Are motorcycles some kind of earthbound aeroplanes? - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Are motorcycles some kind of earthbound aeroplanes?

I asked me this question because I think there is some similarity between riding and flying (a small plane with open cockpit). In my opinion, these are:
  • You are exposed to the environment, feeling air, wind and weather.
  • In curves you have to lean as an aeroplane has to bank.
  • You have always to listen to the sounds, your engine makes.

A better explanation of this comes from this guy, Joe Sheldon, a pilot and a biker: He says, there are a lot of differences between both. From the aspect af handling he sees in common: "being smooth and using pressure on the controls rather than fast hard movements."...

... But there are a lot of mental and safety aspects that are complementary.

Preparation - Pilots and motorcyclists both benefit from early preparation. Pilots need to verify weather, routing, fuel, preflight inspection, etc. What part of that do you think a motorcyclist shouldn’t pay attention to?

Safety - Pilots are trained from the outset that safety is the ultimate goal. The results of not having a safety mindset can be catastrophic for either discipline. Plan well, follow the planning, learn and follow the “regulations” (laws). Then operate in the “middle of the envelope.” Works for flying, makes sense for a motorcyclist too, doesn’t it?
Learn - Learn, learn, and then learn some more. After all these many years of flying and with all my pilot’s “licenses,” (ratings) and after owning 13 motorcycles, I still constantly work on learning how to be a better and more proficient pilot and motorcyclist.

Change - No matter what the preparation, often something happens to change the plans. Good pilots and good motorcyclists take the changes in stride and work around any impediments.
In the moment - Both disciplines benefit from the pilot / motorcyclist constantly being “in the moment.” Day dreaming, thinking about what you forgot to do at work, thinking about anything other than what you are doing at that exact moment is a recipe for missing the car about to turn in front of you or not being aware that the weather at your destination has changed for the worse.

Precision - Everyone probably innately judges an airplane pilot by the quality of their landings (which absolutely isn’t fair). Motorcyclists are judged by other motorcyclists on how smooth and in control they are as they ride. Both disciplines benefit when the pilot/motorcyclist work constantly on being as smooth and precise as they can be.

Calm - Nothing’s worse than nerves or even panicking. Cook a corner too fast on a motorcycle, get nervous about the strong and bumpy crosswind when preparing to land, and you’re compromised. Both disciplines require the pilot/motorcyclist to remain calm in the face of adversity.

As you can see, there are complementary aspects to both flying and motorcycling and the really good news is that much of the skills you learn from one can be applied to the other."


What are your opinions about this?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 03:42 PM
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pretty much exactly - closest thing to flying without leaving the ground

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 05:15 PM
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I took to a motorcycle when young and then learned to fly in later life. After the flying ended I found myself on a bike again. I can particularly relate to the 'Change' section above as I do believe that serious concentration gives you the best chance of dealing with whatever may come your way - in the air or biking. Like the Scouts motto: 'Be Prepared', I say. Both forms of motion give huge satisfaction after successful completion of a 'mission'.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2018, 06:25 PM
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Yes, indeed. I agree. I find myself also doing a 360 pre-ride safety inspection every time; a routine I learned as a pilot.

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