Monday, July 15, 2013

If Your Dream Is Going To End, Make It End Spectacularly...

Don't get any ideas, #1 blogson...

285 mph: Motorcyclist dies in Maine
LIMESTONE, Maine - A motorcycle racer trying to top 300 mph died Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base in northern Maine.

Bill Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Fla., was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control but it was unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed, said Tim Kelly, race director of the Loring Timing Association, which hosted The Maine Event at Loring Air Force Base.
You know, it's a shame he died, but damn, if there's any way to check out of this mudball, crashing a superbike at nearly 300 MPH while trying to set a record is a pretty spectacular one. He'd made the run in a mile and a half, and was trying to top 300 MPH in a shorter stretch. While he didn't make it, he was doing something he loved - better to burn out than to rust and all that.

This is one of the reasons I stick to cruisers and tourers for my motorcycles. I've ridden a couple pseudo-sport bikes in my time (Suzuki Tempter, Honda Nighthawk), and the temptation to really wring out as much performance as possible is far too real for me. If I had something like a Hayabusa or one of the CBR RR variants I would be a danger to myself and others. So I stick to the Harleybago - knowing your limits and all that.

I've had my motorcycle license for nearly 20 years now. I've owned three motorcycles - a Yamaha XS850 Midnight Special, a Honda V45 Magna, and the Harleybago. While I would dearly love to have something red and fast like a Ducati or a CBR 900RR, the temptation to get it out on the highway and crank it up to insane speeds would be too great. Ditto trying to flick it through the twisties when the vast majority of my riding has been done on large(r) bikes not built for carving it up.

Maybe I'll take one of those specialized racing courses for my 50th birthday...

That is all.

9 comments:

John Anderson said...

I don't know if I'd want to go that way. News reports say he was conscious and communicative at the crash site and lived for an hour and a half before being declare dead at the hospital. I doubt that was a fun hour and a half.

LCB said...

At least he had time to say his goodbye's or Lord Forgive me's if he was that way inclined.

A runway sure seems short for that kind of record attempt. I'd have thought they would have tried it out on the salt flats in dah west.

Wandering Neurons said...

Do the race course training, it's a blast.
And despite riding a "cruiser", if done right you can surprise some crotch-rockets in the corners. You just have to shift your weight and hang off the pegs.
I shocked some folks years ago riding my 1979 FXS Low Rider up Mt. Lemmon outside Tucson, AZ. Frame was twisting like a pretzel though.

ASM826 said...

He had 3 and 1/2 miles of runway. Dunno if that seems long or short. At +250 mph I think you'd use it up in a hurry.

Borepatch said...

No thanks, Jay. You could subtract 100 from that and I wouldn't do it in a million years. Subtract 200 off it and you're maybe closer to what I'd contemplate.

Angus McThag said...

Blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated...

Dave H said...

There's something to be said for going out doing what you love, but he was still young. He could have kept doing it for a lot longer.

But the choice was his, as were the consequences. That's how it's supposed to work.

Anonymous said...

At that speed it was a plane crash not a bike accident.

Gerry

Ross said...

Reason 14A why I love my old Airhead Beemer: according to the manual, the R80RT tops out at 107 MPH... and at 26 years old, mine WILL do an honestly measured 100 MPH. I have zero desire to try and hit that 107 mark... and don't even want to go to the 100 mark again.

Of course, it'll get UP to a cruising speed of 80 or 85 pretty darn quickly - and it'll STAY there all day long very happily. Reason 14B why I love my Beemer...