Monday, June 27, 2011


Hey there guys and girls, we've made the big leap across to Facebook and are posting all our news, blogs, PR and pix on the official TRAIL ZONE magazine Facebook page!

Here's the URL to go straight to the page, so copy and paste it into your web browser:

Or simply go back to the home page and click on the Facebook link near the top of the page.

It doesn't matter if you are a fan of Facebook or not, and you don't have to have a Facebook page of your own, just click on our Facebook link and check it out ... and have a few laughs and throw up a few Comments when you feel like it.

Thanks and we'll see you on the TRAIL ZONE real soon!

-- Clubby,

Friday, May 13, 2011



Australia’s largest and most comprehensive motorcycle showcase returns to Sydney with a new name and new venue this November.

The Sydney Motorcycle and Scooter Show will be held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour, from the 25th to the 27th of November.

The CBD location makes the show’s scooter element especially significant as more and more people discover the economic and time-saving benefits of two-wheel travel in the city.

Scooters were a standout in the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries’ (FCAI) recent first-quarter sales figures which show signs of an emerging recovery.

FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said the Sydney Motorcycle and Scooter Show played an important role in stimulating industry interest and felt the new venue would provide additional impact.

“The new venue is well chosen, giving people the opportunity to see at first hand, and in one place, what is available in the market for inexpensive fuel-wise transport that is growing in popularity both in Australia and overseas”, Mr McKellar said.

In addition to indoor exhibits, the show will also make use of the venue’s surrounding areas for live action demonstrations and motorcycle test rides.

For all the latest details, check out the web site.

PS: All of us here at TRAIL ZONE will be at the Sydney show, so make sure you drop by the TRAIL ZONE stand and sign up for a magazine subscription and get your chance to win a new dirt bike ... more details coming soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011



Last weekend myself and Lance 'Russ' Turnley jetted out to WA to hook up for a ride with John Staines and the crew from West Coast Trail Bike Safaris.

We had a day and a half in Perth beforehand and dropped in on Don McGrath at Cycle Products West to check out his wicked KTM Safari race bikes (which will soon also become Dakar race bikes, as he's launching an assault on next year's Dakar!).

After that we checked out the Pinjar Motorcycle Park north of Perth, which is living proof of just some of the goals being kicked by trail bike advocate Steve Pretzel from the Recreational Trailbike Riding Association.

Then it was on to see the boys from Launch Helmet Cams, who kindly loaned us new Vio-POV and Drift HD helmet cams to test-out and review in the mag, while next up we took in a feed with Wasp from MotorradWorks, who showed us some of his trick bolt-on goodies for Yamaha's XT1200Z Super Tenere.

With the meets-and-greets done we hit the road south from Perth to down past Bunbury -- but not without one more stop at Motorcycle Masters, Perth's largest motorcycle wreckers -- where Russ hit the jackpot and scored a fuel tank in very good nick for his '88 Tenere. Only problem was, how was he going to get a whopper fat-fuel tank in his gear bag for the flight home? But that's another story ...

The next day we hooked up with Staino at the West Coast Trail Bike Safaris HQ about two-and-a-half hours south of Perth, where he had a couple of spiffy Yamaha WR250F hire bikes ready for us to ride, as we joined a pack of no less than 20 riders on his Hills & Thrills tour. And yep, this little outing sure did live up to the hills and thrills tag-line!

I've ridden the south-west corner of WA a few times now, and just can't get enough of it. It's the quality of trails that I'm hooked on, and Staino delivers the best trails, many of which slice through private property that he has secured access to (let alone having his own trail bike riding park!), with the riding dominated by endless sections of fresh, clean single-track through the sticks that just keep the smile on your dial and the throttle pinned on a 250 thumper.

We copped a few gnarly hills -- the best was Spectator Hill, where the carnage came thick and fast for the cameras, with sweep rider Darren turning on the best loop-out of a Husaberg that I have seen in ages ... crikey, the blue bomber damn near landed in the top of the pines!

A couple of rocky creek crossings also delivered the required carnage -- much to the delight of myself and Russ as the cameras rolled.

Come the end of the day, we'd knocked over 165km, with a couple of flats, plenty of crashes, one lost rider and a mighty lunchtime feed turned on by Staino's missus, Georgina, along the way.

For a more detailed report of the ride, check out Staino's Blog entries on the web site.

Meanwhile for the full story on the ride, make sure you check out the next issue of TRAIL ZONE #36 which goes on-sale in mid-June, while for the video evidence of the carnage, check out our next DVD issue of TRAIL ZONE when it goes on-sale in December.

In the meantime, we have to say thanks to Staino and the WCTBS crew for all their hospitality.

If you've even wanted to hit the south-west corner of WA and experience all the joys (!) riding on red pea gravel has to offer, remember that West Coast Trail Bike Safaris offer Yamaha hire bikes for interstate riders, so take a gander about the web site and then give Staino a call on (0429) 825 775 and make plans to go west ... make sure you tell him TRAIL ZONE sent ya!

-- Clubby,


Hi there: I am a relative newbie to dirt biking, having only taken up the evil ones only in the last four years or so. After years of doing organised trips on rental bikes, my brother and I bought a Gas Gas FSR450 each in 2008. Terrific bikes, great handling, cool looking, tough as nails with an awesome support network by Solo Motorcycle Imports, and very low cost parts and replacement bits. How does $400 for a new slipper clutch sound? Less than $300 for a full set of original plastics? Frame straightened for less than $1,000? Steel frames, ya gotta love them. However, the attitude of other dirt riders toward Gassers is a real eye-opener. Most have never heard of them, and I have even been asked by a professional tour sweep who makes them! It appears from experience that there is an attitude that unless they are Katohuskyhusas or blue/red/green/yellow Japanese beasties, then they are crap? On our last trip (thanks David, Nikki, Amber, Jiff and crew of Mt Buller Adventres), we had a group that brought an entire spare Husky for parts! But they felt that it was OK to take the piss out of the Gassers, even though we made it up the hills and rocks of the High Country with less dramas than them, ate Husabergs on all terrain, swallowed DRs for breakfast, and had as much or more fun on the Gassers. We do not attack other riders' bikes, nor insult the company, but the other riders feel that it is OK to attack ours! This negativity starts from the minute you roll up, with stunned looks, snide asides, and a superior attitude that persists, even when you match or beat them on the track. Yes, our bikes look beaten up, scratched all over, rims dented, Barkbusters that look very second hand, but that is because we ride them hard and often. In all conditions. Rain, floods, desert dust, crappy mud, rocky terrain, heat, cold, frost and so on. I have done 12,000km on mine, my brother has done 10,000km on his, Ross did 20,000k on his first one in two years, and over 10,000 on his second. Our issues in 50k that were not crash-related? Two throttle position sensors (same one as fitted in Ducatis), one regulator rectifier (Ducati) and a throttle cable. That's it. Yet the attitude remains from other riders. Bah! We have ridden in Tasmania, the Coffs Harbour region, the High Country and all over south-east Queensland, yet wherever you are, negative attitude towards a fellow dirt rider seems inbuilt into the dirt rider's psyche if they are not the 'regular' dirt bikes. I hate to say it, but grow up guys and girls. Excessive and overwhelming advertising does not mean that the non-traditional manufacturers do not make a great bike, in fact, they make great bikes. Just look up the sales figures outside of Australia, and the race results from Europe. So dump the attitude, enjoy fellow bikers riding, and ask for a ride on my bike. You might just be surprised. I guarantee you will be.
-- Damien Stringer, via

Thanks for your email, Damo, it's an interesting read. Great to hear you've had such a good run from the Gassers, that's no surprise to us. Now onto the crux of your email: mate, dirt bike riders taking the piss out of one another for riding different brand bikes has been going on since Moses rode a Zundapp and Noah rode a Triumph! We all do it, especially Japanese owners versus Euro owners, and all us trail and enduro riders always do it in jest, with tongue firmly in cheek and a big dose of good humour mixed into the equation. And besides, wait until you start riding an adventure bike and all the trail and enduro riders start taking pot -shots at you! That's when you need to develop a seriously thick skin. Ride on mate and keep the dream alive ... and keep showin' 'em the red rear guard of your Gasser!
-- Clubby,


KTM pulled the wraps off its 2012 range of EXC enduro weapons at the bikes' world launch in Italy last week -- and it's no surprise that a brand new 350 EXC-F thumper headlines the Austrian brand's off-road line-up.

After setting the motocross world on its ear last year with the 350 SX-F, KTM is hoping to do the same in the enduro scene, with the all-new 350 EXC-F boasting a fuel-injected four-valve four-stroke powerplant wrapped in a brand new chassis that features WP suspension and a PDS linkless rear end.

KTM claims the 350's new motor weighs in at just 28kg and pumps out an impressive 45hp, two specs which should go a long way to achieving the bike's goal of being a real giant-killer in the bush.

The new 350 slots into KTM's four-stroke EXC line-up alongside an updated 250 EXC-F and much upgraded 450 and 500 EXC-F models, the big bangers featuring new 2.5kg lighter motors that are now fed by fuel-injection and 42mm throttle bodies.

On the two-stroke front, KTM's much-loved 125, 200, 250 and 300 EXC models continue unabated for 2012, keeping very much alive the hopes and dreams of premix fans right around the globe.

Chassis, suspension and details updates apply across the entire EXC range, while special Six Days models (lower image) with a raft of bolt-on goodies as standard equipment will also be available.

For more details and delivery dates of the 2012 EXCs, see your local KTM dealer and keep a watch on the web site.

And rest assured as soon as we can throw a leg over the 350 EXC-F, you'll get to read all about it an upcoming issue of TRAIL ZONE ... this is one bike we can't wait to start firing through the sticks!

-- Clubby,

Monday, May 9, 2011



Hey guys: Thought you might be impressed with my 'fix-it-with-what-you-can-skill' when my mate busted his brake lever 250km from home. That's my trusty DR650 spark plug spanner mounted to the left-over stub. It got him all the way home no problem. Yaa hoo!
-- Cheers Chris, via

Great fix, Chris, right up there in the MacGyver stakes. Well done, son!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011



Hi guys: I read with great interest your recent review of the new Husqvarna TE630 and I was surprised to see the weight going up by nine kilos compared to the TE610 and the ground clearance moving from 295mm down to 280mm (which seems a bit low for serious off-road riding, especially when installing a bashplate). These days, people expect more power and less weight in new bikes (just ask Dr Phil!). Given the difference between the TE610 and TE630 is only 30cc, do you know where the additional nine kilos is coming from? What's your view on the key difference between the TE630 and the KTM690 Enduro R? Is the TE better on-road while the 690 is better off-road? Good to see that Husqvarna has sharpened its price when compared to KTM in that category.
-- Rod, via

With our past Project Bikes in TRAIL ZONE and we've found that the biggest weight saving comes from removing the standard exhaust and fitting a lightweight aftermarket performance pipe. For example, on our Honda Transalp Project Bike we fitted a Staintune exhaust which was seven kilos lighter than standard. So when looking at the Husqvarna TE630 weight gain, you would have to point the finger straight at the new twin muffler exhaust system. The good news is that we have just taken delivery of our TRAIL ZONE/ORE Husqvarna TE630 Project Bike and we have Husqvarna's factory performance mufflers to fit to the bike next week. The mufflers feel pretty light, so look out in future issues of TZ and we'll let you know exactly how much weight we can shave off the mighty TE630.
-- Lance 'Russ' Turnley, via and