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Online Kortbroek

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #60 on: January 20, 2019, 09:32:51 am »
No option for started riding on the farm on a variety of clapped out bikes.

Also interesting to note the disparaging comments about power slides, wheelies etc. Aside from being good skills to have in my opinion, not everyone rides like that to show off. Some people do it purely because it's fun. If I wanted to do something with zero risk I'd join the neighbourhood book club.

That said I have a lot of respect for people that take it easy and ride within their ability. I also think an earlier poster had it spot on saying that many riders are very dangerous that think they're Dakar material while barely keeping the bike upright.

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Offline Xpat

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #61 on: January 20, 2019, 11:48:13 am »
I probably shouldn't as I might rough some feathers, but I'm going to risk it. Here goes.

First of all - and sorry to bring ABS up again - my 2c are that you should never ever ride off tar with ABS on on the early generation ABS bikes such as 650GS or GS1150. While it works kind of fine on tar (taking into account it is first attempt at ABS on bikes), it is downright dangerous off tar. I have seen first hand what happens when you try to go down steep dirt road in Lesotho on Dakar with ABS on (we tried to switch it of but the bloody switch didn't work - it was rental bike). The runaway situation was one of the scariest things I have seen - luckily my unexperienced mate had wherewhital to bail relatively quickly, but it could have been much worse. Imagine sitting on steep downhill with rockface one side of the road and steep long drop off to the river with bike that just releases its breaks. No amount of experience - except maybe judo falls - will help you to resolve that situation (OK maybe switching off the key quickly might, but try to do that when the bike is accelerating down steep slope).

And even if the switch off works it is still way too dangerous IMO, as on a long ride (I have ridden GSA from Prague to CT) you will inevitably get distracted sometimes and forget to switch it off after break, leading to some unexpected hairraising situations.

My understanding is that newer generations of ABS are much better and I have seen guy ride one of those JustBlipIt Swazi hard core rides on 690 with ABS on up front (back must be always off - no matter what!) and he did just fine. Still the first thing I did on my 690 when I bought it was to disable the ABS permanently (on both wheels) and I prefer it that way, but that is me - if your more sophisticated ABS works for you off-tar, enjoy.


Second - and I have to step in here for absent 2SD - one aspect completely missing in this discussion and greatly affecting rider's ability to enjoy riding off tar is bike choice. The biggest nonsenses spewed on internet biking forums is the 'bike is capable' rubbish usually followed by video of Chris Birch or GS trophy dude on big heavy whale doing something stupid just to lure unspecting uniniformed wide eyed buyers.

Any bike is only as capable as the rider on it. And the bike will greatly limit (or enhance) what any rider can do on it - even Birch cannot do on 1190 what he can do on 300. Where people go wrong in this argument is usually like this - bike can do it, but rider can not, implying that only if rider would to more training, riding, watching Birch videos, whatever, they would be able to do exactly the same as Birchy on 1190.

While I of course agree that people should try to do their best to better their riding abilities throught training and practice to be safe and for me more importantly to enjoy riding to the fullest, the reality is that at the age most people on this thread are, there is distinct cap of how much they can improve. I started riding at 28 (i.e. late) and now at 46 if I'm pretty sure that if I spent the rest of my life riding/training every day, I'm not going to get anywhere close to Birch level. In others words in this bike/rider equation the rider and his/her ability are more or less given (with some wiggle room for improvement) and the bike is variable. So if one wants to maximize their enjoyment of biking (and let's face it, biking in the west is mostly about enjoyment) starting where they are in terms of their riding abilities, its much easier to achieve that by chosing a bike that is going to facilitate that as much as possible, rather than hinder it (because of weight, price, lack of crashability, etc.). And if one progresses to the point where they feel ready/need to master something bigger, it is again very easy swap the bike for something else.

I know this personally because I have been there and done it - made all the mistakes. Starting at too big bikes, being scared most of the time and hating other people who could throw those bikes around like bicycle, and eventually gradually moved down to smaller bikes, that allow me even with my admitedly very average at best riding abilities, explore where most don't dare to go. People complain here about windgat riders who are not aware about their riding limitations (and sure enough there are plenty), but for me this whole 'ego' thingy starts already at the beginning when buying bike, when people are not honest with themselves about their abilities, and often buy bikes that then hinder them in their riding. I remember on our Kaokoland RR somebody commented that he wished he was 10 years younger so that he can do the trip. When we checked how old he was it turned out he was the same age as Straatkat who was on the trip. By chosing right bike for his riding capabilities and expected riding terrain, Straatkat was able to enjoy a trip some of his contemporaries possibly with even better riding ability (Bertie is roadie, and started riding dirt only relatively recently)

Unlike 2SD, this is not a blanket rant against big bikes. Those bikes have their place and are best fit for majority of people who just want to tour, probably with pillion and at max stick to the good dirt roads. Nothing wrong with that and it will always be the biggest part of adv market. However judging by so many condescending comments here about powerslides and wheelies (I cannot wheelie, but I can lift front wheel in a pinch), both of which are absolutely basic skills required for dirt riding IMO (and that is why they are taught on those training academies - e.g. Countrytrax or BMW course in germany both of which I did), it seems to me that there might be a little misguided jelausy running underneath here. Just because you ride on Supertenere or any other big bike so slow that your rear wheel never slides a bit in dirt (that must be actually pretty difficult), doesn't mean that somebody riding let's say DR/XT/690 significantly faster with their tail wagging is windgat. They may indeed be riding much safer than you are (I remember how terrified I used to be when the rear wheel slipped just a little - I was attempting to achieve the same amount of grip and stability on dirt as on tar, which cannot be done).

To wrap up this long drivel and provide some very rough guide for bike selection from riding enjoyment and self improvement perspective - in my experience it is much better to ride a bike (where one prefers to ride) where one can use 80% of bikes capabilities (at their current skill level) - i.e. closer to bikes limit, than ride a bike when one barely scratches 30% of bike capabilities. To use very crude example, if normal people like me would get a chance to drive Ferari and Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost, most people would enjoy the Ford imensely more.

Sorry for long drivel, got carried away.

Offline Welsh

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2019, 12:14:48 pm »
As said before, there can be more satisfaction, riding a slow bike quickly than a fast bike slowly. :peepwall:
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Offline dirt rat

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2019, 12:22:01 pm »
Or light bike easy and heavy bike hard.
 

Offline Cracker

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2019, 12:33:17 pm »
Sjoe!

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Offline Weedkiller - Adie

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #65 on: January 20, 2019, 12:47:58 pm »
Xpat was brave enough to put 'words to paper'  Since I joined the forum more than 90% will always go 'bigger is better' if info asked about a smallish bike.  Go search the threads you'll be amazed how many wants a 1190 with a 690 weight and attributes because bigger is better not realizing it is only the engine.  The bigger the bike the kakker the handling.  It is simple science. (inertia, momentum etc etc)

I started my second riding life with a 650 Dakkie and then went for a 1200GS.  Mike said early on that I would never GEL with the bike like the Dakkie.  After 30 000km mostly solo gravel I realized he is right.  I would not go into detail but on one trip we swapped bikes and I rode his 800. I was hooked again although it is not 'small' but it is 'a normal bike' with the same 'common attributes' like all BMW's (Good at noting but also bad at nothing handling wize)

It is now 4 years on the 800 and time has come to go even smaller.  How small? dunno yet.  I have enough experience now to know where/what and how I ride solo.  Will I miss the bigger bike? YES, I missed the 1200 comfort, power etc on long tar or flat graded gravel sections.  Then I decided to change my routes and now don't miss the 1200 at all but actually enjoy the 800 more.  I will apply the same principles if I go smaller.  Did I mention that I'm also getting older?.

**  In order to be 'Old and wise' you had to 'Young and stupid' once.  **

Xpat - I'm looking for a bike without ABS cos every now and then I forgot to switch it off and then are enjoying the ride so much I don't stop to switch off.  :'(  Ohh, on that note: Anyone who ride more than 400m gravel without realizing the ABS is still on should look at 'pre flight checklist'.  I've seen many riders NEVER look at the dashboard.

Adie
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #66 on: January 20, 2019, 01:44:51 pm »
As said before, there can be more satisfaction, riding a slow bike quickly than a fast bike slowly. :peepwall:

very true......   Honda 230 is so much fun to ride. spent hours playing around on them.
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #67 on: January 20, 2019, 01:58:05 pm »
As said before, there can be more satisfaction, riding a slow bike quickly than a fast bike slowly. :peepwall:

very true......   Honda 230 is so much fun to ride. spent hours playing around on them.

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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #68 on: January 20, 2019, 03:23:32 pm »
As said before, there can be more satisfaction, riding a slow bike quickly than a fast bike slowly. :peepwall:

very true......   Honda 230 is so much fun to ride. spent hours playing around on them.

Howzit Marky boy.  :sip:

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Online Omninorm

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #69 on: January 20, 2019, 03:30:54 pm »
Going downhill and remembering to turn ABS off , looking at the motorcycle dashboard once in a while,  lifting the front wheel,  powersliding, locking up the rear when needed, standing when needed,  looking ahead -  all things that riding experience brings.


« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 03:34:16 pm by Omninorm »
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Offline Dux

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #70 on: January 20, 2019, 03:50:40 pm »
I probably shouldn't as I might rough some feathers, but I'm going to risk it. Here goes.

First of all - and sorry to bring ABS up again - my 2c are that you should never ever ride off tar with ABS on on the early generation ABS bikes such as 650GS or GS1150. While it works kind of fine on tar (taking into account it is first attempt at ABS on bikes), it is downright dangerous off tar. I have seen first hand what happens when you try to go down steep dirt road in Lesotho on Dakar with ABS on (we tried to switch it of but the bloody switch didn't work - it was rental bike). The runaway situation was one of the scariest things I have seen - luckily my unexperienced mate had wherewhital to bail relatively quickly, but it could have been much worse. Imagine sitting on steep downhill with rockface one side of the road and steep long drop off to the river with bike that just releases its breaks. No amount of experience - except maybe judo falls - will help you to resolve that situation (OK maybe switching off the key quickly might, but try to do that when the bike is accelerating down steep slope).

And even if the switch off works it is still way too dangerous IMO, as on a long ride (I have ridden GSA from Prague to CT) you will inevitably get distracted sometimes and forget to switch it off after break, leading to some unexpected hairraising situations.

My understanding is that newer generations of ABS are much better and I have seen guy ride one of those JustBlipIt Swazi hard core rides on 690 with ABS on up front (back must be always off - no matter what!) and he did just fine. Still the first thing I did on my 690 when I bought it was to disable the ABS permanently (on both wheels) and I prefer it that way, but that is me - if your more sophisticated ABS works for you off-tar, enjoy.My opinion is that even as good as the new ABS and TC systems are , riders should learn to ride with them both totally disconnected ,I have seen way too many riders who have 'learnt' to ride with these things operating , so much so that when the systems fail they tend to fall off with alarming regularity .


Second - and I have to step in here for absent 2SD - one aspect completely missing in this discussion and greatly affecting rider's ability to enjoy riding off tar is bike choice. The biggest nonsenses spewed on internet biking forums is the 'bike is capable' rubbish usually followed by video of Chris Birch or GS trophy dude on big heavy whale doing something stupid just to lure unspecting uniniformed wide eyed buyers.

Any bike is only as capable as the rider on it. Riders need to realise that different riders have different abilities , respect that And the bike will greatly limit (or enhance) what any rider can do on it - even Birch cannot do on 1190 what he can do on 300. Where people go wrong in this argument is usually like this - bike can do it, but rider can not, implying that only if rider would to more training, riding, watching Birch videos, whatever, they would be able to do exactly the same as Birchy on 1190.

While I of course agree that people should try to do their best to better their riding abilities throught training and practice to be safe and for me more importantly to enjoy riding to the fullest, the reality is that at the age most people on this thread are, there is distinct cap of how much they can improve. I started riding at 28 (i.e. late) and now at 46 if I'm pretty sure that if I spent the rest of my life riding/training every day, I'm not going to get anywhere close to Birch level. In others words in this bike/rider equation the rider and his/her ability are more or less given (with some wiggle room for improvement) and the bike is variable. So if one wants to maximize their enjoyment of biking (and let's face it, biking in the west is mostly about enjoyment) starting where they are in terms of their riding abilities, its much easier to achieve that by chosing a bike that is going to facilitate that as much as possible, rather than hinder it (because of weight, price, lack of crashability, etc.). And if one progresses to the point where they feel ready/need to master something bigger, it is again very easy swap the bike for something else.
Quick history , been riding 35 years , did circuit racing for 10 years and off road enduro for 6 , along the way I was an advanced riding instructor at Killarney for 12 years as well as an off road instructor at one of the companies where I was employed . Can I ride , yes , am I a riding god , not at all , but I do have years of experience and I am more than willing to pass that on .
I know this personally because I have been there and done it - made all the mistakes. Starting at too big bikes, being scared most of the time and hating other people who could throw those bikes around like bicycle, and eventually gradually moved down to smaller bikes, that allow me even with my admitedly very average at best riding abilities, explore where most don't dare to go. People complain here about windgat riders who are not aware about their riding limitations (and sure enough there are plenty), but for me this whole 'ego' thingy starts already at the beginning when buying bike, True , and greedy salesmen wanting to make the most commission don't help either when people are not honest with themselves about their abilities, and often buy bikes that then hinder them in their riding. I remember on our Kaokoland RR somebody commented that he wished he was 10 years younger so that he can do the trip. When we checked how old he was it turned out he was the same age as Straatkat who was on the trip. By chosing right bike for his riding capabilities and expected riding terrain, Straatkat was able to enjoy a trip some of his contemporaries possibly with even better riding ability (Bertie is roadie, and started riding dirt only relatively recently)

Unlike 2SD, this is not a blanket rant against big bikes. Those bikes have their place and are best fit for majority of people who just want to tour, probably with pillion and at max stick to the good dirt roads. Nothing wrong with that and it will always be the biggest part of adv market. However judging by so many condescending comments here about powerslides and wheelies (I cannot wheelie, but I can lift front wheel in a pinch), both of which are absolutely basic skills required for dirt riding IMO (and that is why they are taught on those training academies - e.g. Countrytrax or BMW course in germany both of which I did), it seems to me that there might be a little misguided jelausy running underneath here. Not at all , all too often these windgat riders I refer to feel they need to do these things all the time while not in full control , and in so doing endangering others . These are the windgat type I am referring to , they are showing off , trying to prove something , all too often others are hurt . By the same token there is nothing as beautiful as watching a skilled rider travelling along trail , be they sliding or not .  Just because you ride on Supertenere or any other big bike so slow that your rear wheel never slides a bit in dirt (that must be actually pretty difficult), doesn't mean that somebody riding let's say DR/XT/690 significantly faster with their tail wagging is windgat. They may indeed be riding much safer than you are (I remember how terrified I used to be when the rear wheel slipped just a little - I was attempting to achieve the same amount of grip and stability on dirt as on tar, which cannot be done).

To wrap up this long drivel and provide some very rough guide for bike selection from riding enjoyment and self improvement perspective - in my experience it is much better to ride a bike (where one prefers to ride) where one can use 80% of bikes capabilities (at their current skill level) - i.e. closer to bikes limit, than ride a bike when one barely scratches 30% of bike capabilities. It also helps if the rider stays within their limits To use very crude example, if normal people like me would get a chance to drive Ferari and Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost, most people would enjoy the Ford imensely more.

Sorry for long drivel, got carried away.
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Offline Partyranger

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #71 on: January 20, 2019, 04:05:12 pm »
Well I have read a lot of posts and wanted to reply to a few as quotes however I think Xpat sums things up quite well.

The only way to learn how to ride better is to push the limits a little at times.
I too can ride at 20% of my skills which means sitting at 25km/h on the dirt.
Will that teach me how to increase my riding skill in order to (in future) ride at 50% of my skills?

I enjoy doing the odd power slide and riding at 70-90% of my skill. 
I also love scaring myself a little, adrenaline is a drug.

To me it does not feel like I am reckless but I am doing what I enjoy.
I am sorry if that offends some slower guys but often feel frustrated by having to do 20km/h because someone else feel that they are being safe and responsible.

Different strokes for different folks and that is where riding groups are best when skills and riding styles are matched.
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Online Omninorm

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2019, 04:31:10 pm »
Why do I feel a “So in light of a poll and a seemingly need for training XYZ will be providing trading - cost X amount” thread coming up soon?

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Offline Dux

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2019, 05:53:02 pm »
It was done out of curiosity , both for myself and that of a few friends , for the record I have already done training days and it was done at the request of some riders and clients , whatever financial gain was made was minimal , but the aim was not to make a living out of training after all I have the workshop for that , I am trying to pass on some of my knowledge to others and hopefully in the process I can improve some people's riding abilities .
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Offline Dux

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2019, 05:58:19 pm »
Well I have read a lot of posts and wanted to reply to a few as quotes however I think Xpat sums things up quite well.

The only way to learn how to ride better is to push the limits a little at times.
I too can ride at 20% of my skills which means sitting at 25km/h on the dirt.
Will that teach me how to increase my riding skill in order to (in future) ride at 50% of my skills?

I enjoy doing the odd power slide and riding at 70-90% of my skill. 
I also love scaring myself a little, adrenaline is a drug.

To me it does not feel like I am reckless but I am doing what I enjoy.
I am sorry if that offends some slower guys but often feel frustrated by having to do 20km/h because someone else feel that they are being safe and responsible.

Different strokes for different folks and that is where riding groups are best when skills and riding styles are matched.

Don't get me wrong , I find nothing wrong with people sliding around , wheelying , and generally riding hard , there is a time and place for that and I have had weekends riding with some of my friends where we have done all of the above while riding a metre apart from each other the whole time . But we all know each others riding abilities . The windgat type I am referring are those that will tend to ride with slower , less experienced riders while 'showing' off their abilities and in the process being a danger to others .
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Offline Robin Brown

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #75 on: January 20, 2019, 06:12:07 pm »
Who is stupid enough to want to fall????
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #76 on: January 20, 2019, 06:25:02 pm »
 :-[
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Online Kortbroek

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2019, 06:28:28 pm »
Why do I feel a “So in light of a poll and a seemingly need for training XYZ will be providing trading - cost X amount” thread coming up soon?
So what if someone wants to do that? I see zero problem with forum vendors getting input on possible business ideas here. Judging from your post you do?

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Offline Dux

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #78 on: January 20, 2019, 06:33:00 pm »
Who is stupid enough to want to fall????

Stupidity has no limits does it ?  :biggrin:
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Online Omninorm

Re: Riding experience and riding abilities
« Reply #79 on: January 20, 2019, 07:45:14 pm »
Why do I feel a “So in light of a poll and a seemingly need for training XYZ will be providing trading - cost X amount” thread coming up soon?
So what if someone wants to do that? I see zero problem with forum vendors getting input on possible business ideas here. Judging from your post you do?

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Your judgement is incorrect sir!
I don’t see a problem with it at all. There is never enough to learn!
It was merely an observation from the history of these types of polls.

« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:46:16 pm by Omninorm »
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