Motorman’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques
Being a skillful rider is 90% mental and only 10% physical. Here’s the mental part, knowing the proper techniques and how to use them. The 10% physical part simply means the size and strength of the rider has no bearing on their ability to be a skilled rider. I think I’ve proved this over and over again with some of the riders I’ve trained—two of which are featured on YouTube, 18 year old, 4’11” Victoria, and 19 year old, 100 lb. Stephanie. Both of these young ladies can maneuver an 850 lb. Harley-Davidson with such ease, men that have been riding for 30 years envy their skills; and, they learned these techniques and skills in just a matter of hours, not months or years.
To see these young ladies ride, go to YouTube and type in Ride Like a Pro Victoria and Stephanie learns to Ride Like a Pro. How is it possible that these ladies can out-ride men who have been riding for 20 or 30 years, or even longer? That’s simple, they know the three techniques that Motor Officers have been using for over 60 years. Not only do they know these techniques, they use them to the extreme and they practice them on a regular basis just as Motor Officers do.
I’ve heard many people say, “Why do I have to practice or train, I ride just fine and I’ve never had any training at all.” What these people are actually saying is, “I can ride straight down the road and make great big wide turns every once and a while and as long as nothing gets in my way, I ride just fine”. The fact is, sooner or later something WILL get in your way. It may be the car that suddenly turns left in front of you or the vehicle that pulls out from a side road on the right and on and on. When that happens, if you’ve never had any training, you will rely on instincts alone—when it comes to riding a motorcycle properly, it’s the exact opposite of your instincts. For instance, when that car turns left in front of you, instinct tells you to stare at that car and at the same time slam on the rear brake. What’s going to happen next is your motorcycle is going to slide onto the ground and crash right into the vehicle you are staring at. To avoid this type of situation, you must know what to do and how to do it.
Here’s the good news, it just takes a few hours to learn the proper techniques and after the initial three or four hours of training, you’ll quickly realize that the skills you’ve learned under controlled conditions can of course be applied and practiced every time you get on your motorcycle and ride out in the real world. I guarantee you, if you think riding a motorcycle is fun now, it’s going to be a hell of a lot more fun when you actually know what you are doing.
I’ve heard from some people with disabilities who are unsure if they can really learn to ride well. For instance, I received an email from a rider that said he was blind in one eye and is it possible he could still learn the head and eyes technique. The answer is yes. In fact, I’ve trained riders on my course with vision in only one eye. They actually picked up the head and eyes technique even quicker than the rest of the class simply because due to their disability, they couldn’t rely on their peripheral vision; they had to turn their head to the extreme.
I’ve also been contacted by riders with a missing leg and using a prosthetic leg. They wondered if they could use the rear brake technique to assist them at low speeds. The answer is of course, yes. The fact is the rear brake is just a helper and needs very little pressure, most of the control is in the clutch and throttle. In fact, a young man that I know named Brian Wright, age 23, lost his right leg below the knee and has a prosthetic leg and asked that very question after watching my DVD. I assured him that the technique would work for him but it may take a little more effort on his part. Brian is a Firefighter/Motor Police Officer in Indiana, and of course had to pass some grueling physical agility tests, so learning to ride a motorcycle properly was no big deal to him. I assured Brian that it was 90% mental, 10% physical. Brian put in a lot of practice and became so good a rider, he met up with us at the Illinois State HOG Rally and actually performed in my rider skills shows with me and my Ride Like a Pro team. Brian’s father Bob is in his 50’s and practiced right along with his son; he too displayed enough skill to perform in my show. Brian and his father Bob now own one of our Ride Like a Pro training franchises in Michigan City Indiana.
The point is, just about anybody can become a highly skilled rider. All it takes is the desire to do so. I’ve heard all the excuses, “my bike is too big, my legs are too short, I got a headache, my bike won’t do that, etc., on and on, bla, bla, bla. Everybody that rides a motorcycle needs to be the best rider they can possibly be; again, that takes practice and knowing the proper techniques. Even the best professional riders, I’m talking about the ones that win big prize money in races all over the world, practice on a regular basis. Motor officers, though they ride 10 to 12 hours a day still have monthly 10 hour practice sessions. Let’s face it; it’s a jungle out there. Most drivers are so distracted by loud stereos, cell phones, texting and navigation devices, they’re not going to see you when it really counts. It’s up to you to obtain the skills you need to avoid all the hazards you’ll find waiting for you out there on the mean streets.
For more information, log onto my website www.ridelikeapro.com my Ride Like a Pro Book and DVDs are available from my website. You can order toll free by calling 866-868-7433. Do yourself and a friend a favor and get them, they just may save your life. Till next month, get out there and practice!