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What do you look for to spot a new/less experienced rider?

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Talk' started by rogera, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. I am pretty sure that sport bike riders and cruisers look for different queues to spot those with a little less experience or judgement on group rides.. Just curious about what folks look for..

    For us we ride most the time with cruisers who have a different type of ride that most sport bike rides.. Here are some of the things that we look for to be aware of a newer rider.

    Lane control.. most cruiser rides are staggered and it is expected to keep that formation through corners and straight stretches.. if the rider doesn't seem to be able to stay in 1/2 of the roadway.. that is a red flag.

    Brake lights.. Is the rider on the brake too much? Or is he/she able to maintain lane control through the corners without being on the brakes. They should in most cases be able to stay in formation and hit the corners without the need to brake often if you see ahead and adjust your speed and lane position accordingly.

    Reaction to the unexpected.. does the rider make quick reactions to problems in the roadway or do they anticipate and make smooth adjustments to the things they encounter such as gravel, road debris etc...

    Ability to hold a tight formation. Does the rider need to allow lots of extra room or do they follow too closely? When riding as one unit or a pack it is normally desirable to keep a tight formation but not ride the ass of the person in front of you...

    Lane Changes... does the person stay in formation or switch from one half the lane to the other? When in a tight formation changing from one half the lane to the other removes the safety buffer for the person behind you and tends to extend the length of the pack.

    One thing that more experienced riders tend to do is to point out road hazards to those behind them.. right foot pointing at issues on the right.. left hand to those on the left side.. This provides additional feedback to those riding behind who may have a more limited view of hazards up ahead because of riding as a group.

    Just kind of curious.. We realize the sport bike riders are out for a different ride.. maybe some other tips to be aware of with new riders on cruisers too that others have cued in on.

    LOL.. and pet peeve.. the guy with his radio blaring... experienced or not.. we don't have a radio on our bike for a reason.. and hearing yours detracts rather than adds to the riding experience. Buy yourself some earbuds and keep it to yourself.
  2. Guys that tallk too much usually are trying to hide lack of experience. Take it from me.

  3. QFT.. thought about throwing that one in there.. those that try to talk too much stuff up before the ride.. most riders that have much experience tend to be more laid back at the pre-ride functions.
  4. In no particular order
    Temp tag on license plate
    Fender Eleminator
    Fairing 'Rash'
    Lost blinkers
    Missing Mirror
    Bent Lever
    Clipped passenger pegs
    Lace up Converse Hightops
    and yup, the wheelie (if you are a newb and trying to impress, you are dangerous; if you are experience and trying to impress... you are attracting LEO; and in either case, you get a wide berth from me.

    I am sure I can add more after this weekends evolution of spring fever sillyness. I actually hope for rain on the weekends, just so I know the squidly didley types will stay home.
  5. Rippn

    Rippn Human Race Qualifier<br>FREE and clean

    Size 'em up WAY before the ride starts... else, it's like determining a surgeon's ability... mid operation.
    I check they're bike's maintainence... that chain, TELLS A LOT.
    If a person dosen't or won't... his percertion, awareness, ability and priorities are prolly lacking too.
    This ain't no disco...lives, our own and others ...depend on the odds being stacked in our favor.
    I'm DANG PICKY about who I will ride w/...
    and WON'T hesitate say'n, "bye, have fun"... there are LOTS of like minded
    TRUE MOTORCYCLENTHUSIASTS out there. They're the ones I seek out and enjoy riding w/.
    FREE and clean, Ripp'n
  6. My chain is always clean :mrgreen:
  7. Cheap gear is what I look for. Walmart helmets are a dead give away lol
  8. lack of gear, temp tags, huge chicken strips, revving the engine for no reason, parking somewhere so everybody can see them, inability to navigate turns smoothly, and if they ride a gixxer( Lol).
  9. Just curiooous, what about the fender eleminator says "inexperienced" to you?

    And temp tags, maybe they just bought the bike?

    I think you can tell a lot from the pre-ride gathering, how/what they are talking about. They may experienced, but can reveal some things about themselves that tell me I need to keep an eye on them.

    So, it can go both ways, even experienced riders can be poor riders.
  10. I've been riding for over 35 years,with some track time in the '80s,so I can't be labelled as "newer",but there are a couple of things on your list I need to comment on...

    Lane control/lane changing-I want the whole lane to myself,so I vary between left and right sides for no apparent reason...I see it as a guarantee that I won't have somebody playing "CHIPS" and trying to ride side by side with me,I like my space...

    Ability to hold a tight formation-see above,same reasons...

    I ride a Naked Wing(cruiser)and a V65 Sabre(sport/touring),so my style does vary from ride to ride,but...

    Usually,I end up at the back,by my own choice...

    One thing that just SCREAMS "beginner" to me is the rider that stops at the lights in the middle of the lane,right on the oil strip.That alone will make me avoid a rider at all costs,I don't want someone near me with slippery tires and feet...Preferably behind me...A good rule is-one lane stop on the left,left lane of multiple lanes stop on the right side,right lane of multiple lanes stop on the left so people turning right don't try to get too intimate...My rules,my reasons/experiences-I don't expect anyone to follow or even agree...

    Just my 1/50th of $1.00...
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  11. Look out for those with some sort of .com stickers on their bike, lletting everyone know they are a forum member here. That, and a leather vest from some noname club.
  12. When leaving a stop light....feet NOT on pegs until the middle of the intersection.
  13. Shrek X

    Shrek X Mr. 500,000

    how they park and maneuver in a parking lot or at low speeds
  14. alot of times when i ride with my small group, we tend to give eachother more room in the corners, all our bikes handle differently, so going into corners we go from staggered or sometimes side by side to straight line, only to resume the formation after the twisties--

    only thing ill contribute is when someone no matter what bike they are on, takes the corner uber slow, only to mash it down whilst exiting the corner- to me that screams squid-
    but I try not to think about other peoples riding habits,everyone has a differnt backround and riding style, i grew up on dirtbikes and riding trails, im sure I have different tendancies then someone whos only experience is on the street

  15. When I'm not actually riding, I like to watch riders pull up to a`stop outside our shop. It's amazing how lots of little cues can give you an idea of how long somebody has been riding. From what they are wearing (Low-tops, shorts and a wifebeater are a dead giveaway of a new rider) to their body position, to how they work the brakes and clutch.

    I know everybody feels a slight compulsion to show off a little around other riders. It's in our nature; motorcyclists tend to be extroverts. The riders who show the control to keep themselves comfortably within their own limits are definitely better to ride with.
  16. I thought the constant throttle blipping was the cruiser wave. That way they don't have to risk taking their hand off of the Apehangers. crackup:
  17. rogera, you put too much emphasis on formation. if i don't ride in formation, but can handle myself on the road, am I a noob anyway?

    lots of y'all seem to think, like normal on this forum that "anything contrary to what I do is wrong/noob".

    when I ride with someone (which I do rarely) I look for things like running wide, and counter leaning, and too much emphasis on things that don't matter, like chicken strips.
  18. with that thinking then you should never ride with people that ride in the rain cause their tires are slippery too. Or people that buy new bikes cause the sealer they put on the tires to keep them good in the crate.
  19. When I ride in formations (rarely) I am usually riding with more sport than cruiser. I have noticed when approaching corners the formation widens and everyone picks their own line and angle of attack. I have never been much of one for holding formation through a corner and doing so may put a rider out of their comfort zone as they are not riding their ride.

    I spot riders that wobble in corners, adjust angle of attack while in lean, swing out too wide and ride the edge or way to close to the yellow lines as well. Crossing the yellows in the corner is a sign of a dangerous and or new rider to me.

    In my experience most new riders excercise caution when riding as they are not in the comfort zone with their bikes yet. It is the ones that ride outside their abilities that are easy to spot.

    I also agree the talking up of ones self without prompting is a good sign of bad things to come.
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