Acceleration addiction?

It’s intoxicating. Speaking as someone who’s had some experience with the experience of intoxication, I continue to marvel at the elevating qualities of acceleration on either two or four wheels. Why is it that guys (and some girls) can just never get enough of it?

Now that “enough” notion needs to be explored a little. It all starts with the following numeric: 0 to 60 (mph) = x seconds (x being a variable). The value ascribed (or better, felt) for x, determines the overall E.Q. (“Elation Quotient”) for the experience.

It’s generally accepted that the fun doesn’t really start until a threshold of around 6 seconds. Sure, if you really jam your V6 Honda Accord, it’ll feel like you’re doing something a little bold, but you’re still more than a second away from nirvana. In speed speak, a second is an eternity.

My ultimate E.Q. moment happened in the passenger seat of a 1970 Buick 455 Stage 1, a monster-motor tornado in tuxedo black. There’s a lot of heated debate about which dog was THE big dog of the muscle car era. This puppy has a serious claim to the title; ferocious and mind-bending.

In the muscle car era, quick acceleration was accomplished using the pavement-ripping torque potential of big block V-8’s. Nowadays, things are a lot more subtle; there are just a few V-8’s out there; fewer still that qualify as “big” block. Mostly, it’s horsepower generated by high-revving sixes and turbo-assisted “mini-motors”. Still tons of fun, but not quite the impact of a snarling V-8.

Thanks to more favorable power-to-weight ratios, motorcycles generally accelerate more quickly than cars. The current king of quick for factory stock motorcycles is the Yamaha V-Max. It gets to 60 in a staggering 2.5 seconds! Now that’s an E.Q. number I doubt I’d have the nerve to fully enjoy.

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