A New Brand of Protection for Real Riders

CASTAIC, CALIFORNIA - The obstacles were numerous: Jagged rocks. Deep pits of mud. Logs and unsteady bridges. Countless whoops. All navigated on the BMW R 1200 GS.

It was a course designed to take the adventure rider to his or her very limit. Jim Hyde and his Rawhyde team devised the Adventure Rider Challenge to test and weed out the masses until only three riders remained. Those three were named Team USA, and will be sent later in the year to South Africa to compete in the BMW International GS Trophy.

What about the bikes themselves? Hyde didn't challenge man alone, but also the BMW R 1200 GS - and whatever protective gear it had installed.

The AltRider Skid Plate for the BMW R 1200 GS was put to the test, along with the rest of the AltRider line, on the bike ridden by Jeremy LeBreton, President, AltRider. The skid plate took beating after beating as he negotiated difficult terrain, but continued to completely protect the vulnerable headers and cross pipe. This allowed LeBreton to focus on riding, and ultimately come in fifth place overall.

The skid plate's protection was impressive. The corrugated design of the pan multiplied the strength of the already-strong 4.75 mm anodized aluminum. Hand TIG welds - both outside and inside on vertical seams - simultaneously reinforced both the beauty and brawn of the skid plate. Rocks and debris didn't stand a chance against it.

Riders and spectators alike spent time admiring the AltRider piece, but it was ultimately Jim Hyde himself who declared its value. He had LeBreton and other members of the AltRider team install the skid plate and accompanying AltRider gear on two Rawhyde R 1200 GSs - bikes that Hyde will use in his famous Off-Road Academy training exercises.

For the uninitiated, the Off-Road Academy is a course that teaches students to ride adventure motorcycles the way they were designed to be used. The training produces real riders who are capable in nearly any on or off road situation, but it starts off with plenty of spills as students learn to negotiate difficult conditions. Because of the beating his bikes take, Hyde demands the best protection available. His desire for AltRider equipment signifies that their products are worth consideration for serious riders.

It was a weekend of obstacles overcome, camaraderie experienced, and connections made. By the end of the Adventure Rider Challenge weekend, we had a new Team USA... and a new brand of protection to watch.

Gravel lined mud pits posed a threat to any engine that didn't have hardy protection.
Difficult course terrain challenged both man and machine with tight turns, rocks, whoops
Jim Hyde teaches his students to use their BMW R 1200 GSs to their full potential, but also encourages them to find the burliest protection they can find for their big bikes.
The mud pit slowed down more than one rider who attempted to conquer it.
Jim Hyde of RawHyde Adventures installed AltRider products on two BMW R 1200 GSs that will be used for his training courses.
Jeremy LeBreton rode into 5th place overall at the Adventure Rider Challenge, which earned him a spot as an alternate on Team USA.