Motorcycle Explorer Issue 17 - Page 68

Feature: off-road training in scotland

Clive is not a global champion and Clive is not a former Redbull X-Fighter, Clive is a trainer and it shows. His style is so effective that I was more than happy to end up doing a front wheel lock-up in the pissing down rain, in loose, small stone gravel (because Clive will tell you there is no such thing as “just gravel”), over and over as I ploughed along. Why? Because Clive had broken that down in the same way as he teaches everything else and you end up both proficient and confident at the skill. Armed with the knowledge of what the bike will do, why it will do it and how to correct it.

All of this training is done in the superb backdrop of 50,000 forested acres on an Inveraray private estate of the Duke of Argyll and it has some amazing views, you should see them because you will have your HEAD UP! It had become a catch phrase by the end of the two days and I was amazed how many times I looked down. I know about target fixation but for some reason, I was still wishing to look at my boots! By the end of the session with Clive, I was HEAD UP, full lock and Ninja turning with duck feet that will get you a "Clive pat" on the back. When you do the course, you will know what one is and happy to have achieved one!

Clive explains everything! How to change gear in those massive ski boots that off-roaders use and even at the start of how to pick a bike up. So much is covered in this two-day course but it never feels rushed at all. It’s all good learning practice that will leave even the most seasoned rider feeling better about their road practice, not to mention knocking 10% off the insurance quote!

Clive provides all the gear needed but do take along some good liners or even textiles as it gets chilly under the waterproofs. Snacks, lunch and a very welcome hot drinks are provided for but this all falls light in the wake of the instruction you get. I can’t say this enough, it is a motorcycle course and I have to say it’s the best I’ve been on. I didn’t even notice the pissing down rain and in fact, it became our friend as we could now practice sliding about more! Never again will I look out at a rainy day and sulk, it will be greeted with a “YES!!” and power up the 250cc off-roader that I’m now scanning Autotrader for.