zen and the art.........

  1. 420 Posts.
    As a follow up to my vehicle purchases of late, let me say that I've been riding the Indybike around Denver for the past few weeks now. Man, it's different. Wherever I go, people come up & talk about it, such as whilst filling up at petrol stations. I've had shopowners come out of their shops when I've parked in front of them. Complete strangers wanting to chat, invariably asking me "You're from England, are you?", to which I constantly reply "No, wrong side of the world - Australia". They then want to know more about the trike "What is it & how fast does it go?" Acting cool, I simply shrug my shoulders & say "Oh, about 140 mph." (230 km/hr).

    Other common questions include "Is it street legal" and "How much does it cost?". One guy simply announced to me "That's my next vehicle!"

    Out on the road some car drivers wave at me with big smiles on their faces. Others give me a thumbs up sign, nodding their approval. One passenger in a passing car stuck his head & shoulders out of the passenger windows furiously shouting something at me as the car passed, but enmeshed within my full face helmet, I couldn't make out what was being said so I simply waved back at him. No one here has ever seen anything like this before - children on the sidewalks in particular gape & point, wondering what the hell is it? Basically, wherever I go, people are pointing & staring.

    Today at a stop light, a lair in his turbocharged Mitsubishi in the lane beside me started revving his engine, obviously in an attempt to drag me off at the lights. Feeling a little playful however, when the light turned green I planted my foot on the accelerator & no doubt much to the young buck's chagrin as he choked in my exhaust fumes, showed him how fast a Kawasaki ZRX1100 powered kit car (bike?) really can be.

    Okay, enough of this. What are its bad points?

    Hmm, there's only one. The first thing that quickly struck me about the bike was in some situations how challenging it was to drive as it has no hand brake. Being stopped at a red light on a hill was a little scary as perfect hill starts needed to be accomplished every time without a hand brake in order to not roll backwards into the car behind you. It took about 3 weeks of practice to become fully accustomed to this, but thankfully I'm now finally getting the hang of it. Apart from that, it's a blast.

    For example, today I drove my Nissan 300 around town then a little later, went out on the Indybike. Which did I prefer - the luxury sports car or the relatively primitive trike?

    That's easy - the Indybike won hands down. It not only attracts heaps of attention, but has gobs more "feel" to it. One sits very low to the ground in it (around 6 inches or so); it shudders 'n shakes 'n vibrates; and the driver can see the front wheels constantly moving up & down in front of him ala a Formula 1 vehicle. The Indy thus is much more uncomfortable than sitting in a regular car, yet because of the immense amount of character it possesses, it's a motoring afficionado's dream.

    Put another way, my Nissan 300ZX drives very nicely yet one feels as if enmeshed within a steel cocoon, isolated from the surrounding world. The Indycycle by comparison rides much more roughly, but is plenty more fun. But then again, as my wife loves saying to me "You're in your second childhood!"

    Bike beats car in the fun stakes, as every motorcyclist would already know....

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