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In YOUR opinion how many miles until you are a "good" rider. I see many posts where someone more experienced tells someone with less than say 6000 miles under their belt that its not shit and they have no skills yet. I know of riders in my area that have 100,000+ miles and almost all of them are in a straight line on a cruiser....Are they "good" riders? Are they better than the guy with 5000 miles of twisties to their credit simply because they have logged more time even though they have not pushed their bikes at all?? I am not looking to get flamed (again)....I am just curious what you guys and gals think?
 

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That would be a loaded question, As you said it depends upon experience not so much as miles ridden. On the other hand miles does count for time in the saddle also but depends on experiences while there. Hope that isn't too confusing.
 

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No one can answer this question definitively. I think that it is more of a survivorship issue, rather than number of miles. Are you talking about a good street rider, or track rider? The more miles, the better up to a point. After riding for 40 + years, I don't think I have any more tricks/tips to learn about riding better.

When a new rider realizes how vulnerable he is, has had a few close calls, and drives defensive, always, he is experienced.
 

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i feel it also depends on the rider some riders have a natural talent and skill to ride and it seems like they've been riding forever...then you have people who jus dont get it and dump there bikes more often then they start the things...you also have to take into consideration the type of bike you have experience on...when you comfortable and apart of your bike when you ride you're getting close...
 

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i don't think there is any imaginary line that when crossed it is determined that you are now a good rider. Everyone learns at different rates, and everyone has different skillsets. Some people may take to riding a bike like a duck takes to water and just have some natural skill and reach a rather high skill level within the first few riding, whereas it might take someone else 5 years and alot more miles to reach that same skill level. Now that skill level doesn't mean that you have the "experience" to be able to handle emergency situations correctly. Like anything else, I believe that occurs over time with experience and exposure to different "emergency" situations. It needs to be second nature to you to be worth it. Kinda like martial arts, you can take martial arts and learn how to do all the correct movements, and skills, and be able to perform them in a class or sparring session(controlled environment), but alot of times someone who has only been taking martial arts 1-3 years if being placed in an emergency situation where your going to be jumped by 2 or 3 guys those skills go out the window because you actually have to THINK about what your doing, and its not second nature to you, it doesn't come natural. I believe a bike is the same way, it won't become natural, or second nature without a fair amount of miles and time in the saddle logged, but how much differs from person to person.
 

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at 4363 miles you've got a good idea of how things work

at 6215 miles you've probibly had a mishap or 2 and learned how to handle it...either well or poorly...either way you've then sought how to improve


at 8455 miles you've seen enough to qualify for respect

at 10,458 miles you've had 3 oil changes under your belt and if you did them yourself you're familiar enough with your bike to be a seasoned novice


at 32,433 miles, you can give advice


at 117,865 miles you can be a cynical bastard


at 345,776 miles you really could care less about anyone else....you're too busy riding





















This of course is all horse crap :lol and I'm sooo full of it
 

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its not how many miles its how long it takes to be smoth and flowing. However long it take to be defensive. And however long it takes to know your not the best and shit will happen to you and expect it to. Also when you actually listen to what outher more experienced riders have to tell you without getting pissed off. Then and only then are you a good rider
 

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Nobody can give you a magic number and say you'll be a good rider once you reach that. I think it's more that someone who's been riding for years and has thousands of miles under their belt hates seeing some guy who's ridden for three months and 2,000 miles saying, "my first bike was an R1, and I'm doing fine."
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the honest answers....
 

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I was a good rider after 1,420 miles. :D
 

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There really isn't an answer to this. Your question is vague. Do you mean good twisty rider, as in high skills? Or do you mean a rider that knows how to handle himself on the road? I have about 60,000 miles experience on the street and have ridden dirt since i was 12. I consider myself a good all around rider. But if we get in the twistys i am 100% positive i am not the best and that even someone with only 2000 twisty miles on their bike could smoke me. But which would you rather take advice from on issues like defensive riding or how to emergency brake, or what tire gets the most mileage? Don't get me wrong.... i can carve a damn corner but there is always someone faster that is willing to let it all hang out on the street..... The more miles i have gotten under my belt the less i tend to let it all hang out. I am more cautious of my surroundings, but when the time is right i wick it up.

I don't know how else to answer this. Its totally dependant on the individual.
 

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I've got about 60k miles under my belt, and I think I am an experienced rider, but every time I get off the bike, I still try to think of what I could have done better on my ride.
 

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jim schmidt said:
I do know this: It takes about ten times as long to be a good rider as it does to feel like one.

Best answer ever......are you listening noobies? Just because you THINK you are a good rider, you still aren't.....
 

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jim schmidt said:
I do know this: It takes about ten times as long to be a good rider as it does to feel like one.
Couldn't have said it better myself!
 

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the number of different situations a rider has faced and encountered will make them more or less, an experienced rider.

if you rack up thousands of miles going back and forth in front of starbucks, that doesnt make you experienced. if you have ridden for 10 years but only on the third thursday of every odd month, that doesnt make you experienced.

if you have been there, done that, owned more bikes than you can count on one hand, wrenched on them all, ride twisties, highway, city, backroads, in the sun, in the rain, in the snow, no traffic, heavy traffic, rush hour in downtown san francisco traffic, heard and told a million stories at the wall, or alices, or the junction, at Nukes, at Mothers, at the RockStore, seen a crash or two, maybe even had a crash or two, then yeah, you might be experienced.

An experienced rider is aware of everything around him...he see's the car pulling out in front of him, or the loose dirt at the apex of the turn. He knows when it's safe to go fast or bust a wheelie and when to back it off a bit. Experienced riders are smooth and mistakes are rare. You can't make this assesment standing in a parking lot...you have to ride with them.
 

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Good post Tony, agree with you 100%.
 
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