Traction, Not Just for Tires
The rider digs his knee into the tank as the bike leans into the turn, the uneven trail testing the nimbleness of man and machine. The previous waterlogged mud pit leaving the Tenere 700 awash in slippery sludge, his knee finds the friction of the R&G Tank Traction Grips. The rear tire flings earth as the bike power turns 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 around the cockpit. Standing, sitting, repositioning weight and body position to equilibrate the T7's 450 pounds. A synergistic blend of the balanced power of machine and the loose attack stance of rider, with the aid of the sticky Yamaha Mono-Seat and R&G Tank Grips to keep the rider firmly planted. No time to dally, the contours of the land require utmost attention.
A single track cutting through the Bald Eagle highlands is both beautiful and wicked, allowing another test of skills for the rider and the engineering of the bike. Awestruck by the stunning landscape the rider is thrown off-balance by the rocky uphill track. Quickly adjusting his footing, shifting his weight, knees squeezing the R&G Tank Traction Grips, and a feathering of the clutch, the bike recovers finding 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 must keep most of those senses focused on the task at hand.
The hard, sweat inducing #ADVDualSporting of the Bald Eagle State Forest has readied the rider and T7 for a much needed siesta. Nothing like a little hydration and trail snack with an all natural backdrop. To ensure the temporarily resting 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. Nothing worse than a tiny kickstand puncturing earth and delivering the bikes crash protection an unneeded closer look at the ground. After taking in the breathtaking Bald Eagle vista views and calmness of the forest, the refreshed rider and rested Tenere are ready to attack the next challenges of nature.
The flat triple-track begins to descend but not before delivering the powerful T7 a few water hazards. Traversing the rugged terrain, the rider picks a line and points the Tenere into the water-filled rut, around a murky mud pit, and gooses the throttle 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 they navigate the rocky and rutted track.
As the trail continues the bike bounces over and around rocks, whose presence has multiplied steadily as the pathway descends. 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. Skills and engineering need to be tested after all. The beauty of the valley begins to tighten on the rider and his Tenere, moving from oak and hickory forest to a tranquil pine cloak. The relentless Bald Eagle trail with its violent allure juxtapose the calming beauty of the pine forest and a babbling brook, traveling parallel with the pair for a short stretch before heading off into the evergreen darkness. With their descent finished, the Tenere and rider 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 also an easy 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? Join Appalachian ADV at one of our Beginner-Intermediate ADV Riding Clinics, one of our Rallies or Tours, or our American Legion Fundraiser Ride.... Or hit a couple few of them!!! AppalachianADV.com/Events
A slightly different version of this story can be found on the Twists & Turns Blog over at Twisted Throttle. Check out our other articles or the other writers and Ambassadors articles while you're there...
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