We have all heard that old saying “Practice makes perfect”. The thing that you don’t hear is that if you practice doing something wrong then you’ll continue to get better at doing it the wrong way. Transfer this into riding. If you’ve never learned the proper riding skills then you will continue to ride in a less than safe manner. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to take a riding skills class. I promise that you will learn something no matter how many years you’ve been riding.
The HOG Chapter that I’m a member off is fortunate enough to have a skills course laid out at the dealership. Throughout most of the year folks gather there on a regular basis to practice our riding skills. We are also very lucky to have some MSF instructors in the Chapter. These people volunteer their time to come out and help everyone improve their skills.
Another way you can improve your riding technique is to purchase instructional videos such as the ones produced by the Motorman. Irregardless of the teaching aids you use, the main thing is to learn proper techniques and to practice them often. When the time comes for you to need these skills on the road you want it to be automatic. Trust me you will need these skills.
You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to learn and practice riding skills. You can use any vacant parking lot or even a cul-de-sac. Tennis balls work great for inexpensive markers. Basically you want to practice using your friction zone, braking and throttle control. Once you get more comfortable with these techniques you will be amazed at what your bike is capable of doing. Remember practice practice practice.