While on the road, our good friend Tone sent us a video and some info regarding his progress since part 1. Here is what he had to say:
Since part 1 of my attempts to learn idle wheelies, I've been trying to push myself past my comfort zone in regards to how hard I'm clutching the bike up. Since catching idle requires the bike to be a bit behind balance point, clutching it up that high is a bit scary at first. Over the last few sessions, I have been focusing only on clutching it up past balance point and letting the idle pull me back to the bar. While I'm still struggling with the consistency of the amount of throttle I'm giving it (it's usually way too much), I'm now clutching it up to the bar regularly. I've become comfortable with the bike being at 12:00 and parking it on the bar. Now that I have that down, over the next few sessions I will work on catching it with the brake rather than hopping off the back.
Spending a few days parking it on the bar has given me the confidence to know what to do for those times in upcoming sessions where I will not brake enough. I can now hop off the bike and bring it to a stop on the bar in a somewhat controlled manner for the most part, rather than destroying my bike and having downtime waiting for parts. Learning to bail properly is definitely a valuable skill to learn.
Although I'm in no position to give advice to anyone, as you can tell from my garbage wheelies, there's a few things I've noticed over my last few sessions;
- After unloading my bike, the first time I clutch it up I park it on the bar immediately, normally giving it way too much throttle. I find that if I don't do that, it will take me a while to get the confidence to clutch it up that hard and I will roll around the lot not giving it anywhere near enough gas to hit idle. Once I get the first one out of the way, it shakes off any nervousness I've had.
- Although you'll never catch me in a pair of skinny jeans (I don't think they come in a size 60 waist), I try not to wear jeans that are too baggy now. I've gotten my jeans caught in my passenger pegs and on the edges of my 12 bar a couple of times due to that and it's not a fun feeling.
As a note, I really like Tone's first suggestion as far as immediately tackling what you're most scared of first thing when you get to the lot. I personally do that, as I find if I let a scary trick linger too long either the pressure builds up and I psyche myself our completely, or I do attempt it but I don't really commit to it which inevitably leads to failure.
Keep up the good work Tone, hopefully by the time we're back from XDL Los Angeles we'll be able to film part 3.