Archives for category: – Motorcycles

The 20-minute motorcycle documentary Fifty Years of Kicks, about guys in their 60s and 70s riding dirt bikes is pretty inspiring. It starts with a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes. “Men do not quit playing because they grow old. They grow old because they stop playing.” Well said. Even better, well done.

OVexpo

Overland Expo West is in about seven weeks. It will be held this year from May 16–18 in Flagstaff, Arizona. You may know that Overland Expo is the big event on Overlanding calendar. Classes, exhibitors, and about 6000 people, are expected to converge on Mormon Lake Lodge this year.

Registration is $270 per person (including one vehicle) for the Overland Experience package. A day pass is $15 per day plus $10 to camp. The difference, for the most part, is the classes. With the Overland Experience package, you can register for classes. With the day pass, you can’t. Exhibitor and vendor booths are open to all.

For those of you on the East Coast, Overland Expo is branching out to Ashland, North Carolina, on October 3–5 of this year. Registration will open in April.

Links:
Overland Expo Details

Overland Expo Registration

Motocross racer Adam Riemann takes his less-than-experienced father on 4,500 km tour through the Himalayas. They each ride their own 150cc machines.

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The Atlantic has a great set of images up on its site regarding the recently completed Dakar Rally. Check them out here.

Links:
Dakar Rally, The Atlantic

Dakar Rally, Official Site

The other day I posted about enduro riding techniques. This post is all about adventure riding skills. One set of resources is the video viewer above. It contains an entire playlist of 26 videos on adventure motorcycle riding brought to you by Offroad Fanatic, which seems to be the YouTube face of South African driver development school, ADA.

I’ll also add a throttle control tip that I learned from former AMA national champion, Rich Oliver, who runs Mystery School, a training facility in central California. Hold the throttle like you hold a screwdriver. This will give you greater precision and enable you to roll the power on in finer increments. It will also force your elbows out and up, which will give you better control.

All the videos in the above playlist are listed (with links) after the jump. So you can either use the list as a guide and skip through videos in the viewer above or use the links to open the videos individually in new browser windows.

Btw, I spent a couple of days at Mystery School a few years ago and found it well worth it. Read the rest of this entry »

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On a recent trip, my friend Greg and I figured out something interesting about driving over bumps. If you preload the suspension by briefly applying the brake right before the bump, and then get on the throttle to power over the bump, it really smooths things out and makes the bump less jarring. Motorcyclists will know this move well.

Briefly braking right before the bump compresses the suspension. This is called “preloading.” Then immediately getting on the throttle, as the front tires go over the bump, shifts the weight towards the back of the truck. This lightens the front end and the front suspension rebounds, helping to lift the front tires over the bump. Moving the weight toward the back also preloads the rear suspension. Keeping the throttle on as the rear tires go over the bump keeps the rear suspension taught. This is what you want, as an unloaded rear suspension would otherwise rebound as the rear tires clear the bump causing and uncomfortable bucking motion.

The above picture oversells it a bit. This doesn’t have to be a wheels-in-the-air maneuver. Just shifting the weight a bit is enough to make a difference.

Give it a try the next time you’re out on the trail and encounter a berm or some other relatively smooth obstacle. I bet you’ll notice a difference.

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From Clement Beauvais and the guys that did the Long Live the Kings video we posted a while ago, here’s one called Riding September. Just a fun video about the joy of getting out on the road.

Happy New Year! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to become a better off-road rider, I have something for you to watch.

This South African enduro riding skills video shows a ton of techniques: how to hill climb, how to preload the suspension to get over obstacles, even how to scale a 6 or 8-foot vertical wall and get up a double ledge. It’s amazing to see just how smoothly these insurmountable-looking obstacles can be conquered.

Sometimes the video is frustrating, however: the announcer stands between the rider and the camera, blocking the line of sight; sometimes he says body position is important but doesn’t say what exactly that position is; sometimes the background melts like a Dali painting. The slow-motion parts, however, are really helpful. In them, you can see exactly how the riders lean, finesse, and transfer their weight to use their bikes’ power and suspension to get over almost anything. Overall the video displays some truly skilled riding.

The video I’m featuring compiles clips from the Offroad Fanatic YouTube channel, which shows techniques on adventure riding and has bike reviews as well. Well worth a look.

Link:
Offroad Fanatic YouTube channel

Here’s another short film from Adam Riemann, the guy who rode 7,000 kms through seven countries on a KTM 500EXC. In this video he hails the glories of the 2-stroke in the the form of the KTM 300EXC. It’s amazing how quickly covers rugged terrain on this bike. He goes over boulders and through streams like it’s a ride in the park. And some of the jump footage is just spectacular.

Enjoy.

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Merry Christmas from West County Explorers Club! We hope you’re having wonderful adventures wherever you are.