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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys:

I just got my Chieftain and for such a big bike i feel its pretty maneuverable, i've seen the "Ride Like a Pro" videos, and there's a driving school that imparts the same kind of course close to me.

I would like to take this but im afraid eventually i'll drop the bike in one of those exercises, but i'm more scared to not take it and dont acquire the skills to handle the Chief has good as it should and fail to avoid a dangerous situation for not take the course.

My experience has been riding the scout for the last 4 years, i've ride long distances (ironbutt) in one day so no problem going on the highway (already taken the Chieftain on a 200 miles trip) and so, but the slow speed maneuvers is what challenges me.

Has anyone had taken the course or dropped the bike on a slow speed? if so, how bad it is to the bike? i have front and rear crashbars and im thinking on taking the hardbags to avoid scratching them in case i drop it.

What is your advice?

Thank you
 

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I'd say go for the schooling. Not being ashamed to ask is your first big advantage and I'd like to think that a good instructor would take your concern to heart. I took the MSF course and was amazed at some of the things it turns out I really didn't know. And I think you've got a very valid concern. A long day and a long trip back from Sturgis to KY. So tired and got caught in a construction zone, one lane backed up for almost 2 hours and no safety shoulder at all. Only cement barriers sitting right on the lanes lines.. both sides. Bike with my wife and our luggage weighed in at 1100 lbs. Legs so sore and tired I couldn't hardly hold it up any more. And although traffic was moving, it was so slow I couldn't even slip clutch it without swerving back and forth. But it actually got scary and was not a situation I ever want to get stuck in again,!
The "ride like a pro" videos are really good. I sometimes will go to the school parking lot when it's empty and use the parking lines to practice my slow corner turns. I can do it at my own convenience. Hope it helps just a little. Good luck and enjoy!
 

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Take the bags off, take some garden hose, split it, and put it over the engine and bag guards. Zip tie it in place or use hose clamps. If you go down, that should give some protection. However, it doesn’t take much force to bend the engine guards.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your comments, do you know any tip yo protect the bike? I read to wrap the kind of plástic tube they use to learn swim to protect the crashbars
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Take the bags off, take some garden hose, split it, and put it over the engine and bag guards. Zip tie it in place or use hose clamps. If you go down, that should give some protection. However, it doesn’t take much force to bend the engine guards.
Damn thats what scare the **** oit of me, i m broken rigth now paying the bike, i cant aford to replace parts
 

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It can happen ... when I took the Advanced Rider Class, an older (and smaller) friend was on his Goldwing and he dropped it three times. After the third time, he left the class and a couple months later he traded the Goldwing in for a Goldwing Trike. It was the right decision for him ... no one else dropped their bike.

It would be a good decision to remove the bags and if you have the bars on front/rear, the bike will experience little/no damage if you drop it on a slow maneuver (don't worry, the bars won't bend). You could also wrap the bars with a towel to prevent scrapes. Let the instructors know of your concern and they'll give you advice to prevent a drop. The classes are excellent and I recommend every rider should take one every couple of years. Also, it would be much better to have a drop occur during the class under safe situations and with others available to help lift the bike. Doing it turning into a busy parking lot with lots of traffic is not the place to have a first occurrence.
 

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There is a course in Florida - Florida Safe Rider - that provides the motorcycle. Just found it browsing online, but there are bound to be others around the country.
 

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I have taken both the BRC2, and the ARC. I am also certified as a RiderCoach.

Take the class. Don't worry about dropping your bike. Will you suffer a tip-over? Possibly, if you panic when you feel the bike going over during the maneuvers. If you are concerned with scratches and dents, do as some of the others have suggested and pad your crash bars.

After you finish the class, continue to practice the maneuvers in your everyday riding.
 

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If you have crash bars, no problem. Was doing an "alternate cone weave" once and hit a patch of water with grease underneath and went down and for a second didn't even know I was down. No damage to me, bars or bike.
 

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When I took the safety course, a guy on a bike without Abs went down during the quick stop exercise, locked up the rear wheel, turned sideways, went down, and slid aways across the asphalt. No real damage to the bike, some scapes and dirt on his shirt and pants, no injury. I know he felt, having gone down a couple of times myself at low speed doing dumb shoulda known better stuff, the worst part is when the bike leans over past the point of no return and you know nothing you do will prevent what happens next, all you can do is wait for contact with the ground and wonder who might be watching. Its a bit jarring but no injury except to pride. I did find out what the notch on the aluminum brake handle is for and what it costs to replace it.
 

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Took the Ride Like a Pro course two years ago courtesy of our IMRG. Not ashamed to say I dropped my RM twice. (push that envelope, brother!} No visible damage at all. @TigerGA ’s advice is excellent — garden hose around the engine guards if you’re really worried (nobody did that at our course). We also emptied our bags first (not really necessary unless they are heavily loaded but makes ya feel better). Other guys dumped their bikes, too — superficial scratches on engine guards was the worst I saw.
 

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I concur with the other posters and just want to add that most will drop their bikes at some point... Mines been dropped at least 4 times over the years and with the front & rear guards there is no visible damage to my bike... Unless you get down and look at my "crash bars". Slow speed maneuvers are the most difficult part of riding, so practice the techniques and decide what works best for you.

My main point is that, in my opinion, an occasional bike drop is certainly nothing to be worried about and if you have front and rear crash bars, you will not see any visible effects. Best thing you seem to have going for you is your willingness to admit you need to get better... That is the most important aspect of riding because it follows the principle of "Don't try and outride your skill set." So I personally never try to do 180 degree turns at slow speed in a tight area, even though I've completed the riders courses and those turns, I am not comfortable doing them and always find a alternative way to turn my bike around....

Life is Good, enjoy your ride!
 

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Taking the course, something I have not done yet, sounds like a good thing to do. I would consider taking time to put some miles on your bike before attending the course. There are probably good arguments for taking the course now and for waiting. However, understanding how your bike handles before you start to press the envelope seems like a reasonable approach. If you decide to wait, just understand your limits and ride accordingly. Good luck!
 

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Hi guys:

Has anyone had taken the course or dropped the bike on a slow speed? if so, how bad it is to the bike? i have front and rear crashbars and im thinking on taking the hardbags to avoid scratching them in case i drop it.

What is your advice?

Thank you
At the risk of sounding like I don’t care about the bike, that bike is yours. If it gets a scratch its your scratch.

to learn to drive any vehicle or operate any piece of equipment you have to mentally assess what could go wrong doing something (like your first time parallel parking your parents car) - think of ways to avoid damage - and then before you actually do it, completely ignore your concern for the well being of the vehicle and do your best.

ive taught people how to drive cars, using my car - and until they took the phrase, ‘thats what insurance is for’ to heart, they were just going through the motions in fear and were too scared to actually learn where the edges of the car were, to find out how close they could drive to the curb, or what spaces they could fit in.

fear is the mind killer

if you love your bike so much you’re afraid to fail, your bike might kill you - and its possible you will never become amazing.

also, not for naught but these indians look pretty tough with a couple scratches anyway.

nobody wants to damage their bike, but you got the bike to improve yourself.

i say never be complete, i say stop being perfect, i say.... let’s evolve and let the chips fall where they may
 

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If you are worried about getting your crash bars scratched, you can install some split shaft collars at the impact points on the crash bars. Then, remove them afterwards.

 

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Take the bags off, take some garden hose, split it, and put it over the engine and bag guards. Zip tie it in place or use hose clamps. If you go down, that should give some protection. However, it doesn’t take much force to bend the engine guards.
Good idea, but look into heater hose - easier to get a good fit, plus it will come in a non-offensive black.
Every course I take teaches me something valuable - do it.
 

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Got my drop out of the way a week into ownership. Like others have said, you can't tell unless you look at the underside of the crash bars and the bag (very small chip the bottom/side). I was way bummed for a day and then I got over it. FYI, I was at my house in the evening and there was 4 of my neighbors out in the street. My manhood was crushed!!!!
 

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I took a course here in Canada from "Motorcycle Masters", a bunch of retired cop motorcycle riders, and bike rodeo riders. The first thing they did in the morning was zip tie split heater hose to our crash bars. The second thing they taught us was how to pick up a 900 pound bike after dropping it. That set the tone for the day. We all dropped our bikes several times. Mine is a 2014 Chief Classic with hard bags. No damage. You learn from your mistakes, I made mistakes, dropped the bike a few times that day, and learned to be a better rider. The last thing they told us was that the slow speed handling skills were "perishable" skills. In other words, practice them or lose them. I have a parking lot between my house and work that is empty most of the time. I stop at it a couple of times a week and do some u-turns and figure 8's and measure my skill by how many parking spots I can turn around in...4,3,2 spots? The result is that now I don't even think twice in tight and busy parking lots, and 3 point u-turns are a thing of the past. Take a course, and practice.
 

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Ditto on the parking lot practice. I've got multiple lots connected to each other that are empty except for weekends when the kids are using the soccer fields in the park. I try to slip in there once or twice a week and work on the low speed stuff. I see myself as an average skill level rider, one that doesn't try to exceed my current skill level out on the road while at the same time always working to improve my skills. But all of us get better at it as long as we continue practice Every now and then I will do something during a ride and go, "hey I just realized I am getting better at that".

All of us have certain maneuvers on a bike we just find more difficult than others. Example, I can do a tighter U turn going left than right. Don't know why, so I keep working at it. I've always found down hill left curves harder than right. And uphill easier than down in either direction. I'm talking curvy up and down country roads at speed. All of that has improved simply by lots of practice and pushing it just a little bit more now and then on roads that I am very familiar with.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Great way to put It men, im not afraid of dropping It, actually i know it is very probably to do It, i just want to do my best to reduce the damage to the minimun.

At the risk of sounding like I don’t care about the bike, that bike is yours. If it gets a scratch its your scratch.

to learn to drive any vehicle or operate any piece of equipment you have to mentally assess what could go wrong doing something (like your first time parallel parking your parents car) - think of ways to avoid damage - and then before you actually do it, completely ignore your concern for the well being of the vehicle and do your best.

ive taught people how to drive cars, using my car - and until they took the phrase, ‘thats what insurance is for’ to heart, they were just going through the motions in fear and were too scared to actually learn where the edges of the car were, to find out how close they could drive to the curb, or what spaces they could fit in.

fear is the mind killer

if you love your bike so much you’re afraid to fail, your bike might kill you - and its possible you will never become amazing.

also, not for naught but these indians look pretty tough with a couple scratches anyway.

nobody wants to damage their bike, but you got the bike to improve yourself.

i say never be complete, i say stop being perfect, i say.... let’s evolve. Let the chips fall where they may
 
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