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  1. I'd to see more old-school two-stroke stuff - braaaaaaaaap
  2. Wow that sucks!! I also like to use WD-40 as a finisher
  3. Off-road riding means getting dirty, not just the rider but also our machines…and while we take a quick shower and we’re ready for a night out, our motorcycles don’t have it as easy! There are many different schools of thought when it comes to how to properly wash your dirty/muddy/sandy motorcycle after riding, so we took a look at some of the popular techniques and did some investigation into “what’s right and what’s wrong” when it comes to cleaning your ride. Although most of our readers are pretty sharp, most of us aren’t detailing experts so we reached out to some industry experts for their insight and advice and they are quoted here. #1: YOU’RE HARMING THE EXPENSIVE FINISHES ON YOUR BIKE Modern motocross bikes (and even older more exotic machines) can have a myriad of different types of metals and plastics that can present a problem when you want to quickly wash your bike after a day in the dirt. Materials like titanium, aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber and hard/soft rubber may have different requirements when it comes to cleaning. We spoke first to Boris Mahlich at Motorex who stated “Certain cleaning chemicals are harsh on the finishes, glossy and matte finishes in particular and metal surfaces. Aluminum, magnesium and titanium in particular are susceptible to staining, etching and corrosion from harsh cleaning agents not suitable for such metals. Another thing to consider (is that) rubber seals which can dry and crack when continuously cleaned with harsh cleaning products or solvents.” “Solvents and cleaners that are overly acidic or alkaline (high and low pH values) are not good. Stay away from extremely alkaline cleaners and extremely acidic cleaners typically used for industrial and household applications.” Andrew Hodges at Bel-Ray offered this insight: “Highly caustic chemicals can damage certain surfaces if left on for too long, so it is a good idea to either spot check a cleaner before applying it, or checking with the chemical’s manufacturer for their usage guidelines. Solvent based cleaners can also have a negative effect on some painted and plastic surfaces.” Brian Wilkinson of Slick Products said: “Any cleaning product that does not have a neutral or low pH of 7-8 should be used with caution. High alkaline products are very corrosive and will etch soft aluminum and will discolor those expensive anodized parts on your bike.” In talking to these experts, it seems a safe way to go is to use cleaners that have a neutral PH not too high or low, and stay away from your rubber components where possible. #2: YOU AREN’T USING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE Walk down the automotive aisle at any big-box or automotive store and you see many offerings in the vehicle washing section. They are cheap and have great marketing…in fact I use them on my power equipment, but not on my motorcycles. What are the pros and cons of using some of these more popular mainstream “general purpose” products such as Power Purple and Simple Green? We asked our experts their honest opinions and here’s what they said. Hodges: “General purpose cleaners usually fall into that highly caustic group I mentioned before so using them should be done with care. They are generally very good at cutting through grease and soils, but they don’t stop there. So if they are left on a surface for too long it will eventually start affecting the surface. If a part such as a plastic guard has any surface defects in the clear-coat, those highly caustic cleaners can get under the clear coat at the damaged area and spread the damage. So, they can be used, but there is more generally more risk in doing so compared to a buffered, surfactant based cleaner.” Wilkinson agreed and added: “The simple answer is that (these products) are not designed to be used on motorcycles. Industrial and household cleaners often have higher pH making them more corrosive on soft aluminum. In some cases etching and discoloring will occur in seconds while other cases corrosion tends to slowly occur after every wash.” “In addition, do not overlook the fact that a motorcycle needs lubrication (and) using a degreaser as an overall bike wash will strip lubrication from bearings and pivots points. Unless you’re a professional mechanic who takes their bike apart every week to re-grease you should be using a product like our Off-Road Wash that removes heavy dirt and mud without stripping lubrication.” Other industry experts mentioned they were concerned with not only potential harm to the end-user of these more aggressive cleaning products, but also the effects on the environment as a whole. As with all off-road chemical products, it’s important to not only remember proper application and usage, but also think about where these products may end up, so always observe proper containment and disposal requirements. #3: YOU AREN’T PROPERLY WASHING YOUR MACHINE Is there a right and wrong way to clean your bike? We’ve always felt as long as it looks clean at the end that what matter, right? Well, we’ve heard a lot of different advice when it comes to washing your bike. Use pressure washer, don’t use pressure washers, stay away from all seals, never wash o-ring chain, etc. Some of these tips seem to make sense and some may be based on old-school habits that die hard so we asked the panel their thoughts on this topic. Eddie Cole from Matrix / 1.7 Cleaning Solutions offered some tips on washing your motorcycle correctly: “It's best to let the motorcycle cool down before washing it and lube the things right away that need to be lubed after washing. (Don’t) get water into the exhaust system and into the air filtration system, there are exhaust plugs and air filter covers on the market (that are) designed to keep water out of those areas, and use a Spray and Shine with rust preventing agent.” Cole continued: “We think it's (also) important to dry the motorcycle properly and make sure everything is dry and in working order and we recommend cleaning the air filter right away before restarting (making sure to) remove the exhaust plug before starting the bike. Check that that the controls, brakes and the throttle are in good smooth functioning order before starting and/or riding the bike again.” Hodges from Bel-Ray elaborated on mistakes they see riders make when cleaning their machines and this includes: “Not spot checking cleaners on aftermarket parts before coating the entire bike in cleaner. If the parts utilize a unique or uncommon surface finish, this can be problematic for cleaners that are designed for the more typical surface finishes. These parts may need some more individual attention for cleaning. Using a pressure washer to rinse the bike - the pressure washer risks pushing water and displacing lubricant or flooding into places you don’t want water.” He continued: “Thinking that a bio-based cleaner is fine to just drain into the soil or a drain. Just because it is bio-based doesn’t mean it isn’t detrimental to the environment. Water based, biodegradable cleaners are generally safe for that practice, but any solvent based cleaner (bio or not) should be disposed of properly.” Wilkinson from Slick added: “The worst mistake is a permanent one. Since being at Slick Products we have so many customers who used a product that (has) caused damage and want to know how to fix it. You can't un-corrode metal, so when you spend $8-$10K on your dirtbike don't spray a $2 cleaner on it.” #4: YOU MAY NOT BE USING A MOTORCYCLE-SPECIFIC CLEANER Some products made “for motorcycles” can be expensive when compare to their automotive counterparts, so we’ve been somewhat reluctant to buy them as frequently and figure many of our readers feel the same. We asked the experts what makes their off-road products “motorcycle specific” so we could gain some insight into what products to buy and why. Hodges from Bel-Ray went first: “Bike Wash is a water-based, buffered, and the cleaning power is based on surfactant technology. It penetrates and lifts grease and soil from surfaces allowing for easy rinse off. A short time on the surface is all it takes for the dirt to be loosened, so by the time you spray the last area of the bike or ATV, you can begin rinsing the first area and work your way around. Unless the machine is extremely dirty, it usually requires no scrubbing or physical cleaning.” Hodges also mentioned the Bel-Ray Foam Filter Cleaner & Degreaser is designed specifically to remove dirt and the high tack filter oils common in motorcycle and ATV applications. Mahlich from Motorex explained: “Motorex products are engineered and designed by our in-house laboratory in Switzerland specifically for motorcycle applications. That means they are not industrial products that may just work on a motorcycle. The sole purpose for these products is for the care and maintenance of your motorcycle and that is what they are designed to do.” Cole from 1.7 Cleaning Solutions offered: “1.7 Cleaning Solutions were developed specifically for motorcycles, we spent months interviewing and testing with the top mechanics in professional racing to develop a product line to meet their professionals needs and expectations.” “We needed a multi-purpose cleaning product that would attack the dirt, oil, grease grime quickly but leave a bright finish when dry. The wash needed to work and be compatible with plastic, aluminum, steel, magnesium and titanium without harming or attacking powder coated finishes, anodized finishes or chrome, (so) we developed motorcycle specific products for specific purpose that include our Formula 1 Wash Degreaser for motorcycle finishes, our Formula 2 Spray and Shine for the complete motorcycle (plastics, motor, suspension and components) that gives a factory "new look shine" and light silicone lubricant finish. Wilkinson of Slick added: “We have worked very hard to create specially formulated non-corrosive cleaning products designed for motorcycle riders, by motorcycle riders to offer a faster, safer, and easier cleaning experience. Each one of our cleaners serves a unique purpose in the cleaning process to help maintain the life, look, and value of your bike.” #5: YOU AREN’T DETAILING YOUR MOTORCYCLE BEFORE STORAGE Many riders wash their bikes and stick them in the garage…don’t. Putting a motorcycle away for any length of time makes them susceptible to oxidation and corrosion and that’s not good. This is more of a problem for riders in colder climates with shorter riding seasons like the Northeast and there is more than one school of thought on how to put your bike away. So we asked the experts why and how to clean your motorcycle before storage. Hodges from Bel-Ray offered: “A thorough cleaning is always a good idea, but more importantly it’s what you put on rather than what you clean off when storing a bike. Cleaning the chain and applying fresh chain lube with strong anti-rust properties is the first and easiest thing to do.” “A rubber preservative for any external hoses or seals is a good idea for long term storage (and) cleaning grease and grime from electrical contacts and applying a non-conductive protectant or grease to electrical terminals is advisable. Any protective surface coatings for plastic, metal, rubber or vinyl surfaces can only help in preserving the condition of the bike.” Mahlich from Motorex added: “To keep metal finishes from oxidizing while a motorcycle is stored, cover the surfaces with a protective spray. Motorex Moto Protect is formulated to protect all painted and metal surfaces from corrosion and oxidation. Simply spray the surfaces leaving a thin protective film that will ensure your motorcycle comes out of storage looking as good as it did when it went into storage.” In conclusion, by observing some simple protocols and using common sense when cleaning your motorcycle, you can keep that factory look and that not only makes you feel good but also preserves your hard-earned investment for future resale. Today’s motorcycles are expensive and use exotic materials that are important to the overall look and function of the machine, but there are products available that can not only clean your ride properly, but help preserve these materials so they can perform as they were originally designed. Have a though to share? Hit us up in the comments section below!
  4. Agree with some of what you've said...but I don't think this article is aimed at "vintage riders". That group usually has a great grasp on basic maintenance. Keep in mind that for many casual riders an older bike is fine. When riding at a track or racing that usually won't cut the mustard. I have a 2001 YZ125/144 that I'm upgrading now and there are a lot of small improvements that can make this bike an amazing practice and casual vet racing bike...and that's just what I want to use it for! Thanks for checking out the article.
  5. But the problem is many riders don't grasp it! If everyone did you'd see a lot more older bikes out there.
  6. That's a good point and will be covered in upcoming features as it's hard to cover that topic in a page or two! Thanks for checking out the article.
  7. I would've "gone there" in regards to top ends but this was supposed to be more budget oriented. Yeah you can do a 2-smoker cheap...that just doesn't apply when it come to 4-strokers. Thanks for reading!
  8. In today’s challenging economic climate and this election year, the off-road motorcycle industry is moving slowly. Racing programs are being cut or even eliminated, and new bike sales are only up slightly. 2015 sales numbers have just been tabulated by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and at 730,000 units the total of motorcycle and ATV sales combined was only up 2.2% over 2014. Many riders are feeling the pinch and to that end we’re keeping our bikes longer and spending more money on maintenance and upgrade items than saving up for a new ride. Putting miles on off-road machines is hard on your equipment and your motorcycle requires at least the basic maintenance to get you through the day without mechanical or safety-related failures. With that in mind, we’ve put together 7 great inexpensive, cheap or even free ways to keep your older ride ready to hit the track or trail… #1 - EXHAUST PACKING: WHY YOU SHOULD CHANGE IT Experienced riders and racers know that a dirty, spooge-filled exhaust can limit an engine from reaching its full potential because you can just hear the difference once you spend enough time around these machines…but we never realized how much until we talked to the good folks at FMF Racing about how this maintenance items can impact riders and racers. Research by FMF has shown up to a 2 horsepower loss from blown muffler packing and that regular replacement can help restore top end power, improve throttle response and extend muffler life. Maybe the best reason is to reduce sound levels and help keep our riding areas open! To inspect your exhaust for packing issues, it’s best to remove the rivets and replace, depending on how many hours the machine is operating. Signs of needing replacement include excessive noise and pieces of baffle material leaving (being blown out) the canister. We’ve done this procedure many times and it’s rare that we see a muffler unit that isn’t past due for it to be done so if you stay on top of it you may always have an extra horsepower or two more than the rider next to you and that’s always a plus. FMF also has a good video explaining this process and you can see it here: REPACKING VIDEO #2 - OVERSIZED FOOTPEGS: GET CONTROL OF YOUR RIDE Photo: Footpegs have changed dramatically over the years If you’ve ever wondered why larger footpegs on off-road machines are so popular, you need to look back in the evolution of our machines…in the 60’s and 70’s even though motocross was becoming popular in the USA, the machines ridden had footpegs that were narrow, easily packed with dirt and mud, slippery when wet and weak. Controlling your motorcycle has a lot to do with being able to react quickly to obstacles when presented in real-time and being able to distribute your weight with the maximum amount of control and balance…and if you’ve ever had these issues due to inadequate pegs when riding you know they can make a fun day short or a short race really long when they aren’t right. To address this problem, aftermarket companies began to produce lighter, wider and stronger designs which incorporated open sections that were tapered in order to facilitate shedding debris faster, keeping the teeth clear for better boot to tooth contact. Fast forward to the present day and footpegs have achieved the status that they deserve and not only have the factory production pegs improved greatly, but some aftermarket examples like the Fastway Evolution III from Pro Moto Billet offer even more features like a reversible collar system that gives the capability to raise or lower the footpegs roughly 8-10mm, giving taller riders extra leg room, replaceable traction cleats for easy maintenance and adjustable camber for added comfort and control. #3 - BEARING REPLACEMENTS: BORING BUT EXTREMELY NECESSARY Bearings…they keep our machines rolling and operating smoothly but who wants to go through their ride looking for bearing issues? It’s certainly not as cool as installing a new pipe or engine upgrade…but it’s even more important! Bearings are the foundations upon which our machines run and roll and without them working correctly - disasters await. Bearing failures are always serious and can cost you many weeks of missed riding due to engine/mechanical issues, not to mention chance of serious injury to your person, so let’s see what we can do to avoid that drama entirely. Front to back some of the bearing sets you need to pay attention to include: front wheel bearings, steering stem, swingarm, shock linkages and rear wheel bearings as all of these take tremendous abuse in off-road motorcycles. Photo: Swingarm bearings live in a brutal environment We talked with the folks at Motion Pro (who make some of the best tools to make replacing these items easier) about what kinds of bearings need the most attention. “Kind of an open question, it really does depend on what part of the country, the type of riding, weather and maintenance…also how much power washing is done. Swingarm (and associated linkages) and PDS bearing seem to get the most abuse…….they are moving parts that are exposed to the elements. Steering stem bearings (and) races are probably the most neglected. Wheel bearing get hammered a ton and most home mechanics should be able to replace them on their own….’’ Motion Pro makes some of our favorite tools for these jobs like the Steering Head Bearing Race Driver and Deluxe Suspension Bearing Service Tool which are the right tools for the job and can make these procedures much easier and precise. #4 - TIRE PRESSURE: FIVE MINUTES CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE Sometimes the simplest of maintenance items are the ones we overlook and one of those is certainly tire pressure, but it's vitally important and should not be overlooked. This small patch of rubber is your interface to the trail and holds the key to great handling in it's bag of tricks. We asked some questions of our friends at Michelin North America about off-road motorcycle tire pressures and some reasons why it should checked every time you go riding. How should riders properly check their tire pressures, should the tire be hot/cold? Pressure should always be checked before riding, especially if the motorcycle has sat, because air pressure decreases over time, typically at a rate of 1psi per month. It should be checked and adjusted when the tire is cold, meaning the tire’s temperature is equivalent to ambient temperature and riders should check pressure using an accurate, trusted pressure gauge. What type of installation and inspection should be done on both the tire valve and rim lock? When installing a tube, the valve should be positioned perpendicular to the rim (pointing directly towards the center of the wheel) and should be monitored regularly during the life of the tire to ensure that the valve stem is not beginning to lean. If the valve begins to lean, this indicates that the tire is slipping on the rim, and if not addressed, will result in a flat tire once the tube tears at the base of the valve. One common mistake riders make is tightening the external valve nut down against the rim which mechanically holds the valve stem in place, preventing the rider from seeing the warning signs of a leaning valve stem. Michelin recommends using the external valve nut as a locking nut against the valve cap to allow the rider to see any signs of the tire slipping on the rim and to ensure that the valve cap doesn’t come off, exposing the valve core to potential damage from debris. Photo: Pay close attention the the valve stem position What tire pressures are good for what? For example, should riders use less pressure for more traction? For motocross and off-road tire applications, tire pressure is a very subjective setting and often times riders’ base pressure settings vary depending upon their combined rider / motorcycle weight and the conditions in which they ride. For the new Michelin Starcross 5 tires, we recommend a base setting of 12.5 psi to 13.5 psi for optimum performance in a variety of terrain. Consumers can use a slightly lower pressure for muddy conditions as this will allow more casing flex of the tire, which can help facilitate mud evacuation from the contact patch. Lower pressure will increase size of the contact patch and can improve traction in certain conditions. For extremely rocky or challenging conditions that increase the chance of a puncture or pinch flat, consumers should use a slightly higher pressure to provide a more robust tire / tube combination. Are there any tools that are recommended like a low pressure gauge? Michelin recommends making air pressure adjustments for off-road tire applications in 0.5 psi increments to evaluate the change in tire performance and impact on suspension settings and it’s best to use a quality low pressure gauge to ensure these subtle changes are accurately measured. Photo: Use the correct equipment when checking tire pressures #5 - FORK OIL: WHATS INSIDE THOSE TUBES? Suspension is key to your motorcycle’s handling and safety and it’s made up of several parts that work in unison, including your front forks and rear shock. Many machines come setup for 160 pound riders and many riders never even change these settings, much to their detriment. Today’s multi-adjustable suspensions provide amazing compliance when tuned and serviced correctly, and provide correspondingly bad performance when overlooked. One area that we know escapes the inspection by many bike owners is the fork oil. Fork oil provides the ability for your forks to change characteristics rapidly as the terrain demands, through different valving and spring combinations that use fork oil for compression and damping features. We spoke to our friends at Race Tech for some advice on how to insure your fork oil stays fresh and up to the task. Race Tech recommends rebuilding your suspension with fresh fluids every 20-30 hours because an over-used fork fluid will begin to break down changing your damping characteristics and potentially allow expensive damage inside your suspension. All suspension fluids are not created equally; do your research. We prefer Race Tech Ultra Slick Suspension Fluids because they are slippery, temperature stable, long wearing and non-foaming suspension fluid. As far as, weight/oil level, it can be found easily on the Valving Search per model. Photo: Forks are precision instruments and should be serviced regularly for best performance If thinking about upgrading or working on your suspension, check out the to the Tech Support button at RaceTech as there is some good information there. #6 - BRAKING MAINTENANCE: TO GO FAST YOU NEED TO STOP FAST Another often overlooked player in the off-road motorcycle equation is the braking system(s). Many riders don’t address the brakes until braking performance suffers to the point of being dangerous. Conditions that can adversely affect braking performance can include master cylinder reservoir fluid level dropping rapidly, brake noise modulating and brake lever and/or pedal travel increasing when applying the brakes. There are different aspects of your brakes you need to keep on top of and the first are the actual brake pads and rotors, because they see the most wear and have a such an important role in slowing and stopping your machine. Photo: Many different components must be inspected to insure braking performance As your brake pads wear, the metal backing will eventually surface and start to actually contact the rotor, causing damage and many times requiring a replacement so you can’t allow this to happen. Rule of thumb is to change your brake pads at the first sign it’s required and you can check your owner's manual for specs on at what point brake pads should be changed. It’s easy to see approximately how much material is left on the pads and it’s a usually simple procedure to drop the pads out of the calipers and check the thickness when you think you’re getting close to the wear limit. Brake rotors can be visually inspected for signs of stress cracking and warping before riding and these conditions can sometimes be felt while applying the brakes. Run your fingernail across both sides of the disc…are there any deep grooves or excessive scoring on the surface? Are there any visible cracks? If you see any of these conditions, you’ll want to find out why they’re happening and correct the situation immediately. Next up is to visually inspect your brake lines and all associated fittings for any signs of seepage or leaking of brake fluid. The fluid must be absolutely clean and free of any type of contaminants and if not, must be replaced immediately. Brake fluid is also corrosive to painted surfaces and can react with other types of chemicals in a negative manner so caution must be used during the handling and storage. Check the top(s) of the brake reservoirs…are they clean and dry and hardware tight? Is the fluid at the appropriate level as specified in your owner’s manual? Does it look clean and clear? If not, time to delve deeper into the problem and fix it before riding again. Brake fluid comes in different types and it’s important you use the correct type and volume as specified in your owner’s manual…failure to do so can result in damage to both expensive components as well as your body after not being able to stop! # 7 - SETTING YOUR SAG: YOU NEED AN ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT One of those mystical procedures in our sport is this thing called “setting your sag” and I never see riders doing it! I’ve done it many times but still don’t know if I’ve got it down perfect and it’s not something I look forward to doing, but when I do get it done, I can feel the results. The rear of the bike is especially compliant with my light weight and the rebound fells like its hugging the ground on the smaller stutter bumps… as well as being easier to set up into fast sweepers and switchbacks where the bike loads and unloads the suspension fairly rapidly. So it’s worth doing and doing it right…we asked the experts at MoTool about setting sag properly, why you should do it and a bit about their new digital Slacker scale which can make this task a lot simpler, faster and with more accuracy. Riders should be concerned with setting their sag because every bike is designed to sit in a certain posture regardless of the rider’s weight and this determines how the bike handles. The suspension should compress or “sag” the same amount for every rider. The key is to preload the springs more or less depending on the rider. Sometimes you may even require softer or stiffer springs depending on your weight and the particular bike. Sag can also be adjusted for varying conditions. For fast conditions, run a little more sag in the rear so the bike is stable at speed or, for tighter conditions, you can run less sag which produces a steeper fork rake and thus the bike turns better. This is the most misunderstood and overlooked settings when it comes to suspension setup. If the bike is not setup properly it will become unpredictable and unsafe. This setting is definitely as important for casual play riders as it is for seasoned pros as it assures it will perform as the manufacturer intended. How is it done conventionally? Conventionally it took at least two people to take the measurement. One, taking the measurements and two, the rider that has to be on the bike. A measurement was taken with the suspension unloaded then another was taken with the rider. The second measurement was subtracted from the first to get the actual sag measurement. It always required at least another person and there was a lot of room for error in how/where it was measured and in making sure the math was right. Photo: The MoTool Digital Slacker sag tool How is it done using the Motool Slacker digital sag scale? With Slacker, you simply put the tool on the bike with the suspension unloaded and turn it on or you can use the new Auto Zero feature if the suspension is not unloaded when Slacker is mounted. Then just mount the bike and it will show you the measurement in real-time on the remote display as well as the main unit which is attached to the axle. This allows a single person to quickly and easily take a precise measurement by simply leaning against a wall or vehicle with an elbow to balance and looking at the remote LCD display. Even if you have a helper, Slacker is much faster and more accurate than a tape measure or sag stick. No matter how you do it, you should be checking your sag regularly and adjusting for different conditions pretty much every ride. Note: Setting your sag can sometimes be a long and complicated procedure, so our friends at Race Tech have devoted a page to show you how to do it. In conclusion, maintaining your off-road motorcycle is vitally important to staying safe and being fast while piloting your iron steed. By properly keeping maintenance items as described above at the top of your riding checklist, you not only insure you maintain the highest performance your bike is capable of, but also increases the safety, handling and control of your machine…it just can’t be overlooked as your life can depend on it. Of course, this list isn't meant to be exhaustive; we know there are more ways to improve the feel of your bike. That's where we'd like to hear from you! Hit us up in the comment section below and share your methods for bringing back the like-new performance and feel of your not so new ride.
    Project in progress
  9. When we ride off-road motorcycles, we yearn for adventure and adrenaline…sounds corny but its true right? And nothing is cooler than checking out a new riding spot that blows away that same old place you’ve been doing your thing at all these years. Riding in far-off and unfamiliar places tests your skills and your ability to adapt, which is key to being a good rider. Always testing your limits can provide an adrenaline rush that nothing else can match and that’s why we all ride anyway! In our first installment of this popular series we looked at riding destinations like Costa Rica, Patagonia and Peru. Now we extend that net to include even more exotic riding hot spots like Thailand, New Zealand, and even Mongolia! We spoke to a few different tour operators in-between trips and we tried to consolidate their comments into an easy-to-read list of different options so you can compare what’s out there. Always be sure to contact the tour operations directly at the links provided before making any plans in stone. That said, click to page two to check out these Ultimate Riding Destinations – Places To Ride Before You Die… RIDE SOUTH AFRICA with MOTO ADVENTURES Can you give us a compelling reason to ride in South Africa? Our experience gained over more than 20 years of operating motorcycle tours is one big reason. This is a small family owned business so you always have guidance from the owners, John…as motorcycle guide and Su…as 4x4 driver/logistics. Our routes take you away from the normal tourist ones, (because they are) part asphalt and part gravel/off-road. What one or two unique things can you offer that others may not? There is a dedicated paramedic on tour as well as a GPS on every bike with that day’s route marked as magenta line to follow. We run our adventures quite freely allowing the bikers to space out, follow their own pace and likes, thereby avoiding dust or any feeling of pressure to keep up. Our tours combine asphalt, off-road and gravel and we offer brand new bikes every year, all BMWGS1200 LC’s or BMWGS800’s are available as well. Is there a particular piece of South African scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? The photos of the first adventure in 2016 (from Cape Town to Victoria Falls) should give readers an idea of what to expect. See photos below. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? The tour prices for the 17 day adventure in 2017 will be $7075 for riders and a biker place and $5240 for either a motorcycle passenger or 4x4 passengers. Fuel not included plan on about $400 per trip. What accommodations are supplied? Riders will stay in top quality African lodges and tented camps. What is the local currency used? ZARs, Botswana pula, Namibian dollars and US Dollars are all accepted. What bikes are used? Brand new BMW GS1200 LC (GS800 available if preferred) How long are the tours? Tours are 17 days long, including day of arrival and departure. There is one day off during the tour. How many riders per tour? There are 15 to 20 riders per tour (plus 5 non-bikers and 3 team members). Where would riders fly in? Cape Town or Victoria Falls, depending on tour chosen and airport transfers to and from our tour hotels at beginning and ends of tours are included. Photo: Riding in South Africa Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact Moto-Adventures South Africa for more information Up next: Ride Mongolia! RIDE MONGOLIA with OFF THE MAP TOURS Can you give us a compelling reason to ride in Mongolia? There’s so much space to ride and very few people have done it before by motorcycle, (so they) take you to places that other tourists never reach. Off The Map believes to do a motorcycle tour in Mongolia without their guidance would take months of organisation and stress…and you still might not get to see the best of Mongolia. What one or two unique things can Mongolia offer that others may not? When you’re riding you can often see 50 kilometres (31 miles) in every direction. You’ll see mountains, canyons, volcanos and amazing features, but there are no other tourists. As a bonus the nomadic culture is fascinating and has changed little since the days of Genghis Khan in the 13th century. Is there a particular piece of Mongolian scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? Some of these tours go to places that are completely off the tourist trail and have never been visited by tourists before such as the Master Rally Tour and trail to the birthplace of Genghis Khan. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? Three to eight day tours cost approximately $250 to $300 per day (and this includes support vehicles, staff, mechanics, lead rider, accommodation and meals). There is also the bike rental of $130 per day for a KTM450EXC including fuel. What accommodations are supplied? Either ger camps – traditional Mongolian yurts with associated restaurant and shower facilities, or on most remote tours camping in Western-style dome tents. What kind of food is offered? Mostly European style food and all meals are provided. What is the local currency used? Mongolian Tugrik What bikes are used? 2016-2016 KTM 450EXC’s How long are the tours? Three to eight days riding in length. How many riders per tour? Four to ten riders per tour. Where would riders fly in? Chenggis Khan International airport, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and airport transfers cost approx. $20. Photo: Riding in Mongolia Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact Off The Map Tours for more information. Up Next: Ride Cyprus! RIDE CYPRUS with EXCLAIM ENDURO TOURS What compelling and unique things does Cyprus offer that others may not? Exclaim Tours has been riding with guests since 2009. Tours are tailored to the experience level of the guests, from Level 1 (never been off road before) to Level 10 and even offer an enduro school for complete beginners. Cyprus is enduro adventure paradise, with some of the most diverse riding terrain in Europe, accessible directly from their two in the stunning Troodos Mountains. Romaniacs, Hell’s Gate, Erzberg, etc… Cyprus has it all, and from ancient times Cyprus was called the “Island of the Sun” because the sun shines for 340 days a year. Is there a particular piece of Cyprus scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? In the upper Troodos Mountains there are two Exclaim signature trails. One is the infamous Viper Trail ( ) which meanders down a stunning ravine. It has everything an enduro rider could hope for: river crossings, challenging climbs, rocky sections and jumps. The other signature trail is actually a hill climb, called 'K1' ( ) - 800 meters of steep loose rocky fire break. Many riders have made it to the top and have not, but keep on coming back for more. One of the favorite areas is called 'Bikers' Paradise', you can spend all day there as it offers a huge variety of riding terrain, and Exclaim uses it for Enduro School. Level 1 riders learn climbing techniques, and after some encouragement and instruction, the guests are climbing and descending hills that they never would have believed they were capable of. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? The rate per day is $200, with a 10% Discount for three or more bookings. This price includes use of a vast array of cool bikes like new Beta’s, gear, fuel, two guides/instructors with helmet cams, free music edited video uploaded onto YouTube. Meals, drinks, medical insurance, courage, broken bike are not included and there is a $100 refundable deposit to cover possible motorcycle damage. What accommodations are supplied? Exclaim’s preferred hotel for their guests is the 4 star Mediterranean Beach Hotel in Limassol (Exclaim receives preferential rates for their guests, however cheaper accommodations are available for those on a budget.) The city also offers many bars, cafes, pubs and clubs. What is the local currency used? Cyprus is part of the European Union and the local currency used is the Euro. What bikes are used? Beta Electronic Oil Injection two-strokes and EFI four-strokes are used and currently Exclaim have two 350 RR 4T, two 250 RR 2T, the Beta XTrainer 2T, as well as a KTM 250 XC-F, a KTM 350 XC-W, and a AJP PR3 200 (for the low seat height). How long are the tours? The tours are daily, with six hour days, from 9.30am to 3.30pm How many riders per tour? Tours are limited to six riders. Where would riders fly in? Cyprus at either Larnaca or Paphos, both less than an hour away. Photo: Riding in Cyprus Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact for Exclaim Enduro Tours for more information. Up Next: Ride Thailand! RIDE THAILAND with XTREME ENDURO THAILAND Can you give us a compelling reason to ride in Thailand? Riders go deep into the jungles and ride through canopy covered bush with tight single lane trails and what makes riding in Thailand so great (specifically the province of Chonburi Pattaya) is the diversity riders will experience. We take riders through pineapple plantations, tapioca plantations, stopping at beautiful Buddhist temples along the way. Outside of riding our customers cannot compare the nightlife in Pattaya to anything they have ever seen anywhere in the world and having a few cold beers after a long hard ride takes on a whole new meaning here. Is there a particular piece of Thai scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? Boulder Mountain is Red Bull worthy…and we also take riders to "F### Me Mountain" - there is an actual sign on the top of the mountain that reads this because it’s how you feel and it’s your first thought after completing it. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? The costs are $100 for a half day and $150 for a full day and lunch is included. What accommodations are available? There is a small resort next door to the shop and the trails are just minutes away from there. What kind of food is offered? Thai food (lunch included) is offered and riders can order anything they like including pad thai, chicken/shrimp, fried rice, noodles, soups, etc. What is the local currency used? The Thai Bhat is used here. What bikes are used? KTM 250 and 350EXC’s and modified Honda CRF250L’s with upgraded Ohlins suspensions front and rear. How long are the tours? Half days (three hrs) and full days (six hrs). How many riders per tour? Usually two to six riders per tour. Where would riders fly in? Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and airport transportation is provided. Photo: Riding in Thailand Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact for Xtreme Enduro Thailand for more information. Up Next: Ride New Zealand! RIDE NEW ZEALAND with ADVENTURE RIDE TOURS Can you give us a compelling reason to ride in New Zealand? New Zealand is a long way from the rest of the world, this has kept the country isolated and all the riding is all on privately owned land. Is there a particular piece of New Zealand’s scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? South Island is dirtbike paradise and after fifteen years we know all the good places to ride and have an amazing network of private farms and trails we can ride. New Zealand is a rugged country with challenging terrain, then it can rain and we love riding in mud. I personally ride a Suzuki DRZ 250 for guiding as we do have to open and close some farm gates along the way. We have a selection of tours for all ability riders with coaching very popular with beginner riders. A half day off-road tour is long enough unless you are an experienced rider with the fitness to do a Full Mountain one day off-road tour at Mt Torlesse, Springfield our off-road riding venue. We often take out one rider for a day tour as then we can select trails to suit the riders’ interest which really gets really exciting if they like to do the Extreme Enduro routes. If you were thinking of a doing a multi day off-road tour we have set dates operating from January through May. This is definitely the best time of year to travel to New Zealand. We have a 5 Day Canterbury Trails Tour which is different terrain every day North of Christchurch and a 5 Day McKenzie Country Tour which is high country South of Christchurch in the central South Island based at Lake Tekapo. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? Prices start at $390 per day. We can provide all riding gear like boots and clothing but if you are doing a multi day tour you might want to bring your own for comfort. What accommodations are supplied? Country hotel, motel and exclusive farm stay are supplied. What kind of food is offered? European style food. What is the local currency used? New Zealand Dollar. What bikes are used? Honda, Suzuki and KTM are offered. How long are the tours? Half Day to 10 Day tours are offered. How many riders per tour? Two to five riders per tour. Where would riders fly in? Riders fly into Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Riding in New Zealand Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact for AdventureTrailrides New Zealand for more information. Up Next: Ride Las Vegas! RIDE LAS VEGAS with AdMo TOURS What one or two unique things can you offer that others may not? One of the things that sets AdMo apart is the ability to provide fully customizable and permitted tours (fully legal riding). Would you like to join our prescheduled standard 450mile Los Angles to Las Vegas tour? Great! Would you like to bring your group for a special adventure, add additional days exploring more of the remote highlights of Death Valley or the San Bernardino Mountains? Even better. AdMo has the ability to make this a three, four, five, even a six day tour if you desire. Video highlights of both tours can be found . All tours are with thoughtful selected accommodations, trained guides with satellite communication, a support vehicle nearby and a spare bike in reach. Our tours are adventures for the true rider, being rough during the day but also enjoying a good meal and quality accommodation each night. Is there a particular piece of scenery or terrain that can only be had on your outings? We ride remote locations of the Mojave many locals haven’t even seen. Each LA2Vegas tour offers a chance to ride a set of huge dunes and Death Valley is a highlight. Every mine, every spring, every spectacular remote road and viewpoint that lies in Death Valley is up for grabs. Imagine standing atop Dante's View (5476 ft), gazing down at the Badwater Basin (-282) straight below. Maybe you'll visit Barker Ranch where they finally caught up with Charles Manson. There's Race Track dry lake during our “Where Cars Don’t Dare Tour” where the self-propelled rocks have baffled geologists for decades. Or maybe you'll visit a ghost town along the way? Wherever your adventure leads you, a chlorine-free spring fed pool, a stunning sunset, and a first class steakhouse awaits you and your guests that evening. The Dirty Details: How much is the cost? A day of tour runs around $900, including just about everything; bikes, accommodations, meals, snacks and refreshments, support vehicle, access to spare bike, guides in a ratio with maximum 5 customers per guide. We charge 25% at the time of reservation and the remaining balance 6 weeks in advance. What accommodations are supplied? With regards to the LA2Vegas tour, the accommodations are beyond reproach. Clients are always amazed when we pull up to a lush grassy haven, knowing they are in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Lakes with islands in them, horses roaming the shady grass shores, swimming pools, and a great restaurant await the riders on the first day. On day two, Furnace Creek in Death Valley is equally impressive. Depending on the length of a custom tour, we have access to beautiful mountain resorts nestled in the towering pine trees of the San Bernardino Mountains and we pick the type of accommodations which you will remember for its beautiful setup, unique location or special service. What kind of food is offered? By and large, our food selection is purely American during the LA2Vegas Tours; such as bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy at breakfast, perhaps a cheeseburger, French fries and a Coke for lunch and a steak or bbq ribs with a baked potato for dinner. This is but one example. All eating requirements and dietary needs can be met with no problem. What is the local currency used? The US Dollar. What bikes are used? KTM 450EXC's and a few Suzuki 400DRZ Dual Sport bikes included with the LA2Vegas tour and the bikes can be rented individually if they are not booked on tours. All our bikes are setup with knobby tires, skid plates, radiator brace, hand guards, etc. How long are the tours? The LA2Vegas is a 450 mile plus, 3 day tour. Every day is a full day of riding (6-8hrs). Typically we expect 120 - 185 miles a day, depending on the day’s route and group preference. How many riders per tour? Tours start with a minimum of 4 riders and up to maximum of 10. We use a guide client ratio of 1 guide to maximum of 4 riders, so a group of 5 to 8 riders have 2 guides and 9+ riders have 3 guides. This allows us to adjust to different riding styles. Where would riders fly in? There are a number of major international airports in the greater Los Angeles area. Ontario International (ONT) is far and away the most convenient to the LA2Vegas tour start. This is a one way tour and the clients need to arrange transportation at the end of tour out of Las Vegas. We are always open to provide recommendations or even setup client transportation from and to Airport or Hotel. Photo: Riding in Las Vegas Click on thumbnails for more photos: Contact for AdMo Tours for more information. As presented in this series, there are so many amazing options for getting out, seeing the world, and riding at the same time. Now this is our idea of the perfect vacation! From the sunny shores and rocky trails of Cyprus to the incredible scenery and culture of Mongolia, to fun and adventure in Las Vegas desert, it’s your world to explore, so see it on two wheels…before you die! The clock is tickin', so what are you waiting for? What places are on you bucket list? Which have you checked off the list? Let us know in the comments section below!
  10. They went out of biz, right? I heard it was a good product!
  11. Wow that sucks! What kind of battery was it?