Motorcycle Training

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ajayhawkfan
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Motorcycle Training

Post by ajayhawkfan »

Last week, Chris Smith and I along with two friends from Minnesota (Brant and Mike) met up with Bill Conger (former chief instructor at BMW Performance Center, Special Forces "wheel school" instructor and Dakar racer) for 3.5 days in intense off black top training and .5 day on blacktop. We met at Tellico Plains TN and followed the Smokey Mountain 500 routes through Georgia and North Carolina. We did the majority of the route plus blacktop in and around the area. It was the best motorcycle experience I have ever had. All 4 of use are better riders because of the time spent with Bill. We couldn't get the entire route completed because of having to replace a front tire on one of the bikes midway thought the trip.

Chris, Brant, Mike and Bill were on 1200GSA. I was on my 1250GSA. Bill would spend time in the morning and lunch giving general advice on what was ahead and thing to practice while riding. He would then be the last rider in the group. While riding he would watch the person in front of him. After a number of miles he would pass that rider and start watching the next in line, he would continue that routine until he has watched everyone and then stop the group to give instructions on what were were doing right as well as wrong. We would then start the process over again. The only difference would be the order the students were taking.

The majority of the roads were similar in difficulty to forest service roads in the Ozarks. However there were a few places that were tougher than anything I have done in the Ozarks or Colorado because of the length of the difficult area. Hightower Hill, was an extremely steep incline that started off with stair steps for 100 yards with lots of loose rock making it difficult to gain traction. After the rock garden the climb was full of 3-4 foot ruts and potholes with boulders of all sizes thrown in that needed to be dodged. Picking a line was difficult because a rider would not see a boulder until you were almost on top if it. The total length of the incline was about 3/4 to a mile with no place to stop along the way. That may not sound like much but when working so hard to get up the mountain we all needed a break (except Bill).

There was not a lot of opportunity to take pictures because we were all working on our riding. However, Mike and I were the first to climb Hightower Hill and that gave us time to take pictures while waiting for the others.

One of the ruts at the top of Hightower Hill:

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The top of Hightower Hill is not as steep. I was not walking down to get pictures lower in the mountain. On the left of the picture (the gray area) is a ledge and a huge hole that can't be seen. You needed speed and gravity to stay on the right edge.

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Far left was an easier line. I went over the old phone cables:

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Chris Smith at the top of the mountain:

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The crew at the top. We are sitting on the Appalachian Trail:

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We had a few water crossing. This was a river and was about 50 yards long with a turn in the river.
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The scenery was fantastic:

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We all learned so very much riding with Bill. He has the knowledge and know how to share it. It made learning easier. All came out much better riders because of our experience. The 4 of us are already talking to Bill about another class.

We as a group would ride about 125 to 135 miles in a day and at the end of the day we were exhausted. Bill pre-ran 80% the 500 miles route a month earlier in extreamly wet conditions plus 75 miles each way from and to his home in a SINGLE DAY. The man has SKILLS!
Last edited by ajayhawkfan on 02 Jun 2021 14:00, edited 2 times in total.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!!!

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troy
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Re: Motorcycle Training

Post by troy »

Awesome! I think this says a lot:

It was the best motorcycle experience I have ever had.


You must have forgotten about riding Box Turtle Road--the most amazing dualsport road in existence. :wink:
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ajayhawkfan
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Re: Motorcycle Training

Post by ajayhawkfan »

troy wrote: 02 Jun 2021 13:26 Awesome! I think this says a lot:

It was the best motorcycle experience I have ever had.


You must have forgotten about riding Box Turtle Road--the most amazing dualsport road in existence. :wink:
You are right, I did forget about Box Turtle Road and the 15 yards of gnarlyness.
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU!!!

R1200 GS Adventure '15

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