Adventure Riding Techniques: The Essential Guide to All the Skills You Need for Off-Road Adventure Riding Hardcover – Nov 1 2009
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Robert Wicks has written two books for Haynes – Adventure Motorcycling and Adventure Riding Techniques. He is currently the Commercial Director for the Powerboat P1 World Championship.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
To sum up, this book is certainly no replacement to a good off-road training program but it is interesting, gives a few very useful tips and is certainly a good book to have on any adventure riders shelf.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As someone who is only interested in riding motorcycles on tarmac, I purchased Adventure Riding Techniques (ART) to get a better perspective of how to handle different types of terrain and to learn more about riding on dirt. The old adage, "learn by riding on dirt" seems to have a lot of truth in its foundation. Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden, and Troy Bayliss are just some of the world's top motorcycle racers with roots grounded in dirt bikes and motorcrossing. I also watched both documentaries, Long Way Round and Long Way Down, and have learned a great deal about motorcycles. I don't have the opportunity to hit dirt trails on a whim, and I never liked dirt bikes, dual sports, adventure touring bikes, or offroad motorcycles but in my quest to improve my riding technique, this was a great start in my opinion.
Adventure Riding Techniques is mostly about technique. There are some chapters concerning proper safety equipment and tips on selecting a proper motorcycle for the journey. As a rider that is more interested in learning more about motorcycles, I found a great deal of value in this book - much more so than Carl Adams' Dual Sport Motorcycling.
The biggest take-away from Adventure Riding Techniques is to stay loose and relaxed on the bike, and to utilize body movement and positioning to maintain balance. Valentino Rossi utilizes his height (albeit, not very tall by absolute standards at around 5'10") to shift the weight around on the motorcycle. In ART, this concept is reinforced at almost every corner. There are diagrams showing the basic positions for each type of scenario which is very helpful. I was apprehensive about standing up on the bike and used to think that it was for showing off (like Rossi's victory lap shenanigans) but increasing sight distance and to handle rough terrain are two legitimate reasons for standing up on the footpegs!
I was pleasantly surprised by the coverage on brake sliding in turns and power sliding. These are generally very dangerous to practice with on tarmac, but being able to read about the procedures and what happens in these situations was a treat. Nicky Hayden's motorcycles were always shown as examples of how each MotoGP rider operates differently. His bikes always had a larger rear disc since he is used to riding on dirt, while other riders like John Hopkins avoid using the rear brake. Doing a clutch dump or sliding the rear tire are essentially two ways of initiating a drift in a 4-wheeled car, so again I like how ART covers riding techniques that aren't quite covered in the MSF courses.
There are some exercises or concepts that are tightly integrated with those taught for road motorcycles. One of them is how to steer and ride very slowly. In Riding like a Pro, the Motorman teaches how to use the friction zone and to drag the rear brake in order to ride at 1-3 MPH. Hahn's Maximum Control also teaches a similar routine. In ART, that concept is very important for certain terrain as well as to limit wheelspin. ART also mentions the need to turn off ABS to get closer to the threshold of locking up the brakes to obtain maximum braking. A lot of new riders are eager to purchase bikes with combined, linked, and/or ABS brakes due to the safety factor.
Placing weight on the outside footpeg in a turn is something that Hough teaches in Proficient Motorcycling, as well as Keith Code in his Twist of the Wrist series (albeit Code calls it pivot steering).
Some of the other concepts come in handy with driving cars on loose terrain. Braking early before hitting loose terrain (like snow, ice, or mud) is important whether you have 2 wheels or 4 wheels as traction becomes the name of the game.
There are lots of great photographs, which seem to complement the lack of text. This is in stark contrast to Dual Sport Motorcycling where I felt there was a great deal of text and information, but it was presented in a way that was lost in translation. I did not like how ART demonstrates lifting a fallen motorcycle. With that method it is easy to hurt one's back, groin muscles, and/or shoulders. In Riding like a Pro, Motorman's method is a time tested method where petite women are able to lift 600+ lb fallen heavy weight motorcycles by themselves. In ART, that method looks very similar to what Ewan and Charley tried to do in the myriad of times they dropped their bike, as well as how MotoGP and World Superbike riders/track marshalls use to lift the bike and it rarely works the first time.
Overall: 4/5 stars, if you have to buy one book for learning about riding techniques on different terrain (non-tarmac) - this is it.
The book walks you through how to choose a bike, price, range, load carrying ability, handling and weight characteristics to begin with. The book covers basic information about gear, tools, ride qualities, and has some resources to help you find a riding school for large bikes.
While some people have been riding since they were young, other's have not, and the book introduces fundamental riding skills such as riding position, how gear load changes the center of gravity in ride; there are pictures to demonstrate body positions for ascending, descending, braking, cornering, and sliding on gravel roads. The writing style of this book is informational, I am using this book as a reference for riding in different terrain, while some of the information is pretty obvious, there are riding tips covered for every type of terrain.
I myself, am not a dirt bike rider, but the fundamentals of dirt riding is emphasized in the book, and Simon Pavey covers riding in gravel, sand, dunes, rocks, mud, water crossing, and road riding with an emphasis on large bikes. The book is really easy to read, and it includes snippets of valuable advice to help you the information you want. For example, in the water crossing section, a small snippet guides to the pages for getting out of trouble.
70% of this book are picture demonstrations on the 1200 GS, KTM's, 20% of the pictures show riders in Iceland where some of the demonstrations take place due to it's geography. In “Braking on descents,” it has 3 picture stills (in color) narrated by bits of instructions as the picture zooms in on the front wheel to demonstrate front braking effects in gravel. 10% of other technical pictures show sequential demonstrations of body positioning at slow speed steering through terrain.
This book will probably cover what riders will learn in most top adventure riding schools, topics include mounting, dismounting, balance, clutch control, braking, speed control, tight cornering, hill recovery, ruts, and obstacles, and a few advanced riding techniques such as power slides, jumps, brake slide turns, and riding camber along hills. In the recovery section, detailed instructions are conveyed to the reader, and picking up the bike by the handle bar is demonstrated on a cambered hill. I like this book because it provides many useful advice from the field, things that I need to realize on trails such as spotting a line when approaching a muddy rut; and this book has a section covering that important information as well.
Other sections in this book highlight the importance of fitness, nutrition, navigation, personal safety, and has small sections on bribes and payments, communication, first aid, group riding dynamics, and awareness of cultural differences in different countries.
Overall, the book makes the effort to introduce riders who are new to adventure riding, covering essential riding techniques. Not only will the information in the book help build my skills as I ride; I use the book as a reference to make small improvements in the future, riding safely, and enjoying the ride.
I've flipped the book open to a random page where the discussion is about snow. "And don't forget that some pedestrians suddenly prefer walking on the pavement when there's snow on the ground. There are different types of snow. The sort that's good for snowballs because it sticks together so well, will fill in the tyre tread pattern and quickly build up under the mudguard. This leads to a lessening of grip on the road surface and a growing braking effect from the compacting snow between the tyre and guard." This passage is very typical for this book.