Classes of Terrains

If you have not read the considerations and assumptions used for this rating system, please make sure you read them before continuing to the rate system. 

 

 CLASS 1 / NOVICE TERRAIN 

Consider yourself a novice ADV rider if you rate yourself as proficient.

Consider our Level 1 and Express Training if you are struggling to get proficient at this level.

DETAILS

The novice level begins for most riders before they ever consider adventure riding. Gravel driveways, road construction with hardpacked gravel or dirt and well-maintained dirt/gravel roads is where this level starts. These types of terrain features are easily managed on a street motorcycle with street tires, and do not require any specific off-road riding skills.

FEATURES

 

  • Old or poorly maintained paved roads
  • Maintained/graded gravel or dirt roads

 

  • Sticks or small tree limbs

 

  • Water crossings less than 5cm or 2" deep

 

  • Modest inclines/declines (road-like grades)

EXAMPLE VIDEO


EXAMPLE PICTURES

                              

 
 

 CLASS 2 / BASIC TERRAIN 

Consider yourself a basic ADV rider if you rate yourself as proficient.

Consider our Level 1 and Express Training if you are struggling to get proficient at this level.

DETAILS

Basic terrain is the most common terrain for ADV riders of all levels. This terrain could easily be driven in a standard car. Basic ADV terrain typically consists of simple, predictable features with occasional challenges for traction, or obstacles that would require a rider to slow down before crossing.

FEATURES

  

  • Full lane or two-track graded dirt/gravel roads
  • Wide, shallow ruts
  • Packed sand
  • Washboard or minor water bars

 

  • Obstacles or ledges less than 10cm or 4" high
  • Sections of loose rock less than 8cm or 3" deep
  • Patches of soft gravel, shallow sand, or surface mud

  

  • Slow-moving water crossings less than 10cm or 4" deep
  • Water crossings have a solid base

 

  • Minimal loose, rolling rocks
  • Light gravel with rain ruts

EXAMPLE VIDEO


EXAMPLE PICTURES

                              

 

 

 CLASS 3 / MODERATE TERRAIN 

Consider yourself an intermediate ADV rider if you rate yourself as proficient.

Consider our Level 2 and Express Training if you are struggling to get proficient at this level.

DETAILS

Moderate terrain is where proper training and off-road skills become important. Moderate terrain is often the most sought-out terrain by ADV riders when traveling. Seeking to become proficient at moderate terrain and reach the level of intermediate rider is a worthy goal.
Moderate terrain is also where techniques such as standing and precise clutch control are required to reach a proficient status.

FEATURES

 

  • Dry, narrow single-track ruts
  • Sections of shallow mud
  • Soft surface gravel (fresh road gravel)
  • Patches of soft sand less than 30m or 100ft long

  

  • Wet grass
  • Obstacles up to 15cm or 6" high

 

  • Water crossings with mud or loose rock base
  • Water crossings under 15cm or 6" deep

 

  • Single-lane switchbacks
  • Loose rock patches less than 13cm or 5" diameter on inclines
  • Ledges less than 10cm or 4" on inclines
  • Ledges less than 15cm or 6" on declines
     

EXAMPLE VIDEO


EXAMPLE PICTURES

          .                   

 

 

 CLASS 4 / DIFFICULT TERRAIN 

Consider yourself an advanced ADV rider if you rate yourself as proficient.

Consider our Level 3 or One-on-one Training if you are struggling to get proficient at this level.

DETAILS

Now it's time to really start having fun. Most routes only have short sections that are rated as difficult. This may not be an issue for a rider that proficient in intermediate terrain, however if a route is consistently rated as difficult, that can contribute to significant fatigue causing erros in technique and/or judgment. Difficult terrain can be very dangerous for riders lacking proper riding gear (including motocross boots), riding skills or motorcycle setup. Difficult terrain may also be signed for high clearances or 4x4 vehicles. 

FEATURES

   

  • Narrow, two-track switchbacks
  • Snow
  • Sections of loose rocks larger than 13cm or 5" diameter
  • Wet, narrow single-track ruts

 

  • Deep, soft gravel greater than 8cm or 3" deep
  • Mud or sand requiring momentum to cross

 

  • Water crossings with a loose base
  • Moderate-flow water crossings shallower than 23cm or 9" deep
  • Fast-flow water crossings shallower than 18cm or 7" deep

  

  • Loose rock under 15cm or 6" diameter
  • Mud and water on hill climbs

 

EXAMPLE VIDEO


EXAMPLE PICTURES

                              

 

 

 CLASS 5 / SEVERE TERRAIN 

Consider yourself an expert ADV rider if you rate yourself as proficient.

Consider our One-on-one Training if you are struggling to get proficient at this level.

DETAILS

Because this ADV rider skill rating system assumes you will be riding a loaded ADV bike, it is unlikely for most riders to encounter severe terrain accidentally. Many riders might encounter severe terrain during long trips but few riders will ever reach the level of proficient. An expert ADV rider is capable of riding comfortable, relaxed and unfazed on severe terrain that is impassable by unmodified, un-winched Jeep or trails intended for dirt bikes.

FEATURES

   

  • Trails intended primarily for dirt bikes
  • Single-track switchback sections
  • Impassible trails except under ideal conditions
  • May need mechanical assistance (winch)
  • Narrow sections with side camber

 

  • Deep, soft gravel greater than 8cm or 3" deep
  • Mud or sand requiring momentum to cross

 

  • Fast-flow water crossings deeper than 30cm or 12" deep
  • Water crossings with a poor base

  

  • Obstacles or ledges equal to or taller than the front axle
  • Deep, soft sand
  • Sticky mud

 

EXAMPLE VIDEO


EXAMPLE PICTURES

                              

 

Check out the ASSUMPTIONS AND CONSIDERATIONS and the RIDER SKILL RATING SYSTEM.

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