We’ve seen some amazing developments in the motorcycle world these last few years, with electronics taking things to a whole new level. But I wonder, how much is really necessary for a pure riding experience? Do you simply want to go as fast as humanly possible, or can you still really enjoy a bike that has no computer controlled rider aids?
Technology is really starting to play a huge part on motorcycles now, with the relatively recent developments of things like 6-axis intelligent computer systems, constantly feeding the bike with information and telling the motor what to do. Before all this came about, the only control a rider had was on the throttle, brake levers, and steering with the handle bars, which required conscious thought and a feel for what the bike was doing under you.
Sure, the bikes of yesteryear weren’t anywhere near as fast as they are today, but I actually think they were more enjoyable to ride. Scarier too, given how far suspension, brakes, and tires have come in the last ten to fifteen years! Now, I know trying to compare ‘analogue’ to ‘digital’ is not as simple as that, and that trying to control a bike with over 200 horsepower without computer aids would be tantamount to death… But how fast do we actually need to go?
In the real world, there will always be a race between manufacturers for more power, and faster bikes. And if you can afford any one of them, and ride it at the absolute limit, my hat is off to you! I’m no Valentino Rossi, or Marc Marquez, and I know I’ll never possess the talent or the skill to pilot such a machine anywhere near it’s potential. But what I can do, is take a machine that makes substantially less power with ‘old’ technology suspension, and have an absolute blast ringing it’s neck off! No way will I be as fast as the guys on new superbikes, but sometimes the journey is more important than the destination…
Whatever you ride, I actually don’t think it matters. Sure, new bikes are cool, but a well looked after old bike is just as, if not more cool in my books.