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Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques Paperback – July 12, 2003
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About the Author
Lee Parks has been racing for over 16 years, and he won the 2001 G.M.D. Computrack National Endurance Series Championship in the Lightweight class. He also finished 2nd in the 1994 AMA 125GP national championship in its exhibition year. He spent five years as the editor and chief test rider of Motorcycle Consumer News where he road tested every new street motorcycle available in the U.S. and became one of the top performance-testing journalists in the world. He is based in Victorville, CA.
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Top customer reviews
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Oh, and BTW, I don't even ride a GP bike - I ride a Harley Road King, yea the big ole' bikes police use! So, admittedly, things like hanging off the bike require some adjustment and moderation. But even THAT made a difference when I applied the principles - to the extent I felt it was safe to do so.
I was really pleased with my purchase, and I would buy this book again.
But to be fair, I need to tell you that I did buy Keith Code's Twist of The Wrist II. After reading both, I am glad I bought both since I feel this one progresses into the Twist book.
I would recommend that if you can afford only one book, then get the Twist of the Wrist. But if you can afford both, do yourself a favor and read this one first, then the Twist. I would feel you're likely to be a safer and better rider for it.
Fast forward 16 years and I have moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, AKA, motorcycle heaven. When I would take my 2001 Honda GL1800A out onto the marvelous twisties of the area, I'd get passed up by SUVs and lead sleds. I did not mind being slow so much as being stressed as each corner came up. 30 miles of tight twisties would leave me exhausted, both mentally and physically. Every time I would get leaned well over, the bike would begin to feel spooky, and I'd fear that it was about to slide out. I started reading book reviews and decide to give Total Control a try.
It was easy to read and to the point, with good illustrations and enough humor to keep it light. It addresses technique as well as mindset. I consider this a self-help book, and, to me, the most important part of a self-help book is the end-result, so I'll just skip to that.
Last weekend, I took a ride on my Goldwing down Hwy 49 in California to the stretch known as the Little Dragon. I did not know that it was a famous road at the time, or that it is considered ill-advised for newbies, I was just enjoying a ride.
I entered that stretch of road, which has sheer cliffs to one side and rock walls to the other, and no guard rails. The stretch is a bit tricky because it can encourage high speeds, but the turns are tight. I felt no stress, and just a touch of fear. If you don't feel a little fear when riding near sheer cliffs that have no guardrails, you might be in for trouble...
Using the lessons learned in Total Control, I was able to hustle the 1,200 Lbs of man and machine through the turns with no more effort than if it had been that first 250 I owned. I would think, "I want to go THERE," and the bike would go THERE, effortlessly. The bike began to shrink under me and I felt the sensation of effortless flight. I continued this for 18 miles of sheer nirvana. I pulled into the hotel in Mariposa with a large grin on my face.
The next day, I took 250 miles of twisties up to Mokelumne Hill. I took Priest Grade in the wet, Twice, without stress. Every now and then, the bike would get that old "spooky" feeling when heeled over. Every time it did that, it was my old habits kicking in. I would concentrate on relaxing and applying the principles of Total Control, and the bike would settle down. I found that the GL1800, a 900 Lb motorcycle, is every bit as sensitive as that 300Lb 250 was, and reacted the same way if I got hamfisted with it.
I finished that 250 mile ride with a bit of pain in my legs, caused by not stopping enough. I was not tired or tense. I checked into the Hotel Leger, a haunted hotel, and stayed in a haunted room. I had sweet dreams of flying on my Goldwing. No ghosts visited. That was all the proof I needed.
Sunday I am taking Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic, and 2 weeks later I am taking Level 2 of the same clinic. I hope I get half as much out of the clinics that I got out of the book.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a good book.