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Thread: Practice Resources

  1. #1

    Practice Resources

    If I don't practice the way I should, then I won't play the way that I know I can.
    --Ivan Lendl (winner 8 Tennis Grand Slam Singles titles, reached the Finals in a Grand Slam event at least once for 11 straight years.)

    Practice is important. Guided practice is best. What is guided practice? Practice with a plan--a goal--with vision to the future. The best practice is exercises that have been tested and proven to improve performance.

    If you are a serious motorcyclist and are looking for patterns to practice to improve you street riding skill set and up your odds of surviving that "OH SH*T" moment I would offer looking here:

    http://www.idahostar.org/guide/Default.htm

    This is a collection of 9 exercises have clearly stated directions, coaching tips, point out problems you may have and (most importantly) how to fix them.

    Start by reading this page: http://www.idahostar.org/guide/intro.htm And then moving on with the activity you see fits your needs the most.

    The structure is very simple and easy to follow--I would suggest printing the page of the exercise you're going to working on and carrying it with you to the parking lot where you intend to practice.

    Let me breakdown why I LOVE these exercises by walking you through "Quick Stop on a Curve" at http://www.idahostar.org/guide/exercise1.htm

    The first thing you will find is DIRECTIONS. The directions will tell you WHY you're practicing what you're practicing. In this case:

    "Practicing this exercise will help you stop quickly when something suddenly appears in your path on a curve."

    This means you have a real world problem and you'll be practicing for it in a controlled environment. You'll find a diagram using parking spaces next--this allows you to see how the path of travel will be laid out. In this case:

    map2.gif

    Next up is the actual HOW TO DO IT. Again from Quick Stop on a Curve:

    Ride to the outside of the line "A". Start, facing marker one at a distance sufficient enough to increase speed to 10-15 mph. As you reach marker one, turn in the curved path indicated by marker two, three, and four. When your front tire passes marker two, begin braking. Try to stop before marker three. Do this at 10 mph, then 15 mph. Do not exceed 15 mph.

    Clear, concise, easy to follow. Also, you'll notice this is not a high speed practice, you're working on forming habits and building a foundation of actions. As always simply saying, "Do This!" is a bad idea--you need:

    Coaching Tips

    Keep head and eyes up; focus on where you want to go.
    Straighten motorcycle, then apple both brakes stopping as quickly as possible.
    Keep feet on pegs until almost stopped.
    When stopped, the left foot should touch the ground first, and you should be in first gear.
    Do not skid either wheel.

    Yup, part of the beauty of these prepared exercises is that you can start them with coaching tips in mind. 'Discovery Learning' or as we called it in the day 'The School of Hard Knocks' is a harsh teacher and you're better off having coaching tips to point you in the right direction.

    These guided practice exercises also have a troubleshooting section. Yeah if things aren't going well you can look to see what's up...take a look:

    Problem
    1. Overshooting the final marker.
    Correction
    1. Apply more pressure to the brakes once motorcycle is straightened from the lean angle.

    Problem
    2. Motorcycle nearly falls over.
    Correction
    2. Straighten up the motorcycle, then apply the brakes. Be sure the handlebars are square with the motorcycle.

    Problem
    3. Rear wheel skids.
    Correction
    3. Apply less pressure on the rear brake and make sure the motorcycle is straight up.

    Zowie. That's cool. There are 8 more exercises you can work on from Normal Stops to Weaves and Quick Stops. If you're looking for help with your technique or tips to improve your riding these well thought out, clearly presented practice exercises are sent from motorcycle heaven.

    I wish I had a part in creating them but I did not. All credit goes to the Idaho STAR program. These are research bases problems and researched based answers. I cannot tell you how much, after 22 years of riding a little focused 20mph or lower practice helped clean up my riding.

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also encourages practice. In this booklet:

    http://msf-usa.org/downloads/Riding_Tips.pdf

    on booklet page 58 you'll find the same sorts of exercises complete with coaching tips. As always I suggest printing the pages and taking them with you to your practice session so you can readily consult them.

    Our Goldwing riding friends have this excellent resource:

    http://www.gwrra.org/regional/ridered/PLP%20Program/GWRRAMotorcyclePLPFacilitator'sManual_4_08.pdf

    This link is the actual 'Facilitators' guide and has all the good coaching tips and such in it. It's designed to be printed so you have to zig zag your way down it as you read it...it takes moment but pay attention to the page numbers and you'll be OK.

    If you're like me you might be off the bike for a few weeks a year. If so? When you get back on the remember to go out and practice. If you're a year rounder? Lucky dog. Practice one or twice a month if you can, you'll be surprised how it will hone your skills. Not matter what, practice with a purpose and practice like your life depends on it--cause someday it might.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 1000 Posts! Val's Avatar
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    Flirting With The Redline 6000 Posts! atomicalex's Avatar
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    I love this. I also don't feel so dorky for carrying around a copy of my GF card (the exercises you have to do over here). I was told 30 minutes a week of GFs for the first year! And yes, I'm making that commitment. The TÜV might catch me!
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    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    The MSF Riding Tips booklet is also sold in a "pocket" form at many motorcycle dealers, and included with most new road bikes sold by the manufacturers that sponsor MSF. That's a long list of places to find it!
    Jeff

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    Moderator/RiderCoach We've stopped counting... Missy B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Val View Post
    I smell a sticky!
    Agreed and done!
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  6. #6
    Looks like the link is dead.

  7. #7
    RiderCoach 8000 Posts! WoodstockJeff's Avatar
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    Looks like it's been replaced (the Idaho one).... http://idahostar.org/resources/practice-guide

    The MSF link should still be good, though.
    Jeff

    "Remember when being socially distant was a symptom of a potentially debilitating mental disorder, instead of a government mandate? C'mon, it was just a few weeks ago!"

    "Modern Liberalism: The embodiment of an irrational fear of letting other people run their own lives."

    '13 XT250
    '10 ZG-1400 (operational again)

  8. #8
    Flirting With The Redline Markk9's Avatar
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  9. #9
    The Idaho STAR guide has moved and is a PDF here: http://idahostar.org/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=112920

    It's been cut down with fewer exercises but is still good stuff.
    Author of "Motorcycles, Life and..." & "The Elemental Motorcyclist"

    http://motorcycleslifeandeverything.wordpress.com

    www.howzitdonecrash.com

  10. #10
    Flirting With The Redline Drumr Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodstockJeff View Post
    Looks like it's been replaced (the Idaho one).... http://idahostar.org/resources/practice-guide

    The MSF link should still be good, though.
    Nice. Bookmarked.
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