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Old 10-28-2010, 10:16 PM   #1
Asphalt OP
Plan Well...Leave Late :(
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Fire road, freeway & backroad close...
Oddometer: 951
RawHyde! Learn 'em if ya got 'em!

Well, I haven’t posted here in a while. I had some big things happen this past summer that took me off all things with two wheels for a couple months. Getting back on the bikes was a damn fine feeling, the healthy pedal kind and the motorized ones, as well. Took a good ride to Oregon right before the GSA had to have her engine cracked open to replace the engine case. Also took a nice long ride on the K12S to Seattle for work. Up through the Sierras and back home down the coast. But, the best ride I took on the GSA recently was the short 40 mile jaunt up to RawHyde Adventures. Now that Jim Hyde is hooked in with BMW it can also be referred to as The Official BMW Off Road Academy. I now refer to it as one of the coolest places I have ever hung out. What a killer weekend. I’ll explain…
One look around tells you that wherever these guys go, they bring the right gear.

One look around also made me realize that they stripped all of their fleet of BMW rental bikes of most things breakable!
So, with some advice from Jason, the first instructor I met there, out came my tool roll to dismantle and wire-tie up. Jason is good people. He had just rolled in from Phoenix. I learned much about my upcoming weekend and what to expect in those first twenty minutes from him.

Note the very cool Italian made mobile tent unit to the left. This thing is ultra comfortable. It is more or less an overflow type of lodging for RawHyde and I was a late applicant, but I had zero issue with sleeping in this setup. After all, I camp a lot..but, the fully stocked Dakar Bar and exquisite appetizers and food every night took me right out of camping mode!

My stripped nekkid GSA with the rest of the paddock. BMW has stocked RawHyde with a serious allotment of bitchin’ bikes. Some people rode their own in and some people rented. Being a mere thirty-five miles down the road…yours truly most definitely rode there. After all, I wanted to take the training on my bike-drop it, dirty it and love it even more.

Hello, my name is…

Waiting in line to knock of some “Figure-8’s”. I got pretty good at them. After you pull a few off, you ride the trail back around, slow and in control, doing trail stops, weight shifting and everything else you have been learning. I rode my GS by instinct for the most part before this class. I’ve had MSF training years ago, track day classes and tons upon thousands of tons of riding in lots of conditions all around the country on a lot of different bikes the past bunch of years…BUT, The RawHyde crew teaches you how to ride the big adventure bikes the way they are meant to be ridden.

After the first day…I still feel my bike is way too clean. We’ll have to do something about that.

Coach Bill and Instructor Wil teaching the whoops. My instructors for the weekend were Kevan, Bill and Wil. These guys were not only great at telling what to do and how to do it, but, they were great to ride with also. Plenty of trail riding between drills and at the end of the day.

On top of the world. By the end of the day you are pumped about how you are muscling the pig around the steeps and dirt and rocks.

The pictures don’t do any of these hills justice. I would not have been riding this stuff before this class. I may have ridden to them and looked up…and then turned around and ridden back to pavement and turned the ABS back on.

Kevan showing how to turn a big pig around on a steep hill.

Aaahh…The Dakar Bar. Fully stocked and fully available post ride and all night. Along with an amazing kitchen crew that puts out fine food breakfast, lunch, post ride apps and dinner.

Some of the guys that rode with me for the weekend were talking about being anxious for the next day’s Base Camp Alpha trip. This trip is the best thing to do right on the heels of the weekend training. It takes you out into the Mojave where these guys know exactly where to go. You use everything..and more…of what you just learned. Sadly, I could not swing the time to do Base Camp. Someday soon, though!

Totally satisfied and headed home. I will be back for The Next Step.
"Never before, have so many worked so hard, for so long, to create so little."
-Shrine Auditorium wall, Los Angeles, CA.

Asphalt screwed with this post 10-28-2010 at 10:27 PM
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:08 AM   #2
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Very cool Asphalt...I couldn't be more envious!

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Old 10-29-2010, 09:42 AM   #3
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Got to get myself to that one day! Very cool!
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
Asphalt OP
Plan Well...Leave Late :(
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Fire road, freeway & backroad close...
Oddometer: 951
It is amazingly cool. You go there with lots of preconceived notions on how it's going to be. You wonder about where you have been on your big pig of a bike, what situations you have gotten yourself into and BARELY out of and how you keep telling yourself, "I gotta learn how to ride this thing better in the dirt!"
If you do what they say, especially the first night at the meet and greet when they tell you to check your ego at the door and not be concerned with what anyone might think about your skill level, then you end up opening an entirely new door for riding these bikes.
And as far as the idea that it is expensive...I thought of it this way: I sometimes have no problem dropping copious amounts of money on parts like riding lights, Touratech protection, cool lightweight camping gear. Thousands upon thousands of dollars. What does it matter if I don't take my bike where all that stuff was designed to go? And, with poor off road riding skills, no matter how well built the hard parts are, they will, I might as well learn a bunch more skill and control.
It is the best single investment I have made in my GSA to date. Period.
Oh, did I mention the food was incredible?
"Never before, have so many worked so hard, for so long, to create so little."
-Shrine Auditorium wall, Los Angeles, CA.
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Old 10-29-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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Looks quite amazing. Thanks for sharing your story. One of these days I'll get around to dropping a load of cash for one of these courses. Definitely will be worth it!
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Old 10-30-2010, 04:02 PM   #6
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Thanks for taking the time to post about your experience.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
Asphalt OP
Plan Well...Leave Late :(
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Location: Fire road, freeway & backroad close...
Oddometer: 951
Originally Posted by Ladybug0048
Thanks for taking the time to post about your experience.
Thanks. I haven't posted here in the Asylum for quite a while, at least, not any major ride reports recently. Like I said, I was off the bikes this summer. But, it felt awesome getting back on the road recently and RawHyde had been on my radar for years. Finally doing it was just a big game changer for me. And, riding home I had time to think about how many miles and road trips I have logged, great trips, but carefully planned to make sure I didn't get too far off the beaten asphalt. I have gotten into plenty of rough situations on my standard '05 GS and now my '09 GSA...situations that eventually had me getting out on instinct alone. I always tell myself after those rides, "You have to get some serious training on this thing." So, I did! And I realized some of how I rode was in good form. But, what I learned about some of the fundamentals and things that aren't exactly "instinctual", once you repeat those methods and they become your new "second nature"...well, then a lot of tricky dirt and hills become way easier. And way more fun, less white knuckled!
"Never before, have so many worked so hard, for so long, to create so little."
-Shrine Auditorium wall, Los Angeles, CA.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
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Great weekend!

Here's a link to a few hundred photos and some videos I shot!

Las Vegas

2015 1200GS Adventure
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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It's quite the challenging learning experience! Thanks for the pics and report
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