Safety techniques for Adventure Riding

In the last year I have been building a 7500 km Rally course and have been doing a lot of riding. I thought I might try and put into words some of the things I have learnt which hopefully might save some others loosing some bark and stop adventure bike insurance from getting more expensive.
Just for the record most of this info has been passed onto me by riders who have a lot more skill than myself.

Rule No 1.
Ride with as little weight as possible. More weight means the faster you lose balance and the slower you can pull up.
Rule No 2.
When approaching a wooden bridge lower your speed if possible then do not try to do any breaking ,steering or gear changes when you are on it. Constant throttle and look up and foward. Try to pick a line where there are no edges.
Rule No 3.
When crossing a concrete causeway with water over it try to lower speed so you dont loose your feet of the pegs. Always pick a line where you think the car tyres have been because this is where the moss will not be.
Rule No 4.
When pulling up on a track to turn around because you have missed a turn always pull up on the left side and never start turning around till all riders in your group have stopped where you are . Always pull up away from a corner so riders have plenty of warning to stop. Big bikes and speed means that riders cannot stop or change direction quickly. Dont trust your mirrors.
Rule No 5.
When coming around a corner and being faced with a car or any other obstacle always focus on the gap on the left hand side of whatever you can see and then ride through that gap. Make a decision and stick with it. There is no time for two decisions. Do some breaking but do not try to pull up before you get to the obstacle in most occasions this severe breaking will mean you will loose control.
Rule no 6.
Do your stopping before the corner and this usually means dropping a gear and using the gearbox. With practice as you do this you can weight your body so the back steps out to the outside of the corner and you are then set up for the corner early rather than later. Always look through the corner to see if you can see any movement.
Rule no 7.
When crossing creeks or any other obstacles always be positive . In most cases it is always better to enter the obstacle in a smooth motion so if this means turning around and going back 100 meters it is good to do so. The reason is that the first ten meters when you start is when you have the least balance and your body is not settled in a relaxed riding position. Momentum is the name of the game. Constant throttle and dont look at your mates look at where you want to be.
Rule no 8.
There is no right way to ride around kangaroos or anything else that has a mind of its own. The only cure is to drop your cruising speed as soon as you see anything. Kangaroos will often move from the scrub out onto open pastures in the evening and then be returning to the scrub in the mornings. If you are going to hit a kangaroo do all your breaking that you can before the impact and then let off the breaks just before you hit it. The reason is your suspension will come back up and you will have more control of the bike when you hit the roo. Once you know you are hitting the roo dont try and change the direction just grip the bike with your knees as hard as possible and look up.
Rule no 9.
If you hit a jump or grid wrong and your bike gets sideways in the air just worry about your front wheel hitting the ground straight and at the right angle. The rear wheel can do horrible things and you will still be okay. Once again dont try and brake as you are hitting the ground ,grip your bike hard with your legs. Your legs are the largest muscles on your body and should be doing most of the work. Riders who try to ride a motorcycle with their hands will never enjoy knowing what there bike is capable of.
Rule no 10.
Looking up gives a rider balance . When approaching truck ruts grip the bike with your legs and look where you want to be .Again no breaking can be done as you are trying to smoothly angle yourself out of a rut. No two ruts are the same but if the rut only goes for ten meters most riders should be able to ride in the rut and exit them without a drama.
Rule no 11.
Deep sand riding takes momentum and courage. The more weight you have on board the more courage you will require. Worry about your speed and momentum more than the ruts when turning corners in the sand. Stand up and be smooth with the throttle.
Rule no12.
On adventure bikes if you fail to get up the hill 99 % of the time you need to turn around and start again ,to do anything else will be wasting energy. Momentum is the name of the game always look ahead as far as you can. Grip the bike with your legs and don’t consider not making it. Speed and parts of the track that have good traction are the key to your success. If you are leading and you make it always ride out of site from the riders below, always pull up and make sure everyone makes it just do it down the track a little. A rider who sees you waiting at the top has 50 % chance of not making it because you have affected their confidence.

Rule no 13
Always look after your mates there is nothing more important than getting everyone home safe. Never leave a rider behind and never leave a corner until the sweep or lead rider shows up.

Rule no 14

Set your levers so you CAN REST ONE FIGURE ON THEM WHEN YOU ARE RIDING .On adventure bikes you will spend a lot more time sitting down so your levers should suit this position as well as standing. Big bulky gloves can limit finger movement that can greatly affect you reaction time.  

I expect a lot of people will have there own opinions on doing things I just hope this post helps someone.

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