Riverside BMW motorcycles sponsored 30 riders for a weekend of dirt bike riding fun and training on either our own bikes or a Yamaha WRX 250 rental.
Originally I intended on riding my own 2019 BMW GSA 1250 but, after the group led ride from the dealership to the MotoVentures facilities I quickly changed my mind. If this is a sampling of things to come, they’ve now got my attention.
Imagine riding on a road that suddenly veers off onto a dusty sandy dirt trail that looks like it’s headed towards a dump site. Attempts at blocking access to the road now include tires, broken furniture and even a berm hill too. Suddenly I hear gunshots to my immediate left. I can’t now look as there is a five foot nearly straight up dirt obstacle in the way that Im now expected to go over. Are we now by a range or a pissed off landowner I wonder?
Next we follow a railroad track for a few miles, the sandy road at times gives way, soft and hard packed potholed sandy road with debris thrown in for good measure. I’m still able to keep up with the ride leader as are four other GSs. I quickly note that the rider behind me is still back there.
Then we go from sand to asphalt again and before too long I look up and spot a skydiving plane not more than a 1,000 feet above me. Perris, California I say to myself.
Then its back on to dirt again and we run through what I assume to be a bee farm. Thousands of pissed off bees in the air and a few dive bomb me striking my helmet. Quickly I shut the visor avoiding a bee stinging intruder coming close to my face.
I ride witin ten feet of a guy in full camouflage whom I see in his cars trunk; oh great, an AR assault type rifle. Another free outdoor range I wonder? Soon we’re back on asphalt again. But now we lost half the group? Ride leader continues and so do we. Twisties all around now. It looks like we’re staying on real roads now. From the time we started to now 2.15 hours went by without a chance to get bored. What a ride I say to myself.
Truly an eye opening experience. Not just the ride here but the MotoVentures facilities. This is the kind of place you come to become one with your BMW Adventure motorcycle. BMW Motorcycles of Riverside owner Dan Shoo sponsored just 30 motorcycle enthusiasts for a weekend. A reduced cost of the normal fee of from $275 to $175 plus he fed us and also paid for our campsite too.
MotoVentures owner Gary La Plante on day one of our training covered body positioning techniques like turning in tight circles and throwing a leg out for balance around a “flat track.” After the warm up exercises, we covered body positioning in all aspects of riding on hills (up the face, across the slope, up and over, plateaus), fall recovery, and precision techniques; then immediately we put those skills into practice during tours of the property – 350 acres of potential riding area.
Ive never seen so many dropped GSs in my life on this forgiving sandy soil. And then the rain started and didn’t let up, then the fog rolled in and it got almost cold enough to snow. What did we do? We continued training. Gary told us that this was now dirt bikers nirvana. The trails were less slippery and of course he was right. He ought to know, he literally wrote the book on dirt bike riding.