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Some may recall that I ride a virtually stock 1977 Z650 B1, right down to the narrow wire wheels. But today, the bike and I - both old and rusty - put up a pretty smooth dance together :D

 

It was the best ride I've had for years! I cornered around 10% slower than I did many moons ago on my then Sprint 900, but I were so utterly relaxed now compared to then. And I came out of every corner with a good drive instead of more or less on the brakes. My lines where smooth, controlled, no hint of drama, barely touched the brakes all day, yet my average speed was pretty good. The risk level was quite low, though, despite the rapid progress. Cool!

 

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  • 2 months later...

Since this topic was met with such acclaim I found it only appropriate to continue in the same way :D

 

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I spent a couple of years after joining this forum resisting several of the ideas/techniques. Then I began trying to implement one of them in the form of setting the corner speed early and applying the throttle early as well.

 

And it was frustrating at times. There were times I thought I had figured it out, only to go back to square one and struggle. It then got worse, and the back end of 2011 and virtually all of 2012 was a mess with loss of confidence and lots of sliding tyres when going slow. Only at the very end of 2012 did it seem to fall into place. So I am happy to say that I barely touch the brakes now and I apply the throttle early and with confidence. I cannot even remember the last time a tyre slid on me!

 

These are changes I have incorporated on every ride - in no particular order - that I didn't use before:

 

Keep enough in reserve to prevent SRs - works amazingly well, and exit speeds are much higher now

In slow, out fast - really used to hate this since my style was directly opposite, but now it rocks

Relax on the handlebars - I may still grab to hard, but every time I feel the bike weave I let go and it steadies itself immediately

Stay smooth - not upsetting the chassis and focusing on lines now allow more speed with less lean

Lean into the corner - I just lean my torso and very little with relaxed arms, but it steadies the bike

Look up - especially when going slow, like around hairpins and roundabouts, this is just fantastic for giving confidence and control

 

I am no track rider and I am not out to set any speed records. I just want to have fun and be safe. I ride briskly, but with tons more in reserve than before. No panicking, not throbbing heart, no last second reactions. The end result is well worth the frustrations leading up to it and I now I am glad I didn't give up because it looked pretty gloom at some stages.

 

So thanks to this forum I am now a less lousy rider :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll chime in if for no other reason than just to dispel the rumor that you are crazy because you are talking to yourself :)

You know the drill, Questions will follow.

 

Relax on the handlebars - I may still grab to hard,

Why?

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So thanks to this forum I am now a less lousy rider :)

 

Reading the forum and reading the books/watching the videos is great and certainly helpful. But attending a CSS event is worlds more productive and quite a bit faster results as well.

 

Erik I am glad you are progressing and happy with your level of accomplishment thus far. More riders (probably not those on this forum) should be more proactive with their riding skills development. I see riders all the time who stop "learning" once they feel they can turn, accelerate and brake "good enough". Of course everyones definition of "good enough" is a little different.

 

I too have benefitted greatly from CSS and Kieths books and videos but not as much as actually attending the school more than a few times.

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I'll chime in if for no other reason than just to dispel the rumor that you are crazy because you are talking to yourself :)

You know the drill, Questions will follow.

 

Relax on the handlebars - I may still grab to hard,

Why?

 

Thank you :D

 

Why I grab hard or why it helps to relax? I presume you're asking about the former. I do not know, I just tense on the bars the second I stop reminding myself to relax. I've always ridden with a firm grip, and unlearning 30+ years of mistakes has been the most difficult of this whole learning experience.

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So thanks to this forum I am now a less lousy rider :)

 

Reading the forum and reading the books/watching the videos is great and certainly helpful. But attending a CSS event is worlds more productive and quite a bit faster results as well.

 

Erik I am glad you are progressing and happy with your level of accomplishment thus far. More riders (probably not those on this forum) should be more proactive with their riding skills development. I see riders all the time who stop "learning" once they feel they can turn, accelerate and brake "good enough". Of course everyones definition of "good enough" is a little different.

 

I too have benefitted greatly from CSS and Kieths books and videos but not as much as actually attending the school more than a few times.

 

I will admit that I for many, many years felt I were too good and wouldn't listen to people telling me differently :( Mostly because whenever I tried something different, it didn't work and I discarded it immediately. Seeing that it can take years to change a habit, I guess investing in a school day or 3 would be sensible. Maybe some day I'll risk making a fool of myself and join up...

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I'll chime in if for no other reason than just to dispel the rumor that you are crazy because you are talking to yourself :)

You know the drill, Questions will follow.

Relax on the handlebars - I may still grab to hard,

Why?

 

Thank you :D

 

Why I grab hard or why it helps to relax? I presume you're asking about the former. I do not know, I just tense on the bars the second I stop reminding myself to relax. I've always ridden with a firm grip, and unlearning 30+ years of mistakes has been the most difficult of this whole learning experience.

 

Completely understandable answer. Keep up the good fight!

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