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RUST magazine: RUST#35

TIGER FEET – RUST spends three days traipsing through mud and gloop in Wales to establish the dirt credentials of Triumph’s new 2018 Tigers SUSPENSION SMARTS – Top US suspension tuner Alan Stillwell starts his regular rider-help column (with tyres?!) SET SAIL – when the road ends, it’s that or fly. July Behl floats his away across the Darien Gap A FOOT SOLDIER’S TALE – Rick Kemp investigates the life of the TRF regulars… plus, of course, lots more We’ll blame the weather. Oh yes, it’s lovely right now, but when we had those bikes in the van, when we were sat at the airport waiting to flyaway for five days on the Iberian trails, what was it like then? A white out. So many frustrated plans... Still, somehow we did get three days in, skidding around in the dirt on the latest Triumph Tigers to lift our mood and raise our appreciation of these fine adventure bikes. So while this issue is – as South Eastern Trains might say – a little delayed, it is nonetheless in many parts glorious. Made with love and in the spirit of sharing. As ever, wishing you happy riding and reading. Jon Bentman (Editor, RUST)

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adventure 40 www.rustsports.com

PANAMSCRAM MIND THE GAP THE CARIBBEAN CATHARSIS RUST has been following July Behl as he’s been adventuring on his BMW RnineT Scrambler north to south across the American continents. You can read his previous stories in RUST #27 (planning & prep) and #29 (North America into Mexico). In this installment July has reached the Darien Gap, the no-roads jungle barrier between Panama and Colombia. You could fly it in minutes, or take a fiveday boat trip. Yeah, no prizes for the right answer… words: July Behl images: July Behl & Jon Bentman s I rode through the large swath of undeveloped swampland and forest between Panama and Colombia infamously known as the Darién Gap, I felt a huge sense of achievement – I’ve done it - I’ve crossed the Darién Gap by motorcycle! I’m the first British man to cross the socalled impenetrable 66 mile marshland! And right at the exit, there was my family, friends and the Prime Minister of Colombia cheering my achievement eating a big bucket of fried chicken and sausage rolls! Prime Minister…. sausage rolls…. family…friends…. I can’t believe it… and neither should you, as this was nothing but a vivid dream aboard a sailing vessel in the Caribbean. Yes, I was under medication (read side effects of strong sea sickness tablets) Bugger! ‘Sally the Scrambler’ (a 2017 BMW R nineT Scrambler) and I did get from Panama to Colombia, but by boat. WHAT THE FARC? In this age of extremely competent motorcycles and riders, there’s very little left in the world that can’t be conquered, however the Darién Gap is one of the few challenges still out there that most overlanders shy away from. Is it the wildlife? Is it the FARC rebels? Or is it simply the fear of the unknown? It’s quite possibly a combination of all three. The Darién is one of the least visited places on the planet. This roadless kingdom of hell is inundated with poisonous frogs and scorpions, painful fire ants, jaguars, fer-de-lance snakes, wild pigs, bot flies that lay eggs under your skin – w www.rustsports.com 41

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