After the last few days of thinking about the possibility of a sport bike build off, a few things slowly emerged in my mind. Do you see what I see?
Take a look at yesterday’s post about Tony Foale and run down the list of items in his seminar. Then mentally change channels and picture the shops you see in the chopper build offs. Then look again at that list, then back to the chopper shop. They don’t fit. There’s no crossover. Go to the Discovery Channel web site and check out the forums where you can comment on the build offs. One thread in there, started a couple days ago by a Kneeslider reader, has a few posts and replies. Read the other threads and replies. Again, no crossover. It’s almost like we’re from different worlds.
TV entertainment is just that, entertainment. Thinking about force/deflection curves and slip angles isn’t entertainment for many in the viewing audience and they would rather not do it. The numbers don’t add up for TV. Are there more viewers for a chrome and paint chopper build off or a computer aided design and testing process where weight transfer and center of gravity, slip angles and deflection curves are carefully considered? No contest.
On the other hand, a sport bike or standard road bike build off where performance and rideability are part of the equation, along with appearance, don’t have to be all computers and calculators, either. With many of the frames already built and offered for sale by some of the shops mentioned in the last few days, the selection of parts and engines could still be an enjoyable and fun process and it might even make somewhat acceptable TV. Shops capable of building from scratch could do that, too. However, if the show were to become too technical, most of the viewers would drift away except for those really into the tech factor.
Now, just a wild guess here, but I would imagine a large portion of The Kneeslider’s readers get a wee bit more into the tech side of things than your average biker. That being the case, I will continue to delve into technical subjects as they present themselves. Should we expect a high performance sport bike build off in the near future? I kinda doubt it.