Top 10 Adventure Motorcycle Riding Tips

Are you ready to take your adventure motorcycle riding skills to the next level? Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to off-road riding. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of conquering rough terrain on a powerful bike like a KTM 1290 Super Adventure or R 1250 GS. So, buckle up (or should we say, gear up) and get ready to dominate the off-road with these top 10 adventure motorcycle riding tips.

Top 10 Adventure Motorcycle Riding Tips
Top 10 Adventure Motorcycle Riding Tips

Adventure motorcycle riding is not for the faint of heart. It requires skill, focus, and a sense of adventure. But fear not, with the right guidance and practice, you can become a master of off-road riding. In this article, we’ll cover everything from gear to techniques that will help you feel more comfortable and confident on your adventure bike. So, let’s rev up those engines and dive into our top 10 adventure motorcycle riding tips.

1. Adventure Riding Gear

Let’s start with the basics – gear. We know, it may seem obvious, but having the right gear is crucial for a successful and safe adventure ride. And we’re not just talking about any gear, we’re talking about proper adventure riding gear. This includes a helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots specifically designed for off-road riding.

But here’s the thing, even if you have all the right gear, if it doesn’t fit properly, it can cause discomfort and distract you from focusing on the ride. So, make sure your gear fits well both standing and sitting. And don’t forget, a grippy set of adventure riding boots is just as important as a good helmet when it comes to off-road riding.

Helmet Fit

Let’s talk more about the importance of a well-fitting helmet. Not only does it protect your head in case of a fall, but it also plays a significant role in your overall comfort and focus while riding. A helmet that is too loose can shift around and cause distractions, while one that is too tight can be uncomfortable and even lead to headaches.

When trying on helmets, make sure it fits snugly but not too tight. You should be able to move your head comfortably without any movement from the helmet. And don’t forget to try it on with your adventure riding goggles to ensure a proper fit.

Boot Grip

As mentioned earlier, having a good grip on your adventure riding boots is crucial for off-road riding. This is because you’ll often need to use your feet to balance and maneuver your bike in rough terrain. Look for boots with a grippy sole and ankle support to keep your feet firmly planted on the pegs.

2. Don’t Ride Alone

Adventure riding is always more fun with friends, but it’s also safer. It’s always a good idea to have at least one other rider with you when going off-road. This way, if something were to happen, there’s someone there to help or call for assistance.

Plus, riding with others allows you to learn from each other and push each other to improve your skills. Just make sure to ride with people who are at a similar skill level and always communicate before and during the ride.

Communication Devices

In this day and age, we’re lucky to have advanced technology that allows us to stay connected even in remote areas. Consider investing in communication devices such as Bluetooth headsets or radios to stay in touch with your riding buddies. This can come in handy if someone gets separated or needs help.

Emergency Plan

No matter how prepared you are, accidents can still happen. That’s why it’s essential to have an emergency plan in place before heading out on an adventure ride. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency and have a designated person to call for help if needed.

3. Stand Up

One of the most significant differences between riding on the road and off-road is your body position. When riding off-road, it’s crucial to stand up on your pegs as much as possible. This allows you to use your legs as shock absorbers and maintain better control over your bike.

But standing up for extended periods can be tiring, so make sure to take breaks and sit down when you can. And don’t forget to keep your knees bent and elbows out for better balance and control.

Practice Makes Perfect

Standing up while riding may feel awkward at first, but with practice, it will become second nature. Start by practicing on flat terrain and gradually work your way up to more challenging trails. And remember, always stand up when going over obstacles or rough terrain.

Adjust Your Foot Position

When standing up, make sure your feet are in the right position on the pegs. You should be able to grip the pegs with your arches, not just your toes. This will give you better control and prevent your feet from slipping off the pegs.

4. Adjust The Levers

Most adventure bikes come with adjustable levers, and for good reason. When riding off-road, you’ll often need to use your clutch and brake frequently, and having the levers in the right position can make all the difference.

Adjust your levers so that they are easy to reach and operate comfortably while standing up. You should be able to reach them with one or two fingers without having to stretch too far. And don’t forget to adjust the angle of the levers to your liking as well.

Clutch Control

When riding off-road, clutch control is crucial. You’ll often need to feather the clutch to maintain traction and control over your bike. Make sure your clutch lever is easy to reach and adjust it so that you can operate it smoothly with one finger.

Brake Responsiveness

The same goes for your brake lever. You want to be able to reach it easily and have enough leverage to apply the brakes effectively. Adjust the angle of the lever so that it’s comfortable to use while standing up.

5. Cover The Levers

Now that you’ve adjusted your levers to the right position, it’s essential to get into the habit of covering them with your fingers at all times. This means keeping your index and middle fingers on the clutch and brake levers, ready to use them at a moment’s notice.

Covering the levers not only allows for quicker reaction time but also prevents your hands from getting tired from constantly reaching for the levers.

Be Ready For Anything

Off-road riding can be unpredictable, and you never know when you’ll need to use your brakes or clutch suddenly. By covering the levers, you’ll always be prepared for any situation that may arise.

Avoid Arm Pump

Arm pump is a common issue among off-road riders, especially when gripping the handlebars too tightly. By covering the levers, you can relax your grip on the bars, which can help prevent arm pump and fatigue.

6. Learn To Turn

Turning on an adventure bike is not the same as turning on a street bike. When riding off-road, you’ll often need to make tight turns and navigate through obstacles. The key to making these turns successfully is to use your body and weight to steer the bike.

To make a tight turn, lean your body towards the inside of the turn and push down on the outside footpeg. This will help you shift your weight and steer the bike in the desired direction.

Practice On Flat Terrain

Before attempting to make tight turns on more challenging terrain, practice on flat ground. Start by making large circles and gradually work your way up to tighter turns. This will help you get a feel for how your body position affects the bike’s handling.

Look Where You Want To Go

One of the most important things to remember when turning on an adventure bike is to always look where you want to go. Your body and bike will naturally follow your line of sight, so keep your eyes focused on where you want to end up.

7. Use The Brakes

When it comes to off-road riding, braking is not as simple as squeezing the brake lever. You’ll often need to use both the front and rear brakes simultaneously to maintain control over your bike. And just like with turning, your body position plays a crucial role in effective braking.

To use the brakes effectively, shift your weight towards the back of the bike and apply pressure to the footpeg with your rear leg. This will help prevent the front wheel from washing out and give you more control over the bike.

Front Brake Control

The front brake is your most powerful brake, but it can also cause the front wheel to lock up if used incorrectly. To avoid this, apply gradual pressure to the front brake and release it if you feel the front wheel starting to skid.

Rear Brake Control

The rear brake is essential for controlling your speed and maintaining traction in loose terrain. Apply light pressure to the rear brake while using your body position to keep the bike balanced. And don’t forget to release the brake when going over obstacles to prevent the rear wheel from locking up.

8. Look Where You Want To Go

We briefly mentioned this earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again – always look where you want to go. This is especially important when riding off-road, where your line of sight can make all the difference in successfully navigating through obstacles.

Keep your eyes focused on the path ahead and avoid looking down at the ground or obstacles. Trust your instincts and let your body and bike follow your line of sight.

Keep Your Head Up

It may seem natural to look down at the ground when riding off-road, but this can actually hinder your ability to navigate through obstacles. Keep your head up and your eyes focused on the path ahead to give yourself enough time to react to any changes in terrain.

Use Your Peripheral Vision

When riding off-road, it’s essential to use your peripheral vision to scan the terrain around you. This will help you anticipate any obstacles or changes in terrain and adjust your riding accordingly.

9. Keep The Front Light In Sand

Riding in sand can be challenging, even for experienced adventure riders. But there are a few techniques that can make it easier, one of which is keeping the front of your bike light.

To do this, shift your weight towards the back of the bike and keep your elbows out. This will help prevent the front wheel from digging into the sand and losing traction.

Practice On Flat Terrain

Before attempting to ride in deep sand, practice on flat terrain first. This will help you get a feel for how your bike handles in sand and allow you to adjust your technique accordingly.

Use Momentum

In sand, momentum is your friend. Keep a steady pace and avoid sudden stops or changes in direction. And if you do get stuck, don’t panic. Stay calm and use your body weight to help maneuver the bike out of the sand.

10. Wheelies!

Last but not least, let’s talk about wheelies. We know, they may seem like a show-off move, but they can actually be beneficial when riding off-road. When done correctly, wheelies can help you navigate through obstacles and maintain momentum on rough terrain.

To perform a wheelie, start by accelerating and then quickly pulling back on the handlebars while shifting your weight towards the back of the bike. This will lift the front wheel off the ground, giving you more control over the bike.

Practice Makes Perfect

Wheelies may look easy, but they require practice and proper technique to master. Start by practicing on flat ground and gradually work your way up to more challenging terrain. And always make sure to wear proper gear and ride within your skill level.

Know Your Limits

As with any riding technique, it’s essential to know your limits and ride within them. Don’t attempt to do a wheelie if you’re not comfortable or confident in your abilities. And always remember to prioritize safety above all else.


There you have it, our top 10 adventure motorcycle riding tips to help you dominate the off-road on your ADV bike. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t nail these techniques right away. Keep at it, and soon you’ll be tackling even the most challenging trails with ease. And most importantly, always prioritize safety and have fun! Happy riding!

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