Everything You Need to Know!

Our standard two-day classes cover Levels 1 and 2, beginner to intermediate, and are appropriate for those who are beginning off-road riders as well as experienced street riders who are new to dirt. Even those who’ve ridden dirt bikes for years will benefit from the skills they will learn for handling heavy adventure motorcycles in difficult off-road terrain. Riders will start with the basics of balance, body position, peg weighting, clutch usage, enduro steering, and braking, and advance to hills, off-camber terrain, hill fail recovery, obstacles and towing.

We also offer a Level 3 class, “Rocks and Sand,” which covers exactly what the name suggests and gives the rider the skills and experience to ride (and get unstuck) in deep sand and negotiate rocky, steep terrain successfully.

The agenda for a two-day class typically includes an orientation at 4 p.m. the evening before; an 8 a.m. start on the first day of class, ending around 4; and an 8 a.m. start on the second day, ending with graduation around 3.

Click here for our training schedule:
Training Schedule

Tuition is $475 and covers range fees and lunch. Use this registration link to sign up: Registration Link

Release and Waiver of Liability (Please review carefully and be prepared to sign at Orientation): DART Release and Waiver of Liability 0717

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Bill Dragoo and Tobin Vigil coach a student through ruts at Sundog Trails.

Venues we commonly use for Oklahoma classes are listed below. We will advise you of the specific location for your class.

-Oklahoma Motorsports Complex, Norman, OK, link to map here: Oklahoma Motorsports Complex

-Sundog Trails, Lexington, OK, link to map here: Sundog Trails

-Crossbar Ranch, Davis, OK, link to map here: Crossbar Ranch

-Dragoo Residence (usually the location for Orientation):  Dragoo Residence

Lodging:

If you plan to stay in the Norman area, there are several hotels convenient to the Norman/Lexington venues and to restaurants:

– Hilton Garden Inn

– Courtyard Marriott

– Comfort Inn

If none of these interest you, there are many other lodging options in Norman and Purcell.

Riding Gear:

As with all things related to riding a motorcycle, risk is a personal choice that, ultimately, only you can make.

– A helmet is required and a full-face helmet is recommended.

– Boots are required. They should have ankle and shin protection (hiking boots don’t qualify). Something like the Alpinestar Toucan, Forma or Sidi Adventure dual-sport boot is best for its balance of flexibility and protection. Motocross boots offer excellent protection but are sometimes stiff, preventing adequate ankle articulation and muting brake feel.

– Gloves are required. Hands are often the first line of defense against terra firma.

– Knee and other joint protection are also important. (Chances are you will biff now and then so err on the side of more protection.) Riding pants with knee armor, or knee armor you can strap on over your pants is advisable. The same is true for shoulder and elbow protection. We recommend a jacket with CE-rated armor, or chest protector and elbow armor worn over your jersey.

Motorcycle Equipment:

Our Level 1-2 courses are not particularly rough on equipment but a few good components can help reduce damage in a tip-over. Please refer to the link below for equipment suppliers we endorse. Naturally, your dealer is also a great resource for upgrades including riding gear.
https://billdragoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/adv-rider-resource-list2.pdf

This article will inform you on my personal bike set-up for heavy off-road use:
https://billdragoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/advmoto-nov-2017-battle-tested-r1200gs-bill-dragoo.pdf

Knobby tires (50/50) are highly recommended.  The D.A.R.T. Team uses Shinko 804/805 series tires exclusively.

Hand guards to protect levers are recommended.

We use Doubletake Mirrors on our personal machines to prevent damage to the expensive factory units.

Hard panniers are dangerous and will not be allowed during training. If necessary, you may remove panniers and set them aside. Soft luggage may remain on the bike during training.

Tank bags are trouble. A small bag perched up high and forward is okay, but plan to remove large ones…even if you have used them for years. Due to the forward body position of some of the exercises you will find a tank bag quite intrusive and an impediment to freedom of movement.

Tail bags and boxes can be limiting if too large or too far forward. Just make sure that you can move freely aft while standing. A small tail bag for snacks or some tools is fine. I would rather not see tail boxes on the bike during training, as a strike to the tailbone can be painful.

Large foot pegs such as Black Dog are comfortable, offer good purchase and improve control.

Here’s a link to a list of preferred vendors, designers and innovators who create and supply the bits we enjoy deserve and need our support. I hope you will consider these businesses, these men and women and their products when you make your purchases. Ask me any time for details on why I recommend them. Click here for list: adv-rider-resource-list

And our friends and fellow DART-trained instructors Shalmarie Wilson and Stephanie Terrien of SheADV have some great resources for women (and all) riders. See their website here: SheADV

Physical Fitness is usually the primary factor limiting learning. A reasonable level of fitness is always helpful toward successfully completing any adventure, and exertion during this training can wear you down. Your experience will be much more fruitful if, at a bare minimum, you do moderate interval training three or four times a week. Running, bicycling, stair climbing and rowing are all excellent choices. During warmer months, be sure to acclimatize well before your class. Here’s Instructor Josh Jewell’s article on Fitness for Overlanding, which applies to two-wheeled travel as well, from OutdoorX4 magazine: Fit for Overlanding – OutdoorX4 Issue 19

Hydration: We will provide water during breaks but on warm days and because of the exertion involved you may need to hydrate more often. A hydration bladder or personal water bottle is highly recommended, as are snack bars for a quick pick-me-up.

Other:
Be sure to wear sunscreen if conditions dictate.

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Tobin Vigil describes the tension of clutch/throttle and brake to a student at Sundog Trails.

FAQs:

Frequently Asked Questions are listed below. If you have questions not covered here, contact Bill at (405) 830-6630.

Should my bike be full of gas?
Answer: Make sure you have at least enough to cover 100 miles. Large capacity machines may fare better with a partial tank.

Are knobby tires required?     Answer: We strive to provide successes during your training. Traction varies according to terrain and weather. Although some students do fine with street oriented tires, we suggest erring on the side of more aggressive tread designs. Chances are you will need them on future rides anyway.

Should my tires be aired down?
Answer: You can check tire pressures at orientation. Typically, 25-28 psi is recommended for big bikes and 18-22 on smaller 250-650 cc machines.

Do I need a heavy-duty skid plate?
Answer: You might. Stock skid plates often fail when rocks are encountered, but on Level 1-2 classes this is not usually an issue.

Do I need bar risers?
Answer: You should be able to stand comfortably, hands resting lightly on the grips without bending at the waist. If you have to bend, add bar risers of the appropriate height.

Are adjustable bar risers okay?
Answer: Riser blocks are significantly more secure, but some riders do okay with adjustable ROX style risers. They are not our preference, however, because they tend to move in a fall.

Can a friend come along to take pictures?
Answer: Yes. This is your time to capture all you can from the experience. We just ask that you keep focused on the training and not become distracted. In most cases we will be taking photos for you as well.

This article discusses group etiquette in preparation for a ride and is applicable to our training as well:
https://billdragoo.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/sidetracked_kickstands-up_roadrunner_feb16_dragoo.pdf
There are several more articles under the Publications page on this web site that you may enjoy.

MORE QUESTIONS? Contact Bill at (405) 830-6630 or bill1dragoo@gmail.com.

7 Comments

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    1. We have a couple of things in the works. Trying to nail down dates in Vermont, soon to be announced. Also, not an immersion tour but we likely will do moto training at Overland Expo East in North Carolina in November.

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