JMF there is a lot going on prior to and during a 'lock to lock' turn and it generally takes quite a bit of practice to feel comfortable. It's a fine blend of proper clutch use(must master the GREY area), throttle, balance/body position(counter leaning), head and eyes and either dragging the rear brake or no brake at all. Generally it is not a true lock to lock, but during the circle you will hit the steering stops, come slightly off, then a constant minute adjustment of steering at or near the stops to maintain balance while leaned over.
I really recommend taking one of the rider courses that mimic or teach the slow speed police training method like MotoMark1(Who is near you) or Ride like a Pro, ProRider MC, etc. The instructors are usually retired motormen and are very skilled at teaching these maneuvers.
There is a huge practical application for the slow speed skill set especially off pavement. Most riders on big bikes get into trouble when faced with obstacles like boulders and ledges while on dirt or gravel and are forced into a tight space like in switchbacks that are common everywhere. Momentum is almost always our friend, and when climbing it is an absolute must. During a figure 8, momentum is needed and necessary, but it simply won't work when you have to pick your way through technical places that require you to bring the bike to the slowest speed possible, but maintain headway.
Yes, dragging the rear brake in a tight turn has it's advantages and generally helps those learning. But, lock to lock circles and an entire motor course laid out with cones and be ridden using NO brakes. We actually taught and practiced no brake slow maneuvers because it forces the rider to acquire better balance and clutch control. It makes the ride smooth, no wasting time and energy slowing down just to have to throttle back up to make up for that loss and it finely hones the other skills. Many West coast police training teaches their students from day one without using any brakes on their course.
The GREY area.....this is where most of "it" is happening. It is also where most students struggle. A clutch is neither on or off...there is a huge variable contact patch in there between on and off and it is where a rider in slow maneuvers lives. Mastering the grey area is the only way to ride the courses with no brake.....simply cannot be done without it. Whenever doing a lock to lock circle, the clutch is never all the way out or all the way in, it is feathered slightly someplace in-between constantly adding or subtracting speed.
The concepts by themselves are relatively easy if you look at them one by one[clutch/throttle/position/head&eyes/brake]. It is the process of doing them all at the exact same time to different degrees that take time and practice. Some students struggle from the get go and just never are able to master it, very few take too it like a Lab to water. The rest of us like me kept trying until that little light bulb went off in my pea brain and it was like the heavens opened up and a beam of light bounced off my forehead....ahhhh-HA! Anyway, the stuff you learn doing this type of riding will make you and overall better rider, same thing for off road training, track days, etc.
If you are going to practice/self teach please take someone with you to the parking lot. Keep your feet on the pegs as it's better to fall over then to snap an ankle or blow a knee out as the bike goes down on an outstretched leg. Keep doing figure 8's using something on the ground as a reference, try and tighten your circles up as confidence builds, swivel your head like you are an owl...where the head and eyes go, the bike follows.
Sorry for the long winded response, but it is a subject I am passionate about......
Last edited by Motor7; 04-03-2019 at 10:15 AM.