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Old 27th March 2017, 22:01   #31
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Excellent post and a good cautionary tale.
I've completely abandoned group rides. I like to set my own pace (considered slow by some) and ride more defensively than most, which I think is necessary in India. When in California, I change my driving style accordingly and go at around 120-140 kph on the freeways, which is commensurate with the road conditions there. I personally do not want to cross 120 kph for a long period of time on either two or four wheels on Indian roads, given the general unpredictability and lack of traffic coordination.

Plus, in a couple of the group rides I've been on I've seen riders starting off in various states of inebriation, which really sent my alarm bells ringing (I ended up riding back solo via a different route when that happened). I've found it much more enjoyable to go off on my own, setting my own pace and going where I please, or with a small group of close friends, than to be drummed in with a large group of people I barely know and whose reliability I'd be uncertain of.
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Old 27th March 2017, 23:06   #32
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

You helping the injured chap deserves a pat on the back. Well done.
You mentioned you had to fill out a form of some sort for the police? There is an advertisement on the radio saying the Supreme Court has decreed that no such form needs to filled, right? Was it mandatory to fill the form(s), or did you do so voluntarily?
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Old 27th March 2017, 23:54   #33
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

I don't think it is mandatory to fill the form.

The hospital doctors or other staff did not hold up any process for it. They told us that the police paperwork should be included in his file, and group people thought it was necessary to report the accident to police.
I didn't think much about it then and went to police station.

As such there was no damage to anyone, so police did the paperwork and handed over the acknowledgement at documentation level only. And they sternly told me to avoid speeding on public roads.

Last edited by sen2009 : 27th March 2017 at 23:57.
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Old 27th March 2017, 23:59   #34
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Sen , read your post and can relate with what you say completely, I also used to ride solo until last month when I met some riders and have been on few weekend rides to khopoli/ lonavla, it's a small group with mostly elder very experienced riders , we don't have any protocol regarding high speed riding, I am mostly the sweeper as I am the last to arrive , but there is also a reason I choose to stay behind experienced riders, and it's that I like to follow their riding line as it helps me to see condition of the road and how the bike ahead is behaving. It gives me a little more confidence to ride at a slightly higher pace .
Coming to riding gear, I cannot emphasis enough how important this item is specially when you are riding a heavier and faster machine. Two wheelers are inherently unstable and a small lapse in judgment ,concentration or plain bad luck (dog , cat buffaloes etc coming in the way) can be disastrous.
As I think you mentioned your GoPro wielding rider Friend was wearing proper riding gear , imagine his fate if he wasn't wearing those bits of safety gear he might not have made it among the living. Hope he is recovering well.
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Old 28th March 2017, 00:25   #35
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Great write up and glad to read the more or less, good outcome from the whole ordeal. To hear that the chap is fine and will make a full recovery is good to know. Coming to your issue about riding, you may choose not to hear me out since I barely have 1 and a half years of riding experience, under my belt; I started out on a rental Yamaha FZ-16 which I rode for close to a month and got bored of within a week, then I eventually bought an RC390 for myself. I think what is key is that you need to buy a bike that is slightly challenging to ride, but will help you hone your skills. It should not be like that 150cc FZ which I got bored of within a week, but neither should it be too powerful to use on the street. Honestly a Monster 821 is overkill for our Indian roads I feel (no offense meant I would personally love to own one but I think it is also an inhibitor to your improving your skills). I know several keyboard warriors will say oh but people start on such bikes abroad but you really need to keep in mind our road conditions here. The roads are not as smooth, and the rules are being violated every second. That said, considering you have already bought yourself this powerful exotic machine, you must take it to the track because that is the only place you will be able to use its full potential. It is expensive but don't tell me you simply cannot afford it.

PS: I am assuming you have already spent several hours riding this thing slowly maneuvering it about in a parking lot or an empty space. Low speed control is always something I have preached when it comes to teaching people how to drive or ride. It lends a certain finesse and finesse/smoothness is even more important to acheive on bikes. Master the machine at low speeds, then attack the limits of the machine and after that you are mostly all set!

Last edited by IshaanIan : 28th March 2017 at 00:28.
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Old 28th March 2017, 02:29   #36
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Firstly Sir, I admire and salute you for all you did for the downed rider on that day.
I honestly can't imagine riding back- with the images of his injuries and the blood - thinking about it gives me the shivers. You must have been really relieved to get home and park.

After 10 years on a Electra and 4 years on a RX100, I added a Versys 650 to the stable this vacation.
And I have scared myself with the new bike couple of times while getting the hang of her. N I still have a long way to go.

The only thing that works for me is that I set my own pace. However in the scenario that you mentioned - with the sun, heat and traffic increasing its so easy to give into the pressure and try to speed up.
I know that I am naturally fast rider (not trying to brag, bear with me pls) and sometimes do give in to that urge. The only thing that helps me in such occasion is a bit of fear.

Fear: in this case equals knowing what I stand to loose, remembering the crashes I have had. And the thought of being responsible for doing damage to someone else - these fears help me back off.
IMHO a little bit of fear should be mandatory for every rider / driver out there

In all honesty I think it's great that you are sticking to your comfort zone. I suggest you continue to do so, am sure with time you comfort zone will grow and at some point you will say this is enough for me.
I myself am working on that.... Staying well within my comfort zone and choosing where the quest for more ends.

Just 1 thing riding gear is important, but so is comfort. Please search till you find gear that works for you.
My own search has made me much poorer ☺️ however being comfortable has helped me stay more focused and ride safer
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Old 28th March 2017, 07:31   #37
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

@ Sen - RESPECT

I don't know if such groups have a simple rule book/guidelines. It'll be good to have one.

The drive group that I'm part of in OZ has one. Here's some points from the document,

"………
4. Your group leader is experienced and knows the route. Their role is to maintain a constant pace for the group that is suitable to the road conditions. Your leader will NOT drive too fast and will maintain phone contact with several experienced members in the group.

5. Each driver should endeavour to maintain the same speed and keep visual contact with the car in front to reduce the “rubber band effect” (see separate document). The group will slow/stop intermittently at junctions to reduce this effect. This will allow for a safer and more enjoyable drive for participants.

6. Please drive to your comfort level and within the capability of your car. Be vigilant of other road users and the uncontrolled variables you will encounter on the route. If a gap occurs between the car in front and yourself, and cars are queuing behind you, don’t worry, simply wave them past and continue at your comfortable pace. The group will stop to re-group as needed. Remember; you are responsible for how you drive your car and the consequences of your decisions.
….."
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Old 28th March 2017, 10:27   #38
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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 don't think it is mandatory to fill the form.
The hospital doctors or other staff did not hold up any process for it. They told us that the police paperwork should be included in his file.
As such there was no damage to anyone, so police did the paperwork and handed over the acknowledgement at documentation level only.
A bit of a selfish opinion, yet I would suggest you stay away from police documentation. If there were a casualty, or some sort of court case (not in this case, but maybe if there was a collision), I think you could be called up to court as well for hearing. This is not a definite legal opinion, maybe someone else can confirm (or debunk) what I have stated. The whole headache concerning police and the courts is one of the main deterrents to people helping an accident victim. As such, it was what the Supreme Court order seeked to address.
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Old 28th March 2017, 10:54   #39
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

@Sen, I can't even imagine how you must have handled the events on that day. Kudos to you for taking care of the unfortunate victim. It needs a pretty level-head to react the way you did.

Hope your friend recovers to ride safely again. You too, please start riding again with like minded riders. There's enough advice by senior members here, I don't have anything new to add.

Buying a powerful bike is not just to rip all the time. Like a person, every bike has different aspects to its character. I'm glad you've recognised that and spreading the word around here.
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Old 28th March 2017, 13:03   #40
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

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.
That is a really good news. Glad is back home with his loved once.
Parents reaction is completely natural and looks like he has to wait quit some time for his next ride. I have been through this and handling the parents emotions is not very easy task in this tricky situations. Sometime many riders give up riding after going through such terrible accidents but some come back being better and safer rider. I personally feel i am a better rider from my last accident (I was safe but bike took all the beatings ) and make extra effort for safety of my own as well as rest of the people on road.
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Old 28th March 2017, 14:04   #41
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

@sen2009 - you have penned your emotions quite well. Good article actually.
General sentiments here are also quite correct. I either ride solo or with 2-3 riders. Only once have i ridden with a pack of 5, but there also 2 of us were on our own. So basically we should do what we are comfortable with. That is why we never signed up with any rider groups. Learning will happen only if all the riders in the pack are similar in their riding nature. Ultimately riding is a passion - some people enjoy at 70-80, some enjoy at 80-100, some enjoy at 130-140+. It is what we are comfortable with, most of the superbikes anyway does 120+ without much effort !!
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Old 28th March 2017, 14:21   #42
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruchitya View Post
You helping the injured chap deserves a pat on the back. Well done.
You mentioned you had to fill out a form of some sort for the police? There is an advertisement on the radio saying the Supreme Court has decreed that no such form needs to filled, right? Was it mandatory to fill the form(s), or did you do so voluntarily?
The form looks more like a consent form to perform emergency surgery, that has to be taken if a person is wheeled into the OT. This kind of absolves them of any medical negligence, because performing a surgery is a call taken depending on the doctor, some doctors may think otherwise, this form takes care of any future legal issues that might question the credibility of the hospital or the doctors decision.

I am part of a very close knit biker gang, we all ride Yamaha RD 350s/ R3.

During a ride planning and coordination is very important among riders, mostly new riders try to showoff(its not a hard and fast thing, I have seen seasoned riders showoff as well). I always believe in the fact that there are only two type of riders, one who has fallen off the bike and second who will eventually fall off the bike, so be prepared. I have gone with riders riding superbikes as well, the problem lies in the attitude, they feel since their machines are capable they should ride hard. This puts an unwanted pressure on the new members of the gang who have to ride hard to catchup, and this is where things go wrong.

Last time I rode the Triumph Daytona, I had 2-3 misses at below 60KMPH in the 4kms test ride I took, I dismissed the bike as a strict track tool, I was really tempted by the looks but I understood that a committed bike will rot in a garage than see roads, the very next day that very same bike crashed, another biker involved in the same crash left us, that is when I realized how things can change in a fraction of seconds on these bikes. I had a plan to pick one up this year, but after realizing that I am not a solo rider and the group rides don't go well, I decided to postpone my superbike buy. I have also understood the importance of good gear from my last accident, that landed me in the ICU for 3 days.

Please ride responsibly.

Pramod
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Old 28th March 2017, 16:12   #43
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Thanks for sharing and kudos to your efforts.

I totally agree with you and many others, I always ride with smaller groups and people who are fine with my tailing behind at lower speeds. My biggest lesson is to always ride less than my limits so that I CONTROL the machine and not vice versa.
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Old 29th March 2017, 12:03   #44
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

Thank you for bringing up this very relevant topic and well done for having gone out of your way to help a fellow biker.
While it is important to wear helmet, jacket, gloves and boots when riding, one should remember that these only protect the skin and the bones, to an extent from direct impact. They are extremely useful against road-rash and a properly secured helmet protects the noggin.
Most of the fractures and more serious injuries that happen, are due to what we call distraction and torsional injuries. All the protective gear in the world will not be able to protect against these, as these are caused due to the a sudden transfer of energy and large amounts of forces through to the body. I am an Orthopod myself and see plenty of these.
So bikers should not kid themselves into thinking that once these protective are donned, the rider becomes invincible. All the more reason why one should always practice defensive riding, ride within ones limits and comfort and always keep in mind that these are Indian roads -with zero predictability and no amount of anticipation can prepare us for what may be round the bend.

Keep riding safe!

Cheerio.
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Old 29th March 2017, 13:46   #45
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Default Re: Superbike Group Ride in Mumbai - A mixed bag of an experience

@Sen2009, the way you handled the overall heartrending scenario deserves a very huge round of applause. I’m sure many of us could relate with your narration of the incident in some way or other.

I feel compelled to share one such incident that I recall from my early days of riding back in 2009-10 when I was a novice (I still am, believe me) and on my first big group ride from Panvel to Lonavala with almost 100+ bikes, albeit most of them 150-300 cc capacity ones. Now the group leaders did make the riding gears compulsory and I managed to source an average safety kit (Full face MPV AGV helmet, full knuckled gloves, arm/shin guards and a rugged pair of denim jacket/jeans and lastly my trekking shoes) before the ride. Admittedly, as you had mentioned, the ride was very uncomfortable at start and I struggled a lot throughout my ride. My brand new shin guards somehow kept lowering away at every speed breaker although they did seem to fit well when I tried them on in the shop. My probiker gloves were pretty slippery inside due to all the sweat, partly since it was the month of May and partly due to my sheer nervousness of first ride and being able to keep up with the fellow riders who seemed to be doing breakneck speeds on the beautiful NH4.

I was pushing my limits to keep up with them, especially on Khandala ghats and then in a quick right hander, I braked hard and the rear fishtailed a good couple of inches warranting my first heart in mouth situation ever. Luckily, I recovered the balance and continued slowly with my heartbeat still racing like a KTM. Quickly, a rider who probably witnessed my fishtailing fiasco asked me to pull over and we had a brief chat, mostly about him inquiring about my group riding experience and other stuff. I was frank with him and he was humble enough to share his quick insights with a tip or two. But the foremost words of wisdom from him can be summarized as follows.
1. Try and stay away from such big group rides, stick to very small groups of 2 or 3 bikes for a while until you are more than comfortable with your riding style, your machine behaviour and your safety gear.
2. There is no point in trying to match the speed with others, most of the riders will always be ahead of you and the group sweeper will more often than not, be there for you (assuming it’s an organized ride like ours was back then)
3. Cruise, don’t sprint. Avoid hard acceleration and hard braking (unless absolutely unavoidable)

To be candid, I may or may not have registered all of this wisdom that day but slowly and steadily these tips and many such similar ones did grow on me. I dedicate my last 6+ years with over 70+ k kms of safe ride to those early words of wisdom. I do consider myself lucky to have met a wise rider rather than a dare devil who urged/dared me to push my limits at the very start of my riding days. In other words, things you learn in your early days, stay with you forever, be it biking, driving or otherwise. Sadly, I never met that rider friend again or been in touch with him since it was a huge ride turnout and I barely knew 3-4 of them online who had already sped away from the very word ‘Go’. I take this opportunity to Thank You dear friend whosoever and wherever you are.

I was just the part of two such big group rides before I said no to big group rides with unfamiliar riders, both to Lonavala and yes there were crashes on both the occasion, one even involved the crash of a CBR 600RR on the way down from Lion’s point to Lonavala. Thankfully, the riders were safe on both the occasion. From what I did note in the subsequent online discussion, these guys were good riders albeit a bit unlucky or maybe it was just the jinx of group riding.

While on topic, another point which I can relate with your post is that indeed I started feeling invisible on the road as I gained experience on my bike and broke in my safety gear nicely after half a dozen 100+ km rides. At a point in time, doing anything less than 90-100 on highways seemed like a sin even on a humble 150cc Yammie FZ. Over time, a few close calls (while overtaking on NH17 on way to goa), lots of long rides across the country, I have learned to be a lot safer than I was back then. Now I can’t resist from sharing the spirit of safe riding with every new rider friend I meet now, be it an office colleague or a family friend. My motto is same as many of us now, always be a beginner on the road.

This is my first post in Team BHP and I couldn’t help it but keep it a bit lengthy considering the sensitive topic this is to me.

@Sen da, thank you for enlightening us with your experience. Happy to know the rider is doing well. Keep sharing and inspiring us.
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