Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Hi guys: After a recent back injury at work and with time on my hands I decided to build an adventure bike. Inspired by your many TRAIL ZONE Project Bikes (I have every issue ) I picked a Kawasaki KLR650 2010 model. After upgrading the suspension I moved on to the motor with a head job, Snitz 685 piston, billett counter-balance adjuster weight and torsion spring, Unifilter, Barrett pipe, carb mods, second carb vent and a good dyno tune -- all done by Andrew Hallam. After removing as much weight as possible I then fitted SW Motech rack plate, centre stand, crash bars, bashplate, tool box then hot grips, Renthal bars, Barkbusters (after this pic), Rox risers, power plug, oversize front disc, stainless-steel brake lines, billet master cylinder mount and cover, sidestand foot, longer gear lever, magnetic drain plug, Pivot Pegz, Far mirrors, Continental TKC 80s (after this pic) and more, more, more. As you can see, my back took a while to heal! I got back on the bike in March and have covered 10,000km on several adventure rides with mates and have to say the bike turned out great and seems to run better with every ride. Thanks for a great mag, I look foward to every issue!
-- Jim Steele, via www.trailzone.com.au

Nice job, Jim. Kawasaki's KLR650 certainly offers awesome value for money when it comes to big-bore single-cylinder adventure bikes, and as you have shown, there's plenty of scope to turn it into exactly the kind of adventure bike you want with a feast of well-placed mods and accessories. Good one!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Monday, August 30, 2010



Hi Clubby: Here's a couple of pics you might like. Before my eight-year-old daughter, Tara, stepped up to her next bike the TT-R110, it was important she knew what kids used to ride around on in the 1970s by riding a classic old bike -- the XR75! It's a bit of a roughy, but the motor was done up a few years back and the pipe is original and in excellent condition. Ride safe,
-- Boris Everson, Coffs Harbour Detour

Go hard, Tara! That XR is an absolute classic: but now that you have outgrown it, do you want to sell it?
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Friday, August 27, 2010



YES! After years of being told how awesome the trail riding is around Kenilworth, Conondale and the Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine coast in Queensland, the TZ team has finally managed to spray a little roost in this trail riding mecca.

Thanks to an invite from Club Y head mistress Cheryl Muldoon, Russ and myself headed north for a two-day ride with a pack of Club Y members lead by the crew from the brand new Maleny Trail Bike Tours operation.

Pre-ride rains made conditions perfect and we sliced endless lines of single-track through lush green pine forests just days before a whopping 300 riders were set to descend on the region for the annual Kenilworth Chook Chase.

Look out for the full story on the ride in TRAIL ZONE issue #32 and some ripper footage -- with plenty of greasy red clay Pork Chop Hill carnage! -- in our next IN THE ZONE DVD with our Christmas issue!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Saturday, August 21, 2010



Hi Clubby, Tania, PG & Lance: The postman recently delivered the latest issue of TRAIL ZONE and first thing I discover when glancing through it is that TZ is now five years old. Well done to all of you. You have a bloody good magazine there and the market really needs an independent publication like TZ to maintain some sort of balance against the more "formulaic" mags churned out by the big publishers which whilst informative, seem to lack "personality" for want of a beter word. I suppose it must have been a bit daunting when you first started out but nothing ventured nothing gained, you took the chance and it's paid off. TRAIL ZONE is something you can be justifiably proud of, but then considering who you trained under, it should be. You wouldn't want ol' GE to come back and haunt you, would you? Once again a big well done, I look forward to enjoying TRAIL ZONE for many more years to come. My shout next time we meet. The second thing I discovered is a lack of PE250Bs in the Classic Dirt coverage, you know how to fix that shortcoming ...
-- Wazza, via www.trailzone.com.au

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Wazza. We're more than a little chuffed to have powered through the five-year milestone, but truth be told we can't wait for the next five years to start roosting by. We have as much fun making the magazine (and our annual IN THE ZONE DVD) as all our readers have when roosting through the boonies on their dirt bikes, and after all, that's what it's all about. As for having GE come back and haunt us, he was haunting enough when he was around and one of the toughest task-masters ever, which was only ever driven by his unwavering desire to produce a magazine that stood out from the crowd. Finally, my offer for your PE250B still stands: a lifetime subscription to TZ, a couple of TZ T-shirts for you and your boy Lachie, and a Liquourland gift voucher for the missus! When you really want to talk turkey, you've got our number! Ride on,
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Thursday, August 19, 2010



Every issue we get a mountain of entries for our now long-running Dririder Rallycross Photo Stop contest where we invite readers to send us their best photo that captures what's great about riding dirt bikes and that might just inspire more riders to get out there and do it.

And every issue we pick one photo to win a brand spanking new Dririder Rallycross Pro 2 jacket courtesy of the crew at McLeod Accessories.

In TRAIL ZONE issue #31 that has just gone on-sale, long-time WA subscriber Lex Porebski was selected as the winner for his wicked photo high atop a sand dune somewhere on the WA coast, so we duly contacted him to advise him of his big score and the fact a spiffy new Rallycross Pro 2 jacket would soon be on the way to him.

Faster than you could say, 'Hit reply and send', Lex fired back this message:

"Thanks guys! Gotta say I am very pleased indeed. Here is the photo I was going to consider sending in at the same time as my winning one. I'm glad I didn't in case you guys didn't see the funny side ... it's a pic from our Holland Track ride. Thanks again -- Lex P"

Congratulations Lex -- and may all Jimmy's Thunder Boxes along the side of the Holland Track have a complimentary copy of TRAIL ZONE at the ready for those urgent trail-side pit stops when nature calls!

And keep those Dririder Rallycross Photo Stop entries rolling in.

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



Hi Dr Phil: I can't choose which 250cc two-stroke to buy. It is between the Yamaha YZ250 and the KTM 250 EXC. I have riden Yamies all my life and I am upgrading from a YZ125. I would much prefer to get a YZ but what would it take to get it street-legal? Is it worth the effort or should I just get a KTM?
-- Mossy, via www.trailzone.com.au

G'day Mossy, thanks for your email. The red-tape and much associated drama you’d be treated to trying to rego the YZ simply isn’t worth it, and there’s a good chance Yamaha Australia have not directed the current YZ250 VIN number to the RTA anyway, which could mean you can’t have it regoed no matter how hard you are prepared to try! If you must have a Yamaha YZ two-banger on the road, look around for a 2003 model YZ250WR -- that was the last year Yamaha Australia offered the ADR-compliant two-stroke enduro bike. They were a neat unit and fully road-legal. Failing this the EXC Kato is indeed a gem and you’d love everything about it -- except perhaps the colour! Although if you just have to have a blue two-stroke, check out the all-new Husaberg 250 and 300 pre-mixers. Best of luck with it!
-- Dr Phil, www.trailzone.com.au

Monday, August 16, 2010



Every now and then you just have to take the time and make the effort to get in an epic ride. A ride somewhat more special than just another session in the sticks in your regular riding area.

We just rolled back into TZ HQ after exactly that kind of ride: a 2,500km epic from Broken Hill to Cameron Corner to Birdsville to Maree to the Flinders Ranges and back to Broken Hill ... and it was an absolute ripper!

Myself and Lance 'Russ' Turnley from www.offroadexplorer.com planned the route for this little jaunt and were joined by a motley crew of dual-sport disciples that included Steve 'Wolfman' Smith from www.adventuremoto.com.au, Terry 'The Major' Muldoon from the Club Y Yamaha owner's group, Clive 'V-Stormer' Ward from www.motorcyclebiz.com.au and Heath 'KLRs Rule' Schiemer from www.trailbikerallys.com.au.

Along the way we also picked up three TRAIL ZONE readers -- Greg, Len and Rob -- who tagged along for a day on the run to Birdsville.

In the space of six days we sliced our way up the Strezlecki Track, guzzled a few beers at the Birdsville Hotel, blasted down the Birdsville Track and then spent a lazy hour on the banks of the flooded Cooper Creek near Lake Eyre waiting for the wind to die down and the punt to fire into life and ferry us across. Next up came a leisurely day exploring the mighty Flinders Ranges, before looping back to the Hill.

Now, that summary of the ride makes it sound all refined and gentlemanly, but what I failed to mention was the massive amount of water, mud and greasy gloop that still dominates much of the red centre of Australia, and two crazy nights spent riding in the dark -- the first of which included running out of fuel 37.9km (how accurate are Spot trackers!) short of Birdsville, and the next dealing with the seat-deep floodwaters of Frome Creek just shy of Maree. Yee haa!

Oh, and then on the final day, we got peed on from a great height and copped savaged side winds all the way from Hawker to Yunta as a massive cold front roared in from the west.

Russ filmed the entire trip for our next IN THE ZONE DVD that will publish with our Christmas issue of TRAIL ZONE at the end of the year.

We're also piecing together a cracker story and photos on the ride, which will appear in TRAIL ZONE issue #32, so if you've ever dreamed of an outback adventure run, this will be an issue not to miss.

All of us on the ride had a heck of a great time, no one more so than The Major, who at age 66, came into the trip as an adventure riding virgin with a brand spanking new Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere that was to undergo a real baptism by fire. The Major and the Super Ten did unreal and came through with flying colours, despite a couple of small tumbles in some of the greasier sections of the Birdsville Track -- on ya, Major!

After a week of outback solitude -- and how good is it?! -- it's tough getting back to city life and into the daily grind again. But with a zillion memories of some of the best adventure riding in the world fresh in our minds, we will all have plenty to keep us inspired for those long and dreary days behind the office desk.

Bring on the next epic adventure, I say!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Friday, August 6, 2010



Okay, it's taken me five years to do it, but I'm finally getting to take aim for Cameron Corner.

When we kicked off TRAIL ZONE five years ago, one of the first things I wanted to do was take a look at the junction point of NSW, Queensland and South Australia -- clearly good things come to those who wait!

Tomorrow the long trek west to Broken Hill begins, where myself and Lance 'Russ' Turnley from www.offroadexplorer.com will be hooking up with Wolfy from Adventure Moto, Clive and Heath from MotorcycleBiz, Terry from Club Y and a couple of dedicated TRAIL ZONE readers from Queensland for a five-day lap out toward the centre.

But that's only if the weather gods let us, as a stack of roads and tracks north and west of Cameron Corner are still closed from all the rain they've had out there this year.

Our plan is to head to Cameron Corner the first night, then on to Birdsville, then Lake Eyre and then the Flinders Ranges before looping back to Broken Hill.

It will be a ripper ride if we can get through all the gloop and slop ... and quite possibly an even MORE ripper ride if we can't!

I know I'm treating the threat of mud-jammed front wheels seriously and have just fitted a Touratech high front guard to my mount for the trip: our Yamaha XT660Z Tenere Project Bike. A fresh set of Dunlop D606 knobbies should also help deal with the sticky brown stuff ... I hope!

Needless to say TRAIL ZONE Blogspot updates will likely be slim-pickings over the coming week, so I apologise for that in advance.

In the meantime console yourselves that TRAIL ZONE issue #31 hits the streets next week -- grab a copy and soak it all up and enjoy our fifth birthday celebrations. I know I will be at the Corner!

Catch ya!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

PS: That photo is the actual signpost at the Corner: impressive, huh? Makes you just wanna get on your bike and ride three days straight and go out there and check it out, huh? You bet!

Thursday, August 5, 2010



The brand new issue of TRAIL ZONE has just rolled off the presses -- and this one, issue #31, is a very special one, as it marks the fifth birthday of TRAIL ZONE. Woo hoo and happy birthday to us!

We've thrown a few extra pages at this new issue to mark the occasion, and had a few members of the TRAIL ZONE wrecking crew -- myself, Tania, Dr Phil, Russ, Big Baz, Big Rich and Ron to name a few -- take a look back over the years and highlight some of the best times of their dirt bike riding days. Make sure you take a close look at some of the classic photos that accompany these stories -- talk about a trip down memory lane: Big Baz and Big Rich just have to be two of the coolest cats from back in the day!

Of course TRAIL ZONE issue #31 is also loaded up with all the awesome reading about trail, enduro and adventure bike riding you have come to expect every second month -- kicking off with a look at Husaberg's new two-stroke enduro weapons, which are featured right there on the front cover.

Of course that's only the beginning of the editorial treats that lay inside -- so get your new issue and get into it.

Subscriber copies of the new issue went out in the mail this afternoon, so all you loyal subscribers (thanks guys and girls for your support over the years!) can look out for the new mag to land in your mailbox in the next couple of days, while newsagent copies will go on-sale nationally next week.

Of course, this issue features the return of our bigger and better than ever Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion -- now is the time to subscribe and get your chance to win your choice of a new BMW G 450 X or Husaberg TE300 or Husqvarna TE310 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 200 EXC or Suzuki DR650SE or Yamaha WR450F ... wow, what a line-up!

So happy birthday TRAIL ZONE again, and thanks to all our loyal readers, subscribers and advertisers for all their support over the years -- and here's to the next five years!

Ride on,

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Wednesday, August 4, 2010



TRAIL ZONE issue #31 has just rolled off the presses and will soon be winging its way to subscribers' mailboxes and newsagents everywhere in the next few days.

Now, this new issue marks the 5th Birthday of TRAIL ZONE -- happy birthday to us! -- and we're rapt to say we're clicking gears and roosting. A large part of the success of the magazine over the past five years has been our annual subscriber bike give-away, so it’s most appropriate that our latest Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion kicks off with this issue (see pages 44/45).

We’re stoked to reveal that our Choose Your Ride promotion just keeps getting bigger and better, as this year we have ‘The Magnificent Seven’ prize bike line-up that one lucky TRAIL ZONE subscriber will get to choose from.

We are totally rapt that BMW Australia and Husaberg Australia have both joined up as part of our Choose Your Ride promotion – so without further ado, the prize bike line-up the winner will get to choose from this year is as follows:

• BMW G 450 X or Husaberg TE300 or Husqvarna TE310 or Kawasaki KLX450R or KTM 200 EXC or Suzuki DR650SE or Yamaha WR450F.

The winner is chosen entirely at random, so everyone who enters has the same chance of winning. You don’t have to tell us in 25 words or less why you deserve to win: there’s none of that carry-on. Our promotion is registered with the state lottery offices as a pure Game of Chance, so we simply pull one coupon out of the barrel on February 25 next year and then one minute later the winner gets the phone call with the good news and he/she gets to choose his/her ride.

So check out the new issue of the mag or the www.trailzone.com.au home page or call the TRAIL ZONE office on (02) 9905 ZONE and get your entry in and subscribe to TRAIL ZONE and you could Choose Your Ride!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Tuesday, August 3, 2010



Loved the article in the latest issue on the Gas Gas EC250 - looks like a perfect blend of the best bits of Japanese and Euro bikes! More specifically though - where did you ride it? I watched the video review, and some shots looked awfully familiar, but you never do specify which forest you were riding in. I'm from the Southern Highlands myself and know the area's forests pretty well. It would be awesome to do something similar to your recent TZ ride at Clarence down our neck of the woods. In fact, I suggest it be a more regular thing - there are so many good places to ride in NSW -- the more riding the better! Keep up the good work on the mag, too - it's my favourite out of all the Aussie ones because of the great trailriding content.
-- Richie, via www.trailzone.com.au

Thanks for your email and your wrap on the magazine, Richie. Yep, we certainly loved the Gas Gas EC250 4T with its Yamaha WR250F motor. It definitely made for an exciting quarter-litre thumper package that combined a proven Japanese powerplant with a high-quality European chassis and detail package. Now, as for saying exactly where we test-ride bikes, we have to be careful here, as getting too detailed with locations may well lead to places being inundated after the magazine goes on-sale, possibly -- and unfortunately -- by bikes and riders that are not necessarily as 'legal' as they should be for riding in state forests and public lands. If you're local to the Southern Highlands south of Sydney, then for sure you will have discovered the riding areas that we've used for testing bikes like the Gas Gas. Licensed riders aboard registered bikes are entirely able to ride in these forests and that's the way we want to keep it. As for a Club Y trail ride in the region, now that’s a sweet idea. We'll give it some thought. In the meantime, ride on!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Sunday, August 1, 2010



The creator of the popular Dual-Sports Riding Techniques DVD series, Ned Suesse, is coming to Australia in October to conduct two one-day ride technique training days, each followed by a two-day overnight adventure ride with Ned to help you hone your skills. You can attend the training day only or all three days, with accommodation packages available.

Each session will be restricted to just 10 to 12 riders, so get in quick. The events will be Sydney-based and the dates are October 8/9/10 and 22/23/24, with each long weekend kicking off with the training clinic on the Friday.

For more details and to register your place, call Adventure Moto on 1300 46 66 86.


Hi guys: Do you know any ways from Cronulla out of Sydney to Kangaroo valley and surrounds via the dirt?

-- Mike H via www.trailzone.com.au

Hi Mike: The short answer is no. To find dirt roads open to the public you have to go north-west to Wisemans Ferry, west to Windsor or south to Nowra. Any national park close to Sydney is securely gated. Travelling south from Cronulla you can ride the main road through the Royal National Park but that's as good as it gets. We re-signed ourselves to black-top miles all the way to Nowra a long time ago. To make it worse, the road to Nerriga is now sealed, so not matter what direction you go, getting out of Sydney is ugly. If you are looking for adventure bike routes, check out the Travel section in www.offroadexplorer.com or do what we do and do your research starting with Google maps.

-- Lance Turnely, www.offroadexplorer.com