Moto Extreme in California: Off-Road and Comfort in the Desert
Mototourism attracts more and more fans around the world every year. The romance of the road, the spirit of freedom and unique experience - these are the main reasons why adventurers increasingly choose not organized tours, but independent trips on two wheels. But not everyone who knows how to ride a motorcycle can overcome thousands of kilometers on it. Mototravel requires good preparation from the biker. Today, we will tell you how to get extreme motorcycle driving skills in the USA.
Unusual roads for ordinary travelers
American motorcycles are primarily associated with Harley Davidson, and this is a good choice for those motorbike travelers who plan routes exclusively in habitable places with good roads and infrastructure. But there are people who feel that they have traveled fairly well on smooth roads with regular pit stops, 24-hour restaurants and air-conditioned lounges. Such motorcyclists rush to the distant corners of the world, where a coffee shop and a gas station are one in hundreds of kilometers. In such places, there are no mobile communications, restaurants and other attributes of comfort.
An adventure touring bike was created for such non-trivial travel options. Durable and powerful, motorcycles of this class are suitable for trips to places with no highway, but just a direction. Is it worth driving along the riverbed formed by the melting of a glacier in Alaska? Of course!
Or maybe your desire to overcome difficulties leads you through a vast desert, where red dust, disturbed by wheels, will hang in the air for another half an hour? It's a great idea!
Bavarian experience in the USA
BMW motorcycles are legendary masterpieces of engineering. Designed in Bavaria at a factory with more than a century of history, they are famous for their power and reliability. Thousands of motorcyclists explore the world on two wheels, trusting this heavy, high bike. Models created for difficult terrain are called enduro, hardy. In the BMW motorcycle line, the modern sports and tourist enduro has the letters GS in its name, Gelände/Straße (German: "off-road/road").
If you don't want moto-travel to become a huge disappointment, you should hope not only for innovative solutions implemented in transport. You need to learn how to properly use this miracle of engineering. In order for motorbike travelers to learn off-road driving skills, California enthusiasts opened the first official training center in the US, BMW Offroad RawHyde in 2002. Experienced instructors and motor mechanics have become the core around which thousands of owners of BMW and other off-road motorcycles have been gathering for almost 20 years.
Camp in a remote place
California RawHyde Adventures Training Center is a ranch located off the busy highway leading to Los Angeles. This is a huge private area, fenced and guarded. The area of the camp is amazing in size: more than 1000 hectares!
Several office premises, a kitchen, a dining room, warehouses, a motorcycle workshop, and, most importantly, training grounds, which vary in difficulty levels, have been built here. The remoteness of the base allows the organizers to ensure the safety of guests and also solves the problem that is inevitable in this business: engine noise several hours a day.
Fans of motorcycle adventures are people who are accustomed to spending the night in nature and in the open. The training center has found a harmonious way to combine comfort and Spartan conditions, similar to an army or boy scout bootcamp. Having bought trainings at the usual cost, guests sleep in a common room, where every sleeping place is fenced with panels.
The organizers undertake the issue of food for guests, taking into account individual dietary requests. During training, a lot of energy and fluid is spent in the body, so a full diet is an essential part of preparation.
An experienced chef prepares three meals a day every day, providing everyone with fresh hot food: first-class steaks, fish, fresh vegetables, and of course, desserts.
The climate in southern California is sunny and hot, and the camp is located on picturesque hills. Guests can take showers right on the terrace:
Training: work on your skills
During the training, all participants must be dressed in full motorized equipment. Given the hot days and great physical exertion, everyone is advised to use constantly the hydraulic system, which allows you to drink directly when riding a motorcycle. Distracting from classes will not work: the schedule is tight, and every student must have time to understand the exercise, and also repeat it several times successfully.
Here are a few exercises that are practiced during the training.
The basic exercise is the ability to get your own bike to stand up. A popular biker proverb says “When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you're not riding hard”, so even if the biker is a woman, this does not save her from practicing the motorcycle lifting exercise. In the photo, a cheerful biker holds in his hands a tree he has knocked down:
A motorcycle stuck in the sand with wrong biker's behavior can be a big problem. The weight of the loaded motorcycle reaches 250 kilograms:
Despite the heavy weight of the motorcycle, the biker may well learn to jump on one wheel:
The industry is constantly upgrading tourism motorcycles: high-tech electronics, on-board computer, security systems. But overestimating their strength or incorrectly performing the exercises, the biker endangers himself, the passenger and other participants in the movement. In the photo below, you can see an example where the biker forgets that he may not stick his foot when the motorcycle falls.
Despite the sensitive guidance of the instructor, one of the participants received a leg injury. Fortunately, the damage was not serious. If the injury does not allow the biker to continue the lesson, he/she will need to wait for a full recovery and continue the course at another time.
Americans are very thorough in their security concerns. Strict standards, certifications, regular checks from public services are imposed on the personal responsibility of business owners. But having good health insurance is everyone’s job, so check your insurance plan in advance and make the necessary changes.
Those who are ready to consolidate the acquired skills, they can additionally pay for a weekend trip to the Mojave Desert. Several bikers ride in picturesque places, putting into practice the knowledge gained.
California deserts are very picturesque and always surprise travelers with a variety. Cosmic landscapes, unusual rock forms are admirable.
But do not think that if these beauties are located far from big cities, then the usual amenities are not available. In the photo, you can see a clean restroom located in the middle of the desert:
An escort car is driving with the group, which stores all the necessary things, including soft drinks for every taste. Dinner awaits tired travelers under the starry sky at the place of the overnight stay. Meat and vegetables will be expertly cooked on the grill.
The organizers provide a tent and a sleeping bag for everyone. What you should not expect is the opportunity to share your impressions for the day with friends and family: there is no mobile communication in the desert.
Motoculture for all ages
Nowadays, motorcycle culture in the United States has changed its face: the motorcycle has long ceased to be associated with aggressive youth gangs. Motorcycle travel has become a popular hobby for wealthy retirees. Vigorous grandfathers and grandmothers ride across the country, getting to hard-to-reach corners. RawHyde Adventures mototourist training center is no exception: according to statistics collected after training thousands of clients, the average age is 40-50 years.
Regardless of age, several days of joint efforts and adventures unite the guests of the center. Many continue to communicate on social networks and meet during trips and bike rides.
Journey to the edge of the Earth
For those who are firmly convinced that a motorcycle is the best way to explore the world, RawHyde has prepared unique tours around America. One of the most unusual is a trip to Patagonia. The unique color, almost unaffected by globalization culture, stunning landscapes - this is what awaits travelers, while they travel for 16 days across the South American continent from South to North. The high cost of the tour (from $ 10,000) makes it a piece of travel product, an exclusive option to acquire a unique experience. You can see what awaits mototourists in the video at the link below:
Attractions in the area of the RawHyde training center
The California camp RawHyde is one of four located in the USA. It is located in Southern California. About an hour's ride - and you are in the center of Hollywood, the studios of the film company Universal (we wrote about them in another article at the link.
If you travel from northern California, stay in Solvang, the unofficial Danish capital of the United States. The trip can also be combined with watching elephant seals or visiting the Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
Traveling around the world, we learn better not only the new corners of our beautiful planet, but also ourselves. And our Travellizy Team will help you choose the most suitable travel option!