The first thing I learned about riding ADVs is that you don’t ride them like you do dirt bikes; something I did almost all the time. The thing is dirt bikes are light, nippy and easy to wheelie. ADVs on the other hand, are heavy, powerful and well, not the most agile.
And so, we started with the basics.
We spent sometime riding around the track to understand how our bikes behave on slippery and dusty terrain. Then, it was time to get our riding position corrected, both while sitting and standing. The important thing here is to keep your weight as much at the front as possible and don’t hang on to the handlebar. Grab the tank instead. This is the only way the bike is free to do its thing on dirt and stay the right way up.
Next up, was all about balance. On a tall and heavy adventure bike, balance is crucial. And, it is especially true at crawling speeds when you don’t have the gyroscopic effect helping you. So, to better understand the balance point of the bike, we walked around it holding the most fragile bits on the bike and tried not to apply any force to keep it upright.
Then it was time to apply the balance theory on the move. And to do that, we rode as slow as possible without putting the feet down. This, of course, is only possible with good throttle, clutch and brake control. And, applying them all together, but in varying quantities. This helps when you are tackling tight trails. But, as I learned (or didn’t), it’s not the easiest skill to master.