Which course?

Discussion in 'Australian Motorcycles' started by Diogenes, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    OK, I'm 65 years old, my riding history is:

    1971/72 Vespa 150
    1973/74 Honda CB350
    1974/81 Honda CB500
    1981/93 Honda CB750F2
    1993/96 BMW R65LS
    1996/05 BMW R80
    2005/11 Kawasaki Super Sherpa 250cc
    2011- Hyosung GV650C

    Formal training: 1998 Defensive riding course (forgot who with.)

    So, that's it. Somehow I haven't been killed, but I've come close too
    many times. Accidentally discovered counter steering all by myslef
    whilst bored shitless on the Hume highway near Goulburn on a trip to
    Canberra in 1983.

    I'm thinking it's about time I got a bit of formal training but I'm
    not sure what the right entry level course for my particular situation
    should be.

    Over to the brains trust...


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 20, 2011
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  2. Diogenes

    DM Guest

    After my recent incident a friend e-mailed me a video copy of Keith
    Code's "Twist of the Wrist II - the cornering bible". I found it very
    DM, Aug 20, 2011
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  3. Diogenes

    Deevo Guest

    Well, ya got a few years up on me there but I'll summerise.

    1981 Suzuki GT250X7
    1981-82 Honda CB250NB (The X7 was problematic at best)
    1983-85 Honda VF750SD (Would still have it if it weren't for an old codger
    in a Corolla, it was my all time favourite bike).
    1985-87 Honda GL1000 Sidecar.
    1988-91 Yamaha XJ750
    1992-97 Kawasaki GT750

    Had a gap of 10 years in proceedings while I became slave to a mortgage and
    became a decadent fascist landowner.

    2007-09 Vmoto Montego 125 scooter.

    And of course in Feb 09, only a few weeks before I planned on a 2 week
    holiday to go bike shopping in Perth I had my coming together with the
    lovely lady in the Corona who didn't know what stop signs were for. And
    haven't been able to throw a leg over a bike since.

    I'm still hopeful but the rehabilitation process has thrown up a lot of
    complications in the last two and a half years which have made things more
    difficult than I would have liked.
    Deevo, Aug 20, 2011
  4. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Emailed? Is that a book or video? And yes, I've heard Mr Code is a
    good source of knowledge, hence that is one of the options.

    What prompted my enquiry was a visit to Stay Upright's webpage. They
    have so many courses I had no idea which one I shoud sart with. Or
    even if they are the best mob to train with.

    It's clear that one course I must do will be about braking and
    cornering. But, given my time riding bikes and my lack of death, and
    the fact that I am not interested in hooning on public roads, the
    question now arising is:

    Which of these courses should I be looking at doing, and in what
    order. (Keeping in mind that I got my bike license before basic
    training courses were mandated and hence I've never done one.)


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 20, 2011
  5. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Hang in there, Deevo.


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 20, 2011
  6. Diogenes

    CrazyCam Guest

    Keith Code's book of TotW II is useful, but it does tend to address the
    the bike handling aspect of riding, rather than the roadcraft required.

    While book two is more applicable to road riding, it is still written
    from a go faster point of view. Book one is almost pure race stuff.

    What some one can learn from reading a book about doing some activity
    varies muchly on the person.

    If, Gerry, you feel that you could learn, and apply, stuff from reading
    it, then I can lend you a really good book on roadcraft.... The Police
    Rider's handbook to better motorcycling.

    This is the basic book for rider training for UK cops and also for the
    Institute of Advanced Motorists, motorcycle test.

    This book isn't all that freely available in Oz, as it's a pommie police
    publication, but I have a real paper type copy and can lend you it.
    Actually, I'm not sure it is available even thru the likes of Amazon.
    Bast? <shrug> Dunno.

    They are good. HART, too, are good. Superbike School are also good.

    Superbike school probably don't cover what you sound like you want covered.

    StayUpright and HART are the two main choices, and HART have one
    advantage, in that they have their own (ex-police) training ground, or,
    if you prefer it, track. Actually, it isn't correct calling it a track,
    as it is a very realistic sample of a typical country road....complete
    with the occasional wild life crossing! :)

    I assume that StayUpright are limited (in Sydney and surrounds) to
    Eastern Creek for training, not on the public roads.
    Well, the slow riding business which I offered you is basically what is
    taught at the pre-learners course.

    It covers stuff which is the basis for all other courses.

    It would be a complete waste of money to sign up for a fairly expensive
    course, and then have most of the time taken up with fixing up very
    basic stuff that the instructors expect you to know and them not to have
    to cover.

    A typical example of this stuff is stopping, with left foot down on
    ground, right foot on brake pedal, clutch in, and in first gear, without
    front brake being held on. Another example is operating the front
    brake, whilst moving, with only one or two fingers.

    CrazyCam, Aug 21, 2011
  7. Diogenes

    Jason Nunn Guest

    Hi Gerry

    Definately highly recommended. I do a course about every 6
    years. It's always good for somebody else to point out any bad habits,
    and you always learn something new. Also, as technology changes,
    techniques change. I remember my first course in 1989. Instructors
    were teaching the 25/75 braking rule and to never emergency stop when
    cornering. Now days, these methods are history.

    Jason Nunn, Aug 21, 2011
  8. Diogenes

    Jason Nunn Guest


    Your question. What state are you in ?. If you are in Victoria, I highly
    recommend HART. I was lucky enough to do their course here in Adelaide
    when they were touring.

    Jason Nunn, Aug 21, 2011
  9. Diogenes

    Nigel Allen Guest





    Nigel Allen, Aug 21, 2011
  10. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 21, 2011
  11. Diogenes

    DM Guest

    Actually he e-mailed me a link to the file for the video on a private
    server. I have it on my own server now. Its pretty big though, so I can't
    mention the location publicly or the whole world will take my quota.

    admoss0 at gmail dot com if you want the location privately.

    DM, Aug 21, 2011
  12. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    OOps. I keep sending blank messages because I hit the send button
    instead of the close button.

    Now... I'm in Sydney-ish. And we have HART here.


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 21, 2011
  13. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Thanks to all who commented thus far. All good stuff.

    I think at this stage I will opt for doing a course. I'll leave books
    and videos for later, I think.

    Having looked at the websites of both HART and Stay Upright, I've
    concluded that the course for me at this time is the "Advanced I"
    available at either school. Am I thinking correctly?

    As to whether I will go with HART or Stay Upright, I'm still leaving
    that open, hoping for more comments from the brains trust.

    Again, thanks for all the good info so far.


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 21, 2011
  14. Diogenes

    CrazyCam Guest

    CrazyCam, Aug 21, 2011
  15. At the risk of being sneered (or even laughed) at, I'll recommend the "Ride
    Like a Pro" video from http://www.ridelikeapro.com/ - or (far be it for me
    to suggest piracy) via BitTorrent as a video file.

    Sure, some of you will look at it 'n' say it's far too Septic-centric and
    (in typical Septic fashion) too dumbed-down and patronising, but it comes in
    handy to learn a few skills which aren't taught any more, and to re-discover
    those skills which saved your life when you first started riding.

    Riding a cruiser myself (an aging neck means I can no longer sit comfortably
    with a "sports bike" stance), I loathed doing U-turns due to my bike's low
    ground (and hence peg) clearance - but the technique described in the
    aforementioned video (yes, I ran it through my head several times whilst
    performing it) works amazingly well.

    Despite its name, you won't learn how to "ride like a pro" - but you'll have
    an easier time of staying upright. And for those of us who ride to live (as
    opposed to living to ride), that's the one truly important thing.
    Bob Milutinovic, Aug 21, 2011
  16. Diogenes

    DM Guest

    I watched a few of the previews of Ride Like A Pro they do at shows and then
    went out for a practice in the industrial area on a Sunday. After half an hour I
    was heaps better at u-turns and slow carpark style turns. I recommend it.
    DM, Aug 21, 2011
  17. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Thanks Bob. I'll add that to my list of excellent stuff to think

    So may good suggestions I can't act on all of them, so now I'll need
    to take time to prioritise.


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 22, 2011
  18. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Bzzzzzzt. Time's up.

    In the absence of further input, I've decided to do the next
    Advanced I course with Stay Upright.

    Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback. All good stuff.


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 22, 2011
  19. Diogenes

    arathorn357 Guest

    For a course, I think thats a good choice.

    Having done the first 2 levels of superbike school and then a few
    track days trying to implement what was taught, I think I know what
    would make a really big improvement in my riding skills (which
    compared to most track riders are pretty average).

    At the last Eastern Creek track day they had one of the superbike
    instructors (hi Al!) doing little promotional stints and giving hints,
    but also if you wanted doing a 10 minute private session for free
    behind the pits just doing a slow speed slalom and him then pointing
    out the many errors of your ways.

    I had managed to teach myself some bad habits and mis apply or forget
    stuff from the 2 courses - most of what CS school teach you is counter
    intuitive and you do tend to forget it between courses.

    What I would have liked was to spend some quality time on Al's wheel
    and then with him behind me, stopping frequently to explain and really
    re-inforcing the techniques, as only real world experience can,.

    Reading manuals like Twist of the Wrist help slightly, videos a bit
    more, attending courses more yet but the best way of learning (and
    remembering it so they get made a permanent set of skills) is doing it
    in the real world and learning to do it correctly a sufficient number
    of times to stick.

    For mine, I would hire "an Al" with say a few others to stay in a
    group and go practice the skills with someone who really can pick
    whats wrong and how you can improve - that would be my idea of the
    best bang for the buck.

    Don't need to do this on a track at warp speed - a quiet road with
    lots of corners would work fine.

    I'm not on about getting quick - its about being smooth, having lots
    of time and options as you ride with great observation skills to make
    the ride that much more enjoyable, and as a by-product, safer.

    Al says he and his instructor mates will do that, but only with club
    level registered riders (for insurance reasons).

    Thinking about how to do that - want to get the first 2 levels
    embedded before doing any more actual courses.

    best, Andrew
    arathorn357, Aug 23, 2011
  20. Diogenes

    Diogenes Guest

    Thanks Andrew. Much appreciated. I think givenmy background, my
    biggest hrdle willbe unlearning all the bad habits I've "taught"
    myself over the years. If I get spooked in a corner, I tend to
    freeze up. That's a VERY bad thing. :-(


    Onya bike

    Diogenes, Aug 23, 2011
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