I joke of course. Stealth mode is as old as motorcycling itself. The very first motorcycle produced was installed with stealth mode.
On Ducatis, stealth mode can be activated by simply riding past your local café. The self-learning ECU senses it is being ridden beyond its design brief and immediately cuts ignition.
KTMs on the other hand engage stealth mode if ridden in homosexual fashion. And I don’t mean riding it from the back seat with your mouth open, I mean KTMs hate being ridden at anything other than full throttle and any pussy footing provokes the ultra-sensitive ECU to cut power to the hate capacitor. KTMs die without hate.
Jap bikes resist stealth mode like wild, unbroken horses. They just want to run and run and run till they die of exhaustion.
So, recently heading down MacPass, I switched the engine off on a whim. Just for the fuck of it. What followed reminded me of the days back in uni when a group of us used to ride down mountains on our shitty, Indian made motorcycles, in the dark, with the engine and lights switched off. First one down the mountain won and stopping or switching the lights on copped an immediate disqualification and permanently destroyed your chances of getting a root with a woman of any kind. It was an extreme fucking sport. It required balls, skill, concentration, balls and a lot of fucking luck. I once nearly ran into the back of a leopard coming round a corner. Only saw him when I was 2 feet away. We both shat ourselves but I think his nuggets were bigger and more plentiful.
There is something poetic about freewheeling, it has to be said. As much as I love the booming of the big V-twin, feeling it pulse through the chassis and propel me forward urgently, there is a unique magic in descending a mountain pulled along in silence solely by gravity. A conflicted, simultaneously “whooping with joy” and “closing your eyes and smelling the pines” kind of magic.
I plan to experience it more often.
But before you suggest I start wearing lycra, let me remind you I still want a screaming beast of an engine between my 2 wheels. For whatever comes down, must go up again and I aint pushin that muthafucka up the hill!