There are things that are passed down, from motorcyclist to motorcyclist since motorcycling began. Little pearls of wisdom and lore, sacred tellings and whispered secrets breathed in confidence over a shared brew or two. On the other hand they may be shouted out loud in a group of mates during particularly heated debate, little nuggets of knowledge that happen to be total and utter crap! I have already covered some of these, but here are a few more to have you either nodding sagely or hiding in embarrassment.
Motorcycles handle better than a car…
No they don’t, it is simple really. A car has four wheels a bike has two and so the car is inherently more stable and will take a corner faster than a bike, in most circumstances. I can remember chasing a friend who is a very good, fast rider through a series of twisties. He was on a GSXr750 I was in a 2 liter Ford Mondeo and he could not shake me. He would have the advantage of acceleration coming out of the corners but I would out-brake him and carry more speed through the corner. Of course, as soon as there was any sniff of straight road he disappeared into the distance, the acceleration and power out of the corner left me in the weeds, but through a series of bends it was easy to see the speed of a car. This of course applies to a car being driven by somebody who wants to drive it fast, your average bod is not interested in that and probably does not have the same skill or feel for the road as you. This of course means you can leave them through the bends. Just remember, it is not because your bike is better, it is because you are!
OK, not ALL cars handle better than bikes!
“Of course if he had race rubber on he would have been quicker”…..umm again no.
Unless you are on a race track it will in fact make you slower, and might even make you fall off. If you have ridden a track day with road rubber you will know just how hot the tires get. They start to peel and disintegrate if you are pushing at all hard. This is because riding on the track is relentless; the tires are pushed through corners, through changes of direction and through extra heavy braking with no rest at all. Temperature is your friend and your enemy with tires, if they get too hot they lose structure and start to break up and so therefore the grip disappears. If they are too cold the grip never comes in and the tires are again slippery. A road tire is built to get to an optimum operating temperature in normal road riding conditions; a track tire is built to do the same but in the extreme conditions encountered in track riding. If you ever have the chance to encounter the two side by side you can tell by touch that the race tire is a lot harder and more durable than the road one. It is almost as hard as a plank of wood and only gets soft when the riding gets silly! So no, a race tire won’t help you on the road, although it might help you find out what it feels like to hit the road!