Five years ago I started riding dirt bikes, and I really sucked. I struggled on for a year, soon i realized
I needed some real instruction. I purchased The Dirtwise DVD and learned why I sucked. I worked on
the skills tough in the videos, got a little better.
Eventually I mustered up the courage, signed up to take the Dirtwise School. It was life changing, Shane
was so inspirational, and although i still sucked I spent the next year energized by his words.
I have become a regular yearly fixture in the Dirtwise school. I still leave excited to continue
to become a better rider.
I have also taken other peoples classes, they were helpful but not inspirational and
definitely not formatted as well as Dirtwise. Shane’s has how to break it down figured out. Very personal.
The last Class was a ”rainy mud fest”. Shane reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out a great curriculum.
It was so freaking hard. I crashed in the mud so many times. I learned so much.
But i still left with the desire to be better.
I have found that If you really want to learn to have confidence and skill on a motorcycle Dirtwise is the best way.
I completed the in depth two day course at Three Bridges. I enjoyed all of the skills training we did with Shane, and we completed a great variance of drills. A lot of riding is confidence and attitude, and Shane applied drills that had us all stepping out of our comfort zone. Since doing the course I have been applying all of these little techniques here and there whilst out riding. It’s the little things like body position and balance points that make all of the difference. Even simple things like “wheels in motion” as Shane describes it…I remind myself of, whilst riding in situations where it is applicable.
Well worth doing, and it will definitely take your riding enjoyment, and ability to the next level. Of course with practise and time…like everything. Would consider doing a follow up course soon, if Shane can recommend one.
Thanks again to Shane for a great two days, and the Sanders family for the use of their property.
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate what I learned in Tulalip 2 weekends ago.
This past weekend I was in Hood River OR for the Black Dog dual sport on my Husky TE310 (not quite as light as the KTM I rode at Dirtwise, but love the button …)
I immediately found myself applying principles & skills learned at your school … standing up 90% of the time while off-road, properly skidding the rear end into and around tight turns and charging confidently into ruts. I also was amazed by how much sitting on the rail of the seat helped with higher speed turns on gravel!
Thanks again for being awesome!
I just wanted to give my praise and thanks to Jason for a great school in Florida on the January 11. He was witty, engaging, very knowledgeable and most importantly approachable. I was very concerned my lack of off road experience would be a problem, but Jason made everyone in the class feel as though they could do anything. Even when I blew out the back of the rut during the corner rut drill, he gave me a little (good humored) ribbing and encouraged me to keep trying. I am still worn out, but I learned so much I would (and will) do it again.
Sincerely, Joel (Anthony) George
In the last two years I’ve attended two DirtWise Schools. The first one was an In-Depth school in May 2012. I had just started my first season racing Hare Scrambles and Enduros in Michigan and Indiana and really wanted to improve my riding skills and race results. I had only trail ridden before this season and had, for 10 years or so, not really ridden at all.
In the first few races of 2012, I rode in the B class and was getting mid-pack results. After going to the DirtWise class and actually learning how to ride a bike, I saw a huge improvement in my abilities and results. From Shane Watts I learned all the basics: where to have my hands and feet, when to stand and sit, how to turn, how to brake and accelerate properly, plus all the skills to rip down some single track, etc. By the end of the season I was winning races in the B class and competing for overall B class championships. Just going to the class is a huge help to improve your skills, but if you actually take those lessons and practice them consistently out on your own, the improvement becomes exponential.
In May of 2013, I attended my second DirtWise class, a HardCore school in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I was itching to go to one of these as soon as I finished the first class. If pushing your limits and challenging yourself to conquer difficult trail conditions and terrain is one of your goals, this is where you want to go. Steep off-camber up hills, steep down hills, huge logs, creek crossings, slick flat turns, and much, much more! By the end of this class, I was able to charge at all these obstacles with confidence. It helps to have GNCC XC2 champion Jason Thomas showing you how it’s done.
Because of the skills I learned from Shane and Jason and the hard work I put in applying those skills to my practice sessions in 2013, I was able to win the Expert 2 Hour class championship in the District 14 Hare Scramble series and the Overall A championship in the District 14 Enduro Series, finishing second in the Grand Championship standings. In 2014 I will be riding the newly established AA class in the National Enduro Series!
Thank you Jason & Shane,
I thoroughly enjoyed the school over the weekend. I must admit I got more out of it than the first one I attended several years ago as this time I was able to absorb much more of the instruction. I had bike problems at that last one, plus it was a lot of material to absorb at once, which made it difficult to take all of the instruction in. I can’t believe that everyone doesn’t take this school, it’s the best deal in dirt biking.
John R. Branson
This school was the best money I ever spent in the twenty-five years of riding motorcycles. It was an excellent experience and I would recommend this school for any rider. Thanks again for all you do for the sport.
Hi Shane, I left tenn. Sunday without getting a dvd from you, I did however just order one from your website. I wanted to again thank you for your patience with my boys (Jake and Zach) and Donna. They all had a great time and learned alot. Jake told me sunday as we were loading up “Dad,this is the best weekend I’ve ever had,Thanks” Jakes confidence level is higher now than I’ve ever seen it. It truely was a great weekend for all of us, despite the poor weather conditions. Donnas’ shoulder is doing well, and we are looking forward to getting back to finish her school. Anyway thanks again and we look forward to hearing from you.
Also, to reiterate from previous feedback about the DirtWise July 11-12,
2008 school in CT. I was impressed with the positive results from the two-day training event. It really helped me get a better mindset for taking riding more seriously, becoming more proficient, stepping out of my comfort zone, and still having fun while doing it. I enjoyed the multiple attempts at running up the valley, twistin’ it, shooting up the steep incline, hitting the log at the top of the embankment, and using the 180 wheelie
(semi-controlled) to blast down the hill to ride away clean… LOL…
Ah, the memories. The more time in the saddle (standing on the pegs) during both days helped me leave with a better feel for my bike and it’s capabilities.
After the DirtWise school, I mostly practiced slow-riding skills (not much land around my house), and entered 5 different enduros. I took a 4th, 3rd, 1st, 1st, and 1st in C-VET class for the events… For the last of these races I even highpointed the C class. My 1st Highpoint and I was 10 points from the B-Vet competition!!!
I was stoked about the highpoint and within a few races this year I’ll be booted into B Class which calls for a higher level of proficiency. That’s why I’m asking about the camp.
Great times and best wishes to you and your family.
Thanks again and hope to see you on the trails too,
I have to tell you that since taking your school last year, my riding and confidence have been completely transformed. Not only did I get heaps faster, but I feel that I am much safer at speed and am prepared to handle some of the unknowns that come up in racing/riding situations. Thanks again!
Here’s a pic of me on my way to 1st in the 30A class (9th overall including AA/Pro/A/B) in a local enduro/qualifier this weekend in San Manuel, AZ.
Hey Mr. Watts! I just wanted to say thank you for the Dirtwise DVD’s they helped me out so much. I bought your first Dirtwise movie back in 2007 when I was running 250C. In these two short years from watching your DVD’s and learning from your style I have become a 250A rider and got 8th place overall this year and ended up winning the 250A championship. Your inspiration to me has lead me to pursue riding to whole new level by getting some major sponsors and support. I just wanted to thank you for the help you have given and the success of my career I devote to you and your help. Keep up the awesome work and you are really making a diffrence in the future riders of America.
Tyler Macan # 8A
Thank you for a fantastic weekend in Meriden, CT. At 48 years old, I have been riding off and on since I was nine years old. I was amazed at how much I had to learn, and how much information you were able to pack in to just two days. People have been telling me to stand up and lean forward for years, it was great to have you take the time to show me the proper body position while standing, and where my controls should be adjusted. I have been working on my basic skills, and my ruts and flat corners are already 100% better than before the school. You did a great job taking the time to individually coach eveyone in the class, and to encourage us to push the limits of our comfort zone.
I would (and have) recommend your school to everyone! The school has something to offer for everyone, and how can you go wrong spending two days improving your riding skills with a group of people who just love dirt bikes. I hope to return next year with my nephew.
I wanted to thank you for a great course. I have taken countless clinics from professionals (windsurfers, rock-climbers, etc) and many of them are great at what they do but poor teachers. Your clinic was excellent – good solid practical skills, well explained, well demonstrated, and reinforced throughout. Your teaching skills are as refined as your riding skills! Very very valuable for me – and inspirational as well.
Thank you very much.
I want to pass onto Shane my sincere gratitude for the excellent training I received at the DirtWise school! The 2 days were full of a lot of “aha!” moments for me. It was amazing how 10 minutes of explanation, a 5 minute demo, and then a personal correction or two from Shane was the difference between struggling for years and finally “getting it”.
I am so encouraged by the fact I can practice almost all of the techniques at slow speed and low RPM in an open, safe environment. I don’t have to risk my life pushing my limits at high speed in the tight woods to become a better rider! As I comfortably master these techniques and make them habit at slow speed, I will naturally be able to ride faster and safer.
I’m a better rider thanks to Shane!
I also wanted to let Shane know I read the story about Rionn. The correct perspective is important, eh? Something I always say is, “it’s all relative”. Rionn’s story definitely makes that clear. It’s easier now for me to understand Shane’s positive attitude about breaking his back in Warrensburg–he understands things could be a lot worse. There but for the grace of God, go I.
I just wanted to say thanks. The Last Two days spent at the Dirtwise riding academy was the best training Value for my money and time that I have ever spent in the Sport. I have been riding for 30 years and came away from the class feeling like I had learned a lot and was given a lot of things to work on to better myself in a sport that truly has been for me a life passion. As a A expert rider I thought I would be bored or the exercises would be a piece of cake, (not so I struggled with some of the basics) by going back to the fundamentals it proved to me that I have so much more room for improvement in my riding. I am going to highly recommend this class to anyone I know that has made the investment of Buying an off-road Motorcycle. I look forward to the return of the Dirtwise academy basic training for my son and the advanced class when you come back to Florida.
Shane, thought I’d drop you a few lines thanking you for the new tips I learned at your school last fall. You and your fun approach to riding and teaching made the weekend of suffering into a real pleasure. I just won my class a few weeks ago at a local HS in 103 degree heat, and the best part was that I had a ton of fun while doing it! I’ve been racing for 41 years now and thanks to some of your excellent riding tips and drills, I am having more fun than ever and I surely don’t intend to stop anytime soon. I can’t wait until you return to the Midwest so I can take a more advanced “refresher course”.
I heard about Shane Watts from my friend who taught me how to ride. He had given me one of Shane’s DVD’s. I watched the DVD numerous times. There was no way I could do the stoppies and wheelies Shane was showing on his DVD. I had only ridden a dirt bike 5x, ever!!!!
I decided I need to take a class to improve my skills. When I went on-line to see if there are any classes I could take in my area, I noticed Dirtwise Academy was having a 2-day class nearby. I registered immediately.
When I told my friend about the class, he mentioned it may be too advanced for me but told me to go ahead and take it, hoping it would be just the thing I needed to improve my skills.
Not only was the class what I needed but I would recommend it for riders of all skill levels.
The main thing that I learned was the 4 fundamentals of riding. This set my foundation for the weekend. I went from sitting on the bike and holding on tight to standing and relaxing on my ride.
By the end of the course, I was able to do those stoppies and wheelies I had feared on the DVD (maybe not as great as Shane or the other riders but I did do “wheelies”). Losing my fear of riding and gaining confidence to ride better is a lesson I will never forget. Shane did not let me sit out and not participate just because I was a new rider. Participation was key, it helped not only me, but all the other students to advance their skills (no matter what your skill level)
As Shane would say “riding dirt bikes is easy peasy, mate! Come on you can do it!”
Thanks for the experience, Shane. See you next year!!!
Hi Shane, Olivia and I Had such a great time at the school in Sebastopol,CA !!
It is an experience that we have told scores of club members about already,and more to follow.
She raced her first District 36 Hare Scrambles on Saturday, and finished on the podium. She told me
she could hear you in her helmet telling her what to do! She was so excited! We look forward to
practicing as much as we can, and save our pennies for the next school we can manage to attend.
Thank you for delivering a real Quality program.
Shane and Dave- My son and I were lucky enough to attend your Fundamentals course in Colorado. We are both relatively new to dirt biking and thought we should get off to a good start. What a great course and great instructor. I was amazed at what I could do when applying the right techniques. Great confidence builder, and wow, what a work out. Highly recommend this class and we will be taking another after a few months of practice. Can’t wait to get out there and ride.
Ron Cousineau and son Sawyer
Milliken, CO Fundamentals Class with Dave Neumeister
Please consider this email as a hearty endorsement of your class. I was amazed to find out how much of the fundamentals I had missed. I am a super solid long course B rider and always expect to win the class. Who would have thought that I didn’t know how to corner that well?..hell at all?! Or wheelie under control at high angles? Or do a decent drag race start? Grinding was a skill I never even knew existed before Shane Watts introduced it to me. Getting a chance to isolate the skill was super fun. I feel that as I incorporate this skill more and more into my riding, more and more good things are going to happen. The opportunity to tie together all the skills at the end of the Sunday class on the trail was awesome. I was astonished to find that I was actually able to incorporate several of the skills we covered the previous two days. I can’t wait to continue practicing these new found skills, but more importantly apply them in my next race and expect to find myself in a good position to roost my buddies more often than ever before! I would recommend this class to anybody who is a C rider all the way up to A rider. The AA guys are already too fast, so I am leaving them off the list.
Thanks again for a great weekend of riding! Dirt Biking is AWESOME, but it is even more AWESOME when you have solid fundamental skills.
Just a bit of feedback for you.
When reading your website prior to attending, I was trying to find info on the skill/experience level that the course is suited for but could not.
In the end, the course was perfect for my ability level. Some skills I was competent in already but Shane’s instructions clarified some technique. In other skills I have benefited greatly.
The pace of learning each skill & moving to the next is excellent – not too quick, not too slow. Shane’s break-down of techniques including what is good & what is bad is excellent too. Explanation > show by example > practice is a great formula. I looked into other riding schools over the past year (Acadamey of Off Road Riding – Lyndon Heffernan) (Offroad Advantage – Josh Green) but Dirtwise is the first & only I’ve attended so I cannot compare with any others.
I think you’ve got it down brilliantly. Maybe you don’t need to change anything, just maintain the standard.
(45 years old – been riding for 15 years out of past 23 years – mix of 4hr rides and weekend events)