Practicing in parking lots...?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Panza, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. this is a RV

    this is a RV Been here awhile

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    #21
  2. danh600

    danh600 Been here awhile

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    I use a local park all the time. Generally there is never anyone there.

    A couple of times I have been and there were sheriff deputies parked in the shade doing their paper work.

    They have no problem with you practicing turns and even emergency braking.

    They take a dim view of stunting.

    Even had one ride by with his window down and tell me if more people would do that he would have less accidents to work.
    #22
  3. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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    This is a little off topic but once you get comfortable with parking lot exercises, this rider would suggest practicing stopping your motorcycle in as short a distance as possible at speed. Unless you have conections with the owner of a closed course of some type, this practice involves strange behavior on public roads and will result in a conversation if seen by a police officer. Lonely roads without cross streets or driveways are advised.

    Start out easy at normal speeds, say 30 mph, and brake fairly hard. Work up to harder stops as you become comfortable with the way your bike responds under heavy braking. Then gradually increase speeds and do the same until you are practicing at the highest speeds you normally travel. I do this every spring after not riding during the winter months.

    Parking lot exercises are great but the skills learned won't help much when when a deer jumps in front of you or a car runs a stop sign while you're on the highway.
    #23
  4. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    This.

    You aren't doing anything wrong, so the worst that can happen is you will be asked to leave (though I have never had that happen, even when I was taking my wife to the junior college to practice every weekend).

    She started out on the Honda XL600, then practiced on the Dorsoduro. It helped to change the throttle mode to "Rain", which I'm pretty sure the Shiver has too.

    I recommend against cones of any kind. If you hit one, it will likely cause you to drop the bike. My wife just used the tips of the parking stripes as imaginary cones. She practiced slow u-turns, slalom, starting/stopping on hills, etc.

    The cool part was that we had just bought helmet coms, so I could stand in the shade and give pointers (which I tried to avoid unless she asked or was getting frustrated).

    She dropped the bike a couple times, but they were so slow there was no damage to speak of.

    Its very smart of you to spend the time getting familiar with the bike like this.
    #24
  5. aldend123

    aldend123 Long timer

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    Alternative to cones: Chalk. Harmless, cheap, portable.
    #25
  6. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    you'll be surprised just how many times you can hear "no!" in five minutes of conversation with these guys when it comes to using their facilities for anything other than "our idea, your dime".
    #26
  7. 4TooMany

    4TooMany Been here awhile

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    Where are you in MI? At Washtenaw Community College they leave one of the two ranges coned off during the summer. You're free to use it anytime a class isn't going on.

    EDITED TO ADD: Sorry, I now see you're not the original poster. Never mind. I should read better. :deal
    #27
  8. Bucho

    Bucho Long timer

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    Pretty much what the above posters have said.

    Find a quiet parking lot and just do it. Act responsibly.
    Unless there are some wierd local ordinances, the worst they can do is ask you to leave.

    I'm a patrol cop. Its rare but I've seen people practicing their parking lot skills. I usually say "hi", thank them for practicing their skills, and give them pointers if they need them.
    #28
  9. tlux

    tlux Adventurer

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    I try to show up to work early and practice in the empty parking lot. I approach the parking spaces from different directions. Like doing u turns within the length of a space. Or figure eights between 3 or 4 spaces. I don't use any cones so there isn't anything to carry or pick up. And if anyone approaches, just go.
    #29
  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    your taking this as a personal attack, but it is not.

    try riding over to a MSF lot where you aren't known by face/name and asking to use the facilities. maybe I'm wrong, but I bet your eyes are opened by doing so.

    if you're recognized nationally at msf /state locations, you should have enough influence to make a change, and that would be awesome.
    #30
  11. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    i do the same thing after work. i leave later than most people, so the parking lot is usually nearly empty. i also use the parking space lines as boundaries.

    no one has ever approached me, but i wouldn't leave even if they did. i'm actually supposed to be there, so no issues. the building owner is a cool guy...don't think he would care. if he did, the extent of it would be "sorry to rain on your parade, but i'm worried about liability, so please stop doing that."
    #31
  12. daveinva

    daveinva Been here awhile

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    Two recommendations:

    1. IME the absolute best parking lots for practice are multiplex movie theater parking lots. They're big, the asphalt's usually in great shape, and unlike "big box" store lots or schools on the weekends, they remain empty throughout the morning with no interloping traffic.

    2. I endorse those flat cones for practice, you can ride over those all day long and it won't upset the bike in the least.
    #32
  13. Shooby

    Shooby Long timer

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