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Old 02-23-2014, 06:32 AM   #5
JMo (& piglet) OP
Gone a bit Baja
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Oddometer: 4,286
Rider #318 Gabriel Bolton (GBR) - Yamaha WR450F

Name: Gabriel Bolton (inmate: Zen Overland)

Race number: #318 (class: Moto Profi)

Nationality: British

Age: 31

Bike: Yamaha WR450F with Zen Overland custom navigation tower

Service Team: Desert Rose Racing

Team Name: Dirtpunk-Zen Overland

Gabe doesn't take himself too seriously either, although safety first of course!

With a week to go, his WR450F is still being prepared in the Zen Overland workshops!

“The Adventure continues!"

Gabriel Bolton is the youngest of my featured Tuareg Rallye riders this year, but has already packed more riding into his 31 years than most of us do in a lifetime!

Gabe comes to the Tuareg Rallye very much from an adventure riding and overlanding background, and this will be his first road-book navigation rally - although he already has plenty of experience in the desert, having raced the Baja 250 in 2009 (only his second ever off-road race!), and was part of the seven strong Mondo Sahara movie team in 2012 with his Dirtpunk-Zen Overland teammate, Paul Castle.

An accomplished RTW (round the world) traveller - Gabriel bought his first bike (a Royal Enfield) while traveling in India aged 17, and toured there extensively before bringing it home. He then passed his test aged 18 - just 3 days before heading across Canada on an extended overland trip with his father. After university, in 2009-10 Gabe took 18 months out to travel around the world on an XR650L (including the Road of Bones to Magadan, and the Trans-Am Trail) and having modified his own bike extensively, on his return the UK set up his specialist overland preparation business Zen Overland.

“I’ve had a succession of naily old bikes” he grins, “And while I have a particular soft spot for Honda’s, more recently my off-road riding has been on a succession of Yamaha WR450’s - it really is a very strong bike, with relatively relaxed maintenance requirements, and more than enough performance for my riding ability.”

Gabriel’s engineering background means he welcomed the challenge to modify and prepare his current WR450F with some bespoke rally equipment: “With just a week to go before the bike needs to be shipped, I have probably over-complicated the preparation for this rally” he muses, “But I like to design and manufacture my own parts - there’s something extremely rewarding about using parts you have made from scratch.” Of course having a 5 month old son has also added another ball to the constant juggling of life, business and off-road riding!

“I really don’t know what to expect from the [Tuareg] Rallye” he says, “But I’m certain that Paul and I will have a cracking time whatever happens! "If I make to the finish I’ll be dead chuffed! - and anything beyond that would be a bonus!”

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