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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Technology has always been my forte which is why, as it applies to motorcycle racing, I’ve developed a growing appetite to learn more about it. Of late, I’m beginning to see a trend in motorcycle technology becoming more of a double-edged sword for new and even experienced riders amongst the paddock.

I’m a computer geek by trade so I understand and willfully embrace the pluses and minuses new and exciting motorcycle tech can bring to the track. Unfortunately, as more technology trickles down from the GP and SBK lanes that “new tech” is becoming, shall I say, a bit too techy for riders to take advantage of.

As more newbs push their way onto grids, gadgets such as quick shifters and traction control modules are becoming common place. I believe and still stand by it today that the most important setup on a motorcycle is the suspension. Check out my article “Suspension is King”. I give a spill on why suspension is supreme.

There’s a lot of jargon to digest these days especially when lap times begin to drop for you. Sometimes it almost feels like you have to have a doctorate on the wall just to understand which way to turn a dang screw.

Sheesh! What was that compression thing again or was it the rebound screw I had to turn?

When hitting a ceiling with riding it’s always easy to look for a piece of bike tech as a solution. In some cases, this is warranted, such as the purchase for a quick shifter and a good suspension setup. Anything beyond the two may be too much unless you are at the pro level.

Taking the path of least resistance through a check book could cause a developing rider to miss out on a few lessons-learned. This proves true for riders who haven’t developed their tool kit effectively. Some just lack the basic knowledge to explain what is happening with the bike well enough to someone for a change. Not understanding your motorcycle to a certain degree will ultimately hinder you. I’ve seen plenty of riders get passed because they only know how to go fast in a straight line.

Within motorcycle riding there is a hidden art form most cannot see. Smooth riding becomes a stringed instrument creating that perfect blend of brake and acceleration. There is a tuning process, like a musical instrument, every rider wanting to become faster must learn.

Look at it this way. Your body is the tuner for the type of motorcycle (instrument) you ride (play). Every manufacturer has its own way of creating a symphonic masterpiece. Relax and listen to bike in its purest form without the additions. It speaks to you every time you throw a leg over it. You and only you must find it. Masking this process with excessive parts will only get in the way if you are not ready.

Work on the biggest variable in the equation of riding. You! Always do a reverse azimuth when you feel you cannot go any faster. I can assure you there was something left on the table. Study the art as much as you can. Then apply it as best you can.

Take a riding (Cornerspin) school. Heck, take 10 of them 10 times over to improve your riding ability. Also, look for a mentor to cut time in your search. Having a good source of mentorship is one of the best and fastest approaches to the game.

This article isn’t going to change the increase in technology nor do I aim to do so. My goal is to highlight a trending issue I’ve experience vicariously through buddies and even personally. Trust me. I’ve been there before.

Went through a season with a Bazaaz system that had all the bells and whistles. After so many issues I swapped to Dyno Jet which turned out to work pretty well. Their customer service was phenomenal too to my surprise. In the end I decided to do more with less. I went directly into the ECU for the performance I needed. By minimizing the clutter, it made finding issues within my riding and setup a heck of a lot easier to find.

Remember, Slow is Fast! Follow the rule of thumb KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) until you are fast enough to take advantage of what is being passed down from the upper echelons of racing.

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9,333 Posts
Welcome to the forum:smile_big:

ZEN and the art of the second post maybe?:grin:

No, motorcycle advanced electronics are helping rider's to not become handicapped. The future is here so embrace it.:grin:

There is a learning curve but life is about learning in my opinion: Learn or stagnate:surprise:

ABS and multi level output and traction control are nice to have on performance bikes and they can keep the rider safer.:smile:

Better technology that is user friendly is here to stay!:wink2:

I own a high tech IT, ISP and computer business and some lament the exponential leap forward in all areas of technology but who would want to go back to the past?:surprise:


619 Posts
I, too, am fascinated by much of the new technology we see around us in every area, including cars and motorcycles. But there is a huge down side to it. As a personal example, when I went to school we were taught from an early age how to do research. In my chosen field of history I became intimately familiar with, and proficient at, using a library. Even a short assigned paper meant hours of arduous searching and reading through records and books for sources, and critical thought in weeding through the junk and assembling what I'd found in to a logical, reasoned final product. Today's kids are taught to go online for their sources. This means a computer is a huge asset for me because I know the basic process of valid research, but the kids are given only the tool, and not the knowledge of how to best take advantage of it. Again, ironically, I am a victim of this in some areas. For instance, before cell phones I'll bet I knew 100 telephone numbers by memory. Now, I have to look at my phone's contact list to make sure I remember my Mom's phone number.

High-tech in cars and motorcycles is fine, too -- as long as the person using them knows the basics. But since many cars became equipped with backup cameras, for instance -- a wonderful tool -- people have stopped turning their heads and actually LOOKING around before backing. Automatic traction control is another wonderful thing -- but not if you substitute it for a knowledge of how to handle a vehicle when the road conditions get sketchy. And it gets even more basic than that. I have always believed, for instance, that a new driver should learn to drive in a car with a manual transmission. Transitioning from a manual to an automatic transmission is a piece of cake, but if you learn on an automatic there's no way you'll be able to jump behind the wheel of a manual transmission car and drive off if you ever need to.

Human beings tend to look for the easy way, and that's understandable. But when we become dependent on these wonderful tools we find ourselves to a greater or lesser extent at their mercy. As my sister aptly says, "Bro, when the electricity goes away you and I will rule the world!" And she has a point -- we'll be able to do math with a stick in the dirt if we have to, while others will be lost without their calculators. We'll be able to read a real-by-golly map instead of wishing we could charge up our GPS. We'll be able to THINK without machine intelligence to help us analyze every situation.

I promise, we will be benevolent rulers!:angel::grin:
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