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Old 05-27-2012, 04:32 AM   #1
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Getting Comfortable Riding

Hey guys so I had a quick question for you guys that have been riding for a while as I'm pretty new. I was wondering how long did it take you guys to be fully comfortable with your riding skills? And by fully comfortable, I mean you think you're good enough to go on some twisty roads and run through it correctly and confidently?

I've been riding for about 3 weeks now (Yeah, very new, lol) and I think my ability is about how much better I can get for 3 weeks, but I can definitely see there being a long road to how good I can get and I just wanted to ask some of you guys as a point of reference, sort of. I still sort of see myself as a beginner, so my question to you guys is how long would guys say you guys were beginners, if that makes sense.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:41 AM   #2
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I've been riding dirt and road bikes since 1974.. still learn new stuff all the time...

One of these days I'll figure "it" out..
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:16 AM   #3
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Your always going to be a beginner, like Texlurch said your always learning something new everyday. I know I do and have been riding almost 30 years. Best you can do is get more competent and then you will be more comfortable.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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I should rephrase, I still see myself as a super beginner, lol.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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The day you start feeling comfortable and like you know what you are doing is the day you get your first dirt sample.

I'd say your beginner days end when you stop having to "think" about what you are doing and it becomes second nature and reflex. That's when you are ready to start really learning how to "ride".

"Stay frosty my friend" LOL!!
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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Dirt Bikes in the 70s, Street bikes late 80’s. I have had maybe 10 bikes, Sportsters to Busa’s but no track bikes or track experience. It is an ongoing learning experience, not be rushed. (My Dad still rides and he is 81)There is also something to be said for the combination of the rider, bike and road. When its right it can be like a Zen feeling where all thee just flow together. Some bikes I had never made that connection where others it was a much better fit.

You said comfortable, you will likely feel comfortable long before you actually have a decent skill set. To assign a general number to obtain a decent skill set, is different for everyone,
Since you asked I would guess 24,000 miles in 3 to 4 years.
Know you limitations along the way, being a good rider is something others think of you, when you start thinking it of yourself you are likely headed for trouble.

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Old 05-27-2012, 06:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1340HIGH View Post
Dirt Bikes in the 70s, Street bikes late 80’s. I have had maybe 10 bikes, Sportsters to Busa’s but no track bikes or track experience. It is an ongoing learning experience, not be rushed. (My Dad still rides and he is 81)There is also something to be said for the combination of the rider, bike and road. When its right it can be like a Zen feeling where all thee just flow together. Some bikes I had never made that connection where others it was a much better fit.

You said comfortable, you will likely feel comfortable long before you actually have a decent skill set. To assign a general number to obtain a decent skill set, is different for everyone,
Since you asked I would guess 24,000 miles in 3 to 4 years.
Know you limitations along the way, being a good rider is something others think of you, when you start thinking it of yourself you are likely headed for trouble.

"What Texlurch said
Wow, very well put. Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:49 AM   #8
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There is no magic number because everyone is different. How long after you started driving did you feel like you were telling the car what to do rather than being told by the car? Figure that much time for easy operation of the bike.

Being comfortable using a motorcycle and being comfortable riding are very different, as noted above, and both are different from being good at riding. Seat time builds up all three: so long as it is the appropriate sort of seat time. You won't learn as much taking one route that is five miles long and dead straight.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:55 AM   #9
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On top of all that, it also has a lot do to with what you ride as well IMO. I rode an old 80's cruiser for the first 4-5 years of having my license (I was 15-16yo when I got it). I felt comfortable on that bike, but when I went to my GSXR I realized that it was a completely different skill set to ride that bike. Yeah, clutch and throttle were the same, the handling of the bike was completely different. After 25k miles on that bike, I still hadnt pushed it anywhere near what it was capable of, and was still learning. Now Im onto my Busa, and while Im comfortable on it, I still learn new things everytime I ride. Ive been riding on the street for over 10 years now, and its still an adventure everytime I throw a leg over the bike.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:36 AM   #10
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Ive been riding on the street for over 10 years now, and its still an adventure everytime I throw a leg over the bike.
That is definitely what makes riding great. Every time someone asks me why I ride to commute whenever possible, I tell them every ride is an adventure.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:11 AM   #11
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Be comfortable in turns and downshifts and braking.

Once you start regularly scraping your pegs or boots, it's time to start getting that off the seat. Best learned on long high speed sweepers with a mild radius.

From there, you can go as far as you want, but keeping your bike balanced while you wriggle around is like a sort of yoga and is so rewarding.

I've had my bike since September of last year and it was broke down in pieces for three months and have put 12k miles on it and this is currently where I stand.

I do think that the right bike will progress your skills much faster than the wrong bike.

Last group ride I went on, I had to pass a couple riders on turns who owned sports bikes.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #12
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I agree with all the previous comments: every ride I learn something new. I do consciously work to expand my skills, range roads and situations, speed and such. Riding a bike is truly a developed skill and a bit of fear is a good thing in my opinion. Focus is key so is anticipation. Go to a used book store and buy some riding books, there are some excellent ones, read them, and think about the messages. I have been back to riding about 15 months now. I rode all through junior high, high school and some of college (maybe 7 years) but had a 33 year gap. Try and work on a specific riding skill each ride. If something surprises you while riding, figure out why and what you could do better. Don't drink! Don't ride while off! Stay off freeways a while and really nasty congested roads. And most of all: have fun!
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:27 PM   #13
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Aggree with all comments about learning new things everyday.

for myself, i went on noob rides... smooth sweepers, racer's road.. when they went the speed limit, i went 5-10 under it.. on a 600 shadow. at the end of the ride, i can do speed limit + MAYBE 10 over.

after a while, i can do 10-20 over.. on the Shadow..

bought my 600rr in february, and I'm back on the posted limit on sweepers. at the end of that ride, i was doing 10 over. couple more weeks, i was doing 10-20 over. after 3 months, i can do 30 over with caution... but 20 over posted very comfortably.

the high speeds are easier that the lower speeds posted because of the tighter corners. and you can ask everyone I've ridden with, I try to hang back and watch. watch them where they enter, body position, speed... etc. and have someone watch you.. PM Thayleal, BaoPee, Pinball and CBR Tran. they ride a lot and give lots of pointers. CBR Tran has a ridiculously good looking form and smooth lines. Thayleal will look like he will drag knee making a left to a parking spot.. (With the bike upright though..).. If you ride with JohnBones, bring spare GSXR parts.. mainly bolts.. ROFLMAO.. j/k man. =P

and its not about how long you've been riding.. it's how many miles and how many roads you've been on. I can ride the freeway all day at 90-120mph.. and park/duck walk when making a U-turn on bellaire.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Aggree with all comments about learning new things everyday.

for myself, i went on noob rides... smooth sweepers, racer's road.. when they went the speed limit, i went 5-10 under it.. on a 600 shadow. at the end of the ride, i can do speed limit + MAYBE 10 over.

after a while, i can do 10-20 over.. on the Shadow..

bought my 600rr in february, and I'm back on the posted limit on sweepers. at the end of that ride, i was doing 10 over. couple more weeks, i was doing 10-20 over. after 3 months, i can do 30 over with caution... but 20 over posted very comfortably.

the high speeds are easier that the lower speeds posted because of the tighter corners. and you can ask everyone I've ridden with, I try to hang back and watch. watch them where they enter, body position, speed... etc. and have someone watch you.. PM Thayleal, BaoPee, Pinball and CBR Tran. they ride a lot and give lots of pointers. CBR Tran has a ridiculously good looking form and smooth lines. Thayleal will look like he will drag knee making a left to a parking spot.. (With the bike upright though..).. If you ride with JohnBones, bring spare GSXR parts.. mainly bolts.. ROFLMAO.. j/k man. =P

and its not about how long you've been riding.. it's how many miles and how many roads you've been on. I can ride the freeway all day at 90-120mph.. and park/duck walk when making a U-turn on bellaire.
Haha yeah.. I am about practicing my body position more and more to get it right so as I pick up the speed it comes natural.

Comfort is a hard thing to pin down..because comfort can come from overconfidence and ignorance. Ignorance is bliss right? Just remember the street isn't anywhere to push it. The key is finding someone with good habits and learn to match their line and body position. Learn to provide smooth inputs whether it is braking, shifting, or throttle. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast! When you get comfortable enough try going to the track where you can get instructed by very skilled riders.. there is always more to learn. Ride well within your limits and have fun.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:13 PM   #15
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Try a track day, it will help you gain confidence and knowledge.
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:36 PM   #16
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Pretty informative thread. Good advice. See I learned about a thing or two just reading all the posts


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Old 05-27-2012, 08:50 PM   #17
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Pretty informative thread. Good advice. See I learned about a thing or two just reading all the posts


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Old 05-27-2012, 11:28 PM   #18
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OP, im in the same boat. Been riding off road and smaller bikes for years. I feel better every time i ride but im thinking a good 6 months before i feel halfway confident. Im about 3 weeks into my 08 Ninja 250 as well.
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