So what’s tougher – riding a 150kg, 240 horsepower MotoGP machine, or trying to ride a rampaging 600-kilo bull? MotoGP bikes will accelerate from zero to 100km/h in about two seconds and from 100km/h to 290km/h in less than 10 seconds. Powered by 800cc, four-cylinder engines, these two-wheeled missiles will hit top speeds of about 340km/h and during high-speed corners, they can be leant over at angles of up to 60 degrees. Truly awesome. But how does MotoGP compare with professional bull riding (PBR)?
While MotoGP riders work with teams of highly skilled technicians who fine-tune the bikes the way riders want, professional bull riders don’t even get to pick their bull for competition events. Bull riders are randomly paired with available bulls, and during an event, they must ride the bull using only one hand. (During their rides – each of which lasts for eight seconds – riders are disqualified if they touch themselves or the bull with their free hand.)
In a competition, riders get points based on how difficult their bull is to ride – judges look for bulls with speed, power, drop in the front end, kick in the back end, directions changed and body rolls. (A body roll is when a bull is in the air and kicks either his hind feet or all four feet to the side.) On the rider’s part, judges look for good body position, constant control, and the ability to match moves with the bull.
Hmm… so let’s see. Though they won’t hit 300km/h, the bulls aren’t fitted with any kind of traction control or other electronic rider aids. Like a MotoGP bike, a bull might try to highside its rider. And while a YZR-M1 or ZX-RR will usually not try to trample and gore its rider to death, a bull just might do that. So would it be fair to say that professional bull riders are harder than the MotoGP boys? Er…, you decide!
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