Advanced Riding Course


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BIGBopper1956
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Advanced Riding Course

Post by BIGBopper1956 »



Am taking an Advanced Riders Course next week and am a little nervous. Started riding again in 2010 on a 99 Valkyrie and have ridden about 150,000+ miles since then. Live in southern CA and ride a lot in the mountains so am comfortable with curves (up and down) and also ridden with Run For The Wall 5 years across the country so feel comfortable on highways and traffic. Did 12,487 miles in 2016 with my new wife for our honeymoon (yes we are still together) and that covered every type of weather, roads, towns, and even NYC and did OK with that.

Guess its my self confidence with reaching for something new at 65 years old. Will be doing the class with my 94 GL1500 Aspencade and have a couple questions, 1) - how much difference do you see in rear shock adjustment when looking for better handling? and 2) - What are opinions on tire pressures with regards to handling?

I have ridden the Dark Side since 2010 and am comfortable with this setup, but for the class I had to go to the motorcycle tire. Did the change last week when I serviced the rear end and am getting some miles with it. Running Shinko front and rear, am 5'7" and weigh about 225.

Just looking for peoples opinion, and experiences. Thanks and wish me luck!


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Andy Cote
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Andy Cote »

I did the MSF Advanced Class last spring. My instructor was fine with Darkside.

I'm not a fan of Shinkos but I would run more toward the hard side and use max rear pressure.

Also, for the class, I would pump the rear shock up. I did not for mine and rubbed twice. I have dragged a few times before so I wasn't surprised but if you've never scraped before, don't panic.

Class was great. Worth the time and money.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by MikeB »

The Advanced Rider course is not a pass/fail coure. It is just an instructional, moderator lead informational course that allows you to test your riding skills and hone your abilities. It shows you what you can do with the machine you are riding. You do not pass or fail, you simply discover what your skills are and learn how to improve in areas that you are weak.

Put the recommended tire pressure in your tires and adjust the shock pressure as necessary. Do not exceeed the cold tire pressure indicated on the sidewall of the tire.

By the way, air pressure in the shock is set to prevent your bike from squatting too much. When the air pressure it correct, the frame should settle about one inch when you sit on the bike. At least that is what I read in the Wing World Magazine in an artice written by Stu Oltman.

Here is what that article coneyed:
Run the air up to max, 57 psi, get a friend to put a tape measure from the bottom of the saddlebag to the ground. Sit on the bike with the kickstands upStart letting the air out. When the bike starts to move down about one inch, mark that pressure number. That is a single rider setting. Then do it again with your co-rider if you have one. Then with all your travel stuff on the bike. Make up a little list with these numbers on it and you will know how much pressure to run.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by BIGBopper1956 »

Thank you for the input and opinions with regards to the course. They said I would receive a card of completion at the end of the course and I guess I assumed from that, it would be possible to fail.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Rednaxs60 »

Agree with MikeB, not a pass/fail course. Everyone on the course no matter what experience will take something away from it. Even the most hardened rider who has been riding for a long time will learn something. The card is an indication you took the course. Have done some 6 advanced courses, a track day with my '85 1200 Limited Edition and others, always learned something. A pet peeve, the course will not teach you how to lay your bike down if you get into a difficult situation, doesn't exist, but the course will/should teach you techniques that will help you avoid ever having to have this happen.

If you are concerned about the weight and handling of your 1500, don't be. One course I was on had a wrap up at the end. One fellow on a much lighter bike than my ex-1800 was ready to pack it in part way through the course. He mentioned that he started to look at the fellows on the 1800 Gold Wings, there were 5 of us, and he noticed that we were doing just fine. This gave him the resolve to finish the course, if we could do the course on 1800 Gold Wings, he could do the course on his smaller bike.

Good luck, enjoy the course, and remember - have fun. You also meet some great people.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by AZgl1800 »

I, for one, would not have changed the tire for the course.
that is the tire you ride with and are familiar with, and no one can "prove" it is unsafe.

I ride both types of tires, I use the one that works best for the situation.

but, I have an 1800 and 3 spare rear wheels.
I can change to a different wheel in less than 5 minutes. just lay it over, zip zip zip with the cordless impact gun and I'm gone.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by WingAdmin »

I've done the course a few times, once on my 1100, twice on my 1500. It does tend to spend more time on slow-speed riding than you might have experience with, so if you don't have a lot of recent experience riding and turning at slow speeds, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to brush up in a parking lot in protection.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Wingsconsin »

Rednaxs60 wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:48 pm Agree with MikeB, not a pass/fail course. Everyone on the course no matter what experience will take something away from it. Even the most hardened rider who has been riding for a long time will learn something. The card is an indication you took the course. Have done some 6 advanced courses, a track day with my '85 1200 Limited Edition and others, always learned something. A pet peeve, the course will not teach you how to lay your bike down if you get into a difficult situation, doesn't exist, but the course will/should teach you techniques that will help you avoid ever having to have this happen.

If you are concerned about the weight and handling of your 1500, don't be. One course I was on had a wrap up at the end. One fellow on a much lighter bike than my ex-1800 was ready to pack it in part way through the course. He mentioned that he started to look at the fellows on the 1800 Gold Wings, there were 5 of us, and he noticed that we were doing just fine. This gave him the resolve to finish the course, if we could do the course on 1800 Gold Wings, he could do the course on his smaller bike.

Good luck, enjoy the course, and remember - have fun. You also meet some great people.
:shock: --WHAT --- The "had to lay her down" discussion is really some failed logic in my opinion ---
IF you 'had to lay here down" you have lost control and crashed - perhaps at a spot of your choosing -- but a crash none-the-less -
Ride the bike is what they will teach you (at slow speeds) but your skills will get better to some degree . ;)
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by WingAdmin »

When you hear someone say, "I had to lay it down" you can basically translate that directly to "I lost control and crashed, but don't want to admit to it."

There is NO valid reason to ever "lay it down." In doing so, you give up ALL control. No more braking, no more directional control. If you've got an emergency, and even if a crash is inevitable, it is in your best interest to STAY ON THE BRAKES and scrub all possible speed before impact. Once you "lay it down" deceleration is minimal, and impact forces will be greater than if you continued to brake. The difference between even a 10 mph impact and a 20 mph impact can be DRASTIC on your body. Impact forces (i.e. deceleration) increase as a square of velocity. Making a crash survivable is dependent on you impacting at the slowest speed possible.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by lewiric »

You will enjoy it especially when you get to feel what a GL1500 will do. Trust me it will surprise you.

Don't be afraid to push your limits, this is the place to do it.

Also surprised the someone who has "done some 6 advanced classes" would still have "had to lay 'er down" in their vocabulary.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Rednaxs60 »

lewiric wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:30 am You will enjoy it especially when you get to feel what a GL1500 will do. Trust me it will surprise you.

Don't be afraid to push your limits, this is the place to do it.

Also surprised the someone who has "done some 6 advanced classes" would still have "had to lay 'er down" in their vocabulary.
Thanks for the comment. I mention the "lay it down" philosophy because I read about it on these forums. I do not subscribe to it. Just wanted to make a comment on the fact that it is not taught, or spoke of on a riding course.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by notbusdrvr »

I have done the advanced rider course on my 2003 1800 several times. I have done it on a MC tire, and once with an automotive tire. In my opinion it was easier with the MC tire, because slow speed turns were more predictable. My automotive tire likes to go straight! The biggest lesson learned was to stiffen up the shock. I forgot to do this one time and was touching down. Duh. Pumped it up and life was good. My son has done the same course with me on my 1200. He had no difficulties at all (but young age has its advantages!)

Take the course and enjoy it! It is a great confidence builder that helps you get back to basics. They dropped the advanced rider course in our state, and I miss the opportunity.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Solo So Long »

Rednaxs60 wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:48 pm A pet peeve, the course will not teach you how to lay your bike down if you get into a difficult situation
Likewise, when I teach someone how to handle firearms, I don't teach them the best way to shoot themselves in the leg if they get into a difficult situation.

Laying down a bike is a CRASH. Unless you are a movie stunt rider, there is no legitimate reason to do such a stupid thing.

Consider also that if you DO lay your bike down, it is dangerous for quite a distance. Do you want to put some little kid into a wheelchair for the rest of her life because she was halfway between where you bailed and where the thing finally stopped sliding? Go check the YouTube videos of wheelie fails, Mulholland Drive, etc. -- most of what you see are much lighter bikes, with a lot less inertia, and they make a trail of broken plastic that can be hundreds of feet long as they pachinko around the neighborhood. Your Wing has a lot more energy to bleed off. YOU are wearing a helmet, armor and boots -- that 7-year-old ahead of you is wearing a My Little Pony pullover, shorts and a pair of 88-cent foam-rubber zoris.

Just like a bullet you shoot, you are responsible for every inch your bike travels, and what happens as it does so.

If you ever see me on the ground and my bike still moving, it was despite my best efforts, not because I DECIDED to put other people at risk.
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Re: Advanced Riding Course

Post by Andy Cote »

So....

Hey BigBopper, how did you like the class? Enquiring minds want to know (and get back on topic). :D


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Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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