I spent this morning ...the entire morning, playing Road Rash 3 on the sega megadrive, good times. After the first half hour in awe from this blast from the past, I shook off the novelty and started dissecting and found some really interesting points. I am straight up going to say that I have never played a game (well I probably have but...) where the risk/reward factor was more evident, the fighting mechanic.
In game you put yourself at a huge disadvantage by even attempting to go into a bike on bike fight, if you use your fists, you have the possibility of swiping an enemies weapon (several weapons exist that give various tactical advantages) and at the same time gives you an opportunity to knock your opponent off their bike. This gives you a huge advantage because essentially this puts that player out of the game for that race, however if you get caught mid punch by a stray kick, you lose complete control and tend to go all over the screen in attempts to recover, but also using the kick attack decreases your mobility putting you at a disadvantage if you get caught off guard. So the decision lies in fight or flight, whether or not to engage in fighting or flying past and skipping fights in attempts to finish as soon as possible. In later levels however the enemies get more persistent and if you find yourself without a weapon that generally puts you at a disadvantage from the off.
Another point is the racing itself, whilst quite simple there are several turns that you cant see until your in them, forcing you to keep concentration at all times. Referring back to the fighting, I have been caught off guard by the road several times just from fighting, many, many sheep, people and cows have been injured from my lack of concentrating on the road. Another aspect is the cars and the hazards they pose and how different countries drive on different sides of the road, forcing you to be constantly aware at all times.
In all an epic game that I can definitely use as reliable research, things I could incorporate are sudden unexpected sharp turns and obstacles to force concentration on the road.