Need a 17″ heavy duty inner tube?

The BMW G650x Country, F650 Dakar, and Sertao are great bikes, and despite the varying rim sizes up front, they all share a 17″ rear wheel (130/80/17 tyre size). Great on the road but a slight compromise when riding off-road, if only due to the fact that many of the best off-road tyres and so too inner tubes, are only available in an 18″ rear.

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Panniers in front of BMW G650x Country

Panniers on the xCountry

Having previously installed the Highway Dirtbagz pannier rails, I needed a decent set of panniers to go with them. The Highway Dirtbagz ones were out, they’re just too small and featureless, and I’m not convinced of their durability. The Adventure Spec Magadan bags are probably the ultimate adventure travel panniers at the moment, but at well over £300 they’re far too pricey for my liking.

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The CCM 450GP is here…almost

Great news for adventure riders looking drop £8k on a new thumper. The hotly anticipated CCM450 GP has now entered production.

The latest press release from Bolton based CCM said:

Following completion of E.U homologation, GP450 production has now started at the CCM facility in Bolton, UK.

The first batch of 20 is now under way and is due to be delivered to a mixture of UK and European customers during the early part of November.

CCM director Austin Clews commented “After much hard work and a long wait for some of our customers, we are proud to begin production. On behalf of CCM I would like to thank our customers for their patience and loyalty. We have worked hard to deliver a first class product to them.”

We’ve already seen a number of youtube videos and test-ride reports to have a good idea how the 450GP will perform, but nothing beats getting it out there into the hands of ordinary users.

Visit the CCM website for more information

BMW xCountry

Goodbye Dakar, long live the xCountry

Well chicks might dig Dakars, but after a year of ownership and 10,000 miles I’ve finally sold mine. The Dakar served me well on Trips to Hungary, Spain, and Wales, but I decided that I wanted something a little lighter and more agile.

The xChallenge was a contender, but I just don’t do enough hard off-road rides to take advantage of it. Checking revealed that there are about 80 xCountrys left on the road in the UK compared to 73 xChallenges and 124 xMotos.

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How to fail at water crossings

The last few months in the UK have seen torrential rain and  many areas of the country flooded. Even now some countries remain on high alert. Adventure riders might take this opportunity to practice their water crossings in the relative safety of their local community.

That’s exactly what 2013 Pike’s Peak superbike winner Michael Henau tried when he heard of similar flash floods in Colorado, USA. Unfortunately for Mike things didn’t go entirely according to plan.

OK so the whole thing is a GoPro commercial, but it’s fun nonetheless.


Winter tyre review – Heidenau K60 Silica

In the UK winter tyres are surrounded by controversy, but there is no denying that they are proven to provide more traction in damp, cold, slippery conditions than their summer counterparts.

Facing the prospect of a long cold winter, and needing to replace my worn out Avon Gripmaster (or should that read Slipmaster?), I bit the bullet and plumped for a Heidenau K60 Silica M+S winter tyre. Here’s my review after 3,000 miles in the Spanish and British winter.

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CCM 450GP British built adventure bike

The perfect adventure bike, made in Britain?

What’s your dream adventure bike? A F650 Dakar, BMW X-Challenge, KTM690, DRZ400, or perhaps the XT660z Tenere? These are just some of the tried and tested bikes used by overland riders worldwide. (We’ll almost, some Americans are still bitter about Yamaha not releasing the Tenere there.)

Now there’s a new overlander to add to the mix, the CCM 450GP. Produced by Bolton (UK) based off-road bike specialists CCM, the 450GP is a new lightweight purpose build adventure bike that looks set to duke it out with the old tried and tested models.

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Off roading in Spain

Off roading in Spain

In the weeks running up to trip to Spain I began to research off-roading in Spain. I knew that it wouldn’t really be practical with pillion and luggage for two, but I wanted to be prepared just in case.

I reached out to the ADVRider community, and while responses were slow at first, they did point me in the right direction of two extremely useful sites.

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Spain in November

Having been to Spain on countless package holidays in the 90s and early 2000s, i’ve never really considered a tour there, but it’s been growing on me ever since my short break in Barcelona earlier this year.

This will be my second tour this year, but this time I’ll be two up as my is girlfriend keen to see what this touring lark is all about.

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