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I would dearly love to get the training these officers get, just not at the expense of dropping my own bike. It certainly takes dedication and skill:
 

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It’s not all just fun... I did my training in the mid-late ‘80s, CBX750’s, XT600e’s, CB400’s. Spit polished GP boots and gaiters, starched uniforms... Bikes polished, brass polished, everything polished. Gauntlets whitened, webbing painted, jodhpurs spotless, everything inspected, extra duties, extra PT, show parades, RP’s, and weekend guards. Taunts, abuse, group punishments, insults, discrimination... yup I really miss it

One Tpt WO2 instructor was adamant that, if we were going to fall we had to ensure our bodies were thrown under the bikes. His logic was that we grew back, the plastic fairings did not. You dropped it, you picked it up, on your own... You broke it, you fixed it or pushed it back to the compound alone.

According to the instructors girls didn’t ride bikes, commissioned officers didn’t ride bikes, try being both! Riding better than the boys was just good enough, out drinking then essential, smacking a few down the only way to get through.

But it was fun, in a nostalgic way. I just wish there was as many cameras then as now. All my pictures, the very few I had, were lost in the Black Saturday fires, Kinglake 2009... But I did gain such valuable skills.
 

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While not as intense of course there are a couple companies that offer similar courses, Ride Like A Pro being the one that most people know. I don't live close enough to anywhere that offers the course but I did buy his video and set up a course with a few friends. It made a world of difference in my day to day riding. Unfortunately, it's a use it or lose it skill and I need to go out and practice...a lot, I've gotten sloppy.

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The BMW Performance Driving Center in Spartanburg, SC offers several on/off-road Motorrad courses throughout the year, one of which is their 2-day Motor Authority (MA) course for civilians, similar to LEO rider training. I took a one day street strategy course there last October and was made aware that the MA course would be a new offering this year, but haven’t seen any course description yet on their website other than the class listing on their calendar menu. Looks to be monthly with 10 slots per class at about $1600 per class and which includes your choice of bike (700/800/1200 GS series).

I was really pleased with the one day class and quality of the instructors, and the entire training facility (across the street from the BMW automotive plant) is world class as you would expect from BMW.

I may register for the April or May MA course once I get more information.

https://bmwperformancecenter.com/school/classes/motorrad
 
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In addition to the the 2 noted above, the advanced classes offered by your local MSF group are good too. I particularly liked the Advanced Bike Bonding class. A lot like the Ride Like A Pro but a little bit more technical. Each of the 1 day MSF courses run about $85-125.

Not sure if they still do this but Ride Like A Pro used to let you come back as many times as you want within a year - space permitting.

Also as noted, you can setup your own parking lot with some old cut up tennis balls. Problem that I have found is finding a suitable parking lot where there are not any POSTED or NO TRESPASS signs.
 

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I do have some very tiny traffic cones (~3" high) for that purpose, and I have the RLAP DVD. Need to practice.

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A gentleman in my motorcycle club is a motor officer. He rides like you can't imagine and always wins slow ride competitions. He can ride his bike slower than molasses dripping. It is something to watch. Not just corners and speeds. If you can get to a police motor officer competition do it. These guys have some skills.



M
 

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Yeap these guys have skill, still learning stuff from my brother. He's still a motor officer. I do remember when he went through the course it was on the Kawasaki 1000's I think, what stuck out to me was the requirement to lay the bike down in a skid at 55 mph on the crash bar. This was to show them that once you slid the back end and low sided you kept the brake locked so you wouldn't high side. One of his buddies didn't and got thrown over the bike and broke his collar bone. After healing up he did successfully complete the course. From what I know this isn't done anymore, abs brakes and liability concerns have done away with it.
 
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Yeap these guys have skill, still learning stuff from my brother. He's still a motor officer. I do remember when he went through the course it was on the Kawasaki 1000's I think, what stuck out to me was the requirement to lay the bike down in a skid at 55 mph on the crash bar. This was to show them that once you slid the back end and low sided you kept the brake locked so you wouldn't high side. One of his buddies didn't and got thrown over the bike and broke his collar bone. After healing up he did successfully complete the course. From what I know this isn't done anymore, abs brakes and liability concerns have done away with it.
My Dad's last ride for the LAPD was the Kawasaki 1000. I remember he was really looking forward to getting that bike. Before that, it was Harley and Moto Guzzi. He used to pull a rolling U in our driveway and back into the garage. The driveway is short, narrow and sloped. I can turn around easily on an empty 2-lane highway, but can't imagine trying in that little driveway. Maybe the bikes were smaller. Ya, that's it.
 

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I would dearly love to get the training these officers get, just not at the expense of dropping my own bike. It certainly takes dedication and skill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldY_qZWeTPI

.....just not at the expense of dropping my own bike.


You just said the magic words! Comparing yourself trying to learn with the Motorcops learning is not a fair comparison.

The cops don't have to pay to fix their bikes when the damage occurs with dropping them 100 times while in the class. We DO have to pay for the damage we do to our bikes. That complicates learning for us. Do you need to lean it more? Do you need to look behind you farther into a U-turn(with the possibility of losing balance while doing so)?


Plus, those bikes in the videos are Harley Davidsons, with crash bars that limit damage(not completely though) to the bikes. The BMW's you guys ride don't have that protection. Heck, some of them don't have ANY protection!
 

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A gentleman in my motorcycle club is a motor officer. He rides like you can't imagine and always wins slow ride competitions. He can ride his bike slower than molasses dripping. It is something to watch. Not just corners and speeds. If you can get to a police motor officer competition do it. These guys have some skills.



M
Every few years the Southwest competition is held right near my house, my family and I love going to watch.

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.....just not at the expense of dropping my own bike.


You just said the magic words! Comparing yourself trying to learn with the Motorcops learning is not a fair comparison.

The cops don't have to pay to fix their bikes when the damage occurs with dropping them 100 times while in the class. We DO have to pay for the damage we do to our bikes. That complicates learning for us. Do you need to lean it more? Do you need to look behind you farther into a U-turn(with the possibility of losing balance while doing so)?

Plus, those bikes in the videos are Harley Davidsons, with crash bars that limit damage(not completely though) to the bikes. The BMW's you guys ride don't have that protection. Heck, some of them don't have ANY protection!
The trick is to keep your momentum and not stop with the front wheel/fork turned. As long as you are rolling, you will not drop it (unless you lean it too far). Mentally this is an adjustment but once you learn the limits of your bike, you will gain confidence.

But as you noted, it is one thing doing this in a parking lot when there is no traffic or other distractions and an entirely different matter doing it on a busy road, or grocery store parking lot. Add rain, gravel, mud, slope, wind, etc. and all bets are off even for an experienced rider.

The best motor officers I have seen are the ones in San Francisco - they can do amazing things on those hilly, curvy city streets.
 

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You can practise slow speed stuff with a pedal cycle until really proficient. There is the weight difference but the skill is very similar, and beyond buying a cycle its cheap to drop
 

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I'm a motor officer and was fortunate to receive 3 months of training (most motor schools are only 10 days long), and you can become very proficient following the advice on videos like "Ride Like a Pro", BUT, to get it real tight and get real good, you need to drop the motorcycle. You need to find it's limits and push the motor past it. What many units do to protect their motors during training is to use old fire hose and cut them to size and attach them to the crash bars with zip ties or wire. Also, remove the bags and top cases. The crash bars on Harley's and police outfitted R1200's and ST1300's are much more stout than what's on our K1600's, but it can be done.

This video isn't going to teach anyone anything, but it's the video that they played at our "Wheel School" graduation and I think it's pretty cool. This training is the the NYPD Highway Patrol and also includes high speed vehicle training (hence all the car stuff). I had the pleasure of attending during the months of December to February and rode in enough snow to satisfy me for the rest of my career!

 

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Also, if anyone lives in the NY metro area and wants to meet up, I have about 80 plastic cones and there's a marked out cone course in the parking lot of Nickerson Beach Park in Lido Beach and I'll go out with anyone who wants some tips and help with slow riding.
 

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Take old tennis balls and cut in half.
Great tip!

I did this when I was teaching my GF to ride... we have a huge bag of them still, try to practice our skills each year. Finding a clean, large, empty lot is the trick—we were using the parking lot of a local community college until they kicked us out.

I'm near Northridge—if a few riders want to organize a morning to practice skills, I'd be happy to bring them and participate.
 
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