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Thread: GS Training

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  1. #1
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    GS Training

    I just purchased a R1200GSA in March 2011. It has been30 yrs since any serious riding. I now have 12k mi on the highway and feel comforable there. I want to get my confidence up on the other half of the bike, and learn to ride it off the paved highways. I am looking for any and all recomendations.
    Thanks All, Phil

  2. #2
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    you have a lot of options.

    BMW offers training on both coasts. In the east, it's the BMW Performance Center. In the west, RawHyde. Both are good and both are expensive. You get to ride their bikes, which is always good.

    There are a few other places around the country, where are you located?

    If you've never ridden off pavement, the GS is not the place to start, imo. I strongly recommend you try something on a small light bike, to get your bearings. The MSF offers a great beginner course called the DirtBike School. This is available through a number of MSF facilities throughout the country.

    You might also benefit from getting a set of DOT knobby tires like Conti TKC80 or Metzeler Karoo.

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    It is often wise to listen to what Ian says. Not always, but usually.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  4. #4
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    I live in northern Il. The school location is not a problem, I will ride to location. The scheduling is the problem. I am trying to go to Rawhyde, but there schedule Matches my work schedule. I work 56 days on and 28 off (minus 4 days travel time). The intro class schedule at RH is within 5 days of when I leave or return to work.
    I am having a new pair of Heidenau's put on the bike now. They were recommended by one of the instructors.
    As for size I agree, the GSA is a handful of bike! But that is what I have for now. I was thinking of looking into an older 650 GS this spring
    Thanks, Phil

  5. #5
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It is often wise to listen to what Ian says. Not always, but usually.
    what? me worry?



    Quote Originally Posted by captwheel View Post
    I ... am trying to go to Rawhyde, but there schedule Matches my work schedule. I work 56 days on and 28 off (minus 4 days travel time).
    BMW Performance Center is closer and their program is very good. Plus, you get to ride some great roads on the way there and back.

    I am having a new pair of Heidenau's put on the bike now. They were recommended by one of the instructors.
    As for size I agree, the GSA is a handful of bike! But that is what I have for now. I was thinking of looking into an older 650 GS this spring
    Thanks, Phil
    Try not to do a lot of straight line pavement with those Heidenaus, as they tend to wear a flat spot rather quickly in the center. Did you get the newer ones with the connected center lugs? Those don't appear to be flat spotting quite so quickly.

    I am betting that if you rode out to CA on the older style, that they'd have a flat spot by the time you got there.

    That MSF dirt bike course would be very worth your while.

    Ian
    Go soothingly through the grease mud, as there lurks the skid demon.
    ________________________________________________
    '67 Trail 90 || '86 R80 G/SPD+ || '00 1150 GS || '06 HP2e

  6. #6
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I had no off road experience before taking Jim Hyde's course. Now, I am much more adventurous but not to the extent of other GS Giants. I've never ridden anything other than my 12GS off road but highly recommend some training first. It also helps to pay a little more to do so on one of his bikes so you can alleviate the fear of wrecking your own.

  7. #7
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    I did a two-day class offered by Max BMW, using an instructor from the BMW Performance Center (Bill Conger) and based on the BMW curriculum (although adapted to the local conditions at Hunter Mountain, N.Y.).

    I'd recommend taking any such class you can get into. If you can get to the BMW Performance Center and take the class there, I've heard very good things about the entire experience; if RawHyde or Max works better for you (assuming Max offers classes again next summer), those are also good experiences.

    In my class, I was one of the more experienced riders, having spent some time taking my 1150 onto Vermont's class 4 (unmaintained) roads...and thus having plenty of experience getting it back upright. For me, the two days of deliberate practice, combined with good instruction (even if a lot of it was stuff I'd already heard, it wasn't stuff I was already doing) really boosted my comfort level on the bike. Two days after the class, I was able to go on a dual-sport ride at Color in the Catskills that would have seriously pushed my ability to keep up had I not taken the class, with a much higher comfort and confidence level.

    Two weeks later, I went on a local dual-sport ride that included some quite-interesting stuff; we had a laugh at the GPS calling it a road.

    I'd highly recommend the BMW curriculum.

    (and yes, the 1150 was my first "dirt" bike; I had done things far too sensibly by learning to ride on the street on a Ninja 250, so learning to ride dirt on an 1150 seemed like a good idea. It can be done, but there's probably something to be said for a smaller bike...they're easier to pick up, for starters, and cheaper to drop.)

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