THE BMA DOES THE PARIS-DACRE
Traction Off-Road Riding eRag for Riders by Riders
Product Review Knife + Knobbies = Knobby Knife
• riding paris- dacre • stealing from the OFTR • unwater your bike
May 2010 FREE VOLUNTEER POWERED!
Watchout ladies! There’s a New Girl in Town
IN THIS ISSUE: BLING
Pat rides dacre NOT dakar!... 11 we talked to Pat......... 21 sharpen your tires.... ..19 unwater your bike...... 16 limerick likes us........ 8 stealing from ken........ 10 BMA schedule............ 6 SmugMug updates...... 7
caught on film ....2 the view from here .....3 dirt from the BMA prez ....4 upcoming events.... 6 on the soapbox.... 20 exhaust note.... 25
cover photo: (Eric McSweeny) Shane Watts ripping it up inside Canada. I believe that Eric shot this last year at the Shane Watts school. Reason to fear Eric? Shane taught Eric how to ride. Great spring photo!! above: Let’s ride!
Caught on Film “Caught with your pants down?”
We are cruel, cruel people. This young rider is enjoying the view and doing what comes naturally. Who would ever think there is camera around! Our new 2010 riding slogan?
If you have pictures of your riding buddies in compromising positions, send them over and we will gladly embarrass them:
get your speed on
before u get
Traction Off-Road Riding eRag for Riders by Riders
Dallas Shannon Editor Kaveri Gupta A Better Editor Christian Lacasse Ken Hoeverman Doug Hunter Larry Murray Kevin Burnett Mike Hillier KTMKevin Contributors Eric McSweeny Kaveri Gupta Christian Lacasse Carolin Lueders Mike Hillier Honda Canada Photographs We are currently looking for story ideas, contributing writers & photographers. If you would like to have fun and participate in a off-road motorcycle rag just for the hell of it, please drop us a line. You don’t need to be a good writer to participate, just enthusiasm and a love of riding off-road. Reviews, interviews, mechanical questions & solutions, design, photography, ride reports and event coverage are just SOME of the things we are interested in. Anything outside these topics or a weird hybrid of these things is welcome. We have NO rules and can do and say whatever we want! How’s that for freedom of expression!
To contact anybody about anything please email us at: email@example.com If you would like to receive the newsletter by email please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Traction eRagazine Disclamer: We in no way intend this to be a commercial publication. Views expressed here are our own and should be taken for what they are - valueless. A friend always says “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story” and we do our best to honor that statement. If you are looking to challenge what you read here - don’t bother, just assume you are right and we are wrong. This rag exists because we LOVE riding motorcycles off-road and we love publishing. Everything is done by volunteers and no money is generated. If you are unhappy with that and feel the need to send us money - donations are accepted, PAYPAL preferred! If you think your product or service should appear in this rag, please let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
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© Traction eRagazine 2010
THE VIEW FROM HERE It’s here! What a relief! Although it’s been a very good winter and a great spring, I have been impatiently waiting to get the riding season started. Being new to Eastern Ontario, I am starting to recognize the awesome riding opportunities this area presents. This summer, the list of events are long. So far, my biggest news is the entry into the Paris - Dacre rally (PD) which takes place in late June. For those who have not heard of this race, it’s a one-day off-road rally from Paris, ON to Dacre, ON (roughly 700kms off-road). The rally is designed to replicate one day of the legendary 14-day Paris Dakar rally (which was formerly held in Africa and is now held in South America). The event is organized by Rally Connex every two years and it’s really starting to generate a significant following. I was invited by PD veteran Bryan “Flanny” Flannigan who rode the PD on his KTM 950 two years ago. Flanny is an accomplished rider and has plenty of experience with riding bikes long distance. He’s a GPS guru and quite good at dealing with navigation. Flanny has got enough energy and enthusiasm to fuel our entire team. My 2nd teammate and first year BMA Club rider is Dan Curran. Dan comes from a street and dual sport background (he had a 950SE!) but has been “honing” his single track skills in the Calabogie Highlands of late. Woody’s Wonderland still keeps him awake at night. Dan is mechanically inclined and will provide excellent support should something go wrong. Another plus is that Dan works as an ER doctor so he is comforting to have along in case of mishaps. His duties will simply be listed as “REPAIR”. Both Flanny and Dan recently purchased 450 EXC’s so they are both riding bikes that are much lighter and nimble than they are used to. On our last ride together, Dan commented that his 450 was much more exhilarating than his 950SE. Sheesh. Now that is saying something about the 450! Both of my teammates have been riding bikes for a long time and although I don’t have any illusions about winning, I do expect, barring mechanical problems, that we will finish. I will write about my personal experience preparing and planning for the PD in the next issue (JUNE) and will follow up with a “ride report” of the actual rally itself. I am very excited about this experience as it is something I’ve never attempted before. I have a lot to learn and it will be a very good experience regardless of the outcome. Speaking of learning, I had the lucky experience to have trashed my rear wheel bearings during a recent Sunday
photo: Christian Lacasse
by Dallas Shannon
Pressure washer = bad idea. Can you say “ROACHED”?
ride in Limerick. It wasn’t a typical Limerick ride because our group headed down towards the 401 highway on a very fun series of forest roads and trails. About 20 kms from Limerick my bearings started to clunk and within 5 minutes they were shredded. I say lucky, not because of the fact that it happened on the trail but because it created a learning experience for me. They say you can only learn by experiencing and with me, that’s true. I had never had this happen before so from the moment I heard the clunking to installing new bearings provided hands on learning for me. Thankfully, BMA’s Larry Murray was there to help and told me I would be ok to ride back to the truck (my riding buddies kept going) but the whole time I was unsure how badly I could treat the bearings. Tonight, while reading Dakar stories on the web, I came across videos of Annie Seel, the female Dakar rider. In the video interview I was watching she told the story of losing her bearings at 200kms into the 9th Dakar stage and then riding the remaining 400kms with no wheel bearings. She said she “lost some time”. What a laugh - I didn’t think I was going to make it back to the truck! It’s a very entertaining video by an amazing rider! See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3hHGqu7zEY&feature=related
My bearings are now repaired thanks to the precise mechanical work of a riding buddy. Punching out the old bearings and replacing the new was interesting and I’ve learned some new tricks. Enjoy your spring riding days - we have had very good spring riding - enjoy every minute! This weekend we are heading north to Quebec for an organized trail ride. The weather is saying 15+ mm’s of rain so conditions will be right for torture. I’m excited and will surely report on my findings!
Hello and welcome to another ride season with the Bytown Motorcycle Association. I’m pleased to be sitting in the President’s chair for 2010, and want to thank my fellow execs for their valuable time going forward – Trevor Bylsma in the Vice President position, Heather Seeler in the Secretary position, and Carolin Leuders as Treasurer.
by BMA President Mike Hillier
photo: Mike Hillier
Dirt From the PREZ
To Woody and Mike O’Reilly (who stepped away from the President and Secretary positions respectfully), thanks for the great job in previous years; we’ll aspire to do as well. The directorship has not changed this year – Dave Phifer, Andy Jasiak, Terry Young, and Dallas Shannon are handling the duties of Volunteer, Membership, Dual Sport, and Newsletter, respectfully. Thanks guys. For a dozen guys from the club, including myself, the season kicked off with 7 days of riding in Nevada. This was a phenomenal trip – organized by Larry Murray who unfortunately could not go. Highlights were many - from full throttle runs on dry lake beds, to climbing sand dunes hundreds of feet high, to running single track along the apex of some really, really high hills. We explored old gold
We need some more photos of the elusive Mr. Hillier. Pretty - and that ain’t snow.
those new to the club, caters to all levels. We’ll divide into Novice, Intermediate, and Expert level groups. There will be a group leader and a sweep rider; you’ll have a great day. See the website for details – any questions, ask in the forum or give one of us a call. Our contact info is online as well.
photo: Mike Hillier
There are now 3 race events on the calendar. Our 2 hour hare scramble is part of Offroad Ontario’s new series, the 4 hour team event hare scramble raises money for charity, and the new ‘Chilli Run’ will offer family fun racing for all ages. Trials more your speed? – There are 2 of those on the calendar as well. Also, the Limerick Family ride and Calabogie Boogie return as part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series, and the club will hold Family Fun Day again as well.
Geez - ANOTHER dry lake bed. Forced to twist it - AGAIN...
mines, drank beer at 100 year old saloons, and rode some of the best trails we’ve seen. If you get the chance to go, just do it. The event calendar is up on the website. We’ll kick things off with the annual spring ride in Calabogie. This ride, for
We’ve got a FUN year ahead of us. The spring weather has given us a great head start on that FUN. Trail maintenance has already begun in Limerick, LaRose, and Calabogie. Want to help? Watch for work’n’ride notices on the forum, come meet some fellow riders, and put a dent into the 4 hour volunteer request. We’re all in this together.
Mike FUN TIMES
Upcoming Events CVMG Trials, Lanark, Ont. • May 9th
Near Watson’s Corners, this is a very low-key gathering of observed trials enthusiasts young and old, who get together to have fun and test their skills out on some of the clubs most unusual machinery, negotiating challenging terrain. Weather is a non-issue in trials so call for an invite and catch a look into this venerable sport. Better yet…beg, borrow or steal a trials bike and give it a try. Contact Doug Hunter 613-826-3748 or website@ bytown-motorcycle-assoc.ca
BMA Club Trail Ride, Calabogie, Ont. • May 30th
This is a great area…lots of scenery and varied terrain suitable for most skill levels. Dualsport route is also being offered. - Highlands Golf Club - 8:00 - 9:00 registration, 9:30 rider’s meeting, 9:45 guided ride, 2:00 - 4:00 lunch at HGC. Price $20 - lunch included. For information call Doug McNeil at (613) 825-1444, email@example.com
International Female Ride Day • May 7 Female Ride Day is a campaign for women motorcyclists who own, ride or have access to a motorcycle; inviting women to “JUST RIDE”. By being on a motorcycle on the Female Ride Day, by participating and by riding, women enthusiastically contribute to building awareness of female motorcyclists.
OFTR Family Day at CMTS • Sat, May 8 Canadian Motorcycle Training Services will be hosting an OFTR Family Day on May 8th, 2010. This day is specifically designed to allow OFTR members to introduce immediate family members to the wonderful sport of Off Road Riding.
Mini Pine Trail Ride • Sun, May 16 MINI PINE TRAIL RIDE in the Ganaraska Forest Kids welcome with an adult. Part of the Ontario Trail Ride Series.
Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group
Jim Kelly Memorial Trail Ride • Sun, May 30 JIM KELLY MEMORIAL TRAIL RIDE RJ Motorsports, Midhurst ON All proceeds go to the Canadian ISDE Gold Fund and the Heart & Stroke Foundation Event presented by HORRA (Halton Off Road Rider Association) & SCORRA (Simcoe County Off Road Rider Association).
May 9th, 2010 Makin Farm
Lanark, Ontario SPRING ROUND OF CVMG OTTAWA VINTAGE TRIALS SERIES Eligible: Everything from rigid-frame machines all the way up through 1980’s twin shock machines. Modern bikes invited to ride “demonstration” class. All bikes should be quiet. Skill-level groups for Beginners through Experts. Fun sections are the focus, just like “back in the day.”
RIDERS MEETING: 11:30 AM START : Noon FOR MORE INFORMATION AND DIRECTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-826-3748
BMA 2010 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’re already riding!)
CVMG Trials, Lanark, Ont. • May 9th
Near Watson’s Corners, this is a very low-key gathering of observed trials enthusiasts young and old, who get together to have fun and test their skills out on some of the clubs most unusual machinery, negotiating challenging terrain. Weather is a non-issue in trials so call for an invite and catch a look into this venerable sport. Better yet…beg, borrow or steal a trials bike and give it a try. Contact Doug Hunter 613-826-3748 or email@example.com
BMA Club Trail Ride, Calabogie, Ont. • May 30th
Watch the club web site for developments. This is a great area…lots of scenery and varied terrain suitable for most skill levels. Dualsport route is also being offered. For information call Doug McNeil at (613) 825-1444, firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Hour Harescramble, Woody’s, Perth • June 13th
Woody’s Cycle club hare scramble and annual spring pilgrimage into the forest. This year’s event is part of the Off-Road Ontario cross-country provincial championship, http://offroadontario.ca. Registration starts at 9am and practice till 11:15 am. Racing starts a noon .For info call Carolin or Woody 613 267 6861 or email@example.com
Larose Forest Ride Day, Limoges • June 26th
Check out the status of BMA’ latest trail network in Eastern Ontario. For information contact Marlene Bleau. (613) 678 1676 firstname.lastname@example.org
Limerick Forest Kid’s Ride • July 11th
Limerick Forest Family Ride near Roebuck, Ont. For kids of all ages, non-competitive, and focused on fun. Trails are always well marked for different riding levels. Bikes must be quiet, plated and legal. Sign in 9-10, start time 10:30. See flyer at this website or contact Mike Hillier (613) 258 1164. email@example.com
BMA Family Fun Day • August 15th BMA Family Fun day. Details to be announced.
Calabogie Boogie Trail Ride, • September 11-12th
This is our club’s flagship 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
CVMG Trials, Lanark, Ont. • September 26th
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
Jim Kolman’s Chilli Run, Navan, Ont. • October 3rd
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. This is 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! There is, of course, free camping. For more info contact Jim Kolman at Wheelsport (613) 841-9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BMA Fall Trail Ride • October 17th Details to be announced.
BMA 4-hour harescramble, Woody’s • October 23rd
The Colin Snider Memorial 4-hour harescramble 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 really 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
DAKAR UPDATED PICTURES!! http://bytownmotorcycle.smugmug.com/
Hello Readers, As many of you know, a BMA pictures website has appeared online. Since its launch it has proven to be a great success. You will find hundreds of riding pictures that were taken during BMA events or other organized rides between members. We have received some great shots by riders who participated in these rides. We can’t wait to post some 2010 photos. Please go there and enjoy, it’s free! You’ll find pictures of all sizes that are fast to download. If you want to save them on your computer or print them at your local photo developer, please do. If you need support, write us! Here’s what we would like:
Bring a camera on your rides, shoot it and share it! To see the pictures go to: http://bytownmotorcycle.smugmug.com/ If you would like to see your pictures appear on the website, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
VOLUNTEER SUPERSTAR Itâ€™s well known by the BMA inner circle that Larry Murray carries the torch when it comes to Limerick Forest. For years he has working closely with the forest managers to keep the relationship healthy. This has helped us and will help us in the future should our privileges to ride ever get threatened. Now, heâ€™s been officially recognized by the warden. Next time you enjoy a riding the Limerick forest think of Larry. Word around the campfire is that Larry likes doughnuts. Someone please treat Larry to a coffee and a doughnut! Nice job Larry!
Another season, another mess to clean up - Larry goes looking for doughnuts.
LIMERICK updates... FOREST
The biggest update of all is that this: Is now this:
CANADIAN DISTRIBUTOR FOR: • Enduro Engineering
• E-Line Accessories • FASST Company • GPR Stabilizer • Grunge Brush • Brap Offroad •Fredette Racing Products • Flatland Racing • K&P Stainless Oil Filters • Stealthy Offroad •Sicass Racing • SFB Racing • Terry Cable
Limerick’s secret soon out Below is a excerpt from an article By CHRISTINE ENDICOTT , STAFF WRITER - Brockville Recorder and Times
• JD Jetting • Power Blades • Park Tools
It’s a magical place.
• G2 Ergonomics
So magical , in fact, that many of the people who have discovered Limerick Forest and visit it regularly do not tell their acquaintances, so that it remains uncrowded, a secret gem of Leeds-Grenville.But with upgraded trails and an interpretive centre now being completed, Limerick Forest is about to get busier.
• Accu-Mix Products
This week, contractors are finishing a log chalet that will become the new, 1,200-square-foot interpretive centre on Limerick Road near Forsythe Road, north of Roebuck.
• Trail Tech
Volunteers and staff will put the final touches on the chalet -including staining logs, installing kitchen flooring and landscaping. Constructed from red-pine logs culled from Limerick, the centre includes a large meeting room with a fireplace, a kitchen large enough to prepare food for a group, a disabled-accessible washroom, and storage space and washrooms on the basement level. “It’s the centrepiece of Limerick,” forest manager Geoff McVey says of the centre. “We wanted a wow factor when kids come see it.”
• Mud Suds • Promoto Billet
Dealer inquiries call: Allan Lachapelle 450-292-3170 www.lrpdistributing.com 11 Baker Pond Road Bolton Centre, QC
a review bY dallas shannon
I can read but prefer photographs. Endurance (powerhouse Books) is a coffee table book for people who don’t typically own coffee table books. Photographer and author Theresa Ortolani follows off-road rider Nathan Kenney for three years as he climbs the GNCC ranks and lands himself a factory ride. Along the way she captures incredible photos and great anecdotes from racing industry insiders, but the book’s real value is the way it presents the soul of dirtbiking itself. The photos and text illustrate what off-road riding is really about. It’s gritty and does not hold back. The words broken, beaten, bleeding are used. A lot. Someone who has never ridden an off-road bike will either “get it” or never dare to swing a leg over one. Endurance is the best off-road photo essay book I have ever held in my hands. The photos are stunning and there is just enough text to provide context and keep it interesting. The back cover says that Ortolani applies an “artist’s eye” to this unforgiving sport and this is an accurate description. She has the natural talent to take great photographs. Lucky for us she’s taking pictures of off-road motorcycles. How did I get my signed copy of Endurance you ask? While at the Toronto motorcycle show in January, I swiped it out of the OFTR trailer while Ken Hoeverman was yakking about land issues, quiet pipes, and how he owns the SCORRA guys. In the parking lot I opened it up and realized it was a signed copy – SCORE! The bad news was that it was made out to Ken. I figure the chance of Ken reading this are slim so that tidbit of knowledge is between you, me and the other slubs who can read. The book makes a great gift. A gift for a fellow rider or a gift for yourself. Ever wondered why some fail and others succeed? Have you ever thought to yourself – it doesn’t look that tough, I could do that. This book offers candid insight about what it really takes to ride at a high level.
Thanks Ken (and Theresa)
Now, onto business – how do you get a copy? The OFTR is selling these puppies for $40. They are being sold to raise money for the OFTR. The OFTR is a good cause and one of the reasons your kid will have a place to ride in 15 years. What a deal - you get a great book about motorsickles and your kids get to ride dirtbikes somewhere other than the local pit. And remember: If Ken’s grumbling that his signed copy is missing, tell him to check under his dusty copy of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. If ever at the OFTR trailer - keep your eyes on your own fries. If anybody is going to steal Ken’s stuff, it’s going to be me. Guess who? It certainly ain’t Ken.
To buy a book, contact Tracy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Female Ride Day is a campaign for women motorcyclists who
own, ride or have access to a motorcycle; inviting women to “JUST RIDE”. By being on a motorcycle on the Female Ride Day, by participating and by riding, women enthusiastically contribute to building awareness of female motorcyclists. They also demonstrate to others the fun and enjoyment women of all diversities share in this wonderful activity—motorsport. The event occurs on the first Friday of May each year, where women participate by simply being on their motorcycle to --JUST RIDE! …TO WORK …TO MEET FRIEND(S) …TO FITNESS CLASS …TO YOUR LOCAL MOTORCYCLE RETAILER …TO A COUNTRY ROAD …TO TAKE AN ATV OR TRACK DAY COURSE …TO A SHOPPING MALL …TO MEET WITH YOUR RIDING CLUB The day invites women to simply be on a motorcycle--avoiding too much structure. It is not an organised ride, not a charity or a fundraiser for reasons of ensuring its main message not become diluted—that of highlighting women motorcyclists! Just Ride! Motorcycles of all brands, types and capacities--road bikes, scooters, off road/dirt category motorcycles and ATV’s are welcome and invited to partake. This is one day devoted to women riders of all ages; all experience levels, demonstrating their personal passion, pleasure and camaraderie alone or together in the activity of motorcycling riding—worldwide! At the end of International Female Ride Day, women are requested to send in their photo showing themselves and their motorcycle on Female Ride Day, capturing some aspect of how they enjoyed the experience. These photos are shared online and enjoyed by women internationally. ∆
Trahan to Attend the Paris-Dacre Rally Connex (www.rallyconnex.com) is pleased to announce that it will have a special guest attending our P2D this year. Pat Trahan ,who made the journey this year to his third Dakar and finished, will be speaking on Friday night. His bike, a CRF450X with modifications for the Dakar (not road legal of course) will be on display for you to see. He finished in 55th place (with a time of 74:34:54) with only 88 of the 161 starters completing the event. 552 total participants took part in the moto, car, and truck divisions. “In 1998 when I decided to participate in my first rally, I could not find anybody around me that could understand my passion. In 2000 at the Dakar, it was the same. I felt very much alone. 10 years later, lot’s of things happened. I finished the Dakar, lots of people followed me and I found
out there was a small Dakar in Canada!! Paris-Dacre!! What an original way to celebrate the passion of the adventure. For me it will be an honour in the same year to race the Dakar and the Paris-Dacre... I can’t wait to reach the bivouac in Dacre.” Pat Trahan Only five other Canadians have ever completed the Dakar and they shall not remain nameless because they also deserve the recognition. Lawerence Hacking 2001, Guy Giroux 2002, Eric Dubeau 2002, Shawn Price 2003, Bob Bergman 2005. Many Canadians have competed in the Dakar and they also have our respect. It takes a great deal of drive and determination, financial backing, and support, not to mention “guts” to take on an event as grueling as the Dakar. It pushes you to the limits and many have paid the ultimate price. Well done to all of our Canadian competitors. ∆
Haliburton OHV Users Plant Some Seeds by Ken Hoeverman
(of knowledge, that is...) Last weekend, members of a local snowmobile club went to a local ATV club meeting to talk about early spring damage caused by off highway vehicles. The OFTR was invited along since we were involved in financing about half a million dollars in trail repairs to this area with the National Trails Coalition grants. You see, the clubs had partnered with us on some of the trail work using their own club funds and many volunteer hours. They were invested and about to see it all ruined through ignorance. Much like our ‘sound advice’ programs, the users were not probably not aware of the
WHAT THE HECK IS THIS CARD? WHAT DO I DO WITH IT? Step 1 - Volunteer. - believe me, the club could use your help and I bet you’ll enjoy yourself. Step 2 - Print this page and fill out the card.
A load of fun? Depends on who you ask...
problem until somebody pointed out the problem. The discussion was productive and ‘solution oriented’, no mud slinging (pardon the pun), grass roots and a quick and inexpensive solution was agreed upon. So this unofficial and ad-hoc group of thoughtful con-
Step 3 - Give this to Dave Phifer or any one of your friendly neighbourhood club execs.
GOT A HELLUV A STORY?
Step 4 - Clap yourself on the back. Your donation of time just helped the club and gained you some respect among your fellow club members.
Photos, product reviews, ride reports, are all welcome. Gwammer, spwelling and punatuation are all optional (we have a GREAT copy editor)!
WHY NOT SHARE?
cerned citizens created a few simple messages and ordered some ‘bag’ signs. We had them printed in time for this weekend’s expected onslaught of cottagers and city folk hoping to get out early and have some fun. You can’t blame them, the weather is awesome and the bugs aren’t biting! Heck, I want go riding today too! We (the group) actually pulled it off and got it done. Over 100 signs are now on most entrances to our trails and the positive feedback doesn’t surprise me since I have been educating trail users for few years. The message was generally accepted. My section involved 25 trailheads and I had a chance to speak to ATV riders about the problem and guess what? They agreed it was probably not a good idea to be out this early in the season, they had just never thought about it. The seeds of knowledge are sewn and I think we are onto something....∆
Like it or not, it’s coming.
Lately we’ve been toying with and testing modern communications technology aimed for your off-road motorcycle. This technology has been evolving - getting tougher, smaller, more memory and battery life and is starting to appear on off-road bikes more and more. HD video, helmet to helmet communications devices, MP3 players, advanced GPS and tracking devices, etc. In future issues we are going to test and review some of these devices and explain to you how they will start to become part of your off-road kit. If you have comments, would like to be a part of the testing or contribute your own ideas to how this technology is going to affect riding off-road motorcycles, please contact us at: offroad.newsletter@ gmail.com
BMA Code Of Conduct 1. Do not trespass on private property 2. Ride on existing trails 3. Respect nature 4. Respect and be courteous to other people who also have the right to be on the trails 5. Remember that few other vehicles are as maneuverable as bikes, so give the others lots of room 6. Hunt camp owners do a lot of trail grooming respect their efforts 7. Stop when you see a horse 8. Do not ride during hunting season 9. Comply with all legislation, bylaws and insurance requirements 10. Always wear a helmet and other safety gear (but take off your helmet if you talk to someone) 11. Do not litter 12. Leave the place better than you found it 13. Keep your bike QUIET. More sound = less ground!
BMA/KLIM GEAR UPDATE If you didn’t already know... The BMA has partnered with KLIM Canada (pronounced “CLIMB”) to provide the BMA with riding gear for the 2010 season. The KLIM brand is arguably some of the best quality off-road riding gear being manufactured and members who are currently using the KLIM brand are very happy with it. Please check out their website to learn more:
www.klimcanada.com Good things come to those who wait - THE GEAR IS HERE! The gear is in and has been picked up by the “soon to be well-dressed” BMA riders. If you purchased gear and didn’t pick it up, please contact: email@example.com. If you happen to see a set of BMA/KLIM gear, don’t worry about getting drool on the gear - it’s drool resistant.
Doug Dualsports BC: Inside this issue of Inside Motorcycles
Doug Hunter Dabs into IM! Check out Inside Motorcycle’s latest issue to read about Doug Hunter’s BC Dualsporting adventure. Doug tipped us off about this last summer and tah dah - it’s all true. “INSIDE ADVENTURE: For many years Doug Hunter subscribed to the viewpoint that if you wanted the perfect dual sport bike, you needed to own two bikes -- one for the street and one for the dirt. Then he took a trip to British Columbia that changed his perspective on things. Read Doug tries not to dab. about his grand tour over the Canada Day holiday weekend in this issue of Inside Motorcycles..”
by Hal Scharfe
Just want to make you aware that there is a full fledged line up of Supermoto events slated this year. Many of the off-road riders enjoy having the odd day strutting their stuff in Supermoto events and subsequently, they make the best Supermoto riders. Some people think they can’t enter the events unless they purchase a 17 inch set of rims and slicks as well as special front brakes. NOT SO! Just throw on a DOT tire on the front and a dirt track tire on the back of the stock wheels and let the good times roll. There is also a pavement only class for those who do not want to risk the odd jump or dirt section. The season opener at Shannonville will be held on the Nelson Track with a dirt section added in. It will also be a CAN-AM race. Canadians took all the championships last year so this year should prove to be a grudge fest. Give supermoto a try! This year will be a big year for the rebirth of the great sport of Supermoto in Canada. Follow the links below to find out more information. http://www.408racing.com/2010schedule.doc
http://www.408racing.com/2010CanAMSchedule.doc http://www.408racing.com/2010canadianSupermotoSerie sSchedule.rtf
Ahoy, Submarine Commander!
Get that leaky tub into shape for spring and bail yourself out when you sink it...
We printed this last September in Larry’s EXHAUST NOTE but felt that this information will be even more helpful considering some of you will be drowning bikes this spring. Although it’s been a dry spring there are plenty of opportunities to take a dip.
WATERED OUT BIKE I was asked to give thoughts on the starting of a wateredout bike. I have watered-out many times and this is what I do. I may be all wet but this works for me. There are three parts to the answer: (1) Bike preparation for deep water (2) Riding in and finding your way through deep water or water with an unknown depth (3) Restarting a watered out bike
Preparing Your Bike (a) Air box Close all large openings in the bottom and sides. If you know there will be lots of water on a given day, you should duct tape the access filter door to seal it. However, you will need a small drain hole or drain tube 1/2” (13mm) in the lowest point of the air box. Try to keep it away from rear wheel splash. Leave the air intake from the top of the air box and under the seat. Also, check and see if the rear tire is pushing water up under the seat. This can happen if there is a poor fitting fender or missing splash guards. Keep your air filter clean and well sealed. After cleaning and reinstalling your air filter you must always check the
seal between the air filter and air box. It should be tight and well oiled (I use a little grease). Get your hands dirty or use a glove but check this seal every time! (b) Carb Venting There are a lot of hoses and wires on the carburetors of new bikes and it is a good practice to vent the hoses that would go into the carb and send them over the top of the float bowl. The best way to do this is with “Tees” and more tubing. Place the tee as close as possible to the point the hose goes into the carb and run the new tubing into the top of the air box if you can or up under the tank. I do not recommend taking the factory installed tube or hoses that come from the carb and running them anywhere except down.
If your carb comes vented, run the top tubes into your air box or under the seat. If not, use the tees and tubing. Always try to put the new vent tubes into the air box. If your bike falls over it’s better to have the fuel run into the air box (fuel leaking under the tank can reach the exhaust and start a fire). I have seen some riders just run the factory single vent lines up under the seat – I know it vents well, but the question is how would you get water out of a tube that’s up under your gas tank after it went over in a beaver pond? How long would you kick a bike that had all that water draining back into the carb? Pouring water into a tube that goes straight to your carb is not a good plan. Vent your bike, don’t just move the lines. It is also a good plan to change your carb drain tube to a clear one, that way you can keep an eye on your float setting without taking the carb off. This is a good trick. This will not take long or cost much money and only needs to be done once.
Riding in Water Q: Should I just go “balls to the wall”?
A: Only if you can’t ride on the low water side. If riding on the high water side, try to keep your bike out about 1’ (1/3meter) or so farther then you would like under normal conditions in the deep water. This will help avoid large sticks that are sticking out. Beavers have under water paths they use and there will be a path along the edge of the dam, it will be about 6” (150mm) deeper and 1’ (300mm) wide. If the water is not too deep you can ride in this path (they are normally well packed and easy to ride). Q: Should I wheelie through the water? A: Only if your a better rider then Al Jonker or know the water crossing (i.e how long, how deep and what’s on the bottom). In rocky areas it maybe the best and fastest way, but you must know the trail. Are you in a race or on a trail ride? Ask yourself this question! It may help you slow down. Q: Stuck in the mud. A: That’s why we ride in teams. The best way to get unstuck is with help. And the older you get the more you will understand this. If you see me stuck in the mud I need help! Jerking and pulling is not the best way to get out. I have found that if you get help by having someone turn the front wheel and let the motor turn the rear wheel the bike now becomes a 2 wheel drive should walk its way out.
Restarting a Watered Out Bike There are maybe three types of watering your bike out:
A: NO! It is important to be ready for anything hiding in the water (logs, rocks etc.), so watch your speed. You need to maintain momentum but not too fast. Slip the clutch to keep revs up and speed down. If there is water being pushed up into your face by the front wheel you’re going way to fast! Slow down unless you know how deep and what’s under the water! Q: It looks deep! A: If no other bikes have been through maybe go for a walk! Or send a friend for a walk. It’s better to help someone get there watered out bike going then to have it be your bike! Q: Should I ride on top of a beaver dam? A: Maybe if it’s wide and has been ridden before, but if you fall off you will be in deep beaver shit. If you can get on the top of the dam and get across it, there may not be a way to get down. Q: Should I ride on the high water side of a beaver dam?
a) You never got the time to re-vent the carb. And in a long water crossing the bike just quite and won’t re-start. If your bike is not vented for riding in water that is deeper then the vending tubes, there will be a vacuum in the carb from the vent lines. While running through water the engine won’t be able to get fuel and may suck water up the vent tubes. The engine will most likely quit in the water first. It has been my experience that you will need to push it out of the water to clear the vent tubes before it will start. But once it’s out of the water, it should start with little trouble. b) Your bike got water in the air box and quit but never went all the way under. Try to get the bike to high ground then remove the air box cover and drain the water. If the air filter is wet, pop it loose but don’t remove it. Try to restart your bike with the air filter away from the intake for the carb. If the bike does not start put the choke on – fuel is your best friend if your plug is wet with water. It will be easier to start a fuel flooded bike then a water flooded
bike. Open the throttle with the bike still in the wheelie, put it in neutral and turn it over by hand with the kick starter. It’s a good thing if it turns over. Pump as much water out of the cylinder as you can. Now you can put the bike down on both wheels. If the bike will still not turn over there is no point going any farther, push or tow it home, you may
If it still won’t start, drain the carb buy removing the 17mm nut on the bottom of the float bowl. Pull the spark plug, ground the spark plug wire and kick it over. If there is water coming out of the spark plug hole kick till it has cleaned itself out. You can add some fuel straight in to the cylinder to help wash the water out. Kicking it with the choke on should do the job. Replace the plug, choke turned off and try restarting it. You may need to do the exercise three or four times before it starts (I hope you have plugs with you). c) Your bike got water in the engine and the bike won’t turn over. This just sucks. Do not try to kick it over! Get to a dry place were you can work. Remove the air box cover, air filter and spark plug, and ground the plug wire. Put the bike in gear and pick up the front end like a wheelie straight up, you want to drain all the water out of the exhaust and muffler (some times the muffler needs to be removed to get all the
water out). I filled a four stroke KTM muffler with water held it up with the exhaust side down and let it drain for a long time, at least five minutes. Then I turned the muffler around and got 360cc more water out of it! There are lots of baffles and chambers in a muffler that trap and hold water. You don’t want 360cc of water running back through the exhaust into your cylinder. The fastest way to get the bike going is to get all the water out first. Then try to restart.
have a bent rod.
If it turns over? Take your 17mm wrench remove the large nut at the bottom on the float bowl on the carb and let lots of fuel and all the water run out. Replace the large nut back on the carb. Ring out the air filter and place it back in the air box. Do not lock it down, just let it sit there. Replace muffler if it was removed. Kick the bike over to check that there is no water coming out of the cylinder replace the spark plug dry or new. Choke on and try starting the bike – the air filter is just sitting in the air box so the engine will be getting lots of air and fuel. You may need to do this three or four times but it should start. After it starts, ride it or let it run so it can dry out, after a short time lock down your air filter. Any time that you ride in deep water it is important to check your engine and transmission oil for water, it will look like milk and need to be changed ASAP. If it is not changed it will rust everything inside the engine and transmission. Do not leave the water in there. You may need to change the oil three or more times but you must do it. This is not something that can you can leave or put off as it will ruin your motor. A dirt bike mechanic was taking a cylinder off a bike, when he was introduced to a worldfamous heart surgeon. The mechanic said, “Hey Doc can I ask you a question?” The famous surgeon said “Sure!” The mechanic, wiping his hands on a rag, asked, “So Doc… I open this engine up, take valves out, fix ‘em, put in new parts, and when I’m done it’ll work just like a new one. So how come you get so much more money than me, when you and I are doing basically the same work?” The surgeon looked the mechanic in the eye, smiled, and said, “Try doing it with the engine running!
THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE SHED WE USED THE KNOBBY KNIFE AND IF YOU ARE AS CHEAP AND LAZY AS US, YOU WILL TOO!
The fine folks at Knobby Knife sent the eRag some product to try last month and it’s a good thing they did. Cheap and broke, I wanted to squeeze a few more rides out of my rear tire before it was completely roached. It turns out I have two El Cheapo friends – new BMA president Mike Hillier and media guru Christian Lacasse. I took the Knobby Knife out of the packaging and they were on it like ants at a picnic. What is a Knobby Knife you ask? Why were two grown men wrestling over a hot tool? It’s a very simple but practical device designed by an American off-road rider who hated buying and changing tires all the time. As a kid he used to “sharpen” his knobbies with a razor blade and a pair of vice grips. Now, thanks to him, we have the Knobby Knife.
Here’s the site, check it out. It’s very reasonably priced at only $59.95 USD plus $13 shipping to Canada. Knobby Knife is offering a full money back guarantee - what have you got to lose? The Canadian dollar is at par! You can order directly from:
http://www.knobbyknife.com/ Just don’t tell your riding buddies you have one - you’ll never see it again.
It’s pretty simple. You plug it in, wait 15 minutes while the chisel tip of the tool heats up. You then “cut” the rounded edge off of your tires. It really works! It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes and it’s a very satisfying process. I found that all three of us improved our knobby sharpening technique in a very short amount of time. Without question this tool will pay for itself ON THE VERY FIRST TIRE. You WILL use it to milk an extra few rides out of your tire (Hillier is practically running slicks right now - he’s gone too far). I told you - it’s like ants at a picnic.
Remember, the more complete your on-board tool-kit, the more likely it is that all your trail riding buddies will expect you to fix everything that breaks on their bikes. A good rider can overcome marginal equipment. However, even the best equipment can’t overcome a marginal rider. EDITOR’S NOTE - KIRK IS A RIDER HIMSELF AND IS OFF-ROAD FRIENDLY. THIS IS NOT A GENERIC STATE FARM AD
Up On My Soapbox by ktmkevin
A series of rants from somebody who should know enough to keep his mouth shut....but doesn’t!
your suspension is probably screwed up already so you’re unlikely to make it worse. You might even make it better. So, does your new setting feel better or worse? If worse, go the other way; if better try some more the same way until it gets worse again then back it off to the preferred setting. Then systematically adjust the other clickers one
Embarrassed that you couldn’t keep up to that porcupine that sauntered up the trail in front of you? Routinely photo by deeze nuts humiliated by your buddy riding his kid’s clapped out ‘83 XR70? You, my friend, had better pick up the pace! Naw..you don’t need more power; you’re barely lifting the slide as it is. Larry Murray would argue that the number one key to speed is fresh knobbies (ya, whatever!) but I think a close second is a properly tuned suspension! It appalls me that so many riders, both novice and experienced, never bother to adjust the suspension once the bike leaves the showroom. Listen kiddies, your bike can be so much better if you pay a little attention to setup. No, you don’t need to send your shock and forks out for a mega bucks re-valve; most suspension components these days exceed the talent level of the pilot. The first step is to make sure you have the correct spring rates front and rear. The factory settings were probably established by a Pro rider who stands 5 feet 8 inches and weighs 170 pounds. News flash: you are not a Pro. You surpassed 5’8” in Grade 8 and ate your way through 170 in Grade 9. In other words, the bike isn’t set up for you, your riding style or your bulk. Both Race Tech and MX Tech have excellent and easy to use spring rate calculators on their websites so it’s very easy to establish the correct baseline from which to continue the tuning process. Yes, springs cost money; try drinking cheaper beer for a while to accumulate the coinage. Next, set the sag. You will have to dig the owner’s manual out from under your gardening tools (sissy!) but it contains a wealth of knowledge - including the correct sag numbers for your scoot. And while you have your nose stuck in the manual (probably for the first time) check the recommended compression and rebound settings on both ends and make sure your settings are actually where the factory recommends. Now the fun part - go riding - and bring a screwdriver. Don’t be afraid to start spinning those clickers. Remember that the factory settings are only a recommended starting point. Adjust only one clicker at a time and never go more than 2 clicks at a time in either direction. Don’t worry,
KTMKevin demonstrates the origin of the term “swing arm”.
at a time. This ain’t rocket science, children, and you will eventually stumble upon a setting that lets the suspension work for you instead of against you. PLUS your newfound confidence in your suspension will invariably lead to more speed and an enhanced ability to conquer that nasty curb at the end of the driveway, along with other more worthy off road obstacles. Finally, the next time you end up at the Calabogie golf course for some refreshment after a ride, order a salad and a Perrier instead of the usual nachos and beer; those love handles gushing out the top of your riding britches are decidedly disgusting. You’re welcome.
dreams do come true Interview by Christian Lacasse
This year, BMA member Christian Lacasse talked with Patrick Trahan of Dakar fame. Enjoy the interview! C: The 2010 Dakar experience must have been extremely intense! How do you feel now that you’re home, approximately one month after completing this incredible Rally Race? P: It feels very quiet and slow in comparison to the everyday rhythm we were experiencing down in Argentina. It was such a rush at all times, I’m not completely back yet! I mean, I’ve put so much energy and passion into this dream of going to the Dakar again for the last ten years... Nothing comes easy has it is very difficult for a Canadian racer to find sponsors when preparing for such a big event that started out in Europe and Africa. It is a lot easier to find sponsors in Europe because this kind of adventure sport is definitely a bigger part of their culture than it is over here. You can almost go at the local coffee shop of any village and you will find somebody who’s passionate enough about the Dakar race to contribute money to support your dream of doing it! C: So money is at the heart of preparation, isn’t it? P: Well it truly starts with passion. Everybody who goes to a Dakar race must be a little crazy and passionate to
Rally Experience: • Was bitten by the Dakar bug in a Switzerland airport, after seeing a Dakar rider returning home. • His first rally was the Atlas. He had no experience and no licence. • 2000: First Canadian to try the Dakar Rally on a motorcycle. Crashed on day 1, and dropped-out after three days. • 2001: Tried it again, completed almost half the race before his engine broke. • Suffered a concussion and torn ligament at the BAJA1000 once, but kept going and finished. • Dakar 2010 Bike: Honda CRF450X 2009. Stock motor. Titanium Akrapovic muffler. Modded carb and airbox. 48 HP approx. Top speed 150km/h. 33 liters of gas in four tanks for a total bike weight of 300 lbs. • Dakar Argentina 2010: Two-and-half weeks, 9000 km.
a point where it will become the first and most important thing in their lives. You have to want it really bad and it will require many sacrifices along the way, sacrifices that you didn’t necessarily prepare for, but its part of the game to achieve such big goals in life. And yeah money is important because a Dakar race can cost $80,000. Some people will try it without support, but once you hire a support team
with vehicles and spare parts, there is no limit to how much it could cost. You have to make wise choices and find partners to help you reaching your goal. C: How did you manage this aspect of your preparation? P: Honda Canada helped me so much with sponsorship, I am very thankful to them. They committed early in my Dakar 2010 process but they teamed up again for one last push just a few weeks before the event, when I was still trying to complete the budget. Multiple dealers of the Honda network contributed to my cause and I thank them again. I called just about every dealer in Canada from early 2009 and even before, but I also spent three full weeks calling all of them again in the fall, from sunrise to sundown. I also got some much appreciated help from European clients & friends that I’ve guided in Morocco. I found that some Canadian racers looking for Dakar sponsorships are a bit snobbish, there is some sort of secrecy in their preparation… perhaps because of the lack of passionate sponsors, but I find it is also a cultural fact in our country. C: Where does your passion for motorcycles and rally races comes from? P: I was on a trip in Switzerland and waiting at the airport when I saw a Dakar racer coming back from Africa. I was 15 years old. The guy was all dressed up in his dusty racing gear and has been in the plane like that. The rest of his equipment & clothes was still in the desert. This image is something I never forgot and I remember thinking: “I gotta do this one day”!
Patrick Trahan Fast Facts: • Home is in Montreal, QC… and the sand dunes of the world.
• His father was a long ski jumper and participated in the Grenoble Olympics. • Graduated in Sociology from Ottawa University in 1987. • Started riding at around 30 years old, on a KLR650. • He has been guiding motorcycles in Morocco for many years and still does. • He is the father of a 14 year old daughter.
I’ve been passionate about skiing for many years and did many competitions. I still love it. At 32 years old, those memories from Switzerland kicked in again and I decided to visit an Ottawa bike shop to purchase what was going to be my first Rally motorcycle. I rode a used KLR 650 for my first Atlas Rally, but it was all beat up, and Dave who is now manager at Kanata Honda, was almost in shock when I told him that I wanted to go to the Dakar with it. He convinced me to purchase a brand new one after insisting that bikes should be beat up at the end of Rally races… not before. This is exactly what happened! The new & expensive KLR was destroyed after Morocco; I had to pay for it long after that race. But I was hooked! C: Tell me about special moments during the 2010 race, emotions that come to mind? P: Spontaneously, well there was the final podium. There was no tears. No screaming or jumping around. To me it was more like “serenity”. It was very powerful inside and
even though you are exhausted you don’t want it to end. I also got scared big time at some point after I fell down a big sand berm in a blind 90 degree turn. I was stuck under my bike and heard one of those big 6-wheel trucks coming in a full-throttle… I could feel it on the ground, and there was no way I could escape or communicate with the driver. I don’t how this truck driver managed the manoeuvre, but he literally rolled very high on the berm above me, pedalto-the-metal, after seeing me at the very last minute. It was a close-call. Another great memory is the end of Day 9; I came in 9th that day after riding big sand dunes where I excel. I took some very wise route-finding decisions, and the “floating skills” from my skiing background were obvious. Or
back at camp at the end of Day 3; we were oddly all joking around despite a nerve-racking dangerous day… Back home, just a couple of days ago, my close friends gave me a round of applause during a dinner… they made me cry that night. I can get all emotional now that my adrenalin level came back to normal. This whole experience is kicking in now, unlike the final podium day, where I was all calm and “Zen”. C: All right, let’s talk about some bike porn now! It appears that Honda Canada and HT Rally Raid were some major players in your adventure. Tell me about your rig and the role of your partners in its preparation? P: Every Honda partner more or less contributed to my racing budget. HT Rally Raid is very expensive but mandatory in my opinion. HTRR roughly cost me 50 grand to hire. This included my Rally-modded CRF450X. They prepared the bike with all the bells and whistles for such a long race, and took care of it every day to ensure it would be in good shape for the next stage. Being fully-equipped is priceless once you are in the South American back-country. It is better to join an already established European team as they are far superior in terms of logistics & experience. They are also that expensive because there is no base camp and they must move to new locations every day. So it involves a great deal of travelling logistics. C: You said that you practiced many sports over the years, such as mountain biking and skiing. In what did those sports helped you during the Dakar or the motorcycle trips you guide in Africa? P: I’ve been skiing for close to 30 years, 10 of which I was also coaching. It is amazing how much my technique helps me to “surf my motorcycle on the sand”. Soft sand is a bugger to most but to me it is pure delight! I also did a bit of snowboarding and I started to (sea) Surf in Morocco. I still Surf in the ocean 3-4 times a year to take a break from motors.
C: For the pleasure of all our feminine readers and riders, tell us you met some woman racers? How did they
make it to the Dakar? P: There was one in my team who crashed three times before finally abandoning. It was very tough to leave. SHE was tough. One morning the mechanics had to help her put her boots on, and put her on her bike because she was incapable of doing it alone! This was the day of her third crash… This race is tough on every participant, men and women. There are a few women racers who finish though. C: What do you suggest all of the “Joe-goes-riding” who enjoy Enduro riding on week-ends, who like adventure, perhaps to the point of trying Rally racing? P: Start with small local races, like the Paris-to-Dacre in
The Important Questions! Would you rather ride Japanese or European? Japanese Moroccan or Argentinean? Argentinean Poutine or Tadjine (a classic Moroccan dish)? Hum… that one’s a tough choice to make! An old dirty camelback or warm beer? I’ll pick the camelback anyday! Snow or Sand? Definitely sand Canadian summer or Argentinean summer? Argentinean Sledding or Surfing? Surfing! Yeah baby Baja or Abitibi? Baja What’s worse: cactus thorns or black flies? Nothing beats those damn black flies!
sessions going to the sauna in full riding gear before going to the Dakar!!! Yeah I got some funny looks from the other guys! You can get into rally racing progressively or jump directly to the big ones… it all depends on your personality. C: What is your next project now? P: There is going to be some training days with Honda. I will also guide in Morocco as often as I can. I am receiving invitations for so many 2010 summer events now! I will try to attend as much as I can. I may be at the Calabogie Bogie but I might be in Peru around the same dates… I’ll keep you posted Chris. C: Some people you would like to thank for their support? P: Special thanks to Dave who’s now manager at Kanata Honda, for his support since the first time we met ten years ago. Special thanks also to Brockville Honda, thank you guys! More on Patrick’s blog: http://dakartrahan.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html
Video “The Hour”: Ontario. There is also Morocco; it is a beautiful country and some rallies cost around 10 000 Euros over there. Go on overnight rides. Mix camping and multi-day rides. Test yourself. Get to know your gear. I even spent countless
by Larry Murray Larry is attempting a new adventure this summer. The Paris to Dacre Rally hosted by Rally Connex. The Fun Starts Now For many years I have wanted to ride the Paris to Dakar. This ride is put on each January in Europe/Africa and now in South America. Many things have made the ride impossible for the average person. MONEY! The cost is $50,000+ which makes it a little out of my reach. For those of us with Dakar dreams, there is however, a local ride put on by Rally Connex (www.rallyconnex.com) every two years in June called the Paris to Dacre. In the past it has always been the same weekend as the Limerick Forest Trail Ride, making it difficult for me to enter, however this year at least, one, maybe two teams of BMA riders will take it on! Mike Hillier, Trevor Bylsma, Chris Martin and myself will make up one team. Being the senior (oldest) rider I hope they wait for me! This ride is put on in the true style of the Paris to Dakar, long hard days with a mix of dirt/paved roads and trail, there should be very little pavement and the ride will cover 700kms. 700kms makes for a long day! One of the big hurtles will be navigation so my team members better start learning how to use a GPS. We will be taking turns out front as no one person should lead all 700kms. Leading is a job that really drains you. The good news is it only one day of riding. The real Dakar Rally is 14 plus days of riding grueling distances and you are on your own day after day. Getting ready is also a big part of the ride, the bikes go through a tech inspection - a real inspection where everything must work, be in good shape and safe. Things like lights fr/rear/brakes, horn, mirror, tires DOT, sound test, chain, bearings, insurance, plates, etc. My point is that each bike must be safe and legal. Each team must carry a first aid kit, maps, cell phones, a GPS per two riders, tool kits, tire repair tools and a tube. Each rider must carry license, insurance, ownership, food, water, and money.
photo by Kaveri Gupta
teams and 160 riders in total must look after themselves; if it breaks you must fix it, if you get lost you must find your way back on course, there will not be any support along the way. Most of the ride will be on forest roads, hydro lines and two track trail. The secret will be to work as a team and stay together. Stop together, eat together, break together. We all pee at the same time! We all fuel at the same time! Stops are short and as far apart as possible. For example, if you stop for 5mins each hour that will be 1h-10mins in lost time, and time will be difficult to make up. The challenge should take around 14+ hours for the fastest team and the slowest team about 20 hours. If you are out past 20 hours you will be routed off the course and directed to the finish line. This is a very long ride. The question I ask myself - do I have a soft seat or a hard ass? My goal is to finish and to be in the top 10 teams. I would shoot for a higher finish but it is our first time on a ride like this and I have not ridden with Chris or Trevor before. I have heard that they are very fast and I hope they wait for me! There will be a full report on this ride after we complete it.
Itâ€™s looking like a great summer of riding and I look forward to seeing everyone on the trail, both working and riding!
Three to five riders per team â€“ all must start and finish together! 700 kms+/- with a start time of 4:00am for team one. Team 2 leaves at 4:02am, Team 3 at 4:04am, etc. Team numbers are determined by a draw. Roughly 40
Just For Fun, Larry
Published on May 4, 2010