Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Bike racing popularity - good or bad?

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' at netrider.net.au started by dan, May 26, 2005.

  1. taken from http://superbikeblog.blogspot.com/2005/05/be-careful-what-you-wish-for.html....

    As the ratings for televised motorcycle racing continue to go through the roof in North America, I find myself more frightened than happy at the ever-increasing popularity of two-wheeled conveyances.

    Indulge me for moment with your imaginations. Envision, if you will, a U.S.A. where the names Rossi, Gibernau, Mladin, and Bostrom are as commonly known and objectified as the names Earnhardt and Waltrip. Conjure up your own vivid mental images of big-name companies like Budweiser and Wal-Mart with their logos emblazoned upon the fiberglass bodywork factory superbikes. Imagine a Sunday at Fontana when 150,000-plus screaming motofans pack the bleachers in support of the AMA roadracing series. It's a wonderful picture, isn't it?

    Actually, no. It's not wonderful at all. In fact, I think the whole idea sucks.

    To help me illustrate my opinion, please indulge me again. But this time, envision a world where decent seats at a superbike race cost $200 per head. Imagine not being granted paddock access without a pricey-yet-restrictive press pass. Think about the effects of superbike mass-commercialization on a generation of young people that is already doing its damnedest to stunt and street race itself into the grave. Consider how the empty-headed legislators of American government will react in the wake of such a series of events. Last, but certainly not least, envision a premier American motorcycle roadracing series where privateers are either unwelcome or excluded altogether.

    Those things considered, now how do you feel?

    The bigger picture for me is this: When I'm truly honest with myself, all I really want as a sportbiker is to live within a culture that understands and respects me, doesn't tread on my rights, airs the big races on cable TV to lukewarm ratings, and is more or less willing to tolerate my eccentricities so long as I ride and conduct myself within reason. The thing is, friends, should all things motorcycle continue to grow and flourish at the current rate, I fear that those rights and pleasures will be lost at the tip of the lawmaker's pen, and by the razor-sharp blade of public opinion.

    I don't know. Perhaps I'm just intimidated at the idea of this thing I have loved for so long becoming everybody's sport. Maybe I'm afraid it's slowly losing its uniqueness and sacredness. Whatever the reason, I can't help but fear that motorcycle popularity on a NASCAR-sized scale would be an utter disaster.

    Be careful what you wish for.

    very interesting.

  2. Interesting.

    I've been wondering what will happen when the tabloid media discover that the current crop of litre sportsbikes do 0-160 km/h in about the same time as a Formula 1 car.

    [Elmer Fudd] Be vewwy vewwy quiet, evewyone... [/Elmer Fudd]
  3. Yes, I must admit that the popularity of motocycling is increasing in general. Last year was the best ever year in term sof sales of new bikes in Australia and my understanding is that there has been a 14% increase in new bikes sales in the first quarter of 2005 (source: AMCN). Unfortunately there will come a time when the government really wake up.
  4. yes i can see this getting 'popular' and bike racing going the way of the classic ford, holden etc production races now known as v8 supercars, gay.

    cant beat the gtp's :)

    *start rant*

    as for the kids, the bikes and killing themselves i think thats boollshit moite!

    yes i'm using cars an example but i dont care so eat me :p

    i had an old valiant (with a real engine, 265 hemi :D) and some mates had xy's, hq's you get the picture. now while these car were not anything special they had had some work done and were pretty quick for what they were, the only down side being they didnt stop or turn.

    fast forward to today. the cars these days do have stupidly huge amounts of power but they also turn and brake a lot better then the old shitters.

    its the same with my uncles old 70's 750 kawacka. in its day it was the shit but compare it to my shitty zx7r and its like riding a hardly.

    some of you ofarcs will remember some old steads with the engine mounted inline with the bike, so when you give it some stick it throws the bike sideways. tell me thats a safer bike than whats on offer today.

    i'm getting sick of people saying its the cars/bikes these days that are killing the kids and its the tv's, racing etc fault that they are dieing because they are imitating what they see. does anyone remember the dukes of hazard, evil knievel or the supercar scare of the 70's (phase IV, toranas etc.)

    its all a sliding scale

    *end mindless rant*

    damn straight raffiki, you say what i'm thinking, but cant be stuffed typing or even saying :wink:

    beleive it or not, hoons existed before video games, racing on TV and turbos. i dont know what kind of sheltered world some of these ppls with these ideas come from, but they've got no farkin idea :?

    as for this blokes rant, i really dont see the problem. if the GP, superbikes etc start to become out of the reach of the average punter, the average punter will create new classes to watch/race. think HQ racing, V8 Brutes etc. i reckon they're TONNES better than the big money racing (speshly F1, yeeech!).

    i really dont see how bike popularity can possibly hurt us, the more of us there are, the bigger a voice we have. anyways, even if there was a big issue with it, what could we do about it? jackshit i reckon, the world works the way the world works and ranting isn't gunna change that no matter how many blood vessels you burst :LOL:
  6. What, like current BMWs, Guzzis and Triumph Rocket 3s?

    Old wives tale.
  7. I am a bit concerned about the publics/authorities fear of high performance bikes. I'm concerned about them being bannned or targeted as "killers" by Police or the Media and then supported by the general public.

    Many years ago, some will remember, there was a big outcry about a certain "high performance" Ford known as the XY GTHO Falcon, also known as the Phase 3. This car and the 350 chev Monaro were singled out as the vehicles of distruction of the youth of the day. Subsequently Ford dropped the production of the upcoming phase 4 Falcon (4 were actually built) due to public pressure.

    However its interesting to note that for a number of years now, a Ford Falcon 6 cyl family station wagon has a better 0 - 100 km/h time then the all powerful GTHO "worlds Fastest sedan" of yesteryear.

    I wonder why there hasn't been an outcry about the family station wagon?

    Another interesting thing to note is the performance of a class of 6 cyl HQ sedans. Basically the class is very restricted to try to reduce running costs and performance. HQ's have to run a standard 3 speed box, a standard stromberg carby and manifold, control suspension, no limited slip diff, standard disc front and drum rear brakes and a control road tyre (yes... normal hard compound road tyre). The class is known as HQ racing and they compete at club level all the way through to supports at some big events like Bathurst.

    The reason its interesting to look at the HQ class is that the humble HQ can be directly campared to the all powerful GTHO. It's at Bathurst that the irony of this whole situation become evident. The 6cyl HQ (with all its restrictions etc) circulates around Bathurst (which is now longer and a bit slower because of Caltex chase) QUICKER than the Ford racing GTHO race cars of Moffat etc in their heyday !!!! :shock:

    Why, I hear ask, The answer is ofcourse technology!

    Everything has been improved, tyres are better, brakes are better, handling is better, car construction is better, roads are better and even safety systems are better therefore performance can be improved without "Killer" being stamped on the door.

    Question is: Do you think drivers have improved?

    Although I have only been riding a short time I believe that there is a big difference between what motivates people to buy a road bike compared to a car. To most people a car is just transport (most people buy the cheapest cars their EGOs will allow...think about that one...lol) but the reason people buy a road bike is almost like buying a hobby/a sport/a pastime/a reacreational vehicle. Even though bikes can be used for just normal transport and many riders do, its the thrill of riding on a challenging bit of road and sampling the performance that the problems start. It's not hard to have a small "loose" with some disasterous consequences

    So, my point is, if road bikes performance, handling and braking have improved along side of the increase in performance of cars then the answer must be that WE need to improve our skills to reduce the number of accidents on high performance bikes. We must be the blame.

    Therefore, taking a leaf from the GTHO era, our slogan should be:


    And just another thing, I read the other day that the largest sales of bikes in Australia are off road bikes and farm bikes (the Honda Ct110 postie bike for example). The first road bike appears well after the top 10 selling bikes. So an increase in "bike sales" doesn't mean more road bikes and doesn't necesarily mean an increase in "old buggers" reliving their youth on high performance bikes which they can't handle. It's probably more like..."old buggers" buying big cruisers and couldn't ride properly in the first place.