Over time I’ve come to notice that all of my bikes have improved through the years. Suspension, handling, fuel injection and looks to name a few. Style and appeal are a matter of taste, and if I do say so myself, mine is about average. I have taken it for granted that the next bike will be better than the last in terms of reliability and ride ability, so it’s always been onward and upward when a trade happens. And as the bikes get better, the ride and experience should get better as well. And it does. But the fun we have as we ride really hasn’t changed that much over the years. The wind in your face and the sounds made as you crack open the throttle give you the seat-of-the-pants thrill we all seek.
What is it about the motorcycle that the automobile lacks? A true performance car can give you the kick-in-the-ass feeling of power and acceleration, but what about everything else? As cars have evolved, they have gotten quieter and more high-tech. They almost drive themselves. Designers have taken the car and turned it into an office or living room depending whether you are sitting in the front or the back. But a motorcycle gives you the elements. Weather, road conditions and even the sense of danger. Motorcycle manufacturers have also taken some models and pushed them to the limits of technology, performance and comfort without sacrificing the wind in your face feeling. Fast or slow, in a group or by yourself, that motorcycle feeling is always there.
I guess you could argue that whether you are behind the wheel of your latest vehicle or hanging on to the handlebars of your new bike that there isn’t much difference from the previous one. And I would agree. Usually the new one has a little more power, the handling is a little better, and you look cooler on it. But it’s the “fun factor” that I’m struggling with. Old bike or new, the fun is about the same to me. I would almost go as far as saying that back in the day of low-power, worn out tires and soft suspension, the fun level was a little higher. You had to compensate for what the bike didn’t have in those categories, and in the mean time you could see the smiles from miles away. The seat-of-the-pants meter was pegged out!
The roads are all the same and the dirt hasn’t changed. The trails are a little steeper to ride and the ground is a little harder. But when it comes to my pants…the seat that is…the fun is always the same!
4 Replies to “Seat of Your Pants”
Could not agree more! I believe I still have as much fun and enjoyment on my 98 Heritage as I did when it was new. Just can’t justify selling it for a newer model, so, I continue to change little things from time to time to keep it fresh. I also have a 93 Miata that I love driving because it provides some of the seat of the pants fun I get from the bike. Two seat, open top, manual transmission, no traction control. You get the idea.
It’s amazing how it’s all about the “feeling”!
You hit the nail on the head. It’s all about the “feeling”.
I went on a training course last year, for trainers, where the main theme was the “feelings” evoked by people, and how to use that and create inspiring, engaging sessions. What I took from that, was that in most things, it is how something feels that really drives people. Even adverts, when you look at things like coca cola, its all about “the feeling”. Nothing about what it does, what’s in it, how it tastes or anything.
Bikes versus cars – no competition – the feeling of riding a bike easily wins.
Feelings and emotions…we all experience differences but ultimately the outcome is the same!