How long before you get good? [Archive] - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums

: How long before you get good?


JonnySuperHero
02-21-2002, 04:01 AM
Hello, everybody! This is my first post on this site. I don't have a bike yet, but I'm going to get a suzuki gs500e, very soon( I have never ridden a bike, but have wanted one for years, looks fun a hell). I have a question for some of you more experienced riders. Did you guys see Clays929 video he made? How many miles would you have to log before riding a bike as good as those guys. If you didn't see the video, how many miles before your comfortable with a bike and able to speed through corners. Thanks for any answers, they will be appreciated.

Bonk!
02-21-2002, 04:15 AM
Wow! What a can of worms you've just opened! First of all, welcome. Always glad to see another Baystater on board. An answer to your question could go on for pages, but in a nutshell, I think this is what people will say: make sure good gear and an MFS course are in your budget. These will give you the tools to improve your riding. As for the pace of your development, it will all depend on how serious you are and how many miles you can get in.

Got lots of local riding info - e-mail me if you want.

GIX
02-21-2002, 04:24 AM
Hey Dog, First of all welcome to Sportbike World. I'm not dragging a knee or grinding my pegs yet, but the most important things I have learned here on this site is it takes only 2 things to get to that level, patience and saddle time. If you are not patient you will ride over your head, dump your bike and possibly never ride again. And you can't expect to get good unless you are out riding getting comfortable with your bike and building your confidence. I learn something new every time I ride (About myself and my bike). The key thing is patience though. It is so easy to do something stupid and ruin your whole ride. Just my $.02

p.s.
Where is that video I haven't seen it?

Smitty
02-21-2002, 04:41 AM
GIX is so right, for each time you ride the bike the more you learn. Not necessarily how-- & I quote your words of "--to speed through corners.---" but little things & so many "little things" can mean learning how to stay upright to actually how to almost read the minds of cage driver & so possibly not be hit by one. There are a maze of things you will learn while simply riding sensibly, such as how to brake properly, approach a coner in the correct manner, & it is simply endless. So enjoy the sport/hobby.

Cam McFarland
02-21-2002, 05:00 AM
How long is a string......???








Ride till ya find out.....;)

JonnySuperHero
02-21-2002, 05:09 AM
A string is as long or short as you want it. Get out some scissors and a measuring tape.

Cam McFarland
02-21-2002, 05:13 AM
Originally posted by JonnySuperHero
A string is as long or short as you want it. Get out some scissors and a measuring tape.

Yes, Grasshopper, you are right........It is as long as it is....

JonnySuperHero
02-21-2002, 05:17 AM
Are talkin technical motorcycles terms that are floatin over my head?

tigertex
02-21-2002, 05:20 AM
Originally posted by Cam McFarland
How long is a string......???



whoooooa, duuuuuuuuuuuuude!

elo
02-21-2002, 05:37 AM
Originally posted by JonnySuperHero
Are talkin technical motorcycles terms that are floatin over my head?

Yes. Read "personal motorcycle skills" into the answer to Cam's string question.

jj2f1
02-21-2002, 05:50 AM
Welcome to sportbike world, and I think everyone else has given you a lot of good starting advice.

RCjohn
02-21-2002, 06:05 AM
Just by asking this question on here and the fact that you are starting with a GS500e shows that you might just be a smart enough person to learn quickly without killing yourself. :cool:

One bit of advice I give new riders is that if you ever feel you have stopped learning then you should stop riding before you kill yourself.

With the GS500e you will quickly learn to ride fast through the twisties. There are many variable involved with riding skills and how fast they are obtained. Clays929 lives in Central Tenn. which isn't too far from some of the greatest sportbike riding roads in the world. That can be an advantage because we can ride in just about any direction and go through some great twisties with great road conditions.

Read alot and get as much training as you can plus remember every rider is different and not everything works for everybody.

Also, don't worry about horsepower for a long time.

Good luck and have fun. Get yourself down here to the Smokey Mountains when you get a chance. You won't regret it. :cool:

Joss
02-21-2002, 08:01 AM
I think you can look at the time requirement as similar to what you might find with any sport. It's all about training in appropriate reflexes and out inappropriate ones.

Take golf or tennis for example. Both of those sports have a sort of minimum time investment it takes before you get good enough to start having fun. When you first go out on the course or the court, you spend so much time chasing your errant balls that it really isn't much fun.

Then, maybe after a few weeks, you make a kind of "breakthrough". Suddenly, the ball is going over the net rather than over the fence. You still aren't any good at it, but you are having fun.

Progression from there continues as you practice. Very few make to the level of professional. That takes a combination of traning and special skills. They can trade off too.

Just hang onto the sobering reminder that, on a bike, "the ball going over the fence" can kill you. ;)

Cam McFarland
02-21-2002, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by Joss
I

Just hang onto the sobering reminder that, on a bike, "the ball going over the fence" can kill you. ;)

Good Analogy...!!!

DoubleAught
02-21-2002, 09:17 AM
Johnny, it's like playing the piano, some guys are born playing, some get there through long hours of practice, and some don't ever get it, no matter how hard they try.
Unlike the piano, a wrong note here could kill you.
Take the advice of the others here, and chances are you'll have a long, safe, extremely enjoyable riding career.
Invest in leather, at least a jacket, preferably a full set, boots, and gloves. Take a safety course if at all possible, and above all else, take your time.
Don't ever forget that one small lapse in judgement or attention can have lethal results.

Dad
02-21-2002, 11:38 AM
You've asked an impossible question. My personal observation is with studying and practicing technique for 10,000 miles, there's a chance you could be reasonably fast without being dangerous. An extra dangerous point occurs around 3000 miles when you start getting a few of the basic skills down and mistake them for the whole riding package. There's a lot to go. In my observation, a lot of riders' first crash happens between 3 and 5,000 miles. JMO Good luck.:)

basicblur
02-21-2002, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by JonnySuperHero
How many miles would you have to log before riding a bike as good as those guys.

1. If you've never ridden before, some kind of class would be great (MSF, etc).
2. Go to Amazon.com and buy both of David Hough’s survival books for motorcyclists (Street Strategies: A Survival Guide for Motorcyclists & Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well MSRP: $44.90 Buy Together Today: $31.42)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1889540536/ref=pd_bxgy_text_2/102-7034030-9040141
3. Don't worry 'bout being 'fast'! Work on being smooth: speed (if you so desire) will come as you master being smooth!

Ride, read, learn, maintain a healthy dose of paranoia, and keep your BS detector on at all times (watch out for 'expert' advice from a fellow newbie)!
In other words, become a student of the game (instead of just riding) and you'll shorten your learning curve and greatly increase your chances of avoiding unpleasant circumstances!

GaBandit12
02-21-2002, 01:14 PM
Some people get good in a year. Some people NEVER get good. Some are naturals, some should never be allowed within 50 feet of a motorcycle.

The bottom line is:
1. Training
2. Understanding what you read and hear. Not just understanding the words, but understanding the underlying principles and ideas.
3. Practice
4. Training
5. Understanding
6. Practice
7. Training
8. Understanding
9. Practice

ad infinitum.....

You get the picture. Motorcycling skills come in layers. You MUST have the foundation before you move to the next level. You learn a technique from someone. You make sure you understand what the reason for the technique is and why it works. You practice it.

The basic layer of skills is best learned at a course such as the MSF beginnner's course. You sturdy all the techniques until you REALLY understand them. Then you practice them until they are second nature.

Then you take the MSF Experienced Rider Course. Same drill.
Then you take a street oriented track school. This is where you really start to find the limits of the machine and your own limits. If you don't know your limits, you can't expand them.

You will spend the rest of your riding life in this loop.

Ebola6
02-21-2002, 07:15 PM
When i first started, it was on a friend's brand new ZX6-r. I almost ate it when i flicked the throttle to max from a dead stop. I did a wheelie and it scared the shat outta me! First lesson learned...respect the bike and its capabilities.

As i progressed, i would get discouraged when i would see someone go around a turn at an intersection with great lean angle. I thought, man will i ever achieve the confidence and skill that rider has? Well, after 14,000miles, i am ripping em up with the best of them (well, not really the best).

Basically, "If you ride it, it will come!" The skills, confidence, and good judgement will envelope you! Welcome and good luck.

oh...and what everyone else said too!:rolleyes:

Cam McFarland
02-22-2002, 01:27 AM
Finally, that jerk & his stupid "how long is a string" question
almost makes sense......;)

Joss
02-22-2002, 04:12 AM
Now, Grasshoppah, it is time for you to go.... :D

Dad
02-22-2002, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by Cam McFarland
Finally, that jerk & his stupid "how long is a string" question
almost makes sense......;)

... no matter how many times I've measured and cut it... it's still too short.:confused: :crying: :D

JonnySuperHero
02-22-2002, 05:08 AM
:twofinger I still don't know what a string is.:twofinger

Cam McFarland
02-22-2002, 05:12 AM
Originally posted by JonnySuperHero
:twofinger I still don't know what a string is.:twofinger


Its the same as a "henweigh"....

UFO
02-22-2002, 09:48 AM
The only way to get good and build confidence is to ride. That's the only advice I can give you. Ride...then ride some more, when you're done riding....keep riding. Talking about it on message boards won't make you a better rider. :D R...I...D...E.

bluebandit
02-24-2002, 11:11 AM
I've been riding approximately 4 months. Complete newbie. I now have 3,000 miles under my leathers and on my tires. What have I learned?

1) Respect my bike - It has more than enough power to provide me with hours of fun. Or death. Or something in between which could be worse. So I take care of it and listen to it when I ride.

2) Stay within my limits - What are my limits? They are actions I am comfortable with, actions that challenge me to better my skills, and actions that scare me to death and can't begin to imagine how anyone could possibly do them and still live. My limits change as I gain experience.

3) I am sometimes invisible - Usually I am invisible to phone cell using SUV drivers. :mad: So I have learned to act accordingly.

4) I know less now than when I started 4 months ago - Therefore, I seek out better riders, watch them, ask questions, and try to learn without trying to be at their level today.

5) This is FUN:D :D :D :D - So I plan on riding for the rest of my long life, at least until I reach 100 (age, not mph).


My two cents worth. Enjoy. You got some great roads up there in NE.

desmo079
02-24-2002, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by GaBandit12
Some people get good in a year. Some people NEVER get good. Some are naturals, some should never be allowed within 50 feet of a motorcycle.

The bottom line is:
1. Training
2. Understanding what you read and hear. Not just understanding the words, but understanding the underlying principles and ideas.
3. Practice
4. Training
5. Understanding
6. Practice
7. Training
8. Understanding
9. Practice

ad infinitum.....

You get the picture. Motorcycling skills come in layers. You MUST have the foundation before you move to the next level. You learn a technique from someone. You make sure you understand what the reason for the technique is and why it works. You practice it.

The basic layer of skills is best learned at a course such as the MSF beginnner's course. You sturdy all the techniques until you REALLY understand them. Then you practice them until they are second nature.

Then you take the MSF Experienced Rider Course. Same drill.
Then you take a street oriented track school. This is where you really start to find the limits of the machine and your own limits. If you don't know your limits, you can't expand them.

You will spend the rest of your riding life in this loop.

WOW!!! I have been riding for 33 yrs and I could not have said it any better.

Street oriented track schools would be; California Superbike School (now at locations all over the country), CLASS by Reg Pridmore, STAR by his son, Jason Pridmore are a few.

Hammer 4
02-24-2002, 03:16 PM
Just to add one more bit of info. to the already great advice, and info. offered...is to seek out a RESPONSIBLE experienced rider, that's reasonably fast, if there's a local hangout for riders, ask around, stay away from the hooligans, the fast guys/gals aren't the ones you'll hear bragging about how fast they are...anyway, this type of rider can show you alot..ask questions, a good rider will be willing to share, and help ya with improving your skillz..you follow him/her, then they follow you, to help with any info. regarding your riding.

You might want to read Keith Codes book, Twist of The Wrist I & Twist of The Wrist II, these books may help to provide some insight on faster riding....Good Luck....let us know how things go for ya...:D

endleswavz
02-24-2002, 10:39 PM
Three words.....Read "The Pace"...then remember...slow is fast...and ride without testostorone! Then you'll have time to get good. With patience comes excellence! Happy riding!!!;)