Whether it’s a simple weekend joyride or an extended tour, adventure motorcycle riding is a surefire way to get your dopamine fix. Motorcycle enthusiasts are drawn to this go-anywhere approach to riding and have been flocking to adventure riding in drovers over recent years. In this blog, we’ve compiled a list of 9 adventure motorcycle riding tips that are fundamental to completing an enjoyable and safe trip off the beaten path.
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Top 9 Adventure Motorcycle Riding Tips
Adventure motorcycle riding opens up a new world of possibilities when it comes to routes and destinations. If you’re new to ADV riding, preparation and having the right gear pays off big time. To make the most of your upcoming rides, follow the riding tips below!
1. How to Choose an Adventure Motorcycle
The right adventure motorcycle for you is the one that suits your riding abilities and the expected terrain on the route. It can be tempting to go straight for high-displacement touring monsters, but there are plenty of options available with the proper off-road specs including knobby tires, upright geometry, and rugged build.
The best way to start is by borrowing a friend’s motorcycle or outfitting your own bike with a more off-road riding setup. This way, you can get a feel for what works and avoid dropping a bunch of cash on a machine that isn't exactly what you want. Spend this time practicing the adventure riding skills mentioned in this blog such as balance, turning, and standing up which may be different from what you’re used to.
2. Adventure Riding Education
Adventure riding can be a thrilling test of your motorcycle skills and it’s best to come prepared with plenty of practice, especially for less experienced riders. Lucky for you, there are many riding schools that can teach these specific skills to new adventure bike riders and offer motorcycle rentals to test out different models.
Developing riders rave about their experiences at courses like RawHyde Adventures or the BMW US Rider Academy where they have a blast learning fundamentals and meeting like-minded riders.
3. Getting the Gear
Each riding discipline has its own gear requirements, and adventure tours are no different. The first item to check off the list is a properly fitting helmet that’s comfortable, even after a long day of riding, so you can stay focused on the route ahead. Another piece of advice is to ensure that your gear is comfortable while standing and sitting— adventure riding involves a lot of both positions. The last gear item is a pair of adventure motorcycle boots that are rated for all weather conditions along with a grippy sole since you’ll be standing up on the bike quite often.
Adventure Motorcycle Gear List
Essential items while adventure motorcycling include protective gear, waterproof clothing, and additional gear if you’re camping. Off-road riding means you’ll want knuckle guards on the handlebars and grippy riding boots, too.
Adventure Motorcycle Riding Gear List
|Helmet, handlebar knuckle guards
|Clothing & Apparel
|Riding jacket, pants, boots, gloves
|Tool kit, water or hydration pack, nutrition
|Phone or GPS, phone mount, maps
ROKFORM Motorcycle Mounts
ROKFORM phone mounts are motorcyclists’ preferred choice on and off the road. Securely attach your phone to your adventure bike with one of our four premium motorcycle mounts. Each of our mounts is crafted from CNC-machined 6061 T-6 aircraft-grade aluminum that’s built tough for any route that lies ahead.
One of the best phone mounts for ADV bikes is the ROKFORM Universal Ball Adapter Mount. This handy mount is compatible with all ROKFORM twist-lock cases and 1” RAM® socket mounts that fit on most adventure bike handlebars. The 1” rubber-coated ball allows for simple angle adjustment so you can view maps or incoming messages as you ride. The ability to pivot the mount at both ends makes it ultra-versatile to match almost any handlebar setup outfitted with additional accessories.
This product is everything that it says it is! It made the RAM® mount that I’m using much more usable compared to the X-Grip RAM® product.”
4. The Buddy System
Another top tip for adventure motorcycle riders is to follow the buddy system. It’s always a good idea to bring a friend on long rides and you’ll probably have more fun, too. If possible, try not to ride alone. Riding partners can help out in the event of a mechanical problem or assist in lifting a heavy bike after a drop. Be smart and share the adventure!
Even while riding with friends, having your phone within reach can be a lifesaver. Use a ROKFORM motorcycle phone mount to securely attach your phone to your bike’s handlebars and view Google Maps or communicate with your riding group. The ROKFORM Motorcycle Handlebar Phone Mount works on a variety of ADV handlebars, keeping your phone close at hand and avoiding fussing around with pockets or zipped bags. The heavy-duty aluminum construction fits any bar between ⅞" to 1¼" and has a fully adjustable viewing angle.
5. Stand Up While Riding
One of the biggest differences between adventure riding and road riding is the amount of standing up you’ll do. This skill is integral to riding on dirt roads or off-road terrain because it provides much more controlled handling and maneuverability. Standing up also gets your head higher up over the bike so you can prepare for upcoming turns and obstacles farther ahead along the route.
Stand up on the bike with your knees slightly bent so as to soak up the bumps on the trail that your suspension misses. Be sure to place the balls of your feet on the pegs for proper balance. Keep your upper body and arms loose to absorb impacts and steer— to help with this, you can squeeze the fuel tank with your knees for additional stability. Standing up allows riders to transfer weight farther down the bike and have more leverage to navigate challenging terrain and turns compared to sitting in the saddle.
6. Adjust the Clutch and Brake Levers
Another crucial ADV riding technique is covering the clutch and brake levers. The demanding terrain and unexpected obstacles along the trail mean you have to be prepared to suddenly shift gear or brake at a moment’s notice. Most adventure bikes allow riders to adjust the position of the levers so they can engage them quickly with more control. Take advantage of this adjustability because you’ll be reaching for the clutch and brakes more often than you think.
7. Two-finger Clutching
Two-finger clutching— also referred to as slipping the clutch— goes hand in hand with the previous riding tip. You’ll want to cover the clutch with your index and middle fingers instead of pulling with all four fingers, which can weaken your grip on the handlebars.
Feathering the clutch this way provides more control of how much power your motorcycle produces in low-speed situations, such as climbing steep gradients, obstacle-clearing wheelies, or loose terrain. This is a more advanced skill that will take some time to master but it’s an important part of the adventure motorcycle riding playbook.
8. Light Handling and Balance
Riding with a light touch and an excellent sense of balance is key to taming large-displacement adventure bikes. It may seem scary at first to navigate chunky terrain on such a big bike, but riding with the proper weight balance pays serious dividends in tricky situations such as sand, tight turns, or water crossings.
When approaching loose terrain, shift your weight towards the back of the bike and stay on the throttle to keep the front wheel light. Maintain a relaxed, loose grip on the handlebars that relieves pressure on the front end so you can maneuver through gravel roads or sandy sections as if you were on a dirt bike.
To complement light ADV handling, equip your ROKFORM phone mount with a lighter touch via the Motorcycle Mount Vibration Dampener. This customized dampener is built specifically for ROKFORM motorcycle mounts and is the best way to protect your phone from vibrations that can damage its internal components over time. The integrated shock absorber significantly reduces the forces that reach your phone, even while riding at high speeds or over rugged terrain.
As you improve your handling skills on your ADV bike, you’ll find that being able to do a wheelie comes in handy often. Now we’re not talking a full-on, skyward front wheel wheelie but rather, lifting the front tire up off the ground a few inches to clear obstacles like a fallen tree or large rock. Riders can achieve this kind of “pulled” wheelie by slipping the clutch while leaning back on the bike and tugging on the handlebars.
The ROKFORM vibration dampener easily retrofits onto any ROKFORM motorcycle phone mount and works with any ROKFORM RokLock case. Check out the video below to see this handy accessory in action!
9. Picking Up Your Bike
Odds are high that your ADV bike will end up lying on its side at one point or another— and that’s okay. Dropping your bike is almost a badge of honor since you’re taking your adventure seriously and pushing the limits of the trails. However, any pride could be shattered by a damaged bike or personal injury, so it’s best to learn all the new skills listed in this blog.
Turning, balancing, and picking up a dropped bike are all related adventure riding abilities. Practice making slow turns and changing your weight balance depending on the conditions to ensure sufficient traction on the front wheel and using the rear brake to your advantage. You’ll fall less often, but beginners will likely drop their bikes several times as part of the learning process.
Adventure riding can be a rocky ride and that’s all part of the fun. To keep your smartphone protected, motorcyclists rely on heavy-duty ROKFORM phone cases and mounts that defend your precious tech from accidental drops. For riders who have cruisers or sport bikes, check out the Pro Series Perch Mount and Motorcycle Stem Mount that match your motorcycle’s setup. The fully aircraft-grade aluminum accessories bolt directly onto your motorcycle for the most secure connection possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adventure Motorcycle Riding
What is an adventure motorcycle?
Adventure motorcycles— also known as ADV motorcycles— are larger-displacement motorcycles designed for riding both on- and off-road over extended distances. Different from a street bike or dual sport bikes, adventure bikes focus on rider comfort and capability over a variety of terrain.
Why do adventure riders stand up?
Adventure riders stand up in order to lower the center of gravity of the bike, making it easier to leverage and maneuver the large bike over challenging terrain. Standing up allows for better balance by using the legs to stabilize the bike and a relaxed upper body to steer.
How can I secure a phone to my motorcycle?
ROKFORM’s motorcycle phone mounts keep your phone securely in place as you ride. Our premium mounts feature a patented twist-lock retention system and powerful magnets that withstand even the most rugged of trails, ready for any adventure.
What are the best adventure motorcycle destinations in the United States?
The best places in North America for adventure riding include the California coast, Cascade mountains, and Southwest Canyon Country— Moab, Zion, and the Grand Canyon. Riders are sure to have a great time on some of the most beautiful backcountry discovery routes in the nation.
ROKFORM: Adventure Motorcycle Phone Mounts and Accessories
ROKFORM delivers the best mounts and favorite phone cases for adventure motorcycle riders. These premium accessories are essential on extended motorcycle tours for the best adventure yet. Our cases’ heavy-duty construction and durable mounting hardware ensure that your device stays secure on every outing.
Have questions about the right motorcycle phone mount for you? We are available for online chat or in-person at our Irvine, California showroom. Call us toll-free at 855-765-3676, or email us at email@example.com, or visit us at www.rokform.com