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Own The Day
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2,809 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am no expert my any measure when it comes to riding motorcycles. I've got five or six years of experience, and no professional instructor training, and that's that. Still, however, in the unofficial capacity of passing on what I do know, I have learned that to teach basic motorcycle riding is indeed one of the most gratifying things I have ever done.

As you know, I was in a group of people that bought a mutual friend a motorcycle, and it was decided - based off the fact that I had the lightest bike - that I would at refamiliarize him with the extreme basics. Last week, I started getting that wheel rolling, and we've already put in four or five lessons at local parking lots.

This is where I get all emotional now. ;) To be directly involved in helping someone reacquaint themself in a hobby he loves is a blast.

Of course, my friend's a touch nervous as he's been away from the hobby so long, so I take it slow. First is basic controls, then comes inspections. Gear follows.

Then comes the practical stuff. Using the MSF course book and memories from the practical lessons, I started him off with the standard 'friction-zone' lessons. That led to 'walking the bike', which then was followed by 'walking the bike in a turn', all on my Ninja (as I didn't want him to have to fight his heavier 1100). That continued on for at least a couple hours worth of lessons (each day is approx an hour an a half) before I could see that he had it down. Repeat, this time on the Shadow - it's the bike he has to use, and it has a more managable power band. Another couple hours worth of doing just that.

Then came the next phase, where he finally felt out the balance of the bike while in motion. I give him the nod... "When you're ready, go for it." Ever so carefully, I watched this man hold his feet a couple inches off the ground. I could hear the confidence building in his voice every time he does it as I meet him at the preplanned stop. "It's not going to fall over!" he says. "No, it won't," I laughed. Before long, those feet gingerly lift all the way up to the pegs!!!

Suddenly, gentle turns are now possible, followed by figure-eights, then circles!!! Rolling on in 1st gear while in a turn is child's play. Man, he's catching on fast!!! And speaking of fast, the speed is slowly building towards the mid-RPMs of 1st gear. Better cover proper braking while he maintains a straight line. "Use both simultaneously. Beware of locking them up - you don't want to do that. This is what you do if one does lock up. Oh, and it's especially a bad thing if you're in a turn."

Yesterday was indeed a milestone moment for him. Realizing he's beginning to breach into the upper-RPMs of 1st gear, I guide him into the next realm. "This is Step A, this is Step B, etc, etc." Using a three hundred foot straight ahead stretch, he gets the Shadow up to speed. I see him squeeze in the clutch while backing off the throttle. His left foot twitches, he rolls back on the throttle while easing out the clutch. 2ND GEAR BABY!!!

Needless to say, my friend has been dancing a continuous jig as he regains his riding skills, and I am so happy for him. And deep inside, I am so honored to have played a key part in that. No, I am no instructor-prodigy in the making. I didn't say I was proud to have played that part... I am 'honored'.
 

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Congrats, I know from training at work, that one of the funnest things to see is when the little light bulb flickers and then burns brightly and they've got it!!
Enjoy that feeling!!!
 

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Vintage bike addict
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4,812 Posts
Glad to hear your friend is relearning quickly. Now if it works that well with my wife. I'll be a happy camper.
 
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