Adventure bike extraordinaire Bret Tkacs has taught his loyal YouTube viewers everything from proper standing technique to setting up their bike’s lights for night riding. While the moto instructor and tour guide is known for his highly-technical videos, he also knows that rider performance can suffer in the face of fear. That’s why Tkacs takes to the Nepalese highlands for his latest YouTube entry.
Hanging bridges scare even the most intrepid explorers. Whether you have a fear of heights or not, the large expanse and precipitous fall mixed with the bridge’s swaying motion can make any adventurer stop in their tracks. Tkacs is no different, admitting that he isn't a “fan of heights”. However, the decorated adventure rider doesn’t let that stop him.
Tkacs lays out five common mistakes riders make at a particular hanging bridge in Nepal. The first two mistakes include misjudging the bridge’s polished steel surface and stalling in the narrow bridge gate. While those mistakes may seem specific to hanging bridges, all riders should know how to judge the traction of a given surface. They should also practice clutch control to avoid stalling, especially in situations where stalling means more than an embarrassing restart in front of fellow motorists.
The YouTuber quickly moves on to mistake number three, not committing to locking the handlebars to make the 90-degree turn. Of course, not all corners will require such a drastic turning radius, but riders should know the limits of their machine after practicing in parking lots and open fields. Once the rider knows their own capabilities, they should be able to execute such maneuvers, even in high-stress situations.
Tkacs points back to clutch control for firing out of the corner exit, but the final lesson focuses on the rider’s vision. Hanging bridges beckon the rider to look down, but keeping your eyes to the horizon will mitigate the fear of falling and allow the rider to prepare for what’s next. Bret Tkacs may use Nepalese hanging bridges to drive the lesson home, but all five low-speed maneuver skills will help riders in all situations.