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 Completed BRC.. passed class but had terrible practice.
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Moses
Male Senior Member
377 Posts
[Mentor]


Grand Rapids, Michigan
USA

Harley-Davidson

FX Softail

Peer Review: 1

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  11:49 AM
quote:
Originally posted by interceptor

Everything that's done with a motorcycle, from tooling around the block to the craziest stunt, is governed by throttle, brakes, steering and the rider's upper body weight. The difference between clueless newbies and elite riders is how they use those 4 things. Learning is by trial and error, in lots of repetitions. If the repetitions can be spaced close together in time, as in drills and exercises, the learning tends to be faster. If balance skills aren't improving, nothing else will. Instruction can be valuable but doesn't replace the repetitions.



I may not be any kind of an authority, but I disagree with just about everything in this post.

First off, everything that's done on a motorcycle is governed solely by the contents of the rider's skull (not skill). Everything.

Second, condescending to a beginning rider by characterizing them as "clueless" is supposed to assist them in becoming better cyclists how, exactly? Belittling a new rider will not help them gain confidence, skill, or respect for the machine, it will only instiil fear and doubt - not recommended things for motorcycle riding. Encouragement and patience are far more effective.

Third, learning is NOT by trial-and-error. What in the world ever gave you that idea? "Instruction may be valuable, but it doesn't replace repetition"? What in the world ever gave you that idea? To repetitively do something incorrectly, because you haven't been properly instructed on how to do it correctly, will probably form a bad habit that may be extremely difficult to break, which may in turn result in disaster. Proper instruction is infinitely more valuable than any amount of "non-instructed" repetition.

Yep - I have made several declarative statements, and I fully expect to be thoroughly admonished if any of them are in error, and I welcome the admonishment.

I've learned one very valuable thing from this site that I never would have learned from instruction or practice. It's called humility. I'm extremely grateful to the many sages on this site who've had a part in teaching it to me. After over 30 years and several hundred thousand miles in the saddle (without a crash, I might add), this is the place where I learned that I didn't "know it all", and therefore started to learn the really good stuff.

Check your ego at the door here - these guys really know their stuff, and crow doesn't taste very good, trust me.

TinaB - You are on the right path, and don't you doubt it for a minute. The trepidation that you're feeling is normal for almost every new rider, and believe it or not, it's healthy. This motorcycling stuff could get you hurt if you don't go about it correctly! Your anxiety will fade over time as your confidence and skill increases, but you already have the right ideas in your head. I think that you're going to do just fine.
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interceptor
Ex-Member

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  12:31 PM
quote:
Originally posted by CaptCrashYou can brake while leaned, but in the situation TINAB is working on (straight line, emergency stopping) NO LEANING SHOULD BE HAPPENING. I'm gonna be really, really cocky here and say this: I can brake pretty good--and TINAB will probably be able to with some practice. This "feel for lean and traction" thing you've got going has no place in where this discussion seems to be going because if TINAB keeps her head and eyes up, looking well ahead balance shouldn't be an issue. One of the real problems new riders have with stopping quickly is that they look down at the ground or their hands and make unwanted steering inputs. Good body position and good eyes will solve those problems for her.

OH and years are required to have world class braking skills, to be good enough to survive on the street? That doesn't require years, it requires willingness to practice and the ability to take some coaching.

You seem to be trying to make riding an impossibly complex problem.

I'd like to be able to stop the bike as quickly as the motorists around me. That's a far more difficult task on a motorcycle because it must be kept balanced while pushing close to traction limits in a high pressure situation.

You do stoppies. The feel for lean and traction, and finesse with the controls, that requires take years to develop. All those advanced skills contribute to effectiveness with brakes. Simply keeping head and eyes up isn't enough to do stoppies and it isn't enough to reliably do maximum performance braking.
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  12:51 PM
Wouldn't it serve a new rider better to have a realistic view of the possible not an overly complex myopic view of the impossible?
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James R. Davis
Male Administrator
17322 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Honda

GoldWing 1500

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  1:04 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
I'm getting close to strongly reacting to your advice, interceptor.

You will NOT post messages here that suggest STOPPIES are some form of 'advanced skill' that a newbie should aspire to being able to perform. You will similarly NOT post messages that suggest a newbie should strive for doing maximum effectiveness braking.

Some ideal form of balance is NOT a behavior required to aggressively stop - indeed, there is virtually no balance required when performed properly (i.e., in a straight line)

First and last notice, sir.
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Axiom2000
Male Moderator
1761 Posts
[Mentor]


Georgetown, Delaware
USA

BMW

F 800 GT

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  1:53 PM
quote:
I'd like to be able to stop the bike as quickly as the motorists around me. That's a far more difficult task on a motorcycle because it must be kept balanced while pushing close to traction limits in a high pressure situation.


If you find you're having to push the limits of traction while stopping as quickly as the traffic around you, I think your either not paying attention or not leaving yourself a big enough safety margin.

I teach new riders almost every weekend, and I can tell you with a great deal of certainty many, most in fact, who have normal abilities don't have issues in learning to stop a motorcycle quickly. Crash's comments about looking up and ahead are spot on. Once you get new riders with their head and eyes up, their weight centered, stopping quickly in balance is not an issue. From there it is just a matter of learning the feel of a progressive squeeze on the front brake. Why are you making this so much more difficult than it is or needs to be?
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TINAB
Female New Member
12 Posts


Bakersville, NC
USA

Honda

SHADOW SPIRIT VT750

Posted - 08/11/2011 :  2:42 PM
I do not aspire to stoppies nor wheelies nor any other unsafe , in my opinion, maneuver. I aspire to control. My goal is to be able to safely ride where I want to go whether it be a late Saturday afternoon cruise down a winding road or a poker run to benefit whomever is in need. I do not believe safety is too lofty a goal. It also appears to me, with an ability to read and understand and no ability (yet) to ride, that even the seasoned and skilled ones at least occasionally "over-think" this process as well.
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  12:27 AM
quote:
Originally posted by TINAB

...I aspire to control. My goal is to be able to safely ride where I want to go whether it be a late Saturday afternoon cruise down a winding road or a poker run to benefit whomever is in need. I do not believe safety is too lofty a goal...



Someone: CLONE THIS WOMAN. We need more of these. Great attitude.
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TINAB
Female New Member
12 Posts


Bakersville, NC
USA

Honda

SHADOW SPIRIT VT750

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  8:23 AM
Lol... Thanks Capt. Crash. But you might want to wait a while to clone me. lol I talk a good game and everything I have written here has been my honest opinions and feelings. However, the fact remains that I am very nervous (read: scared) about learning. My nerves will ease up as I gain some skills and confidence. That will come with my practice. Caution is good and being scared at first is normal. I learned that here. I have a plan, thanks to all the advice I have received. I have a place that I feel comfortable practicing at. I have the BRC under my belt. I know I have a long way to go but I CAN do it. My time has come to quit talking about doing it and throw a leg over, work on the many things I need to and begin this journey.
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Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1468 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  8:52 AM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Tina, I well remember having panic attacks in my early days of riding (which is now about 23 years ago!). Whether it was dealing with the blasts of wind from oncoming trucks, or high bridges, or just having my mind playing tricks on me...it was disconcerting, for sure.

They didn't last long, because I soon developed a mantra for myself: "Just keep doing the right thing." For I was doing the right thing in terms of riding when they came on, so it wasn't as if I was having to deal with any emergency; and after some period of saying that to myself, the attacks passed completely.

Curiously, I finally came to master this problem by starting to ride lead in the groups I was riding with. It gave me something constructive to do with my mind, instead of riding along thinking about "what-if's" and feeling anxious. (I know now that thinking about "what-if's" is not such a bad idea when you're scanning for possible threats and preparing for what you would do if they became real threats, but these were totally negative fantasies unrelated to current realities, like "What if my tire explodes?")

Gaining control over your fear (while admitting it's there) and learning to listen to your "inner voice" when it's rational is one of the big upsides of learning to ride. It will help you in all areas of your life, I believe.

Best of luck, and let us hear how it's going for you.


Cash
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interceptor
Ex-Member

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  11:35 AM
quote:
Originally posted by gymnast

Interceptor, you say "Use upper body weight for control" and provide a rather vague discussion of using it in braking. I have been riding for a few years now and have not been conscious of the need to "use my upper body for control".
Riding balance is similar to walking balance. It uses the same neurological systems and like walking, a lot of it is subconscious. Everybody learns to balance a bicycle by trial and error. My view, to improve safety on a motorcycle those skills need to be brought to a higher level. I found this research document exploring the relationship between skills and safety. It's a good read for a number of reasons and mentions the influence of the rider's body weight frequently. http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/ro...killspt1.pdf
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CaptCrash
Male Advanced Member
744 Posts
[Mentor]


Nampa, ID
USA

Honda

Phantom

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  12:18 PM
Dude, New topic if you want to parse body position.
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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 08/12/2011 :  12:52 PM
quote:
Originally posted by CaptCrash

Dude, New topic if you want to parse body position.



Inceptor-A new topic would definitely be in order and based on the cite of the Australian study, it might help to know if you have any qualification in the field of kinesiology. It appears that the authors of the study you cited did not. Having participated in the development of the MSF operator skills tests at the time of inception I am familiar with the development processes that were used at the time. Adam Johnson of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation was in charge of the original project. Incidentally, Adam Johnson was taught to ride a motorcycle by Stuart Munro, the originator of motorcycle rider training in Canada, using a combination of off street and in traffic exercises (similar to the British system of rider training used in the 1940s_that later morphed into what is now called "Roadcraft").
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