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How do you know your limits in % :-)

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' at netrider.net.au started by dima, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Common to hear something like "ride at your 80%".

    How do you know where you are at.

    Is it that 50% when you're bored, 95% when you "ohhh, shiit" and 100% when you crash? :)

    Don't think there's definite answer to this, but how do "feel" when you're at 50, 80, 90 or whatever limit you are?
  2. #2 gundy, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    100.0001% = OUCH

    Other than that.. can you feel your survival reactions kicking in? Are you panicking? Do you ever feel that you might not be able to make it around the next corner? Do you drift wide? Are you chopping the throttle? Stiffening up on the bars? Do you feel like you have tunnel vision? Would you be in trouble if there was a car doing a u-turn in front of you around the next corner?

    If you answered yes to any of the above you're probably riding faster than your own ability, and should back off a bit.

    ETA: People like numbers to compare things. I don't think actual percentages really mean that much though. 90% on one day for me might be 50% on another depending on my state of mind and other stuff going on.
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  3. #3 Benny Boy, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    Funny thing about finding your limit is sometimes people will go past it with out realising, and only have hindsight to teach them where it was. I've never been a fan of percentages and have liked the 'drive to the conditions' as a standard. Yeah, ill have good days and bad days. To answer the question an 80% day to me it where everything is relaxed, smooth and fast, but not setting any lap records. Those days are good days. Not really sure about the rest.

    Had a thought after i posted this. If your rinding at 100% and something goes wrong, what have you got left to get you to safety? Just a thought.
  4. The only way to learn your limits is to exceed them.*

    *This is a throwaway line and most emphatically not a recommendation.
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  5. The biggest issue with "riding at 50%" is your situational awareness can drop momentarily by 90%. Riding hard is quite typically riding focused.
  6. There's a big difference between the bikes percentage.....and ours.
    A bike at 100 % is sliding, shaking, wobbling and feeling like it's held together with spaghetti.
    Us over 80 % and the bike feels heavy, your grip is way too tight, your focus is the size of an orange and then you crash
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  7. Use common sense. If you find you are getting bored put the bike away and find something else to do before you kill yourself or some one else.
  8. Also, bike % and rider % are somewhat interlinked. Eg. It's possible through bad technique, to prematurely put a bike at 100%. This might be by chopping the throttle, braking while cornering, using more lean angle than necessary etc.. At a given corner speed, a good rider on a bad bike will be running the bike at a lower % of it's capability than a bad rider would on a good bike.
  9. The absolute maximum of your and the bikes potential is a shadowy area.On my favourite section of local,and that means way more attention than not local track,sorry I meant road,I found myself being more and more aggressive.Accelerating hard out of corners which lead to very hard braking going into the next corner.It became very ragid and I found myself in an area of riding that made me uncomfortable.I made the decision to try and ease off with the aggression.
    That lead to maintaining more corner speed and smoothing out any control inputs.Suddenly I was back feeling comfortable and my limit got extended quite a bit.So to cut to the chase,to me my limit its all about feeling comfortable.If it feels good your doing it right.
  10. #10 raven, Dec 23, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
    Experience, is the short answer..

    But it is the age old problem. Staying alive long enough to KNOW where your percentages lay. Your personal percentages in the first place, since you are not as likely to have reached your bikes maximum.

    As a very rough gauge, you should consider THAT point to be where you begin to get scared and tense on the bars, as your 100%!
    So when you arrive there, back off. Get away from it immediately. You are at risk of the obvious.

    Back off a decent amount, to where you are at ease and not over stressed. THAT is going to be approximately the 70 percent range.

    Note: these are just roundabout figures, and only my own opinion.

    Also note, that these percentages are a moving target. It can be different on different days, subject to your state of mind, and general feeling on any day.

    Drilling down to more highly define your percentages, is something you creep up on slowly, as your experience grows and your judgement sharpens up.
    • Like Like x 6
  11. #11 UDLOSE, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
    Riding hard on the road means you have to read and plan ahead in a big way.

    If your overwhelmed by what your doing at the time, all your energy and effort goes into the task at hand and you stop planning your next move (IE looking ahead for your next brake marker, yellow flag, looking for red lights, looking where the road goes, looking for cops or if people are going to step out infront of you etc). To me that's the absolute limit and its highly dangerous.

    When you go past that limit, your brain starts to fall behind and can't make your inputs quick enough pushing you into a chain of small mistakes which can build up into a crash. For example your pushing so hard the back end starts to come around but since your mentally maxed out (even before the slide your peaking) you've got no way to react and save it from a highside etc.

    Riding at the good old 80% of your limit as they say is riding where you are mentally fine with everything that's taking place and your reading ahead and your predicting/planning a number of seconds ahead. Your heart rate isn't flat lining etc

    (The machine's limit is a whole different story)
    • Like Like x 5
  12. In my case,my 55 year old body's limit is closer to the limit of my 37year old bike.
    After riding a few modern bikes,K1200s,I just shacks my head.Much as I hate to admit it time and technology do move on.I have enough problems keeping my license now.
  13. If you don't know your limits the corners will sort you out :eek:

  14. Ain't that the truth.
  15. I do believe the statement "The only way to learn your limits is to exceed them." But as said, not recommended.

    I know when I was learning to drive alone (P's) I never knew my limits because I did not know how far I could push it. This made me slightly less confident.

    Once I pushed too far, over steered/slid or braked too hard I knew the limits, which gave me confidence to get close but not too far.

    I think that statement is very true, but in some cases stupid. You don't want to "Push too far" just because your curious on a bike because that could leave you seriously injured, or worse, unable to try again.

    Just be comfortable, I think.
  16. My dear fellow, that is not "just a thought" but one of the most sensible comments that I have seen on any motorcycle forum.
  17. #17 raven, Dec 25, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
    Ya can say that again, mate!

    The reality and startling part is, that you can die. Killed!...a lifeless body with bladder and bowel evacuation, laying in the trees or the ditch beside the embankment, with that frightened look on your face, still there, from when time stopped...for you.

    Sometimes, you can get lucky, but which time and how much...

    Learning ones own limitations, takes time and requires humility. If you can't admit it when you get in over your head, be regretful, and analyse the event seriously, and take steps to recognise it ahead of time and ride within your limits, then you are a short timer.

    So then, how do you improve...test yourself and learn the true measure of your current riding ability? Well you ride, and you ride a lot. Allow your experience to develope. That will shine the light on your progress. Also learn to know yourself.

    We improve in small increments, because it requires 'risk'. So you endeavour to improve your 80%, by steadily pushing THAT boundary. (Instead of the 100% boundary, I mean) what was once a little scary at approx 80%, eventually becomes quite easy, so you up the anti a bit. Note that your comfort zone has undoubtedly lifted higher. (Your new 80%) :)
    And all that time, you had some overhead in case you made a mistake.

    Edit: follows...

    Fundamentally, it's risk management. How much you want to take on, depends on how risky it feels for you, and the level of risk you are prepared to go to. You will know that, provided you have your SR's under control, and not interfering with your management.

    It's worth noting that the more risk you take on at a given moment, the worse the consequences if you get it wrong. Yet small increments can seem useless because they are'nt challenging your skills enough. (Or you).
    Somewhere in the middle is where we all end up. And remember, it's all relative.

    This is a difficult subject to discuss on a forum.
    • Like Like x 4
  18. ^^Spot on as always Raven.
    Off Topic - but thanks for your wise words over the past year, I've learnt a few things from you.
  19. Your welcome, 109er. Glad some of my rumblings made a difference for you. :)
    Don't forget 'you'...you were the one that put it into practice, and realised the benefit of whatever it was at the time. :) well done, mate.
  20. Another thing to remember: your limits change. If you haven't ridden much for a while they will be lower than they were when you last went for a spirited ride. Give yourself the time to get back into the groove, whether it be two hours or two days or two weeks. Blindly assuming you are at a certain level is a recipe for pain.
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