Of all of my social pages I love Cyclefish.com and the people on it. If you want to talk motorcycling this is the place to do it. Through out the forums there is always some discussion going on about safety, laws, riding style and everything in between. Me being a passenger, I can not speak on this topic. But it came up in a forum last week, and I thought that it would be awesome to share with you. The following reply I felt summed it all up quit nicely. Lucky, the Cyclefish leader was nice enough to give me permission to use his comment here.
Sometimes we forget the skills we don’t use that often… and hopefully never will have to use. Most riders, even the most experienced, are real good at riding on just about any type of road, but have no idea how good they would handle an emergency situation, because hopefully you don’t get a lot of experience in emergency situations – unless you ride like an a-hole in the first place and find yourself being an expert at panic stops and swerves 🙂
In more than 30 years riding over 500,000 miles I can say – thankfully – that I have only had to emergency brake or swerve a handful of times. Which is why I practice it when it’s not an emergency.
I practice hard braking a lot. Always good to know exactly how much brake pressure you can apply before locking up. I also test my braking on wet pavement. Something most people probably don’t have a good feel for is how much brake they can use on wet pavement before locking up. So go out in a controlled environment and lock up your tires on a wet surface, then you know it’s just a little less brake than that.
I don’t practice the zig-zag too much, but I do practice quick swerves without braking. I go to a parking lot and head straight for a man-hole cover at around 50 mph, then try to avoid it at the last-minute without braking. It’s important to be able to miss a road hazard when there is no time to brake for it..
And the final thing I always try to practice is panic braking in a turn. I want to make sure it is engrained in my brain to get the bike vertical and then brake! I go into a parking lot, do a kind of tight sweeper at around 40 mph and see how fast I can get the bike vertical and brake hard to a stop.
I also take the advanced riders course about once every two years. It’s a great place to practice maneuvers in a controlled environment I will hopefully never need or do on the roads. Plus its good to have an instructor point out anything I may be doing incorrectly or could improve on. Here in CA it’s pretty inexpensive and in my opinion well worth it.