Bikes have gotten SOOO much better. Lets compare a Honda F2 to new CBR600rr and that's just 10 years or so. How about the new crop 1000's... the perfect starter bike!
Tires.. Ditto. Holy shite, look at 10 years ago and then now.
Combine the two and we have machines + tires that allow MUCH less experienced riders to go MUCH faster MUCH sooner in the learning curve.
Tracks... still pretty much the same run-off as 10-15 years ago.
So when the poop hits the fan, rider with less experience frin themsleves in bad situations at much higher speeds than just ten years ago. BAM!!!!
Monte - Short guy with a BIG cone.[/B]
This line of reasoning does make some sense to me. I started my Sport bike riding career on a first generation GSXR 1100 with Dunlop K591s. A current 600 would slaughter it, and yet I4 600cc sport bikes are often purchaced as beginner bikes today..
Just something to think about, as the season wraps up.
It all sounds nice.
Run off has gotten better, coming from my perspective which was pre Monte and pre track days.
Straight line speeds have increased, but if one controls for special parts, yeah, vehicle performance has improved, but it's not like night and day. The difference between an F2 and a current 600 at Blackhawk, both being ridden by top level experts with a well sorted machine that anyone could build, is about two seconds.
I think the recent hightened awareness just comes from a larger population of riders on track. Go back to 1995, and there were no track days. Now, there are ten to twenty track days available at some tracks in addition to race dates.
If one wants to single out BFR T4...
There was a time when there was no bus stop, and one came at turn four in fourth gear tapped out, hammering the brakes and going down two gears. That's all different. The chicane at Daytona has been changed a couple times. Now the whole infield is different. Brainerd's turn nine was incredibly intense before the change in 1989. How about soft barriers? A lot is different.
I think, honestly, the proper perspective has to be that riding on a race track will always involve an amount of risk. Individuals better be prepared for what is reasonable and responsible. So much has improved.