▪ Dual Sport Riding Techniques
▪ Advanced Dual Sport Riding Techniques
DVDs (HD, NTSC Format, Region 0)
Produced By: Dual Sport Riding
Run Time: 50 and 60 minutes
Format: Stereo 16:9
List Price: $29.95 each.
wBW Video Review by Rick K.
So you finally joined the revolution and bought that dual-sport motorcycle!
Two things usually happen after that: first, the customization, or "farkling", begins (and the wallet becomes much thinner).
Then you start to seriously consider the "adventure" part of adventure-touring...and that means taking the bike off-road.
For some lucky riders, their off-road experience began at an early age with maybe something like a 50cc mini-bike or various small-bore motocross bikes along the way. But I'd bet there are many new or recent dual-sport owners who have street experience only.
I was one of them, more or less. And I quickly learned that other than three of the most basic skills -- keeping those two wheels upright, "squeezing" the brake lever and "rolling" on the throttle -- there's a world o' difference between riding the pavement and plunking around in the dirt.
So improving your off-road skills is crucial, and gaining confidence will definitely increase the fun factor (and decrease the pucker factor), just like it does for street riding. And maybe more in this case.
After all, smart street riders know that their riding skills should be continuously improved, and this comes with education. So why should it be any different for dual-sport owners?
I don't remember how, but while searching for off-road riding instructional books and videos I came across the "Dual Sport Riding Techniques" and "Advanced Dual Sport Riding Techniques" DVDs.
For some reason, the information about the author(s) and producer(s) of these videos isn't very obvious. There's a "Dual Sport Rider" website and it appears that it's the home of a company that provides dual-sport rider training and has produced the videos as an adjunct to their courses, but there sure isn't a heck of a lot of information (i.e., no "About Us" on the website) about the author or the school itself.
In fact, there's no background information that I could find on either of the DVDs. Usually, the initial "splash" screen and the DVD box cover will have the author, production information, narrator, and background information displayed.
Nevertheless, both DVDs are excellent guides to just about everything you'll need to know about dual-sport riding, from the beginning tips and tricks to advanced riding techniques. They are also completely "bike agnostic"; that is, it doesn't matter what type of bike you have, as long as you can take it off road. The authors recommend only that you bring whatever you can to get the job done -- no dual-sport snobbery here!
By the way, there are some pure motocross instructional videos available and I'm sure there is some skill set crossover that is appropriate for dual-sport riders. The term "dual-sport" means a motorcycle that can be ridden on the street or taken off-road and those bikes are usually heavier and somewhat of a compromise for either type of riding.
The Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos concentrate on riding skills for those dual-sport, street/dirt bike owners. The instruction and the riding shown in the videos is focused on slow to medium speed trail riding. The rugged terrain and the instructions include everything from soft sand and snow to loose rubble and rocks, along with uphill and downhill sections.
Riding in that type of environment on a heavy to heavier dual-sport bike can definitely challenge even a very experienced street rider, so it's very important to learn the proper techniques to stay safe and have fun.
The first DVD, "Dual Sport Riding Techniques", is divided into two parts and each part includes the following chapters:
In addition, there are three bonus chapters that include Suspension Setup, Tire Changing and miscellaneous trail riding videos.
The video production of both DVDs is of higher quality than the Carl Adams' "Dirt Riding Skills" (review) DVD covered in Part 2 of this review.
The Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos seem to have employed a professional videographer and several different camera angles are sometimes used to illustrate the techniques. In comparison, the Dirt Riding Skills video seems to have been taken by a single person, sometimes with a hand-held camera.
Both the Dual Sport Riding Techniques and the Carl Adams DVDs have many tips and techniques that will prove useful and generally there's a wealth of knowledge on both. But I found it easier and a bit more enjoyable to watch the Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos because the video and production quality and the way the information is presented allowed me to remember more of what is being taught once I was out in the field.
By the way, the background and scenery in both videos is breathtaking; it certainly makes you want to jump on your dual-sport bike and get out and ride! It will also have you start planning your adventures in the western U.S. The Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos were taken in Colorado and Utah and the area looks absolutely perfect for dual-sport riding fun.
Each chapter starts with the basics and the narrator talks you through the tips, tricks and techniques used by experienced riders (and apparently taught in the Dual Sport Riding Techniques training classes).
The biggest 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. I think that's a definite problem with watching any of these instructional motorcycle-related videos, whether they focus on street or off-road riding.
Both DVDs include a printable .pdf file that you can take out in the field as a reminder. Here's my tip: print the .pdf (in color, because they include photos) and take notes on the paper as you're watching the videos. I also suggest viewing the videos 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 Dual Sport Riding Techniques videos could almost stand on their own just for the scenery; it's truly a dual-sport paradise!
These two DVDs pack in a huge amount of information and knowledge about off-road riding, with many good tips and tricks and video quality about as good as you'll find for what is basically a semi-professional (i.e. non-Hollywood) production.
The information is logically organized and presented in an easy-to-understand manner. The only real trick is trying to remember everything when you actually do get out on the trail. One of the nice things about modern computers and laptops is having the ability to play the DVD, so you can sit just about anywhere with a laptop and watch.
I haven't tried it, but I'd guess it would be pretty easy to rip the DVDs on to something like my little Sony Walkman digital media player. It fits in the palm of my hand and I've watched many full-length movies on it during those long airplane trips. I could see bringing it out into the field to watch one of the Dual Sport Riding lessons so it's fresh in your mind before you practice.
I can highly recommend both Dual Sport Riding Technique videos; they have helped me gain a lot of knowledge about riding the Suzuki DR650 (blog) off-road -- knowledge I did not have prior to buying the bike.
Part 2: Dirt Riding Skills DVD Review
Review Date: September 2012
wBW Book Review "Flaming Helmet" Rating:
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From "D.G." (September 2012): "Dual Sport riding Techniques is produced at least in part by Ned Suesse, the top American finisher of last year's Dakar race. Ned also conducts live in person training and is also a contributor to some motorcycle magazine evaluations.
I rode with Ned once and met him on an earlier occasion at an Adventure Rider West Fest Rally. Ned is the real deal, knows his stuff, and a nice guy. May want to test his Double Take Mirrors too."