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Discussion Starter #1
We all failed! :22yikes:

Four of us took the Ride Like a Pro course with J. D. Redmon in Greensboro, NC in August 2011. All four of us, at one time or another, ran off the course (mostly me), ran over a few cones, or dropped their bike. I'll tell you what though, by the end of 5 hours with J. D., we were all banging off U-turns and doing figure eights and having a great time!

OOPS

Another Gold Wing rider was the first to drop his bike. I felt so much better after that. Why? Because he was okay. The bike was fine. Nobody laughed at him and the instructor used the moment to go over the fine points of picking up a big touring bike. No harm. No foul.

TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

We continued with the Slow Cone Weave. The other guys looked pretty good, but it felt awkward to me. Everyone struggled trying to squeeze their big touring rigs into a 24-foot circle. But J. D. came to our rescue and suggested we lock the wheel and duck walk the bike around the circle one time to prove the bike would fit. I tried it, got halfway around the dime size circle and finally found the speed I needed to get the bike going with the bars locked. The class got easier after that.

Another student was struggling with the tight turns so J. D. hopped on his bike and squeezed in with him. You would think trying to fit two bikes into a space that wouldn't hold one would make the exercise impossible, but mirror neurons are amazing brain cells. I watched the other student sync up with J. D., find his groove, and magically improve his turning ability.

INSTRUCTOR

J. D. was a wonderful teacher. I contacted him before the class and told him that due to some health issues, there was no way I was going to be able to slip the clutch all day. He said to try letting the clutch out and using the throttle as my friction zone. I started with that, then found I could let the bike idle in second gear and use the combination of head and eyes and rear brake to make the bike come alive. J. D. went out of his way to check on me and make sure I was okay during the hot and humid 5-hour course.

LESSONS

For me, some of the most important lessons were that the size of the bike doesn't matter. Let the motor do it's job! As long as you keep power to the rear wheel, that motor is strong enough to maintain forward momentum and keep the bike upright. If you can balance the bike at a stand still, and know how to use the Three Motor Officer Techniques, you have enough strength to ride a Gold Wing.

I also, learned that you have to be ready to apply the techniques. If my foot wasn't on the rear brake before I let out the clutch, it was hard to get my foot settled AND operate the other controls AND find a place to put my eyes all at the same time.

My third lesson was about leaning. Before the class, I did not believe much of anything was gained by learning to lean a bike at parking lot speeds. However, having spent most of 5 hours with the bike leaned w-a-a-a-y over, well, it was a confidence booster on the ride home.

THE VIDEO

If you are thinking of taking the class, J. D. recommends you buy the RLAP video beforehand. I had the video. I practiced some of the techniques on my Burgman 650 last year. However, I did not learn nearly as much on my own as I did taking the class with a live, expert instructor.

SUMMARY

If you get the chance to take the Ride Like a Pro course, either at the HQ in Florida, in North Carolina or in some other state, I highly recommend you do it. For me, the class was worth every penny and is one of the best values in rider training available today. :cool:
 

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Good post, glad you enjoyed the learning.

Any Darksiders there?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No darksiders at this RLAP class. It would be an excellent way to learn what the tire would do and how it felt on the bike.
 

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Rodney,

Thanks for posting your review. I wanted to know how you did and what you thought about the course. Hope there are not too many scratches on that new Goldwing. :22yikes:

I would like to view your RLAP video sometime.

Hope to see you soon. Ride safe and God Bless.

Mike
 
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