BY DUSTY WESSELS, WEST 38 MOTO
Riding in the dark is best avoided whenever possible. But sometimes, you just need to make distance or get to the campsite, and there’s simply no choice. So what’s the best policy when riding in the dark?
Lay off that throttle
First off, SLOW DOWN! Even more than during the day.
Obviously during the night, visibility is limited, but depending on your bike and how it is set up, your stock lights may be limited, too. Also, when you are off road you are going to encounter hills and corners, pay close attention to where your lights shine when traversing around these. For example, when cresting a hill, your light will be shining up or straight as you start to look down to see what’s there. Hence my warning to slow down: it will take your light or lights a bit to catch up.
If you are riding with others, talk about flanking each other. For example, ride just off the rear and to one side of your friends’ bike. Here, you won’t catch much dust or rocks and you can share each other’s light. Again, this works better if you are going slow!
Dusty Wessels co-founded West 38 Moto after logging over 200,000 miles on a wide array of big-bike Dual Sport and Adventure motorcycles over the last 10 years. West 38 Moto provides participants everything from foundational riding skills to ultra-advanced riding techniques.
PHOTOS: RTW PAUL