Go off-road to hone your riding skills

Riding is both a skill and an art. Even though you might not have plans to go racing anytime soon, one of the best investments you can make is to join an off-road riding skills course. With the limited traction available, keeping your bike upright and masterfully riding through difficult terrain will give you enhanced confidence and skills that can cross over into everyday road riding.


Coach Sam says

One such proponent of off-road training is Coach Sam Tamayo of MMF Academy. Racing dirt bikes for the past 30 years, Coach Sam raced the National Motocross Series from 1996 to 2005 under the Shell Yamaha Racing Team. With many championship wins in Motocross, EnduroCross, Flat Track, and Asian Supercross, Coach Sam wants to teach every rider the skills needed for confident and safe riding.

“Off-road is a setting”, says Coach Sam. “It’s the worst setting in comparison to road, which is the perfect setting. In off-road, you can’t always predict the traction because it changes all the time. So going off-road requires higher skills and mastery than road, making it an advanced course for riding. Off-road, you learn very important skills that are centered on mastery of balance and control”, he adds.


Off-road teaches you how to deal with low traction

The more dynamic setting of off-road means that a rider must be more active with adjusting his position on the bike as the situation requires, as well as a finely honed sense of clutch, throttle, and brake control. While the demand for rider inputs is high, the good news is that most drills are done at relatively low speed as the tires are frequently already at the limit of traction, unlike in road drills where it usually requires far higher speeds to push the limits.


Take classes to get better

Coach Sam is also a pastor, and the MMF Academy is a product of trying to serve God through sharing the knowledge he and his instructors have attained from their years of riding. Their modules include “Learn to Ride”, “Basic Offroad Riding”, “Basic Motocross/Supercross”, “Practical Riding Courses “ (LTO-accredited) and “Advanced Riding Courses”. Whether you want to learn how to jump or wheelie, or even just be more comfortable on a slippery surface, Coach Sam and his instructors will be more than happy to help you.




Wear the right helmet

There are many items in a Safety Gear list, but the number one priority should be your helmet since this protects your face and your brain. Helmets are designed for specific categories of riding, and for off-road use these tend to feature extensive ventilation, a sun visor, and option to wear goggles. Helmets like the Bell Moto series are designed to be worn with goggles as these feature a thick chin bar and no face shield. On the other hand, adventure helmets like the MX-9 feature more versatility with a removable visor and a flip-up face shield, but at a cost of slightly more weight.

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