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Tame that GS with Off-Road training at the Rally

Saturday, March 31, 2018   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Ted Moyer, 100360

BMW’s GS models have long been known as the Swiss Army knife of motorcycles, equally adept at touring across the country as they are at navigating a rugged mountain pass, yet the truth is that an overwhelming percentage of GS owners never use their bike’s full potential. The R 1200 GS models are heavy and to an unskilled rider, unwieldy.

The good news is that any rider can get more comfortable off-road with a little expert training. The secret to unlocking that potential, according to Bill Dragoo, 2010 GS Trophy Team USA member and owner of Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (DART), is quality training that ultimately leads to bike mastery.

“Bike mastery,” according to Bill, a certified BMW Motorrad Off-Road Instructor, is learning to juggle what he calls the four cornerstones of adventure riding: Balance, Control, Judgment and Attitude.

While any of these elements can help a rider make it safely home from their backcountry travels, together they can take riders places they may only have dreamed about. Bill and his fellow coaches teach off-road riding in South America and throughout the Unites States.

At this year’s MOA Rally in Des Moines, Dragoo has teamed up with 2016 GS Trophy member Tom Asher to help riders safely take advantage of the fun waiting beyond the end of the pavement.
Asher operates Tom Asher Adventure Rider Academy (TAARA) and is the only person to have entered the famed 2017 KENDA AMA Tennessee Knockout Extreme Enduro on a BMW R 1200 GSA.

2018 off road training instructors, Jocelin Snow, Tom Asher and Bill Dragoo


Training begins with Stage One and an explanation of the basics of bike set-up and proper rider positions for dealing with variable terrain, stopping, accelerating, and traveling fast over long distances off-pavement. Participants will learn to operate their motorcycles in tight quarters without “duck walking” or dragging a foot through a turn, proper braking techniques, and of course, how to reduce chances of injury when righting a downed bike. Explanations and demonstrations will be followed by hands-on practice under the watchful eyes of the instructors.

Make no mistake, even though this session is geared toward a rider new to dirt, it moves quickly up the scale and is a great refresher even for the veteran adventure rider. It can also serve as a prerequisite to Stage Two, regardless of experience.

Stage Two includes hill fail recovery, riding up and down moderate hills, loose hill starts, side hills, obstacle crossing, and sand extraction. All exercises are designed to be comprehensive, building upon Stage One and allowing a smooth progression of skill as participants encounter increasingly challenging scenarios. Each segment will require a half-day to complete.

The regular cost for this training is $125, but thanks to the MOA Foundation, the final cost to participants will be only $65. Register online beginning April 1, 2018. 


William H. Prescott says...
Posted Monday, April 16, 2018
I don't see any information about requirements for taking the training. Is a GS required? I have an R1200R. I don't ride off-road much but would like to be more comfortable in construction zones, dirt roads, and mountain driveways. Can this class be taken on a street bike with street tires and suspension?
John White says...
Posted Friday, March 30, 2018
Shouldn't that be Swiss army knife of motorcycles? Able to do many things well. At least mine does. :) Mike White Lorena, Texas

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