Honda CB500X

Main CB500X Boards => CB500X - General Chat => Topic started by: mtodd on December 25, 2018, 03:53:59 AM

Title: highway and country road riding
Post by: mtodd on December 25, 2018, 03:53:59 AM
I went on my first group ride a few days ago and it was quite a nerve wracking experience. I was glad I did it though and I hope it has given me a taste of what is to come for me on the bike. I ended up covering over 400km in the round trip which included slowish winding hills riding and straighter country roads (100km zone). Whilst the group claimed to stick to speed limits and encouraged riding within your comfort zone before heading off, the reality seemed to be quite a different matter. I struggled to keep up with the back of the group and had the tail end rider on my ass most of the way. I was hovering around 100km/h but I guess mostly at 95km/h. One of the things that struck me the most was that I was quite nervous about hitting a pot-hole or getting caught in a large road crack. I found it quite exhausting. I am wondering if this is just purely a my lack of experience at riding on country roads at this speed. I've never noticed the poor quality of the roads like I do now and I don't really know if the bike has the ability to track over lines, cracks etc without running into trouble. The other riders were clearly not having any issues as they progressed at warp speed. I plan to undertake more rider training which no doubt will help but I worry that I'm just not cut out for this high speed stuff.

I am interested to hear from others about experience with the 500x at highway speed. I have just fitted the taller Givi screen and whilst this seems to provide a good amount of wind protection at 100km/h maybe I'm just making matters worse for myself with the minor buffeting affecting my confidence at speed. I'm just under 5"8 (172cm) and 76kg.

Cheers,
Matt
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: ewryly on December 25, 2018, 04:53:20 AM
Riding should be fun, not stressful.  Personally, I don't like riding in groups.  I prefer to have my own ability and my sense of what is happening as the only inputs into what I am going to do next.  Us humans have strong urges to stay with the group, and in some circumstances that can be life saving, but in others in can be life threatening.  Often when I am riding I will come across some other bikers and hang with them for a bit, but the moment hanging with them dictates a behavior I would not otherwise do, we go our separate ways. 
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: ThirtyOne on December 25, 2018, 05:14:30 AM
Same sentiments as above. I used to live in Boston and made friends with a bunch of guys that were trackday junkies. Their skills far exceeded mine. After one group ride I realized that if I kept riding with them I would end up broken, battered or worse. Find some riders that donít push you beyond your limit.

I would definitely consider investing in training over spending on some farkle as well. Thereís quite a lot to be learned and there are some great schools out there to make you a better (and more confident) rider. Invest in yourself.

Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: peasemold on December 25, 2018, 09:19:40 AM
*Originally Posted by ewryly [+]
Riding should be fun, not stressful.  Personally, I don't like riding in groups.  I prefer to have my own ability and my sense of what is happening as the only inputs into what I am going to do next.  Us humans have strong urges to stay with the group, and in some circumstances that can be life saving, but in others in can be life threatening.  Often when I am riding I will come across some other bikers and hang with them for a bit, but the moment hanging with them dictates a behavior I would not otherwise do, we go our separate ways.

This all the way, especially the first sentence.
If you feel you need more experience/training then do that first, not after.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: hilldweller on December 25, 2018, 11:32:01 AM
You should trust your instincts. Yes avoid pot holes. Yes avoid large cracks. So what if you would get away with it, there's always one pot hole deeper than expected to have you off.

I've been in groups like that, seen 100 mph where the local limit was 90kmh but on good roads so the real stress was my licence. I never rode again with that group, they were nutters.

Find a more sensible group to hone your skills.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Oyabun on December 25, 2018, 12:21:00 PM
Lol, I'm a recovering trackday junkie as 31 put it, but I find riding with others quite fun most if the time.
Some of my riding buddies are nutters just like me, but many times I'm just holding back and have fun enjoying the smells and the scenery if the tempo is slower - I'm in for both.
Find or found your own group with similar riding habits.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: bullroarer on December 25, 2018, 05:04:32 PM
Riding at speed trying to keep up with others is very tiring, as the concentration levels are at their limit and more so with  age.
   Not only are you trying to avoid the potholes,( you have potholes in Australia??) but also trying to avoid the other riders.
    Some people love riding with others and are brilliant at it.....but not for me.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: ThirtyOne on December 25, 2018, 06:03:36 PM
*Originally Posted by bullroarer [+]
Riding at speed trying to keep up with others is very tiring, as the concentration levels are at their limit and more so with  age.
   Not only are you trying to avoid the potholes,( you have potholes in Australia??) but also trying to avoid the other riders.
    Some people love riding with others and are brilliant at it.....but not for me.

Yeah, for me riding in a group is much more tiring. Not only do you have to pay attention to the usual road obstacles, but you need to also keep an eye on the rider in front, rider behind and the communication of the group as a whole. Itís not relaxing for me at all. But, as you said, some people love group rides.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: AJC500 on December 25, 2018, 07:02:03 PM
The group I ride with has some who just blast away, but more who keep together and just let the fast boys go and meet them later!!

When I used to drive in a kit car/sports car club, we always had a rule that nobody was left behind, with a radio between the back and front of the convoy, and everyone watching the person behind them, and making sure they were not falling behind.  It (usually) worked!!


Experience will help, and you'll get used to watching the road surface ahead and riding around any problems - keep at it, you will enjoy it the more you do it...Ö
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: mtodd on December 25, 2018, 07:06:09 PM
Thanks everyone for great advice as always.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: ThirtyOne on December 25, 2018, 07:41:53 PM
*Originally Posted by AJC500 [+]
The group I ride with has some who just blast away, but more who keep together and just let the fast boys go and meet them later!!

When I used to drive in a kit car/sports car club, we always had a rule that nobody was left behind, with a radio between the back and front of the convoy, and everyone watching the person behind them, and making sure they were not falling behind.  It (usually) worked!!


Experience will help, and you'll get used to watching the road surface ahead and riding around any problems - keep at it, you will enjoy it the more you do it...Ö

Yeah, Iíve ridden sweep in some group rides. We tried to keep people together when we were out on a longer route and few had GPS. Some people get a litte antsy in the pantsy though.  :008:
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: slowrider on December 25, 2018, 08:17:52 PM
I do a mixture of solo, small groups (2-5), medium groups (10-20) and big ride outs (100ís to 1,000ís).  You need to find a group and group size thatís fits with you.

  One of the groups I ride with is the London Motorcycle Riders Club.  They grade all their rides and you need to be approved to join the more progressive rides based on previous experience.   They also state what rides are 125cc friendly.  As well as that they organise professional training days to help members improve. 

To me it sounds like you have joined a group of experienced riders that go-for-it, and that is not want you need in the early stages of riding.  Also, track day guys are the ones you need to stay away from as the skills they learn on the track are not always suitable for the road.   I was on a ride last weekend and I started off with a track day star infront of me on some nice big sports bike.  His corner positioning was rubbish, he was overtaking on solid lines and I saw some scary overtakes.  His road riding was so bad the organisers pulled him aside for a chat.

Group ride outs are great fun if you can find the right group, so have a look on the internet and see if there are other groups near you and give them a spin.  Eventually you may find a group that you feel comfortable with. 

In any case, go with your gut when riding.   If you feel under pressure and you are pushing your limits then just back off and stay at the back.  If you start to feel intimidated then just go home part ride. 
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: catstevecam on December 25, 2018, 09:24:53 PM
*Originally Posted by slowrider [+]

In any case, go with your gut when riding .   If you feel under pressure and you are pushing your limits then just back off and stay at the back.  If you start to feel intimidated then just go home part ride.

You might find that no 'group' suits your riding and road experiences - so be happy - you're still alive and able to make your own decisions.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: rodr on December 25, 2018, 11:27:56 PM
Greetings from the Coffs Coast!

I've been on and even led a number of group rides, but these days tend to avoid them. Without skilled leadership they will default to group mentality and the associated testosterone poisoning. Best to break off early and do your own thing. With any luck you will find others who take safe riding seriously.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Irishrover on December 26, 2018, 12:07:50 PM
I've never ridden in a group and never intend to. I prefer the solitude a solo ride gives and to me it's one of the reasons for owning a bike. Occasionally I will ride with one other companion, but as they say, "2 is company and 3 is a crowd".
I sometimes don't experience the whole biking brotherhood looking out for one another and having a common interest. I've stopped off at our biking hotspot cafes and take aways and to be honest other bikers just ignore you, maybe they think a CB500X is not worthy.
When I ride solo, I can stop for a pic or a break when I decide whereas in a group I would imagine it's a pre-determined location and there's always that urgency to keep up. Each to their own I suppose.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Jonathan on December 26, 2018, 03:50:48 PM
The trouble with group pursuits, is there's a temptation and a tendency to dick about...this applies to cars, bikes, push-bikes etc. Maybe it's more of a male thing? It's all been answered above, so I've little to add, other than if you want to test your limits, do it when and where it's less likely to impact on others. The roads are hazardous enough without upping the ante...
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: AJC500 on December 26, 2018, 09:59:57 PM
Blimey, I've had so many good times, driving with my kit car, MG and MX5 clubs over the years, on so many runs and shows, showing my Royal Enfield and Hyosung (yes, honestly!), and now riding with a good group of friends on the Honda - I enjoy a solo ride, but life would be too lonely without the gang and the fun we have riding out together.

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/club-runs-and-shows.jpg)
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Jonathan on December 27, 2018, 12:57:10 AM
*Originally Posted by AJC500 [+]
Blimey, I've had so many good times, driving with my kit car, MG and MX5 clubs over the years, on so many runs and shows, showing my Royal Enfield and Hyosung (yes, honestly!), and now riding with a good group of friends on the Honda - I enjoy a solo ride, but life would be too lonely without the gang and the fun we have riding out together.

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/club-runs-and-shows.jpg)

I'd say it all depends on the group... :028:
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: AJC500 on December 27, 2018, 05:18:54 PM
*Originally Posted by Jonathan [+]
I'd say it all depends on the group... :028:

I guess so - all the colours of the rainbow here, on a ride-out earlier this year.....roll on Spring!!
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: AJC500 on December 27, 2018, 05:26:19 PM
Ö..and then there is the British Superbikes at Knockhill, this is only one of the many bike parks - what a riot when we all leave together at the end of the day!!
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Jonathan on December 27, 2018, 05:37:37 PM
*Originally Posted by AJC500 [+]
Ö..and then there is the British Superbikes at Knockhill, this is only one of the many bike parks - what a riot when we all leave together at the end of the day!!

Same deal coming and going to Oulton Park....car drivers bow to our superior numbers, if not our questionable antics :008:
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: AJC500 on December 27, 2018, 07:59:59 PM
 :451: This topic just brought to mind some fun I had with the MX5 car club - building and racing a soapbox racer at Autoclassica 2008!  Admittedly I wasn't the driver, but the MX5 team won!!  I know I'm off topic - :431:

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/IMG_3947.jpg)
(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/DSC00500.jpg)
(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/DSC00501.jpg)
(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/IMG_4029.jpg)
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Dukie on December 27, 2018, 10:49:45 PM
By pushing yourself to keep up , or ride out of your comfortable pace, you tire yourself out more than riding at your natural pace.

Different groups leaders will lead at a different pace.

Some people just different so not all groups work together
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: uku383 on December 29, 2018, 09:20:30 PM
Hey Matt

I'm actually in Adelaide but leaving this morning. If I'd actually engaged my brain we could have gone for a blat! 🤣

I agree with what the others said, but I'd also say that as you gain experience your confidence will improve, you'll find that your self-consciousness will fade and you'll ride more instinctively and safely.

You should always ride within your limits, otherwise coming off is a real risk.

With time, the potholes and cracks won't seem so bad. Most potholes are so small that you'll ride straight over them without noticing.

I'd suggest getting out by yourself, or with a mate who will ride at your place, and try different routes that will build your experience (perhaps you've only ridden urban streets at 60kph; if so, it's not surprising that the greater speeds are intimidating). Ride the Adelaide Hills at a safe pace - go to Hahndorf for a coffee and get used to your bike. Perhaps take a spin on the freeway (which is an excellent quality road) or head down to Victor Harbour for a day trip, to understand that 100kph can be comfortable.

Courses are fine, and if you feel that you need one, by all means sign up, but in my experience the best way to get comfortable with the stuff you described is to ride.

Blah - another long post from me - I really need to work on that. 🤣
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: mtodd on December 31, 2018, 11:05:08 AM
*Originally Posted by uku383 [+]
Hey Matt

I'm actually in Adelaide but leaving this morning. If I'd actually engaged my brain we could have gone for a blat! 🤣

I agree with what the others said, but I'd also say that as you gain experience your confidence will improve, you'll find that your self-consciousness will fade and you'll ride more instinctively and safely.

You should always ride within your limits, otherwise coming off is a real risk.

With time, the potholes and cracks won't seem so bad. Most potholes are so small that you'll ride straight over them without noticing.

I'd suggest getting out by yourself, or with a mate who will ride at your place, and try different routes that will build your experience (perhaps you've only ridden urban streets at 60kph; if so, it's not surprising that the greater speeds are intimidating). Ride the Adelaide Hills at a safe pace - go to Hahndorf for a coffee and get used to your bike. Perhaps take a spin on the freeway (which is an excellent quality road) or head down to Victor Harbour for a day trip, to understand that 100kph can be comfortable.

Courses are fine, and if you feel that you need one, by all means sign up, but in my experience the best way to get comfortable with the stuff you described is to ride.

Blah - another long post from me - I really need to work on that. 🤣

Hey uku383, not a long post at all. Maybe next time your in town it would be great to go for a bit of a ride. I'm curious to know which route you took from NSW to Adelaide. I have a plan to ride along the coast from Adelaide to Melbourne in Feb which should be fun but I'm keen to do quite a bit of travelling on the bike when my skills improve.

I actually tried another group ride last weekend and it was quite a bit more comfortable than the first group ride. Although not with the group, my ride back home was from Victor Harbour to Adelaide on the main road which was much more comfortable than I expected at 100km/h.

cheers,
Matt
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: uku383 on December 31, 2018, 12:48:29 PM
*Originally Posted by mtodd [+]
Hey uku383, not a long post at all. Maybe next time your in town it would be great to go for a bit of a ride. I'm curious to know which route you took from NSW to Adelaide.

I'll definitely PM you when I head over next, although it may not be for a while.

The route obviously depends on whether you need to do things quickly or not, and where in Adelaide you're coming from. Regardless which way you go, it's a lot of riding - to Sydney from your place would be about 1,500-1,600km. I take a swag (which doubles as a backrest when strapped to the bike) and camp half way, although I have done the ride without camping once - when I was feeling especially alert.

One thing that I will say about long rides is that you need to be wary of fatigue. I am not shy about stopping the bike at a rest stop and lying out for a safety snooze, no matter what time of day. Fatigue is, in my view, more dangerous than speeding (the less said about my encounter with a (to be fair, very friendly) member of the Victorian Police Force yesterday, the better.  :016:

I'll try to remember to PM you tomorrow, with routes / variations, but a good way to do it is pull out a map and look for places you'd like to ride through. e.g. I love going through the Snowy Mountains, if I have time.

Alan
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Trailrunner on January 03, 2019, 05:47:33 PM
These guys give some really good advice. I have done track days and loved it. I have been asked to ride in group charity rides before and it was not fun for me.  I have a couple of guys that we ride 3 or 4 times a year that we rode together since we were very young and I don't mind riding with them. I keep a post-it note in my tank bag that says RIDE YOUR OWN BIKE. When I get out and run into guys and we get to talking and some are hitting the rev limiters in the parking lot. I pull the note out and put it on my tank. To remind me to Ride My Bike and not get crazy.
The CBX is a beast with potholes and cracks in the road. Ride your own bike where it is fun and most of all safe. I give the book Twist of the Wrist II by Keith Code as a gift to returning riders and friends easy read and great tips on how to be a safer rider and feel more confident when you are on the bike. Yes, he teaches road racing classes but the insight picked up over years and the data his company has collected from riders allows them to put great helpful information in one easy to read.
Some of us beat the CBX on back roads and dirt roads stay as relaxed as you can don't stiff arm the bars. If you are wanting a riding partner keep looking you will meet that guy that has ridden for years and understands where you are.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: 2Bpencil on January 03, 2019, 07:08:40 PM
*Originally Posted by uku383 [+]
I'll definitely PM you when I head over next, although it may not be for a while.

The route obviously depends on whether you need to do things quickly or not, and where in Adelaide you're coming from. Regardless which way you go, it's a lot of riding - to Sydney from your place would be about 1,500-1,600km. I take a swag (which doubles as a backrest when strapped to the bike) and camp half way, although I have done the ride without camping once - when I was feeling especially alert.

One thing that I will say about long rides is that you need to be wary of fatigue. I am not shy about stopping the bike at a rest stop and lying out for a safety snooze, no matter what time of day. Fatigue is, in my view, more dangerous than speeding (the less said about my encounter with a (to be fair, very friendly) member of the Victorian Police Force yesterday, the better.  :016:

I'll try to remember to PM you tomorrow, with routes / variations, but a good way to do it is pull out a map and look for places you'd like to ride through. e.g. I love going through the Snowy Mountains, if I have time.

Alan
or engage the TomTom GPS 'Plan a Thrill' function. It's amazing what routes it suggests.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: harryhendo on January 23, 2019, 05:42:09 PM
Some rules for enjoyable group rides:
1) the ride is for enjoyment, not to prove the prowess of the riders.
2) there is a 1 hour destination point. Everyone, regardless of speed, congregates at that point. This gives uncomfortable riders the chance to leave the ride quickly, or split off with like minded riders.
3) there is a 'lunch' destination point where everyone congregates.
4) there is a "sweeper" appointed to ride at the back of the pack. A signal to the sweeper says "I'm out, going my own way". The sweeper will also communicate to the leader by wireless or at the breaks if the pace is appropriate for everyone.
5) all speed limits are obeyed.

My personal rule is that if I am uncomfortable with the pace, I will signal the sweeper and leave the ride. It is my kneecaps at stake after all, not the racing leader who needs to boost his ego. I've often met everyone for lunch afterwards and enjoyed that considerably.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Lazy Rider on January 29, 2019, 05:47:46 PM
Why is it that Harley riders seem to always be in a group, and not a small group, but many tens of riders? And they are sooooo sloooow. Specially in corners. I must say, though, that their long lunch stops at local restaurants and inns greatly appeal to me. Maybe they have this motorcycle thing figured out.

I find that riding at a lively pace requires such focused concentration and I can't handle the added distraction of having to be aware of another motorcycle close by. When I ride with a friend we are usually about 100 yards or more apart and we always choose our own pace.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: harryhendo on January 29, 2019, 06:30:13 PM
I used to ride with a big Harley group on my BMW R80, and within an hour was at the front of the pack
a) because they ride so slowly
b) because they are so loud (most removed the stock exhaust and had 'loud bikes save lives' stickers
c) belching horrible exhaust (no emissions controls)
But they were a fun group and as you say, the lunch breaks were really enjoyable.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: Lazy Rider on January 30, 2019, 04:30:00 PM
*Originally Posted by harryhendo [+]
c) belching horrible exhaust (no emissions controls)
Yeah, I forgot about the smell.
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: mrichi on February 07, 2019, 12:06:01 AM
Hello to a fellow South Australian,
I don't enjoy riding with a large group, for some reason i find it more difficult to concentrate on my riding, on country roads you need to be able to travel at the speed you feel comfortable with and not feel pressured onto riding faster than you are comfortable with.
Then you get those who ride in groups who think they are the best riders on the planet and want to show you how great they are , no thanks.
I'm happy riding solo or with a couple of other bikes but that's about my limit
 
Title: Re: highway and country road riding
Post by: mtodd on March 09, 2019, 10:36:49 PM
*Originally Posted by uku383 [+]
I'll definitely PM you when I head over next, although it may not be for a while.

The route obviously depends on whether you need to do things quickly or not, and where in Adelaide you're coming from. Regardless which way you go, it's a lot of riding - to Sydney from your place would be about 1,500-1,600km. I take a swag (which doubles as a backrest when strapped to the bike) and camp half way, although I have done the ride without camping once - when I was feeling especially alert.

One thing that I will say about long rides is that you need to be wary of fatigue. I am not shy about stopping the bike at a rest stop and lying out for a safety snooze, no matter what time of day. Fatigue is, in my view, more dangerous than speeding (the less said about my encounter with a (to be fair, very friendly) member of the Victorian Police Force yesterday, the better.  :016:

I'll try to remember to PM you tomorrow, with routes / variations, but a good way to do it is pull out a map and look for places you'd like to ride through. e.g. I love going through the Snowy Mountains, if I have time.

Alan

Hey Alan,

I went for a bit of a ride from Adelaide to Melbourne and back (great ocean road to Melb then back via Halls Gap) and have learned some things about the bike. I notice in other threads that you regularly ride at 110km/h so I would like to know what your fuel economy is at that speed. My ride from Meningie to Mount Gambier resulted in my worst fuel consumption at about 4lt/100km which I thought was quite bad for highway riding. I had some soft panniers and a small tent on the pillion seat. I guess it was also quite windy so the conditions were not great. I also lost a bit of oil in that section from Meningie to Mount Gambier needing a top up at the local bike shop.

On the way back from Melbourne I sat on generally just below 100km/hr and the fuel consumption was much better getting 2.7lt/100km at one point. I'm keen to know your thoughts.

Cheers,
Matt