Adventure Rider, Instructor, Continental Tire Advocate

Photo: Tim Burke

Continental Tire is well known throughout the Adventure Riding world as the leader in tires for the serious Adventure rider. But what is Adventure Riding and how do I get started and what do I need to know? To answer these questions and many more we went to an expert in the field, Jocelin Snow.

Originally from the East Coast, and now residing in California, Jocelin bought her first motorcycle at age 12 with her paper route money. Jocelin isn’t just your average BMW GS rider, she is a former BMW International GS Trophy competitor and a Certified BMW International off-road instructor. If those weren’t impressive enough credentials, she has also owned over 40 motorcycles and competed in virtually every form of 2-wheel competition in over 35 years on motorcycles.

Conti Moto USA did a one-on-one question and answer session with Jocelin and here’s what she had to say.

Conti Moto USA: What is Adventure riding and how does one get started?

Jocelin Snow: An Adventure bike by the common definition today is a versatile machine combining elements of sport bike, touring machine, dirt bike and dual sport bike in one machine capable of covering long distances comfortably and handling a wide variety of road conditions and terrain. The adventure ride itself can be what you make it whether a day trip with your friends to an intense solo ride across a strange continent on roads far from civilization. A true Adventure rider is prepared to ride all types of terrain and in all weather conditions.

Conti Moto USA:  What essentials should one pack for an Adventure ride?

Jocelin Snow: What you pack, of course, depends on the ride you are planning.   I try to pack for the ride as planned and then a little bit more, because we adventure riders seek out adventure, and often find ourselves in an unexpected situation.  To help riders remember some of the essentials, I have made a list using the first letter of the days of the week.

M:  Money & Map

T:  Tools & Tow Strap (tools for tire repair and basic repair, including zip ties and epoxy)

W: Water (hydration pack) and a filter system for water in the wilderness

T:  Tracking device (emergency tracking device such as Delorme or Spot, as well as a GPS)

F:  Fuel Food & First Aid Kit (spare fuel in auxiliary bottles)

S: Shelter (tent, umbrella, blanket)

S: Spare parts (brake/clutch levers, switches and parts that tend to break when the bike falls over)

Conti Moto USA: Any special bike set-up tips? Seat, handlebars, grips, suspension, etc.

Jocelin Snow: Often I hear riders advise other riders to use these bar risers, this suspension, that seat, those foot pegs, etc.  My take on this is that all riders are different, and each rider should prepare their motorcycle to best benefit them, not the guy who is sitting at his computer replying to their post on social media.  A rider’s bike set up should allow them to be comfortable and to use all the controls and functions to pilot the motorcycle the best way possible.

Conti Moto USA: What if I drop my bike and I’m riding alone?

Jocelin Snow: I have been in this situation many times, I am 5′ – 1.5″ and can just barely get one toe – one foot down to the ground when riding my 550lb adventure bike. Adventure riders like a challenge, and often that leads them into tricky situations, which can toss them off balance and result in a tip-over.  My advice is to learn how to pick up your own bike.  If a rider understands how to properly pick up their fallen motorcycle, (loaded with gear or not), without hurting themselves, they will have more confidence when venturing off road…and confidence is key to having a great adventure.

Conti Moto USA: Tires- What tire is the best choice for Adventure riding? How do I choose the right tire?

Photo: Tim Burke

Jocelin Snow: Tire choice is a favorite discussion topic among Adventure riders mostly because there are so many variables.  What bike are you riding?  What type of terrain are you planning to ride?  How far are you going?  How experienced of a rider are you?  Will you be in town or out in the backcountry? Selecting the right tire for your bike can be easy once you know the answers to the questions above. Tires with more open tread areas like the Conti TKC80 or TKC70 and TKC70 Rocks are ideal for rugged off-road situations because the open tread areas dig into loose terrain better than a more street oriented tire. For mostly highway Adventures with the occasional dirt road, the Conti Trail Attack 3 is an excellent choice because of its excellent wet weather performance, quick warm-up, it’s quiet and wears really well.

Most of the riding I do on my BMW GS 1250 consists of back country roads and rugged dirt roads or trails.  My go-to tire is the Continental TKC80.  This tire helps me keep the bike in control when riding what I like to call “texture” and handles great when tackling obstacles.  It also works amazing on twisty pavement.

Conti Moto USA: Thank you Jocelin for sharing your tips and advice and we can’t wait to hear about your future adventures.

Jocelin is BMW Certified off-road instructor.  She built a 15-acre Enduro Park in Salinas, California where she runs classes.  She also teaches at other schools across the USA and Canada, including at the BMW Performance Center which she calls a great place for “hand’s on” training.  Make sure to contact Jocelin for some more GS trophy oriented, personal, or one-on-one training.

Jocelin currently has a packed stable of 14 motorcycles, including her latest favorites; 2016 BMW 1200GSA and 2019 1200 Rallye.  Jocelin spends much of her time running her own business, along with her 8 employees, but when she’s not working. She enjoys all types of motorcycling including trail riding, street riding, supermoto, dual sport, motorcross and of course adventure riding.

Aspiring or experienced Adventure riders can learn more by checking out Jocelin’s Instagram account @jocelinsnow and her YouTube channel Jocelin Snow.

Photo: Chris Scott