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Thank you Dennis for taking the time to write that up. I do know some curves close to work on and I'll practice there. Maybe this will help someone else also. I also looked into the advanced rider course around here. They either have no funds or not enough people signed up for it!

Dave
A good place for you to start would be an RLAP class in Indiana https://www.ridelikeapro.com/training-locations/indiana/ Or the more comprehensive MidWest motorcycle training class in Wisconsin. Advanced Motorcycle trainingMIDWEST POLICE MOTORCYCLE TRAINING, INCThe Original Police Motorcycle training for civilians too! - Home/About Us Although seemingly counter productive, advanced cone training courses focus on "head and eyes up" and locating entry and exit points. The carryover of this to street/track learning is tremendous as riders can then concentrate on lines, acceleration and braking. All law inforcement motor candidates are required to attend 80hr classes such as these before being allowed on the road.
 

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A novice perspective.

Lots of excellent advice and I appreciate that you have taken the time to put it in print.
As a new rider I have been seeking out as much advice as possible and I have found youtube to be vary helpful.

First off " Twist of the Wrist" is in video form, at least part of it. A little corny, as its dated a bit, but the information is excellent!

Although limited, you can find some footage on current driving courses in the states to see what is being taught, then go out and practice the skills.

I found the european, England Police I believe, do extensive on the bike testing with new riders. You can watch from behind, trailing the rider being tested, as the instructor evaluate their performance. Lots of excellent advice and tips!

The basic of basic skills to master:

Stops and Starts:
As a new rider I just road around for a couple of days concentrating on my stops and starts. I did have riding experience, but it was back in the day of mostly right sided shifters.

It only made sense that my left foot would support the bike at stops, allowing me to use the right foot to brake. I also found it was important to use the rear brake over the front brake, at slow speed, as the front brake at slow speed encourages the bike to tip. By slow speed I am talking under 5mph.

Of course you will need to become proficient in placing your left foot down as well, and practice using the front brake to hold and some throttle as you take off from a hill.

In addition you need to figure when to downshift to 1st gear at a stop and when to drop it in neutral. First gear is great for quick stops, neutral for longer intervals. In the event you chose neutral you may find the right foot down a better choice.

Like I said these are the most basic of skills but they need to be mastered.
 

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The front brake is only a problem with the front wheel turned at low speeds. You can be going under 5mph and hitting the front brake hard is no problem if the front wheel is pointed straight ahead. Using the rear brake alone to come to a full stop can get awkward at the end as a bike balancing act that finishes with a left lean is required. I find it easier and quicker to straighten the front wheel and use the front brake as hard as I want.
 

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As a newer rider (1yr) there are a few tips I can provide while it is fresh in my mind. First of all I purchased and brought home my bike a week before my class, it was a big mistake and you will get into bad habits fast. Second, If you can help it stay off the freeways (It is easy riding just fast) for a while, wind can feel like it is beating the hell out of you and you will fatigue quickly. Third practice slow speed stuff after the class because your bike will feel huge compared to the small bikes that they have for the class and get some cones http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=motorcycle+cones . Stay safe (ATGATT) and ride as much as possible. I went from not being able to ride on the highway (Dual Sport helmets don't help) to commuting at 80mph at 5am on the way to work every day.

Enjoy, Motorcycles are most of all FUN :grin2:
 

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Using neutral at stops leaves you vulnerable. Tailgating leaves you with no options, especially at stops. I also see a lot of riders daydreaming at stops- they'll never know what hit them or how it developed.
Doug
 

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Never trust turn signals, even in my truck I don't go around people at intersections. Sometimes left means right and vise versa. On a motorcycle especially though because your INVISIBLE to most other drivers.
 

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A Fan of Courses and Books

Two more cents ... :wink2:

For new riders or riders returning after a long hiatus (like myself) - the MSF Basic Rider Course is great. It is a 3 day course. Afterward, read and reread the book, and practice what you learn. In the U.S. Harley Davidson will pay for the class if you are prior military or a first responder. <https://ridefree.harley-davidson.com/americanheroes/>

After the class, link up with 2 or 3 other folks from the class for parking lot practice. The MSF has an app that you can download for $2- that has detailed layouts with videos for different parking lot drills. As a cheap and alternative to cones, you can buy a few cans of tennis balls and cut them in half. They are higher visibility and more compact than water bottles or many other markers. Another benefit is that they are durable enough to run over repeatedly and don't upset your bike too much when you hit one.

David Hough's books have already been mentioned. I'll second the recommendation. I'm reading "Proficient Motorcycling" now and am learning a lot. It is a read / ride / reread kind of book since he talks a lot about riding dynamics and you have to *feel* the concepts he speaks about in the seat of your pants on your bike. It is loaded with good real world guidance interspersed with detailed statistics from numerous studies. One interesting statistic relates to the amount and kind of training people receive compared to the likelihood of a crash. People that learn from family and friends are more likely to crash than those who are self-taught or take classes.

When I first started riding on the road, a friend told me, "All you need to know is that 95% of the drivers on the road can't see you. The other 5% are actually trying to kill you."

Avoid the idiots; Have fun, and Keep the rubber side down. :grin2:
 

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Ride Like a Pro book/DVD combo does wonders. Yes, they skid around on Harley floorboards a lot. However, each and every course/maneuver can be performed on any bike with sufficient practice. I bought a 50' tape and a bag of tennis balls; cut them in half to make course markers. Then grab any gymkhana course layouts you can find and go to town in an empty lot.
 
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