Our bikes are down as we prepare for the winter. We’ve ordered grip heaters, a Gerbing’s heated jacket liner, and a new chain and sprockets. While everything’s apart and being prepared, we’ve been… looking through post about dirt bikes on Derestricted. The tacky grips and sharp pegs, the thrill of the narrow powerband, and the rush of the trees as they go by. It takes effort to find a riding spot, get dressed in the requisite gear, and then focus 100% during the blast through the woods, but the rewards are tremendous.
Here’s a video of a KTM 300 and a Freeride 350 being ridden by two competent riders. We’d take the lighter, more powerful 300 over the 350, though the idea of a detuned motor with a linear powerband and long maintenance intervals does appeal.
For tires, we’d fit Metzeler’s 6 Days Extreme, which was developed with factory riders for the most extreme conditions, and features superior structural characteristics and excellent puncture resistance. The knob distribution offers outstanding grip in all conditions.
Munich, 5 December 2012 – Metzeler will be title sponsor of Hell’s Gate Metzeler 2013, the international extreme enduro competition which is now in its 10th edition.
Hell’s Gate is a race that became a symbol of modern extreme endure from its first appearance on the scene, and set the bar for a new era in enduro. This is a segment where Metzeler can be considered a legend in its own right. Since 1935 Metzeler has won a long series of victories in the German Enduro Championship, various titles in the European Championship and several wins in the International Six Days of Enduro. Before the turn of the century, between 1990 and 1997, Metzeler won twelve Enduro World Championships in different classes with high calibre riders such as Paul Edmondson, Giovanni Sala, Mario Rinaldi and Fabio Farioli. This brings us to our time in which, after introducing the innovative MCE 6 Days Extreme, the German brand has earned an astonishing nineteen world titles in the World Enduro Championship thanks to the performances of riders like David Knight, Ivan Cervantes, Samuli Aro, Juha Salminen, Johnny Aubert, Antoine Meo, Christophe Nambotin and the unforgettable Mika Ahola.
From 2004, the year of the first edition, Hell’s Gate has always been held in the month of February at the tourist Il Ciocco estate in the Tuscan Apennines: a natural paradise for enduro which, for the occasion is transformed into a hellish track to host all the participants in the competition. the track has all types of difficulties: falls, full flowing torrents, mule paths on impossible stony terrain. A decidedly technical and “physical” track.
Hell’s Gate was developed as a two phase race: in the morning an elimination enduro race where 30 ranked riders then access the actual race, the final phase of Hell’s Gate Metzeler. Starting grid and then the riders are ready to be unleashed into the inferno: 4 laps, a special non-stop trial, only checkpoints. The riders that cross with a delay of more than 30 minutes behind the lead rider are eliminated from the competition. The riders are also allowed to receive aid from the public on site, indispensable for tackling the final uphill, the unbreakable Hell’s Peak.
Munich, 3 December 2012 – Metzeler was chosen again for the third edition of the legendary BMW Motorrad GS Trophy as sole tire supplier. The GS Trophy event is organized every two years by BMW to allow top-qualifying customer—who perform the best in a series of riding tests—to test the off-road qualities of their bikes. After the first edition in Tunisia in 2008 and the second in South Africa in 2010, once again the Metzeler has been identified by BMW as the ideal technical partner to take on the hard courses.
This year the event was held from 24 to 2 December in South America on the slopes of the Andes between Chile and Argentina, and saw 15 teams participate. There was a total of 45 riders from 19 different countries who battled one another in special trials, physical trials and team competitions.
Team Germany won, racking up 256 points in the standings, followed by the French team with 238 and the Italian team, which took the third step of the podium with 222 points.
As always, the tires played an important role in the success of this team competition. All the bikes, the F 800 GS used by the teams and the R 1200 GS Rallye and G 650 GS Sertão used by the staff, marshals and for a few of the special trials, were equipped with Metzeler MCE Karoo tires, knobbies which were designed specifically for the highest performance enduro bikes and developed by Metzeler to meet the needs of the most demanding and adventurous, particularly those who love to use their bikes off-road too.
The route this year covered 1250 miles in seven days, with three trials per day. It was definitely demanding for the tires which were forced to handle conditions of extreme use—for example, going from difficult rides fording small torrents with bumpy stone beds, to the sand in a few of the special trials and the mud of Patagonia.
Metzeler continues advancing the state-of-the-art in tire technology and thanks in part to the feedback received from the participants in the first three editions of the GS Trophy, Metzeler is preparing to introduce the worthy successor of th Karoo to the public – the Karoo 3—a candidate for the next GS Trophy edition and one which will definitely meet the expectations of all those bikers looking for adventure astride their medium and large engine enduro bikes.
Yamaha’s 2012 Super Ténéré competes with BMW’s GS, and now they’ve gone and created a GS Adventure competitor with their Worldcrosser package for the ST. It starts as a Ténéré—with shaft-drive and a big parallel-twin—but is peppered with carbon panels, and has a protective skidplate and brake and driveshaft shields.
Naturally, the Super Ténéré Worldcrosser also comes with knobby tires, the MCE Karoo 2 to be exact. The Karoo 2 is designed for large-displacement enduro rocketships like the ST Worldcrosser. The knobs are shaped to allow a smooth on-road ride, but aggressive enough to tear it up off-road.
Here’s a video of a guy in Greece absolutely tearing up a Greek cityscape on an original Super Ténéré. A Worldcrosser on Karoo 2s would be able to dig even deeper trenches (from HFL).
No matter what you ride, bike-handling skills are the foundation on which safe-riding is built. There are books like Proficient Motorcycling, which help develop situational awareness and road-reading skills, but when it all goes wrong, only good bike-control can save you.
That’s why American Supercamp isn’t just for aspiring motocrossers; it can help anyone who rides a motorcycle. It’s a 2-day camp that helps riders learn the feeling of how a motorcycle behaves on the limit, and how to bring it back under control.
Campers ride Yamaha 125s on oval dirt tracks and some twistier courses. The emphasis is on bike control. The website mentions that the late Will Davis—a veteran Supercamp instructor and a lifetime dirt tracker—“once admitted that he learned more during one of our ‘mud drills’ than he had in all his years of dirt tracking.”
The drills were designed by greats like Colin Edwards and Eric Bostrom, and Nicky Hayden has been a guest instructor. Check out the video—it looks like the guys at American Supercamp take fun seriously.