windows, it would be evil on wheels.
Getting in is a bit of an art; open the gullwing roof, balance on the wide
sill, then slide in under the steering wheel, racing-car style. Once in,
youre faced with a tiny wheel, an array of instruments in a semi-circular
pod (touch of jet-fighter there) and, to your right, a strange fore-and-aft
To start it up, turn the engine over a few times on the starter button to
get the oil circulating, wait until the pressure builds . . . hang on .
. . then hit the ignition switch. WHOMP! The engines just behind you, and
the first time it fires, you duck. Gawpers dive for cover, run, or just
A few times later, you dont duck at all. You grin. After all,
an unsilenced V8 slurping fuel via a huge Holley double-pumper carburetor
is a noise you dont hear enough on the public roads.
Clack the pool-ball-sized gearknob a notch forward into first gear (theres
no clutch), give it some throttle and . . . wooah! The Vig accelerates in
a startling, almost surreal, way. Bob claims a 0-60mph time of three seconds,
and that feels all too possible.
In order to get its motorcycle licence, it has to weigh under 1,500lbs;
that lightness helps acceleration, but doesnt mean the Vig is flimsy. Its
built on a tub of aluminum honeycomb and
composites, with tubular steel front and rear subframes, like
many racing cars. The bodywork is fibreglass, Kevlar and carbon fibre, and
it feels much heftier than the wobbly fiberglass that people like Lotus
and TVR used for their early efforts.
Which is good, because as you scream towards the first corner, thoughts
of crashworthiness and impact resistance force themselves into your mind.
That front wheel looks awfully skinny, you think, to steer something carrying
this much momentum. I wonder whether well clear that ditch when we experience
terminal understeer and plough straight off the
road? Actually, one bit of your brain is thinking that, but
the rest is busy making your mouth go eeeeeeeeeee!|
But when you arrive at a corner, brake with teeth-gritting ferocity, and
with far less effort than youd expect (and far less steering lock) the Vig
just zips round the bend and explodes off down the next straight. Its uncanny.
Though, if you ask Bob, hes got an explanation for it. The trouble is he
might as well be talking Serbo-Croat for all the sense it makes to someone
who never got past physics 0-level.
With a low centre of gravity, most of the weight over the two rear tyres,
which are widely-spaced, and a low