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Motorcycling Experience?

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Foo Light hearted off-topic chit chat with no general subject.
View Poll Results: What kind of motorcycling experience?
More than bicycling - mostly street
19
32.76%
More than bicycling - mix
4
6.90%
More than bicycling, but none street
1
1.72%
About the same, mostly street
17
29.31%
About the same - mix
2
3.45%
About the same, but none street
0
0%
Limited - mostly street
9
15.52%
Limited - none street
0
0%
None
6
10.34%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

Motorcycling Experience?

Old 09-29-18, 04:38 AM
  #1  
kbarch
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Motorcycling Experience?

It comes up every now and then, so I'm kinda curious - how extensive is our experience with motorcycling, and how does it compare with our bicycling experience?
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Old 09-29-18, 04:42 AM
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Mine's quite extensive. I found it helps in determining road position, braking, approaching corners, descending... and as a result I tend to ride quite differently than friends who have never been on a motorcycle.
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Old 09-29-18, 05:29 AM
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I love motorcycles and like to build them and modify them. But, I perceived the risk because of speed and poor driving of cagers to be not worth the risk of riding on the street.
Track riding though much higher speed is safer. I sold them all and have weened myself off the desire to own one. I admit I still think about owning a vintage Ducati or something cool to wheel out on weekend mornings before all the cars that maim others rise to greet the day. I still can't sell my Arai racing helmet or leathers.

That said, as with automobile drivers, a large majority who own motorcycles shouldn't own them because they don't have the talent to survive. Of course bicycle riders are the same. Always a percentage of guys who don't know what they are doing that ruin it for others.

Best money well spent is to take motorcycle training courses. Ride like you are invisible. Leave yourself an out. There are so many different techniques that maximize your chances to survive both on a motorcycle and a bicycle on the road that perhaps the majority are ignorant of. These strategies are taught in better classes. Cagers don't process the speed of smaller objects like bicycles or motorcycles because size is part of the equation relative to time to judge speed...if they see you at all because generally not programmed to look for less threatening smaller objects on the road. Part of our evolution. Big stuff can kill us faster.

Even employing best practices, a driver can rear end you at a light and left turn you on the street or pull out from an intersecting road and either take your life or wish it had.

If you enjoy your health to me, do not buy a motorcycle. Basic physics. Conservation of momentum. Higher speed + high mass spells disaster if hit by such an object. A scooter owner in my complex just got hit on the road and was in the hospital for many weeks piecing his body back together.

So I stopped riding so my body would be healthy enough to ride a bicycle. Given a choice, I choose cycling. I like it better though I love motorcycle riding and have ridden too fast and too long to know that likely my time was limited and I wanted to quit before it ran out.

My last bike. A heavily modded Triumph Bonneville T100...a fuel injected remake of the iconic Bonneville of the 60's that started the trend of big power motorcycles. I love cafť racer old naked standards. Minimalist and beautiful. I think about owning one just for the art but where I live now I am too space limited. Good luck to all of us either on bicycle or motorcycle. Speed ups the ante for cagers not processing the speed of a smaller object...less reaction time as a smaller less noticeable object enters the space of a bigger vehicle that can hurt you.

Last edited by Campag4life; 09-29-18 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 09-29-18, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Mine's quite extensive. I found it helps in determining road position, braking, approaching corners, descending... and as a result I tend to ride quite differently than friends who have never been on a motorcycle.
Interesting that you mentioned descending. I rode motorcycles for about as long as I've been bicycling now, did a few track days but have done far more bicycle races and no longer own a moto, but I don't have much recollection of descending, so I wonder what the difference might be....
You'd think that folks who've at least watched any kind of racing would know about lines, but it's hilarious sometimes to see what little regard some riders seem to have for finding the best line through a course. I'll never forget one race in a park where the course had a very serpentine segment - half a dozen or more individual little bends in the road, but they were so short and so close together, one could easily cut through half of them in a single line and only actually make one or two real turns, but the riders in front just followed the centerline, turning right, left, right, left over and over. It was a short circuit/crit type race, so you'd think they'd figure it out after a couple of laps, but we were just Cat 5, so presumably the other fields knew better. Nevertheless, I was happy to see them go to the trouble, because it made it easy for me to catch up after being dropped.
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Old 09-29-18, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for sharing the photo, Campag - gives me an excuse to post my last moto love....
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Old 09-29-18, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Interesting that you mentioned descending. I rode motorcycles for about as long as I've been bicycling now, did a few track days but have done far more bicycle races and no longer own a moto, but I don't have much recollection of descending, so I wonder what the difference might be....
The most immediate difference I found was that I was more familiar with going faster downhill, because on a motorbike you've got much better traction and brakes - and so when I found myself on the bicycle I was mentally prepared to expect to be going faster, though you are keenly aware you have very little traction and not much stopping power and really can't/shouldn't attempt to go the same speed.

Exactly what you say about the rest is true, many riders have no idea what is an apex, what it means for a corner to "open" or "tighten", how to approach a corner, or to try to maintain high corner speeds etc. Of course some do, but many do not.
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Old 09-29-18, 06:26 AM
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Aprillia's are awesome. Always wanted a Tuono...one of greatest naked standards ever created. Italians have such a flair.

Even non motorcyclists will appreciate this:

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Old 09-29-18, 07:57 AM
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Iíve been riding motorcycles on and off for about 25 years. Like you all so far, I just sold my most recent one a couple months ago. I liked working in on it as much as I enjoyed riding it and when we moved to the desert I quickly realized that for 4 months Of the year it was like riding in a blast furnace (on the bicycles we leave at 6am in the summer). Plus the garage was so stinking hot that my workshop time was relegated to 2am. Not a single item on the last bike that didnít get modified by me from the engine to the bars.



i took every lesson I could including private advanced classes and a couple of track days one of the best learning experiences I could hope for. I do think it made me a better cyclist in many ways.
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Old 09-29-18, 08:14 AM
  #9  
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My old roommate was a good cat 2 racer, then switched to motorcycles and won nationals in 250cc on the track, in some division or other.
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Old 09-29-18, 08:36 AM
  #10  
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I had an older bike for a few years in my 20s. Loved it, but being in the city, there were only so many circumstances really within my control. Too many people running red lights, flying out of alleys, etc. Never had an accident, but realized that given enough riding time, something bad would happen, so I gave it up. If I move out to the country at some point I'd like to get another one.
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Old 09-29-18, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
It comes up every now and then, so I'm kinda curious - how extensive is our experience with motorcycling, and how does it compare with our bicycling experience?
Nope, nope, nope.

Sorry guys, wrong forum. You can take it to Foo if you like, but the 41 is a bicycling forum.

Moved to Foo, from Road.
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Old 09-29-18, 10:17 AM
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I gave it up in 1979 after touring USA up through Canada on a Yamaha... in March. I cannot handle riding freeways. I had too many near death experiences combined with some minor falls. But I always keep looking... the thought never leaves my mind. Here is me on my long gone '64 Triumph T100 Super Competition.
I shouldn't have sold it but comes a point when you want a bike that is reliable enough to ride 100 miles without having to get out the toolbox....and you get tired of oil and gas leaking all over your clothes, shoes and garage floor. Gear oil, primary oil, motor oil, fork oil.....
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Old 09-29-18, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Thanks for sharing the photo, Campag - gives me an excuse to post my last moto love....
While I prefer a different brand I did go off the reservation for my latest track toy. Aprilia's are SO affordable on the used market...

Last edited by DesmoDog; 09-30-18 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 09-29-18, 11:57 AM
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In my experience motorcycling is much faster than bicycling. And less tiring.
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Old 09-29-18, 12:24 PM
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If the mods can't see the connection to road cycling specifically and consider this foo, I'm done. The whole forum is foo as far as I'm concerned.

I realize the mods have a thankless job, and I'm sorry if I contributed the difficulty of it, so I'll be on my way.
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Old 09-29-18, 01:18 PM
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I rode a motorcycle for about a year and a half... during that time I took 3 safety courses... One MSF, one CHP and I honestly do not recall who gave the third.

Ultimately I gave it up... I was too risky on a powered bike... I had three collisions in one year and all of them due to my handling of the MC.

I returned to bicycling after that.
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Old 09-29-18, 11:17 PM
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I loved motorcycling, and quit when I started a family.
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Old 09-30-18, 03:24 AM
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I rode motorcycles for years but never got comfortable off road. Mostly I rode small motorcycles for commuting and local weekend pleasure rides, 400-500cc sizes. My favorite was a Honda Ascot VT-500, a little V-Twin with shaft drive, nimble little commuter scooter.

It was mostly a good experience. I can think of only one occasion when a road-rager deliberately tried several times to hit me. She was chasing me in heavy traffic. I just scooted over to the shoulder after allowing other traffic to block her, then took the next exit and access road ahead to get where I was going. No idea what bug bit her behind. I was never a hot rodder, didn't filter through stop and go traffic, didn't do wheelies or cut people off. You never really know what sets off some drivers. But at least a motorcycle gives you better options to escape in heavy traffic, even if the bike isn't particularly fast.

Before then I'd already been bicycle commuting in traffic for years, so the basic safety awareness carried over. And the same risks from inattentive drivers. Two wheels seem invisible to drivers, or they just don't care. I suspect drivers see us more often than not but they're in risk/reward mode. The reward is their uninterrupted, unimpeded sense of forward motion. In a split second they survey their surroundings for risks, see motorcyclists and bicyclists as no risk so they dart into our space for their reward. They expect us to get out of their way. If they happen to misjudge the speed, distance, direction, etc., and clobber us, then they claim "I didn't see you!" Mostly it's BS. They see us. It just doesn't register high enough as a risk to their personal safety.

As a result of being hit from behind several times on a motorcycle -- fortunately always at low speed or at a stop sign or traffic light intersection -- I've practiced the Idaho Stop for decades, both as a motorcyclist and bicyclist. I don't ride motorcycles anymore, but years ago I'd already begun to practice rolling through stop sign intersections where there was no oncoming traffic -- especially if there was a vehicle approaching from behind, because that's when I got clobbered. Usually I'd stop at red lights although I might go ahead after stopping and checking all directions to be sure the way was clear. Again, for my own self preservation. If I checked the mirror and saw a vehicle approaching too rapidly from behind I didn't assume it would stop in time. So I'd scoot ahead or at least turn right. Same with bicycle riding now.

Unfortunately there's no easy solution to the other risks to motorcyclists and bicyclists -- the right hooks, left hooks, perpendicular travel vehicles clobbering us from the sides, etc.
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Old 09-30-18, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
That is a beauty. I have a ton of experience with both, probably in the top 1% in terms of lifetime miles by bicycle, and top 10% for motorcycle. In both cases, I usually ride for utility, to get around and also avoid the cost of a car. But, I also had a passion in the past for randonneuring, and did many long rides, along with lots of training miles.
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Old 09-30-18, 08:20 PM
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I used to race motocross and thoroughly enjoyed it until I had a very serious crash. Wound up with two compression fractures of my T8 and T9 and wore a back brace for four months. Riding my Caad12 is nothing like my old Suzuki RM250 but the knowledge I learned from the dirt makes riding now a piece of cake.
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Old 10-01-18, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
That is a beauty. I have a ton of experience with both, probably in the top 1% in terms of lifetime miles by bicycle, and top 10% for motorcycle. In both cases, I usually ride for utility, to get around and also avoid the cost of a car. But, I also had a passion in the past for randonneuring, and did many long rides, along with lots of training miles.
Thanks. I have a thing for 2 wheels as well though sounds as though you have big miles on both moto's and bicycles.
Building custom motorcycles, bicycles and cars has always been something I am interested in. I like to put my signature on things but keeping with the original design theme.
Before I even rode that Triumph...I picked it up new in a snowstorm where I had to shovel the trailer out, I took it home and started taking it apart and changing it.
Basically I prefer cleaner designs and generally a bit more power. But that Triumph which had about 80hp at the rear wheel...didn't go crazy on the engine...desmogged it and remapped the injection, made it breath better but it would never perform anywhere close to the Aprilla's shown or any superbike even though a lot faster than the Bonneville's of the 60's that had a reputation for being fast back in the day which I still remember riding. As you know the ante of what is considered fast has really changed. Bikes today are quantum leaps faster than the so called fast bikes of the past. I won't however tell you how fast I used to ride this bike in the country where I lived. Too fast really. I get in too much trouble with sport bikes as others do.

There is an adage about motorcycles that goes, better to ride a slow motorcycle fast than a fast motorcycle slow. That is the issue I have with sport bikes. I prefer to ring out a slower bike than always babying a sport bike because if you don't, even on a 600cc sport bike, you go right to jail with their scary speed.

I suppose nostalgia on some level kicks in because I grew up riding the early Triumphs and BSA's and Hondas and many know for example it was the Japanese bike invasion that killed the British Triumph until they brought them back better than ever. Japanese bikes are pretty amazing, but from a soul standpoint, Triumph's and Italian bikes have something special.

Thanks for your kind words.

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Old 10-01-18, 11:08 AM
  #22  
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I rode motorcycles for many years, and got to a point where several things were happening at the same time. It wasn't as fun as it used to be, and my mileage had dropped to 3,000 per year and I was loosing my edge. Plus, I'd become quite comfortable with racking up the miles on the slab, but the more challenging roads were harder to come by and less fun that the used to be. I was getting older to, and at 49 knew the fatter older guy I was becoming was never going to have the reflexes I did when I was younger and decided I needed to do something when people started asking if I rode a Harley because I was looking like the typical fat old guy that rides them and not because they didn't know much about motorcycles. So I sold mine, and spent more time bicycling instead. It's been 10 years since I sold my last bike, and I still don't plan on replacing it but can't get rid of my riding gear either.
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Old 10-01-18, 11:25 AM
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I imagine I'll get to the point where I call it quits because of idiots and cell phones.

I nearly got taken out last week. There's a veeery slow driver (10-15mph below the posted limit) who regularly inspires impatience by whoever's behind him on my commute home. One of the understandably impatient car drivers did a lane change into me. Ironically, it was somewhat the glow from the a-hole's cell phone right by his steering wheel that got enough of my attention...giving me a fraction of a second more time to react. I locked 'em up and avoided disaster. This was in a 35mph zone with wet pavement, though not raining.

The following morning, I went to the cop shop to register a complaint/report...asking if they'd do something. This same slow driver goes thru that area M-F. We'll see if anything improves.
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Old 10-01-18, 11:28 AM
  #24  
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I used a motorcycle for many years (no car) and also quite a bit of off-road including racing. I took up bicycling about 10 years ago. For me, there is just about nothing in common. Superficially, what do do when you wreck but even there I have significant differences.
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Old 10-01-18, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ridelikeaturtle View Post
Mine's quite extensive. I found it helps in determining road position, braking, approaching corners, descending... and as a result I tend to ride quite differently than friends who have never been on a motorcycle.
This. Also, situational awareness in traffic. I'm so used to anticipating bone-head motorist maneuvers while on a motorcycle, it helps when I'm riding without a motor.
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