5 ADV skills to master now

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Enumclaw Powersports


5 Basic ADV Skills To Master Now

Written By Derek Roberts
Wisdom By Gary Anderson

#1 Control Adjustment

Aftermarket panniers? Check. Engine guard and skid plate? Check. Fancy riding suit? Check. Bike controls adjusted from factory spec? ...

It's easy to get swept away by trip planning and gear buying but don't skip on the basics. In more aggressive riding conditions, having your controls positioned for optimum accessibility is essential. Take an afternoon and make sure that the clutch, gear shifter, brake and handle bars are all positioned for maximum effectiveness.

#2 Downhill Management

Riding downhill starts with your body position. Just sitting in the saddle will turn you into more of a passenger and less of a rider, so get up on the pegs, keep your arms bent and shift your weight back to keep traction on the rear tire. Schedule some dedicated practice time on gradually increasing inclines/declines and work on your turning, braking and obstacle avoidance.

*Experts Tip*

Quick, take a defensive position, what do you do? Basketball, football, motorcycling it's all the same. Knees bent weight back, hands up, eyes up.

#3 Clutch Control

Off road, slow is often the only choice and in rugged terrain it's more important than ever to keep the bike powered and engaged. Simply "pulling in the clutch" won't cut it. Practice controlling the engine power until you can crawl the bike at a turtles pace.

#4 Vision

On the highway, long stretches of traffic less pavement can lull you in to a false sense of security. In the woods, focusing on the next obstacle to avoid can send you straight for it. Every time you hop on the bike remind yourself that you are heading into a dynamic environment that requires constant mental attention and practice identifying potential hazards as you ride.

#5 Braking

Normally, you may not ride in the rain, have to dodge boulders, plough through sand or keep an eye out for elk, but 1000 miles from home and 2 hours from camp, you may not have a choice. Before your next excursion, find some flat dirt and start practicing with just the rear brake. How does it handle? Slowly add in some front brake...a little more...more. NOW, you have some stopping power.

*Expert's Tip*

Sliding in the dirt is fun, but sliding on pavement scares the hell out of people. But why? It's not all that different. Practice sliding in the dirt, so when it happens on pavement, you'll know what to do.

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