Posts Tagged ‘brain wave’


November 20, 2007

That’s where it starts. The noise I mean. 3,500 rpm and the motor is just getting to where it likes it. And when the bike likes it, I like it. The revs increase and so does the bike’s love of life. So, naturally, does mine. When Suzuki started putting 1,000 cc engines in motorbikes, the earth moved.

Somebody once had a mad idea. More than a hundred years ago probably. “Let’s take this two wheel contraption,” he said, “and also this internal combustion engine gadget, and we’ll put them together. Y’never know, it might turn out to be something.”

Whoever said that deserves something. He deserves to ride around on a modern bike for which 3,500 rpm is just the beginning instead of the end of mechanical sustainability.

Anyway, getting back to the noise thing. My bike was born in 1981 and back then the noise limit was 100 decibels. It’s still allowed 100 of those noisy little critters while new bikes are only allowed 80. I’m a law-abiding citizen so I run within the law. 98. That’s what mine does. 98 decibels at 4,500 rpm, which is half max revs and where the law measures it.

3,500 is the point at which the bike opens its throat and starts to roar. And that roar keeps building until by the time it hits the red zone at 9,000rpm it is loving it.

I’m learning to be a believer in brain wave meditation. You know the stuff. There are alpha waves and beta waves and theta waves and they all do different stuff, depending on whether we are awake or asleep at the time. These days people induce certain brain wave cycles as a stimulus to achieve the meditative state for relaxing after stress or letting go of bad thought patterns. Low hertz sounds that oscillate between left and right headphones (it’s called wobbling) is how they do it. Sounds simple? Don’t you believe it, Grasshopper. This is the stuff of one hand clapping.

Well I’ve got this theory. Get yourself a motorcycle. Make it a biggish one where the exhaust noise is going to be rather deep. Low hertz, that’s what you’re after. Now put on a short fat exhaust system. This means a loud one. You have to hear this baby working for it to do you good. Make sure the bike comes from an era when noise was good. 1981 is a good place to start.

Now go riding. Get that motor revving. It all starts at 3,500 rpm.

Can’t you just feel that meditative state descending on you? A few hours of riding the back roads and making that baby sing, a few hours of brain wave exhaust notes oscillating through my mind, and I can feel myself becoming as calm as a Zen master.

Ask me the meaning of life, the ultimate secret of existence, the riddle of the universe.
My answer will be 3,500.