A twist of the wrist - GL1800Riders
  • 3 Post By HarveyMushman
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
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A twist of the wrist

Hope it's OK for a newcomer to start a thread.

I just found the movie A Twist of the Wrist on youtube, and hoping it's not a copyright violation for it to be there.

Great movie. Very low budget, but uncommonly accurate advice.

Early on the narrator talks about his "no BS" (no body steering) bike to demonstrate the power of countersteering. It's a bike with a second set of handlebars that are frame mounted. You can honk on them all you want without turning the forks, and that demonstrates the futility of body steering, or steering by leaning your body as a primary control input.

There's a way to simulate that on a Gold Wing, if you feel comfortable taking your hands off the bars. Bad things will come your way should a love-struck wild boar strike a coquettish pose in your lane while you have your hands off the bars, but it's illuminating.

Set the cruise control and grab the fairing edges just beneath the handlebar ends, as if you were grabbing a set of clip-on bars. The bike will drift right from engine torque, so make every effort to initiate a left turn. You'll get nowhere and will discover how quickly you can move your hands back to the handgrips where they belong.

While watching the segment about Keith Code's No BS Bike I admit I was thinking that as great a tool as countersteering is, it's just one input. Riding is a whole body experience. About an hour into the movie the notion of shifting your body to the inside is a way to tighten up a turn trending too wide. Even though leaning on my Wing does little to initiate a turn, once my upper body is displaced into a turn by the bike's lean, offsetting my weight a little farther allows increased steering effort and the turn is tightened.

Anyway, fascinating movie. Not as fascinating as the syncopated physics of a motorbike at work on a twisty road, but it's a fun thing to see.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 10:50 PM
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Have ridden my wing 50 miles without touching the handlebars. Could have gone farther but got boxed in by traffic.

Thanks for the info ,Will be looking into getting the movie.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 12:23 AM
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Or.....if you want to "live" that movie, check The California Superbike School, Keith Code's motorcycle riding school. See if they are coming near you and sign up. You can find the schedule on their website.

They have one-day classes and a two-day camps. I did a one-day classes program and it was great! Best investment in my riding skill set. The day consist of 5 excersizes. You spend 20 min in the classroom, 20 min on the track practicing what you've just learned at the class, and 20 min consultation with your coach plus break. The whole experience was priceless...to the point I'm thinking of taking a refreshing course soon. You'll find more info on their website or by calling them. Great customer service, great staff at the class, lifelong knowledge. Highly recommended, imo.

If you need more info about the class, shoot me a PM.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 10:52 AM
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Thanks! First off all welcome to the board and that was a great post. I am recovering from cervical spine surgery and am laid up for quite awhile and always looking for good movies to watch to get me thru this. That will be the first one I watch. I can't wait to get back on the bike but it will most likely be fall before I can. I enjoy coming on here as it keeps me pumped up following what everyone else is doing.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 12:19 PM
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A Twist of the Wrist is one of two books and video from the Keith Code California Super Bike School.

I have done levels 1 through 3 of the School and was invited to apply to become one of their east coast instructors after doing levels 3.

I've ridden their Lean Machine and their "No BS (Body Steer)" bike. The "No BS", you soon realize that pushing on the pegs or leaning one side of the other has almost no impact or help in making the bike lean and turn and that's on a 450lb bike at around 35mph.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 05:30 PM
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I was going to comment something about these being goldwings and old people riding them, and that this would be lost on us. But in reality, we are an experienced bunch on two wheels, and would be more than open to learning or relearning basic riding skills, to save ourselves from the roads evel's. I know I'd like to take that bike course sometime if came near me. Sounds like a lot of fun.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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The California Superbike School is now on my bucket list. From the video, I'm convinced Keith Code's ideas are based in demonstrated fact and philosophical consistency.

Where I found myself disagreeing with ideas in the movie it was because of the street and track application. For instance, weighting the pegs on a heavy caliber superbike is a poor way to man the helm. On a 250 pound dirt bike it's a different deal. You can dominate the bike, standing on the pegs and shifting your weight to one or the other, but Code isn't teaching dirt technique on 250 pound bikes.

He talks about the faults of "crossed up" cornering, where the rider's body remains vertical. At parking lot speeds counterweighting, with the body remaining vertical, is of great help. Also, back on that 250 dirt bike I pine for, weight on the outside peg stabilizes the bike. It's safer and more effective to lean the bike under you and nobody drags their knees or hangs off to the inside on a supercross track. But he's not teaching parking lot maneuvers or dirt strategy.

I'd also point out a flaw in body-vertical turning I've never heard mentioned. I got back into street riding after a hiatus with a Sportster in need of serious nurturing. That was back in, lemme see, 1988 or so. The bike wasn't that old (an '84) but I'm convinced it started life as a factory lemon and suffered further abuse from an owner without a clue. It needed much laying on of hands.

My last experiences had been on dirt, and I found the Sportster really loose, to use a polite term, in corners. Then I discovered if I leaned with the bike it latched up.

Camber thrust is the turning force from leaning a crowned tire, and I believe that by artificially increasing the lean I was turning on too much camber thrust for the radius of the turn. The tire had to squirm instead of just roll.

Or I could be yet another idiot with a crazy opinion, that wouldn't surprise me, but I am pretty sure the techniques in Keith Code's film are spot-on and based on disciplined thinking.

And those techniques will save your butt. I can't wait to get into one of those courses. Fun stuff.
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