Since joining the Rider staff in 2008, I’ve attended riding schools on racetracks, on the street and off-road. Every school has taught me valuable lessons on how to ride more safely and proficiently. A few simple techniques that I learned early on, when I reviewed Jerry “Motorman” Palladino’s Ride Like A Pro V DVD (Rider, August 2008) and attended one of his franchised courses (July 2009), have really stuck with me. On every photo shoot, when I must complete dozens of tight, quick U-turns, I repeat a mantra in my head: “Head and eyes, friction zone, rear brake.”
Those are the three fundamental motor officer techniques that make it easy to control any motorcycle at low speeds. Motorman’s latest DVD, The New Ride Like A Pro ($29.95), is an updated version of his core instructional video. He describes each technique in detail—pointing your head and eyes where you want to go; keeping the clutch in the friction zone; and applying light pressure on the rear brake for stability—while he and his team demonstrate a series of parking lot exercises. The DVD is packed with helpful tips and strategies, and it includes a printed exercise guide for practice sessions. Believe me, you won’t learn this stuff on your couch; the exercises are designed to help you master the techniques properly in a controlled environment.
Two other DVDs, Ride Like A Pro On The Dragon and Surviving The Mean Streets 2 ($19.95 each), go beyond the parking lot and teach additional skills for real-world street riding, like throttle control, countersteering, line selection and threshold braking. Crash footage provides a grim reminder of how limited skills and bad habits like target fixation can have dire consequences. Mean Streets also covers group riding, two-up riding and riding on Interstates, in city traffic, in rain and on gravel/sandy roads.
The DVDs are well produced, engaging and full of useful information. On The Dragon is the weakest of the three, partly due to the gratuitous crash photos and distracting heavy-metal soundtrack. If you want to dig deeper into the techniques and exercises, Ride Like A Pro: The Book ($24.95) serves as a good reference manual. Or sign up for a Ride Like A Pro training course at locations around the country. Trust me, you’ll get your money’s worth.
For more information: Call (866) 868-7433 or visit ridelikeapro.com
(This Gear Lab review was published in the July 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)