Sometimes, anyway. Definitely this time.

There is a concept in the world of repair and maintenance called “mechanical sympathy.” Apparently coined by F1 driver Jackie Stewart, it’s the idea that knowing, and caring about, what your machine is doing at any given time makes you a better driver (and rider).

This guy doesn’t have it.

We’ve all met that mechanic, right? The one who definitely has Mechanical Sympathy. The guy who is a motorcycle whisperer, who can listen to a motorcycle idle and tell you exactly which valve’s clearance is a little bit off. The woman who can take your bike for a five-minute ride and say, your front wheel bearing is going to go in the next 100 miles, your left-side intake butterfly shaft is a touch loose, and you need a new air filter. These people have mechanical sympathy. They can tell exactly what the machine is up to, in any of its systems, at any given time, and can diagnose any little problem. They know when they can limp the bike to the next stop without damaging it, and when they need to pull over entirely.

Then, there are people like this guy. It’s a difficult thing to watch for those of us who anthropomorphize our motorcycles. If it’s his bike, it seems as though he probably cares about it, because it is an old motorcycle (I’m guessing an old Honda CB750), and it has been quite heavily customized.

First, the header pipes begin to glow red, and that’s typical, somewhat normal for a bike that’s not air-cooled and not moving. Recoverable, certainly. Then, his entire exhaust system glows red. Danger, Will Robinson. Everyone who begins to wince at this point, and says “oh, that poor motorcycle?” Those people have mechanical sympathy. The guy who keeps that (poor) motorcycle’s throttle pinned open? No mechanical sympathy.

Right about the 1:50 mark, he loses cylinder #4.  The bike starts running predictably terribly. Does he stop? Heck no. It’s like he’s trying to murder it in the worst way possible. It gets revenge, though, as at the four-minute mark, it sets itself and its erstwhile rider on fire.

Friends, be kinder to your machines than this guy. That poor bike never had a chance in his not-so-capable hands, and then we get to watch as his friends try and fail to extinguish the fire with beer, until everyone present gives up and watches it burn. That poor motorcycle.

Source: YouTube