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Around the Wheel with Bret Tkacs

Education Podcasts

Discussions and interviews between Bret Tkacs and ADV riders, travelers, Patreon fans, and industry experts.

Discussions and interviews between Bret Tkacs and ADV riders, travelers, Patreon fans, and industry experts.


United States


Discussions and interviews between Bret Tkacs and ADV riders, travelers, Patreon fans, and industry experts.






Is Suspension Worth the Cost?

IS ADJUSTABLE SUSPENSION WORTH THE COST? Suspension is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects to your motorcycle, and many people talk about upgrading their suspension. However, since the cost can be up to $7,000, it's important to know what upgraded suspension can do for your motorcycle, and whether you should invest in an upgrade.There is a narrow weight window for stock suspension, which is around 180lbs (rider and gear together). Some people believe if they add preload and get the...


Riding While Hurting: A Talk on Aging

RIDING WHILE HURTING: A TALK ON AGING Adapting to the realities of age is important in the ADV world, where it’s too easy to get hurt if you’re not developing the correct muscles, use the correct technique, or your bike is not ergonomically set up. Fatigue while riding is likely to be a skill issue, a technique issue, or an ergonomic issue. If it’s none of those, then it will likely be a health or strength issue. Learn exercises to improve the strength of your midsection, lower back, legs,...


How to Choose a Motorcycle Training Class

How To Choose A Motorcycle Class Washington State has two state-approved motorcycle basic rider education curriculums. One is through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the other is the Motorcycle Education Program (MEP), which Bret wrote for Puget Sound Safety. There are some major differences between the two curricula: The MSF courses are formulaic, structured, and linear while the MEP courses are flexible, adaptable, and offer students the opportunity to self-correct. In addition,...


What to Expect as a New ADV Rider

What can you expect as a new ADV rider? Many people who first start riding ADV bikes can credit their knowledge to riding dirt bikes as a child. But what if this is the first time you've ridden anything in the dirt? Learning what to expect as a new adventure rider is a subject that few instructors address.Australian rider, Robert Malpas, is a recent convert into the ADV world and he has some excellent insight into what beginning dirt riders think and feel when they're getting used to a new...


Are You Miscalculating your ADV Skills?

Are you Miscalculating your adv skills? Paul Solomonson, dueling counterpart in the recent video "Mosko Moto vs Lone Rider", talks with Bret about rating yourself as an ADV rider and some of the common ways riders miscalculate their skill level.Paul Solomonson works with Bret across the United States in teaching ADV training classes. He is also a state-certified motorcycle and driving instructor and has taught advanced motorcycle skills in the Military Mentor Training courses for the U.S....


Top Tips for Adventure Camping

Top Tips for Adventure Camping You don't need to travel far and wide to be an ADV motorcyclist, nor do you need to travel with an expensive motorcycle. Adventuring is about travel, discovering, and wandering, and these tips will help make your next adventure smoother.


Is Motorcycle Safety Training a Myth?

Does Motorcycle Training Create Safer Riders? Does motorcycle safety training really teach what it's intended to teach? In this episode, Bret Tkacs speaks with Chris Johnson, owner of Washington Motorist Safety Training, about whether motorcycle safety education is real or a myth. Does training actually make safer riders? Enjoy this dynamic podcast where two energetic personalities discuss rider skill vs. rider behavior, the culture of riding, and the need to be able to make mistakes. For...


What’s Going On With Jesse Luggage?

What's GOING ON WITH Jesse Luggage? Jesse Luggage is now owned by Jared Maxfield who is revitalizing the brand into Jesse Adventures: a one-stop resource for the ADV community. In this podcast, Bret and Jared discuss what it's like being one of the few hard pannier distributors in the United States, the competition in the ADV luggage market, and the pros and cons of putting hard panniers onto your ADV bike. If you've never heard of Jesse Luggage or you're a diehard fan, this is a podcast to...


Essential First Aid Tips for the Adventure Rider

In this episode, Jesse Pacht discusses some essential first aid tips that adventure riders should know prior to going on an ADV ride. Adventure riders are often beyond cell service or immediate help. Discover how to prepare mentally, determine what essential items belong in your first aid kit, and learn how to prevent accidents before they occur.


ADV Motorcycle Education

ADV MOTORCYCLE EDUCATION A discussion about the value of motorcycle education for ADV riders. Greg DiBernardo and I chat about how you can learn on your own, using resources that you can find for free. We also discuss how much professional training should cost and its value, whether it is hype or worth the time and money. Understanding what level of training to invest in is only part of the solution; we talk about how to differentiate between a rider who is an instructor vs the master of the...


What Inspires Bret

What inspires Bret In a twist of tradition, I get interviewed by another podcaster from South Africa (JJ le Roux from Gravel Travel) about my background and what drives me to train riders. I ramble on about what inspires me as a motorcycle educator while providing tips on finding instructors that will inspire you to become better. Discover why I dedicate so much time helping riders become better.


Trail Braking

Trail Braking is the riding technique every rider should be using on the street. Join Bret Tkacs and Patreon supporter Peter Shimm in a detailed discussion of how and why you improve your trail braking skills. Although many riders oppose the concept of trail braking - believing all corner braking should be done before every corner - this is an unrealistic and a dangerous belief. Even those riders opposed to trail braking admit to using brakes in a corner. Trail braking is a daily riding...


Embracing Sand

Embracing Sand This episode brings you Zak Parrish, the rider of an Africa Twin DCT nicknamed the "Lawn Dart" after a learning experience where his bike became planted in sand. Bret and Zak dive into the challenges, techniques and skills needed to ride in deep sand on a heavy adventure bike. Spend an hour listening to the stories and techniques that will help you master riding in loose surfaces as well as some ideas for practicing your skills near home. Don't miss the next episode in two...


Overcoming the Odds

Overcoming Odds In this episode, Bret Tkacs chats with Patreon supporter Jose Real (retired, disabled U.S. Army) who broke his back while serving his country and was informed he may not ever walk again. In response, Jose worked through his depression and learned how to do things differently. Despite weakness in his left leg and limited use of his right arm, he decided to start riding again, this time as an ADV motorcyclist on an Africa Twin DCT. Jose's story is incredible and inspiring, and...


Foreign Travel

Critical Skills for International Travel Patreon supporter Mark Wallace is a world-renowned photographer / video blogger and has been traveling the globe since 2014. Bret and Mark discuss their top requisite skills for international travelers, however this information is equally useful to anyone riding a motorcycle on public roads in your own neighborhood. Check out his engaging website at


Controlling Fear

Controlling Fear Bret's first "Around the Wheel" podcast features a discussion between Bret and Patreon supporter Professor John DeCarlo, a professional educator, veteran flight instructor, former police chief and ADV motorcyclist. Listen to an excellent discussion on learning theories and how to harness the fears of riding such as riding in sand, gravel, mud and more. This discussion ends with tips you can take to practice mastering fear on your own.


Choosing a Motorcycle

Which is the perfect motorcycle? Bret uses a detailed process to select the right motorcycle for himself. It all comes down to what you need the motorcycle to do - Touring? Off-road? Commuting? Traveling internationally? Performance? The right motorcycle can change based on where you are and what you are doing.


Avoiding Border Bribes

Bret has traveled through 49 countries, most of them by motorcycle, and with very few overpayments, bribes, or harassment. He discusses the following points that he has learned from his extensive travel, and through his mentor, Miguel. Topics discussed in this episode are: 1) How to address and use fixers/helpers, 2) Attitude, 3) Professionalism.



Unfortunately, crashes are a significant reality for motorcyclists. The good news is most crashes are our fault. In Washington, 75% of fatalities were riders in a curve, with no other vehicles involved, which means they had complete control over the situation. For off-road riders, nearly all crashes are caused by the rider. Topics discussed in this episode are 1) Being in a position to take care of yourself, 2) How to reduce injury in crashes by adjusting your attitude and practicing on dirt...