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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today was my longest ever day riding (I'm pretty new to this). My bike now has 440 miles. We went 90 miles and of those miles, about 25 were on a highway. I have never been on a highway on a bike. We also went through some pretty twisty areas, going uphill and downhill. That was new too. The craziest thing we did today was make a left hand turn from a stop up a really steep hill that was also slanted sideways. (I'm sure there's a name for that!) During that turn, I was silently hoping that I would not have something bad happen. It went fine. Whoo hoo.

Here's what I learned today:

(1) Going on a highway is nothing to worry about. The bike is meant to go straight and is stable at highway speeds. We hit 69 mph. That's a record for me. Today was a bunch of firsts.
(2) Going uphill and downhill on twisties in an area that you have never been is nerve wracking to a new rider. I know that you guys love "twisties" and dream about roads like this, but it never occurred to me that there are downhill and up hill twisties. I always pictured them as kind of flat. We went up and down a mountain with crazy curves. It makes sense that they would go uphill and downhill, but in my mind, when picturing bikes riding, I never played out this scenario.
(3) Even if you have a minimum of an idea what you are doing, with information stored from reading books, if you are put in the situation, oh well, you have no choice, so you had better just go with it.
(4) This bike is great. It's starting to feel like my favorite pair of jeans.

Anyway, we had a great time riding. If anyone is in the central PA area, we went to a reservoir that has a beach and where we saw people on jet skis and boats, and had awesome views from an observatory on the other side, where we were standing. We visited a pagoda of all things in Reading, PA. This is one area where we went up a twisty mountain. Getting to the reservoir from Lititz, PA, was where there were all the crazy twisty roads. Apparently, we missed the craziest roads, since they knew that I am new and didn't want to push me beyond my limit. If you guys area in the area and want to ride this route, I can find out the specifics, or I can talk to our riding group and see if they want to head this way again.

Today was a lot of fun. My husband went even farther today than I did. I followed the group in my Camaro to a biker breakfast in Lawn, PA. Up and back to Lititz was another 40 miles. Once a month they have this big biker breakfast that draws upwards of 1200 bikes. The parking can be on the actual lawn in Lawn PA, which is why I didn't bring my bike. The last time was muddy and the grass was wet. There is another breakfast in Ephrata that seems to have even more bikes.

Hope you are all enjoying your bike and your rides!
 
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Jen, glad you are enjoying the bike and riding within your limits.

Please try not to take offense by my next comments. You seem like a very inexperienced rider by your comments..and that is ok as long as you continue to not ride over your head. My wish for you is to continue riding safely with no accidents...so please continue to take it easy and ride your own ride. Best of luck as you continue to experience new types of roads and conditions.

Is 69mph seriously the fastest you have gone on the bike? I swear I could go like 69 out of my driveway, lol.
stay safe Jen...I think you are a great example of a rider successfully getting the FZ as their 1st (sport)bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I AM an inexperienced rider. I said I was new, so no secrets. I started last August, only put like 200 miles on my first bike, now 440, so like 640 miles total so far. We need to start somewhere. I rode over my head today, but I guess at some point you need to stretch your limits.

Yes, 69 mph is the fastest. Considering the speed limit is 65 mph, that is fine. I'm not looking to go 100. I remember how fast I felt I was going when I went 30 mph for the first time :)

Anyway, I've been following your thread, I'm happy that you are doing better Luke! You're a trooper!!
 
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I AM an inexperienced rider. I said I was new, so no secrets. I started last August, only put like 200 miles on my first bike, now 440, so like 640 miles total so far. We need to start somewhere. I rode over my head today, but I guess at some point you need to stretch your limits.

Yes, 69 mph is the fastest. Considering the speed limit is 65 mph, that is fine. I'm not looking to go 100. I remember how fast I felt I was going when I went 30 mph for the first time :)

Anyway, I've been following your thread, I'm happy that you are doing better Luke! You're a trooper!!
I too AM inexperienced, but learning one day at a time. Licensed seven years ago and put a few hundred miles on a TW200. Now several hundred on my FZ. I haven't hit the highway YET, and haven't broken 65mph. Local roads allow 55 so I'm not going to push it....

I can see the difference incremental experience makes & will only ride my ride. Sometimes frustrating to see friends do & go places I'm not comfortable, but I realize the alternative could be a disaster.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
So Luke, when do I get to go from "very inexperienced" to "inexperienced" to "experienced?"

What are the criteria?

If it is worth anything, you would not know I was "inexperienced" if you saw me ride. No duck walking or anything weird, I just ride. Now, I can't ride like the knee down crowd, but am fine with the cruisers. I guess it depends what our goals are.
 

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It sounds to me like Jen and I have progressed to "inexperienced" riders -- we are a bit beyond very inexperienced.

But I have No doubt she looks better on her FZ than I look on mine:cool:
 
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So Luke, when do I get to go from "very inexperienced" to "inexperienced" to "experienced?"

What are the criteria?
Oh gosh, thats fairly subjective...and not that I am some authority on the subject, but since you ask:

Very inexperienced: those who just start riding, whether they took the MSF or not. Probably for the 1st couple months depending how much you ride and how quick you learn. These folks try to keep it in their neighborhood, avoid traffic, are generally scared of riding, and still fumble with the controls, not good at shifting, don't use the brakes correctly...etc. These folks are still in mega-learning mode. This is when most new riders drop their bike, usually minor tip-overs.

Inexperienced: Once you finally can start riding without thinking about it. Throttle, clutch, shifting, braking...all comes naturally and instinctively. This period is after the 1st few months to the 1st year or 2. Riding the highway is no big deal, generally not intimidated by any roads (extreme uphill/downhill etc)...but these riders still have alot to learn. There are many situations that come up infrequently while riding that really test a riders skill, that inexperienced riders have not seen, like debris on roads, certain maneuvers of cars around them while in traffic, etc. This is the phase that the rider tests themselves and increases their skill, it takes a while to experience and negotiate all of these situations, and they are usually all "oh $hit" moments. This period is when many riders have their 1st more serious wreck...like a lowside going hot in a turn, etc.

Experienced: this is achieved after several years of riding many miles, at least 10,000? These riders don't make rookie mistakes anymore. Their mechanics are silky smooth, they know their bikes intimately...and are adept in all situations: cold weather, rain, heavy traffic, crazy twisty roads. These riders aren't necessarily FAST...but they could ride fast if they wanted to. Mostly these guys are just skilled operators, who can handle the bike properly in all situations. But every now and then, something unusual happens that allows them to learn even more...you are never done learning
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Well, Luke, I seem to fit in the middle of your very inexperienced and inexperienced. Maybe by the end of this summer with some more miles, I'll qualify for inexperienced. It's all good.

So yeah, kind of offended that you would think I'm someone who "fumbles for controls" or is "scared of my bike" or "isn't good at shifting" etc. That did piss me off to be honest.
 
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I think Luke was trying to be supportive and his definitions were an attempt to quantify the differences. I will say that everyone here wants to see folks learn and to become competent, safe riders.
 

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Well, Luke, I seem to fit in the middle of your very inexperienced and inexperienced. Maybe by the end of this summer with some more miles, I'll qualify for inexperienced. It's all good.

So yeah, kind of offended that you would think I'm someone who "fumbles for controls" or is "scared of my bike" or "isn't good at shifting" etc. That didn't really piss me off to be honest.
Fixed that for you Jen. Hope you don't mind.

No doubt "we" are a cut above the Very inexperienced, and a cut below the genuine "inexperienced" as Luke defines above.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm sure there was no malice behind it. Part of me was like, "hey!!!" Ugh.
 

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I think Luke was trying to be supportive and his definitions were an attempt to quantify the differences.
Agreed; He was and they are....

I don't think Jen or I would question even for a second.........

"It is what it is..."
 

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Again, I'm sure Luke meant well in what he said, and for the most part I think he is right. Jen, you sound like your head is on straight. You are riding within YOUR limits and stretching those limits are you become more comfortable. The ONLY way to become a better rider is to RIDE. You'll find that an experienced rider is not necessarily any "better" than you are. They are simply more comfortable or adept that you are. And by "you" I don't necessarily mean you Jen, this is not a personal critique. The mechanics of motorcycle riding are nothing highly technical, or difficult to acquire. They simply, over time, become second nature. I don't believe that there is a time frame that can be established as to "when" a rider becomes more skilled. If a person rides regularly, or is put is precarious situations often, they will become more skilled in a lesser time frame than one who takes back roads, never sees 55-80 mph. You learn or become more skilled, by stretching your personal limits. That being said, don't stretch you personal limits until YOU feel comfortable where you're at currently. Don't jump into the twisties if day to day riding is still intimidating to you. There is nothing shameful in riding slower than the group, playing around in a parking lot or taking a MSF after 10 years of riding. Grow your skillsets as your comfort levels grow, don't push yourself to grow.Just let it happen. Safe riding, and have fun....
 
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