Am I just not that good at riding? - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Riding and Survival Skills Tips for improving your riding skills and your survival on the road.

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Am I just not that good at riding?

I think I have an inferiority complex about my riding skills. I've been riding for about 8 years and gradually worked my way up to a Street Triple. However, my tires are about shot and I'd say there's a strip about an inch wide on each side of the Pirelli Rosso Corsas that has not touched the road. Is this is sign that I'm not leaning far enough or is this difficult to achieve when only riding on the streets? I see my dad's sport touring tires are used completely side to side and I always feel like I'm keeping up when I ride with him. I seek out some pretty curvy roads and I just have this feeling that I'm not pushing the bike into curves as far as I could/should.

In case you're wondering, I've never done a track day (nor do I plan on it) and I've never taken a class. I want to get better or at least feel more confident but it's tough when I ride mostly on my own.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 03:10 PM
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Read proficient motorcycling by david hough.

2005 Bonnie, Sleepers and Unifilter, AI gone, restrictor gone, Modre's peg kit, headlight & brake modulator, tach, NC wind deflector, gaiters, steibel, vmax mirrors, Hagons & Progressives, PIAA. http://TexasCoastGeology.com
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geolpilot View Post
Read proficient motorcycling by david hough.
Thanks for the suggestion, that looks right along the lines of what I need. I get Motorcyclist magazine and they have a pretty good column every month, but once a month isn't enough and sometimes they're too technical.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 04:01 PM
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Chicken strips (or lack of) are overrated. I have seen some people with no chicken strips who ride slower round corners than other riders whose tyres don't always wear that far.

I personally think being safe, competent with good judgement and confidence are what make a good rider, not lack of chicken strips.

Riders who lean away from the bike and push it down dirt bike style may have no chicken strips but aren't riding well.

If you want to be good at sports you get a good coach and train.

If you want to be good at riding, do practical training with people who know their stuff.

(Also as Geo suggested, read books on riding like Hough's. Or Nick Inetsch or Lee Parks etc.)

Doing an advanced riding or track course, you will learn heaps, grow in confidence and judgement and have a lot of fun too.

Think of an advanced training course like you think of a helmet - it is a safety device that makes a lot of sense and so you spend money on getting a decent one.

Aunty Mabel
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 05:03 PM
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If you've been riding for about 8 years, and are still here, then I'd say you are doing just fine. Ride to enjoy it, not to prove something. If you're in competition riding (racing) then sure, you've got something to prove. But recreational riders like me should stay well within our personal comfort zones. Do that, stay safe, and enjoy riding for years to come.

Oh, and I too recommend Hough's book, and its sequel, "Mastering The Ride."
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Last edited by VegasGeorge; 12-10-2015 at 05:05 PM.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 12:36 PM
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I agree with what was said before. Chicken strips don't necessarily mean anything. It could be that you aren't going fast enough to need the lean to reach the edge. It could also mean that your style means you don't need to lean as much for a given turn (good). Reading is great and I've read and continue to re read ALL the books referenced above. But, I highly HIGHLY recommend going to the track. I've taken classes from Reg Pridmore and Jason Pridmire. Both were ok. But, I got the most out of Keith Code. They have 4 levels offered one at a time. The first 3 address specific skills. The last one addresses anything you want. It worked for me because I didnt have to worry about debris, cops, drunk drivers, wrong way cars, etc. During each session, you get on track instruction, such as being followed and then " follow me". You get feedback after every session. There are different bikes that Code has developed to help you understand concepts. It's awesome.
Whether its Code or someone else, riding on the track (it's not a race) is the best way to gain confidence and learn new skills.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 01:23 PM
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Two of the fastest riders I have ever tried to keep up with (I failed miserably) have chicken strips on their tires. It's meaningless.

Enjoy the ride!
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 01:31 PM
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As others have posted, don't obsess over the width of your strips. If you want to take turns faster, do so in small increments. Don't ride over your head or confidence level, especially on the street. The only ones who care about how narrow your strips are, are others looking at them. Who cares what others may think or assume about your riding style or abilities. You may want to spoon on a set of sport touring tires instead of supersport tires to save some money. If you really want to remove those strips, go to an empty parking lot and ride in circles of decreasing diameter, slowly. You can even drag a knee while doing them at a much slower safer speed. Having strips means you have more tire to use when needed and you're not riding 100% in terms of a safety cushion.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-14-2015, 11:33 PM
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Regard chicken strips as reserve traction, and as suggested do an advanced riders course, just for the fun.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striplewebb View Post
I think I have an inferiority complex about my riding skills. I've been riding for about 8 years and gradually worked my way up to a Street Triple. However, my tires are about shot and I'd say there's a strip about an inch wide on each side of the Pirelli Rosso Corsas that has not touched the road. Is this is sign that I'm not leaning far enough or is this difficult to achieve when only riding on the streets? I see my dad's sport touring tires are used completely side to side and I always feel like I'm keeping up when I ride with him. I seek out some pretty curvy roads and I just have this feeling that I'm not pushing the bike into curves as far as I could/should.

In case you're wondering, I've never done a track day (nor do I plan on it) and I've never taken a class. I want to get better or at least feel more confident but it's tough when I ride mostly on my own.
Sounds to me like you're doing just fine.
Here's why~
1. You live in Ohio. That means you get to repeat you first year of riding every Spring. You don't progress very much when 90% of your riding is "review from last year."

2. DO NOT compare your riding to anyone else's. No, not even your dad's.

2a. Ride your own ride!

3. Get some training. Since you have ridden a few thousand miles, (please tell me this is so.) There's no reason you shouldn't take an ARC. (Advanced Rider Course.)

4. Over the Winter, you've got some homework to do.

You've already been made aware of Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" book.

Try this~

Hough's "More Proficient Motorcycling"

Ken Condon (anything by him.)

Motorcycle Consumer News (monthly magazine.) www.mcnews.com

Nick Inietch's(sp) "The Pace"

Fred Rau


I know I'm leaving a bunch out, it's not on purpose.

DVD's?

"Why We Ride"

If you like competition, then all the "On Any Sunday" titles are for you.

Lastly, don't discount the track for "racers only." Although, I recommend riding a bike that you can "walk away from" without too much financial impact.

The more you know, the better it gets.

Next time, you can tell us how Kamm's circle effects tire sidewall temperature!
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