Dear Ducati

Posted by Suman on Apr 29, 2021

I recently got into motorcycle track riding.

I knew I had to buy a Ducati. And not just any Ducati. The most powerful one.

I got a Panigale V4.

Do not get me wrong. I did buy a "beginner bike" first - Kawasaki Ninja 400.

But after riding it for 7 days, I realized that even though I am no expert,

I am far from a beginner.

And moreover, I, as a human being, learn when I am truly challenged.

I learn when the thing I am trying to learn FROM, is threatening and powerful.

That is exactly the kind of beast the Panigale V4 is.


But I think I am jumping the gun.

Let me first introduce myself.

I am a nobody (really, a nobody) who has been a professional athlete for about 10 years.

I have devoted most of my days studying the human body and how it functions NATURALLY.

Note the emphasis on "naturally".

Because most try to be optimal or effective or perfect. With either of the approaches,

they often resort to logical reasoning.

Perhaps the same reasoning that went behind the

mainstream placement of the [clutch and gear-shifter pedal] on the left,

and [throttle+front-brake and rear-brake pedal] on the right.


I have been driven to see beyond the need for optimization, effectiveness, perfection, and thus, logical reasoning.

I have been in the hunt for a far superior way - natural and organic effortlessness.

And after having found that (I even published a book),

let me tell you that a diagonal/"X" positioning, that is, either

[throttle+front-brake and gear-shifter pedal] on right and [clutch and rear-brake pedal] on left

or

[throttle+front-brake and gear-shifter pedal] on left and [clutch and rear-brake pedal] on right

is what the human body NATURALLY prefers.


Please note that no one has noticed this thus far, even at the very highest levels of

motorcycle riding i.e. MotoGP, because of the "race" for logic and optimization

and utter ignorance for what the body naturally wants to do.

After realizing this, I immediately went to the dealer I bought the bike from,

and asked him if such a modification is possible. He gave me a polite "Get out of here" response.

And it was his manner that made me realize,

how much I have to dig to get others to buy into, which is simply,

the truth.


I am not a history guy. I hate research even more so.

But in this case, I did some google searches. And to my surprise, I learned that

motorcycles were built in that pattern (gear-pedal on right and brake-pedal on left)

before the 70-75s, when Italians, British, (and Germans?) dominated the market.

(Apparently) It was only after the Japanese started doing the reverse thing (gear-pedal on left and

brake-pedal on right) due to whatever "logic" and "optimization" they ran into,

the mainstream market was forced to switch to that norm.

I am not sure why the Italians/European manufacturers caved in,

but what I do know is that they were on a more truthful path

before they were lead astray.


Let us first understand the elephant in the room.

The question of whether to put the gear-shifter on the right or left side

(and the rear-brake pedal on the left side or the right side)

does not stem from

1. Which side of the road vehicles drive/ride.

2. Or what sport or practice the motorbike is used in.

Or any other "metric".


Let us first look at the human body.

The human body, beyond muscles and joints, is mainly controlled by

an entity called myofascial slings.

Two main (X-shaped) slings control all the locomotion that a human being can perform,

be it walking, crawling, lifting, jumping, etc.

One sling starts at the tip of the right arm (the very tip of the right hands's middle finger),

runs all the way across the back,

and ends at the very tip of the left foot.

The other sling starts at the tip of the left arm (the very tip of the left hands's middle finger),

runs all the way across the back,

and ends at the very tip of the right foot.

It is this "X" that allows the body to be used as a unit.


If you go by logic, you will totally ignore this inherent -X- and say -

"Okay there are two sides, left, and right,

Let us put the drive mechanism on the left and the brake mechanism on the right."

But once again,

by following such logic,

you are being kept from the superior and inherent connection of the body.

A connection that wants to do things in an integrated/in-one

manner and not separated/disjointed.


I can go on and on, but the point is, and I will reveal to you simply and plainly,

that the motorcycling industry at competitive levels

(MotoGP, WorldSBK, moto2, moto3, etc.),

is sacrificing a lot of human potential by still relying on ("Japanese" or "American") logic.


Obviously, it is not just the bike, but also the rider riding it.

But if the bike is built with logic, how can the rider not be logical?

After all, it is tempting to be logical.

Even more so in today's world, when the rat race for electronics and programming is making

long-lost traditions such as authentic Italian superbike manufacturing even more long-lost.

And, also numbing the deeper, innate effortless intentions inside the budding champion.

Thank you.