Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Motor Monday (approximately): Siren Song of the Motorbike

I've always had a thing for motorcycles. They're cool, I grew up with several cartoons in which there were some very badass bikes (with rockets and machine guns and other such things that add to the cool factor in the eyes of a... actually you know, looking at movies, mythbusters, and other such things, not really an age cutoff).

I know motorcycles are dangerous. It's inherent to the design. Even if I built my perfect safety cycle that's still an actual cycle, there's no way to get around that fact. Cars generally require a hell of a lot of problems to happen before they fall over sideways. Cars are mostly capable of doing things like turning and stopping at the same time.

Every motorcyclist I know knows someone who has been killed or maimed on a bike. Problem is, motorcycles tend to attract people with a tendency towards risktaking, the type who are likely to engage in the behavior that gets them added to statistics used to frighten others away from doing a thing. Thing is, just last year, Borepatch got maimed slightly on his bike doing the most innocuous of things. From my internet estimation, he's not the type to engage in needless risks, nor was he doing anything particularly egregious. He was just attempting to ride through some road construction, and the road decided it would like to have words with him.

Some of these dangers can be fixed. They make skid bars in designs that are easily modded to protect both bike AND rider, because bikes are not light anymore. Problem is, fixing these dangers leads to the safety paradox, the proven tendency of people to wind up injured or killed more often due to increases in protection, as they take greater risks due to a feeling of invincibility.

As I travel in far more temperate climes, the siren song of the motorcycle increases in volume, having just choked on the -30 after windchill, snow-filled air of Wisconsin mere days, hours ago.

I'm probably going to buy one, spend more on armor than I did on the bike (seriously, I will take any excuse to armor up like a space marine), and then tinker with it until I am certain it will hold up it's end of the deal of not maiming me so long as I do my part by not being a fuckwit.

Have some animated and prototype, and just plain pretty bikes
The Cyclotron, a scrap-built combat cycle. When the rider tucks in, he's completely inside the thing (it actually seals up to be launched/dropped from a plane).
Also available in tandem configuration. That 3 engine F-14 with VTOL has a hell of a lot of spare room inside of it.

Kaneda's motorcycle is iconic, so much so that it's one of my favorites despite having never seen the anime from which it hails. This, and the cyclotron, served as large inspirations for my decision that a vaguely protective bike was possible.

This thing is pretty much just a one-off exercise in insane amounts of badass looking power. Still very easy on the eyes
This, on the other hand, is designed by an industrial engineer and will be available as an easy mod-kit, and looks futuristic as hell in a very nice way.

1 comment:

  1. You described my experience very well. With me, it was the kids growing up - they are self sufficient now.

    That said, motorcycles are fun *because* they're a little dangerous. ;-)