To illustrate this, compare two current World Superbike riders at the top of their game: Marco Melandri and Carlos Checa. Melandri’s bike, the Yamaha YZF-R1, is well known for its handling: It squirms, twitches and hops around beneath him as though it had a mind of its own. On the other hand, Checa’s Ducati 1098R remains fluid and seamless, even past the point when its tires have gone off. Even looking back on superstar Troy Bayliss’ rides on the Ducati, Checa still looks better. Those twitches cost time; not much, just a hundredth of a second or two. But in that arena, hundredths add up to a tenth or two, and that is usually the margin of difference from lap to lap. The fact is, you can be very rough with the levers, bars and twistgrip and still maintain world-class, podium-finishing control over the bike.