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Hello friends and other ducatisti ,after much time and persistence with my now NONE snatchy ICON ,I took a trip to France and Germany ,organised by tour operators `Mountain Seekers `.
We went via the `Chunnel` ,hotelled in ST Quinton ( FRANCE) ,Metz ,Bad Rippalldsau( Germany ,3 nights ) and return .
We took in the Vosges mountains ,the Black Forest ,the B500 ,the wine valley of Epernay ,then 2000 ( 1965 miles ) later I was back home ,8 days of biking Minerva along with 11 others .
The ICON behaved perfectly and around the hordes of hairpins and sweeeepers it could NOT be matched . I was in the company of 4 triumph Adventures ,2 ( new) multi stradas ,)2 RS 1250, A PAN EUROPEAN ,A YAMAHA 1100 ??? .
I kid you not the ICON WAS SUPERB .Much to the chagrin of the bigger bikes (owners ).
Myself and tour leader Andy had MUCH fun ,he being Multi strada mounted .
Only on the French perfect straight ( ish ) roads was I overtaken .
The ONLY time the ICON let itself down was on the undulating terrible country roads of the EPERNAY wine valley.( maintaining 40 mph was difficult anyway).
The stock suspension on the ICON showed itself up frighteningly ,the pain to my forearms and shoulders tried telling me I maybe too old for this . ( ho ho ). once back on decent tarmac the status quo was returned .
while cruising up the A26 TOWARD Calais the heavens opened with 2" of standing water ,there was no rooster tail to Sebash`s Strada but merely a huge bow wave , made worse when the Paige appeared and we had to queue in the open rain , where our little group resembled mobile showers . ( much to the amusement of fellow brits returning home) .
The ICON again behaved brilliantly until North of Peterborough where the road surface had suffered due to heavy traffic and the suspension developed into a POGO STICK .
I eventually arrived home @23.00 hrs. ,cold ,in pain , tired .
I had done a trip from EPERNAY to Wakefield in one go ( technically ).
( in the sweepers the ICON engine and gearbox matched anything I have ridden ,and if YOU ever get over far enough the change in `feel` when the diminishing tyre diameter changes the ratios can only be described as essence of bliss .
OOooh I COULD GO ON ,
 

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Did a big trip on my Full Throttle last year, with a mate on his Monster 796. From Hull across to Belgium, through Luxembourg, Germany , Austria around Switzerland and them back up the Rhine to Calais.

The Scrambler was excellent in the Alps, especially on the narrow single lane Alpine passes, when I quite happily nipped by dozens of very worried looking Adventure bikes. They looked like Cruise liners trying to tiptoe through the Suez canal...

I did 11 days with a combined 50l of luggage, weighing in at 12kg. Honestly, I cannot recommend lightweight touring enough. People will spend £1200 on a set of panniers but not a few hundred quid on super lightweight camping gear...?
We camped all but 2 nights to save money and with a couple of minor mods (seat cushion), the Scrambler was fine. We even did a solid day on the Autobahns.

I've ridden a BMW r1200gs several times and a Multistrada 1200s a lot. They are fun and you can really ride them all day and get off at the other end feeling fresh... but travelling on smaller bikes is just SO much more fun. To this day, the best trip I've ever done, was Scotland and back on an XR125.
 

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That sounds fantastic.

Would love to do something similar but really need to get much better at cornering. Am thinking of track days with teaching included (maybe California SS).

What do you reckon.
 

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Have tried the videos from MC Rider yet? (Youtube).

He has few on cornering...

But of course practice is always better
 

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That sounds fantastic.
Would love to do something similar but really need to get much better at cornering. Am thinking of track days with teaching included (maybe California SS).
What do you reckon.
Training from professionals can never hurt, so I'd say go for it if you can. Proper training can teach what might take months on your own in a few hours.

If you want to save money, my best advice for anyone looking to improve... find a group and ride with faster more experienced riders. It REALLY helps. I ride with my Dad and his mates a lot and I learnt a lot that way.

Combine that with listening to the advice from this:

Possibly the cheesiest video on youtube but it really is a bible of common mistakes and vital info. Apply the advice from from it and you'll 100% improve.
 

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Thanks chaps.

I have 'youtubed' MC rider and started watching totw. I really need some training as don't seem to be able to put it into practice. The main problems are confidence related. Not having the courage to delay leaning and then the rest follows on from that.

Not the right time of the year for this. Hopefully by this time next year I will be 'cornering with confidence'. Great title for a vlog.

I understand the principles of single apex corners (o/s, i/s, o/s) but what about double/multi apex corners?
 

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Thanks chaps.

I have 'youtubed' MC rider and started watching totw. I really need some training as don't seem to be able to put it into practice. The main problems are confidence related. Not having the courage to delay leaning and then the rest follows on from that.

Not the right time of the year for this. Hopefully by this time next year I will be 'cornering with confidence'. Great title for a vlog.

I understand the principles of single apex corners (o/s, i/s, o/s) but what about double/multi apex corners?

The more time you have in the saddle the more you'll relax. A lot of the things (if you're a very new rider) you have to think about a little now (changing gear, or even the location of switches) will become automatic and you'll find your groove. Training is always a good idea but also just get out there and ride. ENJOY!
 

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A tip on cornering, Phil: You'll go where you look, so try to look all the way thru the curve rather than focus on what is immediately in front of you. Not easy if you ride on farm roads scattered with mud and muck. Any way to find a relatively clean road for practice? And focus on becoming smooth and confident rather than fast; you'll naturally get faster as you build your skills, don't try to rush it in the meantime.

Sarah
 

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I got a Ron Haslam race school voucher for my 50th (booked for May 2018)but not sure if this would be good training for the road?
 

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Thanks one and all.

The original 'Rocket Ron'. We always hoped he would win a Premier class race. Never quite managed it but a great rider. I think the closest he got was when Mamola and one other passed him on the final laps.
 

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I got a Ron Haslam race school voucher for my 50th (booked for May 2018)but not sure if this would be good training for the road?
Everyone I know who's done track training said it helped a lot with road riding.

I reckon road riding is made of two sets of skills:

Bike control
Roadsense

Track training is only going to help the first.
Advanced rider training courses I've been on seem to focus almost entirely on the latter.
 

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Roadsense - fairly happy with at present.
Bikecontrol - yep that's what I need.
Actually, I doubt that;s true. By roadsense, I mean specific to riding a bike and the extra awareness that requires to do safely.
It's something you just don't learn in a car. On a bike you're forced to be much more aware of road condition, road position and the behavior of others around you.

I'd say the biggest single difference that improved riding at a good pace and safely for me, was improving my vision. Where to look, when and how to position yourself to give yourself the best possible vision of whats coming at all times. Be that traffic or the layout of the corner ahead.

Proper bike roadsense is something I'd say takes the longest to learn. I know loads of fast, technically competent guys but reading a road takes YEARS of experience.
It's the main reason so many bikers are killed. Doesn't matter how good you are at braking if you don't position yourself properly to see the tractor emerging around the bend...
 

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Actually, I doubt that;s true. By roadsense, I mean specific to riding a bike and the extra awareness that requires to do safely.
It's something you just don't learn in a car. On a bike you're forced to be much more aware of road condition, road position and the behavior of others around you.

I'd say the biggest single difference that improved riding at a good pace and safely for me, was improving my vision. Where to look, when and how to position yourself to give yourself the best possible vision of whats coming at all times. Be that traffic or the layout of the corner ahead.

Proper bike roadsense is something I'd say takes the longest to learn. I know loads of fast, technically competent guys but reading a road takes YEARS of experience.
It's the main reason so many bikers are killed. Doesn't matter how good you are at braking if you don't position yourself properly to see the tractor emerging around the bend...
It took me 3 big crashes and many broken bones for it to finally click! But now (especially with the scrambler) i tend to ride in my big magic invisible bubble that no one else can enter!
When I first started tracking my track car I had tuiion and he asked if I'd done many track days and when I explained it was my first but I ride a bike he said that explains it, as all bikers seem to have better track postion and vehicle control = we are superior to car drivers:iroc:
 
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