Hard Enduro and Adventure bike legend Chris Birch talks to Enduro21 about his new, online ‘How To’ training video series.

30 years of racing and over a decade of training off road has brought Chris Birch to the attention of many dirt bike riders around the globe. Memorably for us are his epic Romaniacs and Roof of Africa Hard Enduro rides, helping put both Chris and the events on the map for us all.

More recently Chris has spent time riding and coaching both on enduro bikes and the bigger KTM Adventure bikes. 

The lessons honed over so many years riding and now training are now available in a 16-episode series of downloadable videos which are “focused on adventure bike riders but very relevant to riding any motorcycle off road.”

We caught up with Chris to understand a little more about the series and find out if it’s always been a plan to make lessons available online...

Chris Birch: “It is something that we have been working on, off and on, for over a year as time allowed. I wanted to make sure we did it right, that it was of a really high quality, and that all takes time. 

“Over the past 10 years or so I have taught around 5,000 dirt bike and adventure riders, so I have been able to really figure out what are the common issues holding people back and how I can best get my information across to help them improve. There has been a lot of requests for a coaching DVD or video series, so I was pretty sure that the demand was there, I just wanted to get the model right.”

How long did it take to put it all together?

“We started on it last summer, then got busy with schools and rides around the world and got back to it thankfully before all the lockdown madness kicked off. It’s ended up being good timing.”

Where can people buy them? Just your Vimeo channel?

“It is only available on my Vimeo on Demand channel, SayNoToSlow. Probably the simplest way to find it is to click on the video on my website chrisbirch.co.nz

The list of separate topics brings together the ‘key lessons’ from your coaching schools...which on the list is the most popular? 

“The how-to wheelie video is the most popular, probably because it’s free. Most people are buying the whole series, which is of course what I hoped for. I always want to give people the whole picture rather than little tips and tricks. However, I know times are tough for people at the moment so I wanted to make answers available at as low a price as possible.”

You’re still doing enduro/off road training as well, the skills are transferable right?

“I actually do three times more enduro training than ADV training on average. The Adventure bike stuff seems to get all the attention but I am still an enduro guy at heart. 

“I would say that 75% of the information and skills from the ADV videos cross over on to the enduro bikes. Definitely the foot positioning, body positioning and braking/acceleration videos all cross over really well on to the enduro bikes.” 

You continue to do training schools all over the world (or will do when we can travel again), do you spend your life travelling and helping people enjoy riding Adv bikes?

“Riding is my full-time gig, either doing events with KTM, rider training, racing or tours.  Even as this pandemic rolls on I am coaching people remotely using online tools. 

“It’s such a great way to earn a living, basically I get to meet lots of new people and help them enjoy their favourite thing even more, what a pleasure! 

“When I get to see the lightbulb or ‘aha!’ moments in people’s faces it’s very, very cool. We also do enduro tours in New Zealand with support from KTM throughout the New Zealand summer.”

Last year (2019) you jumped back on an enduro bike for Roof of Africa. How was that? A bad idea or not?

“It was not a bad idea, it was a great idea. Like I said I’m still riding my enduro bike as much as I can so I wasn’t too rusty. 

“The Roof of Africa is an amazing race, it’s a race that has had a huge effect on my career and like they say Africa gets in your blood. To be able to go back to the Roof with the knowledge that I was not going to be able to win took away all the normal race pressure and allowed me to really enjoy the ride. 

“Fun was the number one goal. I was pretty stoked with a top 10 result. Lesotho is such an amazing place, if you’re looking for an enduro adventure I can’t recommend it enough.”

Price for the whole ‘Say No To Slow – Adventure Bike How-To Training Series is just $35/£28/€32

The series can be bought as a whole or individually (for just a few Dollars/Pounds/Euros) if you want to hone basic bike set-up and body position or more advanced techniques like riding soft sand, getting over logs or, of course, wheelies. 

More information: ChrisBirch.co.nz 

Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool/Predrag Vuckovic