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husky te250 test ride - is it big enough?

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ort NS ride rep butt! k ic k s ie l whee oft s s e o g in v ktm ke h larry it w o ic x e ride m ws! ie v e r , s w evie reviews, r lls all e t y n n a l f cool! e b o t n r a le

OCT/NOV 2010 • FREE!


Traction Off-Road Riding for Riders by Riders

Editor Dallas Shannon the slasher Kaveri Gupta

the 4 Hour rode u o y if d derstan n u y l on n a c you


the view from here dirt from the prez on the soapbox Still kickin’ On the stand over the bars bma club events exhaust note the finish line

3 6 10 14 18 28 38 84 88

BLING paris 2 dacre video HUSKY TE250 KTM 950 RR Custom mexican trail ride lanark trials chili run nova scotia R.R. Corduroy enduro REview: travel dvd REview: tugger REview: cord video REview: knobby knife REview: motojournalism limerick news oftr news Traction

Photographers Doug Hunter Anthony Kerr Kaveri Gupta Brian Knechtel Duncan Carpenter Chris Clar Christian Lacasse


7 24 34 42 46 52 56 62 66 68 70 72 74 78 80

Contributors Bill Watson Larry Murray Mike Hillier Dennis Kavish KTMKevin Bryan Flannigan Glen Cooper Jim Kolman Duncan Carpenter Brian Knechtel Mike O’Reilly Kaveri Gupta Marike Harris Jason Noftall Doug Hunter

Larry, we love you but this was too good to be true! Especially for the last issue... *evil laughter* Check out “Exhaust Note” on page 84 as Larry reveals his rumpatoire of wheelie tips. If anyone has questions about lifting the front wheel, asssk Larry.


We are always looking for story ideas, contributing writers & photographers. If you would like to have fun and participate in an 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 is welcome. We have NO rules and can do and say whatever we want! How’s that for freedom of expression! Send subscription requests and any questions or comments to: offroad.newsletter@gmail.com Traction 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 offroad 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. Written permission must be obtained to reproduce, or reprint all or portions of the content contained herein.

© 2010 Traction

The view from here By Dallas shannon

This issue is a beast. If you look to your left you will see a long list of content and photo contributors. If you enjoy reading the eRAG, please think of these people, they are making it happen. From riding in Nova Scotia to riding in Mexico we’ve got it covered. Test bikes? Product and video reviews? We’ve got it covered. If you look to the left one more time, you’ll see the only person who doesn’t have it covered is Larry! Speaking of Larry, he was good enough to tell us his embarrassing story - a story that could happen to any of us (and probably already has!). For those of you who don’t know - Larry is an exceptional rider. Half of us could not keep up and the other half would not last. Larry’s fitness levels would make a 25 year old beg for mercy, and he’s certainly outlasted his peers. Out of respect we won’t mention his age but if you were to ask him about the 1970s, he probably has a story or two. Check out page 84: Larry tells his story with humility and humor and we’re happy to include it in the issue. Flanny is at it again. He’s going to tell you how to be a good riding partner and “Be Cool”. He’s also unlocked the shop door to let us see his totally pimped out, custom, KTM 950RR. Flanny has lost his mind for sure.

the surprise ending! This season the eRAG has been growing in both size and readership. We have been logging over 4000 readers per issue. Thanks to everyone who’s reading, and if you have a friend who’s interested, please pass it on. The eRAG is 100% volunteer driven and we are having a lot of fun putting it together each month. Enjoy what’s left of the season, enjoy the issue and we’ll see you in the new year.

KTMKevin is getting mushy. Every issue we look forward to reading his wild rants but this time he’s gone soft. Joking aside, many of you will relate to his warm memories of his first bike but fasten your seat belts for Traction

Colin Snider 4 hour

an accomplished Traction Traction

group of riders

explode off

ristian photo: ch


off the line Traction Traction

dirt from the prez

By BMA President Mike Hillier

the back end of my bike started to feel loose. Yup – flat. I kept the bike in the rut made from everyone ahead of me and came out of the grass track to the road. I put the bike on a rock and pulled the rear tire off. Jonathan Head came over to help, informs me that my tube-of-choice should have been Bridgestone, and starts helping me with the change. I had a 21 inch ‘sucko’ tube with me, so that went in. I carry CO2 cartridges rather than the bulky bike pump. The valve used to get the CO2 into the tire was mistakenly left open, freezing the first canister to my glove as CO2 was rapidly released into the atmosphere. The remaining cartridge wasn’t enough, so Jon lent me the 19 inch wheel/tire he had. We had it on the bike when we noticed it was flat. Luckily Dave Wrack came by with a pump......

a bad day o n the trail is better than your best day at the office

Lessons from My First Enduro – the 57th Corduroy Enduro Register early. Bridgestone makes the best HD tubes. Proper bike prep is mandatory. CO2 cartridges suck. 19 inch rear tires take a little getting used to. Always LocTite your KTM’s seat bolt. Here’s how I know: I decided way too late to commit to this ride. I started on the 44th line out of 50 lines. A large benefit was the clear lines made from 130ish riders before me. I hardly needed to watch for arrows. A not-so-large benefit was the ruts, holes, and bogs made so much bigger by 130 riders before me. I bypassed the bikes and bodies strewn around the holes and bogs. Luckily, many stuck riders not only represent ‘bad lines’, but they’re nice enough to point out correct ones. Twenty feet into the first single track of my first Cord, Traction

Off I go, the 19 inch tire felt weird and the wheel had a different sprocket too. I noticed the gearing change when trying to lift the front over the next bog. That wasn’t pretty. Finally, I found pace and kept it. Then I realised my seat was gone. This will always wake a guy up. I turned around and luckily found it a few hundred feet back. I carry 3 foot tie wraps, my seat is still held on with one. Saturday night saw me changing the 18 inch tube in the rain (yes, I used a Bridgestone). Sunday morning saw me swapping out the 19 during the 10 minute maintenance period before your start time. My Sunday race ended with me confusing a dead bike (main fuse) for a water locked bike...don’t ask. After pulling the bike out, common sense prevailed as did the kick starter. I still don’t know how the sweeps got ahead of me, and only realised it when I got to the next (motocross) test. Things could have been worse. Thanks to Larry for the old school tricks, bike parts, and...wait a minute: didn’t Larry give me the cheap rear tube? FUN TIMES.

Paris2Dacre Video By the guy that wrote it

LONG ROAD TO DACRE Soon to be media mogel Bryan “Flanny” Flanigan was up to his old tricks during this year’s Paris 2 Dacre rally. Somehow Flanny found “free time” while planning, organizing navigating and riding the P2D to also shoot about 30 hours of video footage before, during and after the event. The video is shot documentary style and follows the trials and tribulations of Team FTV, as they travel from Eastern Ontario to Paris participate and ride the P2D rally back to Dacre, Ontario. The video does a great job of telling the story of the battle for first place between Team FTV and Team Orange Crush and if you are at all interested in seeing what the legendary Paris to Dacre has to offer you’ll have to check out the “LONG ROAD TO DACRE”. Check it out here for FREE: www.flannymedia.com



OFFROAD RIDING PHOTOS! SEE yourself in pictures! To Check out the BMA Photo Gallery Click here: www.bytownmotorcycle.smugmug.com

r e d i n s Colitintakes attitude Traction

Up on the Soapbox Do you remember your first motorcycle? I suspect that most of us do. But do you remember your first motorcycle ride? Do you remember the feeling it gave you to be in control of your mighty steed; the exhilaration mixed with that little touch of fear? The sights, the sounds, the wind in your face and a whole world of freedom opening up before you? I remember my first motorcycle. One beautiful summer day in my twentieth year I headed to the Hurst motorcycle emporium on Old Innes Road (remember that one?) to drive a great off-season deal on a slush buggy. I came home with a street bike instead: a Yamaha XS 400. Please don’t laugh, I just didn’t know. I unfortunately can’t recall my first ride home from the dealership but I do remember what that first year on two wheels brought me. The pride of ownership of one of the almost mystical devices that all us school boys (and school girls?) day-dreamed about on the first warm days of spring. The joy of mastering the complicated (!) controls. The less than welcoming glares from my


by ktmkevin

Up On My Soapbox

parents as I prepared to depart on my “murdercycle”. But, most of all, I remember the sights and sounds and scents of riding on those hot summer nights. The cool earthy air from the forest as you rode beside it. How the whole world seemed to melt down to that tiny sliver of headlight beam in the darkness. How keenly aware and alive all my senses were while guiding my chrome and metal missile. I also took the first rudimentary steps towards learning all the maintenance rituals and, of course, my first crash; gravel on a low speed corner can be a very educational experience. Then, in my thirty fifth year, I decided to give the new world of off road riding a try. So I headed into the Ottawa Goodtime Centre on Bank Street (remember that one?) to trade in my KZ 750 on a shiny new Kawasaki KDX 250. Please don’t laugh, I just didn’t know. Behold, a whole new world of experiences opened up such as finding out how truly slippery mud can be and the importance of keeping my weight forward while climbing. Learning to cover the rear brake while attempting to wheelie. Restraightening those cheap steel handlebars. Entering my first race at Woody’s

“in August of 2009 my middle-aged spouse rocked my world by declaring that she would like to learn how to ride”

and discovering how much I needed to learn; the vast expanses of my ignorance was startling.

On a related note, in August of 2009 my middle-aged spouse rocked my world by declaring that she would like to learn how to ride; this after showing zero interest in the sport for all these years. So I purchased a clean used TTR 125 for her and set out to patiently teach her the basics of motorcycle control. I could see the trepidation in her eyes as I explained how the machine worked and what tasks needed to be accomplished in what order to provide forward motion. I could sense her frustration at the beginning with the stalling and awkward operation but she stuck with it and, under my careful tutelage, began to understand the interrelationships of motorcycle operation. At the end of our short session I could see a smile that was threatening

Nowadays I can honestly say that I have evolved as a rider; haven’t we all? I often seek out the gnarliest terrain that Calabogie has to offer in a feeble attempt prove to my ride partners that I’m smarter/ tougher/ faster/ fitter/ better looking than them. I come home tired, battered and bruised with the humbling realization that I just might not be as smart/ tough/ fast/ fit/ good looking as I think I am. But, most aggravating of all, is that little voice in the back of my head telling me that there is something missing.

to split the helmet. She had just experienced all those feelings of pride and exhilaration that I had experienced all those years before. She had mastered the beast. Riding circles on the lawn around the house had opened up a whole new world to her. As I looked at her broad smile and joyous eyes I realized what that little voice had been trying to tell me. She had captured the sheer unadulterated joy of riding that I had lost. I sure wish I could get that feeling back. How about you? Traction

Colin Snider it’s about FOC


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By Glen (COOP) Cooper

biking, some have gone exclusively to the street and many have gone to ATVs.

I have been finding it harder and harder to motivate myself to go dirt biking. I don’t look for excuses not to go, but it takes very little to talk myself into going for a street ride. The internal conversation goes something like this: drag the gear out of the basement the night before, sort through what you are going to wear, hook up the trailer, load the bike, load the gear, stop for gas, stop for snacks and fluids, drive 1 to 2 hours to the riding area, unload, fight bugs, put on gear, go riding, come back to the vehicle, load bike, fight bugs, undress, sort gear to be washed, drive 1 to 2 hours home, pre-wash bike at car wash, go home, unload bike, wash bike, lube bike, take gear to basement, wash gear. And in the morning when you are going someplace you realize the trailer is still hooked up. I can be on my street bike with gear on in 3 minutes and when I get home put everything away in 3 minutes. No one likes to admit that it might be time to hang up the spurs but my street bike is a sweet ride. When I am dirt biking there is no feeling like it in the world. Most of my friends come from dirt biking. To say there was dirt in my blood would be an understatement. Until recently my dirt bike was my most ridden bike. I have always had a street bike as well. Some years I rode as little as 300km on the street and several thousand in the dirt bike in the same year. Many of my friends have moved away from dirt

The evolution of the bikes we ride is mind blowing to me. Fuel injection, electric start, flat proof tires and now electric dirt bikes. What’s next, adjustable suspension? The gear has changed to, knee braces, neck braces, light sensitive goggles and Gore Tex riding gear head to toe. What’s next, club team riding gear? I have also seen a change in the clubs and associations we belong to. They have had to keep up with the times and try to keep ahead of the special interest groups that would like nothing more than see us all just go away. We all have to adapt to the changing times keep on top of the issues that affect all of us in our sport and support our local clubs and provincial associations. I hate to admit that my dirt bike is in the garage and is starting to look like a piece of exercise equipment, you know the one in the basement with the clothes hanging off of it. Writing this article has given me a renewed desire to go dirt biking. When is hunting season? Maybe some florescent orange, Gore Tex, camo club team riding gear might be just do it? Kevin, can I borrow you gear? Until next time, Ride Safe, Ride Smart Coop out.

WOODY’S CYCLES KTM & HUSABERG Ontario’s Oldest and Most Experienced KTM Dealer

Parts: We stock them all, call us for same-day shipping. Service: From engine to suspension or just race tuning, we’ve had your service needs covered since 1978. Accessories: A huge stock of tires, riding gear, hard parts, boots, handle bars, tubes, you name it, it’s at Woody’s. We keep it in stock, and keep you running! Motorcycles: You can relax and enjoy buying your next

KTM or Husaberg from us. We take the time to sell you the right bike, and more time to show you the service aspect, and small details, as nobody else will. No 10 minute sales process here, we take as long as you need. Our customers and bikes are very special to us. Customer Riding Area: We’ve developed a huge and challenging trail riding area for our friend and customers, now open for the season. Call for details.

See all our bikes on the Auto Trader website or at www.woodys-cycles.com Traction

Woody’s Race Watch: June 13th • 2 Hour Scramble (www.offroadontario.ca or call for info) October 24th • Colin Snider Memorial 4 hour Team Challenge

CONTACT US: 613-267-6861 OR 1-800-267-BIKE (819, 613 area codes) or email: woody@woodys-cycles.com

photo: anthony kerr

“my dirt bike is starting to look like a piece of exercise equipment”

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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

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Boogie. What are you trying to do this year to make it special?   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 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.

r e d i n s colin the


as tric w e t u ro d e revis

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on the stand

By ODSC president Brian Knechtel

way , PM R h g i h k at a e r b s y a ay w l w a a s s e e v l l i a m v , ere “the h w o n f o e ddl i m e h t n i t ou ” k c u r t r u o from y Traction

“stick the shim to the grease dab and simply lower the shim into place” Gimme some space Tools required: • • • •

Feeler gauges Air gun/compresser Tools/wrenches specific to bike Spare shims(if necessary)

Since the late 1990s, there has been a rapid insurgence of the modern lightweight, high performance four stroke engines powering many off-road motorcycles. Although these engines are generally noted for their good power, torque output and relatively light weight (for a four stroke), they come with certain ‘requirements’. One of these requirements is that the valve train kept in good order. Over time, from normal engine operation, the valves will lose clearance due to recession at the seats and/or because of stretching. If the valves aren’t checked and the valves lose critical clearance causing them to get too tight, the bike will start to become very difficult to start when the engine is warm/hot. Let go too long and a burnt valve or two can result, which means big $$$ in repairs. Valves that have been used well past the end of their service life have been known to stretch and eventually break, causing very expensive terminal damage to the engine. Granted, most modern off-road (non-mx) dirt bikes will get literally hundreds and hundreds of hours out of the stock valves with nothing more than a few adjustments along the waythat’s several years of riding for most folks. To avoid the problems explained above, today we’ll look at checking the valve clearances. It’s a necessary part of a bike maintenance program and in most cases for the average rider, only needs to be done once or maybe twice a year. In my opinion, ideally, most competition style off-road bikes should be checked when new, again after the break-in is complete, and then about every 25-50 hours or so, depending on how hard it’s used. Some milder dual sport bikes such as a Suzuki DRZ 400 or the newer Yamaha WRs have quite long intervals, exceeding 12,000km. In this case we’ll use a Husqvarna for simplicity. Of

all the modern DOHC four stroke with shim style adjusters, they’re generally regarded as being one of the easiest bikes to do this procedure on. Some bikes, such as some KTM’s from recent years and I believe, some older air cooled Hondas, use a screw and locknut system which has its own advantages. However, I don’t have an example handy for this article to demonstrate. Still, some other bikes use a shim and bucket style which may require removal of one or both camshafts in order to replace shims. Usually the method of checking most bikes is usually quite similar. First, remove the seat, gas tank and rad shrouds from the bike. The engine should be at room temperature or ambient riding season temps before checking. Don’t check valves on a warm engine or one that is really cold as you will get inaccurate results. Take an air gun and blow all dirt/dust that may be sitting in/around the frame backbone and electrics etc. above the engine. Alternatively, wash this area with a garden hose and use compressed air to clear the remaining water drops. You don’t need water or dirt falling into the engine once the valve cover is removed (Figure 1). Also wipe down the valve cover, cylinder head and anything else in the area to ensure everything is clean and free of dirt and dust.

Figure 1. Remove the sparkplug lead Loosen sparkplug a half turn and blow compressed air Traction

in/around sparkplug to prevent dirt from getting into the spark plug threads the engine. Cracking the plug loose helps to dislodge any dirt that may be packed down at the base of the plug, allowing it to be blown out with air. Some bikes have a drain hole at the base of the plug which can also be used for compressed air to clean around the plug, before removing it. Spin the plug most of the way out. It doesn’t have to come all the way out, but just enough to bleed off any compression from the compression stroke.

At this point you need to verify from the owners manual of the bike what the tolerances are for valve clearance. Generally the exhaust valves have a greater clearance than the intakes because they get hotter. Insert the feeler gauge between the shim and cam follower (Figure 3). Don’t check between the cam and follower, as you’ll get an inaccurate reading. Check your manual if you have a bike with one of the other styles of valve-trains to verify where to check.

Remove valve cover

Use the kick starter (or on bikes with no kicker, put the bike on a stand and rotate the rear wheel with the bike in 5th or 6th gear) to bring the piston to TDC on the compression stroke as indicated by marks on the cam sprocket (Figure 2). You can also tell by looking at the cam lobes. When lobes from both cams are pointing up in the air at about a 45 degree angle towards each other, there is no load on the valves and they are free for checking. If the bike has an auto clutch and no kicker, you have a bit more work cut out for you. You may be able to use the starter to index the engine close to TDC by giving the starter button quick stabs. If that doesn’t work, you may have to remove the stator cover and rotate the crank with a wrench. Most engines don’t have to be brought to exactly TDC, just somewhere close, within a few degrees. What’s important is that the lobes are pointing up and away from the followers/buckets.

Fig 2

Figure 2. Traction

Figure 3. To get the correct reading, the feeler gauge should just slide in and out with a few ounces of pressure- there should be some drag on it, but it shouldn’t be forced. You may have to try several different thicknesses until you get the proper reading. I sometimes use combinations of feeler gauges including ones that are .0015 so I can get readings down to within a half a thousandth. If the clearance is within spec, you’re good to go. However, if it is nearing the lower end of the spec., I generally re-shim it up to the high end while I have everything apart. This saves time down the road. Repeat these steps on the other valves. If you need to swap shims, it’s a pretty quick procedure; remove the follower retainer clip, slide the follower to the side and use a magnetic pick-up tool (available anywhere automotive tools are sold) to pick the shim out of its pocket. To replace, put a dab of grease on a feeler gauge or similar flat tool, stick the shim to the grease dab and simply lower the shim into place and slide it off the tool into the

shim pocket at the top of the valve. Slide the followers back into place and re-install the retainer clips when finished all valves Record the actual clearance and, if shimming was required, what you re-shimmed each valve to, in your maintenance notebook. You should keep track of all the valve checks- how many kilometers and/or hours are on the bike and the results of each check. This will help you track the health of your valve train as the bike racks up the hours/kilometers. If one or two valves start requiring more and more frequent re-shimming due to tightening up, (or, in some cases loosening up), you know that you’re getting due for some top end rebuilding. If you are having problems with one or two valves going loose all the time, it’s probably due to unusually high wear on the valve train components such as the cam lobe, follower or bucket(on bikes equipped with such). If you’re buying a used bike with this type of engine, ask the previous owner for a copy of the valve check records. If they can’t/won’t provide it, negotiate a lower price for the bike or walk away. If the intervals between adjustments start getting more and more frequent, you need to consider getting the cylinder head rebuilt. Do the rebuild before one of the valves comes apart causing catastrophic damage, as the valves always break at high RPM, way out in the middle of nowhere, miles away from your truck. Fortunately the cost of rebuilding the cylinder heads of modern 4 stroke engines has come down considerably in the last few years, making it a much more palatable part of owning a modern high performance 4 stroke.

There you have it. This procedure generally doesn’t take too long; usually no more than an hour or so, and only needs to be done occasionally for most bikes and riders. It’s a relatively simple part of a maintenance program that needs to be done, doesn’t involve a lot of tools or expense and can save you a lot of money and grief down the road.

There's the sad story of the poor dirt bike rider who was in a terrible racing accident. When he came out from under the anesthetic, the doctor was leaning over him anxiously. "Son," he said, "I've got some good news and some bad news. "The bad news is that you were in a very serious accident, and I'm afraid we had to amputate both your feet just above the ankle." "Oh no," gasped the patient. "What's the good news?" The doctor smiled and said "The fellow in the next bed over will give you a good price for your boots."

for better gripping performance Must have sharpening tool for every off road rider. 423-774-0028 • knobbyknife.com • knobbyknife@yahoo.com


r e d i n S n i l Co

s ole h mud e h t ded i vo sa der i r Some

photo: christian lacasse

Traction Traction

photo: christian lacasse

Traction Traction

Is bigger really better?

Testing the 2010 HUSKY TE250 Larry Murray & Mike hillier Specs as tested: Traction Traction

Model 2010 HUSKY TE250 Price $$7799 Ross Rocher Sales Engine 249.5cc-1 cyl- 4 valve-4 stroke-DOHC HP - unknown Liquid Cooling-Fuel Injection Kick/Elect Starting Transmission 6 Speed-Wet Clutch Weight 234lbs claimed Fuel 7-lts (as of now NO large tank) Seat height 950mm Standard Bike Street Legal Full street lights Warranty 2 Years

At the Algonquin Trail Ride this year, Mike Hiller and myself had the opportunity to test ride the 2010 Husky TE250 for a day. The Algonquin area is made up of rocky trail, mostly two track and logging roads. There is lots of rocks, water and mud. Mike was first on the bike and kept it until the first gas stop (noon). Then I got my chance, and after a short time, I knew that Mike was not getting the TE250 back that day, and off I went!

Things I LIKE: There are many things that I like about the bike and very little that I don’t. However, I should have taken

a little time at the start and adjusted the front fork; I know that I would have had even more fun riding it! It was sucking up the bumps just fine but the recoil/rebound was way too fast and needed a lot more dampening. I was uncertain whether to adjust the upper or lower clickers, so I just road the bike.

displacement do I need? I know that smaller is better in the woods and bigger is better on the road. Maybe the question is who am I a woods rider or a dual sport rider? Answer UNKNOWN!

Mike’s Comments

The first thing that I “loved” was how small and light the bike felt. It made me think that I could just give a jerk on the bars and point it in any direction I wanted to go. The second thing I noticed was the sound of the engine (after market exhaust). It sounded like an F1 race car winding up – I love that sound! This bike likes to “rev” so I let it “rev”. Most of its power is made at higher RPMs and that is were I rode it. This bike also runs very quietly. It has nice manageable power keeping in mind that it’s a 250cc trail bike and not a race bike. The brakes also worked extremely well and it comes with wave rotors stock. All the controls are well placed and comfortable to use. I was also mention that this bike is street legal and has a two year warranty. (two year warranty? That’s two more years than other off-road bikes!).

Things I did “NOT” like: I question the range of this bike. It has a small fuel cell. I understand that it’s a small engine and may get good MPG/KPL but only 7/L. It’s too small, no fuel tap with fuel injection. I like a fuel tap, I may not need one but I like to have one. I also like to have a reserve! With fuel injection this may be a thing of the past! And some day we will be able to tell young riders of the old days when bikes had carbs and fuel tanks had reserve. At the end of this test, I found myself asking one question: Why do I own a big bore bike? Is it because Doug Hunter told me years ago that “there was NO replacement for displacement”? Do I need a woods bike that I ride primarily off-road or a D-S bike that I flip back and forth from the road to the woods? How much

Those of you who know me know that I am a little bigger than bikes come stock for. Even my 450 needed a seat, springs, and bars to make the cock pit and performance adequate for me. That said, although I felt cramped on the 250 I know that that can be fixed. What I liked was the motor, and when I kept it in the power band the bike had great response, great power, and was smooth. As Larry said, this bike sounds really cool. I can easily see myself on one of these bikes given the fun factor. I was disappointed with the suspension, as it was deflecting all over the place and it was nearly impossible for me to keep in the power band in rougher terrain. I came to realize that the damping settings were way out of adjustment, but that was only after we had finished the day and were chatting around the campfire. For a street legal bike with a 2-year warranty, it only needs a bigger tank for me to seriously consider it for the type of riding I do. I wish I could have it for a month or two. It would be great to fit it for a taller, heavier guy and go have fun. I could tell it worked much better for Larry as I didn’t see him for the rest of the day once he got on it. We both want to thank the OFTR and Ross Rocher Sales for this opportunity. It was a lot of fun. ∆

Traction Traction

photo: anthony kerr



ger, our smugmug mana rip chris lacasse, can



over the bars

By Bryan (Flanny) Flannigan

The Trail Etiquette Guide You know the rider -- the one that everyone wants the pleasure of riding with? He’s the one that is always ready; always has the right tools, and who simply makes any day of riding an awesome day of riding. Through extensive research, Over the Bars (OTB) has painstakingly distilled the very essence of what these riders do that cause them to be great riding buddies.

Over the next few issues, we’ll be presenting the extensively researched and thoroughly peer-reviewed OTB Trail Etiquette Guide in these hallowed pages.

Conversely, we’ve confirmed what many riders have speculated for years - people who are rude with respect to riding etiquette suck, and can drain the fun out of a ride like warm oil out of a gearbox.

If you do more than 5 of these things, you’re probably a cool person to ride with already…


Get your pen and paper out people, and take some notes – we ain’t writing this stuff for nothing you know.

Trail Etiquette Do’s:

“People who run late have no respect for other’s time and they carelessly cause everyone to stand around wasting life’s most precious commodity” Trail Etiquette Do #1 - Show up early Most other trail etiquette guides cop out and simply suggest showing up on time. But here at Over the Bars, on time is just not good enough. No, if you are only “on time” then you are actually running late for your standing commitment to show up early. By showing up early, you’ll be the person who’s there to meet and greet your fellow riders as they arrive. You’ll also set yourself up to take advantage of many other OTB Trail Etiquette Dos. You’ll be pre-conditioning yourself to be more likeable. Don’t even get me started about people who show up for a ride late. I can’t even dedicate more than a few keystrokes to these types. People who run late have no respect for other’s time and they carelessly cause everyone to stand around wasting life’s most precious commodity. According to my shrink, this behaviour is mostly used a control mechanism to overcome a deep seated Oedipus complex – really! Free Flanny Tip! If you have to deal with a late-runner in your life, I can offer this FlannyTip: give ‘em five minutes grace, and then split. Let them know ahead of time that that’s what you’re gonna do, and then follow through on it. Trail Etiquette Do #2 - Show up with your bike fully prepped This really goes without saying, you would think, but it never amazes me how many people pull their bike down off the trailer, and begin messing with a loose chain, or with some poor starting issue. People who are cool roll their clean bike off the trailer, fire it up, and ride it. Period. The chain is already lubed, the tank full of fuel, and the oil and coolant at the proper level. The cool guy is easy to recognize - he’s the guy riding

in slow circles around the starting area avoiding a sweat while you are still effing with your tire pressure. So, don’t wait until the last minute to get ready for the ride. “I’ll just do it in the morning” is the evil motto of the rude people who prep their bike at the trailhead. And if you ever find yourself asking your buddies at the trailhead “is there any gas around here”, then you know

you are truly the essence of evil, and quite possibly Satan himself. Free Flanny Tip! If you are a trailhead mechanic – stop it! Get your life under control, and prepare your bike on Tuesday night like the rest of us cool people. Yes Tuesday, ‘cause then you still have time if required for a rush order of parts to arrive by Friday (pretty smart huh?). If you have to deal with a trailhead mechanic buddy of yours, give ‘em five minutes to get their bike ready to go, and then split. Let them know ahead of time that that’s what you’re gonna do, and then follow through on it. They won’t do it for long… Trail Etiquette Do #3 - Keep some supplies in your truck for others to use. Traction

“bask in the glory of always having on hand a lit Isn’t that guy cool? It’s not hard – you can be th What a relief it is to arrive at the trailhead and be able to do those final little preps on your bike (Ahem… see Do#2 above). You lube the chain, top up the engine oil and dial the tire pressure. Too bad you had to rely on three of your buddies to get you the oil, lube and pump respectively! What you wouldn’t give to be the go-to guy for this stuff-- to bask in the glory of always having on hand a little of what everyone needs. Isn’t that guy cool? It’s not hard – you can be that guy. Conversely, try to avoid being the guy at the trailhead walking around hat in hand mooching tools, lube and stuff. Nobody likes that guy… Free Flanny Tip! Stop what you’re doing right now, and go put together the following FlannyPack: · · · · · · · · · · ·

1 quart of 50w oil 1 small funnel 1 can of chain lube a tire gauge, a bicycle pump a can of wd40 a clean rag a dozen zip ties one condom a pair of racy panties and a bottle opener

Put this in your truck or trailer, leave it there and invite others to use when ever they need anything. Are you Traction Traction

a cool riding buddy? You bet you are! As a bonus, if anyone ever threatens you, intimidates you, or otherwise messes with you in any way, you just need to slip the panties under the front passenger seat of their car, along with an unwrapped condom – when his wife finds them – that person will NEVER mess with you ever again. Here is a short list of other tips that we’ll expand on in future editions… · Bring lots of cool food for lunch and enough to share around · Keep stock at home of important parts (filters, brake pads, etc). · Know your position in the pecking order · Be gracious to veteran riders · Bring extra tools and spares to help a brother out

ttle of what everyone needs. hat guy”

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· Know how to fix the shit that breaks on the trail (flats, cases, etc.), and bring everything you need to do it. · Be the guy who’s ready for anything (rain, cold, GPS, SPOT, First Aid) · Be quick to lend a hand when someone gets stuck in the mud · Know where you are and where you’re going · Keep a good attitude and stay positive and have fun · Tell some good stories out on the trail

.” - Calvin & cool ’s t a h no idea w



Don’t do the opposite of anything on the DO list, but in particular (And, if you do more than 3 of these things regularly, people are probably trying to avoid riding with you…): Be late! Show up completely unprepared Mooch lube, food and stuff from other riders Rely on others to get you out of a jam Be grumpy, angry or generally miserable on the trail Be the tail that tries to wag the dog Traction Traction

trail tours dirtbike & Atv school




photo:christian lacasse

colin snider

logs s s the endurocro ded i vo a s Other rider Traction Traction

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STEALTH FIGHTER FLANNY’S DONE IT AGAIN We heard that Flanny had just finished another crazy build and we were correct. It’s certainly the most trick 950 we’ve ever seen and may be the most trick 950 EVER! We caught up with Flanny and had a chance to ask him about the madness that afflicts him...

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TRACTION - What possessed you to do this? I heard it was a blown base gasket? FLANNY - Well, let me start by giving you a bit of the history of me and 950’s . This is my 3rd 950 Adventure. The previous two were build-up a bit for dual-sporting, and were pretty cool, but I always woundup having to cut corners, and could never really build the bike I really wanted to build. Then my kids were demanding a lot of my time, so I spent a year and a half without a 950 or any bike at all - gasp! Finally in 2008, I broke down and imported this one from the states when the dollar was at par. I’ve ALMOST preferred building bikes to actually riding bikes, so I made a deal with my wife that instead of buying a brand new 990 Adventure, I would buy a cheap used one, and take the difference to do a build. So that what I did....except this one was a “no compromises” build. So yeah - this final iteration of the bike was brought on by a blown base gasket. I figure that if I was going to have the motor out of the frame and in pieces, I might as well hop it up a bit, and complete some unfinished business on the chassis. Besides, everyone knows that an essential part of repairing a blown base gasket is to buy racing carbs.... One last thing. Through the miracle of client/doctor privilege, the REAL truth of what possesses me to do this is between me and my shrink. TRACTION - What did you modify? FLANNY - It might be easier to list what I didn’t modify - there pretty-much is nothing that is completely untouched on the bike. There are a lot of mods that are common to 950’s, and I’ve pretty much done all of those, plus a bunch of other stuff over the years. So on the chassis there is: 19/17” Excel wheels with custom stainless steel spokes and a tubeless conversion riding on Avon Distazias (I also have a set of 21/18 custom Excel Rims on Rad Billet Hubs with Tubliss, and Dunlop D908/Metzeler MT21 combo for more serious offroad) 320mm Braking front rotor Motomaster 4 piston brake calliper conversion with Traction Traction

13mm Master Cylinder Front and Rear Suspension brought up to 265mm travel, Racetech valving and custom springing for my specs by Jim Hunt at Cycle Improvements 2X50 W Hid50 Xenon Lamps in Euro light housing 2X40W Trailtech Driving Lamps Baja Designs Rear Auxiliary Fuel Tank Renazco Racing Saddle with Custom cover by FlannyWIfe Scotts Performance rear shark-fin The engine has: Stage I head porting and valve work by Jim Hunt at Cycle Improvements Superduke 950 Cams Kehin FCR 39 Flat-Slide Racing Carbs from www. ADVMachines.com Custom Air-Box Vacuum fuel pump conversion Evoluzione Clutch Slave CJ Designs Clutch Fluid Cooler/Reservoir from www. CJDesignsLLC.com Custom drilled clutch baseket for increased lubrication CJ Design Waterpump shaft & seal from www. CJDesignsLLC.com CJ Designs custom clutch cover from www. CJDesignsLLC.com Scotts Stainless OIl Filter Black-Dog 2-1 mid-pipe Winds Titanium/Carbon exhaust can with DB killer In the controls department there is: Scotts Stering Stabilizer Kit

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Touratech Road book Holder (Black Anodized) Custom Anodized TT GPS Mount and remote antenna FP Racing Brake and Clutch Levers Renthal Fat-Bars CR-High Bend Superduke Mirrors Custom hybrid hand guards by me Heated Grips Kaoko Throttle Lock

I think that’s about it....Just a few things here and there really....

In the bodywork department there is:

TRACTION - Coolest mod?

Custom Semi-Matt Super tough 2-part eurathane paint by RLD Coatings Black-out powder-coat treatment on the swing-arm, sub-frame, gas caps, skid-plate, brake lever etc. by RLD Coatings Custom Carbon Fibre windshield and tail-section Baja Designs LED Taillight and sub-fender. Custom graphics by me Custom in-fairing tool solution

FLANNY - I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder. I think that the coolest mods are the ones that could go unnoticed, but that make a big difference in performance. LIke the lighting - it’s amazing how much light 180W of HID produces, or good suspension is another example. Doesn’t look any different, but makes a huge difference in performance. These are the mods that don’t make you go “wow!” until you ride it.

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TRACTION - How much did it cost (ballpark)? FLANNY - All told, much less than a gambling or drinking habit; also much less than a brand new 990R would be - that’s all I’m saying.

TRACTION - Most difficult mod? FLANNY - Hmmm... Probably doing the the electrics. I’m super anal about wiring being rock solid, so I soldered every added molex connector, heat shrank everything and made custom mounting plates for all my lighting and heated grip relays, with a fuse panel and stuff in the upper fairing. It took a seriously long and painstaking time. Again, it’s one of these things you wouldn’t notice, but that makes a huge difference in the long run (ever had to trouble shoot electrical problems in the field? Not fun!) TRACTION - How many builds has this bike been through? FLANNY - This bike has been through three stages of build-up, but it’s my 5th or 6th 950 project build. TRACTION - How long did it take? FLANNY - This second round took about three months of pretty intense work, and many late nights in the

shop. The first round of mods took about 4 months of super intense times. You can see the whole build #1 on youtube at www.YouTube/Flannyvision - it was called “Extreme Make-Over Flanny Edition”. The second most recent build was all posted on www.AdvRider.com in the Orange Crush Forum. TRACTION - What’s next? FLANNY - I’m still messing with jetting and with a better air-box solution for the FCRs, but that’s about it. If I could get a nice carbon rear fuel cell, I’d be all over that as well....But yeah, this bike is pretty-much where I want it.

You Know You’ve Got Skills...

Now You can Prove it.

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. . . y b one g days


Mexican Trail ride

In 2008 Traction writer Larry Murray went on a Nevada/Mexico trip with Cliffshore adventures. Larry wrote a great ride report of the entire jouney but because of space limitations we could only print a portion of the report. If you are interested in reading the whole thing please email me at: offroad.newsletter@gmail.com and I’ll email you the document. Cliffshore is planning another trip to Mexico this winter, please contact them (ad on the next page) if you would like to go along.

Larry Murray In March 2008, Dave Chartrand, Al Jonker and I went on our annual motorbike trip. As with many other years, it would a trip to the southwest United States. The main part of the trail ride is in Nevada. We were leaving 3 days earlier than the main group and connecting up with the transport (John and Joyce Traction

Ferguson) in Nevada. There, we would unload our bikes and put them into a rental truck. We wanted to do some riding before the larger group of 28 riders would show up. Our plan was to head into Baja, Mexico for a couple of days. We were going to take the bikes and truck to Calexico, California (a border town with a crossing into Mexicali Baja 550 km/6 hours south of Las Vegas). We would leave the rental truck there and ride our bikes across the border into Mexico. The first thing the next morning we were at customs, paperwork in hand (I don’t think anyone even looked at the paper work). Just a wave from the guard and into Mexico we went. I had never ridden in this part of Baja before and loved every kilometer of it. I was constantly looking for trails heading south west and

always looking for fuel. Buying fuel meant getting it out of the back of a truck, or from a lady sitting in an old chair by the park with WWAF jugs filled with regular gas. The price was always fair, the most expense price was at the government run gas station.

locals are trying to sell you stuff: food, T shirts, and drinks. I was hot and hungry and I could have used a drink but was willing to wait till we got into the US. And back to the hotel.

I had booked a suite at Coyote Cal’ – a “hostel” on the coast with the beach at your door. We were in the bottom room with 15 bunk beds, 3 large picnic tables, a stove and one washroom with a small shower. Not a five star place but I have stayed in worse. We headed out from Coyote Cal’s and up the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This started out as part of the Baja 1000 course but had been graded. It was fast and just breathtaking: the ocean, the cliffs, the beaches. It was one of the most unforgettable rides of my life. We made our way back to Mexicali without any problems. At this border crossing, as you wait in line the

Clearing customs was much the same as entering Mexico, they looked at our passports but that was it. Entering the US is a little bit like entering Canada, you just feel a little more relaxed. Up the street we went and pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, our big rental truck sitting where we left it, lowering the hydraulic tail gate and up the bikes went safe in the truck! A nice shower, a nice dinner and a good sleep!

Put yourself in this picture!

March 20 to 27, 2011

At the tail end of winter, a week in Nevada will recharge your batteries like nothing else. Ride sand washes, mountain vistas and sand dunes as you dodge cactus and negotiate old race routes. Nevada, where abandoned gold mines and wild mustangs are a normal daily occurrence.

Traction Check out our “CLIFFSHORE PACKAGE” at www.cliffshore.com


t s a e b e h t respect d i a fr a y ver e b , d i a fr a e b Traction

Looking Back: 25 Yea


ars of Trials in Lanark

Doug Hunter

“Observed Trials” is a sport like no other in all of motorsports. It isn’t about speed but control, and not about how fast you get through a section of rough terrain but how “cleanly” you do…or if you do! Points are accumulated for putting your feet down, stopping, stalling, falling or going out of the marked off “observed” sections of a riding course. Like golf, the least points at the end of the day wins. Unlike golf, it is a great use for a piece of rural property!

Ottawa area, Dave Makin soon started running events in conjunction with the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG, who had started to do the same in other regions). Dave had recently purchased a property in Dalhousie Township, which was perfect for events since it offered a great variety of terrain and potential sections in a relatively compact area. Lots of elevation, trees, mud, roots, rocks and water could be found and worked into events, and have been for 25 years now.

Trials is the oldest form of motorcycle sport, and one the BMA has been involved with for over 50 years. It has evolved with the technical developments of bikes, and today would be unrecognizable to early participants where just getting through a rugged piece of countryside on a fragile turn of the 20th century bike would be an achievement. In fact, the sport has changed a lot just in the last 25 years.

“Unlike golf, trials is a great use for a piece of rural property”

In the late 70s I moved to the Ottawa area with my family when I was thirteen. Thanks to my father, I grew up around trials and had already ridden several events with my Honda TL125. In new surroundings, I soon found out that a group called the Bytown Motorcycle Association ran trials events at Hazeldean near Kanata. In fact, this was the last active area of the “old” BMA after many years of MX and other competition. I participated in a couple events there with the Honda, beating myself up pretty good in the process. Soon I had a street license and was out of dirt riding for a while, as the old BMA finally succumbed to inactivity. It wasn’t long however before things would go full circle. Trials bikes were changing radically with the monoshock revolution of the 1980s. The sport itself changed and sections became much more difficult. Only the best riders could fully exploit the new machines while a large glut of twinshock bikes left over from the 1970s trials “boom” period were suddenly uncompetitive. Before long, vintage (or twinshock) events became popular, catering to these bikes (and riders?) not quite up to the rigors of modern national events. In the

I soon picked up a 250 Honda trials bike, which I rode for many years. For a period the CVMG schedule was packed with numerous spring and fall rounds with upwards of 40 riders competing at Lanark, Christie Lake, Wakefield and elsewhere. A wide variety of machinery could be observed from English 1960’s BSA singles and Triumph twins to 1970s Spanish two strokes such as Montesa, OSSA and Bultaco. Survivors of the earlier Japanese flirtation with trials bikes were present, with almost every brand represented: Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki and even Hodaka. In more recent times the Lanark trials tradition continues on with a couple dozen riders coming out to a spring and fall event each year. A lot of water has run through the sections over the years, with many faces coming and going. However the theme of good and safe (but not always clean) fun remains. Ironically some machines that were running modern events 25 years ago are in the vintage class now while most of the old British bikes and even Spanish two strokes once prominent have now largely disappeared from events. Of course, the early monoshocks are now 25 years old and the definition of “vintage” has changed, as even air-cooled, drum-braked monos now have Traction

dedicated classes in places. A good turnout of riders including BMA members was present for the 25th anniversary event September 26. It can be difficult to build sections catering to a large discrepancy of machinery and rider skill level. As Dave Makin noted, the range of bike and rider ages in attendance again surpassed 50 years! However as Dave and crew showed, it can be done successfully and four lines of difficulty in each of the ten sections (times four loops) could be found catering to novice riders, intermediates, advanced and expert monoshock riders. As always some old favourite sections were used, or re-used with new twists, and a good variety or terrain could be found with something for everyone. With many lines to choose from, something suitable existed for every bike, from my 1950’s Ariel to 1970’s twinshock bikes through to Dave Southam’s

trick new 2009 Montesa-Honda 4RT. The machine that has won the World Trials Championship for the last four years with Spaniard Toni Bou. Here, of course, you won’t find the high-flying, rockhopping acrobatics that is the World Championship. Those guys are simply from another planet and even top national level riders from many countries struggle to compete at that level. Club trials are a little more down to earth, appealing to mere mortals. It takes time to get good at trials and, unlike roadracing or MX, you can’t even ride the same course as your heroes. Instead, you are relegated to the “bunny hill” that is the novice line for the first while! However, continued efforts will be rewarded with more challenging sections as well as skills of balance, throttle control, wheel placement and line selection that will translate into other bike sports. While the glossy US dirt bike magazines often promote MX as the route to off-road racing “stardom”, trials riders know otherwise! Just ask WEC champions such as David Knight, Kari Tiainen and Giovanni Salo. As always we will never break any motorsports attendance records. That’s OK though. Trials riders remain a loyal and dedicated group who can and do participate in the sport for many decades. While events will tax your ability, the speeds involved generally mean you can count on making it to work on Monday despite any “getoffs”. However, the sport will always suffer a little in this era of the two-minute attention span. Proficiency takes a little time to develop and a new rider that gets beat up and spit out at an event is often likely to not be seen again. Successful organizers such as Dave always go out of their way to ensure there is a novice- friendly line and even some coaching available to rookie riders to help the learning curve, in addition to a warm welcome. If you have always been curious to give it a try, beg borrow or steal a trials bike and try to come out next year. Thanks go out to Dave Makin for 25 years of great trials riding and memories.



r e d i n s n i l o c ction

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photo: christ ian lacasse


Story: Jim Kolman

2010 Chili

The week leading up to the Chili Run was depressing.


We received record rainfall all week. The Thursday before the race was the worst because it rained all day and night. I had booked the day off work Friday and my friend Reece Rendall rented a water pump and we had to pump out the water holes in the woods and mini track area so

that I could lay down the wooden pallets. I knew those sections would be impassable without some kind of bridge, so the best I could do were the pallets that I had saved up from work. Saturday was the KTM demo ride day. My son Benjamin and I were off into the woods early in the morning to cut bypasses around the really wet spots. Although it was a good weather day, things hadn’t dried out as I had hoped so we spent a couple of hours in the woods cutting trail for the demo riders. Pat Beaule (KTM Canada), Tom Irwin (Cornwall) and myself (Wheelsport) were able to put together a small fleet of KTMs for people to Traction Traction


try. It was a good opportunity to test the track. I had a 5km loop which took about 12-14 minutes to complete depending on skill level. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people showed up to try out the bikes. Later that evening the bands showed up. Andre Ferraton is a good friend of mine. Not only did he play drums in both bands Saturday night, he also kicked butt in the 2 hour race in the intermediate class on Sunday. It was a little cold in the evening, but we all huddled around the campfire (KTM crate wood saved up all year) and enjoyed the entertainment provided by Smoke Stack Lighting and Cadillac Rumble. I love live music and think that the

and how lucky I am to have this facility in my own backyard. It was a huge amount of work and I am glad it’s over, but I am already making plans of how to improve things for next year’s event.

bands rocked the house. Sunday morning was crazy for me. People started showing up by the dozens. This is a good thing of course, but I was nervous about how I would handle everything. The volunteers from the BMA were Marlene Breault, Mike Hillier, and Dave Wrack. Many others helped immensely to make things happen smoothly. All the motos went off without a hitch. The schedule ran late, but otherwise we were blessed with absolutely gorgeous weather.

Many people helped to make this event possible. The list is way too long to put here. There is no way I could have done it alone. See you next year at the 4th annual Chili Run. About 120 riders participated, and the track conditions weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they would be considering the torrential downpour of rain we had received earlier in the week. I want to thank all the people who took the time to thank me for the Chili Run. I received a lot of positive feedback about the track, how fun it was Traction Traction

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photos: CHRIS CLAR

un Traction

Farewell to Nova Scotia

Story & Pictures: Jason Noftall Four Nova Scotia lads (Zack, Kelsow, Jason and Jim) went on a bike trip to Cape Breton last month and are lucky enough to be taken along for the ride.

One of my favorite Zackisms is “I ain’t bringing nothing”. This time it almost held true. As we were leaving, I asked Zack why he wasn’t bringing his other pannier. “Oops, I forgot to attach it”. Kelsow and Zack left Halifax at 9:00 am and headed for the #7. We have always wanted to stop at this local folk artist’s place and finally did this time. Nice fella to talk to so if you’re ever in the area, drop in.

Zack and Kelsow were going to meet Jim and Jason at Erwin’s place. Traction Traction

Meanwhile, back in Halifax... Jim and Jason met at Tim’s in Dartmouth Crossing at 4:30 pm and decided to ride the slab all the way to CB. It was overcast, a little chilly and threatening to rain. The plan was to meet Rob and Zack and head over to Erwin’s in Port Hawkesbury for a bite to eat and a bevvie or two. Outside of Antigonish, the rain started. After fueling up at Auld’s Cove, they set off in search of the B&B and Rob and Zack. Unable to find the B & B in the dark, they humbly swallowed their pride and called Kelsow for directions. It seems as if they passed it by a few kilometers. Rob and Zack were already at Erwin’s but Jim and Jason decided to not backtrack in the rain. Eventually, Jason and Jim found the place. The owner said that there is only one room available and it was the honeymoon suite. Four guys in the honeymoon suite, eh? *insert cricket sounds*. She had separate mattresses laid on the floor for all of us while King Kelsow got the kingsize bed. Rob and Zack came back with a few cold Keith’s and decided that they weren’t going back to Erwin’s due to the weather. We had a few pops and did plenty of bench racing. The owner asked us if bacon and eggs were OK for breakfast. Jim piped up and said “lots of bacon please”. She was not aware of his infatuation for pork and pork byproducts.

After leaving the B & B, we set out for the old rail line that runs alongside the ocean. It was a little misty and foggy but still great to be off the tarmac. The big Strom was not a fan of the dirt but Zack manhandled the beast into submission.

All four encountered a trail groomer/mower and had to get around it. The driver was kind enough to move to one side so that we could pass him, with only a minor issue being that the blade side of the rig was facing up and toward us. Perhaps that’s why it is called a groomer? A little off the sides please. With the rain still coming down, Zack decided he had enough of the big Strom in the mud so both he and Jason decided to run on the roads while Jim and Kelsow stayed on the old railbed.

photo: Merde! AnthonyWe Kerr taking up all of the seats in the restaurant. decided to try another place down the street. The new restaurant had plenty of seats for 4 hungry bikers.

It was late in the day so we decided to find some accommodations. We asked around and were told Chéticamp would be the best option but if we proceeded on we might find an open B & B or the hostel in Pleasant Bay. Having our fill of B & B honeymoon suites, we decided to rent a cottage in Chéticamp. It was in this town that we were schooled on the difference between a “rider” and a “driver”. It seems as if the person at the handlebars “drives” the motorcycle whereas the passenger “rides” the motorcycle. All of these years, we were wrong in thinking that you “ride” a motorcycle. Having been educated in the error of our ways, we will be contacting the following musicians to offer up lyrical corrections: Rush - Ghost Rider: “Keep on *riding* North and West...Haunting that wilderness road...Like a ghost rider”. Geddy, we know that you are a musical genius but please change it to “drive”.

“The next morning was cold enough to freeze the nuts off a tractor...” We all met in Inverness and were getting hungry. We decided we would eat in the beautiful town of Chéticamp. Jim had mentioned that Wabo’s pizza was good. The only problem was a local family was

Neil Young - Unknown Legend: “Somewhere on a desert highway...She *rides* a Harley-Davidson”. Neil, love the tune but until you fix the word, I’ll have to remove it from my iPod. Arlo Guthrie - The Motorcycle Song: “I don’t want a pickle...Just want to *ride* on my motorsickle”. Arlo, my good man, can I offer you a piece of advice? We highly recommend that you experience Chéticamp. The people are friendly and the town is scenic. We woke up early, packed up the bikes and headed Traction Traction

for Tim Horton’s. A local biker came over to chat with us. He was a Gold Wing driver (whew, got it right this time) but had an appreciation for our dual sport bikes. He told us stories of his rides and how he forgot to install the oil filler cap and proceeded to go for a ride. It was when he noticed oil flicking up at his handlebars that he realized the error of his ways. He was a very animated character and this was only enhanced with his French accent. He was a really cool guy that had us in stitches. We left there bound for Pleasant Bay. It was there that we found a golden shrine in the middle of nowhere. It is called the “The Stupa of Enlightenment” and it belongs to Gampo Abbey, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery. You’re

supposed to walk clockwise around it three times in order to bring blessings to your life. Missed it by 3. We left there in search of more awesomeness. We stumbled upon Beulach Ban Falls, at the edge of the park. You can easily drive (or ride) into it via 2 kms of dirt road. Luckily for us, there was nobody there at the time so we took plenty of photos. We all thought that “Beulach” sounded like something that you’d say when you vomit. Actually, “Beulach Ban” is Gaelic for “white gorge” - now you know. We were all hungry something fierce so the next stop was a greasy spoon take out. Jim had pizza, Zack and Kelsow had deep fried chicken and Jason had a burger with enough bacon on it to make the Wendy’s Baconator blush with embarrassment. It was the messiest most delicious cornucopia of baconness that you’ve ever witnessed. Jim had that crazy look in his eye as he stared at the disappearing bacon. What didn’t make it to Jason’s mouth, was quickly eaten off the ground by the local pooch (no, not Jim). With hardened arteries, we sped off. The end of day destination was a cabin owned by a friend of Rob’s in Marion Bay. We knew that we still had

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plenty of time before dark so we were in no rush and stopped a’ plenty for photos. Rolling into Sydney we stopped at the LC and then we were bound for the camp. As the sun set, it was getting mighty cold. There wasn’t much wood at the camp so the fire in the fireplace didn’t really even break the chill. There was electricity at the camp so we found the TV, VCR and Stripes with Bill Murray - bonus! The next morning was cold enough to freeze the nuts off a tractor... We woke up the next morning and you could see your breath inside the camp. Outside the fog was thick enough to cut with a knife. The temperature gauge on Rob’s bike stated 0.5 degrees Celsius. A dirt road led us back out to the main road where we could pick up the number 4 highway to take the scenic route back. Back across the causeway, we stayed on the TCH for a while but got bored of the highway monotony and decided to the take the back roads again. We stopped along the way to grab a few photos. Kelsow waited on the side of the highway to get us riding (driving) by and as he dismounted his bike, the side stand sank into the ground and he and bike took

a dirt nap. Thankfully he was kind enough to take a picture because as the old adage states - if there is no photo proof, it didn’t happen. Eventually, we rolled into the city tired but happy that we were able to ride Cape Breton for three days. Cape Bretoners are great and the scenes were spectacular. We’ll definitely be making a trip back there in the not too distant future. Like the “The Stupa of Enlightenment”, we think that everybody should ride around the Cabot Trail clockwise three times for good health (even with the bacon burger), good luck, and many miles of smiles. ∆

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photo: christian lacasse

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Corduroy Enduro story: Bill Watson

The 2010 Corduroy Enduro took place in Gooderham on September 18th and 19th to cap off the Eastern Canadian Enduro Championship. Living up to the Cord’s reputation means it was long, gruelling and tough; enough to supply a year’s worth of bench racing stories for those willing to  step up for the challenge.  137 riders started out on Saturday for 130kmsof some of Ontario’s roughest most difficult trails. Sunday supplied over 160km of similar abuse, divided amongst 18 checks.  

Riders from all over Ontario, Quebec, and the northern US made the trip because the Cord is that big of a deal. Multi-time Corduroy winner and legendary US racer/ innovator John Penton brought his son Jack and some of their old bikes. They told great stories, in a room where you could have heard a pin drop for almost two hours Saturday night. The weather was perfect for a fall race even though a steady rain Saturday night threatened even more mud for

Podium Finishers: Class

Pro Expert Intermediate Vet Expert Veteran Super Vet Masters Novice Women Beginner Vintage Traction Traction

First Place

Patrick Beaule Hugo GravecBelanger Barry Armstrong Dennis Lebersan Chris Martin Kevin Allen Joel Lepley Mike McCaw Jessica Cannell Kevin Smith Jack Penton

Second Place

Alan Lachapelle Hubert Desharnais Kyle Lueders Yves Ebacher Gilles Bussiere Tom Irwin Rick Day David Beach Melissa Head Greg Quinn

Third Place

Scott Bowes Rome Haloftis Alex Conti Gilles Desharnais Chris Zanelli Kelly Goreski Ted Dirstein  Zack Tustin Kathleen Head Greg Vosper

Sunday. In the morning, however, the sun came out and all was good again. The racing was close with the top three riders battling for bragging rights on their times up

green mountain (they were seconds apart). The rest of the racing was no less exciting with several class battles still measured in seconds after two days and over 12 hours of seat time.   There were tons of spectators at the Burnt River and Motocross tests to cheer on their riders and shout out swimming instructions to those in trouble. There is no way to put on an event like this without throngs of volunteers and many have been making the trip up north for over 30 years. Some stand in creeks to help rider through, some bake in the sun at checkpoints. This race more than most deserves a big huge thank you to all the volunteers.


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DVD Review: The Achievable Dream, The motorcycle adventure travel guide, Part 1: Get Ready! Dennis & Christine Kavish, Off Road Adventures

For some people, the desire to explore the world is paramount to everything else. For those people it comes before the typical daily grind of 9-5 with 2 hour traffic on both ends. It comes before having a wife, kids, dog, cat and goldfish. It comes before the perfectly manicured lawn and the evening chat at the foot of the driveway about what little Bobby did at school that day with the neighbors that you don’t really want to talk to. For others, they get this urge a little bit later in life, after the kids have left the nest and sucked most of their savings away. Then they realize that they need to see what the world has to offer. The Achievable Dream tells you how to go about getting those wheels in motion. It explains how to have your paperwork and documents in order, how to organize cash flow/credit/debit cards, timelines, travel companions, and border crossings. It details the little secret bits and pieces to make it work. The video focuses mostly on traveling in Africa, Europe, South America and North America. In hindsight, the list of destinations is probably in order of difficulty. The format is laid back with Grant and Susan Johnson being recorded giving a seminar on preparing for travel around the world. As they go through various elements of travel and paperwork, their dialogue is interspersed with anecdotes from travelers that have done long distance and long duration trips before. There is nothing like hearing about others’ personal experiences. Also informative were those sections that had Grant sitting down at a table with paperwork scattered as he goes through actual examples of what Traction

each document looks like, what also to expect and how to deal with issues that may arise. Being the touchy feely type of people that learn by example, we found this to be the best. The DVD is approximately 2.5 hours long and we found that it was best watched over a few sittings to be able to digest all the information. Plus, 2.5 hours is a fairly long time to sit through a one-sided dialogue. Some of the topics the video covers are: What is a Carnet? Visa’s & Visa costs Credit / Debit cards and cash Insurance Paperwork for the bike Will I be safe? When and where to go Traveling in a group How much would it cost? Health and medical/vaccines And plenty of little tricks that you just don’t get unless you have already been there They even mention types of possible bikes ideal for longer trips as well as bike protection (crash bars). Being comfortable riding in all conditions is also brought up and the simple idea of taking a bike skills

nce of what to expect is more than helpful nightmare out of a goodnight’s sleep”

course is suggested. They go over some simple bike handling skills that are well done and useful, including a blurb on tires from a Michelin Rep.

ride here? o t t n a w ’t n who would

After every section, they follow with a written point-form review of what they said as well as webpages with those resources. A good resource they bring up is the Horizons Unlimited website and the large network of Horizons Unlimited communities scattered around the world. These are filled with very helpful like-minded members willing to lend a hand in all capacities. Did we find this video useful? The answer is ‘yes’. Simply traveling across the street, or down south for March break to warmer climates all require some sort of preparation. The idea of traveling around the world or trips that can last several months take on a whole new level of planning. When

those trips involve crossing multiple borders, foreign languages, visas, corrupt officials, knowing in advance of what to expect is more than helpful and can take the nightmare out of a goodnight’s sleep. The other Horizons Unlimited DVD’s cover topics such as packing and shipping your bike, bike repairs, emergencies and even a DVD specifically for women travelers. We will be reviewing the other DVDs in future eRag issues, so stay tuned. So, the question is: what is a carnet? To find out, you will have to check out the video! Photos (courtesy of Horizons Unlimited): (top right) Photo by Stefan Thiel, Germany, of Giancarlo ‘Carlo’ Albrecht (Germany); On the piste from Rissani to Zagora in Morocco, Honda Transalp; (middle) Stefan Cedergren, Sweden; Dades Gorge, Morocco, waiting for the traffic to pass; (bottom left) Tyson Brust, Canada; of Jose Rodriguez, riding the rim of Guagua Pichincha volcano, Ecuador.




Highline Recreation’s Tugger lift straps Review: Duncan Carpenter I recently had the opportunity to try Highline Recreation’s Tugger lift straps. The straps come in two types (front and rear) and deserve to be discussed separately.


If your bike doesn’t have a side handle, or a section of the subframe exposed, then you need to get the rear Tugger lift strap. The rear Tugger lift strap just makes life easier. Whether you’re putting your bike on a stand, in your truck or trailer or you’re stuck waist-deep in mud, the rear

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Tugger lift strap is for you. It comes with all the hardware you could possibly need to mount on either a Japanese or European bike. Just take your time when you install it to ensure you have the right amount of slack.


While I consider the rear Tugger lift strap one of the greatest inventions in the world of dirt bikes, I feel the front Tugger lift strap is much less necessary for two reasons. First, it is awkward to use on your own. It is difficult to balance the bike and use the strap without help. Second, you really only need the front lift strap when you are stuck. If you get stuck a lot then you should get a front strap, but if you don’t get stuck every ride then let someone else get you one as a gift. Despite being awkward to use, you will be glad you have a front Tugger if you ever do get stuck.

OFFROAD RIDING PHOTOS! PUT yourself in the picture! To Check out the BMA Photo Gallery Click here:

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Video Review: Two Days in September, The Corduroy Enduro Mike O’Reilly Along with the Jackpine in Michigan, the Sandy Lane in New Jersey and the Berkshire in Massachussetts, the “Cord” was one of the classics that was on any serious off-roaders to-do list “back in the day”. In its heyday, rider count had to be limited to 300 and anybody who was anybody in the off-road scene in eastern North America sooner or later made their way to the Haliburton Highlands to take on the legendary rocks, logs and swamps. To add a coveted Corduroy log to your trophy case showed that you had legitimately earned a spot among the top-rung enduro specialists. I.S.D.T. veterans from Canada and the US used the event as a Six Days warm-up. For enduro enthusiasts like myself it was opportunity to see riders that you would normally only see in the magazines. Back when most of us were on recycled Japanese dualpurpose bikes, it was an opportunity to see “exotic” equipment from manufacturer teams like Ossa, CanAm, Rokon and of course Penton and Husqvarna. With the fragmentation of the enduro sanctioning bodies in Canada and a proliferation of riding opportunities, the


Corduroy lost some of its luster over the years. Rider counts were down, time-keeping enduro rules have gone the way of twin shocks, and the Cord is no longer the standalone Canadian Championship. This new documentary by Director John Dinsmore demonstrates why the event has a special place in off-road history and why it not only endures (no pun intended) but is experiencing a revival in popularity. Originally intended to feature the 2008 event, the acquisition of additional CBC archival footage allowed a comprehensive Corduroy history. Dinsmore weaves history along with modern commentary into a seamless

professional package. It includes many of the places and the people that feature prominently in the history of the legendary even. The Tory Hill hillclimb, Peterson Trail and Devil’s Staircase are featured. Interviews include John and Jack Penton, Blair Sharpless, Larry Bastedo and many others. Allan Lachapelle, a more recent Cord convert brings a modern day perspective. My only criticism is that it would have been nice to see Tom Irwin interviewed along with one of his Dad’s original Cord bikes. The Irwin family is right up there with the Pentons and the Sharpless’ (Bert rode something like 33 years – Tom is closing in on that number) in Cord history. I suspect that his absence is another example of Toronto-centric bias that we see so often. However, for anyone with a sense of history or involvement in the event, this is an incredible piece of work that deserves a place in your video collection. Two Days in September is available at twodaysinseptember.com , corduroyenduro.ca or at better bike shops through Lachapelle Racing Products.


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Knobby Knife Review: Duncan Carpenter So, you just got a new tire and after two or three rides you have already noticed the edges of your knobs are starting to round over. If your tires aren’t directional, you could take it off and reinstall it the other way. But, changing tires can be a pain and could result in pinched tubes and hours of your time. If you had a knobby knife and 20 minutes, you could square the knobs again and get better traction. Used in moderation, the knobby knife can increase the life of your tires while improving traction. However, if you have no will power, the knobby knife may not be for you. It’s so easy to use and the traction gains are so noticeable that you start thinking about using it after every ride, but that would result in no knobs left and reduce the life of the tire. So get yourself a knobby knife for half the price of a new tire, use it, then lock it up for 2 weeks.

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Motojournalism Review Kaveri Gupta “Motojournalism; Motorcycle Travel Photography Book Two: Equipment” is Anthony Kerr’s second selfpublished eBook on how to take (or attempt to take) beautiful photos while traveling by motorcycle. Kerr is a graphic designer by trade and this book has 49 pages of well-explained concepts and absolutely stunning photography from his travels throughout Latin America.

Kerr’s first book was mostly about composition. Rules about composition were discussed and nicely illustrated. These were practical rules to help turn a person who takes pictures into a person who takes photographs. Big difference. The concepts discussed force you to change the way you think about photography and as a result you end up with better photographs, almost immediately. His second book, which is much longer and in-depth, is more about the technical side of photography, the side that most people know nothing about. I would recommend reading the first book before you read the second as they were meant to go together and they certainly compliment each other. At this point in my photography career, I have a reasonable grasp of composition but know very little about the technical side of an SLR. I am still learning how to ride a dirtbike, and I take photographs with the Traction Traction


skill of an average joe. So, I used Anthony’s second book as an introduction to a SLR’s parts and capabilities. As far as the book goes, Anthony does an excellent job explaining photography concepts in simple terms. The graphical illustrations that pictorially explain the concepts were well presented and almost every concept has photographic examples to go along with the text. As a visual learner, I found this very valuable and it make it easy to quickly grasp his point. My only recommendation about reading this book is that you need to have a camera (your own camera if possible) in your hands while you are reading it. The first time I read it, I didn’t have a camera, and the concepts don’t sink in until you actually try them first hand. Though I followed his instructions as best I could, my photos were still plagued with all the common rookie mistakes of low-light, blurry edges and

grotesque shadows on the subject matter. I had to read and practice the concepts to really grasp them. Repetition works best and I was starting to get the hang of it after a few tries.

If you want to improve on your photography or want to understand the basic technical concepts of how to use your digital SLR, this is the book for you. It’s probably the most practical book I’ve ever read about photography and Kerr makes the concepts easy to understand. Plus, this guy rides adventure motorcycles and who would you rather support, a guy in the field getting his hand dirty or a large publishing company out for a profit? “Motojournalism; Motorcycle Travel Photography Book Two: Equipment” can be downloaded from Kerr’s website for only $15.

www.motojournalism.blogspot.com He is an active member of advrider.com and his travel threads can be found by searching “ANTONTRAX” his handle on that site:




I don’t think you need to be a motorcycle traveler to find this book valuable. The photos Anthony uses are from his travels, and therefore, gorgeous. But so far, I am using the instructions for less exotic events like a birthday parties, local dirtbike races and my pets.



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Limerick Open House a huge success!! Wed Oct 6, 2010

FROM THE Brockville Recorder and Times By MARIKE HARRIS, FOR THE RECORDER AND TIMES Merriment and laughter filled Limerick Forest on Sunday as dignitaries, organizers and visitors marked the 70th anniversary and the grand opening of the new interpretive centre. “Usually there are about 200 people who park in the lot across from the main gates and come in to enjoy the open house,” said United Counties works director Les Shepherd. “This year, there are more than 200 cars.” “Today is a celebration of rebirth,” Shepherd said. “It is about a resurrection of an old school house that was in such a state of disrepair with faulty plumbing, bats, mould and mice. Also a 70-year success story of having turned something that was failing (attempted farming on unproductive soil) into something prosperous such as trees and a forest that is useful.” “Fifty years from now, local people will be very grateful that they still have the chance to wander through the chalet and trails,” said Pat McNee, representative of the Township of Rideau Lakes. The new centre is golden, gleaming log chalet built beTraction

hind the maple tree beyond the front gates. The massive red pine logs and white pine flooring that make up cabin are from some of the first trees planted on the pocket. “The design of it and the looks of the new facility are something to be proud of and for many generations to come,” said Warden Bill Thake. “It has electricity, washrooms, heating and information kiosks so that children will enjoy going there and taking pleasure in learning

about trees.” The previous chalet had been a one-room Limerick schoolhouse built in the late 1800s. Some of the men who had been young students at the school grew up to help plant trees on the lot. After the opening ceremonies with words from dignitaries, including Thake and MPP Steve Clark, organizers

honoured Jack Henry, coordinator of the Grenville Land Stewardship Council with a nameplate for the Envirothon trail that is to be built to honour for his environmental studies work with high school students. Also unveiled Sunday was the new interpretive centre sign beside the maple tree in front of the property. Aside from food and the trails, visitors on Sunday received walking sticks engraved with the Limerick Forest website as welcome gifts, making the party resemble an exuberant group of travellers preparing for a long hike on one of the trails. Horses in polished harnesses and shiny belts brought nature-lovers on threekilometre wagon tours. Visitors also saw demonstrations from several groups including the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, Gibson Tree Care, Brockville Rifles, National Trails Coalition and off-road motorcyclists and others, including Friends of Limerick Forest and the Merrickville District Trails Society. Pieces of Limerick Forest are scattered throughout Leeds and Grenville, including near Merrickville, Athens and Roebuck-Spencerville area. The forest is made up of 5700 hectares scattered across the counties and includes one-third wetlands, one-third plantation and one-third natural forest. Ralph Streight, who with his brother is a fifth-generation farmer, exhibited their antique tractors at the open house. “I pruned these trees in the 1960s,” said Streight, pointing to the red pines which surround the interpretive centre for miles. “We made 12 cents a tree and received 20 cents per tree for the spruce trees.” Counties forest manager Geoff McVey hopes teachers and students will continue to make the forest a destination. “This is a great outdoor classroom. This is a wonderful facility where children can learn about the bush,” he said. “We want people and especially children to take full advantage of the forest for educational and recreational purposes.”

Through the Ontario National Trails Coalition, Limerick Forest received $186,000 in federal grants to perform trails related work and build the new interpretive centre. The counties matched the funds. “When I look around at all the people who came here today, it tells us that what we did was important,” says Hoeverman, executive director of Ontario Federation of Trail Riders. “There was nothing but bedrock here before they planted the trees. This house came from a seed that was placed in this ground by the local people.” “It is a benchmark for the community and you should be proud,” said Henry to the faces watching him as he was being honoured. “This is a great celebration of the foresight of sustainable management and enjoyment of future generations,” said MPP Clark in his speech. The lands where the trees of Limerick Forest now grow was first settled and cleared for farming purposes in the 1800s but was eventually deemed unproductive for agriculture and were abandoned. In the 1940s the United Counties teamed up with the Agreement Forest Program administered by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests to become sustainably managed. In the 1940s and ‘50s alone, 8 million trees were planted. In 2001 the counties assumed full responsibility of the forest and the Limerick Forest Advisory committee was formed to provide management advice to the counties. Traction

otfr news Here is part of an article Ken Hoeverman recently found in Dirtrider Magazine: The time is NOW to get involved in your local community and participate in the governmental decision-making processes. No longer can we be wary of participating in the political and local community processes. The OHV Community must have a credible and recognized voice in local affairs which can only be achieved by personal involvement with our elected officials. In order to increase the visibility and voice of the OHV Community, we must all increase our personal participation in our local and regional governmental decision making processes. Each of us needs to participate and contribute in local affairs to ensure that our collective voices are heard. The first step is to join and get active with your local OHV organizations or clubs then consider getting involved in: • Your local community collaborative planning processes such as development or review of Community Master Plans or Comprehensive Plans. This is the first step in getting OHV areas planned and funded • An appointment to Citizen Advisory Boards or Committees • Volunteering for Parks and Recreation Boards • Getting to know your local Economic Development staff and explaining the positive economic impacts that OHV users and activities have on your local economy • Public meetings for travel management planning on USFS, BLM or other public lands • Expressing the need for local OHV areas and activities to your local Parks and Recreation staff • Attending and participating in regular City or Town Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, County Commissioner meetings, etc. Learn how these meetings are conducted and make your voice heard when the decision makers ask for public comment • Promoting OHV participation in local events such as parades and other community events • Expressing the NEED for viable and safe OHV recreation areas at all levels of government, but focus on your local government. Skate parks, soccer fields and the like are all being funded with your tax dollars because local constituents demand them from their local governments. • Organizing a local OHV TEA PARTY Do not wait; do not expect someone else to do it. Every little bit helps and the old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the oil is spot on. You yourself must get involved and make your voice heard. Those that dislike or misunderstand OHV use are at the local table demanding government officials listen to them. We, the OHV Community must do the same get to the table TODAY and be a voice in our local public processes. Bill Alspach Woodland Park, Colorado Member, Trails Preservation Alliance & Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association

What are we going to do when all our riding areas are gone? Traction

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exhaust note Wheelies: where, when and maybe how!

by LARRY murray

pain and personal embarrassment. Yes, I have shamed both myself and other riders in all of these categories.

In 1967, I got my first bike. By today’s standards, it’s a very small bike: a Honda 90cc. I also got my driver license that same year on that bike. Driving around on the lawn learning to ride, I soon figured out that when going up a small hill, I could pull back on the bars at the same time turning the throttle full open, and the front wheel would come up off the grass. The faster I went the longer the wheel would stay up! Yes! Me and Evel Knievel had something in common! We both had bikes: he had his big red, white and blue Harley Davidson and I my red 90cc Honda. And yes, I could do a wheelie (maybe only 2 yards long and only half a foot of the ground). Evel’s were 2 miles long and who knows how high (one of his H-D bikes are on display at the mall in Primm Nevada). Next time you are there riding, stop and have a look, not much of a bike in today standards. How much rubber do we need on the road? Turning with the front wheel one meter off the ground is almost impossible but turning with it 1.5 meters high (the balancing point) is not as hard. But beware, you are getting near the edge, the balance point is fun to be in but no fun to exceeded! The only thing that will help you here is the rear brake or the throttle, and if you are standing it is hard to reach the rear brake. The question I have always asked my self about doing wheelies is why. Wheelies are one of the skills an offroad motorcyclist should learn; knowing how to loft the front wheel of your bike and how high is too high is something that we all need to know. There are two big down sides to doing wheelies. The first is that many of us doing wheelies are just showing off. And some of the time showing off where the wrong people see us. Non-riders only see danger and lack of respect to others and they are right. On the other hand riders see a skill that that may want to learn or wish they were better at! The third down side is that it’s a fine line between the balance point and being back too far. And that, my friends, can hurt! And cost money, Traction

Doing a wheelie Are you ready for a little pain, embarrassment and a trip to your dealer for parts? If so, here are some pointers that sometimes work for me. Find a grassy field with a slight up grade and long (100mts plus). Standing or sitting, the choice is up to you. I like standing at high speed and sitting at lower speeds. But when standing, keep in mind it’s hard to reach both the shifter and rear brake. Different bikes have different characteristic when trying to loft the front wheel. To start, try second or third gear going up the grade, take a deep breath and open the throttle. Does the front wheel want to come up? If yes, you are on the way. If not, you will need a little help from the clutch or pulling back on the bars. Bouncing or pre-loading the front suspension will also help the bike come up on the rebound. Spend some time on this. It’s important that the bike comes up under control and you develop a feel of where the front wheel is along with the balance of the bike on one wheel and keep it straight. You will have a hard time turning until you reach the balance point. Try to center yourself on the bike with arms bent. Remember, small movements at the balance point will make big changes

“As I was sliding down the road I watched my bike drop into the ditch” in both direction and angle. This can take a lot of time don’t rush it. Next? How high is too high? If sitting, try using the rear brake when the wheel is off the ground. This is a skill that you will need before you reach the balance point of the wheelie, learning it now will save you both money and pain. Practice this also: little short wheelies, with braking to bring the wheel down. If only I had learned this 40 years ago! After you have mastered braking, shifting will come easy! As time goes on you will learn that the secret to a good wheelie is not the size of your bike but knowing and controlling the balance point! Now I have a confession. On Friday, at the 20th Calabogie Trail Ride, I was doing a wheelie, showing off in front of Mike H. and David P. on a gravel road (never do wheelies on the road) and lost it! All was going well. I stood up to wheelie, starting in 3rd gear shifting into 4th and going up a slight grade with a dip in the road (there is also a “dipstick” riding the bike) and then another grade up. The wheelie was high, too high and I could not reach the brake! As I reached the dip in the road, I knew I needed to move forward and turn the power off. And I did, but the bike just slowly kept coming back, it was like time had slowed down. I was climbing forward as far as I could over the bars, but




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I felt the rear tail light kiss the ground. It was time to get off. I let go of the bars and pushed the bike away. Always push the bike away. I fell less then one meter to the road in a sitting position, arms out and legs spread like I was looking for a bike to ride. But there was no bike! Just the gravel road, me on my ass and my bike on two wheels slowing down and heading for the ditch! The bike will almost always go a greater distance then you so try to stay behind it!

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As I was sliding down the road I watched my bike drop into the ditch and bang into a tree. I was still sliding and came to stop 50 feet or so from were I fell, Mike and Dave know how far I slid, they paced it off so there would be fact to all the stories. All in all not a big crash but it ripped the fanny pack off and I had a sore ass. The bike had a broken tail light and that was it! It cost me $30.00 at the dealership and a trip to Dr. Dan at the staging area at Calabogie. Thanks Dan!

Dr. Dan

Just For Fun. Larry

Well Larry, I think we found out where all your hair went.

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If you think you can identify this man and/or have any information on who this rider is, please email the OFTR as soon as possible. This man was seen dismounting his bike at various times during the riding season but luckily, this was caught on camera. The OFTR is offering a reward for any information you may have. Please email:


with any information. Please offer a detailed description of what you think had happened moments before the picture was taken. Thank you for zooming in.

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photo: christian lacasse BIKE: Christian lacasse

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Profile for Traction eRag Offroad & Dualsport Magazine

Volume 2, Issue 6  

88 Pages of Off-Road Fun! • Woody's 4 Hour Race • Dualsport Nova Scotia • Corduroy Enduro DVD •

Volume 2, Issue 6  

88 Pages of Off-Road Fun! • Woody's 4 Hour Race • Dualsport Nova Scotia • Corduroy Enduro DVD •