A Lesson learnt

Discussion in 'Group Riding Concepts' started by Franz, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Need to post these thoughts of mine on the forum, of course all are my own experiences // opinions and might not match yours, so any critisism given and returned is nothing serious but just one's own opinion but will give us some possibilities to rethink our own view of things for maybe // hopefully our own good.
    After having the pleasure of riding with some real extreme bikers on Saturday 24th, I had to think about myself and my style of riding and choice of bikes more closely.
    As some might know I have a hobby of buying some old bikes and restore them for proper use. That's where I come along some different purpose bikes but rode them all to just get the feeling of them. Were they the right choice, YES of course, all for their purpose and it was up to me only to ride them as they were built and what they were meant for.
    Seing Luke and Mark and their extreme lean angles, their feet in front for better balancing and as Mark teached me NOT for stabilising the bike once it slips as this will most probably fracture all bones, makes you a little envious and you would like to keep up as you have the 650 which has more mmpppffffhhh then the 400's. No its not the bike I was shown, it's my own abilities. Considering my weight, age, state of fitness and most important my own abilities and daring, it's impossible to keep up.
    "Know your own limits and respect them" is the basic rule while biking.
    I might be as daring as Luke in every corner would I be 20 years younger, I might be able to drift trough every corner like Mark would I have a lighter, more fit body and the same years and hours of experience, I might be able to run the D-Tracker like John would I not care about horsepower and status, but that's all language I hate: would-should-could, simple own inefficiency bla-bla. Well you see it's not up to the bike, its up to me.
    In some corners I dared but was quickly reminded on what I would face would I push it further......slips on the backwheel I can handle but I totally dislike the front breaking out and even more to ride on a totally slippery and wet surface, I simply can't handle this. So power down, let them Motards and Superbikes take you over and put-put-put just behind.
    What's the solution, get a more fit, lighter body and don't let myself been drawn into a competition I cannot win for above reasons.
    I often hear complaints by guys who go through loads of different bikes and they are no good bikes at all, for me just BS it's not the bikes that are not fitting, its mostly our attitude or overly positive esteem of our riding capabilities that makes every bike not fitting our needs. If we can openly admit that for several reasons we are not Rossi's then comes the time where we really enjoy the bikes we are on at the moment.
    Just a little self critisism with a comment on bikes I rode recently: R1, well too quick for my brain, needs to ridden much more daring that I would ever have the balls to, too uncomfortable for my 105 kgs bulk, and last but not least a bike for good and quick roads which aren't too plenty up here. AX1-250, most fun in town and on small loops, tops out at 125km/h but I never needed more as once on top speed, needed to brake again for traffic lights and others, not easy to bring to the limit, more capable than my riding skills. SRX4 best commuter I ever had, incredibly low on fuel consumption and easy to flip through slow moving traffic although punishing your butt while on longer stretches, easy for the back to break out in a turn as very light back; same goes for the 600 version, loads of fun on the Samoeng loop as more power but in the end, Tony would have more fun on it as I will ever have as I do not dare to push it more in the turns. F650 perfect allround bike but has it's limits while pushing it, it's not a Motard and shouldn't be ridden as one, again my mistake, same goes for the DR it's an Enduro and not a Motard, so need to take it easier through the bends otherwise I won't be able to keep it on the road, Mark and Luke still would ride at least 10 km/h quicker through a turn with it and not slip a centimeter. FZ1//FZ6, you must know that sometimes I hate to go through all the gears opposite to when I was younger...., needs to be screamed to be fun, uncomfortable for my 105 kgs on longer stretches, a "too nervous" bike for my age, ER6N is a bike that I liked very much as it gave me quite a matching fit for my abilities and still gave me a lot of confidence that I'm not yet on my limit. Well, last but not least and not all, the FJR, I'm not gonna sell this one, only if it wouldn't be that heavy, or as you could counter me: why don't you do more workout's and get a fitter body, so again back to myself.......
    Seing all my riding with a pinch of salt and self critisism I must admit that in the end, I'm not entitled to critisize any bike but only myself. Getting a 690DukeR, a DRZ400SM, an R1, an XT660X, why ? I've got all of them already on my parking lot just not being able to ride them as such and come closer to the before mentioned models. Do I have to buy them ? No, because I have them already ! Of course some small modifications are needed to just give more opportunities like fitting a 17" 120er tyre on the DR but still won't give myself the inner confidence in racing it through the turns like Luke or Mark. Putting a Powercommander and remove the stock exhaust & cats from the FJR would give much more power but would I be able to put it through corners like Tony or Gerhard, no, as I'm not that daring, simply lacking the balls.
    And with increasing age it is always good to recognize your limits and abilities that they are not that high as you would like them to be or want to show others what you can do. Better to take it a little slower but safe and still I enjoy the ride !!!!!
    So happy & safe riding, best regards, Franz
     
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  3. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Good advise, as usual, Franz.
    I'm a toddler on bikes, compared to probably all of the GTR members.
    Slower than most everyone, but I get there just the same.
    My age now has a lot to do with it.....when I was young I often thought I'd never attain 30 y/o,
    due to the many crazy (non-biking) things I did.
    I've long since realized I'm that not invulnerable...and pain is now a reminder I like to avoid!
     
  4. Pounce

    Pounce Ol'Timer

    Good perspective Franz,

    I tried keeping up with Mark & Luke & this happened. (Marks favourite bike too)

    [​IMG]

    My background is on dirt, I'm too tall, getting old & after this happened I thought, sod it, I'm here to to have fun & go home again, so I slowed down & rode to my abilities.
     
  5. rmbike

    rmbike Ol'Timer

    Getting a bit down on yourself there mate.

    Its all good and most bikers dont care how fast or slow you are.
     
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Don't Underestimate Your Own Ability Franz. Technology is Constantly Changing as Years go by so Bikes are getting better and easier to handle! Your 650 is pretty Old and Competing with Relatively New Bikes so done Extremely well! Both Mark & John Commented on How hard You ride Your Bikes so No Worries there Mate!!! And as rmbike said : Its all good and most bikers don't care how fast or slow you are. I think just enjoy what We have and others can Enjoy what they can Afford!!! You are doing Excellent Mate!!! Carry On!!!
     
  7. KenYam

    KenYam Ol'Timer

    Hey Franz just enjoy the riding mate, when you have riden with GTR's on Boxing day trips your up the front, but who cares man.

    Whenever I am off for a ride with crew I usually start up towards the front first day then get pissed off with racers and end up at Tail end Charlie but am really enjoying the ride, scenery, sites and feelling very comfortable with the whole situation. Once more I am too old and independant to give a rats arse.
    Any time your want a scoot Franz I am up for it.

    Cheers Ken F
     
  8. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    I've been riding bikes for over 20 years, almost daily. Riding has never been about racing for me, I've never been on a track even though it would have been instructive and would have made me a better rider. I love the acceleration, like opening it up once in a while, but to really race, to lean into turns, to push it to the max, to be close to redline as much as possible - I've never felt the challenge. I'm not saying that I'm a slow rider, I ride swiftly but controlled, and I know that this is the reason that I have never been in a serious accident, never broke a bone, as many other riders have.
    I can count the times I've ridden in a group with people I met on my ten fingers. I enjoyed it, but not more than riding by myself. I'm not a "group guy", I like to stick to my own speed, take my breaks or stops whenever and wherever I feel like it. There's usually pressure in a group, guys want to show off, take risks, try to make me do things I don't want to do. There's always competition, and some clowns are so excited and have the need to prove themselves that they endanger their fellow riders. So I prefer to ride by myself. I've also seen riders in groups, all at the same speed, sitting on their bikes and it looked boring to me.
    I ride because I like the feeling of an engine on two wheels under me, the sound, the acceleration, the smell and temperature of the air around me; leaning into long curves on a highway, zipping around the backroads. Enjoy the view on the way. Can't do that when you're going top speed, but maybe the adrenalin flow is more important to you than the view of hills, vegetation and the color of the sky.
    My last bike was a VTR250 with a top speed of 140 and I had lots of fun with it. I can ride around 120km/h all day, don't feel the need to go 180km/h or more, which a "little" 650 Ninja can. I don't feel the need to buy me a Kawasaki ZXR14, a GSXR1000 or a KTM 990. Maybe in the US, okay, you don't want to be seen on a "small" bike - I had a 1400 Intruder there, several K75s and K100s and even a ZX9R. But I can't say that I had more fun on bigger and more expensive bikes than I have here on a 250!
    Here in Thailand less is more, I like seeing big bikes on the road but have the feeling they are overkill.
    So I don't feel down when others pass me, let them be faster - I enjoy my ride, even on a Honda Wave!
    I don't need the latest and newest bike which has a couple more horsepower or is a few pounds lighter.
    I am a guy who admits that I'm not good enough a rider to make full use of my top-of-the-line bike and don't have a problem with that. There are too many guys out there who talk big and ride the latest rocket and sometimes I pass them with a smart move, not with horsepower.
    I'm happy with how I ride and what I ride, and don't have a problem with faster riders since speed isn't the essence of riding for me.
    Enjoy the ride and get there safe!
     
  9. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Good God Franz!!

    I was so sorry to hear about your balls. Is this effecting your personal life as well??? 55555555555555

    Seriously though, you should feel pretty good about yourself. Not many people can stop, take a hard look at themselves and be honest enough to see and accept their limits

    I relate most to what KenYam said.

    For me the enjoyment of riding is not how fast I can go, or am I as fast as the other guy; its simply the huge enjoyment of riding free on awesome roads, incredible scenery and great company.
    Keep smiling buddy.
    .
     
  10. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    interesting thread and each to their own, but riding a bike as fast as it will go is the only way to really enjoy it in my opinion( this may be because i have a small capacity bike). dawdling along can be gratifying in some ways but i soon get bored sooner or later!!

    happy riding guys!! :happy2:
     
  11. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Come on now Franz, I think you did really great considering you had absolutely ZERO grip up front on the DRZ650. Especially on the wet. I thought the morning ride on the wet bits was really uncomfortable - ass-clench-time ;) - but I didn't slip, and wasn't close either, while your front already slipped away 3 or 4 times.
    You were wise enough not to try too hard when the conditions just don't work. I always ride as hard as I can. That means cha-cha when I'm tired. Or when I don't see anything. And at snail's pace when my rear has slipped a few times already like outta Pai. Freaking scary.
     
  12. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Guys thanks for all the nice encouraging comments :smile1: . As I am on a business trip I'm gonna respond more on the weekend. Just wanted to say that I'm absolutely NOT frustrated or sad :D , no I'm happy to have come to the point to admit to myself that the old daring days have gone :angel: . I recognised that going back on the throttle a little bit only, will surely save me from more broken limbs :wink: . Still got balls but got now more brain while riding then when I was young. Most times while riding I'm similar to Luke, can't just putt-putt-putt along...... :mrgreen: , but also won't open up 110% anymore. The small ride into the bushes between MHS and Pang Ma Pha in a downhill turn just reminded me that there's still some quick reaction left to do the right decision in the blink of an eye, BUT also was a stern warning in not pushing any more. Think this new mindset in knowing that your limits are with growing age a little less will keep me from serious injury, hopefully..... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: . I intended this thread to give some guys also the opportunity to loose up a little and not being invisibly forced by their mind always to be on top....... :thumbup: . I think on the next trip I will enjoy the 'borderline' even more as I now got the confidence also going back a bit.....555555, rgds, Franz
    PS: Peter, no no effects on my private parts and their use in private life !!!! How about you ? Got yourself already some 2 wheels like a C90 or old Dream ?? 55555
     
  13. sinclair1969

    sinclair1969 Ol'Timer

    Thanks for this nice and insightful post, Franz. I understand what you are saying and it is my own perspective, pretty much, that you describe. To me, riding a motorcycle is something of a way of live. It is not top speeds or sharp curves or overtaking all and everybody, it is the feel of the ride, the harmony between man and a machine that is most important. Riding a motorcycle makes one something of a philosopher. You realize your limits and know the limits of your machine, but we don't need to push our limits in order to be happy as we ride our machines. As I drive my Honda Magna 750 or the Honda X4 1300 here in the outskirts of Bangkok, I get overtaken by small Thai bikes at times, their drivers feel they have to show off and push it as far as they can, thus endangering their lives, while I prefer safety and only go to high speeds on short stretches and never, ever take foolish chances. I have seen too many accidents in my time, and I don't want to become one of them. I feel that my driving style has little changed since I was in my twenties, it was (almost) always safety first then, just as it is now. And I enjoy my motorcycle riding very much, all the same. Other people may possibly ridicule this way of riding a powerful bike, and even dare you to do foolhardy things, but in my case that does not work. It is the perfect harmony and balance between man and machine that does it for me, and I am constantly learning something new after all these years. Thailand and its roads and traffic is something that may take quite some skill to master, and this is a continuing challenge to me.
     
  14. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Liebe Franz,

    Interesting thoughts but the one thing I really want to say is that riding on public roads should never be a competition! It's not about "winning" and "losing" it's about enjoying spectacular roads with great friends. Sur we might tease each other about who's fast and who's slow but in the end we're all adults capable of deciding for ourselves how far we want to push our limits. Making it into a race or pushing the pace beyond what you're comfortable with because you feel that you need to "keep up" is a recipe for disaster IMO. Especially on the unforgiving mountain roads up north! Push your limits on a racetrack- not on a public road.

    And don't worry Franz- you're one of the ballsiest bikers I know! Anyone who has seen you muscle that huge FJR through the turns so hard that you bottom out the suspension and drag the frame knows you've got balls! :happy5:

    I like the expression "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow". That's kind of where I'm at with the GSXR 1000- on perfect fast roads like 120 to Phayao the Gixxer rocks and I'm in superbike heaven, but on tight, bumpy slippery roads like the one between Pai and CM I have to confess I was pretty miserable and missing the softer suspension and ABS on my Ninja 650R.

    I think for the ride this past weekend you perhaps did not choose the best bike for roads we traveled which may have been frustrating because we all know that you'd have been a lot faster on a bike with better traction, then again it was a very diverse mix of bikes from 250cc to 1050 cc and everything in between and I was very pleasantly surprised at how well we were all able to stick together and have a great ride.

    Really looking forward to the next one!

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  15. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Franz,

    A mature attitude in your approach to riding is evident in your post. If everyone did the same, there would be far less carnage out there. Kudos to you for resisting the urge to push past your known limits and make it through the ride w/o incident. I can't remember exactly the trip report/group ride I read on here a few months back, but it was a mess. I think 3 or 4 separate crashes with guys flying off the road into the brush every 20 minutes or something. Many were clearly going beyond what conditions and/or skill deemed prudent to "keep up". Luckily nobody got badly injured or killed.
     
  16. nikster

    nikster Ol'Timer

    Interesting thoughts but the one thing I really want to say is that riding on public roads should never be a competition! It's not about "winning" and "losing" it's about enjoying spectacular roads with great friends.
    Tony
    Beautifully said, Tony. I was going to write something like this, but didn't quite find the words. That's exactly what it's all about.
     
  17. Pounce

    Pounce Ol'Timer

    hehehe
    Your chance is coming Mark.
    Dawn of December 20th.
    In front of the X-Centre.
    Swords or Pistols?
    My second shall contact your second.
     
  18. Kiwi Cruiser

    Kiwi Cruiser Ol'Timer

    Hey Franz

    A really wise old biker once told me that;

    "There's lots of OLD bikers...
    And lots of BOLD bikers...
    But there are very, very few OLD, BOLD bikers!
    "

    Its important to bear in mind that longevity is a prerequisite for anyone intending to ride gracefully into old age! Those who've already survived into their mid 50's, after riding motorcycles of all makes, models and dimensions for upwards of 40-odd years, have no need to prove anything to anyone at all... Getting to be an "Old Biker" requires the wisdom to set your own pace, regardless of the more youthfull rider's delusions of immortality! :crazy:

    Remember that old story about the Young Bull and the Old Bull? Remember, you are now an old bull, Franz... don't rush, its usually counter-productive...
    :lol-sign:

    There are a handful of reckless speed demons about, and we've all seen them in action and shaken our heads in horror. Excess testosterone all too easily erases common sense... Power-slides on wet and slippery public roads are inappropriate behaviour for anyone, let alone those who've survived to become grey-headed, surely? Its not just your own life at risk - it might well be the family in the car that appears from nowhere, coming head-on who suffer the consequences of such devil-may-care actions... :thumbdown:

    There are quite a few people reading this thread with dismayed interest - especially so in the wake of the serious accidents (and fatalities) that have already befallen motorcyclists this past year. Some people hate attending funerals and have privately expressed horror and disbelief that the "need for speed" overcomes common sense so easily for some, but have thus far refrained from public criticism. Its no secret - testosterone-generated competitiveness amongs guys regularly gets guys killed! Its almost never the so-called "leader/s" of the group. Instead, its the "less-skilled but trying too hard to keep up" who invariably pay the price. Take it easy, for gods sake - its dangerous enough out there as it is, with the bloody songthiews, tuktuks, ox-carts, scooters and hordes of hill-billy drivers!

    I share KenYam's reasons for not being a "group guy" and generally prefer to ride alone, or with a handful of people I know and trust. If there's one thing I've observed on EVERY informal group ride I've ever been on; some one ALWAYS wants to show off, and ride at the bleeding edge of his/her abilities... That inevitably puts other people at risk... By choice, I'm also a back marker - not because I can't ride fast, but because I prefer to set an example! If I hang back, that's one less idiot pushing the pace, and one more reason for someone else to ease up and enjoy a more relaxed pace...

    The best trip leader is one who is aware of each rider's ability levels, and takes some personal responsibility for ensuring that the pace is set so that no one is placed at undue risk. Splitting the riders into ability-matched sub-groups is sometimes sensible...

    When organising "trips for the boys" it is wise to think hard (BEFORE setting out) about how you’d feel having to phone a participant's family to explain that their husband/brother/father got himself killed in a reckless accident... No need for dares, alcohol-fueled burn-outs or wheelie competitions. These can be safely enjoyed on the race track or farm paddock & not on public roads - especially when there might be an excess of testosterone and/or alcohol left over from the night before. A breakfast briefing on the subject of riding safety before setting off so that ALL arrive safely could never be a bad idea...... :thumbup:

    Deliberately NOT inviting known lunatics on rides is my personal policy... :thumbup:
     
    DavidFL likes this.
  19. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    A well written piece Ben, with some good contributions from others. I fully agree with what you have written. An accident does not even have to be your own fault - as per my badly broken lower right leg which I am still recovering from. Taken out in a hit & run by a crazy bus driver in Rajasthan, India in December 2004 & still recovering. Not a high speed accident by any means - not a mark on the clothing or even a bruise on myself - just landed badly & the damage was done. I've been riding for over 41 years in one guise or another & with age certainly comes wisdom + the desire for self preservation! Also as we get older we do not heal as fast! Yes, I can still ride fast if I have to - but over here there are just too many hazards to make it enjoyable. With a group ride it should be kept in mind that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link - i.e. the fastest should make allowances for the slowest. Thanks to Franz for setting this one going - hope to meet you & others in ChiangMai in the not too distant future when I am up there next!
     
  20. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Definitely an interesting thread - thank you Franz. :thumbup:

    Some of my thoughts on the main GT Rider website
    http://www.gt-rider.com/touring-informa ... fety-tips2

    SOME BRIEF COMMENTS
    I don't doubt that we all know how to ride, but riding in a group is not the same & requires extra consideration.
    • You don't have to prove anything.
    • It is very important when riding as a group to look after each other & make sure everyone gets there safely.
    • Some of us ride better than others & some worse than others.
    • We all have a limit & on public roads there’s no need to ride on the limit. Keep that for the race track. On public roads there is little room for error & the consequences can be extremely serious for not just you the rider, but also other innocent people – riders / pedestrians / vehicles.
    • Someone stuffs up & the whole group is held up sorting out the problem, not just the rider who goes down.

    RIDING AS A GROUP (something I wrote a long time ago.)
    Riding in a group is an art, which you learn with experience. The important element is to ride responsibly, with consideration for the other riders, both in front of and behind you.

    1. Ride at a steady pace one that is comfortable for all.

    2. Stay in sight of one another, but don't ride too close together. There should be at least 4-6 bike lengths between each bike at low speed and at least 10 bike lengths at speed.

    3. The leader must know where he is going. Don't get in front and lead if you don't know where you are going, or where you should stop. The lead rider has a greater responsibility to the other riders and should ride accordingly.

    4. Ride staggered not directly behind each other. The lead bike should be positioned close to the left of the centre line, the second bike on the left closer to the road edge, the third bike back close to the centre and the fourth bike near the edge and so on. In sudden stops this helps riders avoid running into each other concertina style.

    5. Riding behind someone, ride so that you can see the face of the rider in front of you in one of his mirrors. He should be able to see you at all times and not have to worry about where you are, cutting you off, or whether you might run into him from behind.

    6. Keep your position in the group. At junctions or stop lights, stop in pairs (if possible) and leave in the same order you arrived. Don't jockey for position to get away first and create silly accident situations.

    7. Ride with a mate (in pairs or threes) be responsible to each other should any of you have trouble and need help.

    8. Turning off the road wait for the rider behind you to catch up and see what is going on. He in turn should wait for the next rider.
    • One rider (the leader?) Should wait for the other riders to arrive before turning off the road.
    • Stopping for fuel / food / drink, park one bike alongside the road for the other riders to see. This bike should be beside and at right angles (if possible) to the road. It is easier to see a bike parked this way than when it is parallel with the road.

    9. Making turns stop before the turn, not around the corner after you have made the turn. This avoids other riders going past the turn and then someone having to chase after them to bring them back.

    10. Overtaking other vehicles, do it in order. The rider in front has the right of way.
    Don't overtake other riders the same time as you are overtaking a car, this is dangerous if the other rider is not looking for you to overtake both him and the car.
    Look ahead to make sure the way is clear and there is a room for you to pull-back-in. Always allow oncoming vehicles enough space, don't force them off their line of travel.
    Don't overtake down the left hand side or going into a bend.
    Always allow sufficient space and time to overtake and pull-back-in, plus enough distance for any oncoming vehicle which you might not yet see, to complete the overtaking pass safely with room to spare.

    11. Bike service check your bike’s - chain, oil & tyres - both in the morning before departure and at the end of the day’s ride. Don’t do it during the day and hold all the other riders up.

    12. Departures arrive on time at the departure point, with a full tank of fuel, ready to go. If you are late and the group is ready to leave or has even gone, it is your problem (not the group’s), and up to you to know the route and catch up.

    13. Fuel stops base these around the bike with the shortest fuel range.

    14. Long distance rides recommend stop, fuel up and take a drink every 150 - 170 kms. This should be after approx. 1 1/2 hrs riding, and is helpful in the heat or if you need to ride more than 500 kms a day.

    A COUPLE OF NASTY ACCIDENTS
    Years ago I was leading a motorcycle tour in Nan & the 3rd rider in the group cut a corner & had a head on collision with a young Hmong guy on a motorbike. The Hmong guy wearing, shorts, T-shirt, flip flops, & no helmet heading home from the fields was killed instantly. The tour customer wearing full body armour suffered a broken collar bone, and concussion. He was lucky as he missed the first bike with 2 young Hmong guys on. I had to call the police, hospital, then go with the injured rider, police & dead Hmong guy to the hospital. At the hospital I had to sit on the injured rider to hold him down while they stitched up his head! After coming out of surgery there were 13 Hmong guys waiting to negotiate with me over the death of their dead brother. Not a very pleasant experience I can tell you, especially when I found out his 20 year old wife was 7 ½ months pregnant with her first child. Within 24 hrs “we” had negotiated a settlement with the police, & next of kin. 130,000 baht cash was paid after an ATM whip around between riders & everyone was “happy.”
    I was not responsible & became friends with the Hmong on R1148, but no more motorbike tours with big groups for me.

    It is a terrible feeling having to ride back for a missing / lost rider. :wtf:
    I’ve pulled a Jap rider out from going over the edge on R1234, the Kiu Sataa – Doi Mae Salong road. He suffered a broken back. Within 24 hrs we had him in Ram hospital in Chiang Mai & operated on. 6 weeks later he was walking & back in Japan. He was the best rider in the group, but the last one at the time & we think was trying to catch up, not knowing we had stopped up the road to wait. He misjudged a corner & over the edge he went. I had to get the police, an ambulance, 2 nurse + 6 Akha guys with machetes to find him; then follow up at hospitals in Mae Chan – Chiang Rai – Chiang Mai, all in 24 hrs.
    Standing at the spot where the rider went over the edge, you would never know that a rider & motorbike had crashed through there - no marks whatsoever! So stay in sight of one another.
    Check out these photos...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Moral of the story: in a group ride extra safely, especially when you don't know everyone & have not all ridden together before. You never know what is around the next corner & you could literally have a mess to sort out.
    You can’t ride faster than the slowest rider. Keep the rider behind you in your sight; & if you lose sight of him, slow down & wait to make sure he is still coming & ok.
    You want everyone to get home safely with a smile on their face. :D

    I hope this a help for any future group rides GT Riders / SSRs plan. Enjoy you rides but take care & be responsible to the group as a whole!
     
  21. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Having a Japanese GF with an "I LOVE SPEED" T-shirt to nurse you back to health must certainly take the edge off :happy5:

    FWIW everyone knows the SSR likes to ride at a "spirited" pace. That said we've had small bikes join us for some rides without incident-
    [​IMG]

    On this trip and on some previous trips when appropriate we've divided the group into two groups- the fast and the faster group.

    I never want anyone feeling they have to ride faster than they are comfortable with just to "keep up", but on the flip side there has to be some personal responsibility and well, if someone tells me that we are pushing them to ride at a pace they are uncomfortable with well, wtf? it's not like we're holding a gun to anyone's head and making them twist the gas is it? I've been on rides with weirdos and muppets where I've simply decided to bugger off because I'm not comfortable with the people I'm riding with. We're all adults and we can decide for ourselves what risks we want to take and what risks we want to avoid.

    Bottom line- riding motorcycles is dangerous. Period. Some riders may take more risks than others, but it's all risky no matter what your pace, experience and skill.

    I like the old expression about old bikers and bold bikers and very few old bold bikers, but I also like the one about "there's those who have been down and there's those who are going down". Everyone crashes sooner or later- if you can't handle that fact it's best to sell the bike and stay home. But if you choose to ride a motorcycle you must accept that fact that sooner or later you will crash. Be prepared for it, wear the best gear you can find/afford and do you best to keep her shiny side up!

    Just my two satang :wink:

    Happy Trails!

    Tony
     
  22. brian66

    brian66 Ol'Timer

    If a group like the SSR group announces that they going to have a ride to some location and people decide to join them i really believe that those people who join them fully understand that these guys are not just going on a Sunday cruise and will push their bikes to the limit of their ability.
    Therefore, if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe to push your bike to the limit you should not join them. I am sure that everybody who joins this SSR group for ride knows full well that they are in for a really fast ride and if they ride a motorcycle that is not appropriate to safely maintain the pace, they would be foolish to continue to try. However, in the end it's their choice.
    Even though I've never ridden with the SSR group I can fully understand why they ride the way they do. They love the adrenaline rush and the feeling of pushing the bike to its limits regardless of the safety aspect. They are not racing anyone, they are racing themselves by trying to ride the bike to the limits of their and the bikes capabilities and that's what gives them the adrenaline rush.
    To many it is the only way to ride a motorcycle. To others, a bike ride is treated as a pleasant tour.
    This type of riding does nothing for me. If I want to go to from point A to point B in a sedate manner at a constant average speed I won't take my bike. I will take my car!
    I used to ride on public roads with groups of mates however, I found that it was too restricted and there were too many obstacles in the way of riding a bike fast enough on public roads to satisfy me so I joined a road-racing club.
    Nowadays, when I take my bike, the minute I start the motor my mind moves back into racer mode. The more wheelies I can pull, power slides out of the corners and the maximum I can lean the bike over the more pleasure I get out of the ride and that's how I understand this SSR group to ride. If you ride this way often enough you gain the skills to minimize making mistakes and going too wide around corners.
    I always prefer to ride a motorcycle on a racetrack. There is no question about that. It’s the safest place in push to the limits.
    However getting to a racetrack in Thailand is not convenient as there is not much choice so these SSR rides are an opportunity to have some fun and enjoy life.
    I personally would hate to be wrapped in cotton wool and not do something because of the “IF” factor.
    Therefore, if I ever get a chance I would love to go for a ride with this group and will ride to the extent of my ability and I can't keep up with them I won't bitch.
     
  23. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Getting interesting 5555555 !!!
    Just for everyone, I like to push my bikes, I love some slips on the backwheel, some wheelies at a red light sometimes BUT I do not race on Thai roads :thumbup: , might be one of the quicker ones but not a racer. If anyone wants to see a racer, Chris who sells his old R1 and lives in the same village is one, would never ride like him as that's a style that gets you one day into mortal danger.
    Did also NOT mean that in our last ride we were racing or somebody put a competition up, competition always comes from ourselves first. I must admit I am a little envious in seeing Luke and Marco and how safe they go through corners or like Tony handles his Gixxer, they did not race but ride in a for them enjoyable quick pace, I would love to still being able to do that. Post above wanted to state that I had come to a point where I had to admit that I'm for several natural reasons not able anymore to do it the way I would love to. Never meant to state we were racing or that somebody pushed me to do so. It's always ourselves and our ego that pushes our mind and body into a competition that simply isn't there. I never enjoyed a ride before like the one with Luke & Mark & Tony and all the other SSR and GTR guys, really :mrgreen: :smile1: :thumbup: !! But getting reminded through my age & age related abilities that I'm not on a competition nor fit for any anymore was the real lesson learnt here. You know when riding in a group there's always some quicker, some slower and some more able and less able guys. My own opinion is that mainly it's the ego of some not so experienced&able guys to brew up some trouble in not being able to see themselves in a more mature manner and adapt the riding style accordingly. When we were on the new years ride with Tony and Fiu for example, Tony and me were always well ahead as we like higher speeds, Fiu never tried to keep up with us or was asked to do so as he knew his limits by then, hats off for that !! :thumbup: Another reason for this post was to give some of my friends the opportunity to look at themselves more critically as I have done so in front of ALL my bikerfriends in the open, which might save them from accidents not yet happened and totally unneccesary.
    Please keep the thread alive, it may trigger selfreflecting action with some, which would then be the positive outcome of the discussion.
    Do I enjoy biking ?? Well just a fact: right now my Focus gets a mere 5-6,000 kms a year on the clock, the bikes at least 25,000...... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: and I do love both riding alone and in a group. Keep it up, rgds, Franz
     
  24. rhiekel

    rhiekel Ol'Timer

    While doing a lot of riding in Southern California, I had a middle aged friend who was one of the fastest riders I have ever seen. He used to love blowing past a group of sport bike guys on twisty mountain roads. Then at the next overlook where everyone would stop, he always got a kick out of watching the 20 something squids jaws drop in amazement as he pulls off his helmet showing a head of gray hair.......
    He also told me he did not like to ride with other riders, because invariably there would be competition to keep up. He said two people crashed badly trying to follow him, so now he just rides alone. For him it was ALL about speed, not about actually going to a destination.......
     
  25. dirthonk

    dirthonk Ol'Timer

    It seems obvious to me that there are obviously some very different types of " biker" posting on this forum. Those who potter along with the general aim of getting from A to B enjoying the scenery and smells along the way, and those with a genuine thirst for adrenaline and speed and a desire to challenge ourselves and our motorcycles. I think we can co-exist, its quite simple, those who are offended and get their knickers in a twist about a few powerslides, wheelies, over indulgent lean through corners should not think about or come along on a SSR ride.
    Just as some of us dont expect( or want) to get invited on the rides that the other demographic partake in.
    There are no hard feelings about this either way i trust, thats just the way it is, different strokes for different folks.
    This however does not mean that we cannot tolerate each other and still meet up in the evenings for beers together. It is sad that there has been some petty slights and criticism on the internet, we can all, as adults, choose how we want to live and behave without being judged by others.

    Happy riding now folks, and stay safe! :happy2: :happy4:
     
  26. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Agree totally with Luke, can't putt-putt-putt along too often, like the adrenaline kick in some times and that depends on my general constitution both physically and mentally. Sometimes I'm doing a mix of both get a daring leanangle plus slide and somtimes putt-putt-putt. I must say enjoy both but lean more towards the Luke/SSR way :mrgreen: :mrgreen: but now with confidence in saying no more increase in throttle sometimes.... :smile1: :smile1: . Keep on riding & enjoying & stay safe !! Cheers, Franz
     

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