Thursday, March 31, 2011



After a wet build-up in the area, round 3 of the AMA GNCC series at Steele Creek in North Carolina looked as though it was going to be a soggy one. The track was hilly with a red clay base, together with a flowing lay-out along the river and a famous bridge to go under.

Knowing that he really needed a good start to keep with the front runners, Ashley’s class had a grid of 21 riders and was the third class to start after the Pro line.

Heading into the bush mid-pack, Ash was working his way through the field when a mistake sent him over the edge of the track and down a steep scrubby embankment. Having to drag and manhandle his bike back up on the track, the two classes behind Ashley’s passed him before he could get going again. He set off, coming through the first lap in 20th position, he pushed on with making his way back into the points. Lap two saw him in 12th place in class and estimating he had passed around 40 riders to get there, he kept going.

Lap three had him in tenth, lap four he was ninth, lap five he was eighth and with a big push on lap six saw him take three more positions and reach fifth place.

The final lap seven didn’t see any improvement and he finished a well-earned fifth in class, but well down the order at 48th out of the 242 starters, still not a bad effort.

“At least I had plenty of practice at passing people today!” Ash said after the race.

Aussie Suzuki rider Josh Strang took the outright honors in a titanic battle with KTM’s Charlie Mullins, who dropped his bike in the last corner before the finish.

Ash would like to thank the following people and companies for their support: Josh Strang, the Watts family, Costanzo Racing Suspension, Force Accessories, Maxxis tyres, Fly gear , Shoei helmets , Sidi boots, Motorcycling Australia, The Butler training facility-Florida & Rock.


Motorcycling Australia (MA) can announce the 2011 Australian 4 Day Enduro (A4DE) has been postponed to 7-10 July, 2011. The decision to reschedule the A4DE, originally set for 20-23 April, was due to the recent extreme weather conditions in the Mackay region, causing significant damage to the trails and surrounding areas.

John Hand, from Gum Valley Motorcycle Club, said while disappointed the A4DE has been rescheduled, the decision was made with the upmost thought for the safety and welfare of all people involved in the event.

“For the month of March we’ve had over one metre (of rainfall) and for the period of January to March, a ridiculous three metres of rainfall,” he said.

“With further heavy rain forecast between now and Easter it wasn’t possible to run the event, and even if it had been, racing in such treacherous conditions wouldn’t be safe for riders or good for the environment.

“We feel this (the new dates) is the best possible outcome for riders - July is always drier, cooler, and the new dates still fall within school holidays.”

Aware of the implications on travel and transport arrangements the decision will have, Hand has encouraged those people with bookings to contact Mackay Tourism.

“We realise this postponement might create problems for riders with accommodation and holidays already planned,” he said.

“Mackay Tourism has agreed to help people re-book or transfer accommodation bookings, or find new accommodation.”

The 2011 A4DE will now be held from 7-10 July, 2011 in Mackay.

The change of dates for the A4DE has created a calendar clash with Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2011 Australian Off Road Championship (AORC), scheduled to run with rounds of the Victorian Off Road Championship at Broadford, Victoria from 9-10 July.

The AORC Rounds 7 and 8 will be rescheduled to a date and venue that has yet to be confirmed.

An announcement from the AORC regarding the rescheduling of the Broadford event will be made in the near future.

For more information regarding the rescheduling of the A4DE contact:

John Hand
A4DE Promoter
Ph: 0427 503 738

Visit MA Website for more information regarding the A4DE as it comes to hand at:



Myself and TRAIL ZONE Technical Editor Dr Phil Gielis dropped in at The Bikesmith workshop in Blacktown yesterday afternoon to complete a couple of editorial projects that will be featured in upcoming issues of the magazine.

I rode over on our Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré Project Bike, complete with a fresh set of Mitas E10 Adventure tyres to be fitted -- as the bike's current Mitas hoops were well and truly shagged after our recent Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks ride from Sydney to the Flinders Ranges and back again (check it out at the blog page).

The picture shows me, the mighty XT and The Bikesmith's Simon Thomas, who kicked off the specialist motorcycle workshop service centre with business partner John Manwarring just over 18 months ago.

Myself, Dr Phil and Simon go way back, so it was great for us catch up, shoot some photos and bench-race in The Bikesmith workshop well into the afternoon.

One of the tech stories Dr Phil was working on for the mag involved tubeless tyres, which presented a whole new world for the good Doctor, even though he is a former world tyre changing champion. But all Phil's experience is with tubed dirt bike tyres, so the Doctor was all ears as Simon passed on a wealth of tips about how to repair a puncture on a tubeless tyre and get yourself mobile again.

Look out for Phil's tech editorials featuring The Bikesmith in upcoming issues of TRAIL ZONE magazine.

And if you need the service of a top-shelf specialist motorcycle service centre, check out the web site and give Simon or John a call on (02) 8814 8605 and tell 'em TRAIL ZONE sent ya!

-- Clubby,


Check it out: here's the final proof of the front cover of the next issue of TRAIL ZONE.

It's an awesome photo from legend UK dirt bike shooter Jonty Edmunds featuring Team KTM enduro hero Johnny Aubert giving the trick new fuel-injected KTM 350 EXC-F thumper a right ol' hammering in a loamy berm.

The new 350 enduro weapon is set to spearhead Team KTM's assault in this year's World Enduro Championships, with the expectation the bike will become a production model in time to join KTM's 2012 model line-up.

We can't wait for the 350 EXC-F to become production reality, because a machine with 450cc-like power in a package with the size and weight of a 250cc thumper, will be the 'just-right' bike for so many Aussie trail/enduro riders.

So check out first details of the new 350 in TRAIL ZONE issue #35, which is humming through the print presses right now and is on-schedule to go in the mail to subscribers at the end of next week.

-- Clubby,


In the production of each new issue of TRAIL ZONE, the final stages are called pre-press, which is where all the words, photos and page design files are merged together and converted into high-resolutions pixelations that are called PDFs, which then go to the printer for the long (and expensive!) run down the print press.

The boys who do the pre-press for TRAIL ZONE are at AP Digital at Brookvale, right here on the northern beaches of Sydney.

Dean, Paul and Andy at AP Digital have been doing the pre-press for the mag ever since we kicked off TRAIL ZONE six years ago, so they've got it all down to a fine art and the mag now rocks through their bureau like a well-oiled machine.

And thanks to the marvels of modern technology, what we look at on our computer screens is what we end up looking at in the finished printed magazine a week or so later ... mostly!

But every now and then, a slip-up does get through the system. But it's generally only because I've missed the mistake at the final proofing stage.

Take page 76 of the last issue of TRAIL ZONE (#34) and the advert for the Suzuki Classic Dirt 8 event at Conondale in June. Look realy closely in the middle of the page and you will see the name/date/venue details for the event were printed with just a fine black keyline around the lettering ... Doh!

That text was supposed to be solid white and a whole lot easier to read -- but I never spotted the blunder on the proofs last issue. Double-doh!

So with the advert to be repeated in TRAIL ZONE issue #35 that we've just finished, you bet I was checking the proofs much more closely this issue -- and as you can see in the photo, the proof sure has white text this time around!

Here's hoping that's how it comes off the press this time? We'll know next week when the new issue is printed, bound and in our hands ... stay tuned!

-- Clubby,

Sunday, March 27, 2011



It's on again: the annual Kowen Forest Ride at Canberra organised by the DSMRA.

This year's event is set down for the next weekend (April 2/3) in the lush green forests of Kowen right near Queanbeyan and the national capital.

Two loops of awesome arrowed fire-trails and single-track will be on offer, with food, camping and music available on-site on Friday and Saturday nights.

Of course it just wouldn't be the Kowen Forest Ride if one lucky rider didn't get the chance to win a brand new dirt bike and this year the DSMRA is giving away a brand spanking new Suzuki DR-Z400E to one lucky rider.

Entry numbers are strictly limited to just 300 starters, so if you want in on all the action, pick up an entry form at leading motorcycle shops in the ACT or the Canberra Motorcycle Centre, or check out the web site and download it.

Myself, Popgun and Russ are all taking aim on Kowen next weekend, so we'll see you there!

-- Clubby,

Saturday, March 26, 2011



We wish to introduce to you Nadiya’s Challenge – a postie bike ride from Perth to Darwin (4,000kms) via the Canning Stock Route, one of the longest and most difficult stock routes in the world, to raise funds and create awareness for the plight of kids with cancer and their families.

Nadiya’s Challenge is inspired by a young girl, Nadiya, who recently lost her battle with cancer at just 11 years of age. Nadiya left a legacy of inspiration and courage to keep fighting, no matter what the odds.

On The Water productions will be filming the adventure (to take place in August 2011) with the aim to produce a documentary, which showcases the expedition from inception to the production of Nadiya’s Challenge. It will follow 10 ordinary Aussie blokes from different backgrounds and occupations as they battle the unforgiving environment, testing their nerves, survival skills, and ultimately their friendships.

Nadiya’s parents have agreed to reveal on camera their personal story and we will also feature an interview with a leading cancer researcher from Monash Institute of Medical Research.

A commitment has been given from an Australian television company to broadcast the documentary. To view the montage video, go on line to

As there can never be enough support, the team are actively sourcing sponsors and supporters for Nadiya’s Challenge to make this a great success. Individuals and businesses wishing to support Nadiya’s Challenge can donate at any branch of the Bendigo Bank or online (donations over $2 are tax deductible) at either of the following: or

Money raised from Nadiya’s Challenge will be forwarded to Challenge – Supporting Kids with Cancer.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



On February 25, 2011, TRAIL ZONE subscriber Tanya Mauk received the news that she was the big winner in our annual Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion.

A long-time subscriber to TRAIL ZONE, Tanya’s entry was pulled from the barrel at random as our Choose Your Ride winner to take her choice of an amazing seven bike prize line-up that included 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.

A keen off-road rider, Tanya instantly chose the Husaberg TE300 two-stroke enduro weapon – and earlier this week she collected her new machine from Wanneroo Motorcycles Husaberg dealer, Matt Gould (pictured above right).

And then what did Tanya do with it? She took it for a ride, of course!

“We ventured out yesterday and the new Husaberg is FANTASTIC!” Tanya exclaimed in a thank-you message to the TRAIL ZONE team.

“It’s no wonder the Husaberg wins the two-stroke shoot-outs. I love it!

“Future rides will involve the toss of a coin for me and my partner, Bruce, to see who is going to ride it, because once he got on it, I couldn’t get him off it!”

It’s awesome to see the Husaberg TE300 prize bike being put to such good use – congratulations again, Tanya.

And thanks once more to BMW Australia, Husaberg Australia, the Paul Feeney Group, Kawasaki Australia, KTM Australia, Suzuki Australia and Yamaha Motor Australia for their continuing support of our annual Choose Your Ride subscriber promotion in TRAIL ZONE magazine.