Light is right for solo trailing
Little Kawasaki shows its worth as heavyweight fool gets it properly bogged down
here are several things you’re advised to do when riding trail bikes. One of those is to alert anyone who cares as to where you’re going and when you might be back. And not to ride alone. So after a brief stint riding with Jim and a beaming Harry on his new RT100, I headed off down Pickworth Drift on my Tod into the unknown mudscape.
OK, it’s not exactly a stage of the Dakar Rally, but with recent heavy rain, and an already rutted, chewed surface, it was not the easiest. And of course I got stuck. Up to the wheel spindles stuck. I’ve been bogged-in before, in remoter, less hospitable places too, but usually with some other fools prepared to pitch in and help release a mudbound bike.
Fortunately, the TR is light. Just light enough to heave from the sticky morass with some mild cursing and an unseasonal amount of sweat for a late January morning. Semi-road trail tyres are never ideal for really heavy going and the Dunlop Trials Universals were not the rubber you’d choose. But it’s a poor trail rider who blames tyres when other routes through the bog were available. The massive plus, once the TR was extricated, was the feeling of solitude up on the windswept rise. Flanked by nothing but the odd Hawthorn or Beech tree, the exposed old byway reminds you of why trail riding is such a refreshing way to ride a motorcycle. No traffic, no rules, just get to the end of the ride in your own time, and luxuriate in mother nature.
If I was serious about the TR as a trail bike, I’d most likely lace a 21-inch rim to the front hub, but frankly that would be more for aesthetic reasons than anything else. The 19-incher currently on there has no doubt got almost the same rolling radius as a 21, and it would only be the narrower section that would help slicing into sticky clay. It would also involve cost and effort, and for the amount of time the TR spends in filth, compared to on tarmac, it’s not worth the bother. The sensible thing is to understand that some dual purpose machines are less dual in dirt than others, and if you’re serious about trail riding, buy a KTM. I’ll stick with the TR. It’s the right bike for me.
It’s a bit small yes, but spot-on for my skill levels Mark Graham
Greasy trail got gloopier, TR got stuck