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I've been considering riding the TW to work and back every day but kinda have the same concerns!

Other drivers scare me in my truck much less on a bike! My Dad used ride everyday from the mountains of

San Diego to down town San Diego mostly Highways and I heard a couple of his horror stories!
 

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If you haven't taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, do that. Practice control techniques off the pavement when you can, and try to carry that over to the road. Don't forget, everyone wants to kill you. Drive safely.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you haven't taken the Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, do that. Practice control techniques off the pavement when you can, and try to carry that over to the road. Don't forget, everyone wants to kill you. Drive safely.




thank you for the advice


my dad lives a few hundred miles from here but he told me some professional riders put on a racing/defensive driving/safety class... be funny taking that in a tw next to 636's and busas and gsxr's... but im gonna do it
until then the training from the chp will have to do.
 

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Advice from someone who enjoys riding in traffic during rush hour, because that is the minimum level of danger that generates enough demand on the brain to quiet the random splatter of the ADDiot mind.



MSF BRC. Any other training for a rank novice is a waste. You need the mental awareness aspects taught in the BRC as a start. You won't learn that at a track day. The secret to survival on the street is recognizing a potentially dangerous situation long before it develops the potential to harm you, and taking preemptive action to not allow a dangerous situation to develop in the first place. Learning to react to dangerous situations is a false sense of security. Note that this strategy is 100% mental and has nothing to do with ones ability to control a motorcycle. BRC hints at this strategy.



Then start reading David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well.



As soon as possible after the BRC, I highly recommend the MSF Dirt Bike School. If you don't fear the dirt, your preemptive options are often expanded. I owe my life to the reflexive ability to ride in the dirt even though I was on a CB750 bagger at the time.



As soon as possible after doing the Dirt Bike School, take the MSF Experienced Rider Course.



Consider the foregoing as prerequisites to the track day riding schools. You'll find the track day schools much more productive if you've completed the others first. Keep the horse in front of the cart.
 

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qwerty, you have 1330 post on this forum alone and from what i can tell all of them are productive and helpful. thank you and ill take your advice into heavy consideration.
 

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Of course the old man didn't have any courses to go through when he started riding probably the early seventies!

A course is a good idea that I will be looking into! Very good Advise, Thank You!
 

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thank you for the advice


my dad lives a few hundred miles from here but he told me some professional riders put on a racing/defensive driving/safety class... be funny taking that in a tw next to 636's and busas and gsxr's... but im gonna do it
until then the training from the chp will have to do.


If I'm not mistaken, CHP=MSF. Those Chippies know their stuff, so either way it's gunna be killer training.
 

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Practice, practice, and more practice. This is only my fourth season of riding and I ride pretty much everyday on trails and rural country roads. After countless hours and many hours of figure eights, right and left u-turns, fast stops, and counter steering I can confidently call myself an advanced beginner or maybe an intermediate rider. Half of all motorcycle accidents are single vehicle pilot error. I agree that taking a rider course is a great way to advance your skills faster, but it is no substitute for years of seat time practicing, riding, and working on your weaknesses.



 

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HAY 8s! You know those are made by aliens, right?



The most common cause of single vehicle motorcycle wrecks is excess speed. Either the rider enters a corner hot or the rider is going faster than his guardian angel can stop the bike when something runs out in front of him.



The usual scenario is a rider enters a corner hot, chickens out, and either stands the bike up and runs wide and/or hits the brakes. Running wide will take a rider into a curb, off road, or into the path of oncoming traffic. If you think about it, the least damaging crash to a rider is a low-side, when one or both tires loose traction and the bike just lays down. The rider hits the pavement with all the impact of forgetting to put ones feet down at the end of a playground slide. Hitting a curb usually results in a high side, which launches a rider into the air. Landing sucks. Running off pavement with the brakes jammed usually results in a lowside, anyway. Hitting an oncoming vehicle is usually fatal. Pick the easiest way out, the lowside.



The solution to entering a corner too hot 9 times out of 10 is to kiss the mirror on the inside. Yup, pucker up, lean over and forward, and kiss that inside mirror. Doing so will automatically provide superior center of gravity for cornering by moving the upper body forward, down, and to the inside of the bike, just like the world's best roadracers, with the eyes up and looking through the corner, which is where you want to go, anyway. Have you heard about target fixation? Where you look is where you go. Look at the way out, and more than likely, you'll go the way out. Look at what you don't want to hit, and you'll hit it darn near every time.



The result of kissing the mirror is more clearance between hard parts and the ground. Stick that inside knee out towards the pavement and you'll be ready for Daytona. Worse that can happen is the tires wash out and you end up slidng across the pavement. A lowside. More than likely, your motorcycle will amaze you with how fast it is capable of cornering if you trust it and ride it out, and keep focused on where you want to go. Forget that slide-the-butt-off-the-seat crap you see on youtube. The guys who do that get passed. Or crash. The only time you'll see a top roadracer's butt off the seat is after he is kissing the mirror, never before.



Now, a lowside is not a laydown, as in "I had to lay her down." One of the nearest absolutes in motorcycling is that there are never times it is wise to "lay her down". A rider hard on the brakes will stop much sooner than a bike skidding along on its side. Never, ever, "lay her down". "I had to lay her down" really means "I can't ride for shit, locked up the rear brake, and was too scared shitless to figure out how to fix my firetruck-up." If someone pulls out in front of you, brake as heavily as possible, and just before impact jump straight up as hard as you can. With luck, you'll tumble over the vehicle and land on the other side, maybe with a bummed knee or broken collarbone. Either beats the heck out of other options, which are pretty much limited to a faceplant into the side of the vehicle, or laying her down and sliding yourself underneath the moving vehicle. Better to limp away than suffer a broken neck or be run over.



You'll learn the inside-outside-inside cornering technique. That's fine and dandy on the racetrack, or when you can see all the way around the corner, but it sucks when you get 3/4s of the way through a rigt-hand turn, start drifting towards the outside, and Bubba's other brother, Bubba, is coming the other way in a flat bed Ford with 5 of his 6 wheels across the yellow line.



Learn to ride the "cruising line" around corners. Imagine the lane is divided into 9 sublanes. Sublanes 1, 2, and 3 are the tire track on the left, 4, 5, and 6 are the grease strip, and 7, 8, and 9 are the tire track on the right. If you were following sublane 7 around that right hand curve, you'd have seen that gravel at the apex in sublane 9, and not crashed and slid under Bubba's other brother, Bubba's Ford, because staying off the white line allows a better view of the road surface around the corner. Still in sublane 7, when Bubba's other brother, Bubba, dove for the inside, you would simply kiss the mirror, which automatically tightens your corner, then flipped him off as he went by, which is much better than hitting him head on.



Riding a curve to the left, stay in sublane 3. A curve to the right, sublane 7. Leave racing lines to the track where they belong. I believe if you need to do the inside-outside-inside thing, you're riding way to fast, which is the main reason for single vehicle motorcycle crashes.



And we've come full circle.
 

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Thanks for all that great info qerty. I am a big believer in practicing slow riding for the balance and maneuvering skills. I have a few dead end trails that I have put very sharp turn around which I then always make the right u-turn since that is my weak turn. I live in a rural setting with roads that I can practice road riding and cornering with little traffic. I am rather lucky in having what I would call the ultimate motorcycle training ground.
 

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Anyone can twist a throttle and go fast. The lucky even survive. The measure of a good rider is in a parking lot, a dead end, and a thoughtfull riding habit instead of luck. Watch the jaws drop when you can pull into a 10-foot wide parking space, u-turn, and park halfway between and parallel to the lines without putting a foot down. It can be done on a TW.
 
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