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Old 08-07-2014, 10:36 AM   #16
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Location: Near Richmond VA
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Never had issue. Just found an office park where nobody was open at the time. If your bike isn't loud and they don't have security nazi's then nobody will bother you. look for office parks with smaller companies. Parks where the whole thing is filled with a single tenant tend to have screwy security.

Back as a teenager I did get chased off a community college campus for doing donuts in their gravel lot in a pickup. Makes me think you probably want to stay away from schools and community colleges. They tend to have more events at random times and some antsy people who feel that said public property isn't there for your use.

I also have never done this with more than 2 bikes at a time though. The more of you present, the more attention you will attract as anyone coming by will assume it is a competition.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:47 AM   #17
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How about the local DMV course/lot? They're usually empty on the weekends.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Panza View Post
+1 I play tennis and my balls are quite valuable. It always sucks when you lose them. Wait, we're talking about tennis balls right?

Walmart has the nice flatter disc cones which was what I was planning on using. : )

They fit into my camera bag quite nicely.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:23 AM   #19
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I've use a local elementary school parking lot occasionally on weekends. I don't put out cones or balls, but just use the lines. I've never noticed that anyone noticed.
There is also a highway rest area near me that has no facilities and gets virtually no traffic which works well.

At the state sponsored MSF range lots (at least the ones in Concord) they have signs up specifically prohibiting practice
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:36 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the responses! The DMV near my house usually holds motorcycle classes on weekends but sometimes it's empty. I can probably practice there after DMV office hours and it wouldn't put up any suspicion. I'll pick up an EZ pass while I'm there too.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:50 AM   #21
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Years ago I had a booket that showed a parking lot layout for motorcycle training.
Quick search I found this one.

This one looks more like the one I had.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:53 PM   #22
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I use a local park all the time. Generally there is never anyone there.

A couple of times I have been and there were sheriff deputies parked in the shade doing their paper work.

They have no problem with you practicing turns and even emergency braking.

They take a dim view of stunting.

Even had one ride by with his window down and tell me if more people would do that he would have less accidents to work.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:10 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Panza View Post
Howdy. Riden on my new Aprilia 750 for little over 1000 miles so far and loving every bit of it. I dont have the same confidence that I had when I was on my 250 and wanted to do some of those braking & handling exercises they teach you in classes.

Has anyone been given slack by police for whipping out some cones and practicing in a parking lot? I can understand how it would look like a bunch of shenanigans and horseplay.
This is a little off topic but once you get comfortable with parking lot exercises, this rider would suggest practicing stopping your motorcycle in as short a distance as possible at speed. Unless you have conections with the owner of a closed course of some type, this practice involves strange behavior on public roads and will result in a conversation if seen by a police officer. Lonely roads without cross streets or driveways are advised.

Start out easy at normal speeds, say 30 mph, and brake fairly hard. Work up to harder stops as you become comfortable with the way your bike responds under heavy braking. Then gradually increase speeds and do the same until you are practicing at the highest speeds you normally travel. I do this every spring after not riding during the winter months.

Parking lot exercises are great but the skills learned won't help much when when a deer jumps in front of you or a car runs a stop sign while you're on the highway.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #24
High Country Herb
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Originally Posted by LudemJo View Post
Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission...

Just do it, don't be an idiot while you are doing it, and clean up after yourself. If anyone complains, say you are sorry and move on.


You aren't doing anything wrong, so the worst that can happen is you will be asked to leave (though I have never had that happen, even when I was taking my wife to the junior college to practice every weekend).

She started out on the Honda XL600, then practiced on the Dorsoduro. It helped to change the throttle mode to "Rain", which I'm pretty sure the Shiver has too.

I recommend against cones of any kind. If you hit one, it will likely cause you to drop the bike. My wife just used the tips of the parking stripes as imaginary cones. She practiced slow u-turns, slalom, starting/stopping on hills, etc.

The cool part was that we had just bought helmet coms, so I could stand in the shade and give pointers (which I tried to avoid unless she asked or was getting frustrated).

She dropped the bike a couple times, but they were so slow there was no damage to speak of.

Its very smart of you to spend the time getting familiar with the bike like this.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:34 PM   #25
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Alternative to cones: Chalk. Harmless, cheap, portable.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:05 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by TheDrifter View Post
Speaking from experience....

Find out where your local DMV test course is, or (better yet) where the MSF courses are taught in your area. Find out who the instructor is, and ask him if you can practice there.

On another note, shoot me a PM with your location, and if you're close enough, I've got a line on a nice place (with the little paint lines already on the pavement) that you could use with a couple stipulations.
you'll be surprised just how many times you can hear "no!" in five minutes of conversation with these guys when it comes to using their facilities for anything other than "our idea, your dime".
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by SloMo228 View Post
That's actually a pretty great idea. My local MSF operates out of a community college. On weekends, it's just a huge empty parking lot (unless there's an MSF class running) that literally no one would give a shit about if they saw a guy on a moto doing figure 8s.
Where are you in MI? At Washtenaw Community College they leave one of the two ranges coned off during the summer. You're free to use it anytime a class isn't going on.

EDITED TO ADD: Sorry, I now see you're not the original poster. Never mind. I should read better.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:12 PM   #28
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Pretty much what the above posters have said.

Find a quiet parking lot and just do it. Act responsibly.
Unless there are some wierd local ordinances, the worst they can do is ask you to leave.

I'm a patrol cop. Its rare but I've seen people practicing their parking lot skills. I usually say "hi", thank them for practicing their skills, and give them pointers if they need them.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:13 PM   #29
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Just use the parking lines as guides

I try to show up to work early and practice in the empty parking lot. I approach the parking spaces from different directions. Like doing u turns within the length of a space. Or figure eights between 3 or 4 spaces. I don't use any cones so there isn't anything to carry or pick up. And if anyone approaches, just go.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:25 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by TheDrifter View Post
I guess you missed the general point of my post, or that fact that I offered for the OP to contact me so that I could point him in the direction of a nice range that he's free to use on a couple of conditions if he's close enough to the location to warrant the travel.

Please, try not to be such a downer. There's no reason for it - I'm suggesting a couple options that would be worth checking into, and I know for a fact there are places that are not a problem - given that you don't know me, I'd think you might be a little respectful rather than just presuming to "educate" me about what you think.
your taking this as a personal attack, but it is not.

try riding over to a MSF lot where you aren't known by face/name and asking to use the facilities. maybe I'm wrong, but I bet your eyes are opened by doing so.

if you're recognized nationally at msf /state locations, you should have enough influence to make a change, and that would be awesome.
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