Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Titusville, New Jersey
Thanks for the replies. In the MSF I took the only thing I remember was "ride at or below your skill level". I assumed that that level would increase naturally over time. I have been practicing certain things (quick starts, hard breaking, swerving, and tightening up the U-turns) in an isolated area though regardless. I just felt while doing it, that I was doing something wrong.
I asked the question because I saw a video online that had guys on huge loaded Harley's that were kinda slammin through turns. I thought "cruisers can do that?" So after a quick warm up (ride through the delsolate back streets and practicing the above) I decided to take it easy and slow but try a little more speed and a little more bank when in the turns I've come to know so well. As I enter the turn with a little more speed than usual, obviously I'd bank a bit more. I still felt confident and in complete control.
The more I did this, the more I realized my overall command of the bike increased exponentially. My radius also tightened up considerably. The tightest turn on "the route" is actually on my way out of it. After several weeks of pracitice, I started to not think about it. The last turn came up, I stayed on the gas, pulled in right bank as needed, got to the tightest part of the turn, and felt my right knee start to drift away from the gas tank naturally. The turn began to end as I righted the bike and away I went.
I guess I also asked the question because I felt like I was breaking the rules by "tryin new things". Now I see, despite my MSF experience, I was doing it right all along - slow and controlled in an isolated environment. I just couldn't believe how much I felt my skills improve over the course of a few weeks by trying something I wouldn't have if all situations remained the same. I'm undoubtedly in a new palce with riding and really enjoying it. I still know that safety's first though its just nice having reached a new plateau.
FYI, I've never banked to the point of "knee drifing" after that one day. Afterall, we're not on crotch rockets. I actually took that level of bank as being my new "bank limit"...