Building trails is backbreaking work, and before you even get to build, you have to get all the tools to the site. Fortunately, the Coastal Crew have found the perfect trail building partner in the Turbo Kenevo. Bonus? When the workhorse has done its job, it pivots to a fun playhorse to shred on.
Chainsaws, chains, and comealongs. No, not the name of a beard-band from Durango, just some of the gear the Coastal Crew’s Dylan Dunkerton and Curtis Robinson hoof out into the woods in order to make that ol’ trail building magic happen. There’s other gear, too—hammers, nails, and shovels for example—but there’s one tool in particular that’s snuck up and taken them a bit by surprise with its power and downright killer capability. Hold onto your Ambush lids, kids—it’s an e-bike. Specifically, the Turbo Kenevo.
And before you say: “Guys, just ride a real bike,” consider this. To get to the chopper—the primo place where they need to dig, pull stumps, and hack logs in order to build a trail like the one in this video—they have to get all that gear out there. ALL that gear. On their backs, and trust us—it ain’t no itty-bitty bindle to carry.
“We basically turn the bike into a workhorse,” says Curtis, describing the task of getting all the tools of their very specific trade out there. Some context? “When we did MOTIVE [the film] we probably had, like, 100lbs… [maybe] 80lbs on our back,” he says. Eighty pounds! How would you feel about riding out in the woods with a dishwasher or a full-grown Labrador on your back?
“The reality," adds Dylan, “is you'd never ride your normal mountain bike out there with that, but now you’ve got that power, you can actually do it.”
“I think that's the thing with those bikes,” says Curtis. “Once you switch to hauling gear like that, you're just a mule. But it's crazy what you can do without any effort. You're basically just trying to keep your back straight with all the weight on it and the bike's doing all the work for you.”
We can't really get out there and do these things without hustling in all this gear. You literally can't do it, so the fact that we can do it with these bikes is the advantage.
The guys weren’t always e-believers—not in the very beginning. “I thought they were super silly,” says Curtis. “We were very skeptical in the beginning stages, simply because we hadn't tried one. We had no idea.” And now, Curtis, what do you think?
“It's such a smooth ride,” he says, “The bikes are so light now that when you unload it, you skip off things and it really tracks to the ground well. And that's what I noticed was pretty neat, because you're actually feeling like you're glued to the ground rather than sliding around. When you're going fast on slippery terrain where we are, it's easy to get out of control, where these bikes kind of don't.”
But it’s not all mule work for the Turbo Kenevo. Once a feature is built and the trail is complete, it becomes a case of “If it flows, we can kill it,” and as you can see in the video, kill it they do. It is even, dare we say, more fun on the Kenevo?
“We sort of learned the advantages of them with the weight being so low, [like] how they corner really good and carry a lot of speed,” says Dylan. “So, there's, like, some things where you can have a lot of fun—more fun than a regular bike. I've never had a bike that corners like that, ‘cause of the weight being where it is.””
It also helps that the Kenevos—as Curtis puts it—are “stealth looking.”
“I’ve had a few people tell me ‘oh, it's a nice bike,' and not actually notice the battery,” he says. “I think the fact that it's a stealth looking unit, from afar—like in the back of the trucks—it looks like a fleet of Enduros. I think that's pretty neat, because if you're surprised by that, that's a huge factor.”