Practice makes perfect, but for ADV riders, practice sessions can be few and far between. Unless you live a stone’s throw from the trailhead, most adventurers only hit the dirt during the weekends or extended trips. That doesn’t mean you can’t practice in the meantime, however. Instructor and content creator Bret Tkacs knows as much and his latest YouTube video proves that riders can further develop off-road skills on the pavement.
Off the bat, Tkacs asserts that advanced riding skills are just basic riding techniques performed with higher proficiency. That approach not only encourages novice ADV riders with the prospect of progress but also leads Tkacs to distill the required skills down to balance, terrain reading, and fine motor skills. While training on the tarmac eliminates the terrain-reading exercises, it allows riders to focus on the interplay between balance and controlled inputs.
To perfect this delicate dance, the instructor-turned-YouTube star demonstrates a simple drill at a local school parking lot. With a large, open area at his disposal, Tkacs can practice in a controlled environment. He translates the parking lot training to the trail by focusing on body control and form.
By remaining on the pegs and out of the seat, the rider promotes both stability, balance, and control. Tkacs then instructs viewers to lift one foot off the peg while in motion. With the rider’s weight bearing down through just one peg, the motorcycle naturally leans to that side. The user must then adjust their body position and weight to counteract that effect.
This exercise isn’t just an attention-grabbing gimmick, though. By repeatedly adapting to the shifting motorcycle, riders understand how to manipulate their movements while transitioning to a stop. Tkacs specifies the importance of remaining out of the seat, even when placing a foot down. This drill helps riders gain comfort with every stage of that sequence, including progressive braking and accelerating.
Whether you’re stepping onto a boulder or a parking stop, Tkacs' exercise proves that practice makes perfect—even when you can’t ride off-road.