BIKE India

The Need for Speed

FRIEND ONCE RECOUNTED THAT HER first experience riding a motorcycle was letting out the clutch on her partner’s Kawasaki 750 and finding herself heading skyward on one wheel. Anyone who lets a novice loose on a large Japanese four without prior education and close observation justly deserves the title “ex-partner” in my book, but the aspiring lady astronaut nevertheless declined to ride pillion while I was at the controls. Her image of “going for a nice ride” didn’t really gel with my concept of looping Folsom Lake slightly faster than I managed on the previous circuit. The extra weight may have added to rear traction, but that advantage would have been negated by the aerodynamic drag penalties and power-to-weight equation. And the distant sound of someone screaming for a full hour would doubtless have spoiled the whole experience. While I can make the dubious claim to have maintained a speed of around 180 mph (290 km/h) on an unknown winding German autobahn, at night and on a motorcycle I’d never ridden before

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