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When the Paved Road Gets Left Behind

Motorcycle Adventure Riding

Longtime friends Jamey Martin and Trevor Morton had both owned motorcycles for a few years when they decided the best way to make sure their bikes didn't just sit in storage would be committing to absolutely, no matter what, making the time to plan and take one group backcountry trip every year.

Since all official organizations require a proper name, and the title "grown men riding motorcycles into the backcountry and occasionally making very poor choices" wouldn't fit on a sticker, the group decided on the title Adventure Idiots.

Every year since 2015, the Adventure Idiots have gotten together for backcountry motorcycle trips lasting seven to 12 days and covering anywhere from 700 to 1,100 miles.

"I think of tour riding as being on pavement, staying in hotels, riding something like a Harley or a Gold Wing. Adventure riding involves getting off the pavement as much as possible. Backcountry routes, dirt trails, water crossings, and camping," Martin says.

Martin rides a 2004 BMW 1150GS. The tires, suspension, and crash bars on adventure bikes are designed to handle sometimes extreme backcountry conditions.

"I've never been on a trip where I haven't eaten it at least once or twice. We never want to be reckless, but sometimes you catch a rut, or there's a river or creek crossing and you hit a rock you can't see. That's just part of it," Martin says.

Some companies, like Highlands Ranch's Colorado Motorcycle Adventures, provide guided tours. For riders who like to do their own research and planning, a great resource is Backcountry Discovery Routes. RideBDR.com provides free GPS tracks, information, and planning tools for 12 established BDR routes.

"The planning is fun, but I think the best part is getting to camp at the end of a long day," Martin says. "Knowing you just put in some miles through beautiful country and then getting to make camp with a group of your closest friends, build a fire, have a drink, relax. That's adventure riding."

Backcountry Discovery Routes

ColoradoBDR

682-miles. Route includes dirt roads with rocks, sand, a few water crossings.

WyomingBDR

Deep ruts, loose rocks, sand, rocky hill climbs/descents. 950-miles.

UtahBDR

871-miles. Deep sand challenges riders, with a few expert-only options available.

“We’ll get distracted and end up at a music festival, or change our route because of weather. When we’re planning, there’s always a couple days of flexibility built into the schedule.”

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