Doc Wong Ride Topics:
Smooth Riding, 13 June 1999

by Dawn Paulsen

I am stoked a buddy turned me on to Doc Wong's riding clinic. I have been putting around in San Francisco for 5 years on a beater '82 GPZ. (The bike was so beat that my mechanic wouldn't work on it anymore. His advice was burial at sea.) Anyway, I have very limited experience riding outside of the city limits.

I finally broke down and bought a Suzuki SV650 this month. HEAVEN! However, I'd be out on a ride and find my self tensing up, braking excessively, basically riding like a squid. Realizing this isn't supposed to be so much work. The one comment I was getting from other riders was "counter-steer". I had been working on counter-steering every turn. Unfortunately, if anything got me rattled on a ride, I'd turn back into the squid on the SV650.

Fortunately for other motorcyclist and myself, I got turned onto Doc Wong's clinic last Sunday morning. I got to the clinic a little late, and Doc was talking about gripping the handlebars. Basically, open your hands up. You can ride your bike with your hands wide open using the heel of your hands to push the handlebars. If your taking a right turn, push the bar open handed to the right. Keep your elbows bent. Weight on the balls of your feet, knees tight on the tank. If you are riding like a squid chances are very good that you have your hands tightly gripping the handlebars and you are not allowing the motorcycle to correct itself.

I also took Doc Wong's advice and ran out and bought Keith Code's book "Twist of the Wrist". I had to special order, but they'll be in next week. And I'm going to be out there practicing. Because, baby I feel the need for speed! Faster, Faster Pussycat. Kill! Kill!

Dawn Paulsen

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