Traction: It’s Not Just for Tires-R&G Motorcycle Accessories for Improved ADV Riding
Writing and Photographs by Kane Wagner
As the rider digs his knee into the tank the bike leans into the turn on the uneven trail, testing the nimbleness of man and machine. The previous waterlogged mud pit left the Tenere 700 awash in slippery sludge, but the rider’s knee utilizes the friction of the R&G Tank Traction Grips to hold steady. The rear tire flings earth as the bike powers through the uneven terrain and continues to follow the ebb and flow of the Bald Eagle wilderness.
The constant change of the forest floor keeps the rider shifting position on the bike. Stand, sit, reposition body and weight to balance the T7’s 450 pounds. There’s a synergistic blend of the machine and the loose attack stance of rider, with the aid of the sticky Yamaha Mono-Seat and R&G Tank Grips, that keeps the rider firmly planted. No time to dally, the contours of the land require the utmost attention.
A single track cutting through the Bald Eagle highlands is both beautiful and wicked, testing the skills of the rider and the engineering of the bike. Awestruck by the stunning landscape the rider is thrown off-balance by the rocky uphill track. By quickly adjusting his footing, shifting his weight, squeezing the R&G Tank Traction Grips with his knees, and a feathering of the clutch, the rider guides the bike to find tire grip and a better line. The excitement is not over, but has just begun. The track through the rocky open field delivers the pair into the canopy. The coolness of the shade brings a sense of relief, but the continued rocky carnage and tightening of the trail force the rider to keep his senses focused on the task at hand.
The hard, sweat inducing #ADVDualSporting of the Bald Eagle State Forest has tired the rider and T7. Time for a much needed rest. There’s nothing like a little hydration and trail snack with an all natural backdrop. To ensure the Tenere doesn’t lay down on the job, the R&G Sidestand Foot Enlarger is deployed due to the soft and loose conditions of the woodlands. There’s nothing worse than a tiny kickstand foot puncturing earth and delivering the bike’s crash protection an unneeded closer look at the ground. After taking in the breathtaking Bald Eagle vista views and the calmness of the forest, the refreshed rider is ready to attack the next challenges of nature.
The flat-track descends, but not before delivering the powerful T7 a few water hazards. Traversing the rugged terrain, the rider picks a line and powers the Tenere into the water-filled rut, around a murky mud pit, and through another. Aided by the R&G Tank Grips, his knees and inner thighs maintain much needed traction on the tank to help flick the large ADV bike from port to starboard repeatedly as he navigates the rocky and rutted track.
As the trail continues the bike bounces over and around rocks, whose presence has multiplied steadily on the path. The track is wide enough for a truck so the rider has many lines to choose from, but constantly finds himself searching for the ugliest. Riding skills and engineering need to be tested after all. The beauty of the valley is exposed to the rider, moving from oak and hickory forest to a tranquil pine cloak. The relentless Bald Eagle trail, with its violent allure, is juxtaposed by the calming beauty of the pine forest and a babbling brook. The rider continues for a short stretch before heading off into the evergreen darkness. With the descent finished, the rider and his mount reach the valley floor, enjoy the respite of the graveled forest road, and plot a course for the next Bald Eagle Dual Sport trail.
The R&G Tank Traction Grips not only aid in more effective rider inputs on the bike but also add an aggressive look to the overall aesthetic. The four pieces are very easy to install: clean the surface with the included wipes, heat the tank grip, and apply. If you want to ensure an even and accurate placement, place the bike on a centerstand or bike lift. The R&G Sidestand Foot Enlarger is just as easy to install. Place the included rubber strips inside the base and tighten the three screws holding the base and top plate together. Make sure to use Loctite!
Interested in testing out your skills and bike’s engineering on the Bald Eagle trail? Head over to AppalachianADV.com/Events! Appalachian ADV’s Bald Eagle Jamboree ADV Dual Sporting Rally is July 15-17. It’s a small-scale rally with camping and riding in the amazing Bald Eagle State Forest of Central Pennsylvania. ADV and Dual Sport bikes will have the opportunity to tackle the Bald Eagle Dual Sport Loop, ADV Dual Sporting Loops, and basic ADV Loops.
Kane is the founder of Appalachian ADV – Adventure & Dual Sport Motorbiking LLC, formed as an outlet for creativity in written word, captured visual art, and route development. Two wheels and a motor are his adrenaline junkie delivery system of choice, providing natural highs delivered through dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins that act as the catalysts for his motorbiking experience. His goal is to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to create common bonds through shared adversity on his “ADV Dual Sporting” routes as well as building confidence by overcoming those joyous hardships. Kane and Appalachian ADV aim to use motorbikes, the beauty and challenges of nature, and a healthy dose of those happy hormones to give people opportunities to enjoy life, unplug, find much needed commonality, and to Have Fun, Take Chances…