For many riders, the best way to learn is through the real life experience of immersion training.
This training tour has a low student to instructor ratio that walks you through a step-by-step training experience. Training is conducted in the real world where we have to closely monitor and manage risk, and expose you to the most common terrain features found in North American backcountry adventures.
Starting at class 1 terrain features (visit the ADV Skill Rating System) you will gradually be exposed to terrain features as high as level 3… or possibly level 4, depending on trail conditions and weather, but don’t let that bother you, that’s why you are coming to us. The systematic approach that Bret and Paul walk you through will elevate your skill and competency at a rate that is rapid but also in a way that minimizes the risk of crashing or injuring yourself.
The target audience is the beginner and intermediate ADV rider. If you have the will, desire and time we can change your world. But to ensure your safety and success, we require you have some experience riding on simple class 1 or 2 roads, and you must be in good physical health. Age, gender, size or height are not a concern, only your ability to learn, maintain a clear mind on difficult terrain, and handle the endurance of long days. The rest is up to us as your instructors.
You can check into your hotel room in Packwood, Washington starting at 3:00pm. You will be sharing your air conditioned room with a roommate of your choosing, or we can choose your roommate for you (you may find yourself with a new riding friend). Single rooms are an add-on option when registering for the tour.
At 6:00pm, we will meet at a local restaurant in Packwood to chat with your fellow riders and to get an idea of what the next few days will entail. Often weather, fires, and road closures will dictate the final route that we will share over dinner.
Bret and Paul will cover the ground rules training as a group before launching into your first lesson of the day. Then you’ll be on your way into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for your first lessons. You will be focusing on riding posture, trail reading, changing direction in limited spaces, low-energy riding techniques and more.
As the terrain increases in slope and difficulty, your lessons will continue to evolve. Traction management skills will be covered as well as control of power delivery. The goal of the day is to ride some exposed (think cliffs) sections of road, past incredible viewpoints of Mt. Adams and Mt Saint Helens before heading up a steep trail to the old Burley Mountain Fire Lookout. Built in 1934 (and remodeled last year), this lookout is perched at 5200′ and boasts unrestricted views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood (weather dependent). This route is not for you if you’re squeamish about heights; the road is quite safe and wide enough for vehicles, but the drop-offs are close by.
TIME ESTIMATE: 8 hours including lunch
The first hour of riding will be riding on SR12; if the group pace and weather is good we may have a few stops to take in a majestic view of Mt Rainier and a high mountain waterfall along the way.
We will ride up Logger Canyon with a possible detour the to Bethel Ridge 4×4 trail for a photo op. Upon reaching the ridgeline, you will ride the trail through lava fields on top of Cleman Mountain, experiencing open views while taking your riding to a new level of control. This is where your developing skill of traction management and balance will be put to the test. You will be polishing your fine motor control to blend techniques into smooth maneuvers before having lunch at the top of Cleman Mountain.
This is a beautiful route with spectacular views before dropping into Ellensburg. You will stay at a restored historic building in downtown Ellensburg where you’ll have a solid night’s sleep.
TIME ESTIMATE: 10 hours including lunch
This is graduation day! After a relaxed start you will begin your final day riding through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and a 42,000 acre burn area. What begins as a single lane paved road quickly switches to rocky terrain transitioning back into dense, thriving trees. Incredible overlooks as high as 6368’ reveal the vast Cascade Mountain Range appearing as your equal. The farther you travel into the forest, the more rugged and more remote the road turns. The day ends with a farewell lunch in Wenatchee where we will say our goodbyes.
TIME ESTIMATE: 5-6 hours
1. Can I bring my Honda Grom? (or fill in the blank with any other kind of motorcycle):
Maybe. This training tour is not exclusive to adventure bikes or dualsport bikes (including street-biased ADV bikes like the V-Strom or Tiger 900). If you are interested in bringing a bike that is not traditionally considered an off-pavement bike, contact us directly to ensure it is capable of the terrain we will be riding.
Three-wheelers and sidecars are not suitable due to trail width and the types of lessons we teach. All bikes must be street-legal with a valid license plate, crash protection and skid plate, and you must have a valid motorcycle endorsement on your license.
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 mud and slippery rock. Bret and Paul normally ride and train on 50/50 tires.
3. Do I have to buy new boots?
Street boots are like leather slippers with padding and are not suitable for the training tours. 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. Crashing at speed is a possibility during the tour and even a minor ankle and foot injury can become a serious burden to the staff and other riders. Our goal is to protect each rider from injury as well as the experience of the group as a whole.
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. Will we be camping?
No, you will stay in a hotel each night to help ensure every rider gets enough sleep to avoid making errors in judgment related to fatigue.
5. Do I bring my own food?
Most meals and snacks are provided during your training tour. When you register, you will receive an information packet which will detail food plans.
6. Will water be provided?
Yes, we will have bottled water available for you at all times.
7. What will the lodging be like?
Lodging is shared accommodations and may have two or more riders sharing a room. Rooms will be heated and, when possible, will include air conditioning. Showers will also be available each night.
8. Can I bring my RV / camper van / bike trailer?
If you need to leave a vehicle/trailer at the starting point, you need to contact us ahead of time so we can get permission.
9. May I arrive early?
You can arrive early but we may not be there. Check in time starts at 3:00pm. Bret and staff may be at the arrival location early but typically we are unavailable as we are out riding to make sure there are no last-minute changes to the route.
10. Am I too old to take your class?
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. If this is a concern, contact us discuss your health and abilities and make sure you aren’t in over your head.
11. How large are training tours?
Depending on the number of available instructors, classes may have up to 11 riders but no less than 6. A normal tour of 10 or less will have two instructors (Bret and Paul), however an extra instructor will be added for the 11th rider.
12. Can I bring my family with me?
Family members and significant others are welcome to stay with you at the hotel/lodging (there may be an extra fee for a single accommodation). There is no space for them to to travel with us in the support vehicle, but your family can spend time with you before or after training each day.
13. May I take the class double-up or with my pillion rider?
As Bret likes to say, “it depends”. There is no straight answer to this question as it truly depends on many factors. Please email us for a more specific answer to your situation.
14. 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 email@example.com. Your question may be added to this list
Included in your cost: Instruction and personal coaching, lodging, welcome dinner on Tuesday, two on-trail lunches, farewell lunch on Friday, snacks (fruit and snack bars), water and juice, dedicated support vehicle for emergencies.
Not included in your cost: Breakfasts, dinner on Wednesday & Thursday evening, gasoline, alcohol, travel or medical insurance, parking for vehicles, trailers or RVs, gratuities or your motorcycle – we do not provide motorcycles.
Cancellation Policy: Please click here