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Off-road riding advice

5861 Views 52 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  biggziff
For all the fellow Multistrada riders here; any tips, discussion, ideas, suggestions on off-road riding? I feel I can push it to the (my) limit on pavement but realized I know nothing about enduro style riding. I have ridden the occasional smooth dirt or gravel road but met my match on some fluffy sand. Lucky it only cost me a broken mirror.

I'd like to get input from experienced off-roaders regarding techniques for getting our moneys worth out of enduro mode. What is the secret of doing this successfully?
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Although certainly no expert I've attended the BMW Off Road Schools presented by RawHyde and have taken my R1200GS into remote locations. Both the bike and I have the scars to show for it.

Two things come to mind. Standing on the pegs gives you more stability and maneuverability than sitting. Practice it a lot at slow speeds. But most important is vision management. Use "spot light" vision to initially pick your line. Then switch to "flood light" vision, looking way forward at your destination not at your track. Looking at where your front wheel is going is a recipe for disaster.

I'll be taking my new Multi on gravel, dirt and forest park roads. But that is it. Anything more severe is reserved for my 250cc enduro bike.

The original post was a request for tips to improve his off road riding of the Multi. It quickly evolved into a review of dirt bikes and why the Multi ain't one. The suitability of the Multi off road is a subject for a new thread. Meanwhile to the original question.

Handling big Trailies off road requires a different skill set than riding a 250cc over the same terrain. There are countless books that help but there are schools specific for this type riding.

RawHyde Training just north of Los Angeles specializes in training for BMWs 1200GS. This 2 1/2 day school is excellent. The instructors are amazing riders and coaches. It's a bit pricey but the amenities are first class. Includes room, gourmet meals, adult beverages, etc. The ranch offers a great variety of terrain to test whatever skills you want. Rent bikes are available. My suggestion would be to use one of their bikes. First you will see what these big bikes can do and second, if you can do it on the very heavy GS you can do it on the Multi.

Another option is the Jimmy Lewis Off Road school near Las Vegas. Jimmy is famous for his exploits In the Dakar and Baja 1000. Quite simply the best rider I've seen. He puts his students on small bikes. 450cc KTMs in our case, and teaches them as if they were on 1200s. This lets you concentrate on the learning without having to contend with 600 lbs of out of balance Moto. Most of the instruction is done on a large dry lake bed. Learning front and rear wheel skids is safe and easy in this controlled environment. The second day ends with several hours of single track and remote jeep roads. It is considerably cheaper than RawHyde but offers almost no amenities. Except for lunch you are on your own for meals and room.

Hope this helps.
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I like your style :)

(ps: the GS is heavier than the MTS12s but I wouldn't refer to it as being "very heavy" ;))

You're right, very heavy is a relative term. If you are 68, and the bike is lieing on your ankle, it is very heavy. :)

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