Winter Vehicle Test Update (TRX, Ducati, Frontier, and Royal Enfield)

Summary: Matt and Scott discuss their recent vehicle tests, including the new Ram TRX, the Ducati Multistrada V4S, and the Royal Enfield 650 INT. They also give insights on the exciting new Nissan Frontier, and getting started with Matt’s Ram 2500 AEV project vehicle. 

Special thanks to Off The Grid for supporting this episode. https://offthegridsurplus.com/

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#37 Winter Vehicle Update

[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I'm your host, Scott Brady. And I am here with my co host, Matt Scott. 

Matt Scott: Hello!

Scott Brady: And we're going to talk about some new trucks.

Matt Scott: New trucks, new bikes, a bunch of stuff. Because you were just an Anz Abrigo riding the 2022 Ducati Multistrada. 

Scott Brady: I think it is. Or 2021, one or the other. Yeah, it was actually the first media launch that I've been on since Defender, there've been a couple of them that they tried to do and they kept getting canceled. 

Matt Scott: Yeah, I did the TRX, which we'll talk about later, it was kind of in the middle of one of those little COVID lulls, but how big is the motor on that Multistrada? 

Scott Brady: Well it's a 1200. So, and it's also a totally new motor for the whole-

Matt Scott: It's their V4.

Scott Brady: Correct. So you have the smoothness of a four cylinder. It doesn't have the kind of [00:01:00] this angry torque of the V twin, but it, I think it's a much better motorcycle overall. It's the closest that I've seen from Ducati. That's not a sport bike with slightly taller tires. It actually feels completely like an adventure bike. So there was a. A bunch that I liked about it. Of course the bikes are beautiful.

Matt Scott:  Oh yeah.

Scott Brady:  And there's, there's something about being able to purchase or ride kind of a little bit "Outside of the Norm" adventure bike that I think is very charming. You know, cause sometimes these adventure bike trips that can just look like the long line of like a press event, cause they're all the same bike. 

Matt Scott: Yeah, it's at 1200 GS with climb and a Schuberth adventure helmet 

Scott Brady: Exactly and a bunch of Turo tech gear on it, which there's nothing wrong with any of it because it works. It all works. But it's interesting to see because the GS has always been the target of all of these other manufacturers. The other manufacturers are getting close and we've [00:02:00] seen that with other brands, right? We've seen that with Toyota, where the Toyota has always been the target and the other brands are getting much closer if not even eclipsing in certain areas, so the fact there's some of the things that I really liked about the Multistrada. It's a rip on the road. 

Matt Scott: I would imagine, 19 inch front on there. is going to help with that quite a bit. 

Scott Brady: Yeah and it was actually the fastest I've ever driven or written anything in my life and I will withhold the actual number. 

Matt Scott: You went upwards of three mile an hour over the California state speed limit.

Scott Brady: That's right. Yeah. Right within that range where they wouldn't pull me over, but it was incredibly stable at high speed. And then we actually did some real dirt with it and that was one of the interesting things. A lot of these also ran adventure bikes in the past. They were so street biased that they were pretty careful about putting media on the dirt, but this was a real backcountry route like a proper jet [00:03:00] Jeep road with deep sand and decomposing, grey granite and steep climbs and ledges, and Opportunities even to air the bike out so there was some big water bars. So that gave me a pretty good sense for how the bike is off-road and one of the things that I noticed that was most impressive was how well it did in the sand, and there's a couple of things that I think contribute to that. The tires are really large in a really wide contact patch, so you end up with a much bigger tire, which helps with flotation, but then the bike also weighs 474 pounds. 

Matt Scott: That's not really that bad these days. 

Scott Brady: That's right. Which is in some cases, a hundred pounds plus less than an equivalent 1200 from other manufacturers. So it's a much lighter bike. The wide tire, they use a Perelli scorpion rally tire. Which is kind of like a TKC 80, but a little bit more effective on the road. A little bit more [00:04:00] structure between the lugs, so I actually found on the highway and on the twists, even at speed, it gave a lot of confidence, but then off-road did great, and did really well in the sand. It has a counter-rotating crankshaft, so the crankshaft is running at the opposite direction of the wheels which makes a huge difference in how stable the bike feels overall. 

Matt Scott: That's fascinating. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. And it really made a difference. The other thing that I liked about it is it's a very centered weight, overall weight mass on like a BMW, for example, you can really feel that forward weighted. Chassis. So anytime you even lift throttle in the sand things, get a lot more interesting. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. Handlebars go. 

Scott Brady: Yes handlebars, circling directions, you know, you don't want them to go, but I actually really, I liked it. Let's talk about the things that I loved about it, so the motor is fantastic. 170 horsepower, 

Matt Scott: It's easy to love  basically what is a Ducati Superbike motor. 

Scott Brady: It's the Panigale before... so it's this, and it's been tuned for adventure. [00:05:00] So it's, it's got a lower first gear. It's got a slightly different power band. That's more torque. It's got a more relaxed six gear for, you know. 

Matt Scott: Cruising on the highway.

Scott Brady:  Yeah. And speaking of cruising on the highway, one of the things that I really liked is it has, it's the first bike I've ever written with radar cruise control. So, and it's actually very interesting how it works. So you. You set the distance and you set it to follow along. And we were just, he was even working with other bikes. So a small foot, you know, footprint, as far as an eco, or an eco goes, small footprint to see for those radars, but it was working and all you have to do is just turn on the turn signal and lean a little bit, and it starts to accelerate around automatically.

Matt Scott:  Oh, that's nice. 

Scott Brady: And even coming up to a turn, or if everybody's pulling off the bike starts to slow down, it'll even break to do that. And then it also has rear radar, so if another bike is coming up on you quick and you don't see it in your mirror or you're [00:06:00] in some developing country and you know, here comes a local on a 125 trying to pass you in a corner or whatever you actually get on the mirrors.  Guess it would be a blind spot detection monitoring. Yeah. So it lights up-

Matt Scott: Do you think that those technologies add to the experience, like do they add convenience to riding for you or do they kinda take it away? Cause I feel like Moto people are one of two camps, like ABS is sacrilege to some people you know, not even a throttle lock is acceptable and some people, you know, it's just interesting to see these bikes coming more and more Goldwing, I guess. 

Scott Brady: I think everybody's right in that regard and that's not, I'm not trying to just chintz out on the answer. I think that there are places where you want a KLR or there's places that you want a really lightweight, extremely simple bike. What I do find is even more so in the developing world there are times that the mass and the safety that comes from [00:07:00] an adventure bike is actually a real advantage. So for example, when all of the locals are writing a 125 or a smaller, like overall footprint motorcycle, if you're writing something of a similar size, all the local truck drivers, all the locals in cars, they just see you as another local. And they don't even notice that you're something different. So they tend to really crowd you on the road. They don't give you a lot of space. I noticed that in smaller bikes in the developing world, you're kind of at the same risk as the other locals. Whereas once you hop on a large displacement. If you're a big human on a big motorcycle, you stand out. And that's something that I like. So it's better, it's a better visual impression to everybody on the road, like, Hey, this is something different. Maybe they give you a little bit of room and then you find it like when you're in Asia and you're on a scooter and you're trying to pass the chicken bus, right? I mean, the fact that you can breathe on 170 horsepower and be [00:08:00] around them faster than you can blink just about. 

Matt Scott: 50 CCS doesn't necessarily work when you're six foot three. 

Scott Brady: *laughs* Exactly. 

Matt Scott: So, I can attest to the fact that small bikes and big people are not the same as big bike big person. .

Scott Brady: Yeah. So I think that that's a real advantage. I like the safety that comes from all of that technology when I was riding through Peru and Ecuador and Colombia on the 1200 GS, the fact that I had such effective ABS, lots of rain, lots of really like oil on the road, all of that stuff, loose conditions that really make a big difference. But again, that's not to say that you shouldn't go around the world in a simple, small displacement bike and  in many ways. I think that's probably better, because if you think about it for the price of a new Multistrada at $24,000, you could buy a KLR and go around the world for just the same price. So all of that should be taken into consideration and [00:09:00] arguably the person on the KLR, they're a little less stressed. They don't have as fancy of a bike. If it gets stolen somewhere, you're only out five grand. 

Matt Scott: If it falls over. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, you dust it off. 

Matt Scott: Nobody notices the difference. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. Whereas an expensive, complex, adventure bike that falls over could result in, in a problem. I mean, I did have that happen in Columbia. I went down on a 1200 GS and my boot hit the anemometer, which is a very small sensor. It hit it, broke it and I was down. 

Matt Scott:  Just down for the count.

Scott Brady:  Totally down for the count, so they had to go back to Bogota, get a part, bring it back to me as I'm sitting in the middle of the jungle, so again, with everything, there's a compromise, but I think it's not good to dismiss a large bike for travel out of hand. Cause there's a bunch of advantages that come with it. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. I could see that. So here's my test that I use for all adventure bikes. Is it better? And the KTM [00:10:00] 950 or 990 adventure. Does it have more travel? Does it have more power to weight? And is it better off-road?

Scott Brady: Yeah, no to all of those, it might have better power to weight.

Matt Scott:  Yeah, probably. 

Scott Brady: I think it does. In fact-

Matt Scott: Yeah it's 475, it most certainly would. My 950 is low four hundreds cause I've taken all of the things off of it, but it's only, it's under a hundred horsepower. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, but again, I've even thought about that because the, it used to be that that was such a valid comparison because the adventure bikes weren't all that much better. But now that you've got so much better technology and, you know, high readability on the screen, lots of wind protection. Lots of reserve capacity and performance and they keep getting better and better off road. I think that margin is dwindling a little bit. 

Matt Scott: Yeah and that's something that I definitely needed to take into consideration, like a lot has changed. 

Scott Brady: Yeah and that's, what's exciting. It's [00:11:00] exciting to see manufacturers now bringing to market true GS fighters that really make people start to think, do I want this beautiful red motorcycle instead of something else.

Matt Scott: Yeah, and I mean, I think the interesting thing with Connie is I want to say they did that Multistrada Enduro that had the 21 inch front and it had some more features. So I wonder, if we'll see, we'll see something that's even more adventure.

Scott Brady:  I think that's coming. I actually, what I would love to see would be there 950 with that full kind of off-road Enduro package. One thing just for the listener, because we don't want to just talk about the positives. There were a couple little items that I did notice their traction control algorithm was not suitable for off-road. So even if you were in the least invasive selection for traction control, way too much intervention. So it would actually result in a failed Hill climb fairly easily, if you weren't careful. So I had to go full [00:12:00] tracks control off, so hopefully Ducati addresses that. They have a one to ten, you know, the one that they have now needs to be about their five, and one needs to allow for a lot of wheel spin,  because when you're riding off road and you... traction control has a ton of advantages cause you can't overspin the rear tire, but the fact that it just shuts you down so quickly, it's a problem.

Matt Scott: I have no idea about offering trash control motorcycles. My main ride is a trials bike. It does not have a seat, but I mean-

Scott Brady: No radar?

Matt Scott:  No radar cruise control. No, seat, no electric start . 

Scott Brady: But what a great place to learn. 

Matt Scott: I like it.

Scott Brady:  Yeah. Those are sweet. I need to get out there with you on one of those.

Matt Scott:  Yeah. I mean, so if you were to give it a rating out of 10?

Scott Brady: It's definitely the best Multistrada that they've brought into market. The refinement is so much more improved. The quality of everything. Even the service interval is 36,000 miles on the, on [00:13:00] the valves

Matt Scott: You  could ride around the world.

Scott Brady: Yeah. So you could go around the world without a valve adjustment. So that's a big deal. I would say it's probably seven and a half, eight out of 10. Okay. It's really, it's really a big improvement  and I can't think of a single adventure bike. That's a 10 out of 10.

Matt Scott:  Yeah. Yeah, I mean, of everything that you've ridden, you've ridden quite a, pretty much all of these new bikes. What do you think it most closely competes with? I mean, is it something that could unseat the 1200 GS. 

Scott Brady: You know, motorcycles are so tribal that people that buy GS's tend to buy more GS's. So that's the thing that's difficult is for people to actually change brands that doesn't happen very often, but I would say that if you look at off-road performance, it's as good as the standard 1250. It's not as good as the adventure. The adventure has a little bit more wheel travel and it has much better traction control and ABS systems. So I would say it's, it probably is closest [00:14:00] to the, to the GS. The KTMs will be that much better off road. So if you were to look at a 1090 or an 1190 or a 1290, those bikes are so much more suited for the dirt and they're set up for that. 

Yeah, well, that's, that's fascinating 

And it's, and it's, and it's beautiful.

Matt Scott: And it's beautiful and it's orange and it's Italian and it just stirs your soul.

Scott Brady: It really, it really does. I mean, it was absolutely insane to ride on the road. Way faster than I should have been riding. 

Matt Scott: Well, that's what they're for, it's why you have 170 of the horsepowers. Well, I was driving the TRX a few months ago and, and like, I always feel like I have to preface this car because every time I say, "Oh, well, you know, I was reviewing this vehicle." Well, that's not an Overland vehicle. Well, it's cheaper pretty much then, you know, starting price, $71,000. People are spending that all day [00:15:00] long. I mean, like, look around the dude that's doing your tile has a pickup truck. That's more expensive than that. So I think like value for money. Boy, it's a hoot. I mean, that thing does zero to 60. They claim 4.5. I thought it was a little bit faster than that and you know, some people have actually done actual testing as low as 3.7 seconds in a pickup truck. But I don't know. I mean, I think the thing is that 702 horsepower sounds absolutely crazy right now. But it's going to be slower than the cyber truck. It's going to be slower than the Ravine. It's going to be slower than the Hummer  EV, that's coming out. This is our first  opportunity to see what this much, you know, usable power is going to be like in a half ton platform because so much stuff is going. I mean, power, we have won the power game, you know 

Scott Brady: Doesn't it seem that, well, I guess my first point would be there's nothing wrong with just having more fun traveling.

Matt Scott: It's really fun and it's really great inside [00:16:00] you know, 1,310 pounds of payload. So I want to say that's like a hundred or 120 pounds more than than a Ford Raptor, but where I will qualify that as. You get the panoramic sunroof, you get the cooled seats. You step up into the higher tiered spec packages and  it seems to me that you end up pretty much at the same place as the Raptor. I do prefer the way that the TRX drives having owned a Raptor. I wouldn't, I wouldn't get a Raptor. 

Scott Brady: What did you like more about the TRX?

Matt Scott:  It felt more solid. You know, the Raptor was a phenomenal vehicle. It was fun. It's still, in my opinion, one of the best grand touring cars money could buy. It goes down the highway at whatever speed you want with four people passed out in it. And it just, it doesn't really care. But the TRX has a nicer interior. I think the exterior styling details are just nicer. The interior is a beautiful place to be. I mean, it is really quiet. You get dual pane [00:17:00] glass on the windshield and the end side windows, which. That laminated glass really is... It's interesting because you used to see that stuff in Rolls Royce, Bentley, S-Class Mercedes. But now that technology is starting to dwindle down and I think that that's the fascinating thing with the TRX is. You're going to start to see those, those technologies twiddle down. I thought the suspension frankly, was better for road use. I thought it was better for you know, kind of rugged off-road use. I thought that the Raptor was always a bit jarring and, you know, kind of, I call them like the baby head rocks. 

Scott Brady: So it was more busy. 

Matt Scott: It was a little bit more busy, but you know,that's a five link coil sprung rear end versus leaf springs, but it does you know, go to say that now Ford has up the ante with the Raptor and they have a, you know, a five link coil sprung rear end in that too. I think it, I think again, you're talking about tribalism. This is something for the Ram tribe. I personally think if you blindfolded people and drove them back to [00:18:00] back and had them touch the interior and had him actually drive it. I think most people would prefer the Ram. Ford to me, I don't know. Well, let me say this: Ram feels more premium to me. Everything you touch, everything you feel it's just there's designers going through it. Where Ford to me feels like engineers and accountants have gone through it. You know, you open the door handle on a Ford product and there's like a little, you know, seam seal from, from the injection molding. They feel a little bit more tinny compared to that, to the Ram. And I have a Ford product too. I'm not brand biased necessarily, but you know, people always compare them obviously, but that the TRX is more of a system I think is, is kind of the way Scott Brown described it to me. From, from FCA or Stellantus, I just don't want to call it Stellantus. I feel like it's like a-

Scott Brady: The lost city of Stellantis 

Matt Scott: It's like an Atlantic city discount casino, or [00:19:00] something. Terrible name. I think if you're going to go down to Baja and, you know, beat up a truck maybe take a rafter, cause it just seems like the aftermarket will have more potential with that vehicle. I don't know if you could put 37s on a TRX.  It would probably ruin it. You know, some more supercar, super trucky in that aspect, but it's just so fun to drive. And, and I think the thing that really makes it as that, that bill stains suspension People are all of a sudden really concerned with that diameter of their shock. So it doesn't have like the three inch diameter shocks that the Raptor has, or the 12 inch diameter shocks that I'm sure that people are putting on their trucks to go down the Mojave road these days. You know, but they adjust so quickly and they're actually, you know, I want to say it's a thousand pounds of damping force or more that they can actually apply within milliseconds. So, you know, they have this like jumping detection thing, which they were a little bit cagey about calling it, that with lawyers around, but you know, this was an [00:20:00] interesting vehicle cause they put us out on the short course at a Wild Horse motorsports park, outside of Reno and have at it, like there was somebody in the right seat kind of telling you what to do, but they were making sure you weren't, you know, I mean, this is a truck that could do 120 mile an hour down the front straight, if you want it to. You don't want to hit two foot woops. Doing that, but I was impressed with how quickly this suspension could, could change. I mean, you know, they're factoring in steering angle, they're factoring and wheel speed vertically. You know, there's a lot going on to the system and to be able, it was just so composed. Like, you know, you kind of get off a jump in what felt to me, like I was, you know, Napoleon dynamite, like 12 feet in the air. I was probably like six inches or something. Like desert races are probably gonna look like "You call that air?" but it was interesting just to see how quickly the system and suspension worked. It was fascinating. And you know, we're going to start seeing [00:21:00] that stuff, those are drop-in technologies and what that tells me to see that from FCA or Stellantis you know, It's not going to be long until we see that on a Gladiator or on a 2500 or on a Wrangler, and I'm really, really excited for that because I really do think that that adaptive suspension particularly at an OE level that's one of the technologies that I walked away from the TRX saying that's going to be, you know, that is the next game changer to be able to, let's say, you know. You have a roof on your Jeep and the vehicles leaning into turns, well, it's going to actually know what's going on and it has those, you know, I mean, I know that the Gladiator, for example, already has the little suspension height sensors ready to go cause I think they share a component with the 1500, but this'll just be interesting to see what that active suspension and where that will go. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I just, a few weeks ago I was testing out. The [00:22:00] SDI suspension- 

Matt Scott: Which looks super fascinating.

Scott Brady: E-CLICK and it worked exactly as you described. So you can dial in the increased payload. It has an IMU on it. It knows when the vehicle is light because it's come off of a G-out or maybe even a jump. It knows when it's got a heavy roof load and it starts to adjust automatically for that, and I think that that's coming and it, and it does make a big difference in safety.

Matt Scott: Yeah, because I mean, right now I feel like, you know, suspension tuning is an art, but to a degree that shim stack that you're putting together and how it's valved it is to some degree guesstimating. Right, right, you're trying to get one solution that works for a variety of solutions where now you have, you know, if your range is one to ten, you're picking the five. Now you have the ability with these, these new technologies to have a one, and then milliseconds [00:23:00] later have a 10. And that is really, really fascinating. I know that there's active suspension on I want to say in the 19 and up Raptors, but that's more of a definitive valving change. I felt that this was more active. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, it was interesting that Multistrada, as an example, had the same thing and the bike knew when you were in the air, and it would go like, because it only has 7.1 inches of suspension travel in the front, so we'd go full stiff, and it soaked up some pretty good jumps fairly well.

Matt Scott:  The point there being is, you know, maybe as with the Multistrada where I was kind of comparing, is it better than the nine 50? Well, the nine 50 has to, you know, has to deal with choosing number five out of a one to 10 scale. Having something that's smart enough to be able to dynamically adjust like. That's pretty cool. 

Scott Brady: It is and it lets you get away with, in my mind, a little bit less suspension travel because it's so adaptive. Yeah the technologies are really interesting and I think, [00:24:00] I think it's easy and myself, I mean, just to admit freely, I remember looking at the Raptor initially with a little bit of like even honestly disdain because I'm thinking people shouldn't be out driving that fast on these public roads and all of that, and the reality is even if you drove at the same speed, you're going to be more fresh. You're going to have more in the tank. If something happens like a deer jet out in the road, you're going to have more capability and performance. So, I mean, it's the individual owner, it's their responsibility to be... it's their responsibility to be responsible Over Landers and not tear up the back country. But it is kind of interesting that you can have that much performance and if you pack light, you can actually have a lot of fun. 

Matt Scott: You know, I loved my Raptor. You know, I sold it cause the Gladiator came out and that was just like, boys' dream. You know, it was a Jeep Wrangler pickup truck. Right?  I wanted it, but you know,  we had a swag [00:25:00] that we threw in the back in the late, you know, period of that truck, I had to go fast camper on it. And that was a really good fit because it was pretty light. It allowed us to sleep in there with the dog. It was a little bit more comfortable and I think it weighed 300 something pounds. So it was, you know, two adults, camping gear and all that stuff. It was completely within the realm of that. And you know, that interesting thing, I think when you get into it, just any kind of performance vehicle, there are a plethora of spring options out there. So if you want to get a deaver, that is designed to carry 500 pounds more payload, we know that the frame of the F150, while the Raptor has maybe a thousand pound payload as generally outfitted, that same vehicle is capable of a 3000 pound payload. 

Scott Brady: Yeah I've seen close to 3000. 

Matt Scott: So a lot of it, in my opinion Was down to spring rates. Obviously when you're going fast, you don't want a crazy heavy spring rate, but if you have a spring rate, that's commensurate to the amount of weight that you have in there. It was actually a dude, lawndart design, on Instagram that has [00:26:00] built a really interesting Raptor on 37s with a little bit more power. He goes down to Baja all the time and you know, he's actually looked at it as a, as a complete package. It has the spares, it has all the overlanding stuff. It has a fridge, it has everything, but it's kind of within that payload and it rips, man. 

Scott Brady: That's clever.

Matt Scott:  Yeah. They're just fun. Right? I mean I think the cool thing of where over landings gone, in my opinion, when you say the term overlanding to somebody, they now just think of a car with a roof tent. It doesn't evoke global travelers. It doesn't evoke international travel as much as it's maybe a point of frustration for me, that's gone. So why not? Why no t - 

Scott Brady: Embrace any variant, right?

Matt Scott:  Yeah. I mean, I don't know. It's fascinating to me. 

Scott Brady: Well, if it gets people outdoors and they're able to spend time with their family and go have an experience, then there's certainly no harm in it. 

Matt Scott: And I think where this leads with the TRX and with the F-150 Raptor is these are like the [00:27:00] half ton American pickup truck for, for whatever reason just has never really been embraced. You know, if you look abroad and all the people that like the 70 series and drive the 70 series there, they're probably looking at F-150 and Raptors and TRX. Isn't the things that we get here for, you know, relatively little amounts of money. I mean, a 70 series in Australia costs more, you know, with roll-up windows. And you know, I don't even know if they have a center console. They cost more than a loaded Raptor does, they're expensive. So, you know, value for money. I mean, that's an, that's an entirely different podcast is why isn't the American half-ton pickup truck. The choice of Overlanders it's, you know, I, I had an engine blow in my earth roamer. Well maybe, maybe that's why it's not the choice of over lenders, but I, I had an engine blow in that and you know, the, the reassuring thing after we got it repaired as if we had an issue. There is a Ford dealer hiding around every corner. I mean, it's just, [00:28:00] it's just there. I know we actually kind of went and made up, made a map of, of all the Ford dealers for our Alaska Yukon trip this year. And they're everywhere. I mean, like these tiny towns, there's a Ford dealer, there's a Chevy dealer. There's a Ram dealer. You might not find a Toyota dealer. You're certainly not finding a place to serve as your sprinter. I dunno. That's interesting. 

Scott Brady: Well, and you've also talked about that this is kind of the Swan song of the internal combustion engine. That was your quote actually, and maybe that's part of it is we get, we get that 392 Wrangler. We get, you know, these 700 horsepower Rams and that might be it. That might be that we're looking for the next decade as electric vehicles become more and more relevant, and in many cases better, a better choice, that we'll see these really kind of high, strong, very fun internal combustion vehicles.

Matt Scott: Yeah and that's great. I know, and I think that that applies then [00:29:00] to the EVs in the future as well, most cars are going to have this power so you know, as we were talking, like I, when the Buick grand national came out, I'm sure people were like, "Cars can't get any faster. What, what? No!" and then like a Honda Odyssey faster than it. Now that's just technology and progression. So it's interesting to see the TRX. I really look at it. It's a wonderful car. It's really well-made. It's like super quiet inside, aside from the supercharger whine which is exactly how it should be. That's exactly what you want. But yeah, it's interesting. To me, it was almost a technology demonstrator of like, here's the stuff that's going to come to everything else and now we're starting to see the 392 Wrangler. Our buddy Mike McMahon already has one on order , so I can't wait to respectfully drive it and not do a burnout.

Scott Brady:  I think that'll be tough yeah. So let's go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Let's go [00:30:00] to the Royal Enfield 650 intersect. 

Matt Scott: Okay the complete opposite and both spectrums 

Scott Brady: It is, that's 47 horsepower. 

Matt Scott: Ooh, 47? That's a huge improvement. 

Scott Brady: Yeah and it's a six 50, so it's a bigger, royal Enfield. And the reason why I want to talk about this bike on this podcast again, is to contrast the Multistrada and maybe some of these other things that we're discussing, but something like a Royal Enfield can get serviced many places in the world. They make squillions of them in Asia, particularly in India. They're very charming. It's got this old- 

Matt Scott: They're just fun. They're one of those things that it's classless like they're just totally, anybody can ride one. They're a happy motorcycle. Like you see a Royal Enfield and you're never like, they don't look, they look classy. I think they look, I think Royal Enfields have always been a, I think they have good [00:31:00] design right there. 

Scott Brady: They do, because they haven't changed it. I think that the smart thing is don't try to update it. Just keep making them look exactly the same, which makes them even more charming into the future. And one of the things that I really like about it, you're talking about spending less than $6,000 on a brand new motorcycle with ABS, fuel injection, you know, 47 horsepower, you know, and it's relatively comfortable to ride. It's got enough power that you can actually go on interstate speeds. But the thing that came to my mind is, you know, you could throw a couple bags on the thing and you could take off, down to the middle of mainland Mexico, and you could have a very inexpensive trip 

Matt Scott: A unique trip too, you know, like I what fascinates me about that motorcycle is, you know, with when we were talking about the Multistrada, we use the KLR as an example, That's always the go-to, the Tacoma of the, you know, adventure motorcycle space. But there are options. There are [00:32:00] other options and it's cool. I think with motorcycles, we get more of those. It's easier for them to qualify for EPA standards and there's obviously less stringent, stringent DDOT crash safety standards because sure. 

Scott Brady: Well, it's a motorcycle you know? 

Matt Scott: Yeah. It's, I love it. I've always wanted to do India. North to South.

Scott Brady: Right? Like, I like the fact that it's a little bit bigger, I've ridden the 500 Bullet and some of the other ones that are like that. And you know, I'm a fairly big guy and it's just, it feels uncomfortably small. Whereas this felt just right. It felt a lot like my Moto Guzzi V7, it rode really nice. It was fun in the twisties. It's not you know, it's, you know, the chassis flexs is a bit. 

Matt Scott: It's a standard motorcycle right? As in definition, like it's kind of, it's like a Yamaha XS 650 or a Bonneville or something that is standard classification.

Scott Brady: Totally. 

Matt Scott: They're really cool. 

Scott Brady: And I [00:33:00] think  I noticed that wherever you stopped, there was conversations around the bike, but in this, in this very charming way not like, "Oh, look at this very expensive, fancy motorcycle" but, "Oh, my grandpa had one of those"  

Matt Scott: Yeah and elicits positive interactions. 

Scott Brady: It really does, and it gets fairly good fuel economy. It has ABS, which I think is actually a really important thing for travelers to consider because the world is full of surprises. 

Matt Scott: Yeah and, and people are really distracted. I mean, I, you know, I'll be honest, I don't ride on the road that much anymore because like there's 5 million Kias doing a hundred mile an hour on the highway now with people texting and like, you know, cars are just fast. 

Scott Brady: They are.

Matt Scott: So it's interesting to have those things.

Scott Brady:  So I really think that that's a motorcycle that will continue to do well in the marketplace. I like the fact that it's old school. I like the fact that it's inexpensive. 

Matt Scott: And they're still made in India, right? 

Scott Brady: They [00:34:00] are. I think it's super cool. So yeah, that was a really fun one. I was kind of sad to see that one go. That was really a fun bike to have for the couple months that we had it. We did a fun little video. You can go onto our expedition portal YouTube channel and check that out. We did some, some video review on that as well. And then talking about value propositions. We've got one more truck. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. Yeah. So if we're balancing Multistrada with Royal Enfield and TRX, let's talk about something that's equally as ancient as an Enfield. And let's talk about the 15 year old, 2022 Nissan frontier. Sorry. I had to say it like, this car looks great. It aesthetically, it looks really good. There's a lot of details of it that we like that we'll get into, but. What was frustrating for me is in 2013 or 2014, when I was running an unsealed four by four in Australia, I was at the press launch for the D23 Navara and I was told this is going to come to the U S and it was one of the [00:35:00] best chassis in that class that I've ever driven, because it had a five link rear end , it had the four wheel discs, it had a really peppy little diesel engine, which obviously we wouldn't get here. You know, it was good enough that Mercedes actually used that as the basis for their X class. So that means that they met all of their NVH, all of their quality standards, all their durability testing to put a Mercedes badge on it. And, you know, I was told that that was going to come here, and not that I'm mad about that. I mean, that doesn't matter, but it's interesting to me and you know, you kind of hit the nail on the head. Is that Nissan looking to Toyota? That's their, that's their competitor. 

Scott Brady: But Toyota is so far behind, so it just puts Nissan oftentimes further behind. Although there are a bunch of things that they did with the new 2022 frontier that are in my mind, an improvement over the Tacoma. So you're at 310 horsepower and you have a nine speed transmission. Which is three more speeds than the Tacoma. [00:36:00] So you're going to end up with a much lower first gear and you're going to be able to better utilize that 310 horsepower throughout the drivability range, because you're just going to have more cogs available to get, keep it in the power band. 

Matt Scott: Yeah, I mean, it does make me... I think that the Tacoma as a platform is  good. You can't fault it, but you can't fault the performance and driving experience and I think that's where the frontier will really be interesting. Personally, I think it looks better than the Tacoma. I think that Tacoma, there's just so many Tacomas out there and- 

Scott Brady: Yeah, that's true. Maybe that's what it is, cause the Tacoma, I think is handsome, and there's some great aftermarket components that really improve the overall look, but once you start to add those things that make them look more adventurey you're over payload.

Matt Scott: Yeah, yeah. And this thing has a max payload of 1,610 pounds, which is significant. I'm sure that that's like a long bed, two wheel drive, manual window, two wheel drive thing. But [00:37:00] you pulled up 1400 pounds for the  ProForex. Yeah. 

Scott Brady: Which is that it's still 300 pounds more than the equivalent TRD. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. That's significant. 

Scott Brady: You know, 25% improvement in payload. That's notable. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. It starts at $28,000 loaded, just under 40. So cheaper than a TRD, cheaper than a gladiator. Yeah. It's, it's, it's fascinating, you know. It's weird to me that they're still using a chassis that is from 2005. 

Scott Brady: I wonder if there's just something that we don't know. 

Matt Scott: Yeah maybe that's it, but you know-

Scott Brady:  It's crash testing or some crazy thing that would have made it so much more expensive to bring here. I don't know.

Matt Scott: You know, they built the D23 Navara, which Nevara frontier just, same, essentially the same truck, different names for different markets. They build that in Spain. They build it in Mexico. I mean, we're here in Arizona and I see this [00:38:00] some Navarro's with the five link rear end here. So maybe they wanted to need to keep it built in the United States. I think that that's cool. So it could have been a tooling issue. Yeah, I really don't know. You know, but it's like, I wouldn't want to- 

Scott Brady: The one real advantage edge of leaf spring rear end is that it has a broader range of payload where it forms properly. A coil spring, even if it's progressive there's a much tighter range of payload where it performs well, whereas a leaf spring by the nature of its design, the more way you add to it, the more leaves it engages. So it's progressive throughout the entire travel range. So maybe it's just something as simple as that.

Matt Scott: But you can make a coil spring rear end carry a lot of payload. I mean the Ram 2,500, for example, that has [00:39:00] upwards of 4,000 pounds of payload when properly equipped. And you can put it. Nissan frontier in the back of it. Yeah. And it still works. I don't know. I mean, I guess I just, I have a little bit of a beef with that because at the bones of a car are it's chassis and to now be on the third generation of a vehicle that is wearing, I want to say third generation on that from 2005. Yeah, that just seems a bit lazy to me. Not, not to dwell on it, but they did a lot of great things. You know, they're improving the ride quality of that vehicle through things like hydraulic body miles, they're saying an 80% reduction and in you know, kind of vibrations noise, vibration harshness coming through that through the end of the chassis and that laminated acoustic glass that I was talking about in the Ram TRX, which not too long ago, it was something you could only really find it. Really expensive vehicles. That's in the, that's in the frontier now. So that's really cool. I think it looks great. I'm sure it'll have, like, I've seen Nissan usually does those really kick in front OF endor, [00:40:00] does their, does their sound systems, cause they're both based in Tennessee. You know, like that's, that's really cool.

 

Scott Brady: I do like the fact that it's a nine speed. I like the fact that the payload is in that 1400 pound range with the full off-road package 

Matt Scott: Cause that leaves you a solid thousand pounds after people, and a couple of clothes. Yeah. 

Scott Brady: A full 32 inch diameter tire, rear locking differential. So in that regard, I think that there's some benefits I would have really liked to have seen that five links rear-end.

Matt Scott: Cause it would have just been different, you know, it would have it would have been. Well, I guess the Gladiator would be the only one that has a coil sprung rear-ended in that segment and that segment. But the gladiator is a different one. Gladiator, is lik, I know that it's in that segment, but I don't necessarily like-

Scott Brady: Well, you can get a gladiator to your point. You can get a gladiator with a 1700 pound payload. With a coil sprung rear-end.

Matt Scott: Yeah. And you can go and get like five or six grand off of a gladiator. Yeah. You know, I remember when I tried to buy one of the Nissan Titans with [00:41:00] that Cummins. I could get $12,000 off any of the domestic diesels or I could pay sticker for the Nissan. Like their, their pricing to me has always seemed a little bit weird, like when we had that Tundra I thought the drive-line was really great on it. That also had that nine speed, but I had the endurance V8 in it.. Great driveline. I mean, these are the people that do the GTR but it was overpriced for what it was like you couldn't find them. You could get a King ranch F-150 for what you could get a mid spec.

Scott Brady: And it just must come down to volume. I mean, they're making so many F-150s that they just get some economy of scale that I don't know how you could ever, which will be interesting. The new Tundra is in the wings. We know it's coming out literally any moment, maybe even by the time this podcast goes live. So, yeah, it'll be interesting to see what the new Tundra is. Hopefully the frame is not noodley.

Matt Scott: Aesthetics of the frontier really, really nice. I think [00:42:00] I'm partial to the Gladiator, but I think if I took that out of the basket, I would say it's currently the best looking midsize truck on the market.

Scott Brady: And the Nissan frontier has become the most reliable midsize truck in the United States, a incredibly reliable platform, which is what a lot of people look towards Nissans for so if you want a modern midsize truck that kind of has a little bit of an international feel,  and really good reliability. This could be a good bet. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. I think their honest trucks , I love that they have, you know, 310 horsepower, you know, that motor is going to be reliable. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. Now you just recently made a new acquisition for a pickup. 

Matt Scott: Yeah. Oh, we're talking about that one. Yeah. So I'm doing an AV Prospector XL. I'm going to kind of consolidate a few of our show vehicles for adventure imports. Cause we're not [00:43:00] doing shows during COVID. I mean, you know, we had, I guess kind of hoped that that would change, but it looks like we're realistically into the end of this year before for that happens. I say that and I'll go back and listen to this and 2025 and we'll still be in it. But yeah, I'm really excited for that. I absolutely love that truck so far.

Scott Brady:  It looks so good. 

Matt Scott: So 2,500 Laramie and it is like the level two Laramie package has the cool seats and kinda Alcantara Ish textured leathers on the inside. Like the thing that I like about it is it doesn't really pick up trucks, either. Look work, or they look old men with Chrome and weird dual colors. There's some weird things. This is just an attractive youthful truck to me. I got the 12 inch screen. It's great. That Cummins this is the first time I've owned a Cummins. 

Scott Brady: How do you like it compared to the power stroke? 

Matt Scott: Well, like I've had two of the six sevens and [00:44:00] I definitely think that. That the six, seven power stroke. It feels more powerful. Cause it is but the Cummins is more of the diesel you want. It's a special motor. The six/seven to me doesn't feel particularly special. It is an immensely complex engine. You know, it has two cooling systems. It is like this, depending on if you have a cabin chassis model or a pickup model, you know, it has some weird turbos and a lot of failure points. Like you cannot work on it. You have to remove the cab to work on it. When we had the engine replaced in the earth roamer it was the entire front end of the vehicle that had to come off where this feels like a big Jeep and "Oh, there's the injection pump. There's the turbo to the other side." You could work on it. You could know if something was wrong, it's not buried beneath a bunch of stuff. And there's just something to it. Like how it makes the power is really fascinating. It feels more Truckee. 

Scott Brady: Well it's, it seems like, because [00:45:00] you can get this AEV package, it seems like that's the reason to buy a Ram is because you can get this amazing AEV modification set that completely changes the vehicle. 

Matt Scott: I probably would have bought the tremor, had I not walked into the local dealer and they said, "Oh, you want that? Okay. Yeah. Well that's sticker plus $10,000." And I just laughed at them because that's like shocks. I'm going to take off and Torsion front end. Yeah. Cool. It didn't even have a winch. It was like the, the, the cheapest tremor Super Duty. You could spec and they wanted 10 grand over it. So I walked right to my buddy, Jeff at, I think it's York Dodge up here and just, you know, got a no BS price. You know, I think I got eight or eight grand off on it or something. 

Scott Brady: It looks so good. 

Matt Scott: But yeah, I bought it because of the AEV thing. 

Scott Brady: I wonder how many Rams are sold because of AEV... in [00:46:00] our audience, 

Matt Scott: I certainly know quite a few people. That's why they're buying Rams is because they have these OE levels, you know, properly engineered, properly validated accessories that they could put on the vehicles and not ruin them. When I built that a few years back, I built a 2016 Super Duty with the six, seven, and it was nice. The ARB bumper on it. I did icon suspension and wheels. I did a long range tank, but it was kind of like you've taken the best from over here, the best from over here, a pinch of this, a pinch of that. And you kind of end up with something that works kind of where the AEV stuff just it's, it's all engineered as a system. So, you know, it starts at $17,000, which sounds like a lot, but try a good Carly system and then try a good, you know, buck stop bumper. And then try putting forties on that with fenders and all of this stuff, that's never meant to work together. And then the resale value you know, you can get a good deal on the [00:47:00] truck and you can do these upgrades. And, you know, I dunno, that's always something that I, that I heavily considered. 

How often do you sell cars? 

Well,yeah, but I do that because I-

Scott Brady: No it makes sense! Why not protect your investment? 

Matt Scott: But I buy and sell the car before they fall off the cliff. I get my use out of them. I enjoy building them. It's a marketing tool for adventure imports and yeah, I don't know. Yeah, I like it. I think that's a great look. I'm really excited for it. I mean, basically the plan is to throw the AEV book at it. I'm going to do probably the twin tightened tanks because I'm going to, they have this really cool spare. 38 gallons or something, and it literally goes in where that the factory spare is, and then you fill it from inside the bed. And you end up with 90 or a hundred gallons between the two and you know, if I ever want to like-

Scott Brady: Drive to Cabo and back without fueling up. Yeah. 

Matt Scott: Well, I mean with questionable ultra low sulfur diesel involved, right. Yeah. Yeah. So it'll, it'll be an interesting,

Scott Brady:  Oh, that'll [00:48:00] be a fun one. 

Matt Scott: It'll be an interesting project. We're obviously going to be doing some content on that with AEV And you know, kind of walking through the process of actually buying one of these 

Scott Brady: And hashtag not sponsored

Matt Scott: Yeah not sponsored we're you know, like AEV was kind enough to offer an industry discount in the same way that we've offered them industry discounts on our products. But yeah, truthfully I'm just passionate about that AEV stuff. It's always been a, it's been a pinnacle thing for me and yeah. You know, when you buy Land Cruisers and Gladiators and. The vehicles I've had, they maintain their value. So it's like, I've just had these successive savings accounts. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. Not a bad way to do it. You can have fun with it.

Matt Scott: Yeah. If you can. Why not? 

Scott Brady: Well, that's exciting. I look forward to seeing how that comes along. We'll put together some content. 

Matt Scott: Yeah  I'm really looking forward to it. It's just an easy trip drive.

Scott Brady:  I couldn't believe it when you let me drive it. It was awesome. 

Matt Scott: It's really smooth. I mean, I guess they're kind of calling this the gen four and a half of that truck because it shares [00:49:00] quite a bit in common with the gen four, which I want to say was 2013 to 2018 or something. But you know, it's a redesigned engine, same, same concept, but compacted graphite block you know, our, our friend mutual friend, Mario Donovan from ATO Overland, he is like a Ram fanatic. And I was standing next to his truck and it was just considerably louder. His are all AED built, considerably louder than this truck. So it is nearly luxurious to ride in. 

Scott Brady: What it was, the quality of materials was impressive. 

Matt Scott: And that's why I'm just such a big fan of Ram these days. Like, again, I have the Ford, I have the Ram and when I look at them, the Ram is just more premium. It's just more put together. Everything feels a little bit thicker. Everything feels a little bit more purposeful. Like, like somebody who was designing it actually used it. Whereas the Ford guys it's like, maybe they have some engineers in the desert, but they don't really let them out of Michigan or something. I [00:50:00] don't really know, but they feel different, it feels more like a truck. It feels more purposeful and that's why I decided to go with it. 

Scott Brady: Well that's why you spent your money on it. Well, so that'll be an exciting project and we appreciate everyone for listening and catching everyone up on our recent escapades with the new vehicles. So it'll be interesting to actually get our hands on a Frontier and we'll report back on how that goes when we do. And other than that, we will do you next time.

Matt Scott: Take care!