UTBDR – What is this?

The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, or UTBDR, is a scenic driving route across the state of Utah, from Arizona to Idaho, for dual-sport adventure motorcycles and 4×4 vehicles. This 1000 mile long south-north route uses mostly un-paved backroads and will pass through a number of iconic locations including Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.

Backcountry Discovery Routes HERE

Some sections they refer to being as technical look ridiculously technical for big bikes but in a fun way.

Ducati, Moto Guzzi and KTM – Other ADV bikes in the line up

Yesterday I posted a poll asking what bike you would buy.  It was quickly brought to my attention I over looked 3 other contenders, maybe 4.  I mean there are more models out there than Triumph, BMW, Yamaha and Honda in the ADV market right?  I feel a bit embarrassed that I did not include the Ducati Multistrada, Moto Guzzi Stelvio, and at least one of the KTM ADV bikes so I am including the 990R.

KTM 990R

I have seen all these bikes but never really thought about buying one.  Not sure why but one thing that stands out at least for the KTM bikes is the seat height.  I think my legs would be flopping in the wind the seat seems so high.  As for the other two models, not really sure why I have not looked into them more.  I like the looks of the Stelvio but not so much the Multistrada.  Is it all about looks or how reliable and functional a bike is?

What do you think?

In this market as someone commented probably the most reliable, bullet proof and most bang for your buck is the Suzuki 650 V Strom with ABS.  What makes us buy the bike we do when some of the “experts” say something like the V Strom has it all for the money? 

I think it is human nature to want to explore and find things out for ourselves.  Researching is good but in the end it is about how a bike makes us feel regardless of what others might say.

I do like how they have redesigned the V Strom.  Looks less bulky and more streamlined.


So, here are 4 more ADV contenders to spice things up.  Some of us all ready have an allegiance towards one make, brand or model while others are researching their hearts out trying to figure out what to buy.  None of these bikes are cheap, well, maybe the Suzuki could be considered affordable.  So, buying a new bike is an investment and most likely will not  be taken lightly.  I doubt the average rider is rich and for those who are “rich” I bet it still isn’t an easy decision unless you are Jay Leno and can afford a museum of bikes.  🙂

Happy bike hunting and whatever bike you end up on, I bet it will put a smile on your face.

Why this BLOG?  When I talk to my buddies who do not understand ADV riding addiction they get a glazed look on their face when I try to explain the overall feeling I get when we ride.  Even other riders out there who own cruisers or sport bikes don’t get why we ride in the pouring rain, camp out, get dirty, don’t wash our bikes and go places where we might run out of gas.  This blog allows me to just not have to explain….I think most of the readers get it.  Just that simple, ADV riding is all about freedom, the unknown, trials and tribulations, challenges and of course spectacular views, people we meet and getting to places as far off the beaten path as possible.

Need I say more?

HEIDENAU DS TIRES – Where to buy?

I have been asked numerous times where we buy our Heidenau K60 tires.

On this trip this summer because we rode the Triumph Tiger 800XC bikes we needed a 150/70-17 rear and 90/90-21 inch front.  The new version of the K60 is the Scout.  You can find these tires at many dealers now and most seem to have stock.  There was an issue with the 150’s for a while last year with production out of Germany.  I think it had something to do with the company having to change how they made this tire to meet the environmental standards.  This seems to have been worked out.

On our 2010 BMW F650GS we are on our second set of the Heidenau tires. Rear size 140/80-17 and front 110/80-19.  Interesting the tires for the Beemer are more money than the tires for the Tiger or the F800GS. 

We buy from Robert at MTR Sports.  Not a fancy web site but MTR sells in both the USA and Canada.  Seems to have competitive pricing but again you can find these tires from many other dealers and even some BMW dealers are stocking them too.  MTR carries most of the items we need like brake pads, oil filters, stuff like that.  The best way to contact MTR is either by calling or email.


MTR SPORTS link here

We really like the Heidenau tire because of its DS appeal and handling on the road.  Tires are so subjective and truly depends on your riding demands.  Some call this tire an 50/50 tire.  I think it is more like a 80/20?  I mean we commute everyday on the Heidenau and have taken it off-road on forest service roads, gravel, mud, sand, etc.  But it is not a true knobby.  Because we do not have a tire changer to go from a street tire to a more aggressive tread when we want, we ride with these to try to cover whatever road we take.

Our first set of tires we got over 19,000 KM out of them and that was after we rode cross-country in the summer of 2010.  When we went to get the new Heidenau’s installed our dealer asked why were changing out our tires when there appeared to be so much tread left.  The tires we rode though northern BC, Yukon and Alaska this year had over 14,000 KM and quite a bit of life in them when we gave the Tigers back.

Presently, Cheryl and I both have our second set on our Beemers and I am up to 13,000 KM on mine and they are just beginning to show some wear.  We keep the pressure up as per Heidenau recommendations, 36 PSI front and rear.  We might lower the PSI just a bit if we are rocky or loose terrain but not by much.  Again different thoughts about lowering PSI off road and getting better traction. We feel better by having the PSI up on such a heavy bike, less risk of damaging the tire and rims.  Just our opinion.

The tires before Heidenau added the center strip used to square off quite a bit but with the new tread pattern they seem to keep their shape better for longer. 

140 rear at 19,000 KM

You can see a little tear in the old tire but it did not seem to penetrate enough to jeopardize the tire and we never lost air. Back in the summer 2010 on day 2 of our 26 day trip I got a nail puncture in my rear.  We plugged it and I rode the entire trip and then some on the plug.  Again probably not the best practice but the hole was dead center on one of the knobbies and the plug held until I installed new tires.

K60 After Corss country trip in 2010
The plug I rode on

So, in the end we have found our tire, have you?  This tire for us is such a great well-rounded tire and remember where we live….the WETcoast of BC, Canada near Vancouver and it rains a lot.  As far as traction on wet roads, we both have confidence in this tire.  Mind you we do not over do it in the rain but at the same time we can still have fun and be safe. 

Here is an example of the Scout center strip that Heidenau has added.  Some like it some hate.  On the Triumph Tigers

Happy Tire hunting!  Remember tires, like seats, shields etc are all subjective and you just might have to try things out first to find out either the reviews were right for you or not.  We are very happy this tire is out there and we can get them on our bikes.

What Bike would you buy?


Even though I ask if $$ was no issue, is weight? Height an issue? Vote for the most realistic bike if you had the money…. 🙂 

**Should have added the KTM 990 so if you choose that bike or the Multistrada and Moto Guzzi vote other and if you can leave a comment which other bike.

2012 BMW F650GS Sun Yellow
2012 BMW F800GS
2012 Triumph Tiger 800XC
2012 Triumph Tiger Explorer
2012 BMW R1200GS
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
2012 Honda Crosstourer

Feel free to answer and comment as to why you would buy the bike you picked.  If you choose other also feel free to reveal the other bike you would buy and why.  I am curious to see how this poll turns out.  Comments will help all of us understand decisions being made and maybe add what you ride now.

A BIG thank you to our Readers! Our BLOG turned 50,000 last night!

Cheryl & I want to thank all the supporters of this BLOG!  We hit 50,000 views last night!  Since we have been back from our summer trip on August 11th we have more hits to the BLOG then when we were on our trip.  Thanks for getting word out, I am seeing more and more referral sites than ever, more forums getting wind of the BLOG and even other ADV riders and web sites.

We have many folks from all ages both men and women alike coming along as we develop the BLOG.  As always we are open to suggestions, comments as to how we can make this a better site.  So, feel free to share what you want to see and share your thoughts.

Once again we both want to send out a HUGE thanks to everyone and sure hope this continues.  🙂


I was on the phone with Gerbing customer support this week and was informed that they are moving all productions from CHINA to NORTH CAROLINA, USA.  I think this is great news for Gerbing!  They are located in Tumwater, Washington and to have their own production site on the same continent is awesome.  Plus, will be nice to see a tag say Made in USA.

Gerbing Website here

We are heading down to their headquarters the weekend of November 6th to get new updated liners.  We have the old technology and we are going with the micro wire.  We used Gerbing on our summer trip and through out the winter here where we live in BC.  We own the T5 gloves too and with the liner, our heated grips and gloves we can comfortable ride in -5 C.

they also said supply might be delayed a bit..they are expecting new stock in the next few weeks but as far as when things will be coming out of North Carolina might be awhile. They said it is a large move to change locations from China to the USA but they are on it.

See our Triumph Tiger and gear review for our thought on Gerbing.

Here is a funny picture of Cheryl in her Gerbing liner coming out of a really bad smelling out house in Boundary Alaska this summer…you see we wore the liner everywhere.  😉


Just have to post this link because this is a BLOG about everything and wildlife is my passion.  Check out the HD Polar Bear cam broadcasting from Churchill, Manitoba.  It only lasts a few weeks before the Hudson Bay freezes over and the bears will be gone!  Check it out.

LIVE HD Polar Bear Cam Link


Would you buy this bike instead of a BMW or Triumph or any other self proclaimed ADV DS bike?  (pics can be clicked on for high resolution)

Honda has confirmed that the Crosstourer, unveiled as a concept at the EICMA last year, will go into mass production in 2012 and will be showcased at the EICMA show in November this year. Billed as an ‘adventure sports tourer,’ the Crosstourer is fitted with a 1200cc V4 engine that comes from the VFR1200F, along with long-travel suspension, an upright riding position and off-road styling cues. Dual Clutch Transmission will also be available as an option on the Crosstourer.

Has Honda developed a temptation?  For me, not sure.  Would love to hear thoughts about another attempt by Honda to enter the ADV world.  The Varadero did not seem to do too well from what I have read.  Don’t get me wrong I really like Honda bikes.  We both had 2008 Honda CBF1000’s and really liked that bike for street riding. 

2012 BMW G650GS SERTAO – Now this looks like a fun bike to ride

When I first saw this bike on the web I was like hmmmmmmmmmmm interesting.  Riding a lighter less complicated single cylinder bike that might be able to handle ADV touring is really appealing in some regards.  I mean how many of us have wished we had a lighter bike when we get ourselves into certain situations while venturing off-road?

Not sure if this bike will be a HUGE hit for BMW but I bet there is a niche out there that will have this as their primary bike.  Not sure how it would do on a long trip but I guess as long as you don’t over load it (which is probably a good thing because Cheryl and I always slightly over pack) and make the saddle comfy it might just make the grade.  Decent price too!

Click pics for high res version! 😉

BMW San Francisco gets credit for this info

2012 G650GS Sertão (MSRP $8,650*)

Introduction (as written by BMW of North America because we haven’t seen or ridden the bike yet)

With its new BMW G 650 GS Sertão, BMW Motorrad has added a new, sporting chapter to the history of single cylinders in the BMW GS family. Whereas the G650GS thrilled riders with its lean, wiry off-road stature, the G650GS Sertão promises even more sporting characteristics, even greater off-road capabilities, and an even stronger desire for adventure.

And all of this without any sacrafices to the established virtues of a BMW single cylinder enduro such as everyday practicality, appealing price-performance ratio, and playful riding properties.

On the technical side, the new G650GS Sertão uses the established liquid cooled, high-torque single cylinder engine of the G 650 GS with two overhead camshafts , fuel injection, and double ignition. Its 625 cc displacement delivers 50 hp at 6,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 44 ft/lb at 5,000 rpm.

The new Sertão offers greater off-road performance, optimized touring ability, and a dynamic design. While the G650GS chassis was developed primarily for county roads and light off-road use, the Sertão presents far greater off-road capabilities in the form of longer suspension travel and stiffer tuning. In addition, it is fitted with wire spoke wheels and the new color concept underscores the dynamic character of the single cylinder enduro.

Key Features

  • High-torque and low-consumption single cylinder engine with 652 cc displacement. Maximum torque of 44 ft/lb at 5,000 rpm and maximum output of 50 hp at 6,500 rpm.
  • Off-road chassis concept with long suspension travel (front/rear 210 mm or 8.3″)
  • Light dry weight of 390 lbs and wet weight of 426 lbs.
  • Fuel tank capacity of 3.7 gallons, including approximately 1 gallon reserve
  • Wire spoke wheels with light alloy rims. Wheel sizes 21″ front and 17″ rear
  • Two seat heights: 33.9″ (standard) and 35.4″ (special accessory)
  • Dynamic color concept in Aura White/Arroyo Blue with Sertão lettering and seat in black/grey
  • Black luggage rack
  • Extended top front fender
  • High windscreen
  • Hand protectors
  • Aluminum engine guard
  • Standard BMW Motorrad ABS, disengageable for off-road applications
  • Extensive range of accessories

Pricing and Equipment (MSRP $8,650)

Standard Equipment: High Windshield / Aluminum Engine Guard / Hand Protectors / Extended Front Fender

100% Options

Code Description
524 ABS (disengageable) with Hazard Flashers


Code Description MSRP
N84 Aure White / Arroyo Blue $0

Special Packages



Code Description MSRP
519 Heated Grips $250
603 Anti-Theft Alarm $395
764 Accessory Socket $50

Standard Package (MSRP: $8,950)

Code Description
519 Heated Grips
764 Accessory Socket

Premium Package



The first new G650GS Sertãos are scheduled to arrive in January of 2012. Let us know if you are interested in getting your hands on one of our first Sertãos and we’ll fill you in on all the deatils.



2012 BMW R1200GS

Maybe this bike the R1200GS rather the 1200GSA is a direct comparison to the new Triumph Tiger Explorer.  Perhaps Triumph will release an Adventure package with their new 1200cc bike like BMW.  In any case, here is the new 2012 BMW and it will be interesting to see what happens in the BIG ADV bike market next year when Triumph reveals their new addition to the ADV market. With so many companies getting on board might there be more competitive pricing??? Or, are we the public going to pay MSRP no matter how high just because we love these type of bikes?  BMW has not only added ABS as standard in their base package but all their options have subtly gone up too like centre stand prices, heated grips etc.  In the 1200 category their package pricing has gone up just a bit.  2010 equipment package price in Canadian dollars was$1600 and 2012 in US pricing is $1645, which will most likely translate to about $1745 CDN in or around.

2012 R 1200 GS (MSRP: $16,150*) Model Year 2012 Changes

  • Base model: Option 630 (ABS) added to 100% options; base MSRP up by $1,100 to reflect the change in base equipment
  • Standard and Premium Packages: Content changes to exclude option 630 (ABS) which is now in 100% options; net MSRP change is zero ($0) since ABS is now in base model
  • Base MSRP increase: +$60 in addition to the changes explained above resulting from adding ABS to the base model
  • New special packages: Option 431 (GS std. equipment), and option 432 (GS prem. equipment)
  • Standard Package: Individually listed equipment now bundled under special pakage option 431
  • Premium Pacakge: Individually listed equipment now bundled under special package option 432 which adds option 350 (chrome exhaust) without adding price; the result is a value improvement of $150 over last year’s premium package
  • New colors: 764 (Titan Silver Metallic), and N86 (Lupin Blue Metallic)
  • Discontinued colors: N15 (Magma Red), and N50 (Ostra Grey Metallic Matte)

100% Options

Code Description
630 Integral ABS (disengageable)

Standard Equipment

Code Description
588 White Turn Signals
636 Center Stand

Special Packages

Code Description MSRP
200 Special Model “Triple Black”: includes options 186 (special model), and 670 (special color cross-spoke wheels) $650
431 GS Standard Equipment: includes options 519 (heated grips), 539 (on board computer), 589 (hand protection), and 681 (saddle bag mounts) $845
432 GS Premium Equipment: includes options 350 (chrome exhaust), 416 (enduro ESA), 519 (heated grips), 539 (on board computer), 589 (hand protection), and 691 (saddle bag mounts) $1,645


Code Description MSRP
N64 “Triple Black” Sapphire Black Metallic (only with 200) $0
N86 Lupin Blue Metallic $0
751 Alpine White $0
764 Titan Silver Metallic $0


Code Description MSRP
186 Special Model (only with 200) $0
350 Chrome Exhaust $150
416 Enduro ESA $800
499 Low Suspension $250
519 Heated Grips $250
530 TPM (Tire Pressure Monitoring) $250
539 On Board Computer $295
589 Hand Protection $100
603 Anti-Theft Alarm $395
650 Enduro ASC $400
670 Special Color Cross Spoke Wheels (only with 200) $0
681 Saddle Bag Mounts $200
771 Cross Spoke Wheels $500
776 Low Seat $0

Standard Package (MSRP: $16,995*)

Code Description
431 GS Standard Equipment

Premium Package (MSRP: $17,795*)

Code Description
432 GS Premium Equipment


  • Option 200 and color N64 can only be ordered in combination with each other
  • Option 200 not with option 771 (200 includes 670 – special color cross spoke wheels)
  • Color N64 includes “GS” raised lettering seat; in combination with options 499 and 776 will not include the raised lettering seat
  • Option 431 not with option 432
  • Option 499 not with options 416 or 776 (776 included in 499)

2012 R1200GS Lupin Blue Metalic (color N86)


2012 R1200GS Titan Silver Metallic (color 764


2012 R1200GS “Triple Black” Sapphire Black Metallic (color N64)


2012 R1200GS Alpine White (color 751)


Info found on BMW San Fran website

All these bikes I am posting are awesome looking machines and in the field I am sure make the owners very happy.  If we win the lottery we would have one of each in our garage! 😉

Just so you all can see on one page here is the Tiger Explorer again.

2012 BMW F800GS

So, nothing too new here either for the BMW F800GS.  That might not be such a bad thing for the F800GS die hard out there.  No changes except colour choices and some options.  Like I have said we will be in the market for new bikes next year.  We were really hoping BMW would update the GS series more than they did.  Our bikes have remained mainly the same since 2008.  For us, the Triumph Tiger 800XC that we took on our summer adventure this year is the front-runner mainly because of the adjustable seat and comfort.

I just really do not like the Tiger’s ABS set up to turn it off and some other “minor” pet peeves.  No bike is perfect but as far as the street comfort that we are now looking for in a bike the Tiger’s are front in line.  We might wait until next Fall and see yet again if BMW makes a move in this market other than raising their base pricesPart of the reason the MSRP has gone up is that all 2012 BMW models will have ABS as standard. 

We do like that triple black though 😉

Info found on BMW San Francisco

Here is the 2012 BMW F800GS

2012 F 800 GS (MSRP: $12,355*)

Model Year 2012 Changes

  • Base model: Option 524 (ABS) added to 100% options; base MSRP up by $900 to reflect the change in base equipment
  • Standard Package: Content changes to exclude option 524 (ABS) which is now in 100% options; new MSRP change is zero ($0) since ABS is now in base model
  • Base MSRP increase: No base MSRP increase other than the changes explained above resulting from adding ABS to the base model
  • New special models: Option 210 – F 800 GS Trophy, and option N93 – Triple Black
  • New colors: N93 – Triple Black (Deep Black), N96 – GS Trophy (Desert Blue / Alpine White), and 986 (Graphitan Metallic Matte)
  • Discontinued colors: N24 (Lava Orange Metallic / Black Silk Shining), and 751 (Alpine White)

100% Options

Code Description
524 ABS (disengageable)
588 White Turn Signals

Special Packages

  • None


Code Description MSRP
N93 Triple Black (Deep Black); includes black and rallye grey seat, black spoke wheels, granite grey metallic matte frame, black fork, and nurburg silver metallic swing arm $250
N96 GS Trophy (Desert Blue / Alpine White) (only with option 210) $0
986 Graphitan Metallic Matte $0


Code Description MSRP
210 Special Model GS Trophy: includes color N96 with black and rallye grey seat, aluminum engine guard, hand protection bars with large protector and spoiler $450
519 Heated Grips $250
539 On Board Computer $295
603 Anti Theft Alarm $395
636 Center Stand $175
774 Low Seat $0

Standard Package (MSRP: $12,900*)

Code Description
519 Heated Grips
539 On Board Computer

Premium Package

  • None


  • Option 210 and color N96 only in combination with each other
  • Option 210 (special model GS Trophy) includes: color N96 with black and rallye grey seat, aluminum engine guard, hand protection bars with large protector and spoiler
  • Color N93 (Triple Black) contencts: Deep Black color, black and rallye grey seat, black spoke wheels, granite grey metallic matte frame, black fork, and nurburg silver metallic swing arm
  • Option 774 deletes black & rallye grey seat included with options 210 or N93

2012 F800GS Triple Black (color N93)



2012 F800GS ‘GS Trophy’ (color N96)




2012 F800GS Graphitan Metallic Matte (color 986)



Is this true that BMW has only added one different colour for their F650GS bikes in 2012?  SUN YELLOW with a $300 package?  As well as still offering Biarritz Blue and White Aluminum?

2012 F 650 GS (MSRP: $10,155*)

Info from BMW San Francisco

2012 F650GS Sun Yellow (color N92)



2012 F650GS White Aluminum Metallic Matte (color 924)


2012 F650GS Biarritz Blue Metallic (color 847)


Sort of like the Yellow but sure looks like BMW is trying to beef up the 650 to look likes it’s big brother the F800GS.  Disappointing if this is true that BMW has not remodeled this bike at least a bit more.  We own this bike and there is no doubt it is a GREAT bike in many aspects, but that plank seat has to go. 

I guess we wait until the 2013 models come out to see if there are any more significant changes in the mid range DS series. 

Model Year 2012 Changes (US prices)

  • Base model: option 524 (ABS) added to 100% options; base MSRP up by $900 to reflect the change in base equipment
  • Standard Package: Content changes to exclude option 524 (ABS) which is now in 100% options; net MSRP change is zero ($0) since ABS is now in base model
  • Base MSRP increase: No base MSRP increase other than the changes explained above resulting from adding ABS to the base model
  • New special model: Option N92 – Sun Yellow
  • New color: N92 (Sun Yellow / Black Silk Gloss)
  • Discontinued colors: N42 (Lava Orange Metallic)

100% Options

Code Description
524 ABS (disengageable)
588 White Turn Signals


Code Description MSRP
N92 Sun Yellow Special Model: includes option 553 (high windshield), enlarged front mud guard, wheels and mainframe in granite grey metallic, black fork, nurburg silver metallic swing arm $300
847 Biarritz Blue Metallic $0
924 White Aluminum Metallic Matte $0

Special Packages

  • None


Code Description MSRP
499 Low Suspension $250
519 Heated Grips $250
530 TPM (Tire Pressure Monitoring) $250
539 On Board Computer $295
553 High Windshield (only w/ N92) $0
603 Anti-Theft Alarm $395
636 Center Stand $175
774 Low Seat $0

Standard Package (MSRP: $10,700*)

Code Description
519 Heated Grips
539 On Board Computer

Premium Package

  • None

Easy Navigation

Share our BLOG link and help spread the word. 😉

We have added some easy ways to navigate through all the months of posts.  There is a pull down menu to the right or on the bottom of the page, depends on your browser,  that shows Pictures, Videos & More. There is also a category search, pulled down menus in the header, and a general search.  If you are looking for something and can’t find it just post a comment.  I will try to help.

Click on the menu you will see past months.  Click on the month you want to view and you will see the posts made in that month.  Our summer Triumph Tiger 800XC trip went from June 29th – August 11th 2011.  Prep began in April.  There is also a calendar at the bottom of the Blog that shows all dates and months with posts as well.  The day is highlighted when a post was made.  I try to post everyday if I can.

Continue reading “Easy Navigation”

Triumph Tiger Explorer More Pics

Notice the ground clearance, the 950W generator….the more I read the more this really sounds interesting. Now what do folks think the price point will be for a full load or base model?

Oh don’t take offense guys but why is it that companies always use a guy on their bikes as the “models”?  I guess even after we rode Triumph’s for 44 days they still might think grrls don’t ride ADV bikes?  Just would be nice to see something different….and no I am not a raging feminist.  😉

Pics from the Tiger 800 Forum here

High Resolution pics to download:

High Res 1

High Res 2

High Res 3

High Res 4

High Res 5

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