Tuesday, March 30, 2010



About 260 dirt bike racers and hundreds of supporters and fans will descend on Portland (near Lithgow, NSW) starting this weekend to get ready for next Thursday’s kick-off of the 32nd annual Yamaha Australian 4-Day Enduro (A4DE).

Australia’s fastest off-road racers will spend early next week doing last minute preparations to their bikes, signing on and scrutineering for the race, to be held at Portland (NSW) from April 8th to 11th.

Yamaha A4DE Event Coordinator, Lyn Braico, said the prestigious Yamaha A4DE was an Australian championship race that attracted some of the world’s fastest riders.

“The Yamaha A4DE consists of four days of grueling trail and about seven to eight special test phases a day, equaling a total of about 30 hours and more than 1000kms on the machine. Riders must also complete a final motocross on day four,” she said.

“The A4DE is the second largest of its kind on the globe and contributes more than $1.5 million to the Australian economy annually.

“This year, spectators and fans will be in for a real treat when Australia’s best racers, including Bathurst’s Ben Grabham (pictured), try to topple last year’s A4DE Outright winner, Jarrod Bewley of the Motorex KTM Team from Hawkesbury, Sydney.

“Ballard’s Wellard Yamaha will also have a hot favourite in the running, with five-time world Champion, Stefan Merriman, ready to take an A4DE win.”

In the 2010 Yamaha A4DE riders of all skill levels - from Clubman to Pro - from every Australian state (including Tasmania) and New Zealand will be vying for class and Outright honours.

Dozens of riders from the Central West and surrounds will also be competing, including reigning Championship Veteran’s winner, Stuart Bennett (from Orange), Gary Dukes from Lithgow and rising E1 Class star, Ben Burrell(Yamaha), from Parkes.

There is also a state-versus-state element to the event, with the top riders from each state competing on Junior and Senior Trophy Teams.

New South Wales will have Bewley, Merriman, Toby Price and several other top riders fighting in its corner.

Queensland will also have some big talent on its side, with multi-Australian Off-Road Champion, AJ Roberts (from Bribie Island) and four-time Australian Enduro Champion ‘King’ Kirk Hutton from Kobble Creek (Pine Rivers Shire).

Victoria will again have a strong presence, including Blake Hore (from Officer), Peter Boyle (from Stony Creek, Gippsland) and Jehi Willis (from Koo Wee Rup).

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

Spectators are welcome. More info will be available from the event’s staging area located at the Portland Showground, corner of Lime and Laurie St’s, Portland, NSW.

More info can be found at the event’s official website:

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.?


Sunday, March 28, 2010



Hey guys, just thought I would send you an email to say thanks for such a great mag -- I am putting my subscription in the post on Monday. Now, me and my mates had a weekend of riding last week at a state forest near us and came across a bloke on an '82 Honda XL500. And let me tell ya, Ned Kelly is still alive and riding this beast -- check out the high-tech foot pegs! He had no gear, just an open-face black helmet, AC/DC shirt and boy, he could he ride! My mates and I have not laughed so hard, so cheak out the three pics I have attached.
-- Grant, Armidale, NSW, via www.trailzone.com.au

Now there's a legend bloke if ever we saw one, Grant. You just gotta love the guy's style. Reminds of a time years ago when I went on a ride out the back of the Blue Mountains on an organised trail ride with Glenn Hoffmann, back when he was riding KTMs, which was a long, long time ago. One of the guys that turned up for the ride was on an ancient old Yamaha XT250 with a Monoshock rear end with triangulated swingarm where the shock was up under the tank, and the bike had a sheepskin seat cover and he ran a denim shirt, jeans and work boots. But bugger me, the guy could ride the wheels of that ol' clunker and he pulled monos and powersldies everywhere, howling round all of us on the outside of the turns and generally just winding it on! I still crack a smile when I think of that bloke. Good times!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Thursday, March 25, 2010


The wraps have come off the latest development of KTM's Freeride electric dirt bike.

Currently on-show at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Freeride is the latest update of the first prototype KTM electric dirt bike that was revealed in 2008.

Here's the news on KTM's dirt bike of the future:

KTM showed the first prototype of a “zero emission” motorcycle in October 2008, a project that was the result of the company’s cooperation with the Vienna Development Institute “Arsenal Research”. Now, 18 months later, the sports motorcycle manufacturer from Mattighofen in Austria is right on target for the release of the first series-ready KTM electric sports motorcycle. Under the title “Freeride” KTM will present two near-series prototypes at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show, which in one year’s time will transfer the sporting spirit of the brand that is always “Ready to Race” into a series model fit for the 21st century.

With its first zero emission motorcycle, the world’s leading producer of offroad motorcycles has developed an electrically driven sports motorcycle that proves that riding fun and environmental sustainability need not be in conflict with one another. The cornerstone of this development is the clear commitment to offroad motorcycle sports and the obvious intention to go on the offensive by further expanding the strongest part of the company’s business activities with a unique product that, as yet, does not exist in this format. This revolutionary development embodies completely new perspectives: Freeride also stands for the end of motorcycles fleeing the city and the accepted return of sporting motorcycle events in urban areas.


Frame: Lightweight Delta Box frame with forged aluminium components. Self supporting tail in monocoque design.

Suspension: Up-side-down fork and shock absorber with variable setting. Progressive damping system.

Tires: 21” Trial Enduro tires

Brake system: Hydraulic brake system with hand operation for the front and rear wheel. Radial brake system with recuperation support through brake energy.

Engine case: Combined drive casing in light metal design and all inclusive system integration.

Drive motor: Permanent energized synchronous motor in shrunk-on-disc construction.

Engine management: Modular high performance power module with integrated system and “Drive by Wire” security management.

Transmission: Direct drive without clutch with gear transmission and chain.

Traction battery: Plug in battery in li-ion (lithium-ion) technology.


Motor effective horsepower 7.4 (10) / 6000 [kW (hp) / Umin-1]

Motor peak performance 22 (30) / 6000 [kW (hp) / Umin-1]

Motor torque 43 / 500 [Nm / Umin-1]

Maximum motor speed 6600 [Umin-1]

Maximum battery voltage 300 V

Maximum energy content 2.5 kWh

Speed 70 Km/h (43.5 mph)

Overall multiplication factor (primary / secondary) 10.5 (2.4 / 4.5)

Charging time 1.5 h

Total vehicle weight Inc. removable battery 90 kg (198.4 lbs)

When will the first KTM electro-motorcycle be available for sale? KTM will begin with the transition of this project into the pre-series phase in the summer of 2010. A comprehensive test program will be carried out at the same time. According to current planning, the delivery of the first “Freeride” offroad series production model will follow in late spring of 2011 for Europe.
What will the KTM “Freeride” motorcycle cost? The price has not yet been finalized; however, the aim is to stay under € 10,000 and to settle on a price comparable to a conventional, high-quality, sport Enduro.
Will there be other variants or models? The topic "electro-driven" certainly offers more areas of application than classic offroad sport. In the first phase, it will only involve the Enduro because here KTM wants to gather experience and push the sport. Following the enduro, there are numerous possible applications and scope for variants.
Is the KTM Freeride homologated for street riding? In Europe, the machine will be homologated for use on the open road.
How long will the battery last under normal operation? In principle it must be said that in the area of e-motors reach is largely dependant on the profile of the user. The range is significantly less with a motocross professional at the handlebars than with a hobby enduro rider. The development goal is to be equitable with the requirements in the area of Enduro. In other words, with mixed offroad riding, approximately one hour should be possible.
How long does it take to recharge the battery? The battery can be used at 100% performance after 90 minutes on the charger. It is possible to recharge the battery while still installed in the bike, but it can also be simply and quickly removed and replaced with another.
How many times is it possible to recharge the battery? The final specification of the battery has not been determined. The one that is presently being tested allows approximately 500 recharges, which is the equivalent of the normal life cycle of an Enduro motorcycle. Generally, it must be said that the development of batteries in this sector is still in the first stage and significant advances in development are expected in the coming years.
Does the “Freeride” mark the end of the classic Enduro with a combustion motor? Absolutely not. From KTM’s point of view the new drive technology represents a big chance to open up a third stream of application in the area of motorcycles. Highly developed four-stroke motors will continue to be used in the future, just as with two-stroke motors. Above all, motorcycles with an electro-motor will contribute to bringing the sport into the urban areas and at the same time speak to an entirely new target group.

The crew at Club Y, the national Yamaha owners group, have asked the crew at TRAIL ZONE to help map out a couple of trail rides in the Blue Mountains west near Sydney over the next couple of weeks.

Being the dirt hungry rev heads that we are, we couldn't help but get involved, so here's your chance to get out and have a ride with us ... thanks to Club Y and Yamaha.

The first ride is set down for Good Friday, April 2, and will take place from Oberon in the Blue Mountains. It's a 200km day ride and is suitable for trail, enduro and adventure bikes alike.

The second ride is on Saturday, May 8, and will cover a loop from Zig Zag Railway across the mountains to Portland and back again. This one is for trail and enduro bikes only (dragging a fully loaded adventure bike through these tracks would be impossible!) and will be dominated by large sections of single-track -- too good!

Both rides include lunch ... and all brands of bikes are welcome.

For more details and entries, check out the attached flyer and visit the www.cluby.com.au web site and/or email cheryl@cluby.com.au and we will see you there!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Check out this news from Aussie off-road racing legend Shane Watts, who is back in action after his serious back injury last year, and back to his winning ways in the Can-Am GNCC series in the USA -- where he won the Morning industry race at the latest round of the series last weekend.

More to the point, check out the whacky-looking but obviously effective dB Snorkel Wattsy ran on his KTM, which obviously keeps the exhaust note down but performance up:

"Former World Enduro and US GNCC Pro Champion Shane Watts scored a sensational overall victory, riding his KTM 200XCW in the hotly contested morning race at Round 3 of the 2010 GNCC series, held in perfect conditions near Morganton, NC on March 21.

"Watts had conducted one of his hugely popular DirtWise Riding schools in New Jersey on the two days previous to the race, thus he spent most of Saturday night driving the 10 hours back home, with the race then a further one hour drive from there. The lack of sleep was not going to deny him the victory though.

"After taking the checkers Watts enthusiastically said, "What a great ride out there today. Conditions were perfect and I rode strong but well within my comfort zone. Literally I had such a smooth ride out there thanks to the killer suspension settings that Stillwell Performance provided me. Combined with the Carbon Raptor Factory fork tube coatings I got such a plush ride over the usual nasty bumps found at a GNCC race."

"Today was my first time using the "db snorkel", which is a significant noise reducing component that mounts onto the end of my FMF Qstealth silencer. The db snorkel (
www.thedbsnorkel.com) was awesome in performance, really helping to keep the exhaust noise to a complete minimum, yet it didn't affect the performance of the engine at all. It was magnificent as evidenced by the fact that I was only beaten off the start and to the first corner by a CR500!!!

"By far I had the quietest bike out there today. Land closure through noise is a huge issue for dirtbike riders, so I want to make a statement with this result and show leadership to all offroad enthusiasts that it is truly possible to have great engine performance but have a hugely decreased noise impact on the rest of society. I want to have somewhere to ride my KTM for many years to come so that's why I'll continue to use the "db snorkel" at all times in the future."

-- Shane Watts -- www.shanewatts.com

Monday, March 22, 2010


Aussie rider Josh Strang is absolutely ripping it up in the prestigious Can-Am GNCC Series in the USA this year. He's just peeled off his third straight win in the series and now sits atop the leaderboard in the championship chase.

His latest win was at the FMF Steele Creek GNCC, where a record crowd turned out to watch nearly 1500 competitors go at it in a driving rainstorm in Morganton, North Carolina, where Strang proved he can win in all conditions -- having won the opening round in Florida in the sand, round two of the series in the Georgia clay, and then round three's rain and mud.

The conditions at the Steele Creek campgrounds were perfect when the race got underway, but a steady rain moved into the area just as the flag dropped to start the three-hour race. From there, conditions deteriorated quickly as the rain got harder, and in fact, the race had to be shortened after a gnarly hill at the eight-mile mark became so muddy nearing the three-hour mark that nearly 40 riders were stranded on it, forcing organisers to pull the plug and revert the scoring to the previous lap.

But the going was good when Strang grabbed a rare holeshot to start the race, pocketing the $250 Motorcycle-USA.com Holeshot Award in the process. Meanwhile, KTM young gun Cory Buttrick quickly found his way to Strang's rear fender and the two riders proceeded to pull away with Am-Pro Yamaha's Paul Whibley, Buttrick's FMF/KTM teammate Nate Kanney and GEICO/JG Racing/Monster Kawasaki's Jimmy Jarrett in pursuit.

At the two-hour mark, the Strang-Buttrick battle had intensified as the two pulled nearly a minute gap over Kanney, Whibley and Mullins, who were locked in their own separate battle over third. However, XC2 rider Kailub Russell was starting to make waves of his own, and on the third lap he turned the fastest lap of the race, and by the end of the lap he had moved into third place overall. Russell would turn the fastest lap again on lap four, but could still not catch the two leaders, Strang and Buttrick.

On lap six, one of the muddy hills had become so bad that riders were stuck from top to bottom and when Strang arrived there was no place to go.

"When we got to the hill there were riders all over it," said Strang. "And there were people telling me that we weren't going to make it. So I decided if I stopped then Cory would stop."

At that point, the organisers decided it would not be possible to finish the race in the time allowed and riders were sent back to the pits and the scoring was reverted to the fifth lap.

Officially, Strang led the event from start to finish and took the win by some 11 seconds over Buttrick, with Mullins, Whibley and Kanney rounding out the top five.

"It got pretty slippery out there and I had to ride cautious, and Cory was keeping me honest the entire way," said Strang. "It's great to win the first three races. They've all been so different, with the sand, the clay and the mud. But I've worked hard and it is paying off. I'm having a blast right now and I think that's been the difference."
Buttrick was thrilled to finish second, after a disappointing showing at the first two rounds.

"I just tried to stick with Strang all day," said Buttrick. "There were a couple of times I felt a little faster, but then I decided to play it cool. On a day like today, with the conditions, a second is as good as a win. I needed this in a bad way."

"When we got to the bottom of the hill I saw Josh shut his bike off and I was so mad, I wanted to keep on going," added the 18-year-old. "But then I heard [Trail Boss] Jeff Russell come over the radio saying, 'no one move.' So then I knew it was over."

Despite finishing third in the XC1 division, Mullins couldn't have started the race any worse than he did. Meanwhile Whibley finished the day in fourth, ahead of Kanney, with Husqvarna's Glenn Kearney rounding out the top six. Rookie sensation Chris Bach was seventh, with Am-Pro Yamaha's Barry Hawk Jr., Kenneth Gilbert (KAW) and Eric Bailey(KAW) finishing eighth, ninth and tenth.

In the morning race, Shane Watts and Rodney Smith went at it like old times in the Sportsman A class, with Watts getting the win on this 250 KTM, while Smith finished second on his fuel-injected RMX450Z.

"It's been a long time since I raced with Rodney and it kind of brings back memories of the glory days, fighting for the championship," said Watts. "It's a bit of a bummer that he ended up going down."

The Can-Am Grand National Cross Series will return in 3 weeks for the Pirelli Big Buck GNCC, held in Union, South Carolina, on April 10-11.

Main Photo: Josh Strang took his third win in a row at Steele Creek. Credit: Shan Moore

XC1 Results: 1. Josh Strang (Suz); 2. Cory Buttrick (KTM); 3. Charlie Mullins (Yam); 4. Paul Whibley (Yam); 5. Nate Kanney (KTM); 6. Glenn Kearney (Hsq); 7. Chris Bach (KTM); 8. Barry Hawk Jr. (Yam); 9. Kenneth Gilbert (Kaw); 10. Eric Bailey (Kaw)

XC1 Standings: 1. Josh Strang (90/3 wins); 2. Chris Bach (60); 3. Charlie Mullins (60); 4. Paul Whibley (54); 5. Cory Buttrick (53); 6. Glenn Kearney (39); 7. Homero Diaz (35); 8. Nate Kanney (34); 9. Kenneth Gilbert (34); 10. Eric Bailey (31)

Saturday, March 20, 2010



Picking up a new bike always feels awesome -- but when you get your new bike courtesy of winning TRAIL ZONE magazine's annual CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion, well, that must be extra-sweet.

South Aussie TRAIL ZONE subscriber Peter Bray was the big winner of our recently concluded 2009/'10 CHOOSE YOUR RIDE promotion and when we plucked his lucky coupon out of the barrel, he was shocked and stoked to receive the big news -- he said he couldn't believe his luck!

Well, this morning it all became true, really true, as Big Pete and his partner Sarah and baby daughter Ella made the trip to Adelaide to collect his brand spanking new Kawasaki KLX450R from Evan Byles and the crew at SA Dirt Bikes, Kawasaki's number one SA dealership.

As soon as he got back home, Pete fired us the attached photo of he and Ella (how cute is she?!) receiving the KLX from Evan, and then added at the end of his message: "and I've already been riding the KLX for the past hour, it's awesome!"

Well done, Pete, and congratulations again.

And thanks to everyone who subscribed to TRAIL ZONE and thanks to all the industry heavy-hitters at Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha who put up the dazzling array of five prize bikes to choose from ... look out for our next massive CHOOSE YOUR RIDE subscription promotion later in the year!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Tuesday, March 16, 2010



The opening two rounds of the 2010 Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) have proven that Chad’s Off-Road Setups has what it takes to build excellent suspension.

Staged last weekend, round one of the AORC was a 2.5-hour cross country event held in muddy conditions at Port Macquarie in NSW.

Riding on suspension tuned by Chad’s Off-Road Setups, Motorex KTM Off-Road Racing team riders Toby Price and Ben Grabham stormed away to finish first and second, with team-mate Jarrod Bewley not far behind in fourth.

The following day Price once again dominated round two, which was an enduro sprint. He was followed home by Bewley, whilst Daniel Milner from the Christensen’s Yamaha Team came third, also on suspension tuned by Chad’s Off-Road Setups.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the year -- we didn’t even adjust a clicker all weekend which proves our pre-season testing was right on the money,” explained Chad Talbot, chief engineer at Chad’s Off-Road Setups.

“I worked with Toby in 2009 and it was great to win the championship with him. And with the way he’s riding now and the calibre of his team -mates, not to mention young Daniel Milner flying the way he is, I’m sure we’ll do well in the championship again this year.”

After two rounds of the 2010 AORC, Motorex KTM Off-Road Team riders Price, Bewley and Grabham rule the top three positions in the championship.

Chad’s Off-Road Setups is now testing with Price, Grabham and Motorex KTM Off-Road team manager Brad Williscroft near Alice Springs for the 2010 Tattersall’s Finke Desert Race.

+ For more information contact Chad Talbot: (0403) 643 976

Monday, March 15, 2010


This is really sad news: Simon Buckley was tragically killed in an accident last weekend while riding in Argentina, as part of the Ride Right Round fundraising campaign for raising the awareness of men's health issues and specifically prostate cancer.

We met Simon a couple of years ago at the Sydney Motorcycle Show when he and Todd Barry were gearing up to set-off on their epic journey right the way round the world. The guys were keener than a case of mustard and were wide-eyed as they planned their mighty adventure.

Here's the sad announcement from Todd: our thoughts and sympathies go out to all Simon's family and friends ...

"To the supportive sponsorship team for the Ride Right Round, I regretfully and sadly write to you with some tragic news: Simon my co-rider on the Ride Right Round for Prostate Cancer was found on the side of the road in Argentina having died in an accident on his motorcycle on March 10. From reports the accident resulted from a tyre blow-out which flipped the bike. He was found by a passing family and last Friday his family were contacted by the Argentinean Authorities and they in turn have contacted myself. At the time I was in NZ planning to campaign there but have now flown back to Sydney to assist his family with the process of returning Simon to Australia.
"Reports from the Authorities and from our own local resource were that Simon died instantly and that there were no other vehicles involved, a tyre blow-out caused him to lose control which flipped his motorcycle. His family are in the process of arranging with travel insurance and the Argentinean Authorities to get him home and are naturally suffering greatly the loss of Simon.
"The support of our sponsors for this project has been greatly appreciated and it is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you this horrible news. In the last months of his journey he endured some challenging riding but he was enjoying himself to the fullest, something that possibly would not have happened without the support of the sponsorship team. Simon was doing what he loved and his passing brings great sadness to his family and friends but I am sure he was living his life to the max right up until that tragic moment.
"Please pass on to those that were involved with our project this sad news."
-- Todd Barry, www.riderightround.org

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The Yamaha supported Watagans and Bulahdelah Trail Bike Rally dates have been announced for 2010 and once again a lucky Watagans participant will come away with a new 2010 model WR250R Supertrail bike.

The Watagans Trail Bike Rally is Australia's premier two day rally and rated by ADB as a 'must do' ride. The popular event is scheduled to take place on 19 and 20 June 2010 in the picturesque NSW central coast state forest.

The Bulahdelah Rally is a one day event that takes place on Sunday 22 August 2010 and features a choice of two loops. Both events cater for riders of all skill levels with hard and easy sections to tackle.

Yamaha Motor Australia is giving away a 2010 model WR250R to one lucky Watagan rally goer plus there will be a huge amount of prizes and other giveaways on that weekend. With camping, Sunday breakfast and lunch and showbags all complimentary, the Yamaha Watagans Trail Bike Rally offers great value at just $125 for the weekend (early bird discount price).

Yamaha Watagans Trail Bike Rally features:

  • Loads of prizes and giveaways including one 2010 WR250R
  • Two day event
  • Only 1.5 hrs from Sydney CBD
  • Free camping on site
  • Free trade displays
  • Free breakfast and lunch Sunday
  • Early bird discount $125 until 30/4/10
  • Entry $145 until 28/5/10 or $165 on the day

Prepaid entries are only $125 for two days. All prepaids also receive a free showbag.

Yamaha Bulahdelah Trail Bike Rally features:

  • One day event
  • Twin loop
  • Two hours north of Sydney
  • Only $90 per rider

Please note:

Entrants must hold a current motorcycle licence permit and must ride a currently registered motorcycle for either event

Event organisers: Trailbikerallys PO Box 688 Cessnock NSW 2325 P: 0427 277 888 or 0438 773 240 E: rodcart@bigpond.com.au or trailbikerallys@bigpond.com.au Register soon at www.trailbikerallys.com.au