Dirt Riding Skills For Dual Sport and Adventure Touring Riders
by Carl Adams
DVD (HD, NTSC Format, Region 0)
Produced By: Whitehorse Press
Run Time: 67 minutes
Format: Stereo Wide Screen
List Price: $29.95
wBW Video Review by Rick K.
This is a two-part review of dual-sport riding training videos.
Part 1 of this comparison described the Dual Sport Riding Techniques Video (review) which is a two-DVD set.
Dirt Riding Skills by Carl Adams is the DVD that complements the book The Essential Guide to Dual Sport Motorcycling (review) by Carl Adams. Unfortunately, I didn't have the DVD when I had the book and now that I have the DVD, the book has disappeared.
So I can't comment on how well the lessons portrayed in the DVD complement the book...but no problem, because the DVD stands on its own as a good guide to off-road riding for dual-sport or adventure-touring motorcycle riders.
As I wrote in Part 1 of this review, I had been searching for an instructional video that could provide some tips on off-road riding for a new dual-sport motorcycle owner -- me.
I strongly believe in continuous training and education when it comes to motorcycle riding skills, and since my only experience with off-road motorcycles was a Honda XL185 farm bike way back in a previous life, I thought it prudent to learn more before I went bashing around (literally and figuratively) in the bush again.
I'm old enough now to at least know that there are things I don't know and that there are resources that can help. Not like when I was younger and would simply plow ahead -- at full speed usually! -- then wonder why the lessons learned were hard and sometimes painful. Ahh, the innocence of youth!
The DVD, "Dirt Riding Skills" is divided into two parts and each part includes the following chapters:
The video production quality is not quite as professional as the Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos. Carl Adams does the narration and the video seems to have been taken with a single camera, panning as the rider(s) move past.
The main criticism I have of this DVD is that it seems like many of the lessons show a rider moving by and it can be difficult to actually see the technique that's being described. Also, the speed of the riders seems to be faster than required to show some of the techniques, and this compounds the difficulty in understanding what's taking place.
It would have been better I think to have multiple views and 2-3 video cameras catching different parts of the action. I found it more difficult to absorb what was being taught and to practice it in the field.
The camera work and quality of the video recording is a notch or two below the Dual Sport Riding Techniques DVD in my opinion. Neither of these video productions will win any awards; they exist somewhere in the range above amateur but certainly not big studio productions (with equally large budgets).
The Dirt Riding Skills video was the first one I watched, so I didn't realize the difference in production techniques until I viewed the Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos, which I think have better production quality and scenes and clips that better illustrate the lessons being described.
However, there's still a lot of information that can be gleaned from the Dirt Riding Skills DVD, although it may take a bit more work to fully understand it.
The DVD comes with a .pdf file that can be printed and used as a "cheat sheet" in the field, which is handy.
The learning experienced for this DVD is the same as I described for the Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos. Each chapter starts with the basics and the narrator talks you through the tips, tricks and techniques used by experienced riders (and this time, apparently described also in The Essential Guide to Dual Sport Motorcycling (review)).
But like any other motorcycle riding skills instructional videos, the problem is that there is a lot of information to cover and it's difficult to remember it all once you get out on the bike.
My tips regarding the .pdf file is to print it prior to watching the video, then take notes on the paper as you're watching. I suggest viewing the video several times, because you'll surely learn new tips each time you watch. Take notes and then you can bring the paper "cheat sheet" out with you on the bike when you practice.
It's also a good idea to view the videos with your dual-sport riding friends, because each person will remember different techniques. Then, when you come back from the ride, view the video again for a debriefing.
Another good tip is to first view the entire video, then concentrate on one chapter at a time. Go out and practice the techniques conveyed in that chapter before moving on to the next.
This is the way to do it, as it would be very difficult to remember every tip and technique throughout this entire video.
The Dirt Riding Skills DVD is useful for learning off-road riding techniques for first-time or semi-experienced dual-sport owners.
It does cover some different techniques and describes them differently than the Dual Sport Riding Techniques series, so all three are useful to own.
But if I had to choose, I'd pick the Dual Sport Riding Techniques pair as my first choice, because of their slightly better production quality and, I think, clearer explanations and more useful information.
The Dirt Riding Skills DVD is available to North American, UK and world buyers through the webBikeWorld.com Amazon.co.uk affiliate link.
Review Date: September 2012
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