FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

COURSE RELATED QUESTIONS

Can I bring my non-standard ADV bike?

Of course!  This class is not exclusive towards so-called adventure bikes or dualsport bikes.  Whichever motorcycle 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, although 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 Sunday ride (training camps only), you must have a valid license plate and skid plate (your OEM one is fine).

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.  Bret and Paul normally ride and train on 50/50 tires, and sometimes just street tires.  Specific tire recommendations will be sent to you once you register for class.

Do I have to buy new boots?

Maybe. Street boots are like leather slippers with padding and are not accepted at any of our training locations. Crashing at speed is very rare during training, but ankle and foot injuries are likely for riders wearing anything less than an enduro or motocross 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,

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.

Is there a motorcycle rental company nearby?

We haven’t built any relationships with nearby motorcycle rental companies, but there are some local companies we can suggest when you register for training.

Keep in mind, you may be tipping over (hopefully not crashing) during training so make sure your borrowed bike has crash protection.

CAMPING & ACCOMMODATIONS

Do I bring my own food?

Yes, for main meals. Many riders choose to bring food they can prepare at camp with a camp stove. We do supply morning coffee and A LOT of snacks throughout the day that should accommodate most dietary preferences.  On Saturdays after graduation, we will provide an optional graduation dinner which will either take place at a local restaurant or will be catered onsite.

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. We do our best to keep drinks cool, but sometimes our supply of ice ends up melting in the hottest summer days.

What is the camping situation like?

Camping at most locations will be dry camping along with the instructors.  You can choose to camp near other campers, or there are usually spots further away. In some locations, a toilet and shower are available; other locations have porta-potties and a portable hot water camp shower.  Make sure you bring earplugs to protect against snoring neighbors!

Are hotels or cabins nearby?

Hotel rooms and cabins are either onsite (Virginia location), across the street (Washington location) or within a few miles of the training area.  Restaurants can also be found near our training locations as well.  When you register for the course, we will provide additional information.

Can I bring my RV / Camper van / Bike trailer?

Self-contained camper vans and trucks with bike trailers are welcome to park at our camping areas.

Class A RVs and fifth wheels are a little more difficult to accommodate.  Most of our locations have RV sites a few miles from the camping area, usually with hookups.  More information will be provided when you register.

OTHER QUESTIONS

Am I too old or out of shape 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.

How large are your classes?

Depending on the number of staff and how many instructors we have available, classes may have up to 18 riders but typically no less than 10. A normal class will have 2 or 3 instructors, including Bret Tkacs.  Bret and Paul are full time professional instructors with more than 42 years of motorcycle instruction and are extremely skilled at managing and coaching riders on a personal level no matter how large the class is.

May I arrive early?

In most cases, no. Most of our locations are on private property where our insurance coverage begins at the official start time Thursday afternoon. Our Virginia location is on private property as well, but if you are renting a cabin onsite, you’re welcome to arrive early. Bret, Paul, and Greg are usually out scouting trails or taking a few hours of rest before class begins.

 

May 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 as students in our class, our entire staff need to focus on the pre-registered customers and your family can spend time with you before and after class. They are certainly welcome to attend any fireside chats and conversation outside of official class hours.

Can I take the course double-up with my pillion?

There is no straight answer to this question as it depends on many factors.  Please email Bret for a more specific answer to your situation.