Motorcycle enthusiasts come in all varieties, what kind are you? If you’re like me, you appreciate motorcycles for the design and engineering that takes the same basic idea and creates the incredible diversity of all of the different models, and no part of any motorcycle is more compelling than the engine, that lump of iron, steel or aluminum sitting in there, … the self propelling part.
With all of the talk of hybrids and electric and hydrogen motorcycles, no matter how technically interesting they are, we may end up with something nowhere near as visually appealing as what we have now and what we had over the years.
As I was walking around AMA Vintage Days last year at Mid Ohio, I constantly found myself stopping and staring at bikes every twenty feet. Some of the engines look so good they’re worth the price of the bike all by themselves. Vincents had some of the most beautiful motorcycle engines ever put into a bike, but many more are right up there, too. I like the Crocker for its old time V twin look, I thought the Scott Flying Squirrel was just oddly different, but that doesn’t mean more moden engines can’t look good. I like the Honda CBX in its multi cylinder glory and the Yamaha V Max, Ducatis can look really good when the engine is all exposed and that’s the key, I think, the engine should be out there where we can see it. The more you cover it up, the less visual appeal the motorcycle has, at least I feel that way.
I hope we don’t lose that with the hydrogen, hybrid, electric future bikes, it’s bad enough we’ll lose the sound, if the looks go, too, we’re lost.