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Mon, 27 Nov 2023 16:58:11 -0500

Black Dog Cycle Works' Pan America Skidplate Review
Posted on Monday November 27, 2023

Author : Doug Miller

Published in: Gear

BDCW Pan Am Skidplate Review intro

It can be difficult to choose the best protection for your ADV motorcycle because there’s so much to choose from. But if you want to protect your Harley-Davidson Pan America and ensure you can overcome pretty much anything the trail throws at you, I recommend the Black Dog Cycle Works (BDCW) skid plate—it’s built like a tank!

The BDCW's Pan Am skid plate comes well-packaged, has straightforward installation instructions, and all the necessary parts for mounting it correctly are included. The only stumbling block is removing the Pan Am’s centerstand’s springs, a process that could use an extra set of hands. However, I managed to tackle it solo, which took a little more time.  

Reinstalling the centerstand springs was also a bit of a challenge, but the instructions were excellent and it ended up going more smoothly than I’d anticipated. And once the rear mount was on, the rest of the process was super easy.

The skid plate is lighter than it looks, and really improves the Pan Am’s aesthetics. Made of 3/16-inch 5052 aluminum and powder-coated black it blends well with H-D’s aesthetics.

Something else I like is that its extended rearward section protects more of the mechanicals. It covers much of under-motor real estate, both upfront and along the sides. Another benefit is BDCW’s hard mounting system—which is not mounted to the engine (a bad idea!) like the factory plate. This method shields the engine with far superior engineering that provides way better protection against those big hits. And as it’s mounted with just four bolts, oil changes should be a breeze.

Black Dog makes extremely high-quality products that are designed and manufactured with pride and quality right here in the U.S. With Black Dog Cycle Works, you might pay a little more than some other products, but you’ll be happy you did.

BDCW Pan Am Skidplate 1


MSRP: $575.00


  • High-quality materials
  • Solid protection from rocks and debris
  • Easy to remove and reinstall 


  • It’s pretty expensive
  • The initial install is tricky

Read more ...


Tue, 21 Nov 2023 20:16:12 -0500

12 Holiday Gift Ideas for ADV Riders
Posted on Tuesday November 21, 2023

Author : ADVMoto Staff

Published in: Gear

2023 ADVMoto Holiday Gift Guide Intro

Time to gear up for the Holiday Season! We’ve assembled a few adventure motorcycle gift ideas for you or your favorite riding buddy from gloves to pumps, socks to helmets and more, arranged by price from low to high.

• Motorcycle Gifts Under $50

• Nelson Rigg RIGG STRAPS Kit

The Nelson Rigg RIGG STRAPS Kit is a versatile and durable set of straps designed to secure and organize various items on your motorcycle. With adjustable lengths and heavy-duty buckles, these straps offer a reliable solution for securing cargo on your bike over even the most aggressive terrain. The kit includes multiple straps in different sizes, ensuring flexibility and convenience for any ADV travel needs.

MSRP: $19.95 | NelsonRigg.com

Nelson Rigg RIGG Straps

• KLIM Vented Socks

The KLIM Vented Sock is a high-performance sock designed for riders tackling trails in steamy conditions. With breathable mesh construction and moisture-wicking properties, they keep feet dry and comfortable during intense physical activities. The socks also feature reinforced padding in critical areas for enhanced support and durability, making them a durable choice for off-road motorcyclists.

MSRP: $24.99 | KLIM.com Klim Vented Socks

• ADVMoto Personalized Pocket Knife

Want an affordable, usable, customized gift that nearly any rider will love? Check out our ADVMoto custom engraved knife! Three handy pocketknives priced from $45 to $85 feature two lines of your personalized message (limit 15 characters per line) on one of three high quality Kershaw EDC knives (Shuffle, Outcome or Radar). And because it’s the giving season, we’ll donate $5 for each unit sold to BDR! Visit the website for more details.

MSRP: $45 to $85 | ADVMotoGift.com

ADVMoto CustomKnives23

• Motorcycle Gifts Under $200

• Rocky Creek MotoPresser Pocket Pump V2

The Rocky Creek Designs MotoPresser Pocket Pump is a compact and efficient motorcycle pump designed for on-the-go inflation. With its small size and lightweight construction, the MotoPresser easily fits in a motorcycle pannier or tank bag and deploys quickly for a top-up or roadside repair. It’ll inflate a 150/70-18 tire in less than four minutes. The entire kit weighs just over 1 lb. and includes an EVA zippered bag, inflation hose, alligator clips, and an SAE battery cable, so you’ll always be prepared. 

MSRP: $59.95 | ADVMoto readers also get a 15% discount using the code “ADV2023” at checkout. | RockyDesigns.com

Rocky Creek MotoPresser

• REV’IT! Massif Gloves

The REV’IT Massif Gloves are an excellent choice for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking high-performance hand protection in warm weather. These gloves offer a perfect balance of comfort, durability, and safety. With their leatheresque Clarino fabric palms and reinforced PWR stretch mesh on the upper portion, the Massif gloves provide optimal protection without compromising mobility. Additionally, their touchscreen compatibility and neoprene cuffs make them a practical and durable choice for riders hitting the trails.

MSRP: $64.99 | RevitSport.com

RevIt Massif Gloves

• BDR Bronze-Level Supporter

Aside from helping support the mission of the Backcountry Discovery Routes organization, becoming a BDR Bronze Level Supporter offers numerous additional benefits. From discounts on a variety of motorcycle gear, membership in the BMWMOA—even 20% off a subscription to Adventure Motorcycle Magazine, becoming a Bronze-level BDR supporter provides access to exclusive content, discounts on BDR events and merchandise, and a ton of freebies. By joining, riders demonstrate their commitment to supporting Backcountry Discovery Routes and promoting responsible off-road exploration.

MSRP: $100 | RideBDR.com

WYBDR Report bighorn

• Big Agnes Woodchuck Camp Table

The Big Agnes Woodchuck Camp Table is a lightweight and portable table designed for outdoor adventures. With its durable construction and sturdy aluminum frame, it provides a stable surface for cooking, eating, or chilling out over a friendly game of Uno. The table also features adjustable legs and a collapsible design, making it easy to pack into a pannier or tail bag. A lightweight chair is always in your camp setup—why not the Big Agnes Woodchuck Camp Table too?

MSRP: $129.95 | BigAgnes.com

Big Agnes Woodchuck Table

• Motorola Defy Satellite Link

The Motorola Defy Satellite Link is a rugged satellite communicator that offers reliable communication in remote areas where cell service is absent. The Defy couples with a standard smartphone, allowing users to send text messages and connect with emergency services if things go wrong. The device is also built to withstand harsh conditions, featuring a durable design that is water, dust, and drop-resistant. The Motorola Defy is an excellent choice for adventure motorcyclists who explore far off the grid.

MSRP: $149 | Motorola.com | Also available on Amazon.com

Motorola Defy Satellite Link

• SW-Motech PRO Cross Waterproof Strap Tank Bag

The SW-Motech PRO Cross WP Strap Tank Bag is a bomber accessory for riders seeking convenient storage and protection for their belongings—all within reach of their seat. With its durable construction and waterproof design, this tank bag ensures your gear stays safe and dry, even in adverse weather conditions. The tank bag features a spacious main compartment, multiple pockets, and a quick-release mounting system for easy installation and removal on just about any bike. Its versatile design and practical features make it a valuable addition to any rider’s gear.

MSRP: $199.95 | SW-Motech.us

SW tank bag

• Motorcycle Gifts Over $200

• Mosko Moto Surveyor Jacket

Need a super burly, windproof layer for those chilly morning starts? Then the Mosko Moto Surveyor Jacket could be just the ticket. The Surveyor excels in terms of its design. It has a sleek and modern aesthetic, with clean lines and a tailored fit. The jacket is available in earthy color options, giving riders options to ride in backcountry style. Mosko’s attention to detail is evident with the Surveyor’s high-quality zippers, hook and loop cuffs, and overall stitching, which add to the offroad durability and longevity of the jacket.

MSRP: $249 | MoskoMoto.com

Mosko Moto Surveyor Jacket

• The FLY Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet

The FLY Odyssey Adventure Modular Helmet is a smart-money choice for adventure riders seeking versatility and protection. With its modular design, it offers the flexibility of a full-face helmet and the convenience of an open-face helmet. The Odyssey has built-in compatibility with a variety of communication units and features a lightweight polycarbonate shell, excellent ventilation, and a drop-down sun visor. Its removable and washable liner ensures comfort, while its safety certifications guarantee peace of mind on every adventure.

MSRP: $279.99 | FlyRacing.com

FLY Odyssey Helmet

• Garmin Zumo XT2

The Garmin Zumo XT2 is the GPS leader’s latest and greatest motorcycle navigation system and is a must-have for riders looking for a GPS that has it all. With its rugged design and glove-friendly touchscreen, it is built to withstand the elements and be easily operated while riding. The Zumo XT2 offers preloaded maps, turn-by-turn directions, and real-time traffic updates. It also includes features like rider alerts, weather updates, and compatibility with smartphone notifications, making it the perfect companion for any motorcycle adventure.

MSRP: $599.99 | Garmin.com | Also available on Amazon.com

Garmin ZumoXT2 GARMIN

Read more ...


Tue, 14 Nov 2023 14:47:27 -0500

Adventure Spec Supershirt Review
Posted on Tuesday November 14, 2023

Author : Christian Lowe

Published in: Gear

Adventure Spec Super Shirt Review intro

Stuffing a puffy layer under a typical adventure riding suit might keep you warm, but it leaves you looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy. That might be fine for some riders, but many of us prefer an understated look and the option of layering for the elements, while still being armored.

For a few years now, Adventure Spec, a small British company, has been producing protective gear that’s practical yet presentable in more casual environments. Recently, they’ve developed the Supershirt, a novel product that takes this idea to a new level.

Built with a blend of ultra high-density polyethylene on its outer layer, the Supershirt is a next-to-skin abrasion-resistant top that includes chest, elbow, and shoulder armor for a full CE Level AA protection rating for both impact and slides. The polyethylene material is similar to that used in lightweight body armor plates for the military and is blended with stretchy nylon to help the Supershirt form-fit the rider. The design allows it to be worn under a rider’s choice of outer layer—whether it’s a down jacket, fleece vest, or just a T-shirt.

Adventure Spec Super Shirt Review zip

The Supershirt is form-fitting but also flexible. It has a unique diagonal zipper that keeps the annoying pull-tab away from the rider’s chin and comes with Forcefield Level 2 back, shoulder, and elbow armor as well as a Forcefield Level 1 chest protector. The cuffs feature a thumb loop to reduce protection gaps in the wrist in case of a fall. The entire shirt is generously cut in a length that allows it to be tucked into riding pants.

The Supershirt is so versatile that it works in almost any type of weather and situation. Put it on and throw a puffy jacket over it to ward off the morning chill, or take a break and stash the down layer for a riding jersey when the temps climb—the Supershirt is still there keeping your upper body protected. With the Supershirt, you can blend in anywhere because your armor is close to the skin. Well, almost….

One of the main issues with the Supershirt is the Forcefield armor itself is pretty bulky. If you’re trying to don a form-fitting top over the Supershirt, be ready to look like a pumped-up weightlifter. It may be worth looking into retrofitting some lower-profile armor to slip in there if your needs require a slimmer look. And while the diagonal zipper is a nice feature as it prevents yanking on a man’s whiskers, the zipper’s angle may be an issue over long-term usage. Lastly, don’t use the Supershirt for high-tempo singletrack riding unless you want to drown in sweat. That polyethylene material doesn’t breathe all that well when you’re tearing up the dirt.

Despite its minor (and entirely justifiable) drawbacks, the Supershirt is a really good option for ADV enthusiasts who want versatility and protection so they can sport whatever look the ride calls for.

Adventure Spec Super Shirt Review 1


MSRP: $385


  • All the protection you need in a single, next-to-skin layer
  • Adaptability for a wide variety of riding styles and insulating options
  • Well-thought-out design


  • The Supershirt can get a little hot when the ride is high-stress
  • Unclear how well the angled zipper will stand up over time
  • The included armor is very bulky

Read more ...


Wed, 08 Nov 2023 18:16:21 -0500

Nine New 2024 Adventure Bikes at EICMA 2023
Posted on Wednesday November 08, 2023

Author : Carl Parker

Published in: Bikes

2024 Adventure Bikes of EICMA ADVMoto has been tracking adventure bike segment growth since before it was a popular genre in in North America. Over the past 20 years, the selection of adventure bikes in all sizes and configurations has never been better!  This year's EICMA only adds fuel to that fire with even more models from more brands trying to capture more of this exciting market space. We're especially happy to see the long awaited 450cc range bikes finally starting to populate the market. The United States, like the rest of the world, is fully ready for more options in this size category and after over decades of waiting, we're so happy to see it finally start to arrive! 

• 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

RoyalEnfield Himalayan450

Royal Enfield’s docile Himalayan gets a serious punch-up for 2024 with the reveal of the all-new Himalayan 450. Sharing little with the familiar 411cc platform aside from the name, this clean-sheet model features the brand new 450 Sherpa engine, a 452cc single-cylinder DOHC liquid-cooled engine putting out 39.5 horsepower and 29.5 lb-ft of torque.

The all-new chassis uses the engine as a stressed member, the absence of a cradle frame granting the Himalayan 450 ample ground clearance. A 43mm USD fork and single shock improve the suspension action while a six-speed gearbox, throttle by wire, multiple rider modes and 4-inch round TFT display further elevate the performance of the Himalayan.

Despite the more streamlined look, it offers an increased fuel capacity of 4.5-gallons, giving you a claimed range of 280 miles. (If that’s even close to accurate, we’re already impressed.) The new generation Himalayan will be available in the U.S. some time in 2024.

We recently traveled to the Himalayan Mountains of India for the launch of this all-new Royal Enfield model, so look for the full video review from ADVMoto  below with print and online coming soon!


Click Here to Read the "All-New 2024 Himalayan 450 Specs Released"

Royal Enfield also used the EICMA stage to reveal an electric Himalayan prototype, the HIM-E, the first step of Royal Enfield’s future toward “Sustainable Exploration with Electric Mobility.” How soon might we see a production e-powered Royal Enfield adventure bike? It’s hard to say. For now, the Indian manufacturer calls the HIM-E “the first step of a bigger adventure.”

• CFMoto 450MT

CFMoto surprised many by unleashing the new 450MT into the global mid-size lineup.  It sports a DOHC,270 degree-offset crankshaft found in many larger parallel-twin and claims to pump out almost 44hp and 33 ft-lbs of torque. 

 All this power sits in a tubular steel frame which rides on a 21/18 inch wheel set.  Like Royal Enfield's Himalayan 450, we're now seeing the 450MT with spoked tubeless rims, previously only found on larger bikes. Also like the new Himalayan 450, the 450MT features 7.9 inches of front and rear suspension travel.

CFMoto 450MT

It looks like TFT screens are becoming de rigueur even on smaller and midsized bikes. The 450MT is also packed with a 5 inch curved TFT display that can update wirelessly with what they call "Over-The-Air" or OTA functionality. 

Two colors (Tundra Grey and Zephyr Blue) are available for this first gen bike but pricing and North American availability are not yet announced at the time of this writing. Could it be, after years (if not decades) of waiting, we're finally seeing the 450 adventure field bloom?   


• 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Lineup

Triumph’s new Tiger 900 family boasts more power from its 888cc triple-cylinder engine. The Tiger family also whittles down to three models from the previous six offerings, now featuring the 900 GT, the 900 GT Pro and the flagship 900 Rally Pro for 2024.

  Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release all

The 888cc three-cylinder engine boasts a 13% boost in power thanks to new pistons, a new cylinder head design and a compression ratio boost. Breathing is improved thanks to revised intake and exhaust ports, new camshafts and a new 3-into-1 exhaust system. All in, the higher-revving motor bumps horsepower power from 93.7 to 106.5, peak torque growing a bit less from 64 to 66.38 lb-ft. Triumph’s refined powerhouse is even more impressive when you factor in the claimed 9% improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

Chassis remain largely unchanged for all three models, the GT and GT Pro still rolling on Marzocchi suspension and cast wheels while the more off-road aggressive Rally Pro features Showa suspension and spoked tubeless wheels.

The best news of all? The new Tigers carry the same price tags—MSRPs are unchanged from 2023 with the Triumph Tiger GT starting at $14,995, the Triumph Tiger GT Pro at $16,895 and the Triumph Tiger Rally Pro at $17,395.


• 2024 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Lineup

Big Blue has some exciting news about the Ténéré 700 lineup, with the announcement of the Ténéré 700 Explore, the Ténéré 700 World Raid and the Ténéré 700 Extreme adding to its 2024 offerings. But before you get too excited, know that these are only for Europe—not for you. These models are not yet slated for an arrival in the United States. (“Dear Yamaha…”)

The Ténéré 700 World Raid model lets you (well, maybe not you. Just Europeans) go the distance with dual high-capacity fuel tanks, and will be available in Icon Blue and Mistral Grey. The Ténéré 700 Explore model makes adventure riding more accessible and a little more comfortable with a 15mm shorter seat height and a 50% larger windscreen for better wind protection.

Yamaha Tenere700 WorldRaid

Yamaha Tenere700 WorldRaid Tank

The Ténéré 700 Extreme is, as the name suggests, the more aggressive trim, with fully adjustable long-travel KYB suspension and increased ground clearance for optimum off-road performance. The 5-inch TFT meter offers three themes, including a roadbook-style display. Touches like titanium foot pegs, a high front fender that looks like it’s straight off a YZ, and flatter one-piece rally seat will appeal to the “dirt bike” crowd.

Yamaha Tenere700 Explore

Yamaha Tenere700 Explore Dash

If any of that is on your want list, you should probably head to Europe first!


• 2024 Honda NX500

2024 Honda NX500

The midsize ADV segment continues to grow, with Honda’s NX designation returning to the fray in the all-new NX500. The NX, meaning “New X-over,” replaces the outgoing CB500X as Honda’s approachable and easygoing midsize explorer. Honda promises improved handling dynamics thanks to lighter curb weight. More capable 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) front suspension and stronger acceleration amount to an overall improved package, with further upgrades coming in a new 5-inch TFT screen with smartphone connectivity. Fresh styling has the NX500 looking much more like its Africa Twin big brother than the outgoing CB.

For more information, visit www.honda.co.uk.


• Honda Africa Twin, Twins

 As already announced prior to EICMA, Honda’s Africa Twin duo has its share of changes for 2024, as well. Honda has furthered the fraternal separation of the Africa Twin twins, with the standard model remaining dedicated to off-road while the Adventure Sports model features more road-going comforts.

Both models receive a punched-up 1084cc parallel twin engine with performance improvements in the low- to mid-range performance. Torque figures grow 7% to 82.6 lb-ft, delivered earlier in the rpm range (5,500 rather than 6,250 rpm). Revised valve timing, intake ports, ECU settings and an increased compression ratio (10.1 to 10.5:1) along with new exhaust contribute to the new power character.

Honda 2024 AfricaTwins

The standard Africa Twin features a revised fairing, five-way adjustable wind screen and tubeless Meteler Karoo Street tires. The CRF1100L Africa Twin is also now available with Showa Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment (Showa EERA) as an option, something previously reserved for the Adventure Sports. Five available modes in the Showa EERA mean the rider can program suspension damping with a touch of a button on the 6.5-inch TFT display. Heated grips and ACC charging socket are also both now standard.

The major change on the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports model is that it goes from a 21-inch front wheel to a 19-inch front. Along with lowered suspension (Showa EERA now standard, rather than an option), the revised setup offers improved road handling performance.

U.S. pricing and availability have not yet been announced.


• Moto Morini X-Cape 1200

Moto Morini is on a roll! It's only been roughly a year since the introduction of the X-Cape 650 at the EICMA's 2022 show and they've already introduced the new X-Cape 1200.  The new big brother of the 650, will be powered by a 1200cc twin boasting around 125 hp and looks to be a promising adventure or sport-touring mount.

MotoMorini XCape1200

An array of new tech is also dripping from the new model like safety assistance with blind spot radar, 7" TFT display, Brembo braking with cornering ABS, four riding modes and cruise control to name a few.

We are excited to see what is next from the Italian brand. Keep posted at MotoMoriniUSA.com

• 2024 Moto Guzzi Stelvio S & V85

The big news from Moto Guzzi at EICMA is the Stelvio S adventure touring model. Guzzi’s newest 1,042cc compact block engine (debuted two years ago in the V100 Mandello) now makes its way into the adventure segment, as the Italian firm revives the Stelvio name for 2024.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT Rosso Fuji

This all-new model, noted by its cardan shaft drive and beefy single-sided swingarm, features a 46mm Sachs fork and KYB shock and 6.7 inches of travel, front and rear. Cross-spoke tubeless wheels are 19-inches up front and 17 in the rear.

Moto Guzzi announced that the Stelvio will be the company’s first model to feature a front- and rear-facing radar system, which facilitates such whiz-bangs as adaptive cruise control, collision warning and blind-spot monitoring. Along with features such as an electronically adjustable windscreen and generous onboard electronics mean the Stelvio S appears destined to please more riders on the tarmac, but Moto Guzzi promises good “all-rounder” performance.

Moto Guzzi also revealed some modest changes to the V85 TT adventure bike. The air-/oil-cooled two-valve v-twin engine has been revised, like most 2024 model-year engines, to comply with Euro 5+ emissions. In the process, it gained a few ponies, now up to 80 with some added torque, to boot.

The big news around the V85 is its new Strada variant, which rolls on cast wheels for the more road-going adventure tourer, while the TT retains its cross-spoke rims. Both models ride on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels. A generous electronics suite is based around a six-axis IMU and digitally controlled throttle system. A V85 TT Travel variant is also available, offering heated grips, a touring windscreen and side bags.

Look for the Moto Guzzi Stelvio in North America as early as next month. Pricing has yet to be announced.


• 2024 MV Agusta LXP Orioli

This is the all-new and super-exotic that we love about EICMA. MV Agusta unveiled an all-new middleweight adventure tourer, the LXP Orioli. This signature model, available in a limited initial production run of only 500 units, is named for Edi Orioli, an icon of rally racing in the 90’s, and each model will feature his actual signature on the tank. The LXP “Lucky Explorer” is presented in the classic green, red and white colorway and looks to be more than a mere collectors piece.

2024 MVAgusta LXP Orioli

Powered by a 931cc inline triple, the Varese-built “9.5” engine, with MV’s signature counter-rotating crankshaft, puts out a stunning 124 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. The LXP Orioli is more than just a pretty face—MV promises it is built to withstand the rigors of off-road. With beefy Sachs suspension, 8.26 inches of travel front and rear with 9.06 inches of ground clearance, Bridgestone AdventureCross AX41 tires and Brembo Stylema brakes, it certainly appears to have the chops.

A six-axis IMU and all the slick electronics you can shake a stick at, including a Mobisat anti-theft device with integrated geolocation, the MV Agusta LXP Orioli will most likely come in at a hefty price tag, to no one’s surprise.


Read more ...


Tue, 07 Nov 2023 19:54:44 -0500

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp First Ride Review
Posted on Tuesday November 07, 2023

Author : Christian Lowe | Photos by Honda

Published in: Bikes

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review Intro

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp: A Middle-Weight All-Arounder at a Lightweight Price

The adventure motorcycle market has seen plenty of change over the past five years, even through the pandemic, but one manufacturer has been fairly quiet. Honda had the CRF1100L Africa Twin and the up-spec’d CRF250/CRF300-based models, but presumably the folks in Tokyo didn’t recognize a market large enough to warrant a new launch. That all changed in 2022, when Honda announced the Transalp was coming back.

It was big news. Honda had been out of the middleweight ADV segment for a long time, with the previous Transalp model canceled in 2012—and much earlier than that in the U.S., where the machine only had a 1989–1990 sales run. Now, Honda is bringing it back, with an all-new engine and attitude.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review 1

• What Is the XL750 Transalp?

Dubbed the XL750 Transalp, Honda’s new middleweight, dual-purpose bike boasts a liquid-cooled 755cc  parallel twin engine. It’s packed with a decent amount of onboard tech and the all-day comfort of a fairing, as well as a plush, two-step seat and a wet weight of 459 lb. Honda officials are particularly proud of the base model price of $9,999—a sticker price that should appeal to a wide range of riders looking for a two-wheeler that can comfortably take them back and forth from the office and still explore the backcountry after they’ve clocked out.

The new Transalp sits right in the middle of Honda’s lineup with the Africa Twin and Africa Twin Adventure Sports at the top of the displacement segment, and the CRF300L Rally and CB500X in the lighter-weight segment. Basically, if an Africa Twin had a tryst with a CB500X, the Transalp would be its offspring. The company built the XL750 burly enough to handle all but the most technical off-road terrain an average adventure rider might tackle while giving it enough street cred to filter through busy city traffic and slab it to the trailhead.

Of course, there are plenty of other hardcore options for riders at either end of the spectrum, whether you’re more the touring type or one that sees Lockhart Basin as an average weekend ride. And Honda is 100 percent on board with that. The company says that’s why it made the Transalp to sit smack dab in the middle of the market. That also explains the pricing; it’s affordable enough to get new riders into the ADV market and potentially grab current off-road enthusiasts who are sick of hauling around a 500+ lb. monster.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review 2

If you’re hunting for a midweight ADV bike, the Transalp might be best compared to the new Suzuki 800DE, maybe the Yamaha Tenere 700 or potentially the Kawasaki KLR 650. All are relatively “budget friendly” bikes, but each comes with its strengths and weaknesses depending on the rider’s primary mission. Given the XL750’s onboard tech, mechanical features and general design—not to mention the MSRP—the Transalp seems to sit smack dab in the middle of its competition.

Click Here to Read the "Yamaha Ténéré 700 First Ride Review"

Click Here to Read the "Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure Review"

• Engine Performance

Honda recently hosted a media ride to test the new XL750 Transalp on a healthy mix of on- and off-road terrain through segments of the recently-released PA Wilds BDR-X central Pennsylvania route. The venue was viewed as the most likely scenario for a rider looking into a mid-weight adventure bike, with both moderately challenging gravel and two-track trails and undulating, twisty tarmac through rural mountain hollows and small towns.

At its core, the Transalp’s 755cc engine—based on the same powerplant of the new CB750 Hornet—is powerful enough to pass semis at highway speeds and grunty enough to chug through mud, ruts, and steep, rocky off-road sections with nary a hiccup. Honda claims the Transalp pumps out around 83 HP for the U.S. version—down from about 90 horses of the EU model—with a torque spec around 55 foot-pounds. That’s plenty of juice for all but the most power-hungry riders.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review engine

The six-speed transmission is run with a throttle-by-wire setup that’s mapped to several electronic rider modes to tailor the power and rider inputs to the terrain. Some couldn’t care less how their engine sounds, but somehow the eight-valve Unicam parallel twin, 270-degree crank, and vortex flow intake ducts combine to deliver a truly satisfying resonance, even through the windblast of backcountry rides.

• Rider Comfort

One-and-done bike seekers rejoice! The Transalp’s design and technology seem to hit the sweet spot for on-road comfort and off-road control and maneuverability. With a full fairing, decent stock windscreen, and a seat height of around 34 inches, the XL750 is approachable for a wide range of riders and isn’t too cramped in the seated position for riders in the over 6-foot category. The standing position is pretty spot on even in the stock configuration, with decent bar height and okay stock footpegs—though most experienced ADV riders will swap those out. Taller riders may want to rotate the bars a bit forward for easier control from the standing position, but both the rear brake lever and gear shifter are easily adjustable on the trailside to dial in the right fit.

The seat is pretty standard, with a relatively wide platform that narrows at the tank. If you’re doing 100 miles of road, your butt might get a little sore, but such are the tradeoffs when you’re under the $10K mark. At highway speeds, the Transalp’s fairing does a pretty good job of keeping wind buffeting at bay. The 310mm front and 256mm rear brakes are perfectly adequate; the 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels tipped into corners with no problem. The handlebar length and angle were comfortable and access to the controls didn’t require a whole lot of hunting for buttons—all adding up to a confidence-inspiring ride throwing a leg over the Transalp for the very first time.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review seat

• Technology

At the heart of the Transalp are its electronic rider aids. It’s tough to find a comparable middleweight motorcycle with this much technology baked in at this price point. The XL750 comes with four rider modes—Sport, Standard, Rain, and Gravel—with a configurable fifth “User” mode. Folks who’re interested in the deep specifics can dive in by checking out Honda’s official specs or other reviews, but basically, each mode delivers different pre-programmed outputs for ABS, engine braking, traction control, and power.

The User mode allows the rider to customize these four variables in a four-step range from strongest to weakest, or in some cases, shut them off completely. For most off-road situations, many will opt to completely shut off traction control and maybe ABS. But be warned, while the User mode will keep the settings even if the engine had been turned off, when the rider has completely shut off ABS or traction control, the mode will reset to at least “one power” for each of those. The nice thing is that all the modes can be utilized while on the move, so there’s no need to stop the bike, reset, and get going again.

The 5-inch TFT display is plenty big, even for “old man eyes,” and it’s customizable for the various dials, mileage, and layout a rider could want. Another nice add-on for the Transalp is that a quick-shifter comes standard, a useful piece of tech for both on and off-road situations where you want a quick highway pass or a hasty downshift into a downhill switchback. It’s even adjustable for a “light,” “medium” and “hard” foot input for both up and downshifting. Unfortunately, there is no option for cruise control.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review screen

• Rider Impressions

The word that might pop into a rider’s head when they’ve ridden the Transalp for a bit is “competent.” Not exciting on the street, but not boring at all. Not a Dakar Rally bike offroad, but not holding you back from that random path you want to explore. There’s enough tech packed into this bike to play around with and help make different situations safer, but not so much that you get lost trying to remember where everything is. It feels light, and seems to carry its weight low enough to do even the most technical, bars-locked turns but still has enough on-road heft to keep from being victimized by wind.

Some of the more hardcore off-roaders might complain about the suspension. It’s not very adjustable (both rear and front adjustable for preload only), but its nearly eight inches of rear and front travel offer plenty of stability in the twisties and absorption in rutted, rocky two-track at moderate speeds. There is some concern about the Transalp’s ground clearance, however. With a little over eight inches of airspace underneath, this bike might have some trouble negotiating the most intimidating of trails.

But that’s entirely the point. In stock form, Honda’s XL750 Transalp is a middle-of-the-road adventure bike priced to move. It’s a sharp-looking machine, too, with offroad Dakar-esque lines and an upright, “see-the-whole-road” rider position. However, it’s unfortunate that the U.S. version of the Transalp is only offered in “Matte Black Metallic” and not the classic Ross White (at least yet). The XL750 is packed with just enough features for those new to the ADV scene to keep up with their more experienced riding buddies but isn’t so pedestrian that a more advanced rider might shy away if they’re downsizing.

If you’re looking at the Transalp to add an all-arounder to your garage of toys, it’d be a good idea to pick up wider footpegs, a bash plate, and some engine protection (as well as some handguards) to dial it in for off-roading. And, it’ll need more off-road-capable shoes. But, honestly, that’s all you’ll really need to have a ton of fun in the backcountry, ride in style, and feel confident you’ll make it home in one piece… all without breaking the bank.

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Review 3



  • A lot of bike for an approachable price
  • Excellent electronic rider aids and display customization
  • Solid performance both on- and off-road
  • Comfortable riding position and wind protection


  • Maybe a bit too vanilla for hardcore ADV riders
  • Low-ish ground clearance
  • Will need crash protection to make it ADV-worthy

2024 Honda XL750 Transalp Specifications

MSRP:  $9,999
Engine:  755cc liquid-cooled 24.5º inline-two-cylinder four-stroke w/270-degree crank
Bore and Stroke:  87.0mm x 63.5mm
Displacement: 755cc
Compression Ratio:  11.0:1
Induction: PGM-FI; 46mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Full-transistorized
Starter: ElectricB15
Transmission: Manual 6-speed
Clutch: Multiplate wet
Final Drive: 16T/45T; chain
Front Suspension: 43mm Showa SFF-CATM telescopic inverted fork w/ spring-preload adjustment; 7.9 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link system w/ single Showa remote-reservoir shock; 7.5 in. travel
Front Brake:  Dual 310mm “wave” discs w/ hydraulic two-piston calipers
Rear Brake:  Single 256mm “wave” disc w/ hydraulic single-piston caliper
Tires: Front 90/90-21; Rear 150/70R-18
Rake: (Caster Angle) 27º
Trail: 111mm (4.4 in.)
Length: 91.2 in.
Width: 33.1 in.
Height: 57.2 in.
Seat Height: 33.7 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.3 in.
Wheelbase: 61.5 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
Curb Weight: 459 lbs.



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Thu, 02 Nov 2023 10:11:08 -0500

All-New 2024 Himalayan 450 Specs
Posted on Thursday November 02, 2023

Author : Carl Parker

Published in: Bikes

All-new 2024 Himalayan Specs Released

Royal Enfield unleashes the specs for the much improved 2024 Himalayan model. We just got back from 250 miles of kicking the tires and hitting the ice on Royal Enfield's new Himalayan, in the Himalayan mountains near Manali, India. Not knowing what to expect, we were impressed by the stats and numbers presented by the various production teams in the Royal Enfield family. What does the new Himalayan offer?

RoyalEnfield 2024Himalayan 450 Intro

• ENGINE - The New Sherpa 450

Let's get to the heart of the matter. Royal Enfield's new Sherpa 452cc (Sherpa 450) engine is a quantum leap in terms of power, performance and technology over the previous generation's air-cooled LS 410 mill. First off, it's now watercooled which allows the Sherpa 450 to run at an 11.5:1 compression ratio versus the previous generation's air-cooled 9.5:1. The resulting increase in power is noticeable in the comparison chart which also translates to the in-seat experience.  Max horse power went up to almost 40 bhp @ 8,000 rpm from 24 bhp @ 6,500 rpm. Torque increased from 23.6 to almost 30 ft-lbs at 5,500 rpm. The engineers kept the same usable power curve but just added over 60% more power while extending the redline by over 2,000 rpm.

How does it ride? The change in specs translates directly to the seat experience both on and off-road.  On-road, the new top end give the Himalayan 450 actual passing power. Keeping in mind, this is still a 450cc motor, it does remarkably better than the previous generation which could hit 70mph in a pinch, but was not maintainable. The low end has been bumped up as well and perhaps the most impressive change to the new motor is how long the legs are. 

When coming out of a tight turn in a a low high gear, or getting yourself through some technical off-road sections, the low end is very forgiving and can lug you out of a bad spot even from as low as 2,000 rpm. This is a great thing for lazy shifters and new riders. On the top end, it pull all they way up to the 8k red line, which is where the new passing prowess comes from. Last but not least, the counterbalanced engine is smooth. I'm a huge fan of multi-cylinder engines but with the new Sherpa 450 so well tuned down low, I don't even think about it. 

Can the new Himalayan 450 pass at speeds faster than 65mph?  Yes! As mentioned in the video, the new powerplant with updated gearing takes you comfortably to 65mph in 4th gear at 7k rpm! With two more gears to go there's no doubt this would hit around 90mph (145kph) in sixth gear.

 All new Himalayan Rear Tyre 2

The new Himalayan's exhaust note comes from not only the relocated airbox, but a newly reworked exhaust system which sports a much smaller muffler. According to the engineers, this is made possible by the larger catalytic converter that also contributes to the sound deadening.   

Thankfully, all this new and usable power is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed transmission. The airbox is now located above the engine and under the tank, resulting in a downdraft injection setup tied to a new ride-by-wire throttle. It's also worth noting they've included a slipper clutch that helps take the jerkyness out of hasty downshifts. 

All new Himalayan Engine Close Up2


The front tire size stays the same at 90/90-21, but the rear tire gets a beefed-out 140/80-17 skin. Aside from adding blingy new gold wheel options, the upper "Summit" trim lines also have tubeless spoked rims, which is nearly unheard of in this category. We found the stock tires to be more road oriented but that didn't stop any of us in the off-road sections. 

All new Himalayan Rear Tyre1

The suspension has been majorly overhauled as the previous generation's 41mm conventional forks are now replaced by 43mm inverted Showa cartridge forks. The spring is in the left fork tube and the dampening resides on the right. The rear shock has been totally redesigned into a more horizontal setup thanks to an all new cast swingarm and linkage system which also contributes to keeping the saddle height lower. Without going into too many details, the new suspension and geometry are much stiffer and also more aggressive, both on and off-road. 

All new Himalayan Rear Suspension Close Up

The brakes have also been upgraded as well from 300mm to 320mm in the front and 240mm to 270mm in the back. Those wanting to disable ABS braking won't be disappointed. The option is available in the new gauge features!


Feeding the new powerplant is a 4.5 gallon tank, an increase of .5 gallons more than the previous version. The signature boxy style of the original generation is now replaced by a more modern looking tapered design. People have mixed feelings about this, but the fact is so many other changes were made to the platform as a whole that it would not have been possible to keep the original design. The upper tank guards are still there and nicely contoured with the new tank's bold shoulders which don't generally show well on many images. Like the original Himalayan, the tank guards work! More than a few testers dropped the bike during the off-road section of the test rides and the bike came out no worse for wear.

All new Himalayan Fuel Tank

The frame construction and geometry is also all-new. Most notable is the engine is now a stressed member of the frame so the previous generation full cradle frame is gone. This saves some weigh but also helps to increase the ground clearance from 8.6 to 9.1 inches. Another nice touch is the bolt on rear subframe, which is a feature generally found on more expensive bikes.

All new Himalayan Front Tyre3

Although the ground clearance is up with more suspension travel, they managed to keep the seat height about the same at around 31-32 inches. The saddle is now two position adjustable with low and standard height options. Combined with a narrower tank profile, reaching the ground has never been easier. Part of that narrow profile isn't just in the tank and saddle. Many of the bike's component like the battery and airbox have been center-lined in the frame more like modern bikes.

DIY and shade tree mechanic rejoice!  According to our sources, center-stands will still be standard equipment on the new Himlayan 450!

With this impressive set of upgrades and added features, the bike has shaved about 6 pounds from the original version and comes in at about 432 lbs!

• ELECTRONICS -  Lights and Gauges

Speaking of gauges, this is another area the Royal Enfield family of engineers is tremendously proud of. The new 4" round TFT display is highly configurable, easy to read (even for those who need reading glasses) and auto switches contrast mode depending on the environment. There's a Mode button on the right switch gear which changes between analog/digital map display, which a four-way joystick on the left control set near the horn which moves you through the menus and options.

All new Himalayan Instrument Console Close Up

Probably one of the most notable features of the new TFT gauges is the Google Maps powered interface which displays the navigation map right on the screen while keeping all critical riding information available. An easy to read large tachometer needle and speed indication are available in analog mode while keeping turn by turn directions front and center. This is all made possible through a Wi-Fi connection between your Apple or Android phone and a Royal Enfield proprietary app which hasn't been released yet.

All new Himalayan Engine Close MapDisplay

All the lights are now LED. The signature round headlight is very bright and properly focused while mated to a small windscreen that harkens to the original generation's lines. The rear lights feature a clever turn and stop light integrated signals which are large and very visible.

All new Himalayan LED Headlamp


Like many motorcycle journalists do, we spent some time croning about what couple be improved. While everyone has different thoughts on the topic, and many things like geometry and vibration are personal preference, one thing we noticed was the rear shock could use a little more rebound damping when being ridden aggressively. While I love how firm the new suspension set up is, especially for someone at over 200lbs, after the rear shock compresses it can launch your butt in the air a bit.  For most this won't be a huge problem and it's possible some pre-load adjustment would have reduced this effect but we're splitting hairs here.

One of the first things noticed in the technical presentation is the airbox has moved to under the tank. The previous Himalayan had an airbox under the seat which was easier to access, but also made it wider between the legs.  For those riding in very dusty areas, this may create a bit more work but not much.  I checked the tank removal process and it looks pretty simple. Since there are no plastics attached to the tank, it's simply a matter of removing a few screws under the seat, disconnecting the hoses and harness and you're good to go. 

As a six foot tall rider with a 32" inseam, I'd probably install bar-risers and/or lower pegs to make the seating position more relaxed for long days in the saddle. 

Is anything being held back?  It's not uncommon for manufacturers to hold back on some specs when launching a new model in order to have meaningful generational upgrades a few years later. Looking down the road, all we could see being added to the current model would be adjustable suspension and maybe a larger TFT readout.  


The all-new Himalayan comes in five different colorways spread across three "Base", "Pass" and "Summit" trim lines. Although all models have the same specs and features, one difference is the tubeless spoked rims which only come on the Summit variants. The Base line comes in Kaza Brown. The Pass line comes in Slate Himalayan Salt and Poppy Blue; while the Summit line comes in Hanle Black and Kamet White.

2024Himalayan KametWhite

2024Himalayan KametWhite

2024Himalayan KametWhite

U.S. market pricing is not known at this point but should be available after the bike is officially launched in the first half of 2024. Although we expect there will be an understandable price increase, Siddhartha Lal ( Managing Director and CEO of Eicher Motors) told me that the pricing will stay reasonable and maintaining accessibility to every-day riders is one of their chief goals.

The speculation mill had prices going anywhere from 6,500 to 7,500 USD. We are h oping it will stay just under $7,000. If this should happen, the new Himalayan would have few rivals in the 400-500cc dual-sport range and could be one of the best overall values for new and experienced riders alike. Although no official US availability date has been released, we would expect to see the new Himalayan on showroom floors in the late spring of summer of 2024. The bike will be officially launched in India first, then overseas.

We're really excited about this new model, and believe it will shakeup the displacement category for years to come. 

More riding impressions coming soon in a full review in ADVMoto!  

Visit RoyalEnfield.com for official info down the road.

 • 2024 Royal Enfield Himalayan Specifications and Comparison 

  2018-2023 Himalayan 411cc 2024+ Himalayan 452cc
Engine type: Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, SOHC, Air Cooled  Single Cylinder, 4 Stroke, DOHC, Water Cooled , 
Displacement: 411cc 452cc
Compression ratio: 9.5:1 11.5:1
Valves: Screw adjustment Shim style
Max power: 24.3 bhp (17.88 kW) @ 6,500 rpm  39.5 Hp (29.44 kW) @ 8,000 rpm
Max torque: 23.6 ft/lbs @ 4,000-4,500 rpm  29.5 ft-lbs @ 5,500 rpm
Clutch: Wet, Multi-Plate  Wet multiplate, Slip & Assist
Gearbox: 5 Speed 6-speed
Fuel system: EFI EFI + Ride by Wire
Frame type: Split cradle Twin-spar tubular steel
Front suspension: 41 mm forks with 7.9" travel  Showa USD 43mm Forks with 7.9" travel
Rear suspension: Monoshock with 7.1" travel  Showa Monoshock with 7.9"  travel 
Wheelbase: 58 in  59.44 in
Ground clearance: 8.6 in  9.1 in
Seat height: 31.5 in  32.5-33.3" (standard seat); 31.7-32.5" (low seat)
Curb weight: 439 lbs  432 lbs
Fuel capacity: 4 gallons (15L) 4.5 gallons (17L)
Front tire: 90/90-21″ 90/90-21″
Rear tire: 120/90-17″ 140/80-17″
Front brakes: 300 mm disc, two-piston 320 mm disc, two-piston
Rear brakes: 240 mm disc, single-piston 270 mm disc, single-piston 
ABS Dual-channel ABS, Switchable rear-wheel  Dual-channel ABS, Switchable rear-wheel deactivation
Electrical system: 12V – DC  12V – DC 
Head lamp 1H4-Halogen  LED
Tail lamp: LED Integrated turn & tail lamp, all LED
Turn signal lamp: Halogen Integrated turn & tail lamp, all LED


Read more ...


Tue, 31 Oct 2023 14:42:13 -0500

Triumph Raises the Bar: New Tiger 900 Range for 2024
Posted on Tuesday October 31, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

Triumph Tiger 900 2024 intro

Delivering more power, torque, capability, and comfort, the new Tiger 900 range from Triumph Motorcycles is raising the bar for middleweight adventure bikes in 2024. The new line-up includes the Tiger 900 GT, GT Pro, and Rally Pro, each providing a significant step-up in performance and specification.

The trademark three-cylinder engine of the Tiger 900 has received a major update, including revised engine components, which provide 13% more power than the previous generation, giving 106.5HP of peak power and a higher peak torque of 66.38 LB-FT. The new engine also offers greater tractability lower in the rev range. With its T-plane crank and offset firing intervals, the Tiger 900 maintains its characterful and distinctive performance and sound, as well as achieving enhanced performance throughout the whole rev range and up to 9% better fuel economy.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release 1

  • New Tiger 900 range delivers more performance, more capability, more all-day comfort, and more attitude
  • Significant engine upgrade delivering 13% more power, higher peak torque of 66.38 LB-FT and 9% better fuel economy
  • All-new active safety features and new 7” TFT instruments providing more capability
  • New rider seat and damped handlebar mounting system to provide more long-distance comfort

All-new active safety features provide more capability across the range, including enhanced braking for better control and reduced stopping distances, and a new emergency deceleration warning system, which activates the hazard lights when braking rapidly and automatically deactivates when you pull away.

New marker lights provide a prominent silhouette especially at night and in poor visibility. The new range also features new 7” TFT instruments, with new graphics and menu system and a new USB-C cockpit charger, as well as My Triumph Bluetooth connectivity as standard on all models.

The new rider seat is flatter and roomier, with heated seats on both Pro models, designed specifically to provide more long-distance comfort. There is .78” (20mm) adjustability on the seat height for all models and an accessory heated low rider seat available which reduces the seat height by a further .78” (20mm). This offers GT models with a potential seat height as low as 31.4 (800mm), which combined with the narrow stand over width, improves accessibility.

A new damped handlebar mounting system creates a more comfortable ride, plus the enhanced handlebar position on the Rally Pro, with the bars .59” (15mm) closer, facilitates a more agile ride while sitting or standing.

Bringing even more Tiger attitude, the 2024 range has new bodywork across the beak, cockpit, and side panels in an integrated design that gives each motorcycle an aggressive, adventure focused stance. New contemporary and dynamic paint schemes and graphics complete the look.

A new Akrapovič silencer heads up the comprehensive list of more than 50 accessories, plus customers can choose from four tailored accessory packs, the Performance, Protection, Trekker, and Expedition kits.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release 3

The new range retains all the Tiger 900’s class-leading specification:

  • Optimized cornering ABS and traction control with IMU
  • Up to six riding modes including Road, Rain, Sport, and Off-Road, plus Rider Configurable for the GT Pro and Rally Pro, and Off-Road Pro for the Rally Pro only
  • Triumph Shift Assist (GT Pro & Rally Pro)
  • Heated grips and seats (GT Pro & Rally Pro)
  • Illuminated switches
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (GT Pro & Rally Pro)
  • Brembo Stylema® Monobloc brakes
  • Model-specific premium specification suspension tuned for maximum road & off-road capability
    • The GT features Marzocchi 1.77” (45mm) USD fully adjustable cartridge forks, rear suspension unit with manually adjustable preload and rebound damping and 7.08” (180mm) fork travel & 6.7” (170mm) rear wheel travel
    • The GT Pro features Marzocchi 1.77” (45mm) USD fully adjustable cartridge forks, rear suspension unit with electronically adjustable preload and rebound damping and 7.08” (180mm) fork travel & 6.7” (170mm) rear wheel travel
    • The Rally Pro benefits from Showa 1.77” (45mm) USD fully adjustable cartridge forks with manual preload, rebound and compression damping and a rear suspension unit with fully adjustable manual preload and rebound damping, 9.45” (240mm) fork travel & 9.05” (230mm) rear wheel travel
  • Lightweight modular frame
  • Adjustable screen & .79” (20mm) adjustable seat height
  • 5.28-gal (20 liter) fuel tank

• More Performance

Unique to Triumph, the T-plane crank engine with its 1,3,2 firing order and distinctive, raspy triple exhaust bark, has been further developed for the new Tiger 900 range.

Engine revisions have resulted in a power increase of 13% taking the Tiger 900 from 93.7HP to an impressive 106.5HP. This has been achieved while gaining more torque and tractability at low RPM. The increased power can be felt throughout the rev-range, with a more muscular mid-range and improved acceleration.

On the road the new Tiger 900 is agile and easy to ride at low speeds, but with plenty of performance for rapid bursts of acceleration and effortless high-speed touring. In more technical off-road situations, the fine throttle control is intuitive and confidence-inspiring.

Each model benefits from a specific suspension set-up, designed to meet the needs of the rider for each model.

The GT is fitted with high-quality Marzocchi™ suspension with adjustable compression and rebound damping. With 7.08” (180mm) of fork travel and 6.7” (170mm) of rear wheel travel, the set-up has been tuned specifically for the GT to deliver excellent road handling and long-ride comfort with the capability to tackle off-road terrain.

The GT Pro also uses Marzocchi™ suspension. Fully adjustable forks are matched to an electronically adjustable rear suspension unit. This allows for easy and convenient preload adjustments at the touch of a button to suit riders travelling solo, with a pillion or fully loaded.

The Rally Pro uses Showa™ suspension, offering riders full adjustability and a generous 9.45” (240mm) front and 9.05” (230mm) rear wheel travel. This high-quality progressive suspension set-up provides capability and versatility on all roads.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release showa

Complementing this specific suspension, the road-focused GT and GT Pro have lightweight cast alloy wheels, 19” at the front and 17” at the rear, for the perfect balance between road handling and off-road capability. The Rally Pro uses tubeless spoked wheels with a 21” front for pure off-road performance and features a broad tire choice.

Best in class Brembo Stylema™ brake calipers are fitted to all three new Tiger 900 models, ensuring effective stopping power and a sensitive lever feel that helps to keep braking powerful, smooth, and controlled.

• More Capability

The new Tiger 900 for 2024 features new active safety features to improve visibility on the road, including a new emergency deceleration warning system, which activates the hazard lights when braking rapidly and automatically deactivates when you pull away. In addition, new marker lights provide a prominent silhouette especially at night and in poor visibility.

Optimized cornering ABS and Traction Control comes as standard across all three Tiger 900 models. Together with the ride-by-wire throttle, the level of assistance can be altered with four different standard riding modes — Road, Rain, Sport, and Off-Road.

The GT Pro has five modes with the additional Rider Programable mode allowing fine tuning to suit the rider’s preferences and riding style. The Rally Pro has six modes with the extra Off-Road Pro mode disabling ABS and traction control completely to allow the Tiger 900 Rally Pro’s capability to be fully utilized off road.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release 2

The new enhanced braking system automatically balances front and rear braking effort, working in harmony with the optimized cornering ABS system, to improve stability under hard braking while significantly reducing stopping distances.

Triumph’s Slip and Assist clutch system is fitted to all three Tiger 900 models, giving light clutch lever action to reduce rider fatigue, especially for congested urban riding conditions and for technical off-road riding. This system also improves rear wheel control under rapid deceleration, assisting with smooth and assured corner entry on a range of surfaces.

The Pro models are also equipped with the Triumph Shift Assist system. This allows clutch-less gear changes both up and down the gearbox for seamless acceleration and super-smooth deceleration.

The My Triumph Connectivity System is now standard on all Tiger 900 models. Music, phone and turn by turn navigation can all be accessed via the new intuitive and easy-to-read 7” TFT display which is bonded to the glass for a crisp, non-reflective image. Heated grips and seats plus a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) are also standard on both Pro models.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release screen

• More All-Day Comfort

The seat has been redesigned for enhanced long-distance comfort while retaining the ease of movement for the rider to find their perfect ergonomic position. All models feature .78” (20mm) of adjustability, as well as heated seats for both Pro models, for optimum comfort in all weather.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release seat

A new damped handlebar mounting system creates a more comfortable ride, while the handlebar position on the Rally Pro has been moved back by .6” (15mm). This slight reduction in reach improves seated comfort while also improving rider control and bike agility in the standing position when riding off-road.

Even the shape of the 5.28-gal (20-liter) fuel tank has been carefully considered to provide the perfect seated riding position without compromising control when standing. An adjustable screen with five settings spanning 1.96” (50mm), ensures all riders can enjoy excellent high-speed wind protection.

• More Attitude

The aggressive Tiger styling and distinctive adventure-focused stance has been revised and sharpened. The new bodywork now has a cleaner, more integrated design that flows beautifully from the beak, through the cockpit and into the side panels.

Three striking new paint schemes and graphics are available for each model. The GT and GT Pro are available in Snowdonia White as standard, with two premium paint options, Graphite and Sapphire Black, and Carnival Red and Sapphire Black. The Rally Pro is available in Carbon Black and Sapphire Black, with the option to upgrade to the striking Ash Grey and Intense Orange or Matte Khaki Green and Matte Phantom Black.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release all

• Accessories

Over 50 accessories and four accessory kits are available for the new Tiger 900 range.  The fully loaded Performance accessory pack includes a brand new Akrapovič silencer, the first of several new exhaust systems developed in partnership. With a lightweight titanium design with carbon end caps, the new silencer delivers a 2.2 lb (1kg) weight saving and an even better sound. The pack also includes front and rear scrolling indicators with new marker light feature and billet machined adventure foot pegs. 

The Protection Pack showcases key practical accessories, lower and upper engine bar kits, tank pad, sump guard, fork protectors, radiator guard and for off-road, a headlight guard kit. The Trekker and Expedition packs provide two distinct, tailored luggage options for extended touring or off-road adventures.

Triumph Tiger900 2024 Release silencer

• On The Road

Triumph’s Chief Product Officer Steve Sargent said: “The Tiger 900 already has an excellent reputation as an award-winner and rally competitor, enjoying success against production motorcycles as well as purpose-built off-road machines. In fact, the Tiger 900 Rally Pro was used by World Enduro Champion Iván Cervantes, securing champion titles at the Baja Aragón Rally, 1000 Dunas Raid and Bassela Enduro in 2022.

With such an impressive pedigree, we needed to set ourselves a high target to improve the new Tiger 900. We were focused on raising the game in the middleweight category all over again. As a result, we’ve delivered a significant step-up, with more performance, more capability, more all-day comfort, and an aggressive style and poise.”


USA Pricing:

  • Tiger 900 GT from $14,995 USD
  • Tiger 900 GT Pro from $16,895 USD
  • Tiger 900 Rally Pro from $17,395 USD

Canadian Pricing:

  • Tiger 900 GT from $16,995 CAD
  • Tiger 900 GT Pro from $19,295 CAD
  • Tiger 900 Rally Pro from $20,195 CAD

Orders can be placed now at Triumph dealers, with bikes available from early 2024.

About Triumph

First established in 1902, Triumph Motorcycles celebrated 120 years of motorcycle manufacture in 2022. For more than three decades, Triumph Motorcycles has been based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, and has produced iconic bikes that perfectly blend authentic design, character, charisma, and performance. With more than 83,389 motorcycles delivered in calendar year 2022, and on track to reach a milestone 800 dealers across the world in 2023, Triumph is the largest British motorcycle manufacturer. Triumphmotorcycles.com

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Tue, 24 Oct 2023 13:36:22 -0500

SW-MOTECH Releases Next Generation Motorcycle Drybags
Posted on Tuesday October 24, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

SW-MOTECH New Drybags intro

Drybags have been a staple of the SW-MOTECH luggage range for years. The bags have consistently proven their value as added capacity or as a standalone solution for any motorcycle or trip. The completely waterproof bags can be attached to a passenger seat, rear rack, crash bar or other luggage. After such a long and successful run, it’s no surprise that SW-MOTECH is leveraging decades of experience with drybags to update the entire line.

Ready for the Next Adventure?

The fully waterproof PVC bags continue to be offered in the familiar six sizes, with several new features and design improvements over the previous drybag line.

Updated materials create a more supple bag, making them easier to handle, roll and unroll—whether they are empty or fully packed.

SW MOTECH Drybags 2023 1

Speaking of handling, each of the full-size models now has a carry handle integrated into the side of the bag where it can be used to adjust your load. A new buckle and strap configuration makes the bags even easier to stack and connect to each other. Off the bike, the sold-separately shoulder strap adapts the drybag into a convenient travel bag for everyday use.

MOLLE panels have been added to several bags in the lineup to expand organization options by adding the ability to connect MOLLE-compatible accessory bags to the exterior.

Each of the new SW-MOTECH Drybags, with the exception of the smallest, the Drybag 80, features an exterior welded zipper pocket for smaller items.

Bold New Graphics!

With this list of new features and updates, it’s obvious this isn’t just a cosmetic design. However, there is a sleek new look for these drybags. The overall color of the bags is darker, which blends more naturally with the aesthetics of the latest SW-MOTECH designs such as the SysBag WP and the PRO line of tank and tail bags.

See the new Drybag line in action on YouTube:


Drybag Line Materials

  • 500D polyester.
  • Surface: PVC coating.
  • High-visibility yellow color coming early 2024. (Drybag 350 and 600 models)

Drybag Line Features

  • Universal fit for almost any motorcycle.
  • Welded splashproof outer pocket (except Drybag 80).
  • Waterproof, durable luggage roll.
  • Easily compressible due to supple materials.
  • Integrated exterior MOLLE panel(s) (Drybag 350, 600 and 700).
  • D-rings allow secure fastening of the bag to the motorcycle.
  • Integrated handle on the side.
  • Waterproof roll closure and taped seams.
  • Reflective details for added visibility.

• Drybag 700

With two MOLLE panels on the legs, the big Drybag 700 is a standalone luggage system that can be expanded with MOLLE accessory pockets or LA6 Legend Gear bottle holders.

  • Color: black / grey
  • Size: 29.9 x 29.5 x 11.8 in
  • Total Weight: 4.2 lb
  • Total Volume: 70.0 l
  • Price: $219.95

SW MOTECH Drybag700

• Drybag 600

The largest of the standard duffel-shaped drybags, the 600 makes a great tailbag for those big camping trips. The MOLLE panel allows for extra storage and organization.

  • Color: black/grey or hi-vis yellow/grey
  • Size: 28.0 x 13.0 x 13.0 in
  • Total Weight: 3.1 lb
  • Total Volume: 60.0 l
  • Price: $169.95
SW MOTECH Drybag600

• Drybag 350

The 350 is a popular choice as a tailbag in combination with side cases. Just big enough to keep your camping gear separate or for everyday use. It also makes a great base for connecting smaller bags. MOLLE panel adds functionality.

  • Color: black/grey or hi-vis yellow/grey
  • Size: 22.8 x 11.0 x 11.0 in
  • Total Weight: 2.6 lb
  • Total Volume: 35.0 l
  • Price: $134.95

SW MOTECH Drybag350

• Drybag 260

A great size for those extra items and connects well with the 600, 350 and 180. It's also the perfect size for a gym bag when adding the shoulder strap.

  • Color: black / grey
  • Size: 19.7 x 10.2 x 10.2 in
  • Total Weight: 2.6 lb
  • Total Volume: 26.0 l
  • Price: $109.95

SW MOTECH Drybag260

• Drybag 180

The smallest of the standard duffel-shaped bags, the 180 is great for smaller bikes and commuting. It easily fits on small passenger seats such as those on a sportbike. The 180 also makes a great extra bag to keep wet items separated during tours.

  • Color: black / grey
  • Size: 15.4 x 9.8 x 7.1 in
  • Total Weight: 2.0 lb
  • Total Volume: 18.0 l
  • Price: $94.95

SW MOTECH Drybag180

• Drybag 80

Flexible and functional, the Drybag 80 will mount almost anywhere. Add it to the tail section of a sportbike or an enduro bike. Strap it to an ADV bike's crash bars or on top of some side cases. Use it to store essentials like first aid, tools, extra tubes or must-stay-dry items like electronics.

  • Color: black / grey
  • Size: 7.5 x 3.5 x 13.8 in
  • Total Weight: 1.3 lb
  • Total Volume: 8.0 l
  • Price: $99.95
SW MOTECH Drybag80


SW-MOTECH offers a wide variety of adventure, sport-touring, retro, and cruiser motorcycle accessories. Some of its most popular products include TRAX aluminum hard luggage, the patented QUICK-LOCK “tank ring” system, and premium crash bars. Engine guards, skidplates, ergonomic parts, and many other premium accessories are also available for most current motorcycle models. The complete product line will be found under sw-motech.us where customers will be able to enter make and model information to find a tailored list of all products available for their specific motorcycles.

SW-MOTECH started in 1994 when a mechanical engineer built a tail tank for his Africa Twin for a motorcycle tour to Libya. Many motorcyclists were subsequently interested in the tank, and so a dream trip was made a reality and a business idea was born. The company was officially founded in 1999.

SW-MOTECH stood for competence in metalworking, for the first removable carrier in the world, for crash bars, for center stands. Later the company partnered with soft luggage specialist BAGS-CONNECTION, and quickly came up with the idea for the tank ring and attachment of hovering tank bags using the popular QUICK-LOCK feature.

Today more than 300 people bring their technical know-how and passion to the development, production, and distribution of premium accessories which are sold in 65 countries worldwide. 

SW-MOTECH USA I www.sw-motech.us

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Thu, 19 Oct 2023 13:41:45 -0500

Making Memories Around the Caspian Sea
Posted on Thursday October 19, 2023

Author : Anastasia Leniova

Published in: Rides

Caspian Sea Ride Intro

“I resign to travel the world on a motorcycle!” I proclaimed when I was 23. By that time, I’d received a degree in Foreign Relations, had spent a couple years working in Belarus, and was wondering if we were really born to spend a huge part of our lives in offices.

I had a 2003 Honda XL 650 Transalp, a year of riding experience, and slightly more than $1,000 accumulated for a trip. It was to be a great and crazy adventure through Belarus, Russia (Elista, Dagestan and Chechnya), Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia again. And there would be the whole range of experiences from being on my knees at gunpoint, fueling the bike with condensed natural gas at a dried sea bottom, camping on neutral territory between two countries, and a bunch more. As the entire story won’t fit into ADVMoto’s word limit, I’ll share some of the most memorable moments with you.

• “We know the short road.”

Being overwhelmed and alone in Iran, dealing with bike importation, wearing a long shirt and hijab under the helmet, and coping with excessive attention from locals, I was glad to meet three German round-the-world riders (ThreesomeWithTwins.com) in the seaside town of Astara. Our adventure started from two things—I suggested going to the mountain city of Masuleh, and they suggested taking the “short road.” At that time I had no idea they were such experienced motocross and enduro riders on their huge ADV bikes. They were ready for everything, unlike the young and unexperienced me. “It should be fun,” they said.

We headed out of town towards the mountains amidst beautiful, flower-covered slopes. The innocent-looking gravel road soon gave way to a much narrower one, covered with sharp, unstable rock, along an abyss. That’s where I dropped my bike for the first time out of many that day. Somehow we concluded that we had gone too far and that returning wouldn’t make sense, so we took an alternative road which turned into another narrow path, and then became a river with a slippery, stony bottom. Not knowing if this route would dead-end as well, we decided to risk it.

That’s where I first saw the German team in action. With water slurping into their boots, they dragged their heavily loaded Africa Twins (CRF1000L) and GS though the river. In some places the trail was so narrow they had to remove the panniers and use a shovel to chisel a path through the rock. With my smaller bike and only a top box it was easier, but I had to count on their help to pull my bike out of difficult spots. That day I dropped the bike around a dozen times, which broke a few parts. At one point we met some locals who promised it would be easier from there on. This “easy” route continued as we struggled with the landscape, riding, pulling, and shoveling our way through the rocks, our strength oozing away as we tackled a skinny clay ditch filled with water. We had to pull four bikes out of it one by one, with an incredibly strong local man helping us, lifting the bikes as if they were sacks of flour.

caspain sea ride drop

The ditch turned out to be the final obstacle before the village. Relieved, we stopped to put up our tents, but the strong man invited us inside his home. After making instant noodles for the company, we dozed off in our sleeping bags on the floor and slept like babies. By the way, the Masuleh mountain town was also okay, but it paled in comparison with the “short road” there.

• A Night at Hell’s Gate

I made it to Turkmenistan! Getting into the country was difficult as I’d been denied the transit visa twice in Belarus. Then I re-applied for it in Tehran but had to receive it in Mashhad after 10 days, but only for five days on set dates. That would still work, but I had trouble getting my bike back from the hardworking Iranian mechanics, whom I’d asked to lend me a part of their shop to change the oil myself but had jumped in to help, disassembled the bike completely, and were not in a hurry to put it back together.

By the time I arrived at the Turkmen border it had closed, so I had to camp in the no-man’s land between the borders. Many thanks to Iranian border guards for bringing me tea and food! It turned out that I had to pay a sizable chunk of my budget for entrance formalities, but you can’t imagine how happy I was to finally arrive in this central Asian “North Korea.” Deviating from the route that was indicated on the visa was punishable by a heavy fine, so I ended up with just two days for crossing the entire country. I made a quick ride across the monumental but empty Ashgabat, bought more instant noodles at the local market and rode out of the city into the heat of the Karakum Desert. The road was paved but destroyed in places, and it was so hot that even the wind was not helping, rather burning me to the bone. Every now and then I stopped to pour water over my overheated head in order to avoid passing out, and my five liters of water ran out fast. Luckily, I found a well in a deserted village. The cold water and shade were like paradise.

The goal was “Hell’s Gate,” a huge natural gas crater in the middle of the Karakum Desert near the Darvaza settlement, where a gas extracting station had collapsed through the sand, leaving a 60-meter-diameter hole in the earth. The leakage had been poisoning the cattle, so the pit was set on fire in the 1980s and has been burning ever since. The road towards it is notorious as well; in ride reports others complained of difficulty getting through the quicksand. I deflated the tires, but that didn’t help much as I was an off-road novice, so I took a Jeep “taxi” to the spot along with other tourists, which was much easier. As it got dark, I put up the tent on a hill where I tried not to get poisoned by the gas while admiring the infernal landscape. The Gates of Hell were surrounded by a luminous halo that contrasted sharply with the stillness of the surrounding night. I got goosebumps and couldn’t fall asleep for a long time, overwhelmed by the sensation of something so supernatural.

caspain sea ride burning

• Ship Graveyard

Having spent a couple of days in the Uzbek cities of Khiva and Nukus, I decided to ride north to see the shores of the Aral Sea, which had all but dried up and pretty much disappeared, and the famous ship graveyard in Moynaq. Once a big port city with a fish canning plant and an airport, Moynaq lost its heart after the irrigation project on Amu-Darya River was launched and the river and sea started emptying. The town was larger than I expected, but had the murky atmosphere of a ghost city, and I received stern looks from the few people remaining. Avoiding stopping anywhere for a long time, I proceeded to the graveyard of ships that had once sailed the waters of the Aral Sea. Now their rusting hulks just sat in the dirt, devoid of water, where they entertained tourists.

caspain sea ride ship

Finding fuel is difficult in some areas of Uzbekistan. As Moynaq was quite remote, I had little choice but to fill up with unknown mystery fuel from a can. Riding off onto a paved road, I made my way towards an overnight stop. I camped on the way, but in Nukus I met a wonderfully kind woman who gave me the name of her friend’s father in Shege Village, who could host me for the night. The village of 300 or so had no streets or house numbers, so I wandered around asking for directions.

An elderly woman, Kaligun, ran out of her home as I approached and took me inside to her table. The host or hostess traditionally sits on the floor together with the guest, and the others from the household dine in a separate room.

caspain sea ride kaligun

There was no natural gas pipeline in the village, which explained why I saw cyclists with huge gas bottles on the way. Kaligun showed me around the village, which included yurts used as summerhouses, and kids as young as four going fishing. At night we removed the dinner tables, put mats on the floor and slept there, women and children in one room and men in another. As I departed the next morning, they gave me lavash flatbread with dried fish, and I was touched almost to tears by such kindness to an absolute stranger.

caspain sea ride yurt

The following day was no less memorable, as going farther into Kazakhstan required returning over 200 kilometers. But a local told me that I could take a shortcut though the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. I was young and stupidly brave enough to take his advice, seeing no roads or signs of life, not knowing how many kilometers it would require, but hoping that a tank of fuel would be enough to cover the route. I got completely lost 20 kilometers in, all signs of life ended at kilometer 30, and sometime later I bumped into a roadway gate in the middle of nowhere with a guard who told me I couldn’t go farther.

As my optimism was running low, I explained that “can’t go” was not an option and that I didn’t even need a road, but if he could supply some direction to Kazakhstan that would help. To this he just shrugged and opened the gate. The gravel road was pure magic, a reminder that this area was once a sea bottom. As I was getting panicky about fuel, and hoping for a miracle, imagine my surprise when I stumbled across a gas extracting plant. And now, imagine the surprise of the workers who are brought there bi-monthly by off-road trucks and who definitely didn’t expect to see a girl on a motorcycle. They had no decent fuel, but gave me a can of liquefied natural gas that could get me by if there was nothing else. A gravel road took me farther and farther and soon, after I had lost hope and added some liquid natural gas to the Transalp’s tank, I finally made it to the main road. Right in time, as a terrible thunderstorm was about to start.

caspain sea ride help

The entire trip lasted about three months, and it was like throwing myself into the water to learn how to swim. To be honest, I was happy that both the bike and I survived and successfully made it home. But it was like a school for overcoming all kinds of life’s obstacles. As time goes by and the world changes, the challenges we face are different. Travel! And if you get bored—you can always take the “short road”.

caspain sea ride map

Portrait Anastasia LeniovaAnastasia Leniova is a Belarusian motorcycle ADV rider, who traded solo off-road travels for enduro and rallies. After traveling around the Black, Caspian and Baltic seas on a Honda Transalp and KTM 690 Enduro R, she became the only woman so far to complete the Silk Way Rally in Malle Moto. Anastasia dreams of becoming the first Belarusian to complete the Dakar Rally on a motorcycle, and now is searching for sponsors for Rallye du Maroc as a part of preparation—doing it without a mechanic, as always.

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Thu, 12 Oct 2023 12:17:16 -0500

Adventure Spec Magadan MK3s Panniers Review
Posted on Thursday October 12, 2023

Author : Maria Schumacher

Published in: Gear

Adventure Spec Magadan Review intro

Hard vs. Soft Luggage: Why I Chose the Adventure Spec Magadan MK3s?

Much has been said about hard versus soft luggage, and the right solution differs for everyone.  For my part, I tend to lean toward aluminum panniers. That said, I travel around the world on a small Honda NX250, so here are my considerations and why I chose the Adventure Spec Magadan MK3s.

Adventure Spec Magadan Review 1

Soft luggage is lighter and doesn’t necessarily require a full metal frame other than backing plates to keep it away from the rear wheel, exhaust pipe, and bodywork. The Magadans are universally compatible with just about any backing plate, so I made a small one that doubles as a tool roll and a track stand.

Many riders claim hard boxes carry more cargo than soft luggage. And while higher-capacity hard luggage is readily available, soft luggage rivaling that kind of volume is harder to find. The Magadan MK3s have a 64-liter capacity, which is plenty to fit everything I need.

The Magadans also include plenty of MOLLE webbing on the outer surfaces, allowing for the customization of load-outs. For this, I opted for two of the large Adventure Spec ADV Layer Pouches to hold rain gear and the bike cover. These accessory pockets could be a bit larger, though.

One of the main arguments in favor of aluminum panniers is their strength and waterproofness. So, how did the soft-sided Magadans compare?

Made with 1000D Cordura, the Magadans are plenty burly and stand up to abuse. The inner waterproof bag protects the contents from the elements, and while not as strong as aluminum, the bags can be easily repaired using nothing more than a needle and thread.

Sure, hard panniers are easy to detach and hold their shape. However, the Adventure Spec Magadan panniers are not too tricky to mount and dismount. Riders can use the included over-seat cinch straps to secure them; all you need to do is unclip the straps to lift them off the bike.

Adventure Spec Magadan Review strap

The Magadans are obviously not stiff like aluminum, but they do have sewn-in plastic sheets to keep them open. In my opinion, these sheets could be even stronger. Once packed with the large buckles closed, the MK3s hold their shape and sit stable for planted handling during the ride. Note that if hard panniers are damaged, they can easily lose their waterproofness, while the Magadans can be easily patched, or the internal liner replaced.

Hard panniers are lockable and are more difficult to steal off the bike. Soft luggage does not have that luxury. However, the Magadans throw-over strap system leaves room for a lockable top box on the rear rack. As for riding safety, soft luggage has another advantage: There are no hard corners or edges if your foot is trapped underneath the bike in a crash.

For me, the much lighter Magadan MK3s are the perfect alternative to hard boxes, and less weight means more confidence and fun on my travels.

Adventure Spec Magadan Review 2


MSRP: $349


  • Very light yet generous 64-liter capacity
  • Throw-over strap system fits almost any bike
  • Dual layer system protects inner waterproof bag in the event of a tumble


  • The sewn-in plastic side wall could be harder
  • The Large Layer Pouch could be a little bigger
  • Cannot be locked and secured like hard luggage can

Read more ...


Tue, 10 Oct 2023 13:53:53 -0500

KLIM Maverick Down Jacket Review
Posted on Tuesday October 10, 2023

Author : J.M. Staelens | Photos Provided by KLIM

Published in: Gear

KLIM Maverick Down Jacket Review intro

Compiling my kit for a long-distance off-road solo trip exploring the Trans Euro Trail network across France, Spain, and Portugal, my gear selection had to cover a wide range of climatic conditions. Spring weather in the Alps, Pyrenees, and Sierra Nevada is notoriously unpredictable and one better come prepared for inclement weather. A lifetime of adventure riding has taught me that compromising on gear quality not only doesn’t pay off but risks jeopardizing safety and wellbeing. The value of having good gear was again demonstrated on this trip when I misjudged the time needed to cross a Pyrenean pass. I got stranded at night in freezing temperatures at the top of the pass due to thick fog reducing visibility to zero. When safety and survival depend on technical gear, quality and performance are of paramount importance.

My old down jacket had shed quite a bit of its feathers over the years, and hence I was in the market for a new “technical” mid-layer. Within the typical layering system, the mid-layer fulfills the vitally important function of thermal insulation. The insulating properties of various mid-layer material technologies vary, but among the commonly used options goose down is still at the pinnacle of thermal efficiency (although synthetic down technology is catching up fast). Goose down’s exceptionally high insulating performance lies in its ability to trap more air than any other material, maximizing the prevention of convective heat loss.

Offering the highest warmth-to-weight-and-volume (when packed) ratio, the KLIM Maverick Down Jacket ticked off all my desiderata: warmth/insulation performance; lightweight; compressibility; construction quality; and durability.

KLIM Maverick Down Jacket 1

The Maverick’s superior design/construction quality is exemplified by the down’s containment in seamless “box” baffles. This enhances both performance and durability by avoiding cold spots at the seams (in contrast to cheaper “sewn through” pocket construction); reducing the risk of snagging on Velcro, and preventing down loss through the stitch holes. The latter caused the deterioration of my old jacket that shedded feathers through the stitches from day one.

Another reason for choosing the Maverick was its very high 800 fill-power down rating, which indicates how many cubic inches of loft one ounce of down produces. A higher rating means more warmth per ounce of down since more loft allows trapping more air. Apart from augmenting insulation, the wind-resistant and durable water repellent 20D nylon fabric increase versatility as it enables using the Maverick as a stand-alone jacket. I also frequently used the in-pocket bottom hem drawcord adjustment system for a snug fit. The Klim Maverick Down Jacket turned out to be an excellent mid-layer choice and combined perfectly with both my Klim Traverse and Badlands Pro Jackets.         

KLIM Maverick Down Jacket 2


MSRP: $249.99


  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Excellent thermal insulation
  • Highly compressible/packs small
  • Highly wind resistant
  • Durable water repellent
  • One hand pocket serves as its stuff sack
  • Seamless baffles prevent down loss
  • In-pocket bottom hem draw-cord adjustment
  • Four colorways available


  • The lack of a hood (in the collar)

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Tue, 03 Oct 2023 13:40:51 -0500

Volcon Announces First Shipment of Newly Updated Grunt EVO
Posted on Tuesday October 03, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

Volcon Grunt EVO Shipping Intro

AUSTIN, TX - Volcon Inc. (NASDAQ: VLCN) (“Volcon” or the “Company”), the first all-electric, off-road powersports company, announced today it has started shipping production units of its new, innovative Grunt EVO motorcycle. Volcon is pleased to start sending its highly anticipated, upgraded, fat-tired motorcycle to dealers and customers in North and Latin American locations. Dealers, distributors, and current reservation holders can expect delivery within two to three weeks.

Originally launched in April, the EVO has generated excitement, promising riders an unparalleled off-road experience with updated features and innovative design. Since the formal launch this spring, customers have been able to customize their EVO motorcycle on Volcon’s website, selecting one of three colors, along with an array of accessories, which they can purchase from their preferred dealer. Early adopters can expect to receive their motorcycles within the coming weeks and are encouraged to reach out to their dealer for more information.

Volcon Grunt EVO 2

The Company’s first product to market was the EVO’s predecessor, the Grunt FE. The EVO features foundational elements of the original Grunt, but incorporates improvements that elevate and differentiate the latest edition from the classic. Key upgrades were implemented to make it quieter, lighter, more stylish, and comfortable for riders. The main component behind the EVO’s near-silent ride is the introduction of the Gates Carbon Belt Drive (Moto X9) as opposed to a chain drive utilized on the previous Grunt FE model.

The first set of featured accessories include a Flat Rear Rack, Utility Rack, Tow Hitch, Tank Bag, and other storage options, all of which you can find on the Company’s website. Customers can also select the gold anodized forks that were a classic component of the Grunt FE as an accessory. The EVO boasts three different colors, each an ode to the Texas company's roots, rounding out an array of options for consumers to make the EVO uniquely their own. 

Volcon continues to expand their customer base with new editions of their two-wheel and UTV product lines, targeting outdoor enthusiasts, traditional powersports families, wildlife conservation groups, and other audiences needing silent, rugged vehicles with exceptional all-terrain capabilities. Once the Company completes several rounds of EVO deliveries to fulfill pre-orders, additional shipments will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those interested can custom configure their EVO at no cost on Volcon’s website and select a dealer for pickup.

Volcon Grunt EVO 3

About Volcon ePowersports

Based in the Austin, Texas area, Volcon was founded as the first all-electric powersports company producing high-quality and sustainable electric vehicles for the outdoor community. Volcon electric vehicles are the future of off-roading, not only because of their environmental benefits, but also because of their near silent operation, which allows for a more immersive outdoor experience.

Volcon's 2023 vehicle roadmap includes both motorcycles and UTVs hitting the market in North America. Its first product, the innovative Grunt, has been shipping to customers since late 2021 and combines a fat-tired physique with high-torque electric power and a near-silent drive train. Volcon just announced the launch of the Grunt EVO, an evolution of the original Grunt with a belt drive, an improved suspension and seat. Volcon also just announced the launch of the Runt LT, which is a fun-sized version of the groundbreaking Grunt, is better suited for small statured riders, more compact properties and trails, or as a pit bike at race events, while still delivering robust off-road capabilities. The Brat is Volcon’s first foray into the wildly popular eBike market for both on road and off-road riding and is currently being delivered to US dealers. And is also available for purchase on Volcon’s website. Volcon is also currently delivering the Volcon Youth Line of dirt bikes for younger riders between the ages of 4 to 11. Volcon recently launched the Stag and entered the rapidly expanding UTV market. The Stag empowers the driver to explore the outdoors in a new and unique way that gas-powered UTVs cannot. The Stag offers the same thrilling performance of a standard UTV without the noise (or pollution), allowing the driver to explore the outdoors with all their senses.

For more information, visit Volcon.com.

Read more ...


Fri, 29 Sep 2023 13:07:32 -0500

The New 2024 BMW R 1300 GS Announced
Posted on Friday September 29, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

2024 BMW R 1300 GS intro

Woodcliff Lake, NJ - BMW Motorrad proudly introduces the new 2024 BMW R 1300 GS.  More than 43 years ago, BMW Motorrad established a new segment for touring enduros with the R 80 G/S. The boxer BMW GS has been the undisputed leader of the competitive field ever since. To ensure this remains the case in the future, BMW Motorrad has opted for an almost completely new design for the new R 1300 GS, with a weight saving of 26 lbs. compared to the previous model.

The center piece is the legendary two-cylinder boxer engine. Its new design is more compact than ever before thanks to a gearbox located under the engine and a new camshaft drive arrangement. From exactly 1,300 cc it produces 145 hp at 7,750 rpm and 110 lb-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm. This makes it by far the most powerful BMW boxer engine ever to be produced in series.

At the center of the new suspension is the steel, sheet metal shell main frame, which in addition to being significantly optimized in terms of space, also offers higher levels of stiffness than the predecessor model. For the rear frame, the previous tubular steel structure has now been replaced with a die-cast aluminum unit. The new EVO Telelever front suspension with flex element and the revised EVO Paralever rear suspension also provide greater steering precision and ride stability.

  • New 1,300 cc boxer engine delivering 145 hp and 110 lb-ft of torque.
  • New frame and suspension. 26 lbs. lighter than predecessor.
  • New technology including Adaptive Vehicle Height Control.
  • MSRP $18,895 plus Destination
  • Estimated Market launch early 2024.

2024 BMW R1300GS Release 1

“With the new BMW R 1300 GS we will once again take the competition by surprise. It is defined by an even broader spread of product substance, while the reduction in complexity and vehicle weight, combined with focused equipment, enable the essence of the boxer GS to be showcased even more strikingly. With a new engine, outstanding handling, and impressive ride qualities, it will set the pace both on and off the road.”

– Thilo Fuchs, Head of Water-cooled Boxer Models.

• Unique R 1300 GS features

  • Completely new boxer engine with bottom-mounted gearbox and BMW ShiftCam technology for varying the valve timing and valve stroke on the intake side.
  • Most powerful BMW boxer engine ever.
  • 145 hp at 7,750 rpm and 110 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm.
  • Powerful response across the entire rpm range, exemplary fuel consumption, emission levels, smoothness, and refinement.
  • Completely redesigned frame with sheet metal shell main frame and die-cast aluminum rear section.
  • Greater steering precision and ride stability thanks to new EVO Telelever with flex element and revised rear wheel guide EVO Paralever.
  • Weight reduction of 26 lbs. compared to the previous model.
  • Standard BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS Pro.
  • Standard four riding modes.
  • Optional Riding Modes Pro with additional riding modes.
  • Standard Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Engine Drag Torque Control (MSR), Dynamic Brake Assist (DBC) and Hill Start Control (HSC).
  • Optional Electronic Dynamic Suspension Adjustment (DSA) with dynamic adjustment of the damping, spring rate, and load compensation.
  • Optional adaptive vehicle height control and sports suspension.
  • New standard matrix LED headlamp.
  • Optional Headlight Pro with adaptive turning light.
  • Standard hand protectors with integrated turn signals.
  • Standard lithium-ion 12v battery with Battery Guard (function via BMW Motorrad Connected App).
  • Standard Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC).
  • Optional Riding Assistant with Active Cruise Control (ACC), Front Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Change Warning (SWW).
  • Standard smartphone charging compartment with integrated USB socket and additional 12 V on-board power socket.
  • Optional seat heating for rider and passenger for enhanced touring suitability.
  • Optional handlebar riser by up to 30 mm / 1.2 inches.
  • Wide range of available seat heights.
  • Connectivity: standard multifunctional instrument cluster with 6.5-inch full-color TFT screen.
  • Standard RDC, Keyless Ride and heated grips.
  • Standard Intelligent Emergency Call.
  • Extensive range of optional equipment and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories.

2024 BMW R1300GS Release 2

1.     Engine and Drivetrain

“With a noticeable increase in power and torque combined with significantly reduced weight and a very compact design, the newly designed boxer engine is the perfect drivetrain for the new R 1300 GS and a genuine milestone in the 100-year history of BMW Motorrad.”  - Christof Lischka, Head of Development BMW Motorrad.

  • Newly developed boxer engine with improved power and torque, optimized for smoothness and efficiency.
  • New gearbox is now located below the engine for more compact packaging and reduced weight. New driveshaft and rear axle.
  • BMW ShiftCam technology for superior performance and smoothness as well as excellent fuel consumption and emissions.
  • Lightweight stainless steel exhaust system for optimum performance and weight.
  • Four riding modes including “Enduro” mode for an enhanced off-road riding experience.
  • Riding Modes Pro with additional riding modes is optional. Engine drag torque control (MSR) and riding mode pre-selection is standard.
2024 BMW R1300GS Release engine

2.    Suspension

“Another thing we wanted to achieve with the new BMW R 1300 GS was to stop the trend of getting bigger and bigger – and in fact we managed to reverse this trend. Our team achieved a significant reduction in weight and dimensions, resulting in an extremely focused and lean GS. The bike’s engineering is packaged as compactly as possible using innovative design and manufacturing methods.” - Jochen Beck, Project Manager BMW R 1300 GS.

  • Completely new developed chassis with steel sheet metal shell main frame and aluminum rear frame section.
  • The best of both worlds: new front EVO Telelever with flex element and new rear EVO Paralever for even greater steering precision and ride stability.
  • New optional electronic Dynamic Suspension Adjustment (DSA) with dynamic adjustment of the damping, spring rate and load compensation.
  • Available adaptive vehicle height control and sports suspension.
  • Powerful braking system with Integral ABS Pro and Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) as standard. Available cast forged or cross-spoke wheels.
  • Excellent ergonomics for off-road use thanks to optional 1.2-inch handlebar riser.
2024 BMW R1300GS Release sus

3.     Electronics

 “With the new Riding Assistant featuring Active Cruise Control, Front Collision Warning and Lane Change Warning, we offer a safety package in the new R 1300 GS that is unprecedented in this segment.” - Markus Hamm, Functional Development Control Systems BMW Motorrad.

  • New standard matrix full LED headlamps, state-of-the-art LED light units all round with turn indicators integrated in the hand protectors. Optional adaptive turning light “Headlight Pro”.
  • Riding Assistant with Active Cruise Control (ACC), Front Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Change Warning (SWW) (SWW) for safe and comfortable motorcycling.
  • Optional Comfort rider seats and seat heating for rider and passenger for enhanced travel and touring.
  • Standard on-board power and USB socket along with ventilated smartphone charging compartment and lightweight lithium-ion12v battery.
  • Connectivity: multifunctional 6.5-inch full-color TFT screen.
  • Standard Intelligent Emergency Call for further increased safety.
  • Standard Service Assistant for automatic notification when service work is due and for information to be sent to the BMW Motorrad Connected App.
2024 BMW R1300GS Release electronics

4.    Design

 “In the new BMW R 1300 GS we’ve focused on honing the GS concept even further. The new design is defined by integration and modularity, thereby offering optimum performance and functionality for all riders. The components have been arranged as efficiently as possible to achieve an integrative architecture and stunning looks – entirely in the tradition of the legendary GS flyline.” - Christian Hahn-Wörnle, Vehicle Design BMW R 1300 GS.

The new BMW R 1300 GS comes with the pure GS package and the variants Triple Black, GS Trophy and Option 719 Tramuntana.

2024 BMW R1300GS Release Design

5.   Equipment

Standard Equipment

  • Ultimate Care break-in service included.
  • 1,300 cc air/liquid cooled boxer motor with BMW ShiftCam technology.
  • 6-speed transmission with wet anti-hopping clutch and Cardan driveshaft.
  • 6.5-inch TFT display with enhanced Connectivity.
  • Heated grips.
  • Keyless Ride (steering, ignition and fuel tank lock).
  • Tire Pressure Monitor TPM.
  • Dynamic Traction Control DTC.
  • Engine Drag Torque Control MSR.
  • Dynamic Brake Assist DBC.
  • Hill Hold Control HSC.
  • BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS Pro.
  • Cruise control DCC with brake function.
  • Matrix LED Headlight
  • Four Ride Modes
  • LiO 12v battery with Battery Guard.
  • 12v power socket.
  • Hand protectors with integrated turn indicators.
  • Smartphone charging compartment with integrated USB-A socket.
  • Intelligent Emergency Call.

Optional Equipment includes Premium Package, Comfort Package, Enduro Package Pro and Individual Options. 2024 BMW R1300GS Release equipment

For more information about the new 2024 BMW R 1300 GS, visit www.bmwusanews.com.

About BMW Group in America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; Designworks, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles as well as the BMW XM. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 350 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers,146 BMW motorcycle retailers, 104 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

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Thu, 28 Sep 2023 14:05:05 -0500

To Eat or Not to Eat: A 15-Month Trek Across Africa
Posted on Thursday September 28, 2023

Author : Stergios Gogos & Alexandra Fefopoulo

Published in: Rides

A 15-Month Trek Across Africa intro

The experiences of riding our own bike in a region, country, or entire continent is what makes life worth living. You may think that’s an exaggeration, but when my scooter’s wheels rolled onto African soil for the first time, I realized I was no longer in my comfort zone; I felt like one of the great explorers of the world.

Every explorer has to eat and it wasn’t long before I was thinking about my next meal. I was in Morocco, a typical North African tourist destination for Europeans. The food was exactly as I had imagined—yet… not quite… with similar ingredients I was accustomed to, but not the health regulations. Or rather, the lack of them. And as I was on a budget, I couldn’t afford the fancy restaurants, which meant eating where the locals did.

africa food worldvespa local

I realized food isn’t just sustenance for survival; it plays other significant roles in any culture. Not only what people eat—such as religious dietary restrictions—but how they eat. Do they share their food? Do they use utensils? Do they have some ritual related to the social relations amongst a group? I had no idea then, but as I would be riding the west coast and central Africa to the southernmost tip of the huge continent, I was about to discover these answers.

Morocco is heaven on Earth for foodies. At first it was off-putting to see slaughtered animals hanging in shops, but those feelings faded as the irresistible smell of seared meat emanated from small restaurants lining the streets, forming dense, aromatic clouds and making me forget their dubious hygiene. As for dessert, in every market I could pick from a pile of nut, filo dough, and syrup-based sweets.

Riding further south to Senegal and Mali, the influence from the colonial era was still present on my plate. Here, women in tiny food stands sold delicious freshly-baked French baguette-like bread, mixed with West African tastes such as sandwiches stuffed with green salad, meat, fried plantain bananas, and spicy sauce. The fear of food poisoning tapered off as I delved deeper into the local cuisines....

africa food worldvespa banana

 Things became more complicated as I rode toward the heart of sub-Saharan Africa. Far from the Mediterranean and all things familiar, another question arose: How is food preserved without the slightest hint of electricity, or refrigeration? Well, for the large quantities of fish I saw on the coast of Mauritania, sun-drying was the best option. I also came across the same practice in the remotest regions of the DRC, with dried fish from Lake Tanganyika and the other great lakes of the region, or even dried monkeys in some small-town markets.

africa food worldvespa fish

 The other option was freshly-slaughtered game or meat from domestic animals, such as hens and goats. And then there were the very-alive worms and larva—a common source of pure protein. Although at first the killing of an animal before my eyes turned my stomach, I gradually realized these people hadn’t lost the connection with where meat comes from. And there is little waste, as every part of an animal is eaten or used in some way—including the hooves, bones, guts, and skin. As well, they don’t slaughter young animals just for their tenderness and flavor.

africa food worldvespa worms

 Since meat is a luxury in these regions, and by no means an everyday option, then what is the food mainly consumed by the “ordinary” people? Well, rice of course! When I first tried Jollof rice—a typical West African recipe with rice, tomatoes, and various vegetables—I couldn’t imagine it would accompany me throughout the biggest part of my journey. Then, crossing the border from Cameroon to the Congo, I reluctantly tried another staple: fufu—a dough-like staple made from cassava flour. Both rice and fufu are widely consumed in West and Central Africa, but at first the white mush boiled over charcoal black pots wasn’t exactly appetizing.

africa food worldvespa rice

 One day, as the sun was about to set, I still hadn’t found a place to sleep. The forest was pitch-black, so I chose a random spot and started setting up camp. Out of nowhere, two locals appeared and invited me to their home. They lived with their families in a small settlement nearby and were more than happy to host me. After a cold shower—with a bucket, as there was no running water—they offered me a seat among them at the family table. However, the only food available was fufu with tomato sauce. But I was so happy being surrounded by such hospitable people, that the food was no longer an issue. At that point, I had one of my most important realizations: food becomes tastier when shared!

When I rode deeper into the jungle and the remote areas of the DRC, the absolute lack of infrastructure offered up another unforgettable experience. After leaving Kinshasa, the capital, I headed south to Lubumbashi, a distance of 1,440 miles. This route was difficult, with sections that can only loosely be defined as “roads.” It didn’t take long to burn the clutch of my scooter; I had to load it on a truck and travel like a local for the remaining miles. Despite these problems, these ended up being the most amazing three weeks of my life. Along the way, no one seemed to know when or even whether we would arrive at Lubumbashi. We traveled at a painfully slow pace, dealing with the inevitable breakdowns with what seemed to be indifference as to if or when we’d reach our destination.

With my supplies of canned food and spaghetti long gone, I had to do what locals did. We spent the nights in random local settlements, ate whatever was in the baskets women carried on their heads and repeated these actions daily. At one point, I realized there is one great difference that comes as a result of complex historical and cultural processes: the Western World lives for the future while the non-Western lives from day to day. Even the climate plays a significant role in some areas, as there is always something that can be hunted or harvested. And in that period, we ate fruit—lots of it—along with nuts and beans for breakfast, the main meal, and dinner.

africa food worldvespa fruits

 When we finally saw the first signs of urban development, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’d made it to Lubumbashi safe and sound, and miraculously hadn’t suffered food poisoning. Exhausted but healthy, I found a room, took a shower with running water and found a Western-style restaurant for a celebratory meal. When the waiter brought a glass of clear water with ice, I just sat there observing it for a while—just enough time to acknowledge the fact that access to food and water can sometimes be a privilege.

WorldVespa mini bio portraitStergios and Alexandra first met in 2014 in the Democratic Republic of Congo while Stergios was on his RTW and Alexandra was doing Ph.D. fieldwork. Since then, they’ve been traveling together. They write, film, photograph, and ride their vintage Vespa scooter around the world, combining their passions—and have recently released their first book “Rice & Dirt: Across Africa on a Vespa.WorldVespa.net

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Mon, 25 Sep 2023 13:45:55 -0500

BMW Motorrad USA Temporarily Halts Sales of Gas-Powered Motorcycles
Posted on Monday September 25, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

BMW Stop Sales Order intro

BMW Motorrad USA has recently announced a temporary, voluntary, stop-sale on all gas-powered motorcycle models in the United States. The company says this halt in sales is not related to safety concerns.

Owners of BMW motorcycles can continue to ride their bikes as usual without any safety risks, the company says.

The decision to temporarily halt sales is voluntary and not a result of regulatory mandates. BMW says it has identified an issue with materials in the evaporative system of these motorcycles, prompting the stop-sale.

The company says the stop-sale order does not apply to the company’s all-electric CE 04 motorcycles.

The notice comes just days before the company is set to officially announce the release of the updated R1300GS adventure motorcycle during a company event scheduled for Sept. 28. The 1300GS announcement is set to be the highlight of a grand opening for BMW’s new BMW Motorrad Welt facility in Berlin-Spandau, Germany.

In the statement, the company says it is actively working to resolve the issue and ensure that affected models meet the necessary standards. BMW Motorrad USA says it is collaborating with authorities and conducting a thorough review to implement any required modifications or improvements.

BMW of North America is issuing a temporary, voluntary stop sale for all new and pre-owned BMW motorcycle models in dealer inventory, except for the CE 04,” the statement says. “This temporary stop sale is not safety related, and BMW owners may continue to ride their motorcycles as normal.”

Owners of BMW motorcycles are encouraged to stay updated through official BMW Motorrad USA channels for regular updates on the progress of the investigation and any necessary actions taken.

BM Stop Sales Order 1

The stop-sale notice is a blow to the company in one of its most lucrative markets and comes on the heels of a record-breaking sales year in North America. According to financial reports, BMW sold 17,690 motorcycles in the United States in 2022, a more than 10% increase over US sales in 2021. The German giant celebrated its 1 millionth boxer-equipped GS motorcycle in July.

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Thu, 21 Sep 2023 12:25:03 -0500

Cardo Packtalk Edge Review
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2023

Author : Aaron Demo

Published in: Gear

Cardo Packtalk Edge Review intro

Cardo has been in the Bluetooth communication universe since 2003 when the company began making headsets for cell phones. While riding to work one day, the founder came up with the idea to bring the technology inside motorcycle helmets. In 2004 Cardo introduced the world’s first Bluetooth motorcycle headset.

After my previous communication system started having issues, I did some research and decided to give Cardo’s Packtalk Edge a go. And I could not be happier with it.

Installing the JBL speakers and Packtalk mount was a breeze, but what really impressed me was the magnetic mount. Simply bring the headset near the mount, and it almost pulls the headset from your hand and locks it into place. It’s also easy to remove by simply pushing down a lever and sliding the unit forward. Setup was a breeze using the Cardo app on my phone, which has user guides and lets you link up to other riders’ headsets. Cardo’s Dynamic Mesh Communication (DMC) technology works great, and once linked to other riders, it doesn’t have to be done again. Even if someone drops out of range, the comm will auto-reconnect. Further, if the unit is turned off, it automatically relinks with the group when turned back on. It’s all much, much easier than the comm sets of old.

The 40mm JBL speakers’ sound quality is great and performs well whether you’re jamming to music or chatting over the intercom. I really like the ability to adjust music and intercom or cell volumes independently, too. The Natural Voice Operation engine feature works flawlessly, and commands such as “Hey Cardo, volume up” keep your hands free. There’s also the ability to access the functionality of your cell phone using Siri or Google Assistant at the push of a button.

Cardo claims a 13-hour talk time, which I’ve verified. On 10–12-hour rides, I’ll still have battery life left at end of day. If you get up one morning and want to ride but forgot to charge the Packtalk Edge, a quick 20-minute charge will give you two hours, but you can achieve a full charge in under two hours.

The Packtalk Edge is waterproof, dustproof and comes with a three-year warranty. You can link with 15 other riders, and DMC technology works up to a mile range. The Bluetooth technology also lets you link up with other brands of communicators.

Cardo Packtalk Edge Review 1

Cardosystems.com | Also available on Amazon.com 

MSRP: $389.95


  • Magnetic mount is awesome
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Voice-activated features make the unit easy to control


  • When riding at speed the music volume would fluctuate because of wind noise in the microphone. A simple “Hey Cardo, mute microphone” did fix the issue 

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Mon, 18 Sep 2023 12:25:01 -0500

One Bike to Rule Them All?
Posted on Monday September 18, 2023

Author : Eglė Gerulaitytė

Published in: Bikes

One Bike to Rule Them All intro

For years, the Kawasaki KLR650 and Suzuki DR650 have been considered go-to machines for those looking for a trusty RTW mount. They are simple, cheap, easy to fix and maintain, and reliable. Having ridden my own second-hand 2011 DR650 across the Americas and Europe, as well as attempted several rally races on it, I can attest to two things: The bike is indestructible (I’ve tried countless times to break it!), and it’s indeed cheap, simple, and easy to maintain, even by such an unmechanically-minded individual as me.

Then again, the DR is also an inelegant 650cc thumper that struggles on faster highways or when facing steep, rock-littered hill climbs. In other words, it’s not a high-performance road bike nor a hard enduro. That’s precisely the DR650’s point, of course. It will plow through anything you throw at it without complaining. It doesn’t do anything spectacularly, but it does do everything—with the flair of a stumpy but stubborn Shetland pony.

I’m not alone in this assessment. Plenty of veteran RTW riders, such as Michnus and Elsebie Olivier (Piki Piki Overland) or RTWPaul, have put hundreds of thousands of miles on their DRs. Heck, before there was Ewan and Charley’s The Long Way Round, there was Austin Vince and the Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa teams. In the ’90s and the early 2000s, they circumnavigated the world the hard way twice aboard Suzuki DR350s, the little cousin of the DR650.

One Bike to Rule Them All egle

The Kawasaki KLR650 has a similar reputation—sometimes lovingly called “The Cucaracha” (“The Cockroach”) for its amazing resilience, the KLR is a bike that can do it all. That versatility, plus the fact that any self-taught mechanic should be able to fix it, makes the KLR a solid choice for countless round-the-world travelers.

Still, it’s 2023, and plenty of new and exciting ADV machines are on the market. Is it possible riders no longer need to compromise speed or off-road capability for resilience? I chatted with several devoted RTW travelers to find out.

• BMW F800GS: On Her Bike

On the road since 2017, Kinga “On Her Bike” Tanajewska, has traveled through Australia, Asia, Europe, and Africa and is currently exploring North America. Her BMW F800GS has seen all kinds of rough terrain, and despite having some 140,000 kilometers on the clock, it’s still going strong.

“I think it is the most reliable bike out there. I’ve been riding it continuously for the last six years, and it’s been incredibly dependable. I wonder if perhaps bikes that are being used almost daily when you’re riding around the world do better than those that get parked away for the winter?” Kinga shares.

According to her, the beauty of the 800GS is its simple design and engine. “The engine isn’t high-performance, but it’s perfect for me. It’s economical, consuming about 5.5–6.5 liters per hundred kilometers, and I’ve never had any major issues with it except for a blown rear shock in Tajikistan. That resulted in traversing the Pamir Highway yo-yo style until I could get a replacement shock shipped, but eventually, I upgraded to an adjustable TFX replacement. I think a good suspension setup is essential when you’re traveling with luggage. Additionally, I’ve got a steering damper and an auxiliary seven-liter tank, so I’ve modified the bike for my needs.

“I’ll ride it as long as I can—I can’t see any other bike on the market that would make sense for me. I tend to maintain it well and do major service before I head to more remote places like Africa; it’s been reliable, and we’re just going to keep going. It’s like she’s my companion, not just a motorcycle—it’s always been just the two of us against the world,” Kinga explains.

One Bike to Rule Them All kinga

• KTM 1190: Two Up and Overloaded

Tim and Marissa Notier have been riding around the world on their KTM 1190 Adventure S for six years, traversing the Americas and Africa. Their motorcycle has over 95,000 miles on it, and the couple has no plans of getting another any time soon. There’s a common myth that the KTMs are capricious and unreliable, but for Tim and Marisa, their 1190 has served well across three continents and counting.

“We love our KTM 1190 Adventure S, although I often tell myself that I would be on a much smaller bike if we weren’t two-up and so overloaded. But as our first ‘Adventure Bike,’ I daydreamed of climbing over mountain passes and crossing deep rivers well before we ever left the U.S.” Tim continues, “After what I’d call extensive testing and what others may call abuse of the KTM 1190 over the course of 95k miles, I couldn’t be happier with it. Our beast of burden has indeed taken us to the top of Peru’s remote mountain passes, across Namibian deserts, and splashed through glacier rivers in Alaska. There have been times when I wished there was less of the “Ready to Race” insanity that is the 1190’s powerhouse of an engine and more of a, ‘Hey, let’s take it nice and slow through this particular section because it seems a little difficult.’ But that’s not really a catchy slogan.

“The 1190 is more capable than my skill set allows, but day by day, I am building those skills as the KTM patiently waits for me to ride it to its full potential....

“Does this motorcycle have the ability to take you around the world? Absolutely. From the day we dreamt about climbing mountains to the day we proudly looked from the apex of one, we couldn’t be happier with our KTM 1190,” Tim shares.

One Bike to Rule Them All notier

• Royal Enfield Himalayan: Explo.Redd

Traveler Redd “Explo.Redd” Walitzki has ridden her Royal Enfield Himalayan from North America down to Costa Rica, traveling slowly and racking up 44,500 miles since 2020. In many ways, the Himalayan is an iconic motorcycle despite its comparatively short production run, but how well does it hold up over long distances and rough terrain?

“As a new rider at the time I bought it, I wanted a simple motorcycle that could easily be worked on by mechanics around the world. As a shorter rider, it was also important that I could reach the ground, and the Himalayan is one of the few bikes with a low seat,” Redd explains.

In her first year of traveling, Redd rode 27,000 miles across the American West. In 2021, she crossed into Mexico and has wound her way down to Costa Rica since. According to Redd, the bike is performing well. “It’s proved to be a bike that can eagerly (if a little slowly) carry me wherever the road leads. As I’ve grown as a rider, I do see its pros and cons more now, but I still adore it. Perhaps because it has a bit of character, and my style of exploring is slow travel, we are suited to each other in a particular way.

“Part of the simplicity and old-school technology that attracted me also means it needs a bit more work than something like a Honda. My bike seems to eat headstock bearings, and my stator failed after about 25,000 miles. Recently, it had an oil leak on the countershaft sprocket, but that was probably from all the volcanic rock I never cleaned in there. A little preventative maintenance goes a long way with these machines.

“My dream is to journey with my Himalayan for as long as circumstances will allows. Whatever slice of the world that is, it’s sure to be full of magic to discover!” Redd shares.

One Bike to Rule Them All redd

• Yamaha Ténéré 700: Winding Wheels

When the T7 came out, it seemed everyone wanted one. It looks and feels great, it’s relatively simple, has decent ground clearance and a good power-to-weight ratio, and it happily bites into any gnarly terrain you may encounter… but could it be the next most reliable RTW motorcycle?

Dutch travelers Jessica and Maarten, AKA “Winding Wheels,” believe so. Having crossed Europe and Africa on their Yamaha Ténéré 700s and clocking 50,000 kilometers, the couple explains their only issues on the road were two flat tires.

“I’m pretty sure any bike can be your round-the-world motorcycle as long as it gives you a smile every time you swing your leg over the saddle. And riding an adventure bike gives me that can-go-anywhere feeling with goosebumps. So why the T7? It’s like the R&D department of Yamaha had one single objective to fulfill creating the Ténéré 700. Whatever it was, they succeeded in bringing the motorcycle adventure unicorn to the market. It literally ticks all the boxes you are looking for on a world tour. It’s agile enough to ride up gnarly goat trails in Morocco, yet dynamic enough to make the footpegs scrape the Alpine roads while remaining simple and reliable,” Jessica explains.

One Bike to Rule Them All T7

• Honda CRF250L: For the Love of Wheels

Not strictly an adventure bike? The Honda CRF250L may not be categorized as such, but quite a few riders have taken it around the world—from Steph Jeavons to Noraly Schoenmaker, AKA “Itchy Boots,” who has favored the CRF for her Africa and South America leg of an RTW journey.

Henriette “For the Love of Wheels” Thimm has been traveling Africa and beyond on her CRF250L since 2020. Previously, she rode a BMW F650GS but says she felt it wasn’t reliable. “I always had issues with it, so I decided to get a new bike, but I wanted it to be cheap and lightweight. I also needed something that was very off-road capable and was tried and tested by other riders. Finally, I needed it to be simple—a bike with minimal electronics that I could fix myself or trust a roadside mechanic. The CRF ticked all those boxes,” Henriette shares.

Henriette has put some 80,000 kilometers on her 250 since buying it new in 2020. “I’m super happy with the Honda. I do sometimes miss a little power if I’m on the highway for many hours, but I don’t mind it because the second I hit the dirt, it’s perfect. The relatively cheap price was a big factor—the more money spent on a bike, the less time you have to travel. With a bigger bike, you also spend more on tires, insurance, and the like. While I had a couple of issues, the bike is performing great. I maintain it well and make sure it’s always in good shape,” Henriette explains.

One Bike to Rule Them All henriette

In the end, is it about the bike or the determination of the rider? While the new Ténéré 700 sounds very promising as an RTW motorcycle, the Honda CRF250L wins on dirt, and the Himalayan seems to do well over long distances. The brand name on the tank doesn’t matter, but rather a few common factors across the board: the simplicity, the need and/or ease of maintenance and repairs, and the rider’s attitude. Most RTW travelers I spoke with share a special bond with their motorcycles, viewing them as loyal travel companions rather than just machines. Perhaps it’s this bond that keeps both the bike and the rider running for years, covering serious distances.

As for my own DR, I have no desire to replace it with anything else. I’ll ride it until it kicks the bucket, and at around 150,000 kilometers, it still has plenty of steam left.

Egle mini bio portraitEglė Gerulaitytė is a freelance writer on a quest to ride around the world and race amateur rallies whenever she can find them. You can follow her adventures on Instagram at @egleontheroad.

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Tue, 05 Sep 2023 12:12:50 -0500

"The Tom Report" Book Review
Posted on Tuesday September 05, 2023

Author : Sam Manicom

Published in: Media

The Tom Report Book Review intro

"The Tom Report: Seattle to Santiago on a Motorcycle" - by Tom Reuter

For an important perspective, let’s put three things straight into the conversation about The Tom Report. The first is that the author and his travel pal, Al, were 24 years old when they set off in search of adventure through the Americas. Second, this is a book about the modern era of international motorcycle travel. And third, they are incredibly social guys, and Tom is open and honest with his writing. This combination makes for some pushed-to-the-limits, smile-cracking tales.

The story kicks off as the boys approach their college years, deciding that university is not the direction to go, and that life with further education, a career, and all that’s involved can come later. Instead, they head for Alaska to work all hours possible in order to finance an RTW motorcycle adventure. Much respect to them for this. They are living proof that if you dream of travel, you can make it happen.

But as with too many grand plans, eventualities got in the way. They did, however, still earn enough to aim for Ushuaia, the tip of South America. Their story details how they prepared for the trip, what worked (i.e., their trusty DR650s), and what didn’t, along with many other useful threads shared throughout the book. Another focus is the gut-wrenching situations they experienced, and how they dealt with those challenges. Both were Eagle Scouts in their youth, which had embedded a “We can fix it!” mindset. And they prove to be good at focussing on what’s possible instead of chewing on what couldn’t be done or might be missing along the way. That’s good fun.

Tom Report Book Review 1

The way the guys traveled must have been absolutely exhausting! They were party animals, with girls and beer high on the priority list. They blitzed every opportunity to celebrate, like a gap-year party on two wheels. My initial thoughts regarding this had me reflecting on my own motorcycle travel ideas and history, which almost got in the way. But by doing that I was at risk of missing a stream of pertinent observations and learning-curve experiences. After all, the guys were just 24 when they made this spirited, carefree journey. Bursting with the joys of youth, the guys were out for adventure and fun, which they found in bucket-loads. As they were not traveling on an incredibly tight budget, they were open to adapting where they stayed and what they did, according to disaster or opportunity. And as it turned out, I really enjoyed this relaxed, fun-seeking flexibility.

There are marked differences between overlanding and adventure riding, and Tom and Al see themselves very much as adventure riders, a description of many definitions. This is not a book peppered with keen cultural, or historical observations and discoveries, though there are some great side trips. The Tom Report is dotted with references to the use of ADVrider, Facebook, and blogs. Routes are worked out online in many cases, but frequently they’re the result of local suggestions. It’s those rides that live up to the word “adventure” with all cylinders firing. I liked that Tom describes how every so often he was stopped dead in his tracks by something that filled him with awe. I also liked the way they grew along the way, which was very much related to the challenges they met and how they dealt with them. That said, I need to warn you that some of those challenges are graphically described; the sorts of things friends and family will fear when you hit the road on a trip such as this.

Tom Report Book Review coverI also loved the way that Tom describes the travelers met along the way who they often rode with. In The Tom Report the personalities, characters, nationalities, and ambitions are woven together into yet another thread that’s entertaining to follow. Their eye-opening journey made Tom appreciate so much more about who he is as a person and what he has in his home country.

One last thought: I read this book not only because I’m interested in all things to do with motorcycling in foreign lands, but I wanted to learn and to be challenged by what I saw within its pages. For me, this book did just that.

Published by: Road Dog Publications


ISBN: 9781890623821

Paperback: $22.99 | Kindle: $9.99   

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Mon, 14 Aug 2023 10:12:33 -0500

A Short Ride to the Middle of Nowhere
Posted on Monday August 14, 2023

Author : Aaron Anderson

Published in: Rides

Hagerman Pass CO Ride Intro

The need to get away from the noise is so important. It’s soul rest. Whether you have a weekend or longer, Colorado has a ride that’s sure to breathe life back into you… even if the air is a little thin.

Colorado is known for its incredible scenery, and how easy it is to be right in the middle of it. Sometimes it feels like you’re looking at a mountain, and before you know it, you’re on top of it. Hagerman Pass is like that, a quick ride from Buena Vista, and you’re just outside the beautiful town of Leadville feeling like you’re smack dab in the middle of nowhere. About three hours from Colorado Springs or Denver, it’s sure to fulfill your craving for the outdoors, let you test your skills on some fun terrain and get home in time for dinner.

We started our journey from Woodland Park and took Highway 24, already a beautiful ride. Going this way you take a short jaunt on 285 and then head back north on 24. There are a couple of fun off-shoots that we ended up taking along the way, the most notable being CO-300 through Soda Springs; its beautiful winding roads and lodgepole pines were more than worth the extra time, and you still land right at the turn onto CR-5A. You’ll only be on CR-5A for a short time and then hop onto CR-4, which passes by Turquoise Lake. This could be as far as you want to go, it’s a beautiful place with lots to do and see. We chose the path less taken on this one, and continued west to where CR-4 and CR-9 split—you’ll want to pay attention here because it’s easy to miss—stay left onto CR-4 and let the climb begin! After a few miles CR-4 will become CR-105, right by the Native Lake Trail Head. 105 is the fun part, lots of rocks and small technical stints that will pose a little challenge for beginners and give off-road veterans something fun to test your skills on.

HagermanPassCO background

On the way, you might need a cup of coffee or a tasty burger, and Buena Vista is the perfect place for that. It has a great downtown filled with restaurants and shops. House Rock Kitchen is a welcome break and has some fresh grub that’ll keep you fueled for the rest of the ride. You can also get a stellar cup o’ joe at Buena Vista Roastery Café, a perfect stop for the ride home in the morning, as well. Be sure to take a back way out of town and enjoy the beauty of the river before returning to the highway. Hop on N. Colorado Ave (right by the Roastery) and head north. This will turn into CR-371 and wind along the Arkansas River. You’ll also ride through the Midland Tunnels and stay away from more of the traffic in that area. These small but beautiful side roads are some of my favorite hidden gems in Colorado. You’ll have the river just below you, and with the peaks in the distance, truly something to stop and enjoy.

Once you’ve made it to CR-105 there are plenty of places to pull off and set up camp, or simply enjoy the views. We camped about 15 minutes below the summit, with a beautiful view of Turquoise Lake and Leadville. You’ll need to find a trail and get off the main road a bit to find the best camping spots, but there was enough room for all five of us and our tents—you could even fit a larger group. Towards the bottom, where the roads are a bit tamer, most of the camping was spoken for, but closer to the summit there were a lot less people. It’s worth noting that the pass had just opened when we went (mid-July) and a few of the riders from our group went just a month earlier to a very cold and closed summit. Depending on what you’re looking for, it might be best to push this one towards the later summer months. But you can still see giant snow drifts in July, too. We hit a little rain, but for the most part the weather was perfect, with nighttime temperatures around 50℉.

HagermanPassCO summit

The evening was spent riding from spot to spot, discovering a few different trails within minutes of our camp. Whether you want to do that or continue the climb up 105 is totally up to you. We had a later start that day, so it made more sense to stick close to camp and ride some of the other fun spots. Just below the summit were a few noteworthy areas with gorgeous pine trees and views of the lake. One of the nice things about this pass is how you can make it as technical or as easy as you want. We hung out and watched the sunset reflecting through the trees into the dust we’d just made. To say it was breathtaking doesn’t really do it justice.

HagermanPassCO sunset

Nighttime was beyond words. Gazing at the sky with so many stars, and the galaxies were crystal clear. It’s important to let yourself have those moments occasionally, and not pull out a camera or a phone. I’m often uncomfortable in the silence and darkness of the wilderness after being surrounded by so much noise all the time. The beauty of the adventure is being able to find some peacefulness in the world. Remember why we ride, why we get away; now more than ever we need these kinds of moments.

Everyone had places to be the next day, which is one of the great things about how close this ride is, so we were up with the sunrise to pack. But there was some time spent kicking up dust and watching the sunrise with a coffee before heading back to civilization. We stopped for breakfast at the Roastery in BV, good food and coffee are among the highlights of these short trips.

HagermanPassCO coffee

I hope you’re inspired to get out there and ride no matter how long you have. Put the cell phone down, grab a map, and go ride with your friends.

“I wish I had worked more and not ridden my motorcycle into the mountains,” said no one ever.

HagermanPassCO home

AaronAnderson portraitAaron Anderson is a full-time commercial photographer and adventurer, traveling around the country with his family in an RV, seeking the perfect cup of coffee and beautiful images. He's been riding anything with two wheels since he was a kid and has always had a passion for motorcycling in its many forms. AndersonVisuals.com

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Thu, 10 Aug 2023 10:53:42 -0500

Tales of Kazakhstan on Two Wheels
Posted on Thursday August 10, 2023

Author : Renato Braz

Published in: Rides

Kazakhstan Ride intro

It’s noon in the blistering heat. I drop the bike again on the sand track over the Taukum Desert. After some cursing, I recall the warning voices of Marat, the owner of the rental bikes, and several others who told us not to come here. “Every time there’s trouble—people get lost, can’t find fuel, get hurt or break the bikes. Further, there are private hunting reserves in the area that can also cause headaches. It’s best not to go.”

Wise advice, but we decided to go anyway. After all, I’d prepared for the trip. Ran, swam and even did a few sessions of Pilates. All useless now. The only thing that can prepare you to ride a fully loaded motorcycle in the sand is riding it fully loaded in the sand. That’s it. I even suspect that the human body has some muscles that are exclusive to this and therefore impossible to train in any other way.

Kazakhstan Ride push

For the Taukum crossing we chose a “short” track of about 100 kilometers. That’s sand, mind you. And off to either side of the track were thorn-filled wild bushes. A nightmare.

Some may practice mindfulness a few minutes every day. Well, out here you’d have to practice for hours a day. Your full and complete attention is essential to lead laden bikes through these sandy tracks. And if you get distracted you’ll taste sand.

Speaking of distractions, during the first day all we saw were wild horses and camels, but while breaking camp the following morning, Tiago almost put his hand on an inquisitive brown scorpion who’d been busy exploring his backpack. Throughout the second day we had several other encounters with snakes, turtles, lizards, deer, spiders, a fox, and several varieties of insects and birds of small and large wingspans. Other than the sand I don’t understand why it’s called the “desert,” because life certainly thrives here.

Kazakhstan Ride scorpion

That day, running on fumes and with water reserves down to the last few drops, we finally made it through the Taukum crossing and back to good old (if potholed) tarmac. We’d fulfilled most of the pessimistic prophecies: we fell, got lost, got a few bruises and hurt ribs, and we had to make repairs—but we made it!

Continuing on, we found the margins of the mighty Ily River, the largest in Kazakhstan and an important part of the historic Silk Route. We were heading east, toward the border of China, following the Ily’s path along endless miles of steppe. Following the river had been an excellent decision, as it allowed for great campsites by the water, making things much easier: baths, washing dishes, clothes, etc. All welcome comforts when one travels by motorcycle in full autonomy. Following the river, we rode into Kapshagay, a small but lively town that exists to support a strategic dam that creates the massive Kapshagay Reservoir. Due to its strategic importance, the dam is guarded by military forces.

Kazakhstan Ride water

Carrying on east, now riding around the large artificial lake, our goal was to enter the Altyn-Emel National Park directly, without going through the gate city of Bashi (which would imply a large tarmac detour). We were warned that it was not possible, but, wise as always, we decided to try anyway! End result? We had to ride all the way back, and then through the mountains to enter the park through the gate city, as everyone told us to do in the first place. On the one hand it was a bummer, but on the other it gave us a good dose of very scenic off-road miles and wasn’t that what we were there to do, anyway?

Due to the delay we ended up having to spend a night in the mountains, in a very beautiful area (as always), but where several snow and ice patches foresaw a chilly night. On the plus side, at least we had ice for the Kazak vodka we’d purchased in Kapshagay.

Kazakhstan Ride snow

Following a shaky night, we headed to Bashi where we finally entered the Altyn-Emel National Park and climbed to the top of the majestic singing dunes as well as rode through miles and miles of absolutely spectacular scenery with amazing colors and “Martian” landscapes. We decided to camp inside the park at yet another amazing place; however, the visit of a large and insanely quick camel spider as well as some strong winds set us to our tents immediately after sunset.

After exploring Altyn-Emel, we headed for the Kazak Grand Canyon, the Charyn Canyon and, after that, for the lake area and mountain range along the border with Kyrgyzstan. The scenery was alpine, and we visited the Kolsai and Kaindy Lakes. Kaindy was our favorite, because it was much more isolated and mostly because of the quirky and extravagant beauty of the dead trees that rise from the crystal-clear lake waters—amazing scenery! Intrigued, we researched the phenomenon and learned that the lake was created during a large earthquake in 1911, and that despite the area being devastated and the trees destroyed, their logs remain standing, providing us with some fascinatingly Instagramable photos.

Kazakhstan Ride lake

After the lakes we moved on to the final part of our journey, the crossing of two mountain ranges and the amazing Assy Plateau, heading for an old Russian astronomic observatory before returning to Almaty. After eight days and over 2,000 kilometers, this was one of the most amazing terrains we’d witnessed, with the good old DR650s having to climb steep rocky hills, cross snow patches, rivers and even reaching a peak of 3,000 meters above sea level.

The gang? Six friends with a respectable history of previous adventures together ensured that, despite the daily challenges, all social dynamics remained in high spirits. Even with the constant presence of undesired guests at most of our camps (spiders, snakes, ticks, scorpions, and mosquitos) we’ve always camped in postcard-beautiful locations and enjoyed every moment of it. But, an adventure such as this is made not only of landscapes, bikes and camps, but also the sense of camaraderie that comes with sharing scarce resources and living with constant challenges. It’s constructed of the practice of despoliation, frugality, mindfulness.

Kazakhstan Ride friends

It’s made of the sense of riding through an endless plain with wild horses running by our sides, and of the people we meet along the way. We traveled in full autonomy through a country with a very, very low population density, therefore our days boiled down to the basic necessities of water, bread, petrol and the occasional beer. Peaceful, nice, generous… it’s how we describe the Kazaks after this incredible experience.

At a market where we stopped one day, a lady offered us a local chocolate. At another, meat pastries for lunch. At a remote village, I allowed a teenager to jump on the bike so his friend could take a smartphone photo. As a result, he invited us to his home and wanted me to have his wristwatch as a gift. Other encounters also left their mark, like when we were interviewed in the Kazak language by a local YouTuber star full of “bling,” or when a police officer stopped us on a slight speeding violation (90km/h where the limit was 80) and that after a long chat via Google Translator he let us go saying, “How can I punish you when you are my guests and so welcome here?” All these experiences led us to leave with an excellent impression of the country and its people.

Kazakhstan Ride ppl

As none of us spoke Kazakh or Russian, Google Translator was our best friend (when there was mobile coverage, which was almost never).

At restaurants the situation was always the same: we gestured what could we eat, whereupon someone would start saying stuff we couldn’t understand, and we just said “La! Da…” (yes, in Kazakh and Russian) and then gesturing number six and pointed to the six of us, we’d wait for whatever surprise meal that would show up. We always ate well. And the prices? Between 10€ and 25€ for a group of six!

Europe doesn’t have much of a footprint around here. The country seems to be in transition from the old Soviet influence to one governed more by Chinese power and interests. And there are a few examples of an interesting mix, like old decaying (but still standing) Soviet infrastructure, modernized by Chinese equipment like bakanas streetlights; old, heavy, robust Soviet structures, now modernized by Chinese LED, “plastic fantastic” luminaries; rusting communication towers now adorned with modern Chinese communication devices, etc.

Kazakhstan Ride airplane

Kazakhstan is a country with a tradition of rural and nomadic activities for millennials. In the recent past it was supported exclusively by oil and mineral exploitation that now sits between Russian and Chinese influence, in a world where oil is losing relevance. It’s therefore trying to change its economic profile and bet on tourism as a way to diversify. And in fact, the natural base is all there; however, from what we saw, there is absolutely no infrastructure yet and that’s great! Just how we like it!

Kazakhstan Ride 2000km

[Editor’s note: The motorcycles in this story were rented from Silk Off Road (Silkoffroad.kz).]

Renato Braz PortraitRenato Braz is Portuguese who enjoys independent travelling, especially when it comes to exploring the corners of the world on two wheels and with good friends. Gypsy style! He’s also passionate about the transition towards a clean energy future and is working on it by helping to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation in the field of cleantech and sustainable energy. Linkedin: rbraz | Instagram: rbraz80

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Wed, 09 Aug 2023 14:10:37 -0500

Wailin Wayne Weekend Rally Report
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2023

Author : Aaron Demo | Photos by Jim Bean

Published in: Events

Wailin Wayne Weekend ADV Rally

Does great riding, hanging out with awesome people, good food and entertainment sound like your jam? You need to check out the 10th Annual Wailin Wayne Weekend this September 6-10, 2023. This year will be my third time attending and is on my list of events to attend for years to come.

WailinWayne MotorcycleEvent Intro

Wailin Wayne Weekend is held at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio. Camping is available in a beautiful field along the river and your options range from rustic tent camping to full hook-up RV sites. There are also hotel accommodations available on site at the Hocking College lodge, which also has a bonus bar in the lobby which serves beer brewed by the college's brewing degree students. 

WailinWayne Rally 2

As far as riding goes, you will have access to everything from challenging trails in the Wayne National Forest, miles and miles of gravel roads, and excellent twisties on the Triple Nickel and famous Windy 9.

There are organized rides to accommodate any riding level from beginner to advanced. If you are looking for skills improvement, D.A.R.T and SheADV rider training will be available over the weekend.

When it comes to things to do besides riding, you will not find a rally with more activities available to you. This is a family friendly event. More and more kids show up every year and to see the smile on their faces as they ride their minibikes around the facility, you know they are hooked for life. Other activities include Harley Davidson Pan American and Yamaha Tenere 700  demo rides, horseback riding, massage therapy, train rides, kayaking, tubing and brewery tours. BMW MOA sponsors a fantastic Bier Garden every evening followed by live music. 

 WailinWayne Rally 2

There are also daily seminars and this year’s special guests include Jocelin Snow and Stu and Janell, also known as The Pack Track. Wailin Wayne Weekend runs from Wednesday to Sunday and several ticket packages are available allowing you to attend the entire event, or just certain days.

Check out the website at www.wailinwayneweekend.com to see the full schedule and most importantly for information on how to sign up! Look forward to seeing you all in Ohio! 

WailinWayne Rally 2


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Mon, 07 Aug 2023 10:05:56 -0500

Klim Arsenal 15 Backpack Review
Posted on Monday August 07, 2023

Author : JM Staelens

Published in: Gear

Klim Arsenal 15 Backpack Review intro

The Klim Nac Pak backpack was my trusty companion on every ride for years, including multi-month off-road journeys. The Klim Nac Pak excelled not only in ergonomics but also in durability; it still looked new after riding rough trails for thousands of miles. And I would still be using it today if it wasn’t for the fact that my son “borrowed” it.

He must have liked it as much as I did because it was never returned. When I asked him about the Nac Pak, he replied he was holding on to it for when his son would be old enough to use it, just like I’d done for him… I guess that’s what dads are for!

The stars aligned at the moment I was looking for a new medium-sized backpack when Klim launched the Arsenal 15 backpack and the larger Arsenal 30. The Arsenal backpacks are the perfect example of Klim’s pursuit of excellence. With the Nac Pak performing beyond expectations, why would they bother trying to improve it? But that’s exactly what the Klim designers did, resulting in the Arsenal 15 and 30 backpacks.

Klim Arsenal Backpack Review front

The Klim Arsenal 15 is essentially a next-generation Nac Pak. At first glance, they look similar, but the Arsenal 15 differs in subtle details. The most discernible differences between both backpacks are the 3M Scotchlite reflective stripes that adorn the Arsenal 15, the S-curve-shaped back panel, and the soft-shell goggle pocket that substitutes for the molded goggle hard case of the Nac Pak.

The Arsenal 15’s soft shell goggle pocket is larger, but I must admit that I miss the superior protection offered by the molded goggle case on the Nac Pak. I put a spare pair of reading glasses and sunglasses in that hard case, reassured of their protection during an involuntary get-off.

Similar to the Nac Pak, the Arsenal 15 doesn’t feature a hip belt. Don’t let that be a concern, as the excellent ergonomics of the adjustable 3D mesh shoulder straps and close-fitting chest harness keep the Arsenal 15 firmly in place when bouncing over bumpy trails. This is achieved by integrating the shoulder/chest harness straps with the upper and lower torso straps that are easily adjusted with the buckles. The glove-friendly swivel chest buckle securely locks the sternum straps together and cinching the torso side straps tight yields a snug and comfortable fit.

Klim Arsenal Backpack Review chest

The S-curve-shaped back panel of the Arsenal 15 is a major ergonomic improvement, as it distributes the load to the lower back. The massive airflow through the large gap between the S-curve-shaped back panel and the rider’s back is a game-changer in hot weather.  Strategically-placed corrugated foam pillows and the offset mesh enhance the airflow’s cooling effect making it my preferred backpack for mountain biking and enduro riding.

Klim Arsenal Backpack Review curve

Load compression and stability are also noticeable. The structural improvements to the harness and back panel are accompanied by the addition of an internal wire frame for load support and by optimizing the load compression straps. The upper compression straps are fitted with quick-release buckles and the lower compression straps are optimized for load control placement.

The Arsenal 15 comes with the same Shape-Shift 3L HydraPak Bladder, but the hydration hose is now easier to find and use with the help of a magnetic clip that attaches to the chest strap. The carrying handle and the internal organizer panel with various pockets and key chain clip are other practical features carried over from the Nac Pak. The removable water-resistant Tool Pak features two elasticated webbing panels and a mesh pocket. It also comes with a waterproof rain cover. The sturdy 500D Cordura nylon construction and PU-coated outer panels shed mud and water, elevating its durability.

Klim Arsenal Backpack Review inside

Another welcome improvement: the Arsenal 15 has two new chest harness zippered pockets and stretch mesh drop pockets that are quite a bit larger than those on the Nac Pak. I use these pockets all the time for keys, earplugs, lip balm, sunscreen, phone, Garmin inReach Mini, etc. The outer rear kangaroo stuff pocket with compression straps is also convenient for carrying things like a jacket or small bag of groceries.

If you’re in the market for a top-quality, medium-capacity, super-durable backpack with a highly-ergonomic harness, a three-liter hydration bladder, and a practical tool pouch, the Klim Arsenal 15 Backpack is a no-brainer.

In retrospect, I’m grateful my son decided to look after my old pack as it allowed me to upgrade to the Arsenal 15. Let’s hope he doesn’t read this review!


MSRP: Arsenal 15 Backpack—$149.99 | Arsenal 30 Backpack —$199.99 (Price might vary.)


  • Excellent fit and ergonomics of harness
  • Load compression and stability
  • Ventilation of back panel
  • Durability
  • Tool pouch
  • Three-liter hydration bladder


  • Soft shell goggle case

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Mon, 31 Jul 2023 10:04:26 -0500

Backyard Solo Adventure in Southern California
Posted on Monday July 31, 2023

Author : Steve Green | Photos by Carleen Rodriquez

Published in: Rides

Backyard Solo Adventure intro

The weekend is here, and a couple of my mates have backed out of the ride we’d planned. As someone who doesn’t take sitting idly very well, I look to the hills behind my home for some riding inspiration. Sure, I’ve already explored some of those quiet highways and dirt roadways, but today, I’m ready to hunt for a few new paths in my old haunt. And the Southern California mountains and high deserts north of Rancho Cucamonga make for a perfect solo day trip.

Since I am now running on my own time, our original 6:00 a.m. wake-up call becomes a casual 8:00 rousting. Morning coffee and a little web browsing give me a fairly solid idea for the day’s game plan. One thing that catches my eye is a fantastic sandwich review on Yelp of a market I’ve passed many times. This becomes the destination. And the meal is the prize.

In 45°F temps, I depart from home with the first trail on my mind. I’d noticed it a few months back while driving on the freeway—one of those moments when you daydream about anything but being on the Interstate. This fire road practically jumped into my line of sight, like it was revealing itself only to me, disappearing again as it faded in the rearview mirror. But today, finally, after gazing at it from my truck some time back, I return, grabbing the opportunity to create my own route and hit as many of the missed points of interest as I can fit in during daylight. Riding a way up the crest through some mild rocky terrain brings the kind of excitement and challenges only a dirt junkie craves. The mountains take on a whole new perspective the deeper I go. Spotting the peak of the trail, I head for it with fervor.

Backyard Solo Ride CA creek

It seems I’ve found the gateway connecting a few of the trails I’ve ridden before. Up there, you can see how the path carves its way out of the mountain for miles. And the sight can be a bit overwhelming along with feelings of being lost, despite knowing home is just an hour away. After about 10 miles of skimming the crest, I begin the descent. Riding an Africa Twin offers a more leisurely pace for taking in such spectacular landscape. For nearby motorbike trips, it’s my weapon of choice. There’s something pretty unique about a 1000cc bike that can run down the highway at 85 mph then hit the dirt without a hitch. But when I need some more serious action off road, my preference is my Honda CRF-450RL.

Surviving the rain ruts down the trail, I fall into a vast valley of rock formations created by the San Andreas fault line’s tectonic plates. This fault line has kept us Californians in fear of “The Big One” for decades. Still no major earthquake, yet, but it does love to rumble often to remind us not to become complacent. As I zig-zag through the rocks, I come upon a bench with a Veteran’s Memorial overlooking the train tracks—an excellent place to relax for a few minutes.

Backyard Solo Ride CA rock

After soaking in some scenery, I notice another kind of rumble. My stomach tells me it is time to look into that highly recommended sandwich. Jumping back on the pavement and heading up the mountain again, I stick to the twisties, which keep the heart rate up—this route is the perfect balance of dirt and asphalt. My blood is still pumping hard as I pull into the town of Wrightwood, a quiet little village on the back side of Angeles Crest, mainly known for its ski resort. Breathtaking views of Mt. Baldy’s peak and the desert floor of El Mirage Dry Lakebed make it a great destination. There’s even an excellent burger joint here, but today I’m heading to Jensen’s to find that sandwich. Strolling through the door and into the deli with a couple of options to choose from, I go with the “Italian Alps” and make the right choice. Not just as a reward for the journey’s end, but with the selection of the route, the “weapon,” the landing place, and the decision to carry on solo.

Backyard Solo Ride CA sandwich

My local stomping ground can be just as fulfilling as a cross-country ride. I love ADV treks and sharing them with friends, but I’m usually one to keep some trails a little secret. Because how can you have genuinely new experiences just around the corner if the route is posted for everyone to see? Most riders manage the paved roads without a problem, but dirt riding is a different story. One wrong move or turn or shift of weather patterns can flip your plans upside down. Yet, that’s exactly why we do it. Because of the mystery, the unknown outcomes between here and our destinations. Even if you’ve crossed a path more than once, it’s the way you view the world and take it in that really matters. So, it’s up to you to make every ride… an adventure.

Backyard Solo Ride CA sheep

Steve Green mini bio portraitSteve Green is an adventure Dual-sport rider, photographer, and all-around knucklehead located in Southern California. His brand Wildfire Moto is a tribute to his late brother Tommy Wildfire that passed away from a motorcycle accident. This life event turned him to stray away from the road and adventure to the dirt. WildFireMoto.com or Instagram @wildfiremoto

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Mon, 24 Jul 2023 10:11:11 -0500

Ecuador: Amazing Amazon to Andes Ride
Posted on Monday July 24, 2023

Author : Michnus Olivier

Published in: Rides

Ecuador Amazon to Andes Ride intro

Unbeknownst to us, the road we took after entering Ecuador was into a bit of a “cocaine-up-the-nose” drug cartel area, occupied by shady characters who blackmarket timber from the Amazon. The path was only partially shown on maps, and we thought it would be good to explore there, as it would take us into the Amazonian area of Ecuador, not along the usual well-trodden highways. We soon found out why so few travel there.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver 1

We would go as far as we could and hopefully hook up with other roads meandering into the jungle. On the maps, it looked promising. The road hugged the Colombia-Ecuador border heading inland, traversing over the Andes Mountains and down into the Amazon basin. The two British overlanders we’d befriended in Colombia, Kelvin and Suzie, rode with us. It is sensible to travel with a small group into such unknown territory. The first night, we slept in an auto motel about 100 km after the border crossing.

South and Central American “auto motels” are essentially set up for a quick “shag” on the outskirts of towns. They are typically booked by the hour, and often cost less for the whole night than traditional hotels. Most are quite lavish, glittery, and cheaply decorated, exceptionally clean, and well maintained. There are also mirrors on the ceilings, porn channels on TV, and furniture in interesting shapes. High walls and cheesy signage lure in the lusty and loving.

The story goes that since so many families live together in single houses or spaces, there’s no privacy, making the “auto motels” so popular. Privacy is paramount; therefore, these motels have private garages leading directly into the small apartments. This also makes them favorable to bikers. The only drawback is the noise from love makers, and I can attest that Latin Americans are indeed very vocal and steamy lovers.

We took off early the next morning, heading southeast into the Amazon along the border to Colombia on a muddy gravel road, a single-track cut into the side of the mountain. Not far along, the first ugly scars of a landslide made things difficult. Dirt roads disappeared around bends, and the first landslide was an area about 800 meters high and 600 meters wide that had given way and slid down the mountain, destroying the road and everything else in its path. When this happens, Ecuadorians typically just cut a new route through the destruction to restore access to local villages. There are few other options for getting in or out of the valley.

Ecuador is a small, power-packed country with dramatic mountains, the Amazon, volcanos, tropical beaches, and the famous Galapagos Islands. It offers riding second to none. The dirt roads are still challenging stuff, and although the locals use them, they can change in a rainy afternoon from passable to downright “death roads.” We planned to traverse the Amazon part of Ecuador, then back through the Andes to experience the mountains and volcanos, eventually servicing the bikes in the capital, Quito, before heading to the coast for some beach and sun.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver ceibo

After two days of wet, cold, muddy mountain roads, we descended from 3,500 meters to 1,000 meters, into the Amazon basin. It was the mountain climate’s opposite; the basin’s heat and humidity had us stopping for cold beers to cool down. The Amazon is an impenetrable, green wall of life continually pushing back against human destruction. The real reason Ecuadorians got into deeper parts of the Amazon was due to oil exploration, with oil companies constructing roads into the previously impenetrable terrain. Temps usually hover around 30–35°C, with 90% humidity during the day, cooling a bit in the evenings, making it a hot, sweat-soaked, and demanding experience for riders.

We traveled deeper into the Amazon forest on our way to Limoncocha, a small, dilapidated outpost on the Napa river banks. It’s part of a nature reserve with incredible and unique birdlife, the kind of environment where sunsets are blood red and rain storms with white lightning strikes cover the landscape like a curtain. Houses are wooden shacks built upon elevated poles with mosquito netting covering the windows. Children play in the rain-soaked streets, often with plastic-container trash. Life is a meager existence living off whatever can be extracted from the forest. And, interestingly, it’s the piranha that the people eat, not the other way around as popularized in movies.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver amazon

The Amazon’s dirt roads are not all muddy dirt tracks, but they can be skill-taxing for hours on end. We also ate dust for many miles on shock- and wheel rim-destroying cobblestone tracks. Occasionally, tree canopies kindly offered shade and some relief from the relentless heat and sun. We went to stay in another region close to the rain forests where we could day hike, sweating like old, battered boxers in a sweltering stadium. Locals were eager to teach us the way of authentic chocolate making and alternative medicines that create a psychedelic state of euphoria. But we opted not to take them up on the offer to try these potent “medicines.”

Roads leading back to the Andes are the stuff of motorcycling heaven. We were spoiled with the choice to ride single-lane dirt roads or eye-popping asphalt roads, some on the edge of vertigo-inducing mountainsides snaking up into the clouds, only to drop down the other side into spaghetti-twisting turns. And not a single moment without a beautiful mind-altering view of the dramatic landscape. Any 200-kilometer section could turn into an eight-hour riding day. There was no way one could go home without a mile-wide smile on their face; it’s that hand-quivering, heart-racing kind of exciting.

Ecuadorians love their festivals, and they have some of the best. We were fortunate to attend one called “Mama Negra,” the oldest festival in Latacunga, combining the city’s vibrant past and varied cultural influences from its Spanish, Aymaran, Incan, Mayan, and African ancestors. The town was filled with parade watchers as the legendary characters passed by, bestowing blessings, candy, and homemade brew to the crowd. By afternoon, everyone was in high spirits, staggering, singing, and partying their way along the route. We left late in the evening smelling like old bar floors, but it was one of the funnest and wildest festivals we ever attended.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver festival

Part of the loop in Ecuador took us to Mount Chimborazo, which is an inactive volcano. The top of Chimborazo is as far as you can get from the center of the earth. This is interesting because there are many mountains higher than Chimborazo. However, the earth bulges at the equator, making Mount Chimborazo technically 1.5 miles higher than Mount Everest at an elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft.). And it’s bloody cold riding at that elevation--our carbureted bikes struggled. From there back to the coast, it’s possible to ride above the clouds at 3,500–4,200 m for hours on end, looking out over a sea of white clouds as far as the eye can see.

Amongst the landscapes are scatterings of small villages, with farmers and cattle herders living a life of romantic simplicity. There are still people near Mount Chimborazo cutting blocks of old glacier ice every day to sell to villages for various uses. Except for the main cities, Ecuador is a quiet, relaxed, and laidback country. Things happen at their own pace. Even more so on the coast. Nothing and no one is in much of a hurry. And, as they say, when in Rome… we slowed down like an old donkey pulling a cart, sipping self-made cocktails out of tin cups every afternoon while soaking up sunsets on the beaches.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver lake

Great fish dishes, cold beers, warm waters, and the Galapagos Islands, to which in the end we had to say “no thank you” due to the high cost of getting there. Instead, we opted to visit the Darwinian island with its freaky animals. The cost of visiting the Galapagos is stratospheric and only affordable to the rich, and backpacking hippies on trust funds. Our poverty-spec experience visiting Isla de la Plata, also known as the Poor Man’s Galapagos, gave us some consolation. It is a bumpy two-hour boat trip to the island, home to blue-footed boobies (birds) and animals that are also only otherwise found on the Galapagos Islands, but none of the larger mammals. And snorkeling gave us a glimpse into the extraordinary marine life there.

Cruising down the coast, eventually we ended up in a surfer village where a young American dude built a B&B overlooking the ocean; there, we kicked off our shoes for a couple of weeks. Every morning before dawn, local fishermen passed the house in their dilapidated pick-ups carrying fresh fish, shrimp, homemade peanut butter, and vegetables on offer. Ecuador’s coast is best explored as slowly as possible, taking time to drink the beer and other local beverages at tin roofed, wooden-clad shacks.

Our last stop was at the Alausí, a sleepy nexus between the Andes and the coast. Alausí is an old colonial town that might never have existed if not for the unique railway system. It was founded in 1905 as a “train town” because of the decision to bring the tracks up from the coast via the daring Devil’s Nose switchbacks. The town was a significant link to the large populations of the coastal plains, making trade possible in hours instead of the otherwise near-impassable and dangerous journeys over the mountains. When it was constructed, it was considered the most dangerous railroad in the world. Sheer cliffs and landslides mixed with heart-stopping descents made this track a death rail. Today it’s a tourist train that transports people up and down the switchback tracks to the river and valley below and back to the small town of Aluasí.

Nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming number of sights, sounds, variety of dramatic landscapes, and culture that Ecuador showed us. We debated whether Ecuador could be named as one of the top five countries that offer the most mind-blowing experiences for the time spent in one country. Add to that the fact that Ecuador is a safe and easy country to travel; it’s one heck of an attractive motorcycling destination.

Ecuador Michnus Oliver mountains

Michnus Olivier mini bio portraitMichnus Olivier, GenX’er born and bred South African product. Known on PikiPikiOverland as “The Tire Fixer.” Not known to follow or believe his own advice, however he loves to share stories and inspiration with others. Michnus and his better half, Elsebie, left South Africa 10 years ago on an initial six-month planned motorcycle trip up to Europe through Africa. And he’s been exploring the road on a semi-permanent basis to this day.

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Thu, 20 Jul 2023 10:06:39 -0500

Nelson-Rigg Hurricane 2.0 Backpack/Tail Pack Review
Posted on Thursday July 20, 2023

Author : Andrew Nguyen

Published in: Gear

Nelson-Rigg Hurricane 2.0 Backpack/Tail Pack Review intro

Tail, tank and saddle bags are some of the most useful and popular accessories for dual-sport and adventure motorcycles. Affordable, innovative options that work across multiple platforms are popular for riders that own multiple bikes. Nelson-Rigg understands this and continues to develop solutions that think outside the box, making cost-effective products that work in an array of situations.

There are many tail bags on the market that convert into backpacks, but Nelson-Rigg flip-flops their approach with the Hurricane Backpack/Tail Pack. I’ve spent three years traveling and camping with the original Hurricane Backpack 20L. My Hurricane primarily stays in “backpack mode” except for the occasional motorcycle trip from TX to VA, or when it’s mounted to my SUV’s top carrier.

Nelson Rigg Hurricane Tailbag 2

So, what’s new in the Hurricane Backpack 2.0? It’s now available in a 30L whereas the previous models were 20L and 40L. I praised the older 20L version for its ideal capacity, as it was able to hold a weekend’s worth of clothes. Capacity wise, the new design sits squarely in the middle of the previous options, making it just big enough to hold camping gear—mainly a tent, sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag. But in order for all that to fit you’ll need to opt for the most compact options on the market. It’s also compact enough to use as a regular backpack and will squeeze into an overhead bin on flights. The previous 40L option was a bit cumbersome to backpack with and worked best as a “haul everything” tail bag. Nelson-Rigg’s decision to remove it from their line-up makes sense, since they also offer Hurricane Dry Duffle Bags that can attach to luggage racks.

The Hurricane 2.0 Backpack/Tail Pack features improved ventilation panels against the back and straps. The MOLLE webbing front panel is a standout feature. On the inside of the panel, you’ll find a mesh pocket and a clear plastic pocket, while the older design had a removable, “flippable” panel (MOLLE on one side, plastic sleeve in on the other).

One of my favorite updates is the carry handles on the bag’s sides. They’re “beefy” and really make it easy to carry or throw on/off a bike. Inside the main compartment, there’s a laptop slot and some pen holders. The roll top is easy to use with multiple buckles to keep it closed, and a purge valve allows air to escape so the bag can stay as compact as possible. There’s also a bottle holder harness on the side.

Nelson Rigg Hurricane Tailbag 1

The Hurricane 2.0 also features a new, patented RIGG STRAP system for secure mounting to luggage racks. When cinched down, the clamps have significant bite, reducing the chances of the system coming loose. And the shoulder straps can now be tucked away behind Velcro panels on the back of the bag for a clean look and a flat base.

Hurricane bags offer industry-leading waterproofing thanks to their UV-coated PVC tarpaulin construction, which can be hosed off when dirty. And the new design delivers all the ruggedness and versatility that the adventure motorcycle world can throw at it, yet it’s easier on the wallet than many others. Of all the motorcycle gear, gadgets and gizmos I’ve acquired over the years, I can’t think of another product I’ve used more than these bags. Whether by adventure motorcycle, overlanding SUV, flights or floating down a river in an inner tube, the Hurricane Backpack/Tail Pack reliably gets the stuff you need to the places you're going.

NelsonRigg.com  MSRP: $169.95

Nelson Rigg Hurricane Tailbag 3


  • Interior compartment is 100% waterproof
  • One of the most useful bags I own
  • Affordable compared to the competition


  • Could use a few extra stitches for extra durability on the Velcro back panels
  • 30L is a bit large for a dual-sport

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Tue, 18 Jul 2023 13:12:38 -0500

Test Ride: Moto Morini X-Cape 649
Posted on Tuesday July 18, 2023

Author : Jean Turner | Photos by Laurette Nicoll, James Adams, and the author

Published in: Bikes

Moto Morini X-Cape Review intro

In this review, we take a quick spin aboard the latest from Italy—the Moto Morini X-Cape—a taste test that left us wanting more with this new player in the midsize ADV space.

It was a fleeting five-day affair, all too short a time to spend with this handsome Italian, but I’ll never forget this whirlwind romance. The exotic ride aboard the Moto Morini X-Cape took me through rural backroads, down twisting highways, and high into misty mountains onto double-track trails. Along with the fun came day-to-day errands and a few hundred miles of freeway. From the casual to the heart-pumping experiences, I felt I was falling in love. But alas, five days was all we had before saying goodbye.

As much as we squeezed into our time with the Moto Morini X-Cape, there was much more to explore with this all-new model. Someday we will sit down for a feast to follow our antipasto, but for now, here’s what we can tell you about this new mid-sized ADV.

MotoMorini X Cape Review left

• Who is Moto Morini?

 Moto Morini is practically unknown in North America, as the Milan-based firm has had an on-again/off-again relationship with the U.S. for decades. While it may be new to us, this is a legacy brand in its own right. Moto Morini has been in the game since 1937. Bought by the Zhongneng Vehicle Group in 2018, Moto Morini’s design is still headquartered in Milan, Italy, while units are now manufactured in China.

In January 2023, the company announced a revitalized effort in the U.S.; fast-forward a few months, and Moto Morini USA is up and running in an all-new factory-backed headquarters in Irvine, California. A range of Morini’s 650cc parallel-twin motorcycles are arriving to the growing dealer network, including the Seiemmezzo 6.5 STR (sport naked) and Seiemmezzo 6.5 SCR (scrambler), and of course, the X-Cape.

• The Nuts and Bolts

 While they aim to be a modestly priced, no-frills option, Moto Morini also intends for the X-Cape to be a viable contender for the serious off-road rider. At $8299, the X-Cape starts with a proven 649cc parallel twin engine and chassis platform—proven by CFMoto, to be precise—and adds to it a host of components such as the Marzocchi closed-cartridge fork, KYB shock, Bosch EFI, Brembo brakes, Pirelli tires.

Nothing in there sounds exactly “budget,” so where does the Morini cut back? For one, there is no IMU, and therefore no fancy electronics package. That’s not to say there are no onboard electronics, as the Morini shows off a tasteful 7-inch TFT dash with a clean and well-lit display. In it you’ll find a modest host of options and features, but no lean-angle-sensitive traction control with linked ABS or any other such advanced whiz-bangery that you’ll find on higher-end ADV motorcycles. What you will find are Ride and Off-Road settings, Bluetooth connectivity with phone, music, and maps options by way of an app. The Off-Road mode displays a knobby tire in place of the dial on screen—a nice touch. Rear ABS is disengaged in Off-Road mode, but that’s about it. There are no switchable engine maps, and no traction control to alter. You also will not find cruise control, a quickshifter, or a steering damper. If these are all features you can live without, then keep reading.

MotoMorini X Cape Review dash

The display screen offers a tachometer, trip meters, gear indicator, and monitors engine temp, tire pressure, oil, and fuel levels. Settings even monitor tire pressure, which is a somewhat surprising, yet welcome, feature. The tapered aluminum handlebar is six-way adjustable with three mounting points on the triple clamp and reversible bar mounts. A single socket to the left of the screen offers dual USB ports.

The windscreen is manually adjustable—or is intended to be (I needed to loosen the screws to get it to move). Fortunately, adjustments are easy enough with an onboard tool kit stashed under the seat. Handguards would be nice, as would a full-coverage skid plate for more aggressive off-road use. I found it strange that the stock skid plate is split down the middle to allow room for the header pipes. Umm… what exactly are we protecting here?

All X-Cape models come with tubeless spoke wheels in the U.S.; no mag wheels here—only in other markets. Wheels are 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires. LED lights are strong and capable, and the all-LED lighting with backlit switch blocks is another nice touch.

MotoMorini X Cape Review wheel

• How’s the Ride?

 From the moment you swing a leg over the X-Cape’s comfy saddle, you know you’re on a solid machine.

The seat has a nice deep curve, locking you in place. It’s comfortable, but I found it to be a bit wide at the front, which made it more challenging to get a foot on the ground. Morini does offer a low seat, but even at 5 feet 8 inches tall and with a 31-inch inseam, I wouldn’t opt for that since the overall height is not tall, just a little wide. If it were tapered near the front of the seat, it might make it easier to reach the ground, but the width also translates to ride comfort, so it’s likely more a matter of preference.

MotoMorini X Cape Review seat

Its muscular stance looks almost Triumph Tiger-ish, but the Morini’s Italian bravado belies the friendly, docile nature of the engine. And that’s a good thing. The 649cc DOHC eight-valve engine makes excellent use of its 60 ponies with a well-spaced six-speed transmission. Fed by Bosch EFI, the smooth engine pours on steady, predictable power. You won’t find much aggressive snap anywhere in the RPM range, but you will find capable performance on- and off-road (its docile nature means the lack of traction control is hardly an issue). At freeway speeds, even up a steady grade, the little twin will maintain power and can still pour on a little extra for overtaking when needed. It’s not without some effort, but if you give it the beans, it’ll squeeze out some espresso.

MotoMorini X Cape Review body

My only complaint about the power was the fueling right off idle. I found it a little notchy and felt it could be smoother down low. Another minor snivel was the feel of the shift lever. Shifting action was smooth, but the throw of the lever was a bit long for my liking.

The standout feature of the X-Cape is the chassis. Based on a sturdy, neutral and well-balanced steel-trellis frame, the X-Cape adds a beefy 50mm Marzocchi closed-cartridge fork and Kayaba shock out back. Full adjustability, including spring preload both front and rear, implies this bike is ready for off-road action.

MotoMorini X Cape Review offroad

We only had a small taste of the X-Cape, and an even smaller taste of its off-road prowess. And with a suspension setup like that, you’re not tapping into its performance without setting sag and working through the off-road suspension setup, the same as you would with a motocross bike. You also won’t get very aggressive in the dirt with those stock 80/20 tires, but we’d be very eager to dial in suspension, slap on some knobs, and see what the X-Cape can do in the dirt.

From our limited time off-road, we can say that the performance potential is definitely there. Suspension isn’t what we’d call plush—action is very connected and responsive in a way that lets you feel what’s beneath you. This is already an advantage over the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport or the baseline Honda Africa Twin with their ultra-cushy forks. That might feel nice gliding over potholes but start getting rowdy off-road, and you’ll quickly find the limitations of a plush suspension setup.

The X-Cape’s firmer chassis allows you to put the wheels exactly where you want them and hold a line. A playful hop off some water breaks showed the X-Cape can handle some air, and landing was without painful clacks. Outstanding Brembo stoppers allow you to maintain control on descents or coming up suddenly on Jeeps in the trail. Front ABS does not disengage in off-road mode, but I found the front ABS action to be light and not too intrusive or off-setting.

MotoMorini X Cape Review air

Speaking of brakes, these are another standout feature of the X-Cape. The dual-disc Brembo setup on the front wheel with steel braided lines provides solid stopping power, and the Marzocchi fork also helps here. The firm, predictable action of the X-Cape’s front suspension gives it confident road-holding ability (as do the Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs) when setting up for a turn on the pavement.

Road handling is wonderfully smooth and responsive, and the Morini is a delight on twisty back roads. It’s not as sporty in the canyons as the aforementioned Triumph and Honda counterparts, which have more cc’s and much punchier power. So, if you’re looking for more of a sport-touring adventure bike, this might not be it.

For the right buyer, the X-Cape has much to offer for a modest price tag. If you’re seeking more chassis capability than outright muscle and can live without the creature comforts, then take a look. The Moto Morini has more potential than we could tap in our five-day intermezzo, but from what we can tell, the beefy chassis and docile motor amount to a very solid and capable machine.

MotoMorini X Cape Review onroad

• All In….

 With no shortage of mind-bending power, technological whizbangs, and creature comforts on today’s premium ADV machines, the humbler Morini has its place. At $8299, it’s not the lightest price tag for its displacement, but with only the essential features and solid components throughout, the X-Cape checks in at a darn good value. After all, you can always accessorize, but there’s no substitute for a solid foundation.

Morini, through its fledgling American dealer network, offers a handful of accessories, including a larger windscreen, low seat, side cases and top case, crash bars, hand guards, and aluminum skid plate. Head to the website for details.

Moto Morini also promises more this year for the U.S. market, including some all-new models. Whether or not the X-Cape piques your interest, watch this space for what are sure to be interesting developments from a new player.

Jean Turner portraitJean Turner is a freelance journalist/photographer in the powersports industry. She has been riding and racing motocross and enduro for over 18 years, during which she has worked for a number of publications such as Cycle News, Dirt Rider magazine, Dirt Bike magazine, Racer X, Motocross Action Magazine, and international publications in Europe, Japan, and Australia. Turner grew up riding in the Southern California desert with her family and now travels the world as a media correspondent covering and shooting motorcycle races, manufacturer intros, and off-road/adventure tours. Follow her travels and stories on Instagram @kalamity_jean

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Mon, 10 Jul 2023 10:22:41 -0500

Experience Wyoming BDR
Posted on Monday July 10, 2023

Author : Wendy Naessens | Photos by Simon Cudby

Published in: Rides

Experience Wyoming BDR intro

Riding and Filming the WYBDR

There’s an old saying, “The answer is always no, unless you ask.” That was my mantra one evening as I listened to the phone ring, waiting for my day-job boss to answer on the other end. Just a few minutes earlier, Aaron Rankin, the program director for the BMW U.S. Rider Academy at the BMW Performance Center called to ask if I’d like to be a part of the Wyoming BDR filming expedition. In addition to my day job, I am an instructor-in-training at the Center. Finally, the call connected, and I enthusiastically explained to my day-job boss that this BDR filming expedition was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To my surprise he said, “That sounds amazing! You have to do it!” I’ve never been so excited in my life.

Fast-forward two weeks to the night before the ride officially began, in August of 2021. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. in a full-blown panic attack. I worried I would let everyone down. Shirley

Luckily, others saw something in me that I had yet to realize. Early on, BDR executive director, Inna Thorn said something along the lines of, “You don’t realize how a BDR will change you until you get back home.” How right she was!

So, it Begins…

WYBDR Report baggs

“Today was rough, and I am in over my head.” That was my first impression after rolling with the BDR crew for a day. We rode through the Wild Horse Basin, the Sierra Madre Range, aspen forests and more incredible scenery. We were delighted by stunning views of mountains in the distance and perfect riding weather. The terrain started with gravel roads and sweeping turns, compact dirt, and rolling hills; it became more technical as the day went on. I struggled to keep up, and then came a stretch that got even more technical, with rocks, washouts, switchbacks and higher elevations. I went to bed that night staring at more stars than I’d ever seen in my life, wondering what the heck I’d gotten myself into.

Playing in the Water

Very shortly into Day Two we came upon a water crossing. It was a muddy puddle about 30 yards long that blocked almost the entire width of the road, except for a tiny sliver of hard dirt on the side. You could either go through the puddle, or around it. The film crew was already poised, ready to capture all the falls and victories.

BDR president, Paul Guillien, known for hammering it through, went first. A couple of folks chose to skirt around it, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Instead of sitting there contemplating the obstacle and psyching myself out, I went for it! I ended up sliding around a bit but made it through unscathed. Little did I know, this would be the day of water crossings.

The challenges on the track continued to grow as the day went on. The rocks got bigger, corners tighter, ruts deeper. I started to fall into my happy place of slow and technical riding, but a bigger challenge was headed my way, my least favorite thing: riding along exposed edges!

About mid-day we got a break from dirt and ended up on tarmac for a while. Even the paved roads on this route are twisty, beautiful, and loads of fun. After reconnecting with dirt, we came upon an optional expert water crossing with uneven rows of cement pavers held together with rebar, dropping a foot into a rushing riverbed full of round, slippery babyhead rocks. After crossing the creek, you ride over more pavers to climb the other side. At least the water wasn’t too deep―early in the riding season, this ford would be impassible.

I made it without ditching the bike—but I fell back to old habits, lost confidence as soon as I entered the river, took a break to reassess my situation, then gave it a BRAAP and made it across. I’m still disappointed in myself for not sticking to my Performance Center training. We got lucky that day as the water wasn’t too deep.

WYBDR Report water

Getting High in Wyoming

Later that afternoon, the crew decided to check out an overlook tower at Kennaday Peak (10,810 ft.). The route was technical with lots of ruts and big, loose rocks as we passed through huge swaths of burned-out forest. We were climbing for a good amount of time, and then suddenly came out above the tree line and could see for miles. We kept climbing up loose, sandy switchbacks to a flat area where riders can park and take in the 360-degree views.

As we were making our way down the mountain, I suddenly felt that something was very wrong. I was connected to Paul on our Sena headsets, so I let him know I needed to pull over right away. When I got off the bike, I was dizzy. It was late afternoon; I’d been very careful about constantly drinking water and yet, I was extremely dehydrated. That day’s riding was intense and relentless, and even though I was taking in a lot of water, I wasn’t getting enough electrolytes. I wasn’t used to riding for hours a day in such technical terrain, with few short breaks to catch my breath. I’d never experienced anything like it. It was very scary, and I was thankful Paul was there to help. He had hydration tablets, and within 15–20 minutes I was right as rain.

WYBDR Report paul

Things Fall into Place

By Day Three I was hitting my stride, settling into the riding, and was loaded up on hydration tablets. The next big challenge would be riding in the Shirley Mountains. There were steep, rocky ascents and descents, a good stretch of sand, rocks, ruts, washboards and more obstacles. If I failed to pick the right line, I struggled, but always managed to keep the bike upright. I had to work hard to get through, but Jocelin Snow was by my side, connected to my Sena and cheering me on.

WYBDR Report tim

My training kicked in, and I felt totally confident. Little did I know, this was a walk in the park compared to what was up ahead. More sand. Lots of sand, big rocks and big ruts as we approached the Beaver Rim. At one point coming up a rocky hill, I target fixated and went off track, T-boned a large rock and body slammed into my fuel tank, right in front of the filming crew. I hurt all over (especially my ego!).

On his first section of the long and grueling ride along the Beaver Rim, it’s easy to pick up speed and end up sideways in a surprise rut. Eventually, we came to a point where you could choose to break off or continue on the track. Exhausted, I chose to break off and bypass the second half of the Beaver Rim. Jocelin and photographer Simon Cudby joined me and we all took a gravel road that followed huge rock formations. As the gravel turned to dirt we were greeted by dozens of cattle grazing in the fields. This beautiful alternate route is ideal for those who choose not to ride the entire length of the Beaver Rim.

Day Four was a BDR rest day, which still meant riding and filming for several hours―maybe six, instead of fourteen. We visited an old mining ghost town, South Pass City, panned for gold, ate ice cream and peered into the windows of restored homes and saloons of this outdoor museum to see how residents lived here 150 years ago.

WYBDR Report rest

The track then progressed through the Wind River Range with some fun, flowy doubletrack and many lakes. This section descends the mountains on sweeping paved switchbacks that took us down to Sinks Canyon State Park. Here the Popo Agie River disappears underground; a half mile down the road it “rises” in a calm pool full of hungry trout that you can feed for a quarter.

The next day was surreal. As we made our way to our camping destination at Ten Sleep Brewing Company, we rode on stretches of hard-packed dirt, tight washboards, and wide gravel roads. We rode past giant signs that said, “Poisonous Gas Area.” Abandoned shacks and scrubby sage punctuated the landscape. This desolation gave way to beautiful red rock canyons and clusters of green pastures with beautiful farmhouses until we reached the town of Ten Sleep.

Ten Sleep is an adorable place, home to a groovy annual event called “Nowoodstock”, one of Wyoming’s most popular and longest-running music festivals. Be sure to stop by the general store for ice cream and supplies. Camping at the Ten Sleep Brewing Co. was a real treat with outdoor showers, food trucks and live music throughout the summer. Make sure you gas up on your way out of town though. You won’t have services for a while.

Hitting the High Notes

The next stretch took us into the Bighorn National Forest. The track was sandy, rocky, and twisty. The views were stunning as we ascended on loose switchbacks and bumpy washboards. There were several peaks with wide-open exposure, great for photos. One section was particularly fun and fast, through a cow pasture with jumpable whoops, ruts, loose dirt and gravel. Be sure to check out the petroglyphs at Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site—a nice place to take a lunch break and learn a bit of history.

We spent the night at the breathtaking Medicine Lodge Lake in the Bighorns. Arriving at the campground, we were surrounded by towering pines and a serene lake setting. We took a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and watched a stunning sunset over the lake. If you do some forward planning, the Paintrock Lodge, just a short walk from the campground, will prepare dinner or breakfast for you, and you can also stay overnight here (book well ahead).

Over dinner, the lodge owner mentioned he had rooms available, so a few of us decided to grab them and enjoy the lodge’s amenities. It was a good decision and I felt better-rested. The rest of the team enjoyed camping by the lake.

WYBDR Report bighorn

Sign of Trouble

The next morning as I was loading my bike, I noticed someone had placed a sticker on the inside of my windscreen. It had a banged-up cartoon character with the phrase, “But did you die?!” on it. That pretty much summed up the trip thus far. Unfortunately, it was a sign of troublesome things to come.

Earlier that day we split into two groups. Inna, Tim and I decided to skip the optional expert section over Woodchuck Pass. Instead, we took the main route on a paved canyon road that offered some of the best twisties I’ve ever ridden. We stopped at the Shell Falls off the Big Horns Scenic Byway before heading to the meet-up point further down the track. Waiting for us was the unsung hero of the expedition, our support vehicle driver Mani. This man was the rock of our expedition—carrying film gear, arriving early to reserve campsites, cooking meals and occasionally coming to rescue us during flat tire situations. We couldn’t have done the trip without him. As usual, he already had lunch prepared for the team. We enjoyed his “roadside taco” meal while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. I asked Mani if he’d heard anything from them, since it seemed to be taking a while. He checked his satellite tracker, but nothing had come through.

Finally, we heard the roar of engines, and a couple riders rode up to give us bad news. One of our team members had fallen and injured his wrist. Thankfully he was okay, but he couldn’t complete the route he had just spent four years developing. A rut took him out, and a “road angel” cowboy (complete with cattle dog hanging out of the window) pulled up in a truck and offered a ride to our meeting place. After figuring out the logistics of who would ride the abandoned bike, and how we could get our friend to a hospital, everyone met back at the hotel. Without taking off his hero suit, Mani made a long haul in his truck with the injured rider to get him medical attention in Sheridan, WY.

The Perfect Ending

On the eve of our last day, I was getting emotional about this incredible adventure coming to an end. At the beginning, I felt like it would last forever, but as the days passed, it was slipping away. I had bonded with these strangers, ridden some of the most amazing backcountry tracks, and seen the most beautiful and far-away parts of Wyoming. And I’d witnessed true teamwork, experienced the grind of filming of a BDR documentary and watched our film crew absolutely crush it every day.

On the last morning, we were sent off with a real treat. As we ate breakfast at the Bear Lodge Resort at Burgess Junction, a massive moose and a little calf were munching on the brush in the parking lot right outside our window. It felt like a dreamy ending to a truly magical experience on the WYBDR.

WYBDR Report moose

What’s Next?

After the BDR team had ridden and filmed the WYBDR route, they begin work on putting the pieces of the project together to present it to the community. In February of 2022 the BDR organization released the WYBDR route with free GPS tracks, a supplemental Butler Motorcycle Map, a feature length documentary film, and a national film tour in the spring. Thousands of ADV riders will enjoy the route for years to come and get to experience the majestic and remote beauty of the state of Wyoming on two wheels.

WYBDR Quick Facts

  • Total Distance: 900 miles. The main route is divided into eight sections and can be done in seven days.
  • Best Time of Year: WYBDR has a short riding season, July to September depending on the snowpack and early fall snows.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to intermediate plus, with expert options. Some sections may become impassible when it rains.
  • Riding terrain: Gravel roads, steep grades combined with rough surfaces, sand and silt beds, ruts, mud, embedded rocks, water crossings.
  • Wildlife: Expect to see antelope, wild horses, elk, and moose.
For more information about WYBDR, visit RideBDR.com.

WendyNaessens portraitWendy Naessens is an avid motorcyclist, on and off road. She is an instructor-in-training at BMW U.S. Riders Academy, BMW Performance Center. She’s very passionate about continuing education, raising confidence levels and helping people become more independent riders.

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Wed, 05 Jul 2023 09:39:54 -0500

Sounds from the Sands of Morocco
Posted on Wednesday July 05, 2023

Author : Antonio Femia

Published in: Rides

Morocco Ride intro

From Marrakech to the door of the Sahara, through the trails connecting out-of-this-world villages and mountain passes, my destination was the Festival Internationale des Nomades in M’Hamid El Ghizlane—the last outpost of civilization at the Algerian border.

You don’t need an excuse for a motorcycle trip through Morocco. It’s full of ancient symbols where the Sahara’s sand ends, just before the land dives into the Atlantic. Here, at the end of the known world, Hercules split a mountain into two columns on which is engraved “Non Plus Ultra.” Odysseus ignored this warning, thirsty for knowledge, paying with death and eternal damnation for his disregard.

For anyone who grew up dreaming of such great raids, the fascination of this boundary still lives, not only because it smells like Africa, but also because Morocco is a land of passage and arrival with the characteristics of the many civilizations who’ve crossed it over the millennia. Conquerors and colonists, merchants, and caravans, all left pieces of their cultures along its sand and stony tracks.

Sands of Morocco 1

A chosen destination is often an excuse to live through the road and its experiences, but takes on real meaning when you give it a symbolic value. The guys from Off Road Passion glimpsed in the Festival International des Nomades the perfect excuse to cross Morocco headed to M’Hamid El Ghizlane, a small village lost in Erg Chegaga’s sand. Here, at the door of the Sahara close to the Algerian border, the festival represents the pride and union for nomadic people of northern Sahara, embracing the cultures of Black Africa.

As a photographer and travel journalist, I was invited to take part in this caravan of 15 motorcyclists crossing the country. After landing in Marrakech and dealing with the motorcycle rentals paperwork, the caravan of Expérience Nomade was ready to leave the urban chaos. My 660cc Yamaha XT single-cylinder was a zillion miles old but managed to march along in pace with the others, while a Land Cruiser followed as a support vehicle.

Sands of Morocco 2

On the Shoulders of a Titan

It takes a while to get out of Marrakech via the RN9 road traffic. After Tamaguert it starts climbing, wrapping around the mountain in an endless succession of hairpin turns. Although we were forced by bad weather to avoid the off-road track, our two-wheeled time machines brought us through villages populated by men in djellaba (the typical Berber hooded cape) transporting everything on donkeys, and women in workshops extracting argan oil. Along the roadside, barbecues were being fired up for lunchtime while vendors in panoramic spots tried to sell us amethyst and trilobite fossils. The road leading to Tizi n’Tichka was an odd mix of straights and wide hairpin bends on which we enjoyed somewhat of a merry-go-round ride. Once we crossed the pass, it became immediately apparent why this range takes its name from a titan. The red rock topped by snow peaks truly brought to mind the muscles of Atlas, strained in the effort to sustain that cobalt blue sky which, in turn, inflamed the colors of earth below it.

Sands of Morocco gorge fossil

Allah’s Maquette

Riding along the Oued Dades, then the M’Goun River, we re-entered the Atlas Range, scattered with small, planted parcels breaking the rocks’ bright ochre. Asphalt was vanishing from the twisty road and finally disappeared. Meanwhile, a dense light rain enwrapped the landscape, surrounding it like a precious jewel, while gravel became a traitorous companion, making our wheels slip on bigger stones and sink into the mud. Someone fell, but we helped each other then divided into two groups, getting back together later in a gorge excavated by a river that had been a track of the old Paris-Dakar. Throughout the entire day we’d met only three others who were riding small bikes—the real heroes of the day—some women washing clothes at the river, a few curious children playing in the road, and a man on a donkey, proud as a prince on his purebred, gentle but shy and strongly opposed to being photographed.

Sands of Morocco gorge

Many of the inner mountain range don’t speak French or Arabic, only Tamazight, the native Berber language. Although most consider Morocco an Arab country, it’s the Berbers who are the main ethnic group. They were conquered and so named by the Arabs in the seventh century, who forced Islamization upon them. The Berbers never cared for the name, as it means “barbarian” in Arabic, and was originally used in a scornful way. They prefer to call themselves Imazighen (“Free Men”) and have obstinately continued speaking their native language in opposition to their invaders.

Many preferred to engage in agriculture, and shepherds kept their nomadic status continuing the practice of transhumance, which is moving flocks to high elevation in summer and back to the plains in winter. We met no one while rising high among the rocky tracks of RN704 to reach the Tizi n’Ouano at an elevation of 2,800 meters. Allah must have had fun with constructing these mountains, sculpting every contour like layers of a maquette clay. It’s an out-of-time experience to have lunch in an auberge, nothing more than a shelter lost in this wasteland, an experience only to be appreciated once you return to civilization.

Straw, Mud and Stones

After crossing the Todra Gorges, we pointed toward Merzouga, in the Erg Chebbi, for a first glimpse of desert. Then the boundless Hamada, a rocky desert surrounded by arid plateaus looking like the lunar surface. Next up was the Gare de Medouar, a horseshoe-shaped, rocky hill, whose open side is enclosed by thick walls, often used by caravans as a shelter during sandstorms, and which for a short time was a stop along the track of the slave trade operated by the Portuguese. The harshness of the landscape leaves no doubt about how efficient that slave jails would have been.

We finally reached the Oued Draa, at the center of the country’s biggest oasis: 80 kilometers of palms and casbah, and fortified citadels made by mud and straw bricks. Losing yourself in the narrow streets allows for interesting discoveries: small houses where old women bake fresh bread, handmade carpet workshops, and cobbler shops. During a stop in N’Kob the sky filled with yellow sand, warning us not to ride into the oncoming palmeraie (sandstorm).

Sands of Morocco gorge bake

Under a sun made pale by the sand we reached Zagora and the famous sign “Timbuktu: 50 days.” It was time for a pit stop at Garage Iriki, unavoidable for every overlander regardless of how many wheels they ride. As usual you engage in a pantomime in which you accept tea, pretend to walk away, and don’t give up until you reach the bargain. In this part of the world, that’s how business is done, one of the most curious ongoing experiences a traveler can experience.

Sands of Morocco gorge garage

Everything told us we were on the caravan route and close to our destination. The road is a straight line through the rocky plain, and after the dune of Tamaguert we started the final pass. The asphalt was still perfect, but we rode slowly in an orderly row—the wind was up again, bringing clouds of sand as fine as flour, getting into everything. We chewed on sand, breathing its smell while it lay like greasepaint on our sweaty skin. The sky turned ochre, and the view was increasingly reduced while wind gusts shook the bikes like twigs, grinding the riders like a sandblaster. Then, finally, villagers greeted us as if we were participants of an actual rally, making us taste the glory of a clouded finish line. The caravan of Expérience Nomade finally reached M’Hamid.

Freedom into Wasteland

M’Hamid El Ghizlane is a pit of a town in the sand of Sahara. Its crumbling buildings tell of a glorious past, when it was a station on the caravan trail. Last century’s conflicts zeroed the legendary route to Timbuktu, forcing many desert Berbers to settle as tour operators; some own restaurants or hotels, others bring tourists in Jeep or camel excursions to the desert. During these festival days, the village is crowded with European tourists, young Berber artists and Arabs coming from the big cities, all wrapped in tagelmusts like Tuareg wannabes. We were all here to listen to the sounds and voices of the last generation of those who were the undisputed rulers of this land with no geography.

Fragmented by straight borders artificially created by European domination, the Tuareg people bring on their lonely struggle against the nation states with their politics and weapons. Although they sat on the biggest deposit of oil and uranium in the world, they only knew famine and warfare in the last century. It’s not for us to determine rights and wrongs—if there were any.

So what gives the Festival such an immense value? This is where the electric and hypnotic sounds of Desert Blues, created by the Tuareg of diaspora, meet the percussions and dance from Black Africa. Guitars will always play a bigger role towards peace than rifles. That’s why it’s important to be here.

Sands of Morocco gorge festival

Ali the Tuareg

While we play with bikes in the dunes of Erg Chegaga, I stray from the group to snoop around a tent. The man invites me to enter, and we start chatting over hot mint tea. He works bringing tourists on camel rides, selling fossils and jewels. His wife and sons live 30 kilometers away. He doesn’t know how old he is. Forty, maybe 50 years… there is no birth register in the desert. But he’s got Facebook, so I’ll be able to send him a photo I’ll take, but not before he puts on his traditional teal dress. The Tuaregs say that God created deserts for Man to find his soul.

Sands of Morocco gorge ali

Antonio Femia portraitAntonio Femia is an Italian travel journalist and photographer. He jumped on the saddle at the age of 30 and began to use his motorbike as a tool to discover the world. He eventually left his career as an architect at 40 for the dusty roads, searching for beauty mostly where it’s not supposed to be. TotoleMoto.it

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Tue, 27 Jun 2023 10:39:02 -0500

Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX Boots Review
Posted on Tuesday June 27, 2023

Author : Christian Lowe

Published in: Gear

Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX Boots intro

Serious adventure riders and trainers say if you’re going to go off-pavement, particularly in tricky terrain where a drop is likely, it’s critical to wear boots protecting your foot and ankle. The best boots will resist impact as well as torsional forces that could cause a ride-ending injury. The answer has usually been heavy-duty motocross boots that offer robust protection from impact and twists but sacrifice control feel, off-bike mobility, and (least importantly) looks. Big, bulky, hard to walk in, and stiff—all typical characteristics of truly “safe” adventure boots for rugged conditions.

That all changed with the latest offering from Touratech. A super-spec’d, incredibly rugged, and comfortable ADV boot, Touratech’s Destino Ultimate GTX is jam-packed with features engineered to keep the rider safe and secure no matter what a trail throws at them.

Designed in cooperation with Rev’It! the Destino Ultimate GTX is built with foot and ankle protection technology the company calls a “Dynamic Support Frame.” Think of it like knee braces for the feet that limit range of motion to prevent hyperextension, protecting the ankle and foot from violent torque. The calf support, injection-molded ankle cup, and stability frame combine not only to decrease potential injury but also help better support the rider while standing.

Touratech Destino Boots Review 1

The Destino Ultimate GTX boots feature a grippy Vibram Apex sole that allows for a good tactile feel on the controls and grip on the pegs without too much bulk. The boots are wrapped in comfortable SEESOFT foam with an OrthoLite insole to keep the rider’s feet snug. Much of the surface of the boot is layered with abrasion-resistant Superfabric that’s designed to protect the boot from cuts and scrapes while also decreasing adhesion to rocks and dirt in a slide.

The boots feature built-in shin protectors and are wrapped in waterproof Gore-Tex to keep the feet dry in those deeper water crossings. And say goodbye to all those pesky buckles—the Destino Ultimate GTXs use the Boa lacing system that ratchets down for an easy fit with gloved hands.

Touratech Destino Boots Review 2

Experienced adventure riders and instructors are right—there’s simply no comparison between so-called “ADV boots” and purpose-built offroad boots. The Destino Ultimate GTX boots nail that unique blend of comfort, safety, and style most adventure riders need for multi-day trips to far-flung destinations.

While the Destinos were comfortable and delivered a confidence-inspiring interface between the foot and bike, they’re not really designed for a quick trip to the farmer’s market or weekend jaunt to the mountain twisties. They’re way more boot than that, so think of the Destino Ultimate GTXs as the set you take when the conditions are going to get rough.

This is partly because they are very bulky. It’s difficult to fit all but the widest ADV pants over the hard-shell shin protectors, cutting down on the available wardrobe an ADV rider can choose. The Boa lacing system is convenient for sure, but the length of the laces makes it hard to tighten the boots from bottom to top for a customized fit.

Lastly, while they do feel Gucci on the pegs, the Destino Ultimate GTX boots also carry a Gucci price tag, out of reach for all but the most hardcore adventure riders. But if you want the best protection in a package optimized for multi-day rides in rough terrain sprinkled with ADV styling, there are few options as feature-packed as the Touratech Destino Ultimate GTX boots.

Touratech Destino Boots Review 3


MSRP: $839


  • Confidence-inspiring protection for the foot, ankle, and shin
  • Comfortable footbed and sole with excellent grip
  • Fully waterproof


  • Price may be out of reach for most
  • Hard to fit most ADV pants over the boot
  • Too stiff to walk in for anything other than short distances

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Wed, 21 Jun 2023 13:07:59 -0500

Here’s Your Chance to Win A Lyndon Poskitt LPR 732
Posted on Wednesday June 21, 2023

Author : Wenling Pan

Published in: News

Lyndon Poskitt LPR 732 Raffle intro

Written by J.M. Staelens

Lyndon Poskitt, the legendary Dakar Rally racer and adventurer who circumnavigated the globe—riding off-road as much as possible across six continents—is giving you the chance to win the last and final replica of the unique motorcycle that he designed and built for his extraordinary RTW journey.

Lyndon Poskitt, a true larger-than-life adventure rider, achieved a phenomenal challenge that he set for himself after a life-changing experience. He covered over 245,000 km through 74 countries across six continents. Not only that, but he also competed in 11 races along the way on his bike dubbed “Basil” that he built specifically for this RTW journey. 

Win Lyndon Poskitt LP732 1

Lyndon captured his amazing adventures in a widely-followed YouTube video series 'Races to Places' (over 200 episodes and millions of views) which established his fame as a top-notch ADV rider.

In response to requests for replicas of the same high-spec bike, Lyndon, who’s an accomplished aerospace engineer and motorcycle racer, built and sold 34 Lyndon Poskitt Racing Factory Rally Adventure Bikes over the years.

Lyndon is now closing the replica-building chapter and giving you the chance to win his final custom-built replica of the ultimate adventure bike, including a new set of Enduristan panniers like the ones he used on his RTW journey.

You can buy a tickets for the bike raffle here regardless of where you’re based in the world. The motorcycle will be crated and shipped to the winner. Global shipping of the bike and all other prizes is included in the ticket.

The draw of the prizes will take place June 24 at 7pm GMT on the Masterclass Stage at the Adventure Bike Rider Festival in Warwickshire, United Kingdom, in the presence of Lyndon and the motorcycle.

Win Lyndon Poskitt LP732 2

The main specs of the LPR 732 Factory Rally Adventure Bike:

  • Based on a modified KTM 690 Rally Replica chassis
  • An LPR 732cc Gen1 carbureted engine with uprated cam
  • Nova wide range gearbox
  • Uprated LPR heavy duty clutch
  • 320mm Travel Front and Rear Suspension
  • Twin Akrapovic Titanium Silencers
  • Excel A60 Rims on Woody’s wheel works hubs
  • Carbon Fibre fairing and fender
  • ICO Trip Computers
  • Full LPR Luggage Rack loaded with Enduristan Luggage

For the full spec list, check here.

Details of the Raffle Prizes:

  • 1st Prize – LPR 732cc Factory Rally Adventure Motorcycle
  • 2nd Prize – An opportunity to spend some time with Lyndon on his Factory 450 Rally Bikes in Spain or Portugal, learning roadbook navigation and rally riding
  • 3rd, 4th & 5th Prize – £1000 vouchers to spend at Lyndon Poskitt Racing
  • 6th Prize – KLIM Carlsbad Adventure Suit (Jacket and Pants) or KLIM product of equivalent value
  • 7th Prize – Pair of Michelin Motorcycle Tires of your choice (subject to availability) and £250 of Michelin merchandise
  • 8th Prize – Motorex Service / Care kit for your bike and a Motorex Powersports merchandise bundle
  • 9th Prize – Total Connectivity package including Shoei Helmet, Sena 50S Communication system and SP Connect bundle
  • 10th Prize – Full set of MotoMaster brake disks and pads for your motorcycle.
  • 11th Prize – Akrapovic Titanium Slip-On / Silencer for your bike and Akrapovic merchandise

Good Causes

Rather than simply selling the last replica, Lyndon wanted to do something charitable and give back to the less fortunate. He will donate 50% of the raffle’s profits to good causes that are close to his heart, such as an educational charity/school in Africa he has visited. The remaining 50% will go towards funding new projects which we can’t say much about now, but it’ll be EPIC!

For those who want to know what Lyndon has been up to recently, he has just returned last week from competing as a Husqvarna Factory Racing Team member in the 2023 Erzberg Rodeo, the world’s most extreme enduro race. Lyndon is also an official Ambassador for the Husqvarna Norden 901. Watch the entertaining episodes of Lyndon’s Erzberg Rodeo exploits on the official Husqvarna Motorcycles YouTube channel:

“Conquering the Iron Giant with Lyndon Poskitt – Erzberg Rodeo”.  

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