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Old 04-13-2011, 07:42 AM   #61
outlaws justice OP
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Classes In June

We have locked in some dates for June Classes In Nashville Tenn. Anyone in the region who is interested the classes will be June 3rd or June 4th. Pick which date works for you. You can sign up at

http://www.nashvilleriders.com/index...tion-june-2011

Even if not participating stop by the training area to say hello! Always nice to put faces with names.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:02 PM   #62
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Suggestion for ARC participants

I've taken both ARC1 and ARC2. These are great programs. I would offer one piece of advice to anyone getting ready to take the program. Practice your low speed throttle control. I have a FI bike with a very abrupt on/off throttle and it was sometimes hard to concentrate on other aspects of the drills when I'm having to concentrate so much on maintaining a smooth throttle. I continue to work on smoothing out the throttle, but in hindsight I wished I had practiced more before I took ARC1.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by beck49 View Post
I've taken both ARC1 and ARC2. These are great programs. I would offer one piece of advice to anyone getting ready to take the program. Practice your low speed throttle control. I have a FI bike with a very abrupt on/off throttle and it was sometimes hard to concentrate on other aspects of the drills when I'm having to concentrate so much on maintaining a smooth throttle. I continue to work on smoothing out the throttle, but in hindsight I wished I had practiced more before I took ARC1.

My Tiger 1050 has a notoriously "grabby" throttle at low RPMs. The way TC-ARC described it to me: The goal is to be able to lower the throttle to right ABOVE the point at which it "grabs". That way, you're always in a range with smooth operation.

Since the class, I've changed my habits to the point where simultaneously applying front brake while rolling off the throttle is second nature. And, every time I come to a stop, I am imagining a TC-ARC instructor is observing my headlights to see if my front-end is diving (which would indicate an inelegant throttle-brake transition).

Jesse
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #64
beck49
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Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
My Tiger 1050 has a notoriously "grabby" throttle at low RPMs. The way TC-ARC described it to me: The goal is to be able to lower the throttle to right ABOVE the point at which it "grabs". That way, you're always in a range with smooth operation.

Jesse
Yes, my "grabby" bike is indeed a Tiger 1050. Trailbraking with the smooth braking to throttle transition was a very valuable section in ARC2.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
My Tiger 1050 has a notoriously "grabby" throttle at low RPMs. The way TC-ARC described it to me: The goal is to be able to lower the throttle to right ABOVE the point at which it "grabs". That way, you're always in a range with smooth operation.

Since the class, I've changed my habits to the point where simultaneously applying front brake while rolling off the throttle is second nature. And, every time I come to a stop, I am imagining a TC-ARC instructor is observing my headlights to see if my front-end is diving (which would indicate an inelegant throttle-brake transition).

Jesse
We made three promises at the start of the class and from the sounds of your post, we kept them! Happy to hear you know the problems and are able to fix them on the fly! I encourage people to do this class, but until they do it they do not always realize the benfits
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:34 AM   #66
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The UK branch of TC ARC lost their site last year. I'm on the mailing list so that if they get a new one, I'll be notified. I'm not holding my breath though. I'd like to do the course, so am wondering are there any other countries that run it (other than the US) that people here have done it in and also, can you hire bikes to do it on from them?
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:17 PM   #67
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The UK branch of TC ARC lost their site last year. I'm on the mailing list so that if they get a new one, I'll be notified. I'm not holding my breath though. I'd like to do the course, so am wondering are there any other countries that run it (other than the US) that people here have done it in and also, can you hire bikes to do it on from them?
Not that I am aware of, but I am in the US, I know they held some classes in Russia, but I do not think any are offered there. Best bet would be to contact Lee Parks Direct. E-Mail him or send me a PM and we can talk etc.
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:49 AM   #68
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I took the Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Rider Course Level I this past Sunday.

The short version is that I didn't drag a knee, but it was still well worth it. Read on for a longer version of my tale:

Course specifics:

$340 + NY state sales tax at my chosen site at a community college in Poughkeepsie, NY, with the course run by Christine Firehock. 8 AM-6 PM nominally, although we ran closer to 8:50 AM-5:50 PM (which was plenty) due to some late-arriving stragglers. Neither Christine herself nor Lee himself were instructing today, but the 3 guys teaching us 15 students were a match for the job. The course runs rain or shine, and we lucked out after horrible storms the prior day and night, with a dry track surface and only the scantest few raindrops throughout the day. This course is not for new riders: 3,000 minimum miles of street riding experience is a prerequisite.

For those curious about the physical layout of the class, see the map below. We parked in lot A, walked up the hill to Bowne several times for the classroom portions, and did the range exercises in lot E. Basically it was the equivalent amount of 3 days of MSF BRC material (albeit at a higher level--I'm not saying the material is equivalent overall) packed into one single day, with each transition between the class and the range corresponding to another "day."



My riding background:

I'm a 29 year old man, ride a Kawasaki Versys, and have been on powered two-wheelers for 2 years and 10,000 miles. I raced bicycles for many years before that, everything from cyclocross through downhill, but was always a mid-pack Sport class rider. I was more competitive in cars, on the other hand, near the top of the leader board locally in B Stock autocross. More importantly, I'm a good study: the MSF instructors had loved me back in the day because I'd actually snap my head 90 degrees when they'd instruct me to do so. On the other hand, coming into the class I just didn't trust the bike completely and would occasionally catch myself out of sorts and flustered.

Other class participants:

Surprisingly, my Versys was not out of place, at all. No one at the class was on a sportbike. Although one of the assistant instructors came in on his Yamaha R1, the closest thing actually on the range was one of the instructor's bikes used in the demos, a Honda VFR800. Memorable bikes that the students brought and rode: a full-dress Harley tourer; 3 Kawasaki ZRX1200s; a new Ducati Multistrada 1200; a BMW R65 set up with hard bags, begging to be ridden down to South America; several 250cc supermotos; several Ducati Monsters; a Yamaha T-Max (scooter); and a BMW G 650 X-Moto. Oh, and of the 15 of us, there were 3 members of the fairer persuasion. Riding experience amongst the others ranged from 2 to 36 years, with everyone from low-mileage Sunday riders to track junkies in the mix. Most people trailered their bikes in, although at least 3 of us rode in the day before or the morning of the class from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island, respectively.



Fun with PowerPoint:

The classroom portion was actually useful, although this varied by section. Having read through Lee Parks' book, Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques (see cover above), beforehand I had already seen the material. I highly recommend that anyone who takes the class read the book beforehand: although the repetition in class is a tiny bit tedious, it's helpful, and having the chance to let one's brain digest the techniques and concepts improves one's chances of executing them properly on the range. All of the classroom sections were relevant to riding in general (hell, life in general), but they weren't all necessarily directly relevant to the range exercises. Those that were included Traction, Throttle Control, Vision, Line Selection, and, of course, the 10 Steps to Proper Cornering.

Trusting the lean:

One of the drills done multiple times--off the bike (on one's two feet), on the bike while not moving, and then on the bike while actually riding--was to practice trusting the lean. This link is to a video demonstration of Lee Parks doing the on bike/not moving drill with a participant at a motorcycle show. Note how the guy on the bike fights the lean, trying to stay upright as the bike leans over. This is not how you want to do it even though it's a natural reaction: who wants to "fall over," after all? Instead the goal is to stay relaxed and in the "V position," hung off the inside of the bike with a relaxed, tension-free outer arm, throughout the whole turn, from before its initiation to after the bike has straightened up.

It turns out that falling, in a sense, is kind of the point of riding: just as walking is a repeating process of falling over forward and catching oneself with the next step, turning is falling to the inside and trusting that the arc traced out by one's two contact patches will bring the bike towards the center of the turn sufficiently that one won't actually hit the ground.

That trust in the bike is what I had problems with before: I'd feel the weight of me and the bike fall to the inside as I'd initiate a turn and then I'd freak out a little bit. This was causing me to be tentative at the start of the turn, and would also cloud my thoughts with doubt. (As Lee or any other musical performer would tell you, clouded thoughts are not conducive to a good performance. Yes, "other": Lee is not only a motorcycle racer but a singer, too!)

This class taught me to have faith in the bike, and that faith let me do the flop.

The Flop:

The Flop is how one gets from upright to leaned over. Lee advocates doing this both quickly and fully: to transition from fully upright to the maximum lean angle (for the turn, not as in scraping one's knee necessarily) in one quick, smooth motion. This is kind of scary for those who haven't done it before, and I'd wager that the majority of riders on the road today don't do this. It's a shame, however, as it is beneficial in many ways: It improves line choice by allowing one to late apex; it improves safety by allowing one to pick a later turn initiation point/stay upright and scanning the road for longer before the actual turn; and it improves chassis stability by allowing one to get the bulk of the turn out of the way quickly, which in turn lets one roll on the gas much earlier.

The Flop requires faith in one's tires, the road surface, and one's own abilities. It feels weird at first, but once it clicks, the resulting turn feels great: stable, smooth, and requiring little energy input from the rider. Unfortunately, it requires getting everything else right in the first place, so I can't just describe it in text: read the book, or better yet, read the book then take the class and then maybe you'll experience it, too.

The bad:

There were a few bad things about the class, some not necessarily the fault of the instructors or class design, per se. The first one, and a big one, that I'll mention: not everyone got it. Even with good, constructive, pointed instruction after each run--and there were many runs over the course of the day--there were people who were still going really slowly, not looking through the turn, not leaning over, not trusting the bike, not doing the flop.

The next criticism, a petty, vain one, is that I didn't end up dragging my knee or even completely scrubbing off my "chicken strips." On the other hand, the instructors did say that I was near my footpeg feelers in the corners even with proper (or at least better, near the end of the day) body positioning so my lack of knee draggage may be an artifact of my tippy-toe-tall bike and my own physique.

Finally, through no fault of Lee Parks or anyone else, the weather turned horrible again on my fatigued return ride home after the course was over, as the wind and driving rain tried time and time again to blow me out of my lane, off bridges, etc.



The verdict:

It was a long, tiring day. If I hadn't pre-digested the book before having taken the course I'm not sure if I could have absorbed everything and executed it in one sitting. Even with this, I didn't always execute, especially when tired on my last few runs of the day. I did make significant changes to my riding technique thanks to seeing each component done incorrectly then correctly in the demos, trying each part out for myself in the drills, and then responding to the feedback of the instructors by doing it better the next time around. I got my outer arm more relaxed, my upper body lower and more inward, and, most importantly, I felt The Flop and it was good.

Will I go on from here to become a track-whore? Probably not, but only for a lack of time: just like autocross and HPDE days have proven to be, I imagine a motorcycle track day to be a huge time sink. I probably won't go on to teach, either, even though it was a very nice ego-booster to have it suggested that I should put my name down for an instructor class. I will instead use my new-found confidence and skills on the street to be more decisive, perhaps a bit faster, but definitely more safe.

I think Lee Parks would be proud.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:19 AM   #69
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SHIKA, thanks for a great summation; you made me feel like I was there.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:00 PM   #70
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Great review, I know as an instructor that not everyone gets it every time, With some people it takes a little more, and I often get notes or letters after the ride how where they put it to use on the road and it clicks.

The goal of the class is to give you the tools, and the rest comes with time. You did not learn to walk in one day, and learning this stuff is the same in that respect. As you use it and grow more it will have even more of a profound impact. I hope you feel that the instructors kept the three promises they made to you at the start of the day!

Also Thanks for the feedback, unlike many other programs pretty much our only advertisement is the word of mouth. Many people are hesitant to come to a class like this because they just do not know what to expect no matter what the web site says. It is the words of past students that they put the faith in.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:56 AM   #71
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Great Review!

I took the class a couple weeks ago in Virginia, and you really captured it well.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that only half the class was on sport bikes, the rest of us were on everything from my dual-sport 650 to a Goldwing, and we all got something out of it. I wasn't going to be dragging a knee on a dual-sport, but I certainly got the chicken strips scrubbed off! I would absolutely recommend it for anyone (with some experience under their belt).
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #72
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I took the class a couple weeks ago in Virginia, and you really captured it well.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that only half the class was on sport bikes, the rest of us were on everything from my dual-sport 650 to a Goldwing, and we all got something out of it. I wasn't going to be dragging a knee on a dual-sport, but I certainly got the chicken strips scrubbed off! I would absolutely recommend it for anyone (with some experience under their belt).
Was Tracy Martin there for your class?
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Old 04-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuhughes View Post
I took the class a couple weeks ago in Virginia, and you really captured it well.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that only half the class was on sport bikes, the rest of us were on everything from my dual-sport 650 to a Goldwing, and we all got something out of it. I wasn't going to be dragging a knee on a dual-sport, but I certainly got the chicken strips scrubbed off! I would absolutely recommend it for anyone (with some experience under their belt).
Hi Tucker, this is Rick (the instructor on the Red GSA) glad you had a good time at the class and were able to take something away from it. You left early so you didn't get to see the pictures that Lee took but there was a huge difference in the way you were riding midday compared to the end of the day. I think he said he would e-mail you a link to look at the low-res versions. If you haven't gotten it, shoot him an e-mail at lee@totalcontroltraining.net

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Was Tracy Martin there for your class?
No Tracy wasn't at this class, Tucker got the pleasure of hearing it from the horse's mouth (Lee).
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:17 PM   #74
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Great!. I know Tracy will be there at the end of the Month. It is nice to see and hear the feedback from those who participated! I am looking forward to coming south more often as the year progresses. Hope to meet a lot more of the members in my travels as well!
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #75
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Any more Graduates

There was some others in this thread who were waiting to take the class, post up folks. I would love to hear your comments.
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