Dedicated to the women who RIDE THEIR OWN motorcycles  


by Tom Killeen- i2imca

How would you feel if I said that you could?

• safely control a front wheel skid.
• calmly induce and control a tank-slapper.
• confidently deal with a bend that unexpectedly tightens up.
• safely bring your bike to a halt in about half the distance you think you can.
• be significantly more confident in the wet or on slippery roads.
• cure panic-braking forever.
• confidently do low speed turns or circles in the road - even two-up.

How would you feel if I said that your bike is infinitely more stable that you realize but that you are actually making it less stable than it was ever meant to be.

So, how do you feel?
How you feel about each of these questions says something about the “stories” you have created or accepted in your riding, and about the freedom you are losing by allowing these stories to take control of your riding. Whether you felt cynical (where’s the catch?), skeptical (I don’t believe him!), interested (I like the sound of this!), relieved (hooray, there is an answer!), confused (what’s he saying?), angry (I don’t like this guy!), disinterested (why would I want to do these things?) or cocky (I don’t need this, I have ABS, traction control, heated grips, etc.) you can completely transform your riding and your enjoyment of biking by understanding and unlocking these “stories”.

So, what are stories?
“Stories” are accepted or intuitive beliefs about the way things are. They are “myths” about riding that just aren’t true. Importantly, “stories” create instinctive reactions, thoughts and behaviours in your riding that make you significantly less safe, confident and smooth than you should be.

For example, some common stories are: there is very little grip in the wet; heavy bikes are difficult to control at slow speeds; if the front or back end slides it happens suddenly and without warning. While these stories are not true, if you intuitively believe them to be true, your riding will be slow and tense in the rain; you will shy away from low speed manoeuvres; and you will wonder why others are able to ride so quickly and confidently while you live in fear of a front or back wheel slide. By the way, stop and think about how you reacted to the line “these stories are not true” – did you agree, disagree, decide to suspend belief or re-read the examples to look for “the catch”.

Some stories are given to us when we start biking. Others we develop for ourselves over the years. Some are based on the way you understood things to be when you rode in the 1980s or 90s (it’s dangerous to ride over white lines or metal grates in the wet; if you use the front brake while cornering you’ll lose the front end). Some are based on your understanding of generally accepted beliefs (tank-slappers are dangerous; counter-steering only happens above 15mph). While others are simply a mis-interpretation of something that happened to you when something didn’t go according to plan (because I lost the front end, I crashed; the back end stepped out and I was nearly off). Most often these self-reinforcing “stories” generate fear and over-cautious riding when things start to get “difficult”. Often they cause you to develop “survival reactions” that can make you a hazard waiting to happen. In all cases they suppress your riding, reduce the fun and freedom of biking and make you less safe that you should be.

You can transform your riding
The good news is that it is possible to understand the stories you have created or accepted, dispel the myths and release the vice-like grip they have on your riding. The result is a complete transformation in your riding – where the fears you have created simply disappear. More of the fun and freedom returns to biking and you become a significantly safer and smoother rider.

Over the past few years we have been pioneering a new approach to motorcycle training by combining rigorous psychological principles, rapid learning techniques and new research into riding principles. The result is a series of four one-day Machine Control training courses designed to help transform your riding (see attached for a brief outline of each course).

If you’re interested in hearing more, give me a call or email and we can always go and present to your group.

Tel: 07968 837974 and e-mail: (web-site:

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Thank you to Tom for submitting these tips. More about Tom: "As a Motorcycle instructor, Advanced road, off road, and supermoto instructor I have been working with Motorcycles for 6 years. In the past five years we have made some interesting steps towards a new style of training which works more on the mind of the rider than skills they use. We have found amazing results by using these techniques on participants and are making big differences to hundreds of riders each year. This could be the future direction of 2 wheel training!check us out @"

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