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Rescue dogs, crash bars, skid plates, and global friendships

During our journey, Kellie and I found great inspiration in the Central Asian wilderness. After a few months, it evolved into an adventure bike outfitting company, which we called Outback Motortek. Owner and Founder Lorry Gombos

I attempted writing a conventional gear review a few times, but Outback Motortek is so much more than just their farkles. I thought their narrative would be appreciated by our readers. As a result, this article is about friendship, high-quality items, and Chief, an American Bulldog that was adopted.

Outback Motortek’s history is just as significant as the goods they produce. Many individuals have been motivated to seek beyond the typical pathways and onto less-traveled routes, to embrace adventure, and to pursue any desire, no matter how big or little, by the Gombos-Outback Motortek adventure narrative.

In 2013, Lorry, a Hungarian, and Kelli, a Canadian, traveled throughout Central Asia on their cherished V-Strom 650, sowing the seeds for Outback Motortek. As globetrotters, their lives were transformed when they were backroading from Taiwan to Canada and wild camping, much like many of us overlanders.

Outback Motortek is owned and run by Lorry and Kelli Gombos, who reside in Ontario, Canada. Lorry Gombos, a Hungarian immigrant to Canada, established a life for himself in Ontario by using his skills in landscaping and house building until OM became a full-time commitment in 2016. As the Canadian half, Kelli helps their little business thrive by controlling the company’s taxes and acting as a cool, collected voice in the face of Lorry’s exuberant excitement. Despite her attractive youth and elegant appeal, Kelli is a truly tough young woman—after all, she rode a pillion throughout the whole Eurasian continent! Within a few short years, Lorry’s full-time position at OM has evolved from a simple start-up. As of August 2016, OM has collaborated with MX 1 West, a retail store located in California, Adventure Moto Australia, Dual Sport Canada, and myself. This is a quick growth for a tiny business like mine.

At the 2015 Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting in Ontario, Canada, and later at the HU-2015 in North Carolina, I met Lorry, Kelli, and the amazing dog Chief—whom I almost kidnapped. Chief was Kelli’s constant friend and protector. One more of the Gombos’ “special projects” is Chief. He was saved from the frigid streets of Montreal in the harsh winter of 2014, and he is one of the roughly 60 animals that Lorry and Kelli have rehabilitated as a shared love and personal mission. In my life, I had connected with so few dogs that Chief’s attachment was a personal benchmark. Don’t get me wrong, I constantly find myself drawn to dogs because of their sparkling eyes, curious noses, and waving tails, but I’ve never been a committed fan. I will always have a special place in my heart for Chief, therefore it’s very significant that we became friends.

The Gombos and I would meet again in the ensuing months at the 2015 Overland Expo in Ashville, North Carolina, and the 2015 HU-Travelers Meeting. We became close friends over hatchet-cutting sod trenches, constant rain, plenty of muck, sips from a well-traveled flask of vodka, and constant banter about our exploits in Central Asia.

A family-run company spanning two continents and the Atlantic Ocean is Outback Motortek.It’s in both Canada and Hungary: Outback Motortek designs are produced in Lorry’s father’s medical equipment firm in Hungary, which also doubles as a motorbike components factory. The Sr. Gombos, a mechanical engineer and proprietor of the Hungarian plant, works closely with Lorry to manufacture his ideas and is in charge of Outback Motortek’s manufacturing.

One of the most inspiring tiny manufacturers in the ADV farkle industry today is Outback Motortek. Creating the greatest and strongest farkles for the BMW F800GS, Suzuki V-Strom 650, Kawasaki 650 KLR, and, most recently, the new Honda CRF1000 Africa Twin is Lorry Gombos’ primary specialty. OM specializes in luggage racks, skid plates, and crash bars that are really designed to take a beating. Outback Motortek’s aim and objective are to provide off-road items for extreme riders that want the best.

Thus far, the OM Brand Ambassadors are Oliver Solero, Kinga Tanajewska, and Lawrence Hacking. Although I intend to never put the crash bars and skid plates to the test in person, Lorry and Kinga have conducted extensive and intimate product testing. Recently, Lorry showed off the strength and quality of OM by deliberately falling his F800GS on its crash bars into the gravel and pavement at a slow pace on a YouTube video! But what really makes the difference are Kinga’s introspective thoughts, the pictures of her fast-moving head-on accident, and Outback Motortek’s crash bars and skid plate shielding her F800GS’s engine—a powerful endorsement of OM’s amazing goods.

Even though Outback Motortek is a tiny business competing against industry titans, the quality and workmanship of their goods far beyond expectations. For instance, we tested a F800GS skid plate at the Outback Motortek USA East facility by placing the front wheel of a 2011 Toyota Tundra 5.7L Extra Cab on top of the inverted skid plate! It’s not just about the metal, however. Outback Motortek’s business approach is based on providing personalized attention and customer care, which is where Lorry and Kelli excel.

Lorry has an infectious grin that never goes away and an apparently limitless supply of positive energy, which show how much he and Kelli enjoy what they do at Outback Motortek. The organization’s “personality” component is what keeps it alive and well. In an often-imperfect corporate environment, Outback Motortek was based on family values, mutual respect, genuine thanks, and honor. Their goal is swiftly realized for the fortunate clients who find Outback Motortek; I was able to personally see this as well as hear from other clients. When a problem arises, they are extremely fast to fix it and will go above and beyond to satisfy a client.

The family-run plant that produces Outback Motortek goods always builds all of its items by hand; very little of the manufacturing process is outsourced. The father and son work together across two continents and a vast ocean, but their commitment to high-quality manufacturing remains unwavering; in fact, the company’s global presence seems to be the “glue” that keeps it all together. A perfect synergy exists between the creative and dynamic son of an engineer on one side and decades of high-caliber engineering and workmanship on the other. The pride of the designers and craftsmen is the “beef” of all OM goods. For example, in crucial regions like impact zones and high-stress points, almost all OM products are thicker or broader. Years of professional training and expertise on the manufacturing floor are evident in the near-perfect welding beads, precise bends, and excellent powder coating. By the way, the early days of the train-wheel business were greatly influenced by the famed metal smiths from Hungary.

It seems like the baggage racks are sturdy enough to support a bike. As you ride to the day’s campsite, there’s a comfort in knowing that your 48-count suitcase of beer or your beloved tail bag will be safely fastened to the bike. A good tail-rack may be a huge comfort while overlanding in difficult conditions or just running across town to a backyard cookout. At the moment, Outback Motortek offers two powder coat options for all of its products: matte silver and black. Their matte silver is amazing! The lighter hue has a practical purpose in addition to being visually appealing. Mate Silver stays somewhat colder to the touch due to black surfaces absorbing solar radiation; I think any decrease in heat is beneficial throughout the summer.

The crash bars are made of 27mm tube with a 2mm wall, which is now considered the industry standard for premium production. For the majority of bikes, the bars come in two configurations: an upper and a lower part. While the uppers screw into the lowers and have a crossover support segment that runs under the “beak” on most models—especially the F800GS—the lowers attach to the engine and frame mounts. Enough surface space is covered by a full set of bars on the bike’s side for side pouches and comfort foot pegs for lengthy rides on the concrete. Not only do the matte silver bars look amazing, but Kinga can attest to their proven usefulness and longevity!

While some competitors employ bolt-on sliders that may come away, the skid plates are made of 4mm metal and have distinctive “ribs” engraved into the high impact region, which is forward-center of the glide surface. Installing the skid plate is made easier by the fact that it attaches into the existing motor mounts and can be easily removed for oil changes. The “Murghab” skid plate is intended to keep the engine well-ventilated while offering enough protection from the severe impacts of off-roading. Design is crucial to functioning. As a result, the OM skid plates are as functional as they are beautiful, giving riders peace of mind while they engage in intense off-road riding. A number of promotional videos show skid plates being purposefully tormented by huge strikes, sliding over logs, and being beaten on rocks.

At one of the events or rallies in 2017, you will probably run across Lorry and Keli at their Outback Motortek vendor stand. Just watch for the distinctive burnt orange and black banners, feathers, and sleeping dogs. Say hi, greet an amiable dog, and browse their OM merchandise when you drop by. You will not be let down.

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