Theres a guy who regularly rides the tail of the dragon on a gold wing and there are lots of guys even on sport bikes that admit they can't hang with him. So yeah, riding skills are certainly a big part of it until you compare bikes with the same rider. If you put your buddy on a bird he might have stop and have a smoke till you catch up. I've been behind at least one harley guy i could just barely keep up with and had a few sport bikes pull over and let me pass because they couldn't get me off thier tail. Those aren't just made up or exaggerated experiences either, i mean it. It's all about the rider. I do think your buddy on a Tbird would smoke himself on his vulcan.