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ADV RidesWhy The ADV Days Adventure Rally Is Not To Be Missed

Why The ADV Days Adventure Rally Is Not To Be Missed

Cramming a massive amount of Adventure Riding knowledge into 72 hours.

Published on 05.02.2018

Do you remember the scene in the movie “The Matrix” when Neo has a cord plugged in his head and they upload a karate program and he opens his eyes and says, “I know Kung Fu.” Well, ADV Days is sort of like that but it takes three days and is way more enjoyable. Everything that you learn, see, practice, and do at the ADV Days Adventure Rally is like having a lifetime of adventure riding compressed into nice, neat packages that you can upload into your brain.

ADV Days is a hands-on learning experience at the world famous RawHyde Adventures Training Center in Castaic, California, about an hour north of downtown Los Angeles. The event is equal parts Adventure Rally, symposium, school, training program, and party. It starts Thursday afternoon with camp set-up and general schmoozing. Friday and Saturday are full to the brim with classes about things you need to know (and are probably too embarrassed to ask). There are also vendors showing off the latest ADV products, training clinics on skidding, jumping, sand riding and more. Rides are available as self-guided (GPS tracks provided) or guided by RawHyde instructors. Top that off with a full-bar, three legit meals a day, live music, fire, and rad people… What else could you want?

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally
Some of the trails we rode were partially washed out from recent heavy rains in California.

Prepare To Be Schooled

Even the most experienced rider in the world has something to learn and this is the core of ADV Days. We all have ego’s, some more than others, and it is natural to try and figure stuff out on your own. But at some point you have to be honest with yourself and realize that you’ll only get so far alone. The best case scenario is riding with a big group of old, wise ADV sages who have been a round the world, literally, on the same bike that you own and that are generous enough to teach you everything they know. Is that actually going to happen? Probably not.


Yet if you combine all the knowledge and experiences of the RawHyde instructors (including Jim Hyde himself) and the other presenters and speakers at ADV Days, you’ll get the equivalent of a hyper-concentrated shot of knowledge to make you an overall better, safer, more confident, and more comfortable adventure rider.

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally
Jeremy LeBreton, founder of AltRider, shares some of his MacGyver adventure riding tips and tricks.

Want to learn how to pack like a pro? There are multiple clinics on how to pack more efficiently, what tools to bring, what to have in case of emergency, and what to bring to make your adventure more enjoyable. Have bike questions? There are classes on how to set up your bike, how to change a tube and patch a tire, and how to field diagnose error codes. Worried about personal safety? Learn about adventure specific first aid, what protective gear to wear, and how to signal for help. Nearly any and all topics of concern to Adventure Riders are addressed by one or more of the classes taught by experts in their fields.

Hands-On Learning

RawHyde Adventure’s training courses are well known, well respected, and command a premium price. But, you can participate in select riding courses that are taught by the same instructors in the same place as the full training programs for a fraction of the price. Big bikes and soft sand don’t mix well and that’s why the sand riding clinic is one of the most popular classes of the event. The instructors are on hand to walk you through everything you need to know and to help you pick up your bike when the sand attacks. We overheard a few riders during the clinic saying stuff like, “Man I hate the sand,” and then after, back at the campsite saying, “That was a huge confidence booster for me.”

Want to be comfortable with both wheels off the ground? The lofting clinic will not only teach you how to get over large rocks, logs, ledges, or other trail nasties, it will teach you how to do it without getting bucked over the front of your bike. Again, it is much safer and less physically taxing to try these kinds of maneuvers with instruction and people to help pick up you bike than on your own, or worse, half way through a long trip.

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally
We found some great single track trails in the area that were perfect for our small ADV Bikes.

Scared of turning off the ABS? Don’t be! The skidding clinic will recalibrate your muscle memory to be calm, cool, and collected the next time you have to slam on your brakes in the dirt. Being able to lock up the rear wheel while riding off-road not only helps you turn in certain situations, with practice you will be able to modulate the rear brake in soft terrain better than the ABS giving you more control and decreasing your stopping distance.

New Products From ADV Companies

Motorcycle expos are cool, but we have to sift through all the non-adventure bike stuff to find what we really care about. Not so at ADV Days. It isn’t as big as an expo by any means but there are really cool companies and products on display. This year, several companies brought new products that had just hit the market like Forma with their Terra Evo Adventure Boot or Sena with their SF Series Bluetooth communicators. Also, Mosko Moto had their full line of bags with new and clever luggage solutions to fit a wide variety of needs and Motoz Tires had their full line of super chunky adventure bike tires.

Go For A Ride

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally
Atendees could explore the local trails with a RawHyde instructor as a guide or self-guided by GPS.

You can join a group and put some of that fresh knowledge to use or you can group up with fellow riders on your own and use the provided GPS tracks to create your own ride. Castaic is surrounded by dirt roads and trails that offer great riding and cool views within a few miles of the compound. If you want to get a lot of miles in, there are rides all the way to California City as well. We trekked off on our own to explore some of the local trails including the historic “Ridge Route” and even a tight single track trail that we were barely able to fit our our Versys-X 300 and BMW G310GS test bikes on.

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally

Get Down With Your Bad Self

After all the lectures, classes, presentations and riding clinics, your brain and body will be ready for a well-deserved reprieve and nighttime at ADV Days is built just for that. We grabbed a refreshing beverage and fresh-made meal, planted in front of a well-tended fire, and did some serious bench riding while enjoying the live music. While the event is designed for participants to leave with a ton of practical and useful knowledge, the overall vibe is relaxed, comfortable, and, most of all, fun. Because that’s what adventure motorcycles and the companies involved in ADV Days are all about.

Rawhyde ADV Days Adventure Rally

We had a blast, had two great rides, and even learned a thing or two that we can incorporate in our own riding rituals. If you are new to adventure bike riding or have been doing it since mullets were cool, the ADV Days Adventure Rally is for you. Check out RawHyde Adventure’s website for more information about next year’s event.

Author: Sean Klinger

With his sights set on doing what he loved for a living, Sean left college with a BA in Journalism and dirt bike in his truck. After five years at a dirt-only motorcycle magazine shooting, testing, writing, editing, and a little off-road racing, he has switched gears to bigger bikes and longer adventures. He’ll probably get lost a few times but he’ll always have fun doing it. Two wheels and adventure is all he needs. 

Author: Sean Klinger

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May 2, 2018 10:30 am

Nice article, but a pet peeve: Karate and Kung Fu are not at all similar, so they did not upload a “karate” program into him for him to know Kung Fu.

Small ADV Matchup: BMW G310GS vs Kawasaki Versys-X 300 - ADV Pulse
May 10, 2018 11:43 am

[…] off road routes, then we slogged both machines up to Castaic Lake, California to ride them at the ADV Days Adventure Rally. We didn’t follow any guided tours since we had some more adventurous riding in mind that […]


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