KTM Motocross Experience in Winchester (Hampshire)
A couple of us recently headed along to KTM Experience to try our hands at Motocross riding in the beautiful Meon Valley. The location, just outside of Winchester, is popular with motorbike riders looking for bike-friendly roads framed by spectacular scenery; especially in spring.
Booking off-road biking in advance for October you’re really in the lap of the gods with the weather, but it seemed like a great chance to learn more about handling Motocross bikes.
Thankfully we got a true blue-bird day and a fantastic experience.
The day was billed as ‘a great introduction to the thrills of off-road riding for anyone who wants to have a go without having to buy a machine and all the equipment’.
It looked well worth checking out…
You’re advised that you need to ride a motorbike, or be proficient with a mountain bike; and be over 15 years to take part. But, you don’t even need a motorcycle licence.
We were keen!
When you arrive, you’re met by Barry and his team.
An initial briefing is hosted in the awning of their fantastic specially-tailored lorry where you will get kitted up in all the gear you will need for the day.
Owner and Chief Instructor Barry is an Auto Cycle Union approved instructor and top former British Motocross rider.
He makes sure you understand that there’s a risk in riding the bikes, so you need to stay within your capabilities from the start.
Once kitted up, we headed over to the starter course.
The team gave an overview of the mechanics of handling the bikes, and explained some of the techniques needed to safely control corners.
Both Joel and I ride larger bikes, and most of the group seemed proficient enough as we got our hands on the bikes for the first time.
There was a real mix of experience in our 3 groups, but the starter course offered some simple straights to get comfortable on the bike. You soon get a feel for the speed of each rider, who will take things easy and who will come flying past.
To be honest, the bikes take a bit of getting used to.
Obviously if you don’t ride motorbikes regularly, basic bike controls will take some time but if, like us, you have ridden before, the main difference is the cornering. It’s not as easy as you think.
You approach the corner with your leading leg outstretched to bounce up should you take too close a line into the corner. Your approach line is different to road biking, and knowing how much you can push the bike into the corner is the art.
Too quick and you run wide, too slow and the bike gets stuck in the mud and wants to fall over.
There are 3 sessions on the starter course, giving you time to gain in confidence and get some tips from the team.
After each session, a new part of the course is revealed to progress you onto longer and more challenging elements.
After a break for lunch to refuel (remember to bring your own food and drinks) it’s over to the main course.
To be fair there is a main-main course on site, but not something we’d get on in one day!
I was feeling pretty confident after learning the smaller course well and feeling in control, but it’s interesting how you need to completely slow your speed down again when learning a new course.
Motocross is all about holding your nerve at the right times, and until you know a course properly, you can’t get any real speed.
The main course is of a size that allows you room in some areas, and bunches you up at others. It’s a good mix. There we more opportunities to open the throttle on this course, and you get to see that the bikes really can go!
The course is as good as you can make it, with the KTM Experience team showing you how it should be done!
As the day went on, our confidence improved and the jumps became better. Well, a bit.
At the end of 3 sessions on the larger course, some very tired but contented racers left the track.
It had been a fantastic day and the weather could not have been better. The KTM Experience team gave us a real taster of the fun these bikes can be, and we’ll hope to be experiencing that again soon!
The day is definitely highly recommended by us…
Book your space for next spring/summer and learn more at www.ktmmxexperience.co.uk