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Phuzzy's Guide to Burnouts
By: PhuzzyGnu

Perhaps more than any other stunt, burnouts are a celebration of conspicuous consumption. They can appeal to four of the five senses and even all five if you enjoy the taste of burned rubber. Men and boys alike love burnouts because they involve machinery, loud noises, and destruction. In the following few paragraphs you will learn the secret to destroying your rear tires from the stunter all the women love, PhuzzyGnu.

Part One: Why On Earth Would I Want To Do This?

The reasons for doing burnouts are fairly obvious. First, when doing a burnout you make a big cloud of smoke, which of course in most circumstances is really pretty cool. Second, burnouts are a very easy way to make a spectacle of yourself without exposing yourself to much bodily harm. Third, you leave big black marks anywhere you do a burnout, which obviously is neat.

Part Two: Why Wouldn't I Want To Do This?

The biggest reason for not doing a burnout is simply money. If you do a lot of burnouts, you will be buying a lot of tires, plain and simple. The big cloud of smoke is simply your tire's way of saying "Replace me!" Another reason why you wouldn't want to do a burnout is the fact that big clouds of smoke have a tendency to draw attention to whatever is causing them. This can be a good thing if you are in the company of like-minded individuals, and a bad thing if you are in front of your home or near a police or fire station.

Part Three: The Man Hates Burnouts

Cops hate burnouts as much as they hate wheelies. If you do a burnout in front of a police officer you can expect a ticket for exhibition of acceleration, or maybe even some environmental ticket. It has happened.

Part Four: Equipment

All you need to do a burnout is a motorcycle with a clutch and a front brake. A running motor helps, too.

Part Five: Is This Safe?

Actually, yes- mostly. Unless you are an idiot, it is rather difficult to hurt yourself doing a burnout. Anything is possible though, so be aware that any time you make a spectacle of yourself on a bike, something can happen to scar you. You've been warned. As far as stunts go, the spectacle-risk ratio of burnouts is quite favorable.

Part Six: Let's Destroy Some Tires!

The following are the steps to the basic, smoky burnout. It's ridiculously easy.

Stand straddling the running motorcycle with both feet as flat on the ground as possible. If you have short legs, you're used to it, so do the best you can. Hold the front brake with all four fingers. You don't want that front wheel moving for the basic, run-of-the-mill burnout. With the clutch pulled in, rev the motor up into its powerband, which is about 6000 RPM for sportbikes. Of course, Harleys don't rev to 6000, and neither do some thumpers, so just get it spinning with some power, ok? With the front brake still firmly squeezed, and with yourself ready to hold the bike in place with the handlebars and your thighs, drop the damn clutch. Stand there and enjoy the smoke. When you dropped the clutch, the back tire should have started spinning. Don't let the clutch out slowly or smoothly, or all you'll do is force yourself to buy a new clutch. If you have a bike with no power at all, it might be helpful, but by no means necessary, to start the burnout in water or some other traction-decreasing substance. Once the back tire gets spinning, you can stand just stand there if you like. To stop the burnout at any time, just pull the clutch in. You should always be ready to pull the clutch in, because you might have to abort a burnout because of police intervention or tire poppage.

After you are familiar with the run of the mill burnout, there are ways to take it just a bit further!

Part Seven: Variations

Once plain burnouts don't do it for you anymore, there are several ways to spruce them up.

Rolling burnout: To do this, gradually release the front brake and keep giving it throttle. As you start moving forward, bring your feet up on the pegs. You will start moving forward and eventually your forward progress and spinning tire will equalize and you will leave a long black mark and a dispersing cloud of smoke behind you.

Circle burnouts: These are more difficult, and also the burnout types that can result in bike damage and/or abrasions and contusions to you. As the back tire gets spinning at speed, you can turn the handlebars and start pushing yourself in a circle opposite of the direction of your turned handlebars with your feet, all the while ready with the clutch if things get squirrely.

Circle Burnouts with the feet on the pegs: These require balance, and a fair amount of coordination. Start a burnout, get your feet on the pegs and, by turning the bars and modulating the front brake, get going in a circle. Turn left, circle right. Turn right, circle left. If you just let off the front brake with the bars turned you may spin out and end up with the bike on its side and maybe you on the ground. If you just grab the front brake, you might tip over the other way. The front wheel must be moving in a tiny, or even not-so-tiny circle while the back spins. To end a circle burnout, you can either gradually apply the front brake and clutch it, ready to put your feet down, or you can just nail the bastard, straighten out the bars, let off the brake and fly off on a tangent to mass applause.

Reverse burnouts: Start a burnout on an good uphill slope. Release the front brake and roll backwards. Cool, eh?

Foreign substance burnouts: Add a foreign substance to the spinning tire, before or after. By starting a burnout in bleach you get great white smoke. Start in a little puddle of oil and you get more smoke than usual and can spin it much easier. Add flames in true pyromaniac style and set the damn tire on fire while spinning. Highway flares work well at this. Be aware that a flaming, spinning tire will fling burning rubber on your inner fender, anything in front of the rear wheel and of course anything behind the bike. Beware. It'll also almost certainly result in a new tire.

Tire Poppers: If your tires are due for replacement, or you are rich, go for these. Just keep the throttle nailed, perhaps even to the rev-limiter, and eventually the tire will pop. Or, for faster poppage and fun way to watch the speedometer spin up, you can shift into high gears. Start like a normal burnout, but then use your left foot to do clutchless upshifts through the gears. With the rear tire spinning like mad, twitch your throttle with your left toe pressuring the gearshift. You'll upshift. Keep the throttle nailed, go up through the gearbox, and you'll be rewarded with a monstrous cloud of smoke and eventually a popping tire that sounds like a gunshot. Always have the clutch covered, because when the tire pops it will go with a bang and the bike may lurch forward- remember it could theoretically be spinning at over 100 MPH. Also, your rim will now be in danger of grounding out. When you hear the huge pop, immediately after flinching you should clutch it. Now you should be prepared to change the tire.

Part Eight: It Ain't My Fault

Look, if you do burnouts you will certainly destroy your tire. You may endanger you license. You might also get hurt. PhuzzyGnu will not be held responsible for anything whatsoever that may occur from anyone reading this and attempting the actions described herein. Not being responsible includes not buying your ass a new tire because you made it disappear up in smoke.

Comments? Questions? Criticisms? Fan mail? Email phuzzygnu@aol.com

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