PDA

View Full Version : Backroads vs Road Trips vs Track days vs Day Trips



Mudpuppy
05-08-2014, 12:56 PM
Ok so recently had a conversation with a fellow rider. This rider has years upon years of experience - maybe like I was before I went to the track. Never did track days. Never experienced 10-12 hour days around the dragon riding the mountains, etc. But we were discussing a 1,200 mile road trip - slab run as I would call it. Not sure how many here are actually qualified to chime in here - I know Chris is as he has done all 3 and probably even more qualified than me on the road trip end of things but I think I even out that experience with more track experience. So maybe this is just a discussion between Gasman and myself but I would like people's thoughts. There are many dynamics to consider between the different types of riding. But ultimately in my opinion if I do 10 hours of hard riding in the mountains - Dragon, Cherahola, Hellbender, roads like that - I would personally consider that a tougher challenge than riding county highways for 8 hours on a slab run. A slab run is more endurance where the mountain aggressive riding is riding 150% constantly for 10 hours with short breaks. To me that takes endurance and strength to pull off - the exhaustion factor definitely comes into play. I could list 100 items for each type of riding and I will if it is productive to the discussion.

Ultra AL
05-08-2014, 05:31 PM
Well - I have no experience with any of the options listed other than 2-3 hour day trips, so I won't vote. My perception is that Mud is right (for a change :lmao:) and that the backroad winding mountain trails would wear on you for the long haul.

detdrbuzzard
05-08-2014, 05:44 PM
for me it would be places like hocking hills. it not that the wing is a bad handling bike but it is a heavy bike to have to toss around

owl
05-08-2014, 06:21 PM
Flat out hard riding on freeways for 8 / 10 hours is the worst for me. If you add in a strong crosswind and trucks then it really blows.

RedneckMedic
05-08-2014, 07:25 PM
My vote is for back roads as I have not done track days yet but want to eventually. This is a tough one because it all depends on the bike. Like owl side with cross winds and such getting blown around on a slab run is stressful. Last summer when we went to hocking hills I think part of the reason I ended up going down was fatigue. I was beat by the end of the day after a 4 hour ride down then riding all day. The other reason why I wrecked was lack of experience especially on those types of roads. Live and learn and I plan on doing both. Hopefully if you ask this question ten years from now I will be able to weigh all options and give a better answer. Although I do have to say I get more saddle sore on a slab run but the twisties wear my whole body down.

leebo
05-08-2014, 07:51 PM
Well I didnt vote cause I dont have all those experiences, I stay off the xways in mich they are just to hard on my back, Im mostly an urban rider just here to there.

horrorbusiness
05-08-2014, 10:32 PM
I didn't read the first post , it was a lil wordy. I have only been able to go on day trips. If I had my way , I would get on the bike , stay off any road that's more than a couple of lanes wide and see the sites. There are a lot of weird people and places out there and you don't see that on the toll roads and super highways.

junkyardjon
05-09-2014, 12:18 AM
when your ready for a 800 mile ride in 10 1/2 hours, let me know....................

Mudpuppy
05-09-2014, 01:43 AM
I wasn't really talking straight up freeways or interstates on slab runs. Just mainly the straight and narrow 2 lane highways - like M52 for instance. Yeah there are turns, etc. but nothing like the hairpins, etc. seen around Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Ohio, etc. It's different dynamics like Lance is talking about. Long 800 mile runs definitely take endurance - not disputing that. But long 10 hour twisty runs take endurance to a whole new level is what I was getting at. Track days are a whole different ball game - short bursts of high intensity but over 8 hours is probably 2-3x harder than the backroads where you kind of combine a slab run with a track day - a hybrid of sorts. Day trips are a different animal and depends on how you approach them - could be a combination of all of the other 3. Another consideration of a long 800 mile run and riding over several days is the gear required - typically loaded down with gear adds a completely other dynamic - especially on a sportbike. I have done all 4 I just wanted to get opinions just because I just had this conversation with someone. So when am I ready for 800 miles in 10-1/2 hours - right now. My opinion is if you can do track days - especially 2 or 3 days in a row of 90 degree plus heat in full leathers 8 hours a day - and you can do extended back road rides - 7 days 10 hours a day - at places like hocking hills or the dragon - then a "slab" run is not as big of a challenge. You want a challenge? Try riding Mid-Ohio in pouring down rain on race slicks. If you can make it around there 1 lap please come and see me - I will buy you a beer and tell you good job. Or try riding the dragon at midnight. Or try riding US28 in pouring down rain for several hours. After any of those excursions cruising on a multi day trip seems like taking candy from a baby.

bombdog
05-09-2014, 10:54 AM
I have road the Dragon and all over TN. I have road West as far as WY and South to FL. I know nothing of tracks I would try it just have not yet. I would have to say some of my most stressful riding has been on the slab between people trying to kill you and the wind. The winds in SD are just crazy I was inches away from being blown into the center median ditch, that was some serious pucker factor. I am still a pretty new rider and always learning. I have road some slabs were I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep cruise set at 85 just rolling. Back roads are my favorite corners dodging pot holes squirrels and deer. When I road Natchez Trace it rained so hard you could not see the bike in front of you but there was no place to pull over and thats a easy mellow ride. So I guess my round about point is it all depends on the day and the ride. There are slab days that are way more stressful than cornering back roads and there is that day you round a corner on a back road and there is a 40# coon in the middle of the road.

Mudpuppy
05-09-2014, 11:31 AM
or a 600 lb bear - like I saw on hellbender one evening - doh! In the middle of the road at that. I know they say brake and don't swerve for animals - in this case it was evasive maneuvers of full on gas and crossing double yellow to get around him as fast as possible. I had to throw those underwear out.

But yes I agree there are definitely challenges on any ride you go on. What I have found though is if you have a heightened riding level from doing track days and advanced level mountain type twisty riding then anything you come across on a slab run you are definitely more prepared for then say Joe I bought a bike barely passed the license test ride just for fun 1 or 2 weekends a year mostly posing in front of the local greasy spoon on main street so people know I am cool and I have no interest in improving my riding skills type of rider.

bombdog
05-09-2014, 11:48 AM
or a 600 lb bear - like I saw on hellbender one evening - doh! In the middle of the road at that. I know they say brake and don't swerve for animals - in this case it was evasive maneuvers of full on gas and crossing double yellow to get around him as fast as possible. I had to throw those underwear out.

But yes I agree there are definitely challenges on any ride you go on. What I have found though is if you have a heightened riding level from doing track days and advanced level mountain type twisty riding then anything you come across on a slab run you are definitely more prepared for then say Joe I bought a bike barely passed the license test ride just for fun 1 or 2 weekends a year mostly posing in front of the local greasy spoon on main street so people know I am cool and I have no interest in improving my riding skills type of rider.

Agreed I still get intimidated on down hill twisties as I just don't get enough exposure. I love twisties but through a steep slope in and I back off a little more but I am going to spend some more time this year in PA were I grew up and fix that. Riding track in a controlled environment will allow you to go faster and do things and learn things you cant on the road but can be applied to the road. I took the ride like a pro class last year and learned a lot from it and would like to take the HD Riders edge advanced class this year. I would say overall for me a solid day of back roads does take the most skill. I plan on riding more this year as I only got a little over 13,000 miles in last year I just wish I could get the dog to ride on the back so we could ride to work.

Moesride
05-09-2014, 12:55 PM
I also did not vote since I believe I'm just not experienced enough. I do plan on taking the HD advanced coarse as well as soon as im back on two wheels. Never enough experience as far as I'm concerned . Now with that said, I'm no stranger to riding, been on two wheels for a while its just that my style of riding is layed back and enjoy the sights type mentality that sometimes it gets in the way of acquiring additional training skills on handling two wheels.

Gas Man
05-09-2014, 01:47 PM
I'm not sure I can vote... wow.

I could add in the severity of 150+ in, and through highway traffic. That is intense and takes it out of you. I, sorry, have done that many times in my rocket days and probably the contributing factor in why I quit riding them.

Track riding, my least experienced piece of this debate. It is intense, it's mentally and physically a struggle. There is no gap for mind wondering and that alone makes it not for everybody. Most are like me, and have problems clearing the mind. With track riding/racing, you have to clear your mind before you ride, before you throw your leg over. This is a key difference between it and almost every other following debated riding.

8 hours on the super slab... for me it's always been the negative of a time crunch trip. It's paying your dues for what is soon to be a great trip, when you get to where you're going. I have done this for years... thousands if not ore... my ultra has 30k on it... I bet 10k of it easily is super slab. It's an endurance trip. However, I have had tons of fun doing it... you gotta have some fun otherwise you'll fall asleep and be part of a direct tv commercial.

Day trips... these are nice. I constitute them as leave in the morning, back around dark or shortly after. Sometimes they are a super slab some are back roads or both. These are great for the busy person that can maybe on occasion slice out a full day but can't take 4-5 day trips. The cost is also down, without hotels...

Backroad trips is where it is... honestly these are the best. The previous generations had the right idea, of course many of those were by necessity with lack of highways. This is the direction I'm going. Our last trip to the UP was like this. We had some hours the first day on the highway, and on the way home, but otherwise when we hit lake michigan we got off the highway. The backroads are great, the scenery, the twists, the discovery. Riding along a big lake, with a slopes in the backdrop, smooth pavement... find yourself. Look around and you see your buddies riding near you doing and thinking the same. You both smile at each other... you know what he's thinking... this is life. This is what it's about.

Which is the worse... ya know.. as I type through this I have figured it out, the light is on and I am enlightened. Thanks Paul.

What do you think I am going to say is the worse?

Thruxtonbill
05-09-2014, 03:48 PM
find yourself. Look around and you see your buddies riding near you doing and thinking the same. You both smile at each other... you know what he's thinking... this is life. This is what it's about.

Which is the worse... ya know.. as I type through this I have figured it out, the light is on and I am enlightened. Thanks Paul.


If I were you I'd check the job postings at Hallmark.......I just have something in my eye...I'm not crying....really.

DataDaemon
05-09-2014, 04:12 PM
I'm probably one of the least experienced road riders in this group, I grew up in the dirt... I think you missed that in your vote here to be honest. Not sure how many guys have been through all of this, but I know spending a day trail riding or on a dirt track is pretty abusive to equipment and the rider. I'd be interested in hearing from any one that could compare dirt track to paved track. From my experience dirt track is pretty abusive but riding a new trail will send your mind into hyper crazy hunting the landscape mode.

Chain
05-09-2014, 05:25 PM
Like many I am sure, when we go somewhere we go for as long as we can day one... Usually always around the 700 mile mark. Done it every long trip, and with a large group, what would normally take 11-12 hours on the highway, takes 14-15 hours... that is the worst for me.

I LOVE traveling with as many people as we can, but that is the hardest part...

Kosher
05-09-2014, 06:17 PM
I actually dont mind hours on the super slab. Road Glides eat miles, so very comfortable. I prefer the back roads though, if practical.

For example, when I go to Sturgis, really the first third of the trip is highway (through chicago), then I take US14 to Mankato, MN which is mostly 2-lane, 9-10 hours. Slab from there to Sturgis, but the highway and the back roads are pretty similar at that point, just fewer intersections. Probably 10 hours with stopping. I got to Sturgis at around 3PM (you gain an hour from MN), I really felt very good, went for a ride after dinner. :)

I like riding in a group, but I also really like riding by myself, I can stop when I want, very relaxed.

sprink
05-09-2014, 08:12 PM
Backroads/twisties by far is the most challenging. I have limited track experience and found it thrilling and awesome, but without racing it is predictable. Roads you have never traveled or are just to complicated to remember take more attention. Add in animals and traffic, no question to me.

I did the moonshiner the first time going to deals gap, in the dark.....in the fog.....had to pry my hands off when we stopped.

Lead a group to and through West Virginia. Mixed level of talent made that a tough ride. Don't want to make the ride boring or get anyone off their bike, so pace becomes really tough on challenging roads. We took the "triple nickel" on the way down, against my better judgement. Turned out OK, but one rider managed to do a 270 in a turn due to stuff on the road. Most exhausting ride of my life.

I much prefer riding sweep and just kickin back watching the foolery in front of me, LOL.

Mudpuppy
05-14-2014, 03:27 PM
I wouldn't add 150+ in highway traffic because it's just not applicable here and not legal anyways. Am I a saint? Clearly not. I have done stupid things. But I definitely say doing something like this is stupid - which Chris I am not knocking you or saying I never did anything stupid - I think you agree with me now that this is not a type of riding that should be considered.

I could though have easily added dirt bike riding - that is pretty challenging and there are probably 100 arguments why it is more challenging than any of the 4 I listed.

Moe - save your money on the HD advanced course and do a track day instead. Go to Mid-Ohio and rent a KTM. You will learn 1,000x more in 1 day than you could in a year of doing the HD advanced course every day that year. I can't guarantee you won't want to sell the HD and ride a rocket but I can guarantee if you continue to ride the HD you will ride it with a lot more confidence and riding knowledge / skills.

RedneckMedic
05-14-2014, 06:17 PM
I wouldn't add 150+ in highway traffic because it's just not applicable here and not legal anyways. Am I a saint? Clearly not. I have done stupid things. But I definitely say doing something like this is stupid - which Chris I am not knocking you or saying I never did anything stupid - I think you agree with me now that this is not a type of riding that should be considered.I could though have easily added dirt bike riding - that is pretty challenging and there are probably 100 arguments why it is more challenging than any of the 4 I listed.Moe - save your money on the HD advanced course and do a track day instead. Go to Mid-Ohio and rent a KTM. You will learn 1,000x more in 1 day than you could in a year of doing the HD advanced course every day that year. I can't guarantee you won't want to sell the HD and ride a rocket but I can guarantee if you continue to ride the HD you will ride it with a lot more confidence and riding knowledge / skills.Didnt know anywhere with track days did rentals. Or are you talking back roads riding. That would be something I would be up for if I get another bike later than sooner.

Mudpuppy
05-15-2014, 04:12 PM
Mid-Ohio and Leguna Seca California do rentals for track days. Mid-Ohio rents KTMs which sounds like a dirt bike but they actually have pretty sweet motards and even a super bike of sorts - kind of like the Triumph 675 from what I can tell. Leguna Seca or Fontana or some track in California rents Ninja 250s - really not quite as fun but I would try it.

Down south at Deal's Gap my brother from another mother Mr. Greg McCoy rents anything from R1 to FZ6 to FZ1 to some assorted Kawasuckis, etc. http://www.sportbikes4hire.com/

He also rents in North California.

The picture in my signature is the bike I rented from Greg in 2010 and was riding on the dragon.

Gas Man
05-16-2014, 02:25 PM
I wouldn't add 150+ in highway traffic because it's just not applicable here and not legal anyways. Am I a saint? Clearly not. I have done stupid things. But I definitely say doing something like this is stupid - which Chris I am not knocking you or saying I never did anything stupid - I think you agree with me now that this is not a type of riding that should be considered.

I could though have easily added dirt bike riding - that is pretty challenging and there are probably 100 arguments why it is more challenging than any of the 4 I listed.

Moe - save your money on the HD advanced course and do a track day instead. Go to Mid-Ohio and rent a KTM. You will learn 1,000x more in 1 day than you could in a year of doing the HD advanced course every day that year. I can't guarantee you won't want to sell the HD and ride a rocket but I can guarantee if you continue to ride the HD you will ride it with a lot more confidence and riding knowledge / skills.


Yeah not my hinesight greatest or most intelligent idea.

Mudpuppy
05-16-2014, 02:57 PM
Yeah not my hinesight greatest or most intelligent idea.

Yeah it is what it is. I know you and I are on the same page now - that is squid type of shit and not intelligent type of riding and riding like that will sooner or later leave you riding the pine (box) 6 feet under..

Lance: http://www.midohio.com/School/Courses/Motorcycles/Performance-Track-Riding

Gas Man
05-16-2014, 03:05 PM
Yup. I like to say I survived that part of my riding.