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  1. Published on 05.29.2020 With greater performance comes an even greater need for protecting your bike from the forces generated by increased speeds and more technical terrain. The engineers at Touratech have created an all-new skid plate for the KTM 790 Adventure and Adventure R that uses a combination of manufacturing methods to achieve maximum protection for this unique motorcycle. Although riders have welcomed the great handling and low center of gravity on the KTM 790 Adventure, some are concerned about the vulnerability of the fuel tanks. While some aftermarket skid plates accommodate the stock plastic guards, Touratech chose a different approach. The RallyeForm Skidplate protects the fuel tank with 3mm aluminum guards that are pressed into the perfect shape using 500,000 pounds of force. The result is a strong shield that protects the fuel tanks from damage while fitting the exact contours of the tanks. ADVERTISEMENT The tank guards are integrated with the lower portion of the skid plate which is precision crafted from 4mm- thick aluminum alloy. This bottom portion is designed to give the maximum protection during hard hits on rocks, stumps, or bottoming out the bike off-road. The folded ridges give the aluminum material better rigidity while also maximizing ground clearance for off-road riding. “The KTM 790 is one of the most agile twin-cylinder motorcycles in the ADV class and the RallyeForm Skid Plate provides the protection riders want for exploring rugged terrain. Many will also appreciate the way it enhances the adventure styling of this beautiful machine.” -Iain Glynn, Chief Riding Officer, Touratech-USA There are four color combinations available: silver base & silver tank guards, silver base & black tank guards, black base & silver tank guards, and black base & black tank guards. The RallyeForm skid plate is also designed to be combined with Touratech engine and fairing crash bars for complete protection of your 790 Adventure. MSRP: $429.95. For more information go to Touratech.com. [embedded content] [embedded content]
  2. Published on 05.27.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]A recent Royal Enfield video, showcasing adventure riding on the Himalayan, has gone viral reaching over one million views. The three minute narrated clip titled “What’s Your Adventure” explores the allure of adventure riding and inspires with its epic riding scenes. The short film explores familiar themes like our innate need for discovery and seeing what’s around the next corner. Yet it delves deeper into how adventure riding is about having our own unique experiences and finding our own version of adventure. The stunning visuals or riders on Royal Enfield Himalayans, traveling through snow-covered mountains, clearly exemplifies how motorcycles are a powerful conduit between the terrain and our environment. The narrator asserts riders should take their time and that “There’s no rush,” emphasizing the importance of soaking it all in and enjoying the moment. Another theme expanded on in the film is the value of shared experiences — how being able to share the ride with others helps create stronger bonds and connections. “You wanna have those moments, where you turn around to your buddy and like, ‘Yeah man, we just did that!’.” I’m sure many of us can remember a time looking at an amazing view while on a solo ride, realizing that even the best photo wouldn’t do it justice. Being able to share those intense moments, the struggles, the overcoming, is what makes some of our best memories so powerful. ADVERTISEMENT This Royal Enfield flick gets a lot right about ‘why we ride adventure bikes’ and it ends with a powerful statement. “These days we can get caught up with metrics… going faster…, further…, higher… But really the only metric that really matters is happiness.” All too often, we see comments from adventure riders online with strong convictions about how their style of riding, their style of bike or gear is the best or right way to do it. But when it comes down to it, we are all stimulated by different things. We all experience the world differently and put value on different experiences. And doing what makes ‘you’ happy is what Adventure Riding is all about. 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.
  3. Published on 05.27.2020 [embedded content] [embedded content]A recent Royal Enfield video, showcasing adventure riding on the Himalayan, has gone viral reaching over one million views. The three minute narrated clip titled “What’s Your Adventure” explores the allure of adventure riding and inspires with its epic riding scenes. The short film explores familiar themes like our innate need for discovery and seeing what’s around the next corner. Yet it delves deeper into how adventure riding is about having our own unique experiences and finding our own version of adventure. The stunning visuals or riders on Royal Enfield Himalayans, traveling through snow-covered mountains, clearly exemplifies how motorcycles are a powerful conduit between the terrain and our environment. The narrator asserts riders should take their time and that “There’s no rush,” emphasizing the importance of soaking it all in and enjoying the moment. Another theme expanded on in the film is the value of shared experiences — how being able to share the ride with others helps create stronger bonds and connections. “You wanna have those moments, where you turn around to your buddy and like, ‘Yeah man, we just did that!’.” I’m sure many of us can remember a time looking at an amazing view while on a solo ride, realizing that even the best photo wouldn’t do it justice. Being able to share those intense moments, the struggles, the overcoming, is what makes some of our best memories so powerful. ADVERTISEMENT This Royal Enfield flick gets a lot right about ‘why we ride adventure bikes’ and it ends with a powerful statement. “These days we can get caught up with metrics… going faster…, further…, higher… But really the only metric that really matters is happiness.” All too often, we see comments from adventure riders online with strong convictions about how their style of riding, their style of bike or gear is the best or right way to do it. But when it comes down to it, we are all stimulated by different things. We all experience the world differently and put value on different experiences. And doing what makes ‘you’ happy is what Adventure Riding is all about. 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.
  4. Published on 05.26.2020 Italian boot maker Forma has just released an all-new version of it’s popular Adventure Boot, now featuring more protection from extreme weather conditions. The new ‘Adventure HDry’ Boots incorporate direct lamination waterproof technology. Originally called OutDry, the waterproof technology has been significantly improved and renamed HDry. Now Forma is the first manufacturer to produce motorcycle boots using the new technology. The patented HDry construction process directly bonds a waterproof membrane to the outer leather, eliminating the intermediate gap typically found between the outer and inner layer in traditional WP boots. With no gaps between the membrane and outer leather, the boot does not get soaked and heavy with water. This ensures water stays out of the boot while at the same time, the material is porous enough to let smaller sweat and vapor particles out of the boot for improved breathability. Along with the upgrade in waterproofing, the Forma Adventure HDry Boots offer comfort and convenience with a 3-buckle design and Velcro top closure. There’s also an aggressive hiking sole that makes it easier to walk in slippery terrain or pick up your bike in the mud. The tall boot design also includes an injection-molded shin plate and ankle reinforcements that give it enough impact protection for light off-roading. Plus with its full-grain oiled leather construction and alloy buckles, Adventure HDry Boots are designed to handle the abuses of adventure riding. Adventure HDry Boots Features CE level protection Full-grain oiled leather HDry extreme waterproof technology Lightweight construction Double Density anti-slip sole Stainless steel shank Injection molded shin plate Plastic gear pad protection Replaceable alloy buckles PP Mid Dual Flex with anti-shock midsole Adjustable straps Velcro collar closure TPU reinforced ankle area Extra soft polymer padding Anti-bacterial replaceable footbed with A.P.S. (Air Pump System) and personalized microfiber covering Made in Italy 12-month warranty Available in sizes 38-49 (Euro) MSRP: $339 Shopping Options ADVERTISEMENT
  5. Published on 05.22.2020 It’s been a long time coming, but the day when the Yamaha Ténéré 700 finally arrives in the USA is upon us. Europe has had the pleasure of riding the T7 for about a year now, while we here in the States have been stuck waiting and dreaming about the amazing rides this rally-inspired Adventure Bike might take us on. Yamaha has confirmed today that the 2021 Ténéré 700 will arrive in the U.S. market beginning the first week of June. Earlier this year, Yamaha connected with customers interested in making the first Ténéré 700 purchases through the company’s website and dealer network, and orders started taking place today. While the first shipment of Ténéré 700 motorcycles are expected to sell out, additional inventory will be arriving at authorized Yamaha dealerships for purchase later this summer and fall. In addition to the previously announced Ceramic Ice Color, Matte Black and Intensity White color schemes will also be offered in the US. All carrying an MSRP of $9,999 USD. ADVERTISEMENT Customers who ordered their Ténéré 700 motorcycles today were also given the opportunity to purchase one of two accessory packs: The Rally Pack features a skid plate, main stand, engine guard, radiator protector, chain guide, mono-seat rack and tank pad. The Tour Pack features a main stand, engine guard, side case stays and a set of side cases with locks. All accessories for the 2021 Ténéré 700 can be found at www.shopyamaha.com. Get It Delivered To Your Door Yamaha is also offering home delivery service during the COVID-19 crisis with their ‘Deliver your Ride’ program. Simply select a local dealer through the Yamaha website and they will work with you to coordinate the sale and delivery of your Ténéré 700 to your door, safely and conveniently. For more information go to yamahamotorsports.com Yamaha Tenere 700 Specs engine 689cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 8 valves Bore x stroke 80.0mm x 68.6mm fuel delivery Fuel Injection transmission 6-speed; wet multiplate clutch final drive Chain Compression ratio 11.5:1 front suspension 43mm inverted fork, fully-adjustable; 8.3-in travel rear suspension Single shock, adjustable preload (w/remote adjuster) and rebound damping; 7.9-in travel front brakes Dual 282mm hydraulic disc; selectable ABS rear brakes 245mm hydraulic disc; selectable ABS FRONT TIRES 90/90R21 Pirelli® Scorpion® Rally STR REAR TIRES 150/70R18 Pirelli® Scorpion® Rally STR SEAT HEIGHT 34.4 in WHEELBASE 62.6 in ground clearance 9.5 in fuel capacity 4.2 gal wet weight 452 lbs
  6. Published on 05.22.2020 It’s been a long time coming, but the day when the Yamaha Ténéré 700 finally arrives in the USA is upon us. Europe has had the pleasure of riding the T7 for about a year now, while we here in the States have been stuck waiting and dreaming about the amazing rides this rally-inspired Adventure Bike might take us on. Yamaha has confirmed today that the 2021 Ténéré 700 will arrive in the U.S. market beginning the first week of June. Earlier this year, Yamaha connected with customers interested in making the first Ténéré 700 purchases through the company’s website and dealer network, and orders started taking place today. While the first shipment of Ténéré 700 motorcycles are expected to sell out, additional inventory will be arriving at authorized Yamaha dealerships for purchase later this summer and fall. In addition to the previously announced Ceramic Ice Color, Matte Black and Intensity White color schemes will also be offered in the US. All carrying an MSRP of $9,999 USD. ADVERTISEMENT Customers who ordered their Ténéré 700 motorcycles today were also given the opportunity to purchase one of two accessory packs: The Rally Pack features a skid plate, main stand, engine guard, radiator protector, chain guide, mono-seat rack and tank pad. The Tour Pack features a main stand, engine guard, side case stays and a set of side cases with locks. All accessories for the 2021 Ténéré 700 can be found at www.shopyamaha.com. Get It Delivered To Your Door Yamaha is also offering home delivery service during the COVID-19 crisis with their ‘Deliver your Ride’ program. Simply select a local dealer through the Yamaha website and they will work with you to coordinate the sale and delivery of your Ténéré 700 to your door, safely and conveniently. For more information go to yamahamotorsports.com Yamaha Tenere 700 Specs engine 689cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 8 valves Bore x stroke 80.0mm x 68.6mm fuel delivery Fuel Injection transmission 6-speed; wet multiplate clutch final drive Chain Compression ratio 11.5:1 front suspension 43mm inverted fork, fully-adjustable; 8.3-in travel rear suspension Single shock, adjustable preload (w/remote adjuster) and rebound damping; 7.9-in travel front brakes Dual 282mm hydraulic disc; selectable ABS rear brakes 245mm hydraulic disc; selectable ABS FRONT TIRES 90/90R21 Pirelli® Scorpion® Rally STR REAR TIRES 150/70R18 Pirelli® Scorpion® Rally STR SEAT HEIGHT 34.4 in WHEELBASE 62.6 in ground clearance 9.5 in fuel capacity 4.2 gal wet weight 452 lbs
  7. With Memorial day weekend upon us, some adventure riders are putting aside Covid-jitters to embark on their first safety-first getaway of spring, while others are more comfortable staying home and laying plans for later. Either way, it’s a great time to partake in these Memorial Day deals from some of the world’s best motorcycle and outdoor gear purveyors. From now until the end of May REV’IT! is “giving the gift of safety.” That is, it’s including free of charge its Seesoft CE Level 2 back protector with any sale of a riding jacket. The Seesoft protector, which fits into an existing pocket on many REV’IT! jackets, utilizes layers of highly impact-resistant nitrile and polynorbornene rubber designed to shift for the highest level of impact protection, yet it’s soft to the touch and flexible like memory foam. We’ve ridden with this protector and it’s super comfortable and breathable too. Just order a jacket before the end of May, enter promo code during checkout (ADVBACK on Revzilla), and it will be automatically included. Purveyor of a mind-boggling amount of moto merch, Revzilla is celebrating Memorial Day with plenty of deals like these two sales: SIDI up to 20% off brand-wide, and FirstGear at 15% off the entire line. There is also free-shipping store-wide for purchases over $39.99. So if you’ve been waiting to trade your old kicks for Sidi’s 2020 Adventure 2s, X-3 Enduro or Crossfire 2s, now’s the time (all 10% off). As for Firstgear, there’s a world of good choices in this line, like the Kathmandu jacket (save $55.49) for the coming warm season. The adjustability of the jacket allows for a personalized fit, while multiple large vents help to keep you cool and D30 throughout armor protects. The matching pants (save $47.99) are sized to be worn over your clothes and come with a removable bib system, because, yeah, Covid-body. There are also some nice savings for the Leatt GPX 5.5 Enduro Jacket and Pants at 20% off each. Wolfman is celebrating Memorial Day with a Friday-Monday 15% off its entire site sale. That’s right, choose anything from the line of well-proven tank bags, tail bags, saddle bags, enduro bags, expedition bags, Rolie bags and more. All accessories are included in the deal as well. Wolfman luggage is made for adventure riding, with the totally waterproof Rocky Mountain Expedition Saddle Bags setup being our top pick. These 66-liter bags mount to a variety of racks, and when matched with a Wolfman Expedition Duffle, you’re ready to travel the world. Offer good for the entire order (not just one item) using code: GoWolfman (case sensitive). ADVERTISEMENT Klim has a few deals going on in honor of Memorial Day 2020, including staples like the popular Krew Pak now $143 (from $179), their largest capacity backpack for whatever backcountry adventure you’re headed for. There are a couple bargains to be had on off-road goggles from Viper for as low as $29 (from $49), that would match up well with Klim’s brand new F5 Helmet if you’re into a full-time dirt lid with goggles mode. Other offerings on the Memorial Day page include a women’s Avalon mesh jacket, the Drift gear bag and a limited supply of the Arsenal Vest on sale now for $113 (from $189) , a take-it-all garment popular with the concealed carry crowd. All of Klims offerings for the holiday sale can be found here. There are a lot of holiday sales scattered over the vast landscape of Twisted Throttle’s website, but the one we’re really excited about is the offering of 20% off everything from GIVI. So yeah, crash guards, windshields, panniers and top cases, so many possibilities. You don’t need a special code, just search the plethora of GIVI products on the website and you’ll see that all the prices have been adjusted. And no need to rush because this sale won’t end until 7/31. And if you haven’t already, make sure you register for Twisted Points in order to accrue 5% cash back toward your next purchase. Giant Loop is going big for Memorial day with so many deals it’s tough to choose one. MotoTrekk Panniers, Round The World Panniers and GL Pannier Mounts Combos are 20% off. If you’re going for Siskiyou Panniers you’ll receive a free Tillamook Dry Bag ($130 value). Memorial weekend shoppers can also enjoy 20% off the Fandango Tank Bag + Pannier Pockets combo and Diablo Tank Bag + Pannier Pockets combo. The best deal might be getting a free Giant Loop Tail Rack with purchase of Great Basin, Coyote or Mojavi saddlebags. Mosko Moto just announced it is taking 20% off its popular Basilisk jacket and pants. That’s a savings of $120 on the jacket and $100 on pants, which are sold separately. This is true off-road ready kit constructed of abrasion-resistant eVent Expedition 3-layer fabric (eVent competes head-to-head with Gore-tex), so it’s both breathable and waterproof. The jacket is named after its versatile stand-alone Basilisk armor system, which can be removed and packed small when appropriate. Visually, what we find most striking about this ensemble, is its clean, minimalist lines. Sena is offering a cool trade-in rebate of up to $150 when owners of 30K, 20S, and 20S EVO units upgrade to the new 50R or 50S. The Sena 50R was proven for adventure riding during the GS Trophy in New Zealand earlier this year where competitors showered it with positive reviews relating to its ease-of-use, sound clarity and ability to mesh in varying conditions. So how does this trade-up rebate work? Purchase the new unit from Sena, submit a Trade-up Request Form, then pack and ship your 30K, 20S, and 20S EVO using the provided prepaid return label. Offer good through June. Still waiting to buy a tire changer that will save you money, time and busted knuckles? Well, Memorial Day weekend is a good time to shop with Rabaconda, which will include a free tire changer shop mat as a free gift with the purchase of its ADV Tire Changer Kit, on sale now for $499 (from $587). We’ve reviewed this kit and found it top notch. It includes the 3-minute tire changer unit, PRO tire iron set, 2 x 16-inch tire spoon, 12-18mm spindle, 28mm adapter and a 58mm adaptor for BMW GS shaft drive type wheels. The branded mat is a $35 value, and when combined with the $88 you’ll save on the kit, it makes for a very satisfying purchase. Follow this link to apply the coupon code automatically or add coupon code ADVFREEMAT at checkout. This offer is good from Friday May 22nd to Tuesday May 26th. Navigating Garmin products on non-dedicated online retail sites can be confusing, so let’s go straight to the spring. During the Memorial Day holiday select InReach devices are $100 off, including the inReach Explorer+, a reliable satellite communicator with maps and sensors (now $349.99). The affordable inReach Mini satellite communicator is $50 off during this sale (now $299). No deals on subscriptions at the moment, but plans remain extremely flexible. Old school ADV brand Tourmaster is going big right now with its “Get Out and Ride!” sale, which has more to do with encouragement and dealer support during this difficult time than it does about Memorial Day. And what a generous sale it is: 20% off all current Tourmaster products, while all non-current merch is being closed out at 30-80% off. While there are few new styles to choose from we would take this opportunity to snatch up a vented summer jacket like the Sonora Air 2.0 Mesh on sale for $187.00 (also available for women). Or maybe bank some of the heavily-discounted heated gear so we’re all set for fall. Definitely worth checking out before the sale ends on 5/31. Despite all of its retail stores being closed due to Covid-concerns, REI is going on with it’s annual “Our Biggest Sale of the Year.” Thousands of items are on sale, and members also get a one-time 20% off one full-priced item and another 20% off one item from the REI Garage online (returned and discontinued gear) using code ANNV20 through May 25. The way it’s working this year is via online delivery and also curbside pickup with zero contact, which we’ve found works pretty painlessly at two stores we’ve used, and it certainly saves time vs. shipping delays. And while it’s impossible to pick favorites with such vast offerings, one item that caught our eye was the Spot Gen3 GPS Messenger for 33% off. We also liked the Spot Trace (49% off) which discretely attaches to you bike so you can trace it from your Spot account if some nitwit jacks decides to jack it. And for those of you getting prepared for the moto camping season, you can save 25% on a Jetboil Flash stove and Helinox Zero Chair or save 30% on a MSR Hubba Tour 1 Tent. Get 25% off MSR “best sellers” through May 25 means you get a deal on all the outdoor retails most popular products. And yes, there are several lightweight, easy-to-pack tents to choose from and also the best of their compact cooking tools, the most famous of which is the Windburner Personal Stove System (now $112.46), a modular kit that packs small and weighs less than a pound. Best of all it’s windproof and boils a liter of water in 4.5 minutes. If you’re really pressed for space we’ve used MSR’s tiny PocketRocket Deluxe with good results (for only $52.46 on sale). While you can’t purchase directly from the MSR website, it will connect you with items in-stock at your local store. You might know BioLite for its incredibly lightweight, rechargeable headlamps, so perfect to tuck into a tank bag or camping kit. Well these are 25% off during the company’s sale over Memorial Day weekend, as well as all the other cool gadgets you’ll find on its website. The neatest thing we discovered is the very packable SolarPanel 5+ 5w Solar Panel & On-Board Battery (now $67.46) that weighs less than a pound and slips easily into a backpack or saddlebag. Its brother the 10+ 10w is almost 2 pounds in weight but the same dimensions because it basically is two 5+ panels that fold together (now $104.96). Either will charge your phone, tablet, lanterns or yes, BioLite headlamp while you’re adventuring off-grid. While Arc’teryx gear is famously pricey, it’s also famously well-made, so this weekend is a good time to invest, when free shipping is being offered and the whole line is 25% off using code MAY25. While it became famous for its weatherproof shells, we find Arc’teryx base layers and mid layers great to wear under adventure riding gear. They fit tidily, are super breathable and hold up to hard use. This sale makes it a perfect time to invest in a Coreloft mid layer like the Atom AR Jacket (now $209.25) that’s ideal for chilly rides and one of the few Arc’teryx mid layers without a cumbersome hood. A women’s Atom is going for $171 this weekend. After 3-plus decades Aerostich is still churring out rugged “riderwear” at its Duluth, Minnesota, factory. It is the only motorcycle apparel manufacturer left in the country that is truly a small business, handcrafting its suits in the U.S.A. And when you think about it, the RoadCrafter was the very first adventure riding suit to come to market, way before its time. Very anti-gimmick, an Aerostich suit is always comfortable, protective and will last many, many years. That said, this very American company is offering free shipping on its suits through May 25th. We also spied some off-the-rack Darien jackets, men’s RoadCrafters and women’s RoadCrafters from 15% to 30% off. 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.
  8. Last December, we announced Triumph’s official partnership with the James Bond franchise in the forthcoming 25th Film of the 007 saga, No Time To Die. As revealed in the official trailer for the film, a couple of fresh models from Triumph — the Scrambler 1200 XE and the all-new Tiger 900 — will spice up the chase sequences. To celebrate this collaboration, Triumph has introduced the first ever official motorcycle directly linked to the Bond Franchise — The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. The exclusive model is an ultra-rare, limited edition Scrambler 1200 featuring a unique 007 design scheme and limited to a production of just 250 models worldwide, with only 30 marked for the United States and 5 for Canada. This special Bond Edition motorcycle was inspired by the incredible custom Scrambler 1200 action vehicles featured in No Time To Die and has all of the top specification Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE’s performance and capability, together with premium details. Unique Bond Design Scheme Inspired by the Scrambler 1200 action vehicles ridden in No Time To Die, the new Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition features a Sapphire Black paint scheme, an oversized Triumph tank badge and brushed decal foil knee pad with hand-painted gold coachline. Additional 007 branding includes an exhaust number board and lower side panel finisher with pressed 007 branding, premium real leather seat with embroidered logo and a unique 007 TFT instrument startup screen. ADVERTISEMENT All of this comes on top of a whole host of blacked-out features, including premium black anodized rear mudguard, grab rail and sump guard, black forks, special engine badges with gold accents, black powder coated swingarm and sprocket cover. To complement the Bond theme the bike is equipped with a range of unique higher value details and features, including a high-level front mudguard with unique black anodized finish, fog lights with unique black anodized shrouds, a premium Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps, machined front brake reservoir, black rear wheel adjusters and a stainless steel headlight grill. Premium 007 bodywork and model specific details, including: Exhaust number board and lower side panel finisher with 007 branding Premium real leather seat with embroidered logo Unique Bond TFT instrument startup screen Distinctive 007 paint scheme inspired by the bike ridden by James Bond in the 25th film Black anodized rear and raised front fender Black forks Special engine badges with gold accents Black powder coated swingarm and sprocket cover Black anodized grab rail, sump guard and infills Fog lights with unique black anodized shrouds Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps Machined front brake reservoir Black rear wheel adjusters Stainless steel headlight grill Rare Limited Edition With only 250 ever being sold worldwide (30 in the United States and 5 in Canada), the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition will be one of Triumph’s most exclusive Modern Classics. Featuring an individually-numbered plaque billet riser clamp, each one will be completely unique and never to be repeated. Every Bond Edition owner will also receive a special tailor-made handover pack unique to their bike, featuring a numbered letter hand-signed by Triumph’s CEO Nick Bloor and a premium leather rucksack. 250 worldwide production (only 30 for US and 5 for Canada) Each with a numbered edition plaque and unique badging Special Bond handover pack All of the Scrambler 1200 XE Performance & Capability The Bond Edition is based on the top-spec Scrambler XE offering 89 HP @ 7,400 rpm, tuned to deliver ‘high torque’ off-road and on, low down and across the mid-range, with peak torque of 81.1 LB-FT at a low 3,950 rpm. Delivering the Scrambler soundtrack is a a twin high-level exhaust system with stainless steel headers and an Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps for a deep punchy scrambler sound. The Scrambler 1200 engine offers modern classic capability with ride-by-wire, as well as a liquid cooling system for enhanced performance and cleaner, more fuel efficient riding. 2nd generation TFT instruments: The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition features Triumph’s latest generation full-color TFT instruments with a unique 007 startup screen, a stylish design and two information layout design themes that can be personalized. This also allows the rider to update the startup screen message with their name. 6 riding modes, including ‘Off-Road Pro’: The Bond Edition features Road, Rain, Off-Road, Sport and Rider-configurable riding modes which adjust the throttle response, ABS settings and traction control setting to suit rider preference and riding conditions. This Scrambler 1200 also features the ‘Off-Road Pro’ mode, which delivers Triumph’s most off-road focused setup for advanced trail riding. The ‘Off-Road Pro’ mode turns ABS and traction control off, and uses the ‘Off-Road’ throttle map. Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control: The motorcycle is equipped with Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control as standard. These maintain the optimum braking performance and automatically adapt the level of traction control depending on the riding conditions and the lean angle. [embedded content] [embedded content]IMU – Inertial Measurement Unit: An advanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), developed in partnership with Continental, supports the optimum function of the Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control and takes constant measurements of roll, pitch, yaw, lean angle and acceleration rates, responding with appropriate active safety features. All-LED lighting with *DRL headlight: The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition comes with all-LED lighting, including 5-inch headlight, tail light with diffused opacity detailing, and indicators (in applicable markets). The headlight also incorporates LED Daytime Running Light (*in applicable markets). Illuminated backlit switches: The switches on the Scrambler Bond Edition are backlit from LEDs housed inside the switch cubes, enhancing rider interaction and improving control by giving a soft glow in all lighting conditions. Torque assist clutch: Designed to reduce clutch lever effort for the rider, bringing a lighter touch and feel to the clutch and making it easier to ride, and for longer. Keyless ignition: Triumph’s keyless ignition system is fitted as standard on the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. The system recognizes the proximity of the keyless fob and then enables ignition via the switch cube mounted start button. There is also the ability to disable the key’s wireless transmission function at the touch of a button for even greater security. Heated grips: Heated grips are also fitted as standard to the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition and are neatly integrated with a button on the left hand grip, providing greater rider comfort, with two modes. Cruise control: Electronic cruise control is fitted as standard to the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. This is a single button system fitted into the left hand switch cube. This feature can be easily accessed while riding for maximum convenience and safety. My Triumph Connectivity System and App: With TFT instrument styles designed specifically for connectivity, the optional My Triumph Connectivity System and App seamlessly enable phone call and music operation, turn-by-turn navigation, and GoPro control – all accessed via the switch cubes and displayed on the TFT screen. Class-leading specification & equipment: The Bond Edition features premium fully-adjustable twin-spring Öhlins rear suspension units with piggyback reservoirs that deliver category-leading wheel travel (250 mm) and suspension capability, for amazing off-road capability and ground clearance. Topping off the high-specification engineering innovation there are premium Brembo M50 radial monobloc calipers, adjustable folding foot controls, and first-in-class tubeless tires and spoked 21-inch front wheel. Availability The new Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition is available to order in markets around the world from today with an MSRP of $18,500 USD and $20,000 CAD. For more information go to triumphmotorcycles.com Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition Specs Engine Type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin Capacity 1200 cc Bore/Stroke 3.84 x 3.15 in (97.6 x 80 mm) Maximum Power 89 HP (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm Maximum Torque 81.1 LB-FT (110 Nm) @ 3,950 rpm Fuel System Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection Exhaust Brushed 2-into-2 exhaust system with Arrow brushed high-level twin silencers Final Drive X-ring chain Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch Gearbox 6-speed Frame Tubular Steel with aluminum cradles Swingarm Twin-sided, fabricated aluminum Front Wheel Tubeless 36-spoke 2.15 x 21 in, aluminum rims Rear Wheel Tubeless 32-spoke 4.25 x 17 in, aluminum rims Front Tire Metzeler Tourance 90/90 – 21 Rear Tire Metzeler Tourance 150/70 R 17 Front Suspension Showa 47 wheel travel. mm fully adjustable upside down cartridge forks. 9.84 in (250 mm) Rear Suspension Öhlins fully adjustable piggyback RSU’s with twin springs. 9.84 in (250 travel. mm) wheel Front Brake Twin 320 mm discs, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers. Radial master cylinder. Rear Brake Single 255 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper Seat Height 34.25 in (870 mm) Rake 26.9 º Dry Weight 456.35 Lbs (207 Kg) Fuel Tank Capacity 4.22 US GAL (16 L) Price $18,500 USD; $20,000 CAD [embedded content] [embedded content]
  9. Last December, we announced Triumph’s official partnership with the James Bond franchise in the forthcoming 25th Film of the 007 saga, No Time To Die. As revealed in the official trailer for the film, a couple of fresh models from Triumph — the Scrambler 1200 XE and the all-new Tiger 900 — will spice up the chase sequences. To celebrate this collaboration, Triumph has introduced the first ever official motorcycle directly linked to the Bond Franchise — The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. The exclusive model is an ultra-rare, limited edition Scrambler 1200 featuring a unique 007 design scheme and limited to a production of just 250 models worldwide, with only 30 marked for the United States and 5 for Canada. This special Bond Edition motorcycle was inspired by the incredible custom Scrambler 1200 action vehicles featured in No Time To Die and has all of the top specification Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE’s performance and capability, together with premium details. Unique Bond Design Scheme Inspired by the Scrambler 1200 action vehicles ridden in No Time To Die, the new Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition features a Sapphire Black paint scheme, an oversized Triumph tank badge and brushed decal foil knee pad with hand-painted gold coachline. Additional 007 branding includes an exhaust number board and lower side panel finisher with pressed 007 branding, premium real leather seat with embroidered logo and a unique 007 TFT instrument startup screen. ADVERTISEMENT All of this comes on top of a whole host of blacked-out features, including premium black anodized rear mudguard, grab rail and sump guard, black forks, special engine badges with gold accents, black powder coated swingarm and sprocket cover. To complement the Bond theme the bike is equipped with a range of unique higher value details and features, including a high-level front mudguard with unique black anodized finish, fog lights with unique black anodized shrouds, a premium Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps, machined front brake reservoir, black rear wheel adjusters and a stainless steel headlight grill. Premium 007 bodywork and model specific details, including: Exhaust number board and lower side panel finisher with 007 branding Premium real leather seat with embroidered logo Unique Bond TFT instrument startup screen Distinctive 007 paint scheme inspired by the bike ridden by James Bond in the 25th film Black anodized rear and raised front fender Black forks Special engine badges with gold accents Black powder coated swingarm and sprocket cover Black anodized grab rail, sump guard and infills Fog lights with unique black anodized shrouds Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps Machined front brake reservoir Black rear wheel adjusters Stainless steel headlight grill Rare Limited Edition With only 250 ever being sold worldwide (30 in the United States and 5 in Canada), the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition will be one of Triumph’s most exclusive Modern Classics. Featuring an individually-numbered plaque billet riser clamp, each one will be completely unique and never to be repeated. Every Bond Edition owner will also receive a special tailor-made handover pack unique to their bike, featuring a numbered letter hand-signed by Triumph’s CEO Nick Bloor and a premium leather rucksack. 250 worldwide production (only 30 for US and 5 for Canada) Each with a numbered edition plaque and unique badging Special Bond handover pack All of the Scrambler 1200 XE Performance & Capability The Bond Edition is based on the top-spec Scrambler XE offering 89 HP @ 7,400 rpm, tuned to deliver ‘high torque’ off-road and on, low down and across the mid-range, with peak torque of 81.1 LB-FT at a low 3,950 rpm. Delivering the Scrambler soundtrack is a a twin high-level exhaust system with stainless steel headers and an Arrow silencer with carbon fiber end caps for a deep punchy scrambler sound. The Scrambler 1200 engine offers modern classic capability with ride-by-wire, as well as a liquid cooling system for enhanced performance and cleaner, more fuel efficient riding. 2nd generation TFT instruments: The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition features Triumph’s latest generation full-color TFT instruments with a unique 007 startup screen, a stylish design and two information layout design themes that can be personalized. This also allows the rider to update the startup screen message with their name. 6 riding modes, including ‘Off-Road Pro’: The Bond Edition features Road, Rain, Off-Road, Sport and Rider-configurable riding modes which adjust the throttle response, ABS settings and traction control setting to suit rider preference and riding conditions. This Scrambler 1200 also features the ‘Off-Road Pro’ mode, which delivers Triumph’s most off-road focused setup for advanced trail riding. The ‘Off-Road Pro’ mode turns ABS and traction control off, and uses the ‘Off-Road’ throttle map. Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control: The motorcycle is equipped with Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control as standard. These maintain the optimum braking performance and automatically adapt the level of traction control depending on the riding conditions and the lean angle. [embedded content] [embedded content]IMU – Inertial Measurement Unit: An advanced Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), developed in partnership with Continental, supports the optimum function of the Optimized Cornering ABS and Traction Control and takes constant measurements of roll, pitch, yaw, lean angle and acceleration rates, responding with appropriate active safety features. All-LED lighting with *DRL headlight: The Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition comes with all-LED lighting, including 5-inch headlight, tail light with diffused opacity detailing, and indicators (in applicable markets). The headlight also incorporates LED Daytime Running Light (*in applicable markets). Illuminated backlit switches: The switches on the Scrambler Bond Edition are backlit from LEDs housed inside the switch cubes, enhancing rider interaction and improving control by giving a soft glow in all lighting conditions. Torque assist clutch: Designed to reduce clutch lever effort for the rider, bringing a lighter touch and feel to the clutch and making it easier to ride, and for longer. Keyless ignition: Triumph’s keyless ignition system is fitted as standard on the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. The system recognizes the proximity of the keyless fob and then enables ignition via the switch cube mounted start button. There is also the ability to disable the key’s wireless transmission function at the touch of a button for even greater security. Heated grips: Heated grips are also fitted as standard to the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition and are neatly integrated with a button on the left hand grip, providing greater rider comfort, with two modes. Cruise control: Electronic cruise control is fitted as standard to the Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition. This is a single button system fitted into the left hand switch cube. This feature can be easily accessed while riding for maximum convenience and safety. My Triumph Connectivity System and App: With TFT instrument styles designed specifically for connectivity, the optional My Triumph Connectivity System and App seamlessly enable phone call and music operation, turn-by-turn navigation, and GoPro control – all accessed via the switch cubes and displayed on the TFT screen. Class-leading specification & equipment: The Bond Edition features premium fully-adjustable twin-spring Öhlins rear suspension units with piggyback reservoirs that deliver category-leading wheel travel (250 mm) and suspension capability, for amazing off-road capability and ground clearance. Topping off the high-specification engineering innovation there are premium Brembo M50 radial monobloc calipers, adjustable folding foot controls, and first-in-class tubeless tires and spoked 21-inch front wheel. Availability The new Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition is available to order in markets around the world from today with an MSRP of $18,500 USD and $20,000 CAD. For more information go to triumphmotorcycles.com Scrambler 1200 Bond Edition Specs Engine Type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, SOHC, 270° crank angle parallel-twin Capacity 1200 cc Bore/Stroke 3.84 x 3.15 in (97.6 x 80 mm) Maximum Power 89 HP (66.2 kW) @ 7,400 rpm Maximum Torque 81.1 LB-FT (110 Nm) @ 3,950 rpm Fuel System Multi-point sequential electronic fuel injection Exhaust Brushed 2-into-2 exhaust system with Arrow brushed high-level twin silencers Final Drive X-ring chain Clutch Wet, multi-plate assist clutch Gearbox 6-speed Frame Tubular Steel with aluminum cradles Swingarm Twin-sided, fabricated aluminum Front Wheel Tubeless 36-spoke 2.15 x 21 in, aluminum rims Rear Wheel Tubeless 32-spoke 4.25 x 17 in, aluminum rims Front Tire Metzeler Tourance 90/90 – 21 Rear Tire Metzeler Tourance 150/70 R 17 Front Suspension Showa 47 wheel travel. mm fully adjustable upside down cartridge forks. 9.84 in (250 mm) Rear Suspension Öhlins fully adjustable piggyback RSU’s with twin springs. 9.84 in (250 travel. mm) wheel Front Brake Twin 320 mm discs, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers. Radial master cylinder. Rear Brake Single 255 mm disc, Brembo 2-piston floating caliper Seat Height 34.25 in (870 mm) Rake 26.9 º Dry Weight 456.35 Lbs (207 Kg) Fuel Tank Capacity 4.22 US GAL (16 L) Price $18,500 USD; $20,000 CAD [embedded content] [embedded content]
  10. Suzuki has joined a growing list of motorcycle manufacturers offering a streamlined at-home purchase and delivery experience with its “Suzuki Direct 2 You” program. We first saw this strategy employed by Indian back in early April, with Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda jumping on the bandwagon shortly after. While it’s true that powersports dealerships have been on the federal government’s list of essential businesses that were allowed to stay open during the coronavirus crisis, a large majority shuttered their showrooms as a precaution, while offering essential service and repairs by appointment. ADVERTISEMENT Others are just now opening doors with social distancing guidelines in place, but there is still a large part of the population that would rather skip a lengthy in-store transaction. And with spring weather tickling our wild hairs, the manufacturers are eager to get us on the road and trail as quickly as possible. In Suzuki’s case it wants you to “Have the Suzuki of your dreams delivered straight to your home or office.” The Japanese marque explains that you simply pick your bike and options then your selected dealer “will work with you for a safe, professional and convenient buying experience all while ensuring the same quality of service as an in-store visit,” including a complete product orientation session performed by trained dealership personnel. How It Works Pick out your Suzuki motorcycle online. Find a dealer near you at the dealer locator or check with your local dealer. Your selected dealer will work with you to provide a personalized product delivery straight to your door. Complete product orientation from trained dealership personnel included. “We understand the landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and we are working hard to ease that burden with new and innovative ways to continue our commitment to keeping customers and dealers a priority,” said Kerry Graeber, Vice President MC/ATV Sales and Marketing at Suzuki. Each of the manufacturers have used slightly different wording in their press releases so it’s a good idea to check with your local dealer for the scoop on how local regulations might affect their program. And while Yamaha and Kawasaki made it very clear that in addition to vehicles, its parts, accessories and clothing were also available for home delivery, the others were more vague about parts being included. Suzuki was one of the only brands to specify an end date (June 30th) for its at-home delivery experience. One talking point all the manufacturers were united on was that an at-home delivery would be a satisfying experience and would include all the orientation you’d expect from a storefront delivery. You won’t find too much about the “Suzuki Direct 2 You” program on its main website, so contact your local dealer by phone or email for details. And if you’ve had experience with a Covid-related delivery of a vehicle or parts please tell us about it in the comments. 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. Suzuki has joined a growing list of motorcycle manufacturers offering a streamlined at-home purchase and delivery experience with its “Suzuki Direct 2 You” program. We first saw this strategy employed by Indian back in early April, with Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda jumping on the bandwagon shortly after. While it’s true that powersports dealerships have been on the federal government’s list of essential businesses that were allowed to stay open during the coronavirus crisis, a large majority shuttered their showrooms as a precaution, while offering essential service and repairs by appointment. ADVERTISEMENT Others are just now opening doors with social distancing guidelines in place, but there is still a large part of the population that would rather skip a lengthy in-store transaction. And with spring weather tickling our wild hairs, the manufacturers are eager to get us on the road and trail as quickly as possible. In Suzuki’s case it wants you to “Have the Suzuki of your dreams delivered straight to your home or office.” The Japanese marque explains that you simply pick your bike and options then your selected dealer “will work with you for a safe, professional and convenient buying experience all while ensuring the same quality of service as an in-store visit,” including a complete product orientation session performed by trained dealership personnel. How It Works Pick out your Suzuki motorcycle online. Find a dealer near you at the dealer locator or check with your local dealer. Your selected dealer will work with you to provide a personalized product delivery straight to your door. Complete product orientation from trained dealership personnel included. “We understand the landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and we are working hard to ease that burden with new and innovative ways to continue our commitment to keeping customers and dealers a priority,” said Kerry Graeber, Vice President MC/ATV Sales and Marketing at Suzuki. Each of the manufacturers have used slightly different wording in their press releases so it’s a good idea to check with your local dealer for the scoop on how local regulations might affect their program. And while Yamaha and Kawasaki made it very clear that in addition to vehicles, its parts, accessories and clothing were also available for home delivery, the others were more vague about parts being included. Suzuki was one of the only brands to specify an end date (June 30th) for its at-home delivery experience. One talking point all the manufacturers were united on was that an at-home delivery would be a satisfying experience and would include all the orientation you’d expect from a storefront delivery. You won’t find too much about the “Suzuki Direct 2 You” program on its main website, so contact your local dealer by phone or email for details. And if you’ve had experience with a Covid-related delivery of a vehicle or parts please tell us about it in the comments. 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. Published on 05.18.2020 These days more adventure riders than ever are ditching their dedicated GPS devices and replacing them with their phones for navigation. Large screens, turn-by-turn directions ported to Bluetooth headsets, traffic alerts, and access to music subscriptions are just some of the conveniences that are making this option more popular. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cheaply-made phone holders out there that are designed for automotive applications. Many of them are not up to snuff for the demands of on- and off-road adventure riding, and lack the ability to securely hold the phone in place during the bucking and bouncing encountered in rugged environments. The RAM Quick-Grip Motorcycle Phone Holder can be installed on most motorcycles using the handlebar mount.The folks at Ram Mounts have been making durable GPS mounting solutions since the early days, that’s why we’re excited about their latest “Quick-Grip” phone holder. It features a spring-loaded top clamp and adjustable side supports that securely hold the phone in place, while letting you easily dock or remove the phone with one hand. The quick-release feature really comes in handy when you want to snap a photo or video on the trail. Simply pull the spring activated clamp arm out to quickly dismount or dock your phone.First Impressions The RAM Quick-Grip holder comes in two sizes, one for standard sized phones and the “XL” designed for larger phones. We’ve been testing the XL version on several of our rides, and with different bikes. So far it’s held our phones securely in place through whoops, rough roads and even some jumps. While it’s not a waterproof case, most modern phones can handle rain and you can easily remove the phone to protect it in a waterproof pocket if you come upon any deep water crossings. ADVERTISEMENT You can buy the standard or XL Quick-Grip Holder by itself or with the handlebar mount kit. The phone mount comes with hardware to attach it to RAM B or C size diamond bases containing the universal AMPS hole pattern. Or with the handlebar mounting kit, you get a short RAM double socket arm and zinc-coated handlebar U-Bolt base that fits any bar tubing from 0.5” to 1.25” in diameter. Pricing starts at $28 for the Quick-Grip standard mount and costs up to $65 for the XL with handlebar mounting kit. Plus RAM backs it with a lifetime warranty. RAM Quick-Grip Holder Highlights Spring-loaded holder features adjustable side supports that provide a secure fit for a variety of phones and other devices. Easily dock or remove your phone with one hand. Compatible with RAM diamond ball bases for attaching to double socket arms and mounting bases. Can easily be rotated for portrait or landscape view with the use of the Ram attachment hardware. Handlebar mount kit fits most motorcycle handlebar diameters: 7/8″, 1″, 1 1/4″. Backed by a lifetime warranty. RAM Quick-Grip Phone Compatibility Height Range: 4.75” – 5.75” (Reg); 5.75″ – 8.25″ (XL) Width Range: 2.19” – 3.25” (Reg); 2.625″ – 3.625″ (XL) Max Depth: 0.72” (Reg and XL) Shopping Options 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.
  13. This is not a bike comparison, although two motorcycles from the same manufacturer are involved. One, a 2020 Husqvarna 701 Enduro, and the other, a 1978 Husqvarna 390, buried up to its axles in concrete, in the middle of the desert. Over 20 miles from the nearest paved road, a memorial to fallen motorcyclists first sprouted in 1987 near the Cuddeback Dry Lake area of the Mojave desert. Following the passing of desert racer Jim Erickson, members of the Desert Zebras Motorcycle Club brought his Husky 390 out there, and planted it. That Swedish seed grew into a mechanical memorial garden over the years, as other fallen riders had additional remembrances built for them around the impromptu site. Wanting to visit this unique desert feature, choosing to ride a Husky to the Husky monument seemed appropriate. Following the passing of desert racer Jim Erickson, his 1978 Husky 390 was planted at this site as a memorial. That Swedish seed grew into a mechanical memorial garden over the years, surrounded by remembrances of other fallen riders.The Mojave Desert offers endless views and hundreds of miles of open trails to explore in any direction.Deciding on a starting point was easy, as RawHyde Adventures was hosting an ADV Rally at their “Zakar” facility in the desert outside of California City. Before throwing a leg over any motorcycles and heading out, just walking around this place is a trip in itself. Mad Max style construction involving shipping containers piled on top of one another complete with a machine-gun-equipped guard tower, quirky structures left over from when the spot was used as a movie filming location, zombie-slash-motorcycle themed murals covering entire walls, and what appears to be a bizarre misspelling of “Dakar” emblazoned in huge letters over the main entrance to the compound are all confusing elements at first, until the acronym is revealed. Z.A.K.A.R.: Zombie Apocalypse Kompound At RawHyde. RawHyde’s 100-acre Adventure Park in California City is styled as a post-apocalyptic military fortress. The dystopian theme seemed to hit home more than ever, as news of COVID-19 virus shut downs began to set in.In the midst of all these imposing elements, a decent sized tent city sprang up, and hard-sided campers ringed the perimeter. Roughly 250 people had gathered to take part in adventure bike off-road training, perusing vendor booths, attending product seminars, and perhaps at the top of the list, camping and riding with friends. To that end, the event provided routes and suggestions for some of the many quirky desert features in the area to visit. The Husky Monument was one of several options in striking distance, including a crashed F22 fighter jet, ancient petroglyphs, the famed Burro Schmidt tunnel, and seemingly endless terrain. ADVERTISEMENT Plotting a course to cover as much of this terrain as possible, ADV Pulse senior editor Rob Dabney and myself fired up a KTM 690 Enduro R, and the aforementioned Husky 701 Enduro. Nature decided to water the desert for us, exactly on schedule, so we could better experience the landscapes. There would be no dust this ride, just endless vistas, almost blinding fields of wildflowers, fascinating points of interest, and ideal trail riding. This time of year you can often see the wildflowers in full desert bloom.Many of the areas and trails we rode were not among those suggested by the Zakar event, and for good reason. Steep, rocky ridge line options in some cases included winds strong enough to nearly blow both bike and rider over the edge. While technically possible to ride on a big adventure motorcycle, most of these trails would not have been entirely enjoyable on one. Cut to the KTM 690 and Husky 701. Plenty big for highway cruising, plenty nimble to deal with what the Mojave was throwing at us, these bikes made for a good experience in the desert. Fortunately, both Rob and myself had just ridden these exact same two motorcycles on an extensive rally in Death Valley a few weeks earlier. That ride brought some questionable handling characteristics to the surface, with both bikes. Trading messages with KTM’s Quinn Cody, some setup tweaks were suggested, and the difference was staggering. The sensitivity that modern motorcycles have to suspension adjustments is difficult to overstate. In Death Valley, I often felt the bikes were working against me, here in the Mojave, they became mind machines – an extension of where your imagination wanted to take you. Admittedly, sometimes your mind might take you to stupid places. Some of the trails around Fremont Peak started looking more appropriate for a 2-stroke than a large-bore thumper. We only got stuck on a couple climbs however, and the resulting vistas were well worth the effort of pushing through. Descending the mountains, headed roughly south-east, distracting views of vast canyons combined with often technical trail keeps one on their toes. Once the valley floor is reached, things speed up dramatically. Straight-line sand washes and roads criss-cross the desert, headed in almost any direction you might want to go. Continuing towards the southeast, a small collection of hardware lies on the ground next to a memorial for David P. “Cools” Cooley. It was here, on March 25th, 2009, that he and his F22 fighter came to an abrupt and exceedingly violent end in the desert. Another reminder of both the risks and rewards this landscape holds. David P. “Cools” Cooley was a Lockheed test pilot who died here while flying a test mission in an F22. An investigation determined that he was likely incapacitated by a g-force induced loss of consciousness.Fast, almost straight dirt roads eventually give way to a winding sand wash at the base of a low mesa. Following this wash northward into the hills, eventually the Husky Monument is reached. Having seen virtually no one at all for the entire day so far since leaving the Zakar compound near California City earlier in the morning, it was something of a surprise to crest the rise and see nearly as many people as there were memorials gathered around the monument. By unintentionally providing a unique destination, I’m sure these fallen riders would appreciate knowing that they’re still encouraging people to ride the desert to the present day. Dozens of monuments have sprung up at this site since the first dedication to desert racer Jim Erickson was made in 1987.Where the Husky monument commemorates modern-day people who shared an affinity for this landscape, far older features evidence those who traveled here long before fossil fuels. A meandering ride around 10-12 miles to the east leads to a canyon with a wire fence across the entrance. Walking through the designated gate, an extensive collection of petroglyphs is found, particular on the north side of the canyon. Mystery remains about the meaning behind these symbols at Inscription Canyon. Theories run the gamut from structured messages about hunting conditions, to the images which result from a mind strung out on peyote. Whatever the meaning, by some estimates these rocks have been telling this story for anywhere from 8,000 – 12,000 years. How long the Husky Monument will remain a prominent desert feature is a question of both entropy, and the BLM. The petroglyphs at Inscription Canyon are some of the most abundant and impressive we ever seen in the Mojave Desert.Monuments to fallen riders and military heroes are naturally understandable mementos. Ancient petroglyphs are familiar with even just a grade school level understanding of history. Why someone would spend 38 years digging a hole, that’s perhaps a bit more quirky. The desert, however, is often defined by the quirky. William “Burro” Schmidt moved from Rhode Island to California, took a pick, shovel, four-pound hammer, occasionally some dynamite, and started to dig a half-mile long tunnel through solid rock, by hand. In 1938, he popped out the far side of the mountain, later deeded the tunnel to a fellow miner, and left. Exactly why remains an open question. Differing accounts indicate this project took either 32, or 38 years to complete. Regardless, the man spent over three decades inside a mountain carrying roughly 5,800 tons of rock in burlap sacks on his back, in a wheelbarrow, and eventually using a mining car on rails. Keep going to the end of the 1/2-mile long shaft and you’ll discover a view that makes the creepy hike well worth the journey.While many more of these interesting sites can be seen in just this area of desert alone, time remaining for this 2020 Adventure Days event at Zakar was short. Unbeknownst to all of us at the moment, time for most any event was also short. Driving home on the superhighways of Southern California to light board signs which only hours ago began displaying “Avoid gatherings,” the idea of veering off the freeway and into the safety of an empty desert gained an even greater appeal. Photos by Jon Beck and Rob Dabney Author: Jon Beck Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.
  14. [embedded content] [embedded content]Ten years ago Carlos García Portal a.k.a. Charly Sinewan was over his hamster wheel routine when he bought a bike and throttled off on his first big adventure. Three bikes, five continents, sixty-plus countries and countless adventures later he shares a glimpse of how liberating – and complicated – it can be to give up a successful career and comfortable lifestyle and start life over as a full-time motorcycle nomad. But first, let’s explain what’s behind the alias “Charly Sinewan,” under which Carlos has become known as a world traveler. Inspired as we all were by Ewan McGregor and Charly Bloorman, he noticed Charly would refer to his “trip with Ewan.” In turn, Carlos would jokingly refer of his “trip without Ewan,” sin Ewan in Spanish. Add that Carlos translates to Charly in English and a puny moniker was born. He had no idea how firmly it would stick. Hard Choices While we’ve heard many romantic tales of round-the-worlders making an abrupt decision to walk away from their traditional lives, Charly shed his contemporary life the way most of us would: A dip of one uncommitted toe at a time. “I was down… completely lost” he says. “I was afraid. I had worked really hard for years and felt secure in that sense.” ADVERTISEMENT It was in 2009 while he was living in Madrid and working as a partner in a real estate-based firm that the constraints of his modern life began to feel suffocating. He was tired of getting up every day and doing the same thing. Tired of having the same conversations, tired of traveling the same routes, tired of knowing exactly where everything was and the quickest way to get there. So he asked his partner for a three-month hiatus, put his stuff in storage and packed up a 2007 Honda V-twin XL1000V Varadero (kind of a cross between Honda’s original Africa Twin and its sporty Superhawk). He traveled for 14,000k through France, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro, Turkey, Iran, Thailand, Cambodia, India and finally, Australia. Charly says he doesn’t want to “sound like a self-help book,” but the three-month trip “changed my life forever.” During those months he discovered that living in unfamiliar surroundings with no set plan forces you to be creative. And because each day is filled with new sites and situations, the hours become more tangible and memorable. He also discovered some important details about his nature. For example, he was perfectly okay with sleeping in random locations. He could find humor in predicament. He could eat with dirty hands. Yet he returned to his busy life in the city as planned because – as we can all relate – it’s just not easy to blow up a successful career or walk away from loved ones and the trappings of conventional life. The next move was to ask his partners for a more flexible work pattern. He would work less and have less money, but he’d also have more time. After trimming all excess from his overhead and selling unnecessary things, Charley bought a used BMW F650GS, packed it up and headed down the west coast of Africa. During this phase he would ride for two months then go back to Spain to work for four months. Becoming a Nomad Of the many months it took him to ride from Morocco to South Africa, Charly says he had no real difficulties, even in countries like Mali and Burkina Faso that are perceived as dangerous. Everywhere the people were kind and helpful. He says the only real problem occurred when he finally arrived in South Africa and had no desire to quit traveling and return to his comfortable life in Madrid. During these first years Charly found much to his surprise that he could make some money by sharing his journey via a blog. He had zero experience behind or in front of the camera when he started traveling, but he soon became knowledgeable, and watchable. As his audience grew he found companies were willing to sponsor him. He also found he could make some money speaking to groups about his travels. Back in Madrid in 2013, Charly says he “couldn’t hold it anymore.” Living the back-and-forth of his two lives was too much. Still not willing to cut the cord completely, he asked his partners four months off so he could finish his trip by riding up through eastern Africa. When those four months were over however, Charly was still in Tanzania, a day’s ride from South Africa for someone in a hurry. He’d come to the conclusion that if he didn’t try to make a life of traveling as a nomad he would never forgive himself. Fast forward to his latest video posted ten years after his first trip on the Honda, this one celebrating that monumental decision to stay on the road. “It is not that easy, trust me” he says of giving up the stability and comforts of conventional life. “But in all these years I’ve never looked back.” His ride up through East Africa, a journey that was supposed to take only four months, took three years to complete. No longer in a rush to get anywhere, his travel style has gotten “slower and more intense.” He stays until he feels he knows a place and its people. He’s also upgraded his ride since those first trips and is currently piloting a BMW R1250GS. So far, he’s checked more than 60 counties off his To Explore list. Charly’s videos, shared on youtube “almost every Sunday” describe the true essence of his adventures, most recently as he spent another three years exploring the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Cuba. Once the roads and borders open up again, he’s headed toward Tierra del Fuego, though on the way he’ll undoubtedly spend several years getting to know Latin America culture in a way hurried travelers miss. So far, he says he has zero regrets about abandoning the life he lived as Carlos in order to slow travel the world as Charly Sinewan. In fact, he doesn’t even remember what that Carlos guy has in storage back in Spain. Follow Charly’s epic adventures on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Photos Courtesy of Charly Sinewan Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  15. Photo credit: Earle MotorsCustom bike builder Alex Earle — the mastermind behind Earle Motors — grew up exploring southern Utah, sometimes driving his old VW bus around the deserts near Moab at night with only the moonlight reflected off the sandstone to light the way. It’s that desire to explore a harsh and beautiful environment that inspired his latest build, the Desert Raider. Based on a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, the Desert Raider is both stylish and functional. It takes design cues from the classic, home-brewed, heavyweight desert runners of the ‘60s and ‘70s, combines them with modern technology and functionality to come up with a machine that will have no problem prowling the arid environs of Utah, or anywhere else. The bike features a 21″/18″ Big Wheel kit, long-range tanks, Kevlar skid plate and custom crash bars. Tank shape and narrow seat were tailored with desert-riding ergonomics in mind. Photo credit: Earle MotorsRight off the line you notice the Desert Raider’s bigger wheels. Earle went with a 21/18-inch front/rear combo, the standard for any bike intended for serious riding beyond the pavement. Stock, the Desert Sled runs a 19/17-inch front/rear wheelset. This change alone transformed the bike, Earle said. “The skinny, tall front and large sidewall rear make short work of deep sand and all manner of off-road obstacles. For this reason, the aggressive tires required in these environments are offered (primarily) in these sizes.” A Scotts Performance steering stabilizer was also a very important upgrade, says Earle. Photo credit: Earle Motors ADVERTISEMENT But it wasn’t a direct swap. He used Excel A60 rims laced to the stock hubs to build the wheels. The bigger diameter rear wheel requires a longer swingarm, so he fabricated an extension kit, available on his website, to make it fit. The result is increased stability off road. “I highly recommend that people simply do the swingarm extenders and wheel upgrades to the stock bikes as it is by far the most effective performance enhancement,” he said. This upgrade also required a longer chain and 48t rear sprocket. According to Earle, the installation is very easy and can be done in an evening. A version of the bike omits the rear tank and replaces it with a vault that is accessible by removing the seat. It holds a first-aid kit, spare tubes, inflator, etc. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsThe fuel tanks, which hold six gallons in the front and two in the rear, are one-off creations, modeled by hand out of foam in a process similar to how surfboards are shaped. The finished tanks are sealed fiberglass epoxy with an aluminum ring bonded in to accommodate the factory fuel pump. They’re connected together for a 300-plus mile fuel range, a design challenge that required extensive internal plumbing to access all the fuel in both, Earle said. A Termignoni high exhaust system has replaced the low stock pipe. Photo credit: Earle MotorsThe front tank was shaped with desert-riding ergonomics in mind, meaning a lot of standing on the pegs, and includes threaded mounting points for a six-liter soft bag. Another version of the bike substitutes a storage area for the rear tank to carry tools, spares etc. The tanks only fit with Earle’s custom-designed narrow solo seat, finished in a Saddlemen seat cover, so they aren’t available yet as bolt-ons. Other highlights of the build include a Baja Designs LP9 yellow-lensed headlight in a vintage Soltek mount, Termignoni high exhaust system, custom crash bars with a Kevlar skid plate, a Warn winch, Barkbuster hand guards with integrated LED turn signals and a custom carbon speedometer relocator. The front custom tank includes threaded hard points for attaching a 6-liter soft bag. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsEarle has a long history with the Scrambler Desert Sled, having sketched the first concept bike back in 2014. He’s tinkered with variations of it since, and remains impressed with the design. The air-cooled, 803cc L-twin engine puts out 73 horsepower and good torque, critical in off-road use. At 425 pounds dry it’s no featherweight, but neither were the original desert bashers. “Simple mechanics, easily modified and reliable,“ Earle said. “And comfortable when you have to return to the highway.” With the extended swingarm and bigger wheels, the Desert Sled is even competitive. In fact, two bikes sporting the setup recently took first and second place in the Mint 400’s inaugural Hooligan Class. Baja Designs LP9 yellow lensed headlamp in a vintage Baja Designs Sol-Tec mount. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsHis mods take it another step toward that original inspiration of being able to explore deep into remote landscapes, wherever they may be. “I have ridden this bike all over Alaskan mining roads, through rivers, snow, miles and miles of deep sand, and fire roads as well as more highway miles than I care to remember,” he said. “I have always been impressed by how well it works in the dirt. Stock throttle response and overall power is just right for me. It is very comfortable. Tank shape is exceptional.” Desert Raider Features Hand-formed, long-range tank with threaded hard points for attaching 6 liter soft bag Solo off-road seat covered by Saddlemen in Compton Custom rear handles, license plate/taillight holder Baja Designs LP9 yellow lensed headlamp in a vintage BajaDesigns Sol-Tec mount Baja Designs S2 fogs and taillight. Ring is a NOS Cyclops. These are getting hard to find! Earle Motors swingarm extenders +3″ 21″ and 18″ Excel A60 rims laced to factory hubs Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires Termignoni high pipes – chipped. No cat Prototype crash bars and kevlar/carbon skid plate Warn winch Quadlock iPhone holder for nav Heated grips Power Commander Carbon electrics box Rizoma belt covers Rizoma rally pegs Scotts Performance steering stabilizer Barkbusters with LED indicators Ducati Performance adjustable gear selector Longer chain and 48t rear sprocket Custom carbon speedometer relocator For more information go to earlemotors.com or you can also follow their amazing work on Instagram. 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.
  16. Photo credit: Earle MotorsCustom bike builder Alex Earle — the mastermind behind Earle Motors — grew up exploring southern Utah, sometimes driving his old VW bus around the deserts near Moab at night with only the moonlight reflected off the sandstone to light the way. It’s that desire to explore a harsh and beautiful environment that inspired his latest build, the Desert Raider. Based on a Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, the Desert Raider is both stylish and functional. It takes design cues from the classic, home-brewed, heavyweight desert runners of the ‘60s and ‘70s, combines them with modern technology and functionality to come up with a machine that will have no problem prowling the arid environs of Utah, or anywhere else. The bike features a 21″/18″ Big Wheel kit, long-range tanks, Kevlar skid plate and custom crash bars. Tank shape and narrow seat were tailored with desert-riding ergonomics in mind. Photo credit: Earle MotorsRight off the line you notice the Desert Raider’s bigger wheels. Earle went with a 21/18-inch front/rear combo, the standard for any bike intended for serious riding beyond the pavement. Stock, the Desert Sled runs a 19/17-inch front/rear wheelset. This change alone transformed the bike, Earle said. “The skinny, tall front and large sidewall rear make short work of deep sand and all manner of off-road obstacles. For this reason, the aggressive tires required in these environments are offered (primarily) in these sizes.” A Scotts Performance steering stabilizer was also a very important upgrade, says Earle. Photo credit: Earle Motors ADVERTISEMENT But it wasn’t a direct swap. He used Excel A60 rims laced to the stock hubs to build the wheels. The bigger diameter rear wheel requires a longer swingarm, so he fabricated an extension kit, available on his website, to make it fit. The result is increased stability off road. “I highly recommend that people simply do the swingarm extenders and wheel upgrades to the stock bikes as it is by far the most effective performance enhancement,” he said. This upgrade also required a longer chain and 48t rear sprocket. According to Earle, the installation is very easy and can be done in an evening. A version of the bike omits the rear tank and replaces it with a vault that is accessible by removing the seat. It holds a first-aid kit, spare tubes, inflator, etc. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsThe fuel tanks, which hold six gallons in the front and two in the rear, are one-off creations, modeled by hand out of foam in a process similar to how surfboards are shaped. The finished tanks are sealed fiberglass epoxy with an aluminum ring bonded in to accommodate the factory fuel pump. They’re connected together for a 300-plus mile fuel range, a design challenge that required extensive internal plumbing to access all the fuel in both, Earle said. A Termignoni high exhaust system has replaced the low stock pipe. Photo credit: Earle MotorsThe front tank was shaped with desert-riding ergonomics in mind, meaning a lot of standing on the pegs, and includes threaded mounting points for a six-liter soft bag. Another version of the bike substitutes a storage area for the rear tank to carry tools, spares etc. The tanks only fit with Earle’s custom-designed narrow solo seat, finished in a Saddlemen seat cover, so they aren’t available yet as bolt-ons. Other highlights of the build include a Baja Designs LP9 yellow-lensed headlight in a vintage Soltek mount, Termignoni high exhaust system, custom crash bars with a Kevlar skid plate, a Warn winch, Barkbuster hand guards with integrated LED turn signals and a custom carbon speedometer relocator. The front custom tank includes threaded hard points for attaching a 6-liter soft bag. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsEarle has a long history with the Scrambler Desert Sled, having sketched the first concept bike back in 2014. He’s tinkered with variations of it since, and remains impressed with the design. The air-cooled, 803cc L-twin engine puts out 73 horsepower and good torque, critical in off-road use. At 425 pounds dry it’s no featherweight, but neither were the original desert bashers. “Simple mechanics, easily modified and reliable,“ Earle said. “And comfortable when you have to return to the highway.” With the extended swingarm and bigger wheels, the Desert Sled is even competitive. In fact, two bikes sporting the setup recently took first and second place in the Mint 400’s inaugural Hooligan Class. Baja Designs LP9 yellow lensed headlamp in a vintage Baja Designs Sol-Tec mount. Photo credit: Christopher ThomsHis mods take it another step toward that original inspiration of being able to explore deep into remote landscapes, wherever they may be. “I have ridden this bike all over Alaskan mining roads, through rivers, snow, miles and miles of deep sand, and fire roads as well as more highway miles than I care to remember,” he said. “I have always been impressed by how well it works in the dirt. Stock throttle response and overall power is just right for me. It is very comfortable. Tank shape is exceptional.” Desert Raider Features Hand-formed, long-range tank with threaded hard points for attaching 6 liter soft bag Solo off-road seat covered by Saddlemen in Compton Custom rear handles, license plate/taillight holder Baja Designs LP9 yellow lensed headlamp in a vintage BajaDesigns Sol-Tec mount Baja Designs S2 fogs and taillight. Ring is a NOS Cyclops. These are getting hard to find! Earle Motors swingarm extenders +3″ 21″ and 18″ Excel A60 rims laced to factory hubs Pirelli Scorpion Rally tires Termignoni high pipes – chipped. No cat Prototype crash bars and kevlar/carbon skid plate Warn winch Quadlock iPhone holder for nav Heated grips Power Commander Carbon electrics box Rizoma belt covers Rizoma rally pegs Scotts Performance steering stabilizer Barkbusters with LED indicators Ducati Performance adjustable gear selector Longer chain and 48t rear sprocket Custom carbon speedometer relocator For more information go to earlemotors.com or you can also follow their amazing work on Instagram. 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. I glanced down at the trip meter and sadly it read only 14.7 miles. A short distance for a day’s ride but we’d already broken a BMW F850GS, and a KTM 790 Adventure R twice. Here we were, stuck on the side of the trail waiting for a recovery vehicle, with the last rays of sun dropping fast. It was supposed to be a big day of riding, covering a hundred miles or more of desert terrain. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be. That morning we started off with high hopes, the first day of the Geico ADV Rally 2019 in Southern California. The format for this ADV Rally is different from most. Basically, it’s like a scavenger hunt for unique points of interest on the trail, and teams of two or more riders get points for each one they find. There’s no GPS, just a map and guide book. The more technical the terrain, the higher the points scored, with trails rated like ski slopes. [embedded content] [embedded content]We put together a group of veteran dirt riders for this event that consisted of Corey Hanson (owner of Camel ADV), and three ADV Pulse contributors – Steve Kamrad (that bearded dude), Spencer Hill (The Gear Dude), Mike Massucco (the guy who breaks stuff), and myself. Corey had ridden this ADV Rally the previous year, so I asked him what our plan of attack should be for scoring big. Looking over the map, he showed me a long string of black diamonds and a couple of blue squares on a trail that we could gather up in one fell swoop. It didn’t look like more than 30 miles on the map, so should be easy peasy. Any weekend that starts off with these characters is bound to include some mayhem. From left to right – ADV Pulse Senior Editor Rob Dabney and contributors Steve Kamrad and Spencer Hill.Seeing the proposed trail and remembering doing it before on small dirt bikes many years ago, I asked Corey if he thought it was doable on Big Bikes. He said “Yeah, it’s doable. I don’t think anyone else here on big bikes will do it though, so we can get all the points.” And with that, Team ADV Pulse set off at morning light, eager for our first taste of the Anza Borrego Desert. We put together an awesome array of adventure bikes to take on the challenging terrain at the ADV Rally – Honda Africa Twin, Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE, KTM 790 Adventure R, and BMW F850GS. ADVERTISEMENT I was on a Honda Africa Twin. With me were Spencer on a KTM 790 Adventure R, Corey on another 790R, Mike on an F850GS, and Kamrad on a Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE. Just 100 yards off the road, we were already in deep sand riding some beautiful desert double track at speed. We eventually caught up to a few small dual sport bikes and didn’t have any trouble passing them by. Eventually we got to somewhat of a traffic jam, and it became clear we weren’t the only ones dumb enough to get on this trail with big bikes. There were a range of big-bore ADVs on the trail, waiting to get through our first black diamond – “The Squeeze.” After rearranging a few stacked rocks, we proceeded one at a time, making sure to help those in need with a push, and of course to get the perfect photo of any fails. We continued on through many sections of rocky inclines, switchbacks and slick rocks until we got to our next black diamond site – Pinyon Drop-Off. As I glanced down the steep trail, memories came flooding back from riding this section 10 years earlier, and it occurred to me that I never would have imagined going through here on a 1000cc Adventure Bike back then. It’s steep, long, and more importantly, slick. More of a controlled slide than a ride down the descent and once you’re down, there’s no riding back up on a big bike. At this point, several onlookers who’d made it this far decided it was time to turn back, but not before being entertained by us gingerly slithering our 500+ pound behemoths down to the bottom. A surprise of the ride was how well the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE handled Pinyon Drop-Off (Heart Attack Hill) and the other rugged terrain in the Anza Borrego Desert.The Rescue Plan Soon after we reached our third black diamond point, fittingly called “Split Rock,” it seemed like our Team was on its way to being point-scoring champs. As we waited for Corey and Spencer to catch up, it soon became clear something had happened. Suddenly, Corey came blasting down the trail on a 790 R, but it was Spencer’s bike… not his. He explained that he had been testing a new ‘prototype’ shock on his project bike and it had blown its guts out on the trail. He didn’t want to ride it out because he was afraid it would destroy the casing, costing him thousands of dollars more to fix. This prototype aftermarket shock for the KTM 790 Adventure R didn’t last long before it exploded.His plan to resolve the issue was a complicated one: go back to camp where he’d pull the shock out of Spencer’s 790; return on his spare bike, a Euro Spec Yamaha Tenere 700; swap shock on broken 790R. He estimated it would take a couple hours max to return. So we headed back to where Spencer was waiting to keep him company while Corey took off at lightning speed to implement his master plan. Mid-November in the Southern California desert is still pretty hot, so we all sat around under our own personal desert shrub trying to avoid overheating while keeping hydrated and taking in a snack. Eventually, we began to pass the time by goofing around and taking some action photos. That’s when Mike decided to do his Eli Tomac impersonation on a banked berm, only riding an F850GS that weighs twice as much. It was a pretty spectacular fall but a soft landing in the sand, so he was fine. As we picked up the bike, it immediately started gushing oil out of the side cover. Quickly, we heaved the bike up and over to the other side to avoid losing any more precious oil. As it turned out, a small, loose rock punched a hole through. No big deal though. We broke out the JB Weld and had the bike running again in about 45 minutes. When we checked the dipstick, the oil was at its lowest ‘in range’ measurement, so Mike was good to go. Everyone was looking for shade while we waited for our teammate to return. Even in mid-November it’s pretty hot in Southern California.At this point we had all been waiting for more than two hours wondering when we’d hear Corey’s sweet-sounding T7 ripping up the trail. That’s when we got a text via satellite messenger saying he had just reached asphalt and still had to drive another 40 miles or so to get back to camp. Clearly, this was going to take a lot longer than originally expected. So, I offered to stay with Spencer while Mike and Steve would go enjoy the rest of the day riding. We waited there for another hour or so when we received a new text from Corey. He realized he didn’t have the right tools for the job, so he said to go ahead and ride it out. Wish he had known that earlier. Spencer tried to ride Corey’s 790R as gently as possible, but on this trail it was easier said than done. And with no damping in the shock, he was pogoing all over the place. After blowing a turn, Spencer tried to do a U-turn and stalled the KTM in the sand. To our displeasure, the engine would not restart. An ominous error message on the TFT read “IMMOBI. ANTENNA FAIL.” Turns out, in addition to the suspension, Corey had also been doing some “custom” work on his bike’s electronics that disturbed something in what we assumed was the ignition’s security system. We tried everything we could think of: cycling the ignition, checking the kick stand sensor, disconnecting the battery, even shaking the cables, but to no avail. Eventually, we messaged Corey letting him know if he wanted his bike, he’d need to come get it in a truck. Back to waiting again… Waiting, waiting and more waiting… Getting project bikes dialed in can be a bit of trial and error.We figured it would take hours for Corey to show up in a four-wheeled vehicle, but he appeared rather quickly, thanks to one of the event organizers who owned a well-equipped Ford F150 Baja-style chaser truck. Annoyingly, the 790R fired up as soon as we put it on the back of the truck. At least I got to let out some of my frustration while riding the final 10 miles out of the canyon through a sandy wash, sliding around the Africa Twin. Arriving back at camp, I was more exhausted mentally than physically. Our day one point scoring strategy had been a disaster but at least everyone got back safely. Cold beers and telling war stories by the fire somehow made me forget about everything that had gone wrong that day. And day two would have to be better… right? Another One Bites The Dust On the second morning, we reformed the team and added a new member who had just arrived the previous evening – ADV Rally event photographer and fellow motojournalist Sam Bendall. At 6’5” tall, Sam looked a bit gangly on the Honda CB500X he was riding, but he seemed to scoot around on it just fine. Sam came to the ADV Rally ‘Ready to Rip’ on the Honda CB500X, although at 6’5″ tall he did look a bit gangly on the little bike.Since we were so behind on points from our first day’s debacle, our plan was to just take it easy and go explore, maybe pick up a few points while we were doing it. Going for the greens and blues was actually quite enjoyable, and we found some amazing views and interesting oddities that we would normally have sped right past. While this event does have a competitive angle, finding new spots you didn’t know existed is what it’s really all about. On the west side of the mountains around Julian, CA, the terrain changes into rolling grassy hills and oak trees – picturesque California cow grazing land. Throughout the day, we had a mixture of twisty asphalt and smooth scenic dirt roads that were a nice change of scene. Breathtaking views and exhilarating twisty roads around the town of Julian, California were a nice change of scene on our second day of riding at the ADV Rally.While most of us were cruising, looking for spots to stop and pick up points in our guide books, Steve Kamrad was way up ahead of the group doing his drift thing on the dirt roads. Sam wanted us to stop to get some scenic shots with the big lens, so I told him to go catch Kamrad. Sam took off on his mission to stop Steve and I realized then it would have made more sense to pull over and wait for Steve to figure it out. These two are great friends and when your buddy comes up fast in your rear view mirror, you know what’s going to happen next. The two of them were jamming along for a couple of miles when suddenly they came up on a smooth, slick, decreasing-radius turn. That’s when our next disaster happened. Steve was barely able to stop before launching himself, and the Scrambler off a cliff, but Sam was less lucky. He low sided his Honda CB500X and somehow caught a boot under the bike. As Mike and I caught up, we checked on Sam who said he’d heard a pop. We discussed putting him on the back of a bike and riding him out, but Sam was having none of that. He was pretty certain he’d snapped both tib and fib. And we inclined to agree, because we could barely move him a few inches before he’d go into extreme agony. We made the call to 911 and the ambulance was on the way, along with a policeman to make a report. After getting Sam stretchered out of there, we next turned our attention to getting the bike back to camp. That’s when the police officer overheard us talking about how it was a media loaner bike. He immediately said, “if his name was not on the registration, we are going to tow it.” After arguing for some time that we had a truck en route to recover the bike, we realized ‘officer by the book’ was not going to be persuaded, so we left him to wait with the bike for a tow truck. After reaching the hospital, Sam learned he had suffered a spiral fracture of the tibia midshaft and fibula fracture at the base.Back to riding again, we got on some technical dirt roads for a few more hours before sundown in the rolling hills east of San Diego. As we exited a trail onto a main dirt road, we came across a guy looking perplexed in a large flatbed tow truck. Turned out he was the tow guy tasked with getting the CB500X, and his GPS was telling him to go seven miles in the direction we just came for the pickup. We warned him the dirt road was tight and twisty, rough with steep drop offs, not well maintained, nowhere to turn around… He still seemed to be considering it but eventually relented and took the long way around the mountains on smoother roads. Somehow I didn’t mind that the cop would have to wait there by the bike for another couple of hours. So Much Winning… By day three of the ADV Rally we had accepted failure and were done with point scoring, so I wanted to show the crew one of my favorite trails in the area that was not part of the designated routes. It’s a rocky, technical path that takes you from the Anza Borrego Desert, all the way up the mountain to Julian. I traded bikes with Spencer and jumped on the 790 Adventure R for the day, but this would turn out to be a bad move. As we got to the trailhead entrance, we noticed we were behind a procession of classic Ford Broncos that we had to pass on a narrow trail. It seemed like an eternity squeezing by probably 20 slow-moving vehicles but we finally made it through. Just when we had gathered our group, I noticed my 790 R’s temp gauge was in the red. I tried letting it cool for a while but it would quickly turn red again after a few minutes, and we were heading directly toward a set of slow, technical, uphill switchbacks. I could hear the low growl of Broncos coming up the trail behind us. I told the rest of our group to continue on and that I’d try to catch up with them later. After some head scratching, I eventually went back to camp for a proper diagnosis in the shade. I finally discovered the problem was a vapor locked coolant overflow hose. A long time to diagnose but the fix was pretty simple in the end. Just more bad luck. Now this trip seemed even more cursed than our first Geico ADV Rally in 2017. Our final day of the ADV Rally, we got an early start to make the trek back to Los Angeles. While only three hours on the highway, we turned it into a full-day of riding on the backroads and trails that snake their way in and out of suburbia. You’re never far from civilization but it looks like it most of the time. This was some of the best riding of the whole trip and it definitely brightened my spirits. Returning to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, only reminded me that even a bad day on the trail is a way better day than being stuck behind a desk. So I guess maybe we’ll be giving it another go this November. Third time’s a charm right? Photos by Spencer Hill, Sam Bendall, Steve Kamrad, and Rob Dabney 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.
  18. Published on 05.04.2020 Adventure gear maker Alpinestars is known for producing premium, technical ADV Gear that can get a bit pricey. But what about folks that just want a nice-looking, quality adventure suit that’s friendly on the wallet? Especially, during times like these when we need to watch our budget more than ever. Could you make it waterproof and breathable perhaps too? Alpinestars’ new for 2020 Gravity Drystar Jacket and Pants might be just what the doctor ordered. Gravity Drystar Jacket $229.95 Alpinestars’ newest adventure touring suit incorporates a Drystar membrane into the shell to ensure 100% waterproofing and excellent breathability, even in difficult riding conditions. It also comes with a removable thermal liner that can be zipped into the jacket for colder temperatures. Abrasion protection is provided by a 600D Polyester shell with reinforced impact zones and leather panels at the shoulders. CE Level 1 pads in the shoulders and elbows offer protection from impacts, while three external pockets and an internal waterproof pocket provide ample storage. For warmer temps it has two side vents, and reflective details give improved visibility during nighttime riding. Jacket Features: Chassis constructed from hard wearing 600 Denier polyester with double polyurethane coating on the back and leather patches on shoulders for additional protection. Padding on shoulders and arms for additional protection and comfort. Nucleon Flex Plus Level 1 armor on shoulder and elbow (Nucleon chest Level 1 and Nucleon Level 1 and 2 back protectors available as an accessory upgrade). 600 Denier polyester dobby on shoulders and elbows for enhanced abrasion resistance. Expansion panels designed specifically to work with Tech-Air® 5 Airbag System. Snap button volume adjusters on upper sleeve with hook and loop adjusters on wrist and waist for an optimized fit. YKK waterproof zip with hook and loop front flap for a secure closure. Alpinestars Gravity Adventure Suit Alpinestars Gravity Adventure Suit Alpinestars Gravity Adventure Suit Comfort collar with internal padding and hook and loop closure and an internal loop to keep the collar open. One zippered chest pocket and two front pockets with hook and loop closure for security. Internal waterproof document pocket and pocked on fixed liner for real-world practicality. Drystar® fixed membrane for 100 percent waterproof performance and high levels of breathability. Removable thermal liner allows the rider to adjust the jacket to the weather conditions. Two side vents for optimal airflow. Reflective details. CE Level 1 EN1621-1:2012 Alpinestars Nucleon Flex Plus shoulder and elbow protectors. CE Category II PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 – A class. CE Level 2 EN1621-2:2014 Alpinestars Nucleon back protector, available as an accessory upgrade. Gravity Drystar Pants $199.95 ADVERTISEMENT Like the Jacket, the Gravity Drystar Pants are also made of 600D Polyester material with an integrated Drystary waterproof membrane that not only keeps you dry, but is also breathable. In addition, impact zones are reinforced, and the knees and seat get leather panels for additional abrasion protection. CE Level 1 padding is provided at the knees, while stretch zones and an adjustable waist make for a comfortable fit over pants or base layers. Hip vents are also provided if you are in need of some extra airflow on warmer days. Pants Features: Chassis constructed from hard wearing 600 Denier polyester with double polyurethane coating in critical areas for additional protection. Stretch fabric with double PU coating on side, waist and back area for enhanced rider comfort. Padding on back of waist for enhanced rider comfort. Level 1 Nucleon Flex Plus armor on knee (Bio-Flex Level 1 Hip Protector available as an accessory upgrade). 600 Denier polyester dobby reinforcement on knee and seat area for enhanced abrasion resistance. Inner leather reinforcement on seat area, knee and shin for additional abrasion resistance in key areas. Stretch fabric on back yoke, waist with accordion panel on knee for an optimized fit and performance. Hook and loop on waist and on bottom of legs for a secure closure. Two zippered front pockets and cargo-style pocket on left leg for real-world practicality. Drystar® fixed membrane for 100 per cent waterproof performance and high levels of breathability. Removable thermal liner allows the rider to adjust the jacket to the weather conditions. Two thigh vents for optimal airflow. Reflective details. CE Category II PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 – A class. CE Level 1 EN1621-1:2012 Alpinestars Nucleon Flex Plus knee protectors (Alpinestars Bio-Flex Level 1 hip protectors available as an accessory upgrade). Together, the Gravity Drystar Jacket and Pants offer advanced construction and protection. What’s more, the protection can be upgraded with a CE Level 2 back protector and CE Level 1 chest and hip pads for around $95. Overall, the Gravity Drystar suit appears to be a simple, versatile adventure touring suit with ample storage, plus the ability to handle changing weather conditions — everything you need to rack up a ton of miles on the road or light off-roading. Shopping Options
  19. Published on 05.01.2020 Triumph Motorcycles America has issued a recall on certain Tiger 1200 models, as well as other non-Tiger models, for potential brake system issues. A total of 3,691 Triumph motorcycles, built for the 2018-2020 model years, may be affected by the recall issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Models included in the recall are the Tiger 1200 Alpine, Tiger 1200 Desert, Tiger 1200 XCa, Tiger 1200 XCx, Tiger 1200 XR, Tiger 1200 XRt, Tiger 1200 XRx, Tiger 1200 XRx LRH, Speed Triple RS, Speed Triple S, and Street Triple RS. According to the defect report, manufacturing issues promote the infiltration of salt and water on the back plate. This may cause the front Brembo brake pads to corrode at a higher rate than usual, especially when the bike is used in certain environmental and winter-time road-treatment conditions. As a consequence, the front brake pad friction material can detach from the backing plate. At this time, no injuries have been reported related to this recall. What Can Happen If detachment of the front brake pad’s friction material from the backing plate occurs, braking performance could be compromised. Failure of the front brakes may occur without any warning. The rear braking system will still maintain its required performance. However, inadequate deceleration may increase the risk of an accident. ADVERTISEMENT All models affected by the recall: MAKE MODEL MODEL YEAR(s) Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa 2018-2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx 2018-2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRx 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRx LRH 2018-2019 Triumph Speed Triple RS 2018-2019 Triumph Speed Triple S 2018-2020 Triumph Street Triple RS 2018-2020 How To Get It Fixed Triumph Motorcycles America will notify affected owners and instruct them to bring their motorcycles to a Triumph dealer to have the front brake pads replaced free of charge (parts and labor). The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or check your VIN to see if you are affected by the recall at www.nhtsa.gov.
  20. Published on 05.01.2020 Triumph Motorcycles America has issued a recall on certain Tiger 1200 models, as well as other non-Tiger models, for potential brake system issues. A total of 3,691 Triumph motorcycles, built for the 2018-2020 model years, may be affected by the recall issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Models included in the recall are the Tiger 1200 Alpine, Tiger 1200 Desert, Tiger 1200 XCa, Tiger 1200 XCx, Tiger 1200 XR, Tiger 1200 XRt, Tiger 1200 XRx, Tiger 1200 XRx LRH, Speed Triple RS, Speed Triple S, and Street Triple RS. According to the defect report, manufacturing issues promote the infiltration of salt and water on the back plate. This may cause the front Brembo brake pads to corrode at a higher rate than usual, especially when the bike is used in certain environmental and winter-time road-treatment conditions. As a consequence, the front brake pad friction material can detach from the backing plate. At this time, no injuries have been reported related to this recall. What Can Happen If detachment of the front brake pad’s friction material from the backing plate occurs, braking performance could be compromised. Failure of the front brakes may occur without any warning. The rear braking system will still maintain its required performance. However, inadequate deceleration may increase the risk of an accident. ADVERTISEMENT All models affected by the recall: MAKE MODEL MODEL YEAR(s) Triumph Tiger 1200 Alpine 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 Desert 2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCa 2018-2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XCx 2018-2020 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRt 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRx 2018-2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XRx LRH 2018-2019 Triumph Speed Triple RS 2018-2019 Triumph Speed Triple S 2018-2020 Triumph Street Triple RS 2018-2020 How To Get It Fixed Triumph Motorcycles America will notify affected owners and instruct them to bring their motorcycles to a Triumph dealer to have the front brake pads replaced free of charge (parts and labor). The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Triumph customer service at 1-678-854-2010. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or check your VIN to see if you are affected by the recall at www.nhtsa.gov.
  21. Mile 65.45 of a roll chart dating back to 1984 reads “Lift bike over rock.” When Jerry Counts indicates a ride is for “dual sport” bikes versus “adventure” bikes, take heed. If you’ve ever wondered where the term “dual sport” originated, read on… For nearly four decades Jerry “Countdown” Counts has been both creating new trails and linking together existing ones throughout the United States. In the western half of the country, where vast expanses of diverse terrain are readily available, these routes date back to the origins of what came to be known as “dual purpose” and later “dual sport” motorcycling. To the present day, Jerry uses his vast collection of GPS tracks and extensive trail knowledge to create self-guided and semi-supported ride events. Credit Dirt Rider Magazine/1984Rather than being a fully-supported tour, these events present riders with trails, in many cases ones they very likely have never ridden, and participants can opt to ride whatever they please. Convenience is provided by Jerry transporting everyone’s luggage to the destination hotel each evening. Some of the trails involved are unquestionably best ridden without luggage attached to the motorcycle. Setting out from a meeting point in Ridgecrest, California for the “Death Valley Rally,” we get a later start than usual the morning after Valentine’s Day date night. We take the fast route through Trona and into Death Valley to catch up with some of our ‘single’ fellow riders. As Stockwell Mine Road leaves the flat valley floor and begins ascending through the mountains over Manly Pass, the massive and dramatic vistas that Death Valley is famous for become apparent almost immediately. While the pass itself is only mildly technical, things become more interesting when the road drops into the valley on the east side. ADVERTISEMENT Little more than a discolored scar through a field of incessant jagged rocks, the road eventually crosses Wingate wash, before heading into an even more technical section through Goler Wash, and over Mengal Pass. As I type this, spellcheck attempts to correct “Mengal” to “mental”. I’ve ridden this same pass going west-to-east on a BMW R 1250 GS Adventure, fully loaded with camping gear. “Mental” might be an appropriate description, depending on what one is riding. In the case of this ride, ADV Pulse Editor Rob Dabney and myself were aboard a Husqvarna 701 Enduro and KTM 690 Enduro R test bikes. While these machines are ideally suited for this terrain, we quickly learned that setup is paramount. Scheduling led to a somewhat rushed start, so we simply had to jump on the bikes and go. Both tire pressures and suspension settings needed attention, which we would eventually get dialed in for a much improved ride. Our rides for the Death Valley Rally, the KTM 690 Enduro R and Husqvarna 701 Enduro.Having ridden several different large adventure bikes through this terrain in the past, bringing along the pair of thumpers in this case was a refreshing change. Ripping up a steep, rocky section of trail headed towards Mengel Pass, not far from Barker Ranch (Charles Manson’s hideout), Rob and I round a bend and find a Honda Africa Twin high centered on some rocks, with two riders endeavoring to extract. While adventure bikes are entirely capable here, these two singles were honestly more fun in this context. The following day, some suggested optional trails would reveal anything larger than these bikes would not have been a good choice. This Africa Twin rider was putting his skid plate to the test on Mengel Pass.As Mengal Pass descends into Butte Valley, the iconic and stunning feature of Striped Butte is revealed. This rainbow of rock sits like a painted island in the middle of an otherwise almost featureless valley. It’s worth the time for travelers through this area to make the short detour to Geologist’s Cabin, simply to take in the view from the porch there, and maybe catch a glimpse of a wild burro getting water at Anvil Spring just below. Iconic Striped Butte rises out of Butte Valley to a h of 4,744 feet.Everything from this point to the other side of Death Valley was fast. Butte Valley Road, West Side Road, Badwater Basin, and Saratoga Springs Road are all potentially top-gear routes. No matter how tempting a runway some of these roads present, speed limits do apply in the National Park. Even more than speed limits, running out of gas can slow things down. And we did, at least on the Husky. Note: when traveling in the Western deserts, know your bike, and its fuel consumption personality. Nothing a tow rope can’t solve however, and we continued on, linked up like an Austrian-Sweedish moto train. Numerous portions of this event represent worthy areas to return to and explore exclusively on their own. At one point we pass by the entrance to Little Dumont Dunes and a short distance away is Dumont Dunes proper. Dakar teams have trained here. Leading away from the challenge and fun presented by these mountains of sand is Sperry Wash, where the Amargosa River flows above ground. Numerous water crossings later, this wash ends near Mesquite Valley Road, where one can turn left to visit the rare oasis of China Ranch, quirky community of Tecopa Hot Springs, or stop into Shoshone for fuel, supplies, and a meal at Crowbar Cafe. Our route would take us eastward on Mesquite Valley Road and Old Spanish Trail, following graded dirt and unmaintained 2-track all the way to Pahrump, Nevada, where our bags were waiting for us at the hotel. Pahrump, Nevada is a desert enclave of only around 37,000 people. The comparatively small size of this city means the desert is reached very quickly, riding in any direction. After a big breakfast and early start to day two, Rob and I take off heading west and almost immediately encounter a KTM 790 Adventure rider stuck at the top of a steep, rocky descent, evaluating a path down. After making sure he didn’t need assistance, we continue on taking a sharp right off the highway onto a marked rocky 2-track, the trail can be seen stretching across the valley, and into a canyon leading up the mountains to the west. Following the GPS carefully is crucial here, as just a few miles into the canyon an almost imperceptible trail makes a sudden right up a steep rise, and reveals a single track which falls into the category of “trails you’ve likely never ridden before.” Going from clearly-visible sidehill single track, to sandy wash, to a faint ribbon across a valley floor, this 10-mile trail eventually drops us back onto the highway. After fueling up in Shoshone, we head west and are again in Death Valley. Furnace Creek road quickly leads to a right turn over Deadman Pass, and on to Death Valley Junction. While it’s a direct shot to the lunch spot in Longstreet, there are fast dirt routes which parallel the pavement less than a mile to the west. A combination of both paved and dirt farm roads leads one around the small communities in this area, and things again become very remote, and remain very remote all the way to Beatty, Nevada. This comparatively shorter day allows for an early arrival in Beatty. Two optional loop rides from the hotel appear on the GPS, and we are told by Jerry these are not to be missed. More intense scenery, interesting spots, and still more hidden single track are packed into these optional 50 miles than perhaps the entire ride from Pahrump. The ruins of Mayflower Mine. Gold was mined in the area from around 1908 to 1941.That evening we sat down for a well-deserved steak dinner with Jerry Counts and fellow legendary Dual Sport Ride organizer Terry Nichols. It was a fascinating conversation about the origins of these long-distance on-road/off-road events going back to the mid-80s. “Dual Purpose” rides, as they were originally called, were planned and grew as events like La-Barstow to Vegas were eliminated. Eventually, a Dual Sport division was sanctioned by the AMA. According to Jerry, an assistant of Terry Nichols’ at the time, Jim Pilon, coined the term “Dual Sport” to “add a little more excitement” to the rides. Leaving Beatty on the final day of this event, one can follow the old railroad bed straight out of town and reach the ghost town of Rhyolite from the upper side. This boom-to-bust town started because of a gold strike in 1904, grew to over 10,000 people, and by 1919 was a ghost town. Evidence of the town’s significant presence remains today in the Cook Bank Building, railroad depot, bottle house, and several other structures. Standing in bizarre contrast to the historic town, is the Goldwell Open Air Museum. Started by Albert Szukalksi when he created “The Last Supper” and “Ghost Rider” sculptures in 1984, other artists have gradually added to this collection of unexpected art over the years. Before closing in 1910, Cook Bank was the largest building in the town of Rhyolite, with two vaults, Italian marble floors, mahogany woodwork, electric lights, running water, telephones, and indoor plumbing.A straight shot across the valley headed due south on a fast dirt road eventually gives way to a steep, winding trail up to Chloride View. Where Dante’s View provides a paved route to high vistas of Death Valley as seen from the south, Chloride View provides an off-road route to equally stunning views of Death Valley looking from the north. Both the peak itself, and the road descending back to Daylight Pass are quintessential Death Valley terrain – challenging and grand in scope. Pictures don’t do the views justice. The ride up to Chloride is well worth the trip.After a gas stop in Stovepipe Wells, we head into the mountains on Emigrant Pass Road. A left turn on to an eight-mile long dirt road leads to Skidoo Mine. As the only water-powered milling operation in Death Valley, this mine became one of the most profitable operations in the region. The partially-stabilized structure is quite impressive, and well worth the 600-foot walk from the locked gate to see. The partially-restored Skidoo Mine is quite an impressive structure, and well worth the short hike.Fun, twisty pavement on Wildrose Road eventually gives way to broken asphalt, then dirt road leading all the way back to Ballarat, and rocky, sandy power line roads crossing the valley towards Manly Pass. It’s at this point we’re presented with some optional single track routes. One of which I had previously ridden up on a BMW R 1200 GS, loaded with camping gear, so assumed they would be easily doable on these much smaller bikes. While the trails were indeed fun, the long stretch of single track leading away from the pavement at Trona road proved to be the rockiest, steepest, and most faint of the trails we would ride this event. One of the most challenging climbs even features an open mineshaft just off the side of the trail! Legal for both motorcycle and equestrian use, we later learned the challenging conditions of many of these routes is largely due to their being blazed by the many wild burros of Death Valley. Off to the left side of this trail, there is an old mine shaft waiting at the top of the hill. We stacked several rocks to help warn other riders of this hidden danger.Even though Rob and I had ridden Death Valley many times before and we thought we knew it better than most, we both discovered several incredible trails we had no idea existed. Several portions of this three-day event highlighted the “dual sport” versus “adventure bike” nature of the ride as well. Regardless of the term used, “excitement” doesn’t do Death Valley justice. “Breathtaking” is perhaps a better word. Based on the name, “Death Valley” doesn’t immediately sound like it would be a desirable place to go. Intense landscapes like no other place on earth, deep history, bizarre desert features, and amazing trail riding are all found here. You just need a capable dual sport bike, and someone who knows where it all is. Photos Jon Beck and Rob Dabney Author: Jon Beck Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.
  22. Talk about a cool COVID-19 project. When bike builder Gian Paolo Mucci found himself in coronavirus lockdown in Bologna, Italy, he was just getting started on a project Tenere 700 for Italy’s successful rally raiders, Team Kapriony. Named the T7 Rally, he credits the forced isolation for the bike’s quick turnaround and also for its apocalyptic vibe. The bike the Kapriony Team requested from Mucci would need to be suited very specifically for racing in the African desert, the group’s forte. According to Rocket Garage, after many years of success racing KTM adventure models, the team had decided to explore parallel concepts, and was drawn to the possibility so evident in Yamaha’s T7. Task in hand, one of Mucci’s main goals was to reduce and redistribute weight from the Tenere, so he cut away the steel frame and built an aluminum box frame half the weight of the original. New fuel tanks were created from 2mm-thick aluminum and situated very low within the framework (a whopping 19.6 inches below the original tank position) to provide a combined 9.25 gallons (35 liters), 5 gallons (19 liters) more than stock. ADVERTISEMENT With the stock tank gone, the riding position was “unlocked” says Mucci, to allow the rider to sit 5.9 inches (15 cm) farther forward, all part of a universal effort to situate mass more centrally. Another design choice that centralized weight was having the rear bodywork end a tidy 6 inches (15 cm) forward of the rear axle. Having all the bike’s mass so centralized should keep the chassis from unnecessary yawing, and also help it recover from unwanted skidding Suspension has been upgraded, employing an air-cooled WP fork that provides an impressive 11.8 inches (300 mm) of travel. A Mupo shock in the rear is assisted by a hydro-pneumatic Air Tender system for ultimate dialablility. The bike’s radical-looking, wing-shaped steering plate provides for super quick removal of the fork and we’re also told the formation tweaks geometry for enhanced control in the sand. A burly-looking skid plate constructed of 3mm-thick aluminum goes a long way to intensify this Tenere’s serious stance. While the Yamaha’s 689cc liquid-cooled twin hasn’t seen any modifications to date, a claimed 8 additional horses were summoned by adding an SC Project exhaust system. In one of the coolest design implements, Mucci made the whole fairing removable in less than a minute using two socket wrenches to remove 8 screws, a very useful feature to have for rally competitions, especially since it allows quick access to the air filter. Possibly the most striking feature is the bike’s robot-esque headlamp assembly, which Mucci refers to as an animal snout. He says it does more than look fierce, however, as it positions the instruments and rally roadbook in better view of the rider. He also says the new assembly shaved off a significant amount of weight. When Mucci wrapped up the project bike in mid-April the Tenere weighed in at an impressive 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter than stock. We kinda dig this machine in its raw form, all aluminum and robust welds, though we expect Team Kapriony will have it done up in team colors ahead of its debut on the International Rally Raid circuit. As for the bike’s timing, it sure is nice to know someone out there used their Covid quarantine time to create something extraordinary. Though having it shed pounds instead of gain does seem a bit offside, no? Photos GP Mucci and Rocket Garage 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. Talk about a cool COVID-19 project. When bike builder Gian Paolo Mucci found himself in coronavirus lockdown in Bologna, Italy, he was just getting started on a project Tenere 700 for Italy’s successful rally raiders, Team Kapriony. Named the T7 Rally, he credits the forced isolation for the bike’s quick turnaround and also for its apocalyptic vibe. The bike the Kapriony Team requested from Mucci would need to be suited very specifically for racing in the African desert, the group’s forte. According to Rocket Garage, after many years of success racing KTM adventure models, the team had decided to explore parallel concepts, and was drawn to the possibility so evident in Yamaha’s T7. Task in hand, one of Mucci’s main goals was to reduce and redistribute weight from the Tenere, so he cut away the steel frame and built an aluminum box frame half the weight of the original. New fuel tanks were created from 2mm-thick aluminum and situated very low within the framework (a whopping 19.6 inches below the original tank position) to provide a combined 9.25 gallons (35 liters), 5 gallons (19 liters) more than stock. ADVERTISEMENT With the stock tank gone, the riding position was “unlocked” says Mucci, to allow the rider to sit 5.9 inches (15 cm) farther forward, all part of a universal effort to situate mass more centrally. Another design choice that centralized weight was having the rear bodywork end a tidy 6 inches (15 cm) forward of the rear axle. Having all the bike’s mass so centralized should keep the chassis from unnecessary yawing, and also help it recover from unwanted skidding Suspension has been upgraded, employing an air-cooled WP fork that provides an impressive 11.8 inches (300 mm) of travel. A Mupo shock in the rear is assisted by a hydro-pneumatic Air Tender system for ultimate dialablility. The bike’s radical-looking, wing-shaped steering plate provides for super quick removal of the fork and we’re also told the formation tweaks geometry for enhanced control in the sand. A burly-looking skid plate constructed of 3mm-thick aluminum goes a long way to intensify this Tenere’s serious stance. While the Yamaha’s 689cc liquid-cooled twin hasn’t seen any modifications to date, a claimed 8 additional horses were summoned by adding an SC Project exhaust system. In one of the coolest design implements, Mucci made the whole fairing removable in less than a minute using two socket wrenches to remove 8 screws, a very useful feature to have for rally competitions, especially since it allows quick access to the air filter. Possibly the most striking feature is the bike’s robot-esque headlamp assembly, which Mucci refers to as an animal snout. He says it does more than look fierce, however, as it positions the instruments and rally roadbook in better view of the rider. He also says the new assembly shaved off a significant amount of weight. When Mucci wrapped up the project bike in mid-April the Tenere weighed in at an impressive 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter than stock. We kinda dig this machine in its raw form, all aluminum and robust welds, though we expect Team Kapriony will have it done up in team colors ahead of its debut on the International Rally Raid circuit. As for the bike’s timing, it sure is nice to know someone out there used their Covid quarantine time to create something extraordinary. Though having it shed pounds instead of gain does seem a bit offside, no? Photos GP Mucci and Rocket Garage 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. They say big things come in small packages and that’s been the hope for the 390 Adventure ever since KTM CEO Stefan Pierer first mentioned it in an interview some 7 years ago. Well after years of rumors, speculation and spy photos, it’s finally here, in the flesh. A small-displacement adventure bike that is approachable, versatile, economical and fun isn’t anything new in the market. There have been a number of small ADVs filling out this category for several years now, but they tend to be more adventure “style” than “bike.” So when the ‘Ready to Race’ brand jumped into the game, there were certain expectations, regardless of price. But have they hit their mark? Starting off with a 373cc single-cylinder motor borrowed from the 390 Duke, the pint-sized powerplant pumps out a respectable 43 horsepower and 27.3 ft-lbs of torque. Plus it comes packed with premium components you typically don’t get standard in this category like a TFT display with Bluetooth integration, a charging port on the dash, tapered aluminum handlebars, crash bars, skid plate, hand guards, adjustable windscreen, ByBre (Indian Brembo) brakes, and WP suspension with damping adjustments front and rear. Rider aids are also impressive like cornering ABS that is Street/Off-Road switchable, lean angle-aware traction control, a slipper clutch, optional quickshifter, and smooth fueling thanks to ride-by-wire throttle. ADVERTISEMENT That’s a lot of primo componentry for a budget-oriented adventure bike, but the one important area where KTM may have skimped a little is in wheel choice. Whereas its big brothers come with 21” front and 18” rear wire-spoke wheels, the 390 Adventure sports 19”/17” cast aluminum hoops. Also, the suspension travel is much lower than usual for KTM adventure bikes, measuring 6.7 inches up front and 6.9 inches in the back, along with a ground clearance measurement of 7.8 inches. Decisions were likely made to hit a specific price point, but it is important to keep in mind the smaller wheels and lower suspension do help get the seat h down to a more reasonable 33.6 inches and also improves maneuverability — important factors for any entry-level machine. However, KTM’s statement that the new 390 Adventure was made for touring and ‘light’ off-roading had me wondering if I should check my ‘Ready to Race’ expectations at the door. So is it an adventure bike worthy of the orange brand? Or just another budget lookalike ADV without any true off-road intentions? As a big fan of small bikes, I was thrilled to get some seat time on this long-awaited newest addition to KTM’s family to find out what it’s all about, and how it matches up with other bikes in the category. Read on for the straight scoop! First Look While the 390 Adventure is based on the 390 Duke, it shares a strong family resemblance with the 790 Adventure, with the exception of the low-slung fuel tank. Everything from lighting to the side panels, windscreen, display, seating, and GPS mount are a close match, just shrunk down to a smaller package… But it’s no minibike either. The ergos feel full sized in the seated position, with a comfortable reach to the bars and enough room to move around in the saddle. The distance from the seat to the footpegs is also comfortable for taller riders like myself at 6 foot 2 inches. Although in the standing position, it is slightly cramped with the bars feeling a bit low and too far back for my size, even with the handlebar supports set in the high/forward position. The dash is well-appointed with 5” color-TFT display, central mounting point for a GPS (optional accessory), charging port, tapered-aluminum bars and a two-way adjustable windscreen (requires tools).Turning on the display, the 5” Color TFT looks similar to the 790 and 1290 Adventures’, with a low glare design that switches colors for night and day. Its interface and control switches are just like the big bikes when configuring ABS and MTC (Motorcycle Traction Control) settings, although there are no rider modes. Instead, there is one standard fuel map and you can either turn traction control On or Off. ABS is also simplified with either Street (front and rear) or Offroad (front only) settings only. You can also set shift warning lights for two different RPMs and custom configure your home screen. About the only thing I didn’t find on the display was outside temperature, which is a nice tool to have for understanding current road conditions. It’s nice not being stuck with the stock suspension settings. Two clickers offer adjustable compression (white) and rebound (red) damping for the fork, while out back there is a rebound adjustment for the shock.The display is also compatible with the KTM My Ride app that allows you to connect your phone and headset via Bluetooth. Once connected, you can take calls, adjust your music and receive turn-by-turn navigation on the bike’s display, all managed with the left thumb controls. The larger display makes things easier to see what’s going on in your peripheral vision and the thumb controls keep the rider’s hands on the handlebars where they should be. KTM 390 Adventures in the US come with crashbars standard.Firing up the 390 for the first time, it sounds subdued compared to KTM’s heart-pumping twin-powered machines but it’s not without character. An initial test run revealed a flat powerband that doesn’t ‘wow’ the rider with low-end pop or high RPM surge. It’s just smooth and steady throughout. But you can get the front wheel up in first gear and ride a wheelie, if you clutch it. The suspension feels firm, which is unique for a bike in this class. And when setting up sag for around 230 pounds of rider and gear, I was surprised to find the preload on the shock was not even close to maxed out — a good sign for things to come on the trail. But first, the pavement… Highway Test Letting it loose on a freeway onramp, there is no rush of acceleration but the bike is deceptively quick. It easily gets up to speed to merge with traffic, and It’s fast enough to out accelerate most cars on the road. You don’t have to plan your passes like you might on a 250cc and in most situations you don’t need to downshift to make a pass. Keeping the throttle pinned and staying upright in the saddle, I was surprised to see triple digits on the speedo, without waiting an eternity. It seems faster than the Kawasaki Versys-X 300, Honda CB500X or Kawasaki KLR650, although not on par with say a Suzuki V-Strom 650. Steep grades and wind don’t seem to slow it down either. The bike has the torque to maintain 80+ on hills while still having some room to accelerate. The 390 Adventure feels steady on the highway and the windscreen is decent in the high position. For my h, the windscreen blocked the wind up to about nose level. That may not be great for a full day of highway riding, but it keeps the majority of wind off of you and it’s way better than not having anything. As mentioned previously, the seating position, along with the distance to the handlebars and pegs, is comfortable for taller riders and I didn’t feel cramped even after hours in the saddle. One thing I wasn’t that pleased about after a full day of riding was the seat. It’s fairly boardlike and I became sore after about an hour in the saddle. Another not so great highway feature was the buzz in the handlebars at higher speeds and even more so in the footpegs. Our test bike had the rubber peg covers removed prior to receiving it, so it may be much better with those installed. The serrated footpegs offer good grip in the dirt but without the removable rubber covers, they do transmit a fair amount of vibration on the highway.The vibes start to kick in at about 70 mph and you quickly remember this is a single-cylinder motor. What’s interesting though, is the oscillations get better once you get up to about 80 mph. In the 80s, it feels smoother, almost as if the counterbalancer was tuned for a higher speed. But it’s still not as smooth as its twin-cylinder competition like the CB500X or Versys-X 300 at that speed. The sweet spot for this bike seems to be about 68 mph, where the windscreen works great and the vibes are almost non-existent. In The Twisties Pointing the 390 Adventure toward twistier asphalt was a much more enjoyable ride. Here you can really feel some of the street DNA it inherited from the 390 Duke. Turning is effortless on the light maneuverable bike. Plus with the more street-friendly 19”/17” wheel combo, it’s easy to switch lines mid turn, and it doesn’t feel twitchy or sensitive to inputs. Riding with the optional Quickshifter is a blast too. Revving the little motor out for all it’s worth and banging through the gears is quite fun. Downshifting is also extremely smooth thanks to the Quickshifter and slipper clutch, both of which aid in making the bike feel effortless to ride fast. Even so, it’s not a bike that wants to be ridden at a furious pace. Its smooth, practical powerband urges you to take in the sights and enjoy the undulations of the road without anything to prove — that dude in the lowered Honda tuner car can go right by. But if you are in a hurry, the lightweight 390, with its stock Continental TKC 70 tires, gives you plenty of cornering speed, and the high pegs mean you have an abundance of lean angle before toes begin to scrape. The suspension’s firmness also keeps the chassis stable without much dive or squat during aggressive sport riding. ByBre brakes have excellent feel and allow for 1.5-finger emergency stops.The ByBre brakes are awesome too for a budget bike. The initial grab is soft and you can bring it to a fast halt with 1.5 fingers. There’s a ton of feel for brake modulation and the lean-sensitive ABS is also confidence inspiring to help correct any mistakes or panic stops. Accelerating out of a turn full throttle, the power hit is soft enough to not need traction control. But it’s there if you do hit a patch of sand in the road or for rainy days. Off-Road Test As you might expect, that smooth, flat power curve works great in the dirt. Even with Traction Control off, the torquey thumper motor keeps the rear tire glued to the ground in the lower RPMs. You really have to get the revs up, or be riding in sand or mud, to get any wheel spin. Moreover, the TC system seems to be turned for street and doesn’t have the sensitivity of KTM’s off-road traction control systems found on bikes like the 790 Adventure or 690 Enduro. Keep it on only if you are new to off-road riding and you are sticking to packed dirt roads. For more experienced off-road riders, the limited wheelspin it generates can make it harder to ride aggressively and power steer through turns. Getting that rear wheel to kick out takes work! But it does hold a clean line and goes where you point it. If you want to go up a hill, the long first gear will climb pretty much anything with a surprising amount of grip from the smooth tires. It won’t skip a beat if you are a big rider like me either. Getting it turned around and heading back down is also a much-less-sketchy maneuver than on any full-sized adventure bike, which gives a new off-road rider or those of smaller stature more confidence to push their limits. As far as off-road standing ergos, I found myself bending my knees more than usual to compensate for the cramped bar position. A set of risers would help open up the riding position for taller riders, but it may be about right for average-h riders. The seated position did leave me wishing I could slide forward more up on the tank like the 790 R, but there is a decent amount of room in the saddle to not feel locked in place. With its reasonable ground clearance and a firm suspension, you can take the 390 Adventure through semi-rocky terrain without a lot of bottoming on the skidplate. It feels plush through the choppy stuff and the well-damped suspension helps ensure you don’t get bounced off the horse. Its small bike agility allows you to snake your way around obstacles rather than power through them. Which is the best approach for this bike, because if you do hit sharp-edged ruts or boulders in the road, the front fork will let you know it doesn’t like it by giving you a loud thunk! Cranking up the compression damping on the fork helped make this occur less often, but 6.7 inches of travel does have its limits if you want to ride it like a dirt bike. The rear shock bottomed out only occasionally when pushing hard in big whoops or landing on flat after catching some air. Theshock is rebound damping only (no compression) so adjustments won’t help with that. But clearly the bike is up for some abuse, even with a bigger rider on it. Overall, the suspension is very responsive and keeps the tires on the ground with a balanced and composed feel. And with it being a relatively light adventure bike at 379 pounds wet, recovery from any loss of traction is easier. One type of terrain the bike struggled with was in the sand. Perhaps it’s the smaller 19”/17” wheel combo, the smooth TKC 70 tires, a shorter wheelbase, a steering head angle that is a little steeper than most adventure bikes, or all of the above. But the result is that the front wheel wants to tuck right away in deep sand. Throwing some knobbies on the bike would be helpful if you intend to do anything more than the short patches of sand during your adventures on the 390. Otherwise, pin it to win it! The tractable motor offers good grip on hill climbs, even with the fairly smooth TKC 70 rear tire.Another small annoyance was having to repeatedly turn the Traction Control off in the dirt. If the kill switch is turned off with the ignition on, it loses the Off setting. Or even if you just stall the bike and restart it within a few seconds, it sometimes loses the setting. I haven’t noticed traction control being this finicky on other KTM models before. The Bottom Line KTM has done a great job of creating a capable, entry-level ADV Bike at a price point that makes it easier for new adventure riders to get started on an orange bike. You don’t get all the premium components and hard-edged performance of their larger machines, but it’s a step ahead of the competition for this category. Thanks to ex-Baja Champ Quinn Cody, who helped develop suspension settings for the Americas and Europe, the 390 Adventure has good spring rates, adequate suspension travel and a range of damping settings so you aren’t stuck with whatever comes from the factory. It works well in the dirt for all but the most aggressive riding, and raises the bar in its class with its ability to travel further off the beaten path than the Honda CB500X, Kawasaki Versys-X or the BMW G310GS. After hundreds of miles of testing, the bike averaged 65 mpg on the highway and about 60 mpg in mixed terrain to give it a safe distance between fill ups of about 225 miles. Not only is it economical filling the 3.8 gallon tank, but it’s enough range to hang with larger adventure bikes. The 390 Adventure has enough power to keep up with bigger bikes too, although I do wish it were smoother on the highway. Comparing it to other single-cylinder models, KTM 690 Enduro R is smoother at 75mph with its dual balancer shafts. Yet without a windscreen, highway stints on the 690 are rough. The 410cc Royal Enfield Himalayan is also a smoother operator, but that’s in part because its limited-performance motor keeps the revs down. The 390 Adventure does feel smoother than either the BMW G310GS or CRF250L Rally though. But perhaps the 390’s vibration woes can be resolved with heavy bar-end weights and vibration damping footpegs. We’d love to see a set of wire-spoke wheels come standard on the 390 Adventure but cracking a wheel is less of a concern on a bike in this weight class. If you are looking to do more than just light off-roading, then a set of spokes might be your first mod, along with a cushier seat, and it could use a rear rack for carrying a top bag as well… There are a lot of custom mods you might ‘like’ to do, but from a practical sense there aren’t a lot of things it really ‘needs’ because the 390 Adventure is a versatile, well-equipped machine right off the showroom floor. Those looking to get started in the world of adventure riding, will find this fairly-light, compact, practical machine perfect for the daily grind, with enough turn-key capability to get you out on a bonafide adventure. It would make a great BDR bike with the capability to handle a variety of terrain, enough power to carry you and your gear, fuel capacity to meet range needs, and enough off-road armor to keep the bike protected from adventure-ending damage. Looking at all the equipment and electronics you get for an MSRP of $6,199, it’s a good value too. Not only is it an attractive package to draw new riders into the sport, but we can also see older and smaller-statured riders who are looking for a more manageable bike on the trail (i.e. easier to pick up) being enticed. And while some experienced off-road riders may desire more capability in the dirt, it still offers enough performance to be left impressed with what it can do, especially for the price. KTM 390 Adventure Specs ENGINE TYPE: Single Cylinder, 4-Stroke, DOHC DISPLACEMENT: 373.2 cc BORE/STROKE: 89/60 mm POWER: 43 hp ( 32 kW ) TORQUE: 27.3 ft-lbs (37 Nm) STARTER: Electric; 12V 8Ah TRANSMISSION: 6 Gears FUEL SYSTEM: Bosch EFI, 46 mm Throttle Body LUBRICATION: Wet Sump COOLING: Liquid Cooling CLUTCH: PASC Slipper Clutch, Mechanically Operated IGNITION: Bosch EMS with Ride-By-Wire FRAME: Steel Trellis SUBFRAME: Steel Trellis HANDLEBAR: Aluminum, Tapered, Ø 26/22 mm FRONT SUSPENSION: WP APEX USD Ø 43 mm REAR SUSPENSION: WP APEX Monoshock SUSPENSION TRAVEL FR./RR.: 6.7 in (170mm) / 6.9 in (177mm) FRONT/REAR BRAKES: Disc Brake 320 mm/230 mm FRONT/REAR WHEELS: 2.50 x 19”, 3.50 x 17” FRONT/REAR TIRES: 100/90-19”; 130/80-17” STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 63.5 ° WHEELBASE: 1,430 mm ± 15.5 mm / 56.3 ± 0.6 in GROUND CLEARANCE: 7.8 in (200mm) SEAT HEIGHT: 33.6 in (855mm) TANK CAPACITY: 3.8 gal (14.5 L) DRY WEIGHT, APPROX: 348.3 lbs (158 kg) WET WEIGHT: 379 lbs (172 kg) MSRP: $6,199 USD/ $6,799 CAD Gear We Used • Helmet: Arai XD-4 Vision • Jacket: Aether Divide • Pants: Aether Divide • Boots: Forma Terra EVO • Gloves: ARC Battle Born Air 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.
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