At a party last week an interesting discussion formed about motorcycles. Actually I take that back, it was more like a lecture on motorcycles. A young gentleman saw my motorcycle gear and asked, “What do you ride?” I answered and then he followed up with “How fast have you gotten it up to?” *DING* *DING* Squid Alert! I try and not answer those kinds of questions. My favorite responses is “Fast enough” or “pretty fast”. My ambiguity spawned off a discussion among a couple others about how fast the Hayabusas and ZX-14s go. My good friend says “Aw man I want one so bad.” I tell him, “No, what you need is a 500CC bike or less.” He scoffs at the notion, unable to believe that I failed to realize that the size of a motorcycle’s engine is directly correlated to the amount of fun one can have on it. Bigger is better right?
“I just don’t understand why people buy these ridiculously powerful machines. When this,” I stick my hand out to demonstrate a closed throttle position, “and this,” I rotate my hand slightly, “is the difference between life and death, I don’t understand how such a machine can be enjoyable as your first motorcycle.” I break eye contact with everyone and everything comes spilling out, “I mean most riders cannot even safely control half of that machine’s power safely, and when you are able to it’s too dangerous on public roads.” The GSXR guy interrupts and says, “Yea but on some open expressways it’s fairly safe to get up to those speeds, especially if you’ve surveyed the area first.” I reply, “Absolutely, I admit to doing it myself, however any idiot and throw open the throttle and head in a straight line. What the hell is the fun with that?” I realize I just implied that he was an idiot, but I keep going, “I have more fun going 20MPH on a switchback than I would going 200MPH down a straight away.”
I sense that I’m getting a little preachy and back off. The expressions on people’s faces are a mixture of polite confusion. Polite because they realize that a very sensitive issue has been brought up and they should tread lightly as if we were discussion the abortion issue. Confused because they realize that this guy is talking about motorcycles with such a passion that is on par with abortion activists.
It’s lost on them all.