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The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness

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The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness

The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness






A vintage bike, like my 1974 Honda CB750, almost makes me feel skilled. I?m not quite at the edge of its performance envelope?but I can see it from here. The CB’s 1974 state-of-the-art powerplant churned out a fearsome?67 horsepower. Hey, it?s all relative! Photos by the author.
Lately I have been spending a lot of time on my 1974 Honda CB750. I enjoy the sit-up-and-grin riding position, the languid feel of the bike and the visceral growl of those four pipes?the world?s first true superbike.
But there?s another reason the old CB is so enjoyable: it never laughs at me. When riding the ancient four, there is nothing about it that says, ?Go faster, you wimp. Lean farther. Accelerate harder.?
Mostly, this is because it can?t do any of those things?at least with me on it. The fact is, the CB offers the singular pleasure of enforced slowness. There are no challenges to my supposed manhood. I go slow. I look around. I am happy.
I think most classic bike riders, and many cruiser enthusiasts, appreciate their machines for the same reason. When it comes to riding prowess, we are collective underachievers. Things like an 8,000-rpm rev limit, slapping cam chains, skinny tires and a spark-throwing centerstand have a way of tempering one?s exuberance. Kind of like a longtime friend who keeps you from doing the tequila shots before you end up with a lampshade on your head, doing karaoke or in jail. It?s for your own good.
Hey, we all like to ride on the edge of our envelopes. It?s just that many of us have elected to reduce the size of the envelopes. My Honda VFR may be old, but it can still embarrass me with its competence. Even when I?m pushing hard, it just sighs. ?Is that all you got"?
This is not to say I don?t enjoy speed. I also own a Honda VFR Interceptor, which of course is a fantastic motorcycle?smooth, powerful, sweet handling. The difference is, the VFR embarrasses me with its competence. Even though I have been riding most of my life, teach motorcycle safety and do regular track days to improve my skills, there is still a yawning gap between my abilities and the capabilities of the VFR. I am reminded of this fact every time I do one of Reg Pridmore?s CLASS instructional schools. Just when I think I am getting fast, Reg eases past on the outside of turn two at Laguna Seca?riding two-up and simultaneously fiddling with an on-bike video camera. Though I can hang with the faster ?A? group, and have been known to put my knee on the ground on a good day, Reg?s display has a way of convincing me that I will never run with the big dogs. As the Vermont farmer said when asked directions: You can?t get there from here. If riding talent is in the genes, then I picked the wrong parents.
You?d think it might make me sad to confront my limitations in this way, but it doesn?t.  There?s plenty of fun to be had riding the VFR at half its capability, and by the same token, there?s even more fun to be had riding the CB750 at what feels like 3/4 of its cap...
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The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness The Pleasure of Enforced Slowness

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Fuente de la noticia: ridermagazine
Fecha de publicación: 06-02-2018 21:22
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