Sunday, 25 May 2014

Day Tripping

--> Day Tripping

Sproat Lake - Vancouver Island, BC Canada

You have a day off and the weather is going to be great, what are you going to do?

If you said “yard work” or some other “I would rather be doing something else then this” task, keep reading.  If you said, “I’m going riding”, keep reading anyway.

If you’re like me, you probably have enough things on your “to do” list to last a couple of life times, let alone the one life that each of us gets.  In fact that damn “to do” list is probably sucking the life right out of you, so get your life back and go for a ride on your day off.  Not just any ride, but a day trip.

In order to get your life back this road trip must have some adventure built in, so ride somewhere you've never been or haven't been in a while.

Mount Washington - Vancouver Island, BC Canada

Load up one of the online mapping web sites like Google or Yahoo and type in your address.  Next, scale the map so you can see at least 100 miles in any direction from your house.  Plot a route that will take you through at least 2 places you’ve never been before or haven’t been in a while.  If possible, your return route should be different.  Check your bike, get ready and go.

I plan very little when I take a day trip, other than picking spots on the map, as this makes the adventure experience more fun. 

Here are some tips that will be useful.

1.  Pick a riding distance that you’re comfortable with and go a little further.

2.  Stay off the highways!  Enjoy the two lane roads and the little towns they pass through.

3.  Take a camera.  You’re more likely to stop and enjoy what you find along the way by taking pictures.

4.  Stop and have coffee or lunch on your trip.

If you find a pub with motorcycles in front, the food and company will be good

5.  Ask the “locals” about their town.  People love talking about where they live and you will enjoy it.

6.  Don’t be in a hurry!  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rip up the road from time to time though.

7.  Finally, if you see a road that looks interesting, take it!

Trust me, after one of these day trips you will be looking forward to your next day off and will be planning a different adventure.  Enjoy!

Spending some time on the Ducati Multistrada courtesy of Savage Cycles of Victoria

PS:  If you ride an Adventure or Dual Sport motorcycle, add some dirt or gravel roads to your ride.

Somewhere above Sproat Lake - Vancouver Island, BC Canada

Gerald Trees
Dream Your Ride

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

2014 Test Ride Part 2 - Fun With KTM

Test Ride Part 2 – Fun With KTM

In January I had the opportunity to ride the new KTM 1190 Adventure thanks to my local dealer, Spunky’s Motorcycles and the local KTM Canada rep who left the motorcycle at Spunky’s for a few days.  At the end of April I was able to join KTM Canada on one of their test days and take the 1190 Adventure R for a spin.  I also took the new 1290 Super Duke, dubbed “The Beast”, out for a ride.

1290 Super Duke R:

2014 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

“The Beast” is the most insane motorcycle I’ve ridden to date.  With 180-horse power and 106 ft-lbs of torque on tap in a package that weighs less then 450 lbs loaded with fuel, this motorcycle can be a handful.  With the aid of a great chasse, sophisticated electronics, Brembo brakes, and a well though out cockpit, the Super Duke is manageable if you want it to be.  I found that it was happy going slow, however it loved to accelerate and corner.


  1. It needs a fly screen.
  2. Slick foot pegs.


  1. The comfort was impressive for a high performance motorcycle.
  2. The electronics work. 
  3. It likes corners as much as I do.

1190 Adventure R:

2014 1190 Adventure R

I’d tested the 1190 Adventure in January and now it was time to ride the more dirt ready 1190 Adventure R.  The Adventure R has larger front and rear wheels, manually adjustable suspension (The Adventure has electronic adjustable), standard engine guards, a smaller windscreen and a more dirt bike styled one-piece seat.  These seemingly little things make a huge difference in the looks and handling of the Adventure R.  Oh ya, the seat height is taller as well.  If you’re under 5’10”, grab the Adventure and add what you need.

If I were to choose between the two, I’d personally take the 1190 Adventure R mainly because I grew up on dirt bikes and this feels like a dirt bike.


  1. Low handlebar height.
  2. Manual adjustable suspension.


  1. It’s a high-powered dirt bike that likes the road.  By dirt bike, I mean something that will cruise all day on gravel and dirt roads and some wide single track.
  2. The electronics all work smoothly.
  3. The motorcycle is comfortable and would be close to perfect with bar risers.
  4. The long service interval.

The KTM 1190 Adventure, 1190 Adventure R and Super Duke R are amazing motorcycles that can be easily setup for touring.  Yes, the Super Duke has a touring version and with the addition of a fly screen would be quite comfortable on long rides.  My guess is that KTM did this to allow the rational part of the brain to justify what the primitive part really wants.

Gerald Trees

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Dream Your Ride - Going Time!

Dream Your Ride - Going Time!

We’re now at the end of the process of dreaming your ride.  You’ve made a decision, set a date, planned, packed and now it’s time to go.  This is the best part and it can also be the scariest, especially of it’s the first time.  This is the time to trust your plan and enjoy the ride.  Yes, things will come up on the trip that are outside of the plan from needing to change routes to realizing that you forgot something.  That’s part of the fun and adventure of taking a trip.  The greater reward is what you’ll discover on your trip.  You’ll find scenery is bigger, brighter and full of colors that are more vivid then any photograph.  You’ll notice different smells and the air will feel different then from where you came.  You’ll find people are friendly and interesting, especially other motorcyclists you’ll meet on your journey.  Finally, you’ll find a striking clearing of your mind.  You ride alone, even within a group, and being able to be alone with your thoughts is a unique and refreshing experience.

Enjoy your Dream Ride!

Gerald Trees