As if routinely hammering around on 175 horsepower sportbikes isn't enough to put my life and limbs in peril, I've donated the majority of my spare time to riding dirtbikes lately. It might seem an unlikely obsession to develop as I push past the age of 30 and my bones become ever more brittle, but it's just the passion for two-wheelers expanding a bit broader, I guess.
It turns out I'm not the only streetbike journo who makes time for the dirty stuff either, and on a recent outing to a local track the inevitable happened. Crashing is pretty common on the dirt; front-end tucks and rear-end washes aren't a big deal, but coming up short on an unforgiving double jump usually brings slightly more severe consequences. In this case, my dislocated shoulder (third one in the dirt) sharply reminded me how safe streetbikes seem by comparison.
A couple of days later, as the final hints of a morphine-induced haze faded from my system, I sat in the doctor's office for a follow-up on my bad wing. Aside from the usual outdated celebrity-scandal mags was a car title, Road & Track, and the boisterous headlines sucked me in.
My interest waned pretty quickly, of course, as the hard performance numbers were displayed. A $137,000 turbo Porsche with 11-something quarter-miles and 0-60 in 4-ish seconds? Huh? In fact, the only car I could find in the mag's back-page specs listing that could even compete with a liter bike at the strip was the $1-million-plus Bugatti Veyron, and it would still get whooped by a stock 'Busa or ZX-14.
I guess I forgot how slow and boring cars actually are, and it took getting bitten by a bike to make me remember just how privileged we are to have our beastly machines.