Google Review TEAM Arizona And Win!

Welcome to the TEAM Arizona Rider Training Awareness Campaign for 2015!

$100 Gift Card

Want a chance to win one of five (5) $100 gift cards to a supporting Arizona motorcycle dealership?  Winning is simple and easy!

Simply click “WRITE A REVIEW” on one of our Google Review pages (click button below), write a 5-Star review, and make sure to mention:

  • When you went to TEAM Arizona
  • Why you attended training
  • How you found the experience beneficial
  • The simple fact that you would enjoy doing business with us again







Winners will be selected from all 5-Star Google Reviews from now until December 15, 2015.  Winners will be announced by December 21, 2015. Entering is easy, quick, and hugely helpful to the motorcycling community in Arizona.

NOTE:  If your review is anything less than a 5-Star review, please contact us first.  We want to know how we can serve you better.

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: Avoid Going Wide In a Corner

motorcycle_corneringRiding well means learning how to control our motorcycle at speeds faster than what we may have already practiced, especially if the Basic RiderCourse is all a rider has experienced.  Courses like Advanced Riding Techniques and Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic are great for learning proper technique in a challenging yet safe environment.  When we take to the street how can we make sure our learned techniques transfer at higher than parking lot speeds?  How can we avoid going wide in a corner when riding at suggested road speeds?



The ugly side to going wide in a corner

Aside from the obvious answer like a motorcyclist can hit an oncoming car or run off the edge of a road, the less obvious answer is that it denotes a lack of proper cornering technique.  The fundamentals of proper cornering are not being employed.  If a rider misunderstands this simple fact they may be in for repeated and unnecessary trips into the oncoming lane, the hospital, or to the dealership to sell the motorcycle because they’re afraid to ride.


Before we can suggest solutions, we must first look at the causes for going wide in a corner.  The causes may be singular, but often they are connected and come in multiples.

  • ENTRY SPEED TOO FAST:  Entering a corner too fast can cause a motorcyclist to freeze on the handlebars thus slowing or preventing entirely the necessary input into the handlebars.  Can you say, “HELLO FEAR?”
  • LACK OF TURN POINT:  Do you have a plan?  A good plan starts with where you’re going to initiate proper inputs into your motorcycle to ensure a successful path through the corner.
  • EARLY TURN POINT:  Turning in too soon can result in trajectory that puts the rider on a path into the opposite lane.  It is a common issue for riders as we want to avoid road edges or oncoming traffic so we’ll initiate our turn early.
  • INCORRECT VISUAL REFERENCE POINTS:  Often riders are not selecting the proper visual reference points to give the brain a path to follow.  Do you select the turn point, apex point, and the exit points for every corner?  Do you know how to select these points for different types of trajectories?
  • FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE CURVE:  What type of curve is it (increasing radius, decreasing radius, constant radius)?  Does it have a camber (positive, negative)?  What is the slope?


valentino thumbs up

Valentino appreciates what his riding coaches have done for him!

The solutions we are recommending below are results of the causes we provided above.  Nothing beats training for helping a rider understand their motorcycle better.  It is the very reason riders like Valentino Rossi have RiderCoaches.  Even at the highest level of road racing, there are always coaches there to support their development.  Once training is in place, practicing is the best way to cement what a rider has learned.  It may be true that a track, instead of a road way, is the best environment to cement these new skills, especially if it means traveling at speeds greater that what is posted on the road sign.

  • SLOW EARLY, SLOW MORE:   When learning how to ride on the road or you are riding on unfamiliar roads, slow earlier than you might typically in a car and slow more.  Why rush the corner and arouse fear responses?
  • ESTABLISH VISUAL REFERENCE POINTS:  Find the turn point, then before initiating the turn locate the apex.  Before reaching the apex our eyes need to locate the exit.  Locating these three valuable reference points are crucial.  Our brain does a great job of calculating the necessary inputs into the motorcycle but ONLY IF we give it proper reference points.
  • UNDERSTAND MOTORCYCLE HANDLING:  Do you know what your hands and feet should be doing at certain points through a corner?  Do you know the 10 Steps to Proper Cornering?  Do you know what countersteering means?  These ideas should be well planted in your mind before swinging a leg over your ride.

All of these concepts can be cemented in a car.  Why a car?  We don’t have to worry about the negative effects of gravity!  The increased availability of mental processing (bandwidth) will help us with the acquisition of key visual reference points.  So if you wanna improve your riding, maybe it should start in your car.

Having fun on two wheels is a big element to why we choose to ride.  The more we know, the more fun it gets.  The more comfortable we are on the motorcycle, the more relaxed we can be, the better the experience.  This may take practice or even more training.  Are you ready to put in the time?  Who doesn’t want to avoid going wide in a corner and have more fun?

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

Kelly’s Korner: What’s in a name? Maybe Everything….

Kelly Teal

Kelly is having fun on her wild ride Hinckley!

Every rider wants a unique bike, one that stands out from everyone else’s. That’s why we personalize our rides with accessories, add and remove parts, repaint.

I also tend to name my motorcycles.

I name a lot of the things—the important ones, anyway. There was Slim Shady, the skinny, leaf-deficient tree. He died. There’s Little Car. There’s the Caven Haven, for our house. Naming objects may seem silly but I like doing it. The act of naming creates a bond, makes me laugh and, of course, expresses affection. And, dammit, I love my bikes.

Kelly_SojoMy first bike, a Ninja 650R, spent our first two years together nameless. Nothing felt right for her (because, yes, that’s right, my motorcycles also embody gender). That is, nothing felt right for her until I was cruising up Highway 89 on my way to Boise, alone. Somewhere around the Cameron Trading Post and those volcanic sand mounds that look like they fell off the moon, my bike’s name, “Sojourner,” hit me. Sojo my Ninja became. And Sojo she left me when I at last let her go for a dirt bike…which I now call “Sojo 2.” Lazy nomenclature? Maybe. Or perhaps a fitting homage to my first bike, the one on which I found new freedoms and joys, faced fears I didn’t know I had. A first bike feels much like first love. And similar to first love, we’ll probably outgrow that first bike, no matter the tenderness and appreciation we feel for it. For me, Sojo 2, a slow, underpowered Honda CRF 230, magnifies the spirit of Sojo, just in different form, in the different kinds of places we can go to together and in different ways.

Triumph, Hinckley EnglandI must admit, though, that I did not name my Triumph. My friend Bill came away with that honor. The Street Triple R, clearly a dude, rode home with me in March 2010. I think he remained without a moniker for about a year, until Bill suggested “Hinckley”—for the British city where the Triumph houses its factory, not for a wanna-be presidential assassin (yes, you’ve read that from me before). I liked it. I went with it. And like the city itself, my Hinckley is a bit of a rebel; he and I bring that out in each other.

The motorcycle naming process tends to take me a while. I have to glean a sense of the machine’s personality and for our possibilities together as rider and bike. In essence, that makes a motorcycle the representation of my best intentions: to nurture meaningful bonds; to discover new facets of myself; to pursue adventure; to seek perspective; to defy expectations; to go through life self-sufficient but not alone.

 Tell me if you have a love in your life.  What have you named your favorite ride?Kelly Teal Signature

Howard Mudd: TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month September 2015!

Howard Mudd NFL CoachPart of the joy of providing motorcycle rider training is that we meet the most interesting people in the world.  Our Rider of the Month for September 2015 crushes it in the “interesting” department.  A former All-Pro NFL Offensive Lineman turned NFL Super Bowl winning football coach has a lot he could teach us.  However, with tremendous amount of humility, he reached out to us for training and the experience has been pure gold.  It is with great excitement and unadulterated joy we introduce you to Howard Mudd.

Howard Mudd BMW

DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MONITORS! This is Howard Mudd taking a nap on his R1200GS. His thought? Why push it when you can take a nap?

When 72 year old (at the time) Howard Mudd walked into the Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic Level 1, we were unsure he would be physically capable of completing the course.  Decades of playing football, years of coaching, and surgeries galore means that Howard walks in a unique way.  A way that cannot really be described, but merely experienced.  He makes no excuses for his physical state; he merely “gets on with it”.  To say he blew us away would be an understatement.  His drive to improve, his willingness to try new techniques, and his ability to adapt are impressive.  Not only did he complete Level 1, he went on to attend the Total Control Track Clinic at Willow Springs and attend a track day at Inde Motorsports Ranch.  Incredible.

Howard explains what motivates him to ride to the best of his ability:

Howard Mudd NFL CoachLike playing in the NFL, riding a motorcycle well means putting forth a massive effort.  Playing well in the National Football League requires practice, managing risk, planning ahead, rehearsing, and total dedication.  Winning a game in the NFL is difficult.  When you put a good effort forward there is a massive reward.  Same goes for riding.  Riding a motorcycle well comes close to capturing that feeling.  Being on two-wheels provides a parallel to being in the NFL.

Howard’s riding career had fits and starts in his twenties, but it wasn’t until he was 45 that he started riding in earnest.  He bought a Harley Davidson Road King and within six months a left turning vehicle put him in a hospital bed for six weeks.  Not to be deterred, he purchased Titan upon recovery.

His riding career took a turn when he ran into a guy he once coached.  They reconnected around riding and his friend convinced him to consider a BMW.  After speaking with a motor officer who rode a RT, he decided to take the BMW plunge.  Today, Howard rides a 2014 BMW R1200GS purchased from Victory BMW.  He absolutely loves this bike.  Howard waxes about his riding experience:

Howard Mudd Race Track

Howard getting his lean on while chasing down a BMW S100RR at Inde Motorsports Ranch!

I enjoy riding.  I enjoy the total requirement to operate a bike properly.  Making the calculations for cornering, riding the corner properly, everything it takes to operate the motorcycle correctly.  Using all of my faculties is stimulating to me.  Mind, body, spirit.  I tried golf, was real serious about it, but I never came home without complaining about the golf outing.  In contrast, I never come back from a motorcycle ride and wish it was better.  The riding experience itself is just exhilarating.

Howard will be spending some time in the Pacific Northwest to support his family; a move that surprises none of us who know his heart is as big as his smile.  We’ll miss him while he’s away, but we’re certain we’ll meet up with him soon on two wheels.

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


When Misfortune Strikes: The Crash Aftermath

Craig Smith Hospital Bed

It’s never a good day when you end up in a hospital bed. Craig was happy his riding gear did its job and that the outcome wasn’t worse.

TEAM Arizona RiderCoach and staff member, Craig Smith, suffered a crash at an intersection in early July.  The SUV driver claimed she didn’t see Craig before plowing into him.  She didn’t even attempt to slow or stop her vehicle.  Sound unusual?  We didn’t think so.

We’ll spare you the gruesome pictures but just know our man Craig is feeling better and is already back at work a short three weeks after the incident.  A chipped bone in his leg and wrist, and some scraped up legs were the net result.  Upon reflection, Craig admitted he did some things very well and some things he could have done a bit better.

We all agreed his incident should not be wasted as a learning experience for TEAM Arizona newsletter readers.  Thankfully, Craig is a reasonable, humble person and didn’t mind setting aside his ego to help all of us gain from his experience.  In this piece, we wanted to share with you the highlights and low lights of the gear Craig was wearing.


motorcycle crash helmet

The jaw line and rear of the helmet have been scraped down to the bare outer shell. Could you imagine if Craig was wearing a baseball cap or nothing at all?

Simply, it did its job.  It is pretty obvious from the pictures that if Craig had not been wearing a helmet, he probably wouldn’t be with us today.  Maybe even more importantly, if he had not been wearing a full face helmet, the jaw would have been smashed to bits.  Craig avoided a concussion even though the external damage to the shell and internal, impact absorbing liner may suggest otherwise.  The outer shell, impact absorbing liner, and attachment system worked flawlessly to prevent Craig from having any head or neck injuries.


Motorcycle Jacket Crash Fulmer

The jacket shows how well the abrasion resistance material worked.  Craig slid down the hot asphalt at close to 45mph. The armor in the jacket at the elbow worked brilliantly as no injury to the elbow was suffered.

We want our readers to know up front that Fulmer Helmets and Riding Apparel sponsor TEAM Arizona.  With that said, it is undeniable that the Fulmer riding apparel did its job to spare Craig abrasion and impact injury.


motorcycle gloves crashes

Do these look unscathed? A closer look shows how the knuckle protective areas suffered major impact and yet no injury to the hands occurred. The padding and stitching were designed in such a way to resist tearing. Job done!

We often tell riders to imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t use your hands on a daily basis.  Sounds horrible, right?  Motorcycle gloves are that important.  Notice we’re using the term MOTORCYCLE GLOVES.  Not just any gloves will do.   The Fulmer gloves used by Craig were intelligently designed by engineers to protect riders from impacts and injuries due to abrasion from an incident.  Inspection of the motorcycle gloves shows that the mix of materials used by the manufacturer, including leather, carbon fiber, and poly-carbonate performed their jobs well enough to prevent injury.


motorcycle boots crash

Despite being impacted by a SUV and sliding on the hot Phoenix asphalt, these motorcycle boots look no worse for wear. Aside from the white scuffs left from the paint of the vehicle, these boots don’t even look like they were involved in a serious crash. Yet they were.

Often an afterthought for most motorcyclists, motorcycle specific boots are critical to preventing ankle and foot injury.  Good motorcycle boots are lightweight, impact resistant, provide a solid heel and foot shank area, and can resist abrasion.  Why lightweight?  The foot is at the end of your legs (duh!), but in physics terms, it is a weight at the end of a pendulum.  The lighter the weight at the end of the pendulum, the less force at impact.  Thus, here again, boots designed specifically for the motorcycling application are preferred.  The MAIDS report shows that our lower body, especially the extremities, are exposed to just as much risk for injury as our upper body.


Notice the absence of a picture?  Yeah, well, perfection doesn’t exist.  In this case, Craig decided to wear jeans instead of his usual textile pants due to the Arizona summer heat.  The medical professionals cut Craig’s jeans, well, what was left of them, off of his body.  We won’t post the pictures of the road rash, but it was substantial.

A simple decision to go for “comfort” over protection ended up leading to some serious road rash on Craig’s legs.  He’ll manage, but the pain could have been avoided just by wearing the protection he already owns; a fact Craig humbly accepts.  His hope is that you will learn from his mistake.


Riding a motorcycle means you are willing to accept an elevated amount of risk.  However, it doesn’t mean we can’t make conscious decisions to mitigate the risks of riding.  It’s up to you how much risk you want to accept.  Safe to say, as Craig shops for his new motorcycle and new gear, he’ll be going with what worked for him in this incident…and maybe a bit more.

Have fun…be safe.

motorcyclist injury without gear

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: See Like a Superhero?

eyes helmetVision is critical to our success as riders.  Most importantly, when we corner a motorcycle, we should be using our eyes to find key elements to the corner which include locating the turn point, the apex, and the exit of the corner.  Did you know that you can use different eye training exercises to:

  • Enhance Depth Perception
  • Increase focusing speed
  • Increase speed of processing information
  • Increase visual concentration for extended periods of times (necessary when riding through curvy mountain passes)
  • Decrease reaction time

Athletes from various sports, including Major League Baseball, the NFL, PGA, and NBA employ various eye training exercises to gain an edge.  Are you ready to increase your skill on a motorcycle and start using the same exercises racing champions use?

motorcycle eye chartFIRST THINGS FIRST

When it comes to vision, it helps if we have a good foundation.  When was the last time  you had your eyes checked?  If it has been more than three years, you may want to start there.  A thorough eye exam will determine if you’ve experienced any changes in vision.  A comprehensive eye exam will include:

  • Eye health review (test for glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration)
  • Near and Far Distance evaluation
  • Tests to determine how well the eyes are working together


Do eye exercises actually work?  In a phone conversation Rich Oliver, owner of Rich Oliver’s Mystery School and Five-time AMA 250 Grand Prix National Champion, he was gracious enough to provide us with some insight about how he trained his eyes to become a champion.  First, he stated he’s just “paying it forward” as it was an eye doctor in Los Angeles who generously shared eye training exercises with him several decades ago.  Rich immediately found several eye exercises to be a valuable way to track objects as he moved quickly through time and space.

In this blog, we’ve pieced together a few exercises recommended from various professional and academic sources.  Some exercises and “training programs” found on the web often include expensive contraptions and have been debunked as methods to improve our vision.  We’ve done our best to sift through the noise to provide a few exercises that will directly enhance how we see on a motorcycle.  Will it give you superhuman vision?  No.  Will it improve your visual acuity?  The science indicates yes but that more research is needed.  In the meantime, give these exercises a shot.  NOTE:  These exercises will not help if your eyes are suffering from medical issues (glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration).  We recommend these exercises merely as a supplement to becoming a better motorcyclist.

The Warm Up

eye stretchesTo get the eyes (including the muscles around the eyeball) warmed up, we’ll begin with some simple eye movements.  This exercise is from a portion of the Bates Method.  While some exercises from the Bates Method are widely disregarded as pseudoscience,  this particular exercise is accepted by eye specialists as beneficial for the eyes.  Until recently it was believed that the adult brain and vision processing pathways could not be retrained. This is not the case. There is now compelling evidence that it is almost as trainable as a child’s.  This is exciting because it means that with the correct eye exercises, or “training” environment and activities, you can actually retrain your eye (really your brain).

With the exercise below, you’ll want to move your eyes as far as they’ll go without straining.

  1. Move your eyes all the way to the left and then back to the right (repeat 10 times)
  2. Move your eyes up and down (repeat 10 times)
  3. Move eyes tracing diagonals from upper left to bottom right; upper right to bottom left (repeat 10 times)
  4. Move eyes in circular motion (repeat 10 times)
  5. Move eyes in figure “8” motion (repeat 10 times)

Convergence/Divergence/Accommodation Eye Exercise

thumb focus exerciseAcquiring a reference point close to us and then selecting one far away is a necessary part of cornering.  Being able to rapidly shift our focus from near to far quickly and accurately determines how quickly we steer our motorcycles and whether or not we’ll be able to precisely hit our turn, apex, and exit points.  Practice this simple exercise 20-40 times each day:

  1. Extend your arm fully and hold your thumb up
  2. Focus on your thumb until you can see it clearly and it is sharply in focus
  3. Change your focus to an object in the distance (we recommend starting out selecting something 50 feet away; see if you can work up to 300 feet)
  4. Once the object in the distance is clearly in focus, change your focus back to your thumb


See Like Prey

see like preyEven though we’re trying to find key reference points when we’re cornering, we also need to learn how to see in a way similar to the manner in which prey see when being chased by a predator.  They are using their peripheral vision to help them select alternative escape routes.  Like prey,  motorcyclists often need to select escape routes that may differ from our originally chosen path.  How do we develop this larger “in-focus” picture?  By performing this exercise:

  1. While focusing on an object in the distance (start at 30 feet and gradually increase), bring your awareness to the environment around the object without moving your eyes.
  2. What kind of detail around the central object can you obtain?
  3. Practice this for 30 seconds per day

The expectation with this exercise is that we’ll be able to expand our vision to reduce the sensation of speed when riding.


If you’re like this author, you find yourself in front of a computer screen for up to 10 hours per day.  Our eyes didn’t evolve to have this type of strain placed upon it.  To reduce the strain, we need to help our eyes.  It is suggested that every 10 or so minutes of computer work you take a minute to rest your eyes. This includes blinking rapidly for 10 to 15 seconds and then keeping your eyes closed for approximately 45 seconds. This break gives your eyes a chance to recover and reduce the strain, thus helping to prevent a loss of vision acuity.

Want to practice using your enhanced vision?  Why not check out an Advanced Riding Techniques course or Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic this fall?  It’s right around the corner and the courses fill up fast, so don’t delay!

If you choose to give these exercises a shot, we want to hear from you.  Send us an email to  

Kelly’s Korner: Heart Your Ride With These Maintenance Tips

Kelly's KornerGiving Your Bike Some Love: Basic Maintenance Tips

As riders, and, presumably, motorcycle owners, it’s important that we know our bikes like we know our four-wheeled vehicles, our houses, or any other possessions we want to last. This means taking care of them, of course. And since we’re in the doldrums of August, with fewer people out and about on two wheels in the heat and humidity, now seems the opportune time for getting down and dirty with your ride, especially if you’re new to the experience. With that in mind, here are some suggestions for basic bike maintenance.

I-Love-My-Bike-Patch-300x240Love the chain. A chain that’s too loose or too tight, too wet or too dry, is bad news. Best case scenario if you don’t maintain your chain is that it flies off while you’re on the road, ruining your engine and damaging you. I don’t even want to contemplate the worst-case scenario. So keep the chain at optimal tension and keep it lubricated; your owner’s manual and the all-knowing Internet will have specific information about your make and model. Check the chain every 500 or 700 miles or so, and replace it, and the sprockets, as needed. For an in-depth look at caring for your chain and sprockets, read this Sport Rider column.
Check the oil. I actually kind of enjoy changing my bikes’ oil. There’s something satisfying about getting my hands dirty and giving my trusty steeds a thorough going-over. And am I glad I now have naked bikes. Removing fairings for an oil change is a pain in the butt. Anyway, here are some thoughts on oil-changing basics:
  •      Keep track of the myriad nuts, washers and bolts you have to remove; it’s no fun when you’ve put the bike back together and there’s an extra nut/washer/bolt just hanging around.
  •      Always replace the filter when changing the oil. There’s no point running clean oil through a dirty filter.
  •      Look at the old oil under a close, sharp light. A lot of metal shavings point to bigger problems, the intricacies of which I’m not qualified to discuss. That’s why we have mechanics.

Check the brake fluid, too. While you’re changing oil, now’s a good time to also inspect brake fluid levels. Top them up if they’re low. 

woman inspect motorcyclePay attention to tires.  Check your tire pressure often. A blowout simply is not worth forgoing the few minutes required to apply a gauge and an air compressor nozzle. And please, please be sure to check pressure if you haven’t ridden in a while. Air is sneaky; it can leak without your realizing it and, boom, unnecessary wear on the wheel or, worse, a blown tire. When it comes to changing a tire, that’s not a few-minutes task. Expect this to take several hours, if not more. Timing depends on factors including your level of expertise and the tools you have on hand. Once again, though, changing tires is not part of my expertise. I’ve watched bike tires changed in a garage and it’s a tedious, unlovely process. Consult the web gods, friends who know what they’re doing or your favorite mechanic for more help here.

Remember the cables. Clutch and throttle cables wear out, like any other part on a bike. Look them over every now and then for any fraying or breaking. You don’t want to end up on the side of the I-10 outside of Tucson inventing a throttle cable so you can ride back home to the Valley. (He knows who he is.)

So there’s a short list for basic bike maintenance. And the basics are crucial.  For a longer list, check out the T-CLOCS sheet for a more in-depth review of your motorcycle.  For more in-depth service, we recommend seeing your local dealership or qualified mechanic.   Tell me your must-dos and, in the meantime, stay safe and have fun.

Ted Amrine: TEAM Arizona Rider of the Month August 2015!

Ted Armine Rider of the MonthThere are a lot of reasons why folks decide to take the Basic RiderCourse.  To fulfill a dream.  To earn a motorcycle license.  And for seventy-nine (79) year old Ted Amrine, it was to see if he had the physical ability to get back on two wheels again.  Part of the beauty of the Basic RiderCourse is that it gives a participant, in a safe environment, the opportunity to see if motorcycling is for them.  For some folks, the answer may be no.  For some folks, an emphatic YES!  For Ted, it helped him reach the decision that three wheels will be best for him.  For his pragmatic, considerate, serious approach to motorcycling, we named Ted our Rider of the Month for August 2015.

Ted is no stranger to motorcycling.  He rode trail bikes for almost eighteen (18) years.  He hasn’t been on a motorcycle since 1978 but he missed the fresh air and the opportunity to travel to different places on a motorcycle, so he took the course.  He was unsure if his reflexes and balance were sufficient enough to be on two wheels.  His conclusion?  His balance and reflexes are better than expected but he thinks three wheels will be just the ticket.

His advice?  Why live in doubt?  Take the course and take it seriously.  You’ll be happy you did.

Ted, we wish you a happy return to motorcycling.  We’re glad we could be there for you on your journey.  Safe travels!

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


Joining Is For Suckers…Or So We Once Thought (AMA)

riding soloAdmitting our mistakes and learning from them are part of the growing up process.  As motorcyclists, we’ve proven that we’re willing to take more risks than the average person.  But if we have the choice to easily reduce risks, shouldn’t we?  As the line goes, “There are bold riders and there are old riders, but it is doubtful you’ll find an old, bold rider.”

At the tender age of nineteen I was told by a riding mentor to pick up an American Motorcyclist Association membership.  I found that information odd as I wasn’t going to be racing.  Didn’t they just handle the domestic racing series and do stuff in Washington DC that doesn’t apply to me?  I ignored the recommendation and told myself, “Why join?  Joining is for suckers.  I don’t ride in groups because I’m independent.  The last thing I want to do is join a group and get mired in political shenanigans.”  Ahhh to be young and idealistic.

motorcycle-towingFrom the time I was told about the AMA,  I was stranded on the side of the road three different times.  Once it was for a blown rear tire.  Another time it was for a broken clutch cable.  And another time it was for rider error (we won’t get into that here!).  Each time I was left to figure out how to get myself and motorcycle home.  Without my gracious friends, I may have been stranded permanently.  The last time my riding mentor said to me, “Ya know, you could have called the AMA and they would have towed the bike home for free.”

Free?  They would do that for me?  I just had to listen to my mentor this time.  With a big cross country motorcycle trip coming up and a lot of unknowns in the mix, a free tow just might come in handy, so I joined the AMA.  A mere five years AFTER the initial recommendation.

Sure enough, two months later and 2,000 miles from home, I found myself at Daytona Bike Week and learned firsthand what it meant to be an AMA member.  I lost my key in a field of motorcycles.  I called the AMA, they arranged to pick me and the bike up, took us to a local dealership, and two hours after the dealership was supposed to have closed, I was sent on my way with a new key.   That was the power of the AMA.  They won me over.  I thought about the Daytona Bike Week incident when I renewed my AMA membership in June for a 17th time.

2014-01-AMA_Cards_WomenAs the world’s largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion.  They also make available to us discounts from several key suppliers in the motorcycle industry.

Meaning, they work to support us.

What that 19 year old “independent” rider didn’t fully understand is that we’re all in this together.  We represent such a small percentage of the motoring public and if we collectively fail to join together to retain our rights to ride, we have the potential to lose or greatly diminish this activity we so dearly love.

So here’s the rub.  Join me.  Join TEAM Arizona.  Join thousands of American Motorcyclists across this land.  Sign up today, because together, we’re better.

Join AMA

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE

TEAM Arizona Riding Tip: Training with Motorcycling’s Elite

American Supercamp

Fifty seven year old TEAM Arizona owner, Ron Arieli, working on his one-handed cornering skills while at Danny Walker’s American Supercamp.

This June, TEAM Arizona owner Ron Arieli, his son, and two of his Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic Instructors headed to Ft. Collins, Colorado, to attend Danny Walker’s American Supercamp.  Collectively, the riders represented more than 100 years of riding experience and nearly fifty years of rider coaching experience.  What did they have to gain by attending the camp?  Everything.


When participants attend a TEAM Arizona training course, we make it known that riding a motorcycle well requires a life-long dedication to maintaining and increasing skill level.  Practice is important, but how do you know if you’re doing it properly?  That’s where coaches come into play.  Even the best athletes in the world acknowledge the importance of a good coach.  That is exactly why we invested time, money, and risked bodily harm to attend the American Supercamp.  We knew their coaches would help us improve our riding and be the best we can be.  Simply:  You can’t be your best if we’re not our best.

Steve PaladiniEvery RiderCoach and Instructor at TEAM Arizona understands the importance of checking our egos at the door and occasionally placing ourselves in the role of student.  It helps us empathize with our course participants.  It helps us identify areas where we as coaches can improve.  The bi-product of this additional training also means we’re  better motorcyclists with more tools in our tool box.  With so many advantages, why wouldn’t we seek training?

At this stage, not just any training course or coach will do, so who do we look to when we want to improve our riding skills?


Funny enough, when RiderCoaches seek training, they start right here at home.  TEAM Arizona offers more than just the Basic RiderCourse.  In our coaching stable we have plenty of experienced folks who can raise the level of most, if not all, motorcyclists.  We encourage our coaches to learn from each other and use our training facilities for their self improvement.

Externally, we have a few gurus who have upped the game for all of us.  We seek out these particular rider training specialists because we know we’ll learn a thing or three about riding AND coaching.  If you want to improve your riding skills, we encourage you to check out these individuals.


Lee Parks Total Control Track Clinic

Lee Parks provides coaching to help Ron Arieli overcome a challenge on the track

Lee is the creator of the Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic curriculum.  Lee has been racing for more than 25 years, and won the 2001 G.M.D. Computrack National Endurance Series Championship in the Lightweight class. He also finished 2nd in the 1994 AMA 125GP national championship in its exhibition year. He spent five years as the editor and chief test rider of Motorcycle Consumer News where he road tested every new street motorcycle available in the U.S. and became one of the top performance-testing journalists in the world.  Lee wrote the Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic book.  TEAM Arizona is the sole provider in Arizona of Lee’s Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic.  It is the highest level of training offered at TEAM Arizona.



Nick Ienatsch instructor

Nick providing some insight at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

Nick is a former American Motorcyclist Association race competitor.  Ienatsch was the lead instructor for twelve years at Freddie Spencer Riding School.  He later created and is lead instructor at Yamaha Champions Riding School.  Nick wrote Sport Riding Techniques: How To Develop Real World Skills for Speed, Safety, and Confidence on the Street and Track.  This book is the foundation for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Advanced Riding Techniques course.  The course is a superb introduction to more advanced riding techniques for the street and an excellent primer for taking the Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic.



Danny Walker American Supercamp

Danny is all smiles when he’s around motorcycles.

American Supercamp is the brainchild of former AMA racer Danny Walker.  Danny is the master of teaching motorcyclists how to push the limits on a motorcycle.  Danny and his crew can help you learn how to master the art of the motorcycle slide and take your riding to the next level.  His training started with putting road racers on lower displacement dirt bikes and letting them learn the limits on dirt (American Supercamp) and now he has expanded his offering to include a similar concept on road courses (Road Race Factory). When he is not teaching racers and riders he is managing the RoadRace Factory Red Bull race team.







Keith Code

Eagle eyed Keith Code catches everything when a rider is in motion.

Quite possibly there is no other motorcycle rider instructor who has left his mark on rider training than Keith.  In 1961 he started racing.  In 1976 he started a rider training improvement program.  Code founded the California Superbike School in 1980. The school taught numerous championship winning riders such as Wayne Rainey.  His California Superbike Schools have operated at over 90 tracks worldwide in 15 countries and have trained 150,000 riders.  In 1982, he wrote the instant best seller, A Twist of the Wrist book.  If you have a subscription to Motorcyclist magazine then you already know about his thought provoking articles under the “Code Break” heading.





This is the short list folks.  There are many other individuals who write books and offer forms of training, but if we had to tick a “Most Wanted” box, these four guys get their boxes ticked first.  Fortunately for you, training curriculum developed by half of these guys can be found right here at TEAM Arizona.  When will you take advantage of such a great opportunity?

For the Entire TEAM Arizona Newsletter Content, CLICK HERE