The man<->machine marriage

Posted by Suman on Aug 13, 2021

One rides a motorcycle for many reasons.

Most ride it for the sake of riding

Others ride for thrills.

Few others ride to compete or even to win.

The rare rider rides to be the fastest rider on earth.

I am different.

I started riding to


(Speed itself).


My only motorcycle lessons were the ones I had to take to get my license.

And other than allowing me the visceral experience to

interact with a two-wheeled, steel-and-aluminum-and-oil machine,

I received NOTHING.

The premium for the "experience" and "knowledge"

that I needed to pay was a joke.

Because I lost both my time and the money.

I was asked to pay up, then to sit on a chair,

then to listen to and see

shiny presentations sprinkled with narratives and scenarios,

sold to me as "lessons".

The world will never understand ...

Lessons, cues, and techniques do not work.

Lessons, cues, and techniques do not work.

Lessons, cues, and techniques do not work.

Lessons, cues, and techniques do not work.

Lessons, cues, and techniques do not work.

They may work for a short while.

They may show you great hope.

They may even get you that one-off podium finish.

Heck, if you get really insistent on toiling day and night,

they may even make you a "legend".

Do you understand?

Lessons, cues, gotchas, tricks, and techniques

may work for everyone or even for

the self-convinced "legend".

But they are NOT for


I will use an example.

During my motorcycle lessons,

one cue I kept on receiving was this ...

I was told this -> "Keep hugging the tank as you maneuver a turn"

This was after the instructor noticing my knees repeatedly

leaving the tank, in the direction of the curve

or the turn.

What I was told,

the end result of that instruction,

i.e. having one's legs always hugging the tank of a bike

is actually The Way

to make a turn -

Left or Right

Ninety degrees or Fifteen degrees,

Increasing-radius or decreasing-radius.

But just like all things natural,

it must happen naturally.

And not through memory, lesson, techniques, or cues.

Now, I know the MotoGP/Moto2/Moto3/WorldSBK

drag-knee-to-gauge-lean-angle experts

are laughing at me and my statement above.

But do they know that I am grinning at their premature laughter?

Every time my knee automatically left the tank

in the direction of the turn, is merely a symptom.

I am certain it happened with the rider

who introduced the whole knee-dragging madness

to the collection of societies of communities of riders.

(The collection of societies of communities

that then birthed the notorious

extreme-lean-angle technique.)

Let us call this rider Mr. X.

I will let you in on something

about Mr. X and my instructor.

1. Mr. X did not understand how the Body works.

You see when the Body has not awakened, the Mind will kick in.

The Mind likes to take shortcuts.

The human Mind is a sucker for tricks and techniques.

Because Mr. X decided to exploit his knee-drag-to-make-a-turn symptom,

Because Mr. X decided not to explore the symptom, to understand the symptom,

Mr. X got lured in by the symptom and became infected with a disease.

The disease his friend, his buddy, his wife, his son,

his students and everyone else ultimately picked up.

The disease you today see every single rider

infected with,

relying hopelessly on that infection to maneuver a turn.

Are you catching my drift?

And before you misunderstand my intentions,

I am NOT saying that

dragging the knee is the problem.

What I am saying is how that


came to be in the first place.

2. The instructor does not understand how the Mind works.

If you see the Mind do something (let us say A),

and you tell it verbally - "Do not do A, do B."

The Mind may do B in that instant.

But the moment you let it go or higher, more demanding, more real-life

situations will come, the Mind will default to A.

No matter how many times you say it.

This is the same as instilling "good habits" in children.

This is the same as instilling "proper form" in competitive athletes.

The athletes who are able to demonstrate "perfect form"

every time, are doing so not because of the instruction they received.

They are doing so because they are doing so.

(Because the entity "perfect form" does not exist.)

Your child will keep falling back on that "bad habit"

because you are hell-bent on instilling the opposite

(which also, happens to not exist.)

If you were not just speed-reading, you saw the italicized statements

that the previous two paragraphs started with.

I will restate here for emphasis...

Mr. X did not understand how the Body works.

The instructor does not understand how the Mind works.

^^And therein lies the gist of the message.

If you are thinking - "So what are you proposing?"

And I will say -

I am proposing nothing.

In fact,

I must make something as clear as possible...

Please do not take my verbosity for something it is not.

I am not trying to be a writer or a philosopher or a pedagogue.

I am not offering myself as a coach to you or your athletes.

I am not some intellect or researcher who is looking

to argue and debate.

No. No. No.

I am here

to do.

And so,


speaking from the absolute depths of my heart,

I say this...

Give me your most powerful bike.

Yes, give me that Desmosedici GP. Just for a few minutes.

Then give me your most treacherous circuit. Just for a few minutes.

No, I am not asking anything for free.

Make me pay. I will pay, gladly.

Thousands, tens and even hundreds of, if need be.

And then,

let me demonstrate

what I cannot

through this keyboard.

Thank you.