My favorite assignment this past year was paying a visit to RawHyde Adventures for its Basic Training ADV course. Located in Castaic, California, right off I-5, the RawHyde ranch trains riders on how to operate big Adventure-Touring bikes off-road – no easy feat, but a ton of fun. The training staff knows how to both challenge and encourage, and before you know it you’ll be sliding the back end around and climbing hills on that BMW GS. At the end of the two-day crash course (literally), riders can put all their newly acquired skills together on an overnight journey to Base Camp Alpha – an outpost out in the Mojave Desert. And the riding was only half the fun, as we enjoyed the camaraderie of our fellow adventurers. Stay tuned for a feature article on the RawHyde Adventure in the next week or two.
Favorite Ride – Yamaha FZ-09
There’s a lot to love about the Yamaha FZ-09. The Inline Triple gives the Yamaha naked some soul and raw performance – so much that even wheelie shy riders will be hoisting the front tire now and again. The FZ also sports good brakes and handling, and I favor its upright, standard riding position. Oh, and this Yamaha is $7999! I love a lot of the bikes I ride for this job, but would never be able to afford them in my real two-kids-and-a-mortgage life… not this one. Yamaha bills its new mount as an urban sportbike, and I found it more than lived up to the claim on our press ride thru the streets of San Francisco. Dodging trolley cars, slicing thru traffic and charging up and down SF’s hills – it was far and away my favorite ride of the year.