Beginners Guide to Offroading

So, what is off-roading? In simple terms, off-roading is the activity of driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks, such as sand, gravel, mud, snow, rocks, or any other natural terrain. These can constitute of purpose-built tracks, a barren piece of land, or a trail through woods, a goat path, or even a jungle.

Riding your motorcycles off-road, off the beaten path, and tackling the routes less traveled can be a lot of fun, but you need to be careful you don’t get lost. I use a GPS tracker to back track in case I get lost.

While I am someone who believes that the best off-road motorcycle is the one you own, taking a purpose-built motorcycle helps add to the fun factor. Motorcycles in the adventure or dual-purpose category work best when it comes to tackling a trail. These motorcycles usually come with a larger front wheel, like a 19 or 21 incher, and a higher ground clearance to help with rocky surfaces. Currently, for beginners, the only purpose-built motorcycles I would recommend are the Hero XPulse and the Royal Enfield Himalayan. These have a low ownership cost and are easy on the pocket in case you crash one. In the modification category, people have been retrofitting the Hero Impulse with a Hero Honda Karizma engine to extract a hybrid for off road use.

It is best to avoid heavy low riding motorcycles as they will have a higher chance of getting stuck. To start with, you could rent or borrow a suitable motorcycle, while you decide if you like off-roading or not.

Off-roading can be unpredictable. It is best that you experiment with company for a short half-day ride and learn the ropes before going all out to embrace the sport. Take a friend along, you will want help in case of an occasional fall in the middle of nowhere.

A fall or a puncture is inevitable. Plan your time off the road. Darkness sets in quick in the bush, so keep track of time. Carry tools, parts like extra chain links, spark plugs, accelerator and clutch cables, some extra fuel, a puncture kit, and more importantly, learn how to use them. It is better to be over-prepared than not enough.

Protective riding gear like jackets, gloves, knee armor, and boots is a must, preferably something that is flexible as off-roading will make you move in ways you usually wouldn’t while touring on a motorcycle. However, make sure your gear is breathable. Wearing the wrong jacket can add to your dehydration.

Carry food and water with you. You will drain your energy and dehydrate, especially in India like weather patterns. I carry a hydration pack and some granola bars from Huda Bars, to help me with this.

Anytime is trail time, however, monsoons and winters are the best. Though you will need some skills to tackle slushy mud and rocks in rains. When doing longer trails across multiple days, it would a good idea to combine off-roading with some camping.

And if you are hooked and you would want to take it to the next level, I will suggest you do at least a level 1 course at an off-road training school. There are quite a few in India and I have listed few below from different parts of the country.

Feel free to add more in the comments from your part of India.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s

My Friend Alexa

65 Comments on “Beginners Guide to Offroading

  1. Pingback: Beginners Guide to Offroading – theangrysaint

  2. I am not a biker but enjoyed reading your post. Very interesting. I didn’t know there were off-road training schools. Learning something new every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. MyFriendAlexa is the time to learn about so many new things. It gives an opportunity to explore varied subjects and interact with a different genre of bloggers. I liked reading about biking. I am an adventurous traveller and have gone on many camping trips, lets see if I can take up biking. It is fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds fun. I am sure bike lovers will find your post very useful. You have included some great tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I honestly haven’t had much experience off-roading on two wheels, having been on 4 wheels (quads & SUVs) for the majority. I am still learning the ropes but, indeed, your tips are applicable in both our cases!
    Anyhoo, happy riding!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This looks so much fun! I’m glad I could learn more about off-roading, thanks to your blog post and Alexa campaign. The main highlight was knowing about off-road training schools.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the post, i always wanted to try offroading once in my life at least. I’m going to try the training school first and see how it goes from there. Thanks for the info

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a good post for beginners. I still remember the first time I HAD to do off-roading! That was in Nepal and the road conditions and wrong advice from Google map put my offroading skills to test for the first time. Luckily it was fine and passed the test without getting hurt. Have you done any off-roading courses already?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember my experience to Manali by car when it was raining. We put the GPS on and started our journey through the unknown roads.
    Loved reading your post and the pics. !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know there are training schools for offroad training. though after reading this I think that it is actually good to have such training beforehand, Your pics are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Some amazing pics in this post. Bike riding and especially off- roading sounds fun.
    As my riding was limited to my Scooty pep , don’t have much to contribute here. 😄😄
    However for those who love rhe sport this post would surely be interesting as it is well written with tips and some really good images. Wishing you many more rides. 😊
    #myfriendalexa #radhikacharyareads

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I owned a motorbike when I was in college back in 2008 and I was interested in all kinds of adventures. Offroading sounds quite thrilling. Also, it’s interesting to know that there are off-road training schools in India. This is a really helpful post for beginners. Thanks for writing!

    Like

  13. I see so many motovloggers doing an off road and I’m so amazed to see that. Your post actually shows what goes behind doing that. Though i’ve ridden Himalayan for a short while on city roads, I’m sure it will do great of off road terrain as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am sharing your post with my husband, he is a hard core biker and I am his pilion. He will love it for sure.

    Like

  15. Though for me off roading is little scary but after reading your post felt that it could be fun too. thanks for sharing useful tips, I am sure will help those who love to do various adventures with their bike ride.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have always dreamt of doing on an offroading trip in Ladakh or along the beaches… it is good to know about which bikes are apt for the same.. how is Suzuki motorcycle for the same?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Loved reading this post on offroading. I have a very close friend who is a biker and she used to share so many stories of offroading. Now I can connect so well with what you have written here. It must be fun to ride on bikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I am sure th bikers would love your post and find it quite useful too. I personally liked the pictures. I will recommend your blog to one of my friends who is a biker.

    Like

  19. That’s very helpful tips for off roading. My brother is looking for this information. He would love to read this.

    Like

  20. I am scared of bikes! But one of my friend love to ride and I can totally understand the passion you guys have. Hats off to you.

    Like

  21. Though I can’t ride bikes I’ve always been fascinated with the adventures of offroading. This post has all the right pointers for beginners.

    Like

  22. Pingback: Get Your Motorcycle Off-Road Ready | LEAVE THE ROAD

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