Motion and Motorcycles
A major difference between riding a motorcycle and driving a car is the sense of motion.
Although both experience friction, in this case air resistance, the driver is surrounded by a cage,
the frame, whereas the rider is completely exposed. Well the rider isn’t completely exposed.
There is such equipment like windshields that greatly reduce this friction, but that’s another story
requiring knowledge on aerodynamics. Anyways, we can probably say that motorcyclists have a
better “feeling” of motion compared to the average driver.
As mentioned earlier, friction in the form of air resistance is only one result of motion caused by
a motorcycle in movement. We could get very specific on how the motion of the motorcycle
creates its own electricity to operate. While in motion the tires rotate moving the rotor, connected
to the front tire, to create a high current. This high current is then stored in the stator. The statorpart of the alternator-then uses this current, which is continuously changing direction
(alternating), and sends the voltage to the regulator/rectifier. The regulator/rectifier converts this
alternating current (A.C) to a more usable current called direct current (D.C). The regulator not
only controls the D.C but also sends the electricity to the lights, horn, etc. D.C is seen as being
“one way” rather than “back and forth” like the A.C voltage, making D.C expendable. However,
the indirect results of motion don’t interest me as much as an instantaneous view of motion. And
there is no better example of a direct type of motion on a motorcycle than counter-steering.
Counter steering is what it sounds like: it is steering the opposite way of your chosen direction. It
sounds confusing right? It’s like going against your intuition. In the motorcyclist world people
know it as push left go left and push right go right. However, few understand the physics behind
it, so lets break it down. For example, lets say a motorcyclist is going through a left turn at
around 25 mph. While he pushes left on the handlebars, the handlebars actually turn to the right.
This causes the front wheel to go the right, but yet the rest of the motorcycle “wants’ to keep
upright due to what is stated in Newtons first law, inertia. As the motorcycle tries to remain
upright, the wheels turn right from under the center of mass which creates the top part of the
motorcycle to lean in opposition, left. And by now, the motorcyclist has successfully completed
his left turn.
Motion is everything on a motorcycle. From generating its own electricity to the physical aspect
of steering, motion is present. And to think about, the reason why a motorcycle even exists is to
create motion through combustion. But like aerodynamics, how combustion creates work is
another story for another time.
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