SUPERBIKE RODEO! YEE-HAW! IMAGE COURTESY OF YOUTUBE.COM
IF you own a superbike, you are probably asking yourself a series of questions every time you gaze longingly at your prize steed, chief among those being, "what can I do to improve the performance of my motorcycle?", and you probably did not realize that one incredible solution is staring you directly in the face.
You are probably also asking yourself additional questions, such as, "why do I willingly dress myself in protective gear that heavily emphasizes the kneepad region of the suit?", but those types of questions must be reserved for another time, because in this article, we're suiting up to go bar-hopping.
Handlebar, that is.
Has anyone ever noticed just how easy most equestrians have it when they're riding a horse? A quick flick of the reins, and the horse (usually) changes direction. I mention the word 'usually', as I've ridden several horses over the years, and even though I respect horses as incredibly graceful creatures that should be allowed to roam free, every horse I've ever been near has been Johnny Jerkwater when it comes to interacting with yours truly. I've been bit, kicked at, stared at, generally ignored by them, and in the case of one particular Shetland pony that one of my younger sisters owed, I'm still convinced to this day that it was evil incarnate, and spent every waking moment plotting against me.
Beyond that, the idea of how one (usually) controls the direction of the horse is a novel idea, and I'm truly surprised that nobody has ever thought of transferring that mode of control to the everyday, plebian superbike.
Here are six reasons why you should forever give up bar-hopping on your superbike.
1. IT'S THE BIKE'S TURN.
Your superbike will be forced to take a more-active role in directional, speed, and braking management. No longer will every superbike in existence be able to shirk its duties in these three forms of motorcycle control management, it either starts taking some of this load onto itself, or it won't get ridden.
In essence, it's time to show your lazy Honda Fireblade as to who is really The Boss.
From this point on, your superbike will finally have to take the initiative in determining which direction you are pointing. Horses can do it, and they receive zero of the billions of dollars in engineering updates that their motorcycle competition gets as they try to bludgeon each other to death in the road racing arena, so why do motorcycles get off, Scot-free, still requiring you to hold their handlebar hand in telling it where to go? It's time that they start carrying their weight for a change.
You also get rid of the problematic, inefficient twist-throttle as well when replacing the handlebars in favor of horse reins in controlling vehicle speed. A quick pop of the reins, and shouting 'hyah!' (translating this to other languages might be difficult) will be all that's needed to control forward acceleration of your 214hp, Ducati Panigale V4, and the bike should be able to fine-motor-control the speed and acceleration from that point on.
In addition, you also replace the tiny, inefficient front brake control lever as well, replacing it with a rein braking system that allows you to use both hands in engaging it, allowing the rider to more-easily moderate his or her braking. You also get additional braking power when shouting 'whoa!' to your superbike, which is a plus-plus in this writer's book.
When you pull up to that special someplace where you plan on hopping off your prized superbike, unzipping the top half of your riding suit, and show the entire world that you and your finely-toned upper torso have indeed arrived (...at the petrol station, for example), the first problem you'll notice is that it is notoriously difficult to secure your motorcycle should it feel the need to wander off in search of hay, or even scamper away in the attempt to get frisky with a BMW S1000RR of the opposite sex.
When you get rid of those ancient, antiquated bar-stock directional control devices in favor of horse reins, you will discover ancient security techniques of all of those early-West American Cowboys that simply pulled up to a hitching post, got off of their horse, and twirled the reins around the post a couple of times.
That's it. Two twirls of your new reins around a post, and your superbike is now forever secured, and completely protected from hornswoggling motorcycle thieves. I watched TWO entire Western movies during my research for this story, and not once did I see a similarly-secured horse stolen during the 4.5 hours of classic Western movie runtime that I allowed myself to suffer through. That's real science right there.
Voila, instant security, and you don't even have to lug around a cumbersome lock and cable/chain assembly...unless you're into that sort of thing for entirely different reasons, reasons that we cannot discuss on this family social media page.
3. YOU'LL LOOK LIKE A TOTAL BADASS.
No longer will you have to hunker down over a flimsy set of handlebars and hide, from the general viewing public, the awesomeness that is...you. With a set of horse reins in place of the handlebars, you get to sit upright like a proper human, and let the entire world know that you've arrived...and do so with far less back pain.
One other bonus point: You can look like any other movie badass throughout cinematic history, where you can ride your mighty mechanical steed while controlling it with one hand, and shooting at the bad guy/pointing a menacing finger in their direction/eating a large pizza/combing your hair/firing a crossbow/assembling a 1:18 scale model of a battleship with the other hand. You cannot do this while utilizing the flawed, obsolete technology of the Cro-Magnon's form of directional management, the old, old handlebar, which requires two hands for everything.
4. COMFORT. TALK TO THE HANDS.
When you get rid of your old handlebars, you also get rid of a source of potential discomfort, and/or pain and suffering, as the handlebars are potential sources of vibration and injury.
Since horse reins are only loosely harnessed to the triple tree (the front forks), shocks and/or hard hits to the front of the bike are completely absorbed by the distance between your hands that are holding the reins, and the rein mount on the forks. Voila, instant comfort, and practically Mercedes in how well vibration is completely canceled out in this configuration.
This one is a no-brainer. Have you priced out reins lately? Have you also priced out what it costs to replace handlebars?
The reins reign as King when it comes to how much money you'll save by tossing out your crummy old handlebars.
6. EXTREME WEIGHT REDUCTION.
Motorcycle manufacturers are spending bazillions of dollars in the attempt to get their two-wheeled products as light as possible, in some cases spending millions and millions of dollars in the attempt to reduce the weight of their offerings, in some cases, only removing a few grams.
Just think, you get to remove a heavy set of handlebars, the extra length of wiring that goes to the outboard handlebar controls, the dead weight that are the clutch and brake levers, and a load off of your mind now that your supercharged, 300-horsepower, Kawasaki Ninja H2R is now several pounds lighter over the nose now that you've installed that awesome set of carbon-fiber horse reins in place of the antiquated crossbar that no longer has a place on a modern motorcycle.
IN THE END....
...I have presented to you, the engaged and highly-intelligent reader, entirely unassailable logic as to why you should convert your superbike over to a horse rein control system.
Of course there will be a bit of a learning curve, where your superbike has to take time to learn this type of control system, and adapt to it, as every superbike in creation is something of a lazy creature, in that it is born, and will eventually die knowing that it is supposed to receive instructions on what to do, in every aspect of its life.
To that end, it might be necessary to add some additional safety measures to your superbike-training sessions, safety measures which include:
1. Taping lots of fluffy couch cushions to vital areas susceptible to injury if you fall
2. Completely wrapping yourself in dozens of square meters of shipping/packing bubble wrap. An added benefit is that most bubble wrap is clear, so you can apply several layers of wrap to your helmet. This type of crash cushioning is kind of a one-time-use-only, in that lots of bubbles will pop in a collision, but there is no more-pleasing way to fall off of your motorcycle versus doing so while wrapped in several miles of bubble wrap, as the popping that occurs when you fall is quite pleasing, and liable to produce several giggles.
3. Engage in your training rides in a large, padded warehouse.
Good luck! And no matter how much everyone might laugh at you for attempting this, note that all scientific discoveries are occasionally laughed at by people who simply do not understand the sheer magnificence of what the technology's inventor was attempting to create.
Horse reins are that sheer magnificence.
(This is a work of satire. It really really is. Satire. S-A-T-I-R-E. None of this actually happened, nor will it ever happen. Or I at least hope to God that it happens, just think of the news coverage. It is not to be construed or confused with any people, businesses, or organizations, whether they be real, or imagined. Any similarities with real people, places, actual race trophies with cars that have googly eyes for headlights, or Dieselgate scandals are pure coincidence and nothing else. No unnamed officials were contacted, nor were any named officials contacted, either. No individuals, corporations, fully-loaded international shipping containers, baseball cards, or beloved Argentine prisons were impersonated. No Muppet weapons, jail guards, embattled Audi CEO's, or terrified bicycle pedals were harmed during the writing of this fictional, satirical story. And no, you really, really shouldn't replace your handlebars with horse reins, because, well, because death. Just sayin'.)