Wife (Tugce) and I moved to Cracow a few months ago and biking, in this period, has been limited to test various second-hand motorcycles, to find the ideal one to buy.
Unfortunately, all the tested ones were in bad condition: second-hands bikes over here are mostly imports from EU countries, with a superficial face-lift covering serious mechanical and electrical problems. After several trials, we agreed that the best and cheapest solution was to buy a brand new.
When in Turkey we tested a KTM Duke 790 and we were quite impressed by the functionality of this model; the local KTM dealer was happy, in Crakow, to sell us one.
And here we are, new owners of KTM, new riders of Duke790 with the engaging roads of the Tatra Mountain. Setting the border between Slovakia and Poland, these mountains offered to us a 150 km circuit from home to sample the first flavour of the Duke: and to open the break-in period with a ride respecting the limits of revs imposed for good future performances.
To “please the engine” we kept the pace of the ride well below our usual rhythm: slower pace does not necessary means lack of progress and I took advantage of the “mechanical demands” of break-in to ride more aware of the IPSGA SYSTEM (*)
I tried to insert this new parameter into the way of riding, to intensively apply what learned in using vision and traction more accurately, gears more precisely and throttle more considerately to ride smoothly but also progressively.
Riding with focused attention and applying the IPSGA system. made my ride fully enjoyable. It proved that riding was thinking and regardless of the conditions, the system was working perfectly.
And then it thought of different ways of approaching the motorcycle: using the bike in syntony and synergy with the road, or owning a bike as an expression of a lifestyle. The different approach creates two different types of bikers: the ones who listen to the road and to the bike and the ones who command the vehicle. A tense, imposing ride or a flowing relaxed one.
In general terms, the “commanding rider” can be spotted by the resistance to learning and by the presumption attitude of knowing always what is best. Frequent change of bikes, large number of accessories and expensive gears can, as well, be taken as indicators.
Using the bike in synergy, making the bike the lower part of your body is the dimension of a biker curious, enthusiastic and always in a learning curve. A good companion for the road, student and teacher at the same time: stay close to him and share what comes in experience and knowledge.
Motorcycling has the advantage of bringing together people from different ages, places, cultures, occupations and interests: when you add the value of an open mind, the time spent biking together can be a unique opportunity for creativity and enlightenment.
Back from the Tatra mountain, with more miles in the run-in process of the KTM I realized that the lesson from applying a system goes a long way and it helps in living with joy and harmony, forgetting egos, humbly sharing the story with similar minds.
(*) Information, position, speed, gear, acceleration (IPSGA) system is presented in the “Motorcycle Roadcraft: Police Rider’s handbook” for competent, advanced riding.