2017 was the 34th annual LA-Barstow-Vegas (LAB2V) ride. This 2 day event sees 500 dualsport riders travel over 400miles through the desert from Palmdale, California to Barstow the first day and and Barstow to the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on the second day.
I rode this event in 2015 on the shop KTM 1190R and had a great time. This year, I loaded the Africa Twin the the back of the newly acquired Sprinter van drove the 2100km to Vegas. Slamming and banging through the desert at +110km/h was the perfect opportunity to continue testing our new Africa Twin windscreen support and tweak the new suspension under the AT!
The event is mostly fast sandy 2 track but there are some technical sections along the way too. Red Rock Canyon is right at the end of day 2. The rocky sections though the canyon didn't disappoint!
We're going down the list of Africa Twin issues and trying hard to solve them. As manufacturers try to keep the weight of their bikes as low as possible, some parts end up being a bit lighter duty that they should be. I believe this to be the case with the factory AT windshield frame bracket. Adding a GPS to the cross bar or in some cases, just adding a larger windscreen can cause the welds to crack. Riding on rough roads makes things worse.
We're currently testing our windshield brace to make sure it's up to the task before we launch them. Keep an eye out for updates!
The difference in suspension ride after the re-sprung and re-valved was night and day. Despite this huge jump over stock we were still having issues with hard bottoming when we were riding hard and fast. The Showa fork (internals) on the Africa Twin are literally from a '89-91 CR500R dirt bike. Obviously suspension technology has improved drastically since '89. On top of the old technology, the CR500 is literally 1/2 the weight of the CRF1000L. No amount of tuning was going to get these forks where I wanted them.
The solution? Fork swap! The Kayaba SSS forks were first used in 2006 on Yamaha dirt bikes and are still used on current models. They received rave reviews and still win dirt bike magazine and website shoots outs against some very new, very high tech forks. The KYB SSS units are considered by many to be the best dirt bike forks ever offered from the factory on any brand or model. The best part? They can be had for a couple hundred $$ if you look hard enough!
The swap is pretty straight forward. I put together a few part vlog on the swap process. Check it out part 1 below.
I'm very happy to announce the pre-sale for our new Africa Twin fuel tank is up! Order before Saturday May 20th and save $50 off the regular price. We are also including the tethered fuel cap upgrade at no charge for all pre-sale orders.
Add 6.5L of fuel to your bike's range for a total of 25.5L!
A customer gave us a heads up about a conflict with the Touratech crash bars and our high fender kit. The two can work together but some trimming is required on the crash bar mounting bracket as shown below.
I recently found an SD card that had video from a bike trip to Moab, Utah last year. A friend on his KTM 990 Baja, another on his KTM 300XC-W and I me on our shop 1190R spent a week in Moab over Easter weekend 2016. The trails and terrain there are absolutely amazing! We rode Slickrock Trail, Fins and Things, Helldorado, Kane Creek, Lockhart Basin and a few others. Below is a quick clip from Slickrock Trail.