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Archive for November, 2007

Travel Updates and You Tube Releases

Monday, 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

Popguns Review-Gas Gas FSR 450

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

This is the uncut version of Trailzones Tech Editor Phil ‘Popgun’ Geilis review of the Gas Gas FSR 450.

Trailzone #15 DVD On Sale Dec 19

Sunday, 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

Sydney Show One Day Snowy Ride The Next

Tuesday, 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

2008 Kawasaki KLR650

Sunday, 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

Thursday, 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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