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Thread: I did the Jimmy Lewis Offroad School this past weekend ...

  1. #1

    I did the Jimmy Lewis Offroad School this past weekend ...

    and I have to say this was the most physically demanding motorcycle school I've ever experienced and I've been thru several.

    This all started talking around a campfire with a group of ADVriders just about all of whom ride offroad. The universal opinion was that Lewis is the guy to go to if you want to improve your offroad technique. (One guy who has been racing offroad for 50 years and considered himself an expert, said Jimmy watched him ride and commented that he had a lot of bad habits to overcome if he wanted to be a decent rider ... The guy said Jimmy's help has really helped his riding.)

    You show up at 8 am. By 8:30 you are n his 'front yard' going over fundamentals. Jimmy hates 2 feet down. He takes an R1200GS and walks around it balancing it with 1 finger. He takes his finger away and the bike just sits there for a few seconds. The moment it starts to move he catches it ... again with 1 finger. (I have to say he has incredible reaction time.)

    He then has you sit on your bike with 1 foot down, lift that foot onto the peg ... and balance the bike for as long as you can with both feet up. After I got up to 2 or 3 seconds he had me switch to lifting the down foot and standing on the pegs. Before we headed out to a dry lake bed he went over proper standing position(to include foot placement on the pegs) and peg weighting to turn the bike.

    What follows is drill after drill always building on what you learned in a previous drill. A lot of emphasis is placed on high performance braking. You practice locking first the rear brake ... then the front brake separately. Then you practice locking the rear brake and taking the frnt brake right to the threshold of locking. During that he wants your butt over the rear taillight. And tghat has steps. 1. throttle off 2. Clutch in 3. Weight back 4. Brake

    The class lasted both days until nearly sunset. Except for a break for lunch (discussion continued during lunch) you were riding or listening the whole day. Typically Lewis demonstrates on a r1200GS ... then on a KTM 500exc.

    If you have an opportunity to take his class it is about the cost of a new muffler and it will do you far more good...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  2. #2
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    .... Jimmy hates 2 feet down. He takes an R1200GS and walks around it balancing it with 1 finger. He takes his finger away and the bike just sits there for a few seconds. The moment it starts to move he catches it ... again with 1 finger. (I have to say he has incredible reaction time.)

    He then has you sit on your bike with 1 foot down, lift that foot onto the peg ... and balance the bike for as long as you can with both feet up....

    what is this guy some kind of Trials rider or something

  3. #3
    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    Now THIS is learning how to ride motorcycles.

    OBX~ When we meet in a couple of weeks, you may notice I rarely use either foot when I stop.

    Sometimes I'll be stopped for a redlight, with both feet on the pegs, waiting...
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

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    Flirting With The Redline 2000 Posts! AlwaysLearnin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    ....
    Sometimes I'll be stopped for a redlight, with both feet on the pegs, waiting...
    See, told ya those training wheels would come in handy!

    Semt usung tapatalk wuth my fat fingers snd a tiny keyboard!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lezbert View Post
    * Passhole -- Aggressive driver who stops at nothing just to get in front of you, saving him/herself a whopping 10 seconds.
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    RiderCoach 5000 Posts! NORTY's Avatar
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    OBX~ Get to do any "balance" wheelies?
    Knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NORTY View Post
    OBX~ Get to do any "balance" wheelies?
    No apparently a coupla students failed to cover their rear brakes and crashed and sued ... so wheelies are explained, demoed, but no student practice other than static wheelies from a stop which really is just a sllght front wheel hop.

    Probably the most impressive thing was seeing Lewis go down a 200 foot cliff. From where he went over the edge to where his back tire hit was about 2 stories down then dang close to vertical on down. Even more impressive was to see him take a short start and come back up the cliff.

    One of the students, a tall muscular kid, had a BMW 800 GS. With youthful exuberance and good coordination he had pretty well stayed with the enduros on exercise after exercise... but the most vertical hill climb stumped him. 3 times he got 2/3rds the way up only to loose traction and stall. He finally just shrugged and said something like it was just beyond his bike. Lewis asked if he show him how to do it on the 800. He then had the young man ride on the back and went up the hill like it was nothing ...
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

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    Moderator/RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! Clair's Avatar
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    It's always the bike. We know taht. The rider can only do so much. It's always the bike's fault
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Clair View Post
    It's always the bike. We know taht. The rider can only do so much. It's always the bike's fault
    There's no question Jimmy Lewis can take a r1200GS places a good offroad rider cannot take a KTM 500exc ... but he makes it clear that the big BMW and KTMs are 'adventure bikes' not enduros ... and they have limitations, the biggest of which according to him is how fast you can go without damaging the bike.

    He also makes a statement that I thought I misunderstood the first time he said it ... but he repeated it a couple of times which is this "In offroad motorcycle riding the front brake is responsible for 100% of the stopping power and the rear brake is to keep the back of the bike ... in back."
    The best thing you can buy for your motorcycle is gas.

  9. #9
    Flirting With The Redline 8000 Posts! Trials's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OBX-RIDER View Post
    "In offroad motorcycle riding the front brake is responsible for 100% of the stopping power and the rear brake is to keep the back of the bike ... in back."

    it's not really 100% then but

    sounds pretty good.


  10. #10
    RiderCoach 10,000 Posts! SoCal LabRat's Avatar
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    I know someone else who recently took that class, and he absolutely loved it. Raved about it like you did. Said it wore him out too, and he's 20 years younger than you. So, you're definitely badass in my book.
    ~Teri
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    Hey, at my age running hot and loss of spark is a common problem.
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