Large capacity adventure bikes are all the rage right now, with the likes of BMW’s GS range, KTM’s Adventure models, the Triumph Tigers and a host of other do-it-all machines being the most popular models sold in the UK today.
That said, today’s adventure bikes are typically heavy and tall, putting some riders – and even adventure bike owners – off taking them onto the dirty stuff. And, if you’re seventeen and just completed your CBT, the options in the adventure sector are pretty slim.
That’s where the Sinnis Terrain 125 and Sinnis’ new adventure academy in partnership with Desert Rose Racing off-road school comes in. So, I went along to the new Sinnis Adventure Academy in East Sussex to give it a go myself.
Sinnis Adventure Academy
Set in over 80 acres of stunning woodland, there aren’t many places better suited to get to grips with riding trails, and learning the basics of off-road riding. So, following a short presentation from Desert Rose instructors, which include Dakar legend Patsy Quick and hard enduro specialist Harry Michael, it was time to ride.
Talking to the Sinnis team while kitting up, they explained that a number of Terrain 125 owners are setting off on mini adventures of their own. The story of one customer strapping a tent on the back, filling the panniers with some supplies and setting off for Norway was particularly inspiring, and what motorcycling is all about – adventure!
The one-day course aimed at beginners is divided into progressive components, each teaching a key element of effective off-road riding. Each session is split up by giving riders the opportunity to try a variety of different trails putting learnings into practice before heading to the next session.
In total there are four sessions for a maximum of six riders, teaching the fundamentals of off-roading which included body positioning, clutch control and slow speed riding, braking, and tackling inclines and declines. For those used to riding on grippy tarmac like me, almost every session will feel alien at first, but as you progress throughout the day, everything you learn starts to come together.
It's also worth noting that The Sinnis Adventure Academy is tailored to the overall riding ability of each group, so sessions may vary with elements added or removed to make sure everyone gets the most out of the day, which is excellent.
The way the instructors delivered each drill and engaged with the group was a highlight, making it as simple as possible to understand why each element was important and demonstrating how to do it correctly, before it was over to you to give it your best shot. Even for the most apprehensive of beginners, nothing about the drills was intimidating, which filled you with confidence. Also, the benefit of the academy’s small groups was that one-to-one tuition was possible for those that needed a little extra guidance.
Overall, it was a superb day, extremely fun and by the end of it, I left with a solid understanding of the techniques needed to ride off-road – whether it’s a Sinnis Terrain 125, a larger adventure bike, or an enduro machine. And the great thing is learning to ride off-road helps improve your road riding, too. Result!
Sinnis Terrain 125
The great thing about learning to ride off-road on Sinnis’ Terrain 125 is how accessible it is. It’s low 780mm seat height, friendly 125cc single-cylinder 12.7bhp motor, and combined braking system makes it the ideal beginner bike to tackle some gentle off-roading.
During my time at the adventure academy, I did find ground clearance a small issue with the centre stand taking a clattering once or twice, and the softness of the front forks was evident with them bottoming out over rougher ground.
Although, the overall performance of the completely standard Terrain 125 was impressive for light off-road work. Stick some more aggressive off-road tyres on as I had chance to sample, and the difference in what the bike was capable of over the standard OE tyres was significant.
So, if you’re looking to get your first taste of off-roading, the Sinnis Adventure Academy is the ideal place to start.
It will set you back £195 for the day including bike and kit hire, but if you have your own Sinnis Terrain 125 that you fancy using instead, it will cost you a reduced fee of £145. You can book directly or find out more by heading over to https://desertrose.academy/book-now/
And finally, Sinnis has recently announced it’s offering a seven-year, unlimited-miles motorcycle warranty with 24/7 breakdown cover included. So, if you were considering buying your own Terrain 125 and it’s peace of mind you’re after, there you have it.
Words: Andrew Luckie