Riding off-road to help you on-road — Features — Visordown

22 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Riding off-road to help you on-road — Features — Visordown отключены
AJP PR4 Supermoto

Riding off-road to help you on-road

This particular lesson came in very handy

IT’S no secret that many top riders ride motocross bikes in the off-season as part of their training regime. Not only does it help keep these athletes fit, it keeps them bike fit too. But how does riding on dirt and through mud improve general road riding?

Now the closest I’ve been to off road riding is parking on the pavement. And as someone with zero experience on an MX bike, I wanted to find out if I could pick up any useful tips or riding skills from an off-road experience day. I wanted to get a second opinion so I invited a fellow MX virgin along to join me.

Stu has ridden off-road before, but as he was on, or rather falling off, a Harley Sportster at the time, it doesn’t really count.

Trailworld offer an off-road experience day and, unlike some other off-road schools, specialise in novices. Whilst they do run trips from a villa in sunny Spain, their UK base near Luton is much closer to home and just a short ride up the M1. Breaky at the Ace Café it was then.

On arrival we met Bob and Gary and introduced to one of the most important pieces of kit, the tea urn. After getting sized up and kitted out in MX gear (including off-road boots that make standard bike boots feel like trainers), we met the rest of our group A couple looking to gain off-road experience ahead of a tour overseas later this year.

Whilst Trailworld offer full day riding school experiences, we plumped for a training course morning, followed by a ride out in the afternoon.

We rode 4-stroke 200cc AJP PR4s bikes. AJP Motos is a Portuguese manufacturer who started out as workshop, producing their first bike back ’87. The PR4 uses an engine based on Honda’s XR200. It’s fairly lightweight, has its petrol tank located under the seat and houses its battery up high to avoid getting a soaking.

USD Marzocchi forks looked trick and the electric start certainly came in useful throughout the day.

There was a smaller version of the AJP PR4 on hand for shorter riders. In the coming weeks, Trailworld are also adding a couple of 240cc versions with fuel-injection in the coming weeks.


AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto

I would have loved to have ridden a 2-stroke and had hoped to jump on a 450 later on, but the AJP bike was faultless. As my first time on a MX bike, the engine was more than enough for a beginner and only seemed a little underpowered on the short stretches of tarmac between green lanes.

After being instructed on how to sit on the bike properly (sitting towards the front of the bike and not using the balls of your feet on those pegs) we were off. Albeit wobbling about and very slowly.

Staying in second gear, we rode around a simple circuit getting a feel for our bikes. This time of year sees the most slippery conditions which made the day (and especially the afternoon) slightly more challenging, but ultimately more rewarding.

We were taught the correct way to pick the bike up from the floor, which came in handy later on the day. (For some more for others than I might add).

Back on the bikes we started to ride with feet out to aid balancing, more corners thrown into the mix, and then we were standing up along the straights. It was a strange experience at first having to be relaxed and not fight the bike as the front wheel sought the easiest way through wet mud and deep puddles.

After a much needed tea break, we were back out onto a more technical circuit and all riding at our own pace. After just an hour or so of riding it was really interesting to see everyone starting to master riding in a smooth and relaxed manner. Although only reaching the heady speeds of about 15mph, we all had big grins under our helmets.

Read page 2/2 of Tom’s off-road escapades

AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto
AJP PR4 Supermoto

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