Every person like to measure, to set a marker for themselves by which they can be judged. Notches hacked into sticks were enough in the prehistorical times, but modern technology means ever more sophisticated means of measuring.
Motorcycles with laptimers are as good a judge as any. Useful on the track, see if you can beat it. Nothing new there – people have been doing that since the first leg was swung over the first motorcycle. What laptimers do is give you your time, your average speed and how your latest effort compares with your previous attempts. Just what you need for a little boost. Where I measure myself is a small bump in the tarmac on Rama II road. I already have record for this bit of road, set three years ago on my old Suzuki GSX-1000R, timed on one of those cheap digital wristwatches strapped to the top yoke. It was early evening and late in the year, with a pleasant temperature, the sun had spent all day heating the tarmac and I wanted to make the most of my motorcycle before I went on rebuilding it.
It was intense – a combination of race-piped, heavenly tuned and suspension struggling to cope with the bumps. Weaves, dancing bars and glances of steadily climbing digits live with me to this day. 3 Minutes 1second – an average of 134.84km/h. It was one of those stupid rides, the kind where you ignore the dangers. At the back of my mind I knew I couldn't ride like this all the time. I've never come close to beating my record, even on much better and faster machines and in much better conditions.