RE­ALLY BIG EASTER JEEP SA­FARI

4WDrive - - Contents - Words by Ni­cholas Ashby, Pho­tos by LDRSHIPde­signs

Our trip to Moab’s Easter Jeep Sa­fari this year was an in­sane one. Our trail list in­cluded Area BFE, Pritch­ett Canyon, Moab Rim, Hells Re­venge, Steel Ben­der, Golden Spike and Flat Iron Mesa. We hit the trails with a fresh batch of the new JL Wran­glers setup with mid travel kits from Rock Krawler. We have two set­ups with th­ese builds a 2.5” lift with King Shocks and 37” Dick Cepek tires on KMC wheels, and 3.5” Fox Shocks with 40” Mickey Thomp­son tires on KMC wheels.

Along with the JL builds was @ GRDLOC - an 83’ stretched CJ7, @ ROQTACO - a 2017 Tacoma, @ TheGavelJK - a two-door stretched and heav­ily mod­i­fied Wran­gler, as well as JKU Wran­glers @SPYDERAUTO, @ BATTLESHIPJK, @BADPENNYJK, @14STORMTROOPER and @ RUBICLUNK. All of the builds were amaz­ing on the trail. It was im­pres­sive to watch how lit­tle was added to the JL’s, and yet how eas­ily they kept up with the more mod­i­fied builds. We had never ven­tured into the trails in AREA BFE be­fore, and the high level of dif­fi­culty made it a real eye opener. Most trails in Area BFE start at the level the rest of Moab’s trails fin­ish. We hit a mod­er­ate trail, keep­ing the lighter mod­i­fied jeeps to by­passes while the more heav­ily built rigs pow­ered through while @GRDLOC pulled up Sui­cide Hill in an al­most ver­ti­cal as­sault on the ob­sta­cle.

The fol­low­ing days we hit up iconic trails like Moab Rim, Golden Spike and Hell’s Re­venge. Th­ese trails are stun­ning with their sur­real views of the snow­capped moun­tains, sand­stone walls and solemn desert basins. While th­ese trails don’t of­fer the dif­fi­culty, the length of th­ese in­ter­me­di­ate trails can wear out any rig.

The beat­ing the rigs took over the week with­out fail­ing was a tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of parts used. I have come to re­al­ize that just be­cause parts are ex­pen­sive or seem like a great ad­di­tion, they don’t al­ways per­form to ex­pec­ta­tions. We had the most ex­pen­sive parts leave great builds in­ca­pac­i­tated on the trail, while the sim­plest rigs rolled through with ease.

One of my favourite trails and the hard­est

to run in Moab is Pritch­ett Canyon. This trail will leave marks on your rig and your ego if you can’t check them at the trail­head. We rolled through this trail with cau­tion and 20 min­utes into a 4 hour run, @GRDLOC had a hy­draulic leak from a weld on its full hy­dro steer­ing sys­tem at Chewy Hill. Luck­ily with some odds & ends from Tony at Gen­right we were able to seal up the steer­ing pump and run the rest of the trail with­out fur­ther is­sues. We started that day with a dozen rigs and all of them made it through. Two of the most im­pres­sive achieve­ments were by Scosche and R1 Con­cepts, both with brand new JL’s, and novice driv­ers, who made it through with de­ter­mi­na­tion, while test­ing new Jeep parts from their com­pa­nies.

The week wrapped up with a run spon­sored by KMC wheels, on Flat Iron Mesa lo­cated 30 min­utes south of Moab. We pulled up to see iconic in­dus­try per­son­al­i­ties like the Cur­ries, Mel Wade, Loren Healy (a King from the Ham­mers) and even the man who made King of the Ham­mers what it is to­day, Dave Cole. It was an awe­some trail ride stacked with th­ese in­dus­try lead­ers, and watch­ing them roll over ob­sta­cles dur­ing the run was hum­bling. At one point, one of the ex­ec­u­tives from KMC launched their V8 JK build 1.5 me­tres in the air go­ing up a wa­ter­fall while we all watched in awe. This is the cor­ner­stone of Moab and wheel­ing in gen­eral, any­one can feel like a king.

I like wheel­ing with com­pa­nies that are in­volved in the in­dus­try. They know what off-road­ers re­ally need and want, be­cause they are on the trails with us look­ing to see how their parts per­form and how they can be im­proved. Parts like a sim­ple mount or roll bar at­tach­ment from Scosche, lights from Spy­der Auto, brakes from R1 Con­cepts, or a self-spot­ting cam­era sys­tem from Red Peak, have been trail tested and re­fined for driv­ers to en­joy. Ni­cholas Ashby is the owner of Rock­star Per­for­mance Garage, a cus­tom-ve­hi­cle, joint ven­ture with Rock­star En­ergy drink. He works with many top brands in­clud­ing Mag­naflow Ex­haust to con­nect com­pa­nies, peo­ple and pas­sion through events, so­cial me­dia and part­ner­ships.

Area BFE.

Flat Iron Mesa. Area BFE. Pritchard Canyon.

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