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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening everyone, I just thought I would share a quick story about the lessons I learned this week. We have all heard the saying "There are two types of riders, those who have fallen and those who will." Like many new riders I always thought the saying was cute, but didn't apply to me. After passing the MSF class without much trouble and putting almost 1000 miles on the bike I was starting to feel very comfortable on the bike and trying to improve my skills. As too many of us know the line between daring and reckless is quite narrow and gravity is the sworn enemy of the motorcycle. To make a long story short, my beautiful black and yellow cbr300ra is in need of about a thousand dollars worth of repair, which is depressing since it wasn't too long ago since its first oil change. Of course with every mistake there is a lesson to be learned, and I believe I have learned 3 important lessons that can benefit riders both new and seasoned. The first and probably most important lesson is to ALWAYS wear proper safety gear, if I were wearing anything less than full gear I would be in a lot of pain right now. The second is to always analyse your ability to ride and don't try pushing your bike past your limits. The third and final lesson is to respect the limitations of physics, because gravity and traction rule with an iron fist and are not forgiving. I am going to visit my mechanic tomorrow to find out how much this "tax on stupidity" is going to run me, but in the end i'm glad that I live to ride another day with a healthy respect for what just a moment without judgement can do. I hope my experiences can help others to make good decisions and enjoy the sport safely.

Humbly, Dewmanben
 

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I read another, 'newbie thinks he knows all about this motorcycling business after a few weeks riding' story :D
 

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At one time, I was riding a Chinese scooter. Granted, they're not the best in the world, but this could have happened to almost anyone.
I came to a corner, and wanted to turn, but my handlebars couldn't turn as much as I wanted.
Not only did I take the corner way wider than what I should have, but I also was under a greater angle, so had to push myself up with the foot, while riding, to keep me from falling over.

What had happened, was that the horn had dislodged, the bolts weren't mounted, and it fell in between the fork, and the frame, and prevented the handlebars to turn as wide as they where supposed to.

At that time, I realized, that, yes, I'm a safe rider. I may trust my riding, and I even may be riding so defensively that I can anticipate other people's crazy riding, and avoid collisions, or keep damage to a minimum.

But one thing I can't account for, is hardware failure.
 

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... What had happened, was that the horn had dislodged, the bolts weren't mounted, and it fell in between the fork, and the frame, and prevented the handlebars to turn as wide as they where supposed to.

At that time, I realized, that, yes, I'm a safe rider. I may trust my riding, and I even may be riding so defensively that I can anticipate other people's crazy riding, and avoid collisions, or keep damage to a minimum.

But one thing I can't account for, is hardware failure.
'Hardware failure', as in the bolts holding the horn in place were faulty and somehow broke? Or was it simply a case of the owner/rider failing to ensure that the scooter was road worthy by making sure that the hardware was secure?

MeeLee, your story is a good testimonial for why pre-ride inspections and regular preventative maintenance are so important. Being a 'safe rider' goes beyond riding defensively, it also includes looking after the maintenance on ones bike.

If a bolt, nut, or other hardware falls off of one of my bikes, I know that there is no one to blame but myself.
 

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... After passing the MSF class without much trouble and putting almost 1000 miles on the bike I was starting to feel very comfortable on the bike...
This is one of the biggest problems facing many new riders, particularly young males... after those first 1000 miles, Very Comfortable says to the new rider "Let me introduce you to my attractive cousin, Overly Confident".
 

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One of the things that is also mentioned in the MSF is that the newer the rider the higher the chances of crashing....kinda a reverse exponential curve.

As for the hardware thing that is very common on chinese bikes. Used to work (three years) at a chinese bike shop and they are all junk, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
 

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I once watched an interview with Penn from Penn and Teller. The topic was magic (duh) and the interviewer was talking about hard tricks and live acts.Penn said they don't do any hard tricks live. I'm paraphrasing, but the basic idea is that they never work at 100% their skill in live shows. Anything you see them doing they can do in their sleep, and every once and a while things still go wrong. When you're on the edge of your ability, too much bad can happen.

I've taken the same tack with riding. Even in spirited driving, I've dialed it back considerably. I'm not a professional, I don't have crazy track skills, I'm just a regular rider that's put tens of thousands of km in the past 20 years.

So I only go quick on roads I know like the back of my hand, If I'm craving a little excitement I can take a corner, say a longer sweeping curve at 60mph. it means the edge of my comfortable ability is much higher, probably around 75mph, the ragged edge is higher still, and I actually won't do more than 50 in normal riding.

We're not racers, we're out on real roads, with changing conditions, with dynamic traffic and hazards. You need to hold some skill in reserve at all times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We're not racers, we're out on real roads, with changing conditions, with dynamic traffic and hazards. You need to hold some skill in reserve at all times.
Very well said, at least at this point I know a small aspect of where the "ragged edge" is for me and can make safer decisions from that.
 

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@Dewmanben

Hopefully I didn't miss this, but can you please share specifics as to the error which happened?

Thank you greatly for your feedback and care to help keep others and myself safer.
 

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We're not racers, we're out on real roads, with changing conditions, with dynamic traffic and hazards. You need to hold some skill in reserve at all times.
Absolutely, my personal policy is 10 tenths on the track only, 9 tenths on roads I know like the back of my hand (and in the right conditions) and a maximum of 8 tenths on anything else. You need that buffer up your sleeve to be able to deal with the unexpected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@Fanatic
I was riding on a road that connected two parking lots with no other cars and I leaned into a turn harder than I should have at the speed I was going and if my memory serves me correctly I may have let off on the throttle a little bit. Those mistakes lead to low siding the bike and sliding into the curb. The only damage I have found so far is aesthetic and possibly a bent axle or bad wheel bearings, I'm taking it into the shop to get it looked over on Tuesday. But until then I don't get to ride :(
 

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.....We're not racers, we're out on real roads, with changing conditions, with dynamic traffic and hazards. You need to hold some skill in reserve at all times.
Sure, but I think it's hard for many people to judge where the limit of their skill really is. I always say that there is no correlation between 'safe' and skill level. Some of the least skilled drivers I know are safer than some of the more highly skilled, simply because they know their limits and stay within them.

Sh*t happens when people go beyond their skill limits, and that can happen to that guy on a learner license, or the guy who's been riding for ten years. The danger zone is that gap between how good you think you are - and how good you REALLY are.

So, my advice is always to try to be realistic about how good you really are, and ride/drive accordingly. Even if you are not particularly skilled, you can still be safe.
 

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I like JNO's reply a lot.

As for the OP's sentence "We have all heard the saying "There are two types of riders, those who have fallen and those who will."
I think sayings like that are incredibly idiotic, and it's potentially dangerous to propagate them. Reading/repeating stuff like that can
easily program your subconscious mind; once you accept it, manifesting it is just a tiny step away. The subconscious mind is very
gullible and doesn't have the smartness guard of the conscious mind (as can be evidenced by what people under hypnosis can do).
While it may be statistically true that most riders experience a spill, it doesn't mean that you will/need to.

My own thinking is that riders who do it for the enjoyment of the speed are extremely likely to spill. Riders who do it for the enjoyment
of the ride and don't care about speed are extremely unlikely to get into a serious trouble.
 

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I like JNO's reply a lot.

As for the OP's sentence "We have all heard the saying "There are two types of riders, those who have fallen and those who will."
I think sayings like that are incredibly idiotic, and it's potentially dangerous to propagate them. Reading/repeating stuff like that can
easily program your subconscious mind; once you accept it, manifesting it is just a tiny step away. The subconscious mind is very
gullible and doesn't have the smartness guard of the conscious mind (as can be evidenced by what people under hypnosis can do).
While it may be statistically true that most riders experience a spill, it doesn't mean that you will/need to.

My own thinking is that riders who do it for the enjoyment of the speed are extremely likely to spill. Riders who do it for the enjoyment
of the ride and don't care about speed are extremely unlikely to get into a serious trouble.
I wouldn't say "extremely unlikely"... I think "less likely" might be a more accurate way of putting it.
 

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Personally I find all the scare mongering and negative talk surrounding motorcycles in society and the media a bit second hand and unnecessary.
I've been riding for 35 odd years and sure, I've had a few spills, but I haven't hurt myself badly or wrecked a machine yet. (touch wood Lol)
I do it for the enjoyment and the speed :D
 

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Personally I find all the scare mongering and negative talk surrounding motorcycles in society and the media a bit second hand and unnecessary.
I've been riding for 35 odd years and sure, I've had a few spills, but I haven't hurt myself badly or wrecked a machine yet. (touch wood Lol)
I do it for the enjoyment and the speed :D
Without wishing to spook new riders, I have to say that, in my opinion, riding a motorcycle is a very dangerous thing to do.

But if it was safe, I probably wouldn't do it. I first took up 'serious biking' (i.e. not just as transport) when I gave up four-wheeled competition, as a cheap means to get my thrills. Lucky for me, I was by then old enough and had enough experience of high-powered vehicles to know I could get seriously killed if I didn't do it properly. Had I been able to buy a powerful sports bike when I was 24, I may well be dead now.

If anything, biking is more dangerous now than ever, because stupidly fast bikes are within the means of almost everybody. Coupled with two-wheeled missiles being cheaper than ever, public roads are busier and have more drunks, drug addicts and idiots on them than ever before, too.

It's still a fantastic way to feed an adrenaline habit, or just to experience something different to cars, but there has never been a time when good training and the right attitude have been more important. Old farts like MotoMike, Kiwi Rider and I managed to do all our falling off on 'speed machines' with brakes that didn't and frames made from spaghetti (al dente), so those of us with twenty years or more experience and still above ground are worth listening to.
 

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old farts like motomike, kiwi rider and i managed to do all our falling off on 'speed machines' with brakes that didn't and frames made from spaghetti (al dente), so those of us with twenty years or more experience and still above ground are worth listening to.
 

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'Hardware failure', as in the bolts holding the horn in place were faulty and somehow broke? Or was it simply a case of the owner/rider failing to ensure that the scooter was road worthy by making sure that the hardware was secure?

MeeLee, your story is a good testimonial for why pre-ride inspections and regular preventative maintenance are so important. Being a 'safe rider' goes beyond riding defensively, it also includes looking after the maintenance on ones bike.

If a bolt, nut, or other hardware falls off of one of my bikes, I know that there is no one to blame but myself.
It was supposed to be factory mounted, but they forgot to put nuts on the bolts. No way I would have been able to see this, unless if I took it quite literally completely apart.
Even with a PDI, you can take the scooter apart, but I doubt hardly anyone will open the entire engine, to test and see if all bearings and sealings work and seal properly?
I wasn't expecting to have the horn fall out of it's mounting, behind all the tupperware. The electrical lines where just long enough for it to get in between the fork.
If they had been 1 inch shorter, it would have never happened.
 

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Absolutely, my personal policy is 10 tenths on the track only, 9 tenths on roads I know like the back of my hand (and in the right conditions) and a maximum of 8 tenths on anything else. You need that buffer up your sleeve to be able to deal with the unexpected.
It really depends on your riding style.
I'm not a pro either. But I can ride my bike sporty.
But when I ride on public roads, I prefer to enjoy riding it mildly.
They say you can enjoy your bike longer when riding it slow, so that's what I do.

I do speed a bit on the interstate, but usually I don't swing lanes, or do dangerous stuff.
It's just to get through the boring 5 lane roads faster.

Once one gets into the thrill of faster and more powerful, it's hard to go back to enjoy the layed-back riding style.
For that reason I always stay well below 25% under my limits; and often ride at only 50% of that speed (street legal, slow acceleration, taking corners at normal speeds).

The ride for everyone is different.
The ride for me, is the adventure, seeing new places, enjoying the wind in my hair, and setting my brain to zero (or in thinking mode), meeting people...
Is traveling through the storms, rain, and sunshine; and getting to my destination safely.
Going through a storm is quite an adventure by itself, ranging from the feelings you get when you're all alone out in the rain, to the fear lightning could strike you, and no one to help, to the water soaking down to your undies, and in the boots!
Riding alone, making it barely on a tank of gas, and being glad to finally find a gas station at the last miles of my reserve fuel.
Those are story makers; stories I could tell my grandkids someday.
Stories they won't be able to comprehend, when they step into their electric vehicles, press a button, and follow a fixed route to their destination, guided by a computer.
When the machine breaks down, 10 minutes later another one stops right next to it, because the system sent a message to the central for a replacement vehicle.
How I imagine the future of riding will be...

Some people get on their bike just to feel the thrill of fast acceleration, showing off, or doing dangerous stunts. I'm not one of them.
I want to enjoy my bike for as long as it lasts, as well as as long as I last... :)
 

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... Old farts like MotoMike, Kiwi Rider and I managed to do all our falling off on 'speed machines' with brakes that didn't and frames made from spaghetti (al dente), so those of us with twenty years or more experience and still above ground are worth listening to.
It's unfortunate that so many new riders today are not giving themselves the advantage of starting off in the sport the way many of us "old farts" did, learning on simple, lower HP dirt bikes (used bikes that someone else put the first scratches on) out in farm pastures, and trails in the woods.
 
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