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Mick Doohan preaches sixth sense in videos

Five-time world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan features in a series of Queensland Government videos teaching riders to recognise and exercise their sixth sense when riding.

Controversially, he doesn’t recommend advanced rider training with professionals but suggests riders already have an innate sixth sense; “that unique instinct all riders share that helps us read the road, the conditions, the potential hazards and stay focused and in control”.

He refers to the sixth sense as perceiving the correct speed for corners, being aware of erratic movements of other vehicles and knowing when peer pressure puts you out of your comfort zone and skill level.

“The more you develop and hone your (sixth sense), the better your chances are of surviving to ride another day,” he says.

Sixth Sense videos

The videos are included on a government website called ”Join the drive”.

After his intro video explaining his sixth sense theory, there are four more videos:

In “Cornering”, he says if you “start looking short or fixating on that gum tree at the side of the road the chances are you’re gonna be shaking the koalas out of it real soon”.

In “Group Riding”, Mick says it’s “always a good idea to swap over at rest breaks to share the load”.

In “Returned Riders” he recommends buying a new bike rather than “dusting off the old one” because they are “safer, more rideable and more reliable than ever”.

In “Road Craft”, he suggests you give yourself more time in the wet. “Set off earlier and take it easier on the ride. Or choose not to hit the road at all, that works every time.”

The road safety campaign comes as Mick has been announced as one of the prime hosts of the upcoming Bike Torque TV series along with Charley Boorman and an as-yet unnamed American motorcycle celebrity.

(There has been no update on this show since this article was posted in July 2016. In fact, in an interview in March with Charley Boorman, he had no idea whether the show was going ahead. We have also not been able tonestablish contact with the show’s producers.)

Mick has featured in several rider safety advertising campaigns before, including one in 2014 with the RACQ and Motorbike Writer.

He has some interesting and thought-provoking theories in these videos.

A few may actually surprise some riders: invest in a helmet intercom; ride in staggered formation in groups and do not trail brake through a corner.

“Try to stay off the brakes as much as you can, it sounds wrong if you’ve got your turning-in point and your approach speed right you’ll be in control and the bike should handle the corner no worries,” he says.

Mick isn’t featured in the riding sequences which are performed on some of the most scenic and challenging roads in South East Queensland.

They have chosen a mix of riders and bikes from Morgan & Wacker for these scenes: Ducati Monster, BMW R nineT, BMW S 1000 RR and a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.

  1. The one stat that is always left out, is the actual miles travelled. It is always ‘accidents per registered vehicles’. Which on its own is meaningless. Eg. In the US, vehicles travel vastly more miles on their Interstate systems than we do, which makes our true road toll much worse than theirs. In other words the current accident statistics based on registered vehicles as a base, are fatally flawed.

    We often hear that rural roads have a worse record than city. Well, lo, could that be because cars travel much greater distances in the country? The authorities’ holier-than-thou attitude needs to change for a complete re-think. Otherwise we will never rise above the inane failed speed limit method.

    1. Peter, the statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on vehicle use ( tell us that motorcycles account for about 1.2% of total vehicle kilometres travelled by passenger vehicles in the country, and around 0.8% if you take trucks etc into account. Motorcycles are around 4.6% of all registered vehicles.

  2. Not one mention of using your sense of smell.
    Often you’ll smell a diesel or other spill long before you see it.
    Never panic! If you panic you can turn a scary moment into a deadly one.

  3. Looking at the incredibly low mileage on most bikes
    on american ebay I think I might argue on the point
    of miles travelled by american riders Harsh winters keep
    many off the road completely for parts of the year

  4. Except for star value, I prefer to listen & learn from real bike riders on real bikes (self owned, maintained & paid for) rather than those selling us, self branding, product endorsement or riders profiling specific interests, to pay their own bills. Careful who u listen to, b optimistically sceptical and remember to laugh. Enjoy life and use ur time & resources wisely.

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