so recently i was made aware of a tendency i have to just ride motorcycles. this came about when a good friend bought an identical bike to me and instantly proceeded to instantly start adding stuff to it. he changed some gearing, tweaked the sprocket alignment, ordered a power commander type gadget and generally--in the words of the dual sport world, farkelled his bike. the modifications on my bike include new tires and adjusting the hand controls.
thinking about this on my ride home today made me realize that for a long time i have just ridden motorcycles. my jobs have given me great opportunities to ride hundreds of bikes, some for an hour, some for a year, and i know what makes a good ride and a crappy ride, but more often than not i have just ridden the bike as they were.
having spent some time on racetracks, dirt and pavement, i fully understand what the benefits of proper suspension tuning brings, as well as engine tuning to suit your riding style. but all that tuning and set up takes away riding time. yes, i have set bikes up properly many, many time. yes, they are easier to ride, better controlled and much safer, so no need to tell me what i am missing. but i also think my constant rotation of bikes over the years has been a big part of why i just ride them.
So often i get on a new or different bike and in the first 5 miles i know what the suspension limits are, what the brakes do or don't do, how power is delivered and what the chassis does (to a point) and i just adapt my riding style to the bikes abilities or lack of abilities. i am not sure if that means i am a better rider than people who invest hours in set up before they ride or worse.
what i know is, more often than not, i am just riding for fun or transportation and the limits of the bike are not going to get explored, so i just ride it. i dont know if i do the bikes justice by not tweaking al kind of things, but i do have a good time riding anyway.