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Let the Adventure Unfold with Amelia and Steve Kamrad
Let the Adventure Unfold with Amelia and Steve Kamrad
Introducing the dyanmic husband and wife adventure riders: Amelia and Steve Kamrad
Amelia Kamrad first learned to ride 10 years ago on a 1974 Honda CB550. After making the transition to dirt on a DR 200 in 2013, she immediately recognized that riding off-road was her passion. Amelia threw herself into building her skills and attending events, getting as many off-road miles under her belt alongside her husband Steve. Amelia purchase a 2011 Husaberg 390 FE in late 2015 and since then has ridden nearly 20 events across the East Coast each year as well as out to Colorado, Utah and California. In 2017, Amelia joined 3 other adventure related women on the REV'IT ADV Women's Team, helping to represent women riders tackling off-road challenges. Follow her adventures on Instagram @millieonthemove
Steve Kamrad started adventure riding on his ill equipped 2012 Triumph Tiger Roadie...which he still abuses to this day in a true adventure 'use what you've got' fashion. What followed his first foray into dirt was a series of bike modifications, trainings, numerous events and ill-advised adventures that included riding single-track alongside dirtbikers, a week long BDR and international trips. As a 'hired gun' rider, Steve has written for ADVMoto, RevZilla, Cycle World and ADVPulse and has developed a YouTube channel focused on Adventure Riding. Follow his adventures on Instagram and YouTube @steve_kamrad
Q&A with Amelia and Steve Kamrad:
-Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into riding.
Amelia: I bumbled into riding when I got bored riding pillion on Steve's bike, early on in our relationship. I loved it, but never felt truly comfortable until I got off-road. Now, I'm that girl who laughs so loudly in her helmet that people can hear me over my bike - usually because I've just narrowly escaped wiping out on some sort of hard terrain. The more difficult the more fun. I have a corporate job that I find really satisfying, but it can get stressful. Riding is the balance to my job. If I stress myself out during the work week I know my bike will be waiting for me to take it into the woods on the weekend.
Steve: I'm an Adventure Motorcyclist that struggles with his work/life balance. All I want to do is promote riding and make video's about it. Last year I maxed out a credit card on a editing computer and logged over 1000 hours cutting footage together of the 15 plus ADV rides and Rally races that I've participated in all while working a full time job. I've worked with OEM's such as Ducati, Honda, KTM, and Triumph recently and produced event videos for AltRider and the Arcadia Bark Busters' North East 24 Hour Challenge.
-What type of bike(s) are you riding?
Amelia: I'm on a Husaberg 390. It's the perfect bike for me; lightweight, but I can also jump on a road if I need to. But while my current ride is a dual sport bike, there are plenty of others out there that, given the garage space, I'd love to have. Isn't that the issue most motorcycle riders have?
Steve: I'm currently on a Triumph Tiger 800 that has absolutely been put through the wringer. It's the cast wheel version and I've broken rims on rocks at over 80 mph during NASA rally races. I have also had to have the frame welded due to a stress fracture caused by trying to wheelie sand whoops at the Pine Barrens 500.
-Have you taken any exciting rides or adventures since IMS?
Amelia: Steve talked me into competing at this year's Sandblast Rally (put on by Nasa Rally Sport) in Cheraw, SC in early March. I spent a full day of racing offroad against 40 other bikes (from Husqvuarna 250s to BMW 1200s) and giggling maniacally in my helmet. It was so much fun - especially as I seriously doubted how fast I would be before the race started. Steve put together this video clip of me laughing as I passed multiple people and the response has been amazing. Lots of people laughing right back at the video as they watched it! Turns out I'm not as slow as I thought - I took home 3rd place in the Dakar Class.
Steve: I just got back from Nevada - I flew out take part in AltRider's Taste of Dakar, an epic off-road event held in Goldpoint, NV. This year was the best year yet - a full weekend of riding, great food, and awesome terrain...plus I got to ride the new Tiger 800XCA, which was a ton of fun and a serious step up from my 2012 Tiger.
-What’s your next big adventure for the Summer?
Amelia: We have so many events on the calendar this year! I'm a part of the REV'IT! Women's ADV team again for 2018 and I'm really looking forward to riding alongside the other women of the team. We've got Over and Out - an all women's off-road riding event in New York State in June, and I've put together a team of women for the Northeast 24hr Race. Steve and I hit over 20 events each year.
Steve: I've got a few Challenge Extreme Elite rally races I'm really looking forward to as well as the Dacre Challenge that is put on by Rally Connex in Canada. Spurgeon Dunbar (from RevZilla) and I won it 2 years ago (it's biannual) and now the Canadians are gunning for us. The 24 hr race is insanity; teams of up to 6 people ride one at a time on the 13 mile course. Whichever team puts the most laps in wins. We've got a bunch of friends competing on different teams so that'll be a blast.
Amelia: We're also putting a trip together out west - Utah and Colorado - it'll be great to ride in that epic scenery again.
-What is your favorite place to ride and why?
Amelia: Colorado tops my list; I'd rather be riding my bike in the mountains over any other vacation! Specifically; the mountain passes outside of Telluride took my breath away. GIve me a bike, camping gear on the back of it, a mountain pass, and a few friends to ride it with and I'm a happy girl.
Steve: I can't really tell you my favorite place yet - to many places I haven't yet ridden. I know I hate the desert. LA, Barstow 2 Vegas was great but, again, the desert. AltRider's Taste of Dakar is by far my favorite event but, also, the desert. Getting to the KTM Rally West from LA last year we spent some time in the desert and it just scares the hell out of me when I think about the vastness of it. The same thing goes for Canada though. Some of the riding or racing areas are just so remote I get overwhelmed by that. Bald Eagle State Forest has some of the best terrain in the world and is the location of both the Durty Dabbers Dual Sport Ride and AltRider's Conserve the Ride - it's just the best home turf (3 hours away for me) I could ask for.
-What advice would you give to riders who are looking for the ultimate adventure ride?
Steve: Sign up for an Adventure Ride. A big group one. Just do it on the weekends here, in your own country or even your own state. I use resources like USdualsports.com, XLADV.com and the AMA.com to find local rides. Then all you have to do is show up and ride on a legal organized course or route.
Amelia: There's no need to quit your job and ride around the world to have an adventure; we've shown that there are plenty of rides close to home that you can make it to over the weekend. Attend a few of those - the adventures that you can fit into your schedule are the ones that keep you going! Then look further afield - check out the Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR's) there are routes for a number of western states and they just published an east coast route. If those aren't enough and you're committed to quitting your job and riding around the world, reach out to people who have done it! Instagram is an awesome tool to connect with others in the adventure community - and the moto community as a whole. If you have questions, reach out to people! I get questions every day from riders around the world.
-What changes would you like to see in the moto industry, especially with the younger generation?
Steve: No Comment.... ok ok, I'd like to see people having more fun on motorcycles. The industry has done a phenomenal job of making motorcycles look "cool" but not a great job of making them look fun unless you're following Zach and Ari in On Two Wheels and MC Garage on Youtube. But, how many people have ridden a Honda Rebel and then started riding motorcycles after it? They didn't start because the Rebel looked cool... they started because it was fun. I'd also love to see real rally bikes for sale but not for $30k. I mean, who doesn't want a Dakar Bike. I've ridden a KTM Rally Factory bike and It's amazing. I'd also like manufacturers stop releasing prototypes 2 years before they come out to "create a buzz" when really I think it's to prevent people from spending money on other brands bikes at the same time. If the Yamaha T7 comes to the east coast while it's on its world rally show tour and then goes missing, it might be because I've stolen it.
Amelia: Over the past year I've already seen the change I wanted to see; more women getting into it. I don't know if it's just that I'm more connected to them now, but it certainly feels like there are more women riding these days, and I love it! I take any opportunity I can to encourage women to get out there, whatever their passion is (street, road racing, off-road...whatever!). Similarly, I've found myself in terrain I'm not used to, or on the starting line of a race and felt SO out of my depth. Getting encouragement from another woman who has been there before goes further. That said, I wouldn't be at the level of riding I am today without all the encouragement from guys who ride!
-Anything else you’d like to share.
We're always connecting with people around the country and world. If you have questions about finding a ride near you, about ADV or dual sport riding in general, or just want to connect, find us on instagram: @steve_kamrad and @millieonthemove. You can also check out some of those videos Steve made on youtube, just search @steve_kamrad.
Steve: See you guys out there!
Photographer for photos 1 and 6: Scott Toepfer | Website: https://www.sgtoepfer.com