I’ve Got a Golden Ticket

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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.    ticket 2

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. ticket 3

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.

Yes, a modern sport bike is that quick. me on bike

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.ETM


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.

It’s not a fair fight – thank god.Clover pic

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.

Hopefully, pissed.

Throw it in the Woods?







  1. The title reminds me of when Cartman started faking he had tourettes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vNZ4Pm-rIM

    Nothing turns a young girl on like strapping her onto your back on a bike. Seeing my cousin with this giant metal rod out of his skin holding his leg bone together kind of made me a bit cautious about them. they are very fun though. I remember the 145hp Yamaha Vmax. thats a mans bike. Not a crotch rocket.

  2. I had a conversation about motorcycles with a clover once. I pointed out the discrepancy in reasoning.

    She wanted to limit SUVs because in any altercation between an SUV and a sedan the SUV wins. But she wanted to limit motorcycles because in any altercation between a sedan and a motorcycle the sedan wins.

    I pointed out that in the former she wanted to restrict the one that won, and in the latter she wanted to restrict the one that lost.

    She replied that was indeed what she wanted, so that everyone can be safe.


    • Every one safe without her being inconvenienced. That’s the ticket.

      Of course the logic is still faulty, but at least “I am trying to save lives.”

  3. In one of Eric’s articles, some good soul posted a Getaway in Stockholm video that I thoroughly enjoyed. Returning the favor, and since the topic is motorcycles and Millenium Falcon acceleration,here is a good one:

    Fair Warning: put down all drinks during the first three minutes and watch the speedometer!

    • “watch the speedometer!”

      The speedometer had me a little freaked until I realized that it was reading KPH rather than MPH. The way the guy led the cop on and ducked in front of the bus to get behind the cop was priceless. This rider is definitely in the foo-fighter class.

      Great vid. Thanks for the linkage.

  4. I have four big-bore sportbikes, the fastest being my Hayabusa. In addition to being able to pass anything instantly and safely, under many circumstances stopping for a cop is strictly optional. In most cases you can disappear so fast that a cop simply has no chance to even get close before you can turn off and make your escape. And even if you eventually are caught, you can plausibly deny that you even knew you were being chased.

  5. 10 year old driving a Ferrari F450 (Thrissur, India gated community)

    Same kid at age 9 driving a Range Rover (in India gated compound)

    The boys father, Nizam, owns several businesses in India and now finds himself accused of being a criminal by India’s Swinest for allowing his son to drive his own vehicle.

    The Kerala Police have registered a case against Nizam under the Juvenile Justice Act and the Motor Vehicles Act for uploading a video of an illegal act, sending out a wrong message to the world, and allowing a child to drive a vehicle.

    Just like most places, the Swine will soon seize the vehicle and sell it at auction so they can proudly squeal to India and the world about how they keep us safe from each and every act not approved in advance by hordes of grotesque corpulent tax-feeding safety Nazis; brave heroes selflessly wallowing about and filling their snout with our seed corn while enforcing dehumanizing porcine regulations to enrich their evil bankster Overlords.

    • Tor, you have no idea how utterly, irretrievably Statist most Indians are.

      My parents-in-law are from Kerala.

      They are completely and hopelessly clueless about government. They literally see it as a parent-figure, with a naive, sweetly trusting goodness that cannot believe anything but Sheer Goodness must emanate from every Dear Leader’s Fecal Orifice.

      I’d be angry as hell at them, but I almost can’t be. They’re literally child-like in their naivete. They can’t help themselves.

      Imagine adults who still firmly believe in Santa Claus; adults who’d become very upset–not angry, they don’t believe in anger–but upset to the point of disappointed tears if you even implied Santa wasn’t real.

      Now imagine ME talking to such people about government. My father-in-law has literally almost cried. But he stopped himself, shook his head, and said “I won’t believe that.”

      NDAA authorizes the Dear Leader to kill anyone anywhere anytime? “That’s OK, because they know who the terrorists are. They’re protecting us!”

      And now you see how the travesty you mention comes to pass–easily.

      Statism is a religion. Actually, it’s always been a substitute for true religion–because the “Elites”, being psychopathic narcissists, must always elevate themselves as gods.

      • Interesting insights, methylamine. So even ancient spice plantation families from ancient Sumer times are mere Eloi cowering obediently beneath the United Nations, Kingdoms, & States conceptual umbrellas just like us Newbie Worlders.


        Gimps like us who love being chained in Daddy Bloombergs’ dungeon while he whips us all into bloody monarchical disassociational pulps for smoking, drinking, and eating the wrong things without his permission.

        A world united in a system of assigned BDSM dungeons and dominators. Lovers of the bondage of taxes and fiat money. Pain worshippers seeking discipline, and reasons for self-denial and self-loathing.

        Dominants quick to grab the fleeting moments of moral superiority when they administer pain to their enemies. Submissives who revel in victimhood and helpless mewling neediness. Sadists who grow turgid during ceremonial cagings and ritual murders mockingly called justice.

        Masochists who prance about and prattle on regarding the virtues of offering themselves and their families to the shackles and truncheons of armed costumed dungeon overlords.

        Illuminati Theme Song – S & M – Rihanna

        “Feels so good being bad
        There’s no way I’m turning back
        Now the pain is my pleasure ’cause nothing could measure

        ‘Cause I may be bad, but I’m perfectly good at it
        Sex in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it
        Sticks and stones may break my bones
        But chains and whips excite me”

        You Look Like You Were Born to be a Wonkarer!

        “The candyman can, cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”

  6. Its not so much that I’m “Slow” as it is that I just SUCK at it. As I said, my reflexes are terrible. At least I admit to it, however….

    Then again, I’m still on a learner’s permit so I’ll likely get better in time. We need a “Student driver” bumper sticker so you guys know who to forgive and who to get pissed off at…

    • Hi David,

      I’d encourage you to attend a driving school – not the government driving schools (which are to a great extent not merely worthless but often counterproductive) but rather, a school such as The Bob Bondurant School (see here http://www.bondurant.com/ ) or similar, where you will be taught vehicle dynamics and car control in a controlled/safe environment by first-class driving instructors, many of whom are either former competitive race drivers or hold SCCA road racing licenses, etc.

      Don’t be intimidated. While Bondurant does have courses for drivers looking to become professional-level drivers, he also has courses geared toward drivers such as yourself, who are simply trying to become good (competent) drivers.

      It is impossible for me to overstate the value of these courses to a person in your situation. Talk with those who have already been through and you will find they have much more confidence behind the wheel – and are far less likely to ever be involved in an “accident” – most of which are not accidental at all but rather the result of driver error.

      Please, check into it!

  7. Why do you hate people who suck at driving? Admittedly, that includes me. My reflexes are slow. I don’t care if you pass me though…

    • Hi David,

      I’d define it a little differently. I definitely don’t appreciate people who drive poorly – that is, without skill or attentiveness or consideration. But I’ve got no problem with, for example, a slow driver… who pays attention to his surroundings (including behind him, using his rearview mirror) and moves over to allow fast-moving traffic to get by him. In other words, whose driving doesn’t impede others – or cause others hassles, including wasted time.

  8. Sadly my biking days are over — too much arthritis in too many joints to make it a pleasure any more.

    Back in the day, I was a courier in London. Even my plonky little Honda CB200 was a lot faster and more nimble than pretty much anything other than a bigger and faster bike.

    Even my Honda 400F was fast enough to embarrass BMW and Porsche drivers. Especially when they didn’t know the roads…

    Ah well, glory days…

  9. My first street bike was a Suzuki GS550 1973, 3 cylinder 2 stroke, hauled ass for a 16 yr old. Got grounded from my Nova by my folks, showed up with it at home and my mom immediately gave me the car keys back…

  10. I ride a 1st generation yamaha fz1, and find that this bike is a phenomenal value for the money. I have wanted to go to a triumph speed triple 1000cc, but just cannot get past not having a fairing on the front. The thing that I love most about my fizzy is the black and yellow color scheme, it makes the style endure.

    I used the bike out in southern cali where you can split lanes, but definitely would have loved to have the suzuki SV650S. That bike has a cult following, and carves corners like a dream! Would have loved it for the canyons out in malibu!

  11. Oh DC… I lived in DC (14th and Mass NW) and drove a Ducati SS800 to Sterling NoVa for a commute. In the morning the reverse commute via the Key Bridge, to the GW Pkwy, then Route 7 was quick. In the evening everybody is headed back into the city either commuting home, seeking entertainment, hookers commuting to work for the Hill staff, etc. I would cut traffic at the lights and it would save at least 20 minutes. I live in TX now and just arrived to work via the ultimate Clover smashing Hooligan machine which is a 2012 Duc 1100 EVO SP. It looks like a Motard on a street bike frame. It is the 2012 as the new one looks like complete shit compared to this one which has folding side mirrors and twin cans under the seat.

  12. Bikes are great for the city here in Santiago Chile. Never a traffic jam when you can ride on the painted lines… Helmet law aside, insurance is cheaper, maintenance and gas costs less, takes up less space. You can park on any sidewalk unless posted (hardly ever). we have an awesome mountain winding road on the way out to galts gulch, and we have 2,000 acres of off-road mountainbike private property, who’s coming to see me?

    • Ken have we talked before about Chile?

      And–am I correct that they don’t “allow” Evil Black Rifles (aka AR-15’s etc.)?

      Did you buy into one of the Gulches–Simon Black’s or Jeff Berwick’s–or go it alone?

      Doubtful we’ll expatriate. But I’ve heard some pretty shiny reviews of life there, might be a nice option to have.

      • http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topic1910.html


        There are 875 Million firearms in the world, 75% in the hands of civilians

        US 89 guns per 100 people
        Uruguay 32 guns per 100 people
        Mexico 15 guns per 100 people
        Chile 11 guns per 100 people
        Ecuador 1 guns per 100 people

        – The entire country of Mexico, has only one gun store – the Directorate of Arms and Munitions Sales – in Mexico City. It is operated by the Mexican military, and the clerks are soldiers, the store is not very busy. Fortunately, America has 129,817 licensed dealers, to help out with Mexican’s self-protection needs.

      • I work for Galt’s Gulch. Lived here for over 4 years. Permanent tourist, just couldn’t support the taxation to wage secretive, drone and occupy forces any longer. long live freedom and my dirt bike paths in GGC.
        kcarpenter@galtsgulchile.com if you would like to be updated on our property/life.

        • Thanks for the email, Ken–I appreciate your quick response.

          Chile is still a backup plan for us.

          But plan #1 is to stand here and fight the sociopaths. Plan 2 is a country place. Plan 3 is a sailboat, which leads to Plan 4–expatriation.

          I just can’t abide a place that disarms me–especially of my Evil Black Rifles, also known as tyrant-discouragers.

          I might compromise at some point; i.e. keep them in my sailboat.

          My fondest hope is that states will secede, if not in fact, at least in spirit, as the FedGov inevitably goes broke.

          It IS broke. But like a headless chicken, it keeps running around crapping on things while the blood drains out.

          • Or try New Zealand, once you have your license you can buy as many Black Rifles as you want, although some things like folding stocks aren’t allowed.

  13. As a bike guy I’m sure you’ve heard of The Dragon(US129). Well, if you’re not doing anything in late June come on down and also catch some cars running one of the Eastern US’s best hill climbs, Chasing the Dragon, at nearby Joyce Kilmer Forest.


  14. Eric, I’ve posted here a lot and I am not by any stretch a “Clover”. But you’ve got to be careful out there. Your laudatory praise of zipping in and out of traffic reminded me of one horrific incident in my life. Some guy named Micheal Wood (I learned his name from the papers) was doing exactly that about 6 years back, and passed my taxi in the outside lane, going 20 mph faster than traffic, and weaving in and out between cars. When he hit the bed of the pickup that turned left in front of him, he was doing about sixty. The bike shattered into a billion pieces, and he went airborne a good 50 yards. I was first on the scene to him, but there was nothing I could do, except direct traffic until the ambulance showed up. Mr. Wood was 47. He left a wife and 2 kids. (BTW, he was wearing full leathers, and a helmet)
    Eric, I am not in favor of laws, or restrictions or forced prohibitions on you having fun. But you know, you need to be careful out there. God knows, we need your writing.

    • [You’ve misremembered the story PTCD, the power of the Dark Side is strong in you?]

      Motorcyclist dies in Northland crash
      October 4

      Kansas City police today identified a 37-year-old man who died in a motorcycle crash in his Northland neighborhood as Michael L. Wood.

      Wood had borrowed the motorcycle from a friend and was riding westbound on Northeast 44th Street at North Hardesty Avenue on Wednesday night when he apparently lost control and struck the back of a parked pickup truck. Police were investigating whether high speeds were a factor in the 10:30 p.m. crash. Wood was wearing his helmet, police said, but he died at a hospital from severe injuries.


      Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. [once you accept their poison – don’t really live, be “safe” – you’re already dead]

      Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who die and transform into the Force.

      Hokey religions[dogma of safe living] and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

        • Seems odd, there’s no lamestream news record of it. Oh well.

          I read much of your blog awhile back, lots of good stuff. Certain things just enrage me. Like some Satanic politician saying we should pray for “the victims” when he’s the devil behind their victimization.

          Or some yutz telling David Lee Roth to practice safe sex and check each groupie’s I.D. to avoid sex crimes. And telling Tiger Woods not to play someone else’s hole.

          Dale Earnhardt had it right, he lived and died for his unwavering principles.

          If this be an honorable universe, may Dalee enjoy an eternity of plowing into eternally damned crowds of traitorous NASCAR-type Judases at 200+ mph and crushing them beneath the burning tires of justice for all of eternity.

          – Heavenly Hosts Start Your Engines. And Happy Birthday Dale!

  15. ERIC!!!

    I’ll have you know that the Empire won the battle of Hoth 😉

    AND the walkers were able to take out a couple of snowspeeders.
    (Big Empire fan here)

    But I get the analogy. Most of the snowspeeders escaped anyway 😛

  16. I’ve been on bikes for many years and had several. Some people are shocked by the way we sometimes have to ride in the rain – or even hail for that matter.

    Sure it’s uncomfortable, but it shows what you’re willing to put up with to have that much power and maneuverability on tap.

    The ability to overtake on hairpin bends, accelerate away from an impending clover pile-up in an instant, or even escape cops in certain circumstances (my favourite trick) and the simplicity of parking just makes everyday commuting far less annoying.

    If they could only see the wide grin under the helmet as we open the taps and do a “Millennium”, they’d want one too.

  17. i don’t ride motorcycles. i desperately want to, but my job won’t allow for it. i have seen clovers on motorcycles, though. one whipped out into the left lane in front of me; i had to brake for him, or the fatty clover would have died. i thought, no big deal, as i waited for him to power off and leave me behind. i then realized that it had to be a 250cc sport bike, based on the weak sound it was making. this particular clover slowly accelerated and after a few exits of camping the left lane, he merged right. he surely would have remained left had he not had to exit, just like a clover. i have also seen some harley clovers in the mountains. i have actually passed some of these creatures in my crown vic. on mountain roads. unbelievable.

    • Oh mang, you just reminded me. I have a fatty clover on a harley video I just filmed on the way home from work Friday. I’ll get it up on youtube.

    • Ah yes, the Harley Clovers. In the hills they probably can’t lean as far because their bikes are lower so they have to trickle along.

      I’ve been on rides with some of these guys before and we always lose them in the hills.

      I remember a riding course we did years ago when I was in the Army. We took all our bikes to a race track for the day. When it came to the emergency braking part of the course, the instructor said that when he gives the signal, we do an emergency stop without falling over. He said that in the case of the Harley (only one there that day) he’d be giving the signal last week..

    • “i have also seen some harley clovers in the mountains.”

      Yes indeed there is such an animal. They bear watching on Sunday morning on their phalanx rides from Petersburg to Richmond. Imagine 20 or so middle aged newby riders on new Harley dressers, most of them double packing, rolling up I-95 at a steady 60 mph, two abreast in an unsmiling pack.

      They make riding look like a chore. I hope I never get that old.

      • Oh God, Harley Clovers!

        I just drove back from San Antonio today after my cousin’s wedding (BTW–my cousin, a very shy guy, married this bombshell Latina; at least 5′ 9”, curvy, gracious, and sweet. Jesus Geoff you never told me you were James Fuckin Bond!)

        And I spent twenty minutes fuming behind a conga line of asshole Harley Clovers driving 72 in a 75 zone…and me, itching to rip back up to 110 in 4th gear before settling there in sixth. 110-120 is the M5’s “natural frequency”; every car has a favorite cruise speed that just Feels Right. For the M5, 110 is about 3700 rpm in sixth. It’s that magical spot on the rev-band where the intakes are resonating perfectly, right at the engine’s torque peak; where it sounds like it could suck a goat through the air filter and fart out thunder.

        So I like going 110.

        And these bikes? God almighty, what a bunch of posers. Fat middle-aged retards with ape-hanger handle bars, trying desperately to look like the freedom-minded crank-runners of Hell’s Angels’ fame.

        When I finally maneuvered my way to the right of the conga line’s tip, I executed a very quick, very close swerve over into the left lane in front of the aforementioned ape-hangers lengthy forks, timed with a downshift to third at 75, and let loose a glorious rip of Kraut V-8 and no doubt NOx galore.

        I seriously doubt he could have kept up. Sorry dom–I know you like Harleys. But these guys were stock and frankly they would have been faster dismounted and racing me on foot.

        What happened to many bikers that they suddenly Got Religion and started riding The Law?

        • “What happened to many bikers that they suddenly Got Religion and started riding The Law?”

          I have been pondering this one, too. And, have yet to come up with an explanation. I have some theories, though.

          Harleys at some point became trendy – as opposed to outlaw. Like tattoos. remember when only outlaws, people on the periphery, had them? Now every suburban middle class girl has them.

          Harleys also got both expensive and reliable/easy to ride – not necessarily in that order. There was a time when a Harley was a rude, unforgiving machine – not unlike a two-stroke Japanese bike. Very few non-initiates dared to throw a leg over. Like two-strokes, they were also leaky, oily, messy, maintenance-intensive things. These characteristics tend to keep away the sort you ran into – the type who likes to spend $20k on a loaded dresser and then another $5k on faux “biker” gear and then ride around playing The Role.

          • There’s nothing funnier then blowing off a Clover Harley(who spent dough on a big bore kit) with my tweaked Bandit 400(GSXR400 motor) in a stoplight race and having him pull up next to me after getting wiped and say, “Nice 600”.

            lol….when I tell them it’s 398cc’s the conversation ends.

            I swear, I’ve had this happen twice and I’ve only had this Bandit 400 in running condition since last June.

            Heck, coming out of the city the other day I was passed by a modern GSXR 750 and still was able to strangle the Bandit’s neck for 120mph+ to slowly reel him in.

            Harley has reaped the financial benefits of tapping the Clover market, but it has watered down the brand/image as a trade off.

            The reason my 400 is my street bike is because I’ve almost lost my license so many times on various high powered Supersports, and I’m getting tired of the hassles.

            I’m going back to focusing on track bikes and old man/Formula 40 bike racing. The only reason I took a break is because of kids/money/broken bones.

            • Nick, that’s classic – love it! Made my morning… !

              I’m itching to build another triple (I have a 250 S1) for the same reasons. I’m thinking an S3 400 (had a parts bike, shoulda kept it).

              With a few judicious mods, the S3 400 can be made into a very interesting ride….

          • Nick, much of your advantage may be your riding skill. Back when the Honda CBX 1000cc six came out, an old dude, friend of my father, who was a former Harley factory team rider, bought one.

            He held the position of road race kingpin for several months, dusting off all comers. Finally, though, he was beaten twice by a younger guy who had built himself a shovel/pan engine and ran a fuel mixture.

            They ran two races, one a 1/4 mile drag from a dead stop, and one a 1/2 mile run from a 60mph rolling start.

            I think it was really the younger dude’s skill, though his Vtwin sounded deadly running the mixture.

          • Eric, it you can find a Yamaha RD-350 (for under three grand these days), you really ought to consider it. Various revenue collectors in the fine state of Florida tried (unsuccessfully) to write me some payin’ paper for over 3 years, but the RD prevailed every time. The RD’s frame geometry was essentially the same as the TZ race bikes. The Kaw H1 and H2 could easily outrun me on the straights, but once we were in the twisties, all the Kaw riders saw was my tail light and not for long. You really ought to check one out if you have the chance since you live in the them thar hills. I’d probably already have another one in my stable, but I understand that divorce it quite expensive these days…

        • “What happened to many bikers that they suddenly Got Religion and started riding The Law?”

          I don’t think that happened to bikers. These fat old retards aren’t bikers, they’re a bunch of TV addicts who settled on Harleys for their mid-life crisismobiles.

          Bikers are still bikers. A few months ago, I ran into one in the Richmond ‘burbs, wearing his cut (it’s not wise to state the club’s name) with a South Carolina rocker. He’s my age, so I spoke to him briefly because he’s from my home state.

          The point being; yeah, they’re still out there, but you don’t see them riding in large groups like you do the wannabes. When I see a biker, he’s usually riding alone or with one brother, and is seen very briefly at 80mph+.

    • Musta been a noob or someone on a Chi-com machine. My 250 Ninja only tops out about 105 or so but will get there fairly quickly if I take full advantage of the 14,000 r.p.m. redline. Tap the shifter down twice and roll it on! Clover’s not gonna drive that fast for long.

  18. You’d be amazed at how much of this applies to even scooters. I used to own a Yamaha Vista, and even on a bike with a top speed of 70 (going down hill with a fat passenger on the back), I would white line it to get between two pacing clovers going 30 in a 45. Not nearly as fun as a real bike, but also less likely to draw the ire of Officer Safety.

  19. Bikes are an endangered species in the glorious rainbow collective.
    Much like the No Fun League of sporty spices it just won’t do in a boring standardized generic lockdown of a society. It is too risky and you are right clovers fume in impotent rage as you leave them in the dust.

  20. Dammit Eric…

    I have put off buying a bike for sooo long. I’ve never even tried riding anything with more power than a moped.

    Buy I swear clovers will put me under, if not with a serious car accident, it will be a heart attack caused by their way of driving. I just dealt with driving from Chicago to Nashville and I lost hair, IQ points, and some of my sanity because of some of the driving I witnessed.

    Now I have to buy a bike. I will refer to some of your previous posts on first bike purchases when I get around to it, so thanks ahead of time for the advice.

    • Do it! I’d say in the meantime start looking for your nearest MSF course and get registered. If you’re near the Northern Virginia area I’ll even help keep an eye out for good deals. I just picked up a sweet bike for $1,200.

      • My wife is up for it too. Now it’s just a matter of getting a few super important things in order and we’re getting it done. We talked about it after I posted this. She wants one for a daily driver to get to the office, and I want one mostly for the reasons posted.

        I’m not close to you dom, but thanks for the offer. We’re in TN, just south of Nashville.

        Thanks again, guys!

        • Excellent – and, happy to !

          There are a number of rally good – and not expensive – options for a commuter bike for your wife.

          And you could go for something with both speed – and practicality. Suggestions to come!

          • Looking forward to your recommendations. Trocki and I are in the same location. Looking for something with “speed and practicality”. How is the gasoline usage on these bikes?

            • Hi Chris,

              Even very aggressive sport bikes will usually give you 35-40 MPGs, which is as good or better than most current economy cars – so they’re very economical to operate.

              And to give you some perspective, even a very mild, mid-sized touring bike like my ’83 Honda (650 cc) is still quicker, 0-60 and through the 1/4 mile than most cars. (The Honda runs a 13 second 1/4 mile – which is pokey for a bike, but quick for a car.) And it gets 50-plus MPG – as good as (or better than) a new hybrid Prius.

              I’ve talked up the Honda Nighthawk series – especially the 750 – in previous articles. It’s a great bike that does everything pretty well. It is quick – but not scary. It has decent ergos (seat height/position of controls) and so is pretty comfortable, yet still handles quite well. Excellent mileage, very reliable/low-maintenance engine. You can add bags to give it cargo capacity, and/or a windshield to reduce buffeting on the highway. A very modular bike – and inexpensive to buy and keep (insure, too). It’s a good bike for first-timers, but it’s also not a bike you’ll necessarily outgrow in a year, either.

              The Suzuki SV series is similar – but more aggressive/quicker – if you’re looking for that (and also for a new bike).

              Lots of nice middleweight cruising/touring bikes out there, too. They’re not too heavy – and so they’re still pretty agile.

              A larger CC dual sport is another type to consider – I favor the Kaw KLR650, which has been around forever (20-plus years) largely unchanged. Which is a good thing. This bike has enough engine to comfortably handle highway speeds (75-80 without straining) yet is still light/agile enough for trails and so on. The engine is very rugged, simple – and goes forever with reasonable care. Some guys turn these things into adventure-touring bikes, by adding hard bags on the side – and go cross-country on them. You should be able to find a very nice used in your area (they’re everywhere) for $3,000-$4,500 or so.

          • Chris, I will second Eric’s motion on the practicality and downright fun of owning the KLR-650. I have one and rode it to work this morning. Even with an aftermarket exhaust, foam air filter and incorrectly rejetted carb (way too rich) from the previous owner, the bike still ran in the high 30 to low 40 MPG range when I bought it. After some studying and consulation with those more experienced, I rejetted the carb properly and I can achieve mid to high 40’s with no problem and better if I keep my right wrist under control.

            Kawasaki did some updates to this bike 2008, so I would recommend an ’08 or later. The fairing on the newer KLR-650 actually serves a useful purpose, the “doohickey” (i.e. counterbalancer chain adjuster lever) has been improved and the suspension is better than first generation KLRs.

            These bikes are ubiquitous and very popular with middle aged guys like me. So there is a tremendous amount of collective knowledge and aftermarket support for them. You will see them set up like Eric said, for long range adventure touring, commuting and I’ve even seen a couple set up for super moto.

            The KLR handles well on the highway, even carving corners and doesn’t do bad off road. I would say it’s more a dirt road machine than an actual dirt bike, because it is fairly heavy. But I have no problem confidently traversing dirt roads on mine at highway speeds. I rode down about five miles of gravel on mine yesterday evening to take a look at lake level. Along the way, I was thinking this is so much fun clover would want to make it illegal. I looked down at my speedo and realized it already was! Ha!

            And as other posts here have alluded to, if you have a dual sport or enduro machine, the first single track you come to is a golden ticket away from payin’ paper. I want to see Officer 82nd Airborne take that Charger down a rabbit path one time. That would be a highly entertaining (albeit brief) YouTube moment.

            There are bunch of great guys over at KLR650.net that have probably already answered practically any question you might have in previous posts. I’ve personally dealt with Eagle Mike for aftermarket parts and support. I can’t praise him enough for customer service and sound advice.

            My other bike is a Kawasaki Z-1000 and I’m very fond of it. It will blow my KLR away on the road. But being a street fighter the Z is a vastly different machine and not really suited to new riders. The KLR-650 is an excellent all purpose machine, it’s easy to ride and for me a real keeper. Look at the KLR-650 as the Jeep Wrangler of motorcycles. And post ’08, it it equates to the TJ Wrangler. If I could only own one bike, the KLR would be it.

          • ’07 VFR800 all-arounder here, ’02 RSV1000 track bike, and ’01 XR650R street tagged, super-moto’d, dual-sport here in N. AL. All 3 great for what I do with them …


          • After checking out the KLR650, I think it would be perfect for my wife, who needs to go offroad from time to time for work. So she can use it a daily driver, but if she has to go to a construction site on the fly she could make it without having to come home for the 4×4 first.

            Suzuki SV650 looks like it’s more for me. Quick but not scary. Sounds like just about what I would like.

            But are these good for first bikes? someone told me to start with a 250 and buy a “real bike” once we were comfortable riding the weak one. My wife is 5’7″ and 120lbs. or so, if that matters.

          • “my wife, who needs to go offroad from time to time for work. … 5’7″ and 120lbs. or so”

            Dang, nice catch.

            ANyway, I wanted to ask if you guys have riding in the rain tips?

            I’ve been checking out Craigslist a bit, I always thought Spring was The Worst time to buy a used motorcycle, however; I’m seeing a lot of ads from guys who are selling their old bikes because they just bought a brand new sport bike and don’t have the room for the old one.

            One of these days I’m going to pull the trigger. Maybe soon? …If I could only pick just one.

            Then I see some guy saying the KLR 650 is a girls bike. Yeesh, now how am I supposed to feel ok buying one of those after that? Ha! Just kidding. …Sort of.

            Some nice older KZ 650’s and old Honda’s are tempting too. If only I just didn’t have to pick one.

            I may be tearing apart my 4×4 for awhile and relying on a bike to get around, I’m not too keen on driving in the rain on asphalt in the city. Thus my lengthy question.

          • Trocki, your wife, being 5’7″, may have a bit of difficulty with stops on the KLR-650 due to its 35″ seat height. However, lowering links for the rear suspension are available. If you plan on buying your first bike with the intent of upgrading as soon as you are confident, then a 250 might be the answer. Based on what I see on Craig’s List, a lot of folks do this. Consequently, the small bikes seem to hold their resale value very well.

            If you or your better half intend to buy a bike to keep for the duration then the bigger bike is your best bet. Although a 650 single is typically more than adequate for highway speeds, commuting and even cross country trips, it won’t be a road burning crotch rocket like the inline four cylinder bikes. Nor even in the class of the SV650 vee twin (under 12 sec. in the 1/4) you mention. In other words, they are manageable for beginning and intermediate riders with adequate power to get you out of trouble if needed. In my opinion, a 250 is alright around town, but probably shouldn’t spend too much time on the interstates.

            Unless we’re talking about race bikes (or highly tuned and tweeked street bikes) a 250 class machine will allow a new rider to wring everything out of it pretty quickly. A 650 “thumper” will take a little longer to master, but even at that a competent rider will be able to use practically everything the (stock) bike has to offer.

            I love my Z. But as I said before, if could only own one bike, it would be the KLR-650. They are rugged, reliable, reasonably comfortable, come with a decent luggage rack and fairing, handle both street and dirt confidently, get good fuel economy and after market parts and support are plentiful. It may not do any one thing great, but the KLR does everything well.

          • DSF5to1: If you must ride in the rain, good tires are the answer. I run Michelin Pilot Road 2s on my Z-1000. If I were going to frequently (i.e. intentionally) ride in wet weather, I would go to Pilot Road 3s. They’re both dual compound tires that hook up in the corners, but have a harder center for longer life. The Road 3 series have more sipes than the 2s do and shed water better to prevent hydroplaning.

            As far as the guy saying a KLR-650 is a girl’s bike goes, maybe so…if she’s a tall girl. I see “girls” riding dresser Harleys so those must be “girl’s bikes” too huh? I’ll bet Trocki’s 5’7″ wife could sit on my Z-1000 and come closer to flat footing at a stop light than she ever would on my KLR. So does that make my Zed a “girl’s bike” too? I just ride what I want to and don’t worry too much about what other people think anymore.

      • I had -have- a 2003 Miata. 0-60 in 6 seconds, with an airbag, is good enough for me. It is great fun to turn on the acceleration and fly by the near stationary vehicles.
        Unfortunately an idiot turned in front of me while I was going normal speed so the car is in the shop. The after-market parts make repairs doable, but the Bumper is $1,000 and not available after-market or in junk yards…

        • I love racing Miata drivers in my unassuming 2004 Passat 1.8t, mostly because Miata drivers all seem to think their cars go faster than they do. It may feel like 6 seconds, but your 2003 1.8 liter Miata does 0-60 in 7.9 seconds. With the average driver, that’s more like 9 seconds. Of course, I have heard from Corvette drivers that Jetta drivers also seem to think their car is faster than it is and always seem to want to race (and lose of course).

          • This guy seemed to do 6. I guess I’m more like 7sec.
            I think I’m one of those guys who late in life decide to act young. Go zoom on green when a corvette is next to me. I used to be a staid driver but while I lose to the vet and maybe even the Passat (in a pigs eye) at least I’m with the good guys on enjoying life..

    • Hi Sic,

      They’re great bikes, aren’t they?

      Bought my Rex new – first time I ever did that. Then I added the Muzzy pipes, Ivan’s jet kit and some other tweaks and tunes.

      It’s a keeper. I ‘ll never sell that one…

      • I had a 2000 R1 ,bought it brand new.I would tell everyone it was just like in Star wars when they hit Hyperspace.I just like you loved to freak out the clovers every chance I got.I really loved when everyone would slow down for one of those signs that tell you how fast you are going.I would drop a few gears and see how high I could get it to go to.

  21. Just like a petty bureaucrat, they use the rules to make your life miserable, but then get all bent out of shape when you break out of their little box and put them behind you.

    For the average clover, being in front of someone is akin to being Lord God Almighty with control over life or death of that person, be it on the road or merely in a checkout line at the grocery store. An ego that swells that large that quickly must certainly suffer some damage when it gets deflated just as quickly, turning that would-be benvolent god into a vengeful, old-testament god. Maybe when repeated over time, that damage is cumulative.


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