LEARN THE ESSEN­TIALS SKILLS

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature - By Patsy Quick, Dakar racer

Patsy runs the Desert Rose Ad­ven­ture Rid­ing Academy and is as hard as they come...

1 Pick­ing the bike up

Twist the bars so the front wheel is fac­ing the sky and use the han­dle­bar clos­est to the ground as your lever point. Walk into the bike as you lift and use your knee to steady it if you need to. The bike won’t slide away be­cause you will have most likely dropped it in gear. When up­right, swing your foot di­rectly over the sad­dle and straight onto the peg. If you try to put the foot you threw over onto the ground you will end up see-saw­ing be­tween feet and lose your bal­ance. It’s the same when get­ting on and off a bike; in­stead of us­ing the side­stand, open up the bars and swing your foot straight onto the peg.

2 Stand up to see more

The best way to ride a bike off-road is to stand up. You will have far bet­ter vi­sion, bet­ter con­trol, and will be able to let the bike move be­neath you. Knees should be straight but not locked, with el­bows out. Look straight ahead, not down at the ground, two me­tres fur­ther than where you are al­ready look­ing.

3 Fin­gers over clutch and brake at all times

Al­ways cover the clutch with one or two fin­gers so you can re­act quickly to chang­ing sit­u­a­tions. It takes too long to move your hand from the han­dle­bar to the clutch, and you can’t rely on your thumb for grip if you have to yank the lever in. The same goes for the front brake. Think of the clutch as a kind of half-gear; feather it so you can take drive away in­stantly when rid­ing into a cor­ner or mak­ing a sharp ma­noeu­vre.

This is how NOT to do it...

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