Group Rides - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Group Rides

How do you guys feel about group rides? Does it make a difference if you know all of the people you are with vs. meeting up with a bunch of strangers?

Me personally I am not crazy about riding with others. I don't always have trust in what they will do. I can leave extra room in front of me in case someone does something crazy, but I have no idea if I may get hit from behind by someone going a tad hot into a corner.

Currently I really only ride with my father. I almost always lead, and I know he is way back at all times except at a stop light. He knows when we are cruising on a highway that I want to have then entire lane to myself, and that I don't want to share with him. I know how fast he wants me to go, and usually stick to that (although I do enjoy my twisties and then wait out on the straights for him )

I hesitantly went on a group ride last spring with a bunch of people from here who I did not know at all and was very pleasantly surprised. Everyone rode well together, giving plenty of room, and not acting stupid. But I will admit I was nervous going.

So how do you feel about group rides?

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 09:23 PM
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Only ride with a few friends I know but many people ride too crazy for me to keep up. I don't like to speed on public roads.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-01-2012, 10:26 PM
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Riding in a big bunch can turn deadly very quickly! Best to ride with people you know and trust, and not too many at once.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 03:59 AM
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Ride by myself, in small group of friends and larger club rides. Agree riding in groups can be more of a concern and expect some riders to do things i am not used to.
An example of this is when passing with my close riding buddies we always keep on the gas so the guy passing behind you does not get stuck out in middle of road but in groups i find the rider in front can take forever by just slowly passing and taking no notice of those behind them.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 04:32 AM
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I don't like group rides at all. I like to ride with 1, or 2 other people, and only if we are on similar type bikes......A bike like a Versys, and a cruiser bike, bad match, not any fun for either person IMO.

I've found that the "fun factor" goes way down with the more bikes added to a group...
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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I've enjoyed the 6 or so group rides I've been on so far. A lot depends on the company, I guess, and the ground rules established beforehand.

I'm fortunate to ride with mature, experienced people who are aware of the people in front and behind them... people that allow you to ride at your own pace.

I've also enjoyed expanding my networking circle.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 01:11 PM
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I think three or four people is about the most , or at least the ideal number of riders I want to hook up with. Then, there are certain friends with whom I share a "style" of riding and experience. I like riding with those guys most of all. Then you have to have a clear understanding of what everybody is doing. I went on a group ride with around 14 people last year, (half of us had never met the other half), and some of them decided to split off on their own halfway through the ride. Those of us in front of the pack ended up waiting about 15 minutes before backtracking another 15 minutes to find out what became of the MIAs. That wasn't so much fun.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 01:28 PM
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I've used smaller group rides as an opportunity to meet new riders along with going to some LD events. LD riders tend to be safer in my experience. I think if they want to survive very long, they pretty much have to be :-)

I've been on ONE larger group ride of about 15 ninja 250 riders. We met up in AR and pretty much everyone behaved themselves. Of course, if you've been on the ninja250.org forums, you know they're/we're all hard cases when it comes to safety, so most of the squids avoid that forum anyway.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 01:36 PM
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I've meet a couple of groups i like to ride with through http://www.meetup.com/find/ I been in groups from 4 to almost 50. The organizers take safety serious if a large number of people show up they split the group into small groups with a lead and a sweep.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 02:14 PM
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Group rides are social events. Riding is secondary. It's creating an oportunity to meet like minded people. If you just want to ride don't go in a group. Make sure the group understands the social nature of the event and stick by the rules. Be mindful that there will be riders of different abilities and riding styles and not everyone is up to a 400 mile in a day. Although I enjoy group rides I admit that I prefer to ride solo.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 11:20 PM
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I have also used meetup to find people to ride with, and through that made some great friends. Not all groups are the same though, I've been on a few that just did not suit my style at all. I found one that encouraged ride leaders to post how they liked to ride so you could figure out if it was going to be a good match before you went. Since then I lead most of the rides I go on and I make sure people know exactly what to expect. I describe it as riding solo in the company of friends. By that I mean you shouldn't ride any differently than if you were solo (unless you are an idiot then please ride solo) but you also get to socialize with folks. Nobody is crowding me spoiling my ride and you get to share great roads and make new friends.

Works for me.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-02-2012, 11:32 PM
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I am a solo rider (and not an idiot) or someone who rides with one or two others. I like riding my own pace, stopping to shoot photos when I want and I can't stand stopping and eating a big meal mid ride. I ride with water, a snack and the sound of my own voice singing in my helmet.

It's about the awesome roads, the challenging twisties and pushing the envelope. It's sort of a solo affair for me.

I have friends that group ride, but they seem to always return with a horror story of one kind or another. I like riding a brisk pace, and I don't like slinky rides, which the couple of group rides i have attended, ended up bloody fast in the straights and slow in the twisties. Ya, that's fun!

I also think group rides are DANGEROUS.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 03:45 AM
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I mostly ride with my brother. Sometimes his wife will come along. And maybe a couple times a year my cousin will join. But that's it for us. And...talk about diversity of bikes: my Versys, a Connie14, a V-Max and a Majesty scooter !! But we have fun.

Don't like group rides. Too many variables to deal with. Like the leader canceling the ride while I'm en route to meet up with them, then hanging around waiting for them to show, then finally taking off to carve my own planet!

And I certainly don't do bike group events. Although, I would like to meet face-to-face with other Versys riders.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:33 AM
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I used to ride more with groups. Now just the wife on her bike and maybe 2 or three more close friends. Safer IMHO.. and less headache because everyone has different styles and I hate having stragglers who cant even do the speed limit. I like to ride 5 over most of the time as not to hold up traffic. Also, trying to keep a large group together suck with stop lights splitting the pack.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 AM
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obviously I am partial to group rides, cause I keep creating them.

I think it is great for different riders of different ages and different backgrounds to experience the same machine with commonality. Riders can learn a lot about parts and how they have worked for other people in a way that reading online can not compare. (best example is hearing how an exhaust sounds)

On the subject of whether it is safe or not; I ride to work everyday (2500 miles per month). That soccer mom on her cell phone with 3 kids in the car is way more scary then a bunch of dudes on their bikes. Its all up to you, the rider, whether you want to hotrod around town or go at your own pace. Many inexperienced group riders will try to ride at everyone else's pace and get themselves into trouble.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 09:25 AM
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I'm a 2 or 3 company any more than that is a crowd. Always waiting on someone, another needs fuel, etc.....

I do the majority of my riding on secondary highways and roads. I'm usually at a 8/10ths pace so I can enjoy the scenery and still keep an eye out for trouble.

If I ever slab it somewhere, it's usually on the way to and from a flat track race.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BAMF View Post
obviously I am partial to group rides, cause I keep creating them.

I think it is great for different riders of different ages and different backgrounds to experience the same machine with commonality. Riders can learn a lot about parts and how they have worked for other people in a way that reading online can not compare. (best example is hearing how an exhaust sounds)
I normally ride by myself or with 1 other. I had the pleasure to do a small ride with BAMF and 2 others. The one thing I find is that, with "new" groups, you need to find how comfortable people are from a riding skill level. Sometimes it can be fustrating (if they aren't up to your skill level), but you can also learn alot when you different people.

I was AMAZED at how quick and agile BAMF was on his bike, even with 2up+gear. To me, it was great to see what the bike can do in those types of situations when you put a confident and experienced rider. Because of that, I am much more confident with the Versys's capabilities when I am riding with the lady.

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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:02 PM
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I used to think it was great, and felt this sort of brotherhood rolling with a crew. All older guys. My father, his twin, and upwards of 15 friends. Mostly cruisers except my dad (gold Wing) and me.

I'm over it. 1 rider is cool. I like goin with my dad and uncle. I like going with my ex ;( who got her 09 V last April. She is a beast!

But yeah I don't like feeling like I have to slow it up, it's distracting and dangerous. I'm not a total hooligan, but I aim for twisty roads and like I keep a firm pace. I also like that I can randomly stop and take pictures or change route for no reason.

To the OP. if you wouldn't mind meeting up sometime to show off your bike and all her glorious gear(I'm interested in gps mount and engine guards among others) and we could hit up the shawangunks and get lost in the mountains.


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-07-2012, 11:28 PM
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I do group rides with guy's from a couple of forums. No problems.
On the ADV forum locally I ride the KLX 250S on logging roads and
some trails with small groups and we help each other and enjoy
the day. I've done a few rides with the FJR forum crew, small groups
and again enjoyable company. I haven't had the Versys long but am
going on a ride with some FJR's Thursday for the opening of the
North Cascades hwy, SR 20. I think small groups with a common
interest work the best.

Ride while you can
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