Thursday, May 17, 2012
A friend who's not incredibly savvy with anything engine-driven noted the above photo posted on my Facebook page, which of course is the new Ducati 1199 Panigale. He chuckled: "Nice death machine".
My response is not unlike a response from any lover of two-wheeled Saturn 5 land rockets:
"Bikes don't kill riders. Riders kill riders".
His almost immediate response of suddenly popping an unintended wheelie or powering through a turn into oncoming traffic -- in other words, the basic list of every motorcycle horror story you've ever heard -- was just as quickly thwarted with a response of my own: throttle control. I could have dug in with a sermon of general motorcycle riding dynamics, but that would have gone over as well as Fat Elvis slamming a stoppie on a '68 Triumph while leaning forward over the bars.
This guy didn't have a clue from the word "go". The fundamental truth is, for roughly 20 to 24 out the door (for the base and S models), one can own THE BEST superbike in the world. Try pulling a similar trick as a cager (car driver). Hit up glory spots like The Auto Gallery in Calabasas, and ask for "the best of the best". By the way, you'd better have that second mortgage ready to drop. In that realm, $24,000 gets you a set of brakes and a wheel rotation. $240,000 gets the salesman talking... and that number speaks only for entry level fare.
There's nothing wrong with Italian muscle -- I've always been partial to the Horse, the Bull, and the Pitchfork... I know, the Maserati logo isn't a pitchfork, unless you once owned a flambe BiTurbo and it caught fire while you were still in it -- but for the price of a service you can own a World's Greatest!
How much does the World's Greatest watch cost?
Or the World's Greatest private jet?
Or the World's Greatest yacht?
For instance, you can own a Ulysse Nardine "Maxi Marine Diver" gold chronograph watch, or you can own the best superbike ever to roll off an assembly line.
The best! Not the most expensive. Not the most exclusive. The BEST.
My friend, dumbfounded and defeated, had only a singular response: "But what if it rains?"
My response: "Switch it to Rain Mode". I'm not 100% certain he was close to asking if umbrellas pop out of the fairings before stopping himself short, but I would not have put it past him.
Okay. I get it. Sugar is evil. Sugar is the AntiChrist. Sugar is the foodstuff equivalent of Chernobyl. Sugar will kill you if you let it. Sugar is a major health problem in America.
But, it's not.
And THAT'S the problem.
Certainly, sugar isn't the most effective source of nutrition, nor the most effective means of energy, you may utilize as fuel for your body. Yet, it's by no means the very worst kind of white powder you can place into same body. Cyanide, off the top of my head, might be considered a more destructive substance. Cocaine, as well.... and I can't imagine one person save for Robert Downey Jr. who'd argue sugar as being more damaging to your life expectancy than good ol' Aunt Nora.
I'm very aware of several folk close to me who are flat out addicted to Diet Coke. Mind you, not favored by it -- ADDICTED TO it! Their rationale that it's a healthier version of Coca-Cola is, pardon the predictable pun, junk. Sugar is a natural substance the body can easily recognize and digest. Sure, it'll make you fat -- if you sit around all day watching your damn talk shows. Ever wondered what kind of devious dark magic went into making that chocolate muffin in the cafe pastry case? Unless chickens are evil sorcerers, wheat fields are sources of unspeakable Pagan sacrifices, and the Belgians mix their chocolate batches with potions of bat claw, hair of alpaca, and blood of Himalayan rat (of which I'm not 100% certain is "not" true), then all you must fear of that deliciously mouth-watering muffin is watching The View shortly after devouring it, slumped on your couch, dropping Diet Coke chasers. Rather, here's a novel thought -- walk!
Your local coffee hut is three blocks away. And you require an automobile to reach it because....?