Sunday, February 27, 2011



Motorex KTM Off-Road Team’s Toby Price (far right) has won the second round of the 2011 Yamaha Australian Off-Road Championship (AORC) after a disaster in the first round the day before at Bulahdelah NSW.

Making a costly mistake while in the lead, Price ran out of fuel in the first round’s gruelling Cross Country format, leaving him with a disappointing DNF result.

In Sunday’s race, however, Price certainly made up for it racing the tough Sprint format with times consistently faster than even the closest competitors in all five Sprint races, including Yamaha’s Chris Hollis and KTM’s Jarrod Bewley who rounded out the top three outright places for the day.

In the E1 class KTM’s Ben Grabham picked up the pace and took the top place on the podium ahead of Yamaha’s Stefan Merriman and Tom McCormack.

Price’s domination continued from his outright results in the E2 class, leading Hollis and Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney – who recovered from mechanical issues at the first round to take third place at round two.

KTM’s Bewley was top finisher in the E3 class, ahead of an impressive performance from Yamaha’s Matt Phillips and Husaberg rider Geoff Braico.

David Cash (Yamaha) took out the Masters Class ahead of Trent Lean (Suzuki) and Glen Charlton (Yamaha) following the withdrawal of Yamaha team boss Geoff Ballard.

Husqvarna rider Damien Smith triumphed in the Veterans Class, ahead of Garry Dukes (Husaberg) and Adam Schneller (KTM).

In the Women’s class, it was a clean sweep of blue bikes with reigning champ and Yamaha rider Jess Gardiner taking top honours ahead of Swedish import Emelie Karlsson and Jemma Wilson.

In the Juniors Brendon Walther (Yamaha), New Zealand local Scott Sowry (Kawasaki), Wayde Carter (Honda) and Callan Hayes (Yamaha) were all successful in their individual classes with full results can be found on the Series web site at

Speaking after the event, Series Co-ordinator Denise Hore said it was an incredible outcome for the National championship.

“This weekend was absolutely massive for the 2011 Yamaha AORC,” Ms Hore said.

“Nearly 300 competitors took to the track in the combined national and state rounds, and the Central Cost Dirt Riders Club did an incredible job putting the event together and we can’t thank them enough.

“Special thanks must also go to series sponsors Yamaha Australia and Ballard’s Off-Road, all the MA officials who worked tirelessly in the heat, Motorcycling NSW and their Enduro Management Committee for agreeing to have the National championship rounds co-incide with the State event, and to all the competitors for getting behind the Series and making it one of the biggest in years.”

Check out videos from the first weekend of racing on the AORC Facebook fan page and for more information on the 2011 Yamaha AORC check out the web site and the series’ Facebook page for the latest photo galleries and videos.


Round one of the 2011 Yamaha Australian Off Road Championship is done and dusted with multiple World Championship winner and Ballard’s Yamaha Off-Road Team’s, Stefan Merriman, returning to stunning form to take line honours ahead of team-mate Chris Hollis and Motorex KTM Off-Road Team’s Jarrod Bewley.

The gruelling three-hour Cross-Country format event on Saturday at Bulahdelah, NSW, saw the course take many prisoners including reigning Champ and Motorex KTM rider Toby Price --who after missing two fuel stops, was left running on empty whilst in the lead.

Husqvarna’s Glenn Kearney also fell afoul of the track, suffering mechanical problems -- marring his return to the Australian Championship after years competing in the US.

Nearly 300 competitors took to the course throughout the first round, pushing through 30-plus degree heat and dry conditions in the combined national and state championship rounds.

In the E1 class, Merriman was the clear winner, with KTM’s Ben Grabham and Yamaha’s Kirk Hutton rounding out the top three places.

Hollis took out the E2 class ahead of Polish import Bartosz Oblucki riding for Husqvarna and Geoff Braico (Husaberg).

Bewley was first across the line for the E3 class, followed by Yamaha’s Matt Phillips and Husqvarna’s Matt Ryan, both of whom have made the switch from Motocross in 2011.

In the Masters Class, team boss Geoff Ballard took the top spot with David Cash (Yamaha) and Trent Lean (Suzuki) rounding out the top three.

Garry Dukes (Husaberg) took out the first round of the Veterans ahead of Mark Woolley (Yamaha) and Anthony Smidt (KTM).

Sweden’s Emelie Karlsson (Yamaha) took line honours in the Women’s championship class, ahead of Jemma Wilson (Yamaha) and Tanya Hearne (KTM) -- while reigning champ and Yamaha rider Jess Gardiner suffered bike problems and failed to finish.

Round two of the AORC kicks into gear on Sunday featuring the action-packed Sprint format.

Full results, including Junior championship classes, from the first round of racing can be found on the Series website at

Check out videos of the outright top three from round one on the AORC Facebook fan page.

For more information on the 2011 Yamaha AORC check out the web site and the series’ Facebook page for the latest photo galleries and videos.


Howdy TRAIL ZONE: I'm living overseas for the year so sadly I can't collect each treasured edition of TRAIL ZONE magazine from my mailbox, but when I return, I'll have a nice collection to read, won't I? Looking forward to it! Now, there are things we miss out on in Australia, which showed up when I took a stroll today past a local motorcycle shop here in Cosenza (southern Italy), and stepped in for a little chat with the owner (however, trying to be understood with my pathetic Italian skills, is not easy). The shop sells Hondas, but not just your ordinary old Hondas like in Australia. Here in Italy, Honda dirt bikes are distributed with Montesa, and they make some really interesting machinery:
Despite all these amazing machines, they don't sell Honda XRs anymore. It's a sad world indeed.... The bloke in the motorcycle shop did have a thing for XR650s though. I'm doing my best to find a way to go riding here, but unfortunately it means buying a set of new riding gear, as the freight cost alone to send my gear from Melbourne would be $400-plus. Wish I had brought mine with me!
-- Jady M, Cosenza, Italy via

Thanks for your email, Jady, and take a look at some of those trick Honda off-roaders. What Aussie riders wouldn't give to see some of them on the showroom floor at their local Honda dealer! You need to get some riding gear and get a ride in, Jady, for sure!
-- Clubby,

Friday, February 25, 2011



At 10am this morning we drew the winner of our latest TRAIL ZONE Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion ... and after leaving messages all day, we have just now heard back from her ... yes, HER!

The winner is TANYA MAUK and she is from WA.

Tanya is a long-time TRAIL ZONE subscriber and has entered our Choose Your Ride promotion over the past three years. Prior to today the biggest win she ever had was at the local chook raffle!

Tanya works in the Jundee gold mine in central WA. She and her partner Bruce have five bikes between them -- a mix of road and dirt machines.

Her choice from our seven bike prize line-up is the HUSABERG TE300 two-stroke.

That's right ... a big victory for the two-strokers! As we have often said, long live the smell of premix in the morning.

Tanya will soon be taking delivery of her new Husaberg and carving up the trails of WA.

Of course, we have to say thanks to all our subscribers who entered this year's Choose Your Ride promotion.

And to all our Choose Your Ride sponsors, thanks once again for all your support in helping us deliver a fabulous subscription promotion that is an annual hit with our readers. We only wish we could give away all seven bikes!

-- Clubby,

Monday, February 21, 2011



Dear TRAIL ZONE crew: I have followed your magazine since day-dot and would like to say that I love every aspect of your mag. But I've been a bad trailrider and have never signed-up for a subscription, but always get copies put aside for me at the local newsagent. The reason I've decided to email you is I've been following the Suzuki DR650SE Project Bike articles for some time and have decided to put my two cents in. After years of riding my trusty DR-Z400(which I still have), I recently bought a DR650 for myself as a Christmas present to me and I, too, have made several upgrades to her, one being jetting. I did the standard thing of pulling the snorkel out, lifting the needle, adjusting the fuel screw and it went pretty well. But my only problem being was that my loving partner had mentioned that the exhaust note sound like "An ag bike that needed a slab of red bull up its backside!" So that's when I decided to make a phone call to TK Pipes and buy a muffler. Let me just stray here for a second and say that Terry's a top bloke and produces excellent product making a bike sound more manly ... anyway, I would like to share my results. Mu set-up is: 140 main, 42.5 pilot, fourth groove on the needle, 1.25 turns on the fuel screw and snorkel out -- and she pulls like a freight train. After testing fuel consumption with stock set-up when new, she has only dropped down to 18km per litre. So it just goes to show that no two DRs are the same. Keep up the great articles and the brilliant work the crew are doing and one day our bikes may cross paths to mate andcreate more awesome baby DRs.
-- Michael AKA Suzuki/DR Junky, via

Dear Junky: You know what I've noticed over recent months, mate? Poor old Russ has been sprouting more grey hairs and his brow has become more furrowed than ever ... and he puts it all down to the enigma that is trying to jet a modified DR650SE. Talk to any DR rider and they will all give you an ever-so-slightly different story when it comes to jetting tips and fuel economy. If your beast is giving you the performance you want and is putting the miles away at 18km per litre, you're laughing! Ride on, son. Oh, you do realise that this Friday morning I draw the winner of our latest Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion? The winner gets to take their choice of seven brand new dirt bikes. But hey, if you don't subscribe, it won't be you I call! It's not too late to get your subscription in ...
-- Clubby,


Hi Lance: Thanks for your efforts with the magazine. I haven't had the chance to get the latest issue as I live remote but am looking forward to it. Now, to my question: How can I get a windscreen for the Trailtech Torch X2 light that fits on the Suzuki DR650SE you have been featuring in TRAIL ZONE?
-- Glenn via

Hi Glenn: The Australian importer of Trailtech products is Holeshot Sports in Victoria and they can direct you to your nearest Trailtech retailer. You can contact them by calling (03) 5433 2559. As for the screen, we designed a custom screen and had it cut out of 3mm poly and shaped it with a heat gun. To mount the Trailtech headlight on to the DR, you'll need the headlight mount that we designed and B&B Off-Road is now making as a kit. Call them on (03) 5335 8000 for more details and to order direct. Hope this helps -- enjoy the ride!
-- Lance Turnley,


The Force Accessories Honda Racing Team is pleased to announce that Nick Beattie has joined the team to work alongside AJ Roberts as he embarks on his quest to win the 2011 Australian Off Road Championship.
Although they will be competing in different classes, AJ on board a Honda CRF450R (pictured) in the E2 class and Nick on board a Honda CRF480R in the E3 class, the two riders will train together and race together providing each other with the friendly rivalry that is required to keep the results coming.
AJ is thrilled to have Nick as a team mate and with the first round of the championship coming up this weekend, is looking forward to building a strong team for the year.
“Now I’ve got a team mate I’m really looking forward to the year ahead. Nick’s enthusiasm is already rubbing off on me and driving me to push that little bit harder.
“I’ve been training as much as I can both on and off the bike since the start of the year and feel that I’m in the best possible condition both physically and mentally to take on this season,” said AJ.
Nick is extremely happy to start the year as a member of the Force Accessories Honda Racing Team.
“The opportunity to form a team with AJ came out of the blue late last year. After having an average season in 2010, teaming up with AJ will now provide the support and drive I need to achieve my goals for 2011.
“I’m super pumped to be given this opportunity. AJ and I have been practicing flat out since the start of the year and I can’t believe the shape I’m in right now. I’m positive this season will be my best ever,” said Nick.
AJ and Nick are heading to Bulahdelah later this week for the first round of the Australian Off Road Racing Championships and both look forward to showing how strong they are as a team.
Force Accessories Honda Racing Team sponsors for 2011 are Honda Australia, Force Accessories, Michelin, Honda Oils, Thor, Akrapovic, Pro Taper, Jett boots, Spy, Five Three Designs, Vortex Ignitions, Webolution, Goodridge, Tallon Hubs & Sprockets, Acerbis, Unifilter and Engine Ice.


Hi Guys: I was going through some old photos and came across one of my tricked-up Honda XL350 from 1977. This bike is a '74 model which cost a princely sum of $800 brand new and as petrol was about 13 cents a litre then, talk about happy days (although it cost 24 cents per litre on the Nullabor), while during happy hour at the pub you could get five schooners for $1! Bring back the '70s, but with the current hardware.
Some of the modifications on this bike included:
* 410cc kit
* Koni rear shocks
* Power pipe (the standard one weighed about 20kg)
* Touring tank plus ten extra litres in a can.
I see from your articles on the best outback adventure bikes that are basically the same configuration: big air-cooled singles (like the DR650SE) with lovely simple technology that hasn't changed in over 30 years, because it works. This bike did over 70,000 miles before I sold it, for not much money, and I know it may be hard to believe that I did the CREB trail with all that gear/tools/spares/extra fuel etc.
Most of the travels were with friends who had XT500 Yamahas, similarly kitted-out. Most of the outback roads then were dirt, the worst being between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek where both the Yamahas broke their sub-frames. Now this road among many others are tarred -- not that it's a bad thing.
I currently own a Suzuki DR-Z250 with all your modifications plus one -- a Barrett's power pipe (they work great) and a BMW R1200R (love the torque).
Just interesting, like the shark, the adventure bike has reached the pinnacle of its evolution.
-- Steve, via
PS: Saw the letter from the guy on a 1983 Tenere in a previous issue -- another warrior from the past!

Great email and photo, Steve: that old XL of yours served itself well, for sure! Bet you wish you still had it, huh? If you did, you could sign up to join us on the Classic Adventure Bike ride to Suzuki Classic Dirt 8 at Conondale, Queensland, in June. For anyone interested in a taste of classic trail riding hardware, check out the web site and register for more details. Ride on!
-- Clubby,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Coffs Harbour and its surrounding areas offer some of the best trails nationwide. And one of the best ways to explore this area is on a Yamaha sponsored Detour trail ride. The Coffs Harbour branch is run by enthusiastic and experienced tour leader Boris Everson.

Dorrigo bred Boris uses a wealth of local information to tailor a trail riding experience to suit each group. For example, heavy rainfalls in October and November of 2010 were no deterrent to the fun, because Boris was able to use his knowledge of the area to bypass the wettest trails and keep everyone entertained and enthused.

"We pride ourselves on the large number of repeat customers and are constantly impressed with how far they travel to come on our tours. It's not unusual to see riders from Victoria, Tasmania, Perth and we even had a rider fly in from Florida for one of our tours," says Boris.

"A lot of the journalists have now tasted the Coffs Harbour Detour experience and we are pleased that they are rating us highly as a 'must-do' on the organised ride calendar," continues Boris who offers two to five day rides. His Seven Hills Ride that is run every September has quickly become an iconic Coffs Harbour Detour run.

Boris is also an experienced rafting guide and can even take you on a trip down the rapids of Nymboida River. Combining whitewater and green trails is all part of the Coffs Harbour Detour experience.

CHD recently launched its own website at which is loaded with info, pics and videos. The site also contains key dates and magazine articles on Coffs tours, media releases and a section where riders can look at their own pics and videos after their tour.

With 2011 shaping up to be a huge seasons, Detour's tours range from $150 for one day rides up to $2100 for the full seven day trip, with the cost including:

* The best trails on the North Coast!
* All fuel after the first tank
* Trailside morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea
* Accommodation while on tour – dinner, bed and breakfast
* National Park and State Forest fees
* Highly experienced local guides who source and maintain these awesome trails
* Support vehicle that carries your overnight bags as well as food and fuel

For more details, contact Coffs Harbour Detour trail boss Boris Everson on (0407) 300 690.


Hi guys: Just sending you a picture of my 2009 KLR650. You published a letter I sent you in the Trail Mail segment in the Nov/Dec '09 issue of TRAIL ZONE, titled "It's all Russ's fault." I spoke about seeing Russ's KLR650 Project Bike and then buying a KLR myself. I'm now living at Lightning Ridge in north-western NSW. I plan to do a bit of exploring around this area while I'm out here. My wife wants to get a bike as well. That why I've renewed my subscription so I can win the 'Choose Your Ride' promotion and she can get her own bike. (I don't want her learning on my bike!). Now, Tania did a good story on the SPOT Tracker, as my wife wants me to get one because she reckons I will get lost out here. Yet, as you see in the photo, she won't let me get any good luggage for the bike. As if I'm going to get lost anyway! In this photo I did a trip back to Sydney. Most of it was on the tar, but I did find some dirt along the way. I took the long way home. Take note of the Barkbusters and the crash bar on the left side of the bike: I misjudged a corner. Anyway, thought you could use the photo in the mag. Keep up the brilliant work with the magazine because I love it. If you're ever coming to the Lightning Ridge area, let me know.
-- Brendan, via

If Russ is guilty of bringing another rider back to dirt bikes, he'll be plenty happy about that, Brendan! Welcome to the dark side of dirt bike riding -- now it's time to start racking up the miles on your KLR and sweet-talking the missus for plenty of farkles for the mighty 650. And yep, she'll love the SPOT Tracker for sure, but just be sure to turn it off when you get to each overnight destination, because she doesn't need to know how much time you're spending in the pub! Ride on.
-- Clubby,


Hi guys: love the mag and love the DVDs -- keep the good stuff coming! But I have one question; well two, really. When I watch the DVDs, the size of Clubby’s bag amazes me! I mean his bumbag, which he wears to the front. It appears to be huge. What does he carry in it? And why does he carry it on the front? Is it that big or is it just a funny camera angle? The reason I am asking is that I am just returning to dirt bike riding (adventure riding) and my old bumbag looks to be half the size of Clubby’s and I used to wear it on the back. Just wondering what I should be packing in my bumbag? What brand and size is Clubby’s bag and is wearing it at the front or back better? Thanks!
-- Steve via

Truth be told, I have had many a comment about the size of my bag over the years, Steve, and they've not all been complimentary! Now, to set the record straight, what you're seeing in the DVDs is my camera bumbag. It's a proper Lowepro brand photographer's bumbag and I use it to carry my camera gear for shooting the still photos you see in the mag. It's big enough to carry a Nikon D-SLR camera body, fisheye lense, short zoom telephoto lense, flash, batteries and memory cards. That's why it looks bigger than a normal bumbag that you would carry tools and spares in. And you see it in the front, because when I stop to take photos (or talk smack for the camera for the DVD), I spin it around to the front so I can quickly get the camera out. When riding, I most times wear at the back. If you want to learn more about dirt bike bumbags and what tools to carry with you, get a Back issue copy of TRAIL ZONE issue #9 (phone the TZ office on (02) 9905 ZONE during business hours to order) as Dr Phil did a story there looking at trick tools to pack in your bumbag and reviewed a range of popular bumbags.
-- Clubby,

Saturday, February 12, 2011



Hi all: first up, great mag. Just want to say how much I like the current format, but I live in fear that you will become another motocross magazine -- lets hope not.
I, like a lot of gentlemen of a certain age, mid 40s and growing, own and ride bikes of an era that suits our growing years (my '96 Tenere while it spends most of its time running around town and to and from work, still gives great service and reliability). What I would like from a magazine of this type are articles about maintaining and setting up the older bikes. We see plenty of articles on new bikes and new equipment and understand that these are the people that pay for advertising space. But we without the money for a new bike still want to buy and need gear for our more mature steeds. Yes, the ravages of time, children, bills and the inability to move quickly first thing in the morning hit us all, so how about giving the old blokes and bikes a chance?
Anyhow, cheers all and hope to see you on the road sometime.
-- Denis Mayhew via

Thanks for your email, Denis. First up, there's not much chance of TRAIL ZONE becoming another motocross magazine, let me tell you! We'll take your comments onboard about old bikes and riders, because there's plenty of us out there in the TRAIL ZONE, for sure. And as for seeing us on the road sometime, did you get in and register for our Ténéré Tragics ride to the Flinders Ranges? Why not?! Sounds like it might have been the perfect excuse for you to head outback on your mighty '96 model and hook up with a bunch of us? Make sure you watch the mag and then get in early for the 2012 Ténéré Tragics ride.
-- Clubby,

Friday, February 11, 2011



Hi Guys: This photo is of my little cousin Seth from the Hunter Valley, NSW. He loves the pictures in TRAIL ZONE. This photo just goes to show that you are never too young for TRAIL ZONE!
-- Cam McDonald via

Go big, Seth! Thanks for the photo, Cam, great stuff. We're guessing it won't be long now before Seth is busting big on his Pee Wee!
-- Clubby,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011



Our good mates at VMX Magazine have pulled the trigger and launched details of the 2011 version of the annual Suzuki Classic Dirt event.

This year's event will be Suzuki Classic Dirt 8 and all roads lead back to the lush Green Park lay-out at Conondale on the Queensland sunshine coast over the June 10/11/12/13 long weekend

After years of wanting to be there, we finally made it to last year's Classic Dirt event and had a rip-roaring good-time, so we're first to stick our hands up to get in amongst the action at this year's event.

There will be a feast of riding (but no racing!) to be had over the weekend, for classic motocross, trail/enduro and trials bikes on purpose-built courses, as well as the annual swap-meet festivities, Legends Laps from a plethora of vintage dirt bike heroes and more good-time socialising than even Charlie Sheen could keep up with!

And if you're into vintage adventure bikes like we are, the big news is TRAIL ZONE, and are teaming up to lead a ride for vintage adventure machines from the NSW mid-north coast to the event. Look out for more details on this ride in the latest issue of TRAIL ZONE (#34 that goes on-sale at the end of this week) and on the ORE web site.

As for more event information about Suzuki Classic Dirt 8 and how you can enter to ride or just spectate and soak it all up, check out the web site and then get the necessary leave pass from the boss and take aim on Conondale on the June long weekend -- we'll see you there!

-- Clubby,

Thursday, February 3, 2011



The all-new TRAIL ZONE issue #34 has just rolled off the press and is being wrapped and packed to go in the mail to subscribers tomorrow (Friday), meaning they will land in your mail boxes first thing next week.

The new issue is then due to go on-sale in newsagents at the end of next week.

Here's a sneak peek of the new front cover, which delivers a close-up look at Husqvarna's new limited-edition TE250 Meo Replica that's been built in honour of Team Husqvarna rider Antoine Meo's victory in the E1 class of the 2010 Maxxis FIM World Enduro Championship.

The mag is once again chock-full of a feast of awesome reading about trail, enduro and adventure bike riding, and one story that sure looks good is the report on the 2011 Yamaha NZ Safari in the land of the long white cloud. I was lucky enough to squeeze in a rush trip to NZ a couple of weeks ago to do the ride, and if the photos of the mountain trails those lucky Kiwis get to ride every weekend of the year don't fire you up to get over there and do it for yourself, you need to see a doctor and get your pulse checked!

And while you're flicking through the new issue, make sure you check out the DSMRA's promo where you could win a wicked new Husqvarna TE510 -- look out for it on page 37.

Rightio then, goota roost -- Australia Post waits for no man ... and I know you subscribers are busting to get your new mag, so look out for it real soon!

-- Clubby,


BMW Motorrad is excited to announce the next BMW Safari event. While most details are still under wraps, BMW Motorrad can confirm that the 2011 GS Safari is scheduled for early September, will commence in western New South Wales, then make its way into the South Australian Flinders Ranges, before heading down to the coast and finishing on the edge of the Great Australian Bight.

In order to communicate the most up-to-date information on the GS Safari, BMW Motorrad has developed an all new BMW Safari website which enables those interested to register and then receive regular updates.

BMW Motorrad Australia's Safari programme is one of the longest established customer events, having played host to several thousand BMW riders since its inception in 1994. In 2005 BMW Motorrad expanded the BMW Safari programme by introducing a special off-road event solely for GS riders.

For more information on BMW Motorrad Australia's GS and Touren Sport Safaris, please visit the website.