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  1. How much would you pay for a pristine, low-mileage, 1989 XRV650 Honda Africa Twin? You’d be lucky to find one, of course, because these original Africa Twins, designated RD-03 models, are the direct descendants of Honda’s Dakar-winning NXR750 that dominated the desert in the late ‘80s, and as such are highly prized by collectors. How about $37,000? That’s what this RD-03 fetched on the website Bring a Trailer. But before you shine up your old Africa Twin in hopes of cashing in big, understand that this particular RD-03 defines the word “pristine.” It has three kilometers (1.9 miles) on the odometer and has never been started. It includes the original owners manual and literature, tool kit, Georgia title and a spare license plate frame. The RD-03 is equipped with a 647cc V-twin. Features include a Pro-Link rear monoshock, an air-adjustable Showa fork, dual round headlights with a mesh guard, skid plate, gold rims, and a 6.4-gallon fuel tank.All three kilometers on the bike are reportedly from pushing it in and out of climate-controlled storage and display areas. The cylinders were lubricated and the engine turned over by hand in 2019 to make sure it was still factory fresh. It has been stored without gas in it and the brakes and electronics have been confirmed to work as new. There probably isn’t another RD-03 like it in the world. All the original manufacturer stickers are still intact on the bike. ADVERTISEMENT The backstory is that the 1989 bike was originally purchased new by a collector in Japan, where it was kept in a private museum for 30 years until it was sold to a Washington State dealer in 2019. It was then acquired to put on display at a small car club and storage facility in Georgia where it was popular with Honda admirers. “It has been a huge hit with my members! It is an amazing motorcycle from every angle and as rare as it gets,” the seller said. Instrumentation consists of a 180-km/h speedometer, a tachometer with an 8,800-rpm redline, a coolant temperature gauge, and a mechanical odometer showing 3 km. The bike comes with the original owner’s manual, additional manufacturer’s literature, spare license plate frame, tool kit, period stickers, and records.All Africa Twins are cool. But the original models are pretty special. They were built at the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), Honda’s racing-bike arm, instead of on a factory floor like the later models. HRC also made it their mission to stick as closely as possible to the design and philosophy of the race-winning NXR750. The three-valve-per-cylinder, SOHC V-twin came from the Honda Transalp, and was bored to 647cc to make 57-horsepower. A 6.3 gallon (24 liter) saddle-style fuel tank kept weight low and centered, but necessitated the use of a fuel pump as some of the gas capacity was below the level of the carburetor. Saddle-style tanks are common these days (see KTMs 790/890 adventure bikes), but back in the day there was nothing like it on a production bike. In fact, the size and shape of the tanks caused manufacturing problems for HRC, but the extra cost was the price to be paid for mission integrity. True to race-bike fashion, the RD-03 features quick-release fasteners on the body panels. True to race-bike fashion, the RD-03 had quick-release fasteners on the body panels and mesh covering over the dual headlights. The front suspension featured 43mm forks with 9.1 inches (230mm) of travel derived from Honda’s motocross bikes. A box-section aluminum swingarm and adjustable monoshock with 8.3 inches (210 mm) of travel handled suspension duties in the rear. The engine was cooled by twin aluminum radiators and also sported a full stainless-steel exhaust system. Each RD-03 also left HRC with a stout bash plate, hand guards, a competition-style dash and HRC’s tri-color racing graphics. As a large displacement, no-compromise, street-legal replica of Honda’s Dakar-winning bike, the XRV650 was unique, and they tend to get ridden and used as designed. That inevitably means scratches, dents and many, many miles. So maybe this one is worth $37,000. It certainly was to one lucky buyer. 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.
  2. How much would you pay for a pristine, low-mileage, 1989 XRV650 Honda Africa Twin? You’d be lucky to find one, of course, because these original Africa Twins, designated RD-03 models, are the direct descendants of Honda’s Dakar-winning NXR750 that dominated the desert in the late ‘80s, and as such are highly prized by collectors. How about $37,000? That’s what this RD-03 fetched on the website Bring a Trailer. But before you shine up your old Africa Twin in hopes of cashing in big, understand that this particular RD-03 defines the word “pristine.” It has three kilometers (1.9 miles) on the odometer and has never been started. It includes the original owners manual and literature, tool kit, Georgia title and a spare license plate frame. The RD-03 is equipped with a 647cc V-twin. Features include a Pro-Link rear monoshock, an air-adjustable Showa fork, dual round headlights with a mesh guard, skid plate, gold rims, and a 6.4-gallon fuel tank.All three kilometers on the bike are reportedly from pushing it in and out of climate-controlled storage and display areas. The cylinders were lubricated and the engine turned over by hand in 2019 to make sure it was still factory fresh. It has been stored without gas in it and the brakes and electronics have been confirmed to work as new. There probably isn’t another RD-03 like it in the world. All the original manufacturer stickers are still intact on the bike. ADVERTISEMENT The backstory is that the 1989 bike was originally purchased new by a collector in Japan, where it was kept in a private museum for 30 years until it was sold to a Washington State dealer in 2019. It was then acquired to put on display at a small car club and storage facility in Georgia where it was popular with Honda admirers. “It has been a huge hit with my members! It is an amazing motorcycle from every angle and as rare as it gets,” the seller said. Instrumentation consists of a 180-km/h speedometer, a tachometer with an 8,800-rpm redline, a coolant temperature gauge, and a mechanical odometer showing 3 km. The bike comes with the original owner’s manual, additional manufacturer’s literature, spare license plate frame, tool kit, period stickers, and records.All Africa Twins are cool. But the original models are pretty special. They were built at the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), Honda’s racing-bike arm, instead of on a factory floor like the later models. HRC also made it their mission to stick as closely as possible to the design and philosophy of the race-winning NXR750. The three-valve-per-cylinder, SOHC V-twin came from the Honda Transalp, and was bored to 647cc to make 57-horsepower. A 6.3 gallon (24 liter) saddle-style fuel tank kept weight low and centered, but necessitated the use of a fuel pump as some of the gas capacity was below the level of the carburetor. Saddle-style tanks are common these days (see KTMs 790/890 adventure bikes), but back in the day there was nothing like it on a production bike. In fact, the size and shape of the tanks caused manufacturing problems for HRC, but the extra cost was the price to be paid for mission integrity. True to race-bike fashion, the RD-03 features quick-release fasteners on the body panels. True to race-bike fashion, the RD-03 had quick-release fasteners on the body panels and mesh covering over the dual headlights. The front suspension featured 43mm forks with 9.1 inches (230mm) of travel derived from Honda’s motocross bikes. A box-section aluminum swingarm and adjustable monoshock with 8.3 inches (210 mm) of travel handled suspension duties in the rear. The engine was cooled by twin aluminum radiators and also sported a full stainless-steel exhaust system. Each RD-03 also left HRC with a stout bash plate, hand guards, a competition-style dash and HRC’s tri-color racing graphics. As a large displacement, no-compromise, street-legal replica of Honda’s Dakar-winning bike, the XRV650 was unique, and they tend to get ridden and used as designed. That inevitably means scratches, dents and many, many miles. So maybe this one is worth $37,000. It certainly was to one lucky buyer. 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.
  3. Published on 04.07.2021 Wolfman Luggage has just announced the arrival of two new products for 2021, their Zip-R Rolie Bags with a zipper-top, and the Tank Pannier Base — a base harness for the front of the bike to mount bags to. The Zip-R Bags, are a new version of their standard Rolie line which offer quick and easy access through a zipper-top rather than roll-top design. These versatile new bags are very convenient with a handy bungie on the side for holding lightweight items, two compression straps on top designed to mount a Tincup Pocket auxiliary bag, along with a stash pocket on the bottom to store smaller items you need quick access to. The new bags are constructed with ultra-tough 840D TPU material utilizing RF-welded seams and YKK AquaGuard water-repellent zippers. They feature a more traditional luggage shape, even when packed lightly, and come with a fluorescent yellow interior to make finding items easier in low light. We got our hands on a pre-production set of the new Wolfman Zip-R bags for testing. The new features offer many improvements in versatility and convenience over the standard Rolie bags.Like the existing Waterproof Rolie Bag line, the new Zip-R bags can be lashed together in a stackable formation and multiple sizes are available to meet the needs of different trips and riding styles. They can be used with the Wolfman Unrack Base system, or in a number of other configurations like a tail bag, crash bar bag or auxiliary bag. While the new Zip-R Bags are highly water resistant, those looking for a 100% waterproof storage solution should opt for the standard roll-top Rolie bags. The medium and large Zip-R Bags are designed to mount a Tincup Pocket or you can use the compression straps to attach other light items like an extra layer. ADVERTISEMENT Wolfman’s second new product released today is the Tank Pannier Base which is similar to their existing Unrack base harness mounting system for the back of the bike. Like the Unrack E- and B-Base products, the Tank Pannier Base lets you attach different sized bags in a variety of different configurations to meet your travel needs, but they are mounted on the sides of the tank rather than on the rear of the bike. The Tank Pannier Base is a base harness mounting system that hugs the tank and lets you attach different sized bags in a variety of configurations.Don’t like tank bags getting in your way? The Tank Pannier Base with small Rolie Bags WP or Zip-R Bags might be the perfect solution. If you prefer using a small tank bag that doesn’t obscure your vision, you can use the Tank Pannier Base to add more storage capacity on the sides of the tank or it’s a convenient place to mount a Wolf Bottle Holster. There are a number of different ways you can personalize your luggage to fit a variety of different adventures. Wolfman’s Zip-R Bags and Tank Pannier Base join the company’s other new products released in January, which include their Stuff-its stuff sacks, Enduro Fender Bag WP and two revised Bases for the Tincup Pocket. For more details on Woflman’s 2021 products go to their website at www.wolfmanluggage.com. Shopping Options
  4. Published on 04.06.2021 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires has expanded its off-road tire line to include a new DOT-approved trials tire — the K950. Trials tires have long been popular among dual sport riders who want maximum traction on challenging off-road terrain. This tire uses a tight block pattern that clings to the contours of rocks and other obstacles, giving riders a significant boost in grip. Dunlop states the K950 was engineered to excel on hard-packed, rocky, or tree root-littered trails, in both wet and dry conditions. It was also designed with the durability to handle asphalt and be completely street legal, “while delivering a high level of performance off-road that riders are looking for.” The trials tire features bias-ply construction, along with a tread pattern and sticky rubber compound designed to tackle tough single-track terrain and other challenging conditions. “For dual-sport riding, the K950 provides a smoother ride and longer wear than a traditional knobby tire on the street, while offering a high level of grip and bump-absorbing compliance in the dirt,” explains the tire manufacturer ADVERTISEMENT The K950 joins the competition-only D803GP trials tire in Dunlop’s lineup. Look for them coming soon to your local dealer, available as a rear tire only size 4.00-18. Pricing is TBD. For more details, visit the Dunlop website.
  5. Published on 04.01.2021 After a decade of research, development and testing, Giant Loop is proud to introduce the world’s first integrated safety air bag system for motorcycles, the Bümer Bäg™. This first-of-its-kind air armor system integrates with Giant Loop’s soft luggage, deploying on impact to instantly bubble wrap riders in ballistic bounce proof protection. For slower speed off-road riding, electronic lean-angle sensors inflate the adventure air bags to cushion against rocks and logs and to break falls from moderately sized cliffs. In the event of deep water crossings, the Bümer Bäg can be manually deployed as a floatation device for bike and rider. ADVERTISEMENT “We were able to source air bag components directly from automotive industry supplier Takata in Japan,” explains Giant Loop’s chief safety officer, Winn Baggs. “This space age technology is finally being made available to powersports manufacturers.” To shave pounds and expense, the Bümer Bäg can be recharged with off-the-shelf CO2 cartridges from motorcycle tire repair kits. It is also compatible with tubeless tire plugs for easy repairs. Perfect for pavement pounders and ground grinders who like to catch giant air, the Giant Loop Bümer Bäg (GL part # BBRAP21) weighs just 98.4 lbs with all included components. USA MSRP is $99.99. Get yours before they are gone at giantloop.com
  6. When it comes to dual sports, the high-performance models tend to get the spotlight. But not every rider is looking for a hard-edged enduro. Many want something more approachable, easier to ride, at an affordable price, that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. And what’s not to love about that? Enter the KLX300, Kawasaki’s replacement of its 250cc dual sport first introduced in 2006, which returned to the lineup in 2018 after a three-year hiatus with the addition of fuel injection, refinements to its suspension and a new digital dash. Fast forward to 2021 and Kawasaki has given the little thumper a displacement upgrade, now boasting 292cc’s, plus a higher-performance camshaft profile from its KLX300R dirt bike. In addition, the new KLX300 receives slimmer-profile radiators, optimized ignition timing and engine balancer, updated gear ratios and some additional suspension tweaks on the damping. Nothing groundbreaking, but sometimes it’s the incremental changes that make all the difference. Jumping up from the 250cc to 300cc range is one change that can make a significant difference, especially when it comes to dual sport riding that entails getting on the highway to reach the trails. That’s also true if you are planning on doing any ADV Rides carrying all your gear for a few nights in the wilderness. ADVERTISEMENT After this latest round of updates, we were intrigued to find out if they offer a significant increase in all-around versatility. Enough to tackle more-aggressive dual sport rides or use as a Light ADV? We’ll answer that and more below but first let’s take a look at what you get for six grand of your hard earned dollars. First Look As before the engine is a water-cooled single, featuring dual overhead cams with four valves and a 34mm throttle body EFI system mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Kawasaki hasn’t released performance figures, sharing only a dyno chart graphic without numbers, that shows both horsepower and torque increases across the entire RPM range. The KLX300 features a 292cc water-cooled engine with optimized ignition timing, updated suspension damping and more. The Camo version goes for an additional $200.The KLX300 chassis uses a steel-perimeter frame and an aluminum swingarm. Up front, it sports a 43mm cartridge-style USD fork with 16-way adjustable compression damping. The rear shock offers preload adjustment along with 20-way compression and 30-way rebound damping adjustments (up from last year’s 16 compression and 16 rebound damping settings). Suspension travel is 10.0 inches in the front and 9.1 inches in the rear, which translates to a 35.2-inch seat h. The wheelbase is fairly compact at 56.7 inches and it has a modest (for dirt bike standards) 10.8 inches of ground clearance. The steering head angle is a dirt-friendly 26.7° and it rides on a 21″ front and 18″ rear spoke wheels shod with Dunlop D605 dual sport knobbies. Stopping power is provided by a 250mm front disc with a 2-piston Nissin caliper, along with a 240mm disc and single-piston caliper in the rear. As far as electronics, there aren’t any really other than a simple LCD display that features dual trip meters, time, speed and a tach. Dash lights provide warnings for the engine, fuel level, coolant temp, high beam, neutral, and turn indicators. No ABS, no traction control, no rider modes, just you and your wrist to control the bike. A simple LCD display features dual trip meters, time, speed, and tach. Plus warnings for the engine, fuel level, coolant temp, high beam, neutral, and turn indicators.As for travel-related amenities, you get an old school tool bag mounted on the rear fender, 2.0-gallon fuel tank and a helmet lock. There’s no windscreen and the seat is a long, flat dirt bike-style saddle. There are also a set of fold-out passenger pegs if you want to ride two-up. Trail protection consists of engine deflector rails welded to the frame and a small skidplate that mounts underneath the engine. There is also a pipe guard, rear brake caliper protector, and heat shield but no hand guards. All that equipment on the new KLX300 (or lack thereof) weighs in at 304 pounds wet, which is the same as last year’s model. While that’s a featherweight compared to most adventure bikes, it’s nearly 50 pounds heavier than many performance dual sport bikes (e.g. KTM or Beta). Where does the weight come from? Generous use of steel; from the footpegs, to the foot controls, fuel tank, kickstand, and 7/8″ handlebars, there’s a lot of things on the bike that magnets stick to. Dunlop D605 dual sport knobbies come stock on the KLX300.That usually means it can take some abuse though. If fact, it looks like it was engineered to survive being launched off a cliff. Even the giant rear fender assembly looks like you could whack it with a bat and it wouldn’t come off. But how does it ride? Let’s find out! On the Road Sitting on the bike for the first time, it feels similar to a full-sized motorcycle if not a tad small for my 6-foot 2-inch frame. It doesn’t feel undersized like a Yamaha XT250 or a Kawasaki KLX230. I sat flat-footed on the ground but did notice a few of my fellow journalists in the 5’3” range shimmying from one toe to the other at a stop light. The first thing you notice when you fire up the KLX300 is a pretty tame-sounding engine. Fueling is very smooth pulling away from a stop and the clutch pull is feather light. Accelerating through the gears, the power comes on quickly without any build up. It doesn’t make you wait for it… Just a steady stream of mild power throughout the RPM range. Enough to get you up to speed and to merge into traffic safely. A step up from most 250cc dual sport singles for sure, but not quite on par with a BMW G310GS or Kawasaki Versys-X 300 in full-throttle acceleration. Most 250cc bike launches tend to avoid the freeway completely, but the first two minutes of our test got us straight onto Highway 50 heading up into the Sierras. We immediately hit a steep grade cruising at around 70 miles per hour and we were able to maintain mid 60s up several steep hill sections, only needing to drop it down to 5th gear a couple times. Passing slow moving trucks felt like slow motion compared to the big ADV Bikes, but I never felt like I was struggling or hesitant to pass. Evenso, it does take a little planning and a good check in the rear view before attempting a pass, Early morning temperatures were in the 40s Fahrenheit, so I was definitely feeling the chill on my non-insulated leather gloves without any hand guards. Also, my breathable enduro gear was passing all the cold air directly to my chest without any windscreen to block it. While the KLX300 doesn’t have much in the way of aerodynamics, with a high-speed tuck behind the dash I was able to achieve an indicated 85 mph on a slight downhill. What surprised me the most on the highway was the lack of vibration. The increase in engine displacement allows the KLX to push higher gearing than last year (14/40 vs 14/42) and it also has an updated gear-driven engine balancer to help smooth things out. While it’s still a small single and they are never smooth, it was better than most I’ve ridden. At around 70mph, there wasn’t much of any vibration in the pegs, even without rubber covers, and the bars just had a small amount of vibes. The vibes start kicking in under acceleration and get a little stronger at about 74mph, but cruising at around 70mph is fairly comfortable. Stability was good too. It didn’t have that twitchy dirt bike feel and the Dunlop D605 knobbies were quiet. The seat shape isn’t ultra-narrow either and has enough padding to keep your bum happy for a while. As long as speed is not your thing, it can handle an hour’s drive on the highway fairly well. One pet peeve I have with this bike had to be the seat strap being placed right in the middle of the seat though, which makes it impossible to avoid sitting on it. If you look at other dual sports from Honda and Suzuki, you’ll notice their seat straps hang out more towards the back. I can only guess that the extra letters in ‘Kawasaki’ seat graphic forced the designers to place it further toward the middle for aesthetics reasons. It’s a quick fix though if you decide to remove it. The throwback seat strap encroaches on the seating area a bit, but can be removed in a matter of minutes.Into the Twisties After a chilly morning ride, exiting the freeway was a big relief and we soon got onto some backcountry roads that traveled through scenic rolling hills. With its short wheelbase, the KLX felt nimble and flickable in tight bends. Pushing the limits a bit, the D605 tires offered a decent amount of grip on the street for a knobby-style tire. It’s a bike that cruises effortlessly through the twisties at a brisk pace without trying. Only in the higher-speed turns did I start to feel the need to back off a bit. As far as the braking performance, the feel from the twin-piston front caliper was good with not a lot of abrupt bite. They aren’t the most powerful brakes for the street, but didn’t leave me wishing for more. The rear tire grip suffered a bit under hard braking but that is pretty common with knobbies. Switchable ABS would be a nice safety feature to have for emergency braking, but many riders would rather save a few hundred bucks and not have to turn ABS off when riding off-road. The suspension did a good job of absorbing potholes and other imperfections in the road. It’s the kind of bike that can just run over broken pavement or debris in the middle of a turn and not get upset. It feels pretty planted for a dirt bike and there was enough firmness in the suspension that you didn’t feel excessive dive and squat. As for the power, it feels peppy on the backroads but it’s not enough to trigger your adrenaline glands. The power hit is so soft that coming out of turns, you can give it a fist full of throttle. You have to really be on the gas in a tight turn to get a minor slide out of the rear tire on the asphalt Hitting the Trails Once we hit dirt, the bike felt like it was in its true element. Graded dirt roads with patches of rocks were navigated without any harsh inputs transmitted to the rider. It has a pillowy plushness in the initial stroke of the suspension that absorbs most trail roughness, yet its not overly soft As we got into more-rugged terrain, I was expecting a thunk on sharp edged rocks or deep ruts but it never lost its composure. The damping is good and so is the bottoming resistance, even for a rider of my size (215 pounds without gear). Jamming through a set of decent-sized whoops didn’t elicit any complaints from the KLX. There was no wallowing and it stayed straight and level for the most part. Although the suspension can get overwhelmed as speeds increase and it starts to fight with you a bit as the suspension tries to catch up with what you are doing. I did notice the rear suspension seemed to go through the stroke rather quickly in bigger bumps and occasionally I found myself wishing it had an extra inch of travel in back. However, I never experienced any hard bottoming of the suspension, even launching it off jumps with flat bottom landings. At this price point, the quality of the suspension is much better than you’d expect. The stroke and damping are tuned for an intermediate rider who doesn’t want a sky-high seat h. Its sweet spot is slow to mid-range speeds on rough terrain. There is still some room in reserve for those who want to get more aggressive at times, along with a range of suspension settings to dial things in, but fast riders do need to be cautious not to ride past the bike’s capabilities. What I liked most about riding the KLX300 off-road was its slow-speed crawling ability. It has a smooth throttle, great clutch feel and stable chassis which lets you inch through technical terrain with ease. On the spec sheet, the KLX300 is a few inches short on ground clearance compared to most hard-core dual sport bikesI did notice the limited ground clearance on a few rocky climbs where the skidplate touched down a bit early. Even so, it’s capable of scooting through all but the gnarliest of dirt bike trails. Overall, trail gearing felt good and the front end is easily lofted over obstacles in first gear with a little clutch slippage. Not so much in second gear though. For your average off-road terrain, second gear pulls fine up most hills. Although, getting into more-advanced hill climbs, second gear could benefit from lower overall gearing. Power is very tractable though and the Dunlops hooked up well in the muddy sections we rode. Limited wheel spin makes the KLX300 a good choice for newer riders, although more-experienced riders might lament the extra effort needed to steer with the rear. Braking performance on the trail was pretty good too. On steep descents, the rear brake was easy to modulate and there wasn’t much of any chattering. The front brake was powerful enough and also had good feel. Yet it was a little touchy on soft terrain. The KLX was a blast to ride on the motocross track if you are just out cruising around for fun. Try to avoid those big doubles though.I got an opportunity to get in some laps on a motocross track during our test and the KLX was a blast to ride if you are just out there cruising around for fun. Its mellower power output makes it less intense to ride than a serious motocross bike, allowing you to focus on your turns and maintaining momentum. On flat turns, it has good feel but the front end wants to tuck if you push the pace. You also notice a lack of power when trying to get the motor spun up for big jumps, and the suspension feels too soft for aggressive riding. Even so, it still put a grin on my face launching it over table tops. Stay away from any big doubles though. The Bottom Line Small-displacement dual sports are always fun to ride but often you come away feeling like they are just too limited. A 43cc increase in displacement may not seem like a lot, but in the case of the KLX300, it’s just enough of a boost to have a significant impact on its versatility. Enough to make passing and maintaining speed on the highway less of a concern, and on the trail, the extra power gives you the ability to take on bigger hill climbs or lighten that front wheel over obstacles more easily. For those riders who don’t have a vehicle that can carry a bike, the KLX300 is about as smooth of a small single as you can get for short stints on the highway enroute to the trails. It’s quiet, stable, and keeps vibes to a minimum. It would be ideally suited for those living in the suburbs or rural areas who aren’t far from the trails and might use the bike for getting to work or running errands during the week as well. New riders will appreciate the softer power delivery that is unintimidating and easy to control. Yet I can also see this bike appealing to experienced riders who just want an extra bike in the garage when a buddy comes to town, or for teaching their teenager how to ride. What the KLX300 lacks in adrenaline-pumping performance, it makes up for in balance. And ‘balanced’ is the keyword I would use to describe this bike after testing it. The green team engineers have continued to make incremental changes, going on 15 years now, creating an approachable, solidly-built dual sport that is easy, fun and comfortable to ride over a variety of terrain. For those who like to ride hard off-road, the KLX300 has some limitations in aggressive terrain but it’s capable of getting through most gnarly sections. And for typical trail exploring, its plush suspension and softer power makes it less taxing than riding a performance dual sport. But can it be a Light ADV? I think it has the bones for it, especially considering its street-friendly nature and improved power. Another thing it has going for it is an oil change/valve check interval of 7,500 miles. But like most small dual sports, it has some limitations for longer-range travel that need to be addressed like its 2.0-gallon tank and lack of windscreen, hand guards or luggage rack. It could also use some better sump protection and a wider seat as well. Throw on some soft luggage and it could be a nice little BDR machine. A large number of aftermarket companies already support the KLX250 platform, and all of those parts should still be compatible with the KLX300. We’re looking forward to spending more time on the KLX300, exploring some of our local trails and backroads to learn more about its capabilities. We’ll report back with more details on what we find out! Gear We Used The new KLX300 is available in Lime Green for $5,599 and $5,799 in Fragment Camo. All KLX300’s are manufactured in Kawasaki’s Thailand facility. More information on the 2021 KLX300 can be found on the Kawasaki website. Kawasaki KLX300 Specs ENGINE: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valves, liquid-cooled DISPLACEMENT: 292cc BORE X STROKE: 78.0 x 61.2mm COMPRESSION RATIO: 11.1:1 FUEL SYSTEM: DFI® with 34mm throttle body IGNITION: Digital DC-CDI TRANSMISSION: 6 speed FINAL DRIVE: sealed chain RAKE/TRAIL: 26.7°/4.2 in FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL: 10.0 in REAR WHEEL TRAVEL: 9.1 in FRONT TIRE: 3.00-21 REAR TIRE: 4.60-18 FRONT SUSPENSION: 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with 16-way Compression Damping Adjustment REAR SUSPENSION: Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, 16-way Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustment WHEELBASE: 56.7 in FRONT BRAKE: 250mm single disc REAR BRAKE: 240mm single disc FUEL CAPACITY: 2.0 gal GROUND CLEARANCE: 10.8 in SEAT HEIGHT: 35.2 in CURB WEIGHT: 304.3 lb MAINTENANCE INTERVAL: Oil change and valve check every 7500 miles WARRANTY: 12 months Photos by Kevin Wing and Chris Scott 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.
  7. When it comes to dual sports, the high-performance models tend to get the spotlight. But not every rider is looking for a hard-edged enduro. Many want something more approachable, easier to ride, at an affordable price, that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. And what’s not to love about that? Enter the KLX300, Kawasaki’s replacement of its 250cc dual sport first introduced in 2006, which returned to the lineup in 2018 after a three-year hiatus with the addition of fuel injection, refinements to its suspension and a new digital dash. Fast forward to 2021 and Kawasaki has given the little thumper a displacement upgrade, now boasting 292cc’s, plus a higher-performance camshaft profile from its KLX300R dirt bike. In addition, the new KLX300 receives slimmer-profile radiators, optimized ignition timing and engine balancer, updated gear ratios and some additional suspension tweaks on the damping. Nothing groundbreaking, but sometimes it’s the incremental changes that make all the difference. Jumping up from the 250cc to 300cc range is one change that can make a significant difference, especially when it comes to dual sport riding that entails getting on the highway to reach the trails. That’s also true if you are planning on doing any ADV Rides carrying all your gear for a few nights in the wilderness. ADVERTISEMENT After this latest round of updates, we were intrigued to find out if they offer a significant increase in all-around versatility. Enough to tackle more-aggressive dual sport rides or use as a Light ADV? We’ll answer that and more below but first let’s take a look at what you get for six grand of your hard earned dollars. First Look As before the engine is a water-cooled single, featuring dual overhead cams with four valves and a 34mm throttle body EFI system mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Kawasaki hasn’t released performance figures, sharing only a dyno chart graphic without numbers, that shows both horsepower and torque increases across the entire RPM range. The KLX300 features a 292cc water-cooled engine with optimized ignition timing, updated suspension damping and more. The Camo version goes for an additional $200.The KLX300 chassis uses a steel-perimeter frame and an aluminum swingarm. Up front, it sports a 43mm cartridge-style USD fork with 16-way adjustable compression damping. The rear shock offers preload adjustment along with 20-way compression and 30-way rebound damping adjustments (up from last year’s 16 compression and 16 rebound damping settings). Suspension travel is 10.0 inches in the front and 9.1 inches in the rear, which translates to a 35.2-inch seat h. The wheelbase is fairly compact at 56.7 inches and it has a modest (for dirt bike standards) 10.8 inches of ground clearance. The steering head angle is a dirt-friendly 26.7° and it rides on a 21″ front and 18″ rear spoke wheels shod with Dunlop D605 dual sport knobbies. Stopping power is provided by a 250mm front disc with a 2-piston Nissin caliper, along with a 240mm disc and single-piston caliper in the rear. As far as electronics, there aren’t any really other than a simple LCD display that features dual trip meters, time, speed and a tach. Dash lights provide warnings for the engine, fuel level, coolant temp, high beam, neutral, and turn indicators. No ABS, no traction control, no rider modes, just you and your wrist to control the bike. A simple LCD display features dual trip meters, time, speed, and tach. Plus warnings for the engine, fuel level, coolant temp, high beam, neutral, and turn indicators.As for travel-related amenities, you get an old school tool bag mounted on the rear fender, 2.0-gallon fuel tank and a helmet lock. There’s no windscreen and the seat is a long, flat dirt bike-style saddle. There are also a set of fold-out passenger pegs if you want to ride two-up. Trail protection consists of engine deflector rails welded to the frame and a small skidplate that mounts underneath the engine. There is also a pipe guard, rear brake caliper protector, and heat shield but no hand guards. All that equipment on the new KLX300 (or lack thereof) weighs in at 304 pounds wet, which is the same as last year’s model. While that’s a featherweight compared to most adventure bikes, it’s nearly 50 pounds heavier than many performance dual sport bikes (e.g. KTM or Beta). Where does the weight come from? Generous use of steel; from the footpegs, to the foot controls, fuel tank, kickstand, and 7/8″ handlebars, there’s a lot of things on the bike that magnets stick to. Dunlop D605 dual sport knobbies come stock on the KLX300.That usually means it can take some abuse though. If fact, it looks like it was engineered to survive being launched off a cliff. Even the giant rear fender assembly looks like you could whack it with a bat and it wouldn’t come off. But how does it ride? Let’s find out! On the Road Sitting on the bike for the first time, it feels similar to a full-sized motorcycle if not a tad small for my 6-foot 2-inch frame. It doesn’t feel undersized like a Yamaha XT250 or a Kawasaki KLX230. I sat flat-footed on the ground but did notice a few of my fellow journalists in the 5’3” range shimmying from one toe to the other at a stop light. The first thing you notice when you fire up the KLX300 is a pretty tame-sounding engine. Fueling is very smooth pulling away from a stop and the clutch pull is feather light. Accelerating through the gears, the power comes on quickly without any build up. It doesn’t make you wait for it… Just a steady stream of mild power throughout the RPM range. Enough to get you up to speed and to merge into traffic safely. A step up from most 250cc dual sport singles for sure, but not quite on par with a BMW G310GS or Kawasaki Versys-X 300 in full-throttle acceleration. Most 250cc bike launches tend to avoid the freeway completely, but the first two minutes of our test got us straight onto Highway 50 heading up into the Sierras. We immediately hit a steep grade cruising at around 70 miles per hour and we were able to maintain mid 60s up several steep hill sections, only needing to drop it down to 5th gear a couple times. Passing slow moving trucks felt like slow motion compared to the big ADV Bikes, but I never felt like I was struggling or hesitant to pass. Evenso, it does take a little planning and a good check in the rear view before attempting a pass, Early morning temperatures were in the 40s Fahrenheit, so I was definitely feeling the chill on my non-insulated leather gloves without any hand guards. Also, my breathable enduro gear was passing all the cold air directly to my chest without any windscreen to block it. While the KLX300 doesn’t have much in the way of aerodynamics, with a high-speed tuck behind the dash I was able to achieve an indicated 85 mph on a slight downhill. What surprised me the most on the highway was the lack of vibration. The increase in engine displacement allows the KLX to push higher gearing than last year (14/40 vs 14/42) and it also has an updated gear-driven engine balancer to help smooth things out. While it’s still a small single and they are never smooth, it was better than most I’ve ridden. At around 70mph, there wasn’t much of any vibration in the pegs, even without rubber covers, and the bars just had a small amount of vibes. The vibes start kicking in under acceleration and get a little stronger at about 74mph, but cruising at around 70mph is fairly comfortable. Stability was good too. It didn’t have that twitchy dirt bike feel and the Dunlop D605 knobbies were quiet. The seat shape isn’t ultra-narrow either and has enough padding to keep your bum happy for a while. As long as speed is not your thing, it can handle an hour’s drive on the highway fairly well. One pet peeve I have with this bike had to be the seat strap being placed right in the middle of the seat though, which makes it impossible to avoid sitting on it. If you look at other dual sports from Honda and Suzuki, you’ll notice their seat straps hang out more towards the back. I can only guess that the extra letters in ‘Kawasaki’ seat graphic forced the designers to place it further toward the middle for aesthetics reasons. It’s a quick fix though if you decide to remove it. The throwback seat strap encroaches on the seating area a bit, but can be removed in a matter of minutes.Into the Twisties After a chilly morning ride, exiting the freeway was a big relief and we soon got onto some backcountry roads that traveled through scenic rolling hills. With its short wheelbase, the KLX felt nimble and flickable in tight bends. Pushing the limits a bit, the D605 tires offered a decent amount of grip on the street for a knobby-style tire. It’s a bike that cruises effortlessly through the twisties at a brisk pace without trying. Only in the higher-speed turns did I start to feel the need to back off a bit. As far as the braking performance, the feel from the twin-piston front caliper was good with not a lot of abrupt bite. They aren’t the most powerful brakes for the street, but didn’t leave me wishing for more. The rear tire grip suffered a bit under hard braking but that is pretty common with knobbies. Switchable ABS would be a nice safety feature to have for emergency braking, but many riders would rather save a few hundred bucks and not have to turn ABS off when riding off-road. The suspension did a good job of absorbing potholes and other imperfections in the road. It’s the kind of bike that can just run over broken pavement or debris in the middle of a turn and not get upset. It feels pretty planted for a dirt bike and there was enough firmness in the suspension that you didn’t feel excessive dive and squat. As for the power, it feels peppy on the backroads but it’s not enough to trigger your adrenaline glands. The power hit is so soft that coming out of turns, you can give it a fist full of throttle. You have to really be on the gas in a tight turn to get a minor slide out of the rear tire on the asphalt Hitting the Trails Once we hit dirt, the bike felt like it was in its true element. Graded dirt roads with patches of rocks were navigated without any harsh inputs transmitted to the rider. It has a pillowy plushness in the initial stroke of the suspension that absorbs most trail roughness, yet its not overly soft As we got into more-rugged terrain, I was expecting a thunk on sharp edged rocks or deep ruts but it never lost its composure. The damping is good and so is the bottoming resistance, even for a rider of my size (215 pounds without gear). Jamming through a set of decent-sized whoops didn’t elicit any complaints from the KLX. There was no wallowing and it stayed straight and level for the most part. Although the suspension can get overwhelmed as speeds increase and it starts to fight with you a bit as the suspension tries to catch up with what you are doing. I did notice the rear suspension seemed to go through the stroke rather quickly in bigger bumps and occasionally I found myself wishing it had an extra inch of travel in back. However, I never experienced any hard bottoming of the suspension, even launching it off jumps with flat bottom landings. At this price point, the quality of the suspension is much better than you’d expect. The stroke and damping are tuned for an intermediate rider who doesn’t want a sky-high seat h. Its sweet spot is slow to mid-range speeds on rough terrain. There is still some room in reserve for those who want to get more aggressive at times, along with a range of suspension settings to dial things in, but fast riders do need to be cautious not to ride past the bike’s capabilities. What I liked most about riding the KLX300 off-road was its slow-speed crawling ability. It has a smooth throttle, great clutch feel and stable chassis which lets you inch through technical terrain with ease. On the spec sheet, the KLX300 is a few inches short on ground clearance compared to most hard-core dual sport bikesI did notice the limited ground clearance on a few rocky climbs where the skidplate touched down a bit early. Even so, it’s capable of scooting through all but the gnarliest of dirt bike trails. Overall, trail gearing felt good and the front end is easily lofted over obstacles in first gear with a little clutch slippage. Not so much in second gear though. For your average off-road terrain, second gear pulls fine up most hills. Although, getting into more-advanced hill climbs, second gear could benefit from lower overall gearing. Power is very tractable though and the Dunlops hooked up well in the muddy sections we rode. Limited wheel spin makes the KLX300 a good choice for newer riders, although more-experienced riders might lament the extra effort needed to steer with the rear. Braking performance on the trail was pretty good too. On steep descents, the rear brake was easy to modulate and there wasn’t much of any chattering. The front brake was powerful enough and also had good feel. Yet it was a little touchy on soft terrain. The KLX was a blast to ride on the motocross track if you are just out cruising around for fun. Try to avoid those big doubles though.I got an opportunity to get in some laps on a motocross track during our test and the KLX was a blast to ride if you are just out there cruising around for fun. Its mellower power output makes it less intense to ride than a serious motocross bike, allowing you to focus on your turns and maintaining momentum. On flat turns, it has good feel but the front end wants to tuck if you push the pace. You also notice a lack of power when trying to get the motor spun up for big jumps, and the suspension feels too soft for aggressive riding. Even so, it still put a grin on my face launching it over table tops. Stay away from any big doubles though. The Bottom Line Small-displacement dual sports are always fun to ride but often you come away feeling like they are just too limited. A 43cc increase in displacement may not seem like a lot, but in the case of the KLX300, it’s just enough of a boost to have a significant impact on its versatility. Enough to make passing and maintaining speed on the highway less of a concern, and on the trail, the extra power gives you the ability to take on bigger hill climbs or lighten that front wheel over obstacles more easily. For those riders who don’t have a vehicle that can carry a bike, the KLX300 is about as smooth of a small single as you can get for short stints on the highway enroute to the trails. It’s quiet, stable, and keeps vibes to a minimum. It would be ideally suited for those living in the suburbs or rural areas who aren’t far from the trails and might use the bike for getting to work or running errands during the week as well. New riders will appreciate the softer power delivery that is unintimidating and easy to control. Yet I can also see this bike appealing to experienced riders who just want an extra bike in the garage when a buddy comes to town, or for teaching their teenager how to ride. What the KLX300 lacks in adrenaline-pumping performance, it makes up for in balance. And ‘balanced’ is the keyword I would use to describe this bike after testing it. The green team engineers have continued to make incremental changes, going on 15 years now, creating an approachable, solidly-built dual sport that is easy, fun and comfortable to ride over a variety of terrain. For those who like to ride hard off-road, the KLX300 has some limitations in aggressive terrain but it’s capable of getting through most gnarly sections. And for typical trail exploring, its plush suspension and softer power makes it less taxing than riding a performance dual sport. But can it be a Light ADV? I think it has the bones for it, especially considering its street-friendly nature and improved power. Another thing it has going for it is an oil change/valve check interval of 7,500 miles. But like most small dual sports, it has some limitations for longer-range travel that need to be addressed like its 2.0-gallon tank and lack of windscreen, hand guards or luggage rack. It could also use some better sump protection and a wider seat as well. Throw on some soft luggage and it could be a nice little BDR machine. A large number of aftermarket companies already support the KLX250 platform, and all of those parts should still be compatible with the KLX300. We’re looking forward to spending more time on the KLX300, exploring some of our local trails and backroads to learn more about its capabilities. We’ll report back with more details on what we find out! Gear We Used The new KLX300 is available in Lime Green for $5,599 and $5,799 in Fragment Camo. All KLX300’s are manufactured in Kawasaki’s Thailand facility. More information on the 2021 KLX300 can be found on the Kawasaki website. Kawasaki KLX300 Specs ENGINE: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, DOHC, 4-valves, liquid-cooled DISPLACEMENT: 292cc BORE X STROKE: 78.0 x 61.2mm COMPRESSION RATIO: 11.1:1 FUEL SYSTEM: DFI® with 34mm throttle body IGNITION: Digital DC-CDI TRANSMISSION: 6 speed FINAL DRIVE: sealed chain RAKE/TRAIL: 26.7°/4.2 in FRONT WHEEL TRAVEL: 10.0 in REAR WHEEL TRAVEL: 9.1 in FRONT TIRE: 3.00-21 REAR TIRE: 4.60-18 FRONT SUSPENSION: 43mm Inverted Cartridge Fork with 16-way Compression Damping Adjustment REAR SUSPENSION: Uni-Trak with Adjustable Preload, 16-way Compression and Rebound Damping Adjustment WHEELBASE: 56.7 in FRONT BRAKE: 250mm single disc REAR BRAKE: 240mm single disc FUEL CAPACITY: 2.0 gal GROUND CLEARANCE: 10.8 in SEAT HEIGHT: 35.2 in CURB WEIGHT: 304.3 lb MAINTENANCE INTERVAL: Oil change and valve check every 7500 miles WARRANTY: 12 months Photos by Kevin Wing and Chris Scott 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.
  8. Published on 03.24.2021 With production of the Pan America well underway and arrival at dealers set for this Spring, Harley is taking its new adventure bike on a nationwide demo tour. No more speculation based on spec sheet numbers — the bar and shield company wants to give you the opportunity to experience the Pan America for yourself. Starting in April, the demo tour is set to span over 7 months and cover 17 states giving skeptics and fans plenty of chances to test Harley’s new big-bore adventurer. And although many of the tour stops will be at H-D hosted venues, the Motor Company is making sure its Pan America specifically reaches ADV crowds by also bringing their demos to several dual-sport, overlander and adventure rally events. ADVERTISEMENT Regardless of the location, Harley says they are extremely eager for riders to try their new adventure machine. “I’ve had the opportunity to ride a Pan America motorcycle both on and off-road, and can’t wait for riders to experience the innovations and capabilities that our team has built into this fantastic adventure touring bike,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO of Harley-Davidson. “Now riders can experience for themselves the first motorcycle of its kind to be designed and developed from the ground up in America.” The Pan America demo tour kicks off April 16 in Texas and ends November 17 in Arizona. Signups for H-D-hosted demos are now available here and are likely to fill-up quickly so if you are interested make sure to book a spot soon. Demo opportunities at other major adventure touring, overland events and rallies will happen on location. Below is the list of events currently scheduled: Pan America Demo Tour Events: 4/16-4/18, H-D-Hosted Demo, Dallas, TX 4/23-4/25, H-D-Hosted Demo, Albuquerque, NM 4/30-5/2, H-D-Hosted Demo, Phoenix, AZ 5/7-5/9, H-D-Hosted Demo, Las Vegas, NV 5/14-5/16, H-D-Hosted Demo, San Jose, CA 5/21-5/23, H-D-Hosted Demo, Lake Elsinore, CA 5/28-5/30, H-D-Hosted Demo, Sacramento, CA 6/4-6/6, Giant Loop Ride, Lawen, OR EVENT LINK 6/12-6/20, Laconia Motorcycle Week, NH 6/25-6/27, Outside Adventure Expo, Salt Lake City, UT EVENT LINK 7/9-7/11, H-D-Hosted Demo, Twin Falls, ID 7/15-7/18, Get On! ADV Fest, South Dakota, EVENT LINK 7/30-8/1, H-D-Hosted Demo, St. Louis, MO 8/6-8/8, H-D-Hosted Demo, Harrisburg, PA 8/13-8/15, H-D-Hosted Demo, Pittsfield, MA 8/18-8/22, Touratech DirtDaze, North Haverhell, NH EVENT LINK 8/27-8/29, Overland Expo Mountain West, Loveland, CO EVENT LINK 9/3-9/5, XLADV: High Sierras, Mammoth Lakes, CA 9/10-9/12, H-D-Hosted Demo, Salt Lake City, UT 9/16-9/19, Touratech Rally, Plain, WA EVENT LINK 9/24-9/26, Overland Expo West, Flagstaff, AZ EVENT LINK 10/8-10/10, Overland Expo East, Arrington, VA EVENT LINK 10/22-10/24, H-D-Hosted Demo, Stamford, CT 10/29-10/31, H-D-Hosted Demo, Loudon, NH 11/6-11/7, Howling At The Moon, Prescott, AZ [embedded content] [embedded content]
  9. Published on 03.24.2021 With production of the Pan America well underway and arrival at dealers set for this Spring, Harley is taking its new adventure bike on a nationwide demo tour. No more speculation based on spec sheet numbers — the bar and shield company wants to give you the opportunity to experience the Pan America for yourself. Starting in April, the demo tour is set to span over 7 months and cover 17 states giving skeptics and fans plenty of chances to test Harley’s new big-bore adventurer. And although many of the tour stops will be at H-D hosted venues, the Motor Company is making sure its Pan America specifically reaches ADV crowds by also bringing their demos to several dual-sport, overlander and adventure rally events. ADVERTISEMENT Regardless of the location, Harley says they are extremely eager for riders to try their new adventure machine. “I’ve had the opportunity to ride a Pan America motorcycle both on and off-road, and can’t wait for riders to experience the innovations and capabilities that our team has built into this fantastic adventure touring bike,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO of Harley-Davidson. “Now riders can experience for themselves the first motorcycle of its kind to be designed and developed from the ground up in America.” The Pan America demo tour kicks off April 16 in Texas and ends November 17 in Arizona. Signups for H-D-hosted demos are now available here and are likely to fill-up quickly so if you are interested make sure to book a spot soon. Demo opportunities at other major adventure touring, overland events and rallies will happen on location. Below is the list of events currently scheduled: Pan America Demo Tour Events: 4/16-4/18, H-D-Hosted Demo, Dallas, TX 4/23-4/25, H-D-Hosted Demo, Albuquerque, NM 4/30-5/2, H-D-Hosted Demo, Phoenix, AZ 5/7-5/9, H-D-Hosted Demo, Las Vegas, NV 5/14-5/16, H-D-Hosted Demo, San Jose, CA 5/21-5/23, H-D-Hosted Demo, Lake Elsinore, CA 5/28-5/30, H-D-Hosted Demo, Sacramento, CA 6/4-6/6, Giant Loop Ride, Lawen, OR EVENT LINK 6/12-6/20, Laconia Motorcycle Week, NH 6/25-6/27, Outside Adventure Expo, Salt Lake City, UT EVENT LINK 7/9-7/11, H-D-Hosted Demo, Twin Falls, ID 7/15-7/18, Get On! ADV Fest, South Dakota, EVENT LINK 7/30-8/1, H-D-Hosted Demo, St. Louis, MO 8/6-8/8, H-D-Hosted Demo, Harrisburg, PA 8/13-8/15, H-D-Hosted Demo, Pittsfield, MA 8/18-8/22, Touratech DirtDaze, North Haverhell, NH EVENT LINK 8/27-8/29, Overland Expo Mountain West, Loveland, CO EVENT LINK 9/3-9/5, XLADV: High Sierras, Mammoth Lakes, CA 9/10-9/12, H-D-Hosted Demo, Salt Lake City, UT 9/16-9/19, Touratech Rally, Plain, WA EVENT LINK 9/24-9/26, Overland Expo West, Flagstaff, AZ EVENT LINK 10/8-10/10, Overland Expo East, Arrington, VA EVENT LINK 10/22-10/24, H-D-Hosted Demo, Stamford, CT 10/29-10/31, H-D-Hosted Demo, Loudon, NH 11/6-11/7, Howling At The Moon, Prescott, AZ [embedded content] [embedded content]
  10. [embedded content] [embedded content] In a new video released by Harley-Davidson, it’s clear the Motor Company wants us to understand that the building of its Pan America adventure bike is a family affair. A passion project of the Motor Company’s employees, well underway right here in the good old US of A. In under two minutes we not only get to meet workers from the H-D factory in York, Pennsylvania — the men and women who lovingly assemble the bikes, some with families that have worked in the plant for generations — we also get a glimpse at the employees celebrating the start of production this month and a look at the assembly line process, which is pretty neat. Harley-Davidson started production of the Pan America just a few weeks after its Global Reveal in February.The York factory manufactures frames, gas tanks and fenders, then assembles the works using engines and drivetrains previously built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, center of the Harley-Davidson Universe. ADVERTISEMENT Freshly planted CEO Jochen Zeitz, who comes from the Puma and Keurig brands, is on hand in the video to congratulate workers and help celebrate the first Pan Am to roll off the line. Ever-casual, Zeitz is indistinguishable from the workers, save for the microphone, as he says to the group that Harley-Davidson has “always been off-road, but this is the true first off-road bike that we are launching into the world.” We assume he’s referring to Harley’s long history of dirt track racing? Or maybe the short-lived series of Italian-made, Harley-owned Aermacchi dual-sport and dirt bikes we saw in the States during the 60s and 70s? Or it could be as simple as the fact there wasn’t any pavement in 1903 when the company first started producing motorcycles. Regardless of how much skin the Company previously had in the game, including its missed opportunity with the Buell Ulysses, there’s no denying Harley has a notable entry in its Pan America Adventure Bike. Just look at that bike. Whether you love it or hate it, it leaves a substantial impression. And as we learned when the Pan Am’s specs and details were released in February, this is a very modern motorcycle that looks (at least on paper) like a serious contender to the big dog in the category — the BMW R1250GS. An Industry First: Adaptive Ride Height In addition to advanced features like selectable ride modes, linked, cornering ABS, hill hold, electronic traction control and premium, fully-adjustable suspension, Harley has implemented an industry first with its Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) technology (an option on the top-shelf “1250 Special”model only). This feature adjusts the suspension for optimal ride h while the bike is in motion, and even more advantageous, it automatically lowers the seat h at stops. Potentially cool, right? And definitely an accessibility feature that could prove key in encouraging brand loyalists to take a surefooted step in the direction of adventure riding. And honestly, unless you’re a real daddy longlegs, a feature that might get one flat-footed at stops — as long as it’s reliable and fast-acting — could be a huge asset. Harley’s ARH feature offers four selectable Adaptive Ride Height sub-modes: Auto mode: The system determines how quickly to lower the suspension based on how aggressive the braking action is, with the target of having the suspension fully lowered when the bike comes to a stop. Short Delay and Long Delay Modes: In these modes the lowering function is delayed until the motorcycle comes to a stop, so that ride h is maintained while the motorcycle is moving at low speeds, such as when negotiating a parking lot. Locked Mode: The Adaptive Ride Height system will maintain the normal ride h and does not lower at a stop. All-New Revolution Max Engine Another element of the Pan America we’re especially excited to test out is its all-new Revolution Max liquid-cooled V-twin 1250 engine. Why? Because this high-performance mill represents a giant leap forward for Harley. While heritage wasn’t thrown completely out the window, the new engine’s architecture, implementation of lightweight materials, aggressive component design and its position as a stressed frame member are all choices geared toward performance and weight reduction. Furthermore, H-D has stated the engine is tuned specifically to deliver smooth low-end torque for the low-speed throttle control so important for off-road riding. How much torque? Up to a very respectable peak of 94-foot pounds. The top end is claimed to offer a likewise impressive 150 hp, with a peak RPM of 9000. True, Harley’s Pan America adventure bike remains extremely divisive in looks and badging, but its spec sheet describes a potentially capable machine that’s completely un-Harley. Will all that promise translate to real world competence? Now that production bikes are rolling steadily off the line in York and set to hit dealer floors this Spring, it won’t be long until the world has its long-awaited answer. Harley-Davidson Pan America Specs ENGINE: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 60-Degree V-Twin DISPLACEMENT: 1,252cc (76.3 cu in) BORE X STROKE: 4.13 in. (105 mm) x 2.83 in (72 mm) HORSEPOWER: 150 @ 9,000 RPM COMPRESSION RATIO: 13:01 FUEL SYSTEM: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) EXHAUST: 2-into-1-into-1; catalyst in header TORQUE: 94 ft-lbs @ 6,750 RPM CHARGING: Three-phase, 45 Amp system (300 Watts @13 Volts, 1200 rpm, 585 Watts max power @ 13 Volts, 2250 rpm) ELECTRIC POWER OUTLET USB C-Type , Output 5V at 2.4 Amp DRIVETRAIN: Chain Driven FRONT FORK: 47mm USD Fork with compression, rebound and preload adjustability. Special model only: Electronically adjustable semi-active damping control. REAR SHOCK: Linkage-mounted piggyback monoshock with compression, rebound and preload adjustability. Special model only: Automatic electronic preload control and semi-active compression & rebound damping on Special model. SUSPENSION TRAVEL: 7.5″ (190mm) front and rear RAKE: 25 degrees TRAIL: 6.2″ WHEELBASE: 62.2″ GROUND CLEARANCE: 8.3″ LENGTH: 89.2″ SEAT HEIGHT (HIGH/LOW SEAT): 34.2″/35.2″; 32.7″/33.7″ (With ARH) FRONT TIRE: 120/70R19 60V REAR TIRE: 170/60R17 72V TIRE TYPE: Michelin Scorcher Adventure, Radial FRONT WHEEL: 19″ x 3″ Cast Aluminum, satin black (Anodized aluminum tubeless spoke wheels optional) REAR WHEEL: 17″ x 4.5″ Cast Aluminum, satin black (Anodized aluminum tubeless spoke wheels optional) FRONT BRAKE: 320mm twin discs. Radially mounted, monoblock, 4-piston caliper, with cornering ABS REAR BRAKE: 280mm disc. Floating single piston caliper, with cornering ABS DISPLAY: 6.8″ touchscreen color TFT with Bluetooth phone connectivity OIL CAPACITY: 4.75 qt. (4.5 l) COOLANT CAPACITY: 2.32 qt. (2.2 l) SERVICE INTERVAL: First 1,000 miles (1,600 km), every 5,000 miles (8,000 km) thereafter FUEL CAPACITY: 5.6 gal. FUEL ECONOMY: 48 mpg (4.9 l/100 km) WEIGHT (FULLY FUELED): 534 lb. (Standard); 559 lb. (Special) GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING: 1,003 lb. (455 kg) WARRANTY: 24 months (unlimited mileage) MSRP: $17,319 (Standard); $19,999 (Special) AVAILABLE COLORS: Standard: River Rock Gray & Vivid Black. Special: River Rock Dark Gray, Vivid Black, Deadwood Green, Baja Orange & Stone washed White Pearl. 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. [embedded content] [embedded content] In a new video released by Harley-Davidson, it’s clear the Motor Company wants us to understand that the building of its Pan America adventure bike is a family affair. A passion project of the Motor Company’s employees, well underway right here in the good old US of A. In under two minutes we not only get to meet workers from the H-D factory in York, Pennsylvania — the men and women who lovingly assemble the bikes, some with families that have worked in the plant for generations — we also get a glimpse at the employees celebrating the start of production this month and a look at the assembly line process, which is pretty neat. Harley-Davidson started production of the Pan America just a few weeks after its Global Reveal in February.The York factory manufactures frames, gas tanks and fenders, then assembles the works using engines and drivetrains previously built in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, center of the Harley-Davidson Universe. ADVERTISEMENT Freshly planted CEO Jochen Zeitz, who comes from the Puma and Keurig brands, is on hand in the video to congratulate workers and help celebrate the first Pan Am to roll off the line. Ever-casual, Zeitz is indistinguishable from the workers, save for the microphone, as he says to the group that Harley-Davidson has “always been off-road, but this is the true first off-road bike that we are launching into the world.” We assume he’s referring to Harley’s long history of dirt track racing? Or maybe the short-lived series of Italian-made, Harley-owned Aermacchi dual-sport and dirt bikes we saw in the States during the 60s and 70s? Or it could be as simple as the fact there wasn’t any pavement in 1903 when the company first started producing motorcycles. Regardless of how much skin the Company previously had in the game, including its missed opportunity with the Buell Ulysses, there’s no denying Harley has a notable entry in its Pan America Adventure Bike. Just look at that bike. Whether you love it or hate it, it leaves a substantial impression. And as we learned when the Pan Am’s specs and details were released in February, this is a very modern motorcycle that looks (at least on paper) like a serious contender to the big dog in the category — the BMW R1250GS. In addition to advanced features like selectable ride modes, linked, cornering ABS, hill hold, electronic traction control and premium, fully-adjustable suspension, Harley has implemented an industry first with its Adaptive Ride Height (ARH) technology (an option on the top-shelf “1250 Special”model only). This feature adjusts the suspension for optimal ride h while the bike is in motion, and even more advantageous, it automatically lowers the seat h at stops. Potentially cool, right? And definitely an accessibility feature that could prove key in encouraging brand loyalists to take a surefooted step in the direction of adventure riding. And honestly, unless you’re a real daddy longlegs, a feature that might get one flat-footed at stops — as long as it’s reliable and fast-acting — could be a huge asset. Harley’s ARH feature offers four selectable Adaptive Ride Height sub-modes: Auto mode: The system determines how quickly to lower the suspension based on how aggressive the braking action is, with the target of having the suspension fully lowered when the bike comes to a stop. Short Delay and Long Delay Modes: In these modes the lowering function is delayed until the motorcycle comes to a stop, so that ride h is maintained while the motorcycle is moving at low speeds, such as when negotiating a parking lot. Locked Mode: The Adaptive Ride Height system will maintain the normal ride h and does not lower at a stop. Another element of the Pan America we’re especially excited to test out is its all-new Revolution Max liquid-cooled V-twin 1250 engine. Why? Because this high-performance mill represents a giant leap forward for Harley. While heritage wasn’t thrown completely out the window, the new engine’s architecture, implementation of lightweight materials, aggressive component design and its position as a stressed frame member are all choices geared toward performance and weight reduction. Furthermore, H-D has stated the engine is tuned specifically to deliver smooth low-end torque for the low-speed throttle control so important for off-road riding. How much torque? Up to a very respectable peak of 94-foot pounds. The top end is claimed to offer a likewise impressive 150 hp, with a peak RPM of 9000. True, Harley’s Pan America adventure bike remains extremely divisive in looks and badging, but its spec sheet describes a potentially capable machine that’s completely un-Harley. Will all that promise translate to real world competence? Now that production bikes are rolling steadily off the line in York and set to hit dealer floors this Spring, it won’t be long until the world has its long-awaited answer. 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 03.19.2021 Another event bites the dust due to COVID. This time Honda has confirmed the cancelation of its popular ‘Adventure Roads’ Tour scheduled for 2021. This year’s expedition offered riders a chance to explore the unique volcanic landscapes of Iceland on the standard and Adventure Sports CRF1100L for a once in a lifetime 11-day ride through the land of “Fire and Ice.” The 2021 ‘Adventure Roads’ journey was Honda’s third trip of its kind, with previous editions taking place in Norway and South Africa. This year’s edition was set to depart in June with 30 riders eager to tackle the epic landscapes of Iceland on the Africa Twin. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty around international travel restrictions, Honda has decided to postpone the expedition until 2022. Provisional dates for the Iceland experience are set for June 24th to July 4th, 2022. All riders signed-up for 2021 will have the option of a full-refund or can keep their place for 2022 with a small deposit. What is the ‘Adventure Roads’ Experience? ADVERTISEMENT Honda’s Adventure Roads is a turn-key package for owners of the Africa Twin from across Europe. With all accommodations, food, fuel, new Africa Twin models, guides and maintenance taken care of, all you have to do is show up and ride. What’s more, Honda Racing Corporation rally riders also come along for the ride to provide expert tips and share their skills on and off-road. Included in the Iceland ‘Adventure Roads’ Package [embedded content] [embedded content] A Honda Africa Twin 1100cc All meals including drinks 10 nights accommodations Fuel Tolls Training from official HRC rally riders Guide riders Transportation to and from Iceland airport Admission to activities Luggage transport van Access to an event specific app 3 x mechanics Medical assistance Insurance Unique gifts Price for next year’s Adventure Roads journey in Iceland, with all the above included, is €5000 (£4800 for any UK residents). For more details go to hondaadventureroads.com
  13. After a two year development process, Giant Loop is launching the next generation Fandango and Diablo. The new tank bags preserve all of the qualities that make them popular among riders, while also improving function, style and construction. Featuring a hybrid construction of sewing plus radio-frequency (RF) welding, the new designs emphasize increased waterproofness while maintaining a low-profile shape that stays out of the rider’s way, a pliable yet rugged structure, and a quick, easy access to fuel fills. The Fandango and Diablo provide quick and easy access to the fuel tank without removing the bag. Just partially unzip the tank bag from the harness and fill-up.The Fandango and Diablo Tank Bags share the same design and construction, with the Fandango’s slightly taller profile delivering an additional 2 liters of packable volume. They keep essentials handy without interfering with the rider’s body position, whether seated or standing on the footpegs. The harness mounts over fuel fill, with concave shapes on the bottom of the tank bags to allow air vents to breathe. And for fill-ups, just zip it and flip it – no need to remove or remount anything. Easy-access RF-welded waterproof clear map/smartphone lid pocket with electronics cable pass-through enables on-bike charging and power inside the bag. ADVERTISEMENT Made from rugged Bomb Shell™ coated fabric with hybrid RF-welded and sewn construction, the Fandango and Diablo are designed to be completely waterproof, mudproof, snowproof, and dustproof when used with the included Tank Bag Dry Pod inner liner. To organize essentials, an internal zippered mesh pocket with key clip is easily accessed under the lid, and an adjustable/removable divider includes organizers for cards and a pen or tire pressure gauge. On the exterior, an stretch mesh pocket accommodates ear plugs, bridge toll or other small items. The easy-access RF-welded waterproof clear map/smartphone lid pocket features an electronics cable pass-through, enabling on-bike charging and power inside the tank bag. The Diablo Tank Bag provides 6 liters (370 cubic inches) of packable volume. For convenience and security, the tank bags unzip from their harness, so riders can keep valuables with them when away from the bike, while the harness remains on the bike ready to go. With the harness’s integrated D-ring mounts, Giant Loop’s Pannier Pockets (available separately) can be added for expanded front-of-bike storage capacity without compromising rider positioning. Giant Loop’s Fandango and Diablo Tank Bags are also versatile, fitting virtually any dirt bike, snow bike, enduro, dual sport, adventure, or street motorcycle make and model. Both tank bags are designed to be fully waterproof when used with the included Dry Pod inner liner.The Fandango Tank Bag provides 8 liters (490 cubic inches) of packable volume.Despite rugged components, such as YKK zippers, heavy-duty fasteners and reflective perimeter trim, the tank bags weigh less than 2.5 lbs total. Both tank bags are available in black or gray. MSRP is $250 for the Diablo and $260 for the Fandango. And like all Giant Loop products, they are backed by a limited lifetime warranty against defects. Shopping Options
  14. Published on 03.15.2021 [embedded content] [embedded content] For the first time ever, motorcycle apparel brand REV’IT! iIs launching a complete technical line of modular, lightweight off-road gear. Known for being a maker of high-quality Adventure Bike suits, the Netherlands-based manufacturer is now turning their attention toward gear for more off-road-oriented riders. Comprised of CE-rated jerseys, jackets, pants, and gloves, REV’IT’s DIRT gear is designed for tackling trails yet safe enough for riding on the asphalt too. The new Dirt Series takes a modular approach, which is intended to make it easier to select and combine different jackets, pants, gloves, and protectors to match your riding style, terrain, and climate. A variety of colors can be mixed and matched according to your preference; creating your own unique look. ADVERTISEMENT “Adventure off-road riders want functional, technical, go-anywhere ADV performance in a minimalist package. Gear that’s lightweight and modular; allowing riders to build up their collection in a smart way. That’s exactly what the DIRT Series was designed for,” explains REV’IT. While the DIRT Series jackets and pants do have built-in SEESMART CE-level 1 protection at the elbows, shoulders, and knees, these can all be easily removed in case you want to upgrade to a separate CE-level 2 protector jacket or knee armor. Protectors Jackets (Waterproof or Mesh) Pants (In- or Over-the-Boot) Gloves You can read more about REV’IT!’s new Dirt Series here or check out the full line of products here. Shopping Options
  15. Round-the-world motorcycle journeys, although still an incredible feat of determination and endurance, have become almost common in the past decade or so. From the legendary Long Way Round series to everyday riders embarking on a quest to circumnavigate the world on their motorcycles, a round-the-world motorcycle trip is now nowhere as extreme or astonishing as it once was. However, Luke Berlet, 42, and Jim Otto, 30, out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, are preparing to wow the adventure motorcycling world with an ambitious plan: to ride around the world across the North and the South Poles. The duo is working on snow bike conversion kits for two KTM 1090 Adventure R motorcycles which they plan to use for the Poles and is hoping to hit the road as early as this year, COVID-19 situation permitting. Starting in the US, Berlet and Otto hope to ride to Argentina, Ushuaia, and ship the bikes to Antarctica from where they expect to convert the KTMs into snow bikes to be able to ride the South Pole. Then, the journey will continue to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Russia hitting the North Pole via Siberia, and finally, a ride across Greenland and into Canada to return to the US in 2025. What will this ambitious expedition entail and will the mammoth task of riding across the Poles become a reality this year? We caught up with Luke Berlet to find out. Combining Two Passions Berlet, who owns a roofing company in Steamboat Springs and is a father of three, says he started riding motorcycles in his thirties and only got into adventure motorcycling some seven years ago. However, adventure riding instantly became an obsession, and in 2017, Berlet started thinking of circumnavigating the world. “Being from Colorado, snow biking has always appealed to me. What I love most about snow biking is the diversity it offers, so Jim and I began thinking of combining the two passions: adventure riding and snow biking,” Berlet explains. ADVERTISEMENT For him, the idea to ride around the world hitting the South and the North Poles is all about the challenge and the adventure. Historically, this feat was achieved by the Transglobe Expedition when a team of British explorers followed the Greenwich Meridian from the UK in September 1979 traveling south until they arrived at the South Pole in 1980, then turning North until they reached the North Pole in 1982. “It has not been done on a motorcycle, however. Lots of people do world rides, but crossing both poles on a bike is just ridiculous – and that’s why we want to do it. We want to inspire people to go beyond their limits,” Berlet says. According to him, the North Pole is a physical challenge, whereas reaching the South Pole is tougher because of environmental concerns, but the duo is determined to make it – even if the entire journey takes five years. KTM 1090 Adventure R Snow Bike Conversion Having gone on multiple adventure rides in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, and raced the Baja 500, Berlet says the KTM 1090 Adventure R was a natural choice because of its versatility. Once the expedition idea (dubbed “Under Over”) was born, Otto and Berlet began experimenting with converting the KTM 1090 into a snow bike using heavily modified Timbersled conversion kits. However, Timbersled kits are aimed at smaller dirt bikes, so to convert a KTM 1090, Beret and Otto had to get creative and reinforce the driveline, the bearings, and the jackshaft. “The Timbersled frame itself may not be enough, either, so we are still working on a fully custom conversion kit,” Berlet explains. According to him, converting the KTMs into snow bikes takes around three hours and it can be done on the side of the road. The plan is to ride on wheels and convert the bikes into snow bikes when absolutely necessary. “If and when needed, we will convert back and forth,” explained Luke. In addition to bike conversion, the duo says they may need to get a support vehicle not only to carry the conversion kits but as pulling a sled with luggage and spares is proving difficult, especially when going uphill. “Last year, I did over a thousand miles in the snow to test out the bike, and this year, we‘ve been able to get out on the Continental Divide to do some more trial runs. There were major avalanche concerns, so we couldn’t cover as much ground as we wanted, but we now have a clearer picture of what further mods we need to make. For example, starting the bike in subzero temperatures after it has sat idle for a while is a challenge that we’ll need to figure out,” Berlet explains. “Last year, I did over a thousand miles in the snow to test out the bike, and this year, we‘ve been able to get out on the Continental Divide to do some more trial runs.” — Luke Berlet.The duo says some other challenges include the difficulty of picking the loaded bikes up in the snow, especially in fine powder. In addition, they may need to carry lots of additional spares: the secondary drive sprockets and chains wear down fast, even with proper lubrication, and there is metal fatigue to consider as the bikes will have to endure extreme temperature changes. Another issue is carrying all the necessary camping gear to be able to survive in the cold. “Cold, to be honest, is our biggest concern for the entire trip – there is a lot that can go wrong in subzero temperatures,” Berlet says. Extreme weather and wildlife are their biggest concerns when riding across the poles. Expedition Prep Motorcycle mods aside, trip preparation and budget will require some serious effort. Berlet estimates that the entire five-year journey will cost around a million USD, and although the adventurers are actively seeking out sponsors, the trip is going to be mostly self-funded. Berlet and Otto plan to mostly stay at budget hotels and camp little, but often cook their own food. “During our previous travels, we have learned that nothing beats a $10 hotel. Meeting the local community is also best at a hostel or a cheap hotel,” Berlet says. Among the challenges are logistics and permits to ride the South Pole: due to the fragile environment, it‘s extremely difficult to get the necessary permissions to transport the bike and ride in Antarctica. “We‘re currently discussing our options with Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions in Utah. Hopefully, they will be able to help get us on to the South Pole,” Berlet shares. In addition to the necessary paperwork and permits, refueling is also an issue: having a fuel range of 300 miles, Berlet and Otto may need to organize fuel drops in the poles to be able to complete the ride. The duo is now working on the logistics for shipping the bike from continent to continent and considering partnering up with a film crew to be able to document the expedition along the way. “We’d love to produce something like a TV show along the way, but a commitment like that will most likely require a film crew to travel with us. Other than budget and logistics, we are also trying to figure out how to manage work and family: I am currently making some changes in the way I run my business to be able to travel, and my family is fully on board supporting the expedition. However, it’s likely that we will be taking breaks and flying home during the five years it will take to complete the journey,” Berlet admits. Planning to cover 37,000 miles around the world, Berlet and Otto are currently focused on finishing the motorcycle mods and getting ready for the first leg of the journey to Antarctica. Follow them on Facebook to see if “Under Over” succeeds! [embedded content] [embedded content] Photos courtesy of Luke Berlet. Author: Egle Gerulaityte Riding around the world extra slowly and not taking it too seriously, Egle is always on the lookout for interesting stories. Editor of the Women ADV Riders magazine, she focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to bring travel inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs out there.
  16. Engine Type:L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooledDisplacement:803 ccBore x stroke:88 x 66 mmCompression ratio:11:01Power:73 hp (53,6 kW) 8250 rpm/minTorque:6,7 Kgm (66,2 Nm) @ 5750 rpmFuel injection:Electronic fuel injection, 50 mm throttle bodyExhaust:Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, aluminium tail pipesStandard:Euro 5 (Only for countries where Euro 5 standard applies)Consumption – Emissions:5,4 l/100 km – CO2 124 g/kmGearbox:6 speedRatio:1=32/13 2=30/18 3=28/21 4=26/23 5=22/22 6=24/26Primary drive:Straight cut gears, Ratio 1,85:1Final drive:Chain, front spocket 15, rear sprocket 46Clutch:Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutchFrame:Tubular steel Trellis frameFront suspension:46mm fully adjustable usd forksFront wheel travel:200 mm (7,9 in)Front wheel:Spoked aluminium wheel 3,00″ x 19″Front tyre:Pirelli SCORPION™ RALLY STR 120/70 R19Rear suspension:Kayaba rear shock, pre-load and rebound adjustable. Aluminium double-sided swingarmRear wheel travel:200 mm (5,9 in)Rear wheel:Spoked aluminium wheel 4,50″ x 17″Rear tyre:Pirelli SCORPION™ RALLY STR 170/60 R17Front brake:Ø330 mm disc, radial 4-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipmentRear brake:Ø245 mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipmentDashboard:LCDWheelbase:1.505 mm (59,3 in)Rake:24°Trail:112 mm (4,4 in)Total steering lock:35°Fuel tank capacity:13,5 l – 3,57 gallon (US)Dry weight:193 kg (425,5 lb)Wet weight**:209 kg (460,8 lb)Seat h:860 mm (33,9 in) – low seat 840 mm (33,0 in) available as accessoryMax h:1.213 mm (47,8 in) (brake reservoir)Max w:940 mm (37,0 in) (mirrors)Max length:2.200 mm (86,6 in)Number of seats:Dual seatStandard equipment:Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, headlight with DRL by LED light-guide and interchangeable aluminium cover, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LED turn indicator, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications and interchangeable aluminium cover, under-seat storage compartment with USB socket, ABS cornering, machine-finished aluminium belt covers, black engine with brushed finsDESERT SLED equipment:Aluminium handlebar with cross-strut, front stem protectors, seat with specific design, high front mudguard, long rear mudguard and high plate supportDetails:24 months unlimited mileageServicing:12,000 km (7.500 mi) / 12 monthsChecking valve clearance:12,000 km (7.500 mi)
  17. Engine Type:L-Twin, Desmodromic distribution, 2 valves per cylinder, air cooledDisplacement:803 ccBore x stroke:88 x 66 mmCompression ratio:11:01Power:73 hp (53,6 kW) 8250 rpm/minTorque:6,7 Kgm (66,2 Nm) @ 5750 rpmFuel injection:Electronic fuel injection, 50 mm throttle bodyExhaust:Stainless steel muffler with catalytic converter and 2 lambda probes, aluminium tail pipesStandard:Euro 5 (Only for countries where Euro 5 standard applies)Consumption – Emissions:5,4 l/100 km – CO2 124 g/kmGearbox:6 speedRatio:1=32/13 2=30/18 3=28/21 4=26/23 5=22/22 6=24/26Primary drive:Straight cut gears, Ratio 1,85:1Final drive:Chain, front spocket 15, rear sprocket 46Clutch:Hydraulically controlled slipper and self-servo wet multiplate clutchFrame:Tubular steel Trellis frameFront suspension:46mm fully adjustable usd forksFront wheel travel:200 mm (7,9 in)Front wheel:Spoked aluminium wheel 3,00″ x 19″Front tyre:Pirelli SCORPION™ RALLY STR 120/70 R19Rear suspension:Kayaba rear shock, pre-load and rebound adjustable. Aluminium double-sided swingarmRear wheel travel:200 mm (5,9 in)Rear wheel:Spoked aluminium wheel 4,50″ x 17″Rear tyre:Pirelli SCORPION™ RALLY STR 170/60 R17Front brake:Ø330 mm disc, radial 4-piston calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipmentRear brake:Ø245 mm disc, 1-piston floating calliper with Bosch Cornering ABS as standard equipmentDashboard:LCDWheelbase:1.505 mm (59,3 in)Rake:24°Trail:112 mm (4,4 in)Total steering lock:35°Fuel tank capacity:13,5 l – 3,57 gallon (US)Dry weight:193 kg (425,5 lb)Wet weight**:209 kg (460,8 lb)Seat h:860 mm (33,9 in) – low seat 840 mm (33,0 in) available as accessoryMax h:1.213 mm (47,8 in) (brake reservoir)Max w:940 mm (37,0 in) (mirrors)Max length:2.200 mm (86,6 in)Number of seats:Dual seatStandard equipment:Steel tank with interchangeable aluminium side panels, headlight with DRL by LED light-guide and interchangeable aluminium cover, LED rear light with diffusion-light, LED turn indicator, LCD instruments with gear and fuel level indications and interchangeable aluminium cover, under-seat storage compartment with USB socket, ABS cornering, machine-finished aluminium belt covers, black engine with brushed finsDESERT SLED equipment:Aluminium handlebar with cross-strut, front stem protectors, seat with specific design, high front mudguard, long rear mudguard and high plate supportDetails:24 months unlimited mileageServicing:12,000 km (7.500 mi) / 12 monthsChecking valve clearance:12,000 km (7.500 mi)
  18. Published on 03.10.2021 While the BMW F850GS and GSA are capable mid-sized adventure bikes with a nice blend of on-road and off-road features, the suspension has a few shortcomings. But like many bike models, it can be improved with help from the aftermarket. The latest release from Touratech Suspension is the Fork Cartridge Conversion Kit which improves the handling characteristics by replacing the stock internals with a fully-adjustable, closed-cartridge system. Not just a change in spring rate or a simple re-valve, the direct-damping technology is designed to ensure the fork will have smooth and consistent performance even in punishing environments. It also features hydraulic bottoming prevention which acts like a pillow at the end of the stroke to smooth out the ride in demanding terrain. The Touratech Fork Cartridge Conversion Kit also gives riders the ability to tune performance with rebound, compression, and preload adjustments which are conveniently configured on top of the fork caps. “I’ve had trips where a fork seal started to leak, and I felt the damping performance diminish as oil was lost. My favorite feature of this upgrade is that the damping oil is in a closed cartridge, which ensures consistent damping even if the fork leg leaks some lubrication oil.” – Paul Guillien, CEO, Touratech-USA ADVERTISEMENT Installation is straight-forward and can be done quickly and easily in your own garage with the simple “drop in” set-up. No machining or modifications required. A significant reduction in installation time and complexity is in part due to only a single fork leg needing to be removed from the motorcycle. The cartridge comes pre-sprung, filled with oil, charged with nitrogen and includes everything you need to install it. Price for the kit is $1,095. [embedded content] [embedded content] What’s Included 1 Touratech fork cartridge, pre-filled for Right side fork leg Damping adjustment tool Fork cap tool 1 Liter of fork oil User guide & install manual For more information visit touratech.com
  19. I’ve heard it pronounced many ways, Ah-Toe-Joe, Ah-Tahoe, Ah-Toe-Hoe… I like the last pronunciation because it phonetically matches the names of the three riders who helped develop this new lighter-weight moto boot launched last November. The name “ATOJO” is an acronym that represents three of SIDI’s world-dominating MX riders: “A” as in Alessandro Lupino, “TO” as in Tony Cairoli, and “JO” as in Jorge Prado. This collaboration created a boot with a focus on balancing protection, durability, comfort, and weight. Ask any off-road racer, any real off-road racer; it doesn’t matter if you have the cheapest second-hand boots or the best moto boots money can buy; good boots are one of the most essential pieces of safety gear you can have. Your head is significant, but your feet and ankles take the most abuse and are highly susceptible to injury. The ATOJO SRS is a 3-buckle design featuring a dual hinge system for improved flexibility. “I almost had a pair.” This is a statement I hear a lot at ADV events like Taste of Dakar and ADV Days from riders wearing hiking boots matched with a Gore-Tex suit, even though there’s not a cloud in the forecast. My reply: “Almost had a set of boots? You never had a set of real boots; otherwise, you’d be wearin’ something protective like ya should.” ADVERTISEMENT There are a few major players in the boot game, and SIDI has been in the game for 81 years. Their experience and long list of world championships make them a legitimate force in moto footwear. One of the most recognizable names SIDI has brought to the table is the Crossfire boot. The Crossfires are now on their third iteration, they’re double hinged and regarded as their “top model” but the ATOJO’s could become the new standard if we can agree on how to say their name. The top features an elastic gaiter that is closed with a Velcro strap to prevent the entry of debris.Right out of the gate, if the ATOJO’s have one feature that separates them from other “top model” boots, it’s their weight-to-protection ratio. A set of the ATOJO’s weigh a pound less than their sibling, the Crossfire 3. It may not sound like much weight but holding them side by side causes your eyebrows to raise as you purse your lips together and make the audible “Mmmm” sound while bouncing them in your hands to feel the weight. How They Performed I’ll get into the techy bits further down in the article but first, for comparison, the ATOJO’s only lack some upper calf and shin protection when compared to the Crossfire 3’s or to the Gaerne SG12’s (which I own a pair of) — both top of the line boots. The big differentiator between the Crossfire 3’s and the SG12’s being the w of the footbed. If you have a wider foot, you get the SG12’s, and if you have narrow (Italian) feet, you get the Crossfires. The ATOJO’s land nicely in the middle ground. For fitment, I personally run a smidge wide in the foot with a normal to skinnier calf and use hinged knee pads that go in the boot. The ATOJO’s are a perfect fit and spot-on to size (45 Euro.) Without ever breaking them in, I took them right to a muddy District 6 Hare Scramble that was 1.5 hours (+1 lap) long and didn’t have a single rub or blister. I know this is subjective, but I’m never this lucky! Okay, so what? That was in a dirt bike race, and this is ‘ADV’ Pulse. How are they as an ADV boot? I later took the ATOJO’s to the Touratech Rally/Dirt Daze event in NH and wore them for three days straight without any issues, but I did get surprised by them. SIDI packs much detail into the interior of their boots. The lower part of the boot (below the ankle) is lined with Cambrelle. A material that is known for high wear resistance and for having the ability to dry quickly. The above-the-ankle portion is lined with a Teflon coated material called “TECHNOMICRO” to prevent the full absorption of water, sweat, and dirt. Day one at the TT/DD rally, I managed to sink my Triumph Scrambler XE in the mud pit on the obstacle course to the point water was above the high pipes! I laughed at myself as I could feel the muddy water rushing in over the sides of the ATOJO’s. This would be a wet-soggy-wrinkled toes death sentence to anyone’s feet with two more days worth of riding ahead of them, and the only place to dry out the ATOJO’s was under my tent’s rainfly. To my above-mentioned surprise, the ATOJO’s didn’t hold onto every last drop of water. While yes, my feet were moist in the morning as my socks took on some of the moisture, I didn’t need to implement the “plastic bag” trick, and my feet didn’t wrinkle up and turn white by the end of the day either. Hinged boots are the standard as far as real off-road racers see it. SIDI has added dual hinges to the ATOJO’s, very similar to the Crossfires. One below the ankle and one above, on either side of the boot. This arrangement allows the hinges to work in sync while also allowing the boots to be more narrow. The result is pretty impressive and will enable you to grip the bike more evenly with your foot and calf without a noticeable high spot from a hinge mechanism. The Atojo boots have 3 anti hyper-extension systems: the first near the ankle, a second one on the back that prevents extra backwards bending and a front mechanism that allows tibia flexion but stops if bending is excessive.We all like extensions when it comes to, say… vacations or unemployment benefits, but no one likes hyper-extensions, especially when it comes to our ankles. The lower hinge has an anti-hyper-extension mechanism built into it, while the rear of the boot will only allow so much flexing backward until it’s stopped by an upper hoop that goes around the back of the ankle. The final protection against overextending yourself is an exposed PU “slide” with stops incorporated into the lower buckle. The buckles are among the other major distinguishing factors when comparing the ATOJO’s to the Crossfires because there are fewer of them. The Crossfire is a four-buckle boot, and the ATOJO’s are a three-buckle design. With a softer upper shin plate and a well-made velcro upper that shows no sign of wear after a full season of racing, I don’t see the need for the fourth buckle on these boots. SIDI uses the same buckles across most, if not all, of their off-road boots, so if for some reason you hate/or like SIDI buckles, you’ll still dislike/or love these. The ATOJO’s do get the designation “SRS,” which stands for Sole Replacement System. The SRS dovetails into the bottom of the boot and is held in by four quarter-turn mechanical fasteners. There is an option to purchase separately a more traditional enduro-style lugged replacement sole. The boot’s bottom is impressively smooth and rounded as to not grab into the dirt on an MX track or onto tree roots in enduro situations. The SRS (Sole Replacement System) central part of the sole is replaceable. There is an option to purchase separately a more traditional enduro-style sole that can be swapped with the standard one.The entire boot’s slim profile lets you get under your shifter a little easier and avoid hitting or snagging your feet as you ride in tight conditions. Personally, coming from a traditional stitched sole on the SG12’s or like that on the Crossfire 3 TA’s, you may have a little trouble locating the brake pedal and may want to get something with a little more bite and length over the stock as on my KTM 250 EXC-F. I would personally never not choose a boot because of how it interfaced with my brake pedal when the solution is as easy as a larger brake pedal. I would, however, not choose these boots if protection was THE most important thing to you. The upper shin plate and gripper calf section on the ATOJO’s are not as protective as the Crossfire 3’s or SG12’s upper sections. [embedded content] [embedded content] The trade-off is the weight. While slightly less than 8 ounces per boot may not sound like a deal-breaker, tie two 8oz soup cans to your feet and walk around all day…tell me how you feel. I can attest to the crush resistance of the ATOJO’s or lack thereof compared to my old SG12’s, but I’m going to stick with the ATOJO’s. The amount of energy you can save by having lighter boots is the better decision for me. Who Are They For? Let’s say you want a pair of top-model off-road boots but don’t want to stomp into the room like you are Frankenstein looking for “brains.” The ATOJO’s offer all the protection you’ll want without the excess weight or restrictions in movement that many other MX boots come with. If having a hinged boot is a must (which it should be) these will be a great place to start comparing. If you are looking for a fully waterproof adventure-style boot, these are obviously not the answer as they only have some water resistance. Although, I’m a fan of having wet feet or dawning plastic bags over socks to benefit from moisture transfer and cooler running feet than dry socks. The Verdict I’ll be wearing the ATOJO’s for as long as they’ll last. With plenty of replacement parts, panels, and soles, it may be for a long time. With a price that far outweighs missing even a single week of work due to a broken foot and a weight that will help you maintain your energy while riding longer, I’ll be stuffing my feet into these for the foreseeable future. What We Liked Fits average feet and required no break-in. Lightweight and compact design. Replaceable parts give them longevity. Dry out fast and don’t smell foul (yet). Double hinge systems make them easy to walk in. More feel from the shifter and brake pedal than other boots. Heel cup holds the foot down in the bed nicely. Excellent protection for a convenient three- buckle boot. No noticeable “SIDI Squeak.” What Could Be Improved More ‘loud’ color options but not brand specific More crush protection for the upper and backside of the calf. Insoles could be nicer at that price point.. More ventilation, they aren’t hot, but they could be cooler. Colors & Price COLOR: Black Black, Gray Black, Black White, White Black Fluo Yellow, Fluo Yellow White Blue, White Black Fluo Orange, White Black Gray, Lead Gray Black, Red Black SIZES: 7-12.5 (40-47 Euro) PRICE: $525 Shopping Options Photos by Steve Kamrad, @aaronxyoung, Mike Levin and Bryan Stephan Grimes Author: Steve Kamrad Steve has been labeled as a “Hired Gun” by one of the largest special interest publishing groups in America. His main focus now is video content creation as a “Shreditor” (thats shooter, producer, editor all in one nice, neat, run and gun package). If he’s not out competing in a NASA Rally Race you can find him on the East Coast leading around a rowdy group of ADV riders. Some say Steve_Kamrad has the best job in the world but he’s not in it for the money. He’s a gun for hire that can’t be bought and that’s the way we like him.
  20. [embedded content] [embedded content] For many riders the look of a straight-off-the-rack KTM 790 Adventure, with its sharp lines, futuristic snout and the bright orange motif, personifies the ultimate adventure machine. But when ex-racer turned world-famous bike builder Roland Sands looks at a motorcycle like the KTM, he’s probably going to see something else: A machine’s alter ego. A never-seen-before bike. In the case of a friend’s 2019 790 Adventure, what Roland and his crew at Roland Sands Designed (RSD) saw was this retro-inspired stunner. A bike that looks low-key classic from every angle — literally unrecognizable from its model of origin — yet wasn’t made to part with any of the mechanicals that make it such a modern trail slayer. In a new video about the build, Roland explains that his friend wanted to downplay the 790’s aggressive aesthetic, so in an effort to make the machine less chesty, one of the first orders of business at RSD was to rotate the KTM’s sizable radiator from a horizontal to a vertical position, a move that caused the unit to all but disappear. The Adventure’s stock aluminum skid pan was then modified to match the radiator’s slimmer profile. ADVERTISEMENT Vintage KTM fenders continue the new, slender line forward, with the front fender sporting a stylish, custom steel brace. The stock WP forks wear RSD custom, bobby socks-style steel fork guards. The 790’s large, distinctive twin headlamps, windshield and cowling were all replaced by an unassuming round single lamp borrowed from a Triumph and finished with a custom steel cage. RSD did an amazing job getting the smaller headlamp to look as if it were designed to compliment the Adventure’s large LED touchscreen display. A ProTaper EVO High Bend handlebar capped in modified stock hand guards finish off the cockpit view. Ironically, the retro tank just happened to be hanging around the shop, a leftover from an RSD project that involved turning a Suzuki GT750 — remember the Water Buffalo? — into a stunning flat track bike for famous pro rider Travis Pastrana. But Roland says modifying the tank was “a crazy story” and became the most difficult and time-consuming part of the project. To make it work, chief fabricator Aaron Boss had to create a complex prism of plates on the bottom of the tank in order for all the plumbing and connections to mate properly. And yes, roughly about a gallon and a-half of fuel capacity was thrown out by replacing the KTM 790’s signature low-slung tank, which is why there is a Rotopax one-gallon auxiliary cell affixed to the right rear subframe via a Rotopax LOX pack mount. The improvised tank, which is perhaps the single most defining element of the bike, then inspired the black custom sub-frame, on which is mounted a Husqvarna Vitpilen seat, chosen for its long, flat minimalist vibe. Moving rearward, the thin seat then ties right into the short, low vintage KTM fender with a resulting line that is incredibly pleasing to the eye. Completing the bike’s lower line, a modified Akrapovič slip-on sweeps up from the header to become almost fully shrouded in a custom-painted aluminum number plate. A Burly Brand tool roll and quick-release tail pack are useful garnishes, while versatile Dunlop Trailmax Mission adventure tires sit on the stock spoked aluminum rims. After that, basically everything mechanical was left sweet-for-the-trail stock. In the featured video, Roland reminds us that although RSD is most famous for cruiser, cafe racer and flat track customs, this isn’t the first ADV build to roost out of his shop in Los Alamitos, California. Our favorites to date have been his Dakar GS and an Africa Twin police bike we featured a few years back. As adventure riders, a fault we can find in RSD’s latest custom ADV crossover is the bike’s name: Urban Assault. I mean who in the world looks at that bike knowing a fully-formed KTM 790 Adventure resides within and thinks of riding anywhere near the city? Parts List Wheels: OEM 21” F/18” R Tires: Dunlop Trailmax Mission Front/Rear 90/90-21 F, 130/90-18 R Brake Rotors: OEM Brakes: OEM Suspension: OEM WP Triple Clamps: OEM Handlebars: Pro Taper EVO, CR High Bend Handgaurds: OEM modified handgaurds Foot Controls: OEM Fork Guards: Custom fabricated steel Front Fender: Vintage KTM plastic fender w/ custom fabricated steel fender brace Headlight: Triumph headlight w/ custom fabricated grill Tool Bag: Burly Brand Tool Roll w/ custom fabricated holder doubling as dash mount Fuel Tank: Custom modified Suzuki GT750 fuel tank Radiator: Modified OEM radiator mounted vertically Skid Plate: Modified OEM skid plate Exhaust: Modified Akrapovič slip-on Subframe: Custom fabricated steel Side Numberplate: Custom fabricated aluminum Rear Fender: Vintage KTM plastic fender Auxiliary Fuel Tank: Rotopax 1 Gallon w/ LOX pack mount, attached to subframe Seat: Husqvarna Vitpilen seat Tail Bag: Burly Brand Tail Bag w/ custom fabricated mount Photos by Joe Hitzelberger 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.
  21. [embedded content] [embedded content] For many riders the look of a straight-off-the-rack KTM 790 Adventure, with its sharp lines, futuristic snout and the bright orange motif, personifies the ultimate adventure machine. But when ex-racer turned world-famous bike builder Roland Sands looks at a motorcycle like the KTM, he’s probably going to see something else: A machine’s alter ego. A never-seen-before bike. In the case of a friend’s 2019 790 Adventure, what Roland and his crew at Roland Sands Designed (RSD) saw was this retro-inspired stunner. A bike that looks low-key classic from every angle — literally unrecognizable from its model of origin — yet wasn’t made to part with any of the mechanicals that make it such a modern trail slayer. In a new video about the build, Roland explains that his friend wanted to downplay the 790’s aggressive aesthetic, so in an effort to make the machine less chesty, one of the first orders of business at RSD was to rotate the KTM’s sizable radiator from a horizontal to a vertical position, a move that caused the unit to all but disappear. The Adventure’s stock aluminum skid pan was then modified to match the radiator’s slimmer profile. ADVERTISEMENT Vintage KTM fenders continue the new, slender line forward, with the front fender sporting a stylish, custom steel brace. The stock WP forks wear RSD custom, bobby socks-style steel fork guards. The 790’s large, distinctive twin headlamps, windshield and cowling were all replaced by an unassuming round single lamp borrowed from a Triumph and finished with a custom steel cage. RSD did an amazing job getting the diminutive headlamp to look as if it were designed to compliment the Adventure’s large LED touchscreen display. A ProTaper EVO High Bend handlebar capped in modified stock hand guards finish off the cockpit view. Ironically, the retro tank just happened to be hanging around the shop, a leftover from an RSD project that involved turning a Suzuki GT750 — remember the Water Buffalo? — into a stunning flat track bike for famous pro rider Travis Pastrana. But Roland says modifying the tank was “a crazy story” and became the most difficult and time-consuming part of the project. To make it work, chief fabricator Aaron Boss had to create a complex prism of plates on the bottom of the tank in order for all the plumbing and connections to mate properly. And yes, roughly about a gallon and a-half of fuel capacity was thrown out by replacing the KTM 790’s signature low-slung tank, which is why there is a Rotopax one-gallon auxiliary cell affixed to the right rear subframe via a Rotopax LOX pack mount. The improvised tank, which is perhaps the single most defining element of the bike, then inspired the black custom sub-frame, on which is mounted a Husqvarna Vitpilen seat, chosen for its long, flat minimalist vibe. Moving rearward, the thin seat then ties right into the short, low vintage KTM fender with a resulting line that is incredibly pleasing to the eye. Completing the bike’s lower line, a modified Akrapovič slip-on sweeps up from the header to become almost fully shrouded in a custom-painted aluminum number plate. A Burly Brand tool roll and quick-release tail pack are useful garnishes, while versatile Dunlop Trailmax Mission adventure tires sit on the stock spoked aluminum rims. After that, basically everything mechanical was left sweet-for-the-trail stock. In the featured video, Roland reminds us that although RSD is most famous for cruiser, cafe racer and flat track customs, this isn’t the first ADV build to roost out of his shop in Los Alamitos, California. Our favorites to date have been his Dakar GS and an Africa Twin police bike we featured a few years back. As adventure riders, the only fault we can find in RSD’s latest custom ADV crossover is the bike’s name: Urban Assault. I mean who in the world looks at that bike knowing a fully-formed KTM 790 Adventure resides within and thinks of riding anywhere near the city? Parts List Wheels: OEM 21” F/18” R Tires: Dunlop Trailmax Mission Front/Rear 90/90-21 F, 130/90-18 R Brake Rotors: OEM Brakes: OEM Suspension: OEM WP Triple Clamps: OEM Handlebars: Pro Taper EVO, CR High Bend Handgaurds: OEM modified handgaurds Foot Controls: OEM Fork Guards: Custom fabricated steel Front Fender: Vintage KTM plastic fender w/ custom fabricated steel fender brace Headlight: Triumph headlight w/ custom fabricated grill Tool Bag: Burly Brand Tool Roll w/ custom fabricated holder doubling as dash mount Fuel Tank: Custom modified Suzuki GT750 fuel tank Radiator: Modified OEM radiator mounted vertically Skid Plate: Modified OEM skid plate Exhaust: Modified Akrapovič slip-on Subframe: Custom fabricated steel Side Numberplate: Custom fabricated aluminum Rear Fender: Vintage KTM plastic fender Auxiliary Fuel Tank: Rotopax 1 Gallon w/ LOX pack mount, attached to subframe Seat: Husqvarna Vitpilen seat Tail Bag: Burly Brand Tail Bag w/ custom fabricated mount Photos by Joe Hitzelberger 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.
  22. When Honda introduced its 125cc Grom for the 2014 model year the miniMOTO concept was firmly put on the map, spawning an army of enthusiasts that embraced the mini-bike with remarkable passion. To this day, the Grom holds a cult following of fun-seekers who use the versatile pint-sized bike for everything from pit errands to round-the-world travel. Already launched in some markets last fall, the latest iteration of the Grom is now coming to the U.S. market for model-year 2022, featuring new quick-release bodywork that facilitates customization, more fuel capacity, an updated LCD display and a peppier new engine, now with a fifth gear. 2022 Honda Grom 2022 Honda Grom Design/Styling Now in its third iteration, the Grom sports all-new, pared-down styling with straighter lines, a smaller subframe and thicker seat padding (seat h is still a low 30 inches). In addition, the four main body panels quickly attach/detach, facilitating customization—a hallmark of Grom culture that is sure to be welcomed by customers eager to personalize their rides. 2022 Honda Grom ADVERTISEMENT The 2022 Grom’s minimalist aesthetic is complemented by its blacked-out engine, exhaust, wheels and swingarm, while a special SP version has a gold finish on the fork, wheels and brake calipers, plus a yellow shock spring. Practical improvements include an increase in fuel capacity, from 1.45 gallons to 1.59 gallons. In addition, the upgraded LCD digital dash now has a gear-position indicator, alongside the speedometer, tachometer, twin trip meters, fuel gauge and clock. Engine/Drivetrain The Grom’s updates are more than skin deep. The new engine now includes—for the first time—a fifth gear for more comfortable cruising. Honda’s engineers achieved this by specifying a wider spread of gear ratios and replacing the previous 34-tooth final-drive sprocket with a 38-tooth size. The changes not only provide peppier acceleration from low speeds, but increase top speed as well. The 125cc two-valve, overhead-cam, air-cooled engine has a compression ratio of 10:1 (versus 9.3:1 with the previous model). This is achieved via an undersquare design, with a narrower bore and longer stroke than its predecessor—50.0 mm and 63.1 mm, compared to 52.4 mm and 57.9 mm with the previous engine. PGM-FI fuel injection assures optimal fuel delivery and highly efficient combustion. A large, 2.5-liter airbox houses a panel-type, wet-paper filter with a 10,000-mile life in normal riding conditions. Many Grom owners prefer to do their own maintenance, and a welcome addition to the 2021 model is a replaceable oil filter, a practical upgrade from cleaning the previous model’s oil spinner and screen. Do-it-yourselfers will also appreciate the redesigned exhaust downpipe and muffler, which are now two separate parts for ease of replacement. 2022 Honda Grom Chassis/Suspension The suspension remains unchanged with a 31 mm inverted fork and a single shock. The brakes feature a dual-piston front caliper with 220 mm disc, and a single-piston rear caliper with 190 mm disc. Wheels are a 12-inch cast design—a signature feature of the Grom—but the 2021 model boasts a new five-spoke pattern. Of special note, the available revamped ABS system operates through an IMU (inertial measurement unit) that gives precise front-to-rear distribution of braking operation, depending on vehicle behavior. Colors and Pricing The 2022 Grom is offered in Queen Bee Yellow, Matte Black Metallic and a special SP color option that has stylish graphics and a yellow shock spring, plus a gold finish for the wheels, brake calipers and fork. The ABS version is available in Candy Blue. Grom: $3,399 Grom SP: $3,499 Grom ABS: $3,599 [embedded content] [embedded content] 2022 Grom Specs Engine Type 123.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke Bore And Stroke 50mm x 63.1mm Compression Ratio 10:01 Induction PGM-FI with automatic enrichment Ignition Electronic Valve Train SOHC; two valves per cylinder Transmission Five-speed Final Drive 15T/38T; Chain Front Suspension 31mm telescopic inverted fork; 3.9 inches of travel Rear Suspension Single shock with steel box-section swingarm; 4.1 inches of travel Front Brake Single 220mm disc with hydraulic dual-piston caliper Rear Brake Single 190mm disc with hydraulic single piston caliper Front Tire 120/70-12 Rear Tire 130/70-12 Rake (Caster Angle) Trail 25° 3.3 inches Wheelbase 47.2 inches Seat Height 30 inches Fuel Capacity 1.6 gallons Curb Weight TBD
  23. When Honda introduced its 125cc Grom for the 2014 model year the miniMOTO concept was firmly put on the map, spawning an army of enthusiasts that embraced the mini-bike with remarkable passion. To this day, the Grom holds a cult following of fun-seekers who use the versatile pint-sized bike for everything from pit errands to round-the-world travel. Already launched in some markets last fall, the latest iteration of the Grom is now coming to the U.S. market for model-year 2022, featuring new quick-release bodywork that facilitate customization, more fuel capacity, an updated LCD display and a peppier new engine, now with a fifth gear. 2022 Honda Grom 2022 Honda Grom Design/Styling Now in its third iteration, the Grom sports all-new, pared-down styling with straighter lines, a smaller subframe and thicker seat padding (seat h is still a low 30 inches). In addition, the four main body panels quickly attach/detach, facilitating customization—a hallmark of Grom culture that is sure to be welcomed by customers eager to personalize their rides. 2022 Honda Grom ADVERTISEMENT The 2022 Grom’s minimalist aesthetic is complemented by its blacked-out engine, exhaust, wheels and swingarm, while a special SP version has a gold finish on the fork, wheels and brake calipers, plus a yellow shock spring. Practical improvements include an increase in fuel capacity, from 1.45 gallons to 1.59 gallons. In addition, the upgraded LCD digital dash now has a gear-position indicator, alongside the speedometer, tachometer, twin trip meters, fuel gauge and clock. Engine/Drivetrain The Grom’s updates are more than skin deep. The new engine now includes—for the first time—a fifth gear for more comfortable cruising. Honda’s engineers achieved this by specifying a wider spread of gear ratios and replacing the previous 34-tooth final-drive sprocket with a 38-tooth size. The changes not only provide peppier acceleration from low speeds, but increase top speed as well. The 125cc two-valve, overhead-cam, air-cooled engine has a compression ratio of 10:1 (versus 9.3:1 with the previous model). This is achieved via an undersquare design, with a narrower bore and longer stroke than its predecessor—50.0 mm and 63.1 mm, compared to 52.4 mm and 57.9 mm with the previous engine. PGM-FI fuel injection assures optimal fuel delivery and highly efficient combustion. A large, 2.5-liter airbox houses a panel-type, wet-paper filter with a 10,000-mile life in normal riding conditions. Many Grom owners prefer to do their own maintenance, and a welcome addition to the 2021 model is a replaceable oil filter, a practical upgrade from cleaning the previous model’s oil spinner and screen. Do-it-yourselfers will also appreciate the redesigned exhaust downpipe and muffler, which are now two separate parts for ease of replacement. 2022 Honda Grom Chassis/Suspension The suspension remains unchanged with a 31 mm inverted fork and a single shock. The brakes feature a dual-piston front caliper with 220 mm disc, and a single-piston rear caliper with 190 mm disc. Wheels are a 12-inch cast design—a signature feature of the Grom—but the 2021 model boasts a new five-spoke pattern. Of special note, the available revamped ABS system operates through an IMU (inertial measurement unit) that gives precise front-to-rear distribution of braking operation, depending on vehicle behavior. Colors and Pricing The 2022 Grom is offered in Queen Bee Yellow, Matte Black Metallic and a special SP color option that has stylish graphics and a yellow shock spring, plus a gold finish for the wheels, brake calipers and fork. The ABS version is available in Candy Blue. Grom: $3,399 Grom SP: $3,499 Grom ABS: $3,599 [embedded content] [embedded content] 2022 Grom Specs Engine Type 123.9cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke Bore And Stroke 50mm x 63.1mm Compression Ratio 10:01 Induction PGM-FI with automatic enrichment Ignition Electronic Valve Train SOHC; two valves per cylinder Transmission Five-speed Final Drive 15T/38T; Chain Front Suspension 31mm telescopic inverted fork; 3.9 inches of travel Rear Suspension Single shock with steel box-section swingarm; 4.1 inches of travel Front Brake Single 220mm disc with hydraulic dual-piston caliper Rear Brake Single 190mm disc with hydraulic single piston caliper Front Tire 120/70-12 Rear Tire 130/70-12 Rake (Caster Angle) Trail 25° 3.3 inches Wheelbase 47.2 inches Seat Height 30 inches Fuel Capacity 1.6 gallons Curb Weight TBD
  24. Published on 03.03.2021 Just weeks after the Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR) announced the development of their next adventure motorcycle route in Wyoming, the organization is now naming the Motoz Tractionator RallZ tires as the official rubber for the route’s creation. The BDR expedition team will be putting the RallZ tires to the test on multi-day, long-distance off-road trips while scouting and filming the 11th adventure motorcycle route (WYBDR), scheduled for release in January of 2022. The route will cross the state of Wyoming on primitive dirt roads exploring one of the most remote frontiers in the lower 48 states. “The most common question we get from the community is about tire choices for our routes. We always recommend DOT approved knobby tires with an aggressive tread pattern for superior off-road traction and better grip in technical terrain. The BDR team will be putting the RallZ tires to the test during our upcoming 1,200-mile, 10-day filming expedition of the WYBDR.” — Inna Thorn, Director of Operations, BDR Rated 80% off-road/20% road, the RallZ tire is the most aggressive off-road adventure rubber in the Motoz range.The tires have a unique tread block pattern designed for both great traction in the dirt, and also relatively long life span thanks to what Motoz calls ‘a self-protecting design’. Featuring a hybrid compound with Silica, “the tire’s carcass is tougher than most adventure tires which helps reduce the possibility of punctures on the trail,” states Pacific Powersports, U.S. distributor for the brand. ADVERTISEMENT Currently available in a variety of tube and tubeless sizes for big and mid-range adventure bikes, the RallZ will also be available in a range of tube-type adventure sizes for light-weight adventure bikes through Pacific Powersports and Rocky Mountain ATV/MC. To learn more about the upcoming Wyoming BDR click here. MOTOZ TRACTIONATOR RALLZ SIZES Rear: 150/70B17 TL 170/60B17 TL 150/70B18 TL 130/80-17 TT 120/90-18 TT 140/80-18 TT Front: 90/90-21 TL 110/80B19 TL 120/70B19 TL 90/90-21 TT
  25. [embedded content] [embedded content] Just a month after KTM announced their revamped 1290 Super Adventure S, with its next-generation electronics, reworked bodywork and optimized chassis, the Austrian manufacturer has dropped the cover on their new off-road focused flagship model — the 1290 Super Adventure R. While we won’t see the high-tech Adaptive Cruise Control system released on the ‘S’ model, the big enduro does get a wide range of updates focused on making it easier to ride on the trail and meet Euro 5 standards. The new 1290 Super Adventure R now features a lower center of gravity, new ergos, a shorter chassis, longer swingarm, reworked suspension and many other key changes.Some of the changes we’ve seen previously on the 790/890 Adventure models are now being applied to the Super Adventure like the low-slung fuel tanks, fully-customizable rider settings in Rally Mode, and an easier-to-access air filter. Other updates include a shorter frame with longer swingarm designed to give better feel of the terrain, all-new ergonomics, a lower seat h, improved engine heat dissipation, optimized suspension settings, just to name a few. Read on for a closer look at the full list of upgrades KTM has thrown at its off-road beast. The blue color integration into the new graphics are reminiscent of the old 950/990 Adventure machines.All-Terrain Agility Riding the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R across rough terrain in the easiest and most intuitive way has been a development priority for the completely reworked 2021 edition. An all new bodywork providing excellent ergonomics and allowing it to hold the fuel in the tank as low as possible has been designed for better agility, a lower center of gravity and an even better feeling in all riding conditions. ADVERTISEMENT A sharper cornering sensation has been achieved by moving the steering head back by 15 mm, re-locating the front section of the engine and introducing a slightly longer new diecast open-lattice swingarm for a greater depth of feeling under acceleration. KTM engineers have analyzed and trimmed every centimeter of the new bodywork in order to provide the right thickness and the optimal rider-bike contact. The sensation of control and balance is augmented by the new three-part fuel tank that holds 23 l (6.1 US Gallons) and is positioned lower to assist riding equilibrium. Like the chassis, the subframe has also been reconstructed and is topped with a sporty stepped seat at 880 mm (34.6 in.) of h with slim dimensions and a handy storage compartment underneath. Further enhancing handling is the reworked 2021 WP suspension configuration. The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R draws on KTM’s success in racing for its development and embraces the best of WP XPLOR technology. The fully-adjustable 48 mm front forks with an impressive 220 mm (8.7 in.) of travel feature split damping functions and quick modification potential with a twist of the respective dials. The same travel measurement graces the WP PDS shock. The performance of the system was improved through tests in the Californian desert as well as long stretches of varied landscapes across Europe. Performance-Tailored Technology The 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R is a vessel for the latest electronics packages and continuation of the collaboration with first-rate pioneers like Bosch. A new 6-axis lean angle sensor filters information on the exact pitch and position of the bike and its behavior. In turn, this affects the degree of Motorcycle Traction Control, Motor Slip Regulation, Motorcycle Stability Control and forces of Offroad ABS. To fit the needs of the modern all-terrain riding enthusiast, all rider assists can be tweaked or disengaged. Alongside the standards RAIN, STREET, SPORT and OFFROAD ride modes, the optional RALLY mode permits riders to set throttle response to aggressive and select one of nine different levels of wheel spin. The changes to suit any kind of topography are all charted through the all-new and more use-friendly 7’’ TFT dash, which is hooked to a new Connectivity Unit. The larger view has quicker and more practical menus and clearly shows turn-by-turn directions indicated by the KTM MY RIDE app. KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Highlights All-new ergonomics designed to improve agility. Redesigned seat with lower h. Reworked long-travel, adjustable WP XPLOR suspension. Optimized weight distribution with lower-placed fuel tanks. Cutting-edge electronics that enhance the ride. New Rally Mode allows custom tuning of throttle response and traction control. Improved handling feel with revised frame and swingarm. Faster and smoother shifting with reworked gearbox. Reworked airbox offers easy access to air filter with four screws. New, intuitive 7’’ TFT display with redesigned handlebar switches. New LED headlight with LED daytime light. Revised V-Twin engine [EURO 5] with improved heat dissipation. New, Adventure-specced tires by Bridgestone. Premium-Spec Components The KTM 1290 Super Adventure R relies on the new Euro 5-ready LC8 that is now 1.6 kg lighter and froths out 160 hp at 9,000 rpm and 101.8 ft.-lbs. (138 Nm) of torque at 6,500 rpm for the best power-to-weight offering in the segment. KTM has combed through the internals of the V-Twin powerplant to improve heat dissipation and shave grams in the quest for improved rideability. With a lot of effort going towards optimizing the air flow through the bike, the 2021 KTM 1290 Super Adventure R features two separate radiators instead of the one-piece unit of its predecessor. With newly designed air ducts, the amount of hot air streaming towards the rider´s legs has been significantly reduced and the difference becomes easily noticeable in the slow, tight sections. Thanks to a reworked airbox, riders can now easily access the air filter by simply removing four screws. The filter itself now features vertical ribs, instead of horizontal, which helps direct dust or sand towards the bottom of the air box. Overall, a better design for hardcore adventurers. Some additional engine updates include lighter engine cases, new pistons, improved shifting, altered coatings and easier filter access and a re-jigged two-header exhaust unit, with the updated package making the LC8 livelier, more reliable and more dependable for all types of trails. 15,000 km service intervals have again been achieved with low fuel consumption at 5.7 l / 100 km (41.3 mpg). Together with PANKL, KTM has also reworked the gearbox shifting mechanism for faster, lighter and more responsive actions. The full force of this update can be felt through the optional Quickshifter+, which now has a faster and even more precise operation. To cope with the rigors of life away from the beaten track, the new model is armed with premium level equipment. New, Adventure-specific Bridgestone tires are wrapped around ALPINA aluminum spoked wheels, which can be run tubeless with a reassuring O-ring sealant in the spoke nipples. This new generation machine also comes with a new eye-catching orange, blue, white paint and graphic set. KTM RACE ON tech takes keyless ignition to a new level of autonomy, separate Tire Pressure Monitor system sensors provide more detailed customisation and four piston radial mounted Brembo callipers bring the whole show to a fearsome stop or satisfying slide. The windshield, the levers, the pegs and the handlebars all are adjustable to further enhance rider adaptability. As is the case with its S model counterpart, the new KTM 1290 Super Adventure R benefits from a remodeled optional software packages. With the Rally Pack offering the RALLY riding mode, the MTC slip adjuster and the adjustable throttle response. The all-in-one Tech Pack includes the Quickshifter+, the Motor Slip Regulation, the Hill Hold Control, the adaptive brake light and all the features of the Rally Pack. Pricing in Europe has been set at €19,795 EUR (£15,999 GBP). The new model will hit international markets starting March 2021. North America will have to wait a bit longer as it is expected to hit dealers here until the Fall as a 2022 model. KTM 1290 Super Adventure R Specs ENGINE TYPE: 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, V 75° LC8 DISPLACEMENT: 1301 cc POWER: 160 hp (118 kW) @ 9,000 rpm TORQUE: 101.8 ft-lbs (138 Nm) @ 6,500 rpm TRANSMISSION: 6-speed COOLING: Liquid cooled STARTER: Electric starter BORE X STROKE: 108 X 71 mm CLUTCH: PASC (TM) slipper clutch, hydraulically actuated CO2 EMISSIONS: 134 g/km EMS: Keihin EMS with RBW and cruise control, double ignition FUEL CONSUMPTION: 5.7 l/100 km (41.3 mpg) LUBRICATION: Forced oil lubrication with 3 oil pumps TANK CAPACITY (APPROX.): 23 l (6.1 US Gallons) ABS: Bosch 10.3ME Combined-ABS (incl. Cornering-ABS and offroad mode) FRONT BRAKE DISC DIAMETER: 320 mm REAR BRAKE DISC DIAMETER: 267 mm CHAIN: 525 X-Ring DRY WEIGHT: 221 kg (487.2 lbs) FRAME DESIGN: Chrome-moly tubular space frame, powder-coated GROUND CLEARANCE: 242 mm (9.5 in.) SEAT HEIGHT: 880 mm (34.6 in.) STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 25.3° SUSPENSION TRAVEL (FRONT): 220 mm (8.7 in.) SUSPENSION TRAVEL (REAR): 220 mm (8.7 in.) PRICING: 19,795 EUR (15,999 GBP)
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