Friday, October 29, 2010



Dear Trailzone Team / Dr Phil: Thank you for such a great magazine -- please keep up up the good work! I have a question with regards to cleaning a motorcycle (off-road) chain: What is the best way to clean and remove sand particles from the chain after a day's off-road riding, in particular in sand? I am reluctant to use kerosene or similar solvents due to the concern that some of the solvent may remain within the chain links where it will evaporate slowly and in the process dilute the lubricant and render it ineffective in those enclosed areas. Currently, I use warm, soapy water and a reasonably coarse nylon brush to attempt to remove most of the sand particles prior to re-lubricating of the chain after sand riding, however I am unsure how effective that is? My Suzuki DR 650 is fitted with an O-ring sealed chain. I look forward to your advice.
Jan, via

Thanks for your email, Jan. Your current procedure for chain cleaning is very close to spot-on. We’ve done plenty of research on this with plenty of race teams and riders and it’s pretty much accepted that for riding in sand a proper chain lube is not used, unless it’s one of the Dry-Lubes you’ll sometimes see around. Mostly we’ve found that lubing prior to sand with WD-40 will lube well enough without the drama of sand sticking to the chain plates, nylon guides and rollers and causing wear while it’s there. We mostly use Raceline MX60 (it's Australian-made, sold through bike shops and distributored by Ficeda Accessories -- it’s great; although we also like Hondabrite cleaner that's made in Germany and sold via the USA to Honda shops here) to wash our bikes and this includes the drive chain. After a hose off we spray the chain with WD-40 and allow this to dry off over 24 hours, then wipe the excess off with a cloth and use a quality chain lube, or, if riding in sand more WD-40.
-- Dr Phil,

Thursday, October 28, 2010



Congratulations on TRAIL ZONE's fifth birthday. I have to confess, I have only ever bought one issue (issue #1) in a newsagent, then subscribed and have never looked back. Thanks for the several gifts I have received over the years just for renewing my subscription but unfortunately, winning the Choose Your Ride competition still evades me. Maybe this time ... I enjoy reading the magazine from cover to cover and have made many of the mods/improvements you have recommended over the years to my WR450. Another highlight for me is watching all the ‘carnage’ on the In The Zone DVDs. I have just returned from six months in the Solomon Islands and of course had my wife forward TRAIL ZONE to me as soon as it arrived in the mail. There are not too many motorbikes over there at all but even the local constabulary get around on little gems -- the ever reliable DT175! The real jewel in the crown (calm down Clubby), was finding this piece of motorcycling history (a mighty Tenere!) in one of the car parks of one of the hotels. I tried to locate the owner as I thought there may have been a decent yarn in the history of the old girl and how she ended up in Honiara but had no luck, so it will remain a mystery. Sadly I will not be able to join you on the Tenere Tragics Run to the Rocks next year as I sold my ’96 Tenere a couple of years ago, (as it was getting no off-road use) and upgraded to a big-bore road bike (ZX14). Silly, I know, but one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m really kicking myself now after reading about the upcoming ride. Maybe I can convince the wife into letting me buy a new Tenere and I might be ready for the next Tenere run? Anyway, I hope you guys have a blast on the Tenere Tragic Run and I look forward to reading about it and more in future issues. Keep up the good work!

-- Allan Young, via

Thanks for the email, Al. The global reaches of the almighty Tenere brand knows no bounds! Keep working on the missus and get that new bike organsied and we'll see you in the Flinders in the first week of March.

-- Clubby,

Monday, October 25, 2010



The Hardcore Posties are back with a vengeance in 2011 and this time they're taking it to the surf sun and sand of Queensland's Sunny Coast.

The CT 110 juggernaut will kick off from the small town of Peachester and wind its way around the Glasshouse mountains, through the rainforest of the Great Divide and across the waves to Fraser Island.

Negotiations are also under way to cap it off with a night of Postie Motard action, under lights on a closed track.

Hardcore Coastie Posties will be a four-dayer from March 25 to 28.

Riders will need to be self-sufficient although personal support vehicles are allowed.

Entry is a $400 tax deductible donation to Angel Flight Australia and riders cover their own costs.

For more information, go to or email organiser Phil Hodgens at

Sunday, October 24, 2010



The ranks of adventure bikes continue to swell, with British brand Triumph finally pulling the wraps off its long-rumoured Tiger 800 adventure bike.

Although the bikes won't be officially unveiled for another month, just released photos indicate there will be two models on offer: the Tiger 800 and Tiger 800 XC (pictured).

Both bikes will be powered by Triumph's potent triple-cylinder engine, with the 800 running alloy wheels with a 19-inch hoop up front, while the 800 XC scores spoked wheels with a more off-road ready 21-incher at the front. USD forks are fitted to both models, mated with trellis-design tubular frames.

Clearly aimed at BMW's F 800 GS, the new Tigers certainly look set to shake things up in the mid-size multi-cylinder adventure bike market.

Stay tuned for more info and local Aussie release details in coming weeks.

-- Clubby,

Saturday, October 23, 2010



The 2011 Gas Gas EC two-stroke range will see the EC200 Six Day, EC250 electric-start, EC300 kick-start and EC300 electric-start models introduced. A lot of the changes found on the 2011 EC two-stroke range have been obtained from information gathered through its racing program. Gas Gas has made these changes to improve performance, ride comfort, added value and at the same time a bike that is unmistakenly a Gas Gas in its looks.

EC200 Six Day (pictured):

The Ec200 Six Day was designed, as its name suggests, to compete at the highest level, with special features that would normally be found on factory bikes ridden by 2009 Six Day Enduro winning Gas Gas rider, Cristophe Nambotin. When the EC200 Six Day arrives in Australia around December, Gas Gas customers can look forward to a bike with some of the following special features:

Renthal Twin Wall handlebars Pro Grip racing hand grips Ohlins 888 rear shock Marzocchi 45mm forks Galfer wave discs Quick-release brake pads Rear brake cooler Alloy radiator protectors FMF Q series muffler Super Sprox rear sprocket Quick-release front axle Alloy engine protector
The EC200 Six Day is only available with kick-start and will be backed by a 12-month warranty, and comes with a recommended retail price of $9999.

EC300 Kick-Start:

The extremely popular Gas Gas EC300 will be available with kick-start only as well as electric-start. The 2011 EC300 kick-start will be imported in small numbers to begin with for those wishing to start their bike in the traditional way. The EC300 has gained a reputation for its powerful engine and outstanding steering and this has been enhanced for 2011. The Sachs 48mm front forks and rear shock have been revalved with the rear now running new oil for cooler running and consistency. Pro Grip grips are standard fitment on Hebo tapered handlebars, as well as a new adjustable rear brake pedal. Increased performance has been obtained through the standard fitment of a FMF Q series muffler that is said to give a broader spread of power with no additional noise. Keeping the extra power to the ground will be the new fitment of Metzeler MCE Six Days tyres. The Gas Gas appealing looks have been enhanced with a new headlight and front mud guard, while the frame is now painted in Gas Gas red. Recommended retail price will be $10500 and the bike is now available.

EC300/250 Electric-Start:
After a delay in the release of their electric-start two-stroke models, production has now started with customer bikes arriving mid-November. Gas Gas has carried out extensive testing to ensure the reliability of their electric-start system, with over 10,000 faultless repeat starts in testing. By using a larger capacity battery and starter motor, plus the use of a reduction gear incorporating a torque clutch, Gas Gas has developed a system that will start reliably hot or cold. The EC250/300 electric-start models will include all the same standard changes found on the kick-start EC300 but with the addition of an electric leg and only a slight increase in weight to 105.5kg. Specific features include:
FMF Q series muffler New graphics New headlight New MX style rear chain guide New front mud guard New valving in front and rear suspension Electric-start motor Metzeler MCE Six Days tyres

The arrival date will be mid-November with a suggested retail price of $11,500 for the EC300 electric-start and $10,995 for the EC250 electric-start.

All 2011 Gas Gas four-stroke model information will be available mid-January.

For more details and information, see your local Gas Gas dealer or check out


Dave Williams from Fair Dinkum Dirt Bike Tours in Cairns just sent us this news to reveal that after a decade of running tours up and down Cape York, his tour business is now up for sale:

"Here is an outstanding opportunity to own a market leading and well established Cairns-based trail bike adventure business. This very successful and long standing business is now offered for the first time in 10 years. The current owner is pursuing a new venture, and the business is a walk-in operation with forward bookings for 2011, located in a great position with brand new premises, fully maintained new support truck and latest model bikes. The business has ensured continued growth even during the downturn, and further growth potential exists for a new energetic owner. Only serious enquiries apply, and we will supply a detailed sales memorandum upon receipt of a signed confidentiality agreement.
"For full details please contact David Williams on 0412 950192."

If you have ever dreamed of riding dirt bikes for a living -- and don't mind dodging crocs while you do it! -- here's your chance: so give Dave a call!

Friday, October 22, 2010



Hey Clubby: Just got my TRAIL ZONE in the mail, on-time as always. Thanks to all the crew there.
The next day my wife found our 15-month-old girl had taken over Dad’s favourite seat and proceeded to entertain herself with your fine literature. My wife thanks you immensely for publishing something that can entertain a 15-month-old hyper-active toddler!
Keep up the good work!
-- Ben Young, via

Love the photo, Ben. Great to see that girl of yours has such fine choice in reading matter at such an early age!



Hi Clubby and the crew at TRAIL ZONE:
Once again an excellent issue of TRAIL ZONE with issue 32. Over the years I have had some of my restorations in your ever-increasing in size magazine but I cannot remember if I have ever sent you pics of the bike that started my obsession with bike restorations? A 1983/84 Honda XR500R. I acquired it as a wreck and set about restoring it to its former glory. It gets daily use now as my work ride and on weekends I attack the trails up here in Ingham, NQ. If Honda ever made a perfect thumper it was this bike!
Enjoy the pics and yes, it’s the same bike!
-- Colin Leonelli, via

Nice job, Colin, for sure! Need another restoration project ... bringing a fine example of a 1983 Yamaha Tenere back to its former glory??? Just let me know ...

Sunday, October 17, 2010



We all live for the weekends, right? But in the overall scheme of things, some weekends outrank others -- for me, this has been one of them.

Ages ago I heard about the annual KTM Adventure Rider Rally in the USA, where the KTM brethren from all over America gather together to ride EXCs, 690s, Super Enduros and Adventures in some of the best trail, enduro and adventure bike riding destinations Uncle Sam has to offer.

This year's 7th annual KTM Adventure Rider Rally event was set down for Moab, Utah, and having heard many a story of the famed slickrock red canyons surrounding the town and the sensational riding on offer, my taste buds were sorely tempted.

After a few well placed emails to my good mate in Los Angeles, Rich Gold, plans were quickly afoot to be a part of this year's orange off-road festival.

And now, with the sun setting over the canyons of Moab and the event coming to a close on Sunday evening, what a blast this weekend has been!

Just on 150 KTM devotees turned out for the event, where you got to sample the latest bikes in the KTM range on test rides, take part in technical seminars, check out trade displays from various vendors and get in on the action of guided rides with off-road heroes of the calibre of Paul Krause, Mike Lafferty and Russell Bobbitt.

Of course, there's also plenty of social good times and bench racing, but the best part of all is the riding, and damn, the riding sure was good!

Bright and early on day one (Friday) Big Rich and I decided to tag along with Paul Krause on a 150 mile ride south from Moab, which quickly proved to deliver much more than many riders expected -- especially some of the boys aboard their 950 and 990 Adventures.

Before long we were pounding a gnarly red rock farm that had many a V-twin on their side and many a rider gasping for air in the desert heat as they battled the dusty Jeep trail. It sure took us a while to get everyone through -- to the point where we reached the lunch stop at 4.30pm -- and were only halfway through the day's loop!

We eventually made it back to the parc ferme just on dark, our butt cheeks tingling after a stack of road miles on our EXCs to get us home.

For Saturday we tagged along with young gun Bobbitt on the famed Moab Slickrock guided ride, and what another blow-out this was!

The Slickrock Trail is real close to town, so just ten minutes from the hotel we were into it -- and how!

Precisely 11 minutes from the hotel we had our hearts in our throats and pucker-muscles tensioned tight as we wound our way up, over, across and around the most bizarre of rock formations that looked like something straight out of a Roadrunner cartooon.

Now get this, all there is to guide you is a dotted white line painted on the rocks -- and the golden rule is venture away from the white dots at your peril!

We were sure glad to make it around the Slickrock loop intact -- as were the boys on their Adventures, who once again did it tough when confronted by some of the most gnarly of obstacles. Where they took those snarling V-twins sure was impressive.

A slap-up feed on Saturday evening brought the entire event staff and participants together, where KTM manager and former USA enduro legend Mark Hyde gave young guns Bobbitt and Lafferty a lesson in tyre changing, after which a fleet of event awards were handed out.

This morning Rich and I elected to try the self-guided ride format -- but failed miserably!

Our planned route out of Moab to the spectacularly named Top of the World trail was closed for a half-marathon foot race, so turning to plan B, we took a run through Arches National Park and as consolation spent the entire morning gob-smacked by the sensational rock formations, arches and overall stunning vistas the park has to offer. And get this, we even found some fun dirt loops -- in the national park!

Rest assured that along with all the riding both of us have been burning up pixels -- me with my Nikon still camera (for a big story on the ride coming up in TRAIL ZONE issue #33) and Rich with his Go Pro helmet cam.

In fact, Rich's footage of the Slickrock ride is just sensational, so I will have to get a link to it when he posts it on YouTube so you can check it out -- just wait until you see it! It will make you want to come here and ride it yourself some day, four sure.

As for our Griswold Vacation, well, from here we track south-west all the way through Utah to the bright lights of Las Vegas for the next couple of days.

So for now it's viva Las Vegas ... and c'mon 23 red!

-- Clubby,

Thursday, October 14, 2010



After four days on the road cooped up in the cab of Big Rich's F150 pick-up, we finally got the chance yesterday to unload the KTM EXCs and spin a little earth beneath their wheels.

But don't get me wrong, I am not whining about the road-trip, because it has been awesome so far.

In true Griswold Vacation fashion, we've hit the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, the Goosenecks and Four Corners in Utah and Arizona, while the past two days through Colorado have been simply spectacular, in a totally different kind of geological way.

We've gone from mighty big holes in the ground and rugged red rock outcrops in the desert, to ginormous mountain ranges covered in snow here in Colorado.

We've stayed the last two nights at Silverton in the south-west corner of Colorado, which is an old gold and silver mining mountain town caught in a time-warp. On Main Street the buildings all retain their original facades and shop fronts, while the Bent Elbow Hotel we've stayed in is an old saloon straight out of the Gold Rush days. It's been way cool.

With perfect autumn weather on our side, Rich and I took the Katos for a spin from Silverton up and over Ophir Pass, which is a rugged old track up and over the mountains that tops out at a whisker under 12,000 feet in elevation -- which is almost 4,000 metres in Aussie-speak.

Stop and think for a moment that Mount Kosciouszko reaches 2,227 metres and you will get the idea of just how close we were to the sky.

The photo attached here shows Rich on the track up the Pass -- which you can see cut into the mountains above him. Yeah, it was a killer day and a ripper ride!

We nailed down just on 100km before getting back to Silverton, where, with another 90 minutes of light left, we went for another quick ride up into the mountains in the opposite direction to Ophir.

Not far out of town we happened upon a deserted old miner's cabin and then found a goat-track down in Deadwood Gulch, which is precisely where Rich jabbed his foot into some rocks at all of two miles per hour -- and now has three toes the size of sausages and the colour of Black Pudding.

Rich's toes are tingling, but he's not going to let it slow him down for the weekend's big KTM Adventure Rider Rally in Utah.

The venue for the Rally is Moab, which is a town made famous by wild west movies and slick-rock red canyons that look like something straight out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

It should be an awesome venue for some awesome trail, enduro and adventure bike riding ... and yeah, we just can't wait to get there and get into it!

-- Clubby,

Sunday, October 10, 2010



Call me Clark and steer me toward Wallyworld -- the big wigs from TZ have touched down in the good ol' USA and we're currently heading east from LAX and taking aim on the 7th annual KTM Adventure Rider Rally trail ride in Moab, Utah, next weekend.

Tania and I landed in LA on Saturday, hooked up with Big Rich Gold and his mighty F150 pick-up truck with a pair of thundering big-bore KTM EXCs thumpers onboard and started driving ... and driving ... and driving ... on the 'wrong' side of the road the whole way.

Last night we made the lonely outpost of Needles on the border of California and Arizona, while today we punched on to the Grand Canyon, where we have spent the afternoon gazing over what has to rank as one of the most amazing big holes in the ground.

And for a big hole in the ground, this one is just awesome!

Check out the pic attached that Big Rich snapped: we coulda just hung out here all day and soaked up the views.

Tomorrow we're heading toward Monument Valley, where with a bit of luck and some careful scheduling we should be able to get some dirt under the wheels of the mighty Katos and burn up a few mega-pixels in countryside loaded with some eye-watering back-drops.

From there we climb up into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado for a gander around there, before reaching Moab on Thursday night.

The KTM Rally kicks off on Friday morning and is set to feature three days exploring the slick-rock red canyons of the surrounding countryside that look like they've come straight out of a Roadrunner cartoon.

Yeah, next weekend should be really good. I just can't wait to get there and start riding, actually.

So stay tuned and in the next few days I'll post up some more details of our grand little adventure into America's wild west.

And if you've got any questions, be sure to email us, because the TZ office is currently unattended!

-- Clubby,

Friday, October 8, 2010



The latest issue of TRAIL ZONE is on its way to subscribers right now -- and will be on-sale in newsagents from the middle of next week.

It's TRAIL ZONE issue #32 and it's the November/December 2010 cover-date issue ... and it's another crackerjack issue, if we do say so ourselves (but of course, we would say so!).

The new mag kicks off with a weighty story on our recent epic adventure ride out into the wet centre of Australia (seriously, it's not a desert out there, it's a lake!) and then carries on with an absolute feast of ripper reading on trail, enduro and adventure bike riding.

Here's the image of the new front cover of the issue, so check it out for full details of what's inside the mag. Honestly, if you can't find something good to read in there, then heck, you better go shout yourself a copy of RAPID Bikes ... or Lawn Bowls Quarterly.

And when you do get the new issue, make sure you subscribe and enter our CHOOSE YOUR RIDE promotion -- because one lucky subscriber will be drawn at random to take his/her choice of seven brand new dirt bikes.

That's right, you could 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!

So enter now and in the meantime, enjoy the new mag!

-- Clubby,


We don't need to tell anyone how amazing a dirt biking legend Malcolm Smith is.

From the time he first shot to fame alongside Steve McQueen and Mert Lawwill in the original On Any Sunday movie, to his incredible list of off-road race wins around the world, to the fact he still runs rides in his native USA these days, Malcolm Smith is a true legend of the dirt bike world.

While goofing around on the Web this morning, we spotted this cracker photo of Malcolm back in the day, doing his thing in the California desert.

Check it out, check it all out: the helmet, the goggles, the jersey, the pants, the boots, the Husky and classic copybook riding style.

This photo of Malcolm Smioth is an instant passport to a ride in the dirt bike time machine -- we don't want the ride to stop!

-- Clubby,

Thursday, October 7, 2010



Big blue skies and incomparable high country tracks are calling riders to the 2011 Yamaha Safari in New Zealand’s South Island.

Several Aussie magazines have labeled the Safari the finest adventure of its type and it’s no wonder the Safari, set for January 15 to 17, is already attracting interest from overseas riders.

The Yamaha Lakes & Mountains Safari is based in the McKenzie alpine plateau about four hours south-west of Christchurch. The plateau delivers very dry and warm summer riding. With trails running right up to 6,000 feet, the views of the Southern Alps are astounding.

The three-day Safari moves camp each night to make the most of fresh riding opportunities.

“Using different venues for three of the nights allows us to expand the terrain covered and avoid doubling back as much,” says organiser Mike Britton of Britton Adventures.

At each change of venue the riders’ gear will be transported to the night’s accommodation.

This will be the 14th running of the event, easily the longest running and most comprehensive multi-day Adventure in NZ. The standard Yamaha Safari package includes four nights quality hotel accommodation plus all meals, comprehensive route sheets, land access, event back-up and luggage transport.

Confined to mainly firm and dry 4x4 width tracks, the Safari is suitable for road-legal dual-purpose bikes of all brands, shapes and sizes, from 200cc trail bikes to 1300cc world-tourers. The base route is big-bike friendly, with optional by-passes to reduce distance. There are also more technical, optional, trail sections for the fitter riders and more off road oriented bikes.
Entry forms are now available on the Britton Motorcycle Adventures website at while hire bikes are available ex Christchurch from

For more information on this release contact Mike Britton on +64 7 855 6132.


The Motorbikin' team go Coast to Coast in a record-breaking, non-stop, 92-hour transcontinental blast from the most Eastern to most Western points in Australia via the Simpson Desert and Gunbarrel Highway.

Join Factory Phil and Tugboat Bill as they saddle up for another shot at the Coast to Coast record from Byron Bay to Steep Point WA, this time on Suzuki DR650s.

The official Motorbikin' Coast to Coast DVD includes amazing aerial footage of the mighty Simpson Desert and the Red Centre in flood ... plus much much more!

The DVD is priced at $27.55 and is set to be shipped late-October.

Order your copy now from:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



Every two years the mighty Intermot Koln motorcycle show fires into life in Germany.

We were there for the last show two years ago, and seeing it first hand is a ginormous exercise in burnt shoe leather and acres of shiny new motorcycles, scooters and bicycles. Hall after hall of hardware and accessories is almost mind numbing, because there's just so much of it!

Now, while the GFC has certainly slowed down the rush of new bike models unveiled at Intermot, there's still a sprinkling of gleaming 'styling concepts' and 'design studies' that offer a glimpse of future gems the factories might have in store for us.

This year's Intermot show fired into life yesterday, and Yamaha's WorldCrosser fits right into the category of show-stoppers: check it out!

What is it? Let's just say it's the ultimate XT1200Z Super Tenere that rekindles the Dakar flavour of the Super Tenere heritage when legends like Stephane Peterhansel ruled the roost in the world's toughest off-road marathon on booming twin-cylinder Yamahas.

The WorldCrosser started life as a new Yamaha Super Tenere -- and it's then been pimped to the max!

Look closely and you'll see a sprinkling of carbon-fibre and gold-coloured detailed parts, Ohlins suspension, flight deck navigation gear, Akrapovic exhaust, auxiliary rear fuel tank, tool pouch and a whole stack more.

Yamaha won't say if these bolt-on goodies will actually see the light of day as parts you can get from your friendly local Yamaha dealer, but we won't mind betting that is exactly what will happen. And if Yamaha doesn't make 'em, the aftermarket certainly will!

Here at TRAIL ZONE we've got a Super Tenere coming in the new year as TRAIL ZONE long-term test Project Bike -- we think we've just been presented with the 'vision' for the mods we're going to make to the ground-pounding Yamaha adventure machine ... talk about the perfect mount for the inaugural Tenere Tragics gathering we are promoting in March ... oh yeah!

-- Clubby,