Does a smaller bike make you a better rider?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by TheQ, Sep 11, 2021.

  1. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    My recent experience, I picked up a 300cc Ninja.
    Asked for some advice here, and then, rode and evaluated what was happening.
    More discussion, more riding.
    Of note the last two weekends riding my older 800cc Suzuki, I am more aware of a few things, and
    it has changed my riding.
    One of those is body position, in keeping weight off of my hands, which has effects on how the bike handles.
    The other is more active use of the transmission, and when and where I shift to take advantage of the machines
    abilities.
    #61
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  2. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    That is the way with trials, you can put most any rider on a trials bike, let them play, and in a relatively short time they will be feeling pretty confident with their achievements. But once the flags are put out, Their abilities are soon brought into a stout realisation that they got a lot to learn.
    there really is cno substitute for getting in the bike and riding.
    Pick a difficult task a route say uphill around a tree or polard.
    Go in keep the traction leaning forward and on the turn it digs in ploughs and you are footing. Try different approaches see if you can achieve the seemingly impossible.
    In such a situation as this, there might be many variations that get the job done, It could be perhaps you are losing traction / momentum just piror to the start of the turn. and if you feel this is the case vthen try getting up higher vuse your legs strenght to bear down weight feeling the grip, This will move the line straight to the point of contact of rear wheel, and has the added benefit of lightening the front but not completely unloading it giving enough grip to prompt the turn. and as such you just might be able to get your weight out and around the bike if you understand lightening your inside the turn leg weight and as you feel it losing grip just lean back and power it around leaning immediately forward getting the additional front end grip you need loading up the front suspension nice and tidy.
    it might be you hit multiple complications not for enough out and around to clear the back end round the tree, or that awkward root that insists on being strategically placed to ruin your momentum right where you just dont need to have it spoiled. In simple terms there is no substitute for hard yards, and present yourself with the most varied obstacles, and approach them from different angles learn and mental record them, because with this developed experience, you will be able to look at a section , make a reasonably accurate assessment on what you wil need to do to clear it. and hope fully with your new found and sharply honed riding tools get the job done.
    Ride its where its at. practice really does make perfect, whatever perfect is for each one of us does however vary some what. But one thing is for sure an average rider with more practice will become a better than average rider in due course.
    #62
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  3. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

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    Ride across the plains with a 50 MPH crosswind and tell me which is "easier" to ride between the two.
    #63
  4. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    That's easy, ride the train.
    #64
  5. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    Here’s a few random thoughts I’ve had on this.
    Yes it does, to a point. Then it doesn’t anymore and you need a bigger bike.

    For most things cycle related even a bicycle can teach you some of the dynamics. Then small dirt bikes/Groms can teach you a lot more about handling grip, slides, carrying corner speed, etc.

    BUT, if your quest is speed; nothing is going to acclimate your brain to the speed or a liter bike until you ride a liter bike, in anger on a closed course.
    The brain power required to manage the instant jump to hyperspace, Then the physical demands of wrestling the bull back down to earth as you quickly decend on the turn in marker is not achievable with a smaller bike.
    #65
  6. Vertical C

    Vertical C Long timer

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    Making something easier does not make you better, it reduces skills.

    Indeed the lighter bike in cross winds will teach you skills in handling cross winds that you don't need on the heavier bike. If you have more skills at your disposal then aren't you a better rider?
    #66
  7. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Yup.

    A smaller bike won't make you a better rider, it will get you to where you up to your potential skill level faster. (which is why motorcycle racing has classes)
    #67
  8. TheQ

    TheQ Been here awhile

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    @chainslap - the typo came from a) not rereading and b) using German correction on my mobile instead of English- pls forgive my typo and thanks to the one who already corrected it.

    @markk53 thanks for being so kind to ignore a small keying error.

    From all the great comments I learned a lot and that the answer to my question is a clear "yes".

    Stay safe
    Q
    #68
  9. Hero of Moka

    Hero of Moka Adventurer

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    I've been taking turns riding my 919 and R3 this year. I think I've gotten more comfortable carrying corner speed and staying in high revs on the 919, which certainly makes me faster on it.
    ..and I learned patience & tactics on the R3 because it can't do Warp 9 and pass any car instantly like on the 919.
    #69
  10. RowBust

    RowBust Long timer

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    Yes absolutely, it teaches you that being in the right gear and in the ultimate power band is so important. I've got 6 bikes from a 250 Honda Rally to a GSXS 1000 and riding the Rally is great at keeping my skills up
    #70
  11. Cheshire

    Cheshire Been here awhile

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    I'm a big fan of starting small...maybe even staying small-ish. Aside from the fact that larger seems to always cost more, there's a lot of skills I recognize in my riding that I would never have recognized the need to develop on a "big" bike. Power is a crutch. Learn how to do without it and THEN you'll appreciate it if you decide to get it.
    I went from bicycles to 125's, then bounced back and forth between 900's to 300's.
    I picked up a lot learning how to handle wind buffeting from being stuck in a semi's wake for miles at a time. How to time gaps & pass efficiently on a 125cc on a 55mph mountain 2-lane. I built up muscle memory for handling sudden wind shifts that would try to push you across the road on 200-300 pound bikes going through twisty mountain backroads. Skills development for winter riding in snow & ice... and how to handle everything from sudden gravel to getting stuck behind the snowplow slag wagon. (That...SUCKED.)

    I had a moment a few weeks back where, on my 900cc WC Bonnie, I hit a dip on the interstate in an uphill in the middle of a curve. If I didn't catch air for a second, the suspension definitely was completely unloaded. I handled it in stride just like dealing with sudden wind gusts & didn't even think about it until about 20 minutes later.
    #71
  12. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    Riding any bike, can make you a better rider.

    Altho, riding a smaller/less scary motorcycle may allow you to learn at a quicker rate. A "scared" rider isn't learning.
    #72
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  13. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    not much I could learn on a cruiser…
    Well, other than how to hold my beer!
    #73
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  14. Norty01

    Norty01 Occupant

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    See! It works!

    LOL!
    #74
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  15. VX Rider

    VX Rider Long timer

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    dunno, lets see your 'cruiser face'?

    maybe you need some work on that?

    and how is your asses chaps swagger? do you stroll or strut?

    so many questions
    #75
  16. davenowherejones

    davenowherejones short old guy

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    Are your chaps assless?
    #76
  17. AwDang

    AwDang Enabler

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    No chaps for me!
    70577B6D-8704-4927-85B3-3FC1D111309A.jpeg
    #77
  18. Cheshire

    Cheshire Been here awhile

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    If they aren't, they're just pants.
    #78
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  19. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    THANK YOU! I don't know why people like to say "assless chaps", it just makes them sound so fracking stupid.
    #79
  20. Bucho

    Bucho DAMNrider

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    Trials bike!
    #80
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