Here's How Not To ADV, According To An Expert
I don't know who needs to hear this, but DON'T DO THIS.
As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t grow up riding motorcycles and only started as an adult. All those stories you read and hear about tiny children riding dirt bikes, falling, learning, and building their skills while young and totally fearless? Not me. We could sit here all day and talk about how any type of riding is—and should be—a lifelong process, and that’s totally true. Still, for anyone like me, who’s ridden street for ages but just took their first dirt bike class last year, the learning curve can feel pretty steep.
That’s where videos like this one come into play. Bret Tkacs is a moto instructor with 30-plus years of experience riding, training, developing motorcycle mentor programs for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command—the list goes on. If you’re gonna spend your valuable time watching videos, you could definitely do a whole lot worse in terms of educating yourself.
From covering important technical questions like whether you should air down your tires before setting out off-road on your big adventure bike, to explaining how speed and target fixation go hand in hand, Tkacs’ advice is invaluable. Sure, some of it might be stuff you’ve heard before if you’ve taken any kind of motorcycle course. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to hear it again—especially if it addresses something that calls you out if you’re being totally honest with yourself.
Here’s one example. When I did that dirt bike class, the one thing my instructor repeatedly had to drill into my head was that I was WAY too tense. My hands and arms were going numb because I was gripping everything way too hard. Part of me knew it, too, but I still couldn’t make myself stop. At the end of the day, every part of me was totally sore—not because I had any big get-off, but because I’d been a tightly-wound spring of a rider all day long.
Obviously, a little dirt bike is NOT the same as a big ADV bike, but if you’re contemplating moving into this type of riding from any bike, videos like these give you a lot to think about.