Riding on dirt and gravel roads is 75% in your head and 25% using good skills. While I have not yet taken a skills course with a professional instructor, I choose to ride a good amount of off road trails. I look forward to taking the BMW Off-Road Course in Spartanburg, SC to further build skills and confidence.
The tips I gained (so far) from people at the BMW Rally, the MSF course, and others are:
- Keep feet firmly on the pegs (lower the center of gravity) with legs against the tank (for control)
- Leverage engine braking when going downhill. Back brake when required – be very careful with front brake.
- Keep weight centered or moved forward when riding uphill or down (skills from mountainbike riding seem to transfer to motorcycle riding)
- Tire selection (my tires are 60/40 road to off-road)
- Don’t try to over correct – keep loose on the bars. Allow the bike to move underneath you.