This is a question I have asked myself, why adventure riding is so popular. The more you ride the more you see Adventure motorcycles driving on the highways, roads and well it seems anywhere there is a road and some great scenery to look at. Growing up on the east coast of Canada adventure riding did not speak to me, I gravitated to the windy roads that skirted the coast of Nova Scotia and the GSXR 600 was my weapon of choice. I grew up spending a great deal of time on two wheels enjoying the freedom that my GSXR gave me. I would travel everywhere on my motorcycle exploring all the fun roads in between each destination.
When I moved to the west coast in 2005 I was blown away by the amount of amazing roads to explore, these dirt roads connect to other dirt roads and those connect to others and before you know it you have ended up somewhere by accident. Seeing friends take these epic multi day adventures with camping gear and go venture out into the unknown seemed exciting to me. This of course sparked some interest within me and drove me to purchase my first Adventure machine, a 2012 DR650 dual sport machine. It was owned by a mechanic and he had taken good care of it so it seemed like a perfect match for me. If you have not driven this bike I will let you know it does nothing spectacular which you will most likely read in other places online, but what it does do well is dabble in quite a few things rather well which I think makes for a great Adventure platform. Seeing my friends take trips to the Arctic Circle or down into Central America made me very envious because the sport bike that I have grown to love is quite handicapped when it comes to any kind of road surface other than warm tarmac. Towards the end of the riding season I put the BMW away and choose to try out my new DR650 t0 see what it was all about.
I had linked up with a friend of mine who has an adventure bike too and we started our day bright and early one Saturday morning in late October. I was a tittle ill equipped in terms of creature comforts like heated grips, a windshield, soft seat and the list goes on but that was not going to dampen my spirits. We headed North towards Gold Bridge via the Pemberton Meadows Rd and it was a cold morning, our first turn off was up the Hurley Mountain FSR and this ride took us up some epic switch backs and went for about 50 kms before we reached the turn off to Bralorne. The rest of the day we spent driving along carpenter lake rd and then up towards Mud Lakes, down into Seton Portage and then across the high-line rd above Anderson Lake. The entire day we were welcomed with a huge variety of road conditions , scenery, wide open spaces and more technical rocky terrain. It left me with a completely different experience than I was used to, a more complete feeling that is tough to explain. Usually my friends and I would head out on our street bikes in search of a thrill, you would get a few shots of adrenaline stop for something to eat and return home. But this experience spoke to me a lot more, the relaxed pace allowed you to settle into the ride, look around and enjoy all the beautiful views and horse around with your riding friends. That day we did 300 kms in total and 90% of those were dirt roads in the middle of no where. The coolest thing for me was the fact that you could be riding pavement at 100 km’s / hr leaning into corners and in a moment could be offroad on some dirt road climbing a rocky hill and then zip back out onto the road.
I think the true reason so many people are becoming more and more interested in adventure riding is the versatility that the machines offer, they are becoming more and more comfortable in all types of weather, conditions and road types that it gives people an experience that not many other motorcycles can offer. All I can say is I am hooked,