The Song of the Sausage Creature. The scream
in the back of your mind
when you're flat out
in 3rd gear on a gravel-strewn S-curve
and you feel the back end start to slide out. . .
WHAMO, meet the Sausage Creature.
Hunter S. Thompson wrote an article for Cycle News that ran in the March 1995 issue called "Song of the Sausage Creature", about his road test of a Ducati 900SS. Since I'm a long-time HST fan, this was cool.
In it he describes the immaculate sanity with which we Cafe Racers ride, and the kind of things we love. "The final measure of any rider's skill is the inverse ratio of his preferred Traveling Speed to the number of bad scars on his body. It is that simple: If you ride fast and crash, you are a bad rider. If you go slow and crash, you are a bad rider. And if you are a bad rider, you should not ride motorcycles," Hunter says, and I could not agree with him more.
And the 900SS, Hunter maintains, is a terrifyingly fast motorcycle. One might not realize this, reading its specs; it's no faster or more powerful than any modern sportbike, and quite a bit slower than some. But it's so torquey, and the mere sound of the motor makes you want to rev it higher, that you're cruising up through the gears, drunk on the exotic exhaust note and the wind rushing by that when you look down at the speedo after a few seconds, you think, "Wow - 90? Really?"
And there's a tight corner up ahead. But go ahead, scare the whimpering shit out of yourself, and lean it over - because the Ducati will do it. The damned thing will make that corner, if you let it. Like HST says, the bike has unnatural capabilities.
"There are some things nobody needs in this world, and a bright-red, hunch-back, warp-speed, 900cc cafe-racer is one of them--but I want one anyway and on some days I actually believe I need one. That is why they are dangerous."
But there's nothing like hearing the the Song of the Sausage Creature and living to tell about it.