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....for all the posts about riding safely. I am pretty new at riding and read through the posts about seating position, smoothness, panic etc. They really helped me make last weekend's trip from central MN to Jamestown ND (450 miles round trip) a successful and safe one. I hope more people read this section.

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This board has helped me become a better rider as well. Lessons learned and correct practice. And remember, when all else fails, look where you want to go.


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The biggest problem with motorcycling is thinking that you can ride when in reality, you can but are you doing it correctly/safely? I try every year to take a safety course just because of this mentality. In other words, we all develop patterns in our lives whether with raising kids, driving, riding, playing a sport, etc. Those patterns can start to erode and become dangerous or less effective. That is why musicians practice techniques all the time. With better technique comes better performance. I try to read this area often cause it seems to always clue me into another area where my pattern has become shoddy.

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In addition to practice, there are exponential learning benefits by riding a long way with a more experienced rider. Here's a mishmash of things I was taught and/or observed by doing just that.


  • How they naturally ride in/near the tire track when droning along the highway - less chance of debris there.
  • How they keep an eye on the front tire of an 18-wheeler when passing them.
  • How they keep their head up and eyes down the road, particularly in the twisties. How they watch the vanishing point of where the road meets the horizon and use the movement to know the road, and then vanish from you.
  • How they carve a beautiful line, and brake much less and a lot later than you do.
  • How they are always in gear at stops.
  • How never to rush home in the final hour of a long trip when you can't wait to get off the damn bike.
  • How to develop routines so you don't forget nuthin'.
  • How never to pass a vehicle on a long country road if there is even the tiniest intersecting road up ahead on the left.
  • How not to watch the rider in front of you while riding in a group.
  • How they hate riding in groups.
  • How never to park nose down at a lunch stop.
  • How to park toward the entrance end of a parking space so drivers can see your damn bike sitting there.
  • How they always take their helmet off before walking into the store for a drink, even if it's just to quickly pay for gas.
  • How they set up their bike to be walking toward the hotel with everything needed for the night while you are still putting your kickstand down and futzing with your crap - and you parked first.
  • How what is in front of them seems much more interesting than what is behind them.


I'm still learning, and hope to always be working on this list...

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John Ranalletta

Thanks, Jake.


Spent the w/e riding in WVa. Can't count how many times I recalled lessons from RideSmart during the ride, e.g. elbows down, bite the mirror, on balls of feet, etc.


Frankly, RS has had more impact on my riding than a weekend at CA Superbike school which was excellent in its own right.


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