was successfully added to your cart.


ktm 990 adventure Archives - Giant Loop

GL Rider David Darcy Recaps His “Giant Loop Experience” After Multiple International Motorcycle Adventures Since 2012

By | Blog, FAQ, Fitment, Giant Loop Gear, KTM, Reviews, Riders, Royal Enfield, Uncategorized | No Comments

GL Rider David Darcy Recaps His “Giant Loop Experience” After Multiple International Motorcycle Adventures Since 2012

If you’re thinking of doing that big adventure, one of the first decisions you are going to have to make is, are you going to use hard of soft luggage?  When I started adventure riding I initially chose aluminium panniers as I thought they would offer better theft prevention, be laster longing,  and offer protection for gear in the event of a crash.  Within about year all of those preconceptions had been smashed,  literally.  During a ride one of the pannier lids fell off and before I could retrieve it, it had been run over by a truck.  Within a month I had a decent crash and completely destroyed one pannier.  During a crossing of the Simpson Desert I found that the hard panniers would smash the backs of my legs in tough sand going with the potential of me being seriously injured. 
In 2012, when preparing for our London to Sydney motorcycle adventure on KTM 690s my riding partner, Darren Higginson and I, made a decision to go with Giant Loop soft luggage.   We chose the Great Basin Saddle Bag, a Fandango Tank Bag and two dry bags.   We didn’t know it at the time, but this Giant Loop set up was a fantastic balance between luggage capacity and the need to keep luggage weight low.  The Great Basin was also well away from the rear of the foot pegs with little chance of injuring a riders legs if their feet were pushed back from the foot pegs. The GL gear held up for the 18,000 kilometre trip, with nothing breaking.  In fact when I returned to Australia, I gave my Great Basin and Fandango Tank Bag to a friend, who still uses it to this day.  Giant Loop products are made from a tough material that resists chaffing and deformation.  Last year I came off at around 60 kilometres per hour on a slippery muddy dirt road and the gear took the slide without any damage. 
David Darcy KTM 690 London to Sydney

David Darcy KTM 690 London to Sydney

PIC 1: Over looking a valley in Kyrgyzstan with some of the best adventure riding in the world before us. My Giant Loop soft luggage set up for the London to Sydney ride; a Fandango Tank Bag, Great Basin Saddle Bag, and a couple of dry bags.  

When I returned to Australia I took on a number of big adventures including an unassisted west east crossing of the Simpson Desert,  later a south north crossing of the Simpson,  a numerous other adventures that clocked up thousands of kilometres including riding the South Island of New Zealand.  For these trips I changed to a set of Giant Loop Siskiyou Panniers.  I found the Siskiyou Panniers allowed me to lower and centralise weight distribution which greatly assisted riding in desert sand.  They also fitted perfectly with my Rally Raid Pannier Racks.  I upgraded to a Fandango Pro Tank bag as it allowed to more easily charge cameras in the tank bag.  I’ve alternated between a Tillamook and Rogue Dry bag.  The dry bags have been amazingly useful due to them being double ended.  If packed in a thoughtful way the bags allow you to very quickly access those things that are important, like warm layers,  tools, or some well earned food.   I generally keep food and clothes one end and spares and tools the other. 
Earlier this year I rode 17,000 kilometres in Russia from Samara to Magadan via the Road of Bones on a KTM990.   The bike was waiting for me in Russia for this trip and I flew in with my Siskiyou Panniers, a Fandango Pro Tank bag, and the incredibly useful Columbia Dry Bag as I knew they would fit on the bike and give me what I needed in what I knew would be a challenging environment.  The trip was tough, with thick clouds of dust,  hundreds of kilometres of mud and days of riding in constant rain.  When I finally reached Magadan, I jet washed the bags with my gear in them, and not one drop of water, dust or mud had entered the panniers.  During that ride I came off at speed on a concrete bridge covered in slippery clay.  As accidents go it was at the fair to medium end of the spectrum and the bike slid along the concrete bridge for a number of metres.  Apart from one Siskiyou pannier being slightly scuffed there was no damage.
MADTV's David Darcy on KTM 990

MADTV’s David Darcy on KTM 990

PIC 2: My KTM990 having a rest in the deep grass of the Altay Mountains, Siberia, Russia.  Siskiyou panniers, Fandango Pro Tank Bag and Columbia Dry bag were a great combination for this challenging 17,000 kilometres where we rode an average of 900 kilometres per day. 
I’m just back from riding the Himalayan Mountains in Kashmir India.  For this ride my mate, Nugget and I rented bikes and we had to pack really light.  I chose to go with my Columbia Dry Bag and Fandango Pro Tank Bag,  that fitted perfectly on my Bajaj 220 cc Pulsar road bike.   Nugget rode the new Enfield Himalaya and he took a Great Basin saddle bag and Fandango Tank Bag.   As expected the GL soft luggage didn’t let us down,  kept our gear dry and dust free.  It was the ideal soft luggage set up for this ride.  
Giant Loop on Royal Enfield

Giant Loop on Royal Enfield

PIC 3:  My rented Bajaj 220 cc loaded and ready for adventure in the Himalayas, Kashmir, India.  Giant Loop Pro Tank Bag, Columbia Dry Bag.  Proghorn straps reliably fixed my Columbia Tank Bag.  My GL tracker packer housing my SPOT tracker is also in view, a handy reliable holder for a very important piece of equipment. 

Giant Loop in the Himalaya's Highest Motor Pass

Giant Loop in the Himalaya’s Highest Motor Pass

PIC 4: Our bikes on the world’s highest road pass at 18,380 feet.  Nugget’s Enfield Himalaya sporting a Great Basin saddle bag and Fandango Tank Bag and my little Bajaj in the background.  
Now if you want to see Giant Loop products being used in real world adventures, please head to Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV on youtube!
David Darcy is a supported rider for Giant Loop.  

Giant Loop Tech Tip: Mounting The Buckin’ Roll On KTM’s 990 Adventure

By | Fitment, KTM, Tech Tips | No Comments

While at Rally in the Gorge, last weekend, I got a chance to ride with some skilled big bike riders. One of them is Richard, who rides with the HeavyWeights Adventure Riding Team. He has a KTM 990 Adventure, that he tosses around like it was a pit bike. Meaning, he rides the wheels off that machine. ?He had been looking for a front storage solution that didn’t get in the way of his ride and when he saw the new Buckin’ Roll, he knew his search was over. ?While mounting the Buckin’ Roll, he found a couple of mounting details that we thought would be helpful to others, so I am sharing them here.

One detail was to loop the rear mounting straps of the harness, under the front cowling. This makes for a very tidy package because the mounting straps don’t extend down each side of the bike to the frame.

Another detail was to use a set of 20″ Pronghorn Straps to mount the Top Case to the Buckin’ Roll harness. This made getting in and out of the Top Case much easier. ?The final detail was to attach the Pannier Pockets to the tank guards in the forward most position. This secures the Pannier Pockets completely out of the way and firmly anchored in place.

Hopefully this are helpful hints for others to use!




Giant Loop Rider: Mark Rides His KTM 990 Adventure To The Trona Pinnacles With Siskiyou Panniers

By | Dealers, Giant Loop Gear, KTM, Photos, Saddlebags | No Comments

Giant Loop dealer?Sierra Nevada Adventures?is owned by Mark Girardi, an avid rider and Dual Sport Adventure tour guide. He gets some awesome pics during many of his adventures. These images are from his recent trip to the Trona Pinnacles, in the Mojave desert. He loves the KTM 990 Adventure and carries his gear in Siskiyou Panniers. Check out more of his ride pics on his F-Book page, SNAmark. Thanks, Mark, for sharing the great photos.

SNA Trona Pinnacles (2)


SNA Trona Pinnacles (1)

SNA Trona Pinnacles (3)

SNA Trona Pinnales (4)






Giant Loop Rider: Stephanie Rides Her DRZ From Ghana To Ireland, With Coyote Saddlebag And Fandango Tank Bag

By | KTM, Photos, Riders, Suzuki | No Comments

Last fall, Giant Loop Rider Stephanie rode her Suzuki DRZ400 from Ghana, Africa back to Ireland.
She rode with her Beau, Rory, who took his KTM 990 Adventure on the trip.


She packed her gear in a Coyote Saddlebag and Fandango Tank Bag onto her DRZ400. She had this to say about it, “trip from Ghana (west-Africa) to Ireland April last year. Coyote saddlebag kit and Fandango tank bank withstood the test”

Her DRZ is setup to travel with a Safari fuel tank for extended travel range, a comfort seat upgrade and a small fairing added to the headlight mask for weather deflection.



Locally sourced service stand.


No Contenant-crossing adventure ride would be complete without a pic of a small future-Rider, aboard the iron pony. 🙂ghana2

Love the Ferries and their scary approach pools, at the ramp.ghana6

Sunset in the Sahara, worth all the flats and ferries…ghana3

Giant Loop Video: The Heavyweights Slug Out 24 Hours of Starvation Ridge Race on Adventure Bikes

By | Video | No Comments

Congratulations to our friends in Washington, The Heavyweights! They silenced all of the doubters and naysayers who said the 24 Hours of Starvation Ridge race couldn’t been finished – let alone run competitively – on big, twin-cylinder adventure touring motorcycles. The Heavyweights took home 2nd place in their class, finishing 38th overall racing against thumpers. And they?donated almost 200 lbs of food to the Goldendale Community Food Bank. Well done guys! Full report below.

24 Hours of Starvation Ridge Race Report

Written by John Isenberg
Contributors: Alex Martens, Darry VanNiewenhuise

The brainchild of Darryl VanNieuwenhuise, CEO of Cyclops Adventure Sports, he was able to quickly put a team of riders together brave enough to race their KTM Adventure against the much lighter 450?s that would be the norm.

Darryl first pitched the idea to Alex Martens of Konflict Motorsports & Suspension who didn?t need any convincing to partner with Cyclops and build a team. The call went out for others to participate in the quest to be the first team to compete at the Starvation Ridge 24 hour on adventure bikes. Didn?t take long, the PNW being one of the best places in the country for dual sport riding, there was no shortage of volunteers willing to participate in this crazy idea.

The team that resulted was impressive. Veteran off road racers with a combined resume that included AA wins, Baja 1000 finishes and previous 24 hour class champions.

The plan was coming together. The team was filled with 6 riders, unfortunately one of the riders was injured in a race prior to the 24 hour and the decision was made to move forward with 5. They?d be riding KTM 990 Adventures with the exception of Alex who would be racing his KTM Super Enduro.

Next up was to try and round up some help. The team discovered that there were companies eager to get behind the effort. Before long they had Renazco Racing, Giant Loop, Klim, Tigatu Clothing and Ride Motorsports. The kicker was a very generous sponsorship from Coastal Instruments. Of course, Cyclops provided race lighting and Konflict ensured suspension was tuned perfectly for each rider and the expected conditions.

The only concern the team had was weather. The last 2 years had seen rain turn the event into a mud bog. Probably the only conditions the big Adventure struggles in. As the event approached things were looking promising.

The team was getting an unexpected amount of exposure and decided to use this to help the local community. They decided to hold a food drive. The food collected would be donated to the Goldendale Community Food bank. Using social media, the call went out for support. Thanks to the generous support of their sponsors they were able to offer a raffle to entice donations.

Time went quickly, a couple team meetings to finalize plans and put the finishing touches on the race bikes, and race weekend was upon them. By race time the team now consisted of not only the 5 racers but a small army of dedicated supporters that included a pro mechanic, cook and others there to help in any way needed. It?s not often an amateur team gets this level of pit support.

The Over The Bars Gang have been hosting the Starvation Ridge 24 hour for almost 10 years. Held on eastern WA farmland, the course is a 21 mile mix of natural and groomed terrain. Unique features making this event special include riding through an old farm house and barn.

Everyone arrived Friday to set up and go over the bikes one last time. The Heavy Weights also decided to host a small reception to bring a little additional exposure to their sponsors. With team cook Ovi at the grill, the team prepared 35lbs of carne asada along with all the fixings for a taco bar, which of course included plenty of mexican beer. The plan worked and it wasn?t long before every bit of the carne asada and most of the beer had been consumed.

While there were many comments about the undertaking, a couple were heard frequently, ?You guys have big balls? and ?you?re crazy?. Believe it or not, there were even those who felt we were being disrespectful of other racers and were going to be nothing more than a roadblock. The goal now was to prove the naysayers wrong.
Race day arrived with a spectacular sunrise and the forecast calling for sun and perfect racing temperatures. The riding order was set and Radek Burkat would be the starter. The organizer is famous for his starts and this year would be no exception. The riders bikes were lined up and the racers would then have to run 100 yards down a hill, through a ravine and then back up to their waiting bikes. Luckily, a 24 hour race is about consistency and not about getting the hole shot. Regardless, Radek gave it his all and got off the line towards the front of the pack. This year, 97 teams left the line.

Radek?s first lap would be 54 minutes. The bar had been set. The rider change went smoothly and Jason Williams set out for his first look at the course. He set a time matching Radek?s. The 3rd rider, Darryl VanNieuwenhuise, was out after another flawless handoff. Darryl, an accomplished 24 hr racer, translated his skills easily to the big bike, turning the fastest lap yet.

Next out was Alex Martens, riding a Super Enduro, he gave it hell and finished his lap without an issue.

John Isenberg would be the last rider in the in the line-up and he hit the course like a man on a mission.
After the first rotation it was obvious the riders were putting a beating on their bikes. The pit crewed stayed very busy during the early stages of the race to keep the team in the hunt.

Luckily, things calmed down and they found their rhythm. Night came with the Heavy Weights running second Sportsman about 10 minutes behind the ?Knuckle Draggers?. They had overcome some significant challenges and were still in the hunt for a class win.

As the sun dropped so did the temperatures, dipping to just above freezing by midnight. Then it happened, the one thing that will make even the best lights useless, fog. They had an ace up their sleeves and where using the new Cyclops Extreme LED Auxiliary lights. Using the amber filters the team ran some very good lap times in horrible conditions. By 2am it was so thick you could barely see your hand in front of your face. Luckily it only lasted a couple hours before a nice breeze picked up and moved the fog out.

The team took the lead during the early morning hours. Spirits were running high but 2nd place had the gap to within 3 minutes. By sunrise the Heavyweights had slipped back into second. Apparently the Knuckle Draggers had turned loose their ringer for 5 straight laps. Turns out this ringer is none other than a former Desert 100 overall winner and is known for launching his snowmobile off giant cliffs. It was going to come down to the last few laps. The team felt good and knew that no matter the outcome they had proven that their effort wasn?t a joke and the big KTMs are capable off road machines.

A plan to just be in it at the end had turned into a race. With 4 hours left, it had become clear that the Heavyweights were in the hunt for a win.

The team proving yet again the importance of consistency by turning lap times equal to, or faster than any of their previous laps?Alex would get to ride the last. He put the hammer down and finished his 5th lap faster than any of his 4 previous. It was obvious that he’d left everything on the track and was exhausted.

When Alex crossed the finish line for the final time, the transponder display showed the Heavyweights as class leader. It appeared that had they had overcome the deficit and had retaken the lead in the final laps. They had won their class racing KTM Adventures.

Results were posted and confirmed the team had taken the Sportsman class win. High five?s were flying and competitors flooded their pit to offer congratulations on the historic accomplishment.

Then the other shoe dropped. The team was asked to report to scoring for the outcome of a protest that had been filed by the Knuckle Draggers.?Apparently there had been a sweep rider who had been issued a transponder (so they could be tracked) that was programmed with the same number the Heavyweights had been assigned.
This had affected scoring and meant the Heavyweights had not won but instead finished 2nd behind the Knuckle Draggers, a mere 15 seconds separating them.
No question, it was a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. Certainly disappointed to have not come away with the win, the team was still proud of their accomplishment and vowed to be on the line next year.

The HeavyWeights want to personally thank the following for their help. Jonathan Blunt, Ovi Puida, Bob Williams, Jim Engle, Whitney Koberle Sandra Van Blouin, Heather Martens, and Clif Brown. The team?s accomplishment is a direct result of their hard work and dedication to the effort.

Also important to note that with the help of donations made by other teams, the Heavy Weights donated almost 200lbs of food to the Goldendale Community Food Bank.

Giant Loop Rider: Kail Visits on Oregon Backcountry Tour with KTM 990 Adventure

By | Fitment, KTM, Riders | No Comments

Really cool to have a visit from Giant Loop rider Kail, who stopped by the shop after five days of exploring the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route on his KTM 990 Adventure.
Check out his nice tool box fabrication!
And the Buckin’ Roll Tank Bag works great with his Safari Tank and the Fandango Tank Bag!
Kail’s kit is light and tight with the Great Basin Saddlebag and Great Basin Dry Bag completing his Giant Loop expedition packing system.
Kail was one of Giant Loop’s first customers when we started in 2008 with the original bolt-on Giant Loop Saddlebag! From March 2009, here’s a blog post and pic from his adventures in California’s Los Padres National Forest on his KTM 530 EXC.

kail ktm 530 giant loop saddlebag