Every ounce of weight shaved off of a mechanical platform is translated into increased speed. Or as Newton put it, F=M*A. Lots of builders have used some exotic (and expensive because speed costs) materials over the years. Titanium, Electron and other Magnesium alloys, different grades of Aluminum have all been used and the latest holy grail is Carbon Fiber, which depending on it’s composition is both light and strong, though it is brittle and if it breaks or burns is extremely toxic. But as the old axiom goes, you can’t get something for nothing.
It also has the added bonus (as do most of these exotic materials) of being very pretty. Carbon Fiber matting by itself is sort of dull but once you add the Resin to the mix and finish the final exterior surface a real richness of color withing the fibers is revealed. In the above shot I wanted to reveal this depth under the Triumph logo of the Castrol Rocket a twin engine speed record holder.
Of course the texture of desire comes in many shapes and materials. For some it’s in chrome and nostalgia, like the latest rebirth of the Indian Motorcycle brand.
In my style of ride, it’s getting to be more about the promise of the escape than the actual capabilities of the bike. My DL-650 isn’t the best bike at anything it does, it’s very much in the middle. Capable of doing what needs doing under the proper control but not optimal and I like it like that. I need to be engaged with my bike, it needs to support me in my ride goals and I’ve spent a fair bit of cash and time making sure it can do what I want the way I want it.
This is the new 2014 Suzuki DL-1000. The bike is a thrust at the heart of Ducatti and BMW’s Adventure bike market. Now I’m not saying it’s not a nice bike, it is a nice bike and at a favorable price point in comparison to the offerings from BMW and Ducatti but is it as good as a BMW in regards to capabilities? Not really. But it looks the business and it promises the adventure and as far as a touring bike, it’ll deliver but get her off road in any capacity and it’s going to end in tears and busted plastic. I’m sure they’ll sell a ton of them.
In a final nod to nostalgia, Yamaha goes back ti it’s striped black and white stripes on a yellow background. It’s a smart move as it looks sharp and harkens back to one of the more famous periods in Yamaha history and it looks pretty cool too. The Bolt is not my style of bike but I do think it’s a step in the right direction for the cruiser market.