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Trail Tips - February 2009 Print E-mail
Written by Lawrence Borgens   
Sunday, 15 February 2009 06:17




Dear Lawrence,

Welcome to Trail Tips your resource for motorcycle adventure riding, Dual Sport and Off-Road events!    Trail Tips has responded to your input and expanded to include more of what's important to YOU!  This issue includes the first installment of "GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist", a series of articles about using GPS in conjunction with Adventure & Dual Sport motorcycling.  We also have information about upcoming FREE Rides as well as the dates of our annual events.   2008 was a banner year for Family Off-Road Adventures and I am expecting 2009 to be even better!  With the economy on a down-swing but fuel at a decent price many people are choosing this year to scale back their vacations and take time seeing the sights closer to home.  this is the time to get on your bike and see some new country, re-connect with old friends & make some new friends all from the saddle of your motorcycle on a back-country road.   Choose to have your family join our family for an adventure now!

GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist

GPS and the Adventure Motorcyclist Because we promote dual sport and off-road events that utilize GPS for navigation, I often get asked "what is the best GPS?"  I don't know what the best GPS unit for you is, but over the years I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work when you combine a GPS and a motorcycle.  Instead of talking about the virtues of each manufacturer and model, each monthly article will focus on a different feature common to various GPS units.  My hope is that this series of articles will help you to better choose the right unit for your needs.

Although I have owned and worked with several different units I have not come close to trying every type of unit out there.  So don't get offended if I don't mention your favorite brand or your particular unit.  I'll be up front by saying that most of the units I have owned were manufactured by Garmin and currently I am using their "Quest" model.

Overall Unit Size & Display Size

Some units are designed for use in an auto, RV, boat or aircraft and are therefore designed with a larger case, buttons and display.  For use on a motorcycle it is usually better to use a smaller unit because it fits better on the handlebars.  One of the downsides to choosing a smaller GPS unit is that the display will be smaller, which can be a problem for riders that need to use reading glasses.  So when choosing a unit, make sure that it has a display large enough for you to see clearly and that the case is small enough to conveniently fit on your motorcycle.

Additional things to consider with displays are color vs. gray-scale and the screen resolution.  Most new units come with a color screen which is useful for differentiating between various objects on the screen when navigating or glancing quickly at the unit while underway.  Resolution can also be an issue if you intend to load topographical maps or others maps that have fine detail icons on the screen.

The important thing to remember about screen size is that you will likely be trying to look at this unit while traveling on a motorcycle at a high rate of speed on an unimproved roadway under hazardous conditions.  With all of this in mind you want to get the unit that provides you the best advantage under these conditions.

Happy Trails!


Yosamite AdventureYosemite Adventure Tour BMW National Adventure Riding Series Event  Saturday & Sunday May 2nd & 3rd, 2009  

The Yosemite Adventure Tour is an AMA Sanctioned dual sport event held at the gateway to Yosemite National Park, Buck Meadows California. This two day, GPS based, self-guided tour includes scenic & historic destinations in and around Yosemite National Park using paved and unpaved roads with the option of hard and easy splits for approximately 100 miles of fun each day. It's time to get your bike out of the garage, hit the road and show up for some FUN!!! This event caters to ALL street legal dual sport & adventure bikes, whether it's a large adventure-touring machine or a small trail-bike.   For more information please click:


AMALegislative Action Alert Tell Congress Not to Close 2.1 Million Acres of Public Land!   Click the link below to write Your Representative to Vote "NO" on S. 22!   The House of Representatives will be considering the omnibus public lands bill, S. 22, as early as next week.  The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) opposes the bill, because it imposes blanket regulations, which may result in restricting the use of millions of acres of federally managed lands.
S.22, if enacted, would create 80 new federal Wilderness designations and increase the size of some already existing Wilderness areas. Specifically, the bill would designate 2.1 million acres as federal Wilderness land, which would result in shutting out all motorized vehicles for off-road recreation.    Continued responsible access to public lands is a vitally important right for current and future generations.  This measure deserves to be fully analyzed and thoughtfully debated in the 111th Congress prior to a final vote.
All AMA members and anyone else who enjoys outdoor recreation is urged to contact their Member of Congress and ask them to oppose S. 22, the Omnibus Public Lands bill.   Take Action NOW!


borgensLawrence Borgens Named as AMA District 36 Dual Sport Liaison

At the December AMA District 36 meeting Lawrence Borgens, founder of Family Off-Road Adventures, was appointed as the Dual Sport Liaison by District President, Kay Neely.   Of the nomination Lawrence  said "I look forward to working with AMA District 36 clubs and promoters to ensure a successful 2009 Dual Sport Season"   For more information please see the AMA District 36 web site at:


guidesGuides and Event Coordinators Wanted!

Family Off-Road Adventures is seeking GUIDES and EVENT COORDINATORS in the United States.  If you are skilled in the use of computers & GPS, have expertise in a specific scenic and historic destination, can create routes and have a desire to plan events and lead clients & employees on memorable and SAFE adventures then we want to hear from you.

The qualified applicant is well organized, a "people person", knows the meaning of "servant leadership" and loves to ride.  If this is you then please contact us for more information about employment opportunities with Family Off-Road Adventures.


Trail Tip! Use your GPS as a "Super-Accurate" clock.  Since your GPS unit downloads time data from multiple GPS satellites that contain multiple Cesium "atomic" clocks, an average GPS is by far the most accurate timepiece that the average person will ever own.




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