Monday, August 27, 2012

Richard Hammond on the aural pleasures of motorcycling

Basically, the Hamster loves motorcycle noise...

We quite like Top Gear and we adore the TG trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond. Over the years, Clarkson has gone from being irreverent, which was always good, to being a bit irrelevant… which is also all right we suppose, since Top Gear seems to be as popular as ever. We also support TG because James May and Richard Hammond love motorcycles, even though they don’t actually test bikes on the program. That’s actually quite a sad thing – TG would probably be a 100 times better if they also had motorcycles on the show…

Anyway, in the column which he’s written for TG’s September 2012 issue, Hammond talks about noise. The kind of noise we love. He starts with saying he likes the way cars like the Subaru Impreza, Porsche 911, Jaguar E-type and Ford Mustang V8 sound - here are some excellent car reviews by the way - but then moves on to bikes. “You are excluding yourself from a whole symphony or aural titillation easily the equivalent of what is on offer from the four-wheeled section of the same orchestra,” says the Hamster, to those who slag off bikes because they don’t like motorcycles and are, perhaps, too scared to ride one.

Enjoy the shrill sparkle of a high-revving Honda S2000 zinging along? “If you were but able to understand, the piece might have been enhanced for you by the superb solo of a well-ridden two-stroke twin, maybe an old KR1S, shrieking and yelping as the heroic rider keep the revs in the impossibly narrow powerband and wrings its neck,” says Hammond. “A large-capacity V-twin, bellowing through an aftermarket can before coming to idle with the clutch whirring noisily in its basket means there’s a big sports bike, probably a Ducati, rolling up, so there’ll almost certainly be another along soon,” he adds.

“A Harley-Davidson’s ‘potato-potato-potato’ booming off the walls in proud celebration of the rider’s well-earned midlife crisis can only make you smile. You don’t have to ride one and you don’t have to wear leather trousers, just as you don’t have to be able to play a keyboard to listen to Genesis. Just learn to understand when you hear one – sit back and enjoy the full orchestra,” says the smallest of the Top Gear trio.

Now if only Jeremy stops being such an ass and lets BBC get motorcycles on Top Gear, the world would be a better place for all of us. Go on, Richard, find a way to get bikes on TG and bring the noise!

Now we don't know how that contraption sounds, but we'd be more than happy if Top Gear had a few GSX-Rs, Panigales, RSV4s, Ninjas, R1s and Fireblades on the show...

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