Besides DOT knobby tires, the wisest investment the beginning adventure motorcyclists can make is also the cheapest – the BMW GS Off-Road Riding Skills Instructional DVD.Available exclusively from the adventure-savvy folks at Touratech-USA, the DVD provides the basic foundations needed to efficiently ride dual sport/adventure motorcycles off road.
And although the Noren Films DVD was created by Rawhyde Adventures, the official BMW Off-Road Academy, and the title clearly says “BMW GS,” don’t let that deter you. The basics covered are a must for every adventure motorcyclists, regardless of type of bike they ride.I ride a V-Strom DL 1000, which is more of a sport tourer than adventure bike. But after studying the techniques in the DVD, and enhancing the Strom with some dual-sport tires and Touratech parts, I’m able to go anywhere a GS can go, though it may take a bit more work.But that’s where the fun is for me, and I’d be struggling if I didn’t learn the foundations from the DVD, which features instructor Jim Hyde, the founder of Rawhyde Adventures.The hour-long DVD covers what Hyde calls the five largest “challenges” that street riders encounter when taking a 600-lbs. motorcycle off road, and lessons to help cure these challenges.The challenges are as follows: not understanding the rules (braking off road, tensing up, etc.), standing on the pegs, target fixation, washout, and front brake lock up.Up until last summer, I spent my entire riding life aboard mostly sportbikes and sport tourers, trekking around 100K with a chunk of those directly on the track. So basically, I had to disregard the techniques I’ve been employing and enhancing over the years.And I was a victim of every challenge Hyde presented, the biggest being standing and not understanding the rules of the off road. After Hyde presents these challenges, he takes viewers through 13 lessons that are used in the BMW Off-Road Riding Academy that he teaches.The lessons covered that were of extreme importance to me were standing on the pegs, body positioning, using the “friction” zone (clutch control for slow speeds), counter-balancing the bike during turns, and riding in the sand.After viewing the DVD twice, I went to work self-training, starting with standing on the pegs, body position, slow maneuvering and counter-balancing in turns. Just working on these few skills brought my off-road riding to new levels, which equated to more speed, and thus more fun.The BMW GS Off-Road Riding Skills DVD also covers proper bike setup, helping every rider achieve optimal ergonomics for his or her body. Pay attention to this part; it’ll help you achieve the comfort needed when practicing the lessons in the DVD.I acquired this DVD before taking my first-ever adventure-touring trip in March, and without it the journey would have surely been a failure regarding the off-road segments. But due to practicing these techniques, I was able to really enjoy the main reason why I got into Adventure riding – traveling off road.As stated in the beginning, this DVD is the wisest and cheapest tool for the beginning adventure motorcyclist. But it’s not just for the novice; this DVD can also refresh the minds of experienced adventure riders, and may provide a different perspective on some techniques already used.If you’re serious about enjoying the off-road parts of adventure riding, and want not only increase the safety factor but also the fun factor, grab the BMW GS Off-Road Riding Skills DVD Review. For $30, it’ll be the cheapest and most important tool to help you efficiently ride an adventure bike where it was meant to go – off road.For ordering information, log onto Touratech.com.
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!