This is the official Street Skills LLC newsletter. Its purpose is to promote rider skill development and keep the community up-to-date on activities.  
"Learn, Refresh, Affirm"

February 2022 - by Jon DelVecchio

Trail Braking Article

Check out my latest Trail Braking article in February's BMW Owners News. I've written on the topic many times, but I'm especially proud of the way this one communicates the technique.

Click image to read

Become a member of the BMW MOA here.

20% off book this Month

If you still haven't read my book Cornering Confidence, or want to buy a signed copy for a friend or family member, this is the time!  Spring is right around the corner. It's time to refresh skills.

The book can be yours within 2 days through Amazon. Or get a 20% discount on a signed copy from me through March 31 using code 2022 when purchasing. If you do buy a signed copy for someone else, be sure to let me know the name of the recipient and their address so I can mail it right to them on your behalf.

Feel free to share this 20% book discount on your favorite motorcycling internet forums and Facebook pages!

Read the book and liked it? Please consider reviewing the book on Amazon for me. Your positive review really does make a difference!

Trail Braking Camp 2022 Dates 

These are the dates and locations for what I am planning so far in 2022. Look for new dates and opportunities in future newsletters or this webpage.

May 15, 2022 (open to public)
Balcony Point at Springdale Farm
Spencerport, NY 
Register Now 
(3 openings left)

June 27, 2022 (private event*)
UN Rally
Davis, WV
(1 opening left)
June 28, 2022 (private event*)
UN Rally 
Davis, WV
(3 openings left)
*currently open to rally participants


Contact me if you would like to host a Trail Braking Camp or have any venue ideas.

Left-Handers Respond

Last month I asked the following questions of my left-handed friends regarding brake/throttle transitions (roll-it-up and roll-it-down techniques specifically):

  • How does being left-handed affect your ability to perform brake/throttle transitions?
  • What strategies would you suggest I use to better coach lefties with brake/throttle transitions?
These were the responses I received:

How does being left-handed affect your ability to perform brake/throttle transitions?

"In short for me- it doesn’t.  However I’ve been riding since I was very young so throttle control has always been a focus and natural.  I’d note I am predominantly left handed but not strongly left handed. i.e. I write and throw left handed but can catch/bat/use scissors/tools/shoot/etc. right handed with just as much ease."  

"I’m a lefty and am confident that it doesn’t affect my ability to transition (whatsoever). I guess I’m one of the lucky few. Sorry I can’t help you further here. Thanks for thinking of us!"

"I’m left handed but never gave a thought to the manipulations of brake and throttle.  I came into riding a little later in life, 61 now and started about 15 years ago.  Perhaps because left handed people live in a dominate right handed world, we come to compensate for things without really much if any consideration.  We just grew up that way." 

"I think you're barking up a very loose correlation that will be easily fooled by confirmation bias. I'm a lefty, but never gave a second thought to there being an advantage/disadvantage with regards to fine motor skills (and I'm questioning just how fine that might be anyway). For example, standard (right-handed) Guitars and bases are generally played using the LEFT hand for the most difficult and dexterous parts (fret work) and right hand for picking/strumming. This would seem to suggest little advantage to using a dominant hand for fine motor skill or guitars/bases would have developed another way. But I'm no kinesiologist, and perhaps that's who you should talk to you seriously delve into the subject. For the record I chose to play right-handed Guitars for the same reason I golfed righty (easier to find/buy/rent equipment). But I bat lefty, throw lefty, don't switch hands to use knife (so cut righty, same with scissors), and use a computer mouse with my right hand. Oh and I fight both sides. So maybe I'm the one with confirmation bias."

What strategies would you suggest I use to better coach lefties with brake/throttle transitions?

"If someone is a new rider and strongly left handed I could see a need for more focus on learning smooth (and subtle) brake/throttle transitions."

"Personally I’d have them practice each function independently.  I think this could apply to anyone, but new left handed riders may need more practice and concentration.  1. Practice crisp but controlled/smooth stops until they are done without significant concentration.  2. Practice using the throttle controlled/smoothly to go from idle to set RPMs (like 1500), holding, back to idle then back up to a different set RPM (2000), etc. until it is also done without significant concentration.  3. Once those are mastered move on to combining the actions."

"I’m also a MSF RiderCoach and I’ve never asked anyone in my classes if they were left handed or if that even mattered.  I recognized several students that were left handed but the use of throttle and brake were of no consequence. Think of it this way, we lefties deal with all the things that are right dominant.  Manual shifter in a car, a computer mouse, a can opener, school desks, scissors, as a few examples."

"I say coach em the same as anyone else, they probably already learned how to use a throttle and brake by the time they got to you. And if they didn't the side doesn't really matter they don't have the skill yet anyway in either hand."

Bottom line:
I'll continue to think about hand dominance as I coach riders, but don't view it as much of an obstacle after hearing from these lefties.

Motorcycle Crash Ratings Video

Watch and share the video below from my recent Zoom event. Part 2 description: In the previous Zoom, Jon discussed the crashworthiness of motorcycles, as compared to automobiles. That event focused on the problems. This Part 2 focuses on solutions.

Motorcycle Crash Ratings (Part 2) Solutions
Motorcycle Crash Ratings (Part 2) Solutions
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