KTM 690 ADVENTURE / OVERLAND EXPO WEST 2016 / HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Enchanting Two-Wheeling Through History ... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEde r Ri Even for a Petite Female
IS IT CHEATING?
ent The Smaller Bike Movem
TAKING THE 2% DARE
Alaskaâ€™s Dalton Highway Nov/Dec 2016 | No. 95 $5.99 US / $6.99 CAN
3 COLORADO PASSES
SOLO IN NEPAL
4WAY STRETCH HYCOR™ WATERPROOF / BREATHABLE D30® IMPACT PROTECTORS
32 Lessons from a Solo Trip
Anything is Possible (Even for a Petite Female Rider) by Marcia A. McGuire
38 Three Great Colorado
Passes to Ride
by Joe Trey
44 Some Call It “Cheating”
The Smaller Bike Movement by Greg Hilchey
50 Dalton Highway
Last North American Frontier
by Manu Torres
56 Patagonian Pursuit
Father and Son Ride to the End of the World
by Kevin Machtelinckx
62 Up in the Air in Nepal by Ian Neubauer
68 A Ride Through Cuba by Bettina Höbenreich
26 Overland Expo West 2016 by Susan Dragoo
8 Editor’s Saddle 10 Industry News Husqvarna announces their 2017 Core Enduro lineup
that includes four street-legal 4-stroke bikes • Ural offers twice the fun and adventure with the return of their iconic Ural Sahara—including an optional Off-Road Package
12 Product News Weiser high-intensity LED turn signals • IMS Enduro foot
pegs • New Dolomiti side cases from GIVI • Guardian water purification system from Mountain Safety Research • Moto-Skiveez offers a Technical Riding Shirt with Hydro-Sport fabric
14 Product Reviews SIDI Deep Rain boots • Shinko 804/805 Adventure Trail
tires • Air-n-Dry four-season gloves from Held • Tire Pressure Monitoring System from RRR Tool Solutions • Weego JS12 heavy duty charger • BeadPro bead breaker from Motion Pro
76 Industry Profile
by Alisa Clickenger
84 Tuning Up
Sheepskin: The Secret to Overlanding by Sam Manicom
86 Holiday Gift Guide
90 Reader Rides
How to Build a 2016 KTM 690 Adventure by Byron Farmsworth
94 World Touring Index 98 Book Review
Love, Laughs and Road Rage by Rae S. McKenzie by Paul H. Smith
ON THE COVER: Bettina Höbenreich and Helmut Koch of “Time to Ride” make their way through the back roads of Cuba. Photo by Helmut Koch. Artwork by Carl Parker.
The EXPEDITION™ series was built for the serious off-road rider. Each style is carefully designed to maximize rider performance without sacrificing durability. Expedition™ is highly durable, waterproof and breathable. Whether you are riding in the tight woods or the open desert, you can be assured the Expedition™ series will perform at the highest level in all conditions. ° Waterproof, windproof, and breathable ° 500D Cordura™ overlay panels ° D3O® protection ° Articulated arms and stretch material in sleeve ° Removable bib on pant ° Full grain leather inner knee panels ° Jacket available in sizes SM - 4X ° Pants available in sizes 30” - 48”
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS
Infill side panels
anunci ADV MOTO gener.indd 1
ADVMoto ad - BDCW Apr 2015-1.pdf 1 4/2/2015 12:13:25 PM
Paul H. Smith
Sam Manicom Nicole Espinosa
CONTRIBUTORS Dave Brown, Andreas Raffel, Steve Kamrad, Wayne Mitchell, Stephen Townsend, Marcia A. McGuire, Nathanael Napolitano, Joe Trey, Greg Hilchey, Manu Torres, Kevin Machtelinckx, Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Bettina Höbenreich, Helmut Koch, Alisa Clickenger, and Byron Farmsworth CREATIVE SERVICES
Amy Scheidegger Amanda Wadsworth
ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Dan DiMaio PROJECT MANAGER
Adventure Motorcycle 14506 Lee Rd, Suite G Chantilly, VA 20151 U.S.A. Info@AdventureMotorcycle.com AdventureMotorcycle.com 571-485-2910 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Digital subscriptions to Adventure Motorcycle are available for $12.00 per year. Print subscriptions are $29.00 per year and include free digital edition access. Issues are published six times per year. MOVING? Send address changes to Adventure Motorcycle, 14506 Lee Rd, Suite G, Chantilly, VA 20151 Info@AdventureMotorcycle.com DISCLAIMER: The content, subject matter, and views provided by authors within this magazine are not necessarily the views of Adventure Motorcycle. Actions depicted in this magazine, whether photographic or journalistic, are all of or by experienced professionals. We do not recommend attempting anything on these pages without the proper training, preparation and time. Printed in the USA. Copyright © 2016 by Adventure Motorcycle Magazine. All rights reserved. Adventure Motorcycle Magazine and ADVMoto are trademarks of Adventure Motorcycle Magazine.
Here’s to the Storytellers! Perhaps the greatest pleasure for us here at ADVMoto is our relationships with the storytellers. Sharing with you the life-changing and spectacular experiences of the authors and photographers is at the heart of what we do. We aim to publish the best of the real world accounts, inspiring you to get out there and see the planet. Adventure riders span the gamut of cultural, national, professional and socioeconomic backgrounds. Regardless of why you may want to explore the world, these are the guys and gals who’ll guide you. Their stories cover the spectrum from geographical and cultural diversity to countless personal challenges—all guaranteed to stretch your comfort zones. It’s each rider’s technical, emotional and physical experiences that make their tales so worthy of telling—often illustrating the most important traits we need to hone as adventurers not only to survive but to have the time of our lives out there. Our staff seek out fresh and exciting points of view from those who have something to say. But not all stories begin as gems. Some are submitted as diamonds in the rough. So we take great pride in careful preparation and presentation, with a heavy emphasis on finding the ideal mix of editing, photo selections, and page designs to best convey their individual accounts. 2016 was a banner year for content and we’d especially like to thank some of our key writers you’ve gotten to know, along with everyone who’s contributed stellar contributions. Expect to see more in 2017 from Sam Manicom, Ivana Colakovska and Manu Torres (AroundGaia.com), Naomi Tweddle, Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford (TwoWheeledNomad.com), Ian Lloyd Neubauer, Steph Jeavons, and Kyra Sacdalan and Justin Coffey, Bea Höbenreich and Helmut Koch (TimetoRide.de), and perhaps even see some work from the enduring Lisa and Simon Thomas (2RidetheWorld.com)! Thanks also to the support of our readers and partners as we round out another year of growth in the ADV community and look forward to sponsoring more riders and writers in 2017. As always keep the submissions and comments coming. It’s fun work... but someone’s got to do it! Catch ya out there!
Paul H. Smith, Senior Editor
Let us know your thoughts on this editorial by contacting us through the AdventureMotorcycle.com website or send an email to Letters@AdventureMotorcycle.com
Itâ€™s time to maximize your riding experience with the only shock that comes out of the box set-up for a fully loaded adventure bike
50% MORE PRELOAD CUSTOM SPRING RATES FULLY SERVICEABLE MADE FOR ADVENTURE
YOUR RIDE CALL 1-800-491-2926 TO TALK TO A TOURATECH ADVENTURE EXPERT
2017 Husqvarna Dual-Sport Line Up If you’re looking for an enduro you can ride to and race at your local hare scramble, you’re in luck! Husqvarna announces their 2017 Enduro lineup that includes four street-legal, 4-stroke bikes. The FE 250, 350, 450, and 501 feature class-leading components including WP Xplor 48 forks, linkage rear suspension, composite carbon subframes for reduced weight, and class-leading horsepower
2016 Ural Sahara Ural offers twice the fun and adventure with the return of their iconic Ural Sahara for 2016. Equipped with on-demand 2WD, Heidenau K37 tires, sidecar accessories panel and special edition paint, this tried and true sidecar will keep you and your companion exploring even after the tarmac ends. The optional Off-Road Package adds protection and practicality with upgraded LED headlights and light guards, wind protection, bumper guards, additional luggage racks, enduro bench seat and more. If you want to share your adventuring experience with your spouse, family member, or fourlegged friend, there’s no better way to do it than on a Ural. MSRP: Starting at $17,999 IMZ-Ural.com 10
and torque. Combined with sleek, futuristic bodywork, the 2017 Husky dual-sport motorcycles’ performance is sure to please, whether you’re racing enduros or cruising through National Parks. Available in North America in fall of 2016. Husqvarna-Motorcycles.com
Photos: Larry Pangilinan
Additional colors and styles are available. Visit our website at SCORPIONUSA.COM to view our 2016 collection and to locate an authorized dealer near you.
G R A P H I C
SOLIDS $269.95 | GRAPHICS $289.95
3 Years Of Design & Engineering. 3 Modes. 3 Shell Sizes.
[Goggles NOT Included]
The EXO-AT950 can be used as a full-face ADV helmet with external peak visor attached, or the peak visor can be removed and you have an aerodynamic touring helmet. Our oversized eye port is extremely wide for greater peripheral vision and downward visibility, and the modular chin bar can be conveniently flipped up when you stop to get gas or ask for directions. The internal drop down Speedview® sunvisor and KwikWick® II liner will keep you comfortable all day long even as lighting conditions change throughout the day. Additionally, the no-fog Everclear® face shield can be removed and you can use the EXO- AT950 as a dirt helmet with goggles for off-road use.
Versatile Modular Adventure Touring Helmet
Introducing the all new EXO-AT950 ADV Modular Helmet
THE WAIT IS OVER
Weiser Turn Signals One of the easiest ways to increase the visibility of your motorcycle is to upgrade its lighting systems. Many of todayâ€™s current models come equipped with LED headlights and tail lights, but most still come from the factory with weak turn signals using standard bulbs. Weiser offers a unique system that utilizes your stock turn signal housing, but converts the lighting to use multiple high intensity LEDs. Installation takes less than five minutes per light and the only tool required is a screwdriver. The UltraBright Kits are available in Original versions or the new Extreme kit which Weiser says are the brightest turn signals on the market today. All kits are BMWâ€™s CAN bus compatible and come with a 30day, no-hassle refund guarantee. MSRP: Original $65 | Extreme $85 WeiserTechnik.com
IMS Core Enduro Pegs In the same way a footwear company offers shoes in different sizes and for various types of terrain, IMS creates foot pegs to enhance traction and comfort. The new IMS Core Enduro pegs are engineered to be slightly wider than stock pegs, with either standard or sharp teeth. These durable, lightweight pegs are designed for enduro/woods riding and available for most dirt bikes, dual-sports, and adventure motorcycles. MSRP: $159 IMSProducts.com
GIVI Dolomiti Side Cases Remember when GIVI only offered trunk cases for scooters? They’ve come a long way since then, now offering some of the finest luggage systems and accessories for today’s most popular adventure touring machines. The new Dolomiti Side Cases are slim, beautifully designed, and made using single sheet construction of natural aluminum. These panniers come with an adapter kit that will work with PL/PLR Monokey rail systems. Each Dolomiti case offers 36 liters of storage space with a maximum load of 22 pounds. MSRP: $700 (pair) GIVIMoto.com
Moto-Skiveez Technical Riding Shirt Guardian Purifier Although small, portable water treatment options have been available for years, the issue of having clean, potable water will be around for as long as we love to explore the unknown. Mountain Safety Research (MSR) not only offers a full line of camping accessories, they also strive to educate adventurists about safety in the wilderness. Many articles are available right on their website, explaining when, where, and why it’s important to treat water before consumption. The Guardian by MSR is new for 2016, offering some of the world’s most advanced water purification technology in a compact and lightweight package. Whether you’re touring or camping, protect yourself from bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms, and more by using the Guardian Purifier. MSRP: $349 CascadeDesigns.com/msr/
What you wear underneath your riding gear can dramatically increase your comfort. That’s why Moto-Skiveez has created the Technical Riding Shirt, specifically designed to keep riders dry and cool. Manufactured in Colombia, the Hydro-Sport fabric is lightweight, breathable, and constructed to maximize air flow. The outside of the sleeve is longer than the inside to accommodate the curvature of the arm in an upright riding position. A onequarter-length neck zipper and cuff thumb holes assist in putting on outer protective gear, while a comfort collar helps prevent chafing from your riding jacket. MSRP: $59.95 MotoSkiveez.com
SIDI Deep Rain Boots
Built for AdvenTurisimo by Andrew Nguyen I couldn’t help but notice their fine Italian quality as the SIDI Deep Rain boots came out of the box. From the embossed, anti-wear heat panels to the Trockenfuss (dry foot) antibacterial/absorbent liner, SIDI pays a lot of attention to detail. The boots look attractive in a rugged way but are, at the same time, subtle. Little accents like reflective heel pieces and logos help achieve an elegant look. As I tried the boots on, I was reminded of Christmas morning. Mom always gets me socks, which I’ve come to appreciate as I’ve grown older. The SIDIs give me the same satisfyingly snug, perfect fit and warm feel. And, walking around in them was a surprise. Have you ever tried to walk around in a stiff new pair of motocross boots? Your ankles feel constricted and every time you enter a room, your loud, heavy footsteps make people think you’re looking for Sarah Connor. And of course they’re hard to shift with. This is not the case with the SIDI Deep Rains. They come soft from the factory and weigh a feathery 2.2 pounds each, making them comfortable and quiet. I’ve even spent full days at the office wearing them, never needing to swap for work shoes.
There are small, functional features that make these SIDIs a breeze to get in and out of, with two adjustable buckles, as opposed to four on motocross boots. I counted nine “motions” in order to open or close one of my motocrossers, while the Deep Rains only require three. They fit snug on my slender feet. Those with wide or tall feet might feel a tad constricted, so if you’re playing the “American to Euro-Size guessing game,” consider a size up. One of the key factors in producing quality dual-sport/ ADV gear is versatility—comfort for the street and protection for off road. If I had to rate the Deep Rains in a way similar to dual-sport tires, I’d say they are 60/40, more oriented toward the road. These boots could use some ankle rigidity to help prevent the feet from rolling off the pegs; however, the sturdy heel cup and beefy sole absorb the impact from dabbing in rocky terrain or bouncing off tree stumps. With a little more protection, the Deep Rains would be great 50/50 off-road touring boots. On a casual dual-sport run that consisted of highway, backroads, gravel, and double-track, my ankles and feet
DRY BAGS Stackable | 100% Waterproof | Capable Three Sizes | Two Colors
were never uncomfortable. The SIDIs offered adequate traction on the pegs and the ground, wet or dry. The overall thinness of the boot gives the rider a lot of feel, making it easy to find the pegs, brake and shifter. The Deep Rains passed the waterproof test through a few deep water crossings. You can even stand in shallow water, as the interior gaiter extends to the top of the calf. If they can survive this, they can handle any type of rain you’ll ride through. The trade-off, as usual, is ventilation. The boots do get a little toasty in hot weather, which is less noticeable while moving. The name “Deep Rain” is a bit of a mystery to me. Yes, they could probably help your feet withstand riding through a hurricane, but they offer so much more than that. From daily commuting and touring to off-road excursions, your feet will be comfy, dry and protected. These Italian kickers need a more fitting name, like “TerraTour,” or “AdvenTurisimo.” Whatever you decide to call them, just know they could easily become your favorite pair of riding boots. MSRP: $295 SidiSport.com
Italian styling and build quality
KTM 690/HUSKY 701 COMING SOON! INTAKE SYSTEMS WWW.ROTTWEILERPERFORMANCE.COM
•TOOL-LESS ACCESS •1 HOUR INSTALL •CUSTOM SHAPED VELOCITY STACK •BIG HORSEPOWER GAINS •MAKES ROOM FOR A ROTTWEILER ONE GALLON STORAGE BAG
Easy to get in and out of True water resistance
Feet get baked in hot weather Could use more side-to-side rigidity
Shinko 804/805 Adventure Trail Tires
Budget-Conscious Performance On and Off Road by “Downtown” Dave Brown The dual-sport tire market is as wide and varied as the people who ride. If your need falls into the category of 40% on road and 60% off road, I highly recommend you take a serious look at the Shinko 804/805 Adventure Trail tires. Shinko was established in 1946 as a manufacturer of bicycle tires and tubes in Osaka, Japan. In 1998, they acquired motorcycle tire technology and molds from Yokohama Rubber Co. and began production under the Shinko Tire brand. Today they produce approximately 200,000 motorcycle tires per month from their South Korean manufacturing facility. The 804/805s are reasonably priced and available in modern dual-sport sizes (110/18/19/21-inch fronts and 150/17/18-inch rears). Their very aggressive large blocks look like they’ll rip through asphalt, but I was impressed with how smooth they rode. I didn’t get that bumpity, bumpity, bumpity feeling, nor the audible hum that full knobby tires produce. Unexpected and very nice. Testing the tires during my 80-mile commute to work, I found them to be pleasantly boring—exactly what I want from a street tire. Grip is consistent at different lean angles and provides excellent rider feedback. But, if you push them too hard into a corner you can feel the sidewall beginning to flex and the side knobs folding, giving a mushy feel, a signal that you need to back it down. At highway speeds I did manage to find the hum, but in no way was it displeasing or overbearing. With the ABS disengaged for off-roading on my 2012 Suzuki DL650, I was able to test the traction in multiple situations from shallow mud to dry hard pack, some gravel,
and even snow. I’m extremely impressed with the confidence these tires inspire; they are predictable and don’t do anything unexpected. The amount of traction remains consistent through all lean angles and when they’re going to break loose, you know it’s coming. I also found them to be excellent under heavy braking. Stopping a 475-pound motorcycle requires a lot of things to go right at the same time, and the bite the 804/805s provides is excellent. Especially in the front, it maintained a “point-andshoot”/”look-where-you-want-to-go” attitude, not the drift and slide of some smoother, street-oriented tires. The Shinko 804/805 Adventure Trail tires are an excellent value. Solid street performance and outstanding off-road prowess add up to a versatile 40/60 tire for the street rider who also demands performance off road. MSRP: E-804 front $99.95 | E-805 rear $131.95 ShinkoTireUSA.com
Solid all-day street performance Outstanding off-road traction both front and rear Predictable under braking
Lacks side knobs for more technical riding
Distributed By: TwistedThrottle.com
D-Series Modular Dry Bags So watertight, they'll keep your gear dry even when submerged. With an innovative rigid-core construction and slip-lock mounting straps, DRYSPEC D-Series dry bags can be used independently or mated together to create 8 unique packing solutions.
Held Air-n-Dry Four-Season Glove by Andreas Raffel When Held, one of Germany’s most established and awarded apparel companies, introduced the Air-n-Dry four-season glove, I was curious—with a wrinkled brow. Sometimes it’s overly optimistic to proclaim a new product as a do-it-all Swiss Army Knife in any field, but I will admit the technology is ambitious. Held’s Air-n-Dry gloves have two compartments to choose from, and a waterproof membrane for a divider. The supple, perforated kangaroo leather on the palm and fingers kept me surprisingly comfortable up to about 90°F. These breathable sections do a great job keeping your hands cool despite the double layer of GORE-TEX over the top, which is a welcome addition when the temperature drops below 50°F. For cooler weather, I was glad to have the warmer compartment to slip into. The comfort and fit in the cooler kangaroo “pouch” is superb, even after a 10-hour day at the handlebars. But slipping into the upper compartment, the thumb was a bit too long. And the dual layer’s extra material gets in the way when operating a 60CSX GPS, for example. After a few minutes of light off-road riding, I was happy to switch back to the thinner adventure gloves. While the Air-n-Dry will get you to your adventure ride on pavement and in most elements, they are not well suited (and don’t intend to be) for extended dirt riding. In the category of protection, the hard knuckle shield and tough simulated stingray leather (what Held calls “Superfabric”) with generous padding at the edge of the palm, will serve the purpose when needed. To test water resistance, given the rare occasions of rain in SoCal, a water bucket had to suffice, and a five-minute immersion left my hands bone dry. A visor-wiper feature on the left index finger came in handy in morning fog conditions— streak-free and convenient. Since these gloves are geared toward extended rides, I would have expected touch-screen fingertips, a technology now common in every glove north of $80, and these are quite a bit north, at $250. MSRP: $250 HeldUSA.com
“We’ve ridden from London to Everest Base Camp so far and with the Scottoiler chain oiler on the bike we have not even adjusted the chain once” Kevin Sanders Co-Founder Globebusters
scottoiler.com • (814) 592-7003
Versatile in various weather conditions Comfortable Robust construction
CONS No touch-screen feature Too much thumb material when both layers are utilized
The 100% Waterproof
BACKCOUNTRY DUFFLE 40L It’s a 100% waterproof duffle, a backpack, and a quick-stash spot. It’s a way to keep your wet jacket separate from your dry sleeping bag. It’s a ‘bike broke down, gotta hike out’ bag, and also a fly-to-ride carry-on. The double-ended roll-top closures make it a cinch to access your gear throughout the day without unstrapping from the bike. This is the ultimate tailbag for long-distance backcountry exploration and international adventuring. We aren’t in any stores, we only sell direct to you, the rider. To learn more check us out at Moskomoto.com
Find us on MOSKOMOTO.com or on ADVRIDER.com in the ‘Vendors’ forum.
From RRR Tool Solutions
Tire Pressure Monitoring System by Steve Kamrad Gone are the days of manually checking your tire pressures—or forgetting to. Before every ride I tell myself to check, then I pull out of the garage only to remember that I forgot. Wondering if your tires are at the correct pressures or temperatures, whether on- or off-road, can be a big distraction. With the TPMS by RRR Tool Solutions, you’ll have a real-time readout right on your dash. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), built specifically for motorcycles with tubeless rims, is everything you could want and a little extra. Sensor/valve stems are mounted from inside any tubeless wheel’s rim that accommodates a standard valve stem. I’d recommend this upgrade during tire changes because removal of the tire is required to fit the new sensor/valve stem. Installing the surprisingly well made and very waterproof display unit is as easy (or as difficult) as finding a wire controlled by the ignition switch. The kit includes a connector that simply wraps around an ignition-controlled wire and the display unit’s positive wire and, with a firm
Never again wonder if you have eight pounds or 28 pounds of pressure in a tire No second guessing if you have a flat after hitting a rock or running over something Displays psi, kPa, or bar and Fahrenheit or Celsius
You may have to make a display mount Three-year battery life on replaceable sensors Tires have to be removed for installation 20
squeeze, makes a piercing connection into both. The ground wire is then attached under any bolt on the frame that isn’t critical (not a frame-to-engine or suspension bolt) or run all the way back to the battery if you’re so inclined. If you think having a TPMS that will alert you to “low pressure” is nice, this will blow your hair back. The unit provides real-time readouts of individual tire pressures (+/-1 psi), with a programmable low pressure alert which turns the display from blue to red. Front and rear tire temperature readouts are also provided, along with a high temp alert. Real-time readouts of tire temperatures and pressure variations from the start of the day to mid-ride will prove valuable, too. Last but not least, a battery voltage display and low voltage alert are the icing on the cake. Head over to the RRR Tool Solutions website for fitment on valve stems 11.5 or 8.3 mm, and to check out their tools and other solutions for adventure riders. MSRP: $175 RRRToolSolutions.com
Weego JS12 Heavy Duty Charger
The Thirst for Power by Wayne Mitchell
As adventure motorcycle technology advances, cameras, GPS systems, and helmet-mounted communications get smaller and lighter. And as our use of these technologies increases, so does our thirst for power. When traveling over long distances or off the grid, recharging devices can be a challenge, especially when considering the limited powerproducing capabilities of smaller adventure bikes. Thankfully, the New Jersey-based company, Weego, provides a solution to this problem. Since moving to the Colorado Rockies in the middle of winter, my bike has been packed away in the garage. Recently I obtained the Weego Jump Starter JS12 Heavy Duty 12000 and decided to give it a test before the riding season started. Weighing in at just under a pound, and being about twice the size of an iPhone, I threw it in my pack for a day trip of filming. The JS12 comes charged out of the box, and Weego claims it will hold a charge for several months. I found that
in recharging it after completely draining the unit, it reached a full charge in a little over three hours. From there I was able to recharge two Sena Prism action cameras along with my Sena 20s helmet comms and still have enough power remaining for an emergency jump start. The best part about Weego’s JS12 is the set of attachments that comes with the unit. Battery jumper cables and an optional SAE adapter tether give you the ability to easily jump-start a dead battery while in the backcountry. One USB post, an included array of phone adapters, and a 12-volt cigarette style adapter provide endless options for recharging devices, as well as several options to recharge the JS12 itself while on the go. Whether it’s kept in the saddle bag or in the glove compartment of a car, Weego’s JS12 packs a big punch into a small package, and deserves a spot in the kit of any power-hungry rider out there. MSRP: $149 MyWeego.com
Lightweight and compact Little decline in charge over time Multiple power output for phones and computers Motorcycle-specific plugs available
Requires three-hour charge time Reduced effectiveness in cold weather Not compatible with MacBook
Motion Pro’s BeadPro Bead Breaker by Stephen Townsend At some point in a rider’s life, the need to remove a tire from its rim for either repair or replacement is inevitable. But man, handling a heavy bike using the kickstand to break the tire’s bead is a task unto itself. Thanks to Motion Pro there is a safer and easier way to tackle the task. I recently tried out their newly slimmed-down, lightweight and easily packable tool called the BeadPro. Made from forged aluminum, the BeadPro is a two-piece bar set weighing in at 9 ounces with a length of 9.8 inches. I found it required very little effort to break the bead from the rim. You simply mate the BeadPro bars together, then using leverage with a squeeze of the bars (and plenty of tire lube), the tire bead just pops right off. Once the bead is popped the BeadPro bars then perform double-duty as tire spoons to help remove the tire from the rim. For a trailside repair or an at-home tire swap the BeadPro has now become part of my standard tool kit. MSRP: $64.99 MotionPro.com
Very lightweight Made of solid aluminum and won’t bend under pressure Easy to store and fit everywhere
Prefer slightly wider spoon heads with a tad more of a curve
ADVENTURE RIDING, TRANSFORMED. photo credit: Gregory Luck
GoWolfman.com Go Explore with our Double Ended Duffel, Rolie Bags, Blackhawk Tank Bag
THE NEXT GENERATION LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES
ANTIGRAVITY BATTERIES offers the most innovative Lithium-Ion products for any Adventurer... From our MICRO-START, which can fit in your pocket, yet jump start any vehicle and charge your Cell Phone, Tablet , Computer or GPS. To our ultra lightweight, high-power starter batteries, that offers more “real” Amp Hours than our competitors. Antigravity Batteries has you covered when your on the Road!
SMALL CASE AND OEM SIZES AVAILABLE
We offer OEM sizes as well as unbelievably compact Small Case batteries to fit any stock or custom bike. Experience 80% less weight than Lead/Acid Batteries and more reliable starting!
• OEM EXACT FIT: 10 models • SMALL CASE: 4 models • EXTREME SERIES: 2 models • 6-VOLT & 16-VOLT: 2 models each
POCKET JUMP STARTER AND POWER SUPPLY
PORTABLE POWER SUPPLY
Our amazing MICRO-START ranges from the ultra compact XP-5, which starts up to V6 motors, to the Diesel starting XP-10! Each model can jump-start any vehicle, charge Electronics, and features a high-powered LED flashlight. Perfect for everyone, and small enough to take anywhere!
• XP-1: Start up to V8. USB, 12V, 19V ports. • XP-3: Start up to V8. USB charging port. • XP-5: Starts V6. USB port. Weighs 6 oz! • XP-10: Starts Diesels! USB, 12V, 19V ports. • Includes Carry Case and all items needed
All items needed to Jump Start and Charge Electronics included!
MICRO-START TIRE INFLATOR
THE THUMP-BOX TURNS ANY SURFACE INTO A SPEAKER The new THUMP-BOX has Patented Sound-Wave Technology that transmits micro-vibrations directly into the surface that your THUMP-BOX is placed! Imagine having the ability to turn your table, counter-top, tool box, or even your truck bed into a wireless speaker!
Compact AIR compressor powered by your MICRO-START Personal Power Supply This tire Inflator/Air Pump is extremely compact and portable. Allowing you to use the MICRO-START XP-1 or XP-10 to inflate your motorcycle or car tires anywhere, or use any Cig lighter output to power it. Small but mighty this tire pump has to ability to inflate motorcycle tires, and standard car tires up to 80 psi! Weight 9oz. Size 4” x 3.5” x 1.25”
• Connects with any Bluetooth device, or directly to your device. • LED touch pad controls and Built-in Mic so you can take calls. • Line-In and Line-Out ports to chain units & play at same time. • Only 56 x 56 x 75mm (2.25 x 2.25 x 3”). Weighs 400g (14.8 oz).
VISIT US AT ANTIGRAVITY BATTERIES
O P X E D N A L R E V O
hen Bill and I go camping, we’re usually focused on getting away from the crowds. The solitude of a remote spot in a pine forest near a gurgling mountain stream is Nirvana, and having the peace disrupted by blaring music or screaming kids can ruin an otherwise perfect experience. Yet in May of every year, we head west from our home in Oklahoma to Flagstaff, Arizona to camp with thousands of other people in a spot where the noise starts at dawn and continues way past dusk. And we love it. It’s the total immersion experience of the Overland Expo (OX) and it’s our chance to eat, sleep, talk and breathe adventure travel with friends old and new. The thought of missing the event triggers a physical response akin to missing a family reunion (when you really like your family). At the Expo, we get to see, in the flesh, the overlanding friends we correspond with year-round, embracing and shaking hands, sharing a meal, and having face-to-face conversations without the aid of electronic devices. But Overland Expo is much more than a 21st Century Rocky Mountain Rendezvous. Now in its 10th year, the three-day event for adventure travel enthusiasts is packed with training on endless aspects of motorcycle
Dogs and kids add to the festive atmosphere along the rows of vendors at the 2016 edition of Overland Expo West.
6 1 0 2 WESTAll Things Adventure goo
by Susan Dra
How many women can you get on a Ural? At least 11! Nicole Espinosa, Carla King, and Susan Dragoo enjoy the traditional Ural ride around the Expo.
Suzanna Esparza gives a â€œthumbs-upâ€? during her RawHyde adventures training class at OX2016.
This BMW rider’s windshield adds to the colorful display along the path through Motorcycle Village.
A lovely sunrise view on the north edge of Mormon Lake Campground tempts the camper and rider to ignore the warning signs.
Blue skies encouraged record crowds to enjoy all that OX2016 had to offer.
and four-wheeled travel, insights from world travelers and advice for those who would be, and entertainment in the form of slide shows and adventure films. Oh, and the vendors. All things adventure for gearheads of the outdoor persuasion. And the social events. Tons of fun and new this year, a Gear and Beer Night in downtown Flagstaff to get the party going. Does it sound like we enjoy OX? We do, but clearly we’re not alone. Word has spread and the 2016 Overland Expo West, which took place May 20–22, saw records set for both attendance (close to 10,000 this year, a 40% increase over 2015) and number of exhibitors (reaching maximum capacity at 250, also up 40%), encouraged by pleasant weather at Mormon Lake Campground, southeast of Flagstaff. For veterans of 2015’s “Snowverland Expo,” when a cold rain and a dusting of snow put a damper on the festivities, the weather was even more significant. This year, though rain a few days before the event gave organizers some concern, the weekend was sunny and mild, albeit the wind was a tad brisk. You can’t have everything. For two-wheeled adventurers, hanging out in the Motorcycle Village was an entertaining and, literally, colorful way to pass the time. There they were in bright reds, yellows, oranges and greens: the OEMs and accessory manufacturers plus the RawHyde crowd, with a wide range of training classes and, new this year, a meal package for purchase by event-goers, a convenient way to address the challenge of staying fed at the Expo. And of course the ubiquitous Ural salesman Mark Tetreau, owner of Prescott, Arizona’s Scooter and Auto Source and an OX staple. Test rides were popular as always and the question of how many women one can squeeze on to a moving Ural was resolved… well, for this year, anyway (at least 11). The adventure motorcycle community was well represented by luminaries such as Sam Manicom, Simon and Lisa Thomas, Danell Lynn, Tiffany Coates, and Carla King and there was even an opportunity to have a drink and hang out at happy hour with round-the-world motorcycling icon Ted Simon. The festival atmosphere was most evident walking down the tree-lined row of exhibitor booths on the southern edge of the campground: Overlanders of all ages with kids and dogs (lots of dogs) in tow, browsing, talking, enjoying the beautiful day. Like a carnival midway but better. Far better. Roseanne and Jonathan Hanson and their team really hit it out of the ballpark this year. If you missed it, you have another chance in 2016 since they’ll be doing it all over again at Overland Expo East on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, October 7–9. It’s worth it, crowds and all.
aerostich.com/adv Photo by Clint Graves - 2015
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KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R
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Photos: R. Schedl
ide to the ends of the earth on KTMâ€™s 1190 ADVENTURE R. No other offroad adventure bike has the ability to adapt to all rider levels on-road and off â€“ from desert exploration in extreme conditions to bombing down the highway, alone or with a passenger and loads of baggage. The KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R can be adjusted to almost any kind of usage and covers the widest range of conditions; thanks to state-of-the-art technology. Four different modes on the KTM 1190 ADVENTURE R allow the power to be used effectively and predictably. So what are you waiting for? Start your adventure today.
Please do not attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scenes, always wear protective riding gear and observe the applicable road traffic laws and regulations of the road. The illustrated vehicles may from country to country and vary in selected details from the production models and some illustrations feature optional equipment available at additional cost.
Lessons from a Solo Trip:
Riding a motorcycle was a concept that terrified me a couple of years ago. I was a 5'6", 103-lb. girl in my late twenties, had not ridden dirt bikes as a kid, nor grown up around motorcycles. Somehow I went from that to completing a 23-day, 4,238-mile motorcycle camping trip, solo. I rode a BMW G650GS, with the unladen weight at four times my own, and with gear, about five times mine. The original idea several years ago was to do a motorbike road trip through Asia. At someone’s suggestion, I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course, and got my motorcycle license. A used BMW that came with panniers and everything became my “starter” bike. I lost count of how many times I tipped over, and was impressed with its hardiness.
Looking around, I didn’t see many examples of women of a similar profile doing what I had the notion to do. Women who do extended road trips generally go with a male significant other, friend or group. I seemed to be on the more petite end of the spectrum, especially among women riding large adventure dual-sports. Was a smaller female riding a nearly 500-pound motorbike and gear solo actually feasible? I accomplished my road trip realizing anything is possible. Having a non-traditional profile means more effort and challenges, but doesn’t preclude one from successfully pursuing one’s motorcycle dreams and ideas.
Rider) le a m e F te ti e P a r fo n (Eve
by Marcia A. McGuire | Photos by Nathanael Napolitano
Setting up camp after putting down the kickstand for the day.
Pausing to take in the panoramic view on the Montana-Wyoming Beartooth Highway 212.
ALONE AND CAPABLE
We do not really know what we’re capable of until we figure things out on our own—especially independent from the guys with their typically greater physical strength. I’ve found that it is when I’m in a perplexing situation alone, where others cannot jump in and solve things for me, that I discover my capabilities. Road tripping alone came about because I realized that if I’m always waiting for someone to be able to participate in the things I wanted to do, then there would be many things I’d never end up doing. I’ve had to work on being comfortable adventuring solo, and being a cautious person, I set back-ups to create as safe an experience as possible. Those, and the lessons I learned on my 23-day solo motorcycle camping road trip, are what I want to discuss here, in hopes that others, especially those with similar profiles, find them useful.
Handling the elevation and the elements.
Following curiosity down a road in Washington.
Build up to a big trip in smaller steps: A few years ago, I did a seven-week solo road trip (on four wheels). I’d never camped alone before, so knew I’d need to become comfortable with solo camping. In preparation, I went off one weekend to a dispersed camping area I was familiar with. I slept the first night in my Rav4, and the second night, although nervous, in a tent. No incidents. I survived. I concluded I could indeed solo camp and be fine. Practice and do trial runs: Trial runs help to figure out gear and such, and allow for seeing what kind of situations might arise. On short jaunts I would occasionally get into mishaps, and learned motorcycle-related problem solving. Knowing what could arise and the variables to pay attention to, I could then more quickly identify and prevent potential undesirable situations. If certain aspects cause nervousness, get some training: My main concerns were off-road riding on a large adventure dual-sport, and what to do if my motorcycle required field maintenance. Although I chose to not intentionally go down dirt roads alone on this first long motorcycle road trip, the skills and confidence I gained in RawHyde’s (RawHyde-OffRoad.com) off-road introductory course instilled calm and even helped me have some fun in
sections where there was no tarmac. The Puget Sound Safety (PSSOR.com) motorcycle maintenance course helped me become more comfortable with the basics. Know your own capabilities and capacities: Because I had experience riding through different environments and conditions, I knew my limits. I also learned to constantly pay attention to my energy level. Asking for help is always an option, and it seems everyone is happy to help a motorcyclist, especially a female one. I purposely outlined my route with capacities in mind, such as proximity to locations that other people would pass through. The safety of women traveling alone may also be a concern: I actually find men to be very protective when they find out I’m traveling alone, and strangers keep an eye out to make sure I am safe. I bring a Spot satellite messenger (FindMeSpot.com) device so I can send out an S.O.S. to key contacts or to search-and-rescue. I’ve also found that after being on the road solo for a bit, I developed a sense for knowing whether I can trust someone or if I should be wary. I’ve never had a problem. AdventureMotorcycle.com
LESSONS FROM THE ROAD
I practiced handling and thinking through an array of scenarios that might come up on a road trip and this was invaluable in my travels. Purposeful technique training, like picking up a downed motorcycle, or figuring out how to get out of situations on the edge of my ability during trial runs, helped me to have confidence that I could manage on my own, and indeed were utilized on the road trip. Knowing my capacity was critically important. I placed hard stops on myself, even if they slowed me down. Staying within my limits paid off, because when there was a serious situation, such as when the food I’d packed into the bearresistant food canister was (temporarily) stolen a couple of days before a mountaineering class, I was able to tap into the energy, mental and physical, that was necessary to process through the situation and figure out what happened. Staying within capacity was also important for times the road took my path into challenging terrain, like dodging the tumbleweeds through three hours of mid-20 mph crosswinds with gusts in the mid-30 mph range. Being creative and looking to other sports that require greater expertise was helpful. I didn’t want to carry my mountaineering gear on my motorcycle for just a few days’ use, so I mailed my gear to myself. I also asked for food and gear advice from backpackers and bikepackers, because trekking or pedaling, they have to be even more conscientious about what and how they pack and eat.
Home for the night among the forest and the ferns.
Another important note is that going solo doesn’t necessarily mean a lonely trip. Some of the best, most diverse conversations I’ve had took place on the road. I’ve noticed, as have others, that there is greater accessibility to people when traveling solo, especially on a motorbike, and even more so as a woman. New friends and I may travel together for a day or a few hours, or share a campsite or a meal; I can have company, but do not need to be stuck with them for an entire trip. Oh, and one other thing to be prepared for—not wanting to come home. Being on the road has become home. But if I had not returned to come full circle, I wouldn’t have realized—through the success of my completion—that doing such a road trip is possible. Marcia McGuire, though a newer rider, has owned a motorcycle for every year she has ridden. Marcia likes to get people thinking, especially about what might be possible—often using her ADV bikes for projects investigating and documenting social and environmental issues. InPursuitOfQuestions.com
y kind of pass is the highest point that offers the lowest possible route through a mountain range or ridge. In Colorado, we have more than 20 unimproved routes artistically littered by nature with rocks, dirt and sand. Civil engineers have paved more than double that number for even more exploration. As a bona fide “Pass Bagger” (collector of passes), I’ve ridden or at least attempted most of them. When I turned 40 a few years back I even attempted to ride 40 passes in 40 hours, “just because.” I made 37 before snow and fatigue put an end to my folly.
Imogene Pass, the highest pass in the San Juan Mountains, connects Telluride and Ouray and sits within the grandeur of the Alpine Loop.
Every pass has a story and an adventure, such as when the rock-laden Tomichi Pass sent my Triumph Scrambler and me tumbling home, prior to reaching its summit. But there are no hard feelings… and it’s still on my dance card. One could easily collect a half dozen passes crisscrossing Colorado from Denver to Vail between the I-70 and 285, and many do during the yearly 100K Ride where riders collect as much as 100,000 vertical feet, one pass at a time, in a single day. For this reason, selecting favorites is an impossible task. Instead, I’ll tell you about areas demonstrating Colorado’s diversity and splendor.
It appears any problem can be solved with a tire iron, a thimble and some twine!
They say you never forget your first. Mine was the unimproved Mosquito Pass, between Fairplay and Leadville. It wears an “Open for Business” sign only a few months a year, due to abundant snow. There are significantly easier ways to ease into off-road pass riding, but once you conquer Mosquito things definitely get easier. The Fairplay side has large rocks, deep ruts and an excess of running water that can challenge even the toughest riders, which I’m not. But I held my own. Familiarity with traversing waterfalls is definitely a plus, another skill I lacked. In many sections, it’s more a hill climb than a trail.
by Joe Trey
The Scrambler in its natural habitat.
Eligible bachelors keeping a safe distance from Bridal Veil falls outside Telluride.
The Leadville side has smaller rocks and more manageable switchbacks. At first it seems easier, but it requires patience to keep your bike steady on the narrow trail with its steep grades, hairpin turns, and scree. The strain the ride puts on modern machines makes it difficult to imagine John Lewis Dyer, the pioneering Methodist Circuit Rider (horseback preacher) crossing the 13,185-foot summit several times a week in the late 1800s. Preaching didn’t pay the bills, so he took a part-time job delivering mail for the princely sum of $18 per month. He continued his work into the winter with the help of Norwegian snowshoes, traveling in weather that would send most of us inside with some adult-style hot chocolate.
TRAIL RIDGE ROAD/FALL RIVER PASS
It’s well documented that Katharine Lee Bates was seated at the top of Zebulon Pike’s Peak when she penned, “America the Beautiful” and wrote the words “purple mountains’ majesty” to describe the Colorado Rockies. However, she could easily have written it from any site within Rocky Mountain National Park. Instead it was Stephen King who used his proximity to write “The Shining” from the nearby Stanley Hotel. The Rocky Mountains clearly inspired them both in vastly different ways. Rocky Mountain National Park is home to the highest contiguous paved road in the U.S. (12,183 feet). The 48-mile long Trail Ridge Road connects Estes Park to Grand Lake. When the elk are not forcing you to yield to their
path, you will constantly be tempted to stop and absorb the grandeur of expansive mountain fields, multiple hiking opportunities and the lava-ravaged beauty surrounding you. A lesser known route to the summit is found near the Estes Park upper entrance, just past the Alluvial Fan, an area with boulders bigger than cars strewn along the roadside as a result of the 1982 Lawn Lake Flood. Most people are satisfied to make a U-turn here. But continue, and you will see where convicts lived as they built the 11-mile Old Fall River Road in 1913. The road is an easy, but often sandy, one-way ascent to the apex it shares with Trail Ridge Road. It has no guardrails, just enough rocks to be interesting, and is bendy in all the right places—in other words a great route! To avoid the flatlanders who religiously adhere to the road’s 15 mph speed limits, it’s best explored on weekdays. In contrast to Trail Ridge Road’s sweeping vistas, this off-road alternative offers a unique view through tight, tree-covered trails once only negotiated by Native American hunters in search of the area’s plentiful game. At the summit, you will reconnect with families sipping hot chocolate and purchasing T-shirts, wondering how you magically appeared on the opposite side of the parking lot entrance. Please, offer only a smile, and keep the secret of “The Old Road” to yourself! Continue west on pavement toward Grand Lake and cross two additional passes. At Iceberg Lake, a body of water seemingly spawned just for the myriad of painters lining its
Where am I supposed to find two more wheels up here? Oh well, onward and upward!
Getting every inch of the 11,789 feet Ophir Pass. AdventureMotorcycle.com
This old water tower along an abandoned narrow gauge railroad was restored by the Mile High Jeep Club in 1969. shore, you will cross Iceberg Pass (11,827 feet). A few miles later is Milner Pass (10,759 feet), intersecting the Continental Divide, which separates drainage to the Atlantic from the Pacific and runs from Alaska to just above South America’s Cape Horn. Exiting the park leads you to the Grand Lake Lodge, offering “Colorado’s favorite front porch.” Spend the night or simply enjoy a great meal as you overlook Grand Lake, Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake. Stare into a mesmerizing reflection as blue as Paul Newman’s eyes and pretend you and Sundance just pulled off the heist of the century as you look back on your day.
ALPINE LOOP AREA
When only the best will do, head to Colorado’s Alpine Loop, the Disney World of off-road pass riding, with a European flare. Engineer, California and Cinnamon passes, each coming in at just under 13,000 feet, connect the base camp towns of Silverton, Lake City and Ouray (aka “Little Switzerland,” so named because of its setting at the narrow head of a valley enclosed on three and a half sides by mountains). The ghost towns of Animas Forks and Capitol City beg to be explored as you are further distracted by detours to lakes, basins, gulches and even more passes. Navigating the complexity of rubble along steep, narrow pathways is intensified by the presence of bighorn sheep, mountain lions and bears. Overhead, curious bald eagles view your exploration from heights exceeding the area’s highest peaks.
Flanking the Alpine Loop is the Million Dollar Highway, with access to other awe-inspiring day trips, such as Yankee Boy Basin, Ophir Pass and Imogene Pass. But none are more infamous than “To Hell You Ride.” This “road” to Telluride over Black Bear Pass has resulted in more deaths than any other pass in Colorado, but for those who dare, it offers some of the most spectacular views of the Red Mountains, Ingram Lake and Bridal Veil Falls, a breathtaking two-pronged waterfall that pours out from below the second oldest operating AC generator in the U.S. Many choose to view it by simply riding down Telluride’s main street and looking up, but the view from above is life changing and you deserve it! Whether you stick to pavement or venture off road, bagging a pass is an invitation to experience roads that were once not less traveled; to see the routes that opened up areas and created opportunities; to expand our own worlds… one pass at a time. Joe Trey aka “Adventure Hermit,” moved to Colorado in 1996 and found his childhood love of motorcycles rekindled. He has traveled all over the U.S., including a two-month journey on the Trans America Trail, from Tennessee to Oregon, off highway. You can usually find him riding the longest route between the shortest points. AdventureHermit.com
IT’S IN THE DETAILS. You know every inch of your bike. Not just the engine size, or the color code of the paint. It’s the special details that only you know about. Like the way the seat feels after a long ride. Or that scuﬀ on the footpeg you picked up while riding through rugged terrain. It’s the details that make your bike unique, and no one knows this more than GEICO. With GEICO Motorcycle insurance, you’ll get coverage speciﬁc to your bike, and a team of people who love motorcycles as much as you do. When it comes to insurance, it’s the little things that make a big diﬀerence. Trust the details to GEICO Motorcycle.
Motorcycle geico.com | 1-800-442-9253 | Local Oﬃce Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Motorcycle coverage is underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2015 GEICO.
” G IN T A E H C “ IT L L SOME CA
Kyra Sacdalan of West X1000 and her Yamaha XT225. 44
by Greg Hilchey
g,” es, “You’re cheatin m ti y an m id sa it d I’ve hear all displacement sm a ng di ri ne o e referring to som le vs. a large bike. yc rc to o m rt po -s al du
or years, there’s been a perception in the adventure travel world that if you’re not riding the biggest bike possible, you’re not a true adventurer. This perception has been created by design to condition the consumer, and is fueled by manufacturers and other businesses thriving on this fast growing market. Search the internet for “adventure motorcycle,” and you’ll find images of big BMWs, Yamahas, and KTMs with monstrous engines, bikes weighing in at 500+ lbs. Every year it seems manufacturers are coming out with bigger and more powerful “Adventure Class” motorcycles. Hopefully, that’s changing. While the major manufacturers have been pushing bigger bikes, some are going the opposite direction, producing small to mid-sized motorcycles with the adventure traveler in mind. Both the Chinese and the British have introduced small and mid-sized motorcycles that are adventure-ready. The Japanese have been producing high quality small and mid-sized dual-sports for years, but haven’t really embraced the adventure travel market until recently. So, do you need 570 lbs. and 125 hp for adventure travel? Some say yes, that it’s “better to have it” for those long stretches of highway. Others say a bike like that is overkill. Noah Horak’s recent “Open Letter to the Motorcycle Industry” published on Expedition Portal said, “If you cannot pick up your bike fully loaded in any situation, it’s not ideal for adventure travel.”
An adventurized XT225.
There seem to be two types of bias about smaller bikes. One is that smaller bikes cannot carry as much, or go as fast, as large “Adventure Class” bikes. When you line up the specs side by side the question remains, how much is enough? Modern 250s and 400s can cruise at 70 mph, and have a carrying load of around 400 lbs., more than enough to carry you and your kit anywhere you want to go. And, these bikes often have excellent fuel economy. The other is, “Smaller bikes are for people who can’t ride.” The truth is, most riders lack the fundamentals for off-road riding whether on a big bike or small one. Like so many, when I was new to adventure touring, I believed the hype that you had to have a large bike to do an adventure. I traded my 650cc motorbike for a 1200. Initially I thought it was the greatest thing on two wheels, until I took it on a long distance off-road tour. I found myself wrestling the behemoth every day for nearly a month while traveling the backcountry of British Columbia en route to the Yukon. Even with all my prior training, the bike was not very forgiving, and once it reached its threshold, it was going to end up on its side. By the end of that journey, I had made the decision to find a more manageable off-road bike. Since then, I’ve owned the full spectrum of adventure bikes and dual-sports from 1200s to 650s and have now settled on the
KTM 690 and the WR 250R. On a recent trip up the west coast from San Diego to Seattle, I was beside myself with how much fun my WR was to ride, and how capable it is. Austin Vince, the godfather of adventure motorcycle travel and author of Mondo Enduro, said, “The problem isn’t the large displacement motorcycles, it’s the industry telling the average person that they need these huge, $20,000 machines to have an adventure. Younger people generally cannot afford a bike like that, and that’s discouraging them from pursuing adventure travel.” He added that in order to manage such a large motorcycle, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars more to attend a weekend training school. Austin’s philosophy has always been that adventure motorcycle travel can be achieved by anyone, of any age, as long as they don’t listen to what the industry is trying to sell them. “One of the greatest adventure bikes out there for the average person is a 250cc enduro, but people have been convinced that a bike that size is incapable of adventure travel.” When I became an off-road instructor at Puget Sound Safety Off Road (PSSOR), I never saw myself as an exceptional rider. Just average, like most. The school has a “come as you are” philosophy and has seen everything from the latest adventure class motorcycle to the “adventure scooter.” Having owned a big bike, it’s easy to sympathize with students showing up on their new adventure bikes not knowing what they’re getting into. By the end of the course,
they have far more confidence in their riding skills, but they have also realized they have limited themselves by selecting such large bikes. Many of my students who have stayed in touch have purchased smaller, more versatile bikes, while keeping the large displacement bikes more for on-road touring than off-road touring. Although “Adventure Class” motorcycles will most likely remain in the forefront, the smaller bike movement has been getting more attention than ever before. Steph Jeavons, a gal from the U.K., is currently in the middle of a solo, round-the-world tour on her Honda 250L named “Rhonda.” She has become so popular that she has maxed out her friends list on Facebook. Another rider gaining popularity has been adventuring around the world on the world’s most popular motorcycle, the Honda Super Cub. Ed March rode his C90 from Australia to the U.K. back in 2009.
The film footage he took during the trip was made into a DVD. He then proceeded to ride his Honda to Nordkap in the dead of winter, and is now currently on a two-year journey with his girlfriend, Rachel Lasham, traveling from Alaska to Tierra Del Fuego. Small displacement bikes aren’t built for everyone. Famed adventure traveler Simon Thomas stands tall at 6'3". For him, the R1150GS that’s taken him through 78 countries so far, is the bike that fits him. Most males are around 5'9" (175cm), and women are around 5'5" (164cm). When you combine a tall seat with a heavy bike it adds up quickly. Most small to mid-size dual-sports have a higher seat height, but with a narrower profile, less weight and softer suspension, an average height rider can sit comfortably with one foot firmly on the ground and only have 300 lbs. of bike to balance. Inna Thorn, manager of the Backcountry
Noah Horak and his KTM 690 went around the world. AdventureMotorcycle.com
Justin Coffey of West X1000. enough low end power for off-road adventure. It didn’t hurt that for the pair of them we were only out $6,000.” It’s not that a big bike isn’t capable of taking on gnarly terrain, it’s that the average rider doesn’t have the time and dedication to build the skills required to manage a heavy bike the way one could handle a smaller bike. Ed March took a group on a tour from Mongolia to the U.K. in 2010—with most riding C90s. Most of the riders had no experience at either traveling or riding a motorcycle. In fact, one rider had just received his driver’s license the week before, and his longest trip on a motorcycle had been 20 miles. They all ended up having the adventure of a lifetime. So, if you believe that you must have a certain “Adventure Bike” to do adventure travel, then you may miss out on the greatest adventure of your life. It’s okay, go ahead and “Cheat.” Discovery Routes (BDR), decided after training for the Arizona Backcountry Route that her KLR 650 was going to be too heavy for her and the terrain she was about to tackle. She opted for a 250 and had great success. “Bikes like the WR 250R were made for Backcountry Routes,” she said in a recent article. Justin Coffey, who works for Touratech, recently took a trip to Mexico with his girlfriend Kyra on a pair of Yamaha XT 225s. “Justin chose the bikes,” Kyra said. “One that would be small enough for me, and large enough for him. One that was powerful enough to travel safely on American freeways, but had
Greg Hilchey is an off-road instructor with PSSOR (PSSOR.com). He’s been riding for over 25 years and has traveled throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Greg served 20 years with the Army and retired this year. He is planning a two-year journey around the world on his Yamaha WR 250R.
A Yamaha XT225.
Crossing the Alaskan tundra with the Atigun Pass in the background.
by Manu Torres of Around Gaia
ever get bored e w if s u k as es im et eople som cycle travel. or ot m op st on n of s after year nitive “Never!" fi de a s ay w al is er The answ Every day we’re on the road we experience new things and make new friends. No day is equal to another. Daily we have to find shelter, decide who to trust, and determine how to overcome things like being stuck in a bad storm in the mountains. Finding a campsite or a place to stay before the sun sets and the temperature drops dangerously when we’re in the middle of nowhere can be tricky, especially in the far north. This is how we’ve lived over the last three years, and as we’ve learned to take on and overcome the challenges, it’s become a little easier. But over time it can also become routine, almost boring, so we’ve improvised a solution: We create situations that are difficult if not almost impossible to get through, challenges that put us in positions where we have to decide whether or not to forge ahead, circumstances that color our journey and fill us with new lessons and experiences that not only keep it interesting but keep us going. After crossing the West Coast of the U.S. into Canada we learned that only two percent of travelers going overland to Alaska dare to visit Deadhorse, a distant outpost on the shore of the Arctic Ocean and the northernmost point reachable by road in North America. As we were finishing the long North American stage of our journey around the world we wanted to become members of that two percent. It was the end of April and the weather on the other side of the Arctic Circle was still unstable, making us unsure if it was wise to head that way or better
to turn around. With our “improvised solution” in mind, we decided to go anyway. The focus would be on the last leg, Fairbanks to Deadhorse at Prudhoe Bay. The most interesting section would be the 666 kilometers of the Dalton Highway, of which only 260 kilometers are paved. The week before, we monitored the weather forecasts until we saw what appeared to be a break—temperatures no lower than 0°C and no snow storms on the way. We had just two days to get there and two to return. As we’d already visited Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost point reachable by road of the Americas, the two continental extreme destinations added a little extra pride to our Around Gaia Project.
Clouds building up in the mountains as we return from Deadhorse could mean trouble; we must waste no time crossing them.
The entrance to the Dalton Highway is 112 kilometers north of Fairbanks. It’s considered one of the most dangerous routes in the world, and upon arrival we looked out over a road of mud, a condition that would slow us down over the next few days. We were entering a famous route scarce of both people and resources. With no cell phone or medical services, the success or failure of the trip was almost entirely in our hands. The first day we quickly learned that here the weather changes so quickly and radically that it cannot be easily predicted. So much for our week of weather watching!
Below-zero temperatures with small snow storms is a challenge on a bike. At -10°C our fingers became so frozen it was almost impossible to operate the controls, and the only way to warm up was to stop and put our hands near the exhaust, a technique we used frequently. We eventually made it to a small outpost near the banks of the great Yukon River, one of the few gas/food stops along the highway. There we topped off our fuel and grabbed some hot coffee before continuing. The next outpost and our destination for the day was Coldfoot, 100 kilometers away, where after a painful and difficult ride devoid of interesting landscape, we went to bed wondering if it was really worth it.
We gassed up and departed early, hoping to reach Deadhorse across unknown conditions, 430 kilometers farther on. I began the day in the worst mood—likely a physical hangover from the intensity of the previous day. One of the challenges was the Atigun Pass. At 1,400 meters it may not seem too high or fearful elsewhere on the planet, but at this time of year and in these latitudes it can be lethal. However, that day we got an unexpected gift, the weather had calmed down; we had bearable temperatures and the previous day’s snow gave an almost fantastical aspect to the landscape.
Taking a rest in Hyder, Alaska.
Time for a cigar to celebrate our arrival in Deadhorse.
Rain makes the Dalton Highway a slippery ride.
Bear Glacier along Canada’s Cassiar Highway. Along the way to our final destination we saw bears, caribou and even muskox. It was those moments that reminded us why we fell in love with the lonely wilderness, and why we chose to avoid the busy summer season even though we faced more difficult conditions. The last section of highway followed the Sag River, interjecting some visual variation as we crossed a world where everything is frozen. It was also the first day of the year when the sun never sets, only dropping as far as to kiss the horizon before rising again to continue its journey across the sky. Suddenly there it was—a small sign indicating that we’d made it to Deadhorse. The feeling was so personal and strange that only those who dare to make the effort will understand. A long time ago we had anticipated how we’d feel at this moment. Deadhorse was one of the three important checkpoints we were determined to visit before returning home. But with it now checked off the list there was no time to lose, we must continue our way looking for new goals. Ten minutes after beginning our return to Fairbanks, Africa was on our minds….
November/December November/December2016 2016
After achieving our goal of making it to Deadhorse, it was time to start thinking about what continent was next. Manu Torres and Ivana Colakovska are a Spanish and Macedonian couple who started the Around Gaia Project (“Gaia” is the term for Earth as a living organism) with the mission of traveling the globe by motorcycle. Their goals are straightforward: “We intend to prove there’s no need to be frightened of the unknown. That we can break the misconceptions, mistrust and fear of danger of faraway people and places. And, we want to show how the world is a much nicer place than many believe it to be.” AroundGaia.com
early summer stillness filled the air as I made my way out of a sun-bleached, wooden hostería and onto the warm asphalt. The main street leading from my adopted Chilean town lay stretched and empty, inviting escape. I closed my eyes and listened closely, feet bare on blacktop, as if expecting to feel the thumping in the road before hearing the sound waves through the air. The first tree at the end of a long row of eucalyptus lining the road wavered, followed in sequence by the second and third. By the time the gust of wind reached halfway down the line, I heard it: The familiar frequency of a purring motor, matched shortly by the arrival of a second. I opened my eyes. Two Yamaha Ténéré 660Zs appeared on the horizon and opened their throttles, mixing fuel and fire to close the distance. The machines brought a pair of masked riders rolling to a stop on either side of me. A visor popped up and our grinning eyes met. “So, did you bring the croissants?” came the voice from the helmet. In 1996, my dad, Alain, and his French colleague, Didier BlancGonnet, signed the paperwork to officially open their first bakery business in Portland, Oregon. My childhood days were spent slaloming through perpetually faulty bread ovens and ducking below creaky dough rollers as the duo worked tirelessly to ensure their business stayed afloat. Over the course of two decades I watched as their complicity in business helped forge a deep friendship. In 20 years of operating the business, my dad and Didier had never taken a joint vacation, fearing their butter-filled enterprise would slip and fall on its face without their watchful eyes. But in late 2012, the business reached a level of unprecedented quasi-stability, with all four locations operating smoothly. The lull in restaurant mishaps and management crises was begging to be taken advantage of. It was during a Skype call with Dad from my apartment in La Paz,
Didier, Kevin and Alain take a break in Baja Caracoles, Argentina.
by Kevin Machtelinckx
Riding the unending gravel stretches of Tierra del Fuego.
The Catedral de Mármol juts upward from the surface of the turquoise waters of Lago General Carrera.
Alain and Didier using a short break in riding to share a couple laughs.
Bolivia, that the plan was devised. He and Didier would take a month off, fly down to Santiago, Chile, and rent two motorcycles. Being that I had quit my job several months earlier to backpack, volunteer and climb around South America, nothing kept me from rearranging my plans to meet them somewhere in Chile on a two-wheeled steed of my own. From there we would set our sights on the land of fire and wind, Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of the continent. We blasted out of that little town 500 miles south of Santiago like a trio of Old West bandits, panniers loaded with riches and eyes fixed on the distant horizon. If the two Yamahas were the athletic, fuel-injected mustangs of the herd, my carbureted 2010 Kawasaki KLR 650 was the grunty, reliable mule. I bought the blue Kawasaki from a friendly Austrian I had made contact with on ADVRider. Fitted with Hepco-Becker crash bars, pannier racks, touring windscreen and nearly new dual-sport tires, I could not have asked for a timelier set-up to take on Chile’s backroads. The man-made spine of Chilean Patagonia is the unpaved Ruta 7, better known as the famous Carretera Austral. Spanning 770 miles from Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins, the unpaved highway meanders through dense Valdivian temperate rain forests, glacial fjords and Andean mountains. At a handful of small towns along the way, one can cross the border into Argentina to brave the hanging valleys of the Andes, only to be spit out into the sprawling emptiness of golden Patagonian steppe. With dreams of carving fast gravel lines through pristine valleys and soaring glaciated peaks, we stepped out of our cozy guest house in Puerto Montt ready to earn our first stretch of austral dirt. Two short ferry rides and 100 miles later we staggered from a canopy of blackened skies into a
stuffy boarding house, utterly defeated. As Oregonians, we know better than to trust a sky to remain blue for long, but we convinced ourselves that this rule wouldn’t apply during our month of travel through the rainiest region of the world. Weather is quick to put you in your place in Patagonia. An apron-clad woman peeked out from the kitchen doorway at the extranjeros locos, grinned knowingly, and went to work preparing three additional meals. Outside, droplets of rain sizzled, vaporizing on hot exhausts. Wandering thunderheads peppered the sky over the next few days, dousing us intermittently with deluges of biblical proportions. We rode under a patchwork of blue sky and dark clouds, occasionally exchanging bone-soaking rain for spirit-lifting sunbeams. The 430-mile stretch of gravel separating Puerto Montt and Coyhaique is a trip back through time. Ferns the size of dump trucks spill out from the edge of the road, vying for space that was once theirs. Some sections of the Carretera would barely qualify as a forest road in the U.S., whereas others are nearly four lanes wide. I like to think I am a conscientious and safe rider, which is why the expletives tumbling from my mouth in the instant before sampling Patagonian dirt could only be aimed at myself. With eyes constantly checking my mirror, the righthanded, decreasing radius curve caught me by surprise. I went in with too much speed, my vision fixated on the spot of soil I wanted to taste on the far side of the curve. The rear wheel went out as I attempted to correct my imprudence too hastily. I braced myself for the impact and landed on my right shoulder as the bike skidded away. Adrenaline pumping, I hoisted the hissing KLR upright, revealing asymmetrical crash bars and gouged plastic. Dad and Didier came into sight. “Ça va?” “Yeah. I fell, but I’m okay.” My shoulder ached, but my pride had taken the brunt of the fall and they knew it.
On the road to Chile Chico, paralleling the Lago General Carrera. The lake, which straddles the border of Chile and Argentina, becomes Lago Buenos Aires once the border is crossed.
Dad looked the bike up and down, already coming up One of the many border with solutions for the broken blinker and cracked plastics as crossings in southern Patagonia. if his garage and tool cabinet were just down the road. Like clockwork, Didier leaned back in his saddle and pitched in with a few jokes. A good riding partner knows how to get a bike back on the road. A great riding partner knows how to ensure your spirits are lifted as well. Although each day of riding offered serious “helmet time” for reflection, we spent evenings swapping stories of teenage stupidity, past regrets and far-off dreams. With cuts of meat sizzling next to the glowing coals of an Argentinian asado, I listened to Dad relive the time he plugged a hemorrhaging crankcase with a piece of gum in the Spanish deserts, 30 years ago. Didier’s tales of avalanche rescues as part of a ski patrol unit in the French Alps kept me on the edge of my seat, questioning my own alpine ambitions. I flipped the flank steaks and salted the meat as I once saw a gaucho do Instead of going out for a victory dinner that night I spent and the pair jumped into a story about being stopped at it frantically being shuttled around by an off-duty mechanic, gunpoint while on a motorcycle tour of northern Mexico. trying to source a new chain and front sprocket. Throughout Silently, I debated whether to tell them about the the trip, I had become increasingly concerned at the lightning strike that obliterated a tree 500 feet from me frequency with which I had to adjust my chain. I misjudged two months prior, while canoeing deep in the Amazonian the amount of life left in it and the chain jumped off the rear jungle. That one would have to wait. At the end of these sprocket as we entered the city that evening. I later learned evenings, in the ephemeral seconds before drifting off that the front sprocket installed by a mechanic before the trip to sleep, I realized these were the moments I would be was the incorrect pitch and had eaten through a brand new retelling 30 years from now. DID chain in 6,000 miles. Fortune shone upon me as We rounded a corner one mid-January day and there we dug through drawers of spare parts in a garage and it was, the sign indicating the end of the continent. found a 15-tooth sprocket with the same output shaft pattern Ushuaia is a special destination where the voyages as my Kawasaki. of travelers from all over the world culminate. These Ushuaia was fading fast in our rearview mirrors now, having endings are celebrated not only by the travelers come and gone like the wind of Tierra del Fuego. Dad and themselves, but also by locals who, passing by, are well Didier had 10 days to return their rented Ténérés to Santiago. aware of the trials and tribulations of the wanderers. My future became more defined when I received word that I had As we shared a few moments to ourselves, pausing been offered an engineering position on the coastline of Chile’s at the entrance to the city, trucks rolled by offering Atacama Desert. I had left my belongings in the town where we thumbs-up and congratulatory honks. AdventureMotorcycle.com
Leaving Parque Pumalín, a 3,250-square kilometer nature reserve in Chilean Patagonia. I stood next to my black and blue KLR the following day, staring at it as if trying to establish the kind of bond shared between a pair of lifelong riding partners. A mechanical gaze stared back at me. The muddied and scarred heap of metal and plastic wouldn’t offer me the conversations and laughter that Dad and Didier did, but I could sense the first murmurs of a unique trust found only between man and machine. With a grin slowly spreading across my face, I swung my leg over the Kawasaki as I had done hundreds of times before, cranked the starter and pointed my thumping companion north. The arid moonscapes of the Atacama beckoned. had met and it was there that we’d go our separate ways. Knowing our paths would soon diverge, we let off the throttles and allowed ourselves to be driven only by our desire to relish the riding instead of the need to pursue a destination. South America has a way of reshaping the way you plan your day to match its relaxed pace. So, when we found ourselves only 60 miles down the road from where we camped the previous night and mesmerized by the mountains surrounding Argentina’s El Chaltén, we called it a day on the bikes, set up camp and went for a hike. Returning to the location of our initial rendezvous just north of Temuco, Chile, our trio crisscrossed barren plains, navigated to forgotten border posts and sped through towering larch forests. The month of Patagonian motorcycle splendor came to an end as I watched a friend and a father rumble slowly away, around a bend and out of sight.
A pause along the Ruta 40, Argentina, while riding the endless Patagonian steppe.
Kevin Machtelinckx is an adventure photographer based in Portland, Oregon, though his work spans many continents. His explorations have led him to scale 21,000-foot Andean summits, scramble along granite faces of North Cascades mountains and undertake a 10,000-km gravel motorcycle ride though Chile’s Atacama Desert and Patagonia’s Carretera Austral. The term “home” finds itself constantly redefined in Kevin’s world. His personality is an amalgam of the souls who have shared conversations with him on the road, the landscapes that have sacrificed their light to his camera, and the moments that have inspired him to embark on new journeys. KmaxPhoto.com
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Up in the T
his is a story about a solo journey on an inappropriate and underpowered bike along a frighteningly bad road that cut through the deepest ravine in the world to reach the foothills of the highest mountains on Earth. A trip riddled with so many false starts, obstacles and challenges that I still have trouble believing the universe let me get away with it.
In the beginning there were four of us, an international crew of highly experienced off-road adventurers with a plan to ride from Hanoi to Kathmandu—an epic 4,000-kilometer journey through seven countries. Filmed for French TV, the adventure, we hoped, would bring attention to the fact Nepal was once again safe for travel after the cataclysmic April 25, 2015, earthquake that left the Himalayan nation on its knees. But one by one, my partners pulled out until I was last man standing. To hell with them, I thought, hatching a new, albeit significantly condensed, route that started in Pokhara, a lakeside city surrounded by snow-capped mountains known as the adventure capital of Nepal. From there I’d veer 150 kilometers north on the Trans-Himalayan Highway to the sacred city of Muktinath. Set on a high altitude desert honeycombed with temples and caves, Muktinath is an important pilgrimage city for Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists who make the long and arduous uphill trek to shower under the 108 holy water spouts at Muktinath’s monastery. Add bad roads, mind-blowing mountain scenery and exotic culture to the mix, and you’ll understand why Muktinath has become a mecca for adventure riders.
Vision splendid: After three days on the road, Ian finally enters the Kingdom of Lo.
by Ian Lloyd Neub
Idiot’s Guide to a Fuel Crisis
Top: The village of Kagbeni. Middle: The temple of Muktinath. Bottom: Traffic in the Kingdom of Lo is 99% goats. 64
Five days before I touched down, Nepal’s government passed its first constitution. Normally a good sign for a fledgling democracy, it enraged minorities living in the southern lowland provinces who said the constitution screwed them out of their rights. When their calls for amendments fell upon deaf ears, protesters hit the government where it hurt by blocking border checkpoints—a stroke of genius considering Nepal imports nearly all of its petroleum products from India. Now everyone in the country would feel their pain as petrol pumps around the country ran dry. I may have been on a holy pilgrimage, but even prayers couldn’t help me find fuel there. I’d been told the Pokhara police had a stockpile of fuel. With a bit of luck, I could convince them to part with a tankful. But the guard told me to piss off. Emergency services were on life support and the economy had tanked. Down but not out, I crossed over to the dark side and started hunting for fuel on the black market. The asking price from the taxi mafia was $20 a liter. When I tried to negotiate, they also told me to piss off. Later I found a back alley dealer who sold petrol for only $4 a liter. But with hundreds of desperate customers, he’d imposed a three-liter quota. The next day I found five liters for $7 a liter. It was a bargain compared to the next batch I found, a five-liter jerrycan for $15 a liter, sold by some rat who worked at a gas station. Put together with my other stash, it gave me just enough fuel to ride up to Muktinath on a rusty old Royal Enfield 350cc Bullet I’d borrowed from the Hearts & Tears Motorcycle Club. The
president, fellow Aussie Matt Gardner, was already en route. If we could cross paths, there was a good chance I might be able to get some fuel from him for the return journey. After months of planning, setbacks, and dodgy late night under-the-table deals, I was finally ready to hit the road. It had been a great adventure just getting this far, but the real journey hadn’t even begun.
Hell on Two Wheels The Trans-Himalayan Highway is an ancient thoroughfare that connects Nepal with the Old Silk Road in China and Tibet. The first few kilometers out of Pokhara were a high-speed, take-no-prisoners game of cat and mouse as I ducked and weaved between dangerously overloaded trucks and buses. Yet, as I passed the city limits, the grime, dust and diesel fumes of the developing world were left behind and Nepal’s fairytale countryside appeared in all its glory. Snowcapped mountains sparkled like white gold against a cloudless blue sky. Eagles soared in slow, circular movements. Emerald green rice paddies shimmered in the morning haze. An opal-colored river wound its way along a ravine far below. There’d been many times over the last six months when I’d almost given up on this trip. But after only half an hour on the road, I knew it had all been worthwhile. The first 75 kilometers were peppered with gravel and potholes but otherwise in good shape as the road snaked up mountainsides and dropped into deep valleys. It was 2:00 p.m. when I hit the town of Beni,
the halfway mark to Muktinath, where I stopped to munch on a few cheap and delicious potato samosas washed down with ice cold mango juice. Things started getting interesting after Beni, when the tarmac was replaced with a series of surfaces of such devious and devilish nature that it seemed they’d actually been put there to puncture tubes. Beds of jagged slate rose from the dirt at every conceivable angle, concealed oftentimes by river crossings, superfine chalk-like dust and gooey pits of warm grey mud. The Enfield howled with pain every time I dragged its sorry ass over fields of pointy triangular rocks and across boulders consuming the width of the road. The thing had no skid plate, but it did have a pair of oversize crash bars that managed to catch on dozens of trees, rocks and roots. I heard so many chilling rock-on-metal bangs that I began to think nothing of them until I looked down to find the muffler had fallen off. Wasting precious fuel, I doubled back for half an hour until I found a couple of kids playing with my muffler. I bought it back from them for a dollar and used a length of chicken wire found on the road to re-attach it. It was late in the afternoon before I rocked up at Tatopani, a village set along the gushing Kali Gandaki River that’s famous for its hot springs.
Ian catches up with Matt Gardner and a few other members of the Hearts & Tears Motorcycle Club.
Sprocket-Chewing Hills Rising from an elevation of 800 meters at Pokhara to 8,901 meters at its genesis on Mount Annapurna, the Kali Gandaki is the deepest gorge in the world. Half an hour out of Tatopani I found myself riding along a narrow road hugging the edge of this colossal rift in the earth through which thousands of gallons of water churn every second. Higher and higher the road climbed along preposterously ratty surfaces. The Enfield coughed and spluttered as the oxygen got thinner and began to emit a chilling bonecrunching sound. As I punched on, the noise became uglier
and the bike started to lose momentum until suddenly it died. The rear sprocket’s teeth had rounded off! Just then, two young Nepalese guys riding past offered assistance. “Don’t despair, we are with you, brother,” they said. There was a mechanic in Ghasa, 15 minutes back. They helped me turn the old clunker around and followed as I mostly coasted back to the town. They were absolute legends and everyday examples of the warmth and hospitality of the Nepalese people. The guy who fixed my bike, however, was a total bastard. There was little doubting his mechanical prowess, as he was able to machine new teeth into the old sprocket, but he
demanded $700—$5.90 more than the average Nepalese makes in a year. Thus began a Mexican stand-off that ensnarled half the village and the local coppers, and which dragged on for hours in the midday heat until he finally succumbed to my one and only offer of $50. It was 3:00 p.m. when I finally got out of there. Pushing metal against rock, I smashed it non-stop for four long hot hours until I got to the village of Kagbeni where I rendezvoused with the Hearts & Tears Motorcycle Club. When I saw Matt I felt an urgent need to punch him in the face for giving me such a lemon. But at the same time I wanted to hug him for being witness to the fact that I’d made it up that 20 kilometers of road! Remember the big furry monsters from the Muppet show? They have resurfaced as beasts of burden in the Kingdom of Lo. The next morning, I headed off in a convoy of eight Enfield 500s, Matt the lucky bastard on a Crossfire CFR250 (a Chinese knock-off of the Honda CRF) and their support vehicle. I rode along, enjoying the view, until that god-awful crunching noise returned with a vengeance. The mechanic’s modification had failed, and all but three of the teeth had snapped off the sprocket. Fortunately, Matt’s mechanic was able to replace it. When we reached the Muktinath monastery, it sat beneath a pair of snow-capped peaks in an olive grove with a gilded temple in its center—cut straight out of Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine. A few of the boys stripped to run under the 108 freezing-cold water spouts. I found a place to sit and contemplate life, where a few moments later one of the riders sat down and started telling me about all the problems they’d faced on the way up. At one point when he’d run out of fuel, Matt had to lower a bottle of petrol to him on a rope down a cliff because the switchback between them was too steep for the support vehicle to reverse course. “If you made it up here,” he said, “it must mean something.” Hearts & Tears Motorcycle Club (HeartsAndTears.com) offers seven-day guided tours from Pokhara to Muktinath from September to May, and straight Enfield rentals for self-guided tours. Contact Matt at Ride@HeartsAndTears.com for more information. Ian Neubauer was five years old when his parents took him to Tahiti. As soon as he finished high school in Australia, he hit the road, spending years backpacking across Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. He’s combined his work as a journalist and passion for off-road touring to travel to and through some of the most exotic countries in the region, including Cambodia, Laos, China and the Philippines. He loves nothing more than charging solo through strange lands, getting to know the locals and being covered in mud. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Find Ian on Instagram @adventure_before_dentures AdventureMotorcycle.com
Sailing from Colombia to Cuba took six days—a journey across the open sea that was much less romantic than we’d envisioned. As we reached the southern coast of the big island the prospect of finally having land under our feet filled us with joy. But before we could discover Cuba on two wheels, we had to undergo a two-day marathon with the authorities to acquire Cuban license plates and drivers’ permits. To get a feeling for this country, we spent the first two nights in a so-called “Casa Particulares,” the home of a Cuban family. When we asked where to park our motorcycles, they indicated to bring them inside, but the doorway was too narrow. Yet, as we experienced many times on our journey through Cuba, there is no “not possible” in this country, and Cubans seem 68
We park Bea’s 1989 Honda Transalp in the shade of a palm tree beside a beautiful 1957 Chevrolet. Right next to this lovingly restored U.S. vintage car her bike suddenly doesn’t seem old at all.
| by Bettina Hรถbenreich ch Ko ut lm Photos by He
to always find solutions to their problems. In this case it was next door at Grandmaâ€™s, which had wider doorways and a living room that was emptied to make room for the bikes. Our first day on the road turned into a real adventure. We followed a westerly coastal route on quiet roads, along lonely beaches and remote bays. When we reached the small, industrially influenced city of Manzanillo, we were back in civilization. Once, Cuba was as an important worldwide exporter of sugar. Today, sugarcane is still cultivated with ancient machines, harvested and transported to the factories by horse, where the white gold is extracted from the fibrous plant and processed for export, mainly to China and Japan. In town we walked through the alleys with their mix of partly demolished and newly renovated houses; it felt like a living museum. Everywhere we looked we found treasures on two and four wheels. Only one percent of the population owns motorized vehicles, so horses and bicycles dominate rural roadways. Cuba is famous for its vintage U.S. cars such as Cadillacs, Lincolns and Chevrolets, and there are large numbers of old mopeds and sidecar motorcycles, especially the MZ-models, well over 30 years old. Due to the loving care of their Cuban owners most of the old bikes are still in remarkably good condition. On average, Cuba is 100 to 150 kilometers wide and the biggest part of our route was in relatively good shape, allowing us to fly across the wide rural landscape, which is mostly farmland. One early evening we arrived at the small resort town of Playa Santa Lucia and found lodging only a few meters from the beach. From the locals we received a tip about the remote Coco Beach, accessible via a few kilometers of dirt track. The slightly
One night a Cuban family offered to park our bikes in grandmaâ€™s living room to keep them safe. They quickly removed all the furniture to make room!
We pitch our tent on the rugged, deserted South Coast and enjoy a beautiful sunset on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
dusty drive was definitely worth it, as the not-very-touristy spot surprised us with its turquoise-blue water, a wide sandy beach with palm trees, and magnificent view of the bay. We parked our bikes in the shade of palm trees next to a 1957 Chevy. The owner, who said it had been in his family for two generations, was delighted by our interest and he showed us around the vintage car and even let us take it for a spin. The next stop was the town of Trinidad, built in 1514 by the Spanish conquerors. Once a sugar metropolis—one of the most important of the island—it’s now a UNESCO heritage site. The city has many glorious buildings, especially around the central Plaza Mayor.
After a few days of the touristy hustle in Trinidad and the sometimes extremely persistent street vendors, we sought the calmness and simplicity of the countryside. We planned to follow a small track along the sea and hoped to camp on a not-so-populated part of the coast, so it was essential to carry sufficient food supplies. Due to the economy of scarcity and international sanctions, queues into the supermarkets are long, and the variety of food was limited and expensive. For a piece of salami and hard cheese we had to wait for over an hour, but at least we reached the local bakery just as they started selling fresh baguettes and bread rolls. At a small vegetable stand we managed to buy
a cucumber and a few tomatoes, which completed our provisions for the next few days. While we were shopping, a large group of people gathered around our motorcycles. Some of them took pictures with their mobile phones, while others looked over our bikes in great detail. Honda Transalps don’t exist in Cuba, and it’s not surprising that they always drew attention no matter where we stopped. Cubans are a very open, curious and friendly folk, and we didn’t mind these gatherings. Much to the contrary, we were happy to talk with them about our bikes and journey, as it formed a bridge that quickly melted the ice and facilitated many interesting conversations. As we drove past Cienfuegos we finally found, thanks to the help of a local, the semi-hidden access road to the south coast. This relatively small, slightly sandy path seemed infrequently used. In many places along it, the mangrove forest reached so far into the road we had to duck behind our windshields to avoid being hit by branches. At times we rode on the sandy banks with a view of the rough and rocky coast, fighting a bumpy route with towering boulders everywhere. We rode this lonely road for almost two hours without seeing a single person.
Wherever we stop, we and our bikes are surrounded by a curious crowd of people within minutes. Most Cubans have never seen “big” bikes like ours before.
Riding around Cuba on our own motorcycles was quite an adventure at times, as heavy tropical hurricanes damaged some of the roads on the South Coast of the island and left them in poor condition.
We pitched camp along the empty coast as the evening sun on the faraway horizon slowly sank into the Caribbean. Due to the bad track and the secluded area there was little problem finding a secure spot slightly off the main route. The stony cliff where we put up our tent was framed on one side by the dense mangrove forest, and on the other by crashing breakers against rugged rocks. Even though Cuba has an almost tropical climate, it was “winter” and the temperature fell to a cool 10°C. We quickly gathered driftwood, found everywhere on the beach, and built a small fire. Then we settled in to recollect the many adventures and encounters of the last few days before retreating into our tent for the night. The next stop was one of the most charismatic big cities of the world: La Habana. Havana is the capital of the Republic of Cuba and therefore the political center of the island. And due to the historical La Vieja district, with its hundreds of well-maintained colonial buildings, it’s also a UNESCO world heritage site. The feeling we got when we drove our bikes side by side with the well restored U.S. vintage cars over Havana’s glorious “Paseo del Prado” alley was simply indescribable. Since the shipment date for our motorcycles was fast approaching, we only had a little time left to discover the city. From the Plaza de la Catedral we followed the narrow lanes southward to the oldest part of town, the Plaza de Armas, founded in the 16th Century and now host to the biggest antiquity flea market in Havana. The unique Cuban flair is much more present in the
ancient streets of Havana than in other parts of the country. Old men sit in the shadow of doorways playing chess, undisturbed by the passing flow of tourists. Restaurant and street musicians fill the atmosphere with rhythmic rumba and salsa melodies. There we met the charismatic fortune teller “Señora Habana,” who has been offering her legendary services as a medium on the Plaza de la Catedral for more than 20 years, and who peeked into the future for us. Overall we’d spent four exciting weeks in Cuba, had discovered the island on our bikes, and soaked in the flair and joie de vivre of the locals. We’d enjoyed our trip around the island and experienced a country that’s existed in scarcity for decades. With both laughter and tears we said our goodbyes, loaded our motorcycles onto a sailing boat in Cienfuegos, and looked to the future for even more adventures. Bea & Helmut love traveling and motorcycling, but at a certain point they wanted to explore the world beyond prejudices and beyond their usual comfort zone. They wanted to see the world with their own eyes, have their own experiences and form their own opinions about foreign countries, cultures and traditions. So, they quit their jobs, sold their belongings, said goodbye to their families and friends for an indefinite period and left Germany in June 2011 on two nearly 25-year-old motorcycles. Facebook.com/TimetoRide.de
Shipping our bikes to Cuba was a real adventure itself! They were transported through the harbor of Cartagena, Colombia in this little, heavily rocking nutshell before being winched up on the deck of a twomasted sailing ship over a 100 years old which brought us and the bikes to Cuba.
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SCAN FOR INFO
AltRider finds the balance between looks and performance.
g n i r o t n e M : r e d i AltR s s e n i s u B f o e as a Mod It’s hard to keep up with Jeremy LeBreton. Whether you’re chatting, riding, or doing business, he operates at nothing less than full throttle. He’s a man who’s “all in” no matter what he’s doing; energetic enough to pull you along with him, and charismatic enough that you probably won’t mind. It’s this combination of energy, excitement and drive that’s made AltRider a success in just five short years. 76
by Alisa Clickenger
It was a bold move to start AltRider during the middle of the economic downturn. The entire motorcycle industry was bracing itself. Jeremy had been vice president of TouratechUSA for four years and wanted to seize the opportunity to build adventure motorcycling products here in the U.S. He’d previously worked at Moeller Design and Development in Seattle, gaining the skills to design products from the ground up and take them to market. The sum of those two career experiences, combined with his love of motorcycling, were the factors that led him to found AltRider. “The great idea is the easiest part,” says Jeremy. His first challenge was financing the vision. He pitched eight different banks before an SBA loan was even considered.
Product development is non-stop at Altrider. From sketch to physical part, utilizing rapid prototype technology.
The second challenge was manufacturing. With a low volume, high quality product it was difficult to find an appropriate manufacturing partner. As a result, products were in development for over a year before AltRider officially opened its doors. How does AltRider choose what products to bring to market? It’s primarily based upon new motorcycle launches. The company has an advanced product development protocol with a multimillion dollar research firm they can tap into any time the need arises. And, “We’re so lucky to have the internet forums for research,” says Jeremy. “Adventure Rider, ADVRider.com, etc., all of which remain independent and not for profit. As a result we have access to tens of thousands of riders, logging miles and commenting on their rides.” Jeremy is keenly aware that a small manufacturing company cannot indefinitely test their products before taking them to market. Although AltRider does extensive research and testing before a product is introduced, they don’t shy away from revisions when necessary. In fact, Jeremy loves telling people about the changes and why they’ve made them—something that’s uncommon for a CEO. The firm is one of several that equip RawHyde’s California motorcycles with ADV aftermarket products. “The RawHyde BMW Off-Road Academy is one of the most vicious riding environments there is,” says Jeremy. “With dozens of students developing their off-road skills, pushing the limits and constantly
putting the motorcycles through their paces, those bikes are sorely abused. What better environment to test accessories for adventure bikes?” When customers call AltRider they talk directly to the folks who design the products and make their knowledge available to every customer. The corporate atmosphere at AltRider is a culture of learning. Each employee has a budget for business-related training. “At a more finite level we have to be careful,” says Jeremy. “Because for any of the great brands, a sense of arrogance, complacency and dominance is dangerous. It stops the learning process. And when that happens, you stop acknowledging your mistakes—marking the beginning of the end.” Since inception, they’ve held a company-wide meeting every Monday. Every department reports on the prior week’s progress and the top five things their department is working on that week. “It’s an investment in time but it totally pays off,” says Jeremy. “Because it ties the whole team together both personally and professionally.” Jeremy likens the AltRider team to a tight-knit family. The entire staff goes riding most Thursday nights. If international business people are in town, they tag along, too. The company sponsors monthly team dinners to which employees bring their spouses, and it’s not uncommon to see babies and dogs at the office. AltRider also pays for every employee’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes. Over the years Jeremy has had several professional mentors, both on and off the bike. British motorcycle racer Andy Ide was one such mentor and he, in turn, introduced Jeremy to other riders. Riding fast and hard, Jeremy has
learned a lot about putting crashed bikes back together from his riding mentors. The folks he rode with taught him not only how to fix broken bits, but also how to prevent them from breaking in the first place. When Jeremy founded AltRider, it was this style of mentoring— hands-on passing along of personal experience—that shaped the way the company would do business. It’s evidenced in the attitudes of the employees AltRider hires, the company’s presence on the forums, their IMS show presentations, the company’s trail advocacy and the nationwide rides AltRider organizes. Learning from several savvy business mentors over the years, Jeremy acknowledges he’s been able to grow AltRider in an intelligent way from the insights and sometimes the mistakes of others. Jeremy is now in a position to pay it forward by mentoring others, both in business as well as riding and working on bikes. “Over the years, I’ve picked up a ton of useful and helpful riding skills. I hand off these little MacGyver tips at presentations to keep the knowledge in circulation. If this stuff doesn’t get passed along it’s going to be lost forever,” says Jeremy. All you have to do is catch up with him. AltRider.com
Product testing in the Pacific Northwest.
Jeremy LeBreton, co-founder and president of AltRider.
Every year AltRider hosts signature rides for the general public. All three of the following have already taken place in 2016, but you can look forward to them in 2017.
TASTE OF DAKAR Pahrump, NV (March) The GPS-led route in the beautiful deserts of Nevada is created by local legend, Jimmy Lewis—one of the first Americans to hold the podium at the Dakar Rally. This ride also includes training seminars by Jimmy and his wife, Heather, along with optional additional training classes through the Jimmy Lewis Off‐Road Riding School; guest appearances from Dakar participants (in 2012, they had the youngest Italian to ever race Dakar, Manuel Lucchese, fly in from Italy to attend) as the entertainment at night; and authentic southwestern themed meals and margaritas by the campfire.
CONSERVE THE RIDE Woodward Caves, PA (June)
Dropping the GS is just part of the job, and is encouraged.
Set in the forests of Pennsylvania, it’s not uncommon to be riding next to horse‐drawn Amish buggies among rolling hills. AltRider teams up with the Seven Mountains Conservation Corp (SMCC), a nonprofit organization fueling the fight to keep off‐road trails open for public use. The off‐road route was created by enduro enthusiasts and former ISDE racers from SMCC. You’ll see epic views of the Susquehanna River, get dirty in the awesomely different terrain, and nosh on hearty foods. And don’t forget the Yuengling (a regional beer). AdventureMotorcycle.com
HOH RAINFOREST RIDE (August) Spend two nights under the vivid stars of the Pacific Northwest in the enchanting forests of the Olympic Mountains—AltRider’s backyard. Ride an exclusive 200‐mile GPS route on diverse terrain planned by David McKay of GripTwister Tours. You’ll also engage in off‐road training seminars taught by seasoned coaches, ride along waterfalls, enjoy the gorgeous views around the Hoh rainforest, and savor freshly caught fire‐grilled oysters among other local fare (salmon, too!)
AltRider’s Taste of Dakar is a rider training event not to miss.
All AltRider rides include: • • • • • • •
150–250 mile GPS-led routes created by local riders Two nights of camping Organized nightly entertainment Prizes and prize ceremony Seminars for riders of all skill levels Delicious region-inspired catered meals Good beer to be enjoyed by crackling campfires
Proudly Designed and Built in the USA
Lightweight, Modular, Adventure Proof Luggage Customize Your Kit at
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ADVENTURE READY KTM 950 / 990 ADVENTURE WHEELS
Built using 7050 grade Aluminum and 1mm thicker than OEM, these wheels can take a beating and includes dual 300mm floating rotors. From $609
KLR 650 WHEELS
Rear wheel works with OEM cush drive & sprocket carrier. The 6065 aluminum hub is built for strength and light weight. Works with oem speedo”. From $375 Complete Available for KTM 690, Husqvarna 701, KTM 950/990/1190, Suzuki DR650, Kawasaki KLR650. Available in OEM, 19” and 17” sizes
ADVENTURE FOOT PEGS
Extra wide platform & permanent stainless teeth provide the ultimate in non-slip traction anf comfort. Features ceracote coated chromalloy steel pivot & built-in bottle opener in the bottom. $219
Warp 9 Racing: Phone: (801) 699-7979, www.warp9racing.com AdventureMotorcycle.com
N I K S P E E H S
g n i d n a l r e v o o t t e r c e s the by Sam Manicom
<<The tools and kit you’ll need
Cut your first section of webbing >>
<<Glue webbing between sheepskin and foam
Add webbing clips >> 84
What’s the best way to get more out of your ride? In motorcycle overlanding
tradition, there’s the “must have at least two uses” rule. Sheepskin saddle covers have lots of advantages, including being cheap to make. What makes them so good? Sheepskins are cooler than vinyl or leather saddles when it's hot. Usually they’re pale in color and reflect heat. There's shade between the strands of wool and, with aeration, heat dissipates fast, also wicking away sweat. But sheepskins are also warmer when it’s cold. Being wool, they retain more body warmth than leather or vinyl. And, as a last resort on a really cold ride, you can always stuff it up the front of your bike jacket. Conversely, if you have a fairing, put it down the back of your jacket—wind tunnel experiments show that air rises over screens and helmets and then drops down the rider’s back. Another bonus is that as they get a little older they act as a massager. The soft tousled fluffy look goes away with use and the slightly matted surface that’s left has firmer, bumpy nodules of wool. As you move, not only does your butt get massaged, but your pressure points are always changing. A normal saddle is flat(ish) and few shape themselves around the derrière, so a couple of key points take most of your upper body weight pressure. The usual way to change that is to wriggle a lot. However, a wedge of foam will enhance the sheepskin's natural tendency to wrap around your backside. Upholstery companies sell foam wedges— medium-firm is preferred. Get some contact adhesive, a yard of webbing and a couple of pairs of plastic, backpack-style clips. Attach
RIDE AT MOTIONPRO.COM
<<The finished product the male clip ends to each end of one half of the webbing (approximately 2/3 the width of the foam wedge). Glue them to the wedge about halfway along, then glue the sheepskin over the top of that, so the webbing strap is trapped. You want the thin edge of the wedge at the front of your saddle. Take the other half of the webbing strap and sew the female clips to the ends. These pass under your saddle. Clip the foam-backed sheepskin to the assembly, and you’re ready to ride. These wedges are versatile. When riding, shimmy the sheepskin back so you’re on the thinner part. This allows you to keep control on the sections when you do sit down and ensures nothing is in the way when you are standing up or putting your feet down. On the open road, shimmy it forward so you’re sitting on the thicker section of the foam. That gives more wraparound support to help those pressure points, also widening skinny saddles. A sheepskin wedge combo can help your riding position. If you can ride with your knees below your hips and your back straight, you’ll get less tired and have more control over the bike. You can make sheepskins work even better by finding one that’s been cured but not had the lanolin removed from the wool. Lanolin works as a sort of waterproofer. Either way, at the end of a damp ride give ’em a tousle and the air circulates quickly through the wool. Yet another bonus of a sheepie is that you can use it as a comfortable seat around the campsite at the end of the day. They aren’t for everyone, but they do a great job. My last one had around 150,000 miles on it.
*A portion of the proceeds for every pack sold is contributed to the KC66 foundation
KC66 TOOL PACK
IN COLLABORATION WITH THE KC66 FOUNDATION • Official tool pack designed to meet the needs of the USA ISDE Team • External flap with quick access pouch features molded pull tab providing effortless grip with or without gloves • Motion Pro molded zipper pull tabs offer a sure grip when opening or closing compartments • Heavy duty adjustable web belt extends through the side pockets • Zippered inner map pocket • Non-Slip Textured backing with added foam back support pad • Zippered side pockets with accessory web belt loops • Durable 600D Ballistic Nylon construction Protecting and Supporting the Lives of Off-Road Riders. Learn more about how to help by visiting: Kurtcaselli.com
MOTION PRO, INC. I MOTIONPRO.COM I 650-594-9600
E D I U G T F I G ay
d i l o H
2017 Adventure Motorcycle Calendar
The 2017 Adventure Motorcycle Calendar will have your riding buddies or family members daydreaming throughout their work days. Follow world travelers Alberto Lara and Naomi Tweddle as they explore the far corners of the earth, capturing spectacular images of mountaintops, desert floors, and coastal roadways in Chile, Oregon, Colorado and Peru. Like positive affirmations, this calendar will constantly remind the riders in your life to leave time for adventure. MSRP: $15.99 OctanePress.com
AntiGravity ADV Lantern Camping becomes more hi-tech with the ADV Lantern by AntiGravity Batteries. This lantern compresses into a flashlight and also works as a Bluetooth speaker so you can jam out by the campfire, or even use it as a speakerphone. With 1,800 mAh on tap, the ADV Lantern can also charge your electronics, making sure you donâ€™t get left in the dark. MSRP: $49.99 AntigravityBatteries.com
Aerostich Competition Silk Scarves
These 100% natural silk scarves are handmade, offering maximum comfort in any temperature. They pack away into a pocket and are easily hand washable. Keep cool, stay warm, and keep your neck protected from the elements with the Aerostich Competition silk scarf. MSRP: $34 Aerostich.com
Lightspeed Inflatable Travel Pillow Everybody needs a portable pillow, whether for camping or travel. This soft inflatable pillow comes contoured for your neck and comes with its own micro-fiber, machine washable pillow case. It stows into a small compression stuff-sack and weighs less than 1 pound. MSRP: $49.99 LightspeedOutdoors.com
Rex Specs Dog Goggles
Rex Specs dog goggles were designed specifically to protect your dog’s eyes from the sun, wind, debris, and almost any foreign objects imaginable. They are the perfect eye protection for your best pal, shotgun passenger, or sidecar rider. The goggle frame and strap design keep the goggles in place while riding, hiking, playing, working and other activities. The soft foam edging is comfortable—and the goggle offers a full field of view and range of motion. The lenses are interchangeable and are made of polycarbonate—which blocks 99.9% of UV rays. The goggles are available in two sizes, large (30–100lbs) or small (10–30lbs). For more information check out RexSpecs.com, visit us on Instagram @rexspecsk9 or on Facebook at Rex Specs. Use the code mysidecardog on the checkout page to receive 10% off this holiday season.
Klim Krew Pak Riding Backpack
The Klim Krew Pak has all the storage space an adventurer needs for a quick weekend getaway. Complete with three-liter hydro pack, travel shovel, and even a rescue beacon, the Krew Pak can organize and carry all the essentials, while deluxe padded shoulder straps, sternum strap, and full waist belt keep its carrier ergonomically comfortable. MSRP: $139.99 Klim.com
GCAG Uprising Soft Rack Kit Versatility is one of the key features of the Uprising Soft Rack System by Green Chile Adventure Gear. This soft rack system will add over 60 mount points to the tail and sides of almost any motorcycle. As the world’s first customizable and modular system, the rack can be used with or without other GCAG accessories, and is available in several different colors. MSRP: $99 GreenChileADV.com
$150â€“$299 Spot Gen 3 GPS Tracker + 1yr. Subscription Put a little peace of mind under the tree this year with Spot. This small, 4-ounce GPS tracker has the ability to signal for help in an emergency or simply help you stay connected with your loved ones from almost anywhere in the world via satellite. This device also has the ability to track and save waypoints so you can review your entire route. The Spot Tracker has rescued over 4,600 people and counting. MSRP: Tracker $149 | 1 yr. Subscription $149 FindMeSpot.com
5 Owls Solo Shelter
The Solo Shelter by 5 Owls is the perfect compact, lightweight tent for the stargazer, backpacker, or adventure motorcyclist. A rotating canopy gives campers an unobstructed view of the sky as well as easy access for retrieving gear, and getting in and out. At under 5 pounds, the Solo Shelter is very compact and portable. YKK zippers and DAC poles are used to create one of the lightest, most reliable constructions on the market. MSRP: $279.99 5Owls.net
R E D A E R
M A R G O R P R E 2 RID
nect the n o c y l t c e ir e want to d s who risk their W . e l p im s er m is “The progranity to the amazing ridotherwise miss.” ADV commu w us a world we may lives to sho Moto her of ADV
r, Publis - Carl Parke
• 25% of all full-price subscriptions collected between March 1, 2016 and December 12, 2016 will be entered into a prize pool to sponsor a rider chosen by you! • ADVMoto subscribers will receive a ballot with a panel of applicants and you’ll help us decide who to sponsor. • You’ll receive an email with applicant information and a link to vote for your favorite. • Winner will be announced on January 9, 2017!
For more information visit AdventureMotorcycle.com
A D L I U B HOW TO E R U T N E V D A 0 9 6 M 2 01 6 KT rmswo by Byron Fa
aving the best of both worlds—that was the goal for building the 2016 KTM 690 Adventure and it started with a new KTM 690 Duke. It’s much lighter and has a lot more power than the other 650s in its class. Of course you could buy a 2016 KTM 690 Enduro, but the Enduro is just not as friendly at freeway speeds. Footpeg and handlebar vibration are annoying on the highway, and it has a much taller seat. The 2016 KTM 690 Duke feels smooth—much better than everything else in the 650cc to 700cc single cylinder family. The only drawback is the 690 Duke’s inability to handle dirt, which can be remedied by the addition of a 19-inch front wheel for more dirt pattern tire choices—not to tackle the sands of Dakar or scale the peaks of Colorado on rocky jeep roads, but to enjoy some exploring the secondary graded dirt roads you won’t have to bypass. With these modifications, the 690 Adventure Duke becomes more usable as a sport bike that’s somewhat dirt-road capable, but is still top of its class on a twisty section of hardtop. Kind of like an “Austrian Army Knife,” a real hooligan with hiking boots and a backpack ready to go just about anywhere.
ADAPTING A 19-INCH SPOKED FRONT WHEEL The change to the 19-inch from a 17-inch wheel will not have any noticeable effect on turn-in or steering effort as the Adventure Duke carves the canyons just as well with either size front. It does, however, change the ride height slightly. » The KTM 690 Enduro front hub goes right on the 690 Duke. » The front axle fits but you’ll have to machine spacers to align the Enduro hub to the Duke fork width. » Use an Excel 2.15 x 19 black rim and Dubya 19-inch spokes. » Move the front fender up by replacing the stock one with the 2008 KTM SMR high fender. To do this, fabricate an aluminum plate to attach the fender and mount the plate to the two studs coming out of the lower fork clamp that holds the headlight at a right angle. Use an 8mm bolt through a handlebar-end handguard expansion sleeve, and insert it into the center hole of the fork clamp T-stem. The expansion sleeve just fits up into the tee stem hole and holds the aluminum fender bracket in place in a three-point mount. » The brake caliper from the 690 Duke aligns with the 690 Enduro 320mm disc. Use the Duke front brake disc size of 320mm with the 690 Enduro hub bolt pattern. Galfer makes a 320mm front brake disc for the KTM 690 Enduro front hub. » Get the ABS sensor from the 690 Enduro (the 690 Duke disc and sensor will not fit the 690 Enduro spoke wheel front hub due to a different brake rotor mount bolt pattern). » Mount the tire of your choice. There are many 19-inch front tire choices that work well on pavement and dirt. The tire choice will affect traction, so don’t play racer on the pavement with an adventure tread front without feeling the traction limits first. The Shinko Adventure Trail E804 works well on both dirt and street. Much better than the squirmy feel of the OEM 21-inch fronts found on most adventure bikes. » For more of an adventure bike look and some hand protection on cold days, add the KTM 1190 Adventure handguards. » The bar end mirrors from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC—Tusk FatBars in black with an ATV high bend. » The GPS AMP Rugged Mount for the Garmin Montana 600 goes on a 1-inch ball stud at the handlebar clamp.
» The 12v power for the GPS is from the Duke OEM wire harness behind the headlight mask. » A 12v red and black female connector is wired into the harness for grip warmers or a 12v outlet. It works off the ignition key, so the GPS only works on bike voltage when the key is on. » Add a 1-inch ABS plastic spacer with an 8mm countersunk head bolt to the bottom of the OEM side stand. Make the side stand’s pad diameter about two inches for better stability when parking on a dirt surface. Attach the new extension to the base of the side stand by tapping an 8mm hole for the counter sunk bolt. » The footpegs are from IMS—they’re longer and with teeth to hold your feet in place. The new Rally Pegs from a Kawasaki KLR 650 bolt right on and use 8mm through bolts in place of the OEM pins.
» The 17-inch rear wheel size is recommended to keep the seat height as close to stock at 32 inches as possible. (An 18-inch rear, like what comes on the KTM 690 Enduro, will fit right on, but raises the seat height a little.) » Use 17-inch rear spokes from Dubya with an Excel 4.2 x 17 black rim. Make sure to keep the same offset from the Duke cast wheel when spoking up the 690 Enduro hub to the 4.25 Excel rim. » You will have to use the 690 Enduro rear disc. The Duke rear disc is the same diameter, but a different bolt pattern. » The rear hub is a cush drive from a KTM 690 Enduro. » The 40T rear sprocket from the Duke is interchangeable. » Rear tire choice is the same as the front. A 130/80-17
» The windshield is from a Kawasaki KLR 650. It’s two inches higher and offered as an accessory from Kawasaki. Just trim about two inches off the bottom where the black is and add a couple of mount tabs riveted to the OEM Duke headlight mask. » Luggage for a day trip or a longer journey includes a tail bag from Saddlemen, and DirtBagz side bags from DBZ Products. The DirtBagz are the “Scout” model size and hold enough for a week’s trip if you pack light. The Dirtbagz include custom-built attachment mounting rails that bolt right on.
ADAPTING A 17-INCH SPOKE REAR WHEEL FROM A 690 ENDURO Special note: If you feel that spoking up wheels is a little beyond your skill level, take your wheel components to a shop with wheel building experience. The extra cost is sometimes worth it. AdventureMotorcycle.com
Shinko Adventure Trail E805 from Rocky Mountain works as well on the pavement as it does on graded dirt roads. » The skid plate “Under-Engine Protector” is from a KTM 690 Enduro. It keeps the rock chips from dulling the front of the engine and looks good. Attach with a couple of fabricated tabs to the front engine mount bolt and with a turned-up aluminum plate riveted to the rear of the ABS skid plate. The aluminum plate is bent so it slips over the rear cross brace between the frame rails and it makes removal easy to change the oil. To add the skid plate, you’ll have to remove the center muffler. Keeping the stock rear muffler in place will give a slightly louder note, but not too noisy. Or you can keep the stock OEM exhaust and center muffler in place. It just looks clunky with that big snow shovel shape under the engine. And the stock rear muffler location will interfere with the lower part of the right side DirtBagz. » If you do remove the center muffler you’ll have to fabricate a pipe from the stock header below the oxygen sensor that attaches to the header pipe. This will require a good fabricator and TIG welder to make it look professional.
Wheels Dubya USA
Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
Excel front rim, black 2.15 x 19
Shinko Adventure Trail E804 100/90-19 front
Excel rear rim, black 4.25 x 17
Shinko Adventure Trail E805 130/80-17 rear
2002 Kawasaki KX125 fork guards
Galfer disc, front
Kawasaki KLR 650 tall windshield
Galfer disc, rear
Tusk FatBar ATV high handlebars
Tusk bar and mirrors (ea.)
Garmin AMP Rugged Mount GPS mount
Spoke set with nipples (2)
KTM 690 Enduro OEM Parts 3 Brothers KTM Front hub
IMS Rally No. 333116 foot pets
Front ABS sensor
Saddlemen tail bag
KTM 2008 SMR 690 front fender
DBZ Products (DBZProducts.com) rear side bags
KTM 1190 Adventure handguards
Wet weight: 330 lbs
Rear hub coupler w/damper rubbers
Seat height: 32 inches
Rear ABS sensor
MSRP for a 2016 KTM 690 Duke: ~$8,900
KTM 690 Enduro skid plate
Range: 200–250 miles per tank (with an extra gallon carried in tail bag) | 55–65 MPG Freeway and back roads Cruises at: 75–80 mph with very little vibration Mirrors: Much easier to see out of
Our 3 Â˝ day training camps are for new and experienced Adventure riders. Learn how to travel ADV style and perfect the riding skills needed for riding off pavement.
Our BDR Camps are training intensive expeditions on the WA Backcountry Discovery Route (wabdr.com). Train while our expert adventure instructors lead you through some of the best riding in North America.
Train in a specially designed closed-course training field with
We provide a day of skills training before heading out on the
the best instructor to rider ratio anywhere then take to the
WABDR and coaching continues on the trail, loading you
trail with your instructors on the final day. Enjoy
with the skills needed to safely complete the
lessons, food, new friends, stories and more.
WORLD TOURING INDEX
d q w r e o
y u i t PITTSBURGH
NORTH & SOUTH AMERICAS q Tour USA Motorcycle Rentals & Tours Washington (253) 445-1212, TourUSA.us
w Heart of the West Adventure Route
firstname.lastname@example.org; backcountry-byways.blogspot.com Backcountry Byways LLC’s self-directed, adaptable wildland odyssey through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada.
e Colorado Motorcycle Adventures
(720) 505-2030, ColoradoMotorcycleAdventures.com
(800) 233-0564, MotoDiscovery.com
t GSMMoto Rent
(865) 448-6090, GSMMotoRent.com Full service motorcycle rental in the Smoky Mountains, BMW, KTM, Suzuki, Kawasaki, airport P/U, self guided tours.
(802) 860 6686, MotoVermont.com Motorbike rentals, tours and training. Serving New England, USA and Atlantic Canada.
u Twisted Throttle
(855) 225-5550, TwistedThrottle.com
i EagleRider Pittsburgh
(412) 276-1300, EagleRiderPittsburgh.com Motorcycle rental and touring company located in the Appalachian Mountains. We offer adventure, sport, and touring bikes. Guided, self-guided, and adventure tours.
o House of Motorrad
(720) 466-0047, HouseofMotorrad.com Colorado’s original adventure motorcycle rental company. We specialize in providing excellent customer service and outstanding bikes at an affordable price. We are also an adventure motorcycle supply shop and service center.
a Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental & Tours
(603) 617-2499, FreedomBikeRental.com We offer well maintained dual-sport scooters and motorcycles for daily and weekly rentals.
s Moto Tour Panama
+507-264-85-15, MotoTourPanama.com We are dedicated to offering a unique service to motorcycle lovers by providing guided tours and BMW motorcycle rentals.
d Two Wheel Endeavors
(780) 832-7703 FREE motorcycle camping, self-guided Canadian DS tours, gateway to the Alaska Hwy. Alberta, Canada.
WANT TO SEE YOUR BUSINESS OR COUNTRY ADDED TO THIS MAP? Contact us at Info@AdventureMotorcycle.com
ASIA & AFRICA f Ride of My Life
+91 9408715641, RideofMyLife.in Tours of the amazing Indian Himalayas by an award winning filmmaker.
g Renedian Adventures (780) 707-7363, Renedian.com
Experience the magic of waterfalls, wildlife and wide open spaces that only Africa can offer.
h Africa Motorcycle Tours
(307) 214-9586, AfricaMotorcycleTours.com Guided and self-guided tours appealing to all motorcyclists looking to explore South Africa and Namibia.
FLY-RENT-RIDE Dual Sport - ADV - Touring - BMW KTM - Suzuki - Kawi - Can-Am Spyder Airport P/U - Self Guided Tours
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS TN • BIG BEND TX
Maintain Your Chain!
Clean, Easy Chain Maintenance See How to Clean & Lube a Dirty Chain Fast! ChainLuberSystems.COM
⦿ STREET ⦿ TRACK ⦿ TRAIL Lightweight and Packable
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Let our advertisers know you saw them in Adventure Motorcycle! ADVMoto Shop ............................ 97
Geico ................................................ 43
ADVMoto R2R ............................... 89
GMAX Helmets ...............................7
Green Chile Adventure Gear LLC ...................................... 82
Africa Motorcycle Tours ............. 95 AltRider ........................................... 15 Antigravity Batteries ................... 25 Backcountry Byways .................. 94 Back Road Equipment ............... 97 Beemer Shop................................. 83 Best Rest Products....................... 30 Black Dog Cycle Works..................6 Biker Mo .......................................... 82 Brooks Cycle .................................. 96 ChainLuber Systems LLC ............................... 96 Colorado Motorcycle Adventures ......................... 82, 94 DirtRacks......................................... 96 Eagle Rider Pittsburgh ........ 82, 94 First Gear......................................... 99 Fly ...................................................... 49 Forma Boots USA ......................... 37 Freedom Bike Rental ........... 88, 95 Galfer USA ...................................... 83
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Love, Laughs & Road Rage Book review by Paul H. Smith
✮✮✮ of five stars!
Author: Rae S. McKenzie Publisher: Printorium Bookworks ISBN: 978-0-9950814-0-6 Pricing: $17.00
iolence breeds many forms of ugliness, and its victims are often less than obvious. Case in point, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental health condition that some develop after experiencing or witnessing life-threatening events, with varying traumatic symptoms that range from flashbacks and guilt to emotional detachment and hostility toward others. Love, Laughs & Road Rage is an introspective work about a couple whose marriage had all but crumbled due to PTSD. In a last ditch effort to save it, Rae and her husband Ray sold everything, quit their jobs and left for a multi-month motorcycling journey around the U.S. and Canada to heal. It was do or die in the process. For the McKenzies, their road trip was intended to be a form of therapy. Ray, who had spent a lifetime in the military and many subsequent years as a police officer, suffered and often acted out unknowingly from PTSD. For Rae it was an unhealthy existence being around her husband; if it wasn’t for their love, she wouldn’t have cared or tried. In the foreword, Ray wrote: “Those who serve are special, dealing with things one should never see, things that are not in any recruiting brochure, things that only those who serve would understand completely. Standing with every one of those who have served are family and friends who are deeply affected by residual negative overflow from the job.”
Perhaps taking to the road was an unusual route to healing. But it did free Ray from much of the usual stimuli that drove his condition. And it gave Rae the chance to focus without distraction on her husband’s recovery. Her story details the many ups and downs they experienced, all set against the backdrop of their ride around the U.S. and Canada. That said, Rae’s book is also a travelogue, written from the perspective of a couple who love adventure biking and the spirit behind it. Although many of their stops were somewhat touristy, it was their interactions with others they met along the way that I enjoyed, especially their chance and humorous meeting with actor James Woods. This is not a typical book about adventure riding. Is it for everyone? I don’t believe so; rather, it’s for those in similar situations, who want to better understand the PTSD condition, or are curious about the unusual idea of how motorcycling can be used to improve broken relationships— it’s an inspiring read. RaeMcKenzie.com
THE ROAD IS YOUR CANVAS.
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