Ok guys hows about a debate on learning stuff, from whenyou first got on a bike to learning to go fast/wheelie/get your knee down? There must be loads of experience out there - Give us some tips!!!
IAM was the best thing I did. Understanding positioning, gearing, how to overtake with confidence… Then following a mate who is a good rider, understanding his lines. That’s whats worked for me, but I don’t think that I’m a great rider, there’s a number of guys on here who are much faster and much smoother…
yeah geezer, I agree, but theres a lot who are striving to become good riders, and would welcome expeience. For me its all through being a dispatcher and looking at racers and reading loads of magazines and wanting to get like people I thought could really handle a bike.
i think the most importantly is to learn slow one thing after the next one. don’t try to do to many things at ones that will go very easy Pet Tong
and if you try things be sure to be safe (traffic)
100% concentration every time you go on a bike
I started riding when I was quite young…on a 50cc dirtbike my Dad got me shortly after I learned to ride my bicycle properly. I’ve been riding dirt bikes, ATVs and eventually street bikes ever since.
I think the most important thing I’ve learned in this time is that I’ll be learning as long as I am riding. It has been my experience that shortly after I starting thinking “I know this cold” something “bad” has happened.
As far as where that learning comes from? I read a lot…biking books and magazines…I watch a lot of bike DVDs and movies…I talk with people that are more experienced than I am…observe how they ride…how they approach they entire experience of riding…ride with them as often as I can. But nothing replaces seat time…riding the bike…maintaining the bike…picking appropriate times and places to push the envelope…to challenge perceived limitations.
As long as you know you know nothing you’re safe. Once you start thinking to yourself “I’m bulletproof” or “I’m God’s gift to biking” is when things start growing dangerous.
Adrenalin is a dangerous weapon. You need to know how to control it.
Always remember that every other road user is a potential nail in your coffin and every side street a shortcut to the cemetary.
Never let your right hand get disconnected from your brain. Remember it controls the throttle and can get you from zero to trouble before you know it.
Your most vulnerable spot is the daily commute, the roads you know well, where you stop thinking because you can ride them with your eyes closed. You stop paying attention…
Wanna get your knee down? Don’t try high speed corners, a spill could kill you. Don’t try low speed corners, it’s gravitational speed that keeps you stable. Best speed is between 40-60. Make sure you have a long corner with enough grip, a constant angle and a clear view.
I’ve seen people that survived a crash in jeans. They’re no longer pretty. Wear the best protective gear your money can buy. Even when you go out to buy a bottle of milk around the corner.
Follow the lines of your friends that ride better than you do. Just make sure they’re not showing off and keep riding within your limits. If you loose touch with them, they’ll wait for you or slow down. They’re friends right? Discuss these things before you go out.
Group riding. It’s not a race. Races are run on racetracks where there’s no trees, barriers, cars. Everybody should stick to their own pace.
Bikesafe London is cheap. JUST DO IT. IAM is more expensive but it’s just as usefull and you learn more. SAVE UP FOR IT.
Clean and cared for bikes are safer. If you clean your bike like a maniac you are more likely to find something that’s not right. The old japanese saying “Man and horse are one” does not only refer to the riding, also the giving and receiving of care and attention. Do some of your own maintenance or ask a friend you know has some knowledge to give you a hand. It’s not magic until you start tuning or disassembling the engine.
Most of your bike’s components can be adjusted to give you a safer and more comfortable ride. Most importantly the back brake. The lever can be adjusted up and down. Many people (especially the taller riders) ride with their foot off the brake and when they need to stop hard and quick, they lose valuable fractions of a second to move their foot from next to the brake to onto the brake. Adjust it so you can ride with your foot on there but don’t actually trail the brake.
Levers can be adjusted up and down for more comfort in the wrists as well. Try riding with one/two/three fingers permanently on the brake or clutch lever for better control of the handlebars whilst shifting or braking.
Last but not least, as Gregman said before, you never stop learning.
“As far as where that learning comes from? I read a lot…biking books and magazines…I watch a lot of bike DVDs and movies…I talk with people that are more experienced than I am…observe how they ride…how they approach they entire experience of riding…ride with them as often as I can. But nothing replaces seat time…riding the bike…maintaining the bike…picking appropriate times and places to push the envelope…to challenge perceived limitations.”
Yeah its well put there, I just put on miles and miles and miles, and when I got a whiff of advice whaen it came to knee down stuff I followed it.
“Wanna get your knee down? Don’t try high speed corners, a spill could kill you. Don’t try low speed corners, it’s gravitational speed that keeps you stable. Best speed is between 40-60. Make sure you have a long corner with enough grip, a constant angle and a clear view.”
This is important as well. Iwanted to learn to gret my knee down on my R6 but chose somewhere I couldn’t drive into a lorry or bus if I got it wrong.
I found a corner where I could practice and get near to what I was trying to do. In the end I acheived a 60 mph knee down left hander and went on to be a regular knee grinder.
The most important thing though is safety and i achieved my knee down nirvana after much of what I already said
miles and miles and miles and miles…
what is the best way to learn how to back-it-in/control slides?
I’m thinking possibly trying to get onto some dirt bikes or something
not that i want to super-moto it round town, but learnt the hard way what happens if you shut off the throttle when the back end breaks away due to new tires…
I have a mate who is an IAM observer. He’s smooth, fast and acurate. When in Europe this year I made a habbit of tailing him, he was 2 up on his 'Busa, and my attitude was “If he can get a 'Busa, 2 up round there, I SHOULD be able to do the same, solo on my 'Blade”.
I can’t think of a bend that I was that much slower than him on, although he was amazing at getting that huge bike around the hair pins. Couple of weeks ago we’re out for a blast and he commented how much my riding had improved since the trip… So the plan obviously worked.
I’m going back to the IAM again this winter, but I,ve found there’s a group based at Northolt, so I’ll be contacting them soon… Concentration is the key, never get sloppy, it’s just too risky. Know your limits, understand when and when not to push the envelope.
And allways wear decent kit. Plastics can be replaced, it’s not quite the same for limbs…
Used to scamble as a nipper which tends to leave one with a fairly good built in preservation system (i.e. don’t panic). However, being a bit rusty I was looking at the BMW off road course. Looks rather good - see below.
BMW’s two-day Levels One and Two, Off-Road Skills courses each cost £360 for participants riding a BMW F650 GS or F650 GS Dakar. For those riding a R1200 GS the course is £395. All course participants are grouped according to riding ability. The price includes two-days of instruction, motorcycle hire, third party insurance, fuel, meals, refreshments and a certificate of completion. It does not include accommodation or evening drinks.
Will prbably do it when the days get a bit bit longer in the spring if you’re intereted.
been on this when worked at BMw, guys are brilliant good fun especially if you go with a group of friends, never felt so knackered for a week after but well worth it,if a little expensive, also the bikes are bloody heavy and some spend more time picking up than riding
Just read this post and I’m a (new) member of the IAM group you mention - we meet in Hillingdon virtually opposite Northolt base across the A40.
Drop me a PM if you fancy meeting up to go.
Most important thing I have learned - I am invisible!!!
hey i got one of those cloaks too!!! but they only seem to work when i’m on the bike tho, the invisiblity factor seems to wear off when i go into the bank or at closing time and my bar bill needs settling. go figure.
Its not C&L country club where they meet up is it? The same little car park that Pass Masters use?
I did my DAS with Passmasters… No I think they meet up by the MacDonalds at the Target on the A40.
Andrew, when do they meet ? Not this weekend I hope, I’m off to watch the GP in Valencia.
hey cooper - yeah, motox is what i had in mind. had a bit of a scan around for some places that do the honours
do you know of any in the london area? think i found one out Chelmsford way?
how good was it to have a dry sunny morning today for once - was starting to forget what lean felt like
i’ve got some barely scrubbed in diablos with some glistening untouched edges…need to sort that out sharpish!
cool - is it a ride what you bring place or can they kit you out?
Sooper, Where in Colnbrook ? I am just 5 minutes away from there, the place in Thorpe I used to go is no longer accessable ??