Business: Long Beach International Motorcycle Show – Conversation Starters

Press day at the Long Beach Progressive International Motorcycle show, and flocks of journalists are shepherded booth to booth for repeat product announcements and unveilings already disclosed at the European shows. With the impact of the reveal thus stolen, what becomes relevant?

The Form of Adventure Bikes and the One Week Review

Our late return of Triumph’s Tiger 800 XC (video) reveals more than a pattern of constant truancy and tardiness, it provides commentary on the form of adventure bikes and the nature of testing them compared to other types of motorcycle.

Snow Small Adventure – Triumph Tiger 800 XC versus the Seasons

Forget what the Earth’s position around the sun says, judging by the encroachment of the snowline down the Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains, we’re facing the onset of winter on the West coast. That makes each ride a rarity, sparking in the firmament of suicidal-gray skies, a colour achieved in a tedium of dark and rainfall. The drizzle starts at Squamish, making the rocks slick under the Tiger 800 XC’s rear Heidenau K60. Shod in Pirelli MT-21s and significantly lighter, Bart’s KTM 690 Enduro R scampers ahead with the ride’s instigator astride.

Powaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar! Versus Pow-pow-pow-power Makes it Go

Twisting the throttle on Triumph’s Tiger 800 XC and in slightly greasy mud the rear end swings around, same as in loose gravel and dusty silt. This defining trait of the Tiger has me considering the difference in power development between singles and twins versus inline threes and fours, and what that means for off-pavement riders and motorcycle designers.

Electronic Assistance Off-Road – Defeating the Purpose?

I’ve just come from testing the Yamaha Super Tenere, and I’ll admit it, I found the non-defeat-able ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) uncongenial to off-road. The same goes for the traction control if you forget to turn it off. Which raises the question, if these safety systems and aids have the opposite effect on gravel, is there a way bike companies could better spend the resources they represent?

Portland to Dakar: the Most Important Adventure Video since Long Way Round

I am watching a video go viral, sweeping through the office of a motorcycle accessory distributor from one 20-something to another, with a lot of age bracket spill over. The 30-minute long protracted abuse of Triumph Tiger 800XCs and riders is The Raiden Files: Portland to Dakar. Despite this flick’s underpinnings of promoting Icon’s latest line of urban assault cum adventure gear, it may be the most important video to hit adventure motorcycling since Long Way Round.

Travel in Juxtaposition: Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa and Sloquet Hot Springs

The overnighter to Harrison Hot Springs offers it all; farm fresh locavore dining at Limbert Mountain Farms, quality time bobbing around in the manmade pools of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, dinner at the Copper Room. At the opposite extreme is the hardly-developed Sloquet Hot Springs, a site where campers have built semi-natural pools mixing river water with the outflow of geo-thermal heated water flowing from the rock walls. What will it be? All the creature comforts, or the stark quiet of nature? Really, that’s the rider’s choice, or none at all, because you can have it all and do both.

Blowdown Pass: Expedition in an Afternoon

“I don’t think we’re making it through that,” is Mark Binstead’s first response surveying the tricky re-mix of terrain slopped across the Forest Service Road (FSR) to Blowdown Pass, one of the most accessible alpine back entrances to BC’s famous Stein Valley, ahead of us. Composed of rock, trees, branches, mud, top soil and other debris set atop a base layer of compacted snow and ice, at first glance the slide looks impassible. The statement gives me pause, a rider whose selection of routes and honed dirt skills have constantly pushed Kevin’s and my off-road bounds, Mark is not a man who turns back easily.

Kudos to the Ride Lake Superior Campaign

You’ve got to give kudos to the Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association for their Ride Lake Superior advertising campaign encouraging motorcyclists to the area. The site features a map section, with multiple circle tours of the area, highlighting accommodations and essential services for motorcyclists – accommodations, food, gas and motorcycle shops.

Death Valley: Core, Not Too Hard (GPX Included)

This spring, thanks to a rainy season, Death Valley became the driest destination in California for motorcycle adventure media; many of whom touted Death Valley as the upper end of intrepid Adventure. Looking at Mic Cumming, a long time street rider with a number of dirt outings countable on an amputee’s hand, we can’t help but think the hardcore context these outlets are giving to Death Valley might be harming the destinations adventure approachability.