Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Soon they'll need trainer wheels

MOTORCYCLES. Part two of a long series. Bike racing is more exciting and usually closer than car racing. Especially at the top end – called MotoGP, a foolish contraction which can be confused with moto-cross, the rough terrain sport for two-wheelers.

New tyres and more extreme riding styles mean bikes can be leant over at seemingly impossible angles when cornering. The tyres – which now only last one race - are virtually circular in cross-section offering grip round 100 deg of their periphery. The riders, hanging forwards as well as sideways, achieve a weird vector of forces that support fierce speeds.

TV coverage has recognised that cornering angles provide the thrills and offers a real-time graphic measuring this feature. Some riders lean over at 59 deg from the vertical. Simulate that between the palm of your hand and the surface of a table. Not so much a racing bike, more a frisbee (Note: Inset pic hints at subject but is not a racing bike. It's got rearview mirrors!)

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