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Riding Rut


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No, I don’t actually mean riding off road in actual ruts. My question is: What do you guys do to keep riding exciting/interesting?
 
I love my FJ-09. I wanted a light weight sport touring bike that had an exciting engine and was going to be reliable. I wanted a riding position more comfortable than my previous bike (an SV650s). The FJ-09 has done everything I have asked of it and I have had zero issues.
 
However, I feel like my riding is in a bit of a rut. I am usually riding the same roads (which are fantastic but getting a bit stale). My typical ride is 1-3 hours. These rides are all solo. I would love to do some more actual touring but with a wife and two kids under 4, well, that probably isn’t going to happen. I am easily distracted by shiny things and am getting a bit bored.
 
What do you guys do to keep things interesting? Find new roads? Find some riding buddies? Farkle up your bike? I’ve even considered buying a new bike like an FJR or BMW GS (I could ride across the country and back! I could adventure across South America!) Then I realize I am not actually going to do either, and in a few months will likely feel the same way. The problem is not the bike itself - it does what I want it to do beautifully. It has an exciting triple, a great riding position, and hard bags that get occasional use.
 
I think a Yoshimura exhaust and ECU flash might be the ticket for me for the moment. What do you guys do?
 
 
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Where do you live? Is there good riding in your area? Have you thought about changing things up?
If you normally ride just 1-3 hours, maybe discover someplace in a different state, maybe pick a destination a few hours away and ride there for lunch and make a full day (or even 6-8 hours) out of it.
While I enjoy multi-day road trips, I also enjoy a quick over-nighter somewhere. I pick a destination about 8-10 hours away and find the twisty roads in between and different routes there and back.
 
If you are in a riding rut I'm not sure spending money on farkles will help (though it does work for the ladies buying new shoes or a handbag) but if it keeps you riding, then go for it. FYI a full exhaust and ECU flash will run you about the same $$$ as a very nice suspension upgrade. I personally never spend money on bling (shiny billet aluminum or carbon fiber bits) instead I focus on ergonomics (comfort) and handling (tires and suspension).
 
Good luck

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Pick up Nick Ienatsch's book "Sport Riding Techniques" and learn to ride the same roads better. Also consider commuting on the bike if you don't already. That doesn't really get into the realm of "exciting", but it does make a commute a lot more tolerable.
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The root of the question is what do you love about riding? And thus what breathes excitement, awe and wonder into your two-wheeled adventures. Close your eyes and picture your "Happy FJ place"; what does it look like?
 
You mention duration, riding solo, being easily distracted and modding.
If you think some more distance, adventuring, and/or touring will scratch your itch, but responsibilities at home limit this; how about making a bargain with the wife? Each month one of you has sole child/household responsibilities for an entire weekend, the other spouse does the same the next month. Leaving you with six weekends a year to get a bit more distance in.
*Note* I don't have kids, but this is similar to what my GF and I have set-up.
 
Friends help introduce me to new roads and sometimes these are 5-minute friends who happened to stop at the same pitstop as me. 90% of riders will give you road suggestions. If you're too shy to approach other riders, open a paper map like your reading the Sunday Times and you'll have a high probability of other people (riders and locals) offering suggestions or just pick some roads and see what happens.
 
Concentrating on technique helps alleviate some of my boredom with repetitive roads. Everything from hitting an apex and throttle control to imaginary obstacle avoidance.
 
Sparkly track days would definitely keep your attention. Or even advanced on-/off-road rider training.
 
Mods are tricky. I love solving problems and making things so riding and modding are nearly equal in my book. But as you suggested farkles lose their luster quickly.
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Pick up Nick Ienatsch's book "Sport Riding Techniques" and learn to ride the same roads better. Also consider commuting on the bike if you don't already. That doesn't really get into the realm of "exciting", but it does make a commute a lot more tolerable.
 
I’ll be sure to pick up the book. That sounds like a good idea to me. Thanks!
 
I gave commuting a try when forced to (wife’s car was in for repairs so she stole my primary transportation) and am not sure it is for me. Mostly due to the hassle of getting gear on and off and not having a good place to store it.
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Where do you live? Is there good riding in your area? Have you thought about changing things up? If you normally ride just 1-3 hours, maybe discover someplace in a different state, maybe pick a destination a few hours away and ride there for lunch and make a full day (or even 6-8 hours) out of it.
While I enjoy multi-day road trips, I also enjoy a quick over-nighter somewhere. I pick a destination about 8-10 hours away and find the twisty roads in between and different routes there and back.
 
If you are in a riding rut I'm not sure spending money on farkles will help (though it does work for the ladies buying new shoes or a handbag) but if it keeps you riding, then go for it. FYI a full exhaust and ECU flash will run you about the same $$$ as a very nice suspension upgrade. I personally never spend money on bling (shiny billet aluminum or carbon fiber bits) instead I focus on ergonomics (comfort) and handling (tires and suspension).
 
Good luck
 
But spending money is so much fun! I kid. I realize changing up the bike a bit serves to make things different (read more interesting) temporarily. My other bike is a farkeled up goddess testament to that.
 
I live on the East Coast in the Blue Ridge mountains. Lists of winding twisty roads. Unfortunately traffic enforcement can be severe (any speed that is 80mph+ or 20mph+ over the speed limit is automatic reckless driving, a criminal possibility do jail but definitely spend lots of $ offense). This serves to keep my speed reasonable/sedate.
 
I’ve had great fun on my longer rides (I’ve done a few rides in the 6-8 hour range, packed a lunch spent a day of it kind of thing). They were fantastic. Perhaps I can convince my wife if I watch the kids for a few days while she visits family she can watch the kids for a few days while I get out of dodge... I still think I might feel a bit guilty though. But everyone needs a break right?
 
Thanks for the thoughts.
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The root of the question is what do you love about riding? And thus what breathes excitement, awe and wonder into your two-wheeled adventures. Close your eyes and picture your "Happy FJ place"; what does it look like?  
You mention duration, riding solo, being easily distracted and modding.
If you think some more distance, adventuring, and/or touring will scratch your itch, but responsibilities at home limit this; how about making a bargain with the wife? Each month one of you has sole child/household responsibilities for an entire weekend, the other spouse does the same the next month. Leaving you with six weekends a year to get a bit more distance in.
*Note* I don't have kids, but this is similar to what my GF and I have set-up.
 
Friends help introduce me to new roads and sometimes these are 5-minute friends who happened to stop at the same pitstop as me. 90% of riders will give you road suggestions. If you're too shy to approach other riders, open a paper map like your reading the Sunday Times and you'll have a high probability of other people (riders and locals) offering suggestions or just pick some roads and see what happens.
 
Concentrating on technique helps alleviate some of my boredom with repetitive roads. Everything from hitting an apex and throttle control to imaginary obstacle avoidance.
 
Sparkly track days would definitely keep your attention. Or even advanced on-/off-road rider training.
 
Mods are tricky. I love solving problems and making things so riding and modding are nearly equal in my book. But as you suggested farkles lose their luster quickly.
 
I love twisting the throttle and feeling the bike surge forward. I love leaning over and scrapping the pegs.
 
I like the idea of trying to perfect my rides - really nailing the apex. As I turn out of my neighborhood I have a road with nearly 30 turns in 3 miles - you gain nearly 1000’ in elevation. There is a nasty decreasing radius turn towards the end. It’s two lanes going up so getting stuck behind slow traffic isn’t a problem and the 55mph speed limit is difficult to do for anybody but a seriously skilled rider. The downside is this stretch, while by far the most interesting to me in the area, is only a few miles long. Riding down isn’t as much fun because with only one lane getting stuck behind a slower moving vehicle is a real possibility and with a single lane hugging a cliff side there isn’t much room for error. If I could stretch the going uphill bit into 30 minutes instead of just a few I think I would have found nirvana.
 
Now that you mention it Virginia International Raceway is only a couple of hours away. Maybe some track days would spice things up.
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The root of the question is what do you love about riding? And thus what breathes excitement, awe and wonder into your two-wheeled adventures. Close your eyes and picture your "Happy FJ place"; what does it look like?
 
 
 
I love twisting the throttle and feeling the bike surge forward. I love leaning over and scrapping the pegs.
 
I like the idea of trying to perfect my rides - really nailing the apex. Thanks for the suggestion. As I turn out of my neighborhood I have a road with nearly 30 turns in 3 miles - you gain nearly 1000’ in elevation. There is a nasty decreasing radius turn towards the end. It’s two lanes going up so getting stuck behind slow traffic isn’t a problem and the 55mph speed limit is difficult to do for anybody but a seriously skilled rider. The downside is this stretch, while by far the most interesting to me in the area, is only a few miles long. Riding down isn’t as much fun because with only one lane getting stuck behind a slower moving vehicle is a real possibility and with a single lane hugging a cliff side there isn’t much room for error. If I could stretch the going uphill bit into 30 minutes instead of just a few I think I would have found nirvana.
 
Now that you mention it Virginia International Raceway is only a couple of hours away. Maybe some track days would spice things up.
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I'm not bored of commuting yet....end up in all sorts of weather and traffic all the time...give it a shot!
 
When I first got all weather gear I had a great time going for a ride on my days off no matter the weather (40 degrees with alternating heavy fog/rain no problem!). I got out of that groove a bit, perhaps it is time to pick up the habit again!
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  • 2 weeks later...
No, I don’t actually mean riding off road in actual ruts. My question is: What do you guys do to keep riding exciting/interesting? 
I love my FJ-09. I wanted a light weight sport touring bike that had an exciting engine and was going to be reliable. I wanted a riding position more comfortable than my previous bike (an SV650s). The FJ-09 has done everything I have asked of it and I have had zero issues.
 
However, I feel like my riding is in a bit of a rut. I am usually riding the same roads (which are fantastic but getting a bit stale). My typical ride is 1-3 hours. These rides are all solo. I would love to do some more actual touring but with a wife and two kids under 4, well, that probably isn’t going to happen. I am easily distracted by shiny things and am getting a bit bored.
 
What do you guys do to keep things interesting? Find new roads? Find some riding buddies? Farkle up your bike? I’ve even considered buying a new bike like an FJR or BMW GS (I could ride across the country and back! I could adventure across South America!) Then I realize I am not actually going to do either, and in a few months will likely feel the same way. The problem is not the bike itself - it does what I want it to do beautifully. It has an exciting triple, a great riding position, and hard bags that get occasional use.
 
I think a Yoshimura exhaust and ECU flash might be the ticket for me for the moment. What do you guys do?
 

I would say in your case it sounds like you need some friends to ride with.  It's not the bike and you ride in some of the best roads in the country so it must be the social aspect . Look up some guys on this site and shoot them a PM or maybe you need a break from riding. I know when I get back on the bike from a long winter I really enjoy it..... Good luck  
 
 
 
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No, I don’t actually mean riding off road in actual ruts. My question is: What do you guys do to keep riding exciting/interesting? 
I love my FJ-09. I wanted a light weight sport touring bike that had an exciting engine and was going to be reliable. I wanted a riding position more comfortable than my previous bike (an SV650s). The FJ-09 has done everything I have asked of it and I have had zero issues.
 
However, I feel like my riding is in a bit of a rut. I am usually riding the same roads (which are fantastic but getting a bit stale). My typical ride is 1-3 hours. These rides are all solo. I would love to do some more actual touring but with a wife and two kids under 4, well, that probably isn’t going to happen. I am easily distracted by shiny things and am getting a bit bored.
 
What do you guys do to keep things interesting? Find new roads? Find some riding buddies? Farkle up your bike? I’ve even considered buying a new bike like an FJR or BMW GS (I could ride across the country and back! I could adventure across South America!) Then I realize I am not actually going to do either, and in a few months will likely feel the same way. The problem is not the bike itself - it does what I want it to do beautifully. It has an exciting triple, a great riding position, and hard bags that get occasional use.
 
I think a Yoshimura exhaust and ECU flash might be the ticket for me for the moment. What do you guys do?
 

I would say in your case it sounds like you need some friends to ride with.  It's not the bike and you ride in some of the best roads in the country so it must be the social aspect . Look up some guys on this site and shoot them a PM or maybe you need a break from riding. I know when I get back on the bike from a long winter I really enjoy it..... Good luck  
 
 

Although always preferring to ride solo, whether for a day's outing or many days, even weeks, away from home, I agree 100% with the observation above. Another bike will only put you back in the same rut as now.   FWIW and YMMV, of course, as always...

Riding a fully-farkled 2019 MT-09 Tracer 900 GT from my bayside home in South East Queensland, Australia.   

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If you get any chance to get advanced riding instruction it can really change your riding style or just make your rides more interesting.

Red 2015 Tracer, UK spec (well, it was until I started messing with it...)

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