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In total, I got 6 of my friends to take the class and every single one said they only wished they had taken it 20 years earlier!
The most satisfying part of teaching MSF courses was when the dudes who started Day 1 with, "I am only here to get my base decal. I've been riding since you were shittin' yellow and there ain't nothing you can teach me!" came up to me afterward and admitted they'd learned valuable skills and realized how much more they needed to learn. The number of classes I taught where this didn't happen can be counted on one hand.
 

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Those real-world scenarios scare the crap out of me because I realize I'm ill-prepared to realistically handle them.
You need three things to survive the unexpected:

1) Keep your brain engaged and alert, so that you can see scenarios developing before they become critical. And always have a safe path planned.

2) Keep your physical skills up, so that you can successfully take appropriate evasive action. And keep your bike well maintained so that you can trust it to respond as expected.

3) ATGATT, just in case the above fails...

You can't possibly train for every possible scenario. But you can train yourself to be alert and responsive to whatever comes your way.

There are times when I realize that my body has already started taking evasive action before I fully realized the threat. That may be as simple as moving over a lane to get away from a suspect driver, but it means that my brain is fully engaged and my skills are deeply ingrained.

And that's how you stay alive out there...
 
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The most satisfying part of teaching MSF courses was when the dudes who started Day 1 with, "I am only here to get my base decal. I've been riding since you were shittin' yellow and there ain't nothing you can teach me!" came up to me afterward and admitted they'd learned valuable skills and realized how much more they needed to learn. The number of classes I taught where this didn't happen can be counted on one hand.
My first MSF class was in 1988 which I took only because the Army required it to ride on base, as you said. I still have that completion card. Been a ‘student’ of motorcycling ever since. Never too late to learn. After taking that class in 1988 I inquired about becoming an instructor for the base. I had collected a couple of “Performance Awards” in prior years and they politely declined to allow me to teach on base. Their loss!
 

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After taking that class in 1988 I inquired about becoming an instructor for the base. I had collected a couple of “Performance Awards” in prior years and they politely declined to allow me to teach on base. Their loss!
Hahaha... Yah. They do prefer having folks who have managed to not get caught over the years...

In 27 years on the street, I have one "performance award". That was in Montana. 80 in a 70 and that $25 fine never got reported beyond the County level.
 

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My parents had a deal where if one of them got a ticket, they would have to pay an equivalent cash fine to the other. Over the years, that worked out much better for my mom than my dad.

My wife found this fascinating, and thought we should have the same deal.

I politely but vehemently declined... :k16:
 

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On the subject of the high-speed school; my understanding this is about finding the line and rolling the throttle. Outside-inside-outside, find the apex and how to roll the throttle and how to trail brake; please correct me if wrong.

The slow speed schools are about the relationship of clutch/throttle/rear brake, and of the use of balance and counter steering. The clutch range on this platform is very short; I wonder if this is software adjustable? Clearly, engagement pressures are variable and controllable. Why, using better software, cannot these clutch throws be manipulated?
Its also about the eyes. Looking in the wrong spot will screw up more people on any bike.
 

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I’m doing my third non-sport bike track day with my GTL on 14 May with Tony’s Track Days in Connecticut.


So these all slow speed drills? Ain’t nobody doing track schools with these machines? ?
Awesome. Yes me day I may do this. Gotta make sure I have new shoes on the beast as I’m sure the weight and torque will shred tires like crazy at my local track - Barber.
 

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“Taking a slow speed riding course may not sound like a lot of fun for the "go fast" crowd, but the techniques learned at slow speed will make you a much better rider and more confident rider. No more two feet down to stop or take off, no more looking like a goose coming in for a landing and no more walking the bike at slow speed. It's a great feeling when you master something as simple as slow speed riding.”
Maybe it’s my size/strength but I have zero issue coming to a stop on any bike with feet on the pegs and for a few seconds before putting feet or other typical slow speed maneuvers.

However I see MANY a rider who for some reason has more difficulty in doing these routine things. Yes, I’m in the go fast crowd but- I find tremendous value in a track day. Just never heard of a slow speed one so maybe I’m just oblivious to what I don’t know (this is where my wife usually nods up and down).
 

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Maybe it’s my size/strength but I have zero issue coming to a stop on any bike with feet on the pegs and for a few seconds before putting feet or other typical slow speed maneuvers.
That's not a size/strength issue, but more of a balance issue. Keeping the bike close to upright takes very little strength—it's when it starts to get off balance that the effort increases drastically. And practice helps here as well.

However I see MANY a rider who for some reason has more difficulty in doing these routine things.
Lots of people can ride. Fewer people can really ride well.

I've been on many group rides where I started a conversation with other riders and gently suggested doing some professional training...

Yes, I’m in the go fast crowd but- I find tremendous value in a track day.
As does almost everyone who does a track day, newbie and experienced riders alike. Some people learn best from direct hands-on professional coaching, and some just enjoy the freedom to explore the limits in a safe environment.

Just never heard of a slow speed one so maybe I’m just oblivious to what I don’t know (this is where my wife usually nods up and down).
Or maybe you're just experienced and thus riding at a higher level.

I took an MSF Advanced rider course many years ago, and I was bored enough to start doing the exercises one-handed. That doesn't mean it was a bad course—it's just that I had moved past that point years ago. That's when I started seeking out more advanced rider courses more commensurate with my own skill level.

I took a Total Control course just after picking up my first GTL, as I specifically wanted to focus on riding that bike. Again, most exercises were pretty easy to complete, but it got me more in touch with the Big-K. The instructors and I recognized that pretty early, so we focused on a few of the more advanced techniques. My learning there was more subtle, but still useful, so it was worth the time and effort expended.

And yeah, I'd love to take a few laps around Barber. Even better if I could borrow some of their museum stock to do so... :D

We've all been reading and writing since we were kids, and most of us are pretty good at it. My wife is a working author and publisher, and her knowledge and mastery of the English language has been honed over many decades. Sure, I can write, and sometimes I enjoy making up stories just for fun.

Then I read something she's written, and her skill, dexterity, and pure passion comes through, drawing you into magical new worlds and elevating her works beyond simply telling a tale. That doesn't make me a bad writer—it just shows what one can achieve with years of dedicated practice to hone a natural talent.

We can all strive to be better in whatever task we're doing, but as long as we're enjoying the journey then it's all good...
 
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"Then I read something she's written, and her skill, dexterity, and pure passion comes through, drawing you into magical new worlds and elevating her works beyond simply telling a tale. That doesn't make me a bad writer—it just shows what one can achieve with years of dedicated practice to hone a natural talent."

I like this last part .. well said and very true!
Pardon the momentary highjack but how do I quote just a portion of a post? In this case here, I just did the old copy and paste method but I know there's a better way.
 

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I like this last part .. well said and very true!
Thanks.

It's funny, when you tell someone you're a writer, they immediately say "Have I read anything you've written?" How the hëll would I know what you've read?

Then they tell you about the awesome novel they wrote in high school, or the amazing plot idea they had that would make a great book/movie/TV show, if you'll only write it and give them credit (meaning lots of cash when it obviously sells for millions).

It'd be like meeting Valentino Rossi and saying "You know, I'm a rider too, and I even did a track day once. We're just the same!"

No, you're really not...

Pardon the momentary highjack but how do I quote just a portion of a post?
If you click on the > Quote button at the bottom of a post, it opens an Edit box and copies the entire quoted post in-between opening quote and closing /quote tags.

You can then edit the quoted post the same as yours, as long as you leave the quote tags in place.

If I want to split up the quotes and respond individually to certain lines, I just have to copy the initial quote tag at the beginning of the quoted material, and follow up with a closing /quote tag at the end. Then I can type my responses in-between the quoted blocks of text.
 
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I have been teaching police officers how to operate motor cycles for a very long time and one of the many things that's difficult to get across to them is never let your eyes linger on one spot for too long. A good motorcycle rider is constantly scanning what he or she is approaching and making an evaluation regarding impending threats to their safety. This is really difficult to get implanted in someone that just does not have an awareness of their environment and surprisingly a lot of police officers, especially newer ones, don't have that situational awareness. Most come into our training with the standard MSF definition of looking/scanning down the road, but they just don't get how important it is to not just look down the road, but also to the sides of the road and that you adjust your visual area based on traffic and environmental considerations.

My other issue is with trying to instill in new operators the importance of not following too close. I swear people have no idea what two seconds behind someone else means or one car length for every 10 miles per hour. I guess this should come as no surprise to me as most "customers" I would discuss this with when I was still an active LEO seemed to feel one car length was adequate in most situations weather and speed be damned. Crazy world we live in.

Rick H.
 

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Second gear. That's what works for me. Harley's low end torque makes it easy to idle around. Our torque is higher up on the power band. This was suggested by a ride like a pro instructor. It works for me.
 

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Interesting thread..... my $0.02 on the subject....... I ride two bikes, the GTL and an Indian Springfield. My self assessment on my low speed maneuvering is that I’m decent; not excellent but decent enough to consistently make a U-turn within 24 ft.
I find the K bike to be easier on tight turns than the Indian because a) it’s easier to counterbalance (riding posture makes it easier for me to load the outside peg with my weight) and b) it has a shorter wheelbase.
I experimented keeping the K bike on 1st or on 2nd. After a lot of back and forth I find myself being on 1st most of the times. Primary reason is it feels snappier to throttle response when I’m on the verge of falling and need immediate power to straighten up the bike. Most probably it’s the combination of clutch, throttle and rear brake, as I apply them, that causes that feeling.
I also find that Head and Eyes are the single most important thing, for me at least. The extra 3-4 ft gained from proper Head/Eye placement is the difference of making the turn or coming wide.
 

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Some good stuff in here. As a new owner I'll admit I'm having trouble at slow speed and u-turns. As I live downtown in a big city I deal with both of these things on a daily basis and am doing my best. TBH I think part of it is I'm getting inside my own head and the mantra "don't drop this expensive bike" plays out over and over again. I have had a heavy bike but it was the C650GT which is best described as a step through motorcycle (calling it a scooter is a stretch) and CVT . I could turn it on a dime and slow speeds no issue at all but had no clutch to worry about. I'm pretty good at finding the friction zone on the K and so I'm not sure that is the issue. On the C650 I would ride the rear brake pretty hard and power through slow speeds maneuvers. I think maybe I'm not braking hard enough as I'm spending too much effort trying to control the friction zone? Should I open the clutch more and primarily use the throttle and brake to control the bike?

I have taken a number of advanced riding courses but not with something this size and a clutch. So I do know the basics of look where you want to go, countering, adjust weight to balance the bike etc... I'm curious though how riders new to the K1600's adjusted when stepping up to a bigger bike. I will take a course but the season is pretty much over here. I do ride through the winter in Toronto but will not be taking the BMW out on days where is might be iffy ice wise and will stick to the Vespa or Ural on those days.
 

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Some good stuff in here. As a new owner I'll admit I'm having trouble at slow speed and u-turns. As I live downtown in a big city I deal with both of these things on a daily basis and am doing my best. TBH I think part of it is I'm getting inside my own head and the mantra "don't drop this expensive bike" plays out over and over again. I have had a heavy bike but it was the C650GT which is best described as a step through motorcycle (calling it a scooter is a stretch) and CVT . I could turn it on a dime and slow speeds no issue at all but had no clutch to worry about. I'm pretty good at finding the friction zone on the K and so I'm not sure that is the issue. On the C650 I would ride the rear brake pretty hard and power through slow speeds maneuvers. I think maybe I'm not braking hard enough as I'm spending too much effort trying to control the friction zone? Should I open the clutch more and primarily use the throttle and brake to control the bike?

I have taken a number of advanced riding courses but not with something this size and a clutch. So I do know the basics of look where you want to go, countering, adjust weight to balance the bike etc... I'm curious though how riders new to the K1600's adjusted when stepping up to a bigger bike. I will take a course but the season is pretty much over here. I do ride through the winter in Toronto but will not be taking the BMW out on days where is might be iffy ice wise and will stick to the Vespa or Ural on those days.
Go out there right now and knock it over on both sides... There. Scratched. Now you can stop worrying and have fun with the slow stuff. 🤣
 
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Yeah but it still has that new bike smell.
Go out there right now and knock it over on both sides... There. Scratched. Now you can stop worrying and have fun with the slow stuff. 🤣
Ha! Yeah I've said the exact same thing to new riders on the other forum I belong to ;-) . Mind you they are trying to learn to ride something I'm very comfortable on... but yeah point well taken.
 

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Yes, this is the correct technique, for any bike. Some bikes make this easier, and some don't, but if you can master this, you can do it on any bike. The K16 has so much torque that idle works well, for other bikes you have to keep the revs up and steady, then use the clutch to add speed and the rear brake to slow. And yes, a light but confident touch does it...
/QUOTE]
I fully agree with everything stated. However I'd add that idle works well in 2nd gear.
 

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I periodically go back to school - especially when I need to tweak my slow speed skills. Today I ran a basic class hosted by FishTail in New Hampshire.

My takeaways are this:
1. As good as I think I am I suck.
2. The Grand (and I presume all of the K's) have a very short clutch throw and a very reactive throttle; even in Harley [rain] mode.

I have struggled to find the precise dance of clutch/throttle/rear brake on this bike, and I now know it is real by watching several others working their respective bikes. I found the short clutch made for some very interesting reactions and required a lot of concentration to manipulate. By this I mean the friction point becomes quickly engaged fully. I also felt the throttle reacted quickly. I went from 900 idle to 2500 RPMs with very little movement of my wrist; the net effect was I rev'd up a lot needlessly.

I found I had to leave the throttle closed and actually use my rear brake quite a bit to keep my speed down too with the clutch out.

All-in-all these are just characteristics of the platform and I need to become familiar with it for what it is. I can say that a slow speed course - especially an advanced one - is very challenging on this bike.

My freakin' forearms are on fire tonight. Clearly I need to practice more.
Ditto with the clutch and rear brake. Have just spent a week riding Passes in the Alps 2 up with lots of luggage. I found the best way and the safest way, for me at any rate is 2nd gear, leave the clutch fully engaged and use the rear brake to modulate speed at walking pace with a tiny bit of throttle, especially when negotiating 180o plus very tight turns keeping the bike virtually upright and the drivetrain engaged. Then as soon as all is clear power out of the turn. Takes a little practise but found it a repeatable and dependable option, the K has so much torque I found 2nd to be the best. 1st gear is too twitchy, smoothness is the key....IMHO.
 
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