To train or not to train? - Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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To train or not to train?

Is it important to get formal training for riding motorcycles? What kinds of training have you had and how did it help your overall riding?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 06:48 AM
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Re: To train or not to train?

I think its a really good idea. I took the MSF basic rider course, it gave a reasonable foundation to avoid bad habits. Several of the other guys in the course had a number of bad habits corrected; rear brake only, clutch in coasting thru turns and so on. I'm going for the MSF skilled rider course this month, its definitely time for a skills refresher after not riding last fall because recuperating from my wreck.

I spend a lot of time re-listening to the ToTW audiobooks and trying to practice the vision/braking/turning drills. I would love to take the California Superbike course some day, but it is a bit pricey.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 07:02 AM
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Re: To train or not to train?

I'm going to chime in, but I have to collect and articulate my thoughts properly. I'll be back with an edit.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 11:20 AM
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Re: To train or not to train?

I guess like most people, a friend taught me to ride. It was on a 1970 Bultaco Matador, so shift on the right, brake on the left. (Don't ask what happened the 1st time I got on a Jap bike)

So after riding motorcycles my whole life, I did a track day. I learned more in that one weekend than in the previous 40 years. I got track-day fever and have doing it every chance I get. And I am a much better rider for doing it.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 03:11 PM
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Re: To train or not to train?

Misti, you're a trainer, aren't you?

Did a lot of "personal study" myself... and just learning through observation, experience, tips from others, videos, shared experiences, etc, etc. In other words, no single prevalent source.

Never stop learning.
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Last edited by Intuit; 05-03-2019 at 03:14 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 11:26 AM
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Re: To train or not to train?

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Originally Posted by misti View Post
Is it important to get formal training for riding motorcycles? What kinds of training have you had and how did it help your overall riding?
I think it is important. I rode for a lot of years before I did a track day and that certainly opened the door to more possibilities. I figured it would be a better use of track time to incorporate some training/coaching so took some with California Superbike School, Reggie Pridmore's CLASS and Jason Pridmore's STAR school. Very beneficial to see different training philosophies and skill drills. The biggest benefit was to make the components involved in riding well conscious thoughts rather than auto-pilot and incorporating the individual components into smooth, cohesive, deliberate riding. The elements involved in riding are not always intuitive and there are few "natural" riders. Like any skill, it requires practice to improve and better to practice good skills than bad habits. Cracks me up the guys that say, "I've been riding for twenty years" and you watch them and think, "yeah and you've been doing it wrong for twenty years."

Do you have to leave so soon? I was just about to poison the tea.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: To train or not to train?

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Originally Posted by Intuit View Post
Misti, you're a trainer, aren't you?

Did a lot of "personal study" myself... and just learning through observation, experience, tips from others, videos, shared experiences, etc, etc. In other words, no single prevalent source.

Never stop learning.
Ya, I'm a coach with the California Superbike School. I like to chat with people about their thoughts around training and how they learned to ride. When I first started I learned from friends and never had any formal training. I went quickly to racing and even though I did the new rider school it didn't teach me technique, more about track etiquette and flags and even though I did reasonably well, I crashed a lot and didn't understand proper technique. It wasn't until a sponsor sent me to all four levels of the California Superbike School that I realized how beneficial training was to improving your own riding. Plus how investing financially in the beginning (the schools and training seemed so expensive) made up for itself tenfold by keeping me upright!

Love it, never stop learning!!

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I think it is important. I rode for a lot of years before I did a track day and that certainly opened the door to more possibilities. I figured it would be a better use of track time to incorporate some training/coaching so took some with California Superbike School, Reggie Pridmore's CLASS and Jason Pridmore's STAR school. Very beneficial to see different training philosophies and skill drills. The biggest benefit was to make the components involved in riding well conscious thoughts rather than auto-pilot and incorporating the individual components into smooth, cohesive, deliberate riding. The elements involved in riding are not always intuitive and there are few "natural" riders. Like any skill, it requires practice to improve and better to practice good skills than bad habits. Cracks me up the guys that say, "I've been riding for twenty years" and you watch them and think, "yeah and you've been doing it wrong for twenty years."
Excellent! And I love your open mindedness about learning from different sources and understanding that like any skill it requires practice. I was at a track day recently where a guy crashed twice in only four sessions of riding and when asked why, just said, "I lost the front." He was sort of under the impression that crashes JUST happen and that it was no big deal to crash twice in one day. When I asked him a few questions about body position and hanging off and lean angle he didn't know any of the answers (he crashed right in front of me) and I felt like he needed a little bit of education in his own riding to keep himself (and the other riders around him) safe.

What are some deciding factors in why you choose a certain riding school, book, track day or private training?

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 03:09 PM
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Re: To train or not to train?

Suspect for the same reasons that a lot of us don't ask for directions when lost, would rather perform our own maintenance, pride, even arrogance in some cases are why we choose not to do the schools. Then there's the personal satisfaction from figuring some things out on your own. Might instruction course also be fun? Yep... but next to no school markets it that way. (<-- tip) That's aside from the cost and "who/where".
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 05:52 PM
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Re: To train or not to train?

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I'm going to chime in, but I have to collect and articulate my thoughts properly. I'll be back with an edit.
Anytime one wants to get good at something in life, he/she needs to train. I don't care what it is - reading, writing, simply riding a motorcycle, racing, trail braking, hitting the apex, rolling on the throttle after easing off the brakes to not upset a settled suspenion, body position, head position, choosing markers, breathing, weight lifting, sex, software programming... you name it.

A person will never excel to their fullest potential without training. Even the best continually train. Training is a needed dicipline to be at the forefront of anything, and even when at the forefront, training is still needed to stay there. There's an old phrase, "if you don't use it, you lose it." One can be the best at something, take a year or two off with no training, go back to the person who was second to the them, and they'll now be second best because they didn't train and continue to hone their craft/skill.

Does everyone need formal training? Maybe in the begining, but not necessarily in the long run.

Take it from A.I. (a.k.a. The Answer).

So, in short, yes, you need to train.

There's a guy that races CCS. I trackdayed with him back in 2016. I could damn run side by side with him, but his lines were smoother and cleaner. He's been training ever since. I'm sure I'm probably 3-6 seconds off of his lap times now. He's been training, I haven't been. He's dropped damn near 10 seconds over the course of three year at one specific track - Training.
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Last edited by Straight Success; 05-07-2019 at 07:14 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: To train or not to train?

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Originally Posted by Intuit View Post
Suspect for the same reasons that a lot of us don't ask for directions when lost, would rather perform our own maintenance, pride, even arrogance in some cases are why we choose not to do the schools. Then there's the personal satisfaction from figuring some things out on your own. Might instruction course also be fun? Yep... but next to no school markets it that way. (<-- tip) That's aside from the cost and "who/where".
Hmmmm interesting. I get the concept of pride or arrogance or ego but I didn't really think about the idea of personal satisfaction from figuring it out on your own. When I think back to motorcycle riding, even though I was kind of natural at picking it up, I couldn't describe or explain what I was doing until I went to the California Superbike School and they asked me questions about my own riding that required me to actually think about what I was doing. There isn't much I can say that I was able to really discover or figure out myself without some help from coaching....I do remember a time I was doing and endurance race for the first time ever and when I got tired I noticed that I started looking further ahead. I was racing in Seattle and coming up to one long sweeping corner I looked further up track then ever before and I was like, OH WOW, look at that!!! And surprisingly my times at the end of the session were better than my fastest sprint race times....Aside from that I think all my learning and discoveries with riding have been influenced by someone who was teaching me......

Interesting point also about track schools not marketing them as being FUN!!! That's one of the best parts about my job is that it is fun and I'm hanging out with people that are all having FUN and learning to be better and safer riders at the same time.

"Leap and the net will appear!"


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