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  1. [embedded content] It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas for adventure bike fans, especially those looking for a mid-range ADV with all the fixings: off-road chops, on-road performance and touring-friendly amenities. Of course we’d already had a sneak peek at Triumph’s new Tiger, set to replace the Tiger 800 range, via spy photos taken in Germany back in August. The prototype revealed a raft of revisions including a new frame, tubeless wire-spoke wheels, and what appears to be new suspension components. These changes also appear in the latest teaser video showing a Tiger 900 honed for adventure, tearing up landscapes ranging from snowy fields, to steep, loose trails and a bit of highway to boot. The only text on the teaser page promises that the two new Tiger models, a Rally and GT, have been transformed in every possible way: “Off-road, on road, technology, specification, handling, performance and character.” ADVERTISEMENT Yup, that’s a lot. What we are sure about is that in addition to new chassis and suspension, there will be a new larger TFT likely to display an array of IMU-based e-goodies on-point with the inertial-metrics offered on the KTM 790 ADV and BMW F850GS. Triumph’s famously smooth liquid-cooled 800cc, 12-valve triple, which already offered an impressive 95 horsepower for its size, will undoubtedly see a bump in power, though most of the new Tiger 900’s transformation appears to center around new suspension likely to offer more travel, as well as other nods to off-road use such as a new bolt-on subframe and passenger footpegs. As we reported in August after reviewing spy shots of the bike, attention has been paid to the undercarriage of the now-900cc Tiger, including the addition of a beefy, new skip plate. Routing the header pipe to the left side of the bike will likely improve ground clearance, while new, radial-mounted, four-piston calipers for the dual front discs are sure to improve braking feel. Spy photos back in August seem to have caught a completely revised Tiger 800. Assumed to be the new 900 adventure bike teased by Triumph. (Photo by Motorrad)The new 900cc Tiger’s looks are definitely more streamlined and distinctive, with a sharpened beak and narrowed twin headlamp arrangement that flows down into front fairing shrouds that are lower than the current model’s. The windscreen appears unchanged, but we can see a new handlebar and auxiliary lights. The bike’s tail section, edged by an all-new exhaust, is much slimmer than previous, adding to the impression this Tiger might be lighter than the XC’s near 500 pounds. We’ll know soon enough, as we’ll be attending the official launch of Triumph’s new Tiger 900 Rally and GT on December 3rd and will fill you in on its details straight away. Christmas or no, you’ll want to keep space on your wish list for this promising, new machine. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  2. [embedded content] It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas for adventure bike fans, especially those looking for a mid-range ADV with all the fixings: off-road chops, on-road performance and touring-friendly amenities. Of course we’d already had a sneak peek at Triumph’s new Tiger 900, set to replace the Tiger 800 range, via spy photos taken in Germany back in August. The prototype revealed a raft of revisions including a new frame, tubeless wire-spoke wheels, and what appears to be new suspension components. These changes also appear in the latest teaser video showing a Tiger 900 honed for adventure, tearing up landscapes ranging from snowy fields, to steep, loose trails and a bit of highway to boot. The only text on the teaser page promises that the two new Tiger models, a Rally and GT, have been transformed in every possible way: “Off-road, on road, technology, specification, handling, performance and character.” ADVERTISEMENT Yup, that’s a lot. What we are sure about is that in addition to new chassis and suspension, there will be a new larger TFT likely to display an array of IMU-based e-goodies on-point with the inertial-metrics offered on the KTM 790 ADV and BMW F850GS. Triumph’s famously smooth liquid-cooled 800cc, 12-valve triple, which already offered an impressive 95 horsepower for its size, will undoubtedly see a bump in power, though most of the new Tiger 900’s transformation appears to center around new suspension likely to offer more travel, as well as other nods to off-road use such as a new bolt-on subframe and passenger footpegs. As we reported in August after reviewing spy shots of the bike, attention has been paid to the undercarriage of the now-900cc Tiger, including the addition of a beefy, new skip plate. Routing the header pipe to the left side of the bike will likely improve ground clearance, while new, radial-mounted, four-piston calipers for the dual front discs are sure to improve braking feel. Spy photos back in August seem to have caught a completely revised Tiger 800. Assumed to be the new 900 adventure bike teased by Triumph. (Photo by Motorrad)The new 900cc Tiger’s looks are definitely more streamlined and distinctive, with a sharpened beak and narrowed twin headlamp arrangement that flows down into front fairing shrouds that are lower than the current model’s. The windscreen appears unchanged, but we can see a new handlebar and auxiliary lights. The bike’s tail section, edged by an all-new exhaust, is much slimmer than previous, adding to the impression this Tiger might be lighter than the XC’s near 500 pounds. We’ll know soon enough, as we’ll be attending the official launch of Triumph’s new Tiger 900 Rally and GT on December 3rd and will fill you in on its details straight away. Christmas or no, you’ll want to keep space on your wish list for this promising, new machine. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  3. Suddenly everyone wants a piece of the mid-weight adventure market. After years when it seemed like monster adventure bikes were the norm, middleweight adventure bikes keep popping up. The latest, debuting at EICMA, is from Moto Morini, a storied Italian brand that never made it big in the United States. The Trivolzio-based manufacturer surprised us with the X-Cape. The bike is powered by a 650cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin and features a six-speed transmission, beefy 50mm, fully adjustable forks with 160mm (6.3 inches) of travel and a seat h of 32.7 inches, comparable to the KTM 790 Adventure in the low position and at the low end of the adventure market. It will come with either a “standard” or “limited” engine, the company says. Moto Morini didn’t publish horsepower figures for the standard, but says the “limited” will put out 48 hp. Morini also didn’t post weight for the bike, but from the spec sheet it seems like they are aiming at an accessible, beginner friendly adventure bike instead of a fire-breathing beast. ADVERTISEMENT Not that the X-Cape is short on technology. It comes with dual front disc brakes, full ABS, a 7” Bluetooth-connectable TFT display that Morini says is among the biggest in the market, LED lighting and a large windscreen that’s adjustable with one hand. The bike rides on spoked wheels, 19 inches at the front and 17” at the rear, a combination that address both off- and on-road capabilities. From a styling perspective, the X-Cape has a strong resemblance to the first-gen Honda Africa Twin, with a pronounced “swoop” from the high fuel tank to the low-ish seat. That means a lower seat h, but makes it tough to move around much. The dual front headlights blend into a fairing that should provide adequate weather protection, and there’s a skid plate, possibly plastic, that covers many of the essentials low on the engine but appears to leave the low-slung exhaust a bit vulnerable. Founded in 1937, Morini isn’t new to the game. Although the company has been passed around among owners and sporadically out of business, it is still well known in Europe. There the company’s offerings include a naked bike called the Corsaro, a “modern classic” dubbed the Milano, the v-twin powered Super Scrambler, and a larger v-twin powered adventure bike called the Granpasso 1200. In 2018 Moto Morini was purchased by the Chinese giant Zhongneng Vehicle Group. Production and design remains in Italy, but with an infusion of cash we could see a more global push from the brand. Whether that means Morini’s coming to the U.S. remains to be seen. Would you buy one? Moto Morini X-Cape Specs engine 649 cc, 2 cylinders, 6-speed cooling Liquid cooled seat h 830 mm and 845 mm overall lenght 2200 mm overall w (excluding mirrors) 850 mm steering ability 34-degrees front brake double disc, 300 mm diam., floating caliper rear brake single disc, 255 mm diam., double piston caliper front wheel 2.50″x19″ spoked rim rear wheel 4.25″x17″ spoked rim front tire 110/80-19″ rear tire 150/70-17″ engine management Bosch ECU Dashboard TFT 7″ Bluetooth connection front suspension Ø 50 mm Upside down telescopic fork , fully adjustable front wheel travel 160 mm rear suspension Single shock absorber adjustable in preload and rebound damping rear wheel travel 135 mm Rake angle 25,5° Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  4. Suddenly everyone wants a piece of the mid-weight adventure market. After years when it seemed like monster adventure bikes were the norm, middleweight adventure bikes keep popping up. The latest, debuting at EICMA, is from Moto Morini, a storied Italian brand that never made it big in the United States. The Trivolzio-based manufacturer surprised us with the X-Cape. The bike is powered by a 650cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin and features a six-speed transmission, beefy 50mm, fully adjustable forks with 160mm (6.3 inches) of travel and a seat h of 32.7 inches, comparable to the KTM 790 Adventure in the low position and at the low end of the adventure market. It will come with either a “standard” or “limited” engine, the company says. Moto Morini didn’t publish horsepower figures for the standard, but says the “limited” will put out 48 hp. Morini also didn’t post weight for the bike, but from the spec sheet it seems like they are aiming at an accessible, beginner friendly adventure bike instead of a fire-breathing beast. ADVERTISEMENT Not that the X-Cape is short on technology. It comes with dual front disc brakes, full ABS, a 7” Bluetooth-connectable TFT display that Morini says is among the biggest in the market, LED lighting and a large windscreen that’s adjustable with one hand. The bike rides on spoked wheels, 19 inches at the front and 17” at the rear, a combination that address both off- and on-road capabilities. From a styling perspective, the X-Cape has a strong resemblance to the first-gen Honda Africa Twin, with a pronounced “swoop” from the high fuel tank to the low-ish seat. That means a lower seat h, but makes it tough to move around much. The dual front headlights blend into a fairing that should provide adequate weather protection, and there’s a skid plate, possibly plastic, that covers many of the essentials low on the engine but appears to leave the low-slung exhaust a bit vulnerable. Founded in 1937, Morini isn’t new to the game. Although the company has been passed around among owners and sporadically out of business, it is still well known in Europe. There the company’s offerings include a naked bike called the Corsaro, a “modern classic” dubbed the Milano, the v-twin powered Super Scrambler, and a larger v-twin powered adventure bike called the Granpasso 1200. In 2018 Moto Morini was purchased by the Chinese giant Zhongneng Vehicle Group. Production and design remains in Italy, but with an infusion of cash we could see a more global push from the brand. Whether that means Morini’s coming to the U.S. remains to be seen. Would you buy one? Moto Morini X-Cape Specs engine 649 cc, 2 cylinders, 6-speed cooling Liquid cooled seat h 830 mm and 845 mm overall lenght 2200 mm overall w (excluding mirrors) 850 mm steering ability 34-degrees front brake double disc, 300 mm diam., floating caliper rear brake single disc, 255 mm diam., double piston caliper front wheel 2.50″x19″ spoked rim rear wheel 4.25″x17″ spoked rim front tire 110/80-19″ rear tire 150/70-17″ engine management Bosch ECU Dashboard TFT 7″ Bluetooth connection front suspension Ø 50 mm Upside down telescopic fork , fully adjustable front wheel travel 160 mm rear suspension Single shock absorber adjustable in preload and rebound damping rear wheel travel 135 mm Rake angle 25,5° Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  5. Published on 11.13.2019 Since 1992, Wolfman Luggage has been creating high-quality, durable soft bags for moto travelers, adventure riders and trail riders alike. Many of their most popular bags like the Enduro Tank Bag, Expedition Duffel and E-12 saddlebags have been around for years with only small refinements in their design. Now for 2020, Wolfman is announcing they have completely revised and refreshed their entire line of soft bags. Yes, everything is new! Starting with a blank slate, Eric Hougen, owner of Wolfman Luggage, used his decades of knowledge in product design, combined with the latest materials and Radio Frequency (RF)-welding construction technologies available, to re-envision the lineup. His goal was to reinvigorate the product line while maintaining the Wolfman DNA to ensure the company’s leadership position in the motorcycle soft luggage industry well into the future. We got a confidential sneak peek of the new line recently during the KTM Adventure Rally and the new bags are impressive. Bags that were previously made with a vinyl or stitched ballistic nylon fabric are now made with a new 3-layer heavy-duty TPU shell. A layer of 840 D TPU on the outside, 840 D Nylon in the center, and bright yellow (to make it easy to find items) 840 D TPU on the inside are precision RF Welded together for a completely waterproof, significantly more durable shell, and a more-modern look. ADVERTISEMENT The new material and construction process also opens up new possibilities for sophisticated features, while maintaining a 100% waterproof shell that does not require additional inner liners or plastic covers. All of Wolfman’s 2020 bags will share the new high-tech construction for a waterproof, durable design that is ready for the harshest conditions. Many of Wolfman’s most popular bags will return to the lineup using the new watertight construction, along with a refined look and redesigned features. There’s even a refreshed logo with a reflective Wolf on every bag. Wolfman will unveil their 2020 luggage line to the public at the 2019 IMS Long Beach motorcycle show November 22nd to the 24th. Be sure to stop by the Wolfman booth at 3 pm Friday Nov 22nd for the big reveal! The next gen Wolfman soft luggage will be available late winter 2020. Look for the latest information and details about each product on their website at www.wolfmanluggage.com.
  6. It’s been almost 13 years since KTM hit on the simple-yet-brilliant idea of adding a few bits to its enduro bikes to create barely-street-legal dual sport machines. It didn’t take much – different lighting, brake switches, keyed ignition, turn signals, bare bones emissions – to turn the whole segment on its head. EXC buyers who lived where it’s possible to plate a dirt bike had been making them street legal for years anyway, so why not capitalize on the demand while making it easier for people? Despite the naysayers who claimed high-power, lightweight singles were ticking time bombs, the KTMs have proven remarkably durable. Check Adam Riemann’s Motonomad film series, or Aaron Steinmann’s 77,000-mile around-the-world journey if you still doubt it. The KTM 500 EXC is a proven platform. ADVERTISEMENT Kurt Forgét, the owner of Black Dog Cycle Works, understood the appeal of a featherweight, go anywhere adventure bike. He’s been dreaming of building one for 10 years. He wasn’t after a pavement queen, but needed something that would do more than just survive the highway. The perfect bike would do longer journeys and retain the agility and performance of a lightweight enduro. His goal was a bike that’s much more versatile than a standard 500 EXC, but with better performance off-road than a KTM 690 Enduro R, a bike Kurt could use to explore the vast expanses of Baja. This is how he built it. IMPROVE COMFORT & RANGE The stock 500 EXC is many things: ultra-capable dual sport, single-track weapon, tire-shredding supermoto, commuter in a pinch. But a comfortable mile muncher it is not. The seat is narrow and hard; fuel capacity is limited and vibration, while less of an issue than it used to be, will still add to your fatigue. In stock form the bike has little wind protection, anemic lighting and short oil-change intervals. As fixes Forgét added: KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit This single product solved several issues at once. The bolt-on rally tower increases dashboard space for a USB charger, extra switches and a mounting spot for a phone or GPS. The windshield is a clear unit from a KTM 450 Rally bike, with fairing lowers, that will punch a better hole in the elements for increased rider protection. And the lighting gets a huge upgrade to dual Baja Designs LED lights: the Squadron Sport for the low beams and the Squadron Pro for the high beams. Together they put out a paint blistering 8,050 lumens. Cold hands add to rider fatigue, so Forgét added grip heaters from Kimpex. The inside design allows riders to use whatever grips they prefer. It uses 26.8 watts on the high setting and 21 watts on low, and uses a simple-but-effective rocker switch control. KTM singles come factory-equipped with vinyl-covered two-by-fours for seats. It’s been that way for years, and the factory isn’t giving your backside a break on the latest models. You’re supposed to be standing up anyway, otherwise you’re not “ready to race.” But anyone who dual sports an EXC will spend seat time on the saddle and quickly realize the need for something more comfortable Renazco Racing builds quality seats, one at a time, keeping the bike’s intended purpose in mind. Their enduro models are wider than stock in the rear, but taper in front so riders can grip the tank with their knees in the standing position. Kurt opted for the full suede model, which is grippy, good looking and durable. It makes sense that this throttle lock ended up on the build; it’s the company owner’s bike, after all. But this mod fits with the mission of the bike no matter whose name is on the title. Having a throttle lock significantly decreases fatigue by allowing the rider to rest their right wrist during the extended on-road stints necessary to get Forgét to the good stuff. As we noted when we tested the Black Dog Throttle Lock, the unit is easy to install, is inconspicuous, takes up very little space on your handlebars and works consistently every time via a simple on/off “click” mechanism. When engaged it will hold an opening but still allow for emergency throttle chops. When disengaged the throttle snaps closed like it should. The “flex” part sounds strange, but you can’t actually feel any movement in the bars while you ride. What you do feel is a noticeable reduction in vibration thanks to a bushing that eliminates any metal-to-metal contact between the part you grip and the part connected to the handlebar clamps. That means less fatigue and no cramped wrists at the end of a long ride. The stock tank on an 500 EXC is 2.25 gallons, a nod to the bike’s hardcore off-road genetics. But when you press the bike into adventure service, you’ll quickly note there are many places that lack gas stations every 100 miles or so. The Acerbis nearly doubles your range, maintains the bike’s slim profile, works with the radiator fan and seat, and is made out of tough polyethylene. The translucent color makes it easy to see how much fuel you have left. Another clue to the bike’s nature is its 1.5 liter oil capacity. That’s not a lot, and it means frequent oil changes if you rack up a lot of miles. Forgét addressed this issue by adding a Twin Air auxiliary cooler. It bolts on behind the left radiator so it’s out of harm’s way, keeps oil temps down and increases capacity by 10 percent. Overpacking a lightweight off-road bike like the 500 EXC can make it handle like a boat. Mosko’s Reckless 40L System attaches directly to the bike via a harness that stays in place and rugged, removable, waterproof dry bags. The design is light, secure and easy to take off for packing/moving into your tent. The 14-liter dry bags (two), eight-liter tail bag and stash pockets add just enough capacity for overnighters if you take your minimalism seriously. PERFORMANCE MODS The KTM is no slouch right off the showroom floor, but Forgét added a few pieces that tailored the bike more to his mission of on-road capability without sacrificing off-road prowess. A steering stabilizer is like insurance for nasty surprises: the rock you hit that tries to rip the bars out of your hands, the sand-induced weave you didn’t see coming, the sudden head shake from the air blast of a passing semi. Stabilizers smooth out the feedback and help you stay pointed in the right direction. Scotts is an industry leader, and the BRP SUB mount fits under the bars, leaving space to mount a GPS or phone up top. They also use the stock handlebar mounts and triple clamps. You need to stand up off road. Unfortunately, manufacturers often see footpegs as a place to trim costs rather than a means of providing a stable, comfortable way to increase control of your bike. Kurt addressed the issue on his bike with BDCW’s Traction Footpegs. They‘re made of aluminum alloy, 2.5 inches wide and 4 inches long with traction cleats around the perimeter and removable spikes for additional grip on your boot soles. The voids are large and widely spaced so the pegs shed mud and snow. Galfer’s Tsunami discs are grooved to allow more air flow to the pad, keeping brake temps down and performance consistent. The advantage is twofold: increased braking power and, more importantly off road in slippery conditions, better ability to modulate that power. Forgét coupled them with sintered pads, which are heat resistant and long wearing in a variety of conditions. Think about the hundreds of times you’ll pull the clutch lever on a ride. Now think about riding long distances day after day in situations that demand good clutch control. You’re expending a lot of mental and physical energy on a single aspect of bike control. An auto clutch frees up that energy so the rider can concentrate on momentum, line choice, weight distribution, body positioning, etc.,all of which come into play as soon as you leave the pavement. Forgét chose the Rekluse RadiusCX for this 500 EXC build, which incorporates the company’s latest technology for optimized power delivery and long life. Rekluse clutches eliminate stalling, but the clutch lever still functions normally in situations where you might need it, such as popping the front wheel over a log. Properly setting up the suspension is one of the best ways to improve a bike’s performance. And while the KTM 500 EXC’s suspension is very good off the showroom floor, it is biased toward racing and some riders may find the ride harsh or choppy in slower, less aggressive riding. Konflict takes riding style, anticipated terrain, rider weight and ability into account in their suspension work, tailoring the bike to the purpose. The Level III Service includes complete disassembly of forks and shock, polishing certain components, replacing worn parts and revalving to suit the rider’s needs. BIKE PROTECTION It’s one thing to damage a bike in a race and lose time or points; it’s another to break something 100 miles from anywhere and have to figure out how you’re going to get back to civilization. With remote riding in mind, Kurt did the following to armor his hardcore adventure bike: The simple, nearly indestructible design holds steady on the road or trail, thanks to the Ram mount you can crank down hard, and it neatly folds away behind the headlight when the trail gets tight. It will give way instead of break if you fall with it extended, and If you do manage to break the glass part, Doubletake sells replacements. Small bikes go places big bikes can’t, or shouldn’t, and that means more exposure rocks, roots, sticks and other nasty stuff that can break things. BDCW’s Ultimate Skid Plate covers the engine block, water pump, clutch cover and ignition cover. It’s frame mounted and made out of an aluminum alloy designed to absorb hits, not transmit them. And we learned during our own testing that it goes on and comes off easily, a good thing given the shorter oil-change intervals on the KTM 500 EXCs. In stock form the KTM 500 EXC comes with flimsy plastic handguards that aren’t going to protect your fingers, or levers, in a crash. Kurt Forgét replaced them with beefy Cycra Probend CRM (center reach mount) units that put billet aluminum between your fingers and tree branches or rocks. The center-mount design leaves more room on the bars for other things, like RAM mounts, and plenty of clearance for levers. The BRP Handguard Mounts provide additional room on the bars for controls and cables, and integrate well with the Scotts SUB Mount steering stabilizer. Made out of tough billet aluminum and deeper than stock, the Rekluse clutch cover will stand up to abuse and provides a small increase in engine oil capacity, a good thing on a bike that doesn’t hold much oil in the first place. The Kurt Caselli Limited Edition honors the legacy of the late Baja racer. Rekluse donates $125 from every sale to the Kurt Caselli Foundation, which promotes off-road rider safety. KTM 500 EXC Build Parts List Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  7. It’s been almost 13 years since KTM hit on the simple-yet-brilliant idea of adding a few bits to its enduro bikes to create barely-street-legal dual sport machines. It didn’t take much – different lighting, brake switches, keyed ignition, turn signals, bare bones emissions – to turn the whole segment on its head. EXC buyers who lived where it’s possible to plate a dirt bike had been making them street legal for years anyway, so why not capitalize on the demand while making it easier for people? Despite the naysayers who claimed high-power, lightweight singles were ticking time bombs, the KTMs have proven remarkably durable. Check Adam Riemann’s Motonomad film series, or Aaron Steinmann’s 77,000-mile around-the-world journey if you still doubt it. The KTM 500 EXC is a proven platform. ADVERTISEMENT Kurt Forgét, the owner of Black Dog Cycle Works, understood the appeal of a featherweight, go anywhere adventure bike. He’s been dreaming of building one for 10 years. He wasn’t after a pavement queen, but needed something that would do more than just survive the highway. The perfect bike would do longer journeys and retain the agility and performance of a lightweight enduro. His goal was a bike that’s much more versatile than a standard 500 EXC, but with better performance off-road than a KTM 690 Enduro R, a bike Kurt could use to explore the vast expanses of Baja. This is how he built it. IMPROVE COMFORT & RANGE The stock 500 EXC is many things: ultra-capable dual sport, single-track weapon, tire-shredding supermoto, commuter in a pinch. But a comfortable mile muncher it is not. The seat is narrow and hard; fuel capacity is limited and vibration, while less of an issue than it used to be, will still add to your fatigue. In stock form the bike has little wind protection, anemic lighting and short oil-change intervals. As fixes Forgét added: KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit This single product solved several issues at once. The bolt-on rally tower increases dashboard space for a USB charger, extra switches and a mounting spot for a phone or GPS. The windshield is a clear unit from a KTM 450 Rally bike, with fairing lowers, that will punch a better hole in the elements for increased rider protection. And the lighting gets a huge upgrade to dual Baja Designs LED lights: the Squadron Sport for the low beams and the Squadron Pro for the high beams. Together they put out a paint blistering 8,050 lumens. Cold hands add to rider fatigue, so Forgét added grip heaters from Kimpex. The inside design allows riders to use whatever grips they prefer. It uses 26.8 watts on the high setting and 21 watts on low, and uses a simple-but-effective rocker switch control. KTM singles come factory-equipped with vinyl-covered two-by-fours for seats. It’s been that way for years, and the factory isn’t giving your backside a break on the latest models. You’re supposed to be standing up anyway, otherwise you’re not “ready to race.” But anyone who dual sports an EXC will spend seat time on the saddle and quickly realize the need for something more comfortable Renazco Racing builds quality seats, one at a time, keeping the bike’s intended purpose in mind. Their enduro models are wider than stock in the rear, but taper in front so riders can grip the tank with their knees in the standing position. Kurt opted for the full suede model, which is grippy, good looking and durable. It makes sense that this throttle lock ended up on the build; it’s the company owner’s bike, after all. But this mod fits with the mission of the bike no matter whose name is on the title. Having a throttle lock significantly decreases fatigue by allowing the rider to rest their right wrist during the extended on-road stints necessary to get Forgét to the good stuff. As we noted when we tested the Black Dog Throttle Lock, the unit is easy to install, is inconspicuous, takes up very little space on your handlebars and works consistently every time via a simple on/off “click” mechanism. When engaged it will hold an opening but still allow for emergency throttle chops. When disengaged the throttle snaps closed like it should. The “flex” part sounds strange, but you can’t actually feel any movement in the bars while you ride. What you do feel is a noticeable reduction in vibration thanks to a bushing that eliminates any metal-to-metal contact between the part you grip and the part connected to the handlebar clamps. That means less fatigue and no cramped wrists at the end of a long ride. The stock tank on an 500 EXC is 2.25 gallons, a nod to the bike’s hardcore off-road genetics. But when you press the bike into adventure service, you’ll quickly note there are many places that lack gas stations every 100 miles or so. The Acerbis nearly doubles your range, maintains the bike’s slim profile, works with the radiator fan and seat, and is made out of tough polyethylene. The translucent color makes it easy to see how much fuel you have left. Another clue to the bike’s nature is its 1.5 liter oil capacity. That’s not a lot, and it means frequent oil changes if you rack up a lot of miles. Forgét addressed this issue by adding a Twin Air auxiliary cooler. It bolts on behind the left radiator so it’s out of harm’s way, keeps oil temps down and increases capacity by 10 percent. Overpacking a lightweight off-road bike like the 500 EXC can make it handle like a boat. Mosko’s Reckless 40L System attaches directly to the bike via a harness that stays in place and rugged, removable, waterproof dry bags. The design is light, secure and easy to take off for packing/moving into your tent. The 14-liter dry bags (two), eight-liter tail bag and stash pockets add just enough capacity for overnighters if you take your minimalism seriously. PERFORMANCE MODS The KTM is no slouch right off the showroom floor, but Forgét added a few pieces that tailored the bike more to his mission of on-road capability without sacrificing off-road prowess. A steering stabilizer is like insurance for nasty surprises: the rock you hit that tries to rip the bars out of your hands, the sand-induced weave you didn’t see coming, the sudden head shake from the air blast of a passing semi. Stabilizers smooth out the feedback and help you stay pointed in the right direction. Scotts is an industry leader, and the BRP SUB mount fits under the bars, leaving space to mount a GPS or phone up top. They also use the stock handlebar mounts and triple clamps. You need to stand up off road. Unfortunately, manufacturers often see footpegs as a place to trim costs rather than a means of providing a stable, comfortable way to increase control of your bike. Kurt addressed the issue on his bike with BDCW’s Traction Footpegs. They‘re made of aluminum alloy, 2.5 inches wide and 4 inches long with traction cleats around the perimeter and removable spikes for additional grip on your boot soles. The voids are large and widely spaced so the pegs shed mud and snow. Galfer’s Tsunami discs are grooved to allow more air flow to the pad, keeping brake temps down and performance consistent. The advantage is twofold: increased braking power and, more importantly off road in slippery conditions, better ability to modulate that power. Forgét coupled them with sintered pads, which are heat resistant and long wearing in a variety of conditions. Think about the hundreds of times you’ll pull the clutch lever on a ride. Now think about riding long distances day after day in situations that demand good clutch control. You’re expending a lot of mental and physical energy on a single aspect of bike control. An auto clutch frees up that energy so the rider can concentrate on momentum, line choice, weight distribution, body positioning, etc.,all of which come into play as soon as you leave the pavement. Forgét chose the Rekluse RadiusCX for this 500 EXC build, which incorporates the company’s latest technology for optimized power delivery and long life. Rekluse clutches eliminate stalling, but the clutch lever still functions normally in situations where you might need it, such as popping the front wheel over a log. Properly setting up the suspension is one of the best ways to improve a bike’s performance. And while the KTM 500 EXC’s suspension is very good off the showroom floor, it is biased toward racing and some riders may find the ride harsh or choppy in slower, less aggressive riding. Konflict takes riding style, anticipated terrain, rider weight and ability into account in their suspension work, tailoring the bike to the purpose. The Level III Service includes complete disassembly of forks and shock, polishing certain components, replacing worn parts and revalving to suit the rider’s needs. BIKE PROTECTION It’s one thing to damage a bike in a race and lose time or points; it’s another to break something 100 miles from anywhere and have to figure out how you’re going to get back to civilization. With remote riding in mind, Kurt did the following to armor his hardcore adventure bike: The simple, nearly indestructible design holds steady on the road or trail, thanks to the Ram mount you can crank down hard, and it neatly folds away behind the headlight when the trail gets tight. It will give way instead of break if you fall with it extended, and If you do manage to break the glass part, Doubletake sells replacements. Small bikes go places big bikes can’t, or shouldn’t, and that means more exposure rocks, roots, sticks and other nasty stuff that can break things. BDCW’s Ultimate Skid Plate covers the engine block, water pump, clutch cover and ignition cover. It’s frame mounted and made out of an aluminum alloy designed to absorb hits, not transmit them. And we learned during our own testing that it goes on and comes off easily, a good thing given the shorter oil-change intervals on the KTM 500 EXCs. In stock form the KTM 500 EXC comes with flimsy plastic handguards that aren’t going to protect your fingers, or levers, in a crash. Kurt Forgét replaced them with beefy Cycra Probend CRM (center reach mount) units that put billet aluminum between your fingers and tree branches or rocks. The center-mount design leaves more room on the bars for other things, like RAM mounts, and plenty of clearance for levers. The BRP Handguard Mounts provide additional room on the bars for controls and cables, and integrate well with the Scotts SUB Mount steering stabilizer. Made out of tough billet aluminum and deeper than stock, the Rekluse clutch cover will stand up to abuse and provides a small increase in engine oil capacity, a good thing on a bike that doesn’t hold much oil in the first place. The Kurt Caselli Limited Edition honors the legacy of the late Baja racer. Rekluse donates $125 from every sale to the Kurt Caselli Foundation, which promotes off-road rider safety. KTM 500 EXC Build Parts List Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  8. It’s been almost 13 years since KTM hit on the simple-yet-brilliant idea of adding a few bits to its enduro bikes to create barely-street-legal dual sport machines. It didn’t take much – different lighting, brake switches, keyed ignition, turn signals, bare bones emissions – to turn the whole segment on its head. EXC buyers who lived where it’s possible to plate a dirt bike had been making them street legal for years anyway, so why not capitalize on the demand while making it easier for people? Despite the naysayers who claimed high-power, lightweight singles were ticking time bombs, the KTMs have proven remarkably durable. Check Adam Riemann’s Motonomad film series, or Aaron Steinmann’s 77,000-mile around-the-world journey if you still doubt it. The KTM 500 EXC is a proven platform. ADVERTISEMENT Kurt Forgét, the owner of Black Dog Cycle Works, understood the appeal of a featherweight, go anywhere adventure bike. He’s been dreaming of building one for 10 years. He wasn’t after a pavement queen, but needed something that would do more than just survive the highway. The perfect bike would do longer journeys and retain the agility and performance of a lightweight enduro. His goal was a bike that’s much more versatile than a standard 500 EXC, but with better performance off-road than a KTM 690 Enduro R, a bike Kurt could use to explore the vast expanses of Baja. This is how he built it. IMPROVE COMFORT & RANGE The stock 500 EXC is many things: ultra-capable dual sport, single-track weapon, tire-shredding supermoto, commuter in a pinch. But a comfortable mile muncher it is not. The seat is narrow and hard; fuel capacity is limited and vibration, while less of an issue than it used to be, will still add to your fatigue. In stock form the bike has little wind protection, anemic lighting and short oil-change intervals. As fixes Forgét added: KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit KTM 500 EXC Rally Kit This single product solved several issues at once. The bolt-on rally tower increases dashboard space for a USB charger, extra switches and a mounting spot for a phone or GPS. The windshield is a clear unit from a KTM 450 Rally bike, with fairing lowers, that will punch a better hole in the elements for increased rider protection. And the lighting gets a huge upgrade to dual Baja Designs LED lights: the Squadron Sport for the low beams and the Squadron Pro for the high beams. Together they put out a paint blistering 8,050 lumens. Cold hands add to rider fatigue, so Forgét added grip heaters from Kimpex. The inside design allows riders to use whatever grips they prefer. It uses 26.8 watts on the high setting and 21 watts on low, and uses a simple-but-effective rocker switch control. KTM singles come factory-equipped with vinyl-covered two-by-fours for seats. It’s been that way for years, and the factory isn’t giving your backside a break on the latest models. You’re supposed to be standing up anyway, otherwise you’re not “ready to race.” But anyone who dual sports an EXC will spend seat time on the saddle and quickly realize the need for something more comfortable Renazco Racing builds quality seats, one at a time, keeping the bike’s intended purpose in mind. Their enduro models are wider than stock in the rear, but taper in front so riders can grip the tank with their knees in the standing position. Kurt opted for the full suede model, which is grippy, good looking and durable. It makes sense that this throttle lock ended up on the build; it’s the company owner’s bike, after all. But this mod fits with the mission of the bike no matter whose name is on the title. Having a throttle lock significantly decreases fatigue by allowing the rider to rest their right wrist during the extended on-road stints necessary to get Forgét to the good stuff. As we noted when we tested the Black Dog Throttle Lock, the unit is easy to install, is inconspicuous, takes up very little space on your handlebars and works consistently every time via a simple on/off “click” mechanism. When engaged it will hold an opening but still allow for emergency throttle chops. When disengaged the throttle snaps closed like it should. The “flex” part sounds strange, but you can’t actually feel any movement in the bars while you ride. What you do feel is a noticeable reduction in vibration thanks to a bushing that eliminates any metal-to-metal contact between the part you grip and the part connected to the handlebar clamps. That means less fatigue and no cramped wrists at the end of a long ride. The stock tank on an 500 EXC is 2.25 gallons, a nod to the bike’s hardcore off-road genetics. But when you press the bike into adventure service, you’ll quickly note there are many places that lack gas stations every 100 miles or so. The Acerbis nearly doubles your range, maintains the bike’s slim profile, works with the radiator fan and seat, and is made out of tough polyethylene. The translucent color makes it easy to see how much fuel you have left. Another clue to the bike’s nature is its 1.5 liter oil capacity. That’s not a lot, and it means frequent oil changes if you rack up a lot of miles. Forgét addressed this issue by adding a Twin Air auxiliary cooler. It bolts on behind the left radiator so it’s out of harm’s way, keeps oil temps down and increases capacity by 10 percent. Overpacking a lightweight off-road bike like the 500 EXC can make it handle like a boat. Mosko’s Reckless 40L System attaches directly to the bike via a harness that stays in place and rugged, removable, waterproof dry bags. The design is light, secure and easy to take off for packing/moving into your tent. The 14-liter dry bags (two), eight-liter tail bag and stash pockets add just enough capacity for overnighters if you take your minimalism seriously. PERFORMANCE MODS The KTM is no slouch right off the showroom floor, but Forgét added a few pieces that tailored the bike more to his mission of on-road capability without sacrificing off-road prowess. A steering stabilizer is like insurance for nasty surprises: the rock you hit that tries to rip the bars out of your hands, the sand-induced weave you didn’t see coming, the sudden head shake from the air blast of a passing semi. Stabilizers smooth out the feedback and help you stay pointed in the right direction. Scotts is an industry leader, and the BRP SUB mount fits under the bars, leaving space to mount a GPS or phone up top. They also use the stock handlebar mounts and triple clamps. You need to stand up off road. Unfortunately, manufacturers often see footpegs as a place to trim costs rather than a means of providing a stable, comfortable way to increase control of your bike. Kurt addressed the issue on his bike with BDCW’s Traction Footpegs. They‘re made of aluminum alloy, 2.5 inches wide and 4 inches long with traction cleats around the perimeter and removable spikes for additional grip on your boot soles. The voids are large and widely spaced so the pegs shed mud and snow. Galfer’s Tsunami discs are grooved to allow more air flow to the pad, keeping brake temps down and performance consistent. The advantage is twofold: increased braking power and, more importantly off road in slippery conditions, better ability to modulate that power. Forgét coupled them with sintered pads, which are heat resistant and long wearing in a variety of conditions. Think about the hundreds of times you’ll pull the clutch lever on a ride. Now think about riding long distances day after day in situations that demand good clutch control. You’re expending a lot of mental and physical energy on a single aspect of bike control. An auto clutch frees up that energy so the rider can concentrate on momentum, line choice, weight distribution, body positioning, etc.,all of which come into play as soon as you leave the pavement. Forgét chose the Rekluse RadiusCX for this 500 EXC build, which incorporates the company’s latest technology for optimized power delivery and long life. Rekluse clutches eliminate stalling, but the clutch lever still functions normally in situations where you might need it, such as popping the front wheel over a log. Properly setting up the suspension is one of the best ways to improve a bike’s performance. And while the KTM 500 EXC’s suspension is very good off the showroom floor, it is biased toward racing and some riders may find the ride harsh or choppy in slower, less aggressive riding. Konflict takes riding style, anticipated terrain, rider weight and ability into account in their suspension work, tailoring the bike to the purpose. The Level III Service includes complete disassembly of forks and shock, polishing certain components, replacing worn parts and revalving to suit the rider’s needs. BIKE PROTECTION It’s one thing to damage a bike in a race and lose time or points; it’s another to break something 100 miles from anywhere and have to figure out how you’re going to get back to civilization. With remote riding in mind, Kurt did the following to armor his hardcore adventure bike: The simple, nearly indestructible design holds steady on the road or trail, thanks to the Ram mount you can crank down hard, and it neatly folds away behind the headlight when the trail gets tight. It will give way instead of break if you fall with it extended, and If you do manage to break the glass part, Doubletake sells replacements. Small bikes go places big bikes can’t, or shouldn’t, and that means more exposure rocks, roots, sticks and other nasty stuff that can break things. BDCW’s Ultimate Skid Plate covers the engine block, water pump, clutch cover and ignition cover. It’s frame mounted and made out of an aluminum alloy designed to absorb hits, not transmit them. And we learned during our own testing that it goes on and comes off easily, a good thing given the shorter oil-change intervals on the KTM 500 EXCs. In stock form the KTM 500 EXC comes with flimsy plastic handguards that aren’t going to protect your fingers, or levers, in a crash. Kurt Forgét replaced them with beefy Cycra Probend CRM (center reach mount) units that put billet aluminum between your fingers and tree branches or rocks. The center-mount design leaves more room on the bars for other things, like RAM mounts, and plenty of clearance for levers. The BRP Handguard Mounts provide additional room on the bars for controls and cables, and integrate well with the Scotts SUB Mount steering stabilizer. Made out of tough billet aluminum and deeper than stock, the Rekluse clutch cover will stand up to abuse and provides a small increase in engine oil capacity, a good thing on a bike that doesn’t hold much oil in the first place. The Kurt Caselli Limited Edition honors the legacy of the late Baja racer. Rekluse donates $125 from every sale to the Kurt Caselli Foundation, which promotes off-road rider safety. KTM 500 EXC Build Parts List Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  9. Ducati’s been teasing us with sketches of its Desert X Scrambler concept, positioning it as a throwback to the glory days of Paris-Dakar, circa 1990, when Edi Orioli won the race on a Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant. And now that the Italian marque has pulled the wraps off an actual concept bike at the EICMA show, it looks like they weren’t kidding. First impression: there’s a lot of fuel capacity on this bike. It sports front and rear tanks, which appear to be split into left and right compartments. That means four separate gas caps, so plan a little extra time at fuel stops if this design sees production. We’ve seen reports that the tanks hold 30 liters (7.9 gallons) of gas, so at least those stops won’t be frequent. The Desert X is equipped with dirt-oriented 21″/18″ spoked wheels and 8.3 inches (210 mm) of suspension travel. Total fuel capacity is 30 liters (7.9 gallons).At the heart of the Desert X is a 1079cc, two-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-twin pumping out 86 horsepower and 65 ft.-lbs of torque. The tanks and fairing lend the bike a muscular, sculptured look that both honors and updates the Elefant’s aesthetics. Twin, round LED headlights are another nod to the original, as is the tall windscreen that looks like it would actually be useful at blocking wind. Videos of the reveal show a TFT display nestled behind the screen. The spot where the pillion seat would normally go is inhabited by a cargo rack. And there are no passenger footpegs on the concept bike, but we’d guess that a production model would come with a passenger seat and pegs. The Desert X’s spoked wheels are shodded with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires. ADVERTISEMENT The engine is from the current Scrambler 1100, a 1079cc, two-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-twin that produces 86 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 65 ft.-lbs of torque at 4,750 rpm. The upswept Termignoni exhaust system, a work of art in itself, terminates in a single silencer. Ducati has not announced official complete specs for the bike yet, but the Italian website Moto.it put the bike’s weight at 190 kilograms, just under 420 pounds. Wet weight of the current Scrambler 100 is 465 pounds, so that number may be in the ballpark. The concept has also been revealed to have 10.8 inches (275mm) of ground clearance, 8.3 inches (210mm) of suspension travel and a carbon fiber skid plate. Ducati has further reported the bike is equipped with dirt-oriented 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels wearing Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires. [embedded content] The Desert X debuted alongside the 800cc Motard Scrambler, and both concepts are aimed at broadening Ducati’s lineup using existing platforms. Ducati seems to want input on the designs, so leave a comment below and let them know if you think they should put these bikes into production. Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  10. Ducati’s been teasing us with sketches of its Desert X Scrambler concept, positioning it as a throwback to the glory days of Paris-Dakar, circa 1990, when Edi Orioli won the race on a Ducati-powered Cagiva Elefant. And now that the Italian marque has pulled the wraps off an actual concept bike at the EICMA show, it looks like they weren’t kidding. First impression: there’s a lot of fuel capacity on this bike. It sports front and rear tanks, which appear to be split into left and right compartments. That means four separate gas caps, so plan a little extra time at fuel stops if this design sees production. We’ve seen reports that the tanks hold 30 liters (7.9 gallons) of gas, so at least those stops won’t be frequent. The Desert X is equipped with dirt-oriented 21″/18″ spoked wheels and 8.3 inches (210 mm) of suspension travel. Total fuel capacity is 30 liters (7.9 gallons).At the heart of the Desert X is a 1079cc, two-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-twin pumping out 86 horsepower and 65 ft.-lbs of torque. The tanks and fairing lend the bike a muscular, sculptured look that both honors and updates the Elefant’s aesthetics. Twin, round LED headlights are another nod to the original, as is the tall windscreen that looks like it would actually be useful at blocking wind. Videos of the reveal show a TFT display nestled behind the screen. The spot where the pillion seat would normally go is inhabited by a cargo rack. And there are no passenger footpegs on the concept bike, but we’d guess that a production model would come with a passenger seat and pegs. The Desert X’s spoked wheels are shodded with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires. ADVERTISEMENT The engine is from the current Scrambler 1100, a 1079cc, two-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-twin that produces 86 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 65 ft.-lbs of torque at 4,750 rpm. The upswept Termignoni exhaust system, a work of art in itself, terminates in a single silencer. Ducati has not announced official complete specs for the bike yet, but the Italian website Moto.it put the bike’s weight at 190 kilograms, just under 420 pounds. Wet weight of the current Scrambler 100 is 465 pounds, so that number may be in the ballpark. The concept has also been revealed to have 10.8 inches (275mm) of ground clearance, 8.3 inches (210mm) of suspension travel and a carbon fiber skid plate. Ducati has further reported the bike is equipped with dirt-oriented 21-inch front and 18-inch rear spoked wheels wearing Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires. [embedded content] The Desert X debuted alongside the 800cc Motard Scrambler, and both concepts are aimed at broadening Ducati’s lineup using existing platforms. Ducati seems to want input on the designs, so leave a comment below and let them know if you think they should put these bikes into production. Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  11. Published on 11.07.2019 Husqvarna has pulled the wraps off its 2020 lineup and there are some surprises for the dual sport/adventure rider crowds. We’ve already written about the stunning Norden 901 adventure concept, which may or may not actually see production (fingers crossed it will). But the revised, refined and updated 701 models are not vaporware, and there’s one version in particular that should interest riders seeking a bike that can go the distance: The 701 LR. The LR stands for “long range,” and with a claimed ability to cover 500 kilometers (310 miles) between fill ups, the 701 LR can scratch that itch. The 701 LR features new advanced electronics and a claimed ability to cover 310 miles between fill ups.The 701 lineup consists of the Supermoto, Enduro and Enduro LR. All three get updated electronic aids that Husqvarna says will improve both safety and performance. There are new switchable ride modes, a Bosch cornering ABS system that takes lean angle into account, a new “easy” shift feature that shortens gear changes and supposedly improves rear wheel traction, lean-sensitive traction control, and new slimmer bodywork for improved ergonomics. The engine is still a 74-horsepower, throttle-by-wire, 692cc powerhouse. It’s all good stuff, improving a bike that’s already a standout among dual sport and adventure enthusiasts. New switchable Ride Modes allow riders to change power characteristics on the fly.The LR model adds a separate 12-liter (3.2 gallon) fuel tank to the bike, located where you’d find a traditional fuel tank, in front of the seat. (The 701s, like KTM 690s, carry their fuel in the combination tank/subframe that supports the seat.) Dual, switchable fuel pumps allow the rider to pull gas from either tank. Videos of the bike show the tank flaring around the radiator like a shroud, similar to some of the larger aftermarket tanks. Combined with the rear tank’s 13 liters (3.4 gallons), the total capacity of 25 liters should be good for just about anywhere you’d want to ride. An additional fully-integrated 12 liter front tank increases the total fuel capacity to 25 liters (6.6 gallons).Technical Highlights Dual fuel tank set up for a total capacity of 25 liters (6.6 gallons) Switchable Ride Modes – change power characteristics while riding Bosch cornering ABS – lean angle specific braking technology Easy Shift function – shorter shift times & improved rear wheel traction Lean-angle sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control – perfect rear wheel traction New graphics & slim bodywork – carefully engineered ergonomics ADVERTISEMENT For the sake of comparison, that’s over a gallon more than a KTM 790 Adventure. Which means that Husqvarna has essentially built the adventure bike fans of the big single have been clamoring for since KTM introduced the platform in 2008. With some added wind protection, this Husky could stake a claim to finally being a modern version of the legendary KTM 640 Adventure. That bike carried 7.4 gallons of fuel, but it was carbureted and didn’t get the fuel mileage the 701 should return. Add in all the other features modern technology has brought, and it really does look like Husqvarna has built a worthy successor. [embedded content] WATCH: Husqvarna 701 LR live at EICMA.Husqvarna 701 LR Specs displacement 692.7 cc Power 55 kW (73.8 hp) design 1-cylinder, 4 stroke engine bore 105 mm STROKE 80 mm starter Electric transmission 6-speed cooling liquid cooled clutch APTC (TM) slipper clutch rear suspension WP shock absorber Pro-Lever linkage Suspension travel (front) 250 mm suspension travel (rear) 250 mm front brake Brembo twin-piston floating caliper, brake disc rear brake Brembo single-piston floating caliper, brake disc front brake disc diameter 300 mm rear brake disc diameter 240 mm abs Bosch 9ME combined ABS Chain X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Wheel front/rear 21″/18″ ground clearance 270 mm seat h 925 mm (36.4 in) tank capacity (approx.) 25 L (6.6 gallons) weight without fuel 155 kg (341.7 lbs) Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  12. Published on 11.07.2019 Husqvarna has pulled the wraps off its 2020 lineup and there are some surprises for the dual sport/adventure rider crowds. We’ve already written about the stunning Norden 901 adventure concept, which may or may not actually see production (fingers crossed it will). But the revised, refined and updated 701 models are not vaporware, and there’s one version in particular that should interest riders seeking a bike that can go the distance: The 701 LR. The LR stands for “long range,” and with a claimed ability to cover 500 kilometers (310 miles) between fill ups, the 701 LR can scratch that itch. The 701 LR features lean-angle sensitive traction control.The 701 lineup consists of the Supermoto, Enduro and Enduro LR. All three get updated electronic aids that Husqvarna says will improve both safety and performance. There are new switchable ride modes, a Bosch cornering ABS system that takes lean angle into account, a new “easy” shift feature that shortens gear changes and supposedly improves rear wheel traction, lean-sensitive traction control, and new slimmer bodywork for improved ergonomics. The engine is still a 74-horsepower, throttle-by-wire, 692cc powerhouse. It’s all good stuff, improving a bike that’s already a standout among dual sport and adventure enthusiasts. New switchable Ride Modes allow riders to change power characteristics on the fly.The LR model adds a separate 12-liter (3.2 gallon) fuel tank to the bike, located where you’d find a traditional fuel tank, in front of the seat. (The 701s, like KTM 690s, carry their fuel in the combination tank/subframe that supports the seat.) Dual, switchable fuel pumps allow the rider to pull gas from either tank. Videos of the bike show the tank flaring around the radiator like a shroud, similar to some of the larger aftermarket tanks. Combined with the rear tank’s 13 liters (3.4 gallons), the total capacity of 25 liters should be good for just about anywhere you’d want to ride. A fully integrated front tank provides an additional fuel capacity of 12 liters (3.2 gallons), giving the 701 Enduro LR 500 km (310 miles) of range.Technical Highlights Dual fuel tank set up for a total capacity of 25 liters (6.6 gallons) Switchable Ride Modes – change power characteristics while riding New Bosch cornering ABS – lean angle specific braking technology Easy Shift function – shorter shift times & improved rear wheel traction Lean-angle sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control – perfect rear wheel traction New graphics & slim bodywork – carefully engineered ergonomics ADVERTISEMENT For the sake of comparison, that’s over a gallon more than a KTM 790 Adventure. Which means that Husqvarna has essentially built the adventure bike fans of the big single have been clamoring for since KTM introduced the platform in 2008. With some added wind protection, this Husky could stake a claim to finally being a modern version of the legendary KTM 640 Adventure. That bike carried 7.4 gallons of fuel, but it was carbureted and didn’t get the fuel mileage the 701 should return. Add in all the other features modern technology has brought, and it really does look like Husqvarna has built a worthy successor. [embedded content] WATCH: Husqvarna 701 LR live at EICMA.Husqvarna 701 LR Specs displacement 692.7 cc Power 55 kW (73.8 hp) design 1-cylinder, 4 stroke engine bore 105 mm STROKE 80 mm starter Electric transmission 6-speed cooling liquid cooled clutch APTC (TM) slipper clutch rear suspension WP shock absorber Pro-Lever linkage Suspension travel (front) 250 mm suspension travel (rear) 250 mm front brake Brembo twin-piston floating caliper, brake disc rear brake Brembo single-piston floating caliper, brake disc front brake disc diameter 300 mm rear brake disc diameter 240 mm abs Bosch 9ME combined ABS Chain X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Wheel front/rear 21″/18″ ground clearance 270 mm seat h 925 mm (36.4 in) tank capacity (approx.) 25 L (6.6 gallons) weight without fuel 155 kg (341.7 lbs) Author: Bob Whitby Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.
  13. [embedded content] WATCH: Harley-Davidson gives a glimpse of the Pan America in action.I don’t know about you guys, but this new video Harley-Davidson released showing its Pan America eating up some high country trails is not a turn off. In fact, seeing – and hearing – that big V-twin harmonizing with dirt spray is quite the opposite. We’ve learned some interesting new things about the 2021 Pan America, expected in dealerships late 2020, since its official unveiling at the International motorcycle show going on this week in Milan, Italy. After more than a year of rumors and prototypes, Harley has finally revealed the production version of the Pan America. Expected to launch in late 2020 as a 2021 model.Firstly, there can be no doubt, the Motor Company is dead serious about this model being a true off-road-ready adventure bike, as illustrated by its spoked wheels, Michelin/H-D co-branded knobbies, burly skid plate, crash bars, bolt-on rear sub-frame and brush guards. ADVERTISEMENT Harley has further revealed the Pan America will be powered by an all-new, liquid-cooled 60-degree 1250cc V-twin engine dubbed the Revolution Max, the largest in a series of Revolution powerplants destined to power the entire Harley line. At the heart of the Pan America is an all-new liquid-cooled 1,250cc ‘Revolution Max’ engine, pumping out a claimed 145 hp and 90 ft-lbs of torque.Harley claims the Revolution Max will generate a very impressive 145 horsepower, a huge leap in top-end over its current big gun, the torque-heavy 1868cc Milwaukee Eight, which delivers less than 100 hp. Promised torque from the engine will be “more than 90 ft-lbs,” plenty of grunt for trials-speed trail gunning. Harley describes the Max’s powerband as broad as it builds “to a surge of high-rpm power.” Interestingly, these numbers are right in the ballpark with performance outcomes from BMW’s R1250GS, the bike and audience that’s most likely Harley’s target. The new machine will likely feature a full-color, touchscreen display, similar to that included in the LiveWire.Press materials describe the Pan America’s powertrain as physically “narrow” and mentions that it features an “internal counter balancer” to dampen vibration as the huge V-twin does double duty as a stressed frame member. Appropriately, the bike’s final drive will be chain. Stopping power will be supplied by two big custom-for-H-D Brembo discs with four-piston calipers up front and a single disc out back. Suspension appears to be semi-active and we expect the bike to offer a raft of rider aids and switchable modes navigated via the big TFT screen we see in the photos. Other notable features evidenced by the cockpit view is a trim, manually adjustable windscreen and switchgear that promises cruise control and also hints of a full infotainment capability. Stopping power will be delivered by all-new Brembo monoblock calipers.The bike will sport H-D/Michelin co-branded knobbies created exclusively for the Pan America. The sideview of the rider ripping around on the Pan America gives the impression the bike will offer a low seat h, a sure way to get in the door with new riders and brand loyalists wanting to try their hand at adventure riding. Harley calls the Pan America its “two-wheeled multi-tool. Equal parts campfire, wanderlust and grit.” It also says the bike has been “Engineered for the unknown,” which is far more profound than their marketing team intended. Indeed, the Pan America, Harley’s unlikely adventure bike, is on course to touch down on a foreign planet, before an audience of motorcycling’s hardest-to-please customers. What’s “unknown” is how the newcomer will fare in the “perform-or-go-home” adventure bike market. Queue the popcorn, as the next model year promises one heck of a show. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  14. [embedded content] WATCH: Harley-Davidson gives a glimpse of the Pan America in action.I don’t know about you guys, but this new video Harley-Davidson released showing its Pan America eating up some high country trails is not a turn off. In fact, seeing – and hearing – that big V-twin harmonizing with dirt spray is quite the opposite. We’ve learned some interesting new things about the 2021 Pan America, expected in dealerships late 2020, since its official unveiling at the International motorcycle show going on this week in Milan, Italy. After more than a year of rumors and prototypes, Harley has finally revealed the production version of the Pan America. Expected to launch in late 2020 as a 2021 model.Firstly, there can be no doubt, the Motor Company is dead serious about this model being a true off-road-ready adventure bike, as illustrated by its spoked wheels, Michelin/H-D co-branded knobbies, burly skid plate, crash bars, bolt-on rear sub-frame and brush guards. ADVERTISEMENT Harley has further revealed the Pan America will be powered by an all-new, liquid-cooled 60-degree 1250cc V-twin engine dubbed the Revolution Max, the largest in a series of Revolution powerplants destined to power the entire Harley line. At the heart of the Pan America is an all-new liquid-cooled 1,250cc ‘Revolution Max’ engine, pumping out a claimed 145 hp and 90 ft-lbs of torque.Harley claims the Revolution Max will generate a very impressive 145 horsepower, a huge leap in top-end over its current big gun, the torque-heavy 1868cc Milwaukee Eight, which delivers less than 100 hp. Promised torque from the engine will be “more than 90 ft-lbs,” plenty of grunt for trials-speed trail gunning. Harley describes the Max’s powerband as broad as it builds “to a surge of high-rpm power.” Interestingly, these numbers are right in the ballpark with performance outcomes from BMW’s R1250GS, the bike and audience that’s most likely Harley’s target. The new machine will likely feature a full-color, touchscreen display, similar to that included in the LiveWire.Press materials describe the Pan America’s powertrain as physically “narrow” and mentions that it features an “internal counter balancer” to dampen vibration as the huge V-twin does double duty as a stressed frame member. Appropriately, the bike’s final drive will be chain. Stopping power will be supplied by two big custom-for-H-D Brembo discs with four-piston calipers up front and a single disc out back. Suspension appears to be semi-active and we expect the bike to offer a raft of rider aids and switchable modes navigated via the big TFT screen we see in the photos. Other notable features evidenced by the cockpit view is a trim, manually adjustable windscreen and switchgear that promises cruise control and also hints of a full infotainment capability. Stopping power will be delivered by all-new Brembo monoblock calipers.The bike will sport H-D/Michelin co-branded knobbies created exclusively for the Pan America. The sideview of the rider ripping around on the Pan America gives the impression the bike will offer a low seat h, a sure way to get in the door with new riders and brand loyalists wanting to try their hand at adventure riding. Harley calls the Pan America its “two-wheeled multi-tool. Equal parts campfire, wanderlust and grit.” It also says the bike has been “Engineered for the unknown,” which is far more profound than their marketing team intended. Indeed, the Pan America, Harley’s unlikely adventure bike, is on course to touch down on a foreign planet, before an audience of motorcycling’s hardest-to-please customers. What’s “unknown” is how the newcomer will fare in the “perform-or-go-home” adventure bike market. Queue the popcorn, as the next model year promises one heck of a show. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  15. Published on 11.05.2019 Husqvarna Motorcycles just stunned motojournalists at EICMA after lifting the covers off their new adventure bike concept – the Norden 901. The new machine is based on the KTM 790 Adventure platform and sports the new 890 Duke powerplant. This latest concept signals the continued growth of the Swedish brand into new sectors and Husqvarna says it highlights their historic focus on performance, technology and design. Unveiled for the first time, the Norden 901 is Husqvarna’s first ever adventure touring machine. “A dynamic and versatile long-distance concept designed to deliver both outstanding street and off-road performance,” says the brand. And it doesn’t hurt that the bike’s aesthetics are a head turner. Styling is very modern with hints of the past like the large round LED headlight and a windscreen silhouette that is reminiscent of the KTM 990 Adventure. The Norden 901 is powered by a parallel twin, liquid cooled 889.5cc engine tuned for adventure use, although no official power numbers have been revealed yet. The new machine sits atop high quality WP suspension and features 21” front and 18” wheels fitted with Pirelli Rally Scorpion tires. Also notable is a full color two-piece TFT display that splits general and navigation information and looks like it may have a clamshell closing design. The Norden 901 also features a seat with grip fabric, auxiliary lights, beefy crashbars and what looks like a generous fuel tank armoured with aluminum plating. The Norden carries its fuel low and has a similar skidplate design to the 790 Adventure. Norden 901 Technical Highlights Designed to be a slim and light explorer motorcycle 889.5 cc parallel twin engine specifically tuned for adventure usage Versatile for both off-road performance and touring ability Rides on 21” front and 18” rear wire-spoke wheels High quality WP suspension components ADVERTISEMENT Although Husqvarna has not announced its intentions to bring this bike to production, it definitely seems like they have put a lot of work into this concept. It has the benefit of being based on an existing engine and chassis, and the refinement is higher than what is typically expected at this stage. Even small details like a USB port, integrated LED tail lights and a functional tank rack give hints that the brand may be taking this concept to the next step. All we can say is, Husqvarna can’t get it here fast enough. With a proven off-road travel platform and premium styling, the Norden 901 could take the adventure segment by storm. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that if and when the new Husky hits the market, it stays true to the original concept.
  16. Published on 11.05.2019 Husqvarna Motorcycles just stunned motojournalists at EICMA after lifting the covers off their new adventure bike concept – the Norden 901. The new machine is based on the KTM 790 Adventure platform and sports the new 890 Duke powerplant. This latest concept signals the continued growth of the Swedish brand into new sectors and Husqvarna says it highlights their historic focus on performance, technology and design. Unveiled for the first time, the Norden 901 is Husqvarna’s first ever adventure touring machine. “A dynamic and versatile long-distance concept designed to deliver both outstanding street and off-road performance,” says the brand. And it doesn’t hurt that the bike’s aesthetics are a head turner. Styling is very modern with hints of the past like the large round LED headlight and a windscreen silhouette that is reminiscent of the KTM 990 Adventure. The Norden 901 is powered by a parallel twin, liquid cooled 889.5cc engine tuned for adventure use, although no official power numbers have been revealed yet. The new machine sits atop high quality WP suspension and features 21” front and 18” wheels fitted with Pirelli Rally Scorpion tires. Also notable is a full color two-piece TFT display that splits general and navigation information and looks like it may have a clamshell closing design. The Norden 901 also features a seat with grip fabric, auxiliary lights, beefy crashbars and what looks like a generous fuel tank armoured with aluminum plating. The Norden carries its fuel low and has a similar skidplate design to the 790 Adventure. Norden 901 Technical Highlights Designed to be a slim and light explorer motorcycle 889.5 cc parallel twin engine specifically tuned for adventure usage Versatile for both off-road performance and touring ability Rides on 21” front and 18” rear wire-spoke wheels High quality WP suspension components ADVERTISEMENT Although Husqvarna has not announced its intentions to bring this bike to production, it definitely seems like they have put a lot of work into this concept. It has the benefit of being based on an existing engine and chassis, and the refinement is higher than what is typically expected at this stage. Even small details like a USB port, integrated LED tail lights and a functional tank rack give hints that the brand may be taking this concept to the next step. All we can say is, Husqvarna can’t get it here fast enough. With a proven off-road travel platform and premium styling, the Norden 901 could take the adventure segment by storm. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that if and when the new Husky hits the market, it stays true to the original concept.
  17. It’s been 7 years since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer first mentioned in an interview they would be producing an all-new dual-sport model based on the Duke 390 platform, and every year since then it seemed like its release was imminent. Over time, we grew numb to any rumors about the KTM 390 Adventure ‘soon to be launched,’ yet there were some solid spy photos released last year that got our attention. Well the big day has finally arrived. The Austrian manufacturer unveiled the latest edition to their adventure range – the 2020 KTM 390 Adventure – on the first day of the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. Better yet, it’s coming to North America too! The long-awaited KTM 390 Adventure harnesses DNA from its big brother KTM 790 Adventure, which it shares a strong resemblance with (minus the low bulbous tank). And with nearly two decades of competing in Dakar Rally racing, we expect KTM incorporated R&D information gathered from it’s long-running success. According to KTM, the new machine is a light, agile, entry-level model for those looking to discover the world of adventure riding. A versatile motorcycle designed with both touring and light off-roading in mind. Using elements of the KTM 390 Duke platform as a base, while incorporating performance cues from the KTM 450 Rally, the 390 Adventure was created with off-road capability and impressive road manners as part of the package. KTM’s smallest travel enduro is powered by a Bosch fuel injected, liquid cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke 373.2 cc engine. Twin overhead cams, four valves and refined fuel injection, together with a balancer shaft are integral to the KTM 390 Adventure’s smooth power output. Its versatile ergonomics, smooth power delivery and innovative technology all come together in a comfortable, lightweight package. No horsepower or torque figures have been released as of yet, but if we assume similar numbers to the KTM 390 Duke (43 horsepower), the 390 Adventure will have class-leading horsepower compared to its rivals the BMW G310GS, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Suzuki DR-Z400S or Royal Enfield Himilayan. [embedded content] WATCH: KTM 390 Adventure walkaround live at EICMA. ADVERTISEMENT Taking a closer look, we can see straight away a steel trellis frame that looks very similar to the 390 Duke’s – only some minor differences in exhaust routing, frame brackets, rear subframe, and swing arm length to accommodate the additional suspension travel. Seat h is reasonable, if not a bit high, at 33.6 inches and a claimed 65 mpg will get you 249 miles of range out of its 3.8 gallon fuel tank under ideal conditions. In terms of components, the 390 Adventure sports some premium equipment for a bike in its price range like a tapered aluminum handlebars, LED lighting, BYBRE (Brembo) brakes, 5″ color TFT display with Bluetooth integration, MTC traction control, cornering ABS, slipper clutch, and optional Quickshifter+. Ground clearance is somewhat limited at 7.8 inches and suspension travel figures aren’t too impressive with 6.7 inches up front and 6.9 in the rear. We don’t expect a high flier at the track but with WP APEX 43mm front forks and rear shock absorber, we are hopeful the 390 Adventure’s suspension will offer good off-road performance for bikes in this category. The one obvious disappointment for dirt fans is the choice of 19″ front / 17″ rear cast wheels rather than a proper set of 21″ front / 18″ rear wire-spoke wheels, a decision that was probably made to hit a specific price point. We hope an ‘R’ model with higher-spec suspension and off-road wheels won’t be far behind this initial release. With a range of advanced technology and electronic rider aides, new adventure riders can get their start with greater confidence and control. It’s an impressive set of features for an entry-level bike priced at $6,199 USD and we look forward to getting our first test on this exciting new KTM. Read on for full details and specs: 2020 KTM 390 ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS powerful single cylinder, 4-stroke, 373.2 cc DOHC engine, electronic fuel injection, 3-way catalytic converter and balancer shaft, PASC slipper clutch and a Ride-by-Wire throttle for a smoother and more refined response. State-of-the-art engine management system featuring the most modern electronic fuel injection system with a 46 mm throttle body. Lightweight, precision-crafted exhaust system, comprising of a stainless steel header pipe and pre-muffler, which flow perfectly into a slim silencer. Ultralight trellis frame strikes a forgiving balance of flex and stiffness and is designed for straight-line stability and agile and precise steering. Bolt-on trellis subframe is compact and lightweight, but strong enough to carry a passenger and luggage, while negotiating extreme terrain. Die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is a signature element of the KTM Adventure range. Precision manufactured with optimized stiffness, while still offering excellent flex characteristics. Its long design offers stability and the space needed for off-road tire tread. WP APEX 43 mm upside-down fork was originally developed for enduro riding and is the leader when it comes to suspension in this class. It features a spring on both sides, but each fork leg has a separate function: compression damping is fitted on the left side, while rebound is on the right. Cutting-edge WP APEX shock absorber provides 177 mm of travel and is ideal for traveling long distances in tough conditions. Thanks to an adjustable spring preload and rebound damping, it can be fine-tuned to different situations. Extra robust cast wheels specifically designed for demanding terrain—19” front wheel and 17” rear wheel, both fitted with tubeless CONTINENTAL TKC 70 tires for a blend of street performance and offroad grip. High-quality BYBRE brakes featuring a large 320 mm front brake disc and a 230 mm rear disc work perfectly with a 4-piston radially mounted front caliper and a 2-piston floating rear caliper to provide the ideal mix of control and stopping power. Ergonomically designed fuel tank with impressive 14.5 liter (3.8 gallons) fuel capacity, together with its exceptional fuel economy, is set for more than 400 km (249 miles) of non-stop exploring on a full tank. High-end, tapered aluminum handlebar that importantly, provides a comfortable riding position and maximum control. Windshield profile that allows the rider to move around the bike freely and offers an unobstructed view directly in front of the bike, even when covered in dirt. It can also be mounted in either a lower or higher position to suit the rider’s size or needs. LED lights are used as the main headlight and taillight and offer great illumination and visibility while being compact and light. Multifunctional dashboard with full-color 5” TFT display is bright and clear and offers a configurable set up via the menu switch on the handlebar. Off-road ABS function improves braking control in off-road situations. In this mode, ABS is deactivated on the rear wheel, while ABS activation on the front wheel is reduced. Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) reduces the engine output with an extremely smooth, barely perceptible intervention if the rotational speed of the rear wheel is disproportionate to the speed of the engine, until the system has reduced slippage to manageable proportions for the current angle of lean. Cornering ABS system allows riders to always use the full power of their brakes, while the system adjusts brake pressure to match the lean angle of the motorcycle for more predictable braking across a range of situations. KTM MY RIDE comes as standard and allows for Bluetooth connection to control incoming calls and audio player through the full-color TFT display. The KTM 390 ADVENTURE can optionally be equipped with a race-derived Quickshifter +. Up and down-shifts can be performed without the need to pull the clutch lever. KTM 390 Adventure Specs Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC Displacement: 373.2 cc Bore/Stroke: 89/60 mm Starter: Electric; 12V 8Ah Transmission: 6 Gears Fuel System: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body Lubrication: Wet Sump Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated Ignition: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire Frame: Steel Trellis Subframe: Steel Trellis Handlebar: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm Front Suspension: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm Rear Suspension: WP APEX Monoshock Suspension Travel Fr./Rr.: 6.7 in (170mm)/6.9 in (177mm) Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm Front/Rear Wheels: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” Front/Rear Tires: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” Steering Head Angle: 26.5º Wheelbase: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in Ground Clearance: 7.8 in (200mm) Seat Height: 33.6 in (855mm) Tank Capacity: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) Dry Weight, Approx: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD
  18. It’s been 7 years since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer first mentioned in an interview they would be producing an all-new dual-sport model based on the Duke 390 platform, and every year since then it seemed like its release was imminent. Over time, we grew numb to any rumors about the KTM 390 Adventure ‘soon to be launched,’ yet there were some solid spy photos released last year that got our attention. Well the big day has finally arrived. The Austrian manufacturer unveiled the latest edition to their adventure range – the 2020 KTM 390 Adventure – on the first day of the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy. Better yet, it’s coming to North America too! The long-awaited KTM 390 Adventure harnesses DNA from its big brother KTM 790 Adventure, which it shares a strong resemblance with (minus the low bulbous tank). And with nearly two decades of competing in Dakar Rally racing, we expect KTM incorporated R&D information gathered from it’s long-running success. According to KTM, the new machine is a light, agile, entry-level model for those looking to discover the world of adventure riding. A versatile motorcycle designed with both touring and light off-roading in mind. Using elements of the KTM 390 Duke platform as a base, while incorporating performance cues from the KTM 450 Rally, the 390 Adventure was created with off-road capability and impressive road manners as part of the package. KTM’s smallest travel enduro is powered by a Bosch fuel injected, liquid cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke 373.2 cc engine. Twin overhead cams, four valves and refined fuel injection, together with a balancer shaft are integral to the KTM 390 Adventure’s smooth power output. Its versatile ergonomics, smooth power delivery and innovative technology all come together in a comfortable, lightweight package. No horsepower or torque figures have been released as of yet, but if we assume similar numbers to the KTM 390 Duke (43 horsepower), the 390 Adventure will have class-leading horsepower compared to its rivals the BMW G310GS, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Suzuki DR-Z400S or Royal Enfield Himilayan. [embedded content] WATCH: KTM 390 Adventure walkaround live at EICMA. ADVERTISEMENT Taking a closer look, we can see straight away a steel trellis frame that looks very similar to the 390 Duke’s – only some minor differences in exhaust routing, frame brackets, rear subframe, and swing arm length to accommodate the additional suspension travel. Seat h is reasonable, if not a bit high, at 33.6 inches and a claimed 65 mpg will get you 249 miles of range out of its 3.8 gallon fuel tank under ideal conditions. In terms of components, the 390 Adventure sports some premium equipment for a bike in its price range like a tapered aluminum handlebars, LED lighting, BYBRE (Brembo) brakes, 5″ color TFT display with Bluetooth integration, MTC traction control, cornering ABS, slipper clutch, and optional Quickshifter+. Ground clearance is somewhat limited at 7.8 inches and suspension travel figures aren’t too impressive with 6.7 inches up front and 6.9 in the rear. We don’t expect a high flier at the track but with WP APEX 43mm front forks and rear shock absorber, we are hopeful the 390 Adventure’s suspension will offer good off-road performance for bikes in this category. The one obvious disappointment for dirt fans is the choice of 19″ front / 17″ rear cast wheels rather than a proper set of 21″ front / 18″ rear wire-spoke wheels, a decision that was probably made to hit a specific price point. We hope an ‘R’ model with higher-spec suspension and off-road wheels won’t be far behind this initial release. With a range of advanced technology and electronic rider aides, new adventure riders can get their start with greater confidence and control. It’s an impressive set of features for an entry-level bike priced at $6,199 USD and we look forward to getting our first test on this exciting new KTM. Read on for full details and specs: 2020 KTM 390 ADVENTURE HIGHLIGHTS powerful single cylinder, 4-stroke, 373.2 cc DOHC engine, electronic fuel injection, 3-way catalytic converter and balancer shaft, PASC slipper clutch and a Ride-by-Wire throttle for a smoother and more refined response. State-of-the-art engine management system featuring the most modern electronic fuel injection system with a 46 mm throttle body. Lightweight, precision-crafted exhaust system, comprising of a stainless steel header pipe and pre-muffler, which flow perfectly into a slim silencer. Ultralight trellis frame strikes a forgiving balance of flex and stiffness and is designed for straight-line stability and agile and precise steering. Bolt-on trellis subframe is compact and lightweight, but strong enough to carry a passenger and luggage, while negotiating extreme terrain. Die-cast, open-lattice swingarm is a signature element of the KTM Adventure range. Precision manufactured with optimized stiffness, while still offering excellent flex characteristics. Its long design offers stability and the space needed for off-road tire tread. WP APEX 43 mm upside-down fork was originally developed for enduro riding and is the leader when it comes to suspension in this class. It features a spring on both sides, but each fork leg has a separate function: compression damping is fitted on the left side, while rebound is on the right. Cutting-edge WP APEX shock absorber provides 177 mm of travel and is ideal for traveling long distances in tough conditions. Thanks to an adjustable spring preload and rebound damping, it can be fine-tuned to different situations. Extra robust cast wheels specifically designed for demanding terrain—19” front wheel and 17” rear wheel, both fitted with tubeless CONTINENTAL TKC 70 tires for a blend of street performance and offroad grip. High-quality BYBRE brakes featuring a large 320 mm front brake disc and a 230 mm rear disc work perfectly with a 4-piston radially mounted front caliper and a 2-piston floating rear caliper to provide the ideal mix of control and stopping power. Ergonomically designed fuel tank with impressive 14.5 liter (3.8 gallons) fuel capacity, together with its exceptional fuel economy, is set for more than 400 km (249 miles) of non-stop exploring on a full tank. High-end, tapered aluminum handlebar that importantly, provides a comfortable riding position and maximum control. Windshield profile that allows the rider to move around the bike freely and offers an unobstructed view directly in front of the bike, even when covered in dirt. It can also be mounted in either a lower or higher position to suit the rider’s size or needs. LED lights are used as the main headlight and taillight and offer great illumination and visibility while being compact and light. Multifunctional dashboard with full-color 5” TFT display is bright and clear and offers a configurable set up via the menu switch on the handlebar. Off-road ABS function improves braking control in off-road situations. In this mode, ABS is deactivated on the rear wheel, while ABS activation on the front wheel is reduced. Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) reduces the engine output with an extremely smooth, barely perceptible intervention if the rotational speed of the rear wheel is disproportionate to the speed of the engine, until the system has reduced slippage to manageable proportions for the current angle of lean. Cornering ABS system allows riders to always use the full power of their brakes, while the system adjusts brake pressure to match the lean angle of the motorcycle for more predictable braking across a range of situations. KTM MY RIDE comes as standard and allows for Bluetooth connection to control incoming calls and audio player through the full-color TFT display. The KTM 390 ADVENTURE can optionally be equipped with a race-derived Quickshifter +. Up and down-shifts can be performed without the need to pull the clutch lever. KTM 390 Adventure Specs Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC Displacement: 373.2 cc Bore/Stroke: 89/60 mm Starter: Electric; 12V 8Ah Transmission: 6 Gears Fuel System: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body Lubrication: Wet Sump Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated Ignition: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire Frame: Steel Trellis Subframe: Steel Trellis Handlebar: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm Front Suspension: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm Rear Suspension: WP APEX Monoshock Suspension Travel Fr./Rr.: 6.7 in (170mm)/6.9 in (177mm) Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm Front/Rear Wheels: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” Front/Rear Tires: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” Steering Head Angle: 26.5º Wheelbase: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in Ground Clearance: 7.8 in (200mm) Seat Height: 33.6 in (855mm) Tank Capacity: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) Dry Weight, Approx: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD
  19. [embedded content] Suzuki’s legacy of adventure touring performance and reliability is revitalized for 2020 with the all-new V-STROM 1050 series. At this year’s EICMA motorcycle show, Suzuki is excited to announce each model in the series including the V-STROM 1050, V-STROM 1050XT, and V-STROM 1050XT Adventure. These new adventure models offer sharper styling and advanced technological updates. Inspired by the legendary DR-Z800 Dakar Rally bike and the DR800S, also known as the DR-Big, the new generation of V-STROM 1050 models share similar characteristics with its distinct design and color schemes that hearken back to its historical race livery. The V-STROM 1050XT model comes coated in the Championship Yellow color that resembles the legendary DR-Z rally bike while the orange and white combination pays homage to the DR-Big. For 2020, riders can also experience the open road on the V-STROM 1050XT Adventure with travel-ready capabilities including cruise control, a set of aluminum panniers and heated grips that help keep them prepared for any conditions. Suzuki’s strong, established community of V-Strom riders are sure to seek new territory with its wide array of accessories and improved technology. Read on for more details and specs for each V-Strom 1050 model: V-STROM 1050 ADVERTISEMENT Riding on cast aluminum wheels, the new V-STROM 1050 arrives in trim, new black and gray bodywork. The updated 1037cc V-twin engine has more horsepower than ever before (106 hp @ 8,500 rpm), retaining its strong pull in the lower RPM range with good fuel economy while complying with the latest worldwide emissions standards. The V-STROM 1050 can take on diverse road conditions, or adjust to the rider’s preference through its advanced electronic aids including new Ride-by-Wire dual electronic throttle assemblies, refined traction control with four sensitivity modes, a new three-mode Drive Mode Selector to select power delivery characteristics, and a new Easy Start System that fires the V-STROM’s engine up with just a momentary press of the starter button. Above the new, vibration-damping tapered aluminum handlebar is the V-STROM’s all-new, multifunction instrument panel that presents all required information and rider necessities on a full LCD screen via a clean and intuitive layout. Overhead of the instrument panel is a mounting bar that’s ideal for putting accessories like a GPS in the rider’s forward vision. Located near the left side of the instrument panel and mounting bar is a new USB port is that can power a GPS, smartphone or other accessories. V-STROM 1050XT and V-STROM 1050XT Adventure In addition to the upgrades found on the V-STROM 1050, additional features have been integrated into the V-STROM 1050XT and the V-STROM 1050XT Adventure models through the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.). Suzuki claims the new V-STROM’s now lead the Adventure category in technology with an advanced suite of features interconnected to a new ECM via a Controller Area Network (CAN) wire harness that quickly transmits information from a new six-direction, three-axis IMU. The S.I.R.S. includes Cruise Control that effectively maintains road speed though the new Ride-by-Wire electronic throttle bodies. The updated Motion Track Antilock & Combined Brake System now includes a Hill Hold Control system to aid the rider when stopped uphill while the Slope Dependent Control System helps manage braking force to avoid rear wheel lift when riding downhill. The Motion Track Brake System also includes a Load Dependent Control System that monitors and retains braking force information to optimize braking force when riding with a passenger or heavy cargo. The V-STROM 1050XT comes with a new adjustable, wind-tunnel developed windscreen, redesigned handguards and mirrors, a new h-adjustable two piece seat, plus a rugged accessory bar (i.e. crash bars) and center-stand, and more. The 1050XT has two exciting color schemes; the Championship Yellow color that resembles the legendary DR-Z rally bike while the Orange and White combination pays respectful homage to the DR-Big. The 2020 V-STROM 1050XT Adventure has a deep Glass Sparkle Black color and adds to the 1050XT’s impressive standard equipment list with a set of Suzuki’s quick-release aluminum panniers and heated hand grips. Each V-STROM 1050 is ready for adventure and Suzuki has a wide range of accessories specially developed so riders can personalize their ride. This includes side and top cases, high or low seats, engine protectors, LED fog lamp set and turn signals, aluminum chain guard, and a side stand extension plate, plus tanks bags that clip on and off of the fuel tank mount in seconds. Release date and pricing information for the new V-Strom 1050 models is yet to be announced. [embedded content] 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Specs V-Strom 1050 V-Strom 1050XT Engine 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin Horsepower 106 hp @ 8,500 rpm 106 hp @ 8,500 rpm torque 73.8 ft.-lbs 73.8 ft.-lbs Bore x Stroke 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.) 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.) Compression Ratio 11.5:1 11.5:1 Fuel System Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped Starter Electric Electric Lubrication Wet sump Wet sump Clutch Wet, multi-plate type Wet, multi-plate type Transmission 6-speed constant mesh 6-speed constant mesh Final Drive Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links Suspension Front Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Suspension Rear Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped Brakes Front Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc Brakes Rear Nissin, 2-piston, single disc Nissin, 2-piston, single disc Tires Front 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless Tires Rear 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless Fuel Tank Capacity 20.0 L (5.3 US gal.) 20.0 L (5.3 US gal.) Color Glass Sparkle Black / Solid Iron Gray Pearl Brilliant White/Glass Blaze Orange or Champion Yellow No. 2 Ignition Electronic ignition (transistorized) Electronic ignition (transistorized) Headlight LED LED Tail Light LED LED Overall Length 2265 mm (89.2 in.) 2265 mm (89.2 in.) Overall Width 870 mm (34.3 in.) 940 mm (37.0 in.) Overall Height 1515 mm (59.6 in.) 1465 mm (57.7 in.) Wheelbase 1555 mm (61.2 in.) 1555 mm (61.2 in.) Ground Clearance 165 mm (6.5 in.) 160 mm (6.3 in.) Seat Height 855 mm (33.7 in.) 850 mm (33.5 in.) Curb Weight 236 kg (520.4 lb.) 247 kg (544.6 lb.) Warranty 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty
  20. [embedded content] Suzuki’s legacy of adventure touring performance and reliability is revitalized for 2020 with the all-new V-STROM 1050 series. At this year’s EICMA motorcycle show, Suzuki is excited to announce each model in the series including the V-STROM 1050, V-STROM 1050XT, and V-STROM 1050XT Adventure. These new adventure models offer sharper styling and advanced technological updates. Inspired by the legendary DR-Z800 Dakar Rally bike and the DR800S, also known as the DR-Big, the new generation of V-STROM 1050 models share similar characteristics with its distinct design and color schemes that hearken back to its historical race livery. The V-STROM 1050XT model comes coated in the Championship Yellow color that resembles the legendary DR-Z rally bike while the orange and white combination pays homage to the DR-Big. For 2020, riders can also experience the open road on the V-STROM 1050XT Adventure with travel-ready capabilities including cruise control, a set of aluminum panniers and heated grips that help keep them prepared for any conditions. Suzuki’s strong, established community of V-Strom riders are sure to seek new territory with its wide array of accessories and improved technology. Read on for more details and specs for each V-Strom 1050 model: V-STROM 1050 ADVERTISEMENT Riding on cast aluminum wheels, the new V-STROM 1050 arrives in trim, new black and gray bodywork. The updated 1037cc V-twin engine has more horsepower than ever before (106 hp @ 8,500 rpm), retaining its strong pull in the lower RPM range with good fuel economy while complying with the latest worldwide emissions standards. The V-STROM 1050 can take on diverse road conditions, or adjust to the rider’s preference through its advanced electronic aids including new Ride-by-Wire dual electronic throttle assemblies, refined traction control with four sensitivity modes, a new three-mode Drive Mode Selector to select power delivery characteristics, and a new Easy Start System that fires the V-STROM’s engine up with just a momentary press of the starter button. Above the new, vibration-damping tapered aluminum handlebar is the V-STROM’s all-new, multifunction instrument panel that presents all required information and rider necessities on a full LCD screen via a clean and intuitive layout. Overhead of the instrument panel is a mounting bar that’s ideal for putting accessories like a GPS in the rider’s forward vision. Located near the left side of the instrument panel and mounting bar is a new USB port is that can power a GPS, smartphone or other accessories. V-STROM 1050XT and V-STROM 1050XT Adventure In addition to the upgrades found on the V-STROM 1050, additional features have been integrated into the V-STROM 1050XT and the V-STROM 1050XT Adventure models through the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.). Suzuki claims the new V-STROM’s now lead the Adventure category in technology with an advanced suite of features interconnected to a new ECM via a Controller Area Network (CAN) wire harness that quickly transmits information from a new six-direction, three-axis IMU. The S.I.R.S. includes Cruise Control that effectively maintains road speed though the new Ride-by-Wire electronic throttle bodies. The updated Motion Track Antilock & Combined Brake System now includes a Hill Hold Control system to aid the rider when stopped uphill while the Slope Dependent Control System helps manage braking force to avoid rear wheel lift when riding downhill. The Motion Track Brake System also includes a Load Dependent Control System that monitors and retains braking force information to optimize braking force when riding with a passenger or heavy cargo. The V-STROM 1050XT comes with a new adjustable, wind-tunnel developed windscreen, redesigned handguards and mirrors, a new h-adjustable two piece seat, plus a rugged accessory bar (i.e. crash bars) and center-stand, and more. The 1050XT has two exciting color schemes; the Championship Yellow color that resembles the legendary DR-Z rally bike while the Orange and White combination pays respectful homage to the DR-Big. The 2020 V-STROM 1050XT Adventure has a deep Glass Sparkle Black color and adds to the 1050XT’s impressive standard equipment list with a set of Suzuki’s quick-release aluminum panniers and heated hand grips. Each V-STROM 1050 is ready for adventure and Suzuki has a wide range of accessories specially developed so riders can personalize their ride. This includes side and top cases, high or low seats, engine protectors, LED fog lamp set and turn signals, aluminum chain guard, and a side stand extension plate, plus tanks bags that clip on and off of the fuel tank mount in seconds. Release date and pricing information for the new V-Strom 1050 models is yet to be announced. [embedded content] 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Specs V-Strom 1050 V-Strom 1050XT Engine 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin Horsepower 106 hp @ 8,500 rpm 106 hp @ 8,500 rpm torque 73.8 ft.-lbs 73.8 ft.-lbs Bore x Stroke 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.) 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.) Compression Ratio 11.5:1 11.5:1 Fuel System Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped Starter Electric Electric Lubrication Wet sump Wet sump Clutch Wet, multi-plate type Wet, multi-plate type Transmission 6-speed constant mesh 6-speed constant mesh Final Drive Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links Suspension Front Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Suspension Rear Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped Brakes Front Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc Brakes Rear Nissin, 2-piston, single disc Nissin, 2-piston, single disc Tires Front 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless Tires Rear 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless Fuel Tank Capacity 20.0 L (5.3 US gal.) 20.0 L (5.3 US gal.) Color Glass Sparkle Black / Solid Iron Gray Pearl Brilliant White/Glass Blaze Orange or Champion Yellow No. 2 Ignition Electronic ignition (transistorized) Electronic ignition (transistorized) Headlight LED LED Tail Light LED LED Overall Length 2265 mm (89.2 in.) 2265 mm (89.2 in.) Overall Width 870 mm (34.3 in.) 940 mm (37.0 in.) Overall Height 1515 mm (59.6 in.) 1465 mm (57.7 in.) Wheelbase 1555 mm (61.2 in.) 1555 mm (61.2 in.) Ground Clearance 165 mm (6.5 in.) 160 mm (6.3 in.) Seat Height 855 mm (33.7 in.) 850 mm (33.5 in.) Curb Weight 236 kg (520.4 lb.) 247 kg (544.6 lb.) Warranty 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty
  21. In a world that’s rapidly developing and more connected than ever, how far would you need to ride to experience real adventure? The response will differ from rider to rider. But for Russian traveler Anatoly Chernyavskiy, the answer lies in Chukotka, Russia’s last frontier. Here, in this little-known region of extreme North, the 180th meridian separates the East from the West, and half of Chukotka‘s territory is above the Arctic Circle. This vast, wild, and largely uninhabited land is the country’s far East: bordered by East Siberian and Chukchi Seas of the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea of the Pacific Ocean, Chukotka is nine time zones away from Moscow. “If you‘ve seen Chukotka at least once, you can‘t forget it. It steals your heart forever,” explained Anatoly. “If you‘ve seen Chukotka at least once, you can‘t forget it. It steals your heart forever” – Anatoly Chernyavskiy The 35-year old has been riding motorcycles since high school, first taking trips to Lake Baikal, then extending his travels to South America. However, after spending a year on the road in South America, Anatoly had decided to return to Russia and explore its most remote territories by bike. He has been coming to Chukotka since 2018, first traveling this fascinating region on his Honda XR650L motorcycle. According to Anatoly, riding Chukotka is no easy task. There are no summer roads leading here, and the only way in is either by ship via the Northern Sea Route or by boat on the Kolyma River from Magadan. ADVERTISEMENT “The roads in Chukotka are few and far between, and they’re all gravel or dirt tracks. But the main difficulty is the lack of bridges across hundreds of rivers, the largest of which cannot be crossed on a motorcycle. Last year, trying to cross the rivers in Chukotka, I‘d wait for large trucks and transport the bike using their help. Permafrost does not allow the local rivers to go deep, so they diverge in breadth,” Anatoly said. Packing a Boat This year, he decided to embark on a different mission. Instead of relying on the trucks, Anatoly, on his quest to cross the sparsely populated Chukotka from ocean to ocean using the Pevek – Egvekinot route, used an inflatable boat. This time, he chose a smaller, lighter Honda XR250 Baja motorcycle. “This bike is much easier for river crossings. I packed a conventional inflatable 2-seater PVC boat with a capacity of 210 kg, and it was enough for the bike and my luggage,” says Anatoly. To be able to cover the costs of the trip, as well as show Chukotka to other adventure riders, Anatoly decided to take another rider with him. Because he had stored his XR650L motorcycle in Chukotka beforehand, his Chinese guest could use this motorcycle, while Anatoly himself used the little Baja. Both motorcycles were only slightly modified with larger tanks, crash protection, and some soft luggage to prep for the trip. The entire expedition lasted four months. “From [Irkutsk], I rode to Magadan, put the bike on a boat and reached Chukotka by river, as there is no road going to this Far East territory,” he explained. Once in Bilibino, Chukotka, Anatoly met up with his Chinese co-rider, loaded both motorcycles, and took off on a journey across Chukotka taking the Pevek – Egvekinot route. For most of the trip, the riders wild-camped or put their tents in abandoned buildings. “Except for a few stays with friends in Bilibino, there were no accommodations anywhere in Chukotka, so we camped all the way.” To cross the wild rivers of Chukotka, Anatoly would put some chest-high fishing waders on, load the luggage onto the boat, and tow the boat across the river with a rope. Then, he‘d come back for the bikes. “The fishing waders help you endure the icy water, but walking across isn‘t without risks – sometimes, the currents can be very strong. At one of the rivers, we had to wait for four days before the water levels finally dropped,” he recalled. According to him, an adventure motorcycle trip across Chukotka requires complete autonomy. Anatoly recommends carrying enough gas for at least 530 miles as well as food supplies for ten days. The Extreme North Budget While riding in Chukotka itself isn‘t very expensive – wild-camping, using your own gas reserves, and preparing your own meals do not cost much – getting here can be a costly adventure. According to Anatoly, because Chukotka is so remote, the logistics of getting a motorcycle in and out of the region is a difficult task. “Shipping a bike via the Northern Sea Route from Archangelsk to Pevek can cost $1,500, as an example. Flights from Moscow to Chukotka are about $2,000. So while the traveling in Chukotka is cheap, getting here isn‘t,” he explained. While riding in Chukotka itself isn‘t very expensive getting here can be a costly adventure. Because of these costs, Anatoly plans to organize a motorcycle tour here next year. “I used to work at a nuclear power plant, but as my thirst for adventure grew, I had to find a different way to fund my travels. Photography is one of my hobbies that I now monetize, and doing motorcycle tours to the Far East will be another.” Riding Another Planet Chukotka is remote, stark, and treacherous. The permafrost, the dangerous conditions of traveling solo through a land that‘s so barren it‘s almost hostile to human life, the icy river crossings, the unpredictable weather and the sheer survival on Chukotka‘s remote dirt roads – why travel there in the first place? “Chukotka feels like a different planet with otherworldly landscapes. In the adventure motorcycling world, so little is known about this phenomenal region. All the wild beauty of the northern uninhabited areas, the taiga, and the rivers open up to travelers in Chukotka. The pristine nature, the mountains, the sea, the tundra, the fauna and, of course, the fascinating and hardy people who live in this cold, distant land are unforgettable. Three times I have seen a bear on this journey, many times wild deer, very rare snow sheep, wolverines, ermines, and other wild animals and birds in their natural habitat. I have seen so many photos of adventure riders crossing the equator, but I‘ve never seen a rider here at the 180th meridian, the dividing line between the East and the West. Traveling Chukotka is a whole different adventure,” Anatoly said. Follow Anatoly’s adventure on his webpage and his Instagram page. About Chukotka: Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is located in the extreme north-east of Russia. It occupies the entire Chukchi Peninsula, part of the mainland and a number of islands. This is the only region in Russia part of which (the entire Chukchi Peninsula and the eastern part of Wrangel Island) is located in the Western Hemisphere. Chukotka covers 284,800 square miles, but the population here is barely 50,000. Chukotka contains the easternmost point of continental Russia, the Cape Dezhnev, the easternmost city in Russia – Anadyr, as well as the country’s northernmost city Pevek. Most of Chukotka‘s territory is located beyond the Arctic Circle. The climate here is severe, and the winters last for up to ten months. The average temperature in January ranges from 5 to -38 Fahrenheit, while in July, it warms up to 30-50 Fahreinheit. The extreme low temperatures can drop down to -77 F. Author: Egle Gerulaityte Riding around the world extra slowly and not taking it too seriously, Egle is always on the lookout for interesting stories. Editor of the Women ADV Riders magazine, she focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to bring travel inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs out there.
  22. Published on 11.01.2019 During the Ducati World Premiere last week, the Italian Marque announced their 2020 lineup live to the public. One of the big surprises from the presentation was the reveal of the Desert X – a new adventure bike concept with serious off-road intentions. According to Ducati, the Desert X is a Paris-Dakar Rally inspired design that celebrates Edi Orioli’s victory in 1990 on a Ducati powered Cagiva Elefant. Few technical details were released by the brand about the new machine, other than it will be based on the current Scrambler 1100 platform with its 1,079cc 2-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-Twin engine that produces 86 horsepower @ 7,500 rpm and 65 ft-lb @ 4,750 rpm. Initial rendering released during Ducati’s World Premiere event.All we could see in the original rendering is that the Desert X has a similar paint scheme and bodywork to the early 90’s Cagiva Elefant 900 ‘Ducati-Powered’ Paris-Dakar race bike. Clearly visible were Dakar-style rear fuel tanks, 21″ front and 18″ rear wheel combo, taller suspension and a Termignoni exhaust. Newly released rendering from Ducati. The Desert X concept, powered by a 1,079cc air-cooled, Desmodromic L-Twin engine will make its public debut at EICMA. ADVERTISEMENT Now Ducati has released a new rendering showing additional details of the Desert-X concept. Two round LED headlights give the machine a striking neo-retro appearance. We can now see the shock on the left side of the bike, which is similar to the current Scrambler 1100 design. Also interesting is the use of 4 filler caps on the front and rear fuel tanks, similar in design to the old Dakar Rally bikes. The Desert-X also gets a motocross-style handlebar with crossbar for improved bend resistance. Along with the newly released rendering, Ducati has also confirmed their new retro-ADV rides on 21” / 18” wheels wrapped with Pirelli Scorpion Rally dual sport tires. All we can say is that the new rendering looks even more enticing than the first, and we love the nod to the old Cagiva Rally Racing heritage. OK Ducati, no more teasing. We’re ready to see this machine as a real prototype. Luckily, we won’t have to wait much longer, Ducati will unveil the Desert-X prototype during EICMA next week. Stay tuned!
  23. Published on 11.01.2019 During the Ducati World Premiere last week, the Italian Marque announced their 2020 lineup live to the public. One of the big surprises from the presentation was the reveal of the Desert X – a new adventure bike concept with serious off-road intentions. According to Ducati, the Desert X is a Paris-Dakar Rally inspired design that celebrates Edi Orioli’s victory in 1990 on a Ducati powered Cagiva Elefant. Few technical details were released by the brand about the new machine, other than it will be based on the current Scrambler 1100 platform with its 1,079cc 2-valve, air-cooled, Desmodromic L-Twin engine that produces 86 horsepower @ 7,500 rpm and 65 ft-lb @ 4,750 rpm. Initial rendering released during Ducati’s World Premiere event.All we could see in the original rendering is that the Desert X has a similar paint scheme and bodywork to the early 90’s Cagiva Elefant 900 ‘Ducati-Powered’ Paris-Dakar race bike. Clearly visible were Dakar-style rear fuel tanks, 21″ front and 18″ rear wheel combo, taller suspension and a Termignoni exhaust. Newly released rendering from Ducati. The Desert X concept, powered by a 1,079cc air-cooled, Desmodromic L-Twin engine will make its public debut at EICMA. ADVERTISEMENT Now Ducati has released a new rendering showing additional details of the Desert-X concept. Two round LED headlights give the machine a striking neo-retro appearance. We can now see the shock on the left side of the bike, which is similar to the current Scrambler 1100 design. Also interesting is the use of 4 filler caps on the front and rear fuel tanks, similar in design to the old Dakar Rally bikes. The Desert-X also gets a motocross-style handlebar with crossbar for improved bend resistance. Along with the newly released rendering, Ducati has also confirmed their new retro-ADV rides on 21” / 18” wheels wrapped with Pirelli Scorpion Rally dual sport tires. All we can say is that the new rendering looks even more enticing than the first, and we love the nod to the old Cagiva Rally Racing heritage. OK Ducati, no more teasing. We’re ready to see this machine as a real prototype. Luckily, we won’t have to wait much longer, Ducati will unveil the Desert-X prototype during EICMA next week. Stay tuned!
  24. [embedded content] Suzuki left little to the imagination with its third “teaser” video of what’s most definitely a new-for-2020 flagship V-Strom, expected to be revealed next week at the Milan Motorcycle Show. And boy, it’s about time for a revision of the big V-Strom, with the last overhaul dating back to 2014 when the current model replaced a far more ponderous DL1000. It’s also timely, with a slew of updated adventure bikes coming around the bend, threatening to leave stale designs in the dust. So what are we looking at in the revitalized ’Strom? A decidedly more stylish look, with a broad, manually-adjustable windscreen and more-modern fairing wrapping around what appears to be a generously-sized fuel tank. The rectangular headlight is more vintage in appearance than vogue, undoubtedly a throwback to Suzuki’s early DRs of the late 80s and early 90s, bikes that employed big singles (a 650, later replaced the massive 800), which earned the model the endearing nickname DR BIG. ADVERTISEMENT The first Katana sported an identical headlamp to the DR Big, which back in the day was more about saving cost than styling strategy. It must have been a leak regarding the retro-style rectangular headlamp that spawned rumors of DR BIG’s return, but it’s now very clear the headlamp and similar color scheme are the only shout-outs to the line’s heritage. The new V-Strom is inspired by the DR Big of the late 80s and early 90s. As seen in teaser #2, it’s clear the new V-Strom will run its same 90-degree V-twin configuration, though we expect a possible bump in displacement and other tweaks ahead of new Euro 5 emissions regulations set to go into place. [embedded content] The large TFT-type screen, a replacement for the current, partly analog display, is clearly visible in the new video, promising a new level of electronic functionality from the model, including implementation of the rider modes and electronic rider aids, items like the advanced traction control, smart suspension, hill-start assist, and dialable ABS now standard on many top-of-the-line adventure tourers. Suzuki’s upcoming ADV bike has new handguards and mirrors, LED turn indicators and a beefy, tube-style engine guard that hints of a bike with more off-road intentions than its predecessor. There is also an engine skid plate, although it appears to leave the front header, which wraps under the bike, exposed. In teaser #3 the new V-Strom’s wheels appear to be spoked, though in early spy shots out of Italy, test mules nearly identical to the bike we see in the new video were fitted with cast wheels. There’s also a possibility the new Suzuki is wearing a 21-inch front, further solidifying its intention for more serious off-road adventuring. Toward the rear we can see the seat is now a two-piece unit and passenger grab rails are more streamlined while the boxy silencer, so recognizable on the current V-Strom remains. I remember cutting my dual-sport teeth on Suzuki’s big thumper, DR BIG, back in the early nineties. It wasn’t always pretty, but the bike got you off the highway and pointed toward entirely new horizons. This latest V-Strom will deliver an entirely different world of adventure, but kinda cool a DR BIG-inspired headlamp will light the way. Look for more details to be revealed at the start of EICMA November 5th. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  25. [embedded content] Suzuki left little to the imagination with its third “teaser” video of what’s most definitely a new-for-2020 flagship V-Strom, expected to be revealed next week at the Milan Motorcycle Show. And boy, it’s about time for a revision of the big V-Strom, with the last overhaul dating back to 2014 when the current model replaced a far more ponderous DL1000. It’s also timely, with a slew of updated adventure bikes coming around the bend, threatening to leave stale designs in the dust. So what are we looking at in the revitalized ’Strom? A decidedly more stylish look, with a broad, manually-adjustable windscreen and more-modern fairing wrapping around what appears to be a generously-sized fuel tank. The rectangular headlight is more vintage in appearance than vogue, undoubtedly a throwback to Suzuki’s early DRs of the late 80s and early 90s, bikes that employed big singles (a 650, later replaced the massive 800), which earned the model the endearing nickname DR BIG. ADVERTISEMENT The first Katana sported an identical headlamp to the DR Big, which back in the day was more about saving cost than styling strategy. It must have been a leak regarding the retro-style rectangular headlamp that spawned rumors of DR BIG’s return, but it’s now very clear the headlamp and similar color scheme are the only shout-outs to the line’s heritage. The new V-Strom is inspired by the DR Big of the late 80s and early 90s. As seen in teaser #2, it’s clear the new V-Strom will run its same 90-degree V-twin configuration, though we expect a possible bump in displacement and other tweaks ahead of new Euro 5 emissions regulations set to go into place. [embedded content] The large TFT-type screen, a replacement for the current, partly analog display, is clearly visible in the new video, promising a new level of electronic functionality from the model, including implementation of the rider modes and electronic rider aids, items like the advanced traction control, smart suspension, hill-start assist, and dialable ABS now standard on many top-of-the-line adventure tourers. Suzuki’s upcoming ADV bike has new handguards and mirrors, LED turn indicators and a beefy, tube-style engine guard that hints of a bike with more off-road intentions than its predecessor. There is also an engine skid plate, although it appears to leave the front header, which wraps under the bike, exposed. In teaser #3 the new V-Strom’s wheels appear to be spoked, though in early spy shots out of Italy, test mules nearly identical to the bike we see in the new video were fitted with cast wheels. There’s also a possibility the new Suzuki is wearing a 21-inch front, further solidifying its intention for more serious off-road adventuring. Toward the rear we can see the seat is now a two-piece unit and passenger grab rails are more streamlined while the boxy silencer, so recognizable on the current V-Strom remains. I remember cutting my dual-sport teeth on Suzuki’s big thumper, DR BIG, back in the early nineties. It wasn’t always pretty, but the bike got you off the highway and pointed toward entirely new horizons. This latest V-Strom will deliver an entirely different world of adventure, but kinda cool a DR BIG-inspired headlamp will light the way. Look for more details to be revealed at the start of EICMA November 5th. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
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