Ride like a hero at AltRider’s “Taste of Dakar”

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Ever watched in awe as the Dakar rally riders hustle big, heavy machines at high-speed off-road? Jimmy Lewis is one of only two Americans to finish on the podium at Dakar and he’s teamed up with AltRider to host Taste of Dakar in Death Valley. Costing only $225, the clinic is the cheapest excuse we’ve ever seen to spend a weekend camping in the desert, getting drunk by the campfire and learning how to ride like a Dakar racer. Whether you’re a noob or expert in the dirt doesn’t matter. If you’ve got $225, a dualsport with passable tires and the time to make the trek to Death Valley, CA, for the event on February 24-26, you’re crazy not to go. Oh, and the beer’s on AltRider.

Everyone meets Friday in Death Valley in the early evening for dinner and hanging out with beers by the campfire and Jimmy.

Saturday starts with catered breakfast, then a talking clinic demonstrating body position on the bike. The first ride is to Jimmy’s training faculty on one of 3 routes (easy, medium or challenging), where everyone breaks for lunch, then takes riding clinics on clutch modulation, control in sand and disaster avoidance. Finally, ride back to camp on a different route (again, easy, medium or challenging) and hopefully make it back in time for dinner, hot springs and a presentation on Dakar and racing by Jimmy and 2 other current Dakar racers.

Then get up Sunday and eat before everyone picks their own final planned route on the way home.

That $225 gets you guided rides, maps, a techniques clinic, five catered meals, all the booze you can muster and other beverages, camping, and actually learning how to ride that big, beastly adventure bike you’re still too scared to pitch sideways into corners on the fire roads. At $225, this is an absolute steal. There are still spots available, but we’ll be shocked if it doesn’t sell out.

Bike rentals can also be arranged with BMW Las Vegas, and there’s a hotel nearby for you non-camping types. Also, if you’ve got the time, Jimmy is offering an extra course for beginners and intermediates on Friday as a well as a more hardcore 2-day clinic Sunday and Monday. Go here to sign up, get more info and a detailed list of stuff to bring. By the way, be sure to sneak a My Little Pony sticker on Grant’s KTM 990 when you get there. We hear he loves those things.


  • Tommy

    Whoa this sounds amazing. Too bad I’ll be in hawaii that weekend, and dont really have a proper bike.

  • Thomas

    too bad im in ny or id be all over it. always dreamed of doing desert rallies.

  • GoFasterPB

    No matter how much I pass up freelance work to allow time for riding, it’s just never enough.

    Are we gonna see a nice write-up and/or photo feature afterwards?

    • Sean Smith

      As long as Grant’s Leica isn’t crushed by a KTM.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        That KTM sadly has to be returned soon after this event. So I can’t laugh it off if I throw it in the dirt because I’m trying to find out where my very low limits are.

  • GoFasterPB

    “So I can’t laugh it off WHEN I throw it in the dirt…”


    I’ve found learning to ride dirt on big bikes isn’t the easiest way to go about it, but it helps to accept that falling down is part of the fun -and the bike will probably be okay.

    Just hang on to that Leica.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Actually, I grew up riding and crashing dirt bikes since I was 9, so I know the difference between when and if. With the loaner KTM, I’d prefer to keep it in the “if” category, thanks.

      • GoFasterPB

        Haha, gotcha. I want to take one of these classes to help learn the difference between the two, cause every time I hit loose sand “if” becomes “when” whether I realize it or not. I look forward to hearing what you think of the class.

  • Campisi

    Finally, an event worth quitting my terrible job for. Our XL600R would kill at this once some fresh rubber goes on it.

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    Damn that’s cheap.
    Californians really do live in motorcycle heaven…

    • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

      I’m reminded of that fact almost daily :)

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