by Victor Wanchena
Dual-Sport motorcycling is one of the last great adventures for motorcyclists. The sport continues to grow even in the face of tightening land use restrictions. Dual-Sport bikes have evolved to a level of performance once reserved for factory-sponsored racers. These aren’t the overweight street bikes in faux moto trim of my youth; they are incredibly capable bikes able to take riders to nowhere and beyond. And, with this increase in performance, comes the need to tune up your riding skills.
Now if I wanted a video to help my street riding skills I would find dozens. But, if you want good instruction for Dual-Sport riding there’s a distinct void in this area. Enter Dual-Sport Riding Techniques (DSRT) to the rescue. This video covers all the basics needed to make you a confident rider in gnarly terrain. The video is broken down in a series of exercises that build on one another in logical fashion. Plus, it was filmed with the stunning backdrop of the Rockies, the kind of terrain that makes a flat-lander drool.
Up until now, most dirt-oriented riding videos consisted of the Crusty Extreme Dirt Dudes hitting huge jumps or crashing to the strains really loud music. These are great for someone wanting to watch: a) riders with no reasonable sense of fear, b) a music video with bikes in it, c) people with facial tattoos saying “Dude” a lot. Good entertainment, but little if any training value. DSRT is unlike any of the aforementioned thrash videos. Instead, DSRT breaks Dual-Sport riding down into basic skills that came be practiced and mastered by anyone.
The key to this video is the concentration on techniques that work on larger Dual-Sport machines. The average rider has a 300+ pound machine that must perform in two vastly different environments. I came to Dual-Sport riding with many years and miles of street riding, and that experience was in word, crap. Riding off-road or even loose surface roads required me to learn a whole new set of skills. DSRT laid those skills out in step-by-step manner that removed much of the mystery and replaced it with practical skills. The need to practice is reinforced many times, this is not a watch-it-and-forget-it video, and DSRT makes that clear. Anything worth learning is worth practicing. Fortunately, some of the exercises can even be practiced at home on a modest city lot.
The quality of production was excellent. I was nervous it might be a slapped together stinker shot on someone’s camera phone and set to someone else’s idea of sweet synth rock. Man, was I wrong. This is a professional video as evidenced by the smooth narration and high production value. See for yourself by watching the trailer at www.dualsportriding.com.
I watched is video with an open-mind that I would learn something and was rewarded. I shared it with friends and we all came away feeling better equipped to tackle the adventures we had planned. In addition, the DVD includes a printout that covers on the exercises in detail and tucks nicely into a tank bag for trailside reference.
The bottom line is the DSRT sets the bar high for Dual-Sport instructional videos. The cost of the video is less than replacing a couple broken levers or mirror. But the true test of its value is way the lessons stuck with me and inspired me tackle difficult terrain with confidence; it’s worth much more for that. Dual-Sport Riding Techniques is available directly from www.dualsportriding.com or locally from several retailers including Bob’s Cycle Supply and Aerostich.