Friday, April 29, 2011



Honda Australia's National Dealer of the Year Award for 2010 has been awarded to Victoria's Freestyle Honda.

The winner, along with seven state winners, was announced during the 2011 dealer trip which took place in Beijing, China earlier this month. Honda Australia's Dealer of the Year Awards reward excellence in dealership management and customer service.

Honda understands the importance of rewarding those who have particularly excelled, as a company it also appreciates the vital role dealerships play in directly reaching out to customers and listening and responding to their needs.

The state winners of Honda's Dealer of the Year Awards include:

New South Wales: Hawksbury Honda
Queensland: Rising Sun Honda
Victoria: Freestyle Honda
Tasmania: Circular Head Motorcycles
South Australia: Honda World
Western Australia: The Honda Shop
Northern Territory: Desert Edge Motorcycles

A rigorous performance review is undertaken on all of Honda Australia's dealerships over a 12 month period in order to calculate the winners.

Tony Hinton, Honda's General Manger of Motorcycles was lucky enough to present the awards in China this month. He recognizes that the dealerships are vital in upholding the Honda Philosophy in the marketplace.

"Honda Australia is proud of all of its dealers and particularly of those who strived for higher levels of excellence," he said.

Honda Australia would like to extend their congratulations to all Dealer of the Year Award winners.


KTM Australia is teaming up with renowned sports exhaust manufacturer Akrapovic to release their latest promotion on the 2011 EXC model range.

Right now when you purchase a new 2011 EXC model you will receive a SXS titanium Akrapovic factory silencer for free.

Both the two and four-stroke silencers are made from the finest titanium and carbon-fibre and were developed in conjunction with the KTM factory enduro racing team. Each of the silencers improves performance on the track with lower weight, maximum top-end and the perfect torque gradient. Both silencers can also be maintained with re-packing kits available.

The promotion extends to the award winning 2011 EXC two-stroke range including the 200, 250 and 300 EXC. Also included is the championship winning 2011 EXC four-stroke range including the 250 EXC-F, 400, 450 and 530 EXC.

The Akrapovic two-stroke silencer has a RRP of $1,188 and the four-stroke silencer a RRP of $1,218. The promotion begins April 15, 2011 and runs while stocks last.

For more information visit or visit your nearest KTM dealer to take advantage of the SILENCE promotion.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



The 2011 Maxxis FIM World Enduro Championship has fired into life in recent weeks with back-to-back events in Spain and Portugal.

In the E1 class, Husqvarna is celebrating the efforts of Juha Salminen, who is atop the points standings after four days of competition, leading Ereo Remes (KTM) and Rodrig Thain (Honda).

In the E2 division, the much heralded arrival of KTM's new fuel-injected 350 EXC-F thumper didn't quite go to plan at the series kick-off in Spain, with KTM team leader Johnny Aubert sidelined by mechanical hiccups on the new bike and leaving the two days of competiton with zero points.

So Team Husqvarna rider Antoine Meo made hay while the sun shone and ripped off two bigs wins in Spain, then backed it up with more strong results in Portugal to now sit atop the world title standings ahead of Pierre Alexandre Renet (Husaberg) and Ivan Cervantes (Gas Gas).

Aubert meanwhile fired back to top form at the second event in Portugal, ripping off back-to-back round wins and now sits seventh in the championship with a lot of ground to make up.

In the big-bore E3 class, Mika Ahola has stepped up to the heavyweight division with Honda and holds the championship lead aboard his CRF, but he's making a lonely stand for the thumpers in the class.

Save for Team KTM's David Knight who is eighth in the title chase (after DNFing the first event with a hip injury), all the other bikes in the top-10 of the E3 class are two-strokes. That's right, the smell of premix lives on in the World Enduro Championships!

Gas Gas rider Christophe Nambotin and Husaberg team rider Joakim Ljunggren (pictured) hold down second and third in the E3 battle and both are on big-banger strokers and are aiming to take the fight up to Ahola's four-stroke all season long.

Another 12 rounds in six countries of World Enduro Championship competition continues.

-- Clubby,

Sunday, April 24, 2011



Have you ever dreamed of racing the Dakar Rally? Yeah, that's a loaded question: because we've all dreamed of doing it!

But if you're actually even halfway serious about making that dream a reality, then you have to take note of this message we just received from Aussie Dakar racer, Mark Davidson:

Hi Clubby: Please find attached a flyer outlining a series of Dakar Rally workshops facilitated by Chris Evans. Chris is the UK and Australian representative for ASO (organisers for the Dakar Rally) he has been Cyril Despres’ team manager for the past three years and has been involved in the last 14 Dakars. The purpose of his visit to Australia next month is to help those who are thinking of competing in the Dakar hit the ground running and maximise their potential. He will be holding two workshops: one in Sydney on May 14 and the other in Perth a week later on May 21, 2011. The workshops are free but numbers are limited. Justin Hunt of the Australasian Safari has been kind enough to lend us his database to help get the word out, but I’m concerned we may not reach everybody who is thinking about running in Dakar. So could you please please place this information on your web site?
-- Mark Davidson, via

No worries, Mark, can do!

So there you go all you Dakar dreamers: get along to a Dakar workshop near you next month and start to turn your Dakar dreams into reality!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011



What happens when Dakar Rally champ Marc Coma hooks up with American freestyle MX gun Ronnie Renner?

You get some impressive aerial antics ... at least from a bloke on a 450cc rally bike who is normally best known for belting through the countryside at 170kmh with both wheels firmly planted on the ground!

Check out this photo of Coma and Renner getting big-air together, after they recently hooked up in the Arab Gulf states of the middle east.

Their free-ride session came just days after Coma had won the annual Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and saw the Spanish ace take on a few tips from his fellow Team KTM rider.

Clearly Coma put Renner's tips to good use ... and how!

-- Clubby,

Sunday, April 17, 2011



Hi Dr Phil: I have a Honda XL350 '73/'74 in good condition. I was wondering if you could help me: I am planning not to ride it for two or three years. Can you please tell me what stroke the motor should be left on? Should I drain the tank? Will it go rusty? Should I drain the carby? Any other advice would be much appreciated.
-- Graham Camm, via

Thanks for your message, Graham. First of all, mix up some two-stroke fuel in a drum at 20:1 or 25:1. Fill the bike’s tank with this mix and also flush the carb with this mix and then turn the fuel tap off and drain the fuel from the carb and leave it in this state. The other thing to do with the carb is to fill it with light oil, such as sewing machine oil. Remove the spark plug and pour in a tablespoon of engine oil, then with the spark plug still out, slowly turn the engine over with the kick lever. Now replace the spark plug and turn the engine over by HAND with the kick lever and leave it when you’re on the compression stroke -- this way all the valves (both inlet and exhaust) will be closed and the combustion chamber will be sealed with some oil left inside. Also plug the muffler hole with a bung or cloth. It may also be an idea to remove the air filter element as foam filters can disintegrate over time and turn to a nasty powder that can later block the carby jets, so cover the air filter cage with a clean cloth soaked in heavy oil -- just note that some of this may drip out over time, so leave a cloth or old newspaper under the bike. Another good idea is to leave the bike elevated on a workstand with the wheels up OFF the ground, as this saves suspension springs and components. Lastly spray all metal components with a WD40 type spray.
-- Dr Phil,

Thursday, April 14, 2011



Howdy TRAIL ZONE: Now, Dr Phil, re your story in the new issue if TZ, On The Trail to Misadventure, so you don’t like adventure bikes -- that’s okay, mate. If everybody liked it, it would be no fun. Celebrate the diversity in motorcycling and motorcyclists. We can’t all be like you and you probably wouldn’t like us to be. I love all aspects of motorcycle riding and for an old pr*ck like me (56) who can’t race anymore, adventure riding means I can still get out there and enjoy myself. I have many bikes, one of which is a KTM 990 Adv and I’m loving it. I do enjoy ADVrider and have had the pleasure of meeting many of the members all over our wonderful country. Cheer up, mate, don’t be a snob, ya never know you might change your mind one day -- LOL. Until then, enjoy your style of motorcycling.
-- Peter Browning, via

You know, Pete, I've been trying to say exactly the same thing to the good Doctor for ages now, and keep inviting him out on rides on 200kg-plus machinery to far-flung corners of the country, but he always replies that he's busy that weekend washing his hair or mowing the lawn ... sigh. One day he might just see the light and enjoy the rich tapestry of riding delights that come with being a true fan of trail, enduro and adventure bikes, for that is truly life in the TRAIL ZONE.
-- Clubby,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



There's a lot of places in the world we love to go trail riding, but one of the best of all is the South Island of New Zealand, which is just a couple of hours flight away from the east coast of Australia.

The mountain trails of the NZ South Island are simply spectacular and we rate them as a ride of a lifetime.

Now here's your chance to come ride them with us!

TRAIL ZONE has teamed up with Robbie Crickett and the professional team from High Country Trail NZ to put together the Anzac Spirit trail ride, which will take place out of Queenstown from February 7 to 10, 2012.

Robbie has put together a five-night package that includes bike hire (aboard a Yamaha WR), four days riding, accommodation, fuel, guiding, land access fees and back-up crew.

The cost is just NZ$2,800 -- which includes everything but your drinks and your flights to/from Queenstown.

If you're toey to come ride with us in the South Island of NZ, then get your skates on, because there are just eight slots available for Aussie riders on this trail ride. And they're already filling up fast!

So email and get more details and then get in on a ride you will never forget!


Hi Guys: Just received my May/June copy of TRAIL ZONE to which I was very disappointed to discover that from the 94 pages you offer over 30 pages were articles, advertising or a reference to Ducati, BMW, Tenere and other 300 kilo pieces of sh*t they call adventure bikes. What the hell is going on when seven pages are dedicated to some lump of crap called a Tenere and a lousy two pages for the new 350EXC? What's going on? This is not what I subscribed to TRAIL ZONE to read. A truly disappointing edition.
-- Terry Howlett (Potential ex- suscriber), via

Thanks for your email, Terry: That's what we like, clear concise no-holds-barred opinion.
The TRAIL ZONE masthead has always described our mag as a "Trail, Enduro and Adventure Riding Magazine". So that's what you're going to get: trail, enduro and adventure bikes.
As for advertisers choosing to run Ducatis, BMW and Teneres in their advertising, well, that is entirely their right. Just like another advertiser electing to run a full-page advert on their sponsorship of a motocross series (as Moto National did in this issue), or Kawasaki and Suzuki running adverts for their motocross bikes (as they have done in previous issues). We don't tell them what their advertising content should be: unless it is offensive.
As for the seven pages on the Tenere Tragics ride, come on mate, we ran that event, it was the first time we ran it, and we are Tenere enthusiasts, so of course it is going to get a big chunk of coverage in the mag.
As for the three-page feature and the front cover on the new KTM 350 EXC-F, remember this is a bike that is not even in series production yet, but we gave it such a big slice of prominence in this issue because we are stoked on that bike and can't wait until we can ride it and give it full coverage in the mag. And if KTM Australia let us hang onto one as a Project Bike for six months, you bet we will.
The content of the mag is always going to bounce around and the ratio of trail versus enduro versus adventure bikes will vary, too. And sometimes we will take the piss as well -- just like Dr Phil did this issue in his 'Misadventure' story. You did read that story, didn't you? Because it sure sounds like he shares some common opinions with you.
Thanks for your support in the past and here's hoping we can continue to earn your support in the future.
-- Clubby,


Well, there was some pretty crappy news this morning: MX hero Paul Broomfield passed away in the early hours of today, succumbing to a blood disorder that he had been battling for some months.

A recent bone marrow transplant had proven unsuccessful and Broomy was put on life support yesterday, before passing away this morning.

Being taken way too young is an absolute pisser and in this case Broomy was one of the fittest blokes you could ever meet. And he was an absolute top bloke, too. And he leaves a wife and young family, which makes this morning's news all the more sad.

I've got a huge framed montage of photos and images on my office wall, and right there amongst a lot of memories of my many years in magazine publishing is a photo of Broomy that we used in an advertising campaign for ADB magazine when myself, Tommy TBAM and Lac Mac worked there in the late 1990s.

We needed a pro rider that we could deck out in ADB riding gear, put atop our 'Hurricane' yellow-kitted Yamaha YZ400F and go hammer the sand dunes at Stockton.

If memory serves me right, Lac Mac shot the photos that day and came back with some ripper images of Broomy dragging the bars in the sand.

I've always liked the photo and the finished ADB advert, and the way Broomy just came in and got the job done for us. Which was a hallmark of the guy's career, be it as a racer, a trainer, a tutor, a team manager and, quite likely most recently, as a family man.

Rest in peace Paul Broomfield.

-- Clubby,

Note: Paul Broomfield's funeral will be held at 12:15pm on Monday, April 18, at the Macquarie Park Crematorium on Plassey Rd, North Ryde, NSW. It will take place at the Palm Chapel. The Broomfield family wants to celebrate his life, and therefore requests attendees turn up in riding jerseys, team shirts, etc to brighten up the day. Dress is strictly race spec!


Hi: I am going to be doing the APC Rally in July and am in the process of setting-up a 2006 KTM SXC 625 for the ride. I took it for a run on the weekend to iron-out some of the bugs and have found a few things I would like to modify. One of those is to fit a windshield to give a bit more protection on the longer runs. The problem is the only company I can find that makes one has discontinued the line. Do you know of anyone that makes something or of anything that is close that can be modified to fit? I have also looked through your back issues for any info on the 625 and am unable to see anything that will help with set-up tips and things to check that have potential to go wrong. Any useful info will be appreciated, as all my riding over the years has been day rides on lighter enduro bikes and once I head off on the Rally, there will be no going back to the shed to change anything. I look forward to your magazine coming out every couple of months and enjoy reading the technical articles. If I rode a DR650 there seems to plenty of info but not much for the KTMs. Do you mob have shares with Suzuki or do they need that much work to get them up to speed? I took a standard DR for a ride and don't know how you could ride one in the bush at speed: it was like riding a fridge in a wheelbarrow! I have also found the SXC has a speedo built into the engine: when your vision goes blurry from the vibrations you're going fast enough!
-- Bruce Nolan, via

Now, Bruce, that was a subtle little dig you slipped in there about TRAIL ZONE's share holdings. No, we do not have shares in Suzuki. Yes, you do have to do that much work to the DR650 to get them up to speed in the bush. And do you mean it felt like riding a mini-bar fridge in a wheelbarrow, or a dual-door Kelvinator with ice-maker?! Now, seriously, I've got a couple of tips for you about the 625 SXC and finding/making a windscreen for it. First up, try contacting our ol' mate Don McGrath at Cycle Products West in Perth on (0419) 717 970 as he's the bloke that builds the Australian Safari winning KTMs of Ben Grabham and company, and he fabricates screens to run on their EXCs, and may well be able to make a screen to suit your bike, or steer you in the right direction. Another bloke worth contacting is Geoff Henning from Sunny Corner Trail Bike Tours in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, as he and his team are also closely familiar with KTM's SXCs and would be able to offer you plenty of info if you ask them nicely and say TRAIL ZONE sent ya. You can track down Geoff via the web site. As for free tips on racing the APC Rally: here's a few obvious ones: get out there and ride, ride, ride and ride. You will need to be bike-fit for 14 days on the bike. Get your luggage load sorted. Work on your bike at home with just the tools you are carrying in your bumbag and on your bike. Then during the ride, look after your bike and body as best you can, get as much rest each night as you can, and ride smart! The goal is to finish the ride, not snot yourself part way through and have it all end in tears. Good luck, mate, and enjoy the ride!
-- Clubby,


Hi guys: I just read about the Tenere Tragics ride in your new issue of TRAIL ZONE, and it sounds like you guys had a great time. But what about the DR Tragics?
-- Shane, via

Yes, Shane, we sure did have a great time on the Tenere Tragics ride. The ride was a stack of fun and was all about a bunch of 50 blokes being brought together in the middle of nowhere by one type of motorcycle. We've talked about doing similar rides for other types of bikes, but the thing is, we're not in the business of running rides. There's a whole lot of motorcycle tour operators that do that, so for us, running a big ride like the Tenere Tragics is going to be limited to that one event a year. That said, however, that shouldn't stop anyone else from putting together a DR ride -- in fact I've seen some talk of exactly that on web sites like, so get in there and fire things up and make it happen and all you DR Desperadoes can get together and spend endless hours around the camp fire comparing fuel economy figures and figuring out just which air box, jetting and muffler mods really do work best!
-- Clubby,


Hi Guys: Just wanted to say thank-you for producing one of the best quality dirt bike mags I have come across, as I have recently jumped back into dirt bikes after a far too long absence. I purchased a 1985 Yamaha DT175 that required a lot of TLC and I got so carried away I restored it to pristine condition -- to the point my mates said it should be kept as a garage queen. Er.... gee you're right guys, so I purchased a 1989 Yamaha DT175 badly in need of some TLC and completely restored this one much to my ever patient wife's outstanding tolerance and our financial detriment. Currently I have a Suzuki DR-Z400E 2002 model that I have again spent far too much on but enjoyed every minute of the journey from the outstanding and patient advice I have received from experts like Brian Connors Motorcycle Centre in Brookvale to the excellent articles I have discovered on DR-Zs. Just a thought though, guys, as the articles on motorcycles are always very informative, how about one on bike and box trailers? As in keeping them prepped and in good order instead of having a wheel bearing give up the ghost 200km out of Sydney. As I have recently acquired a box/bike trailer and discovered a number of quick fixes that have not been so quick or easy to fix.
-- Phil Garrison, via

You know what, Phil, we can truly understand and appreciate the passion and labour of love that it takes to bring an old machine back to its former glory, while at the same time keeping in the good books with the missus -- congratulations on your juggling skills, well done, son! I will forward your idea of a tech story on bike trailers to Dr Phil, our esteemed Technical Editor. Somehow, though, I think he might just keep that one on the back-burner for a while, as he has a mountain of bike tech stories to get into the mag that will take priority. But thanks for the thought -- and send us a pic of the restored DT!
-- Clubby,

Monday, April 4, 2011



After all the action of last weekend's Kowen Forest Ride trail bike blast at Canberra, it's time to start looking ahead to the next big trail bike bash on the NSW calendar: the annual Watagan Trailbike Rally on June 25/26!

Rated a must-do ride (and we'll agree with that rating!), the Watagan Trailbike Rally is staged in the Watagan forests between Wyong and Newcastle on the NSW central coast.

Once again the major backer of this year's Watagans ride is Yamaha -- with one lucky entrant set to win a brand spanking new Yamaha WR250F!

Prepaid entries in the event are open now and cost $145, while late or on the day entries will cost $160.

The course will be open for riding Saturday and Sunday and all entrants also score brekkie and lunch on Sunday, with camping available on-site and a raft of trade displays to check out in the parc ferme all weekend long.

For more details on the 2011 Watagan Trailbike Rally, call Trailbike Rallys on 0427 277 888 or email for an entry form to be sent to you.

And we'll see you there!

-- Clubby,