Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
A local often-empty parking lot has the lines painted at right angles to the center stripe, and 9' apart. I don't know the length of each slot.
If you have a place like this, try making S-turns three lines wide, 27'. Then tighten them to 2-1/2 lanes wide. Then two lanes. In all cases direct your vision to the place you need to end up at, not shortly in front of your front wheel. Counterweighting helps the bike make sharper turns but isn't essential---sliding your butt to the outside of the turn before the turn so the bike leans in and your body is outside.
On those same parking lines, make circles. Several circles to the left three lanes wide. Tighten to 2-1/2 lanes. Tighten more to two lanes. Repeat to the other direction. You'll probably notice that one direction isn't as good as the other.
From a stop at a line crossing, turn the wheel to the left or right stop, then pull ahead slowly making as sharp a turn as possible.
With the existing lines and some kid's sidewalk chalk, you can mark the corners of the 24' x 60' box for the two U-turns. Now mark 20'.
When you practice curves, be sure to slow before the curve, look to the exit point and beyond, countersteer, then accelerate gently. To practice swerves, use any city street or country road. Look for spots on the road to miss...a fallen leaf, a tar spot, a manhole cover, etc...and swerve around them with a quick push on one handlebar, then a push on the other bar to straighten. Be prepared to offer the officer a field sobriety test.
A tip...in a tight turn when you feel the need to put a foot down to support the bike instead give it a sliver more clutch. The slight added power will pull the bike up and pull you through. A Strom will do the course in 2nd or 1st gear, and for many 2nd works more smoothly. If you need more throttle than just idle, set the throttle at about 2000 rpm and hold it there with your index finger on the non-rotating part of the grip. Use your clutch as your primary speed control and the rear brake as the secondary speed control.
"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.
"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."
Marcus Tullius Cicero