When does one become an experienced rider? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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When does one become an experienced rider?

Is it a certain number of miles? Certain amount of time? Is it a mental thing?

I have maybe 900 miles so far under my belt with a 900. I rode for several years as a high schooler but that was like 40 years ago. I do not consider myself experienced at all but was wondering that question last night while riding. Took my wife for about an hour ride around our small town and felt comfortable doing it. Was my first time with a passenger but we live around a small town and not much traffic to worry about.

To understand true love, lock your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car for an hour and then see which one is glad to see you when you come back.

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 12:43 PM
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Good question, think it varies from one person to another. Most states I believe, that allow you to ride without a helmet, require you to have your endorsement for 1-2 years, think all say no highway riding or passengers while on a permit.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 02:13 PM
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Experience is a continuous process. Complacency is dangerous. I don’t think that you can put a number on it. In the training course that I took the instructor said that there were two high risk times statistically for riders, within a few months of learning to ride and again later on when riders felt that they were experienced on their bike.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 04:43 PM
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I see riders who are just as smooth and supple on their machines as poetry in motion - who never wobble at any speed, never misjudge their speed or angle on a sweeping curve, or hesitate one second making tight u-turns, they certainly appear to be the picture of confidence and control. I don't feel like one of those riders after 18k miles experience over the last 3 years. Are they born with that skill? Are they the biking equivalent of the so-called "naturals" we see in athletic sports? I'm getting better and pretty sure I could get there after a few more years. I'll let you know.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 04:54 PM
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I started riding again last year and have about 7500 miles in. I've taken the advanced MSF training, read a couple books, gotten fairly good at smooth shifting, controlling the front brake and throttle at the same time, using the fiction zone and the rear brake in slow turns, and generally I feel pretty confident on my 900 classic. That said, I think I'm right in the high risk zone of 12 - 24 months (I think) where folks get too confident and screw up. I'm trying not to do that but I often find my self riding much more aggressively now than when I started. I don't know if I'm "experienced" or not, probably more likely a "motorcycle adolescent".
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 07:54 PM
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Experience?

30 years of riding, over 400,000 miles on a wide variety of bikes, and I still have those "duh huh" moments... You might be comfortable on your current ride but you can never be complacent...
Ride safe and ride often.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 09:41 PM
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I grew up on dirt bikes so the mechanics of riding a cruiser (except for the weight) stayed the same. It's getting used to everybody else around you. You may get used to riding but the experience is getting back in your driveway in one piece.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFISH View Post
I grew up on dirt bikes so the mechanics of riding a cruiser (except for the weight) stayed the same. It's getting used to everybody else around you. You may get used to riding but the experience is getting back in your driveway in one piece.
+1 on that! Every time I leave the driveway I wonder if I'll come back. I tend to be a worrier in general, which may be a good thing if you ride motorcycles. I still have fun, but try to always be aware. That said, I have to admit that on long empty roads I sometimes drift off, daydream, and when I come out of it I think I'm really lucky nothing bad happened while I was away.

On the up side my driving habits have improved a lot since getting back on a bike. I turn my head a lot more, watch other drivers a lot more, especially at intersections. All the new habits on the bike seem to transfer to the truck.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDog View Post
Experience is a continuous process. Complacency is dangerous. I donít think that you can put a number on it. In the training course that I took the instructor said that there were two high risk times statistically for riders, within a few months of learning to ride and again later on when riders felt that they were experienced on their bike.
^ Right answer
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 07-22-2014, 08:33 AM
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Each time you ride you gain experience. Whether you are riding your 1st mile or your 200,000th. If you are just practicing your skills, the practice builds better skills, which is experience. Never stop learning, the next lesson you hear - see - do may be the one you reach for when there is that OH CRAP moment.
I have been riding for over 20 years (and that is hard to write, much less believe - I'm not that damn old!!) and I try to learn from anyone I can, either the right way or unfortunately the wrong way to do things.
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