Dual Sport Summit 2017
Last week, I arrived at the KLiM headquarters in Rigby, ID. I'm extremely proud to be one of a handful of people from around the country invited to attend the first ever KLiM Dual Sport Summit.
This event was put together and hosted by Mark Kincart, the marketing manager at KLiM. The goal was to show us the reasons KLiM has successfully become the world leader in technical off-road gear, and how they continue to hold that title. Also, they wanted our input on gear production and use, since the ones chosen to attend eat, sleep, breathe dual sport motorcycles. They know that it's not just a hobby for us, it's our lifestyle.
The first day of the Summit was a conference at KLiM USA, and the following days, an epic couple of days riding through the backcountry of Idaho, in KLiM's backyard.
I left in the early AM to make the long drive from Everett to Rigby. Jeep, bike, and dog.
Wednesday afternoon, I arrived at the KLiM HQ. Mark and I had a dinner meeting, and waited for the rest of the crew to arrive via air around 9PM that night. We picked them up at the Idaho Falls Regional Airport, checked into our hotel rooms, and had a super late meal together at a BBQ joint.
We all knew each other from social media interactions, but this was the first time we had ever been around each other in person.
The first real day of the Summit kicked off with a tour of the headquarters, which is a very impressive building. If you ever get the chance to stop by, I highly recommend it. Following, we all gathered in the conference room, where almost every wall was covered in displays of the most current gear available. We spent most of the day talking about gear and how it can best be suited for the needs and lifestyle of the dual sport rider, a presentation on trail advocacy by Martin Hackworth, and seeing some upcoming secret products and giving our input.
Hearing from the source how the company came to be, the struggles during it's beginnings, and how they make sure their products are absolutely the best in the industry was pretty impressive. These guys have worked hard over the years to get where they are, and to achieve the level of quality they currently produce. If you have ever worn KLiM gear, you'll understand.
We finished up with our meeting, geared up in the new Mojave line, and headed out to dinner. Directly after, we hit the road. KLiM had a bit of a surprise for us: for the event, they acquired 7 new Honda CRF250Ls for us to ride. 4 of them were the new rally edition. Since I already had my KTM 500 EXC with me, I opted to ride my own personal bike. And, let's face it...it's a 500.
The KLiM toy trailer was loaded up with the Hondas, and a couple KTMs for other members of the Summit. Kelly Anson of Trail Tech even brought a 2018 KTM 500 EXC outfitted with their equipment to spend the weekend on.
I followed the sprinter van and the truck/trailer combo, and we drove straight to Mackay, ID, where we'd spend the remainder of the event. Waiting there for us was an awesome cabin in the country side, which just happened to be on Summit Dr. I think that may have been part of Mark's creative planning, pretty fitting I'd say.
The following morning, we woke and geared up in the new Mojave setup, and rode to breakfast at a place called Amy Lou's. We all enjoyed a great breakfast together, and had the honor of being hassled by Amy herself.
This was to be our first of two days of riding with the KLiM crew through the surrounding area.
After a very interesting explanation of the unique geological history of a specific part of Idaho from Martin Hackworth, he lead us through a pretty cool canyon run.
After arriving back at our cabin, a few of us decided we weren't quite done riding and taking photos, so we headed down the highway for a good scene to shoot with.
Summit Perk #4: Working with like-minded artists.
Just like the day before, we took off to ride directly after breakfast. Stephen Clark took us on an awesome ride over a couple different passes with plenty of fast dirt roads and rocky switchbacks, all leading us to the other side of the mountains.
As is always possible on a ride like this, one of the crew cracked his water pump housing on some very rocky two-track. I volunteered to ride back to camp with him while he limped his 250 back.
Great weekend of riding, views experience, an inside look at the industry, new friends, all ended with a sunset view over the nearby lake.
Thank you for the great opportunity, KLiM. Definitely going down as a major highlight of 2017.