The Dog's Tits
Little Green Footballs
Steve Edwards
Sasha Castel

Tim Blair
Damian Penny
Kim Du Toit
James Randi

Premium core
The Last Decent Frog
Bloody Wogs
Hi-Fi Writer
Silent Running
Catallaxy Files
Eject Eject Eject!!!
Bizzare Science
Daniel Pipes
Scott Wickstein
White Rose
Alan E. Brain

Girls, Girlz, Grrrlz
Emily Jones
Jane Galt
Kathy Kinsley
A Small Victory
Angie Schultz
Virginia Postrel

Two Wheels
Paul Bickford
Steve H.

Beautifully Wicked
Bitchin' Monaro Guide
Capitalist Chicks
Evil Godless Swine
Professor Bunyip
The Rottweiler
Right Wing News
Frozen Montreal

Hot Buttered Death
Ranting Aaron
Vigilant TV
Bleedin' Brain
Yuppies of Zion
Israelly Cool
Free Ben Kepple!
Michael Jennings
Mad Ogre

Aussies Up Your Arse

Angry Anderson
After Grog Blog
Mangled Gazza
Ken Parish
John Quiggin
Evil Pundit
Kev Gillett
Gareth Parker

Victor Zammit
Dick Neville
The Daily Saddam
George Monbiot
Jew Killers United
I Love Osama
The Guardian
Screeching Dweebs
Noam Chomsky
John Gotti Fanzine
Green Left Weekly
The Independent
Socialist Alliance


Live Whacking Permalink Archive
click "Live Whacking" button for the latest entries

15 April 2004

Quote of the day

"If something goes wrong, bring back the blood."

- Professor Farnsworth, Futurama

Bizarre/Stupid quote of the day

The following line appears in today's Guardian:

Yet today, a French-speaking American president is precisely what Britain needs

Sure it does, just like the army needs more transvestites.

The Rodney Dangerfield of motorcycles

"I never get no respect"

The Honda VTR1000 is one of my all-time favourite bikes. I've always liked it equally as much as whatever motorcycle I have been infatuated with at various times. Yet it has not been one of the four new bikes I have bought since 1999, which I find rather bemusing.

Mostly unchanged since its launch in 1997, it has sold like hotcakes, is loved by its owners and is one of the best all-round practical sportsbikes ever made. It was really the first Japanese sports V-twin, after decades of Japanese firebeathing inline fours. It's ridiculously easy to ride, bloody fast, superbly built, has that wonderful v-twin "feel" and is comfy enough to tour on.

Yet, it is an object of derision for a strangely large number of riders. The hardcore looney-boy Japbike sports riders have never liked the VTR: not enough power, crude suspension, not enough "character" (ie. it's stable and doesn't scare the shit out of you on every corner). The v-twin crowd brought up on Italian machines don't like it: not enough "prestige" (ie. people can afford to buy them), not enough "character" (ie. everything works and it doesn't break down every week), and hardly anyone I've met within my own circle of contacts will admit to liking the machine.

The bike certainly has shortcomings: the brakes are wooden, the gearbox is clunky, the fuel consumption is terrible and throttle response is harsh (which can make opening & closing the throttle on wet roads a dicey proposition). The 998cc v-twin also falls way short of the horsepower figures offered by the big fours like the R1 (140hp at the rear wheel compared to 110) and is 20+ kgs heavier. The suspension is too soft for "serious" sports riding, and the newer models have the worst-designed speedometer I've ever seen.

But seriously, you'd have to be a complete wanker not to have a blast on the VTR. Horsepower and weight figures might impress your mates at the pub, but it don't mean all that much on the road.

Let me put it this way: two riders of equal ability go for a blast thru the Snowy Mountains on the Alpine Way. Rider A is on a GSXR1000, Rider B is on a VTR. On 95 out of 100 rides, Rider B will reach the destination just as quickly, and he's probably going to be more relaxed when he gets there. Yes, there is a performance difference, but you have to be going seriously fast before you notice it.

When the hell are you going to hit the upper rev range on a big four anyway? Pretty much only on track days. The VTR meanwhile offers bigass, useable v-twin grunt anywhere in the rev range, which means rapid, easy progress in the twisty stuff, while riders on big fours are trying to keep it in the powerband. As for 600cc machines, the grunt of the VTR will leave them waaaay behind.

The suspension has its limits, but again, you're unlikely to find those limits on the road, and even at a track day, it will be a "feel" thing, rather than any kind of handling or safety problem. Aftermarket springs will fix that anyway. The bike is stable over even the roughest of tarmac.

The VTR is well balanced, steers brilliantly, and with a set of aftermarket cans (I recommend Staintune) it makes a beautiful noise. It just feels great - a problem-free, no-bullshit, fast, ballsy bike you just wanna get on and ride, and ride, and ride. It makes a decent pillion mount too. It still looks great too, and certainly better than the revolting new Ducatis.

You can keep your prestigious, badly built euroshit and road-legal superbikes. I'll be off blasting through the mountains on the VTR while you're all standing around masturbating each other.

Dammit, I still want one. Why haven't I bought one yet?

Meme game

Via Emily:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

His head was saying: blood.

From The Midnight Meat Train, in Clive Barker's Books of Blood: volumes 1-3

Good riddance

The best news I've heard all week: ATSIC is history.

Oliver Stone: Director, Leftist, Psychopath......

Via Sasha Castel, comes this vomit-inducing interview with Oliver Stone, about his new Castro-loving "documentary".

Coming soon: Stone's Mengistu: Man of the People.


MC News
AMA Superbikes
Motorcycle News
Oz Trikes
World Superbikes

Holly Valance
Eliza Dushku
Katherine Heigl
Michelle Williams
Kate Winslet
Kristin Kreuk

Dark Horizons
Roger Ebert

Skeptics' Bible
How Stuff Works
FrontPage Mag
The Smoking Gun
Straight Dope
Against Nature
Australian Skeptics
Shooters Party
Currency Converter

Assorted Gubshite
East Side Boxing
Draggin Jeans
Really Cute Chess Geek
Pure rancour
Brunching Shuttlecocks
The Onion
Omega Chess
Spam Killer

Coopers Ale

Hahn Ice
Crown Lager
Carlton Draught
Tooheys New
James Squire

Barrett Rifles
Smith & Wesson
Ruger Firearms

Support Brave Multinationals!!!