I already assessed in my last post what it takes to be physically safe but I never talked about exterior dangers of being on a bike. Of course I'm talking about our good old friends the Police. Whenever the boys in blue get behind me, my heart sinks because all I can think about is that this going to cost me hundreds of dollars. While this deters many people from riding fast there's always going to be the few that decide stopping isn't an option. The following link is a Youtube video that may get your heart moving. Cop fails to pull over bikes. As you can see from the video, riding in a pack of people isn't the safest to begin with especially when there's a guy trying to "stunt" his bike down the freeway. But then a policeman gets involved and all of a sudden I start to feel sorrow for this guy. Here he's having fun and entertaining a group of people and then we see a cop try and pull them over but one thing shines through, the remark-ability in riding with a group of people and the anonymity it can provide. They can't pull us all over, so forget it and keep moving. It's obviously not the safest of conditions but this is the danger that some people strive for.
Whats inviting about riding around the track 130 mph? Is it the fact that I'm setting new goals to beat my fastest lap time? Possibly but how about the fact that my knees are willingly being slid along the pavement like antennae feeling how close the ground is. Pictured above is my favorite Moto-GP rider Ben "Elbowz" Spies. Ben has an extremely distinct style where he rides to the point where his elbows are dragging on the ground. Forget about the knee, getting an elbow down means your close enough to kiss the pavement but at the same time you have to have enough control to bring the bike back to it's next turning position. To many of us seeking speed this is the ultimate goal: To control my bikes speed in the corners to actually allow me to perform a maneuver such as this without having an accident.
I love the sounds motorcycles make, every time I hear one I have to see what kind of bike it is thats responsible for that type of noise. Most sportbikes 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 engauged. 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 cyclinder 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 "Crossplane 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 Crossplane 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
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 motorycycles. The higher the octane rating the more compression the gas can withstand before combusting. Ergo the piston inside the engine recieves more of a push rather then an explosion blowing the piston backwards.
Bikes all have their own Genre, sportbikes 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.