And if that’s the limit of your involvement in the sport, that’s fine.
But this is a sport that seems to draw its practitioners deeper and deeper into the vortex, until finally reaching “total immersion”.
You know you’re there when you equally enjoy talking about motorcycles and working on motorcycles.
Then it’s watching motorcycle racing and checking out motorcycle museums.
Next comes riding dirt bikes, learning how to ride better and learning more about how motorcycles work.
I’m interested in all of these different facets of the sport.
But as one with a particular love for all things mechanical, I have a special appetite for learning more about how motorcycles work.
And there’s a lot to be fascinated by, because the physical dynamics of riding a motorcycle are truly amazing.
Could it be that the harnessing of the complex and contradictory physical forces that keep a motorcycle upright is what makes riding one so appealing?
Only recently have the mathematics and physics of motorcycle riding been understood.
We can now describe the complex series of events that take place from before the clutch is released throughout the entire range of motorcycle movement and motion.
Very few people have that knowledge, and fewer yet have the ability to describe it.
Much of the work in understanding motorcycle physics has come from the University of Padova in Italy, and Professor Vittore Cossalter is one of the world’s leading experts in the study of motorcycle dynamics.
Professor Cossalter has written many papers, articles and books on the subject.
This book, Motorcycle Dynamics, focuses on the kinematics (a branch of dynamics that deals with aspects of motion apart from considerations of mass and force).
It also deals with dynamics (a branch of mechanics that deals with forces and their relation primarily to the motion but sometimes also to the equilibrium of bodies) of motorcycles.
I’d like to suggest that Professor Cossalter’s book is considered as the “Bible” of motorcycle dynamics.
It starts with the basic description of a motorcycle and its geometry, and goes on to provide the reader with discussions of how tires, handling, suspension motion, vibration and movement affect a motorcycle’s motion and how they come into play to create the ride.
Reading Motorcycle Dynamics is like uncovering the secrets of the motorcycling universe.
I’m not saying I understand it all — far from it, as the book is definitely not a casual read.
But is packed with drawings, graphics, charts and mathematical calculations that are far beyond my puny mental limitations.
That doesn’t mean I can’t aspire to understand it; this book, for me, is a perfect winter companion.