Raw Hyde – BMW Off Road Academy

Raw Hyde - BMW Off Road Academy Training

Raw Hyde - BMW Off Road Academy Training

Last fall my daughter signed up for a high school field trip to Moab. I went to the parents meeting to check it out. The teacher presented a slideshow of a previous trip with students hiking, biking, rappelling and 4-wheeling driving around Moab and Monticello, Utah. It looked amazing. This got me exploring a motorcycle trip to Moab. So, what does this have to do with the Raw Hyde Adventures – BMW Off Road Academy? In trying to find out about motorcycle riding in Moab, I came across some Raw Hyde Adventure Tours in Moab, Mojave Desert, Death Valley, Alaska and others.  And, this led me to the training academy.

Raw Hyde Adventures in southern California provides training on behalf of the BMW Off Road Academy. They offer several levels of training from beginner to advanced off road riding. They are primarily focused on teaching off road riding techniques for large adventure touring motorcycles, such as the BMW R1200GS. I signed up for the weekend introductory training, along with the following five day ride through the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. Nothing like reinforcing what I learned through some immediate off road riding experience. I also rented a BMW R1200GS for the week. This allowed me to decide if I really want to do adventure touring before putting out $20 grand for a new bike.

 


The two days of training started with the basics of riding a large adventure motorcycle on gravel and dirt. Riding a 600 pound motorcycle off road is quite different from riding a small dirt bike. It requires a lot more body movement to influence the motorcycle. Rule number 1 was to relax and let the GS go where you want it to go. It will go through some amazingly difficult terrain, if you just relax and let the bike flow with the terrain. Rule number 2 was that if Rule 1 fails, and the bike is going down, just get out of the way and let it fall. The best way to get hurt is trying to stop a 600 pound motorcycle from falling. Interestingly, once I dropped the bike a couple of times, rule number 1 became easier.

We did a wide variety of drills designed to teach balance and control from braking and emergency stopping to clutch control for low speed maneuvers and counter-balancing for tight turns. We also practiced riding hills, and even some sand. And, lucky for us, we had some rain on day 2. We also got to practice riding in mud. I dropped the bike twice doing figure eights on wet gravel and mud. After that, falling became part of the adventure.

I won’t go into much else about the program or the Raw Hyde facilities. My photos above show some of the compound. Check out the Raw Hyde Adventures web site if you are interested in learning more. It was a lot of fun, and left me feeling somewhat prepared for the next five days of riding in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. More on this in my coming blog posts.

 

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