Friday, February 06, 2015

Bergy Bits

It's been a long time since I've been out.  I usually take the time during the winter months to strip the bike down, check, service, research next year's tires (is there anything better out there for us dual sporters in the DOT domain?...yes...), purchase and checkout new equipment and watch some videos  (bring yer bleach...).  So with that in mind here's a mish-mash of dirtbike paraphernalia for you.

New Equipment:
I have purchased some much needed boots.  After trolling all the on line reviews, vids and recommendations, it came down to Gaerne or Forma.  I went with the Forma, after speaking with the guys at Atomic.  I've never had a dedicated motorcycle boot before, let alone an off road enduro boot, something my riding partners chide me about.  I ride in sheepskin booties with fleece lining.  Soooft. Warrrrrm....Comfortable....Daaangerouus.  Truthfully, on the plus side, they allow awesome control. I've never had a problem.  There's absolutely no support, no protection and no waterproofness, but they are light and I can FEEL everything; consequently, the control is fabulous.

Not anymore.  Now I've purchased some very highly recommended, double hinged, high-end enduro boots.  The Forma Terrain.  And I hate them.  I'm told they are fabulous, flexible, comfortable, with top end details for a mid-range price.  Am I'm sure that's all true.  But they feel like flippin' ski boots. I cannot feel a damn thing.  Where's the shifter?  Why's the back tire screaming?  Oh yeah, I've locked it up.  Protection, it seems comes at a cost, and it's a trade off.  I think I erred on the side of immortality versus control.  Perhaps I should have gone for the Gaerne Balanced Oiled.  Frankly, given a second chance, at this point, I'd drop some of the protection of the Forma for the more supple trials boot.  The Forma's, to their credit, are not yet broken in, and I guess I'll give them a shot for while.

More successful were the MSR Reflex knee guards.  I have an old pair of Fox knee protectors which saved my skin 18 months ago in my De Cosmos Caper Crash.  However, they left me open to a second impact on my knee as they rotated as they ran down the side of Andy's bike...I spent a few months learning how to straighten my leg in physio after that.  So I had been looking for a pair of knee braces or better protection.  The MSR's are articulated and fit me really well,  The webbing is comfortable and the protection is amazing.  In short they are super comfortable, and frankly, I forget I am wearing them.  Highly recommended!

Bergy Bits

It's been a little over a year since I got the Husaberg and I'm super impressed with it.  The Suzuki is long forgotten.  The reliability has been stellar, but even better is the performance, suspension and light weight.  The bike is perfect, except for one thing...the access to those needy bits.. Getting to the valves requires removing the radiators and the fuel tank. To remove the tank, one must remove part of the subframe...  You can see the Swede now, sitting with his spectacles while gazing at the CAD screen and reducing the space between components until the mass centralisation is perfect. Mechanics curse, but engineers marvel.  Most of the year I marvel!

The valves are perfect and have not moved in 1500km.  A new plug, chain and sprockets, and she'll be good to go, except for her rear tire, which is a Maxxis Desert IT.  It's a POS in wet, rooty and or muddy conditions.  It wears like steel and has the traction to match - like a puck on ice.

On the front I have a Pirelli Scorpion XCMH which is about the pokiest DOT tire you can find.  It is by far the best front DOT tire I have had for our conditions, certainly better than the D606.  There are some other, newer, possibilities out there, including the Golden Tire GT series, but the early reviews are not promising with regards to wear and price per grip level.  Local riders are not over impressed either, so I think I'll stick with the XMCH on the front for now.

On the rear, I've been dabbling with the idea of a Pirelli MT43 enduro trials tire.  I like the idea of the awesome grip on technical trails with wet roots and rocks being easy pickings for this tire, but the cornering and its serious mud issues are a worry.  The enduro-trials tire is taking off as riders discover new levels of grip in the technical trails with them.  There are several new competitors for the Pirelli MT43.  Enter the new Motoz Mountain Hybrid tire.  If that doesn't work out (supply is limited), then I might stick a Pirelli Scorpion XMCH on the back to match the front for now.

**UPDATE: the Motoz Mountain Hybrid is hard to come by and only just available.  Folks are just starting to review them as they leak slowly into North America (US only so far)... Here is a good review of the MMH being used in similar conditions to Van Isle (wetter, muddier).  And here is an unflattering review of its wear characteristics when paired with a 500 in the hard rocky desert around Reno I believe...Perhaps not what it was designed for...?

It appears that Kenda are coming out with a hybrid called the Equilibrium to rival the MT43 and MMH...No reviews yet.  I'll keep you posted.


  1. Love the blog, the gps tracks have been great and saved me a lot of picking and poking to find my way, things sure have changed a lot since I rode these trails 5 years ago ! I'm always up for a ride if you want a tag along ; ) I live near the lantzville foothills

    1. Thanks for the feedback, John. Andy is the dedicated trail man, although I post a few myself now. Yes, those trails are always changing as Tim Berwest plug up the access and others find new ways in. Great riding in those foothills too. Got to get me a new rear tire soon and, given this mild winter, I'll be out and about soon. I'll drop you a line when that happens. Cheers Paul


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