The “Oh Crap” moment. We have all had them. The sand or gravel in the road as we come around a corner, a painted line on the street in wet weather (slippery than anything!), the looking at beautiful scenery and not seeing the turn in front of you, the dreaded car turning left in front of you…the list goes on.
These are all things that can be handled when you really know how to control your motorcycle. Learning how to control your motorcycle, not the motorcycle controlling you, makes your riding life much safer and a lot more fun, it builds confidence in yourself, your skills and what your motorcycle can do.
I have said many times “Riding a motorcycle is easy, controlling one takes some work and practice”. In all the situations I mentioned above require three things…good throttle management, good braking skills and most of all paying attention. And this is where slow speed skill practice comes into play because slow speed skills translate into good road skills.
Examples, the canyon road with schmutz in the road, if you have practiced outside-inside-outside cornering you will see it sooner and will be able adjust your line to avoid it instead of having the “OH Crap” moment and possibly end up waiting for a friend with a pickup to come pick you up. This is where if you’re not paying attention to your riding we tend to react and often reaction ends up in panic mode and panic mode ends up with waiting for the friend with a truck. Besides having good cornering skills throttle management is crucial. Too often when a rider starts to lose traction they instantly chop the throttle and apply the brakes…not a smart strategy because once you pass that bit of debris in the road your motorcycle is going to regain traction and if you’re not ready guess what???
So how do you plan for that situation? First, set yourself up so you can see it in advance, Outside-Inside-Outside technique, back off your throttle (don’t chop it) but still keep a steady throttle hand so your wheel is still spinning, keep looking at where you are going…look ahead not at the debris. When you focus on the debris that is exactly where you are going to go. Remember your motorcycle goes where you tell it to go. And above all else, DON’T PANIC.
At Motorcycle Coaching 101 we coach you into how to place your motorcycle exactly where you want it and when you want it there. Combining Body Positioning (turn your head), smooth throttle control and smooth braking. We practice the ‘Feel” of motorcycling, understanding the “Feel” of your motorcycle, the road and the value of being aware. We have many exercises that help build that feel.
Thats it for this edition , next up is Braking. How to be smooth and strong at the same time
Ride safe, ride far and ride with confidence
Oh, and don’t be like the couple in the picture above…that’s gonna hurt! which brings up always wear good riding gear, Tank tops just get shredded…as well as your skin.