Ride Like a Pro West Coast

Mark Paz is a Los Angeles based motorcycle pro who runs a business called “Ride Like a Pro, West Coast” … a skills training motorcycle course.  Mark’s bio includes a stint with the FBI which afforded him the opportunity to receive formal instruction from the Los Angeles Police Department Motorcycle Training Unit.  About five years ago he started the California version of Ride Like A Pro (The East Coast version was initiated by Jerry Palladino) to share these enforcement riding techniques with the motorcycling community.

Mark Paz pictured below (left) along with his trusty wing man and former student Josh.

My friend from Santa Monica – Navin Bhatia introduced and referred me to Mark and thought I would benefit from taking the class.  I’m glad I did!  It’s essentially a 5 hour class in a school parking lot near LAX (scheduled on Sundays generally).  In his course Mark includes the following drills for his students:

The Slow Race
Twelve foot slow cone weave
Twenty four foot circle
Off set cone weave
U-Turn Exercise
Iron Cross Intersection
Twenty four foot Figure 8
Counter Steering
Threshold Combination Braking

These drills enable the rider to lean a motorcycle over and turn tighter at slow speeds.

Mark has a nice inventory of Kawasaki KZ1000 police motorcycles that you can use if you don’t want to use your bike.  I would recommend that especially if you don’t want to drop your bike.  During this course I dropped the bike several times and I’m glad I did because Mark teaches you how to pick up these beasts!

My take on the course is that it’s a class that is de riguer … that most riders regardless of skill would benefit from!  It is demanding mentally and physically but when you’re done and our riding on your own – the lessons stick in your head and make you a better rider!

I was pleasantly surprised how patient, encouraging and helpful Mark and Josh were in their approach but that’s how professional instructors ought to be.  I have come across some really pedestrian instructors in the past and this was a refreshing change.

With my friend Navin in the picture below.

Mark builds in plenty of break time to recover, discuss the drills and help you build confidence along the way.  I was all smiles by the end of the class – yes I survived and felt good about what I learned.

With my fellow students and Mark.

One other thing to note – you can repeat the class free of charge within a year!  The class costs $150 + another $150 if you want to train on one of Mark’s bikes.  I highly and unconditionally recommend the class.


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