It’s a common belief in the adventure bike world: Big-bore ADV machines are best-suited to tarmac, or maybe the occasional gravel road excursion, nothing else. If you own an expensive flagship adventure bike, and you want to ride dirt, you’re best-off adding an expensive dirt bike to the mix, for that purpose.
Or at least, that’s what the marketeers tell us, after the initial promo videos have worn off, and the buyers realize it’s hard work to ride that big 1200 cc twin in the dirt.
The message from expert riders is different, as anyone who’s attended a training session aimed at big bikes can tell you. That’s what Beppe Gualini says, and he is willing to demonstrate it for you in the video below:
For some of you, Beppe’s a nobody, not someone you’ve ever heard of. For others, you’ll recognize the name immediately, and you know he’s not blowing smoke. He proved he could flog a big bike during his days in the Paris-Dacre Rally, when they actually allowed full-sized machines there, instead of restricting them to 450 cc.
These days, Beppe works with Ducati. He’s an instructor with the Ducati Riding Academy, and since classes are on hiatus thanks to COVID-19, you can pick up some of the course material online instead, for free (the course itself is kind of pricey, so this is a win-win). The video is part infomercial for the Ducati school, but there’s plenty of helpful stuff here for adventure riders, and it can be applied on bigger and smaller ADV bikes. You may get differing opinions on some of the techniques, but the reality is, if it’s good enough to get Beppe through the Dakar, it’s probably good enough for you.