Ducati Monster Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
380 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Who is the better rider, a Track Rider or a Street Rider?

There is an evolutionary theory on Predator’s vs. Prey. In order for a species to survive in its environment it must evolve adaptive strategies to prevent it from becoming a meal to another species. If the prey loses a race its dinner, if a predator loses a race it’s only hungry. So there is a stronger selective pressure on a prey species to develop adaptive strategies to survive than a predator species.

If you use this theory to compare Track Riders with Street Riders the answer is obvious. The better rider is the Street Rider because he is the prey item. If a Street Rider makes a mistake there is a significantly higher probability that he will be seriously hurt or killed than if a Track Rider makes a mistake. If a Track Rider makes a mistake he loses a position or a few seconds on a lap. A bad mistake may put him in the run off area or sliding down the track on his well protected face. But the likelihood of him dying is significantly less than a Street Rider.

Therefore Track Days are awesome they will definitely improve your riding skill, no debate there. However, in the real world where there are cars, trucks, pot holes, road debri, gravel, curbs, etc, etc, an experience Street Rider is the prey that must survive to ride another day. The experienced Track Rider is the predator that goes home hungry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,745 Posts
it is probably a safe assumption that most track riders either are or started out as primarily street (or dirt) riders. they are certainly some different skill sets, but with a great deal more in common with eachother than not. you'll never learn to be an effective street rider (i.e. vs. auto traffic) on the track, but you'll never learn better overall control of your bike than on a track.

as far as "better", if you are only one or the other then.. you've just obviated the question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
Interesting comparison...

I suppose it comes down to how you define "better".  The street rider in your scenario would be 'better' at accident avoidance, scanning ahead, using turnsignals, etc... due to the extreme penalties afforded those who mess up.  The track rider would be 'better' at maintaining high speeds, corner exits, so on and so forth... because that's what their motivation pushes them to do.


I ride mostly on the street.  So I practice street riding (by default).  Track riding is certainly a great way to become a better rider (on both track AND street), however.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
380 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
The perfect example is the Isle of Man Road Race. How would Troy Bayliss or even Valentino Rossi compete in this type of race? Would their domination on the Race Tracks translate to domination on a Road Race course?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,591 Posts
I would say that dirt bike riding will help you more than just about anything. The skills I developed while riding/racing dirt bikes have saved my butt more than once when riding on the street.

I also think that riding on the track will make you a faster rider when you are ripping up the turns on the road.

Swanny
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,853 Posts
tex-mex said:
The perfect example is the Isle of Man Road Race. How would Troy Bayliss or even Valentino Rossi compete in this type of race? Would their domination on the Race Tracks translate to domination on a Road Race course?
how do you figure? Theres major difference of the TT vs GP is the road conditions and lack of run off versus a prepared and groomed track. It's not like there's traffic to navigate...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,745 Posts
baadaaboo said:
I have seen many street riders are not able to ride on tracks.
which means their cornering ability is really not what they think it is. anyone can ride in a straight line.

baadaaboo said:
But most track riders can ride on streets.
goes back to my earlier point. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
382 Posts
swanny said:
I would say that dirt bike riding will help you more than just about anything. The skills I developed while riding/racing dirt bikes have saved my butt more than once when riding on the street.
Second that. Ex-Enduro rider here. High speed pine tree dodging along with slipping and sliding will help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
I'd have to say that street riding and track riding are mostly similar. All the techniques of a track apply to the street. Leaning, throttle on in turns, etc, etc... In some cases on the street this of course doesn't apply as we all know. Street = Canyons primarily for this discussion I think.

The main difference between street and track is known verus unknown. The track is all knowns, and the street is all unknowns. Deer, rocks, gravel, cars, etc. Around any turn could be your impending doom. On the track, you have a map, its a closed course. Acts of god still do apply here. The track would assumably be clean, except for the Harley oiling it down in front of you but you should have passed him a lap ago anyway. The track contains no moving targets. The track lets you move your mind from scanning for potholes to thinking about how your bike is acting and analyzing what is happening with your suspension and speed in turns. You become a different rider when on the track because you have increased capacity to comprehend things like your bike and speed and setup. On the street you are thinking safety and where is the next obstacle to avoid.

This is a really interesting discussion. I think the difference is really based on primarily trusting your machine, and secondarily the environment and how it impacts you. Track riders on the street if they are in track mode I think will fare worse that a street rider in street mode. And vice versa.

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
501 Posts
I would have to say bench racer squids are the best riders. Everytime I talk them I find out they could out ride Sete and Hayden put together and their CBR600RR bikes will go 180 mph "and I wasn't even getting on it all the way, dood" [thumbsup] Yup, squids rock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,334 Posts
I have never done a track day but here is my 2 cents. From what I have read mostly here and heard form people who do ride on the track, it makes you a better street rider. What I have gathered is that once people experience the track and its somewhat worry free environment and understand what their bike is capable of they save it for the track. This leads them to slowing down on the streets, riding safer and generaly feeling that hard riding is best left to track days.

This would make the a track rider a better rider as they also become a safer street rider. But as others have said, the answer really depends on what the question is asking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
711 Posts
What makes a "better rider" is very simple...
Confidence in your machine and it's limits.

How you train is up to you.

And remember, there's always someone "better".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,722 Posts
Here's the thing, some track riders aren't good track riders or street riders. When you do start racing/doing a lot of track days, you'll find yourself in a situation eventually where you'll be testing the limits of your machine and your cajones. You'll get yourself into situations that you think you can't ride around and then you'll learn you can. Street riding has little to nothing to do with track riding. Braking points, corner speed, learning when you can get on the gas, sliding the rear, getting the rear wheel off the ground on the brakes, these are all things you should never encounter on the street (and if you do, you ride like an idiot on the street). You'll use aspects of these on the street and to far less degrees which make them kind of irrelevant. Where it will all help you is when you find yourself making a split-second decision at high-speed, you'll have the mental faculties to know you can ride it out and you won't panic, that's the best thing you'll translate into your street riding. For me, now that my street bike was stolen, I only ride the track right now and frankly, it's WAYYYYY more fun pushing yourself to the limits than to take a cruise around the neighborhood or commute to work. I take the money I save from not owning/maintaining my street bike and put it directly into my tire fund, makes me a happy man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
If better means faster, then I would say that from my experience most people who have been exclusively street riders don't know how slow they are until their first track day.

Anyone can turn the throttle in a straight line, but, ... real rider skill happens through practice and the best place to practice to the limit is at the track.

Hard braking is just not responsibly done on the street.  For me, 90% of passing at the track happens hard on the brakes.

Quick turn-ins don't happen as often on the street, nor do full leans, nor spinning up the rear.

Fast bikes are great at the track but under utilized on the street.  Same for a 200+ mph Ferrari.

If better means pure survival (i.e. avoiding cell phone soccer mom), maybe the nod goes to mostly street experienced miles.  But developing track skills, hard braking and quick turns, can also benefit the street warrior.  Actually, most track riders are also street riders so it is not mutually exclusive.  Most track riders get frustrated and bored by having to ride at 70% on the street.

Keith Code (love him or not) has written some good track skill info and survival skill info here: http://www.superbikeschool.com/bbs/index.php?s=e8e643ed1a95a11a7ee9a42f7f7c153c&showforum=11
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
tex-mex said:
The perfect example is the Isle of Man Road Race.  How would Troy Bayliss or even Valentino Rossi compete in this type of race?  Would their domination on the Race Tracks translate to domination on a Road Race course?
No your example is far from “perfect.” Matter of fact it’s atrocious

John McGuiness the Isle of Mann champion for the last few years and track record holder is also a British Supersport racer and might be going to World Super bike

Oh and some guy by the name of Carl Fogerty (4 time world super bike champion on some crazy bike from Italy with only one swing arm) has raced and won the Isle of Man.

Joey Dunlop the KING of the Isle of Man who won 26 races there was also an English and Irish track racing legen.

Rossi, Bayliss etc don’t race Isle of Man because they’re worth million and their sponsors would never let them

Yup, perfect example ;)
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top