Suzuki SV650 Riders Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm still a noob - but I'm putting around 30-60 miles a night on the bike, trying to get into different situations (traffic, lots of stops, open roads, twisties, starting up hills, etc.) and tonight I almost scared myself. It was both AWESOME and afterwards worrisome.

I respect the bike and what could happen to my life every time I ride. Tonight I kind of got into the zone and the bike and I became one for about 20 minutes. I was paying attention to the road, but everything just kind of happened in front of me and I was in the zone. Heavy leaning (might have started to chip away on the chicken strips), totally relaxed in traffic, etc. I had no destination, I just rode.

After a while I realized what was going on and I started to get a little choppy on the throttle, worried that I could have killed myself during that time I was riding in the zone - forgetting I was even riding really.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is, but I was both excited about getting that feeling tonight but also a little worried about it afterwards. I feel like I'm way too noob to feel that confident. I almost want to go back out and put in another hour or two. I've read stories about newer riders getting to a point where they become over-confident and end up doing something stupid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,217 Posts
(might have started to chip away on the chicken strips)
I like to call that a "safety margin" not a chicken strip. It tells me that I'm not gonna run out of tire.

For track riding, it's also awesome to keep the pace or set it in some cases (im in beginner group mind you) while not even using my safety margin while others are all the way on the edge. Once skill increases, less safety margin is needed, and laptimes increase. but you're riding on the road, and as you said, you're new at this. Therefore, I highly recommend not forcing the chicken strips off the tire. It'll happen one eventually, or maybe not. And it doesn't actually matter.

Be careful with the zoning out though. My dad had a 60s triumph bonneville back in the 70s and rode a whole tanks worth of miles with no recollection of it. He got "in the zone" and being so mesmerized/hypnotized/whatever is VERY DANGEROUS. He keeps telling me this to remind me.

Ride safe!


Sent from my iPhone using Motorcycle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
Maybe differentiate between being "in the zone", and "zoning out." I'm pretty sure I've had that feeling before though, when everything just feels right. Usually more out riding the countryside as opposed to in town.

I would say you are never to noob to feel like that, but as my dad always told me, "be confident in yourself, but over-confidence will get you killed." Feel like thats been good advice over the years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
818 Posts
There is a difference between being zoned-in and being zoned-out. W/o being inside your head, it would be hard to say which zone you were in. I would consider it a good thing, but as noted above, you have to stay alert. Truly being zoned-in leaves you not only one with the bike, but with the riding environment. If you lose awareness of the whole picture, then I would call that zoned-out.

FWIW, as mentioned in a current crash thread, being a new rider and riding at night are both Adverse Factors. Please don't stack up too many at a time.


EDIT - I hadn't seen JM's post. Great minds think alike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything felt right. I was still scanning for cars ahead, etc. but it was almost like it was just happening and I was in total effortless control. This was out in some country twisties and coming back towards population.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
There is a difference between being zoned-in and being zoned-out. W/o being inside your head, it would be hard to say which zone you were in. I would consider it a good thing, but as noted above, you have to stay alert. Truly being zoned-in leaves you not only one with the bike, but with the riding environment. If you lose awareness of the whole picture, then I would call that zoned-out.

FWIW, as mentioned in a current crash thread, being a new rider and riding at night are both Adverse Factors. Please don't stack up too many at a time.


EDIT - I hadn't seen JM's post. Great minds think alike?
:eek:ccasion14:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,341 Posts
Agreed with others about being in the zone versus zoning out. I ride in the zone regularly and I am more alert to my surroundings and the fact that I am on a bike because of it. The controls of the bike have become second nature and I dont think much about them any more. What I do think about is everything around and how my current path could change in an instant because someone does something dumb. Always running through scenario after scenario in my head and planning my escape should something occur.
 

·
site supporter
Joined
·
6,051 Posts
You should never get into a zone while riding. Always be alert, always.
Well, that depends on what one means by "a zone." If "zone" means an inattentive attitude, e.g. "zoning out" then yeah. Don't do that. Mmm-kay?


But riding well includes matching your bikes speed with the speed at which your senses are picking up, and your brain is processing, all the inputs you are receiving. From your eyes -- What's ahead? What is the road doing? Who and what's around you? Is my speed right for what's ahead? From your body -- Accelerating/decellerating? What's my lean? Am I planted on the bike? Am I hot/cold/wet? Is weather changing? Tire grip/slip? From your ears -- Right gear/gear change? Traffic noise? Unexpected noises from bike? In your cerebrum -- Slower/faster? Where should I be to get set up for the next curve? Is that assh*le gonna change lanes? Traffic lights ahead? You get the idea.

When I was a newbie rider, I realized that many of my riding mistakes came when the rate at which I was processing information lagged behind the pace at which I was riding. And mistakes are cumulative: Take a little too much time setting up for a corner and you find yourself spending too much time recovering and not enough time setting up for the next corner. Do that a few times on a twisty road and eventually you find yourself on the wrong side of the double yellow. :eek:

When you no longer have to spend brain time consciously monitoring everything that's happening on the bike, but have grooved into your psyche the right shortcuts between sensory input and control reaction, you feel as if you've reached a meaningful moment in your development as a rider. I still recall the first time I felt that sense of competence (and I even posted about it on the prior iteration of SVRider.) If that's what O.P meant by being "in the zone." congratulations.

Ride well and be happy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I'm pretty sure by "in the zone" he means that things started to come naturally. We can all remember when we first started riding. Feeling tight and sweaty, not hitting shifts perfectly, feeling like you are having to force the bike around corners, grabbing too much brake, always feeling like you must be forgetting something, etc. The more you ride, the more the muscle memory starts to build up and riding smoothly just seems to come naturally. It doesn't mean you aren't paying attention, it just means that your subconscious self is handling more of the grunt work while your conscious self is concentrating on the things it needs to. At least, that's how I interpret it.

Key word of advice, however, don't get complacent. It's good to force yourself to think about the things that come naturally on a regular basis. It helps make sure you don't get into bad habits. I'm sure everyone here that has been to an advanced riding course of some sort can attest to just how easy it is to establish bad habits :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,480 Posts
Agree with the difference between "zoning out" and being "in the zone". Zoning out is bad. Bad bad.

I remind myself daily, in the car and on the bike: Never become complacent. It's sort of turned into a mantra...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,510 Posts
Well, that depends on what one means by "a zone." If "zone" means an inattentive attitude, e.g. "zoning out" then yeah. Don't do that. Mmm-kay?


But riding well includes matching your bikes speed with the speed at which your senses are picking up, and your brain is processing, all the inputs you are receiving. From your eyes -- What's ahead? What is the road doing? Who and what's around you? Is my speed right for what's ahead? From your body -- Accelerating/decellerating? What's my lean? Am I planted on the bike? Am I hot/cold/wet? Is weather changing? Tire grip/slip? From your ears -- Right gear/gear change? Traffic noise? Unexpected noises from bike? In your cerebrum -- Slower/faster? Where should I be to get set up for the next curve? Is that assh*le gonna change lanes? Traffic lights ahead? You get the idea.

When I was a newbie rider, I realized that many of my riding mistakes came when the rate at which I was processing information lagged behind the pace at which I was riding. And mistakes are cumulative: Take a little too much time setting up for a corner and you find yourself spending too much time recovering and not enough time setting up for the next corner. Do that a few times on a twisty road and eventually you find yourself on the wrong side of the double yellow. :eek:

When you no longer have to spend brain time consciously monitoring everything that's happening on the bike, but have grooved into your psyche the right shortcuts between sensory input and control reaction, you feel as if you've reached a meaningful moment in your development as a rider. I still recall the first time I felt that sense of competence (and I even posted about it on the prior iteration of SVRider.) If that's what O.P meant by being "in the zone." congratulations.

Ride well and be happy.
Well said man.

I think I'm at that point now. I've got a few thousand miles down and I feel pretty much as you describe, although occasionally (I'll be honest) I find myself making a rookie mistake. A missed shift, a little wobble coming to a stop... no biggie.

Op, is that pretty much what you are saying? Or is it something else? How many miles have you ridden just out of curiosity?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
248 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I probably have around 600 miles in so far this season. Maybe 800 total as a rider. Not a ton I know. I used to sometimes ride and I'd be nervous about it, especially in the beginning. Now if I have to go someplace I relish it. Not nervous, but aware. I used to feather throttle onto busy roads, even when no one was coming. I now get on smoothly and with a lot more control. I used to stall a few times a day at busy intersections because I was *****footing from a stop. Those days are long gone. I used to think that 40 mph was really fast. Now it feels a little boring. But I don't push my limits, especially cornering. This whole process is fascinating and also a lot of fun. I used to feel like if I hit a bump I'd fly off. Now my core is more solid, I'm firmly planted, and I feel a lot more comfortable about what I'm doing and where I can improve. Oh, and my wrists don't hurt, my touch is lighter, and I constantly swing my elbows around to make sure I'm relaxed.


Sent from my Motorcycle iPad app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Id highly recommend you do a trackday or two. Get used to what its like to really twist your wrist. Our bikes are fairly capable. Not the fastest down the straights by any means but 125+/- feels pretty good. Plus having a bike with less topend will make you want to be faster in the corners. Its just a good all around experience.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top