Autopsy: Nitro Bike

by spike.com   June 05, 2009 at 4:26PM  |  Views: 917

Next, we light Jesse on fire. Sure we take all the necessary precautions using flame retardant suits, and a safety team. 10, 15, even 20 seconds of flame is super dangerous, even under control. Not only can the heat penetrate the suit and cause severe burns, it can super heat his lungs and throat and burn him alive from the inside out. In addition to the tremendous heat, you have smoke. Smoke is dangerous because it is full of tons of chemicals and toxins, that can cause delusion and even blackout which may go undetected by the team or cause him to panic making his time under flame even that much more dangerous. Jesse has to decide when to pull the plug and have the safety team douse the flames, but by the time he realizes the flame is getting close, it could be too late and sever burns will occur when the super heat penetrates the suit. While movie stuntman make the feat look easy, their years of practice keep them out of trouble. Jesse doesn’t usually light himself up just for the heck of it. But that is not it. Using super gas to fuel the bike turns even an ordinary engine into a bomb, let alone the super-charged beast he has to conquer. A nitro-fueled explosion can literally blow him apart, but even a small explosion can cause Commotio Cordis, the fancy term for ill-timed thump to the heart disturbing its rhythm and sending him into cardiac arrest. And that’s bad news since by the time the team will reach him, and remove the gear to administer CPR, it would likely be too late. Sure he has protection, but nobody is really sure how big and powerful and explosion can be and what part of the engine will go flying at him.

Lastly, we have the crash to examine. So the bike doesn’t blow itself apart, but it tears down the track and heads for a wall, or his brake system fails. Bad news all around as Jesse will likely be a Dead Man. Any impact is bad, but one where you slam into a wall at over 100mph would make you look like art. It would flatten you out and the last thing you will see is your rear end as it passes through your head. While Jesse is one of the best at riding motorcycles, nothing but luck can make survival a reality.

Talk about a bad day at the track! Most of us know Jesse is one of the coolest guys out there when it comes to motorcycles, but the intense Gs, the possibility of explosions, the heat, and the ability to control a 1000 HP super bike is one feat that may not go his way. While he is charged up about it and wanting to do this for many years, so many tiny things can go wrong and when you are barreling down the track at more then 100 miles per hour, small problem can mean big consequences. This is not an easy task for the best in the business; those guys that do this type of racing for a living. Jesse is going to need a whole lot more then bike building expertise and his knowledge of cylinder heads and pistons to pull this one off.

David Sandler is the Science Advisor for 'Jesse James is a Dead Man', and President and Co-Founder of StrengthPro, Inc.

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