Posted On 23 Feb 2024
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This entry is part 1 of 33 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#24

…being something the editor-in-chief wanted to bring up AT EASE, TROOPERS

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He was pretty angry. More angry than pretty, too. “What is wrong with you blokes,” he demanded, “you reckoned the 2013 Kwahosuya 1000 was the best thing on the road, so I bought one – and now you’re saying it’s crap and the 2014 model is better!”

We get this a bit. And you can try common sense in reply, but it rarely works.

“For a start,” I answered, “we didn’t say the 2013 is crap. But we did say the new model is better, yes.”

“It’s the same bloody thing,” he answered. “The factories give you blokes the latest and you go all ape over them. One minute the 2013 is the best, then it’s the 2014.”

“Well, the factory would hardly release a new bike if it wasn’t better than the previous year’s, would it? So it stands to reason that at least a few things will have improved between models. And I think we would justifiably be criticised if we didn’t point that out.”

Maybe what we need to stop doing is using absolutes. Instead of calling something the “best”, maybe we should always say that it’s “better”.

But I doubt that that would satisfy the people who feel that their bike has been criticised if another bike is praised.

The speed with which technology is moving today is so great that it easily outstrips most people’s (including my) imagination. Look at some of the things that modern bikes can do – their suspension can compensate electronically for each and every pothole, their lights can turn corners before you get to them, their ECUs can sense wheel slip so quickly that it never actually happens and their transmissions can change down for you if you forget. And so on. Frankly, I would never have expected bikes to be able to do any of this – and indeed there is an argument that says that it isn’t necessary for them to do it now.

I won’t get into that one.

All I want to say is yes, bikes get better every year. Mostly, anyway.

There are occasional, but rare, backsliders. But don’t let that stop you from buying this year’s model.

That way you’d never buy a bike at all. Or a camera, or a computer or any number of other tech items. Just be grateful that there are so many features for you to choose from. Yes, there will be more next year. But if you wait you lose an entire year’s enjoyment of your bike.

Is it worth it? The only sensible answer is “no”.

Peter ‘The Bear’ Thoeming

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