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    • Sometimes winding down through the gears on my Tiger 1050, fitted with an Arrow high-mount exhaust, is pure aural joy.

      It's one of my favourite sounds in motorcycledom - the others are a Honda Rune (don't knock it till you've heard one from the rider's perch at full song) and a Norton Commando with Dunstall pipes.

      I don't mind the note from some big V-twins, like an Indian Chief with stage one pipes. Most worked Harleys are too loud for my taste - I actually like my neighbors.

      When I've ridden an electric bike I don't miss it. I'm too busy being enamoured with (nearly) free energy and the aforementioned torque - and wringing the throttle on and off just to taste it.

      The lack of noise is actually kind of cool too - once you get used to it. It's just a different experience.

      I don't think electric bikes are ready to supplant ICEs yet. But for certain applications and within parameters - commuting etc - they are viable - as for the rest, their days still cometh. But I suspect they will be grand.

      We just have t' get past Lithium. The evolution from lead to cadmium and the other heavy metals happened relatively rapidly. We've been 'stuck' at Lithium for ... what ... 15 years?

      I still look for the next big breakthrough - that's when they will likely become truly viable.