LAT

Big tent at 'Highway 1'

BikeHighway 1, the LAT's weekly two-page featurette on driving and vehicle buying, seems of split minds on motorcycle culture. On the one hand, they gave staff writer Susan Carpenter the Throttle Jockey column to review all the hot new crotch rockets. Her Oct. 19 review celebrated the "freakishly fast" F4-1000R:

As I rocketed toward Angeles Crest Highway on California State Route 2, I attempted to test the gear ratio, but I didn't get far. MV's specs said I'd be able to reach 78.5 mph in first gear at 13,000 rpm. I managed to hit 74 at 12,500 before the rev limiter flashed red. I clicked into second, and cracked 100. The bike wasn't sweating, but I was.

In today's Highway 1, Ralph Vartabedian throws cold water on Carpenter and her ilk with a disapproving Your Wheels column that strongly chides bikers who speed and kill themselves and others. He doesn't mention his colleague by name, but alludes to Carpenter:

Motorcycle culture and even the news media often explicitly sanction the violation of public safety laws.

Take, for example, this recent upbeat review: "As I rocketed toward Angeles Crest Highway on California State Route 2 I clicked into second, and cracked 100." The speed limit on that highway is 45 mph and lower in some places.

Separately: Blogger Todd Everett thinks today's Scriptland column by Jay Fernandez in the Times overdoes the hype for the movie Turistas.


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