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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the Raider is almost 100 pounds heavier than my previous bike,and I almost dropped it a few times, I have adopted the "friction zone" technique as instructed by Jerry Palladino. You basically keep steady friction to the back wheel by using the rear brake, throttle and clutch in harmony, so you can make a sharp U turn moving at a snail's pace. This one of Jerry's is hilarious:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=yGtCMxu8PyM&feature=related
 

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That's funny, we were at that particular show last year. The techniques he teaches, work.
Of course we bought his video too, just finally watched it a couple weeks ago after we got back from this years Leesburg Bikefest.
 

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Can be done using just the friction zone without any brakes just as smooth and tight... The MSF Experienced Riders Course the goal is to work towards making left and right U turns within a 28' x 70' area for practice and 24' x 70' for evaluation (bikes larger than 500cc's that is). The technique that a rider should be focused on in this scenario is not friction zone and dragging the rear brake... it's the counter weighting! Sure using the friction zone helps, but the average rider out there is typically familiar with how to use it. What they aren't as familiar with is how to counter weight the motorcycle to make those tight turns. I know first hand the Raider is capable of U turn within 20'... no brakes, just friction zone and counter weighting.

Al
 

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Actually you'd be surprised how many bikers are not familiar with the friction zone and the use of the rear brake.
I hosted a winter party at my house this past February and invited bikers from all across the spectrum to come and watch the Ride like a pro 4 video. All of the guys said it was a foriegn thing to them to use the clutch and brake in that manner. All had knowledge of couterweighting the bike but they were shocked to see Jerry dance those big bikes around as he does.
Bottom line is everyone needs his instructions and no dog is too old to learn!
 

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When it comes to what the average motorcyclist knows I am rarely surprised, anyone who is riding can obviously manipulate the friction zone, but agree that most without any kind of structured riding course doesn't use either the front or rear, seen both types.I also agree 100% about no dog being too old to learn... Thats why taking a structured course motorcycle course should be required. There are far too many unlicensed and unknowing motorcyclist riding the public streets. In just about every class I have taught there has been a "I have been riding for 30 years, you can't teach me anything I don't know", funny how at the end of the day they are excited about having learned something new. Most have already tried testing at the DMV and been unsuccessful, some have taken our course and even tried the DMV test again... passing with no marks.

As for counterweighting, knowing what counterweighting is and being able to apply it are very different. Most students understand it just by talking about it, but in most cases it takes even the more experienced riders quite awhile to be able to apply it succesfully. And although using the friction zone while dragging the rear brake is great for riding at a much lower speed while maintaining balance, it should still be used in conjunction with counterweighting when trying to make tight turns. I was merely stating that if applied properly there is no need to drag your brakes to make a U turn... I have performed U turns within 20' on a Yamaha R1, Kawasaki ZX10R, Triumph Daytona 995i, Boulevard C50T, Vstar 1300, Raider, Goldwing 1500 and 1800, and a Harley ultra road king glide thingy (full dresser, hard bags and trunk), all just by counterweighting. Some of those bikes belonged to friends that didn't believe it could be done... I would also agree with your last statement with a twist, I do believe that everyone needs instruction... but not necessarily "His" instruction for basic riding tips. A rider should probably learn how to properly apply the counterweighting technique first, then try the Ride like a Pro stuff.

I find it interesting that all he mentions in the video clip is "I'll be in the friction zone, little bit of pressure on the rear brake, and turn my head and eyes... it is just that simple." But you can clearly see at the 3min and 4sec - 3min and 9sec he is counterweighting. I never heard him mention that at all.

All that being said, I do think that the Ride like a Pro course would be a great course for more experienced riders.
 

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Actually have you watched the Ride like a Pro videos?
Couterweighting is not stressed.
Jerry is a Motor cop, and he considers motor cops to be in the top 20% of riders professionally.
I agree with you, start with MSF or similar course, practice these basics and ride carefully and safe
for what ever number of miles it takes to become very acquainted with your bike and the paths
you choose to ride. Then begin to step up to the MSF advanced and the Ride like a Pro videos.
I still think that after 1000 to 2000 miles of combined riding even a newbie should look at the videos
and begin to practice these slow curve riding techniques.
I agree with you and MSF to use the weight shifting technique in slow speed curves and handling
the bike in tight places.
However the HEAD and EYES are so important that I would rather see this used then couterweighting
if you are not going to follow the MSF and other teachings regarding HEAD and EYES.
Can't stress the HEAD and EYES enough.

Bottom line is far too few are taking classes or watching videos and seeking guidance from others who are practicing these routines.
As Jerry says, he rode for 20 years and every year continued the poor practices he didn't know he was employing.
I see a lot of goofy things and I'm new enough a rider but have more miles under my belt in far greater range of riding than many older guys. I wish that MSF was mandantory and expanded to teach all who come to the class each year.

Perhaps a riding techiques section on this forum would be a good thing to start!

Best,
Ken
 

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Head and eyes are stressed in the BRC as well as the ERC throughout the course.
Exercise 10, step 5 of the MSF BRC range cards
. Stress handlebars turn and counterweight
. Stress head turn

I have done a U turn in 24' like shown in the clip above looking in the complete opposite direction using only counterweighting. I did it to illustrate to our Rider Coach candidates that the head turn is not what is most important in that skill development, but it does help... However, counterweighting is the technique that should be stressed when performing low speed tight turns, followed by head and eyes. I don't care how far you turn your head and eyes during a low speed tight turn... if you don't counterweight it you will more than likely drop the motorcycle. He mentioned in the clip posted... "friction zone, pressure on the rear brake, head and eyes... it's just that simple." Yet he demonstrated... friction zone, pressure on the rear brake, head and eyes, and counterweight. A new rider trying to make the same tight turn that does not know how to properly apply the counterweighting technique and is told "friction zone, pressure on the rear brake, head and eyes... it's just that simple." is prolly gonna end up with some scratches on their bike. I know a few motor cops and they are very proficient riding at low speeds... but that doesn't mean they should try and teach it. It is a building block process, in this case the first brick should focus on counterweighting and stressing head and eyes.
Then once you have become proficient with that move on to some other low speed control skills... like throwing the friction zone/ rear brake pressure technique in there to further your low speed riding skills. I use it at times in traffic for instance or parking lots at bike nights.

And MSF can't stress the importance of head and eyes...
15 of the 17 exercises in the BRC note in the in the evaluations to "keep head and eyes up... look through the path of travel"
I only wish that MSF had a true "advanced" riders course but as of right now they do not. The Experienced Riders Course (ERC) should not be viewed as an advanced course. The techniques taught in the ERC are the same ones taught in the BRC. An advanced course implies a rider would learn a new technique or skill, none are taught though. The ERC focuses on control skills, stopping quickly, limited space maneuvers, cornering judgment, negotiating curves, stopping quickly in a curve, avoiding hazards. Mostly the same exercises that are conducted on day 2 of the BRC. Not saying it's a bad idea to take an ERC... just don't if you are under the assumption you will learn new skills. You want to learn new skills then move up to Ride like a Pro, Police motorcycle course for civilians, Total Control... all of which you will further your riding skills.

"Bottom line is far too few are taking classes or watching videos and seeking guidance from others who are practicing these routines." I agree 100,000,000%

All it takes is time and practice, I am fortunate enough to be making a living teaching people how to ride... It's the most rewarding thing I have ever done.

Al

By the way, I do have a call in to Jerry about getting certified to teach the Ride like a Pro curriculum at my school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To tell you the truth, I never thought about the counterbalancing aspect of it. I had been doing it naturally since riding on the street. I picked it up watching my old crotch rocket buddies pushing their bikes away from them as they slid sidesaddle, when taking curves.
 

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I've have the "Ride like a pro" video and have been practicing the three techniques for quite awhile. Question: exactly what is "counter-weighting"? Would appreicate any tips -
thanks much
Rod
 

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Counter weighting (also referred to as counter balance) is simply redistributing weight to maintain balance.

The picture in the link you see head turn (left), handle bars turned (left), bike leaned (left), upper body lean (right), and friction zone. The upper body in this case is the redistribution of weight to achieve that balance...

Also note in the Ride like a Pro videos anytime you see them perform a low speed sharp or U turn they too are counter weighting.

http://s263.photobucket.com/albums/ii126/almisty05/Low speed CW/


Al
 

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Took the advanced riding course today her in Idaho. Didnt think I could do it but made a narrow left hand turn 1 out of the 3 times I did it. could not have been any wider than 20 feet. The other 2 times I didnt look were I was going but what was in the direction the bike was turning, slighlty forward and to the left not back over my shoulder. Great class learned a lot on the track. skiding the bike was fun.
 
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