Join Date: May 2016
Location: Virginia Beach
Year/Make/Model: 2016 Kawasaki Voyager; 2004 VFR800; 2003 VTX 1300
I teach multiple levels of MSF courses and some more advanced curricula from other vendors, in each class I tell all my students controlling a motorcycle requires two things; the proper technique and smooth application of the technique. While we can explain and show proper technique it is up to the rider to make it smooth and that takes practice. The BRC class is fast paced by design. The pace is necessary to develop motor skills without allowing much time to overthink the process. When facilitated properly it works extremely well. That said, every person develops at their own pace and extreme weather, hot or cold, is always a factor that can impede development.
Fear, tension, and anxiety will prevent you from performing any smooth operation of a motorcycle. Here is an example to try....take a sheet of paper and sign your name. Looks as expected right? I'm certain it was easy and smooth to complete. Now try flexing your shoulder, bicep, forearm muscles and squeeze heck out of the pen while signing your name. Amazing how your signature got short, small, and very dark; it also took a lot of energy. The same thing happens when controlling a motorcycle. You have to be more relaxed in order to manipulate the controls smoothly. Even experienced riders struggle with this when fear or anxiety creeps in so you are not alone here. The secret to overcoming fear is to concentration. If you are focusing your concentration on something (i.e. technique) you cannot be afraid at the same time as each takes place is separate places in the brain. If your focus slips you can find that fear again so this too takes practice.
The offset cone weave on exercise 6 is not an easy one, however, it can be made easier with just a few tips. First, understand motorcycles do not ride well at idle. Too many riders attempt to control their low speeds through this exercise with just the throttle......very hard if not impossible to do smoothly. It usually results in too much throttle and missing a cone or two, then the tension rises and steering becomes difficult....not good. A better technique is to make plenty of power available by applying more throttle than you need and holding it steady throughout the weave. Then all your speed control is done by using the friction zone; make small movements not large ones with the clutch. As you move through the weaves the clutch should not released all the way, again remember to maintain the steady throttle.
Second, look further ahead. When you look at the cones you will have a very difficult time going around them. Looking further ahead slows your sense of speed (how fast it feels like you are going) and the body naturally relaxes making steering easier. Sense of speed is also why anyone with poor vision drives slowly and those with good vision slow down excessively when going over a bridge or through a tunnel.
Lastly, to reiterate what everyone else has said practice. Practice steady throttle while using only the clutch adjust speed. After you feel more comfortable in a straight line start with some weaves gradually increasing the difficulty as needed.
It takes far more rider skill to go slow than to go fast.
"A good long ride can clear your mind, restore your faith, and use up a lot of fuel"
"I believe in treating everyone with respect, but, first you have to get their attention"
Never be ashamed to unlearn an old habit...