Out in the fields

Farm­ers: the en­duro rider’s best friend…

BIKE (UK) - - LIFE - Jonathan Pear­son Off-road editor Been rid­ing for: 39 years An­nual mileage: 20,000+ Owns: Suzuki GSX‰R750 SRAD.

AT THE END OF EV­ERY SUM­MER, when the crops are har­vested, a very small win­dow of op­por­tu­nity opens up in our ru­ral land­scape when bike-friendly farm­ers hand over empty stub­ble fields to dirt bike rac­ing. This, as I’m sure you can imag­ine, is as good as dirt bike rac­ing gets. A Lin­colnshire En­duro Club event near Tat­ter­shall of­fered me and the KTM 300 EXC TPI a chance to blow away some cob­webs (I’d bro­ken a rib a few weeks be­fore with­out re­al­is­ing it and stub­ble fields are a def­i­nite con­fi­dence builder). Straight away the beauty of rid­ing a stub­ble field En­duro hit me. It was a wide-open play­ground rather than the game of fol­low the leader En­duro can too often be­come. It was like a seven-lane free­way at 5am on a Sun­day with the free­dom to go as fast as the hell you like on loamy soil. Ahead of the race I’d been hav­ing trou­ble with a spongy front brake. The orig­i­nal oil looked dark like it had been fried. Fresh brake fluid

gave me the bite back. British com­pany Rap­tor sent me a set of ti­ta­nium foot­pegs (£199.95) to try as well. They’re a bit sav­age on the shins if you’re not care­ful load­ing the bike in the van but they have amaz­ing grip. Stan­dard pegs sit too high (de­lib­er­ately from KTM to keep them higher for ruts) but they also slope in­wards. The Rap­tors

are flat­ter, wider and also 5mm lower and sit fur­ther back, which makes my rid­ing po­si­tion much more com­fort­able to boot. All the bet­ter to hang on to while you stretch the throt­tle ca­bles across a farmer’s field in Lin­colnshire.

Where once there were crops, now there be rac­ing

Orig­i­nal front brake oil fried

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