Saturday 9 August 2014

The Baja bandits Part 1

IT’S FUNNY how life can throw you a sudden twist: one moment you’re doing your everyday humdrum thing, the next you’re off on an adventure that you would never have thought possible! This is exactly what was going through my mind as I flew across the Pacific Ocean to the good ol’ US-of-A for a four-day trail ride in Baja, Mexico.You have plenty of time to think on the flight, and most of the way I was pinching myself to make sure it was all real. Three weeks earlier I had been flogging myself up to Cape York for the final trip of the season for my business +Fair Dinkum Bike Tours ; now here I was flying to the other side of the world to go riding in Mexico ... yep, I’ve just gotta love my job!

So how did this whole ride of a lifetime come about? That’s easy. Last year I had a couple of guys from San Diego visit Cairns for a two-day ride and after their tour we kept in touch. So, at the end of last year, I
received a message from one of the guys – Morgan – who told me a bunch of guys were doing a ride in Baja, Mexico, over the Christmas and New Year break. ‘Lucky guys,’ I said to myself ... but then came the
clanger: Morgan offered that if I could get a flight to California, they would have everything else organised for me to join them on the ride. Faster than you can say, ‘Dust to Glory, here I come!’ I launched into a
mad panic and got myself organised enough to book an airfare, pack a gearbag and bludge a lift to the airport. I was on my way!

As soon as you arrive in America, there are a couple of things you learn real fast. First, you will always climb into the wrong side of the car! Second, everything is still measured by the imperial system, so you buy gallons (not litres) of fuel and drive miles (not kilometres) down the freeway. Third, all the US dollar notes look exactly the same, especially when you’re packing a gutful of Budweiser after a long night at the bar!
Finally, any time you go out to eat at a restaurant, you don’t need to order an entree and a main, as both courses are absolutely huge, just like the majority of the American population! For the most part, Americans are friendly folk, especially when you share a common bond, such as dirt bike riding. Morgan was looking
after me in real style from the moment I arrived, with the first task to be achieved getting the bikes ready for the ride. Morgan was lending me his KTM 525EXC, while he was riding a Husaberg 650, which was
wrapped in bling. Yes, the Yanks love their bling, so if it’s shiny and looks cool, they’ll bolt it onto their bike.
With the bikes ready, Morgan took me to meet Bob Bell from Precision Concepts, which is the company that does all the suspension and engine work for American Honda’s off-road race team. They look
after the bikes of riders like Johnny Campbell, Steve Hengeveld, Mikey Childress and Robby Bell. Bob was a great guy, giving us a look right through the Precision Concepts facility, including the race team
workshop that housed the Honda team’s race bikes, plus the XR650Rs that have previously won the famed Baja 1000 desert race. Christmas Day was spent doing the family thing with Morgan and his
family, with a lot of time devoted to teaching them plenty of Aussie slang, which had them stuffed there for a while. But by the time I left they were all saying ‘G’ay mate’ like the best of us.

Tecate, Mexico

Our ride kicked off with a very fresh, early morning departure to meet in Tecate, Mexico, across the border from California. There were six other riders in the group, most of them on Honda XR650Rs, except for
a guy called Ken, who pilots a KTM 950 Super Enduro (he also has the only 750cc Husaberg in the world!). As you can clearly tell, big-bores are the choice of machines for a Baja run. Now, the first words of warning from Morgan at the start of the ride took a little of the wind from my sails: “If you see people on the side of the track waving you to stop, keep going – run them over if you have too, unless they are the army, who will be checking for drugs. Anyone else will be bandits trying to steal your money and your bike!” Hmm, good tip Morgan!

Baja Mexico lots of sand and Margaritas!!

To Be Continued...

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Gearing Up for the Ride

Being one of the toughest sports out there, +Enduro Trail Riding requires you to have comfortable safety gear that offers suitable protection for the ride you are going on.

Shoei Helmets
Over the years we have tried and tested every brand name in riding gear you can get, I have found some of the brands and big names cost a lot of money but don't deliver the value.  I personally prefer the +Shoei Helmet, they are expensive but for good reason. They are all still hand made something the other brands are not, they are a perfect fit and they are wind tunnel tested so you get what you pay for.

I use the Sidi Crossfire Boots I have found these to be the most comfortable, supported boot made plus they are great wearing and don't fall apart, again they are not cheap but if you ride a lot and want to have the best protection these are the way to go for me. I have had some good crashes and walked away from everyone of them.

Sidi Crossfire
I wear CTI knee braces supplied by Stephen Gall, Knee braces are something a lot of people dont wear, I was the same never wore them just had knee guards, until one day I had a small fall on my leg snapped the ACL and that was that, knee braces would have prevented that but it's always the way it is only after the accident you get them, again there are many brands out there but I go back to my motto you get what you pay for, get the best ones you can afford this is better than a knee reconstruction and time off work which will cost you a lot more money.

 For pants and jersey I get the most comfortable I can find, it 
may be Oneil+Fox Racing, Thor or another brand but make sure they are well vented.
CTI Knee Braces
Fox Jersey

Remember which ever gear you decide to go for, it must be well fitted and comfortable. I look forward to having you come test your gear out on one of our 8 day Cairns to Cape York adventure rides at +Fair Dinkum Bike Tours 

Happy Trails,

Friday 18 July 2014

8 Day Cairns to Cape York Feedback

What a week!!!
Awesome riding with every type or terrain you can think of, sand, mud, dust, water, hill climbs, and the good old carry the bike across a few rivers. This isn't a tag along tour, its an endurance adventure where you can ride to your full capabilities, Yes!, some of us got our ego mixed up with our capability's but we all made it to the end.
The professionalism of Galaxy and Oil on the ride was well beyond my expectations; from being up early to set up breaky to checking over the bikes on every stop, these guys didn't rest. They both know their stuff and are very capable riders; their support and riding tips were just the icing on the cake. To be able to have the confidence in the guides made the whole trip stress free.
The camping sites were well organised and in great locations (some out the back of the local pub, not sure that was a good idea the next morning?) and even a few nights in nice accommodation (no tents!). When we weren't eating from the bistro, Dave would cook up a storm.
A big thanks to the awesome group of guys on the tour, made some great mates. Love to do it again soon. This is a trip of a life time and worth every cent.
Massive thanks to Dave, Galaxy and Oli for a fantastic 8 days,
Dave, Andy and Scotty - Port Macquarie NSW

Thursday 17 July 2014

Keihen FCR carbys and deep water (4 Stroke Yamaha WR, KTM and Suzuki DRZ)

Keihen FCR carbys and deep water (4 Stroke +Yamaha Wr , +KTM  and +Suzuki Drz 400)

The vent hoses on the Keihen FCR carbys all hang down below the frame.
When you do a lot of water crossings and submerges, the vent hoses create an air lock and the bike then stalls during a deep crossing.
To fix the problem and ensure hassle-free water crossings where the vent hoses leave the carby on either side they tee off with a black tee and both hoses run down past the swing arm. Remove the tank and get one hose from either side and run them up along the frame rail under the tank and then hang them pointing down. (You may need to trim them a little.) Tuck them inside the zip ties already there. Replace the tank and the job’s done. Alternatively, you can place them inside the air box. 

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Feedback from 5 day Adventure Ride

Hi Dave, I felt it was only appropriate that I e mail you to again thank you and your staff for what i can only describe as the ultimate week of excitement.
My son Ash and I were hesitant about what we were to expect on the 5 day ride and at every turn you blew our minds, not just with the magnificent country side but also with your knowledge of the tracks and the challenges you gave us on the ride. Dave this is something we will be talking about for many years to come. It was a true pleasure to to ride with such a professional.
I would not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone who is interested in seeing your beautiful part of our great country.
Many thanks again
Matt & Ash Cain
Remember if you want to embark on an adventure of a lifetime visit us at

MPE Husqvarna FE 501

Went out yesterday to ride our new MPE +Husqvarna FE 501, first impression is it is very easy to turn, through the single trails was a easy bike to steer and suspension works great. Engine is very snappy and loads of torque.

I modified the tailpipe as it was too restricted this made a big difference to the power. I changed the rear sprocket to a 48 tooth and put some fork bleeder on the front forks, and swapped the standard battery to a Lithium Battery these are amazing by the difference in weight. Im out on a 8 day Cairns to Cape ride tomorrow so I will be able to give a better impression of the bike after this....

MPE Husqvarna FE 501

Sunday 22 June 2014

WWII History on the 8 Day Cairns to Cape York Ride

The wrecks of many wartime aircraft can be found scattered through the Cape York area. From speaking to locals in the area I am told that there are a number of abandoned P-39 Airacobras. There is also a B-24 Liberator of the 90th Bomb Group which crashed in 1942 and is still substantially complete. (Click here to learn more about B24 Crash )

On our last 8 Day Cairns to Cape York Ride we had a group of pilots and aircraft engineers that where keen to check out the DC-3 that had crashed on a flight from Archerfield to Papua New Guinea.

DC-3 Final Resting Place

The fuselage of this DC-3 whose service life came to an abrupt halt in +World War II can be found just short of the Bamaga Airport once known as Jacki-Jacki or Higgins field.

Early on 5 May 1945, crewed by USAAF pilots and loaded with meat, RAAF DC-3 VH-CXD/4483228 of No 33 Squadron attempted to land at Bamaga in foggy conditions to obtain fuel.

The Boys Reading The Memorial

However this was not to be, the airplane undershot the approach by about half a mile striking the ground nose first and destroying the cockpit. The crew perished as the rest of the aircraft disintegrated.

It finally came to rest amongst the eucalyptus trees, its wings being severed. The rear part of the fuselage held together fairly intact with the fin still attached.

Operated by ANA as VH-CXD and seconded to the RAAF, the DC-3 c/n 1941 was originally KLM's PH-ALT named 'Toenvalk'. It operated for KLM Netherlands Indies as PK-ALT before coming to Australia when war interupted the later's operation. A plaque has been erected in memory of the crew at the site.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
DC-3 Wreckage Cape York - photos Dave Williams

DC-3 Wreckage Cape York - Photos Dave Williams
History of crash taken from