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Gunfighter Moment – Kyle Defoor

Since so many of us are like-minded individuals and have the same interests not only in guns and shooting but other things as well, I’ve decided to offer some tips in four of the other areas where I have years of experience; motorcycles, climbing, running, and hunting. I think this will be a nice complement to the other gunfighters on here who offer tips and tricks and hopefully keeps it fresh. Sadly or happily, these four subjects along with shooting and tactics are pretty much all my life is and has been since a very young age. This week it’s going to be a motorcycle riding tip.

I log somewhere between 15 and 20,000 miles a year on my motorcycle. I use it as my primary mode of transportation to most classes that are driving distance from my home. I’ve been doing that kind of mileage for years, and I also have a very brief roadracing background on sport bikes. All in all I’ve been riding a bike on the street or the track for over 20 years now.

One very simple and important fundamental of riding correctly either on the track, street or dirt is manipulation of the clutch lever and brake lever with your fingers. On a comparison scale, this is strong hand and other strong hand grip when shooting a pistol. More often than not what I see on the street is a rider that uses all four fingers to work the clutch and any combination of fingers except the correct two to work the front brake lever. Harley riders and big cruiser riders are the biggest offenders of this, but young inexperienced race replica riders are a close second.

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The correct way to manipulate the clutch is to adjust your clutch so that it activates when pulled in with two fingers on the lever and the lever is touching your ring finger. This provides the ability for the rider to activate the clutch and still have superb control on the handlebars and the bike itself. A side benefit of this technique is that when racing or riding hard your shifts are actually faster because all four fingers do not have to come up and over the lever and then regain grip on the handlebar. Anyone who has rode the tail of the Dragon on the East Coast, or the canyons of Azusa California on the West Coast can attest to this and knows exactly what I’m talking about.

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The activation of the front brake is exactly the same using the index finger and middle finger only to apply brake pressure. On this side of the handlebars one of the most overlooked fundamentals is correct placement of the lever up or down on the handle bar to provide maximum leverage for the rider when he is using only those two fingers. Very similar to guns, motorcycles do not come set up correctly. You have to fine tune placement and adjustments to make them work for you.

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Lastly, another small tip on using your clutch and brake levers correctly is that you can slide your hands closer to the middle of the bar or further toward the end of the bar to provide more or less leverage. This is an especially important consideration for the majority of Harley riders because of the size of Harley handlebars and the size of the levers combined with a cable activated clutch instead of an hydraulic one.

Once you start riding like this you will not only see the benefits and become better at shifting, turning and overall manipulation of the handlebars, but you are also doing in motorcycling the equivalent to “long finger in the side” in shooting and that’s showing the rest of the world that your professional.

V/R,

Kyle Defoor

“Trainer of Feeders”

Kyle Defoor is one of the world’s most committed and passionate shooting instructors. Literally growing up with a gun in hand he took his talents into the military where he was combat decorated as a SEAL assaulter and sniper. Kyle helped to create and define modern training while along the way personally teaching thousands of military personal and civilians from around the globe. His shooting prowess led to appearances on multiple TV shows including Shooting Gallery, Tactical Arms, and Tactical Impact, and guest appearances on History Channel. Kyle’s outdoor athletic lifestyle includes shooting, ultra running, stand-up paddle surfing and climbing. He now serves as the brand ambassador for Mission Ready Equipment and runs his own company which offers tactical training, wilderness navigation, TV and film consulting, and motivational speaking.

www.kyledefoor.com

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Alias Training & Security Services. Each week Alias brings us a different Trainer and in turn they offer some words of wisdom.

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11 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Kyle Defoor

  1. Joe says:

    “I’ve decided to offer some tips in four of the other areas where I have years of experience; motorcycles, climbing, running, and hunting. ”

    Can’t wait!

  2. Wild Child says:

    Great article. Defoor always has something interesting.

  3. Danke says:

    I’ve been riding motorcycles for decades and have always done this. Just the other day I was reading something about pistol shooting and it got me thinking.

    The ability to brake with 2 fingers and blip the throttle is going to help with gripping the pistol firmly while your trigger finger will not crush or snatch the trigger or milk the grip.

    The really good riders are doing this and when they do it they don’t treat the brake or other controls like off/on switches. Even though they’re doing it incredibly fast they’re still dialing them. Just like a really good shooter will have excellent control.

  4. Craig says:

    Excellent advice, I can vouch for those twisty canyon roads above Azusa, CA, I’ve ridden them to go shooting up in Burro Canyon towards the top, as well as my platoon has ran parts of those roads.

    Having that two finger grip on the brake and clutch allowed me to quickly get moving and maneuvering to avoid being hit by an oncoming pickup truck one spring afternoon.

  5. Vince says:

    It’s funny that most of my associates in this gun and knife club actually don’t ride. I’ve been a lifelong rider and will continue until I can’t walk anymore, but while pushing forty and an abusive career with Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (I know, You Signed the Mother F’n Contract) my body can only put up with so many cased jumps on the Dirtbike or the knees taking hits in the corners on my my Tl1000r. This is timely advice and if I was going to be a young gunner picking up my first bike, this is excellent advice. Take a class and ride within your experience but most importantly, learn from experience and other’s mistakes. Those of us that push the wild side will welcome you aboard…as long as you can keep up!

  6. JSGlock34 says:

    Nice Panerai!

  7. See Bowl says:

    What about combining shooting…with motorcycles…eh…anyone?

    • Danke says:

      I know Rich Oliver and Colin Edwards put a shooting station in as part of their motorcycle camps. The whole mind body thing that is shooting is great way to force people to think differently. Especially very competitive individuals that are attracted to bikes.

      Waiting for the yoga/guns camps to start springing up.

    • Mars says:

      After Skeet-surfin’

      • Danke says:

        The Pinto bit in that movie is still one of the greatest pieces of film that I have ever seen.

  8. Buckaroomedic says:

    The reason many people use all four fingers on their clutch and brake is because this is what they are taught by the AMA riding schools on military installations. I had to take a advanced rider refresher course a few years ago in San Antonio and the instructors kept yelling at me to fully cover both levers. I’ve been a two-finger rider since I was 15 (over 30 years ago) and it was extremely difficult to comply with this and their other requests. Somehow I managed to make it through the ridiculous, military-mandated course and retain my motorcycle riding “privileges”.

    I would love to get involved with a motorcycle course that taught defensive shooting from a bike. Is there any programs like this out there?