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So a group of us took the advanced riding course put on by Florida State University motor Officers and Motor instructors. It was VERY hard. I THOUGHT I knew how to ride my bike. They made sure to show me that I had no clue what I was doing at slow speed. LOL Seriously it was very informative and was actually a lot of fun. Even with the 95 degree heat. Here is a video my wife took of me at the start of the day doing the figure 8. By the end of the day I was doing the figure 8 with no issue.
 

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So a group of us took the advanced riding course put on by Florida State University motor Officers and Motor instructors. It was VERY hard. I THOUGHT I knew how to ride my bike. They made sure to show me that I had no clue what I was doing at slow speed. LOL Seriously it was very informative and was actually a lot of fun. Even with the 95 degree heat. Here is a video my wife took of me at the start of the day doing the figure 8. By the end of the day I was doing the figure 8 with no issue.
That’s GREAT! I’ve always wanted to take the advanced course. Is it expensive? Is it a 3 day course like the beginning rider course?
 

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Does your bike have one of those slipper clutches?

In the beginners MSF course we were doing figure 8s with the steering stop to stop. We were holding the handlebar against the stop, reving the engine just a bit, and using the clutch to control the speed of the bike: clutch in to slow down, clutch slipping in the friction zone to go faster (balancing the bike in the turn using the speed of the bike).

I dont know how you would do that with a slipper clutch, or on an automatic.
 

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Does your bike have one of those slipper clutches?

In the beginners MSF course we were doing figure 8s with the steering stop to stop. We were holding the handlebar against the stop, reving the engine just a bit, and using the clutch to control the speed of the bike: clutch in to slow down, clutch slipping in the friction zone to go faster (balancing the bike in the turn using the speed of the bike).

I dont know how you would do that with a slipper clutch, or on an automatic.
The slipper function does more on down shifting from my understanding. I have no problem feathering clutch in my SVTC during very slow speed maneuvering.
 

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It was VERY hard. I THOUGHT I knew how to ride my bike. They made sure to show me that I had no clue what I was doing at slow speed.
does being married help at all? having the experience of someone constantly shouting different instructions at you?
 

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It was VERY hard. I THOUGHT I knew how to ride my bike. They made sure to show me that I had no clue what I was doing at slow speed.
does being married help at all? having the experience of someone constantly shouting different instructions at you?
Hmmm 🤔 that’s a very good question.
 

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While those courses might be fun, I have read to many forums where people have done them only to end up having to replace their clutch and some even brake pads after the course was over with.

You have to remember not a single one of the officers who instruct those courses learned on their own motorcycles, they had a department owned motorcycle so they don't care about scraping it in tight turns and burning up the clutches or wearing out a set of brake pads, it is all paid for be their departments or by the tax payers if you will.

I am retired but my old department, Florida Highway Patrol, the motor units went to all those schools.

I really don't see the point in the slow speed tight turn around stuff they teach. I think the courses put on by Keith Code (I think that is his name) would be far more beneficial as he teaches you how to handle a motorcycle at speed on a race track which translates to the street.

In my 25 years as a police officer with 13 of them in traffic homicide I never worked a fatal motorcycle crash that was the result of slow speed handling, however I worked more at speed and high speed motorcycle crashes than you can shake a stick at.

Personally I think the only smart way to take the course you took would be to use a rental bike so that way if you burn up the clutch or use up the brake pads it is not coming out of your pocket.

Honestly now how many times have you ever done figure eights out riding? Does it make someone less of a man or woman because they put their foot down doing a real tight turn to turn around, something that would fail you in the motorcycle course. Wouldn't caution be a much better approach than to pound into everyones head your foot better not touch the ground on a low speed tight turn.

I passed my course both the class room and the practical with scores of 100 on both, but outside of the breaking exercise, swerve exercise and the running over the board I am hard pressed to find anything from the course that is used in everyday riding. I have yet to encounter a set of cones in a lane of travel that I have had to weave through, I still haven't encountered that turn around within a single lane width without putting your foot down dog gone it. The duck walk, who has duck walked their motorcycle 100 feet?

Ok, ok I am off my soap box, I do hope you had a blast and your clutch and brake pads all survived.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That’s GREAT! I’ve always wanted to take the advanced course. Is it expensive? Is it a 3 day course like the beginning rider course?
It was a 6 hour course so no we did not get perfect training in. It was free due to a grant given to FSU PD. It was tough.
Does your bike have one of those slipper clutches?

In the beginners MSF course we were doing figure 8s with the steering stop to stop. We were holding the handlebar against the stop, reving the engine just a bit, and using the clutch to control the speed of the bike: clutch in to slow down, clutch slipping in the friction zone to go faster (balancing the bike in the turn using the speed of the bike).

I dont know how you would do that with a slipper clutch, or on an automatic.
You are correct we did too, but not as tight as it was there, plus in our MSF course they did not have coes to go though it was a big box. A Slipper clutch would be the same as any clutch. My wife did an advanced riders course on an automatic, she just had to use more rear brake is all. No that version of the GW does not have a slipper, trust me i know I lost track of what gear I was in in a turn and figured out really quick that it was first gear.

does being married help at all? having the experience of someone constantly shouting different instructions at you?
Most of those officers know me. I knew from the beginning they would yell at me. TBH it did not bother me at all. It got my attn away from the cones and looking up like I am supposed to do.

While those courses might be fun, I have read to many forums where people have done them only to end up having to replace their clutch and some even brake pads after the course was over with.

You have to remember not a single one of the officers who instruct those courses learned on their own motorcycles, they had a department owned motorcycle so they don't care about scraping it in tight turns and burning up the clutches or wearing out a set of brake pads, it is all paid for be their departments or by the tax payers if you will.

I am retired but my old department, Florida Highway Patrol, the motor units went to all those schools.

I really don't see the point in the slow speed tight turn around stuff they teach. I think the courses put on by Keith Code (I think that is his name) would be far more beneficial as he teaches you how to handle a motorcycle at speed on a race track which translates to the street.

In my 25 years as a police officer with 13 of them in traffic homicide I never worked a fatal motorcycle crash that was the result of slow speed handling, however I worked more at speed and high speed motorcycle crashes than you can shake a stick at.

Personally I think the only smart way to take the course you took would be to use a rental bike so that way if you burn up the clutch or use up the brake pads it is not coming out of your pocket.

Honestly now how many times have you ever done figure eights out riding? Does it make someone less of a man or woman because they put their foot down doing a real tight turn to turn around, something that would fail you in the motorcycle course. Wouldn't caution be a much better approach than to pound into everyones head your foot better not touch the ground on a low speed tight turn.

I passed my course both the class room and the practical with scores of 100 on both, but outside of the breaking exercise, swerve exercise and the running over the board I am hard pressed to find anything from the course that is used in everyday riding. I have yet to encounter a set of cones in a lane of travel that I have had to weave through, I still haven't encountered that turn around within a single lane width without putting your foot down dog gone it. The duck walk, who has duck walked their motorcycle 100 feet?

Ok, ok I am off my soap box, I do hope you had a blast and your clutch and brake pads all survived.
This is a long one to answer.. LOL First of all Thank you for your service as a law enforcement officer. I appreciate the men and women who risk their lives to help protect mine.

As far as the clutch is concerned. I do not see how they could wear it out in one course unless they wore it out during regular driving before that. While I was harder on the clutch than normal, I NEVER felt it was going to fail me at all. Same with the brakes. If you have good control of your bike at slow speed you should not wear out your brakes either. I did my best to never touch the front on the course and just feather the rear if I needed to bleed off speed. I did keep my foot on the rear brake so the lights came on A LOT but I was not actually hitting them.

I use slow speed maneuvers all of the time. I make U turns on roads. I make turns in parking lots. I turn around in my shop.

I do not know about what crashes you or any other officer have worked. but if you think about it 99% of dropped bikes, no injuries, are slow speed stuff. I have 2 friends who had low speed drops and both of them ended up in the hospital. A 600-900 lb bike falls on your leg you have a good chance of being injured. So slow speed maneuvers and knowing how to handle the bike are essential to riding IMO.

You do not want to put your foot down even in a slow speed if you can help it. Think about it, is there an oil slick there that now you are relying on your foot to hold you up and it slips out, or a dip in the pavement or ground that you did not see because you were looking where you wanted to go not down etc etc. Did I put my foot down A LOT in that course? Hell yea I did, but by the end of the day it was a LOT less than in the beginning.

I passed my MSF writing with a perfect score (it was easy) and damn near a perfect score on the riding. 1 mistake. That did not mean I was perfect on slow speed stuff. I have a first place trophy where I took my bike in the intermediate course of a competition and won, I still need a lot of practice at slow speed riding.

Something they teach is avoidance, I know they teach it in the MSF course but not like we did here. It is a muscle memory thing they were trying to get into our heads. If a car pulls out how to slow down quick and do an avoid without hitting another car. So rather than use real cars they used cones :)

When I see cones on the road I want to slalom through them.. LOL I know illegal, dangerous and outright stupid, but I still want to.

Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I want to go back through the course.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Here I am later in the day, flipping that big bike around like I knew what I was doing in a U Turn. I did not think of the Go-Pro until later in the day. I wish I had recorded all my moves throughout the day so I could see my mistakes from my POV... such as looking down at the cones, not turning my head enough etc etc. I know you can hear the music, but it was turned down enough I did not hear it until I watched the video. Good mic I guess. LOL
 

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The clutch plates on nearly all motorcycles are in the engine oil bath. In a car if you slip the clutch for more than several seconds it heats up rapidly, like brake pads, but an "air" clutch is not designed to be cooked and you can burn the pads in a manner of minutes. Oh that horrid smell!

the oil on the bath keeps the clutch on a motorcycle from burning the pads. And since its oiled it hardly wears when you let it slip while only applying a little throttle. If you red line the engine then dump the clutch that is a different story.

Slow speed riding on a motorcycle is different from riding at speed. At speed a motorcycle is self balancing, and you countersteer to go around corners. You are not keeping the bike from falling over at speed, you are only steering it, by controlling its lean, by keeping it from self balancing (pushing on the handlegrip). This keeps the self balancing from correcting the lean and standing the bike up, the result is the bike leans to one side and turns.

There is a huge amount of confusion and debate on counter-steering - I have finally figured out why people get confused:

when you are going straight at speed and you want to turn right, you push against the right grip. This upsets the balance of the MC and makes it lean to the right. If that had just been a bit of wind, the bike would lean right, the handlebars would turn right (by themselves) and the bike would straighten up again - balancing itself. But since you are pushing on the right grip, you are stopping the handlebars from turning as far right as they would, you are preventing it from self balancing, so it leans right and the bike curves right.

Here is the part everyone misses: even though you are pushing the right grip, as the bike leans right it pushes back harder than you are pushing it, and the handle bars are turning to the right, against you pushing on them. That is the key - the bike is not going around a right turn with the steering pointed to the left in some weird gyroscopic / rake induced backwards turning thing - the handles turn to the right by themselves (trying to self balance the bike) and you are stopping it from going as far as it want to, by pushing /holding it. When you stop pushing on the right grip the bike will stand up and go straight again, all by itself.

So.... if you follow all that, there is a speed threshold, below which the motorcycle cannot self balance completely. As you go slower and slower if you perturb the bike to lean to the right, it will steer to the right and self correct, but it will not have enough spin on the wheels to stand the bike up straight again, it will keep going around in a circle to the right - and its not pushing back against your counter steering as hard.

When you get going slow enough, like walking the bike, you simply have to turn the handlebars to the right to go right, and use your body weight to keep the bike balanced.

This is why slow-riding is different. All that counter steering and at-speed muscle memory you develop riding every day does not work at 3 mph.

As NGM stated, this is where a LOT of riders drop their motorcycles - going stupidly slow. It was a joke on Leonard on the Big Bang Theory (dropped a bike while getting on). I know a woman who bought a brand new Harley 1200, rode it home, jumped off the bike and then tried to put the kickstand down, and over it went. People kill themselves trying to ride their harley up a 2 x 10 plank into the back of a pickup truck (seriously - one guy did it at a dealership - brand new bike, he died in the parking lot).

This is also where it makes a difference on how big and heavy a motorcycle is: anyone can ride a big bike at speed, because it balances itself. Its when you are going slow, when a big bike starts to lean over, if it gets away from you then you need a lot of muscle to keep it from going all the way.

A lot of riders say their confidence issues are in the parking lot, going around street corners (like when you have to stop suddenly halfway around a corner).

Being able to ride slow is a skill that takes practice. If you can creep up to a stop sign at 1mph and not put your feet down, look both ways, count to three, and go - then you are really in tune with your bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The clutch plates on nearly all motorcycles are in the engine oil bath. In a car if you slip the clutch for more than several seconds it heats up rapidly, like brake pads, but an "air" clutch is not designed to be cooked and you can burn the pads in a manner of minutes. Oh that horrid smell!

the oil on the bath keeps the clutch on a motorcycle from burning the pads. And since its oiled it hardly wears when you let it slip while only applying a little throttle. If you red line the engine then dump the clutch that is a different story.

Slow speed riding on a motorcycle is different from riding at speed. At speed a motorcycle is self balancing, and you countersteer to go around corners. You are not keeping the bike from falling over at speed, you are only steering it, by controlling its lean, by keeping it from self balancing (pushing on the handlegrip). This keeps the self balancing from correcting the lean and standing the bike up, the result is the bike leans to one side and turns.

There is a huge amount of confusion and debate on counter-steering - I have finally figured out why people get confused:

when you are going straight at speed and you want to turn right, you push against the right grip. This upsets the balance of the MC and makes it lean to the right. If that had just been a bit of wind, the bike would lean right, the handlebars would turn right (by themselves) and the bike would straighten up again - balancing itself. But since you are pushing on the right grip, you are stopping the handlebars from turning as far right as they would, you are preventing it from self balancing, so it leans right and the bike curves right.

Here is the part everyone misses: even though you are pushing the right grip, as the bike leans right it pushes back harder than you are pushing it, and the handle bars are turning to the right, against you pushing on them. That is the key - the bike is not going around a right turn with the steering pointed to the left in some weird gyroscopic / rake induced backwards turning thing - the handles turn to the right by themselves (trying to self balance the bike) and you are stopping it from going as far as it want to, by pushing /holding it. When you stop pushing on the right grip the bike will stand up and go straight again, all by itself.

So.... if you follow all that, there is a speed threshold, below which the motorcycle cannot self balance completely. As you go slower and slower if you perturb the bike to lean to the right, it will steer to the right and self correctly, but it will not have enough spin on the wheels to stand the bike up straight again, it will keep going around in a circle to the right - and its not pushing back against your counter steering as hard.

When you get going slow enough, like walking the bike, you simply have to turn the handlebars to the right to go right, and use your body weight to keep the bike balanced.

This is why slow-riding is different. All that counter steering and at-speed muscle memory you develop riding every day does not work at 3 mph.

As NGM stated, this is where a LOT of riders drop their motorcycles - going stupidly slow. It was a joke on Leonard on the Big Bang Theory (dropped a bike while getting on). I know a woman who bought a brand new Harley 1200, rode it home, jumped off the bike and then tried to put the kickstand down, and over it went. People kill themselves trying to ride their harley up a 2 x 10 plank into the back of a pickup truck (seriously - one guy did it at a dealership - brand new bike, he died in the parking lot).

This is also where it makes a difference on how big and heavy a motorcycle is: anyone can ride a big bike at speed, because it balances itself. Its when you are going slow, when a big bike starts to lean over, if it gets away from you then you need a lot of muscle to keep it from going all the way.

A lot of riders say their confidence issues are in the parking lot, going around street corners (like when you have to stop suddenly halfway around a corner).

Being able to ride slow is a skill that takes practice. If you can creep up to a stop sign at 1mph and not put your feet down, look both ways, count to three, and go - then you are really in tune with your bike.
THIS^^^^ I do the creep up no feet down ALL the time, unless I see an officer looking at the stop sign, because you do not "STOP" unless your feet are down, no matter how long you can hold your bike still. Ask a buddy of mine how much that ticket was. He stopped looked left looked right looked left again and went through a stop sign without putting his feet down. The officer was being a D**k to him through the whole ticket.
 

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Technically you are not stopping if you dont put your feet down - and you can see so well on a motorcycle (no windshield pillars like a car or truck) there is nothing for anyone to hide behind when you 'stop'.

So yeah, you can get a ticket for that.

My first pair of riding boots lasted me 2 years before the sole on the left one had a hole worn thru, and I never slide or do the Landing Gear Down on final approach thing - I stop the bike, then put my left foot down, then the right.

The 3rd year I kept putting rubber patches over the hole in the boot, then finally got a new pair. The right boot sole still looked like it was new. They wont sell you only the left boot.

Since I have mostly stopped putting my feet down, and intentionally slowing down short and creeping up at red lights (when I know its about to change) my left boot sole has stopped wearing out so fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Technically you are not stopping if you dont put your feet down - and you can see so well on a motorcycle (no windshield pillars like a car or truck) there is nothing for anyone to hide behind when you 'stop'.

So yeah, you can get a ticket for that.

My first pair of riding boots lasted me 2 years before the sole on the left one had a hole worn thru, and I never slide or do the Landing Gear Down on final approach thing - I stop the bike, then put my left foot down, then the right.

The 3rd year I kept putting rubber patches over the hole in the boot, then finally got a new pair. The right boot sole still looked like it was new. They wont sell you only the left boot.

Since I have mostly stopped putting my feet down, and intentionally slowing down short and creeping up at red lights (when I know its about to change) my left boot sole has stopped wearing out so fast.
I do the same thing when I come to a stop and do put my feet down, I do not drag them. What I am wearing out is the heels of my boots from leaning into curves. :)
 

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In 25 years as a police officer I never worked a motorcycle crash that was from a tip over, they are the rarest of motorcycle crashes, now single vehicle motorcycle crashes at speed yep, motorcycle verse another vehicle yep. Most tip overs, the rider picks up his bike is embarrassed and rides away pretty much unharmed with maybe a scrape. The odd one happens that a more serious injury occurs but again those really are the rarest of motorcycle crashes.

Another thing is most people think that the car/truck is more often the at fault vehicle but that was not my experience, more often than not the motorcycle was the at fault vehicle.

So many motorcycle crashes are because the motorcycle was speeding.

One simple time over distance formula will tell you if the vehicle pulling out or turning was at fault or if the vehicle traveling straight down the road was at fault. When you apply that simple formula to motorcycles more often than not the motorcycle was the at fault vehicle.

Think of it this way, everyone has an expectation that other drivers will be obeying the law and that includes the speed limit.

If a drive sees a set of lights (motorcycle) or vehicle way down the roadway they can determine if it is safe to make their turn or pull out. The problem is the farther a vehicle is away from the intersection the harder it is to tell when it is speeding so what looks like more than enough room to complete a turn or pull out into traffic suddenly due to the illegal speed of the vehicle that room to safely complete said turn or pull out is gone.

Once you know the speed of the vehicle you can now back it up on the roadway and do the time over distance formula to find out if that vehicle had been obeying the speed limit would it have made it to the intersection, if yes then the vehicle turning or pulling out is at fault if the answer is no then the vehicle that was speeding is at fault.

Things are not as cut and dry and most people think.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In 25 years as a police officer I never worked a motorcycle crash that was from a tip over, they are the rarest of motorcycle crashes, now single vehicle motorcycle crashes at speed yep, motorcycle verse another vehicle yep. Most tip overs, the rider picks up his bike is embarrassed and rides away pretty much unharmed with maybe a scrape. The odd one happens that a more serious injury occurs but again those really are the rarest of motorcycle crashes.

This is why you would never work it. They just leave, my wife dropped her bike at ~ 25-30 MPH, was she speeding? No the speed limit for that road was 35. There were other factors involved. It did about 1k damage to her bike. We did not call the police and she was not hurt thanks to her gear. The low speed crashes are, IMO, the most common crash. They just do not get reported. Have you dropped your bike?

Another thing is most people think that the car/truck is more often the at fault vehicle but that was not my experience, more often than not the motorcycle was the at fault vehicle.

So many motorcycle crashes are because the motorcycle was speeding.

I cannot argue this as I was only a wrecker driver and did not have any training in traffic crash dissection.

One simple time over distance formula will tell you if the vehicle pulling out or turning was at fault or if the vehicle traveling straight down the road was at fault. When you apply that simple formula to motorcycles more often than not the motorcycle was the at fault vehicle.

Think of it this way, everyone has an expectation that other drivers will be obeying the law and that includes the speed limit.

If a drive sees a set of lights (motorcycle) or vehicle way down the roadway they can determine if it is safe to make their turn or pull out. The problem is the farther a vehicle is away from the intersection the harder it is to tell when it is speeding so what looks like more than enough room to complete a turn or pull out into traffic suddenly due to the illegal speed of the vehicle that room to safely complete said turn or pull out is gone.

Another part of the problem is the profile of an oncoming bike. It makes it harder for people to judge the speed because of the narrow profile of the bike. I have had countless people pull out in front of me while I was at or under the speed limit. More than 1 of those could have resulted in a crash if I did not practice brake maneuver all of the time on my own. I am not a perfect citizen in my car or on my bike but it happens.

Once you know the speed of the vehicle you can now back up it up on the roadway and do the time over distance formula to find out if that vehicle had been obeying the speed limit would it have made it to the intersection, if yes then the vehicle turning or pulling out is at fault if the answer is no then the vehicle that was speeding is at fault.

Things are not as cut and dry and most people think.
If you do not want to take an advanced riders course don't. I am willing to bet most of the people on bikes, if given the chance I had, would take it. It cost me nothing but some time and I learned from it.
 

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A lot of riders say their confidence issues are in the parking lot, going around street corners (like when you have to stop suddenly halfway around a corner).

Being able to ride slow is a skill that takes practice. If you can creep up to a stop sign at 1mph and not put your feet down, look both ways, count to three, and go - then you are really in tune with your bike.
Practice, like you said, is the key. Go to a parking lot, or a cul-de-sac and practice. Cones are cheap. Spread them on the ground in the set-up/configuration you want to practice and WORK IT!

I am getting better at low-speed turns. My bike weights 765lbs wet, (oil & fuel). That is not a bike you want to land on your leg. So I practicing low speed corning/turning. Right hand turns, from a stop. Use to "scare me." Now, I am like ... I can do this and not have to put a foot down.

One thing I have to remember to do when turning a low speeds. THROW MY BUTT to the other side. I want to do a left hand u-turn, throw my butt to the right side and look back to my left. I make a better looking u-turn and sharper too, when I do that. When I do not, it looks ugly and I/the bike come close to crossing into the other lane.
 

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...
So many motorcycle crashes are because the motorcycle was speeding.

... everyone has an expectation that other drivers will be obeying the law and that includes the speed limit.

....
absolutely - not just motorcycles, all motor vehicles.

Around 40,000 people have died in the US in vehicle accidents going back more than 30 years - year after year.

The death rate per million drivers have gone down, due to improved seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, highway barrier improvement, but that 40,000 deaths per year is almost like some sick universal constant, like the speed of light - it cannot be changed for some reason.

Speed is absolutely a root cause. If every car that got on the highway had its cruise control lock to the GPS mapped speed limit or lower, there would be a huge reduction in accidents and deaths. If these self driving cars they keep pushing on us all locked into the speed limit, if the teller on a toll road handed you a ticket because they know when you got on and when you got off and how far you went => average speed, people would learn quickly: no more speeding.

There is a really sick and twisted mentality on our roads - like a free for all Nascar event on the highways - whoever gets where they are going first wins!

Wins what?

I have family 700 miles away and make the road trip 3 or 4 times a year. At 70mph its 10 hours driving. If I go 80mph its 1hr 15minutes faster. If I have even a minor accident, have to get the car towed, get a rental car, its at least another DAY longer to get there. Every single time I make the trip I see one or two serious accidents, at least once a year the Mercy Flight is landing to take away the injured.

The death rate on our highways is like a fully loaded 737 crashing in the US with no survivors every other day, all year long, for the last 30 years. And nothing happens, they keep building more 737s, they keep crashing every other day, and another 220 people are dead.

If there was a referendum to strictly enforce the speed limits for every vehicle on the road, I would get behind that 100%.
 

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Practice, like you said, is the key. ...

I am getting better at low-speed turns. ... Right hand turns, from a stop. Use to "scare me." Now, I am like ... I can do this and not have to put a foot down.

One thing I have to remember to do when turning a low speeds. THROW MY BUTT to the other side. I want to do a left hand u-turn, throw my butt to the right side and look back to my left. ....

I agree completely. The problem is people practicing alone tend to keep their bad habits - you get better, but with a MSF instructor watching you they can see what you are doing wrong and tell you how to do it better.

You are correct about not leaning with the bike on slow speed turns - the bike has to lean to turn, you have to keep the center of mass nearly vertical, so you are sitting up straight over the tire patches, or even a bit to the outside of the turn to go really slow - otherwise you have to make the tight turn faster to balance the lean of the bike.

To make a turn from a stop twist the handle bars all the way into the turn and lean the bike a bit, keep your inside foot down, start slipping the clutch - you can take off from a stop into a full turn if you need to, like backing out of a parking space and then turning hard to go straight - also requires practice to be able to get both feet up as soon as possible (not dragging a boot).

Also what you said, when making a U turn twist your body around and look all the way back where you want the bike to go coming out of the U turn. I dont know why , but it works.

The one thing I see that tells me another rider does not have his license is when I see them coming to a stop, the landing gear 'deploys' at 10mph, they slide their feet to a stop, or do the duck walk stopping or taking off again. I guess its the albatross walk on takeoff - as if the bike cant get going by itself.

If for no other reason practice practice... to maintain your dignity and show some class :^) People are watching!

BTW: speaking of riders not having their license: last week I pulled up alongside another rider with the same bike (650 classic) wearing the same red and black Tourmaster mesh jacket. He was stopped at a light behind a sheriffs car. I pulled a bit to the right and stopped right next to him.

He kept looking forwards.
I inched my bike up a few inches.
He kept looking forward.
I inched my bike up another couple inches..

He still did not see me - he was totally fixated on the police car infront of him.

When the light turned green, as I pulled away I was laughing and thinking "DUDE! GET your license!"
 

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The landing gear 'deploys' at 10mph, they slide their feet to a stop, or the duck walk stopping or taking off again.
I do this occasionally. (Not at 10mph though, usually under 5mph) And it is usually caused by a car near me changing what is was doing last moment. And I correcting for their idiocy, so I don't get hurt or I am adapting my "I need to get away" path. I don't care about looks at that point. Its about getting my arse back home.

That said ... I tend to see the "landing gear" in the down position a lot more on crotch-rockets. And up to speeds of 30 mph or more. THAT I do not understand!
 

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Practice, like you said, is the key. Go to a parking lot, or a cul-de-sac and practice. Cones are cheap. Spread them on the ground in the set-up/configuration you want to practice and WORK IT!
Some, like me, might be able to go run the course they used in a previous MSF when it isn't otherwise in use. The place where I took my licensing safety course painted their course in a parking lot behind a large box store. It's available for use anytime they aren't conducting a course. Check around to see if any of the courses in your neck of the woods are permanently marked.

I went back there after trading my old 650 for the 950 I have now to see how I did on the figure 8 in a box slow roll. Not as good as I thought I should be, but much better than the first few times I tried it during the course. A little practice and it comes back.
 
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