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I had the pleasure of riding some mini bikes this weekend to practice slow speed drills, figure 8's and tight circles. We use a small TTR at the California Superbike School sometimes as well to teach similar exercises. Besides body position, what other things do these kind of drills help you improve? How many of you incorporate this kind of training with your own racing/riding program? (screen shot from a video)
Tire Sky Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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Are you using you r knee as a side stand?

My riding group goes out at least once a month and practice slow drills in and industrial area. Full empty roads we can put all kinds of courses on withou bothering anyone
 

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heh, heh... I like doing this exercise. :)


Besides body position, what other things do these kind of drills help you improve? How many of you incorporate this kind of training with your own racing/riding program? (screen shot from a video)
I find it really helps with disconnecting body from bike and be more relaxed and fluid moving around on bike. Especially transitions side-to-side. I recall in earlier days, I was too tense on bike with tight grip and stiff arms. Now upper-body is just for controlling bars and I support lower-body with my legs & hips. Gym workouts for lower-back also really helps.
 

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When I look at your picture in the opening post, all I can think of is "nope". Getting most of the way off the bike while it's moving just doesn't make sense to me. Sort of like jumping out of a perfectly functioning airplane while it's flying along. Maybe I'm just old. I do spend time practicing figure 8s and circles and u-turns and quick stops in a parking lot, just to build the muscle memory and skills, but aside from shifting my weight and experimenting with different lean angles, my rear stays planted in the seat.
Which brings to mind something I've thought about when practicing. I found that I have a tendency to keep my torso upright when leaning the bike into turns, which means Bike has to do more of the leaning. It takes some thinking to shift my torso over to counter balance so Bike stays more upright and has more lean angle in reserve.
Does anyone else struggle with that? I'm thinking it might be because I spent a lot of time on horseback when I was young, and it was just natural to pivot at the hips and stay upright when the horse was moving around.
 

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When I look at your picture in the opening post, all I can think of is "nope". Getting most of the way off the bike while it's moving just doesn't make sense to me. Sort of like jumping out of a perfectly functioning airplane while it's flying along. Maybe I'm just old. I do spend time practicing figure 8s and circles and u-turns and quick stops in a parking lot, just to build the muscle memory and skills, but aside from shifting my weight and experimenting with different lean angles, my rear stays planted in the seat.
Which brings to mind something I've thought about when practicing. I found that I have a tendency to keep my torso upright when leaning the bike into turns, which means Bike has to do more of the leaning. It takes some thinking to shift my torso over to counter balance so Bike stays more upright and has more lean angle in reserve.
Does anyone else struggle with that? I'm thinking it might be because I spent a lot of time on horseback when I was young, and it was just natural to pivot at the hips and stay upright when the horse was moving around.
Try using a lightweight dirt bike for those skills . Much easier , safer ,, also cheaper ....,
 

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Hmm. I don't happen to own a lightweight dirt bike. Nor do I have the disposable income to go out and buy another bike, or anywhere to ride a dirt bike in the manner to which it would be accustomed.
Bike and I get along just fine, and at 450 lbs with a low center of gravity he does fine on the drills. The big difference is relearning the throttle curve now that both carbs are breathing. So more drills are on the agenda as soon as we can go out again. I put crash bars on and stiff leather saddle bags, so my hope is if I do manage to spin us down practicing in the parking lot, there might be some scratches but he won't land on any controls or snap off a blinker.
But we won't be out for a while, just now there's 2' drifts, 20 degrees, and a 25 mph wind.
 

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Hmm. I don't happen to own a lightweight dirt bike. Nor do I have the disposable income to go out and buy another bike, or anywhere to ride a dirt bike in the manner to which it would be accustomed.
Bike and I get along just fine, and at 450 lbs with a low center of gravity he does fine on the drills. The big difference is relearning the throttle curve now that both carbs are breathing. So more drills are on the agenda as soon as we can go out again. I put crash bars on and stiff leather saddle bags, so my hope is if I do manage to spin us down practicing in the parking lot, there might be some scratches but he won't land on any controls or snap off a blinker.
But we won't be out for a while, just now there's 2' drifts, 20 degrees, and a 25 mph wind.
And you use that an an excuse ??? LOL...,
 

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I do this about every 5 weeks or so at a nice large pkg lot for a school. I find it very enjoyable
doing the offset cone weave, brake n' swerve and U-turns. doing the brake 'n swerve I'll get up
to 40-50 mph and drop speed very quickly and so a swerve, there will be times when u just don't
have the option to just slow an stop. knowing these skills will definitely saye ur bacon.
 

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When I look at your picture in the opening post, all I can think of is "nope". Getting most of the way off the bike while it's moving just doesn't make sense to me. Sort of like jumping out of a perfectly functioning airplane while it's flying along. Maybe I'm just old. I do spend time practicing figure 8s and circles and u-turns and quick stops in a parking lot, just to build the muscle memory and skills, but aside from shifting my weight and experimenting with different lean angles, my rear stays planted in the seat.
Which brings to mind something I've thought about when practicing. I found that I have a tendency to keep my torso upright when leaning the bike into turns, which means Bike has to do more of the leaning. It takes some thinking to shift my torso over to counter balance so Bike stays more upright and has more lean angle in reserve.
Does anyone else struggle with that? I'm thinking it might be because I spent a lot of time on horseback when I was young, and it was just natural to pivot at the hips and stay upright when the horse was moving around.
Well, I keep my butt in the saddle too, but doing offset curves I will have my butt as much to the
left of center of saddle when doing a tight R ight turn and of course most of my butt on right side
of saddle when doing a tight Left turn, called counter weighting maybe a little drag on rear brake
but mostly staying in the friction zone, throttle around 2000 and not forgetting to take half a dozen
rings around the place to breaze out the clutch.
 

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The first time I did this was many years ago when attending Lee Sparks original Total Control training. I was wearing synthetic gear and he was nice enough to loan me a pair of strap on knee pucks to drag knees while doing figure eights. It's not a maneuver and skill we need in parking lots or the street, but it will improve our balance, control, and confidence. Most riders don't perform stunts like wheelies, stoppies, standing on the tank/bars, riding sitting backwards, but for those who do, the skill developed will also improve their balance, control, and confidence, all of which improves their skills during normal riding. Like dirt bikes and trials bike, some skills are the same some additional skills are required all of which improve our balance, control, and confidence for street riding. It's not for everyone, but I don't know anyone who has tried these skills who didn't enjoy them and they gained a lot of skills that they would never had developed otherwise.
 

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And, for those who may venture out to try dragging a knee doing tight figure eights without getting coaching, may I suggest use the smallest bike you have available with a smooth throttle, air down the tires, work into the lean in small increments allowing the tires to worm up and wear all the gear. In addition, it would be wise to find a riding friend that has experience in tight turns and even better to attend a class. The skill developed is not about dragging a knee, but if you like to lean it's not that hard to drag a knee and it is a first time trill that will make you want more!!
 

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I would suggest medium-sized 250-400 bike due to its more stable nature than lightweight 125. Simply because beginners make more abrupt and jerky inputs than seasoned riders. This will cause light bike to dart and zig-zag with large responses to their control. A medium-sized bike will be more stable and carve smoother turns for them.

Actually, best to practice with bike you're actually riding on streets. I have no problems doing any of these parking-lot drills on my 500lb VFR.
 

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EZ to control ? I thought we were trying to sharpen our skills ...., maybe we have different thoughts ...., control in dirt certainly more difficult , but it sharpens skills and boosts confidence ... , Just my thinking ?? ,...
 

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There is little question that gonzo dirt bike racers and closed-course Grand Prix racing or schools in those directions develop superb riding skills. That does not mean that less dedicated riders should stick with a Pious or similar castrated transporters.

The motorcycle fraternity most certainly should be large enough and generous enough to embrace those who want to join in the fun without earning a 10th-degree black belt in the sport.
 
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