Honda True Adventure Offroad Academy: a name as long as the experience of Marcello Romano, FMI instructor and former enduro rider, and how much fun that mother Honda's bikes can give.
November 26, 2019. In a weekend of autumn scents and colors and spring temperatures, we arrive at the shed (practically a hangar full of Africa Twin, X-ADV, CB500X, CRF 250 L and Rally) home of the official Honda Academy, dedicated not only to those who are already owner but also to those who are about to become one. In fact, the first point in favor is to be able to take the motorcycle to rent (and leave your own intact ...).
Marcello (also called Bulldozer) is very nice and 100% Emilian: rough like the dough pulled properly and genuine like the splendid land in which we will ride. It will be a great weekend!
Back to basics
After the formalities, we change on the fly and start with the theory lesson on site and the briefing. The theory begins with the rudiments of off-road driving: movements and posture to be kept on the bike with the whole body, both uphill and downhill, and in curves. After his examples, we climb one by one on the Africa Twin for a “static” test with the bike off, supported by the other instructors. Having cleared up the first doubts, we finally start!
The rain of the previous days made the camp unusable training main, then we deviate towards a large former quarry, dry and flat where we can begin to make the bones. You start by simply walking the bike with the engine running, to acquire the right gas / clutch sensitivity. Immediately after, you return to the saddle for countless laps, in every sense, aimed at refining standing driving and control in tight corners, always without sitting down. The staff is present throughout the course, for each participant there is the right attention to detail, every error is noticed and corrected.
One thing we appreciated right away is the progressive course formula: as a student learns more or less quickly, he is "moved" to the next exercises with the other instructors, in order to maximize time and learning.
After lunch we move on to another scenario: from the dry morning to an environment that alternates wet grass, mud and puddles. You follow an eight-shaped track, grip decreases and putting into practice the notions of the morning becomes fundamental. But for the instructors we are not dirty enough and the "mud baptism" begins, nothing complicated but insidious enough to metabolize the technique that Marcello repeated to us like a mantra at each step (his voice still echoes in my ears ...) .
The first day comes to an end and all our efforts are rewarded with a few laps on a small "single track" where we had fun like children giving more and more gas: I would have done it for at least another 50 laps.
We return to the base and discover that the surprises are not over. The first is theMaison de Vie hotels, where await us: the staff of disarming hospitality and a structure that looked like a wedding favor, after all, comfort also counts when you go on a motorcycle. The second is dinner on the farm, the Poggio Caminata, based on delicious local products and recipes, lots of chats between friends. But also fatigue knocks on the door and we all go back to the hotel because tomorrow we go off-road to discover the hills of Piacenza!
Good road to all and remember that “The roads are made for travel, not for destinations ”(Confucius).
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