New Motorcyclists Experience Adventure Motorcycles During RawHyde Adventure Days

Venturing into the world of adventure motorcycling can be daunting. RawHyde Adventures makes it approachable and fun with this annual event.

Sam Bendall - LiveMotoFoto.com

Adventure: To engage in a hazardous and exciting activity, especially the exploration of unknown territory. Add motorcycles to this definition and you have one of the most rewarding genres of motorcycling devised in the last decade. 

Adventure motorcycles are essentially dirt bikes on steroids. They are fully capable of consuming long distances on the highway and operating off-road. Essentially, they are “go mostly anywhere, do most anything” motorcycles. But the notion of taking one of these big bikes off road can be a daunting prospect. How do you even begin to wade into the pool that is adventure riding when you're not an adventure motorcyclist? 

RawHyde Adventures, based out of Castaic, California, is an official BMW Off-Road Academy that offers new and returning riders a variety of programs on how to ride big adventure bikes in the dirt. Rawhyde's Adventure Days occur annually (this year's event took place April 12-15), and is suited for those not entirely ready to take the plunge into full-blown motorcycle training. RawHyde Adventure Days offers prospective motorcyclists demonstrations, clinics, and practical riding sessions over the course of three days at a pace slower than regular training.  

Sam Bendall

Classroom Clinics 

Classroom clinics are presented throughout the property. Here attendees are learning about the art of packing an adventure motorcycle for extended trips. 

“Adventure days is a great opportunity for people who don’t really understand what all this Adventure motorcycle stuff is all about by introducing them to virtually everything we do,” says Jim Hyde, Founder of RawHyde Adventures.  “We’re here to make it approachable and invite them into this wonderful community of riders and enthusiasts.”  

Each day is broken up into classroom clinics and ride time. Over the span of the three days, there are more than 15 clinics covering topics from trip preparation, how to pack for a day trip or month-long trip, what to do if you break down on the side of the road, how to deal with medical emergencies should they arise, GPS management, and much more.  Each clinic is led by expert riders and professionals with years of adventure riding experience.

By far, one of my favorite clinics during the event was about first aid and medical emergency management with Sharif Massoud, who is not only an avid adventure rider but a paramedic and instructor at UCLA’s Center for Pre-Hospital Care. The very same school I attended for my EMT certification. While medical professionals are prevented from giving medical advice on how to handle specific injuries, Sharif provided excellent insights on how to conduct oneself in the event of an injury. 

“First and foremost, anyone looking to ride a motorcycle should take a basic level first aid/CPR course. Accidents can arise and to possess the knowledge to assess, deal with, and think through situations like these are incredibly important,” said Massoud. “It’s important to familiarize yourself with the most typical injuries that are associated with off-road motorcycling and how to manage them until emergency response teams can arrive.”     

Afternoon sessions are reserved for demo rides of new model year BMW adventure motorcycles, practical riding demonstrations, riding loops around the property, and skills practice on how to loft the front wheel over obstacles, ride through sand, and perform emergency braking techniques.    

Attendees are educated by senior and guest coaches on proper body mechanics, how to input into the motorcycle and what to expect from those inputs. Riding in the dirt brings a number of challenges and oftentimes, learning means falling or dropping these large machines. 

"While the process is bruising to the ego, it's a lesson in humility and growth. It makes riding these bikes a lot of fun and the community is amazing," said an attendee of Adventure Days.  

Sam Bendall

Lofting the Front Wheel

An attendee lofts the front wheel to get over an obstacle. 

Motorcycles can be dangerous, but learning how to ride them properly and manage the situations surrounding them is part of their allure. Traveling by motorcycle can be one of the most enjoyable and rich experiences you can quite possibly engage in. Very few endeavors can compare. It puts you in touch with yourself, the elements, and the people you meet along the way. Adventure motorcycling is never about the destination, but the journey itself.