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Did you know?

If you are travelling in your car at 90 miles per hour, you are going 132 feet per second. You will travel a quarter of a mile in 10 seconds.

There are a couple of street motorcycles, notably the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R and Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa, which can hit the quarter mile in just UNDER 10 seconds.

This means, if the rider of one of those bikes STARTED, from a standstill, at JUST the moment you went by in your car at a constant 90 mph, he would be AHEAD of you within a quarter of a mile.

The only thing quicker on the road would be A) a million dollar SUPERcar (only a handful ever made), B) a full on Indy/Formula One racing car(hundreds of thousands of dollars, not street legal), C) a drag racer (tens of thousands of dollars, not street legal, handles like crap), or D) a modified street car (with tens of thousands of dollars worth of work which renders it barely streeteable and makes it handle like crap).

Or of course, another bike, with upgrades. But any four wheel vehicle this fast will involve tremendous costs and compromises. The thing is, a Hayabusa can be bought for $8500 for a used 99 or $10,800 for a new one. It gets 40 miles to the gallon, the insurance is peanuts, it's basically maintenance free and completely reliable, it handles like a demon, it can't be stopped by traffic delays, you can carry the groceries or books or overnight bag on it, you can fit a friend with an optional seat, you can ride in the rain and barely get wet because of the fairing, it'll go 200 miles per hour if you need it to, it sounds and looks like something Satan himself would ride, it's a damn engine with a wheel attached for going, another wheel for turning, and a seat for sitting.

On a bike such as this, outrunning the police is suddenly within the realm of possibility. There's just nothing they could do against a machine as insanely maneuverable as this that can go from cruising along at 75 to speeding along at 150 in just a couple of seconds. "Yes your honor, I admit I was going 85 mph in a 30 mph zone, but I was only in first gear!!"

There also is nothing quite like the instant gratification of turning the handlebar grip on a powerful bike and feeling yourself pulled forward by a machine whose singular purpose is to go quickly. There is nothing like open air acceleration, no matter the magnitude of that acceleration. But add to that open air quality faster acceleration than all the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Corvettes, Porsches, and Vipers in the world, and you have an unforgettable ride.

At least I won't forget it.

My next project is finding a suitable new or used bike to buy, and I'm not shooting for a 'practical' or 'beginners' bike. Rather, I want something that rekindles that sense of freedom and fun I experienced as a teenager when I first started riding (which itself was a rekindling of what it was like as a child growing up riding on the back of my Dad's various motorcycles), a feeling I haven't had in many years. I'm ready.