Thursday, June 2, 2011

Advanced Rider Training...Two Months on.

So two months on from completing the first stages of rider training ( Part 1  Part 2 )  how am I going?  Unfortunately I have to access this in a self analytical kind of way.  I will try to be as honest as I can.

There are some areas I have felt have very much improved.  My feet position and hazard awareness has improved a great deal. I seem to be far more aware of what is going on around me, even behind me. I am constantly scanning and taking in what other vehicles are doing, how they are parked, position of wheels etc etc.

I am far smoother under breaking, and am using the brakes to control the bike, especially when coming up to lights and having to control my speed. My breaking distances have reduced considerably.  No more jerking to a stop, then taking off.   Saying that , my slow speed manoeuvring has improved, but there are still lapse's where I need to put a foot down , but completing it a few times normally results in success.   The thing about rider training is it gives you the tools to work on your own riding, where as before the 'wing it' theory was my main form of education.  

When out on the open road I am constantly reminding myself about I.P.S.G.A.   The thing I have noticed about this is that I am selecting a lower gear when entering corners than I use to, giving me a nice firmer acceleration out of the corner.  Interesting point my average mile consumption use to be around 5.6km/1000, now it is around the 5.8-5.9 mark.  Obviously using the power of the bike a lot more.  This has been one of the great joys of the training, I am enjoying the stability of cornering so much more, and combined with the change of entry and exit angle I feel Like I am cornering far better and with more confidence. I am positioning myself differently on the road when entering corners, giving greater visibility during the entire process. Great fun.

All in all the lots of skills are being slowly built into my riding.  I still have a long way to go, yet at the same time I have come a long way from where I was.

Having read Police Riders Handbook to better Motorcycling  and Proficient Motorcycling both excellent books they have helped to re enforce  what I have learnt and are a great resource for future referral.  Click on the link and you can read both reviews.

In the spring I will go back and attend some more sessions.  Lots more to learn and I want to make sure no bad habits are creeping into my riding.  It is a long journey, but incredibly rewarding.

Something I learnt when I was learning guitar.  I would practice stuff really hard, spend hours trying to master a technique or riff, my tutor said to me, after practising just play.  Forget about trying to learn , just enjoy and play.  What happens is those very skills you have been trying to master came naturally into my playing once I was relaxed and not trying so hard. I would just start having fun, yet I would be doing some of the stuff I had been trying so hard to master. To some degree this principle applies to riding a bike and acquiring new skills also. You work at some thing and after a while it becomes natural.


  1. I find that if I relax my riding becomes much smoother and usually faster. Not a higher MPH, just better lines and more "flow".
    I reckon you need to get yourself a helmet cam and show us your nice roads....

  2. That's a pretty much flawless description of your progress Roger! Recognise all the things you've brought up. I'm always one or two gears lower than I used to be in urban areas and this has helped enormously with speed and distance control.

    You're also spot on about the need to relax and have fun as part of the process. That's why I cut loose at the end of my ride on the latest blog post.

    BTW, your bike looks a million dollars in the photo - a real stunner.

  3. Geoff, I knew u would understand where I was coming from. Thanks for comment, incidental my bike is very well photographed, so never any issue finding a nice pic.

  4. Mike, better if u get your butt down here and discover the secret roads for yourself! You won't be disappointed.

  5. I very much like the guitar analogy ". . . after practising just play." That works for so many things.

    Thanks for the share.

  6. Good stuff Roger. I think that we are in for a miserable winter here so I think that those two books will be on my winter reading list!

    Cheers Jules.

  7. Keith. Glad the you understood the analogy, was trying to explain some thing and it was the best way of describing it.

  8. Jules: Not looking goo here this weekend either. I know Melbourne can get pretty cold and cap in the winter. Good luck, and the books are well worth it.

  9. Irondad coached me on downshifting and cornering, particularly the downhill ones. Makes a big difference. I usually downshift 1-2-(3!) gears lower than I used to. I like having something to pull against, and it makes the corners much smoother. If I ever get over my fear of leaning, I might get good at this stuff!

    So true what your guitar instructor said...relax and enjoy. The ride just gets better when you stop over-analyzing every move.

  10. I am happy that you are feeling more relaxed and more confident about your skills. What I would like to know is what your pillion riders think? And do they see an improvement?? :)

    More books for my arsenal. :)


  11. It's interesting. As I read the post I was struck with how analytical it was. I had determined to make a comment on not forgetting that a part of good riding is relaxing and letting it come from a visceral level.

    Then you go and write the last paragraph and steal my thunder!

    A tip of the helmet to you for stepping up.

    Another advantage of a lower gear and higher revs in a corner is that you can use the throttle to more smoothly control speed and lines.

    A little bit of roll-off can tighten up your line. A bit of roll-on can move the bike a bit wider to better set up for the next corner entry.

    To Bluekat: I'm so pleased that something I shared actually helped somebody!

  12. Lori. SOme times I am so laid back I fall over!

    Dan; Your comment about rolling off and on the throttle is do true, some thing I have been discovering. Thanks mate, I have been enjoying your series.

  13. Excellent analogy about practicing with the guitar. A guy working at a guitar store told me he does TV practicing. He doodles around on the guitar while watching TV so he's not under the pressure to seriously practice. The same is true in motorcycling - not the watching TV part but relaxing.

    Great to read about your progress, Roger!

  14. Roger, Your bike looks so nice in this photo, it's a pitty my wife don't like it.!!!!

  15. Tony........hard to find the perfect women mate!

  16. Hi Roger enjoyed your post picked it up from Geoff's Blog its good to know that not only is advanced training the same from whoever gives it but also wherever in the World it is given. Another little helper when lining up a corner is after IPS and Gear giving you 1/2 way up rev range for corner entry is to keep your head as vertical as is comfortable to help stop your brain thinking you are falling over. Certainly works for me.

  17. Dylan , thanks for your comment, will certainly that when next I am out.