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Thread: Going to BMW 1-day Offroad School SC - anyone else???

  1. #1
    robert.bantly
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    Going to BMW 1-day Offroad School SC - anyone else???

    Signed up for the March 5, 2011 one-day offroad riding course at the Greenville, SC BMW track. Will be rolling down there March 4 and returning to Louisville Sunday, March 6. Was first of 12 for class signup (11 spots remaining) and you get a 15% discount with your MOA number. With member discount, around 500.00 and includes a school motorcycle. Best part is, I get to use THEIR 1200GSA while mine is happily in the parking lot.

    Anyone interested in attending / going sharing the ride down? Good opportunity for Smoky Mountains / Deals Gap on the way.

    Cheers / Robert
    Last edited by robert.bantly; 03-16-2011 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #2
    robert.bantly
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    Bump!

    Departing Friday from Louisville, provided the weather is decent!

  3. #3
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    This sounds very cool! I'll bet a lot of the gang here on the forum would enjoy reading a report from your experience-if you are so inclined. Have fun, ride safe, Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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  4. #4
    I love to lurk! tvgal2000's Avatar
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    I'd be very interested in hearing about the experience! I'm curious about it and wondering if it's worth the $$...
    Sarah B
    Milwaukee,WI
    '09 R1200GS 'Starbuck' my big silver baby
    '13 K1600GTL Graphite Grey... yet unnamed!

  5. #5
    robert.bantly
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    Will Post Full Review

    And am bringing camera just in case they don't provide a "fame/shame" DVD! 550 pounds offroad should provide at the very least, some entertaining action photos.

    Sadly, the weather is looking rather poor for the weekend. 417 miles there and back with rain and 40 degree temps is doable, but doesn't sound like a whole lot of joy. Still, the 2-wheeled deity may smile and the weather may change. If not, it's the car

  6. #6
    robert.bantly
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    One-Day Offroad School Review

    Since it was mixed rain and snow in the Smokies and 33 degrees, I guess the car wasn't so bad...

    BMW Offroad School Greenville, SC 05 March 2011

    I signed up for the one-day school in November via phone with a sizable discount for MOA members, and they set me up with an R1200GSA exactly like the one I own. Nice. The class included people from Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Israel. Reasons for attending were varied:

    1.) (Me): I bought this and should know how to use it.
    2.) I ride a K1300GT and often have to use dirt/gravel roads.
    3.) I do a lot of adventure riding and want to be more proficient.

    Instructors and all students were on R1200GS/GSA's. All bikes were equipped with the low seat. The instructors were very skilled on the GSA; not intimidating but made me a little jealous.

    Class started with an overview of Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) and setup of the motorcycles for dirt riding. Riding posture for offroading (standing up, leaned forward slightly, no locked or overly bent knees, etc.) was highly stressed. They also went over how to set up the handlebars and controls on the GS/GSA for difficult terrain - tilting the bars and controls to work better with the standing posture, and setting up the clutch for 2-finger operation.

    Clutch control and low speed riding were next along with balance / using pressure on the pegs to press the motorcycle into a lean while counterbalancing outside the turn with body weight were covered. Next, weave through the cones on packed gravel/dirt.

    Then ruts and washboarded roads were simulated with railroad ties. Larger washboards were done with a series of closely spaced mounds. Running over these with a GS at the correct speed was pretty cool, the motorcycle ate it up while the rider, correctly postured, stayed still above it. Riding through a narrow "rut" with railroad ties less than a foot apart got a few people and was easy if you didn't look down...

    Next small hill-climbing over a series of 6' humps. Posture up and downhill, quick stop at the top to scout the way down, correct speed, etc.

    Then came the offroad emergency stopping exercise. As a long-time streetrider, I have a lot of built-in reflexes/prejudices. One is locking up tires, and I found this exercise very difficult. First pass was to stomp the rear brake with ABS on. From 20mph, stop took near 100 feet, demonstrating why this feature is not good off the pavement. Then ABS was turned off and rear tire lockups were practiced. Stopping distance was cut in half, at least. Then we did short lockups of the front tire to get the feel of it, and then practiced full emergency stops with the rear tire locked and the front right at the edge. Amazing how quickly you can stop in mud (did I mention it rained the whole day?)

    Riding through sand was touched on a bit, as was deep gravel. At lunchtime, I talked to a friend on the phone and she asked: "Have you crashed yet?" Sigh, hexed. Sure enough, the deep gravel got me towards the end of the day.

    All of the instruction was split up with enduro rides around the grounds, these were fun and allowed use of new skills.

    This is a great course for the beginner and was perfect for me. If you are a practiced/experienced off-roader, you may want an advanced class of some kind. If you are new, it is great and not too expensive. With all the mud, the course was pretty slippery and again, as a street-rider, feeling 500lbs of motorcycle losing traction and sliding around under me was unnerving, but I kind of got used to it at the end of the day. I think the wet terrain added to it a bit.

    The instructors were extremely patient and (with me) went over the e-braking 8 times or so : ) Just difficult for me to feel a lockup. The other students were patient, too. I was tired and sore at the end of the day but did feel like I got real benefit.

    Universal Benefit - you learn what loss of traction feels like on your motorcycle with little risk other than being splatted with red Carolina mud. You also learn what a front tire feels like when it locks - wouldn't try that on the street.

    The toughest part for me was the change in traction - I am not used to having slip-sliding tires, and it was distracting to say the least.

    At the end of the day, I have the bug and the GSA is getting knobbies, there are lots of fire roads and such in Kentucky that are begging for a ride and the knobbies work good on pavement, too. Wish I had known when I bought the bike I could swap tires no charge...

    Link to pics and movies:

    http://s123.photobucket.com/albums/o...road%20School/

    Robert's link of the day; fallen over GSA



    As the school's presentation says "No GS's were hurt during this training (almost)"

  7. #7
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Nice Job Robert! I am going to move this out of the Midwest Regional area over to ride reports where the rest of the gang will have a better chance to view your experience. Glad you enjoyed it, Gary
    Note- Roberts Photobucket slide show has some nice pics of the "classroom"
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Guess who is going to be the lead at the Beemers in the Bluegrass this year? Not me..................just sayin..........

  9. #9
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    It sounds like a fun class, and I would not mind taking it.

    Now you're ready for the LA to Vegas 3 days of dirt in the desert/mountains ride. Seriously, check it out on my ride report. I wouldn't ride a GS on this ride, but you'll have a fantastic time.

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=51553
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  10. #10
    dmasliah
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    BMW Offroad course and 3 day tour

    I have been to the Offroad course a couple of times. I also took the 3 day adventure tour. It was well worth the money. I would love to go back again.
    .http://oldfatguy.smugmug.com/Motorcy...11979808_tecFK

  11. #11
    robert.bantly
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    Smile I could use another training

    I'd love to go back again, but my training for the summer is 2 days at Gingerman in Michigan with CLASS Definitely going for the 2 up charity ride, although I may need a blindfold!!

    Will be bringing the TL1000 for that one, trailered definitely. 300+ miles in a day on a sportbike will definitely make a GS look like an awesome life companion

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