Podcast 36: 2020 In Review
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #36
Summary: Matt and Scott discuss the overland industry challenges and opportunities of 2020, along with our favorite overlanding equipment, 4wds, and motorcycles.
1. Your favorite truck of 2020 - RAM TRX
2. Your favorite SUV… - Land Rover Defender
Camper or Trailer OTY - Earthroamer
3. Favorite ADV moto… 450 Rally Replica
4. Favorite vehicle accessory Goose Gear Seat Delete - RedVision and Manager 30 System
5. Favorite moto accessory - I didn’t ride in 2020
6. Favorite gadget - trekpak
7. Book you read Milepost 2020
8. Significant change you noted in the industry
1. Your favorite truck of 2020- Diesel Gladiator
2. Your favorite SUV… 200 Series
Camper or Trailer OTY… Scout Kenai
3. Favorite ADV moto… Triumph 1200 XE
4. Favorite vehicle accessory. . . Maxtrax and BP-51s
5. Favorite moto accessory. . . Aether Expedition
6. Favorite gadget. . . A7 RIV
7. Book you read. . . Stillness is the Key and Vagabonding
Podcast Peter Attia
“Overlander of the Year”
Graeme and Louisa Bell
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal, and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar travels include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @globaloverland
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most-remote places by 4WD, and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. Matt is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication, and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
2020 In Review Podcast
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I'm your host Scott Brady. And with my co host. Matt Scott. And it is 2021,
Matt Scott: Which was initially promised to be better than 2020, but I do have my reservations.
Scott Brady: Things are already off to an interesting start.
Matt Scott: Hold my beer, watch this.
Scott Brady: This is what we're going to talk about. We're going to talk about 2020 [00:01:00] and the things that we liked, maybe the things that we didn't like, some of the changes in the industry, so this is going to be our 2020 recap, which is cool.
Matt Scott: Which I think it went really great. I mean, there's a lot of positive things that happened in 2020, and let's just focus on those, I guess, but totally. You know, I think, I think 2020 was the year, where Overlanding really kind of started to take the main stage, and I think the cool thing both from an industry perspective and a media perspective was that, you know, it persevered through all of the drama and all of the things that weren't so great about 2020. You know, we still saw so many people getting out, so many people getting into Overlanding. You know, whether that was because they couldn't get out and fly to, I don't know anywhere. But yeah, it was, it was cool. I mean, I think 2020 is where we saw manufacturers really. You know, OE level, you know, auto [00:02:00] manufacturers kind of get into the Overland game. You know, we saw Bronco unveiled this year, by the defender. And I guess technically they gladiators had the 2020 model year. It was a fascinating year. We saw a lot of innovation in the industry this year, and also a lot of, kind of, you know, continued Alibaba, Overland as I call it. Let's just slap a name on some stuff we find on Alibaba and call ourselves a business, but you know, it's inevitable
Scott Brady: But even beyond that, which is, and of course the Alibaba Overland thing is a problem because these products aren't vetted in the field. There's not a lot of testing behind them. They tend to catabolize innovation because they look at someone else's good idea. And then they just make it cheaper. Which of course you can make it cheaper if you don't have to design it. And take all the risks to see if it's going to work in the market. So yeah, maybe we won't dwell on that too much, or maybe that's another podcast. That's probably another podcast for the future. But 2020, some of the things that I liked [00:03:00] about 2020 was, overlanding was a way for people to get out. It was a way for people to have experiences, that maybe didn't include them flying to Europe that they were going to and they're 4runner, or maybe buy a trailer
Matt Scott: RV sales went...
Scott Brady: Through the roof.
Mat Scott: Crazy. I mean, I want to say at its peak four wheel campers was a year, maybe two years out.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Matt Scott: You know, I know earth roamers two years out.
Scott Brady: Yes.
Matt Scott: It's crazy, you know?
Scott Brady: But it also makes sense. It's the way to socially distance. It's reminding people that, Hey, I'm stuck at home. One of the greatest ways that I can have a beautiful experience is to go out in the Outback, which of course, as travelers, we all have responsibilities to minimize our impact. So when we're camping now, and we see that there's a lot of trash left behind from the campers before us, let's take another couple minutes and let's clean that campsite up. Let's try to put it in a spot that's better than where we found it. I'm finding that I'm needing [00:04:00] to bring extra trash bags because every time I go camping, I'm cleaning up a lot. A lot of things that I'm finding.
Matt Scott: So many people, you know, on, on the trails and camping this year, I mean, obviously, you know, there was only, there's only a few select places that you could go based on the time of year that you're going, you know, we spent some time in Colorado this summer and we gave up.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: You know, I mean, take it how you will, but we, we just went and stayed in a hotel because it was our first night. I mean, it was like the crown Vics, legitimate crown Vics that were going up four wheel drive trails, just you know, skinny pedal to the metal so they could get to the campsite. I mean, it was, it was really busy and, and I think, you know, not to get on a tangent, but you know, land managers, whether that's forest service, BLM, you know, those types of folks. I feel like they're almost being a little bit [00:05:00] slow to react to overlanding and I hope that there are some more plans in place. I mean, if anybody out there is listening to this, you know, I'm sure we would love to help, but, you know, I think the days of just being able to head in a direction and find a great campsite. Well, I'm finding now there's five or 10 people at that campsite and they all don't know proper etiquette. They don't know tread lightly practices.
Scott Brady: Yep.
Matt Scott: So like you said, picking up after them is, is, is the short-term solution. How do we come to a, to a more long term, you know, solution because, you know, if this industry doubles again and next year, those campsites are even more busy. Busier.
You know, does it hit a critical mass where people just start to not want to go?
Scott Brady: Or things start to get shut down, and that's we've learned that throughout the decades, even starting from the four wheeling side, is that the best people to police a situation like this is [00:06:00] ourselves, and if we all just take responsibility for the fact of. If I'm going to go out, I'm going to go. Let's maybe go a little further. Let's avoid the really popular campsites. If you're on iOverlander and you're traveling. Don't just immediately default to the iOverlander campsite that you see in the app, because maybe someone with a lot less skill than you needs that campsite, so those of us that have traveled a lot, and that includes many of the listeners of this podcast, let's go a little bit more remote, and then let's be very gentle on these locations that we visited. Let's be really mindful of not putting in a fire pit. If there isn't one already there, let's clean up the camp sites.Let's put our vehicles into four-wheel drive so that we were minimizing damage to the trail. Like you said, the skinny pedal with the Crown Vic. We have the tools, many of us, that we can drive slower, less wheel spin, and be really mindful of the campsite. So I think that that's certainly a lesson learned from 2020, [00:07:00] is that overlanding is exploding in popularity and because of that usage is going way up. So let's do what we can, all of us, to improve the nature of those campsites.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So I'm gonna change the subject. What was your favorite truck of 2020 that you drove?
Scott Brady: Well, my favorite truck. Well, I'm, I'm kind of focusing on something that is new.
If I was going to say my favorite vehicle that I've driven so far this year, it's been this diesel original brute, the OG Brute from...
Matt Scott: Oh Mr. McMods! Brute yeah.
Scott Brady: So Mike McMod, a friend of both Matt and I, longtime member of the community. He's been involved with Overland international for well over a decade, and he has this Cummins power...
Matt Scott: It's the only diesel or AEV built diesel TJ brute.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's really cool.
Matt Scott: He's the guy I want to be when I grow up. No, I don't want to grow up, but, you know.
Scott Brady: I think, I think Mike strikes that balance well, of [00:08:00] like growing up and not growing up at the same time, which is really awesome. That's something we all aspire to, but so probably the one that brought me the most smiles has been that brute. But if I was to think about new trucks that have come onto the market in 2020, I just really want to focus on this diesel gladiator. Not because I think it is the absolute best midsize truck for overlanding, although it is arguably, so. I just love the fact that Jeep has released a Rubicon.
Matt Scott: It's so cool.
Scott Brady: Jeep pickup with a diesel motor. I drove it on a long trip through New Mexico and I was just so impressed with the capability and the comfort on the highway. And then I actually picked up that AEV Jeep in New Mexico and I towed it back behind the gladiator on a flatbed.So the fact that you have a vehicle with that breadth of capability, and I'm speaking to the choir here because you own a Gladiator, but I just love the fact that we can get a solid axle, Dana 44 diff lock, four [00:09:00] to one transfer case, diesel motor, Jeep pickup in 2021. I mean, that's really, that's amazing.
Matt Scott: Like we've somehow gone back in time, but then forward. And, you know, I mean I love my Gladiator. I have 20... 22,000 miles on it now? And that's, you know, honestly, it's a car that we kind of just that's road trips and that's adventure miles as the way I would call it. You know, there's probably 4,000 of those miles and you know, are on dirt, if not more. I haven't had a check engine light. It's really good, no squeaks. I just, I mean, I don't want to say that it's better than Toyota build quality because that is a very, very bold statement, but they've somehow managed with their vehicles to mix progressive design. That's still practical. You know, that vehicle is really nice inside, but I can still wipe the interior down. I can still get it wet.
Scott Brady: It still feels like a tool for travel, [00:10:00] which so many of these new vehicles feel like a luxury sedan with four wheel drive capability. and I really liked that about the gladiator. I really liked the fact that it is so purposeful. And to your point about Toyota, I think that. Toyota still builds the highest quality trucks, but they have...
Matt Scott: Most reliable for sure.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They have, they have lagged in some of the innovation and robustness and they've lagged in payload, and hopefully Toyota responds to that. I suspect they will.
Matt Scott: If Toyota was lagging behind and leaving us with like a 70 series, like true rugged old school kind of capability, that'd be great, but you know, they've left us with, I mean, Well, the Tacoma came out in 2006 and they put a different body on it.
Scott Brady: Yeah, pretty much the same.
Matt Scott: The Tundra came out in 2007 and they put a new grill on it and some fenders, there's something that I think for travelers, there's a benefit to time tested technology but. [00:11:00] Boy, I just have to say that they're just outdated now, like I would love to consider Toyota. I have a land cruiser. I love my Toyota stuff. The most significant travels I've done in my life have always been in Toyota's for a reason, but would I buy a Toyota in America right now? And they're discontinuing the land cruiser.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Hopefully that whatever land cruiser comes next is going to be amazing. But speaking of innovation, I think one of the things that Matt and I wanted to kind of compliment the industry on this year is just the rate of innovation and the number of new products that are coming to market that are extremely high quality. The fact that you can send a Dodge Ram to AEV and. Go pick up something that is ready to go around the world. That's, I think, very significant, like the new earth cruiser, for example, a lot of the quality tents and materials that are coming out of Africa and other countries, and even the United [00:12:00] States, you know, the go fast campers. All of that stuff is a rate of innovation that we've not seen before, and a lot of these new products are super high quality.
Matt Scott: Yeah. It's fascinating. I mean, there's a lot, there's a lot going on in the industry right now, and, you know, I wish these guys the best, because if we don't innovate, we don't push forward.
Scott Brady: Yeah. As consumers, if we don't spend a little bit more money and buy it from the one who thought of the idea or who perfected the idea, then if we just buy just the cheap variant of it.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I'm biased on that one.
Scott Brady: Yeah, so true. If you take away, I mean, obviously the knockoff is cheaper because they don't have any of the expensive engineering and R&D and market tests and everything else. So we should, as consumers, I think it's a part of our responsibility as travelers to focus on the high quality gear. Cause then someone who's new to the industry, they come in, they see like, Oh, this is what these people are using. And then that means that's probably what I should buy. So I think we have some [00:13:00] responsibility to weed out the chaff, right?
Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, There's always going to be the good, better, best thing that happens, but to your point of there being a lot of innovation, there's also a lot of copycat going on and we can sit here and blame the Chinese.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: But I will tell you that there is an American that is actually facilitating that. You know, it's always funny, like with the roof tents, cause you know, I've actually been to some of the factories in China that make these roof tents that make Yakima's roof tents that make a lot of companies, roof tents , like Sunday campers probably make half of them.And you read these marketing descriptions trusted in the wild, this inspired by this I'm like, no, dude, what you actually did is you, you, you, you select it tick box for this many grams per square meter canvas for this, for the walls. And you selected this and then they give you a, you know, a little 12 by 12 place to put your logo. And it's just funny how many people are [00:14:00] purely based on marketing, paying more money for what is legitimately the same quality product. Just go on Alibaba and buy it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Because it'll be cheaper.
Matt Scott: Like, like there's literally a new company that's out now that their catalog, like they haven't innovated on anything. They just go to Alibaba, put their name on it. I mean, I don't want to say that they're lying to the consumers, but you read their, you read their product descriptions and you're like, Hmm. Hmm. It's funny that four other companies sell that exact same tent, but.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: You're claiming that it's this and that.
Scott Brady: And whereas with you, if you were to sit down and have dinner with the owner of easy on , and you hear about where this guy has been in the world and where his father has been in the world with their product , and that they make, they make it themselves. Anyways, I'm not sure. Well, I don't want us to focus on the negative and, and just highlight maybe the exceptions, but as consumers. And that's part of the growth of the [00:15:00] industry is there's a lot of product development. Let's do our research into where we should really be.
Matt Scott: People are doing that. And there's a lot of mindful travelers out there. I mean, you know, go fast. Campers released their new ultra light. I want to say it's called the ultra light
Scott Brady: Version two.
Matt Scott: Version two and it's probably sold out. I mean, everything they do is sold out. I mean, so that's proof that there are people that are supporting, you know, innovative American manufacturing and, and I think that that's great, but we got off topic. I want to talk about my favorite truck, 2020 Ram TRX. It's awesome. 702 horsepower. Do you need that for overlanding? No. Do you want it? Absolutely.
Scott Brady: It's almost like you want to tint the windows, so no one sees you driving it, but you really want to drive it .
Matt Scott: Right. I don't even think that, I mean.
Scott Brady: That's me.
Matt Scott: That's me. Cause I would totally drive one of those. But yeah, that, that was a fascinating thing to me because it's just interesting to see these luxury [00:16:00] technologies and these advanced power plants become reliable enough to where you could actually consider taking them on a trail. I mean, there's no reason you couldn't take a TRX around the world. Yeah. I mean, that was...
Scott Brady: That was pretty amazing.
Matt Scott: I had that truck airborne, like multiple times, like it wasn't a press launch where you were like, okay, we're going to put you in the right seat with this professional driver who knows his marks exactly. They were just sending journalists who respectfully don't always know how to drive as well as they think they do. Probably myself included, and they're just letting them go
Scott Brady: And it survived it.
Matt Scott: And it survived!
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: Wave after wave. It was really cool. And then there were some significant SUVs that came out this year.
Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure.
Matt Scott: You know, we were, we started 2020 in Namibia with the new defender. I mean, that's my favorite SUV of 2020, you know, you kind of talked about AAV being somebody that you can send a vehicle. Often it's, you know, ready to drive around the world. You can get that from a land Rover dealer now. And I think that that's really cool. You [00:17:00] can get a shower built-in, you can get an air compressor built in. You can have your roof, tent, roof, rack snorkel, truthfully, everything that you need to go around the world integrated into your car. And I think that's really cool. You know, it does seem unfortunately that they're having some reliability issues with that car.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: But I want it, I want it to succeed. You know, the Land Rover folks are so nice and they put a lot of work into that car. And I think it's important to recognize that the rules that we may have here , that they're a global brand. They have to, they have to integrate safety regulations for the European union, for the United Kingdom, for the U.S., for many different markets, so. You know, it was never going to be a box like the old defender was.
Scott Brady: And part of the problem, I think, with hating on a vehicle like that, is that it, it automatically removes innovation from the marketplace, it removes competition, [00:18:00] and if we talk about like the Tacoma, for example , it was because it didn't have competition. Now that there is the, the bison.
Matt Scott: Yeah.
Scott Brady: And there's the gladiator and the ranger keeps getting better, and the new Rangers coming out that will force Toyota to address a bunch of those issues in the next iteration. And that is, I think, really positive. So. Before someone says, Oh, the defender, this or reliability that takes it for what it is and the innovation that it includes and see how that will help leapfrog.
Matt Scott: When I look at the biggest people that are talking smack about the defender. There's, there's this part of me that can't help, but to think they're doing it because they know it's controversial and they just want to stir the pot so they can, I don't know, get some more Instagram, Chucky cheese tokens or something. A lot of people haven't actually driven this vehicle and Land Rover is selling every single one that they can get. So congratulations to them. My experience has been that it is. Class-leading you know, comfort [00:19:00] class-leading capability for what it is.
Scott Brady: The breadth of capabilities. It's huge. It's really notable. So for me, I've got like the, literally the antithesis of the defender and I'm going to stick with that 200 series language.
Matt Scott: Well, cause you actually use your stuff.
Scott Brady: Wow. I don't know.
Matt Scott: Well, can never go wrong with a land cruiser? That's the deal though, right?
Scott Brady: Like just, it just feels like that. I'm so grateful that that vehicle is still here and of course it's going away. And I suspect that Toyota, because of their lineage with land cruisers, they're going to come out with another really great car. And so I'm excited about the 200 that it's still available. You can still get a body on frame, super heavy duty SUV with a proper payload and lots of aftermarket support and go and leave and drive it around the world. And for me, I'm excited to see what they come up with next. So the 200 series won our Overland journal SUV of the [00:20:00] year. I a hundred percent believe it deserved that, the reliability is exceptional so.
Matt Scott: It's just been out since I was 17. Yeah. So it's hard for me to kind of like,
Scott Brady: No I get it.
Matt Scott: Look at like the, what would that be? iPod?
Scott Brady: Yeah, I know it is like, or like the Walkman or?
Matt Scott: Yeah. But sometimes it works, it works
Scott Brady: And it really, and it really does.
Matt Scott: There's been a lot of innovation in camper trailers, campers this year. You know, I have to say, like, I was able to check out, an Earth Roamer, LTI. Those things are crazy. All new carbon fiber bodies. That's probably my, my favorite of, of 2020.
Scott Brady: And what do you like most about the Earth Roamer?
Matt Scott: It's an all-in-one system. I'm lucky enough to have one, I mean it's 10 years old, but you know that a lot of the systems are kind of similar. So understanding where they came from and understanding what the LTI is the biggest problem [00:21:00] that the Earth Roamer has. In my opinion, is weight. They're very, very heavy. So they went to lithium batteries, they went to the, you know, the carbon fiber body. And instead of, I want to say before, it was like a fiberglass with like a balsa core, which was fine. It was very durable. You know, for travel, I think just lightness, we'll make the experience better. Everything's tweaked a little bit, you know, you put them next to each other and maybe you wouldn't recognize huge differences, but, you know, talking with people that have, you know, they just say that they can go longer and they can go further and it's more comfortable. Not that the old ones were terrible. Yeah. It, it's just, it's cool to see something. Innovation that didn't necessarily have to happen because again, that's one of those products where they sell every single one that they can, they make. You know, used values on earth roamers go up. Because there's so much demand, so they didn't really have to mess with it, and [00:22:00] I think it's cool to see people just constantly pushing that bar forward.
Scott Brady: And I think also the fact that Bill Swales who runs Earth Roamer. I remember reading his stories and Four Wheeler in the early two thousands. And he had his own camper made and he learned a lot from that. And then, you know, I've been with the big earth roamers, we've gone all the way down to Panama with them and they're really impressive. And the fact that this many years in, they still have kind of an ethos around them being capable. They were one of the first to go with the Kellerman suspension and the 41 inch Continentals and all of that really doesn't improve the capability of that. They're impressive trucks for sure.
Matt Scott: Yeah. What's your favorite kind of new camper set up for 2020.
Scott Brady: So for me, and I'm coming across totally as they died in this conversation, which is so funny, so I like this new scout camp.
Matt Scott: Those are really cool.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They have one that's called the Kenai. [00:23:00] That's just coming to market and I'll explain why I like the camper. First of all, it is very light for what it is. And the second thing is, is that it's extremely simple and minimalist for what it is. So you get, in my opinion, the things that a camper should always have, if you're going to strap a camper to the back of your truck, it might as well have a place to go to the bathroom, and it might as well have a place to take a shower. Otherwise, why not just use a roof tent or? Right? So I think that there are some things that really make sense for having a camper on the back of your truck. But what I like about the scout is the fact that it doesn't have any plumbing going through it, at all. It uses a lifeline Jerry Can
Matt Scott: Life saver.
Scott Brady: LifeSaver Jerry Can, which is a great product.
Matt Scott: It leaks all the time.
Scott Brady: Does it?
Matt Scott: Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah so maybe the way they've got it positioned, cause they've got it with the cap up. But you can pressurize it, which gives you pressure for the sink. And there's just no plumbing to fail in [00:24:00] the whole thing, which is in my experience with campers. That's what. Plumbing fails, electrical systems fail.
Matt Scott: And when it's cold outside as well. Like those, those are the things that you have to then have a bigger battery pack, cause then you have to heat it.
Scott Brady: And then the battery system, the entire electrical system, two wires connect it from your main charger or your dual battery system. It's a big goal zero pack, and it has its own built in inverter, lithium ion battery, 12 volt outlets. USBC. It all plugs into the one unit. If something goes wrong, you replace the unit. There's not a whole bunch of systems to work on and to integrate. So in my mind, I like the fact that the camper is spacious. It has the key features that you need. It's lightweight and it should be very, very reliable.
Matt Scott: And that's completely enclosed.
Scott Brady: It is.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I'm not knocking on pop-up campers. But they have their place. But the idea of a lightweight, simple, hard shell [00:25:00] camper is really attractive.
Scott Brady: Yeah. For me, it'll be my, you know, my version of an earth roamer. If I ever, if I ever got one.
Matt Scott: I can carry the wine for you.
Scott Brady: So, and along that line, I'm really interested in the full-sized trucks. I think that the full-size trucks have merit in this space and we don't have a lot of experience with them. So I have ordered a diesel GMC just to try something totally different.
Matt Scott: This'll be your first like American pickup.
Scott Brady: It will, it will be and no commentary on it yet because I haven't tested it and I don't know how it's going to work, but it has the little diesel engine in it and it's their AT4 package. So , let's see how that goes. I think it's really important for us to start to get into the full sizes, cause it's definitely the direction that a lot of the markets go.
Matt Scott: The payload requirements of most, you know, US-based travelers just dictate that that's where things have to go. I mean, you know Tacoma's, I [00:26:00] mean, I have so much respect for the Tacoma course, but it's just such an easy target because it is not class leading in anything.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Other than reliability.
Matt Scott: Other than the one thing that actually matters. The aftermarket, but yeah. Motorcycles, let's talk, let's talk bikes. So you were in Africa with your favorite?
Scott Brady: I was, I have, since the triumph 1200 XC launched, I have. I had lust for this motorcycle and the triumph of South Africa was so generous to let me just give me the keys to a bike and head off to Swaziland. So I did that with some buddies of mine in South Africa , from bonafide Modo and we just, we just went loaded up a bunch of scramblers. Road to Swaziland. And it was, it was really an amazing motorcycle. It's everything that I want to bike to be. It's got a lot of character, it's a classic looking bike.
Matt Scott: It looks good. Like it looks like a Scotty bike.
Scott Brady: Yeah, totally. And then it's got nine inches of suspension travel. So for [00:27:00] me, that's definitely the bike. In fact, I plan to buy one this year because it's just, I love it. That's awesome. Yeah. How about you?
Matt Scott: Man, like. I'm weird with adventure bikes. I love my nine 50, but , I really emphasize the lightweight. I think that that's super important and I kind of delineate between street bikes and off-road bikes. And my dream bike right now is the KTM four 50 rally replica. I know that. That's a competition motorcycle, but like you see what these things do in the deck, and they're just cool. So we're just talking about cool stuff, right? So for me, the coolest thing, because this 450 Rally replica, they're just over 300 pounds, they have like HUGE fuel range, huge performance, you know, lightweight, KTM cone, valve suspension, like they have, all of the cool guy stuff that, you know, I kind of scratch the surface in terms of, actually knowing what to do with it, that's my dream [00:28:00] bike. I'm really trying to find one. Cause the cool thing is while this is like the most expensive dirt bike money can buy. It's also the price of a base 1200 GS. So when you, I dunno, when I look at things that way, do I want the 500 pound.
Scott Brady: 600 pounds.
Matt Scott: I was trying, I was trying to be nice, man. Yeah. Or do I want something that has more performance and, and half the weight, I don't necessarily care about, you know, radar cruise control and some of those things , I would in 2021, I would love, to find a way to get on a trip on one of these things, because I just have to think. They're that perfect blur between performance and travel. There's a really cool guy, Lyndon Possket, races to places that travels all over the world on these types of bikes. I want to say his, his basil bike, is a 690 Rally. But if you're curious about what adventure riding can be for people that are more biased towards [00:29:00] off-road, he's a really cool guy to check out. He's done DAC hard multiple times. I mean, legit rider.
Scott Brady: Sure. Yeah, people gotta check that out because lighter and less is always more as we talk about 6%. Well, that's a cool bike. Maybe you'll find one. I hope so. I hope so. Tell me about your favorite vehicle accessories for last year.
Matt Scott: Well, if we're going off of what my dog likes, which is what I have to like, this little Greyhound running around here, goose gear seat delete that we put in the Gladiator. Awesome. We put all of his food underneath. It gives us kind of stacked storage in that backseat. And for Gladiator people, dogs, like the cab is massive on that thing. Once you take the seat out, cause they obviously have to have the, you know, kind of that reclined seat. So you end up with a square usable space. That's been greater than the, we did the 60 or the 70% seat delete. We ended up actually buying the 30% seat delete that just came in and we're just going to [00:30:00] get rid of everything in the back because it's just so much more efficient.
Scott Brady: And it just gives you that extra storage capacity.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And I also messed around with the new, red arc manager and red vision system. Put that in the Gladiator because we're kind of building that into, into more of a, you know, a serious camper in the back, converted it to lithium to try and save some weight. And boy that thing charges so quick, it just, it works a hundred percent of the time. With the Red Vision system, I can go on my phone and I just, you know, disconnect every accessory. So it's kind of like an S Pot on steroids. If I had any complaint for it, it's definitely currently biased towards camper trailers. And I think, if I had, if I had any critique for Red Arc, it's a great product. They need a light version. For vehicles, you know, cars based over Landers that aren't building a caravan or something like that. I want to say it has like six different water tank inputs, which take up [00:31:00] a significant space, on this unit itself. I mean, you know, for people that are watching, I think it's, it's probably that long. If you're watching on YouTube, it's over a foot in length and they really could pair that down, I think. Cause, by the time you do the manager system and the red vision system, it's a substantial amount of stuff with the Gladiator. I was kind of able to hide it around my drawer system. So it worked out just fine. But those that have a little bit more space constraint might. Might have an issue, but it works great.I love it. It's so cool to be able to just turn everything off on your vehicle. I had my, you know, and I can, I can selectively turn things on, on my phone and turn my cell phone booster on, turn my fridge on when I need to turn my heater on and it's
Scott Brady: Or even from, in bed in the camper, right?
Matt Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Scott Brady: That's a big deal. So it's nice to be able to check up on stuff when you're sleeping. Cool.
Matt Scott: What about you?
Scott Brady: Want [00:32:00] to say max tracks and I just don't.
Matt Scott: Sounds so cheesy.
Scott Brady: I know, I know. So full disclosure on the Max Tracks thing, but , Just this week, we had this great storm in Prescott and over a foot of snow in Arizona, almost two feet at my house. And I'm driving around this awesome brute cause it's the one vehicle that I had that can do all of the snow. And so...
Matt Scott: All of it.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. So, I put, all I did was just put a set of Max Tracks in the back and then, a friend of mine, her elderly mom got stranded in her driveway and Brian, or who works with Overland journal. He goes out and rescues her with Max Tracks. He gets home. The UPS guy is stuck on the road. He rescues the UPS guy with Max Tracks. So, you know, full disclosure, Matt imports, Max Tracks. So disregard everything I just said, if you choose to, but that is again, one of the most useful things that you can buy, and it doesn't cost that much money compared to a lot of [00:33:00] accessories. But beyond that, I would say that the thing that's most impressed me this year. Is the ARB old mini, BP 51 suspension system. And I'll be really specific about why I like it. There are two reasons, first of all, it doesn't make any noise. The, the bushings and everything, the connection points are all highly durable. They're not designed for racing where they're going to be rebuilt every trip.
Matt Scott: That's so true.
Scott Brady: So they, that doesn't make any noise. It's super quiet in the Lexus. And, the other thing that I like about it is you can adjust both compression and rebound, and then there is internal bypass as well. So throughout the stroke, you end up in the midline where you're just kind of running down the road in that middle 30%, it's super soft valving, and it's really comfortable. But if you have a GE out or large event, then the bypass can restrict the fluid flow and really adjust for those larger events and impacts. And I really like being able to adjust for a rebound. I like to have a [00:34:00] relatively soft compression to get full use out of the suspension travel, but then I do like to ramp up rebound a little bit so that it gives me better control over the car. So the fact that you can adjust both of those, it's a high quality component. Really good, coatings and stuff like that. So the BP 51 is my choice.
Matt Scott: It's super nice just to see somebody looking at the market and, recognizing that people want blinging shocks, whether they like, I mean, I have King's on all of my cars and, I love them to death, but you know, one of them's currently being rebuilt, you know, they're, they're, they're race shock in a street application, so it's nice to see that same technology brought over to something, you know, for an Overlander that's going to be putting serious miles on it. You know, Kudos to ARB on that.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The first time that I used BP 51s on a long trip, I drove from Brisbane all the way to Perth. Yeah. In a 70 series with those on it, pulling a trailer and it was just, they never faded. They never failed. [00:35:00] I mean, abusive corrugations. So they're made for Australian conditions and they're made for travelers. So in that regard, I think it's a positive thing. All right. Talk about your favorite Moto accessory. Do you have one?
Matt Scott: I'll be honest. I didn't really ride adventure bikes in 2020. I messed around in my yard on trials bikes.
Scott Brady: So, trials bikes.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So, buy a Charles bike, if you are going to learn how to ride . I'm not somebody that has written my entire life. You know, it's, it's just a hobby for me that I kind of picked up and, you know, I will just say that in terms of learning how to ride. It's just been fascinating to really get into trials over the last few years. So, I don't really have any adventure Moto if that's necessary.
Scott Brady: That's a good point though. I remember when I was trying to learn how to ride the 950 before I went and did the trans-America trail. I got training from our mutual friend, Ted Hill summer, and this, this guy, he's an amazing writer. And he said, all right, no problem. [00:36:00] When you do the training, but you have to follow the program. I said, Nope, no big deal. And we get out there and he unloads his trial bike, and he says, you're not going to get down to the KTM 950 until you can ride this thing. So we did loops and figure eights and slow speed stuff up ledges. And until he felt like I had body mechanics. And some Bouton, of course I was still an amateur, but until I reached a certain level of expectation that he had on the trials bike, I didn't even move to the big bike. So you're right. Maybe that is a great accessory that is tart small.
Matt Scott: Start small, you can get trials bikes for like, two or three grand. I mean, I know people that spend more on tour tech panniers.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So, yeah, so I think the moto accessory for me, I really believe in high quality gear when you're riding. And I love this ether, adventure, motorcycle jacket. They call it their expedition, but I like the fact that it doesn't have a liner, it's Gore-Tex type material. It [00:37:00] has big vents. It also doesn't look like you're a spaceman. So I like the fact that it's really understated, understated color tones. I used that jacket all the way through South America on my last trip there. And it's just , it's just the jacket I keep going back to, so I really like that coat.
Matt Scott: I really like, like the aesthetic of the ether stuff. I think that's how you pronounce it. I think that's the whole point of that name is that it's a little bit hard to pronounce. Yeah, I mean, I don't have any personal experience with it, but I can say that it looks really good. And I think that that's important.
Scott Brady: It is. Yeah, it is.
Matt Scott: Because everybody that, everybody looks like a storm trooper on the adventure bike.
Scott Brady: But you don't have to. Yeah. You don't have to look like you're invading their country.
Matt Scott: The climb brigade is coming by. Now there's a reason why everybody's wearing climb including myself. But it's just nice to have-
Scott Brady: Something different. Something different. But I really like that. Let's talk about gadgets real quick. What's your favorite?
Matt Scott: Let's talk about your, cause you just got that new camera. [00:38:00]
Scott Brady: Yeah, for me it's because I love photography. It's my art. So, 2020 was a year that I just didn't get to use as many other gadgets. So I did use my camera a lot and the A7-R4 for me has the image quality that I need for stills. I also used the hostel blog last year, the XD-1, and that was an amazing camera for image quality, but just didn't meet my needs for. Fast moving objects. Startup time was a little slow and the A7-R4 just gives me all the image quality, smaller, more compact overall setup. So it fits on a bike and also I've been using the Zeiss primes, and I'm just, I've just really kind of fallen in love with those two recently.
Matt Scott: The Sony stuff is just immense, like the capability, those sensors. I've never vibed with the ergonomics of them because I'm going... but somehow I vibe with the ergonomics of a Leica, [00:39:00] which doesn't have any...
Scott Brady: You have an emotional connection to the lens
Matt Scott: There's an emotional connection here.There's an emotional connection there. I don't know what my favorite gadget is, to be honest. I've kind of thought about this. It's been weird because it's 2020 is the year where I've traveled the least, and I have to say that planning and this, I guess goes into the, my favorite book of 2020. I have been just sitting, working, doing what I feel that I'm supposed to do, which is trying to stay home and trying to stay distant, and, you know, I've become obsessed with this Gaia app and...
Scott Brady: Really good.
Matt Scott: Like you can, I can plan on, you know, the computer. It automatically shows up on my phone and the cloud. I can download maps just specifically to the track. It works with Apple CarPlay. And you know I got this milepost book, it's like the Bible to the North country traveled since 1979. I think it's honestly meant for like retired people in RVs with the amount of [00:40:00] information, as planning, somebody that's planning, you know, that Alaska Yukon kind of trip, you get like kilometer by kilometer mile by mile. You know, walk-throughs of all this stuff also, I've kind of taken, taken that and put that data into Gaia and that's been something that's I guess kind of keeping me going, you know, hopefully , hopefully we'll be able to do that trip this year.
Scott Brady: Yeah that'd be amazing .
Matt Scott: What's your favorite book that you've read in 2020 that you read in 2020?
Scott Brady: I actually read a lot last year, which I'm grateful for. I've listened to a lot of audio books through the years, but I have started to just take the time and make the time in my life to read because it's such a foundation of learning. So for me, and also, I recognize that this is a really challenging year. So I started to dig into things that I wanted to reduce the stress in my life. I wanted to gain some perspective that I learned so much from in [00:41:00] travel. So. I read this book. It's by Ryan holiday. It's called Stillness is the Key. And it's a, it's a volume that's based very much so on the Stoics. So it's, it's great to listen to as an audio book, I've listened to it several times as an audio book, and I've also read it in print format, and it's just a really beautiful volume. It talks a lot about Marcus Railey as the emperor of Rome. And there's a lot of history in there and some of the most significant people from world war II and how they got through these very stressful times. So I found that that was just a really beautiful book to read. I think it prepares us well for travel. And then I really like Vagabonding by Ralph Potts. I've talked about that a little bit. On the podcast, but I read that again this last year and just was again, so taken by his perspective. This is someone who has lived on the road, traveled in and worked in unusual places, taught English in Asia to afford to [00:42:00] travel, and he has some great perspective on it. And it's really about coming back to the joys of travel. And staying away from the stuff and the expense, and, if the goal is to travel, there's a way to do it, and he shows a lot of how to do that. So I really like both of those books. They're a little different, but they're both pretty amazing.
Mat Scott: I've definitely found myself just diving into travel books. I sit down at night and my mind has to travel. So I've gone through all of my favorite Paul Thoreau books.
Scott Brady: Oh nice
Matt Scott: has been one. And, you know, I have a particular interest in Southeast Asia, so I'd love to read like the history of that. So a book that was recommended to me was a Bright and Shining Lie by, and now I'm forgetting the guy's name...
Scott Brady: Show notes
Matt Scott: Show notes. She Han?
Scott Brady: Oh, gotcha.
Matt Scott: Neil She Han. Niel She Han. But it just talks about the Vietnam war. From, you know, just a different perspective from before [00:43:00] it was the Vietnam war before, you know, when it was the French, when it was world war II, all the way through the president. It's just interesting. I think when you travel in a place that has been, I'll say, I don't want to call it Vietnam war torn, but it was, it's a lovely place now, but just to, to, to have more of an understanding as a young person, What happened in very recent history, there just provides perspective. And you know, now I'm excited to go back and to see the things that I'm reading more in-depth about, and I think that's been, you know, for books for me for 2020, we're definitely, and still are in 2021, just how can we figure out more? How can we absorb more from the places that we're going to travel? And that's been a nice thing.
Scott Brady: Yeah, well, that's what a cool book to read. Yeah. We'll put all those volumes in the show notes. So people can see what we've been checking out as well. I also do consume other podcasts at a rapid rate and there's one that I would [00:44:00] like to recommend to everyone: Dr. Peter Attia. You'll find him on any major podcast outlet. It's the drive and the subjects that he goes into, particularly around health and longevity and lifespan. So. Being as healthy for as long as possible, but the subjects that he goes into are amazing and he loves racing. So he's a driver. He likes cars. He likes great watches, and he's a really interesting person that has incredibly valuable insights towards being a healthier, you know, more active person. So I really like it. I listened to it every time it comes out. And then I guess we can wrap up with , who we kind of think has been the Overlander of the year, what an unusual...
Matt Scott: Strange year, because people aren't necessarily traveling and it's interesting to be in a, where you are nominating somebody in a time when they're not necessarily supposed to be traveling. I'm not getting into the politics of that, but Graham and Louise bell, [00:45:00] you know, there's somebody that regardless of this year, deserved, you know, the award per se. You know, as you said, they're, I mean, they're, they're on the road right now. They are quarantining, they're following the rules, which I think is important.
Scott Brady: They're camping remotely. They're staying out of cities. They are socially distancing. In Africa. They are. Following all the rules, they're avoiding the bribes and there they're actually getting COVID negative tests before they cross these borders. So they're doing a lot to try to stay on the road. And despite how you may look at it, there is so much to learn from that. So they're really pushing the envelope and they're amazing people. And they've driven around the world in a Defender with their family and they've raised their kids on the road. So they're just wonderful humans that are kind of pushing the envelope a little bit, which is worth following just for that perspective alone.[00:46:00]
Matt Scott: They're... I haven't had the pleasure of meeting them in person, but I've chatted with Graham a little bit, and on the internet and just super nice people, but their travels and the books specifically that you know, that Graham and Louisa have written and authored. Definitely worth a look. If you're looking, if you're looking for that little bit of inspiration to keep you going in 2021, I really, really recommend, you know, getting their books because that's a great way to support these travelers on the road. And , you know, reading, reading more about what they do.
Scott Brady: And also, we want to just thank all of you as our listeners.
2020 was really the year that we started the Overland journal podcasts. We're now at hundreds of thousands of downloads and that's because of you, the listener, we really appreciate your feedback, the questions that you send, Matt and I, the feedback that you send us, please send in more questions. We're going to put together and ask me anything for the episode in the next month or so. That'll allow us to address a lot of their [00:47:00] questions that you've been sending, but we appreciate all your feedback, positive and negative. Please let us know if there's ways that we can improve. Because we want to make
Matt Scott: We want to improve.
Scott Brady: Yeah, we want to make this a podcast that the industry is able to be supportive of, so keep giving us that feedback. We really appreciate it. If you want to reach out to Matt, you can do that on Instagram at Matt Explorer, and you can send him questions and comments and feedback. You can find out where he buys these amazing shirts that he wears. MIne are boring.
Matt Scott: I wouldn't say yours are boring. I'm just. I'm just a little bit of a...
Scott Brady: Compared to yours, they are pretty boring. And then you can reach me at scott.a.brady on Instagram and provide the feedback. You can follow Overland journal at Overland journal on Instagram as well. And we will talk to you next time. See you guys.