Well, I took the Sportster out to the local mall parking lot to see how well figure eights would go. I did several and easily got the turn radius inside of 24 feet - the standard width of a two lane road. With renewed confidence I started trying to shorten the turning radius and nearly dropped the bike. Good thing I was going slow. I got the turning radius down to less than the width of two parking spaces. I don't know how wide that is, but it is challenging. I see a smaller bike in my future if I'm going to persue this part of motorcycling. In the meantime, how much do crash bars cost - that's a rhetorical question.
The business of pointing your chin towards where you want to go seems to work. It turns out that I've been doing it ever since I graduated from bicycles to motorcycles. I think the reason that whole balance thing happens is because the attitude (position of the head relative to the horizon) of the head enables one the see the horizon or some reference to it. When one looks down at the ground and then drops the bike where he was looking is because there is no reference to maintain balance until it's too late. It's the same way when one flys airplanes visually, as opposed to instrument flying. Another place that would cause one to have problems is trying to do figure eights across a slope. Falling would be for the same reasons. The horizon reference would be screwy, and screw up your balance and down you go. Of course, with practice, that whole thing could be overcome, just like walking with head down so you can look at your feet and not fall over. So, if you want to show off, learn how to do figure eights across a slope and then watch eveyone else fall. (grin) Again, that was a rhetorical comment. I'm not trying to encourage folks to be jerks. (grin)
Banking the bike and keeping the body upright seems to work too.
Trying to leave the clutch engaged while maintaing speed with the rear brake didn't work for me. The Harley doesn't like to go slow. Get a little bit below ten MPH and the bike bucks in protest - not good. It's a little too hard on the bike for me.
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius is limited.