Route and Rider Rating System
By far, one of the hardest things to do when it comes to off-road riding isn't riding at all. It is breaking the communication barriers that exist, even within the same language.
What is difficult for some may be easy for others, and that dichotomy is enough to create serious misunderstandings.
Here at BN, we aim to teach new skills to riders and show you beautiful landscapes and tracks, but we would also love to be able to close the gaps that divide us when debating our sport. With that in mind, we adapted the Bret Tkacs from Puget Sound Safety Off-Road (PSSOR) route and rider rating system.
All our classes and tours are rated according to this system.
Please note that some considerations have to be taken into account to be able to use this system, and a healthy dose of honest introspection is advised.
To help to make the system easier to read through, we divided it into three different pages:
ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS
GENERAL ROUTE SYSTEM ASSUMPTIONS
BIKE - You are riding a mid-size to large displacement (650cc-1290cc) adventure-style Motorcycle
MODS - Your ADV bike is in near-stock configuration with only minor modifications for protection, comfort, and luggage. Minor upgrades to suspension (to account for heavier loads) or improvements to braking or tires also fall into the "near-stock" category.
USE - You are traveling or camping, and therefore will have a luggage system with at least an intermediate load.
RIDER RATING CONSIDERATIONS
TRANSITIONING - We always advise professional motorcycle training, and there you will be taught about transitioning, the period of time when you are increasing your proficiency within each feature.
Making it through something or surviving a track doesn't mean you are proficient at it.
SPEED - Being fast isn't directly linked with being skilled. The more experienced you are, the faster you will be able to go, but being able to do something doesn't mean we need to.
Different riders have different comfort speeds for many reasons, ranging from personal preference on a broader spectrum to an injury or incapable bike on a more specific example.
As we are neither doing trials nor racing, so speed isn't relevant to access skill.
RATE YOURSELF AT A NOVICE OR BASIC LEVEL IF:
STANDING - You do not stand while riding moderate (or above) terrain or prefer sitting over standing in technical terrain.
FATIGUE - You are stiff when riding off-road or find riding off-road to be exhausting.
SPEED CONTROL - You use your throttle for speed control rather than the clutch (for DCT riders, replace "clutch" with "rear brake")
BRAKING - You do not use the front brake or are uncomfortable braking off-road
FEET - You "paddle-walk" through certain terrain features or put your feet down in gravel, sand, or loose rock.