Red Bull Media House Partners With TEAM Arizona for On Any Sunday Movie Events

TEAMARIZONA_On_Any_Sunday_PromoTEAM Arizona is excited to partner with Red Bull Media House to host several On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter movie events.

For those of you familiar with the original iconic On Any Sunday film, you know the impact the movie had on a generation of motorcyclists.

If this stunning movie trailer is any indication about the quality of the film, then we’re all in for a real treat.  This movie may be catalyst for a future generation of riders, and you have an opportunity to be a part of it!

At the event we will be providing some outstanding giveaways including framed movie posters, shirts, and riding courses from TEAM Arizona.

SEATING IS LIMITED AND THESE EVENTS ARE SURE TO SELL OUT!  Purchase your tickets as soon as they become available.  They can be purchased online through these links:


(Tickets On Sale NOW)


(Tucson Tickets Go On Sale December 19, 2014 at 12am)

We look forward to going on this adventure with all of you!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: Engine Braking Pros and Cons

We come across this question quite often from course participants in our Basic RiderCourse and from some of our more advanced courses too.  The question is, “When I need to slow my motorcycle down, should I just use brakes or should I allow the engine to  help slow me down?”

In essence, the person is asking us whether or not they should use engine braking.  Generally, folks seem surprised by the answer.


slipper clutchBefore we get too far ahead of ourselves, we should first define engine braking.  Engine braking occurs when the retarding forces within an engine are used to slow a vehicle down, as opposed to using an additional external braking mechanisms such as friction brakes.  It can be as simple as just rolling off the throttle.  Often times, when switching from a higher gear to a lower gear a rider can obtain a slowing effect more so than just rolling off the throttle.

We should note that there isn’t a right or wrong; rather, it comes down to preference and what you think is safest.


CONNECTEDNESS:  When performed properly (NOTE THIS HUGE CAVEAT), engine braking can be an effective way to slow you and your motorcycle.  Some riders find engine braking a better way to slow their vehicle because they feel more connected to the motorcycle and how the power is being delivered to the rear wheel.

PROPER GEAR FOR HAZARD AVOIDANCE:  By downshifting and releasing the clutch as we slow from a higher gear to a lower gear, we can better place ourselves in the appropriate gear for our speed should we need to perform a hazard avoidance maneuver or to be able to quickly accelerate out of a poor situation.  If we were to remain in a higher gear, the bike might lug, and we may not be able to accelerate as quick.


rear wheel lock upSAFETY CONCERNS:  For entry level riders, the process of engine braking while downshifting from higher to lower gears may be problematic.  In extreme examples when going from a higher gear to a lower gear under high engine RPMs,  we can lock up the rear tire creating a skid, cause damage to the gearbox, and possibly wear out the clutch and transmission prematurely.  Therefore, engine braking is a skill that should be developed gradually and over time.  Matching our gears to road speed is something we can work on our entire riding careers.

New technology found often in sport bikes can help prevent rear wheel lock up.  It is called a slipper clutch actually “slips” when the rear wheel tries to drive the engine faster than it would run under its own power.  Racers have benefitted immensely from this technology as rear wheel lockups often created very dangerous high side crashes.  If you want to increase your safety, you may want to consider a vehicle with a slipper clutch.

In Total Control Level 2 we work on performance shifting which includes “blipping” the throttle on downshift to help match the engine speed to road speed.  This technique is not something we discuss with entry level riders because much of their mental bandwidth is being used for other motor skill activities.

brake lightsBRAKE LIGHTS:  Engine braking may be effective for the rider, but motorists behind us might not be able to discern if we are slowing or not.  If you choose to employ engine braking for slowing, make sure to tap the front brake lever or rear brake pedal to communicate your intention to motorists around you.


Ultimately, it is up to us to decide if we want to integrate as part of slowing process.  Can we use just our brakes only?  Sure.  The old adage it is cheaper to replace brake pads than clutches or transmissions has some inherent wisdom.

If we are seeking a higher proficiency with our vehicle, then using both methods makes sense.  We highly recommend integrating both using both brakes of your motorcycle in conjunction with engine braking.  The more tuned these processes are, the more likely we are to use them correctly when a hazardous situation presents itself.  The beauty is that to practice these techniques all we have to do is get out and RIDE!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Kelly’s Korner: Keep Calm and Karate Chop The Ego

Karate ChopFear. It has to be the most crippling emotion we humans experience. Certainly nothing has held me back in life as much as my own fears. That’s why deciding to learn to ride dealt a metaphorical karate chop to the deep-seated messages I had chosen to believe during the formative years about who I am and what I’m capable of doing. It also created new, terrifying and thrilling misgivings about change, about discovering who I could be, and knowing nothing about bikes. In fear lies possibility.

I think — and I could be wrong, but bear with me — that on average, women tend to internalize such fears more than most men. After all, many of us were not raised among bikes and were discouraged from pursuing “boys’ activities” in our childhood years. No matter who we are, though, when we choose to get on a machine that we don’t yet understand but know could kill us, and when we find ourselves surrounded by people whom we assume to be more accomplished and knowledgeable than we’ll ever be, we let fear keep our mouths shut. We have so many questions we want to ask, but we are scared of looking ridiculous in front of a group. We don’t want to risk being laughed at or chided. And so we cave to fear, even though we know that doing so only hurts our progress.

Where does fear originate and where does it thrive?  Using the triune brain model, fear and ego reside within the limbic system of our brains.  Ego is tricky. It’s a messy combination of self-preservation and conflated sense of self, with something useful in the middle. In the extremes, ego presents a person who does nothing with her life because she’s so afraid, or it creates the selfie-obsessed narcissist who can do no wrong. Sometimes, ego and fear save our lives but they are, for the most part, deterrents to self-discovery.

Karate Chop RiderThe good news is, if we stay aware of the ways ego and fear can affect us in the extremes, we are freed to seek balance in the middle. And riding, which is called “the lazy woman’s Zen” for good reason, provides an ideal vehicle for seeking that balance. How? By applying the lessons we learn on a bike to our day-to-day lives. You can draw endless parallels between riding and life. For example, a while back, I realized that in life, just as in riding, I go where I look. And there’s so much more — about physical and mental capacity. About how we react to unexpected situations. About how we treat ourselves and other people. About remaining teachable. About karate chopping fears.

Becoming an ever-better rider requires willingness to push ego aside so we can learn and absorb something new. This is part of why the simple act of a novice climbing on a strange little bike, alongside twenty other people taking the same step, starts to break down the barrier that ego has built. After putting in the hard work of breaking down the ego barrier, the danger becomes not falling prey to the assumption that as we grow more proficient on a bike, we should know the answers to our questions or, worse, not have any more questions.  Just because we’ve taken a Basic RiderCourse, does that make asking questions any less appropriate?  Of course not.

female_riding_fear_smallHowever, sometimes it feels like it would be easier to tell ourselves to keep quiet, we’ll Google the answer later or pull someone aside in private, rather than feel bare, exposed, possibly dumb, before other people. In reality, taking any of those routes is a letdown because we’re allowing ego and fear to control our behavior. Look at question-asking this way: You’re helping me to become a better rider. I’m helping you. In my experience, people are asking questions I hadn’t even thought of and that I now desperately want answered.

Remember, fear is not real. It feels real yet it exists only in our own minds. If we want to be better motorcyclists, we have to move beyond our ego, push back on our fears, and open our minds and our mouths.  You can even start by asking me.  Send your questions to  

No ego involved, I promise!

Kelly Teal Signature




For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Polly Moland: TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month December 2014!

Polly MolandTwenty two years.  That’s how long it has been since Polly Moland completed her Basic RiderCourse.  Yep, twenty two years and three motorcycles later, we welcome her as TEAM Arizona’s December 2014 Rider of the Month!

Currently, Polly rides a 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster.  She loves getting away, going for long rides, and enjoys the scenery in Arizona.  Her advice to other riders?  Take your time, slow your actions, and try not to be concerned with keeping up with more advanced riders.

hwy-87smallWhen she’s taking her favorite day ride from Queen Creek to Strawberry, she does her best to stop and smell the roses along the way.  Polly finds motorcycling to be a relaxing and peaceful pursuit.

We’re right there with you Polly.  There’s nothing like a day in the saddle to make the cares of the world slip away.  Especially when the twists and turns of Highway 87 are awaiting us.  Here’s to Polly!

Riders, we want to honor YOU!  Do you know someone who should be TEAM Arizona’s Rider of the Month?  Entering their name is SIMPLE.

  • Email Bill ( )
  • In the subject line, type “Rider of the Month”
  • In one paragraph, tell us why this rider deserves the title TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month!

Let’s have some serious FUN with this gang!  There are some great stories out there and we don’t want to miss them, so tell us about yourselves!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE


TEAM Arizona To Present Riding Seminars at IMS Phoenix

International Motorcycle Show Phoenix

TEAM Arizona is excited to provide, for the second year in a row, rider education seminars on not one, but TWO big stages at the Phoenix International Motorcycle Show.

This year, TEAM Arizona will present the following topics:

  • Lane Positioning:  Are you where you need to be to save your life?
  • Group Riding:  Get the inside scoop on how to ride in a group to maximize your FUN!

Each presentation will be between 30-45 minutes and will have interactive portions to engage all attendees.  The seminars are FREE (included in the ticket price).

Lane Positioning on the Progressive Stage:
Saturday at 2:00pm
Sunday at 12:30pm
Group Riding on the Eaglerider Stage:
Friday at 4:30pm
Saturday at 12:30pm

To get your one-day tickets with a 25% discount, CLICK HERE.

If, for whatever reason, the page doesn’t show the discount, just enter this code:  FACEBOOK15

Stop by the booth and say hello.  We look forward to seeing you at the show!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: The Time Space Continuum

barf_largeNo, this article isn’t some high-minded sci-fi exploration.  Rather, we hope this will be a jumping point for our readers to consider the interplay between the concepts of time and space.   Our motorcycle ride can be negatively affected should we fail to understand how these concepts alter the amount of risk we are accepting.  Like our friend to the left, Barf from the movie Spaceballs, we can choose to be our own best friend.

Will you follow Barf’s lead and be your own best friend?


Actually, it doesn’t take a brilliant scientist like Hawking to paint a picture for us motorcyclists.  Space is the area around us, our buffer zone, from all possible hazards.  Hazards can be fixed (curbing, traffic islands, poles, etc) or they can be transient and mobile (other motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians, etc).  When we position ourselves as far away from these hazards as possible, we are creating SPACE for ourselves.

Traditionally, rider training has focused on a key area:  the space in front of us.  Why?  Research shows that most motorist involved crashes happen in front of us.  Intersections are a critical road location where motorcyclists often suffer the most severe and damaging interaction with other motorists.  It is crucial we learn to manage that space.

Two Second Following DistanceWhile the space in front of us is most important, we don’t want to neglect the space to our left and right.  Giving ourselves escape lanes, positioning ourselves in our lane dynamically in ways that maximize our space, and keeping our head on a swivel are important elements to providing ourselves with space.


In TEAM Arizona’s three primary course offerings, the Basic RiderCourse, Confident RiderCourse, and Advanced Riding Techniques, we introduce and promote the 2-4-12.  If you are unfamiliar or need a refresher regarding the 2-4-12 concept, these articles are great:

Using measurements of time, we actually develop the space to operate our vehicle successfully.


We see it on the roadways everyday.  Riders following other motorists a scant few feet behind the rear bumper at 65 mph, 75 mph, or even faster.  What has that rider done to their time and space?  Effectively, they’ve unnecessarily added risk, compressed the amount of time to perform a hazard avoidance technique, and removed possible escape routes.  Why the rush?

It is in another language, but we get its meaning immediately.

It is in another language, but we get its meaning immediately.

There are several theories (e.g., Americans are highly territorial and aggressive on the roadways, motorcyclists have a false sense of performance because we can often accelerate or stop quicker than the traffic around us, etc), but none of these theories address how to change the behavior.

What’s the best way to change our behavior?  First, understand how we’re directly accountable for actively providing ourselves the time and space for operating our vehicle successfully.  Second, we have to consciously (meaning keep it top of mind while we’re riding) let go of our territorial desires and immediately forgive the motorists who trespass upon us.  We’ll never win against other motorists so why try?  Third, create good following distance habits by employing the 2-4-12 technique.  Fourth, and finally, avoid being or feeling rushed on a motorcycle.  You’ve made the decision to be on a motorcycle; take the time (and space) to enjoy it!

Do you have any ideas about maximizing your time and space?  We’d love to hear about your solutions.  Visit us on Facebook and tell us your ideas!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE






Kelly’s Korner: Looking and Feeling HOT In Cold Weather

Kelly TealAs I write this, the late October mercury continues to hover at an exasperating 90 degrees.  Still, I have faith that more seasonable weather soon will arrive.  And when that happens, I’ll be hunting down my heated gloves and berating myself for not yet replacing the heavy riding gear I undergrew a couple of years ago.  Looking ahead to the inevitable cool down, then, let’s talk about the gear that makes riding bearable, if not comfortable, in inclement temperatures and conditions.  I think this will come in especially handy for women facing their first winter of riding.

You may laugh at the idea of heated gloves in Arizona; once upon a time, I did as well.  But as it turns out, I need them.  When my hands won’t wrap around the levers or the throttle because they’re too cold to move, it’s a problem.  I seem to lose body heat on a bike at around 60 degrees.  So I use electric gloves that tend to burn the tops of my hands rather than leaving them frozen.  We can’t win every battle, people.  If you’re curious about heated gloves, do some Internet research, talk with a long time rider or two and a gear supplier, and then try on some pairs in person.  Rechargeable lithium ion battery-powered gloves may work best if you don’t want to suck too much of your bike’s power or be tethered to a cord.  The drawback is that the battery won’t last as long as gloves that use the bike’s energy.  Heated liners that fit inside your favorite pair of gloves are another option.  Heated Motorcycle Riding GearWhile none of these choices are inexpensive (or, if they are, you’ll get what you pay for), consider that you stand to use these heated gloves or liners every year for the next many number of years.

There also are heated jackets and liners.  I’ve yet to go this route.  When it’s only mildly nippy, I wear a very attractive pair of Hot Chillys thermals under jeans.  On top, I wear a fleece jacket under my regular Scorpion jacket and, if there’s wind, I’ll wear the jacket liner under the fleece.  When it comes to feet, I wear a pair of calf-high pantyhose under a pair of long socks, just like back in the days of living in snow.  Layering works wonders.

But when the weather turns frigid and I still decide that riding, not driving, is a swell idea, well, it’s time for me to revisit what I need to keep the cold where it belongs while also protecting my limbs.  Fortunately, manufacturers have developed winter gear that contains armor while promoting warmth and resisting water.  Some features to look for:

  • A removable liner;
  • Water proof/resistant material;
  • Design that keeps rain from getting between your gloves and wrists, or from dripping down your neck; and
  • A collar that keeps your neck warm but that doesn’t interfere with being able to turn your helmeted head.

That’s all good stuff. Unfortunately, a quick Google search shows me that riding clothes manufacturers fail to understand two basic realities:

  1. It’s 2014; women comprise a sizable riding demographic with buying power.
  2. We want to look as female in winter as we do in summer, while maintaining riding safety integrity.

winter helmetI’m not asking for much here — really, I don’t want to look like I posed in a cotton candy ad. I would, though, like to maintain some semblance of feminine allure in the dead of winter on my bike.  A touch of color, and a form-fitting tuck here and there would be most welcome.  In my now too-large winter riding gear, I look like a space-age version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy and from what I can tell, that’s going to remain the case with the new gear.  Of course, I’ll take what I can get because if I’m going to ride, it’s going to be with a safety-first attitude.  However, manufacturers, I ask you, must safety look so freaking boring for the ladies?

Ride warm this winter, everyone.  Reach out to me at if you have questions!

Kelly Teal Signature




For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Tom Ritter: TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month November 2014!

Tom Ritter Run For The Wall

Community.  At the core of the motorcycling experience is the simple fact that riders belong to a very small, passionate group of like-minded individuals.  At the core of the motorcycling community are folks who give of themselves in order for the community to progress, succeed, and evolve.  These individuals sacrifice for the betterment of the group; the unsung hero.  Today, we’re doing some singing.  Tom Ritter is one of those giving individuals, and for this reason and many more, we are honored to have Tom as our Rider of the Month for November 2014.

Tom Ritter RidingTom’s resume is impressive.  He spent seventeen (17) years in the El Zaribah Shrine Motorcycle Unit.  He spent ten of those years as a Shrine parade drill team member.  Can you say precision?  For the past eight (8) years, he’s made the Run for the Wall cross country from Los Angeles to Washington DC with roughly 500 riders in the mix.  Four (4) of those years he acted as Road Guard, and in 2013 he served as a Road Guard Captain.  That duty is not to be taken lightly as he was in charge of thirty (30) Road Guards.  If you’re doing the math, each Run for the Wall is about 6,000 miles per run, so close to 50,000 miles in just those rides alone.

An individual might think that fifty five years (yep, you read that right 55!) in the saddle would jade a person about training.  Wouldn’t that person think they have nothing to learn about motorcycling or the experience?  Not Tom.  Throughout the years he’s attended several BASIC RiderCourses along with several Advanced Riding Techniques courses.  Why?  His mindset is that a person can ALWAYS learn new things about riding.

tom_ritter_rgWhat has he done recently for the riding community?  He’s served on the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation (AMSAF) board.  He directly supported the recent Rider Training Scholarship campaign.  He was vital to making sure the financial aspects to the campaign were handled properly.  The result?  Six hundred scholarship recipients are walking away better educated, better trained riders.  As an unpaid volunteer, he sacrificed many hours of his personal time with his family to make sure the Arizona riding community is a better place.  What more could be asked of an individual?

If you ever get a chance to see Tom at one of the motorcycling events, we encourage you to thank him for his service.  We sure will.

Riders, we want to honor YOU!  Do you know someone who should be TEAM Arizona’s Rider of the Month?  Entering their name is SIMPLE.

  • Email Bill ( )
  • In the subject line, type “Rider of the Month”
  • In one paragraph, tell us why this rider deserves the title TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month!

Let’s have some serious FUN with this gang!  There are some great stories out there and we don’t want to miss them, so tell us about yourselves!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE


Fourth Annual TEAM Az Toy Drive for Shriners Childrens Hospital


TEAM Arizona is honored to hold its Fourth Annual Toy Drive on behalf of Shriners Children’s Hospital of Phoenix.

Will you be able to carve some time out of your busy Holiday schedule and share in this precious moment to help us meet our goal?

We will be accepting toys at these two locations and times:

Last year we were able to round up nearly 300 toys (about 1/3 of the need).  This year, we’re aiming for 500 toys in hopes that we can meet one-half of the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital annual need.

It is a beautiful moment to see the look on a child’s face when they come out of a procedure and are able to select a toy.  Without a doubt, this is one of the most meaningful activities we do all year at TEAM Arizona.  We don’t care if you ride or not, just come out and be with us!

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE


Rider Training Reward

Calling all TEAM Arizona family members!  We need your help to find an additional Tucson riding range.  Will you help us?  The ideal range would be:

  • 200 feet by 300 feet (or close to those measurements)
  • Available on weekends (mandatory) and possibly during the weekday
  • Level, relatively defect-free pavement that is free from obstruction
  • Can house a conex (shipping container for the training motorcycles)
  • Can have markings placed on the surface (paint)

If you have a solid lead for us and we’re able to establish services within the next six months, you’ll earn a $500 reward!

Send all leads to

 For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE