Nick Plumb has a glint in his eyes that says he’d much rather be ploughing through a ditch with mud spraying 15 feet through the air in his wake than sitting in an office talking about it.
He’s the kind of guy who oozes enthusiasm, excitement and an eagerness to get going, the perfect man to head up Triumph’s new Adventure Experience Centre.
Nick was instrumental in helping round-the-world motorcycle adventurers Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor prepare for their successful world tour. He taught the two friends all the tips, tricks and techniques of off-road riding… and they never looked back.
Nick looks uncomfortable in the confines of an office at Triumph’s Hinckley HQ until we ask him to describe the terrain that awaits riders of all abilities in the ‘riding paradise’ corner of the UK he’s called home for the past 15 years since leaving his native London.
“Mud, gravel, coal tip, hills, streams, bogs, glades and even an area that looks like the surface of the moon. We’ve got every condition to prepare riders for a trip anywhere,” he enthuses, transported to his South Wales playground, if only in his mind’s eye.
“There are forest and gravel paths, contours, natural and man-made obstacles, as well as spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the Brecon Beacons and Swansea Valley. You can experience the world in a day or two.”
Nick is joined by eight other instructors at the Experience, one of them former British and World Enduros racer, British rally and Cross Country Championship competitor, Matthew Reed, who knows the area like the back of his hand: “This is where I grew up, so if there’s a road or a track I don’t know about it’s not worth knowing.”
Matthew’s 28 years’ experience of rallying, trail riding and road racing means he and the team can quickly identify the level of every rider signing up to one of the Experience days to guarantee tailor-made, bespoke and totally immersive training.
“Ewan McGregor didn’t have much experience off-road before he started planning his round-the-world trip. I gave him some techniques to help him on the right path. That shows what a day or two of training can do in taking you to the next level,” says Nick. “Confidence in yourself and confidence in your bike is critical and we have the right bikes, the right team and the right location to give that.”
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Starting in spring, the Training Academy will run laddered two-day Adventure courses alongside Experiences for all riders, ranging from absolute beginners to accomplished off-roaders, all honing their techniques on the Triumph Tiger 1200 XC and Tiger 800 XC.
For those seeking a true breadth of off-road thrills, the team will lead the first ever Scrambler Experience Days using the Bonneville Scrambler, and women-only days.
Mud, gravel, coal tip, hills, streams, bogs, glades and even an area that looks like the surface of the moon. We’ve got every condition to prepare riders for a trip anywhere
Adventure for all
Matthew says: “Whoever the rider, we quickly assess their off-road riding level to ensure the tuition is tailored to their needs, builds their confidence and prepares them for the next adventure. The main thing is to make sure it’s a fun experience, so we learn as we ride.
“It’s a serious achievement in terms of offering a totally premium experience on premium bikes in a premium location with training from an experienced team.”