A great way to get comfortable with getting your motorcycle to swing and sway thereby giving you more control over your motorcycle is to do this simple exercise. Practice swinging and swaying your motorcycle from side to side as you maneuver through this easy slow cone weave without using any cones.
The video clip shows Donna, my wife, demonstrating that back and forth swing/sway as she travels up the parking lot at speeds between 7 to 10 mph. Notice how the bike leans from side to side. With just 10 or 15 minutes of practicing this exercise, you will soon discover how much easier it is to control your motorcycle thereby making you safer on the road.
Remember, that whenever an obstacle lies directly in front of your motorcycle, even at 3 or 4 mph, it cannot be reacted to in time. The further ahead of your motorcycle you look, the easier its going to be for you to react to it.
Make sure to let the bike swing and sway from side to side as you maneuver up the parking lot. This may seem awkward at first, but by the third or fourth time you weave through the exercise, you should start to develop a rhythm.
You must keep power to the rear wheel with the clutch and throttle. Avoid going too slowly through this exercise as going too slowly will prevent you from developing the dip. Keep head and eyes up focusing to the end of the parking lot, and never looking down.
About the Author
Jerry “Motorman” Palladino is the founder of Ride Like A Pro, Inc., a company that teaches advanced rider training classes, and produces motorcycle instructional DVDs and books. Jerry is a former motorcycle police officer who teaches riders the same skills that motor officers use when riding their motorcycles. His classes are aimed at experienced riders who want to enhance their motorcycle skills. Visit RideLikeAPro.com to learn more about the classes and to purchase and download digital copies of the DVDs. Visit the Ride Like A Pro YouTube Channel for more videos.
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4 thoughts on VIDEO: Getting Comfortable With Your Motorcycle
Good article and video!
Hi Debra. I ride both, but I find myself on a trike more and more. You will get the hang of it. You will be able to pull in your handlebars and make a complete circle and U-turn with no problem. Easy peasy! Like Genevieve said, you don’t have the “lean” on a trike for these swerves, but you can use both brakes in a curve. That is an advantage, but remember using your brakes more may cause another rider behind you to go wonky seeing all that red so let them go in front of you instead. Yes, you will be able to go through those cones like a pro after a little practice, but remember your width. As you have already found out, what your front tire misses, your rears will hit so those moves in turning are important since you also have extra weight and don’t want to tip over. Your timing factors in more in riding a trike since those fast moves to avoid something could be dangerous. Good luck to you! It is a bit different than two wheels, but you still get enjoy the ride. It is fun!
I have not ridden in many years and have been practicing in a parking lot. I have been doing circles both ways, figure 8s, stop/start, braking. I have a Kawasaki Vulcan with a Voyager trike kit, so will I be able to accomplish much of this on mine?
Debra,Because you have a trike, you won’t be able to achieve the swerve and dip that’s shown in the video, but you can still practice swerving to avoid objects in the road.