By John Burns
2002 Naked Bike Shootout
We Like to Play the Emperor’s New Clothes
We Like to Play the Emperor’s New ClothesFontana, California, August 20, 2002 —
When the dog bites. When the bee stings. When we’re feeling sad. Etcetera etc. These are a few of our favorite things: Big ol’ bikes–some bigger than others–with handlebars that don’t make us assume the position, bikes that are happy under any circumstance, bikes that are nice to our tender little bottoms.
We love them dearly, but we gots ta know: Will we be embarrassed when it comes time for a track day?
Now that our friends at Fastrack (fastrackriders.com) have broken the code to Mr. Penske’s lovely facility right down the road in Fontana, California, we’re there more than we’re home, seems like–a win/win for ourselves and our loved ones. And so we gathered together friends and motorcycles to see how things shake out.
What fun would it be, though, without something thrown in to make our attempt at scientific method, fairly unscientific?
We actually went to Fontana twice–one Friday using the big, AMA circuit–ie, the infield and part of the big superspeedway. Then, about a week later, we rode the smaller, tighter infield course. That’s because, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Ducati couldn’t make the first day. On day two, also due to circumstances within our control sort of but not really, a bunch of the other bikes couldn’t make it due to it being a Monday and people having jobs and stuff–and us having but the one clapped-out van. The bike that did make it, to duke it out with the Ducati, was the Kawasaki ZRX, for the simple reason …read more