I too am suffering from advanced "old fart" syndrome. On a vacation trip from Oregon to Farmington New Mexico two up with luggage I dropped the bike twice because I'm only 5'8" and about 165 lbs. Not enough upper body strength to hold it once it started going over. Self, I said to myself get a lower bike like one of those harleys. So I bought a HD Electra Glide loaded and rode it, once. I live on a mountain and have a "driveway" that is over half a mile long and gravel going downhill losing about 900 feet of elevation from house to highway. Harley was a bit unstable going down and I couldn't quite reach the foot brake so gently applied the front brake and the front wheel washed out immediately. I got off the brake and wrestled the bike back under control and proceeded to ride it into town and back home. I never rode that bike again. I sold it "finally" and got most of my money back and have since lowered the foot pegs and seat on my RT and find it much more comfortable and by NEVER using the front brake while the wheel is turned any way but straight ahead haven't dropped it yet. We did hit an antelope in the Nevada desert and "rode through" the experience with about $3000 in damage to the RT and felt very lucky that we stayed up and under control.
Nothing makes me more nervous than to have a stranger ask to join us for a ride. Usually I am ungracious and simply say we (Voni and I) like to ride alone. But here in the Big Bend we get lots of visitors or drop-bys who often would like to go riding. Riding in the National Park where the speed limits are low doesn't worry me too much, but when they want to go ride the River Road (FM170) from Terlingua to Presidio my alarm bells go off loudly. That is a twisty, sometimes sandy, technical road that folks come from all over to ride. It bites a lot of riders.
There are a handful of folks, good friends, that we welcome to ride with us because we know they are skilled and are unlikely to get stupid. But there are not very many such folks. Particularly leaving rallies, we often just decline to ride with others.
[QUOTE=windypoint;835890]He went off the road at the first turn onto the right gravel where he lost it. My guess is he partially made the first turn and then saw the next turn and mentally froze up. His front tire hit the gravel and that was it. He ended up on the right gravel side before the sharper turn.[/QUOTE]
I'd suspect target fixation. He came out of one corner, saw the next one and panic set in - causing him to fixate on where he didn't want to go (the gravel.) Sure as the sun comes up every morning, that will result in you ending up right where you locked on. This can happen to most anyone given the right circumstances. I learned it early when dirt bike riding, if I looked between the two trees (too close to fit the bars through by a few inches) at where I really wanted to go (down the trail) somehow, magically, I'd end up where I wanted to go (finally figured out how to do that with a hip wiggle and a bar wiggle side to side.. and keep going straight.) If I looked at either of the trees, I headed right to it.
Look where you WANT to go. Primary rule of motorbiking IMHO.
BTW - On that sort of ride. where I'm unsure of a rider, I first announce that they not try to keep up, that I'll wait for them. And then I put the slower rider in the middle of the group, usually next to last.. and have someone I trust as tail rider who won't run over them. This gives them some confidence they won't be left behind if the bike ahead of them starts pulling away, and that means they are more likely to ride their own ride. Leading group rides is pretty much an art.. learned by doing it a bunch. I end up for some reason doing a lot of it, so far haven't lost anyone on a ride or had to call the ambulance.
[QUOTE=toooldtocare;835851]I too am in the "late 60's" bunch of riders that have been on bikes for almost 50 years and now thinking that it is time to give them up. [/QUOTE]
Saw an article or thread somewhere about the increasing popularity of trikes for exactly that reason
[QUOTE=PGlaves;835919]Nothing makes me more nervous than to have a stranger ask to join us for a ride. Usually I am ungracious and simply say we (Voni and I) like to ride alone. .[/QUOTE]
Same with me and Debbie. We've had plenty of times when someone askes to ride with us and most of the time I tell them we prefer to ride alone. Sometimes people are put off by this and I feel bad, but that's the way it is.
I know how Debbie rides and I feel safer just riding with her, plus we find it's more fun to ride with just two bikes.
[QUOTE=Lee;835942]Same with me and Debbie. We've had plenty of times when someone askes to ride with us and most of the time I tell them we prefer to ride alone. Sometimes people are put off by this and I feel bad, but that's the way it is.
I know how Debbie rides and I feel safer just riding with her, plus we find it's more fun to ride with just two bikes.[/QUOTE]
Aw Lee, you and Debbie can come down here and ride the River Road with us any time, as long as Debbie lets us keep up. :)
[QUOTE=PGlaves;835951]Aw Lee, you and Debbie can come down here and ride the River Road with us any time, as long as Debbie lets us keep up. :)[/QUOTE]
We'll take you up on that some spring.
Same here, new riders on our club rides get a sharp decerning eye from me before we start out on a club ride I lead. If I don't know the rider I will talk to him/her first to greet them to the ride but mostly to get an idea of ability and experience. Then I'd invite that person to ride at leas tthe first section right behind me as the leader.
As a MSF instructor and many year demo ride leader for the local BMW shop I can tell a lot by watching a following rider in my mirrors.
But for the most part I always prefer less than five bikes, two is better, one (me) is best. Oh, this discussion also brings up the point that VERY few people ever get to ride my bikes. I'm not snooty, and my bikes are not collector bikes by any measure (actually though, my 76 R100RS is), I have simply seen too many riders screw up. I won't have that happen with my bikes, and certainly NEVER with anyone I barely know. I am even leery to ride other people's bikes even if they offer it to me.
[QUOTE=toooldtocare;835851]I too am in the "late 60's" bunch of riders that have been on bikes for almost 50 years and now thinking that it is time to give them up. A friend that is also my age just sold his last bike. He rode it only 400 miles the past year.[/QUOTE]
A good alternative is the maxi-scooter such as the Suzuki Burgmans, Honda Silverwing and the BMW scooters (but they are very tall). They handle well because their weight is low, they are automatic and getting on and off of them is easy. My older friend has a Burgman 650 and is very happy with it. I rode it and i was shocked at how easy it was to ride and how well it handled on crooked roads. It will also run well over 100 and cruise above the speed limit all day long.
[QUOTE=sickticket;835796]A sad story but a real eye opener.
Decades ago I dropped my CB350 riding in the mountains in Japan. I had no experience on gravel and did everything wrong. Hurt feelings, paint and turn signals. I was lucky.. I am now much older and wiser.
As a returning rider, I found somewhere on this forum a reference to "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough. I downloaded it to my Kindle and am so glad I did. It was an eye opener on how much I had forgotten and did not know.
I have ordered a hard copy for my brother-in-law and nephew who just purchased HD's and they have no experience at all. My wife is worried to death about them but they are adults.
I hope the book helps them. They are good people.[/QUOTE]
The books are fine and everyone should read them, but take the MSF courses. They're a great way to spend a weekend and will teach you far more about what you don't know.
[QUOTE=tommcgee;836023]The books are fine and everyone should read them, but take the MSF courses. They're a great way to spend a weekend and will teach you far more about what you don't know.[/QUOTE]
As a re-entry rider in 2007, I felt I could dust-off the cobwebs and go for a ride. Well, it had been 30+ years since I rode regularly so I decided to take the MSF course. Very glad I did that and followed it up with an ARC and a Lee Parks course. Now, I know better than to think I know it all; I realize I will continue to learn (and practice) every time I ride...for the rest of my life!
I hope your friend mends quickly.
[QUOTE=THEO;836037]Well, it had been 30+ years since I rode regularly so I decided to take the MSF course.[/QUOTE]
I got back a few years earlier, but it was also 30+years for me and back then there was NO rider training -- so hey, even if you've been riding that whole time, take a course. I've never heard anyone say it was a waste. You're more likely to hear things like "I've been doing it wrong for 25 years", or similar laments.
I've done well over 100k miles since 2003 and taken two courses, I'm ready for another, planning the MSF dirt bike course.
[QUOTE=AZgman;835862]I've ridden that road... it is not bad at all, so don't feel like you were at fault for not choosing a better route. [/QUOTE]
We have a house in Tucson - near Tucson Mtn Park - and have ridden that stretch a lot. As AZgman notes, that's not even remotely a challenge to ride.
Your post is a perfect example of why I don't ride with others - with VERY rare exceptions.
Imagine for a second trying to ride with this guy over Gates Pass. Going off that road to the west has been fatal for a number of people - in both cars and on bikes.
Bottom line with this is - inexperienced riders need to take it slow enough that they are confident they can negotiate the road in front of them. Speculation that he may have touched down in the curve and lost control because of it is very likely even considering his speed as stated.
I hope he recovers soon.
[COLOR="Blue"][B][I]Your post is a perfect example of why I don't ride with others - with VERY rare exceptions.[/I][/B][/COLOR]
With the Vintage Group here in Southern Alberta, I used to ride with the group. The more I rode with them, the more I became very uncomfortable. Sadly, I started riding alone. Not that I want to be anti social, just safe, as I know my limitations!
Since this thread really never had any hexhead specific info in it (except the OP was riding one when his HD friend went down..) I'm moving it over to Campfire since it's the sort of thing that belongs there.
Please hang on while I drag it over.. :bolt