Monday, August 31, 2009



Having read Reeksie's 4 Day story on the WR250F, I would have to say the triple tubes and slime at 20psi would make the WR250F feel like a tank with a very heavy feel that caused all your suspension problems!

Its no wonder he just missed out on Gold by three-tenths of a second!

Adding that big heavy bashplate and extra heavy tubes at such high pressure is the best way to slow you down and ruin the handling!

You should have known .

-- Adam Troy,


Ah, there is always the sceptic!

The tubes plus slime wouldn’t have been any heavier than a mousse tube and as far as Whippy's little bashplate masterpiece goes, tell that to the whopping piece of granite that I snotted on Day 2! I’d still be picking out pieces of clutch plate even now if it wasn't for the bashplate!

I think AT forgets it’s a FOUR DAY enduro. 

Having the most powerful bike or the best handling bike counts for nothing when you’ve lost trail time or houred-out. Dependability and reliability are the key factors in finishing a Four Day.

-- Reeksy,



Sunday, August 30, 2009



Hi Clubby,
I just spent a family weekend with the Trail & Enduro club over here in the west (WA). The ride weekend was held at Camp Mornington south of Perth. They arrowed some trails ranging from really easy, to just mildly challenging for the novice rider and kids. It was a great chance for the dads to ride with the kiddies in a controlled enviroment, but not over-controlled. 
After a briefing about how the whole thing works we were let loose with the kids. All trails were one-direction and well set-out. A few hills, tight trails through the trees, some mud and a creek crossing thrown in made for some great riding. Around midday on day one the dads were taken for a more serious cornerman ride, and the trails were brilliant. While we were out on the cornerman ride, the kids were being supervised on a flying-fox set-up by the Camp Mornington PCYC.
There was the option of camping or dorm accommodation, and catering was supplied in the canteen, or cook your own meals.
It was a great opportunity for the young ones to meet other kids who ride, and forge some new friendships.
At night of course it was Bourbon around the campfire for us big kids.
The Trail and Enduro Club is making this an annual event. My son Jake and I will be there next year for sure.
See you there!
-- Gaz & Jake Whittle,

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Dirtwise Advanced Instructional DVD Volume #1

Our ol' mate Shane Watts has dropped a line to TRAIL ZONE HQ and in between taking care of his family and travelling the world staging his Dirtwise riding schools, he asked if we could get a plug in for his latest Advanced Instructional DVD Volume #1. So here's the blurb:

"Dirt Wise with Shane Watts Advanced Instructional DVD Volume #1 – Mud, Sand, and Rough Ground - In this sequel to the highly praised off road instructional Dirtwise DVD which covers the core situations encountered on the trail, World Champion Off Road Racer Shane Watts takes you through over one hour’s worth of advanced techniques for navigating the most serious of terrain: Mud, Sand and Rough Ground.   When you have completed Volume 1 of this Dirtwise with Shane Watts Advanced DVD Series, you’ll have a view of the trail through the mind and eyes of a pro. Wattsy will show you how to select the best lines and better analyze and consistently conquer the grueling sections of the trail so that you can ride safer, faster and conserve energy. As an added bonus, he’ll cover specific bike preparation and suspension tuning for this type of difficult terrain. Other DVDs to be released shortly in this Advanced Instructional series include; Volume 2:  Braking, Cornering, and Tight trails, Volume 3:  Logs, Rocks, Wheelies, and Water crossings, Volume 4:  Hills, Gullies and Off-Camber Trails. In this complete series, Shane won’t just show you what to do but he will help you to better understand why you’re doing it so when you’re out on the track you can easily apply these advanced principles to every type of technical terrain, obstacles and situations.  Visit for more information and to purchase your copy!"


Now, what you need to do is get onto this YouTube link and check out the teaser  for Wattsy’s new DVD:  


One view of that teaser clip is proof enough ol' mate Wattsy has lost none of his speed and style. Go son!

If I had as much riding talent as Wattsy has in just one of his big toes, I'd be a happy man.

-- Clubby,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009



TRAIL ZONE issue #25 is out: and get this, it’s a full week ahead of schedule – don’t you just love it when you pull the holeshot! 

That’s right, TRAIL ZONE issue #25 is now on-sale and in subscribers’ mailboxes nationwide, and just as you have come to know and love, it’s yet another issue packed with a feast of reading on trail, enduro and adventure bike riding. 

But while this new mag is filled with ride reports, event coverage, bike tests, technical tips, Project Bike set-ups, products reviews and a mouth-watering preview of a heap of new 2010 model dirt bikes, the big kicker with this issue is it sees the launch of our latest 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! 

Entry details for the CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion are featured on pages 44/45 of TRAIL ZONE issue #25 and on the web site. 

So check it out: TRAIL ZONE issue #25, on-sale now at newsagents nationwide ... or subscribe and you could CHOOSE YOUR RIDE and be added to the list of lucky TRAIL ZONE big winners. 

-- Clubby,


Yamaha Trail Desert Master 900 Special

Good Morning Guys at TRAIL ZONE,
Have just been reading issue #25 over the weekend. I have a gripe though - Is the TDM Desert Master Yamaha available? I rang Bike Biz @ Parramatta & spoke to a salesman and he thought I was mad! I told him to buy your mag and see it for himself? Have checked the web and there is a Desert Master (a standard TDM plus the parts) - except for the seat? What is the cost of a seat? So how much is the Desert Master TDM as tested buy you guys in issue #25? Keep up the good work - I loved all the stories on the KLR 650 / Wee-Strom 650s , but I think that the extra ponies of a TDM would suit my needs.
-- Barry Regan, via

Hi Barry,
The TDM Trail Desert Master was a development exercise by Yamaha Australia and when I featured the bike in the new issue of TRAIL ZONE I wasn't clear on if the bike was actually going to be available as a special-edition model. My apologies for any confusion, however I'm surprised your Yamaha dealer wasn't familiar with the bike build.
So your Yamaha dealer could supply/fit the parts for you except for the seat. I suspect that buying the bits and fitting them yourself would be cheaper and more fun if you have the tools to do the job.
The parts list and prices are as follows, and all these parts are Genuine Yamaha Accessories available from any Yamaha dealer or check out the web site for more details:
Rear luggage rack – $274.20
GYTR bar adaptors – $59.95
GYTR handguards – $67.25
Bar pad –  $24.15
Engine bars –  $302.08
Tall screen – $222.32
The custom seat was done by Emu Plains Upholstery (NSW) for $150.
If you have any further questions, please let me know.
-- Lance Turnley,
    for TRAIL ZONE Magazine

Monday, August 17, 2009


Suzuki DR-Z400E Flat Battery

Hi Dr Phil, 
I own a Suzuki DR-Z400E 2008 model. I haven’t had many chances to ride it of late (very unfortunate!) and found the battery was flat and when started the speedo was flickering on and off. I could not read anything. Lucky I bought it with the kickstart kit, which had to be used! After about a half-hour ride I switched it off and went to flick the ignition on and the battery was still dead. I have heard the DR-Zs and some other bikes’ batteries don't sit well for long periods. How do I overcome this problem in the future? And is this due to cold conditions in Winter? Any help will be much appreciated.
Nick Pallot, via

Hi Nick,
Thanks for your letter and we’’re sorry to hear about your battery dramas. We’ve heard of many similar examples just like yours; we even had a dud battery on one of our own TRAIL ZONE Project Bike Suzuki DR-Z400Es – just consider yourself lucky your bike has a kickstart!
What we can highly recommend is one of the new Smart chargers we a’re actually using on all our current long-term test bikes (check out TRAIL ZONE back issue #19 where we go into plenty more details on these essential chargers, call the TZ office on (02) 9905 ZONE to order a back issue). We’’re extremely happy with the Oxford 360T Maximiser Smart charger. You can even leave this unit on your bike 24/7 when not riding. Though all we do is whack it on the night before a ride. These units are available from the Australian distributor Ficeda Accessories, check out their website at then call them on (02) 9757 0060 to find out your nearest dealer.
Best of luck with it and enjoy the ride!
– Dr Phil,

Saturday, August 15, 2009


What is it about dirt bike riders and stickers?

Perhaps it's just that stickers are the answer to the eternal question: "How do I make my bike go fast and handle good?"

By slapping on some go-fast stickers, of course!

After selling out of our TRAIL ZONE magazine Tuf-Stuff stickers a while ago, we've finally had some new ones done by the boys at Ringmaster Images ( in Melbourne and  these little beauties promise to make your steed go faster and handle gooder!

These new TRAIL ZONE stickers come in a sheet 33cm wide by 25cm deep and each sheet includes a total of eight die-cut stickers for your bike's fork legs, front guard, swingarm and rear guard.

They're made from ultra-curve thick clear Tuf-Stuff vinyl using scratch-proof sub-surface printing. Sounds impressive, huh? They're the real deal in other words.

They're priced at $20 a sheet and Tania tells me we actually have a queue of hard core TRAIL ZONE readers waiting in line for these Tuf-Stuff stickers to head their way, now that we have finally had them made.

Check out the web site and look for the 'Stickers' link to order, or call the TRAIL ZONE office on (02) 9905 ZONE during business hours and you can place your order over the phone.

And then stick 'em up with pride!

-- Clubby

Friday, August 14, 2009



When the message flashed up from the eBay auction, 'Congratulations, you are the winning bidder', I knew my world of dirt bike riding was all about to change.

Call me crazy, call me a fool, call me mad, call me what you will, but my dirt bike riding was about to leap into a time capsule, only this one was travelling backward, not forward, a whopping 26 years to a world of drum brakes, short suspension travel, air-cooled engines and no electric-start.

My new pride and joy was an original 1983 Yamaha XT600ZL Tenere - and truth be told I'd never, ever been so proud of a 'new' bike. 

The Tenere is the original Japanese fat-tanked adventure bike, and having grown tired of the long wait for the new Tenere to arrive in Australia, I thought, 'bugger it, I'll get an old Tenere to tide me over!'

So I did. 

That was a couple of months ago and now the ol' girl has been through it's first big adventure with me in the saddle. We've just returned from an outback lap of NSW and South Australia from Broken Hill across to the Flinders Ranges and back again.

And you know what? The mighty red and white adventure machine never skipped a beat. Woo hoo!

The ol' air-hammer proved to be a diesel locomotive: just twist on 2,900 revs, snick 'er into top gear and she would purr away all day. Arkaroola? I'll be there!

I was stoked with how she handled it all, because buying a 26-year-old bike off eBay is a real case of playing Lotto: there's no guarantee your numbers will come up.

But this ol' banger did just fine and right now she's sitting downstairs in the workshop, covered in a light sprinkling of outback bulldust and looking longingly at me waiting for her next expedition.

Don't worry, babe, won't be long now!

This classic beauty is just too fine a machine to leave sitting idle for too long ... which is why I just have to share the full story with the world and christen her a TRAIL ZONE Project Bike. 

The first editorial on the '83 Tenere is in the latest issue of TRAIL ZONE (#25) that has just gone on-sale, while the full story on the ride is coming up in issue #26, which is about eight weeks away from now.

If you count yourself as a reject from the early '80s adventure bike days (just like me), then don't miss these mags ... and then I'll see you at the meetings ... "Hi there, my name is Clubby, and I'm a Tenere Tragic."

-- Clubby,