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Autopsy: Nitro Bike

by spike.com   June 05, 2009 at 4:26PM  |  Views: 914

If you take 1/3rd Daredevil, 1/3rd Mad Scientist and 1/3rd Adrenaline Junkie and put him on top of a 1000 HP crotch-rocket, you better get ready for something crazy. Jesse’s Nitro Bike adventure is just that. Trying to push the limits on a motorcycle may not seem like much of challenge for the most radical bike designer of all, but that’s your first mistake. Don’t assume that all bikes are the same, especially a nitro drag bike. Drag racing, while it looks straight forward, pop the clutch and drive down the middle of the track, is anything but that.

From the green light, Jesse has to pull hard on the throttle to kick the bike into gear, rev the engine and blast off pulling anywhere from 3 to 5 Gs (gees).  Sure many of you have experienced 3 G on a roller coaster, but you were strapped in and had to do nothing, not even hold on. On top of that, you pulled those Gs for less then a second. Jesse has to hold on for several seconds under high g-force, he is not strapped in, and those same hands gripping for life control his throttle and brakes. Imagine hanging from monkey bars with 3 or 4 of your buddies hanging from you. Now move your hands. Get the picture? Guys who do this for a living are used to it, but Jesse is not.

The dangers of the bike are pretty obvious. If you don’t hit the throttle properly, you stall the bike. That’s your best case scenario. If you “roll the throttle” too hard, you blow the bike apart, and if you don’t steer straight you crash. The last two could mean serious injury or death, so to prepare for the dangers, Jesse needs some practice. But it would be no fun for you, and too easy for Jesse, if we just had him do a hundred practice runs, so instead, we thought we’d try to create scenarios that would simulate some of the dangerous situations he would be in.

First, an ace fighter pilot tries to twist him, bend him, and tear him apart by using aggressive maneuvers which increase the G force that Jesse will experience. The G force however is not the only danger, in fact, that may be the easy part. Most people can handle a few Gs. Jesse can handle more then the average person, but given enough G force, black out is inevitable causing loss of consciousness and loss of control of the airplane. Remember, Jesse is not the only one onboard – someone is flying the plane and although he is trained, accidents do happen. A host of problems can occur when you’re up in the sky traveling 24 miles a minute! If a major problem occurs, will Jesse be able to handle ejecting? An ejection is an explosion under the seat that drives you up with huge Gs in and of itself, but if there is a slight mishap, it could be disastrous. If an internal compartment problem occurs and the pilot passes out, Jesse cannot fly the plane, and he may not even be able to eject himself. Of course the good news is, that if this were to happen, he would likely pass out from the tremendous Gs pulled when the plane spirals to its death, so he wouldn’t feel the ground at all. When first looking at it, being a passenger seems pretty cool, but it is anything from easy when someone is trying to make you cough your lunch up.


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