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Thread: i2i Advanced machine control

  1. #1
    Baby Twin Renevator's Avatar
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    i2i Advanced machine control

    My thoughts on the best weekend I've had in ages.

    First off, apologies for no pics. I would have like to, but was having too much fun & learning too much stuff to bother.

    What a brilliant course, and huge thanks to Tom & Declan that were there to pass on their skills to us lot. There were a good cross section of bikes there too. I arrived with slight trepidation as to what I was letting myself in for, as everyone elase was already parked up. There were amongst others a GS1200, ZX10 & 12, ZX6R, Firestorm, Blade, Harley, an oldish Pan………..and me on the VFR. From introductions it was clear most of the group had had some form of training before, as there were a few IAM observers, some taking the IAM route and others that had done some of the i2i off road courses as well. I was feeling like the second rate rider I sometimes consider I am. But I needn’t have worried, as Tom, a top rate Irish guy, put us at our ease straight off.
    So, onto the course. It’s held on an old airfield strip nr Tockwith, Yorks, the course being laid out with cones, which were rearranged as the day went on, to suit what was being taught & what would be practiced by us. I had no real idea what the weekend held for us, and actually that was good, as it helped approach the teaching with an open mind. Now I don’t want to go into too much detail about Toms teachings, as he asked us not to. I know I’ve probably lost some reader here already, but you know how it is, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and who the hell am I to assume I can put across what I’ve learnt in one weekend as brilliantly as Tom & Declan with years of experience & countless training. What I will try to do is give you all a flavour of what I’ve gained from this course in the hope that someone will also benefit by signing up.
    So day 1 kicked off understanding machine balance & stability, then went onto braking, hazard avoidance, slow speed manoeuvring & a wee intro to cornering. Day 2 refreshed that, added to braking techniques & concentrated on what we all love – cornering!
    Tom would explain to us the physics & principles involved in each of these areas, making it relevant to a motorcycle of course, and then demonstrate what he’d been teaching us. We would then be asked to do the same – my how we laughed. Actually, we weren’t that bad at all, and the only time anyone came off was when the big fella of the group dropped his GS in the parking bay by not getting the stand engaged properly – doh! We all did our best to make him feel as good as he could in this situation.
    Well, machine stability was a revelation to me, and this is probably THE one area of the course, that in the few days I’ve had since it finished, has transformed my riding.
    It’s broken down a barrier I’ve had for years, about how a bike feels to me when it’s being moved about on anything other than a smooth road in calm conditions. I’ve tried to tell myself to relax, and have even learnt to coutersteer into heavy crosswinds, but nothing, nothing, has come close to what Tom demonstrated to us & allowed us to experience. I’m not going into detail, sign up if you want to know, but now I understand what I’ve been getting wrong, and actually quite secretly look forward to a rough road. I feel so, so much more relaxed in my riding, and now know that if I start tensing up I have the knowledge to retune myself, and to remind myslef what I should be, or more importantly should NOT be doing. The course has obviously been thoroughly thought out & structured with definite intent, as the teachings on braking & hazard avoidance made much more sense with the knowledge & experience gained from the mornings machine stability experience. The braking section again was explained in theory, demonstrated & then offered up to us to practice. We did so in 2 groups and actually having the opportunity to watch other riders of varying skill & style, helped even more. Tom would get us to try to observe & analyse what each was doing, thereby further enhancing our understanding of his teachings. Needless to say I can now brake safer, harder & with more control than ever before – but again, it’s going to take a while, and constant practice to really bed into my technique. Great for general riding, but the techniques taught, if embedded well enough into my instinctive reactions, have given me THE safest and most effective technique for emergency braking.
    Now then, slow speed manoeuvring. Isn’t it odd how this can be such a trip up for even the most skilled of fast riders. Well, again Tom explained the theory and then proceeded to demonstrate full lock slow speed turns on the most awkward machine for him – the GS1200. Although we all had a good go at it, none of us cracked it completely, but as with everything we learnt, we know why – and it’s always US that gets in the way. The bike is doing it, we’re just unaware & consequently interfere.
    You know, I’m beginning to realise the only thing that stops my bike doing what I’d like it to is me 
    So, day 1 complete, and we’d all had a blast – and cornering was still to come.
    Now that was brilliant. We were sent off round a simple course, to ride just as we normally do. All of this was at slow speed, as with the whole course, everything was done below 50mph. This ain’t no track day, but if you ever do it I’m sure it’d pay dividends in that department too. So off we went, round & round demonstrating our varying styles. The non riding group could then analyse with Tom what the riders were doing – not right or wrong, just notice who was smooth, who wasn’t, when they turned, what gears were used, how their throttle input varied & when etc. Fascinating to watch. But then after instruction we were off to practice Toms technique. This is the funny bit – although we all to a man (and 1 lady) thought we we’re doing it right, we weren’t. He admitted it could come as a bit of a slap in the face, as no-one likes to hear their not doing something right especially if they’re sure they are, but this shows Toms teaching skills, in that he made us all feel at ease with that. Although there were a few times during the weekend we laughed at each others riding it was all done with good humour & support for each other - that is due to how the course is structured & controlled. And by he way, all of this stuff was done in complete safety, with nothing that we attempted being beyond us. If I can do it…………….
    The afternoon on Sunday was spent perfecting this cornering lark, with specific tuition about the relevance of body positioning, weight transfer, gear selection & throttle control, and I think at the end of it none of us wanted to go home. I know I could have stayed practising all night, but I had a lovely wife to travel 150 miles back to 
    Ok, so you probably all use correct body positioning, but for those of us that don’t, and for those that might well not know the full and correct reasoning behind why moving on a bike has such an impact, be it in the dry, or even more importantly in the wet, I’d suggest this course will offer heaps.

    So, I’ve not really imparted much knowledge to you I know, but then it’s not my knowledge to impart. All I can say is I would seriously recommend the course to anyone. Put it this way. If you’re like me, a reasonably experienced, average rider, but not too technical, don’t really move about on the bike much, or have any issues with confidence & poor road conditions, riding in the rain, whatever, this will teach you stuff, I’m absolutely sure of that. If on the other hand you’re a pretty top notch rider, unfazed by most conditions & situations, with plenty of track days under your belt, you know how to handle a bike to make the best of it, and are pretty sure you’re doing it all correctly, well, maybe you could give the guys at i2i a ring just to confirm you don’t have much to gain – BUT, let me tell you there have been some Police class 1 rider trainers, pretty much the top of the riding skill road-wise, that have attended this course, and have been amazed by certain techniques, especially braking mid corner.
    And failing that, it’s worth going along just to hear the story about Toms mate Seamus.

    http://www.i2imca.com/

    Cheers Tom & Declan, I had a blast, and I’m in love with my bike again. I keep smiling & laughing when I ride now – bloody brilliant!

    Rene
    Last edited by Renevator; May 20th, 2008 at 05:52 AM.

  2. #2
    AMA Pit Boss Sprocker's Avatar
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    Sounds like you had fun there Rene How much does it cost Tockwith is not far from me either, I might look into that for future reference after going down to see and have a guided ride with "Sabre" after my hols

  3. #3
    carbon kid
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    looks like a good course matey, what was the damage?
    Ck

  4. #4
    carbon kid
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    pS- Sproker mate, if I can afford it I'l come along with you.
    Ck

  5. #5
    danf1234
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    Tockwith is 4 miles from my front door. How much did it cost and is it 2 full days?

  6. #6
    AMA Pit Boss Sprocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon kid View Post
    pS- Sproker mate, if I can afford it I'l come along with you.
    Ck
    will be august/sept time at least for me CK

  7. #7
    Baby Twin Renevator's Avatar
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    The courses are as follows - days are from 10am to 4pm, so yes pretty much full days:

    Machine Control 1 – increasing the stability of your bike - 75
    Machine Control 2 – mastering the slippery conditions - 150
    Machine Control 3 – mastering cornering & braking - 85
    Machine Control 4 – developing very advanced skills - 160

    Bloody bargain all of them I’d say.

    I did 1 & 3 (1 on Saturday, 3 on Sunday). These are designed to be done together, ideally over a weekend, but can be separated into different dates if need be, and are done on your own bike.

    2 & 4 are best done after 1 & 3 (honestly, what they teach you in 1 & 3 will be relevant to 3 & 4) and you’ll get much more out of them if done as they suggest.
    2 & 4 are done on their bikes – off road for 2 & supermoto for 4 (yum yum)
    (By the way, Tom that teaches these courses can’t wait for the Supermoto season – he’s not a nutter at all, but I’d love to see him annihilate sports bike riders around his local roads on his Supermoto bike!)

    All details here: (click the blue buttons for details)

    http://www.i2imca.com/page9.htm


    Dates are here: (they book up well in advance!!!)

    http://www.i2imca.com/page15.htm

    If you’re thinking of doing it together as mates – DO IT – no question, you’ll have much more fun. I enjoyed it with complete strangers, think how much fun you can have seeing your mate improve along with you.

    Honestly, I can’t wait to do courses 2 & 4, but will have to unfortunaltely.

    Rene
    Last edited by Renevator; May 20th, 2008 at 07:59 AM.

  8. #8
    Evil Twin Neil B's Avatar
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    Good training by the sounds of it, i've not had any training for 20 years and i'm sure all my bad habits could do with being ironed out. I think we all tend to have a higher opinion of our riding skills

  9. #9
    GP Champ carpe diem's Avatar
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    Bloody hell that write up would have taken me about 24 hours solid typing,
    sounds like it was really good...

  10. #10
    Retired Posh Johnny's Avatar
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    I would love to get the bike moving underneath me, I have thought about an off road course to learn it, but this sounds like this could offer the same benefts nice write up btw

  11. #11
    carbon kid
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocker View Post
    will be august/sept time at least for me CK
    mate, early sept would be great for me...its B-day so would have fundage!
    CK

  12. #12
    Baby Twin Renevator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Posh Johnny View Post
    I would love to get the bike moving underneath me, I have thought about an off road course to learn it, but this sounds like this could offer the same benefts nice write up btw
    Well, they do the off road stuff that ideally is intended to follow the course I did, but they're flexible - and then there's the Supermoto course - if anything's going to get a bike moving beneath you that's it . Actually the whole idea of their off road course is to practice on someone elses kit, in a safe environment, what it feels like. That particularly appeals to me, as I'm a bit of a woos when anything untoward happens. Falling off after cocking it up (as I'm bound to), on soft ground going slowly, is way better than on the hard stuff with your own bike going too fast. In fact I just don't push that hard on the road, and have never done a track day, but it'd be great to know what to do in the event of some serious movement etc.
    It just gives you that extra barrier of safety I think.

  13. #13
    One Liter Duc Eater DaveRSV's Avatar
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    Cracking write up Rene If it was closer I'd be well tempted.

  14. #14
    GP Champ MilleBoy82's Avatar
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    Alreet rene mate ill be honest i didnt get chance to read it all i kept loosing me place but from what i did take in sounds like money well spent, when i finnaly get chance to get over to you, ya will have to teach me the fine arts that you have learnt

    wonder how good my course will be that the magistrates are making me do, thats based in shrewsbury aswell

  15. #15
    Baby Twin Renevator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilleBoy82 View Post
    when i finnaly get chance to get over to you, ya will have to teach me the fine arts that you have learnt
    ehem, yeah right..............I'm still trying to get it right myself. I seriously doubt if I, a timid VFR rider, can possibly teach an RSV rider anything
    Hope yours goes ok

  16. #16
    Evil Twin Spydz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprocker View Post
    will be august/sept time at least for me CK
    Count me in Sprocker

  17. #17
    danf1234
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    I might just join you on this.

  18. #18
    GP Champ MilleBoy82's Avatar
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    Rene the only thing ya cant teach me is how to crash im a master at that but everything else is well ill just say im like sponge for knowledge

  19. #19
    carbon kid
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    so thats four of us then!, sound of thunder indeed.
    Ck

  20. #20
    Baby Twin Renevator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carbon kid View Post
    so thats four of us then!, sound of thunder indeed.
    Ck
    You know I'm almost tempted to book into the same course again with you lot just to hear the noise
    Good luck booking it together.

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