Saturday, July 31, 2010



Speedbrain BMW Rally Team enters the Dakar with a new race bike based on the BMW G 450 X

Team Speedbrain enters the Dakar 2011 as a powerful newcomer. Riders for the German-based squad are 450cc specialist David Fretigne, of France, and Dutchman Frans Verhoeven. Portugal's Paulo Goncalves and Pedro Bianchi Prata are completing the BMW outfit racing with Speedbrain technology. Backed by the BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory team, Speedbrain, has recently developed a distinctive rally bike based on the BMW G 450 X. Multi-time Dakar stage winner Verhoeven has been instrumental in the process as the development rider.
David Fretigne enters the Dakar 2011 with the ambition of winning the legendary event.: "I signed with Speedbrain with the clear goal of winning the Dakar. The decision didn't come easy after 14 years of riding for a different brand. I see the co-operation withS
peedbrain as a major opportunity. I am totally confident in the team, its structure and competence. The way the BMW handles and the potential of the package is very impressive. Together we're bringing a lot of experience to the table. We both know a thing or two about bike development, set-up, fine-tuning and equipment in general. I've waited a long time for this moment. My ambition for many years has been to win the Dakar, and I've used all my abilities to work towards that goal. I'm highly convinced that it will now become reality."
In 2009, David Fretigne was the first rider to reach a Dakar podium riding a 450cc machine.
The Speedbrain rally race bike takes advantage of the concept of the BMW G 450 X, resulting in an exceptionally light and nimble motorcycle, yet very stable at higher speeds. The small silhouette of the machine ensures minimal air resistance, while the powerful and reliable BMW engine is the ideal powerplant -- together forming a highly efficient combination. The 30-liter fuel tank is located at the center of the bike right under the seat, providing a handy and well-balanced set-up.
Team manager Wolfgang Fischer adds: "The experience and know-how gathered through the collaboration with BMW Motorrad Motorsport has given S
peedbrain the perfect foundation to enter the Dakar with a modified BMW G 450 X. The bike allows for an excellent weight distribution and provides an incredibly nimble feeling. The position of the tank made room for a new approach and the 450cc displacement rule fits nicely into the framework. The co-operation between Speedbrain and Frans Verhoeven, who is a remarkable research and development rider, certainly comes to fruition. We are very happy to welcome David Fretigne in our team, who already underlined his speed on 450cc bikes against much stronger engines of his competitiors. It is also a pleasure to support fast Paulo Goncalves and Pedro Bianchi Prata. Paulo recently won his first podium at the Vodafone Rally in Morocco, both Portuguese riders are real team players. To make this happen has been a personal dream of mine. We're in front of a new challenge, and we're ready for it."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



Feed the man meat, they always say. So if you're throwing a slab of beef on the B-B-Q this weekend, then you just have to make sure you're packing the latest must-have 'tool' from KTM in your kitchen utensils kit.

Check it out: the KTM branding iron!

That's right, all you Austrian meat-eaters can mark your pound of flesh with the official KTM logo.

It comes complete with a wooden handle so you don't burn your pinkies, and it even has a handy hook to hang it from the side of your hot plate.

It's priced at $35 and available from KTM dealers everywhere -- but we see the crew at have got it on special at just $29.95, so get online and get yours now and brand your T-bones with the KTM logo!

-- Clubby,


The Dual-Sport Motorcycle Riders Association is a pro-active bunch of dirt bike riding blokes ever there was one.

We catch up with the national DSMRA boys every year at the Kowen Forest Ride in Canberra, which is one of their biggest events of the year -- but they have branches in every state and turn on a multitude of trail, enduro and adventure bike rides. Check out the annual DSMRA calendar and it is jam packed!

Right now the DSMRA is on a massive membership drive and they are laying on a ripper incentive to join up or renew your DSMRA membership.

If you join the DSMRA or renew your membership before December 31, 2010, you will go in a draw to win a brand spanking new Husqvarna TE510 -- how good is that!

That's right, not only will you get in on all the action of the DSMRA rides, but you could also score a ground-pounding new TE510!

For more details and to join up, get online and check out the web site ... and good luck!

-- Clubby,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



During a recent TRAIL ZONE wrecking crew session in the sticks to test-ride the 2010 Gas Gas EC250 and EC450 4T thumpers, Dr Phil’s every move was shadowed by DVD maker extra-ordinaire, Lance 'Russ' Turnley.

So copy this web site address into your Internet browser (or simply click on the link):

and you can get a close-up look at Dr Phil enjoying another hard day at the office aboard a pair of very impressive thoroughbred European enduro weapons from the Gas Gas factory.

And make sure you listen for the pine tree branches slapping against Dr Phil's Zacspeed body armour ... sounds even more cool than the Beethoven symphony music during the introductions to this clip!

Monday, July 26, 2010



Husqvarna has always strived to innovate and bring new ideas to the world of off-road motorcycles. Now, as always, the motorcycle brand with the longest tradition in the world in the off-road sector is fully committed to the ongoing research and development of the perfect off road bike: easy to use, ready to race and easy to maintain. The design of the new 449/511 range outstrips that of other off road models and stands out immediately for its looks, exclusive lay-out and cutting-edge technology.

DESIGN & LAYOUT: The line is completely new: slim and refined. The single piece side panel runs from where traditionally the fuel tank would be, all the way back to the rear mudguard, allowing the rider free and unhindered movement. There is no chance of snagging boots or pants on the edges of the panels with this design. Besides the aesthetic and ergonomic aspects, the new design also makes maintenance easier as the air filter, rear shock and throttle body can all be accessed with ease. The long seat, which runs from the rear mudguard to the steering head, offers completely free longitudinal movement. Aesthetics, technology and serviceability too: the graphics on the side panels are applied using the 'In Mould Design' technology for increased resistance to wear and the two-litre fuel pump housing is transparent so that the remaining fuel level can be easily monitored.

MASSES & CENTRE OF GRAVITY: The idea behind the TE 449/511 range is 'mass centralisation' - to keep the weight of the bike concentrated as close as possible to the centre of gravity and to design a chassis which adapts perfectly to the demands of competitive Enduro racing. The crux of this concept is the union of the rear wheel swing arm pivot point and the gearbox output shaft sprocket. This solution, which Husqvarna calls CTS (Coaxial Traction System), eliminates the variation in the length of the chain during rear suspension movement, minimising the effect of the final drive on the bikes handling. This solution allows a longer swing arm whilst still retaining a wheelbase similar to our competitors, ensuing greater traction, which for Enduro means tangible advantages. The chassis layout allows the modern DOHC engine to be mounted closer to the centre of the bike, whilst tilting the cylinder
further forward allows a long and straight air intake path at the same time as keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible. This has also meant that the throttle body and fuel injector nozzle can be mounted in the ideal position. Again, continuing the theme of mass centralisation, the two part fuel tank design provides a total of 8.5 litres capacity in a low mounted two litre pump housing and a 6.5 litre under seat main tank. The under seat fuel tank layout permits the airbox to be located in a protected and fluidodynamically favourable position above the engine with the actual air intake being at the height of the steering column, in a raised and sheltered position to minimise the intake of dust or water. The air filter box has an elongated intake manifold and a newly designed air intake to provide greater breathability for the sponge filter, which is easily removed thanks to a hinge system in the airbox. The battery is located adjacent to the under seat main fuel tank to again centralise the mass.

REFERENCE PERFORMANCES: The TE 449/511 bikes are equipped with a cutting-edge 4 valve dual camshaft engine which has been significantly improved thanks to the experience gained by Husqvarna in its many years of off-road racing. Fuel delivery is managed by an electronic injection system with a Keihin 46mm diameter, double flap throttle body which provides progressive and predictable throttle response. All components are top of the range - the bike even comes with two exhaust silencers: the Euro 3 compliant silencer fitted as standard and a steel Akrapovic Racing exhaust, developed in collaboration with the Slovenian company to maximise the potential of the engine, whilst minimising the weight. The gear ratios for both the Enduro and MX versions have been completely changed: the Enduro now uses a six-speed transmission and the ratios have been modified on the basis of the experience gained
during Salminen and Tarkkala's races. The ignition timing has been optimised with maps specific to the two different capacities and exhaust systems. The clutch is controlled hydraulically, offering a smoother and more progressive action with greater consistency also under stress. The motorcycle has a high energy electronic ignition and, thanks to the powerful battery and fuel injection system, a supplementary kick start is not necessary.

HANDLING & PERFORMANCE: Naturally, Husqvarna's long experience in Enduro racing has played an important part in the development of these new motorcycles. The challenges posed by the conception of geometry and by the general concept of the motorcycle itself were linked to the tough demands of riding in the most severe and extreme conditions. The result is a surprisingly effortless and smooth ride along with agility and outstanding steering stability. The perimeter design chassis is made of high strength steel tubing. The geometry of the rear suspension is revolutionary, with a new linkage mounted on top of the alloy swing arm. This solution offers many advantages: it increases the ground clearance, improves general reliability thanks to the reduced exposure of the components and makes maintenance easier. But there's more: dynamically, by exploiting the advantages of the double cradle frame made in high strength steel tubing, the roughness of the ground is absorbed more gradually, attenuating the stresses on the rider. The advantages when jumping are also remarkable with the recoil effect of the rear wheel being significantly reduced and the smoothness of the suspension is particularly perceivable on rougher and more difficult ground.

COAXIAL TRACTION SYSTEM: A real refinement in the field of chassis design and exclusive to the TE/TC 449/511 range is the CTS, the Coaxial Traction System. This system represents an evolution compared to the one adopted on the BMW G 450 X. The solution, which originally used a single swing arm pivot spindle, now has two independent semi spindles which reduce the stress on the swing arm and facilitate the replacement of the gearbox sprocket. The advantages of the CTS system compared to the traditional systems are huge. During the suspension movement along the whole stroke, the chain is not subject to any change in length. The tension of the chain remains constant regardless of the swing arm position, while the chain and sprockets benefit from reduced wear. An important positive effect on the riding characteristics is the marked reduction of the impact of alternating the load on the transmission. This aspect has been studied by a spin-off company of the University of Padova called Dynamotion which has proved that the CTS improves traction in the various stages of acceleration and consequently during also the vertical movements of the suspension on rough terrain. The result is better traction during acceleration and surer, more confident gear changes. More in general, the values obtained by adopting the CTS have a much more uniform trend in all conditions, leading to improved ridability and stability of the motorcycle.

TOP OF THE RANGE COMPONENTS: The new TEs are equipped with the most advanced components in the off-road sector. For the front brake, there is a Brembo system with floating caliper and 260mm wave rotor, while the rear brake consists of a floating calliper operating on a 240mm rotor. The suspension is entrusted in full to the specialists of Kayaba, with 48mm forks, adjustable for compression and rebound damping and a Kayaba rear shock absorber designed specifically for Enduro use with settings optimised in collaboration with the racing team. The tapered diameter handlebars, original equipment hand protectors, compact and efficient instrumentation, shockproof plastic engine/chassis guards, rear mudguard with incorporated racing number plate holder and led rear light complete the fittings. TE 449/511 are also the sole standard enduro bike on the market equipped with full Akrapovic exhaust system. A range of Husqvarna Special Parts will be available, developed by Husqvarna to provide the best combination of lightness, durability and performance to allow Husqvarna fans to personalise their bikes and offer them the ingredients for racing success.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



Very sad news this week with the passing of John Hall after a battle with cancer -- Hally was one of the true gentlemen of the Australian motorcycle industry and a bloke quite rightly described as the founding father of the Four Day Enduro in Australia.

"I organised the first Four Day back in 1978, and about six or seven after that," Hally explained when interviewed by organisers of the 30th A4DE in Victoria in 2008.

"It was a real struggle to get it together back then. I remember mentioning my idea to people and a lot of them saying, 'no, there's no way that could work', but I believed in it... and it's really nice to see how big it has become."

Hally said he came up with the concept for the Four Day after the first Australian team was sent to an International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in 1977.

"The first team from Australia went to the Six-Day in [Czechoslovakia] and no one finished – there was a 100 percent DNF rate," Hall recalled.

"The guys that went were the best off-road riders in Australia. They had the ability and the talent, but they didn't have any experience.

"Also, there was talk that Australia should run a Six-Day, but there was no way we could without experienced people. So for those two reasons, I decided we needed to have a Four-Day."

About 100 riders competed in the first Four Day and the rider who took home the first win was none other than the legendary Shane Watts' father, Norm Watts.

After 14 A4DEs, Hally was employed to organise Australia's first ISDE. He recalls that the event, which was held at Cessnock in 1992, went off "without a hitch".

"I had Italian officials asking me how a country that had never run an ISDE ran one without any problems, they were really amazed. I said it was because of our A4DEs," Hally explained.

Now, I know how well that first Cessnock ISDE went, as I worked closely with Hally and the crew from Motorcycling NSW who promoted the event. I worked with them in the build-up to the race assisting with media relations and the overwhelming memory I have is how proud Hally was of putting Australia and his home-town Cessnock on the global motorcycling map.

Hally was truly proud of overseeing a world-class event that in many ways confounded the pundits. For a first-up ISDE in Australia, it was a ripper of an event.

Having been a longtime manager of Australia’s ISDE teams and the longtime Australian distributor of TM motorcycles via the family business, Cross Country Action, Hally was instrumental in launching many Aussie riders careers on the global dirt biking stage.

His influence touched many riders, from the top-shelf pros to the clubmen riders who gave their all to wear the Aussie green and gold jersey in an Aussie club team in the ISDE alike.

John Hall R.I.P.

Note: John Hall's funeral will be held this Saturday at 11am at St Johns Church, Cessnock.

Friday, July 16, 2010



Thanks for the recent Yamalube prize pack I won: much appreciated! I just have a question re tyres as being new to adventure/off-road riding from roadies, I find the TKC rear on my Kato 690R Enduro is lasting about 1800km. What do you reckon about those Mefos in an aggressive off-road pattern? Is it worth trowelling tyres to get off-road grip, as the Kato does some big speeds to get to the bush -- sometimes 200km before the dirt roads happen. I mainly like the rough gravel roads due to starting out from roadies for 25 years but also like dirt/mud and water crossings. Currently the 690R Enduro is running a DNA airbox with mods plus a Barrett pipe, so it howls! Cheers for your advice.
-- Mike H via

Thanks for your email, Mike. The two toughest questions we get here at TZ all the time are: 1). Which bike should I buy? 2). What tyres should I run? So much of it comes down to individual preference. With regards to tyres, let me chuck in my 2c worth. You can choose whether you bank it or burn it! Right now I've been racking up the miles on our new Tenere Project Bike, arguably doing similar type riding to you, but maybe not with quite such hard-core conditions at the off-road end of the spectrum -- at least not on this bike. I've tried Kenda Trackmaster K760 knobbies (pictured) on it. They're inexpensive, ADR legal and they work in the dirt, being a full knobby pattern. My personal preference is I prefer to run a knobby tyre, to have as much grip as possible when the ground conditions turn crap. I got almost 3000km out of the Kenda rear, but the Tenere won't be working it as hard as your 690 would! Then I tried a set of Mefo Explorers, which have a much lower, rounded knob pattern and tread profile and were more comfortable and quieter on the street than the Kendas. I only ran them for 1500km on tar and hard-pack dry dirt only and the rear had barely started to wear. They look to definitely offer good mileage, but are a more street-oriented tyre. Maybe a good choice for riders who have commuter miles to do between big outback jaunts. I've just put on a set of Pirelli MT21 knobbies for our latest trip to Kroombit Tops in Queensland, and have so far put 1200km on these tyres across all types of terrain, wet and dry. I was happy enough with them, save for wet clay, but seriously, any tyre is going to struggle in wet clay underneath a 209kg-plus Tenere loaded with all the fruit. Judging by the amount of wear on the rear after 1200km, I'd say the MT21 will be good for no more than 3,000km either. Like I said, my personal preference is for full knobbies -- but that are road legal, check this as many are not, and could lead to problems if you crash and have to make an insurance claim. But running knobbies means they will wear out faster if you have to do road miles, but that's the price for grip in the dirt. I'm due for another set of tyres for my bike real soon, and am going to go with either the Kendas again or a set of Dunlop D606s, which Lance has fitted to our current Suzuki DR650 Project Bike and which have been doing a good job in the dirt and on the tar. I've also had reports from other riders (on DR-Z400s admittedly, so not the most tyre-shredding of beasts!) and they talk of getting 5-6,000km out of a 606 rear. I doubt the Tenere and certainly not your fire-breathing 690 would get that mileage, but they could be worth a try? A lot of it comes down to riding style and either being careful on the throttle and conserving tyre wear -- or riding your bike like the maker intended and paying for rubber along the way! I'd say option two would be the go on a 690 and the more traction you have in the dirt when you want to enjoy your bike at its best, the better a knobby you want. So keep your credit card handy and keep the rubber up to it!

-- Clubby,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



Hi everybody at TRAIL ZONE! Absolutely love the mag. I've been a subscriber I think since issue #2, and look forward to years and years more. Keep up the great work, it's truly appreciated! But I've got a question that I'm hoping someone there may have an answer to, or at least point me in the right direction. I'm 50 years old and ride an '04 KTM 250EXC. I've fitted a HT 351cc kit some years ago, along with their exhaust header system, and JD jets etc. The thing absolutely flies, and suits me right down to the ground. I've done the same mods to my best mate's bike, and we reckon we must be the inspiration for the KTM 350 SX-F! My mates and I get out as often as we can, which is always never enough. Bearing that in mind, I gotta say that my current boots are finally (well and truly) ready to be thrown out. Currently they're held together with zip-ties and masking tape. Having said that, brings me to my question: which boots are my next choice? You see, I'm a post-polio sufferer, having contracted the disease when I was just seven-years-old (back in the last days of the Australian polio epidemic). Although I recovered over the ensuing years, I was left with limited ankle movement and strength. This has become a predicament for me when choosing boots that work with my ankles. I've always been able to buy the Rossi full-leather boot -- do you remember the ones? They were full-leather, combat sole, five steel buckles and a little steel piece nailed across the toe. I know, they weren't the greatest high-tech boot, but they had the flexibility to allow my low-flexibility ankles to slide in. My ankles don't have very much extension -- up, down or side-to-side. Trying to get into the current boots on the market just seems extremely difficult -- they're too stiff. And with that stiffness comes an inability to manipulate the boot with my weak ankles. That's why I've held on to my old Rossi boots for so long, patching them up as the years move on. So I was wondering if you have any ideas?Which boots could you suggest that are very flexible at the ankle area, and are not too bulky so not to tire my lower legs and feet (residual weakness)? I don't believe Rossi still make the boot I've described. The web site only lists road bike boots. I'm only a recreational rider, nothing too serious, but still an absolute enthusiast! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
-- Scott, via

Thanks for your email, Scott. We know the Rossi boots only too well. We started out with them back in the day, too. Rossi still make work boots and road bike boots, and even though motocross boots are not shown on their web site, it would still be worth a phone call or email to them to ask if they have any suggestions. You never know, some old stocks might be stashed away somewhere? As for other options, have a scour around on eBay and look for the old Hi-Point motocross boots that were the early forerunners to today's modern motocross boots. They were a leather boot in the days before plastic impact panels and inserts became all the rage. Our mate in Los Angeles, Big Rich Gold still runs these boots today because he loves the movement and flexibility they offer, and he can still find them at shops in the US every now and then, so take a look at them. Other than that, what about specialist trials boots like the latest Alpinestars No-Stop boots pictured here? Trials boots are a lot more supple and less restrictive than full-on motocross boots and might do what you need? You'll have to hunt around the bigger bike shops and online stores to find them, but keep looking and keep asking. Good luck with the hunt and keep that 350 Kato purring!
-- Clubby,


Don't ya hate coppin' a filthy dose of cold and flu?

Yep, I sure do. I've been spitting up oysters for just over a week – and now the missus has copped it as well.

So TZ HQ has become a sea of cold and flu tablets, expectorant mixtures and nasal sprays ... yet none of the rotten things seem to work. We’re still hucking up our lungs every time we have to try and talk to someone on the phone -- so apologies to all the TZ subscribers and advertisers who've rung in over the past few days. Just be thankful you're not here where we can breathe on you.

Of course being crook does give you an excuse for backing off the main jet and trying to slow down and give the dreaded lurgy a chance to run its course.

So the other day I downed tools and decided to kick back and curl up with a few good books and chill.

Now, one man's definition of 'a few good books' is obviously different to another's.

Me, I grabbed my laptop and caught up on a stack of RacerX digital issues and followed that up with the latest hard copy issues of VMX (onya Ajay!) and Rapid Bikes (onya Jeff!).

After that I cracked open 'the bible' to study a few more chapters of the good book: my very dog-eared copy the 1983 Yamaha XT600ZL Tenere Owner's Manual ... what a read! Trust me, you won't be able to put it down until the very last chapter.

Then, in between reaching for another Chemist's Own cold and flu tablet and a box of tissues, I decided to take a look at the latest offering from Whitehorse Press that had just arrived in the TRAIL ZONE mail box.

Titled 'The Upper Half of the Motorcycle: on the unity of rider and machine', my curiosity was piqued from the moment I peeled open the package ... but 60 seconds later I felt like I'd been belted over the head by a Mitchell Library staffer for speaking out loud in the public reading room.

Fair dinkum, this book is heavy work. Too heavy for this flu ridden correspondent.

The work of German behavioural psychologist, Bernt Spiegel, the promo flyer for this weighty tomb decrees: "This book brings a unique perspective to the subject of motorcycling, drawing on related topics in the fields of anthropology, biology, physics, and numerous other disciplines to tease out the underpinnings of an accomplished motorcyclist's integration with his machine, a relationship that, when fully realised, approaches virtuosity."

Say what?

I'm sure it's all deep and meaningful, but I just can't see this one reaching top-seller status at the bookshop.

Pass me the Sudafed, would you?

-- Clubby,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



There's no doubt TRAIL ZONE readers are eagle-eyed: they can spot a typographical error from 50 paces!

Mike Tank from the NSW south coast has been a TRAIL ZONE reader from day one (on ya, son!) and today sent us this message -- thankfully this time the cock-up in question was not our doing:

"This bloke on eBay selling the XR claims a regular maintenance schedule. How good would that be when he has the front mudguard on backwards?" -- MT

Click on the link and check it out ... the front guard really is on backwards -- awesome!

-- Clubby,

Saturday, July 10, 2010



Hello, welcome to our adventure. One day over a couple of beers an Aussie (Tony) an African (Hein) and a Kiwi (Morgan) started discussing the idea of crossing 10 Australia deserts, on bikes, in one journey. Anyway, they all thought “it couldn’t be done”, but then the Bok said “lets give it a go”, the Aussie said “where do we stop for beer?” and the Kiwi said “are there many sheep in the outback?”

On a more serious note, we are not sure whether this has been done before but it doesn’t really matter. We are doing this for fun / adventure, and to raise money for Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets Program, not to set any records. The idea is simple, how can we link some of the most remote and adventurous desert treks in Australia into one trip? ...... Our adventure was born, “10 Desert Ride”.

Starting on 27th of June 2010, over a 100 day period we are attempting to cross at least 10 Australian Deserts on adventure/dirt bikes in one journey and along the way raise money for a very worthwhile charity. Plus we plan to explore the Kimberley’s (for its beauty) and the Margaret River (for a refreshment, wine mmmm wine!). The climate in the deserts we are crossing can vary dramatically. It is not uncommon for sub-zero temperatures at night (as low as minus 8 degrees), then up to 48 degrees during the day.

Early on in our planning we realized that on bikes alone it would not be possible carry out our plans due to a bike’s limited ability to carry fuel, water and supplies. Thus to undertake our adventure we have to bring a support vehicle.

So we decided “big is better” by buying and purpose fitting a Ford F250 Duel Cabin 7.2 litre V8 diesel Truck which averages a mighty 3 kms per litre in the sand but is built to carry the supplies necessary for such an adventure. In essence it is a mobile bike repair shop, fuel station (petrol 220L & diesel 450L) kitchen, water hole (280L), camper, bike carrier, supplies and people carrier – she’s a beast!

The next issue we faced was how are we going to drive our support truck whilst we are riding our bikes? In the end this was quite simple, as Hein was wise enough to have children early, so his two eldest sons (Rudi & Andy) were in the process of finishing university at exactly the same time we were planning to embark on our adventure - perfect candidates to drive the truck.

This then raised the next challenge which was how would sell this idea to Rudi & Andy when our trek is basically an inland journey and the boys are ‘big wave surfers’ who spend their time chasing big waves? Anyway, after a little bribery and the reassurance of the ‘promised land’ (an inland sea with big waves), the boys were in!

Rudi is riding a 2010 KTM450EXC (When not driving)
Andy is riding a 2009 KTM400EXC (When not driving)
You may ask why our website is called ‘’? The three main bikes (KTM690R & Suzuki DR650SE) that will be ridden for the entire distance are Big Bore single cylinders bikes. They have been chosen for its weight advantages over larger twin cylinders due to the terrain the bikes will have to tackle. As Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman learnt in Mongolia in “The Long Way Round”, its not fun trying to ride 300+ kilo bikes in sand, let alone trying to pick them up after they have been dropped.

For the adventure we are taking the following bikes;

  • Tony is riding a 2010 KTM690R Enduro
  • Hein is riding a 2007 Suzuki DR650SE
  • Morgan is riding a 2010 Suzuki DR650SE
  • Rudi is riding a 2010 KTM450EXC (When not driving)
  • Andy is riding a 2009 KTM400EXC (When not driving)

You may ask why our website is called ‘’? The three main bikes (KTM690R & Suzuki DR650SE) that will be ridden for the entire distance are Big Bore single cylinders bikes. They have been chosen for its weight advantages over larger twin cylinders due to the terrain the bikes will have to tackle. As Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman learnt in Mongolia in “The Long Way Round”, its not fun trying to ride 300+ kilo bikes in sand, let alone trying to pick them up after they have been dropped.

Finally, for the Canning Stock Route a mate (Todd) will be joining us to ride this section. As the distances between fuel stops on this route is go great, it is necessary to carry additional petrol in drums. The only possible way to do this is to use the space allocated for the extra bikes (on the back of the F250) for fuel. Thus we need an extra rider, and as Todd has not stopped harassing us about coming along, he is the man for the job!

+ To keep track of this epic Aussie adventure, check out the web site -- and if you check their Blog links right now, you can find out just how much drama they've had with their back-up truck after hitting the Simpson Desert!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010



This photo is of my mate Brownie who will shoot me if he knows that I have sent it. We hadn’t been riding together for years as he left our home-town to pursue work. So I promised to have a ride with him before the birth of his first child (knowing there wouldn’t be much time straight after). So early one morning I drove the four hours to have a ride with him around the Newcastle, NSW, area. He said there were some good tracks very close in behind the Freeman's Waterhole area. After some well-used, rutted-out freeways I was beginning to really appreciate the virgin ground I usually ride. Anyway, the photo attached happened when we got to a bog hole and he stopped, whereas I, having good momentum, rode straight through! Further up the track I stopped and called out to see if he had crossed. The only reply was, “I might need a hand ...” Being me, I yelled, “Just blast it through!” No such luck for Brownie: he said, “I’m stuck!” While he looks quite happy in the photo, I can tell you after both of us had struggled against the suck of the pungent mud to get his bike out, our faces were not so jovial! Anyway love ya mag and hope you like the photo!
-- CP via

Great shot, Craig. We’ve all been there and done that, just like your mate Brownie. Now go hide from the hail of bullets when he finds out your photo is on the Web! And thanks for reading TRAIL ZONE.
-- Clubby,


And the Princess reckons that all this stuff does is kill brain cells ... I don't see her cosmetics bag assisting with the greasing of my swingarm pivot bearings, or the after greasing celebrations! Notch up another one for messers John and James Toohey...
-- John Spencer, via

Great photo, John, and sensationally sensible use of a full Tooheys cartoon -- we just hope you get the bearings re-greased and the rear wheel back in before you run out of Tooheys and your whole world collapses! Ride on,
-- Clubby,


It's official: after 22 years of specialist four-stroke dirt bike development, Husaberg is adding two new two-stroke models to its enduro line-up for the 2011 model year.

Dubbed the TE250 and TE300 (pictured), the new Husaberg 2Ts feature more than a passing resemblance to their KTM cousins, by being equipped with electric-start engines and PDS rear ends.

The new Bergs have just been unveiled in Europe, and despite previous conjecture, they do not feature direct-injection powerplants.

Husaberg International Sales Manager, David Larsson, says the surprise arrival of the premix-running Bergs is in response to a growing demand by enduro riders for two-stroke machines.

For a close-up look at the new two-stroke Husabergs in action, check out this Youtube page:

-- Clubby,


Email is a wonderful thing: it's all about communication in an instant, from any far-flung corner of the globe, about any subject you care to (or don't care to!) ponder.

Bottles of Viagra ... news of million dollar lottery wins from someone in Nigeria you've never met ... requests to divulge your bank account details and passwords ... not to mention a veritable feast of dorky Twitter posts you really could live without -- yes, where would you be without a stready stream of fresh arrivals in your email Inbox?!

But every now and then a little gem pops up that catches your attention and makes you recline back in your chair before stretching forward for a close-up second and third look at your computer monitor.

Take this image, for example, which just landed in the TRAIL ZONE Inbox.

The subject line said '2011 Husaberg' which is no biggy in itself: we cop photos of new bikes all the time, of course.

This time though there was no accompanying text, no specs and no details.

Just this punchy action shot of a schmick new Husaberg flying through the air -- complete with two-stroke powerplant and expansion chamber ... say what?!

Yep, the rumours of two-stroke Husabergs are now one step closer to being fact ... if this photo can be believed?

And can it?

Well, that's the million dollar question, Eddie, but just when can we lock the answer in?

We're guessing all will be revealed all too soon and one or quite likely two new two-stroke Husabergs utilising engines sourced from parent company KTM will be added to the Husaberg range for 2011.

Given that Husaberg is a brand founded on four-stroke dirt bike technology, the arrival of two-strokes in the range is a bold move indeed for the specialist European marque ... but all we can say is long live the two-stroke trail/enduro bike!

-- Clubby,

Monday, July 5, 2010



Looking for an excuse to burn the download limit on your broadband supply?

Then here's the answer!

Check out the web site or get on YouTube and search '2010 Red Bull Romaniacs '.

We guarantee you will enjoy all the DVD delights you find ... and then just be glad you weren't there and had to ride it!

-- Clubby,

Saturday, July 3, 2010



Hi Clubby and the TZ team: Thanks for a great mag, I look forward to its delivery every two months and race my boy to the letterbox to be the one for the first read. I have read with enthusiasm over the past two issues about ‘upsecs' for the Yamaha WR450F Project Bike you guys have been developing and have adopted a few of these to my trusty steed (I bought a WR-F new in 2009 after realising that my age could not keep up to the might of my beloved CR250R of my younger, quicker-healing days!). Even today after a blast with my son around our property, we both conclude that the WR-F really has that 'something special' in both forgiving characteristic yet potent performance. But what also dawned on me was the fact that I was lucky enough to be out with my boy doing 'something special' that we love to do together and have done so for several years. The chat, the banter, and the laughs gained through true quality-time is what makes motorcycling the ultimate in father/son bonding! And to top off my day, I received this cool rego label holder in the mail that my wife had ordered for me from I fitted it tonight (in minutes) and now believe I have a duty to share this beauty with your readers. I have left the sub-frame tailpiece under the rear guard of the WR and simply zip-tied (it comes with screws) the label holder to this. Legal, robust, correctly positioned, stable and flexible for the hard knocks. I’ve included a photo for all to see. Fellow riders, encourage your children to ride and get into this, it fits any bike. All the best!
-- Nads, via

Thanks for your email, Nads. We've long said that the family that rides together sticks together, so get out there in the sticks with your boy any chance you can and carve it up. It's good times, for sure. And what an awesome missus you've got that's shouting you goodies for your bike -- what a gal ... go Nads!
-- Clubby,