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From a Harley road rider to finding my true passion for adventure off-road riding on a BMW R1200GS

Welcome to my motorcycle journey

My motorcycle story starts later in life than many. Growing up, my weekends and after-school hours were filled with outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, kayaking, skateboarding, and cycling. My parents instilled in me a love of all things outdoors, which I will be forever grateful for.

Even at a young age, motorcycles had an undeniable allure. The thunderous roar of the engine echoing through the streets, the infectious smiles on every rider’s face, and, let’s be honest, the sheer coolness of it all captivated me completely.

However, motorcycles were not part of my family’s repertoire, and so I contented myself with occasional moments perched on a friend’s bike, daydreaming about the open road.

Stealing a moment on a friend’s bike back in the ’70s

Yet, my desire to experience the world on two wheels refused to be stifled. As I got older, mountain biking on single-track and tree-lined trails filled the need. My then-girlfriend (now wife) also rode, and we enjoyed countless hours on two motorless wheels.

Every chance I got to borrow a motorcycle from family or friends was one I eagerly took. But with no formal training, my self-taught approach was to apply my mountain biking techniques to motorcycle riding.

Fortunately, it all worked out, and the generosity of all those brave enough to lend me their wheels helped to confirm what I already knew … I needed a motorcycle!

My first motorcycle

In 2006, a Harley Davidson Streetglide was my first bike. I was in my late 30s at the time and felt very comfortable on this tourer. It was a great bike that brought me & my wife (as pillion) on many adventures through multiple countries for 6 years.

2006 Harley Davidson Streetglide

The Harley community is fantastic, with many organized events and general comradery. As much as I loved riding the Streetglide, there was still something missing…

Our first ADV motorcycle experience

A motorcycle touring holiday to Morocco was the riding experience that expanded my passion for riding into adventure off-roading.

Yes, that’s right … We are wearing Harley gear on a GS

This particular tour was about 80% on-road of stunning landscapes, from the roads of southern Spain to the rugged terrains of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Riding atop a BMW GS, the bike effortlessly carried us through diverse landscapes and, finally, into the heart of the desert.

Our arrival in the sandy expanse marked a pivotal moment. As the tour guide announced our departure from the pavement, we ventured into the unknown, our tires carving tracks through the shifting sands.

Our first encounter with the desert proved to be a challenging initiation—a tale of tumbles, perseverance, and unwavering determination. And yet, amidst the hardships, I discovered a true passion for off-road adventure that would shape the course of my journey.

Morocco was amazing, and the BMW GS bike won my heart with its versatility and proficiency on any terrain. I was hooked!

My Path to Off-Road Adventure Riding

Making the switch from on-road touring to off-road adventure riding has required relearning many skills.

I embarked on this new chapter with a used BMW Sertao G650, believing that a smaller cc adventure bike would provide the perfect learning experience. In hindsight, I realized that the Sertao’s frame didn’t align well with my body type and height. Determined to find the ideal fit, I made the switch to a used BMW R1200GS—a decision that proved to be a game-changer.

The transformation was remarkable. With the 1200GS beneath me, I felt in sync with the bike, ready to learn proper off-road adventure skills.

Cones practice improves every aspect of my riding


The key to my progression as a rider has been seeking out skilled instructors, learning from them, and practicing what I was taught. Nothing advances skills more efficiently than repetitive practice. I can not emphasize this point enough!

Earning my Off-Road Instructor Certification was a natural progression of my motorcycle journey. Sharing my knowledge and helping others achieve their riding goals brings me much joy.

Every year since purchasing my first ADV bike, I have attended some form of motorcycle training. I will never stop learning, expanding my comfort zones, and exploring my full-riding potential.

This is how we spend our weekends

The birth of ADVMotoSkillZ

As an expat ADV off-road rider living in the Middle East, I ventured out into the desert sands more and more. Navigating the sloping dunes became my go-to weekend activity. The only downside was that my wife, Kristen, could not join me as a pillion on this terrain.

We often spoke about how beautiful the open desert was and how people worldwide should be able to see it. Kristen was already a hobbyist photographer, so we started our planning!

To adequately capture the vastness and beauty of the desert, we bought a DJI Mavic Air 2 drone. So with me on my GS and Kristen as the drone pilot, we started filming. After a few online courses in video editing, our YouTube channel was born.

We started posting lots of sand dune riding, as well as local wadi rides and single-track. As we started including riding tips and training ideas in our videos, we really began to find our niche.

Today, the ADVMotoSkillZ online ecosystem includes our blog, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Medium, Quora, and a modest shop with t-shirts and other branded wearables.

At ADVMotoSkillZ, my primary focus is empowering riders to elevate their off-road skills through efficient practice drills. These proven techniques, honed through my own personal journey, form the backbone of our training philosophy.

What’s next for ADVMotoSkillZ

The journey of ADVMotoSkillZ continues to evolve and grow through our blog, YouTube channel, and various social media platforms. Our unwavering dedication remains centered on empowering off-road ADV motorcyclists with the essential skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their adventures.
As an online-based business, we are excited to forge international partnerships to bring our expertise to riders worldwide. Whether it’s providing in-person training at your local facility or joining a tour in your region, we are committed to expanding our reach and positively impacting the off-road riding community.

If you have a proposal for collaboration, we invite you to reach out to us.
For businesses interested in fostering collaborative relationships, we welcome your messages and ideas. Together, we can create exciting opportunities to further enrich the off-road riding experience. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Kristen, who oversees our collaborative efforts.
As we journey forward, we continuously explore innovative formats to deliver training information and share our passion for off-road adventure riding. Be the first to stay informed about our latest initiatives by signing up for our ADVMotoSkillZ newsletter. Join our growing community and embark on a path of continuous learning and exploration.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. If we can inspire just one rider each day to expand their off-road riding skill set and achieve new goals, our mission is fulfilled. Together, let’s…