Five-time world motorcycle champion Mick Doohan features in a series of Queensland Government videos teaching riders to recognise and exercise their sixth sense when riding.
Controversially, he doesn’t recommend advanced rider training with professionals but suggests riders already have an innate sixth sense; “that unique instinct all riders share that helps us read the road, the conditions, the potential hazards and stay focused and in control”.
He refers to the sixth sense as perceiving the correct speed for corners, being aware of erratic movements of other vehicles and knowing when peer pressure puts you out of your comfort zone and skill level.
“The more you develop and hone your (sixth sense), the better your chances are of surviving to ride another day,” he says.
Sixth Sense videos
The videos are included on a government website called ”Join the drive”.
After his intro video explaining his sixth sense theory, there are four more videos:
In “Cornering”, he says if you “start looking short or fixating on that gum tree at the side of the road the chances are you’re gonna be shaking the koalas out of it real soon”.
In “Group Riding”, Mick says it’s “always a good idea to swap over at rest breaks to share the load”.
In “Returned Riders” he recommends buying a new bike rather than “dusting off the old one” because they are “safer, more rideable and more reliable than ever”.
In “Road Craft”, he suggests you give yourself more time in the wet. “Set off earlier and take it easier on the ride. Or choose not to hit the road at all, that works every time.”
The road safety campaign comes as Mick has been announced as one of the prime hosts of the upcoming Bike Torque TV series along with Charley Boorman and an as-yet unnamed American motorcycle celebrity.
(There has been no update on this show since this article was posted in July 2016. In fact, in an interview in March with Charley Boorman, he had no idea whether the show was going ahead. We have also not been able tonestablish contact with the show’s producers.)
Mick has featured in several rider safety advertising campaigns before, including one in 2014 with the RACQ and Motorbike Writer.
He has some interesting and thought-provoking theories in these videos.
A few may actually surprise some riders: invest in a helmet intercom; ride in staggered formation in groups and do not trail brake through a corner.
“Try to stay off the brakes as much as you can, it sounds wrong if you’ve got your turning-in point and your approach speed right you’ll be in control and the bike should handle the corner no worries,” he says.
Mick isn’t featured in the riding sequences which are performed on some of the most scenic and challenging roads in South East Queensland.
They have chosen a mix of riders and bikes from Morgan & Wacker for these scenes: Ducati Monster, BMW R nineT, BMW S 1000 RR and a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy.