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Recently I was talking with another rider and he asked me so how long have you been riding, and I said 9 months. He told me a was a newby and he has been riding for 10 plus years and walked away from me. Latter that evening I approached the guy again and started to ask where he rides, how often etc. He informed me he rided 1,000 miles a year, no highways, and only when the temperature is above 65 degrees. So informed him I ride 2,000 miles a month, ride highways daily and in temperatures down to 35 degrees. He changed his view at this point. I told him not to judge a book by the cover. So how do you define riding experience?
 

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Seat time, types of riding and recent experience.

Nothing says experience like hours in the saddle. The more time, the more chance you've experienced problems and their solutions. But time alone does not make an experienced rider.

I know riders that have done a lot of riding, but all interstate or around town, in perfect weather. One needs a plethora of different types of riding... Cold, hot, rain, twisties, back roads, etc to be considered an experienced rider.

Lastly, none if these things mean anything if it was all done 20 years ago. Riding is like any other skill; unless you practice and keep your skill set current, you're not much better than a newbie.

Yup, that about sums it up.
 

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Very good points! I think it could be rated by hours or by miles. I have been riding in an urban environment almost daily for 6+ years. I clocked up about 28000 miles total. I ride day and night. I ride all year round, in most weather conditions. I tried snow once but went down and have never tried that again. However I don't mind light rain and have braved heavier rains without incident. So I can say that I am fairly experienced with city riding.

However I am just now venturing out onto the highways so there I am a beginner.
 

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So he has 10,000+ miles under his belt over a 10+ year period under ideal weather conditions and you have 18,000 miles logged over 9 months in various weather conditions and on various roads. Not all "experience" is equal. I would call you a more experienced rider because of the miles you have rode and because of the various weather and type of roads traveled and would say that he has 1 year of experience 10 times. Hope that makes sense.
 

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One caveat I just thought about, but its really a bonus point. Different type of bikes ridden.

If all you're gonna ride is one bike, it doesn't really matter. You're good on that bike and that's what counts. Being an experienced rider doesn't mean being good on every machine. Quite the opposite, it takes months to truly master any given bike; to learn its idiocincracies.

But REALLY experienced riders have ridden everything from 50cc to 1800cc bikes. It's more icing on the cake than the meat and potatoes of riding. But it does bring a wealth of knowledge experiencing different types of bikes.
 

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Seat time, types of riding and recent experience.

Nothing says experience like hours in the saddle. The more time, the more chance you've experienced problems and their solutions. But time alone does not make an experienced rider.

I know riders that have done a lot of riding, but all interstate or around town, in perfect weather. One needs a plethora of different types of riding... Cold, hot, rain, twisties, back roads, etc to be considered an experienced rider.

Lastly, none if these things mean anything if it was all done 20 years ago. Riding is like any other skill; unless you practice and keep your skill set current, you're not much better than a newbie.
yup
add in

Willingness to ask questions and listen to other riders .....there is ALWAYS someone more experienced.

Savvy enough to recognise good advice from bad

Keeping current as with flying is very important.

Riding within your skill zone......ie don't try and catch BikerSmurf :D
 

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If you are a regular rider, and ride most of the year, you will at some time or the other will run into bad weather . After riding many different bikes and scooters over an almost 50 year time period , and over 350,000 miles ,I have ridden in every combination of weather you can come up with. When you leave the house you need to be ready to deal with whatever comes your way that day. Riding on a perfect day is easy, while getting home in bad weather is not fun but is part of being a "real" motorcyclist. All ways be mentally ready to handle and to take what Mother Nature can throw at you. Your life may depend on it............Ride smart and ride safe.

Dan
 

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I keep recalling bits of sometimes hard earned experience. :D

Don't ride when you are angry.
Know when to take a break
HYDRATE!!!!

This latter is a nasty.
 

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I've put over 300,000 miles on five bikes since 2000, but in some ways I'd rather chat with a newbie. Someone without that experience may offer a perspective that I simply would never have thought of because I "know better". We each bring our own skill-set to the table.
 

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Experience is what you get when you don't get killed. You can never have too much.
 

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But the presumption is that as you gain 'experience' you are learning and improving from that experience. There are folks who have lots of 'experience' but have not actually learned from it.

In Sum, there is no magic number alone that defines experience either miles, hours or years. If you did not learn something today you have wasted a day of your life.
 

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But the presumption is that as you gain 'experience' you are learning and improving from that experience. There are folks who have lots of 'experience' but have not actually learned from it.

In Sum, there is no magic number alone that defines experience either miles, hours or years. If you did not learn something today you have wasted a day of your life.
Good points and all very true...

However, the sport does have a harsh way of dealing with those that don't learn, sometimes fatally so. Riding is a bit of a cruel mistress, get good or she'll throw you out.
 

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A guy that I used to work with once asked me how long I have been riding and I replied that I got my first bike in 1967 which was when I got my motorcycle permit. He smirked and said that even though he was a few years younger than me that he had been riding longer. I asked him how and he replied that he used to ride mini bikes when he was a youngster and that meant that he had been riding longer than I have. I told him that in my opinion, riding a 2.5 horsepower Rupp mini bike around in your back yard hardly qualifies someone as "motorcycle experience" and that unless one had a driver's license and was legally riding on the street then the put-putting on a lawn was not even worth noting. Then I asked him how much he rode now and he said "a lot". So......I asked him just how much that was and he replied "oh......sometimes I put 1,000 miles a month on my Harley. My turn to scoff. I informed him that 1,000 miles a week was closer to my average and that I often get 3,000 miles a week when on vacation.

To some folks 6 months makes them an experienced rider. I have been riding for 47 years and I am still learning more every day.
 

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To my mind, an experienced rider will know he or she can learn from anyone, and will avoid calling anyone a noob. The riders that I admire can ride all different sorts of machines in all different conditions; long distance, dirt, or on the track. They're the rider you want to call when you need someone to ride a bike home, or to help with an issue when you need some external wisdom.

A real experience rider would ask a person how much they've been riding, then answer (with a smile), "That's great! I hope to see you out there on the road."
 

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An experienced rider will know his or her limits & the bikes and not push pass them. They will ride with the "what if" always on their mind. They will learn from their mistakes & always be glad to pass on the knowledge they have. Willing to learn from others. Doesn't care what others think of their ride. In my mind that's what experienced riders do.

If riding all kinds of bikes makes you experienced I'm not. If riding in all kinds of weather counts I'm not. If riding 100,000 miles counts I'm not (70,000 on my 2 Burgmans). If riding for 25 years counts well yea I am.

I would gauge my experience by what I posted first not last. ;)
 

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A true experienced rider will know it and not have to brag about it. ;)
I've been riding for 45+ years and still learning every time I ride.
 

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Desert Rat
70,000 miles certainly makes you an experienced Burgman rider if a fair weather one :D

Of course consider where you live ;)

••

I've been riding for 45+ years and still learning every time I ride.
True dat...45 years for me as well.

What I'm learning now is dealing with age :(
Burgman is hand friendly for sure.
 

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Desert Rat
70,000 miles certainly makes you an experienced Burgman rider if a fair weather one :D

Of course consider where you live ;)

••


True dat...45 years for me as well.

What I'm learning now is dealing with age :(
Burgman is hand friendly for sure.
Started on a Honda like the one in the aviator back in 66 so more than 45 years here.
As far a fair weather rider goes 117 isn't fair. :D
Have learned by my age I've cut that down to only riding if it's under 110 now. ;)
 

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Yeah - I learned where the term "sun beating down" came from driving in your turf.

I had to put a towel in the window....it literally felt like it was beating on my arm and shoulder.
I started on a 305 SuperHawk...great machines.
 

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There is experience and there is experience. When I was working and hiring people, we would have people applying for a job that had been working at a job for 10 years. Some actually had 10 years of experience while others had one year of experience 10 times.

I've had around 16 bikes and scooters (50cc through 1200cc) since I started riding in 1963. I ride in temperatures from the high 20s to my highest of 108. I rode when it was colder until I hit a patch of ice where water ran across the road (no accident but it got my attention). I mostly ride crooked mountain roads briskly. I generally ride 6,000-12,000 miles per year.

I consider myself a fair rider and am fortunate that the only accident I have ever had was when I was hit in the rear while stopped last year.
 
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