Blog Archives

How to Not Suck at Braking

This is the first installment of the “How Not to Suck” Series. I wanted to start the series with braking, because people seem to really suck at this important skill. The Scenario: You are riding along “minding your own business”

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , ,

10 Reasons Why Street Riders Should Ride in the Dirt

You’ve probably heard people say that dirt riding can help improve a road rider’s skill, but can it really make you a safer and more competent street rider? The answer is yes. 1. Improved Traction Sense Managing traction is one

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Dual-Sport Motorcycling, Motorcycle Safety, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Ground Clearance & Grip

I just received another letter from a Motorcycle Consumer News reader, this time about a situation he encountered when riding on a twisty back road in Cali on his Street Glide. Here’s his story, followed by my response. “Ken, your

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The “No Countersteering” Myth

A MCN reader recently wrote telling about his enthusiasm for Reg Pridmore’s “body steering” method of initiating lean for cornering. What follows is my response. “I have 44 years experience riding and currently ride six days a week commuting and

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Harley Goes Electric! Will it Fly?

Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival back in 1964 and his diehard fans nearly fell out of their Birkenstocks. Well, history is repeating itself with the release of the Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle. We haven’t heard too

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Reviews, Motorcycle Safety Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

What you need to know about Throttle Blipping

What is Throttle Blipping? To execute smooth downshifts it is important to match the engine speed with the road speed. You can do this by slowly easing out the clutch (after you apply the brakes, please). But sometimes a rapid

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Countersteering Will Save Your Life!

It’s hard to imagine that so many so called “experienced” riders either fail to understand the importance of countersteering or fail to recognize that countersteering is how motorcycle really turns. Let’s Get This Straight A motorcycle turns by leaning. Once

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Top 5 Ways That Motorcycle Riders Screw Up

1.Thinking You Are Better Than You Are Overconfidence and an inaccurate, overinflated self-image is responsible for a lot of motorcycle crashes. This is certainly true with young men (the majority of crashes in MA involve young sportbike riders). But, you

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education Tagged with: , , , , , ,

“Riding in the Zone” Personal Training

The Riding in the Zone Motorcyclist Training Program is kicking off it’s third season with the support of the American Motorcyclist Association and the Massachusetts Rider Education Program (MREP). I’m excited to see the RITZ street riding program grow. Students

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education, Riding Technique & Tips, Women and Motorcycling Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Guest Writer: Track Day Rain Riding

Adam Butler is the first ever RITZ guest blog contributor. Adam is an expert level roadracer with the Loudon Roadracing Series and is one of my co-instructors for Tony’s Track Days. You can read Adam’s biography here Let’s see what Adam

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Guest Writers, Riding Technique & Tips, Track Days, Track Days & Racing Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Traction Seminar: Motorcycle Tires

Ken and Tony from www.tonystrackdays.com speak about tires at the Traction Management Seminar at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. More video of the seminar to come. Thanks Eric R. for filming. Share your thoughts about tires and ask any questions

Posted in Motorcycle Maintenance, Motorcycle Safety, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Valuing Motorcycling Skill Development

As a motorcycle skills and safety professional, I am often frustrated and even saddened by the seemingly complacent attitude toward real skill development. It pains me to see riders who ignore the importance and benefit of learning to ride their

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education Tagged with: , , , , , ,

How to Preserve Traction by Managing Load

Last weekend I conducted a seminar at the Thompson Speedway (in CT) and I thought I’d share a particular concept that came up during the presentation… the concept of “load management”. When I first verbalized the term, I thought it

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How to Develop a Traction Sense

I’ve been thinking a lot about traction lately, partly because it is kinda scarce around my house with ice covering my driveway and walkways, making every step a leap of faith. The other reason I’ve been thinking about traction is

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Is it Spring Yet? Get Ready!

Damn you, Polar Vortex! Nobody can deny that this winter has been a doozy! Even as March has arrived, it’s well below freezing and the snow cover is still measured in feet where I live. Thankfully, the sun is noticeably

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Maintenance, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Proficiency Pledge

I included this pledge in the post about Tommy Aquino, but thought it was worth making it a standalone post. Earlier this past year, I included a pledge in one of my MCN columns to encourage readers to think about

Posted in Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education Tagged with: , , , , , ,

How to Survive Hairpin Turns

The biggest problem riders have when dealing with hairpin turns is their anxiety about being able to make the turn. It’s a good idea to practice tight turns in a parking lot before you encounter challenging hairpin turns. Read more

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

10 Ways to “Look” Like a Pro

No doubt that being able to quickly and precisely flick a motorcycle into a corner can make you a cornering hero. However, the physical act of cornering is only one aspect of cornering mastery. Safe and skillful cornering also requires

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

How to Save a Front Tire Slide

Is it possible to not crash when you experience a front tire slide? Maybe. Both of my recent track crashes were the result of a sliding front tire (both were caused by me asking too much of a cold front

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Safety, Riding Technique & Tips, Track Days, Track Days & Racing Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

5 Bad Habits You Must Fix, NOW!

No matter how “good” a rider you are, it’s likely that you have at least a few bad habits and attitudes. Poor habits and dangerous perceptions can develop over time without us even knowing it. That is, until we experience

Posted in All Things Motorcycle, Motorcycle Musings, Motorcycle Safety, Rider Education, Riding Technique & Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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