We at Dual Sport School are very tough on gear. We not only ride over 30,000 miles a year on our bikes, but also show our students some of the toughest terrain available in North America. We ride in rocks, sand, mud, water, gravel, and extremely bumpy roads and trails. We ride in rain, cold, and extreme heat.
We try to find the best gear available, because poorly designed gear might leave us stranded or having to deal with a major problem that might have been avoided with better gear.
If gear will stand up to our testing, you can trust it for the most extreme adventures.
KLIM CARLSBAD RIDING SUIT
I love the KLIM Carlsbad jacket and pants. I have worn it in temperatures ranging from 31 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit. When it was 31 degrees and snowing, I wore a light sweater, my heated jacket, and the Carlsbad jacket. I was plenty warm enough. In rain for hours, and never felt like I was getting wet. It is the most comfortable, light weight, versitile, rugged, weather resistant motorcycle armor I have ever owned. It’s thinner padding and great ventilation is all that I need. Just the right amount of pockets. I love the gray color, it is highly visible in day or night, and doesn’t get too hot in the desert in summer. Thank you, KLIM for the perfect Adventure outfit for all seasons. As an off-road instructor and adventure guide, I can’t imagine a better looking, better performing, suit than the Carlsbad.
2017 KTM 1290 R
I have been riding this for 6,000 miles now. My first review only compared the highway abilities of the bike to the BMW 1200 GSA. I now have 2 Baja trips under my belt, so am ready to give my opinion on the off-road capability of the 1290 R. I put about 3000 Baja miles on the bike, and it was fantastic. I rode off road in sections that I have ridden on the 1200 GSA and on a Suzuki DR 650. The 1290 R performed as I had dreamed it would. It was powerful and smooth off road, and sucked up bumps and whoops like no bike I have ever ridden. In all my trips to Baja, this is the first time that I never bottomed out once. My Black Dog skid plate still took some shots, but mostly from rocks flying off the front tire. I also got a flat from a 6″ section of rebar that flew off the front tire that none of us had even seen. So maybe the skid plate prevented a steak through the heart of the machine. The first indication of the flat was the dash, which resembles an iPad, it popped up a YELLOW WARNING that said Rear Tire Puncture. I was going 70 MPH on a hard packed dirt road, so was very happy to get the warning BEFORE I lost control.
Luckily, the 1290 R runs on tubeless tires, and after a 2nd attempt, we were able to fill the enormous hole enough to keep air in the tire at speed. The dash, or information console, is unbelievable. It is easy to operate, and easy to see in ANY type of light. With our without sunglases, in bright sunlight, in rain, in the darkest night… it is awesome! I don’t have great eyesight up close, but for some reason, I can see this dash perfectly. I love it!
The 1290 R comes with a great tool kit and owner’s manual. Unfortunately, on my first Baja winter trip, in December, I had all of my tools stolen, in addition to my Garmin GPS. So I was relieved that I didn’t have to pull the rear wheel. On my rides, I found the computer modes settings to be great. When I ride in snow or black ice conditions, I set it on rain, and I have never had an issue. When I am on the highway, I set it to “sport”, and find that it is indeed “Ready to Race”. The other nice feature, is that I can change the modes on the fly… while riding. Prior to buying it, I heard many of the online posts saying it was an absurd amount of horsepower, and that it was unnecessary and maybe too much, that it was dangerously overpowered. That has not been my experience. I find that it is the ideal amount of power for me. Quick takeoff on the roads, and full control off-road. The 1290 R weighs only slightly more than the 1090 R, and has more power, an incredible dash/information center, real cruise control, TPMS, and an adjustable wind screen. I purchased the 1290 R because as an off-road instructor and adventure guide, I wanted an adventure bike that had more of an off road setup. Better suspension, more travel, higher ground clearance, a little more narrow, and something that could rip around off road without beating it and vibrating every bolt loose. The 1290 R fits the bill. I also love how easy it is to change the oil, see the oil level, see the water level, and raise the windscreen. If I were going to ride primary long distance, I would definitely get a new seat and wind screen. But for around town or long distance, high speed road trips under 5 hours, the factory seat and windscreen are just fine. For me, the maximum I want to be in the saddle is 400 miles. Anything more than that, and I would suggest a different seat and windscreen. If your riding is mostly off road, and rough terrain, this might be the best bike for the job. It is a LOT of fun to ride. Yes, I miss the heated grips, wide seat, huge gas tank, soft smooth ride,and giant windscreen on my 1200 GSA, but for the type of riding I am doing now, I feel like this is the better choice for me at this time. I loved my Beemer, but I’m looking forward to doing Moab, Mexico, and the BDR’s on the 1290 R.
I have been using Moto Skivees shorts for 2 years, and I can’t imagine a long ride without them. Without a doubt, these are essential riding gear for ADV riders.
About 6 months ago, I noticed that my legs just above my boot tops were very swollen and cut up after a long ride. I started looking into the best motorcycle socks and motocross socks. According to the Internet, Moose Racing had the most popular sock. So I bought 2 pair. While they are comfortable and easy to get on and off, they didn’t stop the swelling in my legs. Also, they stunk to high heaven after a ride. I literally had to keep them in a separate bag from my clean clothes.
A couple of weeks later, I found out Moto Skiveez had just come out with a pair of socks. So I tried them. The difference was like night and day. They were compression socks and were hard to get on. Once on, they felt tight and I was concerned that this was going to make my leg swell even more.
To my surprise, the socks were great to ride it. It was a very hot day, and when I got home after a 7 hour ride, I was exhausted. I had a tough time getting them off because I was so tired. But immediately, I noticed that there was no swelling at all in my legs. The pain was also gone. The next thing that I noticed was that they didn’t smell bad. In fact… they smelled kind of good.
I found out that the sock fabric is made with aloe vera, which fights bacteria, so it kills the bacteria that causes the odors.
The next time I taught an off road class, I wore the socks for 4 days in a row as a test. I’d say that they were on for at least 8 hours a day. I will admit, that by the end of the 4th day, they didn’t smell as good as the first day anymore, but they didn’t smell half as bad at the Moose Racing socks smelled after just 6 hours.
Apparently, I needed compression socks to stop the swelling in my legs, but even if I didn’t… I would wear these socks for the reduced smell alone. I love them and recommend them to all riders looking for a better sock.
I just got back from a 9 day Baja trip, and ran into a group of riders down there that were also loyal fans of the riding shorts. When they heard about the socks, they couldn’t wait to get them.
Moto-Skiveez has another winner on their hands. Get some!
MachineArtMoto – Cylinder Head Covers
Kifaru Sawtooth Tent