Monday, December 21, 2009



We've just got to love our TRAIL ZONE readers -- you guys and girls are the chain lube that keeps our sprockets turning!

With the Xmas/New Year season right upon us, we've been receiving plenty of Happy Holiday wishes from many of our readers, subscribers and supporters -- which is just awesome, thanks everyone! -- but every now and then a really special message turns up because it stands out from the crowd.

This one pictured here from 'Craig' is the perfect example: just look at the work that's gone into it. 

That's wicked, Craig, and the festive wishes go right back at ya, bro!

We're pulling down the roller door on the TZ HQ engine-room at midday today and taking off for a holiday break of our own -- we'll be back for business on Monday, January 4.

So until then, festive wishes to one and all and have a good one!

-- Clubby & Tania,

Thursday, December 17, 2009



To all our valued TRAIL ZONE readers, subscribers, advertisers, supporters, partners, family and friends, all of us here at TRAIL ZONE would like to wish you a happy holiday season and may 2010 be filled with endless trails stretching far into the sunset and rip-roaring roost sessions through the pine needles!

We'll be taking a break from midday December 22 and the TRAIL ZONE office will re-open on January 4 ... and before you ask, YEP, we're going riding!

Thanks to everyone for your support and enthusiasm over the past year and we look forward to doing it all again in 2010, only bigger, brighter and better -- ride on!

-- Clubby,


If there's one good thing about have a bung knee and an ankle swollen to the size of a grapefruit, it's the couch-time! 

Yep, there's much to be said for lying back on my fat shiny rump, vegetating in front of the big screen TV, watching endless re-runs of American Chopper, Nitro Circus and Girls of the Playboy Mansion on Foxtel ... as well as waiting for the Boss (SWMBO!) to get back from the mail-box each morning in the desperate hope that someone might have sent in a DVD they want reviewed in the pages of TRAIL ZONE.

Yee-haa! Yesterday delivered Aussie Post gold! 

There in the pile of subscription entries for our Choose Your Ride promotion was a dog-eared package that offered a curious waft of dairy cattle and stale milk ... yep, it was a package from Famous Fast Phil Hodgens ... it was his posse's latest Motorbikin' 3: Hit The Road DVD!

Faster than a sweet-running 950 SE Kato packing Akrapovic cans, I had that little round disc in the slot and punched the 'Play All' command and simply soaked it up.

Struth -- there's three hours of the stuff! 

The Flinders, the Lake Eye Hardcore Posties, the Vicco high country, a scooter marathon (what were they thinking!) and a ride with the Police trailbike squad are just the beginning of this Thanksgiving Day-size feast of on-screen action. 

And it's all presented in the typical style of the laid back Motorbikin' crew. Yeah, it's priceless!

I quite enjoyed the Sydney Weekender segment where the boys tackle The Zig Zag to Capertee ride across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and carry on out to Hill End and the Bridle Track. It's a ride we here at TRAIL ZONE know all too well, as does Adventure Moto honcho Steve Smith, judging by his close inspection of the sandstone outcrops at one stage ...

If you want to see some dead-set down-to-earth Aussie adventure bike riding, and you've just about worn out your new IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 DVD from TRAIL ZONE, then hit the web site and get yourself a Motorbikin' 3: Hit the Road DVD ... it's a ripper and punches six stars out of five on the adventure bike DVD scale. 

Top job, boys -- luv ya work!

-- Clubby,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009



Hi Trailzone team: I just wanted to say thanks for putting together a great magazine and for the bloody (excuse me) brilliant DVD you put together in this latest instalment. I’ve been hanging out for this latest DVD for months and I’ve practically worn it out already as it’s an absolute riot and my boys and I have a jolly good chuckle watching it. It’s great to see you putting together a DVD with terrific shots and lots of funny sketches. I can’t wait till we see ‘Trailzone Adventures’ the movie – Clubby, Popgun and Russ circum-navigating Australia or the like (I might be waiting a while but it would be nice if it happened). I also wanted to say well done to Popgun for his article on ‘Tribal Warfare’ -- it’s great to read articles which open up debate amongst a fraternity. Keep up the brilliant work fellas. Now, I just remembered my subscription is about to expire so I better fill out the form and send it back to you. Anyway, here’s wishing you and your families the very merriest of Christmas’ and the happiest of New Years.

-- John M, via

Now that’s a wrap if ever we scored one, John! All the feedback to our latest IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 DVD has been good, which is precisely why we go through all the time, effort and expense of making our own DVD each year: truth be told, we love making them and you guys love watching them! It’s a win-win situation. As for the TRAIL ZONE team taking on a lap of Australia, well, you know Russ and I would be up for it at the drop of a hat, although our provisos would be that I get to ride my '83 Tenere, and Russ gets to start every day with a double-decaf mocha low-fat latte and a slice of toasted banana bread! As for getting Popgun along on such an epic adventure ride, well, we’ve only ever got him out on an adventure ride with us once before, and all he did the whole weekend was whinge and whine and want to know, “When’s the real dirt bike riding start and where are the arrows to follow?!” Enjoy the holidays ... and get that subscription renewed to get your chance to Choose Your Ride and win your choice of a brand new Husky TE450 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 300EXC or Suzuki DR-Z400E or Yamaha WR450F!

-- Clubby,

Sunday, December 13, 2009



One thing we pride ourselves on here at TRAIL ZONE is making sure we deliver an absolute feast of reading on trail, enduro and adventure bike riding in every new issue of the magazine. We will proudly hang our hat on the fact that the word count in each issue of TRAIL ZONE (that's the total number of words in all the stories in the entire issue) smokes our trail bike magazine opposition.

Now, that's all well and good and helps you blokes spend endless hours locked away in the smallest room of the house thoroughly enjoying yourselves -- until we make an editorial gaffe.

Truth be told, we make them all too often: such as getting a price wrong or contact email address or phone number all twisted up.

But then there are the times when we simply cock it up and get the facts wrong, such as happened in our latest magazine, TRAIL ZONE issue #27.

In the report on the KTM 250 EXC in this issue, we wrote Team KTM rider Johnny Aubert won this year's Maxxis World Enduro Series E2 championship aboard a 250 EXC two-stroke ... as if! 

As many readers have already emailed and told us, the fast Frenchman laid waste to the E2 class aboard a KTM 450 EXC thumper!

Obviously we'd been breathing in way too many premix fumes when we sat down to write that story, so apologies to all the crew at KTM and all our readers for what has to rate as our mightiest editorial blunder of the year.

And thanks to all our readers who have written in to tell us and keep us on our toes.

We'll be delivering a test ride review of the KTM 450 EXC in TRAIL ZONE issue #28, so rest assured we'll give the orange thumper the due credit it deserves. And in the meantime, don’t let our blunder demean the impressive performance of the 250 EXC two-stroke, in an era when two-stroke enduro bikes are becoming fewer and farther between. Long live the two-stroke enduro bike, we say!

And while we're at it, we have to apologise to John Staines from West Coast Trailbike Safaris, for referring to him as Scott Staines in the same article. Sorry, Staino! 

If you're looking for a mighty ride in the south-west corner of WA, then check out the web site and hook up with Staino and his crew for some primo riding that will fast put a smile on your dial!

-- Clubby,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009



Dear TRAIL ZONE Team: I'm new to this interweb thingy and emailing so I hope I'm doing this right. Warren has given me some instructions and many years ago I used a typewriter to make a living as a secretary so it's not too foreign to me. My son Warren recieved your DVD yesterday in the post with your magazine, of which he speaks highly. As I was preparing the meat and three veg for tea he was watching it on the TV and I could see it through the servery hatch. I was just a little miffed at missing Deal Or No Deal but he was just SO keen to watch it, what can a mother do? I ask you. Imagine my surprise to see not only my first born in your DVD fillum but also my grandson! In my shock I knocked over my cup of hot Milo and put a chip in the last remaining teacup from the set given to me as a wedding present some 60 years ago. Tiddles was not very impressed either when the hot Milo dripped on him as he was standing at my feet waiting for his evening meal. Now whilst I do not approve of noisy motor bikes roaring around raising dust and disturbing the peace I can see from your DVD fillum that you do have the common courtesy to do so well away from people who may think likewise and applaud you for your obvious manners. Warren and Lachlan were both excited and pleased to see themselves on fillum, is it still called that on a DVD? I was a little flushed with excitement myself and can't wait until our next "bring a family fillum clip" night at our local bingo club. That annoying big-noter Elsie Elphinton and her constant fillum clips of her bratty little snot-nosed grandson playing table tennis is going to be upstaged finally. Her fillum clips don't get sent all around the country like your DVD will be, at least that is what Warren tells me. Will you be likely to use either of them again in another fillum? Warren tells me you do one each year. I think they should be used more as they are both such nice boys. I don't want to sound like a blow hard saying that, I leave that sort of thing to Elsie, but it's not just my motherly opinion, most of my friends have remarked upon it at some time. I have a question though, that fellow the Warren tells me is called Pop Gunn, is he really old enough to be a grandfather or is he called Pop for some other reason? He looks a little young...
-- Warren's Mum (and Lachlan's Grandmum), via

Dear Gandma Wazza: This is Nurse Gladys Crabtree from the Northern Beaches Aged Care Clinic replying on behalf of our latest geriatric patient, Mister Clubb, who has joined us here in our humble establishment offering cutting-edge grey hair care after returning from his latest assignment to the USA to ride the deserts of California and Nevada and carrying home with him fresh grown egg-plants attached to his right knee and right ankle after taking a tumble from his borrowed XR650R in the aforementioned deserts. Given his senior years, we really would have thought Mr Clubb knew better ... Nevertheless, your letter has given our star patient hours of entertainment as we carefully read it to him, word by word, sentence by sentence, as he lies in bed with his injured extremities elevated, and dribbling his sweet corn and chicken soup down his chin with every spoonful we serve him. The smirk on his face, the glint in his eye, even the lump in his crutch (under the sheets, thankfully!) all indicate the warm and fuzzy feeling he has gained to know that Wazza and Lachie are now confident of their multi-media star status. He has also scratched out an Invoice for both Wazza and Lachie (drawn with a pencil clenched between his teeth), to ensure he receives the rich rewards he is due for 'discovering' two such natural-born DVD dirt bike talents. We will forward this to you in due course. When Mr Clubb finally regains full fitness and is able to once again swing a leg over his beloved 83 Tenere (he has decorated his bedside tables with so many Tenere artefacts!), he will no doubt steer himself and his equally geriatric machine south to congratulate you all in person. Until then, believe in the power of Vicodin and full body bed washes daily! 
Yours in good health,
-- Nurse Gladys Crabtree, Director General & Chief Medical Officer, Old Age Care & Spoon Feeding Ward, Northern Beaches Specialist Geriatric Clinic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009



Hi Guys: I was going through some old photos and came across one of my tricked up Honda XL350 from 1977. This bike is a 1974 model which cost a princely sum of $800 brand new and as petrol was about 13 cents a litre... happy days (24 cents / litre on the Nullabor). Happy hour at the pub you could get 5 schooners for $1. Bring back the 1970s ... but with the current hardware. Some of the modifications on this bike were:
* 410cc kit
* Koni rear shocks
* Power Pipe ( the standard one weighed about 20kg )
* Touring tank + 10 extra litres in a can.
I see from your articles on the best outback adventure bikes that are basically the same configuration, big air-cooled singles (DR650SE), lovely simple technology that hasn't changed in over 30 years, because it works. This bike did over 70,000 miles before I sold it, for not much money, and I know it may be hard to believe that I did the CREB trail with all that gear  / tools  / spares / extra fuel etc. Most of the travels were with friends who had XT500 Yamahas, similarly kitted out. Most of the roads outback then were dirt, the worst being between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek where both the Yamaha's cracked their frames. Now this road among many others are tarred (not that it's a bad thing).
I currently own a DRZ250 with all your modifications plus one -- a Barrett's Power Pipe (they work great) and a BMW R1200R (love the torque).
Finally, it's interesting, just like the shark, the adventure bike has reached the pinnacle of its evolution.
-- Steve, via
PS: Saw the letter from the guy on a 1983 Tenere in the latest issue ... another warrior from the past!

Hi Steve: Thanks for the trip down memory lane, mate. One of my first dirt bikes was a '74 Honda XL250 that was a hand-me-down from my old man, so I'm studying the pic of your bike with a glint in my eye. It came hot on the heels of a Honda SL125, which was the bike I used to get my licence as soon as I turned 16 years and nine months -- precisely! That bike certainly has a lot to answer for...
-- Clubby,


You just have to love it when you pull a mighty holeshot – and that’s exactly what we’ve done with TRAIL ZONE issue #27, which hits the newsagent’s shelves nationwide today, a full week ahead of schedule!

And not only will TRAIL ZONE fans be getting their new issue hot off the press, but it also comes bundled up with our latest epic DVD presentation, our new IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 DVD.

TRAIL ZONE issue #27 is jam-packed with an absolute feast of awesome reading about trail, enduro and adventure bike riding, highlights of which include the 2010 range of Husky enduro bikes, Cape York and Snowy Ride travel stories and a mountain of awesome tech tips and Project Bike bike set-up stories. 

As for our new IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 DVD, it delivers 80 minutes of edge-of-the-seat viewing and plenty of carnage!

This issue also offers the final chance to get in on our annual CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion. We’ve given away no less than eight new dirt bikes over the past five years and it’s time for us to do it again in our massive CHOOSE YOUR RIDE promotion.

One lucky subscriber to TRAIL ZONE will be plucked from the barrel to take their choice of a five bike prize line-up of red-hot trail/enduro machines that include the Husqvarna TE450, Kawasaki KLX450R, KTM 300 EXC-E, Suzuki DR-Z400E and Yamaha WR450F. 

It’s the ultimate magazine subscriber deal and the lucky winner gets to choose their ride! For full details check out TRAIL ZONE issue #27 on-sale at newsagents nationwide now and/or get online and view the web site.

-- Clubby,

Sunday, December 6, 2009



TRAIL ZONE issue #27 hits the streets later this week and being the January/February 2010 issue, that means it comes bundled up with our annual IN THE ZONE new-release DVD just in time for the Xmas/New Year holidays.

IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 is yet another award winning piece of work from master cinematographer Lance 'Russ' Turnley and once again delivers a whopping 80 minutes of TRAIL ZONE on TV that we guarantee will provide edge-of-the-seat viewing for all the family.

The TRAIL ZONE team has travelled far and wide to bring you segments on the Yamaha SA 24 Hour Trial, the Condo 750 Nav Rally, the DSMRA’s Kowen Forest Ride at Canberra, the Yamaha ADBA Woodenbong Trail Ride in Queensland and an unforgettable segment of true CARNAGE from the BMW GS Safari in Tasmania.

Add into the mix a handful of Dr Phil's famous trail tips and a couple of test bike reviews and you've got an Academy Award winning masterpiece that will have you reaching for the Rewind button time and time again.

So make sure you get your bonus IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 3 DVD when TRAIL ZONE issue #27 goes on-sale in newsagents nationwide later this week.

Or if you can't find a copy at the shops, call the TRAIL ZONE office direct on (02) 9905 ZONE and we'll process your order over the phone.

-- Clubby,


It has been a whirlwind seven days here in the TRAIL ZONE, which has included a memorable quick trip to the USA to take part in the epic LA B 2 V dual-sport ride in California and Nevada.

To give the annual ride its full name, the Los Angeles Barstow to Vegas ride is held on the Thanksgiving weekend each year and is a spin-off event from the famed Barstow to Vegas desert race of the 1970s which would regularly see fields of up to 3,000 riders hammering through the deserts east of LA in one of the biggest races on the American calendar.

In the 1980s the event struck troubles with conservationists and government agencies that tried to get the race shut down in an effort to protect the desert tortoises that inhabit the high desert regions between LA and Vegas. 

This is the era when the Phantom Duck of the Desert protest ride was born and riders rallied together to keep the desert areas open to dirt bikes. The LA Barstow to Vegas ride was created and in the two decades since it has grown to be 'the' dual-sport ride of the year on the west coast of the USA.

I've always wanted to ride the LA B 2 V and this year the planets aligned for me to be able to do it. Qantas had cheap seats on offer, the ride slotted in the week after the annual Sydney Motorcycle Show at Homebush and TRAIL ZONE issue #27 had just been shipped off to the printers -- so I was outta here!

Landing at LAX Thursday week ago, my good mate Big Rich Gold collected me from the airport and we headed straight off to a Thanksgiving dinner complete with roast turkeys and pumpkin pies ... buurrrppp!

The next morning before dawn we were up and out and off to Palmdale for the start of the two-day LA B 2 V event. 

At the staging area at Palmdale Super Cycles, I got some idea of the scope of the event, as 375-plus entries lined up, aboard everything from KTM EXCs and Honda CRF-Xs right through to BMW HP2s and Kato 990s. We'd all be following a route chart (or GPS download) of the almost 500 mile course for the two days.

Our little posse included Big Rich, Big Steve, Mike, Mark, JD, Tony and myself and we were up and into it and on the road just after 6.30am.

And the fun and games started almost immediately.

At the turn-off to the first dirt section just 5.5 miles into the ride, Big Rich  noticed his speedo cable had busted -- doh!

Then just after the first gas station some 50 miles into the ride, Mike was leading our pack when he fumbled at slow speed while checking his route sheet and fell down and promptly busted his right wrist -- double-doh!

It took us a while but we got things sorted and doubled Mike back to the gas station and got his bike back there as well, where he was able to salvage a lift in a pick-up for him and his bike across to the overnight stop in Barstow.

While all this was going on, Rich and Mark had wandered off the course just a little and at that exact same time one of the mount bolts on the right footpeg of Rich's XR650R let go and left him with nothing to stand on -- triple-doh!

Rich and Mark snuck out of the desert and onto a nearby highway to leap-frog the course to the lunch stop at Ridgecrest, while myself, Tony and JD played catch-up.

By the time we got to the lunch stop on day one, Rich had already bolted off down the highway to Barstow to try and find a workshop to attend to his busted peg mount, while Mark, Tony, JD and I got back on track and settled into the afternoon course.

Of course we were running way late after our morning faux pas moments, so by the time the sun began to set (4.30pm!), we still had 30 miles of trail to go. 

Now, trying to read a roll chart holder in the dark, while navigating a gnarly sandy wash lined by joshua trees and pucker bushes in the middle of the desert is no fun at all, so we instantly started looking for short-cuts -- and luckily found one that steered us out of the boonies and onto a highway into Barstow.

By the time we rolled into the Days Inn motel car park, Mike was being loaded into his wife's mini van for the trip back to LA and an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon.

The rest of us wiped the dust off and then headed to a local Italian restaurant for dinner before hitting the hay and stacking the ZZZs in preparation for another early start on day two.

Woken early by the dulcet tones of Big Rich's intestinal alarm clock (!), we were up and out and on the road by 6.05am the next morning, with a massive 275 miles on the agenda for the day.

Everything was going swimmingly and there was even a breeze in the air to help blow the dust off the trail as the hordes of riders headed for Vegas.

We were punching along comfortably and I was out in front getting set to stop for photos and following a KTM rider along a cruisy jeep track when he hit a patch of rocks and threw one out from his rear wheel and straight under my front wheel. I saw it coming but faster than you could say 'Danny Green's right hook' I was down on the deck and slamming into the ground on my right side.

It hurt right away, with my right ankle taking the brunt of the hit, but I could get up quick, dust myself off and fire up the big XR650R and get mobile again. The ankle and my right knee were tender, but I plugged on to the next reset point, where I found Rich and Tony and we waited for the rest of the boys to catch up.

It was another 30 or 40 miles out of the desert to the first gas stop of the day, where I called on the well stocked pharmacies carried by Big Steve and JD to get a few painkillers into me as I planned to ride out the next 35 mile section to reach the I-15 freeway near Baker, where our truck driver Tom would be waiting for us on his way to Vegas.

I set off ahead of the rest of the boys, and just kept going all the way to the truck. Strangely though, only Mark went past me, which was somewhat odd. I had backed off the pace to rest my ankle and knee and thought they would all catch me soon enough. But they didn't.

It turns out our pack got split and as Mark blazed on ahead, the rest of the boys stopped and waited for him at the next reset, thinking Mark was coming behind them. That's a quadruple-doh!

Big Rich even started to panic a little, and double-backed along the course looking for Mark, to no avail, of course. 

In the meantime JD copped a flat front on his KTM 525EXC, so that chewed up more time getting repaired.

Eventually Tony got a signal on his cell phone and managed to call Tom, who told him that Mark was at the truck with me ... so they could all keep going knowing Mark was OK.

By the time they all emerged out to the I-15 to meet us, it was lunchtime and we were running way late for the lunch stop at Sandy Valley, which was still a good 60 miles or more away. 

With my knee and ankle fast swelling up to the size of balloons, I was out and loaded my bike on the trailer, and as it turns out the boys did the same in an effort to high-tail it via the road to the afternoon section leading into Las Vegas.

Alas, the dirt bike gods were against us and a freak sleet storm, traffic and fading light combined to bring the ride to a very premature end -- doh!

That night, while the rest of our crew joined the massive throng of finishers at the post-ride banquet award downstairs at the Orleans Hotel Casino in Vegas, I was confined to bed-rest upstairs in my room with my knee and ankle wrapped in ice packs and chewing on some Vicodin pills (that stuff is good!).

It wasn't quite the finish I had hoped for in my first taste of the LA B 2 V, but hey, there's always next year!

-- Clubby,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Hi Dr. Phil,
I have some comments and questions relating to my most recent bike purchase. I hadn't planned to get myself a DR-Z400 since the guys I ride with have DR650s but it was such a bargain I couldn't pass it up. Anyway, my first job was to replace the 14T front sprocket with a 15T one to reduce the revs on the highway. Whilst this has made a bit of difference I was wondering if the bike could handle two less teeth on the back sprocket? We don't do any seriously steep stuff so I'm thinking the taller gearing shouldn't cause any major problems. Next job was to get a decent sized fuel tank and the 17L Safari tank was just the ticket. It actually holds 20L from empty so that gives the bike a great range. Here comes my next question, what difference the fuel type? I've run the bike on both standard unleaded and 95+ octane and can't say that I've noticed any difference. Am I missing something or just not riding hard enough to pick a difference? When I got the bike it had been de-restricted and I found the exhaust note a bit loud for my old ears. So I put some muffler packing in the back half of the stock muffler and it has made a bit of difference but I think it's still a bit on the noisy side. I was thinking about one of the Ballards “quiet” end pipes. I'm assuming they work by restricting the gas flow? If so will I need to re-work the carby to suit? We are planning to do the Flinders Ranges in autumn next year so I've fitted a B&B rack to the back which looks very neat. You guys have recommended Motzo Tractionator tyres for the ranges but none of my local dealers stock them. Can you recommend anything else that would handle the trip? Finally I've also had to change the battery. After only 15 months life it no longer holds a charge. What's going on, are they too fragile for offroad work, pity if that's the case. I've had the bike for six months now and only had one minor get off. The trip to the doctor cost me more than the repair to the bike! Other than that having a great time. Guess that's it for now, thanks for a great mag.
-- Dave Westmoreland, via

Thanks for your email, Dave. Yes, your bike will easily handle two less teeth on the rear sprocket, though just confirm you like the modified gearing prior to doing a big multi-day ride with it. Don’t cheap-out with your choice of fuel quality! Run 98 whenever you can, when it’s not available use 95 or 92 but switch back to 98 afterwards. Most tech gurus agree BP Ultimate 98 octane is better than the rest. You may not be able to notice the difference between 98 and 92 or 91 but you will after you’re more used to your bike, and besides, your engine WILL notice it even if you don’t.  Contact Motoz Australia direct on 02 9905 5155, mention you’ve contacted us and see what they can offer about getting tyres to you direct or through one of your dealers. If you go the quiet end pipe in the muffler, just ask Ballard's when you buy it, as they will know what jetting specs are recommended. Unfortunately we’ve had many letters about dodgy batteries in DR-Zs, we even had a dead battery on a new bike that was delivered to us for testing! As far as we know, Suzuki will replace batteries for free if the bike is still under warranty. Certainly the DR-Z battery is older technology compared to today’s modern sealed-cell batteries used on most late-model 450cc enduro machines. A replacement battery is all well and good, but that won’t help a rider when they are on the trail without a kick-starter and with a flat or dead battery!! I don’t believe the battery is too fragile, perhaps we’re looking at a quality-control issue at the battery production plant. Enjoy your ride!
-- Dr Phil,

Monday, November 23, 2009



After making a mighty effort to get a top-shelf Aussie team to the famed Score Tecate Baja 1000 desert race in Mexico last weekend, Team Australia KTM riders Ben Grabham and Brad Williscroft were outed while running in a stunning fourth place outright -- and it was caused by a busted wiring connection! Here's the report from KTM off-roasd team boss, Wonka:

“We needed a bigger stator than the stock KTM 530 XCW stator to power the large lights required for the late night riding, but ours purchased through Ricky Stator in the USA failed when the solder broke on the wiring, stopping the bike at the 242 mile mark - ending our Baja ride with major disappointment,” said Williscroft.


“From the moment we arrived in Baja everything was running really well.  We had great team support, and got in 1200 miles of pre running.  Our confidence was high, and we had a good game plan in place for chase vehicle positioning, and which sections myself and Grabbo would ride.


“Our strategy was for Grabbo to start the race.  He drew 12th position from a hat for the start, and unfortunately had to deal with a lot of riders dust.  The race got underway at 6:30am, and the air was very still with no wind, so it wasn’t until around the 70 mile mark before he could get clear air, and actually start riding hard. 


“The first rider change was at the 100 mile mark, by the time Grabbo got to me the race leader had a 25 minute lead, an obvious advantage was the lack of dust they had on route.  Grabbo handed the bike to me in eighth  place - he had already made up four positions.


“My stage was to get the KTM 530 XCW over a pretty big mountain face.  It was called The Summit and it had an elevation of 3500 feet above sea level. The ride up was the rockiest section I have ever encountered in all my years of racing.   The backside of the mountain face was completely different it levelled out, and wove through old creek beds, fast flowing rocky roads, across a dry lake bed which was ten miles wide, and through big open sandy plains. 


“By the next change over at 210 miles I had worked my way into fifth position, and pipped off three riders along the way.  Next up Ben took off for the 180 mile San Felipe loop which is notorious for big whoops, but when we were pre running it felt like they were nowhere near as big as the whoops at Alice Springs during the Finke Desert Race, so Grabbo was quietly confident he could dominate in this section.


“Grabbo got off to a flying start, and passed a racer early to move us into fourth position, but not long after he passed that racer the bike stopped at the 242 mark.


“By the time the chase vehicles and I got the radio message of Ben’s location it took us three hours to get to him, because he was on the race course with no access road.  We got to him with one hour left of daylight, and made a conscious decision not to risk ourselves any injury by trying to fix a problem that we had not clearly identified just to finish the race.  It’s a dangerous and risky race in terms of the ever changing terrain, so we loaded the bike on the truck and ended our race there.


“When we pulled the bike down to determine the problem, our disappointment intensified when we found  it wasn’t mechanical, but rather the solder had broke on the wiring of the stator purchased through Ricky Stator in the USA.  We needed a larger stator to the standard one on the KTM 530 XCW to support the larger lights required for night riding, but this one recommended let us down.


“Both Grabbo and I are really disappointed because we honestly felt we could have secured a podium.  It was a huge effort to get over to Baja, and we want to give special thanks to our major sponsors and supporters including Brian Finn from Force Accessories, KTM USA, Steg Pegz, Chill Dynamics and Mitcham Contracting.


“Our support crew in America are also worthy of a big thanks especially Warren Lovelace from   We learnt a lot about Baja from Warren and his crew. 


“We know we’re going to be asked a lot  if we will come back next year to give Baja another go, but that is undecided it will be determined by how much support we can get because it takes a massive team effort to enter Baja, and it cannot be done on a tight budget.”

Sunday, November 22, 2009



Hi Guys: Apparently your magazine showed an article recently promoting a product made by IB Engineering I think it was.  The product is a secondary adjustable sidestand for the right-hand side of you bike which allowed you to raise either the front or rear tryre off the ground so you could remove it for repair when you are out bush. I am having trouble finding a contact for the company that makes them.  I was hoping you could help me?

-- Dale Richter, via

No worries, Dale, here's the scoop: contact Ian at IB Bike Lifts on (02) 4955 9269 or check out the web site and get yourself one of their handy little stands.



Enduro Illustrated 2009 Just Released!

Enduro illustrated, the glossy, action packed, high quality, photo annual is back. Bringing together stunning images from each and every round of the 2009 World Enduro Championship, the second edition of this spectacular publication is a must for all enduro fans.

Available now from the revamped website, for 2009 leading off-road motorcycle photographer Jonty Edmunds has gone the extra mile to ensure 116 heavyweight pages of exciting, compelling and inspiring images. Enduro illustrated 2009 again features detailed editorial reviews, comments and interviews (written in English), covering all aspects of the thrilling eight-round series. Enduro illustrated 2009 will be the definitive WEC season review annual.

Once again designed to excite, inform and interest enduro fans both old and new, Enduro illustrated 2009 captures the passion and commitment of those who competed in this year’s WEC. In addition it features coverage of the 84th ISDE from Portugal. The magazine’s content and design reflect the dynamic, exciting and professional nature of the World Enduro Championship and bring together photography, graphic design and written words gracefully, honestly and stylishly.

Enduro illustrated 2009 is a visual celebration of the ’09 WEC series. Each 116-page issue features a Matt laminate printed cover on 350-gram paper. All 112 full-colour internal pages are printed on 130-gram paper. It’s big, it’s packed with amazing photography, and it’s a magazine you’ll want to keep forever.

Enduro illustrated 2009 is available globally now, via a dedicated website – Costing just €9.50 plus packaging and postage, Enduro illustrated 2009 represents fantastic value for money.

Highlights of Enduro illustrated 2009:

The Gallery: Expanded and improved for 2009 no fewer than 38 pages will feature a diverse selection of photographs depicting action, emotion and the unexpected

We Three Kings: Mika Ahola, Johnny Aubert and Ivan Cervantes are this year’s three senior WEC title winners. Each of them explains what it took to beat the rest in order to become the best

Best of ’09: Naming the best of the best this image lead feature explains who and what got it right during the thrilling 2009 World Enduro Championship season.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009



We're flat-out right now gearing up for the Sydney Motorcycle Show at Homebush, which kicks off at 10am tomorrow. 

The Show is shaping up to be cracker, with a full raft of exhibitors and some wicked new two-wheeled weapons to check out.

If you're looking for a trick new road-rocket to park alongside your dirt churner in the garage, then make a bee-line to the Paul Feeney Group’s MV Agusta display, which is right near the Husqvarna stand, but of course.


Because there’s one oh-so-sweet MV Agusta F4 up for sale this weekend, and it’s one of just 100 that have been produced by the legendary Italian brand.

Here's the Press Release about the bike from the PFG -- make sure you're sitting down when you read the price -- and we'll see you there at the Show! 

Be sure to drop in to the TRAIL ZONE stand and say g'day sign up for your chance to Choose Your Ride and win your choice of a new Husqvarna TE450 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 300 EXC or Suzuki DR-Z400E or Yamaha WR450F -- Clubby.

Press Release:

MV Agusta F4 CC: World's Most Expensive Production Motorcycle On-Sale at Sydney Motorcycle Show This Weekend!

The F4 CC is named after the President of MV Agusta, Italy, Claudio Castiglioni and boasts an exclusive retail price of $185,000 (AUD).

The F4 CC features an up-spec engine to 1078cc, 200hp, rated to 315km/h and an abundance of technical upgrades. There is a select build number of 100 units only worldwide. 1 for Claudio Castiglioni, 99 for the world.

The F4 CC also comes with a luxurious F4 CC Trussadi leather jacket and Girard-Perregaux watch which is individually numbered as the motorcycles production number.

Australian MV Agusta importer, the Paul Feeney Group secured one last production F4 CC machine and the bike will be available for sale this weekend at the Sydney Motorcycle Show.

In true Motorcycle Art form, MV Agusta is recognised as the world's most premium motorcycle brand which stems back to the glory days (1950's/60's/70's) with the marque winning 18 premier class riders Championships.




AUSTRIAN manufacturer KTM chose the annual EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy, last week to unveil the latest weapon in its formidable off-road arsenal. 

Dubbed the 350 SX-F Factory Racing, the all-new motocross bike is slated to go into production and be ‘ready to race’ in 2010.

Developed in conjunction with MX GP legend Stefan Everts, who is now KTM’s global MX race team boss, the new 350 slots between KTM’s current 250 and 450cc thumpers and is clearly aimed at shaking up the exisiting capacity classes in MX GP racing. 

Boasting an all-new, high-output, fuel-injected four-stroke motor, another of the most obvious changes in the bike’s spec is the adoption of a linkage rear suspension system, in place of KTM’s traditional PDS rear end.

The new 350SX-F is set to be raced in the 2010 AMA MX Nationals by young gun Mike Alessi, with the factory claiming the new capacity offers the best of both worlds: near-450cc power in a lighter near-250cc chassis and handling package. 

From where we stand, we just can’t wait for the ensuing KTM 350 EXC variant, which would have to make a sensational giant-killing machine in trail and enduro conditions – bring it on! 

-- Clubby,