Each Adventure Training Camp has a unique feel and the lessons evolve and change each year. Whether you are a beginner or an ADV rider with extensive experience, the same off road motorcycle skills need development. The difference between the beginner and expert is the depth of understanding, application and the environments in which those skills are deployed. The ADV Training Camp offers an environment where you can immerse yourself in learning and – regardless of your experience or background – grow to new heights in your skills and understanding.
Training will take place on Class 1 and Class 2 terrain with focused training occurring on elements of Class 3 terrain. Depending on interest, skill level, and the type of terrain available for use, some riders may be invited to ride some additional features with Bret.
Camping and training are both on family-owned property located in Plain, at the site of the annual Touratech Rally West. At this location, you will either have the choice of staying in nearby cabins or on a grassy field where you can pitch your tent.
Arrival time begins at 3:00pm on Thursday afternoon. If you’re planning on camping, you will have ample time to set up your tent and get acquainted with your fellow participants and training staff.
Around 6:30pm or dusk, Bret and Paul will gather everyone around a fire (if possible, based on regulations) for introductions and to learn what specific skills attendees want to learn.
Training will start around 8:00am and will take place in large, grassy fields with leftover practice features from the Touratech Rally – to include possible rock pits, obstacles, and more. Snacks, water, and electrolytes will be available throughout training.
You will learn the basics of essential skills. If you are an advanced rider, you will learn critical details that will lead you to excel in your riding skills.
Each class is a little different because Bret and Paul are always trying new techniques to reach you more effectively, but you can expect to learn the following skills:
– Seated and standing riding posture
– Ergonomics… setting up your motorcycle to your body
– Low-energy riding techniques
– Traction management skills
– Control of power delivery
– Slow-speed balance and maneuvering
– Lifting (single person and multi-person)
After a good nights’ sleep, your mind will reset and you will be ready to build upon the skills learned the previous day.
You will be using fine motor control to blend techniques into smooth maneuvers. Various terrain features will be utilized to play with your brain and you will learn how to evaluate each obstacle, not depending on remembering the right formula.
Depending on how harsh the previous winter was, lessons may include:
– Narrow track riding and ruts
– Loose surfaces (sand, mud, or loose rock)
– Trail turns
– Hills (ascending, descending, starting, stopping, u-turns)
– Slide turns and other useful skills that will set you apart from other riders
Join us for the mental development of reading terrain accurately while learning to use the motorcycle and terrain to achieve your riding goal of using less energy, riding with less stress and removing the “surprises” that catch many riders unprepared. Get a taste of what adventure riding is all about, done correctly with the right skills.
This optional training day is provided for an additional cost and is only available for the students who have attended both days of the ADV Training Camp.
1. Can I bring my Honda Grom? (or fill in the blank with any other kind of motorcycle):
Of course! This class is not exclusive towards so-called adventure bikes or dualsport bikes. Whichever bike you want to learn how to ride off-road, you can bring to class. However, you may not be able to participate in all activities due to limitations in suspension and clearance.
Dirt bikes and small dualsports (like the Yamaha XT-250) are also welcome – since training is geared towards larger bikes, activities may be easier for you. Three-wheelers and sidecars are not suitable due to trail width and the types of lessons we teach. All bikes must be street-legal unless trailered to the training site each day. If you choose the optional on-trail ride, you must have a valid license plate and skid plate (OEM is fine).
2. Which tires should I have on my bike?
That depends. When the ground is dry or damp, the terrain can easily be ridden on street-biased adventure tires but when it rains, even the more aggressive tires may have a difficult time gaining traction in the wet grass and mud. Bret and Paul normally ride and train on 50/50 tires.
3. Do I have to buy new boots?
Maybe. Street boots are like leather slippers with padding and are not accepted at the training camps. Crashing at speed is very rare during training, but ankle and foot injuries are likely for riders wearing less than an enduro or MX boot. When learning new skills, slow speed tip-overs are not uncommon due to the inability to immediately apply all the lessons/coaching. This can result in a foot caught underneath the bike or getting twisted when doing an unintentional rapid dismount. An ADV boot with a stiff sole is the minimum requirement but we strongly encourage the most protective boot you can afford. Enduro/MX boots are preferred.
Hint: The more you can feel your controls and the more you don’t mind walking in your boots the less protective they are. Some people choose not to wear heavier boots because they can’t feel the controls. Being able to “feel” the controls underfoot is not essential. You can easily determine if you’ve shifted or if you’re braking even while wearing the heaviest motocross boots. Also, by practicing in dirt bike or motocross boots, you will learn how much pressure is needed to shift and/or brake.
4. Is ADV Camp set up near the training area?
Yes, you will be camping in the middle of the training area, and taking a quick break during class will be easy.
5. Do I bring my own food?
We supply morning coffee and energy snacks throughout the day that should accommodate most dietary preferences. Meals are not provided other than an optional graduation dinner on Saturday night. Most riders choose to bring food they can prepare at camp with a camp stove. There is a restaurant directly across the street from the training area that is open from 6:30am to 8:00pm.
6. Will water be provided?
Yes, We will have bottled water as well as a larger drinking water source so you can fill up your water bladders or refill water bottles as needed.
7. What is the camping situation like?
You will be camping in an open, grassy area. You can choose to camp near other campers, or you can find spots farther away. There are no established campsites, but you will have access to porta-potties and an off-grid hot water shower (Showers are available at nearby Lake Wenatchee State Park, but bring change as these are coin-activated). Hammocks are not advised as there are few trees around the field. Bring earplugs as sometimes you can hear your fellow riders snoring.
8. Can I bring my RV / camper van / bike trailer?
You are welcome to bring your self-contained RV or camper van. There are no hook-ups available unless you choose to stay at a nearby RV park. Trucks with bike trailers are also welcome to park at our camping area.
9. May I arrive early?
Bret and Paul will be available to greet you starting at 3pm Thursday afternoon. We have a contract with the property owner to start our course at 3:00pm Thursday afternoon and arriving earlier than that would be trespassing on private property.
10. Am I too old to take your class?
Maybe. Learning to ride a motorcycle off-road is mentally and physically challenging, but we have seen numerous riders in their 70’s do well while much younger riders struggle due to poor physical conditioning. Age matters, but it’s not about age. You can’t change your age but you can change your health. We strongly encourage you to come in the best physical condition you can manage. We teach low-energy riding techniques however learning by its very nature is not low-energy.
11. How large are classes?
Depending on the number of staff and how many instructors we have available, classes may have up to 18 riders but no less than 12. A normal class will have 2-3 instructors, including Bret Tkacs. Bret and Paul are full time professional instructors with more than 42 years of motorcycle skills instruction and are extremely skilled at managing and coaching riders on a personal level no matter how large the class is.
12. Can I bring my family with me?
Family members and significant others are welcome to stay with you at your campsite. As much as we’d like to accommodate those accompanying you during training, we need to focus on the paying customers and your family can spend time with you before and after class.
13. May I take the class double-up or with my pillion rider?
There is no straight answer to this question as it depends on many factors. Please email us for a more specific answer to your situation.
14. Is there cell service at the camping / training area?
Cellular service is very good around Plain, WA.
15. Is there a motorcycle rental company nearby?
We haven’t built any relationships with nearby motorcycle rental companies, but Eagle Rider and MotoQuest do rent ADV bikes. Keep in mind, you may be tipping over (hopefully not crashing) during training so make sure your borrowed bike has crash protection.
These questions have all been asked by other students. If you find your question has not been answered, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question may be added to this list.
Included in your cost: Instruction and personal coaching, snacks (fruit and snack bars), beverages (including coffee), on-site camping for tents and small trailers, graduation dinner, dedicated support vehicle for emergencies.
Not included in your cost: Optional training day (must be purchased separately), all meals aside from graduation dinner, gasoline, alcohol, travel or medical insurance, campsites for large trailers or RVs, hotel rooms, gratuities or your motorcycle – we do not provide motorcycles.