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A Goldwing on the track! It makes so much sense


by Marc Cantin ,

A clip shows a Honda Goldwing energetically lapping the New Hampshire International Speedway road course.

So OK, it looks a little like the elephants dancing Swan Lake in Fantasia, but there is much to be learned from such an exercise. Large touring bike are naturally heavy, and become downright difficult to control and bend to your will, and more so with a heavy rider, baggage and a passenger on board. Add a little panic from the rider in an emergency, and a veritable series of nasty things tend to happen.


For example, touring and cruisers without linked brakes front-and-rear, Harley-Davidsons in particular, display a nasty habit of locking the front wheel when using only the front brake, as not enough weight gets transferred from the back to increase traction at the front and really slow the bike down. And it gets worse if the ABS system then reduces the braking effort. The same thing happens if you brake hard only at the rear, when that wheel tends to lock up way too easily, also reducing braking effort to nearly nothing.

And what about leaning the monster over in a corner a little further in an emergency, as footpegs and floorboards drag and even unload the front tire. This leads directly to a fall and a slide into incoming traffic if you were turning right.

Ya gotta react properly – and practice makes perfect
Your reaction in an emergency will either save your life or cause nasty things to happen. You need to learn and practice limit braking at both ends, and how to maximise your change of direction without falling. Where better to do that than on a track, with an instructor and away from cops, sand at the corner apex, and oncoming traffic.

Every serious riding school welcomes bigger bikes – get you’re a… there quick as you can and ride safely ‘til you’r 80!