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Most Common Mistake You See In Other Riders?


warregl
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The article Keith posted yesterday got me thinking about this again last night. What do most inexperienced riders do to exceed the capabilities of these technological wonders we ride?

 

Last year I started riding with a new track day organization. They tend to be a friendly lot so I found myself meeting all sorts of new people and (as you would expect) talking riding experiences. One thing I noticed in those early conversations and in observation on that (and subsequent) track days, was the number of accidents in the beginner/novice group (most, thankfully, were simple lowsides).

 

Now I’m sure this is not surprising (it is called the novice group for a reason) but what was interesting to me was how many of these were riders ran a very modest pace and how many of them had no idea why they went down. Or worse the wrong idea (“my corner speed was too high for the tires” – I was on track with this rider and his pace was not his issue). So what specifically were these riders doing to override all of that modern technology (not to mention some of the physics) that was working to keep them upright?

 

I started spending time between sessions watching (and listening) to some of these riders specifically (and later to others) and one of the biggest things I noticed was improper use of the throttle. Specifically violation of throttle control rule number 1:

 

“Once the throttle is cracked on, it is rolled on evenly, smoothly, and consistently throughout the remainder of the turn.”

 

So what seems to be the most common mistake (or mistakes) you notice in other riders? Do you find yourself casting a more discerning eye on other riders after exposure to CSS or do you just see them as passing drills? :P

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I can relate to your recent experience. I moved last August and I started riding here at New Orleans Motorsports Park (NOLA) and mainly with a different track day organization. I'll definitely say throttle control errors is #1 that I see on track, but there are so many to choose from (many of them I might be doing myself :blink: ).

 

One related problem I noted a couple weeks ago is the organization itself and their self-made rider training/briefs. I found much of their explained technique confusing, and also contrary to what I've learned from California Superbike School (repeated schools) and also at Pridmores STAR School (once). I'm a pretty logical guy and if you can present me something that I can "get" just listening to your explanation, then we're in good shape. When I'm puzzled from the moment you start to the moment you finish, that's a problem...

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I'd have to go with poor body position. Lots of guys riding crossed up with their knee down. Goofy.

Yeah, for sure I see that too. The photographer at my last track day put all the pictures online for people to see/buy. I was looking at some of the riders pics thinking, "wow, that guy is crossed up something awful".

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On the street;

I would say turning in too early, especially on left hand turns.

 

It seems apparent to me that many people feel when going right, that the left hand lane (on coming traffic lane) is a safety net, so they are more apt to drive it in a little deeper before turning. On the contrary those same riders seem to be afraid of the shoulder and ditch and thus they start their turn in prematurely on left hand turns. Quite often cutting over the centerline or atleast on top of it and then having to make multiple steering changes throughout the turn.

 

On the track;

Charging turns followed by too slow of entry speed.

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I think the most common problem I've seen especially after teaching a few people to ride is keeping their arms tense. Death grip on the handlebars, pushing on the bars and just keeping their arms tense I think is the single biggest factor that makes a motorcycle unstable. A motorcycle is increadibly stable when its geometry is left to do its own thing by a rider with relaxed arms, once you tense up that stability goes out the window when it counts most.

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Lazy steering

 

steering corrections

 

going in too fast

 

throttle control

 

bad turn in point > caused by the above

 

PS. i usually observe a rider for one slow/medium speed turn and overtake him on the next medium/high speed turn

its safer imho , i can easily pull 4-5 bike lengths away .Its better to stay far away from some riders on the road...

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I see lots of riders turning in early - which is often followed by tense arms, poor throttle control then running wide which requires a steering correction, and in aggressive riders that can mean adding throttle and lean angle simultaneously at the end of the corners.

 

Something I see a lot on the freeway is riding duck-footed (toes hanging down close to the ground) which often indicates inexperience.

 

My husband chimed in on this one to say he sees a lot of riders hanging on too tight - shaking out stiff hands at stop lights.

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Yeah I have seen riders shake their hands too, in fact I used to do that when I first started riding.....of course I blamed it on the 30.00 cortech brand gloves I was wearing (didn't know any better) and later on found out that it was me. Although once I started really loosening up my grip the gloves were still bothering me and bought a 70.00 pair and never had the issue anymore.

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For street riding, it is painful observing young riders moving way too fast and apparently being unaware of all the potential hazards associated to traffic and road conditions.

 

I am not referring to the semi-unprotected squid that has developed enough skills to pull the eventual stunt on the street; that guy has managed to survive a couple of years of traffic and stunts.

 

I mainly refer to the 18 year old guy on a 600 cc sport bike, having so much life to be lived and testosterone as ignorance and innocence.

 

I am all for limiting the available cc's to young riders for the initial times of street riding.

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The most common mistake I see in riders, not just new ones I'm sure, is a Painfully huge gap in their riding gear. I swear just the other day I saw a guy in a Full Face helmet, Leather Jacket, jeans, A-Star riding boots and NO GLOVES. I've seen guys in Full Gear wearing flip flops before, or leather jacket and gloves but in shorts. I don't know what they are thinking, I understand the guys in skid lid's and wife beaters, but if your going to go 75-90% of the way there, why skip that one last item.

 

That and the concept that straight line speed and fearlessness while lane splitting somehow equates to skill or ability. I have a neighbor who claims to be a superior rider cause he will split lanes faster then I am willing too, but refuses to go for a weekend ride on some of the local roads, all ego no skill

 

Tyler

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...the concept that straight line speed and fearlessness while lane splitting somehow equates to skill or ability. I have a neighbor who claims to be a superior rider cause he will split lanes faster then I am willing too, but refuses to go for a weekend ride on some of the local roads, all ego no skill

Yeah, this is a good one...

 

I recall seeing a number of these types in our rider training. They could straight line their Busa like a champ and because of that you could barely get their attention when you talked about cornering. Get them on the range and their poor steering and throttle errors were scary, yet still they thought they were awesome.

 

We have a local AMA Pro who a couple weeks ago was telling me he often gets random street riders challenging him, telling him they bet they could ride faster/better than him. He invites them to the track and they give any number of excuses why that's beneath them. I guess this is just part of the "trash talk" culture we've ingrained in certain segments of America.

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I am all for limiting the available cc's to young riders for the initial times of street riding.

Although many American would cry foul, I generally agree with you on limiting cc's. I really don't know how successful tier systems have been elsewhere in the world, but I like the idea of a tier system which allows you to move up only after rigorous testing. Of course there would I'm sure be much heated debate over how to define a proper testing process. Also, as with many things subject to government regulation, I suspect the hardest part of managing such a system in the long-term would be preventing bureaucrats from corrupting it to further other agendas.

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Make attending CSS a prerequisite to getting a driving license !

 

We would have way better motorcyclists in the world then !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

j/k sorta (I am anti more regulation. I am not anti more learning and knowing what you are doing though.)

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Although many American would cry foul, I generally agree with you on limiting cc's. I really don't know how successful tier systems have been elsewhere in the world, but I like the idea of a tier system which allows you to move up only after rigorous testing.......

 

Maybe any legal limitation would be too extreme for USA, but some education and limitation on dealer's encouragement to inexperienced riders to buy the fastest machines would help saving some precious lives.

 

In my opinion, two days of MSF basic course (optional in several states) barely prepares anyone to jump into the jungle of traffic.

 

Motorizing that inexperienced person with 60 HP is almost criminal.

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Average cost to obtain a motorcycle permit in Norway these days is around USD 5000. Lots of mandatory training involved, both practical and theoretical. It has helped reduce the amount of accidents dramatically. I still think it is too severe as there are lots of people who cannot afford it. Car permit runs around USD 8000, BTW.

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In my opinion, two days of MSF basic course (optional in several states) barely prepares anyone to jump into the jungle of traffic.

A track-day friend of mine is a full time MSF instructor. As he puts it, MSF basic course trains you to ride at 25 mph in an empty parking lot... definitely not preparing riders for "street combat".

 

 

Average cost to obtain a motorcycle permit in Norway these days is around USD 5000... Car permit runs around USD 8000, BTW.

Holy ######! :o

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