Adventure Ready is Seattle’s home for uncommon adventure gear. They stock anything you could need to start your vehicle-based adventure, whether that’s a camping trip or three months in the mountains. Adventure Ready recently added the UBCO 2×2 to their showroom, so we caught up with their Founder, Tom Herzog, to learn more about Adventure Ready and why he thinks there is a home for the Ubco 2×2 in the overland market.
Born to Explore
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Tom Herzog founded Adventure Ready four years ago, almost haphazardly.
“I had been into camping and trucks for a long time, and I met a manufacturer of a roof top tent brand and we started talking. I didn’t make anything of it at first, then he contacted me a few times again over the next year and a half and asked me to be their West Coast representative in the US. It took a while for me to warm to the idea, but I eventually got a bit burnt out on my job in advertising, so I ordered a bunch of roof top tents from Portugal and started to build.”
Tom’s passion for exploration and knowledge of the overland market has helped turn Adventure Ready into the brand it is today.
“I enjoy longer trips where I can just explore. I find that the lines between typical off-roading and overlanding are getting a bit blurred and people often struggle to distinguish between the two in the US. Off-roading is more about just hitting the trails, while overlanding is about exploration, the journey and seeing what’s out there – which is what I love to do.”
From humble beginnings, Adventure Ready has evolved from selling just roof top tents, to pretty much anything you’d need to outfit a vehicle for off-road adventures and overland use. Whether you’re after a new suspension system, bumpers, winches, full electrical systems, wheels, tyres or lighting, they have it, and you’ll find it all in their unique showroom in Seattle.
As Tom explains, Adventure Ready is not your traditional retail experience.
“Adventure Ready is much more of a curated experience than a retail store. Along with our shop we have a 2700 square foot showroom with no shelves stocked with products, it exists purely for people to come in and play. We encourage people to explore the space, to touch and feel our products and get to know how they work, they can even take a break on our sofa in front of the fire.”
The UBCO Adventure
Tom recently added the Ubco 2×2 to their showroom floor, and now offers Adventure Ready customers the opportunity to take the 2×2 out for a demo.
“The fact that the Ubco 2×2 is so unique is what initially triggered my decision to get involved. There is nothing else like it out there. You’ll find a few electric dirt bikes and motorbikes here in the US, but the 2×2 has that utility factor, is 2-wheel drive and can now go on- and off-road, so it’s much more intriguing to me.”
“Everyone loves to ride it. It’s impossible not to have a gigantic smile on your face after riding it around for a while.”
For Tom, the decision to stock a product is not one that’s taken lightly.
“I always search for unique items, that serve a functional purpose. We don’t carry everything and anything, just products that meet a certain standard of quality and utility, and make sense in the adventure market. Most importantly, before I put a product on the shop floor, I have to be able to personally recommend it to my customers and vouch for it.”
To make sure he was ready to recommend the Ubco 2×2 to his customers, Tom has taken it out on some adventures of his own.
“On one of my recent trips, we loaded the 2×2 on the rack, took it up into the mountains, parked and set up camp and then went exploring on the tracks up in the hills on the 2×2. We have also taken it to on a very remote trip to Oregon where we flew around a desert playa, exploring the valley floor and finding a hot spring to soak in after a long ride.”
“Some of the tracks we’ve taken the 2×2 on have been pretty rugged, but it climbs amazingly, even on loose rocky trails. The two-wheel drive is unique and opens a lot more doors than a traditional bike. On terrain like that a normal motorcycle would either buck you or spin the rear wheel and you’d really have to sit back on it, which is hard to do sometimes, on the 2×2 you can stand up and maintain a good balance of weight over the front and rear wheels, even when you’re climbing, it just goes.”
“The fact that it’s lightweight is a big benefit for me too. A motorcycle of that size will weigh significantly more and make it difficult to get up on to any kind of rack system and tow around. But with these things you don’t even need to modify your suspension to hang one off the back of a truck, you just lift it up and go, almost like carrying around a heavier mountain bike.”
Having never driven a two-wheel drive bike before, Tom wasn’t expecting the Ubco to handle as lightly as it did.
“I had never driven a two-wheel drive bike, and I expected it to kind of steer and operate a little more heavily, and be a little bit less responsive, but it wasn’t. I was really surprised at how well it handles, it almost rides like a mountain bike, especially downhill when you’re coasting.”
Hitting the Streets
Adventure Ready currently have one 2017 2×2 in their showroom for people to demo, and have recently added two 2018 dual-use 2×2’s. As Tom explains, the dual-use capabilities of the 2018 2×2 opens a lot of doors in the adventure market.
“In the US It’s pretty hard to go so far out that you aren’t within a day’s trip from a road. A lot of our customers aren’t strictly out in the middle of no-where anyway, so there will be a lot of people wanting the ability to cross over and use it to switch between environments. You could use it to run back to the store and restock your supplies, head up into the mountains to sightsee or get to a hard to reach lookout.”
Tom and his partner have plans to use the 2×2’s both for commuting and on their adventures.
“We’re really looking forward to using these machines to get to work, and then get out exploring. As well as the 5-10 mile in-city commute for work, we will definitely be loading them onto the back of the truck to go camping. We’re pretty excited not to pay for gas anymore too.”
“For me, the Ubco 2×2 is the thing you’ll use to explore once you have set up base camp and want to get out there and discover your environment. We have a diverse terrain around here in Washington. You can actually drive from the Pacific Ocean, through a rainforest, up into the alpine wilderness, then down into a desert in a day – and I am looking forward to trying the Ubco out on them all.”
Looking forward, Tom has a plan in place to build upon the Adventure Ready brand and expand their reach, but eventually he’d like to be able to just hit the road and explore with no end in sight.
Tom Herzog with his new 2018 2×2 and UBCO Pannier Backpack.
Tom’s 2×2 hooked up to his Toyota Tacomna with the UBCO Bike Rack overlooking Umtanum, Washington.