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How often do you "hit the ton"?

5871 Views 101 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  hogcowboy
I'm not sure why hitting triple digits on the bike is called "hitting the ton", but I find I really get an adrenaline rush when I push the Goldwing to 100 mph or more. Fortunately for me I have a stretch of two lane country road not too far from where I live where the road is open and straight for a pretty long stretch, with basically no where for John Law to hide and wait, and usually zero traffic on this road when I go there. It doesn't take long to get the speed up from 65 mph or so to 100 or 105 on the speedo, and I usually just stay at this speed for a few seconds, but that is enough to get the thrill of speed. I know that as I get older I am supposed to take it easier on the speed than when I was a young and impetuous rider, but in truth, most of the bikes I owned in my earlier days could not reach 100 or not do so without a long, long stretch of open road. When I owned a sport tourer years ago I used to routinely "hit the ton" but with the cruisers that I owned it was not very do-able most of the time. I tend to believe that its a good exercise for getting the heart to pump a little harder and faster, but without breaking a sweat, so "hitting the ton" is actually part of my "living healthy" program. That is, as long as a deer doesn't run out in front of me or something like that. And even at a 100 mph, the bike stays smooth and steady and not a whiff of vibration in the mirrors. Pretty cool.
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Eye, this has nothing to do with impressing anyone. It's just about the rush of speed. My fastest ever doesn't even match the average speed of the winner of the Isle of Man TT race, but that doesn't diminish the thrill it gives to me. Maybe if I had access to a racetrack and went into triple digits routinely the thrill would wear off, as it likely does for anyone that races. But when I do it, its both a brief special moment in my riding, and always a bit of a risk. Even on quiet country roads there is always the chance that a deer, or a cow, or a dog will jump out in front of me, and that's likely the end of my story.

The funny thing is that perception of speed is not the same as true speed. Yesterday I had the chance to take several demo rides. Hitting 80 or 85 with the new Goldwing, or with the Indian Scout (what a weird position to sit in on that bike but a fun ride) was no big deal. But hitting 65 on a Rebel 500 felt like I was flying! My regular ride, a Goldwing is smooth and comfortable, which is great and just what I wanted, but it sure doesn't give me a rush even when doing 80 or more on the Interstate just keeping up with crazy Chicago drivers. So to get that rush I have to push the needle a bit higher than I normally go. It sure keeps my blood pumping and makes me feel a lot less than my 75 years.
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Besides, there's really not all that many riders that can keep up with my stock Harley Road King anyway. Most of them never even make it past the first state line.

Now that is funny:smile_big:
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Earth's orbital speed around the Sun is about 67,000 MPH and takes about a year to complete the trip while spinning at a rotation speed of about 1,037 MPH at the equator, which takes about a day.

All this spinning around isn't fast enough for some people, that's why we have sport bikes. :smile:
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Perception. I can remember very well the first time I hit 45mph when I first started riding. Thing is, that's still fast enough to kill. But 45mph felt like 100 easy.
Maybe if I had access to a racetrack and went into triple digits routinely the thrill would wear off, as it likely does for anyone that races.
No, that's the way they get you hooked on it. Then you gotta pay more to get more so you can go even faster so you can get more and, well.... It's a never ending cycle.
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I鈥檝e gotten the ton once on a Yamaha Virago 535. Well it registered 105mph but I鈥檓 sure it was off. I may hit 90 here and there. We weren鈥檛 made to go that fast.
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Both my current bikes would benefit from a taller high gear.
They have plenty of power left to give if it had someplace to go.

The VTX gets some funny vibrations above 80 or so. I may have caused that with my bat-wing and deflectors on the forks upfront. It's not setup for speed, but long riding two up comfort.

The sporty remains with its stock gearing that works better for the curvy hilly roads here in Southern Indiana.
Beer goggles make the speedo faster, people more beautiful in bars, improves your karaoke voice, and encourages you to dance like Ben Vereen.

Cooler air gives a boost to older bikes that don't have the magic of ECUs. Modern technology takes air temp and altitude into account in providing instructions to your engine. Still, it only works within a range so if you have a choice, go for an optimal temp that is warm enough for tire traction but cool enough for rich oxygen.

As for the ton 鈥 it is a rush. Most modern sport bikes get there in less than 8 seconds, but it is a glorious 8 seconds with musical accompaniment by your air intake. :devil:
My last snowmobile was a 2003 Ski Doo MXz with a 600cc carbureted Rotax engine. I've always been a guy who likes middleweight engine sizes and I loved how that thing moved, particularly at night when it was cold. My brain sometimes tries to convince me my bikes with EFI do the same. Sort of a consolation for being out there and miserably cold.
I once wasted a lot of money trying to go fast. Then I realized that no matter how fast I could go there was always someone who could go faster, I wasn't really impressing anyone in a positive way, and I had thrown away a bunch of money I could have used for other useful things.

Besides, there's really not all that many riders that can keep up with my stock Harley Road King anyway. Most of them never even make it past the first state line.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who make most of their life's decisions based on how they're perceived by other people. I think a lot of them can be spotted by how frequently their exhaust sets off car alarms, how mean a scowl they wear, or how firmly their elbows are locked when splitting traffic at speeds that far outpace their skill as riders. Some of us appreciate speed for the raw thrill of the thing. As Hunter S. Thompson once famously quipped, Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba.
Hunter S Thompson didn't know a thing about cannons, but he sure had some experience getting squeezed pretty tight. :) Or at least beaten up fairly well.

And in the end it turns out that he was a gutless, self-involved prick, so I can't say I'd ever want to quote him on any subject that was worthwhile discussing seriously.
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You're talking about the time he got involved with an HA member tuning up on his significant other? I think that takes guts, actually. Maybe not brains, but guts for sure. Just curious, why do you say what you do about the guy? I think he was a pretty interesting character.
Just curious, why do you say what you do about the guy? I think he was a pretty interesting character.
I got curious as well and came across this... well, a few articles that I can't link to... and, after reading them and remembering how he took himself out, would agree with Eye_m_no_angel's assessment.

Having dealt with a number of suicides, I feel that, short of VERY extreme circumstances, it is an act of pure selfishness and horrifyingly life altering when children are involved. Just my opinion, of course...

On topic... I will say I'm surprised that hitting 100 is that rare among bikers. I would usually hit it at least once when I'd take my little Ninja 300 out. With the F4i, I'll take the 5th...
I got curious as well and came across this... well, a few articles that I can't link to... and, after reading them and remembering how he took himself out, would agree with Eye_m_no_angel's assessment.

Having dealt with a number of suicides, I feel that, short of VERY extreme circumstances, it is an act of pure selfishness and horrifyingly life altering when children are involved. Just my opinion, of course...
Ahh, yes, I think I see what you're saying. I didn't think of the fact that he killed himself when he got a bit sick. I can sort of see the appeal - at least a romanticized one, and from my mid-30's - but agree that it's the cowards way out.
I just moved from a Ninja 300 to a F4i and am trying to follow that example, i.e. saving the "speed" for the corners. It is tough because I have a lot of roads nearby with well cambered fast sweepers and flat, straight stretches. Need more self-control, but I'm trying!
Self control is hard to come by when the road gets nice and twisty. I was out in the rain for a few hundred miles yesterday, and I have to resist the urge to roll it on too hard through those beautiful mountain passes. I mean, I do have traction control. What's the worse that could happen? :p
You nailed it, Doc. And to do it when your children are in the next room so they are sure to find you? A$$hole.

As for the beating, a Hells Angel (who wasn't there) told me it was because Thompson was an insufferable egoist and was bragging to some of them about the money he would make off of them by writing about them.
I think that the oft quoted Thompson's "Great Sausage Machine" is a piece of drivel.

If he rode like that then he wouldn't have reached an age where he felt he had to top himself.

Ego-centric a***hole. Yeah I've read that the Hells Angels just got sick of his pontificating and boasting.
I think that the oft quoted Thompson's "Great Sausage Machine" is a piece of drivel.

If he rode like that then he wouldn't have reached an age where he felt he had to top himself.

Ego-centric a***hole. Yeah I've read that the Hells Angels just got sick of his pontificating and boasting.
"Song of the spaghetti monster", which was in a review of a Ducati Super Sport, incidentally. That whole point of "gonzo journalism" was to mix in equal parts fiction, reality, and nonsense. I don't think anyone actually believed he did the things he said. Not even Marc Marquez has that level of bike control.
Every single time I'm on my cbr1000. Too hard not to. Not too much on my vtx 1300. I've heard Leo's are not supposed to chase over 100. But for troopers, it's a different story. Don't know if this is true or if it's just in certain states. Anybody?
A friend of a friend tried to debate with me that the previous owner neutered my Buell's power by putting one of those "turbo mufflers" on it. I had a feeling he didn't know what he was talking about...I mean, the bike likes to wander above the speed limit without even trying. :) At any rate, during the weekend I decided to give it my all. I hit 93-ish mph before I had to back down and it didn't take too long to get there. I bet I can totally hit the advertised top speed, especially if I drop a few pounds and leave my totally not aerodynamic purse at home.
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My x is smooth as glass all the way up to 110.

No bags no windshield, and
Blinkers have been deleted.
Both my current bikes would benefit from a taller high gear.
They have plenty of power left to give if it had someplace to go.

The VTX gets some funny vibrations above 80 or so. I may have caused that with my bat-wing and deflectors on the forks upfront. It's not setup for speed, but long riding two up comfort.

The sporty remains with its stock gearing that works better for the curvy hilly roads here in Southern Indiana.
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