Month: February 2009

Momentum of Life

During this past year i’ve started riding a motorcycle on my commute to work. Partly because of the high gas prices and partly because of my love of 2 wheeled transport. I’ve also enjoyed watching a few old films about motorcycling. One of my old favorites can be seen in the form of brief clips on Youtube featuring the legandary racer, Malcolm Smith. This guy had an understanding of the physics of riding motorcycles that was so far beyond anyone else of his time, that literally left all of his competition in his dust scratching their heads and wondering how it was possible to make his bike literally fly. Malcolm Smith was able to harness the byproduct of speed- momentum. Riding a 2 wheeled vehicle on dirt roads is a completely different world from riding one on hard pavement. Riding on the dirt you have a minimal differential between traction and skid. On the hard pavement of concrete and asphalt, the differential is extreme and dramatic on a bike. Malcolm Smith learned how to maximize this difference to his advantage. He learned that the faster he went, the less effect the irregularities had on his ability to maintain directional control….

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