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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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Old 19 Oct 2007
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Learning gravel-offroad-enduro driving techniques

I'm interested in learning motorcycle gravel-offroad-enduro driving techniques. Any favorite books of instructional videos about the subject?


Thanks!
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Old 20 Oct 2007
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Gravel road riding

There probably are riding schools out there but my method is to ride as much as possible on the worst conditions. Every day go find that loose off camber road/trail and ride it till you know how your bike responds. Also ride your bike with a load on it similar to what you will be traveling with.
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Old 20 Oct 2007
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Yes, that is what I basically do, but it is easy to learn wrong techniques and not optimal/safe techniques so later it is difficult to re-learn. I have already noticed that for example when crashing off the track to bush I tend not to brake at all etc. What I need to are some pointers about what is right and what is wrong, then this knowledge can be polished by practicing.
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Old 20 Oct 2007
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BTW, I found that ThumperTalk has separate forum for off-road riding techniques.
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Old 24 Oct 2007
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IMHO the best to learn to ride offroad is to buy a cheap trail/enduro bike & actually ride it. You can read as much as you want but nothing beats saddle time. Start on a small bike & work up to a larger bike once you've mastered the basics. Starting on a large bike will make things harder. I know a lot of guys in the UK who ride various BMW's offroad also have smaller dirt bikes for practicing/competing on (KTM 400EXC & BMW R1150GS in my case)

Try & meet up with other dirt riders willing to take the time to help you out. Start out on a cheap bike, this will lessen the pain & expense of crashing (when, not if).
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Old 25 Oct 2007
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Or you could drive a heavy BMW f650gs with the HO pack at one of the meets, just a little green laning they said easy stuff they said, and we ended up rubber side up didnt we Ben?

But saying that I learnt alot more then I did, plus I got to fix up my bike after as well.

LMAO
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Old 25 Oct 2007
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I already have a bike (Suzuki DR-Z400S), no problem with this aspect. And I drive it mostly off pavement.
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Old 25 Oct 2007
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Seek professional help

In my opinion, the best way to learn anything is to pay a professional to teach you the techniques and skills you need. Trying to learn on your own - it could take you years to encounter the siutations and conditions you'll run into some day - and how do you know you are learning the skills and techniques the professionals know? (not dropping the bike and breaking something isn't the correct answer)

Try the BMW Enduro Training program in Hechlingen (you can find out info online). Or, KTM also has such - I know they had training in Spain.

These people will teach you in the matter of a couple days most, if not all the skills you need to tackle whatever conditions you encounter. They know how to teach, and for the BMW course anyway, you will be taught how to handle certain types of conditions I have yet to encounter in my riding. The advantage is, when you actually do meet such conditions, you'll know what to do to ride it properly.

For these programs, the prices may seem steep (a couple hundred Euro a day), but you are using their bikes, and if you crash - well, you don't have to pay to fix the plastic bits. Do the same crash on your bike, and the cost to fix things up could very possibly be more than the cost of the program.

Afterward, you go out and ride as much as possible. Its a lot more fun than gaining knowledge slowly using the trial and error method of learning.

For old dogs who have bodies can't withstand the rigors of crashing, its the only way to go. Suggesting we get a small dirt bike and tear across the landscape is a sure way to break something other than the bike.
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