Tuesday, May 10, 2011



Last weekend myself and Lance 'Russ' Turnley jetted out to WA to hook up for a ride with John Staines and the crew from West Coast Trail Bike Safaris.

We had a day and a half in Perth beforehand and dropped in on Don McGrath at Cycle Products West to check out his wicked KTM Safari race bikes (which will soon also become Dakar race bikes, as he's launching an assault on next year's Dakar!).

After that we checked out the Pinjar Motorcycle Park north of Perth, which is living proof of just some of the goals being kicked by trail bike advocate Steve Pretzel from the Recreational Trailbike Riding Association.

Then it was on to see the boys from Launch Helmet Cams, who kindly loaned us new Vio-POV and Drift HD helmet cams to test-out and review in the mag, while next up we took in a feed with Wasp from MotorradWorks, who showed us some of his trick bolt-on goodies for Yamaha's XT1200Z Super Tenere.

With the meets-and-greets done we hit the road south from Perth to down past Bunbury -- but not without one more stop at Motorcycle Masters, Perth's largest motorcycle wreckers -- where Russ hit the jackpot and scored a fuel tank in very good nick for his '88 Tenere. Only problem was, how was he going to get a whopper fat-fuel tank in his gear bag for the flight home? But that's another story ...

The next day we hooked up with Staino at the West Coast Trail Bike Safaris HQ about two-and-a-half hours south of Perth, where he had a couple of spiffy Yamaha WR250F hire bikes ready for us to ride, as we joined a pack of no less than 20 riders on his Hills & Thrills tour. And yep, this little outing sure did live up to the hills and thrills tag-line!

I've ridden the south-west corner of WA a few times now, and just can't get enough of it. It's the quality of trails that I'm hooked on, and Staino delivers the best trails, many of which slice through private property that he has secured access to (let alone having his own trail bike riding park!), with the riding dominated by endless sections of fresh, clean single-track through the sticks that just keep the smile on your dial and the throttle pinned on a 250 thumper.

We copped a few gnarly hills -- the best was Spectator Hill, where the carnage came thick and fast for the cameras, with sweep rider Darren turning on the best loop-out of a Husaberg that I have seen in ages ... crikey, the blue bomber damn near landed in the top of the pines!

A couple of rocky creek crossings also delivered the required carnage -- much to the delight of myself and Russ as the cameras rolled.

Come the end of the day, we'd knocked over 165km, with a couple of flats, plenty of crashes, one lost rider and a mighty lunchtime feed turned on by Staino's missus, Georgina, along the way.

For a more detailed report of the ride, check out Staino's Blog entries on the www.westcoastsafaris.com.au web site.

Meanwhile for the full story on the ride, make sure you check out the next issue of TRAIL ZONE #36 which goes on-sale in mid-June, while for the video evidence of the carnage, check out our next DVD issue of TRAIL ZONE when it goes on-sale in December.

In the meantime, we have to say thanks to Staino and the WCTBS crew for all their hospitality.

If you've even wanted to hit the south-west corner of WA and experience all the joys (!) riding on red pea gravel has to offer, remember that West Coast Trail Bike Safaris offer Yamaha hire bikes for interstate riders, so take a gander about the www.westcoastsafaris.com.au web site and then give Staino a call on (0429) 825 775 and make plans to go west ... make sure you tell him TRAIL ZONE sent ya!

-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

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