Some Words from the Wise
95% of the worlds highways and byways are unpaved!
If you are the owner of an Adventure Motorcycle or you are thinking about buying one, here are a couple of things to think about.
#1: If you owned a dirt bike as a kid, forget everything you think you know. Riding a "big bike" is a completely different experience. Weighing-in around 600-lbs with fuel and luggage, it takes some very special skills to manage such a bike.
#2: As noted above, most of the world's roads are unpaved, and in many places the infra-structure is little more than a Jeep trail or a well-used footpath. To take a heavyweight machine like an Adventure Bike someplace like that can be daunting, unless you know what to do.
There is an acronym that's used frequently in the Adventure moto world - It's ATGATT and it stands for All the Gear- All the time - and what it means is that in order to stay safe on a motorcycle you should wear proper safety gear... and you should wear it all the time. That being said you should also consider keeping your bike safe, especially if you roam off into the back country from time to time. Proper protection for your motorcycle is mandatory! Good crash bars, a skid plate, headlight protector, radiator protectors and other key components assure that your day won't end with a carelessly kicked up rock or damage from an "unintentional dismount" (aka a crash)
Its inevitable that your bike will hit the ground someday; and when it does you'll be glad if you've added some protective parts. At RawHyde we've used AltRider components for the last 3 years to keep our bikes safe and we'd like to thank AltRider for providing protection to the RawHyde training fleet. Here at Team RawHyde we're also proud to wear Klim gear. Klim makes some of the finest rider gear in the industry and most of our crew wears Klim. Its rugged, good looking and completely water proof.
Remember – ATGATT for yourself... and your bike.
Secrets of ADV Riding
Here's the story, When you condense the important aspects of Adventure Riding, it comes down to balance & control! As with any aspect of riding, its all about balance. You can't emphasize that enough. Keep your bike upright and inline and even the heaviest machine will feel light and nimble. If you lose balance the bike instantly becomes heavy. The trick is getting the bike back in balance quickly.
Many riders actually ride "tensed up" fighting the bike to maintain balance and wonder why they feel so tired after a days ride. Loose and Relaxed. The key to controlling an adventure bike is using your body weight to make the machine do what you want, not the other way around. If you're tense and tight on the bike, your mass is added to the bikes weight, and when something happens you've got nothing to fight back with. By being loose (and by standing on the pegs) you can let the bike move under you & use your bodies influence when necessary.
Slow down, This is really important. Riding a 600 lb. Bike in rough terrain is not about speed! You are not racing the Paris Dakar, and no matter what you think your bikes capable of, its mass is just waiting for the next ditch or rut to toss you "to the ground". If you can't stop before a challenging point or obstacle, your're riding too fast. You should ride your big off road bike like you would drive a jeep - slow and in control. Most riders use speed or "momentum" to sustain their balance, thereby masking their poor balancing skills.
Clutch Throttle & Brake. Can you ride around more slowly that first gear allows by slipping the clutch? Can you do it with very little throttle and not stall? Can you apply the brakes and come to a full stop, balanced, without putting a foot down? Then can you use the controls to snap back into balance? When going slow off road, being in total control is crucial. These three items are key, and you wíll need to use them like never before if you want to be an accomplished Adventure Bike rider.
To learn more here is a short video that addresses the topic -