Episode 120: This One Had Four Legs

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5 thoughts on “Episode 120: This One Had Four Legs

  1. Great show guys, some really good debate there.

    I have to expand on Chris’ rant re. horsepower vs. practicality. This is one of my favorite conversations with the sportbike crowd, and before I “go off” let me state that I do like sportbikes, I do watch motorcycle racing (will be at Laguna in two weeks – again), and I am not a 90 year old pizza delivery man, as I have been accused in the past.

    My gripe is that the industry in general makes it seem that anybody who is not riding a supersport is “settling”. Sure, you can choose not to be offended by their pea-brained notions as to what makes a “real” motorcycle, but the mindset perpetrated by the industry and dealerships is part of what makes North America a barren wasteland as far as simple, practical, fuel efficient machines. OK, it’s improving, but it’s TOO SLOW.

    The new Honda NC700 is a perfect example. Someone on a local forum asked about a good bike for a relative newb, something to commute on, do a little weekend riding in the mountains, etc. All the “dudes” were suggesting the usual suspects, gixxers, R1’s, blah blah blah. I posited that the NC700 would make a great all-rounder. Wow, you’d have thought I’d suggested having a penis tattooed on your forehead for the reaction I got. “Gutless” and “girl bike” was the basic distillation of all the semi-literate responses.

    To me, this bike makes all kinds of sense, with the onboard storage, efficient design and 73mpg claimed fuel efficiency. As far as being underpowered, sure it’s not a monster, but show me a car (that the average person can afford) that it won’t out-accellerate.

    I don’t know, I enjoy high performance, I used to ride sport bikes, but I guess I grew up. They’re so impractical, and they don’t even work properly until you’re breaking every law in the country (usually in first gear). It just seems like the majority of the industry caters to either teenagers or wannabee 1%ers.

    Where are the bikes for real riders? The guys who commute every day, and aren’t scared to ride 5000 miles for vacation? There are a few, but not enough IMO.

  2. Having a hard time getting this episode. Unable to see it on ITunes, and trying to play it off of webpage gives “file not found”.

    Just letting you know in case others are having the same problem.

  3. Thanks for letting us know. We’re having some trouble with the web site and our feed at the moment. We hope to have everything worked out soon.

  4. Apologies on the difficulty with the feed. We *are* working to correct it and hope to have some answers very soon.


    I fully agree the NC is a very good entry, not only for the beginner or newer rider, but also for anyone who wants practicality over power. I do. I’m one of them. I have a long-standing tradition of riding “slow” and “underpowered” bikes and having a ball on them.

    And I’ve had some serious high-performance machines. I’ve had two CBR600s, an FZ1, a Radian 600 (which, granted, won’t hold a candle to a “modern” sport bike, but was a real contender in its day), etc. In every case, unless I was approaching (or breaking) felony speeds, I found them boring, unengaging, isolated, insular and generally dull. And the ergos on the actual sport bikes are horrible for riding (safely) on the street, IMO.

    Heads up and being able to see 360* to me is far, far more important than creating a perfectly balanced 50/50 seating position, or drawing the perfect aerodynamic bubble.

    Not to mention… I mean, not to sound a little braggy here… but I’ve ridden circles around riders on “real” sport bikes while on things like a Moto Guzzi, my SV (which is a fairly stomping sport-enough bike on its own), various cruisers and even my 800lb Harley.

    When talking about street-level riding, the rider is 90% of the equation, IMO. I enjoy going out and tearing it up on my girlfriend’s 30 year old KZ440 now and then, and it’s *anything* but “high performance”.

    I generally giggle at the fools who insist the only bikes to ride are the latest, greatest SS/RR entries. I’m not dissing anyone’s choice of such a bike, but to tout it as the only viable choice is… Well, it’s just stupid.


  5. Are you in my head? I have a 2010 Triumph Bonneville love it to death. Everyone complains about how slow it is! how quite it is! Yeah its quite, but ridden right how on earth is it slow? Compared to what? A liter superbike? well yeah everything is. Everyone goes nuts for exhaust and air box. Then they complain about MPGs and popping… I mean no sh** Sherlock. Someone spent alot of money on designing this bike. I have one motto “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”

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