Off-road clinics at the 2024 National Rally: Gain confidence, abandon fears, hone skills

Is there anyone better to learn from than a Team USA GS Trophy competitor? We’re stoked to score the legendary Tom Asher for training at this year’s national rally!

The Tom Asher Adventure Rider Academy (TAARA) will provide training at the BMW Riders Association National Rally in Maine on Labor Day weekend, August 29-September 1. This celebrated off-road motorcycle riding school teaches real-world techniques that can be applied to your real-world adventures, whether near home or on an epic journey.

During the rally, afternoon clinics (1:30-5:30) for intermediate riders will be offered on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and morning clinics (8:30-12:30) will be held for beginners on Friday and Saturday. Online pre-registration is required via the TAARA website.

This is an exceptional opportunity to advance your off-road prowess for only $100—that’s a cost that would be hard to find elsewhere.

Make sure to purchase your rally ticket in addition to reserving your slot in a clinic. Only rallygoers are eligible to attend clinics.

Here’s what you’ll learn

Adventure Riding Basics
The morning classes will cover the fundamentals of tackling an off-pavement environment including clutch and throttle development, braking on loose surfaces, when to sit or stand, being comfortable in the saddle, how not to fall, proper weight distribution when traveling, bike set up and gear selection. A fully packed 4-hour class!

Intermediate ADV
The afternoon classes will cover how to properly turn a large ADV motor on a dime. You’ll work a lot on balance, control, and staying loose on the bike. You will work with real-world off-road scenarios and will tackle some natural obstacles in a controlled environment. This class will be for riders who know the basic fundamentals and want to develop more off-road skills.


Glowing testimonials

Students rave about their learning experiences with TAARA:

“Tom Asher has a magical way of teaching… he demonstrates what the bike can do—which is sometimes hard to even imagine—and then ten minutes later you are doing it yourself.”

“Awesome time learning from one of the greats in the big-bike off-road riding world… Tom’s words of wisdom and expert guidance inspired confidence to tackle some tough obstacles, overcoming barriers of the physical as well as mental realms.”

The RA’s own rally co-chair, Jill Veverka, took a TAARA class in 2018.

“Tom assessed each rider’s skill level, put us through drills, and took us for a gravel ride and then into the woods,” Jill shares. “After riding my 1200GS from Ohio, his tutoring was the reason I felt confident to complete the day. He’s an amazing, soft-spoken, talented teacher. HIGHLY recommend!”

Jill’s class was hosted by GS Giants member Mike Williams, who has brought TAARA classes to his home in Indiana since 2018.

“Tom teaches an out-of-the-box way of looking at riding dynamics,” Mike says. “You soon meld with your bike as you learn the foundations. Once you have super slow speed control, the rest comes easy. Your confidence grows fast. His voice and motions help build that. For years he taught off-road here with street tires just to prove a point. He is big on energy management.” 

Who’s Tom Asher?

A member of Team USA in the 2016 GS Trophy in Thailand, Tom has extensive experience in off-road motorcycle racing and over 15 years’ experience developing skills designed specifically for large adventure bikes in off-road conditions. He’s earned a reputation for being able to take a motorcycle anywhere on any terrain, which he demonstrated as he made history in 2017 as the first rider to compete with a BMW R1200GS Adventure in the Tennessee KnockOut Extreme Enduro, the most prestigious American extreme enduro race and ranked 4th toughest in the world.

While he didn’t place, Tom’s mastery of his ride made for a legendary performance that day. “With a bike twice the size of his competitors,” wrote, “Asher [faced a course] built for lighter, more agile enduro bikes, [with] less maneuverability and suspension travel than other challengers, on top of the burden of extra weight.” Impressive!

Tom’s rockstar skills impressed everyone as he tackled one of the hardest Enduro races on his R1200GS. While this water crossing was not the most difficult part of the challenge, the photos sure captured Tom in BEAST MODE!

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