Saturday, February 27, 2010



There's no denying we get a mountain of mail from readers about Suzuki DR650SEs.

In the past couple of years whenever we ran stories from Ron 'Iron Man' Grant about mods and set-ups he made to his well-fettled, mile-munching DR, we'd be inundated with enquiries for more details and information.

Remember those templates Ron made up for lowering the DR's pegs and bracing the rear sub-frame? We must have emailed them out to every DR650SE owner in Australia -- the number of requests was massive! Now Ron's footpeg mount templates are copied all over the world and flogged on eBay -- for real.

So it's no surprise that when Suzuki Australia recently offered us a new DR650SE as a TRAIL ZONE Project Bike, well, our adventure bike editor Lance 'Russ' Turnley from jumped on it with the same voracious appetite he shows whenever there's a double-decaf-mocha-soy-latte and slice of toasted banana bread thrust his way -- he wolfs it down!

Russ has just taken delivery of the DR and his first test-ride on the stocker appears in TRAIL ZONE issue #29 that we've just started working on. The Project Bike mods to the DR will then be featured in the following three issues, so if you're one of the legions of DR disciples, make sure you get all our upcoming issues.

In the meantime, we recently had a Trail Mail email from TRAIL ZONE reader Adam Usher, who has just got done with his own Suzuki DR650E build-up.

As you will see when you read the story that follows, Adam has hit his DR with all guns blazing and made some major suspension and detail updates to the bike to transform its off-road prowess into just the kind of machine he wants. Take it away, Adam ...

"Hi guys: here's a quick story of the build on my Suzuki DR650.

"I bought the DR new in Oct 2008 and quickly got tired of the suspension, or lack there-of. I loved the ability to cruise effortlessly on the black-top to get to the trail head, but tyre selection and poor suspension were spoiling the experience. I had the gold valves and springs done, but I still wasn’t happy. Every improvement led to me riding harder. I considered trading up to a 450, but the price difference with mine as a trade-in was about $7,000. That buys a lot of parts.

"I talked to people about it and kept coming back to the same question, 'why can’t I put USD forks on this?' I searched web forums and came up almost empty-handed. Then I saw some brand new forks for sale on ebay in the USA. At $400 they seemed too good to be true. So taking a gamble, I sent an offer and won. The ease in which the whole purchase happened only encouraged me further.

"So now, after buying all brand new 2007 model RM-Z450 parts, I have USD Showas, rear shock (2 of), front wheel complete (2 of), CNC billet top triple-clamp with steering lock, jet kit, pod filter, and IMS fuel tank (20 litre). I’ve spent less than $2,000. About the same price in total as a DR-Z400 on the road, with the basic mods.

"The transformation is amazing. It rides so much better on the dirt there is no real comparison. I can slam it over jumps and whoops, then rip through wash-outs and ruts without it so much as twitching off line. The stability and confidence the suspension has inspired has convinced me I need to get back my race license. It’s also far better on the tar, it tracks straighter, holds a line through corners better, and brakes and turns with far more stability than before.

"You can move so much faster on trails now, without having to really work hard, that collision is now my greatest fear. It’s very easy to get carried away and find yourself entering a turn way too hot. With the new handling it’s hardly a challenge to wash some speed and change line. The old suspension would have had the bike wallowing and bottoming out in the same circumstances, and at much lower speeds. I find that something as simple as drifting into a turn under brakes is so much easier. The back end stays stable and predictable.

"Anyone who has owned a DR will know the familiar feeling of 'stall and fall' in the bush. The front is so under-damped that you hit a small obstacle and the front bottoms out and stops the bike, the engine stalls as the bars twist to full-lock, and you face-plant with a hot DR on top of you. Not any more.

"The only real issues that have emerged from the modifications are that it is a lot taller, and it has as much wheel travel as ground clearance. Therefore the B&B bashplate is looking a little sad.

"The parts were all a straight bolt-on affair, except the rear shock. The upper mount had to be relocated 20mm back and 10mm up from it’s original position. I did this with a bracket that inserts into the original mount, and then is welded to secure it. The linkage at the bottom is narrower on the RM-Z so I cut down the DR linkage width, and machined out the bearing hole from 24 to 26mm and ordered a new RM-Z linkage bearing. The shock bracket mods have held up fine, despite lots of jumping, so I’m undecided as to additional bracing. I’ll just keep an eye on it and see how it goes over time."

-- Adam Usher, via

Thursday, February 25, 2010



It's been a mighty good day here at TZ HQ: this morning we conducted the draw for our 2009/10 TRAIL ZONE CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion.

And without further ado, the lucky winner is PETER BRAY from South Australia.

Peter is 26 years of age and a current CRF450X owner and racer. He is a truck driver, and he and his partner Sarah have a six month old daughter, Ella.

Clearly shocked and excited at receiving the news -- "I couldn't believe it when I got your message, Clubby, have I really won?!" Peter blurted when he called us back -- after much discussion and deliberation, Peter finally settled on the KAWASAKI KLX450R as his choice of prize from the five bike line-up on offer in the CHOOSE YOUR RIDE promotion staged in TRAIL ZONE issues 25, 26 and 27 and on the web site.

Congratulations Peter and congratulations Kawasaki Australia for being selected by this year's CHOOSE YOUR RIDE winner!

The five bikes on offer in the CHOOSE YOUR RIDE promotion included the Husqvarna TE450, Kawasaki KLX450R, KTM 300 EXC, Suzuki DR-Z400E and Yamaha WR450F -- and the choice of bike taken by the winner Peter was entirely his.

A year ago our big winner John Jurkovic chose the Suzuki, while the year before that Glenn Bogaard chose the KTM, so it's clear we've got a real mix of brand favourites amongst our TRAIL ZONE subscribers.

To the thousands of subscribers who signed up to get TRAIL ZONE delivered to their door each issue and get a chance to choose their ride, thanks for your support -- we only wish everyone could be a winner.

And to all our supporters at Paul Feeney Group, Kawasaki Australia, KTM Australia, Suzuki Australia and Yamaha Motor Australia, thanks once again for your support of TRAIL ZONE -- we look forward to staging our CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion in 2010/11 with the support of even more local distributors.

Ride on!

-- Clubby,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010



Yamaha Motor Europe has just pulled the wraps off the all-new 2010 XT1200Z Super Tenere adventure bike.

The bike was unveiled on Yamaha's European web site minutes ago ... which promptly sent the site into overload and down she went -- leaving salivating multi-cylinder adventure bike riders drooling over their computer screens with precious little to see and constantly hammering the 'Refresh' button!

But here's a first pic of the new beast, and some basic specs.

The twin-cylinder Super Tenere is very clearly aimed at the BMW R 1200 GS market segment, and judging by the new bike's spec sheet, we'd have to say the new Yamaha will find many a welcome home when it is formally released for public sale later this year.

For more details on the Super Tenere, check out the web site and hit the 'Super Tenere' link, or get down to the World Superbike Championship kick-off at Phillip Island in Victoria this weekend, where it is expected the new bike will be on display at the AMCN Expo tent on the Yamaha stand.

+ XT1200Z Super Ténéré

Shaft drive inline 2-cyl engine - 270-degree crank
Mass kept low and central for agile handling
Intelligent Unified Brake System and ABS
YCC-T with 3-stage traction control plus Yamaha D-mode
First edition adventure pack
Tough spoked, tubeless aluminium rims
Adjustable front and rear suspension
Adjustable seat height

Engine type liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, Forward-inclined parallel 2-cylinder, 4-valve, fuel injected, twin spark engine
Displacement 1199 cc
Bore x stroke 98 x 79.5 mm
Compression ratio 11.0 : 1
Maximum power -
Maximum torque -
Lubrication system Dry sump, oil tank in crankcase
Fuel System Fuel injection
Clutch type Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system Twin spark
Starter system Electric
Transmission system Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission Shaft
Fuel tank capacity 23 L
Oil tank capacity 4.2 L

Chassis: Steel tube backbone
Front suspension system Telescopic forks
Front travel 190 mm
Rear suspension system Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Rear travel 190 mm
Caster angle 28°
Trail 125mm
Front brake Hydraulic Twin Ø 310 mm wave discs
Rear brake Hydraulic Single Ø 282 mm wave disc
Front tyre 110/80R19M/C 59V
Rear tyre 150/70R17M/C 69V


Length 2,250 mm
Width 980 mm
Height Min:1,410 mm / Max:1,440 mm
Seat height Adjustable 845-870 mm
Wheel base 1,540 mm
Minimum ground clearance 205 mm
Wet weight 261 kg

Monday, February 22, 2010



Our ol' mate Magnus Eriksson from Outback Adventure Treks has put the word out that a limited number of spots are up for grabs to race this year's Australasian Safari in WA on BMW G 450 X Rallye race bikes his team is preparing.

Here's the news from Magnus, so check out the web site for more details and to contact Magnus and sign up for the ride of a lifetime:

"Outback Adventure Treks will be providing Australasian Safari support packages again in2010. We will be using BMW 450 bikes this year instead of the 650s.

"We will be offering three packages for 2010:
  1. The complete package. Which is like a fly-in fly-out deal. We supply bike, accom, meals, service, fuel etc. Everything apart from the entry fee and air fares. Price: $19,540.
  2. A ride and buy package. Which is a complete package but you own the bike, BMW 450 Rallye, on the first day of the event. Price: $26,500
  3. Transport package. Where we carry your gear to each overnight stop and provide the midday refuel. We will carry a swag and a box (max size 0.25 cubic meters ie. 100cm x 80cm x 30cm (max 40kg) as well as two wheels and all your tyres.) You also have the use of a Quikshade so you stay dry and out of the sun. We also cart your bike back to Perth at the end of the event. Price: $1500. We will also assist with your bike freight and pick you up at the airport.

    "If you want any more info please see the web site and be in touch.
-- Magnus,
235 days to Safari"


It was another mighty Australian Motorcycle Expo at the Gold Coast this past weekend, although it has to be said crowd numbers were definitely down on the opening day, Friday.

Blame it on the recession or blame it on the Gold Coast weather that kept people outdoors, but you could have carved up the Expo halls with a KTM 690 Duke liquorice-layer and you would have only skittled a few show-goers, such were the slim numbers.

Thankfully on Saturday the numbers fired up much closer to those expected, and Sunday wasn't too bad either, although all-up most exhibitors were reporting trade about 20 percent down on the debut Expo at the Gold Coast a year ago.

In our corner of the world we still racked up almost 300 new subscribers to TRAIL ZONE over the weekend, all of them eager to get in with a last-minute entry in our massive CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion which is drawn at 10am (Sydney time) this Friday. One lucky subscriber will be drawn from the barrel to take their choice of a brand new Husqvarna TE450 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 300 EXC or Suzuki DR-Z400E or Yamaha WR450F.

Last year's big winner, John Jurkovic, dropped in at the Expo to renew his subscription. He scooped the pool last year and chose the Suzuki DR-Z400E as his prize.

What bike will this year's winner choose? Good question! But the bottom line is the prize is entirely the winner's choice, which is what makes our Choose Your Ride promotion so popular with subscribers.

To all the TRAIL ZONE fans who dropped in at the Gold Coast Expo and said g'day to me or Tania or Dr Phil or Russ, and/or signed up for a subscription, thanks for stopping by and good luck it's your name that comes out of the barrel on Friday morning and you get to Choose Your Ride!

-- Clubby,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



In TRAIL ZONE issue 28 in the article ‘Riding with factory Phil’, the question was asked about the re-introduction of the Super Tenere. My question is, what about a ‘Junior’ Tenere??? The Super Tenere was developed as a big-bore weapon for the Dakar. Now that the Dakar has a 450cc limit, are manufacturers going to release a bike such as the Tenere, but in a smaller capacity to compete in these type of events? (There’s actually quite a few Rallye events around when you start looking.) You could add pages of pros and cons, but I just wanted to throw the idea out there.
-- Mark McConnell, via

Thanks for your email, Mark. Yeah, we've got the new Tenere now, and the next new Super Tenere is all set to be revealed internationally on February 24, so it's a fair question to ask about a 'Junior' Tenere. No doubt the thrust behind the 'controversial' change to 450cc machinery in the Dakar Rally has been aimed to generate more manufacturer support, and with the growing popularity of the Dakar and the success of the change in venue to South America and the massive publicity the event draws, manufacturers would obviously be keen to exploit the commercial success of 450cc rallye type machines by building production versions for general sale. Witness the Gas Gas 450 Desert, which is precisely that kind of machine. As you ponder, you would imagine Yamaha would be one brand enthusiastic to pursue this concept, given their rich history of Dakar competition. So, too, would be KTM, with this year's Dakar winner Cyril Despres already on record as saying he will soon begin work on testing and developing KTM's new 450cc rallye race bike for next year's Dakar -- despite all the hoopla at the time when the 450cc-for-Dakar changes were first announced and KTM pulled its support of the event. The 450cc rallye bikes will come, but as to whether they will remain factory specials or if they will be built in solid numbers by the factories for worldwide sale, only market demand would dictate that. Certainly the lower-volume specialist European brands can readily adapt their existing 450s by building rallye versions. To get back to your point, a Junior Tenere is an interesting concept: merge the existing WR450F platform with a new-generation WR450R-style machine (EFI, even more durable valve-train, increased engine oil capacity, wider gear ratios, beefed up frame etc) and then add a larger tank, fairing and space for navigation equipment etc and you have a machine that would readily find a home amongst rallye replica riders wanting to live the Dakar dream. But what kind of numbers would it sell? That's the $64,000 question. And only Yamaha's marketing and sales departments can answer that question in advance before the product planning dept and engineers even start mulling over their drawing boards. The current WR450F is a massive seller in Australia, but would a WR450R Junior Tenere sell as well? Would it sell well enough to justify its existence? Guess we won't know until they try! Stay tuned.
-- Clubby,

Husqvarna Reports a Record Retail Performance for January 2010

At a time when motorcycle sales are taking a hit, the Aussie Husqvarna importer, the Paul Feeney Group, is celebrating a big start to the new year with a major growth spurt in Husky sales compared to a year ago. Here's the press release from the PFG, so check it out:

The Paul Feeney Group is pleased to announce an all time record retail sales month for Husqvarna in January 2010. Husqvarna achieved a growth of 80.6% compared with the same period in 2009 and is highlighted by the fact that the Husqvarna brand was the only manufacturer in the Australian motorcycle market to post positive gains on last year's result in the off road segment.

The latest ERG (Equipment Research Group) figures showed a decline in total market motorcycle retail sales in January 2010 and more specifically a decline of 28.3% across all manufacturers for the Australian off road marketplace.

The Husqvarna brands outstanding performance is driven by a variety of factors including a strong and committed dealer network promoting the new 2010 model line-up, which are the highest quality and most competitively priced Husqvarna motorcycle range ever.

The upward trend looks set to continue for the Husqvarna brand with a new No Hassle No Haggle advertising campaign commencing in February 2010 highlighting the advantages of the Husqvarna product.

TE 250$11,495.00*CR 125$9,795.00*
TE 310$11,595.00*TC 250$10,995.00*
TE 450$11,995.00*TC 450$11,495.00*
TE 510$12,395.00*
WR 250$10,495.00*
WR 300$10,995.00*

Another key factor is Husqvarna's all new Super compact 250cc four stroke powerplant fitted to the TE 250 Enduro and TC 250 Motocross models. With both bikes receiving high profile coverage in the Australian and global motorcycle press these models are set to capture a larger share of the 250cc market than ever before for the Husqvarna brand.

The combination of the above factors plus the addition of a competitive junior range of Husqvarna motorcycles set down for mid to late 2010 should see the Husqvarna brand continue to achieve significant market growth.

* MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) including GST but excludes dealer delivery charges, stamp duty, registration and CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance which may be additional and vary between, selling dealer/ States and Territories/end user purchaser information. Customers are advised to contact their nearest Husqvarna dealer for all pricing inquiries.

For additional information please see

Sunday, February 14, 2010



We're wide-open here at TRAIL ZONE HQ, getting ready for this weekend's Australian Motorcycle Expo at the Gold Coast.

We start the long trip up Highway 1 on Wednesday, then bump-in to the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre on Thursday.

Then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday the doors will be open and the crowds will be flocking in.

If you're in the area, make sure you drop in and say g'day to the TRAIL ZONE team at Stand #440 -- myself, Tania, Dr Phil and Russ from ORE will all be there ... so we'll C U there!

Here's the latest Press Release for the Expo: sounds like she will be a cracker!

-- Clubby,


A 10,000sqm showroom stocked with the biggest bike brands will greet visitors as the doors to the Australian Motorcycle Expo Gold Coast open this Friday.

Showcasing a complete range of models from major manufacturers, the event provides an opportunity for the experienced or first-time rider to compare features and price with expert assistance readily available.

Many manufacturers will offer exclusive specials to show-goers, with a range of on-site finance options available.

Event Manager Mark Petersen said the Australian Motorcycle Expo Gold Coast looked set to kick-start a solid sales year for the two-wheel and personal watercraft (PWC) industry.

"Manufacturers have come prepared to offer the best prices on a wide range of motorcycles at the event," said Petersen.

"This is the biggest and most comprehensive one-stop shop for enthusiasts, providing the chance to compare models, grab a great deal and source finance on the spot.

"There will be over 500 new motorcycles, scooters, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) and PWCs on the floor, ensuring every rider, regardless of age or experience, has something to choose from."

Motorcycle brands exhibiting at this event include BMW Motorrad, BRP, Big Bear Choppers, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husaberg, Hyosung, Kawasaki, KTM, Kymco, Mojo Motorcycles, OZ Trikes, Piaggio, Sherco, Suzuki, TGB, Triumph, Vespa, Victory Motorcycles and Yamaha Motor. PWC brands will include Honda, SeaDoo, Kawasaki and Yamaha.

The Big Brand Clearance Sale (located on level 2) will make a popular return, with unbeatable bargains on road and off-road riding gear from Fox, Alpinestars, Shift, KBC, RST, O'Neal, RJays, Smith, Kryptonite and many more available. Show-only specials include road jackets from $140 and helmets from $70.

"The Big Brand Clearance Sale complements a huge range of exhibitor specials on products and accessories including safety gear, apparel, rider communications, hobby models, magazine subscriptions, training and experience days and much more," continued Petersen.

"Our visitors told us they want value for money and our exhibitors have certainly delivered this year."

A complete list of exhibitors is available online at, along with event attractions and official timetable.

The Australian Motorcycle Expo Gold Coast, held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, runs from Friday February 19 to Sunday February 21.


Children and Seniors: $13

Adults: $18

Family: $46 (two adults and two children)

Opening Hours:

Fri February 19: 10am-8pm

Sat February 20: 9am-7pm

Sun February 21: 9am-5pm



There's less than two weeks to go in our annual CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscriber promotion in TRAIL ZONE, so to say we're being flooded with entries is an understatement.

It's raining subscription coupons here at TZ HQ, which is a perfect match for the pouring rain outside!

We're heading for the annual Australian Motorcycle Expo at the Gold Coast this weekend, which will be our last big push for the CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscriber promotion, because the contest closes last mail on Thursday week, February 25, and then at 10am the next morning, Friday, February 26, we'll be pulling one lucky winner out of the barrel to WIN BIG!

And win big they will, because the winner of our CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscriber promotion gets to do just that -- they get to take their choice of a brand spanking new Husky TE450 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 300 EXC or Suzuki DR-Z400E or Yamaha WR450F.

Last year's big winner John Jurkovic chose the Suzuki, and the year before that Glenn Bogaard chose the KTM.

Which bike will this year's winner choose? Who knows? But it is entirely their choice!

To get your entry in to CHOOSE YOUR RIDE, simply subscribe to TRAIL ZONE by clicking on the 'Subscribe to TZ' link on the home page.

Or if you can get along to the Australian Motorcycle Expo at the Gold Coast this weekend, you can sign-up there and say g'day to all the TRAIL ZONE crew ... see you there!

-- Clubby,


G'day Clubby: I have an '83 Tenere and have been reading the articles about yours -- they've been really good. My front springs are RS so I sent an email to Teknik for some info. No repy -- so I thought that they may only deal with bike shops, so I went to the shop in Parkes that I deal with and he tried. They wanted the spring diameter and length. The guy explained that the springs are still in the bike and that they had supplied the ones for your bike and could we get the same. No go -- they said that they have no info on a bike that old. So my question is, do you know what went into yours, as in a part number or something? Any info would be good.
-- Ken Gamble, via

G'day Ken: I just had Tania dig out the receipt from Teknik for the fork springs that went into my 83 Tenere. It says: "Item # 19-080-44 Teknik Fork Spring: Retail price $189." Hope this helps you out. Keep me posted. Haven't got a spare '83 Tenere shock kicking around, have you? Okay mate, gotta go polish the old beast ... then go ride it! I suggest you go do the same.
-- Clubby,

Thursday, February 11, 2010



The team at Fair Dinkum Bike Tours Cairns are on the look-out for crew members for the fast-approaching 2010 season of tours from Cairns to Cape York and back again.

Here's the job description from Fair Dinkum trail boss Dave Williams:

"Fair Dinkum Bike Tours, a premier off-road adventure company located in Cairns, is looking for qualified lead and sweep riders for their 2010 season. Applicants need to be mature-age, have good people skills, competent bike skills, sound mechanical knowledge, current motorcycle license and above all a sense of adventure. If you think you have the required skills and want to see what Cape York is all about, please call David Williams on 0412 950192 or email"

If this sounds like the ride of a lifetime and just the change of pace you're looking for, then give Dave a call ... but just be sure to pack the croc repellant!



Attention all trail, enduro and adventure bike riders: TRAIL ZONE issue #28 has just hit the newsagent’s shelves nationwide and once again we’re a full week ahead of schedule!

Of course TRAIL ZONE issue #28 is jam-packed with an absolute feast of awesome reading, highlights of which include test rides of the 2010-model Yamaha WR450F, Husky TE310 and KTM 450 EXC thumpers, a pictorial review of the recent Dakar Rally in Chile and Argentina, plus travel stories on rides in California/Nevada in the USA, the rip-roaring Raft & Ride tour with Coffs Harbour Detour, a NSW north coast adventure bike highland fling and the amazing mile-munching antics of the annual Longest Day ride to Cameron Corner. Add in a stack of Dr Phil’s tech stories, product reviews and all the regular columns and features, and you’ve got another cracker issue.

The release of TRAIL ZONE issue #28 also marks the final countdown to 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 just 14 days time – on February 26 – 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, 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 and to subscribe, click on the ‘Subscribe’ link on the web site.

So check it out: TRAIL ZONE issue #28, 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,

Monday, February 8, 2010


Riders Rev Up for Portland Yamaha A4DE

Dirt bike racers from across Australasia and some international champions are chomping at the bit for the 2010 Yamaha Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE) being held at Portland, NSW, on April 8th to 11th.

Entries are now open for the iconic event and can be found at Early bird (discounted) entries close February 25th.

The Yamaha A4DE is the second largest enduro motorcycle race in the southern hemisphere and attracts some of the fastest and most accomplished enduro riders in the world.

Three hundred and fifty riders will this year line up at Portland (near Lithgow) to battle for national class titles and the Yamaha A4DE Outright crown.

Included in the list of confirmed entrants are five-time world champion, Yamaha’s Stefan Merriman, Australian Off-Road Champion, Toby Price (Motorex KTM) and his teammate and last year’s A4DE Outright winner, Jarrod Bewley.

Several international riders have also shown interest in competing this year. One who has already entered is eight-time American Enduro Champion and Husaberg rider, Mike Lafferty.

Plenty of local enduro racers will also contest the event - Lithgow’s Gary Dukes (of the Sutto’s Husaberg Racing Team) is one who can’t wait for the race.

“I was able to place third at the Orange A4DE last year in the Veteran’s Class, so hopefully I’ll go a few better this year,” Dukes said.

“It’s gonna be a great event and living so close will make it even better. Living only an hour away from last year’s A4DE I thought I was lucky, but this year I’m only 10-minutes away from parc ferme - it will be great to sleep in your own bed and not live out of a suit case.

“I’m really excited about Oyster Bay hosting the event. They give 100 per cent for these type of races and they’ve got some great properties to host special tests.

“We’ve been getting a lot of rain of late, so there should be plenty of moisture in the ground. I know quite a few riders who will have a go of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot more riders turn up for the four day this year.”

Ballard's Wellard Yamaha’s Stefan Merriman (pictured), who has not been able to compete in an A4DE since 2007, is equally as excited about the Portland Yamaha A4DE.

“I’m really looking forward to it because I missed out last year with injury, “ Merriman said. “I enjoy the enduro events and with [Rick Braico] organising the track, I’m sure it will be a good one. Competition-wise it’s gonna be a very tough four-day and season. Tougher than last year. The younger guys are getting faster... I’ve been riding with Ben Burrell lately and he’s very fast. A lot of the top guys have also changed bikes, and there’s a lot of new motivation for everyone... it’s gonna be a good race.”

The 32nd annual A4DE will be held at Portland (near Lithgow, NSW) on April 8th to 11th, 2010.

Entries will be capped at 350 riders, supplementary regulations are now available from Early bird entries ($525 per rider or $500 with own transponder) will close February 25th. Entries will close March 25th, the non-early-bird entry fee is $590 per rider or $565 with own transponder.

The event boasts the following classes: E1 (100cc to 150cc 2-Stroke & 150cc to 250cc 4-stroke), E2 (175cc to 250cc 2-stroke & 275cc to 450cc 4-Stroke), E3 (290cc to 500cc 2-stroke & 475cc to 650cc 4-stroke), Veteran's (Over 35-years), Master's (Over 45-years) and Women All Powers.

There is also a state-versus-state, club-versus-club and manufacturer-versus-manufacturer element to the race, with senior, junior and club teams from each state and trade teams going head to head.

The Oyster Bay Motorcycle Club is hosting the event, with assistance from the Central Tablelands Motorcycle Club. The OBMCC is made up of more than 300 enduro-passionate members and is arguably one of the most successful and longest-running enduro clubs in NSW. The Central Tablelands Motorcycle Club host the well-known Sunny Corner Rally, a yearly event which attracts nearly 800 riders.


A4DE info and news can be found at the official website: