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Some times people ride like we do - some times they don't!

A few weeks ago three of the guys I golf with 3-4 days a week decided the four of us should play a reciprocal course about 100 miles away. Since the weather was going to be warm one guy and I decided to ride our bikes after talking Joe into ferrying our clubs to the course for us. I'd never ridden with Mike before - he rides an 1800cc Honda twin - the model name escapes me. He needs an 80cc to learn on!

Anyway since Mike has the 'motorcycle' he says "I'll take the lead" - OK. Mike is good on the straights - doing about 65 in a 60 zone - works for me! Curious thing - we get on I90 and its all straight road for about 10 miles - but heading down to the Vantage bridge the road has to follow the terrain - the curves in the freeway do not have a warning - you know - like 55 or something like that. Speed limit is 70mph and we're heading down hill and Mike slows on each of those curves to about 55. The big rigs are catching us that we passed several minutes ago! I think Mike needs to learn how to ride.

So we're off the freeway and on two lane roads and I'm wondering what other suprises I'm going to find out about Mike and his abilities to ride a MC. Doesn't take long - Mike keeps back about 200' or more from vehicles in front of us - passing only when there is a boat load of room - hits the throttle and goes. Well the Burgman can keep up with the Honda with application of the Power Button - but the rider (ME!) is getting a bit annoyed by this. Mike keeps up this same way of passing but I don't much like it as passing speeds become higher than necessary. So we get behind two 18 wheelers on some fairly straight road but when you're 200' behind what you want to pass you need lots of road - and we're not getting it. So I gas it past Mike and get up behind those two trucks - riding closer as the trucks are slowing down on a hill and there are a couple of curves - we're doing 35mph. I see the trucker wave us past - Mike had closed on me (seeing how its done!) and sees the wave-around and jumps on it and I follow - Mike does his best in a corner but he is nowhere as good as I on cornering. Corner speed warning sign is 35mph and Mike is barely passing the last truck - so I hit the gas and pass him on the fog-line on the outside of the corner - expecting to scrape something underneath the scooter - I exit the corner at 60 or so - maybe a bit more - Mike is toiling at maybe 35! Nothing scrapes on the Burgman and I hit the next corner (another 35mph) at about 55 or more - I get into the straight I look back for Mike - no Mike. I get to the turnoff about 2 miles from the corners - Mike knows where we're going too - and I decide to keep some speed up so I take it up to 90 indicated! Man this feels good so I just kept it at 85-90 for the next 20 miles - no cops - few cars and not much chance of a deer or other large animal running out in front of me. Dang! That felt good. Haven't done that in some time.

Mike's retort once he catches up with me (25 miles later)?

THATS A SCOOTER?

I asked him where he learned to corner. He mumbled something I didn't pick up on. He decided to stop on the way back to visit a friend. That freed me up to go my own way - I did.

I talked with Mike about a week or so ago. He's been riding since he retired - 2 years ago. The Honda is his first bike (figures) and he's got about 2000 miles on it.

Scares me!
 

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I'm glad Mike had the wisdom not to ride over his head. When I began riding, I was told to always "ride your own ride" no matter what others are doing. He must've heard that too. I however would never have volunteered to lead a group with only just a few thousand miles under my seat, even if one of them was a lowly scooter.

Sirkitrider
 

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I am constantly amazed at how people will put their faith in the technology of the bike, but not their own riding skills. I'm a big proponent of learning your ride, specifically, and that bigger is not necessarily better or even faster. I routinely ride faster than almost all others with bikes two or three times larger engined; especially in the twisties.

I'm told many times, "wow, that's a fast scooter". Well yes, But I practice every weekend, ride every day, and purposefully push myself and bike under safe conditions, so emergencies aren't out of my skill set.

One of the best riders I know told me overall its not the bike, its the rider. A good, skilled rider will always be faster than a mediocre one, almost no matter the bike size. I believe it. I ride with a guy on a 125 who keeps up with me in twisties. He's very good.

Obviously, straight forward drag racing, prize goes to the biggest, fastest bike. But with riding that requires any amount of skill, like those 35 mph curves, the experienced rider handles it better. And honestly, life is about the curves, not the drag races.

So I tell guys wanting to get big powerful bikes or this mod or another... Save your money, if you want to ride fast, go out and learn to ride the bike you have. Once you've mastered it, then think of upgrading.

Knucklehead, sounds like your friend could use this advice.
 

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Back when I had my BMW R1100RT a co-worker had recently purchased a new Kawasaki Concours 1000 and suggested that we go on a ride together. Said that he knew of a little known road that was a lot of fun. I took him up on his offer. I followed him to this riding spot and even though he stayed well under the speed limit on the way there I figured that once on the open road that he would open it up a bit. Wrong. Long and lightly traveled two lane road with a 65 MPH speed limit and Leonard was riding 35 MPH. After a very few miles I pulled up next to him and asked "Why are we going so slow?" and he responded that this was the speed that he liked to ride. Well, that BMW did not want to be in any gear higher than 3rd at that speed and asked him if he would step it up a bit. He did- to about 38 MPH. Swell. After a few more minutes I pulled up next to him again and told him that I was not going to ride this slow and pealed off at the next exit and took my own ride at a much more satisfying pace. BMW was much happier too.

Later found out that no one wanted to ride with Leo because he wanted to drive 25 MPH under the speed limit everywhere he went. Good for him perhaps, but...c'mon! A 16 year old kid on a good 10 speed would have left him behind! :eek:
 

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I never liked riding with anybody else, it's very distracting, speeding up slowing down look in the mirror's riding side-by-side blah blah. I much prefer: i'll meet you there at such and such time.
 

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I never liked riding with anybody else, it's very distracting, speeding up slowing down look in the mirror's riding side-by-side blah blah. I much prefer: i'll meet you there at such and such time.
And a big +1 from me. It takes much of the joy out of riding for me to ride with someone else. I do have someone I ride with but he and I have been riding together for years. We know what to expect from each other when we ride.

Doug from Kentucky
 

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Anyway since Mike has the 'motorcycle' he says "I'll take the lead" - OK. Mike is good on the straights - doing about 65 in a 60 zone - works for me! Curious thing - we get on I90 and its all straight road for about 10 miles - but heading down to the Vantage bridge the road has to follow the terrain - the curves in the freeway do not have a warning - you know - like 55 or something like that. Speed limit is 70mph and we're heading down hill and Mike slows on each of those curves to about 55. The big rigs are catching us that we passed several minutes ago! I think Mike needs to learn how to ride.
I90 around the Vantage area is crazy. Especially if you're heading West from George towards Vantage....that is good drop down to the river.

And like others said, it's good that Mike rode within his skill level.....but riding with others can be more of a mental work out than usual.

late,
Coz
 

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If he has a big touring bike...I wonder if he dragged something, almost wiped out, & is gun-shy.
 
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