Weight and Motorcycle Performance
By Jim Noss
Do you want to improve the handling and increase the horsepower of your motorcycle? Well, be forewarned the advice offered in this article will cost you nothing and save you everything.
I have been around motorcycles for the past 20 years and I am always seeing fellow motorcyclists trying their best to improve the power of the motorcycles. I see the aftermarket performance market make millions of dollars by selling exhausts, power commanders, tune up kits. All geared to increase the performance of your motorcycle. Sure these products work; sure they cost a lot of money. But are they really necessary?
Let us take a step back and look at the big picture. And for some motorcyclists we need to step back even farther. Yes this article is about the weight challenged motorcyclist. Letís face the facts, the more you weigh, the more your motorcycle is going to have to work to move your big butt from point A to point B. You are entitled to spend thousands of dollars on performance parts but the cheapest way to give your motorcycle more pick up and power is to work on tuning yourself up and shed a few pounds. Of course there are motorcyclists that are at their ideal weight. They are few in number but do exist.
I will admit I was 20 pounds over my ideal weight. I felt heavy and my clothes did not fit -- especially my riding leathers. I finally had enough and decided to come up with an eating plan that would work for an average, hard-working guy like me. The rewards would be that I would be eating healthier, lose weight, look better in my clothes, and be lighter thus giving my motorcycle more power and handling. Plus my stomach would not be getting in the way when I was riding the twisties through the mountains of Pennsylvania. By eating healthier I would hopefully live a bit longer and healthier.
The diets you see advertised, the pills, the total crap that people buy is all snake oil. The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar business. I am here to save you money, make you feel better, and make your motorcycle perform better. It is up to you to get off your butt and take action. This is not an easy plan, nor is it that difficult. The bottom line is that you have to want it to work and be dedicated and disciplined. You can thank me later once you start to see the results.
So my lifestyle is such that I have a desk job where I sit all day. I drink 2 Pepsis a day and a candy bar. Not much activity. I was eating at all the crappy junk food places and eating lots of fast food while at home at night. It was quick and easy and made me gain weight. Did it make me happy? Honestly no. I remember the sick stomach feelings I would get after I would eat some of the fast food. A sure sign that this was not intended for us to eat. I am not saying that my methodology will work for everyone, but the principals are sane.
To get started in my new eating habits I first stopped eating at the fast food chains. Basically I stopped eating out. I started packing a sandwich to take to work. This saved me over $50 a week. Folks, that is $200 a month or $2400 a year saved. That money could go towards a new motorcycle.
The second habit I changed was to stop drinking stuff with caffeine in it. I really did not stop, just cut back by about 80%. I still drank tea and had some chocolate now and then. Both of which have caffeine.
The third habit I started was to eat breakfast in the morning. A simple bowl of oatmeal is all I had. If I were in a hurry, I would just have a banana. I would still have 2 sodas while at work. Often times just drinking bottled water.
The fourth habit I acquired was how I dealt with lunch. For lunch, as mentioned, I would eat my bagged lunch. Having your bagged lunch ready eliminates any desire to go out to the fast food places. Plus it saves you money and time and gas.
The fifth habit I started dealt with what I did at night at home. I started walking for 30 minutes each night on the treadmill. I also started just eating salads. Initially these were just greens. Then I started adding in a baked potato. Next I added in some protein by adding some chicken strips. Trust me, this will fill you up and last you all night. Plus it has protein and low in fat.
My tip for eating right is as follows. Make everything before hand and have it ready to eat in the refrigerator. By having the meals ready, you will be less likely to throw a pizza in the oven or eat some cookies. Each Sunday I do the following:
Bake up about 9 baked potatoes. Wrap these in foil then microwave them when ready.
Bake up some chick breast strips.
Get a head of lettuce. Chop it up. Steam some baby carrots and add these to the salad. Add some other greens and mix it up. Trust me, it is very good. The potato and chicken really fill you up. Ready-made meals are the key to weight-loss success.
The simple formula that God gave us is that if you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight. It is so simple. The reason Americans are fat is that we are lazy. It is too easy to go to the fast food places and pig out on processed garbage.
So if you want to lose weight and make your motorcycle go faster and handle better, try losing a few pounds. You will feel better, save lots of money and look better too. The less weight your motorcycle has to haul, the better it will perform.
Contributing author to Cycle Solutions and Kingpin Cruisers.
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