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OK, so I got my Ontario graduated licensing requirements all taken care last year and am now a fully licensed M rider. But I am the kind of person that is always interested in learning new skills, and becoming a better rider. So, was curious what courses any of you have taken to improve your road riding skills.

I suppose the two main contenders would be a track based training course focusing on track skills, a secondly dirt riding courses which they say translate to being a better street rider. I can see how either of those could provide skills that would better you as a road rider.

What have any of you taken that you would recommend? Thanks for any input you can provide.
 

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rider training

A couple of summers ago I took a one day course specifically organized for touring bikes. My $300 was well spent.
This school uses the track at Shannonville because it's a safe place to learn.

Shannonville Map
 

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What skills did they practice? Was there something that stood out as something new you learned?

I did not see a course of that description on the FAST website, will have to call and see if they are still offering the course specific to touring bikes, thanks.
 

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I have a one day course booked though the rider training institute in May;
Intermediate rider training program based in King City. 8 hours of group riding. ($195. plus tax), gives a chance for instuctors to critique your road skills.

Ken
 

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Try the Ottawa Safety Council

I teach the Gearing Up and ERC courses for the Ottawa Safety Council. We offer, amongst other things, an Experienced Rider's Course. It's a one day course run on your own bike. It focuses on skills and drills from slow speed manouvering to emergency swerving and braking. We even teach you how to properly run over an obstacle!

We see many riders taking this course each spring as a pre-season refresher. We also see many riding clubs doing the course together. The course for an individual is under a hundred bucks and we offer group rates. We also travel. We have done courses all over eastern Ontario.

Send me an email at [email protected] if you are interested in more information. I am sure we could set up a "V-stom-centric" class that is central enough for everyone to make it.

Nick
 

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I teach the Gearing Up and ERC courses for the Ottawa Safety Council. We offer, amongst other things, an Experienced Rider's Course.
Nick
Certainly the Lee Parks, track schools and dirt experience can all help. I'll be doing something like that once I am assured I've enough money coming in to do it (expenses outstripping income this year, so far).

The easiest and cheapest, and still very worthwhile, course is the Experienced Riders Course. I took it here in Ottawa the first year I returned to motorcycling (2010) after years away. I learned a lot, and had a mighty fine day standing around and riding in an all-day cold rain. You also don't need that much experience to do the course, though that may be so for the other courses too. Maybe do the ERP first (from my limited experience with riding courses). Sign up soon, they fill up (or did, in 2010).

Getting out there and riding a lot, with a good course under your belt, and forever continuing to learn makes a big difference in your skill-set and enjoyment. Hell, you know that already, you said as much. (There is no condescending tone to my voice, btw. Email, even with emoticons, does not always make the intent clear.)

A couple times a year Ontario Stromtroopers go for a long day's ride or two, with overnight camping or cabin-ing maybe. Go for a ride with the group, it's great fun and you may learn something. Hope we do it again this year.

Marc
 

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All very good ideas. Especially Gord's about using your own bike for track oriented training. The best thing to practice with is what you ride on a daily basis.
If you want to step out side of the street part of things, try Trials riding and Flat Track. Both have major qualities that apply to street bikes. Ask Jordan Szoke about trials, he's won the Canadian championship more than once. I believe Trail Tours out go the Ganaraska offers a Trials based school.
As far as flat track is concerned, I'm not sure who offers schools, but there are several tracks in south western Ontario that I'm sure can direct you. There's also a multi page article in this month's Cycle Canada about it too.
If you think about it, what two elements probably allow you to expand your riding envelope the most? How about balance and traction, and you won't find better ways to learn these than that.
Just my opinion.
 
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