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ADV RidesRiding TerrainDesertExpedition CV: Not Your Typical ADV Tour of Death Valley

Expedition CV: Not Your Typical ADV Tour of Death Valley

The Expedition C.V. tour pushes riders and their bikes to the limit.

Published on 10.30.2014

Most Adventure Bike tours typically try to insulate their customers and rental bikes from any type of potential danger. RawHyde Adventures Expedition C.V. is not one of those tours. The tour takes place over five days in California’s picturesque and foreboding Death Valley National Park. Riders are guided through 750 miles of some of the harshest terrain the park has to offer. Participants riding large Adventure Bikes are encouraged to push their limits and get out of their comfort zone as they ride through boulder fields, deep sand, steep rocky inclines and loose descents, all in an effort to discover what they are truly capable of.

Challenging terrain riding through Death Valley

Riders are challenged by some of the toughest terrain you can ride a big adventure bike through.

Not everyone is allowed to sign up for this tough tour though. Expedition C.V. (i.e. Curriculum Vitae) is designed to be an Adventure Rider’s resume builder, an accomplishment to be proud of. Riders must first complete RawHyde’s Level One “Intro To Adventure” and Level Two “The Next Step” training programs before becoming eligible for Expedition C.V. The first two levels of training are held at the RawHyde Ranch in a training school environment, while The third level (Expedition C.V.) takes advanced students out into the back country to see what they can really do in a true adventure scenario.

Students are presented with every imaginable challenge during the tour and ride through terrain they would most likely never attempt on their own. They push beyond what they previously thought was possible, knowing they are fully supported and being coached through obstacles by veteran instructors. Riders work together to help each other through the toughest sections and make sure no one is left behind. As they say: To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail. Maybe that’s true, but it’s a lot better to fail with a safety net.


Off-Road riding techniques are not the only skills needed to become a complete Adventure Rider. Participants are also taught to become self-sufficient out in the back country for extended periods of time. Training is provided by seasoned adventure riders that covers packing techniques, advanced GPS navigation, field repairs and camp setup. Students learn the value of good gear and how to get prepared for a serious adventure.

Death Valley Adventure Bike expedition
Riders get a chance to enjoy the amazing scenery and landscapes of Death Valley.

Meet the Press and Product Manufacturers
Once a year, Expedition C.V. is joined with another unique RawHyde event called the World of Adventure Press Event. Several top moto-journalists are invited to test the latest Adventure Motorcycles fully-outfitted with lights, luggage, tires, gear, wheels and protective pieces from top manufacturers. Journalist are given the green light to put motorcycles and equipment through their paces on some of the most difficult terrain you can ride a big Adventure Bike through. While at the same time, equipment manufacturer reps are there to witness their products being torture tested to their limits and receive instant feedback.

At the end of a long hard day of riding, everyone gets a chance to relive their experiences sitting by the fire with a cold beer under a star filled night in Death Valley. Riders from different backgrounds are united under a common passion for Adventure Riding. It’s a meeting of minds, a chance to collaborate and share viewpoints between the different groups and experience levels. An opportunity to improve the flow of communication between the companies, the press and the riders themselves.

This video offers a glimpse of what it’s like to be a part of RawHyde’s Expedition C.V. and the World of Adventure Press Event.

Expedition C.V. is held five times a year. You can learn more about it by visiting the RawHyde Adventures website.

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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9 thoughts on “Expedition CV: Not Your Typical ADV Tour of Death Valley

  1. I wish RawHyde the best of luck, and I hope they make lots of money. They’re catering to what I call the Rich Poseur Types that I want nothing to do with.

    For one, these tours are waaaay out of my price range. For another, I’ve been to DV many times and have been to nearly every one of those high points listed on their website BY MYSELF on my DR650… and frankly, none of them are all that challenging… unless you’re on entirely too big of a bike (e.g. the big BMW 1200 GS).

    For another, these are the “tours” that people go on because they like being with others who are in the same boat as them — can’t ride and need somebody to hold their hand. Or maybe they can ride, but would never have the nerve to go it alone or even with one or two friends.

    And for the record, I’m far from an expert at any of this; but to me, the adventure is doing it yourself, and not with a safety net or in the company of a bunch of other poseurs. It’s about knowing your limits, and knowing how to get out of a situation should one occur.

    Okay, rant over. 🙂

    • If you want to learn on your own, you can. I currently can’t afford it either but know from lots of research and buddies who have gone through their training that they mean serious business when it comes to making people better and safer riders (especially on the big adventure bikes). This is for people that prefer learning from the best and taking the fast track to becoming a competent off-road adventure rider. On one trip they can learn from experts the skills and knowledge of how to pack, navigate and handle difficult situations. They can learn how to become a self-sufficient adventure rider without the years of trial and error. Anyone that can make it through one of these Expeditions is definitely not a ‘poseur’.

    • Agreed, Rob. Just went to DV 1st time 3mos ago (solo) on a rental BMW G650. Going up Lippincott Rd I kept thinking “‘You’d have to be sick in the head to take a 1200GS up here!”. A bloated GS is just the wrong tool for much of that terrain but clearly with 20 people along you can get them up and over after a few get offs. That’s all great for a big social event but you wanna be skilled and ride beautiful remote desert roads? Take less bike along. That “little” 650 Beemer thumper was pleasantly flickable around and over big rocks but a Yamaha WR250R would be the schizznit in DV. Boogie down the road 65mph and then on the roughest climbs, so nimble you could actually look around and enjoy the scenery around you.

      I go to challenging remote places for my solo “cycle therapy”, not to pick up my buddy’s bike and root, hoop, and holler and be catered to. Clearly these school events have a different target audience than you and me, and that is fine… Different strokes, y’know. There’s more wasteful things wealthy guys could blow a discretionary $5-10 grand on like golfing and gambling with the guys so the fact they’re out there on bloated GS bikes, I’m still cool with that. Beating the $#!t out of a big GS beats the $#!t out’a golfing! Ultimately these social events remind me of the reason I bring my own music and headphones into the spin classes at my health club (the only way I can get in the spin room). I crank my own tunes, close my eyes, visualize some great (REAL) rides, and tune out the cheerleader “instructor” up front and the room full of woot woot poseurs.


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