The QAs has been worth it. The riders I interviewed all had some great things to say and I’ve learned a lot too. If you missed them you can view them all here and there are links below. There were common themes among some of them. It was a broad spectrum of motorcyclists. Track racers, adventure riders, a trauma surgeon, and a reckless street racer. I received the most amount of comments about the street racer, MaxWrist. He is an easy rider to dislike but my curiosity was too great. I wanted to know more. Expect more of these from me. I am planning to do more high profile names. Until then, enjoy this summary.
How long have you been riding and what kind of riding do you do?
A majority of my interviews have been riders that have 15-20+ years of experience. Most of them started riding the on the street and the moved to the track. Off road riding was a close second and it should be noted that the dirt skills really do transfer over well to the street. The track riders all started on the street or dirt, they never went straight to the track.
This doesn’t mean you cannot go right to the track. I trained a student in May 2015 and he is making podiums with the WMRC in 2017.
What is your favorite motorcycle?
The standout favorite is the BMW S1000RR. There were others but none of them came up consistently as the S1000RR. When it first came out in 2009 it was met with skepticism but it completely blew away the competition in price and performance. All the other brands had to step up their game immediately. California Superbikes School uses them in all their courses. Local racers will buy them as they require the least amount of work to get them race prepped. A stock S1000RR can even perform incredibly well at a sanctioned race. It is a truly amazing motorcycle.
What is one skill or technique that changes your riding?
The top three were counter steering, body positioning, and target fixation. These all may seem like basic skills but they are tough to master and require practice. Counter Steering is something you can use a little or a lot. California Superbike School makes students run through Counter Steering drills to ensure riders really understand it. We all counter steer our motorcycles so paying more attention to it can be a benefit to our riding. Body positioning is a never ending, evolving, and changing technique. It has changed with how motorcycles are built too. You can benefit from rider training on any motorcycle you ride. Especially when you change motorcycles. Target fixation seems to never go away. We naturally want to look at what is in front of us but it get so much better the further we look ahead. Racers credited looking further down the track as their biggest change that made their riding faster.
Biggest mistakes you’ve made
Target fixation is the largest source of errors for most of the riders in my interviews. It is something all riders have to be constantly aware of and constantly practice. We have a natural tendency to look at things and places we do not want to be. Look where you want to go no matter what. The other two big mistakes were motorcycle gear that did not fit right and not taking care of the motorcycle. Motorcycle gear that is baggy will shift in crashes and not protect the areas it was designed too. The same goes for taking care of your motorcycle, if you overlook it like the gear you are wearing, it will fail you.
The best $100 or less spent on motorcycling
Twist of the Wrist Volume 2 was the stand out purchase. You can give this motorcycling book, bible status as almost everyone who rides knows about it and read it. A throttle lock was mentioned a few times. These give your right hand a momentary break when riding by either locking the throttle in place or allowing your palm to keep the throttle open. Last, was motorcycle training. While this will exceed $100 it was the answer given by more than a few of my interviews.
What are mistakes other riders make?
Not getting a feel for the bike, hoping on and expecting too much from yourself and the motorcycle. As great as motorcycles are, you need to be trained to ride them. Target fixation a big frustration among these riders but they hate seeing it too. It is safe to say, Target fixation is enemy number one. We all know people like this, you might even be one of those people. The one not willing to take advice. Take a moment out of your day (or ride) and show humility. Sometimes what we already know has to be explained to us again in different words. It’s not you, it’s not the person, it is just how we humans can be wired.
Trainers that stand out.
Scott Borthwick, Jason Pridmore, Spero Benias, and Troy Burstyk. I hope to get new QAs with the first two.
What are you exercise and eating habits?
Stay hydrated, eat clean, and exercise were the common answers. There was no detailed diet or meal prep for race days, rides, or track days. I am working on a diet and will have a new article about it in September. Just need to test it once more. Spoiler… It involves pickle juice.
What books on motorcycling do you recommend?
Keith Code Twist of the Wrist 2 came up again in this one. Jupiter’s Travels by Ted Simon was the adventure crowd favorite.
Rides you look up to and admire? Internationally and Locally.
Valentino Rossi & Marc Marquez. Locally; Steve Crevier & Ken Lalonde.
What advice would you tell your younger self?
Start with a smaller and/or different motorcycle. Getting the right motorcycle is much like getting the right tool for the job. It is easy to get caught up in what you want versus what you need. A close second is putting more time and money into riding schools/training. Archilochos got it right but we have to live it to appreciate it. “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”
Best Quotes of the Interviews
“the biggest safety aspect, is knowing that the back brake is the key to not flipping backwards.” – Matt Bush on wheelies.
“I had to slow down a bit to go faster.” – Troy Burstyk on what changed his riding.
“When you’re racing you can’t sit in the pits and cry about it. You have to get back out there and race.” – Misti Hurst on getting over a crash.
“Always own a motorcycle, never let yourself go years without owning a motorcycle. Owning a motorcycle is more important than owning the money you would have spent.” – Jeremy Kroeker on missing out.
“Hammering the brakes can upset the bike and cause you to lose focus. You gotta be aware. Obviously there is a time a place for brakes but people rely on them too much.” – MaxWrist going against the popular opinion.
“I was told to imagine no hill and attack the corner as if it was flat. A light bulb went off and it all made sense.” – Kevin Miklossy on how we all should take downhill corners.
“To not know if your brakes function properly, to not care about your tire pressure is crazy.” – Jay Tait reminding you to TCLOCK your motorcycle.
“It is an acceptable amount of risk to ride motorcycles.” – Dr. David Kashmer, Trauma surgeon sees the worst and still rides.
“There is no substitute for seat time and experience.” – Dean Drolet reminding you to stop reading this and ride!
“There is always something to learn. I have ridden with some world class riders and I still have a lot to learn. Never be in a hurry to go fast.” – Spero Benias is always willing to learn, so should you.