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Why Do You Ride?


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This is an article in which I want to encourage people to share stories, feelings, experiences that defines why they ride a motorcycle.

 

 

Mine:

 

When I ride I feel at home, almost as if it is my one and only home, never able to be my compete self elsewhere. From the moment I put my helmet on I can feel the change. I stand straighter, sudenly am alert of everything, then mount the bike. That's when the fun starts. :P This is why I ride.

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For me, street riding and track riding are totally different from this perspective. On the street, it's mostly about solitude and being in a beautiful place on a bike (on the street I'm mostly a touring rider).

 

On the track it's about focus and sharpening myself to a razor's edge. I've never really been happy with myself unless I'm competing, be it with other people or with myself. Since I was very young, I have been obsessive about being absolutely as good at anything that I do as I can possibly be. (and with track riding I have a LONG way to go, so it's sort-of like job security for my Dr. Jekyl side :lol: ) And now I have a place to focus this little obsessive compulsive aspect of my personality so that it doesn't drive my wife completely batty. It doesn't hurt that it is the only hobby/obsession that's has grabbed hold of all parts of my life.

 

It's physically tough, and has driven me to intensify my workouts again, back to how I was playing basketball in college a few years back. It just really ticked me off that as physically fit as I thought I was, after level 3 with CSS, I was completely beat at the end of the day. I couldn't see letting conditioning get in the way of me going faster.

 

It's Intellectually challenging. I never realized how much I would need all of my engineering classes in the real world until I started riding motorcycles and trying to REALLY understand the intricacies of them. From the simple act of countersteering, to how suspension set-up, swing-arm pivot location, fork offset, etc...effect the behavior of this machine all just enticed me, and I have to learn more.

 

And, (this may sound a little fruity) looking for that perfect lap is a big time spirtual high. I tend to liken it to surfing and looking for that perfect wave, or snowboarding and getting the perfect run. For weeks after a track day, I feel so much more focused in every way.

 

So there's my rambling reasons for riding.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think riding puts me in a higher level of consciousness. It gives me that feeling of giddiness when I started riding every time I learn something new or make a perfect line through succession of turns or even narrowly escape getting run over because I reacted quickly enough to get out of the way. Even all of the looks of jealousy and admiration from every bystander you pass. Plus, you can't ride wheelies in a car.

I could say the danger, but actually I feel ten times safer on my bike than in my truck.

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I think riding puts me in a higher level of consciousness. It gives me that feeling of giddiness when I started riding every time I learn something new or make a perfect line through succession of turns or even narrowly escape getting run over because I reacted quickly enough to get out of the way. Even all of the looks of jealousy and admiration from every bystander you pass. Plus, you can't ride wheelies in a car.

I could say the danger, but actually I feel ten times safer on my bike than in my truck.

 

 

Oh I know what you mean. Even though somtimes you realize that riding on the road is cheating death I feel more comfortable and able on the bike than in a car. I actually get more nervous on the freeway in a car, I hate driving on it... haha good stuff

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Other than some dirt bike riding in the early 70's I just started back on the street with a SV650 in 99. Now I have a Daytona 675, KLR650, and just recently a ZX14. I find that the more I ride, the more I get out of it and also realize how unskilled and ignorant I am. My riding goal is to improve my skill and knowledge and so far I am really enjoying doing that. I love riding the back roads in the mountains and the local twisties. If I lived in an urban area I probably wouldn't ride. Well maybe, but the fun factor would be far less.

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Other than some dirt bike riding in the early 70's I just started back on the street with a SV650 in 99. Now I have a Daytona 675, KLR650, and just recently a ZX14. I find that the more I ride, the more I get out of it and also realize how unskilled and ignorant I am. My riding goal is to improve my skill and knowledge and so far I am really enjoying doing that. I love riding the back roads in the mountains and the local twisties. If I lived in an urban area I probably wouldn't ride. Well maybe, but the fun factor would be far less.

 

 

That's a great outlook towards riding. Self improvement of skill. I know what you mean. I live outside of town and have to comute into town, the best part of the ride is the first 6 miles or so... before you get on the freeway or in town. ZX14? That's a pretty large bike for not having ridden for a while. WelL I guess you have been riding again since 99 which is longer than I have been riding but still, that's the mothership of bikes. How do you like it?

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I had a R1200ST and traded on the ZX. The ZX is basically more exciting than the R12ST, handles almost as easily, tracks like on rails, has good tractable power at lower rpm and gut wrenching power above about 5000. Its really fun and not hard to ride. I'm faster in the corners on the 675 but the ZX is still a lot of fun. Its reasonably comfortable and smooth just riding the slab. It's loafing along at 80 mph at 4000 rpm in 6th. Redline is 11,000.

 

It's not a boring bike. I do also use it like a SUV for daily chores and commuting. Joe Rocket soft saddlebags will carry a bunch of groceries.

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You can pretty much copy/paste mike isbill's answer for me. Starting with the solitude and beauty of touring right down to the obsessive/compulsive competing with myself for the sake of being the best I can possibly be. That is to say like the ancient Greek philosophy of Arete as experessed in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance..."Excellence for the sake of excellence". And competition seems to help bring out that extra bit I never knew I had.

 

Teaching completes the cycle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's a good thing there are people "racer" and others who are willing to give something back to the sport. It makes it better for the rest of us. Actually, anyone participating in these forum threads is giving something back by sharing their experience and knowledge.

 

 

I agree with you completely. Not to rain on any parades but can anyone recomend another good forum for racing motorcycles and/or getting started? I know this one is supposed to focus moreso on CSS so I was looking for another one to participate in also.

 

Racer,

 

 

That's a great description. I can't wait until I can get out on the track and to a school day so I can try being the best that I can be for a day with no worries of buses, tractors, gravel, oil, no runoff, etc...

 

It's a good thing there are people "racer" and others who are willing to give something back to the sport. It makes it better for the rest of us. Actually, anyone participating in these forum threads is giving something back by sharing their experience and knowledge.

 

Oldfart,

 

 

 

I agree with you completely. Not to rain on any parades but can anyone recomend another good forum for racing motorcycles and/or getting started? I know this one is supposed to focus moreso on CSS so I was looking for another one to participate in also.

 

I have riden a hayabusa (suzuki equiv) and it is so amazing to roll on at 4k rpm have the wheel lifet at about 6.5k and carry it until 10.5 or so. It's so much fun to ride but there is a lot of room for error with that much power.

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