Braking vs Engine-Braking before entering a corner

I ride two different bikes with plenty of engine-braking power each (SV650 and Vstrom 1000) so for the last few years I became lazy regarding the use of my actual brakes to set my entry speed before entering a curve; I would just roll off the throttle enough to slow down and dive into the turn. (I live at the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada so I spend lots of time in my "backyard", which is full of amazing twisty roads).

Anyway, lately, I have been trying to be more conscious of the way I set my cornering entry speed and I started using both my front and rear brakes —lightly as I am not riding at track speeds on public roads— instead of just rolling off the throttle to reduce my speed before entering the curves...

The renewed California Motorcyclist Safety Program, run by Total Control Training is a big success

A couple of days ago I got a letter from a friend of mine who works for Total Control Training and is involved in the development and management of the renewed California Motorcycle Safety Program. It seems like the program is being widely accepted and praised by instructors and students alike. Here is a transcript of his letter (published with permission):

It is now the first of March, since we started the transition to the new program here in California we have now had over 300 of the existing instructors get updated to the new program. We still have training going on including training for new instructors starting this month. (In fact in case you are still interested we will be doing one in May in Merced)...

RIP, Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy
March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

California is dropping the MSF motorcycle training program and adopting a new one run by Lee Parks and his Total Control team

As some of you may already know, the state of California just recently dropped the riders' training program that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation had been providing for many years and replaced it with a new program developed and managed by Lee Parks, the author and creator of the very successful Total Control book and riding clinic. The change will become effective starting January 1st, 2015. 

This switch in programs has raised many questions, both from riders and instructors alike, so a few days ago I had the opportunity to discuss the subject with a friend of mine who is involved in the new program. He gladly agreed to answer some of those questions but, for privacy reasons, asked me not to divulge his name...

Pinnacles Range, a December Ride

So today I made the most of this week's nice weather and went on a 280-miles solo ride along the Pinnacles Mountain Range here in California. To get there, I had to ride across the whole Central Valley under a very dense fog.  Needless to say, I had a real blast.

The Route (
- CA180 from Fresno to Mendota
- Little Panoche (J1) from Mendota to Tres Pinos
- CA25 then CA98 to Coalinga
- CA145 and CA180 back to Fresno

I'm ready to cross the San Joaquin Valley (70 miles) in heavy fog.

This is why I ride!

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