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Motorcycle Videos

Motorcycle Video - Motorcycle Training

by Jerry "Motorman" Palladino
DVD ($29.95) and VHS ($24.95), 52 minutes
Filmed and edited by Jim Miller

Available From:  Ride Like a Pro

wBW Motorcycle Riding Skills Book Reviews:  Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles  |  Riding in the Zone  |  Motorcycle Track Days for Virgins  |  Stayin' Safe: The Art and Science of Riding Really Well  |  Secret Skills of Motorcycle Riding  |  UK Road Signs, Road Laws and Licensing Books  |  Streetbikes: Everything You Need To Know  |  Performance Riding Techniques  |  How To Ride a Motorcycle  |  MSF's Motorcycling Excellence, 2nd Edition  |   Smooth Riding the Pridmore Way by Reg Pridmore  |  David Hough's Proficient Motorcycling, More Proficient Motorcycling and Street Strategies  |  Ride Hard, Ride Smart by Pat Hahn  |  Sportbiking: The Real World by Gary Jaehne  |  Sport Riding Techniques by Nick Ienatsch  |  Total Control by Lee Parks  |  Twist of the Wrist, Twist of the Wrist II by Keith Code  |  Motorcycle Roadcraft: The Police Rider's Handbook  |  Pass Your Advanced Motorcycling Test (U.K.)  |  Pro Motocross and Off-Road Riding Techniques  |  Motorcycling Excellence by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation 

More Book Reviews:  Listed on our Motorcycle Books Page

wBW Riding Skills Video Reviews:  Ride Like a Pro III  |  Ride Like a Pro for the Ladies

More wBWMotorcycle Safety Page  |  Riding Schools, Training and Track Days

There can never be too many motorcycle training courses, books or videos.  Learning how to ride a motorcycle is a continuous evolution.  That's what makes it so much fun -- there's always something new to learn and new techniques to master to help enrich the experience.

Unfortunately, there are way too many unskilled riders on the road today.  They are a danger to themselves, to others, and they give us all a bad reputation.  From what I've seen, there are very few motorcyclists who really seem to know what they're doing and who look comfortable on their bikes.  I'd be that very few of them take the study of motorcycle riding very seriously, and who knows how many have read a motorcycle riding skills book or have taken a basic formal training course?

Books are great also as a way to learn more and to help the rider think about new concepts, and in today's electronic world, you'd think that there would be dozens of videos for sale.  But we're very surprised and dismayed at the paucity of motorcycle training videos of any type that are available.  A quick search on Amazon.com for the words "motorcycle training" under the DVD section comes up zilch. 

This isn't to say that a training video would be the answer to all motorcycle riding problems, but videos should be one of the tools that a conscientious rider uses to improve her or his riding ability.  There are many books available that do an excellent job of explaining different strategies for safe riding (see the wBW Motorcycle Books page for a complete listing), and training courses such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course, the Experienced Rider Course, and advanced training such as the track day courses available from Freddy Spencer, Reg Pridmore and others should be on the lifetime curriculum for every rider.

You may not have heard of Jerry "Motorman" Palladino, but he's realized that an opportunity exists and he seems to have the market covered on motorcycle training videos.  His series of DVDs include the Motorcycle Endorsement video to help new riders pass state licensing exams; the Ride Like a Pro series, which uses some of the motorcycle Police techniques to help recently licensed riders, and this video, Ride Like a Pro for the Ladies.

Ride Like a Pro for the Ladies uses Motorman's basic three-step technique to help newly licensed riders.  The techniques are based on the actual training given to a "MotorMan", or a law enforcement officer assigned to a motorcycle unit.  The stated goal of the video is modest, as it should be: "a step-by-step approach to perfecting low speed handling and maneuvers."  After all, it would be impossible to cover every aspect of motorcycle riding in a video format without either glossing over the important details or taking way too much time for a DVD format. 

The implied concept behind this video is that a relatively new motorcycle rider can practice a few simple low-speed handling exercises and become much more comfortable with their motorcycle as they learn about how the bike handles.  This knowledge can then be transferred to the street, because the rider will feel more comfortable about their abilities.  Most beginners have trouble at low speeds, and practicing low speed maneuvers is key to learning clutch, brake and throttle control.  That's what this video is all about.

Motorman has done a great job of focusing on the basics.  Four women motorcycle riders are the students, and the Motorman gently steps them through the series of practice exercises, which demonstrate that even lightweight riders with minimal experience can learn how to handle a heavy bike.  Palladino is always respectful to his students and stays focused on the training.

The video production is decent, although the background is a bit distracting because it was filmed in a strip mall parking lot, and traffic is visible in the background.  The camera also seems to have some difficulty in keeping focus as it comes out of zoom, but these are minor quibbles and do nothing to detract from the overall purpose. 

In fact, the real surprise is that the video was filmed complete in one day, and the riders did it all in one take!  Pretty amazing stuff, I'd say.  The Motorman says that in addition "there were no knocked over cones or any type of screw ups from the ladies in the video and none of them had more than 4 or 5 hours of practice. I believe they did a wonderful job."  I agree!

The exercises include a brief discussion of the "friction zone", the brakes and the throttle, and a tip on how to pick up a dropped motorcycle.  The core exercises are practicing the slow cone weave, learning to lean the motorcycle to turn, the offset cone weave, the U-turn and braking.

Riders with some experience will probably think that these exercises are "kid stuff", but I guarantee that there are very few experienced riders who could run through each of these without learning something.  Motorcycling takes lots of practice, and the basic exercises in the video are a good place to start.  The DVD comes with a one-page instruction sheet that explain each exercises and has the measurements and layout for the practice cones, which can be made from tennis balls that have been sawed in half.

Conclusion
Ride Like a Pro for the Ladies has some good tips on slow-speed practice exercises for beginning riders.  Jerry "Motorman" Palladino gets maximum kudos for basically self-funding a video that is focused on the expanding women's motorcycle riding market.  But the secret is that any motorcycle rider could benefit by using the lessons learned in this video. 

This is not a video that is designed for the viewer to watch in the living room with the expectation of learning everything necessary to ride a motorcycle.  It's narrowly focused on low-speed riding improvements, and it's designed to be used as a tool to learn and then go out and practice what has been learned.  There aren't many motorcycle riding skills videos out there, but if you're serious about improving your skills (and you should be), then this is worth a look.

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