16. On the Travel pages you can view the Google Map images and zoom in to see the exact route and satellite images. There are also makers on particular turns you may have to take. But there is one thing that we are really clear on. These maps are merely a guide. Road conditions can change and roads are subject to closure. So please use our maps as a guide then plan out your route using your own topographic maps to plan your final route. Be sure to contact local authorities we have listed to get a heads up on prevailing conditions and possible detours. Above all please give us your feedback. Having a bitch on forums doesn’t really solve any problems.
The other main update is the Reviews page. We feature all the bikes and products that we get to test in Trailzone with a basic overview and contacts. For the bike tests the magazine will always have more detail however in some cases a product will appear in the Review before it does in the magazine. The idea is that we want to give you at least some info about bikes and products as soon as possible without having to wait for the mag to be printed bi-monthly.
So that leaves the Offroadexplorer.com Enews that will be broadcast at the end of each month. I’m sure you’ve got better things to do than browse offroadexplorer.com everyday to see what’s new. (Mind you we do like the hits.) ORE Enews will let you know when there’s something new to check out, even though parts of the site is updated weekly unless we’re out riding.
Finally, thanks for all the emails and well wishes that have come into ORE. Keep sending suggestions for rides and feel free to ask questions anytime. With the workload over the last couple of months I’ve been a bit slow to reply and please accept my apologies. Look forward to hearing from you all.
Cheers
Lance Turnley

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Popguns Review-Gas Gas FSR 450

November 25th, 2007

This is the uncut version of Trailzones Tech Editor Phil ‘Popgun’ Geilis review of the Gas Gas FSR 450.

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Trailzone #15 DVD On Sale Dec 19

November 18th, 2007

As I mentioned in my last blog I attended the Snowy River Ride at Thredbo that raises money for the Steven Walter Fund for Childrens Cancer Research. Attended by almost 3,000 riders there was a healthy sprinkling of adventure bikes especially R1200GS BMW’s. It was an excellent event and I bumped into a few familiar faces and made many new friends.
My main purpose of being there was to check out the event at the invitation of the organisers with the view to having an adventure bike loop next year. The feeling of comradeship at the event was amazing with an incredible variety of bikes. As a result offroadexplorer.com is committed to supporting the event next year. Not just for a great ride but for a very worthy cause and I hope that all dual sports riders will get behind the event next year. Keep an eye on offroadexplorer.com, snowyride.com.au and Trailzone Magazine to stay up to date on the Snowy Ride Adventure Ride.
At the event I met up with Steve, Dave and Neil who all rode BMW GS’s. They invited me to ride back to Sydney with them so the KLR650 got a bit of a work out trying to keep up on the road sections. However, its lighter weight proved its worth on the tighter dirt sections.
From Jindabyne we headed across to Nimmitabel for a coffee before heading north up the Kybeyan Road. We turned right through a closed gate along a public road that cuts across private property to the entrance of the Wadbilliga National Park. The first creek crossing provided some entertainment with a deep sand wash on the other side. Not too much of a problem for the KLR but for a R1200GS with road bias tyres its a different story. A slow moving R1200, when it hits sand, is like the Bismark rolling over on its side. I won’t say who it was because I promised Dave that I would mention it was him.
The Wadbilliga Track passes through private property from the west before it enters the park proper. The track descends into the park passing through Conway Gap and some steep rocky sections. The second half of the trail is predominantly fast flowing trails till it comes out near Yowrie.
Whilst in the park we had a short stop by the river for a coffee break before continuing on to Cobargo for fuel. We headed straight up the highway to Mogo where we stopped for another coffee before turning left up Ross Ridge Road bypassing Batemans Bay and emerging onto the Kings Highway at Nelligen. Heading west we avoided Braidwood by turning right up Northangera Road joining Charlies Forest Road at Mongarlowe for the run to Nerriga then Nowra.
I parted company at Nerriga Pub with Steve, Dave and Neil, as a baked dinner awaited and nothing was going to get in the way of that. However, something did with a major accident at the Kiama bends meaning a detour up Kangaroo Valley and back down Macquarie Pass.
One thing I can say about the KLR, that I don’t think I mentioned in the test (Trailzone#15) is that is has a great twin headlight. Finally pulled into home at about 11pm after fourteen and half hours in the saddle.
Since arriving back from Thredbo its been head down, backside up finishing editorial for Trailzone #15. The main features for adventure bikes in issue #15 is our Victorian High Country Ride, KLR650 and XT660R tests plus news on some new models from BMW, Honda and Moto Morini. The next task at hand is offroadexplorer Enews. We’ve had a massive subscriber response and there are hundreds of you out there waiting with anticipation. Thanks for your patience and you can look forward to the first edition in a couple of weeks.

Until next week,

Cheers
Lance Turnley

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Sydney Show One Day Snowy Ride The Next

November 6th, 2007

What a week it’s been! We’ve just completed the first Trailzone DVD featuring the Bridle Track ride, Mt Buller and Sunny Corner enduro rides with bike reviews, tech tips plus some stuff you just won’t see coming. It’s in the can and will be released with Trailzone Issue #15 just in time for Christmas.
The response at the Sydney Motorcycle Show was massive with record numbers signing up for Trailzone subscriptions and Off Road Explorer Enews. Thanks to everybody who came up to the stand to say hello especially the ADV Rider guys. Looking forward to doing a ride with those guys in the near future. Our Kawasaki KLR650 test bike on the stand on Friday, complete with Wolfman luggage, attracted a lot of attention. So much so that Kawasaki took it back for the weekend and it generated a heap of interest for them. We had no choice but to put out the call to Tenere Ray who was kind enough to bring in his pride and joy so we could continue to wave the Adventure Bike flag. It ended up attracting just as much interest as the KLR650.
Big news this week is the release of the new BMW F800 GS. Some pics were leaked last weekend on the Internet and it’s sure to take some of the shine off the news of the new Tenere. We’ll be receiving our press kits this week so hopefully ORE will have some Aussie prices and specs for you to mill over by Thursday.
This week is our deadline for Trailzone Issue #15 so you can look forward to tests on the Kawasaki KLR650 and the Yamaha XT660R, BMW Rider Training on the BMW Xchallenge, our Victorian High Country Ride plus news on new model releases including the F800 GS.
We’re off to the Snowy Ride this weekend to raise awareness and money for the Steven Walter Fund for the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. I know what you’re saying, ‘It’s all black top riding’. Well, you’re right, but we’re heading down with the view that next years ride will include an off-road adventure bike loop. So this year we wanted to check out what it’s all about as were keen to support such a worthy cause and make sure there’s a healthy number of Adventure Bike riders pitching in.
Thanks again to all of you who have registered on the ORE site and you can look forward to our first Enews in the next couple of weeks.
Cheers
Lance Turnley

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2008 Kawasaki KLR650

November 4th, 2007

You get what you pay for but Kawasaki’s KLR650 provides one of the best entry-level adventure bikes on the market.

For an all-rounder this is probably the best out of the box, ready for adventure, dual sport bikes around for the money. The engine is not as responsive as the DR650 but it does have the larger tank, fairing, comfortable seat and great luggage rack. The handguards also to a good job protecting the riders hands from wind and rain but offer little in the event of a fall. I said in the Vic High Country ride (Trailzone #15) that I thought it was 70/30 in dirt/road bias. Having now covered almost 3,000 kms on the bike I think its more 50/50.

22 litre fuel tank, brakes, effect fairing, comfortable seat, luggage rack, engine guard

Under powered, steel handlebars.

Price: $7,990

www.kawasaki.com.au

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2007 BMW F650GS Dakar

November 1st, 2007

Ask most people which brand comes to mind when you talk Adventure bikes and more often than not its BMW Dakar.

If you have a spare $14,000 dollars laying around, looking to do some off road long distance touring then the Dakar is one of the best options. BMW have a wide variety of luggage touring accessories and there is no shortage of performance enhancements from companies like Motohansa. If you have the budget, and you’re looking for an all rounder the F 650 GS Dakar will definitely do the job.

Smooth engine, heated grips, comfortable seat

Off-road ride, spray off the front wheel in the wet, weight.

Price: $14,250

www.motorcycles.bmw.com.au

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Sydney Motorcycle Show

October 31st, 2007

One of the sad realities of life as a freelance motorcycle journalist is that you spend more time in the office than you do on a bike. We’ve been working flat out preparing for the Sydney show and more importantly putting the final touches to the Trailzone DVD which will be released later this year with Issue #15 of Trailzone. What started out as a pilot has turned into 80 minutes of enduro and adventure riding plus some other content that you just won’t see coming. For all you mums and dads don’t worry. It’s all suitable for the kiddies.
Once the Sydney Show is over then we are stuck into updating offroadexplorer.com and issue #15 which will feature our adventure ride loop of the high country. We also test the Kawasaki KLR650 and the Yamaha XT660R. Plus the usual mix of all things to do with off road riding.
If you haven’t seen the series or the DVD, SBS (Sydney) is screening Long Way Round on Saturday night at 8.30pm right after Top Gear. Check your local guides. Speaking of Boorman and McGregor a copy of the book Long Way Down arrived at the ORE office this week and after the first few pages is shaping up to be a good read.
For those of you in Sydney there’s no excuse for not going to the Sydney Motorcycle Show at Homebush this weekend (2-4/11/07). When you get there make sure you call in at the Trailzone Stand (No. 157) and say hi. We’ll have the KLR650 test bike on display with a full set of Wolfman luggage. We used the Wolfman Alpha bag on our high country ride. Strapped to the standard KLR rack it never shifted and there was no sign of dust in the bag after 4 days of riding. Excellent luggage.
Hope to see you at the show.
Cheers
Lance Turnley

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Sydney to Jindabyne via Nowra NSW

October 23rd, 2007

Getting There

When heading south from Sydney this is one of the quickest ways to get on the dirt. This route will take you to the NSW Snowy and on to the Victorian High Country and return. Combined with parts of the High Country loop it is a very popular route with Adventure bike riders travelling to and from the MotoGP at Phillip Island.

Accommodation

This ride is easily done in a day, however depending on where you are starting from following are links for different areas for stopovers.

Nowra

Braidwood

Nimmitabel

Bombala


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Victorian High Country

October 23rd, 2007

Getting There

If riding from Sydney take the South Eastern Corridor to Dalgety. If riding from Melbourne start the ride from Orbost.

Accommodation

Golden Age Motel - Omeo (Recommended)
Phone Australia 03 51 591 344
Fax Australia 03 51 591 305

Omeo Region Information

www.omeoregion.com.au/home.htm
Buckleys Crossing Hotel
Brierley Street
Dalgety NSW 2628
Telephone: (02) 6456 5023

Contacts

www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Orbost Office 13 19 63

Dept of Parks 51 61 1222


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Offroadexplorer Hits The High Country

October 22nd, 2007

Offroadexplorer has been doing what its meant to do and that’s to find adventure bike routes for you to follow. Clubby from Trailzone and I just got back from the NSW Snowy and Victorian High country mapping out a route for both our Victorian and NSW readers.
For the ride we had a Kawasaki KLR650 and a Yamaha XT660R. To ride they are very different bikes but they handled all the conditions with ease.

We split our trip south into two. First is the Sydney south corridor. What we mean by that is a route that bypasses the main highways and gets you onto the dirt as soon as possible. So our first corridor south starts at Nowra on the coast and heads south via Nerriga skirting national parks through farmland to Braidwood. Then along the edges of Deua National Park to Kybeyan, Nimmitabel and finally Dalgety. Unfortunately there are patches of tar along the way but we estimate that from Nowra its about 60-70% dirt road and 100% sensational countryside. We eventually, with your help, hope to find corridors north, south, east and west out of each capital city (except of course if there’s an ocean in the way).

From there our High Country loop across to Jindabyne for fuel then down the Barry Way into Victoria. We turned right at Limestone Black Mountain Rd and headed across to Omeo where we took a quick detour up to Anglers Rest where we bumped into three guys on a KTM, Tenere and KLR500. They were on their way to Falls Creek in the hope of finding a vacant snow hut for the night. We headed headed back to Omeo for a hot shower and a warm bed.

After an excellent overnight stay at the Golden Age Motel in Omeo we headed cross country to Buchan. It was a day of not quite sure if we’re on the right track and where it was taking us so there were some nervous moments. Once again spectacular country from forests to rolling lush green valleys. Unfortunately the road to McKillops Bridge was closed so we had to find an alternate route from Buchan. We headed down to Orbost where we decided to take a chance on a road that ran along the Snowy River National Park. Yalmy Rd just five kilometres out of Orbost took us 100 kms north all the way to Bonang. It runs right through the middle of nowhere and felt as remote as it gets. An absolute find! We crossed the border just before sunset then high tailed it to Bombala through an insect infested atmosphere.

We’ll be publishing the routes on the ORE site soon and you can read about our high country loop plus the reviews on the Kawasaki KLR650 and the Yamaha XT660R in Issue 15 of Trailzone. For all of Trailzones Queensland Adventure riders your turn is coming. Our next adventure ride will be out of SEQ so we’ll keep you posted.

Finally thanks to all of you who have so far registered on Offroadexplorer.com. We’ll be on the Trailzone Stand at the Sydney Motorcycle Show so please drop in and stay gidday and be sure to give us feedback on what you want from ORE. After the Sydney Show we’ll be sending out our first eNewsletter so keep your email boxes clear.

Cheers
Lance Turnley

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Melbourne Motorcycle Show

October 14th, 2007

Well, the Melbourne Motorcycle Show was a great success! Clubby, Tania, Popgun and I were kept busy chatting to tons of off-road riders, both enduro and adventure bike, signing up subscribers both keen to get a chance to win Trailzones ‘Choose Your Ride’ subscription offer and the new offroadexplorer adventure bike features.

Adventure bikes were well represented at the show particularly from BMW but also KTM, Kawasaki, Honda, Aprilia and Triumph. Suzuki with their ever reliable DR650 had a low profile as did the Yamaha XT660R. The bike that got a lot of attention was new KTM 690 Rally that was raced at the Australian Safari. Unfortunately, word from KTM is that we won’t see a production version till the second half of 2008 and it’s more likely that there’ll be an update of the 640 Adventurer before the 690 makes an appearance.

No sign of the Tenere on the Yamaha stand but we’ve still got our fingers crossed that one will surface at the Sydney Show. I have to admit that a highlight for me was a restored XR75. It was no surprise that the only thing missing was the standard exhaust. Gally and I cut the pipes off our XR’s and fitted aftermarket straight through mufflers. It was louder so it had to be faster, right? Such is the thinking of 13 years olds.

This week we are planning our next adventure ride down to the Victorian high country. Starting the ride proper from Dalgety, across to the Barry Way aand down into Victoria, the MacFarlane Track and eventually make our way over to Anglers Rest. From there south to Buchan then north along the Deddick Track to McKillops Bridge and across to Delegate and finally north to Dalgety. That way Victorian riders can start the loop from Buchan or Omeo and NSW riders can start from Dalgety or Jindabyne. Clubby and I will be doing the ride on a Yamaha XT660R and the Kawasaki KLR650. The KLR650 will be our first project bike so over the next 3 issues of Trailzone we’ll be transforming it into a serious adventure tourer. Gee I hope it doesn’t snow…

Cheers

Lance Turnley

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Offroadexplorer.com at the Melbourne Motorcycle Show

October 5th, 2007

So much to do and so little time. Offroadexplorer.com will be launched at the Melbourne Motorcycle Show this weekend. Our first articles will appear in Trailzone issue #14 and you can get a copy at the show before it hits the newstands. In addition to the offroadexplorer column there’s a test on the BMW F650GS Dakar and a five page spread on our first Adventure Ride through the historical NSW gold country to Hill End. We also filmed the trip so you’ll be able to watch it on Trail Zone’s first DVD to be released with issue #15. Our next trip will be in Victoria and then we’ll hopefully hook up with some mates in the Sunshine State for another two day ride.

Even though the idea of an epic sounds great we want to provide you with destinations that you can do in a weekend out of each capital city and get you of the beaten track as soon as possible.

By the time Issue #15 comes around we will have taken delivery of our first project bike, a Kawasaki KLR650. Over three issues we’ll be giving you setup tips and show you that you don’t have spend a heap of money to explore the back-roads of Australia.

If you’re at the Melbourne show be sure to drop in to the Trail Zone stand and say Gidday.

Cheers

Lance Turnley

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Welcome to Off Road Explorer

September 27th, 2007

OFFROADEXPLORER.COM has been officially launched in Issue 14 of TRAIL ZONE Magazine. Aimed fair and square at the growing ranks of Aussie adventure bike riders, the offroadexplorer.com web site promises to fast become a hub for big-distance all-roads adventure bike riders, by providing a source of information on all things adventure-bike related.

In TRAIL ZONE Issue #14, our adventure bike riding stories kick-off with a feature ride on the famed Bridle Track at Hill End in the old gold mining country of the NSW Central Tablelands, a test-ride of BMW’s F 650 GS Dakar and the first Off-Road Explorer column.

What does OFF-ROAD EXPLORER.COM Have to Offer?
You can only fit so much in a magazine and we really want our readers to experience the rides for themselves. So after reading about the ride in Trail Zone you can go to offroadexplorer.com and find contact numbers, links to accommodation and trip notes then follow the ride yourself. As time goes on offroadexplorer.com will become a substantial information resource.

Cheers till next time.

Lance Turnley

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Yamaha Academy Adventure Bike School

September 9th, 2007

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Since 1977 the Yamaha Academy of Off Road Riding has been developing courses for all types of off road riding. From competition Motocross and Supercross to Trail and Enduro they have catered for all ages and all levels of expertise. The latest addition to their off road riding courses is the Adventure Bike curriculum. Armed with a KTM 640 Adventurer I Read the rest of this entry »

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Trail Zone ‘In The Zone’ 1

August 28th, 2007

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This was Trailzone Magazines very first DVD titled ‘In The Zone’. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is offroadexplorer.com?

August 1st, 2007

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I hope that it will be more than simply a source of information for the Adventure Bike Rider. To start with, it will be a summary of various pieces that appear in Trailzone. I’ll have a Blog that will give you a sneak preview on what’s happening from week to week of what will eventually turn up in the mag in detail. Read the rest of this entry »

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2007 BMW F650GS Dakar

June 15th, 2007

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Adventure With Comfort

Ask most people which brand comes to mind when you talk Adventure bikes and more often than not its BMW Dakar.

Photos by Trail Zone Magazine

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It seems appropriate that the first Adventure Bike test I get to do is the BMW F 650 GS Dakar. After all the name Dakar is associated with what’s probably the worlds most gruelling off road race so to carry that name is a lot to live up to.

The original concept for the 650 was developed under the guidance of BMW, through a joint venture with Italian motorcycle manufacturer Aprilia and Austrian engine supplier Bombardier-Rotax to create the BMW F 650 Funduro.

Launched in 1993, the new single-cylinder machine opened up a new market for BMW. The F 650 proudly displayed the white-and-blue logo of the brand and it lived up to all BMW’s quality standards. Making the BMW brand accessable to a wider market translated into sales success.

The Funduro was as far as you could get from a serious, competitive off-road motorcycle but in 1998 after much development four BMW works riders from entered the 1999 Paris Dakar Rally starting from Granada. After 9,022 kilometres, Richard Sainct, won riding the rally version of the BMW F 650.

This along with victories in 2000 was the perfect opportunity to the launch of the new F 650 GS. The new model retained the its on-road riding qualities but with its off road capabilities very much improved. So as you can see carrying the Dakar name is justified.
What Is It?
Regardless of its racing heritage the FS650 GS is still very much a middle of the road consumer motorcycle. It is an excellent option for those looking for a bike that will feel right at home in city commuting to off road travel with creature comforts that BMW are famous for.

What Does It Cost?

The F 650 GS Dakar retails at $14,250 which puts it at the upper end of the market and is only challenged price wise by the Triumph Tiger ($15,990) and the KTM 640 Adventurer ($14,395) which to ride are completely different motorcycles. Next is the big XL650V Honda at $12,990 with a big drop to the Kawasaki KLR650 at $7,990 and the Suzuki DR650SE at $7,690.

What Do You Get For Your Money?

When you look at the specs there are a few subtle differences between the F 650 GS and the F 650 GS Dakar. The bikes are clearly set apart by the Dakars graphics and the 21″ front wheel and with a 17″ rear wheel with the overall wheelbase to 1.489mm. The seat height is 870mm which for my 167cm frame was managable.

Dakar

The engine is the proven water cooled, single cylinder, 4 valve, double overhead cam Rotax engine. Its smooth power delivery of 37kW (50bhp) comes via a 5 speed transmission which hauls its 177.2kg (claimed dry weight) mass without much effort. One of the main features that separate it from others in its class is the underseat fuel tank.

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With a capacity of 17.3 litres the low centre of gravity makes it easier to handle the bike fully fuelled at 193kg. In the suspension department it has a steel box section dual swing arm with spring preload hydraulically adjustable and rebound adjustable unit in the rear and telescopic forks up front. To pull the whole thing up the Dakar is fitted with a ABS assisted (disengageable) double piston floating calliper, 300mm front disk brake with a 240mm disk at the rear. Our test bike was fitted with Metzler Enduro 3 front and rear which did the job both on and off road.

The Dakar has a top speed of 170 kph so it was quite at home sitting comfortably at 100 kph on the highway. Making it even more comfortable is a wide seat and my favourite feature on cold mornings were the heated grips with two settings. The windshield keeps a bit of the breeze off your body making unavoidable stints on the highway a little more bearable. Instrumentation is analogue and easy to read and you also get plastic handguards and a robust rear carry rack for which there is a variety of BMW storage systems to fit.

Who’s Buying It?

The BMW F 650 GS Dakar is a very reliable long distance tourer with a little more off road bias than the standard F 650 GS. So two wheel tourers with a liking for the BMW brand quality and status who plan to push it a bit harder along more challenging fire trails will tend to go for the Dakar.

Where Did We Ride It?

We clocked up almost 800 kilometres on the Dakar. Starting from the Off Road Explorer headquarters south of Sydney, the first 2 hours were early morning highway cruising and peak hour madness to the Blue Mountains. At Clarence just east of Lithgow we headed into the bush starting on greasy muddy roads to twisty loaming fire trail with the odd descents and climbs.

Along the Turon River the majority of our route was open dirt road with short sections of tar between Sofala and Hill End. From Hill End along the Bridle Track to Kelso, Sunny Corner back to Clarence. About 30% black top to 70% dirt road. The sort of terrain the Dakar just laps up. Check out the story elsewhere in this issue.

What’s There To Like?

Coming from an enduro/motocross background and throwing a leg over the Dakar is like sinking into your favourite couch for a long stint in front of the television. It’s probably one of the most comfortable seats on the market. Don’t get the wrong idea though. The Dakar isn’t short on performance and I was impressed with its smooth power delivery and acceleration. The seat paired with the heated grips ensures you’re well armed to tour the country and arrive at your destination in good shape.

What’s Not To Like?

Even though the grips are heated they look a bit like the grips on your little sisters bicycle except they’re black instead of pink. My biggest worry about the Dakar is its weight and its one of the heaviest in its class. For off road use the rubber foot pegs are inadequate and for the serious off road tourer I’d be inclined to remove the ABS system completely. Forgetting about the ABS on a steep downhill I grabbed a handful (or is that foot full) of back brake to change direction and the bike responded by shuddering with no sign of slowing down. Fortunately you can turn the ABS off but it has to be done each time you start the bike.

The Final Word

If you have a spare $14,000 dollars laying around, looking to do some off road long distance touring then the Dakar is one of the best options. BMW have a wide variety of luggage touring accessories and there is no shortage of performance enhancements from companies like Motohansa. Funnily enough, on my way back down the mountains on our return to Sydney I spotted only two other adventure bikes travelling in the opposite direction, which were none other than a F 650 GS and a Dakar. If you have the budget, and you’re looking for an all rounder the F 650 GS Dakar will definitely do the job.

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Suzuki DRZ250 Review

June 6th, 2007

Lance ‘Russ’ Turnley reviews the 2008 Suzuki DRZ250

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