- It’s What We Do
- KTM Adventure Rallye
- The Great Australian Ride – Coast to coast and the right to boast
- Triple treat – Three VSM Africa CRF1000Ls
- Touratech Challenge – Everyone’s a winner
- Ténéré Tragics: Tasmanian devils
- Mongolia – Britton Adventures steppes up
- KTM 2017 Adventure – First impressions
- BMW Rallye X – The new star in the R1200GS range
- Major Mitchell Trail Part Two – The odyssey continues
- Bright Sparks – Thrills and spills in the Victorian hills
- Choose from the menu – The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro hits the desert dust
- Tech – Pinlock
- Congregations – West Aussie is in!
- All in the mind with Karen Ramsay
- Fit out
On a recent BMW ride I got stuck on a hill.
There’s nothing unusual about me being stuck on hills, and I know what needs to be done. I was lucky there were a few kind souls around who helped me heft the bike up on its wheels and bulldog it around. I rode it back down, spun it around, eyed in my line, and had another crack at it.
Unsurprisingly, I cocked it all up and was once again left with a 1200cc adventure bike on its side on a loose, rocky hill, and once again it needed to be wrestled upright, wrangled around, ridden back down, and, much to every-one’s relief, ridden up without a hitch on the third attempt.
As I sat there on the top of that not-very-challenging ascent trying to catch my breath – hoping veins wouldn’t explode from my temples – I started thinking of some of the everyday riding situations that can go from ‘tough’ to ‘scary’ when a rider moves from a small-capacity trail or enduro bike up to a big-horsepower adventure mount.
Botched hill climbs are a good example.
They can be nasty, heart-attack incidents for a fit young rider on a lightweight two-stroke. For a more mature rider on “For some riders it’s rocks. Others turn pale at the sight of wet clay. Riding in the dark on trails and terrain a rider doesn’t know well will often cause sphincters to pucker. ” a 260kg adventure bike it can be a seriously threatening issue.
Deep sand, for sure. That one’s a personal nightmare of mine. I can make my way through sand, but it doesn’t come naturally to me and I burn enormous amounts of energy consciously telling myself, “Weight back. Power on. Don’t fight the bike,” and trying to make myself do it. As I sit here writing this I’m still astonished at just how much energy that kind of riding saps from me.
For some riders it’s rocks. Others turn pale at the sight of wet clay. Riding in the dark on trails and terrain a rider doesn’t know well will often cause sphincters to pucker.
Flat tyres? Electronic problems? Being caught under the bike? All these things are seriously challenging and can cause genuine anxiety that may push riders beyond their physical limits.
But then, as my breathing slowed and it became apparent I wasn’t going to chuck a thrombo on that slope in Victoria, I thought of the toughest challenge of all for big adventure-bike riders. I thought of the Ducati in the Adventure Rider Magazine shed. I pictured in my mind the Triumph Explorer. The release of the 2017 KTM models was just a few days away.
MY heart rate began to climb again.
The new V-Stroms had been on display at the Touratech Adventure Challenge and looked awesome. Yamaha’s Super T…
my breathing became labored and I once again felt the strength drain from my legs and arms.
Surely that’s the scariest and most difficult aspect of the big-bike market.
When it comes time to slap between $20,000 and $30,000 on the counter, which bike should you have?