Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Bicycle Update!

Update! 4/26/2012


My Background in Personal Training
If you read my biography you would have noticed I am a Kinesiology major at San Francisco State.  Kinesiology is defined as "The study of the anatomy, physiology, and mechanics of body movement, especially in humans." in dictionary lookup.  Taking movement classes in school has taught me about the elements of training and the principal of Overload and Specifcity.  This should make sense to us because if we are to overload a specific muscle group it is going to be forced to adapt to the new load by getting stronger.  I could go into the specifics about how long, and how the muscles actually do this, but the main idea here is that local muscle adaptations are going to make the desired activity much easier.

A quick overview of how I have been training

I've been riding my bicycle to work and school both of which are in the city of San Francisco.  I live in Pacifica so the distance is about 15 miles to school and another 5 miles to work for a total of 20 miles in one direction. To get an idea of time, I average about an 1 hour and 20 min in one direction.

Almost every other day I go in both directions but needless to say I've been averaging about 100-120 miles per week.  Also there is a huge hill going out of Pacifica so I spend  a good 15 minutes dedicated to climbing up and out of that hill Pacifica.

Picture above-(Of course that's not me, I always ride with a backpack and not followed by a crowd  or policeman for that matter lol)

The Update
After riding my new bicycle for about 3-4 weeks now I've really noticed why Moto Gp riders use bicycles as training purposes.  I noticed my quadriceps, calves and hamstrings start to tighten up and get stronger.  The very last time I sat on my motorcycle I felt extremely adept to pushing down on the pegs.  For those that don't know pushing down on the pegs exerts pressure and weight onto the rear swing-arm of the bike, in Lay-mans terms, it helps the rear tire grip the ground.  By being able to push down on the pegs for a longer amount of time and fatiguing less,  these guys racing in Moto GP aren't going to wear down nearly as easily and can push through until the end of the race!

Anyways I thought this was kind of interesting and fun and wanted to share it with yall!

 Johnny 5-

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ladies that Ride

This is going to sound messed up but it seems to me that girls are not associated with "riding" but rather as an accessory to motorcycles.  Whenever I think of girls and motorcycles I think of something like the above images, where some half naked girl is stripped down posing for a picture.  And how about the one that's not even on the bike?? Just laying next to it in something that somewhat matches the bike? In fact Google it, just put in female motorcycle riders and your going to see a bunch of girls that are not dressed to ride properly.  While there is nothing wrong with this I do feel like it has brought about a large stereotype that women are supposed to be seen as feminine and bikes are supposed to be masculine. Times are changing, and with this we are seeing many more women taking the role of motorists.


Now I ask of you, which girl do you find is more attractive?  The female above because she's clearly showing off her ability to ride?(sarcasm) or the girls who actually looks like a rider?  there is no wrong answer here but i feel like as society trains us we want to say the girl in the above picture is the more attractive one, but then there's this deep dark secret about the lady beneath.  What attracts us (heterosexual males) to see that the woman in the below image is more attractive?  She is showing off more masculine qualities but men usually like this, the fact that a woman knows how to control such a machine I think is what brings our eyes to this particular woman.


History
I did a little research to find out how long women have been recorded riding motorcycles throughout history. Here's what I came up with- "Women who ride motorcycles may seem inherently tough, rebellious, and sexy, but "Women & Motorcycling," a traveling exhibit assembled by the American Motorcyclist Association and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, in Pickerington, Ohio, is out to change all that. Women have been riding motorcycles since the early 1900s..."  


Bessie Stringfield, an African-American woman who began riding in 1927, when she was 16. Stringfield completed eight solo cross-country tours during her 66-year career, jumped on and off a moving motorcycle with ease when challenged by a police captain who doubted her riding ability, and served as a dispatch rider in the U.S. Army.
Notice how even back in the early 1900's Bessie was still being objectified as a woman by the way she is posing on the motorcycle, as if she had no talent at all.  I think this may have been then starting point for trying to capture what is sexy to men.  America at the time was still dealing with equal rights and segregation so it's kind of surprising to see a woman such as Bessie become so recognized.


1st Woman/or Girl to Win an AMA race ever!
I was at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California attending the West Coast Moto Jam in 2010, when I witnessed the first female rider to ever win a race in AMA (American Motorcycle Association) history.

For those that know Sonoma, knows it wine country out there, and good wine usually translates to good weather.  Needless to say the race day was incredibly hot out when the riders started the race.  There was one red flag early on in the race and the riders were allowed to enter the track again.  Elena Myers only 16 years old at the time climbed her way into 1st position and held the spot for at least a lap before another racer went down raising another red flag for the race.  On the second red flag, the race is called and the leader of the race is announced the winner.  Although it was by default, Elena Meyers went down in history as the first female rider ever to win an AMA race that weekend. She quotes "I got a good restart off the front row and made some moves. I felt like I was getting a little bit closer to the leader with about eight or nine laps to go. I came around the next lap and the red flag was shown again."  People may argue that she may have not been able to keep that pace for the remaining 8 laps but the fact remains that she was in front when the race was called.-- a video clip of Elena on her kawaski-->Elena Myers Racing

I think what it all boils down to is that sex sells, no matter what ever happens sex will always be a very prominent issue in today's society.  But why would we encourage this kind of behavior?  Why make women objects? As a quick note, these girls posing for pictures with their hair and makeup all done up are getting paid to be in these pictures, and if they are willing to do so then who's to tell them they're wrong?

Dykes on Bikes
Something that I feel like I need to address is the fact that Dykes on Bikes is a huge community of lesbian women that ride motorcycles.  I think some of the issue here is that they take on the masculine role of the rider and therefore assume more of a male personality.  These women are seen to be large hairy and usually have a short haircut resembling a males.  Now I want to question, if these are women who ride motorcycles and are taking on the role of a male in the biker community then I want to say that something about society has trained us to believe that men are the people that belong in the drivers seat and their female counterparts are on the back. 


 Some interesting pics of girls on motorcycles





Youtube Vids of Female Riders (Really cool to Watch!)
Female Rider Interview

Melissa Paris Onboard Racing

References
Women on Wheels. (2001). American Heritage, 52(1), 20.

I would love some feedback on this because it's something I don't know too much about.  How do any girls/women feel about riding motorcycles?

Until next time, Peace out!
Johnny 5-



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Biker Gangs



What motorcycle blog would be complete without mentioning gangs? Early on motorcyclists were seen to be bad-ass and "hard" stricken men that didn't shave, had tattoos and gave their lives to the Motorcycle Club they belonged to. Doing some research I found out that this image is fairly new, arising after WW2 when all of the motorcycle gangs started to pop up (Women on Wheels).  While this is the impression many of us have, the truth is those Men riding those bikes are people like you and I. They have families to go home to and jobs to keep so the idea that all of them are out there running drugs and selling illegal weapons is only a very small percentage of what we know as "Biker Gangs." --Disclaimer-- I'm not in a gang so I can't say everything I say here is 100% accurate.

Personal Encounters

I've had a few run in's with these guys, once on a freeway and another time just at the local motorcycle shop. When I was riding home on a trip from Santa Barbara I came up on a group of bikers that were all wearing the same type of vests and patch. There were about 10 of them and as I recall, I rode along side of them for a while and gave them the friendly hello wave but not one of them would even so much as look my way. I like to travel in a group of riders because it can offer more of a safety measure then anything but something wasn't right about traveling with this group of guys. They acted as if I didn't exist, I was a little surprised at first then I got my wits about me and decided that I was better of going at my own pace which was actually a bit faster then theirs. Ergo why I caught them on the freeway on the way home. This experience left me with a feeling that even though your on a bike doesn't mean your part of the club.

I had another encounter at the local Bike Shop when I was simply trying to find a riding jacket for an old girlfriend of mine. I was leaving the shop after not having any luck with the jacket and this guy pulls up with a vest and a few patches. As he approached me I could see his vest a little more clearly, San Francisco Division underneath his name, "Loc-Ness." He said hello and before I knew it, I knew why they called him Loc-Ness, because his teeth looked like they were straight out of a horror film, or the Loc-Ness monster's dentures. Anyhow he tried recruiting me into his gang saying I'd get a hook up on track days and all kinds of cool stuff. I'll admit he made it sound very enticing but I have too much going on in my life to be part of a "Club" or "Gang." I kind of had the notion that Loc-Ness was trying to sucker me into somthing, and for those that know me, I usually like things that are different and go against the grain. Loc-Ness was making it sound like it was cool to be a part of the gang and that's not something I'm into, I usually like the solo missions, going out with one or two other people that can really ride at my pace. Getting into a whole social gathering thing seemed a little over the top for me and I just simply never called him.



Most Notorious Biker Gangs
Browsing the internet I was able to come across a website that listed 10 of the most well known "Biker Gangs." Top 10 Biker Gangs This website proved to be very useful, hitting all of the stereotypes that bikers get when getting a "Patch." Getting "Patched" in is where a young biker actually becomes part of the gang and gets to fly the logo of the desired Motorcycle Club. I don't want to copy and paste the whole website but I feel like it's definetly worth a look at.

Hells Angels

Probably the most well known American biker gang, The Hell’s Angels have a long and thorough history on American highways. Much information concerning their origins is hazy due to their long-standing code of secrecy. Sometime within the 1940’s or 1950’s in California Hell’s Angels MC was formed. Their insignia is the “death’s head” logo which is copied from the insignia of the 85th Fighter Squadron and the 552nd Medium Bomber Squadron. Red lettering over white backgrounds stands for the club’s colors. With so much popularity, Hell’s Angels chapters have sprung up across the Untied States as well as Russia and New Zealand and the continents of North America, South America, Europe and Australia.

The Hell’s Angels MC have gained mass notoriety in the U.S. due to their involvement in many highly publicized run-ins with the law and rival biker gangs. The most note-worthy of publicized events happened during the Altamont Free Concert at Altamont Speedway in December of 1969 where it is alleged that The Rolling Stones hired members of The Hell’s Angels to stand-in as bodyguards for the band. Violence erupted in the crowd and also onto the performance stage and as a result one male was stabbed to death after brandishing a pistol.


Another website agrees with this other that I've found.

New Zealand was the first country outside the United States to get an official Hells Angels chapter, in 1961. London became the first European beachhead for the Hells Angels in 1969 when George Harrison, of the rock group The Beatles, invited a couple of San Francisco club members to London. In fact, many musicians have held an affinity for the Hells Angels, and they're often hired as security at concerts.

I think that history has shown that biker gangs have been proven to be linked to some kind of power and/or run-ins with the law.  In becoming a part of a bicker gang you will most likely be percieved in this way. That is unless your gang is called the Kittys and drive a bunch of mopeds and scooters.

Documentaries

I've seen two documentaries, one on the Mongols and another on the Hell's Angels about undercover policeman that spent years trying to infiltrate these gangs.  In the documentary about the Mongols, there were two cops that were assigned the task of infiltrating the gang and one got so caught up in the actual gang life that he lost his job and life outside of the club.  
  The cop describes his partner as being sucked into the life of the gang, where all they would do is drink, do drugs and basically all of those bad stereotypes they are known for.  If a cop is to do drugs on the scene with the gang their investigation has been compromised and this officer found it incredibly difficult to try and hide that from the rest of the gang.  
After a long story the Mongols start to move some guns and this was the opportunity that the police were waiting for to arrest the Mongols.  After 2 years of infiltration and so many years on the force this cop had to change his locations as to not be tracked down by these Mongols.  He flies from location to location because he's afraid of running into them somewhere along the road.  Now I ask myself is it worth it?  Was it worth the years of losing your own life to simply try and take down a small number of bikers?  I personally don't think so.

Wild Hogs
Times are changing, and with this change comes a movie called "Wild Hogs." The movie stars, Tim Allen  Martin Lawrence, and Jon Travolta as trying to take on this "bad boy" biker image when really they are simply suburban men that live average lives. During the course of the movie they have a run-in with a local biker group the Del Fuegos that scare the life out of the four suburban men but by the end of the movie there is an underlining message that "Anybody that rides is part of the gang."  While this is far from the truth, we are seeing many more weekend riders come out because this biker image isn't so closely tied with the fugitive biker look any longer.

No matter what, I believe there always will be this group of bikers that are only dedicated to being the most bad-ass people on the road, and then there is going to be the weekend joy riders that like to ride together.  There is a whole spectrum and by stereotyping motorcyclists as only one type of person is ignorant to all of the other people that are out there riding.

Refrences
Women on Wheels. (2001). American Heritage, 52(1), 20.
Hope you enjoyed the read-

Johnny 5-

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adrenaline Junkies

Hey there again,
I had some questions about what makes people ride motorcycles?  I thought I had it covered in my post  Titled "Why Ride?" but it seems like I just didn't fill my reader's appetite.  I felt like this was an easy task at first and then as soon as I tried to answer the question exactly I found I didn't know how to respond to it.  So this time I will again attempt to answer the elusive question "Why people ride Motorcycles"



I can speak from personal experience that thoroughly enjoy every aspect of riding and part of these motivations are intrinsic and some are extrinsic motivators.  I would like to point out that most of the reasoning in my post "Why Ride?" were extrinsic motivators including. I would like to start with the extrinsic motivators because I feel these are the smaller part of actually mounting up on a motorcycle.

Extrensic Motivators

From my post titled "Why Ride?"
 Sounds
 I love the sounds motorcycles make, every time I hear one I have to see what kind of bike is responsible for that type of noise.  Most sport bikes are inline 4 cylinders with the exception of Ducati's and Harley Davidson's which have two very large pistons that form a V hence the name, V-Twin.  The Ducati's are always very distinct with their V-twin engines and dry clutch,  I can hear the Ducati's clutch above the other bikes "Clack Clack Clack Clack Clack Clack" is the sound the dry clutch makes free spinning at a stoplight.  Here's a video to show the sound of a "dry clutch" free-spinning and engaged.  It's invigorating to hear these sounds, something about them gets my heart to go pitter-patter.

Below are a few videos that I comprised that show differences between different types of engines.
Inline 4 cylinder exhaust 05 Yamaha R1- stock inline 4 cylinder

Yamaha recently took their technology from the track and brought it to the street.  All inline 4 cylinder engines fire two at a time, but with Yamaha's "Cross-plane technology" each piston fires in sequential order giving the power band a much more linear curve when plotted on a graph.  The following link is a video to show an example of Yamaha's Cross-plane technology  09 R1 crossplane.

Everyone know's when a Harley is coming down the street, their extremely loud with their V-Twin engines and straight pipes.  The following link is a Harley with a screaming eagle exhaust.  Loud Pipes Save Lives

Smells
Some people like the smell of gasoline, but I personally love the smell of racing gasoline.  Walking up to the track you can smell the difference in exhaust.  The high octane that they use gives off a very distinct smell when flying by on the track, and to people like me, this is like the cologne of motorcycles.  The higher the  octane rating the more compression the gas can withstand before combustion.  Ergo the piston inside the engine receives more of a push rather then an explosion blowing the piston backwards.


Looks
Bikes all have their own Genre, sport bikes look sleek while Harleys take on the rugged look.   Bikes in general all have their own personality's, whether it's a bad-ass blacked out Harley or a sleek looking Ducati they each have their own characteristics that are appealing to different kinds of riders.

Whether it's the danger, speed, sounds, smells or looks we all ride for a reason these are just a few of my own personal interests.
Some people use motorcycles as an ends to a need, in this case the need is commuting.



Another blog from a classmate of mine states how she doesn't like motorcycles but somthing was appealing about this particular green Kawasaki Ninja. She says, " It was not until I walked out for my mid morning class that I saw it. She was so beautiful. Her exterior color was so beautiful. Later I found out her name was Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R.It was so beautiful and perfect and as I saw the guy drive off with her, the scene was just as beautiful even if the sun was just rising. Now I am not a stalker or anything I just know he parks there as I walk out of class."

There has to be something in the design of these motorcycles that encourages people of all kinds to want them. I'm sure that manufactures are dumping millions of dollars into the design of these mechanical beasts so it would only make sense for them to be appealing to the eye.

Just to quickly reiterate, some people like to ride motorcycles just for all of the extras that come along with it, whether it's that Harley bad-ass look or the decked out racer in leathers we all have some kind of status or desired look to what we find is attractive about motorcycles.  It's simply appealing to many people and this is why there are so many different makes and models, to suit everyone's different needs.  What I would like to get into is the actual intrinsic motivators that push these separate genres of people to ride the way they do.

Intrinsic Motivators

I feel like this is the hardest part of answering the question "Why ride?" I had just briefly touched upon it my post where I labeled it Danger and Thrill.  What drives people to seek out Danger and Thrill?  What drives humans to do dangerous activities?


Do you remember the last time you went on a Roller-Coaster that you were unfamiliar with?  You knew that everything should be okay as long as you didn't freak out right?  This is very much like the first time riding a motorcycle, as long as you follow the rules and don't freak out everything should be okay.  Breaking that first time experience can be very difficult for many people and this can be connected to risk assessment and willingness to encounter danger.

What do we seek about danger? Why are people constantly doing death defying sports and stunts? To please other people and make money or fill that empty hole of adrenaline?

Risk vs. Reward

"Individual Risk Preferences and education are the additional two factors that are of potential
relevance to risk behavior." -Effects of demographics on Risky Decision Making

"Risk perception basically means, as how an investor perceives about a risky situation and how
that situation is controllable (Baird and Thomas, 1985). Whereas, risk propensity is investor’s present
bent to obtain or evade risk. It actually considered as an individuals’ characteristic that can change
ultimately."

I think this boils down to a person's individual perception of how much they think the risk vs. reward is.  To some people this risk is too much and this is why they never set foot near a bike and others that are willing to make this leap.

As my class mate put it in her blog "As a child I thought they looked amazing and so liberating, I had one time thought of riding one when I grew up. Then reality started settling in as I grew up. I am too much of a chicken to ride one " The thought sat in her as a child, when she was young and didn't know the consequences of what might happen on a bike and as she so eloquently puts it reality started setting in and realizes she wasn't the type of person to ride. I feel this is the case for many people, and that the reward of riding a motorcycle is diminished by the fear of physical harm. This can put a huge psychological block in front of a person not to ride.

Harlan Ullman states that " In assessing future danger... Known threats arise from troubles that can arise from trouble spots already known to people. Unknown threats are threats that are completely unknown to people and what they can predict" (Known and Unknown Dangers). While it may seem silly I feel this is another reason why many people never get on a bike. There are simply too many unknowns for them to actually enjoy the ride. if a person is well equipped with knowledge (mabey by reading my blog) then the dangers may seem like less and they would be more willing to get on and ride.

Attraction To Danger or (Bad Boys or Girls for the matter)
People like danger but why?  After long searching on the internet I could only find a bunch of peoples ideas about their addiction to adrenaline hardly any of which seemed credible.  However I did find an article about why girls are attracted to "bad boys" another thing that might get some of our adrenaline going.

So what is it about "bad boys" that makes them so irresistible to some women? "A bad boy offers something that's different," says 31-year-old accounting manager Anese Collins, who recently became involved with a man she considers a "bad boy. There's more excitement associated with somebody who's very different from you," she adds. "Bad boys don't subscribe to societal rules, and they are willing to challenge the norm. They are assertive in their behavior and are very take-charge. They don't take no for an answer" (Why some Women like Bad Boys).

So the attraction may be the fact that riding a motorcycle is different and this can be very appealing to some people.  A lot of people like to go against the grain and hopefully this helps understand why we have this attraction to such a dangerous machine.  



Confidence

If you ever come across a motorcyclist whats the one thing they usually know how to do?  Assert themselves, this has to do with gaining the right of way in traffic.  I may be wrong here but I do feel that riders know when to take the right of way and this can transfer over into people's personal lives.  It can make a person that was never sure of themselves and give them the confidence they need to make themselves known, in life and on the road.

I've always found with myself that confidence is a huge factor.  If I'm confident that I can make that turn or make it between those cars in time I'm going to take that chance.  Problems arise when a person hesitates and they lose that window of opportunity.

You have to know if your going to get a bike your going to go down sooner or later.  And it takes a confident person to know that this is the truth, or completely naive in that they are never going to fall.  

I'd like to share a small portion of what motorcycles can do for people, this comes from Time Magazine and also a portion from Harvard Medical School.

" All the patients saw their cycles as extensions of their masculine selves. Said one: 'The noise is all you hear. It's masculine and makes me feel strong. I approach a girl on a cycle and I feel confident.' Without their bikes, the students also lacked confidence socially and academically. Passive, apathetic and inactive, the afflicted students spent their non-cycling hours sleeping, talking aimlessly, drinking beer, or escaping reality in TV and drugs. When anxiety threatened to overwhelm them—often in the middle of the night—they took to their cycles for the illusion of "doing something and getting somewhere." (Motorcycle Syndrome)

Bikes have a magical power locked deep down inside them and it takes a person to overcome their own fear to open Pandora's box and let this magic out.  Some people make this leap of faith while others prefer to only look at the box and wonder, or just be plain ignorant and pretend that the box doesn't exist.

Preparedness


The more an individual can be prepared for the ride the safer they can feel.  Whether this is mental preparation to get on the bike or physical training to learn how to balance better.  Any kind of preparation is better then none.  You know how the saying goes, "Practice makes Perfect!" and the only way to get ready to ride is by practicing through mental rehearsals and putting yourself in the shoes of a rider.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse but being prepared also means wearing the safety equipment.  Check my post on Speed and Safety to find the best possible gear for the ride.

I hope this helps with the "Why" in "Why Ride?"

Johnny 5-





References

Ullman, H. (2006, Spring2006). Known and Unknown Dangers. National Interest. pp. 69-74.

The Motorcycle Syndrome. (1970). Time, 96(23), 75.

Why (Some) Women Like 'BAD BOYS'. (2003). Ebony, 58(6), 73.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Moto Gp Race 1 in Qatar

For those that don't follow Moto Gp, the start of the season was today April 8, 2012.  Big things were in store for this year and for those that havn't been following my blog the biggest difference was the change from 800cc engines to 1000cc engines.  Thats a 200cc (cubic centimeter) difference in engine size, allowing for more power to weight ratio.

I assumed my favorite rider (Ben Spies) was going to do extremely well but he crashed his bike twice during practice and ended up in 11th place for the final standing in the race.  He knew something was wrong with his bike and continued to try and earn some points anyway.

Ben Spies (Rider #11)--->



Jorge Lorenzo #99---->

1st- #99 Jorge Lorenzo (Ben Spies teammate) took 1st place on the same bike provided by the Yamaha Factory Racing Team.  (Above is a picture of Lorenzo winning the first race.)

2nd- #26 Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda)


3rd- #1 Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda)-Casey was the former world champion and currently carries the #1 on his motorcycle.(The #1 is reserved for the champion of the previous season)  Casey complained of a lot of chattering and not having the bike work to his specifics.  This was apparent through the race when he almost slid out a few times but managed to hold on to his bike and position.

Casey Stoner (#1) ---->



Below is a short interview that both the 2nd and 3rd place riders took place in after the race.


Dani Pedrosa:
"I'm very happy with this result because we have been able to turn around all the problems we had during the weekend. After a good pre-season we got here and everything went wrong: I had flu and a fever, I crashed on Friday, then the qualifying practice was a disaster… So, it's very good to leave here with this podium, even if I feel little bit sad because I thought I could win this race, I had it in my hands for a while. The team did a fantastic job and we saw things very differently after warm up; then I managed a perfect start which was a key moment in the race, and I was able to stay with Casey and Jorge. In the end, with four laps to go I tried to take the lead, but Lorenzo was cleverer than me this time and chose a better strategy. I passed him but he overtook me immediately and also Casey, then I was behind Casey for one lap and lost contact with Jorge. Anyway, it's a good start to the season and we will try to do better in Jerez."
Casey Stoner:
"It wasn't really the way we wanted to finish the race weekend here, after FP3 and Qualifying it was always going to be a tough race for us but in the end it came in the wrong areas. The bike was working well for us, I definitely had the package and the pace to lead the field which was really positive. However, I suffered from really bad arm pump. After three or four laps I felt it but it gradually got worse, I tried to pull a little gap from Jorge and Dani and put in the minimal effort possible to retain the gap and try and win, but as the race continued it got worse and worse and eventually the muscles had nothing more to give. I couldn't hold onto the handle bars properly and it made things really difficult so it was a disappointing race for this reason, but for many other technical reasons it was very promising."

We'll see how these gentleman shape up for the next race in Jerez at the end of the month.on April 29th.  Jerez was the testing grounds for the preseason of Moto Gp and should make for an interesting race.

Till next time,
Johnny 5 out-



Traffic is like bloodflow

Ok I'm not sure how everyone's going to feel about this but I feel like it makes sense to me so hear me out.

Imagine the world was our body, and the roadways were like arteries and veins.  Cars, trucks and motorcycles are like blood platelets moving down the roadways of our bodies.  Now let me ask you which kind of platelet would you want to be? A big heavy platelet that's going to get stuck around every artery or a slippery little platelet that slides through any opening it can find?


This is kind of the way traffic works just about anywhere you go.  Say some kind of accident happens --represented by the thrombus in the lower picture--  then traffic starts to back up and all of the large platelets start to get caught by the traffic.  Soon before you know it, the only things that are making it through the traffic are extremely small platelets.

 These small platelets "motorcycles" can move through traffic with ease and allow riders to get to their destination on time.  Just like platelets, or red blood cells, also have a destination. As an example, to help with gas exchange so red blood cells have to make it to the lungs to release Co2 and get re-oxygenated with fresh 02.

If we as people had nothing but blocked arteries and veins, simple things like gas exchange and other functions of daily living would be greatly effected so this is why many of us pay attention to our health.  We exercise to help clear any roadways of traffic and allow these platelets (cars and motorcycles etc.)


One way of reducing traffic and increasing flow is by having more motorcycles, giving the roadways more room for travel.  By exchanging large cars for motorcycles we are thinning the blood allowing for better traffic flow.

I don't know about you but I'd sure like to be the slippery little platelet that gets to his/her destination with relative ease.

Johnny 5 -

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Got a new Bike-cicle!

Bikes Bikes more Bikes!

Did something important today.. I got a new bike.  Not a motorcycle but more specifically a road bicycle.  I like to stay in shape and I do a lot of physical activity, but I want to start training like the Moto Gp riders.

(<----- My new bicycle!)

The a lot of similarities between sport bikes and road bikes.  The main difference is weight distribution, on both bikes wight is moved over the front wheel and traction comes from the front.  Another similarity is bike weight, lighter bikes are easier to travel with because of their overall weight.

 I've watched plenty of videos interviewing riders and what they think about training in the off season, and almost all of them have some kind of regiment in place so when they do go back to the track they are in as good of condition as can be.

Moto Gp Training
Following twitter a lot, I've noticed that a lot of the Moto Gp riders I follow train in the off-season with road bikes.  I've always liked spinning and this just seemed to fit right into my life.  I've been traveling around the city of San Francisco quite often to go between jobs and school and I've noticed that I could make the distance if I had a well equipped bicycle.

Randy De Puniet- another Moto Gp rider-- puts it best "The harder I work off the track the easier it is when I get back on."  Mental and physical limits have been amped up and makes exhaustion a little more difficult to reach.

Body Weight
Not only this but it's important for a rider to keep their weight in a specific zone.  Remember my few posts on riders wight and bike weight? Well here it comes in again, the bike's weight isn't going to change but certainly if my favorite rider chooses to eat nothing but McDonalds and not work out he's sure to put on a few pounds.  This is going to slow the bike because of the extra weight and also hinder the rider because he's now going to be pulling and moving all this extra weight around.


Cycling Teams as a form of Motivation
Do you remember my favorite rider from Moto Gp? If you guessed Ben Spies you just won a cookie!  Ben has actually taken upon himself to create a road racing team, ElbowzRacing where he cycles with a team competitively.  The picture above is of Ben and his team training earlier this year (2012).  Ben has created a team to help himself  stay in shape and also get his leg muscles to use for all that racing he's going to be doing in the upcoming season.  By having a team to cycle with this can serve as a form of motivation to keep his weight in the correct zone

Below is a short video of Ben talking about some of his training in Italy. Ben Spies thoughts on road biking in Italy.  He has a lot of sponsors he has to please but I think he's still using his own motivations to achieve his goals.  When I say his own motivations I mean, to achieve the rank of Moto GP Champion, a person is going to have to be extremely adept at racing and this means a lot of pushing down on the pegs and swinging the bike over side to side at speeds up to 200mph.  To achieve this Ben is using his cycling team as a means of achieving that goal

We'll just have to see how the season plays out, but my hopes are high for Ben and his team. That goes for both Elbowzracing and Ben's Moto Gp team! 

Hopefully after a few weeks of riding my bicycle I will feel more conditioned and riding my motorcycle will be an easier task.  

I'll fill you all in as I can,
Johnny 5-

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gas prices are Going up so... Get a Bike!


Take a look at that gas nozzle up there, dripping fuel.. That could be going in somebody's gas tank! Motorcycles are extremely efficient at what they do.  So that same drop in a motorcycle is going to take you further then you would in a car or truck. 

Weight Differences
  Because I'm not hauling around a ton of steel covered with sheet metal and plastic the weight difference is gigantic.  The 2012 Toyota Carolla as listed by Toyota Carolla Specs weighs in at a whopping 2800 lbs while the average weight of a motorcycle is around 300 lbs .  This is almost 10x the difference in weight.

We all know that gas prices are going up in fact they're getting close to 5 dollars a gallon right now.  We see a lot of talk about gas prices and so forth but here is a website that helps to explain the rise of gas prices in today's world market Gas prices.

Aerodynamics of Motorcycles


Most of us know that better gas mileage is going to come from vehicles with less drag and less wind resistance, therefore a motorcycle should be better right? I hate to say it but this may not be the case, especially when considering a really high end performance car that has very low wind resistance because of how low they sit to the ground, creating little to no lift forces.

the Picture to the left is taken from a good website Tony Foale Designs on an article about Motorcycle drag.  Tony Foale Designs
"Aerodynamic design of motorcycles is more than just a matter of producing a low drag, low lift body with a C of P. behind the C of G. Stability is harder to achieve with well streamlined low drag bodies, this is due both to the greater side area present with such fairings and to more efficient production of "sideways lift" due to the angle between the airflow direction and the direction of travel. So ideally we want a combination of sometimes conflicting requirements:------ Minimal drag for performance and fuel economy. Low frontal C of P. to reduce drag induced weight transfer. Low and rearward side C of P. to reduce the unbalancing moments, and give directional stability. A shape and value of side area that minimises the side force produced. A high and forward C of G. combined with a large weight to minimise the effect of whatever side forces are generated."





Aerodynamics of Cars
Cars can spread their weight across the front two wheels allowing for a much lower drag coefficient then the motorcycle so in this category the cars win, but not by much.
If you notice the fastest cars there are in the world the lower they are to the ground.  Hmmm, I wonder why, drag coefficient possibly? I think so, and that's where thousands of dollars that we spend for a nice car is going,  research and development into aerodynamics.



The Steady Rise of Gas Prices
President Barack Obama wants to end foreign supply of oil and here's an article I pulled off of yahoo news explaining how America is dependent on foreign oil supply.

US President Barack Obama called on Saturday for an end to America's dependence on foreign energy sources -- and to the multi-billion-dollar subsidies given each year to oil companies.

"What we can't do is keep being dependent on other countries for our energy needs," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

"In America we control our own destiny," he added. "So that's the choice we face - the past, or the future."

The comments came as the president faces mounting criticism from Republicans, who have blamed his energy policy for spiking gas prices.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts gasoline prices across the United States could average $4.25 a gallon by May, up from $3.83 today.

Between 1998 and 2004, prices ranged from $1 to $2.

Prices vary wildly between regions, however, and last week, gasbuddy.com, a website that tracks prices in all 50 states, reported $5.09 a gallon at one Mobil and two Chevron stations in greater Los Angeles.

Given that 76 percent of Americans drive themselves to work, and a trip to the store can often mean a long drive to the mall, higher gas prices are a critical issue -- especially in a presidential election year.

The president noted that the price of gasoline depended on a lot of factors that are beyond US control.

"Unrest in the Middle East can tighten global oil supply," he said. "Growing nations like China or India adding cars to the road increases demand."

But he pointed out that his administration had already put in place new standards that will make sure that American cars average nearly 55 miles per gallon (88.5 kilometers per 3.8 liters) by the middle of the next decade - nearly double what they get today.

The president also called for ending the $4 billion a year in tax breaks that US oil companies receive each year.

"In the next few weeks, I expect Congress to vote on ending these subsidies," he said. "And when they do, we're going to put every single Member of Congress on record: They can either stand up for oil companies, or they can stand up for the American people."



I've done a lot of reading and everything suggests along with my knowledge that smaller cc engines along with better shaped bikes give the best gas mileage. So if you want to save some gas get a small cc motorcycle and commute a little to work or school.  Who knows you might just enjoy the fresh wind in your face, or the fact that you don't have to wait for traffic, or the fact that you can park anywhere ;) There's too many benefits to riding, and gas mileage is simply one of them.


-Johnny 5

It has Begun!!!


Start of the Moto GP Season!
With only 2 days left until the start of Qatar, the buzz around Moto Gp is starting to become very prominant.  Riders have started tweeting pictures of the new paint they are going to be representing for the season and talking about how they are getting ready for the upcoming season.

Personal favorite Ben Spies has been tweeting and on Facebook quite regularly, I like being able to follow him and his thoughts as the season fast approaches.  He like many other people, listens to music right before the race and he has made it a point to share those songs before he heads out to the track.

Below is an interesting view to the upcoming season, quickly highlighting its main changes.  These changes have to do with  riders new, or same teams and motorcycle differences that have been set in place for the 2012 season.


After months of anticipation MotoGP™ riders, teams, fans and spectators around the world will finally have their appetites for action satisfied, when the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar gets the 2012 MotoGP™ World Championship off to a start on Thursday. The first practice sessions of the opening round of the new campaign will bring to an end a lengthy 152-day wait since the final race of the 2011 season in Valencia last November, after an intriguing pre-season which has added to the impatience for the racing to begin.
Two major developments in the premier class which have added to the excitement at the dawn of a new era in MotoGP™ are the introduction of a new 1000cc engine capacity limit, up from the previous 800cc cap, and the debut of the new Claiming Rule Teams, for whom nine of the 21 riders will compete.
Adding to the spectacle of the curtain raiser in Qatar will be the floodlit nature of the first race, and the standout rider in recent years at the Losail circuit has been Casey Stoner. The 2011 World Champion, who was fastest in the final Test at Jerez less than two weeks ago, has won the night-time GP for four of the past five seasons, including last year. His Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa has also been in impressive form in pre-season, and between the pair they took the final four race victories of last season. A win for either, or any Honda rider for that matter, in Qatar would give the manufacturer its longest winning streak since 2003.
A large part of the buzz created in pre-season was due to the performance of the M1, and Yamaha Factory Racing duo Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were both highly impressed with the progress of their prototype. 2010 Champion Lorenzo came second in last year's race in Qatar whilst Spies will be seeking his first podium at the track, as they look to turn a promising testing display into hard results.
The third factory set-up on the grid this season will be the Ducati Team, another which has worked tirelessly in the intervening five months to improve its package. Riders Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden will both be hopeful of vastly improved results in their respective 2012 campaigns, as they remain focused on the Italian manufacturer's project and challenging the other two factories.
With the six factory riders remaining with the teams they rode for last season, there have been changes elsewhere. Into the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team comes Andrea Dovizioso, as the Italian begins a new chapter in his career, joining Brit Cal Crutchlow who embarks on his second season in the satellite structure. Crutchlow's pre-season showings in particular have laid the foundations for what promises to be a strong sophomore season.


I will try and update any standings as the season progresses.

Johnny 5

Monday, March 26, 2012

Riders are like Family

Do you remember the last time you saw a friend of yours just passing by? Whether it's on foot at school or in your car at a stoplight most of us feel the urge to say hello by generally offering a kind wave or "Hey whats up?"as passing by.  This is exactly whats its like on a motorcycle with every other cyclist out there on the road. We all have something in common, the fact that we ride on two wheels rather then four.  If you've ever seen two motorists passing by each other --like the following picture--with this kind of hand signal now you know what they're saying... "What's Up!"

This small hand gesture basically means that your part of the club and anybody in the club deserves at least a hello.  This is the most basic of cyclist language, just like different dialects this is the "slang" of the road when your on a motorcycle.


"Slanguage"
Riding has its own different kind of "Slanguage" - A website of another rider's blog pretty much captures all of the hand motions that we use, Signals, but the four that set us apart from any cars on the road are the following.

1.)Hand down (usually peace symbol sent out)(See pic above) - means, "Hey, Whats Up?!"

2.)Patting on top of the head = Careful, Cop ahead.
















3.) Hazards ahead- Kicking out with the feet left side for a hazard on the left and right leg kick if it's a hazard on the right.



















This language has saved me more than once, including a trip to school only a few weeks ago.  I was avoiding the freeways with tend to be cluttered with a lot of bad drivers and decided I would take the Lake Merced Route.  A long straight path stared down my face and with nothing but sunshine I had to pull back on the throttle a little bit.  Another rider passed me patting his head, and I immediately slowed my pace to the speed limit and as soon as I passed the Welcome to Daly City sign I found that a motorcycle cop was just sitting there with his radar gun.  If I had even been the pace I was moving at I would have been cited for speeding at least 10 over.  He had just saved me at least 300 dollars by a quick pat on the head, and that's why our language is so special.  How many people in cars are going to tell you there's a cop waiting for you ahead?

Helping One Another

If you can't already tell, we have each other's backs, from the police and in situations of need.  I just had a post about how I helped some poor cyclist that had crashed right in front of me.  I was able to stop traffic with my truck (much safer then no car behind) and help him pick up his bike so he could regain himself.

Another good short story about how we motorcyclists help each other out is when my cousin and myself went down to the races in Monterrey at Laguna Seca for Moto Gp.  My cousin was riding a 1000cc motorcycle and I was on a 600cc.  My next post will talk about gas consumption but right now let us just believe the bigger cc motorcycle utilizes the most amount of fuel.  We left straight for the races from Belmont in San Mateo so we were driving for a good hour and a half and didn't want to stop to refuel because the races were starting soon.  We made it to the races and left but on our way to the gas station his bike ran out of gas.  I didn't know what to do I was going to have to buy a gas tank and fill it to bring to him? How was I going to carry this gas tank once I got it?  The questions were racing through my mind when a gentleman came up behind us with a trailer full of motorcycles and a water bottle full of gasoline.  He said to us "It happens every year and I like to be able to help all you guys out."  This guy seriously just gave my cousin a dollars worth of gas but that was going to allow us to get to a station to allow us to fill up.  No AAA or any kind of service needed, just a kind heart in the right place at the right time.

Moto GP Family-

I have followed Moto Gp for about 5 years now and up until this year I never thought the riders talked much to each other.  I figured they had some kind of interaction but I had no idea how much.  By creating a Twitter account I have been able to follow all of my favorite riders in Moto Gp.  At first I was against the idea of Twitter and everything it stood for but now I can see that when you follow people of your interest it can actually be very enticing.  I would notice how each rider would comment on each other like "feeling sore" after another rider had a wicked crash, or "see if you can best my time here at Jerez- a testing location for the Moto Gp riders-"  This gave me the sense that they were their own small community with friends and foes alike.  There are different teams within Moto Gp but just like football and baseball these rider's contracts end and then just like free agents they can be picked up by any other team.  They joke with each other and this tells me that besides all the sponsorship that they're just friends that ride with million dollar motorcycles, the Elite group that travels and competes together.  This makes me extremely happy to know that these guys known for being so aggressive on the motorcycle are really just laid back people that like to joke with one another.  But when it comes time for business the guys still have to compete for their sponsorship.

 Community

I like being part of something bigger and by owning a motorcycle it's almost as if you get the right to be a part of a larger group which can be an amazing feeling.

When I first bought my motorcycle I wanted to ride it everywhere, so my cousin and I decided to run through the mountains and this is where we found "Four Corners"  along with 300 other bikers.  This was my first experience riding with others and I immediatly fell in love.  I was with 300 fellow bikers and we took up just about every lane on the freeway.


That's me the silver and black bike behind the guy spreading his legs. But anyhow if you have ever been a part of something bigger such as a race or gathering you'll know what I mean to fully enjoy being with people of the same interests.

This is my Family
Johnny 5-

Different ways to Ride

Some people only ride for the thrill, some do it for recreation, others for transportation and some ride professionally.  This post is to address the different kinds of styles or genre's that people tend to partake in.  With these different kinds of styles of riding come different bikes.  Here is a Wiki link describing what we actually see out on the road,  Different types of Motos.  These categories can overlap, I myself belong to the track rider, commuter and recreational rider.



Street Rider/ Commuter-  This is where a majority of people are, people commuting to and from the city and around town riding.  Motorcycles are extremely convenient because they're great on gas and parking is easy no matter where you go. Your going to find all kinds of different motorcycles in this genre: scooters, sportbikes, ratbikes- bikes that were built up from spare parts-, Harleys, Enduros, dual-sports, and supermotos.

I feel that a majority of people fall into this category because it's the most versatile, you can basically ride anything on the street providing it has the correct legal equipment (mirrors, lights, plates, etc).  Now that gas prices are going up I've found that many people are turning their short commutes into short rides on a scooter or small 250cc engine motorcycle.  These scooters and small engine motorcycles are a luxury in the city, not only do we get to park just about anywhere but we get 50 mpg!

The downside to riding these small bikes around the city are things like trunk space and being subjected to the elements.  No matter how you dress i.e. full rain gear, leather and pads, there is no stopping mother nature and we have to take what she gives us.  This "should" make us prepare for the weather, I say "should" because the guy I dubbed "Fraiser" in my previous post was not dressed for the occasion and ended up injuring his ankle.

One thing that I have noticed about living in San Francisco and seeing all the different motorcycles and scooters I've noticed that the owners hardly care about the cosmetics of the bike.  Many are left outdoors to rust in the street and ridden only occasionally on their short trips wherever need be.  I've done a lot of reading and many people suggest to at least keep the chain lubricated every 300 miles to keep the gears inside the engine from rusting over.  This comes down to maintenance and what it means to actually drive one of these bikes.  I like keeping my bikes pretty and clean so leaving the chain to rust is a big "no-no."

On to the track riders: Dirt bikes, dual sports, supermoto, sportbikes fall into this category and I find that these are the bikes that require the most attention from individual owners.  They have to be prepared to go to the track, each track-day sponsor gives riders a checklist about how to prep the bike for the track.
Below is the list taken from Keigwin a California Track-day Sponsor.
Prepared bike:

  • Remove or tape mirrors
  • Disconnect brake light, or remove bulbs/fuse, or completely tape brake light lens (no bleed-through!)
  • If the event is at Laguna Seca you will need a two-digit number on the front and right side of your bike -- 6" tall. This is so the noise-police can identify you to give you a bad time (factory stock mufflers are required for Laguna and NO EXCEPTIONS will be made). Duct tape works fine. Infineon track days do NOT require a number. Sound limits are liberal and very, very few bikes have ever been flagged off the track for a violation.
The following preparation is optional:
  • Taping or removing headlights and/or turn signals
  • Safety wiring (this is welcome but not required)
  • Draining antifreeze and replacing it with pure water (Redline's Water Wetter™ additive is recommended2).

Recreational Rider- This section is for those that like to go on weekend joy rider, for those of us that just like to go out for a cruise when there's nothing else to do.  I've noticed that people that fall in this category are the friendliest of riders, whenever I pass by one they wave the low hand signal saying "Whats Up?!" as if saying "Hey we both ride and that makes you part of the club!"  Everyone likes to say hello to each other from time to time, and it's especially nice when your ride with people of the same genre, meaning sport-bikes or cruisers etc.

Professional Riders have it the easiest in terms of bike maintenance but they are competeing against one another for a championship.  These guys have a team dedicated to fixing their motorcycle to the exact specification that they feel is necessary.  If the suspension feels a bit loose all the have to do is tell the mechanics and boom they dial in the bike to its ideal point.  I feel that there is a whole lot that goes into making a bike work for a particular rider, because they're all different both riders and bikes.  Each rider has their own style and each bike has it's own characteristics, that being said, Casey Stoner said in a video interview that his Ducati tended to slide a bit more then his Honda when riding for them.  Ben Spies- a personal favorite of mine- said that it's not always making the bike work for you but rather working with the bike to gain its full potential.

However no matter which group you belong to, there is a home for every rider.  This being said all riders that are part of one household can be considered a family.  This loosely bonded family extends to wherever there is a road, and this is one of the most amazing parts of motorcycling.  I'll continue my next post with what it means to be apart of our "family."


Johnny 5-

Sunday, March 25, 2012

And "Down goes Fraizer!!!"

You may know the title quote from the famous fight between Muhammad  Ali and Joe Frazier where Ali knocked Frazier down in the first round of the first minute.  Well today I witnessed a rider go down right in front of me and I could almost see it unfolding in front of me.

Don't Ride in the Rain if you don't have to
I've only ridden in the rain a handful of times but one time on a drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara where I rode in the rain for a total of 3 1/2 hours.  Just to put it out there, that's the most miserable I've ever been in my entire life.   I was freezing to death, soaked to the bone, trying to go 90 mph just to get through the clouds.  When I arrived in Santa Barbara my friends said "It just started raining!"  I knew that I had been under the cloud the entire time I was traveling south. That was enough for me to say I was never going to ride in the rain again.  If you don't know what the weather is going to hold in store for you, your better off driving or waiting it out.  I had one experience on that same trip where I hydroplaned on my bike --officially one of the scariest moments of my entire life-- and I wouldn't want that to happen to anybody else.  "According to testing cited by the NTSB (National Transportaion and Safety Board), the speed at which hydroplaning can be expected to occur in a vehicle is 10.35 x square root of the tire pressure."  I was lucky to make it out of that trip nothing short of being cold and miserable but the extent to what "could" have happened may have been a lot worse.
How To Ride in the Rain if you have to
Why not follow advice from the fastest people on the track, they know how to ride under extreme conditions both wet and dry.
I have a few movies of a few random Moto Gp seasons and they race when it's wet so I thought it best to take their advice when approaching a wet day at the track to riding on the street.  Valentino Rossi (6 time World Champ) explains it as, having to be the smoothest possible, not making any abrupt changes that will make you fall.

 Today in the bay
 So if you live in the bay area you all know it's been raining a lot lately and today it was especially hard.   After swearing to never ride in the rain again I chose to ride in my truck to drive the truck to school and work.  I was waiting in traffic as I saw a motorist splitting lanes and approaching me pretty quickly, I could already tell he wasn't prepared because of his sneakers he was wearing.  Motorcycles + Sneakers + Rain = newbie (new rider) or just plain under-prepared.  As I posted before the safest thing for our feet are boots, they support and protect our ankles in the event of a crash.  This motorist wasn't the best at splitting lanes and tried to cut into the left lane a little too abruptly.  Mind you, this happened right in front of me, I watched his front tire wash out as he tried to steer too quickly, he shook the bike to try and keep upright and the bike tossed him up and over the side at a speed of 10 Mph.  I pulled behind him when I noticed he was limping and shaken up.  I put my emergency flashers on and got out to help him pick up his motorcycle and move it off the road. He was still able to walk fairly well so I believed his ankle wasn't broken but I knew that he did tweak it to some extent.

I think that by having some knowledge of how to operate motorcycles at extremely high speeds while wet can be extremely helpful and perhaps if this young chap that I met today would have known the same thing and been better prepared with boots he might have walked away unscathed.  To the rest of us, be prepared mentally and physically!

-Jon 5



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with Casey Stoner

Casey Stoner is the top Moto GP (Motorcycle Grand Prix) rider in the World right now, and this is some of his insight as to how the start of his 2012 season has begun.

I would like to share that in 2011 the riders in Moto GP were all riding 800 cc engines, and this year in 2012 they changed the rules to go back to the 1000 cc engine.  The 800 cc bikes favor the smaller riders, so my favorite rider, Ben Spies weighs in at about 5'10" 175 lbs, while Casey Stoner is shorter and lighter by about 4 inches and 20 lbs.  Just like a Jockey the horse can be exactly the same but the riders weight is going to play a pivotal role.

Riders changed teams this year in 2012 as well.  Casey Stoner went from Ducati to Honda, and if you remember from my previous post a Ducati is a V-twin and the Honda is an inline 4 engine.

Nicky Hayden (another larger rider) went from Honda to Ducati.

Valentino Rossi (about the same size and weight as Casey Stoner) went from Yamaha- Crossplane Technology- to Ducati

Below is some insight to how Casey has been feeling about the differences in style of bikes.

"Specifically, how is the 1000 different from the 800 on corner entry, mid-corner, exit?

Well, the only thing I think, not so much from the 1000 to 800, but just an improvement that we've made with Honda, is braking stability. 
The wheelbase is maybe a little different and when we go on the brakes we've, of course, got a bit more stability as we're going into the corner. The rear's not wanting to hop up as much. So we can actually sink our hands into the brakes a lot harder. So it's actually changing the braking points by a little bit less than what we'd expected, because our bike has improved quite substantially in that point. I'd say corner entry is exactly the same. Everything from that point on is very similar. I think it's mainly just chassis-wise that we've improved. The weight of the bike is exactly the same, the way it's going to react is very similar, if not the same.

The weight's the same?

Now we've gone four kilos, but that was quite recently that they decided to add that. The bikes were designed and built and then they go, Ah yeah, we're going to add four kilos. So I don't think that's really the right way forward. And I hope they fight it. I hope they fight it and win because you don't make rules and change it at the last minute when the bike's already developed. So I think the extra four kilos isn't changing anything like that anyway. It's more or less the same weight. If it was 20 kilos difference in the bike, it might be a bit of difference. At this point it just feels very similar to the 800. The only thing that's different for us is the way the chassis feels. Like I said, I think we've made some improvements with that. And just corner exit, we're able to use that power a lot better, we're able to get a more torque out of the engine, have a lot more control with the engine because it's not so peaky. And actually I've found a lot more traction. Because of the extra torque and control, it wants to drive out of the corner a lot longer before it spins.

Can you be less precise with the 1000 and still get away with it?

I'd say no. In a small way I think maybe, because of that extra torque you've got you can just square the corner off then and shoot it out. But the 800s already had a lot of power. And especially by the end of their time they already had a quite substantial amount and too much. You're still spinning up everywhere. So I'd say, no. I think you've still got to ride them in a very similar way. Try to ride them very accurately and everyone's just trying to massage out the bugs at the moment.

If you make a mistake, is it less forgiving than the 800?

No, I think it's very similar. The 800s, maybe you were carrying a little bit more corner speed. Because you didn't have the same power on the 800s then you didn't have the same problems with wheelies. The 1000s, of course, especially on a small track with a short gearbox, is just going to want to wheelie quite a lot, so that's going to be something you'll have to think about. So they did turn a little bit harder and you keep a little bit more throttle in the middle of the turn really. But such a minute amount. You can still ride them in exactly the same way. I was watching some of the lines out there of everybody today and looking at some of the black marks. They're using the whole track still. I'm using less and less of the track, because I'm happy with that extra bit of torque. But in general you can still ride them in both ways."



I suppose you have to know a bit about motorcycles in order to completely grasp these concepts but if you comment on this post I'll be sure to answer any questions as thouroghly as I can. 


Johnny 5-