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January newsletter. Kove450 in Nanaimo. April VIME event Sayward Junction. Camping GoldRiver400. GR4 crew. Kove450 initial riding impressions.

News release from Tuff City Powersports Nanaimo:

"We are excited to announce the Kove 450 Rally is ready to order! We want to notify you that we have been given the go-ahead from Kove Canada for the Canadian street legal models and we are now placing orders for 2024.

Transport Canada has approved the Kove 450 Rally for street use in Canada, which means these bikes are now a hot ticket item. We do not expect to see stock on dealers floors for the first two years as the demand is greater than the supply. We have a demo model on the floor for you to come and test ride.

Due to the high demand of these bikes we are now placing orders for the shipment of bikes arriving May/June. This will be the first shipment for the year so if you would like to get on a Kove for the coming year please let us know so we can facilitate this and reserve a bike for you.

There will be two models available: Standard height and low (low is 2" lower).

Available in red or teal.

Final price on Vancouver Island which includes all fees is $13,399 plus tax."

115 Terminal Ave. Nanaimo. 250-591-0415


April event (if the mild weather continues). Backcountry Navigation Trial.

Sayward Junction, 26, 27, 28 April 2024...

I for one am enjoying this mild winter weather! A cold snap at the start of November was still on the ground at the start of December but a jollyboys day out on the last day of the year around Mount Menzies found no snow or ice and nearly comfortable temperatures.

After the GoldRiver300 last year, I was asked about a spring event and thought it was unlikely, given the unhelpful weather we had encountered the previous two winters - and then El Niño happened and winter bike servicing breaks still have not happened.

I'm beginning to think it may be possible to have a spring event after all - provided I do not jinx the weather and bring a Little Ice Age around our ears with snow and ice up to our nipples....

After some consultation, the last weekend in April appears to suit most respondents best. Venue will be Sayward Junction in the heart of TreeFarmLicence country (no Mosaic gates). SJ has a variety of accommodation options ranging from free camping at the Elk Creek Rec Site, through the White River Campground and the Sayward Valley Resort and Motel. A pub/restaurant and petrol station is also in the vicinity.

I have prepared an initial route, yet to be written up as a roadbook and tested/edited. The format will be the usual format to the GoldRiver rules with two classes, a Richta/roadbook completion class and a Gaia/pairs roadbook non-timed touring class. The route distance is 240km over the Saturday with a fuel and food compulsory passage control stop approximately half way round.

The day will be one of ascents and descents. Nothing impossible, I have ridden all of this (60-something on a DR650) but not a beginner's day out. All riders and bikes must be road legal.

The course profile looks like this:

The weather of the winter will be watched closely over the coming weeks and a decision whether we go or not will be made before the end of February, at which point entries will be opened.


GoldRiver400 camping.

Arrangements are being made to reserve the Gold River Municipal campground again for the GR4 bivouac. Given we will be "on event" for a couple of days more this year compared to last year, I am also arranging with the Village for the shower facilities at the Hilke Rd sports field to bo open each day to remove the grime of each day's ride. When I know how much I am going to be charged by the village for these I will put camping up on this website's Shop tab for event participants to buy their camping passes.

In addition to camping (tent and caravan), you can stay in the Ridge motel or rent an AirBnB.


Would you like to be part of the GR4 crew?

It takes a fair amount of effor to put on one of these events. Fortunately, most of the effort goes in during the weeks and months leading up to the event. Planning the routes, writing the roadbooks, test riding the routes to proof-read the roadbooks and to lay out the Richta timing gates. The event is "set" several weeks before the event weekend.

There remains a need for assistance though:

  • proof-reading the roadbooks while I am setting the Richta timing gates in the weeks before the event and during the event organising and

  • at the event, taking rider's registrations/waivers/emergency contact details and

  • "access all areas" riders and drivers out on the courses.

Last year Owen Partaik provided on the course services and this year has a complimentary entry to the GR4

If you would like to be involved, get to be part of the bigger picture and know the whole of what goes on I would love to hear from you.


Interview with Dave and Nick Baumann, Tuff City Powersports Ltd, Nanaimo.

Initial riding impressions of the Kove 450.

"Insanely stable....!"

JB: First off, congratulations on being awarded the Vancouver Island Kove dealership!

D+N: Very stoked! Thank you!

JB: Kove450, a bike generating a great deal of interest....

D+N: It will be a bike well suited to The Island, gravel roads, ATV trails, single track and tarmac roads. It's the bike that everybody builds their DR, DRZ, KTM into by adding towers and tanks and guards and pipes and gets a cool rally bike. Well here it is!

JB: You've ridden many off road bikes, you've even bought this one as you own bike, what bikes would you compare it to and how does it stack up?

D+N: Beta, GasGas, KTM - so far the K450 has yet to disappoint on any level, money well spent! As a dealer, when it's your bike you can do much more with ith than if it is an importer loan bike.

JB: What does it go like?

D+N: Power-wise it is close to a tame liquid cooled 4stroke, say a DRZ400. It's not like a 450MX bike, it has a softer power delivery - tractable and smooth. When you need the power you up the revs and it's there! Keep the revs down and it's super-chill, super-tame, wring it's neck and it wakes up!

JB: Cycle parts?

D+N: The suspension is much stiffer than you usually find on showroom bikes. Coupled with it's light weight it's almost like motocross suspension - stiff and aggressive. On high speed gravel roads and power lines it is like a razor with it's longish wheelbase, no deflections from potholes or compressions. Insanely stable! Really good for aggressive riders, but for adventure riders used to softer suspension this might be stiffer than they are used to...

JB: So which market sector do you expect the K450 to be the biggest hit in?

D+N: This is the road-legal version of what is essentially a competition bike. It is priced to be within reach of younger riders, it is also aimed at "vet-amateur" mid aged riders looking for a bike that is useable in a wide range of circumstances. The one we have is the tall version with a high seat. [JB: it is too tall for me to be able to sit astride it - the lower version with a low seat is three inches lower].

JB: And price - can I quote you?

D+N: $15000 out the door...

JB: and what aftermarket parts are available?

D+N: Nav towers, bash guards, luggage systems. They come with a usb power port on the factory tower to run add-on electronics. Suspension kits, engine maps, exhausts, seats, a factory steering stabiliser system, even an under-engine water tank.....(?)

JB: And the dashboard ?

D+N: Speedo, tachometer, clocks, odometers, temperatures, fuel levels, ABS on/off on the fly....

JB: I know there is a great deal of demand ....

D+N: Yes, we do not expect to have any difficulty selling every one we can get - the demand is currently exceeding supply.

JB: Well, I very much hope to see you at one of the VIME events on your K450 and I know there will be a great deal of interest from the other riders!

D+N: That sounds very interesting, thank you for your invitation.

Now for some bike porn, a naked K450

J Binnington 9 Jan 2024

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