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.

Icon Presents: The Raiden Files – Portland to Dakar

The most vicious riding conditions and terrain are necessary when building premiere all element gear. Typically this process isn’t documented and is left to the imagination but ‘The Raiden Files – Portland to Dakar’ captures Icon’s rigorous testing process in 30 minutes of HD extreme motorcycle glory. Two riders, Two Triumph Tigers and a handful…

2012 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Review – Endangered Species

The GSX-R 1000 is howling like an endangered predator before stumbling and bumping against the rev limiter at 13,750RPM on the tach. In first gear the great 999cc beast is nuzzling exceptional speeds like fresh kill. Flick up a ratio through the slick and quick six-speed transmission into second and the howl eases for a moment, before you’re back to peak with182 hp at 11,500rpm and 86 lb-ft @ 10,000rpm gale-forcing through the Bridgestone S20 190/50R17 out back. Drive through to red and you’re watching the digital speedo indecisively flicker between 202 and 203. Third? Does it really matter? Without the salve of ABS, Traction Control, Electronically Adjustable Suspension or Anti-wheelie Control, it’s negotiation time with harsh Mistress Physics as you take the imperilled beast into the turns.

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.

Crash Tested: Alpinestars Scouts – Always Prepared

The bike goes down in an instant, there is no feedback through the chassis, no squirm from the tires, one moment my KTM 690 Enduro R is upright on La Honda road outside San Francisco. The next the bike and I are sliding through the corner, only to separate with me stopping face first a few feet from the barrier and the 690 considerably further down the road. It is in the intervening time that the Alpinestars Scouts do me a world of favors; from the initial impact through a good portion of the slide, the bike’s weight has been resting on my ankle. To quote a bowl of petunias, “Oh no, not again.”

Reviewed: MotoOverland Top Rack

The standard top rack that comes on the back of your KTM 950/990 Adventure or Super Enduro may fit with the look of the bike, but it’s not overly useful.  Face it, there’s a battle to be fought even attaching KTM’s own tail bag to the thing, which is where the Moto Overland Top Rack comes in.

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.