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Around the Wheel with Bret Tkacs
36 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Is Suspension Worth the Cost?
IS ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION WORTH THE COST? Suspension is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects to your motorcycle, and many people talk about upgrading their suspension. However, since the cost can be up to $7,000, it's important to know what upgraded suspension can do for your motorcycle, and whether you should invest in an upgrade.There is a narrow weight window for stock suspension, which is around 180lbs (rider and gear together). Some people believe if they add preload and get the motorcycle up to proper sag, they're in good shape. However, that may provide for a rough and unstable ride. It's most important to have the right spring for your weight and riding style. Manual adjustments to suspension are only important when you start riding aggressively on the street (in curves) and into dirt that challenges the bike. Any upgrade to suspension from OEM will be a significant improvement for most people.@ 12:45. Process of measuring sag on your motorcycle with a second person.@ 19:15. Damping discussion@ 31:45. Rant on trail brakingGuest: Jake Fry owns a BMW R1250GS and wants to know whether he should spend the money to upgrade the suspension on his motorcycle. He recognizes the importance of suspension and wants to set the bike up correctly for the riding he does.Discussion Points:1. Is it worth the money to upgrade my suspension?2. What is stiction?3. How do I adjust sag?4. What is damping?Key Takeaways:- People believe if they add preload and get up to the proper sag, they assume they’re in good shape. That’s not always correct.- As good as traction control is these days, we still need to stay in-tune with what the technology does and also what it hides.- Riders don’t realize the importance of having a riding style that prevents you from running too wide in a corner.- Never, ever ride faster than you can see.References Made:Woody’s Wheel WorksTouratech Extreme ShocksTractive SuspensionRace Tech SuspensionRace Tech's Motorcycle Suspension Bible (Thede/Parks)Wilbers Motorcycle Suspension TechnologyTrail Braking Presentation in New Zealand
34 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Riding While Hurting: A Talk on Aging
RIDING WHILE HURTING: A TALK ON AGING Adapting to the realities of age is important in the ADV world, where it’s too easy to get hurt if you’re not developing the correct muscles, use the correct technique, or your bike is not ergonomically set up. Fatigue while riding is likely to be a skill issue, a technique issue, or an ergonomic issue. If it’s none of those, then it will likely be a health or strength issue.Learn exercises to improve the strength of your midsection, lower back, legs, and triceps – those muscles that are critical for riding comfortably off-road. Learn how to protect your back when picking up your bike. Riser Rant starts at 25:40. Risers can make a mess out of a bike and people don’t realize the consequences.Training Rant starts at 30:40. Most other ADV instructors teach a specific, mechanical formula that does not take into account the individual needs of older clients.Guest: David Beverstock lost both weight and strength from an extended stay at the hospital. He reached out to Bret for advice on how to build his body back up - despite some bad vertebrae - so he doesn't get hurt while riding.Discussion Points:1. How do I get healthy to be a better rider?2. When do I need risers?3. Why should I use a partner to help lift my motorcycle?Key Takeaways:- The problem with risers is it puts riders in a bad position (hurts the back) or a dangerous position (whiskey throttle).- Most other ADV classes use a formula that doesn't take into account individual weaknesses, injuries, age, and bike setup.References:Kevin Muggleton/Redverz TentsLone Rider vs. Mosko MotoMonkey LiftShort Rider
28 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
How to Choose a Motorcycle Training Class
How To Choose A Motorcycle Class Washington State has two state-approved motorcycle basic rider education curriculums. One is through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the other is the Motorcycle Education Program (MEP), which Bret wrote for Puget Sound Safety. There are some major differences between the two curricula: The MSF courses are formulaic, structured, and linear while the MEP courses are flexible, adaptable, and offer students the opportunity to self-correct. In addition, the MEP course have increased student volume by 25%. To best choose a class, choose the one that supports your particular learning style. Guest: Kevin Tusler has embarked on his second career; from retiring as the vice president for a project management company to a full-time motorcycle instructor. Discussion Points: 1. Why doesn't Bret teach advanced classes? 2. What should I look for in a motorcycle training school? 3. Does the student/instructor ratio of the motorcycle training class matter? Key Takeaways: - How are people supposed to improve if they don't know what the goal is? - If you understand why you were successful, then you can replicate that success in the future. - People underestimate the value of humor while learning. References: Evergreen Safety Council Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Motorcycle Education Program
30 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
What to Expect as a New ADV Rider
What can you expect as a new ADV rider? Rob Malpas discusses the transition into riding motorcycles off-road and some of the thoughts new riders have. This discussion is a great one to listen to if you are new to ADV riding or hoping to get some friends involved in your passion. Many tips are shared, including a method of adapting to motocross boots and how speed isn't necessarily a determining factor when it comes to skill.
31 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Are You Miscalculating your ADV Skills?
Are you Miscalculating your adv skills? Paul Solomonson, dueling counterpart in the recent video "Mosko Moto vs Lone Rider", talks with Bret about rating yourself as an ADV rider and some of the common ways riders miscalculate their skill level. This discussion references the Adventure Skill Rating System, which you do not need to read beforehand. Learn how to recognize how good you actually are and ways you can improve. By the way, cover your kids' ears: there may be a couple obscenities scattered throughout.
32 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Top Tips for Adventure Camping
Top Tips for Adventure Camping You don't need to travel far and wide to be an ADV motorcyclist, nor do you need to travel with an expensive motorcycle. Adventuring is about travel, discovering, and wandering, and these tips will help make your next adventure smoother.
31 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
Is Motorcycle Safety Training a Myth?
Does Motorcycle Training Create Safer Riders? Does motorcycle safety training really teach what it's intended to teach? In this episode, Bret Tkacs speaks with Chris Johnson, owner of Washington Motorist Safety Training, about whether motorcycle safety education is real or a myth. Does training actually make safer riders? Enjoy this dynamic podcast where two energetic personalities discuss rider skill vs. rider behavior, the culture of riding, and the need to be able to make mistakes.For more reading, look through Art Friedman's article on the effectiveness of motorcycle training. Also, watch Bret's talk in New Zealand on why motorcyclists crash.
31 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
What’s Going On With Jesse Luggage?
What's GOING ON WITH Jesse Luggage? Jesse Luggage is now owned by Jared Maxfield who is revitalizing the brand into Jesse Adventures: a one-stop resource for the ADV community. In this podcast, Bret and Jared discuss what it's like being one of the few hard pannier distributors in the United States, the competition in the ADV luggage market, and the pros and cons of putting hard panniers onto your ADV bike. If you've never heard of Jesse Luggage or you're a diehard fan, this is a podcast to listen to!
33 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Essential First Aid Tips for the Adventure Rider
In this episode, Jesse Pacht discusses some essential first aid tips that adventure riders should know prior to going on an ADV ride. Adventure riders are often beyond cell service or immediate help. Discover how to prepare mentally, determine what essential items belong in your first aid kit, and learn how to prevent accidents before they occur.
45 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
ADV Motorcycle Education
ADV MOTORCYCLE EDUCATION A discussion about the value of motorcycle education for ADV riders. Greg DiBernardo and I chat about how you can learn on your own, using resources that you can find for free. We also discuss how much professional training should cost and its value, whether it is hype or worth the time and money. Understanding what level of training to invest in is only part of the solution; we talk about how to differentiate between a rider who is an instructor vs the master of the subject you are seeking to learn.
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