A day on the Mick Extance Kawasaki Experience

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The Welsh countryside is caked in a pure white snow. The heaters from my car ooze warm air as music flows from the speakers.

I don’t believe in wasted journeys, the scenic views from my car window are better than the monotonous, grinding M25. Ah well, at least it was a nice drive.

There was definitely way too much snow for off-roading anyway. They’re definitely going to cancel.

“Right then lads, who’s ready for some action!” beamed Mick. ‘But it’s snowing and I have never been off-roading in the snow?’ “Don’t worry, I’ll teach you” and just like that I was standing in the briefing area, tricked by a hot cup of tea and a biscuit.

Mick carefully explained, demonstrated and showed everyone the off-road techniques. Most importantly how to pick up the bike should we drop it.

I had my reservations about riding through the white stuff but the team eased us into it slowly. Within moments I was riding through a field, crossing a stream and sitting stationary at the foot of a vast white meadow.

Watching Mick’s son Adam glide in a perfect drift, shooting snowy spray from his back tyre left me in awe. Little did I know, by the end of the day I would be doing the same (although admittedly not as perfect).

We took our time going through the motions, Mick explaining clutch control, body position, braking techniques and the correct use of the throttle. Unlike rolling around in the mud, the snow allowed for superior speedway style riding. It was a perfect learning opportunity and immense fun.

We had a four man group consisting of one experienced rider who wanted to master a few skills, two beginners and one intermediate rider looking for a brush up.

It was time to leave the training field and venture into the Welsh hills and surrounding countryside. The terrain was perfect with a brilliantly versatile mix of woodland, hills, flowing trails and technical sections.

We tackled the woodland and forest tracks, negotiating obstacles and stopping to take in the beautiful scenery.

My off-road competency improved somewhat ten-fold and I am sure the other students felt the same. It was a completely relaxed and friendly environment, the guys really took their time teaching us all as individuals and as part of a group.

To top the day off, Mick and his team met us at the local pub for a hearty meal, regaling Dakar stories and adventures and a beer… or two. Perfect.

Who should do this?
The Mick Extance Experience caters for every off-road level. It doesn’t matter if you have never swung a leg over a bike before or you’re the next Dakar sensation.

There are always three members of staff on every ride, so those that want to pick up the pace can and those who want to hang back and grasp the fundamentals will have a staff member’s undivided attention.

Why should you do this?
You will have the most successful British Dakar competitor on a motorcycle teaching you the tricks of his trade in a relaxed environment. It is a great way to get out there and learn some new skills, have fun and brush up or even try it out for the first time.

The 1500 acre site is deep in the heart of mid-Wales just outside the village of Llangynog, Powys. It offers fantastic off road terrain, none of which are on public roads so a UK license is not needed. The team meet up at the New Inn Hotel, Llangynog, Powys, SY10 0EX for breakfast and dinner, where accommodation is also available.

The bikes
A fleet of the latest Kawasaki machinery awaits you, including the KLX450R, KLX250 and KLX125. www.kawasaki.co.uk/off-road

The Tyres

All of the bikes on the Mick Extance Kawasaki experience use Bridgestone Gritty ED663/ED668 enduro tyres, with thanks to Bridgestone www.bridgestone.co.uk

For a full experience day the price is £200.
This includes use of the bike, fuel, full enduro kit, lunch and refreshments

What else can I do?
Mick Extance Kawasaki experience also offers:
• Motocross
• Trials
• One-to-one training

For more information visit www.mickextanceexperience.com

Andy Davidson

By Andy Davidson

Former MCN Feature writer