How much of a natural ability goes into riding? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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How much of a natural ability goes into riding?

I had seen this over at another forum, and thought it would be interesting discussion here. Post your thoughts and experiences!
Is there such a thing as natural ability to ride a motorcycle? Ever meet somebody that riding just comes natural to them? Is there such a group of people who are not meant to ride motorcycles no matter how much they ride or practice? The arguement of seat time is one thing but this is about a natural ability to ride. Example, there is somebody that I knew several years ago who used to ride. (dont worry, he's not part of ocmoto. Quit riding like 4 years ago.) He really suck at riding. I mean really suck. No matter how much he practice he keep on making mistakes. He's been riding since 2002 and he was one of the many people who convinced me to get a motorcycle because its "cool". Anyway, he stop riding 4 years ago cus he is tired of crashing and most of it wasn't even by cars. Most of it is in neighborhoods by himself. A couple of my friends who used to ride with me said he shouldn't even be on a bike in the first place but afraid to tell him.

So we were talking about natural skills for an activity. A person can pick up an activity right off the bat and excel with it. Sometimes it just comes natural to them. While there will be times that no matter how much they do it, they still suck at it. Does it pertain to riding? I know some people will say "all you need is practice and seat time, you will be good" But is that true? My arguement is that its not. I was on the side that just because you have seat time doesnt make you a good rider. I know some will disagree with me on here but im sticking to that belief. And this situation I actually think there are certain people out there who are not good with hand and eye coordination so they shouldn't be on a motorcycle in the first place. We all have this saying. "Riding is not for everybody." But what does that really mean? Is it only based on fear? I believe some people are not meant to be on a bike in the first place. Seat time is one of the most common excuses that people will use if one of their friends just suck at riding. "Well he just need more seat time." Really? That guy I knew been riding for 7 years. He still suck. Suck so bad he quit. Explain that? He does look great standing next to a bike.

So what do you guys think? Don't you need to have a natural ability to ride a motorcycle in order to even excel in riding? I know plenty of people who ride for less than a year and tends to ride much better than some people who been riding for years. Natural ability? Some just comes natural to them I believe. You disagree?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 02:31 PM
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I would have no, until I tried to teach my daughter to drive a manual transmission. Even though she had been driving for about 15 yrs, she should not have a license.

40 yrs ago, I knew/worked with a guy everybody called 'Crash'. He could reportedly stop at a stop sign and somehow not put a foot down. Indecision concerning which foot, I would guess.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 02:43 PM
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People are all quite different... I agree that some people just can't ride. It pertains to basically all activities... some people are just naturally good and other naturally suck at certain activities.

In this case, some physical attributes might affect the rider, such as depth perception, balance, maybe even color perception and other attributes I can't think of right now... my point is, some of it may be physical or psychological, making a "natural ability" a possibility.

For those of us who get better after practice or "seat time"... I think the ability to learn new things or to adapt to new activities/environments is also a natural or innate ability. Some people learn super fast, others take a while and others just never do.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 03:13 PM
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I have always said this. I even suggested there is a "biker gene" that some folks have and others don't.
It goes further than natural ability. It's a state of mind. I guess with help and practice anyone can "ride a motorcycle" but can they do it well enough to survive? I think some have more ability than others...some of this might be learned but if you look at say racers... There's always a few that just seem better than the rest.

I personally don't think I'm in that special club of the outstanding....but I do know I have the gene......

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 03:16 PM
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People who can't drive a bicycle have no business on a motorcycle.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:30 PM
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Its definitely natural ability......the degrees of balance and manipulation of balance all plays in...fols with screwed up inner ears should never get on a bike.....look at some of these sportbike clowns that stand their bikes up on the front wheel.....I cant do that......I can do wheelies standing on the seat though....yet, my neighbor, as they approach a stop sign, brake way to early, then wobble, and just look silly....

Degrees of balance and perfecting that vary from one to another....ask any Wallenda, lol....

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:46 PM
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I think there are 3 types of people in most activities... those that are born with a natural gift for it, those that can learn... and be quite good at it with enough repetition , and those people that no matter how much they do something, they will never be good.

Some of it may be physical limitation , such as depth perception, balance or it could be mental such as hand eye coordination, ability to anticipate or simply focus.

I have a friend who is a terrible driver. We are the same age but he has been driving longer than me... but he has wrecked 3x as many times, always he fault. He doesn't focus, he doesn't even try to anticipate and he puts to much trust in the machine. In high school I actually convinced him to let me drive his new car, despite the fact I didn't have a license because he had already had 3 wrecks.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:48 PM
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i think Chris summed it up the best....bravo brother !....

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 05:37 PM
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Natural Ability

I spent years working with people running printing equipment. I soon realized there are people with natural ability to work with machines. Usually within 1/2 hour I could tell if a guy would make it. I think the same thing goes with bikes, you either have a comfortable feeling with machines, be it a printing press or a motorcycle or you fight it. You have to have a feeling of what the machine will do if you do this or that. People can be smart in different ways, but with machines, I think it is a natural comfort with the mechanics of the machine.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 07:43 PM
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i agree riding is not for everyone that being said the first time i hopped on a bike i took off like a old biker would quick and confident and been riding the same way ever since

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