Tuesday, December 21, 2010



Another year bites the dust! And how fast has it gone? It's just amazing.

Thanks to all our treasured TRAIL ZONE readers, subscribers, advertisers, contributors and fans for all your support through 2010.

We've just pulled down the shutters at TRAIL ZONE HQ and we are now officially on holiday for the Xmas and New Year break.

We'll be back for business on January 5 for a full-throttle ride through 2011 -- so we'll see you then.

In the meantime, here's hoping Santa parks a new set of wheels under your Xmas tree and have fun over the holiday season!

-- Clubby & Tania, www.trailzone.com.au

Sunday, December 19, 2010



Hi guys: just a quick question. I have been watching your new IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 4 DVD and it is fantastic! But if you don't camp while riding, why all the luggage? What do you carry?
-- Dave, via www.trailzone.com.au

Now Dave, seven days in the outback in the middle of winter means carting around a few clothes and toiletries, and then there's the real high priority stuff like tools, spares, tubes, water and fuel for the long-range sections. Me, I also need to cart around a bag full of cameras and battery chargers. And a hair dryer. Then Lance needs to cart around a whopping big bag of video gear, microphones, tripods and lighting equipment. And a foot massager. Then the Wolfman (pictured) needs to cart around three flagons of cheap red, a kilo of blue vein cheese (kept at room temperature, of course), crackers and nibblies for his regular trailside snack stops to take in the view. Then Clive and Heath cart along tents and sleeping bags with them, because they are truly hard-core and prefer to sleep on the ground rather than get stiffed $25 each for a flea-bitten donga at some low-bag van park in Marree. And then the Major is a senior citizen so that means he has to cart around a collapsible wheelchair and inflatable toilet seat cushion to give him the true comfort he has become accustomed to at each overnight stop. Other than that, we all travel pretty light ... really. Ride on!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Friday, December 17, 2010



Enduro Cross is coming to Melbourne early in the New Year with a professionally run event which has already attracted the countriy's top riders.

Reigning Aussie Off-Road Champion Toby Price, Ben Grabham, Jarrod Bewley, Stefan Merriman, Chris Hollis, Josh Green, Mitch Harper and Daniel Milner are just a few of the big names that have already confirmed they will be on the start gate for the inaugural event.

The event will be run on Saturday 5th February 2011 at the Broadmeadows Motocross venue, only 10km from the Melbourne CBD. The venue has had major works done, has been revamped and will accommodate up to 4,000 spectators.

The event will be promoted by the father and son team of Dave and Colin Robbins under the control of the Motorcycling Victoria Enduro committee.

Colin and Dave Robins are no strangers to running major events. They are known for running one of the best events on the Victorian Off-Road Calendar at Horsham as well as a round of the Australian Off-Road Championships at the same venue. In the past Colin has run the famous Blue Light Ride whilst Dave has competed at a State, National and International level.

"All the riders have welcomed this type of event bringing the competition to the city area for the public to see, it's only 10km from Melbourne CBD," Dave Robbins said.

"It's a great prelude to the Australian Off-Road Championships starting two weeks later. It gives riders like Glenn Kearney, Chris Hollis and John Green who have been racing overseas a chance to see where they are placed against local heroes Price, Grabham, Bewley and Merriman. We're all really excited about it and the crowd will be too!"

Motocross commentator Lee Hogan will entertain the crowd with his legendary commentary and the evening is sure to be one not to miss.

With $5000 for the winner, the Pro Class has already attracted the big names but there will also be an Expert/Clubman class, as well as a new Under 19 class that is to be introduced for the night.

Enduro Cross is a mix of Supercross and enduro, brought to the spectators up-close and personal on an indoor or closed outdoor circuit. It is skill based, not speed based. The track comprises many sections with riders using every skill required in off-road riding. The sections include rocks, boulders, logs, sand, mud, water holes and special obstacles like giant tyres and wooden sections.

"Enduro cross brings a whole new element to racing because it's not built on speed; it's built on the riders and his ability to ride a motorcycle over a variety of obstacles. The level of excitement at these events has to be seen to be believed," Dave Robbins enthused.

"Typically enduro type events are run in remote or hard to get at locations. We aim to bring the action to the people. Australian riders are currently competing alongside riders all around the world and an event with Australian riders would be a truly world class event.

"The intention of the event is to bring a caliber of racing to the Melbourne public that has never seen before in an open arena," Robbins added. "The entertainment will be purely motorcycle competition related and will be directed towards family orientated spectators with an interest in this type of event at its most purist format.

"This type of event format brings the riding competition to the family person who can enjoy modern amenities, such as toilets, a bar and eating facilities in a civilized environment. The test of riders' skills at this level is both challenging and competitive and a high level of spectator value is assured. Riders will be racing for substantial prize money during the traditional off season and treat the event as a pre season opener, warm up type event," Robbins concluded.

Further information can be found at the http://www.enduro-x.com.au web site.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



After many months of preparation, the dirtbike.com.au GHR Honda Australia team are about to depart the country to compete in the 2011 Dakar Rally held in South America.

Based in Mittagong, NSW, the team represents the single largest Australian backed effort in the Rally’s “moto” class for two-wheeled vehicles.

The team consists of four riders - Jacob Smith (#113), Mark Davidson (#117), Simon Harslett (#181) and Warren Strange (#121). 21-year-old Jacob Smith from Condoblin, NSW, leads the riders.

Eight Aussie crew members will travel with the GHR Honda Dakar convoy through Argentina and Chile, providing general and mechanical support at overnight bivouac points.

Support will be offered by team owner Glenn Hoffmann, head mechanic Simon Wade, assisted by Jake Young, Max Sullivan, Ian Drysdale, Brad Strange and Glenn Brown.

A shipping container housing the team’s bikes, spares and tools was shipped from Australia at the beginning of November and is due to arrive in Buenos Aires on 21 December, 2010.

The crew’s support truck was procured and equipped in the UK before it too was shipped to Buenos Aires. The truck’s facilities include a crane, work benches, wiring for power tools and lighting, and robust storage racks. It is estimated that the truck will cover 7,000km over the 16 days of the event.

The first GHR Honda team crew members depart for the race gathering in Buenos Aires on 22 December to join the support truck shipped from the UK last month, and the container housing the bikes, tools and spares.

Most of the remaining crew members and riders depart Australia on 25 December 2010.

Following scrutineering of bikes and set-up of the support truck, the riders will cross the ceremonial start of the event on New Year’s day, and the first competitive stage starts the day after on 2 January.

Visit http://ghrhonda.dirtbike.com.au for updates and watch the 30 minute daily telecast on SBS.

Meanwhile for more information on GHR Honda’s history and race results see the ABOUT page at http://ghrhonda.dirtbike.com.au and be sure to click on the BLOG link for all latest news and a behind-the-scenes look at the GHR Honda team's Dakar Preparations.


Hi there TRAIL ZONE crew: Just looking at all those bikes in your Chosoe Your Ride subscriber promotion makes me think, "what would be my dream stable?" There would be a trials bike, for starters. I used to own a TY250 36 years ago. It was so much fun. Then there would be a 200 or 300cc two-stroke enduro for a quick blast through single-trails. And then a KTM 690 for longer rides. That's not asking for much is it? I love my KLX but just turned 58, so am thinking of more adventure riding, so the DR650 would be great, or maybe the KTM 200EXC would be my choice and then I could trade my KLX in on a DR or KTM690 (sigh!). Thanks for a great magazine. Keep up the good work and hopefully I get to choose my ride!
-- Phil, via www.trailzone.com.au

You've got to be in it, to win it, Phil! Thanks for putting your entry in for our Choose Your Ride promotion. Best of luck I give you a call at the end of February with some big news! If all you other TRAIL ZONE readers want to take your shot at winning your choice of seven brand new dirt bikes, click on the Choose Your Ride link on the www.trailzone.com.au web page and subscribe to the mag and get your entry in!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Hi Clubby: We have just opened to the riding public, Native Dog Motorcycle Park. We are for the most part a web of natural-terrain trails through some of the harshest terrain in the counrty, with a vertical rise of some 200 metres over less than a kilometre. I think it's fair to say we are in the "TRAIL ZONE" (or maybe we should be !!). I am in the process of speaking to clubs and so on to get the word out, and thought you may be able to give us a plug. I have attatched a copy of the flier I am sending out to clubs as well as a basic track map. Please give me a call (02) 6457 8325 if you have any questions or think you may be able to help push some buttons. We look forward to hearing from you!
-- Garry Gravenor, via www.trailzone.com.au

Thanks for the email, Garry, you're just the kind of bloke we like to hear from: someone starting a brand new dirt bike riding park! Sounds like we've ridden right past your front gate a few times as we've trundled down the Barry Way on adventure bike rides. We've got a fair idea of where you are and can absolutely vouch for your comment about the steep terrain -- you're in the guts of some serious Snowy Mountains all right! We'll give your riding park a plug in the pages of the mag and try and to steer a few riders your way. We'll also try to drop in ourselves for a look around and some primo roosting the next time we are down there! Best of luck with the new venture.
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Sunday, December 12, 2010



Late last week the Australian importer of Husqvarna motorcycles, the Paul Feeney Group, invited the national motorcycle media to Braidwood, NSW, to test-ride the all-new 2011 Husqvarna TE449 and TE511 enduro machines.

The two-day soiree kicked off in Bateman's Bay with the formal unveiling of the bikes and technical briefings by the PFG brass and Thomas Moser, the Executive VP and CFO of Husqvarna Italy, before adjourning for a slap-up dinner (which is always an important part of any new bike launch ... hic!)

The next day we moved up the mountains to Braidwood -- the very same day that nearby Queanbeyan was flooded by a storm of biblical proportions!

Yes, conditions at Braidwood were grey and wet, but thankfully the showers were infrequent enough that we could get in some serious saddle-time on the new Italian stallions, around a wicked mix of specially laid-out grass-track, enduro and trail riding sections.

At a time when most manufacturers have pulled the handbrake on when it comes to new trail/enduro bike development, Husqvarna is bucking that trend entirely and the TE 449 and 511 are brand new from the ground up.

Yes, the two bikes run the fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, Taiwanese-made four-stroke powerplant debuted on BMW's recent G 450 X enduro machine (remember, BMW now owns Husqvarna), but the chassis (which retains the BMW developed coaxial swingarm pivot/countershaft drive), suspension (with new rear above-swingarm linkage system) and details (that includes one-piece side bodywork panels and sharp, angular guards) package is all Husqvarna.

The mood amongst the PFG crew at the launch was decidedly upbeat, and why wouldn't it be: Husqvarna sales are on the way up and the involvement of parent brand BMW has given the Italian marque a massive boost in stability. In fact, PFG has signed a new long-term contract with the Italian head office, and has in turn invested in a new and much larger headquarters on the Queensland Gold Coast, which they will move into in the new year.

The new TEs both deliver the kind of performance to put them very much in the hunt against their rivals, and both are priced very sharply against the competition -- and come with the added bonus of an Akrapovic competition muffler.

The new TEs are arriving in Husqvarna dealerships now (check out the recently revamped www.husqvarnamotorcycles.com.au web site for all the tech details on the new bikes) -- while we'll have a full test-ride report on both machines in our next issue of TRAIL ZONE #34 that will go on-sale in February.

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au


Hi all: I have been a long-time reader of your magazine and have noticed there is not too much written about riding in or around Adelaide. I currently enjoy the riding in Queensland, but there is a potential we may be relocated due to work. Can you advise what, if any, is the riding scene like in SA?
-- Dave, via www.trailzone.com.au

Thanks for your email, Dave. We've done a few SA-based stories over the years, on trail rides in the southern and northern Flinders Ranges, as well as a few years of coverage of the annual SA 24 Hour Trial event. Down there in SA they are real strong on the 'road-trials' events, which are like long-distance enduro/trail rides. All the major bike shops in Adelaide are up to speed on these events, so you can find out details of that when you get there. If you want a specific shop to contact, try SA Dirt Bikes in Adelaide, as they are real hard-core trail and enduro guys and will be able to steer you in the right direction. You should also contact the DSMRA (www.dsmra.asn.au) and/or AMTRA (www.amtra.com.au) as both these national trail riding associations have branches in SA and you will be able to easily hook up with them for rides and find out plenty more about the local SA scene. It's like dirt bike riding anywhere: just contact the locals once you are there and get into it, because once you do, the rides will be coming thick and fast. Good luck with the move and thanks for reading the mag.
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au


Hi TRAIL ZONE: Just thought I would let you know about my experiences with the Tubliss tyre system. Having fitted them to my DR-Z400 in April 2010 and 8000km later, I can recommend them without hesitation. I have had no punctures or dramas and these are the pressures I run when: commuting (18psi), sand tracks and beaches (5psi), clay and slippery country (10psi), rocky tracks (12psi) -- these pressures are not cast in stone and vary upon track conditions. You can run them flat if the tyre is punctured. Now, just a couple of things: 1) put new tyres on when installing the system; 2) watch the Youtube video and follow the excellent instructions; 3) buy yourself a good hand pump and gauge, that can cover 100psi to 0psi. In conclusion the biggest benefit I have had is the ability to run low pressure in soft sand (with luggage or not), which means I can go fast when I have the urge or literally cruise along and conserve energy (being an unfit average rider). And thanks for a great magazine,
-- Dennis, via www.trailzone.com.au

Thanks for the tips on the Tubliss system, Dennis. We've actually got a product review on the Tubliss system coming up in issue #34 of TRAIL ZONE, as our good mate Big Rich Gold runs them on his KTM 530EXC and has enjoyed the same great performance as you have. The real benefits of the Tubliss system appear to be the ability to run very low pressures when required for improved traction, and not having to fear a puncture mid-ride. Tubliss products are now being distributed in Australia by Pro Accessories, so if anyone is interested in checking them out, call (07) 3277 0675 to find the name of your nearest Tubliss stockist.
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Saturday, December 11, 2010



Hi and g'day to Clubby and the TRAIL ZONE crew: I've just got the latest copy of TRAIL ZONE and I must say: "HOW DO I GET THAT XTZ WORLDCROSSER?!" How can us mere mortals obtain one or do I have to knock over the kids at the local shopping centre to get to Santa and ask him can he get me one? Oh well, guess I will have to get back to reading the latest copy of TZ and keep drooling about the Worldcrosser ... Keep up the good work and best wishes for the New Year.
-- Scotty, via www.trailzone.com.au

Now Scotty, if only we had ten bucks for each time someone has asked us how they can get an XTZ Worldcrosser of their own! We'd be rich indeed. But the reality is, Yamaha continues to explain the Worldcrosser was just a design study concept bike and won't ever see production. But that's not to say aftermarket companies might not replicate the trick parts featured on the bike, so before long there could be all sorts of kevlar, carbon-fibre and alloy parts that will help make the XT1200Z Super Ténéré an even more serious off-road beast. Fingers crossed!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au


Dear Lance and all the Crew: I just wanted to say what a great magazine you put out with TRAIL ZONE and particularly, Lance, the latest DVD -- IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 4. I was so impressed, I bought two copies of the mag and DVD! The footage, music and editing of the DVD were superb and overall it was really well put together and very professional. Well done to you all, and Cheryl at Club Y for making the whole ride happen at Maleny. The Club Y ride at Maleny was a great time and lots of fun. If you need me again, you can count on me for Maleny next year for bike transport if required. I hope you all have a great Xmas and New Year and hope to see you soon in the New Year.
-- Dave Morgan, via www.offroadexplorer.com

Thanks for your email, Dave (which Lance forwarded on to us) and thanks for all the effort you put in to making the Club Y and TRAIL ZONE ride at Maleny happen this year. It sure did make a "good-vibe" segment in our latest DVD, but that was always going to happen, because the trail riding around Maleny is just superb. And by the way, congratulations on your starring role in the DVD, where you chug-a-lugged that mighty red tractor XR650R of yours up Heartbreak Hill -- nice effort!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au


Aussie of-road motorcycle racing legend, and acclaimed Skills instructor, Shane Watts has announced the confirmation of one of his wildly popular two-day “DirtWise with Shane Watts” Academy of Offroad Riding Schools is to be conducted in Australia in the heart of the magnificent Otway Ranges, near Aireys Inlet, Victoria, on January 15/16 2011.

Renowned Otway Off-Road Motorcycle Tours has partnered with DirtWise to provide logistics and excellent local knowledge of premium trail obstacles to help make this school an essential “must-attend” for any Aussie dirtbike enthusiast. Base camp for this school will be at the Sokil Resort. Unfortunately though due to some of the school being conducted in state forest, youth riders will be unable to attend this school, plus all bikes must have a minimum of Rec Rego – no exceptions!

The DirtWise Offroad schools and Instructional DVDs continue to receive rave reviews from attending students and these very informative schools and DVDs are widely regarded as the premier learning programs available. More than 1,500 students have graduated from the Academy since it officially began in July 2007.

Watts enthuses: “I can’t wait to conduct this upcoming school in the Otways! The trails there are some of the best in the world and the guys from Otway Off-Road Tours have an intricate knowledge of the area – the riding is going to be sensational!”

“The DirtWise with Shane Watts Academy of Offroad Riding is an excellent opportunity to gain experience and improve your skill level with offroad riding situations, whilst in a controlled environment and under expert guidance. The DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding school is an exceptional learning institution that focuses on offroad specific riding situations and instruction, however the skills we teach apply to both offroad and motocross riding/racing.”

“The majority of our students are of the novice and intermediate skill level, however what we teach applies to all skill levels right from the beginner all the way through to the Pro level. We just set up the skills exercises with varying degrees of difficulty according to the skill levels present at each individual school.”

“Our school focuses on increasing bike control which results in a safer, more confident and skilled rider. Ultimately this allows each student, if they desire, to easily ride faster without greatly overstepping their skill limits. Having greater bike control and confidence are key ingredients to achieve this!”

Cost for the two day school will be $380 (includes a free DirtWise t-shirt), with discounts available for previous students and extra family members. The $100USD (roughly $100AUD) deposit will need to be paid via credit card through www.shanewatts.com, while the remaining balance of $280AUD will be paid in cash on the morning of the first day of the school. Each student and DirtWise DVD customer will gain access to some great discounted prices from the companies associated with DirtWise.

Con Thermos, owner of Otway Off-Road Tours commented, ”Having Wattsy choose to come to our neck of the woods to conduct his first DirtWise school in Oz is a real thrill and compliment to what our trails offer. This first school lays the ground work for some possible ride tours in the future with Wattsy and some international clients. We have such unreal riding down here!!!”

For those interested in attending this upcoming school please email dirtwise@shanewatts.com for more info and to receive the Event flyer which will outline all relevant information including accommodation at the Sokil Resort. Be sure to pass this information on to any of your mates, fellow club members, and riding buddies who might be interested in a valued weekend of instruction, practice, skills improvement, and heaps of fun!

Visit www.shanewatts.com to register for this school and to sign up for the periodical “Watts Happening” Newsletter, or to purchase the recently released Volume #2 (How to Master Corners, Braking, and Roosting through tight trees) in the DirtWise Advanced Instructional DVD series. Along with our other DVD titles there is also additional merchandise available to purchase at www.shanewatts.com such as DirtBaby “track ready” infant and toddler apparel, bargain pricing on Flexx handlebars, plus more!

Shane Watts and the DirtWise Academy of Offroad Riding schools and Instructional DVDs are supported by www.ktmhutt.com, DirtBaby, Dirt Tricks Sprockets and brake rotors, Fun Mart Cycles, IMS fuel tanks and footpegs, Flexx Handlebars, Domino Grips from Offroadchampions.com, DeCal Works, and Synergy Fork Seals.

Sunday, December 5, 2010



After being unveiled at the recent Australian Motorcycle Expo in Melbourne, TRAIL ZONE issue #33 has just been delivered to Australia Post and is right now winging its way to thousands of subscribers right around the country and overseas.

And later this week the new issue of TRAIL ZONE will land on newsagents’ shelves nationwide – a full week ahead of schedule! – putting this issue in the hands of readers in plenty of time for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.

TRAIL ZONE #33 is sure to be a popular new issue, as it comes bundled up with our latest annual DVD production – IN THE ZONE: EPISODE 4!

That’s right, not only will buyers and subscribers score another rip-roaring issue of TRAIL ZONE that is jam-packed with page after page of awesome trail, enduro and adventure bike reading, but they will also score our latest bonus DVD that’s loaded with 80 minutes of TRAIL ZONE on TV – and once again it’s filled with a feast of edge-of-the-seat viewing.

This issue of TRAIL ZONE also provides the final chance for readers to subscribe and go in the Choose Your Ride draw. One lucky suscriber will be drawn at random on February 25, 2011, to take his/her choice of a whopping seven bike prize line-up that includes BMW’s G 450 X, Husaberg’s TE300, Husqvarna’s TE310, Kawasaki’s KLX450R, KTM’s 200 EXC, Suzuki’s DR650SE and Yamaha’s WR450F.

One winner comes out of the barrel and gets to choose one prize bike from the Choose Your Ride line-up – whichever one they like!

For full details please see the new issue of TRAIL ZONE magazine or go online and visit the www.trailzone.com.au web site.

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au