Last April, Dakar Rally veterans Darren Skilton and Scott Whitney brought their vast knowledge and unique experience to a brand new off-road rally held in the intoxicating and massive sand dunes of Mexico's Sonora desert -- dunes that rival those in Africa and surpass those found in South America. Set to run under its new "Sonora Rally" name (it was formally known as the Cortez Rally), they have announced the 2016 event will run from April 4-7th, with registration and the rally school scheduled for April 3rd.

Limited to an exclusive field of just 40 entries, the veteran racing duo have also announced that 2016 Sonora Rally registration will open in October and includes categories for cars, trucks, motorcycles, UTV and quads. In addition, next year's event will also feature several new ways to participate.

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For their first rally, Skilton and Whitney worked with the National Off Road Racing Association (NORRA) to give racers the opportunity to experience a true North American cross-country navigation rally through varied desert terrain never previously used for competition.

Next year, with a new name and an all-new course, the 2016 Sonora Rally will again lead competitors through spectacular scenery and challenging navigation. The only rally of its kind in North America, Sonora Rally competitors must use true, Dakar-style “HP Navigation” (coming from the French phrase “Hors Piste” meaning "off-track"). Participants will be able to follow existing trails until arriving in the sand dune areas at which point they will have to navigate and finish via compass and expert Scott Whitney's road books.

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The four-day event will include a new version of last year’s popular bivouac which will give competitors and crew a central location to gather and camp in the stunningly beautiful dunes. Created by AdventuraTravel.com, the bivouac will be complete with The Sonora Cantina, new camp-style showers and bathroom facilities as well as 24-hour food availability.

Each entry will include a half-day rally school, making this world-class adventure accessible to all levels. "The overwhelmingly positive response we received from last year’s competitors was all we needed to bring this rally back in 2016," said Skilton, "We are looking forward to giving this year’s competitors an even better adventure and race experience, with new trails and terrain undiscovered by the off-road motorsports world!" SonoraRally.com

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The much anticipated Africa Twin has finally made its way across the Pacific. The very first showing of the CRF1000L occured today at the Longbeach IMS show. And the crowd was nervous with anticipation as Honda finally pulled the cover. US MSRP has been set at $12,999.00. Add an additional $700.00 if you fancy the DCT automatic transmission. Honda is projecting deliveries for May 2016. Powersports.Honda.com

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With the arrival of this 1,000cc ADV contender we're sure to see some shift in the North American adventure market.  As more large and small displacement bikes become available each year, we welcome a more diverse selection of models for all types of riders.

What impact do you think the new Africa Twin will have on the global or American market? 

For a first hand riding impression of new CRF1000L, check out "Five Reasons to Like the Africa Twin."

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Looking for fun creek crossings? Look no further, this is the dual sport ride for you. Join Sierra Nevada Adventures November 21 on their Amador Gold Country dual sport adventure ride. Explore some of the best country roads, dirt roads and historic gold mining sites in the western edge of Amador County. This dual sport adventure ride is perfect for Spring or Fall season dual sport riding because it takes advantage of some of the best low elevation Sierra Foothills that exist.

Your adventure begins on the western edge of the Sierra Nevadas and before long the pavement ends and the adventure begins as you explore fun dirt roads and exciting creek crossings through groves of oaks and pine covered foothills. Further off the beaten path your adventure explores some of the riches hard-rock mines in the California Gold Country.

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After the placer gold rush between 1848 and the 1850's the miners began to dig deep into the earth in search of the rich gold veins locked into the quartz rock. The largest vein within the Sierra Nevada is the Mother Lode vein located between Oakhurst near Yosemite and Georgetown in El Dorado County. The 20-mile stretch from the Mokelumne River and the Consumnes River was the richest, producing over $160 million in gold between 1851 and 1942. (Current value over $3.5 billion).

The first hard-rock mines were found in Amador City in 1851, the original Minister's Claim and Spring Hill mine were the first few mines founded and soon after many other mines followed. By the 1870s & 1880s, Amador County had over 300 hard-rock mines in operation with some mine shafts over a mile deep into the earth.

The Amador Gold Country dual sport adventure ride explores the ruins of many of these hard-rock mines such as the Bunker Hill Mine, Fremont Mine and the Treasure Mine. The historic dirt mining roads within the dual sport adventure ride will also take you through Michigan Bar, Amador City, Sutter Creek, and Drytown, which is the oldest town in Amador County.

Mining for gold began in Drytown in the spring of 1848 when miners discovered gold in the rich gravels along Dry Creek. Although the creek may have run dry during the summer months, legend has it the town never did, as an old story claims some twenty-six saloons wet the miners thirst during the 1850s and today the only wet spot in Drytown is the road-side Drytown Club. Single-Day Ride $50.00 ($40.00 Member Price) SierraNevadaAdventures.com

gallery4BajaRallyMoto.com announced that the unprecedented BAJA RALLY 2.0 has been re-scheduled for September 24th-28th, 2014 from its prior date in May, 2014.

“We find better weather conditions in the fall season and want to attract more of the world’s top rally racers to Baja CA”, explains BAJA RALLY creator Scotty Breauxman, “This move also allows more time for those racers who want to travel from overseas to race a true navigation rally here in North America.”

The 5 day BAJA RALLY 2.0 will feature 4 days of timed special stages combined with liaison transfer stages and neutralization zones which will total more than 800 miles and travel through a handful of smaller and unique Baja destinations. Among the innovations are catered meals and camping in remote, overnight destinations. The BAJA RALLY has the full backing and support of Baja CA’s State and local governments.

“Part of the BAJA RALLY mission is to teach culture and history to our riders and their crews while we introduce navigation-rally to the citizens of this beautiful state”, Breauxman continued, “We believe this will create more return tourism to Baja CA and showcase the state’s magic to the rest of the world.”

The inaugural BAJA RALLY took place over 2 days last October and attracted some of the biggest-named motorcycle riders from North America including DAKAR Rally veterans, Andy Grider, Quinn Cody, Octavio Valle and the legendary “Mr. Baja” Larry Roeseler.

The BAJA RALLY is the first and only pure navigation rally-raid for motorcycles only in Baja CA and promises an incomparable motorcycle adventure modeled after the worlds greatest rally to test riders’ navigation, endurance and skill like never before in the state of Baja CA.

For more details and information about this event, click HERE.

Apply to enter the BAJA RALLY HERE

 

Bell Helmets, purveyors of innovative head protection, recently debuted 200 limited edition Moto-9 helmets, honoring legendary off-road rider Kurt Caselli. All proceeds will go to The Kurt Caselli Foundation, which is focused on enhancing the safety of riders and racers in the off-road motorcycling industry.

“Kurt was a member of the Bell family and a great friend to many of us here. We are honored to offer this limited helmet in support of The Kurt Caselli Foundation, which shares our mission of advancing safety for riders,” said Chris Sackett, Bell Helmets Vice President. “Kurt was truly a legend and this helmet is a celebration of his life and achievements.”

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Kurt Caselli was an off-road motorcycle racer whose career included four Hare and Hound Championships, three WORCS championships, a completion of the 2010 Erzbergrodeo, winner of two stages of the 2013 Dakar Rally, multiple ISDE 6 Day gold medals and being named the AMA Sportsman of the Year in 2007. Caselli’s life was tragically cut short in an accident during the 2013 Baja 1000. Following the accident, The Kurt Caselli Foundation was launched with the mission of “protecting and supporting the lives of off-road motorcycle riders.” 

“Kurt was a loyal Bell athlete, proud of his association with Bell and the company’s legacy of helmet safety innovations for more than 60 years,” said Kurt’s family, and also Kurt’s professional ties at The Kurt Caselli Foundation. “The commemorative helmet is a very special way to continue Kurt’s legacy, and helps further the cause of rider safety.”

The Moto-9 features Bell’s lightweight composite “Tri-Matrix” shell, as well as a Velocity Flow Ventilation system for maximum cooling. The limited edition commemorative Moto-9 will be available online only. MSRP: $449.95 BellHelmets.com

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Scramblers – They were ridden by scores of movie heroes and amateur racers. With deep-tread tires, a raised exhaust, somewhat extended spring travel and a relaxed seating position, Scramblers offered riders during the 1950s to 1970s not just motorcycling fun on winding country roads, but also great off-road capability and an extended range of uses. Like the motorcycles themselves, the people who rode Scramblers were not bound by established conventions of time or place.

Now, BMW Motorrad presents the new BMW R nineT Scrambler, a motorcycle which revives the Scrambler era in a very unique way. It has everything that defines this motorcycle type – a distinct spirit created for motorcycle enthusiasts who love things that are pure, essential and non-conformist – combined with the technology and quality of a BMW. Together, with the R nineT Roadster, the BMW Scrambler establishes the new BMW Motorrad Heritage world of experience.

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The new BMW Motorrad Scrambler features a classic air-cooled, punchy flat-twin boxer engine, which has stood for hallmark design, powerful torque and a unique sound for more  than nine decades. The R nineT Scrambler is fitted with the air/oil-cooled boxer with a capacity of 1,170 cc. It delivers an output of 110 hp (81 kW) at 7,750 rpm, develops a maximum torque of 86 lb/ft (116 Nm) at 6,000 rpm and, with the new engine mapping and a fuel system including carbon canister, meets the requirements of the EU4 pollutant class.

With the new Scrambler as with the R nineT, BMW Motorrad has responded to the desire of many riders who want to be able to modify their bike according to their own personal taste. The spectrum of potential alterations ranges from original BMW Motorrad accessories to parts and accessories produced by customers to create a unique motorcycle.

The raised exhaust with two vertically arranged rear silencers meets the requirements of a classic Scrambler. It is fitted very close to the body of the bike, thereby reinforcing its generally slim appearance while producing a deep robust boxer sound. A large-size catalytic converter ensures even more effective exhaust gas cleaning.

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Similar to the R nineT Roadster, the frame concept is a key component of the Scrambler's extensive customization capabilities. The specially developed steel tubular space frame integrates the boxer engine as a load-bearing element and consists of a front section with integrated steering head and a rear section with swinging arm mount.

The passenger frame can be detached, giving the R nineT Scrambler a particularly unique appearance in combination with the single seat option. In line with the bike’s active riding character, the suspension geometry of the R nineT Scrambler is mainly geared towards sound handling and a neutral cornering response, providing ample riding fun on winding country roads.

In optimal Scrambler style, front wheel suspension is in the form of a telescopic fork with rubber gaiters and a spring travel of 4.9 inches. Rear wheel suspension is provided by a Paralever single-sided swing arm, similar to the other boxer models. Suspension and damping are provided via a central spring strut. The spring travel is 5.5 inches.

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The new BMW Scrambler is fitted with light alloy cast wheels. It has a large 19-inch front wheel with tire sizes of 120/70-19 at the front and 170/60-17 at the rear. In view of the impressive riding dynamics of the R nineT Scrambler, the brake system which comes with ABS as standard - is fitted with 4-piston calipers, steel-wrapped brake lines and 320-millimeter brake discs at the front. At the rear, effective deceleration is ensured by a single-disc brake with a diameter of 265 millimeters and a 2-piston floating caliper.

As equipped, the new BMW Scrambler enables two up riding. The seat height for the rider is approximately 32.3 inches, which in conjunction with a narrow inside leg width, provides comfortable seating for both rider and passenger. If the intention is to go on more ambitious solo rides, the passenger frame can simply be detached, giving the rear a particularly compact and light appearance. This reinforces the character of the R nineT Scrambler as an uncompromising riding machine reduced to the absolute essentials. BMWMotorcycles.com

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Adventure does not come in one way, shape or form and neither does the Cortech Sequoia XC jacket. Versatility is key in any adventure jacket and the Sequoia XC is as versatile as they come. For the hottest conditions, remove the waterproof and breathable insulated liner and remove the chest pockets and large rear mesh panel panels for flow-through ventilation.

If that does not cool you off enough, you can remove the sleeves as well. No matter what configuration of the jacket you use, you can always cool off by taking a drink of water from the modular backpack/hydration pack that integrates into the jacket design for better support and stability.

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The Cortech Sequoia XC pants are ready for any adventure just like the Sequoia XC jacket they zip to. A removable waterproof and breathable Rainguard barrier combines with zippered side vents and a breathable stretch material in the inseam to keep you cool on hot days. Cortech’s three-position knee armor is removable to accommodate your own personal knee brace if needed and the pant cuff features a large amount of adjustability to accommodate all different kinds of off-road boots. MSRP: $514.98 Cortech.com

 

Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right pair right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” Tire manufacturers must have taken this to heart, because they’ve created a vast selection of tires for the dual-sport community to choose from. It seems there’s an option for every type of riding, whether you’re a commuter that hits a gravel road on the way home, long distance adventure tourer, or weekend warrior looking to link trailhead to trailhead through twisty mountain roads.

If you’re looking to “conquer the world” via the unbeaten path, take a close look at the Motoz Tractionator Desert HT Tires. These tires were designed for hard trails, packed sand and fast rocky conditions, leading them to become a popular choice among rally competitors. Constructed with thicker sidewalls thehard compound Tractionator Desert HTs are built for heavy duty use and are DOT approved. The carcass is wrapped in thick rubber to protect against punctures and rubber cushion zones allow some flex, reducing chuck off.

The tread design creates an aggressive look, enough to conjure images of plowing through gnarly trails, even though the bike is sitting still right in front of you. A closer examination of the tread reveals a cup-like mid-section in the rear, which helps to dig in for traction on steep climbs or looser terrain. It’s also designed to catapult rocks at your buddies that are following too closely.

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A 21/18 combo was selected for our CRF250L Rally Replica. The front was easy to install, while the thicker rear took a bit of patience and some muscle. Since these are DOT tires, we thought we’d test them on the road first, and as expected they caused lots of vibration and noise. On the highway, the whirring of the tires was so loud it drowned out the sound of the CRF’s engine. The bike felt squirrely during cornering, whether it be an off-ramp or at inner city stoplights. In the wet our 250L felt even more unstable.

Trail terrain on the east coast is often rocky, with lots of changing elevation. The Tractionator Desert HTs excelled off road, especially during technical, root infested hill climbs. Our heavy CRF, which used to feel like a street based dual-sport, now feels more like a proper trail bike. The 250L doesn’t put out a lot of power, so late braking is required to keep up with the rest of the flock. The Tractionators give a lot of feedback, inspiring confidence to be aggressive with the brakes and “backing it” into corners. They provide so much traction upon acceleration in the dirt, that a quick jab at the clutch is required to kick the rear out around corners.

Through mud, the front feels a bit washy, but the rear center scoop tread works like paddle to keep things moving. In a rock garden, both the front and rear felt quite bouncy, probably due to the harder tire compound, although the bike remained controllable. In gravel and sand the Tractionator’s are fantastic.

Motoz Tractionator 3

We’ve only put about 800 miles on the Motoz tires and the wear seems to be moderate. They aren’t being shaved down as quickly as knobbies on tarmac, but they are wearing a bit faster than big block tires. As aggressive as we’ve been with the bike, we’re surprised that none of the knobs have chunked off.

ADVMoto rates this tire an 85/15, designed primarily for off road use. Even though we can’t recommend riding on rainy roads with the Tractionator Desert HTs, they’re a great choice for someone who wants to retain the off-road performance of their enduro, but also pass a state safety inspection. MSRP: Front $78.99 | Rear $94.99–$107.99 PacificPowersports.com

PROS

CONS

 Excellent off-road performance  Sketchy tarmac performance, especially when wet
 Better wear than trail knobbies ▼ Noisey and vibey on the road
 Deep tread design offers bite and longevity  

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Set your Adventure 950 / 990 free from its short leash! Introducing the Rottweiler Performance Endurocell extended range fuel cell. Fitting perfectly in the exact same circular space the left hand muffler once occupied guarantees that this fuel cell will not clash with ANY aftermarket pannier system.

As an added bonus, the optional Quick Detach hardware kit will give your Endurocell the ability to be removed by hand in less than ten seconds so it’s not hanging around when it isn’t needed or detach it tool-less and quickly to help fill a buddy. With 1 or 1.3 gallon tanks available you can add 35-55 miles to your ride.

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Installation is simple with the auxillary tank tying into your bikes lower crossover line with a check valve. You won't even have to remove your main fuel tank. Just drop the skid pan, turn off the petcock at the stock tank, and splice in the barbed "T" fitting. MSRP: $399.00 RottweilerPerformance.com

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Schuberth has partnered with KTM North America as the motorcycle manufacturer adds the Schuberth C3 Pro helmet to their 2016 KTM North American PowerWear product line.

“We are honored to work with KTM and supply our flagship helmet for their PowerWear line,” said Schuberth North America Vice President, Randy Northrup. “Riders choose KTM because they want to ride the best, and in turn they deserve to wear the best protective equipment. The C3 Pro perfectly complements KTM’s diverse product line, and we’re confident that the KTM graphic will be a hit here in North America.”

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The result of decades of research and innovation, Schuberth’s C3 Pro is the world’s lightest and quietest flip-up helmet. Engineered in Schuberth’sproprietary wind tunnel, the C3 Pro features optimized aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, ensuring that the rider experiences a smooth and quiet ride, even at high speeds. In addition to the advanced construction, each helmet is equipped with a built-in internal antenna that works seamlessly with Schuberth’s Bluetooth® communication system.

KTM has experienced great success with this innovative helmet in the European PowerWear collection,” said KTM PowerWear Product Line Manager, Christy Brosius. “With the growing adventure segment in North America, there was a big sense of urgency for us to add this first-class touring helmet to the 2016 product line.”

The KTM-branded Schuberth C3 Pro is now available in North America. For more information visit KTMUSA.com or visit a KTM dealer. Learn more about Schuberth’s full line of helmets at SchuberthNorthAmerica.com

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