More than a few people have asked me about the scraps of text taped to my fauxtank on the BMW. They are straight outta Keith Code’s A Twist of the Wrist 1 & 2, and in both English and German. Because I learned to ride in Germany, I can get stuck in German sometimes while riding. If everything is going well, English suffices.
Code’s concept is that there are a few mistakes that people make while interacting with their environment (these apply to every form of transit that removes one’s feet from the surface), and by learning to recognize them, we can learn to avoid making them. Additionally, there are a few rules for controlling the motorcycle that can make these mistakes not only less disturbing to the motorcycle, but also less dangerous for the rider. I wish I had read his books early on in my automotive track career.
A pointed note on Rule 1, the most misunderstood sentence in all of motorcycling. “Cracked open” means exactly that. “Rolled on continuously” means exactly that. Not “whacked open” and “whacked open all the way”. The concept of Rule 1 centers on the fact that a very slight amount of throttle angle increase is required to bring the bike back up to speed in the turn and recover from the lean, setting up for launching out of the turn exit. This increase must be made in a manner that does not upset the suspension of the bike. Think of snap oversteer in your favorite rear-engined RWD car. This is an example of upset suspension leading to pain. If the throttle angle is increased in the appropriate manner, the suspension remains composed and the rear tyre remains in tractive contact with the tarmac. It is also good execution of Rule 1 that allows riders to break the rear end loose and maintain control, analogous to drifting one’s car.
Thems the rules. Berndt Spiegel says it’s ok to tape them to your bike, too.