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Old 10-03-2008, 05:31 PM   #1
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Know your limits - I don't understand

So can someone explain this a little? I see it all the time and thought I understood it, but now I am begining to think "knowing your limits" is not possible. So it is becoming a little annoying when I see "Ride within your limits."

I mean, do you actually know your limits before you cross them?

Case in point...

I wrecked at MSRH, up until that point, I felt well within my limits and in NO WAY thought I was in over my head.

I thought about "know your capabilities" but then until one knows what they are presently NOT capable of..only then do they know what they ARE capable of.

I dunno man. Maybe I am complicating it but I see the phrase used so loosely and it doesn't seem to help.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:47 PM   #2
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Well it goes without saying...

...wait... that's another meaningless phrase...


nevermind, Im dumbfounded
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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I liken this mostly to when you're following someone or riding with a group. Obviously, crashing at the track doesn't always mean you've crossed the line with your limits, sometimes, you will crash within your limits.

Limits go toward skill and experience with a hint of ability.

Case in point, about 5 years ago, I asked a friend of mine to lead me around TWS (Texas World Speedway) after following me for a couple laps. Well, I *thought* that he followed me out and was behind me for 3 laps, then passed me. When he passed me, I tried to keep up, and binned it within 4 corners.

My friend was capable of running high 40's there, I was just dipping down to the high 50's but mostly I ran right at 2:00. I crossed the line with my ability/ skill/ experience, and tossed the bike on the ground.

When I talked to my bud in the pits (he saw me come in on the trailer), I asked why he was going so fast, and he didn't remember about leading me around, he never remembered he was supposed to be leading me.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CaligoneTx View Post
Well it goes without saying...

...wait... that's another meaningless phrase...


nevermind, Im found dumb
Fixed.

dilly, it's a strange phrase. You're gonna have to cross the line a couple of times to really understand where it is. Even then, I don't think we ever "know" the limits. You figure there's a lot of variables involved in this game we play. To be exact is almost impossible.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, you never know you are doing wrong until its pointed out to you. On the track you continually push your limits to improve your skills. On the street its about survival.

You are comparing apples to oranges here. There are too many variables on the street, so riding within your own limits is a must for survival.

When on the track, you are in a controlled environment, where you can reasonably push yourself harder and harder until you find your limits.
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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Just like "testing your limits" is when you're at the track and you wait a bit longer to brake, get on the gas earlier, carry more corner speed, etc.

Most folks put a time to their "limits", mostly with regard to lap times, but that's not always a great gauge.

When testing my personal limits, I'd rather be riding by myself and not trying to follow someone faster. It's easy to get sucked in to their realm of ability by following them, and then you're likely to go beyond your limits!
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Old 10-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #7
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I didn't think you were talking about the street. Riding to your limits or testing your limits on the street is a bad idea. One day, folks will figure that out- usually happens when someone dies or gets seriously hurt unfortunately.

On the street, personally, a "limit" would be riding reasonably and safely while maintaining good control
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:00 PM   #8
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Good stuff.

I'm talking about riding in general although I do see the phrase used more often when talking streets and not track. I ride both.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:06 PM   #9
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Technically, since your limit increases w your skillz and experience you will continually stride for it if you are pressing.

Just the opposite of: constantly trying to fill a hole, filling it half at a time.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdill35 View Post
Good stuff.

I'm talking about riding in general although I do see the phrase used more often when talking streets and not track. I ride both.
Tell me this, why would you want to push your "limits" on the street? What possible good would come of it?

By the strictest definition, a limit is something you can not or should not pass. It's not safe or prudent.

In the case of street riding, that could encompass everything from your bike's condition, road condition, personal ability, other people occupying the road with you and their ability, weather, and finally, your self-control.

In the case of the street, all of the above are "known" factors with exception to your self control and the ability of the other folks sharing the track. It makes testing your limits a bit more controlled.

On the street, since the above variables are in play, testing your limits there is a recipe for disaster that most of us get lucky and avoid- some don't.

If it doesn't feel safe, in control, or "good" on the street, chances are, you're pushing your limits and the boundaries of safety. It's easy to do if you're riding with a group or even just one other rider that is riding faster than you (either because of their perceived skill or whatever), and you get sucked along with them.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:46 PM   #11
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Its all in my sig............
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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my limits are limited by my bike.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:59 PM   #13
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...and now chit hits the fan...



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Old 10-03-2008, 08:37 PM   #14
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...and now chit hits the fan...





As well it should..... Don't think his last name is Hayden so I doubt he is limited by that ZX6..
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:48 PM   #15
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On the street you shouldn't be running much more than 7/10's... Gotta hold something back to account for road condition and surprises. You KNOW this, cuz we have discussed it. As far as the track, the point is to kind of push the limit, so you know next time where you are. Just like people say about dragging knees. You want to get it down, so you have a gauge as to when approaching your lean limit.

But I don't think you are talking about yourself, more the idea of the phrase riding within your limits/self. Basically if you feel like you are pushing/scarring yourself. You are going too fast.

And that is a R6 as president of the YZF club, I couldn't let you pass on the ZX6 thingy....
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Old 10-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiatool View Post
On the street you shouldn't be running much more than 7/10's... Gotta hold something back to account for road condition and surprises. You KNOW this, cuz we have discussed it. As far as the track, the point is to kind of push the limit, so you know next time where you are. Just like people say about dragging knees. You want to get it down, so you have a gauge as to when approaching your lean limit.

But I don't think you are talking about yourself, more the idea of the phrase riding within your limits/self. Basically if you feel like you are pushing/scarring yourself. You are going too fast.

And that is a R6 as president of the YZF club, I couldn't let you pass on the ZX6 thingy....
yeah man, well said





IMO......if you aint scared, you aint ridin! lol
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Gunslinger View Post
my limits are limited by my bike.
Yeah, clearly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiatool View Post
On the street you shouldn't be running much more than 7/10's... Gotta hold something back to account for road condition and surprises. You KNOW this, cuz we have discussed it. As far as the track, the point is to kind of push the limit, so you know next time where you are. Just like people say about dragging knees. You want to get it down, so you have a gauge as to when approaching your lean limit.

But I don't think you are talking about yourself, more the idea of the phrase riding within your limits/self. Basically if you feel like you are pushing/scarring yourself. You are going too fast.
The problem I have with a gauge like "only do 7/10ths" is, do 7/10ths of what? My track pace? Still could be stupid on the street, and for most that have done a few track days, it would be.

I think you're on the right track with "if you're pushing or scaring yourself you're too fast" is pretty close, it gets back to comfort and confidence.

The whole thing for me, and I can't fathom why even those that have been riding for many years don't see it, is that while it may be fun to ride to excess on the street, it's just incredibly dangerous to do so.

When I still rode the street, which wasn't all that long ago, and was over about 20 years time span, it was more than adequate for me to ride within the laws and speed limits on back roads or whatever. Riding the corners at a bit more spirited pace than the indicated/ suggested speed was pretty normal, but nothing outrageous.

Like dragging a knee, some figure out that they don't even need to try to drag a knee in corners after they become more comfortable and controlled, it just happens without even trying. Comes with experience and practice, and is a stark contrast to when they went to their first track day looking like a monkey and reaching with their knee so they could show their friends the scuffs on the knee puck like a badge of honor.

I wish folks would figure out that riding even close to your "limits" on the street is just plain silly and un-necessarily dangerous to do.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:18 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
Tell me this, why would you want to push your "limits" on the street? What possible good would come of it?

By the strictest definition, a limit is something you can not or should not pass. It's not safe or prudent.

In the case of street riding, that could encompass everything from your bike's condition, road condition, personal ability, other people occupying the road with you and their ability, weather, and finally, your self-control.

In the case of the street, all of the above are "known" factors with exception to your self control and the ability of the other folks sharing the track. It makes testing your limits a bit more controlled.

On the street, since the above variables are in play, testing your limits there is a recipe for disaster that most of us get lucky and avoid- some don't.

If it doesn't feel safe, in control, or "good" on the street, chances are, you're pushing your limits and the boundaries of safety. It's easy to do if you're riding with a group or even just one other rider that is riding faster than you (either because of their perceived skill or whatever), and you get sucked along with them.
I did not say I test my limits on the street.

The thread was more about "old timers" letting "noobs" know to "ride within thier limits" on street rides when they could not possibly know what their limits are. I have seen guys go down doing 30 mph around a 35 posted corner. So thier limit was, obviously, 28 mph maybe.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:24 AM   #19
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I didn't want this to get out of hand, cuz I know opinions vary. I was after a new way of telling newer guys to just chill until they get the hang of it.

All I do now is promote the track cuz it seems that the guys that do track days periodically, just go down less often. I posted somewhere else that of the 30 or so guys I have seen go down, only Tim (RIP) had done a track day. That is not saying that if you ride track that you wont go down, but it certainly increases your odds of NOT going down.

And riding the backroads, I like my odds, a little more in my favor.

I would iimagine that we agree on that point for sure.
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:55 AM   #20
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I didn't want this to get out of hand, cuz I know opinions vary. I was after a new way of telling newer guys to just chill until they get the hang of it.

All I do now is promote the track cuz it seems that the guys that do track days periodically, just go down less often. I posted somewhere else that of the 30 or so guys I have seen go down, only Tim (RIP) had done a track day. That is not saying that if you ride track that you wont go down, but it certainly increases your odds of NOT going down.

And riding the backroads, I like my odds, a little more in my favor.

I would iimagine that we agree on that point for sure.
I think it's curious that it is often easier for an instructor or an experienced rider to recognize when somebody is riding over their limits, in comparison to the rider recognizing it for themselves. Instructors and experienced riders look at body position, consistency in the lines , smoothness of the throttle and brake, and the riders ability to transition into and out of turns as well as into braking areas. I believe instructors and experienced riders can recognize this both on the street and on the track; of course on the track is can be more glaringly obvious.

For myself, riding within my limits has to do with how I feel when I'm riding. If I'm scaring the out of myself, I'm over my limits. If I'm feeling rushed trying to establish my body position, brake, and downshift heading into the turn in point, I'm riding over my head. If I'm sliding the rear tire or, heaven forbid in my case, sliding the front tire, I'm way over my head. If I don't have time to pick out reference points or I'm forgetting my reference points, I'm way over my head.

I'm riding my best when I'm relatively relaxed and have time to smoothly establish body position, begin to brake, and then turn in. Equally, when I'm smooth on the throttle from the apex down the straight or into the next turn.

Just my thoughts.

Last edited by maxgs; 10-04-2008 at 12:58 AM.
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