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  1. Since 2010, the adventure motorcycling non-profit Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) organization has created nine trans-state routes for dual sport and adventure motorcycle travel. Having recently published the Southern California route, the BDR is heading back east with the announcement of the North East Backcountry Discovery Route (NEBDR) now under development. The BDR’s first east coast route, the Mid Atlantic BDR, wound up being one of the most successful route-launches in the organization’s history. There are a few factors that predisposed this success. The first one being the sheer density of population in a region hungry for a backcountry adventure route, and of course the fact that it was the first BDR that east coasters didn’t have to actually fly or ride across the country to get to. The route also turned out to be a total blast to ride for all skill levels. Now their ready to set new records with the North East BDR. The NEBDR development team is currently hard at work putting together even more exciting East Coast routes that will amp-up the technical riding opportunities. This route will pass through more states, cover more miles, reach higher elevations, and contain a lot more gnarly tracks. Go-arounds for the “expert only” sections will be provided, so the entire route can be enjoyed by riders of all skill levels. ADVERTISEMENT BDR reps are tight lipped about where the route starts, where it ends, and where it passes through. But they did reveal the route will start in the general area of the top of the MABDR and end 1,100 plus miles away at the Canadian border in Maine. It will pass through a half dozen or so states and include state forest roads, seasonal roads, and class IV roads throughout. There will be some asphalt sections but they are trying to keep it to a minimum, and keep it interesting. More details will be revealed in the coming months after they complete the scouting of the route this summer. NEBDR-South will be the tenth route developed by the Backcountry Discovery Routes organization. While few details about the NEBDR route are available at this time, it is set for release in February of 2020. Like all the BDRs, the NEBDR project will include a full-length movie documentary DVD, a waterproof Butler Motorcycle Map, and free GPS tracks and travel resources for the adventure motorcycle community. The BDR will also organize NEBDR movie premieres and training seminars at theaters and motorcycle dealers across the U.S. to promote the routes. Keep an eye out for more updates, teasers and trailers leading up to the full release dates. For up-to-date information on the North East Backcountry Discovery Route visit ridebdr.com. Completed Backcountry Discovery Routes • Utah Backcountry Discovery Route • Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route • Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route • New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route • Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route • Washington Backcountry Discovery Route • Nevada Backcountry Discovery Route • Mid Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route • Southern California Backcountry Discovery Route
  2. Published on 08.14.2019 Dunlop continues to expand its line of DOT street-legal knobby tires with the addition of the Geomax Enduro EN91. Designed to tackle a wide variety of off-road terrain, the EN91 was originally created for European Enduro racing, and is now available in the U.S. with significant improvements. According to Dunlop, the Geomax EN91 offers great performance and durability for long-distance rides and races. The EN91 features a new tread pattern designed to enhance sand and mud traction and offer nimble handling. Tilt Crown Block (TCB) technology was developed for the rear tire to help provide higher grip on rocky terrain by alternating the angle of the knobs on a singular row to offer multiple biting edges. HEX Shape Block design increases traction while the central blocks of the Tilt Crown Block bend in the direction of movement ensuring reliable contact. Dunlop also adjusted the shape of the blocks on the front tire to create a staggered stair-step pattern of blocks to improve grip on rocky surfaces. ADVERTISEMENT The front and rear tires are equipped with Dunlop’s patented Block-In-A-Block technology to improve flex of the knobs, resulting in more durability; as well as increasing the size of the contact area of each knob for greater traction control. Finally, a new compound has been introduced, designed to provide maximum grip as well as provide longer tread life. The Geomax Enduro EN91 is DOT approved for highway use and is applicable for FIM Enduro races. The U.S. team competing in the 2019 International Six-Day event just chose the Enduro EN91 as the official team tire. Front: 90/90-21 54R TT 45242081 Rear: 140/80-18 70R TT 45242351 120/90-18 65R TT. 45242467 For more information visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com
  3. [embedded content] You hop on your motorcycle to meet some friends for breakfast but you have no idea what the day will bring. There’s talk about riding to the next town for lunch, or maybe some hiking, or maybe fishing. KLIM says they designed their new Switchback Pant for exactly these situations, where you want casual style combined with the versatility that your lifestyle demands. ADVERTISEMENT KLIM is excited to announce this latest addition to their 626 Series gear lineup, where they blend casual style with technical motorcycle outerwear. According to KLIM, the Switchback pant is engineered to perform on and off the bike. Integrating smart pockets for armor, intelligent ventilation and the flexibility of a technical everyday pant with the road-worthiness of a technical motorcycle garment. Building around a durable, lightweight chassis and Karbonite Micromesh panels, KLIM has developed a pant with comfortable airflow and controllable vents for hotter days. To maintain important levels of safety, the pants come with D3O vented armor in the hips and knees. However, with versatility a key focus, KLIM designed the pads to be removed without undressing. This means you can ditch the pads when you get to camp, your fishing spot or simply home from your errands. As expected, the multiple cargo pockets are designed for access from a seated or standing position. Discreet 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material in the cuffs adds visibility for night rides around town. Intuitive features like these give you functionality in motorcycle environments without putting you out of place in casual settings. For riders that require versatility, the Switchback Pant will get them from a breakfast with friends to the hardware store, to a day hike for lunch, to their favorite campsite for dinner. “It’s the pant they can trust on or off the bike,” explains KLIM (MSRP $249.99; Colors: Brown and Gray). KLIM Switchback Pant Specs SHELL/CONSTRUCTION • DURABLE, MULTI-PURPOSE CARGO STYLE RIDING PANT • DURABLE FOR RIDING, LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMFORTABLE FOR EVERYDAY WEAR • KLIM KARBONITE™ MICROMESH & DURABLE NYLON CHASSIS • DWR (WATER REPELLENT) TREATMENT ARMOR • D3O® LP1 VENTED ARMOR IN HIPS, KNEES [H&L] • ARMOR CAN BE REMOVED WHILE WEARING PANT VENTILATION • AIR PERMEABILITY VIA KLIM KARBONITE™ MICROMESH • 2 ZIPPERED OUTER THIGH VENTS • 2 DOUBLE ZIPPERED CALF ENTRY ASSIST FEATURE • WORKS ON AND OFF BIKE STORAGE • 2 FRONT HAND POCKETS • 2 REAR POCKETS • 1 ZIPPERED FRONT THIGH CARGO POCKET • 1 DOUBLE SNAP FRONT THIGH CARGO POCKET FIT/COMFORT • ARTICULATED PATTERNING AND EXCELLENT MOBILITY FROM STRETCH PANELS • WORKS WITH COMMON STREET MOTORCYCLE BOOTS • ADJUSTABLE BOTTOM HEM FASTENS DOWN AROUND ANKLE REVEALING 3M™ SCOTCHLITE™ REFLECTIVE MATERIAL Shopping Options
  4. It appears Moto Guzzi’s new V85 TT adventure bike might be the magic bullet the Italian manufacturer needs to regain relevance in the mainstream motorcycle market. According to an article in the LA Times Business section, Moto Guzzi has had to double the workforce in its Mandello del Lario plant to keep up with demand for the well-received model – the first bullseye for the brand in recent history. As an illustration, the Times quoted Ed Cook of AF1 Racing in Austin, Texas, as saying he had more pre-sales of the V85 TT than any model his shop — one of the nation’s top sellers of European bikes — has ever sold. After 8 units quickly flew off the showroom floor in 45 days he ordered an additional 12, saying customers seemed particularly excited by this model’s fresh design. ADVERTISEMENT Even more interestingly, the Times reported that more than 70% of trade-ins on purchases of the V85TT are bikes of other brands. “That was our goal, to take new customers from the other brands,” said production manager, Nello Mariotti. The storied manufacturer – Europe’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer in continuous production – is no stranger to success, having for decades been Italy’s leading brand, producing bikes like the Guzzino 65, which for 10 years was Europe’s best-selling motorcycle. Guzzi was wildly successful in worldwide racing in the 50’s and 60’s, and as an example of how far-reaching its success, its California model was the bike of choice for the Los Angeles Police Department during much of the 70’s. As the brand’s founding members had all passed away by the 1960s, remaining family members seemed lacking the vision and financial savvy necessary to ride out the storm of modernization driven by the sudden popularity of Japanese models. The company traded hands multiple times, barely limping along for decades until Piaggio finally breathed a bit of life back into Guzzi after purchasing it from then financially-ailing Aprilia in 2004. During those many years of stagnation, Guzzi models remained centered around the brand’s unique 90-degree transverse V-twin engine first released in the 60’s. Over the years this distinctive mill has became to Guzzi what the trademark flat twin boxer configuration is to BMW, an instantly recognizable signature. Today, this same quirky, yet thoroughly evolved mill remains the heart and soul of all current Guzzi offerings, including the V85, the first off-road intended offering from Guzzi since the Stelvio, and the only shaft-driven middleweight adventure bike currently on the market. The new-for-2019 engine, complimented by a raft of modern, technical attributes certainly surprised our own test rider, Justin Coffey, who wrapped up his review of the bike saying: “Throughout the test ride day I found myself a bit bewildered at how well the V85 TT handled. How stable the chassis felt, how well it stopped, and how smooth the gearbox was. This wasn’t the chugging, clunking, bouncy Italian bike I presumed we would be riding. Instead, I sat atop a modern iteration of a classically themed middle-weight adventure motorcycle, clad in a colorway pulled straight from the company’s long history, with a motor unmistakably Moto Guzzi.” Ewan McGregor, a longtime fan of the Guzzi brand, is also smitten with the V85 TT and even signed on to be the official ambassador of the model. (Yes, he’s undoubtedly getting some cash for the duty, but he’s also someone with enough social clout in the motorcycle world to demand the pick of the world’s adventure bike litter.) Ewan McGregor has signed on to be the official ambassador for the V85 TT. When speculating about the TT’s strong sales numbers one also has to consider its seductive pricing: just $11,990 for the V85 TT and $12,990 for the V85 TT Adventure, which comes accessorized for off-road riding, including full-sized panniers and a top case. Whatever the grounds for the V85 TT’s sudden popularity, Moto Guzzi is poised to deliver as much product as its artisan factory can pump out. And so the exciting and ever-expanding ADV segment continues to grow! 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.
  5. It appears Moto Guzzi’s new V85 TT adventure bike might be the magic bullet the Italian manufacturer needs to regain relevance in the mainstream motorcycle market. According to an article in the LA Times Business section, Moto Guzzi has had to double the workforce in its Mandello del Lario plant to keep up with demand for the well-received model – the first bullseye for the brand in recent history. As an illustration, the Times quoted Ed Cook of AF1 Racing in Austin, Texas, as saying he had more pre-sales of the V85 TT than any model his shop — one of the nation’s top sellers of European bikes — has ever sold. After 8 units quickly flew off the showroom floor in 45 days he ordered an additional 12, saying customers seemed particularly excited by this model’s fresh design. ADVERTISEMENT Even more interestingly, the Times reported that more than 70% of trade-ins on purchases of the V85TT are bikes of other brands. “That was our goal, to take new customers from the other brands,” said production manager, Nello Mariotti. The storied manufacturer – Europe’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer in continuous production – is no stranger to success, having for decades been Italy’s leading brand, producing bikes like the Guzzino 65, which for 10 years was Europe’s best-selling motorcycle. Guzzi was wildly successful in worldwide racing in the 50’s and 60’s, and as an example of how far-reaching its success, its California model was the bike of choice for the Los Angeles Police Department during much of the 70’s. As the brand’s founding members had all passed away by the 1960s, remaining family members seemed lacking the vision and financial savvy necessary to ride out the storm of modernization driven by the sudden popularity of Japanese models. The company traded hands multiple times, barely limping along for decades until Piaggio finally breathed a bit of life back into Guzzi after purchasing it from then financially-ailing Aprilia in 2004. During those many years of stagnation, Guzzi models remained centered around the brand’s unique 90-degree transverse V-twin engine first released in the 60’s. Over the years this distinctive mill has became to Guzzi what the trademark flat twin boxer configuration is to BMW, an instantly recognizable signature. Today, this same quirky, yet thoroughly evolved mill remains the heart and soul of all current Guzzi offerings, including the V85, the first off-road intended offering from Guzzi since the Stelvio, and the only shaft-driven middleweight adventure bike currently on the market. The new-for-2019 engine, complimented by a raft of modern, technical attributes certainly surprised our own test rider, Justin Coffey, who wrapped up his review of the bike saying: “Throughout the test ride day I found myself a bit bewildered at how well the V85 TT handled. How stable the chassis felt, how well it stopped, and how smooth the gearbox was. This wasn’t the chugging, clunking, bouncy Italian bike I presumed we would be riding. Instead, I sat atop a modern iteration of a classically themed middle-weight adventure motorcycle, clad in a colorway pulled straight from the company’s long history, with a motor unmistakably Moto Guzzi.” Ewan McGregor, a longtime fan of the Guzzi brand, is also smitten with the V85 TT and even signed on to be the official ambassador of the model. (Yes, he’s undoubtedly getting some cash for the duty, but he’s also someone with enough social clout in the motorcycle world to demand the pick of the world’s adventure bike litter.) Ewan McGregor has signed on to be the official ambassador for the V85 TT. When speculating about the TT’s strong sales numbers one also has to consider its seductive pricing: just $11,990 for the V85 TT and $12,990 for the V85 TT Adventure, which comes accessorized for off-road riding, including full-sized panniers and a top case. Whatever the grounds for the V85 TT’s sudden popularity, Moto Guzzi is poised to deliver as much product as its artisan factory can pump out. And so the exciting and ever-expanding ADV segment continues to grow! 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.
  6. With so many new models entering the middleweight adventure bike class recently, Triumph must be feeling the pressure to launch something new. And judging by spy shots published on the German site Motorrad, Triumph’s long-awaited revamp of the Tiger 800 is just about ready for its debut as a 2020 model. There are no official specs out yet, but with a discerning eye, it’s easy to spot many of the big changes. The off-road oriented XC, the model caught by photos, appears to feature new tubeless, spoked wheels, 21-inch front and 17-inch rear, with the spokes arrayed toward the edge of the wheel, similar to BMW’s design. (The road-oriented version, called the XR, will presumably still have a 19-inch front and cast wheels.) The dual front brake calipers are radially mounted, four-piston units, which should improve brake feel. We can’t really see the rear shock, but the forks look suspiciously like Ohlins units. ADVERTISEMENT There are some big changes afoot in the frame. It is still a lattice design with tubes approximately in the same arrangement as the old model. But this time there’s a separate, bolt-on aluminum subframe and bolt-on passenger pegs, which should address complaints that the old welded-on design was difficult to repair or replace in the aftermath of an accident. Triumph beefed up the joint between the main frame and the subframe on ’18 and later models, evidence that they knew the area could be problematic. The new frame design allows for a split-radiator design which could enhance cooling capacity. Engineers also redrew the swing arm which now sports deep recesses and a hole on each side, presumably to make it lighter. The cockpit also shows a larger TFT dashboard, perhaps with touch screen capabilities. Tiger’s already had modern display technology, so expect some cutting-edge details in terms of connectivity and graphics this time around.Previous models were already equipped with LED lighting, features that continue into the redesigned version with the slimmer dual headlights incorporated into bodywork that extends from the tank. A new header pipe is routed to the left side of the bike in what appears to be an effort to improve ground clearance. There is also a newly-designed skid plate that may be constructed with some type of hardened polyurethane material rather than aluminum. Side mounting points on the skid plate offer additional stability as well. A re-designed undercarriage will be a welcome improvement as the current Tiger 800 XC skid plate is attached only at the front, causing it to distort easily and push into the oil filter with repeated impacts. Overall, the bike looks lighter and more refined while retaining the distinctive, angular lines of the Tiger. Front shrouds are now lower, extending down below the rider’s knees, and incorporate the angled radiators. Out back, the frame lattice is still on proud display while the passenger seat and bodywork look slimmer and lighter. A redesigned tail section features a smaller tail light that’s been moved to the rear fender, beefy passenger grab rails and a slightly smaller passenger seat. There’s an entirely new exhaust system that looks much lighter than its predecessor, though we’ll have to wait for the official spec sheet to see if the Tiger shed weight. And speaking of the spec sheet, we’ll also have to wait for it to see if the rumored increase in engine capacity for the inline triple is true. Multiple publications are claiming there will be a bump in displacement to 900 or 1000cc with resulting horsepower increases. Time will tell. Photos by Motorrad 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. With so many new models entering the middleweight adventure bike class recently, Triumph must be feeling the pressure to launch something new. And judging by spy shots published on the German site Motorrad, Triumph’s long-awaited revamp of the Tiger 800 is just about ready for its debut as a 2020 model. There are no official specs out yet, but with a discerning eye, it’s easy to spot many of the big changes. The off-road oriented XC, the model caught by photos, appears to feature new tubeless, spoked wheels, 21-inch front and 17-inch rear, with the spokes arrayed toward the edge of the wheel, similar to BMW’s design. (The road-oriented version, called the XR, will presumably still have a 19-inch front and cast wheels.) The dual front brake calipers are radially mounted, four-piston units, which should improve brake feel. We can’t really see the rear shock, but the forks look suspiciously like Ohlins units. ADVERTISEMENT There are some big changes afoot in the frame. It is still a lattice design with tubes approximately in the same arrangement as the old model. But this time there’s a separate, bolt-on aluminum subframe and bolt-on passenger pegs, which should address complaints that the old welded-on design was difficult to repair or replace in the aftermath of an accident. Triumph beefed up the joint between the main frame and the subframe on ’18 and later models, evidence that they knew the area could be problematic. The new frame design allows for a split-radiator design which could enhance cooling capacity. Engineers also redrew the swing arm which now sports deep recesses and a hole on each side, presumably to make it lighter. The cockpit also shows a larger TFT dashboard, perhaps with touch screen capabilities. Tiger’s already had modern display technology, so expect some cutting-edge details in terms of connectivity and graphics this time around.Previous models were already equipped with LED lighting, features that continue into the redesigned version with the slimmer dual headlights incorporated into bodywork that extends from the tank. A new header pipe is routed to the left side of the bike in what appears to be an effort to improve ground clearance. There is also a newly-designed skid plate that may be constructed with some type of hardened polyurethane material rather than aluminum. Side mounting points on the skid plate offer additional stability as well. A re-designed undercarriage will be a welcome improvement as the current Tiger 800 XC skid plate is attached only at the front, causing it to distort easily and push into the oil filter with repeated impacts. Overall, the bike looks lighter and more refined while retaining the distinctive, angular lines of the Tiger. Front shrouds are now lower, extending down below the rider’s knees, and incorporate the angled radiators. Out back, the frame lattice is still on proud display while the passenger seat and bodywork look slimmer and lighter. A redesigned tail section features a smaller tail light that’s been moved to the rear fender, beefy passenger grab rails and a slightly smaller passenger seat. There’s an entirely new exhaust system that looks much lighter than its predecessor, though we’ll have to wait for the official spec sheet to see if the Tiger shed weight. And speaking of the spec sheet, we’ll also have to wait for it to see if the rumored increase in engine capacity for the inline triple is true. Multiple publications are claiming there will be a bump in displacement to 900 or 1000cc with resulting horsepower increases. Time will tell. Photos by Motorrad 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. KTM North America, Inc. is proud to announce the all-new KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS model. Developed on the toughest climbs, gnarliest terrain and in the deepest mud with KTM’s factory racing stars, the benchmark-setting KTM offroad and dual-sport machine has just raised the bar again for 2020. The range of KTM EXC-F models boast the very latest in innovation with new and more efficient high-performing engines, a re-developed chassis with improved WP XPLOR suspension, improved handling, new bodywork, new air filter box, new cooling system and new exhaust systems. These features are combined with the high-quality premium parts package offered on the flagship KTM SIX DAYS model, making this one of the best competition machines on the market. With the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) at the core of the design of the SIX DAYS model, it celebrates the sport of enduro and has a wide range of well-thought out KTM PowerParts fitted over the standard KTM 500 EXC-F. KTM 500 EXC-F’s fuel-injected SOHC 500cc engine features newly developed camshafts, exhaust system and updated electronic fuel injection. It is also more compact with the weight reduced down to 64.4 lbs (29.2 kg) Six Days Model When it comes to offroad motorcycle racing, no other brand has the success or presence of KTM. And year after year, one of the events where this becomes especially plain is the biggest competition on the calendar, the International Six Days Enduro. From the humble beginnings of a few daring riders in the Scottish border region testing the mettle of what was then emerging technology, the ISDE has turned into the team world championship of the Enduro scene, with more than 500 riders from over 30 nations expected on the grid. This Enduro marathon demands as much from the bikes as it does from the riders, and year after year, more than half of them show up in Orange. The subframe is made of extra-light and stable aluminum profiles, weighing less than 2 lbs (900 gr) and is 40 mm longer than before, providing better rear fender stability. Also, the laterally attached engine head stays are now made of aluminum, reducing vibration. The high-strength aluminum tapered handlebar can be mounted in 4 different positions and comes standard with an ODI vulcanized grip on the right side and a comfortable ODI lock-on grip on the left. ADVERTISEMENT KTM also once again rises to the challenge with the latest, limited edition 500 EXC-F Six Days. Easily identified as a premium model by the special SIX DAYS design, the bike is also upgraded and equipped with an extended list of top-of-the-line components, specially designed and refined by KTM’s own research and development department for the exceptional event, making it the ultimate Dual Sport Enduro machine. SIX DAYS FEATURES LIST• Silencers with new SIX DAYS logo • New rims with new SIX DAYS logo • Engine guard • Front axle puller • Handlebar with new SIX DAYS logo • Solid rear brake disc • Floating front brake disc • Orange frame • Orange CNC triple clamps • Orange chain guide • SIX DAYS seat • Brake pedal safety wire • WP XPLOR forks with preload adjusters • Exclusive SIX DAYS graphics The model is fitted with the latest 48 mm diameter WP XPLOR upside-down forks with preload adjusters, featuring a split fork design developed by WP and KTM. While each side is fitted with springs, they have separate damping functions. ´No-Dirt´ footpegs prevent clogging up the pegs, even when digging in deep ruts. The one-piece aluminum swingarm is manufactured using a gravity die-cast production process, offering exceptional strength and ideal flex at the lowest possible weight. To get the very best out of the new KTM 500 EXC-F, KTM has continued to develop its high-quality selection of KTM PowerParts, which enables riders to customize their machine to take it to new hs. KTM Enduro fans can also find a wide range of riding gear, protection and casual wear in the KTM PowerWear collection, ensuring they can be READY TO RACE both on and off the bike. The 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS model will be arriving in U.S. dealers in September 2019. For more information about the recent updates to the EXC-F line, click here. And for more details about the Six Days model, visit the KTM Website. 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F Six Days Specs Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke Displacement: 510.9 cc Bore/Stroke: 95 / 72 mm Starter: Electric, Lithium Ion 12 V 2 Ah Transmission: 6 Gears, Wide Ratio Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 42 mm Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication with 2 Pumps Primary Ratio: 31:76 Final Drive: 14:48 Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: Wet Multi-Disc DDS-Clutch, Brembo Hydraulics Ignition: Keihin EMS Frame: Central Double-Cradle Type 25CrMo4 Steel Subframe: Aluminum Handlebar: NEKEN, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm Front Suspension: WP XPLOR USD Ø 48 mm Rear Suspension: WP XPLOR Shock with PDS Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 300 mm / 11.8 in; 310 mm / 12.2 in Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 260 mm / 220 mm Front/Rear Rims: 1.60 x 21” / 2.15 x 18” Giant Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21” / 120/90-18” Continental TKC 80 Chain: 5/8 x 1/4 in Silencer: Aluminum Steering Head Angle: 26.5º Triple Clamp Offset: 22 mm Wheelbase: 1,482 mm ± 10 mm / 58.3 ± 0.4 in Ground Clearance: 355 mm / 14 in Seat Height: 960 mm / 37.8 in Tank Capacity, Approx.: 8.5 L / 2.25 gal Weight (without fuel), Approx.: 109 kg / 240.3 lbs (std. model)
  9. KTM North America, Inc. is proud to announce the all-new KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS model. Developed on the toughest climbs, gnarliest terrain and in the deepest mud with KTM’s factory racing stars, the benchmark-setting KTM offroad and dual-sport machine has just raised the bar again for 2020. The range of KTM EXC-F models boast the very latest in innovation with new and more efficient high-performing engines, a re-developed chassis with improved WP XPLOR suspension, improved handling, new bodywork, new air filter box, new cooling system and new exhaust systems. These features are combined with the high-quality premium parts package offered on the flagship KTM SIX DAYS model, making this one of the best competition machines on the market. With the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) at the core of the design of the SIX DAYS model, it celebrates the sport of enduro and has a wide range of well-thought out KTM PowerParts fitted over the standard KTM 500 EXC-F. KTM 500 EXC-F’s fuel-injected SOHC 500cc engine features newly developed camshafts, exhaust system and updated electronic fuel injection. It is also more compact with the weight reduced down to 64.4 lbs (29.2 kg) Six Days Model When it comes to offroad motorcycle racing, no other brand has the success or presence of KTM. And year after year, one of the events where this becomes especially plain is the biggest competition on the calendar, the International Six Days Enduro. From the humble beginnings of a few daring riders in the Scottish border region testing the mettle of what was then emerging technology, the ISDE has turned into the team world championship of the Enduro scene, with more than 500 riders from over 30 nations expected on the grid. This Enduro marathon demands as much from the bikes as it does from the riders, and year after year, more than half of them show up in Orange. The subframe is made of extra-light and stable aluminum profiles, weighing less than 2 lbs (900 gr) and is 40 mm longer than before, providing better rear fender stability. Also, the laterally attached engine head stays are now made of aluminum, reducing vibration. The high-strength aluminum tapered handlebar can be mounted in 4 different positions and comes standard with an ODI vulcanized grip on the right side and a comfortable ODI lock-on grip on the left. ADVERTISEMENT KTM also once again rises to the challenge with the latest, limited edition 500 EXC-F Six Days. Easily identified as a premium model by the special SIX DAYS design, the bike is also upgraded and equipped with an extended list of top-of-the-line components, specially designed and refined by KTM’s own research and development department for the exceptional event, making it the ultimate Dual Sport Enduro machine. SIX DAYS FEATURES LIST• Silencers with new SIX DAYS logo • New rims with new SIX DAYS logo • Engine guard • Front axle puller • Handlebar with new SIX DAYS logo • Solid rear brake disc • Floating front brake disc • Orange frame • Orange CNC triple clamps • Orange chain guide • SIX DAYS seat • Brake pedal safety wire • WP XPLOR forks with preload adjusters • Exclusive SIX DAYS graphics The model is fitted with the latest 48 mm diameter WP XPLOR upside-down forks with preload adjusters, featuring a split fork design developed by WP and KTM. While each side is fitted with springs, they have separate damping functions. ´No-Dirt´ footpegs prevent clogging up the pegs, even when digging in deep ruts. The one-piece aluminum swingarm is manufactured using a gravity die-cast production process, offering exceptional strength and ideal flex at the lowest possible weight. To get the very best out of the new KTM 500 EXC-F, KTM has continued to develop its high-quality selection of KTM PowerParts, which enables riders to customize their machine to take it to new hs. KTM Enduro fans can also find a wide range of riding gear, protection and casual wear in the KTM PowerWear collection, ensuring they can be READY TO RACE both on and off the bike. The 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F SIX DAYS model will be arriving in U.S. dealers in September 2019. For more information about the recent updates to the EXC-F line, click here. And for more details about the Six Days model, visit the KTM Website. 2020 KTM 500 EXC-F Six Days Specs Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke Displacement: 510.9 cc Bore/Stroke: 95 / 72 mm Starter: Electric, Lithium Ion 12 V 2 Ah Transmission: 6 Gears, Wide Ratio Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 42 mm Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication with 2 Pumps Primary Ratio: 31:76 Final Drive: 14:48 Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: Wet Multi-Disc DDS-Clutch, Brembo Hydraulics Ignition: Keihin EMS Frame: Central Double-Cradle Type 25CrMo4 Steel Subframe: Aluminum Handlebar: NEKEN, Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm Front Suspension: WP XPLOR USD Ø 48 mm Rear Suspension: WP XPLOR Shock with PDS Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 300 mm / 11.8 in; 310 mm / 12.2 in Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 260 mm / 220 mm Front/Rear Rims: 1.60 x 21” / 2.15 x 18” Giant Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21” / 120/90-18” Continental TKC 80 Chain: 5/8 x 1/4 in Silencer: Aluminum Steering Head Angle: 26.5º Triple Clamp Offset: 22 mm Wheelbase: 1,482 mm ± 10 mm / 58.3 ± 0.4 in Ground Clearance: 355 mm / 14 in Seat Height: 960 mm / 37.8 in Tank Capacity, Approx.: 8.5 L / 2.25 gal Weight (without fuel), Approx.: 109 kg / 240.3 lbs (std. model)
  10. Think you know something about adventure? In the modern sense you probably do. In a world where we have GPS tracks and satellite messaging, technical riding gear and incredibly sophisticated motorcycles. But if Augusta and Adeline Van Buren were alive today, they would school us all on the meaning of adventure. That’s because in the summer of 1916 when the sisters set out on their transcontinental journey aboard Indian Powerplus motorcycles, the majority of their 5,500 mile route was wild backcountry. “There were no road maps west of the Mississippi,” their great-nephew and historian Robert Van Buren said to the Telegram. And yes, it does sound like the ultimate BDR, only you don’t have a map. Or front brakes. Or perceptible suspension. ADVERTISEMENT With America’s involvement in World War I looming, the trip was a way for the sisters to prove women were capable enough to serve as military dispatch riders in the front lines. Of course one has to remember that in 1916 women didn’t even have the right to vote and were completely barred from combat service. Women were housekeepers and baby-makers, not motorcycle adventuresses. The Quest Their Indian Powerplus motorcycles used gas headlights, had a throttle on the left, another twist grip on the right to retard or advance the spark, and no front brakes. While a wild hair or two may have been involved, Augusta and Adeline, 24 and 22, did not roar away from their well-to-do life in New York in some flight of fancy. The sisters, descendants of Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, were well engaged in politics, and with the country on the brink of war, they wanted to be of service in some way. If women could be deployed as motorcycle dispatch riders, they knew it would free up male soldiers for active duty overseas. To prove their point, Augusta and Adeline felt they would have to show they could handle the difficulties of motorcycling in harsh conditions on long journeys. The sisters encountered many challenges along their remarkable adventure, including multiple arrests in the midwest — not for traffic violations, but for wearing pants which was considered men’s clothing. “It was the pants that drove the cops mad back then. Out in the Midwest you just didn’t do that stuff.” explained Martin Van Buren to the Telegraph. Moreover, getting lost was an everyday occurrence and being mired in mud, routine. Many times when they got stuck they had to walk until they could find someone with a mobile pulley to pluck the bikes from the muck. In 1916 leather-bound guides called the Blue Book were the only source of route information for cross-country road travel. This was years before road signs and maps and decades before the numbered highway system we rely on today. Instead of maps, the books offered complicated turn-by-turn directions, explaining how to piece together an infinite combination of local farm roads and main roads. How much help the Blue Books would be when you’re so busy coaxing your 430-pound Indian along a rutted road is questionable. One can only imagine the duo relied mostly on directions proffered by locals who were surely stunned to see the two women riding on their own. Of course the sisters also had to cross the treacherous Rockies on their cantankerous machines and did so in high style becoming the first women to summit 14,109-foot Pikes Peak with any sort of vehicle. The ride up to the summit was dangerous but they just took it as another challenge. Once on the other side of the mountains they encountered many more obstacles due to extreme weather. Freezing and fatigued, they became hopelessly lost in the desert west of Salt Lake and had to be helped by a prospector when their water ran out. Exhausted yet overjoyed, the Van Buren sisters finally arrived in San Francisco, two months after leaving New York, to become the first women to ride across the United States on two solo motorcycles. Invigorated by their triumph, they carried on to Los Angeles and finally over the border to Tijuana, Mexico, where they hung up their leather caps and breeches for good. The Result Crazy, but outside of their own circle the sisters received very little congratulations for their monumental effort piloting those kickstart, suicide-shift Indians across 5,500 miles of primitive backcountry. In fact, the prowess of the motorcycles garnered more positive press than the Van Buren sisters themselves. Some publications went as low as making it appear the women were having one last “vacation” before settling into marriage. Worst still, Augusta and Adeline’s applications to become wartime dispatch riders were denied. Rosie the Riveter wasn’t even a gleam in America’s eye. The sisters did get married, but they also continued to be role models in the quest for women’s rights, Augusta as a pilot in Amelia Earhart’s Ninety-Nines international women’s flying group and Adeline as a lawyer. Adeline (left) and Augusta (right) were posthumously inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame and the Sturgis Hall of Fame. Posthumously, the two were inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame as well as the Sturgis Hall of Fame. And when Indian Motorcycle was resurrected in 2016 it sponsored a 100th Anniversary Ride to commemorate their accomplishment. And for women everywhere who ride — especially those of us who started back when it was still frowned upon, these sisters and their arduous journey will forever be a brightly burning torch to light our way. As Augusta famously penned: “Women can, if she will.” In other words: Just do it! For more details about the Van Buren Sister’s journey, check out the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. 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.
  11. You’ve gotta love it when a manufacturer listens to its customers, and even more so when it uses that feedback to make major improvements to a model. Such is the case with Honda’s 2019 CB500X. We had a chance to test the adventure-intended middleweight on a daylong half dirt/half street ride in the mountains east of San Diego, California, and returned feeling very optimistic. When first released in 2013, riders across the globe saw the “X” had potential as an affordable adventure bike but they also had some wishlist items including a 19” front, longer suspension travel and spoked instead of cast alloy wheels. In jumped UK-based Rally-Raid Products to save the day with wheel and suspension kits for the CB500X. Honda, it appears, couldn’t ignore the popularity of these mods, admitting during the bike’s introduction that the direction was Rally-Raid inspired. The new model now features a larger 19″ front wheel and more suspension travel. So, thanks to “customer-driven updates” the new X does sport a 19” front wheel (though it’s still cast, not spoked), and modest upgrades to suspension, with the 41mm fork’s travel increased by .4 inches. A revised rear shock increases travel 1.2 inches, and both front and rear systems are manually adjustable for preload. The geometry of the chassis has changed too, with an increase in rake (26.5º to 27.5º ), steering angle (plus 3º) and overall ground clearance (up .39 inches for a total of 7.09 inches). ADVERTISEMENT The engine and drivetrain have also been revised for 2019, with the parallel twin boasting a 4% increase in torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm. The exhaust system has been overhauled for improved sound and efficiency, while revised valve timing, more precise fuel injection and a new crank-sensor system combine to smoothen power delivery. Drivetrain upgrades include new gears (9 gear dogs vs. 6 for a more positive engagement, plus revised tooth shape) and a silky smooth slipper clutch for a 45% reduction in effort at the shift lever. First Impressions Right out of the gate the first thing you notice about the new CB500X is its lively handling. It’s a spry bugger: very flickable, but without feeling skittish. A perfect medium in this area: confidence inspiring yet refreshingly agile, especially if you’re used to riding more ponderous heavyweights. Those buttery smooth shifts are also appreciated straightaway as you churn through the gearbox in an effort to make good time through town or win at backroad games of chase. Though it weighs a claimed 430 pounds wet, at no time does the CB500X feel heavy. It does however, feel tall. At 5’ 10” with a 33-inch inseam I had no trouble resting both feet squarely on the ground, but the shortest tester in our group, 5’5” and new to dirt riding, reported feeling uncomfortable with the seat h of 32.7 inches (up from 31.9). On the flip side, in some tricky U-turn situations on narrow fire roads with a high crown she easily popped off the bike and walked it though maneuvers – doable only because of the X’s light, well-balanced feel and sufficiently low center of gravity. Improvements in the 471cc engine’s intake tract and valve timing have helped increase torque and throttle response. While the seat h has been raised by 0.8 inches for 2019, it was also narrowed near the front to aid in touching the ground. A New exhaust system has been optimized for improved low-end and midrange power. The update has also enhanced the sound. The bike appears tall in stature as well. Proud even, and unmistakably adventure bound with its taller, adjustable windscreen, wider side panels and a perky new fairing that swoops forward into a bud of a beak. The riding position is neutral when seated and very comfortable for any street riding scenarios including at interstate speeds, where the bike feels well planted and smooth, if a bit underpowered. Windscreen is 20mm taller for better wind protection at higher speeds. Although the LCD display screen is now larger, it is a bit difficult to see the readouts under direct sunlight. An all-new LCD, featuring a larger digital display than previous, offers up all the information you’ll need from gear selection to average mpg. A favorite feature on the new display is the ability to switch between speedo and tach as the prominent readout. Unfortunately, the whole arrangement is pretty much invisible in direct sunlight, even with adjustable backlighting. Putting In Miles In the lower gears used around town, the CB500X provides plenty of power to negotiate stoplight-to-stoplight traffic situations. That grunt, combined with its light feel, nimble steering and effortless clutch action make it an awesome choice for commuting or blasting along your favorite twisty road. On longer stints, the Honda’s ergos never felt cramped and its new windshield in the high position did a fine job blocking the rider from wind blast. The X’s new premium tapered handlebar, intended to increase steering feedback, is slightly higher (8mm) and closer (3mm) to the rider and does feel great for street riding. However, the first time you stand on the pegs you’re likely to make a mental note to switch to a taller bar or add risers asap. I would personally roll the bar forward immediately to make it feel less tiller-like. While the standing ergos promote a ready-for-trouble crouched posture that looks aggressive, it just isn’t comfortable for sustained travel and all test riders, from very experienced to not, ended up seated for the majority of our long fire road sections. That easy-to-remedy awkwardness aside, the CB500X worked surprisingly well in all the off-road conditions we were exposed to — from sandy gravel fire roads to loose, technical climbs and descents. Because Honda wanted us to understand the far limits of their updated ADV entry, we were given the bikes with Bridgestone AX41 Battlax knobbies instead of the stock Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours, which made the bike feel quite capable off-road. The revised suspension rides taut, making the bike super fun to squirrel through tight, fast corners, yet it is compliant enough to soak up a tattered road surface without disturbing trajectory. One tester was heard complaining about stiffness after some washboard sections, when really, few bikes are juicy enough to smooth out that nuisance. Overall, the suspension was adequate for a wide range of situations. The CB500X’s single two-piston caliper disc in front and single-piston caliper disc out back were also wholly efficient and befitting a bike of this weight, power and price range. Despite serious flogging throughout the day, a final reading of 58.9 mpg registered on the screen. Even with the small 4.6-gallon tank, you’re still looking at a range of over 250 miles. Final Thoughts After a day testing this bike on and off-road it feels like a smoking deal at $6,699 (add $300 and 4 pounds for ABS). That’s only $100 more than last year’s CB500X, for all the new mechanical goodies, leaner, more aggressive looks, cooler sound and – best of all – a huge jump in adventure potential. The real question is what about its competitors. With Kawasaki’s long-lived KLR650 out of the picture, BMW’s F750GS comparatively heavy and pricey at $10,395 and Yamaha’s Tenere 700 in a different league off-road, the CB500X’s real rivals are found in the entry-level market. New CB500X with optional crash bars and stock Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours tires. Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 and BMW’s G310GS may be smaller in displacement, but they are very similar in stature and intention. Having spent time on both of these CB500X rivals I would say the Kawasaki in particular is a serious contender, especially if you spend more time on traveling on streets than playing in the dirt. Its high-revving, beautifully-dampened Ninja-based engine makes for faster and smoother high-speed travel than the X, though the Honda does outdo the Versys in low and mid-range grunt. In matters of weight and budget, the Kawasaki is also about 50 pounds lighter and $1200 less. Royal Enfield’s 410 Himalayan (slow in comparison yet satisfyingly simple and only $4,749) is a viable option, as is BMW’s lightweight G310GS at $5795. But at the end of the day – especially a day of mixed street and dirt riding – the Honda CB500X is more bike than its entry-level rivals. Especially when you throw on some aggressive tires like the Bridgestone AX41s. And maybe the Rally-Raid spoked wheels. Oh, and its even longer Level Two suspension kit…and switchable ABS…. Keep listening Honda. The dirtier these bikes, the better. 2019 HONDA CB500X Specs Engine Type: 471cc liquid-cooled 20º parallel twin Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder Bore x Stroke: 67.0mm x 66.8mm Compression Ratio: 10.7:1 Induction: PGM-FI fuel injection w/ 34mm throttle bodies Ignition: Full transistorized ignition Starter: Electric Transmission: 6-speed manual Clutch: Multiplate wet Final Drive: 15T/41T; O-ring-sealed chain Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork w/ preload adjustability; 5.91 in. stroke Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single shock w/ nine-position preload adjustability; 5.9 in. travel Front Brakes: Single two-piston caliper w/ 320mm petal-style disc Rear Brakes: Single one-piston caliper w/ 240mm petal-style disc Front Tires: 110/80-19 Rear Tires: 160/60-17 Rake (Caster Angle): 27.5º Trail: 108mm (4.3 in.) Length: 84.8 in. Width: 32.5 in. Height: 56.2 in. Ground Clearance: 7.1 in. Seat Height: 32.7 in. Wheelbase: 56.9 in. Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal. Color: Grand Prix Red Curb Weight*: 434 lbs. ABS; 430 lbs. Standard MSRP (USD): $6,999 ABS; $6,699 Standard Photos by Drew Ruiz 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.
  12. You’ve gotta love it when a manufacturer listens to its customers, and even more so when it uses that feedback to make major improvements to a model. Such is the case with Honda’s 2019 CB500X. We had a chance to test the adventure-intended middleweight on a daylong half dirt/half street ride in the mountains east of San Diego, California, and returned feeling very optimistic. When first released in 2013, riders across the globe saw the “X” had potential as an affordable adventure bike but they also had some wishlist items including a 19” front, longer suspension travel and spoked instead of cast alloy wheels. In jumped UK-based Rally-Raid Products to save the day with wheel and suspension kits for the CB500X. Honda, it appears, couldn’t ignore the popularity of these mods, admitting during the bike’s introduction that the direction was Rally-Raid inspired. The new model now features a larger 19″ front wheel and more suspension travel. So, thanks to “customer-driven updates” the new X does sport a 19” front wheel (though it’s still cast, not spoked), and modest upgrades to suspension, with the 41mm fork’s travel increased by .4 inches. A revised rear shock increases travel 1.2 inches, and both front and rear systems are manually adjustable for preload. The geometry of the chassis has changed too, with an increase in rake (26.5º to 27.5º ), steering angle (plus 3º) and overall ground clearance (up .39 inches for a total of 7.09 inches). ADVERTISEMENT The engine and drivetrain have also been revised for 2019, with the parallel twin boasting a 4% increase in torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm. The exhaust system has been overhauled for improved sound and efficiency, while revised valve timing, more precise fuel injection and a new crank-sensor system combine to smoothen power delivery. Drivetrain upgrades include new gears (9 gear dogs vs. 6 for a more positive engagement, plus revised tooth shape) and a silky smooth slipper clutch for a 45% reduction in effort at the shift lever. First Impressions Right out of the gate the first thing you notice about the new CB500X is its lively handling. It’s a spry bugger: very flickable, but without feeling skittish. A perfect medium in this area: confidence inspiring yet refreshingly agile, especially if you’re used to riding more ponderous heavyweights. Those buttery smooth shifts are also appreciated straightaway as you churn through the gearbox in an effort to make good time through town or win at backroad games of chase. Though it weighs a claimed 430 pounds wet, at no time does the CB500X feel heavy. It does however, feel tall. At 5’ 10” with a 33-inch inseam I had no trouble resting both feet squarely on the ground, but the shortest tester in our group, 5’5” and new to dirt riding, reported feeling uncomfortable with the seat h of 32.7 inches (up from 31.9). On the flip side, in some tricky U-turn situations on narrow fire roads with a high crown she easily popped off the bike and walked it though maneuvers – doable only because of the X’s light, well-balanced feel and sufficiently low center of gravity. Improvements in the 471cc engine’s intake tract and valve timing have helped increase torque and throttle response. While the seat h has been raised by 0.8 inches for 2019, it was also narrowed near the front to aid in touching the ground. A New exhaust system has been optimized for improved low-end and midrange power. The update has also enhanced the sound. The bike appears tall in stature as well. Proud even, and unmistakably adventure bound with its taller, adjustable windscreen, wider side panels and a perky new fairing that swoops forward into a bud of a beak. The riding position is neutral when seated and very comfortable for any street riding scenarios including at interstate speeds, where the bike feels well planted and smooth, if a bit underpowered. Windscreen is 20mm taller for better wind protection at higher speeds. Although the LCD display screen is now larger, it is a bit difficult to see the readouts under direct sunlight. An all-new LCD, featuring a larger digital display than previous, offers up all the information you’ll need from gear selection to average mpg. A favorite feature on the new display is the ability to switch between speedo and tach as the prominent readout. Unfortunately, the whole arrangement is pretty much invisible in direct sunlight, even with adjustable backlighting. Putting In Miles In the lower gears used around town, the CB500X provides plenty of power to negotiate stoplight-to-stoplight traffic situations. That grunt, combined with its light feel, nimble steering and effortless clutch action make it an awesome choice for commuting or blasting along your favorite twisty road. On longer stints, the Honda’s ergos never felt cramped and its new windshield in the high position did a fine job blocking the rider from wind blast. The X’s new premium tapered handlebar, intended to increase steering feedback, is slightly higher (8mm) and closer (3mm) to the rider and does feel great for street riding. However, the first time you stand on the pegs you’re likely to make a mental note to switch to a taller bar or add risers asap. I would personally roll the bar forward immediately to make it feel less tiller-like. While the standing ergos promote a ready-for-trouble crouched posture that looks aggressive, it just isn’t comfortable for sustained travel and all test riders, from very experienced to not, ended up seated for the majority of our long fire road sections. That easy-to-remedy awkwardness aside, the CB500X worked surprisingly well in all the off-road conditions we were exposed to — from sandy gravel fire roads to loose, technical climbs and descents. Because Honda wanted us to understand the far limits of their updated ADV entry, we were given the bikes with Bridgestone AX41 Battlax knobbies instead of the stock Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours, which made the bike feel quite capable off-road. The revised suspension rides taut, making the bike super fun to squirrel through tight, fast corners, yet it is compliant enough to soak up a tattered road surface without disturbing trajectory. One tester was heard complaining about stiffness after some washboard sections, when really, few bikes are juicy enough to smooth out that nuisance. Overall, the suspension was adequate for a wide range of situations. The CB500X’s single two-piston caliper disc in front and single-piston caliper disc out back were also wholly efficient and befitting a bike of this weight, power and price range. Despite serious flogging throughout the day, a final reading of 58.9 mpg registered on the screen. Even with the small 4.6-gallon tank, you’re still looking at a range of over 250 miles. Final Thoughts After a day testing this bike on and off-road it feels like a smoking deal at $6,699 (add $300 and 4 pounds for ABS). That’s only $100 more than last year’s CB500X, for all the new mechanical goodies, leaner, more aggressive looks, cooler sound and – best of all – a huge jump in adventure potential. The real question is what about its competitors. With Kawasaki’s long-lived KLR650 out of the picture, BMW’s F750GS comparatively heavy and pricey at $10,395 and Yamaha’s Tenere 700 in a different league off-road, the CB500X’s real rivals are found in the entry-level market. New CB500X with optional crash bars and stock Dunlop Trailmax Mixtours tires. Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 and BMW’s G310GS may be smaller in displacement, but they are very similar in stature and intention. Having spent time on both of these CB500X rivals I would say the Kawasaki in particular is a serious contender, especially if you spend more time on traveling on streets than playing in the dirt. Its high-revving, beautifully-dampened Ninja-based engine makes for faster and smoother high-speed travel than the X, though the Honda does outdo the Versys in low and mid-range grunt. In matters of weight and budget, the Kawasaki is also about 50 pounds lighter and $1200 less. Royal Enfield’s 410 Himalayan (slow in comparison yet satisfyingly simple and only $4,749) is a viable option, as is BMW’s lightweight G310GS at $5795. But at the end of the day – especially a day of mixed street and dirt riding – the Honda CB500X is more bike than its entry-level rivals. Especially when you throw on some aggressive tires like the Bridgestone AX41s. And maybe the Rally-Raid spoked wheels. Oh, and its even longer Level Two suspension kit…and switchable ABS…. Keep listening Honda. The dirtier these bikes, the better. 2019 HONDA CB500X Specs Engine Type: 471cc liquid-cooled 20º parallel twin Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder Bore x Stroke: 67.0mm x 66.8mm Compression Ratio: 10.7:1 Induction: PGM-FI fuel injection w/ 34mm throttle bodies Ignition: Full transistorized ignition Starter: Electric Transmission: 6-speed manual Clutch: Multiplate wet Final Drive: 15T/41T; O-ring-sealed chain Front Suspension: 41mm telescopic fork w/ preload adjustability; 5.91 in. stroke Rear Suspension: Pro-Link® single shock w/ nine-position preload adjustability; 5.9 in. travel Front Brakes: Single two-piston caliper w/ 320mm petal-style disc Rear Brakes: Single one-piston caliper w/ 240mm petal-style disc Front Tires: 110/80-19 Rear Tires: 160/60-17 Rake (Caster Angle): 27.5º Trail: 108mm (4.3 in.) Length: 84.8 in. Width: 32.5 in. Height: 56.2 in. Ground Clearance: 7.1 in. Seat Height: 32.7 in. Wheelbase: 56.9 in. Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal. Color: Grand Prix Red Curb Weight*: 434 lbs. ABS; 430 lbs. Standard MSRP (USD): $6,999 ABS; $6,699 Standard Photos by Drew Ruiz 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.
  13. Published on 07.31.2019 Off-Road accessories manufacturer IMS Products has introduced all-new auxiliary tanks for the Husqvarna 701 Enduro. The new twin front auxiliary tank option adds 2.5 gallons to the existing 3.5 gallons rear tank for a total capacity of roughly 6 gallons. That’s enough to extend the range of this previously fuel-starved machine close to around 300 miles! With IMS’s cutting edge fuel system there is no need to switch on any valves to access an extra 2.5 gallons of capacity as the tanks create a closed system with the OEM rear tank. While divided into two tanks, the routing of fuel allows the two to drain evenly ensuring even weight distribution and normal fuel operation. It also keeps the low fuel warning on your gauge working properly. ADVERTISEMENT Previously, auxiliary tank options for the 701 were typically part of a complete rally kit or needed to be shipped from overseas to the US. With an MSRP of $625 and availability from several vendors in the US, this upgrade for your Husqvarna 701 Enduro is a little easier to manage now. Setup is also made simple with step-by-step illustrated instructions, and quick disconnects on all fuel lines making installation and maintenance hassle free. IMS Auxiliary Tanks Features Adds 2.5 Gallons to your existing OEM Fuel Tank. Available in Black and Natural. Retains low fuel indicator. Includes everything needed for installation. Custom billet aluminum gas cap. Custom powder coated steel brackets for added support. Requires small trim on your OEM shrouds for gas cap clearance. For more details on the IMS auxiliary fuel tanks for the Husqvarna 701 Enduro, check out the IMS website.
  14. Although no photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet, details of the CRF1100L spec document have been leaked. (Mockup image by Japanese Magazine Autoby) We’ve seen rumors flying around for months now about a bigger, badder, 1100cc Honda Africa Twin coming down the pipe. While there has been no shortage of speculation, with no evidence like spy shots or specs, we’ve wondered if it’s all just a bunch of hearsay. The closest thing we’ve gotten to details on the new Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin is a mockup by the Japanese Motorcycle Magazine AutoBy. With many manufacturers moving to downsize their ADV lineup in favor of lighter, more-nimble and off-road capable machines, it seemed like an unlikely move for Big Red. But now evidence has appeared that has us thinking these rumors may be legit. No photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet but both Cycle World and Bennetts claim to have laid eyes on a leaked official specifications sheet for a 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. What’s New? According to reports, the old 998cc Africa Twin motor will receive an 86cc boost, bringing it up to 1084cc via an increase in stroke. The additional displacement is thought to result in a modest 7 horsepower increase, bumping the AT up from 94 to 101 horsepower @ 7500 rpm. Also peak torque is expected to increase from 73 to 79 ft-lbs @ 6000 rpm. The larger engine also gets quieter with 3 less decibels coming out of the tailpipe. All Africa Twin variants will be upgraded to a new 1100cc powerplant with 101 horsepower and 79 ft-lbs of torque. Those may not be numbers that will compete with the BMW R1250GS or KTM 1290 Adventure but they do give the Africa Twin a little breathing room from middleweight competitors like the BMW F850GS, KTM 790 Adventure and Triumph Tiger 800 XC — bikes that claim similar power outputs to the current Africa Twin. The specs revealed nothing about cruise control, but after adding ride-by-wire throttle to the Africa Twin in 2018, this feature would be an obvious next step for Honda to be competitive with current offerings. ADVERTISEMENT Honda is expected to continue offering four different Africa Twin models: Standard manual transmission; Standard with DCT; Adventure Sports manual; and Adventure Sports DCT. Based on the specs, the chassis will remain relatively unchanged for the lineup with the longer-travel suspension and improved off-road equipment continuing to separate the Adventure Sports from the Standard. Height dimensions varying between 61.4 inches and 63.8 inches suggest all models will receive an adjustable windscreen as well. And a 1.2 inch increase in overall w signals there may be a wider handlebar for more leverage on the larger machine. One intriguing change worth noting is the use of the larger Adventure Sports fuel tank on the Standard model, increasing fuel capacity from 5.0 to 6.4 gallons. The larger fuel tank will be welcomed on longer journeys but comes at the cost of additional bulk and weight. The standard CRF1100L model is said to weigh 524.7 pounds with a full tank, up 17.6 pounds from the 2019 model. Although the Adventure Sports will lose 3.5 pounds, weighing in at 529.1 pounds with a full tank. Adding DCT to either Standard or Adventure Sports models increases weight by 22 more pounds. All new CRF1100L models will share the larger 6.4-gallon fuel tank currently offered in the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. Is Bigger Better? While many off-road riding Africa Twin owners have been pretty happy with the performance in the dirt, some have been less than thrilled with the CRF1000L’s acceleration on the street. This boost in displacement will no doubt help the Africa Twin’s performance on the road but Honda’s other goal may be to make room in the lineup for a middleweight Africa Twin. One of the rumors we’ve previously reported on is a smaller 850cc Africa Twin – a bike that could compete more directly in the burgeoning middleweight adventure bike class. So while a larger Africa Twin may not be what everyone is asking for, it could open the door to a new middleweight Africa Twin. This strategy is no different than what KTM did when they first launched the 1190 Adventure, then split it up into 1290 and 1090 variants a few years later. If Honda can deliver a more powerful liter-class Africa Twin with similar weight and more range, while also bringing an all-new performance middleweight Africa Twin, it could be a potent combo. With the release of detailed specs this early in the year, it’s a good sign that this new CRF1100L Africa Twin is close to production. In fact, it could be announced as a 2020 model in a matter of weeks rather than months. We’ll be keeping our eye out for any new details. Stay tuned! Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  15. Although no photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet, details of the CRF1100L spec document have been leaked. (Mockup image by Japanese Magazine Autoby) We’ve seen rumors flying around for months now about a bigger, badder, 1100cc Honda Africa Twin coming down the pipe. While there has been no shortage of speculation, with no evidence like spy shots or specs, we’ve wondered if it’s all just a bunch of hearsay. The closest thing we’ve gotten to details on the new Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin is a mockup by the Japanese Motorcycle Magazine AutoBy. With many manufacturers moving to downsize their ADV lineup in favor of lighter, more-nimble and off-road capable machines, it seemed like an unlikely move for Big Red. But now evidence has appeared that has us thinking these rumors may be legit. No photos have surfaced of the actual bike yet but both Cycle World and Bennetts claim to have laid eyes on a leaked official specifications sheet for a 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. What’s New? According to reports, the old 998cc Africa Twin motor will receive an 86cc boost, bringing it up to 1084cc via an increase in stroke. The additional displacement is thought to result in a modest 7 horsepower increase, bumping the AT up from 94 to 101 horsepower @ 7500 rpm. Also peak torque is expected to increase from 73 to 79 ft-lbs @ 6000 rpm. The larger engine also gets quieter with 3 less decibels coming out of the tailpipe. All Africa Twin variants will be upgraded to a new 1100cc powerplant with 101 horsepower and 79 ft-lbs of torque. Those may not be numbers that will compete with the BMW R1250GS or KTM 1290 Adventure but they do give the Africa Twin a little breathing room from middleweight competitors like the BMW F850GS, KTM 790 Adventure and Triumph Tiger 800 XC — bikes that claim similar power outputs to the current Africa Twin. ADVERTISEMENT Honda is expected to continue offering four different Africa Twin models: Standard manual transmission; Standard with DCT; Adventure Sports manual; and Adventure Sports DCT. Based on the specs, the chassis will remain relatively unchanged for the lineup with the longer-travel suspension and improved off-road equipment continuing to separate the Adventure Sports from the Standard. Height dimensions varying between 61.4 inches and 63.8 inches suggest all models will receive an adjustable windscreen as well. And a 1.2 inch increase in overall w signals there may be a wider handlebar for more leverage on the larger machine. One intriguing change worth noting is the use of the larger Adventure Sports fuel tank on the Standard model, increasing fuel capacity from 5.0 to 6.4 gallons. The larger fuel tank will be welcomed on longer journeys but comes at the cost of additional bulk and weight. The standard CRF1100L model is said to weigh 524.7 pounds with a full tank, up 17.6 pounds from the 2019 model. Although the Adventure Sports will lose 3.5 pounds, weighing in at 529.1 pounds with a full tank. Adding DCT to either Standard or Adventure Sports models increases weight by 22 more pounds. All new CRF1100L models will share the larger 6.4-gallon fuel tank currently offered in the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. Is Bigger Better? While many off-road riding Africa Twin owners have been pretty happy with the performance in the dirt, some have been less than thrilled with the CRF1000L’s acceleration on the street. This boost in displacement will no doubt help the Africa Twin’s performance on the road but Honda’s other goal may be to make room in the lineup for a middleweight Africa Twin. One of the rumors we’ve previously reported on is a smaller 850cc Africa Twin – a bike that could compete more directly in the burgeoning middleweight adventure bike class. So while a larger Africa Twin may not be what everyone is asking for, it could open the door to a new middleweight Africa Twin. This strategy is no different than what KTM did when they first launched the 1190 Adventure, then split it up into 1290 and 1090 variants a few years later. If Honda can deliver a more powerful liter-class Africa Twin with similar weight and more range, while also bringing an all-new performance middleweight Africa Twin, it could be a potent combo. With the release of detailed specs this early in the year, it’s a good sign that this new CRF1100L Africa Twin is close to production. In fact, it could be announced as a 2020 model in a matter of weeks rather than months. We’ll be keeping our eye out for any new details. Stay tuned! Author: Rob Dabney Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.
  16. Ah, the good old days, when Yamaha XT500s, Honda XL500s and BMW R80 G/S Paris-Dakars raced the deserts, KTM was a small manufacturer few had heard of and the Paris to Dakar rally actually went from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. Spanish custom builder Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles remembers. And they’ve created a Royal Enfield Himalayan, based on the 2018 model, that will make you want to take on the dunes of Africa even if you aren’t old enough to remember the good old days. The 21”/17” stock wheels are shod with Pirelli MT 21 Rallycross tires. An old-school enduro headlight and motocross-style high fender finishes off the front end. Making just 24.5 horsepower, the Himalayan is nobody’s idea of a modern Dakar contender. But that’s not the point of Fuel’s Royal Rally 400. The Himalayan is a simple, affordable ($4,749 new), rugged bike with plenty of character and great maneuverability – a worthy platform for a custom build. Fuel understands the beauty of that and, with the exception of a new Powertronic ECU to improve fueling and power, largely left the powerplant alone. ADVERTISEMENT Fuel’s modifications are strategically intended to give the bike a more aggressive and compact look while staying true to its classic styling. They binned the bulky fairing/crash protector combo, probably shedding a good deal of weight in the process, replacing it with a classic, simple, plastic enduro-style fairing and beefy handguards. An old-school square headlight and motocross-style high fender finishes off the front end. The cockpit of this Himalayan build is streamlined with a single-unit Koso speedometer mounted just behind the fairing, and updated with a USB charging port to keep your devices charged (this isn’t 1979, after all). Fuel also added beefy Tommaselli handlebars and a handy switch to turn off the ABS. The stock steel tank is still there, painted in a handsome red/white combination that recalls classic Dakar racers. They built a custom solo seat and mounted a removable rack where the passenger pillion used to live for strapping gear to the bike. In a nod to recycling, and the budget-friendly nature of the Himalayan, Fuel repurposed some of the front fairing/protector combo as a luggage rack on the left side. Out back, they cleaned up the Himalayan’s bulky look by eliminating the rear fender and adding a small, sleek LED tail light and turn signals. The upswept exhaust is a modded unit from a Suzuki RMZ450 attached to the bike via a custom hanger. The passenger pegs are gone, but Fuel left the brackets so the operation can be quickly reversed. The overall look is light, purposeful and retro-classic. It looks like a bike that could take you on a long ride through remote areas and be confident you’d get where you are going. It has proven to be exactly that. Photo by Riki “Rocket” Rojas and Gotz Goppert Fuel built with a very specific ride in mind: the Scram Africa, a 2,500 mile tour for classic and classic-looking bikes; think old-school Dakar and you’re close to the idea, except it’s a ride, not a race. This year’s event, in May, saw 35 riders on Triumphs, BMWs, and even a custom Harley doing battle with the dunes, sand, rocks, river crossings and extreme heat. The Royal Rally 400 made the run, and shots of it posted on Fuel’s website look like they could have been taken 30 years ago. As of this writing, the Fuel mods for the Himalayan are not available as a kit you can purchase, but it does demonstrate the bike’s potential for customization and will no doubt offer owners inspiration for their own retro-Dakar Himalayan build. Himalayan Build Main Modifications • Classic enduro front light mask • Front and rear fender • New indicators • New solo seat • New Suzuki RMZ 450 exhaust modified • New rear grille • New side case support • Tomasselli handlebar • Koso speedometer • Pirelli MT 21 Rallycross • Powertronic ECU 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.
  17. Ah, the good old days, when Yamaha XT500s, Honda XL500s and BMW R80 G/S Paris-Dakars raced the deserts, KTM was a small manufacturer few had heard of and the Paris to Dakar rally actually went from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. Spanish custom builder Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles remembers. And they’ve created a Royal Enfield Himalayan, based on the 2018 model, that will make you want to take on the dunes of Africa even if you aren’t old enough to remember the good old days. The 21”/17” stock wheels are shod with Pirelli MT 21 Rallycross tires. An old-school enduro headlight and motocross-style high fender finishes off the front end. Making just 24.5 horsepower, the Himalayan is nobody’s idea of a modern Dakar contender. But that’s not the point of Fuel’s Royal Rally 400. The Himalayan is a simple, affordable ($4,749 new), rugged bike with plenty of character and great maneuverability – a worthy platform for a custom build. Fuel understands the beauty of that and, with the exception of a new Powertronic ECU to improve fueling and power, largely left the powerplant alone. ADVERTISEMENT Fuel’s modifications are strategically intended to give the bike a more aggressive and compact look while staying true to its classic styling. They binned the bulky fairing/crash protector combo, probably shedding a good deal of weight in the process, replacing it with a classic, simple, plastic enduro-style fairing and beefy handguards. An old-school square headlight and motocross-style high fender finishes off the front end. The cockpit of this Himalayan build is streamlined with a single-unit Koso speedometer mounted just behind the fairing, and updated with a USB charging port to keep your devices charged (this isn’t 1979, after all). Fuel also added beefy Tommaselli handlebars and a handy switch to turn off the ABS. The stock steel tank is still there, painted in a handsome red/white combination that recalls classic Dakar racers. They built a custom solo seat and mounted a removable rack where the passenger pillion used to live for strapping gear to the bike. In a nod to recycling, and the budget-friendly nature of the Himalayan, Fuel repurposed some of the front fairing/protector combo as a luggage rack on the left side. Out back, they cleaned up the Himalayan’s bulky look by eliminating the rear fender and adding a small, sleek LED tail light and turn signals. The upswept exhaust is a modded unit from a Suzuki RMZ450 attached to the bike via a custom hanger. The passenger pegs are gone, but Fuel left the brackets so the operation can be quickly reversed. The overall look is light, purposeful and retro-classic. It looks like a bike that could take you on a long ride through remote areas and be confident you’d get where you are going. It has proven to be exactly that. Photo by Riki “Rocket” Rojas and Gotz Goppert Fuel built with a very specific ride in mind: the Scram Africa, a 2,500 mile tour for classic and classic-looking bikes; think old-school Dakar and you’re close to the idea, except it’s a ride, not a race. This year’s event, in May, saw 35 riders on Triumphs, BMWs, and even a custom Harley doing battle with the dunes, sand, rocks, river crossings and extreme heat. The Royal Rally 400 made the run, and shots of it posted on Fuel’s website look like they could have been taken 30 years ago. As of this writing, the Fuel mods for the Himalayan are not available as a kit you can purchase, but it does demonstrate the bike’s potential for customization and will no doubt offer owners inspiration for their own retro-Dakar Himalayan build. Himalayan Build Main Modifications • Classic enduro front light mask • Front and rear fender • New indicators • New solo seat • New Suzuki RMZ 450 exhaust modified • New rear grille • New side case support • Tomasselli handlebar • Koso speedometer • Pirelli MT 21 Rallycross • Powertronic ECU 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.
  18. The 690 Enduro R is one of KTM’s longest running and most popular production models, harking all the way back to 2008. The platform has been revisited & revamped tastefully over the years and remains in a class of its own among similar large displacement thumpers. This can be credited to the bike’s great power to weight ratio and extensive aftermarket parts support. Even with the introduction of Husqvarna’s 701 in 2016 – based on the same platform with engine upgrades and slightly more fuel – 690 owners didn’t sell their bikes in mass, and now their patience may have paid off in a big way! For 2019, KTM overhauled the 690 Enduro R with a new aesthetic, upgraded engine, electronic rider aids, improved suspension, more fuel capacity, and a chassis that enables a more rider-friendly seat h. ADVERTISEMENT As noted in our earlier “Key Updates” article, when the new 690 was announced, it seems that KTM is progressively making this enduro more adventure ready out of the box while also filling an interesting gap in their product line. Let’s take a deeper dig into the nitty-gritty that has us excited about this revamped machine: KTM 690 Enduro R – New for 2019 Resonator Chamber added to the intake tract of the engine to balance out pulses, smooth throttle response, and reduces vibration. The Power Assist Clutch or PASC now requires less input from the rider due to reduced engine torque transfer to the clutch itself along with a slipper aspect that helps prevent rear wheel lockup and chatter under aggressive downshifting. Electronic Engine Management has been further refined to increase fuel economy, make better power, and produce more horsepower. Along with handling the cornering traction control (MTC), motor slip regulation (MSR), three different fuel maps and precision dual plug ignition to further cease engine oscillation. The suspension was completely revamped with WP XPLOR forks & shock originally developed by WP & KTM for their EXC line. Fuel Capacity was increased from 3.2 gallons to 3.6 gallons, giving this bike some much needed additional range. Lean Angle Sensors are used on the new model to help the ECU make more precise traction control and ABS adjustments when the bike is leaned over on the tire’s edge. Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is introduced for the first time on the KTM 690 Enduro R to help wrangle the raw power of this machine. It is a lean-sensitive system that calculates the rear wheel spin in comparison to rider input and bike feedback. This system intervenes at the throttle valves to slow wheel spin until deemed acceptable for the particular ride mode and lean angle. Traction Control is easily managed through a simple switch on the handlebars. Second Balancer Shaft added to the engine cylinder head, to go along with the existing one on the crankshaft, to make this one of the most tranquil thumpers on the market. Quickshifter+ enables faster clutchless shifting through the gears, cutting injection when upshifting and matching speed on downshifts. Ride Modes are also brand new for the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R and are easily changed with a simple switch on the handlebars. Street Mode enables “sporty” throttle response while limiting rear wheel spin and preventing wheelies, while Offroad Mode produces more measured throttle response, allows slippage & wheel lofting. First Impressions My first impressions of this new and improved KTM 690 Enduro R came in the form of a multi-day trek through southern Utah guided by Utah Enduro Adventures and tailor fit to test the capabilities of this new machine. The first thing that was immediately noticeable while rolling on the throttle, was how smooth the new engine felt compared to past generations of the LC4 and how linear the power delivery was. Gone were the on-off throttle struggles and numb right hand at highway speeds, replaced instead with predictable acceleration and deceleration not marked by choppy roll-off. After adjusting to the new normal of this highly-refined thumper power plant, the revamped suspension was the next thing to catch my attention. With the same WP EXPLOR suspenders as KTM’s EXC line, the ride is plush when compared to the spongy/wooden ride familiar to any previous year 690 owner. It reminded me of an old friend that found a fountain of youth, obviously the same bike but younger and more toned. A USB outlet is located on the left side of the headlight cover. The instrument cluster looks more basic than before. The bodywork was tastefully redesigned, and measures were taken to make the case that this is not just a dirt bike, like the increased fuel capacity, addition of a USB outlet built into the left side of the headlight cover, and a fairly simple Traction Control switch on the handlebars. Rear brake light now features a LED unit. Toolkit is easily accessible behind the side panel. KTM also replaced the notoriously fickle tail light with a clean LED unit while simultaneously tidying up the tail section. One thing that did strike me as odd with all of the upgrades, was the ‘downgraded’ instrument cluster now resembling the dash of a 500 EXC. Overall the 690 Enduro impressed immediately and more than expected, leaving me excited to see what else it had to offer. On Road The pavement is where many of the new improvements to the 690 shined through. With the additional balancer shaft in the engine to quell vibrations as well as a new resonator chamber in the intake track to smooth throttle response, it has a much more sophisticated feel than earlier models. Additionally, the few extra ponies that they irked out of the LC4 just add to the lightweight flickable feel that has always made the 690 an epic canyon carver. Photo by Sebas Romero The Power Assist Clutch and Quickshifter+ were great in sequences of tight turns and unlocked even more pavement potential. While I never actually tested the limits of the new lean angle ABS & Traction Control, just knowing that they were there gave me some comfort while pushing the limits of the stock Continental TKC80’s. She still has no wind protection to speak of, and the ergos are clearly intended for rigorous off-road action, not long pavement stretches, but if that’s what you are looking for you might have arrived at the wrong platform. Highways speeds (and beyond) are still easily attainable, but they come at the cost of comfort and are more a test of fortitude than anything else. Although, the new engine felt much less jittery at 70mph than its predecessor with less of an on/off feel. Is it capable of highway travel? Yes, but with its capabilities, it literally begs and prods you to get off the pavement and tear it up in the dirt. Off Road Off-road, this iteration of the 690 Enduro R exudes the same familiar overgrown dirt bike feel that’s seduced many an overladen adventure bike rider in the past. The new WP XPLOR suspenders made this the first 690 I’ve ever ridden that didn’t make me want to ride directly to my local suspension tuner. Overall the bike feels more planted and more predictable with better dampening front and rear. While still a tall bike, the frame tweaks do make the slightly lower seat h noticeable when looking to dab or come to a stop. The Quickshifter+ and Power Assist Clutch (PASC), were a game changer in technical terrain. In tight rocky switchbacks, being able to go between first and second gear without using the clutch lever added an extra ounce of confidence by way of convenience. The turning radius and tight steering stops seem to have ‘not’ been improved at all, leaving me with the: lock the bars over and hope for the best approach known to those that have spent time on a 690. The steering head angle may aid in stability at speed, but it’s still a major annoyance when trying to make tight turns or flip around in confined spaces. Offroad Mode worked better than expected reigning in the full power of the engine to actually improve performance in certain riding conditions. In mud, loose rock and similar poor traction situations, the MTC in that mode limited wheel slip on acceleration and noticeably helped me on my way. Even though the bike gained a few pounds on the stat sheet, they weren’t detectable at any stage of testing. The 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R is just as boisterous off-road as any that came before it -yet now with the upgraded suspension and electronics, it feels more well rounded than ever before. Final Thoughts This year’s model brings the 690 Enduro R even closer to the adventure bike class it has loitered outside of for so long. During testing, I was able to ride one hundred and fifty miles before the fuel light illuminated, which is excellent by enduro standards but still not optimal for adventure travel – if that is your intended purpose. In that same vein, the stock seat, while new, would not fit most riders’ comfort standards for any extended stretches in the saddle. These are the only real detractors to this machine, both easily rectified by the aftermarket, which has always been the saving grace of this platform. Few dual sport motorcycles can match the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R’s off-road capability and performance, and it’s one of the best candidates for serious backcountry travel available from any manufacturer. As upsetting as it may be to some riders with an older 690, KTM built a very convincing argument to upgrade. With the new responsive suspension and advanced electronics, this iteration feels better rounded than ever before and even more capable. Despite any of its minor defects, the bike as a whole is well worth the price of admission. KTM 690 Enduro R Specifications Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, SOHC Displacement: 690 cc Bore/Stroke: 105 / 80 mm Starter: Electric; 12V 8.6Ah Transmission: 6 Gears Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 50 mm Throttle Body Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication, Two Oil Pumps Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: PASC Slipper Clutch, Hydraulically Operated Ignition: Keihin EMS with Ride-By-Wire, Dual Ignition Frame: Chrome-moly Steel Trellis Subframe: Self-supporting Plastic Tank Handlebar: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 28/22 mm Front Suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm Rear Suspension: WP Monoshock with Pro-Lever Linkage Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 250 mm / 9.8 in; 250 mm / 9.8 in Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 300 mm / 240 mm Front/Rear Wheels: 1.85 x 21”, 2.50 x 18” Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21”; 140/80-18” Steering Head Angle: 27.7º Wheelbase: 1,502 mm ± 15 mm / 59 ± 0.6 in Ground Clearance: 270 mm / 10.6 in Seat Height: 910 mm / 35.8 in Tank Capacity: 13.5 l / 3.6 gal Dry Weight, Approx: 146 kg / 321.9 lbs MSRP (USD): $11,699 Author: Spencer Hill “The Gear Dude” has been fueling his motorcycle addiction with adventure since first swinging his leg over a bike in 2010. Whether he’s exploring his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest or crisscrossing the United States, Spencer is always in search of scenic off-road routes, epic camping locations and the best gear possible. He began writing shortly after taking up two-wheel travel to share his experiences and offer insight with his extensive backpacking, camping and overland background.
  19. The 690 Enduro R is one of KTM’s longest running and most popular production models, harking all the way back to 2008. The platform has been revisited & revamped tastefully over the years and remains in a class of its own among similar large displacement thumpers. This can be credited to the bike’s great power to weight ratio and extensive aftermarket parts support. Even with the introduction of Husqvarna’s 701 in 2016 – based on the same platform with engine upgrades and slightly more fuel – 690 owners didn’t sell their bikes in mass, and now their patience may have paid off in a big way! For 2019, KTM overhauled the 690 Enduro R with a new aesthetic, upgraded engine, electronic rider aids, improved suspension, more fuel capacity, and a chassis that enables a more rider-friendly seat h. ADVERTISEMENT As noted in our earlier “Key Updates” article, when the new 690 was announced, it seems that KTM is progressively making this enduro more adventure ready out of the box while also filling an interesting gap in their product line. Let’s take a deeper dig into the nitty-gritty that has us excited about this revamped machine: KTM 690 Enduro R – New for 2019 Resonator Chamber added to the intake tract of the engine to balance out pulses, smooth throttle response, and reduces vibration. The Power Assist Clutch or PASC now requires less input from the rider due to reduced engine torque transfer to the clutch itself along with a slipper aspect that helps prevent rear wheel lockup and chatter under aggressive downshifting. Electronic Engine Management has been further refined to increase fuel economy, make better power, and produce more horsepower. Along with handling the cornering traction control (MTC), motor slip regulation (MSR), three different fuel maps and precision dual plug ignition to further cease engine oscillation. The suspension was completely revamped with WP XPLOR forks & shock originally developed by WP & KTM for their EXC line. Fuel Capacity was increased from 3.2 gallons to 3.6 gallons, giving this bike some much needed additional range. Lean Angle Sensors are used on the new model to help the ECU make more precise traction control and ABS adjustments when the bike is leaned over on the tire’s edge. Motorcycle Traction Control (MTC) is introduced for the first time on the KTM 690 Enduro R to help wrangle the raw power of this machine. It is a lean-sensitive system that calculates the rear wheel spin in comparison to rider input and bike feedback. This system intervenes at the throttle valves to slow wheel spin until deemed acceptable for the particular ride mode and lean angle. Traction Control is easily managed through a simple switch on the handlebars. Second Balancer Shaft added to the engine cylinder head, to go along with the existing one on the crankshaft, to make this one of the most tranquil thumpers on the market. Quickshifter+ enables faster clutchless shifting through the gears, cutting injection when upshifting and matching speed on downshifts. Ride Modes are also brand new for the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R and are easily changed with a simple switch on the handlebars. Street Mode enables “sporty” throttle response while limiting rear wheel spin and preventing wheelies, while Offroad Mode produces more measured throttle response, allows slippage & wheel lofting. First Impressions My first impressions of this new and improved KTM 690 Enduro R came in the form of a multi-day trek through southern Utah guided by Utah Enduro Adventures and tailor fit to test the capabilities of this new machine. The first thing that was immediately noticeable while rolling on the throttle, was how smooth the new engine felt compared to past generations of the LC4 and how linear the power delivery was. Gone were the on-off throttle struggles and numb right hand at highway speeds, replaced instead with predictable acceleration and deceleration not marked by choppy roll-off. After adjusting to the new normal of this highly-refined thumper power plant, the revamped suspension was the next thing to catch my attention. With the same WP EXPLOR suspenders as KTM’s EXC line, the ride is plush when compared to the spongy/wooden ride familiar to any previous year 690 owner. It reminded me of an old friend that found a fountain of youth, obviously the same bike but younger and more toned. A USB outlet is located on the left side of the headlight cover. The instrument cluster looks more basic than before. The bodywork was tastefully redesigned, and measures were taken to make the case that this is not just a dirt bike, like the increased fuel capacity, addition of a USB outlet built into the left side of the headlight cover, and a fairly simple Traction Control switch on the handlebars. Rear brake light now features a LED unit. Toolkit is easily accessible behind the side panel. KTM also replaced the notoriously fickle tail light with a clean LED unit while simultaneously tidying up the tail section. One thing that did strike me as odd with all of the upgrades, was the ‘downgraded’ instrument cluster now resembling the dash of a 500 EXC. Overall the 690 Enduro impressed immediately and more than expected, leaving me excited to see what else it had to offer. On Road The pavement is where many of the new improvements to the 690 shined through. With the additional balancer shaft in the engine to quell vibrations as well as a new resonator chamber in the intake track to smooth throttle response, it has a much more sophisticated feel than earlier models. Additionally, the few extra ponies that they irked out of the LC4 just add to the lightweight flickable feel that has always made the 690 an epic canyon carver. Photo by Sebas Romero The Power Assist Clutch and Quickshifter+ were great in sequences of tight turns and unlocked even more pavement potential. While I never actually tested the limits of the new lean angle ABS & Traction Control, just knowing that they were there gave me some comfort while pushing the limits of the stock Continental TKC80’s. She still has no wind protection to speak of, and the ergos are clearly intended for rigorous off-road action, not long pavement stretches, but if that’s what you are looking for you might have arrived at the wrong platform. Highways speeds (and beyond) are still easily attainable, but they come at the cost of comfort and are more a test of fortitude than anything else. Although, the new engine felt much less jittery at 70mph than its predecessor with less of an on/off feel. Is it capable of highway travel? Yes, but with its capabilities, it literally begs and prods you to get off the pavement and tear it up in the dirt. Off Road Off-road, this iteration of the 690 Enduro R exudes the same familiar overgrown dirt bike feel that’s seduced many an overladen adventure bike rider in the past. The new WP XPLOR suspenders made this the first 690 I’ve ever ridden that didn’t make me want to ride directly to my local suspension tuner. Overall the bike feels more planted and more predictable with better dampening front and rear. While still a tall bike, the frame tweaks do make the slightly lower seat h noticeable when looking to dab or come to a stop. The Quickshifter+ and Power Assist Clutch (PASC), were a game changer in technical terrain. In tight rocky switchbacks, being able to go between first and second gear without using the clutch lever added an extra ounce of confidence by way of convenience. The turning radius and tight steering stops seem to have ‘not’ been improved at all, leaving me with the: lock the bars over and hope for the best approach known to those that have spent time on a 690. The steering head angle may aid in stability at speed, but it’s still a major annoyance when trying to make tight turns or flip around in confined spaces. Offroad Mode worked better than expected reigning in the full power of the engine to actually improve performance in certain riding conditions. In mud, loose rock and similar poor traction situations, the MTC in that mode limited wheel slip on acceleration and noticeably helped me on my way. Even though the bike gained a few pounds on the stat sheet, they weren’t detectable at any stage of testing. The 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R is just as boisterous off-road as any that came before it -yet now with the upgraded suspension and electronics, it feels more well rounded than ever before. Final Thoughts This year’s model brings the 690 Enduro R even closer to the adventure bike class it has loitered outside of for so long. During testing, I was able to ride one hundred and fifty miles before the fuel light illuminated, which is excellent by enduro standards but still not optimal for adventure travel – if that is your intended purpose. In that same vein, the stock seat, while new, would not fit most riders’ comfort standards for any extended stretches in the saddle. These are the only real detractors to this machine, both easily rectified by the aftermarket, which has always been the saving grace of this platform. Few dual sport motorcycles can match the 2019 KTM 690 Enduro R’s off-road capability and performance, and it’s one of the best candidates for serious backcountry travel available from any manufacturer. As upsetting as it may be to some riders with an older 690, KTM built a very convincing argument to upgrade. With the new responsive suspension and advanced electronics, this iteration feels better rounded than ever before and even more capable. Despite any of its minor defects, the bike as a whole is well worth the price of admission. KTM 690 Enduro R Specifications Engine Type: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, SOHC Displacement: 690 cc Bore/Stroke: 105 / 80 mm Starter: Electric; 12V 8.6Ah Transmission: 6 Gears Fuel System: Keihin EFI, 50 mm Throttle Body Lubrication: Pressure Lubrication, Two Oil Pumps Cooling: Liquid Cooling Clutch: PASC Slipper Clutch, Hydraulically Operated Ignition: Keihin EMS with Ride-By-Wire, Dual Ignition Frame: Chrome-moly Steel Trellis Subframe: Self-supporting Plastic Tank Handlebar: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 28/22 mm Front Suspension: WP USD Ø 48 mm Rear Suspension: WP Monoshock with Pro-Lever Linkage Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 250 mm / 9.8 in; 250 mm / 9.8 in Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 300 mm / 240 mm Front/Rear Wheels: 1.85 x 21”, 2.50 x 18” Front/Rear Tires: 90/90-21”; 140/80-18” Steering Head Angle: 27.7º Wheelbase: 1,502 mm ± 15 mm / 59 ± 0.6 in Ground Clearance: 270 mm / 10.6 in Seat Height: 910 mm / 35.8 in Tank Capacity: 13.5 l / 3.6 gal Dry Weight, Approx: 146 kg / 321.9 lbs MSRP (USD): $11,699 Author: Spencer Hill “The Gear Dude” has been fueling his motorcycle addiction with adventure since first swinging his leg over a bike in 2010. Whether he’s exploring his own backyard in the Pacific Northwest or crisscrossing the United States, Spencer is always in search of scenic off-road routes, epic camping locations and the best gear possible. He began writing shortly after taking up two-wheel travel to share his experiences and offer insight with his extensive backpacking, camping and overland background.
  20. Beta has announced big updates to its 2020 RR-S range. The all-new Betas represent the next generation of dual sport models for the Italian manufacturer, with a major redesign to increase performance, fuel range and rideability. The 2020 RR-S dual sport range includes 4 different sizes: 350, 390, 430 and 500 cc 4-stroke engines that offer Beta customers a wide selection of bikes to take on their next adventure. Major advances have been made by the Beta team of engineers these past twelve months including introducing a completely new engine design and an all new frame that boasts a thoroughly revamped geometry and rigidity. Customers can order any RR-S with a 2″ lower seat h straight from the factory. Besides the all-new engines and frames, the sub-frame, tail section, seat, fuel tank, bodywork, and many other details are also all new. According to Beta, these changes all come together to provide a bike that is safe, reliable, and easy to ride. ADVERTISEMENT Also new for 2020 is the ability for customers to order any RR-S model straight from the factory with a 2” lower seat h (down to 35”) over the stock models. These “lowboy” models have parts installed inside the front fork and rear shock to lower the seat h. Beta USA’s popular BYOB (Build Your Own Beta) program will continue for 2020. This program allows riders to custom build his or her new Beta to fit their special needs by allowing them to choose from more than 400 accessories from a range of top aftermarket manufacturers like Dubya, Fasst Co, Acerbis, and Giant Loop. Customers can customize their new bike with options like tires, soft luggage, heavy-duty wheels, handlebars, gearing, and more, then have it delivered as configured. Read on for a breakdown of what’s new on the 2020 RR-S Line: Engine A complete redesign, with the aim of reducing the weight and bulk of moving parts, achieved by raising the clutch and moving the crankshaft back. Moving the center of gravity closer to the swingarm pivot makes for significantly better handling. An overall weight reduction of 2.2 lbs. A redesigned magnesium clutch cover, redeveloped to improve the oil flow into the clutch assembly more efficiently. Magnesium flywheel cover, redesigned in-line with the rest of the engine, now with a more functional and modern look. New water pump system that improves flow-rate and therefore the efficiency of the cooling system’s ability to transfer heat, keeping average temperatures lower, improving performance, and providing a more simplified cooling hose system. Cylinder and head redesigned matched with the updated cooling system to lower engine temperatures. Twin Injectors improve performance and increase fuel mileage. Oil circuit redesigned to provide better heat transfer between oil and water in the front section of the crankcase in order to keep the oil temperature lower. Clutch with redesigned discs in a new material to ensure smoother and more modular gear shifting. Redesigned gearing, now shorter and lighter. New gearshift mechanism with lighter cam to improve shifting. Gearshift lever redesigned in line with the new engine and frame layout. Addition of a neutral sensor. Updated EFI mapping. Chassis All-New frame with redesigned geometry and rigidity for increased agility and stability. Weight is reduced and reliability boosted with the use of precision-cast components, while comfort is improved and vibration reduced thanks to new head bolts. The frame is also narrower at the base which improves handling over difficult sections and typical off-road tracks. Modified swingarm, now longer for better stability and traction. Completely redesigned tailpiece, greater strength to reduce breakage during off road riding, all filter box components and related accessories are now housed inside it. Improved fork design compared to previous version, with new inner cartridge to lower the center of gravity providing the perfect level of plushness while also improving the action of square-edge impacts. Internal valving has been updated to work in-line with the new frame design. New rear shock absorber with: o New top-out system, now a spring to improve grip and contact with the ground during hard braking. o New longer shock bumper with more progressive compression. This ensures good protection of the buffer and improves bottoming resistance. o New valving, to work in-line with the new frame. New air filter boot. Air Filter mounting system, providing quicker and more accurate installation. Cooling system with water hoses placed inside the frame and more efficient radiators. This improves heat transfer and allows engines to operate at lower temperatures, even in the most extreme conditions. Larger capacity fuel tanks, of 2.4 US gallons (previously 2.1 gallons). Besides providing greater range, the new fuel tanks improve ergonomics and ease-of-movement in the seat. Wider handlebars for greater control. Exhaust with new layout in line with the bike’s new rear section. Side stand with bigger foot pad. New precision-cast footpegs that are better at shedding mud and teeth to increase boot grip. New chain guide, longer to suit new swingarm. New brake pedal, more robust and with larger bearings. Shorter 430/480 cc gearing compared to previous models. Design Completely new superstructure (front cowl, front and rear fenders, ducts and fairings) that improves ergonomics and the operation of all related parts. Front fender with variable thickness geometry which reduces weight and increases rigidity. New tailpiece and attachments in techno-polymer. All RR-S Models come standard with the TrailTech Voyager GPS. New handlebar protector. Redesigned seat, more comfortable when moving about on the bike. New silencer protector. New digital instruments and instrument panel. Redesigned skid plate. New rear light and license plate bracket with integrated grab handles. New frame protectors. Prices: 350 RR-S $10,599.00 390 RR-S $10,699.00 430 RR-S $10,799.00 500 RR-S $10,899.00 Availability: RR-S 4-Stroke Models November 2019 For more details and specs go to the Beta USA website.
  21. Beta has announced big updates to its 2020 RR-S range. The all-new Betas represent the next generation of dual sport models for the Italian manufacturer, with a major redesign to increase performance, fuel range and rideability. The 2020 RR-S dual sport range includes 4 different sizes: 350, 390, 430 and 500 cc 4-stroke engines that offer Beta customers a wide selection of bikes to take on their next adventure. Major advances have been made by the Beta team of engineers these past twelve months including introducing a completely new engine design and an all new frame that boasts a thoroughly revamped geometry and rigidity. Customers can order any RR-S with a 2″ lower seat h straight from the factory. Besides the all-new engines and frames, the sub-frame, tail section, seat, fuel tank, bodywork, and many other details are also all new. According to Beta, these changes all come together to provide a bike that is safe, reliable, and easy to ride. ADVERTISEMENT Also new for 2020 is the ability for customers to order any RR-S model straight from the factory with a 2” lower seat h (down to 35”) over the stock models. These “lowboy” models have parts installed inside the front fork and rear shock to lower the seat h. Beta USA’s popular BYOB (Build Your Own Beta) program will continue for 2020. This program allows riders to custom build his or her new Beta to fit their special needs by allowing them to choose from more than 400 accessories from a range of top aftermarket manufacturers like Dubya, Fasst Co, Acerbis, and Giant Loop. Customers can customize their new bike with options like tires, soft luggage, heavy-duty wheels, handlebars, gearing, and more, then have it delivered as configured. Read on for a breakdown of what’s new on the 2020 RR-S Line: Engine A complete redesign, with the aim of reducing the weight and bulk of moving parts, achieved by raising the clutch and moving the crankshaft back. Moving the center of gravity closer to the swingarm pivot makes for significantly better handling. An overall weight reduction of 2.2 lbs. A redesigned magnesium clutch cover, redeveloped to improve the oil flow into the clutch assembly more efficiently. Magnesium flywheel cover, redesigned in-line with the rest of the engine, now with a more functional and modern look. New water pump system that improves flow-rate and therefore the efficiency of the cooling system’s ability to transfer heat, keeping average temperatures lower, improving performance, and providing a more simplified cooling hose system. Cylinder and head redesigned matched with the updated cooling system to lower engine temperatures. Twin Injectors improve performance and increase fuel mileage. Oil circuit redesigned to provide better heat transfer between oil and water in the front section of the crankcase in order to keep the oil temperature lower. Clutch with redesigned discs in a new material to ensure smoother and more modular gear shifting. Redesigned gearing, now shorter and lighter. New gearshift mechanism with lighter cam to improve shifting. Gearshift lever redesigned in line with the new engine and frame layout. Addition of a neutral sensor. Updated EFI mapping. Chassis All-New frame with redesigned geometry and rigidity for increased agility and stability. Weight is reduced and reliability boosted with the use of precision-cast components, while comfort is improved and vibration reduced thanks to new head bolts. The frame is also narrower at the base which improves handling over difficult sections and typical off-road tracks. Modified swingarm, now longer for better stability and traction. Completely redesigned tailpiece, greater strength to reduce breakage during off road riding, all filter box components and related accessories are now housed inside it. Improved fork design compared to previous version, with new inner cartridge to lower the center of gravity providing the perfect level of plushness while also improving the action of square-edge impacts. Internal valving has been updated to work in-line with the new frame design. New rear shock absorber with: o New top-out system, now a spring to improve grip and contact with the ground during hard braking. o New longer shock bumper with more progressive compression. This ensures good protection of the buffer and improves bottoming resistance. o New valving, to work in-line with the new frame. New air filter boot. Air Filter mounting system, providing quicker and more accurate installation. Cooling system with water hoses placed inside the frame and more efficient radiators. This improves heat transfer and allows engines to operate at lower temperatures, even in the most extreme conditions. Larger capacity fuel tanks, of 2.4 US gallons (previously 2.1 gallons). Besides providing greater range, the new fuel tanks improve ergonomics and ease-of-movement in the seat. Wider handlebars for greater control. Exhaust with new layout in line with the bike’s new rear section. Side stand with bigger foot pad. New precision-cast footpegs that are better at shedding mud and teeth to increase boot grip. New chain guide, longer to suit new swingarm. New brake pedal, more robust and with larger bearings. Shorter 430/480 cc gearing compared to previous models. Design Completely new superstructure (front cowl, front and rear fenders, ducts and fairings) that improves ergonomics and the operation of all related parts. Front fender with variable thickness geometry which reduces weight and increases rigidity. New tailpiece and attachments in techno-polymer. All RR-S Models come standard with the TrailTech Voyager GPS. New handlebar protector. Redesigned seat, more comfortable when moving about on the bike. New silencer protector. New digital instruments and instrument panel. Redesigned skid plate. New rear light and license plate bracket with integrated grab handles. New frame protectors. Prices: 350 RR-S $10,599.00 390 RR-S $10,699.00 430 RR-S $10,799.00 500 RR-S $10,899.00 Availability: RR-S 4-Stroke Models November 2019 For more details and specs go to the Beta USA website.
  22. Riding a maxi scooter in what many call the ultimate Trans-European off-road adventure rally may sound like a strange choice, but to Paris-Dakar veteran Renato Zocchi it made perfect sense. “Many would never imagine it,” he says, “to run with something no one would have chosen to do a race like this, side by side with the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder enduros.” His results at the finish of the Gibraltar race — 1st in Class 2 (601cc – 950cc) and 7th overall — are a big win for Honda’s crossover X-ADV 750. Even more so when you consider Zocchi and his ADV scooter were competing against a field of hardcore adventure bikes in Class 2 ranging from the KTM 950 Super Enduro and 790 Adventure R to Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and BMW’s F 800 GS Adventure. This was Zocchi’s second time at the Gibraltar Race on Honda’s X-ADV 750 crossover – a race that covered over 7,000 km and 14 grueling stages. He says he owes his success in this year’s race partly to lessons learned on his first attempt, but mostly to improvements made the adventure scooter. Some upgrades came from Honda via new model year upgrades that included more advanced electronics, most notably the addition of the G-switch, Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), an off-road mode that optimizes power and traction control for adventure-riding conditions. ADVERTISEMENT While he kept the engine and chassis stock, Zocchi worked with Rollfactory and Honda Italy’s racing department to raise the bike’s frame in order to provide the ground clearance necessary to race the technical conditions along the Gibraltar’s route from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic. He added an SC-Project exhaust system and Öhlins dialed in the X-ADV’s suspension. Lastly, BARTubeless wheels were added and shod with Anlas Capra X tires. Now in its fourth year, the Gibraltar Race is known for its challenging conditions: Fourteen consecutive dawn departures, difficult navigation on courses 300 to 600 kilometers in length, most of it dirt roads and singletrack. During this year’s event temperatures ranged from 35 to a scorching 120°F, taking a massive toll on both riders and their machines. Zocchi says that it was only because of the technology and extreme reliability of the Honda that his victorious finish was possible. 2019 Gibraltar Race Route. It might have also had a little something to do with multi-titled national champion and seasoned Paris-Dakar racer’s skills, but definitely a feather in Honda’s cap as well. To top off his victory, Zocchi allowed himself and his steed a day of rest, then mounted up the X-ADV and rode it 2,000 kilometers to his home near Milan. For the time being we will have to watch this interesting machine from a distance as there are no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon. Photos by Rally Cool! Photography 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.
  23. Riding a maxi scooter in what many call the ultimate Trans-European off-road adventure rally may sound like a strange choice, but to Paris-Dakar veteran Renato Zocchi it made perfect sense. “Many would never imagine it,” he says, “to run with something no one would have chosen to do a race like this, side by side with the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder enduros.” His results at the finish of the Gibraltar race — 1st in Class 2 (601cc – 950cc) and 7th overall — are a big win for Honda’s crossover X-ADV 750. Even more so when you consider Zocchi and his ADV scooter were competing against a field of hardcore adventure bikes in Class 2 ranging from the KTM 950 Super Enduro and 790 Adventure R to Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and BMW’s F 800 GS Adventure. ADVERTISEMENT This was Zocchi’s second time at the Gibraltar Race on Honda’s X-ADV 750 crossover – a race that covered over 7,000 km and 14 grueling stages. He says he owes his success in this year’s race partly to lessons learned on his first attempt, but mostly to improvements made the adventure scooter. Some upgrades came from Honda via new model year upgrades that included more advanced electronics, most notably the addition of the G-switch, Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), an off-road mode that optimizes power and traction control for adventure-riding conditions. While he kept the engine and chassis stock, Zocchi worked with Rollfactory and Honda Italy’s racing department to raise the bike’s frame in order to provide the ground clearance necessary to race the technical conditions along the Gibraltar’s route from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic. He added an SC-Project exhaust system and Öhlins dialed in the X-ADV’s suspension. Lastly, BARTubeless wheels were added and shod with Anlas Capra X tires. Now in its fourth year, the Gibraltar Race is known for its challenging conditions: Fourteen consecutive dawn departures, difficult navigation on courses 300 to 600 kilometers in length, most of it dirt roads and singletrack. During this year’s event temperatures ranged from 35 to a scorching 120°F, taking a massive toll on both riders and their machines. Zocchi says that it was only because of the technology and extreme reliability of the Honda that his victorious finish was possible. 2019 Gibraltar Race Route. It might have also had a little something to do with multi-titled national champion and seasoned Paris-Dakar racer’s skills, but definitely a feather in Honda’s cap as well. To top off his victory, Zocchi allowed himself and his steed a day of rest, then mounted up the X-ADV and rode it 2,000 kilometers to his home near Milan. For the time being we will have to watch this interesting machine from a distance as there are no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon. Photos by Rally Cool! Photography 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.
  24. Back when legendary enduro racer Chris Birch was coaching amateur participants for KTM’s Ultimate Race he wasn’t thinking much about the Hellas Rally in Greece. He just knew the KTM 790 Adventure R had the potential to kick ass on a serious level. Now, having finished a remarkable 4th place overall in what has become one of Europe’s most challenging rallies — an event geared heavily toward lighter 450cc machines and not do-it-all adventure bikes — he’s more than proven his theory. “It’s hard to believe how well [it] handles in the most extreme situations until you’ve raced one,” he says of the bike, a machine more reminiscent of the big-bore Paris-Dakar bikes we watched in the 90s than the dirt bikes you see competing in today’s rallies. ”What I Loved Most About Racing the 790 R” ADVERTISEMENT When asked what he loves most about racing the KTM 790 Adventure R, Birch says firstly it’s the bike’s extremely capable suspension. “On day three of the race I hit two huge bumps in a row whilst struggling with the dust. It just ate up the bumps and went straight ahead —incredible for stock suspension.” Birch says he felt comfortable pushing the KTM 790 Adventure R hard during the grueling seven-day event, no matter how diverse the terrain. He also cites the bike’s braking system as a feature that encouraged complete confidence. “Managing your brakes’ temperature in long stages is really a crucial thing,” says Birch. With some of the stages including more than 400 km of riding per day he adds that confidence in the braking system gave him less to worry about so he could focus fully his performance. Birch describes the power delivery from the bike’s parallel twin as smooth and tractable, and despite the engine’s potent 95hp output, it delivered all the torquey goodness (65 ft-lbs) necessary to find traction on the most tricky and slippery parts of the trail. Also on his list of favorite features is the 790’s 5.3-gallon fuel tank and claimed 280-mile range, which allowed him a huge advantage over most of his Hellas competitors who were riding smaller bikes. He says he never had to worry about conserving fuel during the event. But to come out on the winning end of a 7-day, 1200 kilometer rally raid with a smile on your face requires a bike that’s comfortable as well as competitive. Birch loves that there are seat options available from KTM PowerParts, and opted to go with the taller version for the Hellas. “The seat gave me total freedom to move my weight all the way forwards and back. It just made riding easier,” he says, plus “it felt great to finish this long week of riding without a sore arse.” In a past video Birch also praised the 790 Adventure R’s Rally Mode with its on-the-fly traction control options, as well as the bike’s overall ergonomic triangle and how the compact fuel tank shape allows for a deeper, more forward seating position that’s perfect for aggressive maneuvering. “You can do so much on this bike sitting down,” he says, “which really saves you for long days of adventure riding.” WATCH: Chris Birch also shares some of his favorite features on the KTM 790 Adventure R for Adventure Riding. Birch was excited going into the Hellas on the KTM 790 R because he knew it was capable, but was eager to explore its full potential in real race conditions. “It was a huge highlight for me to learn how to get the most out of this cool machine,” he says. “It’s an amazing motorcycle and I enjoyed every moment of racing it.” Photos by Actiongraphers 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. Back when legendary enduro racer Chris Birch was coaching amateur participants for KTM’s Ultimate Race he wasn’t thinking much about the Hellas Rally in Greece. He just knew the KTM 790 Adventure R had the potential to kick ass on a serious level. Now, having finished a remarkable 4th place overall in what has become one of Europe’s most challenging rallies — an event geared heavily toward lighter 450cc machines and not do-it-all adventure bikes — he’s more than proven his theory. “It’s hard to believe how well [it] handles in the most extreme situations until you’ve raced one,” he says of the bike, a machine more reminiscent of the big-bore Paris-Dakar bikes we watched in the 90s than the dirt bikes you see competing in today’s rallies. ”What I Loved Most About Racing the 790 R” ADVERTISEMENT When asked what he loves most about racing the KTM 790 Adventure R, Birch says firstly it’s the bike’s extremely capable suspension. “On day three of the race I hit two huge bumps in a row whilst struggling with the dust. It just ate up the bumps and went straight ahead —incredible for stock suspension.” Birch says he felt comfortable pushing the KTM 790 Adventure R hard during the grueling seven-day event, no matter how diverse the terrain. He also cites the bike’s braking system as a feature that encouraged complete confidence. “Managing your brakes’ temperature in long stages is really a crucial thing,” says Birch. With some of the stages including more than 400 km of riding per day he adds that confidence in the braking system gave him less to worry about so he could focus fully his performance. Birch describes the power delivery from the bike’s parallel twin as smooth and tractable, and despite the engine’s potent 95hp output, it delivered all the torquey goodness (65 ft-lbs) necessary to find traction on the most tricky and slippery parts of the trail. Also on his list of favorite features is the 790’s 5.3-gallon fuel tank and claimed 280-mile range, which allowed him a huge advantage over most of his Hellas competitors who were riding smaller bikes. He says he never had to worry about conserving fuel during the event. But to come out on the winning end of a 7-day, 1200 kilometer rally raid with a smile on your face requires a bike that’s comfortable as well as competitive. Birch loves that there are seat options available from KTM PowerParts, and opted to go with the taller version for the Hellas. “The seat gave me total freedom to move my weight all the way forwards and back. It just made riding easier,” he says, plus “it felt great to finish this long week of riding without a sore arse.” In a past video Birch also praised the 790 Adventure R’s Rally Mode with its on-the-fly traction control options, as well as the bike’s overall ergonomic triangle and how the compact fuel tank shape allows for a deeper, more forward seating position that’s perfect for aggressive maneuvering. “You can do so much on this bike sitting down,” he says, “which really saves you for long days of adventure riding.” WATCH: Chris Birch also shares some of his favorite features on the KTM 790 Adventure R for Adventure Riding. Birch was excited going into the Hellas on the KTM 790 R because he knew it was capable, but was eager to explore its full potential in real race conditions. “It was a huge highlight for me to learn how to get the most out of this cool machine,” he says. “It’s an amazing motorcycle and I enjoyed every moment of racing it.” Photos by Actiongraphers 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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