Atlanta Motorcycle & Handgun Schools

Ken and JoAnna Murray
Newsletter Volume 2011-2

Motorcycles and Makeup, Skincare and Scooters, Guns and Glamour

Greetings Fellow Motorcyclists!

Spring IS just around the corner. Question is, which corner and how many more corners before we REALLY see nice (riding & shooting) weather.

Two Wheels Only Motorcycle Resort Closing

It is with very sad hearts we learned of the closing of Two Wheels Only Motorcycle Resort ( TWO, as it is commonly known, has been a huge part of the riding and training experience for us personally as well as Atlanta Motorcycle Schools. Most of our Course 301 rides included a stop at TWO, our Dual Sport Course 202 began and ended at TWO, and it was always a favorite destination-either for a destination for a great street or dual sport ride or for a wonderful meal.

We wish GT and Britt Turner the best in the future and thanks for some wonderful memories. RIP TWO…


In an earlier AMS Update, we discussed body positioning using the "standard" position usually found on dual sport, touring, sport touring, and standard style motorcycles.

One of the most important principles is to position yourself in a way that allows your elbows to be slightly bent. This may require scooting forward on the saddle or bending slightly forward (continue to keep your back straight) at the waist.

Rigid (stiff) arms make it difficult to turn the handlebars from side to side without also rotating the shoulders, which can lead to handling difficulties. Rigid arms also impede the natural flowing movement of the steering and front suspension and can affect stability and directional control. Subtle movements of the front wheel are necessary to maintain directional stability over uneven surfaces. Get into the habit of recognizing arm tension. During your next ride test how relaxed your arms are by tensing your arm muscles and then relaxing them. You can also try "wing flapping" your elbows. If your arms don't move easily, your upper torso is probably too tense.

Your feet and legs also affect control. Your legs account for a significant percentage of body weight, which means positioning them correctly is important for stability. Try dangling your feet off the foot pegs and you will know what I mean. Stabilize your lower torso by keeping your knees against the gas tank and feet on the pegs. This is especially important when riding at slow speeds where small shifts in body weight can more easily disturb balance.

The Value of Education

As with any tool, it is always good to learn how to use it properly. Getting training from a reliable Motorcycle or Handgun school is a must.

An example is the teaching that JoAnna and I provide here at Atlanta Motorcycle & Handgun Schools. We have always striven to ensure that our training never becomes static. Instead, by intent it has evolved and been continuously improved as more and more data on handguns, ammunition, and motorcycle performance has become available.

Yet, some things - such as adherence to the basic concept of proper handgun and motorcycle handling - never change. So while the manner in which they're taught has gotten better with increased instructor experience and knowledge, the importance of knowing basic skills continues to be emphasized.

Always insist on searching out sources of quality education and take advantage of them.

Xocai: Healthy Chocolate Update

Last time we talked about about the weight Ken and I have lost with the Healthy Chocolate. And it is staying off! But something else has happened! I had my annual blood tests last week. My blood pressure has dropped (my medicine was cut in half!) and my cholesterol was lower than it has been since I was in my 20's! In fact, my HDL (good) was actually higher than my LDL (bad)--which results in a negative risk factor.

Ken has his check-up next week. I can't wait to see his results!

If anyone would like more information, just let me knows (, 770.573.9902 or ).

Avoiding Emergency Maneuvers

Too often while riding in traffic I see a motorcyclist "tailgating" a four wheel vehicle in front of them. Chances are good that this motorcycle rider also "tailgates" when driving his or her automobile or truck.

So let's discuss the Time Components of Emergency Maneuvers (in this case, keep in mind a quick stop).

Perception Time The time between seeing a situation developing and deciding it is indeed an emergency.
Reaction Time The time between deciding to react and when the physical action begins.
Execution Time The time it takes to perform the action (brake, swerve, etc).

Your REACTION time is somewhat of a fixed component primarily determined by your reflexes. Rarely can you significantly change this time factor. Even if you could, it is not a large percentage of the total time spent dealing with an emergency.

Your EXECUTION time is effected by your motorcycle, your skill level, and the environment. In an emergency you will not be able to change any of these factors. Focused practice is your best insurance toward improving your skill level! However, considering a professional will practice 20-40 hours per week, it is unlikely any of us will practice enough to execute any maneuver at 100%.

But there is good news! The greatest percentage of the overall time is in the PERCEPTION time. And this factor, we can easily improve. Simply ride slower and increase following distance.

Concealed Carry Licenses

In our previous Update it was described how to handle ourselves and the firearms when in the gun store.

After you have selected your firearm, you must complete the federal Firearms Transaction Record - Form 4473.

This document requires you to provide information and answer important questions regarding your firearm purchase, and it records the results of your federal background check.

This is to enable you to pass a criminal background check to be performed using the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) or equivalent state system. The sales clerk will contact NICS for the background check, provide NICS with information on your purchase, and await a response. NICS will provide one of the following responses:

PROCEED. This response means that NICS did not identify any records prohibiting the transfer of a firearm. The store you are in requires a Proceed response from NICS to complete a firearm sale.

DELAYED. This response means that NICS needs additional time to process the background check. If NICS cannot complete the background check while you are in the store, you may contact NICS to inquire about the reason for the delay.

DENIED. This response means that you did not pass the background check. If you wish to appeal the denial, you may send a written request to NICS, and NICS will provide a written response explaining the reason for the denial. Please ask store sales personnel for NICS contact information.

A PROCEED response from NICS is valid for thirty (30) days from the day of the background check. If you do not purchase and pick up your firearm within thirty (30) days, you must complete a new Form 4473 and pass a new NICS background check.

Resident of certain states who present a valid firearm license (this includes Georgia), such as a concealed handgun license, may be exempt from the NICS background check requirement. Some states may also require a fee for the background check.

Please call us at 770 573 9902 if you have questions about any of the above.


On-Street Training

On street motorcycle training has been becoming more prevalent these days. On street training is the norm in countries such as the U.K., but there are only a handful of opportunities in the U.S. On street courses typically include observed evaluation in real world conditions with the aid of rider to rider communication.

Go to our Courses Page and check out Courses 111 (novice rider street), 301 (experienced rider street) and Course 202 (Dual Sport riding).

Any question, please call Ken or JoAnna and 770 573 9902.

JoAnna's Mary Kay Special of the Month:

With Spring approaching, remember to apply your Sunscreen regularly. And don't forget to check the expiration date (What?! Yep, the active ingredients that provide protection from the UVA and UVB rays DO expire!). Mary Kay has excellent sunscreen products designed specifically for your face, hands, décolleté, and overall body. This month, take 10% off the purchase of any product with Sun Screen!

Visit my website and enter "AMS Special" in the comments, call (770-573-9902) or email me!

Check out the Mary Kay Latest On-Line Catalog!

Ride Smart, Ride Safe, Ride Home!

Ken and JoAnna

As always, we encourage you to submit observations, evaluations, and experiences relating to the benefits of appropriate rider gear, good street education, and skill enhancement opportunities. Email your thoughts, comments, questions, and ideas to Ride smart, ride safe, ride home! As always, feel free to call us at (770) 573-9902.

Visit Atlanta Motorcycle & Handgun Schools and Mary Kay websites:

Atlanta Motorcycle Schools (
Atlanta Motorcycle Schools Handgun Classes (
Xocai Healthy Chocolate (
Shop with JoAnna ANYTIME at