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236 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this isn't something that really affects us much with our model of bike not featuring much here, with the exception of ABS, and a more sophisticated fuel mapping than in years past.

Now on these top of the line sportbikes they have traction control, different riding modes depending on if you are commuting or at the track, and a whole slew of other options to keep the rubber side down.

I'm kind of torn on the issue, because on the one hand, they are improving safety and fuel efficiency, while making it easier for riders to handle these complex machines. On the other hand, what can a person expect to pay in time and money if any of these multiple electronic systems fail? Moreover, this seems like a technical challenge that isn't something that the average Joe who works on his bike can fix on his own.

1,260 Posts
look around the average kitchen mate..

we're surrounded by technology..
when i was a child there was no tv
[plenty today cant imagine it]
not long ago, no refrigeration..
or for that matter no electricity..

this is the way of things..
since someone discovered how to make fire
and how to bind a sharp stone to a stout pole,
the path we walk today was already set..

as for motorcycles, theres plenty that is plainly
unnecessary, and in the opinion of some
a negative thing such as gear indicator lights..
but its hard to find fault with abs and related
stability control technologies, outside of costs..

todays tyre technology or superior lighting
or better filtration or lubrication etc
are what most expect and prefer..

theres still plenty for the do it yourselfer
and/or tinkerer to play with on any

93 Posts
It depends on the manufacturer, but things like ABS can be (relatively) easily implemented. ABS for vehicles has been around along time, and isn't much more difficult to implement on a motorcycle.

Traction control is common on new bikes with an electronic throttle, which is much more reliable than a physical cable. This allows mfgr's to make a motorcycle much easier and smoother to ride and have multiple "modes" or thottle profiles. It also allows them to tame the bike for emissions.

777 Posts
Traction control usually applies to bikes over 500cc, on wet pavements, and on tracks.
Not for regular street riding, unless you go over 750cc.
I had a 750cc before, and you could skid the rear wheel, but you'd have to open the throttle quite a bit!

Most of the time, bikes that aren't performance oriented, and have less than 500cc won't skid the wheel, unless you intended to do it.

Rider mode control, is only good when you get an automatic.
For a manual geared bike, the only thing a rider mode control can do, is let you know when to shift; usually that's for beginners bikes.
Eg: You're accelerating at full throttle, the rider assist will tell you to shift more closer to the redline, than when you're accelerating halfway or a quarter of the throttle.

But with manual gears, you are still in 100% control of the gears, and gear shifts.
It's part of the joy of riding, and learning your bike, to find out when the best shifting modes are, and shifting around that time.

Any other electronics that would be beneficial,
Aside from a tachometer, perhaps a PSI meter, engine temp sensor, battery voltage meter, fuel gauge, and oil change interval indicator.
Anything more than that, usually requires heavy software, additional hardware, additional sensors, and wire harness, and cost.

I'm more of a minimum guy.
The less, the better.
Simple, not too complex.

Equip a fully mechanical bike (carburetor or fuel injection) with a tach and a speedo, and a USB port for powering a GPS or cellphone and I'm happy!
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