{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

Issue 39

November 2019


ADVENTURE HARDER Adventure is not found in any one place, but in the moments that challenge you along the way. Out there, it’s just you, the terrain, and whatever extremes nature throws your way. The new KTM 790 ADVENTURE R – made to conquer it all.


KTM Group Partner

Please make no attempt to imitate the illustrated riding scene. Always wear protective safety gear and observe the applicable provisions of the road traffic regulations. The illustrated vehicle may vary in selected details from the production model and feature optional equipment at additional cost. European specification model shown for illustration purposes only.

Photo: F. Lackner


MAK E I T Y O U

@RideDunlop DunlopMotorcycleTires.com ©2019 Dunlop Motorcycle Tires.


U R M I S SI O N TOTO CU CUTT LOO LOOSESE

TRAILMA TRAILMAX XMIS MISSION: SION:DESI DESIG GNNEDEDTOTOTAKE TAKEY YO OU UANY ANYWHERE WH ERE. .

TT RR AA I LI L MM AA X XMM IS IS SS IO IO NN


Issue 39 NOVEMBER 2019

ry information: These drawings contain information ry to Upshift. Any reproduction, or transmittal of this on without expressed written consent is prohibited by se partial or complete of the sordCover marks is prohibited hable to the full extent of theTim law. Burke Issue 39

November 2019

THE INSIDER

LOGO SHEET

KNOCK IT OFF!

INSTA-ADV

Design Chris Glaspell

INSTAGRAM TRAVELERS

Photography Editor Simon Cudby Contributing Writers Cindy Bright Tim Burke Chad de Alva Spencer Hill Greg Smith

BLACK

Contributing Photographers Tim Burke Chad de Alva Olivier de Vaulx Spencer Hill Marcin Kin James Lissimore MCH Photo Greg Smith

PMS 021

RGB: R255 B255 G2550

RGB: R255 B80

CMYK: C40 M30 Y30 K100

CMYK: N80 Y100

GEAR THE LATEST

AFRICA PART III

Livingstone, Zambia

horizontal on white

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL

Story Editor Stefanie Glaspell

YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700 ON AMERICAN SOIL

Business Development Brandon Glanville

SNOW DAYS

Want to advertise with us? Contact: Brandon Glanville brandon@upshiftonline.com

SNOW BIKING IN COLORADO horizontal on black

Contact: info@upshiftonline.com

Join us on Instagram at @ upshift_online

TESTED

Join us on Twitter at @upshift_online

DUNLOP TRAILMAX MISSION TIRES WP XPLOR PRO SUSPENSION FOR KTM 790 ADVENTURE R

Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/upshiftonline

KTM ADVENTURE RALLY

THE CANADIAN KIND

Upshift Magazine is published monthly by Upshift Online Inc. 2019. Reproduction of any material requires written consent from the publishers. All photos, editorial contributions and advertisements are accepted upon representation that they are original materials by the author and or advertiser. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and may not reflect the views and opinions of the editor, staff or advertisers of Upshift Online Inc. Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their advertisements.

vertical on black

vertical on white

300 vs 300

SHERCO 300 COMPARISON


KNOCK IT OFF! INSIDER: BRANDOn GLANVILLE

When you were a kid, your parents probably told you that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” That’s all well and good when you are in art class or when someone takes inspiration from your personal style etc. It gets a bit trickier in the case of entrepreneurs that have taken an idea, developed that idea into a product and invested in bringing that product to market. Starting any business is challenging. Starting a business in the motorcycle industry has some unique challenges that can amplify the difficulty. The primary challenge is the relatively small size. Unlike the car market where roughly 91% of US households own at least one car, the motorcycle market is closer to 8%. The difference is significant. What does this have to do with anything? Well, a topic that has been getting discussed more and more over this past year is the increase of “knock-off” product hitting the virtual shelves. In some cases, exact copies meant to fool the consumer and in other cases, close facsimiles that are really intended to make consumers feel like they are getting something very similar for a lot less money. In either case, these products are diluting the industry we all participate in as riders, retailers, manufacturers and even a dirtbag media guy like myself. Is this really a problem… isn’t this just capitalism at work? I guess that depends on how you want to look at it. If you ride a motorcycle, there is little chance that you haven’t wanted to or needed to change something on that motorcycle to make it fit you and your needs better. A stock bike is just a starting point for the vast majority of us, and this is where a healthy aftermarket comes into play. When you see that tank bag or seat that looks just like the one from the name brand but it’s 30% less. When you see the $40 lights or $25 foot pegs on eBay that look identical to the name brand versions and you wonder how the name brand guys can sleep at night. When you start thinking they must be made in the same factory and someone is ripping you off. I can tell you, more often than not, that isn’t the case. Becoming a name brand is done by building quality products based on innovative designs. Selling those products allows brands to invest in other products and to pay their staff a fair wage. Copying someone else’s design requires zero investment, will make someone a quick buck, and put a potentially lesser quality part on your bike. It’s a tricky thing and I certainly do not want to tell anyone what to do or what to spend their money on. But I do want to encourage people to think about the purchases they make for their motorcycling passion and how those decisions can affect the businesses that are ultimately making these parts possible. Keeping the motorcycle industry viable so we can all keep riding in the future depends heavily on the decisions we all make as consumers.


Follow

Follow

Follow

Follow

The mission is simple, if you want to share your adventures on “insta-adv” you’d better start following us! @upshift_online and use the hash tag #upshift_online on your photos

Follow

Follow

Follow

Follow

INSTA-ADV


THE FW19 ADVENTURE COLLECTION

ADVENTURE STARTS NOW

With a new approach to adventure gear design, a fully upgraded base and mid layer range, amazing GORE-TEX winter gloves with the revolutionary Single Motion Closure System, and updated styles, the GORE-TEX collection not only got bigger, but also better. WWW.REVITSPORT.COM


Upshift - November

1. SCOTT Fury Goggle A new highlight among the 2020 collection, the SCOTT Fury Goggle is guaranteed to shake things up. Shaped by innovation, technology and design, the Fury follows in the steps of our flagship goggle, the Prospect. Featuring our proven SCOTT Lens Lock System, 3-layer face foam, no-slip silicone strap, and supporting all of the same accessories as the Prospect, this goggle was developed to Defend Your Vision. Price starts at $50. www.scott-sports.com Features: Frame Technologies

• Lens Lock System • 3-Layer face foam • No-slip silicone strap Lens Technologies

• SCOTT Truview single WORKS lens • NoFog™ Anti-Fog lens treatment Extras

• Bonus Clear Lens included


Dual purpose at its finest, the Mobber features aggressive traction for both on and off-road while stable central blocks offer outstanding water dispersion. These dynamic knobbies go anywhere! ShinkoTireUSA.com


Upshift - November

2. SENA 10C EVO Motorcycle Bluetooth Camera & Communication System Combining Sena’s leading Bluetooth communications platform with an integrated 4K camera, the 10C EVO allows for easy rider communication and video recording. MSRP$399.99 www.sena.com Features:

• A sleek, compact design • A brand-new camera platform, capturing video quality at 4K/30FPS • Video tagging • Smart Audio Mix™ • Four-way Bluetooth intercom up to 1.6 km (1 mile) • Bluetooth connectivity to take calls, listen to music and hear turn-by-turn GPS directions Stay Connected and In Control With Two Sena Mobile Apps Linking up your 10C EVO with the Sena Headset App (for Android or iPhone) allows you to configure communication settings and access an interactive Quick Start Guide. Using the Sena Camera App, users have the ability to preview the footage being shot on their 10C EVO directly on their smartphone via built-in WiFi, and even instantly download files. It also allows you to fine-tune settings such as video recording mode and resolution, video microphone gain, and speaker sound recording.

OctanePress-2020AdventureCalendar Whether you love motorcycles or travel to remote places, this visually captivating calendar is sure to provide a full year of inspiration. $19.99

CLICKHERETOPURCHASE


Upshift - November

3. Rottweiler CRG SC2 Clutch Perch Assembly for the KTM 790 Adventure R Rottweiler Performance has done it again. We took the bull by the horns and developed the CRG SC2 Clutch Perch Assembly for the KTM 790 Duke and Adventure. Compared to the OEM clutch perch the CRG SC2 possess a better range of adjustment than any other clutch perch assembly on the market. Clutch feel is important, that’s why the SC2 was designed with a 3 position cable attachment with each position changing the feel of the clutch pull. The position furthest from the rider is the firmest setting with the one closest to the rider the softest. On the KTM 790 Duke & Adventure, the clutch switch is necessary for everything to function as designed, the SC2 has been modified by Rottweiler Performance to accept the stock KTM Clutch Switch. To help minimize crash damage there is a Teflon sleeve between the perch and the handlebar that creates a slip plane allowing the perch to rotate under pressure. MSRP: $234.95 www.rottweilerperformance.com Features: • Fully Adjustable Clutch Perch and Lever

• RC2 Adjustable Clutch Lever • On-the-fly cable slack adjuster • Variable ratio cable anchor • Ball-bearing main pivot • Teflon sleeve handlebar mounting

• Proprietary design, black plated hardware • Machined from 6061 T-6 billet aluminum • Clutch Switch Mounting Plate has been modified by • Rottweiler Performance in order to easily mount the OEM clutch switch • Custom made Motion Pro Clutch Cable Included • Made in the U.S.A.

4. MotoMinded Stout Mount Our Stout Mount is a Universal GPS mount providing a highly adjustable, convenient and super tough mount for your Trail Tech Voyager or any device with the AMPS bolt pattern. MSRP: $98.00 www.motominded.com Fitments • 2002+ KTM All Models [90mm] • 2015+ Husqvarna 125-701 cc [90mm] • 2015+ Beta Small Enduro Bikes [90mm] • Honda Africa Twin [100mm] • OEM bar clamp center-line spec is 90mm (All year KTMs & Husqvarna) • Works with all KTM and Husqvarna BRP Mounts • Some aftermarket mounts are 100mm • Please confirm measurement for all aftermarket clamp options Features • 4 different mounting positions • 20 mm of slide adjustment for even more fine tuning of the position • Works with all GPS mounts with the AMPS pattern • Center M6 for mounting LED or similar accessory • Limited Lifetime Warranty. Kit Includes Universal GPS Center Plate (anodized aluminum) 2x Billet Mounts (CNC aluminum) Quantity 4 - M8 Bar Clamp Bolts WILL NOT WORK WITH PDS/PDHS


BridgestoneMotorcycleTires.com

WHAT ARE YOU

RIDING ON?

©2019 Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC. All rights reserved.

THIS 40% ON/60% OFF-ROAD TIRE IS 100% DESIGNED FOR YOUR ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE. START THINKING ABOUT YOUR TIRES.


Upshift - November

5. Dubya - Edge Complete Wheel Sets Dubya USA provides the best quality wheels in the business. The Edge wheelsets are made using high quality Edge Hubs, Excel Notako Rims with Stainless steel spokes. These wheel sets will be shipped as fully built front and back wheels. MSRP: $639.00 a set. www.dubyausa.com

790R SEATS NOW AVAILABLE

WWW.SEATCONCEPTS.COM


Motorex Cross Ester-based en performance fo


s Power 4T is a fully synthetic PAO and ngine oil, the ultimate in quality and or your peace of mind.

motorexusa.com


Wide Open

Thompson Pass, Alaska


Photo: Simon Cudby

2019


Wide Open

Moshi, Africa


Photo: Tim Burke

2019


Wide Open

Colorado Rockies


Photo: Spencer Hill

2019


Wide Open

Salmon Glacier, Alaska

Photo: Simon Cudby

2019


BMW Motorrad

TFT Display with Connectivity System

Ride Modes Pro with the Dynamic and Enduro functions.

ONE OBSTACLE. A THOUSAND OPPORTUNITIES. THE NEW BMW F 850 GS.

Find your limits – then surpass them. The F 850 GS’s available Ride Modes Pro optimizes performance, customizes throttle response, traction control, power delivery and ABS, so you can go forth and discover new paths. The TFT Display lets you connect your smartphone to the F 850 GS via Bluetooth and use the multi-controller to activate a wide range of functions, from navigation to media, so you’re perfectly equipped to discover the undiscovered. Visit www.BMWMotorcycles.com to see latest offers.

MAKE LIFE A RIDE. ®2019 BMW Motorrad USA, a division of BMW North America, LLC. The BMW name and logo are registered trademarks.


Wide Open

Rally du Maroc - Rider: Pablo Quintanilla


Photo: Marcin Kin

2019


Wide Open

Rally du Maroc - Rider: Ricky Brabec


Photo: MCH Photography

2019


Wide Open

Rally du Maroc - Rider: Matthias Walkner

Photo: Marcin Kin

2019


Wide Open

Rossland, Canada


Photo: James Lissimore

2019


Wide Open

Moshi, Africa


Photo: Tim Burke

2019


Wide Open

Crested Butte, Colorado

Photo: Olivier de Vaulx

2019


NEW SOFT LUGGAGE SYSTEM FOR THE YAMAHA TENERE 700


Livingstone, Zambia – 6:07 PM. It’s dusk. My heart skips a beat, and instantly, it feels like it’s in my throat. Unconsciously, my muscle memory finds the side stand and my left leg kicks it down so fast that I hear it slam. In one swift motion I’m off the bike and I start a backward jog. It’s been two and a half years and usually I’m pretty good at avoiding the “Oh, shit” moments. I mean, just how many “Oh, shit” moments are we granted before we run out? I need to reserve these things. The whole incident unfolded just after catching the sunset on the Zambezi River Gorge, one of the most beautiful sights in all of my travels. The memory of the sunset is still freshly etched into my brain. The drive between Victoria Falls and the center of Livingstone is only about 10 minutes long, but I learned that it can be action-packed. It was while I was on my way back when I heard the “pop” that I thought to myself, “weird occasion for fireworks.” As far as I knew there was no Zambian holiday. Besides, it’s dry season here and even the smallest spark can start an inferno. Why would there be fireworks? Then, “pop, pop, pop” in rapid succession. I put the pieces together as I see a Zambian farmer, in his 1980-something sedan, rallying down a dirt road like it’s the DAKAR rally. He’s steering with one hand, and he hangs out of the vehicle, AK47 in the other hand. He’s shooting bullets towards the sky, trying to scare off the 60-elephant strong herd that is destroying his family’s crops. He’s not shooting at the elephants, he’s just protecting the food that sustains his family. What’s happening before me is nothing new to this area. It’s a challenge faced by farmers every day here. Finding a balance between life-sustaining agriculture and maintaining respect for wildlife is an ongoing tightrope balancing act. The region-wide struggle is unfolding right before my eyes, and it’s a little too close for comfort. Begin, “Oh, shit” moment: The herd of elephants is headed in my direction. They’re ahead of me but off to the right side of the road. They are fiercely trotting along, parallel and opposite to my direction of travel. You’d hustle too at the sound of an AK47, right? I can’t drive past them, they’ll wreck me. I can’t turn around, they’re gaining on me too fast. I know that the Zambezi River is on the other side of the road, through the bush, about a kilometer. Eventually seeking refuge, they’re going to charge across the road like the living, breathing, destroy-everything-in-their-path freight train that is an elephant stampede. And here I am, some dumbass on a motorcycle, right smack dab in the middle of it all. I need to get out of this situation ASAP.


Ditch the motorcycle and begin backward jog. My camera is around my neck for some reason. I never “wear” my camera while riding, it’s always packed in its case until I need it. I have no idea what made me “wear” it this day, but I have it. It’s on me. I get far enough back (I hope) that I’m not viewed as a threat when the herd decides to make its final charge for the river. It’s hard to describe in words just how intimidating a bunch of pissed off elephants can be. There’s an energy about them that can only be felt in real life. You can almost smell it. As they cross any open field (or road, in this case), the first few “Ellies” bust out into the open in a sideways trot, providing cover and defense for those following. It reminds me of a SWAT team or Military Special Forces unit “clearing” a building with guns. Ears are flared outward, and the look in their eyes conveys strict business. Ready to wreck any perceived threat, these highly social animals watch each other’s backs. It took about a minute and a half for the herd to cross the road. As quickly as it began, it was over. I got on my bike and rode home to put on dry underwear. Welcome to Zambia! I spent nearly 3 weeks in Livingstone, Zambia’s self-proclaimed “tourism capital.” One of the cooler aspects of my time here was attending the 2nd Annual “Livingstone Bike Festival.” If visions of Sturgis, Laconia, or Daytona Beach is what comes to mind, get rid of them. This is a dirt-centric event, where hard-enduro riders from all over Southern Africa gather to test themselves and their bikes. I swear some of these people are human-gyroscopes. It was at this event that I met hard-enduro rider, competitor, racer, crocodile farmer, and owner of RideVenture Zambia, Kevin Mulders. He invited me back to his farm on the shores of Lake Kariba. I left the trusty (but heavy) R1200GS on its stand for a couple days while Kevin, Adam Lyman (American mechanical engineer living in Zam), and I took out a few of his KTM 500EXCs along the shores of Lake Kariba.


In case you had any doubt, let me assure you, ripping wheelies along sandy beaches of African Lakes, with 500cc of displacement at your disposal, is some of the most fun a human can have with pants on. Kevin offers these tours in Zambia and can be found by searching “Ride Venture Zambia.” The northbound journey quickly passed through the capital city of Lusaka. Like most capital cities, this is a place to stock up on hard-to-find items like filters, oil, tires, electronic equipment, etc. For a capital city, Lusaka is relatively quiet, and after a day, it was time to move on. Beautiful two-lane roads wind east along the Mozambique border towards Malawi. Africa is funny. You might think you’re alone. You might think you’re in the middle of the bush. However, if you get off your bike for just a minute, stop for a sip of water or a photo, BAM, 150-friendly faces pop out of the brush to “supervise.” I have no idea where they come from, they just appear from nowhere. It’s actually impressive. You have to be careful how and where you choose to relieve yourself around here, as it will become a spectator sport if you’re not stealthy. As the travels gain northbound progress, the increase in population density is far from conspicuous. The streets of Malawi are busy, and anybody that has traveled this continent knows what I mean. Bicyclists carry 15-foot wide planks of wood, sugar cane, or really anything that they can physically secure on their bikes, and if you’re not paying attention, it’s a good way to decapitate yourself.


Within an hour in Malawi I almost clothes-lined myself into a bicyclist, carrying sugar cane width-wise across the path of travel. After smashing on the brakes, my ABS doing everything in its power to keep the wheels from locking up, I gave him the thumbs up, yelled “Good luck, chief!” and I rolled onward. If you can’t find humor in everyday life here, you won’t have nearly as much fun. Man, the things that I’ve seen carried on bicycles, scooters, and tuk-tuks, not just here in Africa but around the world is nothing short of hilariously impressive. I want to be clear, I don’t mean this condescendingly. It’s just that coming from a country where people use a 6.7L Power-stroke Diesel F-350 to fetch groceries, it’s quite remarkable to see a truck worth of lumber on a 125cc moped! Malawi is one of Africa’s prettiest countries and it’s home to World UNSECO site, Cape Maclear. It lies towards the southern end of Lake Malawi. Snorkeling, standup-paddleboarding, water sports, and swimming are prime activities here. Nkhata Bay, further to the north, is another must-visit spot on the lake. Malawi has excellent paved roads that link the country end-to-end, but what’s the fun in that? Dirt roads wind through villages as the terrain gains ruggedness. For an adventure motorcyclist, the country offers the perfect combination of roads that will allow for any level of riding ability. Border crossings… oh God… border crossings. I crossed into Tanzania at the beginning of September. Per usual, any border crossing requires some paperwork, visa forms, and…well, patience. After a while you learn to just go with the flow. I must say, the crossings here in Africa are about half as bureaucratically-challenging as Central America.


After about 1.5 hrs, I had exchanged my Kwachas for Schillings with one of the hundreds of wheelers-and-dealers that hang out at every border. I got my $100 visa sorted (Americans pay $100 while the rest of the world pays $50), and my Carnet du Passage stamped. Tanzania, in all its glory, lies ahead. I worked my way from Mbeya to Dar es Salaam through stunning mountain ranges and small villages. Every northbound mile that passed beneath my wheels brought me closer to the equator, and the rising temperatures did not make it a secret. I rode past beautiful blue rivers, that in this heat, looked overly-inviting. You must remember, though, massive reptiles with a hundred sharp teeth make absolutely none of these rivers a safe relief. Sweat it out. Drink water. Do NOT go swimming anywhere that isn’t known to be safe. After leaving the Atlantic Ocean behind, in Namibia 3 months prior, over 6,000 miles since I saw the sea, I had finally made it to the Indian Ocean in Tanzania’s capital city of Dar Es Salaam. As I mentioned before, big cities usually aren’t my cup of tea, but they are good places to restock on all items that are difficult to find in small villages: camera parts, batteries, clothing, and the like. Dar is also home base for getting to Zanzibar, an absolute slice of heaven in the Indian Ocean. I opted to leave the motorcycle in a secure spot in Dar Es Salaam while I ferried over to Zanzibar. Getting the bike over certainly is possible, but at about $100 each way, not counting my personal ticket for passage, the cost/benefit of the whole thing just wasn’t justifiable for me. I was officially just a “backpacker.” Luckily, Honda XR250s are only 25 dollars a day to rent here, and it would serve as my mode of transportation on the island.


Describing the environment, the uniqueness, and the specialness of Zanzibar is hard to convey through words. Tiny alleyways are chiseled through stunning architecture. The city itself, Stone Town, has earned itself UNESCO World Heritage status, and it’s no wonder. The biggest, most in-your-face sunsets that I’ve ever seen, somehow, happen here. Surrounding the island, some of the most beautiful beaches on planet earth outline the massive spice fields where much of the world’s cinnamon, black pepper, vanilla, and nutmeg are produced. It’s the production of these spices that put Zanzibar on the map in the first place. Surrounding these fields are thousands of coconut trees which, for about a buck, will quench your thirst (or take the edge off a Kilimanjaro Lager induced hangover… whatever). Zanzibar is a special place and my anticipated 3-day stay quickly turned into 8. I had to drag myself away, kicking and screaming. Not even halfway up the continent (seriously, how am I not even halfway yet? This is Part 3 in Upshift!!!) I had ground to cover. The worst part about traffic in big cities is…no, that’s it…just the traffic. Traffic is hectic, but once out of Dar, the roads open up and the mountain ranges of Northern Tanzania lie ahead. Fields of sisal (or agave) line the valleys where dirt roads connect villages. It’s easy here to escape the pavement.


As I approached Moshi, I was reminded that there are a few things in life that you’ll never forget seeing for the “first time,” especially when they sneak up on you and smack ya right in the face with beauty. That “first time feeling” of laying your eyes on something that you’ve had your heart set on, for ages, are the best parts of this whole ridiculous journey: The Roman Colosseum, Fitz Roy in Patagonia, a Central American volcano blowing molten magma into the sky, an elephant spraying itself with water in an orange Namibian sunset, and finally, after days of stubbornly hiding in a soup of thick clouds, I laid my eyes on Mount Kilimanjaro shooting out of the African Savannah. A couple of days later, I was on course to cross paths with fellow world traveler, Kinga Tanajewska (@OnHerBike), who is a solo female RTW moto-traveler. She is coming from Australia by way of the Pacific, Asia, the Middle East, and is now southbound through Africa.


AVA I L A B L E M I D S E PT E M B E R

THE BACKCOUNTRY PANNIER

VERSION 2.0 can your jacket do this?

TWO BAG SYSTEM – DRY BAGS INSIDE. TOUGH BAG OUTSIDE

Photo by Olivier de Vaulx New Mexico

HEAVY DUTY LOCKING BAR BOLT-ON WATERPROOF POCKET SYSTEM

BEAVERTAIL STASH SPOT AND CAMP TOOL HOLDER

BURLY HARD-MOUNT SYSTEM ALLOWS QUICK ON/OFF

MOLLE EXPANDABILITY SIDE AND BOTTOM

6 EXTERNAL COMPRESSION STRAPS

RETHINKING THE BACKCOUNTRY Available in 35 & 25 liter sizes

Introducing the newly redesigned Backcountry Pannier system. Version 1 was a game

Beavertail stash spot and camp tool holder

changer: an outside-the-box solution no one saw coming. Version 2 builds on this platform through rigorous testing and talking to countless customers who have traversed the globe, crashed at 75mph, been in mud slides, ridden through hurricanes, rivers, deserts and tundra. With the new Backcountry 25L and 35L options, you get the results of hundreds of thousands of miles of hardcore real world testing, hundreds of hours of toil, design, research and discussion. The V2 is packed with tons of new n features, as well as all of the original features

Included bolt-on waterproof pocket system

that made it the most durable, desirable and sought after pannier system for the adventure traveler. We didn’t start from scratch; we took a proven system and made it better.

Find us on MOSKOMOTO.com or on ADVRIDER.com in the ‘Vendors’ forum.

#moskomoto

 


Social media is a double-edged sword, and I’ve never been secretive about hiding the annoyances that go along with it. One of the best aspects of it, though, is its ability to connect would-be-strangers from all walks of life. It’s been the situation countless times before, and it was the situation here. I spent about a week traveling through some remote regions of Tanzania with Kinga, tracing the Kenya border past giraffes, climbing steep plateaus, and camping under the African night sky. As has been, and will remain, an inevitable-theme, there always comes a time to say goodbye and continue on one’s own journey. I was northbound, and Kinga was southbound. We wished each other luck, said goodbye, and we’ll continue to follow each other’s story, through the screen of our phones, remembering the 750 miles ridden together. The people along the way…the countless humans who have personally gone out of their way to meet, help, assist, and generously host me, continue to be the reason why I struggle to stop this lifestyle. I must keep truckin’. Ahead lies Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Stay tuned!


EARLY BIRD SPECIAL RIDING THE EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY SPENCER HILL


We got early access to a European spec Ténéré 700, compliments of Camel ADV, and spent a few days getting acquainted with it in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado was a fantastic testing ground with epic backdrops, and we’re excited to share our initial impressions on this highly anticipated model. Yamaha’s new Ténéré 700 is not an adventure motorcycle regardless of what anyone might tell you. Similarly, the T7 is also not a motorcycle that was intended for every rider. The design team at Yamaha seemingly set out to make a

EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

reasonably priced production rally bike with adventure travel as an afterthought. That’s why there’s a heavy dose of irony involved when we say it probably makes more sense as an adventure bike for most riders who venture off-pavement than the majority of bikes branded with that moniker. This new platform from Yamaha is the economical middleweight with above-average dirt credentials that many consumers have been waiting for. It’s a witches brew budget bike that somehow transcends the stat sheet and performs better than its individual parts should allow. By making a motorcycle that didn’t fit the ADV mold, Yamaha may have created one of the most competent non-adventure/adventure machines produced to date. As you approach the T7, it’s hard to mistake what Yamaha’s design team had in mind with its distinct rally appearance, accentuated by an elongated fairing, quad LED headlight, low slung exhaust, and low fender. Upon closer inspection, it seems adequately equipped for dirt endeavors from the factory with a bash plate, handguards, large side stand foot, & aggressive footpegs. It looks tall, and quite long with the forks protruding from behind the fairing when, in reality, the seat height is just over 34,” and wheelbase is only 62.6”. One of the biggest surprises out of the gate was the un-intimidating seat height and, more importantly, the width between the legs that allowed for easy access to the ground even with short legs. Other thoughtful touches included a horizontal bar positioned behind the windscreen to mount a GPS unit or phone, grab handles under the rear fender, and an adjustable front fender to account for aggressive knobs or muddy conditions.


Starting the bike reveals a pleasant exhaust tone while the upright parallel-twin engine operates smoothly with very little valve train clatter. A quick twist of the throttle produces a throaty sound usually reserved for aftermarket silencers and was music to the ears at all RPM’s. The display is reminiscent of a first-generation Game Boy, and while there’s something to be said for simplicity, it felt somewhat antiquated on a 2019 model. On the other end of the pendulum with no traction control or ABS modes, there’s no need to acquaint yourself with menus or settings because the only decision you need to make is on every time you cycle the key or use the kill switch, we left it enabled almost exclusively.

Off-Road With the lions share of engineering on this new Ténéré going into its off-road prowess, it’s no surprise that that’s where it shines brightest. From the first throttle roll on to the last skidding stop, it was a blast in the dirt. The cable clutch was a bit stiff, especially when compared to modern hydraulic counterparts, but the tractor-like characteristics of the engine compensated for it almost entirely. Braking up front was predictable, with the rear feeling a bit like an on/off switch at times. The ABS didn’t interfere too much at least until it was challenged with hard downhill braking or trying to initiate steering with the rear. For power, Yamaha used the same CP2 engine found in their MT-07 naked bike with impressive results. The CP2 felt perfect for this application with spot-on gearing, peppy power delivery, and the sort of low-end grunt that was ideal for tight rocky switchbacks & steep technical terrain. The engine’s performance was surprising and precisely what we’re talking about when we say the numbers don’t tell the whole story with this bike. Even testing at an average elevation of 10,000ft, the T7 felt like it had all of its claimed 72hp and 50lbs of torque. There was plenty of power to get the front end up and leave a smile plastered on your face time and time again.

EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

if you want ABS on or off. Since the bike turns ABS back


EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700


ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES RIDE, CLEAN AND SC1 YOUR RIDE TO KEEP IT WORKING AND LOOKING ITS BEST I RESTORES THAT FACTORY SHINE Made in the USA

MaximaUSA.com


Suspension, on the other hand, was just OK, not always comfortable or confidence-inspiring but capable with over 8’’ of travel and plenty of mechanical adjustabilities. When considering the bike as a whole, the suspension is probably its weakest link, but for an operator of average weight riding BDR type terrain, it should be viable. Standing in an attack position, the stock ergos were almost perfect for a sub 6’ rider, and the only fine-tuning needed was the height of the rear brake pedal to accommodate MX style boots. One major issue encountered while standing, however, was not being able to grip the fuel tank with one’s knees. Without the ability to firmly grip the bike in

EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

that manner, lead to some control and fatigue issues but could probably be rectified with strategically placed grip pads. While sitting or standing, the bulbous fuel tank would splay the knees in a slightly uncomfortable manner and could make the controls/dash feel far away. Although, with time, this could be something you would notice. Overall the bike felt nimble and maneuverable with enough power to conquer any terrain. The center of gravity seemed a bit high, probably owing to the fuel tank location over the engine, but with a proclaimed curb weight of 449lbs, it never felt tippy or unruly.

On-Road During testing, we spent the majority of our time off-road, but we did hit pavement sporadically for fuel and refreshments. This allowed us to evaluate the bike at highway speeds and on curvaceous mountain roads. With a rider height of 5’10”, wind protection behind the non-adjustable screen was excellent, certainly suitable for long slab stretches. The stock seat would probably be more of a deterrent against big days in the saddle than anything else comfort-wise. Minimal vibration was present in the handlebars above 60mph aided by sixth gear being tall enough to keep revs low. This paired with minimal buffeting and overall stability made for an altogether pleasant highway experience. In tight twisties, the Ténéré 700 acted just about as flickable as any bike fitted with knobby tires. The CP2 engine continued to impress, pulling hard out of corners and humming along on the straightaways. For a motorcycle conceived with highway travel as an afterthought, it certainly was up to snuff!


The adventure motorcycle segment always has blurred lines between street and dirt, with most models landing somewhere between the two or in most cases, closer to the former. Manufacturers often impress the masses with hard-edged prototypes that inevitably get watered down, but the T7 might be an anomaly in that sense. Instead of setting their sights on creating another status quo, middle of the road model that was equally versed as a focused on the off-road end of the gamut with tantalizing results. At a glance, it’s easy to assert that the T7 was a price point bike from top to bottom, but it turns out that it was by design instead of necessity. Other manufacturers have produced off-road centric models in the past like BMW’s HP2 or KTM’s 950 Super Enduro, but those are all high-performance motorcycles with high-end components, which is not the case with the T7. Not to mention, those models had small production numbers and big price tags, which is also not the case with the T7. U.S. spec bikes will be produced in Japan and will be coming in the middle of next year with a reasonable price. This could be the everyman adventure bike that won’t limit the growth of new riders while at the same time not stifle those who are more advanced. In short, the Ténéré 700 is capable of bringing you any horizon you set your sights on. It might be slightly rudimentary, but what it lacks in electronics & high-end components it more than makes up for with character.

EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700

travel & dirt contrivance, Yamaha instead


EURO SPEC YAMAHA TÉNÉRÉ 700


FUELING YOUR PASSION

At Rottweiler Performance, our focus has always been to ask the question, “How can we take these incredibly well engineered machines and creatively manipulate them into what we, as a unique consumer with personalized needs would want from a motorcycle?” That answer becomes your adventure, and our passion. Proven Intake Systems

Exhaust Systems & Mufflers

Tuned Velocity Stacks

Tailored Plug & Play Performance Kits

Fueling Programmers & Jet Kits

Huge Line of KTM Aftermarket Accessories

FREE SHIPPING IN THE CONTIGUOUS U.S. ON ORDERS OVER $75 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

BEST VENDOR

BEST VENDOR

BEST VENDOR

BEST VENDOR

BEST VENDOR

ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY

ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY

ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY

ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY

ADVENTURE RIDER RALLY

www.rottweilerperformance.com


BEPPEDIENA ADV

GRT709 GRAVEL-T

FOCUS ON Nylon mounting plates, work on most racks on the market

High visibility, ultrasonic sealed inner bag, M.O.L.L.E. webbing on side and bottom IP65 standard 100% water and dust proof (accessory adapters included)

www.giviusa.com

GRAVEL-T is a range of 100% waterproof soft bags, geared towards off-road and RTW use. The GRT709 Canyon soft panniers are the perfect alternative to hard side cases, as they offer 35 liter capacity each and they can be locked to their universal mounting plates. The provided mounts adapt to most side cases racks available on the market, although they work in perfect combination with the ones made by GIVI. • 100% waterproof • 35 liter capacity each • Lockable to their plates • Integrated M.O.L.L.E. system


It’s incredible how a little snow can take a place you’ve been to plenty of times and turn it into a place you actually have to search for. When the snowpack completely erases any trace of the road or landmarks that you’re used to following, “go right at the fork” looks like any other snow-covered meadow. In our case, not only did the snow completely take all of our well-known routes off the table, but it also had the potential to bury or literally crush our plans completely. That’s what more than 30 feet of snowfall can do to a small cabin tucked in the trees high in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. We planned to ride up near the tree line and find our buddy’s cabin, and hopefully dig it out so that we could use it as a base camp to ride in high-country terrain. Not seeing the cabin meant that we would have to bail, and our snowbike camping trip was just a ride with a bunch of extra gear. Adam and I had both marked the cabin’s location on our phones and GPS units, but we wanted to see if we could find the cabin ourselves before we had to play “ride to the pin.” We knew the area, so we knew we were close, but there was just so much snow that we could quickly be standing on the other side of a tree from the cabin and not even know it. Thankfully, Adam happened to ride into the right place and look in the right direction and found the cabin. Or more accurately, he found a really funny looking bump in the snow as the snow-pack was above the cabin’s roof-line. When I made it to the cabin a minute later, I realized that we had our work cut out for us, but the snow was riding so good that the shoveling we were in for was absolutely going to be worth it.


In years past, the highest reaches of these mountains withheld too little snow from the wind’s constant blasts, or there was too high of an avalanche danger, so we could only dream about riding them in our mind’s eye from the relative safety of lower areas. However, last winter wasn’t like most. The San Juan Mountains received a record-breaking snow-pack, and while February saw record-breaking avalanche danger, April brought with it a snow-pack that was practically bulletproof. This meant that we could finally ride these high elevation areas with minimal exposure to avalanche danger. This well setup snow-pack also meant that digging the cabin out would be like chipping it out of concrete. Finding snow up to the roof-line and more than 8 feet of snow on the roof meant that getting the cabin opened up would take some time. Not only did we have to tunnel to the door, but we needed to expose the chimney so that we could take advantage of the cabin’s stove, which would be well worth the effort with overnight lows below freezing. We split up on digging, with one guy on the roof and another working toward the door. The hours ticked by as we dug and chipped our way towards our respective objectives. We knew we were burning prime riding time, but like when a buddy has a mechanical on a ride, it was all part of the adventure. Up on the roof, we were digging with only the best guess as to where the chimney might be, as the overhanging snow-pack made the roof appear much bigger than it actually was.


It was entirely possible to dig through the snow-pack and back into space, so we took the time to orient ourselves and make sure we were digging in the right direction. More time spent shoveling meant less time spent riding. Adam took on the roof as I worked on tunneling to the door. There was also a real concern that heating the snow-pack on the roof with the stove could cause it to slide, and we didn’t want to become trapped in the cabin, so an escape route was also required. With the door finally exposed, I had to push thoughts out of my mind about how much of a bummer it would be if the lock didn’t work or the crushing weight of all that snow on the roof had pinned the door closed. My mind started playing out a story of “remember that one time we rode way up into the woods just to do a bunch of shoveling instead of riding some of the best snow of the year,” as I entered the combo into the lock. I pressed on the door which thankfully slid open with minimal resistance. The cabin was open for business. I joined Adam up on the roof, and our shovels soon found the chimney. We promptly got a fire going in the stove, and then took a few minutes to relax and savor what we had accomplished. Quintessential cabin with smoke rolling out the chimney in the middle of the Colorado Rockies? Check. Our reality began to sink in – we had a heated shelter surrounded by more awesome terrain to ride than we knew what to do with. We could ride here for days and not put tracks on every aspect. Even with full tanks and fuel bags, we both knew we didn’t have enough fuel with us – there was just too much country to explore. But that sure didn’t mean we couldn’t try, so we quickly kitted back up and got after it.


The spring snow-pack was so deep that there was hardly any risk of tagging any sort of obstacles under the snow and we could ride just about anywhere. In other words, game on. We set off exploring around the cabin, zipping through meadows, and weaving our way through endless stands of pine trees. The feeling of being able to explore with nearly complete freedom is impossible to put into words, so I’ll just reserve an, “I told you so” for when you get to try a snowbike. When you’re riding on snow, there are no trails or roads to constrain you, and things like rocks, roots, and ruts that can dictate how you’re able to free-ride through a given area can’t impact your line choice when they’re buried under feet of snow. On a snowbike, the trail is in your mind’s eye, and it’s totally up to how you see the world around you to choose where you want to go. Far too quickly, the sun was falling out of the sky, and the changing light made us pause for a moment just to take it all in. There’s nothing quite like watching the sunset from high in the mountains, and this evening was proving to be no different. The sunset cast the world in brilliant shades of orange and pink, and when the sun finally tucked below the mountains for the night, the alpine glow radiated the colors back until the stars blanketed the night sky. Realizing that we had been too busy riding to stop and eat, we returned to the cabin and stoked the fire up while we made dinner. Over steaming bags of dehydrated meals, we recounted how awesome this little cabin was buried in the snow and how cool it was to be able to spend a day riding in the mountains. We were also very stoked to know that we would get to do the same thing the next day. Before long, the warm glow of light emanating from the stove was eclipsed by the light from the full moon climbing high into the night sky, which meant it was finally time for a night ride. This was going to be epic.


Outside, the moonlight made the snow appear to be glowing, which sharply contrasted with dark stands of timber where no moonlight fell. Our bikes were frosted over, and the tiny ice crystals on them twinkled in the light from our headlamps. The snow-pack, however, reflected a serious amount of light from our bike’s headlights, which made for some very interesting riding conditions. Charging at the run-up to a big hill climb we had found earlier in the day, our headlights would reflect off the snow at the base of the hill, ruining our night vision before we went flying up into a tunnel in the trees that was pitch black. At the top, we would wheelie over the crest of the hill, and with our headlights pointing into space, we had only the moonlight to guide us into a clearing in the trees. The sky had a few clouds that would randomly block out the moon, turning the world into nondescript black beyond the reach of our lights. This made for some very reactive riding in the trees, and it really makes you appreciate being able to see several moves ahead in the daytime. Imagine racing through a labyrinth at night, and you’ll get the idea. We eventually decided to call it a night before one of us found a dead end somewhere in the forest, and we returned to the cabin to cap off the night with fire outside. The next morning found us working our way above the tree-line, exploring the highest sections that lead to the towering peaks of the Colorado Rockies. If you’ve ever ridden a high pass or trail that works its way to the top of a mountain, you know how cool it feels to go blasting up that trail as you near the summit. Now imagine instead of having to follow a trail that switchbacks or zig-zags its way to the top, you can literally point your bike straight up the hill and go. That’s exactly what you can do on a snowbike with the right snow-pack. I’m sure the backcountry skiers grinding their way up the skin track were envious of us. After coordinating our plans with them (always follow backcountry protocol), we were able to point it right to the ridgeline we were after, while they would have to zig and zag back and forth across the slope, just like a pass road or singletrack trail would to climb a steep slope.


Climbing the final portion to the ridgeline felt like riding the stairway to heaven. I had my bike pointed straight up the slope because the snow-pack let me do such things and because sometimes you need to channel your inner Jeremy Clarkson and just yell “Power!” as you go full send up something. Directly in front of me was a brilliant blue sky, and it felt like I was riding right into it at tens of thousands of feet above sea level. All too quickly, the slope started to taper out, and my field of vision included more than just the sky. I had reached the ridgeline. I tucked into a small saddle that failed to provide any protection from the wind that always seems to be present in the high places of the world, and made a call on the radio to let Adam know he was clear to come on up. We had just ridden to the top of the San Juans. The wind made for some real wind-chill, but I don’t remember feeling it. I do, however, remember spending some time taking in the views and to appreciate just how awesome the world looks from the top of a mountain. I’ve been to this exact spot before in the summertime, but being here in the winter and riding here on a snowbike made it a completely new experience that I will not forget. The skiers we had passed on the way up made it to the ridgeline, and we rode over to chat with them before they dropped into the valley on the other side. Part of me wished we had packed our skis with us, as these two skiers were getting some choice turns in. Yet, skis generally only like to run downhill – snowbikes work great going up and down hills and the wind had been hard at work making some cool looking features nearby that required prompt riding.


We spent the next few hours riding as much country as we possibly could. From wheelies off of wind lips to jumping off of boulders that made for some great pillow lines – we tried to ride it all, stopping only to check out the occasional abandoned old cabin or scout a line. That’s the problem with winter days – they’re just too short, and you never bring enough fuel. Growing short on both, we returned to the cabin to close it up and then made tracks for the road that would eventually take us back to the truck. We snuck in a few final climbs and more than a few “one more” hits of our favorite features as we worked our way down the mountain. Over the last couple of days, we had combined camping in a truly amazing spot with riding snowbikes in some epic country. The snow certainly wasn’t the blower powder that we had enjoyed earlier in the season, but just like spring skiing is its own brand of awesome, so too is spring snowbiking. The snow literally let us go just about anywhere we wanted, and I’ve never had a more open world to go ride in. Getting to visit my buddy’s cabin is always a treat, and now that we know what epic snowbike riding lays just out the cabin’s front door, I can’t wait for the snow to start falling again. This trip made for some really outstanding memories, and it underscores the fact that camping off a motorcycle is always an adventure and always a good time. The best part is thanks to a snowbike, there’s no reason you can’t ride and moto-camp all year round. Offseason is officially just a state of mind.


TRACKYOUR BUDDIES

SNOW KIT TRAILTECH.NET

#RIDETRAILTECH


II N N N O V AA TT II NN GG

AA HH EE AA DD

COMPOS IT E CCONSTRUCTION ONST RUCT ION COMPOSITE AHE AD FIT ME NT SYST EM A-HEAD FITMENT SYSTEM COLL ARBONE PROT ECT ION COLL ARBONE PROTECTION MULTI -ANGLE VIS OR RE LE AS E SYST E M MULTI-ANGLE VISOR RELEASE SYSTEM EF F ECTI VE ROTAT IONAL IMPACT ABS ORPT ION EFFECTIVE ROTATIONAL IMPACT ABSORPTION 4 SHEL L S IZES WIT H 4 DE NS IT Y E PS 4 SHELL SIZES WITH 4 DENSITY EPS ULT RA-H IGH VE NT IL AT ION ULTRA-HIGH VENTIL ATION

DISCOVER MORE AT ALPINESTARS.COM/SM8HELMET DISCOVER MORE AT ALPINESTARS.COM/SM8HELMET


FIRSt IMPRESSIONS

BY SIMON CUDBY

Dunlop Trailmax Mission TIRES High above the urban sprawl of the inland empire of San Bernardino, CA sits the mountain resort town of Lake Arrowhead. This was the location for the launch of Dunlop’s latest foray into the ADV tire market, the Trailmax Mission. We got to put this new set of rubber through its paces for a day on some forest dirt roads and some twisty mountainside asphalt. Labeled as a 50/50 tire, the Trailmax Mission is really a “do-it-all” tire that should work well in a variety of conditions. This is always the challenge for tire makers, how to come up with a product for all terrains, climates, and geographical differences. In addition, every rider wants something different, whether it be more aggressive tread for dirt or better on-road performance. Dunlop has done their research on the adventure rider market, and the number one thing that riders asked for was durability, so this is what Dunlop has based the design theory on for this new tire. Although the Trailmax Mission does not look too aggressive for offroad performance, the design features deep treaded grooves and staggered step technology to keep the tire edges defined as the tires wear down. Also, a significant design feature is the wrap-around lug pattern on the sidewalls of the tire; in theory, this should help on rutted terrain to add some side grip. At the product presentation the evening before our ride, Dunlop told us of a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 getting about 8,000 miles on a set of these tires in general dirt and asphalt testing at Dunlop’s Huntsville Proving Grounds test facility. This is an impressive number, without a doubt. On the asphalt, the Trailmax Mission felt at home immediately, with no surprises in the handling on the KTM 790 test bike I was riding. But it was the dirt performance that I was really interested in. Had Dunlop been able to come up with the Holy Grail of tires that works well on the street or dirt, that also can do a ton of miles? Off into the gravel, I was surprised that I had no surprises! Looking at the tire on the bike, it is obviously not as aggressive as a 70 dirt/30 street tire, so I was expecting that front end push feel in the loose stuff, but I’m happy to report that I had none of those moments.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Dunlop Trailmax Mission TIRES The terrain changed over the day from loose gravel to hardpack and even some sand thrown in, and the Dunlops performed well overall. The only issue I had was due to rider error. I was not keeping my speed up in some tighter uphill switchbacks, and I relied on the throttle too late to get me out of the corner. The rear tire was spinning more than I am used to with a more aggressive tire mounted. I needed to ease up with my right hand and ride smoother! If your looking for a 50/50 tire with great street and good off-road performance for a big cross-country trip, the Made in USA Trailmax Mission is a good way to go. Available in a wider size range than any of Dunlop’s ADV tires, MSRP will range from $131.21 to $285.23. www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com


FIRSt IMPRESSIONS

BY SIMON CUDBY

WP XPLOR PRO suspension FOR KTM 790 ADVENTURE R In late September of this year, I was on a great 5-day adventure ride with a group of friends through central Idaho. We were to spend about 90% of our 1100 mile ride on the dirt, and my KTM 790 Adventure R was kitted out with some luggage and ready to roll. Our group included the owner of Carl’s Cycle Centre in Boise, Jack Struthers. Jack’s 790 was fitted with WP’s high-end XPLOR PRO forks and shock. This is the same set-up that was on the KTM 790R machines at the KTM Ultimate Race in Morocco. I had heard about this suspension set-up but didn’t really consider it as the stock equipment seemed to be working just fine. From our first day in the dirt, I could tell the pace of this group was high. I found myself mid-pack of the ten riders a few times, and I was at about my limit with risk vs. reward at these speeds over rough terrain when Jack said, “Give my bike a try!” Wow, what a revelation these XPLOR PRO forks and shock were! Even within a few hundred yards, I could tell a big difference. I am just a regular rider with no racing background, but jumping straight from my stock equipment onto this upgraded suspension was a real eye-opener. Instead of feeling “in” the bike with the stock suspension, I now was much higher in the stroke and “on” the bike. I was now riding a big dual sport instead of a smaller adventure bike. I was lucky enough to be on Jack’s bike for a technical rock section that some of the guys had been talking about all morning. “Well, there is this one section…” I was through the section without really thinking about it, and I know I would have struggled on my stock set-up.


FIRSt IMPRESSIONS: WP XPLOR PRO SUSPENSIOn FOR KTM 790 ADVENTURE R

As soon as I got back from the trip, I called our friends at WP and lined up a set of XPLOR PRO forks and shock to try out on our own 790R. After an easy installation, I took a Sunday afternoon ride into our local trails to really focus on how this PRO kit felt in a variety of conditions. There is a fast fire road section that I have ridden many times that has some medium-sized washboard going into and out of some sweeping turns. The 790 literally glided over this terrain with hardly any feedback through the handlebars. On the exit of the sweeper, the rear end had excellent traction as the shock did its job of keeping the tire in contact with the dirt, while at the same time delivering a smooth, predictable ride. This equipment just allows you to ride faster, with more safety. I found myself not really looking at every little bump in the trail as I was confident that the suspension would miraculously smooth things out. On some climbs and descents, I found some water bars that were pretty fun to launch off, and not once did I bottom out the forks or get any weird surprises on take off or landing. Again, very confidence-inspiring. Ok, now for the reality check: This hugely improved suspension comes at a hefty price tag. However, once you do a little math compared to other bikes in this category, this set-up seems more feasible. The XPLOR PRO 7548 forks retail at $3599 and the XPLOR PRO 6746 shock is $2199. The standard KTM 790 bike is $1000 cheaper than the 790R version, so there are some savings to be had there, plus selling your stock forks and shock can help to make a dent in the overall dollar equation. Is it worth it? If you’ve got the finances, the answer is an emphatic yes. If you spend most of your time off-road on your 790, this upgrade makes a huge difference to the overall feel and riding experience of the mid-sized KTM. We’ll be keeping these forks and shock on our bike for as long as we can. XPLOR PRO 7548 MSRP: $3599. XPLOR PRO 6746 MSRP: $2199 www.wp-suspension.com


BY CINDY BRIGHT To say I was excited when I got an invitation to go to the KTM Adventure Rally in Canada would be an understatement. I think we all feel a rise inside of us when the words adventure and motorcycles are used in the same sentence. And then to throw in the beautiful destination of Rossland BC at Red Mountain ski resort was like the cherry on top. “I’m in,” I said. I had attended the North America Rally for many years but never had been to see how the Canadians like to Rally. I decided to brush up on my Canadian, so I popped in the movie Strange Brew, I think it proved valuable as my “eh” and “Abouuut” were clearly understood by my new Canadian friends. Thursday afternoon was picturesque, with the feel of Fall in the crisp air of Red Mountain. There was a buzz of excitement as each registered participant showed up to this sold-out event. Registration is always a kind of necessary evil in my book but the KTM staff were very organized and made the process painless. Each person received a KTM goody bag, route sheets for R1 (more difficult), and R2 (less difficult) riding, along with each small riding group receiving a spot GPS so that base camp could keep track of everyone for safety purposes. A handful of different vendors came to show off their goods and to support those who may have had some mechanical issues or had forgotten something important. Part of the fun for me is perusing the parking lot and seeing what everyone’s idea of a perfect adventure bike is with the perfect accessories. What gear are they wearing, what choice of tire they went with, what’s in all those bags? I learn so many things, both productive and non-productive, from my observations.

PHOTOS BY James Lissimore


Friday morning was beautiful as everyone picked their poison on which route to take, easier or harder. Some of this is based on the skill level of the rider and some on bike choice and is totally at the rider’s discretion. KTM staff and volunteers did an excellent job of laying out beautiful and challenging routes. I was lucky enough for the KTM crew to let me borrow one of their 690’s, this is a big bike for me as I’m of smaller stature. I mounted my tall steed and to my surprise, felt very comfortable as my toes still reached the ground. Bundled in our Moose Adventure gear, my partner in crime and I set out early that morning to accomplish the task put before us. Our mission: to design and score the KTM Ultimate Qualifier special test. Every KTM is designed and built with the motto, “Ready to Race” in mind, and the adventure bikes are no exception. KTM has developed the new 790 in order to rally with the best of them. Designed by some of the best big bike racers out there, including the famous Chris Birch, which whom all of us got to rub elbows with and gain riding knowledge from at the Rally. The top two winners of the qualifier earn a trip to the African Merzouga Rally, where they will race 790’s against the winners of the different KTM qualifiers around the world. Eleven guys showed up to participate in the Canadian qualifier this year, this was down from last year by quite a bit, which explains how challenging the course is. When you have guys like Chris Birch, Scott Bright, and the winners of last year’s ultimate qualifier Radek and Vasile designing it, you know you’re in for a real race that will test each participant to his fullest. The guys showed up on a variety of different bikes from the KTM family of big bikes. There were some 790’s, 1090, older 950 Super Enduros, and one burly guy even did it on a 1290. The only stipulation is that you have to ride a twin-cylinder bike, which eliminates the smaller 690.


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


We arrived at the beginning of our special test early that morning, which we had scoped out and marked the day before. We had some last-minute special touches left to do on the track along with pre-riding it, then we’d be set for the riders to come in. The riders had ridden all morning, in a variety of trail conditions before getting to us. They were to follow a GPS line and navigate to specific waypoints along the route, each waypoint is worth points, along with ensuring that they are on the correct course. What I love about Rally is that not only do you need to be proficient on a dirt bike, you also need navigational skills. With just speed and no navigational skills, you just get to the wrong place really fast. It takes brains and brawn. The eleven riders showed brawn for sure during the special test. The special was on a motocross track with single track woven in. It took, on average, 14 minutes for the riders to complete. This was a beastly display of raw talent and sheer determination. These guys made twins do things that most of us probably didn’t know they were even capable of doing. So if boredom sets in for any reason and you feel like changing your riding environment, take that bad boy V-twin of yours to the moto track and burn some hot laps. You’re guaranteed to be the talk of the track for sure, and your inner beast will probably be released. After leaving the special, the riders were back to following the GPS and finding the waypoints.


We were escorted back to base camp that afternoon by snow flurries and knew that Mother Nature had plans for Saturday that didn’t include us, and there was nothing anyone could do to change that. That night Red Mountain lodge provided a great atmosphere for all of us to gather, eat, drink and tell tall tales of all our adventures of the day, each adventure being as unique and fun as the next. I laughed until my cheeks hurt. As suspected, we woke up to a blanket of snow and the responsible thing for the staff of KTM to do was cancel the rides for the day. This gave us a chance to take in a few informative presentations from KTM staff on tech support, which were great. For those of us that were hoping to have Chris Birch talent by rubbing elbows with him found that it just doesn’t work that way, so we were able to sit in on a big bike riding skills clinic by him instead.


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


The final Ultimate Qualifier test was based at camp and gave everyone a chance to watch this slimy, rocky, snotty exhibit of what some people might consider torture on a motorcycle. With the snow falling and mud flying, we had four brave guys out of the eleven that initially started. Each one gave it their all, and in the end, the two finalists were Wayne Hodder and Wendell Maki. The scores for this race are based on two special tests: a timed tire change and how many waypoints the rider picked up along the route. Congratulations to the two of you, and good luck in Africa. With a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart for the opportunity to come to Canada, meet new friends and gain new adventures, I left for the airport in hopes that this wouldn’t be my last KTM Adventure Rally. Cheers to new adventures!!!


KTM ADVENTURE RALLY - CANADA


3 0 0 S E F

3 0 0 S E


30 0 vs 30 0 S H E R C O ’S

2 0 2 0

J E K Y L L

V S

H Y D E

A BRIEF HISTORY French brand, Sherco, is currently gaining sales momentum throughout the world, especially here in Australia. Why? It’s got a lot to do with their passion, coupled with, world-class race results year after year. Sherco’s first FIM World Enduro Championship title landed in the capable hands of Australian Matthew Phillips when he rode their 300SEF to outright EWC victory in 2016. Since then, the brand keeps reinforcing that they are here for the long run as they continue developing both their riders and products to meet the rigors of all off-road categories. 300 FOR THE FUTURE For this review, I wanted to focus on the 300’s - primarily the Factory edition four stroke 300SEF and two-stroke 300SE. Why? No other brand offers a 300cc two-stroke and four-stroke in their ranges, plus mid-capacity bikes are on trend at the moment. These bikes can be ridden on the ragged-edge, delivering line accuracy through their nimbleness, and if ridden sensibly can even reduce rider fatigue when compared to riding larger capacity bikes. This, in turn, provides safer, longer, faster rides and increased confidence. When Matthew Phillips was regularly beating the bigger capacities in the World Championship, it was as much about the handling as the performance. The 300cc two-stroke on the other hand can tackle the hardest of hard enduro obstacles, as seen recently at Erzberg’s Iron Giant. What is there not to like about planting your backside on a 300cc enduro bike?

W O R D S

A N D

P H O T O S

B Y

G R E G

S M I T H


FACTORY FEEL Just to be clear, I was testing the Sherco’s Factory Edition models that come fitted with race-ready parts as standard. The most significant difference between Sherco’s Factory and Racing editions is the suspension with KYB 48mm forks and 50mm shock. There are a host of other upgrades on these Factory editions, including performance exhausts, white plastics with in-mold graphics, frame protectors, solid brake rotors, and gripper seat, amongst others. Both bikes remain mostly untouched for 2020, with most changes relating

SHERCO 300SEF VS 300SE

to engine weight reduction and improved reliability. Electric start and the fly map switches get you rolling and keep you in control. HOW DO THEY FEEL AND RIDE? At 184cm/5’11,” the handlebar, seat, and peg position are comfortable on both. The 300SE feels a little narrower than the 300SEF between your knees. On the trails, the differences become a lot more pronounced with the 2T (SE) feeling a little more nimble while cruising. However, when riding at speed, the predictability of the 4T (SEF) really shines through. Entry lines are similar, but the mid-corner attack is where the 4T sits planted while throttle modulation is needed to keep the 2T in the rut. Mind you, the time lost mid-turn is quickly gathered up along the next straight. Power characteristics really do change noticeably when using the map switch on both bikes, but it seemed to be more useful for me on the 2T, helping me hold the front end in ruts from the mid-corner to exit. On wide open trails the 2T definitely has the upper hand and is loads of fun, but if wooded trails are your thing, the 4T is very hard to fault. The KYB suspension offers an exceptional ride with enough adjustment available for a wide variety of riders and skill levels. Braking on both bikes is above average, and in the wet test, conditions were very sensitive to pressure modulation. I did eventually get a squeak from the rear rotor on the 2T and thought it may be due to the solid rotor.


SHERCO 300SEF VS 300SE


3 0 0 S E


If it were my bike for riding anywhere in all conditions, I’d probably end up choosing to ride the 300SEF due to its kind, loving, and predictable nature. If I were just going to race and needed to compete with a few power-hungry savages, I’d choose the 300SE and put up with its Jekyll and Hyde personality, which may be fun for a couple of hours. It’s honestly hard to fault either model, and with so many race wins between them, you can be sure of the brand’s future.

SHERCO 300SEF VS 300SE

CHOOSE ONE


SHERCO 300SEF VS 300SE


3 0 0 S E F


2 0 2 0

I M P R O V E M E N T S

Engine • 2T: New Air intake funnel design improves low and mid-range power to suit extreme riding • 2T: Features 15mm shorter intake pipe from carb to cylinder to improve low-speed response. It’s now one part instead of two, saving weight • 2T: Gets a modified reed-valve to improve sealing, increase airflow and performance (Constructed from a plastic charged with fiberglass/carbon/viton) • 2T: Engine casting is modified to increase flow and boost mid-range, plus widen powerband

SHERCO 300SEF VS 300SE

• 2T: Lighter clutch hub to reduce inertia and lever pull for extreme riding • 2T: Lighter muffler that increases low-end power • 2T: Reduced size master cylinder piston and clutch cylinder piston, also for reduced lever effort • 2T: Clutch lubrication flow is increased • 2T: New drilled front final drive sprocket/gear • 4T: Lighter starter system sprocket assembly to improve starting – improves performance for dead engine race starts • 4T: Improved gear selector for a claimed 60% improved accuracy Suspension • Both models have reduced friction in the suspension linkage and improved build quality to increase servicing • Factory models run the 48mm KYB forks and a new 50mm KYB shock to increase stability at high speeds Other • 2T: Repositioned fuel tap for better access • 2T: 1.5-litre reserve • Blue frame protectors on the Factory models • Factory models get an AFAM steel rear sprocket


WE’RE EXPERTS IN THE BUSINESS BECAUSE WE RIDE TOO!

Serving Boise, Meridian, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Nampa Idaho and the surrounding areas. Visit

MON - FRI 9AM - 6PM

us at carlscycle.com to check out our latest promotions or stop by our downtown Boise

SAT

9AM - 3PM

store for all of your powersports needs! 5550 W. State St. Boise, ID 83703 208-853-5550.

SUN

CLOSED

Profile for UPSHIFT

Upshift Issue 39 - November 2019  

Based in the heart of Idaho, Upshift Online is dedicated to feeding off-road adventure enthusiasts the content they’re looking for! Detailed...

Upshift Issue 39 - November 2019  

Based in the heart of Idaho, Upshift Online is dedicated to feeding off-road adventure enthusiasts the content they’re looking for! Detailed...

Profile for upshift