August 16, 2022

Enjoy off-road! I was taught the basics of running on unpaved roads in Yamaha motorcycle lessons

4 min read

Although the popularity of motorcycles has skyrocketed recently, many people may think that off-road driving has nothing to do with them. However, it is quite possible to encounter unpaved roads at the touring destination. For example, even in the recent boom in camping touring, most campsites are off-road. Even in such a scene, if you can operate the motorcycle without anxiety, you should be able to enjoy more with the motorcycle. Therefore, this time, I will participate in the riding school “Adult Bike Lesson” run by Yamaha, and introduce the basics of off-road driving that you can teach there along with the lesson. We also pick up bikes that can be run off-road, so if you are interested in off-road, please check it out.
Acquire a riding position that can handle slipping tires without rushing
The most different point from off-road driving is that the tires are slippery. It slides even when the brakes are applied, and it slides even if the car body is inadvertently tilted or the steering wheel is turned. People who are accustomed to off-road driving will find that slipping tires is the fun of off-road, but for beginners, they are afraid that the tires will slip and their bodies will get stiff and they will not be able to operate the bike well. Often falls into a vicious circle. In order to dispel such fear, I was first told about a riding position that can handle slipping tires.
Learn how to apply the brakes
After learning about the riding position, try running the bike. However, it is about 1 to 2m at first. Move to the instructor standing in front, apply the brakes and stop. It may seem like a simple operation, but if you squeeze the brakes roughly, the tires will slip and the car body will become unstable. The point is to carefully grip the brakes so that the front fork does not shrink.
After learning how to apply the front brake, the next step is the rear. The rear brake is used a lot on off-road, but the load is easy to release, so if you step on it roughly, it will lock easily. Therefore, first lock it on purpose to get a feel for the rear wheel to slip, and then learn how to lock it. By practicing step by step, even beginners will be able to stop off-road without anxiety.

I’m convinced when I actually do it! Exaggerated posture is good when turning
After mastering how to apply the brakes, the next step is to practice turning. The basics of off-road is to bend while sticking out in the lean-out posture that was done at the beginning of this lesson. If this posture is taken, even if the tire suddenly slips, it can be dealt with. The content of the lesson this time is to turn the pylon provided on the course without giving too much speed. Looking at the instructor’s sample, it seems that the point is to exaggerately slide the buttocks outward and tilt the upper body in the opposite direction of the car body. At first, I didn’t really understand the reason for moving my hips so exaggeratedly, but when I actually tried it, it was easier to deal with slipping tires by making an exaggerated lean-out posture while running. In addition, the tires can be pressed against the ground with the hips and outer legs, which makes the tires less slippery.

Learn how to turn in a standing position, which is not so much on-road driving
After a lunch break, the afternoon lesson starts with a standing turn. Even in a standing position, the point is to create a lean-out balance, just like when sitting. Slide your hips outward and tilt the car with your knees on the outside. I move the body to the outside by the amount that the car body tilts to balance it, but it is quite difficult because it is a posture that I usually do not take when running on the road.
Lessons so that you can make a U-turn in a small turn!
Next, learn how to make a U-turn that will be immediately useful in forest road touring and campsites. As with cornering, it is basic to turn in a lean-out position, but controlling the driving force using a half-clutch is a key unique to U-turns. When making a U-turn at a low speed, if you try to control the vehicle speed with the accelerator, the speed will be too high and you will make a big turn, or you will try to avoid it and hold the brake and stand down as it is. The point is to fix the accelerator by opening it a little and control the vehicle speed with a half-clutch.
Try climbing and descending on a course with ups and downs
Then, move from the flat road course that you have been practicing so far to a course with slopes. The practice of climbing and descending begins. When climbing a hill, take a forward leaning posture like when accelerating with basic standing, and when descending, pull your hips backwards to apply load to the rear wheels and balance.
Trekking touring that you can experience review + α
The lesson ends with a little trekking touring divided into multiple groups. Although it is only about running around the course under the guidance of an instructor, you can experience all the lessons learned by going around the pylon, climbing up and down the slope. Sometimes I was a little off track and ran on rough roads, but I was surprised that my running changed after just a few hours of lessons. Of course, the tires slip because I’m running off-road, but I was able to deal with it without fear, probably because I practiced the basics step by step. I realized that the lesson program was very well done.

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