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Where does experience come from

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by nobby, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. Jumping off the thread about Reefton and Sparky's off yesterday, what constitutes an experienced rider, I've been plodding round this earth for a while and even though I am on a restricted licence now, I have been on and off (sometimes painfully off) bikes for around 30 years.

    My bike is my daily commuter, regardless of weather conditions, I do a round trip of 80 kliks a day (freeway and local rds) if I go direct, and God knows how many if I get bored coming home.

    My point to all this is, am I experienced?

    In the wet/heat = yes
    freeway = yes
    gridlock = yes

    so who is the experienced rider, the one who never rides if it looks like rain, the weekender who does the twisties at maximum velocity, the rider with 40 yrs riding experience who only goes out every third sunday and only in a group, or the daily commuter.

    I consider myself a good rider when I'm in my comfort zone, and for me that's commuting, I still get to twist the wrist a little, I still get a buzz out of being ahead of everything else (except a bigger bloody bike) lanesplitting still gives me a woody.....

    But when it comes to Twisties = no bottle ... I'm the one at the back, at least 5 kliks slower than anybody else and enjoying the scenery.
  2. I think the answer is riding, more riding, and even more riding in all conditions. It's a tough thing too measure experience, as you continue to gain it until you put down the helmet and don't ride anymore.

    I was riding 20 years ago, got back into bikes in Jan '05, am I experienced because I was riding bikes when younger, no way I am back to the learner stage and not as crazy.
  3. Nobby, The Oxford Pocket Dictionary defines experience as - knowledge based on personal observation or contact. I would suggest that hours in the saddle and kilometres covered in all conditions therefore builds personal knowledge and therefore constitutes experience.
    I would also suggest that if you cover 10000km a year in the wet then you are an experienced wet weather rider as you have gain personal knowledge about how the bike handles in the wet, how tintops behave while driving in the wet, what the raod conditions are like in the wet. If you only cover 100km of really tight twisties per year then you are an inexperienced tight twisty rider (unless of course you've covered 100km/year for the last 50 years) as the personal knowledge that you have built is minimal.
    I think experience also comes from maintainence of skills, if you only ride twities once a year, your skill and knowledge level will drop and you will struggle with the road.
    IMO experienced doesn't necessary mean good. I know several riders that would cover about 800-1000km a week, yet I would definitely not ride pillion with them.
    I would proffer an opinion that an experienced rider knows how to ride to the conditions both weather and type of road and also how to ride within 95% of their skill limit. Whereas a learner such as myself would perhaps not ride accordingly dependent on the weather, road condition or skill level as we have not built up the personal knowledge base that helps us maintain rubber side down.
  4. Everyone wants to be considered a good rider...to have the respect of their peers...this may lead new riders to push a bit harder than their abilities leading to "moments".

    The problem is quantifying skill levels. Only thorough testing could possibly grade people on their abilities. However there is no means of testing ability except to ride hard on the spur and compare yourself against others. But even this is a false test because bikes with huge straight line performance can disguise poor braking and cornering skills for example. A new rider on a 250 may have better skills than an experienced rider on a 600 but the performance of a 600 makes the experienced rider look fast and therefore the assumption is that the experienced rider is more skilled.

    The best thing that any new rider can do is go do a high performance ride school and get skill levels up and then maybe do a heap of track days.

    Thats what I intend to do.
  5. An experienced rider knows the difference between his capabilities and his ambitions. Riding ability ie, good or bad riding is not measured against another rider's level of competence. It comes from recognising your own areas for improvement and working on them at your own pace.
  6. i reckon experience is not only going through the motions and doing the same thing for a long time, it is having 'moments' which periodically claw back your expectations of you bike, ability and environment... which at times can leap ahead of the limits of these.
  7. Some people think it comes in a weet-bix package
  8. Does'nt it :shock: :D

    Cheers 8)
  9. Someone once said to me, when you think you know it all and you're getting a little complacent, its time to upgrade to something bigger to kick yourself in the ass.

    Worked for me :p A little too well though, unfortunatley....
  10. Shite, I must be getting less experienced as I have just bought a 400, down from a 750 hehehe. Still got the 750 so how does that work out :? :? Must say I havent had as much fun on a bike though as on the baby VFR :D :D
    Seriously though, I think experience is a personal thing, when you learn to control the red mist I reckon your well on the way, lets face it -your most likely to drop it when pushing it that little bit harder for whatever reason, beating your mates -whatever
  11. I've always thought in a similar way to that regarding time to upgrade. In all honesty, even without restrictions... if i'm still doing stupid things on a 2fiddy, then it ain't time to upgrade yet. Every time my little bike scares me (or i scare me) then it'll do me just fine for another month or so.

    As far as experience goes; it's having done enough stupid things and gotten away with them to know that you shouldn't do those stupid things again.
  12. One way in which I have attained some good experience is touring through places like Tasmania for a few days in a row. Riding as a part of a large group on the Ducati Turismo gave the opportunity to ride lots of different roads, covering between 3-500km per day. At the end of the day, I would meet up with fellow riders and we'd share our experiences, learn a few things. Then the next day I'd go out, having thought about my riding and try out new techniques and approaches. It was a condensed riding experience and to stay in one piece you really need to pace yourself.
    Another way has been going to Superbike school and HART post licence courses. Both have helped in terms of road and track and they were great fun.
  13. And of course a person may be highly experienced in a whole range of riding situations.

    But put them on a road they have no knowledge of whatsoever and they are inexperienced.
  14. experiance is just a term , and it is wrongly used and has no meaning at all anymore .

    take for instance 2 differant riders

    rider A: did the corner school down at phillip island , can rip through the twisties , no chicken strips on his tyres , sets good lap times around phillip island .

    rider B: riding for a while , may even be a ulyssian , rides in the city , country , touring .
    rides slow , no want or need to rip the twisties up .

    generally people eqate speed and skill with experiance , you know the quotes" he flys on that thing , peg scraps the corners etc" , no these people have skill , not nesecarily experiance .
    the skill in corners ( taught ) and skill in controlling a bike at high speed , but then place them in punt rd on peak hour they are out of the skilled area that is not familar with and it shows that his allround skills are uneven across the board .

    rider B , skills in city traffic , and on country road are differant , he travels slower and have a more even skill range across all differant area's

    personally if it was out of the two , rider be would be more experianced .
    it the young budding rossi's that look to rider A as being experianced , but it isnt the case.

    the only thing that build experiance is not time , but kilometres in all differant weathers , roads and terrians.
    in netrider overall , there would be only 3-4 people that i would call and experianced riders , the others range from novice - through to good.
  15. From the Fat Bastards Motorcycle Club's guide to Zen;

    Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.
  16. Just keep on pushing your bike out of the shed and riding it, and the experience dilemna will become increasingly insignificant.
  17. As opposed to chatting on here.... eh? :LOL:

    But I do agree with you. Y'all should be riding to work everyday, if you're not already! :D
  18. I sorta think that
    -the experienced learner is a learner who can stay upright and not annoy other road users.
    -the experienced commutor/cruiser will always arrive at his destination safely.
    -the experienced reefton runner will get through as fast as possible without endangering anyone.
  19. experience, knowing your limits, and knowing when and where to push the limits a little to learn that little bit more........