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Old 27th March 2017, 13:56   #16
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Great post - thanks for sharing!

Some of the points you listed are applicable even to car groups. When out in a group, somehow the guys at the back try to keep up with the ones in front, at any which cost. If they are in a faster car, it further bruises their ego. What the heck?! Enjoy the drive, man.

I personally don't like to venture out in big groups because progress is too s-l-o-w, or there are too many breaks. When I go offroading, it's just 2 - 3 other 4x4s with me. People I know, and whose skills & maturity levels I trust. Whatever large events I've participated in, movement was way too slow in the jungle and there was too much of one-upmanship. In comparison, whenever our small group gets stuck in the wilderness, we actually enjoy it, have a couple of laughs and move on.

If & when I'm lucky enough to own a superbike (probability is <5%), I'll head out with 2 or 3 riding buddies...at a pace I'm comfortable with.
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Old 27th March 2017, 14:28   #17
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Super post. And absolutely commendable what you did there. I sincerely hope the guy recuperates to his fullest. And you too! It takes time to get back the confidence to ride again without a worry.

Riding in a big group is the worst thing you can do. Especially if you don't know the people you are riding with. It's better you ride alone or with friends. Manage your pace. It's not necessary to gunn it all the time, look for places where possible, make a calculated decision. Even then, there are chances things can go wrong quite easily. Listen to your instincts. Days when you don't feel like riding, don't force yourself to get out there. You will not concentrate. And a mistake at some point is inevitable.

I buy the argument "partly" that you need to gradually build the confidence to a Superbike. But that's not necessary. I can from a RD 350 with no riding in between for some time to a litre class bike. Self discipline goes a long way. These are public roads, not the track. Just need to be super careful. Period.

Lastly. Riding gear can only do that much. The moment you get those 2 wheels moving, you are at risk. Let that be at 50 or 200 kmph.

I am from Bombay. If you ever want to meet, shout!! Ride peacefully. You are the judge to your own skill. In time with you riding more often, you will get way more comfortable. Try and ride outside of the city. It will help build confidence. City is the worst place for that Ducati!

Get going soon! All the best.
R

Last edited by Odeen12 : 27th March 2017 at 14:35.
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Old 27th March 2017, 14:50   #18
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Very well written post. Kudos to you for helping fellow rider at times when its most important to show biking brotherhood is anything but pure.
I never been into Super-bike group rides for just one reason i.e. I don't have a super bike yet. Still I'm not complaining because I feel I am not missing much. I started touring with humble 150 cc bike and gradually moved to duke 390 and after riding for good 10 years, still felt I have lot to learn on Indian roads. I was very fortunate to ride under the guidance of some of the most sensible and smart riders I have came across. Safety comes first, fun later. was our concern every time we took bike on a ride. We have sometime done 600+ kms ride in a day with group of 10 to 12 and it was all fun all the way, reason being we never pushed anyone to do anything more then they are not comfortable with and Bullying people for slow speed they do on higher capacity bikes was not in our brotherhood dictionary. We stopped for people and never let any one left behind no matter how much delay it might be just because he might be slow.
We learnt some lessons with some minor mishaps but fortunately nothing really big and i hope it remains same way. I have friends in Super Bikes community and I was told that many times all it matter in the group is who got bigger bike, most expensive gears, next super bike in line and bullying slow riders.
Well, if thats the case, I rather stay with my regular tourer friends who mentored me to be a safe and responsible rider who enjoy the road and respect safety of own and others above its craze for speed on public road.
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Old 27th March 2017, 14:59   #19
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Quickly Sen, I think you're better off finding folks like V12 and Odeen right here from Bombay to ride with...you dont have to ride with a bunch of ducati fanboys to say the least.

I'm in Mysore, and I hope to meet like minded folks at some point here.

There is a similar group in Bangalore with a dedicated thread, where only TBHPians ride out together, I sense that these folks are mostly mature folk and they've been riding for quite a few years without incident.

Maybe you can start something similar in Bombay with a dedicated riding thread for riders there on TBHP.

Last edited by Red Liner : 27th March 2017 at 15:14.
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Old 27th March 2017, 15:30   #20
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Smile Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Hey Sen,
Interesting Post. I did read the first half yesterday, read the complete post today. The accident part was indeed sad and lest hope you don't have to see such things again.

Remember, the pleasant feeling is when you are confident that you will come home back after the ride.

Also don't let the feeling of discomfort of pushing yourself every-time take over the pleasure of riding, the very reason you have counted big ones and now paying the EMI.

I can completely understand the feeling of slowing the group down and trying to push yourself just to be with the group. I am the one who is "Captain slowest" when I started riding with the T-BHP banglore guys. Thankfully the group was much more accomodative to let me ride by my speed. A bunch of gems those guys are. I said was because not that i am fast now, I shifted out of Bangalore.
The key is to always find a group of mixed riders, Dukes, Ninjas, Bullets and of-course SBK's. This helps to keep the overall fun element in the riding intact and not go overboard during rides.

P.S.: Do give a shout if you want to accompany me, Just that i will be slower than you, that I ride Bullet I stay in western suburbs.
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Old 27th March 2017, 15:51   #21
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Hope the rider is now out of danger. Great thread Sen and good stuff you did to help.

Add me to the list of people who really don't enjoy group rides Have been to few of them, since many of our friends kept inviting. But at the end of the day, i realized it is really not my cup of a tea.

Bike is my daily ride and i don't have any pent up emotions or urges that i need to urgently fullfill when weekend comes, but if i get to a great trip with my close buddies i jump in. It's the trip and company that matters to me more than the need for speed. I do let go a little when conditions are really good and i am in right frame of mind to focus. Otherwise i enjoy the scenery and prefer to cruise along, even if the whole group breaks away from me. At 40 i don't think i have any ego left in me that can be pricked by being termed as captain slow. I have started liking it also lol

Honestly in a 1 - 1.5 hour stretch the time gap between "captain slow" and "in heat" guy would be max 10 minutes. It just not worth it on our unpredictable Indian roads.
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Old 27th March 2017, 16:07   #22
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Sen,
It was noble of you to care for the wounded one, Have seen many other 'escaping' cleverly in times of distress.

When it comes to group riding, personally I believe that the groups should be smaller & discreet (max 3-4).

Larger group == More Sound, More unwanted attention (great for enthusiasts though!)
The real problem will start when you attract unwanted attention, from Law enforcement, Village Folk etc.

There have been cases of Traffic police stopping and harassing riding groups & super car groups (recent Chennai incident).

Ride Safe. Enjoy the Monster. Responsibly.
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Old 27th March 2017, 16:20   #23
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

A super post by any measure and while I am not a biker by self, I can appreciate the sentiment by OP of feeling the discomfort of not being in control beyond a speed threshold. I get the same feeling when I drive my hatch beyond 110 and I see smaller hatches do 140+ on highways.

I probably am also able to relate to the general dislike of riding in large groups as I feel same about running For me, it is either with my better half or alone.

Kudos to sticking around the injured rider as I am very sure the queasiness would have taken over my gut and the hospital would have had to manage two of us than just the injured guy. Our roads needs more people like you around!
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Old 27th March 2017, 17:23   #24
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
I hope I never have to ride again consumed with that smell and those thoughts.
I hope that you never have to, there are a few helmet cleaners that you can use. But I think you should change the lining or the helmet entirely because the lining has specific compression properties that get destroyed if drenched.

I think the most important factor is the confidence you have while riding, and after all these years I think it depends on the bike. After reading the write-up I want to recommend that you check if some ergonomic changes (handlebar risers, comfort seat etc.) is helping your confidence while riding? Also, accelerate in a higher gear, or just use lesser gears for riding. It should be much more comfortable and overall quicker for you. You should never feel overwhelmed during acceleration because it might lead you to no react to obstacles under acceleration.
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Old 27th March 2017, 19:02   #25
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Thanks everyone for your kind words. It wasn't really a choice for me at that point in time. The guy was bleeding like nothing I have seen before, any delay would have escalated the situation out of control. Everyone including me did whatever we could the fastest we could. It was real lucky for him that he could receive proper medical care within 10 minutes of the incident.


I agree with what everyone has largely said, it's definitely much more peaceful and enjoyable to ride alone or in a small group. I have ridden my bullet for 13 years, all alone. Never ever with any friend or group. It is the most blissful experience to ride it alone through empty long roads, listening to the thump and humming some nice song.

Mr. Wangtu, who eventually decided to buy the Bonnie against my most sincere admonition, has written a beautiful description of riding solo through the country side here . The feeling he has expressed echoes mine.

But Superbike is a different thing. I never had experience with this kind of thing ever before. I have watched millions of youtube videos and have read even more blogs, articles and write-ups. But that doesn't help a lot in understanding how this thing rides in real life. If I am to approach this solo, I will most likely never learn. I know that there are superbike schools, but they are expensive, time-consuming and very far from Mumbai. There's one go-kart track in Kolhapur, but I don't know how good it is. Given all that, I need advice and feedback and tips to improve my riding. Because I want to ride well and faster than I can now.

The good thing about groups and the whole idea of biker brotherhood is that they do care. I saw it on that fateful day and on all other days. Most of the senior riders with 7-8 years of superbiking behind them are busy and important people. They go through as harrowing a week as I do or probably a lot more. Still every Sunday, they would stay behind me, give me continuous feedback on my mistakes and patiently wait for me at every stop. Sometimes they make fun of me, maybe a tad unkind at times, but I am old enough to see the genuineness behind the humour. They have no real reason to, but still they invite me for every ride knowing fully well what to expect of me.

The problem is in the newbie himself, not the group. I have had first-hand opportunity to witness the lack of humility in people when they receive unfavourable feedback about their riding. They do not understand that the senior who was making fun of me would rather wait for me at every stop than calling my wife. As I see from the perspective of a beginner, I need all the advice and help I can get to improve my skills. Thanks to the groups, I can get all the free advice and support, which I haven't earned.

So, for the time being, I will stay in my group and focus on improving my riding little bit at a time. And I will avoid the big rides to support, celebrate or (funnily enough) mourn something.
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Old 27th March 2017, 20:07   #26
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

My project manager advised me against speeding on the next day I bought my first car (a second hand golf gti) - 'You rather arrive 15 minutes late, than departing 15 years early, son!'

He was a 50+ year old British guy who has owned a lot of motorbikes and cars. I always remember him for some of his witty, yet informative one liners.

I think it is applicable here, as it is applicable to any riding groups.

Stay safe, Cheers!
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Old 27th March 2017, 20:44   #27
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

I hope your Friend is recovering well, and hope he gets back to making bird cages out of hawai chapals and goo soon. Thank god, it din't turn out worse!

This is one of reasons I dumped group rides, even if I do go along with a group, I ride at my own pace and let the sweep know about it.

I've never had a SBK, I was never able to catch up with my riding buddies from even the P220 or the CBR250 groups during the couple of big rides I went along. But the groups momentum makes you push yourself beyond whats comfortable. Thereon, I ride with max 3-4 folks from close circles. Bike or car, 100 +/- 20 kmph is what I can do on max.

Now that I have shifted to a Thunderbird, fast is 85kmph and I am happy there, I brake early, accelerate slowly, ride defensively, don't attack every corner like its the last, and leave the rest to the Biking gods, like someone twice my age would.

At the end of the day, I want to come back home riding the bike, not in a ambulance (that happened once in 2004, promised myself I would never do that to myself again!).
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Old 27th March 2017, 20:53   #28
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A quick update -
I spoke him an hour ago. He has been discharged today and is heading home. Medical procedures were successful. He would still need two or three months of recovery at home.
He seemed to be in an upbeat mood but he is scared about the earful he was gonna receive once he reached home..
I spoke to his dad too, got an earful myself.
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Old 27th March 2017, 21:16   #29
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I personally don't like to venture out in big groups because progress is too s-l-o-w, or there are too many breaks.
+1 to this. Now a days more of this group riding is desperation for online visibility and hype. Damn, how many groups you can see on weekends, Enfield group, Versys group, KTM Group, CBR Group, Benelli Group, Litre class groups and what not. Heck, I have seen scooters too It is only adding mess on the roads. People have just forgotten what matters is the ride and not the group in itself.

I have been doing solo rides (worst case a very small group of 2 or 3 bikes) and drives for years now. No ego bruising or anything, I am at my own comfortable pace. What matters to me is the ride/drive, the satisfaction and enjoyment associated with it.
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Old 27th March 2017, 21:18   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
A quick update -
I spoke him an hour ago. He has been discharged today and is heading home. Medical procedures were successful. He would still need two or three months of recovery at home.
He seemed to be in an upbeat mood but he is scared about the earful he was gonna receive once he reached home..
I spoke to his dad too, got an earful myself.
Lol, by the sound of things looks like the poor chap might prefer an extended stay at the hospital than go home!

Or maybe his family will send him back in a bit lol.

You don't mess with Indian parents, no sir!
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