“Dual Sport School Saved My Life”
The following is a testimonial for the 4 day ADV + Maintenance Course May 14-17, 2016 held in and around Moab, Utah.
Instructors were Fran, Mark and James. The student to instructor ratio was 3-1, which I felt was excellent! Prior to the class I logged approximately 4,500 miles, 80% on dirt, in Montana. I completed the MSF Course as well. I am convinced and adamant that the skills I learned at this class SAVED MY LIFE on my return trip home-details to follow below, but first my feedback.
I highly recommend this course, in fact, after acquiring the endorsement via a Motorcycle Safety Course, this really should be your next step-in my opinion. Fran and his team build on the sound fundamentals and basics of that course plus SO much more. They transform and transfer those skills to the off-road environment. Every ride starts off with a debrief of what to expect, demonstration and practice. The entire team is dedicated to safety and having fun. Trust me, as a fairly new Dual Sport rider, there are NO stupid questions, only an obvious shared passion and infectious attitude of the instructors to help riders improve their skills and advance the sport. There are other courses and schools available to choose from, this is the fastest growing segment for the past 2 years in the entire sport of motorcycling. That said, what makes this course unique is the environment and flexibility. It’s an EXPERIENCE in real-time. I can not imagine a controlled practice environment which could lead to a quicker adaptation of the skills you are learning. The destination, Moab, is all that is needed and this allows flexibility to match any number of differing skill levels and riding abilities. Sand, rocks, steep hills, gravel, water crossings galore, blind switchbacks etc. Its all there, in real-time and real fun! My goal was to gain confidence and awareness in ANY situation and not mastery. Mastery will only come via thousands of hours in the saddle. What I was able to learn are the correct techniques and then apply them, over and over.
We never left the field without making sure that every opportunity to practice was exhausted. I learned how to navigate any obstacle or terrain. I also learned the importance of maintenance on the trail and more importantly, how to put together a tool kit and plan of action that is bike and job specific.
At class, I had great difficulty in consistently navigating any lengthy stretch of sand and large obstacles. This was insanely frustrating to me and challenged me immensely. At times I wanted to quit. However, Fran and team, worked with me continuously-as cheerleaders and coaches and eventually my confidence grew. I was able to successfully and consistently apply my new skills and by the end of the course I had overcome my fears and improved my riding ability so that I could confidently take on any challenge.
How the skills I learned saved my life: returning to Montana last night, as I was re-entering the highway after taking my last break from the 12+ hour ride home, I started to enter the highway. As I was accelerating and passing a semi, suddenly and without any warning on the pitch-black and wet highway, a deer carcass was immediately in my path. It was big and it was a fresh. I had 3 choices: ditch right, into the semi, ditch left into median or go straight- all at 65+ miles per hour! Without thinking, I employed my “SAND” skills. I popped my weight back, loosened up on the handle bars and got into a strong riding position with my knees providing control and balance. Boom, up and over is how I went, and I finished the last 26 miles to my home in a state of combined shock and elation.
The skills I learned in the past 4 days saved my life and I have me, my bike and chunks of deer on my foot-pegs, boots and skid plate to prove it! Thanks Fran, Mark and James. You can bet I will be back for more(Baja?!), as your enthusiasm, leadership and above all commitment to safety and the growing sport have me hooked!! Please feel free to give my contact information out to any who might benefit.
We appreciate the opportunity to introduce others to the world of adventure riding. Here are some testimonials from past students:
THANKS SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING! I learned so much and really enjoyed riding with you. – Denise
I just finished up the dual sport training class listed in
the classified section (of the Beehive Beemers Newsletter/Classifieds), and thought I’d share my experience.
Let me start out by saying I am in NO WAY affiliated with this
company, but wanted to share my experience after attending a 2 day
class…it was brilliant!
The instructor Fran is an awesome guy, and very skilled rider.
The classes are more “intimate” than most settings (ie. 3-5
people), so you really do get a more personalized experience. The
class I attended was moved from Moab to UT county (West side of UT
lake for anyone familiar), which offered a little bit of
everything from sand, to rocks, dirt, and sage brush..the only
thing missing was some water to cross, but it had been raining, so
some of the other areas we were going to ride were a little too
wet. Both days were spent learning, practicing, and riding. I
went into this as uncomfortable as possible (yup, I WAS the guy
dragging my feet on the ground every time I approached a gravel
parking lot..let alone a service road). I’m happy to say after 2
days of practice, I climbed my first 100′ dirt hill, turned around
and came right back down, and I feel almost as comfortable on dirt
as I do on the road! It’s also very surprising how much of what
you learn can be applied to your on road skills as well.
So, if anyone’s on the fence, or wants to get into some ADV
riding in a safe environment, or just brush up on some skills, I
would totally recommend this!
This course was great. When I started, I was nervous riding through gravel and by the end, I was speeding around lose corners and through deep gravel. The exercises will pull you out of your comfort zone and get you riding things you never thought possible. The skills I learned in this class will definitely take my riding to the next level.
I came to Fran and the Dual Sport School after a long break from riding and years of soul searching that led me to dual sport riding. I am a recovering sport rider and today I am a bit more mature and much more interested in ‘getting out there’ and finding adventure than on dragging my knees on the tarmac at light speed. I came to Fran with a lot of bad habits that I knew would get me in trouble on dirt. I had as much to ‘unlearn’ as I did to learn if I was going to make the transition to dirt.
Fran and his course set me straight in two days and by the end I felt strong and able to negotiate terrain I didn’t even know was possible with my 700 lb bike. I am working to refine my skills, but I know where I need to focus and most importantly, I have the confidence to get out there and continue my journey. I also had a lot of fun, which I was not necessarily expecting.
Fran clearly lives to ride and I soon realized that he was not there to simply profess knowledge, but to share his passion as a lover of the trail. He was not just teaching, but riding with us and the difference mattered to me. Fran is a great teacher. He challenges his students, but with patience and the ability to meet them where they are at; a rare and refreshing combination.
I loved the course and cannot wait to join him on the trail sometime soon.
Fran..I had a great time over these 2 days, and learned a lot!
Your instruction is incredible, and your skill training is top
notch! I learned a lot more in these 2 days than I could have any
A group riding scenario with everyone supporting each other and
learning, coupled with top notch instruction makes for the perfect
scenario to learn new skills, and learn to push yourself. The
instruction and practical work not only make you a better rider
off road, but the skills also transfer to on road riding as well.
You begin to understand what you, and your bike are both capable
of, and learn to do some riding that you’d never have thought you
could do before!
It is a life changing thing! In fact enough so, that I plan to
work on my skills as I can, but re-enroll next year to “brush up”
my skills, and have a good time while learning something new, and
practicing skills that will be rusty.
THANK YOU for an incredible experience..you’re a hell of a
coach..which means a lot more than just being an instructor!