Sunday, 12 June 2011

Cornering - Smug :)

Having a few minutes to spare, I took a rare opportunity and wandered into the local WH Smith to browse the motorcycle magazines.  MCS&L . . . interesting, but not that interesting . . . Ah!  RiDE, a 'better riding' article.  Who's it by?  members of the Lincs. casualty reduction team, or similar organisation.

Content?  Hmmmm . . . some's based around the three-step cornering system of 'Look-Lean-Roll'.

This particular system is taught by the Thames Vale Advanced Motorcyclists group (IAM affiliated) during a one (or half?) day course.

It's been developed from principles used by the US Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and taught on their courses.  In the early to mid 1990s the US Air Force had several bases in the UK, and one USAF Master Sgt, Garth Leonard, managed to get about 80 UK civilians through the MSF's 'advanced' course, the Experienced RiderCourse.  That number included 25 members of TVAM.

When the USAF mostly moved out of the UK at the end of the Cold War, and access to the course was no longer available, TVAM picked up the gauntlet and developed their own machine control course concentrating on just the 'cornering control' aspect.

So, why the 'smug' title to this post?

Well, I initiated the link-up with the USAF, initially in 1992 attended both 'leaner' and 'advanced' courses as a trainee, then in 1994 qualified as an MSF instructor, bringing along TVAM members to come of the courses I taught.  It's interesting to see how far the 'system' has moved on - especially since the current RiDE article doesn't use the system as originally intended.

In a strange way this also goes through, if not a loop then a twist, in that several years ago RiDE organised a set of post-test instructors to put some RiDE readers through training.

Here's one of the trainees, putting the MSF system into practice during the RiDE training session with, particularly here the 'Look through the corner' head turn is very obvious:

And here's the group during the theory session, including instructors from other training organisations:

Far left is journalist Damon I'Anson.

Read more on Slow, Look/Lean/Roll - and how it can be improved and simplified as a cornering system, here:


1 comment:

The Naked Truth said...

Hello Malcolm,
It's good to see you still hammering away at the education process. I have not taught a rider course since leaving the UK in Dec 1995. I am still riding, but only sidecar rigs. I am no longer able to handle a solo bike. Although I still have my 1981 BMW R100RS in the garage, I can't ride it. My email address is:
Garth Leonard