Continued challenges for new riders
November 19, 2009 at 1:11 am #23411
“quote from eternal”
Also those pretty body plastics are bloody spendy! Again, this is something I’m looking to fix with a light, low-power bike that I don’t care about falling off of
That is so true! That’s why I love my beat up ’01 naked GS500 so much! Of the three bikes I have, the GS500 requires the least amount of “active brain power” to ride. It feels like an extension of my body, like when I’m on a mountain bike. As a result, I worry the least when I’m on the GS, and I tend to ride much better. Whenever there’s a route or riding condition that I’m not sure about, the GS is always my first choice.
When I first started riding I have this notion that I NEEDED to man up and not hold up traffic in corners, so I always felt pressured to carry more speed into the corners. Until one day I talked to a co-worker who’s a long time cruiser rider; he said he had no problem slowing down to whatever speed he felt prudent, and not allowing impatient drivers behind him forcing him into something he felt unsafe. That made me realize that I needed to ride at my own pace, rather than being forced into an unsafe pace.November 19, 2009 at 1:14 am #23412
My Ninja was nice in that regard, and in many ways I feel the same way about it that you seem to feel for your GS. The difference is that I still didn’t want to crash it. I could have de-faired it, but that felt like sacrilege. To own a Ninja after Kawasaki had finally grown a pair and redesigned it to look all sleek and then strip off the sleek? Nah.
I’m goin’ motardNovember 19, 2009 at 3:36 am #23413November 19, 2009 at 3:37 am #23414November 20, 2009 at 3:34 am #23425owlieParticipant
“It’s more that if I have ANY reason to doubt full traction (wet road, cool tires, debris on road surface), I turn into the world’s biggest whimp.”
This is why I stopped riding for the season after the first snow, even though it didn’t stick. When I was out walking, I could see where the ice was hiding in low spots, cracks, etc in the pavement. I just didn’t trust that I wouldn’t loose it on something that I didn’t recognize as a hazard.
In the end, we all have to find our own level for risk tolerance. Yes, that level changes (both up and down) over time and through experience. But as we all know, you have to ride within your own comfort zone. Ride your own ride…November 20, 2009 at 3:44 am #23427owlieParticipant
I don’t do any of that stuff, though generally people who ride in the summer are all over snow machines in winter. The only winter sport I partake in is snowshoeing which was a foreign concept to me when I first moved up here.
In the winter, I do alot of reading. Hough’s books are on my list for this year, but I’m going to wait until Feb for those…November 20, 2009 at 4:14 am #23428
I mean, those aren’t just normal dirt tires are they?November 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm #23434LuxMundiParticipant
… has been an interesting read. I now have about 1200miles experience since Oct, and it has been fun, humbling, exciting, frustrating….
My biggest challenge has been trusting the bike to take me through the corners. Initially, every time out, I would have 1 or 2 turns where I would panic, and almost not make the turn. Honestly, I nearly quit riding, but by using countersteering properly, and envisioning a successful turn, I have gotten much better, to the point where I actually enjoy the sweepers.
One thing that helped me was going on a couple of charity rides where I knew that mine and other’s lives were on the line if I didn’t execute in the turn. I imagine that if other riders around me could have read my mind, they would have given me LOTS of room!!!!
My “resolutions” for this year:
1) find someone of similar interest & skill level to ride with
2) wear out the sides of the tires a little
3) luggage solution to my little ninja, so I can do some short tripsNovember 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm #23435
Wear on the edges of the tire? Good goal! Just make sure you’re not trying to get rid of your chicken strips by pushing the bike down under you.
…you know, or using 40-grit “chicken-strip remover”November 20, 2009 at 11:00 pm #23436
I spend a 1/2 hour in one of these near my house every few month..November 20, 2009 at 11:17 pm #23437
I was thinking about using the freeway cloverleaves to do some practice, but the problem is you only get to turn right on those.November 21, 2009 at 12:58 am #23430
When I started riding, I found it easy to control and turn (counter-steering) the bike once it’s above walking speed. But for a while I felt very iffy about the slow-down-to-walking-speed-then-u-turn transition. Some times the u-turn worked out fine and felt natural, but some times it was all wrong – the bike wouldn’t turn the way I expected. Once day I went on a 70 miles ride, got home ok, but messed up a 3 mph u-turn in front of my house, hit the curb and dropped the bike. I was so mad at myself, but I didn’t know why I messed up. Now, when you ride a motorcycle, there is nothing worse than the “didn’t know why,” because you can get serious injured or killed by “didn’t know why”. Sometimes I wanted to make a u-turn in traffic, but I dared not do it, so I went around the block instead. For a few weeks it felt like having a dark cloud hanging over my head whenever I was riding. Finally I found this article (tip #233) by Mr. James Davis on his website:
That was like a light got turned on in my head – it got all clear in an instant. I got on my bike and knew exactly what to do. (Still needed practice but that’s different.) Tip #233 gave me the single biggest break through in my early riding days. In fact, as a beginner, I learned so much from reading Mr. Davis’ safety tips. Some of them can be long and technical, but to me it was well worth the effort.
Now that I think of it, I want to re-read all those tips.November 21, 2009 at 1:11 am #23432MunchParticipant
Thanks for that link. I had found it a WHILE back but forgot to bookmark it. Guess I will have to go through it again myself!November 21, 2009 at 3:06 am #23438megaspazParticipant
getting rid of chicken strips is overrated. you can be plenty fast and still have chicken strips on the tires. check out the tires of your club racers next time. if you’re goal is to get rid of chicken strips, sanding ’em down is the safest way to get rid of them.November 21, 2009 at 3:07 am #23439megaspazParticipant
Actually that’s a benefit since most people suck at rights more than lefts.
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