Matt Prior: Why Automotive Engineers Would Like To Drive More Competitive Cars Car News

Recently, I rode the BMW R 1250 GS motorcycle that featured in Steve Cropley’s review, in part because he was so impressed with it. I’ve read good things about the GS models over the years and wondered how good the archetypal, tech-rich adventure bike has become.

Cropley rides more bikes than I do, as do bike reviews (obviously), and it took about five seconds on the GS for that to show. The lower seat height, on what I had always considered a bigger bike than my old Honda Africa Twin, was a pleasant surprise when stationary. But as I stumbled out of our office parking lot, I thought, “I don’t like this.”

My feet were too low. The bars were too wide. Ergonomics were everywhere, the digital display was complicated, the throttle response was crisp, and the speed at which it rocked around the corners was bewildering.

Ultimately, however, it all came down to familiarity. A week later, it was just as strange getting back on my own bike. Why the narrow bars and the high saddle, the stakes and the center of gravity? Why was it so heavy? Because exposure to vehicles – lots of vehicles – is the key to getting comfortable quickly and being able to make a decent assessment.

Mine is not the most skilled job in the world, but one of the strengths that writing about cars gives people is the ability to learn a lot about a car in a short period of time. Then after a longer drive, when reviews have slightly different tastes, consensus on a car is usually easy to find.

And so to automotive engineers. Some like to join us on events where we have a lot of cars, if they can, because they know how valuable a benchmarking exercise is.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-12 23:01:24

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