Overland Expo's Toyota 4Runner is the ultimate exploration rig

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Overland Expo, one of the nation's largest gatherings of off-roaders and overlanders, has revealed the two Ultimate Overland Builds it created for its 2021 event. One is based on the Toyota 4Runner, while the other is an evolution of the Honda Africa Twin motorcycle. Both will be put through their paces before being auctioned off later in 2021.

Issaquah, Washington-based Mule Expedition Outfitters spent about six months transforming the 4Runner into an exploration rig, while the task of making the Africa Twin even better-suited to the great outdoors was given to a team led by rider Eva Rupert. In both cases, the builders had the advantage of starting with a platform designed for all-terrain driving.

While there are some suspension modifications, including beefier shocks, many of the aftermarket parts installed on the 4Runner make it a better traveling companion. It gains an ARB front bumper with a brush guard and a winch, a snorkel that allows it to drive through deeper water than a stock 4Runner, and a roof-mounted tent. Out back, there's a new rear bumper with dual swing-out platforms with integrated seat that can double as cooking platforms.

Building the Africa Twin was more challenging in the sense that there's less space on a bike than on an SUV; you can't put a tent on the roof, for example. It's a smaller canvas, but a good one nonetheless. Rupert and her team added an Outback Motortek kit that bundles crash bars, engine guards, and a skid plate plus hard and soft luggage cases. More durable adventure-focused tires and winch are among the other changes made to Honda's Twin.

It doesn't sound like the engine in either build was touched. Power for the 4Runner comes from a 4.0-liter V6 rated at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. Hop on two wheels and you're straddling a 1.1-liter liquid-cooled two-cylinder rated at 101 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque.

The 4Runner and the Africa Twin will trek out to the Overland Expo West taking place in Flagstaff, Arizona, on September 24-26 before driving across the country to attend the Overland Expo East from October 8-16 in Arrington, Virginia. We're guessing they'll take the road less taken — and less paved. When both events are over, both builds will be auctioned by Bring a Trailer and sale proceeds will be donated to the Overland Expo Foundation.

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