Friday, May 29, 2009

Bikes and more

One is the loneliest number...

I've been thinking about motorcycles a lot lately.  Well, it's more that they've come up in conversation a lot lately (even got to hear about a doctor who keeps his in his kitchen the other day while in surgery!), and I've started to wonder about the differences in terms.

There's motorcycles, bikes, crotch-rockets and dozens of other terms for what I thought was all the same thing.  Wait!  Don't hit me!  I know there's some sort of difference, but it just never mattered to me before because I didn't know anyone who used any of these words on a regular basis!  It'd be like someone who didn't dance thinking that pointe shoes, character shoes, ballet slippers, jazz shoes, half-soles, jazz sneakers, or teaching shoes were all just 'dance shoes.'  I won't get all excited about that if you promise not to beat me for not knowing about motorcycle-y things!

In any case, I decided to go and do some research (because that's what I do when I don't know stuff)...

Wikipedia defines a motorcycle as "a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle powered by an engine. "  Okay.  It also lists "bike" as a synonym for "motorcycle."  But go check out that article - there are three major types of motorcycle!  Cruisers, scooters, sportbikes, and mopeds are all types of street bike.  Off-road bikes include motocross and dirtbikes, and dual-purpose bikes have a combination of features.

But it turns out that you can also classify motorcycles based on the position of the rider - sport (leaning forward), standard (leaning slightly forward), or cruiser (slightly reclined).  Hey!  Cruisers!  Those are what they build a lot of on American Chopper, right?

I google "crotch rocket" (because that's what the doctor rides), and discovered that it refers to a type of sport bike.  I also discovered (looking at the pictures) that what I think of when someone says "motorcycle" is definitely NOT a crotch rocket.  I think they look a lot more safe, though, and if I were inclined to try a motorcycle, that's probably what I'd look at.  (Don't look at me like that, Mom!  I said IF!)

So there you go!  I went, I looked, I learned.  And now you've learned too!  (Unless you already knew.  In which case, you got a brief review session.)

No comments: