Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Riding School

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What level of a rider do I have to be to participate in your class?

Read below to figure out what level your skill is off-road. 

The Safest Thing You Can Do Is To Understand Your Own Ability Level!

Riding motorcycles is one of the most difficult and challenging activities humans participate in. With that weight on our shoulders riders are often put or pressured into situations they are not prepared for. Having a clear understanding of your own skill level is the best defense against getting in over our heads.

How do you assess your skill level? Are you an expert or a beginner? How do you tell? Well, it does not matter how long you have been riding, nor the bike your are riding, not even the gear you have on. It is the ability to control the motorcycle, all the time, that puts a ranking on your skill level.

Going fast does not equal more skill, in fact quite the contrary is true. Speed masks skill and increases the amplitude of the mistakes or crashes, especially when the skill runs out. Remember F=MA? Controlling the bike while using a minimal amount of energy, operating the controls instinctively and being able to slow or stop before something goes wrong are the signs of a highly skilled rider. Ever heard the saying, “Slow down to go faster?” More often than not, the more Novice the rider the less of this important tip you’ll see demonstrated. As less skilled  riders are often rushed to keep up or pressured to ride above their skill level and become tense, frustrated and exhausted.

To establish a skill ranking for our schools, we’ve broken down some skill sets to help you evaluate where you stand when it comes to off-road riding. Participating in a class with similar skilled riders has proven to be the best bonus in our group classes since riders tend to learn from watching the mistakes of others as much as they learn from seeing drills demonstrated properly. The biggest mistake a rider can make is to overestimate his or her skill level and then become “left behind”  by the class operating the motorcycle at a higher level.

A note to street riders: It is important to realize that a novice street rider can easily ride on almost any road in the world. The same is not true off-road, where the terrain will have the say on what ability level you HAVE to be to pass through. Typically on-road riding your skill level is reflected by your speed. Off-road your speed is only a small factor since having the ability to ride safely and controlled (usually slowly) through difficult terrain is a necessity.

Beginner: (If you feel you are in this category, our school may progress too rapidly for you. Please make sure you let us know if you are a Beginner rider so you do not end up in a more advanced class.)

  • Not comfortable with clutch and throttle operation, stalls often, jerky with application.
  • Cannot come to a complete stop and accelerate away without putting a foot down.
  • Not comfortable putting only one foot down when stopping.
  • Not comfortable standing while riding.
  • Not able to ride above 30 MPH on safe dirt roads.

Novice:

  • Comfortable using front brake in slowing.
  • Can slide the bike by skidding rear wheel.
  • Can come to a complete stop and continue without putting a foot down.
  • Able to ride above 30 MPH off-road when safe.
  • Stalling from bad clutch use is not an issue.
  • Comfortable standing while riding.

Intermediate:

  • Can track stand the motorcycle for a few seconds at a time.
  • Comfortable on single-track.
  • Comfortable using both brakes in stopping and able to control skids.
  • Can loft the front wheel from a stop and not have the bike move forward much.
  • Can do full steering lock turns and figure-eights.
  • Comfortable sliding both front and rear wheels and able to produce and control the slides.
  • Comfortable riding the bike above 50 MPH off-road in safe conditions.
  • Not intimidated by different soil conditions (sand, mud, rocks).
  • Not intimidated by steep uphills and downhills
  • Comfortable jumping the motorcycle and riding in rough conditions without bottoming the suspension unexpectedly.

Advanced:

Comfortable in all conditions described above.

  • Able to loft the front wheel and pivot turn the motorcycle.
  • Able to ride up and down ledges that require wheel lofting.
  • Can predict braking distance and rarely pass braking points.
  • High level of understanding safe speed versus the conditions.

JLR Off-Road Training strives to teach safe motorcycle riding to all levels of riders. We have yet to have an advanced rider feel that even our basic class (Series 1) is not challenging enough. Yet we often have beginner riders overwhelmed with all of the new skills we teach. We do not work magic and all of the drills require practice and time to improve, so be prepared to learn how to make your motorcycle do things you never knew you could make it do.

 

Where are the classes held?

The schools are currently held near Pahrump, Nevada. This unique desert environment is perfect for off-road training with varied desert terrain and fun trails, tracks and roads. We have an outdoor classroom area and access to some of the best riding in the Western US.

Pahrump is less than an hour south-west of Las Vegas on Nevada highway 160 (Blue Diamond Highway) and has plenty of amenities. It is a gateway to Death Valley and a mecca for the off-road enthusiast.

We have alternate location training during the summer months. So if you have a large group or club, maybe a rally or ride where there is a lot of interest, contact us and we’ll se if we can plug your event into our calendar. And remember, the closer it is to some good dirt bike riding, the more likely it is we’ll show up!

How long is the class?

Most of the classes start at 8am and go till at least 5pm (sometimes longer depending on daylight!) with a break for lunch. No matter what we get a full day in and when you register, instructions with specifics will follow.

What time does it start?

We typically meet at 8am to sign in and are up and running by 9am.

Do you have rental bikes?

We have a couple of different options available as explained below:

JLR has a limited number of 250cc to 450cc on/off-road KTM, Honda or Suzuki bikes that we can rent to riders enrolled in a class. The cost for a bike rental is $150 or $200 per day. These bikes must be reserved in advance of the class.

Additionally we have access for you to rent current model KTM two and four-stroke off-road bikes for our Pahrump Nevada classes through a partner, Trac-On.

For an off-road KTM XC-W (400, 450,530) through Track-On (www.trac-on.com) here is the pricing schedule:
Tier 1: 2 rental bike minimum for a two day clinic @ $260 per day.
Tier 2: 3-5 bikes rented for a two day clinic @ $200 per day.
Tier3: 6-8 bikes rented for a two day clinic @ $140 per day.

These bikes must be transported to the class. The price includes insurance on any parts that are damaged as well. The pricing schedule is set by Trac-On and is scaled based on costs of transportation and time.
For more information contact Daryl Folks at: Daryl@Trac-On or by phone at 702 232-6680.

We do not have access to renting large adventure bikes like the GS1200 or KTM 950/990. But we suggest that even if the large bike is the machine you’d like to become a better rider on, learning on a smaller bike you will progress quicker and take more away from the class. 

If I fly into Vegas how will I get to the school?

The best way is by rental car. Often times we have  more than one student doing this and we can put you in touch. We do have contacts for shuttle service as well, though renting a car is usually less expensive.

What tires?

JLR Off-Road requires that all bikes used in the class have knobby tires. That means an open block design that is not a “round” or so called 80/20 tire. This is for your safety because no matter how good of a rider you are, if you can’t get traction, you will crash.  The LEAST aggressive tire we will allow is the Heidenau K60, we suggest something more agressive. Other schools may let you take their class with a round tire but we won’t because it is unsafe.

 

The following is the suggested tires for the different brands of big bikes, we have tried all of these tires and are confident in how they work off-road:
BMW GS Twin Cylinder:  Kenda Big Block, Continental TKC80, Metzeler Karoo and Karoo II
KTM 950 & 640: Kenda Big Block, Continental TKC80, Dunlop 606 or 908, Pirelli MT21, Metzler Karoo and Karoo II
BMW F650:  Kenda Big Block and Parker DT, Continental TKC80, Dunlop 606, Pirelli MT21, Metzler Karoo and Karoo II
Kawasaki KLR 650:  Kenda Big Block and Parker DT, Continental TKC80, Dunlop 606, Pirelli MT21, Metzler Karoo and Karoo II

How much gas will I need?

On the first day you will need very little, never more than three gallons. And for the second day you will have the opportunity to fill up as needed.

How do you separate out the beginners from the experts?

Most of the time we pre-screen the class to keep skill levels as compatible as possible but our class is designed to cater to a wide variety of skill levels all at the same time. Our drills cover a wide range of ability and can simply be made easier or more difficult with minimal explanation from one of our instructors who are trained to help you out if you look bored or confused.

Will the class be challenging enough?

These are the same drills Jimmy still practices today to keep on top of his riding game and we have not heard of one student tell us they did not learn from the class. In fact we have had many skeptics say they didn’t expect to learn anything new and after the first day they are blown away by how much they never even considered when riding. There is a reason our drills are copied so much and other schools send their instructors to us (in secret).

What is proper gear?

The gear in the picture, is the typical for off-road riding. It is loose enough to move around in and provides protection. Under the gear the rider is wearing knee protection and on his feet are the proper off-road style boots.

While you are not riding at great speeds in our class, you will be moving around on the bike and will get hot and sweaty. Hence, it is to your advantage to have some gear that you are comfortable in and feel protected, plus it should not be too warm.

PROPER SAFETY GEAR:

  • Helmet (No half dome helmets, Dirt or Street style helmets are acceptable)
  • Gloves (street style gloves tend to be too thick to articulate the clutch and throttle, we suggest a light weight pair of off-road enduro style gloves. see below for examples of gloves)
  • Goggles
  • Knee Protection
  • Jersey or long sleeved shirt
  • Boots
  • Chest Protection (optional but recommended)

You must have the above proper safety gear to participate in the class.

What types of Boots should I wear?

Street style boots are not made to wear while riding in off-road situations hence, we recommend that you have a sturdy pair of motocross or enduro style boots for your safety.

 Where to stay?

● Dar’s Bed & Breakfast: 1501 E. Mount Charleston Drive South  ph: 775-727-4285 web: http://www.stay-at-dars.com/
Dar’s comes highly recommended from all of our students who have stayed there. Book early, rooms are limited.

●K-7 Bed and Breakfast: 6050 E. Thousandare Blvd. ph: 775-513-6227 web:http://k7bedandbreakfast.com

● Pahrump Nugget: 681 S. HWY 160 ph: 775-751-6500 web: http://pahrumpnugget.com/hotel

● Saddle West Hotel: 1220 S. HWY 160 ph:775-727-1111 web: http://www.saddlewest.com/

● Best Western Pahrump Station: 1101 S. HWY 160 ph:775-727-5100 web: Pahrump Station

● Wine Ridge RV Resort (cottages): 3810 Winery Road #2  ph: 775-751-7805 web: http://wineridgervresort.com/