There is an old adage, that until you stretch your wings you?ll have no idea how far you can walk. Back in 2011, a group of 5 of us went down to the BMW Performance Center for the intro 2-Day Off Road class. We chronicled the story here. We all walked out of the weekend as new riders. We?ve dabbled around to other training since then, but then in Fall 2013we returned to the Performance Center for the GS Trophy Challenge.
While I can honestly say we've never had a bad time at the Performance Center, the Trophy challenge really opened our eyes that our training is far from over. We went home and starting hatching a plan. Fortuitously, BMW elected to be a vendor at the Washington DC International Motorcycle show in Jan. Friday night was rather dull, leaving the vendors plenty of time to work the crowd. And then we ran into Ross and Harald from the Performance Center.
We had a delightful time talking to both of them, and in the end we walked away with the gentlemen's agreement. We've never had a bad time at the Performance Center, and we've yearned to return. However, the opportunity hasn't really leant itself until that discussion where the next phase of the training classes are born. They would entertain a new training class geared towards using the GS Trophy off road exercises, and we would be the guinea pig class.
The idea of the class is to build on the skills from the 2-day class Off-Road Foundations. Ideally by the end of the class, the rider should be able to reasonably navigate the majority of the GS Trophy course (off road section). The instruction should be designed so that riders can study each obstacle, learn how to approach it, and then after a demonstration from your instructor you conquer it. Would like to use of the GS Trophy course infrastructure, where applicable.
Here are my assumptions:
--2 day class
--There is time for 3 exercises AM and 3 more in PM; AM of day 1 consumed partially by intros. (6 per day/10 per class)
--The class participants have either taken the intro 2-day class Off-Road Foundations, or have many years of dirt under them
Exercises for the class:
Hill Climbs with a small step at top
Hill Climbs with small obstacle (e.g. Railroad tie) half-way up
Turning on a hill, turning uphill
Crossing a slope
Riding a swale
Controlled braking downhill
Sand--180 degree(u-turns) in sand
Overcoming branches and smaller obstacles
Small jumps/log piles
BMW Performance Center
Greer, South Carolina
Timeframe: Late Apr/Early May
Cost: The final cost has not been set. The majority of their other 2-day classes are in the neighborhood of $14-1600, so use that as a placeholder. We are hoping it comes down a bit, but it?s the best I know as of now.
Bike: You do not need to own a BMW motorcycle to sign up. BMW motorcycles are available to rent for all students at the Performance Center, or participants may choose to ride their personal BMW bike.
We?d like to get a full class of 8 participants (We currently have 3-4). Even if we fill the first spots, chime in as things always change. And who knows, we might even get enough interest to fill a few classes. The first group of 8 will need to be able to firmly commit (e.g cash on the barrel) very soon. What say you?