larry murray makes us faster
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E I G O B A CAL
E I G O O B ess n d a M f o s 20 Year BMA’s Tragic Loss
AUG 2010 • FREE!
Garnsey 1954 - 2010
photo: Anthony Kerr
Traction Off-Road Riding for Riders by Riders
da bwawn Dallas Shannon da bwains Kaveri Gupta Contributors Larry Murray Mike Hillier KTMKevin Bryan Flannigan Glen Cooper Mike O’Reilly Woody Brian Knechtel The Lord Warren Thaxter Doug Hunter Photographers Anthony Kerr Kaveri Gupta Brian Knechtel The Lord
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IN THIS ISSUE STOCK
the view from here dirt from the prez over the bars on the soapbox On the stand Still kickin’ bma club events exhaust note the finish line Traction
3 4 10 16 26 30 36 40 42
steve garnsey calabogie boogie 20 Y.O. Boogies add a bike review oftr news
6 12 20 34 38
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The view from here By Dallas shannon
This is a sad month in eastern Ontario for dirt biking. As many of you know, we lost Steve Garnsey, a fixture in the BMA and all around great guy. Steve’s death was tragic; he was much too young to pass away and it shocked me. Although I’m relatively new to the area, I had ridden with Steve many times and had come to know him well. Steve was considered “one of the fast guys” and he knew Calabogie intimately. He was someone I tried to keep up with when we rode together. When Steve was the ride leader, you knew you were going to cover terrain you had never ridden before, and lots of it. Quickly. All of my rides with Steve were memorable.
most heckling in 30 minutes. Of course, Steve was all smiles and I don’t think he even noticed the flies.
Steve was with me (ride sharing, in fact) when I went over the bars in the Quinns and separated my shoulder. He made sure I was ok and he gave up the ride leader position to take me back to the truck. Steve even loaded my bike for me.
This issue is about the Boogie. We’ve interviewed this year’s Trail Boss and talked with Woody and Mike O’Reilly, the guys heading up the Sunday portion of the ride. We’ve also interviewed Warren Thaxter about the origins of the ride and his ideas regarding the future of organized trail rides. Enjoy reading about the marquee trail ride in Ontario. This years Boogie will be an important year for marking the evolution of organized trail rides in Canada.
The other memory I want to share is of a ride in early spring in Calabogie. The ground was still muddy and wet. Steve was leading the ride and I was doing my best to keep up with a motley mix of BMA vets. We were travelling a fire road when we came upon a routine muddy section that wasn’t very deep but hacked up in the middle. Steve took the right side and paddled his way through the mud. When he was almost through, his rear tire caught a greasy, sloped log a few inches under the mud. Although he was going slow (still paddling) he went down in a flash on his right side. The vets were cheering and laughing as, unbeknownst to me at the time, Steve rarely goes down. Clearly embarrassed, Steve snatched his bike up and pushed it out of the mud amid hoots and catcalls. One by one, we went through the mud hole with everyone conscious of the now uncovered log. Once across we were faced with Steve trying to start his bike. It wasn’t starting and we realized he had watered out! There was about 2 inches of water in the mud hole and it must have flowed into his pipe in the few seconds it was on the ground. I have never heard so much heckling in all my life. Everyone pitched in to help tear Steve’s bike down and for the next 30 minutes Steve got ribbed endlessly while we all stood around in a cloud of black flies. I think Steve broke two records that day: one for watering out in the least amount of water and the other for enduring the
Last year Steve was the Trail Boss for the Calabogie Boogie. He did a great job and was an integral part of the event. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Boogie and the BMA is working to make it the best year ever.
I know the BMA and its’ volunteers will be doing their best to impress. No doubt Steve will be in the hearts and minds of people organizing the ride this year. Enjoy the issue. Enjoy riding. Enjoy life.
dirt from the prez
By BMA President Mike Hillier
The closest I have come to divorce was after muttering the words “Honey, I’m trading the Quad for a dirt bike and I’m selling my street bike to buy gear.”
Now where do I ride? Google tells me the Bytown Motorcycle Association could likely help me. So I call and Steve Busby offers me an introductory ride in some place called Limerick Forest, tomorrow night. As luck would have it, I lived 10 minutes away.
My wife and I don’t argue about much, but the following 3 weeks of silence, interspersed with prolonged, intense, discussion was not pleasant. After the words “just try it” cracked the cold air like a lightning bolt, I settled into a solemn and silent hole of despair. Dreams dashed, done and gone, pass the whiskey.
I got home after work the next day; totally stoked for my first ride. The weather was typical for mid-summer: hot and humid. I tied my sneakers tight, donned my Joe Rocket jacket, old street bike helmet, and lit out after this Limerick Forest place. The luck stopped right there.
I found Mr.Busby sitting on his Yamaha 250 2-stroke at the Y. This cat looked cool. Boots, matching jersey and pants, this plastic shoulder/chest/back thingy...and look, he even has some sort of water pack. I could not quite understand the look on his face, as he scanned my machine and attire. What followed was quite possibly the worst riding experience this guy ever had. I leaned into the very first turn, on the very first single track I’d ever put rubber on, rolled the front end over the berm, pulled the throttle wide open and BOOM – that 650r went vertical like a rocket, and forward like a....well....650r. The ‘oh no’ second seemed to last for hours and was stopped suddenly by a twelve inch pine. My entire body was beat after an hour and a half. Multiple crashes, stalls and repeatedly getting stuck.
The PRez is Just happy to be here
End of week 3 - I don’t know which planets came into alignment and for what reason, but she finally conceded and permission was granted. Actually, I think she may have realized how expensive whiskey can be. “YES! Let’s go BIG. The biggest dirt bike I can find is the XR650R.” Purchased. Traction
Perhaps it was delirium, induced by the intensely dehydrated state I was in, but I did not sense any disappointment from my guide (in hindsight, I think he was actually enjoying my pain). However, he appeared exactly how I’d like to when faced with the same situation: accommodating to the newbie. I re-tell this story often, and reflecting on it always makes me realize how completely wacko and crazy someone completely new to dirtbiking can be. Having survived and persevered past the newbie state, I can tell you my wife ‘thought’ I was nuts while Steve Busby new it to be hard truth. So next time you’re faced with a wacko and crazy newbie, have some patience. He might just turn out okay.
By the guy that wrote it
stand and rip
In Memory of Steve Garnsey
camping and boating trips.
by Doug Hunter
Ironically, despite living a few streets away I didn’t meet Steve for many years. Not until he got back into bikes and first came along on a ride with Brian, Barry, Dave Wrack and a few other BMAers. He had purchased a new Kawasaki KLX 300 which he rode well and looked like the experienced rider he was despite any rust from his absence. We showed him the trails and he became a regular rider in Calabogie.
As most BMA members have probably learned, Steve Garnsey passed away on July 18th after suffering a heart attack while doing what he loved to do most: trail riding in Calabogie. It has been a great shock and sense of loss for everyone to deal with, whether we knew him as a friend, co-worker or riding buddy. I knew him as a generous and loyal friend, with a “keener” attitude and a well-developed sense of humour. He was also a huge contributor to the club. His friendship, dedication and enthusiasm will be missed. Steve was a native of the Sherbrooke, Quebec. Like many of us, he grew up around bikes, first working in a local dealership and then racing motocross in Quebec years ago. In the eighties he moved to Ottawa, where he worked as a draftsman in the pulp and paper industry. He then met his wife Shirley and moved to Osgoode in 1987. He played hockey for years and also loved the outdoors, riding snowmobiles and taking part in regular Traction
Steve soon traded the KLX for a DRZ 400 Suzuki with a “happy button” and a little more grunt, and eventually became a walking database and all-around “body of knowledge” of the Calabogie trails. Whether on regular club rides or casual meet ups, many new club members benefited as Steve escorted them up one knarly new back woods trail after another (with many short road bits in between). No maps and no GPS! The DRZ was soon traded for a lighter faster WR450 Yamaha and later a KTM 400, where he could have riders 20 years younger working hard to keep up. Steve’s love of bikes extended beyond trail riding, and like other club members he found a way to cheat our short riding season by taking up ice racing. First
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Almost as much as riding, Steve loved to tinker on his bike in the garage where he was no proponent of the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” philosophy. On almost any summer evening I could tour by his place on my bicycle and catch him changing tires, sprockets and brake pads that were all hardly worn, or changing still clean fluids and filters. In the winter a knock on the garage door would open into a freezing cold garage with an ineffective space heater running…as he sharpened and aligned ice racing studs or changed the fork oil to yet one more viscosity lighter. A couple years ago when I bought my KTM I mentioned to Steve we would pick it up along the way to the club’s fall trail ride where I would use it. A horrified look crossed
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Steve graciously accepts a well-deserved round of applause at the 2009 BOOGIE
his face. “But, but, you gotta set the sag, repack all the bearings, change all the fluids…..!” There was no end to his enthusiasm however, which was like that of a
kid and put most of us to shame! When heading out for a ride in the morning you could guarantee that a prearranged time of 7:30 would mean seeing his car pull into the driveway at 7:15! Traction Traction
While some people cherish horsepower or top speed, Steve’s Holy Grail of performance was fuel range. Whether snowmobiling or dirt riding, this was of paramount importance, and taking on more fuel at a gas stop then the next guy could cause a flurry of jetting changes back at the garage. Only later did Brian Barry reveal he was short filling his sled by a buck or so! More recently, Steve was also not happy that my KTM 525 was getting better fuel range then his 400
(it’s often a gear higher) and as we headed back in after a long loop I occasionally remarked when I saw him turn onto reserve. He would always reply “No, no…I was just checking it to make sure it was working” or “I didn’t want to have to turn it on reserve at a tricky spot” or some words to the effect! Steve became a great supporter of our organized trail rides as well; riding the Algonquin trail ride a couple times and helping out of course with the Calabogie Boogie and the spring and fall club rides…where he always lead a group. He also became a big fan of the Limerick forest and was a regular visitor. Steve was a regular at all BMA events, meetings and planning sessions. Even in the most passionate of debates he would calmly and politely listen to everyone before offering an opinion, while never bringing any ego or agenda to the table. He was always very respectful and a true gentleman. Last year, combining organizational and riding skills with great area knowledge, Steve stepped forward to become Trail Boss for the Calabogie Boogie event. He worked tirelessly week after week, riding and driving thousands of kilometers while scouting, clearing, mapping and rating trails for the upcoming event. It was of course a great success, in no small part due to his skill and effort there. For me, Steve’s passing leaves a big void from both a personal and club perspective. We will of course miss the enthusiasm and dedication he brought to club events, but more importantly we will miss the humour and passion of a friend and riding buddy. Let’s hope he doesn’t leave too much mud in front of the Pearly Gates! While told to proceed directly, he no doubt made his way up there via Black Bear trail, clutch cover, BFH, Long grass, Lone Wolf, DMZ, Perch Lake, Quinns, Richter scale, Tantrum, three floods, M&M, Ho Chi Minh, Lavant Mountain, log ridge. Till we meet again Steve. Traction Traction
over the bars
By Bryan (Flanny) Flannigan
Old and Fast Do you remember the last time you had a good taste of humble pie? I just got back from having a nice big piece served-up piping hot by Larry Murray – an almost-sixty-year-old who rides trail as though he were escaping justice. He schooled a bunch of us young guys on the ways of the trail big-time today. I shouldn’t have been so surprised that he was simultaneously old and fast as hell having known a few riders like him over the years. Indeed, it’s one of the great things about bikes; taken together with the coverage of all that gear and the helmet, they really are a great equalizer among participants. Case in point, as Larry was crossing the gravel pit toward the parking area on his initial approach, he was just some hooligan dude, ripping it up; roosting, and stylishly launching his KTM 530 off any little lip or rise that he could find. He could have been almost anyone, of almost any age, race, creed or religion. Was he 18, 25, Hungarian, Italian, Chinese, Black, Jewish, or Muslim? Who could know? From where we were, he could have just as easily been some incredibly hot California-blonde calendar girl wearing only a frilly push-up bra and thong under her MSR riding gear. Unfortunately though, Larry didn’t shake out long blond hair and pouting lips from under his helmet, or peel his jersey off to reveal proud and perfect 36Cs. No, quite to the contrary, Larry removed his helmet to reveal not some rambunctious, overzealous 22 year-old hot-shot dude, but rather a rambunctious, overzealous 59 year old hot-shot dude! His hair was grey and short, his skin betraying years of sun and gravity, and his un-gloved hands a testament to many years of work. Damn, to look at the guy you’d never believe he still rides like that. “Just had heart surgery”, he says. “So, I have to take it easy today”. Get out of town! How inspirational is that? I was thinking that I needed to take it easy today because my arms were still a little tired from the ride last week! Of course, having just turned 40, and having young children at home, I’ve been pretty focussed these days on doing the right things to precondition myself for some longevity. You know, not gorging on chocolate or cheesecake, trying to get some decent sleep, hitting the gym as regularly
as I can, and getting out for some cycling and maybe even a run from time to time. I think I’m in pretty good shape, but for sure, I’ve had to adjust my dirt biking risk to suit my current responsibilities. I can’t very well be helpful at the kid’s bath time with a cast on or my arm in a sling, now can I? So, I figure I need to be at least a little responsible to the risks out on the trail. Then, I consider that Larry has another twenty years on me! Twenty years of bones getting more brittle, twenty years of ligaments getting less flexible, and twenty years of cardio-capacity on the decline. And yet here he is, schooling us on how to cover single-track like a gazelle. And if wearing dirt bike gear is a equalizer for observers, it is certainly also true for the rider in question. Despite a few aches and creaks, and notwithstanding a rational little voice reminding me not to crash and either break my bike or my body, I feel largely the same inside my helmet as I did when I was a teenager. But then again isn’t that also true of how I feel inside my noggin in general? My wife needs to remind me of this sometimes whenever she sees me look flirtingly at a much younger woman. To me, I’m just the young lady’s peer – a handsome young devil with a legitimate right to be dead-sexy! My wife bursts my bubble pretty quick though “She’s, like, 22 Bryan. She thinks your grey hair and crow’s feet are gross.” Bummer, I totally forgot I could be her father! So, that may just be what keeps the old guys so damn fast, they forget that they are getting old, and there’s no one there burst their bubble, and tell them that they should start acting their age and slow the he’ll down so that us young guys can look fast! And, you know, it’s not just about being old and inspirationally fast on the trail that get guys like Larry my respect. It’s also about being really good to be out on the trail with. Something about Larry today reminded me of another older fast guy – Warren Thaxter. Besides the obvious similarities of age and riding ability, there is a certain story telling skill that riders of that older generation have, that may sadly have been lost ahead of my generation. I have ridden many times with guys like Larry and Warren, and every time,
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“Unfortunately, Larry didn’t shake out long blond hair or peel his jersey off to reveal proud and perfect 36Cs” I’ve been regaled with tales of riding in Nevada with Casey Folks, or being with the Canadian delegation at the 6-days in Czechoslovakia during the biblical rains, or the time so and so did this or that to some other fellows riding boots or goggles. Out on the trail, these guys could transform even the most mundane ride into an epic tale of heroes and villains. Take my crash today as an example. The next time that come up to the place I crashed with some other rides, I would probably tell the story like this: “See that culvert down there ahead of that hill? Last time we were here, I looped my bike coming up that god-damn hill - broke off my stupid licence plate holder. It really sucked.” The older guys on the other hand would tell it like this: “Yeah – you’ve got to really watch out for that mud down there”. “A few years back we all rode down here and every one of us got stuck in the mud pit just ahead of this steep embankment. Mud’s as deep as the bark on Jimmy’s old Bloodhound, and about as smelly!” “This Flanny guy was with us - none of us knew him from Adam, but he though he was the business. Well, he just sat there on his bike and watched us all get stuck, and then unstuck, and then stuck some more. I guess he thought he’d show us old-guys the way to do it right or something. The guy just shook his head, put his goggles back on, turned his bike around and then around again to come charging back toward the ditch.” “He put a 3-gear head of steam on the wheels, and charged it at about 50 miles and hour! I’ll be damned if at the last second, he didn’t stand up and just about bunny-hop that bike clear over the mud-pit, the culvert, and right onto the embankment on the other side! It was almost miraculous.”
hing tale -is f a t s u j n his junk o this wasn’t ip r g g n h a stro flanny wit
“Only thing is, is that we were all pretty sure he didn’t see this here giant lump of grass coming up out of the hill like the wart on a witch’s nose. Wump in third gear! Impact threw his head and body back, and he twisted the throttle right to the fucking stop! All we saw after that were arms and legs, and his skid plate coming right at the group of us with the oil drain hole giving us the evil eye!!! “
“Yup – by the time it was all done, the roll-over loop tore half-his damn ass end-off! The guy gets up off the ground holding his rear fender up by the wiring harness like a bass at a fishing derby and says “Well, it wasn’t pretty, but I’m the only one of you old pricks that made it across without getting any of that stinky fucking mud on my boots!” The bruise on my shin from another wipe-out two weeks ago is now turning a deep purple colour with yellow and green undertones. Twenty years ago, that bruise would have been long gone by now. I guess age is slowly but surely catching up to me as well. I can only hope to be able to keep my skill and to age as gracefully on the trail as guys like Larry and Warren. Respect.
E I G O B A L CA
D ’ n i t t e G f o s 20 Year
This month we were able catch up with several of the key people involved in the Calabogie Boogie - both past and present. It’s the 20th Anniversary of this event and Trevor Bylsma is this year’s “trail boss”. We caught up with Trevor in-between his hectic schedule. T: Trevor, what is a “trail boss” and what kind of responsibilities do you have? TB: The ‘Trail Boss’ term makes the job sound a lot easier than it is. In addition to planning the trail routes, the ‘trail boss’ also hosts meetings, organizes lunch and rentals, notifies municipalities of the event, ensures trails are in good condition, and organizes all volunteer activities, among other things. Luckily, a lot of these tasks can be delegated, but it is still a lot of things to juggle. T: This year is the 20th Anniversary of the Boogie. What are you trying to do this year to make it special? Traction Traction
TB: This year we are trying to keep the use of roads and the K&P trail to an absolute minimum. Unfortunately, this means that some of the trails that have been used regularly for the last few years had to be cut out and replaced by other trails. We are also running all trails in a clockwise direction for the first time in a few years. This means that all the trails will feel like new, even for those who have attended regularly for the last few years. T: Are there any surprises for the riders this year? Any new sections of trail or trail that has not been seen in some time? TB: There are a few new items this year that riders should enjoy. First, we are setting up an optional timed
E I G BOO
y t r i D & n w o D
grass track. The ribboned track will be setup in a hay field and will be suitable for all skill levels. Grass tracks are always a riot and will give everyone a taste of racing, without having to join a race. Secondly, we will have two new short, yet knarly, white sections for those riders who want a little extra challenge. T: What are your favorite sections? TB: That’s a tough one. I really enjoy the majority of the trails we will be using this year. But if forced to pick, I would currently have to go with one of the new white sections. We discovered this spring that one end of an awesome trail was essentially destroyed by loggers last winter. We created this new section as bypass around the mess the loggers left us, using some beautiful elevation changes to our advantage.
T: For people who have attended the Boogies in the last few years, what would you say to them to get them to come again? TB: Based on the way we are running the trail on Saturday, you likely won’t recognize much of the trail, so it will feel like a new ride. In addition, one of the complaints from previous years was the amount of road running. One of my primary goals this year was to keep road use to an absolute minimum without sacrificing trail quality. T: For someone who has never come to the Boogie why should they participate? TB: Because you’ll have fun, lots of it. We kept novice riders in mind when creating the primary orange route, added some moderate pink options for those who want to get a little more adventurous, and added some tough pink and white sections for those who want to test their abilities. Traction
just one of the stunnin g vistas th e boogie ha s to offer
Rumor has it that there is a famous Canadian rider who is going to participate, ride and speak at the Saturday evening dinner. Are you allowed to tell us who it is? TB: I can’t say yet. We have not received an ‘official’ response yet, though, indications are that he’ll be attending. T: On Sunday we usually ride the north side of Calabogie. Any teasers to what will be up there? TB: We should ask Mike O’Reilly or Woody about Sunday. I haven’t heard much about this yet, as they are heading up the Sunday ride. Woody’s Comments: I have been organizing crews every weekend and most Wednesdays. Overall we are getting the trails organized but with much work planned ahead. As always Woody’s Wonderland will be in the ride - it is a level 5 trail, (read Traction Traction
=difficult) but very popular, and if there’s time we have a nice big unexplored hill in the centre of the Wonderland trail. I think it looks like fun! Also we are working on a woods run down Wabin mountain. See ya on the ride! - Woody Mike O’Reilly also added his two cents regarding the organization of this year’s Boogie: There are effectively trail bosses for each of the two days - which I think is huge step for the organization: it lightens the load for our volunteers, and it gets us a different experience for the Sunday ride. Our theme for Sunday is: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Last year was the heavy lifting and we broke some completely new ground with the Ferguson Lake Hydro line and Woody’s Wonderland. These trails were huge challenges: we went into uncharted territory, unsure if we could even turn lines on the map into rideable trails. We succeeded, and now have two excellent loops with stunning scenery and options for pretty much any level of rider.
This year we are refining what we already have and we are dealing with a land-use detour along the Madawaska River. At this point, we are well on our way to turning a negative into a positive with some excellent, intermediate level single track to get around a section of private property. The only change this year is that we will switch up the A.M. and P.M. loops from last year. Last year, some folks left early and missed Eagle’s Nest and Wabun Mountain in the afternoon. So we are going to move them to the morning and save Woody’s Wonderland and the re-named Newfie Autobahn for the afternoon when the experts have full stomachs. As always, Sunday is a day where the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity. Folks can afford to slow down, really appreciate the trail quality and the spectacular scenery and we will still get them on their way home by 3:00.
On the way home yesterday, I was reflecting on some of my riding experiences. I’ve ridden New England, all of Ontario, and was in Michigan in July to check out the Jackpine Enduro. At the end of it all, if it is trail riding (as opposed to the desert or the Rockies, etc.) that you are talking about, I believe that when you take into account accessibility, lack of regulatory hassle, and the terrain available to us, we truly have some of the best riding in the world. Being able to showcase it for other riders and being able to make the north side a viable option for the Sunday portion of the ride has been a real privilege (cue the violins).
The Calabogie Boogie takes place September 11 & 12 in the Calabogie Highlands. See the Bytown Motorcycle Association website for more details. Traction Traction
Strange as it may seem, planning for the 2010 Calabogie Boogie started in February. Now that the summer months are upon us, the grunt work has begun in earnest. Trails have to be cleared, nourishment has to be arranged for riders and workers (who seem hesitant to miss a meal), BMA conscripts have to be rounded up and have specific assignments divvied up and new trails have to be scouted and incorporated into this year’s event.
it that way, did you? Just as there are expectations from the guests regarding the level of the Boogie experience, there are also expectations on our behalf regarding the conduct of our guests. Most of our guests already know this stuff and, to their eternal credit, bring joy to our hearts for knowing the drill. But there always seems to be that small percentage who seem intent on somewhat souring the Boogie experience for everyone. You know who you are. So, without further ado, here are some pointers to being a good Boogie guest:
The workload can be quite onerous but we have been fortunate to have Trail Bosses step up every year to spearhead the effort. This may raise some serious questions about their mental stability but that area is best left to the professionals. Rest assured that Trail Bosses Trevor, Mike and Woody are pulling together another world class riding experience for those brave or foolish enough to face the very challenging options.
1) Show up on time
We, within the BMA, take the continued success of the Boogie very seriously and host what is, in our opinion, the premier trail ride in Ontario. We strive for improvements in both trails and organization every year. In other words, we want to be the perfect hosts for your dirt riding obsession. Unfortunately, every year we have to suffer through some imperfect guests. Bet you never thought of
Up On My Soapbox
It is of huge benefit to show up in Calabogie on Friday evening to get your bike through sound check and get yourself registered. It takes pressure off you and us for Saturday morning. But I do realize that is not entirely practical for everyone. Registration times are clearly posted on both our website and the OFTR website so DON’T BE LATE! It is no longer your mother’s responsibility to get you out of bed in time so act like an adult and hustle. I never am quite sure whether I should be amused or angry at the clowns that roll in during the riders meeting expecting us to get them sound checked, registered and out on the trail before the sweepers leave. I think I’ll stick with angry. If you are one of those “late sleepers” and just can’t make it in time then I would suggest that you turn around and drive a little further up the line to enjoy to
“don’t show up with paper thin brake pads, pizza cutter sprockets, tires that resemble road racing slicks with mumps or other marginal mechanical issues” bounty of shopping opportunities in scenic downtown Renfrew. 2) Be prepared Most Boogie riders are admirably well versed on this but there are always the few who just don’t get it. If you’re planning to do all the options then you are in for a long hard day and your bike needs to be in top condition. So don’t show up with paper thin brake pads, pizza cutter sprockets, tires that resemble road racing slicks with mumps or other marginal mechanical issues. After the riders meeting is not a good time to be changing wheel bearings. Yes. This actually happened. Carry the proper tools for your bike and appropriate spares. Make sure you have tire changing gear and a tube in case of flats. And be sure to backpack some spare fuel if you are irresponsible enough to ride a scooter that can’t do 100 trail kilometers; that’s considered the minimum standard in Calabogie. Sweepers are there to help in an emergency but they have very low tolerance for unprepared riders who, with a minimal amount of planning, could have fixed their own problem and got going again. 3) Keep moving The Boogie is not only a great ride but a great social event also. It’s fun to catch up with the people that you may only see once a year. But socializing at the end of every trail section is not a recommended practice. Riders tend to take far too long getting through Saturday morning trails which means that the opportunities for Saturday afternoon will be diminished as the options may be closed to get everyone in before dark. And here’s a helpful hint for this year’s event; most of the hardcore options are going to be after lunch on Saturday instead of the morning. If you want to attempt them you have to be there in a reasonable time frame. 4) Don’t overestimate your ability Since we dirt riders are a stubborn lot who seem to enjoy heaping physical abuse upon ourselves it becomes an unofficial badge of courage to complete all the brutal Calabogie options. But every year
sweepers are forced to deal with riders that have riding skills barely above novice level and who have decided, in their infinite wisdom, to attack the expert options. This is a bad idea. The key to really enjoying the Boogie is to not push your limits too far. The options are clearly marked with a difficulty rating and every rider will receive a route sheet indicating that rating also. Choosing options wisely can be the difference between having a challenging but fun day and an unhappy death march. 5) Be courteous Using the old noggin’ for more than a good place to carry your helmet can go a long way to ensure that the BMA continues to have areas available to us to put on the Boogie. Make sure your ride is quiet; if Joe and Jane Public can’t see or hear us out on the trails then they won’t have much to complain about to the local council. Slow down and get off the gas passing hunting camps and cottages. In fact, smile and wave and say g’day. Joe and Jane probably will quickly forget the 99 polite dirt riders who passed their property but they will remember for eternity the ass on a bike who tore through at full throttle and roosted gravel all over the grass. And those EZ markers are up for a reason; obey them. You’re welcome.
A giant hole has been ripped into the heart of the BMA with the passing of Steve Garnsey. Some of you might remember him as Saturday’s Trail Boss last year. I am fortunate enough to have ridden with Steve on both dirt and ice and considered him a friend as well as a gentleman and a leader. He will be greatly missed by both myself and many others in the club. So please excuse a few long faces and misty eyes at the Boogie this year. It just won’t be the same without him. - Kevin Traction
s e l d d a S g n i Blaz
# E L U R X O B P A SO See all c 9AM Wake up
This new Dual Sport ride is an extension of the Calabogie Boogie trail ride, a premier event in the OFTR trail ride series put on by the Bytown Motorcycle Association BMA. Rally Connex in collaborating with the BMA’s Dual Sport Group have put together a great selection of rides to suit any size Dual Sport bike and all riding abilities. Bring a friend for this amazing weekend of riding on trails and back roads. The Calabogie Boogie Trail ride is also based out of the same location so there will be no lack of off-road enthusiasm in the air. The choice is yours as to what type of riding to do from the most aggressive trail riding Ontario has to offer to scenic tours of the countryside. If you want to do some of each type of riding, that’s fine too. The two Dual Sport ride options “stock tire” and “aggressive” are GPS rides while the trail riding options are arrowed, mapped and rated for distance and difficulty. You can switch between Trail riding, Stock DS and Aggressive DS anytime between the three sessions: Saturday am, Saturday pm and Sunday am. Traction Traction
ogie Dualsport â€œthis photo is so bad ass i had to run it again â€? - the editor
photo: Anthony Kerr
photo: Anthony Kerr
knows howto boogie Warren Thaxter is a pioneer of the organized trail ride concept in Canada and one of the founding fathers of the Calaboogie Boogie. We spoke with Warren about the origins of the arrowed trail ride and his impressions of off-road riding in Canada. As I understand it, Blair Sharpless and yourself had the idea to create an arrowed trail ride. Was this idea ever done before in Canada or was this the first time (to your knowledge) that this had been attempted? The concept of a non-competitive, dirt trail ride was mine. I did the first one in 1985 or 1986 and it was a charity event for the Canadian ISDE team and was primarily an invitation event in the Ganaraska Forest and utilized a half dozen leaders who were familiar with the forest. The next major trail ride was the Algonquian 2-day in 1987. An OCMC event. I was the chairperson. It was an arrowed course. Were there others who bought into the idea of arrowed trail rides? Four friends; Tom Smith, Warren Thaxter, Ben Angi and Ed Bull formed an alliance named, STAB Promotions and we held a two day trail ride in Northern Ontario out of Webbwood in 1989. This was the first commercial trail ride done by individuals for profit (can’t for the life of me remember what we spent the ‘profit’ on though). Traction Traction
Max Burns from Cycle Canada was a guest and wrote a wonderful article afterwards. About this time I met Glen Cooper and was encouraged to come and ride ‘his country’. STAB was very enthused with what the area had to offer and in conjunction with Glen we agreed to hold a two day trail ride in the Calabogie area. This is the 20th year of the Boogie, when you started this did you ever think it would be going on for 20 years? No, though the second year saw an increase in riders and we may have thought we were onto something. The third year had a dismal turnout, I think less riders than the first year. Both Glen and Ben got hurt working on the event. It seemed we spent the entire weekend making excuses for the poor turnout and when Glen got hurt, broken shoulder I think, I took a real serious look at motorcycling, organizing and volunteering in general. Rash maybe, but I gave up. I let all of my club memberships lapse and absolutely quit volunteering on anything motorcycle related.
“I gave up. I let all of my club memberships lapse and absolutely quit volunteering on anything motorcycle related”
What were some of the highlights during your time of running the Boogie? Something happened in 1993. I retired from GMC and became a partner in Blair Sharpless Trail Tours and Dirt Bike School. As a result of this I was slowly drawn back into the volunteer stuff again. The numbers of customers through the DB school had us thinking that there should be venues other than competition for these people to take part in. Hence the drive to host some trail rides. During this time I brought Blair to Calabogie for a ride and he became as enthusiastic as I had been previously. So, with Blair’s enthusiasm, a steadily growing data base of Trail Tour customers and a growing OFTR environment we decided to resurrect the Calabogie Boogie. A highlight might be about the last year Blair and I did the ride out of Barryvale with over two hundred riders. Some things are memorable, like Blair doing the riders meeting in the pouring rain and having the rain stop at the completion of the meeting. The sun came out and the weekend was great, except for Blair’s new girlfriend breaking her leg! Oh well, he married her.
Where do you think the sport is headed? Is there a future for this kind of ride in Ontario/ Canada? Interesting question. Recently a lot of organizers have bought into the concept as an easy money maker. Some organizers are more enthusiastic than others and therefore some events are better. Some events not so good, usually a result of the effort put into them. I think trail rides are here to stay, but there may be a trend to incorporate a competition element into some. I think this is good if it is well done but very bad if poorly done. I believe there is a slight negative effect to our Ontario trail rides in that we are not breeding good competition riders with our easy well groomed trails. I just got back from Alberta where I went for a three hour ride that reinforces that fact. The western riders ride much tougher terrain and the BC people don’t remove ANYTHING off the trail. If a rider can get over, through or around an obstacle it’s good enough!! Traction Traction
Lots. The one I mentioned earlier with 200 hundred riders. Maybe the year Elvis Stoyko came? Maybe the year I got charged with trespassing by the Ministry of Natural Resources? It was either me (the organizer) or 20 riders. If you could change something about the ride or the way it evolved what would it be? I wish I had thought of the idea of starting Sundays ride at the gravel pit. Brilliant!! One year I actually spent a week at Calabogie trying to create a LEGAL route for green plates from the Buckhorn to Tattyhill Road. Though the Calabogie slumped for a few years it seems to be back on track. I know some of the credit should go to Woody but I expect there might be a half dozen others who are responsible. The last three years it has been getting better and better, I don’t know what I would add to improve the event. Maybe hot showers at the end of day two?
A man walks into a seedy back alley butcher shop to buy some human brain and asks “How much?” He’s told $10 a kilo for mini-bike riders… $50 a kilo fro trail riders… and $500 a kilo for motocross racers.” “Why so much for the motocrossers?” he asks. And the butcher replies “Do you know how many of them we need to get a kilo?”
Any special memories? A year that stands out more than the rest?
The attached photo and entry form was from 1992, the third year for the Boogie and organized by the OFTR, though with the regular people doing the layout and work. The photo was taken in front of the motel in Palmerston Lake. It is interesting how many of those pictured still ride.
n u r Log ridge
ful i beaut s i h t it really is
on the stand
By ODSC president Brian Knechtel
water and m ro f n e e b I’ve seen has e r u il bearing” a f l e g e in h r w a e e b h t l e whee e inside of h t g in t “Every singl s u r inating and m a t n o c d u m Traction
“It is also nice knowing that a wheel bearing isn’t going to fail on you at an inopportune time” Keep those wheels turning Last month I discussed a method of keeping your bike clean and ready for storage between rides. This article covers two parts of a wheel bearing maintenance program: what should be done when bearings are replaced, and what needs to be done about once or twice a year depending on how much your ride and how much water/mud holes you end up in.
roughly 6-8 parts of grease to 1 part anti-seize. Some guys use special water proof grease, I use any good heavy duty wheel bearing grease. Figure 3 shows the bearing repacked so that it has a more fitting amount of grease for the conditions it will be used in. The bearing seal can now be re-installed.
FigURE 1. Figure 1 shows a typical bearing for a front wheel of a dirt bike. Let’s assume this is a new one.* The first step is to take a small flat screw driver or a dental pick and carefully pop the seals off (Figure 2). You need to be careful and patient so as not to damage the seal. We are doing this to make sure there is a reasonable amount of grease in the bearing before we install it. Some bearings have very little grease installed at the factory. If this is the case, more should be added till the bearing is filled to about roughly 70% capacity. There needs to be some space left in order for heat expansion and for the balls to move easily thru the grease. Alternatively, the original stuff can cleaned out with Varsol or Kerosene and repacked to about 70% full with new stuff. I mix a bit of Anti-seize with the grease I use for these applications;
After the bearings and axle seals have been installed in the hub, there is sometimes a significant gap between the bearing and the axle seal (Figure 4). This gap, if left alone, is a great place for water and dirt to accumulate, which will ensure a short bearing life. Every single wheel bearing failure I’ve seen has been from water and mud contaminating and rusting the inside of the wheel bearing. A cheap and effective deterrent to the elements getting in there is to completely fill that gap with grease or a mix of grease and anti-seize (Figure 5). This protects the bearing and helps the axle seal to last a lot longer. The grease fills the space and keeps dirt and water from getting near the bearings. This is also the maintenance overlap I was referring to in the first paragraph of this article; spraying WD40 on the seal after the bike has been washed, or after a very wet ride, helps keep the grease and seal in good condition and helps remove water. Traction
The best time to do this is when installing a new set of bearings and seals.
After the old bearings and seals have been removed, clean the inside of the hubs and put a light layer of grease (or grease/antiseize mix) on the inside diameter and shoulder of the hub. Press the new bearing place. Put a liberal amount of grease on the outside of the bearing where the gap is in Fig 4. Install the new seal. There should be enough grease such that it is squeezed into the axle bore when the seal is seated. Repeat for
the other side (don’t forget the bearing/axle spacer). On a wheel that has the seals and bearings already installed (Figure 4) just clean out the gap and seal (remove the seal if necessary), and pack it full of grease. Once or twice a year, the grease behind the seal should be inspected and any dirt or water that has managed to get in there should be cleaned out. Repack with fresh grease if necessary. This is a simple maintenance program that anyone can do and it only costs a small amount of time and a bit of grease. It’s a very cheap alternative to replacing seals and wheel bearings every few thousand kilometeres. It is also nice knowing that a wheel bearing isn’t going to fail on you at an inopportune time, say on a multi day trip or 50km from your truck/trailer.
RY LIST LAUND e bearings
• loos rewdriver • small sc rease • bearing g nt eaning age l c , l o s a r a • v • rag • anti-seize ) equivalent r (o 0 -4 WD • beverage • Favorite
* the bearing in Figure 1, although it looks new, is one that was removed from my TE 250 after 3+ seasons and 8400km of dirt, mud and water holes. All the wheel bearings that were removed from this bike were in very good condition. Check out the Ontario Dual Sport Club at
trail tours dirtbike & Atv school
STILL KICKIN '
By Glen (COOP) Cooper
How Big Is Too Big?
Strange title, but appropriate at this time. I was riding with The Editor a little over month ago. He was preparing for the upcoming Paris to Dacre event. By the time you read this, it will have been run and most participants will have healed up by now and might even be thinking about riding their bikes again. If you are not familiar with this event it is to mimic one day of the Paris to Dakar Race which is now held in South America (don’t ask, it just is). It is 750km and is to be ridden in 20 hours (or less) and in teams where all team members must finish together. Well as for the topic, The Editor had installed a fuel tank on his motorcycle (notice that I did not say gas tank, it was a fuel tank). I have a 200 gallon fuel tank in my basement. For those who were not around when we used Imperial measurements, a gallon is four quarts, a quart is two pints, a pint is sixteen ounces. Just so you know 1 Imperial gallon = 4.54609188 litres. Wasn’t that easy? Now this fuel tank was about 25 litres (a normal KTM tank is about 9 litres I think). So, this one is more than twice as large and it stands to reason that it weighs twice as much. One litre of gas weighs 0.76 kilograms, x 25 litres = 19 kilograms. One kilogram = 2.204 622 622 pounds, so that means that 25 litres of gas weighs 19 kilograms x 2.204 622 622 pound = 41.887829818 pounds. That’s a child and not a small one either!
Now this fuel tank is perched up on top of a 450 KTM and is so big and bulky that it needed metal supports attached to the bottom side of this fuel tank to keep it from collapsing on itself. It is opaque and you can see the fuel inside of it. It sloshes around with any movement be it forwards or backwards or side to side. Just riding behind it will make you sea sick to watch the fuel sloshing around. Imagine trying to pick it up while exiting a corner at speed, as you stand it up the fuel just keeps on moving to the other side of the tank and would certainly slam a lesser man to the ground. The Editor is a big man and only started out with the fuel tank 1/2 full. BTW the idea of this large fuel tank is so that the team would not have to stop as often to fuel up. So what type of mileage would a KTM 450 get? 150km to a regular tank? That would possibly allow the bike to travel 300km on one tank. Assuming that they make it in 15 hours for the 750km, they would travel at 50 kph and it would take 6 hours to burn all the fuel in the tank. Have you ever ridden the Club 4 hour hare scramble? Anyone see where I’m going with this? So, the question is, if you buy a pair of Alpinestar Tech 10 boots with the bootie inside, does that make the boots too big and then you have to move the shifter up to accommodate the boots? Jeez, I hope they had fun. Remember, Ride Safe, Ride Smart! Coop out.
“riding behind it will make you sea sick to watch the fuel sloshing around”
e d i S h t r o N e i g o b Cala y night a d r u t a s d were tire u o y t h g u ho ...and you t
"ADD A BIKE" review
After not finding any reviews on the “Add-a-bike” dirt bike hitch carrier, I decided I’d write one. I have never written a review on anything, but here we go... Before I get into it, I just want to alert my fellow Canadians to the UPS issue that many of us have run into. The problem is when you receive something that was shipped from the USA via UPS Standard. UPS standard does not include customs brokerage fees. In this case, I ended up paying about $60 extra. Past experience had me ready for it, but it still hurts when the guy in the brown uniform is standing at your door with his hand out. If possible, it is often cheaper (and faster) to use UPS Express or UPS Expedited. The USPS is also an option. They only charge $5, if anything at all. None of these options were viable in this case. The weight of the item made UPS Standard the cheapest option, even with the fees. The Add-a-bike arrived in a shipping tube. It was well
packed and survived the journey. A word of warning on assembly: if you are not technically inclined, get some help from someone who is. Although it is fairly easy to figure out, the instructions provided on the website are not very detailed. You will need to figure out which bolts get used where, and where to put washers etc. The first item I feel I should critique is the workmanship itself. Although the pieces do go together, the cuts are rough and not very straight in some areas. The
iform is n u n w ro b e h t in n the guy e h w s t r u h l il t s t “i and out” h is h h it w oor d r standing at you tolerances for some of the drilled holes are quite loose, while others seem very precise. It is almost as if different people drilled them. I ended up getting out a square to help assemble the carrier. Had the tolerances been tighter, this would not have been necessary.
The peeve is the “anti-wobble” bolt. You can’t lock the carrier onto the hitch while using it. There are better anti-wobble solutions out there which do allow for a lock.
The photo is with the bike on it. It is BMW G450X, weighing about 260lbs. It really does go on as easily as the Youtube videos make it look. I am also pleased to report that I did not need to add straps. Although some may feel differently, the bike seems secure without additional straps. It is also very light, so it is easy to slide into the receiver and it does not add unnecessary weight.
I have since come up with a better solution for the issue of the frame rubbing against the upright post.
After using it for about a week, the bike has spent a total of 6 hours riding on the carrier. I have two concerns and one peeve. The first is the sharp angle of the bar that holds the bike down. Time will tell if it will do any lasting damage to the seat. It does put alot of pressure on one small point. My second concern is where the frame of the bike rubs against the upright post. With very little time so far, there is a significant indentation to the post. I have started to wrap it in duct tape.
I cut an 8 inch length of 3.5 inch PVC pipe and slid it over the post. It just sits on top of the peg holder and moves with the bike. It may not be elegant, but it works better than the handyman’s secret weapon. I have also noticed another minor shortcoming: when the ramp is being carried, it only gets attached at one end. This causes it to bounce around at its free end while you are driving along those rutted out gravel roads that lead to all the best riding spots. I have temporarily used a bungee cord to solve the problem, but it would be worth adding a clip to hold the other end while in transit. The “fine adjustment bar” was held in place with pins, rather than bolts. This was actually nice for the initial fitting of the bike to the carrier, but it did make things a little wobbly. I figure I will eventually lose them. I have since swapped the pins out for some grade 8 bolts. This made things much more ridged. ∆
Upcoming Club Events (See forum and website bulletins for directions and additional information as events approach. Don’t call us the morning of the event….we are already riding!)
August 15th - BMA Family Fun Day BMA Family Fun day. CANCELLED
August 15th - MID-SUMMER’S DREAM TRAIL RIDE
Ganaraska Forest • Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series Start Location: Sandaraska Park and Camp Ground www.sandaraskapark.ca
August 15th - meg’s ride - ladies only
Ganaraska Forest • Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series Start Location: Sandaraska Park and Camp Ground www.sandaraskapark.ca
August 28th and 29th - MAZINAW Trail Ride and Dual Sport Tour Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series • Start and Finish: Frank & Freda’s ATV Camp and Ride 613-474-2352, RR#1, Gilmour On, K8V 5P5
September 11-12th - Calabogie Boogie Trail Ride
This is our club’s premier event of the year, with two days of prime off-road riding and arrowed routes to suit everyone from newbie to pro. Trailheads are marked for mileage and difficulty. Dualsport route offered as well. One and two-day packages, pre-registration is advisable. See flyer at this website and watch for updates and info. Contact: Trevor Bylsma 613 271 6217 or firstname.lastname@example.org
September 26th - CVMG Trials, Lanark, ON
Near Watson’s Corners, this is the fall round of the local CVMG series for vintage and other observed trials enthusiasts. Contact Doug Hunter 613 826 3748 or email@example.com
October 3rd - Jim Kolman’s Chilli Run, Navan, ON
This is a hare scramble event for riders of all ages and skill levels; from mini’s to expert riders, women and vets. The track includes open grass, single-track trails, MX and endurocross sections designed to be entertaining and easy to navigate…a perfect opportunity for new racers to try your first scramble. Also a mini track for the kids to race on in the morning schedule. Try not to miss the live band and bon-fire Saturday night before the race! Of course free camping. For more info contact Jim Kolman at Wheelsport 613 841 9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
October 17th - BMA Fall Trail Ride Details to be announced. Traction
photo: Anthony Kerr
You Know Youâ€™ve Got Skills...
Now You can Prove it.
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October 23rd - BMA 4-hour harescramble, Woodyâ€™s
The Colin Snider Memorial 4-hour hare scramble is an annual favourite, a team event set on a course meant to be fun but reasonably challenging. The event is a fundraiser for local charities and an excellent event for a family group to have a fun day, socialize, kick some tires and get some racing experience to boot. No bikes smaller than 65cc. Call for info: Carolin or Woody 613 267 6861. email@example.com 10% Off cameras and accessories - Code: TRACTION10 Exp: Aug. 31, 2010 - Cannot be combined with other coupon offers.
otfr news The Ontario Federation of Trail Riders will not be able to enter into a use agreement with the County of Haliburton for the Haliburton Rail Trail as promised by a resolution in 2009. The vote was 7 to 4 against entering into an agreement by the 8 councilors of Haliburton County Council. So why doesn’t that add up? By-Law 3178 states – ‘County Council shall only use weighted votes for decisions involving financial matters’ and ‘Financial matters shall be defined to include the adoption of the annual operating and capital budgets, temporary and long-term borrowing, the acquisition of real property, the disposal of real property and the execution of contractual agreements including labour agreements. ‘ Reeve Fearrey stated that there would be increased enforcement needed from the one by-law officer and that made the issue a financial one. The rail trail by-law officer is on call for complaints and does not regularly patrol the rail trail. So the Reeves of Dysart and Minden Hills are then granted 3 and 2 votes respectively, the rest of council has only one vote. Most of the other councilors were very surprised since Reeve Fearrey doesn’t often invoke this privilege and the financial impact to the county was minimal. Nonetheless, Warden Burton accepted the argument and allowed the weighted vote. So what about the money? The NTC had sent a letter to the county about that and the county produced an email from the OFTR (July 2009) where we stated we would help regardless of the use agreement. The funding agreement was signed in September 2009 and ORMs were mentioned as a use and we should have clarified it then. We acted on good faith which seems to be a mistake. There are currently complaints about ORMs on the trail that we offered to educate. We don’t understand Reeve Fearrey’s decision making process since he recently allowed ATVs access to his municipality’s roads stating ‘they are already doing it and we can’t enforce it so we might as well allow it’. We also are in possession of a email from our opponents to county council from last week that seems defamatory towards the OFTR and OFTR staff so we are looking into that as well. It surely affected today’s vote. The OFTR staff will research our options to pursue this. A legal stance might be costly and we do have areas we are allowed to use that may be a better serve by our resources. We would like the NTC to go after the county. They (NTC) have spoken to the CAO and they feel the matter can be resolved through better communication and more consultation. We should have everything together for the OFTR Board of Directors within a couple of weeks so they can determine our best course for action. We may also survey our members to see if this is the issue where we take a stand. We have been working on this one for over 5 years. Stay tuned….
What are we going to do when all our riding areas are gone? Traction
Important TRIVIA Why did the dirt bike cross the road? answer below A guy at the hare scramble tells you that after winning his latest race on his Suzuki dirt bike, Santa Claus came up to congratulate him, and the Easter Bunny presented him with $1000 in prize money. How do you know he’s lying? see below Answer: Because they’ve stopped us from riding everywhere else!!! Answer: No one wins a race on a Suzuki.
Ottawa Section 25 Anniversary Lanark Trial th
“Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series!” The Bytown Motorcycle Association presents the 20th Annual
Sunday Sept 26 2010 1944 5th Conc C, off Lodore Road Dahousie Township (near Watsons Corners, Lanark County) Info contact David.Makin@ncf.ca
BMA & OFTR MEMBERS!
off of a Tekvest purchase with the mention of this coupon.
Trail Ride and Dual Sport • September 11 and 12, 2010 Calabogie Highlands Golf Resort, Calabogie, Ontario
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exhaust note TIRES When to buy them and what to buy? There are many things that will help you become a better rider and tires are at the top of the list for me - second only to bike set up. I like to have many different types and sizes ready to install from the tire rack in my shop. The problem with tires is that we think they are just tires, and they don’t look attractive. When was the last time your riding buddy said, “Sweet tires man! Where did you get them? I love the way they look on your bike! I bet they cost less then a steering damper and help your riding a lot more! I want to get a new set too but I went out and spent all my money on new decal graphics.” All motorized racers will tell you that your tires are your final contact with the surface and more often then not they will be one of the major factors on whether or not you stop or make the turn.
When to buy new tires A true racer will tell you to replace you tires after each ride and it hurts me to say this but they are right! The problem for mere mortals is that racers get their tires for free. If YOU get your tires free you should change them after each ride, then give ME your day old tires. Please give me your day old tires! If you are racing you should try and change both your tires before each race as there is nothing better then a nice sharp tire to make you a better rider. If you are a trail rider and are willing to give up some traction handling and braking and can’t afford to change tires every few rides, then change them when and as frequently as you can. A tire knife can help you keep the edge of your tires sharp and save money but try and do both (change tires AND sharpen) as much as possible. We all know that going in a straight line is a lot easier then turning between trees and rocks but we still buy four rear tires to every front. Remember that the rear tire is always following the front tire, the rear is the pusher but the front is picking the direction and turn angle. The front
by LARRY murray
is also responsible for most of the braking. The front tire is the most important tire on your bike, awareness of the condition of this tire is a big deal. Would you give up braking for forward speed?
Tire Pressure This is a big compromise and finding the middle ground is an age old question. I find that 10 to 13 psi is best but in the rocks you could get flats. There are extraheavy duty tubes and I use them, but in the rocks you still need 16 psi plus. I think that it would be a good investment to use mousse inserts, the new tube balls or a tubeless system. There are a few items on the market to choose from but they cost $125 to $150 each. I will try to test them later this year and tell you more about my experience here.
What to buy There is a reason that there are many tread designs, compounds and manufactures. Most of the manufactures have already done the testing for you and they will list some of the test information in their catalogs and on their web site. Information like compounds - soft/med/ hard, DOT/non-DOT, tread design usage - mud/sand/ rock/desert etc. But let’s get one thing straight – they want to out-sell their competitors and will try anything to be number one. This means they will always try to up-sell you to the most expensive tire. Most manufacturers will have many different types in both fronts and rears plus many sizes but what we are looking for comes down to three things: Traction, Tire Life and PRICE. If there was one supplier that was 10% better in every category they would have all the sales and market share and we would all have the same tires but that’s just not the way it is so we have lots of suppliers to pick from. If your dealer tries to push you in one direction or the other, they are probably getting a better discount from one supplier, so use your brain. Be aware! The cost of shipping can be high so what they stock is what they
“the rear is the pusher but the front is picking the direction and turn angle” fit YOUR bike? like to sell.
What tire and size will work best for you? Below are some questions you need to ask yourself before you buy. In the end it will save you money and help BIG TIME with your riding: Tread design, Compound? Where do you ride? Rock with sharp edges, rock with round edges, sand, gravel, mud, grass, pavement, desert?
Tire size: front Very little choice here, good luck!
Summary Ultimately, you need to find a front and rear that meet the above requirements and that don’t break the bank. Remember, these tires don’t necessarily have to be the same brand or model. Too often people buy two of the same brand or model because they are told they are supposed to be run in sets. This is not true.
Will it be wet or dry?
Go out, experiment, and most of all change your tires BEFORE your decals.
Are you looking for legal? (DOT or Non-DOT)
Just for Fun,
Tire Size: Rear
The tire size is very much like the number of teeth on your drive sprockets so if you want a bigger rear tire you may need to change you rear/front sprocket to account for the different gearing. Tire size will also change the seat height and the ground clearance of your bike. Keep this in mind when picking a size. Most importantly, will it
for better gripping performance Must have sharpening tool for every off road rider. 423-774-0028 • knobbyknife.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
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