Updated: Jul 4, 2019
Motorcycles go far back in time. The first recorded motorcycle adventure taken was in the early 1900s, and the first model of motorcycles created was in 1885. The world has come a long way now. In over a century, the world as we knew it has completely changed. We may not see the flying cars we had envisioned at the turn of the century but the changes in technology exist, and these changes are coming about at a revolutionary speed. The only difference is that these changes are occurring on a scale that is so subtle that we do not even realise the extent to which the world has completely transformed.
The same goes for technologies used in motorcycles. From the first motorcycle invented to all its multiple innovations in the years to come, the 21st century has seen futuristic developments in the technology used in motorcycles. Each one of these developments has made motorcycle travel, sport, and touring just a little bit easier, faster, and safer.
There are integrations of futuristic enhancements into the very motorcycles you know and love. You cannot see these exponentially advanced technologies changing your motorcycles because manufacturers are trying to make the changes subtle so that you do not have to lose the look of the vintage motorcycle, the way we have known it to be for the past century. Little do we realise is that the timeless appearance is also home to technologies that have made motorcycles move in tandem with the innovations in the technologies that make motorcycles what they are today.
We at Siima MotoWear have done our research and we present you with the 7 motorcycle technologies that have made their ways into motorcycles of today, improving the way we ride with our trusted steeds of steel.
1. Ride by Wire Technology
One of the subtlest improvements in technology that cannot be viewed through the naked eye is the electronic throttle control. The electronic throttle control is an action that regulates the entry of fuel into the engine, by controlling the amount that is let in. This is also known as the ride-by-wire technology which is an electronic mechanism instead of being driven by a cable.
This takes the control away from the rider and gives it to the machine, instead of having a direct control over the engine on a one-on-one basis. This means there will not be sudden losses of control and stalls that may have occurred otherwise as the technology sends electric signals from an ECU, which is a small computer, to the throttle which then takes in to account the engine power, or throttle, that the rider wants to exert. It then compares the current engine and bike speed, the gear that is currently selected, and determines how much throttle it needs to release.
2. Light Throughout the Tunnel
A motorcycle can be a precarious vehicle in the darkness. Imagine the discomfort of driving a car after the sun has gone down and then imagine how it must feel to be exposed to the world on a bike riding through the dusk. Riders may be deterred by the lack of visibility, the chance of roadkill and the dropping temperature of the nighttime. Making turns and turning corners is made even more precarious with the inevitable pothole or stalled vehicle being beyond the scope of your headlight.
The 21st century has seen an improvement in technology that fixes this problem through the innovation of adaptive motorcycle headlights. Adaptive motorcycle headlights, like the ones that are developed by J.W. Speaker in Milwaukee, are equipped with on board sensors which have the capability of calculating the lean – the angle at which the motorcycle is leaning into a curve – and uses the calculation to determine where to direct the array of light which leads to dynamic lightening of areas that may be missed due to the mechanism of traditional headlights illuminating dark areas that traditional headlights would ordinarily miss.
According to the American Automobile Association, adaptive headlights have the potential to provide up to a 90 percent safety benefit to 90 percent of crashes that occur on curves at night — an encouraging safety improvement for nighttime riders.
3. No hands
It would not make much sense to incorporate touchscreens into motorcycles, even when advancements in touchscreen technology have reached other vehicles such as cars, powerboats, and airplane cockpits. This means that when bikers want to access GPS technology, they must park their bikes before being able to make use of advancements such as that. However, a technology advancement that applies to motorbikes comes in the form of riding gear – futuristic helmets that support Augmented Reality, such as the AR-1 by the Silicon Valley-based firm Skully, allows riders to access a rear-camera that projects the rider’s field-of-view in real time.
4. Engine Excellence
The move to liquid-cooled engines has been ended the reign of the traditional air-
cooled engines. This makes the running cooler as it produces less noise and heat than their traditional counterparts. This leads to protection against overheating which may damage the engine.
5. Stability Support
With features such as the Bosch Stability control, falling off your motorbike becomes a thing of the past. Using the same mechanism as the ride-by-wire
system, the stability of the bike is controlled by a computer that automatically regulates the disc and engine brakes to gain control when the rider is close to losing it.
6. Dual Compound Tires
With Michelin’s introduction of its 2CT series of tires, the choice shifted from the traditional two choices and included a softer compound on the sides that allows better which combines durability with strength for better traction.
7. Fuel Injection
With today’s technology, fuel systems have developed to use multiple banks of fuel injectors which allows for
sophisticated control of engine mapping and ride-by-wire throttles, which provide the biker with greater efficiency and durability in powering up their rides.
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