via West County Explorers Club: Vincent Urban and his crew of friends have just finished another journey, this time through South America. Last winter I posted his first big video, a beautifully shot and edited Land Rover tour through Asia. This is one equally great. Go Vincent! And thanks again for the tip, Greg!
Not available from the factory, but a potent exploration weapon nonetheless
KTM Zweiradcenter Bernhardt in Germany has performed an impressive conversion the to KTM 450 EXC, a factory dual-sport motorcycle with a considerably bias towards short-distance technical dirt travel. The interesting result of Zweiradcenter’s modifications is a motorcycle better suited to long distance, remote exploration, with expeditions into the Sahara, the Road of Bones and even the Trans-America Trail all coming to mind. The concept of this platform has considerable appeal, combining the athletic performance of the 450 with additional range and greater rider comfort. The brakes are bigger, a rally computer has been fitted, along with 37L of fuel. The complete modification list is impressive, but additional oil capacity or improvements to the service intervals seems to be absent from the line-up. I could easily see strapping a Giant Loop bag to the back and ripping up the Skeleton Coast. Zweiradcenter Website
Even with the distinct possibility of death, it is so worth it
Along the Road of Bones, far eastern Siberia
Chris Scott’s ultimate and always practical motorcycle planning guide. If you ride adventure motorcycles you need to read this book.
via West County Explorers Club: Winter’s on the way. To help you get ready, here’s a video showing some snow recoveries by the Search and Rescue Unit in Pierce County, Washington. One involves raising the truck with a Hi-Lift to pack snow under the tires. In the other a Hummer gets winched out of the snow.
When using the Hi-Lift, always keep your head (or any other body part) out of the area between the Hi-Lift frame and the handle, so the handle doesn’t accidentally snap up and whack you. One way to keep yourself out of the “whack-zone” is to put a foot on the base of the Hi-Lift and work the handle with your opposite hand, pulling with the weight of your entire body.
via West County Explorers Club: Having visited a couple of fire lookouts this year, I found them to be pretty fascinating places. In this age of electronically monitored everything, rangers and volunteers still head to the tops of mountains to scout for forest fires with nothing more than simply surveying gear.
When smoke is spotted, a bearing is taken using something called an Osborne Fire-Finder, basically a circular map and a sight on a rotating turntable. Once the fire’s bearing is recorded, it’s shared with other towers, who, if they are within visual range, also report a bearing. With a bearing from at least two towers, an approximate fix on the fire can be made. Using the line of sight across the circular map (the lookout tower is located in the center of the map) estimates of the fire’s location can be made if no other lookout is within visual range.
This video, about the Mt. Tamalpais fire lookout in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, is more about the view but I’ll hope you’ll enjoy it just the same.
I went on a nice little solo trip up to the Sierra Nevada this past summer, found some great back country camp sites, and thought I’d share them with you. Keep these in mind for next summer when the snow clears.
Here’s something you don’t see every day, a 1959 Chevy NAPCO Suburban. NAPCO was the company that made aftermarket 4-wheel-drive systems for GM trucks in the 1950s, before GM made them in-house.
It’s Overland Journal’s fault. I’ve long appreciated the pleasures of the morning coffee ritual, an easy vice to maintain in the city, but one that is typically tolerable at best in camp. Working in an office…
via West County Explorers Club: If you’ve ever wondered about saving some money and painting your truck yourself, it can be done. The folks from Rugged Guide did it with a roller and spray cans and show you how.
See part 2 after the jump.
I like these early trucks because they were fitted with the classic instrument cluster that Mercedes had used for decades: temperature/fuel to the left, speed in the center and tach. on the right.
The 2012 Ural Solo St (solo tourist)
From the Ural Mountains, the Solo sT might be the perfect adventure motorcycle.
From the forums comes refurbished Land Rover Series IIa.
To mangle a Smiths lyric, some potholes are bigger than others. Driving up to this washout, you’d think there was no getting across. Watch this Pinzgauer 6×6 give it a go.