When the decision was made to build the last racer, the first 3 thoughts went through my head:
- This is going to be a lot of work.
- This should be a lot of fun when it is done.
- This is going to generate a lot of stupid comments.
2) It was. More fun than anybody else knows!!
3) Far less than I expected in the real world - virtually none, really! And then there's Facebook and Youtube:
- Low CG motorcycles are hard to balance - ever try balancing a short broom?
- That's just a copy of the Gurney Alligator!
- You'll die if you crash or run into something!
- All those ball joints and rods kill steering feel!
- Can't see where you're going on the track!
- Can't steer properly if you can't move your body!
- Can't stand on the pegs while riding over bumps!
- Why don't I see them racing in GP or the IoM TT?
2) Considering the liquid cooled twin cylinder engine, 2 wheel steering, no steering head, virtual hub center steering front suspension, remote mount handlebar, and reclined seat and rider position, there are more differences than similarities. OK: The 'Gator was the only recumbent motorcycle to get any decent coverage in this country from the legacy motorcycle media this century.
Front end feel comes from changes in the steering load - a little change means a lot. NOTHING kills that feel more than having the rider's weight on the handlebars while trail braking. With a recumbent motorcycle, the handlebars are just that - bars for the hands - the level of feedback from the front end is amazing if there is enough trail to provide it. Hub center steered front ends often need less trail for stability, which also makes the steering lighter, but that also reduces front end feel - something too often blamed on "All those linkages".
Speaking of feel: Nothing else provides a better level of feedback than a riding position that spans the wheelbase - any change in traction and/or yaw shift is immediately felt.
No, you won't read or hear any of that from the moto-infotainment outlets. They have no experience with the subject, nor do they want any - disapproval from their old chums and even older audience will keep it that way. Breakthroughs only happen by testing new ideas in the real world, not by consulting the peripheral noisemakers.