Tuesday, June 17, 2014

When Training is Part of the Ride...

I wish I could ride that good!
-Overheard at the 2013 OCTOA Police Motorcycle Rodeo.

Words, photos and video ©2014 Jim Foreman

In SoCal, we are truly blessed with perfect 365 weather.  Because of that we also have some of the best motorcycle training found anywhere in the world.

If you're looking for race school, one can not do better than California Superbike School and Jason Pridmore's Star School.

For off-road riding, RawHyde Adventures is the most excellent training one can receive.

If one is looking for advanced street riding and real-world, highway speed cornering skills, Walt Fulton's Streetmasters is the best in the business.

Let's say, you're pretty safe on the streets but want to learn how to control your bike in slow speed situations with precision and confidence.  SoCal has the finest and best course to teach you how to fully control your bike.

Police Riding Technique Academy was developed by Bert 'Q' Quechenberger and Sonny Singhanate.  They took the premier training they offered officers of the Los Angeles Police Department and developed a program for current police officers wanting to join motor enforcement and civilians, alike.

Bert was directly responsible for training over 8000 officers throughout California and the world.  Sonny is a 17 year motor veteran and currently an active duty lead instructor.

There are many reasons why a non-officer would want and need to take this class.  Among them is the need to build confidence and experience in ones riding skill.  Another reason is to learn to effectively manage a bike in emergency situations.  Lastly, everything one learns and masters at slow speeds directly transfers to higher speed applications.

A Day of Training
You've decided you wish to dramatically improve your riding skills and have signed up for the course.  Here's how the day progresses.  In the morning, coffee and baked goods greet students while an introduction and review of the day's program is outlined. 

Most of the course is spent on your bike so the team gets you riding as quickly as possible.  The first ride is a Follow-the-Leader setup.  Sonny leads the group single-file.  Bert will follow and gauge each attendee's skills and cater some of the instruction to each rider.

Immediately after, the first course is placed before each rider and mastered.  From there, every new challenge builds upon what has been previously mastered.

The beauty of this course is that results are immediate.  Riding techniques one previously believed was impossible becomes mastered and able to be repeated all-day.

Lunch is provided and breaks happen regularly so that in all the intensity, one has a chance to process the skills and let everything sink in. 

Because the day starts at 7am, lunch happens late in the seven hour course.  After lunch, the final 'Police Rodeo' course is set up.  This will be the final evaluation.  Each attendee is given multiple times to run the entire course and fine tune some skills before the course final.  Because of this, a friendly challenge with scoring for time and errors will bring about a 'Winner' who receives a valuable prize.

The training is applicable to all bikes.  Owners of big cruisers, supersport, touring, dual-sport, standard and sport bikes all benefit from the knowledge passed along.

The instruction is serious and spot-on.  The skills gained will definitively lead to safer, better and more skilled riding.

A bonus offered by PRTA for returning riders is a 50% discount on repeats of the class to freshen up one's skills in the future.

PRTA class information can be found on their website http://laprta.com.

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Sonny giving instruction on a trainer.

Bert offering insight to master a technique,

Bert addressing the riders.

Explaining the technique.

Running an excercise.

Motorbike Slalom.

Big head turns, slip clutch and drag rear brake.

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