Hi all. I originally thought of this as just a Rider Coach thread but wanted to discuss it here and spread the word to everyone so that in the event the class is offered where you live YOU CAN AND SHOULD TAKE IT!!!
So, two of our instructors here in UT went and became certified to instruct the bike bonding classes MSF is starting to offer. There is a basic and an ultimate bike bonding class. The basic class is done on the 250's, or the student can bring their own bike if it is under 500cc's. The Ultimate class is done on your bike like an ERC or ARC would be. Anyway, upon their return the offered the instructors here a chance to experience some of both classes. Being the smart folks that we are, Todd and I jumped at the chance to take a class.
Here's a brief description, borrowed from http://rollingwheels.biz/bike_bonding_courses.htm
So, this is a class of slow speed exercises. It's not a "touring skills" class, but one designed to get you to bond with your bike for slow speed maneuvers. And let me tell you ... the friggin class ROCKS! Damn I had a blast and loved it.The Bike Bonding Rider Courses are precision riding courses, and are divided into the Basic Bike Bonding Rider Course (BBBRC) and the Ultimate Bike Bonding Rider Course (UBBRC). Bike Bonding refers to the connection and interaction of the rider and motorcycle. Good bike bonding helps riders automate their physical skills so they can devote more attention to road and traffic conditions (searching and evaluating).
The MSF Basic Bike Bonding RiderCourse (BBBRC) is a program patterned after police training courses. It stresses motorcycle manipulation skills to maximize low-speed operation and control. Emphasis is placed on helping riders improve their control manipulation, or "putting the bike where you want it".
The general objective is for participants to develop and practice basic skills beyond those acquired in the Basic RiderCourse. By the end of the course, participants will have sufficient motorcycle control skills to handle a motorcycle in more challenging street situations.
The Ultimate Bike-Bonding RiderCourse is all about rider precision. This program was derived from police motorcycle training courses, and consists of drills and skill circuits to improve a rider’s performance. Control operation and body positioning are emphasized to improve smoothness and precision. It stresses motorcycle manipulation skills to maximize low-speed operation and control. Emphasis is placed on helping riders improve their control manipulation, or "putting the bike where you want it". A primary value of having good bike-bonding is how it transfers to actual on-street riding in the form of smooth control inputs and more spare "mental capacity" with which to strategize riding plans and escape routes.
The UBBRC is designed for riders who possess solid basic skills and have recent riding experience. It is recommended that the motorcycle be appropriate for the size and strength of its rider. The UBBRC does not have a formal classroom component. The overall aim is to help riders develop smooth and precise control as they manipulate the primary controls and develop riding techniques. The UBBRC allows participants to refine and practice skills, mostly in low-speed exercises. By the end of the course, participants should be able to handle their motorcycle in a more precise and smooth manner.
Oh ... I won the award for MOST CONES KILLED!!!
That being said, I did improve by the end of the morning and am happy with that. We were all sad to have it end as we were just having too much fun. The class is challenging, make no mistake about that. I was pushed hard, particularly since slow speed stuff is my major weakness. Even Todd, who is quiet smooth and good at slow speed maneuvers was challenged and picked up some pointers.
I forget all we did but will try to remember things roughly.
We had a zig zag course where you rode out, speeding up toward the cones, then a tight turn to race back to the next one, zig zagging back and forth. Cones maybe ... um ... 30-40 yards apart? So basically lots of large V's and /\'s. Tight cornering. Next was another zig zag type but you had to speed up and then stop at each one, full crank of handle bars left/right, then go in a limited space. They stressed putting down the INSIDE foot for the turn, which was weird for me since I always put the left down at a stop. But if making a right turn, having the right foot down had the bike already leaned a bit in the direction I wanted to go anyway! Let's see, there was one called the loli-pop where you weave around 4 cones going in and then do a circle left or right (your choice). I think the diameters were 24', 26', an 28'. I was killing cones here! lol But I blame my side cases for it... they stick out far! yeah, that's my excuse!
We did one, kinda like the zig zag, but much closer, so you'd enter two cones, immediately make a hard left/right tear drop to get into and through the next one, basically weaving your way through. Three of these, small, medium, and large. There was an exercise that was comprised of three circles marked by cones, and you weaved in and out of the cones as you went around the circle. Again, a small, medium, and large. Kinda killed a few cones here too! lol One of the most ... complex ... consisted of a tight figure eight, then a T box where you'd follow the T clockwise and then exit, a "hamburger bun" figure eight that was kind of oval shaped and TIGHT, followed by another T box that you did counter clockwise. The right hand section of the hamburger bun oval caught me nearly every time.
Let's see, we did a slight variation of the Peanut from the ERC for those of you who've done that. and a really cool lane change cool down exercise to end the class. This consisted of two ovals, one large and one smaller, with a change over in the middle of one of the long straights. Idea is to have situational awareness and change lanes (using turn signals). So you start out on the large oval and then take the inside one, then the outside one and so on. At some point you have traffic on both loops so traffic changing from one to the other at the cross over point. A really cool exercise and one that should be in the ERC imho.