DESERT ADVENTURE BIKE TRAINING
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)|September - October 2021
The Southwest desert is arguably one of the most uniquely scenic areas of the United States. Its vast majesty, laced with a network of roads of every kind, encompasses six states. These backcountry byways can take us to some amazingly beautiful and desolate destinations. The catch? They are mostly unpaved and many are technical, sandy, rutted, off-camber desert trails with stream crossings and frequently changing slopes. Wind and rain ensure that no two days will see the exact same conditions.
Pablo Espinosa
To safely and successfully navigate these fickle pathways, skill is a requirement, not an option. Being adept at tackling difficult terrain not only helps keep riders free from mishaps, but also makes the experience more enjoyable. Thus, proper off-road training is paramount, especially if the motorcycle of choice is a behemoth—a multi-cylinder adventure-class machine offered by the likes of BMW, KTM, Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and, now, Harley-Davidson with their new Pan America.

In the spring of 2021, I was invited by Dusty Wessels of West38Moto and Dragoo Adventure Rider Training (D.A.R.T.) founder Bill Dragoo to observe one of their collaborative classes in Borrego Springs, California. This desert riding class was intended to prepare students for a five-day immersion tour in Baja California, where they would test and perfect their skills.

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DESERT ADVENTURE BIKE TRAINING

The Southwest desert is arguably one of the most uniquely scenic areas of the United States. Its vast majesty, laced with a network of roads of every kind, encompasses six states. These backcountry byways can take us to some amazingly beautiful and desolate destinations. The catch? They are mostly unpaved and many are technical, sandy, rutted, off-camber desert trails with stream crossings and frequently changing slopes. Wind and rain ensure that no two days will see the exact same conditions.

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In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.

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