Maximum Control: Mastering Your Heavyweight Bike Paperback – Jan 3 2010
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“I find it to be quite thorough and easy to understand. I particularly like the “building block” presentation and how it emphasizes laying a good foundation of the skills necessary to effectively ride a large motorcycle. The practice exercises are clearly well thought out, easy to understand, and simple to set up for just about anyone. I definitely will be recommending it to my students and friends who already ride big bikes and especially to those who are taking on one of the “heavyweights” for the first time.” – Marshall W. Munce, Owner Southwest Motorcycle Training (
From the Back Cover
Nothing beats the comfort of a big touring or cruising motorcycle, but the cost for that comfort is increased weight, and with increased weight comes increased challenges for a rider. A heavyweight motorcycle starts, stops, and turns differently than a lighter bike, especially when it is loaded down with a week’s worth of gear in the panniers and a passenger on the pillion. Without proper training and riding skills, that comfortable big bike can lead to catastrophe. Covering topics such as bike setup, low-speed maneuvers, emergency braking, and advanced cornering techniques, with practical riding drills for each section, Maximum Control: Mastering your Dresser, Tourer, Cruiser and Other Heavyweight Bike teaches you the skills needed to take charge of your heavyweight motorcycle.
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Top Customer Reviews
Pat Hahn writes in a way that imparts the information of a textbook without the dryness that usually comes with that. It's like hearing stories and tips from an expert over pints, easy, friendly, and accessible.
I'm not even 160 pounds in full gear and I ride a 2300cc Rocket III, and using even the simplest tips from this book has improved virtually all aspects of my riding.
The five-star rating was no question. Buy this book and read it annually.
I found the book very helpful in describing the theory of keeping the motorcycle on its wheels and the riding drills proposed are excellent to actually practice the points raised in the theory...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book discusses how to slip a wet clutch, while riding the rear brake, executing U-turns in a frighteningly small area -- you can even progress to doing full-steering-lock turns... This is what the police learn, and how they can handle their bikes in such amazing ways. That level of handling skill REQUIRES 100+hours of parking lot practice. I just applied some of the techniques, rather poorly, and I was able to make U-turns at really slow speeds, two-up. Even I was amazed at how well I did. I don't ride a heavy-weight bike, but it is 31-years old, and its handling is not that great, but with the techniques I have learned reading this book, I can handle my bike much better than I have ever done before. It has built up my confidence tremendously. Now if I could convince myself to go to the parking lot and practice...
To give you some insight, the authors advocate riding the rear brake, while slipping the wet clutch on your bike (will NOT work with dry clutches -- they will burn out in a short time!), will allow you to stabilize your bike's handling so much, with practice, that you will be able to pull off amazing handling feats, beyond what you thought possible. Just by leading with the rear brake in any braking situation, you will stabilize your bike, avoiding the nose dive you get when you grab a handful of front brake! That alone is worth the price of admission. Everything beyond that, is so much sweet frosting! This book is probably one of the best you could have in your collection. Buy it! You won't regret it. Cheers!
I have found this book to be of great value to riders of all ages and skill levels.
This is simply laid out with great illustrations. Some, more experiences riders may have to forage through the information to glean new ideas, but there is enough there for them as well, and it never hurts to practice old skills.
New or returning riders will find lots to learn and practice. This is loaded with good illustrations and good step-by-step instructions on how to proceed.
The chapters have a strong and common thread of safety, which is why we would want to learn more advanced survival skills on the road anyway.
Add it to your collection, and loan it to (or recommend they add it to their library) your new rider friends.
The main author, Pat Hahn, is a MSF instructor while two contributing authors are Motor Officer instructors. If you've watched Riding like a Pro, then the exercises and concepts taught in Maximum Control should not come as a surprise because they're the same. The first 40 pages are almost completely devoted to adjusting/modifying your motorcycle, but I found it to be dwarfed by the content from other books like the Motorcycle Suspension Bible or perhaps Total control by Lee Parks. However, once the authors discuss Friction Zone, it is all business.
I found several discrepancies in Maximum Control. The authors talk about how people use the thigh muscles to control the brake pedal in a car, while on a motorcycle the pivot point is on the ankle/heel. I beg to differ. Unless you are short and have small feet, it is exactly the same on a car. I pivot my right foot between the brake and throttle pedals using the heel and ankle. When first learning to drive, it was easy for me to jam on the brakes because that muscle memory wasn't learned. It is the same if I suddenly started to use my left foot for braking. On a motorcycle, I found the muscle memory to translate directly over. But the challenge comes from motorcycle riding boots with stiff soles that don't provide the same amount of tactile response as driving shoes or sneakers.
Another discrepancy is cornering. In Maximum Control, the authors cite "slow, roll, look, press" while it was drilled into our heads during the MSF Basic RiderCourse as "slow, look, press, roll". The latter is intuitive, as you'd want to slow down, look to see your options, press on the bar to counter-steer, and roll open the throttle.
The drills are excellent, but anyone that has seen Riding Like a Pro will find the exercises familiar. Dragging the rear brake really helps stabilize the bike at very low speeds. Unfortunately, I didn't have any opportunity to practice on a real bike before my Basic RiderCourse, so I had to jam in some "practice time" during the exercises.
Overall: 5/5 stars, highly recommended