“I find it to be quite thorough and easy to understand. I particularly like the “building block” presentation and how it emphasizes laying a good foundation of the skills necessary to effectively ride a large motorcycle. The practice exercises are clearly well thought out, easy to understand, and simple to set up for just about anyone. I definitely will be recommending it to my students and friends who already ride big bikes and especially to those who are taking on one of the “heavyweights” for the first time.” – Marshall W. Munce, Owner Southwest Motorcycle Training (San Antonio, Texas)
From the Back Cover
Nothing beats the comfort of a big touring or cruising motorcycle, but the cost for that comfort is increased weight, and with increased weight comes increased challenges for a rider. A heavyweight motorcycle starts, stops, and turns differently than a lighter bike, especially when it is loaded down with a week’s worth of gear in the panniers and a passenger on the pillion. Without proper training and riding skills, that comfortable big bike can lead to catastrophe. Covering topics such as bike setup, low-speed maneuvers, emergency braking, and advanced cornering techniques, with practical riding drills for each section, Maximum Control: Mastering your Dresser, Tourer, Cruiser and Other Heavyweight Bike teaches you the skills needed to take charge of your heavyweight motorcycle.
I have not had the chance to practice all of the techniques described, as they require dedicating serious time to parking lot practice. I have, however, put into practice some of them, without the parking lot drills, on the road, riding two-up, and they have worked superbly! The single technique that I have found absolutely invaluable, is to make judicious use of the back brake. I have started leading with the rear brake, in all braking situations, and it has made my bike remarkably more stable in all braking situations. I have even used the clutch-slipping, while riding the rear brake, techniques, to make tighter-than-usual U-turns -- turns that before I would have my wife dismount, while I jockeyed the bike back and forth, over a period of 5-10 minutes. Now I turn the bike in a U-turn, with the wife on board, in a matter of 5-10 seconds! If I would invest the practice time in the parking lot, I would be able to handle the bike in absolutely amazing ways, but I am too lazy to do that.
The book discusses how to slip a wet clutch, while riding the rear brake, executing U-turns in a frighteningly small area -- you can even progress to doing full-steering-lock turns... This is what the police learn, and how they can handle their bikes in such amazing ways. That level of handling skill REQUIRES 100+hours of parking lot practice. I just applied some of the techniques, rather poorly, and I was able to make U-turns at really slow speeds, two-up. Even I was amazed at how well I did. I don't ride a heavy-weight bike, but it is 31-years old, and its handling is not that great, but with the techniques I have learned reading this book, I can handle my bike much better than I have ever done before. It has built up my confidence tremendously.Read more ›
I have found this book to be of great value to riders of all ages and skill levels. This is simply laid out with great illustrations. Some, more experiences riders may have to forage through the information to glean new ideas, but there is enough there for them as well, and it never hurts to practice old skills.
New or returning riders will find lots to learn and practice. This is loaded with good illustrations and good step-by-step instructions on how to proceed.
The chapters have a strong and common thread of safety, which is why we would want to learn more advanced survival skills on the road anyway.
Add it to your collection, and loan it to (or recommend they add it to their library) your new rider friends.
The main author, Pat Hahn, is a MSF instructor while two contributing authors are Motor Officer instructors. If you've watched Riding like a Pro, then the exercises and concepts taught in Maximum Control should not come as a surprise because they're the same. The first 40 pages are almost completely devoted to adjusting/modifying your motorcycle, but I found it to be dwarfed by the content from other books like the Motorcycle Suspension Bible or perhaps Total control by Lee Parks. However, once the authors discuss Friction Zone, it is all business.
I found several discrepancies in Maximum Control. The authors talk about how people use the thigh muscles to control the brake pedal in a car, while on a motorcycle the pivot point is on the ankle/heel. I beg to differ. Unless you are short and have small feet, it is exactly the same on a car. I pivot my right foot between the brake and throttle pedals using the heel and ankle. When first learning to drive, it was easy for me to jam on the brakes because that muscle memory wasn't learned. It is the same if I suddenly started to use my left foot for braking. On a motorcycle, I found the muscle memory to translate directly over. But the challenge comes from motorcycle riding boots with stiff soles that don't provide the same amount of tactile response as driving shoes or sneakers.
Another discrepancy is cornering. In Maximum Control, the authors cite "slow, roll, look, press" while it was drilled into our heads during the MSF Basic RiderCourse as "slow, look, press, roll". The latter is intuitive, as you'd want to slow down, look to see your options, press on the bar to counter-steer, and roll open the throttle.Read more ›
Multiple authors combine their years of experience and well proven skills in compiling the information in this very useful resource. The primary focus is on praticing low speed skills in a controlled environment. If you put in the time and effort to practice the recommended session practices you will no doubt become a safer and more proficient rider no matter what sized bike you are riding. Your confidence will increase, again with consistant practice on a daily basis. What is a bit disappointing is that although the many full color photo illustrations are taken in foul weather (rain), there is no mention much less no content on the altered skills that it takes to handle such situations. I've been street riding on a 60 mile round trip commute on a daily basis, (as much as the Northeast region weather conditions will allow)in all types of weather for the past twelve years and find I always have something I can improve upon in my mastering of skills - covering riding habits and skills for changing weather conditions would have made this a complete package and a 100% score.