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What's all the fuss about!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by raven, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. What's all the fuss about! - Better riding

    I suspect, that there are alot of new riders out there, that look in on the so called noob threads and tips sections, and think that the serious delivery attitude, is a bit over the top.

    Maybe you think you know enough after a few years of riding. Afterall...you can go, stop, and corner with success.
    That's fair enough, for what is just really mediocre skill levels.

    Yes...sorry... A few years on a bike has minimum value, unless in that time, you've realized the lovely views and country side cruising past, while nice, cannot be appreciated in the longer term until you take the time to dedicate yourself to the perfecting of your riding skills.
    Experienced riders know the truth of this fact.

    It's a cool thing, riding a bike. But what is REALLY cool, is being good at it, not just able.

    All the experienced guys are constantly promoting the wide variety of skills and tools you need, that are not just required but need to be perfected, and the path you need to take, to get there.
    If you spend a few years meticulously applying these tools, you will have consolidated a strong foundation upon which to build your riding career.

    If you're thinking, that it's all just a little too serious...you have your way of doing things and it works, then you have already FAILED. And there is a crash coming that will confirm it.

    All these tips, the seriousness with which they are delivered...all these techniques, methods, and how to apply them, is NOT for your benefit, just while your trying to rip around on the gutless L or LAMS bikes you are riding, munching gear changes, mis-timing throttle blips, fumbling around corners with no clue why you can, locking up the rears, bad lane positioning, poor line selection, average throttle control, having regular close calls, and far too much of your brain being used just to manage the fundimentals.

    They are being pushed at you now, so you will be adequately prepared, because higher performance bikes have little tolerance for mediocre skills. They demand precision if they are to be ridden well. Screw up on a Thou, and you are in serious trouble - often life verses death trouble!

    The variety of the experience in these riders covers the gambit of things that can happen, can go wrong, and what it was that led to their survival... So far.

    Guys on cruisers are especially vulnerable, because they do actual just cruise. That's ok, but it means, that you are even less likely to have been put to test.
    The idea that these skills don't apply, because I am only cruising around, is ludicrous. If anything, they are even more critical, because your bikes, don't handle, or brake as well. Add substandard skills, and you are very vulnerable.

    Anyway...a little wake up call against lethargy, simple ignorance, or even straight out laziness.

    Go practice.
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Indeed.

    To have serious fun take your fun seriously.
  3. ...oh and one more thing. I got to sit down with a very knowledgeable fella today and learnt a whole bunch of things about riding in an hour that I hadn't learnt in 18 years.

    How does that saying go? Riding takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.
    Ride it like you mean it. Have fun now :)
  4. Oh yes. Absolutely. The worst and most damaging (equipment and body) stacks I've had, happened when I was tootling along, obeying the law, minding my own business and just going somewhere, for reasons as mundane as going to work. That's not to say I haven't fallen off while playing with bikes, because I have, but I seem to have been very lucky with those ones. For some reason, it's not the $1.80 sweeper where I had the rear walking around at the top of 3rd where it goes wrong - it's the following hairpin that has a sprinkle of gravel on it that I didn't see because I was looking over my shoulder to see whether anybody behind me caught the awesome black line I just laid. Doh!
  5. Great post Raven. I think the problem with alot of the LAMS bikes is that, sure, they will help you learn you how to change gear, turn, brake etc. but they have the opposite effect in getting you to learn to respect the bike. Talking to Doug and Dave at the learner sessions has helped alot in that department.
  6. Im glad i started on a 250 for exactly the reasons stated raven. It let me off with a lot of mistakes.
    Hopping onto the old boys BMW was an absolute blast, but i also recognise that now the actual learning how to ride begins... At least... when i get the next bike for myself :D.
  7. I tried to read your post but I had a minor stroke at every unnecessary comma

  8. GOOD!..are you dead yet?...or do i need to throw in, a, few, more, for, you, Captain Muffin.
  9. Problem is, most LAMs bikes are so cheap that half the skills that will help you when on a bigger bike, are hard to learn.
  10. It's all relative matey. You do what you can on your bike. You won't be able to rip through 45k corners at 100+, because that takes some experience on a dedicated sportsbike, but you'll be able to manage maybe 60 after some dedicated practice...and that's really the point. Don't think such things don't apply to you. They most certainly DO! :)

    If you've taken the time to get the basics down well, understand the principles behind them, and can apply them at your respective level on your bike of the time, then you are half way there. The Skills are transferable...AND they will need to be applied to your next bike.

    That next bike will take time to get to know, but the skills you've brought with you will work straight away, once the "getting to know each other" phase is over. It's normal progression.

    Take someone who has not really worked at his skills...was lazy, thought he did'nt need to know them. That guy gets his step-up bike, has to learn his new bike, but has no skills to maintain him while he is getting to that point, and then nothing to build upon.
    You see and hear them everywhere. Numpties and always will be, unless they wake up....the trouble is, they have waisted all that time and no longer have the forgiving LAMS bike to try things on. Makes life very difficult...slows down the learning curve...They can't keep up with their mates that invested the time in the beginning...but they are'nt going to let that stop them from trying to...and thus, they go careening off the road into the trees or an embankment.
    It really does'nt take all that much to end up there. (groan)

    But hopefully their mates will be able to visit them after a really great ride together and tell them all about it while they're laying there sipping lunch through a straw.

    I know who "I'd" wanna be in THAT picture...
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jeezus H Fucking Christ, I started reading this and thought, another bloody cruiser bash. well at least it's a change from another nodding post or an attack on defenceless 4WD's owners.

    Then I read it a couple more times and thought back over the bikes I've owned/borrowed/ridden/dropped/crashed or wrecked, and Raven ... your right!

    I ride a cruiser and mate some days I do just puddle along, and why not? The scenery is good, everything is right in my world and I'm having fun, and I can relax, plant my feet up on the pegs, rest one hand across the throttle, and think about what excuse I can use on my darling wife so I can stay out for another couple of hours, and that is where it can all go wrong. Inattention can hurt, I have had a couple of near misses, and either by good luck or past experience I have managed to avoid the consequences.

    Don't know what else to say so I will shut the fuck up now.. please resume normal transmission.....

    p.s. Raven .. good post
  12. LOL - You must be as hard as a cat's head by now, ...
  13. Good post Raven.

    I've yet to see a learner, P plater, someone just off restrictions/plates able to out-ride a 250.

    When skills are to this level, yes ...

    It's all about the skills.

    In racing the riders don't go straight from say a 125 to a litre bike, it's 125, 600 Supersport, then GP. There's a progression commensurate with development of skills ... all sports have a progression, starting at low power and working way up.
  14. Good post Raven, must admit I am living proof of 'lack of skills causes spills' [you can use that if you like ] had a spill off a bmw cruiser last Nov [my riding buddy was disappointed 'Hawlord' but has since forgiven me] was a learner ride between Kinglake and Healsville, on our way to lunch, was a lovely day, sun shining etc, and I reckon I might have been in la la land as the right sweeper kick in I felt the bike dip and panicked and hit the front brake, ended up in a ditch and as a more knowledgeable rider recently pointed out, I could have got out of the situation and that come from 'experience' which i still dont have but I now dont 'tune out'. it farken hurts lol have had a cruiser and sold that cause it didnt react as I needed it too in a freeway situation so I do know what you mean about cruisers not reacting as well as the sports bikes.. I get alot tips and I re read tips when I can, no harm can of reading and trying to get it to sink in ones head!!
  15. #15 kneedragon, Jul 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    That was a joy to watch NightOwl - thank you. I hadn't seen that before.

    A couple of thoughts.
    Cowan rode an astonishing race there, but he didn't win.
    Several fancied runners went out with problems.
    Haslam was clowning around and not trying too hard to get away, so it's not like it was a race for sheep stations.
    They were held a long time on the start - to the point where they all stopped their bikes so as not to overheat them. So all the tyres were dead cold.
    There was cement dust down from arsehole to breakfast time.
    A 250gp bike is easier to ride than a 750cc formula one type bike, which is easier than a 500 gp bike, and the differences are just more dramatic on cold tyres and a greazy track.
    That's a pretty slow track. A lot of that track, you'd never get the throttles wide open on the 500 - it'd flip. It's a gokart track.
    The one with everything to gain - in terms of reputation and so on, and nothing to lose, is Cowan.
    Lastly, it shows all too clearly that even a world class rider like Haslam, on a bullsh*t fast bike, will struggle and need some rare skills to stay in front of a well ridden 250 around a tighter track. The 500 is a bit quicker, but infinitely harder to ride. Most of us here who think we're pretty quick riders, would either go humiliatingly slow on it, or fall off the b@stard pretty damn quick. That was part of the joy of the 500s - thousands of people could gradually learn to get most of it from a superbike, but only a very select group of men ever learned to get it all from a 500.

    That race is in many ways very reminiscent of one of Greg Hansford's last competitive rides. He de-mothballed his KR350, and at Adelaide International, took on all comers in a formula libre race. There were a pack of 'fast' people there, but the only other real contenders were both the Trinder Brothers, both on RG500 Gammas, very much like that one of Haslam. At the end, the RGs were able to out drag Greg to the line, and leave him 3rd, but after 15 laps, there was about a half second between the three bikes, and Hansford had held a 20m lead out of the final corner. They were making over two seconds on him down the front straight every lap, and he was making that back up by turn 4, and overtaking both 500s, around the outside if need be, by the last corner and leading them back onto the straight.

    King Kenny Roberts was once asked who the most naturally talented rider he'd ever raced was, and without an instant's hesitation he replied Greg Hansford. The journalist didn't even know who he was.

    • Like Like x 1
  16. Whew...I'm glad you got the gist of wait I was aiming for Nobby. :)

    I'm not really a cruiser guy, but I can still relate to the allure of the open road and just taking it all in, relaxed and enjoyable.
    Unfortunately, it's that relaxed and enjoyable ride that can over time blunt the ol' reflexes and catch you out..
    And you've got alot of good experience to back you up, mate...the relatively untrained 1-2yr rider, who did'nt take the opportunity to study his craft, is pretty much canon fodder.

    As a Cruiser pilot, I'm glad you chimed in, as your perspective is of significant value. Ta mate. :)
  17. :-s

    Come on nightowl!

    You can't be serious. Are you actually comparing a road ready 250 to a race ready 250?

    Lets just say a race 250 and a road 250 are two completely different animals. A race 250 is more like a 600 in the associated kit (suspension, brakes etc....)

    btw, you haven't been out with many people if you haven't seen one that can out ride a road 250... It ain't hard... Outriding a 250 is having the front pushing, scrapping stuff and generally having it pinned :D

    Who says? I can get through 45k corners at 100+ even on a cheap 250. What i'm saying is, there is a point where you cannot learn any more on a 250 because it won't let you.

    When i say, it won't let you, its because you'll crash if you try it...

    I completely support what you are saying though, you need to practice your skills every time you get out riding. My point is, there is a limit to what you can learn on a 250 because of the "cheap" nature of the bikes.
  18. This is also true. I sold myself short in terms of what I could do and how good I was for years, because I was riding inferior stuff, and comparing what I could (and couldn't) do to guys on factory race bikes. I knew I sucked, because they could do things that to me were verging on impossible.

    And then I rode a modern sports-touring bike, on modern radial tyres, and a new world opened to me. Things that had seemed god-like suddenly became challenging but possible. My riding developed and improved more in a few weeks than it had in the last two decades.

    Perhaps what was godlike was that guys like the 1970s production racers were learning to do those hard things on bikes that were only just capable of doing them. Learning those things on good modern machinery is just so much easier.

    It's also true that you can't learn to handle real power on a bike that doesn't have it. Indeed, riding bikes that don't, can help you unlearn it. Spending time on an XT600 worried me, because I could feel myself getting blasé and contemptuous about the throttle, and I knew one day I'd get myself back on a real bike, and then I'd better watch myself.
  19. I am a new road rider and totally agree that getting the core skills is essential, that's why i worked my a$$ off trying to improve my skills in any condition (plus i don't have a car making it pretty important for me) But i found that thinking ahead and avoiding risk by simply not being there is paramount for us beginners, i learnt that out the hard way. 3 weeks ago i failed to think ahead and trapped myself, i needed to ride 100 km to sit an exam the next day. Problem was i had an hours sleep the night before. Because of the exam i had to get home and i did..... at least a third of the way before i lost concentration and ran off the road on a corner which was pathetically easy. couple of broken bones later and a beautiful 88 cbr now as ugly as me i learnt that if i had have given myself the option of not needing to ride and had been wise enough to see how tired i was, i would not be in a cast. Fatigue gets the best of the most experienced riders and is a big factor for about a third of vic fatalities. So i think other new riders should learn from my stupidity, do not think just because you can get your knee down and go 80 in a recommended 40 make you an experienced rider and can take on anything. You are generally doing that when your on the ball, just wait till your sleep deprived, bit seedy or even had fight with the mrs, all these lead to poor judgement choices you will create unnecessary risk.

  20. Nightowl was referring to racing with respect to the sytematic upgrading through the ranks, as compared to us, that will jump from a 250 to a thou.
    I did'nt get that she was intending to compare the two types of bikes?

    Who says?...I says!
    And yes. I'm well aware of the limitations of most 250cc bikes, and as you allude to correctly, it only takes a competent rider a year or so before they find themselves bumping up against the performance envelope of the cheapy LAMS bike models, regardless of cc's. So... they need to forget trying to go fast and start perfecting their skills at whatever the bike can handle, so that when they can afford an upgrade they are better prepared.

    As for riding a cheap 250 through 45k corners at 100+...
    You're saying that you can keep up with me dragging a knee on the Daytona, on a cheap 250...Maybe the corner(s) you have in mind are marked a little misleadingly, which sometimes happens. Even so, I'm allowing you alot of latitude on this one...:)
    The ones I am thinking of, would put you in hospital mate. But we'll let this one go through to the keeper, and forget it.
    Yeah, I know you do, Ninja. :) As we both have mentioned...sooner or later, depending on an individuals developement, and progress, a cheapo bike will reveal it's shortcomings fairly quickly.
    I was agreeing with you in my original response as well. :)

    There also comes a time of diminished returns on a cheap bike...even on a good bike, if your skills exceed the bikes capabilities.