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3 years ago

DT May 2018

  • Text
  • Durability
  • Bikes
  • Racing
  • Maico
  • Motocross
  • Riders
  • Rear
  • Rider
  • Yamaha
  • Tyre

Mt Etna in the

Mt Etna in the background. Really pretty. Europe is also fun. The team worked us a route – all on the wrong side of the road, from the hotel out along the beach along a very wet puddle filled gravel road. Over an old bridge, out through countless vineyards, through old tunnels along ancient winding narrow roads, down into a very sandy riverbed for a quick stop, snack break and photo op. From there we chased up into spectacular alpine mountains on winding tar roads to a coffee stop to take in the views and – well eat a little more. In Italy eating is more an art form than a simple meal – even if you don’t enjoy it you can never complain about the food… More photo’s along one of the coolest roads up the side of mount Etna. Seemingly endless sweeps. The stuff that bikes are made for. This guy accidently set off all of the alarms by cruising up the wrong… errr correct side of the freeway. Arrived to a lot if wide eyes at the bottom of the pass. A quick “Really sorry Oom”, and we were away again. It’s amazing how even though you know that you have to be on the right, the moment you are not following or consciously thinking about it – instinct kicks in and you ride on the side that you are accustomed to. I traded Donovan (Fourie) my start out Multistrada for his Honda Africa Twin – the DCT model, so that was interesting, first time I’d ridden one – and I’ll give you my opinions elsewhere. As we climbed higher – patches of snow started appearing – and – alarmingly, sheer sheets of water were running across the road in places thanks to the melting ice. That was interesting – more than a couple of butt clenching moments were enjoyed…and guess what? We really got to feel what these tyres are all about. Guess what? We stopped for lunch. AAAARGH more food!! It was, however almost at the peak of the volcano in the snow all in log cabins and superbly spectacular. We took the opportunity to chuck snowballs around and take lots of pics while the more rotund European visitors ate everything. Ok that’s a lie we had our fair share… I traded the AT for a KTM 1290 Adventure-S for the return trip. The perfect scalpel for this kind of riding. Our route home was back down the mountain – no complaints there, what a ride – even better than on the way up because you knew what you were in for. As usual, more time was needed to take photo’s and just take it all in… We happily wound our way long through some villages and onto the freeways, cool place, great riding all the way back to our starting point. You tell me one thing better than riding a bike all day…. A very cool few hours in the saddle. Now this is a story about tyres, and there is a reason that we switched out bikes. We wanted to feel if the tyres behave the same on bikes with different horsepower, tyre sizes and so-on and it has to be said - the bikes all felt great. We need to say that we did not really get to play on long gravel roads like we have here, but we had miles of twisty tar roads, some slick mud and that sandy riverbed – and on all the bikes we rode, the tyres felt perfect. At high speeds they run quietly along. In the twisties they will go as fast as the rider can – and in the sand and mud – well they hooked up as well as anything else we’ve used. Those water crossings were interesting – scary to be sure but the Karoo’s took them into their stride no problems and there were no mishaps. This certainly feels like a tyre that you can use on your bike to go to work on during the week, take a quick diversion to your local tar track for a few laps and then head out into the Karoo on the weekends. Chat to your closest dealer, they’ll be here in a month or so… We have arranged a set for purchase and fitment on one of our bikes. We will do a follow up feature when they are fitted – we’ll head for some lekker long gravel roads. A lump of snow fell off the tree... 18 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MAY 2018

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