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As an MSF Ridercoach I attempt to perfect my riding abilities and to improve them in other areas as I feel an educated rider that has been taught the proper techniques and practices those techniques regularly is a safer rider. After all, if you don't practice, you'll forget how to perform the technique and even though you've seen the abilities of the bike at one point in time, you may not be as comfortable as you should be and need to be in some situations. After getting some seat time in since my last set of deployments and getting back on the range to teach I was talking to some other ridercoach friends and hinted that I would like to take the sport bike course on my Goldwing. Why not, it looks like a sport bike that has gained a few pounds if you look at it right and she's pretty dang agile if you put the time in to practice. Here are my observations from the class.
Class started promptly at 0730 on base and lo and behold- I was the only bike over 500 pounds, heck, I was probably the only bike over 300 pounds. Every bike lined up next to mine looked to be about half the size of the ol' girl. During introductions I reminded everyone not to laugh at the Wing as it was sensitive about its weight. We stayed in the classroom until around lunch time, discussing things like proper path of travel in a curve, trailbraking, and a different technique to lean into a corner so the bike doesn't lean over as far. This was a big portion of the training throughout the day and if mastered, will allow you to have more ground clearance when in a curve. Just before lunch we went out to the range and performed a T-CLOCS inspection on each others bikes. A lot of people had tires that needed some attention but for the most part everything looked good. Then someone decided to flip up my peg to take a look, talk about a conversation starter, they couldn't believe how much of the pegs had been ground down.
After lunch we got started on the range. An easy oval to warm up the tires then a couple offset weaves. One side was set up at 30x3 and the other 30x15. The 3x3 was super easy and I actually thought the 30x15 was pretty easy as well. It definitely gets you used to leaning the bike over to get around the cones and looking where you want to go. Here are the rest of the exercises I remember, the order may be off and I'm almost positive I've forgotten one of them.


Before I get into the exercises the technique to allow more ground clearance involves leaning forward over the tank and tucking your inbound arm down so the elbow is pointed straight to the pavement, using your lats to pull the bike into the turn. This results in the bike being more upright, giving you more ground clearance and more traction.


Quick Stop- a faster speed than what we teach in the BRC and ERC, after some time we added an evasive move after the stop to simulate a car behind us that decided not to stop as well. Pretty fun as far as I was concerned. The key for me was perfecting the stop without the ABS kicking on as I can stop in a shorter distance if the ABS doesn't kick on.


Swerve- again, more complex than the BRC or ERC, at least it seemed like it. In the BRC and ERC you approach the obstacle from the center and swerve around it, this time we approached the obstacle on the side (still behind it, but not centered) and had to cross behind it the long way to swerve around it. Tapped the pegs and lower body parts a few times, nothing serious though.


Circles- Not done in the BRC or ERC, one circle is smaller than the other and in 2nd gear I was dragging my pegs all the way around. Admittedly, I hadn't mastered the technique yet to give myself more ground clearance at this point and feel with some practice I could do this without dragging the pegs.


Multiple curves- as we call it in the ERC- the peanut. A little faster than the ERC again as using the proper technique will allow a smooth transition between the curves, trail braking can also help. Again, I still hadn't even come close to figuring out the technique by this point and I was hitting the curves way too fast. I thought I had a good pace as the sport bike in front of me wasn't getting any farther away and the one behind me was having a hard time keeping up. Okay- so I got a little cocky and probably rode harder than I should, scraped the bike up some more on the engine guards and even the rear saddlebag guards at least once. The front end of the bike even washed out a couple times but not bad enough for me to drop the bike, but I was riding at the limit of the bike for the technique I was using and kept it together. As a ridercoach I'm pretty upset with this performance as I didn't slow down to learn the technique like I should have, I relied on what I knew and although it worked, it wasn't what I should have done. Both sportbikes on the range with me at that time actually scraped their plastics as well in the turns and the one in front of me later told me he was afraid I was going to catch him so he was pushing himself harder than he should have to stay away from me. I imagine the one behind me was trying to keep up as you just don't want a wing to outperform a high performance sport bike.


Decreasing radius turns- pretty basic for setup but it gives you more time in the curve to practice the technique. Holy crap- I finally got it, at least to the left, the right is a little harder to do as its on the throttle side. Give it some time and I'll have it down pat.


A new double oval- to practice the technique a little more and to get back into the mindset of riding in traffic as we had to merge from the large oval into the small oval (inside the large oval) and back to the large with the other bikes in the class (10 total today). This was a good exercise as after playing with the tuck and turn technique you feel pretty confident and cocky and I would suspect without this exercise people would be hitting the road home acting like racers.


Back to the classroom to finish up and take the test. I passed everything and received my sport bike class card. The other students were in complete awe that the wing performed as well as it did and couldn't believe I had it leaned over as far as I did for most of the exercises. They told me I was on the belly pan more than once as there was no space between the bike and the pavement. Once I got the technique somewhat down though I was doing the turns without even touching the pegs so I know it works, I just gotta practice it.


I successfully eliminated the chicken strips on the tires completely, but also scraped up the lower portions of the bike more than I should have.

All in all- a great class with some great techniques to learn. I'm very happy I took it and believe I learned a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It was a blast and like I said, very informative. I'm coaching a BRC this weekend so I'll attempt to practice a little before class starts tomorrow.
 

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Its too bad they don't have a course like that up here I'd take it in a flash
There is something somewhat the same available in Seattle I hear
well done
 

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IronMan
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Here in florida we follow drunks home at nite to learn how to weave
 
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