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Last week I decided to ride some of my local twisties. Ridden them many many times. This trip, when I came into the sharpest turns, I was uneasy and made some bad technical decisions. To say the least I wasn't happy with the ride. I came home and continued to fume over it.
That evening I went to my school parking lot and worked on tight turns and getting my head around to look where I am going, instead of looking right in front of my tire. After about an hour of work, I felt much better. That wasn't enough.
Saturday, I hit every twisty I could find. I made the turns without a problem. I didn't cross the lines or feel uneasy. I am a firm believer in going back to basics.
So with riding season upon us, don't forget to refresh your skills.
Be Safe
 

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very true!! from my house in the country into San Antonio there are two routes, one is park road 37 and in the space of about 10 miles there are over 60 curves, several being back to back to back 20mph turns, lots of fun and great practice.
 

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One thing I didn't mention. A couple months ago I caught a little gravel in a curve and did a little 50 yard slider. No pain, just scuffed up the Nighthawk a bit. Yes! Fossil knows.

Nonetheless, for the following weeks when I go into a curve, I would catch myself developing a bad habit of looking for that gravel. I started riding way too cautious and I think that contributed to the technical mistakes.

Its one thing to practice while commuting to work. I got more out of the slow speed maneuvers in the parking lot than anything. Get those eyes to looking where they are going.
 

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Sorry to hear about the slide, but glad nothing permanent about the damage to you.

You are most correct about practice. With the cold wet winter I haven't ridden nearly as much and can tell the skills aren't up to where they should be. My ride last Saturday was good, but it started out a little rough. It did get better on the sweeping curves of Hwy 22.
 

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Nonetheless, for the following weeks when I go into a curve, I would catch myself developing a bad habit of looking for that gravel.

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I live in the country where cattlemen haul cattle, hay and everything you can imagine. 90% of the curves I find have gravel spread across the road from trucks and trailers. I, in my wildest dreams cannot imagine that looking for gravel is a bad habit. My goal is to make it around the corner at whatever safe speed is called for. I don't care to try and emulate the MotoGP crowd and a 50 yard slide is not something I care to experience. And I don't think you can ever be too cautious... ....Isaac
 

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For some odd reason:snork:, I bought my '95 GL1500 Aspy in Pasadena, TX, just east of Houston and rode it back to Minnesota. Guess I just needed an adventure at the time. On the way up east-central Texas I was reminded how dusty it is down there, and even more so the further west you go. Kinda like riding in Florida and along the Gulf Coast; sand is on the road dam near everywhere.

For the longest time I've just naturally ridden more or less conservatively. I prefer a burst of speed on straightaways and sweeping curves rather than trying to drag my knee in a tight curve/twisty. If I ride through a stretch of road that looks interesting to run a little hotter I'll ride it through, paying attention to road conditions and then run it back with that knowledge.
 

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Great reminder Ref, it is important to keep our skills sharp. I still find myself evaluating turns even in my 4 wheeled vehicle as if I want to negotiate as I would on the track. It keeps my mind sharp and helps me be more aware of road conditions. Also let's all be sure to watch out for other drivers as we begin our spring/summer here in N.A. they do not always see us so remember it's as much (if not more) our responsibility to see them.
 

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I've practiced falling down twice. That's enough for me.
Maybe it had something to do with that car tire??? Just wonderin... Let's ask Fossil.!!
 

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Maybe it had something to do with that car tire??? Just wonderin... Let's ask Fossil.!!
Have to stick up for the C/T on this one. It was the D*#n Dog and the hair.:eekers:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I live in the country where cattlemen haul cattle, hay and everything you can imagine. 90% of the curves I find have gravel spread across the road from trucks and trailers. I, in my wildest dreams cannot imagine that looking for gravel is a bad habit. My goal is to make it around the corner at whatever safe speed is called for. I don't care to try and emulate the MotoGP crowd and a 50 yard slide is not something I care to experience. And I don't think you can ever be too cautious... ....Isaac
Great points Isaac. Let me clarify......IMO - The proper way to evaluate a road or curve is prior to getting there. Not while your on top of it. My bad habit was deeming it a good surface and as I was making my turn looking down at that surface instead of looking into the turn. Thats too cautious!
Here's the crazy part.....I did the same curve an hour earlier on my ST with a CT with no problems. Not giving undue credit to the CT, but worth mentioning.
 

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It's called target fixation REF. Nobody is immune to it unfortunately.
 

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+1 on practicing the slow speed maneuvers. I've found my confidence and enjoyment go way up when those skills are sharp and active.

I would also add quick stops to the list of things to practice. Controlled quick stops is just about our #1 safety technique. Really good riders can bring their bikes to a controlled stop - consistently - in the shortest distance possible. I've been riding my NC700X while my wing is getting some safety chrome installed. The 700 is a very different machine especially in the area of braking. I started at slow speeds - 18-20 mph - and gradually increased the speed - all the way up to 60 mph. That muscle memory is vital and I feel a LOT better riding around on that bike knowing what kind of stopping distance and stopping power I have. That really increased my enjoyment of riding that bike. I'll do the same thing when the Wing comes home.

Thanks for the reminder and enjoy shaking off the winter!

Ride safe.
 

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I try to get out by myself with nobody around for the first ride of the year. I like getting the feel of the bike again all by myself, not responsible to or for anybody but me till I comfortable with the bike again.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I try to get out by myself with nobody around for the first ride of the year. I like getting the feel of the bike again all by myself, not responsible to or for anybody but me till I comfortable with the bike again.
Agreed....Don't want to drop it in a crowd of hecklers like this.
 

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