Journal: Which Kind of Fun Would You Rather Have?

Which Kind of Fun Would You Rather Have?

By Michael Banovsky
July 24, 2015
24 Comments

Photography by Michael Banovsky

The great thing about having fun is that there are so many different varieties of it. Within weeks, I found myself behind the wheel of both a $1,500 homebuilt CycleKart and a $340,000-ish McLaren 650S. Both hugely entertaining, in its own way. The McLaren is a spaceship in comparison, but…

Because this isn’t a high school sleepover, this isn’t a choice between the McLaren 650S and Dennis Thomas’ CycleKart. The McLaren wins, every time. But each thrills in a different way. In the McLaren, it was in the feeling of superiority over my surroundings. On-ramps, back roads, slow-moving traffic—I didn’t see a faster car all day. Faster drivers, definitely, but they were sadly mostly behind the wheel of overloaded Ford Econolines.

I’m confident I know what made the McLaren fast, but if had asked me to draw a schematic of how, say, the McLaren Proactive Chassis Control system works, you’d get an illustration of spaghetti.

The CycleKart, though, that was a much more childish sort of fun. I think I could feel the camber changing on the wheels as I hurtled through Thomas’ shop. I locked up the tire(!) under braking, and quickly learned how to induce understeer and oversteer on command.

There will be a full article on each car soon, but for now, I’m wondering: today, right now, which sort of fun would you rather have—and why? 

 

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Xatineyl
Xatineyl
4 years ago

Despite the new cars, I prefer to ride on old car brands sometimes. It’s kind of fun when you drive out in an old car and people look at you with a smile. I try to make more than just pedestrians laugh. In a circle of friends I tell short and funny jokes, hilarious liners. From time to time, I use jokesfan them to replenish my humor. Sometimes you come to the car maintenance station and stand with the master to communicate and laugh. The work of the master becomes more active. I rent old cars, but there is an idea of buying a car.

Rachel Watson
Rachel Watson
7 years ago

How did I miss this the first time round?! Just saw this on Facebook and now I want one, I want one very badly…

David Lake
David Lake
8 years ago

Enjoy Dennis’s Cycle Kart and see other builds at http://www.cyclekartclub.com

Cheers
David

Jono51
Jono51
8 years ago

I feel at a disadvantage in this conversation, as, due to a) bad career choices b) lack of cash and c) lack of connections (all of which are probably interrelated), I’ve never had the opportunity to drive a properly fast car – by which I mean one capable of more than 130mph. So that is one thing on my bucket list.

That aside, however, I am encouraged to see that others here don’t seem to think that supercars provide more excitement than go karts!

Alexander Bermudez
8 years ago
Reply to  Jono51

In my experience racing karts is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on! Although for me it lacks a certain intensity that one gets from racing cars.

Dennis Thomas
Dennis Thomas
8 years ago
Nicolas Moss
Nicolas Moss
8 years ago

Hmm… at $340000 the McLaren costs as much as most houses, which I guess makes it a mobile home? How fun could that be?

Dennis Cavallino
Dennis Cavallino
8 years ago
Reply to  Nicolas Moss

But where’s the shed for the cycle cart(s)?

Brian Driggs
Brian Driggs
8 years ago

For my money – what little Sallie Mae allows me to keep for myself every month – I’ll have the CycleKart.

Twice, now, I’ve had the privilege of tossing a $1500 CycleKart about. Considering you can fully exploit them on any skill level, they fit the bill. Flat out through the neighborhood. Flat out through the production floor. Flat out is flat out the pinnacle of motorsport desire.

Gets me wondering… What’s the fundamental difference between the new McLaren and the Ludicrous Tesla? I mean, the 650S has a 19 gallon tank and gets 15-22mpg for a total range of 280-420ish miles. That’s clearly better than the best case scenario of the Tesla at 230 miles, but still. The lines are blurring.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
8 years ago

I prefer to go karting with my son. The sensation of speed is relative.

So, I guess TWO cycle karts would offer more of the right kind of fun. Even better, we build them ourselves. 😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Mr Gay if I may let me say ;

You well and truly Get It ! Two huge thumbs up ! The fact that you and your son build them adding an additional +1 x 1000 to a factor of ten !

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

I’m presently putting together his OWN tool box.

The only real “problem” I see is that I won’t be faster than him for much longer. I guess my consolation will be that he had a good teacher. Ha. 😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

The genuine sign of a good teacher having given excellent instruction is when the student doesn’t need the teacher any longer . So what seems like a problem is in fact a major compliment .

But .. as in my [ professional ] case . Even though the student no longer needs the teacher at some point this wily teacher/professor always manages to stay a step ahead of his students . Remembering the adage ‘ Old Guys Rule ‘ As long as we keep growing that is . A fact that never fails to surprise said students .. even the famous ones when they come around to see how they stack up against the old man .

And give that kid of yours a pat on the head or at least a thumbs up from me . Any kid today not buried and distracted by this digital device or that 24/7 is A-OK by me !!!!

Niklas Wolkert
Niklas Wolkert
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Thank you for this brief and refreshing discussion. Made the whole article for me. In the progress of building a workshop/garage where I hope to start tinkering with an Alfa GTV 69 within the coming year or so. Sons are now in moped age (which is big in Sweden) for which I am hoping for spending time with tinkering sons too. Inspiring. Would love a cycle cart but wouldn’t know where to drive it :-/

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

In today’s media and digitally driven society, it is a tough road (and certainly the one less traveled). You gotta get these kids outside and find ways to inspire them. In my experience, so much is teaching by example. Art, music, sports, anything to keep their bodies and minds active. Lately we’ve been complementing the karting with the guitar. When I recently showed him footage of P.T. destroying his guitars and speakers at the end of the show, his eyes grew and jaw dropped. 😉 Magic and inspiration can be found in the darndest places. Now he can’t put the guitar down.

You are right, the old man always has a few tricks up the sleeve to keep him one step ahead of the game. They never see it coming, even though it can be the oldest trick in the book.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Perhaps its because I’m older with a lot more experience [ including ownership ] behind the wheel of exotics and race cars but the fact is I’ve found both the McLaren MP4-12C and its barely evolved 650S as well as the pretentious rebadged MP4-12C posing as the P1 both on road and track to be the least satisfying , boring , most overly hyped and utterly homogenized so called ‘ Exotics ‘ I’ve ever had the very distinct displeasure of driving . As I said in a review I was asked to write on the 650S ;

” The sad fact is the McLaren 650S is the over priced so called Exotic car barely worthy of the phrase that your 80 year old mother/grandmother can drive at 85\% of the cars abilities without even breaking a sweat ”

Which to put it bluntly makes the car(s) a complete Snooze Fest for me : negating any aspect of Exotic completely .

Therefore I’ll have to cast my vote for the madcap and mildly looney Cyclecar . Iconoclast eccentricity beating out overly safety nannied homogenization for the sake of the tyranny of the masses each and every time

Jeeze ! Just thinking about driving those McLaren’s has my ire up and blood pressure on the rise . What an utter waste of time energy and effort they all proved to be . Especially when compared to the mighty McLaren F1 . Now that … was an exotic !

Alexander Bermudez
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Guitar, That is quite a damming opinion of the new McLaren!
Is it really that bad? Could you go into more detail as to why?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Sometime Mr Banovsky you and I need to have a very pleasant conversation … preferably over a glass or two of your favorite micro brew , Stranahans or a good glass of vino about just how much your generation has missed out on by having been force fed so much virtual rather than the real since almost day one . Before we do though a couple of book recommends ;

Aldous Huxley ” Brave New World ”
Neil Postman – ” Amusing Ourselves to Death ” [ more relevant today than in 1984 when it was written ]

Suffice it to say its [ the real ] all still out there for the asking . At least for the moment . And once you’ve delved into the real you’ll recognize the digital/virtual world for exactly what it is . Occasionally a useful tool , sometimes a reasonable mode of communication but overall an ephemeral source of entertainment and commerce whose sole purpose is to distract you from life all while selling you a whole lot of somethings you didn’t even want .. never mind needed

PS; For possibly yours and the sites benefit I’ll refrain from commenting on the 650S article when it comes up but can’t wait for the madcap cyclecar !

Patrick Peters
Patrick Peters
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

“and why every manufacture hates me”
Every manufacture hates you? Really? so they know who you are then? Why is it that every car manufacture knows you?

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Hmmn . How to keep this succinct and to the point . If one was to only judge the car by the numbers then of course more positive things would need to be said . Problem with me [ and why every manufacture hates me ] is I don’t judge a car strictly by the numbers . My judgement being based on a combination of performance – driving experience – skill level needed to drive etc . And just to be fair in my opinion ALL of todays so called Exotic , Hyper and Supercars fall very short when it comes to the last two factors . And its in the later two where the 650S/MP4-12C/P1’s all fall extremely short . As Mr Banovsky so well put it he grew up in the Digital Age where the Virtual has become Normal [ albeit not real ] and not in the age when owning say a Ferrari meant you not only could afford it … but could maintain it [ at least somewhat yourself ] and had the genuine skills and abilities to drive the thing [ assuming like Mr Lange and myself you actually do/did ] because not every Tom Dick and Harry could .

Whereas todays so called Supercar/Exotics including the 458 ? [ and no doubt the upcoming 488 ] Suffice it to say if the likes of Justin Beiber and Paris Hilton not to mention every and any 30 year old single malt addled owner can drive then they’re not super/exotic cars in my opinion

But …. the McLaren’s in my opinion are the worst of the worst . The driver due to all the electronic magic that in reality is driving you rather than you driving it , is so disengaged and removed from the driving experience [ other than the sensation of speed ] that in all honesty it is no exaggeration to say any reasonably competent driver can drive one at or near the cars abilities . Putting that to the test in the independent test I was involved with I had my lovely wife [ who has driven nothing but Toyotas since the 90’s and had zero previous track time ] loose in the car . In the end even with her just average skills she was able to come within 90\% of mine and the other drivers lap times

And that my friends .. at least in this Slingers opinion …. Aint what a Super/Exotic/Hypercar is all about

Alexander Bermudez
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Guitar, so in your mind a Super/Exotic/Hypercar by definition should me difficult to drive at or near the limit and only reward the individual who has committed years to the craft of driving.

I can see where you are coming from and to a certain degree I would have to agree with you. With that said, every time I watch this video I really want a 12CGT3….
[url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajN5fVVOLOw”]Doerr Motorsport 12C GT3 sets lap record at the Nurburgring 24 Hours[/url]

Ian Miles
Ian Miles
8 years ago

The McLaren wins, every time. Well perhaps but in the right circumstances I reckon the cart would provide a bigger thrill, more excitment and fear. So isn’t that largely why people buy supercars. Sadly not, they buy them because of the “look at me” factors and cache they have perhaps. I would rather have a fast motorcycle than a fast car!:)

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago
Reply to  Ian Miles

You nailed that on the head . Its all about the ego and the next shiny new thing that once found will displace the current shiny new thing they just recently had purchased . Average length of ownership of any new exotic from delivery being substantially less than ten months across the board .

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