Motorman’s Tips, Tricks and Techniques
A few days ago I had to go my Ride Like a Pro Training Center to re-mark the course. The recent rains had washed away some of the duct tape I use to mark off the exercises. (By the way, white duct tape works great as a marker on black top or concrete.) After marking everything, I ran the course a few times just to stay sharp. Just as I was packing up, a man and a woman pulled into the parking lot and asked what I was doing. I said, “I’m getting a little practice on the course to keep my skills sharp.”
The man who I’d guess was in his mid-30’s stated, “Practice, that’s what my wife needs” as he pointed to the woman on a 250 Rebel. His wife had a wide eyed look of fear on her face as she sat on the little bike with what looked like a death grip on the handlebars. Her shoulders were shrugged up to her ears and both arms were fully extended as if she was trying to get as far away from the handlebars as possible.
He then said, “She has to go to the MSF class next week to get her license and she’s worried about failing.” She quickly nodded her head in agreement with her husband. She then said, “That’s why we pulled into the parking lot, he wants to scream at me some more while I try to learn how to ride this thing.” The husband laughed and just said, “She drives me crazy when she doesn’t listen to me.”
I told them both I know a little bit about teaching riding skills and would they mind if I gave her a few tips. “I need all the help I can get”, the woman said, “Just don’t yell at me like he does.” I promised not to yell.
The first thing you need to do is relax, bend your elbows and scoot up on the seat a bit. Next, relax your shoulders then take a few deep breaths. I then explained to her that learning to ride isn’t brain surgery. It’s like anything else. At first you feel awkward, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.
She said, “But there’s so much to think about. The gas, the clutch, the shifter, the brakes, I don’t know if I can do all this.” I’ve heard this same line from just about all the new female riders. Men think the same thing, however, most will never admit it.
Here’s my standard answer to this type of statement. “Have you noticed that there are a lot of people riding around on motorcycles? Both men and women?” “Yes,” she said. “Do you think it’s possible that all those people are all much smarter than you?” She gave me the standard answer, a laugh, then “No, they can’t all be smarter than me.”
I then went about showing her how to modulate the clutch and throttle, which brake to use and when, etc. In an hour’s time, she was cruising around the parking lot with a smile on her face.
So, what’s the point of all this? First, it’s probably not a good idea to attempt to teach your wife to ride. Let the Pro’s do it. Second, learning to ride a motorcycle ain’t brain surgery. If you have the desire to learn, you can and will learn to ride.
If you’re not aware, my associates, Marianne and Tim Hamilton, from my Ride Like A Pro videos run the Ride Like a Pro, Central Gulf Coast MSF Course in Dade City at the Pasco-Hernando Community College. The M.S.F. Beginner’s Course is structured of course, for the very beginner. In other words, you don’t have to have ever been on a motorcycle before taking the class. Give them a call at 866-940-9433.
I guarantee Marianne and Tim will teach you everything you need to know as a new rider, and they won’t yell at you!