Two Cars, One Bike


The peaky power band and close ratio gearbox that make the S2000 so much fun on the track make it slow in the canyons.  If you’re caught anywhere below 6k rpms, you’re not moving anywhere.  If you get caught down at 3k rpms on an uphill, you’re barney (as in Barney Rubble…….. trouble); you might as well go Flintstone style to help the car accelerate.  The only way to extract the power is to push 100% and that’s just not safe out in the canyons.  Because of these characteristics, the S2000 is more nerve racking to drive quickly in the canyons making it less quick than the Evo.

Last for speed in the canyons is the bike.  Of course, this is rider dependent; I won’t push more than 70% on the bike whereas there are some nutcases pushing 100%.  Those guys account for the constant ambulances every weekend that have to go and pry the riders out of cliff walls.  Or you see the little white crosses at the edges of cliffs.

Don’t mess up here.  Over that guard rail is a very long fall.  Rule #1 for any vehicle out here is to NEVER cross the double yellow.  For a motorcycle, it goes one further and that is to keep a few feet away from the double yellow.  If your tires are next to it, then you body is over it and into the other lane.  Your head always loses against the front end of a car.

The downfall of the bike is having only two contact patches and relatively limited braking ability.  Hit any dirty road surface too fast on the bike and you’ll go down.  Overcook a corner entry on a bumpy downhill and watch the front tire lock up and spit you off the bike.  Hit a patch of sand during corner exit while on the throttle, hello high-side!  The bike is still my favorite to hit up any piece of pavement, but it requires a significantly slower corner speed as compared to the cars to be safe.  Can the bike be faster?  Definitely, but I’m not suicidal.  When out in the canyons, don’t be stupid.  I’ve seen plenty of tire skid marks leading straight into rock walls or white crosses next to cliffs.  The roads are also populated by cyclists, so a lot of caution is required.

Danger!  Dirt in the between the lanes, dirt to the right, can’t see around the rock face, and there’s a cliff on the other side of that guard rail.

The last job to be handled is daily driving duties.  I’ll keep this short.  If you sneeze in the Evo, you’ll end up halfway in the next lane due to the hyper-fast steering.  It gets crappy gas mileage and has the turning radius of a garbage truck. It does have four doors, decent sized rear seats and a usable trunk making it practical. Only pick up a friend from the airport in the S2000 if they have a small carry-on and forget about carrying more than one passenger. The S2000 is also a fatiguing car to drive on the street with constant shifting.  Drop the top and its all good though, especially in SoCal.  On the bike, you’ll get killed by the soccer mom talking on their cell phone, drinking their latte, and yelling at their kids in the back seat.  In fact, there are about a million ways to die on the bike. The bike does get superior mileage and you can split lanes in Cali. 

All of our choice have pros and cons, which mode of vehicle is best is up to you.


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