Watching Expedition Overland videos prompted Jordan to build up a Subaru Forester and tackle tough tracks in France and beyond.
Subaru Foresters are crazy popular in Australia thanks to their solid build quality and rugged all-wheel drive setup. Easily the most capable soft-roader on the market, it doesn’t take a lot to wrench a Forester into a decent all-road tourer.
Indeed, in the US there’s a big appetite for people throwing on lift kits and roof top tents because they’re more road friendly and cheaper than a full-size 4×4. Australians are slowly coming around to the idea too and we know of one 4×4 aftermarket brand that’s on the cusp of launching its suspension lift kit here for the Forester, Outback and XV.
But this modified Forester isn’t from the US or even Australia. It’s from France. MotoFomo caught up with Jordan from ALNSM Overland to talk about his Forester and where he wheels it.
MotoFomo: Have you always been into cars?
Jordan: Yes. Ever since I was a kid I have always been fascinated by everything with wheels and a motor.
MotoFomo: What got you into overlanding?
Jordan: First of all my love for traveling. But I wanted to be completely free during my trips, so exploring with my own vehicle was the way to go. After some research I found this Overland lifestyle. And what sold me for good was Expedition Overland videos. I watched them and told myself, ‘Okay, I want to do that!’
MotoFomo: Why choose a Forester?
Jordan: It is my first AWD car, yes, but don’t call it a 4×4, the purists will get mad I wanted something more capable than a standard car. But real 4x4s were too expensive: the vehicle itself, insurance, fuel, aftermarket parts, everything. The Forester was the perfect compromise for me and my needs.
MotoFomo: Was it stock when you bought it?
Jordan: Absolutely stock! I got it for around $1500 with a bad clutch and 230,000km on the clock. Everything else was good to go. It was well equipped too, with everything electrical, like a sunroof and air-conditioning, etc It was a good deal.
MotoFomo: What was your original plan for it and has it changed since owning it?
Jordan: I wanted to make it an expedition vehicle. It hasn’t changed since. And I’m probably gonna go even deeper into the mods in the future.
MotoFomo: Has it been difficult to modify? Or are there plenty of companies offering gear for it?
Jordan: Yes and no. There are not a lot of companies offering Subaru-specific aftermarket parts, and even less in Europe. Most of them are in the US or Oz where Subarus are more common. DIY is definitely the way to go if you want to mod a Subaru for overlanding
MotoFomo: Have you done the work yourself?
Jordan: Most of the mechanical work has been done by me, like the clutch, brakes, suspension, lift kit install, custom paint. I’ve also sorted out the interior storage setup, aux battery too… For the custom spare wheel carrier, a friend of mine in the Netherlands helped out.
MotoFomo: Any changes you regret?
Jordan: I had this question asked a few days ago and, no. No regrets. Everything has been deeply thought out beforehand and every mod has been installed or built (the beauty of DIY) for my own needs. That being said, there are a few mods I ended up using less than I thought, like my awning.
MotoFomo: What was the first mod you made and why?
Jordan: The first mod was a dashboard dual cup holder My Foz came without a cup holder in the front (sacrilege) and as a coffee lover, this is something I use very
MotoFomo: Are you happy with it now or do you have more changes in mind for it, if so, what are they?
Jordan: I’m already happy with what I’ve done with it. It’s capable, self-sufficient and suits my needs perfectly, it is ready to travel and actually waiting for it. Damn Covid-19. But if you are a car enthusiast you know that a build is never over. It’s an endless project that can always be upgraded. I would like to tune the transmission with an even lower gear ratio, limited slip diff, and a centre diff lock. Also, I’m thinking about building a low profile roof rack and to change the wheels for lighter (and better looking) alloy ones.
MotoFomo: Is it a daily driver or a weekend warrior?
Jordan: Right now (and for more than four years now) it’s been both my daily driver and my expedition vehicle. That’s why I love Subarus: Versatility. But it might change soon…
MotoFomo: Where do you mainly go with it?
Jordan: Everywhere I want
In 2019 I went for a four-month road trip across Europe with my girlfriend and our cat. We visited 13 countries, went above the Arctic Circle and up to the northernmost point of Europe: the Nordkapp. It was a total blast, and the Forester was our only home.
For 2020 we’d planned something even bigger. Eight months on the road, Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. Everything was ready and we were about to head off when the virus hit Europe. All the borders closed and our epic trip didn’t happen. But it’s just postponed
When we are not in quarantine, we explore our own country: La France. For the next few months we are probably gonna stick to that and maybe a few other European countries if we can.
MotoFomo: Anyone or any company you want to mention?
Jordan: Yes, my girlfriend Lizanne (who also run Sparkles In The Wild if you are looking for cute pins, stickers and patches She’s been an incredible help for me and ALNSM Overland. She’s also the best co-pilot and adventure buddy.
I would also like to thank Djebel Xtreme, my local overland gear supplier for their support and BFGoodrich for providing the best tires for my adventures.
MotoFomo: Can you list the mods you’ve made.
Jordan: Sure, here are just a few:
-2in Lift Kit
-215/75/15 BFG KO2
-Skid plates front+rear
-Pedders suspension with HD Springs on the back
…But really, the list is too long. I suggest you visit my website for the fully detailed build list of my Overland Forester.
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