4WD: Gascoyne Dash
Randall Kilner churns up the dust in his mighty GQ Patrol at the 2011 Gascoyne Dash. Picture: Australia's Coral Cost.com.au

Off-road enthusiasts gathered up north for the 12th Gascoyne Dash on Thursday, with racing continuing at the weekend.

The hard-fought desert race pits motorbike against motorbike and 4WD against 4WD, then the winners duel to find out whether this year it'll be a rider or a driver who is crowned King of the River.

With more than 500km of racing across desert and station outback country over two days, it's becoming a popular highlight on the national motorsport calendar. Check out gasdash.com for more information.


SHOW TIME

McCallum Park, in Victoria Park, is the venue for the annual Perth 4WD and Adventure Show, which starts on Friday and runs through to Sunday. The show, Australia's biggest off-road expo, will feature the latest Nissan Patrol - on display in WA for the first time after debuting at the Sydney Motor Show.

Toyota also expects to generate plenty of interest in its newly developed Land Cruiser 70 Series dual-cab.

Isuzu will display its all-new D-Max pick-up, plus there will be the latest models from major manufacturers.

For those in the market for a towable home, check out the 2012 Off-road Camper Trailer of the Year, the rugged Conqueror UEV-490 Evolution, or Pioneer's next-generation model.

For those with fatter wallets and a desire for comfort, the new Kimberley Kruiser will be on display, plus new models from established brand leaders such as Jayco.

There's tackle and tinnies for those who like to fish and gadgets galore to keep you enjoying camping in the great outdoors.

Visit perth.4wdshow.com.au for details of displays and events such as the Tough Dog extreme 4x4 track full of tricky obstacles.

Make sure you're up with the latest get-out-of-trouble techniques at the ARB recovery pit and try your hand at kayaking on the Swan with the team from Getaway Outdoors.


SMOOTH RIDE

The Sports Utility Vehicle market ranges from light-duty soft-roaders through to the more capable off-roaders with a luxury bias such as the Range Rover Evoque.

Their drivers tend to be looking for on-road comfort with minimal noise, but demand safe turning and braking capability if they decide to thunder down a slippery gravel track.

"People who own SUVs are mostly driven by the need to feel in control and safe," Goodyear spokesman Blake Vincent said.

"Now, SUV drivers can discover an exceptionally quiet and comfortable drive like never before with the Goodyear EfficientGrip SUV."

To help dampen noise, Goodyear has used a closed shoulder design, increased the number of pitches and used a rib-type design that provides smooth tread geometry.

A high steel belt angle provides more structural flexibility that reduces road impact vibrations.

Superior grip for safety has been achieved through a high number of biting edges and optimising the contact patch in key areas of the tyre footprint.

If you're keen to ensure good grip and reduced road noise, talk to your local Goodyear tyre distributor.

The West Australian

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