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Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by blk-betty, Apr 6, 2012.
They actually HAVE lessons for the accordion???
I look at all the times I'd gotten away with stoopid high-speed shit on my sportbike in my teens/early 20's in the '80's and shudder to think at all the bad things that COULD have happened. I lost skin on occasion, but managed to get lucky with nothing serious. I ALWAYS wore a helmet, and gloves, and sometimes leather boots (with no armor), but back then, there really wasn't any good, readily available riding gear. Especially some that was affordable. We were too busy buying weed, beer, coke, and spending our money chasing pussy. All they had was basically racing leathers, and none of us could afford those, or the occasional leather jacket without any armor. Today, there's TONS of great riding gear with CE armor and everything at reasonable prices. In today's world, it doesn't make sense to not have at least the basics.
It was fortunate I started riding street in 1975 in Ohio. They had a helmet law and the cool helmet to have was a Bell Star 90. So I had the great white egg, Bell Star 90.
From there I had a KRW, a Bell Star II Hondaline version, a Marushin (great helmet, first with decent venting), two AGVs, a KBC, a Shoei, and now a Bell Star DLX MIPS. Off road and dual sport I started with a Vetter (polycarbonate Bell Moto 3 or whatever), an HJC MX helmet, a Joe Rocket Hybrid (made by HJC), and now a Bell MX-9 Adventure.
A bit of progress over the past 45 years, my first helmet was just like that Star 90 and my most recent is just like that Bell Star DLX MIPS.
Do Bell still do the custom fitting service?
Well, having lived near Cleveland from '91 to '03, dunno if I'd say I was "fortunate" riding in Ohio!
No offense, I HATED living there. Besides the horrible weather, I had to ride down almost to Amish country just to get any decent roads. The only other sportbikers I met the whole time I was there were the squidly "Star-Boyz" types...er, ASSHOLES. I used to ride to Mid-Ohio to see the superbike races and t was ok there, but, I prefer riding in the West here.
My first street helmet was a Bell, then they stopped making street helmets and I became a Shoei helmet guy. Glad Bell got back into it though, my buddy loves his!
So jelly. There is one helmet in the universe that fits me all-day perfectly. One. I would kill for a great ADV helmet, and I'm all over this MIPS technology, and I'd have a bunch of helmets just for the variety if I could. But it's boring, expensive Arai Signets for me...
No offense taken, but you didn't live or ride in the right place. I was about 90 miles south, right on the edge of the foothills leading to West Virginia and the mountains, living in New Philadelphia. A few miles from home and I was on either a winding county road or secondary highway, some of which are considered some of the best riding in the country, or I was on some dirt/gravel road sliding around if I wanted. So it wasn't too bad for me. You just missed the good part by about 20 miles south and east of Amish country.
There are thousands of miles of roads packed down in the south and south east part of Ohio, so much in such a small area. I had to move for a job to the flat lands around Columbus, but will go east for some great riding that can rival anything in the U.S. for challenging fun rides. No snow capped mountains to look at, but lots of tight turns in the foothills and mountains of the Appalachians. One of the wildest long rides covers US Route 250 from Wooster OH to Richmond VA, with the WV section as stellar as anything. About 500 miles of roller coaster riding. Can you say "sport bike heaven"? Of course few are few heavily patrolled because of the sheer volume of miles. The Ohio version of the Dragon, 536 has a speed limit of 55 mph, but try to do it. Been on it several times, never seen a patrol car. Seems our roads are a well kept secret.
For quick local rides we can hit, look up the maps for Ohio SR 164 and 646 east of I-77 and SR 666, 78 and 555 (aka the triple nickle). Or the Ohio version of the Dragon, SR536 running up the hill from the Ohio River just across from New Martinsville WV. You just never got south far enough. I still haven't gotten to all the good stuff and I've lived in Ohio for 67 years now. I look forward to hitting some new stuff this next summer and on into the future. When we started dual sporting it increased the possible roads to ride by about 100 fold. Just 90 miles south and east of where you were.
I will suffer the winter for the spring/summer/fall riding in the east. Such is life...
Good for you. For me it is Bell for both street and dual sport. Those helmets I listed spanned from 1975 to date, I just listed what I had used. Bell had kind of dropped out of the motorcycle business for a while when focusing on bicycle helmets. It is nice having them back and making some great helmets now.
I didn't have to kill for a great dual sport helmet, the Bell fit me better than the Arai - that being the important part. The fact that it was at a bargain basement price was icing on the cake... oh, and it was boring matte black, good for my graphics.
You can say THAT again! I didn't do the long rides I do out here and had nobody to ride with (accidently rode with some Star-Boyz wannabe's once - got out of there quick) so, by the time I got down and did any decent riding, it was time to turn back home. The area around Amish country seemed pretty decent, and I did make it down to extreme South OH once to go to a friends parents house and hang with the family. We rode down South from there and I think got into Kentucky a little. Definitely nicer roads than around "The Mistake On The Lake", but after riding them, I guess I still much prefer the mountain roads here. I guess I like the flow of them better (especially on a literbike), and you generally don't have to dodge the horseshit like you do down in Amish country!
If you've never ridden (or even been) out here, you'll be amazed at the wide open spaces, and the distances you can cross in a day. If you haven't, you should try it! I can't wait to get my 890 R because doing all the touring I did out here, I found some amazing twisties (Lolo pass is 99 miles of twisties with little traffic, and no cops!), but there were a ton of dirt roads off to the side I would have liked to explore....and will be able to now.
That was the thing, I'd rather be away from the stuff that takes a liter bike to be entertaining. It has never been about the distance covered, it is about how the distances are covered.
The back roads of east Ohio are incredible on a supermoto or dual sport. Much like some of the Good Stuff in Kentucky a mid size bike is more fun, you can't use the engine as much as you use the handling. Same in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North and South Carolina on down. Funny part is we can do a hundred miles taking three-four hours and never get more than 30 miles from home, hitting all qualities of roads. Just gotta go do the turn left turn right tour... You know, you pull up to a stop sign and decide - turn left or turn right? Frequently a conundrum, which is going to be the most fun? Little towns around with little diners.
That is what I'm looking for. Like the set of turns on U.S. 50 in West Virginia, where there is one big yellow arrow pointing to the left and 20 feet to the left of it is a similar sign pointing to the right. You have to be listening too, if you hear air horns blasting it means a semi is coming the other way, taking up both lanes to make the turn. Route 50, route 250 and others are like that, a freaking riot on a dual sport/supermoto or a small/mid size bike. Google U.S. Route 50 or 250 and take a look at the map in the Appalachians. That's why I've never gotten too wound up on going west. So many roads, so little time. Some day I may get out there, but certainly isn't a priority for the riding.
If you ever come back you need to go into the mountains here. The roads aren't as sweeping and the views quite as breath taking, but the roads are incredible, most probably being developed from the wagon trails of the 1600s-1900s, winding up the mountains/hills and down. Thousands of passes traversed by thousands of roads of all kinds. Deal's Gap is a famous one, but there are far more than just that one as most who live in those areas can tell you. Crazy roads to ride. It's hard to point to one or two as the best. Like I say, if you follow the map of Route 50, occasionally switching to the satellite picture where you can zoom in you will see why it is incredible. Plus you can't see the elevation changes which simply add to the ride.
I'm sure you can point out that stuff out west, but it isn't exclusive, the riding. I know I'm missing some great views, but I can tell you I'm not missing great riding. It's here too, you just have to know where to look - and go.
Interesting part here is that in the east the off road racing rides tend to be smaller and also two strokes as well. Again tight terrain. Most XC racers are running the 250-300 two strokes instead of the 450s. Where the open territory suits the big bores, the tight stuff calls for the lighter handling small bores... kind of like the roads.
Both of you have some great points, I love riding the piney woods dodging pot holes and road kill or even some live road critters. The West has stuff I can’t get in the pines, I love coming down out of the mountains and seeing forever and the long sweepers or tight twistys dodging donkeys. It’s all good riding. I like the interstates to get there in a hurry.
Some of you in the middle of the country can hit both sides rather easily. It would take me between 1500-2000 miles of travel to get to the west, where the east is quite actually 40 miles from where I live now and just out the back door of where my friend lives, I stay with him when over in God's country, as the one insurance agent from northern Ohio called it.
If I had lots of money and time I'd go a bit of everywhere, including Australia and New Zealand, but right now I go out in my back yard so to say.
I've had nothing but literbikes since '84, so, I guess I'm kinda biased that way. I'm 6' 1"/225lbs without gear so I can toss one around like a smaller guy could a 600, but I guess I just didn't like the roads back there as much. It seemed I always had to watch out for wet spots (well, when it wasn't raining...all the time), and wet leaves, and with the trees that close together I couldn't look far enough ahead to get the lines I wanted, and there were SO many driveways off to the side I was always worried a car wouldn't see me and pull out. Also the trees always seemed to keep the roadway in the shade, so I didn't like that as well. We have some incredibly tight roads here that have a lot of elevation changes, and are super technical, but it's just different riding them. I feel I can ride a LOT harder, because I trust the pavement more, and I have better sight lines since there are a lot less trees, and also pine trees mostly grow up, not out, so there's more light on the road surface. In CO I rode pretty much year round except for when we had a bad winter. I remember on year on Dec 17th heading up 34 to Estes Park with a friend (RIP Steve-O), then South across 7, and it started snowing heavily on us! So we immediately followed 7 down to Lyons (my FAVE Front Range route, I absolutely murder that road...), and we ended up in bright sunlight in 70deg weather, feet up on the table, having a beer at Oscar Blues! Here's me at 12,000ft on Trail Ridge.
I guess I like riding the West so much because you can ride anywhere from 3,500 to 14,130ft elevation (Mt. Evans road) in just a few hours, everything from sweepers to tight switchbacks with dropoffs, and the most amazing scenery. then within hours of that be on your way to sandstone mesas.
I have a lot of bad memories of Cleveland (divorce, loss of my kids), and doubt I'll ever set foot there again. I wouldn't mind riding in the South though, maybe do the Dragon in the off season to avoid all the insanity, but I think my riding style just doesn't mesh well with that part of the country. At least on the 'RR, on the 890 R it might be a lot more fun. I guess I'll have to see!
I would love to ride in other countries and explore. I have family sponsitilities though.
To somewhat keep it on topic. I think the different terrain, roads and climate is a big deal on what and how much gear we use. To much of the whole “ Wear what I do or you’re dumb”. I like to see what others are rocking out in, maybe it will work for me.
Oh, and it's amazing to ride it over the top when they first open Trail Ridge after a winter of heavy snows. This was one of the heavier ones. You're riding in between 2 big vertical walls of snow, and all you see is a little slice of mountains in your tunnel vision. It's a bright, beautiful day, and even with all the snow, the roads are ice free, and it's actually pretty warm from all the sunshine! This is the snowblower they use to clear the road. the snowblower isn't driven by a PTO, that's not powerful enough. It has a SECOND diesel motor hanging on the back to drive it, and the serrated vertical blades cut thru ice AND any trees that have fallen across the road and are buried in the snow.. Badass!
Ok, back on topic. I have 3 distinct sets of riding gear, the a-stars Valparaiso suit above (LOVE it!), a set of a-stars 2-pc roadracing leathers, and a set of mesh riding gear for when it's really hot and the ventilation in the Valparaiso isn't enough. For the 890 R, I plan on getting more a-stars gear:
Andes Pro Drystar® Jacket | Alpinestars
Andes V3 Drystar Pants | Alpinestars
Toucan Gore-Tex® Boots | Alpinestars
Andes V3 Drystar® Glove — Alpinestars
And being a Shoei guy, will probably get a:
Shoei Hornet X2 Helmet | Adventure Helmet | Motorcycle Helmet - Performance Cycle of Colorado
I don't mind spending $$ on a-stars gear, because so far it works great and lasts. My boots and leathers are over 14 years old and still work great! Oh, and that's another advantge in the mountains: If it's hot, you can wear protective gear you'd normally be sweating your balls of in (i.e. roadracing leathers) and just bop up into the mtn's where it's 20-30deg colder!
Yeah, there is not much escaping the heat here in Tejas. In the mid 80’s today. I am still wearing a Kevlar shirt and jeans.
I would say that is as good a reason as I can think of... Plus like I was pointing out, there are far more roads in the Appalachians than just the Dragon, ones that would favor the big bores more so than places like the Dragon and OH SR536. A bit more straight between the turns.
I just see it that there are a lot of places on either side of the U.S. with two mountain ranges. One has less and more open roads due to the settling of the west, suiting the big bores. It also has the younger mountain range with the craggy peaks, higher elevation, and the spectacular views given. The other has more roads in tighter network, again due to the settling of the west, the mass migration and the farming causing the creation of some tight interesting riding. The views, though less spectacular are interesting none the less. So we adapt to our surroundings and grow to appreciate them. The main reason I haven't been out west on a motorcycle, besides opportunity, is that I can hardly stand the drive from Columbus over to Illinois (went to Springfield), so I just don't want to go on further west when there is so much in the east. I can understand someone like you feeling the same about going from west to east. My apologies to all you people in the flat lands, but it has to suck for riders being so flat and straight.
I don't think we've "established" that ATGATT is overrated, BUT, I DO like the "Appropriate" in place of "All", since, at least for me, I'll wear LESS protection (though still "All" - i.e. helmet, jacket, pants, gloves, and boots) when it's super hot, and full leathers when it's not.
I kind of consider CO and now NM, sort of a central place actually, since I really have little desire to make it all the way back to the East coast. So, for me, I look at a radius of about 1,500mi maybe from there, which brings me to the West coast (rode my Gixxer to Spokane by the twistiest route possible and back one summer), and about as far East as I'd want to go.
If you're ever interested in riding the West out here, let me know. I can only vouch for the pure pavement roads so far, but I know some awesome routes in probably 1/2 dozen states here I can point you to! Or maybe if the timing is right and I have my 890 R, we could ride some of the pavement parts AND do some of the dirt bits I've wanted to do. It might be a good idea to trailer your bike out so as to avoid the boredom crossing Kansas etc.
My goal is to try to spend a lot of time running around in the Appalachians, Skyline and Blue Ridge. Close to home starting with fun stuff right off the bat. I think a lot of us are like that, want to play in the back yard as long as it provides the fun stuff.