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Author Topic: What it takes to be a good rider.  (Read 6099 times)

Offline Ray916MN

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2012, 11:26:18 PM »
That's a good one Ray, what sort of feedback are you talkin about, and what does the different feedback feel like.
....

For example:

When turning, if my body position, peg weighting and throttle application are right the feeling is so light, I feel like I can take my hands off the bars and continue turning. When I don't get this light bar feel, I'm doing something wrong or at least could be doing something better. While body position and peg weighting can help achieve this feeling, a critical component is throttle control and being able to get on the throttle at the right time to stabilize the bike in preparation for applying more throttle to help lift the bike from leaned over turning, instead of or in addition to using bar pressure to lift the bike. The same goes for dropping the throttle a bit to help countersteering the bike initiate a turn.

The less bar pressure I need or feel when turning or changing directions the better. The less front end compression or extension I feel when turning or changing directions the better. The less I need to change or adjust my line in a turn or series of turns the better. Nothing should ever feel abrupt, frightening, or surprising. The objective is to ride the bike and feel totally stable on it just sitting on it while riding it. Whenever you have to grip or hold onto the bike to feel stable on the bike, there is something you could be doing better. Having to grab or hold on to a bike to feel stable is a by product of a rider having done something to make the bike unstable.



Offline Tim...

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2012, 11:52:50 PM »
tl;dr x 2

Offline Greg

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2012, 10:49:40 AM »
Well, this thread sure could become a minefield.  :P

These are only my opinions. Reasonable people can disagree with all or parts of this response.

*A Good Rider*

1. Has ridden for several years. This number is subjective of course, but to my way of thinking, this rider must have ridden for at least 4 or 5 years.

2. Given that the average motorcyclist in Minnesota rides about 3k a year, I'd say this rider should ride 5k or more a year. Riding 1k miles a year for 20 years does not make you a good motorcyclist, IMO.

3. This rider has ridden several different styles of motorcycles. This isn't to say that someone who has ridden one motorcycle 60k miles in 6 years isn't a good motorcyclist, I just feel riding different styles of bikes adds to your skills resume. This also doesn't mean they need to own several different bikes at a given time, just different bikes over the lifespan of riding.
 
4. This rider has ridden in several different states and geographies.

5. This rider has the ability to ride a 500 mile day without fussing too much. This doesn't mean they had to enjoy that 500 miles though.  :)

6. This rider has ridden when it's below 40º and over 95º. This rider can comfortably ride in the rain, but doesn't have to like it  ::)

7. This rider can carry a passenger with confidence. 

8. This rider wears proper gear 95% of the time they ride.

9. This rider very rarely has an accident. If a rider has more than 2 biggies in their riding life, they are doing something incorrectly. IMO.

10. This rider has taken at least one "loaded-touring" trip for more than a couple days.

11. This rider has the wherewithal to know where & when different riding behaviors are appropriate. I do not cast aspersions on a rider for cracking the throttle (even to triple digits) once in a while, but they must have the maturity to know when & where it's less inappropriate to do so.

12. This rider has the respect of many of their peers.


More thoughts might be added later .....


Greg


« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 12:45:35 PM by Greg »
These people have taught me more about riding than any day spent on a track: Larry B, Tony K, Vince J, Mr. Wonderful, V2Neal, Marty F, Kevin B, Devon W, Ehrich, Mike A, John L, Arnell, Kirk, Ray C

Track days are like climbing the rock wall at REI.

Offline Mike Duluth

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2012, 11:33:51 AM »
I can see this is coming in a few different directions, and that's great. Ray has a technical approach and Geg is more about experience. I put on about 20k this year (best ever) and rode just about every kind of motorcycle there is, so I should qualify in Gegs post. With Rays post, because of what I do for a living I probably am pretty in tune with how a bike works. Now on a good day I would have trouble keeping up with either one of you. So now my question is how much does natural tallent have to do with how well you ride, and can you be tought tallent? Or is it, you either have it or you don't.
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Online vince

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2012, 12:30:57 PM »
Dam it Greg. I have crashed 3 times. And all 3 times I had to take the bus. I sure hope there isn't one more in me.

Offline Greg

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2012, 12:44:27 PM »
Dam it Greg. I have crashed 3 times. And all 3 times I had to take the bus. I sure hope there isn't one more in me.

"These are only my opinions. Reasonable people can disagree with all or parts of this response."   :)
These people have taught me more about riding than any day spent on a track: Larry B, Tony K, Vince J, Mr. Wonderful, V2Neal, Marty F, Kevin B, Devon W, Ehrich, Mike A, John L, Arnell, Kirk, Ray C

Track days are like climbing the rock wall at REI.

Offline gdawgs

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2012, 08:51:56 AM »
I don't always like to over think things.  as I have had less time to ride this year due to kids, i found myself not thinking about the skills as much this year and just enjoying the wind buzzing around my helment, the visual sense of connecting with the land I am riding through, and lastly the addrennaline that occurs just before i lean forward to position my body and drop two gears to attack the next corner.........with no other goals in mind. 

there is a time and place for everything.........including learning/improving and also "not learning' and 'not improving". 

great ideas thrown out there so far. 

Offline Deplorable, thank you!

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 12:46:52 PM »

Landmine question for certain, and so subjective to ones perception....

-A good rider rarely can't hold their line in a corner, and even rarer yet crosses the centerline.
-A good rider has years of experience and practice. (not simply just years of riding)
-A good rider never uses the road as a racetrack (using all the road edge to edge)
-A good rider is smooth with throttle, brake and all controls
-A good rider knows how to be a good follower and a good leader (doesn't necessarily mean you have to do either or like them....you can ride solo all the time and be a good rider)
-A good rider works on their skills and thinks about how they ride and "what if" and "where am I looking", "how is my line", "Is my head in this or am I riding like crap today". I don't mean all the time for actually working on your skills, but enough of the time to be very adept and proficient with all of them. Enough so you recognize when you are having an "off" day or are riding too near your limit, or the limits of the conditions present. Enough so you can honestly access any and all situations and make the right choice at least 95% of the time (not simply get lucky 1/2 the time...yes, "shit" can happen even to the best of riders, but it should be able to be avoided the vast majority of times...Deer seems to be a prime example)
-A good rider doesn't need to go trip digits to have fun and enjoy the ride. IMO there are scant few places where this is even remotely safe...
-A good rider is aware of public perception and how that affects all riders and doesn't run around with their loud ass exhaust or strafing traffic, pissing off Joe public.
-A good rider wears all the gear at least a very high percentage of the time. A helmet should be on all the time.
-A good rider is responsible and carries insurance, rides appropriately and understands following distances and passing and so much more
-A good rider checks their equipment regularly too, and if they can't service it properly themselves has it done so their machine is working top notch to give them the best chance of avoidance/survival etc in the event of something going wrong (deer, another idiot biker, car, truck, dog, pheasant, field dirt from a tractor, sand, pedestrian, oil slick or whatever)
-A good rider, well they don't brag about bald tires, trip digits, running the road edge to edge or make statements approving of such behavior.
-A good rider pulls over when the police happen upon them and don't flee (half heartedly or full on ~click it down and WOT-regardless of why)..because "everyone" speeds and it is only a matter of timing as to whether you get caught or not. Of course how much and where you speed also dictates how much they may want to stop you.
-A good rider at some point in time seeks out ways to improve their riding skills and then learns to implement them.(via riding schools, books, internet, seeking help from what they percieve as better riders etc...)
-A good rider understands you can not get to be a good rider without knowing what and being proficient at the skills that make one a "good" rider.
-A good rider is in relatively good physical shape
-A good rider is in good mental shape (or you should stay home)
-A good rider blames themself when something goes wrong.....as 99.9% of the time it is their fault


Conversely;


-Asking questions does not make one a good rider
-Knowing the answers does not make one a good rider
-Doing trackdays does not make one a good rider
-Being a former racer does not make one a good rider
-Riding "slow" does not make one a good rider
-Riding "fast" does not make one a good rider
-Never having crashed does not make one a good rider
-Never have gotten a ticket does not make one a good rider
-Riding for 5 years, or 25 years does not make one a good rider
-Dragging a knee does not make one a good rider
-Being able to ride from here to Colorado in a day does not make one a good rider
-What bike you ride or accessories installed does not make you a good rider
-Doing wheelies or stoppies does not make one a good rider
What you just read is based on my experience and the info I have acquired during my life. Yes, I post long responses regularly because I like to fully explain my views. If you don't like it or agree with what I have to say; ignore it. I HATE LIARS ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO PRETEND TO BE YOUR FRIEND!

Offline Mike Duluth

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 01:53:14 PM »
That's good stuff Lloyd, I was hoping you would chime in.
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Offline Tim...

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2012, 05:13:41 PM »
Nicely done Lloyd!  Particularly your point that is 5th from the bottom on both lists.

Tim
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 05:17:45 PM by Tim... »

Offline Elk

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2012, 10:47:32 PM »
Excellent stuff, Lloyd.  A great deal of work went into your post.  Well done.

Offline ARS

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2012, 10:16:33 PM »
”Hi, my name is Bill and I am not a good rider” (“Hi Bill”).
 
The first step is accepting the FACT that you don’t know everything about riding.

The second step in becoming a good rider is to ask the big question, “What does it take to be a good rider?”.
Steps 3 through 12 . . . I’ll defer to the previous posts, because honestly I don’t know. . . I am not an expert.  I’ve ridden with faster, smoother and safer riders.  I’ve had fun and I’ve crapped my pants! (you’ll know when you get that age where you can’t trust a fart).

Our motorcycle endorsement is only a license to learn.

Stay safe, but keep pushing the envelope.

Offline Chris

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Re: What it takes to be a good rider.
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2012, 07:21:35 PM »
nice post Lloyd
Chris
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