KIWI RIDER 10 2018 VOL.1 - Page 72

WORDS: Roger Moroney Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire. Great lines but lacking exhausts... Click here to watch and hear Harley-Davidson's LiveWire OLD HABITS DIE HARD... hree of the bikes I have owned through the years had aftermarket exhaust pipes on them. In all three cases I made the choice to do that rather than steer a course back toward the items they originally came equipped with. In one case I had to take the replacement path due to a crash wiping two of the four (one side) out, and the other two occasions came about through the existing systems sort of falling victim to age. So aftermarket sets they were, despite in one case the system being more expensive than what an original set would have cost. It was for one reason... I liked the sound of the set I had heard on another bloke’s 600 Kawasaki so that was that. Ooh, and at 9000rpm they sure fitted the bill. So, okay, I was a whole lot younger then and I steer away from those sort of revs now, although I have never lost the love of fine sound, so long as it is restrained to a point. The great barking, exploding noises made by the straight pipe things attached to giant engines are not welcome anywhere, but as there are no apparent noise restrictions or stringently pursued compliance checks they continue to litter the audio landscape. As will the exhaust modified cars operated by young pilots who have formed the impression that the louder it is the more powerful it will be. No, sorry, doesn’t really work that way. Take a leaf from the Goodwood Festival of Speed. While not a great fan or advocate of the pathway to electric engines I must admit I was astonished to sift through the times recorded at this year’s festival. Oh yes, the usual suspects like McLarens and Porsches and Ferraris all scooted up the picturesque climb rather rapidly, but it was a Volkswagen which turned the heads. The sight of it did because the sound of it wouldn’t have alerted anyone it was coming, for the VW ID.R was an electric powered beast. Before arriving at Goodwood it had stunned the motor-racing hordes at the Pikes Peak hillclimb in Colorado. It smashed all sorts of records and put in the fastest time of the event, covering the 12.4 mile course in a time of seven minutes and 57 seconds.