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A riding freind and I were talking over breakfast last Saturday and he mentioned something that I and, perhaps some others, may want to ponder.

I'm paraphrasing: He said that a lot of people judge a "good rider" by how fast he or she can go. He and I then agreed that that is only one aspect of what makes a "good rider".

Some other things in no particular order:

A lot of miles with no accidents
Smoothness and confidence on the bike
Knowledge of the bike and the basics of how it works
Good preventive maintenance and pre-ride checks
Wearing, at least, most of the protective gear most of the time
Knowledge of bike and biker etiquette

Bet you folks can come with with some more.......
 

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How about a little instruction first ... specifically by having attended and participated in a MSF or equivalent Experienced Rider Course? There are many aspects of riding that an average guy that goes out and buys a motorcycle for the first time doesn't know about.

Many people do not understand the principle of "countersteering" when they first begin to ride. Instruction by coaching and explanation on a course helps!

Fatfenders said:
Knowing your limits and riding within them.
I guess that is the same as staying within your own "comfort zone" ...

Good thinking! :)
 

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Accidents make for better riders. Close calls also help.

Being introspective and willing to admit to and learn from your own (as well as others) mistakes.

Miles, and miles, and miles, and miles. Nothing teaches like the road.

Daily commuting in heavy traffic will help keep your skills sharp. So will cell phone Suzy in her SUV.

Listening to and learning from more experienced riders.

Doing a "Track Day" or taking an advanced riders course, or track school helps tremendously.

Routinely practicing max braking and obstacle avoidance.

Scanning, constantly, everywhere, not letting your mind wander, staying focused.

Acknowledging that you are NOT always a good rider, and still have room for improvement and things to learn.

And here is one I often struggle with. Learning to have patients behind slower vehicles.
 

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Full awareness of everything going on around him at all times.
Especially when "riding at or near his limits".
Too many riders "concentrate on specific things" when pushing their limits.
like what gear, speed, entry point, etc. for the upcoming curve,
and forget that everything else in the "zone" is still happening and needs to be kept track of.
DC
 
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Dream Catcher said:
Full awareness of everything going on around him at all times.
Especially when "riding at or near his limits".
Too many riders "concentrate on specific things" when pushing their limits.
like what gear, speed, entry point, etc. for the upcoming curve,
and forget that everything else in the "zone" is still happening and needs to be kept track of.
DC
I agree completely with the above. If you're thinking about what you need to do instead of reacting, you're probably at the edge or maybe beyond your personal "zone".
 

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As a relatively new rider, I find this an interesting thread.

I’d say it’s primarily two things:

Breadth:
Riding involves a lot of skills. A good rider is good in most of them, not just one or two:
- Good in the twisties (safe, confident, smooth shifting, smooth braking)
- Good on the slab (safe, good lane choice, thinking ahead, aware)
- Good in a parking lot (safe tight turns, good discipline, aware)
- Good in group rides (group etiquette, communication, predictable)
- Good in adverse conditions (rain, dirt roads)
- Good bike maintenance (frequent inspections, safe repairs)
- Good attitude (Good at teaching, Good an learning)

Consistency:
I’ve found that on a long day ride in the twisties, I might hit 99% of the curves great, but one or two I’ll still botch. On the highway I might do fine for hours then find myself boxed in or in the wrong lane, or surprised by a cager doing something I didn’t expect. A Good Rider is able to demonstrate good skills ALL the time.


To me this is what makes riding so much fun, and so humbling. There’s always something to improve on or work on. Every ride is an exercise. Every ride can make you better (if you manage to live through it).
 

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How about a rider who enjoys the hobby while promoting it and fosters good will among fellow riders and non riders alike. This includes being curtious and respectful to others by not roaring through the neighborhood on a machine that vibrates everyones windows. Not speeding or presenting a hazard to himself and others on the road. Not judging other riders based on the brand of motorcycle they choose to own.
 

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Experience
Humility
Aptitude
Respect
Safety
Progressive Skills
Love of the Sport
 

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Paul, Interesting topic. I feel I am pretty good or do at least what you described. I am not very, or would like to be more confident in my slow manuerving riding. I am trying to get better. I think its more mental than physical. I need to learn to trust the bike more, its in my head that keeps me from turning the bars closer etc.

I think one of the most important things to do while riding is being aware of your surrounding. Know where each car is, anticipate thier moves, look at the car waiting to pull out and having yourself ready for immediate action.
 

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I think riding with Trialsman and Toyo will make you a better rider :shock: . You will have to wear sun glasses tho, BIG yellow bikes can blind you.


Charlie
 

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I don't like negative thinking, and as much as I truly love riding a motorcycle; many times, I'm grateful, to simply arrive at point 'B', without incident, regardless of, near or far. Between aggressive/poor auto/truck drivers, adverse highway conditions, and our own, sometimes dangerous driving decisions (AND deer!!), we ride a fine line of completing each ride.

But, I eagerly anticipate the unique sensory pleasures of each ride, which compensate for the inherent risks.
 

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Teaser 1 - if you find an "N' word to put with your list, you could use the acronym "SHRAPNEL." Everyone could remember that one.

Mesquite Bob
 

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trialsman said:
Some other things in no particular order:

A lot of miles with no accidents
Smoothness and confidence on the bike
Knowledge of the bike and the basics of how it works
Good preventive maintenance and pre-ride checks
Wearing, at least, most of the protective gear most of the time
Knowledge of bike and biker etiquette

Bet you folks can come with with some more.......
A lot of miles with no accidents means nothing if your just holding the bars
just means your lucky
the mental aspect is much more important
such as positioning yourself for visabilty
leaving yourself and others an escape route
if a person isnt confident in there abilty to handle a bike in a bad spot they should consider riding dirt bikes for a while
that will teach a person how a bike reacts in low traction situations
such as cornering and braking and the finer points of going down :)
saftey equiptment is good as long as it dosnt give a person a false sense of secuirity
take a rider and saftey couse! most things are covered in them even if the instructors are use less a person can always learn from other riders
 

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I have to agree with most that has been said!! Riding is like many things in that you have to be able to realize when you are having an "off" day and not in the "zone". I experienced that on a ride while in Tennessee last summer (even my wife noticed it) I was able to back off and get back within my limitations for that day. We enjoy riding and the twisties, but that day my lines, timing and rhythm were just not there.
 

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Trialsman this is a good topic, all the post have good information, since our GWRRA Chapter doesn’t have a Chapter Educator, I would like to copy the topic and all the post to put on the Chapter Web site, I will only use the information in your post, no names or any information concerning you will be used. If any one who has posted doesn’t want their post used send me a PM or e-mail. The Chapter web site
http://gwrraazchaptere.homestead.com/index.html
 
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