If Carlsberg made trail bikes…

We’ve got an interesting new addition to the Adventure Ride stable. Imagine if you will, a 280cc fuel injected two stroke trail bike fitted with twin fuel tanks, lights, indicators , a comfy seat and an ingenious reverse cylinder motor with prodigious torque  which weighs, wait for it… 78kg. That would be the Ossa Exlorer and like I said , if Carlsberg made trail bikes, it would probably look like something like this;

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Tricky-looking piece of kit isn’t it? It’s too early to give any meaningful riding impressions at this stage, mainly because I’m trying to keep it nice and clean until next week’s Telford Off-Road show. First impressions of the Ossa are good; the build quality is excellent and clever design details abound. It’s a masterpiece of packaging and a great deal of thought has gone into how the various components integrate with each other. An initial blast down the lane revealed the bike is  spookily smooth for a single pot stroker. It’s light of course, really light in fact and feels more like a powered mountain bike than a trials iron. But it is indeed a trials iron and based very closely on the tried and tested Ossa 280i . This should give prospective purchasers some confidence because the 280i has been around for some years now and should have been thoroughly de-bugged.

I collected the bike from UK importer Nigel Birkett at Birkett Motorsport based up in the wilds of Cumbria, Nigel had a 2014  model in stock and ready which meant I could have it in time for the show. This was enough to persuade me to make the long trip up the M6 in foul winter weather and Nigel was kind enough to keep the shop open late for me so I could pick it up.

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A masterpiece of packaging and design detail.

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Lovely bit of fabrication on the exhaust. The cockpit PlayStation should keep a Luddite like me confused  amused for hours on end

It’s always a risk buying a specialist bike from a low volume producer like Ossa but having talked at length to Nigel I’m confident the technical backup is there, at least from a UK point of view. Nigel is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very helpful and I feel this and the two year parts warranty [can you believe that on a competition bike?] means the Explorer should be a sound purchase. Ossa have a good dealer network in the UK and I’m lucky to have one on my doorstep .  Ian Spence at Trials and Tribulations is the West Midlands Ossa dealer and has a workshop just up the road .

. Adventure Ride will be in Hall A promoting our guided trail rides and also the Trail Riders Fellowship so please call by the stand if you want to talk about trail riding or check out the Explorer. I’ll also be displaying my Laverda Atlas adventure bike and one of the Gas Gas Pampera fleet bikes. We might even have a kettle…

The Telford Show as it’s known or, to give it its full title, The Putoline Motor Oils Telford Twin Shock, Classic and Road racing Show can be found at  http://www.classicoffroadshow.com

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