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  1. Beta has announced big updates to its 2020 RR-S range. The all-new Betas represent the next generation of dual sport models for the Italian manufacturer, with a major redesign to increase performance, fuel range and rideability. The 2020 RR-S dual sport range includes 4 different sizes: 350, 390, 430 and 500 cc 4-stroke engines that offer Beta customers a wide selection of bikes to take on their next adventure. Major advances have been made by the Beta team of engineers these past twelve months including introducing a completely new engine design and an all new frame that boasts a thoroughly revamped geometry and rigidity. Customers can order any RR-S with a 2″ lower seat h straight from the factory. Besides the all-new engines and frames, the sub-frame, tail section, seat, fuel tank, bodywork, and many other details are also all new. According to Beta, these changes all come together to provide a bike that is safe, reliable, and easy to ride. ADVERTISEMENT Also new for 2020 is the ability for customers to order any RR-S model straight from the factory with a 2” lower seat h (down to 35”) over the stock models. These “lowboy” models have parts installed inside the front fork and rear shock to lower the seat h. Beta USA’s popular BYOB (Build Your Own Beta) program will continue for 2020. This program allows riders to custom build his or her new Beta to fit their special needs by allowing them to choose from more than 400 accessories from a range of top aftermarket manufacturers like Dubya, Fasst Co, Acerbis, and Giant Loop. Customers can customize their new bike with options like tires, soft luggage, heavy-duty wheels, handlebars, gearing, and more, then have it delivered as configured. Read on for a breakdown of what’s new on the 2020 RR-S Line: Engine A complete redesign, with the aim of reducing the weight and bulk of moving parts, achieved by raising the clutch and moving the crankshaft back. Moving the center of gravity closer to the swingarm pivot makes for significantly better handling. An overall weight reduction of 2.2 lbs. A redesigned magnesium clutch cover, redeveloped to improve the oil flow into the clutch assembly more efficiently. Magnesium flywheel cover, redesigned in-line with the rest of the engine, now with a more functional and modern look. New water pump system that improves flow-rate and therefore the efficiency of the cooling system’s ability to transfer heat, keeping average temperatures lower, improving performance, and providing a more simplified cooling hose system. Cylinder and head redesigned matched with the updated cooling system to lower engine temperatures. Twin Injectors improve performance and increase fuel mileage. Oil circuit redesigned to provide better heat transfer between oil and water in the front section of the crankcase in order to keep the oil temperature lower. Clutch with redesigned discs in a new material to ensure smoother and more modular gear shifting. Redesigned gearing, now shorter and lighter. New gearshift mechanism with lighter cam to improve shifting. Gearshift lever redesigned in line with the new engine and frame layout. Addition of a neutral sensor. Updated EFI mapping. Chassis All-New frame with redesigned geometry and rigidity for increased agility and stability. Weight is reduced and reliability boosted with the use of precision-cast components, while comfort is improved and vibration reduced thanks to new head bolts. The frame is also narrower at the base which improves handling over difficult sections and typical off-road tracks. Modified swingarm, now longer for better stability and traction. Completely redesigned tailpiece, greater strength to reduce breakage during off road riding, all filter box components and related accessories are now housed inside it. Improved fork design compared to previous version, with new inner cartridge to lower the center of gravity providing the perfect level of plushness while also improving the action of square-edge impacts. Internal valving has been updated to work in-line with the new frame design. New rear shock absorber with: o New top-out system, now a spring to improve grip and contact with the ground during hard braking. o New longer shock bumper with more progressive compression. This ensures good protection of the buffer and improves bottoming resistance. o New valving, to work in-line with the new frame. New air filter boot. Air Filter mounting system, providing quicker and more accurate installation. Cooling system with water hoses placed inside the frame and more efficient radiators. This improves heat transfer and allows engines to operate at lower temperatures, even in the most extreme conditions. Larger capacity fuel tanks, of 2.4 US gallons (previously 2.1 gallons). Besides providing greater range, the new fuel tanks improve ergonomics and ease-of-movement in the seat. Wider handlebars for greater control. Exhaust with new layout in line with the bike’s new rear section. Side stand with bigger foot pad. New precision-cast footpegs that are better at shedding mud and teeth to increase boot grip. New chain guide, longer to suit new swingarm. New brake pedal, more robust and with larger bearings. Shorter 430/480 cc gearing compared to previous models. Design Completely new superstructure (front cowl, front and rear fenders, ducts and fairings) that improves ergonomics and the operation of all related parts. Front fender with variable thickness geometry which reduces weight and increases rigidity. New tailpiece and attachments in techno-polymer. All RR-S Models come standard with the TrailTech Voyager GPS. New handlebar protector. Redesigned seat, more comfortable when moving about on the bike. New silencer protector. New digital instruments and instrument panel. Redesigned skid plate. New rear light and license plate bracket with integrated grab handles. New frame protectors. Prices: 350 RR-S $10,599.00 390 RR-S $10,699.00 430 RR-S $10,799.00 500 RR-S $10,899.00 Availability: RR-S 4-Stroke Models November 2019 For more details and specs go to the Beta USA website.
  2. Beta has announced big updates to its 2020 RR-S range. The all-new Betas represent the next generation of dual sport models for the Italian manufacturer, with a major redesign to increase performance, fuel range and rideability. The 2020 RR-S dual sport range includes 4 different sizes: 350, 390, 430 and 500 cc 4-stroke engines that offer Beta customers a wide selection of bikes to take on their next adventure. Major advances have been made by the Beta team of engineers these past twelve months including introducing a completely new engine design and an all new frame that boasts a thoroughly revamped geometry and rigidity. Customers can order any RR-S with a 2″ lower seat h straight from the factory. Besides the all-new engines and frames, the sub-frame, tail section, seat, fuel tank, bodywork, and many other details are also all new. According to Beta, these changes all come together to provide a bike that is safe, reliable, and easy to ride. ADVERTISEMENT Also new for 2020 is the ability for customers to order any RR-S model straight from the factory with a 2” lower seat h (down to 35”) over the stock models. These “lowboy” models have parts installed inside the front fork and rear shock to lower the seat h. Beta USA’s popular BYOB (Build Your Own Beta) program will continue for 2020. This program allows riders to custom build his or her new Beta to fit their special needs by allowing them to choose from more than 400 accessories from a range of top aftermarket manufacturers like Dubya, Fasst Co, Acerbis, and Giant Loop. Customers can customize their new bike with options like tires, soft luggage, heavy-duty wheels, handlebars, gearing, and more, then have it delivered as configured. Read on for a breakdown of what’s new on the 2020 RR-S Line: Engine A complete redesign, with the aim of reducing the weight and bulk of moving parts, achieved by raising the clutch and moving the crankshaft back. Moving the center of gravity closer to the swingarm pivot makes for significantly better handling. An overall weight reduction of 2.2 lbs. A redesigned magnesium clutch cover, redeveloped to improve the oil flow into the clutch assembly more efficiently. Magnesium flywheel cover, redesigned in-line with the rest of the engine, now with a more functional and modern look. New water pump system that improves flow-rate and therefore the efficiency of the cooling system’s ability to transfer heat, keeping average temperatures lower, improving performance, and providing a more simplified cooling hose system. Cylinder and head redesigned matched with the updated cooling system to lower engine temperatures. Twin Injectors improve performance and increase fuel mileage. Oil circuit redesigned to provide better heat transfer between oil and water in the front section of the crankcase in order to keep the oil temperature lower. Clutch with redesigned discs in a new material to ensure smoother and more modular gear shifting. Redesigned gearing, now shorter and lighter. New gearshift mechanism with lighter cam to improve shifting. Gearshift lever redesigned in line with the new engine and frame layout. Addition of a neutral sensor. Updated EFI mapping. Chassis All-New frame with redesigned geometry and rigidity for increased agility and stability. Weight is reduced and reliability boosted with the use of precision-cast components, while comfort is improved and vibration reduced thanks to new head bolts. The frame is also narrower at the base which improves handling over difficult sections and typical off-road tracks. Modified swingarm, now longer for better stability and traction. Completely redesigned tailpiece, greater strength to reduce breakage during off road riding, all filter box components and related accessories are now housed inside it. Improved fork design compared to previous version, with new inner cartridge to lower the center of gravity providing the perfect level of plushness while also improving the action of square-edge impacts. Internal valving has been updated to work in-line with the new frame design. New rear shock absorber with: o New top-out system, now a spring to improve grip and contact with the ground during hard braking. o New longer shock bumper with more progressive compression. This ensures good protection of the buffer and improves bottoming resistance. o New valving, to work in-line with the new frame. New air filter boot. Air Filter mounting system, providing quicker and more accurate installation. Cooling system with water hoses placed inside the frame and more efficient radiators. This improves heat transfer and allows engines to operate at lower temperatures, even in the most extreme conditions. Larger capacity fuel tanks, of 2.4 US gallons (previously 2.1 gallons). Besides providing greater range, the new fuel tanks improve ergonomics and ease-of-movement in the seat. Wider handlebars for greater control. Exhaust with new layout in line with the bike’s new rear section. Side stand with bigger foot pad. New precision-cast footpegs that are better at shedding mud and teeth to increase boot grip. New chain guide, longer to suit new swingarm. New brake pedal, more robust and with larger bearings. Shorter 430/480 cc gearing compared to previous models. Design Completely new superstructure (front cowl, front and rear fenders, ducts and fairings) that improves ergonomics and the operation of all related parts. Front fender with variable thickness geometry which reduces weight and increases rigidity. New tailpiece and attachments in techno-polymer. All RR-S Models come standard with the TrailTech Voyager GPS. New handlebar protector. Redesigned seat, more comfortable when moving about on the bike. New silencer protector. New digital instruments and instrument panel. Redesigned skid plate. New rear light and license plate bracket with integrated grab handles. New frame protectors. Prices: 350 RR-S $10,599.00 390 RR-S $10,699.00 430 RR-S $10,799.00 500 RR-S $10,899.00 Availability: RR-S 4-Stroke Models November 2019 For more details and specs go to the Beta USA website.
  3. Riding a maxi scooter in what many call the ultimate Trans-European off-road adventure rally may sound like a strange choice, but to Paris-Dakar veteran Renato Zocchi it made perfect sense. “Many would never imagine it,” he says, “to run with something no one would have chosen to do a race like this, side by side with the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder enduros.” His results at the finish of the Gibraltar race — 1st in Class 2 (601cc – 950cc) and 7th overall — are a big win for Honda’s crossover X-ADV 750. Even more so when you consider Zocchi and his ADV scooter were competing against a field of hardcore adventure bikes in Class 2 ranging from the KTM 950 Super Enduro and 790 Adventure R to Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and BMW’s F 800 GS Adventure. This was Zocchi’s second time at the Gibraltar Race on Honda’s X-ADV 750 crossover – a race that covered over 7,000 km and 14 grueling stages. He says he owes his success in this year’s race partly to lessons learned on his first attempt, but mostly to improvements made the adventure scooter. Some upgrades came from Honda via new model year upgrades that included more advanced electronics, most notably the addition of the G-switch, Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), an off-road mode that optimizes power and traction control for adventure-riding conditions. ADVERTISEMENT While he kept the engine and chassis stock, Zocchi worked with Rollfactory and Honda Italy’s racing department to raise the bike’s frame in order to provide the ground clearance necessary to race the technical conditions along the Gibraltar’s route from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic. He added an SC-Project exhaust system and Öhlins dialed in the X-ADV’s suspension. Lastly, BARTubeless wheels were added and shod with Anlas Capra X tires. Now in its fourth year, the Gibraltar Race is known for its challenging conditions: Fourteen consecutive dawn departures, difficult navigation on courses 300 to 600 kilometers in length, most of it dirt roads and singletrack. During this year’s event temperatures ranged from 35 to a scorching 120°F, taking a massive toll on both riders and their machines. Zocchi says that it was only because of the technology and extreme reliability of the Honda that his victorious finish was possible. 2019 Gibraltar Race Route. It might have also had a little something to do with multi-titled national champion and seasoned Paris-Dakar racer’s skills, but definitely a feather in Honda’s cap as well. To top off his victory, Zocchi allowed himself and his steed a day of rest, then mounted up the X-ADV and rode it 2,000 kilometers to his home near Milan. For the time being we will have to watch this interesting machine from a distance as there are no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon. Photos by Rally Cool! Photography Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  4. Riding a maxi scooter in what many call the ultimate Trans-European off-road adventure rally may sound like a strange choice, but to Paris-Dakar veteran Renato Zocchi it made perfect sense. “Many would never imagine it,” he says, “to run with something no one would have chosen to do a race like this, side by side with the single-cylinder and twin-cylinder enduros.” His results at the finish of the Gibraltar race — 1st in Class 2 (601cc – 950cc) and 7th overall — are a big win for Honda’s crossover X-ADV 750. Even more so when you consider Zocchi and his ADV scooter were competing against a field of hardcore adventure bikes in Class 2 ranging from the KTM 950 Super Enduro and 790 Adventure R to Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and BMW’s F 800 GS Adventure. ADVERTISEMENT This was Zocchi’s second time at the Gibraltar Race on Honda’s X-ADV 750 crossover – a race that covered over 7,000 km and 14 grueling stages. He says he owes his success in this year’s race partly to lessons learned on his first attempt, but mostly to improvements made the adventure scooter. Some upgrades came from Honda via new model year upgrades that included more advanced electronics, most notably the addition of the G-switch, Honda’s Selectable Torque Control (HSTC), an off-road mode that optimizes power and traction control for adventure-riding conditions. While he kept the engine and chassis stock, Zocchi worked with Rollfactory and Honda Italy’s racing department to raise the bike’s frame in order to provide the ground clearance necessary to race the technical conditions along the Gibraltar’s route from the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic. He added an SC-Project exhaust system and Öhlins dialed in the X-ADV’s suspension. Lastly, BARTubeless wheels were added and shod with Anlas Capra X tires. Now in its fourth year, the Gibraltar Race is known for its challenging conditions: Fourteen consecutive dawn departures, difficult navigation on courses 300 to 600 kilometers in length, most of it dirt roads and singletrack. During this year’s event temperatures ranged from 35 to a scorching 120°F, taking a massive toll on both riders and their machines. Zocchi says that it was only because of the technology and extreme reliability of the Honda that his victorious finish was possible. 2019 Gibraltar Race Route. It might have also had a little something to do with multi-titled national champion and seasoned Paris-Dakar racer’s skills, but definitely a feather in Honda’s cap as well. To top off his victory, Zocchi allowed himself and his steed a day of rest, then mounted up the X-ADV and rode it 2,000 kilometers to his home near Milan. For the time being we will have to watch this interesting machine from a distance as there are no plans to bring it to North America anytime soon. Photos by Rally Cool! Photography Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  5. Back when legendary enduro racer Chris Birch was coaching amateur participants for KTM’s Ultimate Race he wasn’t thinking much about the Hellas Rally in Greece. He just knew the KTM 790 Adventure R had the potential to kick ass on a serious level. Now, having finished a remarkable 4th place overall in what has become one of Europe’s most challenging rallies — an event geared heavily toward lighter 450cc machines and not do-it-all adventure bikes — he’s more than proven his theory. “It’s hard to believe how well [it] handles in the most extreme situations until you’ve raced one,” he says of the bike, a machine more reminiscent of the big-bore Paris-Dakar bikes we watched in the 90s than the dirt bikes you see competing in today’s rallies. ”What I Loved Most About Racing the 790 R” ADVERTISEMENT When asked what he loves most about racing the KTM 790 Adventure R, Birch says firstly it’s the bike’s extremely capable suspension. “On day three of the race I hit two huge bumps in a row whilst struggling with the dust. It just ate up the bumps and went straight ahead —incredible for stock suspension.” Birch says he felt comfortable pushing the KTM 790 Adventure R hard during the grueling seven-day event, no matter how diverse the terrain. He also cites the bike’s braking system as a feature that encouraged complete confidence. “Managing your brakes’ temperature in long stages is really a crucial thing,” says Birch. With some of the stages including more than 400 km of riding per day he adds that confidence in the braking system gave him less to worry about so he could focus fully his performance. Birch describes the power delivery from the bike’s parallel twin as smooth and tractable, and despite the engine’s potent 95hp output, it delivered all the torquey goodness (65 ft-lbs) necessary to find traction on the most tricky and slippery parts of the trail. Also on his list of favorite features is the 790’s 5.3-gallon fuel tank and claimed 280-mile range, which allowed him a huge advantage over most of his Hellas competitors who were riding smaller bikes. He says he never had to worry about conserving fuel during the event. But to come out on the winning end of a 7-day, 1200 kilometer rally raid with a smile on your face requires a bike that’s comfortable as well as competitive. Birch loves that there are seat options available from KTM PowerParts, and opted to go with the taller version for the Hellas. “The seat gave me total freedom to move my weight all the way forwards and back. It just made riding easier,” he says, plus “it felt great to finish this long week of riding without a sore arse.” In a past video Birch also praised the 790 Adventure R’s Rally Mode with its on-the-fly traction control options, as well as the bike’s overall ergonomic triangle and how the compact fuel tank shape allows for a deeper, more forward seating position that’s perfect for aggressive maneuvering. “You can do so much on this bike sitting down,” he says, “which really saves you for long days of adventure riding.” WATCH: Chris Birch also shares some of his favorite features on the KTM 790 Adventure R for Adventure Riding. Birch was excited going into the Hellas on the KTM 790 R because he knew it was capable, but was eager to explore its full potential in real race conditions. “It was a huge highlight for me to learn how to get the most out of this cool machine,” he says. “It’s an amazing motorcycle and I enjoyed every moment of racing it.” Photos by Actiongraphers Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  6. Back when legendary enduro racer Chris Birch was coaching amateur participants for KTM’s Ultimate Race he wasn’t thinking much about the Hellas Rally in Greece. He just knew the KTM 790 Adventure R had the potential to kick ass on a serious level. Now, having finished a remarkable 4th place overall in what has become one of Europe’s most challenging rallies — an event geared heavily toward lighter 450cc machines and not do-it-all adventure bikes — he’s more than proven his theory. “It’s hard to believe how well [it] handles in the most extreme situations until you’ve raced one,” he says of the bike, a machine more reminiscent of the big-bore Paris-Dakar bikes we watched in the 90s than the dirt bikes you see competing in today’s rallies. ”What I Loved Most About Racing the 790 R” ADVERTISEMENT When asked what he loves most about racing the KTM 790 Adventure R, Birch says firstly it’s the bike’s extremely capable suspension. “On day three of the race I hit two huge bumps in a row whilst struggling with the dust. It just ate up the bumps and went straight ahead —incredible for stock suspension.” Birch says he felt comfortable pushing the KTM 790 Adventure R hard during the grueling seven-day event, no matter how diverse the terrain. He also cites the bike’s braking system as a feature that encouraged complete confidence. “Managing your brakes’ temperature in long stages is really a crucial thing,” says Birch. With some of the stages including more than 400 km of riding per day he adds that confidence in the braking system gave him less to worry about so he could focus fully his performance. Birch describes the power delivery from the bike’s parallel twin as smooth and tractable, and despite the engine’s potent 95hp output, it delivered all the torquey goodness (65 ft-lbs) necessary to find traction on the most tricky and slippery parts of the trail. Also on his list of favorite features is the 790’s 5.3-gallon fuel tank and claimed 280-mile range, which allowed him a huge advantage over most of his Hellas competitors who were riding smaller bikes. He says he never had to worry about conserving fuel during the event. But to come out on the winning end of a 7-day, 1200 kilometer rally raid with a smile on your face requires a bike that’s comfortable as well as competitive. Birch loves that there are seat options available from KTM PowerParts, and opted to go with the taller version for the Hellas. “The seat gave me total freedom to move my weight all the way forwards and back. It just made riding easier,” he says, plus “it felt great to finish this long week of riding without a sore arse.” In a past video Birch also praised the 790 Adventure R’s Rally Mode with its on-the-fly traction control options, as well as the bike’s overall ergonomic triangle and how the compact fuel tank shape allows for a deeper, more forward seating position that’s perfect for aggressive maneuvering. “You can do so much on this bike sitting down,” he says, “which really saves you for long days of adventure riding.” WATCH: Chris Birch also shares some of his favorite features on the KTM 790 Adventure R for Adventure Riding. Birch was excited going into the Hellas on the KTM 790 R because he knew it was capable, but was eager to explore its full potential in real race conditions. “It was a huge highlight for me to learn how to get the most out of this cool machine,” he says. “It’s an amazing motorcycle and I enjoyed every moment of racing it.” Photos by Actiongraphers Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  7. From the beginning of the official Global Partnership between Yamaha and custom bike-builder Deus in 2013, the collaboration has been growing stronger resulting in a wide range of unique builds over the years. The latest offering, the Swank Rally 700, takes the classic essence of Deus and blends it with Yamaha’s versatile and easily customizable XSR700. The result is a custom creation with vintage cues that delivers the engaging riding experience that the XSR is known for. According to Yamaha, the heritage infused XSR700 was the ideal base for the build with its 689cc motor’s strong linear torque and agile lightweight chassis. With off-road use in mind, Deus mounted a Yamaha Super Ténéré 1200 front end, including 43mm inverted forks with 7.5 inches of travel, along with a 19″ front wheel and dual 310mm hydraulic discs. ADVERTISEMENT Softer springs were used to account for the lower weight of the XSR700 and an Öhlins mono-shock rear was fitted with about 7.0 inches of travel, along with a 17” rear wheel to balance it out. Kineo tubeless spoke wheels were fitted front and rear with Metzeler Karoo 3 rubber for improved grip in the dirt. Custom work includes a hand-beaten aluminium tank and a handmade saddle as well as a handcrafted aluminium skid plate. Keeping in true vintage off-road style, Acerbis front and rear fenders are mounted and Acerbis aluminium supports hold vintage plastic hand guards. A proper throaty growl signs off the Swank Rally 700 with a lighter custom 2-in-1 SC exhaust. Race Ready The Swank Rally 700 broke cover and was on display at this year’s The Reunion bike event at the historic Monza circuit, Italy in May before moving on to a big adventure, The Sardinia Swank Rally. Celebrating the legendary Rally of Sardinia, first created by Renato Zocchi in 1984 after his return from the Dakar, the Swank Rally has two classes, one for vintage and one for modern machines. The Swank Rally 700 was the perfect bike to tackle the epic competition, bringing a mix of Yamaha’s Faster Sons vibe, Deus custom magic and XSR rideability to the event. Having successfully contested in Sardinia, it was on to Biarritz for the next stage of the summer. Contemporary Machines Mixed With Timeless Style According to Yamaha, their Sport Heritage range is a major success with riders who appreciate the unique formula that blends timeless style with a special character, sophisticated engine and chassis technology. “This retro appeal mixed with contemporary high-tech motorcycles are enabling today’s riders to discover the true essence of motorcycling,” says Yamaha. The partnership between Deus and Yamaha continues to bring a shared passion for emotional riding experiences and the custom lifestyle to an engaged fanbase of two-wheel enthusiasts around the world. The Swank Rally 700 bike build is available in Milan as a custom order. For more information go to the Deus website. Photos by Filippo Maffei, Marco Renieri, Monti Smith
  8. From the beginning of the official Global Partnership between Yamaha and custom bike-builder Deus in 2013, the collaboration has been growing stronger resulting in a wide range of unique builds over the years. The latest offering, the Swank Rally 700, takes the classic essence of Deus and blends it with Yamaha’s versatile and easily customizable XSR700. The result is a custom creation with vintage cues that delivers the engaging riding experience that the XSR is known for. According to Yamaha, the heritage infused XSR700 was the ideal base for the build with its 689cc motor’s strong linear torque and agile lightweight chassis. With off-road use in mind, Deus mounted a Yamaha Super Ténéré 1200 front end, including 43mm inverted forks with 7.5 inches of travel, along with a 19″ front wheel and dual 310mm hydraulic discs. ADVERTISEMENT Softer springs were used to account for the lower weight of the XSR700 and an Öhlins mono-shock rear was fitted with about 7.0 inches of travel, along with a 17” rear wheel to balance it out. Kineo tubeless spoke wheels were fitted front and rear with Metzeler Karoo 3 rubber for improved grip in the dirt. Custom work includes a hand-beaten aluminium tank and a handmade saddle as well as a handcrafted aluminium skid plate. Keeping in true vintage off-road style, Acerbis front and rear fenders are mounted and Acerbis aluminium supports hold vintage plastic hand guards. A proper throaty growl signs off the Swank Rally 700 with a lighter custom 2-in-1 SC exhaust. Race Ready The Swank Rally 700 broke cover and was on display at this year’s The Reunion bike event at the historic Monza circuit, Italy in May before moving on to a big adventure, The Sardinia Swank Rally. Celebrating the legendary Rally of Sardinia, first created by Renato Zocchi in 1984 after his return from the Dakar, the Swank Rally has two classes, one for vintage and one for modern machines. The Swank Rally 700 was the perfect bike to tackle the epic competition, bringing a mix of Yamaha’s Faster Sons vibe, Deus custom magic and XSR rideability to the event. Having successfully contested in Sardinia, it was on to Biarritz for the next stage of the summer. Contemporary Machines Mixed With Timeless Style According to Yamaha, their Sport Heritage range is a major success with riders who appreciate the unique formula that blends timeless style with a special character, sophisticated engine and chassis technology. “This retro appeal mixed with contemporary high-tech motorcycles are enabling today’s riders to discover the true essence of motorcycling,” says Yamaha. The partnership between Deus and Yamaha continues to bring a shared passion for emotional riding experiences and the custom lifestyle to an engaged fanbase of two-wheel enthusiasts around the world. The Swank Rally 700 bike build is available in Milan as a custom order. For more information go to the Deus website. Photos by Filippo Maffei, Marco Renieri, Monti Smith
  9. We’ve all been there, sweating buckets while swaddled in our ATGATT ensembles, watching in near delirious fascination as the sun beats the road’s edge in a mirage of shimmering liquid. Riding in intense temperatures — hot or cold — not only wears on the body, depleting mental cognition and increasing reaction times, it just plain sucks. Enter the M-Clima Vest, a new solution from Rukka, that’s engineered to overcome weather conditions as much as it is for impact protection. The M-Clima is intended to quickly cool a rider’s core in hot temperatures and during exertion, as well as heat it when temperatures drop. ADVERTISEMENT Two completely separate systems are at work in the M-Clima Vest. For heating, the vest uses flexible, silicone panels that heat to roughly 113 ºF. There are no heated wires, so no worries about hot spots, though the system’s on/off only toggle doesn’t allow for linear adjustment. So yeah, whatever, there are a multitude of heated e-vest options out there. The big news is the cooling potential of the M-Clima, especially for adventure riders, who’re not only out in the heat, but often riding hard in it. The basic concept is forced evaporative cooling. Yup, swamp cooling. You know that pleasant chill you feel when air rushes through the open vents of your sweaty kit? It’s like that, but with way more air being circulated. Rukka claims 7 liters of cooling air can be drawn into the vest per second, which is then delivered via small holes in the garment’s lining to circulate at 5 meters per second. So, it’s not cool air exactly, but rather a huge amount of ‘outside air’ being drawn in and distributed to wick away perspiration, keeping your skin dry and your temperature regulated. A remote control lets the rider easily switch from cooling to heating. It’s not magic, just a mechanical blower that’s powered by attaching either the unit’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to two hours of cooling, or by wiring the vest to your bike’s battery for an endless breeze. (The heat function works only when powered by the DC current on your bike.) We like that the vest comes with the untethered battery option so it can be used for extracurricular activities like bicycling or hiking. And since swamp cooling can be a stinky affair, it’s also nice the vest is washable. The plastic blower unit hangs down from the left side of the vest and must be kept outside of your gear for air flow. It’s not a small device, and for those concerned about impact in the case of a fall, Rukka wants you to know it’s backed by D3O armor. One test monitored one everyday rider in mediocre shape and one pro enduro rider in top shape as they sped across a hour+ long on/off-road course in Spain’s Pyrenees with and without the M-Clima Vest. The results were interesting. Both riders saw a significant reduction in body temperature during the run with the vests despite wearing Gore-tex lined jackets and Cordura pants. In fact, neither rider even reached the threshold for perspiration (temps were in the high 70s) and both saw an averaged heart rate decrease of 10 bpm with the vests on, so not only were they dry and comfortable, their bodies were notably less stressed. Last summer, as I rode through California’s high desert in temps as high as 118 ºF, wetting my base layer and stuffing frozen ice pop tubes in my jacket at every stop, I would have given my right arm for an M-Clima vest. The ice pops were cheap, but the cooling effect only lasted about 15 minutes. Rukka’s new cooling/heating M-Clima Vest (available in late July), is definitely not a budget item at $1200, but it could definitely put a little superhero in your step, while widening the window of your riding season. Shopping Options 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.
  10. Adventure riders are often exposed to all kinds of weather and harsh terrain, so our gear needs to be rugged and weatherproof. Nelson Rigg has been making motorcycle luggage since 1972, so they know a thing or two about building durable and versatile gear. They got into the adventure market a few years ago and now have a pretty complete line of luggage that they call Rigg Gear for those of us that like to get off the beaten path. A good set of waterproof saddlebags are an essential piece of kit for any adventure motorcycle, so we decided to try out the budget-friendly Nelson Rigg Sierra Dry Saddlebags to see if they were up to the test. The Rigg Gear Sierra Dry Saddlebags are medium sized waterproof bags that hold 27.5 liters each. Made out of a heavy-duty, durable PVC Material with electronically welded seams, they feature a roll-top closure to keep water out. Two adjustable straps with Velcro go over your seat and provide a wide range of adjustment to accommodate a variety of bikes with pannier racks. Rugged Velcro mounting straps help customize the fit of the bags for a wide variety of motorcycles. Each bag attaches to pannier racks with four straps that go into quick-release metal buckles mounted to the bag. While they are designed to work with pannier racks, this customizable setup may still allow you to mount the bags on bikes without racks using the passenger footpeg mounts and subframe. A removable foam pad attaches to the back of each bag with Velcro to help prevent the bags from scratching your bike. Four straps with aluminum G-Hook buckles keep the bags closed, one on each end of the roll top closure and two that go over the top. ADVERTISEMENT Plastic stiffeners are included which mount inside the bags and help them maintain their shape when empty. To make loading and unloading the bags easier, each bag has its own removable liner with carrying handles. D-Rings and long straps allow you to attach extra luggage to the top of the saddle bags as well. [embedded content] How They Performed Installation of the Sierra Dry Saddlebags was pretty straight forward once you lay everything out and determine where all the straps will go. The internal plastic stiffeners did prove to be a bit of a challenge to get them to fit into their mounting pockets, but eventually fit quite well and really do help keep the shape of the bags looking nice when they are empty. Overall, the install is fairly easy and the materials and craftsmanship all seem to be of high quality. Waterproof saddlebags are a great way to carry all of your gear and they help keep the center of gravity lower which can really affect the handling of tall motorcycles. While a lot of luggage products claim to be waterproof, the Sierra Dry Saddlebags certainly proved they are – not one drop of water has gotten inside the bags despite being subjected to intense weather. In addition, the removable liner bags make loading the saddlebags quite convenient and they slide into the saddlebags easily when stuffed with gear. Once you get to your destination, all you have to do is open the bags and pull out the liners by their carry handles and take your belongings to your tent or hotel room for the night. Quick-Release G-Hook buckles allow you to open up the bags without completely unstrapping the tension straps. Mounting was also secure on the bike and they don’t bounce around much on rough terrain. The aluminum buckles that are used on the closure keep the bags closed and allow you to get into the bags quickly. Although, adjusting the straps for different volumes takes a fair amount of effort due to stiff nylon webbing that doesn’t slide through the buckles smoothly. Another small nitpick of the design is with the elastic loops used to hold down any excess strap material after you tighten the bags. These loops are nice for tidying up any dangling straps but they are already beginning to stretch out. The elastic loops are convenient for holding excess strap material but we did notice they had a tendency to stretch out over time. Who Are They For The Sierra Dry Saddlebags are a good option for riders that need rugged and waterproof luggage that won’t break the bank. Soft luggage is a great option for those that want to keep the load light on the bike and the secure mounting straps ensure you can use them in rigorous terrain. Our Verdict The bottom line is that this is a great value for rugged waterproof luggage. These bags have held up well and haven’t let any water in so far. You can usually mount or remove these bags in just a few minutes with their quick release buckles and Velcro top straps, so converting your bike to travel mode is easy. The mounting options for these bags and the long mounting straps mean that you can simply move these bags to different bikes which is a great option if you have multiple motorcycles or change bikes often. If you are in the market for saddlebags, these are certainly worth considering. What We Liked Good value. Proved to be 100% waterproof in wet conditions. Solid construction with secure mounting. What Could Be Improved Stiff straps make it difficult to adjust tension on the buckles. Elastic loops that hold extra straps tend to stretch out quickly. Sierra Dry Saddlebags Specs COLOR: Black or Black/Yellow SIZE: 27.5 Liters each side CONSTRUCTION:24oz. Tarpaulin PVC shell with 2 lightweight inner liners DIMENSIONS: 15” (L) X 8” (W) X 14” (H) PRICE: $185.18 Shopping Options Photos by Chad Berger Author: Chad Berger He’s a freelance journalist, photographer and tour guide from Wisconsin. Since 2004, Chad has been riding dual sport and adventure bikes all over the Midwest, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Moab, Baja, Alaska and many other places in between. He shares his experiences through the photography, videos and stories he produces from his trips. In 2008, Chad created a 600-mile dual sport route called the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail (TWAT), which eventually led to his becoming a tour guide for RIDE Adventures.
  11. Giant Loop has just released a major update of its Tracker Packer line of ruggedized holsters for GPS-enabled emergency beacons/communicators. Two new models, compatible with SPOT Gen3 and with Garmin inReach Mini, feature redundant anchor straps, quick-adjusting accessory arm bands, an unobstructed view of and access to all controls, and an included redundant tether adding yet another layer of security. Tracker Packers enable backcountry adventurers who travel beyond cell phone range to stay safer during all of their outdoor adventures— with help just a push of a button away. Following best safety practices, the Tracker Packer firmly attaches the emergency device to the user’s backpack, shoulder strap, upper arm or lower leg, reducing the risk of the device separating from the user or not being within reach and in plain sight when need arises. ADVERTISEMENT Featuring redundant closures, multiple connections, and tether points, the compact and lightweight holster is designed to remain secure, even in the roughest, most extreme conditions. By keeping the device in a visible, easy-to-access location, anyone on scene in the event of an emergency can quickly deploy the device’s SOS signal sending the GPS location to an international emergency response coordination center. Tracker Packers for Garmin inReach Mini and SPOT Gen3 are not just for emergencies. When traveling beyond cell service, backcountry travelers can communicate via satellite text messages, sent and received directly from the Garmin inReach Mini. “OK” and other pre-programmed messages can be sent from the SPOT Gen3. Giant Loop donates a portion of all Tracker Packer sales to the nonprofit Kurt Caselli Foundation, which focuses on the safety of riders and racers in the off-road motorcycling industry. Giant Loop worked with US off-road motorcycle racing legend Quinn Cody to test and develop the Tracker Packer holsters. The updated holster features include a high-visibility tag imprinted with “SOS,” elastic antennae anchor (Garmin only), screen prints of the Kurt Caselli Foundation’s “Caselli 66” logo and Giant Loop’s GL logo, a redundant double hook-and-loop attachment system, a heavy duty hook-and-loop extension band for wearing on the upper arm or lower leg above the boot, grippy backing, foam padding to absorb shock and vibration and a redundant tether cord for additional security. Constructed with military-specification components and materials, the Tracker Packer for Garmin inReach Mini and Tracker Packer for SPOT Gen3 are backed by Giant Loop’s limited lifetime warranty. USA MSRP is $39 (also available for the Delorme inReach – MSRP $50). The Tracker Packer is available bundled with the Garmin inReach Mini or SPOT Gen3 exclusively at Giant Loop’s GL Adventure Shop warehouse showroom in Bend, Oregon, and online at www.giantloopmoto.com. Main Features • Caselli 66 and GL logos printed on holster • Redundant double hook-and-loop attachment system with tether cord (Garmin inReach Mini and SPOT Gen3) • 2″ heavy duty hook-and-loop band with Slip-Not grippy backing • Elastic shock cord retainer loop for Garmin inReach Mini antenna • Foam padding to absorb shock and vibration • Reflective trim for visibility • Fully bound seams • Webbing loops for additional mounting and tethering options • Mil-spec materials and hardware • Limited Lifetime Warranty • Made in USA
  12. When Londoner Henry Crew started riding motorcycles at age 19 he couldn’t get enough. He sold his car, bought a 1982 Yamaha XS400 and immediately felt his life shift in a new and positive direction. Four years later he was riding away from home, solo and unsupported, on a journey that would make him the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle. This last April, 381 days and nearly 53,000 miles later, Henry returned home to a cheering London mob as a new record breaker. His improbable mount for the journey: A Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, a bike he says he chose because it’s light and nimble, great off and on road, and holds highway speed. ADVERTISEMENT “Conventional things normally suck,” he explains. “Why would you choose to do something a certain way just because everyone else does. Elspeth Beard did it on her BMW R60. You can do it on any bike. If locals can ride around the most remote parts of the world every day on banged up old Chinese bikes then you’ll be fine.” So how did Henry’s RTW quest come about in the first place? “I was putting in 60-70-hour weeks and getting pretty depressed with work in general,” he says. He kept planning small trips on his bike that would never happen because he was working so much. And then one morning he turned on his computer and an article came up about Kane Avellano being the youngest man to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle. “As soon as I saw I could beat it I decided to do it, right there and then.” Eleven months later Henry was on the road, green to adventure riding, with no planned route. His quest for the record attempt had a few requirements. He needed to start and end in the same place, travel at least 24,500 miles (he ended up riding 20,000 extra miles) and hit several antipodal points (opposite points in relation to the globe) proven by evidentiary receipts, time stamped photos or videos, witness reports or GPS tracks, that is if Henry had been using a GPS. In another unconventional move Henry navigated his entire journey using only google maps and his iPhone 6. That’s a lot of routing on a trip that took him to 35 countries through Europe, Russia, down and back up Kazakhstan, through Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia and then Western Australia. From Australia he flew to Chile, rode to Colombia, took a boat to Panama, rode every country in Central America, up through Mexico and into North America where he rode for a couple of months, and finally to NYC from which he flew to Lisbon, Portugal, and rode on to return to London just one month younger than Kane Avellano had been. “Kane’s record was 23 years and 365 days as he got back on his 24th birthday. I beat that by just under a month,” he added. We can hear you thinking… how can a 23-year-old have enough dough on hand to pack up and ride around the world for a year? “Hard work,” Henry will tell you. “I worked stupid hours, took every job available, moved back to my parents, saved everything, spent all my savings and still had to take out a loan.” Henry also had a pretty big setback a few months into the planning. He was originally going to use his daily ride for the journey but totaled it in a crash. Luckily, Ducati came to the rescue and eventually loaned him a bike for the trip. Henry says in the end the whole year cost him about £20,000 (around $35,000 U.S), and that was with staying with friends he met on social media 70% of the time (he says the rest of the time was split between camping, hotels or hostels). “Money was one of the biggest and most consistent stresses,” Henry adds. Riding to Cope In spite of his financial worries, Henry decided to raise money for the Movember Foundation with his trip. The charity that — yes — asks men to sprout a ‘stache during the month of November to support prostate cancer research, but fewer realize has grown to be a world-renown supporter of men’s mental health issues as well. “As soon as I decided to do the trip I knew I wanted to make money for Movember,” says Henry. “The act of riding a motorcycle has been helping me deal with my mental health. I had issues with depression. Issues with anxiety as well. I just kind of put up with it. No one was talking about mental health,” he says, except Movember. Of course Henry had many ups and downs during his journey. Highlights being riding the beaches of Esperance in Australia, and spending time in the Himalayas, which felt like a huge accomplishment. He also met his girlfriend during his travels. On the grittier side he says “I went blind from altitude sickness for a few hours in the Himalayas, stayed in a prison for my own protection in Pakistan, had landslides and monsoons, fled from the police in Honduras and had a car spin out and stop about 30cm from my back wheel coming down a hill in Chile.” Machine vs World How did the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled, survive the journey? There were the expected wear issues: “The clutch went really early on, I had a couple of oil pump issues too, other than that it was bearings going at inconvenient times, punctures, chains and sprockets and bent shift levers, etc.” Otherwise Henry says his unorthodox mount behaved well and was a pleasure to ride both on and off-road, comfortable enough of the highway and really fun to ride on the twisty roads. The only modifications to the Scrambler were the addition of a rear luggage rack, engine guards, off-road pegs and a fly screen. Henry also added Bark Buster Hand Guards and a pair of 6.6L (1.75 gallon) Rotopax fuel flasks, which he mounted to the bike using generic mounting plates. The Record For Henry, the record was more of a secondary thing. “The experience and the adventure and so many other things are much more valuable,” he says. If he could do it all over again the main thing he’d change is not rushing. “I wouldn’t do it as a continuous trip, I would give myself more time and no deadlines, I would just go with the seasons and on people’s recommendations.” Henry affirms that even though he’s still wet behind the ears himself, he’d like to support others who want to accomplish similar feats, reminding viewers, for example, that there hasn’t been a record set for the youngest woman to ride around the world. “She could be 50,” he laughs. But he also advises would-be adventurers not to focus too much on massive expeditions. “Do as much as you can,” he adds. “You don’t have to ride the world to have an adventure.” With virtually his whole life ahead of him, Henry has every option open, though he knows in the future he will continue to be involved with charity, and also keep talking about the positive effects both travel and motorcycling have on mental health. “It’s the main reason I don’t think I can ever stop riding,” he says. Check out Henry’s website 35000miles.com for more details about his plans and causes. Find him on Instagram too, where you’ll find all the highlights of his remarkable journey. [embedded content] Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  13. Rebel X Sports will soon launch a new plug-and-play 790 Adventure Rally Kit – a way to turn your 790 into a blend of KTM’s newest adventure bike and their 450 Rally Replica. Taking cues from the Dakar-winning factory bikes, the kit is designed to improve aerodynamics, and clean up the look of the bike’s front end for those out there who would like to give their 790 a facelift. In addition, it gives you everything you need to mount a GPS and tablet upfront, or a rally-ready roadbook and navigation aids in preparation for entering, say, the Africa Eco Race. (Dakar still has that pesky 450cc limit, so your 790 is out.) ADVERTISEMENT The kit’s most obvious features are the clear, rally-style fairing and the beefy nav tower behind it. Details are still being worked out, but Rebel X said the kit will include all the basic components found on its Husqvarna 701 Rally Kit, including the nav tower itself that installs without welding or cutting, wiring harness with street-legal LED lights, injection-molded fairing, GPS adapter, fuse box, USB charging ports, antenna brackets, roadbook-holder bracket, etc. Pricing for the base kit should come in around €2,490 euros, or about $2,800 USD. Before you get too excited, we should mention that the KTM 790 Adventure Rally Kit is still in development. “We will be ready with the final production during the summer,” Rebel X told us. “Currently we are testing it in a series of events and rallies and we will release it only once we are 100 percent satisfied with the quality, and the same production kit will be used for Africa Race 2020.” Italian rally racers Team Kapriony are campaigning a rally-kit equipped 790 R dubbed “Frusta 7.9,” or “Whip 7.9,” to make sure the components are up to the task. That bike sports a “stage two” rally kit. Details are sketchy, but judging by a video on the team’s Facebook page, the Frusta 7.9 seems to include an aftermarket exhaust (that sounds amazing), wider footpegs, different graphics, a bash plate that carries water and a new seat cover. No word on when those components would be added to the kit. FRUSTA 7.9 IS READY 💣 606 Likes, 16 Comments – TEAM KAPRIONY (@teamkapriony) on Instagram: “FRUSTA 7.9 IS READY 💣” WATCH: Walkthrough and sound sample of the KTM 790 rally kit equipped “Frusta 7.9” bike. The bike is currently being used for testing the kit components. Rebel X did say they will develop a rear fuel tank for the bike in order to compete in the Africa Eco Race, but it may be a one-off and not put into production. The 790 Adventure has 5.3 gallons of fuel capacity stock, so carrying extra is probably not an aftermarket priority. Rebel X Sports is a multinational aftermarket manufacturer with headquarters in Romania and facilities in Italy and Dubai. The company was founded in 2013 when Yamaha Italy commissioned them to create a rally version of the WR450F. They use advanced tech like 3D scanning and printing to create prototypes, which are extensively tested before going into production. “The first testing step is fast gravel roads and good amount of kilometers,” Rebel X said. “Once we see the products have a good stability we move to the motocross track to test vibrations and impacts from jumps. We then perform speed tests where we reach the bike maximum speed on a gravel road to check the stability of the bike and the airflow. Lastly, we make the production parts take part in one or more real rally races as the final test.” They ship worldwide, so this kit will be available in the US. For more information go to rebelxsports.com 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.
  14. KTM has lifted the covers on what they are calling “its most hardcore adventure bike for 2020” – the limited edition KTM 790 Adventure R Rally. Until recently, the ‘790 Adventure R’ was described by the orange marque as the most off-road capable adventure bike the company had ever produced. Now KTM is announcing a new ‘rally’ variant that takes off-road performance to a higher level. The third and newest member of the 790 Adventure family is an exclusive model KTM is positioning as the “most travel-capable rally bike” and will be restricted to just 500 units worldwide. KTM designed this bike for riders who demand the most hardcore performance and best suspension components available, a machine that can easily cross continents in order to ride to the start line of a rally. ADVERTISEMENT Based heavily on the KTM 790 Adventure R, this exclusive model retains the same steel trellis chassis and the potent and compact 95hp LC8c parallel twin engine, with the major component difference being the addition of the special WP XPLOR PRO suspension. Built in the same department as WP’s Factory Racing equipment, it offers even higher levels of performance for extreme riding. An additional 1.2 inches (30mm) of suspension travel front and back helps clear tough obstacles and also creates a seat h of 35.8 inches (910mm) for this special model. The WP XPLOR PRO 7548 fork uses cone valve technology; a unique valving system that permits almost limitless damping performance and combines comfort with bottoming resistance. Setting levels that normally can only be achieved by changing the shim stack can now be adjusted from the outside. The cone valve allows unlimited opening, so harshness of the suspension is reduced. The high quality and fully adjustable WP XPLOR PRO 6746 shock absorber for the KTM 790 Adventure R Rally has been developed based on KTM’s unrivalled experience from top-level rally competition. Due to modern, low-friction components, the shock absorber shows a significant increase in its damping performance and reduces the physical strain for riders. The shock absorber employs a progressive damping system (PDS) and has completely – and easily – adjustable damping behavior. To emphasize its READY TO RACE credentials along with the WP XPLOR PRO suspension, the KTM 790 Adventure R Rally features a weight-saving Akrapovič exhaust, carbon fiber tank protectors and Quickshifter+ as standard. Easily distinguished by its unique color and graphic design with clear screen and winglets, this special edition model comes with narrower rims fitted with tubes for hard offroad conditions, a high, straight racing seat to improve racing ergonomics and Rally footrests for comfort and grip when standing for long days. Hubert Trunkenpolz (KTM AG Chief Marketing Officer): “Quite simply, we’ve built the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RALLY because we can! At KTM we continually try to push ourselves and the development of our products – this is the READY TO RACE way. We have the equipment at our disposal and we know how to make a truly special bike for our hardcore customers. With its Pro Components range, WP offers suspension close to the same level used by the Dakar-winning Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally team on the KTM 450 RALLY. The new KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RALLY is exactly as it says: A rally bike ready for any adventure.” Further details on pricing, availability and the ordering process for purchasing one of the limited number KTM 790 Adventure R Rally machines will be announced in the months to come.
  15. KTM has lifted the covers on what they are calling “its most hardcore adventure bike for 2020” – the limited edition KTM 790 Adventure R Rally. Until recently, the ‘790 Adventure R’ was described by the orange marque as the most off-road capable adventure bike the company had ever produced. Now KTM is announcing a new ‘rally’ variant that takes off-road performance to a higher level. The third and newest member of the 790 Adventure family is an exclusive model KTM is positioning as the “most travel-capable rally bike” and will be restricted to just 500 units worldwide. KTM designed this bike for riders who demand the most hardcore performance and best suspension components available, a machine that can easily cross continents in order to ride to the start line of a rally. ADVERTISEMENT Based heavily on the KTM 790 Adventure R, this exclusive model retains the same steel trellis chassis and the potent and compact 95hp LC8c parallel twin engine, with the major component difference being the addition of the special WP XPLOR PRO suspension. Built in the same department as WP’s Factory Racing equipment, it offers even higher levels of performance for extreme riding. An additional 1.2 inches (30mm) of suspension travel front and back helps clear tough obstacles and also creates a seat h of 35.8 inches (910mm) for this special model. The WP XPLOR PRO 7548 fork uses cone valve technology; a unique valving system that permits almost limitless damping performance and combines comfort with bottoming resistance. Setting levels that normally can only be achieved by changing the shim stack can now be adjusted from the outside. The cone valve allows unlimited opening, so harshness of the suspension is reduced. The high quality and fully adjustable WP XPLOR PRO 6746 shock absorber for the KTM 790 Adventure R Rally has been developed based on KTM’s unrivalled experience from top-level rally competition. Due to modern, low-friction components, the shock absorber shows a significant increase in its damping performance and reduces the physical strain for riders. The shock absorber employs a progressive damping system (PDS) and has completely – and easily – adjustable damping behavior. To emphasize its READY TO RACE credentials along with the WP XPLOR PRO suspension, the KTM 790 Adventure R Rally features a weight-saving Akrapovič exhaust, carbon fiber tank protectors and Quickshifter+ as standard. Easily distinguished by its unique color and graphic design with clear screen and winglets, this special edition model comes with narrower rims fitted with tubes for hard offroad conditions, a high, straight racing seat to improve racing ergonomics and Rally footrests for comfort and grip when standing for long days. Hubert Trunkenpolz (KTM AG Chief Marketing Officer): “Quite simply, we’ve built the KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RALLY because we can! At KTM we continually try to push ourselves and the development of our products – this is the READY TO RACE way. We have the equipment at our disposal and we know how to make a truly special bike for our hardcore customers. With its Pro Components range, WP offers suspension close to the same level used by the Dakar-winning Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Rally team on the KTM 450 RALLY. The new KTM 790 ADVENTURE R RALLY is exactly as it says: A rally bike ready for any adventure.” Further details on pricing, availability and the ordering process for purchasing one of the limited number KTM 790 Adventure R Rally machines will be announced in the months to come.
  16. [embedded content] Kawasaki has announced the release of an all-new dual sport model – the KLX230. It’s not a replacement for the KLX250, but sits next to it in the line up as more of a budget-friendly trail bike. It features a SOHC two-vale 233cc air-cooled and fuel-injected engine, built with reliability and smooth power in mind. The all-new dual sport includes disc brakes front and rear, along with an ABS option jointly developed with Bosch and tuned for both on-road and off-road use. The KLX230 also gets a 6-speed, making it more capable of handling travel over longer distances or your daily commute. A shorter 54.3″ wheelbase gives it greater maneuverability on the trail, while its full-size 21″/18″ wheels, 8.8″ suspension travel, 37mm fork, and 10.4″ ground clearance makes it easier to handle trail obstacles. With its electric starter, any trail spills will be easier to recover from as well. ADVERTISEMENT Kawasaki’s latest KLX model has Suzuki’s DR200S and Yamaha’s XT250 clearly in its sites. As a budget-oriented dual sport, it looks like an appealing option for new riders and should be fun for more seasoned riders too. Read on for more details about the KLX230 from Kawasaki: Kawasaki’s all-new, affordable KLX230 dual-purpose motorcycle has been purpose-built with trail riding in mind. Taking cues from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this 2020 street legal motorcycle features a torquey engine, nimble chassis and long-travel suspension. And in the case of the KLX230 ABS, Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose anti-lock braking system is also available to help instill extra confidence in riders. · ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine · ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame · ALL-NEW long travel suspension · ALL-NEW large diameter wheels (21”/18”) · ALL-NEW large headlamp · ALL-NEW dual purpose ABS The KLX230 was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for a wide range of riders. Utilizing the simple air-cooled engine design along with the easy handling perimeter frame helped keep the KLX230 compact, while the balance between the engine and frame results in optimal trail fun performance. A smooth and reliable, powerful, 233cc air-cooled engine and compact steel perimeter frame were designed with trail riding in mind. Full-size wheels, long-travel suspension, ample ground clearance, and KX inspired styling and ergonomics all contribute to the off-road capability of the KLX230 motorcycle. Front and rear disc brakes supported by Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS provide sure stopping power when riding on trails as well as on-road. Engine & Transmission · ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine · ALL-NEW electric start · ALL-NEW six speed transmission The four-stroke air-cooled single cylinder engine offers smooth, reliable and durable performance in a compact package. The engine has a bore and stroke of 67.0 x 66.0 mm, with a displacement of 233 cc. The long-stroke offers robust low-mid range torque for smooth and easy handling. A simple SOHC two-valve design was chosen for its easy-to-use power character and reliability. Fuel injection ensures consistent fuel delivery regardless of outside air temperature or elevation. It also enables the use of an electric starter, for easy starting at the push of a button, whether the engine is hot or cold, and contributes to clean emissions. The fuel injection system utilizes a 32 mm throttle body, which delivers precise response. Exhaust pipe length was selected to contribute to the engine’s low-mid range performance. To match the strong off-road image of the KX-inspired bodywork, the exhaust features a tapered silencer with an oval cross-section. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission covers a wide range of street-riding conditions and allows for more comfortable cruising on the highway, while also effective when trail riding. A 45/14 final gear ratio was selected for an ideal balance for both road and trail riding. Chassis · ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame · ALL-NEW 37 mm telescopic long travel fork · ALL-NEW Uni-Trak long travel suspension Designed from the start for off road and street riding, the all-new high-tensile steel perimeter frame offers the optimal handling needed for enjoyable riding in a wide range of environments. The engine and frame were designed together, which helped engineers achieve a low engine h, ideal chassis rigidity balance, and a low center of gravity, all in a compact chassis. The short 54.3” wheelbase combined with the high 10.4” ground clearance contributes to the bike’s maneuverability, allowing riders to more easily navigate the trail. A large, 37 mm diameter telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front; equipped with 8.8” long of travel suspension offers controllability on a variety of terrain. At the rear, the new Uni-Trak rear suspension with 8.8” of wheel travel provides great road holding ability and bump absorption. The single rear shock absorber with pressurized nitrogen gas is adjustable for preload, allowing riders to set the bike up for their weight or a passenger. Wheels & Brakes · ALL-NEW large diameter wheels · ALL-NEW large diameter disc brakes · ALL-NEW Bosch dual-purpose ABS Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, make it easier to overcome obstacles encountered on trails. The KLX230 motorcycle comes equipped with petal disc brakes, front and rear, which provide sure stopping power. On non-ABS models, a 240 mm front disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper offers strong, easy-to-control braking. Slowing the rear, a single-piston caliper grips a 220 mm disc. ABS equipped models utilize a 265 mm front disc, gripped by a twin-piston caliper, which offers strong, easy-to-control braking. A 220 mm disc operated by a single-piston caliper slows the rear. The new dual purpose ABS system was carefully tuned for both on-road and off-road use. Designed to assist riders to stop effectively in a short distance in most conditions, dual-purpose ABS offers additional reassurance to riders when braking on a low-traction surface. Ergonomics · ALL-NEW low seat h · ALL-NEW KX inspired ergonomics The frame, seat, and tank of the KLX230 motorcycle were designed with a combination of form and function in mind, making the frame easy to grip with the legs, offering superior chassis control. Thanks to the compact design of the KLX230, a low seat h of 34.8” was achieved. Similar to the KX lineup of motorcycles, the flat design of the tank and seat gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding positions, and facilitates sitting farther forward. In addition to trail riding, cruising comfort was also a consideration when deciding the seat shape and thickness. The seams between the shrouds, seat and side covers all fit flush, making it much easier for the rider to move around on the bike. Styling & Instrumentation · ALL-NEW KX-inspired styling · ALL-NEW LCD display instrumentation · ALL-NEW large, bright headlamp The KLX230 takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s line of KX motocross motorcycles, giving the bike an agile, aggressive look to match its trail-riding prowess. A two-gallon fuel tank allows the good times to keep rolling over the course of a long day. Brightness was a priority when designing the headlamp of the KLX230 ; the large-size 60/55 watt lamp offers excellent illumination for riding at night or on covered trails. A pair of passenger footpegs enables easy two-up riding. The KLX230 motorcycle is also equipped with a lockable toolbox compartment, located in the left side cover, which features everything necessary for quick, on-the-spot maintenance jobs The toolbox utilizes the Kawasaki One-key system, which means that the side cover panel is conveniently unlocked with the ignition key. An all-digital instrument panel offers at-a-glance information care of a large, easy-to-read LCD display screen. Features include: speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, clock, and indicator lamps. Accessories Riders can personalize their KLX230 to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as: skid plate, frame covers, hand covers, oversized handlebar, handlebar pad, helmet lock, and a rear carrier. Kawasaki KLX230 (ABS Edition) Color: Lime Green MSRP: $4,899 Availability: Late Summer 2019 Kawasaki KLX230 (NON-ABS Edition) Color: Lime Green MSRP: $4,599 Availability: Late Summer 2019 2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Specs Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled Displacement: 233cc Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 66.0mm Compression Ratio: 9.4:1 Fuel System: DFI w/32mm Throttle Body Ignition: TCBI Electronic Advance Transmission: Six-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch Final Drive: Chain Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 37mm telescopic fork/8.8 in Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Uni-Trak® linkage system and single shock with preload adjustability/8.8 in Front Tire: 2.75 x 21 Rear Tire: 4.10 x 18 Front Brakes: Single 265mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper Rear Brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper Frame Type: High-tensile steel perimeter Rake/Trail: 27.5°/4.6 in Overall Length: 82.9 in. Overall Width: 32.9 in. Overall Height: 45.9 in. Ground Clearance: 10.4 in. Seat Height: 34.8 in. Curb Weight: 293.3 lb. / 297.7 lb. CA model** Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal. Wheelbase: 54.3 in. Color Choices: Lime Green Warranty: 6 Months Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional): 12, 24, or 36 months
  17. [embedded content] Kawasaki has announced the release of an all-new dual sport model – the KLX230. It’s not a replacement for the KLX250, but sits next to it in the line up as more of a budget-friendly trail bike. It features a SOHC two-vale 233cc air-cooled and fuel-injected engine, built with reliability and smooth power in mind. The all-new dual sport includes disc brakes front and rear, along with an ABS option jointly developed with Bosch and tuned for both on-road and off-road use. The KLX230 also gets a 6-speed, making it more capable of handling travel over longer distances or your daily commute. A shorter 54.3″ wheelbase gives it greater maneuverability on the trail, while its full-size 21″/18″ wheels, 8.8″ suspension travel, 37mm fork, and 10.4″ ground clearance makes it easier to handle trail obstacles. With its electric starter, any trail spills will be easier to recover from as well. ADVERTISEMENT Kawasaki’s latest KLX model has Suzuki’s DR200S and Yamaha’s XT250 clearly in its sites. As a budget-oriented dual sport, it looks like an appealing option for new riders and should be fun for more seasoned riders too. Read on for more details about the KLX230 from Kawasaki: Kawasaki’s all-new, affordable KLX230 dual-purpose motorcycle has been purpose-built with trail riding in mind. Taking cues from the KX line and Kawasaki’s racing heritage, this 2020 street legal motorcycle features a torquey engine, nimble chassis and long-travel suspension. And in the case of the KLX230 ABS, Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose anti-lock braking system is also available to help instill extra confidence in riders. · ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine · ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame · ALL-NEW long travel suspension · ALL-NEW large diameter wheels (21”/18”) · ALL-NEW large headlamp · ALL-NEW dual purpose ABS The KLX230 was designed and built to be a lightweight and easily maneuverable motorcycle for a wide range of riders. Utilizing the simple air-cooled engine design along with the easy handling perimeter frame helped keep the KLX230 compact, while the balance between the engine and frame results in optimal trail fun performance. A smooth and reliable, powerful, 233cc air-cooled engine and compact steel perimeter frame were designed with trail riding in mind. Full-size wheels, long-travel suspension, ample ground clearance, and KX inspired styling and ergonomics all contribute to the off-road capability of the KLX230 motorcycle. Front and rear disc brakes supported by Kawasaki’s first dual-purpose ABS provide sure stopping power when riding on trails as well as on-road. Engine & Transmission · ALL-NEW 233 cc fuel-injected, air-cooled, four-stroke engine · ALL-NEW electric start · ALL-NEW six speed transmission The four-stroke air-cooled single cylinder engine offers smooth, reliable and durable performance in a compact package. The engine has a bore and stroke of 67.0 x 66.0 mm, with a displacement of 233 cc. The long-stroke offers robust low-mid range torque for smooth and easy handling. A simple SOHC two-valve design was chosen for its easy-to-use power character and reliability. Fuel injection ensures consistent fuel delivery regardless of outside air temperature or elevation. It also enables the use of an electric starter, for easy starting at the push of a button, whether the engine is hot or cold, and contributes to clean emissions. The fuel injection system utilizes a 32 mm throttle body, which delivers precise response. Exhaust pipe length was selected to contribute to the engine’s low-mid range performance. To match the strong off-road image of the KX-inspired bodywork, the exhaust features a tapered silencer with an oval cross-section. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission covers a wide range of street-riding conditions and allows for more comfortable cruising on the highway, while also effective when trail riding. A 45/14 final gear ratio was selected for an ideal balance for both road and trail riding. Chassis · ALL-NEW steel perimeter frame · ALL-NEW 37 mm telescopic long travel fork · ALL-NEW Uni-Trak long travel suspension Designed from the start for off road and street riding, the all-new high-tensile steel perimeter frame offers the optimal handling needed for enjoyable riding in a wide range of environments. The engine and frame were designed together, which helped engineers achieve a low engine h, ideal chassis rigidity balance, and a low center of gravity, all in a compact chassis. The short 54.3” wheelbase combined with the high 10.4” ground clearance contributes to the bike’s maneuverability, allowing riders to more easily navigate the trail. A large, 37 mm diameter telescopic fork handles suspension duties up front; equipped with 8.8” long of travel suspension offers controllability on a variety of terrain. At the rear, the new Uni-Trak rear suspension with 8.8” of wheel travel provides great road holding ability and bump absorption. The single rear shock absorber with pressurized nitrogen gas is adjustable for preload, allowing riders to set the bike up for their weight or a passenger. Wheels & Brakes · ALL-NEW large diameter wheels · ALL-NEW large diameter disc brakes · ALL-NEW Bosch dual-purpose ABS Full-size aluminum wheels, measuring 21” at the front and 18” at the rear, make it easier to overcome obstacles encountered on trails. The KLX230 motorcycle comes equipped with petal disc brakes, front and rear, which provide sure stopping power. On non-ABS models, a 240 mm front disc gripped by a twin-piston caliper offers strong, easy-to-control braking. Slowing the rear, a single-piston caliper grips a 220 mm disc. ABS equipped models utilize a 265 mm front disc, gripped by a twin-piston caliper, which offers strong, easy-to-control braking. A 220 mm disc operated by a single-piston caliper slows the rear. The new dual purpose ABS system was carefully tuned for both on-road and off-road use. Designed to assist riders to stop effectively in a short distance in most conditions, dual-purpose ABS offers additional reassurance to riders when braking on a low-traction surface. Ergonomics · ALL-NEW low seat h · ALL-NEW KX inspired ergonomics The frame, seat, and tank of the KLX230 motorcycle were designed with a combination of form and function in mind, making the frame easy to grip with the legs, offering superior chassis control. Thanks to the compact design of the KLX230, a low seat h of 34.8” was achieved. Similar to the KX lineup of motorcycles, the flat design of the tank and seat gives the rider greater freedom of movement when changing riding positions, and facilitates sitting farther forward. In addition to trail riding, cruising comfort was also a consideration when deciding the seat shape and thickness. The seams between the shrouds, seat and side covers all fit flush, making it much easier for the rider to move around on the bike. Styling & Instrumentation · ALL-NEW KX-inspired styling · ALL-NEW LCD display instrumentation · ALL-NEW large, bright headlamp The KLX230 takes its styling cues from Kawasaki’s line of KX motocross motorcycles, giving the bike an agile, aggressive look to match its trail-riding prowess. A two-gallon fuel tank allows the good times to keep rolling over the course of a long day. Brightness was a priority when designing the headlamp of the KLX230 ; the large-size 60/55 watt lamp offers excellent illumination for riding at night or on covered trails. A pair of passenger footpegs enables easy two-up riding. The KLX230 motorcycle is also equipped with a lockable toolbox compartment, located in the left side cover, which features everything necessary for quick, on-the-spot maintenance jobs The toolbox utilizes the Kawasaki One-key system, which means that the side cover panel is conveniently unlocked with the ignition key. An all-digital instrument panel offers at-a-glance information care of a large, easy-to-read LCD display screen. Features include: speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, clock, and indicator lamps. Accessories Riders can personalize their KLX230 to meet their needs, with numerous Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to choose from, such as: skid plate, frame covers, hand covers, oversized handlebar, handlebar pad, helmet lock, and a rear carrier. Kawasaki KLX230 (ABS Edition) Color: Lime Green MSRP: $4,899 Availability: Late Summer 2019 Kawasaki KLX230 (NON-ABS Edition) Color: Lime Green MSRP: $4,599 Availability: Late Summer 2019 2020 Kawasaki KLX230 Specs Engine: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC, air-cooled Displacement: 233cc Bore x Stroke: 67.0 x 66.0mm Compression Ratio: 9.4:1 Fuel System: DFI w/32mm Throttle Body Ignition: TCBI Electronic Advance Transmission: Six-speed with wet multi-disc manual clutch Final Drive: Chain Front Suspension / Wheel Travel: 37mm telescopic fork/8.8 in Rear Suspension / Wheel Travel: Uni-Trak® linkage system and single shock with preload adjustability/8.8 in Front Tire: 2.75 x 21 Rear Tire: 4.10 x 18 Front Brakes: Single 265mm petal disc with a dual-piston caliper Rear Brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper Frame Type: High-tensile steel perimeter Rake/Trail: 27.5°/4.6 in Overall Length: 82.9 in. Overall Width: 32.9 in. Overall Height: 45.9 in. Ground Clearance: 10.4 in. Seat Height: 34.8 in. Curb Weight: 293.3 lb. / 297.7 lb. CA model** Fuel Capacity: 2.0 gal. Wheelbase: 54.3 in. Color Choices: Lime Green Warranty: 6 Months Kawasaki Protection Plus™ (optional): 12, 24, or 36 months
  18. Published on 06.14.2019 After years of testing and development, Giant Loop has announced the launch of a new Tail Rack for dual sport motorcycles. The new product is designed to deliver a rugged, lightweight, low-profile, universal-fitting solution for anchoring saddlebags, tool packs and gear to any motorcycle’s rear plastic fender. Crafted from black anodized aluminum, the Tail Rack features unique stainless steel wire and gate carabiner-style clips for quick strap attachment and detachment. Stainless steel hardware makes installation quick and easy. Included aluminum spacers slightly raise the Rack, so Giant Loop’s stretch polyurethane Pronghorn Straps and webbing straps can slide beneath for solid mounting of Giant Loop’s Coyote Saddlebag, MoJavi Saddlebag, Klamath Tail Rack Pack, Possibles Pouch. They can also be used with many other lightweight rackless saddlebags and auxiliary bags. The Tail Rack can be used to provide a secure anchor point for a set of rackless saddlebags, tail bags or lighter gear. Weighing just 9.4 ounces (including hardware and spacers), the Giant Loop Tail Rack measures 5-inches wide by 8-inches long x 5/8-inch tall. Four wire-gate closures prevent webbing from disconnecting even when riding in the roughest terrain. The product can be mounted in two different positions on virtually any dirt bike, dual sport or enduro rear plastic fender. All hardware required for installation is included (4x stainless steel button head bolts, 4x stainless steel nylock nuts, 4x stainless steel washers and 4x aluminum spacers). Total load restricted to 10 lbs. maximum, as the Tail Rack is designed to provide secure anchor points for small Saddlebags, tail bags and lighter gear- NOT to support heavy loads. ADVERTISEMENT USA MSRP for Giant Loop’s universal Tail Rack solution is $49. You can find more details on the product by going to the Giant Loop website at giantloopmoto.com. Shopping Options
  19. Husqvarna Motorcycles has announced the launch of the new generation FE and FEs models – a revamped line-up of off-road and dual-sport machines that introduce key chassis, suspension and engine developments to allow riders to further extend their limits of off-road potential. All-new for 2020 are the off-road only FE 501 and FE 350. These models shed the road-going components of their dual-sport counterparts, the FE 501s and FE 350s, and feature more aggressive mapping and a less restrictive power pack, resulting in a lighter overall package and more power to put to the ground. Controlling this power is made easy with industry-leading Traction Control and a handlebar-mounted Map Select switch that allows the rider to select between two EFI maps, easily changing the engine character to suit the terrain or rider preference. ADVERTISEMENT Delivering high levels of dynamic performance, class-leading power across all engine sizes and equipped with updated WP suspension, the 2020 models benefit from comfortable ergonomics and a progressive design. Thanks to engine advances, a new frame, subframe, shock linkage and bodywork, updated fork and shock settings, and premium components as standard, the new range is designed to boost comfort and further allow riders of all skill levels better control while riding off-road or on. Major Chassis Upgrades Continuing the brand’s approach to innovation, the new generation of MY20 machines features new frames, subframes, bodywork, updated suspension and engines. All frames feature increased longitudinal and torsional rigidity, which when added to the new, lighter composite carbon fiber subframe, ensures excellent handling, stability and rider feedback. New aluminum cylinder head mountings provide reduced vibration and optimized flex to further improve handling. Updated 48 mm WP XPLOR front forks and WP XACT shocks offer simple adjustment, more consistent damping and better resistance to bottoming. Superior performance, comfort and traction is further enhanced thanks to the linkage system that reduces seat h, ensuring that riding over technical terrain is easier than ever. Engine Upgrades and Lower Seat Height The entire 4-stroke range features a revised exhaust systems and wiring harnesses for increased performance and rideability, with the FE 501 and FE 501s receiving a new cylinder head, as well as extensive revisions to the FE 350 and FE 350s engine. The new range also features distinctive, new bodywork and graphics. Allowing riders to perform at the highest level for extended periods, the slimmed down bodywork and 0.8 inch (20 mm) reduction in seat h deliver ergonomics that ensure easier movement on the bike and confidence inspiring riding positions. FE and FEs Highlights New frame on all models offering increased longitudinal & torsional rigidity New 250g lighter 2-piece subframe across the model range Updated WP XPLOR fork with new mid-valve piston & setting Updated WP XACT shock with new main piston & setting New shock linkage dimension providing reduced seat h & added control All-new exhaust systems for optimal performance & durability New seat places the rider 0.8 inches (20 mm) closer to the ground Improved cooling circuit with radiators mounted 12 mm lower Progressive new bodywork design offering new and improved ergonomics Updated 4-stroke engines offering improved performance & rideability Off-road only 4-strokes with Map Select switch and Traction Control The new Husqvarna 2020 FE and FEs models arrive in September of 2019. US pricing has not yet been announced. More details at husqvarna-motorcycles.com. 2020 Husqvarna FE 350/350s Specs Displacement: 349.7 cm³ Design: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine Bore: 88 mm Stroke: 57.5 mm Starter: Electric starter Transmission: 6-speed Clutch: Wet, DDS multi-disc clutch, Magura hydraulics EMS: Keihin EMS Frame design: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel Rear suspension: WP shock absorber with linkage Suspension travel (front): 11.8″ (300 mm) Suspension travel (rear): 11.8″ (300 mm) Front brake: Disc brake Rear brake: Disc brake Front disc diameter: 260 mm Rear disc diameter: 220 mm Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Steering head angle: 63.5 ° Ground clearance: 14.2″ (360 mm) Seat h: 37.4″ (950 mm) Tank capacity (approx.): 9 l Weight without fuel: 235 lbs (106.8 kg) 2020 Husqvarna FE 501/501s Specs Displacement: 510.9 cm³ Design: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine Bore: 95 mm Stroke: 72 mm Starter: Electric starter Transmission: 6-speed Clutch: Wet, DDS multi-disc clutch, Magura hydraulics EMS: Keihin EMS Frame design: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel Rear suspension: WP shock absorber with linkage Suspension travel (front): 11.8″ (300 mm) Suspension travel (rear): 11.8″ (300 mm) Front brake: Disc brake Rear brake: Disc brake Front disc diameter: 260 mm Rear disc diameter: 220 mm Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Steering head angle: 63.5 ° Ground clearance: 14.2″ (360 mm) Seat h: 37.4″ (950 mm) Tank capacity (approx.): 9 l Weight without fuel: 239 lbs (108.4 kg)
  20. Husqvarna Motorcycles has announced the launch of the new generation FE and FEs models – a revamped line-up of off-road and dual-sport machines that introduce key chassis, suspension and engine developments to allow riders to further extend their limits of off-road potential. All-new for 2020 are the off-road only FE 501 and FE 350. These models shed the road-going components of their dual-sport counterparts, the FE 501s and FE 350s, and feature more aggressive mapping and a less restrictive power pack, resulting in a lighter overall package and more power to put to the ground. Controlling this power is made easy with industry-leading Traction Control and a handlebar-mounted Map Select switch that allows the rider to select between two EFI maps, easily changing the engine character to suit the terrain or rider preference. ADVERTISEMENT Delivering high levels of dynamic performance, class-leading power across all engine sizes and equipped with updated WP suspension, the 2020 models benefit from comfortable ergonomics and a progressive design. Thanks to engine advances, a new frame, subframe, shock linkage and bodywork, updated fork and shock settings, and premium components as standard, the new range is designed to boost comfort and further allow riders of all skill levels better control while riding off-road or on. Major Chassis Upgrades Continuing the brand’s approach to innovation, the new generation of MY20 machines features new frames, subframes, bodywork, updated suspension and engines. All frames feature increased longitudinal and torsional rigidity, which when added to the new, lighter composite carbon fiber subframe, ensures excellent handling, stability and rider feedback. New aluminum cylinder head mountings provide reduced vibration and optimized flex to further improve handling. Updated 48 mm WP XPLOR front forks and WP XACT shocks offer simple adjustment, more consistent damping and better resistance to bottoming. Superior performance, comfort and traction is further enhanced thanks to the linkage system that reduces seat h, ensuring that riding over technical terrain is easier than ever. Engine Upgrades and Lower Seat Height The entire 4-stroke range features a revised exhaust systems and wiring harnesses for increased performance and rideability, with the FE 501 and FE 501s receiving a new cylinder head, as well as extensive revisions to the FE 350 and FE 350s engine. The new range also features distinctive, new bodywork and graphics. Allowing riders to perform at the highest level for extended periods, the slimmed down bodywork and 0.8 inch (20 mm) reduction in seat h deliver ergonomics that ensure easier movement on the bike and confidence inspiring riding positions. FE and FEs Highlights New frame on all models offering increased longitudinal & torsional rigidity New 250g lighter 2-piece subframe across the model range Updated WP XPLOR fork with new mid-valve piston & setting Updated WP XACT shock with new main piston & setting New shock linkage dimension providing reduced seat h & added control All-new exhaust systems for optimal performance & durability New seat places the rider 0.8 inches (20 mm) closer to the ground Improved cooling circuit with radiators mounted 12 mm lower Progressive new bodywork design offering new and improved ergonomics Updated 4-stroke engines offering improved performance & rideability Off-road only 4-strokes with Map Select switch and Traction Control The new Husqvarna 2020 FE and FEs models arrive in September of 2019. US pricing has not yet been announced. More details at husqvarna-motorcycles.com. 2020 Husqvarna FE 350/350s Specs Displacement: 349.7 cm³ Design: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine Bore: 88 mm Stroke: 57.5 mm Starter: Electric starter Transmission: 6-speed Clutch: Wet, DDS multi-disc clutch, Magura hydraulics EMS: Keihin EMS Frame design: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel Rear suspension: WP shock absorber with linkage Suspension travel (front): 11.8″ (300 mm) Suspension travel (rear): 11.8″ (300 mm) Front brake: Disc brake Rear brake: Disc brake Front disc diameter: 260 mm Rear disc diameter: 220 mm Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Steering head angle: 63.5 ° Ground clearance: 14.2″ (360 mm) Seat h: 37.4″ (950 mm) Tank capacity (approx.): 9 l Weight without fuel: 235 lbs (106.8 kg) 2020 Husqvarna FE 501/501s Specs Displacement: 510.9 cm³ Design: 1-cylinder, 4-stroke engine Bore: 95 mm Stroke: 72 mm Starter: Electric starter Transmission: 6-speed Clutch: Wet, DDS multi-disc clutch, Magura hydraulics EMS: Keihin EMS Frame design: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel Rear suspension: WP shock absorber with linkage Suspension travel (front): 11.8″ (300 mm) Suspension travel (rear): 11.8″ (300 mm) Front brake: Disc brake Rear brake: Disc brake Front disc diameter: 260 mm Rear disc diameter: 220 mm Chain: X-Ring 5/8 x 1/4″ Steering head angle: 63.5 ° Ground clearance: 14.2″ (360 mm) Seat h: 37.4″ (950 mm) Tank capacity (approx.): 9 l Weight without fuel: 239 lbs (108.4 kg)
  21. Hepco & Becker created a high bar to clear with their original plastic Gobi panniers. In their new Xceed aluminum pannier system, they may have either cleared that bar or reset where it is entirely. An industry first, H & B offers two different rack mounting systems for the Xceed Panniers. One could be considered “traditional” – racks bolted to either side of the bike, the right side being further out to clear the pipe. The other is a unique “symmetrical” system, which positions the boxes above the pipe, allowing them to rest at equal distances from each side of the bike. While symmetry may be a godsend for anyone suffering from OCD, it’s an even larger benefit for those living in lane splitting legal states to always know you have the same amount of clearance available on both sides of the bike. Increasing box h by roughly five inches also means anyone riding pillion now has armrests with this system too. The H&B Xceed Panniers come with handy cargo nets attached under the lids and convenient carrying handles on top. How They Performed Electing to test Hepco & Becker’s symmetrical arrangement, the installation of the racks was quite simple with only a handful of bolts required to mount them. The only snag encountered during the install was some difficulty getting a few bolts threaded in. Running the bolts through from the opposite end helped clean out some extra powder coating that had gotten on the threads and the racks went on smoothly after that. ADVERTISEMENT The first thing one notices once the Xceed Panniers are mounted with the Symmetric Racks is the high kicks now required to get on and off the bike. Your inner ninja needs to swing that leg about five inches higher for dismounts. While Jean-Claude Van Damme will feel right at home with this system, a significant swath of the remaining riding population will likely elect to mount and dismount as if a top case was present. Two large 1/4-turn Lock-It bolts in the center and two outer (optional) safety bolts hold the pannier racks in place. The racks can be removed quickly with the rear cross-bar attached. During the first test on a multi-day camping trip, the slight increase in box altitude offered an unforeseen benefit in that the storage spaces were now “workbench h”. Loading and unloading was possibly the most effortless of any system I’ve tried. Aesthetically, the symmetrical system is a welcome arrangement which harkens back to the days of Gobi panniers mounted on KTM 950 Adventure bikes. That bike was symmetrical however with its dual pipes, so the pannier design inherently was as well, but I wax nostalgic. Functionally, these boxes are lighter than the Gobi panniers by nearly three pounds each, and two pounds lighter than Touratech Zega Pro panniers of the same volume. Shedding that weight means the Xceed panniers lack the water storage reservoir of the Gobis, as well as the horizontal “groove” shaped into box, allowing for a safety strap to be used if need be. Gained is anodized aluminum/impact-resistant plastic hybrid construction, front/rear opening access, greater internal storage volume, and all while still sporting the familiar key latch system, which is repairable should the need arise. Dual front and rear lid latches are a joy to work, requiring no fussing around with alignment to the box or opening/closing of the latch. A welcome feature, each lid features an included interior cargo net to take advantage of the space available above the rim of the pannier itself. This proved very useful on multi-day adventure rides, as it quickly became the preferred location to store items such as snacks, toiletries, and light rain layers. Large handles on both ends of the lids, just above the latches, make for easy removal and mounting of the boxes, as well as carrying around at campsites. Another unique twist to the Xceed pannier setup is the “Lock-It” system employed by the racks, which gives you the option to quickly remove the mounting racks. With the release of four large quarter-turn bolts, two on each side, the entire pannier rack system can be removed from the bike in a matter of seconds. Weight Comparison (Measured) Pannier Make & Model Capacity Weight Hepco & Becker Xceed 38 Liter 10 pounds, 6 ounces Hepco & Becker Gobi 37 Liter 13 pounds, 3 ounces Touratech Zega Pro 38 Liter 12 pounds, 3 ounces Sharing the same quick-release bolt arrangement, both symmetrical and asymmetrical Rack mounting systems are virtually identical, other than where they leave the boxes placed. As tested on a KTM 1090 Adventure R, the rack systems rely on the four quarter-turn bolts, a rear crossbar connecting the racks in front of the license plate, and the stock rubber pannier inserts towards the front of the boxes to keep everything in place. For light adventure touring, the system proved more than adequate. When the going got rough, the single horizontal mounting axis of the quick-release bolts means the rack system has some inherent flex under the weight of (often overloaded) boxes. Conventional threaded “safety bolts” can be installed adjacent to the quick-release bolts, and are recommended for off-road travel. The symmetric racks give the KTM 1090 Adventure a slimmer profile and balanced look, but do raise the center of gravity. Asymmetric racks are also available. Who Are They For With solid yet lightweight construction, the Xceed panniers are a good fit for both sport touring as well as adventure travel. Which rack system to use likely comes down to the individual rider’s intended use. For those who often ride two up, spend a good deal of time commuting in traffic, or who’s primary focus is “light adventure”, the symmetrical arrangement could very well be a good fit. For solo travel, the asymmetrical system could offer a handling advantage by keeping the weight of the entire system lower. The quick-disconnect nature of either choice in less-than-brutal conditions, means one could do without the additional safety bolts, and best take advantage of the removable nature of the racks. Those who use their adventure bikes for both urban and “big bike enduro” style riding can now quickly switch between lockable panniers or “rackless” soft luggage options in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee. Our Verdict High build quality, light weight, and the only pannier system offering a choice of two different ways to mount the boxes make Hepco Becker’s Xceed pannier system worth checking out. While robust enough for general adventure touring, the quick release mounting systems could be subject to excessive flex in more extreme off-road conditions. Rather than a disadvantage, this is perhaps exactly the point. Choosing between hard luggage, soft luggage, or no luggage is a source of debate when it comes to adventure motorcycles that inherently fit a wide variety of contexts. Hepco Becker’s introduction of a quick-release pannier system now means riders don’t necessarily have to choose between one type of luggage or the other. What We Liked Light weight for their size. Refined build quality with solid latches. Easy to open/close latches and Convenient handles. Cool look slimmer profile with asymmetric design. What Could Be Improved Inclusion of conventional “non quick release” rack option. Addition of tie down points on sides of lids. Xceed Panniers & Racks Specs COLOR: Black or Titan Boxes with Black Racks SIZE: 38 Liters each side CONSTRUCTION: Cases: Anodized aluminum / impact-resistant plastic; Racks: Powder coated 5/8″ (16mm) round steel tubing racks PRICE: $440.50 – $485.50 per case; $370.85 – 381.74 for racks Shopping Options Author: Jon Beck Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.
  22. Published on 06.05.2019 For the last four model years, Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin has held an interesting position in the burgeoning adventure bike marketplace. Just enough bike to play in the high-buck, large displacement game yet, approachable enough to be an option for those looking for more of a middleweight mount – something along the lines of BMW’s F850GS, Triumph’s Tiger 800. Although, it’s not light and nimble enough to compete with the new breed of middle-weight players like KTM’s 790 Adventure R and the so-close-yet-so-far-from-the-U.S.-market Yamaha Ténéré 700. Speculation regarding upcoming Africa Twin offerings has so far been trained on a probable bump in displacement, rendering a presumably modest increase in performance (and cost), most likely an effort to compensate for stringent emissions requirements on the horizon for the EU. Yes, pretty boring stuff, especially when we care even more that an upgraded Africa Twin comes with seemingly obvious e-goodies like cruise control and real-world adventure options like tubeless spoked rims than a few extra digits on the dyno. ADVERTISEMENT But then over the weekend tongues around the globe set to wagging over a story that broke on the Japanese Motorcycle Magazine Autoby featuring renderings of an all-new 850cc Africa Twin proclaimed to be in the pipeline for release as a 2021 model. Yes, yes, yes! Wouldn’t we all like to see an all-new edition — and especially a true ADV middleweight option — from Honda? Because by now we all know displacement does not make the adventure. While some riders want more power, zero riders crave a heavier bike. What’s always more important than output is how we feel on the bike, especially as we explore new skills and venture further from the main roads. However, with bikes like KTM’s new 790 Adventure R entering the middleweight arena boasting comparable engine output and better off-road performance than the current Africa Twin, and for just about the same dough, Honda has its work cut out. Autoby has a reputation for getting these Honda predictions right, so in the spirit of more choices are better, let’s all light a mental candle that this 850cc Africa Twin rendering materializes into a real bike in the next year or two. Better yet, that it’s in the same mold as the new-gen middleweights and comes to the market with the reliability we know Honda is capable of, and the affordable pricing that made the company one of the world’s most highly-regarded brands. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  23. Published on 06.05.2019 For the last four model years, Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin has held an interesting position in the burgeoning adventure bike marketplace. Just enough bike to play in the high-buck, large displacement game yet, approachable enough to be an option for those looking for more of a middleweight mount – something along the lines of BMW’s F850GS, Triumph’s Tiger 800. Although, it’s not light and nimble enough to compete with the new breed of middle-weight players like KTM’s 790 Adventure R and the so-close-yet-so-far-from-the-U.S.-market Yamaha Ténéré 700. Speculation regarding upcoming Africa Twin offerings has so far been trained on a probable bump in displacement, rendering a presumably modest increase in performance (and cost), most likely an effort to compensate for stringent emissions requirements on the horizon for the EU. Yes, pretty boring stuff, especially when we care even more that an upgraded Africa Twin comes with seemingly obvious e-goodies like cruise control and real-world adventure options like tubeless spoked rims than a few extra digits on the dyno. ADVERTISEMENT But then over the weekend tongues around the globe set to wagging over a story that broke on the Japanese Motorcycle Magazine Autoby featuring renderings of an all-new 850cc Africa Twin proclaimed to be in the pipeline for release as a 2021 model. Yes, yes, yes! Wouldn’t we all like to see an all-new edition — and especially a true ADV middleweight option — from Honda? Because by now we all know displacement does not make the adventure. While some riders want more power, zero riders crave a heavier bike. What’s always more important than output is how we feel on the bike, especially as we explore new skills and venture further from the main roads. However, with bikes like KTM’s new 790 Adventure R entering the middleweight arena boasting comparable engine output and better off-road performance than the current Africa Twin, and for just about the same dough, Honda has its work cut out. Autoby has a reputation for getting these Honda predictions right, so in the spirit of more choices are better, let’s all light a mental candle that this 850cc Africa Twin rendering materializes into a real bike in the next year or two. Better yet, that it’s in the same mold as the new-gen middleweights and comes to the market with the reliability we know Honda is capable of, and the affordable pricing that made the company one of the world’s most highly-regarded brands. Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  24. [embedded content] Early on life teaches us to be skeptical of things that sound too good to be true. Take for example the concept of a lightweight (around 6 pounds), weatherproof tent that comes with a built-in air mattress and its own sleeping bag. Then make it affordable (compared to buying everything separately), able to attach to the same-model tents of friends and lovers, and best of all compact enough to slip into the average ADV-bike pannier. Too good to be true? RhinoWolf is currently hosting a Kickstarter campaign as a means to sell the second version of its all-in-one tent concept. The original RhinoWolf was sold to the public via a similar and very successful campaign in 2017, this one hosted by Indiegogo. RhinoWolf replaces your traditional camping sleep setup with an all-in-one tent. The sleeping system has a mattress, pole and sleeping bag integrated into the design and packs into a compact 6.2 lbs bundle. The original tent was the same concept as the 2.0: Ripstop nylon construction for the tent, wide openings with mosquito netting on each side, side wings for shade and to stabilize the single pole design, blow-up mattress complete with pump sack and down sleeping blanket (it’s a top “blanket” connected to the mattress, not a full bag). As a unique extra, the tent can be zipped to another RhinoWolf for coupling, or to as many RhinoWolfs as you want to create a cool tunnel tent. For the 2.0 version RhinoWolf has integrated the pole and tent pegs into the design, added some ventilation and improved connect-ability with a more runoff-resistant roll-and-lock system. ADVERTISEMENT The original tent came in three climate versions: a 2-, 3- and 4-season ratings dependent on the weight of the duck-down blanket (150g to 560g). The new version appears to only be available in 2- and 3-season versions, the 2-season with a blanket filled with 150g synthetic fiber and the 3-season with 375g of duck down. Additional details remain a bit vague, for example whether the company will continue using Klymit-branded air mattresses, as it did in the previous version. The RhinoWolf attaches to other same-model tents. The modular all-in-one tent uses a 1-pole frame design and comes with 6 anchoring pegs. Integrated air vents at the top and side facilitate airflow and reduce humidity. When we asked RhinoWolf to clarify details on 2.0 construction they responded: “Since this is an innovative design, the product can be manufactured in all types of fabrics and materials.” Additionally, the company says any fabric test results will not be supplied until the production phase of the project, yet claims the tent to be windproof, waterproof and bugproof. To the skeptics among us these are not very reassuring declarations. Additionally, since the original tent was sold only via the initial Indiegogo campaign, there is no bank of reviews to ponder, save two lonely write-ups on Amazon where units were assumably resold by original Indeigogo backers. The air mattress uses a pump sack for faster inflation. So, is the RhinoWolf all-in-one tent system too good to be true? Buying into one certainly feels like a leap of faith (and patience, as they will not be delivered to Kickstarter backers until December 2019). But for the optimist, the RhinoWolf, which does come with a one-year satisfaction guarantee, is certain to be a viable option if you roll out into the wild for only a handful of adventures a season. It’s also a huge win and super-smart use of space for the veteran traveler who prefers hoteling and rarely camps. And ADV aside, if your have kids: Bingo! The RhinoWolf Kickstarter campaign is scheduled to end on July 25, 2019 at 5 a.m. Pacific standard time with the current early bird price set at $199. At time of writing there is no word on what the next crowdfunding price will be once the early bird offer expires, but the “retail price” is said to be $349. So check it out and let us know your thoughts. And if you were one of the original backers and own a RhinoWolf already, let us all know how it’s working out for you! Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
  25. Adventure bikes and their accouterments have evolved significantly over the last decade, allowing us to ride farther, more safely and in all-season comfort. Most agree that after the bike itself, a helmet is the most important purchase decision we make. Not only is an adventure helmet the guardian of our vital gray matter, it’s also a top contributor to comfort and concentration, including temperature regulation and our ability to stay focused. Poor ventilation, noisiness, weight and lack of functionality can be major killjoys. Lucky for us, helmets are constantly evolving, especially the adventure hybrids, defined by their dirt shell configuration, aerodynamic full-face shield angle and adjustable/removable peak. Additionally, the perfect ADV helmet will be stable at high speeds, well ventilated, lightweight and goggle friendly. ADVERTISEMENT Here are three of the latest adventure helmets new for the 2019 riding season: AGV AX-9 and AX-9 Carbon ($499.95 – $649.95) For 2019 AGV is finally offering a completely redesigned version of its adventure helmet in the AX-9 and AX-9 Carbon, replacing the AX-8 DS EVO. The new design is much more street-friendly than its predecessor, which was essentially the company’s AX dirt helmet equipped with a face shield. Yet while the new AX adventure helmet is now claimed to be 80/20-percent on-road to off-road oriented, it’s still lightweight (the carbon version weighs just 3.5 pounds) and even more aggressively ventilated with five channels and a fully removable chin vent plate. Important new features include a reconfigured facial frame that offers 90 degrees of horizontal vision and 110 degrees of vertical vision, a larger peak with improved aerodynamics for stability and a refined peak removal system. The soft, moisture-wicking lining is still removable for easy washing and even better, the interior is now communicator friendly with recessed pockets for speakers. The standard AX-9 is DOT and ECE approved and comes in solid black or white for $499.99. Two- and three-tone schemes are available for $549.95, and the super lightweight carbon version in black only goes for $649.95. Shopping Options: Klim Krios Pro ($699.99) Klim was a cool Idaho-based niche brand until it was purchased by Polaris Industries in 2002 and catapulted into ADV apparel stardom. The latest adventure helmet offering from this mainstay company is its flagship Krios Pro, claimed to be the most versatile motorcycle helmet on the market, offering four distinct ride modes: ADV, Dual-Sport, Off-Road and Street. The shell of the Krios Pro is constructed of hand-laid carbon fiber and comes in either matte black or the “Arsenal” gray or tan versions for the same cost. For improved impact absorption, the Pro now features a high-tech Koroyd interior. This material employs thousands of co-polymer extruded cells designed to crush on impact, dissipating energy to reduce trauma to the head. Comfort and convenience features include an anti-microbial, moisture-wicking lining, plus new adjustable forehead and chin vents, and magnetic, quick-release chin strap. The Krios Pro adventure helmet is ECE and DOT approved and now comes standard with a Transitions auto-tinting on a pin-lock ready shield that’s removable without tools. A new visor has been engineered to improve airflow and stability at high speeds. Shopping Options: Sedici Viaggio and Viaggio Parlare ($119.99 – $229.99) Talk about bang for the buck. Here’s an adventure helmet with the functionality of a top-shelf model that comes with integrated Sena communication technology for under $250. Sedici is the Italian word for sixteen and Viaggio Parlare loosely translates to travel/talk, making some hope this brand comes from Italy when in reality it’s a Cycle Gear-owned label, hence the enticingly high benefit-to-low-cost ratio. As you’d expect the Viaggio Parlare’s construction is pretty basic. The shell is injection-molded ABS and its “comfort liner” is removable and washable. There is ventilation at the chin bar only. The peak is removable and the shield is touted as “quick release.” A separate inner sun visor can be raised and lowered via an external toggle. This adventure helmet’s top selling point is surely the built-in Sena DWO-5 bluetooth v3.0 system, which integrates hands-free phone communication and universal intercom compatibility. Using your connected smartphone you can listen to music or receive turn-by-turn navigation. Noise-cancelling technology is said to help cull wind noise for voice clarity. The DOT approved Viaggio Parlare is available in white or black, and you can also get the standard version of the Viaggio Adventure Helmet without Bluetooth communicator for $119 in Black, White or Yellow. Shopping Options: Author: Jamie Elvidge Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.
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