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Discussion Starter #1
Who would you say has the most experience- the rider that has been riding for two yrs and put 20,000 miles on his bike or the one with half the time and 20,000 miles? To me how long you've been riding is only good info to insurance companies and getting a low monthly payment but what matters is the amount of miles you put on your tires. Now it's different kinds of experience i.e track, drag/strip but really just becuz someone say they've been riding for years doesn't tell me what kind of experience they have or the miles they've put on the road. What do U think?
 

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I would agree with you it has to do with the amount of time spent on the bike not the amount of time since you started rideing the bike. There is a motorcycle magazine that shared this view and compared rideing experience to a pilot. A pilot will go by how many flight hours he has flown not how many years he has been flying.
 

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Equally, would it be fair to assume that someone who's put 20,000 miles on a bike in a mountainous area (lots of twisties), is a better rider than someone who lives on the plains, with nothing but straight roads to ride?

The unfortunate thing is you can't prove to an insurance company how many miles you've done, or what sort of riding you've done, whereas it's easy to show them when you got your licence.
 

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501RYDA said:
- the rider that has been riding for two yrs and put 20,000 miles on his bike
or the one with half the time and 20,000 miles?
. I gotta go with more miles if that is the case. Time means nothing except to insurance companies.




edited for personal stupidity
 

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ya its all about the miles. my neighbor has had his harley for 5 years, but hes only got like 5 000 miles on it. so time having the bike in your possession means nothing, i've had my bike for a little over 2 years but ive got 25 000. dumped it like at least 3 times and been run into the back of a car. (i think accidents are learning experiences as well). so i would assume i could ride circles around my neighbour....and it is a harley :thumbs2:
 

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I dont think it is just miles i think it is both miles and time, sure you can put 20,000 miles on in 1 season if you live in a area that allows that but remember you still only have 1 year experance on a bike. That 20k miles means nothing if they are all hwy miles or twisty miles if someone pulls out infront of you or cuts you off and you dont have the instinct to just react and you panic or make the wrong move, so miles do help but time is also needed to learn correct skills.
 

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sscottab said:
That 20k miles means nothing if they are all hwy miles or twisty miles if someone pulls out infront of you or cuts you off and you dont have the instinct to just react and you panic or make the wrong move, so miles do help but time is also needed to learn correct skills.
Ahh now we're talking about a different set of skills entirely.

The skills you hone in the twisties have more to do with bike control which can improve your city riding quite a bit.

And similarly, the survival skills you learn in the city amongst insance cage drivers can help you out in the twisties if you run across something enexpected.

For street it seems the best thing to have is a balanced skill set at your disposal. :2cents:

I personally don't think time is nearly as important a factor as mileage though. I just started riding this year an use to regulary ride with a neighbor of mine who had been riding for about 4 years. The difference was in four years he managed to maybe get 10,000 miles on his bike. In 6 months I managed to put 14,000+ miles on mine. Needless to say, it's impossible to go out on a spirited ride with this buddy of mine because he just doesn't have the skill set.
 

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sscottab said:
I dont think it is just miles i think it is both miles and time, sure you can put 20,000 miles on in 1 season if you live in a area that allows that but remember you still only have 1 year experance on a bike. That 20k miles means nothing if they are all hwy miles or twisty miles if someone pulls out infront of you or cuts you off and you dont have the instinct to just react and you panic or make the wrong move, so miles do help but time is also needed to learn correct skills.
well i can see the type of miles being a factor. im my case i have never gone on a ride for more than 200 miles and i think i can count them on one hand. so yes if all you ride is hiway then ya the mileage is not the best indicator. also...cali riders who live in the cities and put a lot or miles get super experience...lol. having been in cali (L.A. and san fran) where lane splitting is legal and used a lot! 2-3 times a week i rode at least 50 miles in a lane maybe...10% of the time and 90% splitting. its definitly mentally taxing. it feels like i just got back from a full days ride. I'm not just trying to toot cali riders horns but i have ridden in 3-4 other states (not just thru them) and i havent even been close challenged mentally as i was in cali. sometimes i think im to paranoid, but then i read about someone else who has been in an accident and would rather be paranoid than dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
you're right about riding in Cali cuz that's were I ride at now and have put 7,100 miles on my bike in 5 months and those miles are highway miles, in heavy traffic, curves like the ones going to big bear lake or up Palomar mt. and straights like the highways here with little to no traffic. So the experience you get here is a mixture of all kinds. And hell yeah lane splitting is taxing as hell!!!!! I riden in Arkansas(where I'm from) but it's not as challenging as riding in Cali but the roads are a lot worse though.

Why'd you leave Cali Meat_Shield?
 

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501RYDA said:

Why'd you leave Cali Meat_Shield?
My wife was a traveling nurse so we moved every 3-6 months for about 4 years in our 37ft RV. about 2 1/2 - 3 years of that was spend in different cities in cali. the rest were in NM and some in my home state of CO. now that were done were back in our house in Frederick, CO (just north of denver). if i didnt love CO so much i would DEFINITLY be back in cali. i loved the weather and the riding season.....the year round riding season! lol. i think we live in....Oxnard, Orange, Greenbrae, San Ramon, San Fran, Covina, and Ventura oh and a summer in palm springs (big ass mistake! oh god the heat.....) i think thats all of em.
 

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The mileage matters on a particular style of bike. I'm not sure I'd say a Goldwing rider would be more "experienced" because he rode thousands of miles on Interstate when compared to a track-only rider on a liter bike. Within a type of bike its a little easier but there's all the other things other respondents have suggested.
 

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In the end I think miles are miles - if it took you two years to accumulate the 20,000 miles your neighbor accumulated in ten years, I'd say that you both have the same level of experience, except that yours is more recent. So I don't think time in itself is a significant issue.

The riding conditions, as has been suggested, is more relevant in my opinion. The more experienced rider, between two with equal mileage, is the one that generally rode more varied and challenging conditions than the other, regardless of the time element.
 

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Count the track miles, and you can just about ignore everything else. You learn more in a single 100 mile day than you do in a 5,000 mile season.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah the type of bike matters also for the reasons stated but I don't think that 100 miles on a track give you the same type of experience or more than doing 5,000 miles as, for instance riding in heavy traffic and or lane sharing cuz on a track the environment is different, i. e. not having to worry about other drivers and obstacles, but the track does give you other experience that would be used off the track.

Hey meatshield- I live on Camp Pendleton and just going to LA almost every weekend I felt the heat of being inland so I can imagine the heat in Palm Springs.
 

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501RYDA said:

Hey meatshield- I live on Camp Pendleton and just going to LA almost every weekend I felt the heat of being inland so I can imagine the heat in Palm Springs.
120+ degrees during the day, about 90 at night. all in a 37ft aluminum box....yes we had A/C but theres only so much it can cool. probably about 100 inside during the day. it sucked balls. lesson learned though :)
 

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Vash said:
Count the track miles, and you can just about ignore everything else. You learn more in a single 100 mile day than you do in a 5,000 mile season.
I don't know, V. I've never been on a track, but I expect that I picked up enough on the road in almost 30 years to be faster around a track than alot of guys. Not all of them, but plenty of them.
Kanwisch posted about how much fun he had in some unexpected gravel. That's the kind of experience you can only gain on the road. At least I hope so...:eek:

Good judgment is as important as experience to a street rider, and it's something a new rider already possesses, to some extent.
It won't make you any faster, but it will keep you alive.
 

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Hehe, rundog, you want to be the exception to every rule :)

Track riding will not teach you the defensive attitude you need around town, but it does teach you a few things about emergencies. In an emergency (coming up on a deer, gravel or whatever) the body goes with what it knows. When you hear new riders describe a crash, you often realize that they have no memmory of the actual crash, just the moments before and after it. That happens when a person panics, I guess the body decides it has more important prioraties that recording memmory. For this reason, people dont learn much from emergency situations. However once hard braking becomes natural, emergencies become less so. Know what I mean?
 

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True 'nuff, V. Been a year and I still can't remember what happened to me...I started to qualify my opinion by saying that the track let's a person gain experience with how their bike acts at the limit, but I was too lazy to type it!!
 

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sscottab said:
I dont think it is just miles i think it is both miles and time, sure you can put 20,000 miles on in 1 season if you live in a area that allows that but remember you still only have 1 year experance on a bike. That 20k miles means nothing if they are all hwy miles or twisty miles if someone pulls out infront of you or cuts you off and you dont have the instinct to just react and you panic or make the wrong move, so miles do help but time is also needed to learn correct skills.
 
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