I use the bike as my Willie Wonka golden ticket to get me away from/around anything annoying – and to a better place. Nothing – nothing – beats a speedy bike for this. You’ve got the acceleration capability of a Bugatti Veyron in a package that’s no wider (or hardly wider) than you are. This lets you slip and dodge and bob and weave like Ali in his prime – against opponents moving as if in slow-motion. It makes you feel free – because you cannot be thwarted by…. them.
You know, Clovers.
Clovers are especially dainty morsels because they have no clue how immediately you can jump from 20 to 80. Or from 80 to 140. In the blink of an eye – before they can even think about reacting – you are already gone. It drives them absolutely nuts. Which is why it’s so delicious. All you need is the tiniest opening. If Clover gives you a half car length of window as he’s pacing the car in the next lane, it’s enough. Remember when the Millennium Falcon went to light speed and just… disappeared? That’s you. Not on the big screen, not in fantasy. Real life.
Savor the pure joy of watching the enraged-because-impotent Clover receding fast in your rearview. It’s right up there with good sex – and good food.
A car – no matter how powerful or fast – is limited in what it can do by the space available, by the space it needs to maneuver. When we lived in the DC area, it was a constant source of frustration to have something really fast to test drive – a new 911 turbo, for example. And to be stuck twaddling along at 47 in a 55 behind a pair of minivans pacing each other to the next stop light. There’s nothing you can do. Clover wins.
His minivan beats your Porsche.
But on a bike, you have shaved the space needed to maneuver by two-thirds or more. Just a sliver of space, that’s all you need. And the time gap has become almost irrelevant. A sport bike’s FTL thrust translates thought into action almost spontaneously. What you’d never dare trying in a car – any car - is so easy, so effortless on a bike that you just do it. Stuck in a Clover Conga? It is a mere nothing to pass four or five Clovers in less time than it takes to read this sentence. If oncoming traffic appears, just twist the throttle, hang on and – like that – it’s over. You are past them all, safely back in your lane – the Clover Conga dispensed with.
Any of the current liter bikes – packing 1000 CCs of engine – can get to 60 in less than three seconds – and through the quarter-mile in 10 seconds (or less) at more than 130 MPH – and climbing. With two more gears to go, usually. (My Kaw 1200 – a fairly mild bike with only 140-something hp – can hit more than 150 in fourth gear. Something really serious, like a ZX-14 or ‘Busa is just getting rolling at 150. These are 200 MPH bikes, cap’n. That’s off the dealer’s lot. A few choice mods and they’ll go … faster.)
And if the rider knows his business, not much that’s on four wheels can keep up in the corners, either. Even if you’re up against a really serious car – driven by a serious wheelman – unless he is driving a Veyron, he hasn’t got the cheetah-like explosion of speed coming out of the corners you’ve got. And very few Clover types are either serious wheelmen – or drive Veyrons. Typically, you’re squaring off against a Camry – or an SmooooooVeee. It is like beating up Eric The Midget. It almost makes you feel bad.
Remember the arctic scene in The Empire Strikes Back? The Imperial Walkers vs. the speedy little rebel fighters? It’s a lot like that. Only, better – because the typical Clover cager is not nearly as competent as the commander of an Imperial Walker. Malicious, sure. But utterly unaware of the capability of motorcycles. Because Clovers don’t ride. It’s almost a mathematical axiom. So, they have no clue what you can do on that bike. That if they give you an inch – you can take a mile. They have no frame of reference. Their concept of acceleration – and thus, what it will take to box you in – is as far off the mark as estimations of the competence of the Saddam’s Elite Republican Guard.
And if one of these sons of bitches is riding my ass? I just … lose him. Left-right, shoot forward, pass a few cars. I’m gone. He’s still back there somewhere.
Throw it in the Woods?