Sunday, November 20, 2011

Keanu Reeves: The Diavel’s Advocate

Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel Keanu Reeves Ducati Diavel
Keanu used to race bikes in the night, with the headlight switched off. And he doesn't like laws that make it compulsory for motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Ahem.

For their November 2011 issue, GQ magazine have got Keanu Reeves to talk about motorcycles. ‘I started when I was 22. I was working in Munich and met this girl who had a bike and I asked her if I could ride it. She said ‘sure,’ then I told her I didn’t know how to ride. So she showed me where everything was, and I just started riding around the studio. I just got into it,’ says KR, who’s starred in some of our favourite movies – The Matrix series, The Devil’s Advocate and Point Break.

Keanu loves Norton bikes and owns three, but has also owned Harleys and Suzuki GSX-Rs over the last two decades. Now 47, Keanu admits that at one time, he used to race his bike at night, with the headlight switched off. ‘That was back in the day. I think we deal with our emotions differently when we are older, and I think the demon rides were a way for me to blow off steam when I was younger,’ he says. ‘Now, when I get those feelings, I think maybe I’ll just handcuff myself to the bed. Wait for the Sun to come up,’ he adds.

2012 Yamaha R1: Finding traction once again

2012 Yamaha R1
Eddie Lawson may or may not need traction control on a 178bhp superbike. You and I will, however, definitely be better off with the 2012 R1's six-mode TCS
2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1 2012 Yamaha R1

Following the example set by the BMW S1000RR, Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC and Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, Yamaha have fitted traction control to the 2012 YZF-R1. It is a proper six-mode system with a full range of settings – mode six will let you twist the throttle to the max, regardless of road surface and lean angle and the computers will sort everything out for you. The system gets progressively more lenient through modes five, four, three, two and one, with the rider being pretty much on his/her own in mode one.

Yamaha have taken their time in getting TC tech to the R1 but they seem to have gotten it right the first time around. According to Bruce Wilson, who’s tested the 2012 Yamaha R1 for Motorcycle Sport & Leisure’s December issue this year, the new R1’s traction control “most certainly doesn’t feel as intrusive as the BMW S1000RR’s system, which feels more like a tap that’s been turned on and off as it mops up excess power in a crude by effective manner, nor like the Kawasaki ZX-10R’s system, which stutters and starts in an erratic spasm.” Bruce goes on to say that mode four, which permits wheelies and small slides, while still keeping you out of trouble, is perhaps the best mode in the Yam’s traction control system.

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