My favourite day of the year isn't Christmas, it isn't New Year's, St Patrick's Day or even my birthday. No, without a doubt, my favourite day of the year is a Thursday. This year it was March 30; some years it's a Thursday a week or 2 later. What is so special about this seemingly random day? Well, every year on this special Thursday, I leave the ice and snow behind. I leave my home in Calgary, Alberta and start driving toward Odessa, Washington. It's a pretty unremarkable farming town with a population of only 910 but for 3 days every year, the population swells to over 6000.
For several years, the StumpJumpers Motorcycle club has been putting on the Desert 100 race just outside of Odessa. Every year, over 5000 dirt bikers travel there for one of the biggest races in the country. A steady stream of pick-up trucks and RVs roll in on Thursday night and continue pouring in until Sunday, race day.
I found out about the race when a video from Touratech popped up on my YouTube feed in 2012. I don't own a dirt bike, what makes this event so cool is that they have a ton of different race classes including one for ADV bikes. Fantastic.
The 2017 Desert 100 was my 5th year in a row racing the ADV class. I raced my highly modified BMW F800GS 3 times (with 1st, 3rd and 6th finishes), my KTM 1190R (8th place) and this year I raced my Honda Africa Twin.
Racing big bikes is a ton of fun and it gives me a chance to really test out our products in a very harsh and demanding environment. This year, I was continuing testing on our recently released high fender kit for the Africa Twin. There were also a couple other things on the bike that will be announced in the coming months.
Last year was muddier than normal and had a few sink holes and my 1190R seemed to find every single one of them. This year the course was full of bogs and deep ruts. It was muddy enough that after I rode a few laps on the test loop, I decided to abandon my Michelin M12XC desert tire and install the ridiculous Terraflex mud tire. The only reason I even had it with me was to give it back to it's owner who lent it to me for the 24hrs of Starvation Ridge race in October. During this race it was quite obvious that I had made the right choice!
Here's a video of my day. Heads up, explicit lyrics in the background music!
Typically February is one of our slowest sales months of the year. However, this February was our BEST month since we opened in Sept 2013! The CT-V2 Camel Tank has always been a top seller and it was in February too. It did so well in fact that we're sold out.
Don't worry, there are more on the way (ETA April 5th). If you'd like to be notified when they're back in stock let us know. Notify me!
We know many of you have been patiently waiting for more info on our high fender kit for the Honda Africa Twin. All of the parts are in production and we have an ETA of March 7th. All the important details are covered on our products page and in the video below. There are a limited number of kits available in the initial product run so if you haven't already been added to our notification list you can do so here: ADD ME!
Here's a sneak peak at out new Camel Tank for use with the Honda Africa Twin/CRF1000L! Currently, we have the Camel Tank "ATX" kit for the Africa Twin but it is only compatible with rackless soft bags. The new Camel Tank ATR kit will be compatible with several popular hard pannier systems (full list TBA).
Add me to the notification list!
I'm very happy to reveal our first non fuel tank related product! At the end of October, I *attempted* to race our Africa Twin at the 24hrs of Starvation Ridge. The conditions were extremely muddy and the front wheel packed up so bad that even with drive to the rear wheel and 3 full sized men pushing it, the bike simply would not move.
We had looked at doing a high fender set-up before the race but there are some major challenges mounting a fender on the lower triple clamp as there aren't any holes to mount a bracket to. We had to get creative but we've come up with great solution for it.
The brake hoses are another issue. Like several other ADV bikes with low fenders, the hose for the right side caliper hugs the fender. If you remove the fender, the front tire can hook the brake hose and rip it apart or lock the tire and cause a crash. Either way, less than ideal so new hoses, routed differently, were required.
It's taken sometime to get the kit sorted and as simple as possible. We're very happy with the results and should have the kit available for pre-sale mid January. Keep an eye here for updates or email us and ask to be put on the notification list.
Presale: January 15th, 2017 (estimate)
We had a very successful Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale! Thank you to everyone the participated. We are processing orders and building kits now and should have everyone's Camel Tanks out the door by Wednesday November 30th.