Wrong Group Ride - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-30-2015, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Wrong Group Ride

First my disclaimer...........

Rant? Not really.

Vent? Possibly.

Reality check? - - - - - Definitely!
Background=
So my neighbor/friend/riding partner has a 1200 GSA that he rides. And we've been a lot of places together on short rides, or 2-3 day camping trips to the mountains. He respects my disdain for the koolaid bikes, and he respectfully asks me to work on his bimmer every once in a while. (Former mechanic here)
He has a group he rides with that meets one day a week in the summer months. Mostly all bimmers, a couple of galls too, a G650 or two, but mostly 1200's. I've ridden a bit with them, but not for a year or so. It was a pretty mello bunch.

The ride-
I decide to take up the invitation last week and ride along. We meet up and there are all 1200 GS's, a Ducati, and some rat rod Suzuki 1000 with the matching rider that's bragging about his new HID headlamp, and how it blinds people all the time.

I am the lone KLR, about 400cc's short of even being in the same throttle response as these guys. They are all around my age (50's) but the Type "A" personalities are very evident, even with a snear at my lawnmower.

We head out with a pavement ride planned for a hamburger joint some 60 miles away. The throttles open up, and with commute traffic, the group (12 guys?) gets split up pretty fast.
Now it's a road race to see how fast we can get back in a group. Passing over solid double yellows, riding bumpers, pushing cars aside, and I start to get a little nervous. "This isn't me" I keep telling myself. We get about 16 miles out and head into some curves with one of the radar speed limit signs. Posted at 30 MPH, the guy in front of me is tripping it heading into the corner making it flash 58. I slow down to 42 into the curve and notice 2 GS's coming right up my seat.
I'm done.

We finish the corners and start hitting some straight stuff as I see the crowd fading into the horizon. I motion the rider behind me to pass, and point to my Bluetooth, and then wave him on. I drop off at the next side road and relax. I message two of the riders that I've got a phone call and have to return home.
I stop around ten minutes later for a drink of water and to enjoy main street of a nice little town.
My phone rings. They just stopped and figured out I wasn't there.

On the way back, I trip the 30MPH radar sign with 32 MPH. I feel better. I probably won't ride with these guys again. I think I'll start my own KLR/Thumper rides for the summer months with more dirt.

So, question is, Did I do the right thing bowing out?
Or should I have squawked loudly "SLOW DOWN".

Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation."

Jeff in Napa California
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-31-2015, 08:15 AM
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You did the right thing and for the right reasons. Once it stops being fun, it's time to do something different.
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post #3 of 18 Old 09-01-2015, 08:07 AM
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Been there and did exactly as you did. On the KLR I ride with my brothers or by myself. My Goldwing friends have a little more respect for others in the group so I will occasionally ride with them.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #4 of 18 Old 09-01-2015, 03:50 PM
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There's an alternative to letting them go -- try to keep up with people riding fast. Their highly-tuned 1200cc engines will zip around a car in a fraction of the distance of a KLR. So if you're gonna keep up then you'll be on the wrong side of the double yellow longer than they are.

Riding within your own limits means riding within the limits of the motorcycle too. The other bikes have not only more displacement and higher tuning, but brakes and suspension to match.

I have ridden my KLR with a friend on his Hayabusa. But he's not racing. He raced his electric drag bike last weekend at the local drag strip and he'll be taking a Kawasaki 2-stroke to Loring AFB for the land speed trials next weekend. It's when he's on public roads that he's not racing. But then he's Canadian and as stereotypically "nice" as any Canadian.

I'm glad I'm not a type A personality. Type A+ blood, OK. Personality, no.
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post #5 of 18 Old 09-01-2015, 04:00 PM
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You did the right thing. I had the same problem with a BMW group, now I ride alone on my 2005 KLR650. It's much better and safe. And I really enjoy it.
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post #6 of 18 Old 09-01-2015, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies of what I thought I would hear.
The funny thing is, I'm so out of place when we are on the street, but when we get offroad, I'm usually out in front waiting on the pigs. They can't touch the mule in the hills.
I've had to push my buddy out of a rock field up in the Sierra's.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/38...s0x0:0x0?hl=en

And I have proof!
https://youtu.be/5cTbo6SNpEM

Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation."

Jeff in Napa California

Last edited by campfire; 09-01-2015 at 09:47 PM.
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post #7 of 18 Old 09-03-2015, 05:07 PM
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I rode a few trips solo, mostly off-road camping trips but I decided to ride with friends for the added safety factor and it's nice to have someone around to have a beer with after a good day's ride. I now ride with two guys that I've known for years, I'm on my KLR, 1 is on a 650 VStrom and 1 is on a 250 Husky (yes a 250). We've done several trips now and we make up a good group, no complaining (one of our few rules). We all have the same objective-to avoid pavement as much as possible and generally just be away from the world for a few days. It's not a race, it's a ride. Each bike has it's own strong points but the common interests of the riders is what makes the trips successful.

Typically we do three nights of camping and cover a lot of ground, a lot of it on dirt roads in the vast USFS network with a lot of stops to take in the views. We rarely see other cars and very few other riders unless we're transitioning on pavement, we'll see the GSs all shined up with a lot of expensive and very clean gear but rarely see them on the back roads and never on the really rocky stuff.
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post #8 of 18 Old 09-03-2015, 08:24 PM
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campfire,
You did the 'right thing'. Ride your own ride! At your own pace.
Even if you had 'chose' to continue riding with Them, you should ride your own pace.

A 'good' leader and a good pack will either slow Down or wait at the intersections/turns for everybody to re-group.

As to your riding buddy falling down in the rocks! We all fall down. Some times on camera! Glad my buddies Didn't Have Go-Pros!!!
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Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-29-2015, 07:28 AM
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I have been on those.. rides in both positions to fast or to slow. If I am on a slow bike I ride at my pace and meet up later at the burger joint. Like someone said if it aint fun slow down!!

I like to see things along the way Trying to stay alive long enough to get a greasy burger is not why I ride!!

I bet the KLR jokes were the talk of the day.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-29-2015, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifter. View Post
I have been on those.. rides in both positions to fast or to slow. If I am on a slow bike I ride at my pace and meet up later at the burger joint. Like someone said if it aint fun slow down!!

I like to see things along the way Trying to stay alive long enough to get a greasy burger is not why I ride!!

I bet the KLR jokes were the talk of the day.
If, back in the day, instead of hanging out at the Ace Cafe the bike riders hung out at a "greasy burger", instead of cafe bikes we would have burger bikes!
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