Riding Over Your Head - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Riding Proficiency Tips and suggestions for improving the rider's safety skills and riding techniques

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post #1 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Riding Over Your Head

Had an interesting experience yesterday that has me wondering and would like some input from those that have been there.

First my background-dirt racer umpteen years ago-haven't ridden on the street until my Glee last year. We now have about 3500 miles on us.

I was riding highway 14 yesterday from Walden, CO to Fort Collins, CO. It is about 90 miles of intense downhill twisties following the Poudre River down the mountains through Cameron Pass.

A friend with a lot of experience was leading on a GS1200 BMW, he was riding hard and I was trying to stay with him and quickly falling back, couldn't (or wouldn't) hang. Then a young guy on a Ducatti came blasting by all of us, totally in another league.

So the question is when do you know if you're riding outside your abilities (other than the obvious)? Do you press the envelope and acquire new skills as you go, or wait for experience to teach you?

Appreciate.
RR
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post #2 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 09:53 AM
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If you're scaring yourself at all, you're going too fast.
It's the street, not a race track. No runoff, no ambulance 30 seconds away. Being smooth and comfortable is lot better goal than being "fast" IMO.

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post #3 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:06 AM
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Being smooth and comfortable is lot better goal than being "fast" IMO.
No doubt about that. And over the years I've learned that with smoothness comes speed. I enjoy being able to reach the end of the road thinking to myself "that was an awesome ride" vs "glad I made it, almost crashed 3 x's!"




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post #4 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockies Rider View Post
Had an interesting experience yesterday that has me wondering and would like some input from those that have been there.

First my background-dirt racer umpteen years ago-haven't ridden on the street until my Glee last year. We now have about 3500 miles on us.

I was riding highway 14 yesterday from Walden, CO to Fort Collins, CO. It is about 90 miles of intense downhill twisties following the Poudre River down the mountains through Cameron Pass.

A friend with a lot of experience was leading on a GS1200 BMW, he was riding hard and I was trying to stay with him and quickly falling back, couldn't (or wouldn't) hang. Then a young guy on a Ducatti came blasting by all of us, totally in another league.

So the question is when do you know if you're riding outside your abilities (other than the obvious)? Do you press the envelope and acquire new skills as you go, or wait for experience to teach you?

Appreciate.
RR
Depends on you. Do you want to enjoy the ride by having a leisurely ride or do you need to be first down or up the hill to have fun. If it's the latter practice and buy appropriate bike & gear. If you have fun watching the road and scenery go by at a nice comfortable pace then let your hot rod friend wait for you to catch up. Forget the street racer there is always someone faster and better than you on any given day.............Mike Just my $.02
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post #5 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:14 AM
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I've run CO 14 once and it is as you say, intense. I am guessing it's a new road for you too maybe? As you could imagine, those curves have probably eaten a lot of riders. You have to ride your own ride. Maybe your friend and the Duke rider have been down that road many times. Or they could just be better riders. Anyway, that road is twisty and potentially dangerous, I wouldn't push beyond my comfort too much there, nor would I feel bad about it. Perhaps next time it will feel different.

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post #6 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:39 AM
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For me it's all about "margin", riding smoothly with room for the unexpected in terms of speed, obstacles, traffic, or even a brain fart of your own.

Yesterday we rode 140 miles of rolling curves in the Arkansas Ozarks, probably more curves than the last 5000 Illinois miles combined! Very few cars but many bikes. Out of the hundreds of bikes, only two were pushing really hard. The others rode with margin. I commented to my wife afterwards that this was both the most satisfying ride of my life and the safest. IMHO if you choose to ride without margin you should expect to crash eventually. That doesn't preclude getting your lean on, going fast, or really accelerating out of turns - just preserving some margin for error at all times.

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post #7 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:43 AM
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"The Pace". If you don't know it, learn it.

PACE YOURSELF

Happy riding!

:-)

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post #8 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:49 AM
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The "Ride Your Own Ride" thingy comes to mind. Some days I can hang with the fast guys for a while. So I've learned that when I start to feel like I'm pressing it, I slow down to where I am comfortable.
Nothing gained wiping out following a guy with more ability.
I can pass some folks and am a mirror watcher to allow the faster guys the to have the road.
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post #9 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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Its important to be able to know your limits and ride within them. You don't want to take the approach of he's going that fast so I will to. Remember it is you and your bike against the road and traffic and not about keeping up with your riding buddies.

The problem comes in when your limits approach the bikes limits. If you want to explore your bikes limits you need to do that in a controlled environment.

On an unfamiliar road it is very easy for those limits to be exceeded. Even by an experienced rider. The faster you go the easier that is. A rider that is slower then you will seem faster if they are very familiar with a road and you are not.

With experience you will recognize what your current bike is capable of in different scenarios. Be careful while you build that experience. Your dirt experience is a good foundation.

My survival (so far) has been that for the most part I have gently bumped the limits and have not crashed through them.


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post #10 of 34 Old 05-19-2013, 11:16 AM
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Ride your ride.

Years ago and new the street I was trying to keep up with my friends on a bike not suited to keeping up with sport bikes let alone my inexperience on an unfamiliar rode. THEY made it to the end of the road. I made a new trail through the bushes...

That said I think the best way to get better is to push yourself but its also the best way to f yourself up.

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