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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I attended a motorcycle safety assessment course here in Richmond today. It lasted from 9 to 2 and was administered by the VSP, at no cost. 30 people registered, and only about 17 showed. More Harleys than anything else, but we had a couple Gold Wings, me, a Triumph Bonnie, a Honda CB 500X, a Suzuki Boulevard, and a BMW or two. It was held at Steel Horse Harley Davidson. Nice of them to let us use their parking lot for this. We had three women in the class, one of whom was quite attractive and wearing a pretty revealling top under her riding jacket. :p

One lady on a Harley dropped her bike just standing around, almost immediately after they had shown us technique for righting a downed bike. We had one guy from Northern Virginia on a gorgeous Gold Wing who really impressed me. His bike was immaculate and well accessorized, and he had Army emblems all over it. Apparently he was a Green Beret and a Command Sergeant Major, so he was quite a soldier. And he teaches motorcycle safety in Northern Virginia, so I'm not sure what reason he had to ride 100 miles to do this. He was with another GW rider/veteran from the same area. And as you'll see below, he's a member of the Iron Butt Association. This is not a guy I'd mess with.

We were taught proper braking techniques for various situations, how to negotiate grates and curves and milled pavement, where to ride in the road track, fatality and accident statistics, and all kinds of interesting things. They showed us how to walk a bike on both the left and the right side. And I had to laugh - the instructor said "At some point, every one of you will have to walk your bikes - ESPECIALLY if you ride a Harley." Here we were with a class half full of HD riders at a HD dealership! Unreal. But I laughed my ass off. Apparently I was the only one who found it funny. Hey - I'm a Honda guy! There was a set of skills tests involving figure 8's, serpentine, braking, and a general test involving both serpentine and figure 8. It's harder than it looks if you use their mandated techniques. There was no shade to be had anywhere, and it was 82 degrees here today, so I was ROASTING in my gear, and am actually SUNBURNED on my face, neck and scalp - on April 23! And if you can believe it, this was my first EVER time of setting foot in a Harley dealership. I found them very friendly and down to earth. And a bit clingy. I have to admit that is one damn fine looking Fat Boy. So I broke my Harley cherry today as well.

The VSP offered a VIN etching service, where, if you supply them with your name and address, make and model and VIN, they'll send you a set of stickers you can apply to various places on your bike, and somehow it chemically etches the VIN into the metal in case your bike gets stolen and chopped, making it easier to track down. I don't know if I'll actually use them, but I did give them my info. And, when they gave us our packets, I got another sticker that says not to remove my helmet in the event I am injured until trained EMS personnel arrive, which I had on the back of my helmet until I got the Brake Free device and had to take it off. So now I have that again. I'd say it was a valuable investment today since it was a free class! But after getting my energy sapped in the sunlight and heat, getting sunburned, and smelling motorcycle exhaust all day, I'm pretty beat.

I'm very glad I attended, as even after 50 years of riding, there is MUCH to learn (you'd be VERY surprised!), and some bad habits to be unlearned that I didn't even know were bad! I highly recommend taking a course if it's offered near you. Our instructor was a VSP motorcycle cop and was a hardass with no patience and more than a few cuss words, and he'd YELL at you if you did ANYTHING wrong, which almost all of us did. By the way, he was concerned about the Gold Wing riders and wanted to know if theirs were DCT's, which they weren't, and was glad to hear that. So it left me wondering if there's a loss of control as a result in some scenarios of having a DCT. Here are a few photos from the day.

Richmonder

Motor vehicle Helmet Automotive lighting Motorcycle helmet Automotive tire


Tire Wheel Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive fuel system


Fuel tank Motorcycle Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting


Tire Wheel Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive tire


Wheel Tire Trousers Vehicle Sky


Tire Land vehicle Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank


Wheel Tire Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle


Tire Sky Wheel Vehicle Plant


Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Plant


Car Automotive tail & brake light Land vehicle Vehicle Vehicle registration plate
 
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No clutch “friction zone” with the DCT so there would be a new learning curve. I have no personal experience but I’m sure it requires a delicate touch on the throttle and riding the rear brake.

My nephew retired as a sergeant major with the US Army 5th Special Forces Group. I’m glad he got out alive.

Thanks for posting
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great post Richmonder. Geez if you were hot that Wing Dinger must have been cooked in his snowmobile suit. Did your Valkyrie draw interest from the group?
I noticed a few guys looking at it before class, and I got asked about it. One of the "Wing Dingers" (never heard that term before!) mistook it for an F6B! But with all the different bikes there and that fully decked out Wing, mine was much less noticeable. And, I'm ashamed to say, FILTHY, despite having wiped it from top to bottom before I left for class. The pollen in RIchmond right now is atrocious (we're #3 in the nation), and as soon as you was your vehicle, it starts accumulating again. Even with a cover on, the slightest breeze blows it under and up inside. I haven't washed my cars in weeks - it's pointless. They're almost green! Today, after being out in it all day yesterday, my eyes are pushing out chunks of crud hourly that accumulated just by being outside. If you go out at night with a flashlight, it looks like someone blew up a bag of flour, and under my security cams, it looks like snow!

Richmonder
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No clutch “friction zone” with the DCT so there would be a new learning curve. I have no personal experience but I’m sure it requires a delicate touch on the throttle and riding the rear brake.

My nephew retired as a sergeant major with the US Army 5th Group Special Forces. I’m glad he got out alive.

Thanks for posting
Farther, the VSP referred to the friction zone as the engagement zone, and wanted us to remain in that zone the entire time we were doing the skill assessments around the cones.

I have ultimate respect for our armed forces, especially the elite fighters at the top of their game. By the way - did you see Dan Lockhart's latest video wearing your black leather jacket? You got a mention!

Richmonder
 

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I noticed a few guys looking at it before class, and I got asked about it. One of the "Wing Dingers" (never heard that term before!) mistook it for an F6B! But with all the different bikes there and that fully decked out Wing, mine was much less noticeable. And, I'm ashamed to say, FILTHY, despite having wiped it from top to bottom before I left for class. The pollen in RIchmond right now is atrocious (we're #3 in the nation), and as soon as you was your vehicle, it starts accumulating again. Even with a cover on, the slightest breeze blows it under and up inside. I haven't washed my cars in weeks - it's pointless. They're almost green! Today, after being out in it all day yesterday, my eyes are pushing out chunks of crud hourly that accumulated just by being outside. If you go out at night with a flashlight, it looks like someone blew up a bag of flour, and under my security cams, it looks like snow!

Richmonder
I think it stems from an annual National group meeting, gathering of Goldwing Riders? It's common term at the motorcycle riders rest stop where we ride, when the Goldwing riders pull in they are referred to as Wingding's. I don't think it's a bad thing, just a thing.
 

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Good post. I found the DCT comment interesting, but kind of got the impression that the instructor was implying something other than the walk-along feature. I have zero experience with it or Goldwings in general. Is there an obvious thing he might have been referring to that I would miss, not knowing how that tranny works myself, other than what I've read? Just curious why he singled that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The instructor CONSTANTLY yelled at us during serpentine and figure 8 testing to stay in the clutch engagement zone. He did not like to see you braking/accelerating/clutching on every turn and wanted you to maintain a more constant momentum and speed. I suspect he was concerned that the DCT removed some of the control required to do what he wanted us to do. Really makes me wonder if I'd like the DCT. I'm so used to manual shifting and I fear I'd forget how on any other bike, and maybe not have full control when I need it at slower speed. I had a Honda 50 as a kid with no clutch, and I don't remember any issues with it in that regard, but then that was only about a 120 pound machine!:cool:

Richmonder
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
HAH! Those guys were some LOUSY shots! Multiple shooters with high powered rifles and scopes, and they couldn't hit either of those two. What was that from? I initially thought it was a Columbo episode until he uttered a swear word. I was a huge Columbo fan in my youth. What a great actor. I loved that old Peugeot he drove. It is sitting in a junk yard to this day, rotting away, and no one will come forward to buy and restore it.

Richmonder
 

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I could be slightly prejudiced but I think your Valkyrie was the best looking bike there. The Harley was pretty cool looking too. I'll show my ignorance about it. I tried to figure our which model it was. Street Bob, FXDR.... don't know. Also water cooled? Man, I'm really out of touch with HD. But that bike was nice. Probably not so nice on the wallet though too. Could be a fun ride, depending on the needs of the rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I could be slightly prejudiced but I think your Valkyrie was the best looking bike there. The Harley was pretty cool looking too. I'll show my ignorance about it. I tried to figure our which model it was. Street Bob, FXDR.... don't know. Also water cooled? Man, I'm really out of touch with HD. But that bike was nice. Probably not so nice on the wallet though too. Could be a fun ride, depending on the needs of the rider.
Thanks Dan! I kind of have my own similar prejudice. But that black Gold Wing was MIGHTY handsome. It was absolutely spotless and perfectly adorned with Army emblems highlighting his service achievements, and perfectly maintained. Its owner is a motorcycle training instructor up in Northern Virginia, although he also has a home in Florida, hence his Florida plate (costs a LOT less to register there than in Virginia, a subject I coincidentally just wrote to Richmond city council about just this morning, since valuations on alll vehicles are skyrocketing for the first time in my life and the city's revenues are going to skyrocket similarly, while citizens' tax burdens increase on both their homes and their vehicles since they didn't reduce the tax rate on real estate either, the greedy bastards).

That Harley was a Fat Boy. I know almost NOTHING about Harleys, and never understood that multi-letter nomenclature they use to label their bikes. How the hell does anyone know an FXLR from an FXDR? I always call the Fat Boy the "Falstaff" like the beer, since it's a FLSTF. That means almost nothing to anyone outside the Harley world. It certainly means nothing to me. But you aroused some curiosity in me, and I found this:


Not that I will ever remember it, since it's irrelevant to me.

Richmonder
 

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Thanks Dan! I kind of have my own similar prejudice. But that black Gold Wing was MIGHTY handsome. It was absolutely spotless and perfectly adorned with Army emblems highlighting his service achievements, and perfectly maintained. Its owner is a motorcycle training instructor up in Northern Virginia, although he also has a home in Florida, hence his Florida plate (costs a LOT less to register there than in Virginia, a subject I coincidentally just wrote to Richmond city council about just this morning, since valuations on alll vehicles are skyrocketing for the first time in my life and the city's revenues are going to skyrocket similarly, while citizens' tax burdens increase on both their homes and their vehicles since they didn't reduce the tax rate on real estate either, the greedy bastards).

That Harley was a Fat Boy. I know almost NOTHING about Harleys, and never understood that multi-letter nomenclature they use to label their bikes. How the hell does anyone know an FXLR from an FXDR? I always call the Fat Boy the "Falstaff" like the beer, since it's a FLSTF. That means almost nothing to anyone outside the Harley world. It certainly means nothing to me. But you aroused some curiosity in me, and I found this:


Not that I will ever remember it, since it's irrelevant to me.

Richmonder
Cool, I rented and rode a Fat Boy around Oahu once. That was a fun ride. Every bike has it's place. The motor on the one looks impressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i second Dan's opinion - amongst all those bikes - even the wings - your valk stands out majestic! Thanks for the share , very well written ! did you exchange numbers with that chick ? lol
Thanks ashram! That chick was attractive, but she was half my age. And foreign. I spoke with her briefly, but it was hard to communicate. I was just happy to have some eye candy during class!

Richmonder
 
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