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Year In Review, A great Year for 4×4 Enthusiasts


2003, A Great Year For Suzuki Enthusiasts. 

Story/Editor: Eric Bewley Photo: D. Arnold,  S. Bewley, N. Galvin,  M. Hagen, B. Zeigler

ALBANY, OR. —The year 2003 will be remembered as one of great adventures, events, technological improvements, and people. We were very fortunate this year to cover and participate in many great events. There were many new products offered to Suzuki enthusiasts that continue to push the sport farther ahead. I think all were surprised by the number of new gear choices that have sprung up for the Samurai late this year with almost every vendor stepping up to the plate to provide new options and choices to us all.

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In the following few short paragraphs I’m going to reminisce a little bit about what has been a great year and will sprinkle in a few new videos and pictures of 2003.

This year’s Adventure Series, going on its second year, was very aggressive in trying to bring Suzuki inspired events to more enthusiasts than ever before. Our first stop was Death Valley CA. in February. The NW winter definitely gave us the blues and it was nice to get a week’s worth of sunshine. Death Valley is plain huge and exploring is pretty fun considering it is a National Park and all that implies for Off-Highway travel. We had a chance to take our small Samurai GI Jane on this trip which was perfect for the task. Each day trip was pretty long as the distance traveled were great but each mining camp we visited treated us to wonderful bits of American Western history.


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Death Valley Rock Crawl Short Rock Crawl | .mpg | 2687 kb

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Haz-Fest, Southern Oregon Deep Crevasse |  .mpg | 2813 Kb

Moab Utah was next as we made our annual trek to the 4×4 Mecca of events known as the Easter Jeep Safari. Jeep is in the name but all makes are there during this week long OHV party. Wheeling hook-ups were plentiful and we were blessed with being able to wheel with people from all over the country. I can hardly wait for the next Moab Adventure.

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July found us in Indiana at the largest Suzuki only event in the States. Zookimelt gathers up enthusiasts from all across the US and Canada. The Zookimelt event staff really know how to put on a great event with things for people to do the whole weekend. It was also nice to finally meet many members of the Izook staff of which I had previously worked with back in the day. A nice welcoming atmosphere surrounds this event and there is plenty to see and do at the Badlands 4×4 park.

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This year was not only about the events and adventures covered but great advances and improvements in aftermarket products. We were fortunate enough to test several great ones including the new Hawk Strictly Suzuki header with its great new ball flange, Rocky Road Outfitter’s 2WD low kit for the Sidekick that takes the guess work out of 2-lo, Wheeler’s Offroad new coil spacers for the Sidekick, Calmini’s Rock Crawler gears for the Sidekick and their Solid Axle Swap, plus many more.

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With such a great year behind us, excitement for 2004 is only natural. With new features on the website, BBS/Forum and Calendar, that are helping enthusiasts connect with information and each other, this next year promises to bigger and better. Watch for a new Adventure Series schedule to be published, a ZUKIWORLD event in Moab, more and more product reviews from all of our great vendors, more sponsorship of localized events around the United States, and more features added to our website, ZUKIWORLD online.


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