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What's The Reason You Ride?


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Why do you ride? I don't mean "you" generally, I mean you specifically. Since I have a short attention span (or so I tell my kids), see if you can clearly and concisely sum it up.

 

Freedom? Thrill? Efficiency? Cost? Be different? Parking? Don't really know why.

 

2nd quesiton: what's the most enjoyable part of riding?

 

Sound off, nice to hear from a lurker or 2 on this subject too.

 

CF

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Sorry not to be a lurker, but here goes wink.gif

 

Got my first motorcycle toy at the age of 2 - and I am still thinking and talking motorcycles, if not 24/7, at for least hours every day 44+ years later.

 

If I should limit it to one thing that is the most important reason I ride AND the most enjoyable thing for me, it is (imagined) feeling of control. I like the feeling of being on the limit, which is probably why I like older bikes with lesser margins - I prefer the (imagined) feeling of being better than my motorcycle. Being able to use all the cornering clearance available. And all the grip (which I unfortunately only manage to do under braking with modern radials). I love it when I nail corner after corner, scraping pegs or whatever, on an unfamiliar road under total (imagined) control (not talking Rossi quality, by any means, of course).

 

I also like that I can see more of the scenery than I can from the confines of a car. I love the way the centrifugal forces goes through my body instead of throwing me sideways during cornering. I like to ride with a few friends that keep a similar pace to me and see frequent stops for a chat as vital to having a great day on the road.

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I ride because I love to ride, being by myself and concentrating soley on my riding and nothing else......Oh and going really fast in and out of corners is pretty cool too biggrin.gif

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Living and working in capital city, with each day morning traffic jams, riding is the best solution to pass through quick . But this is just one, the applicative point of view. Another one, is true freedom and specific wellness. Feelings are stronger and views more complete. Higher blood pressure at the speeding, works as aphrodisiac - still want more to be better and better wink.gif

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I always wanted to rider a motorcycle, and finally started riding because of a long commute. I quickly became enthralled with being on 2 wheels. The sense of freedom, the thrill of the acceleration, the comradery, every [then] new facet drew me further into riding.

 

After my first trackday, however,................. well ...... that was it. Now, half my dreams involve motorcycles, tracks and riding.

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...I like the feeling of being on the limit, which is probably why I like older bikes with lesser margins -

 

Eirik;

Monday was "National Ride your Bike to Work day" in the US so your response also prompted me to weigh in with what's my reason to ride? On Monday I chose to ride an old Meridian Triumph Bonneville that I fully restored (and continue to re-restore) about ten years ago. I was on the Interstate getting lost in the ride and it reminded me of why I love bikes...I was totally living in the moment...the wind buffeting me relentlessly, trying to pull me off the bike - the exhilaration from the sound of the exhaust, the humm of vibration from the vertical twin running as if it's eyeballs were bugging out from the strain of riding it as hard as I was...ah this is what it's all about! I think to myself This is why I love riding motorcycles; but like all great rides, they come to an end and I had to get off the highway.

 

Wait a minute I thought as the exit ramp was rapidly approaching - I'm not on my Ducati 996. I'm riding a forty year old bike with undersized DRUM brakes, a vintage profile Avon Speedmaster ribbed 3.25x19 front tire and a Dunlop vintage Gold Seal universal 4.0x18 rear and I'm going in to this turn WAY TOO HOT!!!! I didn't even think I could get this Triumph to go this fast...what is the maximun entry speed this bike can handle and how do I get my entry speed set with brakes and tires like it has? Will these tires hold if I lean it as far as it feels like I need to lean it to make the turn - but I quickly realize it doesn't matter because if I don't I'm going to run too wide...

 

All I can say is Thank God for my CSS training.

 

...and now, back to our regular scheduled programming.

 

Rain

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I started to ride because I am fascinated with the machinery and forgot that it was my first childhood love. I continued to ride because I get deep satisfaction from my introspective deen. I continue to ride on the street because I cannot replace the friends and socializing and treasure those brief moments I get to put something in my storehouse of tools until my next trackday, which never is soon enough.

 

And in modification of the immortal words of Maya Angelou

...and still I ride, and still I ride

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Well...since you asked for lurkers ;)

 

I ride for the feeling...nothing else. Don't get me wrong, the parking is great, the maneuverability through traffic divine, the OBVIOUS cool factor B), and the mileage to performance ratio hilariously awesome. But its the feelings associated with riding. The complete exposure...the smells...the view...the temperature gradients...the feeling of being one with the machine rather than just a passenger asking it to move...and most of all, being lost in the moment. Unlike any other vehicle I've owned (and I own a 68 Olds Cutlass I restored with my dad from the ground up...I don't have 'boring' rides), I NEVER get tired on the bike and the inner monologue in my head just turns off when on the bike (idiot never shuts up otherwise). Its pure serenity...even on the short ride to campus.

 

As my introduction, I'm a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri. I ride a 2007 ZX-14...put over 13000 miles on it the past year, and was honestly hoping for more (stupid winter). I'm here because its one of the few places where people talk about riding technique rather than bling or 'go fast goodies' that don't do nearly as much as solid riding techniques would. I have not yet had the opportunity to take the course, but plan to attend a 2-day camp as a graduation present to myself in a year or two (a year would be early, but whatever). Couple pics, then I'll stop derailing the thread :rolleyes:

 

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I have tons of reasons why I ride and they wont necessarily be in order of importance :). One reason is just because its what I've done my whole life. I started riding motocross when I was 9 so from the very start it was all about performance and riding fast with no speed limits to worry about. Before I got my first motorcycle I always rode my bicycle as much as possible. I love the equipment, the suspension on my dirtbike is nothing short of amazing. The sportbikes are very high tech, well developed machines and the power output of these small engines is almost beyond belief.

 

I am more partial to off-road then on-road. Until I moved to where I live now I always had a professional motocross track to go to every weekend. When my skill level really started to get pretty high I loved the precise riding I could accomplish on such a non-precise, beat up dirt surface. Nothing compares to controlled slides out of corners just before launching yourself 20ft in the air over a 75ft triple jump or sliding the front tire while trail braking into a sharp corner after a long straight away keeping it at the very edge of washing out. In the trails there are seemingly impossible obstacles the conquer like fallen trees that you need to make it over or extremely steep hills that you need to climb with your handlebars missing trees by inches. It just makes for a very thrilling and fulfilling experience.

 

On the sportbike I haven't been able to feel the full effect of what the bike and myself are capable of yet. I planned on taking it to track days when I bought it but I haven't quite been able to afford it at the moment. Still I love the amounts of performance I've gotten out of it so far and is a big reason why I ride it. 98% of the time I keep it very low key on the street and even while riding a bit more spirited I always keep a decent safety margin. When I do let loose a little the brutal power of my 600 past 10k rpm is so much fun along with the sound at its 16,000rpm redline. The braking potential is way beyond anything my dirtbike is capable of off-road and it took me a long time before I found its limits when the rear tire starts lifting off the ground. The lean angles that the bike is capable of just doesn't seem physically possible and there is still a 1/4 inch of untouched rubber on the sides of my tires (which I don't think I'll have a problem using at the track :D). The bike makes all of this seem absolutely effortless.

 

Aside from the performance of most motorcycles and what I can do or try to do with them there are so many other things worth riding them for. They can be very relaxing when you ride easy. They open up the world and let you travel great distances while putting you in the environment the entire way for adventure. Motorcycles are so much more practical for commuting and a dual sport with the right equipment can hold as much cargo as some car trunks I've seen. I also feel more comfortable on a motorcycle then I do in any car. So even if I'm not riding a motorcycle for the enjoyment it just makes more sense to use a vehicle that I feel more comfortable riding, gets 45+mpg, and at anytime your riding it has the potential to be more fun then driving any car on earth. I'm sure there are many more reasons that I just haven't thought of at the moment but I think those are enough for now.

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Great stuff guys! I'd suspected this might be an interesting topic, look forward to more participating (good for joining in Bubba).

 

I very selfishly figured you guys will put in words the reason's behind this, and I'm still pondering my own answer.

 

All, please do continue, and even if it's a "+1" it's good to see that.

 

Best,

CF

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1) Why do you ride?

 

Note: I strictly ride track

 

Thrill of controlling the bike at its limit.

A drive to continue to improve myself and become faster!

Easy access to club level racing compared to other forms of motorsports such as cars, financially speaking.

 

 

2) Most enjoyable part of riding?

 

Blasting through high speed corners and thinking this is pretty intense!

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What started me Riding was my Dad....

 

I Ride 'Track' because it gives me a challenge. To become better, faster, smoother. And there is no other feeling like it to rail around a corner hitting all your marks and diving into the next one!!!!

 

Street Riding, is more adventure Riding. Going places I wouldn't go in a cage. Making loops of at least 200 (s)mile's and just exploring.

 

Also, dual sport and dirt Riding. Great exercise and a nice way to get out into the great outdoors...

Later,

Aaron

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Why ride? I thought about this riding home from work yesterday and I would sum it up as- it makes me feel like a kid again. As kids we rode our bikes everywhere and had a lot of fun doing it on the process. The checkered flag on a track session is like the recess bell- I'm out playing having a lot of fun and I really don't want to have to stop.

 

The most enjoyable part? Flying around corners as fast as you can go!

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For me riding is like sitting on a golden throne at the top of the highest mountain watching the most awe-inspiring sight i could ever imagine,getting my body massaged by naked womenwink.gif,inhaling the most precious perfume in the world,eating my favourite meal washed down by my favourite drink , doing a line of columbian pure at the same time reciving phone call that i just won SuperEna and even Santa Claus with the allmighty God appeared before me telling me they really exist and.... Every time I sit on the bike and get this funny sensation plus this unnatural, slight different than ussual scent of gassoline floating around i got the same story runnig thru my mind all over and over again smile.gif yep you can say i`m an addict tongue.gif and that`s why i ride.

 

Most enjoyable part of riding?

well i`m a newbie so when i do something proper like in ex: riding thru a corner smoothly or doing a wheelie this makes me highly satisfied.

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Once I realised there was a real technology to riding (interesting twist of fate that saw me at a Superbike School becuase my road license was suspended for being a squid), my motivation for doing it switched to one of progressing my understanding and application of it. I didn't choose to make that switch, but all of a sudden the progression became a source of fascination. That's still the case today. "How deep does the rabbit hole go?" kinda thing.

 

Most enjoyable part - When your mind falls silent, and there's no thoughts or worries taking any attention. Just you and your senses.

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Once I realised there was a real technology to riding (interesting twist of fate that saw me at a Superbike School becuase my road license was suspended for being a squid), my motivation for doing it switched to one of progressing my understanding and application of it. I didn't choose to make that switch, but all of a sudden the progression became a source of fascination. That's still the case today. "How deep does the rabbit hole go?" kinda thing.

 

Most enjoyable part - When your mind falls silent, and there's no thoughts or worries taking any attention. Just you and your senses.

 

I read Cobie's original question and thought, hm... I'm not sure I know the answer! I bought my first bike in college because I couldn't get a parking permit for a car. Sole reason. How in the heck did I get to this point, a race license, a stack of CSS graduation certificates, and a garage full of bikes?

 

Then I read Adam's post above, and I realized he captured it perfectly - I came to the Superbike School somewhat by chance, and when I found out how much there was to learn... well, I was fascinated, too.

 

His last statement perfectly describes the best part of all, no way I can say it better.

 

Nicely written, Adam06, thanks! :)

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Monday was "National Ride your Bike to Work day" in the US

Pfft...I didn't realize that?

 

Why, mostly the effect I know it has to my overall well being. When I’ve completed a *good* ride I feel better. I have a stronger sense of being alive, more in tune with the moment and my surroundings.

 

I do think some of what would be a sense of freedom leads all the way back to being on a bicycle as a kid providing the ability to get away and not have to deal with anything other than the road ahead.

 

I took my first solo ride on a kawi 125 in the ‘70s, rode motocross in the ‘80s, street and motocross in the ‘90s. The new millennium had been bike-less until this spring. So I think I’ve been scratching an itch I didn’t realize was as itchy as it was.

 

‘The Track’ is a whole new world I have yet to experience. I’m doing everything I can to get to the track, even recently purchased my very first track bike I’m trying to get ready to take to CSS in August. It’s all a big new adventure and so far I’m having fun.

 

Being an extremely busy/involved dad makes time for myself very limited but I’ve been getting some benefit/relief from riding I was not getting for a long time.

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Like hotfoot, I have hesitated to reply because I couldn't narrow it precisely so far.

 

Why, mostly the effect I know it has to my overall well being.

 

The best label I can put on it is "Quality of Life" - I don't ride for the adrenaline rush: last time I got a major adrenaline rush on a bike, it cost be a nearly totaled bike and 30% of my vision on my left eye, so I make a darn good point out of not repeating this. I continue to ride, for my perceived Quality of Life from biking much outweighs the Risk of Major Injury (most non-bikers clearly don't get this part).

 

I ride because ... it's fun, it makes me feel alive, the experience of the beauty of the scenery around me (especially while touring the three-digit "Riksveier" in Norway) and smells, the feeling of being aggression and control on the track (as well as the smug smile of achievement I get from passing someone, even though it's not a race). It's my personal time-out where I don't have to think of anything else than the road ahead and the control of the bike.

 

Being an extremely busy/involved dad makes time for myself very limited but I've been getting some benefit/relief from riding I was not getting for a long time.

 

Big thumbs up to that! Even though I have neither kids nor wife, I know the importance of taking out time to rejuvenate myself: by being and doing more for myself, I can be more for the people around me.

 

Cheers,

 

Kai

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Reading the responses I realized something: there are a number of pieces of this, more than I expected to be honest.

 

I don't even know the biggest piece, but there is an art to this. This is on a few levels. I watched the recent Misano WSB race, and watching the field go through a series of turns, wow, it was simply stunning visually. Watching the best guys put the bikes right to their knee, then stabilize it there, and doing this in a crowd! Superb skill required to do this.

 

Then there is the art that one feels when a turn, or series of turns is done very well. The bike is precisely ridden, put on a very exact line, the bike is balanced on it's suspension, nice roll on at the exit, with excellent coordination of the body movement. This does not come easily, getting to that skill level. I've been a "student" since 1978, when I got my first street bike, and I'm still constantly learning. I wouldn't say I was a natural at this either, I have to work at it, for me this all adds to the "art" of it. If it were easy to attaint this, why bother?

 

That's one of the most personal pieces I've written publicly, hope you all don't mind.

 

CF

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Reading your note, Cobie, jogged my memory, and made me realize that a while ago, I actually did write down some of the things I like about riding! It was after reading Keith's article, Transcendental (which is fantastic, it's posted in the "Articles" section on this forum), so I went back and looked. This is what I wrote, at that time:

 

"For me, the best ride, the perfect ride, is when I can find that joyous excitement, the special thrill of feeling the bike skimming over the pavement, and seeing the track flowing swiftly by. There is a disassociation from concerns about "how I'm riding" or who is behind me or what I should change, it's all sensation and it seems like the controlling of the bike becomes nearly effortless.

 

For me, a really terrific fast turn feels like sledding down a steep snowbank, or swinging too high on the swingset; I've committed to the turn and now I'm just enjoying the ride, and seeing how fast I can go! There's a certain death-defying feeling to it, which makes it thrilling; and a certain perfection, when it all comes together exactly right.

 

When I can capture that feeling, I stop being a bundle of worries, and thoughts, and wasted motions, and start really having a ride."

 

Just reading that again makes me remember some really excellent days, and makes me want to go riding again, right now!

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Why do I ride?

 

I ride because it is the only place I feel like myself. I live with a very limiting muscle disorder, related migraine headaches and a history of repeated neck injuries. But on the bike, I am free! I am myself again. I move like myself: graceful, powerful, effortless and strong (maybe that's why I enjoy hard braking so much). I get a taste of that freedom when I'm using my electric mobility scooter, but the feeling is much stronger, and more authentically ME, on the motorcycle.

 

What's the most enjoyable part of riding?

 

Even though my daily commuter has a full fairing, the most enjoyable part is being outside in the wind. I love it when the air changes, and I feel it get 10 degrees cooler under the trees, or I feel the water in the air by the river. I love to hear how different roads sound or see the road open up and expand into a lush, green field. I love the smell of cut grass and old wood. The wind makes me feel like I'm touching the whole world at once.

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when i first started it was just because i saw how the others look cool on the bike. later on i understood that it is an art and requires skills. at this point of my life i ride to progressively and accomplish as many skill levels as i can and as perfectly as they can be achieved.

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